The Let's Play Archive


by Grimwit

Part 23: Day Two- Page 23

Heads up. This update is the game's INFO-DUMP FROM HELL!
Once Miranda gets to the sitting room, you may want to fast forward to the next update. (Assuming you're catching up with the LP)
I'll warn you again when we get there.

Ghostwoods posted:

Of course, I can't help feeling it might have been worth trying to burn the spiderweb with a lit match. But hey, what do I know? Drunk spiders can be real assholes.

I tried this on my test game and it just gives that "Pyromania isn't the answer" response. Miranda doesn't want to waste the matches yet.

Thesaya posted:

So, if Miranda wasn't dead, I'm sure she would have used the broom to sweep away the spiderweb.

This we can do.

>Put shoebox in coat
You don't have a lid for the box. If you put it in your pocket the clippings will just fall out and get lost.

Beh. Looks like something new for the china cabinet.

>sweep web with broom
With a single sweep of the broom, you clear the spider web away.

>get key
(the old-fashioned iron key)
You pick up the old-fashioned iron key. It's an old key, the kind with a round barrel about a quarter-inch in diameter and flat, square teeth.

Your score has just gone up by one point.

>put key on keyring
(the old-fashioned iron key on the keyring)
The old-fashioned iron key is now on the keyring.

pkfan2004 posted:

shove a metal implement into the fusebox
(do not do this)

Don't do what?

pkfan2004 posted:

shove a metal implement into the fusebox

Shove something metal into the fuse box. Got it.



One largish bundle of wires leads down to a rusty old fuse cabinet bolted to the far wall.

>take umbrella

>shove umbrella into fusebox
I only understood you as far as wanting to shove the umbrella.

>attack wires with umbrella
That won't help you get the lights back on.

>put umbrella in coat
You slip the umbrella into the pocket of your trenchcoat.

>pull wires
That won't help you get the lights back on.

>lick wires
That's not a verb I recognise.

Well... I tried.

Old Grey Guy posted:

^ This. And she would have tried to move the wine rack, too.

That actually sounds like a good idea.
Maybe the one that jiggles a little is a secret passage or something.


Wine Cellar

All of the racks are dust-covered and empty except for one against the north wall, which contains some forty or fifty dark bottles.

>push rack
The wine racks won't budge.

>pull rack
That would accomplish very little.




One largish bundle of wires leads down to a rusty old fuse cabinet bolted to the far wall.

You know what I forgot to do? Look at the fuses.

>look at cabinet
It's an ancient, clunky metal box, about the size of a kid's lunchbox. There's some sort of lettering on the cover, but it's too corroded to read.

>open cover
(the family album)
The book contains portraits and brief biographies (although, strangely, no birth or death dates) on some two hundred members of the Verlac clan, from the central family figures to the distant second cousins. If you want to read about someone in here, you'll have to look them up by name.

Ugh! Game! You're killing me!

>open fusebox
It takes some grumbling and some tugging and finally a good, sharp yank, but the cabinet finally pops open.

>look in fusebox
There's about two dozen fuses lined up in there, the old-fashioned kind that look like round, glass plugs. Every last one of them is blown.

>put tongue in fusebox
You can't see any such thing.

Moving on to this shoebox, now.

Gratefully, you leave the clammy confines of the cellar behind.


The cellar door stands open, revealing dark stairs leading down.

>turn off flashlight
You switch the flashlight off.
Dining Room

>put broom in cabinet
You put the broom into the china cupboard.

>look in cabinet
In the china cupboard are a broom and a styrofoam cup.

Miranda's treasure are growing.


Your luggage is still here, spread out all over the foyer.

A cold, noiseless draft coils through the narrow entrance hall. You shiver, wondering where it came from.

Sitting Room


The portrait gazes down at you with crimson-edged malice.

>Read clippings

Unlike most IF games, Anchorhead is one of those that has a menu system in certain places.
This is once of those places.
So, instead of just giving you a huge pile of objects, it shows up like this:

