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1.

Aaah, you've pottered into my library, I see. Do remember to be very, very quiet, por favor. If you fail to be, I shall coerce more sound out of you than you ever thought possible. You'll notice this building, smothered by Virginia creeper and assailed by weeds, is shaped like a jagged approximation of a circle. This is not my real home. That is a retreat with silky corridors. But welcome to the library, anyhow. From this hallway, it is possible to progress to either of two rooms.

To enter the elegantly furnished western room, go to 3. To discover the less impressive eastern room, go to 4.



2.

Hubbub and hissing comes from below you: "Sssssssssssss..." You tumble into masses of things that creep: legged snakes, not seen since Eden, that have, like me, been brought back a second time to punish the guilty. And what are the serpents doing? They are gambling, as human sinners do. What cards does that smiling green mamba possess? What might an adder with two dice score, most likely? What possible fun does a boa constrictor see in a roulette wheel? Who knows. Be certain that you'll never find an egress, however. I'll be candid: your life ends here.



3.

Eccentrically and expensively furnished, decorated in a rococo style, the western room radiates contentment. Through a large, sunlit window, you can see peaceful white swans swimming upon the lake. A puzzle, to challenge and expand your poor, overtaxed mind, lies on a fine mahogany desk. The observations that I make when I peep into the lives of my neighbours are filed away in a bookcase. A small wooden door, tucked in a recess, will lead you to my kitchen.

To try your luck with the puzzle, go to 5. To read about the Estate's other inhabitants, go to 6. To continue through the little wooden door, go to 8.



4.

Oddly enough, the eastern room lets you see the cliffs (and beyond them the ocean) through an ungenerous, ugly little window. The unrelenting whoosh of the restless sea oppresses your ears. Gulls flap past and settle upon the scree, squawking belligerently. In one corner sit five strange glass eggs, brightening this otherwise dismal chamber. In another is a metal door.

To investigate the large, unusual, eye-catching eggs, go to 7. To see what is behind the door, go to 2.



5.

See this pleasing little word puzzle? You and your unstimulated, hungry brain may gorge upon it:

He sees boy maim mines' erotic foes, O ______!

What is the missing name? That's an unrevealed mystery, but if you process the sentence correctly (remembering that the choice of words is consistent), you will be able to deduce what moniker fills the gap.

To investigate this room even more thoroughly, go back to 3.



6.

Afflicted by sin as this Estate is, proper servants of the Lord must record the wrongdoings of the impure. Herein I righteously execrate those Estaters who err. Perhaps even your name is mentioned below.

THE POET
A shady character who bears the name Epo Schlange, and has rejected the Lord in favour of evil Eastern delusions. He will pay dearly for insulting the Pope and cursing the name of the Almighty! He once suggested that I get laid - gee, zany wit, as an Americano might say.

THE HUNTER
She would have us call her a sorceress, but in truth her evil beauty is faded; any charms sped away long ago. I see you prowl vainly through the copse's sad acres, nymph. This "ogress" will meet the universe's greatest ogre soon enough.

THE FISHER
This prating fool worships a bearded, secular seer, and would overthrow those noble believers who civilised the foul island whence he came. Embrace the one true God, or your gross windpipe I'll whittle, maggot-reeler!

THE THINKER
Heeding this man's godlessness, can humanity ever prosper? Of course not. While you gush, dank lab lech, I oppose the forces of evil. "A dull sentry", you call God; cease, or you will know His wrath and mine!

You may now continue exploring this room - go back to 3.



7.

Eggs are pleasing things, don't you think? Within each of these five opaque glass eggs (coloured beige, brown, orange, purple and grey respectively) I have imprisoned a bird of ill omen: one crow, one goose, one magpie, one raven and one vulture. The raven caws dolefully from within an egg that is grey, brown or orange. The magpie is in a brown, grey or purple egg. If the crow should inhabit the purple egg, then the magpie languishes in the brown one. The orange egg conceals a vulture, a goose or a crow. If the orange egg does hold the goose, then the purple egg must contain the raven. The brown ovoid has a crow, a goose or a raven. If the vulture dwells in the orange egg, then the magpie is certainly not in the grey one. In the purple egg, a crow, a goose or a vulture sits. Should the crow be in the orange egg, the vulture will not be in the purple one.

A wise visitor will know where the goose is by now.

To continue your immoral prying, you must go back to 4.



8.

Matchhead-hot, this kitchen. Seared by impossible, holy heat, your sinner's corpse collapses back into the western room. Some say I am cruel, but like Speer and his comrades, I am only obeying orders from on high; I do this in the name of all that is pure. In my much-feared name, some cunning souls see an insane twist, perhaps. Yet I serve the sanest of all. He has cut you down. This is your end.



Postscript: There is no ninth section. But if there were, you would probably see me reduced to mentioning either a certain place or a certain sport. Can one like you deduce the location or the pastime? I will give you a clue: not soccer or Greece.

Scenario

Your character is the Librarian.

The librarian lives on the sea cliffs at the edge of the estate. He/she is wedged between the poet (move 20) and the historian (move 18).

The librarian is the chief archivist of the estate, and keeps a good stock of material about the place. He/she also writes the estate newsletter.

The librarian's home looks out over the sea from a dizzying height, and there is some concern that the home is built too close to the edge of the cliffs. This may result in the whole library eventually toppling into the sea!