The Chateau is located on a small sandbar island near the middle of the river. It is well away from any other settlement and the inn itself stands alone on the island. Asingle wooden pier reaches out into the water where passengers can disembark. A single lantern hangs from a pole lighting the end of the pier.
The pier leads to a large walkway that in turn leads to the Chateau Darque. A large sign depicts a woman in profile, but her face obscured by a ladies fan. Beneath it read Chateau Darque: Vacancies.
The Chateau is an older building, but built in a grand style. THe entire front is a screened in veranda with large carved pillars holding up the next floor. Crawling plants like ivy are respendant about the place. It might appear that the island is trying to swallow the Inn but failing. The lights burn in each window and there is the sound of merriment inside. A stevedor meets them at the door and apologized for not waiting at the pier, he hadnt expected anyone to come so late. He will dash off to fetch their luggage at once.
Inside the Chateau is full of gaity and light conversation. The carpet is thick and opulent, with deep red with gold trim being common. All of the furniture is dark wood, upholstered in black leather with large brass buttons. The majority of the guests are dressed out in black, with the ladies sparkling in sequins and jewels while the men are dapper in smart vests and embroidered tunics. If questioned any of the guests respond that it is traditional to dress all in black when staying at the Darque, it is the vogue thing to do.
There is much drinking and merriment, with many of the guests regaling any who will listen with stories of their exploits. some of which might sound very familiar to the PCs, along the lines of old tales and heroe’s songs. If some of the PCs feel like getting fiesty with members of the opposite sex, unless completely horrid, their efforts should yield the encounter that they are looking for.
The Inn also has a fully stocked larder with a group of skilled chefs. The Library is full of books, all of them quite old and priceless if sold. Some are first printings or even originals with illustrations by long dead writers and magi. Everyone is helpful and very kind. All sorts of games are to be played in the parlor and the billiards room. There is a large ornate pool table, dart boards, as well as ample supplies of dice and decks of cards, the game of true gentlemen. If played, no one knows the currently popular games but the older games are very popular and very well played.
Eventually, one by one, the PCs will be divided up, wander off exploring the magnificent old inn, and fall asleep. In the morning they will find the Inn reduced to moss covered timbers that show the signs of being burned some time ago. If they search further they will find the bones of many people, some of whom are still wearing pieces of jewelry or other items of value that wouldnt rot or waste away. This should work best if the item in question can be easily placed to a certain guest that the PCs spent some time wite, such as finding the ruby necklace that Vandine the singer wore wrapped around the neck of a withered skeleton.
The Darque was opened nearly two hundred years ago by an entreprenureal woman named Chelsea Darque. It was built at great expense to be a retreat for the wealthy and those who wanted to escape the tedium of day to day life. Located out on an island it was well insulated from outside interference. Only a single pier and ferry served the island, moving in supplies and guests.
One night, when the Inn was full, there was a horrible accident. A fire started, and quickly enveloped the structure. The ground floor was swallowed quickly leaving no escape for the guests. A few tried to leap from the roof, but found only a more sudden death on the decorative rock gardens around the building. As the story goes there were no survivors, all were burned alive inside of the magnificent building.
The island, now largely forgotten, is haunted by the ghosts who perished in the flame. After sundown, the Inn appears, the roof becoming solid as the building reconstitutes itself from the roof down. Once the last rays of the sun have faded, the guests begin to arrive, they simply appear on the dock, oblivious to the fact that no ship delivered them, and no luggage comes with them.
The PCs are in no danger here, the ghosts will not harm them as they in fact crave human attention. If the PCs attempt to steal the treasure off of the corpses, the ghosts will become hostile until the treasure is returned. Should the PCs perform a ceremonial burial of the dead, especially if one of them is a cleric, the dead will consent to the taking of the jewels they wore in life.
Once a year, on the anniversary of the fire, the building burns down. The ghosts and any visitors are harrowed by memories of being burned alive. The ghosts wish this could be forgotten but with an altered sense of time, they have no idea when the next fire will be.