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In the ARG, The Shopkeeper hosted a 3-part text adventure game in the official The Messenger Discord. The storyline involved characters such as Pitou, The Fleshmancer, and Keenathan.

Context[]

When the community amassed enough Time Shards to afford a perk from the Discord branch of the shop, The Shopkeeper would arrive online to the Discord, typically on the upcoming Friday. She would chat in #the-shop text channel with one lucky member who was selected to be "The Messenger." They sometimes had the option to participate in the text adventure game.

The text adventure game concluded with the reveal of the first chapter's title of Book 2. (Book 2 is the second book that The Archivist plans to give to Sabotage Studio to translate into their second video game.)

Chapter 1 (May 17, 2019)[]

#the-shop
The Shopkeeper TEXT ADVENTURE GAME CHAPTER 1
The Shopkeeper You wake up in the hold of a boat with only a sword in your inventory. Looking around might help you get your bearings.
What do you do?
Stéphanie I look around
The Shopkeeper You do not feel any movement, and surmize the ship is docked. You see a barrel, a big curtain, and a crack in the floor.
Behind you are stairs leading to a trapdoor.
What do you do?
Stéphanie I look what's under the crack on the floor
The Shopkeeper You notice a small wooden handle underneath the floor, but you would first have to pry the crack open in order to reach it.

You see a barrel, a big curtain, and a crack in the floor.
Behind you are stairs leading to a trapdoor.
What do you do?
Stéphanie I look what's behind the big curtain
The Shopkeeper You move the curtain aside. A cliché'd skeletal pirate lunges at you. There will be no escaping this fight.
What do you do?
Stéphanie I use the sword to fight it back
The Shopkeeper In a display of swordfighting worthy of swashbuckling tales of old, you defeat the skeletal pirate, breaking your sword in the process. You can hear panicked breathing coming from a small opening the skeletal pirate was guarding.
-sword
The Shopkeeper You see a barrel, a small hole, a crack in the floor, and the corpse of a skeletal pirate.
Behind you are stairs leading to a trapdoor.
What do you do?
Stéphanie I move the corpse to see what the skeleton was guarding
The Shopkeeper You peer into the hole to find the source of the raspy breathing and find.... Pitou!
He looks awfully thirsty, looks like you should find some water ASAP.

You see a barrel, Pitou, a crack in the floor, and the corpse of a skeletal pirate.
Behind you are stairs leading to a trapdoor.
What do you do?
Stéphanie I look if there's water in the barrel
The Shopkeeper You look into the barrel. Luckily, it filled with fresh water! Unluckily, you have nothing to hold it and moving Pitou is out of the question.

You see a barrel, a small hole, a crack in the floor, and the corpse of a skeletal pirate.
Behind you are stairs leading to a trapdoor.
What do you do?
Stéphanie I take the skeletal pirate's skull to use it as a bowl
The Shopkeeper The skull turns to dust as you touch it. Whatever was keeping this monster alive is gone.

You see a barrel, a small hole, a crack in the floor, and the UNLOOTED CORPSE OF A SKELETAL PIRATE.
Behind you are stairs leading to a trapdoor.
What do you do?
Stéphanie I take the loot form the skeletal pirate
The Shopkeeper You loot the corpse, completely turning it to dust in the process. All you are left with is a convenient crowbar.

+convenient crowbar

You see a barrel, Pitou, and a crack in the floor.
Behind you are stairs leading to a trapdoor.
What do you do?
Stéphanie I pry the crack open
The Shopkeeper You pry the crack open with a lot of effort, shuddering to think what would have happened with the skeletal pirate had you been foolish enough to break your sword trying to force the floor.
Serendipitously, the wooden handle was that of a mug! You also find a flintlock pistol.

+mug
+flintlock pistol

You see a barrel and Pitou.
Behind you are stairs leading to a trapdoor.
What do you do?
Stéphanie I take the mug and use it as a recipient to give water to Pitou
The Shopkeeper Pitou uses the last of his strength to take the one sip that will give him the energy to start drinking.
After getting his fill, he gets up and trots around you excitedly. There is something shiny around his neck.

