Campaign of the Month: February 2023

The Domain of Dread Council Meeting

Lost in the Mists

The Party are scattered across the Elements of Dread

Concentration… is important.

Every spellcaster learns this and it's why the bigger the spell.. the more important that nothing is there to distract you from keeping your mind sharply focused on JUST..that.. thing. Some types of spells require more then others.. Summoning and Teleportation most of all.
Tasha had gotten the party to form the circle needed to Planeshift them back to Death House, her attention already divided by concern that the plague befouling the lands of Shou Lung might have already taken hold … she didn't know what a plague of magic was, but she certainly did not want to hang around to find out!

Normally such a spell would be a simple matter, but to escape the mists and then return required a delicate art, for existing on the edge of real, unreal and dream the slightest distraction could be disastrous. Which is why the very last thing you want to do is have TWO people at the wheel. Which is exactly what happened when Daniel Daybringer suddenly decided to pipe up with a 'alternative destination' – a Inn in the Shadowfell and started talking loudly as he described it to Tasha as a place he'd once bet a Mindflayer in a poker match.

"I don't know where that is!"

Tasha shouted back, but it was too late.. the spell cast and the 'split' causing the party to likewise be scattered…half towards a Inn, half deeper into the mists of Ravenloft.

Strahd von Zarovich was first to emerge from the Mists, looking around and down there was no ground – or rather there was.. far far below. Strahd felt the intense rush of air moving past him.. the sound of screams carried up with them from the unlucky souls trapped within The Endless Fall... To most, the idea of falling to your death would be a concern.. but to Strahd this was a minor matter – for as a vampire Strahd of course could fly!

Spreading out his cloak he floated freely upon the air before finding a unlucky sole passed out from screaming.. for in the Endless Fall there was only two states of being.. awake and aware that at any moment you could hit the ground.. and passed out from the sheer exhaustion of being in that state… forever!
"Airline Food" Strahd muttered as he feed upon his victim, The Endless fall was the oldest of the Domains of Dread to have emerged after Strahd was first pulled into Ravenloft and he was not against dropping by on occasion for a quick bite..

Travelling though the mist he set his mind to find Daniel.. but as he travelled he felt a change… his skin, then his insides transforming into soft felt over stuffing.. and more concerning was the strong impression that somebody had their hand up there! As the mist cleared he looked down at himself to see his hands and legs where attached to sticks – Daniel likewise had been transformed into a plushy Tiefling and failing their arms in shock they screamed for they had become MUPPETS… before the mists cleared further to reveal that they were standing in the street of a town.. entirely made of puppets!

This was a problem especially for Strahd.. for not only did he look ADORABLE vs fearsome but he had gained a annoying tick.. for each time he spoke a number he was now forced to repeat the number followed by a dramatic "AH AH AH!" the reason for this curse was unknown to him… but amid the googly eyed flowers, bins, windows, doors and felt covered pavement who knew why or what was behind such a strange realm?

As Strahd tried to get some sense out of Daniel as to how long he'd been here and what he had seen a friendly…. overly cheery voice called out. At first he thought it was The Invisible Man?? Thing?? Person?? – but turning he found standing in the middle of the street was a Hand Puppet.

Oh hey thereee!

It drawled, waving one finger their way. "You lot seem lost.. well I'm a Happy Chappy and I'd be happy to see you on your way?" he was certainly happy.. his sewn on smile never changing and his mis-matched eyes presenting a innocent face.
Strahd had no time for games, and so skipped though the conversation.. agreeing to make a pact to find some missing person called 'Lufe' who Happy Chappy claimed was HIS TRUE LOVE and return them to Happy Chappy in return for safe passage out of their domain.
Together with Daniel they walked into the mists in search for their lost companions.


Vecna had emerged from the mists, as they parted he saw the warm welcoming glow of a Inn. The fact that his companions didn't bother him for really.. he was more of a one man show anyway. Vecna strode out, stepping into the Inn he expected gasps..and screams.. but instead saw that it was full of Dwarves drinking, talking and all around having a great time. Vecna felt a tingling on his chinny chin chin as stepping though hairs emerged from the bone.. luscious, thick, curling and strong as a beard erupted from his face.. one to rival the well beared dwarves. .for indeed he had assumed everyone was a Dwarf for there was not a single clean chin amongst them and every…single…one had the most beautiful beard that he had ever seen!

