Today we’re deep diving into the NPC companions: Ireena Kolyana, Arrigal, Davian Martikov, and Piddlwick II!
In the video below, I discuss the motivations behind each of these characters deciding to accompany your party, how to gain their trust, as well as the pros and cons of having them around. Not all allies are created equal, as you’ll see!
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Get the full color PDF of all five allies on our Patreon!
Innocent (Queen of Hearts)
Ireena Kolyana is the adopted daughter of the burgomaster of the village of Barovia and Strahd’s current obsession. Her childhood and origins are a mystery. She does not remember where she came from herself, and Strahd believes her to be the true reincarnation of Tatyana, over whom he sacrificed his humanity.
Ireena hates being at Strahd’s mercy, always dreading his next move. She does not want to stay the victim—she wants to take the fight to him!
Earning Ireena’s Trust
Ireena dearly loved her adoptive father, Kolyan Indirovich. As much as she burns for her chance to confront Strahd, she won’t allow the devil to corral her and shirk her duties as daughter. Anyone who helps her bury Kolyan Indirovich earns her trust.
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Curse of Strahd Companions
Get extended information on all twenty possible allies in Curse of Strahd for Dungeons & Dragons. This supplement outlines their motivations, how to gain their trust, personality information, and more! It’s the perfect companion to our Raising the Stakes guide for Curse of Strahd.
Weals and Woes
There are several possible advantages to having Ireena in the party:
- Strahd would never allow Ireena’s death—except at his own hands, of course. This may seem little consolation, except that Strahd’s servants all know this, and they would never risk harming Ireena and invoking Strahd’s ire. This can cushion the party in many encounters throughout Barovia while traveling with Ireena.
- Ireena is a noble, which commands respect among most civilized Barovians. While she hardly revels in etiquette, she knows how to carry herself and how to impress when needed. Peasants are likely to follow her command (Persuasion +5) and she knows her way around the aristocracy (Deception +5, Insight +4). The social arena is where she can really shine, moreso than the battlefield.
- While she finds the very idea revolting, Ireena knows that Strahd’s obsession with her is something that can be used against him. She can use her skills in Deception to mislead and distract him when necessary.
- Ireena is one of the few companions with the potential for significant growth, both in terms of mechanics and character, by using the “Something Blue—Revisited” event in the Krezk chapter of this guide. This reflects her constant struggle to improve herself and her coming to terms with the experiences from Tatyana’s past reincarnations. Supporting Ireena on this path of maturation and growth can be hugely rewarding to the party.
Just as Ireena’s presence can aid the party, she might be trouble in some situations:
- As strong-willed and prepared to fight for her freedom as she is, Ireena is not a very durable fighter (at least not until Krezk). She uses the stat block of a noble, with the only slight boost being her hit points increased to 14. Her Parry ability does not add much protection.
- Strahd is obsessed with Ireena, and convinced that she will become his bride. Sooner or later, he will come for her. This can precipitate a confrontation with Strahd before the party is prepared for it.
- Ireena would rather die than submit to Strahd. The reality of her existence is even worse than that, however: the Dark Powers will never allow Strahd to have her. They kept Tatyana from him, and they will continue to keep every re-incarnation of her just out of reach. Ireena is doomed, and whenever it looks like Strahd could get her under his control, she will perish—whether at her own hand or by her fate being arranged by the Dark Powers. This makes Ireena one of the most likely allies to lose before her time.