February 27, 2013

Mission: Mansion - Task 7

"It's done," you tell the others. "Let's go back to the mansion." Grace gasps and places a hand on her chest. You notice that she seems more ghostly than before. "Let's hurry!" she calls. Her voice seems distant, like an echo from a faraway tunnel. She places a hand on your drawing and vanishes in a flash of sparks.  You take one last longing look at the food and do the same. 

You find yourself back on the steps of the mansion, along with the only wizard left in Sophia's group. Grace is nowhere to be seen. She must have teleported out. 

"Well, if we want to break the curse on Bartleby, let's get moving!" says your partner. She looks at the door and says the password, confidently stepping over the threshold. You sigh, deciding to get it over with, and follow her. 

The two of you head up the grand staircase in the entry hall once more, without much idea of where you're going next. Much to your surprise, you're not alone when you reach the top. A girl, dressed all in black, seems to be waiting for you. 

"You," you whisper coldly. "Yes," says Fiona in a matching tone, her mouth forming a sneer. "It's me." 

"Why have you done this to Bartleby?" shouts your partner angrily. 

Fiona waves her hand dismissively. "Oh, it was in my best interests." She doesn't seem to care to elaborate on her reasons, but instead changes the topic. "I suppose you're here to break the curse. You'll never find the amulet that's eating away his life, much less find out how to stop it, unless I tell you. Of course, you could always just search the mansion, but you know what happens if you stay here too long." 

She snaps her fingers, and transparent bluish forms appear around her. You whirl around and find them behind you, too. They're all wizards who succumbed to the curse. Fiona continues on. "They've become bitter and vengeful in all their years invisibly trapped here. You might even find that they want to kill you. It's your choice. You could leave here safely and let Wizard City fall, or you could stand and fight to the death." 

Her eerie smile grows wider as the ghosts close in.



*****

"Well, well," says Fiona when the last ghost vanishes in a puff of smoke. "I'll admit, you're better than I thought. You're out of immediate danger, but you won't survive the mansion's curse. That was laid down by my great-grandfather, and I'm afraid there's no way to break it." You shiver and notice that you're almost as ghostly as Grace was.

"But as for Bartleby's curse," she says, "You're running out of time. Bartleby is dying as we speak, and he won't survive much longer. You'll never find the amulet before you, as the poem puts it, 'join the ghosts in silent moans.' If I think you're clever enough, I just might tell you where it is. You'll never break the curse, anyway. Answer my questions quickly, or I might consider summoning some of my vampire friends..."



*****

Fiona looks surprised. "It seems you're cleverer than I thought. Very well. You'll find the amulet in the room on the left." She gestures with her hand. "I suppose I should tell you 'good luck,' but that's just manners. I'll see you around - if you're lucky." She teleports away in a stark flash of skulls. 

Your partner clenches her fists. "Hmph. Good riddance! Let's hurry and find that amulet."

When you enter the room, it's immediately obvious where the amulet is. On a raised pedestal in the middle of the room, there's a bronze amulet with a tree on it. It seems to be the opposite of glowing; that is, everything around it is cast into a strange darkness. On the pedestal next to it is a very heavy and thick book, likely over 1,000 pages long. How can you find the counter-curse in there? In desperation, you step up to it and desperately begin flipping through.



*****

You stare at the text on the page:

TO BREAK THE WILTING CURSE

The incantation to break the curse can only work when it is heard.

O victim of the wilting spell,
Here I stand your curse to quell.
Become again what you once were
As you regain your life-force sure.

And now, to get the curse to break the amulet with a jolt of power must shake. When this threat does no more loom, escape from your impending doom, for the coming blast will cause your death unless you have this cursed house left.

"All right," you say, "I'm going to read the incantation. But be careful! Apparently something terrible will happen after we break the curse, and we need to leave quickly. Get ready to run." Your partner nods resolutely and braces herself. 

You take a deep breath and begin reading. "O victim of the wilting spell, here I stand your curse to quell. Become again what you once were as you regain your life-force sure." You wait for something to happen, but nothing does. You whisper the lines written after the incantation. "And now, to get the curse to break the amulet with a jolt of power must shake." You raise your staff and aim a blast of magical power at the amulet. 

The amulet glows with a foreboding reddish light and begins to vibrate. "Run!" calls your partner as you both dash for the spiral door. You throw open the house's front door and run down the porch steps, out the gate, and to the steep planks up to the spiral door island. You stop short, remembering how you slipped upon entering the house. Your partner launches herself up the planks and heaves herself onto the small island, turning around to pull you up. 

You take one last horrified look at the house, and find it exploding in a cloud of dust and strange black fire. Then, you look down at your semi-transparent body and jump through the spiral door. The curse is broken at last.

