Of course, I would be more than willing to allow the constable and his hounds to inspect the grounds, I wish to help in any way possible. Of course they should smell her around here, this is her home she's gone missing from. What did you honestly expect, sir?
Full Item Description
The Waresian Wardrobe is a large wardrobe made of Black Alder, a very dark and handsome wood. The double doors open outwards, revealing an interior compartment lined with pockets, a section for hanging expensive clothing and four cubby holes at the bottom, two on each side stack atop one another. The interior is lined with red crushed velvet, though the bottom two cubbyholes are bare wood.
The front corners of the wardrobe sport a pair of carved wooden faces, beatific women whose hair is whorled with black winged ravens and shapes that appear sinister to the eye. The panels sport a bondage motif, the right door shows a man hanging from his feet, stretching towards the area above the cubbyholes. The left panel is a naked woman, he feet bound, and she reaches for some sort of portal above her. some viewers call this the surface of the water and speculate that she is a swimmer seeking for air. Others claim that she has been placed in an oubliette and yearns for human contact.
The side panels have mountainscapes on them. A canny and erudite admirer might recognize that the left hand side is an image of the infamous Chateau Quaonia, where 300 virgin women were kept as prisoners for refusing the then heir-prince to the throne of Waresia. The stories of sadism and torture from Quaonia are the stuff of horror and nightmares. The right hand side panel has a slightly less evil aspect. The wood has been shaped to resemble the wooded slopes of Mount Tanuefell. While not patently evil, that mountain was long rumored to harbor the soul of a demon, and many voyaged there for pacts of demonic power, or to curse rivals.
The rear panel of the wardrobe, the face always presented against the wall has a wood carving of a massive cathedral. Unlike the front panels that are interrupted by the workings of the doors and covers for the cubbyholes, the rear panel is one uninterrupted piece. While nominally a pious work, closer inspection shows that all of the faces going into or out of the church are masks of agony, pain, and suffering.
Ah, this, I'm sure if it is handsome or just imposing. It rather takes over any room I could think to put it in. My Gran adores it though. Seems she might have known the artisan who carved some of this. Yes yes, it is quite old, but so is Gran, which is why I am so concerned about her. Do please keep me informed of your progress inspector. Yes, I assure you that should I learn even the barest hint of a clue I shall inform you directly.
The Waresian Wardrobe was crafted almost a century and a half ago. The lumber that went into it's creation was highland Black Alder, a rare and expensive wood. The original wardrobe was thick sided and scarcely adorned with anytihng more than a bit of trim around the crown and the foot. The interior was bare also, and there were no cubbyholes.
The wardrobe belonged to a now obscure and almost forgotten noble family, where it played a dark role in their downfall. The children of the noble were fond of playing inside the wardrobe, but in a prank, one of the children was trapped inside. Gripped by anxiety and panic, the child had a violent fit and perished inside the wardrobe. The mother assumed that father had killed their child, and vice versa. The spiral of intrigue that followed left a dozen people dead of poisoning and daggers in the back, included all but one of the children. The wardrobe was among the possessions sold in the liquidating of the estate.
The next owner was a sorcerer of some skill, and with his magical acumen, he was able to discern the dark secret of the wardrobe. The death of the child inside had left a mark on the heavy piece of furniture. The sorcerer worked for several years, hiring carpenters to put in the cubbyholes and artisans to install the velvet liner, and the carve the images on the panels. Most were curious why the largest piece would be on the back, where it would never be seen.
This done, the sorcerer completed the enchantments on the looming piece of furniture. When opened in the correct fashion, an interior space is revealed, no more than eight feet by ten. This is of course, much larger than the outside of the wardrobe. The door leaving this pocket cell cannot be opened from the inside, only from the outside. Unlike other magically created artificial spaces, aside from a steady supply of air, there is nothing else inside the wardrobe cell.
Wake up Gran, I've brought you a bite to eat and some water. I hate to leave you in here, the constable and the inspector are both looking very hard for you. They won't find you I'm afraid. Tsk tsk, if you would just tell me where you secreted the family treasures away to I could let you out and stop lying to everyone. Don't make that face Gran, you've known me since I was as tall as your knee. I wouldn't lie to you...
The Waresian Wardrobe is a secret prison with space enough for one prisoner. Aside from the flow of air, the wardrobe provides nothing other than four walls, a floor and a ceiling. If the owner of the wardrobe doesnt provide for sanitation, and food to sustain the prisoner, the prisoner will die. Any prisoners who do perish inside the wardrobe are absorbed into the wood and their likeness appears somewhere on the back panel, their face a death mask. given the nature of the wardrobe, there are quite a few faces on the back. Sound cannot escape the wardrobe, so no amount of shouting on banging on the walls will rouse even the slightest of attention.
The Estate Sale - The former owner of the wardrobe has been missing long enough that he has been declared dead and his possessions have been divided up and are being sold. The wardrobe has rumors about it, but the piece is not easy to give up secrets, or the corpse of the former owner.
We All Go Crazy, Sometimes - The PCs benefactor has gone missing, and the benefactor's not quite right in the head heir is beside themselves with worry, in public. In an effort to get the benefactor to give over their wealth and power, the heir has trapped them inside the Wardrobe and it is up to the PCs to save their backer before said person dies.
Showcase Showdown - As a reward for completing a difficult quest, the PCs are bestowed with the wardrobe for their troubles. The benefactor says they can sell it for the moeny it would bring, it is a collectors piece, regardless of the dark reputation around it.
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? Responses (8)-8
Excellent! One can only imagine the benefits of having a secret prison in the guest room. The death masks of the prisoners is a lovely touch.
I'd like a wardrobe like this.
Wow, a truly excellent piece - elements of The Cask of Amontillado here - defiantly a kindred in spirit.
Cheka - you worry me....
For the love of God Montressor!!!
Nice mood-setter with the italics tale. Baroque and creepy! Poe/Doyle-ish. I'll defnitely find a use for this macabre furniture item in my next campaign! Of course, this begs for follow-up items.
Very nice. The atmosphere of it is palpable.
Nicely done indeed. I'm guessing that first image carved into the back is that of the little child who was the first to die within the wardrobe?
I really like the way you wrote this one, little narrative aspect weaving a story through it, very clear visuals, and smoothly written