Bronze — 9 of 46

Emily Short

Release 12

Chapter 2 - East Wing

The Scarlet Gallery is east of the Entrance Hall.

The description of the Scarlet Gallery is "You do not often come this way, into the older part of the castle, which is narrow and has a low roof. The walls, and the ceiling too, are deep scarlet, the color of the old king and queen that ruled here two hundred fifty years ago, when there was still a kingdom."

The Scarlet Tower is southeast of the Scarlet Gallery. "A little hexagonal room, from whose [narrow window] you can see the moat, the lawn, and the beginning of the forest outside." The narrow window is scenery in the Scarlet Tower. The outdoors is scenery in the Scarlet Tower. Understand "moat" and "lawn" and "forest" as the outdoors. The description of the outdoors is "Beyond a short stretch of clear ground, the forest grows thick and uninhabited for many miles." Instead of searching the narrow window, try examining the outdoors. The description of the narrow window is "It gives a view of the forest beyond: the way you came from, in fact."

The helmet is a wearable thing in the Scarlet Tower. "On the windowsill, [a helmet] waits, for the use of the sentry." Understand "very old helmet" or "writing" or "helm" or "lines" or "lines of writing" as the helmet. The description of the helmet is "A very old helmet that you have seen the Beast wear (and quite foolish it looked, perched on a head it no longer fits: it would suit your head better). He told you once that the helmet was for night watchmen, scouts, and guards, to increase their vigilance and strengthen their hearing." The printing of the helmet is "I call upon you, I summon you, I bind you, daemon of the small bone of the left ear: make my hearing strong. I call upon, summon, and bind you, daemon of the small bone of the right ear: make my hearing stronger yet.

I call upon, I summon, I bind you, daemon of air-that-moves, carry sound swiftly to my ears. I call upon, summon, bind you, daemon of earth-that-shakes, relay noises rapidly to me.

If you daemons do not do this, I will bind you under the earth in darkness and make the worms to crawl upon your head." [1]

Carry out wearing the helmet:

repeat with item running through people


change the sound of the item to "steady breathing";

end repeat.

Carry out taking off the helmet:

repeat with item running through people


change the sound of the item to "silence";

end repeat.

After wearing the helmet:

say "You settle the helmet over your head, and there is a roaring in your ears at first[if the player can touch the rain], both from your heartbeat and from the raindrops on metal[end if]. But then the sharpened hearing begins to feel natural again."

After taking off the helmet: say "You lift the helmet from your head, and the sudden quiet feels like going deaf."

Before listening to something when the player wears the helmet:

say "Even your own breathing is magnified when you wear the helmet, so you must concentrate past it..."

Understand "breathing" as yourself when the player wears the helmet.

Understand "hold breath" or "hold my breath" as a mistake ("You briefly hold your breath, but this doesn't allow you to hear anything you couldn't already, really, so you resume breathing normally.").

The Gallery of Historical Paintings is east of the Scarlet Gallery. "Here on the north wall and the south are paintings of historical events from times past: the [assassination of King Elzibad] in 1248; the [arrival of Princess Lucrezia] from the Italian State of Medici-Credenza in 1545.

The gallery goes on, echoing, both east and west." The assassination of King Elzibad is a display in the Gallery of Historical Paintings. The description is "You see his pointy-slippered attendants wringing their hands, his wife wiping her eyes on an ermine muff, peasants grieving.

Of Elzibad himself, there is only a pair of blackened feet, sticking out from under the elephant." Understand "assassination" or "portraits" or "portrait" or "elephant" or "painting" or "paintings" or "picture" or "pictures" or "art" or "artwork" as king elzibad.

Understand "look behind [something]" as looking under. Instead of looking under a display: say "Bare wall; nothing else."

The arrival of Princess Lucrezia is a display in the Gallery of Historical Paintings. The description is "Lucrezia wears silk the pale blue of the morning sky, and her eyes are little currants of malice." Understand "portraits" or "portrait" or "painting" or "paintings" or "picture" or "pictures" or "art" or "artwork" as arrival of princess Lucrezia.

The Treasure Room is northeast of the Scarlet Gallery. "[if the iron cage is locked]Locked[otherwise]Kept[end if] in [an iron cage] are the house treasures not in use: the collection consists of [a list of things in the iron cage], at present[if something is in the cage] -- he showed them to you one rainy day, telling you their many histories[end if]."

The iron cage is an enterable closed openable container in the Treasure Room. The cage is scenery. It is lockable and locked. It is transparent. Understand "bars" or "metal" or "broad" or "strap-like" or "bars of metal" or "marks" or "treasures" or "treasure" or "house treasures" as the cage. The description is "Made of broad strap-like bars of metal, as thick as a man's belt, and heavily reinforced. Here and there are marks where someone would seem to have made an attempt to break in[if the cage contains something]. In the cage [is-are the list of things in the cage][end if]."

