Saturday, April 12, 2014

Visitation Of The House Of Knives

"Trials of the Hero Twins" by Diego Rivera

The House of Knives (center top in the illustration above) is one of the places of torture in the Mayan Underworld of Xibalba.   In this place of testing, intelligent obsidian knives fly in every direction, thirsting for the flesh of all who enter this place where heroes are tested.

Those sorcerers who have earned the favor of the Lords of Xibalba or Lord Tezcatlipoca may learn the spell for summoning one or more of these demonic blades into our world.  But only the most favored and corrupt sorcerers learn the spell Visitation of the House of Knives. This spell brings the deadly House into our realm for a time; it has caused the slaughter of many.

Visitation of the House of Knives (Planar, Cost, Per Scenario, Persistent, Requires Call Knife Point and at least one gate spell, Corrupting): The caster rolls Flashy/CHA +2 to summon the House of Knives. Such castings can only be attempted on a planet during nighttime or an eclipse. If the summoning is successful, part or all of the current Scene is enclosed by stone walls on all sides.

The size of the chamber is determined by the results of the roll. A result of one shift produces quite a small chamber; anything in the same zone as the caster is enclosed. Two shifts produces an enclosed space of 2 zones. Three shifts produces an enclosed space of three zones, the maximum size of the House of Knives.

The chamber is plunged into darkness unless a preexisting light source is present. It is filled with an intelligent swarm of flying obsidian knives, which Attack all present (with the exception of the sorcerer and those under their protection) with a roll of 4DF +2 each turn.

The House of Knives has the following aspects:
  • Flying obsidian knives!
  • A stone chamber with no source of light
  • No apparent exit
Such magic is a major infraction, doing 2 points of Corruption stress to the caster.

Because the knives are intelligent, a clever hero may attempt to bargain with them. The knives thirst for the flesh of both the living and the dead. If approached with an offer, the GM should draw a card from the Deck of Fate. If the card drawn reveals a favorable aspect, the knives will pause after their first attack to negotiate.

If normal ants, Napoleon ants, or other ant-like intelligent species are present, their collectivity may be bargained with for help against the knives. Such species of diggers and tunnelers frequently have their own conflicts with the meddlesome and diseased subterranean Lords of Xibalba, and the smallest of their kind are usually immune to the knives' attacks.

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