"The Masquerade" is the fifth installment of Tales from the SMP. It was streamed on February 3, 2021 at 6 PM EST and featured Karl Jacobs, BadBoyHalo, Sapnap, Ranboo, Fundy, Nihachu, Quackity and Technoblade, all playing original characters. Dream was unable to make it due to being sick, but he is featured on the poster.
A Masquerade party is hosted by a wealthy man named Sir Billiam III, and attendees included five guests and an uninvited commoner. Everything seemed to well until the lights went out and murders began taking place.
This episode takes place in the past, though it is unclear precisely how long ago the masquerade took place. It is predicted to take place after 1857, due to the vintage of the wine in Sir Billiam's mansion. It is set at or around the same time as the Wild West episode due to the presence of a wanted poster for Technoblade's character Sir Billiam III outside the sheriff's office in the Wild West town and a lore email sent to subscribers by Ranboo on February 16, 2020.
Karl arrived in front of the mansion and met Sir Billiam III, a rich man who owned said mansion and was the host of an oncoming Masquerade ball. Billiam did not recognize Karl and assumed he was a commoner and asked what his occupation was. Karl replied that he was a Minecraft streamer much to Billiam's delight, who proceeded to give Karl a tour of the mansion.
Billiam toured Karl around the second floor, meeting up with his own unnamed Butler on the way. They toured the guest bedroom, an overview area of the ballroom area, the dining hall, the balcony, the aquarium, and multiple libraries. Karl asked Billiam why the third and last library had two identical paintings of a spider next to each other, Billiam quickly deflected the question.
Billiam and Karl made their way to the ballroom area and drank some wine delivered by the Butler. Billiam often commented that the Butler was slow, threatening to punish him by forbidding him to eat for a week.
The Guests' Arrival
They returned to the main area and awaited the arrival of some of the Masquerade guests. First to arrive was Oliver another rich old man with a frail voice. Billiam seemed wary of his visit but greeted him anyway. Next to arrive was Lord Sebastian, a close acquaintance to Sir Billiam. As they were about to leave to the Ballroom, another guest named James entered and requested some drinks. Billiam asked him about his family, James replied that he had been divorced and his wife had taken custody of their children. Billiam was stunned by this news, saying that James is not an easy person to talk to as he only spoke in short sentences and the conversation seemed stilted and awkward.
Karl got trapped inside the piano just as another guest arrived, introducing herself as Lyaria, a close friend of Billiam. Lyaria and Karl had an awkward introduction as he was trapped in a piano, and she didn't like the fact he was a Minecraft streamer, however she immediately tried to be nice to him the moment Billiam told her that Karl was a billionaire. They immediately struck up a conversation with each other.
Another uninvited visitor arrived and introduced himself as Drew P. Weiner. Billiam ordered the Butler to get rid of the commoner. Drew claimed that he was here for the nudist party, to which Billiam t him that he was at the wrong address and the actual address was three blocks down. Drew commented that the location was far from any neighboring estates and decided to stay in the mansion instead. The other guests weren't fond of the idea, but Karl pointed out that since the usual butler (who would've been played by Dream) was ill, Drew could help Butler with his chores.
They arrived in the ballroom area and had a few drinks, while Billiam was also trying to poison and kill Drew. Drew got drunk and angry for being called poor causing everyone to try and hide from him. Karl noticed Lyaria crawl into one of the vents in the wall and disappear for a few seconds before crawling back out once Drew had calmed down.
They played a bit of "Duck, Duck, Goose". Drew P Weiner was unincluded from the game due to Lyaria and Oliver refusing to come into contact with a poor person. After a few rounds, Karl exclaimed that he was tired of playing the game. The lights suddenly went out and the group panicked and scattered around the mansion.
Karl hid under some crates, where he saw someone pass by with a sword. The murderer walked away from Karl's hiding spot and Karl was relieved. The lights suddenly turned back on and the group met up at the piano. Most of the group made it except for Drew and Lyaria. After a few moments of panic, Lyaria arrived late. They noticed Drew was missing, so the group split up to try and find him. They went to the grand library and found a secret passageway around the back of the bookshelves. Blood seeping through the shelves and they found Drew's head, the rest of his body nowhere to be found.
The group discussed who they suspect murdered Drew, while Billiam gave gold to everyone to keep silent as a found dead body could reduce his property value. They suspected that the Butler was the murderer, but he claimed that he hadn't seen anyone since the lights turned off. The group spread out to find clues that could lead to finding the identity of the murderer when the lights suddenly turned off again. Karl saw someone highlighted with a sword, kill someone in the room below, and planned to find them and decided to figure out their identity when the lights turned back on. The murderer successfully killed someone and the lights turned back on.
The group reunited and found that Lyaria and Oliver were missing. They eventually found Lyaria's dead body by the wine barrels. The group also heard someone drowning and rushed to the Aquarium to find Oliver inside one of the tanks. They tried to break the glass but to no avail. Oliver then swam up the tank and regrouped with them. They asked Oliver how he ended up in the tank, but received no direct answer.
