Session 2 Secrets of Durst Manor


Animated Armor

We continued the adventure in Durst Manor and picked back up at the beginning of an encounter with an animated suit of armor. It tried to push Aydin over the balcony but Aydin’s strength prevailed. After defeating the Armor, Term, our human artificer, checked out the armor and found some Adamantine scale mail.


Then the party decided to see what was behind the southern door. As they reached for the door, they heard the sounds of a wailing baby crying and the voice of a young woman singing to the baby, asking “Walter” to stop crying. However, once they opened the door, there was no woman, no light, only gloom and neglect.

Entering fully into the room, the party encountered the ghostly spirit of a beautiful young woman. She appeared kind and gentle and just like in the opening scene of Ghostbusters, she looked at them, held up her finger to her lips and said, “Shhhhh”. She then asked, “Please don’t wake the baby.”

The party started to talk with her and our barbarian, Aydin, decided to see what was in the Nursery. Despite the warning from the ghostly woman to not wake the baby, Aydin walked over to the crib and pushed the hanging black shroud away to see a bundle of… nothing.

When the ghostly woman saw Aydin moving the shroud, she became enraged. Her face stretched impossibly far into a ghastly visage and she screamed. The flesh falling from her face in tattered chunks, her spirit appearing before Aydin, and her bleeding claws reaching for his throat.

A battle ensued and the party fought the specter of the woman. After a few rounds, the spirit screamed and vanished. Leaving our party a little confused on what just happened. The dwarven cleric brother, Thaldir noticed that the mirror in the room looked a little off and decided to go investigate. He then discovered that behind the mirror was a secret door leading to a staircase leading up.

Aydin also decided to search the small table beside the bed. He found hidden clumsily beneath a mildew-covered towel, a raunchy romance novel covered in cobwebs, titled, “Blue-Blooded Lips”. Flipping through the novel he discovered that it was the story about a wealthy duke who enjoyed an affair with his female cupbearer. Provocative indeed!


Secret doorway

Once they had finished searching the room, they headed straight up the secret stairway, neglecting to look in any of the other remaining rooms on this level. They found the attic choked with dust and cobwebs and saw a padlocked door to the north of the stairway from which the sounds of children at play seemed to be coming from.


Tilly, the half-elf bard, you know, the one with the magnificent singing voice, remembered that she had found a key in the library. As she approached the door, she heard what sounded like Rose an Thorn’s voices (the two children that they had met outside asking them to help rid the house of the monster). It sounded like they were playing rock, paper, scissors. Tilly inserted the key and it clinked noisily and clattered to the ground.

The children hushed as the door was open and the gloom of the room seemed to strangle it. Inside she saw two child-sized beds, a toy chest, and a dollhouse, which was a perfect replica of Durst Manor. Then she noticed that the rooms sole window, was bricked up. When she looked down at the floor, her eyes filled with tears. For on the floor, lay two small skeletons, dressed in that tattered, familiar clothing. The smaller of the two cradled a small teddy bear. It appeared that they had found Rose and Thorn after all…


The dwarven cleric brother, Straldir upon seeing all the freaky things going on with the children decided it was too much for him. He seemed terrified of the children and stayed out in the hallway chugging his mead from the cask he had gotten. There was no way he was going in there.

The spirits of Rose and Thorn sat next to their beds, looking at the party with sad eyes. Rose told the party she was deeply sorry for asking them to come into the house to rid it of the monster and that she had no memory of being dead when she was outside. The party asked them questions and discovered quite a few things.

First they discovered that the children’s parents would lock them in their room to keep them safe when they would deal with the monster in the basement.

The monster sounds like horrible screaming from the basement but they don’t know what it was since they weren’t ever allowed to go down there.

Rose then recalled that she could hear Walter (the baby) wailing the last time she and Thorn were locked away. She doesn’t know why he was taken or who could have done so, but she worries for the baby’s safety.

Rose recalled fond stories of their nursemaid Margaret. Margaret was always so nice to them and she remembered how much her daddy loved spending time with her. Mommy didn’t like the Margaret very much though, she didn’t understand why.

Rose then informed the party about how Margaret would usually come to let them out of their room at night after mommy and daddy dealt with the monster in the basement, but she never came one night. They were so very hungry, they cried and cried, but no one came. They remember that the hunger made them very cold and tired and after a while they just went to sleep and one day woke up like they are now.

Rose begged the party to please help her figure out what happened to her parents and her little brother Walter the baby. She also asked if the party would help her rest. She was so very tired. She asked that the party take her and Thorn’s bones to their family crypt below. When the characters asked where it was, she pointed to the dollhouse. She also asked that if it was possible to kill the monster.

