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  #26    
Old February 25th, 2017 (8:08 PM).
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PastelPhoenix PastelPhoenix is offline
A Princely Birb
     
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    Artean Bellepetal
    Ranger Extraordinaire

    The foyer was grand, and yet unnerving at the same time. Maybe it was just the fact that everything was so large, maybe it was the eerily realistic statutes, or maybe it was just how the wallpaper seemed to move. Either way, Artean began to bumble around the room, taking in all the sights. The first order of business was to look at the most familiar thing in the room, the statues. Peering up at each of the animals, he caught a vague recollection of each.

    "So, guys," he started, "and... girls too I guess. I think everyone can see that there's a cat and some kind of bird. I think it may be a parrot or something, only ever seen them from far away. That tapping one... I swear I've seen it in a jungle somewhere, back when I traveled a lot. Name started with an "S", I know that much. Slenth? Soft? Sloth?

    "Either way," he continued, just speaking his thoughts aloud, "that tapping is weird. Has to mean something. Can't tell what though. I'm going to get a closer look, see if I can figure it out."

    Slowly climbing out of fear of falling (although Billas followed right below in case of an event like that), he eventually made his way to the hand of the strange, tapping creature. Cautiously reaching out, he felt the tapping claw with his bare paw. Instead of smooth stone, it felt more like a real claw of some kind of beast. Stepping back a little, out of fear of triggering something by touching the claw, he took a birds eye view of the room.

    "Uhh, well... it feels very real. You guys don't think these are real animals that got, I dunno, turned to stone or something? Ugh, skeeves me out."

    "By the way," he added, the other statues in the room catching is eye, "those kind of look like chess pieces. Anyone know how to play? Never learned myself."
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      #27    
    Old February 25th, 2017 (10:55 PM).
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    Winter Winter is offline
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    Yvanna of Whisker Woods

    Disturbance in the vicinity snapped her attention away from the wall pictures. The mice she had seen outside the castle finally caught up with her and taking turns to investigate the foyer's interior.

    One of them approached the frozen sloth, remarking about the meaning of the tapping. He climbed onto the statue, hesitantly touching it, acting as if it might sprung to life all of a sudden. Ridiculous creature, he was. Yvanna made a note to be wary of that peculiar individual. She turned her gaze back to the wall, then stiffened. Did- did the pictures just move? She swore that there was something off about the images. She could not remember if the pictures were exactly the same, she had been distracted, but the eyes of the mice in the pictures seemed to leer at her, taunting. She walked over to where the peculiar mouse was perched atop the stone sloth.

    "...those kind of look like chess pieces. Anyone know how to play? Never learned myself."

    "Chess pieces? I have never heard of such a thing."

    The druid turned her head, finally speaking up.

    "Now, I believe those dancers on the wall might mean something."

    She had now realized it. The instance she walked away, the dancers assumed another position. What had changed? She did not understand, this was some arcane spell at work. Perhaps a message was encrypted within the wall itself. Perhaps the positions of the dancers led to something... Or somewhere.


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      #28    
    Old February 26th, 2017 (12:40 PM).
    Godzil's Avatar
    Godzil Godzil is offline
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      Sir Ben of Junkheap


      Sir Ben cautiously walked through the foyer, his hand on his sword, though he kept it sheathed. The others, clearly of a more analytical mind, began calling out their observations. One of them (Ben chastised himself for not learning their names), upon climbing up to a higher vantage point, pointed out the statues' resemblance to chess pieces, and enquired whether anyone knew the game.

      "Actually, I know a thing or two about chess, my good man!" Sir Ben called up to Artean. "My skills may be a little rusty, as I have not played against anyone for a long time, but I still know the basics, at least! In fact, I know more than just the basics, if I may indulge in some light bragging." Realizing he was probably speaking more than he needed to, he decided to act.

      "Though I fear these pieces may be a bit larger than I am used to, I shall attempt to solve this puzzle game!" He walked up to a piece, a white rook, and leaned into it, pushing with all his might. But the piece refused to move.

      "Vexation!" Sir Ben cursed, inspecting the statue for clues. "There must be some manner of moving it, perhaps if I had a rope and some pulleys... what's this? 'Good Listener'? Whatever could that mean? Am I to merely instruct the piece, rather than physically move it myself? I suppose I could try... Rook! I command you to advance five spaces forward, next to the black knight!"

      Too his surprise, the statue obeyed, gliding over the stone floor. The sound of stone grating on stone echoed through the foyer, but oddly there was no damage to the floor itself.

      Once the piece stopped moving, Sir Ben looked at the others, grinning excitedly. "A thousand apologies for the noise, comrades! But I believe I am making headway on this puzzle!"

