When they wake they see Ismark. He requests a chat.
He thanks them for escorting his sister to safety; the pallisade walls give him hope that his sister may have a better life here away from the influence of Strahd.
"Although this town seems safe enough I am not so naive as to believe that Ireena will ever be safe while he lives. I've spoken to her and she needs time to grieve our father. I myself am more full of rage."
He offers to lay down his sword at their service if they seek to eradicate Strahd.
He had a feeling of hope for the first time in a long time last night.
Bonegrinder Eviction Plans
Some speculation is made as to whether she might be travelling to the village. They head downstairs to try to find out what they can about the hags before they leave.
The haughty barmaid (Danika Martikov) from the evening before apologises to Sardalis for her treatment of him the night before. She explains that the Martikov family own the Wizard of Wine winery (specifically the patriarch Davian), and she and her husband Irwin are business partners in this inn. The wine being a sore point at present, particularly as the most recent shipment has not yet arrived.
She is not sure if something has occurred with the delivery or whether Davian Martikov has cut them off, implying that the relationship between the Martikov men is somewhat mercurial.
Sardalis implies that perhaps they could be of help if they had a place to stay. She advises that she was thinking along the same lines and as she is sorry she is offering a night for free if they look into it. If they are able to resolve then she would put them up as long as they needed.
Festivals for the Restivals
The hunters advise that there are a lot of festivals in this town, weekly. The Burgermaster seems to think that festivals will keep morale up. They advise best not to challenge him on this.
They don't know much about the Hags, but suggest the church.
Festival of the Blazing Sun
As they head to the church they see wolf heads being taken down and new signs coming up advertising the Festival of the Blazing Sun.
Church of Saint Andral the Morning Lord
This slouching, centuries-old stone church has a bulging steeple in the back and walls lined with cracked, stained glass windows depicting pious saints. A fence of wrought iron encloses a garden of gravestones next to the church. A thin mist creeps among the graves.
A pudgy priest seems to be bidding adieu to a woman and a couple of young children who seem very grateful for the attention from the priest. There are other children milling about without adults, and Delg and Pavel notice a strange mix between disappointment and gratitude in their expressions.
He acknowledges that Donovich did indeed arrive and helped with many of the children who take refuge here.
This church housed the bones of Saint Andral himself, and has acted as a ward against the attacks of Strahd. Delg asks about the tense used, and Father Lucien Petrovich acknowledges that the bones have gone missing, and advises that they must have been stolen.
He points to a scowling young man who is digging a grave, who he explains is named Milivoj. He advises that the child scares him but he suspects that the child may know something. He
Sardalis starts quizzing the boy, who advises he knows nothing about it but is clearly lying. He cracks in short order and admits that he stole the bones for money.
The coffin maker paid him 2 GP for the bones.
They notice that all of the windows are heavily barred with draperies preventing a view inside.
Delg hammers on the door and gets a call of "We're closed, go away!" to which he responds "We know you've got the bones!". "Go away, leave me alone!".
Delg throws himself against the door to no effect, then tries again with help from Sardalis and crashes through the frame, almost taking it off the hinges. They find an old man who throws his hands up in a calmning gesture "Okay okay maybe we can open up for special clients... Okay I won't insult you, the bones are upstairs."
Pavel makes a bad job of threatening the old man to find out why he wanted to bones, but the coffin-maker stands resolute and advises he is "ready to die, got a coffin all set".
Eventually he agrees to take them up to the bones, appearing somewhat apprehensive as he begins to head up but glancing at them as if relieved to have company as he heads into the back room.
Sardalis attempts to cast Hold Person on him but as soon as he begins Henrick bolts through the door and the group follows, Sardalis and Delg more cautiously as Pavel bolts after him, catching sight of him at the top of the stairs opening a door. He darts forwards and attempts to grab him but is shoved back and has to brace himself to prevent himself from tumbling back down.
Delg thunders up behind the old man and Pavel is quick to follow. Out of three of the crates burst three vampire spawn, though only Delg recognises them as such. They clamber out of the wreckage of the boxes and rush over to threaten the dwarf and half-elf.
Delg yells to Pavel "Get behind me" and drags him back behind him, a move which Pavel is very amenable to. He pulls a flask of holy water out and hurls it at one of the vampires, shattering it against the screeching creature.
Ismark comes running up the stairs and leaps up onto some of the loose wood.
Vampire runs up the wall and lunges for Pavel, grabbing hold of him and rearing its head back brandishing its fangs.
The others both attempt to assault Delg but in their eagerness get in each others' way. Henrick attempts to crawl away but is quickly knocked unconscious by a deft swing of Delg's warhammer. He follows up by casting Protection from Evil against himself.
Sardalis casts Magic Missile on the same vampire as Pavel hit with Holy Water and Ismark buries his sword in its shoulder, calling out a warning not to let them grab you. Pavel yelps "Noted!" as he wriggles free of the creature and staggers back next to Sardalis.
