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The Witch's Epigraph, Chapter Two: The Helix and the Rose


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#141 Potok

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 05:28 PM

Or another WoS computer problem huh ? Them witches dont go well with IT :D At least i hope this is the reason.
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#142 WitchOfSecrets

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 07:43 PM

(I'm fixing some plot holes on a giant series of posts - sorry for the delay!)
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#143 WitchOfSecrets

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 03:19 AM

(It begins! Thank you for your patience!)

Posted Image


Veritas:

A Mystery of Locks and Keys


Our ad says, Judgment and Justice: Security Consultants. I’m Justice, security expert. My partner, Judgment, is a detective. Together, we unravel mysteries and basically make sure that masked phantom thieves doesn’t run off with the Mystic Jewels of Whatever. I guess you could think of me as a Watson to Judgment’s Holmes, or something like that. It’s not always an easy job… let me tell you about a particularly tricky case.


It happened – as this kind of case always ought to happen – in an isolated place. Keeps the suspect list limited. It was Castle Dauntless, a medieval stronghold high in the mountains of Freedonia, home of the Scarlet Idol of Veritas. They were holding a big shindig on Saturday night, and wanted us to check out their security and make sure nothing went wrong.

I think they’re going to want their money back.

*****


“In case you’re wondering,” said Ocean, “any sentence in that story that is in black – in short, the narration – is guaranteed to be literally true. It’s as good as Red Truth.”

“I’ll even confirm it in Red for you,” said THALASSA. “Just to be polite.”

Here, the narrator’s words are equivalent to Red Truth.


“And you shouldn’t need – nor rely upon - any outside information whatsoever:”

This mystery can be solved using solely the information provided by the narration and the characters within it. Truths discovered in this tale should not be assumed to hold anywhere else.


“Let us continue,” smiled THALASSA.

****


Judgment and I arrived at the Castle at noon on the day of the gala. The proprietor of the Castle, the Queen of Swords, was there to greet us as we got in. It was a drafty old place, but the chamber where the Idol was being kept seemed fairly secure – one door, one window two stories up, and a sturdy lock.

“Hmm. Some old castles have secret passages in ‘em,” I said.

“Yes… I’ve heard of escape tunnels and ‘priest holes,’” added my partner. “I hope we won’t have to worry about that.”

There aren’t any secret passages in Castle Dauntless,” replied the Queen, laughing. “And thank goodness for that. Can you imagine what the servants would get up to?”

“Speaking of the staff,” said Justice, “do you trust them? How many are there?”

There are seven, not including myself,” said the Queen. “Two of whom normally handle security, but who are willing to let you take command of that for tonight. I trust them all. None of the seven staff members would ever steal from the Castle, and none of them would ever knowingly assist someone in doing so. I’m afraid that I can’t say the same for the eight guests who will be arriving shortly…

****


“Time out,” said SHIN. “What’s this purple text all about?”

“The purple text is testimony,” said THALASSA. “The narrator’s words in black must be true, but the same can’t be said of testimony.”

“A thief,” explained Ocean, steepling her fingers, “is unlikely to always be forthright, no?”

SHIN sighed. “Idol’s gonna get stolen? What a surprise.”

THALASSA ignored this. “Allow me to confirm a few rules in red:”

When someone who is not a culprit makes a statement in purple, that statement is equivalent to Red Truth. Only a culprit can lie in purple!


A culprit is defined here as someone who stole the Idol or deliberately aided a culprit, with the intent of sharing the profits later.


There are fewer than four culprits.


The Detective is not a culprit.


****

Saturday, 12:44 PM.


Nine of Swords, one of the security staff, had given us the keys to our rooms on big iron keyrings, and we unpacked our bags. I was in the Firefly Room on the second floor. Judgment was in the Wagstaff Room, third floor. After we got unpacked, we met up in the Security room, a modified cell on the first floor, near the entrance, that’d been rigged full of electronics and video feeds. Inside, Nine of Swords and Ten of Swords were waiting.


