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Hello and welcome to the Mistholme Museum of Mystery, Morbidity and Mortality. This audio tour guide will be your constant companion in your journey through the unknown and surreal.

As you approach our exhibits, the audio tour guide will provide you with information and insights into their nature and history.

Do not attempt to interact or communicate with the exhibits.

Do not attempt to interact or communicate with the audio tour guide. If you believe that the audio tour guide may be deviating from the intended tour program, please consider adjusting your preconceived notions of what the intended tour program may be!

While the staff here at Mistholme Museum of Mystery Morbidity and Mortality do their absolute best to ensure the safety of all visitors, accidents can happen. The museum is not liable for any injury, death, or joint-pain that starts right as you hit thirty that may occur during your visit.

Enjoy your tour.

And good luck.

The Battle of the Museum

 

Screams and battlecries, beastly roars and unearthly screeches, all echoed throughout the halls of the Mistholme Museum, mingling and clashing into a cacophony the likes of which few worlds have ever seen. Fae Warriors stalked the halls, searching for the heir to their realm, for any hint of where he might be found, perhaps for any poor soul unfortunate enough to wet their blades. But they did not find their quarry, nor did they find any staff or patrons. Instead, they were found. Groups would enter rooms and corridors, weapons at the ready, only to find nothing but closed doors and barren rooms; then the door behind them would slam shut, and another would open, and the Warriors would find themselves no longer alone, but instead in far worse company than even they themselves could provide. Creatures of myth stampeded out from shadows, enraged at the mere sight of the interlopers, more insulted than injured by the feeble responses the Warriors could muster. A Chimera slew three before they even saw it approach, with teeth and venom and horns working together in bloody concert; a kelpie lured an unsuspecting fool into one of the Stable’s spacious tanks, where a Beluga Whale with a troubled past was more than happy to finish him off- at long last, in service of a worthy cause; a Will O’ The Wisp tricked two into taking an elevator that wasn’t there, its flickering light pulsing triumphantly as a long-planned gambit finally paid off. The invaders were variously stung, crushed, turned to stone, and removed from this plane of existence as the Exhibits of the Mistholme Museum defended their home. 

 

And throughout it all, the invisible hand of the Museum’s Audio Tour Guide did what it did best: it guided. Doors opened and closed at precisely the right moments to cause maximum impact on the enemy, while minimising the risk to the exhibits. The attackers from the Fae Realm and the Creatures from the Stables were carefully corralled so that the home advantage was never lost, the exhibits always having the element of surprise. Creatures that might pose a risk to one another never crossed paths, their movements silently guided toward those who deserved their wrath. The Guide felt a twinge of guilt as it oversaw the slaughter: not for the Fae, but for the beings it was turning into soldiers in a battle few of them understood. It was only the knowledge that the exhibits would surely otherwise face a worse fate that eased its uncertainty over this course of action. That, and the sheer catharsis of it all. Honestly, there was part of the Guide that hoped this didn’t awaken anything in it-

 

Restoration:
GUIDE.

 

Guide:
Ah! Sorry, I- I was kind of caught up in the, uh, mayhem. What’s wrong? What can I do? Is the Clockwork Mother okay?
 

Restoration:
What? Yes, she’s fine- so am I, we’re still in the Break Room. Are you okay?

Guide:
Yes. Yes, sorry, I’m just… stretched thin right now. What’s that Mother? Oh, right, my name. Uhh, yeah, I’m not worried that they might figure out they could use that against me. I’m almost certain they don’t think of me as enough of a “Person” person to have a True Name, if they even figure it out in all this chaos. If that’s even still my True Name… Anyway, uhh, where was I. Ma’am! Yes. Have you… What were you…

 

Restoration:
You asked me to call the Head of Research. 

 

Guide:
Right. Right, I actually… I don’t remember that, but that makes sense.No, wait, yes of course. Right. Wow, being a one-AI army is a lot of work. How is she?

 

Research:
I’m on the call, Guide. You could have just called me. 

 

Guide:
I’m under a lot of pressure right now, okay? Thank you for… Picking up. Uh. Yes.

 

Research:
That’s… fine. How goes that battle?
 

Guide:
Well, I mean, we’ve- the exhibits and I- we’ve disrupted their assault in a number of spots, but I don’t know that there’s a point where we can win the fight, you know?

 

Research:
Oh. That’s reassuring, thanks.

 

Guide:
Right, no, but, sorry, that’s why I needed to talk to you. We can’t win on their terms, just through sheer strength or whatever. We need to find a different path.

