Become a Patron!
Scars of the Twelveswood
An introductory murder mystery for players new to Eorzea
# Scars of the Twelveswood ##### A one-shot adventure for players new to Eorzea
## Overview This is my first shot at writing a custom DnD x FFXIV adventure. While a player for many years, I never actually took the chance to play the role of the Narrator (or DM, whatever you prefer). My objective was to present the world of Eorzea to my fellow roleplayers, while proposing a more narrative and less action-oriented adventure for them to enjoy. The module was thought with up to 5 level 4 characters in mind, but I'm adding an optional section for larger groups (up to 8) - the reason being I wasn't expecting so many of my friends to be interested! Being my first attempt expect typos (I'm not a native English speaker...) and balancing issues. > ##### Large Group Rules > Whenever you find a note starting with **Large Groups** I will add notes and suggestions on how to adapt for larger (greater than 5) player groups. > ##### Eorzean Newcomers > If you see a note starting with **Eorzean Newcomers** those are good points in the narration for presenting some elements in the world of Hydaelyn that new players would not be aware of. I will also include references in the form of **EE1 X** or **EE2 X** (Encyclopaedia Eorzea 1 / 2 page X). ## Referenced Material When I need to make a reference to external sources, such an official or homebrew D&D manual, I shall do so in the following format: **ABC 123**, where **ABC** is a tag identifying the manual and **123** (or **123-456**) is the page (or page range) to consult. Refer to the following table for a list of used tags. | Tag | Referenced book | |:----|:----------------| | **BR** | Basic rules | | **TCoE** | Tashas's Cauldron of Everything | | **MEB** | [Monsters of Eorzea and Beyond](https://www.gmbinder.com/share/-MA8Gcosm3gSpNBguS8-) | | **FFWC** | [FFXIV World Compendium](https://www.gmbinder.com/share/-Ma6YF0Bq_JzCldr32eK) | | **EE1/EE2** | Encyclopaedia Eorzea (Volume 1 / Volume 2) | \columnbreak ### Monetary Conversion Following the convention established from the Final Fantasy XIV World Compendium, assume that 1 gil = 1 copper piece. ## Adventure Summary (Player Safe) In the verdant city of Gridania all labor to keep the Twelveswood safe and to live in perfect balance with nature... that is why the unsettling news of an horribly disfigured maiden's body found deep in its territory caused sudden alarm among common folks and the city guard both. The Order of the Twin Adder immediately dispatches a task force of young but promising recruits to the settlement of Bentbranch Meadows, in hope of shedding light on the macabre finding... ## Feedback Please use the GM Binder Contact button to send me any suggestion you might have for improvements - I still have a lot to learn to make a good adventure! \pagebreakNum ## Presenting the world of Hydaelyn As veteran Final Fantasy XIV players well know, Hydaelyn (and its universe) is a large world inhabited by all sorts of creatures, with its own geography, history, conflicts and rules of physics. While I would encourage the narrator to present relevant elements as they come, a brief introduction could be useful to clear up some points, without tiring the players with hours long monologues on the applications of aetherology to the fishing techniques of the early settlers of Vylbrand. Speaking of which... ### Aether While aetherology on its own is a huge subject (**EE1 008** for the basics) its importance and pervasiveness in the Final Fantasy XIV universe is such that the players should at the very least know this: all living matter, in one way or the other, is comprised of aether. Aetherial energy can be further subdivided in six elements - fire, wind, ice, water, lightning and earth - and two poles - astral and umbral. Manipulation of natural aether is what Eorzeans call "magic". #### Aetherytes and the Aetherial Plane While this module does not involve aetherytes for transportation, the Narrator might decide to introduce them as landmarks for the players exploration, which in turn might pick the players' curiosity. As a brief explanation, aetherytes are what allow teleportation magic in Eorzea, which relies on decomposing one's own body into its aetherial constituents, then sending it through a dimension of pure aether - parallel to the more commonly experienced "material" plane - to allow instant travel between far locations. Aetherytes act as both bridges and beacons between the two planes, preventing travelers from getting lost in the sea of aether. See **EE1 010**. ### The Eorzean / Aldenard Continent The biggest and most aether-rich continent of Hydaelyn, Eorzea's territory is split among four different city-states: the forest city of Gridania, the sultanate of Ul'dah, the pirate-state of Limsa Lominsa and the Holy See of Ishgard. With the exception of the latter, all three are protected by the so called Grand Companies, military corps tasked with administering justice and guarding the common folks: Gridania's Twin Adders, Ul'dah's Immortal Flames and Limsa Lominsa's Maelstorm. See **EE1 012**. #### The common tongue If anyone is wondering, there is a Common language spoken on Hydaelyn, and it is in fact the Eorzean language, originated from Hyuran settlers of Aldenard. It has its own alphabet, which maps one-to-one to the English alphabet, although barely half of the population of Eorzea is literate. The Eorzean is also spoken among beast tribes, although many have their own ticks and quirks about it (**EE2 034**). \columnbreak ### The Garlemald Empire While not pivotal to this story, the Garlemald Empire cannot be ignored for its role played in the Calamity. Homed in the northern continent of Ilsabard, this once isolated nation has recently been favored by a sudden technological burst - the so called Magitek Revolution. Following its newly acquired military prowess, it has since started a campaign of conquer and annexation hostile to Eorzea. See **EE1 176.** ### Beast Tribes and Primals The primary point of scorn for Legatus Gaius van Baelsar in its campaign for conquering Eorzea was the presence in its territory of numerous beastmen tribes, which have been known to wield a type of magic capable of summoning beasts of immense aetherial power, better known as primals (or eikons in the Garlean tongue), which said tribes venerate as godlike beings. While the true nature of primals is a matter of debate, the danger they pose to Hydaelyn itself is well known: in order to sustain their physical form, they rely both on the fervor of their believers and on the surrounding aether, which they keep consuming until none is left to bear life. What also makes them incredibly dangerous foes to face is their ability to enslave (or *temper*, as it is often said) whoever gets exposed to an excess of their own aether. The victim of tempering are forevermore bound to the primal, and no cure exists to these lost souls but a swift death. See **EE1 11** for more details on primals and tempering. \pagebreakNum > ##### More recent developments - Spoilers up to Shadowbringer 5.4 > While we are waiting for a much needed Encyclopaedia Eorzea III (please Koji make that happen) the interested Narrator should know these two facts: > > * There is nothing divine in primals. In fact, primal summoning is a form of ancient magic known as Creation Magic, capable of manifesting anything the caster can imagine through aetherial manipulation alone. The Ascians, originally wielders of such magic, have imparted this knowledge on beast tribes to further their agenda. > * Tempering is the result of two factors: mind corruption to subjugate the victim, and a strong aetherial imbalance towards the primal's element. While not even the Allagans could find a cure, the Scions of the Seventh Dawn have recently developed a method which, although vexing on the caster, can revert some less severe forms of tempering - those who have not gone as far as twisting the victim's body. #### (Un)Defining "Beastmen" It is worth mentioning that the definition of "beastmen", as opposed to "enlightened" races such those inhabithing the City-States of Eorzea, is one born of racism and political opportunity. In fact there is no objective mean of distinguishing the two, as it is very well exposed in **EE2 250**. ### Eorzea's Eras and the Calamity Eorzea's history has forever since been alternating times of prosperity (or Astral Eras) with times of decay (or Umbral Eras). Each Umbral Era has always been ushered by catastrophic events known as "Calamities" (see **EE1 014**), each aligned with a specific aetherial force - sudden floods of water, disastrous earthquakes, years long droughts - all except the very last one and most recent. #### The Fall of Dalamud Five years before the start of A Realm Reborn an imperial machination led by legatus Nael Van Darnus has brought the fall of Hydaelyn's lesser moon - Dalamud - down on the continent of Eorzea, during the battle of Carteneau - Eorzea's last standing against Garlemald invasion. To everyone's surprise, the moon itself wasn't cause for concern, but its contents: from therein the elder primal, Bahamut, burst forth and laid waste to the entire continent in a matter of seconds. Before all could be lost, however, the Archon Louisoux Leveilleur conjured a potent sealing magic which ultimately spelled the dragon's - as well as the scholar's - demise. Little is known of what happened after, as no eye-witness seem to recall the moments immediately after - probably a side effect of the burst of magical energy due to Louisoux's incantation. The fall of Dalamud - and the subsequent rain of fire caused by Bahamut - would eventually be known simply as "The Calamity", and would mark the beginning of Eorzea's Seventh Umbral Era. A detailed recount of the Battle of Carteneau, as well as the descent of Dalamud and Van Darnus' twisted plans, can be found on **EE1 041-046**. \pagebreakNum ## Adventure Summary (for the Narrator) The party begins as a group of Twin Adder recruits within the White Wolves unit, running their daily training regimen. As the players are given opportunities to present their characters, they are interrupted by their commander in charge. They are told that the body of a young Elezen woman has been found nearby Bentbranch Meadows, and that they have received orders to conduct an investigation posthaste. They are then directed to the stables near the Roost, where their Chocobos await. The party starts questioning the victim's whereabouts to the inhabitants of Bentbranch. Here they discover that the maiden was one of Haukke Manor's servants, often visiting the settlement for restocking on fresh vegetables and flour. They will also learn about the rumors surrounding Haukke's landlady, Amandine Dartancours, who nobody has seen ever since the Calamity: it is said that she grew obsessed with her appearance, and started questioning traveling merchants for exotic creams and other beauty products. The party reaches Haukke Manor, where they are welcomed by its uncanny splendor and majestic size, probably too opulent for the pauper lifestyle of the Black Shroud. They are greeted by the Manor's butler, which immediately calls on his lady. Lady Amandine presents herself to the party, a fair skinned Elezen woman of incredible beauty. She makes a grand entrance and ask the party the reason of their visit. Learning of her maiden's demise, she will be shocked, and inform the party that she had left service about one week ago. She then invites the party to investigate the manor, in hope of finding more about the later days of the departed. As they explore the manor, the party will start gathering clues on Lady Amandine's affairs. As it grows more and more evident, she had been resorting to forbidden magics to summon creatures of the Void in hope of restoring her beauty, forever lost in the Calamity. The ritual involved her bathing in the blood of several virgins, which the party will conclude to be the destiny of the late maiden. Approaching Lady Amandine clues in hand, she will first deny any involvement, until finally, confronted with facts, she will reveal herself, as she turns into a Succubus. The party confronts the demonic Amandine an her Ahriman butler in a final battle and eventually manage to banish her. Following the battle they will get access to Amandine's personal chambers, which will hold more clues on her story and more than enough material to bring back. The investigation can potentially last more days. As days go by, the party will be invited to overstay as guests within the Manor's chambers. As time passes, more of Amandine's servants start to disappear, and the more obvious her involvement will be. \columnbreak ## Locations * **The Adder's Nest.** The headquarters of the Twin Adders, Gridania's Grand Company. * **Bentbranch Meadows.** A settlement within the Central Shroud, known for its Chocobo stables. * **Haukke Manor.** Previously a place of cult, it was sold to Lady Amandine Dartancours by the Elder Seedseer of Gridania. ## Notable NPCs * **Idrenne Brotand.** Formerly a maidservant of house Dartancours, she has been found dead in the Twelveswood. * **Eldaux Brotand.** A retired Duskwight stableman residing at Bentbranch Meadows. Father of the victim. * **Poshe Nupashe.** A Plainsfolk miller of Bentbranch Meadows. He knew the victim as she would often buy from him. * **Rehce Xhatyoo.** A Keeper Miqo'te serving at Amandine's Manor. She holds a grudge against her peers' and secretly seeks to bring Amandine's own demise. * **Ursandel Peuclagne.** Haukke Manor's butler. An elder Wildwood, he's devoted to her lady and always courteous to her guests. Behind this guise, however, hides a voidsent minion. * **Amandine de Dartancours.** Heir of House Dartancours, she's a beautiful Wildwood of noble manners. She hides an obsession towards preserving her beauty, and has lately resorted to establishing pacts with the voidsent in order to cure the scars the Calamity left her. * **Halicarnassus.** Named by Amandine herself after an Eorzean legend's character, she's a powerful Succubus of the Void, with whom Amandime made a pact to restore her beauty. ## A note on canonicity This is of course not the story of Haukke Manor presented in the game. I took the liberty of altering the facts for the sake of story building. Here are the main changes: * The Warrior of Light did not investigate Haukke Manor. Instead, a group of Twin Adders (and possibly some adventurers) did. * The Ascians are less directly involved in Amandine's choices. Amandine only received an anonymous letter that hinted at void magic as a potential "cure" for her ailment. The rest she did by contacting sorcerers specialized in the void. * Ursandel is a complete accomplice to her Lady. By the time the Adders reach the manor, he has likewise made a pact with the void and been possessed by an Ahriman. \pagebreakNum # The Adder's Nest
The wooden hall of Gridania's military are as noisy as ever. Weapons swinging, arrows piercing through the air to their targets, the young recruits repeat over and over the same maneuvers in order to master them and apply them on the field. You are part of the White Wolves, a unit of freshmen and women who have yet to make themselves a name within their ranks. You all enlisted about the same time and report to the same commander. While your reasons and pasts are different, you learned to know each other through the daily life of being part of the Twin Adders.
