19th Mar 2020, 7:57 PM
Look at the brochure

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Look at the brochure
Kate takes the house key from your hand as your opposite hand retrieves the brochure from your pocket.

You stare at it. The brochure.

Kate's already halfway to the chest when she stops and turns around. "...What's up?"

You shake your head. "I don't know."

You slowly

open

the brochure.


. . .


"...This brochure Temperance gave us is outdated as shit," you mutter.

Kate tumbles through the air laughing. "Seriously?"

"Does Ninelives have a fairgrounds?"

Kate flies up to gaze into the brochure with you. "Holy fuck. I mean, it did when I was a kid? Geez, none of these places are still around. This brochure's a straight up time capsule. ...Hold up."

Kate drifts a little closer.

She taps the corner of the brochure with her... uh...

you're not sure she has fingers, per se

(which means you're also not sure how she grabs things, but you have greater concerns at the moment)

someone has handwritten a word in the inside corner of the (very outdated) brochure.

"Somniplan," you read aloud. "...Are those magic words? What am I looking at?"

"Sounds like a drug," Kate remarks with a smirk.

"Ask your doctor about Somniplan," you say in a proper commercial voice.

Otherwise, the brochure just seems to be a... brochure. A very old brochure.

You fold it back up and shove it in your pocket.

Kate resumes floating toward the chest.

She begins to insert your key--

"Wait."

Kate turns, and stares at you.

You stare back.

The rational part of your brain says the treasure chest could be trapped, or a mimic, or... anything.

Some ...

Some other part of your brain feels confident that it isn't, though, and you're not sure where that part of your brain is coming from.

"Think it's trapped?," Kate asks.

"No," you reply... suspiciously.

Why a no?

Have you been here before?

It's not... deja vu.

It's something else.

You squint at the chest.

It feels like...



pounding.


Like pounding at the walls.



"...If this place has an intelligent design--and I believe it does," you begin, "then the chest nearest to my spawn point should be safe. It's basic game design--it's training the player. ...Either it's not trapped or most of my theories about this place go right out the window."

Kate grins. "What if the designer's just a massive asshole, and made every chest a trap?"

You shake your head. "Even then. Logically, the maximum dick move would be to make every chest except this one dangerous, lulling me into a false sense of security and causing me to anticipate future good chests that will never arrive. The hope will be sparked, only for it to get dashed over, and over, and over. If the first chest in the 'game' is trapped then I would just immediately know that's how it works and all the fuckery is gone. The most anti-player move possible is a single safe chest, right at the start. The most player accommodating play would also be... a safe chest near the beginning. Either way, if I'm right about this place being an intentional gauntlet instead of a real, natural location--"

Kate pffts at you. "You've thought about this. Sounds about right though--exactly one fun chest is the most sadistic way they could do this, if there IS a they doing this."

You can only shrug in response. "I obsess way too much about game design. ...And I think there's definitely a they somewhere. I don't know all the rules yet, but the dream has rules which means someone had to make rules."



The feeling of something beating at the walls begins to fade.

You watch as Kate inserts the key.

You hold your breath

as she turns it.

The chest clicks

and the key disappears.

. . .

Kate lifts the lid with both hands.

"Plaire," she says,

"I'm not going to believe this," you whisper.

"...What?"

You shake your head. "Something fucking weird has happened in this room and I have no idea what it is. What's in the chest?"

"Oh, uh--" Kate takes a quick glance into the opened treasure chest. ...A glance that turns into a lengthy stare, then a bewildered squint. "...There's a sword in here. Plaire, there's like... a whole-ass sword in here."

You're surprised, but--

somehow, you're more surprised as you glance through the southmost door, into the next hallway. Countless chains hang from the ceiling, some dangling loose, some wrapped up in each other. Some are strung from one part of the ceiling to another. Near either end of the hall, you can... faintly make shapes out through the bars. Big, bulbous... shapes wrapped up in chains, similar to the chain cocoon you saw near the end of the second night.

For whatever reason, you really thought there would be something different in the hall ahead. You don't know what else you expected, if not huge chain cocoons.

