Bronze — 13 of 46

Emily Short

Release 12

Section 2 - Records Room and History

The Records Room is west of the Upper Bulb. "Where all the [papers] and histories are kept, not only for the royal family, but for kin in every kind and direction." Understand "record room" as the records room.

The papers are scenery in the Records Room. Understand "histories" or "history" or "records" or "record" as the papers. The description is "Neatly filed: he told you he'd spent twenty years or so on them, having no other way to occupy his time. Anything you wanted to look up, you should be able to discover easily."

Instead of consulting the papers about a topic listed in the Table of History:

say "[reply entry][paragraph break]".

Table of History

topicreply
"ink/inkpot""You rifle through the papers for some discussion of Lucrezia's inkpot, but can find no explanation of its purpose or present whereabouts."
"doctor/Cantherius/duke/gargoyle/gargoyles/impotence" or "duke Cantherius""Among the records there is a large section on the various failed romantic business of the kings and queens and their brothers and sisters, so that you might almost suspect this to be part of the castle's curse.

In this collection, you find the history of Duke Cantherius: married at 59 to a lissome wife of 17, he 'urgently desired to enjoy her company', but found himself unable. He consulted a young Parisian doctor, who contracted that through his services the Duchess would be delivered of a child within the year.

Alas, medicine brought no relief; not even that most reliable method, an ointment of honey, crow's egg, and the gall of an electric eel. The Duchess began to hint that she meant to have the marriage annulled; the Duke grew abusive. Seeing no solution through medical arts, the doctor was compelled by his contract to seduce the Duchess.

When the young woman was delivered of triplets, the Duke kept two of the boys and raised them as his own; the third he strangled, together with the doctor himself, as a punishment to his erring wife.

Whereupon the ugly gargoyle appeared on the stair, and could never be budged."
"yvette/girdle""It takes some searching, but you find it eventually. The king in these parts was accustomed to bring young ladies to the castle when his wooing of them was unsuccessful, whereupon they were under contract and unable to resist him.

This he did for many years, snatching away men's brides; until one day he stole Yvette. She was only a humble milkmaid, but so beautiful she was betrothed to a lord, etc., etc., and moreover her great-great-grandmother had been Lucrezia the Enchantress (oh dear), so she possessed a magical girdle of surpassing power.

When she discovered what was about to happen to her, while she was still on the drawbridge of the castle, she cursed the king to become a mere beast, so that the spell would never be lifted until someone loved him who was not under magical contract. What was more, this person would need the power of that same magical girdle...

There is even a small woodcut of the grieving Yvette, carrying a [cow bell] and looking downtrodden."
"me/myself""You are the merest interloper here."
"crypt""About the crypt and burial grounds, the records are elliptical. It does not seem that they can contain the physical remains of everyone who has been associated with or enslaved to the castle, but it seems that they do have some hold over the most important, the most wretched, or the most dangerous of the castle's affiliated spirits."
"him/beast/king""You have never known his true name, and can only guess that he must be the last of the line of kings."
"elephant/elzibad/demon/djinn""An entertaining story tells how Elzibad, worse than all the other kings of this palace that had previously been seen, was defeated by one of his own demons in elephant form, when someone who was not contracted to him gained command of the demon. Command of his slaves then passed to his son.

From that day on the castle was so built that no one could even enter into it without becoming contracted to its king, for the protection of the royal family."
"pen/quill/mephistopheles/athanasius/devil/satan/lucifer""A very old scroll narrates how King Athanasius, first of his line, entered a wager with Mephistopheles, and won the pen that the Devil used to sign contracts for men's souls.

The King retired to this castle, overjoyed with his success, but the Devil flew away laughing."
"ingratitudina/cophetua""You had long suspected that he made that whole tale up, to distract you from the gloom of an especially lonely day. But no, here it is: Ingratitudina the First, so named by her mother-in-law, after King Cophetua married her and brought her to the castle."
"lucrezia/medici-credenza/treasures""You quickly skim the unpleasant history of Lucrezia of Medici-Credenza, how she brought odd magical treasures with her, introduced new methods of binding and contracting that were previously unknown even to this castle, and maintained a room for her studies in the basement below the rose garden. From this room everyone including her husband was banned.

There are some suggestions that she was the daughter of the Devil himself, sent to the castle to tempt the kings into further folly and destruction. But who knows?"
"roses/rose/garden" or "rose garden""The roses, according to record, were planted from a cutting brought by Lucrezia herself, and are the variety that grow in her father's palace. Wherever that might be."
"Yggdram""Of King Yggdram the Piscine, there remain only many hundreds of lines of scurrilous verse, hinting but never quite daring to specify the true nature of his particular perversion."

The Parliamentary Chambers are east of the State Rotunda. "Despite its grand name, this is one of the smaller chambers of the castle, because the kings were never inclined to brook too much advice. On each side of the room are two neat [oak benches], seating for perhaps thirty men -- and, more rarely, women, and a few characters who could not be called by either term." Some oak benches are enterable supporters in the Parliamentary Chambers. The benches are scenery. Understand "bench" as the benches.