Adventure of the Empty House: The Upstairs

  1. The Adventure
  2. Adventure of the Empty House
  3. The Basement

1. Landing and hallway

You push abandoned cobwebs out of your way and come to the top of the stairs. The northwest corner of the house is covered in dust and dry strands. A wide hallway doubles back to your right. Through an opening in the east wall a dusty light filters in from an unknown room. As you turn the corner, you see movement through that opening.

The upstairs floor, especially the hallway, creaks lightly with each step. Depending on how much light they have, they may or may not be able to determine from the hallway that the “movement” was themselves reflected in a dusty mirror.

The Upstairs: 2. Lounge

Rich brown knotwork relief covers the walls of this long room. Shutters are closed on an eastern window, and a small bar lies empty, but for a single bottle, in the southeast corner. There is another open exit on the other end of the wall you just came through. An oval mirror, dusty and tarnished in the northeast corner, reflects not just you but the age and decay of this home.

There was a chandelier here; now only the fixture remains. The old man sold the chandelier for extra cash. The bottle is a mostly empty bottle of rum.

There are two shot glasses on a shelf below the bar, and another bottle of rum. The four stools around the bar are removable, though they should stay with the décor. They’re worth two shillings each. The shot glasses are probably worth a quarter shilling total. The mirror is embedded into the north wall in the northeast corner.

He used to spend time here with the old sea-captain, his only friend in his last years.

3. Overlook

What once must have provided a panoramic view of the outside is dark and musty. Three sets of shutters are all closed, two to the south and one to the east. The chimney is in one corner of this room, and a small door opposite it lies partially open.

If the characters lock the doors so that the Oruat cannot get in, the Oruat will open one of the shutters here to get in, and then go downstairs, through the kitchen, and into the basement.

The door to the walk-through closet (room 5) is partly open; the door slides shut to blend with the wall paneling.

4. Hall closet

Cedar boxes tower in this room, threatening to fall on you as you open the door outward. The walls are lined with shelves that you can barely reach because of the boxes.

These are all the things of hers that he hadn’t disposed of yet.

5. Walk-through closet

The wall panel slides right, revealing a simple closet. It is mostly empty, except for thick, rolling dust balls covering the floor, and the smell of stale mouse turds on the air. Two stylized suits, perhaps twenty years old, hang, faded with dust, from the back wall. A pile of cloth lies in a jumble on the floor, covered in thick dust bunnies. In the far corner is a similarly-covered pair of dress boots.

The closet is almost empty. He had long since gotten rid of his wife’s clothing; they reminded him too much of her and he needed the money for drinking. His own clothing has also seen better times, and he hasn’t much of it.

Lost in the corner of the closet behind the boots is a small, simple box with a hinge. Inside is an old ring that the player character’s uncle gave to the wife back when he and his cousin were both courting her. The uncle thought it long-since sold as his old friend fell on harder times.

The ring will fetch twenty shillings in the marketplace; if returned to their uncle, however, it has serious sentimental value. He will give them a reward of two pounds in gratitude.

Your uncle is visibly moved by the trinket. He almost looks about to cry. He places the ring on his desk and opens a desk drawer to his side and pulls out some money. He offers you two pounds and holds your hand warmly is as he places the money in your palm.

“Thank you for all you’ve done,” he tells you. “If there is anything I can do for you in the future, please contact me.”

I’m coming close to breaking a rule here and telling them what they do: they accept the payment. Read the two paragraphs slowly enough that they can refuse the two coins if they wish to do so. Their uncle will be equally grateful in either case.

  1. The Adventure
  2. Adventure of the Empty House
  3. The Basement