You see Pitou.
Behind you are stairs leading to a trapdoor.
What do you do?
Stéphanie I pet Pitou
The Shopkeeper You pet Pitou for little while. He seems really happy and tries to lick your face.
While scratching his neck, you notice a key.

+key

Behind you are stairs leading to a trapdoor.
What do you do?
Stéphanie I use the key to open the trapdoor
The Shopkeeper You arrive on the deck, pistol in hand, and followed by Pitou who seems a bit nervous.
Heavy mist prevents you from getting a sense of what surrounds the ship. You see a big shiny chest.

What do you do?
Stéphanie I look closer but don't open the chest yet
The Shopkeeper As you take a closer look at the chest, Pitou's nervousness doesn't increase. You can't tell whether or not it is locked.

You see a big shiny chest.
What do you do?
Stéphanie I open the chest
The Shopkeeper Somehow, the chest isn't locked.

Barely believing your luck, you open it and find a whopping ONE THOUSAND TIME SHARDS. You turn around and notice Pitou trembling in fear.

You pet Pitou, calming his nerves, and bringing a sense of comfort to your own self as well. The warmth of the connection quickly wears off as the ghost of a widow floats out of the mist and heads in your direction while emitting a terrifying scream.

-END OF CHAPTER ONE

Chapter 2 (July 19, 2019)[]

#the-shop
The Shopkeeper -CHAPTER 2-
Inventory:
-Flintolock pistol
-Pitou

As the banshee approaches with a shriek that freezes Pitou in fear, you do your best not to analyze the ghost too much. You couldn't bear to realize it has the face of someone you knew.
It doesn't seem like the flintlock pistol on your hip will be of much use against this foe.

You feel the mysterious amulet around your neck tugging on its chain slightly, as if it were reacting to the banshee.

What do you do?
Tommy The Lucky One i want to pet pitou
The Shopkeeper Pitou cowers in fear and barks at the banshee.
It doesn't seem like the flintlock pistol on your hip will be of much use against this foe.

You feel the mysterious amulet around your neck tugging on its chain slightly, as if it were reacting to the banshee.

What do you do?
Tommy The Lucky One tell the banshee "Hi, how are you today?"
The Shopkeeper The banshee doesn't seem to hear, or care for your interactions.
It doesn't seem like the flintlock pistol on your hip will be of much use against this foe.

You feel the mysterious amulet around your neck which you won't raise up high towards the summer sky already tugging on its chain slightly, as if it were reacting to the banshee.

What do you do?
Tommy The Lucky One hold the amulet towards the sky
The Shopkeeper Raising the amulet towards the sky, you are relieved to see a lunar beam pierce through the clouds and obliterate your foe.
As it dissipates, the banshee echoes a mysterious threat: "The Fleshmancer sees what we see. He will find you, Resh'an WILL DIE!!!"

Pitou is still trembling with fear.

What do you do?
Tommy The Lucky One i want to pet pitou
The Shopkeeper You pet Pitou. His soft spot behind the ears responds as usual, and he quickly becomes playful again, much to your own relief.
After a few moments spent getting your bearings, you realize the boat you are on was docked all along.

Leaving the docks, you arrive in what you can only hope is not a literal ghost town.
Fighting back memories of what you had to go through to obtain the Solstice Amulet, and unsure of how much power it has left, you make your way to a crossroad.

There is a derelict saloon to the right, and a graveyard to the left.

What do you do?
Tommy The Lucky One i want to head to the saloon
The Shopkeeper Entering the saloon, you are quickly greeted by the ghost of a barkeep. Much to your delight, he seems friendly.
"What brings the living to this cursed, place?" he asks, spit-shining a shot glass.

1.Where are we?
2.I am hiding from The Fleshmancer.
3.I am looking for Resh'an.
4.Do you have anything for sale?
Tommy The Lucky One I am hiding from The Fleshmancer
The Shopkeeper He raises an eyebrow.
"Aren't we all?", he responds, "But surely you have more pressing business?"

1.I am looking for Resh'an.
2.Do you have anything for sale?
Tommy The Lucky One I am looking for Resh'an
The Shopkeeper He flashes a concerned look.

