Key & Compass presents:
Birmingham IV
by Peter Emery

Birmingham IV is a Glulx interactive fiction game written with Inform 7 and is © 2018 by Peter Emery. It was an entry in IF Comp 2018 where it took 69th place.

In this old-school adventure, you play as the Phil, an English natural philosopher whose dreams have taken him to a fantasy version of his cottage in the West Midlands. Recognizing you as a problem solver, the Parson asks you (via a note) to find his missing Sexton and to put the addled Sir Lawrence to rights. Well. Best get to that. Who knows what you might find along the way?

This solution is by David Welbourn, and is based on Release 5 of the game.


Map 1: West of River

AtticCupboard Attic Smallatticroom Garden Insidethe Shed Walk-inCupboard The Phil'sBedroom Experi-mentRoom The Phil'sBedroom Kitchen Study MusicRoom SittingRoom DustyStore-room By theCompostHeap At the signof theSpottedDog Outsidethe Cottage TwistingPath Riverbank On thePlankBridge In thefield of theblasted oak TwistingPath ShallowDepres-sion SunkenLane(West) SunkenLane(East) In theStoneCircle Shepherd'sHut (path ofthrownbrick) d out d u in u out n Islandin theriver

Map 2: River to Market Place

Outsidethewatermill Meadowby theRiver On a Pathin theWoods Outsidethe TalbotArms On theRiverPath In theoak tree On thebough Islandin theriver On theStoneBridge Outskirtsof theVillage The MainStreet WesternMarketPlace MarketPlace Clearing Piggot'sBedroom MeanLittleParlour In the oldboatyard Scullery d u d row boat u In thesmall boat On thePlankBridge By theVillageStocks 🐄

Map 3: Church to Outside the Castle

On thewindingstair Sexton'sRoom (to Birmingham) d d d out in u d Northof thePlain Inside theGatehouse MarketPlace Under theporch ofthe house Belfry In anopen field Roadthroughthe woods Head ofwindingstair Hangingfrom theBell Rope In theShop On roadthroughopen fields In theWoods On aRoad Outsidethe Castle Church,base oftower Nave Outsidethe Shop Edge ofthe Woods ChestnutOverlook Foot ofwindingstair On theRoad GloomyTunnel Graveyard On theMainRoad ElvenRubbishDump By theVillageStocks MainRoad Lostin theWoods swing rope u u u n d lucks u in (as horse)

Map 4: The Castle

Outsidethe Castle u d d u PrisonCell Foot ofthe Stairs DankPassage OctagonalChamber CastleStables Inside theGatehouse CastleCourtyard EasternCourtyard castleorchard Head ofthe Stairs CastleStore Window-less Ante-chamber Bed-chamber

Map 5: Lost in the Woods

2 1 ItW 2 2 2 4 2 5 2 1 1 x x 2 1 1 x 1 3 2 3 5 1 3 3 5 x 5 1 d 2 3 2 3 x x 4 x 1 1 x 2 CW x 2 in x 1 x (with Axe) In theWoods Darkness(mushroom) The Elven Realm L1 L2 L3 L4 ThroneRoom L5 Lost inthe Woods(stump) Elfland Insidethe FairyMound ElvenBarracks CW Foot of aSlipperySlope Lost inthe Woods(oak) Wanderingin theWoods FairyRing MossyClearing

Map 6: Psychedelic Hedge Gardens

ElvenRubbishDump (fire end) ThroneRoom d DD ND BD By theLake Under theporch ofthe house In theRoseGarden In theGazebo On a widelawn In theOrientalGarden In aGrove By theStatue In theKitchenGarden By thePool By theTuscanArch By theStatueof Pan in in out u eat mushroom SS BS NS NN BB (with Axe) Darkness(mushroom)

To travel in this region, you need to carry exactly two items with particular initial letters.

Map 7: North lands

In anopen field In the oldboatyard (as horse) out row boat in By thestandingstone By theruinedcottage WillowWood In thesmall boat In thebend ofthe River In a fieldof hay By theruins Northof thePlains


Before we begin, I feel I must warn you that a lot of the game's puzzles only make sense if you've tried to do things and failed in previous play sessions.

