Last Time on Critical Brole… err… Broleplay
The party awoke from what was for Ronfar and Ycy a sleepless night. Encroaching shadows kept Ycy from completing his inactive cycle and dark dreams stirred in Ronfar’s mind. Both of them awoke somewhat shaken and all the more aware of the evil lurking in the shadows beyond the doors to Chateau Gluant.
After a quiet breakfast the party once again ventured into the grounds of the vineyard, this time choosing to explore the small home on the west side of the property before proceeding into the manor proper. This home, as it turned out, was both the dwelling and workshop of the vineyard’s cooper and his apprentice.
The building was sealed shut, it’s heavy wooden door closed and locked and the storm shutters stuck closed with a glue-like substance. Luckily the party had found a key during the previous night’s scuffle at the barn. They proceeded into the cooper’s residence to find it ransacked. In the workshop there were a few tools scattered around, and in the living area the party found that the majority of the furniture had been smashed and broken on the ground.
Pimkin Trips a Trap
Pimkin proceeds to check out a small bedroom off to the side that seems to be somewhat in order, minus the lump of something underneath the blankets. As soon as Pimkin pulls the blanket off to reveal a partially decomposed and possibly gnawed on torso, a Ghoul leaps up and dumps the entire bed over onto Pimkin, paralyzing him as the ghoul’s overlong fingernails dig into Pimkin’s skin.
Thanks to some quick acting by Ronfar and a flurry of Divine spells the ghoul is subdued without any lasting effects. The party then searches the premises of what they now know to be the master and apprentice cooper’s residence and workshop.
Satisfied with the job they did of searching the Cooper’s residence, proceed to the southern end of the property to investigate the two large masses of vines that sit on either side of the property. Ycy laboriously cuts a path, being the only one in the group with any sort of propensity for slashing weapons, and eventually the party is stopped by the sound of steel hitting wood.
The party discovers what once would’ve been the crowning achievement of the Chateau Gluant winery; it’s prized wine grapes. The rows of grapes now overgrown, the red grapes themselves now a sickly green and filled with a liquid resembling pus. Across the property the party found that the white grapes had fallen victim to the same fate.
“This item is what’s causing all of the vines in the area not to grow.”
After exploring the vine thickets the party begins to move towards the manner. As they approach they see a well off to the side of the property that is mysteriously absent of vines. They move to investigate and find the water to be pure, but see a small object shining at the bottom of the forty foot drop. Pimkin declares that obviously this item is the source of whatever effect keeps the vines at bay and, somewhat against his will, is lowered into the well by rope.
Pimkin, drawing on his arcane knowledge as a wizard and the time he has spent in the company of the cleric Ronfar, is able to determine that the faint magical aura emanating from the well is the remnants of a ‘purify food and drink’ spell cast by a cleric or paladin, though he is not able to pinpoint exactly how long ago. Nonetheless Pimkin reaches deep into the water to recover the shining artifact and pulls out a plain, dented tin cup, similar to what any adventurer might find in a mess kit.
After exploring the perimeter of the manor and discovering some huts that may have been inhabited by laborers once but were now filled with zombie corpses and scorch marks, the party made their way to the front of the manor and decided to take a short rest. The steps up to the manor are flanked on either side by griffon statues that had been damaged and defaced, but above on the rooftop were five gargoyle statues. One of the gargoyles, who had remained unmoving until now, began to stir.
After stretching out it’s wings and shaking off the dust after having apparently been stationary for some time, the Gargoyle appears to be looking for a fight. The party, all except Pimkin, are quick to notice the movement and spring to their feet, ready to fight this creature. The gargoyle, apparently confused at being noticed so quickly, was lassoed by Ycy before it could so much as move. Ycy then yanked the creature from the roof and into the bushes below and the party began their assault.
After being heavily wounded the gargoyle attempted to flee. As he flew away from the party a firebolt, flung by Pimkin, burst underneath one of its wings, sending it falling; it’s body breaking into pieces as it hit the ground. Ycy claimed a chunk of their fallen foe before they entered the manor proper.
Literally Every Trap
The large and finely crafted wooden doors of the manor opened up into a grand, two-story foyer. A musty smell rose as the party kicked up long-undisturbed dust. There appeared to be signs of battle; broken arrows, axes, and swords lay strewn about and what little furniture once was there had almost all been cleared out and what was left was badly damaged.
The next room the party discovered appears to have once been a fine ballroom. What was once likely an architectural marvel of crafstmanship — appearing to be made without the use of any metal or adhesives — this entire room appeared to have been made entirely out of a deep, rich-colored wood. A carved relief on one wall of the room appeared to portray Master and Mistress Gluant.
The party then entered a dark, narrow hallway that led them to what they found to be the master winemaker’s room. In a locked roll-top desk, which Strayer smashed open, Pimkin found a journal. In doing so however Pimkin also was pricked by a needle coated in poison and apparently aimed at anyone trying to gain access to this desk without a key. Pimkin, once again in need of saving, was purged of the poison by Strayer.
Dark Words, Dark Deeds
Using his ‘Understand Languages’ spell, Pimkin was able to decipher the journal and determined that it had once belonged to a man named Suey. Suey had deceived the Gluants and gained their trust while secretly recruiting for a demonic cult. Eventually all of the workers and even the Gluants themselves were sacrificed to this demon, but after that Suey appears to have began to go mad and also began sacrificing his fellow cultists and turning them all into the slime zombies the party had encountered up to this point.
Something’s in the Kitchen with Strayer
After discovering the activities of a demonic cult, Strayer’s resolve was steeled further and he immediately decided that this site was long overdue for a holy purge. The next room the party encountered was the kitchen. The kitchen seemed to be the most organized of all the rooms the party had encountered so far and looked as if it had seen use after the fall of the Gluants, possibly by the cultists. The party also found a dumbwaiter that went between the first and second floors which appeared to be stuck.
Strayer took some time to clean off the mechanisms but the rope holding it in place was too rotten and when he began to attempt to lower the dumbwaiter the rope snapped, sending it crashing to their floor. Out of the dumbwaiter emerged a gelatinous ooze, inside of which floated a skeleton with a golden necklace. The ooze attempted to swallow Strayer and would have succeeded if not for Ycy reaching in and pulling him out. As the party destroyed it, it seemed to dissolve into a puddle of water and leaked through the floorboards.
EVERY SINGLE ONE
Wanting to round out their exploration, the party moved to the last unexplored room on the first floor of the manor; the parlor. This was an area filled with stuffed animal trophies with several large, plush couches and a bar that, during it’s operation, was likely filled with various Chateau Gluant wines and other beverages to allow guests to sample the Gluants’ finest vintages.
One trophy animal appeared to have been put into the fireplace and burned partially, as if one of the less intelligent cultists had tried to use it for firewood. Pimkin moved to investigate and as he approached saw movement in the ashes in the corner; a gray ooze jumped to life and attacked.
The ooze, though not particularly hardy, was highly acidic and despite dispatching it quickly, it still damaged both Ycy’s blades and Strayer’s warhammer, instantly rusting them on contact.