The Horrors at Castle Kilgore – Level 5 Adventure (5e)

Introduction

“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is of the unknown.” – H.P. Lovecraft

You and your crew are Adventurers and are well known for your heroism. Many of the locals and nearby towns hire you to deal with the things that only you are equipped to handle. You receive a message from Grace Kilgore, the wife of a rich farmer on the outskirts of town. You have never heard her that panicked before. What you remember about her is that she is usually so calm and collected when she travels into Phandalin to buy goods in the market. In response to her urgent plea, you head out immediately despite the late hour.

As your horses and carriage barrels down the dirt road, you are all discussing what could have frightened her enough to send an urgent request for you to come to her isolated country estate.

As you approach the turn in the road leading you to the Castle you hear a horrifying screeching sound from multiple directions, then your torch lights go out, as something strikes the side of your carriage with a sickening crunch. The carriage veers off the road and crashes into the ditch breaking all but one of the wheels. Having broken free in the crash your horses run frantically in all directions. Exiting, you cannot find any sign of what struck the carriage.

Unable to get the carriage usable again, you head out on foot and make your way through the woods towards Castle Kilgore. The darkness presses around you, and you get the uneasy feeling that something is watching you from the trees.

Encounter in the Woods: Flying Horror x 4

2: At the Door

You emerge from the forest in front of the massive castle. At the door, you pull the rope attached to a large bell. It chimes loudly in the quiet night. Grace opens the door almost immediately. With a panicked look on her face, she says to you.

“Thank you for coming so quickly, but we must be Quiet! I think they are attracted to sound! We have got to get out of here as soon as we can! Where are your carriage and horses?”

As you break the news to her about your carriage, you see Grace’s expression change to despair.

“No, this can’t be happening! What are we going to do now? My entire family is here and that creature is hunting us! Please hurry inside! Things lurk in the darkness here!”

Area A: The Lobby

Dim lamp lights flicker on the walls casting ominous shadows across the room. As you walk through the door a strange moaning sound fills the air, and you hear a dull thudding and scraping echoing from the walls. Grace turns to you, her eyes wide, nervously fiddling with her green necklace, she says to you;

“I know you have dealt with these things before. There has to be something you can do to help us. You have access to anything on the property. I will remain here if you need me.”

Grace Kilgore

  • What’s going on?
    • It started after we returned home, and every day it gets worse. The staff and members of my family say that they have seen monsters! Most of the staff has quit, and most of my family has been attacked
  • What can we do to help?
    • Find an old manuscript in the basement and bring it to me.
  • Where is your family?
    • Here in the castle

Perception Check

  • On a table to the right, you see a picture of the Kilgore family.
    • You notice that Mildred, their daughter, is proudly holding a piece of carved stone.
  • A small table sits in the left corner.
    • The drawer is locked, (if picked) you find a Potion of Healing.
  • To the right, the sound of a harp drifts from the doorway
  • 2 doorways lead north further into the castle.
  • 1 doorway leads to the west.

Shadows in the lobby come alive. Withering tentacles of darkness burst from every corner and come together to form a beast. Grace flees from the creature through one of the doors to the north of the room, as she leaves, she says;

“you shouldn’t have rung the bell”.

Encounter in Lobby: Shadow Demon x 2

Area B: The Ballroom

Through the doorway, a brightly lite ballroom takes up a large portion of the front of the castle. The light from a large fireplace casts a warm inviting feeling. A small girl sits on the bench in front of a large harp, playing a somber melody. She looks like she has been crying, looking up at you she says:

“Hello, my name is Mildred, who are you?”

Mildred Kilgore

  • Why are you crying?
    • Persuade her to talk, “my Nanny Edna made me a pretty necklace, and I had her make one for my Mommy and daddy grandpa, and herself, and then Mabel wanted one. But Mommy said Mabel cannot have one because she is imaginary, and then Mabel got mad, them Mabel took my necklace way. Can you get Mabel to give my necklace back? She is hiding in my bedroom upstairs.