You can then introduce each player and give them an opportunity to describe their characters. > ##### Large Groups - Too big a task force > Since it would be odd to dispatch half a dozen recruits for a murder case, feel free to split a group of 5 or more so that only 3-4 of them start in the barracks. The rest will be introduced later at Bentbranch, as adventurers which caught air of a mystery to solve.
You go on about your daily routine, studying tactics, exchanging advices with your peers, when suddenly your direct commander storms in the room and calls you out. The commander is a hyuran fellow some forty years old. Despite his role he tends to let go of military customs and assumes a fatherly attitude towards his subjects, playful more often than not, with a love for bad jokes. That is why when you spot the grave look on his face you deduce that something serious must have happened. *We have just received an alarming report from the nearby settlement of Bentbranch Meadows. The body of an Elezen maiden has been found in the area of Sorrel's Haven. Although her face has been horribly scarred, she has been identified as a certain __Idrenne Brotand__, daughter to one __Eldaux Brotand__, a retired chocobokeep. I would like you to depart immediately for the Central Shroud and conduct an investigation on the circumstances surrounding her death. Are there any questions?*
The players can press the commander for further details. * The corpse is currently being examined and blessed by the Conjurers of Stillglade Fane. * The injuries on the victim's body are very precise and localized on her visage and arms. * The victim had no robes on her at the time the body was found, leaving no hint on her occupation. * The victim has been identified by means of the Gridanian registry, her father has not been notified yet. * The registries contain no information regarding her occupation as of late either. If the players ask more details regarding possible suspects, the commander will reply with the following:
*This is indeed a puzzling matter. The way the victim has been scarred excludes an unfortunate encounter with a wild beast, otherwise the body would have been ravaged indiscriminately. Instead it seems that specific parts of her body have been targeted intentionally, for which purpose it still eludes us. However the markings on her face resemble more those left by sharp claws than any kind of conventional weapon.*
Once the players are satisfied the commander will thus conclude:
*Your chocobos are waiting at the Roost, I've already arranged for them with the local stableman. Pack your equipment and present yourself as the Twin Adder members headed for Bentbranch. You know the way, just head past the Blue Badger Gate and south across the White Vein.* He pauses for a second, reflecting on the situation. *If this is indeed a case of murder we cannot let it go unanswered. The Elementals won't tolerate senseless bloodshed within their territory. I trust in your proficiency. Godspeed.*
> ##### Eorzean Newcomers - Elementals > Guardians of the Twelveswood, these creatures of pure aether have long since granted Gridanians' ancestors (the people of Gelmorra) the right to inhabit the Twelveswood. **EE1 231** and **EE1 037**. The party will then proceed to Gridania's Aetheryte Plaza, and from there to the local stables.
As you approach the stables you are greeted by the chocobokeep. The young Lalafell is guiding your steeds by the reins, with surprising ease despite his minute stature. *You the Twin Adder fellas? Here're me beauties, the mildest and most obedient've got.*
\pagebreakNum > ##### Eorzean Newcomers - Chocobos > Much like the horses of the Far East, these yellow-feathered birds are commonly employed all around Eorzea as steeds and pack animals. **EE1 184**. > > If you prefer a more down-to-business introduction to Chocobos for your party, consider running the following event instead of directly handing them off. However I would advice against doing so for larger groups which have been split, since you risk leaving the other half hanging for too long. ## Optional Event: K-kweh! For this variant the party will notice a fretting Chocobokeep rushing to them at first sight.
*Ye're the Twin Adders fellas, ain't ya? I am terribly sorry mister, sir, but I've lost yer rides! Never happened in ten years I swear. One moment I'm sipping from me waterskin, the next moment they're gone!* *They can't be far, must've headed over to the Central Shroud. Them names're Koko, Choco and Boko, please bring them back!*
The party can press for details in order to better identify the escaped birds. * Koko is the sweetest of the three, but lacks a sense of direction. She's probably lost roaming around somewhere off the road. * Choco is a scaredy chick, if he bumped into some nasty creature he's likely to have hidden himself somewhere safe. * Boko is the bravest and most prideful of the trio, if you find him he will be likely up to no good bothering the local fauna. Before moving on to the Central Shroud, the most nature-savvy of the group might suggest (**DC 8 Nature** check) to bring some Gysahl Greens with you. The local Black Rabbit Trader, Maisenta, has them for sale, or they can ask the chocobokeep directly for some. Having Gysahl Greens will make it easier to lure the Chocobos to the party. > ##### Matching birds and people > If you're a party of three or less, it makes sense to go rescue all three birds to secure your ride. Otherwise it is safe to assume that the chocobokeep had other birds prepared for the Adders. > > You can decide whether the party can bring the remaining birds with them or if they're too worried about their missing companions to be of help. There are a number of ways the party can approach this feathery venture, so try to play along their reasoning and guide them according to their decisions. Consider the following mostly hints on how each Chocobo can be found and calmed down. ### Rescuing Koko Immediately after leaving Gridania the party will notice a mess of fresh Chocobo footprints scattered all over the place. Most of them end up nowhere but a **DC 10 Survival** check reveals one specific track leading way outside of the road. Following them will lead along a tortuous path in the forest, through several turns and loops. If the party tries to call out Koko by her name she will reply back, hinting at her position. They will find her wandering about all lost and confused. She will be wary at first but a **DC 8 Animal Handling** check (or a Gysahl Green) will convince her to follow the group. ### Rescuing Choco Following the main road south of Gridania, the party will hear a lot of noise coming from west. A Treant is tossing his acorns against a huge tree, seemingly without aim. On a closer inspection, a Chocobo seems to have made his way up the tree, and is now held hostage by the angry seedkin. Looks like danger awakened his flight instincts! ...Yet not enough to escape his aggressor. Here are some ways this can play out: * One player tries to distract the angry Treant while another is bringing down the Chocobo. * One player can try to quell the Treant (**DC 12 Nature** check) since they are not malign creatures on their own. * The party can face the Treant head-on. Treat it like an [Awakened Tree](https://www.dndbeyond.com/monsters/awakened-tree), **BR 117**. Like Koko before, bringing down Choco will either require the players skills (**DC 12 Animal Handling**) or a leaf of Gysahl Green. ### Rescuing Boko Rather than Boko, the party should rescue the Moogle he seems to be chasing and which keeps trying to cater to the party's attention.
*Help me, Kupo! Help me I say! He just won't...* A rapid *SNAP* echoes through, as the little fellow dodges a swift gnaw from a quite ferocious bird. *HE JUST WON'T STOP!*
\pagebreakNum Boko is not one to let go easily. The party will either have to pass a **DC 15 Animal Handling** check if they don't have a Gysahl Green, otherwise the difficulty is lowered to **10** (but they still need to pass it). On a fail, Boko switches target and goes at the party ([Chocobo](https://www.gmbinder.com/share/-MA8Gcosm3gSpNBguS8-) **MEB 7**). Unless the party declares a murderous intent, bringing the Chocobo down to 0 HP won't kill him but will rather calm him down enough. > ##### Eorzean Newcomers - Moogles > These pesky little imps inhabit the Twelveswood - and not only - and are historically known to never leave their home easily. > > Recently, after the Calamity, some of the most adventurous of them have started to travel and spread out across the realm, often tending to certain itinerant duties like acting as postmen. > > They're a mischievous race and spend their times devising all sorts of pranks for their own amusement, and everyone else's annoyance. **EE1 256**. Once Boko is dealt with, the Moogle he was chasing will come out of a nearby hiding spot.
*Well, why, thank you kupo! You're a pretty useful bunch, aren't you? So, well, now I've got to go. Ta ta!*
The party will immediately smell a rat, as Moogles are known to create all sorts of troubles when they're around. If they try to hold the Moogle captive, he will speak out.
*Ow ow ow! Let me go, kupo! ...All right I'll spill the kupo nuts!* *I was the one unbinding the chocobos from the stables, I plucked their feathers so that they would run off! How could I know this one would be so testy about it, kupo?*
The party can bring the little trouble maker back to justice or not, up to their choice. In any case they should make their return to Gridania and inform the chocobokeep that his birds are fine. The unexpected trouble dealt with, the party can now head towards Bentbranch Meadows. \pagebreakNum # Bentbranch Meadows
You exit the walls of Gridania, with the permit of the Gate's guard. As you pass through the borders you are greeted by an unusual gallery of pointed wooden structures, resembling spear heads, which mark the city's entrance. You find yourself in the central area of the Twelveswood: critters and lesser monsters of various sort buzz in and about, posing no threat for the common travelers. As you stare further in the distance, away from the main road, you can however spot more worrisome creatures, such as treants and giant scorpions. You proceed south, sticking to the stony path. When you get closer to the White Vein, whose waters stem from the lake of Jadeite Flood, you can spot a large aetheryte further south, which you immediately recognize as your destination.
Upon reaching Bentbranch Meadows the party will recognize the following landmarks: * The Aetheryte "plaza", which is actually the stump of a gargantuan tree. * Moogle's Gift Mounts, Bentbranch's renowed stables and chocobo farm. * A watermill, on the shores of the Vein and close to the Aetheryte. ### Finding Eldaux The locals are friendly and will immediately recognize the Adder's uniform. The news about Idrenne's death has not yet be made public, and mentioning it will cause the passerby to react with shock and discomfort. If questioned about her father, Eldaux, they will mention of how he has grown restless of late, frequently inquiring his acquaintances at Moogle's Gift. > ##### Large Groups - Eager Adventurers > If you chose to split your players, this is a prime opportunity for introducing the other half. A suggestion: you are a party of adventurers who caught air of the young maiden's death, and immediately sniffed a chance for profit and fame, departing without caring to ask for details... The Adder's group can hear the noise of an angry Roegadyn merchant from malms away, as he tries to explain these eager adventurers that he *know shite of any Hydrehnne or whatchamacallit, I'm just passing by to sell me wares.* \columnbreak ### Moogle's Gift Mounts
The large Ixali balloon with a Moogle drawing which gives the place its name doesn't go unnoticed. As you climb the small series of steps leading up to the stables area, you are struck by the pungent smell of chocobo dung in the air. The friendly birds are hardly contained at all, and roam around without a care, picking at Ghysal Greens, or playfully bothering the stablemen, as they go around moving piles of straw and cleaning up the birds' rest beds. You immediately spot a frantic elder Duskwight which is spiritedly discussing with a younger Hyur.
The party can call out the Elezen man, which will rush immediately towards them.
