Alabaster — 67 of 123

John Cater, Rob Dubbin, Eric Eve, Elizabeth Heller, Jayzee, Kazuki Mishima, Sarah Morayati, Mark Musante, Emily Short, Adam Thornton, and Ziv Wities

Release 1

Chapter 3 - Starting Inventory

The player carries a dagger, a lantern, and a heart-sized box. The carrying capacity of the heart-sized box is 1.

Carry out taking inventory for the first time:

casually queue watching-inventory.

implicitly acting is a truth state that varies.

Before inserting something into the heart-sized box when the heart-sized box is closed:

if something is in the heart-sized box:

say "[The heart-sized box] already contains [the list of things in the heart-sized box], as you know even though you can't see inside at the moment. There's no room for extra contents." instead;

now implicitly acting is true;

try opening the heart-sized box;

now implicitly acting is false;

if the heart-sized box is closed:

stop the action.

Before inserting the hart's heart into the heart-sized box when the player is not carrying the hart's heart:

now implicitly acting is true;

try taking the hart's heart;

now implicitly acting is false;

The heart-sized box is a closed openable container. Understand "heart sized" or "ornamented" or "wood" or "wooden" or "I'm carrying" or "you're carrying" or "for the queen" as the heart-sized box.

The description of the heart-sized box is "It is made of deep black wood, with a sequence of symbols[symbols-seen] burned across the top[if the player knows symbols-uncreate]. If she is to be trusted, they have something to do with uncreating life[otherwise]. You have no idea what they do. Your part is only to bring it back full[end if]."

After printing the name of the heart-sized box while changing the subject:

if we have not taken inventory and we have not examined the heart-sized box and we have not opened the heart-sized box:

say " you're carrying for the Queen".

The heart-sized box can be introduced or unintroduced. The heart-sized box is unintroduced.

Carry out opening the heart-sized box when the heart-sized box had not been open:

casually queue watching-box-opened.

Report opening the heart-sized box:

say "[one of]The lid [if implicitly acting is false]of [the heart-sized box] [end if]is stiff on its hinges, but you get [if the prior named noun is the heart-sized box]it[otherwise][the heart-sized box][end if] open with a little effort[or]Once again you pry the box open[stopping][if implicitly acting is true]. [run paragraph on][otherwise].[end if]" instead.

Report closing the heart-sized box:

if the heart-sized box contains the hart's heart or the heart-sized box contains the dripped blood:

say "You snap the lid shut on the gory contents[if the current quip is pleased-watching and the current interlocutor is Snow White]. She sighs ever so faintly[end if]." instead;

otherwise:

say "You push the lid and it snaps shut." instead.

Instead of bullying the heart-sized box:

say "It doesn't look easily crushed. Not to mention that you might need it for something."

Instead of touching or rubbing or squeezing the heart-sized box:

say "The surface is smoothly oiled except for the symbols burnt into it. It feels warmer than the night."

Instead of smelling the heart-sized box:

say "It smells like cedar, and something else expensive and nameless. Some perfume or spice from a distant place."

Instead of listening to the heart-sized box:

if the heart-sized box is open:

say "When you put your ear to the mouth of the box, it sounds like someone is whispering within; but not in a language that you know. Then again, perhaps you are going mad.";

otherwise:

say "It is silent on the outside."

Instead of attacking or cutting the heart-sized box:

if the player is not carrying the dagger:

say "(retrieving the dagger first)[line break]";

silently try taking the dagger;

if the player is not carrying the dagger:

stop the action;

say "[one of]When you drag the point of your dagger along the side of the box, it shrieks dreadfully, like a baby being killed. You stop at once.[or]Absolutely not.[stopping]".

Instead of entering the heart-sized box:

say "You are larger than your heart: ergo, you will not fit."

Instead of wearing the heart-sized box:

say "It would make a nice [one of]hat, if you had a little cubical head[or]glove, if you had no fingers[or]shoe, if your foot could fold in half[or]codpiece, if— never mind[cycling]."

Some ashes are a flush thing. Understand "ash" or "pile" or "gray" or "grey" or "fleck" or "flecks" or "black" or "fleck/flecks of black" as the ashes. "A pile of ashes is all that remains from the heart-sized box." [1] Instead of examining the ashes: say "Grey with flecks of black inside."

Before dropping the ashes when the player does not carry the ashes:

try taking the ashes;

if the player does not carry the ashes:

stop the action.

Instead of searching the ashes:

say "All that remains of the box are occasional black flecks of wood that were not completely destroyed."

Instead of listening to the ashes:

say "Silent as the tomb."

Instead of pulling or pushing or turning or touching or rubbing or swinging the ashes:

say "If you wish to scatter them, you may do so, but there is not a sufficiently substantial pile to make into interesting ash pictures."

Instead of wearing the ashes:

say "This would certainly make a statement, but you don't have the coordinating sackcloth."

Instead of cutting the ashes:

say "It would be hard to divide the powder further."

Instead of squeezing the ashes:

say "Unlike snowflakes, they do not cohere."

Instead of smelling the ashes:

say "They smell like burnt flesh and wood and incense."

Instead of tasting or consuming the ashes:

say "It's less of a taste and more of a feeling. It's like your tongue has dried up and forgotten how to taste, and your mouth is full of powder, and it's eating away at your memory of any taste you've ever had before and has collapsed any hope of tasting anything different ever again.";

the huntsman spits in four turns from now;

rule succeeds. [2]

At the time when the huntsman spits:

say "(The taste of ash is still on your tongue.)"

Understand "spit" as a mistake ("You try to spit decorously[if we have tasted the ashes]. It doesn't help[otherwise]. It can't be done[end if].").

Before tasting something when we have tasted the ashes:

say "You can't really take in any other tastes. Your mouth is full of ash-flavor." instead.

