There are many points in the mansion where you will change forms.
The more nights you spend in a form the more your behavior will reflect that form (also the longer you stay at a time the quicker your behaviour changes).
If you change forms your behavior will go to the current state of that form for you.
(e.g you are a tiger for 10 nights , become a dolphin for another 10 and become a tiger again. The tiger form behavior is still the same as is was when you become a dolphin)
You can only spend 30 consecutive nights or 90 total in a form before your behavior is totally that form's behavior.
Also after 300 nights in the mansion, you will become the form that you have spent the most of the last 300 days in (apart from the one you entered in) in its current state.
If any of the 3 previous situations (30 consecutive or 90 in one form or 300 nights total) occur you will then be teleported out of the mansion.
You may also leave at any time through any exit, except the one you entered in. You will leave the mansion in whatever your current state of mind and body
If you leave the mansion by any means you may not come back for 5 years.
To start you off you will receive a transformation into a...
Illustrated by Catprog
Written by Catprog on 04 July 2004
You make your way to the first door nearby. The room you enter is almost bare. An exceptionally large aquarium stands against the back of the room, a deep sink resides next to it, and a large window currently showcases the midday sun. The tank itself nears three meters in length and is equipped with a plastic hose that leads to the sink. Vibrant colors within pique your curiosity and draws you closer to inspect them. An amalgam of decorations and aquatic creatures bring the tank to life with their striking hues. The movement of the animals is so peaceful; you sense yourself having difficulty averting your gaze.
You place a hand on the warm aquarium, and your face gets so close that your nose nearly brushes it. The glass beneath your hand begins to softly glow. You instinctively pull away, surprised to find that the glow is coming from your hand. It quickly creeps up your arm, and as it makes its way over your shoulder, you squeeze your eyes shut and hold your breath. After a few seconds, you dare to take a peek at what’s happened to your arm, but you’re overwhelmed by your surroundings.
You survey the area; it looks like the ocean. There are colorful fish in the distance, but panic sets in, and you no longer have the sense to be mesmerized by their beauty. Without thinking, you aim to swim to the water’s surface. Your limbs, however, seem to be betraying you. Your body contorts as you flail about, and you reach out a hand to-
Where are your arms?
Your stomach drops at the thought of what the glowing light has taken away from you. It would be physically impossible to reach the surface in time with your body like this. With the remaining time that your final breath has allowed, you regret having ever stepped foot into the mansion. You open your mouth, let in water, and submit to the end of your life… Drowning is supposed to be painful, isn’t it?
But you’re not drowning -- you’re breathing! Howâ€½
Relief washes over you when you realize that you can survive without air. There’s still hope for you yet! Now that the main concern has been tackled, you address the next problem: moving around without your arms. You figure that moving forward, at the very least, should be no problem. To propel yourself, you try kicking your legs, but to no avail. Try as you might, you remain in the same spot. You begin to wonder how much time has passed.
“Hey, I know swimming is hard at first, but you need to be careful! You could hurt yourself by trying to force it.”
The voice startles you. Its origin is unknown, so you thrash even more, desperate to move away from the potential danger.
“Whoa whoa whoa, settle down! I’m not gonna hurt you!”
The efforts to make a quick getaway come to a screeching halt. You don’t know whether or not you should trust this voice, but it’s necessary for a chance to get help. A rather small electric blue crayfish suddenly appears and perches on a rock next to you.
“You must be new here! I’m Kieran. Welcome to the aquarium.”
Written by iAteTheRamen on 11 June 2019
There was still a lot for you to take in, but a talking crayfish has promptly jumped to the top of your list. Taking in its words, you look around. The open water stretches on in all directions as far as the eye can see. “What do you mean â€˜aquarium’? This place is huge; there’s no way.”
“Trust me,” Kieran assures you, “if the tank can turn you into a fish, what makes you think that it’s not capable of having all this space?” His antennae often twitch when he talks. “I saw you were having trouble swimming, so I came over and figured that you could use some help.”