*You! You are from the Twin Adders! Please tell me you bear news of what happened to my poor Idrenne! She always pass by daily, but I haven't seen her in a week...*
Eldaux Brotand is a retired chocobo farmer, living on what little he managed to amass in his life and on the support of Idrenne, his only daughter. He's a widower who lost his wife many years ago. A **DC 12** pure **Wisdom** check will suggest to the party's spokeperson that it is probably not a good idea to mention Idrenne's death right now. The party can inquire Eldaux about her daughter's occupation and whereabouts. * Idrenne was employed as a handmaid at **Haukke Manor**. * She was tasked with restocking on common groceries and goods on a daily basis by visiting the Meadows. * She had specifically asked her landlady, Amandine de Dartancours, to be given that task, so that she could visit her father briefly each day. >##### Eorzean Newcomers - Haukke Manor >Once a place of cult on the western side of the Central Shroud, Haukke Manor was eventually sold by Gridania's Elder Seedseer to Lady Amandine de Dartancours, under the population's pressure that the place was too opulent for Gridania's standards. The word "Haukke" is of Padjali origin, and it means "to speak without words". **EE1 124**. \pagebreakNum If the party makes too suspicious questions, like if there was anyone beholding a grudge against Idrenne specifically, or if she had been seen around shady fellows, have the spokesperson make an opposed **Deception** check against Eldaux's **Insight** (d20 + 2). If successfull, Eldaux will let go of the following additional details: * Few people had daily contacts with Idrenne herself, as Bentbranch Meadows has hardly any other business except raising chocobos. She would rely on occasional merchants to restock on most common products like milk and vegetables. * One such person that she would always meet was the local miller, **Poshe Nupashe**. * Ever since Idrenne's disappearance, no other servant from the Manor has made visit to the Meadows. If the party explicitly reveals Idrenne's death, or fails to hide it from Eldaux, recite the following:
*No... No! Not my sweet, beautiful Idrenne... Nophica have mercy, I have failed as a father...* The old Elezen suddenly falls to his knees, hiding face and tears behind his hands. *I told her... I told her to not get involved with that accursed place!*
Following the shock Eldaux will refuse to reply to any other question, and will fall in an inconsolable cry. The party can try to lift his morale and convince him to cooperate, but will need to pass a **DC 15** check on **Persuasion**. Be as it may, if the party fails to extract any relevant information from Eldaux, the Hyur he was speaking with will step in after overhearing the conversation and tell the party that the "accursed place" the elder was referring to was most likely **Haukke Manor**. A **DC 10 History** or **Religion** check reveals the party that the Manor is an ex place of cult, now possessed by the rich Amandine Dartancours. Gridanians have long since bore scorn towards the place for being too lavish and out of place. ### Bentbranch Watermill Whether from Eldaux himself, or by inquiring the locals about Idrenne's business at the Meadows, the party can eventually get the name of a certain **Pashe Nupashe**, a Plainsfolk Lalafell who work as a miller and baker. \columnbreak
Directing your sight towards the Aetheryte, you notice the large watermill at the edge of the White Vein. Not far from there, you see a middle-aged grizzled Lalafell, directing laborers left and right as they move piles of wheat to be processed. As you approach him you notice his dusty apron and floured hands, which leave little doubts as to his professions. *Eye! Yellow Jackets? What'ye want? I'm an honest person, ne'er bugged anyone.*
Regarding his deals with Idrenne, he will reply the following:
*Yeh I know the lass. A fair simple beauty I tell ya. She comes 'ere every morning to fill her basket with me finest goods. Always filled with gils she is, and weird requests. Haven't seen her in a week or somethin'. Maybe she holed herself up like her crazy old mistress, hah!*
On the matter of the "weird requests", he will add:
*Not to meself, eh. All kind of merchants pass by 'ere on their way to Gridania. She often stops them who'd 've the most exotic wares, asking about beauty creams, fancy herbs, that kind o' crazy shite. Not that she needs them, I'm gonna bet it's for that Dartancours woman.*
If pressed regarding Idrenne's "mistress":
*Aye, that lady o'er Haukke Manor, up west. Not quite rite with 'er head, if ye ask me. Before the godsdamned Calamity...* at which point he spits down *...everybody knew how **obsessed** she was with 'er own pretty face.* *It was all body treatments 'ere, milk baths there. She is not a bad person, mind ye, just really, **really** fixated with her beauty. But after stupid Dalamud went down... She closed herself up real good in that house of her and never came out. Only the servants to do their chores 've been seen so far.*
\pagebreakNum ### On the Road to Haukke Manor In one way or the other it will be made clear that the next stop for the party's investigation is further west, up the Matron's Lethe and to Sorrel Haven, straight to Haukke Manor.
You're back on your chocobos, and head back north from whence you came. This time though, instead of crossing back the Vein, you turn to your left, and are greeted by one of Central Shroud's most impressive view: firmly buried into the ground, emerging from an higher ground tens of yalms above, there lies an enormous tree root more than a hundred yalms long - the Matron's Lethe. In the years following the Calamity, when the Central Shroud has been split in half - a lower and upper part - the Lethe has been since used and built upon by Gridanians as a sort of natural bridge. A short wooden platform connects its base to the lower ground, and provides easy access to all travelers. You have no difficulty bringing your Chocobos up the Lethe, as its width poses no risk of falling down. As you reach the top of the Lethe you find yourself in front of Dunstan's Spire, Sorrel Haven's watch tower. As you direct your gaze westward, you immediately spot a gaudy manor in the distance, its looks unmatched by anything of the like in the surrounding area.
\columnbreak > ##### Investigating Sorrel Haven > The keener players might remember that the maiden's body has been found exactly in Sorrel Haven. The party can optionally decide to interrogate the Adders stationed at Dustan's Spire on the matter of where the victim had been found. They will gladly help their colleagues, but will inform them that a previous squad had already carried their investigation on the spot and taken anything of relevance. > > As expected the players won't find much waiting there, as the place had already been searched. A **DC 15 Investigation** check, however, will allow them to discover something which was overlooked by the previous inspectors: buried between the tree leaves, an odd pendant, supposedly belonging to the victim, can be found. The pendant's decoration is a very raw, almost primitive engraved pebble, with the symbol of an eye. > > A **DC 15 History** or **Religion** check will reveal that similar runes are popular among the oldest clans of the Keepers of the Moon for witchcraft purposes. A **DC 10 Arcana** check however will make the party realize there is nothing magical at all - it's just a weird pebble. > >See the **clues** summary on [page 13](#p14) for further details. \pagebreakNum # What Happened at Haukke Manor? Let's take a step back, shall we? Only by a full recount of past events will the good Narrator be able to understand the present situation and why poor Idrenne died in the woods.
### Amandine's madness As explained, Amandine Dartancours is a rich and beautiful Wildwood noblewoman. Despite her vanity, she was of kind heart and none of her acquaintances could speak ill of her. All of that, however, changed on the day of the Calamity. Amandine happened to be gravely injured by the rain of destruction that Bahamut left in his wake. She managed to recover and be fully treated - however, the hideous scars she was left with could not be treated in any way possible. When she first saw herself in a mirror after then, she fell prey to the shock, shattered it in a thousand pieces, and ordered that all likewise items be removed from the Manor - not one was left. From there on Amandine spiraled further and further into madness. She shut herself in her chambers, only allowing in her personal butler, Ursandel, for bringing her meals. This would severely affect Ursandel as well, whose devotion towards his Lady was great. Ursandel spared no effort in trying to restore Amandine's beauty. He started researching and contacting healers and pharmacists from all over Hydaelyn, even deep down the far reaches of Thavnair. However no matter who answered the call, no cure was potent enough to treat the Calamity's scars. Until, one day, an anonymous letter reached her doorstep...
*It is said that the sorceresses of ancient Mhach would establish pacts with voidsent entities known as "Succubi", lusty demons of uncanny beauty... By means of this partnership would then the sorceress be immune to any corporeal corruption, be it the passing of age, the decay caused by a wicked ailment, or war inflicted **scars**.*
The anonymous mailer was of course leaving the details on what this "pact" would entail for the mortal forging it - but it didn't matter for Amandine, and so Ursandel was tasked for researching the history of Mhach to a great deal. Amandine was a bibliophile of sort, and her personal library was certainly not lacking on history treaties on the War of the Magi and their conflicting parties. > ##### Eorzean Newcomers: Mhach > Established around the five-hundredth year of the fifth Astral Era, the City-State of Mhach was well known and feared for its prowess in Black and Void Magic. **EE1 030-035**. And so it began Ursandel's feverish collection of Mhachi artifacts, forbidden tomes and black market deals on behalf of his Lady. ### The ritual Eventually a ritual was found, one that would allow to make contact with a potent Succubus overlady, which Amandine named **Halicarnassus**, after an entity of Eorzean legend. The ritual was not a simple matter though and would require almost a fortnight to be completed, other then the presence of a powerful sorcerer to start it. Eventually Ursandel managed to contact a castaway from the Thaumaturges guild who accepted the task. A room within the Manor's cellars was dedicated to the summoning, and its entrance hidden to privy eyes with a glamor spell. Eventually the ritual was started and Halicarnassus made her appearance into the manor, albeit only as a projection. As she manifested though, she took the sorcerer's life as her first prize, as he was sucked in through the rift that was opened to the Void. As part of Halicarnassus' meddling, all servants of Haukke Manor forgot that their Lady was ever confined within her bedroom: to them, nothing in particular happened in the years following the Calamity, and only recall Amandine laboring to offer shelter to the people of Bentbranch Meadows - but not the following accident. From there on the voidsent required one sacrifice be made to her every odd day, each being from a virgin woman not twenty and five years older. With each sacrifice Amandine's scars started to disappear, and by the third one - poor Idrenne - they were completely be gone. This was not, however, the only change. As the ritual progressed both Amandine and Ursandel would attune to the wicked creatures of the void, assuming their traits and turning into one themselves - Amandine a **Succubus**, and Ursandel an **Ahriman**. Halicarnassus granted them with a potent illusion spell, so that they could progress in the ritual without rising suspicions. Seven sacrifices were demanded, before the ritual could be completed. Seven sacrifices, and the spell would be complete. At this point it's no longer a matter of healing Amandine's scars, but a lust for power and the influence of Halicarnassus on the two. ### Luring the maidens The maidservants of the Manor were chosen as candidate sacrifices for progressing the ritual. The method was simple: on the morning a victim was chosen, Ursandel would personally meet her and cast a potent charming spell. The victim would then be convinced that she has to leave service for one reason or the other, and be sure to let that known to a handful of confidants; this way the other servants would have not started questioning the maiden sudden disappearance. \pagebreakNum The victim was then instructed to, after leaving the manor, make rounds around it and into a secret passage on the back hidden by vines, which reveals an underground tunnel into the Manor's secret chamber in the cellar. There Ursandel and Amandine would be waiting and bind the maiden to perform the sacrifice. The body would then be disposed by Ursandel himself not far from the Manor. The way things stand, five victims have already been sacrificed, and only one of them (Idrenne) has actually been found. ### On the ritual itself Each sacrifice consisted of two gruesome steps: * First, the victim's would have been drained of her blood by means of some very precise cuts on their arms. The recipient (Amandine) would have then bathed on said blood as it was spilling from the victim. * Once the victim was dead, her face would have been disfigured by Amandine (turned Succubus) by means of her own long, sharp claws, after placing her on a spell circle drawn with the same blood of the victim. This way the victims own "youth" would have been transferred onto her. The two steps are the reason why Idrenne's body was found in those exact conditions. ### The mistreated maiden Unbeknown to both perpetrators of the ritual, there was one other party which was relishing in the victims sudden departure, and was naively convinced to be the cause of it. **Rehce Xhatyoo**, a Keeper Miqo'te, has long been serving House Dartancours ever since she was a little child. In an environment mostly dominated by Elezen she was always been looked from up to down as "inferior" or "savage", and eventually started growing a form of resentment towards her peers, and even Amandine herself. Always somewhat gullible, she had started to perform some sort of folk witchcraft rituals to supposedly "bring ruin" to them. The rituals themselves had nothing magical, and were just superstitious jinxes. However as more and more of her targets left the manor, she started assuming that her efforts were bearing fruits and her voodoo was actually working. \pagebreakNum # Haukke Manor
Standing on a slightly higher ground, you approach the manor by crossing a wooden bridge upon a small pond filled with water lilies and teeming with life. As you reach the manor's main gate you are greeted by a lavish, perfectly maintained garden. Two rows of sculpted bushes, in the shape of huge lilies, guide your sight towards the manor's entrance, past its gate. The manor itself is no modest sight either, as you were expecting. Standing tall above the Shroud, this two stores tall building has barely kept any remembrance of its once sacral function. The balcony is adorned with statues of beautiful angels, spreading their wings and welcoming all visitors of good faith. At the same time, two equally sumptuous statues of Elezen pikemen form a sort of arc with their weapons, facing each other, waring any ill intended outsider from stepping in, generating a conflicting message that you quite don't know how to interpret. Once you get close enough, you spot a ringing bell on the right side of the gate.
The following will assume the party will try to be accepted into the manor, rather than trying to sneak in. If the party really insists on sneaking in, the good Narrator can try to play along and let them try to conduct an investigation in the shadows (which won't be an easy task, as the manor teems with servants at every corner). > ##### Oh no, we've been spotted! > Say your party decides to go with the sneaky route. There are high chances that eventually a **Stealth** check will fail and somebody will find them. > > As things stay, Amandine and Ursandel are not keen on making a fuss - especially not with the Twin Adders. They still need some quiet time (see [page 10](#p11)) and will try to put up a friendly face to derail suspicions. ### My Lady, we have Guests After ringing the bell, the party will be greeted by the manor's butler, **Ursandel Peuclagne**. He'll beg the party to wait and go back inside. After few minutes Ursandel will be back and open the gate for them, prompting the group to follow him inside. The party will be welcomed into the Manor's foyer, a sumptuous entrance immediately facing a large staircase leading onto the second floor. Amandine will make her grand entrance from top of the stairs, introduced by her menservants and maidens who forms two rows at the bottom, bowing in reverence. \columnbreak
Of many women it is said "She's the most angelic, splendid creature I've ever laid my eyes on!" on behalf of their love-addled suitors. Yet you find no suitable words to express your awe when for the first time see **Lady Amandine de Dartancours**. Not a single imperfection, not one wrinkle, her smooth skin, long, silky, raven hairs, and gentle gaze only compliment her noble mannerisms and the elegance with which she move, like a skilled dancer, not betraying a moment of uncertainty. For what reason did she decide to shun away the outside world?