The Phil's Bedroom

The setup for this game is little confusing. It's hard to be certain, but I think the Phil is already sleeping when the game begins, and the first two rooms are re-creations of his real home. So it looks like he's awake, but he really isn't.

I'm also guessing that "The Phil" is short for "The Philosopher", but that's never said explicitly. I have no idea why his eyes water each and every time he examines anything, though. Does he have allergies?

> x Phil. x bed. x poster. x mug. x card.

> x door. x downstairs door. x cupboard door.

> stand. take mug and card.

> open cupboard. in.

Walk-in Cupboard

> x thesis. x hatch. open it. x mirror.

> x hat. wear hat. x mirror.

> x teabag. put it in mug.

> x photo. take it.

> x shirt. cliw. (Nothing happens.)

> out. out.

Outside the Cottage

Oddly, it's not raining out here. That's because somehow, you're somewhere else. You're not even quite the same person anymore either, and most of your possession look slightly different too.

> x sky. x cottage. listen. x roof. x door.

> x hat. x photo. cliw. x ponytail. x teabag.

> n.

Sitting Room

First, let's explore the cottage and bring anything portable here.

> x beams. x settle. x cushion. take it.

> x fireplace. x fireback.

> drop all. e.

Dusty Storeroom

> x rat. (Very odorous.)

> take it. w. n.


> x table. x fireplace. x oven. x kettle.

> x ring. x ribbon. x purse. take ring and purse.

> n.


> x beehives. x beans. x strange plant. x shed.

> e.

Inside the Shed

> x markings. (Learn "fullgru".)

> w. s. e.


CAREFUL! Don't read the sheet of paper yet! It's a one-use rain spell.

Also, the noise to the east can wait. Nothing happens unless the Phil is there to witness it.

> x desk. open drawer. take sheet.

> x note. take it.

> u.

The Phil's Bedroom

This is obviously not the same bedroom that the game started in. It's much plainer, there's no poster, and the exits are different.

> x cot. x mattress. x blanket.

> e.

Experiment Room

CAREFUL! Don't open the cage while the rat is here. Don't give the rat to Vincent directly either! We need to put the rat somewhere where we want Vincent to attack.

> x window. x bench. x tank. x creatures.

> x cage. x Vincent. show rat to Vincent.

> x ladder. open trapdoor. (Locked.)

> break window. (Tempting. But the window is out of reach.)

> w. d. w. s.

Sitting Room

> drop rat, purse, note, sheet.

> n. e. e.

Music Room

A magpie flies away with your brass key.

> x window. x sill. x plant. x pot. ("T. Toft")

> x letter. take pot. take letter.

> x spinet. x lid.

> x blue ribbon. tie blue ribbon to ring.

> x book. take it. read it.

> play spinet. open spinet. play spinet.

It's necessary that you look at the underside of the spinet lid. Don't skip it.

> x underside. (Of a grand house with weird geometry.)

> w. w. s.

Sitting Room

> drop plant, book, letter.

> s. se.

Sunken Lane (West)

The wind blows the smock away to a random adjacent outdoor location whenever you try to take it. So just leave it here for now.

> x smock. take smock. undo.

> x footprints. x debris.

> look. x brick. (Learn "remoscilor".)

> take brick. e.

Sunken Lane (East)

> x hut. x grass. s.

Shepherd's Hut

This is a very hungry and dangerous cat. If you untie him, he swallows you whole in three turns unless you can lead him to another victim. And then you have to find another victim, and another,... Leave him tied up for now.

> x cat. x rope. n. e.

In the Stone Circle

> x circle. x sheep. n.

Shallow Depression

If you try to take the skull, a voice scolds you, and you're briefly assaulted with a jet of flame and a bolt of lightning. Curiously, this doesn't hurt you in the slightest.

> x skull. take skull.

> s. w. n.


> x pub. x village. x sign.

> n.

At the sign of the Spotted Dog

Careful with the stew. It's like quicksand. You can put absolutely anything into it, including things like your ponytail or even yourself, and it sinks and it's gone forever. You can get some fun buggy behaviour that way.

> x fireplace. x rushes. x stew.

> x Bardolph. x violin. x bow.

> tie yellow ribbon to ring.

> take violin. take bow.

