Welcome to the Great Overlook Lodge
After a long and tiring climb up the snow-covered peak, you find yourself in front of a large rustic-styled hotel. The path leading to it is thickly-blanketed with snow, and apart from an occasional gust of wind, everything is eerily silent. You might assume they'd be closed for the off-season, but thankfully there's a light in the red-curtained lobby window. You trudge up the path and push open the door, carefully closing it behind you to keep out the cold.
The lobby is quite spacious, and decorated in a Native theme. Your eyes take in the large pictographic murals, the silently staring totem-poles, and the typically eye-crossing hotel carpet as you approach the front desk. Nobody is there, so you tap the little silver bell.
The sound is practically swallowed by the vast empty space. You wait several minutes, rubbing the cold from your arms.
Nobody comes. It's only to be expected, you reason -- this is definitely their off-season, so there won't be much staff. Perhaps just a lone caretaker.
There must be somebody here somewhere, though, so you set off to look for them.
Down the hall from the lobby, you find a large empty ballroom -- there's a bar at the other end, where a bartender in a red jacket is calmly polishing a glass, as bartenders do.
"Evening, Lloyd," you say as you take a seat. "A little slow tonight, isn't it?" You start to laugh, then stop, uneasy. How did you know his name was Lloyd?
"Yes, it is, Mr./Ms. <Player Name>." He puts down the glass and leans forward. "What'll it be?"
"Well, I'm going to be needing a room, but since I'm here, I could use a little something to warm me up." You reach for your wallet, but find it unexpectedly empty. "Say, Lloyd, I seem to be temporarily light. How's my credit in this joint, anyway?"
"Your credit's fine, Mr./Ms. <Player Name>." There's something about his slight grin that is a little unnerving. Maybe it's his eyes -- pale, pale blue, with an almost glassy, filmy look to them. He stares at you, unblinking.
You shake your head to regain your composure. "That's swell. I like you, Lloyd. I always liked you. Best goddamn bartender from Timbuktu to Portland, Maine."
Lloyd's slight grin doesn't change. "Bourbon, sir/ma'am?" he asks.
"Let me start with a cup of coffee. There's a real chill in the air..."
"How do you take it?"
"Black as midnight on a moonless night."
"Pretty black." He picks up his glass and starts polishing it again. "Regrettably, sir/ma'am, I am unable to provide it."
You frown, puzzled. "What's the problem, Lloyd?"
"I'm not here, Mr./Ms. <Player Name>."
"Huh? But I'm looking right at you. I suppose you're going to tell me you're at my house? You want me to call you?"
"No, Mr./Ms. <Player Name>. I'm dead."
"Dead?" You try to laugh, but can't manage more than a weak chuckle. "So who killed you?"
"You already know that, Mr./Ms. <Player Name>. You are the hotel's caretaker, after all."
"What?" You search those ice-blue eyes, looking for the punchline. "I'm no caretaker, I'm a Special Agent with... the... uh..." You trail off, confused.
Suddenly there's a loud knocking at the door. You turn to look at it, then look back at Lloyd.
What the heck? You look around, even standing to see if he's ducked behind the bar, but he's vanished into thin air.
The knocking grows more insistent. It's more of a pounding, now.
"All right, all right, I'm coming." You cross to the door and pull it open.
A very thin woman with long brown hair and the world's most ear-piercing scream clocks you in the head with a baseball bat.
After what might be a moment or might be an eternity, you slowly become aware of a bright light shining on your face.
You hesitantly open your eyes, squint, and weakly hold up a hand to block the glare.
A bald black man in an impeccably clean chef's uniform stands above you. Although it could just be your perspective (i.e. lying on the floor), he appears impossibly tall. He looks down on you with faint sympathy in his eyes, but an otherwise unreadable expression.
"I'm gonna tell you three things," he says, in a slow, careful voice. "If I tell 'em to you, and they come true, then will you believe me?"
"Where did you come from?" you ask blearily.
He shakes his head. "The question is: where have you gone?"
"Is there something bad here?"
"Well... you know, Doc, when something happens, it can leave a trace of itself behind. Say like, if someone burns toast. A lot of things happened right here in this particular hotel over the years. And not all of 'em was good."
He holds up a hand. "Better to listen than to talk. The first thing I'll tell you is: my dog's got no nose."
"Dog... no nose..." you mumble.
"The second thing is: the party is BYOJ."
"The third thing is: only one who seeks will find."
"What do these things mean?"
"That's all I'm permitted to say. Give me your ring. I'll return it to you when you find these things to be true."
He bends down and gently slips your wedding ring from your left hand. He seems kindly, if troubled.
"You like ice cream, Doc?" he asks.
"I thought you did. Get something cold on that skull of yours. You're gonna have a nasty lump."
The image of the giant fades away into nothingness, the bright light fading away with him, leaving you in darkness.
You stagger to your feet, and fumble for a light switch. You find yourself in your hotel room, although you can't be sure how you know it's yours. You leave, and slowly make your way down the hall until you find the lobby, then exit the front door and pack a handful of snow against your head, wincing.
What the hell is going on in this place?
As you turn to re-enter the hotel, a sudden gust of wind blows the snow all around you, turning everything white. You stumble forward, waving your hand in front of you, and encounter the rough prickly wall of a hedge. The wind dies down. You're in a narrow green corridor.
A hedge maze? Oh, terrific. What kind of weird hotel has a hedge maze anyway?
You start to shiver, and realize you'd better find your way back to the hotel before you freeze to death.
- This adventure contains a number of allusions to both the the television show Twin Peaks and the film The Shining.
- The line "I suppose you're going to tell me you're at my house? You want me to call you?" is a reference to the film Lost Highway.