Blue Lacuna — 120 of 467

Aaron A. Reed

Release 4

Chapter - Studio

Homeworld-Studio is a room in Homeworld with printed name "Studio". Understand "studio" as Homeworld-Studio. Kitchen is down from The-Tumble. The description of Homeworld-Studio is "[homestuddesc].". To say homestuddesc: say "Your art has claimed this side of the main floor; paint-spattered canvas twists crumpled underfoot, palettes and buckets and brushes stacked and strewn between them. [if abstract paintings are on-stage]Abstract [o]studies[x] lie in piles where you've abandoned them, except a few Rume has saved and pinned to the wall. [end if]The [o]fire[x] [if fireplace is banked]burns low, painting the interior of the lodge with dull heat and molten glow[otherwise]rages, flooding the room with yellow-orange light, driving away the chill[end if].[paragraph break][easelbit][rumehwbit].[paragraph break][exits][tutorial-studio]". The exits text of Homeworld-Studio is "The solid front [d]door[x] is shut tight against the frigid night air. Opposite the fire, a few flat stones lead [d]across[x] the stream to the kitchen". Understand "kitchen" as south when location is Homeworld-Studio. To say rumehwbit: say "[if Rume-Conversation is happening and Rume is on-stage].[paragraph break][o]Rume[x] stands on the balcony above, smoking and watching you quietly[end if]". [aar]

HStudio-stuff is stuff in Homeworld-Studio. Understand "space/lodge/wooden/spattered/palette/palettes/bucket/buckets/interior/dull/molten/glow" as HStudio-stuff when location is Homeworld-Studio.

The fireplace is an undescribed backdrop. It is in Homeworld-Studio and Kitchen and The-Tumble. Understand "fire" or "flames" or "heap" or "glowing" or "embers" as fireplace. The description is "The fireplace extends on a large, semicircular platform into the lodge[if location is Homeworld-Studio], the wide curving hearth around it strewn with rugs and pairs of drying winter [o]boots[x]. [firedetails]. A bundle of [o]matches[x] rests on the mantel.". Instead of touching the fireplace, say "You hold your hands out to the [if fireplace is banked]glowing embers[otherwise]hot flames[end if] and feel warmth seep into them." Understand "put out fire" as a mistake ("The fire is all that separates this house from the cold and the dark.").

The fireplace is either banked or raging. The fireplace is banked. Understand "bank up [something]" or "build up [something]" or "stoke [something]" or "make [fireplace]" or "light [fireplace]" or "feed [fireplace]" or "bank [something]" as burning. To say firedetails: say "[if fireplace is banked]The fire has been banked down to a heap of glowing embers, heating even this large space through the long night, and providing a glow bright enough to see by[otherwise]The fire burns hotly, logs blazing in the heat and encircled by swirls of ember[end if]". Instead of burning fireplace: if fireplace is raging begin; say "The fire is already built up into a raging blaze."; otherwise; now fireplace is raging; say "You pull some heavy logs from the stack, open the mesh grating, and position them carefully over the glowing embers. After a few minutes work with the brass poker, you have built the fire into a raging blaze, filling the lodge with light and warmth."; end if. The brass poker is a prop in Homeworld-Studio. Instead of taking the poker, try burning fireplace. [ There's really no point to all this, but it's another way of hinting to players that they can affect the world.]

Some matches are an undescribed prop in Homeworld-Studio. The description is "A small pile of matches and a starting stone.". Understand "match/box/stone/bundle" as matches. Understand "strike [matches]" or "light [matches]" as burning. Instead of burning or switching on matches when lamp is enclosed by location, try switching on lamp. Instead of burning or using matches, say "You strike a match, and watch its tall yellow flame till it burns down to your fingers and vanishes.". Check touching matches: say "Splintery sticks." instead. Check taking matches: try burning matches instead.

The hearth is a minor setpiece in Homeworld-Studio. The description is "The worn brick is radiating heat."

Some rugs are a minor setpiece in Homeworld-Studio. The description is "Soft and warm."

