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WoD: 13 Nights in Pleasant Glen

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World of Darkness: 13 Nights in Pleasant Glen

 

[Music]

Welcome to Pleasant Glen.

 

The bus had passed the signboard marking the boundary between the outside world and Pleasant Glen fifteen minutes ago. The rain and fogging obscures much of what you can see through the filthy windows of your transport, but your feel of the town is that it is suburban. As far as you can tell from your vantage points, the town comprises plots of lands divided by roads, and narrow alleyways. You are surprised by the emergence of the occasional large, municipal buildings from the fog; they are few and far in-between. Some of the plots are occupied by small residences, but more still are merely empty lots. There is no one else to be seen on the pavements, which you surmise is attributable to the dreary weather.

 

You had been chatting among yourselves along the route to Pleasant Glen, as there were only four of you on-board the fortnightly shuttle bus. But all of you had fallen silent upon entering the town, each fully absorbed in the view that was gradually darkening into view outside your window.

 

The bus eventually slows to a stop with a gentle screech of metal, and all of you alight, stepping into the Eastern European chill that is characteristic of this time of the year. Before you looms a building larger and taller than any you had hitherto seen in this town. A faded nameplate over the entrance identified it as Bedlam Hostel. Eager to escape the downpour, all of you push open the double doors, which creaked noisily, and bundle inside.

---

 

[silence]

The lobby of Bedlam Hostel is a throwback to the 80s. You get a sense that it must have been grand once, but those days are long gone. The candescent lighting provide but dim visibility. The decors seem gaudy to your sensibilities. The air smells musty.  You will be relieved if your beds didn't house bedbugs.

 

Strangely, the hotel seems empty and subdued, with even the rain outside sounding muted and distant. However, as you approach the front desk, you notice that your keys have been neatly laid out for you. The allocations are as follows:

Steven - 605

Jaegar Durant - 503

Jiri Uetz - 602

Marissa Washington - 601

 

You decide to check into your rooms by yourselves. Thankfully, there is a working elevator. It proves to be a bit of a squeeze for all of you and your luggages, but you manage.

 

Jaegar alights at the fifth story, while the rest alights at the sixth. The disquieting silence in the narrow corridors makes even your footfalls on the maroon carpet sound conspicuously loud. The rooms are ordered such that odd-numbered rooms are on one side of the corridors and the even-numbered ones on the other. There are only six rooms on each level.

 

The rooms are similar in design. Each has a single bed tucked against a wall. The far wall has two panels of full-length windows installed with thick red curtains. There is a bedside cabinet with a bedside lamp, a table with a make-up mirror and a wardrobe, but no television. 

 

Steven finds that the lock to his room is faulty; his room cannot be locked.

 

Jiri finds that his room has a faint, rancid smell.

 

Marissa finds that her room's make-up mirror is completely covered with the blanket.

 

Everyone finds a tray of items laid out for them on the table: a brochure, a telephone that has yet to be connected to the socket in the room, a card with instructions on how to use the hostel's phone system, a small and worn copy of the bible, a roll of toilet paper, a glass cup and a thermoflask.

 

A quick check outside reveals that it has stopped raining. It is now 3pm. What will each of you do? Here are some possible options:

A. Attempt to remedy the defects of your room by yourself

B. Attempt to search the hotel

C. Explore the surroundings

D. Any other actions you deem useful.

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The room I enter seems alright in and of itself. I've made use of worse conditions. First thing's first however, I gotta get this phone set up. That'll take just a second. Then afterward, I'll check the brochure and look out my window, to get a feel for my surroundings, see if I can distinguish anything that might be listed as a hot spot from the brochure from the view of the window.

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Jaegar

Setting up the phone is a matter as simple as plugging it in to the utility mains and the phone jack. As soon as you do so, you hear a tone from the receiver. Scanning through the manual briefly, you find that keying in any three digits will call the room of the corresponding door number. However, both rooms must be configured to link to each other first. You link yours to your three companions' rooms and try dialing their numbers, but the calls do not get connected; it seems that they have yet to connect their phones.