Let's start with Arkham Herald, Aug 12, 1956


The Church of Celestial Wisdom
in Anchorhead, Massachusetts was
shut down and its congregation
disbanded yesterday after its
pastor, the Rev. Mordecai Verlac,
70, was accused of distributing
Communist propaganda to his pari-
shioners. Authorities in Arkham
were informed by an anonymous call
two days earlier.
"The caller told us that the
Reverend was 'preaching not from
the Good Book, but from a terrible
book,' and that he had been warn-
ing them about some kind of
'invasion' or 'great event' that
would be happening soon," said
Sgt. Biedermeyer of the Arkham
Police Department. "It smelled Red
to me, so I made the decision to
call our HUAC representative up in
The raid commenced shortly
after morning services began at
8:00 am, in order to confiscate
printed material and catch any
possible accomplices before they
could hide or destroy evidence. No
officers who participated in the
raid were available for comment,
although one man coming out of the
building afterwards was allegedly
overheard saying that it was "the
worst thing he'd ever seen."
The Church of Celestial Wisdom
was founded in 1860 by Rev. Ver-
lac's grandfather, the notorious
orator and painter Elijah Verlac.
The building, which is considered
by many to be a historical land-
(continued on A12)

[Please press SPACE.]

Sitting Room

Two new members of the Verlac clan we didn't know about.

>take album

>look up Elijah in Album
The entry reads:

Elijah Verlac
Traveled to Europe in 1824 to study painting and to research the Verlac genealogy; returned to Anchorhead in 1832; entered the seminary at Arkham College in 1834; ordained in 1844; began construction of the Church of Celestial Wisdom in Anchorhead in 1860; accused of Confederate sympathies in 1862; retired from the clergy and devoted life to painting in 1873.

On of the earliest photographic portraits in the album, it depicts a man in his sixties, at least. His face is deeply scored by time, his skin mottled with liver spots, his long, gray hair swept back from a high, bony forehead. This man resembles the portrait in the sitting room more than any of the others, for he has practically the same eyes -- the raw, bloodshot madness staring out from hollow caves in his skull.

You note one other interesting detail: he appears to have an extra digit, a sixth finger, on his right hand.

>look up Mordecai in Album
The entry reads:

Mordecai Verlac
Currently residing in Anchorhead; attended seminary at Arkham College in 1906; ordained in 1912; re-established the Church of Celestial Wisdom in 1920; rebuilt the Miskaton River Mill in 1922.

The photograph depicts a man who has returned to his Puritan roots: dressed in spartan black, hair clipped in an archaic tonsure, clutching a Bible in his lap as he glares stoically at the camera. This is the kind of man who would whip his children for laughing on Sunday. His eyes still carry the Verlac madness, burning with single-minded righteousness.

Creepy stuff. Going back to the clippings...

>read clippings

Printed Notice

(mimeographed page, dated February 10, 1959)

Any information regarding the whereabouts of Daryl Beasley, age 9, should be reported immediately to the Anchorhead police. Daryl was last seen by his mother after she dropped him off at the Route 20 bus stop, just north of Old Mill Town Road, at 8:30 am three days ago. He was not there when the bus made its scheduled stop at 8:36 am.

Daryl is 4'10" tall, of slight build, with brown hair and brown eyes. At the time of his disappearance, he was wearing brown corduroy pants, blue sneakers, and a white, short-sleeved button-down shirt.

If you have seen Daryl Beasley, or if you know anything about his disappearance, please call 555-4362.

[Please press SPACE.]

London Times, Mar 3, 1918


The infamous mystic Aleister
Crowley purchased a painting at an
auction at Sotheby's for 1000
pounds sterling on Monday without
so much as glancing at it. The
painting, entitled "The Legacy",
is by the late American Elijah
Verlac, and was sold along with
numerous other pieces by a
representative of the Verlac
Crowley reportedly strode into
the auction room wearing full
ceremonial robes and immediately
bid 1000£ -- well over twice the
going bid. He ordered it wrapped
and transported immediately to his
home. It is not known whether
Crowley had ever seen the painting
before arriving at the auction.
"I've never seen anything like
it," said Sir Walton Radcliffe,
Esq., presiding auctioneer for the
Verlac exhibit, "but I suppose one
might expect such behavior from a
person who calls himself, 'The
Great Beast'."
Mordecai Verlac, Elijah's
grandson and executor of the
Verlac estate, was not present at
the auction. Crowley has stated
that he has never met Mordecai
Verlac and has no desire to. "I
encountered Verlac in a former
life," he is reported as saying,
"and I would not do so again for
all the kingdoms in Hades. He has
gone where I dare not."
Elijah Verlac is known by art
historians more for his grotesque
(continued on A25)

[Please press SPACE.]

Crumpled Flyer

(crumpled flyer showing a blurry snapshot of a young girl with short, curly hair)

Tara Luffington
last seen: March 25, 1982
age at disappearance: 6
age today: 10
hair: red
eyes: green
last wearing: green t-shirt, white tennis shoes, blue overalls with a button that reads: "I love cats"
Any information, please call 555-4362."

