The Glass House: A Red Raven Inn Module
The following is a Module designed as a stand alone adventure for players between 1st and 4th Level in a Fantasy RPG Setting. It was written with Pathfinder Core Rules in mind, but is compatible with Dungeons and Dragons with only minor changes.
This is a FREE Module for open use, we welcome anyone to use this adventure and explore the Glass House with their party. Feel free to modify the adventure as necessary to accommodate your adventure group, and don’t hesitate to tweak it as you see fit. We would ask in return that you give us credit for the adventure, and if you feel so inclined to kindly send us a message describing how the module was received among your players. Your feedback will determine how we approach future modules of this sort, and is greatly appreciated!
We strongly recommend Dungeon Masters read this adventure all the way through before running this adventure! It will help immensely with your player’s immersion and enjoyment, as well as aid in your ability to craft the world.
NOTE: This adventure is intended as a tie-in to our recent article on how to run a Horror Game effectively for your players. This game module contains elements of supernatural horror and is intended to be at least somewhat scary when players are properly immersed. You have been warned!
Without any further ado, enjoy the adventure!
In the main room of the Red Raven Inn a new posting has been left on the job board. Read the following to the players:
Above the din of boisterous patrons, the Red Raven Inn has an air of both comfort and home. Though the seasonal rains have plagued the region with their usual intensity, it looks like the end of the rainy season is at last at hand. Many adventurers prepare for their journeys to far off lands with the coming fairer weather, and others seek the services of those who are frequenting the Inn at this time. You see a new posting this morning that reads:
Wanted: Experienced Heroes to Recover Family Heirloom, See Room 203. Inquire Within
The PCs can knock on the door of Room 203 in the Red Raven Inn to follow up on this job posting. When the players inquire, read them the block below:
The door swings open revealing an imposing Man-At-Arms adorned in an embroidered tabard. He scowls before stepping aside, allowing access into a well appointed corner room. Rain patters on the window, the only other sound the scratching of a quill on parchment. The aging gentleman at the table looks up from his work, smiles professionally, and sets his quill aside. He stands, brushing aside his peppered raven hair. “Ah, you must be here about the posting. Good. I trust you’re capable of handling yourself?”
The man introduces himself as Ferdinand Glass (A Knowledge Local Check DC 14 Reveals he is a local Marquis. A DC 18 reveals his family is in a dispute over lands in the White Ridge area). He will explain to the party that his family owns a Manor along the nearby White Ridge Road, a mere three days' journey from the Inn. The Manor has not been lived in for the last two decades, since a fire claimed much of the grounds. However, there is a family Deed he believes still resides in the property. It is in a Lockbox in the Manor, likely buried under some debris. Ferdinand has the Key to the Lockbox, he simply needs it returned to him.
He will go on to explain he has already sent a servant to recover the Lockbox, who returned empty handed after becoming lost in White Ridge. He then sent a more competent pair of his own Men-At-Arms who returned empty handed, and when questioned only turned in their Tabards and left his service without another word. He finally sent a team of four mercenaries ten days ago who have yet to return. Now he looks to send the Heroes.
Ferdinand will not go himself, making excuses of the pressing family matters and papers he must attend to. He will emphasize that he needs this Lockbox returned to him as soon as possible, and is willing to pay handsomely to have it restored to his family. He will offer 2,500 Gold Coins for its return, with an extra 500 Gold if returned within seven days. (If players haggle the commission it is Diplomacy/Bluff/Intimidate DC 15, and he will go up to Double his initial reward depending on rolls.)
If the Players inquire about the Manor, he will explain that Glass Manor was a side house that his cousin once occupied. During a storm a lightning strike set the east wing ablaze. Though the damage was extensive, it was not as tragic as the loss of both his cousin and his cousin’s daughter in the blaze. Since the manor was older and not fully up-kept anyhow, it has been left in the countryside unattended and ruined. He currently has no plans to rebuild it, however recent land acquisitions by local lords have made the area exceedingly valuable.
Players who research this topic will discover that Marquis Glass has spent the last 20 years trying to build support for a massive mining operation that would reshape the White Ridge region, and it seems he finally has the support he needs. There are rumors of shady deals and back room agreements about this, and many of the locals disagree with tearing down the scenic ridge, despite the wealth of minerals deep within.
He will ultimately dismiss the party under the pretense of other matters needing his attention, and looks forward to their expedient return.
2) The White Ridge Road
After the party gathers their equipment and provisions, and purchases any gear they need from the many vendors that frequent the Red Raven Inn, read them the following:
As you take to the muddy road the weather seems to begin to clear. Though the cold drizzle continues to spit in the wind, the worst of the storm front has surely passed. The road curves high into the White Ridge region, the pale sun-bleached boulders reflecting what little sunlight peeks through the grayed sky, the towering spruce trees doing little to block the piercing gusts of wind. Your journey is dull, the landscape washed in shades of brown as you ride toward Glass Manor. As the sun begins to wane on the third day of travel, black clouds swell on the horizon, the cold winds pick up in tempo. It is going to be a stormy night.
At this point the party is still several hours from their objective, and the DM should emphasize that they will not reach it tonight, especially with the storm encroaching. The players will likely look to set up camp for the night.
