You clamber onto the ladder, careful to make sure your flame isn't extinguished. Moving cautiously, you ascend into the darkness above.
An ominous 'click' issues from one of the stone rungs as you grasp it, followed by a series of thudding 'clunks'. Looking down, you see to your horror that the ladder has begun to recess back into the wall at an alarming pace.
Dropping the burning ember of wood, you climb blindly upwards as fast as you are able, the ladder disappearing rapidly. As you haul yourself up, you catch sight of a dim light above – some sort of ledge or passage. You throw yourself upwards, just as the last rung below you slides into the stone wall. Your fingers grasp hold of the ledge. Summoning all your strength, your muscles screaming with pain and exhaustion, you pull yourself up, rolling onto your back, panting and wheezing.
When your breath returns, you see that you are in another dark passageway. At the end is a T-junction, with a thin barred grate high in the middle of the wall, from which light issues into the murky passage. You sneak closer, peering through the tiny opening.
On the other side of the grate you see two soldiers sitting in a small storeroom, peeling vegetables – one of the soldiers is large and round, and the other is a weaselish skinny fellow. Listening in on their conversation, you learn that a strange visitor entered the fortress the previous day – a foreigner, possibly a spy. You ponder this information as you progress along the passage, choosing to take the left route – a thin crawlspace, low to the ground.
Coming to the end of the tunnel, you find yourself looking down into a latrine, a soldier occupying one of the toilets. You wait for him to leave, and then shadow him through the corridors of the tower. The soldier, a royal Honour Guard, heads along a passage towards a small staircase. Peering up over the top step, you see him rejoin one of his comrades, the two of them guarding a large ornately-carved door – the entrance to the royal chamber.
A voice behind you causes you to spin round – it is the fat soldier from the storeroom, inquiring who you are. Putting on your finest dramatic performance, you manage to trick him into thinking you a royal spy, sending him on his way. After that you deal with the two Honour Guards – no tricks for them, just two arrows and a fatal sword strike.
You are about to investigate the door, when it opens, revealing none other than Prayro, fellow 'King's Lord', also given a secret quest and a 'King's Dagger'. Behind him stands the Skav king; tall, scarred and smiling triumphantly. You allow Prayro to explain himself, refusing the king's offer of food. Prayro states that he wishes to save your nation by bartering with the Skavakians, but all you see in his eyes are greed and avarice. You draw your sword, taking the fight to the traitor.
Prayro draws his needle-like dagger with lighting speed, landing a swift blow.
You swipe at him but he evades your attack.
The traitor stabs viciously, gashing your forearm.
You manage to land a punch into his side, the crack of bone audible.
Prayro plunges his blade into your midriff – a grievous wound.
With renewed vigour, you gouge your sword into Prayro's leg, blood flying out.
His movement impaired, your foe slashes at you weakly – you dodge the attack.
Your sword finds its mark – Prayro screams as it tears into his flesh.
Prayro attacks clumsily, unable to strike you.
You drive your sword into his heart, staring into his eyes as the life drains out of them.
The king of Skavak looks down at his fallen henchman, seeming only mildly interested. Throwing back a leather covering from a nearby table, he reveals two horrific weapons – a barbed flail, and a huge single-bladed axe. Grasping the two instruments of death in his massive fists, the king gives you one last ultimatum – turn on your master and live to serve his nation, or fall under the crushing wave of his wrath.
With unearthly speed, you leap towards the king, slashing at his shoulder.
The cruel spikes of his flail collide with your body, sending you reeling back.
Recovering from the blow, you grasp the chain of the flail, sending the king stumbling into the path of your blade.
The towering man's axe hacks into your chest, cutting deep.
With a cry of grim determination, you send your sword hammering down, severing straight thru the king's arm.
The crippled giant falls to the floor of the chamber, screaming in agony, clutching at the bloody remains of his limb.
You stand over your foe. He looks up into your eyes, transfixed by fear. How small he now seems...
Drawing the 'King's Dagger' from within your cloak, you prepare to strike...
“Please,” he begs, tears running down his face. “I'll give you everything - you'll rule my entire kingdom. Please spare my life.”