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19th Mar 2020, 8:07 PM
Uh-oh, that doesn't look too good. In fact, I think having an existential crisis inside of a dream-torture dimension is about as bad as it gets. Welp, you know what they say... when you get to rock bottom, grab a pickaxe and keep going.
19th Mar 2020, 8:12 PM
Xylas_Incarnum
.... aloud and in order:
Truth to what? Can't answer questions that haven't been spoken.
Plaire Stevens. I have an ID card and everything.
What plan? been winging it since day 1, just wanted a home after getting thrown out of my last one
I also want to know that
The fuck's a capital C "Choir"? [Ah, that's us in the peanut gallery. right. keep forgetting that.]

^Edit for accuracy according to Plaire's vocabulary but that's the basics.
Probably throw in a bit more about how Plaire only bought the house because it was what she could afford and has no fucking clue what is going on and wants to know.
19th Mar 2020, 8:23 PM
The Choir is us! We're the Choir :D
19th Mar 2020, 8:40 PM
Snervalton
Or maybe the spooky house is the choir? Or an amplifying device for the voices of a choir, and the choir is Plaire's various video game powers, items and friends she can bring with her into the dream? And the dream is a place outside the narrative of real life and that's why Plaire can get killed there and not die in real life?
19th Mar 2020, 9:17 PM
19th Mar 2020, 9:34 PM
+1
and if plair is able to see the narrative is she able to see said peanut gallery right now 0.0
19th Mar 2020, 9:46 PM
Limrix
+1, how about you shut up and start making sense? This is messed up seven ways to Tuesday and this is coming from the gal who is currently in her awful nightmare house's dream dungeon. Who are you and what do you want? What is this place? The veil between what and what? Why do you say things like they're supposed to make ANY sense? Ok, sloppy I can agree with, but what are we guilty of? Is this about the thing with not having enough demonshells? Because that was totally an accident, I swear.
20th Mar 2020, 12:03 AM
Anotherdamntimeclone
Yeah replying truthfully seems a good plan here.
20th Mar 2020, 7:36 AM
pkrankow
+1 to sticking to the truth as best we know it. Admit if we don't know. Try to formulate intelligent questions like this brochure is an educated person.
20th Mar 2020, 12:12 PM
19th Mar 2020, 8:13 PM
We're Plaire. We plan to have a house that doesn't give us hell nightmares. We don't know, a triangle? We don't even know what that is.

We don't have the information to understand the narrative, and thus, we do not have the information to answer the narrative. Frankly, if it really wants answers so badly, it could stand to be a little less condescending about it.

It seems to think we're some negative actor with ill intentions, but in reality, we're just a little thing, trying to find our way in the world, is that such an affront? Is it such an affront to want to understand what's going on?
19th Mar 2020, 8:15 PM
We are here because we got stuck with a cursed item that's too valuable to throw away. We are an amateur far out of her league, who doesn't want to be here but *doesn't know how to leave*. We don't have answers to any of your questions because we *don't goddamn know*.


... Does that about sum it up?
19th Mar 2020, 8:16 PM
undeadDreamer
1.A young geek from a small town who bought a house for cheap and is now getting nightmares.
2.We're just trying to figure out what this fortress is. I guess the answer is answers.
3.No idea.
4.She doesn't even know we exist yet. She has no clue where she got access to a choir.
19th Mar 2020, 8:16 PM
... Plain admit that we don't know jack and that whoever's hacking the narrative should buzz off.
Also, drop the brochure if we can?
19th Mar 2020, 8:25 PM
No, at this point, this brochure needs someone to tell it off for being so damn presumptuous! Try to get it to apologize for being so rude when it doesn't even understand the situation before we consider dropping the brochure.
20th Mar 2020, 5:38 AM
Heroshima
+1. sass that brochure.
19th Mar 2020, 8:17 PM
Mochi
answer truthfully. your name is plaire, you bought this house because it was cheap, and you have no idea what is going on.
19th Mar 2020, 8:54 PM
Snervalton
+1 to just answering truthfully. Plaire does not even have enough of an idea what's going on to know what kind of lies or omissions would be to her advantage.
20th Mar 2020, 5:38 AM
19th Mar 2020, 8:22 PM
Oh hallo, it's the Library! Only the Library would talk (write) like that. The Library seems to be under some misapprehensions and is angry at us because of them, so let's clear that up.