You hear a voice raised in anger, somewhere out of sight. (15 Constitution Save, 1d6 Psychic Damage)

Perception Check

  • Under the massive window, a large table is set with a red tablecloth and a gorgeous arrangement of flowers.
    • Investigate the table: You spot a glint of metal among the flowers. You find a +1 dagger.
  • A door leads out of the room to the east.

The walls shudder, shaking all the items in the room. Low growls echo through the large windows. 4 dark figures burst through shattering the window sending glass everywhere.

Encounter: Hell Hound (p.182) x 4

Area C: Library

Your eyes adjust to the dim light of the small room, you see the wall is covered in shelves of books. It appears that someone was reading in the far corner of the room recently, and left a couple of books open on the floor. The corner of the rug has been pulled back.

Perception Check

  • Investigation: The books contain a fable in which a priest plagued by demons turned to dark magic in an attempt to imprison the demon into a stone.
  • Investigation: Reveals a trapdoor in the floor. The door opens to reveal a dark passage that winds under the floor, leading to a ladder that leads up another room on the second floor.

The hair on the back of your neck stands on end. A harsh voice calls your name, but there is no one there. (15 Constitution Save, 1d6 Psychic Damage)

Area D: Lounge

You peer into a sizable room that dominates a large portion on the bottom floor. The room is full of comfortable furniture and candles for reading. An elderly man is sitting amongst a pile of the books, jumps at the sight of you. He hastily tucks a green necklace into his shirt.

“Heavens you startled me! My name is Richard Kilgore, grace is my daughter.” He looks at you with curiosity “I do not know you, but I could use your help with this book. I have already discovered a lot, but I am still missing the key to stopping the Beast.”

Richard Kilgore

  • What have you found?
    • Demons from another world! My son like to play at archaeology and collects relics from an ancient civilization. I am certain that one of those relics is responsible for this creature.
  • Help Him with the book?
    • He hands you the book, “I believe this book hold answers, but I have not been able to decipher the lock. Maybe you will have better luck.”

UPON SOLVING THE PUZZLE

Decoding the arcane script, you translate the passage Richard points out. “Contained within the confines of its carven prison, it shall slumber until such a time as the universe is ready for its return. The priest made the elder sign and placed the pieces together to rebind the sleeper.”

Richard’s eyes open wide with the horror of realization. “I have been so blind! Poor Mildred did not what she was doing. Here take this. It will be important.” Richard takes off his necklace that holds a green stone and gives it to you. Green Stone Necklace

Perception Check

  • On a table in the corner of the room is a bell used for calling servants.
    • You could use it to attract demons
  • A door leads out of the room to the northwest.

Area E: Howard Kilgore’s Study

A single oak desk dominates the small office. A candle on the desk casts long shadows across a large cabinet and bookcase against one of the walls.

Perception Check

  • The cabinet has a collection of adventure’s gear sits behind locked glass doors.
    • The drawer is locked, (if picked) you find a Studded Leather Shirt, a Pistol, A pouch with 20 bullets, a Musket with 3 shots, Hand Crossbow with 20 bolts, Ring of Protection, and 3 Potions of Healing.

Area J: Dining room

You can hear the clinking of silverware and muffled whispers. The castle’s dining room is a long room featuring a solid oak table lined with chairs. A door leads north to what may be the kitchen.

Perception Check

  • A cabinet against the wall holds something that catches your interest.
    • 1 Potion of Healing
  • From the next room, you can hear the clinking of cooking utensils.

Area K: Kitchen

When you look inside 2 men are wearing smudged aprons and are arguing in quiet whispers. They are hurriedly putting cooking utensils into a worn canvas bag. There is a door leading to the north.

James and Thomas

  • What are you doing?
    • What does it look like! We are packing our things! We have to leave before that thing gets us! We saw it! It looked right at us than then went after Howard Kilgore instead! We might not be that lucky again!