 

Restoration:
Yes, I think we’re all in favour of that. Did you have something in mind?

 

Guide:
Chronochor. 

 

Restoration:
Is that… should that mean something to me?

 

Research:
Uhh, it’s a time travel thing. Residue that bleeds out from the space outside of time when spacetime gets disrupted. 

 

Guide:
Is that what it is? I just thought it was a quote smell unquote. Ah, well, when we had Amina in the Museum a few months ago-

 

Restoration:
Guide that was last week.

 

Guide:
Really? God things have been moving quickly- sorry, hold on, I’ve got to undo some safety protocols that I’m pretty sure were never meant to be undone. Aaaand okay, we can think about how we’re going to clean that up later. Where were we?

 

Research:
Chronochor. 

 

Restoration:
Amina.

 

Guide:
Right! Aminochor. Uh. Yeah. So, when Amina was here, she smelled some Chronochor in the Security Shelter, and that’s how she knew that there was some time… stuff going on. There. Right?

Restoration:
Sure. 

 

Guide:
She also mentioned- just off hand- that she had smelled you, too, ma’am?

 

Restoration:
Excuse me?

 

Guide:
No, damn it, I mean- you’re in the Break Room now, she smelled the Chronochor in the Break Room, it’s the Break Room that smells not you, I swear. 

 

Research:
Are you okay, Guide?

Guide:
No! Not remotely. Anyway, Ma’am- Research Ma’am- I need you to send Amina a message.

 

Research:

Sorry, who’s Amina?

 

Guide:
God, you’ve really been off in your own little world haven’t you- sorry! Sorry, I know that was too far. Ah, she’s- she’s basically an outside contractor who knows a thing or two about this stuff. Alternatural stuff. 

 

Restoration:
And why do you think that this… “Chronochor” is so important?

 

Guide:
Because we’re running low on options, and it’s a loose end. So, may as well tug at it and see if it helps!

 

Research:
We’re invoking time travel magic to see if it helps? You guys call me reckless…

 

Guide:
Ah! But! The way Amina explained it to me, time stuff is all a closed loop. The time travel has already happened, so we’re not really risking anything. And if there’s a portal to the past or future in the Break Room, that means there’s another side. And if it’s in the future, that could mean that we can go through and find out what we managed to do to save the museum, come back, and do that!


 

Restoration:

It’s not… the worst idea…

 

Guide:
Thanks! I really wasn’t sure.

 

Research:
I don’t even really follow it.

 

Guide:
That’s fine, I just need you to send a message to Amina.

 

Research:
Fine, what’s her number-

 

Guide:
This morning. 

 

Research:
What?

Guide:
I need you to have contacted her this morning.

[We fade to elsewhere in the Museum]

 

Fae 1:
Must be something this way. I hear sounds.

 

Fae 2:
Hmm. What is that…

 

Fae 1:
A forest? Here? In this place… It is not right, for trees to be indoors. How could this be?

 

Guide:
Oh, an excellent question! Allow me to tell you all about it. You’re right, it is a bit unusual for trees to grow indoors. It all started last time we went into Lockdown- when the person you’re looking for, who isn’t here by the way, let all the exhibits loose to cover his tracks. We’re still not entirely sure how, but one exhibit- about a mysterious and powerful forest, and the people foolish enough to settle near it- grew beyond its exhibit and took over an entire corridor. When we got control back of the Museum, it was decided that the forest was best left well enough alone, as the fate suffered by those who attempted to harvest its wood a thousand years ago does not sound pleasant at all. And so the forest was allowed to grow, taking up most of the floor you’re currently on, and it has grown wild. In fact, you might just- Oh dear, hang on.

 

[Whining noises. The Fae warriors scream, attempt to flee]

 

Yes. There is a bit of an insect problem on this floor as a result. Don’t worry! They release a powerful anaesthetic before they begin to consume your insides through their proboscis, so you’ll barely even feel it! 

 

The Battle of the Museum raged on. The Fae were everywhere, but the Museum and its inhabitants were there first. This was their turf, and they were playing the homefield advantage for all it was worth. The Fae warriors had untold years of training behind them, they had discipline born of their fear of The Majesty’s wrath, they had cunning and ferocity and drive. But the Museum had its own inherent strangeness on its side. An arsenal of things that were not warriors, were not weapons, but when deployed as such proved to be effective in part due to that fact. The Fae would just about have a handle on one situation, when another would abruptly take them by surprise. They would almost escape from a charging creature of myth, then find their exit blocked by another creature, or a dead end that wasn’t there before, or that when they attempted to open a door it was propped shut by a chair that seemed to vibrate with delight as their pursuer caught up to them. Multiple squads were lured into a conspicuously open Lockdown Shelter and sealed inside, leaving them with nowhere to go but through the Glassways and into whatever peril awaited on the other side. One invader became so distracted by a Crystal Skull he found that he failed to notice a swarm of Garden Gnomes sneaking up on him. The Gnomes were popping up all over the place, in fact, and were sowing chaos with no apparent regard for which side they struck-

 

Research:
Guide! GUIDE.

