19th Oct 2021, 2:20 AM

Open the heart door but try not to save

Open the heart door but try not to save
"So," you begin, "we have a cartoonishly large switch that might open this wall or it might be a trap. We have a locked chest and the small key we picked up off the mimic upstairs, but the chest might also be a mimic and we can't just gas this one. ...We could possibly unlock the chest from a distance and then try to lock the mimic in its cell, but I'm not super excited about the odds of it going smoothly. ...And we've got a heart room, which shouldn't be dangerous but comes with some caveats."

Marlow blinks. "Caveats?"

You take a breath, and continue. "The heart rooms so far have all acted as save points, returning me to the one I activated last. We kind of dismantled the puzzle required to open the door out of here. If that switch doesn't open this wall, then we've almost trapped ourselves in this zone--and if I save in this heart room, then we'll have effectively soft-locked... like... the entire game. I'll wake up here every night and be unable to leave. Thus, I have to avoid accidentally activating the heart room, which as far as I know means I can't relax in there. All the previous rooms seemed to kick on when I just... kind of let down my guard, which means I have to consciously avoid that this time."

Marlow takes a moment to respond. "...The valve puzzle's on the other side of the door it opens--if you woke up on this side of it, you'd be locked in whether we took the screws outta the handles or not. Unless there's some kind of secret switch or somethin' on this side of it, I'd imagine." He throws a glance down the hall. "...Or a not so secret switch."

That's... a decent point. There would have to be a way out besides the valve handle puzzle, since you can't solve it from this side of things. ...At least, in a carefully designed layout, not accounting for anything added haphazardly after the fact. The striped rooms aren't supposed to be here, right...? What if their placement doesn't account for how the rest of the dungeon is set up? You haven't encountered any sections that require a hard reset to get out of yet, but that doesn't mean they aren't possible--demanding a hard reset isn't that ridiculous of a demand when it only means losing the rest of the night, and this floor's been full of harsh consequences. It only turns into an absolute catastrophe if the heart room was placed without consideration for that idea--like a mod to the game that creates new glitches. You know how you think, but you don't know how Acedia or the other one think, or if they'd even be able to account for all this--you haven't seen much evidence that they're really... aware of what all's going on outside the heart, aside from what they might pick up from your responses via blood note.

...But then again, the save points have been placed pretty strategically so far. One right before a boss, another conveniently between two tough sections, one near the Trades Man and miasmatic wound--

"Okay," you finally state, "heart room first, I'm going to try not to relax too much but I'm not going to like... spend mana worrying about it. If it happens, it happens."


You enter the cell with the heart marked door inside.


You enter the heart marked door.













The striped classroom, you presume.

"Huh," you remark, "I didn't expect this to be so close to the wound."

Trades Man did kind of mention them at the same time, though.

You shuffle in cautiously, examining the room; like the striped bedroom and the striped break room, it doesn't look familiar to you personally. It looks like any generic public school classroom, maybe give or take a dozen+ desks.

Right beside the door is a cork board, but everything on it is... slurred. Blurry and distorted. At a glance, it's probably the sort of thing one might expect--schedules, announcements, the results of little classroom projects... but on closer inspection it's nonsense, not even legible writing. It's like... a bad render of what's supposed to be there.

The chalkboard--


...huh.

There is a lot more going on with the writing on the chalkboard.

Some kind of... weird diagram, and a bunch of random (but legible) phrases written all over the place in different styles of handwriting:

electrical stimulation of the amygdala
gods have gods
classroom
remember the first lie
focus on what you're trying to send, we might only get one shot at this
Nat is alive Nat is alive Nat is alive
the champion of getting amnesia
wait should I send Agaste's diagram
cannot remember what Christmas looked like
or the Spiritus Mundi map
chalkboard
chalk board
chal kbo ard



You start to examine the diagram more closely,



when you hear a soft squeaking sound.

You spin quickly around to Marlow, who looks as bewildered as you are. Before you can say anything, you hear another sound--

movement. Tiny... scratchy... movement.


You hold your breath as you turn the torch away from the chalkboard, and toward the rest of the classroom. You walk slowly, silently... past the teacher's desk, inching closer to the student's and to the counter that runs along the side of the room.

It is there, on the counter, that you identify the source of the noise.

"No fucking way," you immediately blurt out. "That... you can't be."

"It's..." Marlow is stunned into brief silence. "...A guinea pig?"







You lean in closer.

"Not just any guinea pig..." you mutter.