“Hope y’all are getting settled in okay!” said Nine of Swords.

“Afternoon,” said Ten of Swords, the other security guard. “Very sorry I couldn’t meet you earlier; I was seeing to the alarms.

“Don’t worry. We’re comfortable,” said Judgment, shrugging and then changing the subject. “I noticed that these keyrings are rather old-fashioned. It’s hard to open or close them, isn’t it?”

“That’s right!” said Nine of Swords. “There's no way to put keys on or take them off without a unique wrench, which is in that key cabinet.” He pointed to a cabinet of keys behind him, and to a ring on his belt. “In there, we've got all the keys to this Castle, except the ones I’ve passed out already, and I’m the only one with a key to open it.

“I see,” said Judgment. “Ms. Ten, can you please tell us a little about the alarm system?”

We’ve got alarms on all the outside doors and on the glass case holding the Idol. They can be turned on or off from this panel here, using this key.” She held up her keyring and pointed to a nondescript steel key. “There aren’t any other keys or panels for the alarms. We’ve also got cameras in many of the rooms – none of the bedrooms, of course.” A row of monitors over her head displayed jittery live feeds of the room with the idol, the grand hall, the banquet hall, the entryway, the exit to the back garden, and the kitchen. All were hooked up to a bank of digital recorders.

“Good,” I said. “What else can you tell me about the security here?”

Every key opens only one door,” said Nine of Swords. “Except for two Master Keys, which opens any door but the Security Room and the Key Cabinet, the Outside Door Key, which opens all the outside doors, and of course the Alarm Key, which only turns the alarm on or off. I have one Master Key, and Queen of Swords has the other. Besides that, we try to make it so that people can only open the doors they need to open.” I nodded.

Since you’re taking over for us tonight,” said Ten of Swords, sounding a little relieved that she wouldn’t have to mess about with the stress of organizing security for a party, “We’d better give you our Alarm and Master Keys.

Grunting and nodding, Nine produced his keyring and unlocked the key cabinet. Inside, eight keyrings remained hanging in place, each labeled with a piece of white tape bearing a name. Next to them, a wrench hung. Taking the keyrings from Judgment, Ten, and me, he carefully unfastened them – a non-trivial process – and moved the Alarm key from Ten’s keyring onto mine, and the Master Key from his own keyring onto Judgment’s. He then noted the change in the Key Log, a sheet of paper with notes transcribed in indelible ink, put the key to the key cabinet on Judgment’s keyring, and locked the wrench back inside the key cabinet.

During the whole process, I noticed, Nine was careful not to switch the keys or keyrings. Seeing as they looked totally alike, exceptfor the taped labels, it would’ve been an easy mistake to make.

Right now,” said Nine, tapping the key log, “the following people have these keys:

KEY LOG, AS OF12:50 (records kept by Nine)


Nine of Swords: Spaulding Room Key
Ten of Swords: Spaulding Room Key
Queen of Swords: Master Key.
Page of Swords: Hackenbush Room Key; Kitchen Key.
Knight of Swords: Driftwood Room Key; Electrical Closet Key.
King of Swords: Driftwood Room Key; Outside Door Key.
Temperance: Hammer Room Key
Strength: Miller Room Key; Kitchen Key.
Judgment: Wagstaff Room Key; Master Key; Key Cabinet Key
Justice: Firefly Room Key; Alarm Key

“Doesn’t the Security Room have a key?” asked Judgment.

Nope, not even the Master Key works on the Security Room,” said Nine of Swords. “This keypad opens it.” He punched in the combination, 1979, on the keypad just outside the security room door, and it slid open silently. “Right now, only us, the two of you, the Queen, and the Knight of Swords know the combination. Please try to keep it that way.”

