Chapter Seventeen: The Crypt Of The King And Queen

At the entrance to the catacombs Father Tobias reviewed our options.

Some of us wondered if we were unready for the Evil we were about to face in the catacombs. Was there another way to go?

If we went back upstairs we could open one of the other portals. There were various ways to open the different doors from the Brazier room.

Brazier Room
Brazier Room

The Red Stone opened the EAST door back to the thrones, torture room and cells.

The Blue Stone opened the NORTH WEST door. We did not know what was beyond it, but Mirafir had traced footprints of Count Strahd leading up to it. However we knew enough of his evil cunning nature to realise that this could just be a ruse to lure us into following them into some devious trap.

The Black Stone opened the NORTH door leading up to the catacombs.

The Green Stone opened the NORTH EAST door. Beyond it were ascending spiral steps but the door closed quickly behind Frimly and Galan so that this was deemed an unsafe option with the potential to separate the adventurers.

We also reviewed the contents of the Golden Chest.

Sir Ly chose to wear the ‘Cloak of Displacement’ over his armour. Being at the front line had taken its toll so this would be a big help.

Magic Item - Cloak of Displacement
Magic Item – Cloak of Displacement

Father Tobias took the ‘Cleric Scroll’ which contained two powerful Priest spells, ‘Heal and Resurrection’.

Magic Item - Cleric Scroll
Magic Item – Cleric Scroll

Thora and Galan each took a ‘Potion of Extra Healing’.

Magic Item - Potion Of Extra-Healing
Magic Item – Potion Of Extra-Healing

Sigune took the ‘Metal Flask with a symbol of a Burning Man’ upon it. Subsequent investigation led us to discover that this was a ‘Potion of Fire Giant Strength’. Similar to the Gauntlets used by Father Tobias but of much greater power.

Magic Item - Potion Of Fire Giant Stength
Magic Item – Potion Of Fire Giant Stength

Mirafir elected to take the ‘Agate Stone’. While we still had no exact idea what this did or how best to utilise it, we had discerned powerful magic emanations coming from it. We believed it to be a ‘Stone of Good Luck’. Here in the malevolent world of a certifiably Evil Undead Genius with a Devil complex, we needed all the good luck we could get.

Magic Item - Stone of Good Luck
Magic Item – Stone of Good Luck

Father Tobias was still bothered by something. Why on earth were they left there?
Surely the all-seeing Count Strahd knew how powerful they were. Why leave them where they could be found by his enemies? Yes they had been protected by a potent illusion but why take the risk of them being found and used against him? It made no sense.

Was this just further evidence of Count Strahd’s madness or a cruel device to test the wits of his laboratory rats as we ran around his maze playing his insane games?

As ever in this accursed place, there was too much to contemplate with too few answers.

Having rested we elected to explore the catacombs rather than move on elsewhere.

Just as we were about to move inside, an invisible barrier appeared separating Ismark and Sigune from the rest of the group.

NPC - Count Strahd Drinking
NPC – Count Strahd Drinking

At that same moment Strahd appeared in front of the two stranded knights. He taunted Sigune with softly spoken alluring words. Speaking inside her mind he implored her to join him as his general; to live forever at his side. To desert her doomed companions.

But Sigune was not just strong of body but also of mind with an iron will. She would have no part of his treachery. Her place was with her friends. Strahd petulantly wove more enchantments; this time assailing the pair of them with a multi-coloured spray of light. They were immediately stupefied by the foul sorcery. They fell to the floor in an unconscious heap right in front of their helpless companions trapped beyond the invisible barrier.

Count Strahd disappeared cackling contemptuously. To add to our annoyance we saw that he had made off with Sigune’s sword. Was this a further stratagem? To continually weaken us by gradually stealing all our weaponry until all we had to fight his undead minions with were our bare hands? He was still playing with us.

Try as we might, we found no way to either get through the barrier or remove it. We just had to wait. After some minutes the barrier did disappear.

Father Tobias rushed over to his stricken comrades fearing the worst. They were breathing. He was pleasantly surprised to find no wounds upon them. After a few minutes they came to.

Magic Item - Long Sword +1
Magic Item – Long Sword +1

Searching our shrinking inventory of weapons we gave the ‘Glowing Sword’ found in the cells to Sigune. Ismark realised that the Sword, leant to him by Sir Ly, had also disappeared. Ismark was then given a ‘Magic Mace’ so he could still smite the foul undead that were impervious to normal weaponry. We had best be careful as we could not afford to lose any more arms.