Report taking the ashes:

say "You scoop up a grubby handful of ashes." instead.

Understand "scatter [something]" as dropping.

Some symbols are part of the heart-sized box. The symbols are flush. Understand "symbol" or "impressions" or "blackened" or "writing" or "carved on the heart-sized box" or "carved on the box" as the symbols. The description is "Blackened impressions in near-black wood." Understand "impressions/writing/symbols on [something related by reversed incorporation]" or "blackened impressions/writing/symbols on [something related by reversed incorporation]" as the symbols.

The symbols can be introduced or unintroduced. The symbols are unintroduced.

After printing the name of the symbols while changing the subject:

if we have not examined the heart-sized box:

say " carved on the heart-sized box".

Instead of attacking or cutting the symbols:

try attacking the heart-sized box.

Instead of smelling the symbols:

try smelling the heart-sized box.

Instead of listening to the symbols:

try listening to the heart-sized box.

Instead of searching or looking under the symbols:

say "They are part of the surface of the box."

Instead of pulling or pushing or turning the symbols:

say "They cannot be manipulated separate from the box itself."

Instead of touching or rubbing or squeezing the symbols:

try touching the heart-sized box.

Definition: a thing is boxable:

if it is the hart's heart:

yes;

if it is Snow White's heart:

yes;

if it is the dripped blood:

yes;

no.

Instead of inserting something which is not boxable into the heart-sized box:

say "[The second noun] is too small to accept [the noun]."

The lantern is lit. Understand "oil" or "battered" or "old" or "lamp" as the lantern. The description is "An old, battered oil lantern. It should be good for another couple of hours."

The lamplight is part of the lantern. The description is "A weak circle of gold light, but still sufficient to discourage animals."

Before doing something other than examining to the lamplight:

change the noun to the lantern;

try the current action instead.

Instead of touching or rubbing or squeezing the lantern:

say "The handle is cool enough, but the rest is hot to the touch."

Instead of searching the lantern:

say "There is enough oil to last you the rest of the evening."

Instead of looking under the lantern:

say "The space beneath the lantern is, necessarily, in shadow. The problem is akin to cutting your dagger with itself, or climbing up yourself to reach a second-story window."

Instead of drinking the lantern:

say "Burning oil is your next-to-least favorite beverage.[one of][or] Once in childhood you had the misfortune to stand in the splash range of a urinating donkey.[or][stopping]".

Instead of waving or swinging the lantern:

say "The shadows move back and forth in response. The effect is a little unsettling."

After dropping the lantern:

say "You set the lantern down carefully on a (mostly) even patch of ground."

Instead of smelling the lantern:

say "It smells... hot."

Instead of opening or closing the lantern:

say "It is well-fed with oil, and unless you mean to burn something, it is probably wisest to leave it closed lest a gust of wind put it out."

Instead of throwing the lantern at something:

say "It would be safer to burn something with the lantern without breaking the glass."

Instead of attacking the lantern:

say "You can scarcely go without a light source."

Instead of entering the lantern:

say "There is an old story of a woman who made her home in a birdcage, too, but she first had to eat a magic birdseed to make her small enough[one of][or].

Just to be clear, you haven't got a magic birdseed[stopping]."

Understand "eat a magic birdseed" or "eat magic birdseed" or "eat birdseed" as a mistake ("If only you'd thought to bring along the contents of the feeders from the royal garden.").

Instead of cutting the lantern:

say "It is made of glass and metal and cannot be cut."

Rule for writing a paragraph about the lantern:

say "[The lantern] sits on the ground, lighting [Snow White] and [the hart] in the most garish fashion imaginable[if the dagger is in the location and the dagger is not mentioned], and making the hilt of your [dagger] glint from where it lies in [the undergrowth][end if]."

Understand "knife" or "blade" or "hilt" as the dagger.

The description of the dagger is "[if the hart's heart is unused]It's... well, sharp enough[otherwise]It remains sharp. You cleaned the blade as a matter of instinct when you cut the heart out of the corpse, so it doesn't even look much worse for wear[end if]."

The dagger can be unused or besmirched.

Carry out cutting something with the dagger:

now the dagger is besmirched.

Instead of rubbing the dagger: [3]

if the dagger is besmirched:

say "You already have, you realize. You keep it clean of blood, instinctively, and never use it but you wipe it afterward as a matter of course.";

otherwise:

say "It's not been used yet tonight."

Instead of cutting the dagger:

say "The idea reminds you of a village jest — something about a witch girl with a teat long enough to feed herself — but if it works with witches, it doesn't work with daggers."

Instead of attacking the dagger:

say "You need this. More than anything else — even the lantern."

Instead of wearing the dagger:

say "You did not bring a sheath tonight because you never wanted the dagger more distant than your own hand."

Instead of waving or swinging the dagger:

say "When you use your dagger, you use it precisely and for a purpose."

Instead of touching the dagger:

say "You draw a little reassurance from its cool blade and familiar weight."

Instead of squeezing the dagger:

try cutting the player.

After dropping the dagger:

say "You toss the dagger aside. It lands some distance away, in the undergrowth."

Rule for writing a paragraph about the dagger:

say "You can just tell where your [dagger] landed, from the way [the undergrowth] is bent a few feet away; otherwise, you'd be hopeless to find it again in this murk."

Instead of looking under something which is carried by the player:

say "You can shift [the noun] from hand to hand, but discover nothing of interest."

Notes

[1]. These will come in handy later when you burn the box.

[2]. Description courtesy of Justin de Vesine aka vimes, who, as he puts it, "used to do a fire-eating thing in a sideshow".

[3]. This will respond also to actions like WIPE DAGGER and CLEAN DAGGER, so we want it to print something sensible