There he is, staring at you from his tiny cage.

"...That used to be my guinea pig," you conclude. "Dark Lord Legumbra. He is hella dead."

"You're sure it's him?," Marlow asks. "I wouldn't be able to tell two guinea pigs apart, I don't think."

The guinea pig wheaks at you, approaching the bars and sniffing at the air.

"I'm like 90% confident it's him," you finally reply. "I got in trouble for doodling him in the margins of my school work. What the hell is he doing here...?"

So far, the answer is 'guinea pig stuff'

"I mean," Marlow pauses as the two of you watch the guinea pig do his thing, "everything here's from your thoughts and memories, right...?"

"Everything here's a fucked up representation of my thoughts and memories," you reply. "Why isn't he a monster? Why isn't he a weird statue, or a stained glass window? Why's he just... just him?"

It has to be a construct of the dream, right? You wonder, for a moment, if Artificial Dream Rodent: Dark Lord Legumbra was affected by the miasmatic wound when it was still active--but you realize quickly there's no food bowl here, no water... just a cage and a guinea pig. The cage doesn't even have a latch on it. He's definitely just a construct. He can't get guinea pig anxiety. Your brain is not Hell for guinea pigs.

"The REAL real question," Marlow remarks, "is what kind of name is that? Dark Lord... what the heck was the rest of it?"

"Legumbra," you reply. "I..." named him after a villain in an anime "...thought it would be a funny name for a guinea pig."

Cautiously, you examine the cage a bit closer.

No way to open it. Can't even remove the cage from the counter--it's like they've been welded together. Probably for the best; this floor is no place for an imaginary guinea pig to be wandering off and having little guinea pig adventures. He's basically part of the furniture now, he's fine.


Wait. ... Maybe that's it.


You turn back to the chalkboard.


cannot remember what Christmas looked like


"...He's an unloaded asset," you think out loud. "Like a... a template space in the data or something. The striped rooms are someone else's memories--and whoever remembered the classroom remembered a guinea pig being there, but not what the guinea pig looked like." A guinea pig that, you theorize, was probably named Christmas. "...I, on the other hand, remember my guinea pig pretty clearly. So the dungeon just... kind of fills in the blank with what it has available. The stripes on the walls are the same color as the shirt I wore when I bought the house, but they're going in a different direction--same principle. Someone remembered vertical stripes, but... something something amnesia let's just make them pink and purple instead."

It could even be a combination of Acedia and Amnesia. The messages on the chalkboard have some wildly varying tones... and if someone can't remember the color of a certain wallpaper or what a class pet looked like, they prooobably wouldn't remember that whole complicated diagram. Then again, the mixture of the two might be limited to written messages--all the rooms so far have had the same wallpaper, which suggests a singular source. Maybe. Probably. It would make some sense if only one of them could do this, and the other is talking through them when they can. Both of them tag teaming the whole heart room / blood note project when only one of them is a magus would leave you with a whole new slew of questions, and questions are mostly what you have to begin with.


...You take a closer look at that diagram, actually.





"Well, Marlow, there you go. That's where we are."

"Of course," he chuckles, rolling his eyes, "this explains everything."

"My favorite part," you must admit, "is where it just says demons. I feel that, weird chalkboard drawing."

"But which part represents debt?," Marlow jests. You give him a slightly askew glance--jesus christ, was that a joke about political cartoons? He is so old but you catch him beginning to stare at the diagram... a little harder.

"What is it...?"

Marlow blinks. "I... I'll need to double check when I get home, but I think... I think I might've seen this before. The labels were different, but I've got a copy of an old government document--"

"It wasn't from Zone Fifty, was it?"

He turns to you with a firm squint. "Maybe? ...Why?"

Hmm.

"I've been thinking about what you said earlier--about Zone Fifty leaking fake papers to cover for their real documents. ...The Choir's been thinking about it, too."

"...And?"

You take a deep breath. You're not even sure how to process this information yourself, let alone how to explain it without sounding dangerously vague. "...I think the Choir might have been involved with Zone Fifty at some point. It--they--they know things. I know things. It feels weird to press on it, but I can press and--"

"--What are you tryin' to say?," Marlow interrupts.

You breathe out slowly. "Zone Fifty probably did not do an actual autopsy on a real yeti. ...But they did have material evidence of a sasquatch."

Marlow's eyes widen a little. "What kind of material evidence...?"

You don't actually know.

