This weekend the party awakened to a coutyl named Aobean that advised them on one possible way to leave the dread realms. The party taking the advice traveled to The Stones and attempted to open the elemental gate to return to Faerun from Ravenloft but were unsuccessful after traveling through the Caves of Souls to find the Elemental Censures. When Kreek used her ring of animal friendship to force a pair of mated alligators to kill one another in the attempt to gain access to stream so they could get water for the censure they were instantly ripped from their skins and believed they had died...
They were not dead but were effectively undead as they were transported to the Nightmare Lands. I allowed them to believe they were undead... The 1/2 or monk of Kelemvor named Grusk and the Sun Devotee of Lathander named Lance were the most affected with the loss of spirit...
The barbarian orc Daldoth was placed in etheral chains but was able to break free and fight his shade jailers who told them "You wait here shades and wear your chains well!" They had to battle through several animal Luia spirits all who wanted to eat their souls including the Ursa Luia.
At the end they died fighting the Dracolisk Sansil that is the ruler of the Nightmare Lands... They returned to their bodies but with only three of the four bowls needed to activate the Elemental Gateway. Their friend Aobean offered to return them to Barovia to which they agreed. Thus they were transported back to the Land of Strahd...
Aobean addresses the Six over their campsite.
The party follows Aobean's advice and makes their way to the Stones.
..and they are torn from their bodies and tossed into the Cave of Souls.
Where they must battle their shade jailers and attempt to break free of their soul chains.
Fighting shades and shadow mastiffs
Sansil the Dracolisk - The evil of the dragon and its nightmarish visage is outweighed by the stench of undeath. "Soon I shall devour your souls..."
..and he did. Only Kreek and Grusk remain but soon they will join their friends on the other side.