Rooms of Weeping

The Rooms of Weeping within Castle Ravenloft provide a glimpse into the life Strahd had when he was but a man. Plush cushions, varnished wood, and opulent décor are to be found here. The rich trappings of the area hide horrors lurking just below the surface, however. This chapter of the guide aims to increase the threat that this area of the castle has on both the minds and bodies of the characters.

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Rooms of Weeping

The Rooms of Weeping within Castle Ravenloft provide a glimpse into the life Strahd had when he was but a man. Plush cushions, varnished wood, and opulent décor are to be found here. The rich trappings of the area hide horrors lurking just below the surface, however. This chapter of the guide aims to increase the threat that this area of the castle has on both the minds and bodies of the characters.

K35. Guardian Vermin

The door to area K36, shining with a light of its own, is enchanted with a vision of days past when Castle Ravenloft still held the promise of peace and prosperity. A character walking through this door for the first time towards area K36 experiences a brief vision of Sergei’s and Tatyana’s wedding night.

As you step through the door, the dark and deserted dining hall in front of you suddenly lights up with the warm light of dozens of candelabras. The table is laden with delicious smelling hors d’oeuvres. Waiters with drinks on silver platters and guests dressed in their finest garments glide around the room, engaged in murmurous conversation. A woman in the corner strums away on a harp; a cheerful melody to go with a happy occasion.

The vision ends as soon as a character tries to interact with a guest, waiter, or food or drink.

K36. Dining Hall of the Count

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The Doss Lute in this room has been moved to Escher’s crypt in area K84 in this guide. Instead, the party encounters a crypt chanter (see sidebar) who is playing the harp in the southwest corner.

The faint notes of a hauntingly beautiful music, sadly recalling happier times, hang in the cold air. You become aware of a ghostly woman dressed in the finery of a court musician, sitting at the harp in the southwest corner of the room. She softly strums her eerie melody, swaying gently to the tune, her eyes hooded by eternal grief.

The crypt chanter is mad with loneliness and grief. She yearns for the rapt and joyful audience she once had in life. Once the party enters the room, the crypt chanter tries to catch their attention with its song, and modulates the melody if it does not receive attention.

While the crypt chanter does not initiate combat upon seeing the party, she will immediately user her song of sorrow ability to charm any character within 60 feet of her. If the party seems to be moving on to another room, the crypt chanter grows hostile and makes clear attempts to engage with the party, playing different melodies that grow angrier and more discordant the further they move towards an exit.

The party can appease the crypt chanter by joining her song of sorrow with any sort of instrument or song available to them and succeeding on a DC 15 Charisma (Performance) check. On a failure, the crypt chanter becomes hostile and attacks until defeated.

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K38. False Treasury

Since in our guide the witches in area K56 are not present, the characters are found by Gertruda instead, should they all be incapacitated by the trap. She drags them, one by one, to area K37 and fusses worriedly over them until they awaken.

“I don’t know what you were doing behind the fireplace, but you looked awfully uncomfortable sleeping on that stone floor.”

K39. Hall of Webs

The door to area K31b does not exist, as we removed area K31b in our guide. Aside from that removal, the entire area is populated with tiny, harmless baby spiders.

As you open the door, light falls onto a hallway filled with spiderwebs. For the briefest moment, the light reflects back at you in a dazzling glitter. Thousands of tiny spiders look your direction for one heartbeat before quickly taking shelter in their nests of webs.
As you proceed through the hallway, a constant ripple of webs and scurrying of thousands of tiny legs reminds you of the spiders, as they scuttle away from you in a wave and squeeze below the door at the end of the hallway.

K41. Treasury

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Rather than a Daerne’s Instant Fortress, this area is a normal part of Castle Ravenloft. The entrance is thoroughly trapped, however. Rather than a normal door, the treasury is guarded by a Door of Faces, a complex trap crafted by Strahd himself. He created the door from several victims whom he had caught trying to steal from the castle.

When inactive, the door appears to be made of iron, but with an irregular surface texture. Close inspection reveals what appear to be faces with closed eyes and mouths embossed on the door. When the door’s trap is triggered, however, the iron melts away and the faces underneath become animated. They begin to twist and contort, leering and shouting at nearby characters.