 

You notice that a message scrawled on the bottom of the back of the manual that dialing 001 calls the front desk.

 

The brochure is a foldout that describes the various places of attractions in Pleasant Glen. It appears to have been printed many years ago and has been discolored in many places. You note the following information:

The Warren Museum of the Occult is located on Founders' Avenue. It houses a collection of items with supernatural origins from this part of the world.

 

The Clock Tower Mansion is located on the outskirts northwest of town. It is described as being vast and featuring some of the most elegant architecture in Pleasant Glen, having been home to the mayor in the past. The brochure also mentions that visitors may spend a night in the mansion if they inform the hostess in advance.

 

The Carmody Cathedral is located on King's Street in the west. It serves the local parish, which the brochure describes as being "bizarre and reclusive".

 

The Lost Shrine is rumored to appear before travelers who lose their way in the Nameless Forest south of town. This seems to be a gimmicky advertisement trick.

 

Looking out of your window, you see that the rain has stopped but the mist lingers on. From your vantage, you observe that Grace's Groceries nearby has its lights on. You also observe the silhouette of a man sitting by the side of the street holding up some kind of a sign.

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(Steven is monologuing out loud, so you guys can hear whatever he's saying if you're in the vicinity.)

 

"The moment I arrived at my room, I knew something was off. I reached out to grab the door handle, getting ready to unlock it - but alas! It was already unlocked! A hard-boiled detective like me wouldn't get scared at something like this, but still, it was quite suspicious. A quick inspection revealed that my door lock was faulty. Why would they provide me with door keys in the first place? This is absurd! I'll complain to their upper management!

 

No, Steven, calm yourself. This isn't something a hard-boiled detective would get worked up over. Yes, hard-boiled. I suppose I'll get to fixing it myself later. Wouldn't count on those lazy hotel management to do anything by the time I check out. Oh look, someone's forgotten to connect the telephone. This reeks of SUSPICION, Camus. Here, let me connect it back. (Connect phone)

 

Well, I guess I might as well make myself home! Good thing I took those survival lessons at my community center. A hard-boiled detective like me wouldn't want to get caught with my pants down not knowing what to do, dang it. First I'll let some light into this darned place (Open curtains). Okay. Now, let's see if I can find anything else suspicious around here... (Open all wardrobes, cabinets and drawers in the room to check their contents).

 

If I don't find anything, I guess I'll go work on that darned door, Camus. (Attempt to fiddle with lock to fix it, or at least identify the problem)"

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Steven

The phone works exactly as it's supposed to. If you desire, you may now converse with Jaegar over the phone.

 

Drawing the curtains lets in some sunlight. If you hadn't switched on the lights when you entered the room, it is now much brighter. The view from your window is nearly identical to Jaegar's, but you catch glimpses of a large water body at the end of town.

 

Your preliminary search of the wardrobe, cabinet and drawers reveal that they are empty save for a discarded paper bag from a bakery called Malcolm's Meat Pies. You may, if you wish, conduct a more thorough search of the room by rolling Wits + Investigation for an extended action. 3 successes required. Each roll represents 15 minutes of meticulous searching.

 

The lock seems fixable. To attempt to fix the lock, roll Dexterity + Crafts for an extended action. 4 successes required. Each roll represents 15 minutes of fiddling with the lock. You may choose to stop any time after a roll. 

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"Well, that's no good. I've never been successful with these blasted mechanical things. Hmm? Maybe the dude a level below may be of help fixing this darned thing. (Call Jaeger)."

