Classic Fantasy Thieves - A Roses & Wyght Story
#11
Chapter 5 -  The Legend Of The House Of Lost And Found

System: Adventurers! 
Tools: CRGE; BOLD; Never Engine Random Tables; DMMuse; rpgsolo.com

Setup:
The setting and map images used in this chapter come from Brenton Haerr’s One Page Dungeon “The House of Lost and Found.”


[Scene 1, Surge count 6]

Main Thread: Retrieving the artifact
Minor Threads: Leira and Thieves Guild; Tristan’s Wedding; Bhart’s Career; Conspiracy against the King

Leira, Ilhard, and Vyncent reach the top of the stairs and find themselves in a room that stands in stark contrast to the rest of the rooms they have passed through so far. Where all the others were regal and serious with dark wood furniture and sophisticated decoration and tapestries, this room is bright and bit cheery, with furniture painted white and drapes of bright colored flowers. The room is clearly a bedroom, with a dresser against one wall, a vanity against another, a small table and chairs in a corner, and a small, one-person bed is tucked in the opposite corner. From the size of the furniture and the playful coloring of the drapes and blanket, this room appears to be made for a young girl. The only exit is a door across the room from the stairway.


[Image: Vy_ocikP5wjy0ZQh0TAB_v1r3N2bEFtufaQwjWMT...tsQjZ070Xg]


The table and dresser top are bare of any items except for a small mirror on a stand. Ilhard casually opens a couple of drawers and finds them empty. Leira spots something on the bed and moves over for a closer look. Resting on the bed is a rag doll wearing a pale blue dress, positioned as to appear as though it were sleeping, except the doll has no head to rest on the pillow! Leira reaches a hand out for it but halts, thinking better of picking up the eerie effigy.

“Who’s room is this, Vyncent?” Leira asks.

“I do not know.” He answers solemnly.

“You don’t know!” She glares at him. “Then what was all that witch-spit you babbled about downstairs! Heed the tales! Listen to the warnings! You act as though you know all about this place but you’ve never heard one story of a child?”

“You’ll have to forgive him, Bar Thief,” Ilhard interrupts. “Vee puts way too much faith in legends, tales, and children’s fables, treating them as though they hold ancient truths. I suspect he even believes turtles and rabbits actually compete in an annual foot race.”

Vyncent scowls at his partner. “While everything in a tale might not be true, there is a little truth in every tale.” Turning back to Leira, he says, “You ask your question as though you believe I can provide solid facts from a reliable source. I can’t. What I know has come from a rumor here, a ghost story there. Overheard conversations in a tavern. Bits and pieces that need to be arranged in a proper order. So, yes, I can tell you what I think I know. Is it complete? Hardly. It is accurate? Some parts probably are, but which one’s I couldn’t tell you.”

[To come up with “Legend of the House of Lost and Found” I used the BOLD story generator from Conjecture Games and some oracle questions. For anyone interested, I will post the results of those rolls at the end of the chapter.]

“Harris and Belinda Blackster both came from noble families in a distant city,” Vyncent continues. “They fell in love, were married, and had a daughter. Whether it was politics, war, crime, it’s uncertain but for some reason, they felt their home was not a safe or healthy place to raise their child. They were idealists, they longed for a land of eternal peace and thought they found it amongst the Emerfil Woods, also known as the Faerie Forests. They traveled to the enchanted woods hoping they might be allowed to stay.

“As you might know, Faerie Folk are not fond of humans, however, they took a liking to the young girl. Since it was evident that the parents' primary concern was safety for their daughter, the folk agreed to let her stay . . . but only her. Harris and Belinda would have to leave, having already been tainted by the outside world. The Blackster’s refused to leave their daughter, but the Folk had already claimed her for their own, believing an agreement had been struck. When the couple became aggressive the Folk used their magic to transform them into wolves and send them away. Once the couple left the forest they returned to their human state. However, the curse wasn’t completely lifted, for whenever they dreamed about their daughter or focused their thoughts on her during waking hours, their bodies would retake the form of the wolf, a reminder of the warning to never return to Emerfil.

