A new year means a new adventure! Bobby, Philge and Freezo are back with an extra-spooky adventure in the far-off land of Barovia. What troubles lie in store for our heroes? Probably vampires, hey. Featuring NPC characters by actor and comedian Edan Lacey.
The two meet up on the Old Svalitch Road, Philge on a sensible horse and Freezo in a expensive sledge pulled by 30 goats. They head to The Blood on the Vine tavern and make their way through the morose villagers to find Bobby seated next to the fire.
As Bobby begins to explain why he has asked them both to meet him there, they are interrupted by the bar maid, Betsy. She reveals that nobody that comes to Barovia can ever leave again. She explains that she came to Barovia looking for fame and fortune, and has been trapped here ever since. Her brother Johannes recently tried to leave Barovia, and as his dog returned without him, she is now quite convinced of his death.
Philge tries to strike up a conversation with one of the locals, but is rebuffed. It seems the native Barovians have some deep-seated prejudices against non-human races. Freezo attempts to open a dialogue with the villagers, but this sparks a confrontation with a local named Baston, whose fighting talk takes on some flirtatious overtones. Baston's friend Clarence attempts to talk him down, telling him not to start anything "so close to midnight". Church bells ring and the villagers file out of the pub. Most of the villagers ignore the Dragon Friends' questions, but Betsy urges them to come along.
They head to the church where the villagers begin to bed down, but there is some consternation as the high priest, Father O'Donovitch, seems to be missing. In his place is a lowly acolyte trying to keep everyone calm. Freezo calls out to him, and he attempts to offer them welcome but soon dissolves into panicked splutters. A quick slap from Bobby (held up by Freezo) brings him round, and he explains that every six days the village has been attacked by huge wolves, minions of Count Strahd von Zarovich, the local lord who is responsible for the curse on Barovia. The only thing keeping the village safe was Father O'Donovitch, who was able to use the sacred relic of Pelor to ward off evil. But now both the high priest and the relic are missing.
As panic rises among the villagers, Freezo attempts to take control and mount a proper defense. Wolves howl in the distance, and Bobby runs for the vantage of the bell tower. Philge attempts to slam the doors and bar them, but Freezo decides that he will head outside to face the wolves. Baston goes out to fight alongside him. Philge attempts to bar the doors behind them, but drops the crossbar on her toe.
As the wolves draw closer, Freezo turns one of the wolves against the others. The attack goes awry, but both wolves fall down into a cellar. Bobby attempts to reason with the remaining wolf, hoping his being a werewolf will help. They fight the final wolf and eventually kill it.
Non-Player Characters (NPCs)
- Blood on the Vine Tavern
Themes, tropes and running jokes
- Edan Lacey was originally brought in as a guest to voice NPCs, including Baston, but ultimately joined as part of the main cast.
- Michael Hing says that he has read "the relevant parts" of the player's handbook over the break, discovering such things as temporary hit points and the Pact Boon that Freezo can claim as a warlock. He takes Pact of the Tome. Although you are only meant to have one pact boon, Hing will later also take Pact of the Chain, introducing the character of his familiar Bushu. This discrepancy is addressed near the end of s1 of Tomb of Annihilation.