The video file on the hidden computer is of Mr. Gardener, the caretaker of Ravenswood who disappeared
eight months two years before the series starts. He’s apparently an Important Character, because he gets a physical description: “He had long, gray hair and wore small, round glasses over keen blue eyes.” We’re not going to see much of him in the series — this is the first of three two times he appears before the party. And all he does when he shows up is explain what the hell’s going on.
Exposition is the video file’s purpose — except in the original edition, it doesn’t expose much of anything. I think I could post it all here, it’s so short:
“Whoever has found this station — the magic is with you…. Only magic may access the information stored here. I hope you use what you find in the service of good.”
“There is a web that connects worlds. I have labored for years to unravel its mysteries. For nary a corner of the great web does not lie in some danger from fearsome enemies. Indeed, I have seen evidence, ominous appearances of creatures out of myths and legends.
“Since I have no way of knowing who has found this station, I can’t risk giving you the answers. If you are meant to find them, you must do it on your own. And beware: The forces of evil are rising, and others will try to unearth these secrets and use them for their own gain.
“Only those with open minds and strong hearts, who are willing to believe in magic, can share in the adventure. Begin a journey along the web of magic to your ‘home’, the place where magic is in each of us.
“Good luck to you.”
Pretty poor excuse for an infodump! All it says is, “Hey, that portal links to worlds other than Earth, but monstrous and evil creatures are gonna pour through it. Can’t tell you anything in case the bad guys find this compy, so … uh … you’re on your own! Good luck with the fighting evil and stuff!”
Thankfully, the new edition expands on this, and actually informs the party on what they have to do for the rest of the series. And since it’s so long, I’m just going to do a quick run-through:
- Hooray! Only people attuned to magic can use this computer! Great job, party! (Aside: does this mean the hidden computer is magitech?)
- You know that portal out back? Well, it connects to another world called Aldenmor! It’s been closed for centuries, but since you’re here, it’s opened up again! Yay!
- But wait! There’s other worlds out there, all connected by a magic web! It’s fueled by magic, but it’s been growing weaker over the years. You’re going to have to find Avalon, the home of all magic, in order to re-energize it!
- Oh, sorry I’m not here, I’m out searching for allies! And you’re gonna need them, because there’s a sorceress hoarding magic for her own nefarious purposes! So, good luck finding Avalon before she does!
Now that is a proper infodump.
Anyway, the video file closes, and the party finds all the other files on the Ravenswood computer. Only now does the party consider creating a password-protected site to post this new information. Kara can’t help them, however — she has a barbeque to get to. So, once again, Kara leaves on her own, but not without a stern warning to not use her Sparkly Rock +2.
Next time: Kara decides to use her Sparkly Rock +2, anyway.