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Escape The Night (A Fan Creation)

Chapter Text

Tegan took a deep breath, sat at her desk and wrote.

My dearest companions (and you, too, Jonny. You're only invited because Fenton is.),

Chloe laughed, sat next to her boyfriend as they read the letter together. "Yup, that is something that she would say" Fenton mused, shaking his head and smiling fondly.

I have decided to host a party at an illustrious estate for my birthday this year.

However, it only exists in the past.

Katie did a double check, making sure that she had read that correctly. "The past? This is a joke, right?" she muttered.

I know many of you will be sceptical, but trust me, it'll work.

However, if you try to bring anything that is not reminiscent of the era, the stagecoach that is able to bring you across time will not appear.

David gulped. This sounded very strange. But, if Tegan had decided that she no longer hated him, what sort of person would decline ? Not him, that's for sure.

You must also take on a persona that fits the time. You should also have received a package with this letter - it contains your outfit and characteristics.

"Oh! That's what this is!" Cady exclaimed, looking at the package. She set down her note and opened the package, looking in awe at the costume. The blue-eyed girl picked the letter back up and continued to read eagerly.

I have tried my best to make your roles fit you, so just go along with them, please. And don't worry - the costumes have been tailored, so they should fit exactly.

Maddi clapped with delight, her eyes in awe of the blue fabric with the fluffy white trim. Tegan knew her so well.

It will be a night like no other, full of fun, friendship and food.

Sophie, chuckled and said, "If there's food, I'm in!"

So, my dear friends, I shall look forward to seeing you all on the night of the party. 

Jonny smiled. He'd look forward to this.

Remember to wear your costume, and not to bring anything that isn't from this era.

"You got that, Keely?" Callum questioned his girlfriend. "No cameras, or phones or anything" he checked. She punched him lightly in the arm, laughing. "Of course I do! I'm not stupid"

Yours sincerely, Tegan. x

Harvey was so ready for this. A summertime party - even though her birthday was in the spring, Tegan liked to celebrate in the summer for the best weather, because this was England - with some of his best friends.

What could go wrong?

 

Chapter Text

Tegan claps her hands for silence and speaks. "So, basically, I was looking for a place to have my birthday party, and I found this place online - It has a fully interactive experience for everyone, or something like that? There was something about challenges, puzzles and mystery, which just sounds fantastic! So, whilst we wait for it to begin, lets get to know each other a little!" she finishes, smile even wider. She has been waiting so long for tonight, and the pay off will definitely be worth it.


 "I'm a Florist! I garden a lot, and I sell what I grow!" Cady said, smiling.

"So you made that crown?" Chloe said, her arm linked with Fenton's.

"I made this crown!" Cady, laughed her tinkling laugh. Tegan joins the group, hugging them all.

"And how is everybody tonight?" she says.

"Darling, we are just tickety-boo!" Cady says, voice fake-posh as she throws an arm round her soul-sister. Tegan laughs, arm around Cady's back, returning the side hug.

"That's great! You all look beautiful in your outfits!" Tegan says. Fenton laughs and thanks her, and Chloe returns the compliment.


 "So I'm a Scientist, and you're an Inventor?" Katie checks.

"Yup!" Sophie pops the 'p'.

"Nice!" the two girls laugh as they high five. "Science pals!"

"I've had a breakthrough recently - can't really talk about it, though, top secret." Sophie taps the side of her nose, grinning.

"I've been doing studies... on..." Katie struggles to think of what they were studying in the past. "Very sciency things" she nods, fighting back a giggle.

"Sciency things?"

"Sciency things."

"Wow. Very professional."

The two girls can't keep it up anymore and burst into a fit of giggles.


 Like normal, David is stood quietly in the corner. To his surprise, Jonathan comes over.

"Hello, David."

"Hi."

"You an outcast, too?"

"...Haha. Yeah" David laughs awkwardly. He doesn't like parties, but he's trying to enjoy himself.

"Cool - what's your role?" Jonny asks with a smile.

"I'm the Student - you?"

"The Accountant." The two boys shook hands, grateful not to be alone.


Callum, Keely, Harvey and Maddi are conversing, laughing, and sipping the cocktails that a silent waiter has handed out. Maddi likes the drink - cold, icy and clear.

