Stepping further into the home we investigate the dining room and kitchen. Nictu, Paeleis and Varis seem to think that the nothing appears out of place. Nictu bites into an apple he finds on the kitchen counter, its seems nourishing but bland. Varis peers into the dumbwaiter in the corner of the kitchen. It only travels up from the main floor using the rope and pulley system. Looking closely inside he notices a service bell but chooses not to ring it to alert whatever evil awaits us.
Meanwhile outside, Dorn's inspiring melodies seem to have driven the children further away. Bored and curious of what the investigating heroes have discovered, Lial enters the home. Nictu and Varis, casting a magic detection ritual, begin to make their way upstairs while Paeleis and Lial continue to analyze the downstairs rooms.
As Nictu walks up the spiraling staircase to the first floor landing he notices four decorative suits of armor on display in the corners of the room. Each suit is adorned with wolf head helmets, spears, and shields that proudly display the family crest (Red Windmill). On the wall hangs a family portrait the depicts what appears to be the Durst family in front of a hearth, the mother and two children, and the father in the middle… holding a newborn child? on each door in the landing has carved images of children and swarms of bats. It's difficult to tell if the children are running or dancing.
As Varis climbs the spiral staircase he notices a faint glimmer of magic in the distance. He opens the door that leads in the direction of the aura only to find a pheasant's quarters with matted bedding and empty footlockers. Proceeding down the same wall Nictu opens the next door to the family library. Many books line the walls of this room. A large decorative desk sits in the middle of the room with ordinary mostly blank papers strewn about. Varis opens the desk drawer and finds a small iron key is the only contents. Unsure if he needs it to gain access to the parts of the home with magic he picks it up. Nictu notices while skimming the book collection along the wall that there are drag marks on the floor and closer inspection reveals that the bookshelf protrudes from the wall more so than the rest of the shelves. Nictu easily pulls the false shelf open to reveal a hidden room. With a small shelf of dusty old tomes a large locked chest and the skeleton of the last person to attempt to open the chest. Varis notices the poison darts still lodged in the skeletons bones and nervously shouts for Lial''s assistance.
Varis warns Lial not to touch the tomes for we know not of the danger they could posses. Lial examines the trapped box and determines that the trap has been triggered and can safely be opened. The unlocked lid opens to find the following:
- Blank books x 3
- 3 spell scrolls (Bless, Protection from Poison, and Spiritual Weapon) all of which were snatched by Lial before anyone got eyes on them.
- Written will
- Deed to the home
Paeleis holds on to the will and deed so that despite what happens in this house today, the children would not be left homeless and deprived of any inheritance. As the will and deed are picked up, we notice the dead adventurer posses a letter. Just as we pick up the letter from the corpse we hear the sounds of large wings flap from outside the window but the adventurer within the home are unable to see what it was.
The letter reads…
My most pathetic servant,
I am not a messiah sent to you by the Dark Powers of this land. I have not come to lead you on a path to immortality. However many souls you have bled on your hidden alter, however many visitors you have tortured in your dungeon, know that you are not the ones who brought me to this beautiful land. You are but worms writhing in my earth.
You say that you are cursed, your fortunes spent. You abandoned love for madness, took solace in the bosom of another woman, and sired a stillborn son. Cursed by darkness? Of that I have no doubt. Save you from your wretchedness? I think not. I much prefer you as you are.
Your dread lord and master,
Strahd von Zarovich
Lial notices that the handwriting in the letter we just found matches the letter we were given at the tavern.