01.15: Greater Dining Hall
Access: The greater dining hall is accessible through a locked and warded door in the south leading to the Welcome Chamber (01.12). There is also a door in the north wall leadinger to the grounds, a door in the west wall leading to the sitting room (01.11) and a door in the east wall leading to xxxxx (01.17). A hallway exits from the east wall as well, leading to the servant’s mess (01.16) or to the grounds near the kitchen (01.06).
Description: This room is exquisitely decorated, or at least was a century ago. Holes in the roof and the chimney have let the elements and pests in. Lacquered wood, polished silver, beautiful ceramics and lovely tapestries and paintings are all scoured by the decades. The main dining table is massive, surrounded by high backed chairs. Stools and small chairs surround the fire, apparently meant for minstrels or storytellers. There are cabinets here as well, holding spare dishes and tableware.
Feast of the Damned: If the PCs are present in the room upon the witching hour (3 AM) they will witness a most unsetting pantomime. First, the fireplace bursts into blue, heatless flame. Then the sounds of a low dirge played on untuned instruments can be heard as if off in the distance, soon followed by the clattering of forks and knives against china. After a moment, ghostly figures slowly coalesce: a troupe of musicians by the fire, a servant girl in the corner and figures at the great dining table. The man at the head of the table is the same man whose bust graces the door to this room, and his expression is a sour one. The others around the table are indistinct and shifting, perhaps representing different people through the ages. The patriarch seems to be castigating them — his words cannot be understood but boom through the room nonetheless — while stabbing and cutting at his plate. If anyone approaches to see what is on his plate, they see that same figure’s own head. The display goes on for a half an hour before the images, sounds and fire fade (in that order).
Treasure: As with the lesser dining room, the silverware here is strange but still worth its weight.
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.