After three days of rest and replenishment, the trials of the companions are ready to begin. The party is led to the door leading downstairs inside the house. If it is truly still in the house, they are not sure. The party approaches the large oak double doors above which reads:
Deception is a tool, self deception is death, deceive always thy enemy, but never thyself.
Pretor the warlock uses Thaumaturgy on the door and it slowly opens up into a thirty by thirty foot room. There is another set of double doors ahead of us. There is an oil lantern lighting the room. While searching for traps, Xander and Valak find one, and fall into it taking damage. On the wall is written:
Thou were deceived, pain is thy reward.
Behind the doors, was a bricked-up wall. The wizard attempts to blast it, but it does not budge. On the north wall, the necromancer finds a secret panel. There is a blue jewel on a pedestal and is written:
Thou has seen through deception to uncover a useful tool.
After searching more, we find a small secret door on the south wall. Amadeus takes the blue gem from Pretor’s mage hand and feels the coldness, he checks it with his arcana knowledge and realizes it could possibly be some sort of cold grenade. Behind the secret door, there is a 20 foot hallway leading to another door. Above the door is written:
Following the herd is for Fools, fear not their icy derision, instead fear only thy infernal Mistress.
After seeing if the ogre can punch through the false wall in the previous room, the party decides it might be more effective to just open the door. It opens into another 30 by 30 room that seems cold, there are doors on each wall. We notice footprints leaving leading into the room and heading to the doors to the south and east. The cleric and warlock search the room and feel bitter cold as they approach the door to the west. There is a mold that grows in the cold and Xander knows that hitting it with fire will cause it to spread, he backs up and suggests hitting it with the cold grenade. Pretor throws the grenade against the wall and the mold wilts and dies away, leaving behing an inscription on the wall:
Thou hast made thy own path.
After studying the door for a moment, Xander pops the lock with ease. The door opens to a hallway that leads to the south. The 10 foot wide corridor leads about 40 feet then turns to the west and winds back to the north. There is a plain wooden door facing west, above it reads:
Know thy enemy, shatter all that blinds you and then burn the adversary to ashes.
The warlock opens the door with his will, and it opens into a 30 by 30 room bathed in darkness. There is a door to the north and to the east. As he approaches a pedestal in the center of the room with the torch, it goes out and he is surrounded by a mist. The mist is obviously hurting him. Valak throws a javelin at the orb and shatters it. The darkness appears to the extinguished. Pretor backs away from the mist, and Amadeus shoots a fire bolt at the mist and hits. The mist appears to have been harmed and disappears back down into the floor. Grimnok the ogre charges into the room and the mist comes back and surrounds him, it seems to be a darker red and getting stronger. Amadeus hits it with more fire and it does seem very effective. Valak swings his longsword through the mist, seeming to hurt it. Amadeus hits it again with fire and it disappears once again through the floor. Pretor seems deep in thought, and the ogre seems to respond, smashing his club into the floor angrily. The mist surrounds the ogre again and Amadeus take another fire shot, he’s in his element, and blasts it again. Pickett blasts it with fire and finishes off the vampiric mist.
After defeating the mist into the lesser realms, the party takes a short rest. When everyone is ready, the ogre and the paladin open the barred doors. The companions decide to to head north, the door opens into a short hallway ending in another door. Above the door reads:
Cruelty is a tool, not a pastime, be ruthless to thy enemy but reward those who serve thee well.
The warlock telepathically opens the unlocked door. It opens into a room lit by an oil lantern in the center of the room with a fucked up looking, fully functional but ready to use torturer’s rack. The diviner claims to see the future, and climbs into the rack. He demands us to test the device. Pretor telepathically projects a safe word into Amadeus’s head, and swings the cat o’ nine tails at Amadeus. Nothing seems to happen. After searching the room, a secret door is located in the Southwest corner of the room. The door opens into a small room. In the room is a squalid human, dressed as a squire of the Order of Avenar. He is very frightened. Valak addresses the human, the party learns that his name is Tim. He is a squire of Sir Gavin, they were captured. Amadeus asks if he accepts Avenar as his true lord and savior. He murmurs, yes. And Amadeus claps and exclaims, Excellent! Valak offers his hand but he refuses. Pickett attempts to drag the young man, but he resists.
After a struggle, the party forces him to the rack. Amadeus wishes to burn him outright because torture will be meaningless, but the party argues. Xander feels the torture is the way to solve the room we are in, based on the logical observations, Amadeus bows to his wisdom. The first button is pushed, the squire is screaming, he is whipped, the second button is pushed, his tongue is held with tongs, we ask him to serve us. His purpose is inquired, he was attacked on the road, he and Sir Gavin were in a room down the hall, a beautiful woman was there who turned into an evil creature. Sir Gavin blocked for him, and he ran down the hall into this room. He says he overheard two people talking, something about metal snakes, and a secret door near the stairs. Pickett releases the mechanism, and offers him food. He refuses saying he does not wish to eat. The party releases him, but orders him to stay in this room for a duration of time. As the party is leaving the room, he mumbles that he would accept Karamaka if it gets him out of this place. This piques the interest of the Paladin and Cleric, who attempt to convert him to Karamaka. He accepts, and will now be a squire for Valak, Timmy the Squire.
Backing down the hall into the Room of Darkness, the party heads to the door to the east. It leads to a hallway the winds north and ends with an oaken door facing east that reads:
The chosen are revealed by their might, the weak deserve no sympathy.
Stay tuned next week for the continuation of the Trials of the Blood Companions (…or whatever other name they decide to use, White Raven is taken…and Black Raven…no, too similar…I’m sure they’ll think of something…)
The adventures of the party as recorded by the Chronicler
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