A friend of mine recently started working at our office, so naturally he needed to find his way into this epic.
(08:18) Sam: *doo dee doodly doooooooo*
(08:18) Sam: (load last save? Y/N)
(08:18) Alissa: Yes!
(08:20) Sam: (When last we left our heroine, she had just escaped certain death in the collapsing hallway by using a sissy health potion to slipperyify the ground so she could do a rockin’ slide to freedom)
(08:20) Sam: Zeldissa stood, dusting herself off. She walked back to the junction she’d been at previously.
(08:20) Sam: (Available options are right, forward, and left [NOTE: left leads back the way you initially came])
(08:21) Alissa: Forward
(08:21) Sam: Zeldissa walked forward. The hallway widened into a large room. Larger than the Wolfrog’s room. And equally damp.
(08:22) Sam: However, this room was lit by luminescent fungi growing along the walls. The fungi swirled in patterns and swayed gently in the breeze…
(08:22) Sam: Zeldissa frowned. A breeze?
(08:23) Sam: There were three exits to the room. One on the left wall, one on the right wall, and the exit directly behind her that she had entered from.
(08:24) Sam: But that was not what intrigued our heroine.
(08:25) Sam: In the far right corner of the cavernous space, a quaint little cottage sat. There was golden light spilling from the small windows and a curl of smoke from the chimney atop the roof. The cottage had a small yard, coated in what appeared to be a spongy, verdant moss.
(08:26) Sam: A window box of strange (yet beautiful) flowers hung from one of the windows.
(08:26) Sam: A neat little fence surrounded the property.
(08:27) Sam: And directly OUTSIDE that fence was a semi-circle of large, vicious spikes, completely surrounding the little cottage.
(08:29) Sam: On these spikes were the gruesome remains of various creatures. Zeldissa could make out what appeared to be a Deep Hobgoblin and a small wolfrog. The rest she couldn’t identify- just a series of slimy, bloody, partially amphibious nightmares displayed around the adorable home.
(08:29) Sam: Naturally, our heroine was a little uneasy.
(08:30) Sam: (So, what do you do?)
(08:30) Sam: (Do you leave and not look back? Do you go meet the inhabitant of the cottage? Do you leap on a spike because you’re tired of adventuring?)
(08:31) Alissa: Go to the home anyways, lol I’m never tired of adventuring
(08:38) Sam: Damn right, you aren’t.
(08:39) Sam: Zeldissa knew that, while her quest for the Only Slightly Grungy foam ear pieces led her to this cave… she really had no idea WHERE in the cave they could be. She better investigate anything suspicious.
(08:39) Sam: And boy, was this little house suspicious.
(08:41) Sam: (BTW, yes, you can go to break closer to 9)
(08:42) Sam: So, our plucky heroine started toward the little cottage, hand on scissors, ready to battle anything tha-
(08:42) Sam: *YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING* shrieked Yuniss
(08:42) Sam: (shrieked it so hard there was no punctuation, apparently)
(08:43) Sam: *You are NOT taking me into that creepy little house* the pixie yelled. *I won’t go. You can’t make me. I’m done with this quest*
(08:44) Sam: “And how, exactly, are you going to escape?” Zeldissa asked. “You’re trapped in this COMPLETELY ROYALTY APPROVED communication device, after all”
(09:04) Sam: *I can leave anytime I want* Yuniss said. *I’m not trapped here.*
(09:04) Sam: There was the sound of tiny grunts and struggles. The pixie had her eyes squeezed tight and was almost vibrating from strain.
(09:05) Sam: Suddenly, Yuniss gave a defeated gasp. *Fine. Okay. I appear to be stuck* She gave Zeldissa a suspicious look. *What did you DO?*
(09:06) Sam: “I didn’t do anything” Zeldissa said. “Except, you know, flip this little LOCK switch on the side.”
(09:06) Sam: *HOW DARE YOU TRAP ME?* Yuniss squeaked
(09:06) Sam: “Hey, I didn’t want to press a button and accidentally delete you. I thought I was being considerate.”
(09:06) Sam: *FIX IT*
(13:23) Sam: Zeldissa grinned at the little pixie. “No, I don’t think I will.”
(13:23) Sam: *YOU LET ME OUT OF HERE RIGHT NOW*
(13:24) Sam: “Where will you go?” Zeldissa asked. “There’s no technology in this cave.”
(13:24) Sam: *YOU DON’T KNOW THAT*
(13:25) Sam: “…Whatever. Anyway, I’m not letting you out. What are you going to do about it?”