We're Plaire, we bought this house, and we apparently inherited all its problems from the previous owner(s). You, whoever you are, obviously seem to be confused about what we personally have been involved with. You have no right to take that tone with us because you don't even *know* what we've done-- which is to be *forced* into this place without our consent, by the way.

We've only come here in order to try to discover what the hell is going on and *fix* it, which, by the way, should NOT have been our responsibility, so we would very much appreciate if you would be a little bit less aggressive about it. We'll leave as soon as we're done learning and/or fixing, so if you want us to leave, then it would behoove you to tell us as much as you know about this place and how to get it to stop trying to kill us. And if that's not good enough, then take your issues up with the people who *actually* did this.

Edit: Also, from us here in the Choir, hallo Library! Long time no see! Remember a certain nurse? Some of us moved in from HER choir! This is our new friend. She doesn't know she's our new friend. Please go easy on her.
19th Mar 2020, 9:52 PM
Frission
Yus, be nice to Friend Plaire, please! <3 Friend Mine would want that. :D
20th Mar 2020, 8:18 AM
-1 to mentioning anything about libraries or nurses. We have enough on our hands with the current set of libraries.
19th Mar 2020, 8:25 PM
Break the Brochure figure out what about it is making Plaire forget it and what is trying to get information out of her and break that damn thing then see what else is on the brochure
19th Mar 2020, 8:32 PM
-1. Generally, "figure out how the thing works/what the thing actually does" should happen BEFORE "break the thing."

It seems rude to break the vessel (trigger? prompt?) of an entity when we're in the middle of a conversation with it. Also counterproductive, because this entity may have *some* answers at least, or at least hints to the right questions to ask; and breaking off the conversation prematurely wouldn't be useful at all.
19th Mar 2020, 9:12 PM
why did you assume it was an entity?
19th Mar 2020, 11:18 PM
Because it's talking to us. Things that talk are generally entities of some variety-- "entity" just means "some kind of person-ish thing."
19th Mar 2020, 8:25 PM
Break the Brochure figure out what about it is making Plaire forget it and what is trying to get information out of her and break that damn thing then see what else is on the brochure
19th Mar 2020, 8:37 PM
Snervalton
Interesting! So the brochure is a device that lets Plaire read the narrative of her own story? And there's a presence in that narrative? We shouldn't try to break the brochure yet, this thing that's talking to us has way too much info to give us(if we can get it out of them that is).
19th Mar 2020, 8:42 PM
Don't answer nothing, rip and tear the brochure.
19th Mar 2020, 8:51 PM
soooooo Burnante the fucker? (got I hope I got the meme right)
19th Mar 2020, 9:15 PM
Hari_Seldon
-1 to breaking the brochure. It's already threatening us don't piss it off.
19th Mar 2020, 9:16 PM
Hello, stranger! Please back off, we're as confused as you are. How about this - you answer a question for every question we answer? To sweeten the pot, if we don't understand a question you can ask a new one.
19th Mar 2020, 10:09 PM
Snervalton
+1 to exchanging a question for a question
19th Mar 2020, 11:18 PM
+1, a good exchange
19th Mar 2020, 9:26 PM
Hahahaaa ha ha ha !
I love everything about this. Morgenstern, you rule.

So.
1- did we buy the house of leaves ? Get some measuring tapes and make sure the house is not getting bigger on the inside, no staircases appearing, etc.
2- we got some answers, but Plaire certainly has none. Unless the Choir can make her know stuff.

