Clones and Creepers

Needing a couple more keys, we head for the kitchens. Only, we can’t find it. For hours. Marybeth finally finds a torch that tilts at her touch and opens a secret passage in the walls. We seem to have found the servants’ tunnels and are able to follow thme to the kitchen.

The room is full of activity, but no people or other creatures. The pots and pans and knives and trays are all moving of their own accord. This seems safe, totally normal, right guys? Dalish is afraid to eat anything, but I scoop up a loaf of bread and some butter. It’s been ages since we ate anything. The kitchen doesn’t seem to mind. Exept when Remy gets in the way of a knife, but it only stabs him once. Dalish notices the cupboards and larder are all fully stocked. Nat can’t find any traps or secret doors. The food, once done, is all heading out the far end of the kitchen, all on its own. Maybe we should follow.

Just then, a boiling stewpot starts bubbling over. A steaming, sauce-covered creature begins crawling out. It looks like Marybeth! It starts attacking, so we attack right back. Only, when it falls, four more creatures pop up, and they look like Marybeth, Remy, Nat, and me! Every time we kill one, whoever hurt it gets cloned right back up!

Nat investigates the pot and discovers that it is cursed. Dalish tries to dispel the curse, but it doesn’t work. Then I got shot in the face and I don’t remember much for awhile. I get woken up and try to fight some more while the other work on destroying the pot, but a clone of Nat puts me back on the ground again.

I wake up a short time later, with bandages on my face. It hurts so much! Remy says the clone shot my nose off! I can’t process, it all hurts so much. I can’t really see much. Dalish is in worse shape, though. He got shot in the spine and can’t use his legs right now. Klyce has fashioned him a backpack to ride in. They do find the black club key in the leftovers of the pot, though.

We head out, following the food. The path goes upstairs and towards the throne room. But it passes through a black shadowy curtain that Nat says feels like death. We turn back to look for another way upstairs. We have one more key to find.

Using the servant tunnels, we find sumptuously decorated rooms, dozens of them. I want to take a nap in one, but we have to keep moving. Nat finds a tower we haven’t been in, so we head up a set of spiralling stairs. There are exits, but the rooms are all empty and the same, until we reach the top.

A trap door in the ceiling, is, of course, trapped with slicing blades. Nat manages to disable them, and pulls down a dusty ladder for us to climb up. Nat and Heyhey take the lead, with Klyce carrying Dalish right behind them. The rest of us trail up to a very dusty attic full of mannequins and creepy dolls and old torture devices.

Marybeth starts telling us about all the different devices. I contemplate going back down the stairs, but the door pulls closed right beneath my feet. It is very dark up here, and after checking for sources of magic, Remy throws up some lights for us. This only makes the shadowy dolls more creepy.

There’s a strange skittering noise, and Nat spots a huge spider in the rafters. Remy moves his light up there, but it skitters away. Nat tries to detect its thoughts as we call out to it hoping for peace. Then we discover its true form.

An eight-legged mechanical monster, with opera gloves for hands, strange implements for fingers, and an old doll face drops down among us and starts grabbing for each of us. The strings it sends out from who knows where, make casting quite difficult as it tosses us into the various devices around the attic. The iron maiden I get put into is an easy dimension door to solve, and I get way back so it can’t get me anymore. Gerhardt has a harder time with the rack. Dalish dimension doors himself and Klyce up into the rafters with it, so Klyce can get a good grip to pummel it.

Eventually, it collapses under our assault. We take some time to breath and tend our wounds. Dalish finds the golden spade key, and the others spread out and find a sword that he says is a flametongue sword. The others think this is a good, defensible place to rest, so Dalish sets up a dome and a private sanctum.

I don’t like it, but I’m not wandering around here alone. My face still hurts and I don’t have a nose! Oh gods! I’ve got a hole in the center of my face! I hate everything to do with guns! Why do we keep doing this?!?! Remy tries to offer me his disguise hat, as though it’s what I look like that matters! I have a Hole In My Face, Remy! An illusion isn’t going to Change That!

Plantation Attack

Ever paranoid, the boys announce a false plan to the troops, in case the house mages are listening. It involves a suicidal charge up the middle toward the canons, and the soldiers pincering in from the sides. Using fog clouds for cover, at dawn. Once they’re done pontificating for no one’s benefit, we retire for the night and Nat pulls us all into her head.

Klyce wants to go tonight. He wants Dalish, me, and himself to drop down onto the roof for an alpha strike inside the house. The rest should come in through tunnels like our old Sanctum games, and take out the canons and guys with the big guns. Dalish might zombie up some of their soldiers to help. The troops will hang back and do as little as possible from the treeline. Klyce will head inside while Dalish and I help clean up the yard. Then we’ll all meet inside to take down the mage(s)?

We get some rest, though only a couple manage to recover spells by not taking watches. Nat sends in her invisible eye during our watch, but an invisible lady pops out and dispells it. Still before dawn, we start the men marching, and quietly fill them in on their part of staying in the trees as much as possible. We’ll signal if we need them to come in.

Dalish, Klyce, and I part from the group as we get near and fly in an arc way above the house. The diggers get digging and start heading in. Once they are in place, we fly down and then drop onto the roof. Nat says that most of the troops are an illusion, and they set about putting them to sleep. Klyce decides they don’t need our help, and opens a hole in the roof.

We slip inside, and find no one on the top floor. By the time we get downstairs, the others are entering through the front. We start checking the parlor, and a mage pops out of invisibility and paralyzes a bunch of us. Klyce pins him to a wall after getting sliced up pretty badly. Remy shoots him, but he manages to Banish Gerhardt. Then Klyce turns into an octopus, which doesn’t seem to hamper him all that much. This guy starts calling in fireballs and I fall unconscious. By the time I wake up, he’s down.

Nat says she can feel three people within thirty feet of us, and Klyce starts ripping up the floor. Marybeth drops down into the hole, while I look out the door to find two mages in the hallway. I toss a teacup at one of them while shouting for the group, but one sends flying snakes into the room, while the other walls us in with stone. We manage to sleep or kill the snakes, and then I dimension door Dalish and my self into the hallway. Remy had managed to jump through the door before the stone went up, but now he’s lying bleeding on the floor. Klyce opens a hole in the stone and grabs the mage with the gun. The other mage dimension doors himself away. Dalish nearly kills himself transferring life to Remy to bring him back. Marybeth manages to kill the woman under the floor. We take a breath to gather the dead and our men into the courtyard.