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## CASTLE DOOMENSTEIN(TM) ##
## ~by~ ##
## Erik Radvon ##
## v0.3 Copyright2016 ##
<p>[[BEGIN|Curbside at the Castle]]</p>
**Curbside at the Castle**
It is a dark and stormy night.
Your car is wrecked on the side of the narrow, wooded road.
Something ran out in front of you. Too big to be a deer, too fast to be a bear. With the cold rain pouring down, there wasn't enough time for the slick brakes to take hold...
Dazed, a throbbing headache. Cell phone, smashed. After long minutes in the cold darkness, surrounded by the sound of rain and popping of the smashed radiator, you exit the car. You find an old rain jacket in the trunk, along with a flashlight and a bag of candy fish. You take everything, flip up the hood of the jacket, and click the flashlight to ON. The road ahead is dark.
You walk for what feels like forever, your skin growing cold and clammy even with the protection of the jacket. Suddenly, you notice a break in the road. A curb and a series of stonework stairs lead off the main pavement. You move to the stairs. They're steeper than you expected, and slick in the rain. You look up and in the distance you make out a large stone mansion in the distance, a blacker black against the dark night sky.
[[Walk up the stairs|Castle Door]]
You make your way up the stairs, nearly slipping more than once. Finally landing at the top of the hill, you turn around to look back. The road is far below, the height deceptive.
The house is enormous and made entirely of stone. It looks like, and in fact is, a castle. A castle in the middle of the desolate woods.
There are no electric lights present, just the faint glow of something in the upper windows.
You approach the doorway, marveling at the stonework. It's like something from another time, and the scale is massive. An arch of stone finally provides reprieve from the pouring rain. You flip down the hood of your jacket and turn the flashlight to the door.
It's thick and wooden, and with iron elements running across it. An enormous metallic head of a grotesque gargoyle is in the center. A heavy ring hangs from the gargoyle's mouth.
You lift the metal ring, it's heavier than anticipated in your cold hands. You let it fall to the door.
The door swings open with a long creak...
You blithely cast aside your manners and grab the door's handle, giving it a firm push.
You are in the main hall of the castle. A plaque on the wall contains a bizarre looking coat of arms and bears the name CASTLE DOOMENSTEIN.
"What an odd name," you think.
You can go LEFT, RIGHT, FORWARD, or BACK.
<p>[[Left|Left Room, Lower]]</p>
<p>[[Right|Right Room, Lower]]</p>
**Left Room, Lower**
This appears to be a study. A few bookcases line the walls, and an ornate wooden desk sits in one corner. A twisting staircase leads up.
<p>[[Ascend Stairs|Left Room, Upper]]</p>
**Left Room, Upper**
This is an observatory of sorts. There are telescopes of all sizes and shapes, along with star charts and maps of the sky that contain unfamiliar looking symbols.
A small wood-paneled passage leads off of the room. The stairs down are behind you.
<p>[[Enter Passage|Right Room, Upper]]</p>
<p>[[Descend Stairs|Left Room, Lower]]</p>
**Right Room, Upper**
This room contains a bird cage. The skeleton of what may have once been a parakeet sits frozen on its perch. How gruesome.
A window opens up to the night sky. The thunderstorm is still raging.
You can go back through the passage or get closer to the window.
<p>[[Back|Left Room, Upper]]</p>
**Right Room, Lower**
The room is plain and unfurnished, with no remarkable features save for a large hatch on the floor.
<p>[[Open Hatch|Dungeon 1]]</p>
**WINDOW OF DOOM**
With the dexterity of a newborn giraffe, you stumble toward the window. A gust of frigid air suddenly bursts through the room and...
You fall onto the hard stone patio below. Well, that's one way to escape the castle.
**YOU ARE DEAD**
<p>[[Use Magic Continue Coin to try that again...|Right Room, Upper]]</p>
The word that immediately comes to mind is "dank."
This is...this is a dungeon? Yup. It's a straight-up dungeon. The walls are made of coarse cobblestones covered in a kind of moss that seems to be giving off a faint iridescent glow. It's extremely dark, but somehow this strange light somehow makes the room visible. It feels moist and again, dank. Very dank.
There's a single door leading forward in front of you, and the passage back is behind you.
<p>[[Back|Right Room, Lower]]</p>
Ok, you're in the second part of the dungeon. It's still dank here.
Oh...oh my. There's a strong, strong odor coming from the RIGHT. It reminds you of that time you left an egg salad sandwich in your glovebox for a week. Every cell in your body tells you to stay away.
There's a darkened passageway to the left, where the air smells decidedly less rancid. The door you entered from is behind you.
Whoa, what's this?
