First, there was a sound like an audible exhalation when they first entered the house that set the creepy mood. Then, the theater room had a film playing without the benefit of electricity--a film that appeared to be from the point of view of something waiting just outside the room. Professor Pao, stepping out side of the room, felt a cold chill that sent him to his knees and Rob glimpsed an errant shadow fleeing away from his stricken companion.
Rue tried again to contact spirits. She felt a pervasive presence, but nothing specific. Then a playing card drfited down from...somewhere. One with Urst's own monogram printed on back.
Things only got weirder from there. A visit to the refectory (a large dining room) had the gang intruding on a ghostly dinner with phantom food and diners who paid them no attention. There seemed to have been places set for the group, but they declined to partake.
In the large, social room, there is a young woman (her image sort of flickery, like a movie) playing cards. She offers to tell the PCs' fortunes by a draw from the deck. Only Rue takes her up on it. She draws a card with the image of the grim reaper on it! He swings his scythe and she drops dead.
The rest of the gang can't believe it at first. They question the woman who gives her name as Camille. She nonchalantly confirms that Rue is indeed dead--but adds enigmatically that the house is a collector and spirits are unable to leave it. When they try to question her further she flickers and disappears. Rob and Jacques start looking around for where Rue's spirit might be. The Professor stays behind to guard her body.
Meanwhile, Rue awakens in an overstuff leather chair in a library of some sort. She feels a bit less substantial physically, but is otherwise okay. A man with the head of a wolfhound is sitting across from her reading a book. He introduces himself as Claude and confirms that she's dead. He says he was Urst's dog, until the wizard uplifted him to sentience to serve as an assistant. He goes on to say that Urst purposely built this house on a borderland between dimensions. There are spirits here but also "termites" in the walls that came from elsewhere.
Rue bids him good-bye to try and find her friends. Before she goes, he warns her not to trust the cat-headed man in the fez.
To be continued...