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House Of Horror
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House Of Horror

by Gaetano Abbondanza

Author's Introduction
Although you may have seen this adventure advertised as a "sequel" to House of Hell, it is, in fact a prequel. Readers who are familiar with Steve Jackson's original foray into the horror genre may recognize situations and characters from that adventure in the following story. However, previous familiarity with House of Hell is not necessary for the (hopefully) enjoyment of this adventure.

As this is my first attempt at writing a full-length fighting fantasy style adventure, any and all feedback (positive and negative) is appreciated. Send comments, likes, dislikes, questions, etc. to me by email at pericles23@aol.com. Also, if you die a multitude of gruesome deaths in the house, and would like a walkthrough, don't be afraid to ask.

Growing up, Steve Jackson's House of Hell (House of Hades in the U.S.) was one of my all-time favorite fighting fantasy adventures, and in a small way, House Of Horror is my tribute to Mr. Jackson's original creation.

Artwork © Diogo Pereira
A deep fog has settled down as you gradually reduce the speed of your car. You have been traveling for over an hour, and the pace has now become intolerably slow. You glance at the time reading on your console - a half hour before midnight. Strange that someone would need a presentation at this hour, you think to yourself. You quickly glance down at the name on the order - Pravemi. It's odd that you've never heard about this name, but then again, you've only been employed by your company for a week. The work has been good so far; you've averaged six presentations a day and closed the sale on over half of them. So if some eccentric individual wants a presentation at this hour of the night, does it really matter? No sir. If it goes through, then you will have capped off a good week.

Still, the situation is rather strange. You haven't seen a house, or any kind of building for that matter, for quite some time. You turned off your radio miles ago, as static flooded the airwaves. You estimate that at this rate, by the time you find the location, make your presentation, and get back home, time will have elapsed into the wee hours of the early dawn. Oh well, you think, as the fog begins to clear. Sometimes things just - your thoughts are broken at the sight which greets you as you round the corner. The road narrows into a dirt track, running up a hill; and there, at the top, is the house. House? Mansion is more appropriate, you think. Although the estate before you looks like it has seen better days, it is extremely impressive. You gaze up at two stories of elegance from a bygone time. This is the kind of place you have seen only in movies. You drive past a stone archway and pause to read an iron plate imbedded on the side: ORVIETO. So this place even has a name.

You park your car about a hundred feet to the side of the house. You shut off the engine, lean back in your seat, and yawn. Hopefully this won't take too long. As you stare at the house, some other odd observations cross your mind, things that you hadn't noticed before, perhaps due to fatigue. For one, an estate of this size must have at least several occupants; and yet as far as you can make out there are no other vehicles around and definitely no garage. What's more, from what you can observe (it is rather dark) there are no power lines in sight. There is light emanating from both floors, however. It doesn't matter, you think as you lock your door. It makes a sort of sense when pieced together. This estate probably belongs to some hideously wealthy but eccentric old chap, who's tired of being hit up for money, so he moved out here. I might do the same were I in his shoes. You open the trunk and pull out the two suitcases. As you start to make your way to the house, you are startled by a noise that suddenly breaks the stillness. But it is only a hooting owl. You chuckle to yourself as you slowly make your way to the front door. Little do you know what fate has in store for you. Tonight will be a night to remember...

Additional Information
As well as surviving your adventure by ensuring that your Stamina never drops to zero, in House of Horror you must also avoid being frightened to death. Your FEAR score indicates how close you are to this fate. You start with a FEAR score of zero, but it will inevitably rise. If your FEAR score ever climbs to its Initial value then you have been frightened to death and your adventure is over.

You begin the adventure with no weapon. Until you find one, you will be at a serious disadvantage in combat - your Attack Strength will be reduced by 3.
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