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


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#151 Molly Mae

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 03:06 PM

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

Not even the slightest. I had almost a page and a half of "Why the Story Must Take Place in Manhattan" drafted. And it's all been cut apart by a single red truth...
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A recipe for honey-pickled apples


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Spoiler for Molly's Rules to Live By

#152 flamebirde

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 02:37 AM

BUMP

666 posts!
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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.

stand back. I'm going to apply logic.

 

Come join the battle against the Chromatic Witch! http://brainden.com/...nly-eat-orange/

 

The Coup of Rhotus still needs players!End the 2 year sign up phase! http://brainden.com/...-mafia-signups/


#153 flamebirde

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 07:56 PM

C'mon, guys, hurry up and post something. I'm getting bored.

QUESTIONS: who took the Idol?(I assume that's what happened as it says that they'll want their money back, and they're security specialists).
Why did they take the Idol?
How?
Is there a secret entrance to the Idol Chamber?
How many culprits are there?

Just some questions that'll eventually need answers.
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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.

stand back. I'm going to apply logic.

 

Come join the battle against the Chromatic Witch! http://brainden.com/...nly-eat-orange/

 

The Coup of Rhotus still needs players!End the 2 year sign up phase! http://brainden.com/...-mafia-signups/


#154 TheChad08

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 08:10 PM

Bah, the website is finally back up again.

Now I'm just really far behind in the game.
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#155 Morningstar

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 11:40 PM

Another question that we could ask: How is the Idol Chamber guarded?
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The cake is a lie.

#156 WitchOfSecrets

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 07:39 AM

(Aaaargh architecture

Aaargh timetables

why did I make this so complicated? problems keep appearing as soon as I edit other problems out of the story; it's like playing plot-hole whack-a-mole.

It is as if having done one really simple locked room puzzle before, I thought myself qualified for insanely convoluted contrived detective story schemes.

There's your hint - answer not something super-simple. Lots of screwiness is to come. oh god.

I'll have the maps posted tomorrow and then I'll post responses. I'm really sorry for the lag. TheChad, good to have you back!)

Edited by WitchOfSecrets, 04 June 2012 - 07:41 AM.

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#157 Potok

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 10:23 AM

So 6 ppl can be questioned and 6 rooms checked.
Question the ones we haven't spoken with so far in any order and do a background check on each one (staff members).
As far as rooms go, have the detective start with the idol room and then its possible access rooms.
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#158 WitchOfSecrets

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 05:13 AM

The table erupted into discussion as the details of the story came out, but THALASSA quieted it with a wave of her hand.

“You will have a chance to present Blue Truth and ask questions at the final answer session. Be warned that at that time, your Blue Truths must be complete hypotheses that address culprit and method. Until then, the investigation will continue.”


-

(I’ll try to incorporate as many suggestions as possible!)

Saturday, 1:05 PM

We decided to split up. Of course, since there wasn’t any cell phone reception in this place, this meant that Judgment and I would have to regroup now and then if we wanted to swap info.

It seemed wise for Judgment should talk more to Nine and see if he could learn more about security. We’ve been given the names and backgrounds of the eight guests who were coming for the New Year’s Eve ball, but not much more than that, and we knew next to nothing about the staff. Meanwhile, I was to go up to the Display Room with the idol and check out the security there with my trained eye.

“Should I borrow your Master Key?” I asked Judgment. He shook his head.”No, have the Queen go with you and open it up. She should see us working and be ready to answer security questions. Hey, maybe I should turn the alarms on now?”

The one in the Display Room is already on... but we had better not turn on the outside door alarms till all the guests arrive, or we’ll get a false alarm.” said Ten of Swords. She pointed to the two keyholes on the alarm control panel, one labeled “Display” and the other labeled “Outside Doors.” The former was clearly set to the on position, and the latter was clearly set to off.

As Judgment started to talk to Nine, hoping to squeeze out more clues than we’d gotten, I hurried up to the third floor, knocked on the Queen’s door, and waited. After a few moments, I heard the latch disengage and she opened her door.

(It seemed that these doors could be locked and unlocked from the inside without a key. I pay attention to these things.)

“Ma’am,” I said, “I’d appreciate it if you’d take a moment to show me the room where you keep the Idol. I have a few things I’d like to check on in there.”

“Of course,” she replied, stepping out the door. It swung shut silently behind her, and she locked it with the Master Key on a ring that dangled from the sash of her dress. “Follow me.” She moved downstairs in a businesslike manner, confident, tall.

The display chamber with the Idol was right next to my own room on the second floor, as it turned out. The door was sturdy and well-secured, with no noticeable gaps underneath it, and quick inspection told me that the usual mystery novel tricks – a wire slipped through the frame to flip a latch, for example – wouldn’t do a bit of good. I nodded, and the Queen unlocked the door with her Master Key. We stepped inside.