Mace of Terror
Mace of Terror

Suitably re-equipped we cautiously explored the area a little ahead of us. Sir Ly and Sigune used their Paladins ability to ‘Detect Evil’. When they could find none beyond the opening to the catacombs, Frimly examined the nearest row of Crypts. He could find no trap mechanisms so he headed to a portcullis in the NORTH wall.

Looking through its internal bars shocked him to the core. He spied an ornate ebony coffin. It was located at the foot of a 30’ foot long stairwell within a separate chamber. It reeked of bat guano built up over uncountable years.

Thinking this to be the coffin of Count Strahd we tried to gain entry. Thora and Sigune strained at the portcullis but just as we were about to enter we changed our minds. We closed it again. Thinking back to the Gypsy woman’s , Madame Eva’s, prophecies we went in search of the Mother’s resting place instead.

Scared that we might be affected by magical traps such as ‘Glyphs’ like we encountered in the corridors previously, Mirafir cast ‘Detect Magic’. It would last quite some time during which he could direct his gaze across several tombs to become aware of any enchantments.

Slowly we progressed among countless tombs carefully checking each one for magic emanations or for Evil via the Paladin’s holy sense. There were many names with many titles but nothing significant to our goal. After identifying around twenty of the catacombs we rested a little. Not so much from physical exhaustion but more from the strain of such prolonged concentration.

We then happened upon an opening beyond which was a short stairwell perhaps 20’ feet long. At the bottom of the stairs was a glowing blue barrier that emanated alteration magic.


We could see a little of the area beyond the blue haze curtain. Two huge alcoves housed 30’ foot tall bronze statues armed with swords. Beyond them was another flight of stairs descending into a chamber bathed with multi-coloured light.

Against his better judgement Frimly was browbeaten into drinking a ‘Potion of Gaseous Form’ before attempting to pass through the blue curtain barrier. When Frimly tried to do so, he was teleported back to the entrance at the top of the stairs. He tried once more before deciding it was futile. Unharmed but unnerved he instead elected to make use of his remaining time in Gaseous Form to gain access to the interiors of the individual Crypts to discern their contents.

The rest of us thought about the barrier. We decided that, if it were indeed a resting place of people of piety; then only the Lawful Good could pass through the barrier.

Sigune, Father Tobias and Ismark walked up to the barrier, took a collective breath, and then went in. To their relief they got through unharmed.

Tomb of King Barov and Queen Ravenovia
Tomb of King Barov and Queen Ravenovia

The trio walked down the stairs into the chamber. There were two sarcophagi within it, one for a King, the other for a Queen. Had we found her?

The three of us reverently opened the first sarcophagus, that of the king. It contained a life-size waxwork model of a king in ancient robes. We then opened the Queen’s sarcophagus. Father Tobias looked inside, as did Sigune but they saw nothing of note beyond the ancient body of human female in a simple decaying burial shroud.
The pair moved away to check the rest of the room but Ismark thought he saw something.

He very carefully lifted the body out of the sarcophagus. Beneath it he found an ‘Ornate Sword Cross Piece’.

Magic Item - Sword, Sunsword Hilt
Magic Item – Sword, Sunsword Hilt

Looking at the rear wall of the chamber Father Tobias could see that the glowing light emanated from windows about 30’ feet up in the wall behind the Sarcophagi. He summoned the power of his Boots so he rises up the wall to look through the window. Doing so, he saw the waning light of the moon shining in the sky. In the distance beyond forest and farmland he could see the village of Barovia.

They were high up inside the mountain looking down, Esatward, on the lowlands beneath. As they were within the mountain Father Tobias realised there could be any number of additional levels delved below the vast Castle Ravenloft.

However he was prevented from any further contemplation by cries of consternation from his comrades beyond the barrier.

Frimly, still in ‘Gaseous Form’, had entered two Crypts. The first contained only a wizened corpse in decaying robes.
The second contained a gilded statue of Eric????

But when he had entered the third Crypt of Patrina the Elf Maiden he looked up from the coins on the floor of the Crypt to find that her body had been turned into an undead spectral being which shockingly followed him out of the Crypt.

Crypt 21
Crypt 21

Alas, though they did not yet know it, it was a Banshee. A tragic yet foul undead creature of surpassing might. Despite weaving swiftly to and fro between various Crypts in seemingly random directions Frimly could not shake off his pursuer. It was able to move a great speed and could home in on life energy.