There's what looks like a massive well in the center of this room, but instead of water there's a swirling whirlpool of what your brain can only describe as mystical energy. It looks like the inside of a lava lamp going a hundred miles per hour.
You find the swirling whirlpool mesmerizing. For some reason you have a strong urge to dive in...
The way you came in is behind you, if you're a chicken.
<p>[[Portal|Gates of Hell]]</p>
**PIT OF DEATH**
You fall into a pit of hideous spikes. As every one of your major organs is pierced, you notice festering corpses at the bottom of the pit.
"So that explains the smell," you think as your life fades.
**YOU ARE DEAD**
<p>[[Use Magic Continue Coin and try that again...|Dungeon 1]]</p>
**The Gates of Hell**
Casting all reason aside, you jump into the swirling whirlpool of mystical energy with both feet forward!
For a moment, the experience is the most fun you've ever had. The exhilaration then quickly gives way to fear and then panic as you suddenly feel your soul ripped asunder. You see nothing but flashes of color, increasing in intensity until...
You land on a hard, rocky surface, kicking up clouds of reddish brown dust. You stand up and regain your composure. That was weird.
Rivers of lava flow all around you. Flashes of purple lightning blaze overhead. You hear the cackling of inhuman creatures thundering in the distance. A wrought-iron gate announces your location. You read the letters, and if anyone was watching they would see you moving your mouth.
"WELCOME TO THE GATES OF HELL"
So. You're in Hell.
The Gates of Hell are...open? You get closer and look. Yeah. They're wide open.
There's a dusty path ahead, and nowhere else to go.
<p>[[Follow Path|Hellish Hellscape]]</p>
Hell definitely looks like Hell.
There's lava moving everywhere, some in forms that resemble rivers, other segments doing things that seem to defy what little you understand of physics. The terrifying noises cycling throughout remind you of a cheap carnival funhouse your cousins once dared you to go through. Sadly, there doesn't seem to be any cotton candy waiting at the end this time. Your stomach growls.
You don't want to hang out here, and there's no point in going back. Only choice is to plod forward...
[[Continue to Follow Path...|Inferno-y Hellish Hellscape of Hell]]
**Inferno-y Hellish Hellscape of...Hell**
Now things are getting super Helly. It's hotter than before, and the lava rivers are more rapid and agitated, throwing waves of fire onto the rocky landmass you're traversing.
You curse yourself for throwing your body into the mesmerizing portal. You've always had a weakness for shiny objects.
Just then you catch glimpse of...is that...is that a quickie mart? You squint and the flash comes into focus-- it is! It's some kind of convenience store in the distance! You would recognize the gaudy neon of a 24x7 convenience store anywhere. It's where you eat most of your meals. The sign blares HELL-MART.
With nothing but the Inferno-y Hellish Hellscape of Hell around you, you glady look forward to approaching HELL-MART.
<p>[[Approach Hell-Mart|Hell-Mart Door]]</p>
**Demon Punks' Hell-Mart Loitering Area**
Three juvenile demons on BMX bikes are posted up in front of the Hell-Mart. They're smoking some sort of substance that smells like a burning pile of tires.
"Sup old 'n fleshy," one says. The others snicker.
"Me?" you ask. "I'm sorry, there must be some misunderstanding. I'm not old."
"Yeah, whatever gramps. Listen up," the punk inhales deeply, "you ever hear the one about that like, castle, or whatever?"
"Wait," you say, "Castle? What do you know about this castle?"
The punk demons pass their...thing.
"It's like, Castle Doomenshaeffer or something," says one.
"Nah breh, it's like Quakenhoffer. B'haha!"
"Nah fam, it's like Castle Wolfenstein."
"That's just ridiculous," you interject.
Suddenly, the plaque from the castle returns to your memory.
"Doomenstein!" you shout. "Castle Doomenstein!"
"BREEEEEEEHHHHHHH! That's totally it. Totz. I heard a story about that dump."
<p>[[Tell me everything...|Demon Punks II]]</p>
<p>[[Boring. Later.|Hell-Mart Door]]</p>
Aside from being located in Hell, this place looks pretty awesome!
There's everything one would expect from a gold-tier mini mart. Coolers containing beverages line the walls. A stand of magazines, newspapers, and comic books hugs the end of one aisle. There's hot dogs rolling on a grill and frozen burritos stationed near an island of microwaves.
Behind the counter stands a Demon Clerk. He's a massive red creature with horns.
**Demon Punks Hell-Mart Loitering Area**
"So, like, check it out, ok? Castle Doomenstein was like, this place, you know? Like all stone and gnarly and stuff, and built all huge and whatnot all out in the woods. But it wasn't a castle originally. Some farmer human dudes bought the land way back sight unseen."