And then, out of nowhere, an odd girl with pale blue hair and golden eyes comes bursting through a pair of double doors, looking panicked and afraid, and everyone is silent.

There's an infuriated screech of "CLARA AMY ROSE!" from the other side of the doors, and the girl whips around, slams the doors - and Tegan isn't sure, but it looks like the wooden slab the girl uses to bar the door was conjured in a wisp of blue smoke - before turning around and heaving a sigh of relief. Cady has a lot of questions: Who is this girl? Is she Clara Amy Rose? Why is she so flustered? How does she have such nice blue hair and goLDEN EYES?

She doesn't seem to spot the guests at first, but then she blinks and takes a step back.

"Who are you? Why are you here? You can't be here! It's not safe!"

Tegan takes a step forward, confused. "What do you mean? I rented this place onli- for the night, and-"

The doors rattle and there's another screech: "CLAAARRAAAAA!! LET ME INNNNN"

Well, Katie thinks, At least we know she's definitely Clara!

Clara studies the group, and then her eyes widen and she gasps. "You - you're from the future, aren't you?" People nod, confused.

"Oh great ! That's just perfect !" She throws her hands up in a sarcastic gesture. "You really need to get out of here. Whatever you've heard is a lie, this place is a mouse trap, and you are the rodent."

Maddi really, really doesn't like the sound of that. Like, at all. 

Clara leads them outside, but she cursed when she saw the stagecoach.

The remains of it, that is.

What remained of the stagecoach was a charred pile of sticks with a half wheel left.

They were stuck there. 

Well that's fantasticthinks Cady, feeling a pit of dread open in her stomach.

Chapter Text

"So, what's so bad about being stuck here?" Katie asks, knowing that something must be.

Clara takes them inside to a lounge area, and everyone takes a seat on a sofa.

She then begins to talk, quietly.


I've always lived at this estate.

It used to be a haven for mages like me.

The person in charge of this place is a Warlock.

He was my mentor, and he was always so nice.

Until he heard of a crazed Sorceress in the Victorian Era.

He wanted to be like her so bad!

He wanted to live forever, so he locked this place in time.

He's gone insane from the power.

He - Adam - is obsessed  with control and he's practically unstoppable.

Practically.

There are rumours - that I know to be true - of a sword that can slay him, and apparently there is a notebook in this very lounge that tells of it's location.

However, even with the notebook, the sword is defended by Adam's eight Keybearers.

Each one has a key that you need to unlock the sword.

However, to obtain the keys. two of the group must be voted into a horrific challenge.

Only one will survive it.

The other's soul will become bound to the key, and eight souls are required to get the sword.

Chapter Text

"I don't want it to be like this, and I'll do whatever I can to protect you guys, but there's a limit to my powers." Clara is trying to reassure them, but she's not helping all that much.

Tegan is terrified. Not only that, but she feels so, so guilty about inviting everyone here. Eight of them are going to die? She knows that now really isn't the time for fractions, but that's 3/4 of them. And if they don't, then all of them will be sacrificed at dawn, and this Adam will destroy the future, the past and all of time and space?  Well, goddamn! That's a problem and a half! 

She nearly falls off the couch, reaching out to grab the bookshelf to steady herself. Her hands find a book, grabs, and pulls. Somehow, the bookcase starts to open, and oh my god she's found a secret door. She scrambles to her feet and speaks.

"Um, guys? I think I found a secret thing"

Clara looks at it and blinks. "Maybe something will be in there?" She gets up, conjuring a ball of pale blue light, which hovers around her head.

"Chloe, Fenton, I want you to come to check this out with me. The rest of you, stay here and don't move."

Chloe takes Fenton by the hand, not exactly afraid, per say, more worried for the well-being of her boyfriend than her own. As they follow Clara down the dark corridor, she speaks quietly to him.

"We'll get through this, ok? I'll protect you. I'd die ten times over to keep you safe. I won't let anything happen to you, because I love you so much more than anything else I've ever loved. You are safe, and you are mine." her voice is firm, yet still somehow soft, and loving.

Fenton presses a kiss to her hair, the taller boy smiling and whispering back.

"I know. But I won't let you die for me. I... I wouldn't be able to live with myself if that happened. You mean the world to me."