> play violin with bow. play violin.

> ask Bardolph about shepherd. ask him about cat.

> ask him about parson. ask him about sexton.

> ask him about dog. ask him about violin.

> ask him about stew. ask him about beer.

> ask him about Lawrence. ask him about Nicholas.

> ask him about Nisbet. ask him about jackdaws.

> ask him about rumours. ask him about Shemilt

> s. e.

On the Plank Bridge

Don't try to go past Bill. In any challenge of strength, you'll lose.

> x Bill.

> w. w. n. w. ne.

By the Compost Heap

> x heap. x footprints. x window. x river.

> sw. sw.

In the field of the blasted oak

> x oak. x magpie. x key.

> play violin. take key.

> ne. n.

Sitting Room

> drop ring, bow, violin.

> take purse, rat.

> s. e. s. e. n.

At the sign of the Spotted Dog

No one in this game ever gives you anything directly. They'll either put it on a counter or drop it.

> ask Bardolph about Bill.

> buy beer. (for a penny)

> take beer.

> s. e.

On the Plank Bridge

You only get the one beer, but you can decide who gets it.

> drink beerorgive beer to Bill.

> give dead rat to Bill. (He accepts it.)

> w. w. n. w. n.

Sitting Room

> drop purse.

> n. e. u. e.

Experiment Room

> wait. (Continue to wait until you hear the dog outside the window.)

> throw brick at window. (Smash! Dog yelps!)

> open cage. (Vincent flies out, then you hear Bill fall into the river.)

> unlock trapdoor with key. u.


Guess we need a source of light. Let's find that dog.

> d. w. d. w. s. s. ne.

By the Compost Heap

The enormous dog, injured, drops something, then leaves via a portal to the nether world.

> look. x collar.

> take brick and collar.

> sw. n.

Sitting Room

Note: The cushion won't be there unless you looked at the settle earlier.

> drop all. take photo, cushion, plant.

> s. e. s. e. e. e.

Island in the river

You can't really talk to Walter or the Axe, so I'm not going to try.

> x Walter. x Axe.

> e.

On the Stone Bridge

> x troll. show photo to troll. (Troll takes photo and leaves.)

> e. ne. n. n.

In the Meadow by the River

> x cow. milk cow. ride cow. moo.

> n.

Outside the watermill

Thomas wants you to fetch another ladder!

> x Thomas. in. (locked.)

> plant plant. drop plant.

> s. s. s. sw. e. e.

Western End of the Market Place

You can't do anything with this stump.

> x stump. e.

Market Place

> x house. x bench. sit on bench.

> put cushion on bench. (Sees shutters twitch.)

> sit on bench. z. (Piggot arrives.)

Piggot doesn't chat, but we do want him out of his house.

> stand. (Piggot sits on the cushion instead.)

> x Piggot. x pump. pump pump. (jammed)

We'll worry about this oak somewhat later.

> x oak. n.

Outside the Talbot Arms

Just take the root for now.

> x inn. x butt.

> x slops. x peg. x root. x draught. x rasp. x stand.

> take root. s. se.

Mean Little Parlour

> x table. x bench. x chain. take chain.

> s. u.

Piggot's Bedroom

If Piggot was here, he'd thump you for trespassing.

> x besom. (It's a broom.) take it.

> d. n. nw. e.

By the Village Stocks

> x stocks. x pillory.

> nw.

The Graveyard

> x grave. (freshly dug. basalt headstone.)

> se. n.

In the Church, at the base of the Tower.

> x parson. x lectern. x rope.

> ask him about parson. ask him about sexton.

> ask him about book. (If you want it back, just ask.)

> ask him for book. read book.

> look up root in book. (You learn how to recognize mandrakes.)

> drop root.

> ask him about tower. ask him about Nicholas.

> ask him about boots. ask him about Lawrence.

> ask him about Piggot.

> sw. (Locked)

> ask him about oak door. (It cannot be made to open.)

> ask him about grave. ask him about spade.

> e.


Nothing here, really.

> w. se.


You trip over something. But if you know what it is, you can take it.

> take spade. (Yes!)

> nw.

In the Church, at the base of the Tower.

> x spade.

Run all the way back to Sunken Lane (East):

> s. w. w. w. w. w.

