Lights Out in the Billiards Room

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Lights Out in the Billiards Room
Lights Out in the Billiards Room

You mill around in the Haunted Billiard Room for a while, idly rolling balls into the pockets of one of the tables and listening to them thunk their way through the ball return, and looking up at the rows of snarling taxidermy animal heads that line the walls.

Man. Why would anyone want all those angry-looking heads staring at them while they play pool? What could be less relaxing than that?

Suddenly, there's a flash of lightning outside the window, and the room -- the entire house -- is plunged into darkness. After a moment, lightning flashes again, briefly illuminating the stuffed heads, all of which appear to be looking right at you as a grandfather clock somewhere tolls out thirteen o'clock.

So sure, there's an answer to that question for you.


Search for a light

You seem to remember that there was a short candelabra on the shelf next to the spare cubes of pool chalk, and manage to locate it with a minimum of flailing and knocking pool cues out of the rack. After lighting the candles and putting back the cues, you're left looking at the mounted animal heads in the flickering candlelight, which makes them look even more alive and angry than they did before.

Terrific.


Maybe let's not hang out in here

Yeah, uh, not that you're frightened or anything, but I'm sure there are tons of more important things you could be doing, somewhere else.

Somewhere else where there's lots of light and no glass-eyed animal heads. And maybe a cold beer.

As you leave Spookyraven Manor to find such a place, you notice the lights in the house starting to flicker back on.


What the heck, let's explore a bit

You set the candelabra on the edge of one of the pool tables (turning it so that the wax won't drip on the felt -- you may be a psychotic kleptomaniac, but you aren't a heathen) and look around the room. Usually you're too distracted by pooltergeists and so on to pay much attention to the place, but it's weirdly quiet in here now.

...Almost too quiet.

(Nah, just messing with you. What does "too quiet" even mean, anyway? It's when things get loud that you've got problems.)


Search the cupboard over there

The contents of the cupboard are surprisingly mundane: a box of spare billiard balls, pool chalk, and cue tips; a couple decks of cards and some poker chips; ping-pong paddles and balls... it's hard to imagine anything less frightening than a game of ping-pong.

There's also a few board games; You notice that the Scrabble tiles are almost entirely O's with a few scattered B's, the white king in the chess set has a little string hangman's noose around it, and the Clue set has twice the number of weapons as usual, as well as some extra cards like "The Vengeful Ghost of Great-Uncle Mauve". So that's a little more like what you were expecting.

As you're putting the games back in the cupboard, the lights in the house flicker and come back on. Guess it's time to get back to business, whatever that might be.


Examine the taxidermy heads

The gross animal heads leer back at you as you walk around the room, looking up at them. If you guessed that there would be something weird about them, you're half-right. Specifically, about half of them are normal things to find mounted as taxidermy heads: a stag, a wolf, a bear, and so on. And then there's a couple housecats. A frog. A pig. A duck.

You probably never thought to describe the facial expression of a duck as "leering". Well, maybe it's just the candlelight, but this is one duck that you wouldn't introduce to your sister.

Before you finish inspecting the heads, the lights in the house flicker back to life, so you shrug and return to your previous business, whatever that was.

Only appears if you examine the grave of "Crumbles" in Lights Out in the Conservatory:

The gross animal heads leer back at you as you walk around the room, looking up at them. The wolf head has a particularly nasty expression on its face -- perhaps because there's nothing else left of it to be nasty, so it gets concentrated.

...Hang on a second. You grab a chair, and use it as a step-stool to get a closer look.

There's a little brass label on the wooden plaque, underneath the wolf head. It says "Crumbles".

Well. That explains things, for a certain value of "explain". Your nearer vantage point also shows that a lot of the wolf's nastiness stems from poor amateur taxidermy -- the eyes are crooked, the lips and teeth not set quite right, and so on. Did Stephen do this himself? His diary said that Lord Spookyraven had an idea for how Stephen could keep his pets, but this is... dang...

You move down the line of heads, inspecting each one in turn. Assuming that the heads are arranged chronologically, Stephen's taxidermy skills definitely improved over time. Certainly, they got much better than his veterinary skills. The duck's head is particularly lifelike. ("Mulcho", the nameplate reads.)

Then you notice something odd: A bobcat with goat horns. After that comes a bulldog with walrus tusks. On close inspection of the heads, you can see that the alterations were made very precisely; apparently, Stephen got so good at taxidermy that he got bored.

And then he apparently got really bored, because the heads get even weirder. There's a guinea pig with huge stag-beetle pincers and crab eye-stalks. And a Labrador retriever with an extra pair of goat eyes and an octopus tentacle sprouting out of its mouth like an enormous suction-cup-lined tongue.

You might be expecting them to get even worse from there, but they don't. They just stop. There's plenty of empty space left on the wall, and in fact the arrangement of the plaques indicates that they were reserving space for more heads. But there aren't any more. What happened?

As you get down from the chair you were standing on, you bump a nearby sideboard, which rattles and clinks. Inside you find a dozen dusty bottles of wine, all with the same label: Chateau Lagrout Pinot Noir, 1688. Why are they here and not in the wine cellar? That's strange. Not nearly as strange as the heads, but strange in its own small way.

As you put the bottle back in the sideboard, the lights in the house gradually flicker back on.

Unlocks additional option in Lights Out in the Wine Cellar.


Get the heck out of here

You know perfectly well that you aren't in danger from a bunch of stuffed animal heads -- I mean, even if they did get off the wall somehow, they're pretty vulnerable to a good strong punt -- but that doesn't mean you want to hang out in a dark room with them where you can't see what they're up to.

You manage to find the door within a couple of tries, and make your way out of the Manor. As you leave, you notice the lights flickering back to life inside.


Occurs at The Haunted Billiards Room.

Notes

  • This does not cost an adventure.
  • Just like all other Lights Out Quest adventures, this occurs every 37 adventures, regardless of where those adventures are spent.