All Flintnail cultists are expected to assist in some way.
The usual way is to bring gifts to be incorporated into the Marriage Chamber.
This HeroQuest is that of Gift Bringing.
Selecting the Gift
The particular gift which is to be brought depends on the individual and the purpose of the gift. Some gifts bestow different powers to the Marriage Chamber, others reflect differently on the Gift Bringer.
However, there may be some dangers. Here may be met raiders (trolls, bandits, elves, chaos) who must be overcome.
Here also may be met those who would oppose the Bringing of Gifts and who would stop the HeroQuest. These are not members of the Flintnail Cult but those who try to destroy the Harmony that exists within Old Pavis. They must be resisted at all costs.
First, they must prove knowledge of the Mysteries of the Cult and show the appropriate Signs and Tokens to gain entry (Flintnail Cult Lore%). There may be a bonus depending on how inexperienced these people are - perhaps + 50% as these are the Simple Signs and Tokens.
Second, they must offer of themselves to Flintnail. This sometimes takes the form of a sacrifice to the Cult, usually of money but sometimes of fine crafted goods or the promise of Time given to the Cult Service. Occasionally, POW will be requested.
Third, they must choose the appropriate Gift to Bring. There are many things which may be obtained here, ranging from magical crystals of various kinds, parts of the Faceless Statue, outlandish things from far away, preserved and mummified corpses for luck and, sometimes, living sacrifices for the Building. After all, if you bury a young, healthy woman in the foundations then the Marriage will be blessed with her fertility. Similarly, a good young stud will bring virility to any Marriage building.
Parts of the Faceless Statue may include Bowel Stone for happiness in regular doses, Liver Stone to prevent impurities from reaching the Couple, Brain Stone to help the Couple think clearly about each other and so on.
When each Questor has chosen the gift, he must leave by the Sacred Exit and continue on his way. NB some of the gifts the Questors will obtain for the Marriage will be completely overboard - Truestone, perhaps or a Powered Crystal, far too much for the amount they promised/gave on the way in. This is part of the HeroQuest. Donít worry.
As before, this involves moving through safe, Flintnail country, mainly underground or through Cult Houses. Not much danger here, except for the occasional intruder.
At some point along the Safe Journey, the Questor will meet one purporting to be of the Old Flintnail Cult, or a Mostali. He will try to make the Questors deviate from the specified path by trying to trick them. Perhaps he offers a way back to the Mostali Fold, or a visit to Mostalís Forge or to one of the Sacred Storerooms, or perhaps he offers them Secrets of long ago, of Alchemy or Masonry, of Armouring or Toolmaking. Perhaps how to animate the dead statues on Pavisí Walls. He must be resisted (Check against Piety or be delayed, Check again or be seduced and follow the False Path). Here, being part of a party will help as the Questor may be dragged away from the False Path.
All the promises offered are real and will greatly benefit the Questor. If taken, they may well increase the skills, knowledge or power of the Questor and may well take them to new and magical places. However, the purpose of the Quest will have been lost and the Quest would have failed.
This is through the lands of the enemies of Flintnail. Depending on the location of the Holy Place this may be overground or underground, through Troll Areas, Krarsht Tunnels, Thanatari Temples or whatever the GM wants. Make it horrible and make it tough. The Flintnailers should be in fear of their lives and may even die here, although not all of them.
Keeping The Gift
At some point in the Dangerous Journey the Questors will meet an individual who will offer them great powers if they give the Gifts over to him. He will appear as Flintnail himself and will demand the return of His Property. In return, he will make the Questors Rune levels in the Cult and will elevate their skills and knowledge. As a sign of his power, he increases a random Cult Skill by a certain amount (in RQ make it 3D6 x 5%). This is a real increase and is permanent. The Questors must make a check against Greed in order to resist this apparition. If they succeed and are allowed by their co-Questors to give in then their Cult skills will be increased by 90%. They are expelled from the Cult of Flintnail and become outcasts, neither in the Mostal Way nor in the cult of Flintnail.
This is the journey to the Marriage House. It may be safe or dangerous, depending on how weak the party has become.
Assuming the Questor resists the Adversary and wants to return the Gift to Pavis, he can enter the Marriage Hall.
This is a carved portion of the Pavis Temple. From the outside it looks like a Stone Doorway carved from the crystal and edged in TrueStone. Care must be taken when entering (Luck Roll) otherwise the TrueStone will be touched and all Divine magic will be sucked away. From the inside it is larger than from the outside - it is a Magical Place. Questors must make a Cult Lore to determine which of the Doorways which have suddenly appeared is the correct one. Those who fail are deposited in one of Flintnailís Holy Places where they can either restart the Quest or return home.
Flintnail cultists are busy carving and chipping away at the Crystal walls, smoothing them down and making small alcoves. There is a sense of Peace and Wonder here and also a desire to help with the work. However, the Questors know that they do not have the skills to complete the work. While they are here, by simply watching the work done they will gain 1D6x10% in a cult skill (masonry, tool making, whatever).
Giving The Gift
When they ask to give the gift, the dwarven workers will show each of them an alcove which matches the size of the Gift perfectly. As they place the gift in the alcove they experience a sense of well being and joy. They receive a Rune Spell from Flintnail reflecting the Gift given. This Runespell will be Reusable to the Questor as long as he belongs to the Flintnail or an Associate Cult, at any level.
The Questors will return upstairs through the Temple of Pavis and may even see the Boy God, Half Elven, directing the efforts of his people, or maybe not.
They will then have to make the journey back home by whatever means they wish. This normally entails travelling through the Flintnail Tunnels, as the Temple of Pavis is a Safe Place.
END OF QUEST
Anyone who abandons the Quest by falling prey to one of the Adversaries becomes Apostate from Flintnail. Anyone who gave a Gift away is Excommunicated from the Cult.
Some people have been known to attempt this Quest with the intention of learning the Other Secrets and gaining knowledge, even though this means leaving the Cult. This is frowned upon by the Cult and Flintnail normally ensures that their walls are never straight, that their tools are never true and that their lives are full of drudgery and meaningless work.
If you want, emphasise the more Masonic elements of the Cult - handshakes, secret knowledge, ways to spot the enemy, marks on the walls to direct along safe paths or to warn of dangers, that kind of thing.
The Gifts actually do strengthen the Marriage by sealing it and giving it more power. Otherwise, why bring Gifts to any Marriage?
The Quest can be run from the opposing viewpoint, where the PCs are the opponents on the Safe or Dangerous Journeys. No PC should take the part of the Adversaries on the Quest as they are Mythical Roles of Great Importance.