You are standing in the balcony overlooking the spiral stairs. This is where you fought the animated armor. To your south is the room where you encountered the spectral nursemaid, and to your west is the small storage closet where Barnaby got slapped in the head by a magic broom. To your northwest there is a short passage headed west. On the north side of that passage is a pair of find double doors. On the south side of that passage is a single door.
First, you open the single door. This dark room contains a wooden tub with clawed feet, a small iron stove with a kettle resting atop it, and a barrel under a spigot in the east wall. A cistern on the roof used to collect rainwater, which was borne down a pipe to the spigot; however, the plumbing no longer works.
Second, you approach the ornate double doors. Listening closely, you hear nothing beyond them. The doors are inlaid with stained glass windmills, though with thick layers of dust on the inside and outside, you cannot see through it. The doors open silently.
The dusty, cobweb-filled master bedroom has burgundy drapes covering the windows. Just enough light seeps in that you can see a four-poster bed with embroidered curtains and tattered gossamer veils, a matching pair of empty wardrobes, a vanity with a wood-framed mirror and jewelry box, and a padded chair. A tiger-skin rug lies on the floor in front of the fireplace, which has a dust-covered portrait of Gustav and Elisabeth Durst hanging above it. A web-filled parlor in the southwest corner contains a table and two chairs. Resting on the dusty tablecloth is an empty porcelain bowl and a matching jug.
A door facing the foot of the bed has a full-length mirror mounted on it. The door opens to reveal an empty, dust-choked closet. A door in the parlor leads to an outside balcony.
Hanging from a lighting fixture near the middle of the room is a figure. It appears to be a man, hanging by the neck, in loose-fitting white clothing. He is clutching a piece of paper, and he appears to be dead. The air in the room is still, and nothing moves as you look at the grisly scene.
A cloud of dust billows out as you tug on the heavy fabric, but you successfully tie back one of the heavy curtains. Daylight, muted by clouds and dusty windows, but daylight nonetheless, spills into the room. You can see better now. More light enters the room as you tie back the second curtain.
Back to the present: While the others explore the room, Barnaby will sit cross legged just inside the door and ritually cast detect magic for ten minutes. He will then have a look around to see if anything within 30’ stands out from the overall glow.
The body, as I said, is stiff. It's no ancient, desiccated thing, either; it's been here maybe a day, or a few days.
The note reads as follows:
My Beloved Children,
I wish I could do what all fathers do and tell you that monsters aren’t real. But it wouldn’t be true.
Life can create things of exquisite beauty. But it can also twist them into hideous beings. Selfish. Violent. Grotesque. Monstrous. It hurts me to say that your mother has turned into one such monster, inside and out. And I’m afraid the disease that afflicted her mind has taken hold of me as well.
It sickens me to think what we’ve put you through. There is no excuse. I only ask you, though I know I have not the right to do so, to try and forgive us. I despise what your mother has become, but I love and pity her all the same.
Rose, I wish I could see you blossom into a strong, beautiful woman. Thorn and Walter, I wish I could be there for you. But I can’t. This is the only way.
What a touching and tragic note...the sacrifices we make for those that we love even when one of those we love dearly is a monster...
A tear begins to form at the corner of her eye, but she looks up at the painting. Puddin begins to investigate the portrait to see if there is anything behind it or for any clues to be found in the painting itself.