They were met by a strong iron gate, but with some physical effort from Levinia, the rusty lock was broken. Finding the lack of any kind of notification device rather odd, the heroes crept inward on the dirt path, scanning the trees and unkempt gardens for signs of life.
Upon arriving at the door, the party did notice lights on inside. Vanion broken into a drumming solo on the door as they called out for someone to answer the door. After some time passed, Barty realized the front door was open, and they entered The Foyer. Zoshia and Levinia investigated the pile of furniture off to the left down the hallway, while Barty and others investigated the sconces that appeared to be lit by magical means. Upon pulling one off the wall, Barty found that they are powered by some kind of magic-wire. He mended the sconce and replaced it on the wall. Zoshia and Levinia were able to remove the furniture, and find a large metal door on the other side, as well as a spherical hole in the wall. Zoshia put her hand inside but was hit with a jolt of lightning damage. It also did not appear to be pressure sensitive.
Vanion wandered into The Music Room, finding ornate furniture, paintings, a grand piano and a harp. Using his lute skills, he began figuring out how to play the harp, with a mage hand of his attempting the piano. His mage hand however played very poorly and ended up doing a full key-swipe, opening up a previously latched-closed painting on the wall. Vanion did not notice this however, and his mage hand fell to the floor. Torvak (or Jorvyn as his actual name) entered the room, investigating the paintings. He came to the conclusion that the painting that had opened was in the proper position, and the other 3 were crooked, so he went about trying to fix them.
Barty entered the room after taking notes on the sconces, and found Torvak/Jorvyn adjusting the apparently skewed paintings. He quickly found he agreed with Torvak’s assessment and assisted him in tilting the paintings. Levinia and then Zoshia entered the Music Room. Levinia discovered the open painting was actually the odd-man-out and investigated. She found a safe behind the painting. Torvak cracked the safe, and found 100 gold pieces, a strange green gem, and a vial of green liquid. Throwing aside the gem rather hastily, Zoshia chose to hold onto it, recognizing the color of the gem did not match the color of the liquid in the vial. Barty discovered that the green liquid did give off a magical aura.
The gang opted to leave the Music Room behind, and check out the other open door. The group entered The Common Room, and when looking around found a pool of blood in the corner. Barty noticed there was still blood dripping into the pool, and looked up to find a dead Crestguard guard impaled on spikes on the ceiling. Zoshia investigated the flooring and found 9 pressure-triggers that would activate the ceiling spikes. The heroes decided they would return to this room later to grab proof of death (in the form of the Crestguard patch on his uniform).
The heroes opened the door to The Gallery. Peering inside, they saw many nice portraits lining the walls in this room. In the far end of the room were two doors. Some of the party found scuff marks on the floor from some kind of struggle, leading back towards the door they had just come through. The scuff marks were odd, including both boot streaks and divots in the floor from something heavy. While the party was investigating, one of the doors at the end of The Gallery opened up, and two clockwork automatons entered the room! The party readied themselves for battle, and after many arrows, thorns, javelins, daggers, cleaves, and spells, the 5 automatons were defeated, leaving behind only their weapons and piles of metallic dust. Torvak pocketed some dust, and Zoshia collected 3 of the javelins. The party successfully took a short rest, patching up their wounds.
The heroes discovered a keypad mechanism that controlled a lockbar on the door the automatons did not enter through. The small windows in the door revealed the other side to be some sort of garden/courtyard area. Vanion, after witnessing the bloody guard situation, was wishing for some fresh air. Barty, upon incredibly close inspection, realized that there was some kind of substance over-top the portraits, placed there sometime after they were dried. Barty detached all the sconces from the walls, leaving only the lights below the paintings to illuminate them. He discovered upon covering up one of the lights, that a phosphorescent message was hidden on the paintings. They found out the keypad’s code was “ROBOTICS”. Once entered, the door to the Courtyard was unlocked.
Levinia decided to venture into The Trophy Room (where the automatons had come from) while the rest of the party moved out into the Courtyard. Levinia spent time looking at her reflection in the shiny plaques denoting Professor Raster’s many successes. In the courtyard, the party found many benches and shrubberies, as well as a stone path surrounding a decently-sized running fountain in the center. Mezer went to get a drink from the fountain. Barty and Torvak investigated the shrubberies around the courtyard. Barty found one that seemed to be rustling. He prodded at it with his bedpost staff and heard a resounding “OW!”. A crestguard guard covered with dirt and leaves in a poor attempt at camouflage emerged. Through conversation the players were able to find out the man’s name was Rodrigo. He had come to the mansion with his partner, Frederick, to deliver the noise complaint. Frederick had been caught in the spike trap, and Rodrigo heard the automatons stomping around. Incredibly frightened, he tried to figure out the keypad message with his knowledge of the Professor’s work. Eventually he got the code, and hid in the courtyard believing the automatons wouldn’t know the passcode. Before entering the courtyard (which he believed to be safer than trying to run to the door thanks to all the noises he heard), he used a phosphorescent material found in a vial on one of the side-tables in the Gallery to write out the passcode for someone to find.