"Wuzzat mean?" one of the kids asks his peer.
"Means like they didn't see it before they bought it. Like they just, you know, bought it cuz," says the one you take to be the leader.
"Trueeeeeeeee," respond the cohorts.
"Ok, so like, they roll up on this parcel of real estate and it's like, cursed and stuff. The wheat is all fallow."
For some reason this cracks the juveniles up.
"There are like birds dying and stuff, and like everything is all crappy. And the farmers, right, they find this like hole in the ground. And duders, one of the farmers, he decides to poke it and BOOM! He lands here man! He gets sucked to Hell!"
They laugh again. You begin to wonder how long this story is.
"Isn't that crazy, old duder? Isn't that some crazy stuff bruh?"
<p>[[I mean...|Demon Punks III]]</p>
<p>[[Seriously, super boring. Bye.|Hell-Mart Door]]</p>
**Welcome to Hell-Mart**
Yup, it's a mini-mart! The sign reads:
**Hell-Mart, Open 24x7xEternity (Closed Groundhog Day)**
The entrance door is in front of you and a group of 3 demon punks hanging out in front of the store.
<p>[[Talk Demon Punks|Demon Punks]]</p>
<p>[[Enter Hell-Mart|Hell-Mart, Open 24x7xEternity (Closed Groundhog Day)]]</p>
**Demon Punks Hell-Mart Loitering Area**
"Moral of the story or whatever is, like, don't go to Hell if you're a fleshnugget 'cause it's probably really hard to go back."
You ponder this for a moment.
"Waiiiiiiiit," one of the demon kids says, "you're in Hell right now bro. What if, like, you're here forever and whatnot."
"Please," you say with false confidence, "I highly doubt it."
"Breh, I was you, I'd rip on some of this fireherb and just, like, get some nachos or something."
"Yeah fam, gotta let that stuff go."
They hold out the burning cigar-item to you. You wave your hand.
"No, thanks. I've got to work on getting back home."
<p>[[Well, that was time I'll never get back. Thanks, I guess. Bye, fellow kids!|Hell-Mart Door]]</p>
"Welcome to Hell-Mart, how may I help you-- OH MY DEVIL! You're...you're human!"
"Yeah," you admit. "I jumped into a mystical whirlpool thingy."
"Ah, of course. A portal jumper. We get some of your type once or twice a year. I suppose you've come here on a quest of some sort? Need some magical item from the great underworld to purge some evil wizard or some such?
"I don't really know what I'm do-"
"Save it, heard it all before my friend. You're clearly here for our MAGICAL SLUSHIE so that you can use it on the EVIL WIZARD back in the pinky fleshy world from whence you came. And let me guess anudder thing, you don't have any HellCash to pay for it, either. Sound about right?"
You nod dumbfounded. The Demon Clerk seems to know more about this game than you do.
"Yeah, yeah, that's right. Ol' Shem's been working this counter for more than a couple eons. I've seen this whole song and dance before. Well, I ain't footin' the bill this time. MAGICAL SLUSHIEs don't grow on trees, you know."
"Are there...are there trees here in He-"
"Enough! I ain't got all night to listen to your meat-hole flappin' in my air conditioning. How you gonna pay for this?"
<p>[[Act tough|Clerk Fail]]</p>
<p>[[Offer to mop|Clerk Success]]</p>
"Bwhahahahaha! Begging? Really? This is Hell, there's no sympathy here! Please die again."
[[Let's try that again...|Clerk]]
AHAHAAHAHAHAHAH! In my previous life, I was the slaughterer of a thousand nations. Believe me, a husk of a human like you is not going to intimidate me.
[[You resent being called a husk, but decide to rethink this approach...|Clerk]]
**CLERK WRATH DEATH**
You lift your feeble wrists to approximate something of a fighting stance. The Demon Clerk raises an eyebrow. Maybe he's surprised! Maybe you have the drop on him!
As a pillar of white-hot hellfire sears the flesh from your bones, you realize this is not the case. The last thing you hear is the Clerk bellowing "Clean-up on aisle 2!"
**YOU ARE DEAD**
<p>[[Use Magic Continue Coin and Try Again|Clerk]]</p>
Your years working menial labor final pay off. Deftly handling the mop, you swab the grimy tiles of Hell-Mart. You even place the CAUTION, WET FLOOR signs along the aisles.
Satisfied with your ability to perform subpar work like a professional, the Demon Clerk hands you the MAGIC SLUSHIE.
"So, how you getting home? There's no loitering here."
You hadn't really thought of that.
"I hadn't really thought of that," you mutter.
The Demon Clerk reaches under the counter and brings out a black staff with the a goat's skull on its base.