His words leave you speechless. A fishâ€½ You didn’t think the mansion would transform you so soon. It’s no wonder you thought you had lost your arms -- your pectoral fins were simply out of your line of sight. As you come to accept the facts, the urgency to get to the surface leaves as quickly as it had come. Your logic catches up, so you decide to test a theory.
“Can… can you help me?” you thought.
“Of course!” Kieran throws his claws up. “It took me a while to get used to this body. You’ll get used to yours too.”
“I was right,” you think, “that’s why he was able to answer me. He can probably hear me through my thoughts.”
He interrupts your inner voice. “I absolutely can, but you gotta control how loud you think, or else you’ll end up shouting your thoughts out to everyone around you.”
You get a glimpse of his swimmerets and are briefly repulsed at the sheer number of them wriggling, but quickly remember to suppress this thought.
“Here,” he says, “imagine you still have your legs. Pretend that you’re swimming sideways with a mermaid tail. It sounds dumb, but just try it out.”
You take Kieran’s advice and attempt to swim accordingly. You try moving forward, but it leads to you swimming in circles.
“Keep trying for a bit, it feels strange at first. Once you get the hang of it, you can try using your pectoral fins to direct yourself.”
His kind patience alone is enough to fuel your perseverance. As you practice swimming, Kieran settles down on the rock and makes himself comfortable.
“I became a crayfish almost a week ago after spending some time as a fox -- figured that I could use a change of pace, and breathing underwater sounded appealing.” He stretches two of his legs. “I gotta admit though, I was more looking forward to being an animal with no feet; now I have eight.” He slowly opens and closes his claws. “These are always fun, though!” Kieran cackles at his own appearance.
By the time his laughter subsides, you’re finally able to control your body comfortably. Kieran recognizes this and turns away from you. He makes a motion with his claw.
“Looks like you’ve got it down for the most part. Follow me. We’re goin’ into Myrio Ridge.”
Written by iAteTheRamen on 12 June 2019
Kieran has been kind enough to teach you how to swim. With the only other option being to wander aimlessly, you opt to follow his lead. He hops off the rock and floats down to the ocean floor; you hurry after him as he walks away from you.
“So,” you awkwardly start, “tell me more about this place. For example, how do you know where we’re going if there are no landmarks?”
Kieran continues the conversation without looking back at you. “Using your body, can you sense how the water is mainly flowing in one direction?” he asks. “That flow comes from the filter output. We use it as a kind of compass. This place may be enormous, but it’s still an aquarium. There’s a lot of automated stuff that help us survive. The light transitions to mimic when the day begins and ends. The feeder drops in enough food twice a day, a siphon sucks up old water every week, and clean water is added while the siphon works.”
While staring at Kieran, you make a mental note to never again take facial expressions for granted. You wish you could tell what he was thinking or feeling while he spoke.
“Just to remind you,” he says, “don’t forget to keep track of how loud you think. I could kind of hear you mumbling.”
You swim directly behind him to hide your embarrassment. “Right, gotcha.”
Before you know it, the two of you reach a large cluster of towering, green plants. Kieran walks right in without hesitation, so you follow suit. The plants are feathery against your skin. When the thought of getting lost in the brush crosses your mind, you swim a bit closer to Kieran and keep him in your line of sight.
Soon enough, a clearing comes into view. You’re met with what you can only describe as a small town. Just as it did when you were first peering into the aquarium, the colors and activity enthrall you. A multitude of structures are scattered. Some resemble hollowed rocks and some appear to be decorations purchased from a pet store. In the center of it all stands a tall, artificial edifice that you can clearly tell falls under the latter -- a castle with unnaturally red and blue trim.
Among the structures, fish weave around each other with purpose. Tetras and danios dance in clouds of schools. Several ghost shrimp wander about, foraging the substrate for any remnants of food. The animals’ movements are fluid, and with no one ramming into each other, you could almost believe that the commotion was choreographed.
“Welcome to Myrio Ridge!” Kieran finally turns to face you. “I can hang out with you today and tomorrow to help you fit in. After that, I’ll show you where you can find me if you ever need help.” He makes his way down to the city, and you cautiously follow while trying your best to not be distracted by the hubbub. “There’s so much you need to know,” he says. “If you want, I can introduce you to some of my friends… Oh shoot, you still need to find a place to live while you’re here.”
