Curse of Strahd

longer than the road

[what in faerun am i here for?]

Well, we FINALLY headed to Vallaki, which proved to be a slight improvement. Here, the air seems a bit lighter and the mood a bit happier, which suits me just fine. I think I’ve been grumpy so long I’ve misplaced my joy.

We chose to stay at the Boar’s Belch, a little tavern with funny drinks: Red Dragon Crush and Purple Grape Smash. Ireena bought us a round, which is really the least she could do for her trouble. I know Ogg and Lei wanted to stay up for singing, drinking, and dancing, but I had a headache, so I headed upstairs early. As I crawled between the covers, Jillian came up to tell me we have a job to do tomorrow morning, – something about a winery that isn’t working right – but that means I can’t sleep in. Maybe I can think my way out of being tired? I don’t know that I’ve tried that before.

Well, I can’t sleep. I can hear Lei and Ogg downstairs still, and they seem to be making merry. Those two are always up for a good time, and this place doesn’t seem to affect them like it does me. They’re both stronger than me, though in different ways. Maybe that’s the secret? I don’t know. I like them though – they’re kind and fun, and they have each other’s backs. Also, their belongings sometimes smell like what I think the sea might smell like. I’d like to see the open ocean one of these days and smell it for myself. I DID catch fish in a pond – maybe I could catch fish in the ocean? Maybe Ogg or Lei would teach me how to fish with a pole, and I could teach them to fish with their minds, like I sort of did with Ogg?

That was really fun. I didn’t know that I could show anyone what it was like in my head, and I’m not sure Ogg understood what I was doing, but it was really nice that he wanted to see and that he let me share that with him. I tried to do the same thing with Teldorthan, and I thought he (and maybe Lei?) would want to see or share cause they sort of understand different abilities, but he made it shockingly clear he doesn’t. I got mad about that at first, but mad became sad, so now I just keep my distance.

At least Jillian is sort of getting back to her usual self, which is really nice. Maybe this place affected her, too? She got so grumpy and suspicious there that I didn’t think the group would accept her. Not that they should, if she’s going to be mean and get into everyone’s stuff without permission. That’s just not what you do! Anyways, maybe her grumpy made me grumpy? I don’t know.

That’s just it. I don’t know. I don’t know what I’m even doing here. I don’t know how I can help. I don’t know how I can get into people’s heads, but I can’t understand these ? With Jillian, I know what I need to do, but here, I feel confused and a little helpless. How am I ever supposed to prove my courage when I don’t even know what i can do?

Awake again. Terrible nightmares.

Last night, I finally got to sleep, and morning came way too early. Oh well. Over breakfast, I heard tales of Ogg’s evening misfortunes – something about him getting drunk, stumbling into Ireena and Lei’s room, and discovering a secret room in the tavern. Who knows. We ran some errands and packed our stuff to head off to the winery. I stopped in to the blacksmith’s shop to see about more protective armor, but all they had they could fit to me was Teldorthan’s castoff chainmail. I wish I didn’t have that reminder, but I guess it’s better than getting killed. On the bright side, Ireena stayed in town.

As we approached the winery, we started to see why the place has fallen into disrepair. All these wriggling branches popped out of the ground and tried to kill us.

- Maybe Ogg is right to be wary of things that are cursed. This land sure seems to be. -

There were so many of these creatures that they nearly overwhelmed us. Lei took the most damage first, and the vines were so vicious that Ogg and Teldorthan both had to summon thunderous gusts of wind to repel them, which barely worked. I struggled to the door of the winery, intent on trying to escape, but Jillian, Teldorthan, and Ogg stayed to fight.

- Maybe this is why I don’t have a second name. -

They fought well, but the vines did, too, and eventually, I feared for everyone’s lives, so I yelled for them to come inside. The vines tried to drag everyone further away from the winery, but everyone made it inside the building and we barricaded the door behind us. It’s no wonder no one received shipments of wine with all these strange creatures about. For now, we’ve secured our safety and will tend our wounds. Maybe we’ll get to the bottom of this strange magic tomorrow.



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