A Knot of Thrones - The Cruel Lessons of Master Thorn

Moving on to the next obvious room east, our villains encounter a room with an inscription above it's door reading "The chosen are revealed by their might. The weak deserve no sympathy". This chamber houses two mithral cobras commanded to attack all who enter. The cobras bite bears a paralytic poison but otherwise are quite lethal. With a few swift punches, and an ogre in tow, they make quick work of the threat and begin to assess their next move.  

It doesn’t take long for the party to realize they’ve skipped a room so they backtrack to find a torture room.  The inscription above the door reading "Cruelty is a tool not a pastime. Be ruthless to thy enemy but reward those who serve thee well".  Hiding within the room is a squire of Balentyne named Timeon.  Timeon recognizes the Asmodeus symbols and refuses to help our scoundrels until it is decided that he be racked.  Minimal persuasion causes the squire to break and he spills all his knowledge.  To his dismay he seems to be in a crisis of faith, questioning why Mitra hath abandoned him in this forsaken place.  Keen eyes notice this dissonance with Harlocke requiring the squire take point into the next room.

Alas, our quest must be nearing completion as the 6th room contains nothing more than a podium cradling a pendant adjacent to a well-placed staircase leading top-side.  But our party is no fool; they keenly see that the pendant is a fake and with a group’s feeling of validation of their discovery, they take to the staircase.  Their trip up the stone stairs falls short as it dead ends to a large spiked boulder crashing down on them.  Many leap out of the way of the crushing ball however Timeon doesn’t manage to move in time becoming a tenderized squire pancake.  Carefully searching the remainder of the room a secret passageway is discovered leading room 7 and the chamber of the shrieker.

Sir Balin

With the inscription above the door reading "Secrecy is our greatest ally. Exposure brings death", this room is completely dark. In the center of this stone chamber is a patch of bare earth surrounded by a two inch tall brick circle. From the soil grows a mansized purple mushroom with a strange bulbous cap. This is the shrieker and if light shines on it or any movement occurs within ten feet of the mushroom it emits an almost impossibly loud, piercing wail. This wail persists for several rounds after the stimulus is removed. Within the chamber, and the nearby rooms, all sound is drowned out by this racket. Even the slaves working in the upper levels of the manor house would hear a fainting screaming.  But this makes no mind to Grumblejack as he marches mindlessly into the shrieker causing it to begin it’s high-pitched shriek.  The ogre, annoyed by the sound, rips the mushroom from the ground.  The shrieker is not durable. Any damage will kill it but the shriek will persist for the full duration (though it will never shriek again).

Immediately, two things happen.  First, the five draugr in room 8 burst out of their coffins and begin moving towards the shrieker’s chamber. The undead arrive in three rounds, ripping through the two doors that separate room 7 from 8.  Second, Sir Balin (imprisoned in room 9) hears the wail and realizes that something is nearby. He immediately steels himself for a fight.

Our party leaves the shrieker room heading into the hallway between 7 and 8 just as the draugr break through the doorway before them.  The fight is intense with many of our kin falling before the undead fiends but they prevail.   And without any notion of rest they come to the final chamber, Sir Balin's cell.  The inscription above the door reads "Serve thy master well and be rewarded".  Throwing open the door, they choose to meet their enemy face on.

GM Thoughts

Although not a TPK, they continue to get close to it.  GM didn't need to intervene this time however I fear them rushing into the final room without respite may be foolhardy as Grumblejack won't be so brave against Sir Balin, leaving them without a tank.

The torture rack became an issue as Shivers had some specific visions on what was to be done with poor Timeon even with Timeon giving up all the information available.  Had to call a punt and ask Shivers' intention with getting so involved with the torture scene.  Will make not of this for future.


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