As your party sets camp have them perform some Survival, Nature and Perception checks on their surroundings. The Survival Check DC 16 will be to find any dry wood, and even then will only yield just enough for a pitiful fire, not even enough to keep the cold at bay, let alone fully cook a meal. (If they brought wood it will be dry.) A DC 15 Nature Check will reveal that there are a surprising lack of birds in this section of woodland. Usually the ridges would be teaming this time of year, and birds would be active before a storm seeking shelter. There’s no sign of any birds nearby. Lastly, a Perception Check DC 14 will reveal that this particular clearing has been used for camping recently, and a few pieces of gear have been abandoned in the nearby brush. A dented iron kettle, a broken compass and a torn backpack with a torn blanket can be recovered. There is no evidence as to why it was abandoned or how it was damaged.
The party will bed down as the storm picks up. They will likely be in tents, bed rolls or have used the terrain to their advantage to create a Lean-To. One of the party will likely be on watch. As the darkness gives way to Midnight, read the following block to the party.
The storm has grown in intensity to a quite miserable ordeal. Lightning flashes punctuate the driving sheets of rain. The camp is completely soaked thru, and small streams of water have begun rolling down the ridge and over the campsite. The cold cuts to the bone, the wind shrieking through the branches without mercy. A nearby branch breaks under the force of the combined wind and rain. Your visibility is cut by the fierce rains, however you’re able to make out a light approaching the camp. The rain ebbs slightly as a hooded lantern light swings over the campsite. The gloved hand of a nobly dressed maiden clutches the lantern against the cold, a covered basket under her other arm, and in a shaky voice she calls out, “H-Hello? I-is anyone there?”
The maiden wears a long coat of oiled leathers, a hood drawn around her elegant raven hair. Her boots and gloves are long, and her garb is both practical and masterfully appointed. She is timid upon approaching, and will recoil slightly if any party member is visibly armed, but will recover. A crash of thunder from a nearby lightning strike will illuminate her better as she cringes from the storm, she is clearly in her mid-teens, far too young a maiden to be traveling alone in this country.
When asked why she is out her, she will introduce herself as Katherine De Verre. She had lost track of time picking berries nearby and the storm overtook her. Her family’s Estate is nearby, just a few hundred yards over the ridge. She sheepishly admits it is only a small estate, more a hunting house than anything, but offers the party refuge there for the night, and the promise of warm food from the kitchen.
If the party questions her, a particularly loud thunder clap will interrupt her response, and cause her to suggest they continue this discussion in the safety of her estate. If the party agrees she will shyly smile with relief, admitting she was becoming scared alone out here in the woods, even woods she is so familiar with, and it will be nice to have the company.
3) La Maison De Verre
As the party follows Katherine over the ridge, read them the following.
The storm continues to intensify, sweeping over the crest of the ridge as a small walled estate comes into view. The cobblestone wall surrounds a small courtyard with a weathered empty stable. The house itself is a simple single story affair, the stonework peeked with ivy and moss. The windows are shuttered against the storm, the red shingles cascading water into the gravel strewn yard. Katherine pulls an old Iron Key from her pocket and open the heavy oaken door. You find yourself led into a dark but mercifully dry room.
As you shake the rain from your shoulders Katherine begins lighting candles around the Hearth Room. An old stone hearth occupies most of the narrower wall, arrayed before it a series of stuffed chairs and warm furs. Though the furnishings have seen better days, and are certainly well worn, they still reflect a glimpse of the beauty from when they were new. As Katherine ignites the hearth the room comes alive with warmth and light. Though the house shudders from the storm the warm furs and windless sitting room are nothing short of paradise.
At this point provide the party with a copy of the building’s layout:
The Glass House 1
Katherine insists the party warm themselves by the hearth and dry themselves while she fetches food and drink from the kitchen. If the party wishes to examine the room they are in further while Katherine is absent, read them the following:
The room glows in the hearth light making the old estate feel like a home away from home. Above the mantle is an impressive mounted head of a Bear, fangs bared in an eternal motionless roar. The walls are adorned with similar though smaller hunting trophies. There are several horns and racks, alongside a handful of antiquated hunting weapons. The plush furniture is arranged around the Hearth, a portrait of an unrecognized Lord and Lady over one chair. There is a weather beaten journal resting on an end table, and an ornate pipe sitting on an ash tray beside it.
The party can investigate any of this they wish to, now or later. If the Bear is examined the party will discover it covers a small recess in the wall, a secret compartment built into the hearth. If further examined inside the recess there is a Lockbox, though it cannot be opened without the key. Even lock-picking attempts will fail. Inside of the box is a scroll case holding a Deed for the estate and several hundred nearby acres of land, also a Will that leaves the property to the public for free hunting should the land ever be without an heir. Both are signed by a Jean De Verre.
The Horns and Racks are of little value, though some are impressively sharp. There is even an Elk Rack that almost looks as though someone meticulously has sharpened the trophy. The Hunting Weapons are primarily decorative, but were once used in what were surely great hunts. There is a worn Masterwork Longbow resting over a half dozen long ago blood-stained arrows, all in a purposeful display. There is also a Masterwork Javelin with a cracked shaft, and a somewhat rusted Masterwork Fishing Spear. The Portrait consists of a Lord and Lady. The Lord sports peppered black and gray hair, the woman with Raven locks that resemble Katherine’s. Both are adorned in hunting regalia, the Lord holding a prize falcon, the lady clutching a Longbow that strikingly resembles the one on the wall nearby. Their expressions are plain, their eyes distant, almost lifeless, like so many other noble portraits the party has seen before.
