Monday, May 7, 2018

Recycling Greycandle Manor


I prepped Greycandle Manor (from Vacant Ritual Assembly #1) for use in my last LotFP campaign, but it never saw any major use, so I'm recycling aspects of it for the current one. The party was recently hired by a cloaked stranger to retrieve the red-and-black signet ring of the Brahnwick family from a flooded town, as per the adventure "Brahnwick is Dead" (also from VRA #1). After realizing that the mansion of the reclusive (and now deceased) Imogen Brahnwick was nearby, they decided to poke around. Between some rumors they heard and some paperwork they found in the abandoned mansion, they realized that their mysterious employer probably wanted to use the signet ring in order to obtain Imogen's assets, which have been in legal limbo since the Brahnwick family was ruined and practically wiped out by an alleged curse. Those assets included Imogen's Greycandle Manor, which was in surprisingly good shape for having been abandoned for ten years. The party decided it would be more lucrative to "inherit" these assets for themselves using the ring than it would be to simply turn it in for the quest reward. Hence, I need to actually write down some notes about the situation and figure out what's inside the rooms they haven't fully explored yet.

The numbering scheme follows the map key from VRA #1. Assume any furniture, supplies, and objets d'art that weren't already taken by Imogen's relatives or servants after she died are either covered with drop cloths or packed in crates, with the exception of the stuff in the basement and attic. The house is actually lacking in dust and dirt almost completely, and neither time nor vandals seem to have done much damage to the outside or practically any damage to the inside of the structure. All beds are lacking mattresses. All windows in the east wing of the first floor (in the bathroom, treasury, etc.) are made of frosted glass.

1. Entryway and main hallways.

2. Rear Entryway - Smells faintly of incense.

3. Guest Bedroom - Decorated with taxidermy exotic animals, including a grizzly bear.

4. Small Painting Gallery - Includes a portrait of Imogen, posing with a skull with a snake crawling through the eye sockets. Her eyes seem to follow you.

5. Guest Room - Decorated with exotic weapons and shields. A few are still sharp. Notable items include a jewel-encrusted claymore, a scimitar, a Dwarven battleaxe, a bronze trident, and a shield bearing the Brahnwick crest.

6. Kitchen - Rather small. Religious symbols are carved into the walls, a holdover from the manor's time as a priory before Imogen bought it. Ghosts cannot enter the kitchen unless possessing a living body.

7. Dining Room - The huge table and accompanying chairs are made of lignum vitae.

8. Guest Room - Decorated with maps, charts, flags, banners, and documents.

9. Bathroom - Not quite Twentieth Century stuff, but still anachronistically advanced in terms of the fixtures and features available in an Early Modern-style setting. Water can be pumped into both the sink and the bathtub, and there's a surprisingly comfortable seat designed for use with a chamber pot.

10. Treasury - Crossbow trap on the door. Scything blade traps on both windows (1d8 damage). One window is broken - the only such window in the house. Mostly contains empty shelves at this point. There is a safe with a combination lock bolted to the floor and rigged to explode (6d6 damage, save for half) if tampered with. The bomb can be disarmed and the lock forced open with a successful Tinker check at a -1 penalty, but if the check is failed the bomb detonates. It contains 3,000 sp worth of jewelry, a potion of Haste, a potion of Time Stop, and a dose of Purple Lotus Powder.

11. Armory - Poison needle trap on the door (save or die). Scything blade traps on both windows (1d8 damage). Crossbow trap behind suit of plate armor. Contains the aforementioned armor, 1,000 sp worth of weapons/ammunition/equipment (let the players choose from the equipment list until this amount of money is expended), a barrel of gunpowder, and a small box. The box is locked (the key is in the suit of armor) and trapped with a small vial of poisonous powder that will break if the lock is tampered with (save or die). Inside the box is a wand of Magic Missile with 8 charges and a scroll with the spells Howl of the Moon and Protection from Normal Missiles.

12. Laboratory - Poison gas trap on door (30' by 30' cube, save or die). Scything blade traps on all windows (1d8 damage). Poison needle trap on cabinet of alchemical ingredients (save or die). There is a mummy (inanimate) on a table. Over a hundred strange medications, herbs, and roots are neatly arranged and labelled. The normal laboratory paraphernalia is here, including flasks and vials. The laboratory has a value of 10,000 sp for purposes of magical activities.

13. Upstairs Hall - Creaky floor.

14. Servant's Bedroom - The north wall bears a fresco.

15. Craftsman's Bedroom - The north wall bears a fresco.

16. Butler's Bedroom - The south wall bears a fresco.

17. Servant's Bedroom - The south wall bears a fresco.

18. Attic Access- Miscellaneous furniture.

19. Extra Supply Storage - Cleaning supplies, extra mothballs, odds and ends.

20. Walk-In Closet - Looks like the backstage dressing room of a theater. Clothes, shoes, etc. Items are often made from exotic pelts or other fancy materials. Full of mothballs. The east wall contains a secret door leading to Room 21.

