Fool. You cannot escape the footnotes of this article. Only those with great strength [1], wit [2], and magick [3] will navigate these footnotes [4] successfully.

Are you pure of heart? Can you find safe passage to the Citadel of Footnotes [5]?

                                                                  

  1. Strength. The mark of the strong man. Your massive fists scare the ravens [29] away. But can they purge the darkness without and within? Heavy boulders surround you to the right [8] and to the left [11].
  2. The witty man is the snake of footnote land. Your brain could move mountains if mountains were made of beguilement. All around, you hear the footnotes [4] whispering riddles into your ears. Do you listen to them [24], or fill your ears with wax to deafen their damnable shrieks [27]?
  3. Ah, warlock. Wizened and brain-addled from years of sorcery, your powers of magick are great, but are they great enough? What spell shall you cast, old man? Footnotes [4] obscure both your mind [9] and vision [21].
  4. Footnotes are the walls of the labyrinth that protects the Citadel [5]. They are the keepers of wisdom. Only the pure of heart will see through their half-truths and lies.
  5. Ah, yes. The Citadel of Footnotes. Where men are men and women are women. Where knowledge flows from the ground like water from a fount [10]. It is hallowed ground. A utopia.
  6. INCREDIBLE!!!! This is the last of the footnotes! You have escaped! You alone are pure of heart! Next stop: the Citadel [5]. Go to footnote fourteen and claim your reward [14]!!
  7. Your arms are filled with pain. Go to footnote twenty-two [22].
  8. You are not yet strong enough to break the rightmost boulder, strongboy. You should return later, when more strength streams from your husk like juice from the lemon [30]. What will you do, muscle man? Lift the boulder right now [31]. Or try the leftmost boulder [11]? The choice is yours… as is the punishment.
  9. You cast a spell of alertness. From the darkness of the footnotes [4], you hear the word “TADELI” and a calm washes over you. Good thinking, warlock. The Elders [20] are proud of you. Now what shall you do? Work on your muscles [1]? Or your mind [2]? Or strengthen your magick vision [21]?
  10. Fount. An archaic form of “fountain.”
  11. You crush the leftmost boulder into powder with your strong, throbbing fists! But suddenly! Gazooks! [33] Your firm, thickly muscled eyes spy a hobgoblin [23] in the distance. Your sword cries out for its putrid blood, but your fevered mind whispers “mercy.” What would the Elders [20] of the Citadel [5] do? The choice is yours, strong man… will you be strong of body [12]? Or strong of heart [19]?
  12. Hobgoblin [23] blood coats your sword and face. Yes. You smile and gorge yourself on its sweet, succulent hobgoblin meat. Physical strength +1. You are now strong enough to move the rightmost boulder [16]. But at what cost?
  13. The Elders [20] have forsaken you as a lamb to the slaughter. The raven [29] of death embraces you like a lover.
  14. Charlatan! That was a decoy footnote [4]! You do not deserve to escape: you are the bedfellow of deception and beguilement. Now perish, deceiver [18]. There can be no room for cheaters in the Citadel of Footnotes [5].
  15. Gazooks! [33] The spell is overwhelming! You feel your magick [3] growing infinitely! Go to footnote twenty-six [26] for even more power.
  16. Strength pours from you like juice from the noble lemon [30]. You crush the rightmost boulder into a fine mist and inhale deeply. The scent is intoxicating. But suddenly! Gazooks! [33] A wicked spell blocks your path. Is your magick [3] strong enough to break the spell [SP1 + SP3] and escape these damned footnotes [4]? Or will academic annotations become your tomb?
  17. Suddenly, there is quiet. The footnotes have been dispelled. You spy an empty room in front of you. “How can this be?” you cry. “Where is my utopia?” But then. Suddenly.  A miracle happens. And you recall the myriad lessons you learned throughout your adventure. You remember the hobgoblin’s clue. And your spell of alertness. And your magick booke’s secret message. And the unsolvable riddle of the footnotes. Looking up to praise the Elders, you spot one final message inscribed on the ceiling above you: “EART.” And then… Gazooks! It all makes sense!!! Combining all that you have learned, you finally comprehend the secret the footnotes have worked so hard to protect. And at last, you smile. Congratulations hero. You did it! You escaped the footnotes!!
