Author Topic: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Choose Your Own Adventure (Results)  (Read 2572 times)

WHAM

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I'll have my story out at some point tonight. May do some minor revisions tomorrow, after sleeping on it. Just writing the last handful of chapters now.
My Fortnightly Writing Competition collected works
https://goo.gl/VUQbzU

Baron

  • Mittens Serf
  • Not-so-Evil Banana Dictator
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    • Best Innovation Award Winner 2011, for the concept and management of SWARMAGS
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    • Baron worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
        You are suddenly standing on deteriorating concrete with knee-high weeds growing up through the cracks.  A large slab of a building just in front of you dangles dangerously by a couple rusty threads of re-bar.  A sudden gust of ghostly wind sweeps a cloud of sand from a road strewn with burnt-out vehicles.

   You have no sense of bearing, and instead wander aimlessly through the abandoned streets.  Graffiti wall-papers the gutted buildings, but you can not decipher its language.  Empty windows yawn black like empty eye sockets in a mound of skulls.  The streets are eerily silent but for the creaking of rusty steel in the wind.

   You emerge into a small plaza and notice a bronze statue in the centre.  It seems out of place in these ruins due its apparent pristine condition, except for a perfect hole right through the chest.  Drawing closer you notice that it portrays a bearded man with long hair drawn into a pony tail.  There is a plaque on the plinth supporting the statue that reads “Enrico”, and from the metal hand dangles a golden chain with the jade talisman.

   There is probably some psychological significance to this monument, but there are no further clues to help you decipher it.  At least you've found the talisman.  Now for Katarina.  Your eye wanders around the plaza, scanning for some other sign of differentiation.  Suddenly a flit of movement catches your eye along a second-storey arcade.  A lone figure with dishevelled blonde hair seems to sleepwalk her way from one end to the other.

   “Katarina!” you call out, stepping towards her.  The blonde figure walks on as if she doesn't hear.  You see a flight of stairs through the gloom of a doorway and sprint up them two at a time, emerging onto the arcade only seconds later.  You look left and right, but it is completely empty.

   Scratching your head, you turn back to the plaza.  Eerily, you see Katarina pacing the plaza down below.  How...?

   Quickly you bound back down the stairs, only to discover the plaza abandoned once more.  You turn to look back up at the arcade and see Katarina walking entranced as if she had never been interrupted.

   You look left and right, considering your options.  Somehow you will have to keep Katarina in your sight as you move from one level to another, or you will be caught in this repetitive loop forever.  Perhaps you could somehow pile some debris up against the wall in order to scale it....

   Scanning the ground for something large but light enough to carry your eye stumbles upon a manhole cover with a rusted ace of spades symbol embossed upon it.  It's best not to touch the axon chute, you think to yourself, instead continuing your search. 

   Your efforts are suddenly interrupted by a loud guttural growl.  With a sinking feeling you look up to see the outline of something large lurking in the shadows of the stairwell.  It is hard to make out any details as the creature seems to absorb light rather than reflect it, but you can make out a myriad of sharp protrusions that give the creature an air of purest menace.  In your peripheral vision you see Katarina continuing her pacing, oblivious to the life and death struggle about to take place in the plaza below.

   The Sgruck could strike at any second, and it is blocking the only known path to Katarina.  Your options are limited to making a dash for the jade talisman or trusting in the luck of the manhole axon chute.  What do you choose to do?

If you choose to go for the jade talisman, turn to PAGE 8

If you choose to go for the manhole axon chute, turn to PAGE 11
« Last Edit: 19 Feb 2019, 00:05 by Baron »

WHAM

  • WHAMGAMES
    • I can help with AGS tutoring
    • I can help with play testing
    • I can help with scripting
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    • I can help with voice acting
    • WHAM worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
The Square of Choises


(1) START HERE -->
Spoiler: ShowHide

The crowds gather under a purple sky, surrounded by the smell of smoke and spices, chattering and murmuring in awe at the new arrivals gathering upon the town square. The usual bluster and business of the market is replaced by a great stage. To the west lie the great gates, now closed for the night. To the east is the palace of nobility, a place of great wealth. To the north sit elevated stands, built of fine wood and adorned with colourful banners, upon which sit the nobility, lords and ladies in finest silks. To the south are the houses, from the windows and doors of which the common folk stare and approach.

All eyes are upon you.