Attempting to open the door, whether by mundane or magical means, triggers the trap. Once a character starts to interfere with the lock, have everyone roll initiative. Run the trap like you would a legendary creature in combat, triggering its various elements as the party’s efforts to bypass the trap unfold (see the Door of Faces sidebar).

Once the Door of Faces is overcome, possibly by disabling its two main ways of harassing characters, it functions just like a mundane door. The faces hang slack and revert back to their iron form. If a temporary effect that disabled the door is removed, the door becomes active once more.

K42. King’s Bedchamber

Gertruda is in this chamber, as per the original description—but it is not the teenage Gertruda of the original. Gertruda is 30 years old and has been kept prisoner by her mother all of her life. Though still naive, she is harsh and jaded toward those who she feels would take her freedom. She does not realize that she has traded one cage for another. You can find all necessary information on her in the Cast of Ravenloft chapter of this guide!

K43. Bath Chamber

The spirit of Varushka, the maid that took her own life here rather than become a vampire spawn of Strahd’s, still haunts this area—but takes on a far more active and vengeful role. She has been mocking and tormenting poor Gertruda with surprise scares, and worse, ever since Gertruda arrived. Varushka does not want anyone to fall for Strahd and feels for his other victims, but has little patience for fools who would give themselves to him willingly. She also holds a dim view of anyone who thinks they can best Strahd—she has seen too many come and die at his hand over the centuries.

Varushka follows anyone around who falls in either of the two categories, as long as they are in the Rooms of Weeping, and periodically haunts them (see Bloody Bath Haunt table). She can only be appeased by showing her one of the Fortunes of Ravenloft items and succeeding in a DC 17 Charisma (Persuasion) check while characters explain that they can, in fact, defeat Strahd (one attempt per item, only one success necessary).

d6Bloody Bath Haunt
1Bloody Footprints. The characters come across bloody footprints, that lead away from them and towards the closest exit, appearing before their very eyes. They stop after a few paces and then vanish.
2Echoing Voices. Varushka speaks to the characters as an echoing voice, but only in short phrases, such as “turn back, you fools—save yourselves” or “you were not the first—do you think you’ll be the last?” or “he is too powerful for you.”
3Cold Hands. Varushka touches one of the characters, sending a cold shiver down their spine as if ice water was poured down their back. They must succeed on a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or also be poisoned for 10 minutes.
4Possession. Varushka possesses one of the characters, as a ghost would. She mocks the other party members and berates them for their futile foolishness. She explains her own history and explains that she thinks their quest is not only futile, but foolish. She can be reasoned with and invited to possess someone else to talk with her after this occurs for the first time. If nobody engages her, she departs the host after a few minutes.
5Poltergeist. Varushka pushes or pulls a character unexpectedly, knocking them prone or smashing them into a wall or furniture. A character she attacks in this way must succeed in a DC 13 Strength saving throw (with disadvantage, due to the unexpected attack) or also take 3 (1d6) bludgeoning damage from this.
6Attack. Varushka manifests as a ghost with the Telekinetic Thrust ability of a poltergeist and attacks the group. She does not fight to the death, and rather fades into a wall after she did some damage in a surprise round. Her objective is to turn these fools back, not kill them.

K44. Closet

The clothes here are intended by Strahd for Tatyana’s use—and her use only. The garments are enchanted to reveal anyone who removes them without Strahd’s authorization. The trespasser’s right hand grows black, starting from the fingertips, over a period of 24 hours after removing a garment from the closet. This recalls the traditional Barovian punishment for thieves—chopping off of the right hand. Once the entire hand has grown black, it falls off and becomes a crawling claw that is friendly towards its erstwhile owner. This effect can be reversed, over the course of another 24 hours, including reattaching the hand, by a remove curse or greater restoration spell.

Gertruda has been longing after these garments ever since she moved into Castle Ravenloft, but Strahd has forbidden her to touch any of them. In her childlike naivete, she could not contain herself, however. Her fingers are already black to her knuckles, which she tries to conceal, but characters with a passive Perception of 13 or higher can notice.

K45. Hall of Heroes

The characters have another opportunity to have some of their questions divined by the ghosts of the fallen adventurers that came before them, in area K67. The statues in this area instead address the characters directly, turning their heads towards them as they pass. They mutter cryptic observations about the characters’ past and make vague prophecies about their future. Some of these are outrageous, some eerily plausible—but none of them are true, except by accident. Each statue makes no more than one single statement as the group passes them; they do not answer any questions.

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