 

Assuming Jaeger picks up:

"Hey, Durant! Smith here. Wanted you ask you for a favor. If you're bored, why don't you come up and have a look at my door? The lock's busted, and I don't feel safe without having at least some privacy, y'know? You're a military man too, you'd understand me. What do you say?" (Ask Jaeger if he can fix the door)

 

After the call:

"Might as well do some searching while I'm here. Wouldn't want no ghosts to pop up and blow me up while I'm sleeping an' all." (Conduct thorough search of room)

 

First roll: 1 success.

http://sheetgen.dalines.net/wiki/WikiDiceRoller?hash=06fddf3f

 

Second roll: 3 successes.

http://sheetgen.dalines.net/wiki/WikiDiceRoller?hash=eef6d2bf

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It is funny that no one else, save for me, look like they are on vacation. I've brought along a huge baggage containing beachwear, winter wear (who knows what kind of weather we will be expecting in Pleasant Glen?) and some necessary supplies for Toga (the tortoise) and Elbert (the hamster). Pleasant Glen doesn't seem like a popular tourist destination yet. After all, there were only 4 people on the bus, including me. There were two steely-looking men (with suspiciously bulky luggages, both of them) and an annoying professor who would not stop talking about himself and his books. He does not seem like a very wise professor to me. Probably in the same league as those nutcases who give me a C in class for bad citations.

 

I would have graduated by now, if not for such snobbish stick-in-the-muds.

 

But it is good. If few people have heard of the place, the locals wouldn't mark up the prices of their goods. Maybe I can even haggle for a bargain.

 

It turns out that one of the steely men, Steven, talks to himself. It can be quite discomforting being privy to someone's thought processes, especially when the person seems a really paranoid kind of guy. And he said I was suspicious because I kept glancing at him so. I decided the best thing to do was to pretend not to be listening.

 

Our hotel, Bedlam Hotel, turns out to be a terribly old place, with a faded signboard and nobody to greet us. And they even spelled the sign wrongly too. They added an "S" in "hotel". There was no time to complain then, for the rain was getting stronger, and Elbert was starting to squeak in his cage. We ran into the building and picked up the keys assigned to us. I wondered aloud how many inhabitants were in this place. It looked so quiet and gloomy.

 

The room was pretty nice though, much larger and better-furnished than my rented room, except there was a piece of cloth covering something on the table. I reached into my baggage and took out a long ruler. Standing as far away from the cloth as possible, I stuck the ruler under the cloth and lifted it gently, slowly, to see what was underneath. It was probably a splotchy mirror.

 

The room smelled musty. My hands tightened around the ruler and I felt my heart thumping, faster and faster. Was there room service I could call to clean this place up?

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Hearing the phone ring I head over to the desk where it lay buzzing for me to pick up. "Who the hell would be calling me?" As I pick it up, the cold of the plastic touches my ear and I shiver a moment before hearing the man at the other end.

 

"What do you say?"

 

"The door's lock..? I could take a crack at it...could always go into town to buy a padlock or something but yeah sure." Five minutes into this hotel and I'm already needed. I guess it can't be helped. With that I make my way upstairs to the room Mr. Camus was staying in. Knocking on it, I let myself in, what's he gonna do, lock me out? "Hey, I'm here to check the lock for you."

 

First Roll, 4 Successes

(http://sheetgen.dalines.net/wiki/WikiDiceRoller?hash=90de6496)

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The hostel is a bit disappointing. It looked better in the pictures. Moreover, it wasn't really a place befitting an eminent professor. The others seem like drifters and layabouts, this place is on their level, but not mine. At any rate, I couldn't afford better, and at least there doesn't seem to be many visitors to the town so I won't have to deal with anyone important seeing where I'm staying. On the trip home I'll think up some embellishments and boast to my colleagues about the high class hotel I stayed in.

 

I set down my luggage and go to open the curtains and windows. The room doesn't smell right, but perhaps it has just been closed up for too long and needs some fresh air. I examine the tray contents. After reading the phone instructions, I get it connected, and sit it on top of the instruction card and the copy of the bible. I like things to be organized, especially when there's so few of them. I'll wash the glass and thermoflask out before using them, I don't trust that they've been cleaned properly.

 

That smell still isn't going away. In fact I'm sure now it's not just musty air, it smells particularly rancid. I'll take a quick look around to see if I can find where the smell is coming from.

 

[Presuming the same roll as Octy to search the room: 4 successes (http://sheetgen.dalines.net/wiki/WikiDiceRoller?hash=4e2649ce)]

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Steven

Your thorough search yields the following:

There is mold growing at a corner of your bathroom. It doesn't seem serious.