To call for silence, go to (2)
To call for noise, go to (3)



(2)
Spoiler: ShowHide

You gesture to the crowd, making depressive movements with your hands, as if pushing the very sounds in the air to the dirt surrounding your elevated stage. An air of anticipation grows around you, the excitement in the air tasting of electricity. An old man coughs, unable to help himself, and despite themselves the people give the man harsh looks, as if his frailty in old age might ruin the moment.

To speak to the crowd, go to (4)
To dance for the crowd, go to (5)



(3)
Spoiler: ShowHide

You make a broad gesture with your hands, inviting the crowd to join you, then raise your fists into the air with a shout. The people around you raise their voices in unison, shouting and cheering, pumping their fists at the sky as the town is filled with their dissonant voices.

To call for order, go to (6).
To call for chaos, go to (7).



(4)
Spoiler: ShowHide

You open your mouth and introduce yourself, your voice carried clearly through the air, washing over the people as they come to know you at last, the stranger from far away, the exotic traveler. Your every word holds great power, drawing in the undivided attention of commoners and nobles alike. Even the birds of the sky seem to fall silent in recognition of your oration.

To tell a joke, go to (8).
To tell a story, go to (9).



(5)
Spoiler: ShowHide

You lean your body forward, then rise up in a smooth, snaking motion while sliding yourself forward along the raised platform. Your limbs move in hypnotic ways as you begin to dance, the silence around you punctuated only by the soft sounds made by your movements and the thumps of your feet as they land after each flourishing motion. Adoring eyes look up at you, mouths hang open, lips forming silent oohs and aahs at the display of the expertly choreographed movements of your body.

You pause to draw breath, feeling yourself well introduced thought motion alone.

To perform a daring flip, go to (12).
To perform a winding pirouette, go to (13)
To entertain the crowd with a joke, go to (8)



(6)
Spoiler: ShowHide

You begin to pump your fist into the air in a steady rhythm, and the crowd picks it up. Your voice begins to lead a chant, the words mattering little for now. All that matters is that these people are now chanting with you. Their voice is yours, and your voice is theirs. This is the day they have waited for. You take a single step, and you can already feel the crowd surging, ready to take the next step with you.

To march to the gate, go to (25).
To march to the palace, go to (26).



(7)
Spoiler: ShowHide

You exhort the people on. Louder. Louder. LOUDER.

They stomp their feet and shout and scream. Individual voices are lost in the cacophony of madness. A drum beats out of beat somewhere. Hands are clapped together. A man rips off his shirt and beats his chest like a beast.

Bodies flail and swing wildly, as people approximate turns and dances of all manner. Some collide with one another, only to pick themselves up and carry on.

And yet, above it all, your voice carries clearly across the gathered mass of people.

To dance with the people, go to (20).
To sing with the people, go to (21).



(8)
Spoiler: ShowHide

You grin and gesture wildly as you begin to recount the tale of the priest, the peddler and the wench. As you deliver the punchline, the crowd bursts in cheers and laughter and you spot the old man from before wiping a tear of mirth from the corner of his eye. The people want more, and the children up front jump with joy as you smile and carry on.

To look to the nobles, go to (10).
To look to the crowd, go to (11).
To surprise them with acrobatics, go to (12).



(9)
Spoiler: ShowHide

Your words turn to a distant place, a forgotten land of a great empire, and the heir to the throne: a young woman with a skin of silken chocolate and a hair of shimmering obsidian. As you recount her time of riding across the great plains, of hunting with her brothers in the jungles and of sending away suitors that fail to appease her sense of adventure, the crowd and the nobility both listen on intently. As a lover scorned sends an assassin her way and you recount of a cruel blade shimmering in the night much like the one slowly enveloping the town now, you once more sense the baited breaths and anticipation in the air.

To tell a story of love, go to (14).
To tell a story of hate, go to (15).



(10)
Spoiler: ShowHide

You begin to recount the tale of the nobleman’s folly, of a bumbling pompous fool inheriting a great wealth only to waste it all in vanities and foolishness. Pointing your finger at the elevated stands where the men in silken shirts and hats grow red in the face, you lavish your depiction of the fictional noble with details picked from the local nobility. A crooked nose from the bearded one, the purple hat with gilded stripes from the fat one, the ridiculous gemstones around the neck of the mayor. All the while the noble women fan themselves to hide their smirks, while casting sly, hopeful glances your way. The crowd cheers at you, and shower you with coins and flowers as you bow to them, and away from the shamed nobles starting to shuffle down from the stands to make their way to the palaces for the night.

To celebrate with the people, go to (33).
To gather your newly gained wealth and leave into the night, go to (34).



