Chapter Eight – Father Tobais’ Mini Adventure

Chapter Eight – Father Tobais’ Mini Adventure

The trap was quick, too quick for Father Tobias. The stone cube enclosed Mirafir and Father Tobias in a second. The Cleric considered casting the spell Meld into Stone to merge with the wall but then he saw that the interior of the cube was lined with metal bars which prevented this from working.

As he contemplated this, Mirafir also in the 10′ foot square cube and stood just next to him, started chanting a spell of his own. No time to discuss plans. However Tobias recognised the spell. It was ‘Blink’. Would it work in such a confined space?

We would soon find out.

Gas stated to fill the cube but luckily Father Tobias was wearing his magic Amulet so was unaffected. Thankfully Mirafir also seems to resist the evil effects of the mist.

The cube then rapidly ascended. We rose maybe 150′ feet, or more, in about a round. Already Mirafir’s spell was beginning to take effect, he seemed to shimmer, but then paused and remained in the same position in the cube. Again he shimmered, again he stayed still. Perhaps the spell couldn’t work in such a closed area. However as the lift reached the top of its ascent, Mirafir shimmered again.  Without a word, he disappeared.

Elevator Trap
Elevator Trap

Father Tobias was alone, left by his comrade in the cube in pitch darkness. Probably would have been better to adopt some teamwork and working together but too late to worry about that now. We’d both looked at casting a spell to get us individually out of there; Mirafir had just had an option that worked, that was all.

The walls were smooth. Father Tobias spent a few minutes examining them, as well as the floor of his confinement. As his eyes got used to the gloom he could use his Elven sight to check the ceiling too.

After a few minutes a trapdoor opened in the ceiling. Tobias hadn’t spotted it during his recent examination of the area so reasoned that it must be a Secret Door. It had a small opening which was about 3′ or 4′ feet wide. Beyond which appeared light from a Candelabra was seeming floating in the area above the opening. Whether it was held by something invisible, floated in mid-air, or was held by a being wreathed in darkness Tobias could not discern.

The odd light moved away after about a minute or so. When nothing happened for a few more minutes Tobias reasoned he should try to move.

Unfortunately the ceiling was 10′ feet high. Father Tobias was no athlete though he diligently attended all his weapons training drills. But try as he might, he couldn’t jump high enough to grab hold of the opening. Then he recalled his Boots, recently acquired during his trip to Illefarn. They were ‘Boots of Levitation’. Tobias concentrated, then poised with his Mace at the ready he slowly levitated towards the opening.


Father Tobias rises up into a dark landing 10’ feet wide and 20’ feet long. A cold draft of wind rushes down the spiral staircase at the NORTH end of the EAST wall and whistles mournfully through the room before streaming down the stairs to the SOUTH.

An ornate, square rug covers the floor to the SOUTH. Set into the west wall is an ironbound wooden door with a wooden trapdoor set into the floor in front of it. Hanging on the NORTH wall above the trapdoor is a framed portrait of a handsome, well-dressed man with a serene yet penetrating gaze.

The Landing
The Landing

As he rose through the opening he felt a very cold chill draught seeming coming from somewhere above.  He looked around cautiously, expecting to be attacked at any moment. He was in a small chamber 10’ feet wide and 20’ feet long. Ahead of him in the North wall was a faintly beguiling portrait of Strahd or someone similarly handsomely malevolent. Father Tobias elected not to examine too closely it just then. He looked around the rest of the chamber. In the west wall was a heavy wooden door reinforced with metal struts. In front of it was trapdoor in the floor.

It was closed so Tobias left it well alone while he checked the rest of his surroundings.

In the East wall there were two stairwells leading off from a landing. One stairwell in the northern part of the East wall spired upwards, it was from here that the chill breeze whistled down. So, 150’ feet of ascension still hadn’t got to the top of the tower. Just how vast was this insane lunatic’s castle?

The other spiral stairwell in the South half of the East wall went downwards presumably in the direction of the lift.

Suddenly, as Father Tobias Levitated towards the Portrait, Father Tobias was assailed. A fan shaped spray of flashing colours leapt out of the painting. But thinking of the goodness and virtue of the Divine St Cuthbert of the Holy Order of the Cudgel his resolve was strong so he resisted the evil sorcery. Irked by the sudden attack Father Tobias smashed at the painting with his Mace dealing it a mighty blow courtesy of his ‘Gauntlets of Ogre Power’.  

Gauntlets of Ogre Power
Gauntlets of Ogre Power

The figure in the picture was Count Strahd and it was moving. As its hands whirled it cast another spell at Tobias before he could raise his Mace again. A blast of infernal magic made Father Tobias feel very weak. Perhaps normally too weak to swing his mace but he had the help of those Gauntlets so Father Tobias swung again smashing the painting. Maybe it worked like the mirror Mirafir had acquired in Illefarn however hopefully it had been rendered useless.

Just after he had smashed the painting Father Tobias heard a noise coming from the door. He headed to the stairwell leading down where he descended far enough to be out of eyesight of the door. Father Tobias heard the door open, then movement. Something or someone stepped gingerly down the stairs. Tobias could see nothing but reasoned where the being might have been standing on the spiral stairs and struck hard with his Mace. Cuthbert smiled upon him again that day. He connected yielding a satisfying smash into bone and sinew. An ugly crone appeared before him. The invisibility negated by his mighty blow. She was badly hurt but still upright. She quickly cast a spell before Father Tobias could finish her off.