21. Imogen's Bedroom - The west wall bears a fresco. It conceals a secret door to Room 20.

22. Office - Converted bedroom, with the bed frame still here. Dwarven-made fire-proof key-locked safe contains paperwork that could help forge a legal claim to Imogen's estate when paired with the signet ring. (I forget where the key was, but the players already found it anyway.)

23. "Mundane" Library - Nonfiction books are about diverse subjects like agriculture, geography, biology, geology, astronomy, linguistics, and a large number of various crafts and skills like woodworking, gemcutting, shipbuilding and sailing, cartography, mining, wilderness survival, and military tactics. There are a handful of fictional works, including a collection of the Bumblebee Bandit novels.

24. Magic Library - The door knob is inside a recess covered by a sliding panel. Moving the panel reveals both the knob and a Symbol of Death (as per the spell). The library has a value of 4,500 sp for purposes of magical activities.

25. Attic - Unused summoning circle. Altar. Strange powder scattered across floor. Braziers. Strange artifacts of bone, wood, and stone. Chains. Branches and leaves of strange trees. Perfumes that barely cover up a coppery smell. Antlers.

26. Cellar - There is a weird pit or well in the floor, which is sealed shut by a metal plate covered in runes and glyphs. Eerie whistles can sometimes be faintly heard coming from beneath the plate. Not pictured on map: several doors in the cellar connect to other underground rooms used for food and wine storage. There is also a pump room down here for the manor's bathroom.

27. Wine Room - (Not on map) One of the aforementioned side rooms in the cellar contains several big empty wine racks and a secret door to...

28. Hidden Unholy Sex Dungeon - (Not on map) Previously used by Imogen and the monk to perform black magic sex rituals.

Background and Additional Notes:
Imogen Brahnwick was something of a black sheep in the family; she wasn't entirely ostracized, but if any given Brahnwick "had" to pick a least beloved relative it was usually her. She lived in Greycandle Manor, some distance away from the city of Fillmore and apart from the rest of her clan. She dabbled in the occult and had aspirations of becoming a great sorcerer, but it's unclear if this is one of the causes of her low-key familial feuding, a result of it, or entirely unrelated. She wasn't just into magic, though. She was into the bad fucking magic, if you catch my drift. (Is there any other kind, though? I guess it depends on who you ask.)

She discovered that she had a long-lost half-brother who did not know he was a Brahnwick. He was a Neo Termaxian monk and an especially pious individual going by the name of Ambrosio Usher. He wanted to be a Cleric with a capital C, but the criteria for who can or cannot gain the powers of this class are poorly understood and possibly random, so it seemed that he was fated to be a regular person. That is, until Imogen tracked him down and offered him a different path to supernatural power. And he did want it badly. You know, to help people and serve the greater good and all that stuff.

In order to increase her own magical ability via demonic pacts, she seduced Ambrosio and got him addicted to freaky evil sex magic. This went on for a while, and she slowly convinced Ambrosio to do all sorts of awful things, both out of his lust for power and his love for her. Eventually, the monk learned of his true identity and incestuous relationship with Imogen, and shortly afterward a summoning went wrong and resulted in his possession by a demon that amplified his anger over Imogen's deception and his grief over the evil he'd done and how far he had fallen from grace. He brutally murdered Imogen, stabbing her at least a thousand times over pretty much her entire body, and then killed himself. The demon used this as a catalyst to create the curse which brought down the whole family.

The mansion was abandoned because the ghosts of Imogen and Ambrosio kept horrifically murdering the inhabitants. The PCs have already "killed" Imogen's ghost, i.e. kicked her ass so hard she vanished into whatever afterlife awaits her. They don't know that Ambrosio still haunts the mansion, and that he is actually the more dangerous one. He mostly comes out at night, though. Mostly. If Ambrosio's ghost is "killed," the mansion will stop being kept magically pristine.

There are a very small number of Brahnwicks who survived the curse, merely being financially, socially, and emotionally devastated (and in some cases a bit maimed), but they all lost or sold off their shares of the family's estate and don't actually have a legal claim to Imogen's small portion of the Brahnwick fortune and assets. That's where the Coorhagen family comes in. Being down on their luck themselves (relatively speaking - they are fairly wealthy minor nobles, after all), they were the ones who hired the party to retrieve the signet ring, and they won't be happy if they find out their plan is being hijacked.

As for the assets that could be "inherited" by the bearer of the ring, they include Greycandle Manor and about 200 acres of the surrounding land, an orchard and winery closer to Fillmore (consider this a stable business with a current value of  6,000 sp), a fishing operation based in Fillmore (consider this a risky business with a current value of 4,000 sp), and the legal right to collect (minor) taxes from the nearby town of Sylvan Lake for the next 3 years or so (but good luck with that, since the town is flooded and the inhabitants seem to be both completely mad and completely broke).