Slouching Towards Bedlam — 75 of 76

Star C. Foster and Daniel Ravipinto

Release 2

Section 4(d) - Basement

The description of the basement is "A dim, cavernous room - it must run the length of the building above - overrun with dampness and the choking smell of smoke. Its rough-carved rock walls are lined with all manner of aetheric and analytical devices in varying states of disrepair - most melted to slag. Steam pipes crawl over the walls and machines like spider webs, disappearing upwards into the ceiling, into the darkness. Where broken, they leak steam and drip water into growing pools upon the floor.[paragraph break][if the basement door is open]The bottom of a staircase is visible to the south.[otherwise]A closed metal door leads south."

The cypheric pedestal is in the Basement. "The center of the chamber is dominated by a low, round pedestal." The cypheric pedestal is fixed in place. The description of the cypheric pedestal is "A low stone pedestal, about waist high. In its shattered center of smooth, smoked glass, the faint shape of a tree can be made.[paragraph break]Carved about the surface of it are the words: 'NOTHING WILL BE RESTRAINED FROM THEM WHICH THEY HAVE IMAGINED'." The analysis of the cypheric pedestal is "CAT:NONLIVING.PE[line break]DESTAL.UTIL:UNKN[line break]OWN.PART:?QUOTAT[line break]ION=REFERENCE.FO[line break]UND.BIBLE/TORAH-[line break]GENESIS-11:6-CON[line break]STRUCTION.OF.THE[line break]TOWER.OF.BABEL.."

[Hack: Why must it be "the damagd book is enclosed by the player" rather than "the damaged book is IN the player"?]

A damaged book is in the Basement. "A large, damaged book lies on the ground, slowly sinking into a pool of water." The description of the damaged book is "[if the damaged book is not handled]Lying open and face down, the book is badly damaged. [end if]The heavy, brown leather cover has been largely darkened to near black from water damage, and black scorch marks fan like a sunburst from the book's spine to the outer edges. On the front cover, a tree with ten branches. The design is composed of hundreds of gold-leaf 1s and 0s rather than lines.[if the damaged book is enclosed by the player][paragraph break]The pages stick in large clumps. Even when turned carefully, they pull out easily, reverting to a sticky pulp. Those pages that do keep their place are difficult to read. The dark green ink has run, the text melting towards the bottom of the page. Only snatches of text are still legible:[paragraph break]'...the ATBASH of the Hebrews, the Scytale of the Greeks, Caesar's cypher; long have they been used to maintain the secrets of Magical Rites, clandestine endeavors and Political Intrigue. But these are ciphers created by men who believed in myths, for the benefit of men believing in myths. The Initiated Mind recognizes that information is more than just words on a page, it is secreted in the world around us; the great Symmetry of Nature demonstrates that all Life is encoded. Unlocking this Code is our Duty and Right as Humans, made Masters by God, to Understand the...'[paragraph break]'...itself, Mysticism should not be discounted. We understand that Myths and Legends are often the misguided interpretation of the uninitiated to understand the Great Truths. Particular insight may be found in the Vedas, the Scriptures, and the sacred teachings of the Hebrews, whose Qabbalah reflect our own search for Life's Origin. It is from the Qabbalah that we take our insignia, the Tree of Life. It is unknown...'[paragraph break]' advances in Technology, we are able to analyze and decipher these hidden codes with greater speed and alacrity...'" Instead of opening the damaged book when the damaged book is not in the player, say "To open the book would require holding it first." After taking the damaged book for the first time, say "The book closes with a dull thud as it is lifted. The strong smell of mildew fills the air." Instead of opening the damaged book, try examining the damaged book.

The ruined machineries are scenery in the Basement. The description of the ruined machineries is "Intricate, huge devices, with an overwhelming number of switches, dials, and displays. But everywhere there are the signs of disaster; cases rent into pieces, displays broken and misaligned, knobs split in two, switches missing, and long rolls of paper tape piled loosely on the floor." Understand "walls", "aetheric", "analytical", "machines", "machinery", "dials", "switches", "displays" as the ruined machineries. Instead of doing something other than examining to the ruined machineries, say "Useless. There is no power and it is unlikely any of the devices would work at all in their current condition."

The pipes are scenery in the Basement. The description of the pipes is "Many of the pipes are in danger of collapse, trickles of steam eating away at the walls and floor." Understand "ceiling", "steam", "water", "pools", "floor" as the pipes. Instead of doing something other than examining to the pipes, say "Best to leave that alone."

The rotten paper tapes are scenery in the Basement. The description of the rotten paper tapes is "Damp and wet and on the verge of collapse. Their imprinting is universally smudged and unreadable." Understand "tape" as the rotten paper tapes. Instead of doing something other than examining to the rotten paper tapes, say "They disintegrate at a touch."