Some firewood is a prop in Homeworld-Studio. Understand "heaping" or "stack" or "wood" or "logs" or "fire wood" or "stack of firewood" as firewood. The description is "Each of the heavy logs is thick enough to burn for hours, even in your large fireplace.". Instead of taking, burning, putting or using firewood, try burning fireplace.

Some pairs of winter boots are a prop in Homeworld-Studio. Understand "boot" or "shoe" as boots. The description is "Nearly dry and ready for another day breaking snowbanks.". Instead of taking or wearing boots, say "Somewhere inside you prickles a feeling. You won't need them where you're going.". Instead of touching boots, say "Cured and hardened leather, worn smooth at the ankles, and soft otter-skin lining, still damp.". Check smelling boots: say "They'll have to sit a lot longer in front of the fire before you're willing to do that." instead.

The flattened stones are an undescribed backdrop. Understand "stone" as flattened stones. They are in Kitchen and Homeworld-Studio. The description is "Their tops, sheared perfectly flat, rise just above the gurgling surface of the stream." Instead of touching stones, say "Worn smooth." Instead of entering or crossing or leaping or using stones: if location is Kitchen, try going north; otherwise try going south.

Understand "cross/across" as south when location is Homeworld-Studio. Understand "cross/across" as north when location is Kitchen.

Some abstract paintings are a setpiece in Homeworld-Studio. Understand "studies/pile/piles/few/pinned" as abstract paintings. The description is "Not studies in the sense of a student hoping to learn, but of a master surveying his domain in satisfaction and reflection. For you are a master. There's no ego or pride involved; it's simply true. You couldn't wayfare if you were otherwise.[paragraph break]The studies are as meaningless as muscles twitching before sleep, and you wish Rume wouldn't hang them like this. All they do is remind you that [if Rume is female]s[end if]he doesn't understand, never will. All they remind you of are things you'd rather forget.". Instead of burning abstract paintings: say "Gathering up the loose canvases and sheets of paper, you feed them one by one into the fire. The copper smell of burning paint fills the lodge as the paintings vanish in smoke. Like you have, so many times before."; remove abstract paintings from play. Instead of taking abstract paintings: say "Useless.".

Some paintbrushes are an undescribed prop in Homeworld-Studio. The description of some paintbrushes is "You scarcely notice them, other than as extensions of yourself.". Instead of taking or using the paintbrushes: try painting lacuna-canvas. Understand "brush" or "paint brush" or "brushes" or "paint brushes" or "paintbrush" as paintbrushes. Check painting some paintbrushes: try painting lacuna-canvas instead.

The lacuna-canvas is an undescribed setpiece in Homeworld-Studio with printed name "canvas". Understand "canvas" or "painting" or "tree9/yellow/flower/flowers" or "art" or "drawing" or "picture" as the lacuna-canvas when location is regionally in Homeworld. The lacuna-canvas can be unbegun, mostly finished, almost finished, or finished. The lacuna-canvas is unbegun.

An easel is an undescribed setpiece. To say easelbit: say "[if lacuna-canvas is unbegun]A wide blank [o]canvas[x] stands on an easel in the center of the studio, space cleared around it like the eye of a storm[otherwise if The-Path-Of-Love is happening]In the center of the room, alone on its easel, your [o]painting[x] waits, again[otherwise]Your [o]painting[x] of a strange, withered tree is almost complete, almost real[end if]".

