Sep. 24th, 2017 11:45 am
trustfellows: (Default)
[personal profile] trustfellows

You all got to witness Yosuke Hanamura's death earlier this past week. You know what the punishment for breaking the rules is. With Chitoge Kirisaki and Blue's deaths, you're painfully aware of just how little trust this group really has. How long until someone kills again? What about that time limit the Coordinators imposed? Will there be another incentive?

There are so many questions, but not a whole lot of answers.

Saturday is given to regrouping and sleep; come Sunday morning, the clock chimes the hour at seven o'clock and there are no dead bodies to be found, so it can be assumed that all of you are safe for the time being. That said, you'll be feeling a little groggy when you wake up; it seems you've regained something that you didn't realize you'd lost...

And when you wake up, you'll discover that a pattern seems to be emerging, at least as far as the building itself goes; a new floor is available to you, a stairwell across a short hallway from the one on the second floor having unlocked itself. There's not too much of a question about it as a result - at least, as far as what it means.

It's definitely a reward.


[OOC: Welcome to week three of Trustfell! Feel free to make as many top levels as you'd like and tag out to other characters! This post is for all of your interactions this week... at least until the weekend. Don't forget to save those threads for coins and the activity check!

If you'd like to get in contact with the Coordinators, you can do so through private meetings with Alena!]
greenmamabear: (Happy happy happy talk?)
[personal profile] greenmamabear
[In some ways, this trial was simpler. The killer was lacking in remorse, the victim innocent. The lines were clearer. Was that better, or worse?

Either way, Fern and Alex make up something of a green team, preparing a meal in the kitchen. Nothing particularly complicated. Coffee and water for whoever want it is at one end of the dining table. Along the rest of it is a variety of foods. A plate of cheese and crackers, a bowl of salad and carrots for the healthy people, some handy finger sandwiches, and... a big pot of mac and cheese. What they lack in presentation they make up in sheer volume of food. That's a big tub of mac and cheese.

They struggle with the invitations for a bit before eventually coming up with possibly the most awkward phrasing possible. These notes are quietly shoved under doors with little fanfare more than a quick knock.

We got food in eat place. Food is good to eat. Enjoy food with us?

- Fern and Alex

[The dining area is lined up with some appropriate decorations, quick paper streamers and even some doodles that have been taped to the walls.

Its possible too simple. But maybe people need something simple to gorge on after a complicated day.
trustbound: (Static.)
[personal profile] trustbound
Once again, as people finish their investigations and make their way toward the door at the bottom of those stairs in the dorms, the door down there is unlocked once again. It opens as though of its own volition, with a loud clicking sound and a soft outward swing, not firmly enough to harm anyone who might be standing in the way but enough to give them some slight encouragement to move.

The stairwell it leads to is once again dark, the only light coming in from the courtroom below, if it can really properly be called that. It stands as cold and unforgiving as it did last week, all concrete and steel and the podium circle in the center, surrounding the darkened pit in the middle. Nothing can be seen down there for the time being; it simply seems like a large black hole leading nowhere.

Three more podiums have joined Jean's in being arranged differently from the rest; Caren, Yosuke, and Chitoge have all joined the ranks of the deceased, their podiums draped in black with their profile portraits sitting atop them, greyed-out and watching the room with unseeing eyes.

The thirty-sixth podium remains empty and blank, as always.

Once everyone has found their place in the circle, the public-address system comes to life once more, and after a moment Jericho's voice can be heard

"Dexterous has been taken from you; seems like a lot of you were friends with her, and you all know why you're here by now and what you're supposed to do. So hopefully you guys won't be disrespectful assholes again and expect me to make you give a damn this time! Be self-centered about it all you want, just do your jobs. After all, it's in your best interests to do that.

As always, do your best - I'm looking forward to seeing how it goes.

Thirty-one Participants remain. However many are left at the end of the day is up to you.


Sep. 22nd, 2017 12:03 pm
trustfellows: (Default)
[personal profile] trustfellows
This week hasn't been good for a lot of you. Between the trial last weekend and strange dreams plaguing your sleep, the incident involving Yosuke on Monday, and the fact that apparently your captors are incentivizing you to kill one another, tensions have been high and spirits have been low overall.

Worst of all, you're still trapped here.