Written by iAteTheRamen on 13 June 2019
Kieran and you travel just past the castle to a small cluster of hollow rocks. The two of you go into the largest rock and come face to face with a group made up of various species.
“Hey everyone,” Kieran announces, “we got a newbie!”
The new animals come to greet you, and you all exchange pleasantries.
“So, how are you liking the aquatic life so far? Did Kieran teach you how to swim? Have you been to the Castle already?” Nesmith’s questions tumble out, one after the other. The dwarf puffer has difficulty containing his enthusiasm.
“C’mon man,” says Kieran, “leave â€˜em alone, they just got here.”
The chili rasbora playfully nudges the puffer. “Yeah Nes, you don’t wanna make â€˜em feel weird, do you?” Wheeler jokes. “Your house is probably the first place they’ve been to.” She turns to you for confirmation. “Isn’t it?”
“Yeah,” you say. Grateful that these new creatures are being so hospitable, you add, “Thanks for welcoming me into your home, Nesmith.”
Farron, the neon tetra, lets a snort escape before Nesmith can respond. “I know we say it’s his house, but we hang out here so often, we might as well call it our house.”
“I would call it our house if someone would help clean up every time they came over!” Nesmith mockingly argues.
“We’re fish!” Farron retorts. “Our only chores are to eat and poop!”
Their combined laughter pulls a chuckle out of you. Motion right outside the rock’s main entrance catches your attention. An amano shrimp is peeking into Nesmith’s hide. The animal looks shy, so you make an effort to be more inclusive.
“Hi there!” you say cheerfully. “I’m new here. My name is --”
“What are you doing hereâ€½” Kieran booms. With a flick of his tail, he’s instantly standing between you and the stranger.
The foreign shrimp begins to snap its own tail and rapidly swim towards the town’s border.
“You’re not getting away this time!” Kieran follows it in a similar fashion. “Nesmith!”
“I’ve got your back!” Nesmith swims after the crustaceans.
You’re left flabbergasted. “Wait, stop! I don’t --”
“Take it easy,” Wheeler interrupts, “we can explain. That amano doesn’t belong here. She’s an outcast and an enemy.”
“A-an enemy?” you stutter. The sudden change in everyone’s mood makes you somewhat queasy. “How can you have enemies when we’re all just visitors of the mansion?”
“Ugh, where do I even start?” Wheeler swims up to you. “You see, when we first got--”
“It’s a pretty long story, but you don’t have to worry about it.” Farron steers the conversation away from Wheeler. “All you have to know,” she explains, “is that we used to be friends with the amano. But she kept trying to fight us, so we banished her from Myrio Ridge.” Farron looks out the entrance for sight of Nesmith and Kieran who had long since disappeared into the forest. “Now we live a calm life.”
“Yeah!” Wheeler chimes in. “Farron is right. Myrio Ridge is an awesome place to live with lots of nice people! You’ll fit in just fine, don’t you think?”
Written by iAteTheRamen on 14 June 2019
Just like Wheeler said, you managed to settle down nicely in your new environment. It was difficult to think about adversaries in a town that rarely seemed to experience conflict.
With the help of your friends, you found a home of your own -- a quaint stone hide with a large front hole facing the castle, a small hole on top, and a medium hole in the back facing the foliage that naturally surrounds Myrio Ridge.
Kieran kept his word and helped you learn about the culture of both the aquarium and the local community. From the castle housing the marketplace to food scraps being used as currency, the little details came all at once, and there seemed to be new things to learn every day.
You return to your hide after a leisurely evening get-together at Nesmith’s. Over the past two weeks, you’ve also learned a lot about your friends’ lives outside of the mansion, before the aquarium. The tank feels almost natural to be in, and your friends make it easy for you to decide to stay a few more days -- a far cry from what you felt when you first transformed.
With a soft click that no one in the aquarium can hear, the lights switch from very dim to completely off. You’ve grown to embrace the darkness that initially frightened you the first two nights. Though you’re physically incapable of closing your eyes, you can feel your consciousness slowly ebbing away as sleep gently takes control.
