The quest to Yester Hill to recover the stolen Martikov jewel started well enough: and though the party seemed on the verge of total victory, slaying most of the druids at the beginning, Strahd himself was also there for the ceremony – and he turned the tide by turning the party on itself. Jeros, Mistral, and Zul found their previously useful lycanthropy to be a liability when Strahd dominated them and set them on their fellow party members. By determination, a lucky 20 when Doxos was down, and Zul momentarily breaking Strahd’s domination of his will the party was able to escape – but not before witnessing the culmination of the ceremony, when the twig effigy of Strahd in the center of the druid circle birthed Wintersplinter, the most monstrous tree blight anyone has ever seen.
Arriving at the Wizard of Wines Winery (where Davian Martikov and his family had just begun restorations after the druids’ depredations), they were able to raise the alarm and prepare for the onslaught coming from the south.
The defense was tenacious and the line held, and Wintersplinter was destroyed (freeing the swallowed Zul), but the cost was high: Davian and all of his family members were killed by druids who breached the north entrance.
Bearing the somber news back to the Blue Water Inn at Vallaki, the party was shocked to find it freshly razed, and Urwin Martikov and his family facing down a pack of werewolves apparently sent to extract the price required of those who defy the will of Strahd.
3358 XP per party member