Chapter Five – Entering Castle Ravenloft

Chapter Five: Entering Castle Ravenloft

The adventureres are determined to reach Castle Ravenloft.

Mirafir, in the confusion of popping randomly about the forest, manages to heed Galan’s call to aid his perilous descent from the now fatally damaged Gargoyle’s clutches.

Monster - Gargoyle
Monster – Gargoyle

‘Featherfall’ is cast and the Elven Ranger floats gently down towards the sodden, dank Barovian soil.

Across the bridge, spanning most troubled waters, the last five Wolves and three remaining Gargoyles begin their advance. Here there were yet more lethal cogs in Strahd’s, limitless, hero killing machine.

These are no normal Wolves, massive and beyond powerful, they are prehistoric in size and savagery.

Father Tobias entreats St Cuthbert for aid, gifting nearby comrades with the benefits of ‘Bless’.

Before they crashed into a vanguard comprised of Thora Gird El, Sigune and Father Tobias. Mirafir shouts out a shrill warning of sorts

Mirafir: “I heard Strahd’s voice right behind me!”

So that’s why he cast the ‘Blink’ spell! In a vain attempt to confuse his nemesis!

Meanwhile, the Gargoyles hurtle upwards with incredible speed, almost disappearing into the enshrouding fog that has, virtually unnoticed, drawn in upon us.

As the minions of Strahd, close in for their jaw juddering assault, a sphere of ‘Continual Darkness’ envelopes Father Tobias, Sir Ly and the two Barovian step siblings (Ismark Kolyanovich and Ireena Kolyana). Thankfully, the rest of the party are outside of the obsidian darkness’ range.

A furious melee ensues. In silent, grim determination Sigune weaves her brilliant blade, Thora likewise with her heavy Dwarven Axe….brutally heaving chunks of furry lupine flesh asunder, in a haze of gore.

Monster - Wolf
Monster – Wolf

Father Tobias, still caught in the realms of the ‘Continual Darkness’, thinks on his feet and casts a ‘Light’ spell that seems to temporarily hold off the effects of the ‘Continual Darkness’ spell.

Elsewhere, Frimly had concealed himself nearby, ready to use his stealth to aid the party. His view towards the rear of the dark sphere is drawn to Ireena Kolyana who stands just outside its range. Within an instant there appears the unmistakable form of our nemesis and she would be suitor, the dastardly Count Strahd.

He gazes deep into her eyes…touches her on the shoulder…and she just disappears.

Poor, dear Frimly gasps, and then the Count looks up and directly at our light fingered hero, points and smiles. Ismark Kolyanovich also turns to see Count Strahd standing before him. Mirafir, likewise, also manages to catch sight of the frilly shirted tyrant.

As the Count seemingly glides towards Frimly Greenish, Ismark Kolyanovich shows true courage and leaps forward, swiping an arc, seemingly straight through Strahd’s body yet somehow misses his target.

Even with the new magically imbued longsword that was given to Sir Ly by his own noble father and in this noble tradition has bequeathed upon Ismark.

Frimly, terror struck, draws his new wand and fires two ‘Magic Missile’ bolts from his wand, they too pass right through Count Strahd with no visible effect.

Strahd moves noiselessly towards Frimly and draws his mouth close to the terrified Thief’s ear and whispers:

Count Strahd: “Join Me!”

Foul reeking oozes from breath his sallow maw.

As he goes to make his leave, Strahd briefly ponders, before slowly turning and directing two Gargoyles to attack Mirafir. Once again Galan tries to defend him, when another orb of ‘Continual Darkness’ envelopes this separate group.

Count Strahd Sitting
Count Strahd Sitting

On the other side of darkness Mirafir, casts ‘Fly’ upon himself in a vain attempt to evade these surprisingly nimble creatures and despite his best manoeuvres they indeed prove too fast for the wizard.

Only the bravery of Galan and his swordsmanship fends off the multiple attacks.