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        #29    
      Old February 27th, 2017 (3:25 PM).
      Afterglow Ampharos's Avatar
      Afterglow Ampharos Afterglow Ampharos is offline
      Ampharos are the ultimate kid's bed. They have a built in nightlight and everything.
         
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        "Might you be friendly?" Eleanor inquires, approaching the creature covered in grey skin, heavy-built and standing on all fours. She treats the elephant with caution: though much smaller than a usual specimen, it's still twice the size of a mouse, and an animal unfamiliar to her. "Such a long snout... And look how it moves..." she notes aloud, keeping a safe distance but curiously leaning in nonetheless.

        But Eleanor notices she's being left alone with the animal: others are rushing ahead, into the open doors of the castle. She supposes that's a good idea: there's no telling if the doors might close again, and this gray creature may be in their path, but certainly isn't blocking the way. She apologizes to the elephant for cutting this short, then moves past it to join the others indoors.

        Music: Restoration

        She expected nothing less than tremendous size from the room she walked into, given how gigantic the castle appeared from the outside, but stepping into it herself, expected or not, she truly feels dwarfed. Never before had she been both indoors and yet in such a vast expanse of space. It felt like a yawning-open cave, yet decorated with the fine amenities of the rich. An experience that makes one pause and look around.

        The decorator -- though it boggles the mind to even consider someone who could furnish a "home" this large -- seemed to have a fondness for statues, she notices. Three statues of animals, life-size, 32 statues of chess pieces, larger than life.

        "Enormous claws on that one. 'Sleuth,' did you say it was? Jungle dweller?" she inquires toward Artean, both of them having taken an interest in the animal statues. She hazards a guess: "The tapping may be part of some mechanism. Perhaps it's some manner of crude timepiece, ticking out the seconds that pass. Remember that this place is tied to time's flow in some way."

        She frowns in concern when her fellow mouse decides to scale the stone creature. "Oh, do be careful, won't you Artean?" She watches in concern while he climbs, but the bumblebee that follows him seems to be keeping close watch as well. "Can your insect companion there support your weight, should you lose your footing?"

        But he finds his way up just fine, and touches the claw while Eleanor watches, reporting his findings down to the group. "It's... real? A real claw? Are you quite certain." She flips her paw and throws out a nervous laugh. "No, I'm sure it couldn't be something so sinister as animals captured in stone. Why would... Why would all but the claw be transformed? Why would someone claim victims in such a manner?" It sounds like she may be trying to logically explain away a possibility which sounds too frightening for her to confront.

        Her attention is turned, thankfully, to the other statues, thank to Artean and Sir Ben. The ones which are much less likely to be formerly living, breathing beings. Well, except perhaps the knights, their open equine mouths a scream of their last-- No, no, let's not go down that road.

        Sir Ben makes surprisingly rapid headway with his conundrum, and in no time, the grinding of stone against tile alerts everyone in the room to its movement. Eleanor joins Ben at his side, to watch it move. "Goodness, Sir Ben, what did you do? It obeyed your command?" She looks to and fro at the other chess statues, and where they're placed. "Ah, look, the floor, its tiles are like a chess grid, black and white. This room must serve as a giant game board. And the statues... enchanted, I can only assume?"

        Yvanna seems to have her attention occupied by the murals on the wall, perhaps a puzzle like that is more her department. Eleanor leaves her to her focus, following the rook's path and crossing the vast tiled floor to the side where the black pieces stand.

        She sets a paw against the black knight that the rook had settled near. "Hm." Turning her head to the knight, she asks, "Sir Ben, do you mind if I try the same? I mean, I'll look quite a fool if my command is met with silence, but."

        Leaving that thought unfinished, she turns her head up at the statue. "Black Knight, jump this Rook, and land there ahead of it, to our left," she requests with a point of her digit.

        The old mouse stumbles backward and falls on her behind when the horse-head statue rises into the air before her. She's stunned speechless, supporting herself on the floor with her arms and watching the knight ascend slowly into the air until it's high enough to clear the height of the rook. It floats overtop, until it's over the square just beyond, then descends to the floor again with a resounding thump, shaking Eleanor too much for her to stand back up. Finally, the knight piece slides one square to its left, with the same grinding noise that the rook had made just before.

        "So it is an enchanted game..." For the amusement of the one who made it, Eleanor wonders?


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          #30    
        Old March 3rd, 2017 (5:42 AM).
        Winter's Avatar
        Winter Winter is offline
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        Yvanna of Whisker Woods

        "Sir Ben, do you mind if I try the same? I mean, I'll look quite a fool if my command is met with silence, but."

