01.14: Private Study
Access: There is a single access to the room, a locked door in the south wall.
Description: The Private Study is a tightly packed room, making it feel smaller than it actually is. Bookcases and cabinets strain with bound ledgers and other bookkeeping. A large mahogany desk is covered in more paperwork. The Alastairn family wrote everything in its own strange language or code. With enough study ( a few weeks) intelligent characters can learn to decipher it from the volume of material here. Most of the books are mundane accounting, but an interesting fact can be gleaned from those that can read the ledgers: most of the Alastairn family income came from mysterious “artifacts” sold to rare collectors, rather than any typical aristocratic business dealings. Most of the money out went to paying staff, providing salaries for family members, repairing and furnishing the manor, and the like. But savvy characters might realize that the labor costs are outsized for a manor that produced little on its own. Most of the workers were put to use digging into the depths of Mornrax hill (although the ledgers don’t say that specifically).
Hidden Drawer: There is a locked and secret drawer built into the desk. The lock is a five-ring combination lock. Each ringe has 6 possibilities, meaning there are thousands of combinations,a nd thus a random attempt has little chance of success. A skilled safecracker can employ their skills by feeling for catches and listening for clicks, however. Failure to open the lock in either manor results in the freezing of the lock (ie it cannot be opened without breaking it) and causes a pressurized vial of noxious acid to burst. Not only is the one attempting to open the lock exposed to the deadly poison, the contents of the drawer and ruined and unreadable.
If the lock is bypassed safely, the drawer is opened safely and a small leather bound journal is found. It is written in the same code as the rest of the documents in the study. The journal details the following puzzles and traps in the levels below Parenic Manner: [come back and fill this out as development continues]
The drawer also contains a silver letter opener that can be used as a dagger or sold for a neat sum, as well as a simple brass ring bearing the Alastairn family crest, used for sealing letters with wax. Neither is harmed by the acid.