The Bible Retold: Following a Star by Justin Morgan.

Strange packaging. The game is a blorb but the cover picture isn't part of the blorb, it is a separate file.

You look at the note that a servant has just handed to you. It's from Melchior. " My latest calculations suggest that we should not delay any further. We must begin our journey tonight. Summon Gaspar immediately and meet me on the terrace. "

Wise old Melchior. Technically he's not your superior - you're both magi in the royal council, representing the Babylonian vassal state. And you don't know whether you consider him a friend, either. But he always knows best, so you set off towards Gaspar's chamber immediately.

---

Press SPACE to continue

THE BIBLE RETOLD:
Following A Star

A light-hearted adaptation of favourite Bible stories.
By Justin Morgan

Please type 'about' for help and information.

Release 1 / Serial number 034107 / Inform v6.31 Library 6/11
ORLibrary release 1.3C (2004.06.08)

Gaspar opens the door. "Balthasar! How nice to see you. Do come in."

Gaspar's Chamber
Gaspar doesn't live in Babylon - he's from a far eastern state of the Parthian Empire, and Melchior invited him here. As such, Gaspar's lodgings, though fit for someone of his standing, are not as large and lavish as those for permanent residents like you.

There's a bed in one corner of the room and at the foot of it is a pile of clothes and a rather large sword; against the opposite wall is Gaspar's desk, which has a map and several overturned goblets on it. A door to the balcony is to the west.

> about
Please use the commands: INTRO, CREDITS, SPECIAL [COMMANDS], TOPICS, AMUSING and HINT for specific information. Type AMUSING GEN for non-context-specific amusing things. There is some gentle advice for IFComp judges available by typing ABOUT IFCOMP.

> special
This game contains a large number of commands that you don't usually find in text adventures. Some are necessary for the game, some add realism, some are useful, but many are just fun. Here are some of them:

T[ALK] TO [NPC] - in addition to ASK/TELL [NPC] ABOUT [something] and SAY [something] TO [NPC]
HINT [noun] - gives successively more revealing hints; type HINT on its own for details
COMPOFF, COMPON - turns the compass off and on respectively
IMAGEOFF, IMAGEON - erases and un-erases the image pane on the left-hand side
LIST - gives a list of objects you could interact with here. (LS is a synonym).
TOPICS - gives suggestions on what to ask NPCs about.
CLIMB [OVER] [noun]
SMELL [noun], or SMELL on its own
TOUCH, TASTE [noun]
SWIM IN [noun]
JUMP OVER/IN/OUT/OFF [noun]
THROW [noun] OFF [something]
LOOK OVER [high object]
WRAP/UNWRAP [noun] IN [something]
PET, POKE, STROKE, RUB [noun]
SQUEEZE, SHAKE [noun]
DANCE, DANCE AROUND/WITH [something/someone]
THREATEN [noun]
HANG [noun] FROM [noun]
POLE VAULT OVER [something] USING [something else]
SWING [ON] [noun]
BEHOLD [noun]
LAMENT [noun]
ADVERTISE [noun]
PLAY
PLAY WITH [noun]
PLANT [noun]
MEASURE [noun]
COUNT [noun]
COMPARE [something] WITH/TO [something else]
GO TO [the something]

> about ifcomp
To IFComp Judges:

This game contains a lot of completely optional things which could consume so much of your judging time that you may not finish in 2 hours. If you're intending to judge the game in the competition, I would gently recommend that you:

* Don't spend much time in the 'Beginning Traveller's Store'. You could even skip it completely.
* Don't get involved in optional side-quests. When you get to the town in Judea, just focus on getting the three gifts.

Do bear in mind, however, that if you follow this advice, you won't be able to get the maximum score.

> l

Gaspar's Chamber
There's a bed in one corner of the room and at the foot of it is a pile of clothes and a rather large sword; against the opposite wall is Gaspar's desk, which has a map and several overturned goblets on it. A door to the balcony is to the west.

> talk to gaspar
"Sounds like we'll soon be leaving on that journey that Melchior has been going on about. I'm intrigued, but I can't help feeling as though it's going to be a disappointment. We shall see."

> w
You open the door and the two of you walk out onto the balcony. You walk past the hanging gardens and come up to the terrace that Melchior was referring to.

Outside the Palace
You stand on the terrace of the great palace, gazing out at the night sky, with your friends and colleagues, Gaspar and Melchior. Here, in Babylon, on the western frontier of the Parthian Empire, you understand much about the movements of celestial objects. This night, however, there is an anomalous star, shining very brightly in the west.

"Regard," says Melchior as excitedly as he knows how, which is to say, in a very blunt and calm voice. "A bright star is shining from the west."

"I see it," says Gaspar. "It is magnificent!" And they promptly stop to stare at it intently.

"Yes, yes," says Melchior sagely, nodding his head and keeping his eyes quite transfixed upon the bright object. "I am convinced of the meaning behind this star."

> x star
Brighter than all the other stars, it shines from the western part of the sky. No doubt Melchior will know all about it.

"And what, pray tell, is the meaning behind this star?" says Gaspar, with visible exasperation.

"It means," says Melchior, "that it is night."

Gaspar gives Melchior a shocked look, suddenly doubting not only his otherwise invariable skill and knowledge, but also his sanity.

> ask melchior about star
You are interrupted before you can ask.

"But," Melchior continues, "beyond the obvious there is a deeper meaning."

"Thank goodness!" Gaspar exclaims. "I thought you had gone mad!"

Melchior ignores this comment and carries on. "This star marks the birthplace of the one who is prophesied to be a great ruler."

> z
Time passes.

"We must follow the star," Melchior proclaims bluntly. "We must honour this future king, for he will be mighty and powerful."

"Ah," says Gaspar. "But at present, he is only just about to be born. Why worship a baby?"

"A baby in the cradle is worth two in the palace," says Melchior. Wiser words are seldom spoken.

"Ah," says Gaspar. "You mean not to make enemies."

"My meaning is in the realm of the heavens," says Melchior, looking skyward. After a pause, he jerks into action. "Come. We must follow the star." Melchior approaches the western steps.

> ask gaspar about star
"Something to do with that prophecy," he says vaguely.

"But won't we need gifts?" says Gaspar.

"We will get them on the journey. I suggest perfumes and precious things."

"Well," says Gaspar, "will a sample sachet and a rattle do?"

"Certainly not," says Melchior. "We need at least incense and a valuable metal for this occasion. Anything less would be an insult."

> i
You are carrying:
your Parthian attire (being worn)

"He must be pretty special, this baby," says Gaspar. "How far have we got to go to honour him?"

"His birthplace is that of his future dominion. He is in Judea, the Jewish kingdom that's under Roman control."

Gaspar and Melchior descend the steps to the lower terrace.

> x me
You are Balthasar, a king from the Parthian Empire. You are wearing your usual long, flowing robes.

> in
You don't wish to plummet from the terrace at such an early stage.

> w

Lower Terrace
This lower terrace is slightly smaller and more rectangular than the one above. It serves as a rest-stop halfway up (and halfway down, of course) the side of the palace. Steps lead east, to the upper terrace, and north, to ground level below. Gaspar and Melchior are waiting for you here.

Gaspar and Melchior descend the steps to ground level.

The game doesn't update the compass rose after undo, which is confusing.

> undo
Outside the Palace
[Previous turn undone.]

> exits
You can go west or down.

(If your interpreter supports images, there should be a visual compass in the top-left of your screen.)

> d

Lower Terrace
This lower terrace is slightly smaller and more rectangular than the one above. It serves as a rest-stop halfway up (and halfway down, of course) the side of the palace. Steps lead east, to the upper terrace, and north, to ground level below. Gaspar and Melchior are waiting for you here.

Gaspar and Melchior descend the steps to ground level.

> n

Ground Level
It is darker here, in the shadow of the great palace that towers above you. A long set of steps lead up to the terrace that protrudes from its side. Wide, dusty streets lie west and south.

"Judea? But that's ages away!" says Gaspar, having come down the steps. "We will have to cross the desert!"

"That is why we will be employing personal steeds," says Melchior, and he casually thrusts his arm backwards, the force of which opens a hitherto concealed doorway behind him, through which the dark forms of three camels can be seen.

> x camels
Your trusty steeds. An amiable bunch.

Hanging from the first camel are a large brown sack and a little can.
Hanging from the second camel are a grey pouch and a large red sack.
Hanging from the third camel are a big bag and a wicker basket.

"Melchy, how long have you known about this without telling us?" says Gaspar, mounting one of the camels.

Melchior merely nods smugly. "I saw the star when it first rose," he says, "and I made due preparation." He gets onto his own camel and the two of them ride out of the stable.

> save
Ok.

> get on camel
(the third camel)
(getting into the stables)

You heave yourself onto the camel, who grunts receptively.

"Onward then!" shouts Gaspar. "To Judea!"

"What are the names of the camels?"

"I ride Deuter," Melchior answers. "Gaspar, you have Job. And that leaves Numbers, for Balthasar."

> x camel
Which do you mean, Job, Deuter or Numbers?

> numbers
Your trusty camel is a no-nonsense, down-to-Earth fellow - at once diligent and amiable. Though he gets on well with his fellow travellers, he seems to be the least sociable, and often spends much time engaged in silent introspection. Hanging from Numbers are a big bag and a wicker basket.

> x bag
The big bag is empty.

[To see the status of all the sacks, EXAMINE SACKS.]

> x sacks
These are containers for hanging over the camels, used to transport things across the desert. Don't worry - the camels are used to it.

The large brown sack is empty.
The little can is empty.
The grey pouch is empty.
The large red sack is empty.
The big bag is empty.
The wicker basket is empty.

> i
You are carrying:
your Parthian attire (being worn)

> l

Ground Level (on Numbers) (in the stables)
It is darker here, in the shadow of the great palace that towers above you. A long set of steps lead up to the terrace that protrudes from its side. Wide, dusty streets lie west and south.

Gaspar and Melchior are waiting for you outside the stable, sitting on their respective camels.

The stable door is open.

> x gaspar
Gaspar is the youngest of your companions, but probably the most ambitious. Many nights you have heard him expounding his proposed initiatives to create an Indo-Persian land, independent from Parthia, which he would rule over as king.

> x melchior
Your companion Melchior is a wise astronomer, and the eldest of the three of you. His background in studying celestial phenomena is impressive. When speaking with him, his deep, knowledgable gaze emanates from shining inset eyes. You know that you can come to him for advice on a wide range of topics and he will use his understanding of the heavens to answer with sage insight.

> ask melchior about pluto
"I could speak about it at length, but I am sure you would become weary. As would I."

> ask melchior about moon
"I could speak about it at length, but I am sure you would become weary. As would I."

> ask melchior about star
"It shows us the way to the newborn king."

> out
You ride out of the stables.

Gaspar and Melchior ride off to the west.

> w

West Street (on Numbers)
The wide, dusty street leads west from east, surrounded by sandy buildings. It's wide, because it is one of the major routes through the city - a spoke, if you like, from the centre to the outskirts. And it's dusty due to its frequent use by travellers and merchants, most of whom employ camels, horses or personal chariots. A beginning traveller's store lies to the south.

"We'll follow your lead from now on," says Gaspar. "You go, and we'll follow."

"But only if you go the right way," Melchior adds.

Melchior is here, astride Deuter the camel.
Gaspar is here, sitting atop Job the camel.

> s
You won't fit through the entrance on your camel.

> get off
You dismount the camel.

> s
"We'll wait here while you get supplies!" calls Gaspar.

That sounds about right. But you're used to doing things for them.

"No, no," says Melchior, "you go with him, Gaspar. You have the money, after all."

Gaspar obliges without a sound, grudgingly dismounting his camel and coming with you into the shop.

Beginning Travellers' Store
It is a fairly small store, stuffed to the full with purchasable paraphernalia, various viable victuals, assorted trinkets, consumables and apparatus, not quite evenly divided between imperative impedimenta and unnecessary miscellany. There is an archway in the south wall, through which you can see a profusion of Persian rugs. You can't help thinking what a fire hazard this all makes.

Gaspar stands nearby.

You can also see a black market giant doormouse here.

"Hello!" the storeholder says cheerily, waving to you from a precarious ladder, which he uses to facilitate the polishing of a Persian statue. "You are my first customer tonight!" he says, as though you are his first customer this year. "Do have a look around."

> x doormouse
You saw that just a few moments ago... but where is it now? Maybe it got buried by a pile of other stuff.

> i
You are carrying:
your Parthian attire (being worn)

> x trinkets
The trinkets are assorted but it's up to you decide what is worth purchasing and what isn't.

Amongst the profusion of assorted trinkets you make note of an oil lamp, a fig basket, a map of India and a blue towel.

> get lamp
"Ah, we have special offer," says the storeholder. All you and your camels can carry for only ten shekels."

"Perfect," says Gaspar. "Here you are." He hands over ten shekels and the storeholder looks delighted.

"Take as much or as little as you like. After all, there are no unwinnable states!"

Taken.

> get fig
Taken.

> eat fig
(the fig)
Quite tasty.

> get map
You saw that just a few moments ago... but where is it now? Maybe it got buried by a pile of other stuff.

> x stuff
Amongst the profusion of miscellaneous stock you note a loaf of bread, a copper cup, an unusually large empty jar of frankincense and some ready-bottled water.

> get frankincense
You remember seeing that somewhere in the shop, but for the life of you you can't remember where.

> get water
You remember seeing that somewhere in the shop, but for the life of you you can't remember where.

Gaspar takes a fig from the fig basket and pops it into his mouth.

> x stuff
Amongst the profusion of miscellaneous stock you espy a blue towel, a clay tablet, some furry dice and a ceramic bowl.

> get towel
Taken.

> get tablet
Taken.

> get dice
You remember seeing that somewhere in the shop, but for the life of you you can't remember where.

> get bow
You can't see any such thing, but given how much stuff is here, something of that nature might well be in stock.

> get bowl
Taken.

> i
You are carrying:
a ceramic bowl
a clay tablet
a blue towel
an oil lamp (providing light)
your Parthian attire (being worn)

> n

"May I ask what you are doing on your travels then?" says the storeholder as you leave, as though he is merely making conversation and not being nosy.

"Yes you may," says Gaspar. The storeholder asks the question again, and this time you interject to answer, telling him briefly about the mission to Judea.

"Oh I see," the man replies. "Fascinating. Yes, it sounds like a very noble expedition. Good luck." He smiles grimly.

Gaspar follows you out.

West Street
The wide, dusty street leads west from east, surrounded by sandy buildings. It's wide, because it is one of the major routes through the city - a spoke, if you like, from the centre to the outskirts. And it's dusty due to its frequent use by travellers and merchants, most of whom employ camels, horses or personal chariots. A beginning traveller's store lies to the south.

Melchior is here, astride Deuter the camel.
Gaspar stands here, ruminating about his kingdom.

Numbers is waiting for you obediently.

"Do take all of the containers," says Melchior, "that are hanging from our camels. You should store the supplies in them."

> s
Gaspar follows you.

Beginning Travellers' Store
It is a fairly small store, stuffed to the full with purchasable paraphernalia, various viable victuals, assorted trinkets, consumables and apparatus, not quite evenly divided between imperative impedimenta and unnecessary miscellany. There is an archway in the south wall, through which you can see a profusion of Persian rugs. You can't help thinking what a fire hazard this all makes.

Gaspar stands here, ruminating about his kingdom.

You can also see a large quantity of forbidden fruit here.

Gaspar takes a fig from the fig basket and pops it into his mouth.

> s
You tread gingerly through the store, careful to avoid tripping over a shifty tax returns form, to your left... and tripping over a cupboard full of blackberry tarts, to your right, instead.

Rugged Rug Room
A vibrant array of multicoloured rugs fill the small room. Some are ragged, some faded, some pristine.

> x rug
Which do you mean, the blue Persian rug, the red Persian rug, the black Persian rug or the large cream Persian rug?

> get on blue
(the blue Persian rug)
You sit on the blue Persian rug for a while. It's quite comfy. In less than a minute, you stand up again.

> get blue
(the blue Persian rug)
You can't imagine needing a rug. It would only get dirty as you took it across the desert.

> rug, up
You can't talk to the blue Persian rug.

> fly on rug
I only understood you as far as wanting to fly.

> n

Beginning Travellers' Store
It is a fairly small store, stuffed to the full with purchasable paraphernalia, various viable victuals, assorted trinkets, consumables and apparatus, not quite evenly divided between imperative impedimenta and unnecessary miscellany. There is an archway in the south wall, through which you can see a profusion of Persian rugs. You can't help thinking what a fire hazard this all makes.

Gaspar takes a fig from the fig basket and pops it into his mouth.

You can also see a large fish from the Sea of Galilee here.

> n
You tread gingerly through the store, careful to avoid tripping over a blackberry tart.

Gaspar follows you out.

West Street
The wide, dusty street leads west from east, surrounded by sandy buildings. It's wide, because it is one of the major routes through the city - a spoke, if you like, from the centre to the outskirts. And it's dusty due to its frequent use by travellers and merchants, most of whom employ camels, horses or personal chariots. A beginning traveller's store lies to the south.

Melchior is here, astride Deuter the camel.
Gaspar stands here, hands on hips.

Numbers is waiting for you obediently.

> get on numbers
"Before you mount your camel, Balthasar, it would be advisable to store your purchases in the containers that hang from the camels," says Melchior. "It will be easier that way."

> i
You are carrying:
a ceramic bowl
a clay tablet
a blue towel
an oil lamp (providing light)
your Parthian attire (being worn)

> put all in bag
ceramic bowl: Done.
clay tablet: Done.
blue towel: There is not enough room in the big bag for a blue towel.
oil lamp: Done.
large brown sack: You need to be holding the large brown sack before you can put it into something else.
little can: You need to be holding the little can before you can put it into something else.
grey pouch: You need to be holding the grey pouch before you can put it into something else.
large red sack: You need to be holding the large red sack before you can put it into something else.
wicker basket: That won't fit!

> i
You are carrying:
a blue towel
your Parthian attire (being worn)

> x sacks
These are containers for hanging over the camels, used to transport things across the desert. Don't worry - the camels are used to it.

The large brown sack is empty.
The little can is empty.
The grey pouch is empty.
The large red sack is empty.
The big bag still has some space.
The wicker basket is empty.

> put towel in basket
You try squashing the thing in and turning it at different angles, but the blue towel simply won't fit inside the wicker basket.

> put towel in big bag
That won't fit!

> drop towel
Dropped.

> e

Ground Level
It is darker here, in the shadow of the great palace that towers above you. A long set of steps lead up to the terrace that protrudes from its side. Wide, dusty streets lie west and south.

> s
Melchior calls out to you. "That's not the right way." Realising, you stop in your tracks. [If you wanted to go up to the terrace, GO UP.]

> w
"Get on your camel, Balthasar!" calls Gaspar helpfully.

> get on camel
You can't see any such thing.

> w
"Get on your camel, Balthasar!" calls Gaspar helpfully.

> l

Ground Level
It is darker here, in the shadow of the great palace that towers above you. A long set of steps lead up to the terrace that protrudes from its side. Wide, dusty streets lie west and south.

> get on camel
You can't see any such thing.

> i
You are carrying:
your Parthian attire (being worn)

> w
"Get on your camel, Balthasar!" calls Gaspar helpfully.

> u

Lower Terrace
This lower terrace is slightly smaller and more rectangular than the one above. It serves as a rest-stop halfway up (and halfway down, of course) the side of the palace. Steps lead east, to the upper terrace, and north, to ground level below.

> d

Ground Level
It is darker here, in the shadow of the great palace that towers above you. A long set of steps lead up to the terrace that protrudes from its side. Wide, dusty streets lie west and south.

I think there's a bug here, I don't know where the camel is now.

> w
"Get on your camel, Balthasar!" calls Gaspar helpfully.

> purloin camel
That's not a verb I recognise.

> restore
Ok.

> l

Ground Level
It is darker here, in the shadow of the great palace that towers above you. A long set of steps lead up to the terrace that protrudes from its side. Wide, dusty streets lie west and south.

"What are the names of the camels?"

"I ride Deuter," Melchior answers. "Gaspar, you have Job. And that leaves Numbers, for Balthasar."

> get on numbers
(getting into the stables)

You heave yourself onto the camel, who grunts receptively.

"Onward then!" shouts Gaspar. "To Judea!"

> w
You ride out of the stables.

Gaspar and Melchior ride off to the west.

> w

West Street (on Numbers)
The wide, dusty street leads west from east, surrounded by sandy buildings. It's wide, because it is one of the major routes through the city - a spoke, if you like, from the centre to the outskirts. And it's dusty due to its frequent use by travellers and merchants, most of whom employ camels, horses or personal chariots. A beginning traveller's store lies to the south.

"We'll follow your lead from now on," says Gaspar. "You go, and we'll follow."

"But only if you go the right way," Melchior adds.

Melchior is here, astride Deuter the camel.
Gaspar is here, sitting atop Job the camel.

> s
You won't fit through the entrance on your camel.

> w
You are about to ride off, but you notice that Melchior is staring intently at the star.

