You awaken from a dark, dreamless sleep. The floor is hard and uncomfortable beneath your back.
The room is baroque and gilded, an antechamber in an unknown palace. You have no memory of this place.
For that matter, you have no memory of who you are.
Yes, it’s amnesia.
The only thing you can remember is an avocado. It’s a warty, green fruit filled with delicious paste.
By concentrating as hard as you can, you manage to dredge up a memory of several avocados.
You remember guacamole. This is a savory slime made from the delicious paste of an avocado.
So ends this tale of terror. Stripped of all thought and identity beyond avocados, you sit on the floor remembering avocados until you die. Murderfull Manor has claimed another victim.
Musty woods and ancient paints clad the walls of a grand entrance hall. Normally, you would admire this ornate architecture, but something feels wrong. First of all, you have lost your memory, which is very suspicious on its own. Second, you can sense the sinister presence of evil in the air.
Either one of those factors by itself would put a crimp in your evening, and together they make you extremely keen to leave. Losing your memories is bad, and losing your memories in an evil manor is even worse.
Avocados are refreshing but also savory. You can eat one like a fruit, or spread it like a butter. Most people agree that when they’re sliced up and added to a salad or sandwich, they can kick your meal up a notch. If you’re a child, you can pretend that an avocado is a dinosaur egg because it’s shaped like an egg and it’s green and lumpy. Avocados can last a pretty long time without refrigeration as long as you don’t peel them. Some kinds of sushi rolls have avocado in them.
You can think of many other positive attributes of the avocado, but right now you should probably figure out how to escape this place.
The front door is securely chained shut, which is not how front doors are supposed to work. You won’t be able to escape this way. As you ponder your dilemma, a malevolent voice begins to harshly echo through the halls.
“Welcome to Murderfull Manor!” says the voice. “It is time to repent for your misdeeds, and the only atonement is death. Yours! Yes, it is time to die. You are going to be dead tonight, in an evening most macabre! No sinner shall be spared from redemption, and by redemption, I mean a gruesome demise.”
“Just to be clear: death,” the voice adds.
The voice ignores what you’re saying because it’s a prerecorded message playing from a gramophone.
“Seven sinners have been gathered here tonight, and seven sinners shall die. The door is locked, the windows are barred, and the rooms are filled with deadly deathtraps that are lethal. However, you’ll receive a fair, sporting chance. You can escape with your lives if you solve the Riddle of Murderfull Manor. Here it is. You might want to get a pen.”
“The Riddle Of Murderfull Manor
My hands are upon my face;
They spin to tell the time;
There are twelve numbers upon me,
And on the hour, I chime.
As my gears count the hours,
They make the sounds ‘tick’ and ‘tock’;
I can also count minutes and seconds;
My name rhymes with ‘sock.’
I am not a sundial or hourglass,
Although those are related to me;
If I’m on a wrist, I’m called a watch:
What could I be?”
“A dog” is a pretty good guess, because you could train a dog to bark every hour to tell you what time it is. But dogs don’t have hands, so that can’t be it.
“Man” was a pretty good guess, because the answer to most riddles is “man.” However, the word “man” does not rhyme with “sock,” so that can’t be right. This particular riddle must have an answer that is not man.
“Excuse me, did you say you were going to look for clues?” says an elegant woman in a flowing white gown. You didn’t notice her walk up behind you.
“I just woke up with amnesia in this sinister mansion, and then I heard a voice say a riddle we could solve to not die,” she explains. “Because of that reason, I also want to solve the riddle.”
“I think they are a versatile fruit.”
“Agreed, we should work together to escape Murderfull Manor,” she says. “I forgot my name due to amnesia, but you can call me Lust because my only memory is committing the lusty sin of kissing a snowman.”
“Kissing is wrong and illegal, unless you smooch in a Catholic church so the Pope can say it’s kosher,” says Lust. “I was planning to marry a man or a woman in a Roman Catholic cathedral and kiss them in a holy way, but I had never kissed anyone before. I was afraid I would bungle the kiss, so I decided to practice on a snowman.”
“We better start looking for clues,” says Lust. “Where do you want to search first?”
You enter a dark room filled with hundreds of flying knives constantly zipping back and forth through the air. Whirring machines in the walls spit out the blades, and also catch them when they don’t hit anyone. By the doorway, you’re pretty safe, but you’ll certainly get skewered if you step further in.
Other than very fast knives, the room is completely empty. It’s just a barren cube with no furniture or anything else besides knives. There is absolutely nothing here that could be considered a clue.
You enter a normal room, which in this case is a dining room. A long banquet table is laden with a sumptuous feast. Glazed meats, antique cheeses, and the brownest wines form an inviting spread.
As you and Lust enter through one door, five strangers stagger into the room through five other doors.
As you walk into the room filled with countless airborne daggers, you are stabbed by many knives. Your one mistake was walking into a room filled with incredibly speedy knives, and sadly, this mistake turns out to be fatal. Murderfull Manor has claimed its first victim of the evening.
“Hello, I forgot my name due to amnesia,” says a brooding bearded gentleman. “However, you may call me Wrath. That’s because my only remaining memory is committing the wrathful sin of screaming at a geyser.”
“I traveled to see Old Faithful erupt, but it erupted for too long,” explains Wrath. “At first, it was nice to see the geyser spray hot water, but it kept going. After two whole minutes of it squirting water, I called out, ‘That’s enough.’ By minute five, when it finally stopped, you can imagine how angry I was.”