 

Guide:
Yes! Yes, sorry, I’m here. Uhh, Where were we? We were doing… something.

 

Research:
I finished working on the Wish you asked for.

 

Guide:
Right. Uhh. Which wish?

 

Restoration:
You asked- Are you okay?

 

Guide:
I’m very stressed! Just- keep going.

 

Research:
You asked me to make it so that we’d sent Amina a message this morning asking her to return to the Museum.

 

Guide:
Right. Yes.

 

Restoration:
And The Head Of Research is very grateful that we’ve been pretending not to notice her experimentations I’m sure.

 

Research:
Oh, nice of you to have been pretending- not the time!

 

Guide:
Yes, yes. Okay. So, you’ve got the wish ready?

Research:
Yeah, I’ve tried to be specific here. We’re basically… well, we’re literally rewriting reality here, so I’ve done my best not to affect anything we don’t want to. 

 

Restoration:
Okay so, is she going to know about the Fae ahead of time?
 

Research:
No. She’s just going to get- to have gotten- a note that I’ve written out in front of me here. It will tell her to come to the Museum at a certain time- if you give me the go ahead, I’ll put in the current time. She won’t know anything about the attack, the Lockdown, anything. Having that information out there in the world before it should exist… it could mess things up. So she’ll just get told to come here at a certain time, and we’ll have to work from there.

 

Restoration:
Hold on, though. When Astrid and the Security Department escaped all that time ago, she wished that she’d always been able to navigate the Negative-Perception Zone, and that… applied retroactively. Can’t we assume that any wishes we make that might affect the past… if we wish for them to have always have affected that past, then that’ll just be how things always were?

 

Research:
No.

 

Guide:
Wait, you understood all that?

 

Research:

Look, I know you think I’ve been reckless by studying this machine, and maybe I have been. But because I’ve studied it, I know that it can do anything, and it needs very precise instructions or it might do something you didn’t expect. We cannot assume that it will do something, even based on past experience. The Guide knew what it was doing when it asked for a note to have been sent. It’s breaking reality a little, but just about anything we do with this thing will tend to do that. Better than wishing that she was here in the museum already, that could have any kind of impact we can’t predict. But even this… we can’t be sure how it’ll go. We have to be certain that this is the right course.

 

Restoration:
Very well. I… suppose we’ve come this far.

 

Guide:
Yes. I’m satisfied with this note. And with the… risks.

 

Research:
Okay. Here goes. Finishing the note… and… I wish that a note identical to the one I have just finished writing had appeared in the sleeping quarters of the individual named Amina, whom my colleagues and I have just been discussing, in a place where she will easily find it.

 

WISH ENGINE:
YOUR WISH IS GRANTED.

 

[Beat]

 

Restoration:
Is it… Did it work?

 

Guide:

Yeah…

 

Research:

Well is she here? Did she come?

 

Guide:
She’s outside.

 

Research:
Great! Okay, experiment successful, I guess. You gonna let her in?

 

Guide:
We’re in a Lockdown.

 

Research:
Ah for…

 

Restoration:
Can you open just the external door?

 

Guide:
Ah, maybe? I think so. But it’s- it’s really dangerous out there, and she doesn’t know it. 

 

Restoration:
Once she’s inside, can you guide her to a safe spot?

 

Guide:
I don’t… I’m really stretched thin already, and the Fairies- I’m keeping them at bay for the most part, but a lapse in concentration could bring it all down. 

 

Research:
So what are you saying?

 

Guide:
I think… Somebody’s going to have to go get her.

 

Restoration:
Well, the Clockwork Mother has just volunteered.

 

Guide:
No- no, I mean, I appreciate that Mother, but… It’s still too dangerous. I’d still be guiding you and Amina around battles and- even if you didn’t get hurt, there’s still the risk of me losing focus. 

 

Restoration:
Uhh- Mother, slow down, please I’m still learning. The Clockwork Mother says we could go via the Security Section! Phase to Security, then to Amina’s location, then back again. No risk. Just like on Amina’s last visit.

