Wednesday, Balasar, and Gibb were assigned a quest from Eskandir which called for them to go investigate mysterious goings-on in the town of Rastia. Another member of the guild, Valna, was been assigned to accompany the three on their quest. In Rastia they met with the Mayor of Rastia who informs them that he is the one who hired them for the errand. One of the local boys, Alphonse, had sneaked onto the the property of Winfred Archibald where he saw mysterious lights and sounds emanating from the manor. The mayor hired the party to investigate the manor to make sure that there was no foul play and to take care of anything which might be dangerous. Additionally, the assignment from Eskandir mentioned that they would be paid for any information they return with which might be useful for The Iron Shield.
The party reached the manor and saw a figure who appeared to be a servant of the manor, though in the darkness all they could make out was the two glowing green orbs he had for eyes. Balasar entered the front door and found a security rune at the base of a stairwell which immediately malfunctioned, triggering a whirling blade trap. Valna, Wednesday, and Balasar went up the stairs to explore and Gibb went to see the butler. The butler was an automaton who would continually ask Gibb if he was a guest of Dr. Archibald. Gibb destroyed the butler after he tried to serve Gibb a piece of rotten fruit. The food in the pantry had been rotting for some time.Upstairs, the party encountered a similarly malfunctioning security rune, which triggered a Pendulum Scythe trap. The team also was set upon by the rest of the servant automatons armed with various household items. The party found a series of bedrooms and junk closets, as well as the display panel for the scythe trap. Balasar and Wednesday took turns smashing the display panel which made the trap significantly more dangerous. After defeating the servant pawns the party finds a heavy brass key and a letter in the daughters room:
The party opens a heavy locked door downstairs with the brass key. In the room the find a blazing fireplace, several couches, and a table with a book. Once the party entered the room, four statues resembling chess figures sprang to live and attacked the party. After dispatching the chess pieces the party found the following letter in the book:
Father came to me today in a panic. He probably had made some fabulous new discovery which will inevitably take his time away from us. He came and grabbed up a handful of my scribing crystals. He’s so weird. I’m soooooo bored. I can’t believe he keeps us locked up in here, it’s so unfair…
Dearest Husband, It is with a heavy heart that I write you this evening. The archanists guild has been called to conquer the great bastion at Fallcrest. I do not understand the chamberlain’s decision in this matter. He appears to have lost all sense and is willing to sacrifice our fair order for the benefit of some imperial game. I fear I may not return from this mission. Should I fall, remember that I will be watching over you and our children eternally, by Ioun’s grace.
The party enters the name “Elizabeth” into a rune pad on the second floor which opened the door to Archibald’s workshop. In there they found a malfunctioning grandfather clock. Wednesday opened up the mechanism in the clock which turned out to be sabotaged with some sort of crystal pin which would explode if tampered with. Wednesday successfully disarmed the trap at which point the traps in the house shut down and the security runes returned to normal. The party then entered the alchemical lab in the basement of the manor where they found Dr. Archibald’s lab notebook:
One Month Ago:
Have made startling discovery. I visited the barracks at Altaire today and interviewed, YES INTERVIEWED, one of the warforged that stands watch for the House of War. Incredible, simply incredible. These are not the simple playthings I tinker with in my laboratory, but a thing, no, a person blessed with the gift of life. The gift of a soul…. I must investigate further.
Three Weeks ago:
Met again with Number 734. Simply striking conversation with the lad. He explained to me the source of his sentience, the place in which his soul resides. It’s a crystal, a simple unassuming stone which bears his life. Natika has many such crystals in her room as I recall. Will borrow some and investigate further.
Two Weeks ago:
That blasted woman stopped by again. I hate when guests arrive unexpectedly, it’s simply rude and a great disturbance to my work. I refuse to sell my life’s work to the highest bidder. I’m not even sure she has noble intentions for my fair creations. She probably wants to sell them to the imperials. If she shows her face around here I shall be very cross indeed.
10 Days Ago:
Madness has stricken this house, all of the servants are malfunctioning horribly. I’m taking the children and fleeing north to Centaris. Forgive me Elizabeth…
In the alchemical laboratory the party found what appeared to be the frame of a warforged or some other automaton. Additionally, they found a Deep Pocket Cloak, a suit of Skybound Leather Armor, and a suit of Time Link Chainmail. There were also several alchemical items in the lab.