(SAGE) You try to free your mind from the effort of concentrating, to 'let go from trying', as your Adept Masters taught you. Suddenly you enter a state of serene calm in which all things are clear, and in this state of Nirvana you sense the thoughts of others around you.
Drifting outwards with this expanded sense, you feel the presence of an immensely powerful creature at the end of the corridor. Then, examining the side walls of the corridor, you detect brief flickers of thoughts, as though several beings of very low mentality lurk beyond the mirrors.
You return reluctantly to normal.
Turn to 216.
The corridor ahead terminates in vast bronze double doors. To either side, gilt-framed mirrors wink in your torchlight. Unless the mirrors conceal some hidden passageway, your only route lies through the bronze doors in front of you.
If there is a Trickster in the party who can examine the mirrors, turn to 511. If not, you can try looking behind the mirrors anyway (turn to 76) or advance to the end of the corridor and open the bronze doors (turn to 456).
I sense a powerful entity at the corridor's end, of good or evil I cannot tell. There are beings of lesser intelligence beyond the mirrors - perhaps another party of champions. I would recommend going that way also. 76.
(TRICKSTER) You bend close to each of the mirrors in turn, listening intently for any sound beyond. Gently tapping one with your fingers, you hear a slight movement as if something was lurking behind it, perhaps even waiting in the darkness to ambush you. You tap each of the other mirrors in turn and hear the same rustling sound behind each of them except one. Examining the gilt frame of this mirror, you find a concealed catch which, when flicked down, allows the mirror to swing away from the wall. Behind it, a low tunnel leads off at an oblique angle to the corridor in which you stand.
Turn to 379.
You scramble along a low tunnel that leads off the red-carpeted corridor. The tunnel seems very old, as if hewn from the bedrock of the Keep above many hundreds of years before. After a while it enlarges a little, but you still have to crouch slightly as you advance up a twisting flight of rock-cut steps and then begin to descend a long pebble-strewn ramp. At last you reach the end. A grille is set into the floor. Looking down, you see a corridor of grey marble which ends in a bronze-bound door. The grille you're looking through is set in the ceiling.
There is the sound of a key being turned, then the bronze door slowly swings open. Four burly Barbarians stride forwards, slamming the door behind them. Apparently not noticing the grille in the ceiling, they stop directly beneath you and consult a scrap of parchment.
'What's it say, Erek?' mutters one.
'Well, I'm not sure, Snorri,' says the fellow with the parchment, scratching fleas out of his hair. 'I can't read, can I?'
'By Muninn and Huginn!' bellows a red-bearded ox of a man. 'Have you no learning, Erek?' He snatches the parchment and peers at it. 'Well, it says ... it says ... I reckon it says one of the passages up ahead is a dead end. But what do you want to listen to a bit of parchment for? The only way to find out for sure is to see for ourselves ...'
They are about to move on. If you want to dislodge the grating and jump down to attack them, turn to 6. If you stay where you are and watch what they do next, turn to 141.
You wrench up the grating and drop lithely to the floor in the midst of the astonished Barbarians. They reach for their axes, but are taken by surprise, and this means you get one free action before the normal sequence of combat begins.
Barbarians Fighting Prowess: 8 Psychic Ability: 5 Armour Rating: 1 Awareness: 7 Damage per blow: 1 Die+2 Barbarian A Endurance: 12 Barbarian B Endurance: 12 Barbarian C Endurance: 12 Barbarian D Endurance: 12
If you flee along the corridor, turn to 43. If you defeat the Barbarians, turn to 191.
This will be intense. So, each of the characters has a free round before the combat starts, but these guys are no joke. I'm excited!
The Trickster puts an arrow through Barbarian C's back, inflicting 5 Damage.
Barbarian A attacks the Warrior, rolling a 6 & 2, striking the Warrior, inflicting 1 Damage.
Barbarian B also attacks the Warrior, rolling a 7 & 3, striking the Warrior, inflicting 2 Damage.
Barbarian C turns around to strike at the feeble Enchanter, rolling a 7 & 1, inflicting 1 Damage.
Barbarian D takes a swing at the Sage, rolling an 8 & 6, inflicting 6 Damage.
The Warrior continues to pummel Barbarian B, inflicting 3 Damage.
The Sage is unable to shoot as he is locked in combat with one of the Barbarians. Instead of shooting, he strikes Barbarian D with his quarterstaff, inflicting 2 Damage.
The Enchanter continues to attempt casting a spell, but rolls a 10. He realises that the end is near...
End of Round II.
Please give me your orders for round 3. Note that you cannot shoot if you are being attacked in a round. To flee, you have to move to the flee area (1 turn). Because we have a lower awareness than our enemies, we would be attacked twice each before fleeing (i.e. likely all dead - except for the trickster). Remember that the Trickster can act twice once per combat...
'Do not despair comrades for I have faith that we will see this through.' That said, the Sage grits his teeth fighting past the pain of his wounds and brings up his staff ready for the next onslaught. 'Wizard, if magic be your name and nature, now would be a good time to show it.'
I think the best idea would be for the Trickster to try and take out Barbarian B or C. We need the Enchanter for area damage and arcane stuff the rest of us don't have. Currently at 6 Endurance, I'm going to Defend instead. I don't think i should be threatened by Barbarian B either.
The Trickster looses another arrow at Barbarian C, piercing his groin. Barbarian C is dead!
Barbarian A swings widely at the Warrior, rolling a 4 & 2, inflicting 1 Damage.
Barbarian B makes a desperate lunge at the Warrior, rolling a 7 & 3, inflicting 2 Damage.
Barbarian D grins evilly as he slashes at the Sage, but narrowly misses, rolling a 10.
The Warrior, shrugging off the Barbarian's powerful blows, turns into the last attack and delivers a lightning fast riposte to Barbarian B, inflicting 5 Damage.
The Sage uses his monastic training to ward off the Barbarian's attacks, using his quarterstaff to keep distance.
The Enchanter finally realises his error; he was using the wrong spell component! Pulling out a small piece of amber, he rolls a 7 & 6, successfully casting White Fire on Barbarian D. The poor Barbarian roars in pain as the spell inflicts 7 Damage.
As Barbarian D is extinguishing the flames, he looks up...and is greeted by the Trickster's second arrow of the round, piercing the wild man's left eye and continuing right through to the brain, a very small target I am sure you could imagine. Barbarian D is dead!
End of Round III.
Note that as the Sage begins with only 10 endurance and has taken 6 Damage already, he actually only has 4 Endurance left (so v.nice call on defending!). The tide has definitely turned, but how long can the Warrior's mighty armour hold up?
The Trickster looses an arrow at Barbarian B, hitting him in the chest. The Barbarian's armour saves his life, the arrow inflicting 1 Damage.
Barbarian A finally breaks through the Warriors defences, rolling a 7 & 6, inflicting 5 Damage.
Barbarian B makes a desperate lunge at the Warrior, rolling a 5 & 4, inflicting 3 Damage. The Warrior is Dead!
The Sage continues to use his monastic training to ward off the Barbarian's attacks, using his quarterstaff to keep distance.
The Enchanter brings White Fire to mind.
End of Round IV.
Well, looks like the meat shield has fallen. Kieran if you could take over the Enchanter, that would be great. You will have to roll a 6 or less next round to cast the spell successfully, and it does 2D6+2 Damage if successful.
Barbarian A = 12 closest to Enchanter Barbarian B = 1 attacking Sage