“As would be expected, the Blacksters would not sit still and let their child be taken from them. They traveled the world in search of mages, alchemists, thaumaturgists, druids, anyone who might be able to lift the curse on their bodies and help them retrieve their daughter from the Folk. After a while, they formed a vast coalition of magical masters who agreed to help them, but only under certain conditions. They needed a central place to meet . . . a place where they could study, gather information, share ideas, experiment, and create the spells and potions necessary to accomplish this task. Thus the House of Lost and Found was established in Duskcall, named for the young daughter who had been lost to the Blacksters and the hope that she might one day be found.

“For years the coalition met in Duskcall and worked to find a solution. From there the tales take many paths. According to some, the mages had a change of heart, believing that once the curse was lifted they would lose the use of this house and the secrets stored inside. So they slowed their research and even kept information from Harris and Belinda until the couple grew wise of the mages’ plan.  The couple eventually severed ties and continued the research on their own, constantly traveling the world looking for a cure. However, others claim the coalition still exists. The Blacksters travel throughout the land at the mage’s request, collecting artifacts, books, and any other objects or information that might be useful and bring them back here.

“Regardless of which is true, what is certain, both from the tales and what we have already witnessed tonight, strange things are at work in the house and the residents have made sure that it is kept safe. I say we make haste, get what we came for and leave, praying to the Creator that the masters of this residence never find out it was us who was here this night.”

Leria takes a look around the room. “So this room is for their daughter.”

“That would be a fair guess,” Vyncent agrees. “But is it intended as a future home or simply a reminder, that I don’t know.”

“And what’s with the headless doll?” Ilhard askes. “Surely their daughter has a head.”

“Surely,” Vyncent says with a shrug. 

“Creepy. But you are right about one thing,” Ilhard confirms. “It’s getting late and we need to pick up the pace.”

Seeing only one other exit, the trio head for the door with Leira in the lead [RG]. There is a small rug just inside the threshold and when she steps on it the floor gives a bit and a loud click is heard.  All freeze and grip their weapons a bit tighter. Holding their breath, they wait for an attack or trap that never happens. Convinced they are going to be safe, at least for now, Leira opens the door and they press on.

[The “click” was due to the Spooky Roll: When a PC steps on a certain stone he hears a click, but nothing happens.

I made two fear rolls in this room, one for the headless doll and one for the Spooky roll. Everyone passed for each roll.]


[Scene 2, Surge count 0]

Main Thread: Retrieving the artifact
Minor Threads: Leira and Thieves Guild; Tristan’s Wedding; Bhart’s Career; Conspiracy against the King

[Spooky roll: There is a pile of teeth here.   I randomly generated who finds them.]

[Image: gOoryljAWOFrVF-W08b8q0zVJKu8W4LNMpzXaZHO...HazpCSYGTQ]

The door leads to a hallway that runs the length of the house. Three closed doors line the walls. Ilhard approaches the first and tries the knob only to find it is locked. Before he tries the second door, Leira sees a small pile of white pebble-like objects sitting in the middle of the hall. Crouching down, she examines them by poking at them with the point of her rapier.

“It’s a pile of teeth,” she tells the others. “Why would there be . . .”

Before she can finish the teeth move on their own to form an oval shape, similar to that of a mouth. The rows of teeth open wider and emit a piercing scream. While the sound startles them, both Leira and Vyncent are able to shake it off as just another attempt to ward off unwanted guests. Ilhard, on the other hand, is a bit shaken. [Failed his Fear Roll.]

“What the hellhound was that?”

“It’s just a trick,” Leria assures him. “They’re trying to scare us away.”

Ilhard tries the other two doors. Both are locked. Hoping the door furthest down the hall will bring them closer to their goal, Vyncent attempts to pick its lock. [With advantage, he rolls 2,2,5 + 3AGI=10] The lock is simple enough for Vyncent and they are quickly through the door.