> w. w. w. w. n. w. se. e.

Sunken Lane (East)

> dig. (with spade)

> look. take shilling. x it.

Go to a shop that's past the church:

> n. e. e. e. e. e.

> e. e. e. e. ne. ne. n.

Outside the Shop

> x shop. in.

In the Shop

> x Mrs. x counter.

> ask her about herself. ask her about sexton.

> ask her about parson. ask her about shepherd.

> ask her about Walter. (Her cousin.)

> ask her about axe. ask her about cat.

> ask her about Piggot. ask her about Lawrence.

> ask her about Nicholas. (She blushes!)

> ask her about spade. (or about shovel)

You pretty much have to guess that Mrs Shemilt sells lamps.

> ask her about light.

> buy lamp. (She takes your shilling and puts the lamp on the counter.)

> take lamp. x lamp.

Now this next part is insane, but to light this lantern, we need to visit that sheep skull. Shame there's no GO TO command, eh?

> out. s. sw. sw. w. w.

> w. w. w. w. w. w.

> w. w. n. w. se. e. e. n.

Shallow Depression

> take skull. (The flame from the ground lights the lantern.)

> i. (See! The lantern's lit, thanks to the power of Sheep-skull.)

Time to visit your attic:

> s. w. w. nw. n. n. e. u. e. u.

Small attic room

Sorry, but you can never take the breastplate.

> x arrow. take arrow. x breastplate.

> w.


> x floor. sweep floor. (with besom)

> look. x bird charm. (magical)

> drop besom. take charm. wear charm. (Need a chain.)

> attach chain to charm. wear charm.

Wearing the bird charm will help you a lot. It's a source of magical energy, and the words you've been writing on your shirt cuff now act as real spells.

> x cuff. cliw. w.

Attic Cupboard

> x table. x figurine. take it. x cube. (Learn "lucks")

> lucks. (Light and heat!)

Now that you have magic, you can get that smock. I assume you left it at Sunken Lane (West), but if it's somewhere else, go there instead:

> e. e. d. w. d. w. s. s. se.

Sunken Lane (West)

> remosclior. (No wind for two turns.)

> take smock. wear smock.

Let's now help Thomas at the watermill. We never found a ladder, but we do have "fullgru":

> e. n. e. e.

> e. e. ne. n. n. n.

Outside the watermill

I'm assuming you left the potted plant here earlier.

> dig. (with the spade)

> drop spade. (You don't need it any more.)

> plant plant. (You do that; setting the pot aside.)

> fullgru. (The plant, a wisteria, grows!)

Thomas climbs down the wisteria and leaves to the south. He's now endlessly carrying tiles from a clearing south of the outskirts to the watermill. You can't chat with him, so ignore him for now. Ignore the pot too; you can't use it to carry anything but the plant you just grew.

I should also mention that Thomas looked the other way when you used magic this time, but normally using magic in front of other people is met with horror followed by a village mob chasing you with pitchforks and torches. So try to avoid doing that unless you feel you can get away with it.

Now back to the church:

> s. s. s. sw. e. e. e. e. n.

In the Church, at the base of the Tower.

> climb ropeoru.

Hanging from the Bell Rope

> x window. (Hmm...)

> climb ropeoru.


You don't need the book itself, just its spell.

> x brassbound. read it. (Learn "slape".)

> sw. d.

On the winding stair

> d. d. d.

It seems to be an endless stair going downwards? And it's dark and cold, too. But the lucks spell creates light and heat, so...

> drop figurine. (It bounces down the stair.)

> lucks. (Ka-blammo! Now you're at...)

At the foot of the tower stairs

You want the mask, obviously, but you don't need the lump.

> x mask. take it. x lump.

> ne. (The door opens.)

In the Church, at the base of the Tower.

> se.

Sexton's Room

Bah. Now that you have light, this room is boring. Oh well.

> x table. x bench. nw.

In the Church, at the base of the Tower.

> u.

Hanging from the Bell Rope

> swing rope. (You fly through the window into the shop!)

In the Shop

Cool. Remember that trick. It might be useful later.

> out. ne.

On the road through open fields

Please completely ignore the slab for now. If you examine it, a dwarf will appear and he won't let us go further east.

