Ravenloft Campaign: the Last Dance (Session 2)

Evening October 1st, 755 BC, Pont-A-Museau, Richemulot

After our heroes gathered themselves and checked to make sure Nthntuck and Vinzent were not dead, they banded together and waited.  Vinzent and Tuck (shorthand to make life easier on both the writing and the reading) stirred after about 30 minutes.  No one had been able to find a way in or out beyond the big metal door, but Tuck was a trained tracker and immediately followed the rat’s trails into a pile of rotting and destroyed furniture.   In the furniture was a small chest with Falkovnian gold coins and a diamond, that Elaine found, then passed out mostly equivalent wealth to everyone, leaving herself a big ole diamond to replace the pieces of quartz she had been using as casting material components.  Tuck wanted none, and continued to throw aside furniture until he found a cupboard.  Opening the doors, he found a small hole leading behind to another stairwell.

With everyone’s help, they moved the furniture to see a gently sloping staircase that was covered in condensation.  The sound of rushing water and some mechanical clanking came from beyond.  They took the stair case, which gentle curved left until it ended at a large docking area, where two enormous waterwheels turned, powered by an underground canal.  One of the waterwheels was wooden, while a second was metal or stone and set into the far wall, spinning at a very different, more deliberate and mechanical pace than the wooden one.

Vinzent considered destroying the wooden waterwheel as the others looked about, seeing the only way out as a small hole in the ceiling that a metal rod attached to the far waterwheel  seemed to be going upwards into.  That or the canal, which no one could see very far down.  As Tuck checked the walls for any kind of hidden script and Drew for doors, Violet shapechanged into a wasp to check out the areas down the canal. 

The canal’s ceiling quickly slopes down at both the entrance and exit from this room, making escape through the canal questionable at best.  Violet then flew upwards, being able to fit through the small hole.  It traveled up and up, somewhere around 30 feet, before popping out into an attic of some kind.  It had a catwalk that lead to a door that was wedged shut but with no lock and the clock tower of the school on the other side.  Inside the room was a cacophony of noise from hundreds and hundreds of turned and grinding gears.  Too many for just the clocktower, Violet realized.

She came back down and told the others what was going on upstairs as Dimitri had a minor breakdown.  Then Tuck spotted Graves at the top of the stair well.  Graves ran.  The heroes pursued.

During the run, Dimitri made contact with Graves after a few failed attempts.  Graves ran all the way out of the basement and left the metal door unlocked, allowing our heroes to leave.  Standing in the servants hallway, they gathered their breath before Tuck picked up Graves’ trail.  They all went down a small corridor along the side of the house that lead to the ballroom, where the wedding was to be taken place.

The ballroom was much like the rest of the house, dirty and empty and rundown.  They looked about for Grave’s trail when a sudden whirring of mechanics dropped 8 couples of marionettes to the floor, that all began to dance.  Marionettes that were made of corpses, lacquered, screwed, nailed, and wired together in a macabre scene.  Horror checks were made.  Two failed: Drew and Dimitri.  Drew ran in utter terror back the way he came, while Dimitri stared dumbfounded and … almost intrigued.  Vinzent followed after Drew, Dimitri following them.  Tuck, Elaine, and Violet shrugged off the horror and continued to track Graves, back into the game room.

Drew was a mess, doing everything he could to leave.  Vinzent and Dimitri tried to help, taking Drew back to the library.  In the library, they found it ransacked.  Chairs overturned, books thrown off shelves, an entire mess.  Dimitri threw his hands in the air in frustration.  Meanwhile, Tuck, Violet, and Elaine all continued to follow Graves’ tracks, which lead to the library.  Which also lead to two sets of double doors being open and the sight of the mechanical dancers to very much be seen by everyone in the library … including poor Drew and Dimitri.  Dimitri was already oddly fascinated by the things, but Drew manned up and got his aversion in check.

Dimitri, Drew, and Vinzent search the library as Tuck, Violet, and Elaine head out into the main hall, checking on Madame Tuvache.  In the main hall, more of the marionettes fall to the floor, these ones armed and attacking.  Other than a very minor scratch along Tuck’s chest, the stupid things had a mechanical pattern and were very easily avoidable.  They headed back to the library.

There, Vinzent and Drew found a secret compartment in a clock on the mantle, which had three scrolls in it.  None of them could read the ornate writing, but they could tell two were the same.  With everyone in the library, Drew gathered his items as Tuck continued to track Graves, finding him heading into a side door.  It lead to a tea room, with a strange orange glass door.  Elaine tried to open it and got gunk on her hand.  After a few minutes it became corrosive and ate through her hand and down to the bone before they washed it off.

They found a very nice silver tea set (Violet has appraising and knows what everything is worth) and they dolled it all out not particularly caring too much for who got what.  Another tracking check and Tuck takes them out another door that leads to the main hall way.  It only takes a minute for them to traverse the warrior-puppets.  Dimitri’s obsession seems to only be getting worse, though he does calm his mind enough to finally succeed on an ESP attempt (after a few failures) on Graves, whom he still has psionic contact with.  He reads Graves’ surface thoughts:

“I’m sorry … I’m sorry … please go away … I’m sorry …”

They head into the East Wing of Jerterriere and find a small room that Graves’ footsteps led to.  They bust down the door to find the old gaunt man sitting on his bed. 

Vinzent: “Is Lambert here?”
Graves:  “Yes.”
Drew:  “Is he alive?”
Graves: “… no.”

Next time, they learn more from Graves, and try to find poor Madame Tuvache.

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