The Pipe is nondescript, though it is of nicer make, and the tobacco with it is very fine. The Journal is Locked, but can be opened, and reveals a record of hunting and trapping on the land. There are also notes about offers to purchase the land, including the following scribbled passage:
“The talks are growing increasingly hostile. I remain firm in my conviction. My dear Lydia loved this land, I will not sell it for any amount.”
Katherine will return after a short time having changed her garb. She now wears an elegant yet practical house dress, a beautifully embroidered apron over the dress. Her hair is now tied back over her shoulder. In one hand she carries a candelabra, the other a tray with a pitcher of wine and an assortment of small jerkies and cheeses. After serving her guests she sits in the chair by the portrait and apologizes that the accommodations aren’t more suited for guests.
The party can now talk with Katherine and ask her questions. She will always look at a speaker in the eyes, and despite her youth is very adult in her mannerisms.
A) If asked about the estate, she explains that this house was built by her great-grandfather as a hunting lodge, and that her family has lived in, and owned various parts, of the White Ridge for almost two centuries. This estate isn’t very fancy or complex, but she feels it is her home. She spends much of her time in the woods around here, exploring the creeks, and joining her father’s hunts. Katherine will go on to say this estate is part of nearly 200 Acres the family owns down the side of the ridge.
B) If asked if she is alone here, she will look downcast but smile as she explains her Father Jean De Verre took the servants into town to sell the first furs of the season. It is her responsibility to look after the estate while they’re gone. Her mother Lydia De Verre died when Katherine was only 10, and she has no other siblings. There are some extended family members who own other parts of White Ridge, but she doesn’t know them. They sometimes do business with her father (If asked more about this, she will mention that her father always sends her out of the room when these relatives visit, and he is always in a sad or angry mood after their meetings.) Katherine finishes with a bright smile that her father should be home in another week or so, and will then go on about the treats she is going to make to welcome him. That’s why she was collecting berries. Then, a small cat will meow, and jump from behind the chair onto Katherine’s lap. She will laugh and say, how could she forget her dear Gawain, he is always there to keep her company. The cat’s red collar and silver bell are distinct.
C) If asked about Ferdinand Glass, she will not recognize the name, and will weakly apologize that she isn’t very familiar with people outside her family and servants.
D) If asked about the decorations or items in the rooms she will tell a story of a hunt associated with each item, perhaps a great Stag that had long eluded their tracking, or the ferocious bear that had nearly claimed her favorite riding horse. The Longbow and arrows on the wall are from her Mother’s hunts, and her father leaves them on the wall undisturbed to remember her by. The journal and pipe are her father’s.
E) If asked about herself she will blush and talk about how she isn’t used to speaking of herself. She enjoys the countryside, enjoys gathering and hunting, and misses her mother dearly. She feels lonely, and will look off distracted for several moments in the conversation, but always comes back with a mask of happiness and polite mannerisms. If asked about her mother, she will sadly recall all the things she misses and loves about her, wiping away a tear and apologizing for her composure.
After some time passes Katherine will Yawn and excuse herself, noting it is quite late and they could all do with some rest after being caught so late in the storm. She will show the party to the servant’s quarters, where they are welcome to bed down for the night. After ensuring her guests are settled she, and Gawain, will retire to her chambers. Read the following text to describe the Servant’s Quarters:
Though small and admittedly crowded, the servant’s quarters are generously adorned. Two large feathered beds rest along one wall, a small dresser between them. There is a small closet, and several personal effects spread around the room. There is an oaken trunk at the foot of one bed, a tool chest at the foot of the other. A warm fur covers the rest of the floor, and a candlestick sits on the dresser top between the beds. The window is shuttered, the curtains drawn.
If the party wishes to examine the room before they fall asleep they may. The Feathered Beds are normal, but exceedingly comfortable. The Dresser has mundane items strewn on top of it, and the drawers are filled with simple clothing. Inside one shirt there is a folded letter that has yet to be sent. It is mostly scratched out, but part of it reads, “I’ve set my mind to it, I will tell the Master I shall be leaving his service upon the season’s end. I no longer feel safe from the rivals that threaten him.” Katherine knows nothing of these letters or what they might mean.
The Closet has several long cloaks and coats, and a hatbox that contains a purse of 500 Silver Coins and a sharp Letter Opener. There are several letters in it, a correspondence between a servant and his family. The overtone of the correspondence is one that implores that servant to leave the house and come home before something ill should befall him. The Tool Chest is normal, and contains basic tools for leather working.
The Oaken Trunk contains mostly mundane items, but of note there is a worn, well read Holy Book, a small Silver Holy Symbol tucked within its pages. The passage it is bookmarking reads,
“Truth is Tempered in Flame, as Sand treated into Glass. It will either reflect the truth, or be Shattered.”
The party may wish to leave someone up on watch, or just bed down for the night. Either is fine. If they want to explore the rest of the house, have them step out into the hall to see Katherine, who double takes and asks politely if everything is alright. Hopefully the party members can be convinced to rest for the night.