The description of the lacuna-canvas is "[lccanvasdesc].". To say lccanvasdesc: if lacuna-canvas is unbegun begin; say "The cream-white canvas is pulled taut as a drum, achingly empty. There's nothing magical about its fibers, of course, no strange alchemical mixture in your paints, no glamor in your simple [o]brushes[x]. You wayfare because of you: the act of painting simply helps your mind, your being to define the world you'll become part of. Each of the billion decisions you make as you paint, of texture, tone, pressure, position, size, helps winnow the spiraling infinitudes down to the single one that becomes your new reality.[paragraph break]The painting itself, the one you leave behind, is merely a painting. But always a masterwork.[paragraph break]As your fingers near canvas, the [o]Call[x] pulls strongly on your mind. The image you must paint burbles in your mind, almost clear"; otherwise if The-Path-Of-Love is happening; say "Its immediacy tingles your pores with cold pinpricks. The morning light streams through the door and seeps into the colors, expands them with vibrant life. But the painting is wrong now. The tree you painted twenty years ago has grown, not on your canvas but on the world it exists, and you see, almost feel it with sudden shocking clarity: branches thickened, new leaves sprouted; the hillside behind has become more overgrown; the wisps of clouds in the sky of your canvas are from a different season than the one that now breathes through the lemon-yellow leaves. You know this all in a sudden shock of gnosis, like an unexpected wave smacking and submerging you. And your fingertips tingle and long to make the tree right. To make it real again.[paragraph break][otextra][pflag1]"; otherwise; say "You've painted a tree. Strange, like nothing that might have come from your own mind. Lemon-yellow leaves surround a withered trunk wrapped in vine; through holes in the branches you can see the sea[pflag1]"; end if. lc_painting_flag is a number that varies. lc_painting_flag is 0. To say pflag1: now lc_painting_flag is 1. Instead of taking the lacuna-canvas, say "The canvas will not move. Only you will." Instead of touching lacuna-canvas, say "[if lacuna-canvas is unbegun][lc-unbegun][otherwise]You rub a miniscule correction into a patch of sky. The wet paint feels electric under your fingertips, like carbonated mud.[end if]". To say lc-unbegun: say "The white surface feels [if we chose love]rough and coarse to you tonight[otherwise]smooth, the texture thrilling, almost erotic in its infinite possibility[end if].". Instead of attacking or burning lacuna-canvas, say "You toy with the thought briefly, like a child on the edge of a cliff getting rushes from vertigo. But you are a wayfarer, and you could no more destroy this canvas than cut off your own thumb.". Instead of smelling lacuna-canvas, say "[if unbegun]It smells clean and fresh[otherwise]The smell of wet paint is intoxicating[end if].".

Check wayfaring when location is Homeworld-Studio: try vague painting instead.

Every turn when lacuna-canvas is almost finished and lacuna-canvas is enclosed by location and a random chance of 1 in 6 succeeds, say "The canvas arcs with potential energy, yearning for [d]paint[x]; only a few more strokes of your brush and it will be complete.". [ People seem to get stuck at the end; this gives a little push.]

Check painting lacuna-canvas: try vague painting instead.

paint-check is a number that varies. First instead of vague painting when lacuna-canvas is enclosed by the location and paint-check is 0: now paint-check is 1; say "You hesitate long moments, fear and excitement trembling your fingertips as they hover just above your brushes. The [o]Call[x] whispers in your mind, teasing, wondering if you are ready to answer it[tutorial-lastchance].".

Instead of vague painting when lacuna-canvas is enclosed by location:

if lacuna-canvas is unbegun begin;

now paintbrushes are carried by the player;

if we chose art or we chose both, say "A queasy tremor of thrill and fear runs within you. Carefully, you [if player holds the oil lamp]set the oil lamp on a shelf, [end if][if fireplace is banked]build up the fire, flooding the room with heat and warm light, and [end if][if the player is not wearing outfit]retrieve your worn, threadbare traveling clothes from the cellar. As you slip into them their touch is like an old lover swum back to you, fighting improbable currents of memory. You [end if]gather palette, brushes, and colors, vague ticklings behind your mind coalescing now into a scene more vivid than the world before you. As you touch brush to canvas, something like ecstasy fills you as its textured white expanse is violated by a shocking streak of lemon-yellow. You realize in a flash that your choice earlier was predestined. You've always chosen art before love, because for you they are merged in one entity, merged but unequal, your muse always winning out in battles with your heart";

