Chapter Twenty Three – Strahd’s Study

THis is why the Adventures all hate Lief Lipsiege.

Frimly is between 2 Wraiths, Father Tobias by another Wraith and Mirafir has closed and ‘Wizard Locked’ the secret door.

The Giant Spiders, having hidden amongst the heavily cobwebbed eaves of the Throne room, and skulked noiselessly down silken threads to attack our noble heroes….now lie mere twitching thoraxes amongst a slew of hewn hirsute limb, felled with uncustomary ease.

Respite however, as our weary protagonists are only too painfully aware, never comes in Castle Ravenloft. A secret passageway has revealed itself at the SOUTHERN end of the Throne room, but at the expense of finding four of Strahd’s slavering Vampire Spawns emerging from it.

Only the Mage’s quick thinking held off this assault by use of a ‘Web’ and then a ‘Wizard Lock’ spell. The three Wraiths that have drifted noiselessly into the vast chamber will not be so easily quelled.

Father Tobias: “We must not allow a Waith to take anyone of us.”

Audience Hall
Audience Hall

Two of these amorphous spectral beings pass through from the Accountant’s chamber, emerging next to a stricken Frimly – who curses aloud at the meddlesome bell ringing of Leif, who apparently has been spooked by the sound of battle; summoning yet more spooks to undo their progress.

A third Wraith passes through double doors that are assumed to lead off towards the Chapel viewing Balcony. The Wraith a mere Holy Symbol’s throw from the near spell-less Cleric, Father Tobias.

As the Undead pass through the doors, down from the chaotic mass of cobwebs that adorn the vaulted ceiling, the mother of all mother Giant Spiders lowers herself purposefully down the NORTHERN wall, fixing her myriad eyeballs upon the killer of her arachnid brethren – she is the epitome of deliberate and malignant intent.

Sigune: “Do not think it is the last we see of the Wraith.”

Almost simultaneously the skies beyond the smashed stained glass windows high above darken and the taunting figure of Count Strahd now appears, strutting and haughty at top of the dual stairways. His face a scornful sneer, masking, perhaps, some concern at the on-rushing holy maid, Sigune, whose nipples are now sizzling with Holy fervour.

She lunges at the Count with her brightly glowing sword, but holds her attack as Count Strahd gently speaks to the holy maid. As she draws close to him it seems that he whispers something to her….does her demeanour change? Does the fury of her intent wane? Thora charges towards the ominous Spider but instead of renting it with her mighty Battle Axe, she unwittingly runs into some form invisible barrier, a ‘Wall of Force’ spell, that now seems to separate Sigune and Father Tobias from the rest of the party, trapped with Count Strahd, a Wraith and the Gargantuan Spider!

Thora, sensing that she can be of no aid, turns instead to the two Undead Wraiths near Frimly.

Thora: “Let me take a Wraith off your hand laddie.”

Galan also goes for the pair of Wraiths with both Swords and hits twice. It is bold and decisive action against a foe that with slightest touch will drain the very life force form of a man.

Behind the ‘Wall of Force’, Father Tobias just fails to ‘Turn’ the lone Wraith, which slowly drifts towards Sigune. So instead uses the last of his spells and casts ‘Obscurement’ in an attempt to stop Sigune being overcome by Strahd’s charms. However she and Father Tobias both fail in their efforts.

Elsewhere, Frimly loses the advantage over the Wraiths and as he attempts to avoid the Undead by tumbling out of harms way, is hit by one of the ethereal clawed arms of a Wraith – a wave of cold sucks his breath away and fear unleashes a noxious exodus from his rear.

Sir Ly attacks the other Wraith and also hits – wisps and strands of black matter scatter and float around them. The undead do indeed seem to diminish in size.

Mirafir then takes on ‘Wraithform’ and attempts to reach the Invisible barrier to help his stranded allies, but even in this unearthly form he cannot pass through.

Galan strikes again with his Longswordat his Wraith, while the tag team of Sir Ly and Thora, fell their undead enemy. All attention now quickly turns to Galan’s foe.