So, this is a speed trivia challenge. The trivia questions will come in three sets, and each set of five questions features a different topic. I will comment at 9:00 AM EST with the first question, and your job is to reply to that comment with the answer as fast as you can. The person who gets it right first wins the question. If nobody gets it right, the person who answers first wins the question. The person who wins the most questions wins the set. After the first set is over, I'll post another section of the story, and post another comment with the first question of the second set TWO minutes later so you have a chance to read it. The questions will proceed as before. After the second set is over, more of the story will be posted and the third set will begin. After the third set is over, the rest of the story will be posted and we'll have a winner! Good luck.


Standings:
Set 1: Emma DawnRider
Set 2: Destiny SoulTamer
Set 3: Destiny SoulTamer

Destiny wins the contest! Congratulations! Prizes will be emailed out soon. There has been one change to the first prize. It is now wand of choice + story mention + custom graphics. Comment to say what you want.

- Sophia E

February 21, 2013

Guess who's here?

It's me again! I know I haven't been on much, what with Sophia's contest, but here I am! My pirate form has been doing some awesome things lately! I did the Presidio a couple of days ago, much to my distress. (I tried to talk my companions out of it so we could attack the Frogfather instead, but they didn't listen.) I'll admit, I felt truly splendiferous after what happened. My crew and I didn't get defeated once! We literally aced the Presidio! And to make it even better: I did it in this AWESOME OUTFIT!!
Don't I have splendiferous fashion sense?
Oh yeah. And my wizard form just got Iceblade! WAHOOOO! Battles are so much easier now!
Emma? What are you doing on the blog?
*stuffs computer behind back* Um...what blog?
Don't try that with me! Out! Now! I have some things to discuss with the readers!
Hmph! I'll get my revenge! *storms out*
I'm so sorry about that. Anyway, I saw your comments, Emma and Destiny. I'm pretty flexible (except for late afternoon and some evenings,) but it looks like this weekend isn't very good for Emma. How do you feel about Monday morning at 9:00 EST? 
Also, I have 5,000 pageviews now! Thanks, everyone!
That's about all for today. I will be posting again soon!

- Sophia E

February 19, 2013

On Pirates, Crafting and New Games?

So, I logged back onto Pirate101 a couple of days ago to remake my pirates. I'd realized I'd made some pretty bad choices in character creation, not to mention I thought their flags were boring. After that, I played a little on Crafty Emma Evans the Buccaneer (with the sound off) and logged off. Later on, I logged on to Wizard101 to craft some things on Emma IceCrafter (with the sound on) and noticed that the music didn't sound right. It was almost like there were two soundtracks playing at once. I turned down the Wizard101 music volume all the way, and sure enough, there was music playing underneath it. I recognized the Skull Island music. Just to test, I logged off of Wizard101 and Pirate101 music was still playing. I browsed the web, edited a document, and did a few other things and the music wouldn't stop playing! It was really annoying, and I decided just to restart my computer. (By the way, the Pirate101 version of Emma has horrible fashion sense. Right now, she is wearing a skull hat, a blue chicken suit with feathers, and regular old pirate boots, not to mention holding a giant spear. Ugh.)

Speaking of Emma, she recently finished crafting all 15 Ornamental Stepstones she needs for the Watchtower Hall.

Now, about the New Games. Right. My friend Elizabeth GoldenThistle went to Knight101.com just to see if there was anything there. Apparently, the website is "parked," which means someone bought the domain but hasn't put any content on it yet. Is Knight101 a new game? Well, I tried to find out. I tried some other things as well. Ninja101 is also parked, but so are Chicken101 and Pigeon101. Unless KI wants us to strut around the spiral as poultry, I'm not sure whether to take the others seriously or not. Thoughts?

- Sophia E

February 18, 2013

Mission: Mansion notice

All right, both of the entries have been turned in. Here's the catch: Remember how I only got six people from the raffle at the beginning? That means that nobody needs to get eliminated this round. That's right; both of you stay in for the final round!

The final task is a speed-based trivia challenge. Just post in the comments with the best times for you and we can coordinate something. Good luck! Here are both the graphics entries.

Destiny's entry

Emma's entry
- Sophia E

February 14, 2013

Mission: Mansion - Task 6

Elizabeth looks up at you and smiles. "Thanks so much," she tells you. "I'm not sure how realistic it is, but it sure made me feel better." She points to a stark white teleporter in the corner of the room. "Grace went through there, and she's waiting for you. You'd better hurry, since she's probably very transparent by now. Good luck." She teleports away.

You take a deep breath and step onto the teleporter. When you arrive on the other end, you notice that you're definitely not in the same building. The floor is glossy stone and mostly covered in a red and gold carpet, with walls made of granite blocks. There's a splendid long feast table down the middle of the room, laden with pumpkins, jugs of some drink, chicken legs, and pies, with a massive cornucopia right in the center. "Wow, this is an impressive dining room," you murmur. Your stomach rumbles when you look at the pie.