It's... pretty definitive. It had to have been from a sasquatch. You... feel it. It couldn't have come from anything you can imagine except a sasquatch, it--

okay, this is how shows about hunting Bigfoot get started. You weren't actually there, you don't know what the material evidence is, you just know it... exists. Existed. The Choir has seen it.

...Whoever had the Choir before you has seen it.



You focus.


You try to remember something that isn't in your memory, but a memory you have access to.

When you met the Grandiose Paradoxes, you were able to pull whole names out of the Choir--names with some significance, but names that weren't from you. Darkness a Marionette even helpfully confirmed the source of the knowledge:

"...and she's not just listing random names--those are names the previous host-- wait, would host be the word? It's not possession, per se."

...Which in retrospect suggests the Paradoxes can hear and tap into the Choir, too, but one of them knowing more about the Choir and what the Choirs knows than you suggests that you, too, could be knowing more about the Choir

You focus.



"...Fur." You have to remind yourself to breathe. "It was fur. They had blurry fur, like... naturally blurry fur. It'd been ripped out and left in a warehouse and it was still... blurry."

"So wait," Marlow begins, "you're saying Bigfoot's just sorta like that? It's not the photos, he's just blu--WHOA!"

You damn near pass out.

It hits you all at once, sudden light-headedness and a big mana dunk the second you snap back and to be fair


you did stretch a bit too far.

You were... it was almost like you were there. Past and present. You and...


Between.


FUCK

Marlow attempts to help you stumble back to solid footing with his tractor beam. The nearby desk helps a lot, too.

You hadn't thought about it--this room. The striped rooms. They're a little bit you and a little bit Acedia and/or Amnesia. It's not a solid 1:1 connection between you and the... uh... alcazar, the fact that the room blends multiple minds might make the connection thinner. Not as thin as it was in the Between you faced the Paradoxes in, but thinner than a normal room in the dungeon--and that's why the blood notes can show up here but not elsewhere, and why your connection to the Choir is stronger.

Just a little bit Between. Conceptually, not physically.

You're not even sure there is a 'physically.'

Between enough to bend some rules a telepathic message written in blood and sent from the heart of the alcazar would normally be breaking.

An exploit, of sorts.

You briefly scan the room, starting to consider the implications of this--but you, Plaire Stevens, do not know nearly enough about how an alcazar works to start glitching out the striped room. You would probably wallclip yourself into your colon or something.

Still.

"These factors, alone, lead me to believe Acedia is a weak and inexperienced magus."

You are beginning to grow a suspicion that Acedia is in fact pretty god damn good at this magus thing.


"You alright?," Marlow asks as you finally steady yourself against the teacher's desk.

"Yeah," you choke out. "I... learned a new trick. ...Also the cactus. Zone Fifty's blue cactus was legit."

"Huh," Marlow remarks. "...So some of the documents were fake, some were real, and some were... almost accurate. ...And I have no idea which are which."

"I think that's the trick," you reply. "By making it more than black or white, fake or real, one or zero and instead making it a whole three ring fucking circus of half truths--combined with projects that were real but god damn ridiculous--they could make it impossible to pick through it. Just... assault the senses, create a maze of real things you can't believe and fake things you totally can, then gently distort anything that falls between so there's no solid ground. I'm not good at uncovering truths but I know a lot about lying, and throwing in a little blunt, unrequested honesty really muddies the fucking water."

Marlow gives you... some kind of look.

You clarify, with the most caustic grin and sarcastic tone you can muster: "'Oh yeah mom, I'm suUUUuper gay. Love to sneak like thirty girls into the house and have gay parties when no one's home.' See, the first part acts as an admission of guilt, but the second part being comedically over-the-top sets the tone to really throw the first part back into question--"

"Plaire," Marlow begins, "don't take this the wrong way, but--have you thought about seein' a therapist? One that isn't a dungeon...?"

"I've thought about it," you reply. "I've also thought about living anywhere near one and being able to afford it."

Marlow nods. "Fair enough."



You spend a bit of time further examining the striped classroom--especially the lone student desk in the middle of the room--but you don't find anything of note on a cursory search.

As you begin to leave, you hear Dark Lord Legumbra wheeking from his little mind cage. You turn back, giving him one last glance--

and the lights come on in the classroom.

"Dammit!," you blurt out. You got got. "...Guess we have to try the stupid switch now."



You head down the hall.

You creep into the cell with the oversized switch.

