The Let's Play Archive


by Grimwit

Part 35: Day Two- Page 35

There's nothing like getting ready for a trip into the wilderness to keep you busy.
For that reason alone, I'm updating late.

Now, let's finish off Day 2.

insanityv2 posted:

It's clear that he wants the amulet but can we go back to the bar, buy more booze, and try to get him to pass out?

Miranda wants a free key.

Holy crap, I never even thought of this. Let's DO EET!

Town Square
Whateley Bridge
Narrow Street

Local Pub

Mill workers and fishermen occupy a few of the tables, drinking beer or puffing grimly at long-stemmed pipes. Each is wrapped in his solitude, soaking up the general miasma of dreary fatalism.

"Barkeep! I need Whiskey and lots of it!"

>buy drink
Regrettably impossible; you left both your purse and your wallet in the car. You're loving this town more every minute.


No Gravitas posted:

Can we try to Buy a second amulet?

To the Magic Shop!

Narrow Street
Twisting Lane
Hidden Court
A silvery bell jingles as you open the door.

The Cauldron

On the display case is a violin.

The proprietor watches you quietly from behind the display case.

"Shopkeep, I need Amulets and lots of them!"

>buy another amulet
Regrettably impossible; you left both your purse and your wallet in the car. You're loving this town more every minute.


[Fast Forward to Vacant Lot]

Vacant Lot

The old man looks up at you with fawning admiration.

You can also see a flask (which is empty) here.

Zoe posted:

Give him the amulet, it never hurts to help.

>give amulet to bum

"Thank you kindly, Miss, you're a generous one, so you are," grins the old man as he closes his grimy fingers around the charm. "And here y'are," he says, tossing you the copper key. "I'll pray it does you good."

The old man staggers to his feet. "I'll be gettin' on, then," he says. "If I can make away before nightfall, p'raps I'll be out of their reach before the maggots come out." He wraps the leather thong around his hand and closes the charm in his fist.

He turns to you one last time. "Don't let them find you," he says earnestly. "Get out while you can. If you stay, they'll track you down eventually. It's the blood. He can smell it, so he can. And he always returns to his blood."

He shambles off, up the riverwalk toward Town Square, his shadow dragging long behind him. Looking to the sky, you realize that the sun is nearly set; you've been talking to the old man for much longer than you thought, and it will be dark soon.

Your score has just gone up by five points.

Miranda will miss that amulet.

Sorry, Ghostwood, I forgot to ask about Michael Carter and the Key, but I think we both know what he would have said.

You are wearing a silver locket, your trenchcoat, your clothes and your wedding ring; in addition, you have in your hand a small copper key.

The pockets of your trenchcoat contain an animal's skull, The Compleat Manual of Wardes and Seales, a puzzle box (which is open but empty), a strange black disk, a strange metal flute, a keyring, on which are three keys (an old-fashioned iron key, a key to the house and a key to the cellar), a styrofoam cup, a newspaper, a family album, your umbrella, a torn journal, a book of matches with six matches left, a flashlight (providing light), a lantern, a bundle of soggy pages, a towel, a jewelry box (which is closed), a typewritten notice and an old tin (which is closed).

Also, Miranda just realized her flashlight has been on this entire time.

Ghostwoods posted:

She should unlock the mill hatch and go exploring down there.

It could work. There are other places with locks, but few the could be described by Dr. Hobo as "Holes."

[Fast Forward to Bare Foundations]

Bare Foundations

Set into the base of the mill wall, nearly covered by the thickets, is a metal hatch.

>unlock hatch with copper key
That doesn't seem to fit the lock.

Shoot. There's really only one other place Dr. Hobo could have meant.

>put copper key on keyring
The small copper key is now on the keyring.

[Fast Forward to Riverwalk]


A flurry of dead leaves goes skittering along the ground, swirling past you in the wind.

You pass through the gate and down the stone steps, which curve northwest as they lead down to the edge of the river.

Under the Bridge

A small metal door, blotchy with rust, is set into the south bank of the river, underneath the bridge.

