The fight starts off with Orin transforming into one of the acid cultists that we had fought in this cave before. Teenagers. He manages to spurt webs and acid over us before we put him down. We leave him alive, though, so that we can attempt to help him later.
The scholar is still bleeding, though, so we drag them out of the cave to try to help. I try to help the scholar and staunch the bleeding but cannot. We need to get them to Point Hope soon to get some medical attention or else he will bleed to death.
We exit the cave and prepare to make the (probably futile) trip to the fort, but we will be forced to travel at night which isn’t great, and it isn’t clear whether the scholar will survive anyway. As we prepare to head out, though, a carriage approaches us from the road, dark and wealthy looking.
The carriage stops near us and the driver asks us who we are and what we are doing there. We beseech him for help, since we have an injured man (or two). From inside steps a rich looking man who introduces himself as Lord Blackburn, an emissary of Strahd. We ask again for help, and he seems not the least surprised by our description of demon cultists and acid blood.
He evidently has more medical experience than us, and sews up Schneideldorf enough to keep him from immediately dying. We do not ask him to help Orin. We also give away a lot about who we are and what the cult is during the conversation that goes on as the surgery progresses. He gives us a written invitation to Castle Ravenloft to hang out with all of the cool kids there. And by cool, he means bloodsucking. We totally will do that. Right.
Now that the worst is over, we decide to spend the night in the cave rather than travel. But the worst is not, in fact, over! Orin continues to degrade, and begs us to put him out of his misery. Lacking any concrete way to help him, we decide to do as he asks, and use the opportunity to traumatize Sebastian during the execution/murder.
Overnight, Mads has one of his realistic dreams, and has a super sneaky, crazy high rolling night, stealing a key from some cultists in a wormhole and then returning it to the real world. So we have a key! But what we don’t have is a door. Although the dream area looked kind of like the cave that we’re in, it also had corridors and chambers that the cave lacks. We theorize that the dream might have taken place in the galaxy basalt mines around Teufeldorf. Maybe the key opens… something there. We remind ourselves that the mine is rumored to be heavily haunted.
The only good news is that the cave appears to be having a sit down, and probably only reacts to the presence of people in it. Before we leave, we put up a warning sign, hand Schneideldorf off to the road wardens and continue on to the ruined inn. Milosh leaves with the road wardens to see that the scholar is properly taken care of, and we will send word to him of our next destination once we reach the inn.
The inn shows signs of fire, but there is still a lot of the structure left, and we decide to go in and look around. Specifically, we are looking for evidence of Henrietta’s brother, who was a cobbler, and we hope to find some signs of him having been here. And we do! There are some tools there that are probably his. We resort to having Sebastian have a vision with them, and he finally does, seeing what seems to be people being turned into ravagers, with a group of mountains in the background and purple smoke rising into the sky. We theorize that maybe the attackers here came from the mountains to the south, and depart for the town of Berez to ask about suspicious events in the area.