Area L: The Downstairs Hall Way

The door leads you into a hallway tucked behind the kitchen and dining rooms. You notice 3 doorways ahead.

You hear the sound of something large moving down through the walls towards the room at the end of the hall! (15 Constitution Save, 1d6 Psychic Damage)

Area M: Nanny Edna’s Room

A sign hangs on the door that says: “Nanny Edna’s Room”, the brass door handle is locked. The lock looks complex but you think you could get it open.

  • If picked (18 Slight of Hands Dexterity Check)
    • The door opens to reveal a cozy room filled with pictures of the Kilgore Family.

Perception Check

  • On the table, you see a hammer sits amongst flacks of broken green stone.
  • If you touch the green stone fragments your head is sent reeling back as a vision of a creature in below the earth floods your mind. (15 Constitution Save, 1d6 Psychic Damage)

Area N: Servants Quarters

The door swings open to reveal a small, sparsely decorated room.

Perception Check

  • Along the wall, you see a dresser.
    • Inside you find a Position of Healing

Area O: Cellar

A brass plate that says Cellar is set into the wooden door. As you open the door cool air meets you as you peer into the dim basement of the Castle. Old furniture and wood create are stacked around a massive furnace and a small door inset on the far wall. Out of place in the dingy basement, a woman in a black and white dress is digging through the boxes looking for something.

Perception Check

  • She is clutching a green stone hanging around her neck.
  • In the creates you will find Grace’s Arcane Manuscript.

Nanny Edna Sparks

  • Who are you?
    • I am Mildred’s Nanny, Edna Sparks. Are you friends of Grace? I’m afraid I have not been able to find Grace’s Manuscript… What can I do to help you?
  • Can I see that stone?
    • She holds out the necklace, a piece of broken green stone hangs on the end. “This, I do not think I know you well enough the entrust you with my jewelry.”
    • (Successful 15 Persuasion Check) You seem like good folk, know that I think of it I may have enough pieces in my room to make another, you can keep it. Mildred requested that I make 5 necklaces, one for every family member and myself. Green Stone Necklace

Area F: (Upstairs) Main Hall

A groaning noise echoes down the hallway. A dark shadow moves along the walls, as it flies out of sight, you hear the crash of a table hitting the floor.

Perception Check

  • Several doors to other rooms of the castle line the hallway.
  • Along one of the walls is a desk.
    • The drawer is locked, (if picked) you find a Potion of Healing.
  • Knocked over table
    • As you pick it up to place it back, you touch a cold slime that smells of rotten flesh. Whatever the shadow was, it is not a figment of your imagination.

You hear an unnerving sound and you fear what could be causing it. The noise becomes panicked voices as if there were madmen just out of sight. (15 Constitution Save, 1d6 Psychic Damage)

Area G: (Upstairs) The Storage Room

You breathe in the stale dusty air, you strain your eyes to see in the darkness of this room. The cloudy night provides little moonlight through the small windows. You see the shape of a man sitting on a chair in front of a solitary desk in the middle of the room. Remembering the picture in the lobby, this must be Howard Kilgore, Grace’s husband. Grace steps out from the back of the room with her arms crossed across her chest. You hear her telling Howard, that she feels that things are getting worse by the minute. As you approach, then you to notice a green necklace dangling from his neck. Green Stone Necklace

Howard Kilgore

“It is all my fault! It is all my fault! I can’t even defend my own family.”

  • What is your fault?
    • I collect relics in our travels as a hobby. My father has been going on for years about how I am going to bring evil back home with me one day. I guess he was right. I brought back a small statue from our recent trip, it was damaged, so I gave it to Edna, but it must be that.

Perception Check

  • In one of the corners, you see some stacked wooden boxes.
    • You open several creates and then you find a scroll of protection of evil and good.
  • A small door is set into the wall.
    • The door opens to a dumbwaiter, looks like you might be able to climb down.