 

There is a thin line of salt encircling the perimeter of your room. The line goes around the walls of the room and the entrance to the bathroom.

 

[Rolled for reflexive Perception. 0 successes. Link]

 

The line is unbroken save for the entrance. You deduce that you must have upset the line when you had entered the room earlier. For some reason, you immediately feel much less safer.

 

You figure that there's no point searching the room further.

 

 

Marissa

Peeking underneath the blanket, you see the image of yourself reflected in the large make-up mirror. You have a blade of leaf stuck to your hair.

 

You realize that dialing 001 on the phone calls the front desk. You will have to connect it first, however.

 

Jaegar

Inspecting the lock, you realize that the casing is loose and hence the level doesn't slide out properly into the box keep. Tightening the casing with a screwdriver does the trick. Just don't ask where you got the screwdriver from. [Lock is fixed]

 

Jiri

After searching the wardrobe, drawer and cabinet, you do not find anything out of the ordinary. On a hunch, you rip open the mattress and find... a decaying, maggot-infested corpse. The corpse still have substantial chunks of meat left attached to its skeleton and is putrefying. Ugh! Revulsion fills you and you fight the urge to vomit. You faint on the spot. (ding.)

---

 

The rest of the team, after having busied themselves with their own rooms, eventually link up and wonder what happened to Jiri. You find him in the room in a dead faint and wake him up.

 

Upon waking up, Jiri turns to the bed, but realizes that the ripped mattress is now empty save for the filling. Everything seems normal except for the ripped mattress. Even the smell has vanished. The room simply smells musty now.

 

The time now is 5pm. What will you do?

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"Hm? So there was a rotting corpse in the Professor's room... This is getting stranger and stranger by the minute! I say, there's a MYSTERY going on here! You guys ought to check your rooms for salt barriers. There was one in mine, but I accidentally disrupted it when I entered. I'm going down to the grocery store to buy some salt back, so you guys can tell me if you need some for your own rooms too. I'll buy enough for all of us to make salt circles even if you didn't have one at the start. I'm such a considerate detective, that I am."

 

(Go down to Grace's Groceries to buy salt.)

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Among the possible explanations, I ponder that the "corpse" may have been an elaborate prank - perhaps as part of some TV show. The locals may even like to mess with tourists. It is also perhaps possible I had a reaction to some chemical either in the room or on the way to it, that caused me to hallucinate and lose consciousness. I suggest as much when the others ask what went on, though the detective at least seems to be thinking the corpse was real and some murder mystery is afoot.

 

Either way, I'm not sleeping on a torn mattress in a room with potential chemical dangers. I pick up the phone and dial 001 for the front desk. I'll ask them to change my room, suspecting an allergen in mine. Surely they can't afford to lose me as a customer, with how dead quiet the place seems.

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It did not take long to see something stand out in my reflection from the mirror. There was a leaf in my hair.

 

Why was there a leaf in my hair? When had it gotten tangled in there?

 

I gingerly lifted a hand and plucked it out, and promptly dropped it onto the carpet.

 

There was no time to clean up or explore the rest of the room. My hands were starting to shake and I found I could not focus. Toilet. I must find the toilet. Fortunately there was a bathroom attached, a mouldy tiny place where the taps were green -- not from paint. I hesitantly reached out a hand, then pulled it back again. Hand wash. There was no hand wash.

 

I made a mad scramble to my baggage and took out my hand wash -- something I do not leave home without. I went back and turned the tap. Cool refreshing clean water came gushing out. I dipped both hands into the stream, feeling a surge of relief. I let my hands linger in the water for a while, then squirted out a handful of hand wash, letting the foam envelop my hands. And then I began to scrub.

 

I looked at the tap handle. It was undoubtedly dirty. The logical cycle returned to me. Once my hands were clean, when I turned the tap off, wouldn't my hand be dirty again?

 

I let my mind slowly puzzle out this logic, all the while running my hands over each other.

 

There was no answer. I turned off the tap again, looked at my hands, remembered the roughness of mould on skin, and turned the tap on again.