Upon examining the dollhouse, Rose grew very excited and said, “Isn’t it just perfectly splendid!, I just love my dollhouse. It is an exact copy of the house you know.” This grabbed Aydin’s attention for Aydin loves to explore. Aydin looked closely into the house noticing the small figures inside that seemed to represent them! Then Aydin noticed there was a room next to the library that wasn’t connected to anything and asked Rose what that room was. She replied that she didn’t know, she just remembered that her dad loved spending time in the Library with Margaret and sometimes, she thought they were in there but didn’t see them.

Tilly was also intrigued with the dollhouse and went down to pinch the figure that looked like her in the dollhouse and felt a pinch in the exact same spot as she did so. This freaked her out and she suggested they leave the dollhouse alone. Rose pointed out the other secret stairway that lead down below to the crypts. She then asked them if they would get her dolly from their playroom to the south and bury it with her.


The party went south and into an old spare room. They found the dolly dressed in blue dress and took it. They then went back to the northern rooms and looked into the room next to Rose and Thorns. Apparently it used to be a guest room of sorts. Spiders poured out of the wardrobe in droves the greet them and scurried off into cracks in the walls and floors. The room appeared empty.


Attic Storage

Next they went to the final room in the attic and inside discovered it was a storage room full of old furniture draped in yellowing sheets – chairs, coat racks, standing mirrors, mannequins and a wooden trunk that was sitting nearby, its lid slightly ajar. Aydin went over to the chest and swung it open. Inside finding a frail, bleached skeleton, wrapped in a bloodstained bedsheet. Hearing a rustling sound behind him, the sheet of a mannequin falling to the ground in a windless room, a hand seized his hand and a scream shattered the silence. “You found my body!”


It was the young spirit of the nursemaid, they now knew to be Margaret. She seemed to forget the fight earlier and seemed relieved that someone had found her body. The party asked her about Mr. Durst and if she cared for him. She replied that it wasn’t proper to speak of such things, but she did care for him and especially the children. Although the party didn’t get an outright answer about Mrs. Durst, Elisabeth, they could tell that Margaret seemed afraid of her.

After speaking to Margaret, they noticed that the front of her dress had multiple stab holes which seemed to indicate how she died.

Secret Door leading down

They then went into the secret stairway that wound its way down into the catacombs below.


Once they arrived at the bottom of the stairway they walked out into the crypts and into a long hallway. They turned north and down a left hall with stairs that went down. They found an old wooden table and some chairs as well as four small alcoves containing moldy straw pallets. They didn’t find anything in the pallets so they continued to the left and down another set of stairs and into a big room with a well at the center.


Along the walls of this room were small little rooms containing a wood-framed bed and a small chest. They went room by room, searching the chests and found many interesting things including some coins inside a bag made of human skin, three moss agates, an eyepatch with a carnelian sewn into it, an ivory hairbrush, a silvered shortsword, and a journal.

The journal was bound in grimy black leather. It seemed to maintain a list of names, physical descriptions, and details of some sort of event. The second column maintained the physical description of each victim named in the first column, while the third column bore the gruesome details describing the sacrifice, such as “struggled profusely” and “no sedative given.” The final column looked like a result row with a single word for each entry, “Unsuccessful.”


After their exhaustive search of the rooms and well in this section, they decided to take the exit to the south and headed to the right up a flight of stairs where they came to a “T” section. They chose to continue south and Aydin fell into a hidden spiked pit trap. Some spikes piercing him and causing him a bit of damage. With Term’s help he climbed up. Term then misty stepped over the pit and saw that the hallway seemed to travel in a circle and went back and found the party on the other side. They decided to not try and cross the trap and went up the stairs to the right where Term found them.

They came into a room that had a plain wooden table flanked by long benches. The remains of moldy humanoid bones lie strewn all over the dirt floor. There was an alcove on the eastern wall, but the party avoided it and continued south. They came upon a four way split and went south where Term had been before and then turned left and found a large door that appeared to be locked. They tried the key, tried to pick the lock and even tried to smash the door open but nothing worked. They turned around and began to head south at the 4 way intersection this time, but as Aydin lead them down the hallway, the earth began to churn. Rotted limbs burst from the clay: and four corpses attacked, their howls rending the depths! The players were all surprised as a battle began.


That is where we end our tale of this adventure. Will our party survive the attack? Will they find what happened to Mr and Mrs Durst? Will they find where to lay the children to rest and will they find baby Walter?

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