otherwise say "Awkwardly, you [if player holds the oil lamp]set the oil lamp on a shelf and [end if][if fireplace is banked]struggle to build up the fire, finally producing a blaze that floods the room with heat and light. That done, you [end if][if the player is not wearing outfit]retrieve your threadbare traveling clothes from the cellar and pull them on. You [end if]fumble for palette and brushes, knocking your shins on the easel. The smell of Rume still lingers in the air, clings invisibly to your body, as if your earlier choice of love now thwarts your fingers and intentions with delicate jealousy. A hesitancy seems to cloud your mind; though the Call seems inevitable, some sage part of you knows it is not, that you could abandon it and go back to bed and live out a happy life here in the mountains[if children are possible] until unborn children bury you both behind the garden[end if]. You pause for a long moment before the blank canvas, brush in hand, a droplet of thick lemon-yellow quivering at the tips of bristles. Then, with a sigh, you press the brush against the cloth";

now the player wears outfit;

if player holds the oil lamp, move oil lamp to Homeworld-Studio;

remove bathrobe from play;

now the fireplace is raging;

remove the concept of the Call from play;

say ".[paragraph break]There is none of the deliberate experimentation, the careful decisions that come with your usual work: this time, the scene already exists in your mind's eye, formed by the Call. All you have to do is make it real.[paragraph break]There is no sense of time, but hours must pass.[paragraph break]By the time you force yourself to step back for a moment, to pull away from the [o]painting[x], the intensity of the world you are already half a part of, you are almost finished";

say "[if we chose love or we chose both]. You can't leave Rume like this; there must be explanations, and pain, and goodbyes. But as you turn to head up the stairs you see [o]Rume[x] already stands[else]. You look up, and notice [o]Rume[x][end if] on the landing above, smoking and watching you silently.[paragraph break]And you know at a glance [if Rume is female]s[end if]he understands. [if Rume is female]She[else]He[end if] cannot come with you.";

now the lacuna-canvas is mostly finished;

[ triggers Rume-Conversation ]

otherwise if lacuna-canvas is mostly finished and The-Path-Of-Love is happening;

say "There's no reason to wait. You've nothing to pack, no one to say goodbye to, nothing to arrange. [if player does not wear homemade outfit]Pulling your old traveling clothes down from the wall, y[else]Y[end if]ou approach the canvas hesitantly. For long moments you stand there, arranging and rearranging your paints, afraid perhaps to begin. But inevitably, you do.[paragraph break]The paints are supple and clear as ever. You thicken branches, reposition leaves, change the patterns in the sky-- all to make it right again, to make it real. When it's almost finished, and you step back to say your final goodbyes to this world. Only a touch more [d]paint[x] and it will be complete.";

now lacuna-canvas is almost finished;

otherwise if lacuna-canvas is mostly finished;

say "You touch some imperceptible details into the [o]canvas[x], smudging and clarifying and coaxing until-- there-- it is almost done. [paragraph break]A change seems to come over the lodge, perhaps over yourself. You are a brush stroke away from the point of no return; from never seeing this house or the fire or the snow-capped mountains outside again[if Rume is enclosed by location].[paragraph break]From the balcony above, Rume leans forward, hands tight on the rail as if afraid of being torn from it, and you cannot bring [hisher] face into focus. Some electric potential dances in the air, some enormous weight balanced on a tipping point, ready to tumble[end if].";

now lacuna-canvas is almost finished;


say "You trace a final line on your canvas, and you are somewhere else.[paragraph break]It's smaller than you expected, the tree. But the wrinkled grey-white trunk, the sinuous branches with their gaping holes, are just what you painted, details between the bristles, between the molecules of paint, brought from neural twitchings to physical reality, again.[paragraph break]Turning your head, you take your first breath in this world.";

now lacuna-canvas is finished;

[ ends Rume-Conversation ]

end if.

Report going from The-Tumble to Kitchen: say "You descend the curved staircase silently, following the stream as it tumbles down the slope, touching the polished wood of the banister more for comfort than balance.". Report going from The-Tumble to Your Bedroom: say "You slip quietly back into the bedroom.".

Report going from Homeworld-Studio to Kitchen: say "You step lightly over the flat stones crossing the stream." Report going from Kitchen to Homeworld-Studio: say "You step lightly over the flat stones crossing the stream." Report going from Kitchen to The-Tumble: say "You climb the stairs up to the balcony again."