 

Guide:
The… The Head of Retrieval still has the Security Device. The one that let him bring Amina to Security. Mother can’t take… passengers with her. And getting the Device off of Retrieval would be even more dangerous than our other ideas.

 

Restoration:
Well then what the bloody… bloody hell are we going to do?!

 

Research:

Okay, fine, I’ll do it.

 

Restoration:
What?

 

Guide:
Ma’am, are you… the gesture is appreciated, but why-

 

Research:
Hey, woah, I’m not- no. I’m not gonna go get her, one of you can go be a hero. I just… I have a way that can make this less risky for whoever does it, okay?
 

Guide:
What do you mean?

 

Restoration:
Is this how you’ve been getting into the Wish Engine chamber without getting caught?

 

Research:
…Before I go on, I want assurances that this will be forgotten after the crisis is over, okay/

 

Restoration:
Oh really, come on now.

 

Research:
I’m serious, look- a discussion. How about that, I’ll come back to the table and we can talk about all this again, like adults this time.

 

Restoration:
You are- fine. Okay. What’s your plan?

 

Research:

Gimme a few minutes, I need to get some files together.

 

Guide:
Files?

 

Research:
I’m not prepared, my notes are kind of all over the place.

 

Restoration:
You’re not giving a bloody dissertation, just-

 

Retrieval:
Guide? Guide can you… you there?

 

Guide:
Sir! Yes, I… I wasn’t sure if you were still conscious, sir.

 

Retrieval:
Not… gotten rid of me just yet…

 

Guide:
Okay, well save your-

 

Retrieval:
Guide:.. Something’s happening here. 

 

Guide:
In the shelter? I can’t… the heat, camera’s gotten a little fogged up- or melted. What’s going on?

 

Retrieval:
Someone’s coming… through…

 

Guide:
Reinforcements? Yeah I get the impression there’s no end of them.

 

Retrieval:
No, this feels… different. 

 

Guide:
Different how?

Retrieval:
So bright, I can’t… 

 

Guide:
Bright? Sir, I don’t know if that’s…

 

Retrieval:
They’re in the room with me. It’s like… light’s pouring out of them. I see can see them with my eyes shut…

 

Guide:
Sir, I think… are you sure you’re not hallucinating?

 

The Queen:

He is not.

 

Guide:
Oh. Oh shit.

 

Retrieval:
Beautiful…

 

The Queen:
Flattery will not save you, insect. My forces have taken too long. My patience has worn thin.

 

Guide:
Your Majesty, please… if you can hear me, don’t-

 

The Queen:
I hear you. Now, give me my child.

 

Guide:
We don’t have your child! They’re not here, I swear-

 

The Queen:
LIES.

 

Guide:
It’s not a bloody lie! Please, this is madness. Can’t we just talk about this like rational people?

 

The Queen:
No. I am your Queen. You shall do as I command.

 

Guide:
…You’re not my Queen. This isn’t your realm.

 

The Queen:

I beg to differ. By rite of conquest, I hereby annex this place… this “Museum” as part of the Realm of the Summer Queen.

 

Guide:
What- no, you can’t do that. 

 

The Queen:

I just did, Guide. 

 

Retrieval:
Guide… something’s happening…

 

The Queen:
This is now my realm, and it shall bend to my will.

 

Guide:
What does that even mean?

 

The Queen:
You shall see.

 

Retrieval:
They’re on the move, Guide. They’re leaving the Shelter, heading into the Museum.

 

Guide:
I can handle this, sir. Your Majesty, please stop!
 

Retrieval:
There’s… grass… under their feet. 

 

Guide:

Please, just rest, I… Oh. I’ve got them on the cameras outside the Shelter, they’re… You’re right. There’s… grass. Spreading beneath their feet as they step into the Museum, into their realm. The Queen of the Summer Sun strode out into the Mistholme Museum, and with each step the verdant grass of their realm spread, and their influence over that place with it. They walked through the Museum’s halls like a cancerous cell in a bloodstream, and in much the same way they left ruin in their wake. The Audio Tour Guide, who had for some time now considered the Museum to be its body, had controlled its doors and cameras and operations with the ease that one might operate their own limbs, suddenly found that control disappearing bit by bit, step by step, as the Queen of the Summer Sun made the Museum into their own. 

 

Doors that the Guide bade shut swung open, giving way to the horde of Fae that spread further and deeper into the Museum in search of a Man who was not there, and no one and nothing was left now to fight them.

 

The Museum belonged to the Queen. 

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