"It's Regulus," he says. "It has a declination of 20 degrees and 12 minutes. Do not forget that figure! We'll need it to help us navigate."

Further along the West Street (on Numbers)
The wide, dusty street curves around from the east to the northwest. Sandy buildings lie on either side.

But surely they see Regulus every night? I don't see how an ordinary star can lead us anywhere.

> x star
It is the star called Regulus, which apparently marks the birthplace of a baby boy. Said boy will reputedly come to great prominence in the near future. The star is currently shining very brightly in the west.

> nw
You ride away from the city until you reach its outer walls.

City Limits (on Numbers)
The city comes to an abrupt stop here - the desert separated from civilisation by these strong, high walls.

> i
You are carrying:
your Parthian attire (being worn)

> se
"Don't go back now, Balthasar!" calls Gaspar. "Whatever you've forgotten, I'm sure it won't put things into an unwinnable state."

> w
The gates are shut, and it seems that the guardsmen have retired for the night.

> x gates
A large wooden gate lies in the city wall to the west.

> open gates
You reach out to open the city walls but fall off the camel trying! You pick yourself up and try again on your feet.

You remove the bar from the gate and heave it open.

"Thanks, Balthy!" calls Gaspar.

[Your score has just gone up by one point.]

> w
You had best take the camel.

> get on camel
(Numbers)
You heave yourself onto the camel, who grunts receptively.

> w
With the gates open, you ride through into the desert night beyond.

...And the gates close behind you with a "ker-lang!"

There was an image here. Another game that should have told me that at the start, or dealt with it properly.

---

Press SPACE to continue

You have been braving the territory of the Roman Empire for many days, heading for Jerusalem, where you should be able to find out about the baby king. Eventually, you see a small settlement appear on the horizon.

"A town!" cries Gaspar eagerly. "Look, over there!"

"Good," says Melchior. "We will rest there for the night, and in the morning, if the merchandise of this long-awaited town is sufficient, Balthasar will find gifts for the baby boy, one for each of us."

Bedroom
This room is in stark contrast to the luxury you are accustomed to back home. It is dark - with only one small window facing north, and there is a simple flat bed against the east wall. The room is stony, but reasonably warm. Sounds of the town outside stream through the window. It is a new day in Roman-occupied Iudaea...

Can you have a "vista" of sounds and smells? I suppose you can say it's metaphorically a vista, but it seems dubious to me.

> look through window
The window affords you an uninteresting view of an adjacent building's sandy wall, but a less than uninteresting vista of sounds and smells that emanate from the town outside.

> listen
Sounds of the town outside drift through the window.

> look under bed
Dreading the old corpse-under-the-bed trick, you have a quick look. No, definitely nothing there.

> s
You open the door.

Hallway
The hallway is even darker than your room, being surrounded on all sides by other rooms of the inn. It is lit by oil lamps hanging from the walls. Some natural light does also emanate from a staircase to the south. Gaspar's room is northwest of here; Melchior's, northeast. Your room is straight north.

Gaspar emerges from his room to the northwest. "Here," he says. "Some money you can use, to get the gifts." He gives you a handful of coins.

"There're seventeen shekels there, but in these parts, it should go a long way. You'll need to get it exchanged into the local currency first; you'll have to find somewhere where you can do that. But don't trust their exchange rate; the Babylonian shekel is worth more than their denarius. Remember that."

"By the way, Old Melchior is still in his room," he says, gesturing towards the room to the north-east. "He's still compiling his astronomical observations of the journey so far. But good luck finding some suitable gifts. Come and see me when you have one." He disappears back inside his room.

> ne
You rap thrice on the door.

"I am busy. Please talk to Gaspar!" comes the voice of Melchior.

> nw
You knock on the door. After two and thirty sixtieths of a second, the door swings open and Gaspar emerges from within.

"Yes?" he says. "What is it?"

"Oh, by the way," Gaspar says. "I don't suppose you'd get me something to eat would you? And Melchior could probably do with something too. If you can manage it, I'll just have a sandwich - with pomegranate jam of course. And Melchior will have a honey sandwich. Thanks, but don't go to any trouble."

> s
You carefully come down the narrow steps, and bang your head on the overhang on your descent.

Inn Lobby
It is a reasonably spacious, deserted lobby, with a stone counter and little else. A square window looks upon the street outside, and the door is open, ready for you to begin your exploration.

On the stone counter is a general Latin grammar cue card.

> undo
Hallway
[Previous turn undone.]

> d
You carefully come down the narrow steps, and bang your head on the overhang on your descent.

Inn Lobby
It is a reasonably spacious, deserted lobby, with a stone counter and little else. A square window looks upon the street outside, and the door is open, ready for you to begin your exploration.

On the stone counter is a general Latin grammar cue card.

> x card
(The card itself is written in Latin, which you can understand, but you wouldn't be at all confident with grammatical accuracy on your own.)

It's a short guide to Latin grammar. It reads:

How to Decline a Latin Noun - if you're in a Hurry. Part 1/6.

Latin noun declension is a complex affair which demands serious study from subjects of the Empire. However, to aid communication, we have produced this series of cue cards to help you decline nouns in a hurry and be correct most of the time. Declension is the process of adding various endings to words to reflect their role in a sentence.

If you want to use adjectives with your nouns, they need to be declined too, but we suggest using the exact same rules on the adjectives if you need to save time. An example of this is "I thank the mightyos Romanos."

> get it
Taken.

[Your score has just gone up by one point.]

> read part 2
I only understood you as far as wanting to read the general Latin grammar cue card.

> read it
It's a short guide to Latin grammar. It reads:

How to Decline a Latin Noun - if you're in a Hurry. Part 1/6.

Latin noun declension is a complex affair which demands serious study from subjects of the Empire. However, to aid communication, we have produced this series of cue cards to help you decline nouns in a hurry and be correct most of the time. Declension is the process of adding various endings to words to reflect their role in a sentence.

If you want to use adjectives with your nouns, they need to be declined too, but we suggest using the exact same rules on the adjectives if you need to save time. An example of this is "I thank the mightyos Romanos."

> g
It's a short guide to Latin grammar. It reads:

How to Decline a Latin Noun - if you're in a Hurry. Part 1/6.

Latin noun declension is a complex affair which demands serious study from subjects of the Empire. However, to aid communication, we have produced this series of cue cards to help you decline nouns in a hurry and be correct most of the time. Declension is the process of adding various endings to words to reflect their role in a sentence.

If you want to use adjectives with your nouns, they need to be declined too, but we suggest using the exact same rules on the adjectives if you need to save time. An example of this is "I thank the mightyos Romanos."

> look up part 2 in card
You discover nothing of interest in the general Latin grammar cue card.

> i
You are carrying:
a general Latin grammar cue card
seventeen Babylonian shekels
your Parthian attire (being worn)

> n
You make your way up the narrow steps to the corridor above.

Hallway
The hallway is even darker than your room, being surrounded on all sides by other rooms of the inn. It is lit by oil lamps hanging from the walls. Some natural light does also emanate from a staircase to the south. Gaspar's room is northwest of here; Melchior's, northeast. Your room is straight north.

> undo
Inn Lobby
[Previous turn undone.]

> d
The ground is particularly solid these days.

> w

North Street
As you step out into the street, your senses are attacked with all the sounds, smells and sights - all these people going about their daily lives, their speech sounding different, their clothes, the livestock that some people are bringing through every so often. You're quite tempted to TALK TO SOMEONE - though you know you'll have to be reticent about discussing your origins, in case it attracts too much attention.

You stand in the northern street of this Roman-controlled town. There is an inn to the east, where you are staying; the camels are currently living in a stable to the north-east. Further north is a synagogue, and the town square is south of here.

> s

Town Square
The town square sports a central statue that has a circular stone base. Around it, straight roads lead off in all four cardinal directions, with a signpost near the statue to show the ways: a north-pointing sign reads "Synagogue"; the east-pointing component reads "The Roman Shop"; the west-pointing sign reads "Out of Town" and the south-pointing one says "Market".

A Roman guard patrols the area, whistling to himself.

> talk to guard
"You know, you do not look as though you are from around here," says the guard, in a stilted Aramaic. "Are you from Parthia by any chance?"

> talk to guard
"Well? Are you from Parthia or not?"

> say yes
"Ha ha," he says. "I bet you are sore that we Romans gained control of Iudaea before you? Long live the Roman Empire!" His helmet promptly falls over his face and he swings it back up onto his crown.

"Regardless," he continues, "watch your back! Most people - most Romans, anyway - will not take kindly to your presence."
The guard gives you a funny look.

> e

East Street
The Eastern Street is a straight, wide road that seems unusually smooth: no pot-holes or macroscopic pebbles to trip over. Perhaps the Romans have cleared it recently. An archway leads to some sort of Roman shop to the southeast, and the street opens out to a courtyard further east.

> e

East Quarter
A well - the town well no less - stands to the side of this small, walled courtyard. The dappled shade provided by a large tree would make this area pleasant for lunches on a Sunday afternoon. A street leads west towards the centre of town.

A young couple walks past you, conversing softly in a barely-recognisable dialect, before disappearing into the throng of the rest of the townspeople.

> x well
The well has a simple cylindrical wall of haphazardly composited brick. There is a tiled shelter above it, under which is a taut rope. There is also a handle to crank the rope up and down.

> turn handle
You crank the rope up to the top. There is a metal pail on the other end of the rope.

> x pail
Just a run-of-the-mill, utilitarian pail. Can hold any number of liquids.

> turn handle
You lower the metal pail into the well.

> turn handle
You crank the rope up to the top. There is a metal pail on the other end of the rope.

> x pail
Just a run-of-the-mill, utilitarian pail. Can hold any number of liquids.

> look in it
You discover that there were five Jewish shekels and an ablative case cue card in the pail, which you take.

[Your score has just gone up by one point.]

> i
You are carrying:
five Jewish shekels
seventeen Babylonian shekels
your Parthian attire (being worn)
two Latin grammar cue cards:
an ablative case cue card
a general Latin grammar cue card

> save
Ok.

> x ablative
It's a short guide to Latin grammar. It reads:

How to Decline a Latin Noun - if you're in a Hurry. Part 5/6: The Ablative.

The ablative case is used for motion away from something. To form it in a hurry, add 'e' or 'a' to a noun if it is singular, or 'ibus' if it is plural. The ablative is also used with a number of prepositions, including 'with'. "My friend came out of the shopa with her sistera" illustrates both of these usages.

> w

East Street
The Eastern Street is a straight, wide road that seems unusually smooth: no pot-holes or macroscopic pebbles to trip over. Perhaps the Romans have cleared it recently. An archway leads to some sort of Roman shop to the southeast, and the street opens out to a courtyard further east.

> se
You head into the shop through the archway.

Roman Shop
It's a smallish shop, dimly lit, with the bust of the Roman emperor on the left, and straight ahead, a single stone counter, behind which stands an assistant. Hanging from the walls are a plaque, a placard, a poster and a notice, and from the rafters above you comes the smell of woodshavings. The arched doorway leads northwest.

On the counter are a little brown bag (which is empty) and a dative case cue card.

You can see a curly-haired man here and a stern-faced woman potters nearby.

"Salve! Salve!" calls the assistant. "Here is informatico given, taxes taken, monetas exchanged et more!"

> get dative
"That isa the last one," says the assistant as you take the card. "Those are very popular, you know!"

[Your score has just gone up by one point.]

> x it
It's a short guide to Latin grammar. It reads:

How to Decline a Latin Noun - if you're in a Hurry. Part 3/6: The Dative.

In Latin, the dative case is used for the recipients of something, such as the person to whom you are giving an object. To form the dative of a noun in a hurry, just add 'o' to the end if it is a single item, or 'ibus' if it is plural. For example, "I pay my taxos to the Romanibus".

> ask assistant about money
"Refer to the plaquea if you need to inform yourself of our coinage and denominations. To exchange currencyum foreignum, simplemente place it in the baga provideda and then ask that I exchange it."

> x plaque
You peruse the plaque:

"Please know and use the currencyum Romanum:
II dupondii = I sestertius
II sestertii = I quinarius argenteus
IV sestertii = I denarius
XXV denarii = I aureus = II quinarii aurei."

The stern-faced woman darts to the northwest.

> i
You are carrying:
five Jewish shekels
seventeen Babylonian shekels
your Parthian attire (being worn)
three Latin grammar cue cards:
a dative case cue card
an ablative case cue card
a general Latin grammar cue card

The curly-haired man darts to the northwest.

> put babylonian shekels in bag
You put the Babylonian shekels into the little brown bag.

> man, exchange money
"So, you desiras to exchange thesa shekelos por Romanos monetas..." says the assistant, taking up the bag. "Right... Leta me seea..."

He turns to a brass set of scales behind him and drops your money into the right-hand basket. Then he successively adds small coins to the left-hand basket, until the scales are balanced. After this, he does a quick calculation on an abacus and turns around, beaming at you.

"You willas get 13 denarii and 2 sestertii from that! That's after I've taken off the feeum standardum administrativatum. Wouldas you lika to do the exchangum?"

An alarm bell rings in your head. You aren't getting enough Roman money for your shekels. Gaspar said to avoid this trap. You shake your head and make a polite excuse, at which the assistant merely shrugs and hands you back your shekels.

> l

Roman Shop
It's a smallish shop, dimly lit, with the bust of the Roman emperor on the left, and straight ahead, a single stone counter, behind which stands an assistant. Hanging from the walls are a plaque, a placard, a poster and a notice, and from the rafters above you comes the smell of woodshavings. The arched doorway leads northwest.

On the counter is a little brown bag (which is empty).

> x placard
You peruse the placard:

"Please know and use the Romanos lengthsos:
I palm = IV digits
I foot = IV palms
II cubits = III feet
II steps = V feet
I pace = II steps
I perch = II paces
I mile = L perches."

> x poster
You peruse the poster:

"Please know and use the Romanos liquidos measuresos:
I dose = IV spoonfuls
I sester = XII doses
I congius = VI sesters
I jar = VIII congii = I cubic foot."

> x notice
You peruse the notice.

"Please know and use the Romanos numeralsos:
V = IIIII
X = VV
L = XXXXX
C = LL
D = CCCCC
M = DD."

> x rafters
They're just wooden beams keeping the building together.

"Actually, there's more of interest up there than it looks," says the assistant when he sees you looking.

> search rafters
You can't see what's on them from down here.

> u
Your robes flap wildly as you leap into the air. What a thrill.

> l

Roman Shop
It's a smallish shop, dimly lit, with the bust of the Roman emperor on the left, and straight ahead, a single stone counter, behind which stands an assistant. Hanging from the walls are a plaque, a placard, a poster and a notice, and from the rafters above you comes the smell of woodshavings. The arched doorway leads northwest.

On the counter is a little brown bag (which is empty).

> stand on counter
You start to climb over the counter, but the Roman assistant pushes you back. "There isa only room for one behind here!"

> climb on rafters
Your agility is not suited to such acrobatics.

> x rafters
Just structural support.

"No," says the assistant. "There's more up there than meets the eye."

> smell
You can smell woodshavings from the rafters above.

> smell rafters
You can smell woodshavings.

> i
You are carrying:
seventeen Babylonian shekels
five Jewish shekels
your Parthian attire (being worn)
three Latin grammar cue cards:
a dative case cue card
an ablative case cue card
a general Latin grammar cue card

> nw
You duck through the archway and out of the shop.

East Street
The Eastern Street is a straight, wide road that seems unusually smooth: no pot-holes or macroscopic pebbles to trip over. Perhaps the Romans have cleared it recently. An archway leads to some sort of Roman shop to the southeast, and the street opens out to a courtyard further east.

A sheep suddenly runs past you before merging in with the other townspeople.

> w

Town Square
The town square sports a central statue that has a circular stone base. Around it, straight roads lead off in all four cardinal directions, with a signpost near the statue to show the ways: a north-pointing sign reads "Synagogue"; the east-pointing component reads "The Roman Shop"; the west-pointing sign reads "Out of Town" and the south-pointing one says "Market".

A Roman guard patrols the area, whistling to himself.

A hyperactive child runs past you and vanishes amongst the other townspeople.

> s

Town Market
The market is thronging with people going about their daily business. You can see a stall selling musical instruments to the south-east, and one selling foodstuffs to the south; to the south-west you see some spades, shovels and forks propped up against a stall. There is also an interesting-looking stall to the east. The town centre to the north, and the pawn broker's to the west, may offer solace for the hard up.

A wandering trader is also here.

> talk to trader
"If you have any frankincense to sell me, you will be rewarded gold of its purest form!"

> ask trader about money
The merchant gives a highly noncommittal shrug. "Who knows?"

> e

At the Novelty Stall
It's hard to tell whether or not this is a novelty stall or a stall that sells novelties - it's both really. The stall is L-shaped, but with an intricate pattern carved out of it at the corner. There are pretty purple banners hung between posts that support the colourful silk roof, and there are also flags atop the posts. The items for sale are highly eclectic: there's a big abacus, some frankincense, an ornate jar, a wooden camel ornament, a bell and an accusative case cue card.

"Good afternoon, sir," says the stallholder with a cheery smile. "What a fine day it is today."

> buy frankicense
That's not for sale.

> get frankicense
You can't see any such thing.

> buy frankincense
You don't have any Roman coinage, so you cannot buy anything.

> ask stallholder about frankincense
"Fresh in!" she says with a sniff. "Fresh from the Arab traders that came this afternoon!"

> x pattern

At the Novelty Stall of Novel Novelties
It's hard to tell whether or not this is a novelty stall or a stall that sells novelties - it's both really. The stall is L-shaped, but with an intricate pattern carved out of it at the corner. There are pretty purple banners hung between posts that support the colourful silk roof, and there are also flags atop the posts. The items for sale are highly eclectic: there's a big abacus, some frankincense, an ornate jar, a wooden camel ornament, a bell and an accusative case cue card.

> x banners
The banners are pretty and pink, and lend the novelty stall a novelty appearance to match.

"real integers"?

> x abacus
The abacus is a premier Babylonian invention that facilitates the arithmetic computation of real integers - which is to say, you can do sums with it. Addition, subtraction, multiplication and division are staple features of arithmetic, all of which the abacus can cope with, and so it is extremely handy for the mathematicians and astronomers of Babylon.

[To do a calculation on the abacus:

DO 42 PLUS 9 or ADD 42 to 9
DO 42 MINUS 9 or SUBTRACT 9 from 42
DO 42 TIMES 9 or MULTIPLY 42 by 9
DO 42 DIVIDE 9 or DIVIDE 42 by 9.

You can do calculations with degrees and minutes too by using the following notation:

DO 32:48 PLUS 11:25

The answer to that is 44:13, i.e. 44 degrees and 13 minutes. You must always use the colon even if the minutes are 0. You can also use the symbols +, -, * and / instead of the words, but you still need the spaces.]

> save
Ok.

> do 2 plus 2
If you have a suitable counting device, you can use that. Or you could just use your head!

> get abacus
"Yes, do take a look," says the novelty woman.
Taken.

> do 2 plus 2
You do a quick calculation on the abacus and it tells you that the answer is 4.

Hah, it's only a 32-bit abacus.

Hah, Glulxe fatal error! If I crash the interpreter it means I win by default!

It's lucky I saved before I tried these dangerous abacus operations.

> do 65536 times 65536
You do the calculation on the abacus and it tells you that the answer is 0.

> do 1 divide 0
You do the calculation on the abacus and it tells you that the answer is

> restore
Ok.

> l

At the Stall of Novelties
It's hard to tell whether or not this is a novelty stall or a stall that sells novelties - it's both really. The stall is L-shaped, but with an intricate pattern carved out of it at the corner. There are pretty purple banners hung between posts that support the colourful silk roof, and there are also flags atop the posts. The items for sale are highly eclectic: there's a big abacus, some frankincense, an ornate jar, a wooden camel ornament, a bell and an accusative case cue card.

It doesn't update the compass rose after a restore either.

> get accusative
"You can have that for nothing," says the woman. "A customer left it here ages ago and hasn't come to get it."

[Your score has just gone up by one point.]

> read it
It's a short guide to Latin grammar. It reads:

How to Decline a Latin Noun - if you're in a Hurry. Part 2/6: The Accusative.

For many actions, there is a person performing the action and an object on which they are performing it. In Latin, the object of the action (the 'accused') must be in a form called the accusative case. If you are in a hurry, you should make this form by adding 'um' to a noun if it is singular, or 'os' if it is plural. For example, "The Romans built the templeum."

> score
You have so far scored 5 out of a possible 42, in 97 turns. You have achieved the rank of Aspiring Court Jester.

> nw

Town Market
The market is thronging with people going about their daily business. You can see a stall selling musical instruments to the south-east, and one selling foodstuffs to the south; to the south-west you see some spades, shovels and forks propped up against a stall. There is also an interesting-looking stall to the east. The town centre to the north, and the pawn broker's to the west, may offer solace for the hard up.

"Will exchange pure gold for frankincense!" shouts the plump merchant, who is pacing the market with large strides.

> se

At the Music Stall
The wooden, canopied stall holds a range of musical instruments, and is headed by a pleasant-looking man with a moustache. He's selling a trumpet, a shofar, a zither and a shepherd's pipe. There is also, interestingly, a parrot, who is perched on the stall.