Amandine will ask the party the reason for their visit. Upon learning of her former maiden's demise, she will appear to be struck with grief (still looking splendid, if I may) and question Ursandel why she was not informed. The butler will provide his version of the facts: * About one week ago, Idrenne petitioned leave her service to assist her old father. * Ursandel has full responsibility on managing the servants of the manor, so that Amandine doesn't have to bother with it. He personally approved the request. Idrenne left the morning after. * Since the Manor reserves had been fully restocked right before Idrenne left, way more than usual, there had been no need up to now to send anyone else to Bentbranch. Ursandel is hiding part of the truth about Idrenne's exit, but he's a cunning man and will not let go easily his masquerade. Under the players request, a **DC 17 Insight** check reveals that he's hiding something, although it's impossible to know what as his statements do not contradict the facts. In an offer of cooperation, Amandine will ask Ursandel to guide "the good Adders" through the manor and to the maidservant's chambers, that they might gather all clues they need. After all, they have "their full cooperation". \pagebreakNum # Exploring the Manor Spread all around the Manor there will be hints at its recent events. Consult the table below as a quick reference of what is where. Of course you can always feel free to "guide" your group towards certain clues if they seem to get stuck, or change their positions to other places where they might also make sense. Some of these clues do not require any special check and they will be obviously laying around. This is common for most important clues hidden behind hard to reach chambers (Ursandel/Amandine's rooms, the Ritual Chamber). ## I want to cast Detect Magic! Anyone trying to cast **Detect** ~~Aether~~ **Magic** will need to pass a **DC 10 Constitution** check or they will suddenly be shocked by a burst of light and the incantation will fail. If the check succeeds the caster will notice a huge disturbance in the local aether, so much that they can't tell heads from tail of any even vaguely magical item. They're not able to discern the source of the disturbance, but it will prevent them from using the incantation to their fullest. If they, however, explicitly want to shift their focus to dark aligned aether, have them do another **DC 15 Constitution** check. If they pass, they will be able to discern among the chaos a trail of dark aether which, if followed through, will lead to the cellars and right in front of the ritual chamber's hidden door.
## Ursandel's Illusions As it stands, Ursandel **really** doesn't want the party to stick their noses where they don't belong, but at the same time cannot refuse their direct requests in order to not arise suspicions. As long as Ursandel is nearby the players won't be able to gather any clue or notice anything out of place. If the party asks to be accompanied into the Second Floor or Cellar chambers, or get caught in the process of sneaking in there, Ursandel will let them in anywhere they want. However all checks inside those rooms will always fail, and any obvious clue will not show up. The party won't be able to tell that nothing is amiss and both rooms will look perfectly normal. However the moment they are away from him a **DC 15 Insight** check will make them question their own memories "Wait was the mirror intact or broken? Wasn't there a desk in there...?". Repeat the check every time they finish investigating a room; subsequent success will clear their mind a bit and make them realize the butler's presence was the cause of their discomfort. ## Halicarnassus' "Blessing" In order to protect the investigation from ending too early, assume both Ursandel and Amandine to be immune from both Charming and any compulsory effect. This includes spells such as Zone of Truth that would force them to reveal uncomfortable details. As for the servants they are oblivious of the situation, and do not recall Amandine self-isolation in any way.
##### Clues Table | Clue | Description | Location | Check | |:-------------------|:----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|:-----------------------------------|:------------------| | Mirrors | There are no mirrors in the manor. | - | Passive Wisdom 15 | | Healer list | A list of healers, pharmacists, conjurers and their means of contact. | Library, a desk's drawer. | Dexterity 10 | | Voidsent book | A book about the different types of voidsent. The page on succubi is highlighted. | Library, bookshelf. | Investigation 20 | | Beds | There are more empty beds than servants in the manor. | Servants quarters 1/2. | Perception 15 | | Runic eyes | A sachet holding several pebbles with an eye-shaped rune engraved on it. | Servants quarters 2. | Investigation 10 | | Misplaced barrels | There appears to be several barrels of wine in the storage, too many for consumption. | Storage. | Intelligence 15 | | Sorcerer letter | A letter from an anonymous sorcerer. Hints the presence of a secret room in the cellar. | Ursandel room, on a desk. | - | | Ursandel's Diary | Ursandel's own diary, describing his despair for Amandine and the search for a cure. | Ursandel room, in a false bottom. | Perception 12 | | Mhachi artifacts | There are several Mhachi artifacts stored away. | Cellars, one of the storage rooms. | Investigation 12 | | Fresh wall | One of the walls in the Yellow Hall seem of recent construction. | Yellow Hall, one of the corners. | Investigation 15 | | Fresh wall 2 | There seems to be a "cut" area in the backyard's edge. | Backyard | - |
\pagebreakNum ##### Clues Table 2
| Clue | Description | Location | Check | |:-------------------|:--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|:-----------------------------------|:------------------| | Isolated Runic eye | A pebble with an eye shaped rune engraved on it. | Backyard | Investigation 15 | | Gossip | The servants will mention Rehce would often bicker with Idrenne. | Talk with the servants. | - | | Gossip 2 | Several former servants have left the manor on their own will, lately. | Talk with the servants / Ursandel | - | | Target list | A list of names: Idrenne, the other four missing, Ursandel, Amandine, other servants. | Kitchen. | Investigation 12 | | Void seal | A scrap of paper depicting what looks like a magical seal of sort. | Accuse Rehce / Servant quarters 2. | - | | Void magic book | A book describing a gruesome ritual for gaining eternal beauty. | Ritual chamber. | - | | Ritual circle | A summoning circle painted with blood. | Ritual chamber. | - | | Torture table | A bloodied table and a mechanism for draining liquids in a nearby bath tub. | Ritual chamber. | - | | True target list | A list containing all designated victims' names. Those who are dead are crossed. | Ritual chamber. | - | | Shattered Mirror | Amandine's personal mirror is broken. | Amandine room. | - | | Amandine's Diary | Amandine's personal diary, describing her being disfigured and despair. | Amandine room. | - | | Anonymous Letter | A letter describing how Mhachi Sorceresses would pact with Succubi. | Amandine room. | - |
\pagebreakNum ##### Loot Table
| Qty | Item | Location | Check | |:----|:-----------------------------------|:--------------------------------|:-----------------| | - | Written Spell: Hex | Library, void book | Investigation 20 | | - | Written Spell: Ray of Sickness | Library, void book | Investigation 20 | | 1 | Scroll of Disguise Self | Library, desk drawer | Strength 8 | | 1 | Philter of Love | Servants Quarters (Men) | - | | 1 | Potion of Healing | Servants Quarters (Men) | - | | 3 | Golden Needles | Servants Quarters (Women) | Investigation 15 | | 1 | Zircon Ring (5'000 gil) | Servants Quarters (Women) | - | | 60 | Golden Pieces | Servants Quarters (Both, total) | - | | 2 | Artifacts (2'500 gil) | Mhachi Stash | History 15 | | 1 | Immovable Rod | Mhachi Stash | - | | 1 | Citrine Pendant | Cellars (room with bedroll) | Investigation 10 | | 1 | Rapier + 1 | Ursandel's Room | - | | 5 | Rapiers | Ursandel's Room | - | | 1 | Potion of Healing | Ursandel's Room | - | | 45 | Golden Pieces | Ursandel's Room | - | | 1 | Shadowfell Brand Tattoo (Uncommon) | Ritual chamber | - | | 1 | Scroll of Charm Person | Ritual Chamber | - | | 1 | Star Rose Quart Diadem (5'000 gil) | Amandine's Room (vanity) | - | | 1 | Amulet of Health | Amandine's Corpse | - | | 100 | Golden Pieces | Amandine's Room (safe) | Investigation 15 | | 2 | Pieces of Jewelry (5'000 gil) | Amandine's Room (safe) | Investigation 15 |
\pagebreakNum ## The Servants of Haukke Manor Here is a convenient list of default NPCs that you can place as butlers and handmaids of Amandine Dartancours. This spread of characters reflects an Elezen-dominated environment, where some of them feel high enough of themselves as to dismiss the other races as inferior, or even bestial (like what happened to Rehce). Below their name there is also a specification as to whether this person is on Rehce's list of targets. ### Male Elezen #### Auzeaux Graimirent *On Rehce's list.* This elder Wildwood Elezen is past his seventies yet not anywhere close to retirement. He is an antiquated, misogynistic and xenophobic individual, a fact that has not been changed by his time in the Manor's library, of which he is the main caretaker after Ursandel. Despite the latter being higher on the manor's hierarchy of servants, he regards him as a younger fellow with little merits. #### Eaufleux Jasevant *On Rehce's list.* Eaufleux is a taciturn servant who prefers his actions to speak for himself. Despite being grumpy and mumbling complaints more often than not, he is a kind hearted fellow that helps others solving their troubles. Rehce mistakenly interprets his attitude for contempt, and holds a grudge against him for that. #### Eauphaux Goujat *On Rehce's list.* He is a young, arrogant womanizer with long brown hairs and a persistent cocky smug on his face. He has been systematically rejected by every woman he tried to court, contrary to what he says. He his the self-proclaimed mentor of Alfex, and the two are often seen together gossiping and commenting about the maidservants or the girls of Bentbranch. #### Alfex Maucert *On Rehce's list.* With his delicate, puffy boy face, one would assume him to be the spoiled scion of some noble house. He is not very tall compared to others of his race and has short brown hair. He has a poorly concealed crush for Nosette, and hides a philter of love in his personal night table - a trick suggested by his close friend, Eauphaux. #### Triroux Nuipert Triroux is a young man in his early twenties, with short blond hair and an absent look on his face. He is a bit of a simpleton from a farmers' family who just gets along with everyone. He is one of the few Elezens to be on Rehce's good side. \columnbreak #### Pussant Kietireois He his the new kid, always making a mess and barely 15 years old. He his the bastard child of one of House Dartancours members. Despite his clumsiness, he is very clever and loves to spend his time in the library studying - a fact that made him the only younger servant that Auzeaux respects, or even cares for. ### Female Elezen #### Reauphenne Valionne *On Rehce's list* A soothe-haired Elezen woman in her fifties, she is the chef of Haukke Manor. In her kitchen hall, she is queen, and everybody (except Amandine) is expected to obey her instructions. Despite her bossy attitude when in front of a pot, she seems to get along nicely with most - with the exception of Rehce, who gets the worst tasks from her. #### Nosette Sheapois She has short black hair and a serious attitude towards her duties. Being the youngest elezen woman under Amandine's service, she has become a constant and unwilling target of Alfex's affection, whom she constantly tries to push away. ### Male Hyur #### Bertulf Century He is a middle aged man in his forties and going for fifty. He has brown hair, a dark-tinted skin and wears a pair of spectacles. Right after Ursandel, he his the most respected of Amandine's servants. In his free time, he practices playing the piano in the Red Hall. Some argue that he has studied some of the bardic arts and know how to weave an enchantment or two out of his notes. #### Mani Bloodfury Mani is a young ambitious man of just seventeen summers. He has short black hair and knows his way around a sword. He trains during his free time to one day join, he hopes, the Order of the Twin Adders. #### Theodgar Fisher He has a shy attitude and keeps to himself most the time. When he was a kid, he had one bad encounter with a Morbol, and a bad acid scar on half his face attests to that. He was saved by the Wood Wailers in the nick of time. Despite his secretiveness, he his kind if approached with care and knows a little bit of everyone. ### Female Hyur #### Kamilla Windstorm She is blond, meek and kind girl with two eyes like that of a deer. She shies away from most except Cathrine, her confidant. In her free time she loves sewing and knitting, and is always at work to craft gifts for her friends and family. She is particularly fond of her younger brother who lives in Gridania. \pagebreakNum #### Cathrine Hornblade Cathrine is a strong willed, athletic midlander with a fierce look. Despite being considered as scary by some of her peers, she is a gregarious person that never says no to any chance of fun. During her youth she roamed the streets of Ul'dah as an Ala Mhigan refugee, and has learned the martial arts as a way to defend herself. ### Female Miqo'te #### Rehce Xhatyoo The only Miqo'te under Amandine's service, Rehce is resentful after years of scorn from her elezen higher-ups. Prone to lying and superstitious, she has been plotting her personal revenge against her most hated colleagues, although with methods of questionable efficiency. \columnbreak ## Dead Servants These women are the past sacrifice to Halicarnassus. Each of them used a certain excuse to be dismissed of service, after being charmed by Ursandel's spell. Here is a list of what each claimed to have done. ### Elezen #### Ebionne Buirins After receiving a vision from the Twelve, she went roaming Eorzea to spread the word of the Mother. #### Omenne Draugand She left for raising her own crops as a farmer in Quarrymill. #### Lozonne Feaujelle She felt the call of adventure and left with just a dagger and a leather armor. #### Idrenne Brotand Claimed to need to assist her old father at Bentbranch Meadows. ### Hyur #### Ellen Hellfist She claimed to have joined her sister in funding an enterprise. \pagebreakNum # The Manor's Map ## Ground Floor
HD Resolution Map
\pagebreakNum ## The starting point This is where most of the investigation will take place. Here the players will find clues spread all around, NPC to interrogate and rooms to explore. ### Library
The moment you enter the room, you can easily guess Amandine's favorite hobby: the library's walls have entirely been covered by shelves of all sorts of tomes, distributed over about ten rows per side. You fail to make an estimate of the amount of books therein, but it surely passes the hundred - maybe even the thousand. The room also acts as a place for reading, with a cozy fireplace in the front wall and an armchair nearby. On the opposite side you also notice a writing desk, with some unfinished documents and a quill resting near an ink bottle.