>unlock door
(first taking the keyring)
You go through all the keys on your keyring, trying each one in turn, and after several false attempts you discover that the small copper key fits the lock.
You unlock the small metal door.

Aw Yis. Mutherfuck'n Sewer Level.

(opening the small metal door first)

Access Shaft
This tiny, concrete-lined alcove within the underside of the bridge forms the top of a vertical shaft leading down into darkness. Iron rungs embedded in the wall provide a way down.

In the north wall is a small metal door.

>look at shaft
You needn't worry about that.

>look at rungs
It's an ordinary wooden ladder.

Are Wooden ladders ordinary anymore? Seems like they're all made of aluminum or something, now.


Sewer Tunnel
The tunnel is ankle-deep in brackish water, though raised walkways on either side provide relatively dry footing. The walls are slick, the air damp and foul. The main tunnel runs north and southeast. Numerous smaller pipelines lead in all directions, but all are too small for you to crawl through. Iron rungs embedded in the wall lead up through an access shaft, back to the surface.


Dripping Tunnel
The ceiling in this north-south tunnel is so low you must bend nearly double to navigate it. Water drips endlessly through the walls and ceiling, seeping in through thousands of invisible fissures, the constant plip-plip-plipping echoing loudly throughout the tunnel. The air is so damp you can hardly breathe. Unless your sense of direction is mistaken, you must be crossing the Miskaton River -- underneath it.

>look at water
The water is dark, brackish brown, and utterly foul. An oily sheen covers its surface, and occasionally small lumps float by -- lumps of what, you'd rather not guess.

Must be water from the Blasted Heath Reservoir. Not a good sign.


Broken Tunnel
This looks to be an older part of the sewer system that has fallen into disrepair. Many of the pipes here have crumbled and are filled with debris.

Set in the low ceiling is an old iron hatch.

>look at hatch
It's a rectangle of corroded metal, just over a foot long on each side. There are hinges along one edge on this side; if you could get your fingers under the opposite edge, you could probably pry it open.

>open hatch
You dig your fingers under the edge and tug, but the hinges are rusted nearly solid. You can't make it budge.

>look at hinges
It's a rectangle of corroded metal, just over a foot long on each side. There are hinges along one edge on this side; if you could get your fingers under the opposite edge, you could probably pry it open.

Weird that the game would give the same messege for clearly two different parts, but oh well.
Honestly, this is starting to look like a dead end. Maybe later we can figure this out.
Miranda still has another day.

You can't go that way.

You can't go that way.

You can't go that way.

On an interesting note, this has got to be the only room that doesn't list its exits. We can figure that South is the only one left.


Dripping Tunnel


Sewer Tunnel


Vaulted Tunnel
The walls of this long, rectangular chamber are made of crumbling brick, not concrete; most likely it was built at some earlier period than the rest of the tunnels. The ceiling is lost in darkness above you, but from the sounds of the echoes it must be pretty high. Water flowing in from the northwestern tunnel has pooled in a depression sunk into the limestone floor, becoming quite deep near the far end.

This room discusts me.
As a kid, I explored a fair share of storm sewers, nothing gross, but these kinds of rooms always stunk. Now THIS is meant to be a septic sewer, so I don't even want to imagine the stench.

>look at floor
You see nothing special at your feet.

>look at depression
The sewer water has filled a depression in the limestone floor. It's probably five to six feet deep at the far end.
Nope! Not searching it! You can't make Miranda do it.
I won't type it. So much nope.

Sewer Tunnel
Access Shaft

In the north wall is a small metal door.


Under the Bridge

A small metal door, blotchy with rust, is set into the south bank of the river, underneath the bridge.

It's late, and Miranda wants her hubby now.
After such a surreal day, who wouldn't want cuddle time?

>close door
You close the small metal door.

A gust of wind blows your hair into your face.

Chilly Avenue
The ground begins to rise sharply as the road climbs up into the hills south of town.
Scenic View

Outside the House

The Verlac mansion looms before you, casting an air of menace over the clearing.

(opening the front door first)


The front door stands open to the south.