Friday morning dawns like the rest of the week before it; the clock chimes, the doors to the kitchen unlock, and there's a heavy silence that's settled over the building. However, it seems apparent that today isn't going to be just another day almost from the start, at least for some of you.

Namely, the floor is wet in one of the dormitory hallways.

The floors are wooden in here, so there's a good amount of it in the hall, seeing as it hasn't really soaked into anything properly; that said, it's just wet and spreading, not totally flooded or anything. It's the hall between rooms 21-25 that's currently the concern.

You might want to see what's going on. And do try to avoid stepping in it unless you're wearing shoes.



Sep. 17th, 2017 11:48 am
trustfellows: (Default)
[personal profile] trustfellows

Two people are dead. Jean Kirstein and Caren have both died due to a tragic accident. Of course, you're not entirely innocent, are you? You voted, you played into this game the Coordinators are running. But you know the stakes now. You know what failure to complete Rule Seven really means.

No more excuses from here on out.

Saturday is given to regrouping and sleep; come Sunday morning, the clock chimes the hour at seven o'clock and there are no dead bodies to be found, so it can be assumed that all of you are safe for the time being. That said, you'll be feeling a little groggy when you wake up; it seems you've regained something that you didn't realize you'd lost...

Of course, exploring the building from here on will reveal something new: namely, a stairwell in the northeastern corner, leading upwards toward a new floor entirely. Another sign of how things are going to progress around here, maybe; chances are you'll enjoy what you've been given, but was it worth the lives of two people to obtain?



[OOC: Welcome to week two of Trustfell! Feel free to make as many top levels as you'd like and tag out to other characters! This post is for all of your interactions this week... at least until the weekend. Don't forget to save those threads for coins and the activity check!

If you'd like to get in contact with the Coordinators, you can do so through private meetings with Alena!]
destage: (SOLEMN ♡ no really I deserve the void)
[personal profile] destage
[Well...that trial was most certainly a thing, now wasn't it.

It's probably a while after the trial that some notes will be going underneath people's doors, written in a nice, clean scrawl--]

For anyone who hasn't gotten anything to eat, there will be food and refreshments provided in the dining room courtesy of Estelle-san and I. Feel free to take as much as you need.

Please stay strong, everyone.

♥ Estelle and Sayaka

[True to the word, there's plenty of food to go around--potato stew courtesy of Estelle, and curry courtesy of Sayaka. There's coffee and tea out as well, for anyone to drink, and...well, it's more or less an optional thing. After today, some might need it.]
trustbound: (Static.)
[personal profile] trustbound
The door at the bottom of those stairs is unlocked.

It opens as though of its own volition - with a heavy click and a light outward swing toward the staircase leading back up to the dorms, not enough to harm anyone who might be standing in the way but enough to give them some slight encouragement to move. As for where the door will lead everyone...well, that has yet to be seen.

The first thing to be noted is that it's dark - not pitch-black, granted, there's some slight illumination bouncing off the walls, enough to show you that you're at the top of yet more stairs and giving everyone something to move toward, but the fact remains that it's dark, and this stairwell looks long, and the walls are all made of smooth concrete. Bunker-grade, almost, the sort of thing one would expect from a professionally-built basement designed to withstand almost anything; do be careful not to trip on the stairs, whether through a lack of coordination or simply nerves, because the concrete floor at the bottom is likely to be...unforgiving.

Eventually the stairwell ends, however, and everyone will find themselves faced with a room that seems designed to survive the apocalypse itself - a high-ceilinged room made of concrete and steel, stark and bare in comparison to the wallpapered rooms above. In the center of the room is a circle of podiums, thirty-six in total, arranged so that everyone standing at them can see each other. So everyone can look each other in the eyes, if they so choose. The podiums are interlocked - there's no cutting across the center of the circle, and for good reason, it looks like there's a lot of nothing down there where the floor should be - and each is bearing the title of the person who's assigned to stand at it. No names, just adjectives, emblazoned across two brass panels on the very top and the front of each podium.

Affixed to the podium itself is a panel with buttons on it, thirty-five in total; next to the buttons are smaller strips of engraved metal to serve as labels, bearing the titles of everyone that's been present in the Academy, living or dead.

All of the podiums are identical, except for the one intended for Jean and the thirty-sixth slot. The podium that should bear Ascendant's title has had a black cloth draped over it, and a copy of Jean's profile photo is sitting on top of it, framed and colorless, an image in greyscale.