This is the place where Ursandel ran most of his initial research following Amandine's initial outburst. The books are on the most disparate topics and it won't be easy to track down something useful... without proper guidance. #### The voidsent book Amid hundreds and hundreds of books, it will be very hard (**DC 20 Investigation**) to spot anything out of place. Allow an instant success if the players are explicitly looking for books on Mhach or the Void.
You spot a row of books on the topic of the fifth astral era and the War of the Magi, which somehow seems to look less dusty than the others. One particular tome attracts your attention, whose eroded edges suggest it has been picked up, and read, several times. As you flip it you find a page of interest, as the reader seems to have left his or her personal notes on it. In there is pictured a barely dressed woman of demonic features with purplish skin, black horns, sharp claws and wearing a long, torn, ink black mantle. It reads: ##### *Succubi* *Succubi manifest on the physical plane by forcing their souls into the bodies of **deceased** women. Once the transition is complete, the resultant creature is said to be both **fair and fey** to look upon. Still more disconcerting, researchers claim that these voidsent occasionally exhibit the personality traits of their deceased hosts. Succubi occupy the third and fourth rungs of the voidsent hierarchy.* The words *fair and fey* are circled with black ink, and a small note has been added: *perfection*. The words *deceased* is also highlighted. Another note accompanies it: *maybe not?*
\columnbreak > ##### Succubus Lore > The text above can be found in the Encyclopaedia Eorzea, page 199, and in the in-game description of their Triple Triad Card. The book also contains the description for the Hex and Ray of Sickness Spells. Blue Mages can copy both in their Research Journal as the Dahak Monster Link. #### The Healers List One of the desk's drawers is locked but partially busted. Playing with it a bit (**DC 10 Dexterity**) will easily get it open. Inside there's a list of names, occupations and contacts.
*Eaurrax Tofumuste - Alchemist - Expert in skin treatments* *Marthine Courage - Physiotherapist - Magically enhanced massages* *~~Wume Cohume - Time Mage?? - Age regression therapy...?~~ Swindler*
The list goes on and on for tens of names, all healers, pharmacists or self called such. It stops after a while, but at the end, separated from the others by some margin, there is one circled name, oddly missing his area of expertise.
*Segqe Faqe - Former thaumaturge*
Upon interrogating Ursandel on the matter of the list, he thus replies:
*This? It's just a list of more or less reliable healers that have come and go to cure our staff. The last one is a thaumaturge that came to examine a large stack of Mhachi artifacts that Milady inherited from a distant relative.*
#### Other Loot The desk's other drawer can be forced open with a **DC 8 Strength** check, although failing it causes the lock to be busted for good and make it impossible to open. Inside there's a wooden tube containing a spell scroll of Disguise Self. \pagebreakNum ### Servant Quarters
These two rooms are the resting area for the Manor's servants, one for men and one for women. Several beds are arranged at their sides, and while on their own they all look alike several minor "personalizations" can be spotted: one person placed a Moogle plush on his or her cushion, probably a keepsake of youth, another has a pile of dusty books taking even more dust on a bedside table, another has placed a training sword at the bed's lower end, held in place by two simple laces. The wardrobes appear to be common, and placed on the short sides of both rooms where no bed is placed.
The rooms are usually empty for most time of the day, since the menservants and maidens are off to their chores. Those assigned to the early morning duties start turning in by 7 pm already, and by 11 pm everyone is usually in their bed after all dishes from the daily dinner are washed. The quarters are also where the servants consume their meal, each according to their own schedule. #### Interacting with the Servants As said for the largest part of the day the servants will be scattered all around the Manor doing chores, so they will be found in random locations, and the quarters will be empty. If the party wants to track one specific character they can wait for him or her to retire for rest. The servants themselves can be as generic and improvised as the Narrator wishes. Some points however need to be noted: * There are about 15 menservants and 10 handmaids in the Manor. * The vast majority of the servitude is made up of Wildwood Elezens. A smaller number is composed of Midlander Hyurs, and only one maid is a Keeper Miqo'te: **Rehce**. * There is a sentiment of superiority held by the Elezens servants against the other minority. Rehce is particularly looked down upon by them. * The Elezen servants will often make malicious comments towards Rehce; the Hyurs, on the other hand will comment how often their elven counterpart would mistreat poor Rehce, with whom they empathize. Upon interrogating them, they will reveal the following information: * There has been somewhat of a mass departure of strictly female servants lately. They all came up with all random sorts of motivations - one decided to turn a life of adventures, another joined her sister in a joint venture... They will also back up Ursandel statement on Idrenne's departure. * Of those leaving the manor, four were Elezens and one was a Hyur. * Rehce had been seen often bickering with Idrenne. They had a particularly bad argument the day right before she left. * Rehce ("*that gluttonous freeloader*") often buzzes around the kitchen. If further pressed on the people who left, they will comment how the departures seemed to follow a weird pattern: always early in the morning, and every odd day. #### Investigating the quarters Turning the two rooms upside down will reveal some interesting facts to the party: * **DC 15 Perception**: There are thirty beds in total, fifteen per room. However when they first were welcomed they noticed somewhat less servants. Waiting for late night, or asking to the servants directly, will reveal that five maids have left recently on their own will, and have not yet been replaced. * **DC 10 Investigation**: Poorly hidden beneath one of the mattresses they will spot a sachet of curiously engraved pebbles, each with a runic eye on it. If they have already found the pebble in Sorrel Haven (see [page 9](#p10)) they will immediately match it. Otherwise, run similar checks to ascertain its nature. They will also spot, inside the drawers of a nearby bedside table, several pieces of scrap paper with random annotations on it. * **DC 15 Investigation**: Three Gold Needles have fallen on the ground, they seem to have belonged to a sewing kit. If the party looks for the proprietor, she will gladly leave them to the party, since they didn't prove much useful for sewing practice. #### Other loot If the party peeks inside the drawers of each and every servant, they will also find the following personal belongings ##### In the men's room * A [Philter of Love](https://www.dndbeyond.com/magic-items/philter-of-love) (**BR 184**). * A Potion of Healing. * A total of 3'000 gil. ##### In the women's room * A zircon ring worth 5'000 gil. * A total of 3'000 gil. > ##### Unwanted attentions > The Philter of Love belongs to one of the menservants, Alfex Maucert, who desperately tries to gather the attentions of a colleague. The person in question, however, doesn't seem to feel the same for him. Beyond reason, he plans to force fate (and will) by using the Philter. > > If you find it fitting for your narration, you can describe the events between the two as they unfold in the three following days, depending on whether the players take the potion for themselves or not. > > Will Alfex manage to trick his unwilling lover? Will that person fight back and turn him down once and for all? That's for you to decide. \pagebreakNum ### Guest rooms
These two rooms are for visitors of the manor who are welcomed to stay the night. Far less crowded than the servants' quarters, and way more embellished and with more comfortable beds, they can host about four people each. There are two wardrobes per room and place for the guests to store their luggages, and a bell for calling the servants.
The guest rooms themselves do not hold anything of relevance, and a quick investigation will make it clear. Do not count the passing of time if the players decide to run an investigation in there. ### Kitchen
One of the most busy places the entire day, the Manor's attendants come and go from there often, be it for preparing the coming meals or cleaning up the cutlery of the previous. You almost bump into a busy Miqo'te carrying a huge tray of glasses and dirty plates, who miraculously manages to not drop anything. She hisses at you: *Mind where you go, fancy pants!*. An Elezen on the other side of the kitchen, tending to a huge bubbling pot, scolds her immediately. *These are our guests Rehce, and you shall treat them as such! And on with that tray!* *Yes sir.* She replies, muttering to herself.
This is the place where the players will more easily interact with Rehce, if they want to. They will also find clues on her activities if investigating well enough. #### Rehce's list of targets With a **DC 12 Investigation** check the players will be able to spot, covered in grease and dirt, an oddly out of place piece of paper. It contains a list of about thirteen names, including, at the very bottom, Amandine herself. Some are too ruined to make them out. However it's obvious that four of them have been crossed out - including Idrenne's. There is also a note on the side of the first crossed name: *It worked! It finally worked!*. Right below it, the picture of a runic eye. Oddly enough, although the list contains both male and female names, all crossed names are female. They're also all Elezen names. If the players have already investigated the Servants Quarters and found the sachet and the scraps of paper, they will be able to match the writing with that of the notes. \columnbreak #### Interacting with Rehce The Keeper Miqo'te will be very defensive, and will try to avoid conversation if possible, complaining that she has a lot of work to do. If provoked by mentioning her bad blood with the Elezen colleagues, she will try to be dismissive as long as there are other servants in the room. Otherwise she will let go of her complaints of how she's always assigned the worst jobs, and treated like some kind of savage. #### Facing Rehce If the party goes to the point of showing her the target list, she will immediately try to snatch it. If further pressed on the matter and accused of killing her colleagues, she will panic and flee towards the servant quarters. There the party will catch up with her as she rummages through her things. She will pull out a scrap of paper with a weird symbol on it and start muttering random nonsense at the party, as some kind of jinxing - which, however, will produce no effect. Once cornered Rehce will reveal what she had done: * For months, she has tried to exact her revenge on the Manor's servants by means of a type of "curse" her grandmother once taught her. * The curse entailed sneaking certain specially crafted "stone eyes" in the victims pockets. This would attract bad luck on them. * Initially this had not worked, and the pebbles sorted no effect. Eventually one week ago, it seemed to start working, as more and more of her targets left the manor, "*Surely because all sorts of bad things have been happening to them! Why would they otherwise all leave together?*" * She will deny any direct killing, "*All I did was placing the bad eye on them. What happens after that, I cannot be held accounted for, right?*" There are some obvious inconsistent facts that hint that Rehce is not actually responsible for the servants' disappearance. * Her so called "magic" is just superstitious belief, and had nothing magical in it. * She has tried her jinxes for months, and only now, only some of the targets have been randomly affected. * There are both male and female names in the list, but only maidens have left the Manor. * There are only Elezen names in the list, but a Hyur was among those leaving the Manor. * There is still no explanation of how Idrenne died, if she indeed left in perfect health. The final picture is that of a resentful, superstitious person which has attributed to herself events to which she was unrelated. The Narrator can / should let go of some of these facts if the party is struggling with it. \pagebreakNum > ##### The Eye in Sorrel Haven > That is all cool, but how did the Eye Pebble the party found in Sorrel Haven make his way there, if Idrenne's body was found naked? It so happened that Ursandel chanced upon the stone while depriving the victim of her clothes in preparation of the ritual and put it in his pocket for later investigation, but accidentally dropped it while disposing of the body. #### The Void Seal Eventually Rehce will give up and mutter something along the lines of "*this stupid thing was supposed to be the real deal...*". Suddenly realizing a way out, she will force the scrap of paper in the players' hands: "*Here! This! Ursandel had it on him, it must be magical, right? I bet he was the one doing things to the others!*". If the players have already explored the Cellars and found the wall to the Ritual Chamber, they will deduce a connection between the two. Otherwise a **DC 15 Arcana** check reveals that it's some kind of arcane key. > ##### Rehce has been sacrificed > If Day 2 has come and Rehce was sacrificed, the party will find the Seal in her room, upon investigation. ### Storage Room
You notice one of the retainers leaving the room at the end of the long corridor that connects the Manor's halls. When you enter you are greeted by a cacophony of pleasant smells: aged cheese, hanged salami, barrels of anchovies under salt and all sorts of food. Several retainers come and go from this room, bringing ingredients over to kitchen, ready to be served in today's meal.
The storage room is a relatively small room stuffed with everything needed on a daily basis. There isn't much else to it, but an accurate analysis (**DC 15 Intelligence**) will highlight one particular. There happens to be **a lot** of wine barrels. As it looks like, this is a storage room for preserving food on the shorter term. Long term preservation of wine usually happens within an underground cellar. Then why are there so many barrels? > ##### The misplaced barrels > These have been moved from the underground cellar to make room for the sacrificial chamber. Having spotted this clue will lower the difficulty for identifying the hidden entrance in the cellars. ### The Red Hall
Haukke Manor's main hall, called the Red Hall after the crimson drapes adorning its walls, is the place where all important gatherings would happen. Most of the times it serves as a dining room for Amandine and her occasional guests - whenever there are any. In most gallant occasions however it is converted into a ball room where the most skilled musicians under the service of House Dartancours would entertain their noble audience.
This room doesn't hold any particular clue, but it is here that the party will have the chance to exchange words with Amandine and Ursandel during the lunches and dinners of their presence (see the **Events at the Manor** chapter). ### The Backyard
Right beside the kitchen there are two large windowed doors that connect to an open space right on the back of the Manor. The rear garden is a large open space which is dedicated to more physical activities, judging by the row of old chipped training dummies standing guard waiting for their next opponent.
