Key & Compass presents:
The Meteor, the Stone and a Long Glass of Sherbet
by Graham Nelson

The Meteor, the Stone and a Long Glass of Sherbet is a Z-machine interactive fiction game written with Inform 6 and is © 1996 by Graham Nelson (writing as "Angela M. Horns"). This was an entry in IF Comp 1996 where it won 1st place. At the 1996 XYZZY Awards, it was a finalist in four categories: Best Individual Puzzle, Best Puzzles, Best Writing, and Best Game.

In this fantasy Zork-style game, you're an Ambassador touring the Northland Empire with the vapid and never-bored Lady Amilia. But you've been stuck in this cushioned basket on top of an elephant with her, surrounded by her honour guard for a fortnight. How to get away and see something interesting or important?

This solution is by David Welbourn, and is based on Release 1 of the game.

SPOILERS AHEAD. Reading a walkthrough prematurely can sometimes diminish one's enjoyment of an interactive fiction game. Please make an honest effort to play the game before reading this walkthrough.


Map 1: Procession, Customs House, and Upper Underground

WatlingStreet CustomsPost WatlingStreet CustomsHouseBedroom UpstairsLanding LivingRoom Kitchen BubblingPool Cellars LowJunction WheelRoom(North) PassageUnderthe Wall PaleCorridor Ante-chamber WheelRoom(West) Clot-spinner'sWorkshop WheelRoom(East) TopmostLedge DarkDoorway Chamber of thePhilosopher'sStone DeadEnd WheelRoom(South) Shambles LowCrawl TopBranches LongCarvedLedge TinyRecess OtherHalf Cave HalfCave WoodlandCave StonyShallows LilyPod z* z* (it's complicated) pull left ear(or) pull right ear u u d u u d d u d (or)jump to tree jump

Map 2: Inverted Cedar and Cave Floor

TopmostLedge TopBranches Tree-house BranchesNear theCave Floor NorthEdge ofPool StonyShallows LilyPod CaveFloor EnclosedStream FurrowandWorkings ShatteredTempleRampart UpwardBurrow EggChamber u in u push egg north d d (or)jump to tree out d d u u z*

Map 3: Hunting Woods (endgame)

WatlingStreet,Again ForestGlade UndertheCulvert WoodlandCave Into theWoods WheelRoom(West)* (any) (anybut ne) u d


Watling Street

> i. x fedora. x telescope.

> look at woods through telescope.

> x Amilia. (She has a guide book.)

After five turns, a silken boy gives each of you a glass of sherbet.

> x sherbet. taste it.

> x book.

> x elephant. x ears. (which?) x right ear.

> x trunk. x basket.

> x hat. (Amilia's hat)

> x wall.

> ask Amilia about estate. x guards.

At turn 17, the procession stops at...

Customs Post

> x flag. (of Northland Empire)

> z. z. z. z.

At turn 21, the procession resumes.

Watling Street

> z. z.

> x bridge. (at turn 24)

> look at bird through telescope. (It was a Bird of Paradise.)

> ask Amilia for book. (She hands it over.)

> look up bird of paradise in book. (Their mating call is a chirrup followed by a coo.)

> chirrup. coo. (+1. A bird of paradise starts pecking at the wax fruit on Amilia's hat!)

With Amilia distracted, you have more options.

> throw sherbet at elephant. (+1. He's awake now.)

> pull left ear. (+1. Chaos!)

The expedition stops for the night.

Customs House Bedroom

> i. (You're carrying nothing now.)

> x bed. look under bed. (Nice try.)

> x figurine. x painting.

> take guide. take figurine. (+1)

> e. (can't: guards are outside the door)

> enter bed. sleep. (A horn in middle of the night wakes you.)

> out. e. (+1. The guards are gone.)

Upstairs Landing

> open curtains. x glow. (too distant)

> d.


> x hamper. take it. open it.

> x apple. x cheese. x garlic.

> x ham. take it. put it in hamper.