The thirty-sixth slot has a podium there, but everything that should be on it is notably blank.

Once everyone has found their spot in the circle, the public-address system sounds out across the room, crackling to life moments before Jericho's voice can be heard

"Ascendent's been taken from you, and it's up to you to decide what to do about that. I guess you could do nothing, but that'd be kind of a waste, yeah? Unless he really meant that little to all of you. But you're all a bit less of a generalized trainwreck than that, I think.

"Do what you can, hold them responsible. If not...well, Rule Seven's still a thing, and someone's trying to see it through to completion.

Guilty or innocent, it really doesn't matter. Do your best!


Sep. 15th, 2017 12:06 pm
trustfellows: (Default)
[personal profile] trustfellows
This week has been a tense one, despite everyone's best efforts; the meeting on Tuesday was a productive one, the party went well on Wednesday, and people seem to have been trying to keep one another's spirits up... But that doesn't change the situation, nor does it remove the time constraint hanging over everyone's heads like the Sword of Damocles.

No one's found a way out yet.

Friday morning dawns like the rest of the week before it; the clock chimes, the doors to the kitchen unlock, and there's a heavy silence that's settled over the building. There's no reason think that this won't be just another day – however, whether it is or not has yet to be seen.

Feel free to go about your morning routines; either that or check the building just to make sure everything's okay. Maybe it's both, if you're the suspicious sort.

Let's see what you find.

innocentloveholic: to see you (16. holding hands with your heart)
[personal profile] innocentloveholic
[ The ballroom's a little swanky for a simple get-together like this, but...

Well, actually, judging by what you see when you come in at the appointed time (or even before that, but Aligula'll be huffy if you do!?), what was advertised is not exactly what's going on. Continuing her war on paper, Aligula's put up origami hearts (or her attempts at them; she got better as she figured out what she was doing, but they're not the best) pretty much everywhere. There's also sheets taped to every wall with encouraging things in her curly-cute script like GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER! and FIND A PARTNER! and WELCOME TO SPEED-DATING!

...Yeah, welcome to speed-dating.

There's a lot of chairs paired together, presumably for the whole "partnering up" thing, and everyone anywhere near the ballroom will be getting a sheet of questions titled SUGGESTED TALKING POINTS. There at least seems to be food like she promised? At least... there's signs pointing to the dining room across the wall to suggest it, and entering the dining room gets you hot chocolate (and water, if you're boring, as well treating you to the sight of a parfait bar, with various cups and glasses to stand in for actual parfait glasses. There's also things for making sandwiches—she pretty much grabbed whatever she could think of from the fridge and such—and of course, plates and utensils and etc.

And if none of that's appetizing then, like, kitchen's not that far, go make something yourself. She put a lot of work into this whole thing but especially the parfait bar because she loves parfait and everyone can have fun making those.

If you don't think your character would've come without a little help, don't worry; even if Aligula can't bodily drag everyone, she sure can bother them aggressively until they come just to get her to leave them alone. All in all, don't sweat the small stuff and have a good time getting to know each other! Or go sulk and play the piano, whatever. ]


Sep. 11th, 2017 12:05 pm
trustfellows: (Default)
[personal profile] trustfellows

You may not have learned much about the Coordinators (besides how unhelpful they are), but one thing's for sure: there's no way out of here. It seems like you're stuck here for the time being and the rules the Coordinators told you about are still hanging in every room. You'll be left to your own devices now - feel free to continue exploring and getting to know your fellow Participants for the next several days. Should you want to eat something you're free to use the kitchen before 10PM, but after that the doors will be locked and no amount of fussing with the locks or trying to break them down will get them to budge.

Every morning at exactly 7AM the clock in the foyer will chime, welcoming you to a brand new day here in Graceside Preparatory Academy. This will happen every morning at 7AM and again in the evenings at 10PM. You'll be able to hear the clock chime no matter what room you're in. There isn't a punishment for sleeping in, but you don't want to waste the day in bed, now do you?

(Unless you were out exploring all last night. In which case, go back to bed, damn.)


[OOC: Welcome to week one of Trustfell! Feel free to make as many top levels as you'd like and tag out to other characters! This post is for all of your interactions this week... at least until the weekend. Don't forget to save those threads for coins and the activity check!

If you'd like to get in contact with the Coordinators, you can do so through private meetings with Alena!]