After being so accustomed to staying home alone, you jolt at the sudden sound. “H-hello? Is there someone here?” Your room is clearly too small to comfortably accommodate any other animals, but you spin around to look anyways.
“Listen carefully, because I have to leave as quickly as possible.” The voice sounds like it’s coming from the small hole at the top of your hide. You look up, but it’s too dark to see anyone properly. With your lateral line, you can still somewhat feel their presence.
“There are more secrets to Myrio Ridge than ya think… Secrets that are crucial to keeping ya mind safe…” The voice somewhat trembles and shakes. “If ya really want to know the facts about this place, wait until the next time the lights go off. Then, swim westward until ya reach the next community. Keep ya travels to yaself -- tell no one. I’ll meet ya there.”
“Wait!” You’re not sure whether your outburst is meant to stop the entity from leaving or if it’s to stop the overflow of information. An opportunity is opened up regardless. “Who are you?”
Silence. You think the stranger has left too soon, but...
“Call me Gart.”
Just as quickly as it had come, the voice goes silent. Only then are you truly left on your own.
Your thoughts are bombarded with questions. “Facts about this place?” What don’t you already know? Is there something wrong with Myrio Ridge, or is it the entire aquarium? Who is Gart, and where did they come from? A trickle of fear creeps into your mind when your thoughts touch upon the worst possible outcome.
What if this is all a trap?
Written by iAteTheRamen on 15 June 2019
The last time you trusted a strange voice, Kieran came to your aid. Despite the possibility of danger, you decide that the benefits outweigh the risks.
The next day, you visit Kieran’s hide -- a reasonably sized, artificial shell. A few branches of the native plants have been laid on top to form a sort of curtain over the entrance. You’ve visited here before, but the curtain was new.
“Kieran? Are you home?”
There’s no response. You wonder if he’s fallen asleep, so you swim closer and dare to brush the branches aside for a peek.
“Don’t come in!” he yells.
His eruption catches you off guard, and you jerk away from the entrance.
“Sorry, I molted a few days ago, and my exoskeleton is still reforming,” he confesses. “It’s kind of gross, so I don’t want anyone to see me like this for a bit longer.”
No wonder his presence had been scarce lately. You feel relieved that his initial tone wasn’t because of anything personal towards you, but dismay follows after. You had hoped to seek his general advice about interacting with other creatures who resided outside of the community. Not wanting to bother him further during his time of vulnerability, you offer, “Don’t worry, I understand. I’ll see you around when you’re feeling better!”
. . .
At last, the already dimmed aquarium lights make the transition to total darkness, save some moonlight coming in from the outside world. You wait a few moments and check to make sure everyone is either asleep or far from view. With a bit of effort, you squeeze through the middle-sized hole at the rear of your home. Under the cover of both the darkness and the thick plants, you leave town and swim west towards the filter flow.
The quiet of the night is so different in comparison to the usually carefree hustle and bustle of Myrio Ridge. You’re not sure how much time has passed, but you enjoy the peace for a while. Before you know it, the prolonged silence unfortunately allows you to lock onto your fears. No matter how much you try to think of anything else, the fear of the unknown intrudes and forces its way into your mind. Gart is a stranger and no one knows that you’ve left town. You’re not even sure if you’re going in the right direction.
This last idea thankfully quells all your prior fears, but brings a new one to light. There’s still no community in view, and you begin to wonder if you’ve accidentally strayed off course. Meeting enemies are now the least of your worries. Your heartbeat speeds up with the pace of your swimming. Desperation sinks in, and the value of time increases with every passing second. Being lost and alone is one thing, but it’s an entirely different thing when darkness is factored in.
All at once, a jungle of plants comes into view; they’re made up of broad leaves with tapered points, each leaf attached to skinny stems. Knowing that this is most likely the community you were looking for, you make a break for the flora’s shelter. Any creature right now would be a sight for sore eyes.
You freeze in your tracks. This is a mistake.
“Nice to finally meet ya -- properly, I mean. I’m Gart.”
There is only silence when you stare back at the amano shrimp standing between you and the vegetation.
