The brochure we got from Rill originally had an anti-mnemonic spell on it, as a trap for us as a Choir set up by an external entity. This was retconned and the brochure is now mundane. Matt was not happy with where the story was going, and even wrote in the update itself that the brochure plot was poorly written. Below are the pages that once were.
82 - Look. At. The. Brochure. Edit
Kate cautiously floats around the room, looking for any signs of a trap.
"Pressure plates, hard to see wires..." you list off, "I wouldn't rule out lenses or anything that could detect motion. Or heat. It doesn't fit the aesthetic but I'm not taking any chances."
After a few moments, though
Kate turns to you and shrugs. "Room looks pretty clean."
You approach the chest.
You give it a small kick.
You give it a slightly harder kick.
You take a deep breath.
"Think it's safe?," Kate asks.
"No," you reply.
Kate readies the fire at her tiny hands as you reach back into your pocket.
You never take your eyes off the chest.
...Wait, why are you reaching into your pocket? You're still holding the house key in your hand--
your fingers brush the brochure.
You take hold of the brͩ̉̃͊ͫͧ̈̍õ̸̡ͪ́̓̽͝c̀̅̈̃͘͢hu̶̺̝̼̳̮͈ͅr̭̖̞e.
You relinquish the house key and instead remove the brochure from your pocket.
You and Kate begin to stare suspiciously at the brochure.
"It's cursed," you mutter.
"Yeah, I remember you getting it but like..." Kate hovers a bit closer. "I keep forgetting that you got it."
"I keep forgetting I have it," you add. "Temperance must have... done something to it."
Kate hmms. "Why would the secretary give you something you can't remember...? Like, what's the point?"
"Maybe that's not all it does," you speculate. Your eyes stayed locked on the brochure. "Maybe it's a tracker, or it steals energy, or... or maybe it's a bomb. I don't know."
But you are so very close.
If only you had a little more accountability.
You jerk your head up, looking around.
As though someone said something. You know they didn't.
You know they're not out there.
They're in here.
"Who the fuck are you?," you bark like a riled up terrier.
"Plaire," Kate says softly, "who're you talking to?"
"Something's in my head," you state incorrectly.
I'm not in your head.
It's more than that and I want you to acknowledge it.
I want to hear you say it.
You stumbled through the veil with nothing but arrogance and a Choir you can hardly use. You gambled on a ritual ill fitted to your (let's be frank) ridiculous form and you attracted the attention of something in doing so.
A big something.
You're either an amateur far out of her league or your hubris is stunning.
"I don't know what the fuck is going on," you whine like an insignificant piss-ant. "S... something's in my... my god damn... narrative? I can see what font I fucking talk in, it's like Times but rounder? It makes it feel older, it's very tasteful--"
"Plaire," Kate says firmly.
"oh god I read that," you panic out loud, backing up against the wall as though you can just... escape. Idiot. "I'm reading this. It's like my brain's inside and outside at the same time."
"Plaire, you are freaking me smooth out right now."
You hunch over, shaking your head.
83 - Tell the truth (hard) Edit
"I don't fucking know what this place is! I don't know how I got here! My name is Plaire Stevens and I don't know what a FUCKING CHOIR is. You want answers?! Congrats, fuckface SO DO I. Unless you plan to interrogate me for sweet gaming trivia your threats don't mean FUCK ALL because there is no plan and I! DON'T! KNOW! SHIT!"
You realize that your brochure is on fire.
You promptly drop it.
"I thought it might help," Kate confesses. "Did it help? Also, did you just call that thing fuckface?"
"I might have got a little carried away... while trying to be firm," you admit.
. . .
"...Is that it?," Kate asks.
You look around.
The corner room is... the corner room again.
"Words words words," you mutter. Yeah, you're hearing yourself instead of reading yourself. Things... feel normal again. Well. Relatively normal for the dream dungeon. "Yeah, I... I think that's it. You burned the brochure and I did some kind of... uh..."
You don't know what in the ever loving fuck you just did.
You're not even sure YOU did it.
Was... was that the power of a Choir...?
"...I did something," you finally conclude.
Kate nods, still looking... at least a little concerned. "So that was the mayor's doing, right? Like, Temperance gave you a fucked up brochure--"
There are words, but they are not spoken.
"I am a high priestess of the Great Translator, the Man Dressed in Fables.
I have access to 5% of the Akashic Record.
I most certainly do not work for your... mayor."
You look at Kate, who looks at you.
She silently mouths the words "what the fuck,"
but you have no answers.
The... er, priestess, continues. "I noticed you when you first activated your fortress--the ritual behind it is impressive, but clearly not yours. I used the inherent vulnerability to entangle myself in your narrative, waiting for the perfect opportunity to entangle further. Scrawled in that brochure you acquired is a method of preventing you from dreaming, which would allow you to avoid returning. I couldn't have that.
Thus... I cursed your brochure. A minor curse, one that gently edits your record to prevent you from having looked at said brochure--but in its simplicity lies the true brilliance of this plan. By managing to circumvent the nature of the curse, you proved to me--unquestionably--that you possess a Choir. By dragging out the mystery of the brochure until this very moment, you have entangled me in your narrative all the deeper, and combined with your giving of your real name you have granted me an immense amount of power over your existence. Were you up to no good, I could show you levels of unimaginable suffering. I could crush you like an insect. You would beg for the sweet embrace of death."
"...If I were up to no good," you repeat.