"Is that so?", he mutters, half to himself.
"I won't bother asking why", the barkeep continues, "but I'll tell you what. You bring me back the damn pocket watch this Keenathan fool stole from me, and I'll tell you where you can find him."

1.Where is this Keenathan?
2.Do you have anything for sale?
Tommy The Lucky One Where is Keenathan?
The Shopkeeper The barkeep laughs through his nose.

"I'd say he lives next door, but technically he's dead. Look for his name in the graveyard. If you don't have a shovel, I'd be happy to rid you of a few Time Shards"

1.I'll take the shovel, please.[-1000 Time Shards].
2.If I tell you a good joke, will you give it to me for free?
Tommy The Lucky One If i tell you a good joke, will you give it to me for free?
The Shopkeeper The barkeep puts on a curious stare.

"Alright, I'll give you one shot. Make it count."

Please type your joke
Tommy The Lucky One What did the pig say on the very hot day?
Tommy The Lucky One I'm bacon!
The Shopkeeper The barkeep lets out a disappointed "Oof". It appears your joke did not make the cut.
Luckily enough, it's so bad that Mask decided to buy it from you.

+shovel
The Shopkeeper You head towards the graveyard.
The Shopkeeper The graveyard is a bit less spooky than you expected, which is somewhat of a relief.
As you notice Pitou trotting around peacefully, you let a smile appear on your face, happy to defer to his animal instinct instead of your own fears.

You notice a peculiar tombstone that reads "Here lies Keenathan the Insistant."

What do you do?
Tommy The Lucky One dig trough his grave
The Shopkeeper Fighting back memories of the time you had to bury your co-adventurer, you dig through Keenathan's grave.
As you hit something solid, a ghost flies out. "You will not get the pocket watch, or my name is not Keenathan!", it says, before flying away.

Looks like a small explosion will be required to dig further.

What do you do?
Tommy The Lucky One uses the flintlock to shoot at solid part of the grave
The Shopkeeper You fire a shot, causing a small explosion that seems to ripple underground. You reach deeper into the grave to find a small pouch containing The Letter E.

+The Letter E
The Shopkeeper Confused by the absence of a pocket watch, you quickly get back up to find Pitou barking at the Saloon.
As the barkeep lets out an evil laugh, you realize your mistake.
The Shopkeeper The explosion triggered a landfall. As you helplessly fall along with the graveyard's land mass, you lose consciousness.

-END OF CHAPTER 2-

Chapter 3 (November 22, 2019)[]

#the-shop
The Shopkeeper -FINAL CHAPTER-
Inventory:
-Pitou
-Solstice Amulet
The Shopkeeper After being unconscious for a stretch of time that will remain unknown, you wake up to the reassuring sensation of Pitou licking your face.

You take a moment to gather your courage. Even though the plan was indeed to venture below the pirate graveyard, you weren’t expecting to lose your bearings at the gate.

The pain is your knee can be sustained, but your eyes won’t adjust to this darkness. The Solstice Amulet shimmers lightly.

What do you do?
Vitto Try to get adjusted to my surroundings
Vitto find an entrance or path
The Shopkeeper The darkness is too overwhelming for you to dare making a move.
The Solstice Amulet shimmers lightly.

What do you do?
Vitto can I Use the Amulet as a kind of light to guide myself in the darkness?
The Shopkeeper Read through Chapters 1 and 2, I see...
The Shopkeeper Striking the best ‘Do the thing’ pose you can afford on a busted knee (which by the way, what a nerd), you raise the Solstice Amulet high in the air. To your relief, it has enough power left to surround you with a small circle of light. You can see a small opening you could jump in right away, but it may be worth looking around first.

It isn’t clear how much energy the Solstice Amulet has left, so it falls to you whether or not to leave some stones unturned.

What do you do?
Vitto Truthfully, I didn't have the time to, It was a wild guess, and i guess it paid off
Vitto I'll look around
The Shopkeeper To your left is a tombstone statue, which by some miracle didn’t crush you during the landfall you never read about. As you behold the statue of a shirtless pirate, you don’t even have to glance at the inscription to know it is the legendary Valtraid, member of the famous pirate crew who once fought alongside Solstice Warriors.