Written by iAteTheRamen on 16 June 2019
The terror of being alone subsides when seeing the amano overrides everything. You stand your ground and show that you aren’t fazed, but fear lingers right below the surface. The bad feeling you had in your gut last night was right all along. You summon up your courage to throw him a warning.
“Give me one reason why I shouldn’t turn and swim back right now.”
“Please! Ya don’t have to come in if ya don’t want to. Stay far from me if ya’d like, but hear me out. That’s all I’m asking.” Gart retreats into the forest just enough to be somewhat hidden. “Forgive me,” she says, “I’ve gotten used to being cautious as well.”
Surprised by her timidness, you decide to entertain whatever she has to say.
“I came all this way, so I won’t leave just yet. But whatever you want to tell me, get straight to the point, and make it quick.” You are already poised to swim away in case the ambush you picture in your head turns out to be true.
Gart hesitates at first, and decides to choose her words in compliance your instructions. “In Myrio, there exists an unknown leader that indirectly convinces people to stay in the aquarium and become permanently transformed. The entire community is a cult driven by emotional influence.”
Her words leave you dumbfounded. The audacity of what she’s suggesting makes you unsure whether to laugh or to get angry.
“No wonder they said you were an enemy,” you blurt. “All this nonsense that you spout must have driven them crazy.”
“I’m an enemy of Myrio because I tried to fight back!” Gart screams. She emerges from the forest and disregards her fear of being seen. “I figured out the truth and tried to spread the word! Some considered killing me, but because I had a lot of friends, they compromised by banning me.” She whimpers when she reveals her own truth. “Kieran was my best friend… they all were… that’s why I chose to tell ya out of anyone else. My friends vouched to spare me...”
“B-but that can’t be right,” you stutter. You rack your brain for any loopholes. “I’m not being influenced. I’m here because I want to be here. I make my own decisions, I can leave whenever I wa--”
“Exactly! Haven’t ya noticed how easy and nice it is to live in Myrio?” she interrupts. “Up until now, when was the last time ya thought about transforming? Ya been here for more than two weeks now. Do ya notice how ya daily routine makes ya happy, even though ya only done what fish are generally expected to do? Have ya even made any plans to leave before ya form becomes permanent?” Her antennae twitch wildly as she gets riled up.
Gart’s questions make your mind spin. You don’t want to admit it, but her pleas sound too urgent to be lies.
“Listen,” she starts as she begins to calm, “the siphon will be turning on in an hour. I know that ya been taught to stay in your hide every week that it comes, but that’s our ticket out of here.”
The truth appears to be clear. Everything makes sense and the stories seem to connect. The information has now been passed on to you. What will you do with it?
Written by iAteTheRamen on 17 June 2019
“I… I need to go back… I need to help whoever I can...”
Despite the terror in your heart, you know that you can’t leave without at least attempting to save others from Myrio Ridge. The guilt would follow you forever if you didn’t try.
“Are ya sure?” Gart asks. “Ya aren’t responsible for them, ya know.”
With only an hour to spare, your words rapidly spill out.
“Yes, I’m sure. I’m grateful that you’ve trusted me with all this information. I honestly want to leave this instant, but I’m sorry, I just care too much. Someone has to try and save whoever can be saved.”
A beat passes before Gart allows herself to chuckle. “Of course ya have to try,” she says while flexing her swimmerets. “Ya don’t have to apologize, I understand! We’re pretty similar when it comes to being selfless. It ain’t much, but there are a few others here that are preparing to leave with us. I helped them escape Myrio Ridge over time.” She motions to the plants behind her, and you can only assume that she’s referring to the community hidden within. “Tell ya what -- ya don’t know ya way around outside of Myrio, so I’ll gather everyone up and meet ya when the siphon comes. When ya feel a change in the water’s flow, travel in a straight line directly behind ya house until ya hit the open water. We’ll be there.”
You consider what she says, then quickly approve of her plan and begin to leave.
Thinking Gart might have forgotten to tell you something important, you come to a screeching halt and flip around to face her.
“Good luck,” she says.
. . .
The time it takes to get back to Myrio Ridge flies by like mere seconds.