> e. e.

On a Road

I know the shell is really interesting, but you don't need it.

> x shell. e.

Outside the Castle

> x rat. (It's a were-rat and you don't dare fight him.)

> slape. (An imp appears and throws sleep dust at the rat, but it doesn't work.)

> ne.

Road through the Woods

> x sign. ("Birmingham IV")

> ne. (Not without more wealth.)

Okay, there is a way to get rid of the were-rat, but it's quite ruthless. First go back to that slab and summon up the dwarf:

> sw. w. w. w.

On the road through open fields

> x slab. (Spirit of evil dwarf warrior appears.)

> x dwarf. (It's a barrow-wight, blocking the way east.)

Don't repeat any of the weird words you hear whispered here. The dwarf will kill you if you say them. Head for the outskirts of the village:

> sw. s. sw. sw. w. w. w. w. w.

Outskirts of the Village

> wait. (Repeat waiting until Thomas shows up.)

> slape. (Thomas falls asleep!)

> w. w. w. w. w.

> n. w. se. e. s.

Shepherd's Hut

You know from previous playsessions that this cat will follow you, swallowing everyone you meet, and eventually swallowing you if the cat goes three turns without swallowing anyone else. But we've now got a trail of victims between here and the were-rat! You might want to save first.

> save. untie cat. n. n. n.

At the sign of the Spotted Dog

The cat swallows Bardolph!

> s. e. e.

Island in the river

The cat swallows Walter! The Axe is not happy.

> e. e.

Outskirts of the Village

The cat swallows Thomas!

> e. e. e.

Market Place

The cat swallows Piggot!

> e. n.

In the Church, at the base of the Tower.

The cat swallows the Parson!

> u. swing rope.

In the Shop

The cat swallows Mrs Shemilt!

> out. ne.

On the road through open fields

The cat swallows the dwarf!

> e. e. e.

Outside the Castle

The cat swallows everyone else! The were-rat goes squish. Ick.

Well, look at the bright side. You're not about to be eaten, and the villagers are no longer in a position to complain if you use magic. Yay?

> look. x mess. x cat.

> push cat east. (The cat smashes the door open.)

> e.

Inside the Gatehouse

> x plaque. e.

Castle Courtyard

Note: The well can never be opened.

> x stains. x well. open well.

> e.

Eastern Courtyard

> x statues. x Aphrodite. x Hera. x Athena. x Paris.

> x apple. (real gold?)

> e. (courtyard door is locked.)

> x door. x keyhole. x doorway. x satyrs. x architrave.

> u. s.


> x bed. x chest. open chest. (locked)

> x window. n. d. w. n.

Castle Stables

Leave the saddle for now.

> x saddle. (magical)

> s. s.

Castle Store

> x sack. (has large hole) x bolt. (steel head)

> x white arrow. (no head) x dag. (entirely steel, not loaded)

I'm going to use this location as a drop point or cache location. You'll want to gather all the treasures here.

> drop grey arrow, mask, lantern.

Delay exploring the castle basement for now. Instead, run all the way back to the Axe:

> n. w. w. w. w. w.

> sw. s. sw. sw. w. w.

> w. w. w. w. w.

Island in the river

> slape. take axe.

And we need stuff at the cottage:

> w. w. w. n. w. n.

Sitting Room

> take ring, collar, bow.

Head back to the castle:

> s. e. s. e. e. e.

> e. e. e. e. e. e.

> e. ne. ne. n. ne.

> e. e. e. e. e. s.

Castle Store

> drop bow, collar. take lantern.

> n. w. w. w. w. w. n.

In an open field

> x gatepost. tie green ribbon to ring.

> n. (Too far to walk.)

> s. e.

In the Woods

We're about to traverse a maze on the way to visit some Elves. We'll be mapping the maze with the ribbons and ring, and we need the Axe because Elves don't like cold iron, and the Axe has a lot of it.

> save.

> s.

Lost in the Woods (five locations)

> tie red ribbon to oak. ne.

> tie yellow ribbon to oak. ne.

> tie blue ribbon to oak. ne.

> tie green ribbon to oak. sw.

> drop ring. ne.

Clearing in the Woods

> d. e. e. se.

