The group of detectives walk down into the vault, congratulating Sandy and shooting suspicious glances at the Lieutenant, who looks rather perplexed. Once in the room, Dragonator began to speak.
Gather 'round everyone and I will tell you the full story of Lord Chester's demise.
Lord Chester has known since he first became the Lord of this manor that the place held a secret. Chester was not the nicest of men, and in the last year he has been tired of his position, and decided to see if he could make a little money out of the society that was constricting him. This is where Anthony Blackwater comes in. For many years Lord Chester had used Anthony to find out things about his competitors to help him bribe them etc. Just a few months ago, Anthony came across some information saying that there is a vast treasure hidden in Dragons Retreat. With this in mind, the pair met up and began plotting a way to uncover the treasure and thus make themselves insanely rich. After much talk and more snooping around by Anthony, the pair came to the conclusion that the treasure must be hidden under the library, in some sort of vault. Under the pretence of renovations to extend the library and reinforce the foundations under it, Lord Chester contacted a local building firm, Brick Plates, headed by CEO Michael Dunne. The company agreed to do the renovations after seeing pictures of the manor, and were to send a spokesperson, their own CEO, to discuss what Lord Chester wanted done. Knowing that it would be impossible to keep the company in the dark on what they were doing, Anthony provided a loan of two million dollars to act as a bribe for Mr. Dunne to say nothing about their intentions.
While this was all going on, a few other important events were taking place. Peter Crawford, representing the Dratos Historic Places Trust, was continually trying to meet with Lord Chester to discuss opening his manor to the trust. Of course, Chester was not at all interested, firstly because it was going against what the Guardian had told him were the rules, and secondly because he wanted to find the treasure and make a get away anyway. Of course, the Guardian could see that something was up, and he contacted Lord Chester by email to warn him. Paranoid that he might be taken out, Chester began to leave a few coded messages around the house just in case anything happened. It should be noted that some of the coded messages you found though were actually from the Guardian. Lord Chester also had a meeting with Professor Gregory Grimsworth from Dratos University. After cancelling his funding for one of the scholarships there, he invited Dr. Grimsworth to come take a look at his collection the following week, as he wanted to see what sort of money he could get for the artefacts currently on display in the manor. Dr. Grimsworth later sent him a letter accepting his invitation, which was found in Lord Chester's coat pocket.
Lord Chester agreed to meet Mr. Dunne on the 30th of November. On the previous day, Anthony discovered some disturbing news, that someone from the Red Dragon society was "stationed in the area" (note that a soldier is normally someone who is stationed somewhere), and fearing for his colleague, sent a letter to him outlining his worries. Lord Chester received this the next morning, but decided to ignore the warning, deciding instead to go through with his plans anyway. This treasure was worth a little risk. Later the next day Anthony learned the identity of the Red Dragon operative, but by that time it was too late to warn Chester.
As evening approached Lord Chester prepared for his guest. After the chef had prepared his dinner and the butler had set the table, Lord Chester made sure they left, following the orders he had left on the hallway table. Then he settled down to wait for his guest, preparing a tray of wine in the parlour, arranging the table and chairs by the cosy fireplace and setting the TV in case the CEO wanted to use the DVD player to show him any plans. At 8:42pm Michael Dunne arrived, and Lord Chester showed him up into the dining room to see if he was interested in eating before their meeting. As Michael entered the room he accidentally knocked one of the spears being held by a statue, pushing it off centre. Michael said that he would rather get on with their talks, so the pair walk through to the parlour and sit down around the table, after Lord Chester poured wine for Michael.
It was around this time that Lieutenant John Spencer, an operative of the Red Dragon, arrived at the manor. Entering through a secret doorway in a cave behind the manor, John descended to the Dragon's Lair, the old meeting place of the Red Dragon society. What Lord Chester did not know was that while he was on holiday a number of months earlier, the members of the Red Dragon had relocated the hidden treasure to another location, and also cleaned out most of their gear from the cellar. All that remained were a few of sets of their ceremonial dress and all the things in storage upstairs, which they were content to leave there for the moment. Lighting the torches, John got dressed into the ceremonial outfit, leaving his hat on the table. His orders from the Guardian had been clear; enter the manor and if you see any sign of Chester breaking the rules, kill him. John had tried ringing Lord Chester earlier in the day to offer him a final warning, however he did not get an answer, as Chester had left his phone in he bedside cabinet upstairs. Picking up a flash light and two keys, one for the upstairs attic door and the other for the large metal gates, John set off through the secret passageways to come down into the Parlour.
Meanwhile, in the Parlour, things did not go well for Lord Chester. When Michael Dunne found out what Lord Chester had planned he immediately said he wanted no part in it, and that if Chester went ahead with it anyway then he would have to report it to the appropriate authorities. Pushing back his chair, Michael grabbed his briefcase off the couch and left Lord Chester there, walking out through the ballroom. As he left he finished off the last of his wine and left the glass on one of the rails surrounding the dance floor. Lord Chester, feeling very frustrated, left the parlour and went through to the dining room to eat some dinner. He had only just started eating when John arrived in the parlour.
