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The Wonderland Institute v2

Courtyard and Gardens

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a part of The Wonderland Institute v2, by Rulke.

Although not austere like prison comparatively, the Courtyard is not large, as most of the Asylum taken out by a huge garden maintained staff and inmates alike.

Rulke holds sovereignty over Courtyard and Gardens, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

797 readers have been here.

Copyright: The creator of this roleplay has attributed some or all of its content to the following sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/list_of_fairy_tales

Setting

The Gardens though impressive are only a few years old. It was suggested by a former staff member that having Gardens for inmates and staff would help further and perhaps help with problem inmates. In fact, Henry Jekyll when he was here spent a great deal of time here. The centrepiece is a large fountain.

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Courtyard and Gardens

Although not austere like prison comparatively, the Courtyard is not large, as most of the Asylum taken out by a huge garden maintained staff and inmates alike.

Minimap

Courtyard and Gardens is a part of The Wonderland Institute in New York.

3 Characters Here

Till Eulenspiegel [6] The Pied Piper of Hamelin
Diana 'Snow White' Blumenthal [5] "Someday my prince will come. . ."
Jack Winters [1] "I'm the coolest guy in here"

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Character Portrait: Till Eulenspiegel
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Till Eulenspiegel was under the watch of orderlies out on a patch of grass. He was here to practise a calming technique Jekyll had given him to lessen his dependence on maintaining a connection to his pipe. Luckily it was not in Till's nature to become violent due to deprivation of his iconic instrument, but he would break down and exhibit an extreme case of dysphoria. In the psychiatrist's eyes, this seemed to the first step in combating Till's ultimately psychopathic state of mind. He closed his eyes, and thought to himself.

Breathe, Till, breathe. Close your eyes. She's here, with you. Take in the scent of the garden. Each individual aroma coming together to provide a melody that beckons freedom and grace. Stretch your arm out, Till. Graze your fingers across the pipe. The light wood, the cylindrical shape, the engraving that causes a labyrinth of touch. So specific, the most beautiful craftsmanship. As if the very pipe itself plays its own song through its design. As your fingers slide down, they will cut down into the small holes all lined up. Pressure applies to your index finger, as each dip in the pipe scratches against it. Raise it to your mouth, Till. Feel the ever-so cool touch of the thin wood against your lips, the way it seems woven together specifically for you. The energy emanating from it. The music, Till. Can you hear the music?

His eyebrows furrow, his ears twitch.

Focus, Till. Ready your hands, prepare your fingers. Stand up straight.

One of his fingers falls through the imaginary pipe.

Play, Till, play.

He blows, but no sound is heard. Wincing, his hands fall through and his whole body is thrown to the grass by a sheer strike of nausea and terror.

"It's bullshit! None of it works!" The fallen Piper breaks into tears "I need it... I need it... Where's my pipe?!"

It would be up to the staff, or possibly even another inmate to intervene at this point.

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Character Portrait: Till Eulenspiegel Character Portrait: Diana 'Snow White' Blumenthal
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TWO WEEKS. It had been two long, excruciating weeks. To Snow, it was almost hard to tell how long it had been, endless days and nights that blended seamlessly together to make her feel disconnected from reality, the rest of the world. Two weeks. Two days. Two months. She hadn’t heard from her father in those two weeks, an event that often helped her keep track of the days. It was unusual for him to not come by, as he always made time to visit her weekly. It inspired a paranoid dread in her, fearing for him, fearing the worst. What if her step-mother had killed him? The deranged woman would, she’d do it to get revenge on Snow. Seeing how she avoided the food given to her as often as she could, Diana’s step-mother could be getting desperate. What if father was dead? She couldn’t call anyone, couldn’t ask. The staff wouldn’t have told her anyway. The consequence of knowing that information would be catastrophic. There was no way to be sure, not unless she saw him with her own eyes. She would have to wait, spend her days full of agonized anticipation for her father’s visit, burn inside with hunger as she forced herself to eat only the bare minimum to even stay alive. It was like slow death. She looked like it, worried lines in her face, dark circles under her eyes like bruised marble, wide brown eyes like a doe’s, startled nearly by everything around her. It was hell.