4) The Struggle Begins
At this point it is around 1:00 in the morning, and the party has likely bedded down as the storm continues to rage outside. If a party member is on watch he will automatically hear a sound, otherwise have the whole party roll Perception. Whoever rolls the Highest will be woken up by the sound of crying coming from down the Hall.
If the party investigates, they see the hallway is dark. As they approach the door to Katherine’s Room read the following:
As you creep down the dark hall the only sounds that reach your ear are those of the driving winds and rain outside, and the muffled cries of a young girl from Katherine’s Chamber Door. You step closer to the door, and as you come near you hear a sudden Gasp. There is a loud crash, a resounding thud against the hardwood from within the room. Katherine is choking loudly for breath, and the sounds of a one sided struggle assails your ears.
The door is tightly locked, and the party will likely at this point try calling out to Katherine or opening the door. If they call out, the sound of the struggle will intensify, something will shatter, and a gasping cry can be heard from Katherine.
If the player tries to open the door, note that it is locked. Have them make rolls to pick the lock or break it open, and unless they roll Critically have their first roll Fail. At this point emphasize that Katherine’s voice is growing very faint, and the struggling is subsiding, the air gasping from her lungs. Time is running out. Let their second roll succeed if reasonable, and then read them the following:
You finally overcome the door’s lock and hurl it open. Before you can charge in you are forced to double take, for behind the door is only a stone wall. You find yourself staring at a section of stonework wall set within the door frame. The door leads to nowhere, yet the sound of struggle is clearly coming from beyond the stone wall. At a loss you slam your fist repeatedly on the stones, dust and gravel shake from them as you try to comprehend how a door could lead to nowhere. There is a terrible scream beyond the wall, a shriek that wakes the whole house. Lightning strikes outside, the thunder rattles your bones, the flash of light blinding you. You blink furiously against the assault on your senses. Then, you see clearly.
You stand in a cold sweat, staring at a section of ordinary hallway in the middle of the corridor, the rain falling steadily outside. As you reach out and touch the cold wall you hear a shaky voice from down the hall. Turning, you see Katherine, standing in her nightgown clutching a candlestick, standing in her doorway. Her eyes are confused, scared, as she asks in a shaky voice, “A-are you alright?”
Katherine tells the party she awoke to the sound of them pounding on the walls of the hallway, and jumped up to see what was happening. She will go on, in a scared voice, to describe how the player looked mad, focused on the stones of the wall, trying to tear away at the side of the house. Katherine heard no other sounds, and the house is empty and quiet.
Katherine knows of no other time this has happened, and thinks the party members must have been suffering from a nightmare. If the party searches the house they will find no one, and no signs of anyone. They can exit to the courtyard, but any attempts to leave the property will be met by a supernatural wind or lightning strike that forces the player back within the house or courtyard.
Katherine is afraid, and will insist on retiring to her chamber alone. She does not fully trust her guests after this incident, and feels safer not in their company. If the party attempts to force her to stay with them, she will run to her room and lock the door. If the players try to grab or trip her, describe how she slips through their fingertips, in an almost impossible way with speed and dexterity they wouldn’t think her capable of.
At this point Katherine is retired to her room, and any attempts to communicate with her will be met from her scared voice from within asking the party to leave her alone. If the party is kind she will be cooperative and answer questions, but will never open the door. If the party is hostile, or tries to force entry, she will only cry and beg them to leave.
5) The Glass House
At this point the party will likely want to do a detailed search of the house. The following sections describe what each room has to offer the party. The sequence the rooms are investigated does not matter, allow the party to explore freely.
The goal of this phase in the story is for the party to locate Five Faded Letters, though they won’t realize that. The Letters will be detailed later in the Module, and can be read as the party finds them. Regardless of the order the rooms are visited, read the First Letter for when the party recovers one. When the Fifth Letter is recovered, proceed to Section 6.
A) The Hearth Room
At this point the Hearth Room is as described previously. It can be examined more fully, but nothing new will be found. See the previous section on the Hearth Room for what can be found there.
B) The Servant’s Room
Again, nothing new will happen in the Servant’s Room at this point. See the previous descriptions of this room if you need reference.
C) Katherine’s Room
Katherine is locked in her room, and this area cannot be accessed at this time. Any attempts to open the door will be met with another phantom doorway, and the party will find themselves attempting to open a non-extant door in a hallway somewhere.
D) Sitting Room
As the player’s enter the Sitting Room, read the following description:
This room is lined with shelves and features its own small fireplace. There are nearly a hundred books arrayed between trinkets, trophies and miscellany. Two comfortable looking chairs sit beside the fireplace, a table with drawers between them. A portrait of a young Katherine sits of the mantle, she clutches Gawain closely in the picture, and though expressionless, her painted eyes are terribly sad.
The Books are mostly in regards to hunting, country life, types of plants, or other nature texts. There are a handful that are works of fiction meant for younger readers and line a lower shelf, and the trinkets there are toys. While the Trinkets are innocuous and esoteric, having no real value, there is among them a Cat’s Toy, nothing more than an old bit of gray fabric fashioned into the shape of a mouse. When dangled by the felt tail it makes an eery and barely audible desperate squeaking.