(11)
Spoiler: ShowHide

You begin to recount the tale of the foolish farmer, the one who used his wife’s undergarments to dress up the scarecrow, and who’s seeds are picked off by birds and the rain. You look to a man in the crowd, a tankard of mead in hand, and jest of drunkenness. The nobility laugh and clap politely, their jewelry jangling around them, the look in their eyes promising status and wealth as you flash a grin their way, gesturing to the people and their failings. For of course it is the failure of character, the lack of strength and wisdom, that doom men and women to poverty, while those with the right stuff now sit in the stands, laughing at their lesser kin.

As your show draws to a close, the old man is no longer in the crowd. The children look lost and confused. From the stands come a call for an encore.

To carry on, go to (35).
To gather your newly gained wealth and leave into the night, go to (34).



(12)
Spoiler: ShowHide

You wind yourself up and smirk at the anticipating crowd, then launch yourself into the air with a great backwards leap, turning around your core and landing expectly upon your feet once more, with a great crash against the stage surface. Flags and banners and streamers decorating the platform flutter around you, and the stage itself creaks and groans beneath you.

The crowd cheer and clap at the display, and you readily repeat it, this time forwards, returning to your initial position with a flourish and a bow of your head.

To breathe fire, go to (16)
To breathe gold, go to (17)



(13)
Spoiler: ShowHide

You twist your body counter-clockwise, winding yourself up like a spring, then throw yourself into a clockwise spinning motion. The colourful dress you wear flutter around your body, seeming to glimmer and reflect the light of the many small fires decorating the square, turning you into a dazzling human rainbow. Mesmerized, the people look on, the children squealing with delight and the men and women applauding vigorously as their eyes are treated to fantastical vistas, imagined visions of distant and impossible landscapes displayed in a blurred mirage of motion that is you.

To invoke music, go to (18).
To invoke the power of your dress, go to (19)



(14)
Spoiler: ShowHide

Your voice turns to a loud whisper, and the people all around lean in closer, clinging on to every word, as you detail the assassin climbing the walls, hiding in the trees, and finally discovering the princess as she writes a letter in the light of the moon, her feet in the soothing cool waters of a fountain. The assassin strikes like a viper, only for the princess to catch sight of him in the reflection of the water. Her own dagger meets the assassin’s blade with a shower of sparks, and a fierce duel is had in the palace gardens. The two warrior souls match the skill of one another in the labyrinth of roses, and finally collapse in one another’s arms as their strength fails them.

The old man in the crowd clutches his cane with shaking hands and one of the girls in the front of the crowd hops up and down on both feet, silently demanding to hear what comes next.

You describe two pairs of eyes meeting one another, two hands intertwined, and a shared realisation. The assassin could not kill the princess, for just as she is too fair and wonderful for any man to deny, she is strong and capable, and worthy not of violence, but admiration.

With a dry throat and parched voice you speak of forgiveness, of new understanding, then laughter as the would-be assassin becomes an unexpected suitor, won over by the beautiful princess.

To wet your throat in the tavern, go to (36).
To leave them wanting more, go to (33).



(15)
Spoiler: ShowHide

Your voice turns to a loud whisper, and the people all around lean in closer, clinging on to every word, as you detail the assassin climbing the walls, hiding in the trees, and finally discovering his prey in the gardens. A venom-coated blade lashes out, but rather than its mark it finds the empress herself.

Your tale turns to sorrow as the princess discovers her dead mother, then to hate as her soul is filled with vengeance upon her coronation. Great armies are marshalled, machines of war built and brought to bear. The empire is soon at war with itself, broken off into warring factions all struggling either to secure the throne, or the lonely warrior empress now sitting upon its cold ebonwood frame. As you describe the fires of war, the old man in the crowd looks down to his feet, one of which is missing, and his lip trembles.

In the end, just as your throat is parched and your voice begins to fail, the princess is victorious, her mother’s death avenged, but the price to be paid for such vengeance is ruination. Not in her lifetime would the palace garden be green and lush again, nor would her brothers return from the field of battle to hunt and sing and feast with her. Her palace would be forever cold and lonely.

To wet your throat in the tavern, go to (38).
To leave them wanting more, go to (33).



(16)
Spoiler: ShowHide

You raise your head up at the purple sky, and spot the glimmering shape of the crescent moon making its way high above. You inhale, crick your neck, and then exhale. A great gout of hot air and orange flame burst from your throat, and the children in the front row, previously mesmerized with your motion, scream with excitement and terror. You look down upon them, smoke drifting up from your nostrils, and your smile bares your great fangs and forked tongue.

