Dark Stone Altar

Image

ghoul.jpg

Encounter Conditions

Unlocked by tearing down a wall in The Dead End encounter?

Initial Text

You find a carefully crafted image, showing the strange creatures that wander the black rock tunnels in a different light. They're gathered around a slab of dark stone like an altar, expressions of fear burned onto their animalistic faces.

One bears a meaty bone, a human femur if your guess is right, from a nearby pile towards the slab. The others crouch in positions that remind you equally of human prayer and madmen curling into the fetal position.

Summary of Choices

  1. Look for the fight - Gain 2 XP in Perception, 1 XP in Strength, 1 XP in Will or lose all HP.
  2. See if he'll aproach them - Lose all HP, or upgrade rose bud to full rose.
  3. Find out if he runs - Gain 4 XP in Reflexes
  4. See if he plays with the bones - Gain 4 XP in Perception and learn the Forked Intersection tunnels

Choice Text and Results

Look for the fight

(With the gun)

You quickly find the next sketch, showing he hero obliterating the worshipping creatures and their altar. He shoots his way through a two-page spread, revealing the scene of utter devastation when you turn the page.

Perhaps it's because they look faintly human, but it's hard to suppress a pang of guilt.

You've earned 2 XP in Perception

You've earned 1 XP in Strength

You've earned 1 XP in Will

(Without the gun)

You flip the pages, easily finding a two-page spread of the hero being brought down by the throng of creatures. You flip the page, revealing a second spread of him being sacrificed on their bone altar.

(Lose all hit points)

You've gained 10 energy of Empty Heart.

See if he'll approach them

You flip the pages, easily finding a two-page spread of the hero being brought down by the throng of creatures. You flip the page, revealing a second spread of him being sacrificed on their bone altar.

(Lose all hit points)

You've gained 10 energy of Empty Heart.

(Or, if you have a rose bud from the Gravestone choice encounter?)

It takes some serious searching, but you eventually find a drawing very close to the end of the book. It shows the creatures surrounding the hero, offering him chunks of meat and uncracked bones.

On his arm, the twining black rose opens into full bloom.

In the list of carried items in your quest log, "a rose bud" becomes "a dark rose".

Find out if he runs

You rapidly flip through the pages, eventually finding a pair of sketches near the front of the book. One shows the hero turning away from the creatures, while the other shows him hiding among a pile of stones and broken bones while the creatures lope past.

You feel strangely exhausted, but relieved, by the second image.

You've earned 4 XP in Reflexes

See if he plays with the bones

Flipping forward a handful of pages, you find a sketch of the hero hunched over the pile of bones. His hands are outstretched, rolling them like you would dice.

The bones fall into shapes that suggest words from the language you saw elsewhere in the book. It's strange… it seems like the language might almost be designed to use bones from the start.

The last paragraph can differ. Observed messages are:

One cluster reads 'Center Family' and another reads 'Right Snare.'

One cluster reads 'Left Rocks' and another reads 'Right Many.'

One cluster reads 'Center Snare' and another reads 'Right Fire.'

One cluster reads 'Right Family' and another reads 'Left Rocks.'

These have the same meaning as the scratchings at Forked Intersection.

If you didn't learn ghoulish writing, there's no third paragraph and the second paragraph reads

The bones fall into interesting patterns.

You've earned 4 XP in Perception

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