Second level object

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A second level object (or second level noun) is one that is only mentioned in the description of another object (as opposed to in room descriptions or similar). A third level object is mentioned in the description of a second level object, and so on.

For example:

You are in a narrow hallway. There is a picture hanging on
the wall.

>x picture
The picture is of a ship being tossed around in a stormy,
blue-green sea. The sails are billowing wildly.

>x sails (second level)
The sails are almost being torn away from the ship. There
is a strange symbol on the main sail.

>x symbol (third level)
It looks like an eagle in flight, grasping a snake in its

It can be confusing for players if the depth of object descriptions is inconsistent within a game; on the other hand, deeply describing an object can be one way to hint to players that it is significant.