they wake up in an empty room. there is no furniture or decor, and as for themself, they have only the clothing on their back. they look around, and aside from bare walls - bare floor - bare ceiling, there is only a [[door]].
(set: $Key to false)
(set: $Keystone to false)its another room, marginally less sparse than the one they woke up in.
the first door clicks shut. they test the doorknob: it's locked now. to the right, they can see an [[open hallway]]; to the left, another door, bright light streaming into the room from an embedded window. in front of them, a painting depicts a vast, open field, riotously colored with blooming flowers. the field drops off dramatically into a steep valley, with foggy mountains completing the scenic backdrop. the sunlight from the doorway window highlights it in soft golds, and they think, *i want to see that.*
they try to open the door.
(if: $Key is false)[the door is locked.]
(if: $Key is true)[the door is locked, but they unlock it. sun streams into the room, and they [[exit]].]they enter the hallway. although there's a light fixture overhead, they can't find a way to turn it on, so it's a little dim. two small, unframed prints face each other on opposite sides of the wall. after they peer closer, it seems that they are rather cheap-looking copies of the painting from [[that room->door]]. at the end of the hallway lies [[another room]].this room would be as empty as the room they woke up in, if not for the single long window that covers the entirety of one wall. in the distance, they can see a field, a cliff, a mountain range, and they think, *oh.*
|wait)[taped to the side of the window, noticed only because they moved closer to study the view, is a key. they pocket it.
(set: $Key to true)]
they look back at the [[open hallway]].
]}just like the first door they walked through, this door closes behind them and clicks closed. they look back at the building, jiggle the knob - locked. it's okay. there was nothing else in there for them anyway.
they look forward, instead, and take the [[path]].they walk on tightly packed dirt, clear of rocks and branches and other obstructions. ugly little weeds grow at the sides, yellowed with dehydration. in the distance, [[a figure sits at the side of the road.]]the figure resolves itself into a strange, wizened little thing. it croaks a greeting at them, and bares crooked teeth in a slightly feral looking grin.
"what's such a lively soul as you doing here in a dead man's land? everything that can breathe and move got out as soon as the evil wizard came in. they stole the keystone from the central field, and it sucked the life out of everything for miles around. why, i'm only still here to explain the situation to kiddies like you! not much life in me either, anymore, really."
even from this distance, [[the field]] that bloomed so brightly in the painting, is as yellow and dry as the ugly weeds they passed by while walking out.
they decide to take back the stone.the field is dry; the cliffside is crumbling; even the mountains look as if they might erode away in a strong gust of wind. in the center of the dead grass, there is a bare patch of dirt that blurs out of vision the more they stare at it.
(if: $Keystone is false)[conveniently, there is an [[ominous-looking forest]] up ahead. where else would an evil wizard want to reside?]
(if: $Keystone is true)[they step up to the patch, hefting the rock along. rather than getting heavier as time passed, they reckon it had gotten lighter as the journey back to the field progressed. wow, magic. it almost seems to jump out of their hands and onto the ground, trembling a little with excitement.
the wind blows. they blink.
and the keystone grows in size in less than a second, and plants rise from the ground, growing and dying and growing again within a single breath, and the mountains rumble in the distance as they break down and reform, and then it is over.
they sit next to the stone, surrounded by flowers, cliff dropping into a valley and foggy mountains in the distance. and they smile.
END.]with their first step in, fog seeps through thick trunks, bringing with it a damp chill that sinks into their body. there's a certain atmosphere in the forest that makes them want to turn around and return to [[the field]], but they persevere, their steps the only sound in the silence.
their persistence pays off and [[a small manor]] looms suddenly out of the fog.the manor has neither doors nor windows on the ground floor, but the second floor does. they can see a pulsating glow from a large window on the front side of the house, as if the evil wizard wanted to boast about their misdeeds.
while there may be no way in from the ground floor, the manor is in the middle of a forest. they clamber up a tree at the side of the house, and swing in feet first [[through a window]] with a shatter of glass.undoubtedly, the sound of breaking glass is going to attract attention, so they pick up a jagged piece of glass for safety, and rush [[out of the room]] in the direction of the glowing light. but before leaving, they can't help but notice hanging on the wall a cheap print, unframed, just like the ones they had seen before.unsurprisingly, the evil wizard is waiting for them in the next room. their hand rests on a pulsating stone, resting on a pedestal; before their eyes, it shifts color and shape and texture and seems to *breathe*.
"you're here to challenge me," the wizard says.
"i just want the rock," they reply, and charge forward, glass shard in hand. the wizard is taken by surprise by the sudden assault and is forced backwards and away from the keystone; they drop the glass in favor of grabbing the rock and braining the wizard with it.
the wizard's eyes bug out for just a moment until they sink to the ground, eyes rolling back and a silly smile on their face. at least they're not dead. with magic rock in hand, they begin the [[search for an exit]] out of the manor that doesn't involve jumping out of a window.
oddly, this room also has a print of the field taped to the wall as well.
(set: $Keystone to true)thankfully, there was a door on the ground floor of the manor, and they leave without issue. it vanishes into the wall once they step out, but all they can think is *good riddance*. it's time to [[head back]].the forest has no fog on the journey back to [[the field]], perhaps because the wizard was defeated. faintly, in the distance, they can hear a bird calling out, and the rock thrums in their hands.