It made her feel a little bit better to be allowed time outside. When she was a girl, spending time outdoors was a great relief to her. She could hide away from the reach of her step-mother, climb up the tallest trees, hear the birds singing, the sun warming her face like a warm kiss. It was a forgotten bliss to be outside. The gardens of the Institute were a strange comfort, while she still felt confined within the hospital’s walls she could for a time pretend things were not as they truly were. She could revive memories of her childhood where she felt safe and joyful, let those feelings come to life inside her and find a moment as close to peacefulness as she could get. While she was not dangerous, not as severe a threat as the others who lurked within Wonderland, she still was observed by staff as she strolled about in an almost trance-like silence, possessed by every flower, tree, and small creature that went by. She walked the grounds, walked them again, let the sun creep across the sky, listened with childlike, dewy eyes watching the birds that flitted from the treetops and chirped their sweet birdsong. And on her ninth circuit around the gardens she finally felt her thin legs grow sore and thought to stop and rest. It was a habit of hers to push herself to continue on strolling the grounds when she was tired, but now with a keen eye keeping watch, the harmful behavior folded to what her body actually needed. She took to a bench of warm wood and floral designs in the iron work, a bench that reminded her of nice little parks where children played and everything was pleasant and happy. Sitting there, she became aware of how tired she made herself walking for as long as she had. There was a part of her that was glad to feel something other that sorrow and panic. Soreness was an old, familiar feeling, bordering on the negative in memories of being beaten or struck. She didn’t want to think about that. Clear the mind. She closed her eyes and just listened to the nature around her, wanting to regain some semblance of what she was before. Find peace. Feel calm, a moment of respite.

If she were sinking into any sort of feeling, it did not last very long. A shout snapped her eyes back open, blinked, looked around and saw another patient not that far away from her. She had to think for a moment to place him. The weeping man was Till Eulenspiegel, a name she had seen scribbled on a clipboard weeks ago (Was it weeks? Days? Months? The uncertainty bothered her.) in passing when one of the staff had passed her door during inspections. She didn’t know very much about him, not that she could remember, but the sound of his crying disturbed her. The suffering of the other patients always did greatly upset her. At the passing of the Salem Boy, even though she hadn’t known him she had burst into a fit of sobs. To hear this man now drove a pain into her heart, unable to ignore it even as the sound wound a tension into her bones, the common anxiety returning to her. She couldn’t just sit there.

“Don’t do it, Snow!” She had been just about to get up, but the voice stopped her, almost commanded her into stillness. Confusion drew her eyebrows down, a pucker of pale pink lips, angling her head down as if listening inside herself. She couldn’t answer, not with so many people around, but she didn’t have to wait long. “It’s not safe to talk to these people. They’re crazy, princess! They’ll hurt you!” Martin. He always was discouraging when it came to her sympathies. He thought she was too naive, too trusting of other people. Perhaps he was right. She couldn’t argue with him, and none of the other little men were trying to stand up to him. They.. didn’t agree with him, did they? Were they too worried of upsetting her? “Please, just stay safe!” It was almost as if he knew she was going to ignore him. Of course she knew her tender heart was what had gotten her into this mess in the first place. Of course her caring nature was a weakness. She tried to resist giving too much to other people, especially in here, but she couldn’t just let someone suffer. She knew what it was like to be in pain and have no one try to help. She stood up, and the voice of her little grumpy man fell into total silence. The sun shone brightly on her back, illuminating her silhouette, a harsh shine on her black hair. His wild crying unnerved her, but she spoke like thin glass,

“E-excuse me… Are.. you alright?”