To take flight, go to (40).
To reveal your true might, go to (41).



(17)
Spoiler: ShowHide

You press your hand over your lips and smile, then blow air into your fingers. A shower of small glittering coins bursts forth, showering over the children in the front row. They, and a few of the adults close enough, scramble to collect the precious tokens into their grubby hands, while a few of the nobles in their stands exchange confused glances.

You step back to give these people room, brush your hand over your silken robes, and aim your eyes at a particularly handsome man in the crowd. With a smile you lean toward him and press your fingertips to your lips, then blow a kiss to the man while his wife looks on with disapproval. From your hand emerges a white dove, fluttering toward the man, its wings brushing his auburn hair before the bird takes off and heads up into the darkening night sky.

To think of wealth, go to (42).
To think of trickery, go to (44).



(18)
Spoiler: ShowHide

You gesture to your traveling companions, and finally your movements are accompanied by sound. A drum, a harmonica, a stomping foot and a violin all burst into a wondrous sound at your signal, and the crowd joins in on your dance. Young and old take hand in hand, smiling and laughing as the music takes hold of their hearts. The noblemen, at least the ones free of gout, rise and invite their sweethearts to dance, and even the guards at the foot of their elevated benches nod their heads and tap their hands upon their shields to the beat.

For a jolly tune, go to (43).
For a sinister tune, go to (45).



(19)
Spoiler: ShowHide

You step down from your stage, and into the crowd. The silks of your dress caress the faces, hands and chests of those whom you move past in graceful leaps and flowing movements. The people cannot help themselves, and soon begin to move with you, leaning in to be touched by those enchanted fabrics or the smooth tips of your fingers.

They love you, and you love them all.

To dance out of passion, go to (48).
To dance out of pride, go to (46).



(20)
Spoiler: ShowHide

You begin to dance. With feverish energy you turn and twist your body, and the crowd joins you in focusing on the raw energy of motion. The square soon resembles a field of tall grass in a windstorm, the people its blades of grass, the sheer energy of your presence the fierce wind that drives the people on.

To undress yourself, go to (22).
To dress yourself up, go to (24).
« Last Edit: 17 Feb 2019, 13:23 by WHAM »
My Fortnightly Writing Competition collected works
https://goo.gl/VUQbzU

WHAM

  • WHAMGAMES
    • I can help with AGS tutoring
    • I can help with play testing
    • I can help with scripting
    • I can help with story design
    • I can help with translating
    • I can help with voice acting
    • WHAM worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
(21)
Spoiler: ShowHide

You fall silent and inhale, allowing the force-of-nature sound of the crowd to wash over you. You find within its ebb and flow a rhythm, a rising and falling arc of sounds embedded in the cacophony.

You raise your voice and begin to sing, forming words that flow in time with the chaotic crowd. Most would not hear you, but the ones that do, cannot help but raise their eyes to you, as your clear voice cuts through the noise.

Voices begin to join in on you, discordant and messy, but they all share the same sentiment.

To sing of tears, go to (28).
To sing of laughter, go to (32)



(22)
Spoiler: ShowHide

The coarse fabric may be light, but as the heat of the moment takes over, even that is too much. You slip yourself free of your travel robes and your boots, and soon all the rest of it. You are not alone, either. The crowd, overcome with a feverish need to be free of their bonds, are also stripping themselves.

Hairy and smooth. Long and tall. Skinny and fat. Light and dark. Bodies of all shapes and sizes and colours surround you, and you love the sight of them all. There is no guilt here, no taboo. Nothing is hidden from the eyes as bare bodies encircle one another in the feverish pace of the dance.

People climb onto the stage to join you, they take your offered hand for just a moment, so that they can feel your touch and motion, only to slip free and find another partner to carry on with.

Faster. Faster. Faster. Go to (63).
Slower. Slower. Slower. Go to (65).



(23)
Spoiler: ShowHide

You subdue yourself enough to dig your hand into the pocket of your travel robe. From there you pull out a small box of brass, embedded with a perfectly polished gemstone of crimson. It pops open easily, revealing within a black void that seems to go on forever.

Suddenly the sound of laughter dies. The nobles in their stands gasp for air, while the crowd below your stage choke and stare at one another in shock, as if the very air from their lungs had been sucked out in an instant. A mother calls out to her children, but in vain, for no voice leaves her lips.

You snap the box shut. It feels warm in your hand, even through your supple leather glove. No-one even looks at you as you turn and begin to walk toward the town gate.

