The Prankster

A curiously ancient door

Coming from the warmth, the outside cold now feels more cold than when you arrived in Neverwinter. That children have an exceedance of energy is proven to you when you can see the them still making angels in the snow.

Some 30 meters in front of you a large sign saying “The Moonstone Mask” is placed in front of a big wooden building. There does not seem to be much commotion going on at this point.

When you look right you can see the upper plateau of the city core but nothing much seems to be going on up there.

To your left is a row of houses, one of which looks old, almost ancient. Looking at it for too long gives you a creepy feeling, not that you both can¨t handle a little creepiness once in a while. What more is distinguishing this house from the others is that it has no windows, only dull gray flaking paint.

“Cheerful little bugger, ey?” says Arnald and flaps his arms around him a couple of times. He casts an eye of disgust at the childrens’ play.

Putty checks his equipment; pulls a strap harder, brushes off some snow from the mace, and kicks his boots against the building a couple of times.

“I find no pride in cheeting another man, even if he’s done the same”, Putty mumbles through his beard.

“I believe we got that standpoint through ab-so-lu-tely clear… It’s always refreshing to go all religious on people!”

“It wasn’t a matter of religion, it was common sense.”

“Oh, really? Common sense? Really-really?”

“Yes. Common sense. Taught from my dear mother.”

“And the bit about Dumathoin and ‘finding hidden’ treasures and ‘I won’t lie you big meanie!’?”

“Well, that’s… That is…”

The words fades from Putty’s mouth, and he goes silent. He looks proud into the distance; anywhere but Arnald’s face.

“Yeah, Dumathoin my a-”

“Let’s find somewhere warm”, Putty interrupts with a sharp voice. Arnald smiles, and with a slow gesture with his right hand, they set off down the street, towards the ancient looking houses.

You walk into a U-shaped set of houses, like a lagoon, where the ancient door is furthest in. The closer you get the stronger the sensation of eeriness. Once close enough you notice that the door has no handle and no lock. No signage and no traces of recent use. It literally begs to be opened!

You think you can hear the wind howling but your inspection of the falling snow reveals it is falling straight down.

“Looks warm enough”, says Putty and coughs.

“Hmm…let’s see”, says Arnald and leans forward, pretending to read on the door. “Yes, yes, it’s the house of Mr Trap and his brother Mr Ambush – I wonder what they have in store for us!”

“I know nobody of that name.”

“It’s not… I was… Nevermind. Let’s just go inside, my dull little friend.”

“There’s no handle.”

“Let me…”

Arnald steps up to the door and taps a melody with his fist against the wood. Putty pulls out his axe, and weights it in his hand.

You hear short distinct sounds when Arnald almost hurts his knuckles by knocking. The door is not made of metal but is hard as diamond. Neither anything spectacular or mundane happens.

“It’s abandoned”, Putty says and coughs.

“I’ve refused to open my door more than once”, says Arnald and steps back, “but that doesn’t mean my home is abandoned. Step back, my bearded barrel, and behold…”

Arnald whistles a short melody while waving with his left hand. 2

When Arnald has finished the harmonious melody you can see that the door in front of you just opens but it needs to be pulled to be opened further. Strangely enough, you do not hear a locking mechanism clicking open, as would be expected.

Arnald stretches out his body with a cheerful “aah”, steps back and leads Putty towards the half-opened door with a gentle hand.

“We’re a team, after all, my little chipmunk!”

Putty fastens his axe in his belt again, and takes a firm grip on the door with what his fingers can reach, and pulls.

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anteolsson

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