If the drawer is opened, or the portrait examined closely, the door will slam shut. Party members who opted to remain in the hallway or in the doorway will be locked out of this encounter. Then read the following:
As the door thunders shut a young girl stands before it, perhaps on the eve of her teen years. She holds her cat close under her crossed arms, looking at the party from behind her long black hair. Only one of her eyes can be seen between the curtain of hair, and she shakes terribly as she speaks in Katherine’s unmistakable voice. “Y-you’re not s-supposed to b-be h-here. T-this is D-Daddy’s Room. Y-you need to l-leave.” The air grows dark, the light begins to fade from the sources you carry. An unholy wind rushes down the chimney, a twisting maelstrom of books and trinkets fills the center of the room. The girl rises in the air, taking her place in the center of the tornado of debris, shrieking at you, “LEAVE!”
During this Encounter the party must start each round with a Reflex Save DC 14 or suffer 1d6 of Bludgeoning Damage from a Flying Object. They are now fighting a Memory of Katherine. See the entry later in the module for Memories of Katherine.
When the Memory is vanquished the door will instantly open, the weather will calm to the same monotonous rain as before. Resting on the table before the hearth, partially soaked in rain water, the party will find a Faded Letter.
E) Store Room
As the party enters this room read them the following:
Shelves, cupboards and crates define this room. A large central table is covered in tools and smaller boxes and items. A half-dozen chairs are stacked in one corner, an unused bed frame stands on end. An assortment of quivers and hunting garb fill one narrow wall. The wind batters against the shutters, and the wind hisses thru cracks in the window frames, giving the room an unsettling chill.
Searching the room will yield only mundane items, though there are some bits of Leather Armor and x40 Arrows set in two Quivers. A thorough search will yield a girl’s Short Bow that has been very carefully stored away. It functions as a Masterwork Short Bow, though this one in particular used to belong to Katherine.
If anyone tries to open a Cupboard have them make a Reflex Save DC 14 as a ghostly Gawain leaps out, hissing and shrieking. If the player fails they stumble backwards, lose their balance and slam their head hard on the center table, taking 1d2 Constitution Damage. If they succeed they duck as the cat leaps overhead and disappears into the house.
As the party enters the Kitchen read the following:
A large fireplace fit for roasting a whole hog dominates this room. A large carving table is arrayed with knives and cutlery. Barrels of flour and salted meats fill this place, as well as a pump for fresh water that drains into its own recess in the stonework. The basket of Katherine’s freshly picked berries sit among the cutlery, a cloth covering them. A large double door cabinet sits along the wall, from within there is the sound of hushed sobbing.
If the player’s open the cabinet inside they will find a young girl, around seven years old, huddled in the corner, clutching her cat tight in her arms. She trembles and gasps as the door is opened, and looks up at the party with frightened eyes. She desperately pleads, “N-no! C-close the d-door! D-don’t l-let the b-bad men find m-me!” If the party asks about the men, she implores them further not to let them find her. If the party tries to coax her out or remove her, or if the party tries to leave the room, have the door slam shut and read the following:
The Kitchen Door slams shut, a silhouetted man in a flowing black cloak appears. His face is featureless, like a smudged painting. His gait is unnatural, his breath hissing and ragged. He steps forward, drawing a long dagger that resonates unnaturally, sending shivers down your spine. Darkness envelopes him, and even the lights you carry seem to wither and fade as the man’s shadow spreads, to consume the room. As his presence fills this place, all of the lights abruptly flicker, then go out.
This encounter begins with the party’s light sources being snuffed out by the shadows. They can be re-lit, but the fight begins in complete darkness. Even magical lights are extinguished. They are now fighting a Memory of Katherine. See the entry later in the module for Memories of Katherine.
When the Memory is vanquished the door will instantly open, the weather will calm to the same monotonous rain as before. Resting on the table, held to a cutting board by a long knife, and partially soaked in rain water, the party will find a Faded Letter.
Searching the Kitchen will yield mostly mundane items, as well as several knives that can be used as Daggers. The food seems fine until someone attempts to ingest it, at which point it tastes rancid and causes the player to wretch uncontrollably for 1d4 rounds. This includes the berries. The same is true of the water and spirits. Also, the players will find a Pewter Milk Dish that has “Gawain” etched into the side. The dish is empty and smells of rotten milk, no matter how thoroughly it is cleaned.
G) Leather-Working Room
As the party enters this room, read the following:
This room is meant for preparing the skins and furs of the animals that live along White Ridge. A half dozen hides are stretched out and tanned, while a dozen small furs are laid out waiting to be worked on next. Tools sit in their places over a work bench, and a pile of finished leathers sits along the wall. Katherine’s leather travelers garb she was wearing in the storm is laid out here to dry.
If her garb is examined the garments will slip thru the player’s hands, turning into silt and dust as they are handled. The players who touch the fragments feel a chill run to their very soul, and the dust even fades into a sudden breeze of storm wind. All that is left behind is an Iron Key, the one Katherine used to open the main door. This is the Key for the Cellar.
There are some furs and leathers that would be valuable in town that can be taken, as well as some artisan tools. Otherwise the room is mundane in nature.