"Tell ya what, seeing as how you saved me from having to mop, I'll do ya a solid an zap ya back to the fleshy world. I suggest clenching your various orifices."
<p>MORNING BLOOD: CODE RED</p>
<p>HELLSTAR ENERGY DRANK</p>
<p>CARBONATED SOULS OF ENEMIES</p>
Wow, that's a pretty horrific lineup of drinks. You'll pass...
[[Back|Hell-Mart, Open 24x7xEternity (Closed Groundhog Day)]]
<p>ROLLING STONE OF SISYPHUS</p>
<p>POPULAR MECHANICAL TORTURE</p>
<p>DEATH STREET JOURNAL</p>
<p>THE INFERNO REGISTER</p>
<p>ALL NEW, ALL DIFFERENT X-IMPS</p>
<p>SUPER-DEMON: THE MAN OF FIRE</p>
<p>ONE MORE DAY (cover missing)</p>
You're not in much of a reading mood...
[[Back|Hell-Mart, Open 24x7xEternity (Closed Groundhog Day)]]
You get the overriding sense that you should not be here.
A large black door stands before you. It is shimmering with a strange purple energy. A coldness is present.
You would not feel less about yourself if you turned back.
<p>[[Open Door|Wizard Death]]</p>
You feel an incredible rush of energy, and then-
You land with a thud on a dark stone floor filled with witchy symbols. You look up and see...THE WIZARD!
"FOOLISH MORTAL!" the evil creature whines with a voice that sounds like shards of glass running through a food processor. "YOU DARE ENTER CASTLE DOOMENSTEIN?!"
The cloaked WIZARD bolts toward you with unnatural speed! Was this the creature that destroyed your car?
You have no time to dwell on the thought. What did the Demon Clerk say? The slushie! Use the slushie!
[[Destroy Wizard with Magical Slushie!]]
The toss the Magical Slushie in the general direction of the charging Wizard and!
The Wizard stops and appears stunned for a moment. He wipes the artificially flavored slurry from his face and gazes at his hands.
"IS THIS...COULD THIS BE...SLUSHIE FROM THE DEPTHS OF HELL ITSELF?!"
You suddenly hear the sound of rapid boiling.
The Wizard thrashes madly as the slushie works its magic, dissolving into a grotesque puddle on the stone floor! The wafting smell of lemon-lime fills the room.
You did it! The Wizard is dead!
[[Bask in Victory|The End]]
You open the foreboding door.
You disturb a mighty Wizard performing a terrible ritual. You can do nothing but gaze as this strange being conjures energies not from this world.
The Wizard then takes notice of you and charges.
"LEAVE THIS PLACE!" he shrieks.
Blasts of dark energy erupt from the being's hands. You feel a wall of terrible coldness strike you and then searing, burning pain. You crumple to the ground.
The Wizard stalks over you.
"CASTLE DOOMENSTEIN is no place for pathetic mortals!" you hear the Wizard say.
"No, stop-" you beg.
"Such heroic nonsense," the Wizard replies. You feel like you've heard this line in an old cartoon...
The Wizard then blasts your body into a fine mist.
**YOU ARE DEAD**
The stones of CASTLE DOOMENSTEIN shake and shafts of bright sunlight flood the room! A dozen pure white doves flutter overhead.
**FLUTTER FLAP FLAP FLUTTER**
You gaze out of the newly exposed windows. The sky is clear and blue. You spot a rainbow in the distance. Isn't that something, you think. Sure is, you think back.
Just then you hear the loud honking of a car horn. In fact, it sounds like your car horn!
You rush through the castle hallways, now shimmering in the beautiful afternoon light.
Your car! It has somehow driven long driveway of the castle, seemingly under its own control! It looks to be fully repaired! You run your hand over its freshly-waxed hood.
"Boy," you exclaim, "I sure am glad to see you!"
After the harrowing adventure through CASTLE DOOMENSTEIN, you allow yourself to feel the bliss of the moment hit you like a Honolulu wave.
You made it through the impossible, and now everything is going to be great. You used the Magic Slushie to kill the evil Wizard, and thus the universe is rewarding you by magically fixing your car so that you can go home. Swell.
"Man," you say aloud, "what a story this will make back home!"
"Who you talkin' to?" a gruff voice responds.
You look down at your feet, and they're covered in dirty grey water. You look up, there's a mop in your hand.
"Hey fleshbag, keep it down and get back to work!"
You look around. Frozen burritos. Microwaves. Moxie. Oh sweet lord, Moxie.
You're in Hell! You never left!
You drop to your knees and bellow "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"
The Demon Clerk snorts, little flames emitting from his nostrils.
"Humans," he says, "So dramatic."