The House of Shadowed Corners
Trials of Flame
A set of heavy bronze double doors fill a portion of the wall past which the hallway leads. A message is engraved upon the doors in elaborate Old Realm characters, and complex designs of lacquered red and orange tiles surround the message. Upon approaching the doors, it is clear that warm air is emerging from the minuscule cracks between the doors and walls, although the doors themselves are cool to the touch.
A character who can read Old Realm deciphers the message to read as follows, “Here lie trials for the worthy. Insight may be found within, though it is guarded by flame and fury, and the unworthy shall perish before they find it here.”
Opening the door unleashes a massive blast of fiercely hot air, and shows a series of flame-belching pillars, wheels of rotating dragon’s heads with tongues of searing fire, and brazen statues with swords of sharp-edged obsidian patrolling the spaces between the flames. The shimmer of heat obscures the view of the other side of the great hall, but there is the suggestion of another set of bronze doors opposite this entrance.
FORMERLY GM ONLY
Rather than modeling each individual element of the complex set of flame-spewing obstacles, treat the entire hall containing the Trials of Fire as a bonfire environmental hazard (p232) that requires five rolls to navigate successfully. A character who accepts a -5 penalty to their roll to avoid harm may traverse an extra round’s worth of hazards in one roll. However, a character who thinks to study the paths the statues walk between the fires before anyone enters the trials can make an Int + Awareness roll to reduce the difficulty of all rolls to avoid harm by 1.
After a character’s first round in the trials, the nearest statue moves to engage them in combat, requiring a Join Battle roll for all characters in the trials. An additional statue attacks after every two rounds from this point. Time spent in melee with a statue without a disengage action or a stunt to stay moving through the maze does not progress a character towards the other side of the trials, and the bonfire continues to threaten the characters while they fight. The statues are immune to the fires, and have +4 soak against any other fire-based attacks. The statues abandon their pursuit of any character who makes it to the bronze doors on the other side of the trials, or who flees out the original entrance.
Passing through the Trials of Flame provides insight into the secrets of the House of Shadowed Corners, granting ten bonuses successes to the next roll that character makes to navigate the labyrinth, and granting a point of temporary willpower (which may take the character over their permanent willpower rating). At the GM’s discretion, the character may receive additional insight instead of either the bonus successes or the point of temporary willpower.