 

I had repeated the process about six times when at last I stepped out onto the corridor and bumped right into Steven and Jaeger, who were talking about what happened to the professor, Jiri Uetz, who apparently had not answered his door.

 

"Maybe he's engrossed in something, or asleep," I suggested.

 

But Steven was apparently not only vocal, he was also highly paranoid. He immediately jumped to the conclusion that something had gone wrong, and together he and Jaeger burst into Uetz' room, where the professor was curled up on the floor, with his bed ripped apart.

 

The professor came to soon after, and explained to us that there was some kind of corpse on the bed. Steven immediately started talking about salt. It is interesting to find someone more superstitious than I am. I mean, I draw the line at salt and black cats. Astrology is enough for me.

 

However, salt has brought to mind another thought.

 

"Hey, why don't we just get salt from the kitchen?" I suggested. "Surely this hostel provides food -- speaking of which, it's dinnertime -- and they need salt to cook, don't they? We don't have to buy salt. I can just go down to the kitchen right now."

 

After all, my stomach was rumbling again.

 

It seemed Steven would have none of it though. He seemed to like doing things on his own, and so without a second word he marched off for Grace's Groceries. I decided I would go downstairs to find the kitchen anyway.

 

"Anyone wants to go with me?" I asked.

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Steven

You take the elevator downstairs. As the doors of the lift open, you realize that the phone on the front desk counter is ringing. You hurry over, noticing that there is no one there still, and answer the phone. On the other side of the line is Jiri, who sounded distracted for a reason. You inform him that there's no one here still, return the receiver to the holder, and leave the hotel.

 

The evening air is refreshing cool after the stuffy confines of Bedlam. The fog appears to have cleared up significantly. You spy the bright, welcoming lights of Grace's Groceries and direct yourself towards it. Halfway there, however, you are accosted by a hobo bearing a picket sign. He has long, frizzled, grey hair and a beard and a missing front tooth. There is a strong smell of urine emanating from him. As he approaches you, he shouts something unintelligible. He brandishes a small canister and splashes the contents at you. However, your keen sense of danger enables you to spot the canister before it's too late.

 

Roll 2x your Defense + 2 modifier from Danger Sense to dodge the attack. 1 success required. Then decide how you will react.

 

Jiri

Holding the telephone handset to your ear, you hear the dialing tune loop for five times. Then a click noise, which you recognize as someone else picking up the phone on the other end. However, you hear only static from the other end. You are about to hang up when suddenly you hear a wheezing voice, "Get… Out…" The voice sounds female, and very ancient. You reply, but there is another click and you find Steven on the other end now.

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"What in the- whew, barely managed to dodge that. (Dodge roll: 1 success.) Dude, what is wrong with you? What's that sign you're holding? Are you a protester? I'm a hard-boiled detective, and I won't hesitate to take you out if necessary. Look, you can just walk away now, and we'll pretend nothing ever happened. Can you even understand what I'm saying?

 

Right, I'm walking away now. Are you following me? Yes? No?"

 

(Examine what the picket sign says. Continue walking at a brisk pace towards Grace's Groceries, but turn back to see if the hobo's still following. Keep an eye out if he makes any suspicious movements and prepare to dodge if he tries to throw anything or attack.)

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I hang up the phone, wondering at that odd voice. Creepy. I figure it probably connected to some old hag in another room or something. At any rate, Steven had left to buy salt while I was on the phone, so it was too late for me to tell him it was a stupid idea.

But with Marissa volunteering to go get some from the kitchen, I figured I'd go with her and see if there were any staff there at least. And I could complain about the absurdity of the salt idea on the way.

"I'll come. There's still nobody at the counter apparently, so I'd like to see if there's any staff in the kitchen I can complain to."

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Jiri, Marissa and Jaegar

The three of you leave Jiri's room together. As you do, Marissa catches a whiff of a foul smell, but decides that it's a part of her imagination. Jiri and Jaegar do not notice anything else amiss.

