You head forward in the following order, judging by order of posts:
Kara with knife drawn and compact laspistol holstered. Ambrose goes beside her, knife in hand.
Leveticus with autopistol drawn and hammer at belt/over his back/wherever it is, next to Jim with club in hand.
Chani with sword sheathed and compact laspistol holstered.(You probably want to read the following attentively.)
As you walk forward, the eyes of the "ghosts" seem to follow you, but looking through you at the same time, as if whatever they were looking at was not quite matching up with you, but was as it were just over your shoulder.
The hall is about 5 meters long. As you walk down it, the sickly green glow grows and Brother Jenkin or whoever it is keeps shouting."You have come Ambrose and have those who will partake with you! Glory glory GLORY!"
You step into the room. It like the rest of the catacombs is covered with frescoes and the empty torch sconces. It is about 10 meters on a side and 3 meters in height. The remains of very old wooden furniture lie about in bits and pieces. A very very old-looking laspistol lies on the floor. Directly opposite you, floating in midair at the opposite end of the room, is the 30-cm-tall statue of the emaciated six-armed woman with the hair of worms or snakes you were sent to investigate. It glows with a green light, enough to dimly illuminate the room even without Leveticus' glow-lamp. On the floor beneath it and to one side lies the oval stone covered in ridges that was an additional object of your mission. Around them lie bits and shards of twisted metal."Hahahaha! It whispered to me Ambrose! Ulha whispered, she is asleep, hides, but I heard. They thought the wards would hold, but this place was Ulha's seat! HER THRONE ON THE ABOVE! Where she did battle with the False Saint and fell asleep. Woe it was, WOE for Famine! But the Feast of Life survives all blasphemy! It called and the key came with you and it opened!"
In the middle of the room is a large rockcrete desk, which looks very incongruous given the decay and debris, positioned lengthwise toward you. It is about 12 feet away, so you can get a reasonably good look at it.
Ambrose looks sicks to his stomach and rapidly makes the sign of the Aquilla. "Brother Jenkins...," he moans in horror.
On the desk is a naked male corpse. It has been dismembered. At one end -- the end nearest to you -- lie a pair of severed crossed hands. The legs, with feet, have been severed from the body and lie on each side of the torso. The severed handless arms rest below the torso, above the crossed hands. At the far end is the severed head of a young, dark-haired man. There is no blood.
No doubt you all remember the stained-glass panel in the cathedral above:
InquisitorChris wrote: A crowd gathers around a table, knives in their hands and hopeful, ecstatic expressions on their faces. Upon the table are plates piled high with meat. At one end of the table, on a platter, lies the severed head of the woman in the second window. Her eyes are open, and she looks serenely down at the ongoing. At the opposite end rest two severed hand crossed together, also on a platter.
Two cherubim squat on the table, one to either side of the body. Unlike the cherubim you saw earlier, these cherubim appear to have undergone no degenerative process. They are chubby and healthy- and demented-looking as normal. However, their heads are about three times the normal size, because their jaws and mouths have become immense. They turn their heads to look at you with huge Cheshire Cat grins with enormous, almost ridiculous-looking, buck teeth.
One of them SQWAKS!!!
at you and spreads its wings like some kind of strange bird warning interlopers away from its nest.
The other one inclines its head over the corpse and takes a huge bite out of the torso, bends its head back and chews. Organs pulse within, but no blood pours from the wound.
You can see more cherubim in the background, two or three of them hopping around. The floor is covered with droppings.
(Note that cherubim normally neither eat nor defecate nor sqwak.)
The eyes of the severed head roll around in their sockets. Its mouth opens."AMBROOOSE!!!"
The head shouts. "My disciples all of you and the key! You must begin the Feast! We await! Then we find!""ETERNAL LIFE!!!! WE WILL LEARN THE SECRET AND DO IT TOGETHER!"
The cherubim takes time out from its chewing to rip off the man's penis and shove it into the mouth of the speaking severed head, which swallows it whole. For some reason, it doesn't shoot out of the bottom of his neck."LIFE!!!"
he screams rapturously, licking his lips.
<<ooc>> This is some serious shit. This requires a Noncombat Fear Test with a Fear Rating of 2. As an aside, if you should for whatever reason need to make another Fear Test while the effects of this one are still active, the penalties (other than Insanity Point loss) will not be cumulative; the worst will be used, not a combination of the two. That would be too mean. I realize this part of the scenario is kind of loaded with Fear Tests, but they are kind of to be expected in this situation.<<ooc>>IF YOU WANT TO SPEND A FATE POINT TO REROLL (AND HAVE ONE TO SPEND), LET ME KNOW. JUST REMEMBER THAT THE RESULT COULD BE WORSE. Ambrose
has a Willpower of 48. Unfortunately he's also Fatigued. So he rolls against 48 - 10 (Fatigue) - 10 (Fear Rating 2) = 28. The roll is 30. failure. he has Unshakeable Faith, so he gets a reroll, which is 28.
Ambrose's faith is great indeed. He passes the Fear Test with no penalties.Kara
has the Little Left to Fear Trait, so the Fear Rating is reduced by 1. So she rolls against her base Willpower of 40. The roll is 90. Failure, missing the role by 50 with 4 Degrees of Failure.
This means that Kara is suffering from Fear and takes 1d5 = 4 Insanity Points. This brings her up to 13 Insanity Points and requires a Mental Trauma Test; she now has an Unsettled sanity level.
She rolls on the Mental Trauma table, with a +40 (from 4 degrees of failure) + 10 (the Trauma Modifier for Unsettled sanity level) = + 50. The roll is 44 + 50 = 94: "Kara is constantly fearful, seeing danger everywhere and extremely jumpy. Kara takes a +10 bonus to all Perception-based Tests and is at -10 penalty to her Willpower for the next 1d5 days." (Amount to be rolled secretly by me.) Making her Willpower now 30.In short, Kara is close to terror, eyes moving this way and that and hands shaking. She thought she had seen bad things on Dusk!Chani
has a Willpower of 32. 32 - 10 = 22%. She rolls 59, failing by 37 points, meaning she is suffering from Fear and takes 1d5 = 4 Insanity Points, bringing her to 4.Chani's mind is having a hard time comprehending the sight before her, her heart racing in her chest and gut heaving.Jim
has a Willpower of 33. 33 - 10 = 23. He rolls an 11 and is fine.
Perhaps it was the Arbitrator's inherent pragmatism that preserved his sense of calm.
has a Willpower of 48. 48 - 10 = 38. The roll is 20. Success.Novice-Initiate Leveticus' nerves had been sorely tested tested by the servitor before, but this time he stood firm, his faith unwavering.
So, Chani and Kara are suffering from Fear (-10 on Tests requiring concentration, i.e., most of them) and Kara has a Mental Trauma. Leveticus, Jim, and Ambrose are fine. Fine as can be expected.
What do you do?