The intrepid group found its way to the seaside manse and former home of the alchemist without incident. A preliminary reconaissance of the grounds revealed only dry frogweed and eel grass, a smattering of insects buzzing about the few flowering late summer blossoms, and a skinny yet unhappy serpent, shich attempted to bite Temerity through her boot. Once through the large front doors, the adventurers found a home of significant age, and significant decay, its obviously once-posh furnishings having mouldered from some combination of sea air, neglect, and perhaps just a touch of evil, barely visible in its ill-omened aspect. Exploration of several grand brick fireplaces turned up a few choice objects (a gem, a ring), as well as a nasty giant spider, whose venomous bite caused Meris to spend the rest of the day with a shooting pain in her arm. Fittingly, she was able to administer the final crushing blow via her magic missile , crisping the arachnid’s chitinous skin with satisfaction.
Although they had been warned to look out for the supernatural within the house, initial searching turned up little but decay and ruin; the exceptions were two eerie events of an auditory nature—human screaming when descending the kitchen stairs to the wine cellar, and a warning of doom voiced by an unseen speaker. Whether these events were authentic examples of the supernatural or human efforts to appear that way remains unclear. The wine cellar contains many broken and empty barrels and smashed glassware, as well as a corpse: a fighting man dead about two weeks, still wearing plate armor and a sword. This creepy discovery aside, there seemed little else of interest down below, despite Hirax’s best efforts to locate a drink. The second floor revealed some rotting floorboards and a mysterious semi-circle of red mushrooms. Hirax took a sampling of these for later investigation. From the ruins of the first floor library Temerity found three volumes of a local interest which she has kept; one book contained a scrap of damaged parchment on which a single word, “skeletons” is visible.