Midst the Pallor of the Parlor

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Midst the Pallor of the Parlor
Midst the Pallor of the Parlor

You meander down one of the mansion's shadowy corridors, and push open a creaking door to find yourself in what must once have been a rather elegant parlor. Now, the peeling wallpaper and crumbling plaster emphasize the mansion's slow decay. The room isn't empty, though -- a man stands near the window, puzzling over a yellowed sheet of parchment, while a pale woman in dusty lace sits on the divan, stroking a large black cat.

Approach the Man

You approach the man and ask him what's up. He explains that he found an unusual coded message near a shipwreck off the coast of the Mysterious Island, but can't make heads or tails of it. You offer to give it a shot, and he gratefully hands the paper to you.

After a moment's inspection, you chuckle at the code, which is so simple a schoolboy could catch it. (sniff) You quickly set to work translating the cipher, and discover it to be an advertisement for Ovaltine. You're not in the least bit surprised, as in your experience nine out of ten coded messages are advertisements for Ovaltine, but solving it makes you feel pretty Moxious.

You gain 21-150 Sarcasm.
  • The stat gain is approximately your mainstat, capped at 150.

Approach the Cat

The cat looks up at you and hisses with pure malevolence, then leaps off of the divan with a howl and attempts to rip your face off. I'd make some further pithy comments about the situation, but really you're far too busy to be reading them right now, so if I were you I'd just get on with defending yourself.

black cat This monster is a Beast -- (edit metadata)
  • Item Drops: bottle of black cat tonic
  • Meat Drop: None
  • Monster Level: Scales with player stats (Max 125) • Substat Gain: Scales with player stats (Max 31.25) • Moxie for No Hit*: Scales with player stats (Max 132)
  • Monster Defense: Scales with player stats
  • Hit Points: Scales with player stats
  • Initiative: 80
  • Elemental Alignment: None
Schroedinger's Sausage Machine

The cat looks up at you and, noticing a certain hungry gleam in your eye that it doesn't like one bit, jumps from the divan and hides in a box under the coffee-table. Just before the lid clicks shut, you see a tiny pendulum inside, and wonder if the cat's going to be alive for much longer. You reason that, since the cat could be either alive or dead, and you can't know which without opening the box, then therefore the cat must be both alive and dead -- or in other words, undead. That must be what funerals are for -- so that everyone knows for certain that the person going into the coffin is definitely dead, and you don't have to worry about quantum uncertainty causing zombies to burst out of the ground.

Realbrain.gifYou acquire an effect: Feelin' Philosophical
(duration: 5 Adventures)

Approach the Woman

Looking more closely, you realize that she's wearing a tattered, yellowing bridal gown. She doesn't seem inclined to speak to you, but considering the chill that's suddenly filling the room, you think that maybe that's for the best. The veil obscures her features, and it occurs to you that that might be for the best too.

You back out of the room as quickly as possible while still seeming polite.

I Met a Hundred Dozen of 'Em

Looking more closely, you realize that she's wearing a tattered, yellowing bridal gown. She lifts her veil and smiles at you -- she's quite pretty, if you don't mind the fact that she's so pale she's practically blue. Also, the missing eyeball is a little disconcerting, particularly since you can hear something in there whistling "Halls of the Mountain King".

"Hello," she says. "I'm Lenore. Please, have a seat -- I haven't had anyone to talk to in ages. ...Well, except for the rats. In fact, I nearly thought you were a rat at first, but of course that's silly," she giggles. "But as I say, other than the rats -- oh, and that strange fellow with buttons for eyes, and the other one with the head of an embalmed deer -- I've been quite lonesome."

The two of you chat amicably for a while. Somewhere along the way you acquire an appreciation for heavy black eyeliner and wearing fishnet stockings on your arms, but hey, it's no stranger than going around with a colander on your head.

Confused.gifYou acquire an effect: Unusual Fashion Sense
(duration: 5 Adventures)

Occurs in The Mouldering Mansion.


  • "I Met a Hundred Dozen of 'Em" is a line from the MC Frontalot song "Goth Girls", which describes their fashion sense to be quite similar to Lenore's.
  • The second option refers to Schrödinger's cat which deals with the paradoxical nature of quantum mechanics.
  • The description of Lenore is a reference to Emily, the titular Corpse Bride from the Tim Burton film of the same name; the note about something whistling "Halls of the Mountain King" refers to the maggot that lives in Emily's eye-socket, whose character was based on that of the actor Peter Lorré, who played a "Halls of the Mountain King"-whistling child killer in the movie M. Lenore's name refers to the titular heroine of Edgar Allen Poe's poem Lenore (who is also referred to in his poem The Raven), and the description of her friends - Mr. Gosh and Taxidermy, respectively - are from the comic book Lenore, by Roman Dirge (who probably also got the name from Poe's poems).
  • The code from the "Approach The Man" option being "so simple a schoolboy could catch it" may be a reference to the Firesign Theater album "The Tale of the Giant Rat of Sumatra". The man and his code themselves refer to Edgar Allen Poe's story The Gold-Bug.
  • The fact that the code from the "Approach the Man" option translates to an advertisement for Ovaltine is a reference to the movie A Christmas Story in which the main character Ralphie is excited to get a Little Orphan Annie decoder, only to be crestfallen when the decoded message turns out to be "Be sure to drink your Ovaltine".
  • The cat runs away from you when you have the Spirit of Alph because Alf - the river's spirit - eats cats.