Wrath of the Righteous
The Four Gates
Both the Northgate and Southgate of Kenabres are guarded to prevent entry of any and all who would do the city harm. Due to its proximity to the Worldwound and the frequency with which demons attempted to infiltrate the city, the test of the Four Gates was developed by witch hunter Liotr Hawkblade to discover those tainted by demons. Travelers who cannot prove their identity by reciting their crosses are required to submit to one of the gates before they enter the city.
Those who submit to the gates voluntarily, such as newcomers who simply do not have a cross because they have never needed one before, may choose which gate they submit to – provided they also have the coin to pay the entrance fee. The gentler the gate, the more expensive the fee.
The first gate is the Gate of Water, a bath of holy water that would burn those under demonic influence. Entrance via this gate costs 50 gold pieces, and it is the gate most often used by foreign dignitaries and other nobles entering the city.
The second gate is the Gate of Poison, in which travelers must drink a diluted vial of poison distilled from the Calabar bean. This poison induces instant vomiting in almost all – save demons, who are unaffected by normal poisons. While the ordeal is unpleasant, it almost never causes lasting harm. Entrance via this gate costs 30 gold pieces.
The third gate, the Gate of Fire, is administered by Liotr Hawkblade himself. Travelers submitting to the third gate are branded with a hot iron; a human will feel the terrible pain, but a demon – or a human possessed by a demon – will not, thanks to their Abyssal heritage. Hawkblade knows first-hand the feeling of flames and can see through any demonic ruse of pain. In addition, a demon or demon-possessed individual will not scar from the brand – a dead giveaway every time.
The last gate, the Gate of Iron and Steel, is usually reserved for transported criminals, those caught sneaking into the city, or those too destitute to afford any other gate. A long gash is made along the back of each arm, once using a blade of steel and once a blade of cold iron. If the blade of cold iron cuts deeper and bleeds more profusely, then guards know that the traveler is under the taint of demons. Of course, this test is highly dependent on the competency – and objectivity – of the guards administering it and interpreting the “results”; it is for this reason that some choose the arguably more-arduous Gate of Fire. The brand may be more painful, but it is also fairer.