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Holder of Grace

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Five miles north of any aging rural town, you will find a large decrepit house on a hill. Knock on the door and it will be answered by a tall dark man. Tell him you have come to speak with the Holder of Grace. He will try to persuade you to leave, but insist upon entering the house. He will direct you to a door at the end of a long hall, and he will leave you.

Through the door there is a stone staircase leading down into darkness. The stairs will seem to continue for days, and before long your legs will begin to ache. Do not stop until at last you find yourself in front of a great wooden door. Knock on this door and a soft voice will bid you enter. Should it speak any other words, run.

When you enter, you will find yourself in a room containing a long table of mahogany set with fine china and precious crystal. From the ceiling will hang a chandelier of gold and gems. As you look upon these objects you will realize that they were once the finest that could be had, but now all are chipped, cracked, tarnished.

At the head of the table will sit the most beautiful woman you have ever seen, dressed in the ragged remains of a once glorious gown of gold and white. Across her eyes will be bound a scrap of silk. Address the woman as "Lady" and ask if you might join her. When she agrees, you must know your place, and choose your seat at the table. None can tell of the fate of those who choose wrong, but choose correctly, and food will appear on the table. Do not eat. Do not drink. Do not even breathe the scent. For this is not the food of mortal beings. Horrific figures will then take shape in the other seats. Look upon these godless things without flinching, and introduce yourself to each with the utmost of politeness. If they find even the slightest offense in you they will rend you to pieces.

Introduce yourself lastly to the lady at the head of the table, and ask her for her name. At this she will only remove the silk from across her eyes. You must never look her in the eye, to do so would shatter your fragile mind. You may ask her then "Why do you hold them?" and the lady will rise from her seat. Ask again and you will find that she is standing at your side. Do not turn to her. Do not look her in the eye. Standing with her hands resting on your shoulders, she will begin to tell a story; A story of angels and demons, of elder gods and mutilated souls, of horrors unnamed and sacrifices unnumbered. If you survive with your sanity intact, she will bid you good luck. She will lean in close to you, and whisper her name in your ear. Then she will tell you your own, and you will know no more.

When you wake you will do so in the last bed you slept in, dressed in what you wore then. In your hand will be clutched a stained lace handkerchief with her name embroidered at the corner.

This handkerchief is Object number 213 of 538. Pray that her favor will protect you from what is yet to come.

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