Standing in the ruins of the mansion, Corrina asks the ghost if he is the Master of the Marsh. He responds, “I was Laslo Ulrich. I was burgomaster of Berez. There was a peasant girl, Marina. She caught the attention of the devil Strahd. Before she could be turned and her soul lost forever, we were forced to kill her. When the devil Strahd learned this he killed us in his rage, myself and the priest. Then the river flooded, forcing everyone to leave. Then the village sunk into the marsh.”
Elgian says we would like to put everyone here to rest, Laslo responds that no soul can rest in this land. Ismark and Corrina notice that Laslo seems distracted when he looks at Ireena and Corrina asks if he recognizes her. He insists Ireena must be Marina, despite the fact that hundreds of years must of passed. We convince Ireena to play along and Laslo says, “Yes! Your spirit has returned!” and he gives us directions to Marina’s grave and “the treasure [we] seek” before passing on.
We begin to follow Laslo’s instructions before we notice the empty shell of a church. Thinking perhaps we will find the priest Laslo spoke of, we mark our location and venture toward it. There is nothing of interest in the church (besides a snake who is very afraid of fire) so we decide to look into the adjoining cemetery. We immediately notice a skeletal war-horse and rider coming toward us, slowly examining the graves. The rider then moves past us, disappearing into the fog. We decide to just turn back.
Returning to our marked location, we notice that the stick we used is knocked over, which is odd. There are no footprints around. We continue on our way. We finally come across a raised pot of land upon which sits a life-sized statue on top of a stone slab. The statue depicts a girl bearing a strong resemblance to Ireena kneeling and holding a rose. The epitaph reads, “Marina, taken by the mists”.
After some trial and error we manage to push the statue over, revealing a hollow space underneath, inside which lays a bundle. Sudden silence falls over the area, followed by the the smell of death and decay and sound of footsteps approaching. Six bloated corpses approach us slowly. Ismark grabs the bundle and we return to church, the corpses losing track of us.
In the church, Ismark unwraps the bundle to find a remarkable looking sword hilt, perhaps platinum, with no sign of a blade. He immediately feels an intense need to take action. Elmer takes the hilt from Ismark and is immediately overtaken by the same sense of urgency. He swing the hilt around a bit, at which point light erupts from the end of the hilt, brighter than anything we’ve seen since we came to these lands. The light retracts as Elmer attempts to put the hilt down. He decides not to complete the motion as a sudden wave of sadness washes over him.
We quickly learn that the hilt seems to know things, that the emotions we feel around it are its emotions, and we begin questioning the hilt. We come to the conclusion that the hilt may have belonged to Strahd’s brother. It is decided that Elgian will carry the hilt, keeping it hidden. The hilt seems okay with this.
The hilt also seems very offended when you call it a “hilt”.
Leaving the sunken village, we decide to go to the Wizard of Wines to help them fight off Baba Lasaga’s scarecrows. Along the way we begin to hear the sound of battle before misty soldiers begin to charge past us, perhaps re-enacting some long-ended war. We watch for a few minutes until a dragon of silver mist appears, cutting through the fog. In the space created by the dragon we see a dark mansion for a moment before the fog fills back in and everything falls to silence. After a brief discussion concerning the color of dragons, we decide the silver dragon is probably good and so decide to head toward the mansion the dragon showed us.
After climbing a steep hill for less than an hour a mansion becomes visible ahead in the mist. It appears that it once had four circular towners at its corners and a large central town in the rear of the fortified structure. The southern two towers are nothing more than rubble now.
As we approach the mansion we suddenly feel watched. Looking up at the northeaster tower, we see a well-dressed man with thistle-down hair watching us from one of the mansion’s towers. We greet him, but he does not reply, instead closing the window’s curtain. We make our way around to the front of the mansion and see a dragon statue, silver and moss covered, facing the front door. An inscription over the door reads “ARGYNVOSTHOLT”.
As we step onto the first step leading up to the door, the dragon statue’s mouth opens, releasing a cone of cool air. Ismark knocks on the door twice and after fifteen or twenty seconds we hear a faint noise inside, like a door creaking, but there is no response. We move around to the southern side of the mansion to discover that the wall and towers have completely fallen away. There are giant spiders on the first floor.
Elgian thinks he hears the front door squeak and we make our way back to the front of the mansion to see the door has opened. We head inside and as we enter the large foyer a shadow of a dragon crosses the room and disappears in a hiss. We see a door in the north east corner of the room is open. As we approach it we notice the door just to the north of it is partially opened. We approach the door and find a dusk elf, injured, hiding behind it. He waves us over and we enter the room, Elmer healing some of the elf’s wounds. He says his name is Seved and he is alone.
Seved was sent out to look for Arabella (we tell him she has been found and is safe) and was attacked by living bushes. He tells us of Argynvos, a noble dragon who liked to assume human form. Argynvost would give refuge to those hiding from Strahd, but Strahd ransacked his mansion. Now the ghost of the dragon haunts Argynvostholt.
We decide to explore a bit. The next room over is a plundered kitchen.