“That’s it, we killed him?”
“This is bullshit”
“Where’s the accomplishment?”
These were some of the comments from the last hour of our final session of the Curse of Strahd, last night.
With overwhelming firepower, every artefact that they could find, and a judicious use of rest/recovery, the PCs took down Strahd quickly and efficiently. This isn’t to say that the fight was textbook, but it was close to it. The Ranger was in top game, taking down summoned creatures in a single round (before they could build up). The Wizard had prepared Sunbeam, and otherwise focused on counterspelling Strahd, nullifying much of his power. The Priestess chose to use the less impressive, but ultimately more deadly of the options to her (Holding the Dread Lord in place), so that the heavy hitting Fighter could stack on more Magic weapon damage than Strahd could regenerate.
Had any one of the four players chosen to work less as a team, and more for personal glory, the whole thing might have fallen in upon itself.
From my end, it was difficult to stay in check. Here is the titular Villian of the adventure, being laid low in a record time. In the lead up to this fight, the Characters had done everything ‘right’, which made it so much easier for them. So much easier, that they were worthy of the kill.
Therein lies one of the beauties in Strahd, he was always willing to be overthrown/replaced (and ultimately released through death), IF his killer was both Intelligent and Vicious enough. In point of fact, through defeat, Strahd was winning in his own way, and casting a taint upon the ‘victors’. Moments after his destruction, a once closely knit party began to break up and ceased to trust one another.
Strahd was defeated, but a new Dread Lord assumed control of Barovia, the Wizard Gardain.
Our epilogue covered a little bit of what happened next. The main points being, Gardain parted the mists of Barovia and allowed Ristol and Nongrock to return home, while Drana stayed in an effort to keep a watchful eye upon the new Dread Lord, and to help restore faith to Barovia. What the future holds, none are sure.
Did good win, or did evil triumph?