(13:25) Sam: *THIS* shrieked the pixie. And she proceeded to shock the hell out of our heroine’s hand.
(13:26) Sam: The tiny shock was quite amplified, as everything was damp. Zeldissa shouted in pain.
(13:26) Sam: *HAHAHAHA* the pixie laughed evilly. *NOW LET ME FREE*
(13:26) Sam: “Uh… no,” Zeldissa said. “Definitely not. And if you keep doing that, I’m going to drop this thing in the water. And it will short out. What will happen to you then?”
(13:26) Sam: Yuniss was silent for a few moments, thinking it over.
(13:27) Sam: *It probably wouldn’t end well for me* she finally conceded. *Fine. Let’s go in the creepy little house. I’m sure this will end JUST AS WELL*
(13:29) Sam: Zeldissa ignored the pixie (but had a harder time ignoring the throbbing in her hand) and walked up to the door of the little cottage.
(13:33) Sam: She raised her en-pain-ulated hand and knocked.
(13:34) Sam: KNOCK
(13:34) Sam: KNOCK
(13:34) Sam: KNOCK
(13:35) Sam: The sounds echoed through the spacious cavern. Zeldissa looked warily around her. What matter of beast had she just alerted to her presence?
(13:35) Sam: But before she could dwell much more upon that, the door of the cottage swung open.
(13:43) Sam: Standing there was a man. A tallish man. Dark hair, dark beard, skin nearly translucent from the years of living below ground, vaguely menacing glower on his face as he peered down at Zeldissa.
(13:57) Sam: “What do you want?” he growled.
(13:58) Sam: “Um…”
(13:58) Sam: (What DO you want?)
(13:58) Alissa: To explore the unknown
(14:04) Sam: “To explore the unknown… I guess” Zeldissa shrugged. “I mean, I really just like treasure. And adventure. It’s kind of my shtick.”
(14:32) Sam: “That’s a terrible answer,” the strange man said. “But I suppose you seem harmless enough. And if not….”
(14:33) Sam: At that, the man hefted a large axe onto his shoulder. The axe head was crusted with dried gore. Bits of it flaked off to fall onto the man’s shirt.
(14:34) Sam: Zeldissa hissed out a breath between her teeth. She wasn’t so sure about this anymore.
(14:35) Sam: “Come in or get out” the man said gruffly, moving further into the cottage. “Don’t want to let the snakes in.”
(14:36) Sam: “Uh… snakes?”
(14:36) Sam: The man looked at her blankly. “Yeah. The cave snakes. Are you blind?”
(14:36) Sam: Zeldissa glanced around. She didn’t SEE any snakes.
(14:36) Sam: “In or out” the man boomed.
(14:36) Sam: (Well? You in or out?)
(14:37) Alissa: In
(14:40) Sam: Zeldissa stepped inside and closed the door. The man sat down at a wooden table and gestured for her to do the same.
(14:41) Sam: She did so gingerly, perching delicately on the edge of the chair, ready to bolt at a moment’s notice.
(14:41) Sam: The inside of the cottage was, like the outside, very quaint.
(14:42) Sam: It seemed at odds with the man who now sat across the table from her, glaring.
(14:42) Sam: He was wearing dark clothing, immaculately kept (with the exception of the rusty flecks of blood off that axe of his).
(14:43) Sam: His dark eyes fixed the little adventurer to her seat.
(14:43) Sam: “Who are you and what are you doing in this cave?” he asked in a smooth rumble. The glare was dissolving, leaving an expression of curiosity in its wake.
(14:47) Sam: Zeldissa was getting a strange feeling about this place. Something was wrong, but she couldn’t place WHAT, exactly.
(14:47) Sam: (What do you tell him? The truth? An elaborate lie?)
(14:48) Alissa: Elaborate lie, and I mean ELABORATE
(14:51) Sam: “It all started three years ago,” Zeldissa said. “I bought a bag of marbles off a traveling salesman in, uh, the castle town.”
(14:53) Sam: “…You don’t know the name of the town?” The man’s eyebrow raised in a super judging manner.
(15:17) Sam: “I was young,” Zeldissa said with a dramatic twist of her hand. “I traveled the land, singing on street corners and playing the fife. I was known throughout the land. They said I had the voice of Farore and the passion of Din.”
(15:17) Sam: “I had no need to learn the names of the towns I was in, for I was never there long.”
(15:22) Sam: “And so after one show, this man comes up to me. Big smile. Great hair. Says he wants to buy me a drink. And me, I just got done with a gig. I’m parched. I take the man up on his offer. And I don’t know what I drank, but suddenly the world is saturated in jewel tones and the man and I are dancing in a park somewhere.”