        Two more had joined them in the foyer, one of them more vocal and chatty than the rest, but they both hovered high on the annoyance scale. Blabber, blabber, blabber, was all these city dwellers could think of doing. Rejecting nature, rejecting tranquility and rejecting peace. What in tarnation had attracted them to this castle? Things were more likely to go awry with their presence. Nature was already upset; they were just throwing logs into the fire.

        Deep in her thoughts, Yvanna did not realize that they had managed to make the black-and-white figures move across the monochromatic tiled floor.

        "Black Knight, jump this Rook, and land there ahead of it, to our left."

        There was a grinding noise, stone against stone, as what looked like a horse statue animated, levitating up and moving over another figure's head, to land on the tile a few spaces away. Thump.

        "So it is an enchanted game..." mused the talkative mouse.

        Yvanna moved to where the game was being played, wanting to see what would happen next. She was starting to get an inkling of what this "chess" game was all about. Clearly, the two colours meant two opposing sides. But, Yvanna failed to fathom what the catch was.

        "How does one attain victory?"

        The druid had another question on her tongue, about whether it mattered which side won, but it died as she per-chanced to look at the wall beside them and noticed the murals moving.

        Yvanna's eyes widened. In shock. Then revelation.
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          #31    
        Old March 3rd, 2017 (11:56 PM).
        adventure's Avatar
        adventure adventure is offline
        press start to play_
         
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        Cronald Ripipip

        Cron was amazed by the interior. Not only was it utterly huge, certainly not made for mice of any kind to serve as the main inhabitants, but as the others moved around and explored the facilities and decorations, it became obvious that everything was enchanted. A wide grin nestled itself rather permanently on Cronald's face now. There was magic everywhere here. He put his paw on the wall, watching the silent dancers. Turning away for a moment and then back, he could have sworn that they had moved to look at him.

        "Chess, haha!" he chuckled and started walking towards the others on the checkered floor, inspecting the large pieces. "I never found myself bored enough to master the game before. Glad some of you did!"

        He ran up to the leftmost door on the bottom floor, and teleported himself up in the air so he could spy through its keyhole. The simple teleportation succeeded, but there was nothing visible through the large keyhole, strangely. Perhaps there was a key in the way. On his way down, falling through the air, he realized that this likely was going to hurt unless he did something about it. He hurriedly ordered a nearby chair cushion to swoop down and soften the impact. The cushion obliged in the nick of time, but subsequently squished him against the wood of the door before hopping back to sit at its original place again. Pulling himself together, Cron supposed that the cushion might have been grumpy from being awoken so abruptly.

        Meanwhile, the other mice had begun moving some pieces. Cronald didn't pay much attention, but instead took note that there were at least three more doors in the foyer. Teleporting himself to the other side of them would be a bit too much of a risk without knowing what fate would meet him there. Not to mention his skills were a bit wonky as it were, without his magic staff.

        "How to open the doors..." he thought out loud, standing on the red carpet in front of the stairs.
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          #32    
        Old March 4th, 2017 (3:58 PM).
        PastelPhoenix's Avatar
        PastelPhoenix PastelPhoenix is offline
        A Princely Birb
           
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          Artean Bellepetal
          Ranger Extraordinaire


          From up on his vantage point Artean could see every detail of the chess pieces moving, which only made them all the more magical to him. These massive constructions were moving without any kind of support! He'd seen very minor magics during his travels, in the vein of fancy light tricks and the occasional spurt of fire, but nothing quite on this scale.

          The older mouse seemed to inquire something from him when the first piece began moving. Taking a moment to reconstruct her request, he thought of why someone would turn someone into a statue.

          "I'm not entirely sure," he admitted, "but who would build a castle like this anyways? This is far to big for any person, and all these puzzles?"

          He continued to watch the chess pieces move, trying to figure out the pattern between each piece. Not that he could name any of them besides the king, but it made him feel a little productive.

          "How does one attain victory?" Mused the quiet one who nearly knocked him over earlier.

          "Ah, I at least know that," Artean responded, allowing his larger companion to focus on the game. "There's one piece on each side called the "King", and you have to move one of your pieces into the same space as him and protect your own. Each piece means something and moves a specific way, but I don't remember but a few of them."

          Looking over at her, he noticed a sudden realization dawn in her eyes. She might have noticed something with the wallpaper. Deciding to focus his efforts there instead of just sitting atop a statue making observations, he called out to her bellow.

          "Did you notice something with that design? I may not be much help, but my parents did make me take a few dance classes. I might be able to lend my assistance with it."
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