[Please press SPACE.]


Friends and Family will grieve the
who died on October 28, 1956 at
the age of 46, of complications
following a massive aneurism.
Howard was a loving husband and a
devoted public servant. Services
will be held this Saturday at the
Good Earth Funeral Home, 9:00 am.

[Please press SPACE.]

Arkham Herald Jun 22, 1973


The bones of what police
believe to be a small child were
discovered yesterday by pic-
nickers in the woods near Birch
Road, just south of Anchorhead.
Police have drawn no conclusions
as yet, but there is a strong
suspicion that the bones may be
the remains of Christopher Till-
worth, who disappeared near that
area two weeks ago.
Sgt. Ronald Franklin of the
Arkham police was not optimistic.
"We have contacted the boy's
mother, and are trying to prepare
her for the worst," he said. "No
one here wants to give up hope
prematurely, but the general
feeling here is, we've found the
The remains, which consisted of
a femur and partial skull, are
being shipped to a forensic lab in
Boston for further analysis.
Rumors that the bones displayed
teeth marks consistent with animal
bites are so far unsubstantiated.
Christopher, who would have
turned 7 on the 19th, is the fifth
child to disappear in the last
(continued on A10)

[Please press SPACE.]

Arkham Herald, Sep 19, 1958


Dr. Timothy Rebis, a respected
obstetrician at Arkham Sisters of
Mercy Hospital for the last 20
years, announced his retirement
yesterday to a stunned Board of
He gave no reason for his un-
expected decision.
"I am truly stunned," said
Bernard Talbot, Chairman of the
Board. "No one saw this coming. No
A source within the hospital
who wished to remain anonymous
ascribed the doctor's abrupt de-
parture to a nervous breakdown,
but this has not been confirmed
by any of Dr. Rebis' colleagues.
(continued on D5)

[Please press SPACE.]

Photostatic copy

(photostatic copy of a much older document; a notation at the bottom dates it at the end of the 18th century)

BE IT KNOWNE that, through the Generositie and Enterprise of the Hon. Goodman Heinrich Verlac, the Miskaton Valley Mille shall be Rebuilt, even upon the Ashes of the Olde which was Tragically Burnt; and

BE IT KNOWNE that, upon its Newe Christening, there shall Arise a Sore Need for Men of Able Bodie and Industrious Bent to Work therein; and

BE IT KNOWNE that the Hon. Goodman Heinrich Verlac is thereby holding a General Call for Employment, and any Honest Man of Working Age is Encouraged to Apply.

[Please press SPACE.]

Sitting Room

Heinrich, huh?
A new name in the Verlac clan. Let's see...

>look up Heinrich in Album
The entry reads:

Heinrich Verlac
Added cupola to the Verlac Estate in 1759; elected mayor of Anchorhead in 1765; rebuilt the Miskaton River Mill in 1770; led the battle of Quattac Bend in the Misquat Uprising of 1772; arrested as a Royalist sympathizer in 1777 but subsequently cleared of all charges; completed construction of the lighthouse in 1795.

The portrait is of Heinrich as an older man, in his late fifties, perhaps. The German ancestry shows through more clearly here, in the set of his jaw and the line of his forehead. The eyes burn with aggressive pride... and perhaps a little of the madness which stained the gaze of his ancestors as well.

>read clippings

Arkham Herald, Apr 9, 1935


Prominent anthropologist Dr.
Joseph Corbin's repeated attempts
to secure permission to set up an
archeological dig in nearby
Anchorhead came to an end yester-
day when he lost his suit against
the Rev. Mordecai Verlac. The case
has been pending for over six
The Rev. Verlac has strongly
disputed Corbin's right to dig in
the area, contending that the land
in question belongs to the
ancestral Verlac estate and is
therefore his private property.
Last week, Rev. Verlac's lawyers
presented conclusive evidence of
prior ownership, and the judge
quickly ruled in his favor.
Dr. Corbin, who is a protégé
and close personal friend of the
noted folklorist Dr. J. Arnsworth
Frazer, hoped to discover relics
of the little-known Misquat
Indian culture, which is believed
to have inhabited this area cen-
turies prior to European settle-
ment. Corbin called the decision
"a travesty".
Many expected scholars at near-
by Miskaton University to rally
behind Corbin's battle, but most
of the faculty have been strangely
(continued on D8)

[Please press SPACE.]

