Chapter 2: Signs of Life

» Investigate. And retrieve whip, if possible.

You head back to the light room. No sign of the creature nor your whip. The mirror is completely smashed, though you still remember what it said, and the vault thing on the floor remains as perplexing as ever. The string is still inexplicably tied to the ladder.

» Become intrigued by the smashed mirror, peer inside.

You look inside the mirror, though you can’t fit in. There is a vast expanse of darkness – what you can see appears to be… organic.

» I’m curious as to what is in the can…

You shake the can. There is something loose inside, but no tab or anything to open it with.

» Smash the can open with the hammer on the anvil to retrieve the prize!

WONK! You clumsily bash the can open with the hammer, not really worried about a smooth hit. A key pops out; you take it.

» Turn the handles on the sink in the order that was on the mirror. One rotation hot, two cold, one hot, one cold, one hot.

The handles don’t rotate more than 90 degrees, but you try turning them inwards on and off to signify one entry in the string. Nothing happens. Perhaps the letters corresponded to something else?

» Use key on vending machine.

The key fits perfectly.

There is a button. You press it without any prompting.

FOOM! The lights finally go up, centered on the vault.

» Hmm… maybe the vault handle? Say H is counterclockwise and C is clockwise.

You twist the wheel in full rotations back and forth, equating the hot-cold code with CCW and CW, as the same directions the corresponding sink handles turned. There are a few clicks, and the vault slowly moves.

There is a hole in the floor! Light now shines down into the dark room below.

» Peer into the vault, if you cannot see the bottom then drop the can and listen for depth.

You can see the floor, though it’s too far to jump down.

» Go downstairs into the dark room we were in before.

You enter the formerly dark room.

» Climb down to the floor, examine skeleton for possible treasure!

The skeleton is holding a key in his left hand. It is firmly clenched, though you can wrestle it out.

You notice its right leg is twisted in an odd way and its right arm is dislocated. This is a bit disconcerting. Your adventuring nerves must still be shaken from the encounter with the eyemonsterthing.

» Press the button!

You press the button and the door opens up. That was easy!

» Examine the wires, too.

The wires look just like the ones in the above light room. They run from the ceiling into the wall.

» Chug sufficient whiskey to deaden pain and fear response, save remainder in bucket, then break bottle to use as weapon.

The bucket is no good for convenient carrying, nor would that be hygenic, but you have yourself a good swig of Glen Avon and feel a lot better. AH YEAH. BURNS SO GOOD.

» Grab the skull to reenact the “Alas, poor Yorick” scene from Hamlet. Then add the skull to your inventory, it’s a nice lucky charm.

You don’t know what a Yorick is but you spend a little bit of time monkeying around with the skull.

What’s that Mr. Skully? Little Billy fell down the waterhole?
I’m sure we’ll get him out fine; let’s not lose our heads about this! Ohohoho!
Arf arf!

You don’t really know what sounds a skull is supposed to make but barking seemed to work pretty well.

» Find a damn weapon! Maybe a bone from the skell if nothing else.

You further desecrate the skeleton by repurposing its legbone. I guess he’ll have to rest in pieces.

» Remark that door looks like a fanged mouth.

A little bit, yeah. But your whisky-ed senses are thoroughly unconcerned.

» Go through the doorway.

You step over a weird device and into a room with a strange machine in it.

» A note! Read the note!

It appears to be the bottom half of the last paper found. Once again, it’s signed by Les.

» Open the hatch on the machine.

You pop open the hatch. A computer console is built into it. An author somewhere realizes he is going to have to draw a character from behind one of these days.

» Put the two notes together!

Mysteriously they do not visually match up perfectly. Internally, you cite glaring art inconsistencies. However, recalling the previous note, you can match up the full text of both:

How the hell do these things keep getting in?? I have sealed every room but they keep getting in shit shit. I am going to try to get to the generator and shut it all down. We are going to have to be more cautious in the future. They may not be intelligent, but their affinity for violence was under-appreciated. -Les

» Push the button.

You push the button; nothing happens.

» Stick the lightning coin in the slot on the machine to the right, then… pull the lever!

You stick the lightning coin in the slot; but it falls out the bottom immediately. You pull the lever, and the machine whirrs to life. The computer must have been running on backup power, having already been turned on.

You stick the coin into the machine again now that everything is powered up, and it stays there.

» Push the button again!

You push the button again; this time a powerful shock zaps the medallion.

