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And -- since you ask I must answer -- I don't think much of your father, a man who would barter his daughter's service for his own, especially since he had unflattering ideas of what I would do with you. Oh, carry me carefully on the stairs: I feel sick! In fact, I'm not sure what you are offering. Do you have some fantasy of marrying me? Being my mistress? He set you down carefully on the bed and went away. A moment later he came back, bright crimson bell in his left paw. There would be no ill health and no spiritual repercussions.

Your family miss you, and I am the villain in this piece. After a long time: "You haven't asked me to leave in a while," you said. I'm glad you believe my word about the effects, now. If you won't do that, I don't go. Unless he has moved everything, the bell to summon them into action should be in one of the rooms upstairs. Not a room friendly to visitors, it has the air of resentful, martyred suffering.

Even His most unpleasant ancestors would not have grudged this place more paint, surely, and more straw for the beds. A decaying ladder leads down. There really isn't any. You find yourself concentrating all the more alertly on your hearing, as though the slightest echo might offer a clue. You hear some dry sifting from the northeast. Somewhere nearby you hear chimes. As soon as you back up, he disperses into smoke again. 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.

Scarlet Gallery You do not often come this way, into the older part of the castle, which is narrow and has a low roof. On the windowsill, a helmet waits, for the use of the sentry. He told you once that the helmet was for night watchmen, scouts, and guards, to increase their vigilance and strengthen their hearing. Lines of writing arc over each ear, but you do not know the language in question. You settle the helmet over your head, and there is a roaring in your ears at first. But then the sharpened hearing begins to feel natural again. The gallery goes on, echoing, both east and west.

Of Elzibad himself, there is only a pair of blackened feet, sticking out from under the elephant. The way down is at the center of the maze. Nearby a small door leads east. He's not down here, then, in the east wing. Perhaps he's in one of the side rooms you've not visited yet? Here and there are marks where someone would seem to have made an attempt to break in. In the cage are the sceptre, the puzzle piece, and the pair of cloven shoes. In the iron cage are a sceptre, a puzzle piece, and a pair of cloven shoes.

You reacquaint yourself with its appearance: Studded with measly turquoises and semi-precious stones. They bear evidence of having been adjusted to their current size by a shoemaker, and perhaps therefore could be again. You have never seen the courtyard otherwise: it rains in every season, winter or summer, no matter what lies beyond the moat. It was here that you first laid eyes on the Beast: emerging from the State Rooms, snarling. He seemed angry at you for coming, even though you had had no choice. Or perhaps you thought he was simply violent.

You did not run. The castle proper opens both north and south, and to the east a helical staircase ascends to the roof. An obscene gargoyle sits where the finial of the banister should be. That must be the solution. You'll find him up there, and everything will go back to normal; as it always does after a fight or disagreement or odd patch. Sooner or later things just right themselves and resume as they have always gone.

You can't. There are a few others around, mostly in the crypt. They're immovable, but harmless. But you are alone now, and therefore cautious. Your bedroom is just south; other bedrooms, mostly smaller, in other directions. Nearby a heavy door leads north. You can also see a bentwood table on which is a jigsaw puzzle here. This one is nearly finished, missing only one piece that neither of you could ever find.

On the bentwood table is a jigsaw puzzle. The south end of the room is most dazzling, because of the daylight from the balcony. Gilded Balcony A ridiculous filigreed balcony that is like nothing so much as a birdcage: and from here you can see all the way across the moat, across the forest, the plain, to the edge of the sea, only by staring long enough in any direction.

When you first came here, the balcony was full of plants in pots: poison oak, nettles, nightshade, datura. The chief exception is the royal portrait on the wall. Do you think I was handsome? Handsome, yes, but proud, selfish, resentful, perhaps cruel. She treated me with justice, and I could not forgive her. There, that's a warning for you. He stares out with bitterness, perhaps even resentment. Here your father stayed, when he made his ill-fated journey to the castle. The Beast told you this, on your first visit.

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On the wall, as a curio, hangs an open shackle -- sign of the only person ever to have escaped the power of this place. On the contrary-- but that remains a puzzle. You reacquaint yourself with its appearance: A curious object, a broken shackle. Nowhere else in the castle are there any chains or ropes or devices of torture; there has never been a need for such physical coercion A tapestry recalls the story. Still here at the center of the room is the stool you and the Beast used, the time he tried to teach you to dance -- not a great success, but more effective than the experiment with stilts.

He's not upstairs, then: there's nowhere in these rooms he could have been hiding, no space large enough to conceal him. He must have gone into one of the more The state rooms, or the crypt. One of the places he knows you hate to visit alone. This does not bode well for his state of mind. Will he be angry? It has been a long time since he was truly angry at you But you cannot deal with that until you find him. An ordinary three-legged stool, like the one your cat at home liked to sleep on. Until there's a breeze through here, you won't be able to stand being in the place.

Private Parlor A sitting room of the family, in old times, and familiar territory to you now as well. Nearby an open heavy door leads north. Somewhere there must be a ringer summoning him, protecting the State Rooms. You have never known the Beast to put up guards before. It has always been enough for him to guard the rooms himself. You seem to want to talk to someone, but I can't see whom. You lift the helmet from your head, and the sudden quiet feels like going deaf. 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.