The backyard can be used as a backup place for finding one of the Stone Eyes, if the players missed the one in Sorrel Haven. It will also be where Ursandel will occasional practice his swordplay, giving the players a chance to grab the key to his room. If the players try to explore more in detail the area they will notice that part of the outer wall seems newer than the rest. There are no supports for climbing and the wall is too high to jump over. Behind it is hidden the entrance to the ritual chambers from where the victims pass through (from the outside). \pagebreakNum ## Second Floor
HD Resolution Map
\pagebreak ## It's a secret to everybody The manor's second floor is where the juiciest clues are hidden - and oh boy are they well hidden. Both Ursandel's and Amandine's room, once uncovered, would let the party clear to what has happened. In general the party should not be able to enter Amandine's room until the end of the adventure - when they will demand an audience with her. The door is locked behind a special incantation and no amount of lock picking will force it open. The only way to access it is by getting the dispel scroll from the ritual chambers. ### Accessing the second floor Similarly to the **Cellars**, the Manor's Second Floor won't be part of what Ursandel will initially show the party. One or more party members will have to spend some time sneaking through the vigilant eye of the Manor's butler and up the foyer's staircase. Unless he's expected to be at some other place, there will be a 20% chance that Ursandel will be roaming around the Second Floor. In that case, have the infiltrating person run a **DC 20 Stealth** check in order to not get caught. *If* the player gets caught, Ursandel will kindly ask him/her their business up there, and will gladly offer to personally introduce them to the nearby chambers. ### Ursandel's Room The room is guarded by a very complex lock which will require a **DC 20 Dexterity** check. Roll with advantage if the person trying has a set of thieves tools. While picking the lock is the most straightforward way of getting inside, it's also the most difficult. Here are some other options. #### Snatching the Key The party can decide to spend time stalking Ursandel looking for an opening to grab the key. Three such occasions are possible: * On Day 1, around 6 pm, he will be training in the backyard. * On Day 2, around 11 am, he will be tending to the front yard's garden. * On Day 2, around 5 pm, he will be busy fixing some accident with the kitchen's pipes. On all of these occasions he will put away his jacket somewhere nearby. If the designated party member succeeds on a **DC 15 Stealth** check s/he will be able to grab the key from it. #### The Mhachi Lockpick Together with a bunch of Mhachi junk in the cellar there is also an artifact which acts as a lockpick of sort - however the players won't be able to identify it blindly. In order to find it they will have to: * Have tried opening Ursandel's Room. * Have inspected the Library. * Have found the Mhachi Stash in the Cellar. If all preconditions are met they will recognize the item (how exactly depends on the order of events; for example if the library is checked last they will notice the artifact in one of the books on Mhach). A book in the library will contain the usage instructions, and with it the players will be able to unlock the door for free. #### Inside the Room
For such a gaudy building, the butler's room appear quite modest. It is a small rectangular room with few essential pieces of furniture: a sober bed, a wardrobe, a sturdy wooden desk... And, quite oddly, a weapon racket holding about six rapiers of different length and shape.
Plain on sight there is a letter sitting on the desk. It recites the following text.
*Yes, that should be plenty of space for performing the ritual. You mentioned an entrance from the rear of the manor, right? If that's so, I'll present myself directly there. I don't want to draw any unwanted attention.* *Don't you worry, we'll make your Lady into the most beautiful of creatures... again.* *S.F.*
The room contains several of Ursandel's belongings, which amount to the following: * A rapier + 1 and five other regular rapiers. * A Potion of Healing * 4'500 gil The players can inspect the desk, whose drawers are unlocked. Behind a **DC 12 Perception** check they will notice one of them has a false bottom. There they'll discover **Ursandel's Diary**. Check the appendix for its contents, and recite some of the pages to the players. The diary recounts the tale of Amandine's scars from Ursandel's perspective. The scenario given will be the one of a retainer desperate for restoring her lady's lost beauty, while not explicitly giving away that Amandine herself was the one falling into madness. It will recount the search for a cure and his findings on Mhach magic, and explain how the ritual chamber has been prepared in the cellar. The entries will stop right before the night the ritual is performed. ### Amandine's Room As mentioned, this room won't be accessible until the proper "key" is found. An initial inspection will make it clear that the lock is not of mechanical origin, but magical. A simple **DC 10 Arcana** check confirms that there is no way of getting through without a special incantation. Such spell is contained within a parchment found in the ritual chambers, which the party will need to find first. \pagebreakNum The rule on Ursandel access still apply: the party can enter if accompanied by him, but all investigation checks will fail as long as he's nearby. On "standard" circumstances, the players will find Amandine waiting for them there, and forcing the door open with the parchment will trigger the concluding fight against her. Depending on the timing however, she might be absent (for example, if the party happens to sneak in at the time of the morning ritual). Be it before or after slaying the Lady the players will eventually be able to examine the entire room.
You find a room way more wasted from what you would have expected from a person of Amandine's lineage. The wallpapers are torn and ruined, and so are the drapes covering her bed. The whole room lies in disarray, as broken pieces of furniture obstruct the passage. From where you entered, on the right side, you spot a drawer with a mirror, whose broken pieces cover the floor nearby. Various small bottles of perfumes, creams and cosmetic are on its surface in a similar state.
The room hides a safe (behind a painting, **DC 15 Investigation**) which contains 10'000 gil and two pieces of jewelry worth 5'000 gil each. There is a vanity on the right side from the entrance, which contains three items: a diadem with a star rose quartz (worth 5'000 gil), Amandine's Diary, and an anonymous letter (from [page 10](#p11)):
*It is said that the sorceresses of ancient Mhach would establish pacts with voidsent entities known as "Succubi", lusty demons of uncanny beauty... By means of this partnership would then the sorceress be immune to any corporeal corruption, be it the passing of age, the decay caused by a wicked ailment, or a war inflicted scars.*
The diary (see the Appendix for its contents) will reveal the entirety of Amandine's tragedy: how she was scarred in the Calamity, how she lost her sanity and ordered all mirrors of the Manor to be removed. Her despair, the search for a cure... and then, the anonymous letter. The last pages describe the perverse ritual, and how she relished in the victims blood, how she was intoxicated by the sudden power rising in her, seeing her beauty restored... All these details will finally clear up the mystery of Haukke Manor, and the destiny of the unfortunate Idrenne. \pagebreakNum ## Cellars
HD Resolution Map
\pagebreakNum ## The Ritual Chamber
HD Resolution Map
\pagebreakNum ## Not only wine
Once a place of retreat and isolation for monks seeking absolute isolation, these musky halls have become the larger storage of Haukke Manor. Some cells are mostly empty, while others are choking with reserves of food or, completely opposite, old broken pieces of furniture ready to be refurbished as burning wood.
The cellars hide the turning point of the story: in the Yellow Hall, behind a cleverly hidden passage, every odd day Lady Amandine performs her depraved sacrifices. Only three days remain until the ritual is complete... ### Accessing the Cellar Similarly to the Second Floor, the Cellars won't be shown during the initial tour of the manor. The players will have to explicitly spend time exploring the Manor before realizing there is actually an underground, larger storage. Some places (like the storage room on the Ground Floor) will hint at its existence. ### The Mhachi Stash In one corner of the cellar the party will found, stored away, a huge pile of ancient magical artifacts of unknown origin. A **DC 15 Intelligence** or **History** check (with **advantage** if the party investigated the library) reveals that these artifacts belong to the fifth astral era, specifically to the civilization of Mhachi, whose sorcerers specialized in Black and Void magic were feared all around the world and one of the major parties in the War of the Magi. Among the garbage there are two artifacts of historical value (worth 2'500 gil each) and a curious contraption shaped like a tube (an [Immovable Rod](https://www.dndbeyond.com/magic-items/immovable-rod), **BR 175**). Finding the stash is one of the prerequisites for unlocking the Mhachi Lockpick, which is one of the possible ways the party can gain access to Ursandel's room (see the chapter dedicated to the Second Floor for further details). ### The Yellow Hall The largest room in the cellar, the Yellow Hall holds the larger food stock of the manor. It is also the place where most of the Manor's wine is stored... Although the barrel placement seems irregular? If the party already investigated the Ground Floor storage, they will immediately realized that the wine barrels have been recently brought upstairs *en masse*, otherwise a **DC 15 Investigation** check yields the same result. Upon more closely checking the more displaced barrels, the party notices a section of the hall that seems to have been "cut" recently and built upon. There is, however, no clear passage. Further inspecting the wall (another **DC 15 Investigation** or **Arcana**) they will notice one particular stone brick that seems separated from the rest. Mechanical tests (pushing, scratching, tapping) produce no effect. The only way to "activate" the wall is the **void seal** that the party acquires from Rehce by following her lead - or by waiting Day 3 (see the chapter on the Manor Events). ### Other rooms The other cells hold nothing of importance, and are filled with scrap wood or reserves of food. If the party investigates the room with a bedroll on the southern central area, they will find a citrine pendant worth 5'000 gil poorly hidden behind a loose brick (**DC 10 Investigation**). Probably left behind by a monk not exactly willing to partake of his earthly goods. ### The Ritual Chamber
As you enter the dimly lit hidden chamber, the stench of death makes you gag. What paves before you conflicts with everything you have seen in the rest of the manor. Floors and walls are stained with blood, and an eerie, weak purple light emanates from its center. On your left you see what looks like a normal table... until you notice that, not unlike the rest of the room, it is covered in blood as well. From the table there extends what seems a drainage system of sort, which ends in a nearby... bowl? Vase? What is *that* thing?