The dark wooden stairs ascend into the attic. If the party proceeds to investigate the attic, read the following:
The narrow attic is lined with crates and furnishings covered in worn sheets. Cobwebs shake from the terrible wind that seeps thru cracks in the ceiling. Water drips in several places, and the lights you carry flicker. In the far wall is a stained window, a long crack running down the middle. As you move thru the attic there is a crash like thunder as the door behind you closes. Standing before it is a young pale girl, no more than five, barefoot in her nightgown. She clutches her kitten close to her chest and looks down, her long raven hair covering her face completely. She asks in a shaky voice, “D-daddy, is t-that y-you?” She sounds like Katherine.
Any party member that stayed in the doorway, on the stairs or in the corridor is locked out of this encounter until it is resolved.
The girl shivers from the cold. If anyone calls her by name, she trembles and stammers, “H-how do y-you know m-my n-name? W-Who are you? W-where’s D-daddy?”
She will continue to tremble and clutch her kitten, crying for her father until someone tries to touch her. If anyone reaches out to her read the following.
As you come close to the girl her pale green eyes shoot open, staring daggers from behind her matted raven hair. With a shriek she screams with unworldly volume, “DADDY!” The girl rises into the air, her hair and gown flowing in an intensified gust of wind, her form becoming ethereal. Lightning cracks, thunder resounds, the house trembling with the girl’s shrieks.
Have the players roll a Fortitude Save DC 14 against being Deafened. They are now fighting a Memory of Katherine. See the entry later in the module for Memories of Katherine.
When the Memory is vanquished the door will instantly open, the weather will calm to the same monotonous rain as before. Resting on the windowsill, partially soaked in rain water, the party will find a Faded Letter.
A thorough search of the attic will reveal old furniture and trunks of mundane items. They are clearly very old, and not in very good condition. Behind one crate the players can find a Cat’s Toy, a silver bell on the end of a switch. It bears a tied piece of pink ribbon, and makes an eery ringing when used despite the bell being broken.
I) Master’s Bed Chamber
As the party enters this room read the following:
This magnificently appointed room features a four-post bed with high velvet curtains. It doesn’t seem anyone has used the bed in some time, though the nearby armchair looks worn from too many long nights. The armoir is of fine oak, and the walls and floor are appointed with fine furs. A dresser sits to one side, covered in so many forgotten used pewter plates and cups. Above the bed is a Shield baring the Verre Family Crest, a Magnificent Elk with Sharpened Horns. A sheathed Longsword sits with it. To the side is a sturdy oaken door that is slightly ajar, a light flickering from within.
If a player approaches the door to the Master’s Study to investigate the flickering light, have the Door to the Hallway slam shut and read the following:
The door behind you slams shut, your head jerks in that direction. A pale young maiden now sits on the bed, perhaps in her ninth year. She sits with legs crossed, looking down at the cat curled in her lap. Her long black hair covers her eyes, and her voice is sad, distant. Speaking in Katherine’s voice she whispers, “Daddy’s busy, we’re not supposed to bother him.” She clutches the cat close, a tear falling from behind her hair to land silently on the cat’s whiskers, “Don’t bother Daddy. He’s busy.”
Any players in the doorway or in the hall are locked out of this encounter.
The girl will repeat this until either someone tries to touch her or open the door to the study. At that point she will look up with pale, hollow eyes and below in a shriek, “LEAVE DADDY ALONE!” The windows will burst open and driving winds and sheets of rain will fill the room.
During this encounter the players must begin by making a Fortitude Save DC 14 against the sudden Cold that fills them or else they may only take one Move OR Action during their turn instead of the usual Move AND Action. This save must be made every round. They are now fighting a Memory of Katherine. See the entry later in the module for Memories of Katherine.
When the Memory is vanquished the door will instantly open, the weather will calm to the same monotonous rain as before. The windows close, the door to the study no longer flickers with light, and everything is suddenly dry.
If the room is searched the Sword and Shield can be obtained, they are both of Masterwork Quality. There is Jewelry in the Dresser worth 1000 Gold, and Noble Clothing in the armoire that is dated, but passable. Otherwise the room is full of mundane items.
J) Master’s Study
When the player’s enter this room read the following:
The small study is cramped with the table, chair and shelves that adorn it. The table and shelves are overflowing with old parchments and documents. A burned out candle sits on a silver candlestick, the smell of spent embers still filling this small space. A dry ink well and withered feather pen sit where an author once penned his words, though now only the stains of long ago spilled ink remains. On top of the pile of letters is one particularly Faded Letter.
Resting on the table, partially soaked in rain water, the party will find a Faded Letter.
Otherwise, the letters are old and disintegrate to the player’s touch, leaving only broken and forgotten words behind. The items in this room are mundane, though the players can find among the paper a parchment stained with cat paw prints in old ink. Clearly Gawain once stepped over this parchment after stepping in ink. This paper seems innocuous, but when examined the paw prints come and go, fading in and out, as though the steps are currently being had on the surface in an infinite ghostly loop.
If the stables are examined read the following:
The cold wind cuts thru you as you approach the open air stables. The thin roof does little to shield you from the rain, and the small outbuilding shudders from the crashing thunder. Several bales of hay sit in a soaked corner, the only dry corner currently unoccupied. Riding gear lines the back wall, and the lean-to roof has some odd bits hanging from it. The weather rages against your presence, as though some force does not wish you to be in this place.
An examination of the Stables will yield a young girl’s saddle, hand stitched with the name Katherine. Attached to it is a small Riding Crop.