You will savor these precious voices forever.



(24)
Spoiler: ShowHide

You signal to your traveling companions and they haul from your wagon a set of great chests. You dance over to them and, from the heavy chain hanging around your neck, you produce a great brass key with which you unlock the chests one by one.

To dress as people do, go to (53).
To dress as the animals do, go to (62).



(25)
Spoiler: ShowHide

You stride off the stage, and the people part for you, then turn to follow as you lead them down the main street and toward the great gates. Fires are lit upon the walls, illuminating the dull cyclopean stones that make up the perimeter of the ancient town. Guards stand atop the walls, spears and crossbows in hand, gazing beyond into the night.

The watch captain sitting atop a majestic white horse looks at the crowd gathered at your behest, then to you.

To open the gates, go to (29).
To hold the gates, go to (31).



(26)
Spoiler: ShowHide

You lead your people across town. The nobles hastily climb down from their elevated seats and are rushed ahead of you on horses and carriages so that they can return to hiding behind their walls. The crowd chants on, marching in unison as they approach the iron fence and gate that separates the palace grounds from the rest of Town. Beyond lie the gardens and fountains, the marble halls and tables laid out with silver and gold and endless food.

To bring fire to this place, go to (27).
To bring cold to this place, go to (30).



(27)
Spoiler: ShowHide

You exhort the crowd. No more shall they suffer in poverty and filth while the lords and ladies feast. No more shall they be looked down upon by those who think themselves better than them. Two of the carriages caught outside of the fence are broken and set alight. Torches are made, and pitchforks and spears gathered. Inside the fence stand the guards, moving around nervously with swords in hand, thought many of their rank stand outside, their helmets removed, their crests of loyalty torn off.

You give the order, and the charge begins. The gate is overwhelmed, the decorated gardens with their ancient trees are set on fire. Shouts and screams ring out, echoing over the thundering roar of the crowd moving in on the palace. You stand back and watch as the culmination of all your hard work and preparation bears fruit at last. The palace windows grow orange on every night, but on this night they glow brighter than ever before.

To make all equal, go to (47).
To establish a new order, go to (49).



(28)
Spoiler: ShowHide

Above the roiling crowd your song turns to sorrow. Your words describe the fading of a world, the draining of colour from the sky and the trees, the slowly spreading cold that freezes the lakes and rivers and claims all.

After a moment your song holds no words at all,  just a hum that conveys a mournful melody so potent and powerful that those who hear it are reduced to sobs and tears. The crowd begins to collapse in on itself, overwhelmed with sorrow that is from beyond their comprehension, beyond the world they inhabit.

From within you, through sound and raw emotion, the spirits of a long-lost world whisper into the minds of these people, and their minds are torn asunder.

This world will go on to forget us all.



(29)
Spoiler: ShowHide

You signal for the captain to open the gates. His expression is weary and his mouth opens as if to protest your decision, but the demanding nature of the great crowd silences him where he sits. His gauntleted hand rises into the air, then falls in an arc to signal the crews manning the great iron chains.

Men shout and strain and sweat as they pull on the chains, and slowly the heavy iron doors are peeled aside.

For war, go to (55).
For peace, go to (60).



(30)
Spoiler: ShowHide

You rub your hands together, the night air misting before your face. From your robes you pull out a vial of liquid and a silver blade. The former you pour over the latter, and it turns to translucent ice in your hand, radiating cold all around you. The people recoil from it, giving you room and forming a circle of empty air around the spot upon which you stand. You look up at the palace windows, and feel the nervous eyes behind them, all looking down at you and the people following you.

They know what must be done this night, and so do you. With three long strides you reach the iron gate and touch it with the tip of the blade. Pale frost creeps up the bars, until they shatter like glass and scatter around your feet. You step through, and the people follow.

To meet the king, go to (50).
To become the king, go to (54).



(31)
Spoiler: ShowHide

With a hard look and a nod of your head you acknowledge the captain. His eyes lock with yours and a shared understanding is had without a single spoken word. He turns from you and addresses the guards at the gate. His words are stern and short, but they carry the weight of the world in the eyes and ears of those gathered.

Spears are handed out, along with crude bows and torches. The crowd behind you begins to form lines and pick up what meager gear they can. None look sullen or weary, for you have given them a direction; a purpose.

To meet the night with steel, go to (57).
To meet the night with fire, go to (59).



(32)
Spoiler: ShowHide

Above the roiling crowd your song turns to a sound of joy and mirth. Your words describe the playful summer rains and the warmth of the sun as it caresses the shimmering lakes. You smile as you bring forth such warm and joyful images as your soul can muster, and the people smile with you.