Mossy Clearing

> x moss. lie on moss. sleep. (You're tiny!)

> nw. e.

Fairy Ring

The elves don't react to you at elf-size.

> x elves. x mound. in.

Inside the Fairy Mound

Resist going east or west.

> n.

Throne Room

If you enter here with the Axe, it's a stalemate until the King mutters an incantation. You fall into darkness, losing ALL your inventory.


> listen. smell. (Smell of mushrooms.)

> eat mushroom.

After several quick hallucinations, assuming you examined the underside of the spinet lid, you're now at...

By the Statue

CAUTION: Don't look at the statue too often!

> x statue. (But every time you look, it gets worse.)

> x nopal. x dalle. x navicula. x camis. x dirham.

> x book. read book.

> x sherris. drink sherris.

> x hedge. x house.

> s. (You hit some invisible resistance.)

The way this section works, you have to carry exactly two items that correspond to the direction you're trying to go, based on the first letters in the items' names. You can work this out by trial and error, but let's just go.

South is associated with the letter N, so you need the two N-items:

> take nopal and navicula. s.

Your possessions melt away and now you're at...

By the Pool

> x book. read it.

> x pool. x bycocet. x nef. x shift. x noctule.

> x dobla. x doublet.

Uh, you don't need to go southwest, but you do need to understand how diagonal directions work. To go southwest, you need a southerly item and a westerly item. South is still associated with N, and west is associated with S.

> take noctule and shift. sw.

Your possessions melt away, etc...

By the Statue of Pan

> x pan statue. x pipes.

> x batti. x nepenthe. drink nepenthe.

> x nebris. x daric.

North is "B" and east is "D":

> take batti and daric. ne.

By the Pool

> take dobla and doublet. e.

By the Tuscan Arch

Now the game's hiding stuff. Also, you can't go east and you mustn't go north into the fire. You want to go northeast from here, so you need a B-thing and a D-thing.

> x beetle. x arch. (Has four niches)

> x top left. x bust.

> x top right. x shindle.

> x bottom left. x shawm. play it.

> x bottom right. (empty)

> x apse. x head.

> x basin. x book. read book.

> x wands.

Hm. Where's the D?

> break bust. (With what?)

> break bust with beetle. (Yes!)

> look. x diobol. x bits.

> drop all. take bits and diobol. ne.

In the Kitchen Garden

Be careful here! The spade is a misnamed shovel, so the spade isn't really an S-thing until you use the right name! Also, don't dig twice here unless you want to fall into the void!

> x spade. x shovel. take shovel.

> x nostrum. drink it.

> dig. look. x bassinet. take it.

With shovel and bassinet, you can go northwest:

> nw.

In the Oriental Garden

Looks like we're trying to go north, next, so we need two B-items.

> x camel. x label. x pillar. x paeonies.

> listen. x bamboo.

> x gazebo. enter gazebo.

In the Gazebo

> x stool. x brush. x stick. x pot. x table.

> x ding. open ding. (the lid is fused)

> take brush, stick, pot.

> out. d.

In a Grove

> x scarer. x netsuke. x limestone. x water. drink water.

> fill pot. (water is in pot)

> rub sumi in pot. (You've made ink!)

> u.

In the Oriental Garden

> dip brush in ink. write Brad on label. (Nope.)

You might need Wikipedia to help figure out a suitable B-word:

> write bactrian on label. (That works!)

> drop pot and stick. take bactrian.

With brush and bactrian camel, go north:

> n.

In the Rose Garden.

Don't bother trying to go north from here; it's dangerous. If you really must, save first. And east is the way we came.

Instead, work towards going southwest. You need "N" and "S" items.

> x book. (a thesaurus?)

> x knife. x herbs. smell herbs.

> x pergola. x roses. x bench.

> look up knife in book. (Knife becomes dirk.)

> look up herbs in book. (Herbs becomes dittany.)

> look up bench in book. (Bench becomes form.)

> look up form in book. (Form becomes shape.)

> take dirk. cut roses with dirk. x bunch.

> look up bunch in book. (Bunch becomes nosegay.)

> drop all. take nosegay and shape. sw.

On a wide lawn

> x stones. listen. n.