You check it thoroughly. You check the room for signs of a trap--but you don't find any cables, or seams in the floor, or nozzles or... anything, really. Just small chunks of debris, and... a big ol' switch.

"You want me to pull it from outside the room?," Marlow asks.

You think about it, but

"...No," you reply. "I have a different idea--do me a favor, and head back to the dead end. Try to sense through the wall--it should be a hallway on the other side, let me know when there's no monsters nearby. If this switch really opens the wall up, the last thing we want is another fight with patrolling ants."

Marlow nods, and zooms off.

You wait by the switch.

Seconds pass, but eventually--

"It's clear!"

You grab the switch.

Big switch. Both hands.

Could easily be a trap.

Flexing your muscles in new and unique ways creates new sorts of pain you have to quickly mana over as you struggle with this rusty-ass switch, but finally--

You throw the switch.

You hear a rumbling noise, and rush out of the cell to find...




the path has opened.







Yesss you're a fucking genius because you play video games

You motion to Marlow, who returns to you at the cell--with the toolbox. Quickly, you retrieve some Do Not Reset tape and wrap it around the switch--which should ensure the shortcut stays open beyond tonight.

"You sure that'll work?," Marlow asks.

You nod. "I... I think so. I've been thinking about my previous experiments with the tape, and I think I've got the gist of it now: the tape itself cannot move as a result of a reset. If resetting would cause an object to move the tape, then that object doesn't reset. ...Make sense?"

"I..." He pauses, and then grins. "Not really, but I'm prepared to take your word for it."

Specifically, your experiment with the quiver, the paper, and the knife from the other night--the blade couldn't reset without moving the tape. The door couldn't close without moving the blade which would move the tape. The quiver was just on top of everything--it could reset without budging the tape. The paper, likewise, could be theoretically torn or pulled off the end of the knife without upsetting the rest of it, and thus: the page and the quiver reset. The door and knife did not reset.

The screws and nails you used to pin DNR tape over the miasmatic wound should stay put, as should the tape on this enormous switch.

If this is all correct, it also inadvertently reveals something funny about resets--because your big roll of yellow tape didn't stay in the toolbox the last time you faded out, it was left on the floor of the candle room. That suggests a reset might not technically occur until after you've completely vanished from the alcazar.


"That just leaves..." you grimace a little "the chest."


Marlow picks the toolbox back up, and the two of you approach the cell with the chest in it.

"It's not breathin'," Marlow remarks.

You stare at the chest through the bars of the door for a good while before finally opening said door. You walk in cautiously, weapon ready.

You circle the chest. Looking for anything out of place, anything unusual.

It's a small room.

It would make sense to be an important item. A shortcut is nice and all, but this area still has to have a reason for existing and the heart room isn't part of the natural layout. Neither was the wound. You solved a puzzle and did an athletic trial and probably should have fought some monsters on the way here, for what?

It has to be a real chest.

But at the same time

you have yet to actually fight a mimic yourself and you feel like you're past due.

The switch was too obvious. Too easy.

This whole section has been a bit of a thing and it needs a grand finale.

It has to be a mimic.



You poke the chest with your halberd.

No reaction.



Carefully,

you retrieve the small key from your pocket.


You approach the chest.


You press the key to the lock.


. . .


The chest opens.

It's not a mimic, but



you're not sure you like the implications of what you find inside the chest.






Average Rating: 5 (1 vote)
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Will Schrag | Snervalton | Skullrama | John Wood | Tom Axon | David J Wu | Sekwel | Mochi | Wisp Pandemonium | arbit | Travis Whittaker | thatbloodypaladin



19th Oct 2021, 3:13 AM
Well, that’s ominous. An Antidote could be any number of things. I think it’s likely that it just cures any sort of disease or poison, given how yellow things work, but it could be more malevolent. Maybe it works against the worm acid? Lets definitely take the antidote with us, but let’s hope we don’t ever have to use it.