Beyond the ‘Wall of Force’ all is now shrouded in eerie mist, cast by Father Tobias. None can see the Adventurers and the Adventurers could in turn, not see their friends.

Galan is then hit by a Wraith and suffers the unfortunate consequences. But his magical steel riposte destroys the travesty of Undeath showering it into a dissipating miasma of black ethereal globules.

Frimly, attempts to find the top of the barrier by climbing up aside it via the WESTERN wall– but it carries on up into the rafters and he can glean no natural way through.

Then, from within the mists a voice calls out to Father Tobias; it is Sigune. She explains.

Sigune: “I voss sure that Zstraht voss ein freund – he meant nein harm to me….but ze zsword felt mozt divverentlich und wizzout mein bidding it guided me to attack Zstraht. But ve vailed to connect. However, it vas enough to zend him on hiz vey, along with zat spider and ze undead.”

Beyond the Secret Door the scribblings of the Vampire Spawn is apparent as is the unmistakable smell of burning web, beyond. They will emerge again very soon. But who has set the ‘Web’ alight and freed them? Father Tobias and Sigune seem gripped by indecision and cannot decide whether to stay put until the barrier disappears in half an hour, or to brave whatever horrors might be waiting for them out of sight of their allies.


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

Eventually Frimly and Galan decide to go through to the Accountant’s room and find Lief Lipsiege is still there.

Lief Lipsiege seems no less awkward and evasive, and speaking in riddles. He seems to offer little useful information and eventually patience wears thin. Whereupon Lief Lipsiege senses more danger and rings his bell before Frimly can leap up and cut the rope, which he duly does

Five more Vampire Spawn dutifully arrive at the request of Lief Lipsiege, fresh from the endless supply of vanquished Adventurers.

Monster - Strahd Vampire Spawn
Monster – Strahd Vampire Spawn

Melee ensues with Galan using his bow from the dais inflicting heavy damage. They try and swarm in, but the prowess of Sir Ly and Thora proves too much and finally the fanged threat is extinguished. While all the time Lief Lipsiege continues his endless work.

Though Frimly throws ‘Holy Water’ and mostly misses, Galan takes up the Thief’s short bow and aided by his ‘Gauntlets of Archery’ is able to use the Short Bow without any apparent hindrance

Magic arrows are retrieved and Sir Ly imbibes his ‘Potion of Extra-Healing’ having taken having taken many wounds from the Vampiric Spawn Vermin.

Sigune and Father Tobias, finally roused from their indecision race through down to the Ground Floor, up the spiral stairs to the First Floor to re-join their friends, but arrive too late to help see off the latest Undead offerings.

There follows a thorough investigation of the accountancy chamber, where they learn that Lief Lipsiege is merely scratching on blank parchment with an inkless quill. Lief Lipsiege is truly mad.

Frimly’s attention turns to four metal bound chests that lie amongst the heaped papers and shelves laden with wonderfully bound books. Cautiously they are checked for traps, and then carefully opened.

Lief Lipsiege: “Those are not yours and you will pay the penalty if you touch them.”

In the first is a mound of Platinum pieces, which Frimly doesn’t have enough time to accurately count. Two more are filled with thousands of Copper pieces, while the last is packed with Gold pieces. Much to Frimly’s chagrin, he must leave this wealth behind as there is no means to carry it

The party finally leave Lief Lipsiege and proceed up the spiral staircase that leads up from the reception hall. The heavy mob, now at the front, was clanking their way upwards with their stomping boots alerting all-comers.



You 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 empty alcoves in shadow.

Facing Guardians
Facing Guardians

At the Second floor, they come to the filigree inlaid metal door that Mirafir had opened, a lifetime previously.  It is locked, but eventually Frimly opens it. Despite rigorous searches no secret doors are found in the alcoves outside.

The party search for Traps, Evil and Secret Doors as Frimly attempts to pick the lock of the steel door.


Dust assaults your lungs. A sweet yet pungent smell of decay fills this room, in the centre of which stands a long oak table. A blanket of dust covers the table top and its fine china and silverware.