Monster - Witch Barovian
Monster – Witch Barovian

Suddenly where there had been one crone there were now five. How could he know which was the real one? Father Tobias thought. He elected to cast a ‘Stinking Cloud’ spell from his ‘Ring of Spell Storing’. In addition to engulfing his own body it caught all of the 5 Barovian Witches in its billowing foulness. Tobias’ ‘Necklace of Adaptation’ ensured he could breathe easily. Not so the Barovian Witch. She coughed and spluttered as she retreated. Then she shouted as best she could

Barovian Witch: “Help me my sisters”

Before casting another spell which made long claws appear from her fingers.

Father Tobias really wanted to stay and kill these evil crones. How many previous victims of the devious lift trap had been brought into their clutches to be tortured or killed? Unfortunately he was alone so he couldn’t fight three or more spell casters.

Gnashing his teeth as he went he descended the stairs away from them. The stairs continued for about 30’ or 40’ feet before he arrived at another landing.


A heavy engraved Steel door stood in the west wall. It seemed to glow with its own light. On either side of the door was an alcove shrouded in shadow. Father Tobias could faintly discern a large figure in each alcove. Presumably they were guardians of the door of some kind.

Father Tobias paused to listen for pursuit but heard none. Knowing he must go down a lot further to return to the level from which the lift had arisen, he proceeded downwards.

Had he considered matters more thoroughly he might have realised that the ‘Stinking Cloud’ he had created was preventing any pursuit by the “Barovian Witches” however his thoughts were elsewhere.

Gnashing his teeth again at his cowardice he ran down the stairs again away from the door with its shadowy guardians leaving them intact to inflict suffering on their next hapless victims.


Father Tobias can see a heavy door of delicately engraved steel stands at the WEST end of this short, dark hallway. Intricate details stand out clearly on the door’s surface. The door seems to shine with a light of its own, untouched by time.

Flanking the door are two alcoves in shadow. A dark, vaguely man-shaped figure stands in each alcove.

Facing Guardians
Facing Guardians

He continued down to another landing. Here was a door more familiar to him. He could hear a noise beyond. It was the scraping of a quill upon parchment. It was the chamber of Lief Lipsiege, Count Strahd’s personal accountant. Tobias had no desire to bandy confusing words with that annoying oaf again so he continued downwards.

Office of the King's Accountant Stairs
Office of the King’s Accountant Stairs

He continued down to another landing. Here was a door more familiar to him. He could hear a noise beyond. It was the scraping of a quill upon parchment. It was the chamber of Lief Lipsiege, Count Strahd’s personal accountant. Tobias had no desire to bandy confusing words with that annoying oaf again so he continued downwards.


The hallway lies in darkness. Double doors open to the WEST. To the EAST, a single arched corridor of stone masonry is lit by light from the circular stairs now visible some 20 feet away. The light is coming from up the staircase. The staircase also descends into a terrible darkness. Standing beside the archway to the stairs the suit of armour still stands in a shallow alcove, a dark shadow falling across its faceplate.


Another landing appeared. It was the guest hall near the chamber where the adventured had first arrived to be offered food and wine by the Count.

The hallway lay in darkness. Double doors opened to the west. To the east a single arched corridor of stone masonry was lit from the circular stairs. There was no light coming up the staircase. Standing by the arch was the familiar suit of armour with a dark shadow over its faceplate.

He stopped to get his bearings. Father Tobias worked out that he was on the GROUND FLOOR. That made the end destination of the lift with the lair of the sisters on the THIRD FLOOR of Castle Ravenloft.

As he descended he heard a bell tolling above him. Could it have been the alarm bell the Book Keeper had threatened to ring when we had met him before? It made sense.

Father Tobias elected to carry on down the spiral stairwell he was already on.


As he descended he hears a bell tolling above him. Could it have been the alarm bell the Book Keeper had threatened to ring when we had met him before? It made sense.

Tobias finally arrived at SUB-LEVEL -1 where the lift trap was triggered. Not wanting to take the same journey again Farher Tobias activated his Boots of Levitation then pulled himself along the corridor wall without touching the floor.

When he got where the lift shaft was he looked up using his Elven infravision but could see nothing but 60’ feet of ascending lift shaft lined with mildew.

As he passed the lift jerked and began to descend. It was resetting. As he watched, the counterweight rose indicating the imminent return of the trap to its original setting.  He pulled himself along the fake corridor just in time as the trap reset itself becoming a seemingly innocuous stone corridor once again.

Servants' Hall
Servants’ Hall

Once across the corridor Tobias reached the kitchens.

Servants' Quarters
Servants’ Quarters

Father Tobias passed the four closed doors then went upstairs to the ground level servant’s quarters where he finally met up with his comrades.

Now where was Mirafir? Surely he hadn’t upset the bookkeeper had he?

Father Tobias hoped his brave comrade was well. Sir Ly owed him his life after all. He prayed to Cuthbert for his safe return.

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