The next morning we make our way back to the chapel. Two statues come alive as we pass and grope at Brandr and I (I = Xandros). The curse that gets Brandr shrinks him down to about 4 feet tall and the one that gets me grows me a big scaly tail with a barb at the end. It is amazingly uncomfortable in my plate mail so we stop and with karamail’s help make some emergency modifications. We go back through the garden to the west wing and climb up to that overhead catwalk. Following it one way we find a catering kitchen full of translucent caterers making translucent food. We move on down a hall and open a door to find 2 figures made out of mist, one male one female, seated primly at the edge of a bed. They come at us with arms outstretched in that familiar “please please kill us” way. With some difficulty we oblige, but Karamail takes some damage and seems in an instant to grow younger and less, experienced?
The next room seems to be that of a lady. The curtains on the 4 poster bed are all closed but we rudely open them. Finding an enormous sleeping lady inside we peer and poke at her a bit. She wakes up and is shocked not at us but at her own attire not being suitable for guests. She squeezes into a dress and rips it a bit. See, she’s 8 feet tall with a brutish face. 500 pounds or I’ll eat my helmet. Things are not quite right. But we chat with her and keep up the charade. She says she is Janet, daughter of Frederick, claiming with a straight face that she weaves and paints pretty pictures of flowers. When she tries to light the fire and manages to set fire to the table though, etiquette breaks down completely. To quell her sudden murderous rage Kayoshin casts sleep on her and I clap our Giant Leg Irons on her. (!!!I’ve been waiting so long to use these!!!).
We search the room and we find not only a secret door but also a body stuffed up into the chimney. A lady who looks approximately the same size as the severely torn dress the Ogre lady was trying to squeeze into. A bracelet with an engraving confirms that the mistreated corpse was the real Janet.
We feel like some action on our part is required to set this ugly business, if not right at least less wrong. Someone and I believe it was Kayoshin, asks Gertie for what the moral guidance of Zaandu the insignificant would be at this point. Gertie says Zaandu’s catechism here says “Swallow her whole and wait for two days”. After a shocked silence we demur.
Through the secret passage, we find an office with a very large desk, at which is seated a very large lion-headed figure with golden plate mail (ooh), Richard. Let’s call him Richard the Lion-Headed. We tell him the sad tale of Janet nextdoor. We like him because a) he’s also not a fan of all the casual murder and mayhem going on, and b) He doesn’t like Simon either.
- before the present difficulty he was captain of the guard.
- The current situation is caused by a balance of curses.
- Therese and Etienne were jealous of Camille and cast powerful curses on her. After Camille’s disappearance however, she must have had hidden curses that struck back. Thus at Therese and Etienne’s crowning ceremony they and everyone in the room became Skeletonified.
- The arch is very old and it’s from Averogne. The dripping blood however is new.
- Frederick is in the east wing.
- Richard has passed through the throne room a few times since the Grand Skeletonification, and no harm has come to him.
- Camille and Etienne may be able to help. (did he mean Therese?)
- Lady Isadore’s room is not reachable by normal (unmagical) means, and in fact many other rooms are like this too.
- However we may find Isadore in the library.
- ADVICE – “in the room of words, do not mix the words.”
- FAVOR – “If you meet Petit Songe, please incapacitate him rather than kill him.”
- Guillaume is self serving and fickle.
- Mary-Helene is fairly trustworthy and a genius with a sword
- The recosta work for Richard, (being I think the cat-headed folks we met downstairs).
Richard gives us a “to whom it may concern” note that we’re seeking a restoration of the castle, and bids us good day as we leave. Nice lion.
The last room down is itself a corridor with three doors. We look into the first room and down a couple steps it looks like it once was a sleeping chamber, except that the floor is flooded with greenish goo and all the non-stone bits of the beds are gone. The goo proves to be indeed very corrosive and quite deep. 15 feet in there’s a stone chest however on a raised platform. It seems an easy jump for Verdant with her magical goat-feet, so with some reservations (and deflecting comments about goat feet) she goes for it. OK bad idea. The platform was a monster, the goo was monster I think AND there was a third black oozy monster thing that fell from the ceiling and very nearly killed her. Long story short we throw a huge amount of burning oil behind us as we flee. There is a pause outside as we heal Verdant (until she looks less dead) and while we listen cheerfully to all the goo sizzling in pain behind the door.
The second room is similar in layout but FULL of cobwebs. I burn some with my torch and we see a struggling woman who cries “Help me! They’ll eat me!” Except she wasn’t real and the sneaky illusionist spiders there managed to put Kayoshin and Karamail to sleep. Me they just charmed so I spent these moments shouting for everyone to desist, “Let’s see what these spiders have to say!!”. Anyway everyone else smooshes the spiders and we find a wooden box in which was a leather bag and much jewelry. Karamail goes through and appraises it all (marginalia: silver necklace w/ 3 rubies ~1000gp, diamond ring ~1200gp, bag of gems of 5 different sizes and cuts, 500gp, 10gp, 100gp, 50gp).
The last room is a linen closet which seems anticlimactic except when we realize that linen can be soaked in oil and thrown at oozey tricksy things pretending to be chest platforms. So 4 flasks of oil and a shitload of ruined linen later we set the entire first room on fire and it was glorious. Although even with the hellish blaze, it did still take a fair bit of conventional fighting before we prevailed.
After it was quiet and we looked around a bit — “This is probably the most cleaning we’ve ever done in a single room.”
The chest turned out to be a giant coffin. Delirious and irrational, we simply throw it open. Devoid of monsters, it contained a corpse with 3000 gp, a staff and a sword. The sword has a green gem in it that looks like a cats eye.