After entrusting Dannendal to the hospitality of Valliki’s Burgomaster, the brave party ventured westward, searching for the Wizard of the Wines. While on the Old Svalich Road, they encountered a footpath into the forest, which they judiciously avoided. They also ran across someone’s belongings cached in a hollow log. Nearby, mysterious tracks in the forest switched from man to beast mid-stride. Chandra’s scorched sigil let the owner know that the party has been through this area, but everyone decided that sticking to the road would be the best bet.
The sun sank lower and lower in the sky until dusk was at an end, and nightfall grasped the land. Wolf howls hastened the party’s footsteps, until, at long last, the winery was in sight. Before they could make it in, the party ran into the family of Davian Martikov, the patriarch of the Martikov family and winemaker extraordinaire. He told the party of how the forest itself seemed to have turned on him and his family, driving them from the winery and into the forest.
Using a secret entrance to gain access to the building, our heroes routed the druids and their foul blighted vegetation that occupied the wine-makers’ place of business. One druid was left alive for questioning, and we learned of the tale of the three magic seeds which enabled the Wizard of the Wines to grow healthy and plentiful crops year after year. The whereabouts of one seed is unknown, but the other two had been purloined by the druids to the south and Baba Lysaga, a witch, living in the fens to the east of the winery. Without the magic of the seeds, no wine-producing grapes can grow in the poisoned soil of Barovia. Justice was met swiftly, and the druid was cast into the funeral pyre with the remains of her accomplices. Only one druid managed to escape with their life, diving into the forest with a retinue of forest blights behind him.
The very next morning, the party set off to the south, in search of the druid’s circle, in hopes of recovering one of the stolen seeds. Before long, they sky darkened, clouds began to lash out with bolts of lightning, and they met with a great hill, encircled by rows of black rocks, crowned by a giant statue fashioned by roots and vegetation. As the party made its way up the hill, the sky loosed a streak of lightning that savagely blasted Torkk. Chandra then made quick work of the statue from afar, drawing the attention of the berzerkers and druids who protected the circle. Guzzle’s quick thinking enabled him to use his own druidic powers to channel the storm’s fury at the attacking force. Much blood was shed before the last of the defenders fell.
Cresting the hill, an gigantic, gnarled Golthias tree came into view, invariably the source of the blighted druidic creations plaguing the area. Erloren, trusting in the will of the gods, and his god in particular, entered the copse of trees attempting to parlay with this force of nature. The blights’ trap sprung, retraining the party and forcing them to do some quick hedgework in order to barely escape with their lives.
Once the dust had settled, and as everyone was trying to catch their breath, tending their wounds, Apakon was chosen by the spirit of a long-dead berzerker chieftain to wield his legacy – the Blood Spear. Additionally, Chandra uncovered Plantsbane, an axe that Torkk was only too-happy to start practicing with.