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Character Portrait: Till Eulenspiegel Character Portrait: Diana 'Snow White' Blumenthal
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Till sunk further into the grass, embracing it as the land swallowed him whole. It felt like marshland, damp with the blood of three hundred rats and drenched with the odour of rotting flesh. The songs sung by each one written across his mind, Till wanted nothing more than to be drifted away by them.

Then a new song begun, one that seemed extraordinarily delicate but rife with bravery. Most importantly, one that he hadn't heard before.

Heart pumping blood at nauseating rhythms, Till laughed as he lightheartedly recited a tune akin to a drunk.

"Oh Danny Boy..." he mumbled a couple words under his breath, "The pipes, the pipes are calling, ahahaha..."

As he unfurled his face from the shell of his arms, be opened his eyes and looked directly at Snow's as he laughed away. However his eyes were red with tears and while his laugh never once broke into sobbing it was obvious that he was rampantly producing tears. Otherwise, Till's expression showed great hilarity.

"Me? Alright?" He giggled like a child. "You're the one with the bleeding heart... Heheheheh..."

Till slowly pulled himself up while maintaining his jester's gaze unto Snow until he was sitting on the grass. He dug his nails deep into the soil, ripping up clumps of dirt. She appeared in eclipse, outlined by sunlight. While he couldn't put names to faces, he could feel her thoughts through her voice. Focusing on it was all he could do to alleviate his stress. His tears decreased significantly.

"Why'd you say anything? Why does the bleeding heart still have blood to spare? I spilt all of mine. Hah."

Through his mask of smiles and tears hid a stare with a curious intensity. As he ripped up more grass, Till would tilt his head as he observed Snow's behaviour.

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Character Portrait: Till Eulenspiegel Character Portrait: Diana 'Snow White' Blumenthal
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A silence encased her, fragile and uncertain. He spoke in fits, an immense suffering marked in his face that made her want to recoil in quiet horror. His words left her unsure of his meaning. Was he mocking her? Trying to frighten her? She stood there without immediately replying, assessing what she could even say to him. See! the voice came back, quiet, quiet like an insistent breeze in the night. “Look at him! He’s nuts! He’s going to hurt you!” She notably took in a sharp breath, dispelling the voice to the air and therefore returning her mind to silence. Watched him, quizzical and reserved, hands held towards her body as if shielding herself, maintaining space. He seemed to return her curious stare tenfold, piercingly as if looking through her. Her glance fluttered away, the ground where clumps of dirt and grass were torn from the earth, the sky that stretched infinitely overhead. She found her voice again,

“I suppose I do. Not much, though…” She spoke as if trying to figure herself out, avoiding his gaze as if he might have been accusing her of something. Still, she muttered, “You were shouting… about something. Something about a pipe… Do you play?”

When she did finally meet his eye again it was a muted anticipation, readying for a joy in finding common ground, one that she felt so strongly attached to. Music, singing, for years had been a kind of escape for her. It lulled her into a sense of fulfillment, of losing oneself to sound that came from the effort within. Maybe asking him about something such as that would calm him. She wasn’t sure if it would work, but she would feel accomplished in doing so. Maybe she would gain a friend in this hellish place that was threatening to destroy her simply by being detained there. Maybe he could help her resist any of the staff that were working with her step-mother to kill her. An ally in a place like this would give her a great relief.

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Character Portrait: Jack Winters
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After Vitas had left, Jack sat in his room. He had agreed to help her, it was clear from her explanation that there was more to her plan than what she was telling him. It wasn't long before one of the orderlies came to his room and told him that he was now being allowed out of his room to have some free time outside in the courtyard. Jack smiled. He hadn't even seen a window since the issue with group therapy a while back.