[Scene 3, Surge count 0]

Main Thread: Retrieving the artifact
Minor Threads: Leira and Thieves Guild; Tristan’s Wedding; Bhart’s Career; Conspiracy against the King

Like the room before, this one has all the trappings of a bed-chamber. It’s decor, however, is intended for adults: the dark mahogany chest of drawers, the matching table and chair set with ornately carved legs in the sitting area, a full-length mirror with gold frame, the large four-post bed covered with silk linens and decorative wool blanket. The floor is covered by a fine rug imported from beyond the borders of Arigord and paintings of landscapes and architectural wonders line the walls. Other than some grooming utensils, bottles of fragrances, and other odds and ends, nothing of any great value (other than the furnishings) lay out in the open.

[Are there valuables in view? (To Conflict) 27+0 surge=27 No  +2 Surge]

[Image: DD9PRBfYKgplGLBRcF3iWb958-_tba_gvxUeBDvC...crFYfRYhoQ]

“This must be the Blackster’s bedroom,” Leira says looking around.

“Do you think they kept the artifact in here where they could keep an eye on it?” Ilhard wonders.

“No,” Leira says bluntly. “This isn’t the room.”

“What?” Vyncent asks. “Do you know what room it is in?”

“Yes, I do. I saw it when I put on the ring back in the conservatory. It was dark and dusty. [Roll MND for speculation: 1,2+5=8] My guess is up in the tower.”

“Thanks for filling us in, Bar Thief,” Ilhard says before turning his attention to the closed drawers. “But while we are here, we can take a look and see what we can find.”

“Ilhard, I don’t think it wise to rummage around blindly in this house,” Vyncent warns. “Not after the hand and the spiders.”

Before Ilhard can respond they hear voices coming from behind a closed door in the corner of the room.

“Are you hearing that?” asks the voice beyond the door. Leira thinks it sounds eerily like her own.

Vyncent puts his finger to his lips, indicating to the others to keep quiet. “I think they heard us,” he mouths.

“I have a feeling this is going to be an interesting night,” says a male voice from beyond the door.

“I always thought this place was haunted,” a third voice chimes in. “Now it’s been proven.”

[Perception Roll for all: I: 3,3,+2=8  V: 6,1+2=9   L: 4,4+5=13  All succeed, I’ll go with Ilhard for the initial recognition.]

“Wait a second,” Ilhard says, recognizing the three voices. “That’s us!”

“It’s the conversation we had in the conservatory,” Leira agrees.

“There are no spirits here,” the Ilhard-voice continues. “It must be some magic enchantment. A way to entertain guests.”

“Believe what you will, my friend,” the Vyncent-voice voice scolds as the real Ilhard angrily storms across the room and puts his hand on the doorknob. “But I’ve heard stories and I’m telling you, ghosts are not to be taken lightly.”  Ilhard yanks the door open and raises his club high, ready to bash anyone who might attack . . . 

. . . Except there is no one there. Instead, Ilhard sees racks of shirts, pants and dresses--a closet. He steps in and pushes some of the items aside just to be sure. 

“I was right after all,” Vyncent says in reference to the last words the Vyncent-voice spoke. “Ghosts are not to be taken lightly. Let’s find this statue and get out of here before anything else happens.”

[Spooky Roll: The sound of a conversation the PCs had earlier can be clearly heard from behind a door.

[Fear rolls: Ilhard passed.  Vyncent Failed. Leira not only passed, but did so with a 6,5 roll. She is fearless!]

Inside, Leira feels giddy. Yes, the house is creepy and things could get dangerous, not that they hadn’t already. Despite that, she experiences a rush of excitement. The things she has seen this night surpass any wonders of her childhood. If adventures like this were what awaited her in the Order of Two, then she wanted nothing else than to find the artifact and bring it to Beada, securing her standing in the guild.

