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The plain key you found in the Armoury is not quite up to the task of opening this wide, glittering gate. You'll need something more appropriate.\n\n<<display Plaza>>
The vendor sits between a crate of [[ammo|Too poor]] and a bundle of [[torches|Too poor]]. <<if $advised == "no">>She also seems to have some [[advice|Advice]] she's eager to give.<<endif>>\n\n<<if $noticedcrest == "no">>You notice, for the first time, the [[crest|Crest]] on the wall beside the stall.<<set $noticedcrest = "yes">><<else>>An ornate [[crest|Crest]] decorates the wall beside the vendor's stall.<<endif>>\n\nThe rest of the Armory is [[behind you|Armory]].
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You've somehow found your way to the center of town.\n<<silently>>\n<<set $metvendor = "no">>\n<<set $advised = "no">>\n<<set $explainedgems = "no">>\n<<set $noticedcrest = "no">>\n<<set $foundpassword = "no">>\n<<set $keyfell = "no">>\n<<set $vaultkey = "no">>\n<<set $torch = "no">>\n<<set $littorch = "no">>\n<<set $palacekey = "no">>\n<<endsilently>>\n<<display 'Plaza'>>
A carpet of colors unfolds beneath your feet towards a shining throne at the center of the palace. Overhead, dazzling lights coalesce into the words:\n\n''YOU WIN''
What first catches your eye is the large [[Vault]]. The rest of the building is taken up with stalls, most of them empty. But you can see one [[Vendor]] hunched over a counter, and in another stall, a [[figure|Guardian]] marching back and forth.\n\nThe Town [[Plaza]] is through the door behind you.
<<if $foundpassword == "no">>A metal crest of a shield with crossed swords. There are a few of them hanging from the Armory's walls, now that you notice. But this one is different: there's an empty space between it and the wall. It's on [[hinges|Password]].\n<html><br></html>Behind you, the [[vendor|Vendor]] is checking her inventory.<<else>>Behind the crest: "40364, bank on it."\n<html><br></html>Behind you, the [[Armory]].<<endif>>
You dial the numbers from the Armory: 40364.\n\nThere's a click, and sure enough, the safe swings open to reveal a key glittering with inlaid jewels of white and purple. The key is heavy when you lift it, and almost doesn't fit in your pocket.<<set $palacekey = "yes">>\n\nThe [[exit|Plaza]] of the Bank stands open.
<<if $metvendor == "no">>The old Vendor's eyes light up as she sees a customer approach, probably for the first time in a long while.<html><br></html>\n"You must be new to town!" she croaks. "If you want to be successful, you'll need to buy supplies."<html><br></html>\nFrom behind the counter she produces a crate of [[ammunition|Too poor]] and a bundle of [[torches|Too poor]]. It also seems as though she's willing to offer [[advice|Advice]].<html><br></html>\nOr you could simply [[walk away|Armory]].<<set $metvendor = "yes">><<else>><<display Wares>><<endif>>
<<if $keyfell == "no">>An armor-clad man marches back and forth beside a pedestal, atop which sits a plain-looking key. The counter stands between yourself and the key and its guardian, but a [[bell|Bell]] sits on the counter, waiting to be rung.<<else>>An armor-clad man marches back and forth beside an empty pedestal.<<if $vaultkey == "no">><html> </html>The [[key|Key]] he was guarding now lies on the floor.<<endif>> A [[bell|Bell]] rests on the counter.<<endif>>\n\nThe [[Armory]] is to your rear.