This place is where Amandine and Ursandel have sacrificed Idrenne and her colleagues. The victims were placed on the nearby table, bled dry and their blood made flow in a nearby container, in which Amandine took her baths. The purple light comes from the middle of the chamber, where the summoning ritual had initially been performed. Unless the party stumbles on Ursandel and Amandine performing the ritual, the circle will be dormant, and trying to interact with it won't sort any effect. Inside the chamber the players will also find the following decisive proofs: * A book on void magic, describing the ritual being acted. * The real list of the seven targets, including Idrenne and Rehce (see Second Day events). * A spell scroll, which can be used to unseal Amandine's chambers. They will also find some of the tools used by Ursandel to trick its victims and move in the shadows. * A scroll of [Charm Person](https://www.dndbeyond.com/spells/charm-person) (**BR 221**) * An uncommon [Shadowfell Brand Tattoo](https://www.dndbeyond.com/magic-items/shadowfell-brand-tattoo) (**TCoE 134**) * If you don't have access to Tasha's, replace with any magical item granting advantage to Stealth checks. \pagebreakNum #### Reaching the chamber This should be the penultimate destination of the group before the adventure is over, and as such there are a number of ways to gain access to it. * By following the leads on Rehce, she will draw suspicion against Ursandel, and give the **void seal** which can be used to access the underground passage. * If the party misses Rehce on Day 1, they will find the seal upon inspecting again her chambers. * By gaining access to Ursandel's room and finding the Sorcerer's Letter, which hints at the rear passage. * By following Rehce outside as she wakes up on Day 2. * Forced conflict on Day 3, if all else fails. \pagebreakNum # Events at the Manor The investigation will span at most three days, the time left before the ritual is completed. By the begin of day three the party will have to have gathered solid proof against Amandine and Urandel, or will be taken overnight and confined in the cellars, from where they will have to escape. The definitive proof will be gathered upon discovering the ritual chamber hidden within the Yellow Hall in the cellars, at which point the party will be able to face Amandine for her crimes. ### Tracking Time On average, the party should be able to reach the ritual chamber by the afternoon of the second day. You can play around how much time / persons it requires to do what, but it should be made clear to the players that investigating the Manor *will* require effort (no time bubbles!). For starters, you can use the following table as a reference. | Activity | Persons Required | Time Required | |:---------------------------|:-----------------|:--------------| | Fully investigate 1 room. | 3-4 | 2 hours | | Interrogate 1 servant. | 1-2 | 1 hour | | Further explore the manor. | 1-2 | 1 hour | Allot 4-6 hours per each half of the day depending on the party size. You should assume the first day already starts in the afternoon as the party will have spent the morning at Bentbranch and by visiting the manor with Ursandel. If the player already explored a room, but want to come back later after finding some helping clues, allow this action for free. Some examples: * After finding the Mhach artifacts in the cellar, the players want to look for books on Mhach in the library. * After finding the book on the Voidsent in the library, the players want to sense for void energies in the Yellow Hall. > ##### Large Groups - Multitasking > Suggest the players that they could optimize their time by splitting and performing multiple investigations together. Alternate between the smaller groups so that each player feels like s/he's actively involved in exploring the Manor. ### Fixed Events Exploring the Manor should be a non-linear experience, where the players decide what to do and in which order. However while the party is busy gathering clues everyone else is also running their schedules. Certain events are eventually bound to happen, one way or the other. \columnbreak ## Day 1 The party arrives around the early afternoon, after initially interrogating the people of Bentbranch. They will be welcomed by Amandine and her servants and offered to explore the Manor. ### Let me be your Chaperone Right after being welcomed Ursandel will offer to guide the group around the Ground Floor. He will make rounds showing, in order: * The Library * The Guest Quarters * The Servant Quarters * The Backyard * The Kitchen * The Storage * The Red Hall He will pay attention not to linger too much around the staircase to the Cellar or around the Foyer, and will be dismissive if the party interrogates him about the Manor's other floors. As mentioned on the Exploration chapter, Ursandel will not deny the party's requests to access more sensible chambers, but he will silently thwart their investigation through illusion and charming spells. Apply Ursandel's Illusions Rules in that case. ### Mirror mirror on the wall... Either right after Ursandel's tour, or after exploring some of the chambers, any character with a **Passive Wisdom** higher than 15 will realize that there was no mirror in the manor whatsoever. ### Swordplay If the players pass by the backyard entrance around 6 pm, they will notice Ursandel practicing with his sword against the training dummies. They will also spot his jacket placed aside... This is the first time when they can try to grab the key to his room. ### Will you stay for dinner? After enough time has passed have Ursandel intercept the party and tell them that given the late hour Lady Amandine is suggesting them to stay overnight as guests, and invite them to dinner. While nowhere to be found all day, Amandine will show up at the dining table. You can exploit this occasion as a form of "catch up", in case the party is failing to connect the clues, or to play Amandine's role as she tries to avert suspicion from her. \pagebreakNum > ##### Refusing the invitation > Of course the party can still decide that they don't want to overstay their time in an haunted manor suspiciously involved in a case of murder. Doing so however will prevent them from witnessing certain events. ## Day 2 During the second day most the party will be able to progress most of its investigation and follow up on the clues gathered during the first day. The clock ticks... ### The early bird catches the worm If the party caught drift of the recurring maidens disappearance and explicitly wakes up early or keep guard of movements in the Servant Quarters (or, failing that, a **DC 20 Perception** check) they will catch Rehce leaving the Manor very early in the morning. If interrogated she will reply dismissively, with a very flat tone: *I am sick of this place. I am leaving for good.*. If they have already talked with her they will immediately notice she doesn't really look like herself, otherwise a **DC 10 Wisdom** check makes them realize that something is amiss in her behavior. From there on she will be unresponsive, almost dead like, and will start to leave the manor. The party can decide to follow her tracks, which eventually lead outside the manor, around it, and to a very specific spot on the rear grounds, around the backyard. By keep spying on her they will notice Rehce moving some vines aside and entering what looks like an underground tunnel. Three things can happen: * The player / party can rush straight in. Taking no care will cause them to fall straight into the Ritual Chamber where Ursandel, Amandine and Halicarnassus are waiting, triggering an early fight with potentially deadly consequences. Proceed to the "Interrupting the Ritual" encounter. * If the player / party still tries to follow Rehce, but are more careful in their movements, they will be warned that they hear multiple voices from inside, and feel like an oppressive presence. If they still want to enter, proceed with the "Interrupting the Ritual" Encounter. * They can go back inside and call for support. By the time they return to the secret passage the sixth and penultimate sacrifice will have been performed. Proceed as if the players are entering the Ritual Chamber for the first time. ### A busy butler If the party passes by the foyer close to midday, they will notice Ursandel tending to the bushes in the front yard. Once again he'll have put his jacket aside, and once again there will be a chance for grabbing his key. Another such occasion will present itself in early evening, when Ursandel is trying to fix a broken pipe in the kitchen ### A lone meal Like the day before, the party will be interrupted for both lunch and dinner. However this time Amandine will not be present (she is in her chamber after the ritual). The party will notice a somewhat clumsy servant bringing food to the table. If asking about him they will be replied that the previous handmaid (Rehce) has left service early in the morning, and the current servant is somewhat new to this duty. ## Day 3 This is the hard stop. If the players have failed to uncover the mystery behind the murder, the barrier between Eorzea and the Void will start to loose up and some lesser vodisents will start invading the manor. If the party stays overnight, they will wake up in the cellar rather than their beds. From here run the "Voidnapped" Encounter. > ##### No way I sleep here > If, again, the party refuses to stay for the night, the day after they will find that the Manor's doors are shut, and nobody is answering... Looking around, they notice a detail that didn't catch their eyes before: there appears to be a track in the tall grass that from the Manor's entrance leads to its back... ### Where is everyone? The player's group was not the only one taken during the night. If the party takes a look in the cells of the cellar, they will find all the Manor's servants, tormented by various minor voidsents (lesser Ahrimans and Imps). Choose one random room of the cellar. Consider all rooms that are not occupied by the players or the Mhachi Stash, and choose one of them. Add an Easy encounter to it (2 Imps, or 1 Ahriman and 1 Imp). Saving a group of servants net the group some rewards: either 1 [potion of healing](https://www.dndbeyond.com/magic-items/potion-of-healing) or 2 golden needles ### The Final Showdown Once the party has found the Ritual Chamber and collected its contents, they should be heading towards Amandine's Room. Before they can do so, however, they are stopped by Ursandel, who saw them sneaking into the hidden door in the Yellow Hall. From there, run the "Not another step" encounter. > ##### Large Groups > Consider merging Amandine and Ursandel's fight if the party consists of at least 5 level 4 characters. Run the "Joint efforts" encounter in that case, instead, upon entering Amandine's room. \pagebreakNum Up the staircase in the foyer the party will reach the sealed door to Amandine's Room. The Scroll found in the Ritual Chamber will immediately react and dispel the lock, allowing them in. From there, run either the "All's Fair to be Fair" or "Joint efforts" encounters. \pagebreakNum # Conclusion and resolution With Amandine slain and the servants (possibly) freed, the party has now more than enough proof to shed light on the destiny of Idrenne. With the contractor's demise, the void pact is now null, and the unsettling ritual chamber now appears no longer functional. With Halicarnassus out of the way, the fog clears from the servants' minds, and they start recalling the incident of the Calamity, and the years spent in reclusion by Amandine. Finally back to Gridania and away from the wicked Manor, the Yellow Jackets and the Adventurers will report what has happened in the Central Shroud. The Commander will further commend their success based on the following variables: * Did the party slay Halicarnassus in the middle of the ritual or not? * Did the party manage to save Rehce by stopping Amandine on Day 1 or not? * Did the party fall prey to the voidsents on Day 3? * Which and how many of the following evidence the party brought back: * (True) List of Victims * Amandine Diary * Ursandel Diary * Anonymous Letter Check Appendix D for additional out-of-character awards for your players, in case you're into achievements. \pagebreakNum # Encounters
##### Summary Table | Name | Enemies | Difficulty (4L4) | Summary | |:------------------------|:------------------------|:-----------------|:--------------------------------------------------------------------------| | Interrupting the Ritual | Ursandel, Halicarnassus | Deadly | You sneaked right in the middle of the sacrifice. | | Voidnapped | 2+ Imps | Easy | The party is imprisoned in the cellars and tormented by lesser voidsents. | | Not Another Step | Ursandel, 1 Imp | Easy | Ursandel is forced to take action against the party. | | All's Fair to be Fair | Amandine | Medium | Amandine is lashing out after being uncovered. | | Joint Effort | Amandine, Ursandel | Deadly | The two accomplices join forces against the party. |
## Interrupting the Ritual - **Enemies** Ursandel, Halicarnassus - **Difficulty** Deadly (4L4), Hard (6L4) - **Objective** Save Rehce from being sacrificed to Halicarnassus, or die pulling a Leeroy for it. - **Reward** Access to the Ritual Chamber, access to Amandine's room, save Rehce, stop the Ritual.
You follow the young Miqo'te down an improvised underground tunnel. Initially it's pitch black, but lacking any alternative you press forward. In a few seconds you start noticing an eerie, purple light emanating from somewhere in the distance. As you get closer, you start feeling a pressure on your chest, a strong discomfort. You fight back the urge to turn you heels and, against your better judgment, reach the end of the tunnel. When you reach the source of the light, you are greeted by a familiar voice: "*Well, I'm terribly sorry sir,*" says Ursandel, "*but this meeting is strictly under invitation.*".
This fight is intentionally unbalanced for killing a single or two-players party pretty fast. An eager player should be warned by subsequent Constitution checks before even being able to reach the chamber. If they still press forward they will find Ursandel and Amandine in the process of binding Rehce. Halicarnassus will be present through the ritual circle in the room, and will proceed with fully possessing Amandine in retaliation. The two (Ursandel and Halicarnassus) will then attack the intruders. This fight **might** be suitable for a party of 6 level 4 characters, but it is still not recommended since Halicarnassus has both the charming skills of a Succubus and a consistent damage output, other than a higher armor class which might make hard for players to land a hit. \columnbreak ## Voidnapped - **Enemies** 2 [Imp](https://www.dndbeyond.com/monsters/imp) (**BR277**) / 1 [Imp](https://www.dndbeyond.com/monsters/imp), 1 Ahriman per group (see below) - **Difficulty** Easy (3L4). - **Objective** Escape from the Manor's Cellar by slaying your jailers. - **Rewards** Access to the Ritual Chamber, escape from your cell.
"*This one looks juicy...*". "*No no... this one... this one is tender!*". *ZAK!* You wake up all of a sudden in the most unexpected way: a sharp pain around the height of your shoulder, then a sensation of heat, like blood spilling. You open your eyes wide and find two monstrous birds staring at you, like gigantic ravens. "*Caaaw! This one is awake!*" A sudden black vortex starts swirling around the two birds, as it twists their images, change their features, turning them into two small devilets: two imps.
The party has been taken overnight by the voidsents spilling out of the portal established in the pact between Amandine and Halicarnassus. Split the party into smaller groups of at most 3 players, and have them face 2 monsters if they are 3, otherwise only 1. The monsters can be an [Imp](https://www.dndbeyond.com/monsters/imp) (**BR 277**) or an Ahriman (check the Monsters Appendix). When one of the monsters remains alone, he will run for his life out of the cell. If the party chases it it will lead them into the Ritual Chamber, whose door the party will find open. \pagebreakNum ## Not Another Step - **Enemies** Ursandel, 1 [Imp](https://www.dndbeyond.com/monsters/imp). - **Difficulty** Easy (4L4). - **Objective** Defeat Ursandel and his minion. - **Rewards** Progress to Amandine's chamber.
"*I'm sorry sir, but I can't let you past here.*". Haukke Manor's butler appears as calm as always. "*You see, my Lady is very, very busy right now, aNd I cAnt, allow, a bUncH, of little, yelloW-fucKeRs, todisturbher.*". His movements jitter, his speech suddenly loses composure, he moves as erratically as ever. As he draws near you can't but stare in horror as his body shifts with every movement. His limbs elongate in a most unnatural way, like long vines protruding from his body. Two large, bat-like wings emerge from his back, as he starts fluctuating. But the worst part are his eyes. You don't notice it at first, but soon enough they start accruing a yellow hue. The more you stare into them, the larger, rounder, bigger, they seem to appear. Larger, and larger... until eventually, like an amorphous blob, they join at the center, swallowing his nose, and then his entire face. In few moments what human remained of Ursandel is no more, and what stands before you is a huge, floating, stand alone eye ball.
Ursandel stands his ground, accompanied by one of the voidsents summoned forth from the Ritual Chamber. He's the only Ahriman in the manor that can actually inflict Petrify on the group, although on a single target per time. However if the group found some gold needles in the Manor, they can be used for curing the victims. \columnbreak ## All's Fair to be Fair - **Enemies** Amandine ([Succubus](https://www.dndbeyond.com/monsters/succubus) **BR349**) - **Difficulty** Medium (4L4). - **Objective** Stop Amandine once and for all. - **Rewards** Stop the Ritual, access Amandine's chamber, 1 [Amulet of Health](https://www.dndbeyond.com/magic-items/amulet-of-health) (**BR 150**).
