S tanding over the ashes of their fallen foe, the four adventurers collected their wits in the dining hall of Floshin Manor. Master Floshin himself had been rendered catatonic by the breaking of Xedac’s spell, and while he gradually came to, the party discussed how best to proceed. Uncertain over the logistics of vampiric physiology, and well aware of the threat posed by this familiar fiend, they opted to divide the vampire’s ashes into four distinct piles, keeping them safe and separate for the time being.
Once Elorfindar Floshin had regained a modicum of sense, he attempted to explain the series of events that had led up to this fateful confrontation. Though clearly suffering from a form of amnesia as a result of Xedac’s curse, Floshin told the party of her arrival at the manor some weeks earlier, posing as a collector of curious antiquities. Upon being invited into the household, Xedac took control of Floshin and his servants, allowing a force of Drow mercenaries to search the premises for the object of their desire: a rare chalice of exotic origin.
While reluctant to reveal the object’s secrets to these newcomers, Floshin eventually explained that Floshin Manor served as a gateway to the House of Long Silence — a temple in the Ardeep Forest guarding an ancient Elven network of portals that connected Faerun and beyond — and that the chalice itself was a key to one of these portals. Despite the absence of the thieves since the party’s arrival, Floshin speculated that they would be well on their way into the woods, and that the party should pursue them.
Unfortunately, the invasion had activated the manor’s arcane security network. As a failsafe, the devices that had placed the manor on lockdown could only be deactivated manually, through a series of triggers and switches throughout the house. Floshin provided the adventurers with a key to the Library before retiring to his chambers to recover from his spell.
The Library would be the first in a sequence of brain-twisting riddles that would tax the party’s comprehension. After solving a sequence of puzzles that revealed some of the ancient history of the Floshin Estate and its relationship to the Conclave of Six, the party made their way to the ballroom. Here, they were forced to navigate a series of sliding grids, guiding a mannequin across the dancefloor to her long-lost partner while the room’s sentinels stood watch, ready to cut down any would-be intruders.
Their sleuthing eventually pointed them to the manor’s Gallery, where the clues gathered throughout the house culminated in a final riddle that would provide access to the depths of the mansion. Making their way down into the dingy cellars, they gained more insight into the intruders’ actions, while Zerg liberated a fine axe from a now-deceased former owner.
In the manor’s wine cellar, the group discovered an elaborate sequence of pulleys and levers that secured the way forward. While Zerg and Vyurek threw a pair of twin switches they believed would open the way forward, in doing so they set off a trap that encaged them within. Together, Aystra and Havard scoured the room for hidden switches until finding a pressure plate nearby. Rather than waste time and effort maneuvering a weight up and onto the plate, Aystra summoned a celestial leopard to sit on it like a good boy. Before taking her leave, she also uncovered a hidden alcove where Sundryl Floshin had been entombed for centuries. Clutched in his decaying hands was a journal, revealing the true secrets behind his betrayal of the Conclave and the fate of his descendants.
The room ahead was as cold as a crypt, and appropriately so. Within, they discovered the coffin of Xedac, which contained an encrypted note. Overlooking the fiend’s sleeping quarters sat a massive mechanical monstrosity, apparently the final guardian between the manor and the forest. Remembering the curious gear they had looted from Xedac’s ashes, Havard was able to deftly disable the clockwork device, securing passage into the deep, dark woods ahead…