"Hello," says the music man. "Do browse at your leisure."

"Going southeast!" squawks the parrot.

> talk to parrot
"The shepherd's pipe is over-priced! The shepherd's pipe is over-priced!"

> g
"The zither is over-priced! The zither is over-priced!"

> g
"Who needs music? Who needs music?"

> g
"Don't listen to the music man!"

> g
"The trumpet is over-priced! The trumpet is over-priced!"

> g
"The zither is over-priced! The zither is over-priced!"

> ask parrot about star
The parrot doesn't seem to understand.

> ask parrot about alex
The parrot doesn't seem to understand.

> nw

Town Market
The market is thronging with people going about their daily business. You can see a stall selling musical instruments to the south-east, and one selling foodstuffs to the south; to the south-west you see some spades, shovels and forks propped up against a stall. There is also an interesting-looking stall to the east. The town centre to the north, and the pawn broker's to the west, may offer solace for the hard up.

A wandering trader is also here.

> s

At the Food Stall
What delectable delights fill this fine food stall! There are a flask of milk, a loaf of bread, a fig pot, a box of pomegranates, some honey, a juicy melon and a handful of olives.

"Ach, more customers," mutters the stallholder. "Never get that delivery made at this rate."

You can see a man in a dark grey gown here and you can also see a long-haired man here. You can also see a middle-aged man here.

> talk to stallholder
"Well? Can you possibly resist this fresh food?"

> buy pomegranates
You don't have any Roman coinage, so you cannot buy anything.

> n

Town Market
The market is thronging with people going about their daily business. You can see a stall selling musical instruments to the south-east, and one selling foodstuffs to the south; to the south-west you see some spades, shovels and forks propped up against a stall. There is also an interesting-looking stall to the east. The town centre to the north, and the pawn broker's to the west, may offer solace for the hard up.

The middle-aged man arrives.

"Will exchange pure gold for frankincense!" shouts the plump merchant, who is pacing the market with large strides.

> sw

At the Tools Stall
The thin man here is selling a variety of tools. Propped up against the stall are a shovel, a spade and a fork. On the stall itself are a scimitar, a hammer and a long blade.

The tool man looks up at you as you arrive.

A tall man is here.

> n
"Do come again," says the tool man.

Town Market
The market is thronging with people going about their daily business. You can see a stall selling musical instruments to the south-east, and one selling foodstuffs to the south; to the south-west you see some spades, shovels and forks propped up against a stall. There is also an interesting-looking stall to the east. The town centre to the north, and the pawn broker's to the west, may offer solace for the hard up.

The long-haired man arrives. Meanwhile, the man in a dark grey gown runs to the north.

A wandering trader is also here.

> w

Pawn Shop
The pawn broker's is a small square shop, absolutely covered in pieces of paper that are pinned up on the walls, and even, remarkably, the ceiling. The pawn broker himself is standing behind a pane of glass, tapping his fingers impatiently on the counter in front of him.

"That's it - trail in the dirt from outside!" says the pawn broker as you enter. You check your feet, but can't see much in the way of dirt.

A large-faced man is here.

> talk to pawnbroker
You can't see any such thing.

> talk to pawn broker
"Just put your goods on the counter and I will assess their value."

> i
You are carrying:
seventeen Babylonian shekels
five Jewish shekels
your Parthian attire (being worn)
four Latin grammar cue cards:
an accusative case cue card
a dative case cue card
an ablative case cue card
a general Latin grammar cue card

> put babylonian shekels on counter
You put the Babylonian shekels onto the counter.

The large-faced man darts to the east.

> z
The proprietor points to a sign on the wall, which says "Customers are implored not to wait around in this shop."

"Didn't you read the sign? No loitering!"

> talk to pawn broker
"There is no time to talk! Just give your goods to me and I will pay you for them - if you have anything of any worth in the first place, of course."

> ask broker about shekels
The proprietor points to a sign on the wall, which says "Under no circumstances should any customer ask about money whilst in the shop."

> get shekels
You pick up all the Babylonian shekels from the counter.
You already have all the Jewish shekels in this area.

The tall man arrives.

> x paper
The proprietor points to a sign on the wall, which says "It is against the rules to examine whilst on the premises."

> e
You can't get out fast enough!

Town Market
The market is thronging with people going about their daily business. You can see a stall selling musical instruments to the south-east, and one selling foodstuffs to the south; to the south-west you see some spades, shovels and forks propped up against a stall. There is also an interesting-looking stall to the east. The town centre to the north, and the pawn broker's to the west, may offer solace for the hard up.

"Will exchange pure gold for frankincense!" shouts the plump merchant, who is pacing the market with large strides.

> n

Town Square
The town square sports a central statue that has a circular stone base. Around it, straight roads lead off in all four cardinal directions, with a signpost near the statue to show the ways: a north-pointing sign reads "Synagogue"; the east-pointing component reads "The Roman Shop"; the west-pointing sign reads "Out of Town" and the south-pointing one says "Market".

A Roman guard patrols the area, whistling to himself.

The long-haired man walks off to the east.

> w

West Street
As this street continues west, the homes and other buildings thin out, until they merge into the desert landscape beyond. The town centre is east of here.

> w
You stroll for a while down the western path, but not finding anything of interest, and not having finished your business in town, you return.

> e

Town Square
The town square sports a central statue that has a circular stone base. Around it, straight roads lead off in all four cardinal directions, with a signpost near the statue to show the ways: a north-pointing sign reads "Synagogue"; the east-pointing component reads "The Roman Shop"; the west-pointing sign reads "Out of Town" and the south-pointing one says "Market".

A Roman guard patrols the area, whistling to himself.

The tall man arrives.

> n

North Street
You stand in the northern street of this Roman-controlled town. There is an inn to the east, where you are staying; the camels are currently living in a stable to the north-east. Further north is a synagogue, and the town square is south of here.

> ne

Inn Stables
These are the stables, provided by the inn, where you keep your steeds. Job and Deuter are sat here, resting, and Numbers is standing up, just stretching his legs it would seem. The exit is south-west.

Numbers is waiting for you obediently.

> sw

North Street
You stand in the northern street of this Roman-controlled town. There is an inn to the east, where you are staying; the camels are currently living in a stable to the north-east. Further north is a synagogue, and the town square is south of here.

The large-faced man goes into the synagogue to the north.

> n

Synagogue
You are standing at the back of a large synagogue that is draped in dark green hangings. The exit lies at the south end of a north-south aisle that leads through the pews. At the centre of the synagogue, a wizened priest addresses a less-than-substantial congregation in dull, heavy tones. An arched wooden door leads west from here.

> x priest
The Jewish priest talks to the congregation from a raised area in the centre of the synagogue. He is an old man, with just wisps of grey hair remaining, but he still looks active and authoritative, with the traditional priestly gown that he is wearing, and with a voice that resonates through the whole building.

From behind the lectern comes a second priest, more elaborately dressed, who walks purposefully down the aisle and pushes himself through a door to the west, removing the sash around his waist at the same time.

"And the moral is: NEVER doff thy wardrobe nor thy neighbour's sheep nor thy nasal cavities when thy intention is not wholesome," continues the priest at length.

> x hangings
The hangings are a deep green colour.

"Behold! For The Mother spake unto the shepherds of the Holy Place, and They were terrified."

> z
Time passes.

"The Lord said unto the shepherds of the land, and all were afraid."

> n
You step quietly to the centre of the synagogue.

Centre of Synagogue
You are standing in the centre of the synagogue. The kohen is not far from you, addressing the congregation from a closed-off lectern. Pews surround a north-south aisle. You can also see a vase of myrrh, set on an altar.

Sitting on the altar is a vase of myrrh.

"The Mother spake unto The Lord, and thus it was so," continues the priest at length.

> get myrrh
The priest holds out his arm. "Please leave that," he says to you quietly. "We need that for funereal purposes."

"For The Father spake unto The Mother, and all were afraid."

> n

Synagogue
You are standing at the front of a large synagogue that is draped in dark green hangings. The exit lies at the south end of a north-south aisle that leads through the pews.

"And lo! The Lord spake verily to the shepherds which lived there and about, and it was good," the priest vociferates.

> x hangings
The hangings are a deep green colour.

"Do not be angry at the Romans, for it will only bring you greater unrest. Remember that their wrong deeds are perpetrated under delusion," the priest continues at length.

> s
You traipse back down the aisle.

Centre of Synagogue
You are standing in the centre of the synagogue. The kohen is not far from you, addressing the congregation from a closed-off lectern. Pews surround a north-south aisle. You can also see a vase of myrrh, set on an altar.

Sitting on the altar is a vase of myrrh.

"And this is the point: Never take a perfume nor thy cow nor thy neighbour's when thy intention is not wholesome."

> s
You traipse back down the aisle.

Synagogue
You are standing at the back of a large synagogue that is draped in dark green hangings. The exit lies at the south end of a north-south aisle that leads through the pews. At the centre of the synagogue, a wizened priest addresses a less-than-substantial congregation in dull, heavy tones. An arched wooden door leads west from here.

> w
The arched door creaks open and you tiptoe through.

Vestry
It's a small rectangular room containing a wardrobe and a large oak table. Its exit is east. The priest that came in here has evidently now left... but you're not sure where he went. Some counters line one corner of the room and a rope is hanging down from the ceiling just next to the wardrobe. Here, you take it, is where the priests change clothes.

Lying innocently on the table is an empty myrrh vessel.

On the vestry counters are a stylus and a clay tablet.

> save
Ok.

> x rope
A thick rope is hanging through the ceiling to one side of the wardrobe.

> climb rope
You climb up the rope and hit your head on the ceiling, which sends you hurtling to the floor. Obviously hearing the noise, the priest storms in. You are turfed out.

Synagogue
You are standing at the back of a large synagogue that is draped in dark green hangings. The exit lies at the south end of a north-south aisle that leads through the pews. At the centre of the synagogue, a wizened priest addresses a less-than-substantial congregation in dull, heavy tones. An arched wooden door leads west from here.

A plump old lady comes into the synagogue and takes a seat in the west block of pews.

"And the point I would like to make to you all is: Always doff your door and thy cow with conviction."

> undo
Vestry
[Previous turn undone.]

> pull rope
You pull the rope, but nothing happens.

> open wardrobe
You open the vestry wardrobe, revealing some priestly vestments, a lavish apron and a High Priest's turban.

> look under table
Underneath the vestry table is a voucher.

> get voucher
Taken.

> x it
It's a voucher for 1 point.

> use it
You'll have to be more specific.

> eat it
Eat the voucher? Well you can't be that hungry, surely?

> get vestments
Taken.

> wear vestments
You put on the priestly vestments.

> wear apron
(first taking the lavish apron)
You put the apron and breastplate over the top of the priestly vestments. You're feeling quite warm now!

> wear turban
(first taking the High Priest's turban)
You put on the High Priest's turban.

> save
Ok.

> get empty vessel
Taken.

> e
The vestry door creaks as you go through, but nobody seems to notice you.

Synagogue
You are standing at the back of a large synagogue that is draped in dark green hangings. The exit lies at the south end of a north-south aisle that leads through the pews. At the centre of the synagogue, a wizened priest addresses a less-than-substantial congregation in dull, heavy tones. An arched wooden door leads west from here.

> n
You step quietly to the centre of the synagogue.

Centre of Synagogue
You are standing in the centre of the synagogue. The kohen is not far from you, addressing the congregation from a closed-off lectern. Pews surround a north-south aisle. You can also see a vase of myrrh, set on an altar.

Sitting on the altar is a vase of myrrh.

"Lo - For The Lord spake unto The Holy Soul of Galilee, and thereupon it was done," the priest drones on.

> put empty vessel on altar
The priest holds out his arm and glares at you. "No, that vessel is empty," he says.

"I impress upon you: Always try to shut thy groovy sheep and thy bread with conviction," the priest vociferates.

> get vase
Taken.

> s
The priest holds out his arm to restrain you. "There's still some left," he says, meaning the vase of myrrh. "Leave it there, unless you can replace it with fresh."

"Do not unto others what you would not have them do unto you."

> pour myrrh into empty vessel
You transfer the myrrh to the empty myrrh vessel.

"Seek solace in your neighbours, for they are in the same realm of being as you are."

> s
The priest holds out his arm to restrain you. "There's still some left," he says, meaning the vessel of myrrh. "Leave it there, unless you can replace it with fresh."

"And the point I would like to make to you all today is: Always try to lock thy pen and thy cow with conviction in your heart," the priest vociferates.

> i
You are carrying:
a vase
a vessel of myrrh
a High Priest's turban (being worn)
a lavish apron (being worn)
some priestly vestments (being worn)
something inside the pocket
a voucher
seventeen Babylonian shekels
five Jewish shekels
your Parthian attire (being worn)
four Latin grammar cue cards:
an accusative case cue card
a dative case cue card
an ablative case cue card
a general Latin grammar cue card

"And lo! The Lord spake verily to The Father in the Village of Mark, and They were terrified," the priest vociferates.

> x something
Inside the vestments you find a genitive case cue card, which you take.

[Your score has just gone up by one point.]

> x genitive
It's a short guide to Latin grammar. It reads:

How to Decline a Latin Noun - if you're in a Hurry. Part 4/6: The Genitive.

The possessor of an object needs the genitive case. To form this in a hurry, add '(n)is' to the noun if it singular, or 'orum' if it is plural. For example, "The Emperoris might is unmatched."

> put myrrh in pocket
You transfer the myrrh to the priestly vestments.

"Remember this: Always count your door and thy neighbour's sheep and thy neighbour's when the way is clear to you," continues the priest at length.

> s
The priest holds out his arm to restrain you. "There's still some left," he says, meaning the priestly vestments. "Leave it there, unless you can replace it with fresh."

"And lo! The Mother said unto The Holy Personage of Men, and so it was ever more," the priest continues at length.

> put myrrh on altar
The priest holds out his arm and glares at you. "Don't put that there," he says.

> put vessel on altar
The priest holds out his arm and glares at you. "No, that vessel is empty," he says.

> i
You are carrying:
a vase
an empty myrrh vessel
a High Priest's turban (being worn)
a lavish apron (being worn)
some priestly vestments (being worn)
some myrrh
a voucher
seventeen Babylonian shekels
five Jewish shekels
your Parthian attire (being worn)
five Latin grammar cue cards:
a genitive case cue card
an accusative case cue card
a dative case cue card
an ablative case cue card
a general Latin grammar cue card

> get myrrh
You can't take it in your hands - it's a powder.

"And lo - The Father spake verily to The Mother, and it was thus spaken," the priest expounds.

> pour myrrh into empty vessel
You transfer the myrrh to the empty myrrh vessel.

> z
Time passes.

"Lo - The Father spake unto The Father of Th'Apostles, and it was spaken," the priest continues at length.

> put vessel in pocket
You put the vessel of myrrh into the priestly vestments.

"Seek solace in your neighbours, for they are in the same realm of being as you are."

> s
The priest holds out his arm to restrain you. "There's still some left," he says, meaning the vessel of myrrh. "Leave it there, unless you can replace it with fresh."

> put vessel on altar
You need to be holding the vessel of myrrh before you can put it on top of something else.

"Do not be angry at the Romans, for it will only bring you greater unrest. Remember that their wrong deeds are perpetrated under delusion," the priest vociferates.

> get vessel
Taken.

"Do not be angry at the Romans, for it will only bring you greater unrest. Remember that their wrong deeds are perpetrated under delusion."

> put vessel on altar
You put the vessel of myrrh on the altar.

"I impress upon you: Never EVER take thy wardrobe nor thy neighbour's sheep without express permission of the publisher," the priest drones on.

> z
You let yourself be carried along the stream of time, wallowing in your sheer existence.

"And this is the point: Never EVER smell a perfume when the spirit of the action is not pure," the priest expounds.

> x altar
There isn't a great deal to say of this simple stone altar, save that it bears a vase of what looks like myrrh...

"And lo - For The Father said unto The Mother, and They were terrified," continues the priest at length.

> i
You are carrying:
a vase
a High Priest's turban (being worn)
a lavish apron (being worn)
some priestly vestments (being worn)
a voucher
seventeen Babylonian shekels
five Jewish shekels
your Parthian attire (being worn)
five Latin grammar cue cards:
a genitive case cue card
an accusative case cue card
a dative case cue card
an ablative case cue card
a general Latin grammar cue card

"I say to you: Never EVER smell thy wardrobe nor thy neighbour's sheep when thy intention is not wholesome," the priest continues at length.

> put vase on altar
You put the vase on the altar.

"And lo - The Mother spake verily to The Lord of Men, and all knew it," the priest continues at length.

> s
You traipse back down the aisle.

Synagogue
You are standing at the back of a large synagogue that is draped in dark green hangings. The exit lies at the south end of a north-south aisle that leads through the pews. At the centre of the synagogue, a wizened priest addresses a less-than-substantial congregation in dull, heavy tones. An arched wooden door leads west from here.

"Remember this: Never EVER lock a perfume nor thy nasal cavities before it hatches," the priest vociferates.

> z
Time passes.

"I impress upon you: Always shut a perfume and thy bread with conviction in your heart."

> z
You let yourself be carried along the stream of time, wallowing in your sheer existence.

"The Mother spake unto the deaf and the lame of the land, and They were terrified," the priest continues at length.

> n
You step quietly to the centre of the synagogue.

Centre of Synagogue
You are standing in the centre of the synagogue. The kohen is not far from you, addressing the congregation from a closed-off lectern. Pews surround a north-south aisle. You can also see a vase of, ahem, myrrh, set on an altar.

Sitting on the altar are a vase and a vessel of myrrh.

"And verily: The Mother laid down the words to all in the vicinity of Men, and so it was ever more," the priest drones on.

> x vase
It's a vase that used to contain myrrh.

> x myrrh
It is the chunky, powdery resin of myrrh - in colour it is a muddy brown, with a brick-red tinge, and it has a distinctive smell. In fact, if it weren't for the smell you would say it looks much like a mound of plain earth. Still, you imagine Melchior would consider it a viable gift for the boy.

> get empty vessel
Taken.

"I impress upon you: Never examine thy groovy sheep nor thy bread without express permission of the publisher," continues the priest at length.

> undo
Centre of Synagogue
[Previous turn undone.]

> get vase
Taken.

A man with a bushy beard gets up from his seat and leaves the synagogue.

"Lo - For The Lord laid down the words to the shepherds, and thus it was so," the priest continues at length.

> d
The ground is particularly solid these days.

"Yea, The Father said unto The Holy Personage, and they replied, Yea," continues the priest at length.

> s
You traipse back down the aisle.

Synagogue
You are standing at the back of a large synagogue that is draped in dark green hangings. The exit lies at the south end of a north-south aisle that leads through the pews. An arched wooden door leads west from here.

A harrassed-looking woman comes into the synagogue and takes a seat in the east block of pews.

"Know this: Always try to doff a perfume and thy goose if you have had that sign," the priest vociferates.

> s
You push open the large arched doors of the synagogue and step into the light of the outdoors.

North Street
You stand in the northern street of this Roman-controlled town. There is an inn to the east, where you are staying; the camels are currently living in a stable to the north-east. Further north is a synagogue, and the town square is south of here.

The parrot from the music stall flies straight overhead, squawking "Going south!"

The man with a bushy beard wanders to the south.

> get earth
You can't see any such thing.

> s

Town Square
The town square sports a central statue that has a circular stone base. Around it, straight roads lead off in all four cardinal directions, with a signpost near the statue to show the ways: a north-pointing sign reads "Synagogue"; the east-pointing component reads "The Roman Shop"; the west-pointing sign reads "Out of Town" and the south-pointing one says "Market".

A Roman guard patrols the area, whistling to himself.

The man with a bushy beard wanders to the east.

> w

West Street
As this street continues west, the homes and other buildings thin out, until they merge into the desert landscape beyond. The town centre is east of here.

> w
You stroll for a while down the western path, but not finding anything of interest, and not having finished your business in town, you return.

> get earth
You can't see any such thing.

> e

Town Square
The town square sports a central statue that has a circular stone base. Around it, straight roads lead off in all four cardinal directions, with a signpost near the statue to show the ways: a north-pointing sign reads "Synagogue"; the east-pointing component reads "The Roman Shop"; the west-pointing sign reads "Out of Town" and the south-pointing one says "Market".

A Roman guard patrols the area, whistling to himself.

> e

East Street
The Eastern Street is a straight, wide road that seems unusually smooth: no pot-holes or macroscopic pebbles to trip over. Perhaps the Romans have cleared it recently. An archway leads to some sort of Roman shop to the southeast, and the street opens out to a courtyard further east.

You can't help but feel lucky that nobody has noticed that you're not the Kohen Gadol.

> x road

East Street
The Eastern Street is a straight, wide road that seems unusually smooth: no pot-holes or macroscopic pebbles to trip over. Perhaps the Romans have cleared it recently. An archway leads to some sort of Roman shop to the southeast, and the street opens out to a courtyard further east.

A hyperactive child runs past you and vanishes amongst the multitude.