If the bales of hay are disturbed or examined, a sudden crack of lightning will ignite them, sending burning hay down on the party. Have the players make a Reflex Save DC 14 or take 3d6 Fire Damage. Players are not set on fire, as the rain outside is drenching them too thoroughly. However, at this point the Stables will begin to burn, a perpetual fire that neither goes out nor consumes the outbuilding. It will continue burning throughout this phase of the module.
The Cellar can only be accessed with the Key from the Leather-Working Room.
When the players enter the Cellar read the following:
The storm rumbles above you as you descend into the cold acrid darkness. The steps are slick, the walls thick with moss and fungus. The low ceiling of this dank place makes it hard to stand, and you feel as though the ground you walk on is marshy. There are barrels and casks set up down here for storage, though their quality is now questionable. The room is unsettling in its foulness. As you proceed in, the clapping thunder makes this room tremble.
You hear a small voice shriek to the thunder. Cowering in a mud stained nightgown, with matted hair and terrified eyes, you see a young girl of no more than six years huddled under a table. She is filthy, her bare feet soaked in the icy rancor of this place. Her eyes are wide, looking up at you from behind her dirty hair. In a trembling voice she yells in Katherine’s voice, “Hide! H-he’ll find you! You h-have to hide!”
Then she screams and points past you to the stairwell. The cellar door slams shut, a shady figure imposing in the doorway. His unnatural features are twisted, surreal, his expression meaningless. Clutching a burning torch that absorbs light rather than casts it, stepping in unnatural gait, the shadow surges forward. The young girl covers her face, clutching her kitten close, “Help! DADDY!”
Any players in the stairwell or courtyard are locked out of this encounter.
Have the players roll a Will Save DC 14 against being Shaken for the round when this battle begins, as the shady force is so unsettling. They must make this save every turn, but never become more than Shaken. They are now fighting a Memory of Katherine. See the entry later in the module for Memories of Katherine.
When the Memory is vanquished the door will instantly open, the weather will calm to the same monotonous rain as before. Resting on the dank cellar floor, partially soaked in rain water, the party will find a Faded Letter.
There is nothing else to find in the Cellar. This place is ruined.
6) The Nightmare
Whenever the party has all Five Faded Letters in hand, read them the following:
A terrible shrill scream cuts through the night, towering over the storm. It sounds like Katherine, and came from the Hearth Room. All around the storm intensifies, dozens of lightning strikes crashing around the property, thunder causing the whole area to shake like an earthquake. The house itself ebbs and breathes with the hissing wind, this whole place seeming to be tearing itself apart.
When the party enters the Hearth Room, read them the following:
The room is ablaze in a torrent of flame! Fire consumes the furnishings, the walls themselves coated in ever-burning flames. In the center of the room a shadowy man stands, his featureless dark form absorbing the light from the flames around him, making him appear more as a void than as any real being. The apparition’s hand stretches forward, holding Katherine suspended in the center of the room. She struggles, choking on ash and barely being able to speak. Flames lash at her, threatening to engulf her with this place. Catching a desperate breath Katherine screams, “H-Help M-Me!”
Have the players roll a Fortitude Save DC 14 every turn against the intense Heat and Choking Smoke. If a player fails they lose their turn. If a player fails this check, he will automatically pass the next turn’s check, but must resume rolling after that. They are now fighting a Memory of Katherine. See the entry later in the module for Memories of Katherine.
When the Memory is vanquished read the following:
The shade howls with infernal screams, the entity losing all form. All of the flames rush inward to the bottomless specter and for a moment there is only darkness. Then, an instant of terrible intensity. An explosion of incredible force throws you to the ground, the last sound before darkness envelopes you is Katherine’s desperate scream. Moments pass, then the heat is gone, the intensity lost, and all you feel is the gentle patter of rain on your face. Daring to open your eye you see the gray-blue sky of dawn. The clouds have parted, and though you cannot explain how you’ve come to lie in this place, you know the night has passed.
You sit up in a muddy courtyard of a ruined manor house. All evidence suggests this building burned to the ground decades ago, leaving only these long-rotted and overgrown timbers behind. You pull yourself to your feet and see around you vine covered terrace walls, shattered windows, and rain soaked debris. You recognize what remains, but only after realizing this was Katherine’s home. However there is no sign of the raven haired maiden.
7) End Game
The party can search the ruins and will ultimately find the Lockbox in a recess if the old Hearth in the Hearth Room. The party may have discovered this earlier in their searching and have already acquired it. In this case the Lockbox persists even though the building is now a forgotten ruin.
Similarly, any items acquired during the ordeal have persisted, despite the manor having been destroyed long ago. None of the items can now be recovered, they are lost to the ages. Only items in the player’s possession survive the nightmare.
When the party opts to leave have them all roll a Perception Check. Whoever rolls the lowest, read the following to:
As you leave this cursed place there is a tangle of vine that snags your boot. Losing your balance you fall backward, tearing a section of foliage from an overgrown headstone. Pulling the growth aside you are able to make out the faded headstone in the early morning light. Though the stone is crude, even simple, the lettering is legible. It reads:
“Here lies Katherine De Verre and Jean De Verre. Though they died in tragedy, may they live in the peace their family sowed in these hills.”