Then, as if by magic, a vile noxious block of foul gas appeared around Mirafir, ‘Stinking Cloud’, and his pursuers. This was despite the fact that there was no sign of Count Strahd.

Galan plunges in behind him, using all his wile and blind fighting skills to defend the wizard, against all odds. It’s like a scene from Ye Olde Bodyguard.

The last of the wolves is smitten by Lady Sigune as she utters the immortal line:

Sigune: “Destroy the undead heathen abominations and their lackeys! For the Greater Glory of St. Cuthbert!”

Mirafir sensing the tide of battle turning seeks the further protection of the wall of steel and religious fervor that is Thora, Sigune and Father Tobias.

Another ‘Continual Darkness’ spell is cast by Count Strahd upon the group and in the ensuing confusion the Gargoyles head off before they can be dispatched.

It seems Barovian’s tyrannical overseer has tired of the skirmish, and either found out something of our abilities or tired of toying with us.

Then from out of the woods stepped a mysterious Dark colored Elf, who seemed much akin to Galan and who spoke on behalf of his lord and master.

The dialogue between Rahadin and Galan goes here.

NPC - Rhadin
NPC – Rhadin

The letter of invitation to join Count Strahd for an informal repast with safe passage to Castle Ravenloft was accepted and thus we avoided further whittling of our resources.

Galan calls forth to the party:

Galan: “The key thing is to put all or efforts into defeating him, we either destroy him or end up with all the other ghostly adventurers in that terrible procession.”

My friends

Know that it is I who have brought you to this land, my home, and know that I alone can release you from it.

I bid you dine at my castle so that we can meet in civilized surroundings. Your passage here will be a safe one I await your arrival.

Your host

Strahd von Zarovich

Strahd's Letter
Strahd’s Letter


Even here, in the mountains, the forest and the fog are inescapable. Ahead, the dirt road splits in two, widening toward the east.

There you see patches of cobblestone, suggesting that the eastern branch was once an important thoroughfare.

Parked at the fork in the road, pointed east, is a large black carriage drawn by two black horses. The horses snort puffs of steamy breath into the chill mountain air. The side door of the carriage swings open silently.

Long minutes passed, and then the sound of clattering hooves on the rocky road drew near. A dark carriage pulled up drawn by half a dozen jet black steeds. We climbed in and were whisked with indecent haste to the very gates of Castle Ravenloft.

Castle Ravenloft & Carriage
Castle Ravenloft & Carriage


After winding through the forest and craggy mountain peaks, the road takes a sudden turn to the east, and the startling, awesome presence of Castle Ravenloft towers before you. The carriage comes to a dead stop before twin turrets of stone, broken from years of exposure. Beyond these guard towers is the precipice of a fifty foot wide, fog-filled chasm that disappears into unknown depths.

A lowered drawbridge of old, shored-up wooden beams stretches across the chasm, between you and the archway to the courtyard. The chains of the drawbridge are creek in the wind as their rust-eaten iron straining with the weight. From atop the high walls, stone gargoyles stare at you out of their hollow eye sockets and grin hideously.

A rotting wooden portcullis, green with growth, hangs above the entry tunnel. Beyond this location, the main doors of Ravenloft stand open. A rich, warm light spills from within, flooding the courtyard. Torches flutter sadly in sconces on both sides of the open doors.

Danger however soon befell the party despite the offer of safe passage. For as Sir Ly walked across the wooden bridge that stood before the giant gates of Castle Ravenloft, some boards gave way beneath his feet and the young Paladin began to plunge to his doom in the mist filled chasm below.

J. The Gates of Ravenloft
J. The Gates of Ravenloft

However, quick as lightning Mirafir cast a spell upon Sir Ly….’Featherfall’, before flying down to aid the hapless warrior in his return to relative safety. If the acolyte of St Cuthbert had doubted the wizard, he did so no longer.