“Hello, I also have amnesia and forgot my name,” says a gaunt man with a wispy mustache. “But you can call me Gluttony. That’s because my only memory is committing the sin of gluttony by eating a great deal of bread.”
“Two whole baguettes,” confesses Gluttony. “Not the super-long baguettes, but still pretty big ones.”
“Hello, I also have amnesia and forgot my name,” says a handsome young rake. “However, a good name for me is Greed. That’s because I can remember committing the greedy sin of owning a car.”
“Yes, it was entirely my car,” admits Greed. “Nobody got to own it but me.”
“When it comes to me, I have amnesia,” says a lithe woman in a black cocktail dress. “I forgot my name, but you should call me Envy.”
“Yes, I want to own a car,” says Envy in a guilty whisper. “Whenever I see someone else with a car, I enviously think that it would be nice to own a car.”
“Hello, I certainly have amnesia,” says a pale gentleman. “My name is forgotten, but you might as well call me Sloth. That’s because I did nothing to help my suicidal son until it was too late.”
“Not particularly. It’s a rather sore subject for me, because my son died and it was my fault,” explains Sloth. “He warned me numerous times that he wanted to die and needed counseling, and I always replied that I needed to sit down for a minute and was too tired to call a psychologist. Hence, my sin of sloth. I would do anything to bring back my son, the one who’s dead, but sadly, he is dead.”
Sloth wipes away a tear and then yawns loudly, holding back his obvious guilt and sleepiness. “What about you? Surely you must have also committed a bad sin that brought you to this juncture of being in a bad manor?”
“Yes, it is a sad topic,” agrees Sloth.
“What about you? Surely you must have also committed a bad sin that brought you to this juncture of being in a bad manor?”
You’re interrupted by the loud ring of a dinner gong. The bell sounds seven times, and once it stops reverberating, another prerecorded message starts playing from a gramophone.
“The guests have all arrived at their final feast,” says the cruel voice. “Eat, drink, and make merry, for this is your last night alive! Be warned, all the food in front of you is perfectly safe, except for the dinner rolls, which are my famous poisoned dinner rolls. Can you resist their savory allure? Or will the sin of gluttony be your downfall?”
“That seems awfully paranoid,” says Lust.
The dinner rolls are freshly baked and delightfully chewy. You and your six fellow prisoners partake in gluttony and eat copious amounts of Murderfull Manor’s excellent breads.
Shortly after you say that, it turns out that the dinner rolls were in fact poisoned, and you all die of poison. Whoever filled Murderfull Manor with deathtraps did a lot more work than they needed to.
Heeding the mysterious voice’s warning, you eat everything except for the dinner rolls. You swallow copious amounts of honey-dappled meats, quaff countless flagons of wine, and gorge yourself on a dessert of lumpy pudding. However, by avoiding the rolls, you eat just little enough to not commit the sin of gluttony.
“Mmm, that was delicious,” says Gluttony. “Including the dinner rolls, which I ate one of because of my gluttony. I only ate one roll, because I wasn’t that hungry, but it was pretty good, even though I wasn’t really in the mood for a dinner roll. Also, it seems to be poisonous, because I am choking now.”
Gluttony lies down on the floor, succumbing to the withering toxins coursing through his veins. Although he was killed by poison, truly gluttony was Gluttony’s downfall. The wicked gluttony sin of eating food.
You and the remaining five prisoners eat the rest of the dinner rolls. They are chewy and wonderful, and hopefully not poisonous like the one that slew Gluttony.
The dinner rolls were poisoned.
The six remaining sinners file out of the dining room and return to the serpentine hallways of Murderfull Manor. Where will you dare venture next?
Upon entering the room that is filled with gouts of flame and has a glowing metal floor, you all become horribly burned and perish.
The lethal labyrinth of Murderfull Manor has outwitted its victims.
Voluminous tomes fill the shelves of the manor’s library. There are books on every subject imaginable. Perhaps there is information here that could aid in your escape.
“For thousands of years before Murderfull Manor was built, druids conducted their pagan ceremonies here atop Murderfull Hill. They practiced a weird and wrong religion, worshipping the Elder Gods of the Octopus Dimension. Unlike Christ, these gods are evil and have more tentacles.
“The old, wrong gods demanded human sacrifice because they were evil and they were into that kind of thing. Every year, the druids would offer up seven sacrifices to appease the squid deities. From their tribe they would select seven sinners, one for each of the Seven Deadly Sins.”
The Big Book Of Riddle Clues is underneath a clock on one of the library’s tables. You move the clock aside and flip through the book to the page about the Riddle of Murderfull Manor.
“Clues for the Riddle of Murderfull Manor:
Hint 1: A timepiece.
Hint 2: Big Ben is one.
Hint 3: Has five letters in its name.
Hint 4: Is an object.”
When you pull on Secret Passages And You, the book refuses to come off the shelf. Instead, you hear a mechanical click, and a secret passage opens.
“You all go on ahead,” says Sloth. “I found a book that describes what it’s like to yawn in bed, and I want to stay and finish reading it. I’ll probably die on my own, but that’s just the downside of being so slothful.”
You leave Sloth behind and travel down the passage to a crypt filled with rows of clay soldiers. Grim porcelain sneers stare at you from unfriendly ceramic faces. Although they’re merely statues, you feel as though you’re being watched.
You’ll have to walk past them to reach the doorway on the other side of the cavern.