Curse of Strahd – 7 – Cleaning up at the Wizard of Wines

In which the party aims to send wine flowing freely through Barovia, but perhaps not entirely without ulterior motives.

“You do make a fine horse, Fitzworth.” Ismark says, with a wink. Ireena appears beside him with a smile. “And a friendly one too. Thanks for the ride.” Fitzworth’s eyes shoot from one to the other and he looks uncertain, but then Fillegan appears by his elbow. “It really was quite a useful disguise. I am not sure how else we might have left the town, if it wasn’t for that.” “Oh. Well, uh, thanks.” the tall gnome says. “I was glad to help. But I am even more glad that we have been able to deal a blow to these self-styled druids and their evil ways. Surely you agree that we should tear this evil out by the root, and go to Yester Hill as soon as possible.” The three that stand around him exchange glances. “It sure seems very important to you.” Ismark says. Ireena keeps her eyes away from Fitzworth, but gives a small nod. “They seem like the more attractive enemy to fight, don’t they?” Fillegan jabs Fitzworth in the thigh. “Just tell me who to stab, friend and that’s what I’ll do. Everyone on every dock on the Sword Coast knows that I’m the one you want beside you in a fight.” This makes Fitz laugh a little. “Then be beside me next time, alright? Especially when I let the wolf come out.”

Grismar has picked up the bottom half of a broken bottle of wine and is straining what remains inside it into his water skin. He seems to be humming to himself. Suddenly he looks around. noticing large piles of twigs and ash and charcoal. “What did you all get up to in here? Did you get in a fight with a tumbleweed? Huh.” He shrugs to himself and then looks around for another bottle that may still contain some wine.

In the other corner of the winery’s large space, another discussion is going on. “You forget yourself. I don’t serve your goddess. There is no reason for me to be bound by your rules.” Sumu doesn’t meet the mage’s eyes. “W-well. No. It’s not like that. I- I mean… Look. I don’t want to tell you what to do. You could have taken that gold, right? But the family would have asked. And you might have told them that the druids took it and that we never found it. And… and if it was just you, you would have gotten away with it. But if one of them so much as looks at me… they’ll know. It just didn’t seem…”

Kurwin’s low voice cuts through the chatter. “Gratitude is more valuable than gold. And gratitude we’ll win a-plenty here.” Chand snorts “Based on what the merchants charge when last we checked, I doubt your claim.” Ismark comes walking over. “Kurwin has the right of it. When people say the valley runs on these wines, it is barely an exaggeration. Restoring the Martakovs to their home and business gets us more than just the thanks of a well-to-do family. If we play this right, we could use both the restoration of the wine trade and the wine itself to get the ear of certain folk. You heard it yourself when Krezk’s burgomaster told us to chase down a shipment of wine for him.”

Chand shifts his weight to lean on his new staff and gives Ismark a thoughtful look. “Hm. Not to mention that we find ourselves with a rather large quantity of poisoned wine. Useless to the wine sellers, of course, but perhaps not to us.” Fitzworth has approached to hear this last remark. “Oh, yes, very useful. Maybe we can simply poison the evil fake druids! It would be a very fitting punishment.”
“I’m more interested in what that one druid was looking for in that cabinet.” All eyes move down some distance, to where Fillegan has now joined the group. “And that locket was interesting too. Was it just a forebear, you think? Or someone more… interesting?”

Ireena pulls on Kurwin’s arm. “Can you talk to the ravens? They may be our best and fastest chance to get word to the Martakovs in Vallaki, to let them know the family is alright.” The ranger nods. “First, a word with the people here, I think. They should be able to answer some questions.”