  18. You have died. Clearly, you do not deserve the Citadel [5]. Death befits you as life never could. Return to the beginning of the article, weak one.
  19. Kissing the hobgoblin [23] upon his squalid lips and feeling his coarse hands against your nape, you spare the wretched demon. As he scuttles back into the darkness of footnotes [4] still unwritten, he silently whispers “THECI” before disappearing. A warning? Or a clue? Your lips yearn for further stolen kisses but the hobgoblin [23] is long disappeared. You feel your heart becoming stronger. Strong enough to move the rightmost boulder [16].
  20. The Elders are Gods. Goodly and righteous. Yet vengeful too.
  21. You cast a vision spell! Now you can see through the blinding darkness created by the footnotes [4]! Gazooks! [33] You spy your trusty spell booke lying on the ground in front of you. As you open it, the word “SINYO” pops into the air. What does that mean? Magick is strange and unpredictable, even to a magick-man such as yourself. Looking through the booke’s Table of Contents you see the following spells: SP1 (page seven); SP2 (page fourteen); SP3 (page eighteen); SP of infinite magick (page twenty)… Wait. Infinite magick?? You’ve never seen that spell before! What will you do, old man? Will you cast the spell [15]? Or will you avoid the fount [10] of knowledge entirely for fear that it will stagnate? Perhaps focus on your body [1] and wit [2] instead? How will you escape this footnote hell?
  22. Gazooks! [33]  Your arms are ripped from your torso! Go to footnote eighteen [18].
  23. The hobgoblin is a wicked creature. The bane of footnotes [4] and men alike. Hobgoblins are proof that even the Elders [20] make mistakes.
  24. Like a chorus of maniacal ravens [29], the footnotes scream endless riddles at you. As quick as a rattlesnake, you write them down [32]. Perhaps they may be of some assistance.
  25. Wow! You broke the spell! Gazooks! [33] But look out!! The footnotes [4] rise up to protect [18] the Citadel [5]. You must be close [13]! But there [22] are too [18] many footnotes [4]. They [4] will engulf [18] you! You must [13] use [18] your wit [2] to defeat [13] the footnotes [4] and dispel [13] their putrid [13] fount [10] of perplexity [Q1 + Q3 + Q4].
  26. Your magick continues to grow. Infinitely. There is no escape! Gazooks! [33] Your hubris has damned you. Now go to footnote fifteen [15] again, old man. The footnotes [4] will embalm you.
  27. Hot wax fills your ears. You scream in agony but your mouth soon fills with wax too. The Elders [20] laugh for the footnotes [4] have claimed another victim. Your body rots in silence.  Return to the beginning.
  28. This footnote is not connected to another footnote. It does not lead to another footnote. It is adrift and alone in a sea of academic citations. It will not survive long without the company of other notes. Even now it hears the wolves in the distance. It won’t be long now.
  29. A black bird who has no soul. Detest it for it surely detests you.
  30. Lemons. The yellow fruit. Juicy. But at what cost?
  31. Your arms strain to lift the boulder. Go to footnote seven [7].
  32. You write down the following riddles – Q1: “What is the atomic number of Boron?”; Q2: “How many Elders [20] can dance on the head of a pin?”; Q3: “How many semitones are there in a tritone?”; Q4: “What was the answer to Q3 again?”; Q5: “URH?”; Q6: “I ate ninety seven lemons [30] this morning. How many remain?” Very interesting. But what shall you do now, explorer? Hone your strength [1]? Or your magick [3]?
  33. A cry of vehemence or exaltation. Gazooks!
  34. Though this is the highest numbered footnote [4], it is not the final footnote. If you think that merely scrolling to the end of these annotations will secure your freedom, you do not deserve to visit the Citadel [5]. Only those brave enough to trawl the labyrinth will glean the blessing of the Elders [20]. All else shall perish [18]. Now return to the beginning and complete these trials honorably.

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