It falls out, apparently charged up. You take it.

» Now put it in the left most of the three indentations we found earlier.

This time it begins to glow and crackle, and a loud CLICK is heard somewhere behind the wall. Nothing else appears to happen, but you suppose you’re done with this for now.

» Go check out the ladder in the room behind the cabinet. If it’s still blocked off, fiddle with the dials on the machine.

The ladder remains in place. Looks like you’re going to have to deal with the lock itself, not just the power.

You try fiddling with the dials. Most don’t do anything, but one turns the weird machine in the doorway to flame. Weird. You turn it off, spooked.

» Investigate the computer.

It has three functions and a really old-school interface. Looks like your commands are LOGIN, HELP, or OPERATIONS.

» Climb up the chimney!

You leave the generator room and travel back to the smithy, but there is no soot in the chimney. This leaves the weird question of how or why it burned in the first place. You are pretty sure you can shimmy up, though.

You seem to be… outside? You made it! But you’re still stuck in some sort of miniature canyon. Light shines down from above; you can’t see where you are from here though.

There is a big pit with some pipes and a drain in it. There seems to be an object jammed in one of them. There are also some circular stones lying on the pit floor. A tree has grown out from the cliff face, and a bird sits happily in its nest. Across the pit there is a mossy wall, a ladder, and a cave entrance.

» Turn the powered wall-gizmo in the fireplace room to low, examine any changes.

You flick the dial to LO. You hear the sound of water running through pipes, but no changes are evident, nor does the marker on the display slide.

» Can we turn the remainder of the whiskey into a molotov?

Probably! You are not looking forwards to wasting the last of that brew but if a need arises you would accept your duty.

» Jump into the expanse formerly known as mirror.

You can’t fit through the hole!

» Turn the dial to high.

You climb down the chimney and first turn the dial to “med.” The needle moves halfway up the display, and you hear water rushing behind the wall.

There is a noticeable change to the room.

You turn the dial all the way up to “hi.” Nothing happens – perhaps the clogged pipe is interfering.

» Go back to computer room, type ‘help.’


It seems someone has programmed in a message for Les.

You are faced with a short riddle.

» Enter ‘MOUNTAIN.’

You enter “mountain.”

It works! You are given a password and username.

You enter “login.”

All right, access granted!

Let’s see what this computer does…


» Stare out the circular window, check the hatch atop the ladder and climb the chimney to see if anything interesting happened.

The hatch remains sealed. However, you take a look out the window…

It’s all dark, and the stones are gone. You decide to head up the chimney and take a look.

The water has filled up, and the circular stones seem to have… floated?… up to the surface.

» Mayhaps there are vines that could be scaled…

There are! They are across the spring, but only seem to go upwards.

» Check if the hatch atop the ladders is open.

It is!

» Fill the spring again and try to jump to the floating stones to reach the other side.

You hop across the stones easily while the bird chirps at you. They do not wobble nor marginally sink at all.

You climb the moss and find yourself… whoa.

You are standing at the edge of a massive cliff. The ‘canyon’ you were in was hardly a canyon at all – merely an indentation in the surface of this giant, flat-topped plateau you are on. The landscape stretches out almost as far as you can see, then sharply dropping down. Leaning over the edge, you see the rock face sharply jut down, into a bed of clouds.

You are not in a complex underground cave system at all. You are on a mountain.

Far ahead of you is a fork in the faint road, marked by a inuksuk standing atop a small boulder.

» Approach and examine the inuksuk.

It seems it was very carefully constructed, to serve as a marker between this mossy rock face and the left and right paths. You pick up and examine each stone, but there is nothing out of the ordinary about it. You make sure to keep it together so you don’t get lost yourself.

» Go left.

You go left, and arrive at a rather decrepit cabin.

» Examine the thing under window.

They are poorly drawn cellar doors with a lock chaining them shut. Your ‘skeleton key’ doesn’t work on it.

» Enter.

Oh my! A very well-to-do gentleman is here.

» Inquire of him his name, his business, and if he has any comestibles.

You ask him this. He says a true gentleman introduces himself before he asks them questions.

» Sheepishly inform him that currently your name has been misplaced, but that the name “Adventure Guy” should suffice for now.

He says fine then, “Gentleman” will suffice for himself. He says he is pleased to meet you.

» Shake him by the hand, as according a true gentleman’s behavior, and endeavor to discover more of the nature of this strange place.