You notice a small opening the tombstone, revealing a small pouch containing Blue Grass.
+Blue Grass

There doesn’t seem to be any more points of interest here.

What do you do?
Vitto I'll go through the opening
The Shopkeeper The fall is short one, but still proves enough to bring the pain in your knee to a ten. On the literal bright side, you finally find yourself in a room which has proper lighting.

In front of you is a giant cube of water standing still as if the laws of physics did not apply to it. There is a door at the far end, but there is no way you could hold your breath long enough to make it there.

Resh’an’s final test will have to wait, as you won’t be going anywhere until you do something about your knee.

What do you do?
Vitto Can I use the blue grass to tend to my knee?
Vitto or make some kind of medicine with it?
The Shopkeeper You munch on the Blue Grass and grimace at the taste. You know your alchemy enough to be aware that its magical properties would need processing to have any effect.
The Solstice Amulet shimmers lightly.

What do you do?
Vitto Look around the room
The Shopkeeper You wince in pain as you stand up and get a good look at the room. You will have to deal with the knee later, hopefully nothing will warrant you to start running.

Looking around you notice a deactivated clockwork construct and an alchemy table.

What do you do?
Vitto I'll check the alchemy table
The Shopkeeper The alchemy table features all the expected apparel. The only peculiar thing about it is the Flask sitting on a small metal square at the center of the table. If you had blue grass and purple sea moss, you could make a water-breathing potion.

A deactivated clockwork construct is lying on the ground at the other end of the room.

What do you do?
Vitto take a look at the construct
The Shopkeeper The construct looks like it has been sitting there for an eternity. It would have been a terrible foe to contend with, but luckily it has long been deactivated.

You notice impossibly conveniently placed purple sea moss on its helmet.

What do you do?
Vitto take the moss to the table
The Shopkeeper Finding solace in your craft, you create a simple water-breathing potion. As you lift the flask and drink it, the metal plate recedes within the table and activates the hidden mechanisms of the room.

The flask shatters in your hands, the cube of water turns to ice, and the construct activates, slowly making its way towards you, absent minded, but with clear intent to kill.

You wish you had a good enough knee to run away, or a replacement flask to use on the metal plate.
Pitou cowers in fear.

What do you do?
Vitto what Items do I have in my inventory?
The Shopkeeper Inventory:
+Pitou
+Depleted Solstice Amulet
The Shopkeeper The construct is closing in with every second. It seems if you do not act fast you will not see your quest through.

What do you do? (hint 800 Time Shards)
Vitto am I able to outspeed the construct?
The Shopkeeper Your knee won't allow you to run.

(Hint 800 Time Shards)

What do you do?
Vitto I'll put the amulet on the plate
The Shopkeeper Surmising that the legendary artefact would be useless if you couldn't survive , you use it as counterweight to revert the effects of the mechanism. The construct goes back to sleep, and the cube of ice is turned to water again.

Belly full of water-breathing potion, you get to the door, where some letters read PORALEHU. It looks like you can move them around.

What do you do?
Vitto I'll rearrange them into aephorul
The Shopkeeper As a shiver runs down your spine, you spell the name of The Fleshmancer. The door opens and you find yourself in front of The Archivist. Indeed, it seems the Immortal Alchemist Resh’an had been expecting you.
The Shopkeeper “Congratulations, adventurer, you arrived just as I was about to leave. I trust you know why you are here.”
Resh’an reaches for his desk and hands you Book 2.
+Book 2
The Shopkeeper Resh’an continues: “This will now be your final action in this three-part vision I conjured. You can either look at Book 2, or ask me the question of your choice.

You have 1 minute to make your choice.

What do you do?
Vitto I'll look at the book
The Shopkeeper Resh'an nods respectfully : "I shall be on my way then."

Even though the cover is all worn out, you can tell Book 2 is very thick indeed. Time was almost up indeed, and as the vision starts to dissipate, you get but a glimpse of the first chapter's title : "Children of the Solstice."

END OF FINAL CHAPTER
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