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!