So Carl (Bishop Aethelred), Louis (Sonoma the Psycho Elf), Tom (Lankii the Diabolic Elf) and Nick (Vithujin the Necromantic Elf) were discussing a plan of action at the beginning of the session last night. There was a bit of himming and hawing over what to do with this, the last run of the campaign, when in walks Chris (Fred the Dwarf). He announces that he had a shitty day at work and that he intends to take it out on the Vampire Lord of Crows. Everybody agrees that icing that particular mofo would be sweet. And they have someone who can guide them to his lair: Billy White-Paw, the Bishop's cat. Aethelred can communicate with Billy and once asked him to tail a couple vampires back to their lair.
So after stocking up on holy water and other provisions and Aethelred using the spell commune to get some intel from God hisself, they follow Billy into a section of the vertical map that no previous party has penetrated. They end up spelunking like you wouldn't believe, pounding in stakes and attaching ropes, climbing mysterious chains, falling in pits that are at the bottom of other pits, abandoning their hopeless losers when they become a burden and generally clanging about the dungeons. Billy is just leaping from ledge to ledge effortlessly, smugly waiting for the rest of the party two or three dooms ahead of them.
Meanwhile I'm throwing dice to see how many of the remaining vampires are in their lair and how active they are. Turns out Billy is leading the party to all seven of the bloodsuckers and six of them are resting in their coffins. So when they arrive in Coffin Central they quickly dispatch Alice Cooper's Vampire Snake. Thanks to careful planning, casting a ton of spells (including haste), bringing along a bag full of sunshine and my crappy rolls they manage to kill every single fangy bastard in the place with no casualties. I almost laid vampiric hands on the throat of Fred the dwarf, but then somebody remembered that Fred's henchmen hadn't acted yet and one of them put a magic crossbow bolt right through the vampire's heart. Sweet.
It was neat how hard the party whupped up on the bad guys. We had discussed anti-climactic boss fights in D&D earlier in the evening. I offered my opinion that the fight against a big boss should be totally one-sided: if the PCs do their homework, they ought to win. I didn't mention the corollary out loud.
For the record, here's the list of the vampires they murdered:
Alice Cooper (treasure: Hat of Protection +2)
Alice Cooper's Snake
The Skipper from Gilligan's Island (Gilligan was staked in a previous expedition)
Zed Zardoz (treasure: Zardoz mask of protection from gaze attacks)
Vampire Donkey (poor beast was left behind by a previous expedition)
The headless body of Spiro Agnew (treasure: iron collar of no head required)
Trevor, the Vampire Lord of Crows (treasure: unholy crystal ball that allows two-way communication with another unholy crystal ball)
After the fight in Coffin Central they located a secret door that they hoped would lead to more vampire treasure. ("Where are these jerks' gold?") Billy White-Paw was sent in to scout the area. He came running back very quickly. "There's a huge fucking spider in there!" Sonoma wanted to throw a fireball into the room to kill it, but was talked out of it. That's too bad. The fireball would have blasted back into the PCs' faces and the spider, being one of those metallic Arduin jobbies I like to use, probably would have come out unscathed.
After getting their items identified the party pitches in a crapload of gold they've been saving up to build a kick-ass stone castle in Goblin Land. Carl is leaving for an intership at the University of Versailles, so in a fit of sentimentality I decide that papal legate Alberic of Ostia makes Aethelred the legit Bishop to the Goblins. Lankii and Fred declare themselves the elvish and dwarvish Moses respectively and lead bands of their fellow demihumans out of the realms of men into a new life under the twin suns of Goblin Land. They seal up most of the routes between Goblin Land and Wessex, but leave one way open for those future adventurers who might want to join the good fight against the monsters of their adopted homeworld.
All in all, not a bad way to end things. After the run is over, I pull out my vertical map and we compare it to the one Chris has made. He did a pretty dang good job, as have several other online cartographers. At the urging of several folks on Google+, I'll be scanning a few of the better-known parts of the dungeon and doing a sort of designer's notes thingy with them, maybe starting tomorrow.
Strahd: House of Durst, Dust, and Death...
35 minutes ago