Chloe just sighs, and he knows that he can't change her mind.

Clara stops just ahead of them, and they look around to see a large, spherical, orb with eight key holes around the top.

"This is it. This is what the sword is housed in." She motions for the others to help lift it, and they carry it back to the group, setting it on the coffee table gently.


 "What is that?" Cady questions as the three return to the room

"The Orb. It contains the sword we need." Clara is scanning the room, clearly looking for the notebook. People begin to follow her lead, looking around.

Katie knows what she's doing. She's worked in a library, books go on shelves. She's working together with Maddi and Sophie, scanning the shelves in a rhythm that seems almost practised. 

Keely doubts that it would be that easy, so she's looking on top of things. "Callum!" She calls, jumping up but still being unable to reach what she's trying to reach - she's not short, she's average, but this cabinet is really tall. Her boyfriend hurries over, lifting her up to search on the top of the damn cabinet. "Ooh! Ooh! I got something!" She grabs the slip of paper as Callum puts her down gently, and wave it in the air excitedly. She unfolds it, carefully, and begins to read:

"I have locked my notebook away in this cabinet to keep it safe.

To unlock it, four puzzles must be done.

The first requires intellect, located in the study

The second requires a sharp eye and a gentle touch, in the garden.

The third requires two lovers to go to the basement. ("kiNKY", says Tegan)."

The fourth and final puzzle requires three with a strong bond to retrieve the object from the pantry"

Keely finishes reading, and Katie's leadership skills are making themselves known.

"Right, Maddi you go with Cady and David to the garden, Keely, Callum and Harvey go to the pantry, Chloe and Fenton go to the basement and the rest of us will stay here, in the study. Let's get out of here!" People start to scurry off in groups, receiving directions from Clara, determined to solve the puzzles.

 

Chapter Text

Cady, Maddi and David head out to the garden, lanterns in hand. There is a birdbath, pinned to which is a note. Maddi snatches it up, reading.

"To unlock the notebook, you must find the Moonblossom Flower - Its petals are blue and white, its stem short and it only blooms in direct moonlight. Good luck." she looks up, and they split up to look for it.

Maddi is looking through the flower beds, repeating the description in her head. She sneezes, rubbing her eyes. "Fuck pollen, man." Her hayfever isn't disastrous, but it isn't minor and being up close to so many is really difficult. She keeps searching, though.

David is rummaging through another flower bed, standing as far back and trying not to touch much stuff. He doesn't trust anything to do with this place, and he's scared that the flowers will suddenly, he doesn't know, attack him or something. Cady notices and stands up from her flowerbed, in which she is shoulder deep in.

"Come on, David! Do you want to die?!" she's being harsh, she knows, but she's scared and they could die, but David over here isn't even trying! David mumbles an apology and does nothing different. The blonde girl rolls her eyes, brushing a lock of hair from her face as she goes back to searching.

It's Maddi who finally finds a bud with the right coloured petals.

"Guys! Come over here and help me with this!" she says, and Cady rushes to her side, attempting to figure out what to do. David speaks, albeit quietly:

"If we clear these plants away, the moonlight should get to it."

Cady nods and so does Maddi, and the three of them begin to pick and discard flowers until finally, finally, enough moonlight reaches the flower and slowly it opens. David goes to pick it, and Maddi swats his hand away.

"It'll die if we pick it!" she starts to dig it up carefully, whilst Cady finds a flowerpot, dumps it out and brings it over, and the Moonblossom is placed safely inside. Cady leads the group back towards the study to see how everyone else is going. Strangely, the door is locked - maybe the others are still figuring out their puzzles? She sits on the floor, Maddi and David slumping down to join her.

Chapter Text

Fenton takes his girlfriend's hand as they descend to the basement. Instinctively, she leans into his shoulder. There is a clue already waiting for them

"To obtain the vase-" Chloe starts to read, but Fenton butts in with a "Why the hell do we need a vase?".

"Because the note said so" Chloe points out drily.

"Anyway, to obtain the vase, the two lovers - that's us - must perform a ritual." Chloe likes the sound of that. She's a very, very dark-minded girl, and she likes satanic things. Not the possibility that all of her friends, her and Fenton could die. There is a difference.