Under the porch of the house

> x door. x fittings. open door. in. (You fall to...)

Elven Rubbish Dump

There's no wind underground, so you can take the smock easily for once.

> wear charm. wear hat. wear smock.

> x arrowhead. x sceptre.

> take all.

> take Axe. (Him too.)

> look. (Make sure you haven't left anything behind.)

> n. u.

Edge of the Woods

> x tree. u.

Chestnut Overlook

Anything dropped here falls onto the road below. I think this location was included in case you entered the fairy mound with a full inventory. If you had to leave something behind at the rubbish heap, drop some of your stuff here, so it's safely on the road, then go back and get the rest.

> d. n. (You return to full size.)

On a Road

> e. e. e. s.

Castle Store

> drop axe, sceptre.

> take white arrow. put arrowhead on white arrow.

> take grey arrow. take bow.

> n. e.

Eastern Courtyard

Use your normal grey arrow here.

> load bow with grey arrowornock grey arrow on bow.

> shoot apple. (It falls into the orchard.)

> w. sw. d. e. e.

Octagonal Chamber

Timing is a bit critical. You need to load the bow before he transforms and shoot him as he's transforming.

> save.

> x sir. (He's gone mad.)

> x flagstone. (carving of dragon or wolf)

> load bow with white arrowornock white arrow on bow.

I assume he starts transforming now. If necessary, wait until he does.

> shoot sir. (He dies.)

> x sir. look. take heavy key.

> unlock door with key. n.

Prison Cell

Introducing the Master of the Worshipful Company of Barber-Surgeons.

> x straw. x bucket. x man.

> wake man. ask man about himself.

> ask man about Sir Lawrence. ask man about servant.

> s.

Octagonal Chamber

The Master drops a silver key he took from Sir L.

> take silver key.

> w. w. u. ne.

Castle Courtyard

The Master can free the people from the cat, but first, he needs his honorarium. You'll have to find something to give him as his fee.

> ask master about cat.

> e. u. s.


> x window. (Can see the golden object.)

> unlock chest with silver key. open chest.

> x crown. take crown.

> n. d. w. s.

Castle Store

> drop all. n. n.

Castle Stables

Take the saddle to the plains where we found the green ribbon, but don't use the saddle yet!

> take saddle.

> s. w. w. w. w. w. n.

In an open field

> drop saddle.

Now the next step is to find a football and oar and put them into the river so they float away. Don't look at me like that.

You know to do this from a previous playsession where you turned yourself into a horse by wearing this saddle, traveled north, then turned back into a human. To get back to the main part of the game, you need to use a boat, and without an oar, you can't steer it. And if you do steer the boat, and you don't have a football, you won't be able to float back to shore when the troll attacks your boat.

Since you can't carry anything as a horse, you have to get the oar and football up to the north another way, and that way is the river. It all makes sense now, right?

Okay, so, the football is hiding up in the oak tree in Market Square, and since you need to use magic to get it, you couldn't get the football while Piggot was right there watching you. But he's inside the cat now, so that's no longer a problem.

Unfortunately, the magic you need is that sheet of paper that makes a rainstorm, and that's back in your cottage. Sigh.

> s. sw. s. sw. sw.

> w. w. w. w. w.

> w. w. w. w. w. n. w. n.

Sitting Room

> take sheet.

> s. e. s. e. e. e.

> e. e. e. e. e.

Market Place

> drop sheet. n.

Outside the Talbot Arms

You also need this water butt. Empty it out and take it to the market place:

> take all from butt. drop all.

> take butt. s.

Market Place

So you may be wondering why we want a large container of water here. It's because the bough that the football is in is dead, and any attempt to take the football or even just stay on the bough will cause it to break. You need something to break our fall, or the game will end when you hit the ground.

And no, you can't use the cushion that's right there for this puzzle. Nor can you expect any help from your feather-fall smock, as you'll soon see. And, of course, you can't use the pump that's right there to fill the butt because the pump is jammed.

> drop butt. read sheet. (The butt fills with water.)

> u. e.

On the Bough

> take football. (The bough breaks; the filled butt saves you.)

Market Place

If you really want the smock back on, don't forget to cast remosclior first, but honestly, the smock is only good for swinging on the church's bell rope and you've done that.