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

You call out to let Michael know you're home, but no one answers. The house is still, hushed; an eery prickling walks up your back like centipede legs. Michael isn't here, you realize. The house is empty. You are alone.

"Michael? I want cuddle time! Michael? Hello?"

Well, that's disturbing.

>close door
You close the front door.

Burzmali posted:

No rush, but Adventuring 101, in any dark room that is not immediately adjacent the entrance of a dark area and that contains a puzzle, if possible, check the room with your light off. In other words, return to the basement and switch off the flashlight in the room with the wine bottles.

Might as well.

Dining Room

>look at door
It's just an ordinary-looking back door.

>lock door
You lock the back door.


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

You descend the gloomy steps into the dank cellar.
One largish bundle of wires leads down to a rusty old fuse cabinet bolted to the far wall.


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.

>turn off flashlight
You switch the flashlight off.

It is now pitch dark in here!


It is pitch dark, and you can't see a thing.

Time passes.

You stumble in the dark, smacking your head painfully against a wall.

Right, that's enough of that.

>turn on flashlight
The flashlight emits a warm yellow beam.

Wine Cellar
This wing of the cellar is even older than the rest, with walls of piled, unmortared stone. The entire room is filled with wine racks. They cover every wall except for one spot to the west, where an exit leads back to the main 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.

Maybe Michael has left a note in his writing room?

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

>close door
You close the cellar door.

Back Hall
Upstairs Landing
Upstairs Hall

A rickety wooden ladder stands here, descending from a three-foot by three-foot square of darkness in the ceiling.

>close ladder
With a shriek of rusted springs, the ladder snaps back up into the attic. The trap door slams shut, the cord swings back and forth briefly, and then all is still.

A tidy house is a happy house.


A beautiful pair of mahogany sliding doors stand closed to the east.

(opening the sliding doors first)

This smaller room adjoining the library seems comfortable enough, although it is dusty and cluttered from having not been lived in for the better part of a year. Aside from the desk and the chair and the empty shelves, the only real feature of the room is the large, ornate fireplace in the southern wall.

A beautiful pair of mahogany sliding doors lead west, to the library.

Michael's laptop sits in the middle of the desk, humming quietly to itself. Also on the desk is a letter opener.

He's not here and there's no obvious sign left by him.

>look at letter opener
It's a rather ornate thing, with a silver hilt and a slim, sharp tip.


>take opener

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

>look at laptop
A top-of-the-line model: it's sleek, lightweight and very fast, a real status symbol for the writer who wants to look as though he might stop whatever he's doing at the drop of a hat and suddenly hack out a bestseller. While you have yet to witness Michael do this, he really had been wanting one since before the two of you even met; so, to celebrate his new teaching position, you splurged and bought him one.

The laptop is currently switched on.

Maybe he left a note on his lappy?

>read laptop
The computer is in screen-saver mode: blank except for a single window requesting a 4-digit user passcode. Odd; you didn't think Michael ever used the passcode utility.

>look at desk
It's an ordinary writing desk with a small drawer, which is closed.

>open drawer
You open the drawer, revealing the Cryptical Haermoniacon.

Haermo-what now? Is that even a real word? Firefox underlines it like it's misspelled.

>look at cryptical
The leather covers are worn and cracked; the metal corner fittings tarnished; the pages yellow and brittle. Inscribed on the title page are the words Cryptical Haermoniacon: Manual of the Atonal Servitors beneath what you presume must be the same words written in some strange, vaguely Arabic-looking alphabet.

>take cryptical

>read cryptical
The greater portion of the book is written in an incomprehensible, flowing cipher; however, the margins in several pages are glossed in English. The book appears to contain instructions for traveling to somewhere called "the Domain of Nehilim", and for worshipping or perhaps summoning an entity that dwells there: He Who Is Named Not; nor may that Name be taught among His followers; that Name which may be learned only by gazing upon His Terrible Countenance...

