After defeating the Behir our ‘heroes’ decided, quite wisely, that they were in need of a rest before heading through Stone Gate. As they slept they were discovered by a group of Skath being lead by the infamous Baron von Strahd, who is supposedly the first vampire. Trying their hand at diplomacy they introduced themselves. The Baron invited them to dinner in his underground ziggurat. There it was plain to see that he was up to no good. He was clearly amassing Skath and weapons for some unknown purposed. He had even gone so far as to start outfitting them with guns.
Strahd offered them a deal. He would remove one of the gems from their bracers, the one that allowed the Empress to scry on them, and offer them safe passage through the underground if they would rid the area of some local Harpies. The characters agreed and headed up the mountain to find the Harpies that had been attacking his Skath.
The characters engaged the Harpies in battle. Though they were not terribly strong, they did prove to have many charm attacks that made the battle difficult. The alpha female was even strong enough to pick them up, and almost managed to throw several of the party over the cliff-side. In the end though the Harpies retreated and took their nests with them. The party returned to Strahd victorious. They were each rewarded with the promised gem removal as well magic amulets of protection.
Before they left the next morning Jorn decided to sneak out of his room and go looking for some of the guns he saw the Skath carrying. Before he could find the weapon’s forge he was spotted by several Skath who attacked without hesitation. Soon Strahd arrived, clearly angry and in no for any diplomacy. Strahd attacked Jorn without mercy, and the Half-Orc was no match for the ancient vampire.
Before sending the rest of the party on their way Strahd offered them their friend back, though he neglected to inform them in what condition he would be in, if they found his horse and returned him. The party set off again for White Thorn, now one member short.