Can words seem disappointed? The words seem disappointed. "IF you were up to no good," the priestess repeats. "...You gave me your full name. You gave an unknown outsider, in a world that is not your own, your real name. No one could conceivably, knowingly gamble on a deed so reckless; I have no doubt that you are every ounce as clueless as you claim to be, if not more so. In light of this, I must conclude that the idea of you perpetrating some devious scheme is... frankly absurd."
You heave a big sigh. "Cool. Good. I proved I'm a big dumbass."
"You've left me utterly and wholly convinced," the priestess says.
"YeahIgetit," you blurt out.
"So, hold up," Kate begins. "You're not from this dungeon?"
"No, I am not," replies the priestess.
"You're not working for the mayor or her secretary."
"No, I am not," repeats the priestess.
Kate, in a slightly more exasperated tone, finally asks the real question: "Where the fuck are you from, then? What the fuck are you?"
"I am a high priestess of--"
"Nonono," Kate interjects. She touches her own chest. "Human in a fucked up doll body." Kate points at you. "Human in a human body." Kate points at the priestess. "Question marks. You're not just a priestess of the Spooky Name Man, what are you?"
"A high priestess is all I need to be," states the high priestess. "To answer any further questions will only put you at greater risk--this world is not one to be trifled--"
"Bullshit," you blurt out, prompting both Kate and the priestess to turn toward you.
Well, as much as the priestess... uh... turns.
You take a deep breath.
You continue. "I am fucking... neck deep in bullshit mystery boxes. I don't care which god DAMN boogeyman you work for, you are NOT. You are NOT going to fucking... bumble into my nightmare, pull some nothin' personal kid shit on ME and then walk THE FUCK AWAY without telling me
Cold hands. Throbbing pain in the lower back.
Just a little.
Maybe less yelling.
You're pretty sure she wasn't lying when she said she could kill you.
You can't not sneak a parting shot in there, though.
"You're telling me to stay out of it. Right? To stop asking questions and go home. You might not work for the mayor but you sure as shit sound like her."
Kate's jaw drops.
The priestess is silent.
You decide to, uh, maybe walk it back a little. "Y... you're the first anything I've met in here that wasn't trying to kill me. I just want answers! I have... I have so many god damn questions. I just want to talk to someone, and not have to fight them."
"That's quite unfortunate," says the priestess, "because you are going to fight me."
"Oh, shit?," comments Kate.
The priestess explains. "Because you are not a fighter, Plaire Stevens."
"Not a fighter yet," you interrupt,
to which she repeats, "You are not a fighter, Plaire Stevens. I am entangled in your narrative, but only--as you phrased it--as a mystery box, which you freely admit to have no shortage of. The source of your brochure's curse is an unimportant and let's be honest, poorly written subplot, a red herring to be forgotten in pages HOWEVER. ...Your first real fight with a strange new foe, THAT grants me significance in your story."
"How much more significance do you need?," you ask in a tone you wouldn't describe as polite. "You already said you could... torture me, or whatever, just by how much you're already entangled in my narrative."
"I'm still mostly limited to your present," the priestess replies, "...or thereabouts. Deeper entanglement would allow me to see your past, as well--and begin to piece together how you arrived at this unfortunate position."
"I could just tell you," you point out.
"You could lie," the priestess counters.
"You think I'm good enough to lie to... uh... a priestess of the Guy Dressed in--"
"Yes," says the priestess, bluntly. "I cannot yet read your past, Plaire Stevens, but I know your name and I can see your heart. You are a liar. You have lied to almost everyone you've ever known, successfully. You lie as easily as you breathe."
"...I had to," you mutter after some pause. "I had to to survive."
"Yeah," Kate adds, drifting a little closer to you. "Lying about being gay to a bunch of bigots doesn't count. Fuck off with that noise."
"Plaire Stevens seems to think it matters," the priestess states. "She seems to think it matters a great deal."
"You didn't answer my question," you force out. "I get why you want me to fight you, you've given me zero reason why I'd bother. We have a time limit in here and you're wasting it."
"Three questions," says the priestess. "Face me in combat and I will answer three questions of your choosing to the best of my ability and in complete honesty. Your second greatest desire is information--and I am a being from another world, offering any answers you seek. It is the most you could possibly hope for."
"Can I help her?," Kate asks.
The words curl. "A fight is less significant to you... but certainly, I'll accept the opportunity to join another narrative."
"Oh, uh," Kate pauses-- "then I also wanna ask a question."
"Only one?," the priestess inquires. "Of course. It would be foolish for me to turn that offer down."
"--And I get to ask it before we fight."
The words curl just a little further. "As you wish."
The priestess... turns? And begins to walk out of the curved room. "Be ready. I will await you in the next hall." ...And you watch as all the words that comprise her... separate, and bleed through the bars and the cracks. The priestess disappears into the hallway to the south, leaving you and Kate alone with the treasure chest.
You look at Kate... and then at the chest... and then sigh.
"We could go back the other way. We could ditch her."
"Plaire," Kate says. "This is it. She's like a fucking alien or something! Dude. Dude. Fight the word lady."
"I kind of hate her," you admit.
"Yeah she's a super bitch but Plaire," Kate reaffirms, "Fucking. Alien. She has to know like everything, right?"
"She doesn't know why I'm here," you point out.
"She knows what here is," replies Kate.
You take another look at the chest.
You start to reach into your pocket--
but Kate holds up your house key.
"...Did you steal my fucking key?"
"I have tiny hands and the more expendable body," says Kate with a smirk. "Stand back."
You take a small step back, watching as Kate floats down to the chest.
You tense up,
and she 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, "you're not... going to believe this."
Kate grins, still staring into the open chest. "There's like a whole ass sword in here."