The only specific details involve a ritual used to open a one-way portal into the Womb of Nehilim, allowing the magician to enter or possibly throw some hapless soul into its chaotic, blasphemous depths. The ritual seems to have something to do with music, and requires the magician to "Attune ye Pillars to ye Resonant Haermonicae", whatever that means.

The rest, by only the barest contrast, is nothing but pure raving.

>put cryptical in coat
You slip the Cryptical Haermoniacon into the pocket of your trenchcoat.

>close drawer
You close the drawer.

I'm sure that will never come up again.
Now, about this password...

>type 2501
(on the laptop)
The computer beeps at you. "ACCESS DENIED". Frustrated, you wonder what Michael could have set his password to. An important date, maybe?

>remember marriage
You pause momentarily, lost in thought.


>look at ring
Staring at your wedding ring like that tends to make you sentimental.

Shoot. I was hoping that would give a clue or something. Moving on.

>look at fireplace
The fireplace is carved from beautiful, dark-veined marble, a strange shade that is not quite a deep, forest green and not quite a murky, dusky red. The mantelpiece is flanked by a pair of polished brass spheres.

Those... Spheres look familiar.

>look at spheres
You see the room behind you in distorted miniature, and your own face swelling and stretching comically as you peer into the sphere's reflective surface.

Looking closely, you notice some smudges on the otherwise immaculately polished brass.

Hmmm... We've already established the Verlac Manor has secrets in the walls. Why not the fireplace, too?

>pull sphere
It doesn't budge.

>push sphere
It doesn't budge.

Maybe something else we can do.
Either way, Miranda is tired. She can always come back to this later.

>close doors
You close the sliding doors.
Upstairs Hall
Upstairs Landing
Master Bedroom

>look in mirror
You look good, considering you're covered in grimy ash. A bit rattled by recent events, perhaps, but well-poised and collected, all the same.

Oof. Miranda looks a mess.

>drop coat
(first taking the trenchcoat off)
You take off the trenchcoat.



>take bath
Grateful for the opportunity to relax, you remove your clothes, leave your things on the bathroom floor, draw a hot bath (the water, at least, is running, even if nothing else in the house is) and soak. The tension of this strange day melts gently from your body. After thirty minutes or so, you begin to feel normal again. After forty-five, you begin to think you might be able to adjust to this place after all. By then the water has begun to cool off, however, so you drain it and quietly dry yourself off. All in all, you feel enormously better.

No bonus points this time.
Still, it's a nice little ritual, and I'm not sure it's necessary, either. I read somewhere that you can sleep without bathing in this game if you avoid getting dirty.


Master Bedroom

Your trenchcoat is here.

>get into bed
Gratefully, you crawl into bed and pull the covers up to your chin.

You lie awake for what seems like hours, listening to the house creak and settle around you and wondering where your husband is. You try to convince yourself that he merely went for a walk and lost track of the time, as he is so often wont to do. In any case, with no telephone and no car, there is little you can do besides hope that he will turn up in the morning. With your worried thoughts chasing themselves endlessly around your mind, you eventually drift off into an uneasy sleep...

Down the road and through the woods, where the whippoorwills call their lunatic's song, you are running. The sky boils and thunders overhead. The red-rimmed eyes glare down at you. When you look up at them, they merge together, melting into a single, baleful orb -- a swollen, bloody moon.

You must escape. You veer off the road, tripping over an old, rotted stump, pushing aside a twisted sapling. Vines and brambles tear at your clothes. Rocks cut your feet. But still you must run, until you suddenly burst out of the underbrush, into a tangled, moonlit clearing.

An ancient, flagstone well stands amidst the weeds in the clearing's center, and you are drawn to it. Something is moving inside, scratching at the stones down in that circle of blackness, and for some reason all you can think is the basement, Michael is in the basement, and he's doing something bad...

Heart hammering, you lean over the crumbling lip. Your hair slips from your shoulders, dangling tantalizingly close to the well's opening...

... the whippoorwills reach a crescendo...

Your eyes adjust to the dark and you see --

-- you see the most horrible thing --

I'll be back Thursday or Friday to start Day Three.
You guys Enjoy yourselves.