Towering Figure

Image

Fire-Demon.jpg

Encounter Conditions

Sufficient number of correct routes (6?) trough the Forked Intersection

Initial Text

Flipping through the pages, you're drawn towards the last image in the book. It shows the hero below a towering figure of smoldering black stone.

It's hard to tell on the hero's featureless face, but he seems on the edge of lashing out and fleeing. It does seem a bit foolish to attack it head on.

Summary of Choices

  1. Look for the battle's result - Lose all HP or, if the hero has a battered pistol, gain Undying Heart skill, 8 random XP
  2. See if he bows - Lose all HP or, if the hero has a dark rose, gain Etheric Seed skill, 8 random XP
  3. See if he runs - Gain 4 XP in Strength and 4 XP in Reflexes
  4. Draw in a binding - Lose all hit points or, if you have a tome of binding equipped, gain Stolen Artistry skill, 8 random XP

(any option resulting in a skill ends the Black Book quest)

Choice Text and Results

Look for the battle's result

(Without the pistol)

Over the course of the next few pages, you see what befalls the hero. He's gored by the beast's horns, charred by its breath, and has all of his limbs broken before being tossed aside like yesterday's toy.

It hardly surprises you when you wake up face-down on the book, broken and charred yourself. There's no way the scorch mark on the floor is ever going away, though.

Lose all hit points.

You've gained 10 energy of Broken Bone.

You've gained 10 energy of Severely Charred.

(With the pistol)

You easily find the pages detailing the climactic battle. The hero and the beast dance for what seems like hundreds of pages, the hero slowly spilling more of the beast's blood and gaining the upper hand.

After the beast finally falls, the hero aims a final shot at the beast's chest, revealing its glistening heart. A massive maw opens high on his featureless face as he devours the heart whole.

When the stabbing pain in your chest wakes you back up, you find the book has crumbled into a pile of dust, slowly drifting through your room.

You've learned a new skill: Undying Heart

You've earned 8 XP in Random Stats

See if he bows

(Without a dark rose)

Near the back of the book, you find the picture you're looking for, but not the result you hoped for. The hero lowers his head to the demonic creature, only to have it summarily torn off.

Looking at the picture for a moment, panic rises within you, following by blacking out. Neither the neck pain nor the headache really surprise you when you return consciousness.

Lose all hit points.

(Otherwise) (Evil 2)

You quickly find the sketch you were looking for, with the hero lowering his head to the demonic beast. The beast reaches down, touching the black flower the hero carries.

As you look at the picture, a faint tingle draws your attention to your left arm. Thorns wander through it painlessly, pressing outward against your skin. As you watch, entranced, the images in the book grow fainter, followed by the book itself.

You're not sure how long you spend, uncertain whether you're yourself or the fallen hero in the book. You remember lifetimes in service to the beast, lifetimes at war, and lifetimes in cubicles. None seem more real than the others.

When you finally come back to your life, if this is the one you were leading before, the thorns are gone but faint memories remain.

You've learned a new Skill: Etheric Seed

You've earned 8 XP in Random Stats

See if he runs

The very next page shows the hero wisely fleeing. Whatever that beast is, none of the other images show its pursuit.

Perhaps it's no danger to the hero… or perhaps it considers the hero beneath it. Either way, you feel the pleasant burn of exercise seeping into your muscles.

You've earned 4 XP in Reflexes

You've earned 4 XP in Strength
(Resets Tunnels Maze)

Draw in a binding

You sense that this is the heart of the artist's delusions and begin copying runes from the tome of binding around the demonic beast. When you complete your additions, the sketchbook quivers like a cornered animal.

Finally it shatters with a pure note like a chime, leaving its dusty remnants to swirl into the tome. The tome snaps shut as you feel a wave of inspiration grip you.

You've learned a new Skill: Stolen Artistry

You've earned 8 XP in Random Stats

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