Or at least had ever seen, for as he stepped up to the bar he saw his reflection, shock and awe to discover that he was wrong.. for the beard that HE had grown was of course the most beautiful, most perfect Beard he had ever seen! That's not to say the others were not bad.. actually he couldn't help but admire them.. his hands reaching out to stroke… then pulling away …then.. no.. there was no harm in it… and as hands reached out to stroke his own beard he had nothing but pleasure for of course it was right for it to be admired. Getting a drink (even though he didn't need to drink) Vecna gave in to the urge to explore his new bearded status, the Dwarves showering him in praise as they braded, combed, oiled and showed him every trick in how to make it even better 1549bc11ab4441595d0727ad8e7ccdb0.jpg

Hours passed, more drinks, more grooming and eventually moving to a table Vecna happened to kick a lump under it that whimpered and cried out.
Curious Vecna looked under the table, finding the curled up figure of a blond high elf curled in a ball and crying.. his tears soaking in to his beard before he screamed and started trying to rip out the hairs from his face. This seemed very strange to Vecna.. for having had no hair for such a long time he couldn't imagine why one would try to remove it. As a litch he had lost most of his skin and organs long ago. Still the elf was of little interest.. why bother with one mystery when he could have another drink and continue to explore the forbidden ..but unique pleasure of fondling another's beard…

So it was as Daniel and Strahd emerged out of the mist to find 'The Bearded Tavern' both spouting magnificent beards as they stepped though – Strahd's pointed and Daniel's with a handlebar mustache with flames upon the end. Nothing would have prepared them for what they saw when they arrived.. for Vecna.. god of secrets, big bad evil guy was deeply engrossed, surrounded by Dwarves as he stroked their beards in mindless bliss.

"Hokay then?" Strahd blinked, then blinked again… for a moment this seemed odd.. wrong even.. but then.. what was so wrong about it? He barely had time to think before Daniel rushed in to the group.. joining them in what was clearly some kind of …beard orgy? Just one drink.. he thought, Then we will go and find Tasha and yell at her for getting us all lost.
Vecna meanwhile couldn't help but notice Daniel and Strahd as they came in.. at first he lusted over their beards and then… realised… could it be?
Could they be thinking that their beards was BETTER THEN HIS? Clearly that could not stand..
Strahd's eyes met Vecna's one good eye.. and one glowing green light where his other eye had been ripped out so long before… the same question coming to his mind.. surely Vecna did not think his beard to be better then his? ONLY ONE could be crowned 'The Most Beautiful Beard' – and obviously it was going to be him!
The two sized each other up.. the whimpering of the Bearded Elf under the table totally ignored – for a Beard Measuring contest was about to begin!
… or was.. until Strahd shook his head.. his mind clearing for a moment.. what on earth was wrong with him?
Clearly something was at play for Vecna had lost his mind… and Daniel too (assuming he had some mind left to lose).
The solution however was simple.. they would have to destroy the tavern! There was a old wizard expression that Fireball fixes everything!

There was nothing more satisfying for a wizard then casting fireball in a crowded tavern.. and as the mote of flame erupted in the centre of the room.. he realised one minor flaw was that he hadn't actually measured before casting.. the flame spreading quickly.. the barman, the dwarves, Vecna, Daniel – who resisted the flames but screamed out as his beard was burnt to a crisp and worse of all – the flames licking across the bar and back towards Strahd.. not enough to burn him alive but just enough to harm a few hairs on his chinny chin chin. The bar however.. surviving entirely unharmed as the people inside bore the entire brunt of the flames. OH THE AGONY.. THE PAIN!

But not nearly as much as the Pain experienced by Daniel and Vecna, Daniel appearing to disappear and Vecna mourning as half his beard was now RUINED… Fury burned bright as Vecna turned on Strahd – unaware that Strahd was trying to save him he went to attack… but before harm was done Strahd cut away his beard and also disappeared. Leaving Vecna.. along and confused… his half-ruined Beard his only comfort for all his Dwarven friends where gone.. the only other person other then him being the screaming Elf..the table saving him – or cursing him for his beard remained entirely intact!

For a while leaving seemed impossible, for why would he go when it meant destroying something so beautiful?. so perfect? But Vecna wasn't dumb.. he realised that maybe there was a trick! So with a 'pop' and the sound of tearing sinews he dislodged his jar and tore it from his face and the beard along with it! Ha! Vecna thought.. only to look around to see that nothing had changed! There was no choice.. no trick.. there was only one escape.. HE WOULD HAVE TO SHAVE! And so.. after what seemed like a eternity Vecna emerged to join the others, his beard gone and his face hiding the painful memories.. for anyone who said it was better to have bearded and lost..then to never had bearded at all was clearly a idiot.. and bound to face the Wrath of a angry Vecna!

..the three of them stood, shaken, but together.. as before them the mist cleared, cobblestones turning to concrete leading onwards into the Mists….