Damnatio Memoriae — 26 of 34

Emily Short

Release 6

Chapter 7 - Some Correspondence

The recent letter is an inscribed paper. Understand "new" as the recent letter. It underlies the stool. The recent letter mentions Germanicus. The description is "A letter from [if something (called the master) protects the recent letter][a random other person mentioned by the master][otherwise][a random other person mentioned by the recent letter][end if]."

Instead of examining the recent letter when something which protects the recent letter mentions Clemens:

if something which protects the recent letter mentions Julia:

continue the action;

say "The letter, now purporting to be from Clemens, is all about what he had for dinner and his thoughts on the appearance and sexual prowess of the other slaves."

Instead of examining the recent letter when something which protects the recent letter mentions the player:

if something which protects the recent letter mentions Julia:

continue the action;

say "The letter, now purporting to be from you, has become a dreary piece of work, since there is no news of interest to report on this dreadful island, and hardly any weather. It goes on and on about nothing -- is this really how your letters read to their recipients?

Oh well, no time for such reflections now."

After examining the recent letter when the recent letter is unlinked:

say "Unlike his father, Germanicus is a personable fellow, popular enough, and not particularly afraid of you. His letter is full of such news as he thinks will entertain you in your exile, with little politics, but a healthy dose of bawdy humor."

After examining the recent letter when something which protects the recent letter mentions Julia:

say "What had been a perfectly natural and sprightly letter from Germanicus becomes -- in your mother's able handwriting -- something a little perverse. Surely a woman would not dwell so fulsomely on the sexual scandals of the capital in a letter to her son?

And all the off-hand remarks and digressions, which from Germanicus were signs of a lively but disorganized mind, become, from Julia, cryptic utterances full of sinister significance.

But there is nothing absolutely definitely treasonous in it."

The old letter is an inscribed paper carried by the player. The old letter mentions yourself. The old letter mentions Julia. The old letter incriminates yourself. The old letter incriminates Julia. The description is "A letter from [a random other person incriminated by the old letter]. It is now some years old, and contains an assortment of advice in the family Art: how to link one thing to another so that one affects the other; how to reverse link written works to produce intriguing variations on their content; how to enslave one thing to another so that the slave endures the miseries intended for the master; etc., etc., etc.

All this you have long since learned, with particular attention to the way that links can be applied to written things, and to the correspondence between names and named."

Instead of examining the old letter when the old letter incriminates the player and the number of people incriminated by the old letter is 1:

say "Rewritten as though by you, the letter becomes not an introduction but an instruction for experts. Simple linking is mentioned only glancingly, slave-linking practically ignored; you've rarely had any use for so brutal and unreasonable an arrangement.

Almost all the attention is lavished upon reverse linking in a scholarly context: instructions for making use of scholia, for producing translations, for linking different manuscripts in order to remove the errors in each and get back the lost original text.

Indeed, you wish you [italic type]had[roman type] written it, perhaps to [Julia] or someone else whom you could trust. But it will only damn you further if it's found."

Instead of examining the old letter when the old letter incriminates Germanicus:

say "This letter, which is so old and so important that you have practically committed it to memory, is now rewritten in the voice of Germanicus. He has not your mother's authority and focus; his advice tends to meander, and he hedges his suggestions by saying that he has not tried this, does not know about that, distrusts the popular opinion on the other...

Nonetheless it is quite plainly a letter in which Germanicus coaches the recipient -- and since you have it, that recipient must be you -- in the family Art. Disastrous for you, if found; perhaps not entirely good for Germanicus either."

After printing the name of a paper (called the document) while taking inventory:

if the document incriminates someone (called the victim):

if the number of people incriminated by the document is 1:

say " from [a random person incriminated by the document]";

otherwise:

say " from [a random other person incriminated by the document]";

otherwise:

if something (called the intertext) which mentions someone (called the victim) protects the document:

if number of people mentioned by the intertext is 1:

say " from [a random person mentioned by the intertext]";

otherwise:

say " from [a random other person mentioned by the intertext]";

otherwise:

say " from [a random other person mentioned by the document]"

Germanicus is a man. The tag of Germanicus is "the adopted son of Tiberius". Julia is a woman. The tag of Julia is "your mother, daughter of Augustus". Scribonia is a woman. The tag of Scribonia is "the mother of [Julia]".

Tiberius is a man. The tag of Tiberius is "your rival for power".