He accepts your proffered hand and shakes it. He says he does not know much about this place. He found this cabin while looking around.

You proceed to engage in discourse with the gentleman.

» Remark about the fascinating inconsistencies of local construction and the poor quality of that one floorboard. “I say, it does look most hazardous!”

He agrees. He says this cabin used to be in much better shape.

» Offer the gentleman a drink.

He politely declines. He is not thirsty.

» Politely ask the “gentleman” if he would mind us searching this place for clues as to where we are.

He says go ahead.

» Ask the Gentleman for clues on what mountain this is.

He says he’s hardly a geology professor.

» Ask Gentleman how he did end up on this mountain.

He has always been on this mountain.

» Ask Gentleman if he knows anything about the complex we came from.

Some people used to live there. They are gone now.

» Ask Gentleman if he knows something about P.A.Les

He says he used to know Les, but doesn’t offer anything further.

» Ask Gentleman if he has any supplies to help you on your adventure, or is willing to trade for items.

He doesn’t have anything on him.

» Ask Gentleman what is he looking around for, maybe you can help.

He would be quite pleased to acquire a monocle.

» Ask Gentleman if you can look in his cellar.

He says go ahead, it’s not his cellar.

» Ask if he needs any help himself, and apologize for asking so many questions but explained that you are very unfamiliar with the area.

He says he does not require your help at this time.

» Attempt to get catch Gentleman within a lie, so you can discover more truths about this individual.

The gentleman is responding as shortly and tidily to your lines of inquiry as possible, but you don’t have any reason to doubt what he’s saying.

The gentleman leaves.

» Loot the barrel!

You examine the inside of the barrel. Where its bottom should be, it continues down, far further than the floor.

» Look under the barrel.

The barrel does not (and possibly cannot) move from its location on the floor.

» Loot the floorboard, then.

The floorboard does not budge! You’ll need something to pry it up with.

» Take the broken glass.

What, and cut up your hands? No thank you.

» Attempt to follow the gentleman.

You step outside, but Gentleman is nowhere to be seen.

» Drop an unimportant object into the barrel.

You chuck a rock down into the barrel.

After a moment you hear a “WHUDD” as it hits something. It’s not too-too far down, though you can’t see exactly what you’re dropping stuff into or onto.

» Pry the board with the bone.

The bone is rather rounded. There isn’t much of a gap to pry from, only a tiny crack. The bone won’t be going in there.

» Before heading back, try to break of one of those.. cross-thingies inside the window, and try to pry the board with it.

You easily snap one of the crossboards loose (one without glass fragments still stuck to it).

It proves quite inadequate at prying the large floorboard, however. You throw the silly thing away.

» Try to smash the lock off the cellar door with the bone!

The lock is made of metal, and the bone just whacks away harmlessly.

» Look behind the shack.

A clever idea! However, nothing is there. The shack is four walls, a doorway, and a broken window. And a mysterious barrel chute.

» Let’s head back into the other direction.

Giving up for now, you head back to the crossroads and head down the right path this time.

You find yourself at a rather sizeable stone circle.

» Explore the stone circle.

You wander around the stone circle. From what you can gather, you are at the top of the mountain. The stones are all somewhat shoddily carved of the same perfect white stone, and have no indentations or engravings of any sort. You cannot figure out why this circle has been put here, nor why its creators chose to leave all the stones completely absent of any kind of marking. Even the center of the circle is absent of mystic markings– it’s just plain old dry dirt.

It begins to rain.

» Play the music box.

You take out the odd music box and, on a whim, play it. Immediately the rain picks up severely, winds now buffeting you. You can hear tension in the air building. The swirling vortex crackles.

You are blown off your feet.

The storm abruptly ends.

» Examine where the lightning hit…

There is no sign of a lightning bolt having ever struck this arch, though you look quite thoroughly. The white stone doesn’t have a mark on it.

» Walk back, take one of your rocks and try to knock the nest down.

Leaving the mountaintop behind, you head back into the canyon to cause a ruckus.

You prep your lobbin’ arm. All right little birdie, time to leave the nest!

Hey– Wait, no– Bird, you were supposed to–

Oh no!!

» Jump in and try to save him!

You hastily dive into the water despite your crippling inability to swim.


You splashily retrieve the bird and egg from the water and pull yourself onto shore. The bird is dead– few things can take a rock larger than themselves to the head. The egg, however, is unfractured. You take both with you. Perhaps you will find a fitting burial ground for your late companion.