> w. w. w. s. s.

In the old boatyard

> x boat. take oar. x oar.

> put oar in river. put football in river.

Okay. Back to the saddle in the plains.

> n. n. e. e. e. e. e.

> ne. ne. n. ne. n.

In an open field

Be very sure you looked up the shrivelled root in the green book and therefore know how to recognize a mandrake plant. And you did put both the oar and football into the river, right?

> save.

> wear saddle. (You become a horse and drop everything.)

> n. n.

In the bend of the River

Caution. If you enter boat as a horse, the game ends.

> x boat. e.

In a field of hay

> x hay. eat hay. x boulder.

> n.

By the standing stone

> x stone. x plants.

If you looked up the root in the green book earlier, you'll spot the mandrake now. But it's just an immature one. Let's look around a bit more.

> x mandrake. e.

By the ruined cottage

> x cottage. x beams. x rafters. e.

Willow Wood

> x osiers. s.

By the ruins

> x statue. x sarcophagus. x wall.

> n. w. w.

By the standing stone

The way to do magic without the bird charm is by rubbing the standing stone instead.

> rub stone. (You get a temporary boost of magical energy.)

> eat mandrake. (You're in "centaur" form for two turns.)

With both a human voice and the energy from the stone, you can cast a spell!

> fullgru. (A mature mandrake grows!)

> eat mandrake. (You're restored to human shape.)

> remove saddle. s.

In a field of hay

The magic word wasn't visible to equine eyes.

> x boulder. (Learn "byha".)

> n.

By the standing stone

> rub stone. e. e. s.

By the ruins

> byha. (The statue animates and opens the sacrophagus.)

> x sarcophagus. x skeleton. x salver.

> take salver. n. w. w. s. w.

In the bend of the River

> take football and oar. in.

In the small boat

If you go adrift in the boat, oarless, you'll be adrift forever.

> untie rope. row boat.

You're near the village when the Troll destroys your boat, but the football saves you and you arrive at...

In the old boatyard

> drop oar, football, saddle.

Go back to the plain to get our bird charm back:

> n. n. e. e. e. e. e.

> ne. ne. n. ne. n.

In an open field

> wear charm. wear hat.

> s. e. e. e. e. e. e.

Eastern Courtyard

> byha. (The satyr posts open the door.)

> e.

castle orchard

> x trees. x bench. x orb. take it.

> w. w. s.

Castle Store

Load up on treasure! Wear the crown so you can have all six.

> wear crown. take sceptre. take mask. take collar.

> save.

Now, you have a choice of two endings. Either you take all your treasures to Birmingham, leaving the entire village to die; or you can give all your treasures to the Master, so everyone can be saved.

The selfish option is easy to UNDO, so look at that one first:

> n. w. w. ne.

Road through the woods

> ne.

Life, apart from the aforementioned pangs of conscience, is good.

*** The End ***

> undo

> sw. e. e.

Castle Courtyard

> give crown to master. give collar to master.

> give sceptre to master. give orb to master.

> give salver to master. give mask to master.

And so, life goes on, poor but virtuous.

*** The End ***




Background characters:

There's also several characters mentioned, far too many to list, but here's the main ones:


All endings end with The End, but there's many ways the game can end.


Body parts | Books and other readable | Clothing and other wearables | Coins | Food and drink | Keys | Magic items | Ribbons | Treasures | Weapons | Other useful stuff | Other useless stuff | Hedge garden stauff

You have a five item carrying capacity in this game, not counting items you're wearing or body parts. Unfortunately, there's no general purpose container to put things in either, so plan on having some cache locations for your stuff.

My prefered cache locations were the Sitting Room, Market Square, and Castle Store, but I found myself dropping stuff almost everywhere in the road between the cottage and the castle. Don't drop anything on the plank bridge, though, unless you want to see it bounce and fall into the river.


You write down magic words on your shirt cuff, so x cuff to remind yourself of the words you've found. You can't actually do any magic unless you're wearing the bird charm or you've rubbed the standing stone.

In general, avoid using any magic in front of any other humans; they tend to chase you with pitchforks and torches if you do. Some exceptions:

Also, your magic words don't work in the elven realm.

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