Order of the Red Band

Foxglove Mannor 3

On the main floor you find a strange spiral stain in the middle of the entry hall. The sound of the house straining and creaking gives this long, high-ceilinged room an additional sense of age and decay. The place smells damp, the unpleasant tinge of mold lacing the air ,as surely as it stains the wooden floor, walls, and furniture in pallid patches. Moldering trophies hang on the wall to the northeast: a boar, a bear, a firepelt cougar, and a stag, yet they pale in comparison to the monster on display in the center of the room. Here crouches a twelve-foot-long creature with the body of a lion, a scorpion’s tail fitted with dozens of razor barbs, huge batlike wings, and a deformed humanoid face.

A little way into the main hall you see a rather gruesome antique-what appears to be a mummified monkey head-hangs on the northern wall here, its tiny mouth gaping. A bellpull extends from the monkey’s gaping mouth. A ratty throw rug partially obscures a foul stain of dark-colored mold on the floor.You approximate it is directly above the excavated stairway to the caves that predated construction of the house. [[The monkey head is actually a minor wondrous item called a “hunnry decapitant”. When the attached rope is pulled, the head gives out a shrill simian shriek akin to an alarm spell. The strange curio might have been used to signal the start of dinner. It can be removed from the wall easily, and continues to function thereafter. It’s worth 500gp.]]

After passing the stain you enter the dining room. A mahogany table surrounded by chairs sits in this room. Twin fireplaces loom to the west, while to the east, [b]stained-glass windows[/b] obscure what could have been a breathtaking view of the Lost Coast. Each window depicts a monster rising out of smoke pouring from a seven-sided box. From north to south are depicted a gnarled tree with an enraged face, an immense hook-beaked bird with sky-blue and gold plumage, a winged centaurlike creature with a lion’s lower body and a snarling woman’s upper torso, and a deep blue squidlike creature with evil red eyes.

Yorastor (I presume he passes a knowledge architecture or engineering 15) recognizes this was an unusual design choice to fit the rooms with the best view of the Lost Coast with windows one cannot see through. This must speak to their importance. As Yorastor studies the seven sided box he reads the runes as related to necromancy and the windows depict the monsters being drawn into the box, not emerging from it. Closer studies of the expressions on the monsters’ faces show fear, not rage.

Diseased_Rat.JPGDorin Jal ducked into the adjacent washroom with an ancient metal washtub stands to the north, a ring of mildew crusting its inner surface. A strange, furtive scratching come from inside the tub. Cautiously he poked his head over the rim of the tub and let lose an arrow that skewered the diseased rat neatly. No one wanted to risk cooking and eating it.

From there the banders ascend the stairs to the second level. Looking through Aldern’s bedroom reveals nothing of note. The musicians’ gallery, however has more of the stained glass windows. This large room features two padded chairs and a long couch facing a wide alcove lined with stained-glass windows. These windows depict a diverse array of animals and plants—from north to south are a large pale and ghostly scorpion, a gaunt man holding out his arms as a dozen bats hang from him, a moth with a strange skull-like pattern on its wings, a tangle of dull green plants with bellshaped flowers, and a young maiden sitting astride a well in a forest while a spindly spider the size of a dog descends along a string of webbing above her.

Yorastor admits necromancy is not his forte but that scorpion venom, vampire’s breath, the tongues of deathwing moths, belladonna, and the heart of a maiden slain by poison are classic necromancy spell components. He muses to himself and studies the windows for a few moments before stating that he believed these particular components are used in several known lich apotheosis formulae.

Off the gallery the heroes find a bedchamber caked with a thick, spongy layer of dark green, blue, and black mold. Two bodies have decomposed and provided a fertile breeding ground. It is impossible to identify the bodies. However from the sizes you deduce one most likely was a child.

index.jpgFrom there the banders find the master bedroom. This once fine chamber has been destroyed. The bed is smashed, mattress torn apart, walls gouged as if by knives, chairs hacked apart, and paintings on the walls torn to pieces-with one exception. A portrait hanging on the northwest wall seems to be untouched, although it hangs backward, its unseen subject facing the wall. When turned around you see a portrait of a beautiful dark-haried Varisian woman in a thoughtful pose.

Leaving the bedroom you see one more locked door. Kohra pulls out her tools and goes to work. With a click the lock turns and a stairwell opens behind the door. The third floor gallery rests at the top of the stairs. A stone fireplace sits in the northwestern portion of this chamber. Paintings hang on the walls to the north and south, each covered over with a thick sheet of dusty cobwebs that obscures its subject from view.

Wiping away the dusty cobwebs over the paintings reveals portraits of the previous tenants of Foxglove Manor. The three to the north depict Vorel and Kasanda Foxglove and their daughter Lorey. Vorel is a tall, middleaged man with long dark hair, a clean-shaven face, and dark blue noble’s clothes , while Kasanda is a s,tern-faced brunette woman with wisps of gray in her short hair and a flowing blue dress. The five to the south show Traver and Cyralie Foxglove, their son Aldern, and their two daughters Sendeli and Zeeva. Traver, like Vorel, is tall and thin, but with an even narrower face and a thin mustache. Cyralie is a young woman with long red hair and an impish smile. Each painting bears a plaque that identifies those pictured within.

::More to come::


Zandu Zandu

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