As you may remember, we last left our intrepid party somewhere on the first floor of Castle Amber. Well, they found their way into the indoor forest, finally, but were immediately set upon by some very angry Ents. Not literal Ents, but basically angry trees with 4 tentacles each, and big nasty mouths.
Jerry got eaten, of course. But by the time the things had managed to get him into their mouths, they were mostly dead and dying, so the party helped him escape quite quickly. Afterwards, the party returned to visit with Jean-Louis, the Amber family member Keith’s monk had immediately charmed and wooed into bed.
Jean-Louis was, of course, delighted to see everyone again. He offered to give the players a grand tour of the castle. They agreed, and so he did. First, he showed them the servants quarters on the first floor, which was actually a room filled with green slime, a black pudding, and a grey ooze. They players noped out pretty quick.
Next, Jean-Louis showed them another set of servants quarters, this one covered in spider webs. Very large spider webs. The party noped out again.
Finally, Jean-Louis showed them what he said was the crowing achievement of the house. The linen closet. The party stood outside, terrified, refusing to go inside. Jean-Louis grabbed Keith’s monk and dragged her inside. The entire party protested and groaned with fear.
And there they were. In the linen closet. Jean-Louis gestured grandly around the tiny room. The party was certain they were going to die horribly. But it was just a linen closet.
After no one seemed to appreciate Jean-Louis’ tour, he left the party now in the linen closet. As they left and walked back past the other two servants’ quarters, the god of luck whispered to Ron’s cleric that, perhaps, they should check the room with the goo. Many saving throws and 1 fireball later, the group had disposed of all the goop and retrieved the booty from that room: Hervé, the sword.
Hervé was the Amber family’s head guard, chief of security, the big man on campus. Now he’s a sword, further echoing the general theme of Beauty and the Beast which the rest of the castle has. Aside from being a +2 longsword, Hervé is able to detect traps and secret doors, as well as magic. He’s quite the powerful little item. But then, the party is mostly not using all the cool stuff it has, aside from Miah, who has already pulled a giant boar from her Rust Bag of Tricks.
I mean, Travis has a god damned Wand of Wonder, and he hasn’t used it a single time. It has like 12 charges per day or something obscene like that. But then, the way things go for this party, it’s probably better they don’t use it.
They explored further into the castle, this last weekend, and explored most of the second floor, west wing. It kicked off with a bang up there, as the party marched into the bath and bedroom chambers of numerous members of the Amber family. From a statue that jumped them, to a rug that attempted to smother Keith, to 4 flying swords that attacked them when they entered Jean-Louis’ room, the living objects attacking the party theme was thick.
So thick was this concern that I felt it incumbent upon me as the DM to heighten the tension by having the party roll, often. For all manner of reasons. At one point, a room description explained that there was a large amber rug in the middle of the room. Remembering their previous encounter, the party immediately attacked the rug.
I had them roll for initiative. They went 2 full rounds chopping and shooting holes in the rug and floor before Jerry finally started to question whether or not anything was actually attacking the party, yet.
They knocked it off in the third round.
Keith disguised his lady monk, Mata Kuni, as Jean-Louis, after being ejected from the official Amber family bath room by spectral hobgoblin butlers. He rolled a natural 20 so it was a super successful disguise. Later, the team would find an Amber family signet ring, which is like a skeleton key for the rooms that contain working servants and such.
In fact, Keith used this to recruit 6 clockwork knights the party found in another room, later in the day.
But the real crowning achievement was fooling Mary Hellen Amber. She’s a burly fighter lady, and when she meets the party, she challenges them to produce a fencing challenger. Jerry volunteered and, as he’s an Arcane Trickster (a rogue that can cast some spells) he really couldn’t hang with her for more than 3 rounds. She’s very tough. No backstabs, no luck for Jerry.
Of course, I tried REALLY hard to get Keith into a tough spot, impersonating this harsh woman’s cousin, but he played like a pro, as usual. They had no idea what her name was, and I just could not get him to fumble around that lack of info. I even had her hand him her sword and ask him to hang it up under her named family hook on the far side of the room…. He said the act was beneath him/her…. Male player playing female character impersonating male NPC… Got all that?