Day 7-The Pain Test.
The Last Murder?
Should the Characters fail to uncover the Gherent last night, or earlier, another local girl is found slain and partially eaten. This precipitates a full-scale hunt for the Gherent, including questioning of all the contestants, under the temple's scrutiny and the Magistrate's wrathful suspicions.
The Pain Test
What the Priestesses Say
The trials of the Butterfly Girl's suitors were harsh. Only those with the greatest strength and endurance could have survived to protect Butterfly Girl. You now have a chance to test your strength and endurance to the utmost in the Pain Test. Magic and armor are both forbidden in this event. Each competitor must lift a large tin pot filled with boiling water and heated. The contestants are spaced three meters apart to prevent injuries from splashes of scalding water. The last contestant to remain holding his pot wins, and gains three points towards their contest total. Two points are given for second place; one point is given to third place. Healing magic, soothing songs, and cool bandages (containing herbal compresses), are available from the Temple healers immediately after each contestant relinquishes their pot.
This is a CHAR-based roll based on the average of STR and CON plus ED, which must be made each turn. +1 is added to the dice every each turn, as the pot gets hotter and hotter.
Damage from the heat is one pip HKA per turn.
Resisting the Pain
At the end of every turn, each contestant must match his roll against the heat of the tin pot in a Simple Contest. (For some competitors it might be possible to augment their basic roll with another ability - for example Resistance).
3 under CON/STR roll
The competitor stoically grips the pot
2 under CON/STR roll
The competitor sweats and shuffles in discomfort
1 under CON/STR roll
Taking a deep breath, the competitor grits his teeth against the pain
Makes CON/STR roll
With sweat running like rivulets from his face and arms the competitor groans in pain, and the crowd moans in sympathy
1 over CON/STR roll
The competitor bellows with pain as his hands scald almost unbearably
2 over CON/STR roll
The competitor is forced by searing pain to drop the pot
3 over CON/STR roll
Screaming in agony, the competitor drops the pot
Contestant Strategies in the Pain Test:
Carylon - His "True Grit" ability, plus the tin amulet gives him a total starting roll of 19-
Promidor - It's very frustrating for Promidor - if he could use magic, he could easily withstand this contest: but he can't use it without giving himself away. When he sees his chances to win are slim or non-existent he is unwilling to endure pain without a good reason, and accidentally on purpose fumbles his hot pot and drops it early in the contest His CON roll is 12-.
Vathmar - He trusts in his toughness, which gives him a roll of 16-. If anyone beats him (he cannot believe this could happen) he will angrily accuse them of using magic.
Myrrhyn - The blue stone augments his roll to 13-. Also check the effects of the cheat below.
Sir Barharach - Is just going to have to tough it out. He has a roll of 12-
Jarst Daro - has only a roll of 12- but see the Gherent trick below
Samadrian Trick. Agrestis magically disguises himself as one of the contest attendants and uses his LEGERDEMAIN spell pour cold water into Myrrhyn's pot, from a bucket held by an accomplice nearby instead of the hot water in his own pot. Casting the spell undetected is a difficult task. To accomplish this, as always, Samadrian lackeys cause a distraction by starting a spectacular fight amongst the spectators. They have also got the real attendant blind drunk and left him lying under a table in the 'Silent Partner'. Application of this unusual Feat has the effect in this instance of removing the damage for Myrryhn and raising his roll by +5 as he only has to contend with the weight of the pot.
Gherent's Trick The Gherent will use Mind Control to try and make Jarst hold the pot. It doesn't care if he gets his hands burned. Every time Jarst fails a roll, the Gherent will use mind control - it needs to get a +20 EGO effect the first time - after that a +30 will be required as Jarst will really, really want to drop the pot!
The Pain Test Prize:
The prize for this event is a pair of finely-crafted bracers. They provide DEF 8 to the forearms, but weigh only half as much as normal armour.
One of the Characters overhears an off-duty Samadrian soldier say to his companion that "our man has the Ladies' event all sewn up."
Vandross, another official from Solanthos' party, approaches the Character who has been acting as a runner, asking about Cathilion's gambling. If the player admits he has been acting for Cathilion, this official asks if the Character would place a bet for him too. If the player denies his actions, the disgruntled official goes to Lord Solanthos. Later that night, Vandross publicly declares the Character to be a dishonorable liar, and challenges them to a duel to prove his accusations upon their body. (Use Vathmar or Promidor's statistics, dependent on the abilities of the Character.)
Sorghall announces a grand party in the Temple. Normally, only local cultists would be invited; however, Sorghall has made a substantial donation so any avowed Samadrian friends are graciously granted entry, and the Lord wins many admirers with his generosity. The Lord also extends an invitation to all competitors in the contest, and may be observed carousing at the party with Myrrhyn Calmstorm. Curiously, Lord Raus excuses himself from the bacchanalia early (He and Sorghall are not on the best of terms). Nor is his daughter anywhere to be seen, for the Lord has already packed her off back home, lest she cause him further embarrassment.