He was escorted to the courtyard by the orderlies. He sat out there in the courtyard and looked around at the beautiful plant life that was growing. He looked at the various flowers in the gardens, they were really pretty right now, though he felt it was far too hot outside. He knew that it would be easy to try and escape from the gardens, but he figured that it was better to stick to the plan that Vitas was working on, even if he didn't know all the details. He was beginning to sweat out there in the heat, so he used his powers to lower the temperature to something a little more livable without making it obvious that he was using his powers by doing something stupid like making it snow. He liked how crisp the air was when it was cold out, almost a biting cold. "That's better, it was way too warm." he muttered.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Till Eulenspiegel Character Portrait: Diana 'Snow White' Blumenthal
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The pipe? Did she talk about the pipe? Oh, thank God.

The girl on a whole didn't intrigue Till all too much. He was mostly ambivalent towards her, but the chance for conversation must be savoured. And there was something in her voice that caught him with a chorus of layers waiting to be peeled back and examined. Like a progressive rock ballad, or one of Beethoven's. Perhaps a more observant fellow would pick up on the changes in breath or subtleties in the eyes.

He dug his fingers once more, jagged into the grass.

"Oh, the pipe..." His hands relieved themselves from the soil. "Yes, I play." As if on cue, Till shot up onto his feet and danced around Snow. Light and whimsical like a harlequin. "And oh boy, you should hear it! Centre stage: The Pied Piper! Bringin' showmanship and musical perfection to a neighbourhood near you!" Like a wind up toy coming to a stop, Till slowed in front of Snow. A hopelessness invaded his eyes as his hands started fidgeting once more. "As if, right? Heheh... You play the pipe too or somethin'?"

But why had she mentioned the pipe? What if it was a trick, like one of Till's? What if she knew where it was? Was she keeping it from him? What if she brok-
No, surely not. Her sound was genuine. Not one of those corporate shills pumping out manipulative tunes to drown the masses, this one held true struggle.

Till recalled the Salem boy, and what happened to him. Honestly, he hadn't cared for him all too much. Norhing new there. But it didn't sit right with him. The Salem boy hardly had a chance to show his potential, even for a rat. And Till knew that should he have been a couple years older, they would have made great friends. That night, Till did not cry or tremble in terror in the absence of his instrument. He instead pondered how great the boy's song could have been, and whistled amongst the howling wolves.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Till Eulenspiegel Character Portrait: Diana 'Snow White' Blumenthal
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The suddenness of his movements startled her, a flinch she could not disguise as anything else. Rigid, she was unmoving in his spontaneous, energetic leaps about her, even as she became aware that this was no threat to her but an outburst of happiness. Even then, she found it hard to relax. Abrupt actions such as those were too deeply rooted into a place of fear, the anticipation of pain. She tried to listen past that disabling fright, forced herself to give the smallest of smiles as he chirped giddily about that which she had partially suspected. A musician. The Pied Piper. It was curious, the life that such memories revived in him, something she took notice of, as well as how such light drained away like a quickly receding sunset as reality returned. His question met her ears in the same manner in which the roaring of the ocean rumbles from far away. A shiver up the arms, a tingling numbness as a sense of a chill over took her, something she couldn't tell if it were an internal or external change. She realized she wasn't breathing deeply enough and drew a silent, long breath as if about to plunge into that pale sea.

“A pipe? No… No, I.. only ever sang.” Words like glistening, silver wires; thin, a trick of light in and out of being. “A singer, that is. I loved to sing.. And I still do, sometimes. Helps me…” Hesitation, her voice fell into a momentary hush as she tried to decide just how much about herself she dared to expose. Should she tell this man about the comforting voices that lulled her into security? The lurking presence of her step-mother who at any moment could destroy her, working among the staff in secret? No. She didn’t want to make herself feel unnecessarily vulnerable. Not yet, not when she didn’t have to. She still had no idea whether Till was an actual threat to her or not, even if she desperately wanted a companion in this hellish institute. It would be nice to have someone to trust, but she was not a fool. Besides, who even knew if he would believe her? Her little men did not come to advise her, did not comfort her worried indecision. A small betrayal wedged itself among the pain of a rapidly pounding heart. But she went on, a little firmer of tone, “It helps me relax. It can be a difficult thing to do in this.. place.”