“Do you always keep this door locked?” I asked.

Yes, except for when we’re displaying the Idol,” she replied. “We plan on opening it tomorrow at 9 AM to exhibit the Idol for a half-hour.

I noted this down and looked around the room. It was austere, and, like most of the other rooms in Castle Dauntless, had been converted to its current use from some other purpose – possibly another bedchamber. In the center of the room stood a stone pedestal bearing a glass case, and inside that case stood the Scarlet Idol of Veritas, glittering ruby-red in the light of a chandelier above.

Being careful not to touch the case and set off the alarm, I inspected the setup. “Do the alarms rely on the Castle’s power supply?” I asked.

The alarms were a recent installation,” she replied, “and their backup batteries can last for over 24 hours. Even if someone were to sabotage the fuse box or cut the power lines, the alarms would function normally.

I then examined the window and tried the latch; it was well-oiled and had been used recently. “There’s no alarm on this window, is there?” I looked out on a drop of about two stories – the first floor was very tall – but it wasn’t inconceivable that someone could climb up if they had a ladder. I shut the window carefully.

The Queen shook her head. “No alarm. But how would a burglar unlock it from the outside?

Brick, maybe? Putting a grating on it would be more secure,” I suggested. I then turned to the camera overhead. I recognized the model – an old reliable CCTV camera angled to capture just about everything between the door, the pedestal, and the window. To save space, it’d only record when it detected movement in-frame, and it’d probably only record a few frames per second. “That camera – is it in good working order?

“I don’t know much about that,” replied the Queen, looking a little perplexed. “You’d have to ask Nine or Ten.”

I then began a careful sweep of the rest of the room for hiding places and other surprises. The lights and light switches were all working, the tapestries on the walls didn’t conceal anything, the red cordon around the pedestal would be a totally ineffective barrier but probably was just there to keep people’s fingerprints off the glass, the benches where viewers could sit for presentations didn’t offer any hiding places, and I could safely conclude that nobody was inside the display room at the moment except for me and the Queen.

“Okay, thanks,” I said. “You’ve been a real help.”

“You’re welcome,” replied the Queen. We stepped outside and she locked the door with her Master Key, double-checking it to make sure that it had firmly latched shut.

As it turned out, neither of us would enter that room again until after the theft had gone down…

Saturday, 1:34 PM:

I met up with Judgment just as the questioning of Nine was wrapping up. We swapped notes.

The first thing Judgment had gotten from the interview was a set of maps of the castle – real handy, that. The doors that were usually locked were all marked in red, the unlocked doors in blue, and the windows in yellow:


Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

WHAT NINE HAD TO SAY:


On the cameras:
I checked the cameras just before you came; they’re all working, the timestamps all match the local time exactly, and the pictures are in focus.

On the guests:
I don’t know any of them personally; I just have the list of names and photos and room assignments. Some of them are friends of the Queen. Some people who’ve been here longer know them better than I do. Temperance knows a lot of them, I know that much.

On the room assignments:
When asked about the list, Nine handed it to Judgment with instructions to give the keys to the guests on arrival.

On the other staff:
Knight’s our handyman. He helps with the wiring, the plumbing, all that stuff. If you have any questions about that kind of thing, he’s the one you want to go to.

Temperance is our bean-counter and publicity manager. I don’t know her very well, but she sure seems to know everyone else.

You’ve met Ten. I’d trust her with my life; there’s no way she’d deliberately get involved in any kind of theft.

Page’s a maid… brings food, washes up, all of that. She and Strength – the cook - are pretty close. He’s getting old, so she helps jog his memory all the time.

King’s the gardener, hard-working guy... probably not a thief, as far as I can tell? Loves showing off the Castle, knows its history up and down. If you want to know about how this place is built, you ought to ask him.

Nine excused himself at this point to head back to his room, and we were left to plan our next move – where would we investigate and who would we question? We had two-and-a-half hours left.

Edited by WitchOfSecrets, 05 June 2012 - 05:15 AM.

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#159 WitchOfSecrets

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 05:14 AM

(Same drill! Where do we visit? Whom do we talk to? If nobody posts new suggestions in light of the information just received, I'll go based on the earlier posts. Sorry about the long incubation time for these posts!)
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#160 Potok

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 10:35 AM

Split up ofc, send Judgement to interview Temperance, extensively about the staff and the guests and herself, also about the financial situation on the institution and of the employees.

Examine (i presume the rooms where our SecurityGuards stay are examined by occupational hazard) the Hammer room, if its not very interesting, have a look around the courtyard, focus the southeast end of the castle.
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