Monster - Banshee
Monster – Banshee

As Frimly fled back to his comrades Thora, Galan, Sir Ly and Mirafir they ran towards the chamber but were cornered by it.

Father Tobias, hurrying through the barrier, saw them just in time. He yelled out a message telling them to stay 30’ feet away or the creature’s song would kill them all.

Now cornered Sir Ly tried desperately to merge his ‘Flametongue Sword’ with the ‘Ornate Sword Cross Piece’ the trio had brought over but it was no good.

Menacingly the Banshee floated into range its mouth agape and ready to sing its wail of death. Mirafir racked his brain. What was to be done to thwart this menace?

He had it! He quickly cast ‘Hypnotic Pattern’ beguiling the fell creature into a temporary passivity before it could make its attack.

As the creature paused transfixed, Father Tobias cast ‘Silence’ upon it. For once the spell worked. The Banshee was temporarily neutralised and the ‘Silence’ spell had been cast directly onto the Banshee.
Knowing he had to finish it off while he could, Father Tobias summoned every vestige of faith in divine St Cuthbert, and then channelled the power of the ‘Icon of Ravenloft’ to try to turn the hideous undead thing.

He succeeded!

After Father Tobias’ failure to turn the Skeletons in front of Count Strahd in the graveyard of the Village of Barovia, this was most welcome.

Magic Item - Icon of Ravenloft
Magic Item – Icon of Ravenloft

St Cuthbert and the ‘Icon of Ravenloft’ had saved them.

The tragic creature shrank back in the face of St. Cuthbert’s beautiful divinity fleeing to its damnation of misery within the confines of its tomb.

Incredibly we had been saved, for now at least.

Frimly remained in ‘Gaseous Form’. Undeterred by the previous debacle he continued to look within the tombs.


King Katsky (Katsky the Bright): Ruler, inventor, and self-proclaimed time traveler

contained Catsky the Bright, Ruler and Inventor. His Crypt contained a wooden sceptre, a fat pouch and a drinking horn. Hanging from the ceiling of the tomb hung a large kite or glider. His skeleton lay on the floor of the Crypt covered by a shroud.

Crypt 13
Crypt 13

Could we use this strange device to escape Ravenloft?


Kazan his word was power

had the words “Kazan his word was power” written upon it.
Inside was a skeleton in a tattered shroud. Strangely the skull had a ‘Black Opal’ in each eye socket. The teeth were ‘Shards of Amber’.

Crypt 15
Crypt 15

Searching the area of the catacombs further we found an entrance the large tower. It was from this that all the bats had flown to assail us. We knew the stairs were blocked at ground floor level but the centre of the tower was hollow and led to very top of the tower to hole in the roof.

We stopped to rest and discuss things.

Surely the reason Strahd was stealing all our weaponry was through his fear of the prophecy. He must believe that something we had brought with us could be combined with the hilt from the Queen’s sarcophagus to make a potent weapon.

For good measure Frimly should try to see if the ‘Ornate Sword Cross Piece’could be combined with his ‘Short Sword of Quickness’. Likewise Galan should check both his swords too just in case.

We also needed to find out where Count Strahd had put the weapons which he stole from us.

Did we need to place magic wards upon our remaining weapons. We could set the wards so they went off if an undead touched them or anyone but us tried to pick them up.

Should we ever leave and return to our own world they could be removed before they became a liability but for now it could be an option to protect our few remaining weapons the most powerful of which was the ‘Flametongue Sword’.

Magic Item - Sword Flame Tongue
Magic Item – Sword Flame Tongue


Father Tobias could ‘Levitate’ up the centre of the tower having cast ‘Locate Object’ on Thora’s Axe. That way he could hopefully determine upon which level the stolen weapons could be found on.

However while doing this he was vulnerable. We had seen how the bats swarmed up the tower before or how rapidly the Vampire Spawn climbed the walls.

He needed an exit strategy to extricate himself from danger.

Did we think Mirafir should cast ‘Invisibility’ on him first? Or cast ‘Web’ across the doorway to the tower to prevent the bats swarming.

Could Father Tobias borrow someone’s ‘Ring of Feather Fall’? That way if he was assailed he could cancel the ‘Boots of Levitation’ to fall back to safety at the bottom of the tower.

Ring of Feather Falling
Ring of Feather Falling
Magic Item - Boots, Winged Boots
Magic Item – Boots of Levitation
Catacombs Extended
Catacombs Extended

Too many questions.

Farher Tobias’ head was ringing out.

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