Sep. 10th, 2017 06:04 pm
trustfellows: (Default)
[personal profile] trustfellows
It's been a long day.

Some of you have been exploring, but it seems that the foyer has been holding most people's attention fairly well; even if it hasn't been, however, even if you're somewhere else in the building, it seems that someone has a vested interest in making sure that you end up there eventually.

The public-address system speakerboxes that have been affixed to the wall offer a fair amount of feedback when they come to life for the first time; it's loud and grating, and it takes a moment before a voice can be heard under the electrical screeching.

"Okay, okay, I get it, you're upset, can you please work for me now..."

It seems more addressed at the system as a whole than it does anyone in the building, the sort of frustrated thing that one offers to electronics that aren't working properly; the voice is masculine and unfamiliar to any of you, and it falls into silence that lasts a little while before it comes back, this time clear and free of any interference.

"All right, that should be better, hello? Yeah. Come to the foyer within the next ten minutes. I'm sure you guys have a lot of questions; there'll be someone there who can answer them for you, and then we can get started."

Granted, those arriving within the allotted timeframe will be greeted by...well, the other thirty-four of you that are standing around in there; there doesn't seem to be any new faces present in the room. But as soon as ten minutes exactly pass, the door on the eastern side of the room clicks open, like it's being unlocked from the inside, and eventually, someone steps out.

She's short and small-statured, with grey eyes and long, straight brown hair falling well down her back; she's wearing the girls' version of the same school uniform that some of you have found in your closets by now – a white blouse and blue skirt that cuts off at the knee, with white socks and black shoes. None of you know her, but she seems fairly young to be doing this, somewhere between 20 and 25, and she's quick to shift a little once the door closes behind her, like she's just realized that there's one of her and many of the rest of you. She raises one hand to about the level of her mouth for a moment, fingers curling inward loosely while she tries to figure out what to do with herself, before she takes a deep breath – one that seems to course through her entire body, a very clear self-confidence-instilling gesture – before she lets her hand fall back downward to fold her fingers around those of the other, clasping her hands together in front of her and nodding a bit to herself.


The greeting is perhaps surprisingly calm, given the fidgeting she was just doing; it seems she's centered herself. Prepared for business, whatever "business" might be.

"I'm one of the Coordinators overseeing this exercise. It's good to meet all of you in person. If you have any questions about the rules or your situation, you're welcome to ask them, though I can't promise you any answers that you'll like."

[OOC: Bear in mind that Rule Five is in effect, even now! Threatening her is fair game, but any instances of actual violence against her will be punished immediately, and she has the IC means by which to do it - so unless you want to die within the first five minutes of the game, you might not want to do that. Just a thought!]


Sep. 10th, 2017 12:15 am
trustfellows: (Default)
[personal profile] trustfellows

Rise and shine.

There are a few things that matter right now - the fact that you're waking up in an unfamiliar but decently comfortable bed, the fact that you don't recognize the room you're in, the fact that you seem to have some sort of headache... Nothing severe, mind. Just the sort of odd, heavy fuzziness that comes with having slept far too long.

You don't really remember where you were immediately before this, not upon waking. Something will come to you eventually if you think long enough, however - a couple of seconds of consideration will bring to mind a place, a memory, a recollection of where you were and what you were doing.

It probably wasn't anything that would result in you being here, though.

Welcome to Graceside Preparatory Academy.

You may want to pick up the key to your room before you leave the room, but don't worry too much - your door won't lock automatically, so you won't be locked out if you've forgotten to pick it up. It seems you're not alone, either; the hallway outside your room is most likely full of other confused people by now, and should you turn around to look at the door of the room you just left, you'll find a nameplate with your name printed on it. There's a single word underneath it with no explanation. This is your title, but don't worry about that right now.

Depending on when you left your room there may be a clock chiming in the foyer up ahead. It seems like it's seven, though it's difficult to tell if it's seven in the morning or seven at night. There aren't any windows, after all. Should you venture into the room with the clock, you'll find that the only exit is closed - there's absolutely no way to break down that steel bulkhead. It looks like you're not getting out of here anytime soon.

The foyer also holds some very interesting information. There's a bulletin board with thirty-five pictures on it. Beside each picture is some very specific and very familiar information. Feel free to examine it. The bulletin board is large enough for plenty of you to gather around and gawk. Don't try to get at it though, that glass in front of it is very thick. If you try to break it, you'll find out the hard way that it's shatterproof. Sorry about that.

