01.12: Welcome Chamber
Accesses: there are four doors in the room, one in the middle of each wall. The southern door is unlocked and un-warded, but each of the other doors is locked and warded until they are opened for the first time.
Description: The Welcome Room is an austere chamber, far from welcoming. The floor is a white stone tile. The walls were once plastered and whitewashed, but now the plaster is covered in mildew and crumbling, revealing rough stone masonry beneath. The door in the south is sturdy and normal in appearance. The other doors are heavy wood banded with brass and bearing a large relief also of brass. The east door depicts a woman’s face, severe and cold, wearing an intricate veil over her eyes. The north door depicts an old man’s face who frowns and glowers. The west door depicts a closed book, its cover etched with runes that if stared at too long cause the viewer’s head to spin with vertigo.
The Wards: The Welcome Room was a place of tests for guests come to Parenix Manor. Still in place after all this time but with no Alastairn alive to guide guests through them, they have become quite dangerous.
A character that approaches the east door is stopped by the woman’s face coming alive and speaking. “Speak thrice the name of the one who invited you here.” Failure to answer truthfully and accurately a member of the Alastairn family (and the PCs likely cannot) causes the face to scream in rage and fire a lightning bolt at the character. This does have the effect of draining the door of its magic until the next moonrise, however, and the door may be unlocked by normal means. The door leads to the lesser dining hall (01.10).
A character who approaches the north door is admonished by the face of the old man. “What is your business in Parenix Manor?” it demands. The only correct answer is, “To honor the master of the manor.” Failure to answer thus elicits a scornful snarl from the old man and the answerer is struck blind for 24 hours. The magic is drained from the door until the next moonrise and it may be unlocked by normal means. The door leads to the greater dining hall (01.15).
The western door ward does not harm one who attempts to come through but instead simply makes it impossible to pass through the door by any means. The only way to open the door is to whisper a secret to the book — a real secret, the admission of an act or thought never spoken to anyone before, no matter how trivial. When this is done, the door opens for that individual alone. If someone tries to slip through without telling a secret, the door slams closed hard, possibly causing injury. The door leads to the sitting room (01.11).