After a moment your song holds no words at all, and instead turns into chuckles and laughter, soon joined in by the crowd itself. The very sound of your voice now fills the mind with images of small animals at play, of leaves playing in the wind and of smiling faces just like the ones now looking up at you from the crowd below.

To leave the people with this sensation, go to (34).
To take this sensation with you, go to (23).



(33)
Spoiler: ShowHide

You enter the crowd, and they welcome you with open arms. Cheers and offers of bed, board, wine and meat are made in earnest, and soon you find yourself in the local tavern, standing atop a table, recounting the best of your japes and jokes while the crowd continues to celebrate.

As the night winds down you begin to feel tired. As you lay yourself to sleep upon the straw bed, you wonder of the faint sensation behind your eyes. As you slumber for the last time, the faintest doubt creeps into your mind. Was the wine truly so sweet, or was it that way to cover up the taste of poison?

You never wake, but your memory lives on for many years in the minds of the people.



(34)
Spoiler: ShowHide

You make your way to the gate, then out the small doorway to its side. Before you is laid out the world, its hills and trees and endless roads. There is still much to see, and your heart feels light.

It has been a good day.



(35)
Spoiler: ShowHide

You bow to the nobility, and away from the crowd. As you rise up from the bow you feel a hand grab your belt from behind, followed by a harsh yank. A fist finds your stomach, and a boot to the teeth has you tasting blood. You call out for mercy, but the crowd scorned has none for you.

The nobles in their stand look on, as you become just another form of entertainment to them, worthy only of polite smiles and clapping, never of their true compassion.



(36)
Spoiler: ShowHide

Your story has brought tears into the eyes of many in the crowd. The old man from before is seen consoling a young woman overcome by emotion. The crowd part as you step down from the stage and head toward the tavern, where your meal and drinks are paid for, and where polite conversation is offered as people hope to learn more of you.

To stay the night, go to (37).
To finish your stay, go to (33).



(37)
Spoiler: ShowHide

You feel a touch on your shoulder, as slender hands grasp you and give you a playful squeeze. As you turn in surprise, you meet the almond-shaped eyes like emerald gemstones, set in a delicate face of skin like smooth chocolate. Pink lips twist into a smile as the lovely lady, the secret inspiration of your tale, whispers in your ear.

Perhaps you will stay here for longer than just this night.



(38)
Spoiler: ShowHide

Your story has lit fires into the hearts of many in the crowd. The children look on with admiration as their fathers brandish swords and spears, vowing to defend their loved ones from harm. The crowd part as you step down from the stage and head toward the tavern, where your meal and drinks are paid for, and where polite conversation is offered as people hope to learn more of you.

To stay the night, go to (39).
To finish your stay, go to (33).



(39)
Spoiler: ShowHide

You feel a touch on your shoulder, as a strong hand grasp you and give you a firm squeeze. As you turn in surprise, you meet the fierce eyes of the old man, the veteran of many wars. He smiles and nods his head, and tells you a tale of his own. He tells of how he fought for her loved ones, of how he sacrificed his leg to save a beloved friend... For once, you become the audience. It is a good feeling. Refreshing.

Perhaps you two will share the road ahead, come morning light.



(40)
Spoiler: ShowHide

You spread your great, leathery wings and swing them downward, sending a great wave of ari washing over the crowd. A woman stumbles and loses her balance, only to be caught by a man beside her. The children scatter and flee, hiding in alleys and in houses. At the foot of the noble’s stand, men in platemail grip the pommels of their swords and exchange nervous looks.

You flap your wings again and feel you massive, scaled body rising into the air. The crowd look upon you in awe and terror as you take flight, soon disappearing from their sight, but not from their minds. Your brothers and sisters cast their shadows as they fly overhead.

It is time to join them.
« Last Edit: 17 Feb 2019, 13:24 by WHAM »
My Fortnightly Writing Competition collected works
https://goo.gl/VUQbzU

WHAM

  • WHAMGAMES
    • I can help with AGS tutoring
    • I can help with play testing
    • I can help with scripting
    • I can help with story design
    • I can help with translating
    • I can help with voice acting
    • WHAM worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
(41)
Spoiler: ShowHide

From the sky comes an orange light, then another. Above them, great scaled bodies twist and angle themselves down upon the village. You let loose a mighty roar that shatters windows and forces people to cover their ears. A woman stumbles and loses her balance, only to be caught by a man beside her. The children scatter and flee, hiding in alleys and in houses. At the foot of the noble’s stand, men in platemail grip the pommels of their swords and exchange nervous looks. One throws his weapon to the dirt and breaks into a run.