Placing his flash light on the ground in the passageway, John opened the door and walked into the parlour. There he found some of the architectural drawings which Mr. Dunne had accidentally left behind. Furious that Lord Chester was obviously planning a major renovation to try and get hold of the treasure, John grabbed one of the swords from over the fireplace and stormed towards the dining room, hitting the low-hanging light with the sword as he walked past. Lord Chester heard him coming through the door, and as John entered he jumped up in panic and threw one of the plate at him. Using his quick martial arts reflexes, John avoided the plate, which smashed against the door and fell to the ground. In the time it took for this to happen, Lord Chester had rushed over to the wall behind him and was trying to pry a piece of modern art off the wall, behind which was hidden a revolver. Unfortunately he had forgotten to open the compartment by pushing down on the sword arm of the statue in the corner. To late, he remembered, and turning, he found John quickly approaching. Screaming a cry for mercy, Lord Chester tried to sidle over to the statue, but John stabbed him through the chest, toppling him over onto floor, his blood forming a small pool around him and soaking into the rug under the chair he had been sitting in. And so ended the life of Lord Chester.
John now had to clean up after himself. Grabbing a napkin off the table, he quickly wiped the blade of blood and walked over to the south wall where the dumb-waiter was hidden. Opening it up, he cut the cable on the lift to allow him to throw the sword down to the bottom where it would end up in the cellar. As he did this he made a small gouge in the far side of the shaft.
Next, using a small key taken from Lord Chester himself, John opened up the right draw and cupboard in the cabinet, throwing the bloody napkin into a vase in the cupboard and taking out the front door key and the key to the draw in the ballroom. He also swept up the pieces of the broken plate and put them in the cupboard, although it was impossible to get every single tiny piece. John then locked the cabinet and returned the key to Lord Chester to try and confuse anyone who found the body. Soaking up any blood pooled on the floor with the rug, John wrapped Chester in it and carried him through to the parlour and then up into the passageway. He left the body outside the entrance to the master bedroom, deciding that nobody would find it anyway and he could come back the next day to carry it right out. Walking back down into the parlour with the carpet in tow, John closed the passageway, leaving his flash light inside so that he could use it later. Walking out into the ballroom, John opened the draw of the cabinet there and hid the black chunky key in the back of it, as the Guardian had asked him to. Inside the draw John also found another set of keys belonging to one of the servants, so he decided to take this with him. Then walking out into the hallway, he carelessly chucked the key onto the table there, where it fell off onto the ground.
John decided that he couldn't be bothered going all the way back around to get down into the cellar to finish his clean up, so instead he went down the stairs to the front door, thinking to come back the next night and finish getting rid of the few things left over. He knew that nobody except members of the Red Dragon society would go down into the cellar, so it wasn't as if he was taking a risk. As he walked past the kitchen door with the rug still under his arm, he thought that it might look a bit suspicious if he was seen with it, so he opened the kitchen door using the servants keys and threw the rung into the open oven, where it promptly began to burn. Finally, John locked the kitchen door and left the manor for the night, confident that if anyone did start investigating then they would blame Mr. Dunne, who had been the last person to visit.
As Dragonator finished his story, the detectives looked at each other. Lieutenant Spencer walked forward and said "But why do I not remember any of this?", and someone else said "But who is the Guardian?" Dragonator smiled.
I am the Guardian, and also the owner of this house. Thank you all for coming tonight, it has been such an interesting experiment. As to why you do not remember anything John, that would be because I used a certain drug on you when we met a few hours later that made you forget all that had happened the previous night, allowing you to take part in my little fun tonight. It was interesting to see that these people actually managed to figure everything out. Unfortunately you now know things that you should not. In a few moments I will gas you with the same drug I used on the lieutenant earlier. Good day.
Dragonator and John quickly retreated from the vault, closing the door after them. It all happened so quickly that the detectives hadn't even had a chance to do anything. Just as they were about to rush the door, a green gas filled the room, and everyone fell over unconscious.
On the 2nd of December 2008, a number of people woke up around the city of Dratos feeling very muddled and wondering what they had done the previous night, for they could not remember coming to their own beds. Meanwhile, two people sat in a manor a few miles out of the city, chatting and watching the hilarities of the previous night on a large TV...
Well that ends our little game, thanks very much for taking part everyone, I hope you had lots of fun. Congratulations to Sandy for answering all four questions correctly and winning the game. It should also be noted that ImperialScouts was the only other person to take a guess and was also close to the correct answer, he just did not get the weapon right unfortunately.
But also congratulations to everyone else too, for without you all taking part this game would not have been what it was. You all contributed to the case in your own way and each of you made some sort of important discovery. If you have any further questions for me about the game please feel free to voice them, and also to offer your own feedback and experiences of the game etc.
I think I should also quickly mention the few major clues missed:
- an inspection of the floor around the chair in the Dining room would have shown that the floorboards were slightly lighter in colour around the chair, indicating that a rug had been there for many years.
- an inspection of the floor would also have revealed a few fragments of the plate. Also an inspection of the door between the dining room and the parlour would have shown a dent where the plate hit it.
- an inspection of the frame of the modern painting would have shown a few slivers of wood missing, from when Lord Chester was clawing at it to try and open it.
Other than those I think you found all the main clues, so well done!