You step forward and look down into the room below, but it is too dark to see much. You can also make out your own steady breathing. Windchimes ring, muted, from the northeast, competing with an irregular dripping from the southwest. Windchimes ring, melodious, from the west. Windchimes ring, loud, from the north. Rose Garden Only one kind of rose grows here, a pink only just distinct from white. This strain creeps over the ground and climbs the walls of the cloister.

In the middle of the garden a way slopes into the ground, reminding you of the entrance to a burial mound. Strung up by a chain is a set of iron windchimes. You get off the stool. You can also see a stool here. Cloister Walk A pleasant cloister overlooking the rose garden to the north. You have walked it many times, seeking to waste the excesses of time at your disposal.

It is only a turning point in the corridor, with a bench. On the stone bench are some discarded embroidery materials. Not in bad condition, either. My sister liked to make stories with hers. What do young ladies do now? We live in the country. I'm more or less a milkmaid, these days. You reacquaint yourself with its appearance: The little that is already done is old-fashioned blackwork, like your grandmother's mother might have stitched.

But you know this only from explanation, because the mirrors and glasses have been broken or carried away to the Crystal Bedroom, when they ceased to reflect anything that gave pleasure to their master.

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Nearby a small door leads west to the treasure room. A small key hangs beside the door. The key is of the sort of delicate design intended to unlock more than one thing. The small key unlocks the small door. Nearby an open small door leads east to the scrying room.

Nearby an open small door leads west to the treasure room.

Luke Cage Poisoned - Defenders #2

You leave them alone, though you could hardly do yourself any greater harm than has already been done. Walk's End Lucrezia, they say, died here. When they are entirely still, they fade from your grip and vanish. You can see a stool here. 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. Inlaid in the floor is the map of all the lands that once this palace commanded; and from the stains and driblets of wax, it is clear to you that someone at some time thought it useful to set a candle at the map's center, and observe the result.

There is writing around the map's edge, not legible in this light. A hole in the floor descends to the other, less savory portion of this place. You can see a great contract book here. You caught him staring at you once. I'll look up a seamstress in the contract book for you. So for everyone's sanity it would be best if you went about fully clothed. But your gowns were all replaced. A whole Sahara has poured into its lower chamber, but the trickle from above continues, very fine. Around the outside of this contraption ascends a wooden staircase.

Nearby an ivory door leads southwest. And here Beast lies, sprawled on the ground as if he'd fallen. And yet here he is, looking very nearly dead. He will need to be given food before he will properly revive -- and who knows what else It baffles you to find him in this condition, when he could easily have gotten whatever he needed in the kitchen. Nearby a heavy door leads east.

Gallery of Still Life Natural light from the south -- coming in from the courtyard, you suppose, though you are too short to see out -- illuminates a series of still life paintings on the north wall: one showing the Wedding Treasure when Lucrezia arrived from Medici-Credenza, the other rather fancifully entitled Supper with M. Nearby an open heavy door leads east. With both doors open, a breeze begins to blow through the smelly area. Anything you wanted to look up, you should be able to discover easily. However, if you want to find anything specific here, you're going to have to look it up by name.

Then down to the lower bulb. Then east to the state rotunda. Then south to the central courtyard. Then south to the entrance hall. Then east to the scarlet gallery. And finally east to the gallery of historical paintings. Gallery of Historical Paintings Here on the north wall and the south are paintings of historical events from times past: the assassination of King Elzibad in ; the arrival of Princess Lucrezia from the Italian State of Medici-Credenza in Then west to the entrance hall.

Then west to the great dining hall. Then north to the law library. Then north to the lower bulb. Then up to the upper bulb. And finally west to the records room. Records Room Where all the papers and histories are kept, not only for the royal family, but for kin in every kind and direction. 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? The King retired to this castle, overjoyed with his success, but the Devil flew away laughing. Nearby an open heavy door leads west to the gallery of still life. Placed where it will have the most light on the board for the longest time is a mechanical chessplayer. Whatever move it contemplates has yet to occur. The Beast brought it out for you to play against, when other entertainment palled. You lost consistently until he came and roared at it; and afterwards began to win. The suspicion that it was throwing games made you a bit reluctant to make use of it, in the end.

The mechanical chessplayer is currently switched off. There are bells large and small, clappers, tambourines, and gongs. Most of these you have never seen used at all. Roses from the garden below have crept up to grow around the north window, lending a sickly smell to the place. Nearby an open heavy door leads south to the private parlor. Catching your eye among many other unfamiliar itemsare some iron windchimes, a little gold dinner bell, and a silver bell. Each chime is engraved with the staring eyes and exaggerated nostrils of a spirit warrior. It is the dinner summons, and particularly familiar to you.

It bears the stamp of a lamplighter. Nearby an open heavy door leads north to the bellroom. This Website does not target people below the age of By visiting this Website. You hereby warrant that you are 16 years of age or older or are visiting the Website under parental supervision. Though we make every effort to preserve user privacy, we may need to disclose personal information when required by law wherein we have a good-faith belief that such action is necessary to comply with a current judicial proceeding, a court order or legal process served on any of our sites. Whenever we change our privacy policy, we will post those changes to this Privacy Policy page, and other places we deem appropriate, so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it.

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