(15:23) Sam: “And when we are done, he whispers in my ear. No, I am NOT going to tell you what he said, because I am a lady, sir. But he gave me this rich bag of purple velvet. Inside were 10 marbles, brilliantly colored, like tiny galaxies trapped in glass.”
(15:26) Sam: “Wait,” the bearded man held up a hand, stopping Zeldissa’s tale. “You said he SOLD you the marbles. Now you’re claiming he GAVE them to you.”
(15:27) Sam: “Would you let me finish my story?” our heroine said huffily. “When I woke up the next morning, I realized the man had stolen my purse. THAT’S why I said he sold them to me- in the end, I paid for the things.”
(15:27) Sam: “Right…” the man muttered.
(15:37) Sam: “But back to that night,” Zeldissa said. “As I gazed at the marbles, the man whispered to me. ‘Whenever you need to escape, throw one of these at the ground and say my name.’ And I stared deep into his eyes and said ‘You never told me your name’ and he just smiled and said ‘I know’. And then the world went dark.”
(15:38) Sam: “I woke up in my bed at the inn, the marbles in the lush purple bag lying beside my head. I looked at them. They seemed less beautiful than they had the night before, but they were still pretty enough. And deep down in my youthful heart, I believed in that man and his promise. Even if he’d totally stolen my money.”
(15:39) Sam: “And so, I carried the marbles with me. I did not know his name, but I was sure, if I was ever in need, it would come to me. On the wind. As if he himself were whispering in my ear.”
(15:42) Sam: “And one day, as I was traveling a treacherous mountain pass, a group of bandits jumped out of a small cave in front of me. The pathway behind me was too narrow to traverse quickly, and the bandits blocked the only way forward. I reached into the bag, drew out a marble, and held it aloft. I felt the mountain air stir my hair. I could feel his name forming on my lips. ‘Robert’ I said aloud, and threw the marble at the ground.”
(15:42) Sam: “…nothing happened.”
(15:42) Sam: “So, I picked up another one, feeling unsure. So, not Robert, then. No matter. I let the wind whisper to me once more before saying ‘Reginald’. And I threw the marble down.”
(15:44) Sam: “…again, nothing happened. Furious, I upended the whole bag of marbles, screaming ‘JOHN, MARCUS, TONY, BRANDON, CARL, JIM, ANTONIO, CYRIL, JAMIE’ into the air. Again, nothing happened. I was so upset I was about to cry… before I looked up and realized the bandits had apparently left during my fit.”
(15:45) Sam: “I had to know, you understand. I had to know if it was the marbles that saved me or the bandits just thought I was crazy. And so, I spent two years hunting for that man. I chased him across the country, earning just enough to keep going.”
(15:48) Sam: “I finally found him, holed up in a dusty little tavern. He was smiling and charming some barmaid when I walked in. He didn’t seem to recognize me, but I’d know him anywhere. I confronted him, accused him of scamming me, only for him to burst into laughter. ‘Of course I was scamming you, darling. You were so young, so ripe for the picking. You didn’t actually think those silly things worked, did you?'”
(15:49) Sam: “But I had. My youthful, romantical mind had believed him. And so I turned to leave, crushed that he had deceived me. At the door, I turned back. ‘Just one question before I leave,’ I said. ‘What is your name?’ He smiled at me before saying ‘Garfield, m’dear.’ GARFIELD? WHO NAMES THEIR CHILD THAT?! Confused, hurt, I left the tavern.”
(15:50) Sam: “I wandered around for a while, but I could no longer sing or play the fife with any fire. I threw my fife in the lake there and came into this cave, seeking solitude. I want to live my life away from the prying eyes of others. Away from their judgment and their pity and their deception. Surely you understand.”
(15:51) Sam: The man stared at her for a few moments. “That’s your story, huh?”
(15:51) Sam: “Yes, it is,” Zeldissa said, working hard not to squirm visibly under his stare.
(15:51) Sam: “Is it?”
(15:51) Sam: “Yes.”
(15:51) Sam: “IS it?”
(15:51) Sam: “YES.”
(15:51) Sam: “Is it really?”
(15:51) Sam: “YES IT IS.”
(15:52) Sam: “Well, you’re obviously lying,” the man said, his fingers straying to the handle of his axe. “The only question is, what am I going to do about it?”
(15:52) Sam: (It’s getting late. Save game? Y/N)
(15:52) Alissa: Yes!