Blue Lacuna — 159 of 467

Aaron A. Reed

Release 4

Section - The Cube and the Sketchbook

A wooden cube is an undescribed openable container in Hut. It is closed and fixed in place. The wooden cube is either Progue-disturbed or nonProgue-disturbed. It is nonProgue-disturbed. Understand "box" as wooden cube. The description is "[one of]You blow sand and dust off as you kneel to examine it, brushing years of neglect from its detailed surface. [or][stopping]The box is a perfect cube, each side about the length of your forearm, carved from interlocking pieces of wood which fit together seamlessly without nails or mismatched joins. Intricate [o]carvings[x] cover every surface. Salt crusts the lower third, where the wood is swollen and discolored[if cube is open].[paragraph break]The top of the cube has swung open, revealing a delicate [o]sketchbook[x], seemingly undamaged[end if].". After doing something to wooden cube: now wooden cube is nonProgue-disturbed; continue the action. The dream-text of wooden cube is "wooden cubes, each intricately carved with a scene from your life". Check touching wooden cube: try touching intricate carvings instead.

Check taking the wooden cube: say "The wooden cube is too heavy and bulky to carry around[if sketchbook is in cube], but as you lift it experimentally, you hear something shifting inside[end if]." instead. Check knocking the cube: say "You rap experimentally on the side of the cube, and hear a hollow thunk in response." instead. Instead of pushing or pulling the wooden cube, say "You rock the cube back and forth. It seems lighter than it should be[if sketchbook is in cube], and you can hear something shifting around inside[end if]." Check attacking the wooden cube: say "You throw the cube at one of the walls. It makes a hollow clunk as it impacts but the wood does not give way[if sketchbook is in cube], although you can hear something flopping around inside[end if]." instead. Check opening an open wooden cube: say "The top has already been swung open." instead.

The intricate carvings are part of the wooden cube. The description is "The carvings, impossibly tiny, make up one immense, tropical scene. Splashing dolphins segue seamlessly into beaches littered with shells, tall, graceful palm trees, laughing children, and fanciful animals. You could study these carvings for hours without taking in all the detail.[paragraph break]Along the top of the cube, worked into the design, are five oval [o]indentations[x]." Check touching the carvings: say "The relief is only as deep as a fingernail, but seems to lend the carvings a remarkable sense of depth and dimension. You run your finger along the aging wood, feeling the texture of the grain and the artist's tool." instead.

The cube is either primed or unprimed. The cube is unprimed.

Some oval indentations are part of the wooden cube. Understand "ovals/indentation/five/fifth" as oval indentations. The description is "Four are clustered together in an arc, the fifth farther apart.". Touching or pushing oval indentations is clever-cube-opening. Instead of clever-cube-opening: now cube is primed; try opening the cube. Understand "put hand/finger/fingers in/on [something]" or "place hand/finger/fingers in/on [something]" or "touch hand/finger/fingers to [something]" as touching when location is Hut.

First check opening the cube when the cube is unprimed: say "You can't see any signs of hinge or latch." instead.

First report opening the cube: say "You slip your fingers into the indentations along the top and push with your other hand. The top rotates open easily, revealing a delicate [o]sketchbook[x]." instead. First report closing the cube: say "You rotate the top back into place, and it catches with a gentle 'snick' sound, forming an almost seamless join." instead.

The sketchbook is an undescribed book in the wooden cube. The description is "You examine the sketchbook carefully, a beautiful handmade thing, thick paper pressed from some creamy-tan wood, the spiral binding a thin coil of copper-colored metal. On the cover is a handwritten [o]inscription[x]." After examining the sketchbook: try reading the sketchbook. Understand "page" or "notebook" or "drawing" or "book" or "sketch" as the sketchbook. The contents of the sketchbook is the Table of the sketchbook. [Check dropping the sketchbook when location is not Hut: say "You shouldn't leave this just lying around anywhere." instead.] [After dropping the sketchbook: now cube is nonProgue-disturbed; if cube is on-stage begin; move sketchbook to cube; say "You place the sketchbook back inside the wooden cube for safekeeping."; end if.] Instead of taking the sketchbook: say "Better not. Whoever locked it up here must have wanted it safe.". The initial appearance of the sketchbook is "[if location is not Hut]the sketchbook lies crumpled on the ground.[otherwise]A beautiful handmade sketchbook is here.[end if]". The dream-text of sketchbook is "blank sketchbooks". After reading the sketchbook: now cube is nonProgue-disturbed; continue the action.

[First Before going or exiting when player holds sketchbook: try dropping sketchbook.] [First check wordgoing when player holds sketchbook: if cube is on-stage begin; move sketchbook to cube; say "You place the sketchbook back inside the wooden cube for safekeeping."; end if.] [This is necessary because wordgoing is an action out of world.]

The handwritten inscription is a story-based scrawl. It is part of the sketchbook. The standard message is "[']And the maker of life must turn from art, and the maker of art must turn from life.[']". The secret message is " dancers, dancers...".

The notes-and-diagrams are part of the sketchbook. Understand "schematics/notes/calculations/diagrams/diagram" as notes-and-diagrams. The description is "Completely incomprehensible.".

Table of the sketchbook

"The first drawing shows a stunning portrait study of two girls, maybe ten or eleven. Long black hair frames unsmiling but beautiful faces, trapped between the carefree whimsy of childhood and some premature pain that strips it away. At first you take them for twins, though subtle differences of appearance suggest otherwise, because of their nearly identical expressions. Though they look out at you and not each other, some bond strong even for sisters connects them, forged perhaps in loss and strengthened by necessity of reliance, each upon the other."
"A landscape fills the next page, showing the beach outside and the half-constructed cabin against the lava flow. The two girls play in the sand, one building a sand castle while a skittering crab watches, the other brushing her hair with a comb carved to look like two leaping dolphins. Behind them a tall figure chops branches from a felled tree trunk. While the beach and the girls are sharp and finely detailed, the figure is fuzzy and dark, indistinct, drawn with heavy, crude lines. Though just a small part of the scene, his presence throws the rest of the sketch into some sadder, unsettling mood."
"This page shows a rough map of the island. The half-circle of the lagoon on the west side, its north end bounded by the rocky lava flow that swoops up to the volcano in the south, are easily recognizable. The chasm running from the break in the volcano's side to the north end of the beach is marked with a danger sign and six tiny colored lines. A plateau filled with dense rain forest fills the island's east side, interrupted by a ravine that divides it from the looming mountain in the northeast.[paragraph break]A furious scribbled star marks a point deep within the eastern rain forest, with a crude drawing of a bee alongside it."
"Angry scribbles nearly obliterate the next sketch, which shows, in incredible detail, one of the [if tree1 is named]windsigh trees[otherwise]strange twisted trees[end if], every twist of encircling vines and gap in its sinuous branches carefully rendered. The dark and crudely drawn figure from the earlier sketch lies curled up asleep in its roots, and from his head spring dozens of images rising in curves and whorls, a panoply of dreams and ideas hovering above him, twisting through the branches of the tree."
"The next pages are filled with inscrutably dense schematics, notes, and calculations, growing smaller and more obtuse by the page until they devolve into meaningless scribbles. One cluster of diagrams centers around blueprints of a three-sided pyramid structure, connected to some elaborate network of underground machinery."
"You flip past several blank pages before reaching one last sketch on the notebook's final page, which seems to have been done much later than the others. It shows a man sitting watching the sun set over the ocean, his back turned and face invisible, holding the comb with the two leaping dolphins. The sketch is sloppy, almost careless, but still exudes a palpable sense of sadness and regret."