The group discussed who murdered Lyaria, Billiam was accused but stated that he would rather pay someone to commit murder rather than doing it himself. The Butler was with Billiam the whole time, and Sebastian was at the Ballroom Bar. The group then suspected Karl, who showed them his pathway to prove his innocence. The group believed him and once again split up to look for more clues. When they regrouped, Billiam asked everyone to empty their pockets to make sure they don't have a sword.
They found a secret tunnel by the barrels leading to a small office that had a tunnel leading to the ballroom area. Karl remembered that Lyaria went in the tunnel to hide from Drew earlier meaning she must have hidden in it again, and when climbing out the other side was killed. Karl suspected Sebastian due to his proximity to the tunnel, but Sebastian claimed to have been protecting the barrels of wine. Billiam asked Sebastian what the vintage on the wine was, and Sebastian answered 1856~. Karl then asked Sebastian to follow him into the secret room to discuss, when suddenly the lights turned off again, and Karl saw the highlighted murderer. Karl led Sebastian upstairs and they hid in the bathtub. Later, they moved to hide in a bedroom closet. The murderer moved dangerously close to them and Karl curled up in the corner of the closet out of fear. They heard the doors open and Sebastian was dragged out of the closet and killed. The lights turned on again and Sebastian was nowhere to be seen.
Karl found Oliver outside the room, the rest of the group following behind as the Butler helped Billiam since he had been locked outside the mansion. Oliver suspected that Karl had murdered Sebastian, while Karl suspected Oliver. Billiam later found Sebastian's body in a dusty corner. Karl proposed that the group separate into pairs to find the murderer more easily. Karl stayed with Billiam, Oliver stayed with James, while the Butler tended to his duties alone.
Karl hid with Billiam in a spacious bedroom when the lights went out. Billiam led Karl to a secret hiding spot within a closet. They saw the murderer highlight nearby as they killed someone, and the lights turned back on. Billiam and Karl climbed out of the secret room, finding Oliver outside of the closet with James' dead body near him. They immediately suspected him due to this seemingly clear evidence against him. Oliver objected, saying that if he were to murder people, he would've used a gun. They agreed with his defense and then suspected the Butler instead. The Butler was given limited freedom of speech, and defended his innocence by saying it wasn't him. Billiam and Karl immediately believed him and suspected Oliver. Oliver opted to play a jolly piano tune as his defense, and proceeded to play murder mystery music which made the group suspect him more.
Karl then proposes another buddy system for the next blackout, telling Oliver and Butler to stick with each other to prove their innocence, while Billiam buddies up with Karl. They hide in a secret panic room within the kitchen when the lights turn off. The lights turn back on and Butler exclaims that Oliver died from a heart attack. Billiam and Karl run away from Butler as they suspect that Butler was the murderer, slowing him down by dropping gold ingots to pick up. They end up back at the grand library and Billiam orders Butler to stand by the doorway, to which he complied. Billiam shows Karl a secret entrance behind the Spider painting, and Karl realizes that is why there are two identical paintings. Billiam walks through and shows him his favorite room.
The floor was scattered with red vines and at the end of the room resided what Billiam called "The Egg". Billiam told Karl the story of how he had discovered the Egg's breeding ground underground when the Mansion was abandoned. He had then resided within proximity of the Egg and renovated the mansion above it. Billiam also explained that he feeds unwealthy people to the Egg, as the Egg demanded nourishment. Karl asked if Billiam had been behind all the recent murders, and he replied that the Egg was behind it all. It had infected everyone, and convinced Lyaria to murder Drew, which she did. Sebastian had then murdered her, Oliver then murdered Sebastian and James, and the Butler then murdered Oliver.
Karl tried to escape, but the butler asked Karl to not exit the room. Billiam invited Karl to hug the Egg. The lights suddenly started flickering, and turned off. Billiam expressed that the Egg was hungry again, with the Butler blocking the exit, armed with a sword. Billiam ordered the Butler to kill Karl and Karl tried to run away, but the Butler caught up with him and killed him.
Karl woke up in a pristine white palace, in the center was a flower pot containing a wither rose. His clothes were completely gray and white. He ascended the stairs and found a book.
|“||This is the land of the inbetween.
A world you've been to a few times now. It's time to comprehend more of what's happening to you, Karl.
The inbetween acts as your gateway for travelling in time. It isn't a dimension you're familiar with, but in some senses, it's a home away from home.
The key to you grasping more of an understanding on your time travelling abilities lay within this gorgeous castle you will soon get to traverse.
Fear not, this is not a place to provoke harm, but a place to feel at ease.
He then explored the castle as the book had told him to do. He discovered the castle garden, and another book titled Knowledge 1 that was attached to the tree, and decided to read it on the swings.
|“||You don't get to choose when you time travel or when you return, but you already know that, and that is something that will remain true.