I advise honesty.
Explain our situation to whatever's questioning us, to the best of our limited ability : whoever did whatever this is long gone. The so-called "ritual" is bound to the house's owner, and though it's gained a reputation there's all of one person we know of that might have an idea of what's going on, and she's not talking (I don't even think she actually knows but could be wrong).
Plaire is simply the latest in a string of owners who get in over their head and run away as fast as they can. She just happens to be just the right mix of stubborn, desperate, curious and tired of running. She wants to figure things out.
She had no idea what she was getting into and I suspect would be okay if it ended, like, asap.
Because hey, if this thing is bothering whoever's on the end of the line : perfect. Tell us how to cut the connection or whatever.
More likely : we can work together. Seems like our interlocutor is as curious as Plaire herself about this weird anomaly we found ourselves in. It has context and knowledge, we have boots on the ground.

If it's not willing to talk, well, we can always just toss the brochure and continue to fumble our way through this nightmare without guidance.
I'm sure it'll be fine.
Think we sloppy now ? Heh. Cute.
19th Mar 2020, 9:31 PM
Macheman7
> Operate second controller
Kate, burn the brochure. I know Plaire is still holding it, but do it. Burn the brochure, knock it away, something.
Help Plaire.
If none of that works, then Plaire, fight back. You can beat this. We'll help you.
19th Mar 2020, 9:49 PM
Hari_Seldon
-1 trade our truthful answers for questions to it about what is going on. Then honestly say we are an amateur we never did magic (not even the Ouija board) and don't know anything. But don't say too much like we did with the mayor or we might get stonewalled again.
19th Mar 2020, 9:47 PM
Hari_Seldon
I agree with what Twyll said on the Discord: "Being too polite can actually be more dangerous when it comes to many entities. Being firm and confident is a must in astral shenanigans."

So I think we should not just roll over and ask to trade our truthful answers for questions about what is going on.
19th Mar 2020, 10:09 PM
so be firm but respect full. don't want to piss it off as you said in a replay to my post. (and no thats not a complaint just a reference)
19th Mar 2020, 10:12 PM
19th Mar 2020, 11:44 PM
Lunar Waffles
oh, yes, not right away, but that should be the end goal, no?
19th Mar 2020, 9:53 PM
Limrix
Where's Grizwald when you need him? Dang fourth wall repairmen, always sneaking out to the related works of other media.
20th Mar 2020, 3:52 AM
Even being that good doesn't let him reach everywhere...
19th Mar 2020, 10:06 PM
Okay, so, if we're the choir, can the choir gently but firmly make this entity back off a few steps and give Plaire some breathing room?

With the force of our combined choir will, if that is a thing.
19th Mar 2020, 10:25 PM
19th Mar 2020, 10:28 PM
Limrix
+1, I'm down to make this thing step off.
19th Mar 2020, 10:27 PM
Hari_Seldon
+1 to that experiment, but we have to think about how to not cause escalation (don't piss it off).
19th Mar 2020, 10:31 PM
+1 to focusing our collective choir will, but maybe think of it more as a shield and less as a push? Not that there's much difference, our new acquaintance here is way into our personal space anyhow.
19th Mar 2020, 10:48 PM
20th Mar 2020, 1:26 AM
Yeah, let's go full schizophrenia round.
20th Mar 2020, 5:39 AM
20th Mar 2020, 2:59 PM
19th Mar 2020, 10:47 PM
Hm, should we, the Choir, that is, the voices in Plaire's head, try to communicate directly with this entity instead of communicating through Plaire since she doesn't even really know about us? It can apparently take control of the narrative, and the comment section is just beneath that, so it doesn't seem too far fetched that it might be able to read our comments.

You know what, I'm going to try it.