"And why do we need to do a satanic ritual to get this vase?!" Fenton's voice cracks slightly from confusion.

She ignores him and checks what they need to set up this satanic ritual.

- Draw a pentogram- with a circle around it - in the blood of the innocents.

- 7 Candles, 6 of which must be placed in a hexagonal formation around that.

"Fenton, you get the candles, and I'll get the blood." she's already begun darting around the room, looking for it.

Fenton nods, collecting the six lit candles and placing them in a group on the floor, ready to be used.

Chloe has always been short, mainly due to the fact that she is one of the youngest in the group. This really does not help in her attempts to reach the giant bottle on a high shelf.

"Fenton I cant reach it!" Chloe whined, jumping up and down. Her boyfriend laughed, hurried over and took it off the shelf with ease. She took it off him and thanked him with a quick peck on the cheek. Fenton smiled. Chloe hurried back to the middle of the room, uncorked the bottle of blood and got to work. Don't question the fact that she can draw pentagrams very accurately. She just can.

Anyway, Chloe finishes drawing, wiping her fingers on the floor. Fenton starts to place the candles.

"Let's get lit!" he jokes. Chloe rolls her eyes fondly. She reads the next instruction aloud.

"Place the final candle in the centre of the symbol, and then chant the incantation whilst you extinguish the candles in a clockwise motion using your own blood.." her voice trails of at the end. Fenton doesn't like this, but he is acutely aware of the passage of time and the fact that they only have until dawn to get these eight keys and kill this Adam guy. So he grabs a pot from the shelf that had the blood.

And he smashes it on the ground.

Hard.

He grabs a particularly sharp looking shard and runs back over to Chloe.

"You chant. I'll bleed," he says. Chloe opens her mouth to protest, but he silences her with a glare.

She begins to chant some random jibberish, over and over again, and Fenton presses the sharp edge of the pottery to the centre of his palm. Ow. He squeezes his hand into a fist, dripping blood onto the candles, putting them out one by one. The blood mixes with dripping wax, leaving tiny creamy-red puddles on the floor.

Chloe finishes chanting just as he extinguishes the centre candle. There is a flash of darkness and a bang and then, in place of the centre candle is a black vase with white lines that look like cracks all over it. Fenton shakes the last drops of blood from his palm, whilst Chloe takes the vase. They run out of the creepy Satanic basement, and back to the door of the Study.

"Chloe! Hi!" Cady perks up at the sight of one of her best friends. She hugs her, seeing the vase.

"So you got a vase, and we have a flower? Are we meant to combine them or something?" 

Chloe shrugs.

David notices the blood on Fenton's hand and gasps. "Dude! What happened to your hand?!"

Fenton says, surprisingly calmly, "Satanic blood ritual. No biggie."

The two teams - Team Hayfever-Is-A-Bitch and Team Satan-Vase - wait for the study door to unlock.

 

Chapter Text

The group walked slowly and cautiously down a set of winding, dilapidated stairs that felt as though they would collapse in on them at any second. Callum was leading the way, thoughts racing like horses and ricocheting off the walls of his brain. Would any of them make it out alive, or were they all doomed?
Once the team had safely descended the stairs, they found a note that read:

"To claim what you need,
you must get the herbs to open the seed.
Then you’ll obtain an unlocking master,
One step out of this grand disaster.”

 

“ An unlocking master, they must mean a key of some sort”, explained Callum
"So we just need to look for herbs and meet the others ?" said Harvey
"I guess," said Keely. So the team searched the room and eventually, Keely gasped and yelled at the others exclaiming loudly that she had found a note, even though the others were right next to her and could hear perfectly well.
She had managed to peel away the wallpaper and on the underside the others could make out a scrawl so hard to read they had to look closely, squinting at the illegible handwriting in front of them.
When they had managed to decipher all that the message contained, Harvey read it allowed.

High up in this room
On the very top shelf
Are herbs that you’ll have to grow for yourself
26 minerals added in order
Please don’t forget the power of water

“The only shelves in here are empty,” noticed Callum.

“ Well, it has to be here somewhere,” said Keely, determined and anxious to find what the riddle was speaking of.