In the centre of the table, a large, tiered cake leans heavily to one side. The once white frosting has turned green with age. Cobwebs hang like dusty lace down every side of the cake. A single doll figure of a well-dressed woman adorns the crest of the cake.

Suspended above is a web-shrouded chandelier of forged iron. An arched window in the SOUTH wall is draped with heavy curtains. Resting in a wooden stand by the window is a dusty Lute, and standing quietly in the SOUTHWEST corner is a tall Harp shrouded in cobwebs.

Magic Item - Music, Instrument of the Bards
Magic Item – Music, Instrument of the Bards
Magic Item - Music, Anstruth Harp
Magic Item – Music, Anstruth Harp

Billowing drapes draw your eye to the window, which has been broken outward. Scattered about the floor are chunks of the mouldy cake, as if something had burst out of it.

Dining Hall Of The Count
Dining Hall Of The Count

Thora steps across the threshold into the dusty Dining Hall of the Count. An ancient wedding cake has seemingly exploded across the room and the south facing window that overlooks the battlements is blown out – glass strewn on battlements. A ‘Lute’ and a ‘Harp’ are stood in here.

The door on the WESTERN wall, leading to the Bathroom, is overlooked.

The party search for Traps, Evil and Frimly attempts to pick the lock of the door leading to the Counts Study.


A blazing hearth fire fills this room with rolling waves of red and amber light. The walls are lined with ancient books and tomes, their leather covers well-oiled and preserved through careful use. All is in order here. The stone floor is concealed beneath a thick, luxurious rug. In the centre of the room is a large, low table, waxed and polished to a mirrored finish. Even the poker in its stand next to the blazing fireplace is polished like new.

Large, overstuffed divans and couches are arranged about the room. Two chairs of burgundy-coloured wood with padded leather seats and back cushions face the hearth. A huge painting hangs over the mantelpiece in a heavy, gilded frame. The rolling firelight illuminates the carefully rendered portrait. It is an exact likeness of Ireena Kolyana. Though the painting is obviously centuries old, the likeness is unmistakable.


Frimly, after much effort, opens the now locked door that leads through to the impeccably kept study.

The box that had held the ‘Holy Symbol of Ravenkind’ is now set on a large table in the centre of the room.

There is no sound emanating from behind the two doors in the NORTH end of this room, except for the sound of a roaring fire. A set of heavy wooden doors in the WESTERN wall lead to the master bedroom and no sound can be heard from behind them.

Mirafir casts ‘Detect Magic’ and detects strong Magic coming from within the box where he found it before, then….finally….Frimly plucks up the courage to open it. Ta dah inside is the ‘Holy Symbol of Ravenkind’ !!

Galan stares at the portrait and then checks for tracks in front of the fire place.

Galan: ” This is too easy”.

Father Tobias spends time looking a the books in the library, Strahd’s collection of books are over one thousand in number and all unique Tomes.

Magic Item - Holy Symbol of Ravenkind
Magic Item – Holy Symbol of Ravenkind

Frimly checks the wood pile and then for a Secrect Door by the wall, SOUTH EAST, next to the fire place. No luck.

Thora Stands guard by the SOUTH door, leading back to the Dining Hall.

Galan: “From what I can remeber seeing out of the arrow slits, whilest heading up the hollow turret, there is a roof running along the center of the Castle, running EAST to WEST, as I can remember seeing the great chimney”.

“If only we could get a better view of the area outside, as the arrow slits did not face the section above us until we reached the FORTH FLOOR/LEVEL. By then I could not see that far down”.

Sir Ly guards the double doors to the WEST, leading to the Bedroom.

Sigune heads to the fire place and removes the painting of Tatyana, who looks exactly like Ireena Kolyana, from above the mantelpiece, as she can withstand the blazing heat of the well mantained fire. Entering the fire would be another matter entirely.

Suddenly 3 Specter appear out of thin air.

Monster - Specter
Monster – Specter

One each, from the doors in the NORTH wall (both unknown as to where they lead to), while the last appears from the double doors to the to the WEST (Master Bedroom).

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