On the other hand, the diagram is definitely useful. First thing after we wake up, write down that diagram in the notebook. Having labels for the names we already know is super helpful!
19th Oct 2021, 3:30 AM
Cyanic
+1 to both
19th Oct 2021, 3:34 AM
Snervalton
+1 to both. But we could copy out the diagram while here in the dream, right? It'd be an interesting experiment to see whether notes made in the dream carry over into the real world.
19th Oct 2021, 3:41 AM
Cyanic
that sounds like a good experiment
19th Oct 2021, 6:26 AM
Pkrankow
20th Oct 2021, 9:26 AM
Limrix
We already know from the potato experiment that changing things in the dream doesn't change them IRL, I don't think we need to do this.
19th Oct 2021, 9:23 AM
Harmony
Don't forget to put 'do not reset' tape on the notebook?
19th Oct 2021, 10:25 AM
Snervalton
-1 on taping the notebook. That could make it stay here during the day and allow whoever left the grenade trap to read it and gain info on Plaire.
19th Oct 2021, 7:25 PM
Well, we could always experiment by putting tape onto one of the tools we brought into the dream with us. If that's gone when we wake up, then we'll know tape sucks stuff into the dungeon, and it'd be a bad idea to experiment with our notes as such.

I have to admit, the tape possibly sucking real stuff into the dungeon on a semi-permanent basis could have some interesting implications, but none that are really practical for us right now. (My mind immediately went to "hide a murder weapon", and we're not about to have Plaire go kill anyone.)
19th Oct 2021, 3:40 AM
Cyanic
it's
green
theory was that each color, either only the primary ones or the colors present in a rainbow represent something metaphysically big, Yellow is the thing we drink and the thing that powers our abilities in the Dream,
Red is , though we haven't really seen true Red beyond the note (the bugs and rightoknows are a faded pinkish/purplish)
Blue, we don't know yet, but Marlow's tractor beam is a pretty good shade of blue, so true Blue probably relates to that

Green, we've only seen in torches, the poison, the needlehives/worms, and now in this antidote (though this is less true Green than those), and Franklin talked about green before. Survival, but also obstacles to survival. I'd say the antidote counts for survival

I swear if this is just antidote for poison traps lol
either way, probably useful to bring with

Also, let's try to *not* pull memories from previous Choir buddies for the meantime, unless we really totally have to (like if there were previous buddies before Plaire and before our lost gal), we don't want to accidentally think we're a different person, and I think that's happened before when we were integrated with our previous buddy, when she was trying sense-of-self stuff (long story, we'll tell you some other time, Plaire)

do we wanna circle back (sneakily) and check on our trades man buddy? Because next thing is probably checking out the up-ground castle, though we might find more stuff down here, like that straight ahead path, but probably better to explore this place when we have an accomplice that can solo this level (Cici) even though Marlow's Moon powers are good for stealth and exploration.

Either way, we'll wanna stay close to Marlow when stealthing

19th Oct 2021, 9:50 AM
Zophah
Wait, your discussion on antidote made me realize, what if it’s specifically for the same poison gas that we’ve been using to kill the mimic upstairs?
19th Oct 2021, 10:23 AM
Snervalton
+1 to taking the antidote with us.

+1 to sneaking past enemies to visit the tradesman.
19th Oct 2021, 6:43 PM
Cheshire777
+1 to all this, and I wonder now did we (although me personally not that far back lol) act as a formal Choir for any Morgenstern comics pre-BiM, like Mushroom Go or the onewedonttalkabout?
20th Oct 2021, 9:29 AM
Limrix
+1 to all of this. No matter what we do it's going to start with getting to the tradesman room and either talking (my vote) or candeling out of there.
19th Oct 2021, 4:11 AM
Alex
A question? Well obviously the first we do is ask the tradesman! That being said, let's have a little fun with speculation! Last time we got an item like this it was the screwdriver, enabling us to go through some shortcuts, and opens up new areas. And antidotes are used to counteract poison. There is only one place we've met with poison so far and that's the room up above on the floor before the dad bossfight, and the mimic room near it, that doesn't help us much, so... It must open up a new area, could the castle maybe be full of poisonous gas?
19th Oct 2021, 3:16 PM
Cuttlefish
I wouldn't put it past Plaire's Alcazar to have Blighttown Swamp kicking around somewhere.
19th Oct 2021, 6:49 AM
Pkrankow
Ominous, yes

Apologies to Plair about the Zone 50 memory overload. We shall try to avoid doing that in the future, but no promises.

An "Antidote" implies use after being poisoned. It also implies it is a one time deal. Duration short and unknown. Action unknown.

Metabolically ethylene glycol antifreeze uses ethanol (vodka, or other drinking alcohol) as an antidote. This reference is from articles about cats. The ethanol is chemically favored over the ethylene glycol and allows the body to eliminate the more dangerous poison. While video game logic counteracts this concern, ie, the antidote will be bad too, waiting till needed is undoubtedly for the best.

Collect the antidote and proceed down the newly opened hallway.