Out of the corner of her eye, she spotted that the top shelf was slightly wonky and as she pushed it up into place a safe opened and they were able to haul out a box. when they opened it they saw that it was filled to the brim with soil. Out of the safe also came a bag of seeds and some vials full of swirling liquids different colours of the rainbow.

“These vials must hold the minerals!” deducted Harvey, he was fantastic in earth science so hopefully his skills on that front were going to help the group.

“The 26 minerals need to be added to the soil in the correct order to make it healthy enough for the herbs to grow. Hopefully, after we have done this we can collect the key and get the hell out of here, which do you think goes in first?”, he asked.

"I reckon that the 26 vials represent each letter of the alphabet, see this one is called Avalide and this is Baotite and this is Cerium, so we just add them alphabetically!” Callum answered.

That made sense to the rest of the group and so they spent the next five minutes arranging the minerals into alphabetical order and then mixing them into the soil, being careful not to spill anything. When they had finished with the zincochromite they stood back and admired their work before stooping down to push the seeds into the trough.

Nothing happened. The seeds did not grow.

“Wait, hang on, we need to water them!” realised Keely.
Of course, what were they thinking? They had almost forgotten, the seeds would never grow without any good ol' H2O.

They found a flask and soon enough, as the liquid was poured into the earth, the seeds started to grow. The seeds grew so miraculously fast, looking like a nature program time lapse to watch years go by in seconds and the days go by in less than that.

The herbs kept on growing until little buds opened, blooming into blossoms that would soon become herbs. They rejoiced quickly before reminding themselves that time was of the essence and they needed to go and find the others.

Grabbing the herbs, Keely rushed out and up the stairs, back towards the lounge. Callum and Harvey run after her, just about managing to keep up. When they reach the door, it's still locked, and they see two of the other groups there.

"Hi! We did it, we got our thing!" Keely says, holding up the oversized iron key.

"Great! We're just waiting on the peeps in the study now," Cady says, gesturing for them to sit.

And so, Team Snacc, Team Satan-Vase and Team Hayfever's-A-Bitch wait for the door to unlock.

Chapter Text

As soon as the other groups leave, a note appears on the coffee table. Tegan takes it tentatively and reads it aloud to Katie, Jonny, and Sophie.

"To get the word s of the incantation, first you must find the blue book with a symbol of balance."

The group immediately starts searching for blue books.

What is the symbol? A pair of scales? Did they have scales back.. well, now?  Sophie is thinking, but all of the blue books she finds have just got plain leather covers. Really nice, expensive looking leather covers, but leather covers - with no 'balance symbols' on them - all the same.

Tegan is working close to Katie when she finds a black book with a yin-yang on the spine. She pulls it off the shelf and finds that it is not a book, it is, in fact, a book protector, and when she opens it she finds a blue book, with the same yin-yang on the front cover. She holds it up in the air triumphantly.

"Guys! I got it!"

The rest of the team rushes over and she flips it open. There is a note stuck onto the inside cover. "Placerelook at the beauty of yourself. A smile upon your face.The warmth of iron in your cheeks. A horizon reflected in your eyes." The group sinks into a confused silence for a moment, and then Clara speaks. "Try reading only the words in italics, Tegan." 

"look upon the horizonshe realizes, and the group are looking around until Jonny spots a book on the windowsill.

He picks it up and reads. "Nos" and then there is an arrow, pointing towards the bookshelf - the entrance to where the Orb was found.

Everyone is looking in it, except Katie, who is looking past it, into the corridor. Picking a lantern up off of the table, she investigates the corridor, and sure enough, in the corner, there is another book. She brings it out to the group, waving it in the air like a footballer with a trophy.

"Can." she reads. "Underneath." The group looks like they're waiting for her to continue, so she tells them that that's all the note says. So, they start to look underneath things.

Sophie nearly gets stuck under one of the couches, but it's Tegan who finds it, under the smallest armchair. She dusts it off, grimacing at the grime on her hand. The Hostess not-so-subtly rubs it off on the back of the chair, scrunching up her nose in an 'ick' expression.

"Recludam, in the entrance," she reads, and Jonny is already dashing off to the entrance, looking underneath the door (that they have finally noticed is locked), and pulling out the penultimate note and bringing it back to the group.

He reads it aloud, thinking about how boring and repetitive this is getting, and how terrible it would be to read if this was a story.