Lying atop the headstone is a cat’s collar, with a small bell tied around it, the same one that once belonged to Gawain. As you pick it up you hear a faint purring coming from the collar. Attached to it is a Faded Document that reads:
“I will ensure my Cousin and his Daughter are home during the storm. Just make it look like an accident. You can surely do at least that much right after your last failure. You’ll get paid when the Mines are opened. -Glass”
Gawain’s Collar functions as a Stone of Alarm, with the added effect of a spectral cat guarding the place it is set. The item is reusable, and the shriek it makes is that of a cat. When used have fun with the specter of Gawain being present with the party and doing catlike things in a ghostly manner.
The party will ultimately return to Ferdinand Glass, and will likely wish to confront him. The authorities will arrest him and bring him to trial if the party brings forth the documents they’ve acquired. If confronted by the party Ferdinand will attempt to bribe his way out, offering an additional 5000 Gold for the Documents and the Lockbox, as well as the party’s silence on this matter. If Ferdinand is turned in, the council will cede a reward of 3500 Gold to the party for bringing the scheme to justice, and will honor the family wishes to preserve the land.
This part of the adventure is left to the DM’s discretion to resolve as they feel appropriate, so as to best integrate the story into your world. Perhaps the party will wish to see Ferdinand brought to justice, or seek out the bandits who he hired. Perhaps they will agree to the cover up and be involved as the White Ridge Mine project moves forward. There are several directions the story can go from here, or perhaps it is simply an interlude in a larger adventure. The decision is yours!
8) The Worn Letters
A) “My dearest cousin Jean, my heart weeps for you and the loss of your beloved Lydia. Perhaps now you will concede how dangerous these wolf-infested hills are! Sign the White Ridge Accord, let the Mining begin in earnest, and let these cursed forests be nothing more than a distant memory! Your loving cousin, Ferdinand De Verre”
B) “Dearest Jean, news has only reached me now of the attempt on poor young Katherine’s life! First the beastly wolves take the one you love, now these brigands threaten to take another! Let us not make the White Ridge a haven for more of these murderers. I implore you, sign the land over, and let us put this misfortune behind us! When the Mines open the White Ridge will no longer shelter these evils. Best Regards, Ferdinand De Verre.
C) “You only had one job you fools! If I can trust you to unleash a wolf on an old hag, how is it I cannot trust you to kidnap one little girl! I shall not pay until you see this job finished, or so help me I will finish it myself! – Glass”
D) “Cousin, the time for idle discussion has passed. I am sorry, but you have forced my hand. I have brought this matter before the Regional Council. If you won’t listen to my words of reason, you will listen to the council’s. You’ve forced my hand Jean, I didn’t wish it to come to this. – Ferdinand
E) “We regret, Ser Ferdinand, that your claims have been examined and found wanting. We find no sufficient evidence of banditry or dangerous creatures along the White Ridge Road. It is the council’s recommendation that you should leave these matters to those who better understand them, and follow Ser Jean’s example, who has long proven a worthy steward of this province. – Lord Governor Drake
9) Memories of Katherine
A Memory of Katherine has the following Stats:
Memory of Katherine CR 3
CE Medium Undead (Incorporeal)
Senses: Darkvision 60ft
AC: 15 Touch, 12 Flat-Foot (+2 Deflection, +2 Dexterity, +1 Dodge)
HP: 19 (3d8+6)
Fort +2 Ref +1 Will +5
Defensive Abilities: Incorporeal, Channel Resistance, Immune Undead Traits, Memory of Katherine (See Below)
Speed: Fly 30ft (Good)
Melee: Incorporeal Touch +4 (1d8+4/19-20)
Special Attack: Nightmare of Katherine (See Below)
Str – Dex 14 Con – Int 10 Win 12 Cha 15
Base Attack +2; CMB +4; CMD 17
Feats: Dodge, Skill Focus (Perception), Stealth +8 (+12 in dim light, +4 in bright light); Racial modifiers +4 Stealth in dim light (-4 in bright light)
Nightmare of Katherine: So powerful are Katherine’s memories that they have taken the form of a Haunting Nightmare. To represent this torment as a Standard Action a Memory of Katherine can let out a Shriek. All who can hear the attack within 30ft Radius of the Memory must make a Fortitude Save DC 14 or become Deafened for 1d4 Rounds. They also suffer 2d6+2 Sonic Damage. This Ability can only be used once every 1d6 Turns.
Memory of Katherine: Since Katherine’s memories are tied to this place, objects of significance to her past have special ties to the Memories. To reflect this, any item or weapon found within La Maison De Verre is considered to have the Ghost Touch quality when fighting a Memory of Katherine. (For example, her Father’s Sword and her Mother’s Bow.)
10) Author’s Note and Conclusion
In case you were curious, the name “De Verre” is French for “Of Glass.” Ferdinand’s name is different simply because he is of a different branch of the family.
Did you enjoy reading this module? Do you plan on using it, running it, or borrowing ideas from it? If so, great! We look forward to hearing how your adventure goes and where the journey takes you!
As with all games, remember that this is meant to be enjoyed, and the game should be modified if it will aid to the enjoyment of the players. Use this resource how you see fit, and never forget the most important part of fantasy adventures:
. . .
Originally published by Donald