Our next destination is towards the "Heart of Castle"
19th Oct 2021, 10:32 AM
Snervalton
-1 to proceeding down the newly opened hallway. With Plaire's arms in the shape they're in, she's not ready to handle the very difficult opponents on this floor. Head upstairs instead.
19th Oct 2021, 12:40 PM
Xylas_Incarnum
.... So lets see about getting some high proof alcohol and see if it turns green or yellow in the dream?
19th Oct 2021, 12:47 PM
Snervalton
Plaire does have some beer in her flask, we can check what color that is and try something higher proof another night.
20th Oct 2021, 8:09 PM
Chaostraveler
+1 to Pkrankow's choice of destination and Snervalton's idea to check the flask. We've had it all night and haven't taken a look at it yet, so I'd say we're overdue to check on our experiment.

To be fair though, we're in pretty bad shape. If we're lucky we won't need to deal with Warden Father again and might be able to do some exploring, otherwise we'll likely be in for a tough fight given our condition. It may be worth trying to gas ourselves and see if the antidote helps, but at the same time I can't remember if all chests always have the same item inside. What if the Antidote is a random spawn? Either way, I'm done. I'm not thinking too clearly so I'm signing off for the night. I might go reread Blood is Mine now.
19th Oct 2021, 9:46 AM
Golnor
Antidote get! If video game logic continues to work, using when poisoned will make you not poisoned. We should ask the Tradesman if it has any side effects tho, as well as if it does work on any and all "poisoned" conditions. I wouldn't put it past the (designers? Creators?) architechs of this place to have a toxic effect that this can't cure.

After that, let's head for the easier stuff upstairs. Healing the wound should have bought us some time, let's spend it making sure there's nothing important we missed up there.
19th Oct 2021, 10:31 AM
Snervalton
+1 on getting the antidote. DNR tape it too, to make sure we keep this prize with us and don't have to waste another key getting it next night.

+1 on heading upstairs to explore.
19th Oct 2021, 3:32 PM
I was thinking about DNRing the chest open, but just DNRing the syringe probably makes more sense.
20th Oct 2021, 9:33 AM
Limrix
We should also DNR chests open as a rule. Once we use the antidote, we'll want to be able to get it again without a key, and keeping around an empty syringe is something the previous host might have done... Ok, maybe we should keep it. But still, DNR the chest. It should only take a tiny bit.
20th Oct 2021, 10:08 AM
Snervalton
Good point, Limrix. +1 to DNR taping the chest the antidote was in, not the syringe itself so that we can get a new dose every night.
20th Oct 2021, 10:25 PM
Spyder
+1 to the chest, if we're going to do the antidote, we need to leave it in a heart room so we now were it is.
We will then have two doses, which shouldn't be a bad thing
19th Oct 2021, 9:56 AM
Zophah
With that diagram, it seems more possible that the bigger castle is the Alcazar of Acedia. They set up their little mind castle right next to yours and use that proximity to ‘invade’ it. It could explain where the Tape comes from.
19th Oct 2021, 10:36 AM
Hari_Seldon
It's possible "antidote" doesn't just cure poison but also heals.
19th Oct 2021, 3:39 PM
lapdragon
in standard RPG video game mechanics, most poisons are curable with a generic "antidote".

That being said, the antidote is also wasted if used pre-poisoning - it's a cure, not a preventative.
19th Oct 2021, 6:47 PM
Cheshire777
Usually they only clear certain abnormal conditions but not heal in my experience, some games have a really expensive late-game item along the lines of condensed god blood that has both effects and sometimes also gives temporary buffs.
19th Oct 2021, 10:50 AM
Snervalton
Sneak back to the tradesman and see if they're ok now. If they're ok, report that the Miasmatic Wound is now closed and ask the following questions:

1) Can you explain the diagram from the striped classroom? Why do individuals have their own personal noosphere closed off from the global noosphere? Why does the diagram say there are "demons" in people's heads? Is a demon shell just people's consciousness given a physical body in the alcazar? Why does the demonshell in the diagram branch off into multiple bubbles?

2) What are the xanthous and the spiritus mundi?

3) Does the alcazar have other health problems weakening its noosphere in addition to the Miasmatic Wound? If not, why is the heart countdown continuing?

4) What does the striped classroom do?

5) Describe the Old Librarian from the photo at The Back Room. Ask if that's who taped the trades man.

6) Why do objects brought into the alcazar turn yellow?

