Key & Compass presents:
Several Other Tales from Castle Balderstone
by Ryan Veeder

Several Other Tales from Castle Balderstone is a Glulx interactive fiction game written with Inform 7 and is © 2020 by Ryan Veeder. It was an entry in the Le Grand Guignal, English division of Ectocomp 2020 where it took 2nd place. It is also the third game in the Castle Balderstone series.

Yet again, you are Ryan Veeder's invited guest to an evening of spooky storytelling at Castle Balderstone. From the world of Marshal Trevino, Antonio F. Karnack will narrate the story of a health inspector. Miss Shiroiwa's third grade class from Silas Elementary will present "The Banshee's Curse". Elmir Divkovic will read another of his intricate vampire-tales. And you there, YOU will tell a story as well.

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: Hastily-improvised setting

MustyHallway Library CREEPYLOCATION Room (answer a lot ofMadlib-stylequestions) (automaticallystart tellingyour story) enternaturalobject

Map 2: Convenience store

Cavity Windmill Field Office FoodCourt Counter Entryway Figurines ParkingLot

Map 3: School quest

Museum School Graveyard HauntedHouse CherryOrchard GoblinCourt Land ofthe Dead CoalMine TwistedCave Gardenof Doom x stars d out d u talk to king d u

Map 4: The Château Semix

FloatingTower Roof Laboratory Parapet Balcony Gallery MasterBedroom HiddenPassage Gateway AudienceHall GreatStair Lounge Hall ofFeasting HedgeMaze RoseGarden Pit Tunnel Crypt Grotto AncientTomb d d d d d d d d d u u u u u u u u u


The framing story

Ryan Veeder greets you. If you previously started the game and quit before finishing, he calls you a coward. Regardless, he welcomes you to Castle Balderstone's third year of spooky storytelling.

The stories are told in a randomly chosen order.

After the fourth story is finished, there are some closing remarks. But then the lights in Castle Balderstone fail, and the game itself abruptly closes.

Your story

Thomas Ligotti insists that you tell a story. The moderator agrees, so Ryan pulls you into a...

Musty Hallway ask you several quick brainstorming questions. During this question-and-answer sequence, all the normal commands, including QUIT, don't work and are considered answers to Ryan's questions.

By the way, there's nothing special about my answers. Feel free to answer the questions however you like.

girl's name? > Barb

inanimate natural object? > acorn

object with wheels, but not a car? > plumbing

creepy adjective? > unwholesome

innocuous object, neither too big or small? > suitcase

old adjective? > antique

respectable job title, but not impressive? > floor manager

creepy location? > Necropolis

small object that can pick a lock? > brooch

nice adjective, for person? > pleasant

horrifying object, smaller than SUITCASE? > withered skull

boring people adjective? > pathetic

dangerous household object? > fireplace

large-ish container? > crate

cute dessert? > Black Forest cake

typically dry substance? > salt

boring US state or location? > New Brunswick

ominous adjective? > lurking

desirable personal trait? > talented

cute handheld animal? > tribble

metal type? > aluminum

body part? > bladder

upsetting color? > umber

fluid adjective? > viscous

container smaller than a drawer? > envelope

your authorship name? > Keyan D Compass

four words from a rhyme or a poem? > here we go 'round

> any key

First, here's how to play your story with my choices:

Ryan Veeder Presents
Here We Go 'round
by Keyan D Compass


> x me. i. x acorn. z.

A plumbing rolls into view and talks.

> x crate. x plumbing. (It has a bladder sticking out.)

You find a fireplace behind you.

> open crate. take suitcase. take skull. (Nope.)

> x fireplace. i. (You're carrying it.)

> throw fireplace at plumbing. (It's all salt now.)

> x salt. (You find a tribble.)

> take tribble. (It coughs up a key.)

> unlock acorn with key. open acorn.

> enter acorn. (She wakes...)


> x bed. x table. open drawer.

> open envelope. unlock door with brooch. open door.

The plumbing says, "Let's get out of here."

*** The End ***

And here's how to play your story with Madlib-variables. You'll have to replace the variables with your choices because I don't know how you answered Ryan's questions.

Ryan Veeder Presents


> x me. i. x NATURAL-OBJECT. z.

An OBJECT-WITH-WHEELS rolls into view and talks.


You find a DANGEROUS-OBJECT behind you.


> x DANGEROUS-OBJECT. i. (You're carrying it.)


> x DRY-STUFF. (You find a CUTE-ANIMAL.)

> take CUTE-ANIMAL. (It coughs up a key.)

> unlock NATURAL-OBJECT with key. open NATURAL-OBJECT.

> enter NATURAL-OBJECT. (She wakes...)


> x bed. x table. open drawer.

> open SMALL-CONTAINER. unlock door with LOCKPICK. open door.

The OBJECT-WITH-WHEELS says, "Let's get out of here."

*** The End ***

Everyone is speechless. Return to the framing story.

"A Nice Drive" by Antonio F. Karnack

Antonio F. Karnack tells his story from the world of Marshal Trevino, but not about Marshal directly. The protagonist is Christopher Gill, a health inspector with a clipboard.