Your brothers and sisters descend upon the town. A horn blares in alarm, then another. Cries rise up into the sky, followed by bolts and arrows and spears, but none of what this petty little hamlet can muster against your kin can so much as scratch one of the great scales that cover your body from horned head to the barbed tip of a tail. It mattered not. You and your kin are hungry. It was too late for this place, for these people.

It had been that way since you arrived.



(42)
Spoiler: ShowHide

Having made yourself, and your wealth and outlandish abilities, well known to the crowd, you find yourself approached by an envoy. A disappointed groan sounds from the crowd of commoners as your attention is drawn elsewhere, but in the noble stands all eyes are on you, expectant and hungry.

With a smile and a final flourish you turn back to the crowd and, from the silken sleeve of your exquisite robe, you produce a shower of colourful sparks and a rain of small sugary sweets that fall to the edge of the stage to be gathered by the excited children.

The envoy taps her foot impatiently. You smile and nod your head, gesturing for her to lead you to your impatient and magnanimously wealthy hosts for tonight. You know from experience that the people’s favor and the show of wealth would serve you well with them. The people of these humid and cool western lands were simple that way, easily impressed.

The time for trade negotiations is at hand.



(43)
Spoiler: ShowHide

You smile and wave to your companions, and with a cheer they burst into a jolly song full of colourful language and laughter. The words of the song tell of adventures and celebrations, and in their minds the people dancing around your stage can see themselves as part of just such scenes. The local tavern doors are thrown open and several barrels of wine and mead are brought out and served without payment to the cheering crowd.

Revelry takes hold of the town. Servants provide wine to the nobles in their stands, and some even step down from their elevated seats to join the people on the ground. For a moment in time, the music, dance and joy you have brought to this place means that highborn and lowborn alike are able to share in one the same celebration.

Friendships are forged, kindnesses exchanged, and all those present cheerily agree that it would be lovely if the morning never came to bring an end to such a wonderful night.



(44)
Spoiler: ShowHide

You grin and crouch down at the edge of the stage, then reach to pick up one of the excited children into your arms. The boy, no older than six or seven, is skinny and light, and beams to you. You whisper a word of instruction into his ear, then toss the boy straight up as showers of sparks and coloured smoke burst from the wrists of your robe. As the light and smoke fades, the boy is nowhere to be seen.

Suddenly there is a tense silence. A mother calls out in a trembling voice. You waggle your finger at her and shake your head, then step aside with a grand flourish of colour and motion, directing the crowd’s attention expertly to the small wagon with which you had arrived, and the hooded driver sitting at its front, watching the horses. The driver throws his hood back, and reveals underneath the smiling face of the boy, to which the crowd respond with excited screams and cheers. The boy, now in on one of your greatest secrets, silently vows never to reveal them, and to learn from them, so that he, too, can one day be just like you.

A child’s life is set upon a new course this day.



(45)
Spoiler: ShowHide

You feel yourself ready. Your hand reaches into a hidden pouch within your dress and produces a pinch of bright yellow dust. With a leap you move across the stage, then toss the powder into the fire, where it produces a sickly green smoke that washes over the crowd. The music grows to a more frantic pace, the people move faster to match it. You begin to spin and dance once more, occasionally reaching down to caress the hair of a person dancing close to the edge of the stage.

A scream emanates from the stands where the nobles celebrate. You smile as you spot one of the older, weaker men having stood up and danced himself right off the edge, face-down into the dirt several feet below. Soon he is followed by a couple, wrapped in a tight embrace, their feet hopping and stepping them against and through the wooden balustrades, crashing over one of the guards below. More screams, terrified expressions, but none stop dancing.

None can stop dancing. The old man stumbles back, recoiling in horror, only for a fair lady with blonde hair to wrap her arms around his frail form, leading him into an unwilling dance routine. Exhaustion, injury, death. You can feel the energy of these people in your fingertips, tingling, growing more potent. You smile to your companions, one of whom looks up at you from underneath the heavy hood covering his face of bare bone and empty eye sockets.

This place will feed your troupe for weeks to come.



(46)
Spoiler: ShowHide

Your gracious movements allure the crowd, as they should. Gaping mouths, wide eyes. These poor dullards must not have seen anything as graceful and wondrous as you in their lifetimes, and once you left this place, they likely never would. You smile, and in their eyes it was the beautiful expression of love and grace, but in the back of your mind you cannot help but feel a sense of smug satisfaction as all eyes are drawn to you.