 

As you arrive on the lift landing of the first level, you spot that there is a man at the counter now. As you approach, he looks up and smiles. He is handsome, slender and dimpled when he smiles.

 

"Well, hello there. You must be the visitors we're expecting. I'm Ed Bates."

 

After you explain your circumstances to him, Ed expresses concern and offers Jiri the key to Room 501. 

 

"The other rooms are either unprepared or occupied already, I'm afraid," he says apologetically.

 

"As for the salt, I'm afraid the kitchen staff has already left for the day. We serve only breakfast, you understand. I'm afraid I can't let you into the kitchen as you're unauthorized. Rules and regulations. Is there anything else I may assist you with?"

 

He smiles politely.

 

Steven

The Hobo seems flustered that you'd dodged his attempt to douse you with the mysterious liquid. He backs away, muttering what sounds like apologies. You note the writings on the picket sign, which is in a foreign language, and commit it to memory for later. You continue to Grace's Groceries a dozen steps away.

 

Grace's Groceries is brightly lit with fluorescent lighting, a feature that seems like an anachronism in Pleasant Glen. Aside from the lighting, the store is small and modest. An plump, middle-aged woman is slumped over the cashier counter, apparently sound asleep.

 

Scanning the aisles, you notice that the shelves seem well-stocked. There are many convenience food as well as other labels you don't recognize from where you are from. However, under Commodities, you find that there is only one packet of pure salt left. It will only be enough to just ward two rooms, you estimate. As you prepare to leave, you observe that the woman, presumably Grace herself, is still asleep. You may be able to leave without paying if you wish.

 

The time now is 5.30pm. What will you do?

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After fixing the deranged defective's lock I heard a bump coming from the other room where some professor was staying in. Didn't think to much of it until the rambling wonder of a detective 'deduced' that there was something was wrong and dragged me to the door to confront the guy. Great, I got forced to do 'more work'...how tiresome. I just deal with it and start half-assing ramming my arm into the door with him when I realize that the door probably isn't locked and just twist the knob as the detective flies in head first. The young girl comes up behind me afterwards to ask what's going on and I don't really know so I stay silent.

 

Doesn't take long for the professor to wake up with the rambler smacking him in the face to wake him up and once awake he starts talking about a corpse in his bed. Wouldn't be the first time I've seen one, but to someone like him it would probably come to some surprise. Nonetheless, he starts pushing it off as a hoax, and who can blame him for it, as I'm about to head back to my room, the detective decided to run off to the store to buy salt or some shit, I wasn't really paying attention. But just as I'm about to hit the elevator the professor...Jiri I think it was, and the animal girl...Marissa ask me to come with them downstairs. Ugh...."Mind stopping at my floor? I need to pick up some stuff from my room." 

 

Stopping in my room, I slip my jacket off, put on my holster and gun, then put it back on before slipping a lollipop into my mouth, kinda my drug. I like to be sucking on something sweet throughout the day and cigarettes are just nasty. So I tried lemon drops and they got old quick since it was just the one flavor. So now I carry a bag of dozens of flavors of lollipops around at all times. But with my gun safe in my jacket and my lollipop in my mouth, I went out to the hallway to meet up with the others. I stuffed a pocket with another two lollipops just in case I was out for a bit.

 

We went down to the front desk and were greeted by a nice guy who told us about the meals of the day. Breakfast. Simple enough, not that I enjoyed it, I usually slept in so I just jumped to lunch. But I noticed it was getting late and decided to ask the guy something. "Hey, mind telling me where the nicer restaurants are in town? I'm starving." I never know where I might be going so I try to dress at least somewhat formal. Slacks, dress shoes, nice shirt under my leather jacket. And my small pair of magnifying spectacles at the end of my nose. I play it off as 'reading glasses' and people usually fall for it, but they're way too small for it. They're really used for slight scoping in case of an emergency. Never can be too careful. And they're tinted black so they could also be played off as small sun glasses. I never know what people will assume. Waiting for the front desk guy to answer back, I just look around the lobby a bit. 