Hey, Brochure Entity! Please stop bothering our protagonist! We care about her and none of this is her fault!
19th Mar 2020, 11:46 PM
Lunar Waffles
talking directly to someone that isn't our tether isn't always the best idea
20th Mar 2020, 2:04 AM
Snervalton
Ermagerd! We, the commenters, are the choir? I never would have thought of that! That's fuggin' amazing and brilliant!
19th Mar 2020, 11:51 PM
Something about this is oddly familiar, but in such a way that there's no reason to believe Plaire should find it familiar
unless
she wasn't always Plaire.
20th Mar 2020, 1:00 AM
I think the passing through the veil is going to sleep. The ritual was by the librarians. The nightmare is the fortress. And the brochure is the Choir/demonshell. I think the entity is probably a spiritual safeguard against whatever the ritual was trying to summon and if the brochure is a Choir, it could be amplifying it's voice. (Librarians probably tried to bypass it with the nightmare/fortress and died)
20th Mar 2020, 2:47 AM
20th Mar 2020, 3:06 AM
YetAnother
Always planning ahead, always scheming, it's all you, huh, Rill? Or maybe Temperance? Yes, it'd be much more fitting for such a meticulous planner as you to be a secretary. A secretary, the epitome of organising things, who fails to even comprehend the concept ofrushing in without any plan or even any knowledge. You said "sloppy". Has it ever crossed your midd that those who let this fortress fall into our hands was just that, sloppy? That they made a mistake, that they failed to account for some conditions, that they did't make contigency plans for some random occurence? The furure is not determined. If it was, there wouldn't be much point making plans, don't you agree? We stubled upon this fortress (by the way, thank you by letting us know what it is) by pure chance. So... Let us drop all this pretentious nonsense and far-fetched assumptions. We can work together common goals, provided you stop this spooky bullcrap festival and communicate properly. Thank you.
20th Mar 2020, 3:51 AM
+1 to previous ideas of Choiring up to help Plaire deal with this.

However, if the situation doesn't improve it's time to drop a pill or two.
20th Mar 2020, 4:08 AM
TGWMoC
Don't give away any information yet!

Ok, a little. Be polite, but bold. Explain that you've been caught up in something, and didn't intend to do any of the things that have clearly offended whoever this is, but make it clear you don't appreciate the incorrect assumption that you (Plair) are the one in the wrong here.

If the Eldrich being in the room would like to be civil about this, you'll probably be willing to work with them to arrive at answers to their questions, but first, they'll need to start over and stop being so accusatory.

There are other people who want what's here, who you expect won't be so cooperative, and if something happens to you, or you decide to leave for good before getting this whole thing settled, at least one of them will be able to move it. The fact that you're ok is what's keeping them at bay. And even if they don't pose a threat to whatever you are, they'll be more annoying that you (Plair) are.


(Sorry for using second person for both parties...)
20th Mar 2020, 2:27 PM
+1. Information is our only leverage here. at the very least get agreement for a fair exchange of information.
20th Mar 2020, 7:41 AM
Snervalton
+1 to Plaire saying she's the only thing holding more aggressive parties at bay, give the entity a reason to let her continue her explorations
20th Mar 2020, 8:21 AM
Unrelated to the current chaos, and trying not to be too creepy, but... did Plaire's boobs get bigger? Because if she gets the most well-known power from the videogame she last played, well...
20th Mar 2020, 11:52 AM
Destroy the brochure. NOW. We must never let her gain access to the dream ever again. We tried being at least a bit cordial, but worming into our mind is something we cannot allow.
20th Mar 2020, 2:02 PM
WE NEED AN EXCORSIST RITUAL IN HERE! Actually we might be able to do that if we can figure out how.
20th Mar 2020, 2:57 PM
I'm going to throw in my hat to don't destroy the brochure; just yet. The brochure is being (antagonistically) inquisitive, not actively malevolent. Until it starts making real threats, we should see where this is going.

I also feel I need to mention that we're in the dream, destroying the brochure here would only be a temporary measure.
20th Mar 2020, 3:15 PM
Hari_Seldon
+1 don't destroy the brochure. The brochure no longer has spooky letters (see the journal URL). Maybe it is too late to destroy the brochure and whatever was inside is now somewhere else.

mda.thecomicseries.com/journal
What the brochure used to look like:
cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/642961004191547408/687434203251605645/unknown.png
1st May 2020, 1:26 AM
1st May 2020, 1:31 PM
https://youtu.be/dv13gl0a-FA
3rd May 2020, 5:40 PM
https://youtu.be/z_KmNZNT5xw
1st May 2020, 2:59 PM
Reality as I remember it is a lie.
5th May 2020, 3:10 PM
Plaire looks stacked from this angle.