Part 1: The Awakening


You have awakened in the land of Phenomedom. Let not the dim walls of this prison cell dash your hopes, for this land is a place of many sights. Rather, shake loose those cobwebs that inhabit your skull! It is time to consider the plight at hand, and with clarity.

Study the screen for a moment. In Legerdemain time is turn-based, and does not elapse until you have acted. Your current location is designated by the ‘@’ symbol, and may be white, blue, green, red, or black. This color illustrates which of the five philosophies you have chosen to live by. Your philosophy, in turn, is determined by how you responded to the questions posed during your awakening.

To the north, a mysterious item lies on the floor of your prison cell. To look at it, press the (l) key, which is the operative letter for the (l)ook command. A partial list of available commands is provided at the top of the screen. The operative letter of each command is highlighted for easy reference. You can press <space> at any time to scroll through this list. Bear in mind that all operative letters are case-sensitive.

When you execute the (l)ook command a crosshair appears, encouraging you to select a target. For now, use the <space> key to cycle through interesting ones. When the crosshair lands on that mysterious item to the north, press <Enter>, and you will see a prime brush corresponding to your philosophy. This warrants a bit more investigation.

 

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But before you proceed, take a moment to inspect the TC: value located at the bottom right hand corner of the screen. TC is an abbreviation for Turn Counter, and indicates how many turns you have played so far. The TC is still at zero because the (l)ook command is a free turn: one that does not take up any game time. In general, any command corresponding to an action does not generate a free turn, and will cause the TC to increment by one or more turns.

Since the (l)ook command did not reveal much about this prime brush, try moving in for a closer look. You may use the numeric keypad to move, provided is turned off, or you may use the so-called Roguelike keyset, which consists of the keys ykuhlbjn. To switch between these two choices, you must exit your current session and select Configuration Options from the title screen’s menu. These options are preserved between gaming sessions; once you have established your preferences, you needn’t specify them again.

But what is this? Shortly after you have moved, a whisper from the Satori comes! This is just the first of many in-game hints you will receive from time to time; press <space> once you have finished reading it. Taken together, the whispers of the Satori constitute a training manual of sorts. If you grow tired of these whispers, you may turn them off via the aforementioned configuration options.

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All well and good…but just who is this Satori anyway? Try as you might, you cannot seem to remember.

So walk along until you stand in the same square as the brush. It doesn’t seem to be biting you, so you might as well grab it. To do so, press ‘g’ (or ‘,’) to execute the (g)et command. (For the remainder of these pages I won’t explicitly refer to operative keys, they will be implied by the parentheses that are used in describing that command. These implied keys will correspond to the standard keyset, and may differ from your operative keys if you previously selected the roguelike keyset from configuration options.)

But here is another wonder, for your prime brush is an instrument of the manipulatory arts! Press <space>, and you will wield it automatically. You may consider the brush further by (i)nspecting the contents of your belongings. But where has it gone? All you see here is a crude knife. Not to worry; the current listing shows only your inventory: a collection of items that you currently carry, but have not equipped. To view instead those articles you have worn or wielded, press ‘/’. Then press ‘m’ to inspect your recently acquired brush, and you will receive a bit more information than previously.

At this time, your knowledge of this and other items may prove to be sorely lacking. As your skill in lore increases, your knowledge in these matters will grow. This knowledge will automatically be imparted to you each time you (i)nspect an item.

 

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Consider now the question mark to the southwest. A question mark indicates that something has caught your interest at that particular location, though it is not something so tangible you can l(o)ok at it from afar, as you can a prime brush. Note that those who are skilled in perception may observe more question marks than one who is less skilled, although a bumbling hero is entitled to just as many interesting finds as a perceptive one. She might just need to get a bit closer before she notices anything unusual.

When you reach the question mark, you shall observe a familiar pile of belongings. Note that, unlike previous messages, this message does not originate from the Satori; it is purely a description of what you have just witnessed. Press <space> to remove this message, and you should see these belongings on the floor of your cell. These articles are fine candidates for practicing the (i)nspect and (g)et commands. Also, it may be a good time to (w)ear your crude knife, for there is no telling what dangers lurk in these prisons.

 

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If you now explore your cell a bit more, you’ll find the southern and western routes to be blocked by rubble. Unlike the walls of your prison, rubble does not typically obscure what lies beyond it, but, like walls, it sufficiently impedes the way forward. Hence, turn your attentions eastward, where another question mark awaits. Stepping into its square reveals a paragraph: a memorable bit of prose, indexed by number, that describes an occurrence in detail. Adjacent to the second question mark there lies a door, which you can (o)pen or cl(o)se at your discretion.

To read a paragraph, press the ‘?’ key to open the Philosopher’s Journal, and then press ‘b’ to browse paragraphs. You will see a grid of numbers and question marks, where numbers correspond to the indices of paragraphs previously unveiled, and question marks correspond to paragraphs not yet available. Choose the number of the paragraph you wish to review, then press <Enter> to read its contents. You would be wise to refer to paragraphs carefully throughout your travels, for they may often contain valuable hints regarding the ways and wiles of this world.

 

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You may have noticed that paragraphs were but one of several chapters in your Philosopher’s Journal. Indeed, this journal forms a repository for much of the information you will acquire along your journey:

  • List of Commands provides an overview of every available command, along with an operative letter and description for each.
  • Recent Messages contains a log of recent screen messages. This is useful for occasions when there are many things going on at once, and in haste you have missed one or more messages that the game has reported.
  • Local Lore contains any knowledge you may have regarding your current location. As with item inspection, any knowledge gained during your studies in lore will be automatically imparted to you when you select this option.
  • Whispers Archive is a storage area for any whispers you have received from the Satori.
  • Citizen Interviews contains histories of any discussions you have had with the citizens of Phenomedom.
  • Known Chants contains a list of the magical chants you have learned.
  • Tales of Vanquished Foes allows you to relive victories over your greatest enemies.

Do not fret if the Philosopher’s Journal seems rather empty at first. After all, you’ve only just arrived.

 

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