> e

East Quarter
A well - the town well no less - stands to the side of this small, walled courtyard. The dappled shade provided by a large tree would make this area pleasant for lunches on a Sunday afternoon. A street leads west towards the centre of town.

> e
That's the way you arrived last night. There's no point going out there now - it's just desert.

> w

East Street
The Eastern Street is a straight, wide road that seems unusually smooth: no pot-holes or macroscopic pebbles to trip over. Perhaps the Romans have cleared it recently. An archway leads to some sort of Roman shop to the southeast, and the street opens out to a courtyard further east.

For a moment, you hear someone in the crowd mention a war.

The man with a bushy beard wanders to the west.

> w

Town Square
The town square sports a central statue that has a circular stone base. Around it, straight roads lead off in all four cardinal directions, with a signpost near the statue to show the ways: a north-pointing sign reads "Synagogue"; the east-pointing component reads "The Roman Shop"; the west-pointing sign reads "Out of Town" and the south-pointing one says "Market".

A Roman guard patrols the area, whistling to himself.

The man with a bushy beard wanders to the north.

> e

East Street
The Eastern Street is a straight, wide road that seems unusually smooth: no pot-holes or macroscopic pebbles to trip over. Perhaps the Romans have cleared it recently. An archway leads to some sort of Roman shop to the southeast, and the street opens out to a courtyard further east.

A group of children runs past you, brushing against your robes and then merging in with the multitude.

> get earth
You can't see any such thing.

> get dirt
You can't see any such thing.

> w

Town Square
The town square sports a central statue that has a circular stone base. Around it, straight roads lead off in all four cardinal directions, with a signpost near the statue to show the ways: a north-pointing sign reads "Synagogue"; the east-pointing component reads "The Roman Shop"; the west-pointing sign reads "Out of Town" and the south-pointing one says "Market".

A Roman guard patrols the area, whistling to himself.

For a moment, you hear someone in the crowd mention one of King Herod's sons.

> s

Town Market
The market is thronging with people going about their daily business. You can see a stall selling musical instruments to the south-east, and one selling foodstuffs to the south; to the south-west you see some spades, shovels and forks propped up against a stall. There is also an interesting-looking stall to the east. The town centre to the north, and the pawn broker's to the west, may offer solace for the hard up.

A wandering trader is also here.

> n

Town Square
The town square sports a central statue that has a circular stone base. Around it, straight roads lead off in all four cardinal directions, with a signpost near the statue to show the ways: a north-pointing sign reads "Synagogue"; the east-pointing component reads "The Roman Shop"; the west-pointing sign reads "Out of Town" and the south-pointing one says "Market".

A Roman guard patrols the area, whistling to himself.

> e

East Street
The Eastern Street is a straight, wide road that seems unusually smooth: no pot-holes or macroscopic pebbles to trip over. Perhaps the Romans have cleared it recently. An archway leads to some sort of Roman shop to the southeast, and the street opens out to a courtyard further east.

> se
You head into the shop through the archway.

Roman Shop
It's a smallish shop, dimly lit, with the bust of the Roman emperor on the left, and straight ahead, a single stone counter, behind which stands an assistant. Hanging from the walls are a plaque, a placard, a poster and a notice, and from the rafters above you comes the smell of woodshavings. The arched doorway leads northwest.

On the counter is a little brown bag (which is empty).

A plump man is here.

> ask man about money
Who do you mean, the plump man or the Roman assistant?

> assistant
"Refer to the plaquea if you need to inform yourself of our coinage and denominations. To exchange currencyum foreignum, simplemente place it in the baga provideda and then ask that I exchange it."

> put jewish shekels in bag
You put the Jewish shekels into the little brown bag.

> assistant, exchange money
The assistant swipes the bag from the counter and is just about to put the coins into the right-hand basket of the scales when he looks at them more closely, and then turns back to you, proclaiming, "These are Jewishes shekeles! I am afraidus that you have missed the deadlineum for converting the oldos monetas into the Romanos monetas. Sorry." He hands you back the money.

The plump man ambles to the northwest.

> put jewish shekels in bag
You put the Jewish shekels into the little brown bag.

> put babylonian shekels in bag
You put the Babylonian shekels into the little brown bag.

> assistant, exchange money
"So, you desiras to exchange thesa shekelos por Romanos monetas..." says the assistant, taking up the bag. "Right... Leta me seea..."

He turns to a brass set of scales behind him and drops your money into the right-hand basket. Then he successively adds small coins to the left-hand basket, until the scales are balanced. After this, he does a quick calculation on an abacus and turns around, beaming at you.

"You willas get 20 denarii and 1 sestertius from that! That's after I've taken off the feeum standardum administrativatum. Wouldas you lika to do the exchangum?"

Recognising that this is a fair conversion, you agree. The assistant hands over your shiny new coinage. Well, it's figuratively shiny at least.

[Your score has just gone up by two points.]

> save
Ok.

> nw
You duck through the archway and out of the shop.

East Street
The Eastern Street is a straight, wide road that seems unusually smooth: no pot-holes or macroscopic pebbles to trip over. Perhaps the Romans have cleared it recently. An archway leads to some sort of Roman shop to the southeast, and the street opens out to a courtyard further east.

A group of people walks past you, chatting about something particularly painful, then merges in with the general crowd.

> w

Town Square
The town square sports a central statue that has a circular stone base. Around it, straight roads lead off in all four cardinal directions, with a signpost near the statue to show the ways: a north-pointing sign reads "Synagogue"; the east-pointing component reads "The Roman Shop"; the west-pointing sign reads "Out of Town" and the south-pointing one says "Market".

A Roman guard patrols the area, whistling to himself.

A hyperactive child runs past you and disappears into the throng of the general hustle and bustle.

> s

Town Market
The market is thronging with people going about their daily business. You can see a stall selling musical instruments to the south-east, and one selling foodstuffs to the south; to the south-west you see some spades, shovels and forks propped up against a stall. There is also an interesting-looking stall to the east. The town centre to the north, and the pawn broker's to the west, may offer solace for the hard up.

A wandering trader is also here.

> e

At the Novelty Stall of Novelties
It's hard to tell whether or not this is a novelty stall or a stall that sells novelties - it's both really. The stall is L-shaped, but with an intricate pattern carved out of it at the corner. There are pretty purple banners hung between posts that support the colourful silk roof, and there are also flags atop the posts. The items for sale are highly eclectic: there's a big abacus, some frankincense, an ornate jar, a wooden camel ornament and a bell.

"Welcome back, sir!" says the cheery stallholder.

> buy frankincense
You pay 12 denarii and pick up the frankincense. "Thank you very much," says the novelty woman.

> save
Ok.

> w
"Enjoy your purchase," says the novelty woman as you leave.

Town Market
The market is thronging with people going about their daily business. You can see a stall selling musical instruments to the south-east, and one selling foodstuffs to the south; to the south-west you see some spades, shovels and forks propped up against a stall. There is also an interesting-looking stall to the east. The town centre to the north, and the pawn broker's to the west, may offer solace for the hard up.

The plump man ambles to the southeast.

A wandering trader is also here.

> give frankincense to trader
"Aha..." says the merchant with wide, glinting eyes. "This is perfect! The dried resin, indeed. I take this, and give you large payment in gold..." You do the exchange. "Good day to you! And thank you."

The merchant heads for the town centre and is away.

[Your score has just gone up by one point.]

> i
You are carrying:
some gold
nine Roman coins:
a sestertius
eight denarii
a vase
a High Priest's turban (being worn)
a lavish apron (being worn)
some priestly vestments (being worn)
a voucher
your Parthian attire (being worn)
five Latin grammar cue cards:
a genitive case cue card
an accusative case cue card
a dative case cue card
an ablative case cue card
a general Latin grammar cue card

> x gold
A quantity of gold...

> e

At the Novelty Novelty Stall
It's hard to tell whether or not this is a novelty stall or a stall that sells novelties - it's both really. The stall is L-shaped, but with an intricate pattern carved out of it at the corner. There are pretty purple banners hung between posts that support the colourful silk roof, and there are also flags atop the posts. The items for sale are highly eclectic: there's a big abacus, an ornate jar, a wooden camel ornament and a bell.

"Welcome back, sir!" says the cheery stallholder.

> buy frankincense
That's not for sale.

> w
"Are you sure you don't want a big abacus?" the seller calls as you walk away.

Town Market
The market is thronging with people going about their daily business. You can see a stall selling musical instruments to the south-east, and one selling foodstuffs to the south; to the south-west you see some spades, shovels and forks propped up against a stall. There is also an interesting-looking stall to the east. The town centre to the north, and the pawn broker's to the west, may offer solace for the hard up.

A young couple walks past you, conversing softly in a barely-recognisable dialect, before vanishing amongst the crowd.

> s

At the Food Stall
What delectable delights fill this fine food stall! There are a flask of milk, a loaf of bread, a fig pot, a box of pomegranates, some honey, a juicy melon and a handful of olives.

You can see a man in a dark purple hat here and the plump man potters nearby.

> buy bread
"1 sestertius, then," says the stall-holder with a sigh. You give the man 1 sestertius and he pushes the money into a sack that he keeps beneath the stall. You are left to take the loaf of bread yourself (which you do).

> buy pomegranates
You ask for one pomegranate. "3 sestertii, then," says the stall-holder with a sigh. You give the man 1 denarius and he pushes the money into a sack that he keeps beneath the stall. "Change," says the man hoarsely, as though it is a great hardship for him to hand over the 1 sestertius change. You are left to take the pomegranate yourself (which you do).

The plump man ambles to the north.

> buy honey
"1 denarius, then," says the stall-holder with a sigh. "And 1 sestertius." You give the man 1 denarius and 1 sestertius and he pushes the money into a sack that he keeps beneath the stall. You are left to take the honey yourself (which you do).

> make sandwich
You'll have to at least specify what sort of sandwich you want to make.

> make honey sandwich
You need to ready a slice of bread.

The man in a dark purple hat runs to the north.

> get bread
You already have that.

> cut bread
You have nothing with which you can cut the bread.

> i
You are carrying:
some honey
a pomegranate
a loaf of bread
some gold
six denarii
a vase
a High Priest's turban (being worn)
a lavish apron (being worn)
some priestly vestments (being worn)
a voucher
your Parthian attire (being worn)
five Latin grammar cue cards:
a genitive case cue card
an accusative case cue card
a dative case cue card
an ablative case cue card
a general Latin grammar cue card

> n

Town Market
The market is thronging with people going about their daily business. You can see a stall selling musical instruments to the south-east, and one selling foodstuffs to the south; to the south-west you see some spades, shovels and forks propped up against a stall. There is also an interesting-looking stall to the east. The town centre to the north, and the pawn broker's to the west, may offer solace for the hard up.

> sw

At the Tools Stall
The thin man here is selling a variety of tools. Propped up against the stall are a shovel, a spade and a fork. On the stall itself are a scimitar, a hammer and a long blade.

A tangled-haired man stands here and a plump man stands here, looking carefully at the hammer.

> cut bread with blade
You cut off a slice of the bread.

> g
Which do you mean, the slice of bread or the loaf of bread?

> cut loaf with blade
Keep things simple. Deal with one slice of bread at a time.

> make honey sandwich
You have nothing suitable for spreading.

The tangled-haired man strides to the north and the plump man walks off to the north.

> get blade
"Yes, do take a look," says the tool man.
Taken.

> make honey sandwich
You use the long blade to spread some honey on the slice of bread, and then you fold it in half to make a sandwich (the bread, not the long blade).

> cut load
You can't see any such thing.

> cut loaf
You cut off a slice of the bread.

> make pomegranate sandwich
That isn't spreadable.

> squash pomegranate
You prise the pomegranate open and eat it.

...There's nothing else you can do with it. You don't even know how to make pomegranate jam, which is Gaspar's favourite preserve.

> ne
"Excuse me," says the tool man before you can leave, "but you haven't paid."

> i
You are carrying:
a slice of bread
a honey sandwich
a long blade
some honey
a loaf of bread
some gold
six denarii
a vase
a High Priest's turban (being worn)
a lavish apron (being worn)
some priestly vestments (being worn)
a voucher
your Parthian attire (being worn)
five Latin grammar cue cards:
a genitive case cue card
an accusative case cue card
a dative case cue card
an ablative case cue card
a general Latin grammar cue card

The parrot from the music stall flies straight overhead, squawking "Ooh, that's original!"

> drop blade
You put the long blade back on the stall.

> ne
"Do come again," says the tool man.

Town Market
The market is thronging with people going about their daily business. You can see a stall selling musical instruments to the south-east, and one selling foodstuffs to the south; to the south-west you see some spades, shovels and forks propped up against a stall. There is also an interesting-looking stall to the east. The town centre to the north, and the pawn broker's to the west, may offer solace for the hard up.

> n

Town Square
The town square sports a central statue that has a circular stone base. Around it, straight roads lead off in all four cardinal directions, with a signpost near the statue to show the ways: a north-pointing sign reads "Synagogue"; the east-pointing component reads "The Roman Shop"; the west-pointing sign reads "Out of Town" and the south-pointing one says "Market".

A Roman guard patrols the area, whistling to himself.

Amongst the townspeople, you see the tangled-haired man and the plump man having a chat.

> n

North Street
You stand in the northern street of this Roman-controlled town. There is an inn to the east, where you are staying; the camels are currently living in a stable to the north-east. Further north is a synagogue, and the town square is south of here.

The parrot from the music stall flies straight overhead, squawking "Going north!"

> e

Inn Lobby
It is a reasonably spacious lobby, with a stone counter and little else. The innkeeper is out. A square window looks upon the street outside, and the door is open.

You can see a long-faced woman here.

> u
You make your way up the narrow steps to the corridor above.

Hallway
The hallway is even darker than your room, being surrounded on all sides by other rooms of the inn. It is lit by oil lamps hanging from the walls. Some natural light does also emanate from a staircase to the south. Gaspar's room is northwest of here; Melchior's, northeast. Your room is straight north.

> ne
You rap thrice on the door.

"If you have found a gift, show it to Gaspar," comes the voice of Melchior.

> show gold to gaspar
You knock on the door. After two and thirty sixtieths of a second, the door swings open and Gaspar emerges from within.

"Yes?" he says. "And what are you doing in that ridiculous hat? On second thoughts, I don't want to know."

"It would be really nice if you could get sandwiches for us... Pomegranate jam for me and honey for Melchior."

> give sandwich to melchior
You aren't holding the door to Melchior's room.

> give gold to gaspar
"Great Zoroaster! Genuine gold!" he says gleefully. "The most precious metal of all," he adds in a whisper. "You have done very well Balthasar. I just know Melchior will be pleased. And the baby king will be too, of course, if he's anything like the kings we have in Parthia. I'll keep it safe."

"It would be really nice if you could get sandwiches for us... Pomegranate jam for me and honey for Melchior."

[Your score has just gone up by one point.]

> nw
Gaspar is already out!

"It would be really nice if you could get sandwiches for us... Pomegranate jam for me and honey for Melchior."

> ne
You rap thrice on the door.

"I wish to finish my calculations. See Gaspar if you need anything," comes the voice of Melchior.

"Right," says Gaspar, and goes back into his room.

> give sandwich to melchior
You aren't holding the door to Melchior's room.

> i
You are carrying:
a slice of bread
a honey sandwich
some honey
a loaf of bread
six denarii
a vase
a High Priest's turban (being worn)
a lavish apron (being worn)
some priestly vestments (being worn)
a voucher
your Parthian attire (being worn)
five Latin grammar cue cards:
a genitive case cue card
an accusative case cue card
a dative case cue card
an ablative case cue card
a general Latin grammar cue card

> ask gaspar for money
You need to knock on his door if you want to get hold of him.

> knock on gaspar's door
You knock on the door. After two and thirty sixtieths of a second, the door swings open and Gaspar emerges from within.

"Yes?" he says. "And what are you doing in that ridiculous hat? On second thoughts, I don't want to know."

> ask gaspar for money
"I can direct myself quite well on my own."

> ask gaspar about money
"I'm not sure I could tell you much about money."

"It would be really nice if you could get sandwiches for us... Pomegranate jam for me and honey for Melchior."

> give sandwich to gaspar
"Oh, well done, Balthasar," he says, taking the sandwich from you. He goes and knocks on Melchior's door. "I've a honey sandwich for you!" The door opens in a matter of seconds and Melchior takes the sandwich.

"Thank you Balthasar," Melchior calls, then goes back into his room.

"How did he know I didn't make it?" Gaspar says. "Oh well," he shrugs. "Don't forget, I'd really like a pomegranate jam sandwich myself. Thanks."

[Your score has just gone up by one point.]

> save
Ok.

> knock on melchior's door
You rap thrice on the door.

"I wish to finish my calculations. See Gaspar if you need anything," comes the voice of Melchior.

> d
You come down the steps gingerly enough to avoid hitting your head again.

Inn Lobby
It is a reasonably spacious lobby, with a stone counter and little else. The innkeeper is out. A square window looks upon the street outside, and the door is open.

A large-faced man is here.

> w

North Street
You stand in the northern street of this Roman-controlled town. There is an inn to the east, where you are staying; the camels are currently living in a stable to the north-east. Further north is a synagogue, and the town square is south of here.

> d
The ground is particularly solid these days.

> s

Town Square
The town square sports a central statue that has a circular stone base. Around it, straight roads lead off in all four cardinal directions, with a signpost near the statue to show the ways: a north-pointing sign reads "Synagogue"; the east-pointing component reads "The Roman Shop"; the west-pointing sign reads "Out of Town" and the south-pointing one says "Market".

A Roman guard patrols the area, whistling to himself.

A group of people walks past you, having a row about something very exciting, then disappears into the throng of the crowd.

> s

Town Market
The market is thronging with people going about their daily business. You can see a stall selling musical instruments to the south-east, and one selling foodstuffs to the south; to the south-west you see some spades, shovels and forks propped up against a stall. There is also an interesting-looking stall to the east. The town centre to the north, and the pawn broker's to the west, may offer solace for the hard up.

> w

Pawn Shop
The pawn broker's is a small square shop, absolutely covered in pieces of paper that are pinned up on the walls, and even, remarkably, the ceiling. The pawn broker himself is standing behind a pane of glass, tapping his fingers impatiently on the counter in front of him.

"Oh no, it's him again."

An old man stands here.

> i
You are carrying:
a slice of bread
some honey
a loaf of bread
six denarii
a vase
a High Priest's turban (being worn)
a lavish apron (being worn)
some priestly vestments (being worn)
a voucher
your Parthian attire (being worn)
five Latin grammar cue cards:
a genitive case cue card
an accusative case cue card
a dative case cue card
an ablative case cue card
a general Latin grammar cue card

> put voucher on counter
"Will people never learn!" the man shouts and bangs his fist against a sign on the wall, which, as you see afterwards, says "The following items are not accepted:" Among the items listed are a circular ruler and "voucher".

> x paper
The proprietor points to a sign on the wall, which says "It is an infringement of pawn policy for any customer to examine vouchers in the shop."

Despite the ban, you cannot help but look:
It's a voucher for 1 point.

The old man runs to the east.

> x pieces of paper
The proprietor points to a sign on the wall that reads "Under no circumstances examine on the premises."

> e
You can't get out fast enough!

Town Market
The market is thronging with people going about their daily business. You can see a stall selling musical instruments to the south-east, and one selling foodstuffs to the south; to the south-west you see some spades, shovels and forks propped up against a stall. There is also an interesting-looking stall to the east. The town centre to the north, and the pawn broker's to the west, may offer solace for the hard up.

> sw

At the Tools Stall
The thin man here is selling a variety of tools. Propped up against the stall are a shovel, a spade and a fork. On the stall itself are a long blade, a scimitar and a hammer.

> buy spade
You pay 3 denarii and pick up the spade. The tool man hands you 1 sestertius in change. "A fine choice," he says.

> dig
It would not be appropriate to dig up the ground here.

> ne
"Enjoy your purchase," says the tool man as you leave.

Town Market
The market is thronging with people going about their daily business. You can see a stall selling musical instruments to the south-east, and one selling foodstuffs to the south; to the south-west you see some spades, shovels and forks propped up against a stall. There is also an interesting-looking stall to the east. The town centre to the north, and the pawn broker's to the west, may offer solace for the hard up.

The parrot from the music stall flies straight overhead, squawking "Going northeast!"

The old man arrives.

> dig
It would not be appropriate to dig up the ground here.

The old man runs to the north.

> n

Town Square
The town square sports a central statue that has a circular stone base. Around it, straight roads lead off in all four cardinal directions, with a signpost near the statue to show the ways: a north-pointing sign reads "Synagogue"; the east-pointing component reads "The Roman Shop"; the west-pointing sign reads "Out of Town" and the south-pointing one says "Market".

A Roman guard patrols the area, whistling to himself.

For a moment, you hear someone in the crowd mention the Essenes.

The old man runs to the north.

> w

West Street
As this street continues west, the homes and other buildings thin out, until they merge into the desert landscape beyond. The town centre is east of here.

> dig
It would not be appropriate to dig up the ground here.