“Of course,” replied Judgment. “Now, before the guests arrive, I believe we have some investigating to do. Thank you for all your help, sirs. Justice, I believe we should…”

Judgment and Justice have three hours until the guests arrive, and may choose to do any of the following:


* Question somebody (30 minutes per person)


* Investigate a location in the Castle (30 minutes per location)


If desired, they can split up to cover more ground.


Please submit your choices; I will step through the actions in the order they are submitted until you run out of time.


Edited by WitchOfSecrets, 31 May 2012 - 03:23 AM.

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#144 flamebirde

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 03:48 AM

so, we are justice right now, right? in that case, we should split up. we question 9 and have Justice investigate the room in which the red Idol of Veritas resides in.
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Mafiosos and mafiosas of the world, unite! And then kill each other in a particularly tricky move that everyone suspects but never anticipates.

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#145 Yoruichi-san

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 08:33 AM

Awesome :D. I love mystery stories...and detectives ;P. Too sleepy now to make rash decisions, will read more carefully and come up with a strategy tomorrow...if MM doesn't beat me to it...;)
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Women are definitely stronger. We are [Fe]males, after all...

Some of what makes me me is real, some of what makes me me is imaginary...I guess I'm just complex. ;P

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#146 Morningstar

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 02:20 PM

Assuming we have to submit specific questions during interrogations, is there a limit to the number of questions we can ask?
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The cake is a lie.

#147 plasmid

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 02:55 PM

First thing I'd want to do is use the alarm key to make sure the alarms are on. Then go investigate.

There are eight characters to question, so by splitting up they should be able to question them all in two hours and have enough time left to look over four rooms. The rooms appear to be: Spaulding, Hackenbush, kitchen, Driftwood, electrical closet, Hammer, Miller, Wagstaff, Firefly, the security room, the idol room, the grand hall, the banquet hall, the entryway, and the back garden with its exit (I'm not sure if any of the unnamed rooms are the same as one of the named rooms, could a witch clarify this and maybe give a definitive list of what rooms are available to investigate?). With no other information, I'd say that the idol room, security room, electrical closet, and maybe the back garden with its exit would be at the top of my list to investigate. But that might change depending on what people say, so might as well just say the first thing we'll do and adjust based on the outcome.

I'd say Judgment talks to the Page of Swords, and Justice talks to the Knight of Swords, (two characters we haven't seen yet) to get things started, unless anyone has other suggestions.

Edit: just noticed that Flamebirde did make another suggestion. I think we'll probably want to talk to all the characters and investigate the idol room regardless, so I'll go with Flamebirde's suggestion of talking to Nine and investigating the idol room. And just add the step of making sure the alarms are on first.

Edited by plasmid, 31 May 2012 - 02:57 PM.

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#148 Molly Mae

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 04:07 PM

@Y-San: I'm going to be taking a back seat for the remainder of this game.

I would like to point out (as nobody has yet), 1979 was the combination to one of the safes in the Room of Six Locks. We also know from previous Red (not in a duel) that not all of the safes were literal safes.
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#149 Yoruichi-san

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 06:21 PM

Okay, two quick questions for clarification:

"Fewer than four culprits" means strictly fewer (i.e. 3 or less)?
"The detective is not a suspect", but what about the security expert/narrator? (sorry if this seems like a silly question, but I'm an Agatha Christie fan ;) )

Edit: At Molly Mae: Aw...that's unfortunate...or do you have the whole storyline figured out already? ;P

Edited by Yoruichi-san, 31 May 2012 - 06:24 PM.

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Women are definitely stronger. We are [Fe]males, after all...

Some of what makes me me is real, some of what makes me me is imaginary...I guess I'm just complex. ;P

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Chromatic Witch links now on my 'About Me' page! Episode 3 is finally here!

When life hands me lemons, I make invisible ink.

#150 Morningstar

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 02:13 PM

Edit: At Molly Mae: Aw...that's unfortunate...or do you have the whole storyline figured out already? ;P

He probably does. :)

Also, do we agree together on actions, or does it work like a witch's duel, where the action/BT is submitted as soon as it is posted.
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