Mansion of Maleficence by Per Jorner - Introduction - Rules - Start - Sections

41

You follow the narrow stairway downwards. Pale light filters in through the dust and grime covering a narrow rectangular window. Some way down, the staircase turns sharply, ending a few more steps below at a wooden door. Assuming you have arrived on the first floor, you turn the handle and step into a reading room. There is a large bookcase and an empty pipe-rack, an old clock hangs on the wall in front of you, and there are two doors leading forward: one straight ahead which is slightly ajar, and one to your right. There is a faint smell of wood-smoke in the air. Glancing towards the boarded-up window on your left, you wince to see the outline of a person sitting with his back to you in a worn armchair. His head is bald, except for a few tufts behind the ears and along the back of his neck, and his skin is oddly flaked and raw in a way that reminds you of burns. Is this some occupant of the house, or are your eyes playing tricks on you? As you hesitate, a coarse voice speaks up: "Back so soon? Which one of you is it that has decided to grace me with a visit this time? One of the Jabberlings, or perhaps the Phantomime? No matter. You will learn if you have not before..." At this, the figure in the armchair reaches out for something lying close by on a coffee table. What will you do? You can wait and see what is happening (turn to 74), or even jump forward to stop this figure before he can grab whatever he is reaching for (turn to 17). If you'd rather dodge quickly out of the room while he's still turning his back, you can leave by the door straight ahead (turn to 93), or the door to your right (turn to 58).