room type: large ceremonial chamber
A Light in the Darkness
(Draw once and then remove from game)
Carefully you move forward and it is not long before you step over the threshold of a wide arch that opens out into a long, ornate hall. For a moment you have to pause, waiting for your eyes to adjust to the glare of a bright beam of natural sunlight that streams out of an aperture in the high ceiling, before illuminating a large black cube of stone resting at the centre of the hall.
It is a curious thing, you are far underground yet the light shines brightly through the darkness, highlighted by swirls of dust and constant in its intensity. Illuminated fully, the hall also gives up its secrets and it is no less surprising that the light itself.
Extending for some distance, you consider the hall must be a ceremonial chamber of some type. Formed within a skeleton of high arches and thick, carved buttresses, the walls and ceiling are completely surfaced in coloured murals and stained glass. Each part of the Hall is intricately designed, each panel a vision of the ancient world, and many of the images are brutal in their depiction of great battles and the severity of the rule of the Trell'sara. It is a remarkable find but like many other things that reside so far underground you have no time to marvel at their grandeur.
The large cube of black stone however, is something worth a quick look. Outlined brightly within the shaft of light it is a curiosity unlike anything you have seen before. Standing four metres on each side it appears to have no entry points, and within the beam of light reflects none of the sunlight back into the chamber itself. Tentatively you run your hands across its cold surface and it proves to be perfectly smooth, unseamed and without any discernible blemish. If there is a way to get inside you cannot find it, and as you step back to take a wider view of its structure you discover why it has not yet been opened.
Out of the shadows around you step forward four giant stone Sentinels. Formed of black shimmering obsidian, the animated statues move smoothly towards you, each wielding long metal swords and each a mindless guardian of whatever may reside within the dark cube. Taken aback, you hesitate for a moment as the automatons advance upon you, but then your instincts take over...
Options: You only have two choices here. You can run, but you must turn on your heel and return the way you came. The Sentinels will not follow you in this instance, but this way is now blocked and you will have to find another path.
The other alternative is to fight. Destroying all the Sentinels will leave the path open ahead, but there are no secrets that can be uncovered here. If you win such a battle you will have to move to the exit ahead quickly and continue with your quest. If you lose against these giants then your quest will end here, and it will be in a latter life that you will need to strive for greater success.
If you have the right talisman you may be able to push them away, but there are four of the automatons and the aversion they have to the Sharyah can only hold them at bay. It will not force them to retreat. If you decide to use a Sharyah then you will be able to keep the Sentinels at a distance but the way ahead will be blocked for there are too many of them. Under these circumstances you will have to find another way.
If you have chosen to fight the Sentinels have the following combat values and each must be fought individually:
Combat value: 20
Aversions: Force stone
Special rules: +3 to player CV if using warhammer
Difficulty modifiers: -1 to player CV if fought in large room or cavern
Creature motivation: Ambivalent
Whether you survive this contest or not will reside to some extent in the hands of Fate. If you do survive then the way forward is clear. Turn to your Room Generation tables and determine where the exit ahead will take you.
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The Torchlight Text Edition is the intellectual property of the author, Wayne F Densley, and all rights are reserved by him. Any questions regarding this title, or any other book in the Chronicles of Arborell series can be answered by emailing the author at email@example.com