The creature pursues Pavel single-mindedly, taking a hit from Delg in the process before grabbing the half-elf and sinking her fangs into his throat, plunging him into unconsciousness
Sardalis flings the curtains open dramatically but the overcast weather outside appears to be sufficent to prevent sunlight from flooding in. He flings missiles of force at the wounded spawn moments before the creature next to him lunges at him only to find itself the center of a conflageration of hellish rebuke as it scurries back over towards Delg.
The other creatures viciously attack Delg but have no luck with that, and he responds by casting Thunder Wave, blasting one of the vampire spawn back and tearing at the another. The curtains fling about violently and a small crack of sunlight pours in, hitting the span closest to Delg as Ismark plunges his longsword into the spawn that had been knocked back, pinning it to the floor and drawing his shortsword to continue.
The sunlight scorches the vampire spawn terribly, and she screams horribly as she staggers to the window to draw the curtains closed again.
Delg grabs at the vampire that bit Pavel, dragging it into the sunlight cast over Sardalis and Pavel as Sardalis splashes her with holy water. It screams in agony as it breaks free from Delg's grip and stumbles screaming out and down the stairs.
The remaining spawn charges at Ismark, rearing back and overextending her jaw hideously as she sinks her fangs into his flesh. This lasts only a moment before Delg tears her off him and holds her in the sunlight as she disintegrates while Sardalis steps onto the landing to hurl arcane bolts of force which thud into the back of her head and she falls prone to the ground.
Each of the vampire spawn are found to have been wearing pendants with the crest of Strahd on them.
Delg recalls that the necrotic damage he sustained before didn't heal until he was able to rest properly.
They drag one of the other vampires into the sunlight to disintegrate it, but leave the one Ismark had pinned to the floor whole in case they need to explain themselves. Ismark quaffs a healing potion before coming over to Pavel and suggesting that they should try to help him.
They find a secret compartment in the base of Henrick's wardrobe with the bones and 30 silver pieces and 12 electrum.
There is a guardsman in the front room cautiously stepping through who asks what has happened as they heard the thunder wave. Delg & Sardalis advise Henrick attacked them and that vampires were involved, taking them upstairs to show them the remains of the battle.
Free to go
They haul Pavel back across town to the church and explain that Henrick was collaborating with vampires. Donovich casts Healing Word for them and Pavel comes up swinging.
They present them with the bones to Lucien and he thanks them profusely. He advises that in his research on the hags that usually they try to form a coven of three, and when they are together their spellcasting abilities are increased. They can curse, strike with lightning and sicken. They can enter an ethereal plane and touch your dreams while you sleep.
He recommends that they have their weapons silvered before trying to engage the hags as normal weapons are somewhat ineffective.
Time is approximately 10:30am.
Arasek's Stockyard (N5) several locked sheds along the periphery with a roomy warehouse.
Parked at the south end is a colourful carnival wagon with a heavy lock chaining the door shut.
Mostly mundane items, though they do sell Potions of Healing 2d4+2 for 50GP each.
They offer 20GP for the jewellery box and 350GP for the platinum necklace when Sardalis asks, though Delg and Pavel manage to talk this up to 400GP for the two.
Also in town is Blinsky's Toys (N7). A wooden sign hanging over the entrance shows a rocking horse with bees on the sides. The shop is crowded with many toys and a sign saying "Is no fun? Is no Blinsky!".
Pavel elects to stay outside. The others head inside and see a strange man in a tattered jester's cap beckoning to a monkey named Piccolo wearing a tutu which is climbing down with a doll it has retrieved from a high shelf. He advises that he was given the monkey by a man named Rictavio.
Delg notices a doll that looks uncannily like Ireena. When he walks over to check it out he is told that it is not for sale. He advises that this is the request of Izek (the Burgermaster's head of security). He mentions that the Burgermaster has great ideas for the town with the festivals. He advises that he actually is made to make these dolls by Izek but often the man has complaints with his attempts, advising that they're not "right" and that it "doesn't look like her". He's made dozens of attempts at this and appears to be getting closer to what Izek is after.
There's a doll that resembles a vampire also, and seems to match the description the Vistani gave of Strahd. Sardalis asks "How much for this one?" and the shopkeeper replies "Oh the Strahd doll? 9 gold pieces". Sardalis purchases it. Then the shopkeeper starts talking about previously making intricate inventions including clockwork men. He had a clockwork man taken from him in the past, and he suspects it is in Strahd's castle. He indicates that he'd love to get it back.
While Pavel waits outside he reads a poster for the coming festival:
COME ONE, COME ALL, to the greatest celebration of the year: THE FESTIVAL OF THE BLAZING SUN! Attendance and children required. Rain or shine. ALL WILL BE WELL! — The Baron —