"Hoc, behind others of its kind." he looks up and rolls his eyes. "This means another bookshelf hunt, doesn't it." It's a statement, not a question, and he sighs as everyone begins to search the bookshelves - again - and look for another book. Which, by the way, isn't fast, considering just how many bookshelves there are in this damn room.

It takes a long time, but Sophie finally finds a book, larger and with a more intricate cover than the rest. She pulls it from the shelf, flicking it open, and retrieving what has to be the final note.

"Scriniumback to the origins of this puzzle," is what the final clue has to offer. Sophie looks around, trying to puzzle this out, and then Katie snaps her fingers, announcing that she's got it.

"The cabinet, right? That's where all these puzzles come from!" she explains, leading the group over to where Clara has been the entire time, silently moving her hands over the lock, muttering spells as a sort of blue mist wreaths around her slender fingers.

She looks up, surprised as if she had forgotten the guests were there. "Oh! Oh you've got the incantation, have you? Good, that's... good. Here, I found this!" she hands Tegan two note, attached to which is a large iron key.

The first note reads:

Attached is the key to the study door. After you have let your friends in, follow the instructions (also attached) to unlock the cabinet, and continue on with your 'adventure'. Good luck.

Signed,

Adelaine Rose.

 

Chapter Text

Signed,

Adelaine Rose.

The name means nothing to the group, but it seems to spark a wild mix of emotions in Clara's eyes. Tegan, sensing that the mage should probably be left alone for a minute, takes the large iron key and hurries over to the door, the other members of Team Study Buddies trailing after her.

She slips the key into the lock, twists, and then yanks the door open. This sends Cady sprawling backwards, as she was sat leaning against the door.

Tegan winces, apologising as she helps the blonde girl up. Cady laughs, shaking her hair out and telling her not to worry about it. 

The four teams - Hayfever's-A-Bitch, Satan Vase, Snacc and Study Buddies - reconvene into one as they plonk themselves on the couches, placing their treasures on the coffee table. Tegan unfolds the second note, revealing instructions for a ritual. She reads through it, mumbling under her breath. The Hostess puts it down and starts to direct the group on what needs to be down.

"Ok, so. Maddi, you've got that flower, right? And Chloe has the vase. The flower needs to be placed into the vase now - careful! This place may be holding us hostage, but I swear to God, we will not get dirt on the carpet. Right, ok, that's good, also Fenton, what the fuck did you do to your hand?" She says, noticing the jagged cut on the palm of the boy's hand.

"Oh, um, y'know, Satanic blood ritual, no biggie," he chuckles awkwardly.

"No biggie?! Honestly, Fenton, we're all in mortal danger, and you have the audacity to- you know what? I'm just gonna find a first aid kit." she tuts, rising from her chair to go talk to Clara.

The sorceress sighs, shaking her head fondly. "You idiots. We don't have 'first aid kits', whatever those are, but I do ~magic~.  I can fix his hand, easily." She walks over to Fenton, and crouches next to him, holding his injured hand in one of hers, and waving her other over the wound. The red slash seals up, replaced by a thin blue line.

"That'll fade, over time." She stands again, hovering next to the couch in case anyone needs anything.

"Right, let's keep going. Keely, you need to unlock the flower whilst the rest of us chant the incantation. Got it? Good. Ok, everyone, we have to say 'Placere nos can recludam hoc scrinium.' Everyone ready? Ok, on three." she directs, and, on the count of three, everyone chants until a glowing key shape appears above the flower. Hands trembling, Keely carefully unlocks it with the slim silver key.

The petals unfold, and a small golden key is nestled in with the centre. David takes it, and as everyone stops chanting, the flower wilts and the golden glow fades. He stands, quickly making his way over to the cabinet, unlocking the glass door. 

With the benefit of hindsight, Tegan thinks, we could have just smashed it open. Yeah, no, we could definitely just smashed it open. Oh well. 

David retrieves the notebook and brings it over to the group. It's a brown leather notebook, with a white circle on the front, in the centre of which is a rose that's curled up. It's kept shut by a red strip of elastic. Tegan whistles appreciatively. She gets some strange looks from the rest of the group.