[Image: WfrICGTwcZuOyH_w0fimBYluVwg3BoUTHufo9A1_...fT0f5_7BJw]

She sticks her head into the closet to have a closer look for herself when Vyncent urges them to move on, reminding them there are still two doors down the hallway.

[Leira’s Perception roll w/advantage: 4,2,2+5=11 > 7 Success!]

“Wait,” Leira calls out. “If the closet ends here and the hallway runs along is on the other side of that wall, then what is behind the wall in this area.” She points to a section of wall located to the left of the closet door and runs till it meets the long wall that separates the bedroom from the hallway.

[Ilhard searches for hidden doors.  MND w/adv for perception 1,5,4+2=11]

Believing the closet would be the best location for a secret door, Ilhard pushes the clothes aside and begins to examine the wall. Sure enough, he finds a gap and runs his fingers along it until he locates the catch. “The Bar Thief’s right. There is a door here.”

The three thieves pass through the closet and into another short passageway leading to a flight of stairs heading up. Ilhard freezes as he shines the lantern on the steps of the stairs. Revealed in the light is a track of large bloody footprints made by something inhuman with four long toes ending in sharp claws. Extending from each heel is another bloody mark indicating a fifth claw.

[Spooky roll: Bloody footprints left by a large creature lead down the hall, and slowly fade.]

[Image: X3k3KttHElcr6Krlvs7QOJ_mYLb-_9PB1OgpvzU2...NJ0S6JihYw]

“What . . . what in the Creator’s name made those?” Ilhard stutters.

“It’s probably another harmless trick, like the voices in the closet or the teeth in the hall,” Leira assures him, eager to see what is upstairs.

“Or the hand that clawed your eyes or the fiery spiders that took a bite outta my leg,” he reminds her.

While they bicker, Vyncent bends down to examine the prints. [Do they fade? (To Conflict) 82+ 2 surge = 84  Yes +2 surge] When he touches the first print he doesn’t feel any blood, either dry or sticky, but only the wood of the floor. The prints fade as he pulls his hand away.

“See, they were just an illusion,” Leira says to Ilhard.

“Are you sure about that? I don’t want to head up there and face a giant deformed gorilla, gargoyle or demon with nothing but a club.”

“Trust me. There is no boogeyman up in the attic.”

“How can you be so sure?”

“I’ve seen the room. Remember?”

[Fear rolls:  Ihard 6 (fail, giving him 2 fear points and a -1 on all skill checks)];  Vyncent: passes with a 9;   Leira rolls 6,6 for a total of 17. She’s eager and loving this!]

End of Chapter 5

Notes:

One aspect of Adventurers! that I often overlook is the awarding of in-game HER points. According to the rules, characters can expect to receive 1-4 HER points per session for doing things like overcoming difficult obstacles, defeating strong opponents, using their Concept or Definition, etc.. I am going to award Leira 1 HER point for using her perception to locate the hidden room, since it was beneficial in moving the task along and kept the party from further unnecessary exploration.

As promised, here are the results from BOLD and CRGE that helped develop the Legend of the House of Lost and Found.

From CRGE: Are the Blackster’s human? (To Knowledge): 7+6 surge = 13  No, but (surge resets)  … they used to be and can be once again, which lends itself to cursed werecreature.  

What type of creature (d6): 1-2: wolf  3-4: rat  5-6: cat     Roll=1 Werewolf

From BOLD:  Main Waylay - Natural- Forbidden Deprivation (Nature indicates forest. Blackster’s are deprived of both the opportunity to stay and their child.)

Nested Waylays:
1. Knowledge -  Peaceful Occult  overcome by counteraction (Blacksters’ desire to stay in the magical forest is thwarted by the Faerie Folk’s actions against them.)
2. Party -  Steady Power Play overcome by faction intervention (To gain power over the Folk, an organization of magical experts is formed.)
3. Knowledge -  Tranquil Research overcome by Change of Heart (This informed one of the two possible stories regarding the Blacksters’ progress.)
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