> x hook. x stove. open it. (empty)

> x door. open it. (can't: locked)

> w.

Living Room

> x trunk. take it. open it.

> x credentials. x rope.

> x trophy case. open it. (+1. You get something.)

> i. x scarab.

> x rug. move it. (Nice try.)

> x lantern. take it.

> e. u.

Upstairs Landing

> look through telescope at glow. (You see a dark turret or chimney.)

> d.


> throw rope at hook. (+1)

> tie rope to stove. (+1)

> pull rope. (+1. A old chimney is revealed.)

> x chimney. put rope in chimney.

> climb ropeordown.

Darkness / Cellars

> light lantern. s. nw.

Bubbling Pool

> x pool.

> x leaves. search leaves. (+2: platinum egg!)

> swim. (can't: pool isn't wide enough)

> drink water. (You feel light-headed.)

> z. z. (+1. You gain Power.)

> se.

Low Junction

On entry, you curse "jilnix", summoning a cloud of insects. By will, you abolish them.

> spells. s.

Passage Under the Wall

> x snake. (hungry)

You have a choice:

> s.

Topmost Ledge

> look through telescope at cedar. (You see a crude house halfway down.)

> sw.

Low Crawl

> take stick. x it. (That's a boomerang, yes?)

> x boomerang. (Yes. Yes, it is.)

> w.


> x chimney. u. (too tight)

> search garbage. (woodlice and ants stop you)

> jilnix garbage. (Your insects battle the woodlice and ants until they win.)

> search garbage. (+1. You find a parchment book.)

> x parchment book. (A note falls out. The book lists three spells.)

> x note. (Claims the book is defective.)

> e. s.

Half Cave

This is S from Low Crawl.

> x shard. take it.

> learn chiaro. chiaro shard. (The shard now glows.)

> turn off lantern.

> x window. look through window. (darkness)

> n. ne. n. n. n. (+1)


> learn piroo. piroo rope. take rope.

> s. s. s.

Topmost Ledge

> jump (to tree).

Top Branches

> x bow. take bow and arrow.

> enter house. (There's no obvious way in.)

> learn piroo. piroo house. (It opens.)

> in. (+1)


> x cone. take it. (+1)

> take arrows.

> out. d.

Branches Near the Cave Floor

> x ladder. d.

Cave Floor

> x stream. sw.

Furrow and Workings

> x drum. take it. shake it.

I think this may be a sieve, but it's not called one.

> ne. e.

Enclosed Stream

You might find the ore after only two drum fillings.

> fill drum. g. g. (ore found!)

> take ore. x it.

> w. s.

Shattered Temple Rampart

> search scree. (no: not stable enough)

> take scroll. (no: you'll start an avalanche)

> tie rope to scroll. tie rope to me.

CAUTION: If you go north now, you'll die in the avalanche. And it's not obvious that you can go west from here!

> w.

Furrow and Workings

> take scroll. untie rope.

> read scroll. ("azzev spell: view the past")

Note: You can't learn a spell unless it's in your spellbook.

> put scroll in spellbook.

> ne. s.

Shattered Temple Rampart

There's now a doorway south, above which is a skull-and-crossbones carving.

> x doorway. (You see a nasty paste.)

> learn azzev. cast azzev. (You have a vision of the scree slope being built by slaves and their overseer.)

> n. nw.

North Edge of Pool

> take arrow. x lily.

> cast jilnix on lily. (The lily eats all the insects.)

> se. u.

Branches Near the Cave Floor

Don't even think of casting piroo on this ladder!

> take ladder. u.

Top Branches

> put ladder on ledge.

> w. (You spot a small cavity in western cave face.)

> look at cavity through telescope. (Still can't see into it.)

> learn chiaro. chiaro arrow. shoot cavity. (+1; cavity now lit)

> u. sw. s.

Half Cave

> look in window. (You see a sequence of paintings where a shaman makes a life-restoring elixir by tearing a broad leaf and grinding it up with an arrow.)