> e

Town Square
The town square sports a central statue that has a circular stone base. Around it, straight roads lead off in all four cardinal directions, with a signpost near the statue to show the ways: a north-pointing sign reads "Synagogue"; the east-pointing component reads "The Roman Shop"; the west-pointing sign reads "Out of Town" and the south-pointing one says "Market".

A Roman guard patrols the area, whistling to himself.

> e

East Street
The Eastern Street is a straight, wide road that seems unusually smooth: no pot-holes or macroscopic pebbles to trip over. Perhaps the Romans have cleared it recently. An archway leads to some sort of Roman shop to the southeast, and the street opens out to a courtyard further east.

A hyperactive child runs past you and vanishes amongst the masses.

> dig
It would not be appropriate to dig up the ground here.

> e

East Quarter
A well - the town well no less - stands to the side of this small, walled courtyard. The dappled shade provided by a large tree would make this area pleasant for lunches on a Sunday afternoon. A street leads west towards the centre of town.

The parrot from the music stall flies straight overhead, squawking "Going east!"

> x tree
Great Zoroaster - if it isn't a Boswellia tree! You recognise the shapes of the leaves, and the thin trunk, from pictures in the library back home. This tree's sap is frankincense! The tree is growing in a little square patch of earth.

> dig
You dig for a while, amassing a sizeable mound of earth.

> i
You are carrying:
a spade
a slice of bread
some honey
a loaf of bread
a vase
a High Priest's turban (being worn)
a lavish apron (being worn)
some priestly vestments (being worn)
a voucher
your Parthian attire (being worn)
five Latin grammar cue cards:
a genitive case cue card
an accusative case cue card
a dative case cue card
an ablative case cue card
a general Latin grammar cue card
four Roman coins:
a sestertius
three denarii

The old man arrives.

> put earth in vase
(the mound of earth in the vase)
You shovel the earth into the vase.

The old man goes east, leaving the town.

> save
Ok.

> x tree
It's a Boswellia tree, from which frankincense originates. Quite why they planted one here, you don't know. Perhaps it was a gift from, or a trade made with, Arabia, which is where it is usually found. The tree is growing in a little square patch of earth.

> x sap
You can't see any such thing.

> tap tree
You punch the tree and then nurse your hand.

> x sap
You can't see any such thing.

> climb tree
You climb up the tree.

> l

East Quarter (up the Boswellia tree)
A well - the town well no less - stands to the side of this small, walled courtyard. The dappled shade provided by a large tree would make this area pleasant for lunches on a Sunday afternoon. A street leads west towards the centre of town.

A man brushes past you, carrying a heavy crate, then disappears into the throng of the other townspeople.

> i
You are carrying:
a spade
a slice of bread
some honey
a loaf of bread
a vase of earth
earth
a High Priest's turban (being worn)
a lavish apron (being worn)
some priestly vestments (being worn)
a voucher
your Parthian attire (being worn)
five Latin grammar cue cards:
a genitive case cue card
an accusative case cue card
a dative case cue card
an ablative case cue card
a general Latin grammar cue card
four Roman coins:
a sestertius
three denarii

> d
You climb down the tree.

The parrot from the music stall flies straight overhead, squawking "Going down!"

> w

East Street
The Eastern Street is a straight, wide road that seems unusually smooth: no pot-holes or macroscopic pebbles to trip over. Perhaps the Romans have cleared it recently. An archway leads to some sort of Roman shop to the southeast, and the street opens out to a courtyard further east.

A man disappears into a house carrying a sheep.

The parrot from the music stall flies straight overhead, squawking "Going west!"

> w

Town Square
The town square sports a central statue that has a circular stone base. Around it, straight roads lead off in all four cardinal directions, with a signpost near the statue to show the ways: a north-pointing sign reads "Synagogue"; the east-pointing component reads "The Roman Shop"; the west-pointing sign reads "Out of Town" and the south-pointing one says "Market".

A Roman guard patrols the area, whistling to himself.

> n

North Street
You stand in the northern street of this Roman-controlled town. There is an inn to the east, where you are staying; the camels are currently living in a stable to the north-east. Further north is a synagogue, and the town square is south of here.

> n

Synagogue
You are standing at the back of a large synagogue that is draped in dark green hangings. The exit lies at the south end of a north-south aisle that leads through the pews. At the centre of the synagogue, a wizened priest addresses a less-than-substantial congregation in dull, heavy tones. An arched wooden door leads west from here.

"Know this: Never EVER examine your door nor thy wine before it hatches."

> n
You step quietly to the centre of the synagogue.

Centre of Synagogue
You are standing in the centre of the synagogue. The kohen is not far from you, addressing the congregation from a closed-off lectern. Pews surround a north-south aisle. You can also see a vase of, ahem, myrrh, set on an altar.

Sitting on the altar is a vessel of myrrh.

"And the point I would like to make to you all is: NEVER lock thy abode nor thy pig nor thy goose after dark," the priest drones on.

> put vase on altar
The priest turns to you briefly and nods, mouthing a thank you. He obviously imagines you are refreshing the stock of myrrh...

You put the vase of earth on the altar.

"And lo - The Holy Soul spake unto anyone who cared to listen thereto which lived there and about, and thereupon it was done," the priest continues at length.

> get vessel
Taken.

"For The Father spake verily to anyone who cared to listen thereto of Th'Apostles, and thus it was so," the priest drones on.

> s
You traipse back down the aisle.

Synagogue
You are standing at the back of a large synagogue that is draped in dark green hangings. The exit lies at the south end of a north-south aisle that leads through the pews. An arched wooden door leads west from here.

"Remember this: Never EVER shut thy vestments nor thy wine when thou art not pure," the priest drones on.

> s
You push open the large arched doors of the synagogue and step into the light of the outdoors.

Phew! And the priest really thought you were the Kohen Gadol! What a disguise!

North Street
You stand in the northern street of this Roman-controlled town. There is an inn to the east, where you are staying; the camels are currently living in a stable to the north-east. Further north is a synagogue, and the town square is south of here.

A young couple walks past you, conversing softly in a barely-recognisable dialect, before vanishing amongst the masses.

[Your score has just gone up by two points.]

> save
Ok.

> s

Town Square
The town square sports a central statue that has a circular stone base. Around it, straight roads lead off in all four cardinal directions, with a signpost near the statue to show the ways: a north-pointing sign reads "Synagogue"; the east-pointing component reads "The Roman Shop"; the west-pointing sign reads "Out of Town" and the south-pointing one says "Market".

A Roman guard patrols the area, whistling to himself.

A young couple walks past you, conversing softly in a barely-recognisable dialect, before disappearing into the throng of the other townspeople.

> n

North Street
You stand in the northern street of this Roman-controlled town. There is an inn to the east, where you are staying; the camels are currently living in a stable to the north-east. Further north is a synagogue, and the town square is south of here.

A group of men comes past you, apparently arguing about something particularly painful, then disappears into the throng of the general crowd.

> e

Inn Lobby
It is a reasonably spacious, deserted lobby, with a stone counter and little else. A square window looks upon the street outside, and the door is open.

> u
You make your way up the narrow steps to the corridor above.

Hallway
The hallway is even darker than your room, being surrounded on all sides by other rooms of the inn. It is lit by oil lamps hanging from the walls. Some natural light does also emanate from a staircase to the south. Gaspar's room is northwest of here; Melchior's, northeast. Your room is straight north.

> knock on gaspar's door
You knock on the door. After two and thirty sixtieths of a second, the door swings open and Gaspar emerges from within.

"Yes?" he says. "And what are you doing in that ridiculous hat? On second thoughts, I don't want to know."

> give vessel to gaspar
"Oh," says Gaspar. "This is myrrh is it not? Well I think it would make an excellent gift. I'll run it past Melchior, of course, but I think it will do fine. Well done."

He takes the myrrh from you for safe-keeping.

[Your score has just gone up by one point.]

> save
Ok.

> d
You trot down the narrow steps to the lobby.

Inn Lobby
It is a reasonably spacious, deserted lobby, with a stone counter and little else. A square window looks upon the street outside, and the door is open.

> w

North Street
You stand in the northern street of this Roman-controlled town. There is an inn to the east, where you are staying; the camels are currently living in a stable to the north-east. Further north is a synagogue, and the town square is south of here.

> s

Town Square
The town square sports a central statue that has a circular stone base. Around it, straight roads lead off in all four cardinal directions, with a signpost near the statue to show the ways: a north-pointing sign reads "Synagogue"; the east-pointing component reads "The Roman Shop"; the west-pointing sign reads "Out of Town" and the south-pointing one says "Market".

A Roman guard patrols the area, whistling to himself.

> sw
There are only streets to the north, south, east and west.

> s

Town Market
The market is thronging with people going about their daily business. You can see a stall selling musical instruments to the south-east, and one selling foodstuffs to the south; to the south-west you see some spades, shovels and forks propped up against a stall. There is also an interesting-looking stall to the east. The town centre to the north, and the pawn broker's to the west, may offer solace for the hard up.

> sw

At the Tools Stall
The thin man here is selling a variety of tools. Propped up against the stall are a shovel and a fork. On the stall itself are a long blade, a scimitar and a hammer.

You can see a young woman here.

> buy fork
You pay 3 denarii and pick up the fork. The tool man hands you 1 sestertius in change. "A fine choice," he says.

> i
You are carrying:
a fork
a spade
a slice of bread
some honey
a loaf of bread
a High Priest's turban (being worn)
a lavish apron (being worn)
some priestly vestments (being worn)
a voucher
your Parthian attire (being worn)
five Latin grammar cue cards:
a genitive case cue card
an accusative case cue card
a dative case cue card
an ablative case cue card
a general Latin grammar cue card
two sestertii

> ne
"Enjoy your purchase," says the tool man as you leave.

Town Market
The market is thronging with people going about their daily business. You can see a stall selling musical instruments to the south-east, and one selling foodstuffs to the south; to the south-west you see some spades, shovels and forks propped up against a stall. There is also an interesting-looking stall to the east. The town centre to the north, and the pawn broker's to the west, may offer solace for the hard up.

> n

Town Square
The town square sports a central statue that has a circular stone base. Around it, straight roads lead off in all four cardinal directions, with a signpost near the statue to show the ways: a north-pointing sign reads "Synagogue"; the east-pointing component reads "The Roman Shop"; the west-pointing sign reads "Out of Town" and the south-pointing one says "Market".

A Roman guard patrols the area, whistling to himself.

The townspeople are thronging through their settlement all around you.

The parrot from the music stall flies straight overhead, squawking "Going north!"

> e

East Street
The Eastern Street is a straight, wide road that seems unusually smooth: no pot-holes or macroscopic pebbles to trip over. Perhaps the Romans have cleared it recently. An archway leads to some sort of Roman shop to the southeast, and the street opens out to a courtyard further east.

A hyperactive child runs past you and vanishes amongst the crowd.

> e

East Quarter
A well - the town well no less - stands to the side of this small, walled courtyard. The dappled shade provided by a large tree would make this area pleasant for lunches on a Sunday afternoon. A street leads west towards the centre of town.

> stick fork in tree
That's not a verb I recognise.

> hit tree with fork
You give the tree a kick and stub your toe.

> cut tree with fork
That is unfortunately ineffective in cutting the dense bark.

> w

East Street
The Eastern Street is a straight, wide road that seems unusually smooth: no pot-holes or macroscopic pebbles to trip over. Perhaps the Romans have cleared it recently. An archway leads to some sort of Roman shop to the southeast, and the street opens out to a courtyard further east.

A man brushes past you, carrying a heavy crate, then disappears into the throng of the crowd.

> i
You are carrying:
a fork
a spade
a slice of bread
some honey
a loaf of bread
a High Priest's turban (being worn)
a lavish apron (being worn)
some priestly vestments (being worn)
a voucher
your Parthian attire (being worn)
five Latin grammar cue cards:
a genitive case cue card
an accusative case cue card
a dative case cue card
an ablative case cue card
a general Latin grammar cue card
two sestertii

> w

Town Square
The town square sports a central statue that has a circular stone base. Around it, straight roads lead off in all four cardinal directions, with a signpost near the statue to show the ways: a north-pointing sign reads "Synagogue"; the east-pointing component reads "The Roman Shop"; the west-pointing sign reads "Out of Town" and the south-pointing one says "Market".

A Roman guard patrols the area, whistling to himself.

> s

Town Market
The market is thronging with people going about their daily business. You can see a stall selling musical instruments to the south-east, and one selling foodstuffs to the south; to the south-west you see some spades, shovels and forks propped up against a stall. There is also an interesting-looking stall to the east. The town centre to the north, and the pawn broker's to the west, may offer solace for the hard up.

> sw

At the Tools Stall
The thin man here is selling a variety of tools. Propped up against the stall are a shovel. On the stall itself are a long blade, a scimitar and a hammer.

> buy blade
Unfortunately, the long blade is too expensive for you.

"Say," the tool man adds, "that blade is exactly one step long. So, er, I suppose I could have used it to measure the well - but no! You keep it."

> ne
"Do come again," says the tool man.

Town Market
The market is thronging with people going about their daily business. You can see a stall selling musical instruments to the south-east, and one selling foodstuffs to the south; to the south-west you see some spades, shovels and forks propped up against a stall. There is also an interesting-looking stall to the east. The town centre to the north, and the pawn broker's to the west, may offer solace for the hard up.

A group of children runs past you, brushing against your robes and then merging in with the other townspeople.

The young woman wanders to the west.

> w

Pawn Shop
The pawn broker's is a small square shop, absolutely covered in pieces of paper that are pinned up on the walls, and even, remarkably, the ceiling. The pawn broker himself is standing behind a pane of glass, tapping his fingers impatiently on the counter in front of him.

"Oh no, it's him again."

The young woman is here.

> put fork on counter
The pawn broker takes the fork and inspects it carefully, first with a pair of spectacles, then with a monocle.

"Well," says the pawn-broker gravely. "Obviously it's in an appalling condition, but I think I could part with 2 denarii and 3 sestertii for it." He slams the money onto the counter and whisks away your fork. It will now be available to buy from the pawn shop.

You take the money.

You also trade in four sestertii for a single denarius.

> e
You can't get out fast enough!

Town Market
The market is thronging with people going about their daily business. You can see a stall selling musical instruments to the south-east, and one selling foodstuffs to the south; to the south-west you see some spades, shovels and forks propped up against a stall. There is also an interesting-looking stall to the east. The town centre to the north, and the pawn broker's to the west, may offer solace for the hard up.

A hyperactive child runs past you and vanishes amongst the masses.

> sw

At the Tools Stall
The thin man here is selling a variety of tools. Propped up against the stall are a shovel. On the stall itself are a long blade, a scimitar and a hammer.

> buy blade
You pay 3 denarii and pick up the long blade. "Thank you," he says.

"Say," the tool man adds, "that blade is exactly one step long. So, er, I suppose I could have used it to measure the well - but no! You keep it."

> ne
"Enjoy your purchase," says the tool man as you leave.

Town Market
The market is thronging with people going about their daily business. You can see a stall selling musical instruments to the south-east, and one selling foodstuffs to the south; to the south-west you see some spades, shovels and forks propped up against a stall. There is also an interesting-looking stall to the east. The town centre to the north, and the pawn broker's to the west, may offer solace for the hard up.

The parrot from the music stall flies straight overhead, squawking "Going northeast!"

> n

Town Square
The town square sports a central statue that has a circular stone base. Around it, straight roads lead off in all four cardinal directions, with a signpost near the statue to show the ways: a north-pointing sign reads "Synagogue"; the east-pointing component reads "The Roman Shop"; the west-pointing sign reads "Out of Town" and the south-pointing one says "Market".

A Roman guard patrols the area, whistling to himself.

> e

East Street
The Eastern Street is a straight, wide road that seems unusually smooth: no pot-holes or macroscopic pebbles to trip over. Perhaps the Romans have cleared it recently. An archway leads to some sort of Roman shop to the southeast, and the street opens out to a courtyard further east.

A hyperactive child runs past you and disappears into the throng of the general hustle and bustle.

> e

East Quarter
A well - the town well no less - stands to the side of this small, walled courtyard. The dappled shade provided by a large tree would make this area pleasant for lunches on a Sunday afternoon. A street leads west towards the centre of town.

> cut tree with blade
You slash the bark with the blade, and a milky resin begins to seep out.

> i
You are carrying:
a long blade
a sestertius
a spade
a slice of bread
some honey
a loaf of bread
a High Priest's turban (being worn)
a lavish apron (being worn)
some priestly vestments (being worn)
a voucher
your Parthian attire (being worn)
five Latin grammar cue cards:
a genitive case cue card
an accusative case cue card
a dative case cue card
an ablative case cue card
a general Latin grammar cue card

> get resin
You cannot take the liquid resin in your hands.

The parrot from the music stall flies straight overhead, squawking "Come and get the milky resin!"

> w

East Street
The Eastern Street is a straight, wide road that seems unusually smooth: no pot-holes or macroscopic pebbles to trip over. Perhaps the Romans have cleared it recently. An archway leads to some sort of Roman shop to the southeast, and the street opens out to a courtyard further east.

> w

Town Square
The town square sports a central statue that has a circular stone base. Around it, straight roads lead off in all four cardinal directions, with a signpost near the statue to show the ways: a north-pointing sign reads "Synagogue"; the east-pointing component reads "The Roman Shop"; the west-pointing sign reads "Out of Town" and the south-pointing one says "Market".

A Roman guard patrols the area, whistling to himself.

A group of children runs past you, brushing against your robes and then merging in with the multitude.

> s

Town Market
The market is thronging with people going about their daily business. You can see a stall selling musical instruments to the south-east, and one selling foodstuffs to the south; to the south-west you see some spades, shovels and forks propped up against a stall. There is also an interesting-looking stall to the east. The town centre to the north, and the pawn broker's to the west, may offer solace for the hard up.

> se

At the Music Stall
The wooden, canopied stall holds a range of musical instruments, and is headed by a pleasant-looking man with a moustache. He's selling a trumpet, a shofar, a zither and a shepherd's pipe. There is also, interestingly, a parrot, who is perched on the stall.

"Welcome back."

A skinny man stands here, contemplating the trumpet.

"Going southeast!" squawks the parrot.

> nw
"Say goodbye, Turkey!" says the music man.

Town Market
The market is thronging with people going about their daily business. You can see a stall selling musical instruments to the south-east, and one selling foodstuffs to the south; to the south-west you see some spades, shovels and forks propped up against a stall. There is also an interesting-looking stall to the east. The town centre to the north, and the pawn broker's to the west, may offer solace for the hard up.

A group of men comes past you, apparently discussing Emperor Augustus, then merges in with the general crowd.

> e

At the Stall of Novelties
It's hard to tell whether or not this is a novelty stall or a stall that sells novelties - it's both really. The stall is L-shaped, but with an intricate pattern carved out of it at the corner. There are pretty purple banners hung between posts that support the colourful silk roof, and there are also flags atop the posts. The items for sale are highly eclectic: there's a big abacus, an ornate jar, a wooden camel ornament and a bell.

"Welcome back, sir!" says the cheery stallholder.

> buy jar
Unfortunately, the ornate jar is too expensive for you.

> w
"Are you sure you don't want a big abacus?" the seller calls as you walk away.

Town Market
The market is thronging with people going about their daily business. You can see a stall selling musical instruments to the south-east, and one selling foodstuffs to the south; to the south-west you see some spades, shovels and forks propped up against a stall. There is also an interesting-looking stall to the east. The town centre to the north, and the pawn broker's to the west, may offer solace for the hard up.

A group of children runs past you, brushing against your robes and then vanishing amongst the general crowd.

> i
You are carrying:
a long blade
a sestertius
a spade
a slice of bread
some honey
a loaf of bread
a High Priest's turban (being worn)
a lavish apron (being worn)
some priestly vestments (being worn)
a voucher
your Parthian attire (being worn)
five Latin grammar cue cards:
a genitive case cue card
an accusative case cue card
a dative case cue card
an ablative case cue card
a general Latin grammar cue card

The skinny man arrives.

> w

Pawn Shop
The pawn broker's is a small square shop, absolutely covered in pieces of paper that are pinned up on the walls, and even, remarkably, the ceiling. The pawn broker himself is standing behind a pane of glass, tapping his fingers impatiently on the counter in front of him.

The pawn broker sighs as you come in.

You can also see a fork here.

The skinny man arrives.

> put blade on counter
The pawn broker takes the long blade and inspects it carefully, first with a pair of spectacles, then with a monocle.

"Here," says the pawn-broker. "I'll give you 3 denarii for it." He slams the money onto the counter and whisks away your long blade.

You take the money.

> put spade on counter
The pawn broker takes the spade and inspects it carefully, first with a pair of spectacles, then with a monocle.

"Here," says the pawn-broker. "I'll give you 2 denarii and 3 sestertii for it." He slams the money onto the counter and whisks away your spade.

You take the money.

You also trade in four sestertii for a single denarius.

> e
You can't get out fast enough!

Town Market
The market is thronging with people going about their daily business. You can see a stall selling musical instruments to the south-east, and one selling foodstuffs to the south; to the south-west you see some spades, shovels and forks propped up against a stall. There is also an interesting-looking stall to the east. The town centre to the north, and the pawn broker's to the west, may offer solace for the hard up.

