Exceptional Story for August: The Bloody Wallpaper
“Can’t you feel it in the air? Festivity!” the Manager exclaims. “We’ve been counting the days. And the nights. And the hours that slip where nobody can see. Another season ripens.”
The Red-and-Gold Gala commences! The Royal Bethlehem Hotel always hosts the Gala during the Season, when social butterflies flock to London for the year’s most exclusive parties. It’s going to be a busy night. Fine dining. Guests from across the waking and sleeping worlds. Not to mention all the gossip. Invitations are exclusive – and scarce – but as a member of hotel staff, you’ll be right at the centre of the action. Just sign here – with your own blood, please.
The Bloody Wallpaper is our 100th Exceptional Story! To our dear Exceptional Friends: thank you for your support. To mark the occasion, we’ve added new items to Mr Chimes’ Lost & Found, and we’re running a competition to win a full year of Exceptional Friendship! Read more on our blog.
In addition to a new, substantial, stand-alone story every month, Exceptional Friends enjoy:
- Access to the House of Chimes: an exclusive private member’s club on the Stolen River
- Access to Mr Chimes’ Lost & Found, a shop in the Bazaar where you can exchange currency earned through playing Exceptional Stories for exclusive companions and items
- Three additional outfit slots
- An expanded opportunity deck of ten cards instead of six!
- A second candle – twice the actions! 40 at once!
Just discovered the extra floor I thought I’d nearly finished everything
Okay I paid the Christmas Bonus (the staff deserved better) but did anyone else cover the other options?
I did the Parabolan royalty one. I thought I’d be able to do multiple, otherwise I might have done a different one. I believe this is the option.
I chose the Red Ending. Note that this choice also affects the text a few echoes later (“The Golden Loophope”).
I’m very stuck in this. I’ve done every action there is to do on every floor, but one weasel remains missing. No guests in need of help anymore, ballroom done, even the northbound parliamentarian needs nothing anymore. Slowcakes only keeps saying I have a weasel left to deliver. Not really enjoying this, sifting through every floor 20 times just to see if I missed something somewhere and getting nothing.
Have you checked every door on the floor above the upper floor but below the top floor?
Unfortunately, yes, I used the stairs :(
Got a hint, might have forgotten one thing somewhere, checking now.
Don’t forget the broom closets! There’s a different broom closet on every floor.
I chose the Eaten ending, of course. Here’s what the Manager has to say about it (pretty interesting!) and here’s the Golden Loophole text.
For good measure, at the very very end of the story, I chose to tell the Manager to shove it, and here’s the text for that. The reward is a Mortification of a Great Power. If anyone chose the other option, I’m curious if you get a different reward.
Overall, I really, really liked this story! Rushing around the hotel was a ton of fun and felt way more involved than any other Exceptional Story without wearing out its welcome until the very end (at which point feeling exhausted is effective to the narrative). Both the new and old NPCs were charming. I love the Manager of the Royal Beth when he’s a goofy nightmare super-hotelier, and this story had a lot of that.
I do wish there was an ending choice for having served every possible guest, or a unique reward item from the story, but it’s fine without those. Completionism is its own reward in FL.
True. I also haven’t run the numbers, but the variety of payouts generally meant I felt rewarded for my actions. There were very few spaces where I seemed to be spending actions just to advance the story between small payouts, which isn’t always the case in Exceptional Stories (of course the story would be worth it without the payout, but it’s nice to have both).
But there are upstairs rooms one cannot access from the stairs, and upstairs rooms one cannot access from the Lift.
Did you find the last weasel?
One is on the wallpaper in a room on the uppermost floor, one in a broom closet on the middle floor, one in the fountain in the lobby (you get him from a card, and the option doesn’t appear right away), and one you get as a gift from the smile-renewing Seamstress.
I had some help (thanks!) and figured out which obscure spot I hadn’t visited or didn’t visit at the right time and found it.
I chose the other option. The reward is a Primaeval Hint
I liked the mechanics of this story. Running errands is surprisingly satisfying.
Very much enjoyed the story! Didn’t feel like we had much choice to make, but it felt like a brief digression into a '90s point-and-click adventure, which is fun. Also, it had 2 of my favourite ES features:
 receiving random little items throughout that reinforce the connection between story and game, even if they are sometimes a little silly, and
 lots of 0-action options, which made exploring and interacting with the setting fresh and breezy (I did run out of actions twice, but I also couldn’t get below 40/40 at one point because everything for a certain stretch was a free-action!)
I thought it was pretty great. Looking forward to the next in a couple days.
I am totally blasted by this ES. Wonderful writing, enjoyable game mechanics, and enough delicious horrors for a whole year of nightmares. Wow!