As you make your way to exit the room, you hear a blood-curdling scream! Grace Kilgore’s body comes flying off her feet through the door and hits her head on the wall with a sickening crunch! A necklace holding a broken stone bounces across the floor. Green Stone Necklace

The room is filled with the sound of heavy clacking moving across the roof. There is a momentary silence, and then a monstrosity of flesh with spikes for arms crawls through the window!

Howard flees the monstrosity, knocking over furniture in a desperate attempt to escape. You see a shadowy figure close the distance between them, and in a mere moment, the creature plunges one of this spiked arms through Howard’s back exiting his chest. As the creature moves towards you, can see the green stone Howard had been wearing clutched in his hand. Green Stone Necklace

Encounter: The Lost x 1

Your mind weakens with fatigue, you start to hear strange chants in your mind. The fear overwhelms you. (15 Constitution Save, 1d6 Psychic Damage)

Area H: (Upstairs) Game Room

The door leads into an interior room used for entertaining guests. Animal heads line the walls and a bar with wine glasses on it. Behind the bar, a display case holds a collection of ancient relics behind glass windows. Behind the glass, this cabinet holds a large collection of ancient pots, statues, jewelry, and other artifacts. On the side of the room, you spot something in the corner beside the couch.

History Check

  • History Check of DC 15 reveals that these items have a common theme. They are all religious used to worship Gzemnid and the Great Mother.

Everywhere you look you see the same thing: a child, her face bleeding, one finger pointing directly at you. (15 Constitution Save, 1d6 Psychic Damage)

Area I: (Upstairs) Mildred’s Room

The door opens into a small bedroom. Teddy bears and other toys litter the floor. On the floor by the wall, you see something out of place in a little girl’s room. Book of Medicine. As you look around the room, suddenly, the room becomes icy cold, and you hear a sound of distant wailing. The ghostly figure of a young girl crawls out from beneath the bed. This must be Mildred’s imaginary friend!

Encounter: Ghost x 1

The ghost lets out an unearthly shriek that slowly dissolves into the sound of sobbing. A necklace holding a green stone falls to the ground, and the girl looks up at you with sad eyes then runs through the wall as if nothing was there. Green Stone Necklace

PUTTING THE 6 STONES TOGETHER

The stones appear to have come from a small statue of some kind. You attempt to place the pieces back into the correct order. You fit the pieces together to form a small idol in the shape of a winged beast with tentacles hanging from its face! As the final piece fits together, you feel a surge of energy from the stones and hear a horrible screech of a creature. The energy reaches out, tearing the beast from its supernatural hiding place. The inky black shadows coalesce into a horrifying figure of wings and tentacles! The creature struggles against the energy from the statue that seems to be trying to pull it closer. The creature releases a howl of pure fury towards those who would attempt to return it to its prison. It turns its eyes toward you!

Encounter: Shadow Horror x 1, Indentured Spirits x 4

The creature lurches under the attacks, unleashing a piercing howl. It falters, and the energies from the idol take hold! In a swirling vortex of light and sound, the creature is pulled into the statue, imprisoned back in the confines of the jade idol.

Random Encounters 1d6

Treasure

  • Dagger +1
  • Studded Leather Shirt
  • Pistol with 20 bullets
  • Musket with 3 shots
  • Hand Crossbow with 20 bolts
  • Ring of Protection
  • 7 Potions of Healing

NPC’s

  • Grace Kilgore (Wife)
  • Howard Kilgore (Husband)
  • Mildred Kilgore (Child)
  • Richard Kilgore (Grandfather)
  • James Freeson (Kitchen Servant)
  • Thomas Graymen (Kitchen Servant)
  • Edna Sparks (Nanny)
  • Mabel (Ghost)

Fun Rewards:

  • Clothes of Mending
  • Cloak of Many Fashions
  • Dread Helm
  • Perfume of Bewitching
  • Pipe of Smoke Monsters
  • Shield of Expression
  • Talking Doll
  • Tankard of Sobriety
  • Wand of Conducting
  • Hat of Vermin
In category: Adventure | Adventure League