"Over here!" says a voice from one end of the room. You turn and notice a transparent girl near the left end of the table. "We have a big problem. I think we're trapped." You turn around and scan the room, then realize she's right. "There aren't any teleporters back to the mansion. Worse yet, I can't just teleport away. I think the room is enchanted, and it's still eating my life away!"

You sigh. It was a bad choice to enter this room, and when you're almost ready to give yourself up for lost, Grace adds, "But there could be another way. Have you heard of Teleport Tapestries? They're magic pictures that can take you to the place depicted. It isn't particularly hard to use the idea to make a Teleport Drawing, but I don't have the right materials." She looks at you hopefully. "Do you happen to have a pencil on you?"

Unfortunately, Alura HexCaster had to be eliminated because she didn't turn in her entry.


Unless you want to be stuck in the DeathCoin's feast hall forever, you'd better get moving! Using the below picture, create something with a magic touch to it to use as a Teleport Drawing. You may use any image manipulation program, or print it out and do something hand-drawn. The only requirements are that you may not use text, use any different images (besides textures), or drawing random patterns on the picture. Everything you add needs to add to the magical effect.


Use this picture!
Email in your entries to sophiaeb at live dot com with the subject line Mission: Mansion - Task 6. The deadline is February 19th at 11:59 PM EST, so get working! The two people left move on to the final battle, which happens to be speed-based. After the contest is judged, if you're left, comment and we can arrange something. Good luck, and may the best wizard win!

- Grace S

February 03, 2013

Mission: Mansion - Task 5

"I've got it!" you shout triumphantly as you throw down your pencil and wince at the loud echo that ricochets around the room. "Here's the poem:
Intruder who is not of death
Wait and watch your doom befall
For you will fade to a mere breath
Because death is master of them all.

A cold will come, chilling your bones
As death pervades your body and mind
You'll join the ghosts in silent moans
It was a mistake to come, you'll find.

But if you are of death, rejoice!
For you are noble, shrewd, and clever
You'll help us to complete our choice
To end the other schools forever."

Emma winces. "So basically...everyone who enters the mansion and isn't death is cursed. They'll feel a freezing cold and slowly turn into a ghost. Then they die and haunt this place forever unseen. We'd better get out of here fast. I need to make sure the others who are still here know." She takes a moment to relay the message about the curse to the others in whisper chat. Then, she glances uneasily around the library. "I wonder if there are any ghosts haunting us right now?" You shiver at the thought and notice that you're starting to get a little cold, too.

"Come on," she says. "We'd better hurry and meet up with Elizabeth. We need to finish this unpleasant Bartleby business as soon as possible. I think she's in the study upstairs." She dashes out of the room and you follow her, panting to keep up. 

She runs up the grand staircase in the entryway and turns right into a smaller room. The first thing that you hear is a monotonous voice repeating the same words over and over: "I'm not going to die...I'm not going to die...I'm not going to die..." 

"Elizabeth?" calls Emma softly. "We're here." The droning monotone stops and a girl dressed in bright yellow appears around a corner. At least, her robes probably were bright yellow before she became a ghost. Her semi-transparency mutes the colors significantly, and the outlines of the books and scrolls on the shelves behind her are more pronounced. 

"Great!" says Elizabeth. "Thanks for everything. I can take it from here." Emma nods, clearly looking relieved, and teleports away. As soon as she's gone, Elizabeth breaks down. She's obviously really scared at the moment. "The curse...is working on me...and before you know it...I'll be a permanent ghost!" she wails. "Please help me end the story another way! Please!"

You look at her in wonder. "End the story another way...yes, that's exactly what we need! So here's what's going to happen next..."

Congratulations to Destiny SoulTamer, who solved the poem perfectly! On a sadder note, we need to eliminate Isabella StarSong since she didn't turn in her entry.

Elizabeth is convinced that she won't escape the mansion. To help her through it, you need to end the story another way like she asked. Start with the scene above, rewriting it in first person from Elizabeth's point of view including her thoughts. After that, finish the story with a happy ending such as escaping the mansion or thwarting the curse. The part completely written by you should be longer than 200 but no longer than 2,000 words. 

Since my real life friend Elizabeth helped to contribute the prizes, she'll be judging this contest. Just email your entries to sophiaeb at live dot com with the subject line Mission: Mansion Task 5 and I'll forward them to her. The person eliminated is chosen by her personal opinion and I have very little say in the matter, so please don't complain if you get eliminated. I'm going to give you a lot of time for this one. The deadline is February 10th at 11:59 PM EST.

- Sophia E