Stout Tower

Image

tower-reflection.jpg

Encounter Conditions

None

Initial Text

A stout tower of grey stone pokes its way out between the trees, commanding a powerful view of the leafless forest. You steer your reflection there, through the wind and rain.

If the tower ever had a front door, it's missing now, and you can clearly see some stairs inside. One face of the tower is also dominated by vines, if you're too Extreme for stairs.

(And, if the skeleton has not been pushed off the tower:)

On top of the tower, you can see a skeletal shape, waiting like some sort of morbid scarecrow.

Summary of Choices

  1. Head upstairs - Gain 4 XP in Reflexes or Perception or 10 XP in Strength if you have defeated skeleton
  2. Explore this floor Gain 6 XP Strength if you have defeated the skeleton or else:
    1. Start to chat - gain 10 energy of Crone's Perspective
    2. Lead her out - Lead woman to Small Hut in skeleton defeated
    3. Give her a mushroom - Only if you have one - gain 20 energy of Crone's Perspective
    4. Give her some strands - Only if you have one - gain 20 energy of Crone's Perspective
    5. Giver her the mask - Only if you have one lose reflected mask, send crone to Small Hut
    6. Leave her be - Walk away
  3. Climb the vines - See vine climbing minigame, gaining 1-2 empty shards
  4. Catch the skeletal reflection - Only with an antique hand mirror equipped Gain 4 XP Strength
  5. Ignore it - Walk away

Choice Text and Results

Head upstairs

You look a little ridiculous making your reflection walk up the stairs. A human skeleton waits for you at the top of the stairs, giving you the sort of manic grin only the lipless can manage.

You struggle for a bit, but it has the high ground with you still on the steps and trying to move your reflection rather than your own body. It ends up being pretty one sided, with you being forced back to the ground floor.

You take 16-20 damage.

You've earned 4 XP in Reflexes

If wielding mislit mask:

skeletonreflection.jpg

You look a little ridiculous making your reflection walk up stairs, but hopefully nobody can see you with this mask on. The skeleton, as you were hoping, doesn't notice your reflection.

You cut to the chase, taking a powerful step forward and throwing your reflection's weight into its back. The skeleton tumbles down the tower, shattering on the rocks below.

And, after the skeleton is pointed out by the crone in the small hut:

A great relief falls over you, as though the largest burden in your life has just been removed and you feel strong.

You've earned 10 XP in Strength

(Unlocks Strength bonus from equipment that gives A Reflection of the Path Before You)

After defeating skeleton:

You look a little ridiculous making your reflection walk up stairs, but it manages to get to the top of the tower safely. You gaze out over the forest, seeing the distant hill with it's single tree.

Among the leafless trees you can see a small cottage and a clearing filled with mushrooms. Hmmm.

You take a mental note of your surroundings and head back downstairs to get out of the chill.

You've earned 4 XP in Perception

Explore this floor

crone-reflection.jpg

Before defeating skeleton:

You send you reflection this way and that, exploring the first floor. It quickly finds an old woman, dressed in rags and sitting on stones.

She glances up, barely acknowledging you, then goes back to staring at the wall.

After leading the old hag out:

You send you reflection this way and that, exploring the first floor. It doesn't find anything of interest, but jumping from stone to stone and pushing aside rockfalls is a pretty good work out.

Even only miming the actions for your reflection, your muscles burn by the time you're done.

You've earned 6 XP in Strength

Start to chat

She doesn't seem terribly interested in talking and even less so in trying to pantomime because she can't hear you. But you sit long enough that the silence stops being awkward and starts just being… silence.

There's something to that, you think.

You've gained 10 energy of Crone's Perspective.

Lead her out

She shakes her head sadly and points up towards the top of the tower. Ah, yeah, weird skeleton thing.

Odd that it didn't stop you from coming in. You head out and it doesn't give you any problems.

Huh, weird. Maybe it just doesn't like her.

After defeating skeleton:

She shakes her head sadly and points up. You do your best to explain, via your reflection's pantomime, that the skeleton is gone. She pokes her head out of the tower wearily…

After a few seconds, she seems to decide that you were telling the truth, gathers her things, gives your reflection a genuine smile, and heads out into the woods.

Give her a mushroom

You press the shard against the mirror's glass and the small mushroom pops into your reflection's hand. She happily takes it and crunches down on the mushroom raw.

For a moment you can see her life laid out before you, endless years of hardship and a cage that turned out not to be gilded at all.

You've gained 20 energy of Crone's Perspective.

Give her some strands

You press the shard against the mirror's glass and the filthy strands pop into your reflection's hand. She inspects them carefully, pulls out a small knife, uses it to chop them into short lengths, then puts the resulting pieces into a jar.

Hmmmm, you're not exactly sure what that's supposed to mean, but she seems happy with the turn of events. It gives you a sideways sort of appreciation for her state, all alone, not having to explain her actions to anyone, but also never needing to make sense. It's entirely possible she's just mad.

Of course, you're the one psychoanalyzing the reflection of a woman who isn't here.

You've gained 20 energy of Crone's Perspective.

Give her the mask

You slip the shard into one of the mirror's innumerable cracks and the ball mask, handle and all, appears in your reflection's hand. It passes it on to the old woman.

Her mouth opens, then closes and opens again. She takes it gladly and raises the mask to her face, vanishing as though she'd never been there.

The coin in your hand grows hot. It grows too intense after a moment and you're forced to loosen your grip.

Leave her be

You turn your back on the mirror for a moment, ignoring the reflections.

Climb the vines

Your reflection is at the base of a rainswept tower, preparing to climb its way up a series of vines. You somehow doubt the skeletal figure looking down from the tower's roof will let the task even be that easy.

You're just getting started, but it looks like a pretty tiring endeavor.

(See Vine Climbing)

And after getting to the top:

Your reflection crests the top of the tower and confronts the skeleton, getting one good swing in before it's forced back to the safety of the ground. Unfortunately, that one good swing involved your fist connecting with the mirror and a shard flying across the room. Ahh!

You found: empty shard

You've earned 5 XP in Strength

or, what triggers this one? More strength??

Your reflection crests the top of the tower and confronts the skeleton, battling it to more or less a draw… even with your muscles burning with fatigue, you're still a match for brittle bones.

When you reach out to throttle it, your clenched fingers brush against the mirror, knocking several pieces loose. AHHHH!

In your moment of distaction, the skeleton forces your reflection back to the safety of the ground.

You found: 2 empty shards

You've earned 5 XP in Strength

After defeating skeleton:

You carefully maneuver your reflection to climb the vines, climbing the tower despite the wind and rain. You make it to the top but damn is it a workout.

You've earned 6 XP in Strength

Catch the skeletal reflection

You pull out your hand mirror and hold it before you. It reflects back and forth with its larger kin, creating an infinite tunnel of cracks and impurities.

Finding the right angle is difficult, half-lifting the massive antique mirror from the floor with one hand so you can get the angle just right, but soon the skeleton, then the tower, then the whole forest are consumed by endless errors and spiderwebbing impurities.

You've earned 4 XP in Strength

Ignore it

You turn your back on the mirror for a moment, ignoring the reflections.

See Walk Away

Notes

The skeleton regenerates after rollover, allowing access to vine climbing once again.

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