Something that doesn't need to remain true however, is your body's deterioration.
I know that every time you time travel, you lose more and more understanding on who your are, and this is something you can absolutely solve in the future.
I can guarantee if you explore this castle enough, you will one day know what to do to stop losing yourself and have a better control over your mind.
Karl then ascended to the second floor of the castle and found another book titled The Warning over by the railings.
|“||I will leave you with one clear objective.
You do not have a choice in the matter.
You will continue to time travel, and you will continue to regroup back here in the inbetween...
You must continue to write the stories along the way.
The preservation is worth every second of your time. These stories are important to continue to share what the world is, and who you are. More important than each story individually is the library itself.
Next time you're back to your library, you need to move it.
Find a peaceful land and start fresh. Try to get everyone to join you that will...
Don't let anyone know about where these stories really come from... Don't let anyone know about what the inbetween is...
Don't let any harm come upon your library...
Til next time Enjoy yourself I hope to see you back here soon.
Back to the present
Karl looked across at the castle, and then traveled back to the present, waking up in a cave underground. He followed the cave to a ladder leading into the secret room of his library, where he began to document his recent travel in a book titled The Masquerade:
A group of rich people come together to party, or so they thought. What began as a group of friends having fun developed into a nightmare for many.
A suspicious mansion owner ended up using his power to attack and murder each of his guests through manipulation in ways we are unsure of.
After documenting his recent travel, he then proceeded to write a new entry in his diary:
A place I don't quite understand. I feel like I've been there before, but I can't put my finger on it.
I can't keep losing my memory. And it seems like every time I go to the inbetween it happens, but I can't just stop going.
But... Maybe theres more to that place that I'm just unaware of... I just have to keep looking deeper and deeper into the inbetween so I can find a way to ensure that I don't lose everyone that's so close to me.
I need to move this library. It needs to be preserved. I will find every way possible to ensure that no matter what, I can do my part to bring happiness to these lands.
One preserved story at a time.
Don't forget yourself.
After writing a new journal entry, he left and covered up his library, ending the stream.
- When Sir Billiam was welcoming Lyaria to the mansion, a potted blood vine seed could be seen on a table in the background, foreshadowing the reason why the guests would go on to murder each other. Nether wart blocks also lined the wall hiding the Egg and certain door frames throughout the mansion, also indicating the presence of the Blood Vines. Sir Billiam also was against the painting, speculating if there was a secret room behind it, again foreshadowing.
- Nihachu's character Lyaria is very similar to her "Dungeons & Dragons" character of the same name from the "Streamee D&D" series.
- Sir Billiam said that he had another butler named Hubert who ran off. This is likely a reference to Techno's "butler", a zombified piglin wearing a jack o' lantern named Hubert.
- It is speculated that Dream, who wasn't able to attend due to being sick, would have been the other butler.
- Sir Billiam made a joke about the railings after Karl fell off them multiple times at the beginning saying they were there so idiots don't fall. This is likely a reference to the railings that Technoblade put up in Pogtopia to prevent Wilbur and Tubbo from falling.
- In the next installment of the Tales from the SMP, The Wild West, it was revealed that Sir Billiam had received some amount of his wealth by stealing from the town's bank, and was wanted by the town sheriff.
- In a Twitch email, Ranboo revealed that money seems to not be the only thing Sir Billiam stole. He pointed out that his Wild West character John John said that a brown haired orphan also went missing around that time. This is implied to be the butler.
- The enchanted sword that the murderers used to kill people was simply called "Murder".
- In the Inbetween, Karl found a book on the ground. When he tried to pick it up, he accidentally deleted it, since he was in creative mode.
- When Sir Billiam and Karl were running away from Butler, they went in the wrong direction.
- Karl and Sir Billiam had a conversation where they both called Oliver Fundy and Lyaria Niki.
- While playing music in the Inbetween, an advert for weight loss started playing halfway through the song.
- When the lights went out for the first time, Niki accidentally found Karl, and quickly left to find someone else to kill, as she had to keep Karl alive for lore reasons. Due to the lights not being dim enough to hide her identity, it was accidentally revealed that she was the first murderer.
- Niki's skin changed to the default skin, and Karl jokingly stated that her body was decomposing.
- Shortly after, her normal skin returned, and they continued by saying her body 'undecomposed'.
- Ranboo revealed that the butler was supposed to be allowed to speak and have more lines, but his microphone was accidentally muted at the beginning. Even after realizing what happened, they continued the bit of his character not being allowed to speak, and scrapped their original plans.
- Poster: Poster: @Flowbytee
- Credit Posters: @reinfalllz, @ratoresia, @zombiepop & @framindd
- Storyline: Karl Jacobs (with help from BadBoyHalo & Dream)
- Build: David Goulding, BadBoyHalo & Karl Jacobs
- Production: @Plutoren
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