A hyperactive child runs past you and merges in with the multitude.

> se

At the Music Stall
The wooden, canopied stall holds a range of musical instruments, and is headed by a pleasant-looking man with a moustache. He's selling a trumpet, a shofar, a zither and a shepherd's pipe. There is also, interestingly, a parrot, who is perched on the stall.

"Welcome back."

"Going southeast!" squawks the parrot.

> buy jar
That's not for sale.

"Go and buy! Go and buy!" squawks the parrot.

> nw

Town Market
The market is thronging with people going about their daily business. You can see a stall selling musical instruments to the south-east, and one selling foodstuffs to the south; to the south-west you see some spades, shovels and forks propped up against a stall. There is also an interesting-looking stall to the east. The town centre to the north, and the pawn broker's to the west, may offer solace for the hard up.

A man brushes past you, carrying a heavy crate, then disappears into the throng of the masses.

The skinny man arrives.

> e

At the Novelty Stall
It's hard to tell whether or not this is a novelty stall or a stall that sells novelties - it's both really. The stall is L-shaped, but with an intricate pattern carved out of it at the corner. There are pretty purple banners hung between posts that support the colourful silk roof, and there are also flags atop the posts. The items for sale are highly eclectic: there's a big abacus, an ornate jar, a wooden camel ornament and a bell.

"Welcome back, sir!" says the cheery stallholder.

The skinny man arrives.

> buy jar
You pay 3 denarii and pick up the ornate jar. The novelty woman hands you 2 sestertii in change. "Lovely," says the novelty woman. "Thank you very much!"

> w
"Enjoy your purchase," says the novelty woman as you leave.

Town Market
The market is thronging with people going about their daily business. You can see a stall selling musical instruments to the south-east, and one selling foodstuffs to the south; to the south-west you see some spades, shovels and forks propped up against a stall. There is also an interesting-looking stall to the east. The town centre to the north, and the pawn broker's to the west, may offer solace for the hard up.

A group of people walks past you, arguing about the Essenes, then vanishes amongst the rest of the townspeople.

> n

Town Square
The town square sports a central statue that has a circular stone base. Around it, straight roads lead off in all four cardinal directions, with a signpost near the statue to show the ways: a north-pointing sign reads "Synagogue"; the east-pointing component reads "The Roman Shop"; the west-pointing sign reads "Out of Town" and the south-pointing one says "Market".

A Roman guard patrols the area, whistling to himself.

A man brushes past you, carrying a heavy crate, then vanishes amongst the general crowd.

> e

East Street
The Eastern Street is a straight, wide road that seems unusually smooth: no pot-holes or macroscopic pebbles to trip over. Perhaps the Romans have cleared it recently. An archway leads to some sort of Roman shop to the southeast, and the street opens out to a courtyard further east.

A man brushes past you, carrying a heavy crate, then merges in with the crowd.

> e

East Quarter
A well - the town well no less - stands to the side of this small, walled courtyard. The dappled shade provided by a large tree would make this area pleasant for lunches on a Sunday afternoon. A street leads west towards the centre of town.

You can also see some fresh frankincense here.

A man disappears into a house carrying a sheep.

> put resin in jar
You collect up the resin in the ornate jar.

The parrot from the music stall flies straight overhead, squawking "Come and put the fresh frankincense in the ornate jar!"

> w

East Street
The Eastern Street is a straight, wide road that seems unusually smooth: no pot-holes or macroscopic pebbles to trip over. Perhaps the Romans have cleared it recently. An archway leads to some sort of Roman shop to the southeast, and the street opens out to a courtyard further east.

The skinny man arrives.

> n
You can't go that way.

The skinny man ambles to the east.

> w

Town Square
The town square sports a central statue that has a circular stone base. Around it, straight roads lead off in all four cardinal directions, with a signpost near the statue to show the ways: a north-pointing sign reads "Synagogue"; the east-pointing component reads "The Roman Shop"; the west-pointing sign reads "Out of Town" and the south-pointing one says "Market".

A Roman guard patrols the area, whistling to himself.

> n

North Street
You stand in the northern street of this Roman-controlled town. There is an inn to the east, where you are staying; the camels are currently living in a stable to the north-east. Further north is a synagogue, and the town square is south of here.

> e

Inn Lobby
It is a reasonably spacious lobby, with a stone counter and little else. The innkeeper is out. A square window looks upon the street outside, and the door is open.

You can see an old woman here.

> u
You make your way up the narrow steps to the corridor above.

Hallway
The hallway is even darker than your room, being surrounded on all sides by other rooms of the inn. It is lit by oil lamps hanging from the walls. Some natural light does also emanate from a staircase to the south. Gaspar's room is northwest of here; Melchior's, northeast. Your room is straight north.

> knock on gaspar's door
You knock on the door. After two and thirty sixtieths of a second, the door swings open and Gaspar emerges from within.

"Yes?" he says. "And what are you doing in that ridiculous hat? On second thoughts, I don't want to know."

> give frankincense to gaspar
You take everything else out of the ornate jar first.

"Aha!" he says, and his face lights up like a lantern. "Frankincense! Well done, Balthasar. You have found the perfect perfume. Why, I know Melchior will approve; he said himself that frankincense would be ideal. I shall take it and put it somewhere safe."

"Right!" Gaspar proclaims. "We have three gifts. So we can each give the baby one special something to celebrate. That should be enough." He sighs. "Well, it's getting dark. We've done some good work today. Have a good night's sleep before we set off again in the morning." He pats you on the arm and disappears into his room.

[Your score has just gone up by one point.]

> save
Ok.

> n

Bedroom
This room is in stark contrast to the luxury you are accustomed to back home. It is dark - with only one small window facing north, and there is a simple flat bed against the east wall. The room is stony, but reasonably warm. Sounds of the town outside stream through the window. The exit is south.

> sleep
Ahh! Well, it's been a long day. Time for a good night's sleep...

* * *

Press SPACE to continue

"Wake up, Balthasar. Wake up!"

Someone's knocking at your door. But you still feel so sleepy. And what did they do yesterday? Next to nothing! Whilst you did all the work, getting the gifts, spending the money...

"Finally," Gaspar says. "Melchior has worked out that if we don't set off again as soon as possible, we'll be too late. Come on! We're heading for Jerusalem, the largest city in Judea, where we'll hopefully find out where the boy will be born..."

* * *

Press SPACE to continue

Back in the desert...

You get up from your desert camp before sunrise and Gaspar comes over to you sleepily. "You remember the bright star that we've been following? Now that it's culminating we can check our position by measuring its altitude and working out our current latitude. Melchior says you need the practice, so we're entrusting the task to you. Once you've done that, you should be able to work out which path we need to take. You'll need to know that the declination of the star is 20 degrees and 12 minutes and that the latitude of Jerusalem is 31 degrees and 47 minutes. You will remember that, won't you?

"I presume you brought an astrolabe?" You shake your head guiltily. "Shameful, Balthasar! Call yourself an astronomer? You'll have to borrow this one." He hands you an astrolabe.

"And you do have an abacus, don't you?" You give him a blank look. "I can't believe you don't have an abacus! Here you are!" He hands one over with a sigh. "Go over to that hillock over there and work out whether we need to go west, southwest or northwest. We'll follow behind with the camels as soon as we see you moving off."

Reluctantly you trudge over to the little hill and gaze up at the stars.

On a Hillock
You stand on a little hillock in a dry stretch of land in Judea, trying to find out which way to go to reach your destination. Three paths are discernible: one to the west, one to the southwest and one to the northwest. The star that you've been following is shining brightly.

> save
Ok.

> x astrolabe
This device is typically used for astronavigation, as well as simple land-based triangulation. By measuring the altitude of a celestial object of known declination, you can compute your own position on the planet. It is also possible to tell the time in a similar way, and to find out what stars are visible and when the sun or moon will rise or set. The astrolabe is currently very dusty.

Having to guess at the right phrasing here.

> measure altitude of star
You cannot use a bright star to measure anything about stars.

> measure altitude
(of your Roman coinage)
You cannot use a denarius to measure anything about stars.

> measure altitude with astrolabe
You can't see any such thing.

> measure star
Using the astrolabe you determine the altitude of the star at the moment to be about 78 degrees and 25 minutes.

> w
You had better make sure that this is definitely the way you need to go to reach Jerusalem. If you started up the wrong path, you could end up permanently lost!

> compute position
That's not a verb I recognise.

> w
You start down the path at a leisurely pace, hoping Gaspar and Melchior will notice. You have gone no more than about ten paces when you hear the trudging of camels' hooves from behind you. Gaspar and Melchior have arrived with your steeds.

"Well done Balthasar!" calls Melchior. "I knew you could work it out. This is the way we need to go."

"Right," says Gaspar. "Full speed ahead then."

* * *

Press SPACE to continue

Road to Jerusalem
This plain sandy road is the culmination of your efforts; in the distance you can finally see the gateway to Jerusalem. It's been a long journey, and the sight of the destination is a relief, though emotional too. There's just a slight southwest bend, and then you arrive.

Melchior is here, astride Deuter the camel.
Gaspar is here, sitting atop Job the camel.

Just a moment. Did that bush just rustle?

[Your score has just gone up by four points.]

> save
Ok.

> x bush
You thought you saw the bush rustle out of the corner of your eye. But it was surely your imagination. You are tired after the long trek.

> search bush
As you approach the bush, hands ready to grasp it, it scuttles away towards the gate!

> sw
You cover the distance on what you fully believe to be the final leg of the journey.

Gateway to Jerusalem (on Numbers)
You have arrived. These are the gates to Jerusalem - high wooden gates set into an equally high stone wall that encircles the city. Though not quite as impressive as Babylon in your opinion, your first sight of Jerusalem still seems an appropriately majestic end to your long journey.

Two guards are standing here, one on the left of the gate and one on the right. The left-hand guard is surveying the three of you with interest. The one on the right, however, is standing with his stomach puffed out in a rigid pose, and seems not to have noticed you, or indeed anything.

Melchior is here, astride Deuter the camel.
Gaspar is here, sitting atop Job the camel.

> talk to guard
Which do you mean, the left-hand guard or the right-hand guard?

> left
In your best Aramaic, you address the guard.

"Greetings, travellers," he says. In a quieter voice he adds, "I am Shem. You must speak to me, instead of my accomplice, Sham. He is... troubled." He smiles. "Now then. State your business."

> ask guard about baby
Who do you mean, Shem or Sham?

> shem
"Sorry - I can't talk about that." You wonder whether this is for security reasons or because he doesn't know enough.

"State your purpose please," says the guard on the left.

> ask sham about baby
You try to address the nonchalant fellow on the right-hand side of the gate, but just as you draw breath, the other guard cuts in. "Sorry, but Sham doesn't talk. You must speak to me."

> tell shem about gold
"Sounds like a nice gift to me. Valuable, too."

> tell shem about baby
Melchior explains. "We three kings of Orient are seeking a boy who will be King of the Jews, according to prophecy. We have journeyed from the east, and bear gifts for him."

"Fascinating," says Shem genuinely. "Ah, now just a moment. You are those Magi, are you not? You're the ones that mad storekeeper was rambling about."

"What mad storekeeper?" you say.

"Yeah!" comes another, raspy voice. From behind a small bush, the Babylonian storeholder pops into view, and everyone except Sham immediately turns to face him. "Yeah!" he says, "What mad storekeeper?"

"Oh... sorry," says Shem.

"I should think so! I've been through a traumatic experience! Some ruinous vandal set fire to my store. Burnt it to the ground!" He turns to you and your companions. "I know what you're up to!" he says, pointing his finger. "And I've told King Herod all about it. He wants an audience with you. So listen up, Shim and Shom - I want you to take the Magi to the king's palace. He's going to reward me handsomely for this!"

"Right," says Shem. "We'll just get our camels then."

"You think I'm going to fall for that trick? I will get your camels myself! Where are they?"

"Turn right, then take the second left. Stable 24. Mine's called Lev; Sham's is called Exodus. You have to feed Exodus a fig before he'll move. Oh, and don't pat his hump; he doesn't like that."

"I'll be back then!" the storeholder concludes, and Shem opens the gate for him to pass through.

> l

Gateway to Jerusalem (on Numbers)
These are the gates to Jerusalem - high wooden gates set into an equally high stone wall that encircles the city. Though not quite as impressive as Babylon in your opinion, your first sight of Jerusalem still seems an appropriately majestic end to your long journey.

Sham still doesn't seem to have noticed you.

Melchior is here, astride Deuter the camel.
Gaspar is here, sitting atop Job the camel.

"So you wish to find the King of the Jews - is that right?" asks Shem. Melchior confirms it. "Then Jerusalem is certainly the place," Shem replies. "Now that we've got that crazy storeholder out of the way, we'll let you through. Good luck."

---

Press SPACE to continue

You roam Jerusalem, asking of everyone you see, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him." You wonder why people keep whispering about you when you walk away from them.

And then an armoured figure pulls you into a back-alley, gags you and drags you away...

---

Press SPACE to continue

Palace of King Herod
You have been taken to this rather spacious foyer in King Herod the Great's chief establishment in Jerusalem. Your possessions have all been taken and left in some store room, though you do still have those Latin grammar primers that you found. Here, you await a hearing with the King. Behind those double doors in front of you, you are told, lies his lavish throne room.

You can see Melchior here, exuding wisdom.
Gaspar stands here proudly.

You can also see a guard here.

> save
Ok.

> talk to guard
You talk to him, but he just shakes his head and holds up his hand.

> i
You are carrying:
your Parthian attire (being worn)
five Latin grammar cue cards:
an ablative case cue card
a genitive case cue card
a general Latin grammar cue card
an accusative case cue card
a dative case cue card

Shem comes out of the throne room. You ask him why he's here. "Our shift at the gates is over and now we're doing a shift at the palace. King Herod demands proof that you are Parthian as you say you are. You'll have to tell Caecilius here to get one of your Parthian possessions out of the store room; Herod won't allow you to do it yourselves because, well, I suppose we can't trust you. Caecilius is mute, by the way, and if you want him to understand, you must address him in good Latin. Now, I have to get back." Shem returns to the throne room.

"It's lucky I found this," says Melchior, handing you a small card. "Tell Caecilius to give Herod the astrolabe. That will prove that we're from Parthia."

> i
You are carrying:
your Parthian attire (being worn)
six Latin grammar cue cards:
a vocative case cue card
an ablative case cue card
a genitive case cue card
a general Latin grammar cue card
an accusative case cue card
a dative case cue card

> x vocative
It's a short guide to Latin grammar. It reads:

How to Decline a Latin Noun - if you're in a Hurry. Part 6/6: The Vocative.

The vocative case is used on people's names when you are addressing them. Add an 'a' or an 'e' to the name to form this case in a hurry. An example is, "Marca, shut the windowum."

> x ablative
It's a short guide to Latin grammar. It reads:

How to Decline a Latin Noun - if you're in a Hurry. Part 5/6: The Ablative.

The ablative case is used for motion away from something. To form it in a hurry, add 'e' or 'a' to a noun if it is singular, or 'ibus' if it is plural. The ablative is also used with a number of prepositions, including 'with'. "My friend came out of the shopa with her sistera" illustrates both of these usages.

> x genitive
It's a short guide to Latin grammar. It reads:

How to Decline a Latin Noun - if you're in a Hurry. Part 4/6: The Genitive.

The possessor of an object needs the genitive case. To form this in a hurry, add '(n)is' to the noun if it singular, or 'orum' if it is plural. For example, "The Emperoris might is unmatched."

> x general
It's a short guide to Latin grammar. It reads:

How to Decline a Latin Noun - if you're in a Hurry. Part 1/6.

Latin noun declension is a complex affair which demands serious study from subjects of the Empire. However, to aid communication, we have produced this series of cue cards to help you decline nouns in a hurry and be correct most of the time. Declension is the process of adding various endings to words to reflect their role in a sentence.

If you want to use adjectives with your nouns, they need to be declined too, but we suggest using the exact same rules on the adjectives if you need to save time. An example of this is "I thank the mightyos Romanos."

> x accusative
It's a short guide to Latin grammar. It reads:

How to Decline a Latin Noun - if you're in a Hurry. Part 2/6: The Accusative.

For many actions, there is a person performing the action and an object on which they are performing it. In Latin, the object of the action (the 'accused') must be in a form called the accusative case. If you are in a hurry, you should make this form by adding 'um' to a noun if it is singular, or 'os' if it is plural. For example, "The Romans built the templeum."

> x dative
It's a short guide to Latin grammar. It reads:

How to Decline a Latin Noun - if you're in a Hurry. Part 3/6: The Dative.

In Latin, the dative case is used for the recipients of something, such as the person to whom you are giving an object. To form the dative of a noun in a hurry, just add 'o' to the end if it is a single item, or 'ibus' if it is plural. For example, "I pay my taxos to the Romanibus".

> caecilia, give herodo the astrolabum
You seem to want to talk to someone, but I can't see whom.

> caeciliusa, give herodo the astrolabum
The guard merely shakes his head and shrugs his shoulders.

> caeciliusa, give herodo the astrolabeum
The guard nods his head, and leaves.

A while later, he returns through the doors of the throne room and bows.

"I think it worked," says Gaspar.

Then, Shem comes out. "Herod is satisfied that you are from Parthia, but he also expects a gift, or offering, before he will see you." He shrugs, then returns to the throne room.

"Lucky I managed to acquire some fine jewels from that town," says Melchior. "Tell Caecilius to get them out of the big bag; that's where I put them."

> caeciliusa, get the jewelos out of the biga baga
The guard nods his head, then leaves.

A minute later, he returns with the jewels and looks at you.

[Your score has just gone up by one point.]

> save
Ok.

> l

Palace of King Herod
You are standing outside King Herod's throne room. The room is large, but bare.

Melchior stands here, his hands clasped behind his back.
Gaspar stands here, ruminating about his kingdom.

You can also see Caecilius here.

> in
You can't go that way.

> get jewels
Caecilius moves the jewels away from you and shakes his head.

> caeciliusa, n
The guard merely shakes his head and shrugs his shoulders.

> caeciliusa, give the jewelos to herodo
Caecilius nods his head and leaves. A while later, he returns from the throne room and bows. Gaspar looks at you and Melchior. "I think he must have liked them."

A cold, quiet voice says, "Bring them in."

"Yes, master!" comes a familiar yell, followed by a stamp. And then Shem and Sham open the enormous doors from the other side and lead you into the throne room.

Herod's Throne Room
The throne room is both extravagant and sparse: extragavant, because it's so enormous; but sparse, because it's so empty. In the centre of the room is a tall podium where King Herod the Great sits on his throne. Behind him, in a semicircular formation, are his various noblemen. Armed Roman guards encircle the podium, looking intimidating.

The three of you are escorted to a point in the room directly in front of the king, and the doors of the room are shut behind you.

Herod speaks. "You have entered our land from the east. You are among those who wield power in Parthia. You appear, however, to come in peace. I am curious. What business have you in Judea?"

> save
Ok.

> tell herod about star
"Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews?" says Melchior, cutting to the chase. "We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him. We came to Judea to find him."

"Well you've found him," says the King. "For I am King of the Jews. Emperor Augustus has granted me this position and the people are behind me. If you were intending to kill me, then you should know that there have been no fewer than nine-hundred and fifty-three attempts on my life since my birth." The King stops to cough loudly. He pats his chest. "And I'm still alive!"

"Pardon me, your Highness," says Melchior, "but our intentions are far from hostile. You are not the one we seek. It is the future King of the Jews that we would like to see - and he is currently a baby boy."

There is an ominous silence. Then, "Excuse me a moment," says Herod, "I must have counsel. Guards! Rotate the throne!"

At that command, all the Roman soldiers stationed at the podium turn around and collectively turn the block clockwise, so that Herod faces the advisers that were waiting behind him. They fall instantly into a hushed discussion.

> i
You are carrying:
your Parthian attire (being worn)
six Latin grammar cue cards:
a vocative case cue card
an ablative case cue card
a genitive case cue card
a general Latin grammar cue card
an accusative case cue card
a dative case cue card

"Rotate the throne!" Herod orders, and it is done. The King addresses you once more: "Tell to me the exact time that the star appeared." You and Gaspar turn to Melchior. Thankfully, he isn't one to break under pressure, and he duly informs the King of the exact time.

"Thank you," says Herod. "Now, I must ask you to go to the little town of Bethlehem, for that is, according to Jewish scripture, the birthplace of the future King. If you look up, you'll see the relevant quotation on my special suspended quote board, although it's not quite as impressive as the one in my temple in Caesarea Maritima. Anyway, go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him."

---

Press SPACE to continue

Suddenly, the doors of the throne room burst open, and who should stagger through them, wriggling himself from the clutches of a party of guards trying to detain him, than the Babylonian storeholder himself. "King Herod!" he cries, without using the vocative case. "The three Magi of Parthia plan to overthrow your rule by bringing into power a new King!"

"Ignoring for the moment your offensive introduction to this meeting," says the King, "not to mention your appalling grammar, I have already spoken with the Magi. The future King they speak of is not a threat to me. As such, there is no need to reward you."