Perhaps even more of a concern than the glass is the list beside the profiles. It looks like a set of rules. You might want to examine those, though they're not providing much of an explanation for why you're here or how you got here.

So relax and get to know your fellow Participants. You might be stuck here for awhile.


Jan. 1st, 2016 10:47 pm
openterrain: (ʙʀɪɴɢɪɴɢ darkness from above)
[personal profile] openterrain
[ Does it ever stop?

Maybe not, but Jean doesn't actually have an issue with that. The immediately visible zombies have been taken care of and the group is ready for any others that might shamble their way. It's still the dead of the night as Jean moves about the town square, gathering up every last bit of dry wood he can find and building up the basis of what could become an impressive bonfire. Strangely, he leaves it unlit - or perhaps not so strangely, since it really should be time to move on.

Instead, Jean goes back - back into the school and through the hallways and down to the courtroom. He makes several side trips as he goes, gathering up rope and matches and spare blankets along the way. He's not particularly surprised to see that Kimblee's corpse has been a bit abused since they last left him, nor is he depressed or angry or pleased.

Kimblee got what he deserved.

Jean takes the time to carefully wrap Kimblee's corpse in the spare sheets and secure them with rope, more out of consideration for the more squeamish of his fellow survivors than any respect for Observant himself. Wrapping him up is pretty simple, luckily. Dragging him back up the stairs and all the way over to the bonfire is simple, but not easy. He's a big, heavy bastard as it turns out and the very first hints of dawn are glimmering on horizon by the time Jean finally gets him over to the bonfire. Unsurprisingly, Jean will happily accept any offers to help with the body moving process.

There's no pomp or ceremony to Kimblee's 'funeral'. There's no moment of silence, no carefully selected works, not even a few personal possessions tossed onto the pyre with their tormentor of the past two months. Jean simply kindles a few sparks at the base of pyre, and then steps back to watch the flames grow into a blaze and consume flesh and wood alike.

... He does take care to stand upwind of the pyre, however. Burning bodies aren't exactly a pleasant scent.


Dec. 31st, 2015 03:00 pm
trustmods: (Default)
[personal profile] trustmods
All things considered, everything has gone very well for you all, hasn't it? Twenty-two people died, but thirty people will leave this building. Congratulations, you all deserve it.

Though with that said, you still need to find the way out. For those of you who explored the floors in the closed wing of the building during the final investigation, you might have noticed that there were two floors you didn't explore, below the one Sol and Weiss investigated.

That might be a good place to start. Once more, for old time's sake.

trustmods: (Default)
[personal profile] trustmods
The Conductor - Solf J Kimblee - is dead. You've won.

You have three new keys, a philosopher's stone, and twenty-three mysterious potions at your disposal.

You've had enough of people leading you around, haven't you? So now it's your turn to take initiative.

What will you do now?
explosivecombat: (And we're seceding from the world)
[personal profile] explosivecombat
There are all sorts of secrets to this place, really, ways to get from place to place reasonably unnoticed. Some of those ways involve the ability to shift one's appearance, some of them involve shadows and vessels and darkness; for those without those sorts of gifts, though, one has to rely on more conventional means. Panels and doorways, joins and seams that don't join up quite right; portions of the wall that will open up if you manipulate them properly.

The Conductor himself tends to rely on the latter; he is, after all, entirely human.

He's thin, as though he doesn't eat terribly much, but his clothes are immaculate and sharply-tailored, a suit and long coat all in white and shades of pale grey; his hair is long, trailing at least halfway down his back in a thin, tightly-tied ponytail, and his eyes are cold when he moves to stand at the thirtieth podium – it's not his, it never has been, but it's going to do for now.

He doesn't seem anxious at all about being here; there's nothing nervous in his demeanor, and he's keeping his head up, perfectly willing to look everyone in the face. There's a definite arrogance about him, as is probably to be expected, though he'll certainly acknowledge everyone once he's there – when he bows it's enough to be respectful, but not nearly enough to expose the back of his neck.

When he speaks, his voice is recognizable but it's quiet, far moreso than one would assume him to be based on the volume of the intercom alone; his tone is even, almost unsettlingly calm given the circumstances, though there's a hardness to it that never quite goes away.