Once the seal unravels and the large door opens, you spot the Manor's Lady almost immediately sitting in front of a drawer, tending to her hair. Weirdly, and somewhat disturbingly, you notice that the mirror she stands in front of is, in fact, completely shattered. She stops as soon as you step in, calmly putting her brush aside. "*It's beautiful, isn't it?*" she says, without even turning. "*Did it ever happen to you? Getting lost in front of a mirror, wondering how many marvels must have it witnessed? Wondering, if the one facing right now, is the fairest of them all, like the fairy tales of old?*" She slowly turns toward you. "*Beauty and perfections are absolute, won't you agree?*"
Amandine starts the encounter by immediately trying to charm one of the party members. If she succeeds, she will immediately vanish into the Void, and reappear on her next turn in Succubus form. Fail or success, roll initiative and start the fight. Amandine will try to avoid direct conflict whenever possible, laying low in the Ethereal Plane (interpret it as the Void) whenever she has a charmed character. If she has no charmed target she will stay in the material plane and try to beguile one; if she can't charm anyone, she will resort to manual attacking. Once Amandine is dead she will revert to her human form. The party can inspect her body and find an [Amulet of Health](https://www.dndbeyond.com/magic-items/amulet-of-health). ## Joint Effort - **Enemies** Ursandel, Amandine ([Succubus](https://www.dndbeyond.com/monsters/succubus) **BR 349**) - **Difficulty** Deadly (4L4), Medium (6L4). - **Objective** Stop Amandine and her accomplice once and for all. - **Rewards** Stop the Ritual, access Amandine's chamber, 1 [Amulet of Health](https://www.dndbeyond.com/magic-items/amulet-of-health) (**BR 150**). In this scenario the party will face both together. The party will find Amandine alone at first, but once everyone is inside Ursandel will step in and close the door behind him. During the fight, Amandine will have the same behavior as if she were alone. As for Ursandel, he will aggressively attack the party, but will try to petrify anyone attacking Amandine. \pagebreakNum # Appendix A - Monsters ___ > ## Ahriman > *Medium fiend, neutral evil* > ___ > - **Armor Class** 12 (Natural Armor) > - **Hit Points** 13 (3d4 + 6) > - **Speed** 5 ft., fly 40 ft. > ___ >|STR|DEX|CON|INT|WIS|CHA| >|:---:|:---:|:---:|:---:|:---:|:---:| >|6 (-2)|14 (+2)|14 (+2)|4 (-3)|7 (-2)|2 (-4)| > ___ > - **Damage Resistances** Cold, Fire, Lightning > - **Condition Immunities** Petrified > - **Senses** Darkvision 60 ft., Passive Perception 8 > - **Languages** Understands Eorzean, but can't speak. > - **Challenge** 1 (200 XP) Proficiency Bonus +2 > ___ > > ### Actions > ***Bite***. *Melee Weapon Attack*: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. *Hit*: 14 (4d6 + 1) piercing damage. > > ***Blizzard.*** The Ahriman casts the [**Ice Knife**](https://www.dndbeyond.com/spells/ice-knife) spell (**EE1 157**) (**DC 12 Saving Throw**). \columnbreak ___ > ## Ursandel - Ahriman Form >*Medium fiend, neutral evil* > ___ > - **Armor Class** 13 (Natural Armor) > - **Hit Points** 91 (14d8 + 28) > - **Speed** 5ft., fly 40 ft. > ___ >|STR|DEX|CON|INT|WIS|CHA| >|:---:|:---:|:---:|:---:|:---:|:---:| >|6 (-2)|12 (+1)|14 (+2)|14 (+2)|7 (-2)|4 (-3)| > ___ > - **Damage Resistances** Cold, Fire, Lightning > - **Condition Immunities** Petrified > - **Senses** Darkvision 60 ft., Passive Perception 10 > - **Languages** Common Eorzean. Understands only. > - **Challenge** 2 (450 XP) Proficiency Bonus +2 > ___ > > ### Actions > ***Bite.*** *Melee Weapon Attack:* +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. *Hit:* 18 (6d4 + 3) piercing damage. > > ***Blizzard.*** The Ahriman casts the [**Ice Knife**](https://www.dndbeyond.com/spells/ice-knife) spell (**EE1 157**) (**DC 12 Saving Throw**). > > ***Level 1 Petrify.*** The ahriman targets a humanoid it can see within 30 feet. The target must succeed on a DC 12 Constitution saving throw or be petrified for two rounds. \pagebreakNum ___ ___ > ## Halicarnassus >*Medium fiend, neutral evil* > ___ > - **Armor Class** 17 (Natural Armor) > - **Hit Points** 88 (16d8 + 16) > - **Speed** 30ft., fly 60 ft. > ___ >|STR|DEX|CON|INT|WIS|CHA| >|:---:|:---:|:---:|:---:|:---:|:---:| >|8 (-1)|17 (+3)|13 (+1)|15 (+2)|12 (+1)|20 (+5)| > ___ > - **Skills** Deception +9, Insight +5, Perception +5, Persuasion +9, Stealth +7 > - **Damage Resistances** Cold, Fire, Lightning, Poison; Bludgeoning, Piercing, and Slashing from Nonmagical Attacks > - **Condition Immunities** Charmed > - **Senses** Darkvision 60 ft., Passive Perception 15 > - **Languages** Abyssal, Common, Infernal, Telepathy 60 ft. > - **Challenge** 5 (1,800 XP) **Proficiency Bonus** +3 > ___ > ***Telepathic Bond***. The fiend ignores the range restriction on its telepathy when communicating with a creature it has charmed. The two don't even need to be on the same plane of existence. > ___ > ### Actions > ***Impale***. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 21 (4d8 + 3) piercing damage. > > ***Charm***. One humanoid the fiend can see within 30 feet of it must succeed on a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw or be magically charmed for 1 day. The charmed target obeys the fiend's verbal or telepathic commands. If the target suffers any harm or receives a suicidal command, it can repeat the saving throw, ending the effect on a success. If the target successfully saves against the effect, or if the effect on it ends, the target is immune to this fiend's Charm for the next 24 hours. > > The fiend can have only one target charmed at a time. If it charms another, the effect on the previous target ends. > > ***Lusty Kiss***. The fiend kisses a creature charmed by it or a willing creature. The target must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw against this magic, taking 35 (5d10 + 8) psychic damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. The target's hit point maximum is reduced by an amount equal to the damage taken. This reduction lasts until the target finishes a long rest. The target dies if this effect reduces its hit point maximum to 0. > > If the target creature dies as a result of the kiss, it rises again as Succubus/Incubus. > > ***Etherealness***. The fiend magically enters the Void from the Material Plane, or vice versa. > ___ > ### Reactions > ***Reflect Charm***. The fiend is immune to Charm, and any attempt to charm it will cause it to use its Charm action back to the caster as a Reaction. \pagebreakNum # Appendix B - Custom Items ### Gold Needle ##### Healing, consumable
*Credit: Final Fantasy Wiki*
*The properties of this solid-gold needle include curing petrification and pricking fingers.* ___ Can be used to cure petrifaction on an affected creature. If the victim itself owns one at the moment of being petrified, it can use a reaction before the effect takes place to activate it. \pagebreakNum # Appendix C - Documents ## Ursandel's Diary
***The date is unreadable*** *We just finished unpacking all of milady's belongings. From now on Haukke Manor will be our new home. I was perplexed at moving in such a secluded place in the forest, especially one with such an ill reputation... But watching milady's smile as she filled the empty shelves of the new library, often flipping the page of a book ever so curious... I can't help but be filled with optimism.*
***The date is unreadable*** *We have been living here for quite a while, and yet the locals have not accepted us. Wicked rumors spread around milady, the ones which just listening to make my blood boil... She's always been very self aware of her own look, and like a cautious banker guards his vault she protects her bodily treasure by ensuring she gets the best cosmetics of all Hydaelyn.* *But this... the Gridanians will never get it.*
***??-??-1572 6th Astral*** *The red moon, Dalamud, has been growing by the day. For all my years of service, I have never witnessed anything of the like. I have heard news of Garlean machinations and the Grand Company of Gridania being founded again by the Elder Seedseer in person.* *Milady is laboring to prepare an evacuation plan from Bentbranch Meadows into our Cellars, where we will improvise a shelter. But they'd rather hole themselves in a pile of chocobo dung than getting anywhere close to the Manor...*
***??-??-1572 6th Astral*** ***The writing is irregular, nervous*** *I lost her. I failed. She rushed to the settlement to evacuate the inhabitants, as fire falls from the sky. A violent earthquake separated us, and as the ground ruptured, I could only helplessly see her fall down, down, down below...*
***06-01-0001 7th Umbral*** *Nophica be praised, she's alive! We found Milady Amandine at the base of a huge tree root. She's gravely wounded, but she's alive.*
***15-02-0001 7th Umbral*** *Her scars just won't heal. Her pristine beauty, her precious treasure... is forever lost. The conjurers of Stillglade Fane say the debris from Bahamut's wake have forever seeped into her face, and will never disappear.* *I can't stand idle like this. I have ordered all mirrors of the manor to be removed, and anyone even trying to raise a shard to be dismissed from service immediately. None shall remind her of what she is now, and ever so sweet will be the moment when she will be back to her former self. I __will__ bring her back.*
***24-06-0003 7th Umbral*** *I've lost count of how many self-proclaimed healers have stepped through this doors in these years. At best they were powerless to help milady. At worst they just wasted our time.*
***07-08-0004 7th Umbral*** *How stupid I was. There is no cure for Amandine's affliction in this world. So, the only solution is to search __beyond__ it.*
***13-03-0005 7th Umbral*** *I spent the last months buried in the most pointless Mhachi garbage scavengers could find. But I finally found what I needed, a book once belonged to a sorceress of Mhach nicknamed "the forever young".* *I also found someone with the skills and will to perform the ritual. We shall enact it tonight.*
The rest of the pages are empty. \pagebreakNum ## Amandine's Diary The first pages are a bit redundant with respect to Ursandel's Diary - you can skip them if you prefer. Amandine doesn't have the habit of noting the day so the date is missing.
*The Seedseer seemed pretty eager of getting rid of this place. I guess it doesn't really fit the spirit of the Twelveswood. Not that I really care, there is plenty of space, both in and outside. True to their name, it's almost as if these halls spoke to me when I first saw them.*
*This accommodation truly is a blessing. Caravans from all over Eorzean pass by the nearby settlement towards Gridania. Every time I can ask the maids to bring me their best wares - fancy foods, splendid jewelry, and books! Together they're like a walking encyclopedia.* *I must say, even my complexion seems somewhat rejuvenated, if that is even possible. I can't get enough of bathing in the milk of Vylbrand's Buffalos, they truly are the best of the realm.*
*I wrote to a contact close to the Circle of Knowing. If what she told me is true, Dalamud poses a great peril for all of Eorzea. If all comes to worst, we need a shelter for safety. We all need.*
*nonononono no no no nOn O nOnOnO N ON O N O NONO NO NO NO NO NO!*
*This is not happening, not to me, I can't be that... thing! I'll cast away that dastardly reflection - Ursandel should be already on to it.* *This is not me. It's not me it's not me IT'S NOT ME!*
*I can't stand their gaze. They try. They fail. Then the pity digs into their eyes. I can't stand it!* *I don't need anyone. I won't see anyone. Just go away!*
*Today a letter arrived: there was no name attached. It might be the solution to my... problem.* *Succubi... I haven't heard their name in a long time. I think I read on book on them, once. It should still be in the library. Ursandel will put all himself into it, I know it.* *I don't care what will happen to me. I just want myself back.*
*The ritual worked. I met an otherworldly being of irresistible beauty... She didn't told me her name, so I gave her one: Halicarnassus, like the witch of yore.* *Unfortunately there was a little accident in the process, but we won't need our little thaumaturge anymore... Halicarnassus gave us all the means to proceed.*
*It worked... it just... worked! I feel more powerful then ever, more energetic than ever, more... BEAUTIFUL, then ever. It is a shame to let go of so many useful girls to bring me closer to perfection, those pretty, little things... Maybe we shouldn't let go of their bodies so easily... Maybe we could... __reuse__ them.* *I don't think I'll need any mirror again after all... I just __know__ how splendid I must be: all I need is to look into everyone's eyes.*
\pagebreakNum # Appendix D - Achievements
Awarded for "curing" a succubus-charmed companion by hitting them.
Awarded for following Rehce as a small group and dying by the hand of Halicarnassus. \columnbreak
Awarded for concluding that Rehce is the real culprit. \pagebreakNum
A Murder In The Woods
The Seventh Umbral Calaimity has brought waste into Eorzea. Five years have passed, but the world has hardly come back to normal. But even if attacks from the beast, or skirmishes with the empire at the Ala Mhigan border are somewhat common in the Twelveswood, a brutal murder and disfigured body is more than enough to unsettle the Elementals and raise the alarm. Will your party uncover the mystery behind this gruesome finding? Or will they be the next victim of the Shroud's killer?
Loosely inspired to an event in the Final Fantasy XIV story, as much as possible rooted in its deep lore, I hope you will enjoy this investigation in the Black Shroud.
##### Changelog ### 1 / 1 / 21 v1.0.0 Initial Release. ### 1 / 2 / 21 v1.0.1 Changed format from A4 to Letter. ### 1 / 14 / 21 v1.0.1 Minor grammatical corrections. ### 1 / 18 / 21 v1.1.0 Added high quality maps made with Inkarnate. ### 1 / 21 / 21 v1.1.1 Minor corrections to the map (the grid was offset at 0, 0). ### 2 / 14 / 21 v1.2.0 * Added an optional section for having the players go after their Chocobos, instead of having them granted. * Spread a lot more loot all over the place. * Added a loot table for reference. ### 2 / 28 / 21 v1.2.1 Fixed some bad overlapping the first and second floor maps. ### 1 / 12 / 21 v1.3.0 * Fixed formatting due to an apparent stealth update in GMBinder's metrics. * Added some specifications regarding a potential plot hole. * Added a section with a list of default servants for the Manor. * Converted monetary units from GP to gil.