"But, but - they're lying! And, and - they burnt down my store! They have left behind them a trail of murder and deceit in their attempts to cover up their fiendish plans!"

"Is this true?" Herod asks.

>> no

"I did not believe him anyway," says Herod. "Throw the impostor out." And with that, the storeholder is hurled out of the room.

The King begins fanning himself and you are pushed out of the room.

After you've gone, you hear the King's voice echoing around his throne room as he addresses his advisers. "They're obviously plotting against me. I sense conspiracy seeping out of their gaze. Follow them and keep a close eye on their activities."

You look at each other for a brief moment, then run. The first person to spot you, bizarrely, is the storeholder, who wriggles free from the guard who was clutching him.

Palace Corridor
The storeholder is running after you, himself pursued by King Herod's guards. The only potential escape route is east.

Melchior and Gaspar are running along beside you.

"Follow those Magi!" shouts the storeholder.

> save
Ok.

> e

Palace Corridor
Hot on your trail are the king's guards and the storeholder. Potential escape routes lead northwest or down.

Melchior and Gaspar are running along beside you.

"But a penguin in a tuxedo!" shouts the storeholder, for no fathomable reason.

> nw

Meeting Room
Noblemen are having a high-brow discussion here around a large table. Hot on your trail are the king's guards and the storeholder. Potential escape routes lead north, east, south or down.

"Stop, you filthy store-burners!" shouts the storeholder.

"The King is demanding that all pillars are checked for structural integrity!" announces a nobleman.

> e
You leap onto the conference table and pound along it to the other side.

"Hey!" shouts one of the noblemen, as you dive off through the door on the other side of the room.

Palace Corridor
Right behind you are the king's guards and the storeholder. Potential escape routes lead north, northeast, southeast or southwest.

Melchior and Gaspar are running along beside you.

"Follow those Magi!" shout the pursuing guards.

> se

Palace Corridor
Hot on your trail are the king's guards and the storeholder. Potential escape routes lead northeast, southeast or up.

Melchior and Gaspar are running along beside you.

"You won't get away with this!" shouts the storeholder.

> se

Palace Corridor
Hot on your trail are the king's guards and the storeholder. Potential escape routes lead north, southeast or up.

Melchior and Gaspar are running along beside you.

"Get 'im!" shout the pursuing guards.

> se

Palace Corridor
Hot on your trail are the king's guards and the storeholder. Potential escape routes lead north, west or up.

Melchior and Gaspar are running along beside you.

"Follow those Magi!" shouts the storeholder.

> u
You fly up the stairs.

Palace Corridor
Hot on your trail are the king's guards and the storeholder. Potential escape routes lead east, west or up.

Melchior and Gaspar are running along beside you.

"You won't get away with this!" shouts the storeholder.

> u
You fly up the stairs.

Palace Corridor
Right behind you are the king's guards and the storeholder. Potential escape routes lead northeast, east, south or northwest.

Melchior and Gaspar are running along beside you.

"After them!" shout the pursuing guards.

> e

Palace Corridor
Right behind you are the king's guards and the storeholder. Potential escape routes lead northeast, east, northwest or up.

Melchior and Gaspar are running along beside you.

"Don't let 'em get away!" shout the pursuing guards.

> e

Palace Corridor
Hot on your trail are the king's guards and the storeholder. Potential escape routes lead northwest or down.

Melchior and Gaspar are running along beside you.

"But a map of India!" shouts the storeholder, for no fathomable reason.

> nw

Palace Corridor
Right behind you are the king's guards and the storeholder. Potential escape routes lead north, south, southwest or northwest.

Melchior and Gaspar are running along beside you.

"Don't let them get away with it!" shouts the storeholder.

> n

Palace Corridor
Right behind you are the king's guards and the storeholder. Potential escape routes lead southeast, west, northwest or down.

Melchior and Gaspar are running along beside you.

"You won't get away with this!" shouts the storeholder.

> n
You can't go that way.

"Don't let 'em get away!" shout the pursuing guards.

> nw

Palace Corridor
Right behind you are the king's guards and the storeholder. Potential escape routes lead north, northeast, west or down.

Melchior and Gaspar are running along beside you.

"Don't let them get away with it!" shouts the storeholder.

> n

Palace Corridor
Hot on your trail are the king's guards and the storeholder. Potential escape routes lead southeast, southwest, west or up.

Melchior and Gaspar are running along beside you.

"Someone grab the crazy storekeeper!" shout the pursuing guards.

> u
You fly up the stairs.

Kitchen
Cooks and servants are bustling around the room. The air is thick and hot; various broths and sauces are bubbling away in pots. The smells of herbs, spices, cold meats and of steam attack you from all sides. Hot on your trail are the king's guards and the storeholder. Potential escape routes lead east, southeast, south or southwest.

"Follow those Magi!" shouts the storeholder.

> i
You are carrying:
your Parthian attire (being worn)
six Latin grammar cue cards:
a vocative case cue card
an ablative case cue card
a genitive case cue card
a general Latin grammar cue card
an accusative case cue card
a dative case cue card

"You won't get away with this!" shouts the storeholder.

> e
You run through the kitchen, and cannot avoid knocking over a servant boy and sending a tray of soup bowls flying back. Shouts and cries pummel you from all sides, but you brazenly ignore them and push through. A cook is inadvertently shoved face first onto a counter of cakes and pastries, and somehow a whole rack of cutlery falls down, scattering utensils across the floor. Gaspar emerges with a cheese grater on each hand, and you see that your robe is now stained with all sorts of colours.

Palace Corridor
Right behind you are the king's guards and the storeholder. The only potential escape route is southeast.

Melchior and Gaspar are running along beside you.

"But an engraving of a hissing serpent!" shouts the storeholder, for no fathomable reason.

> se

Palace Corridor
Hot on your trail are the king's guards and the storeholder. Potential escape routes lead north, south, up or down.

Melchior and Gaspar are running along beside you.

You can also see a bust of Herod on a pillar here.

"After them!" shout the pursuing guards.

> get bust
It is far too heavy.

"Stop, conspirators!" shout the pursuing guards.

> x it
It's a sculpture in the likeness of Herod's head.

"Follow those Magi!" shouts the storeholder.

> z
You have dawdled too long. The storekeeper puts his cleaning cloth around your neck, and then the guards snatch him away and seize all four of you. You are escorted to the nearest dungeon, where the storekeeper's deranged ramblings send you insane.

*** You have been imprisoned. ***

In that game you scored 20 out of a possible 42, in 439 turns. You have achieved the rank of Wise Man.

Would you like to RESTART, RESTORE a saved game or QUIT?
>
undo
Palace Corridor
[Previous turn undone.]

> s

Palace Corridor
Hot on your trail are the king's guards and the storeholder. Potential escape routes lead southeast, southwest, northwest or up.

Melchior and Gaspar are running along beside you.

"But a genie in a bottle!" shouts the storeholder, for no fathomable reason.

> se

Palace Corridor
Right behind you are the king's guards and the storeholder. Potential escape routes lead east, south or up.

Melchior and Gaspar are running along beside you.

"You'll pay for what you've done, wise guys!" shouts the storeholder.

> s

Palace Corridor
Right behind you are the king's guards and the storeholder. Potential escape routes lead southeast, southwest, west or down.

Melchior and Gaspar are running along beside you.

"But some cockroaches!" shouts the storeholder, for no fathomable reason.

> w

Palace Corridor
Hot on your trail are the king's guards and the storeholder. Potential escape routes lead north, northeast or south.

Melchior and Gaspar are running along beside you.

You can also see a bust of Herod on a pillar here.

"Don't let 'em get away!" shout the pursuing guards.

> s

Palace Corridor
Right behind you are the king's guards and the storeholder. Potential escape routes lead east, southwest or up.

Melchior and Gaspar are running along beside you.

"Don't let them get away with it!" shouts the storeholder.

> sw

Palace Corridor
Right behind you are the king's guards and the storeholder. Potential escape routes lead north, northwest, up or down.

Melchior and Gaspar are running along beside you.

"Follow those Magi!" shout the pursuing guards.

> d
You skip down the stairs.

Palace Corridor
Right behind you are the king's guards and the storeholder. The only potential escape route is northwest.

Melchior and Gaspar are running along beside you.

"Follow those Magi!" shout the pursuing guards.

> nw

Palace Corridor
Hot on your trail are the king's guards and the storeholder. Potential escape routes lead northeast or southwest.

Melchior and Gaspar are running along beside you.

You can also see a bust of Herod on a pillar here.

"You can hide, but you can't hide forever!" shout the pursuing guards.

> sw

Palace Corridor
Right behind you are the king's guards and the storeholder. Potential escape routes lead south, southwest or west.

Melchior and Gaspar are running along beside you.

"Follow those Magi!" shout the pursuing guards.

> s

Palace Corridor
Hot on your trail are the king's guards and the storeholder. Potential escape routes lead southeast or west.

Melchior and Gaspar are running along beside you.

"Follow those Magi!" shouts the storeholder.

> se

Palace Corridor
Right behind you are the king's guards and the storeholder. Potential escape routes lead north or southeast.

Melchior and Gaspar are running along beside you.

"Follow those Magi!" shouts the storeholder.

> se

Palace Corridor
Hot on your trail are the king's guards and the storeholder. Potential escape routes lead north, northeast, east or southeast.

Melchior and Gaspar are running along beside you.

You can also see a bust of Herod on a pillar here.

"You won't get away with this!" shouts the storeholder.

> se

Palace Corridor
Hot on your trail are the king's guards and the storeholder. Potential escape routes lead southeast or south.

Melchior and Gaspar are running along beside you.

"You won't get away with this!" shouts the storeholder.

> se

Palace Corridor
Hot on your trail are the king's guards and the storeholder. Potential escape routes lead east or up.

Melchior and Gaspar are running along beside you.

"Get that storekeeper!" shout the pursuing guards.

> e

Palace Corridor
Right behind you are the king's guards and the storeholder. Potential escape routes lead north, northeast, southeast or southwest.

Melchior and Gaspar are running along beside you.

"Follow those Magi!" shouts the storeholder.

> hide
You'll have to specify where exactly you want to go.

"You won't get away with this!" shouts the storeholder.

> se

Palace Corridor
Hot on your trail are the king's guards and the storeholder. Potential escape routes lead southeast, southwest or west.

Melchior and Gaspar are running along beside you.

You can also see a bust of Herod on a pillar here.

"Don't let 'em get away!" shout the pursuing guards.

> se

Palace Corridor
Right behind you are the king's guards and the storeholder. Potential escape routes lead east or southwest.

Melchior and Gaspar are running along beside you.

"Follow those Magi!" shout the pursuing guards.

> sw

Palace Corridor
Hot on your trail are the king's guards and the storeholder. The only potential escape route is south.

Melchior and Gaspar are running along beside you.

"You can run, but you can't hide!" shout the pursuing guards.

> s

Palace Corridor
Hot on your trail are the king's guards and the storeholder. Potential escape routes lead northeast, west, northwest or up.

Melchior and Gaspar are running along beside you.

"You'll pay for what you've done, wise guys!" shouts the storeholder.

> punch storeholde4r
Violence isn't the answer to this one.

"Don't let them get away with it!" shouts the storeholder.

> punch storeholder
Violence isn't the answer to this one.

"Follow those Magi!" shouts the storeholder.

> i
You have dawdled too long. The storekeeper puts his cleaning cloth around your neck, and then the guards snatch him away and seize all four of you. You are escorted to the nearest dungeon, where the storekeeper's deranged ramblings send you insane.

*** You have been imprisoned. ***

In that game you scored 20 out of a possible 42, in 461 turns. You have achieved the rank of Wise Man.

Would you like to RESTART, RESTORE a saved game or QUIT?
>
undo
Palace Corridor
[Previous turn undone.]

> i
You have dawdled too long. The storekeeper puts his cleaning cloth around your neck, and then the guards snatch him away and seize all four of you. You are escorted to the nearest dungeon, where the storekeeper's deranged ramblings send you insane.

*** You have been imprisoned. ***

In that game you scored 20 out of a possible 42, in 461 turns. You have achieved the rank of Wise Man.

Would you like to RESTART, RESTORE a saved game or QUIT?
>
undo
Palace Corridor
[Previous turn undone.]

> hint
You have dawdled too long. The storekeeper puts his cleaning cloth around your neck, and then the guards snatch him away and seize all four of you. You are escorted to the nearest dungeon, where the storekeeper's deranged ramblings send you insane.

*** You have been imprisoned. ***

In that game you scored 20 out of a possible 42, in 461 turns. You have achieved the rank of Wise Man.

Would you like to RESTART, RESTORE a saved game or QUIT?
>
undo
Palace Corridor
[Previous turn undone.]

> restore
Ok.

> l

Palace of King Herod
You are standing outside King Herod's throne room. The room is large, but bare.

You can see Melchior here, exuding wisdom.
Gaspar stands nearby.

You can also see Caecilius here.

> restore
Ok.

> l

Palace Corridor
Right behind you are the king's guards and the storeholder. The only potential escape route is east.

Melchior and Gaspar are running along beside you.

"You'll pay for what you've done, wise guys!" shouts the storeholder.

> hint
You have dawdled too long. The storekeeper puts his cleaning cloth around your neck, and then the guards snatch him away and seize all four of you. You are escorted to the nearest dungeon, where the storekeeper's deranged ramblings send you insane.

*** You have been imprisoned. ***

In that game you scored 20 out of a possible 42, in 419 turns. You have achieved the rank of Wise Man.

Would you like to RESTART, RESTORE a saved game or QUIT?
>
undo
Palace Corridor
[Previous turn undone.]

> help
You have dawdled too long. The storekeeper puts his cleaning cloth around your neck, and then the guards snatch him away and seize all four of you. You are escorted to the nearest dungeon, where the storekeeper's deranged ramblings send you insane.

*** You have been imprisoned. ***

In that game you scored 20 out of a possible 42, in 419 turns. You have achieved the rank of Wise Man.

Would you like to RESTART, RESTORE a saved game or QUIT?
>
undo
Palace Corridor
[Previous turn undone.]

> restore
Ok.

> help
Type 'HINT OBJECT' for hints related to that object. Typing it repeatedly will give progressively more obvious hints until full spoilers are revealed.

Type HINTS OFF at any time to disable hints completely for the rest of the session.

"But a hissing serpent!" shouts the storeholder, for no fathomable reason.

> undo
Palace Corridor
[Previous turn undone.]

> hint storekeeper
1/3. Run away!

"Someone grab the crazy storekeeper!" shout the pursuing guards.

> hint storekeeper
2/3. After a while, you will notice something in the corridors.

"You can run, but you can't hide!" shout the pursuing guards.

> hint storekeeper
3/3. Push over the bust of Herod to trip your pursuers.

"You'll pay for what you've done, wise guys!" shouts the storeholder.

> z
Foolishly, you dawdle.

"You can hide, but you can't hide forever!" shout the pursuing guards.

> e

Palace Corridor
Hot on your trail are the king's guards and the storeholder. Potential escape routes lead southeast or down.

Melchior and Gaspar are running along beside you.

"You won't escape! Surrender now!" shout the pursuing guards.

> se

Meeting Room
Noblemen are having a high-brow discussion here around a large table. Hot on your trail are the king's guards and the storeholder. Potential escape routes lead northeast or west.

"Stop, conspirators!" shout the pursuing guards.

"Next on the agenda..." says a stuffy nobleman, "The King's new bathing regulations."

> ne
You leap onto the conference table and pound along it to the other side.

"Hey!" shouts one of the noblemen, as you dive off through the door on the other side of the room.

Palace Corridor
Right behind you are the king's guards and the storeholder. The only potential escape route is south.

Melchior and Gaspar are running along beside you.

"You can hide, but you can't hide forever!" shout the pursuing guards.

> s

Palace Corridor
Hot on your trail are the king's guards and the storeholder. Potential escape routes lead east, south, northwest or up.

Melchior and Gaspar are running along beside you.

"Keep your eyes on those Magi!" shout the pursuing guards.

> e

Palace Corridor
Hot on your trail are the king's guards and the storeholder. Potential escape routes lead north or southeast.

Melchior and Gaspar are running along beside you.

"You can run, but you can't hide!" shout the pursuing guards.

> se

Palace Corridor
Right behind you are the king's guards and the storeholder. Potential escape routes lead north, northeast or up.

Melchior and Gaspar are running along beside you.

"You won't get away with this!" shouts the storeholder.

> ne

Kitchen
Cooks and servants are bustling around the room. The air is thick and hot; various broths and sauces are bubbling away in pots. The smells of herbs, spices, cold meats and of steam attack you from all sides. Right behind you are the king's guards and the storeholder. Potential escape routes lead east, west or northwest.

"You'll pay for what you've done, wise guys!" shouts the storeholder.

> e
You run through the kitchen, and cannot avoid knocking over a servant boy and sending a tray of soup bowls flying back. Shouts and cries pummel you from all sides, but you brazenly ignore them and push through. A cook is inadvertently shoved face first onto a counter of cakes and pastries, and somehow a whole rack of cutlery falls down, scattering utensils across the floor. Gaspar emerges with a cheese grater on each hand, and you see that your robe is now stained with all sorts of colours.

Palace Corridor
Hot on your trail are the king's guards and the storeholder. The only potential escape route is south.

Melchior and Gaspar are running along beside you.

"Follow those Magi!" shout the pursuing guards.

> s

Palace Corridor
Hot on your trail are the king's guards and the storeholder. Potential escape routes lead east or southwest.

Melchior and Gaspar are running along beside you.

You can also see a bust of Herod on a pillar here.

"Follow those Magi!" shouts the storeholder.

> push bust
As you pass the sculpture, you push it over in the path of your pursuers...

"Follow those Magi!" shout the pursuing guards.

> e

From the west you hear the unmistakable sound of your pursuers tripping over the fallen sculpture and piling up on the floor.

"Right," says Melchior, quickly solving an astrological puzzle that opens a secret passage to the south. "This way."

Palace Stables
You have emerged in the palace's stables. You are delighted to see your camels here waiting for you, oblivious to the commotion you've just experienced. Caecilius, the mute guard, is standing in front of the gate to the south.

"Tell him to open the gate!" says Melchior, as he and Gaspar mount their camels. "Quickly!"

Numbers is waiting for you obediently.

"Stop, you filthy store-burners!" shouts the storeholder. The voices are getting closer and closer.

> save
Ok.

> caeciliusa, opena gateo
The guard merely shakes his head and shrugs his shoulders.

"You won't get away with this!" shouts the storeholder. The voices are getting closer and closer.

> undo
Palace Stables
[Previous turn undone.]

> caeciliusa, open gateum
Caecilius tries to open the gate but finds that it is locked. He turns to you and shakes his head.

"Look!" says Gaspar. "He's got the key around his waist!" Caecilius looks at Gaspar, confused.

"You'll pay for what you've done, wise guys!" shouts the storeholder. The voices are getting closer and closer.

> point at key
You can't see any such thing.

> undo
Palace Stables
[Previous turn undone.]

> get key
Caecilius dodges back and holds up his hand to fend you off.

"After them!" shout the pursuing guards. The voices are getting closer and closer.

> undo
Palace Stables
[Previous turn undone.]

> caeciliusa, get keyum
The guard seems to understand but is giving you a very confused look.

"Get that storekeeper!" shout the pursuing guards. The voices are getting closer and closer.

> undo
Palace Stables
[Previous turn undone.]

> caeciliusa, unlock gateum with keya
Caecilius calmly unlocks the gate with the key.

"Stop, you filthy store-burners!" shouts the storeholder. The voices are getting closer and closer.

> caeciliusa, open gateum
Caecilius nods and opens the gate. Melchior thanks him.

"Someone grab the crazy storekeeper!" shout the pursuing guards. The voices are getting closer and closer.

> save
Ok.

> s
You should get onto Numbers, or else you'll never get away from them!

"Don't let them get away with it!" shouts the storeholder. The voices are getting closer and closer.

> undo
Palace Stables
[Previous turn undone.]

> get on numbers
You heave yourself onto the camel, who grunts receptively.

"Follow those Magi!" shouts the storeholder. The voices are getting closer and closer.

> s

Streets of Jerusalem (on Numbers)
You burst out into the streets, not quite knowing which way to go. Moments later, the storeholder emerges from the stables, riding a very young camel. He is swiftly followed by the king's guards, all of them on camels now; there are some pairs of guards sharing a camel too. Then you hear the shout of a new voice.

"There you are!" You look around and see the Kohen Gadol, who is looking directly at the mad storekeeper. "You haven't paid me for the last batch of myrrh, you scoundrel!" Hot on your trail are the Kohen Gadol, the king's guards and the storeholder. Potential escape routes lead northeast, east or south.

"Get that storekeeper!" shout the pursuing guards.

> save
Ok.

> e

Streets of Jerusalem (on Numbers)
Narrow streets lead between the city's many buildings. Hot on your trail are the Kohen Gadol, the king's guards and the storeholder. Potential escape routes lead north, northeast, south or northwest.