7) What is the yellow wine that restores mana? Why is it sitting in barrels all over the place?

Edit: 8) Does the phrase "The First Lie" mean anything to the trades man?

9) Why would a house that acts as a gateway to an alcazar absorb blood, the way Plaire's house did Kate's blood? Why would it be indestructible?

10) Could trying to access the god-making power in this alcazar cause someone's body to explode in the real world? Would their consciousness become trapped in here if that happened?
19th Oct 2021, 1:24 PM
Hari_Seldon
+1 but have Marlow ask those questions and maybe some of his own to see if that levels him up
19th Oct 2021, 6:54 PM
Cheshire777
+1, and +1 to having Marlow do it, it doesn't slow us down at all.
19th Oct 2021, 7:30 PM
20th Oct 2021, 9:33 AM
19th Oct 2021, 12:20 PM
19th Oct 2021, 1:24 PM
Hari_Seldon
After injecting the Tradesman with the antidote, Plaire MIGHT inject herself with a little of the antidote to see if it heals. Not sure.
19th Oct 2021, 6:52 PM
Cheshire777
While that may be the best course:
1) Ask the Trades man's opinion and permission first.
2) We may have trouble injecting it into the essentially big piece of rock (although alcazar mechanics may facilitate it).
3) It may only cure poison/acid related conditions, not deeper problems like whatever Nil presumably did. Moreover it may only be useful to our demonshell, not the stygian circuits or whatever.
19th Oct 2021, 9:18 PM
Hari_Seldon
+1 ask the Tradesman first
19th Oct 2021, 10:35 PM
lilWitchPepper
+1 Ask the Tradesman
19th Oct 2021, 2:56 PM
A random Italian
If the Tradesman is still not well, could the antidote play a part in curing him?
19th Oct 2021, 5:11 PM
Hari_Seldon
+1 that's better than my idea
19th Oct 2021, 7:32 PM
If the antidote cures mental illness, then Plaire needs to Pulp Fiction that shit into her sternum, stat. It would probably kill every monster in the dungeon.
19th Oct 2021, 6:04 PM
Snervalton
Plaire should do a more thorough search of the teacher and student's desks in the striped classroom. She should also try sitting in the student's then the teacher's seats, then stand at the front of the room as if she were the teacher. See if any of that activates something.
19th Oct 2021, 6:53 PM
19th Oct 2021, 6:57 PM
Cheshire777
We should try feeding the guinea pig something to try for a hidden effect, and because it's cute. I kinda wish the Alcazar had an achevement system, so many secrets :D
19th Oct 2021, 7:06 PM
Snervalton
+1! Pay tribute to the Dark Lord Legumbra so that his mana may be restored and he can break free and dominate the world! If we ever get our hands on the thing that grants godhood, we should bring it back here and feed it to the guinea pig. May the universe as a whole tremble before his unholy wheaks!
19th Oct 2021, 7:34 PM
+1. Maybe even bring him with us, or at the least to one of the safe rooms (and tape up the cage so it stays there).
20th Oct 2021, 10:19 PM
Spyder
His cage appears welded to the table, and he's already in a safe room anyway.
I don't see that we need to bother him, since the cage condition removes the possibility of cuddles 😟
19th Oct 2021, 7:30 PM
PurpleKetchup
Door to before, good. Alcazar keeps a modicum of basic QoL even in lower floors.
Quick mana check, Plaire. How long do you think you can keep going? You just burnt through a lot to tap into our collective knowledge, and your busted arms won't help.
Maybe regrouping in the tradesman room and finishing this run with another Q&A session, maybe followed by leaving a note for Acedia.
Teleport to the Dadwall candleroom only if you feel able to deal with it again.


The house makes people forget doors. The person who wrote on that blackboard was losing some of her memories and trying to focus.
Feels like this is related. What happens when someone with memory-erasing powers lives in a house for a while?
Blackboard mentions Nat and Agaste. So, this could be Acedia writing. Better ask tradesdude if he can confirm/deny.
... wait.
"Electrical stimulation of the amygdala"... It enhances human declarative memory.
It's recent research - for us. Not for Plaire's world (they're way in the future).
Treatment? Did the witches try to cure Acedia's amnesia with this Alcazar?
Is that focus on knowledge the reason why a tradesman spawned inside it?

