Dispatches From Wondermark Manor: The Compleat Trilogy


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ONCE EVERY GREAT WHILE, usually after a particularly hearty swig of coot-barrel moonshine (brewed the old-fashioned way -- by my servants in a marble bath-tub), I find myself digging through the old oaken bureau and extracting my late uncle’s great, thick key-ring from beneath mouldy mounds of old maps and tobacco-straws and spiked corsets. Without particularly intending to, I have on occasion let idle curiosity drift me slowly through the halls of the East Wing, where I may carefully try a key or three against the many rooms that have remained locked for the entirety of my residency.

On each attempt, I would try three keys in each of three doors. I suppose I could have stood there shoving scores of keys into dozens of locks all the day long until one gave way, but such a cold method seemed wholly devoid of charm. I preferred to believe that my spare selection invited Fate to intervene, should she decide to do so. I would never make an empirical study of the many keys on the ring, full of check-lists and calipers and abacusi and no doubt one of Babbage’s clanging pornography-engines rolled into my front garden; rather, I enjoyed prolonging the mystery for as long as Fate deemed appropriate, believing that which-ever door (if any) might open on this day, that it purposefully led to something she would have me find…