> n. ne. e. se.

Long Curved Ledge

> tie rope to ring.

> d. (no, it's 20 feet short.)

> tie rope to me. jump. (Under the ledge, you find...)

Tiny Recess

> untie rope. (It now hangs, out of reach, to the south.)

> ne.

Dead End

> x ingot. take it. (+1)

> sw.

Tiny Recess

> throw boomerang. z. z. (You grab the rope and retie it to your waist.)

> take boomerang. u.

Long Curved Ledge

> untie rope. take rope.

> nw.

Dark Doorway

If you didn't kill the oil-snake, it now blocks your way north here.

> n. (snake blocks you)

> jilnix snake. (Doesn't work this time.)

> give apple to snake. (It dies. It's gone.)

> n.

Pale Corridor

> x man. (wants treasure)

> e. (Adventurer stops you.)

> give egg to man. (+1)

> give jade to man. (+1)

> give scarab to man. (+1)

> give cone to man. (+1)

> give ingot to man. (+2. The Adventurer and his loot vanish.)

> e.


> take coffer. open coffer.

> x old document. (re: Philosopher's Stone)

> x colour chart. (I believe this lists relationships between elements.)

> s.

Chamber of the Philosopher's Stone

> x stone.

> x spotless scroll. (ruther spell: transmute pure chemical elements)

> take it. put it in spellbook.

> learn azzev. cast azzev. (see silver turned into gold)

> learn ruther. ruther tin. (It's now lead ore.)

> x lead.

> learn ruther. ruther lead. (It's now a diamond.)

> x diamond.

> n. w. s. w. d.

Top Branches

> take ladder. d.

Branches Near the Cave Floor

> hang ladder (on the cave floor).

> d. s.

Shattered Temple Rampart

> learn ruther. ruther doorway.

> x doorway. (It now glows with phosphorescence.)

> s. u.

Egg Chamber

> x body. (It falls to dust!)

> take egg. (can't: too big)

> break egg. (pushing is suggested)

> push egg down.

Upward Burrow

> push egg north.

The egg cracks a little, and you're now glued to the egg. You and the egg roll into the pond, and a giant lily swallows you and the egg just as it splits open.

Lily Pod

> x creature. (It has a deadly sting.)

> x sting. (It drips poison.)

> squeeze sting. (+1; the poison begins to soak into the membrane)

> z. z. (The pod breaks free of its stalk.)

> z. (The pod drifts west.)

You don't want water to damage any of your stuff.

> put all in trunk. close trunk.

The pod bursts. Your trunk floats away. You wade to...

Stony Shallows

The lantern somehow escaped the trunk and is now providing light even when off. More magic?

> take leaf and lantern. n.

Other Half Cave

> read note. ("2585 + 10163")

> take it. move boxes. (find secret door!)

> open door. e. n. ne. jump. d. d. nw.

North Edge of Pool

> take trunk. open it.

> se. u.

Branches Near the Cave Floor

> take ladder. u.

Top Branches

> put ladder on ledge.

> u. sw. s. w. nw.

Wheel Cave (South)

> ne.

Wheel Cave (East)

> take scroll. read it. ("ploor spell: nation shall speak peace unto nation")

> put it in spellbook.

> nw.

Wheel Cave (North)

> x scroll. take all from rack.

> sw.

Wheel Cave (West)

> x meteor. x light. (same as you saw from the Customs House)

> e.

Clotspinner's Workshop

> x Clotspinner. wake him. (weak, close to death)

> look up Clotspinner in guide.

Make that elixir you saw in the cavity paintings.

> tear leaf.

> grind leaf with arrow. (now have a green paste)

> give paste to man. (+1)

Clotspinner was suiciding. You introduce yourself. He wants proof of your identity.

> show credentials to man.

> ask man about Amilia.

Alas, he's not cooperative yet for questioning and he wants political asylum from the Duchy. He also atarts making an additional demand every turn until you tell him yes.

