Adventure of the Empty House: The Basement

  1. The Upstairs
  2. Adventure of the Empty House
  3. A Glimpse of the Underground

The basement door is barred on the other side following the first night the characters enter the house. The characters are unlikely to catch the Oruat by surprise; the door creaks and the stairs creak. If they do manage to come down quietly, however, the Oruat are in room two hanging from the ceiling. They will try to escape as best they can, preferably through the stairs rather than down the hole. If they cannot escape past the characters, however, the hole is their first choice, room five (which has a door that can be blocked) is their next, and tiny room four is last.

The Oruat prefer living in the basement, both because it is familiar as an underground area, and because they want to be ready if the earth opens up again and restores the way home. If they are chased off by the characters, or if they remain and the earth doesn’t open up for a few weeks, they are likely to go off in search of another entrance to the underground, first in other parts of the city and then wherever they can find holes in the ground leading to unknown depths. They will likely head to caves in the mountains.

1. Basement landing

The air grows drier as you step down the stairs into the stone foundation of the old house. At the bottom of the stairs, an opening on the right leads into a fifteen-foot hallway. You can smell roots and old wine.

2. Basement hallway

Deep shelves line the west side of the hall. A few old kegs lie on their side on the shelves, which are cracked and eaten with age. There is an opening on the east wall, through which you can see a few sacks, and a door on the far wall.

The door on the far wall is locked, and requires the house key to open.

3. Storeroom

The dry, cool smell of flour and roots and burlap greets you as you step into this small sideroom. At the south end of the room, a small open doorway leads into a darkened area. A few flasks stand on shelves around the east wall.

This room contains sacks of food: flour, carrots, turnips. On the shelves is a little bit of oil: gold oil, flaxseed oil, and some butter and lard.

4. Tiny storeroom

The sweet smell of onion and garlic permeates this small storage space. Small sacks hang from hooks in the ceiling, and bulge with bulbous roots.

Small sacks of onions, garlic, and bell peppers line the floor. The peppers aren’t in the best shape.

5. Locked storeroom

There is a musty, sour smell reminiscent of old wine. Row upon row of empty wine slots cover the far wall. Only a few bottles remain.

There are seven wine bottles, worth about 1 to 5 shillings each, in the wine slots.

6. Hole in the closet

In the cramped space between the shelves and the wall, a long, thin gape in the floor descends into darkness.

The “long, thin gape” is two and a half feet wide and four feet long. It leads down thirty or so feet through cracks and crevasses to the “glimpse of the underground” (see below). If they examine the opening, claw marks indicate that someone has scraped their way up—and down—the hole. The hole is not straight down. It goes at about a thirty degree angle. At the bottom, they will need to jump down about eight feet from the roof of the underground to the floor.

  1. The Upstairs
  2. Adventure of the Empty House
  3. A Glimpse of the Underground