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"What smell is this?" I exclaimed, but the other 2 just looked at me strangely. I continued holding my nose as we met the only person in the hotel so far, probably a manager who called himself Ed Bates. Jiri launched into a monologue about how his room had delusion-causing allergens and I was sure Ed secretly rolled his eyes. But he did offer a change of room, citing that the other rooms were occupied or unprepared.

 

"Really, this hotel's so full?" I looked around in disbelief. I had not seen another soul in here after all.

 

The worse news was that the hotel served only breakfast.

 

"We have to go out and find dinner this instant!" I cried out. "I don't think Steven knew to buy dinner back. Oh, and Mr Bates, surely you can just walk into the kitchen and get us the salt, if we can't? It's just salt after all. And do tell us where we can find dinner."

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"Ma'am? Excuse me, ma'am? I want to buy this packet of salt. Can you hear me? Oh dear, I can't believe how unsecured this store is! Anyone could simply just walk in and take whatever they want without paying!

I think I'd better wake her up. Ma'am?"

(Grab Grace's shoulder and give her a light shake to wake her up.)

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Jaegar, Marissa

Ed seems doubtful, but agrees, "Well, yes, I suppose I could. I'll be right back."

 

He returns five minutes later with a small sachet and hands it over to you, saying," This is all we can spare at the moment. You'll have to pay for it, I'm afraid. Salt is a highly-priced commodity in this part of town. Tomorrow, when the cook comes in, I'll have him procure more. We go through so much of the stuff every time."

 

He smiles wanly, continuing, "You'll not find many places open at this time. The folks here try to be home well before dusk. That's the reason why we are unable to serve dinner, you know. All the cooks insist on leaving early. May I suggest Malcolm's if you're simply looking for a quick fix? It's right nearby around the corner. There's also the Dungeon Bar, which sells drinks on top of food. Lastly, there's Biggerson's Restaurant, where 'Greed is a virtue.'"

 

Steven

Grace snorts and pushes herself upright in her seat with significant effort. "Wha…? Oh."

 

She wipes away a strand of drool from her mouth, then uses that same hand to take the salts from you to scan it at the register. "And we're out of salts again. I swear, if I only sold salt, this store will do even better than now. Heheh…"

 

She flashes you a wide, friendly grin, and takes your money. "You're an honest person, boy. Be sure to come back now, you hear? Don't die out there. Heheh."

 

She returns you the salts. It feel moist in certain parts as you accept it and leave the store. The Hobo is nowhere to be seen, and you return to the hostel to unite with the rest. 

 

[Decide on your next course of action.]

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"The restaurant sounds the least unappealing." I offer. "But whatever. You all can decide while I go move my stuff into my new room, I'll just be a few minutes."

 

I head back to my original room, retrieve my luggage, and head to room 501 instead. I'll just throw my luggage on the bed and head back down to rejoin the others.

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"Oh look, Steven's back!" I said, spotting him coming in. "Have you gotten the salt?"

 

Steven held up a measly packet, almost comparable with the one Ed had gotten for me.

 

"Apparently salt's some kind of precious commodity in these parts," I conclude. "You'd think if it were so rare, they'd be using it for better purposes than lining doors. Anyway this seems to imply that the food around here would be low in salt, and hence taste quite bland." I sigh. "Anyway Steven, do you want to go repair the fault line- I mean salt line now? And then we can go out to the restaurant. Is it expensive?" I steal a glance at my suspiciously flat purse.

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"I was grateful for the warm welcome back. It's not often that the hard work of a hard-boiled detective like me gets recognised. I even almost got splashed with pee by a hobo. Well, the important thing is that I got hold of the salt now. Together with yours... Yes, I think this will work."

(How many rooms can Steven make salt circles around with the two bags combined?)

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Watching the Steven come back in, I looked to the elevator to wait for Jiri to come down. He spoke up once everyone was back down. "Right so, if we want to eat tonight, we'll need to go to the restaurant now. It'll be my treat." I certainly had the money, I always bring a good amount wherever I go, but considering how much I make, if I kept it for long people would be after me. Who wants to steal from a penny-less mercenary who could kill you as quickly as you tried to take his coin purse?

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