> man, yes.

He says to get out of here, he needs a spell at 172.88 degrees.

> ask man about prism. (He smashed it to set Amilia back a week or two.)

> ask man about Amilia. (She seduced him here.)

> ask man about meteor. (elemental magnesium)

> ask man about anvil.

> take diamond. put diamond on anvil.

If you want to experiment with the scrolls, you should save first before using up any.

> save.

> turn mounting to 172.88

> put scroll on mounting. (+1. A spell appears on the scroll.)

> x scroll. ("thrale spell: assist even old or wizened savant")

> take it. put it in spellbook. take spellbook.

> learn thrale. cast thrale on man. (+1. He teleports to the Duchy.)

The numbers on the note sum to 12748.

> turn mounting to 127.48

> put scroll on mounting.

> read it. ("corpax spell: make small-bore tunnel through light stone")

> take it. put it in spellbook.

> take diamond. learn ploor. cast ploor. (+1)

You give the Archduke Elect your report. Agents will be waiting at Watling Street to whisk you away, but you must somehow foil this new magic, if possible, forever.

Wheel Cave (West)

> learn corpax. cast corpax. (Tunnel up.)

> learn ruther. cast ruther on meteor. (It's now chalk.)

> u. (+1)

Woodland Cave

> n.

Forest Glade

Amelia transmutes you into a wolfhound. She's surrounded by guards. And you're now carrying nothing.

> n.

Into the Woods

Every part of the woods looks the same as another.

> smell. (A brook near the wall is northeast.)

> ne.

Under the Culvert

> drink water. (You're a man again, but without magic.)

> n.

Watling Street, Again

The agents ignore you if you're a dog, but if you're a man, you greet the Captain and they smuggle you away from the Empire forever.

*** You have won ***



Animals and animate plants:



These are the endings I found:

Also, there are several ways you can make the game unwinnable. For example:


There's no inventory limits. Take everything that's not locked down. If you need to, use containers to organize your stuff.

The endgame begins when you first enter the Forest Glade and Amelia transforms you into a dog. You drop all your inventory as a consequence, and you won't ever get any of it back.

Food and drink

When you have two or more of these together, they're listed in your inventory as some provisions.


NOTE: Scrolls are listed separately below.


Put all scrolls except the unwritten ones into your spellbook. Each written scroll bears a spell.


Give all five treasures to the Adventurer in the pale corridor. When he has all five, he and his loot vanishes, and you can now enter the Antechamber and Chamber of the Philosopher's Stone.

Other items


This is the response to SCORE:

You have so far scored your-score out of a possible 30, in several turns, [either] the kind of score [or] the perfect score [as appropriate] one would expect of your-rank.

Points are awarded as follows:

The known ranks are:


Before you can do any magic, you must gain the Power by drinking the water at the Bubbling Pool.

Most spells must first be learned before they can be cast. This is so you can say them quickly enough with confidence. The SPELLS command lists all the spells you have committed to memory. The MEMORY command does the same thing.

If the spell is on a scroll, you must put the scroll into your spellbook first before you can use the spell.

Also, you must be holding the spellbook directly when trying to learn a spell. You can't learn a spell if the spellbook is inside your trunk, for example.

Useful spells are listed here in the order you acquire them in this walkthrough.

You can also learn up to seven useless spells by misusing the anvil in Clotspinner's workshop, by turning the mounting to random settings. Each misuse uses up one of the unwritten scrolls, creating useless scrolls, and they're written in this order.

  1. the gloth spell: fold pastry dough 83 times.
  2. the alsakan spell: pursue squirrel with spectral hounds.
  3. the eddore spell: paint large picket-fence orange.
  4. the boskone spell: rotate entire universe by one degree.
  5. the palain spell: reduce herbs in over-spiced stew.
  6. the helmuth spell: turn blackberries into pebbles.
  7. the nadreck spell: award internationally recognized points for trick dives.

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