Ryan Veeder Presents
A Nice Drive
A new story from Antonio F. Karnack's Marshal Trevino universe

Parking Lot

> x me. i. x pad. x can. x store.

> ne.


> x slime. (beige)

> x snacks. x tchochkes.

> ne.


> x spider. x counter. (more slime)

> talk to spider. (It crawls out of sight.)

> x mirror. x door. (both clean)

> ne.

Food Court

> x kid. wake kid. (skin like clay)

> take key. x key.

> x sauce. x tables. (crud build-up)

> x register. ("CLOSED")

> sw. se.


> x figurines. x spiders. (Lots of tiny ones.)

> nw.


> nw. (locked)

> unlock door with key. nw.


> close door.

> x desk. x blotter.

> x cabinet. open cabinet. x keychain. take it.

> x northwest window. (See a windmill.)

> x southeast window. (See store through the one-way mirror.)

> se. sw. sw.

Parking Lot

> x car. x sticker.

> nw.


> x rabbit. x stars. x spotlight.

> x windmill. (vanes weren't turning in the wind)

> ne. (The rabbit bolts.)


> x windmill. x hatch. unlock hatch with keychain.

> nw.


> x guy. (had something in his mandibles)

> talk to guy. (He lowers himself and asks:)

"... have to give me a citation?" > yes

He takes his copy and says "Thank you."

> x slime. (Luikx's webbing.)

> se.

*** The End ***

After the applause, someone comments about a story element being similar to last year's story by Johanna C. Quinn. Return to the framing story.

"The Banshee's Curse" by Miss Shiroiwa's third grade class

A group of eight-year-olds ascend the dias, herded there by their teacher, Miss Shiroiwa. (You may remember Hina Shiroiwa from A Rope of Chalk.) The kids co-wrote this story, and one of them, Daniella Florence, is your narrator.

Ryan Veeder Presents
The Banshee's Curse
By Miss Shiroiwa's third grade class


> look. x me. x Chloe. x bed.

> x map. take map.

> x chalice. take chalice.

> e.


> x dog. x trees. x stars.

The stars were lasers that killed Leana and Garrin.

Lake of the Dead

> x skeletons. x coffin. x water.

> x cave. (Goes down underneath the lake.)

> d.

Twisted Cave

> x dragonfly. cut web. (The dragonfly will follow Garrin forever.)

> d.

Garden of Doom

> x plants. x fern. take fern. put fern in chalice.

> u. out. w.

Goblin Court

> d.

Coal Mine

> take coalflower. x it. put it in chalice.

> u.

Goblin Court

> talk to king. (You return to life.)


> w.


> x mummy. x sarcophagus.

> take dust. (The dragonfly distracts the mummy.)

> put dust in chalice.

> e. e. e.

Haunted House

> x garden. x odd stone. (Last ingredient is east of house!)

> x horse. x chains.

> e.

Cherry Orchard

> x cherry. take cherry.

> put cherry in chalice.

They cure Chloe and the banshee swears revenge.

*** The End ***

Someone questions the wisdom of bringing children to a late-night horrorfest like this. The teacher blames Ryan, but the moderator runs interference and gets more applause for the kids as they leave. Return to the framing story.

"The Inquisitor Vultrine" by Elmir Divkovic

Elmir Divkovic prefaces his story with a brief forward to acclimate you to his world of carefully-crafted vampire-tales.

Ryan Veeder Presents
The Inquisitor Vultrine
A vampire-tale by Elmir Divkovic


In this story, you'll be collecting several weapons, each of which you can only use once. Each weapon has an attack power number; the higher the number, the more damage it does.

> x me. i. x cape. x dagger.

> x grotesques. (bat or fox?)

> x bat. x fauchard. take it.

> x fox. x guisarme. take it.

> x rain. x braziers. x gate.

> e.

Audience Hall

> x scimitar. take it.

> x Marquis. x balcony. x pit. x wall.

> d.


> x mace. take it.

> x guests. x battleaxe. take it.

> e.


You're not told how much health or hit points (HP) each creature has, and the exact numbers for the stronger weapons and creatures can vary a bit from one play-session to another. But I'm reasonably sure the stag-beetle has 5 HP.

If, somehow, my suggested weapons fail to defeat a particular foe, please continue to hit the stubborn monster with one or more of your lesser weapons until it's gone. You've got this.

> x beetle. kill with battleaxe.

> x cape. x horn. take it.

> x gloves. take them.

> x flagstones. pull flagstones. (can't)

> e.


> x statue. x rod. take it.

> x casket. x lens. x gladius.

> open casket. break casket. (can't)

> x archway.

> u. (You put on the gloves to climb to...)


> a flail. take it.

> x cinqueda. take it.

> x curtains. x candelabrae. x door. open it. (locked)

> e.

Hall of Feasting

> x Sectiert. x cutlass.

> x table. x carving knife. take it.

> kill with horn. kill with carving knife. (Sectiert dies, melts, then evaporates.)