You hear a cry from behind you, then see a newcomer riding out from a side street. "Hey! You three!" The slurred speech belongs to the wandering trader - the one you got the gold from in the town. "That frankincense you gave me isn't pure! I demand..." The rest of his comment is lost in the commotion.

"Follow the star!" calls Melchior, pointing at it. It is due south.

"I demand a refund of my gold!" calls the wandering merchant.

> s

Streets of Jerusalem (on Numbers)
Narrow streets lead between the city's many buildings. Hot on your trail are the Kohen Gadol, the wandering trader, the king's guards and the storeholder. The only potential escape route is southwest.

Suddenly, two camels catch up with you - one of them on each side. You are relieved to see that Shem and Sham are the riders. "We're on your side!" says Shem.

"I want my money!" shouts the Kohen Gadol.

> sw

Streets of Jerusalem (on Numbers)
Narrow streets lead between the city's many buildings. Hot on your trail are the Kohen Gadol, the wandering trader, the king's guards and the storeholder. Potential escape routes lead north or west.

A squawking comes from above you, and you look up to see a familiar colourful bird. "Pieces of camel chase! Pieces of camel!" says the parrot from the music stall.

"Pieces of camel!" squawks the parrot from overhead.

> x star
It is the star called Regulus, which marks the birth of a baby boy. Said boy will reputedly come to great prominence in the near future. The star is currently shining very brightly due south.

"You are dodgy dealers!" calls the trader. "My frankincense was impure!"

> s
You can't go that way.

"Yes, master!" calls Sham, inexplicably.

"Follow those Magi!" shout the pursuing guards.

> w

Streets of Jerusalem (on Numbers)
Narrow streets lead between the city's many buildings. Right behind you are the Kohen Gadol, the parrot, the wandering trader, the king's guards and the storeholder. Potential escape routes lead north or northeast.

"Where's my parrot?" comes a new voice, and you turn to see that the owner of the music stall has joined the chase. "Ah, there he is! Up there!"

"Go, Kohen Gadol! Get 'em!" squawks the parrot.

> ne

Streets of Jerusalem (on Numbers)
Narrow streets lead between the city's many buildings. Hot on your trail are the Kohen Gadol, the music man, the parrot, the wandering trader, the king's guards and the storeholder. Potential escape routes lead southeast or northwest.

A group of washerwomen and city folk have to dive into various shops and houses to let you all pass through the street.

"Go, Kohen Gadol! Get 'em!" squawks the parrot.

> se

Streets of Jerusalem (on Numbers)
Narrow streets lead between the city's many buildings. Hot on your trail are the Kohen Gadol, the music man, the parrot, the wandering trader, the king's guards and the storeholder. The only potential escape route is west.

"Like I say, come back to me, Turkey!" calls the music stall man.

> w

Streets of Jerusalem (on Numbers)
Narrow streets lead between the city's many buildings. Hot on your trail are the Kohen Gadol, the music man, the parrot, the wandering trader, the king's guards and the storeholder. The only potential escape route is northwest.

"Keep your eyes on those Magi!" shout the pursuing guards.

> nw

Streets of Jerusalem (on Numbers)
Narrow streets lead between the city's many buildings. Right behind you are the Kohen Gadol, the music man, the parrot, the wandering trader, the king's guards and the storeholder. Potential escape routes lead northeast, south or southwest.

"Keep your eyes on those Magi!" shout the pursuing guards.

> x star
It is the star called Regulus, which marks the birth of a baby boy. Said boy will reputedly come to great prominence in the near future. The star is currently shining very brightly due south.

"I have been deceived!" calls the trader. "That frankincense was not kosher!"

> s

Streets of Jerusalem (on Numbers)
Narrow streets lead between the city's many buildings. Hot on your trail are the Kohen Gadol, the music man, the parrot, the wandering trader, the king's guards and the storeholder. Potential escape routes lead northeast, east, south or southwest.

"Yes, master!" calls Sham, inexplicably.

"Stop, you filthy store-burners!" shouts the storeholder.

> s

Streets of Jerusalem (on Numbers)
Narrow streets lead between the city's many buildings. Right behind you are the Kohen Gadol, the music man, the parrot, the wandering trader, the king's guards and the storeholder. Potential escape routes lead southeast, south, southwest or west.

"Yes, master!" calls Sham, inexplicably.

"I demand a refund of my gold!" calls the wandering merchant.

> s

Streets of Jerusalem (on Numbers)
Narrow streets lead between the city's many buildings. Right behind you are the Kohen Gadol, the music man, the parrot, the wandering trader, the king's guards and the storeholder. The only potential escape route is east.

"The city gates!" everyone calls, except one:

"Hey - wait up!" comes a heavenly voice. Everyone looks around to see that it is, in appearance at least, an angel. "I have a message for you!" she calls. But you have no time to stop.

To your relief and surprise, the city gates lie open. Gaspar remarks about this fact, and Shem explains, "We made sure they would be, to give you a clear run. It's not hard to pull a few strings around here." Soon, the five of you pass through the gates, and someone begins to close them behind you. Gaspar looks as though he is about to whoop with joy, when someone suddenly appears on a horse, holding up a sign that says, 'Leave the gatesos openos'. It's Caecilius! He turns over his sign, and the back reads: 'You did not have permissionum to leave the palaceum. I made a mistakeum'. And then the hordes rush out - all the king's camels and all the king's men, the music man, the parrot, the wandering merchant, the Kohen Gadol and the crazy storeholder.

Desert
The desperate camel chase has taken you to the desert south of Jerusalem. You can go in any direction.

"You'll pay for what you've done, wise guys!" shouts the storeholder.

> save
Ok.

> x star
It is the star called Regulus, which marks the birth of a baby boy. Said boy will reputedly come to great prominence in the near future. The star is currently shining very brightly due south.

"You'll pay for what you've done, wise guys!" shouts the storeholder.

> s

Desert (on Numbers)
The desperate camel chase has taken you to the desert south of Jerusalem. You can go in any direction.

"I have been deceived!" calls the trader. "That frankincense was not kosher!"

> s

Desert (on Numbers)
The desperate camel chase has taken you to the desert south of Jerusalem. You can go in any direction. There seems to be a big ditch to the northwest.

"There you are!" says a familiar voice. "You thinkas you can get away with circumventing the rulesos of exchangeis currencyis?" It is the man from the Roman shop!

"Don't let them get away with it!" shouts the storeholder.

> nw
"Noooo!" Gaspar cries as you, he and Melchior ride headlong into the ditch.

"Let me help!" says the angel. She takes something from her waist and speaks into it. "Calling heavenly host. I need backup."

The angel holds out her hand; you take it. And then you find yourself being lifted into the air and Numbers with you! You look around and see two other angels magically raising Gaspar and Melchior into the air, also still on their camels.

The angels fly away to the north with all the land-based pursuers following, and then they set you down.

"Thanks!" says your angel, and her two companions vanish in a sparkle.

Desert
The desperate camel chase has taken you to the desert south of Jerusalem. You can go in any direction.

Numbers is still raring to go.

"What do you say, Turkey?" calls the music man.

> x star
It is the star called Regulus, which marks the birth of a baby boy. Said boy will reputedly come to great prominence in the near future. The star is currently shining very brightly due south.

You look and see Caecilius turning over his sign. It now reads: 'Latin noun declension rules'.

> s

Desert (on Numbers)
The desperate camel chase has taken you to the desert south of Jerusalem. You can go in any direction.

"Yes, master!" calls Sham, inexplicably.

"You cannot outruna the Romansos!" shouts the Roman assistant.

> s

Desert (on Numbers)
The desperate camel chase has taken you to the desert south of Jerusalem. You can go in any direction. A convoy of camel riders is slowly approaching you from the south.

"Hey!" says a new voice. You turn your head seven-hundred and twenty degrees before noticing a pawn broker whom you recognise from the town you passed through. He points at the music man and calls, "Customers are not permitted to bring their pets onto the premises! I have allergies, you know!"

"Yes, master!" calls Sham, inexplicably.

"Come back here, you Babylonian crook!" shouts the Kohen Gadol.

> s
"Halt right there!" calls an imposing gentleman with a sword, who is heading the convoy. But you carry on riding towards the line of camels. Some people in the convoy quickly grab hold of Numbers, Job and Deuter and bring the three of you to a halt, then surround you with swords drawn...

"Let me help!" says the angel. She takes something from her waist and speaks into it. "Calling heavenly host. I need backup."

The angel holds out her hand; you take it. And then you find yourself being lifted into the air and Numbers with you! You look around and see two other angels magically raising Gaspar and Melchior into the air, also still on their camels.

The angels fly away to the north with all the land-based pursuers following, and then they set you down.

"Thanks!" says your angel, and her two companions vanish in a sparkle.

Desert
The desperate camel chase has taken you to the desert south of Jerusalem. You can go in any direction. A herd of sheep is being shepherded along to the northeast. To the southeast there is a very steep dune.

Numbers is still raring to go.

"Oh - excuse me!" says the angel. You look around and see that she had a near miss with Caecilius over whom she was flying.

> s

Desert (on Numbers)
The desperate camel chase has taken you to the desert south of Jerusalem. You can go in any direction.

"Down with musical instrumentations!" the angry pawn man decrees.

> s

Desert (on Numbers)
The desperate camel chase has taken you to the desert south of Jerusalem. You can go in any direction. You can see an oasis to the southwest. There seems to be a big ditch to the south. A convoy of camel riders is slowly approaching you from the west.

"I... I have a message for you!" calls the angel.

> s
"Noooo!" Gaspar cries as you, he and Melchior ride headlong into the ditch.

"Let me help!" says the angel. She takes something from her waist and speaks into it. "Calling heavenly host. I need backup."

The angel holds out her hand; you take it. And then you find yourself being lifted into the air and Numbers with you! You look around and see two other angels magically raising Gaspar and Melchior into the air, also still on their camels.

The angels fly away to the north with all the land-based pursuers following, and then they set you down.

"Thanks!" says your angel, and her two companions vanish in a sparkle.

Desert
The desperate camel chase has taken you to the desert south of Jerusalem. You can go in any direction. A herd of sheep is being shepherded along to the east. You can see an oasis to the south.

Numbers is still raring to go.

"Yes, master!" calls Sham, inexplicably.

"Go, Caecilius! Get 'em!" squawks the parrot.

> s
You ride off to the oasis to the south and Numbers comes to a halt and starts lapping up the water. The other riders are still coming towards you at full pelt, and a collision looks probable...

"Let me help!" says the angel. She takes something from her waist and speaks into it. "Calling heavenly host. I need backup."

The angel holds out her hand; you take it. And then you find yourself being lifted into the air and Numbers with you! You look around and see two other angels magically raising Gaspar and Melchior into the air, also still on their camels.

The angels fly away to the north with all the land-based pursuers following, and then they set you down.

"Thanks!" says your angel, and her two companions vanish in a sparkle.

Desert
The desperate camel chase has taken you to the desert south of Jerusalem. You can go in any direction. A herd of sheep is being shepherded along to the south.

Numbers is still raring to go.

"I... I have a message for you!" calls the angel.

> talk to angel
You would ask the angel what she wants to say, but you need to get to a safe place first!

You look and see Caecilius turning over his sign. It now reads: 'Latin noun declension rules'.

> x sign
You have dawdled too long. The storekeeper puts his cleaning cloth around your neck, and then the guards snatch him away and seize all four of you. You are escorted to the nearest dungeon, where the storekeeper's deranged ramblings send you insane.

*** You have been imprisoned. ***

In that game you scored 20 out of a possible 42, in 465 turns. You have achieved the rank of Wise Man.

Would you like to RESTART, RESTORE a saved game or QUIT?
>
undo
Desert
[Previous turn undone.]

> x sheep
You have dawdled too long. The storekeeper puts his cleaning cloth around your neck, and then the guards snatch him away and seize all four of you. You are escorted to the nearest dungeon, where the storekeeper's deranged ramblings send you insane.

*** You have been imprisoned. ***

In that game you scored 20 out of a possible 42, in 465 turns. You have achieved the rank of Wise Man.

Would you like to RESTART, RESTORE a saved game or QUIT?
>
undo
Desert
[Previous turn undone.]

> restore
Ok.

> l

Desert (on Numbers)
The desperate camel chase has taken you to the desert south of Jerusalem. You can go in any direction.

You look and see Caecilius turning over his sign. It now reads: 'Latin noun declension rules'.

> undo
Desert
[Previous turn undone.]

> x sign
Caecilius is riding a horse, quite nonchalantly, and very skilfully too. He seems to have realised his professional incompetence in opening the gateum for you. Such must be the power of good Latin grammar.

"Come back here, beautiful parrot!" calls the music stall holder.

> undo
Desert
[Previous turn undone.]

> s

Desert (on Numbers)
The desperate camel chase has taken you to the desert south of Jerusalem. You can go in any direction.

"You'll pay for what you've done, wise guys!" shouts the storeholder.

> s

Desert (on Numbers)
The desperate camel chase has taken you to the desert south of Jerusalem. You can go in any direction. To the southeast there is a very steep dune.

"There you are!" says a familiar voice. "You thinkas you can get away with circumventing the rulesos of exchangeis currencyis?" It is the man from the Roman shop!

"Go, wandering trader! Get 'em!" squawks the parrot.

> hint
You need to go south, but don't go in a direction in which there is some kind of obstacle. If you can't go south, go southwest or southeast and if you can't do that either, go west or east until you can.

"I want my money!" shouts the Kohen Gadol.

> s

Desert (on Numbers)
The desperate camel chase has taken you to the desert south of Jerusalem. You can go in any direction. A herd of sheep is being shepherded along to the east. A convoy of camel riders is slowly approaching you from the northwest. Someone is towing a wagon along to the south.

"Oh - excuse me!" says the angel. You look around and see that she had a near miss with one of the Roman guards over whom she was flying.

> es
That's not a verb I recognise.

> se

Desert (on Numbers)
The desperate camel chase has taken you to the desert south of Jerusalem. You can go in any direction. You can see an oasis to the north. A convoy of camel riders is slowly approaching you from the west.

"Hey!" says a new voice. You turn your head seven-hundred and twenty degrees before noticing a pawn broker whom you recognise from the town you passed through. He points at the music man and calls, "Customers are not permitted to bring their pets onto the premises! I have allergies, you know!"

"Down with musical instrumentations!" the angry pawn man decrees.

> s

Desert (on Numbers)
The desperate camel chase has taken you to the desert south of Jerusalem. You can go in any direction. A convoy of camel riders is slowly approaching you from the northwest.

"Like I say, come back to me, Turkey!" calls the music stall man.

> s

Desert (on Numbers)
The desperate camel chase has taken you to the desert south of Jerusalem. You can go in any direction. There is a clump of trees to the southeast.

"Like I say, come back to me, Turkey!" calls the music stall man.

> s

Desert (on Numbers)
The desperate camel chase has taken you to the desert south of Jerusalem. You can go in any direction. A herd of sheep is being shepherded along to the southwest. There is a clump of trees to the south. A convoy of camel riders is slowly approaching you from the west.

"Get 'im!" shout the pursuing guards.

> sw
"Where are you going, Balthasar?" says Gaspar. Suddenly you see the herd of sheep. You stop Numbers just in time - enough time, as it happens, for your pursuers to catch up with you.

"Let me help!" says the angel. She takes something from her waist and speaks into it. "Calling heavenly host. I need backup."

The angel holds out her hand; you take it. And then you find yourself being lifted into the air and Numbers with you! You look around and see two other angels magically raising Gaspar and Melchior into the air, also still on their camels.

The angels fly away to the north with all the land-based pursuers following, and then they set you down.

"Thanks!" says your angel, and her two companions vanish in a sparkle.

Desert
The desperate camel chase has taken you to the desert south of Jerusalem. You can go in any direction. To the southwest there is a very steep dune. Someone is towing a wagon along to the south.

Numbers is still raring to go.

"Come on wings - don't fail me now!" calls the angel, who is flying above the camels.

> se

Desert (on Numbers)
The desperate camel chase has taken you to the desert south of Jerusalem. You can go in any direction.

"You'll pay for what you've done, wise guys!" shouts the storeholder.

> s

Desert (on Numbers)
The desperate camel chase has taken you to the desert south of Jerusalem. You can go in any direction.

"Go, pawn man! Get 'em!" squawks the parrot.

> s

Desert (on Numbers)
The desperate camel chase has taken you to the desert south of Jerusalem. You can go in any direction. To the west there is a very steep dune.

"I have been deceived!" calls the trader. "That frankincense was not kosher!"

> s

Desert (on Numbers)
The desperate camel chase has taken you to the desert south of Jerusalem. You can go in any direction.

"Down with musical instrumentations!" the angry pawn man decrees.

> s

Desert (on Numbers)
The desperate camel chase has taken you to the desert south of Jerusalem. You can go in any direction. A herd of sheep is being shepherded along to the south.

"Keep your eyes on those Magi!" shout the pursuing guards.

> sw

Desert (on Numbers)
The desperate camel chase has taken you to the desert south of Jerusalem. You can go in any direction.

"I want my money!" shouts the Kohen Gadol.

> s

Desert (on Numbers)
The desperate camel chase has taken you to the desert south of Jerusalem. You can go in any direction. There is a clump of trees to the south.

"Pieces of camel!" squawks the parrot from overhead.

> se

Desert (on Numbers)
The desperate camel chase has taken you to the desert south of Jerusalem. You can go in any direction.

"Come on wings - don't fail me now!" calls the angel, who is flying above the camels.

> s

Desert (on Numbers)
The desperate camel chase has taken you to the desert south of Jerusalem. You can go in any direction.

"There it is!" Gaspar calls, pointing to the gates of Bethlehem. Shem immediately brings his camel to a stop and hurls himself off to open the gates.

"Come on!" he says. Sham rides through first, making an odd warbling sound, and you, Gaspar and Melchior follow.

Together and with haste, Shem and Sham shut the gates behind you, just as your pursuers were about to reach the threshold...

---

Press SPACE to continue

Crash!

Bam!

Thump!

Wham!
---

Press SPACE to continue

Stable
Your journey has finally brought you here - to a cramped stable in this tiny village, with a thick and stuffy odour. It's hardly a fitting birthplace for a future king, but despite the conditions of this place, and despite what you've been through to get here, you feel remarkably calm and at peace.

Mary and Joseph are standing next to the manger, their eyes barely straying from the newborn. A number of shepherds as well as a few donkeys are also crowding around the manger in what little space remains.

"A manger?!" Gaspar exclaims.

"There was no room at the inn," says Mary softly, "so the inn-keeper kindly let us stay here."

[Your score has just gone up by two points.]

> save
Ok.

> i
You are carrying:
two vouchers
your Parthian attire (being worn)
six Latin grammar cue cards:
a vocative case cue card
an ablative case cue card
a genitive case cue card
a general Latin grammar cue card
an accusative case cue card
a dative case cue card

Gaspar puts his hand on your shoulder. "Balthasar, choose a present to give to the boy." He hands you a bag containing the gifts. "Melchior said you should have first choice, after all the work you put into getting them."

> get frankincense
Taken.

"Chosen the frankincense, have you?" says Gaspar. He takes the sack from you and offers it to Melchior.

> give frankincense to mary
"How kind of you to have brought gifts! Please, go ahead. There is room in the manger."

> put frankincense in manger
You step forward and bow down to the baby boy. On your knees, you look into Jesus' eyes and place the frankincense carefully by his side in the manger. Then you rise and move to the side. Melchior comes forth next, bows, then kneels before the boy. He places the myrrh in the manger and remains kneeling for a few moments. When you realise that he needs help, you offer your hand and pull him up. Finally, Gaspar comes forward and bows, then kneels down with a regal flourish and presents the gold to the boy.

After many minutes of silence, Melchior asks if there is anywhere that you can sleep, since it is too late to set off home again now.

Mary is too intent on looking at Jesus, but Joseph eventually looks up at you. "That wall is free," he says.

---

Press SPACE to continue

"I had the strangest dream," says Gaspar in the morning. "I was back home in the palace, talking to some nobles and consulting with generals, when..."

"Let me guess," says Melchior. "An angel appeared, looking uncannily like the one that was chasing us in the desert."

"That's right!"

"I had a similar dream too," you say. "Except that I was here in these stables when she appeared."

Finished on about the two-hour mark. Used the hints for the mazes.

Fun game.

What's with the giraffe on the cover art? Is there a giraffe? I never found the giraffe.

"Indeed," says Melchior, "I was standing next to a funeral pyre in a dark field when the angel appeared to me, but I feel sure it was the same angel - with the same message."

"Saying that we should not go back to Herod, and that we should return to our home land by a different route?" says Gaspar.

"Exactly. And the advice is prudent and wise. I have a route in mind and I suggest we begin to make our way immediately."

"Excellent," says Gaspar.

You turn to get started on loading the camels, but Gaspar intervenes. "Let me do that, Balthasar. You've done a lot for us on this trip. You've earned a rest."

*** You have won. ***

In that game you scored 22 out of a possible 42, in 473 turns. You have achieved the rank of Wise Man.

Would you like to RESTART, RESTORE a saved game or QUIT?
>
quit