"Hold on...brother, we have little magic left for healing, and some of us suffers the effect of the trechery of poison. More than that, I am afraid you forget how weak we are compared to you, our mortal frames do not sustain us with quite as much vitality as you.
But if you want to continue, I am with you, my body may be weak, but my will is not."
"I am fine, it's just a scratch. Save your wand and your potions. I am tough enough to resist such things. I also have my own in any case. Though I appreciate the offer." That last sentence made Xerath feel visibly uncomfortable.
That leaves Appario having taken 1 STR damage, Derek having taken 1 CON damage and 2 STR damage, and Yahirma having taken 13 damage (Xerath has only taken 5 damage, so Derek might want to use that charge to heal Yahirma instead).
At the end of the hallway, The Beast emerges into a small chamber. He immediately notices another hidden pit trap barring the way further. Past the trap, he sees the beginning of a staircase going up towards the east.
Of course, using the levitating rope makes the whole thing trivial.
The staircase leads up to a vaguely octagonal chamber. There's a plaque above the staircase on this side, illuminated by a single oil lamp. The plaque reads "Your test lies beyond. Good luck, but know that only one will be admitted. How you resolve this is up to you." Several old bloodstains mar the floor of the chamber.
A door in the eastern wall leads to an elegant dining room. A huge mahogany table stands in the center of the room, surrounded by several padded chairs. Upon the table are settings for each chair, complete with crystal goblets, silverware, and fine porcelain plates. A folded card has been placed on the northernmost plate.
There's a narrow hole in the wall at Q8, and a huge guillotine blade hanging on the wall above the hole is clearly visible, set to drop onto whoever sticks their head through the hole.
If someone picks up the card, it reads:
"You have survived your first exam, and so begins your test for admission. Beyond the door to the west lies the remainder of your test. Survive and be welcome, guild brother. Die, and rest easy knowing your body becomes a lesson for your betters."
One might think you've entered the testing area from the wrong direction :)
"That's fair, but remember, these are our enemies. We don't really want them to be nothing but the elite.
Still, at least it means that there are less cannon fodder for us to fight our way through.
Shu-Ak’eh-Di only enjoy war against the absolute best."
Strong principles, in his own way, Xerath is more like Shu-Ak’eh-Di than he might realize.
"Yes, You know, that being said, there can't be too many left. A building like this can only hold so many people.
Still, we should expect things to get harder from this point on, a smart leader keeps some of his best in reserve."
"Well...I guess that was all I really wanted to say, but I think I needent have bothered, by this point I think we all know what is at stake.
Shall we move on? I'm eager to end this.
And I'm hoping we can avoid mind controling magics and poisons...but as we are looking for what we think is a master vampire...yeah..."
"Watch it, he may not have been alone."
Derek will atempt to have a quick look through the hole to see if he is right, but without sticking his head into it, and withdrawing before the blade reaches it's apex.
I don't want the others to know, but...I found that gruesome...
Looking through the hole, which is currently dripping copious amounts of blood, Derek sees several people drawing back and away from the headless body sliding to the ground on the other side. They all make their way around a corner to the east and vanish from sight.
Ancient Shoanti War Spirit 11 | 137/137 hp + 72 temps, Init +2, AC 29 (+1 near Derek) [touch 15, FF 27], Fort +18, Ref +11, Will +14; Perception +5;
Well seeing as how he doesn't even really know where the entrance from the other side is, it makes more sense to just let Appario disarm the blade and then bull-doze his way through the doorway. Also, between Maddok and the Beast their combined weight would be very close to testing the limits of the spell's weight limit.
It's a good thing natural 1's aren't auto-failures on skill checks :)
After some struggling, The Beast manages to push its bulk through the hole. It emerges in some sort of soup kitchen. There's an unlit firepit next to the hole with a large cauldron hanging above it, and there are two long benches along the western and northern wall, with tables in front of them. Several sacks of meal and stale bread are placed near the firepit, along with casks of water.
The furniture in the room looks to be of a far lower quality and much more worn than any other furniture the group has encountered so far in the mansion.
There's a door leading further, and The Beast hears several low voices through it.