"What? It's a good quality leather notebook! You don't see those as often nowadays, I mean, in the future." she protests. As David hands it to Katie to read, Clara looks at the notebook wistfully.

Katie clears her throat and begins to read, aloud.

"For use in emergencies only.

In the case of the fulfilment of the prophecy, this notebook should help prepare the guests from the future for what is to come. That's you, right? 

You're not gonna like it. I don't have a miracle fix to your situation, unfortunately. It'd be nice if I could fix this mess.

I should probably explain what's actually happening, shouldn't I?

Clara's probably told you something. She's probably missed half the stuff, just telling you that you're gonna die, yadda yadda.

Anyway.

So, this place isn't always like this. It's actually a really nice, hospitable, cosy place, most of the time.

Most of the time.

You see, the mansion is kinda sentient? It doesn't have emotions or anything, but it can tell if the person in charge of it (we call them the Grand Mage) are complete pieces of shit, like Adam. So, when the Grand Mage is evil, the house reflects that. That's why it's so dark and horrid.

Also, the colours are clashing. It sucks.

It also cursed everyone! Yay!

The curse takes your worst trait and amplifies the hell out of it (though, technically, it amplifies the hell into it).

Adam chose 8 of those cursed to be his lieutenants, his guardians, his key-bearers, whatever.

He would've cursed and chosen both me and Clara, but we were off-site at the time, so we escaped.

You are going to need that sword to defeat the asshole, but you know what else?

Well, no, you don't, I haven't told you yet.

You need Clara and me.

You need two powerful mages, opposite in power, but with souls in harmony.

But Adam knows this.

That's why I'm writing and not speaking to you.

The fucker captured me.

Can you believe it?

Being stuck here sucks. There's nothing to do including Clara!

 You need to get me out of here, and some of the key-bearers will help you - once you've freed them from the spell, of course, which requires the sword. Yeah, it sucks, but I can wait.

Anyway, to break the spell, you'll need to get the sword (which is mine, by the way!). That means you'll need the keys to the Orb. Which means you need to know how to do the soul-bonding ritual so that you don't die in vain!

Ok, so first, you need something the soul was wearing. I suggested you all remove an accessory and leave it in the lounge, in case of a bend in the rules, or not being able to retrieve it from the body.

Then, you need to get the key.

Take your clothing thing and wrap it around the key, or place the key inside it. Then, you need to step back and say the following prayer.

"Scribes, please receive this soul, and keep them safe from suffering any longer. Allow their essence to inhabit this key, and help us defeat the evil in this sacred house. Protect them, and love them as we can no longer. Thank you."

It's important to give your friends the right send off. It's respectful, no matter what happened in the hours leading up to their death.

The magic has more power when someone close to the deceased performs the prayer, but if that's not possible, its ok. It'll still work.

Then the key must be placed in the Orb.

Do not, I repeat do not twist the keys until all of them are present. When you do, twist 90 degrees to the right, ok?

Anyway, on the following pages, information will appear for the key-bearers. Only when you need the next one will it do so, though. Don't skip ahead - that's cheating and it won't work anyway.

I think that's all I've got to say, but try and stay safe, yeah?

Clara? Look after them, Glacier Face. Don't be too stupid.

Signed,

Adelaine Rose."

Katie looks up, questions buzzing behind her eyes. She starts with the most important one. "Who is she, Clara? To you, I mean?" she asks.

The mage looks away, a faint flush on her pale face.

"Adelaine Rose isn't actually her name. She's Adelaine Frank - everyone calls her Ada - and she's my fiancee. Rose is my surname, it'll be hers when we're married. If we both live that long. She's a cheeky bitch, signing her writing like that, and I love her." she laughs a little, but it's sad.

Everything makes sense to Tegan now - the sudden willingness to help them, the desperation in her eyes, and the wistful glances at the notebook. 

"We'll free her. As soon as we can, I promise we will. You've already saved us, so we owe you one." Maddi says gently, wishing they didn't have to wait.

Clara smiles, the gratitude in her eyes saying more than words can.

"We should get a shimmy on, then! Let's see what Ada has to say on the first key-bearer." David points out, gesturing to Katie to turn the page.

She does, and the page is blank at first. Then, slowly, inked words start to appear, until the page is fully formed.

They don't know it yet, but they're in for one hell of a ride.