When you finally reach the border of the town, a small school of nano fish crosses your path.
“Excuse me, excuse me!” you call out. This is your chance to help, and you’re not going to let it slip away.
But the group pays no heed to your voice.
“Helloâ€½” Your attempts to get their attention are futile.
The fish seem to be ignoring you. They continue carelessly floating together until you try to get closer. Without hesitation, the school darts away in the opposite direction. Why were they trying so hard to ignore you?
You lose the will to chase after them when a stripe of red catches your eye. The unique black markings against her scarlet body make it easy to distinguish your friend from a stranger. You quickly make your way towards her.
“Wheeler! I gotta talk to you and the others about something, we have to hurry. Do you know where everyone else is?”
The fish’s only response is to swim in a circle.
“Listen, I know you and I joke around a lot, but this isn’t the time to be playing games! I need to know where everyone is! Help me!”
When she only stares, you realize something is wrong.
Like a brick wall, it hits you hard. The reason why your friend isn’t responding is the same reason why that school of fish was oblivious to your voice.
Wheeler has been a chili rasbora for too long. She can no longer communicate with you, and she will soon be teleported out of the mansion to live out the rest of her days as a fish.
Written by iAteTheRamen on 18 June 2019
Not Very Convincing
Nesmith has always been the most kind and caring soul. The dwarf puffer was considered the most peaceful in your friend group. Out of everyone, Nesmith definitely doesn’t deserve to be permanently transformed. With this in mind, you rush to his hide near the castle.
He’s already awake when you arrive, and you’re grateful that you don’t have to startle him with your loud whispering.
“Hey, what are you doing here?” he asks gruffly. “Not that I’m unhappy to see you,” he corrects with a change of tone, “but it’s pretty late. Don’t you know that it’s siphon night? You should be home!”
“I know, but there’s important something I have to talk to you about.” You continue to whisper so as not to disturb the neighbors. “Myrio Ridge isn’t what it seems, I already know. Gart told me everything. You don’t have to pretend.”
“Hey Nes, I hope you haven’t knocked out already. Word is that there’s gonna be another round of escape tonight.” The voice is faint at first, but becomes louder as it gets closer. “If we head out now, we can still--” Farron emerges from the plants surrounding the rear of Nesmith’s hide. When she sees you, she chokes on her words. “W-Why are you…?”
“Farron? I was going to find you after I talked to Nesmith. What are you doing here?”
The neon tetra can’t seem to decide if getting closer to Nesmith is worth getting closer to you. “That’s my line,” she mutters. “You need t--” Farron cuts herself off again, but the strain sounds even more forced than before.
Behind you, blocking the main entrance, is Kieran. Even in the moonlight alone, you can tell that the blue covering his body is darker than before. His pincers look swollen with how much bigger they’ve gotten.
“Kieran!” You face him properly. “What’s happening? Why is everyone here? I thought that whenever the siphon comes, we suppo-- wait, never mind that. I have something to tell you, all of you! I know about Gart, and I know about Myrio Ridge… she told me everything. They’re escaping tonight. You’ve got to come with us!”
The crayfish sighs, and snickers. In fact, he can’t seem to stop snickering. Immediately, his snickers crescendo into full blown laughter. You don’t know what the punchline was. With his volume, you’re sure if the neighbors have woken up by now.
“This is great,” Nesmith cries out. “This means we don’t have to explain anything to you!”
Farron, who seemed on edge just before Kieran came, was now swimming rapidly in circles, whooping the whole while.
“Guys, wait,” you plead. “We’re running out of time! What could possibly be good about any of thisâ€½”
“Duh!” Kieran exclaims. “You came back after hearing what that traitor had to say, which means you’re on our side! You really are smarter than I thought you were. I was right to pick you from the moment I met you.” His antennae twitch erratically.
It finally dawns on you. When you said “come with us,” Kieran thought you were talking about Nesmith and Farron, not Gart and the refugees.
The crayfish spreads his chelipeds wide and opens his pincers to welcome you.
“Will you do me the honor of taking my place as the leader of Myrio Ridge?”
Written by iAteTheRamen on 19 June 2019