Arkham Herald, Jul 7, 1988


Arkham firefighters worked late
into the night yesterday, battling
a blaze that brought Anchorhead's
historic paper mill to the ground
despite their best efforts.
The mill, which provides jobs
for roughly two-thirds of the
town's population, caught fire
yesterday around 4:00 pm. Although
there have been rumors of an ex-
plosion, the exact cause of the
fire remains unknown.
Fire Inspector Donald Brown re-
mains puzzled. "There is evidence
of chemical burns that are incon-
sistent with the materials used in
paper manufacture," he told re-
porters. "There's metal fused with
metal in there... it's all messed
Interestingly, this is not the
first time the Anchorhead mill has
burned. The original mill was
built by Wilhelm Verlac in the
latter part of the 17th century,
and historical records indicate
that it burned down after only ten
years. The mill was rebuilt by
Wilhelm's grandson, Heinrich Ver-
lac, a few decades later. This
one lasted until shortly before
the Civil War -- and some still
hold that it was burned down by
Confederate sympathizers.
The current mill was rebuilt
in 1922 by Heinrich's great-great-
grandson, Rev. Mordecai Verlac.
Mordecai, in addition to being a
fiery preacher and outspoken Pro-
hibitionist, was quite wealthy and
owned numerous and widespread in-
vestments. At the age of 70, this
controversial figure was accused
(continued on A16)

[Please press SPACE.]

Sitting Room

And another name. Wilhelm, instead of William.

>look up Wilhelm in Album
The entry reads:

Wilhelm Verlac
Fled with mother Eustacia Verlac during the Witch Burnings of 1653; returned to Anchorhead in 1663; elected mayor of Anchorhead in 1690; built the Miskaton River Mill in 1695; began construction of the lighthouse in 1706.

The picture is a reproduction of a charcoal sketch, probably done when he was a younger man. The similarities to the portrait in the sitting room is evident, though: the patrician nose; the harsh, thin line of the mouth; the lean, wolfish jaw. It is the eyes, however, that carry the true family resemblance. Even in the rough, colorless strokes of charcoal, you can see that they are edged with the same raw madness that haunts the red-tinged gaze of the sitting room portrait.

There's a new name. Eustacia.
But first let's knock the last clipping out.

>read clippings


It is with great joy that Gwyneth
and Paul Ward announce the engage-
ment of their only daughter, JULIA
PHILLIP VERLAC. Edward is an
associate professor of history at
Miskaton University in Anchorhead,
Massachusetts; Julia plans to
attend medical school at Arkham
College. They plan a late June
wedding. We wish them good fortune
and long happiness in their union.

(The announcement is dated December 12, 1984, and is accompanied by a picture of the young couple. She has long, dark hair and a serious expression; he, although only in his twenties, is already starting to bald a little. You find yourself unable to tear your eyes away from his face for some time. It seems open and guileless, and he is clearly very happy. There is no hint there of the nightmare his world would one day become.)

[Please press SPACE.]

Sitting Room

Aw. That's sweet!
I'm sure they'll live a long and happy...


>look up Eustacia in album
The entry reads:

Eustacia Verlac
Born to Croseus Verlac; gave birth to one son, Wilhelm; fled Anchorhead during the Witch Burnings of 1653; remained in hiding in Arkham for 10 years, then returned with son in 1663; died 1686.

The woman in the portrait is strikingly beautiful, with jet black hair that hangs down past her shoulders like a shining, velvet curtain. There is some resemblance to the thin, cruel features of her father, but not the ragged, red-tinged madness about the eyes. Eustacia's eyes are not red at all; they are cold and deep and very dark.

So, the Verlac clan is a deeply American clan.
It's no wonder they have so many cousins and off shoot branches.
The way this read, tho, it sounds like Eustacia came out of her father's womb.

>look up Croseus in Album
The entry reads:

Croseus Verlac
Born the son of a provincial cabinet-maker in the Höllental Valley circa 1590; fled Germany in 1620 to avoid charges of heresy; came to the New World in 1622 on the ship Dawn Maiden; founded the town of Anchorhead in 1624; began construction of Verlac estate in 1625; signed the non-aggression pact with Chief Chuaquacqat of the Misquat tribe in 1631.

The picture is a full-page black-and-white reproduction of the portrait hanging in the sitting room. Underneath it, someone has scribbled in pencil:

his is our blood
he always returns to his blood

Woah. Founded Anchorhead?!?!


Next update, I'll be opening the safe, but then what?
Where does Miranda go from here, Goons?
LEave your suggestions in Bold.


In Trenchcoat