This is a complex but very cool chapter.

The idea is that two prisoners must work together to manipulate the heavy, rusty cogs and levers on two sides of a strange contraption in order to raise the portcullis and open the way.

They must each reach deep into the perilous inner-workings of the mechanism, using trial and error to try and achieve this in unison, and must remain in-sync with their fellow prisoner during the entire challenge or risk serious harm.

If they get it wrong, if they fall into imbalance, it will mean one them is taking all the strain, or has trapped an arm, or crushed a finger during the struggle. And those of you with The Death Book will know what can happen if one of them gets dragged into the inner workings!

It works like this:

Choose two players to attempt the challenge. They are going to be working together, and will be at risk of damage, so choose wisely...

Then take two item cards (from the discard pile, or from the bottom of the item deck - it doesn't matter so long as they are not taken directly from players) and put one face down in front of each chosen prisoner. These cards represent the two sides of the mechanism.

Now the challenge is ready to begin. The prisoners nervously reach into the mechanism and begin to pull levers and turn cogs...it jolts into life and they use all their strength and skill to take the strain....

The two chosen players must roll their character dice simultaneously, over and over. Each such roll is an attempt.

After each attempt, they must each (if possible) place a chapter die from the supply onto the item card in front of them, corresponding to what they rolled. For example, if they rolled Might, they would take a chapter die and place it onto the Might symbol of the item card in front of them (and position that die so the Might symbol is facing up).

If a player rolls a double, of any kind, that player must still place one chapter die, but can place it onto any vacant position on the item card in front of them (with the face-up symbol should matching the space they have chosen to place the die on). It's like a wild. Use it carefully.

Placing a die represents that prisoner has made some progress, has got their side of the contraption moving in the right direction - but will this put extra strain on their teammate?

If a player rolls a single and there is no corresponding vacant space (because they already placed a die of that type earlier in the challenge) then it is not possible for them to place a die so they do nothing. They didn't find a way to move the mechanism on that attempt...

After each simultaneous roll, and after the placement of dice that follows, a check is performed to see if either character has placed more dice than the other so far. If one prisoner has placed more dice onto the item card in front of them than the other, it means the mechanism is imbalanced and one prisoner will suffer under the extra strain - the player who has placed the least dice loses 1HP!

Note: This player only ever loses 1HP each time the check is performed, regardless of the difference in how many dice each player has actually placed. There are no degrees of imbalance. It is either imbalanced or balanced.

Note: For this check, it doesn't matter which TYPE of dice have been placed - only who has placed the least.

If both players have placed the same amount, everything is working and no-one loses any HP! The prisoners should make another simultaneous attempt.

Roll, place dice, check for imbalance. Repeat.

This process of simultaneous rolls continues until both players have filled their card. It is possible for one player to finish long before the other, in which case the remaining player continues rolling alone, suffering the pain after every attempt until they manage to find the right technique!

When the challenge is complete, put the item cards used to represent the two sides of mechanism back where they came from. The chapter is over. The portcullis has been raised, and you hurry down the dark passage beyond, idly rubbing your arms, eager to leave the nightmare of that challenge behind you...

Choosing carefully who attempts this challenge, and choosing what to place when doubles are rolled is the key, keeping in mind what both you and they are most likely to roll next.

Additional note: If a Companion (from Adventure Pack 2) dies during this challenge, another prisoner must immediately take their place.