"It's a pleasure to speak to all of you in person; I'd say that it's almost a shame that the circumstances have to be what they are, but I'm not going to insult your intelligence like that."

He straightens up then; the smile he's offering is understated, but it's not particularly nice.

"I understand that we have a fair amount to discuss; shall we begin?"

Your host for the evening, everyone; let's start.
antitrust: (Static)
[personal profile] antitrust
A while after the seventh floor is accessed, after things have been looked over, the Conductor can be heard over the intercom; it seems that it's functioning in this side of the building as well.

"It seems that you've all been busy today; if you're interested in utilizing what you've found, meet down in the courtroom.

You've wanted your opportunity for a while now; far be it from me to withhold it from you any further."

The door at the bottom of the dormitory stairs, leading to the courtroom in the basement, is unlocked; let yourselves in.

There are so few of you now.

Cabanela's and Youko's photographs have joined the others in the circle, their pictures in monochrome, their podiums draped in black. The pit in the center of the circle remains dark, but the usual unnatural weight to the darkness isn't present today; there's still no seeing down into it properly, but it seems the shadows are gone.

As always, the proceedings are being watched from behind that panel of glass behind podium 30; from what can be seen of his actions and movements, he doesn't seem anxious at all. He's simply watching.

Calm though he seems, however, he isn't going to give everyone the usual nonsense today; there are no speeches to give, and he seems largely disinterested in trying to find one. Even so, the implication behind today is clear.

It's you against the guilty. Take control of your fate, and hold them responsible.

What he actually does say is simple. Straightforward.

"Let's begin, shall we?"
trustmods: (Default)
[personal profile] trustmods
You've all done very well to make it this far, but it's not over yet.

The Conductor has been silent for the past few days. An uneasy peace has fallen. No one else has died, but does that really mean we're getting close to the end?

But then, perhaps it's time to take some initiative of your own - to hold someone accountable for things they actually did, rather than punishing your own for acting out in a situation none of you asked to be in.

A couple of you have some unused keys that you might want to try to use on the seventh floor. There's a room along the southern wall that hasn't been opened yet; that might be a good place to start.

Are you ready for the final investigation?

[OOC: Once you've gotten the western wing of the building open, the floors you'll be working with will look like this, with rooms A and B on each floor open for investigation; the red area in the southwestern corner of the floorplan contains a spiral staircase that leads between floors, though after the fourth floor down, the door leading into the building proper will be locked. Those four floors are yours to explore, though!]
trustmods: (Default)
[personal profile] trustmods
Friday morning is blissfully uneventful; there aren't any bodies to be found today - of strangers or otherwise - nor are the remaining Participants awakening to any of the rooms covered in blood. The Conductor has remained largely distant from the rest of you since Wednesday morning; letters and phone calls are going unanswered, though at least the man's proven that he's still alive over there.

(Or, at least, that somebody is still alive over there. You're not completely on your own, anyway, though whether that's a blessing or a curse is a little difficult to say.)

That isn't to say that there isn't any strangeness happening today, however...

Anyone going up to the seventh floor this morning (you know, possibly to make sure no one else fucking died because it's been an excellent week for everybody dying) will find something odd right away, as they're coming up the stairs.

Namely, that it seems really bright up there? Like unusually bright. Overly so. Not like everything's burning up there, it doesn't seem like fire - if anything, the light seems closer to white than the orange that one would expect from flames.

You might want to see what that is. Just saying.


First of all, there's a fresh pot of tea set out in the kitchen in the morning, for anyone who wants some; later, anyone wandering into the dining hall this evening will find that they've been...largely provided for today, strangely enough. Spread out on the tables there's a good amount of food and other gifts; it seems like somebody was feeling thoughtful.

Or, upon closer inspection, perhaps several someones.

Gifts and what have you are as follows: )

Last but not least, there are letters for all of you; some have been left on the fridge, some are elsewhere in the dining hall. But they're definitely there.

Looks like you're still being looked out for, guys.
trustmods: (Default)
[personal profile] trustmods
Wednesday morning is off to a strange start.

Anyone awake shortly after the morning chimes go off will be greeted with the mildly bizarre sight of candles set up in rows along the hallways; they seem to be forming a path leading somewhere upstairs.

It seems your friends are still looking out for you. It also seems like they're probably doing it for a good reason, because...

...Is that something burning? It smells like something may have been burning in the ballroom at one point during the night.

You might want to. Look into that.