She leans in close, her eyes twinkling and her voice falling to a conspiratorial whisper as she recites her rhyme.\n\n"It is whispered that soon if we all call the tune, then the piper will lead us to reason. And a new day will dawn for those who stand long and the forests will echo with laughter."<<set $advised = "yes">>\n\n<<display Wares>>
<<if $palacekey == "no">><<if $foundpassword == "no">>The safe has a combination lock, and you don't have the combination. You exit the Bank.\n<html><br></html><<display Plaza>><<else>>The safe has a [[combination lock|Purple key]].\n<html><br></html>The light of the [[exit|Plaza]] is at your back.<<endif>><<else>>The safe lies open and empty, as does the Bank. You take your leave.\n<html><br></html><<display Plaza>><<endif>>
As you turn the key in the glittering gate and push it open, you notice that a humming you weren't aware of until now has stopped, as if holding its breath. The dark interior of the [[Palace|Throne room]] beckons.
The guard continuing his marching, you pick up the key and tuck it in your pocket, unseen by the eyes of the [[Armory]].<<set $vaultkey = "yes">>
You lift the hinges to discover numbers scratched into the wall behind the crest:\n\n40364.<<set $foundpassword = "yes">>\n\nA message scrawled beneath says "bank on it!"\n\nThe rest of the [[Armory]] pays your discovery no mind.
<<if $torch == "no">>The Bank's interior is pitch dark: you'll have to save exploration for later.\n<html><br></html><<display Plaza>><<else>><<if $littorch == "no">>You light your torch as you enter the Bank.<<set $littorch = "yes">>\n<html><br></html><<endif>>The Bank is long abandoned: dusty floors and empty teller's desks. But in the flickering torchlight, you can make out a single closed [[safe|Safe]] behind a desk.\n<html><br></html>A patch of daylight spills in from the [[exit|Plaza]] but doesn't get very far.<<endif>>
<<if $explainedgems == "no">>You pull some crumpled bills from your pocket, but it becomes clear that currency in this town is nothing as flimsy as paper: she expects gemstones, and you have none.<<set $explainedgems = "yes">>\n\n<<else>>"You can't afford it!"<<endif>>\n\n<<display Wares>>
The glittering [[Palace]] dominates the plaza. A haggard-looking [[signpost|Signpost]] stands in the center of the pavement. Around it is a cluster of buildings, most of them abandoned-looking: you can make out an [[Armory]] and a [[Bank]].
This vault was emptied long ago. All that's left among the dust and cobwebs is a single [[torch|Torch]].
<<if $torch == "no">><<if $vaultkey == "no">>A massive vault with a tiny keyhole takes up half the [[Armory]].<<else>>A massive vault with a tiny [[keyhole|Inside vault]] takes up half the [[Armory]].<<endif>>\n<html><br></html>You can see a [[figure|Guardian]] pacing nearby.<<else>>The vault is open and empty. All that remain of interest in the [[Armory]] are a [[vendor|Vendor]] and the [[exit|Plaza]].<<endif>>
Though its gleaming, windowless walls reveal nothing, you are certain of some kind of presence beyond the Palace's wide - and <<if $palacekey == "yes">>[[locked|Opened gate]]<<else>><<if $vaultkey == "yes">>[[locked|Wrong key]]<<else>>locked<<endif>><<endif>> - gate.\n\n<<display Plaza>>
<<if $keyfell == "no">>The guard turns toward the sound of the bell, invariably knocking the key from its pedestal as he does so.<<set $keyfell = "yes">>\n<html><br></html>"Go away, cretin!" he snips.\n<html><br></html>He returns to his marching, unaware that the [[key|Key]] has fallen from its perch.<<else>>"Go away, cretin!" snips the guardian of the key.<<if $vaultkey == "no">><html><br></html>\nBut the [[key|Key]] is sitting on the floor.<<else>><html> </html>But the key is gone.<<endif>><<endif>>\n\nThe [[Armory]] is to your rear.
You take the torch and abandon the empty vault. The lone [[vendor|Vendor]] and the [[exit|Plaza]] beckon from opposite corners of the [[Armory]].<<set $torch = "yes">>
Most of the words on the sign have long faded, but you can make out fragments:\n\n"Welcome to the Town of...find the...unlock...the Palace, your destination."\n\n<<display Plaza>>
by anna anthropy