Aaaaaaaa questions questions questions (sorry Plaire)
19th Oct 2021, 7:53 PM
Snervalton
+1 on leaving the note in a striped room for Acedia. Inform her that the Miasmatic Wound is now sealed. Ask why the heart countdown is continuing. Is it because the alcazar has other health problems?
19th Oct 2021, 9:42 PM
20th Oct 2021, 10:20 PM
Spyder
Oh, my gosh - are the striped rooms the missing house rooms?
😱
20th Oct 2021, 10:40 PM
Cheshire777
No, I'm pretty certain the striped rooms aren't directly related to the house rooms Spyder. The house doesn't have any sort of stripes or anything like that color scheme that we've seen yet, we've managed to re-discover the backyard, porch light, and mayyybe a little of the second floor, which aren't zipping in and out of the alcazar. I think we've confirmed the house rooms are still there, basically, just we forget them the instant we see them before they're even processed for the most part.
19th Oct 2021, 9:18 PM
Gutz Grilla
Whew, I've been pretty absent, so much to catch up on.

Sorry, everyone, I don't tend to bring much to the table. Just have the following to say:

1) Maybe it would be best if Marlow stored the antidote? I can't imagine it being kept in the toolbox and materializing in the real world;

2) So the blood notes can manifest in striped rooms, but not outside them? Last time Plaire checked the note was right after sealing the miasmatic wound, in the dungeon... not in a striped room. I'd suggest that she goes back to the striped classroom to check the blood note.

I have a feeling that "Choir" thing may end up scrambling Plaire's, and possibly Morgenstern's, brain. Here's hoping it doesn't come to that, though.
20th Oct 2021, 2:23 PM
PurpleKetchup
Ooh, good idea. +1 to checking the note in the striped classroom.
19th Oct 2021, 10:11 PM
37212513
SCANSCANSCANSCANSCANSCANCSANSCANSCANSCANSCANSCACNACNSANSANSCSANSSCAN!!!!

If there was a sign that said flag this shit sideways with a diesel tanker and torch the damn thing, this would be it. We thought we were in the dark before, welp, heres your hangover DX! Bitch! (I'm sorry about the colorful language, I'm simply at a loss as to how to express myself otherwise.)


Been wondering when Morgen was going to throw his famous wrench in on the party. No possible way we could have this half way figured out.... not really, he wouldn't make it so easy. Not his style. Oh yeah, hey Plaire, this Morgen fellas your god. Live with that twist!
19th Oct 2021, 11:02 PM
Snervalton
Sorry 37212513, what are you saying we should torch? The antidote?
20th Oct 2021, 2:11 PM
Cheshire777
I'm not quite sure what you're recconending we do, is there a way you can reword your suggestion?
20th Oct 2021, 3:21 PM
37212513
Sorry, seemed the right time to be a little theatrical as the response itself, more literally read as "Oh shit, scan the needle for we are in the dark indeed and I feel like calling Morgen out as a dick because I'm being a dick and I kinda knew he was waiting to do something like this to us(the audience) for a while".

So, no torch. Just colorful over expressionism as it seemed more fitting than a sane response did.....for once. I do apologize for the confusion.
20th Oct 2021, 3:29 PM
37212513
To further Clarify, I'm calling Morgenster out as a dick in hopes that he'd see the humor at the jab, as a fan of his puzzles and conundrums, it wouldn't be quite up to quality if we weren't swearing up a storm trying to figure this out every so often. So, please take the complement as it as meant Morgen, no offense, yeah?
20th Oct 2021, 10:42 PM
Cheshire777
Oh ok, thanks for the clarification. Also yeah, this was definately waiting in the wings for a while before it got sprung on us lol.
20th Oct 2021, 9:23 PM
Antarean
I vote we go to the Trades man and teleport back upstairs. I don't think we're in great shape for exploring more of this level. Then I think we should go out to the castle and maybe try to find some of the butterflies that were mentioned a while back. Father Warden is in the way, but even in our battered state, a few barrages of flying axes should make quick work of it. We might need to replenish our mana before and/or after. Marlow isn't the best at dodging flying debris, so we should explain the attack patterns and have him duck behind the pews.
20th Oct 2021, 10:23 PM
Spyder
So the "veil" as it were, is thinner in the heart rooms . . .
We need to try to manifest an item in one of the heart rooms guys!
20th Oct 2021, 10:47 PM
Cheshire777
If info is this hard to convey, I kinda doubt we can make physical objects yet. If there's some way to bypass the restrictions later though we should absolutely go for it, I wanna minigun :p Actually, I don't think we've tried any of this outside the alcazar yet, so that's worth a shot too.