In the cage is a sceptre and a jagged piece. The sceptre is a reminder. The description of the sceptre is "Studded with measly turquoises and semi-precious stones." The memory of the sceptre is "Formerly belonging to Queen Ingratitudina the First (so he said), only slightly bent where she used it to strike King Cophetua." The printed name of the jagged piece is "puzzle piece". Understand "puzzle piece" as the jagged piece.

Understand "scepter" as the sceptre. The description of the jagged piece is "Something shiny has been painted on the piece."

The pair of cloven shoes is a thing in the iron cage. The description is "Made for something with cloven hoofs[if the shoes are wearable], but so large that you could wear them as a kind of awkward sandal[end if]. They bear evidence of having been adjusted to their current size by a shoemaker, and perhaps (therefore) could be again." Instead of wearing the shoes when the shoes are not wearable: say "They emphatically do not fit. You will have to find someone to adjust them, evidently." After wearing the shoes: say "You slip your feet into the shoes, and feel less alone. Mere sentiment, you think; but then there is the brush of a thought other than your own. [italic type]The crypt. Under the Law Library. There are sources of power there which even I have never understood[roman type]." The pair of shoes is ambiguously plural. [2]

Understand the command "adjust" as something new. Understand "adjust [something]" as fitting. Fitting is an action applying to one thing. Carry out fitting something: say "There's no useful way for you to adjust [the noun]."

Instead of fitting the shoes, say "You need a skilled shoemaker for this job." Instead of fitting the helmet, say "An armorer you are not, but fortunately none is needed." Instead of fitting a wearable thing, say "You've never considered yourself an expert at fitting any kind of clothing."

The Maze Room is east of the Gallery of Historical Paintings. The description of the Maze Room is "A [labyrinth] of black and white, like that of cathedrals, as protection against the spite of the undead: which protection might often have been needed, by those that dwelt here in former times. The way down is at the center of the maze." The printed name of the Maze Room is "Room with the Labyrinth Floor".

The labyrinth is a floor in the maze room. Understand "maze" or "mosaic" or "tiles" or "tiled" as the labyrinth. Understand "floor" as the labyrinth when the location is the Maze Room. The description of the labyrinth is "The maze doesn't look uncrossable by you. You step forward and look down into the room below[if the candle is in the Bear Corridor], and get the dim impression of light and carved animals[otherwise], but it is too dark to see much[end if]." The printed name of the labyrinth is "mosaic floor". Instead of solving the maze, say "It is not a difficult maze at all: a simple inward spiral with a few doublings-back. Spirits must be exceptionally unintelligent." Before entering the labyrinth, try going down instead.

The Bear Corridor is below the Maze. The Corridor is dark. "Less couth and cultivated than any other part of the castle, and you have been forbidden to visit this place before now. The walls press close to you on either side. The floor slopes down. Bears with sharp claws are carved into the rock, but they remind you of Him, and you are not frightened." The carved bears are scenery in the bear corridor. Understand "bear" as the carved bears. The description of the bears is "Almost a ceremonial bear procession, if bears had liturgies and rituals." Instead of going down in Bear Corridor, try going northwest.

The Zoo is northwest of the Bear Corridor. The Zoo is dark. "A resting place for an animal: warm but rough. There is little to suggest, from this environment, that he thinks of himself as a man at all, though he is capable of walking upright and eating with utensils, of reading books and even of writing a legible hand.

The only distinguishing mark is [a miniature] hung on the wall, like a devotional object, or perhaps a reminder[if the royal portrait is seen]. Something about the sole image in an otherwise bare room reminds you of the royal portrait in the Green Bedroom[end if]."

The miniature is scenery in the Zoo. The description is "The tiny image of a lady in a green girdle. But it isn't Lucrezia." Instead of taking or pushing or pulling or turning the miniature: say "It fails to move even a little, but clings to its place tenaciously -- in the way you associate with the stone gargoyle, upstairs."

The poison vial is a reminder in the Zoo. The description is "It has mostly dried up now; the apothecary who sold it to you did not say anything about whether it would keep its efficacy for long." The memory of the poison vial is "You brought it with you; he confiscated it the first night.

'It was a good thought,' he said, plucking it from your fingers with a delicacy that should be impossible in one his size. 'But if I could be killed by poison -- or by violence, or starving, or leaping from towers, by drowning or by suffocation or by fire, I assure you, I would have found the way by now. That leaves only yourself as a victim, and I did not bring you here to die.' And so you didn't."

Instead of hinting about a reminder, say "[memory of the noun]

But it is only a token of things past, for which you can come up with no present use."

Instead of eating or drinking the poison vial, say "That urge, if you ever had it, is gone."


[1]. Originally I just had the description, but so many players wanted to know what exactly the helmet said that I introduced a separate text and distinguished READ from EXAMINE. The text itself owes a thing or two to John Gager's work in Curse Tablets and Binding Spells of the Ancient World.

[2]. 'Ambiguously plural' is defined in the Plurality extension, and it applies to items that the player might equally call 'it' (as a pair of shoes is an it) or 'them' (as shoes generically are them). This causes both pronouns to be updated.