Castle Ravenloft - Front View
Castle Ravenloft – Front View


Thick, cold fog swirls in this courtyard. Sporadic flashes of lightning lance the weeping clouds overhead as thunder shakes the ground. Through the drizzle, you see torch flames fluttering on each side of the keep’s open main doors.

Warm light spills out of the entrance, flooding the courtyard. High above the entrance is a round window with shards of broken glass lodged in its iron frame.

The party heads towards the main doors into Castle Ravenloft, behind them they see the gate towers.


Each outer gate tower has an ironbound door with a built-in lock.

The center court yard is vast, as are the towers of Castle Ravenloft.


A massive wall juts out to connect the outer walls of the castle with the keep. A twenty-foot-wide, twenty-foot-tall archway offers passage through the connecting wall but is blocked by a rusting iron portcullis.

The adventurers make their way to the entrance.


The ornate outer doors of the castle hang open, flanked by fluttering torches in iron sconces.

Twenty feet inside the castle is a second set of doors.The doors in front of you suddenly swing open, revealing a grand hall filled with the sound of organ music.

A set of double doors to the WEST appears to be, or to lead to, an exit from the castle.

Overhead, in the vaulted entry foyer, four statues of dragons glare down, their eyes flickering in the torchlight.

Main Entry
Main Entry

As the party move on they enter a large hexagonal room.


Cobwebs stretch between the columns that support the vaulted ceiling of a great, dusty hall dimly lit by sputtering torches in iron sconces. The torches cast odd shadows across the faces of eight stone gargoyles squatting motionlessly on the rim of the domed ceiling. Cracked and faded ceiling frescoes are covered by decay.

Double doors of bronze stand closed to the EAST. To the NORTH, a wide staircase climbs into darkness. A lit hallway to the SOUTH contains another set of bronze doors, through which you hear sad and majestic organ tones.

Great Entry
Great Entry

We all head south towards the organ music.


Torchlight flutters against the walls of this vaulted hall. To the EAST, an arched hallway stretches for twenty feet, ending at a spiral staircase that goes up and down. Next to the hallway, a suit of armour, oiled and glistening stands at attention in a shallow alcove.

To the WEST, large double doors hang slightly open, and a steady bright light escapes through the opening. Swells of organ music come from behind the doors, spilling their melody of power and defeat into the hall.


An Elf with brown skin and long black hair appears, quiet as a cat. He wears a Grey Cloak over Black Studded Leather Armour and has a polished Scimitar hanging from his belt.

Rhadin: “My master is expecting you,” he says.


Three enormous crystal chandeliers brilliantly illuminate this magnificent chamber. Pillars of stone stand against dull white marble walls, supporting the ceiling. In the centre of the room, a long, heavy table is covered with a fine white satin cloth. The table is laden with many delectable foods: roasted beast basted in a savoury sauce, roots and herbs of every taste, and sweet fruits and vegetables.

Places are set for each of you with fine, delicate china and silver. At each place is a crystal goblet filled with an amber liquid with a delicate, tantalizing fragrance.

At the centre of the far WEST wall, between floor-to-ceiling mirrors, stands a massive organ. Its pipes blare out a thunderous melody that speaks in its tone of greatness and despair. Seated at the organ, facing away from you, a single caped figure pounds the keys in raptured ecstasy.

The figure suddenly stops, and as a deep silence falls over the dining hall, they slowly turn toward you.

Dining Hall
Dining Hall

We sit before Strahd, who exudes an enthralling and potent power.

He calls upon Galan and Mirafir to sit before him but they are not fooled by this faux flattery. Instead the stout and resolute Dwarf takes their place at the groaning banquet table. Aside from the imperturbable followers of good deities is there a question about the reliability of the rest. It appears that Count Strahd mighty think so!

Galan was also somewhat puzzled as to why both Strahd and the Elf referred to him as ‘Sir Galan’ when he has no such title!?

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