> take cutlass and key. x key.

> e. (can't)

> x glass.

> w.


> unlock door with key. w.

Great Stair

You'll need the gloves to reach the arms high on the wall.

> x stair. x arms.

> x Thembriaud. take it.

> x Harcheque. take it.

> u.


> x portrait. x statue. x tree. x case.

> unlock case with key. open it. x armor.

> x katana. take it.

> x wakizashi. take it.

> x glass. x door. unlock door with key.

> e.

Master Bedroom

> x bed. look under bed.

> x chamber pot. x machete. take it.

> x fireplace. x poker. take it.

> x tapestry. search it. (East exit revealed.)

> e.

Hidden Passage

> x suit. (has the same glyph as on the Tunnel flagstones)

> kill with Harcheque. kill with katana.

The suit crumbles, dropping its greatsword. You automatically take two motes of magic: a word of animation and a word of injunction.

> x cape. x greatsword. take it.

> x animation. x injunction.

> x lever. pull it. (A stairway down to Hall of Feasting is created.)

> w. u.


> x Nephreine. x harp. take it.

> x Alithedora. x stick. take it.

> w. (A noxious odor blocks you.)

> u.


> x tower. x gap. x bricks. x brick. take it.

Go back to the tunnel:

> d. d. w. d. e. d. w.


To use the word of animation here, simply go down.

> d.

Ancient Tomb

> x floor. x sarcophagus.

> x urn. (which?)

> x northern urn. open it. x quicksilver.

> open ne urn. x tablet.

> open e urn. x gem.

> open se urn. x brain.

> open sw urn. x needle. take it.

> open w urn. x idol.

> open nw urn. x thorn.

> open sarcophagus. (A mummy emerges, wielding a blade.)

> x mummy. x torc.

> kill with needle. kill with greatsword.

> kill with poker. kill with injunction. (The mummy crumbles.)

> x blade. take it.

> x athame. take it.

> u. w. u. u.


> x Marquis. x scythe.

> x railing. x statue. x sickle. take it.

> kill with blade. kill with cutlass.

The specter-Marquis dissipates. You also acquire a ghost-form.

> take scythe. x form. x cape.

> e. d. e. d.


> take lens and gladius. wear lens.

> u. e. e.

Hedge Maze

You climb onto the hedge-wall on entry.

> x hedge.

> x fountain. x sundial.

> x column. open panel. x trident. take it.

> x skeleton. x handaxe. take it.

> e.

Rose Garden

> x roses. x vines. x woman.

> kill with trident. kill with handaxe.

> kill with gladius.

> x vine. take it.

> take rose. x twig.

> w. w. u. w. u. w.


> x page. (A famulus blocks you.)

> x famulus. kill with vine.

> kill with poleaxe. kill with mace.

The famulus pops out of existence. You acquire a word of vexation.

> x vexation. x page. take it.

> x bookshelves. x vial. take it.

> x diagrams. x darkness. x miasma. x workbench.

> x cape.

> e. d. e. d. w. d.


You use the athame and glyph of interruption to enter the eastern archway.

> e.


> x stalagmites.

> take sword. g. g. x rapier.

> x mist. x pool. (A Nemertean greets you.)

> x Nemertean. talk to Nemertean.

> kill with vexation. kill with vial.

> kill with flail. kill with harp.

The Nemertean leaves by collapsing.

> x membrane. take it.

> x pincer. take it.

> w. u. e. u. w. u. u.


> wear membrane. u.

Floating Tower

> x Marquis. x vortex.

> kill with pincer. kill with rapier.

> kill with machete. kill with rod.

*** The End ***

One audience member complains this "vampire tale" had nothing to do with vampires. Elmir Divkovic uses this uncomfortable moment to plug his book of vampire-tales. Return to the framing story.



Castle Balderstone participants
Characters in your story
Characters in "A Nice Drive"
Characters in "The Banshee's Curse"


Characters in "The Inquisitor Vultrine"



This is the response to CREDITS:

This is the third "Castle Balderstone" game. The previous entries in the series are on IFDB at and

If you're interested in my other games or the other stuff I do, my website is, my Twitter is @rcveeder, my email address is email redacted, and my Patreon is Okay bye!)


female protagonist's items (from your story)
Christopher Gill's items
Leana and Garrin's items

Honorable Mention:

The Inquisitor Vultrine's weapons

Each weapon has an attack power (AP) and each weapon can only be used once. To defeat a foe, kill them with weapons whose attack powers sum to a number equal to or higher than your foe's health (HP). Unfortunately, you don't know the HP of any creature without experimenting and finding out by trial and error the minimum AP required.

Weapons are listed in the order acquired in this walkthrough. Which weapons you use against which creatures doesn't matter as long as your total attack power is sufficient.

CAUTION: Minor variations in attack power can occur. I have no idea why attack power values are randomized, but some of them are. Perhaps Elmir wants to make it more difficult for me to write an accurate walkthrough? Sigh. Treat all my listed numbers as approximations, okay?

The Inquisitor Vultrine's other items

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