During the drive, though, I remembered that the hurdy-gurdy had a clock setting. What I had never noticed is that it also has a "lid," meaning I can open it and put something in it. I stuck the butterfly in it, turned the dial to the clock setting, cranked the handle to the left, and sure enough, the caterpillar regressed into a butterfly. Wow. I'm glad I solved the puzzle and everything, but wouldn't it have been a lot easier just to head into the forest and find a freaking caterpillar?!
With the caterpillar, newly dubbed, firmly in my possession, the Christmas Tree Monsters hustled out of my way and a new area opened up to me.
The Christmas Tree Monsters sing grotesque versions of Christmas carols. The game is really quite clever with this.
My biggest revelation in the car, however, concerned the truffle. I reflected that I had:
- A minx capable of sniffing out and digging up truffles
- A truffle which, thanks to the magic of the Pool of Eternal Youth, would last forever
- A spade
- An hourglass that probably has something to do with turning back time
It seemed rather obvious to me that there would be something whose location I would want to mark in a visit to the past so that my minx could find it in the present. And the only place I could imagine this happening was in the ruins of Pheebor. So I messed around there for a while and while examining an arch in the ruins, found that "the opening beneath is shaped like an hourglass." Well, hell. Entering the arch, I turned the hourglass and found myself in a corridor that allowed me to go backward and forwards in time. Suddenly realizing I'd forgotten to bring my minx, who was presumably required for my idea, and I had to go back and get him.
Long story short: I came across the site of a battle between the nations of Pheebor and Borphee (the war was apparently over the right to name the river). The prince of Pheebor had his head lopped off by a black knight. The game kept emphasizing the prince's helmet. I couldn't take the helmet in the past, so I tossed the truffle into the trench where it lay, returned to the present--actually, I think I ultimately went to the future, where more of the topsoil had been eroded away--and Skavenhorde found the helmet, which increased my intelligence and armor class. This took a long time of messing about.
Afterwards, I took a chance that I was done with the hourglass, sold it, and had enough cash for some decent armor, on which I could use a scroll of protection. My armor class went from 0% to 99% in just a few moves. I hope there are still things to fight.
All right, back to the Christmas Tree Monsters. Past them, I found a cabin in which I found a "burin" (an engraving tool; chalk another one up to "What Have You Learned?"), some wizard's black book, a black "hemisphere," and a snow wight that, when killed, dropped a diamond. Beyond them is an "iridescent dome of light," and I'm not sure what to do there.
[Edit, hours after the original posting: "Snow wight." Just got it. Good one.]
So: several puzzles solved, but I remain stumped at how to get by the corbies in the fields, what I'm supposed to do at the dome, how to permanently solve the Christmas Tree Monster menace, and how to get to the castle I keep seeing from a distance (every time I try to fly there, the game tells me I encounter crosswinds).
A couple of "bad" and "meh" votes from last night's entry makes me think people are sick of Beyond Zork--or maybe I'm going into too much detail--so I'll try to get out a Dungeon Master entry this evening, although it might not be all that comprehensible: I've promised myself that if I can stave off my CRPG addiction long enough to get some actual work done this Veteran's Day, I'll allow myself to liberally indulge my vodka gimlet addiction tonight.