» Try to swim to that underwater cave we saw earlier and get a look at what’s in there.

You won’t even consider it. You almost drowned in that water!

» Let’s go to the room where the monster was and climb up that ladder.
» …and take the string back on the way.

You head up to the room above the ladder, taking the string with you.

The room is divided in two with a thick glass wall. On the opposite side you can see some kind of wall-cabinet, a box, a chart, a doorway, and a floor panel. There is an identical panel on this side of the glass, as well as a toolbox… on the far side of the angry dog chained to the floor. Near the dog is some kind of skeleton teeth thing and some tentacle-y strands. There is also a weird bubble thing protruding from the center of the floor.

» Give the dog a bone.

You cautiously hold the bone out in one hand and another up in deference as you slowly approach. The dog barks at you, but you press forwards.

It sniffs the bone, and then nabs it, quite pleased with itself. It seems to like you now. Aren’t you so good with animals!

Well, when you’re not arbitrarily killing them, that is.

» Back away slowly onto the floor plate behind us.

You step on the floor plate. It depresses, but nothing else seems to happen.

You step off it and it releases again.

» Investigate the interior of the toolbox.

A crowbar! How incredibly convenient!

» Examine the tentacle-y thing.

You pick it up. It appears to be two sets of very sharp teeth held together with a thin chain of spine-like bones. The tentacles are loosely attached to the spine-thing.

» Get in the room downstairs, grab the bucket, fill it with water at the sink, get the bucket up here and place it on the floor plate.

You drag the bucket up the ladder with great difficulty and plop it on the plate. It does not depress.

» Pet the dog nicely.

You pat him on the head. Awwwwwhesocuuute.

» Bring the dog out.

Dogs can’t climb ladders! But you untie him anyhow. You wonder how he got here in the first place.

» Grab the crowbar and return to the shack where we met the gentleman.
» Use the crowbar on the floor panel that is sticking up.

You trek all the way back to re-attack your foe. Have at you!

The floorboard refuses to come all the way up, but there’s enough space to reach under and…

Huzzah! You got the smelly key!

» Smell at key

You smell at key. It smells terrible! Like burnt rubber.

» Try the key on the lock outside the shack.

Let’s try this sucker out.

Success! With your adventuring skills you can do anything.


» No lever is ever in the correct position. Flip both.

The first one slides down quite neatly. There is a ker-clunk from somewhere deeper in the cave.

The second one is too hot to touch! Yeowch!!!

» Look at that wire construct.

Ow ow fuck it’s hot too ow what the hell!

You do get a pretty good look at the thing, though. A grid-like wall of straight metal wires, with weird curved metal strips in three places. There is a bit of space above and below each metal strip thing.

» Look at that pipe.

It appears to be where the barrel drops down to. It leads to the next room. You can’t see where exactly it goes to, nor can you see the rock, but you can see a bit of light on the other side.

» Attempt to use the eyedol to flip the switch without burning yourself. If that does not work, search your inventory for something that could work and try that.

You’re not willing to singe the eyedol, but you nudge the switch up with the tip of your whisky bottle. For some reason you start to feel a burn on your hand, but it fades when you remove the contact point.

The metal sheets loosen and unwind. You are pretty sure that doesn’t help you at all.

» Beat the wires aside with the crowbar.

You start to peel one of the wires away, then– Ow! What the hell? Everything you touch to these wires ends up burning you! This isn’t how heat works!

This room sucks. It may be time to go back.

» Push the other lever back up, THEN check the heat of the wires.

No luck – you hear a lot of clunking from somewhere else in the cave, but the wires remain hot. The heated switch remains searing as well.

» Let’s head back to the glass panel room and do the other stuff.

You trek back across the mountaintop.

» Shatter the glass with the crowbar!


It’s some kind of plexiglass crap. You’re reminded of the vending machine’s glass. What is it with building random access-blocking constructs out of unbreakable materials?? This is stupid!

» After failing to beat through the glass with the crowbar, look through the dome!

The dome is totally opaque! And made of… you’re not sure exactly. It’s not anything you’re immediately familiar with.

» Put the dog in the bucket. Put the tentacle thing on there too. Put the toolbox on it if it still doesn’t go down.

The dog isn’t here. There is a weird new door in the wall, though. You investigate.

…How quaint?

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