You turn and move across the stage, making your way closer to the noble stands. Arching your body you bulge out your muscles so that their shapes are made obvious through the colourful attire you wear. Women stare and gasp for breath, while the men look on with envy and scorn. You can feel it in the air, the need to be as you are now. Perfect.

You will linger in their memories forever.



(47)
Spoiler: ShowHide

The palace burns, smoke billowing from its ruined windows. Inside the nobles either choke, burn or flee. Outside they are caught and cut down by the masses. One might look upon it all and see anarchy and madness, to the nobles it surely must have, but in your eyes it is something else: a beautiful new order where all are equal. When the morning light eventually reaches the smouldering ruins of these palaces, there will be no lords and ladies, no servants or underlings. The people know this and are ready for it.

All will work together, and all will be equally lords and equally commoners. No man will stand above or below another, no woman will have to endure the pompous presence of a fat nobleman, no man will have to waste away his fortune at the whim of some highborn woman.

A perfect new world.



(48)
Spoiler: ShowHide

You duck beneath the arched arms of a couple, and rise up on the other side, shrugging your shoulders free of your dress. You feel the adoring eyes of the crowd upon your smooth, bare skin, and while mothers cover the eyes of their children and the nobles in their stands murmur with disapproval, you lean in towards the nearest man, the old man, and kiss them on the tip of the nose. He blushes and turns his head aside, but cannot take his eyes off you even now. With a smile you dance away from him, your dress seemingly falling apart around your body, glimmering like liquid water as it runs down your skin and to your ankles before vanishing entirely. A woman of fiery red hair and slender build, her cheeks flushed and her eyelids fluttering, presses her back against a wall as if afraid, but you can sense the heat on her breath and the pounding of her heart in her chest. It would be cruel to not let her touch you, taste you. The crowd watches on, every soul awaiting their turn.

You lean in and kiss her on the lips, tasting the mead on her saliva, while she tastes the enchanted honey that is your essence.



(49)
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You step up the the crowd from behind  and begin to move through the milling crowd. Your hand touches the arms of men and women. You know them by the marks on their skin and the blue ribbons on their arms. They smile and join you as you make your way to the front of the crowd, rising to stand upon the marble rim of a great fountain, the fires of the palace beyond flickering through the shape of cascading water.

Your people look upon you, their salvation, their new ruler. You will be different to the others. Fairer, kinder, wiser and stronger than the lords and ladies of old. As the fire cleanses them away, you raise your hands into the air and signal victory. Your circle of thirteen advisors, hand-picked from the crowd, do the same.

They all bow their heads to you now.



(50)
Spoiler: ShowHide

You lead your people into the palace grounds. The nobles are all there, standing off to the sides with fear in their hollow and lifeless eyes. At the center of them all stands a single figure, taller than the rest, clad in a black velvet robe that reaches the neatly cut grass upon which He stands. The pale-gold crown in his head glimmers in the moonlight.

You stand before Him and bow your head in greeting. He does the same. The crowd behind and around you falls to a uniform silence and anticipation once more.

To pledge yourself, go to (56).
To become the betrayer, go to (58).



(51)
Spoiler: ShowHide

You offer the man your fine leather jackets.

A trade is made.



(52)
Spoiler: ShowHide

It is pitch black.

You are likely to be eaten by a grue.



(53)
Spoiler: ShowHide

The chests burst open and you reach your hand into one of them. A gaudy robe of pink and purple, with gold ribbons and silver medallions emerges. You toss it into the crowd and, like magic, it slips over a stableboy standing near the edge of the stage, turning her dancing body into a colourful and sparkling display of garish colour. The old man find himself in a shimmering suit of black and silver that seems to please him greatly as he dances a hobbling jig with his one remaining leg. A child in the front row turns into a jester of green and purple silks, complete with shiny gold bells that jingle as she spins and laught.

More clothes emerge, as you and your assistants spread them out until what had once been a crowd of drab commoners is more colourful and covered in more gold and silver thread than all the nobles in their elevated stands.

A gift of colour is given to the world.



(54)
Spoiler: ShowHide

You stand before your throne. Your old bones ache, and you hear a droning buzz in your ears that hasn’t left you in years now. You are tired. So very tired. And yet you must rise to your feet, assisted by your servants.

You walk out of the palace, and into the yard, where a great marble fountain has dried up. To see it so silent and lifeless fills you with sorrow. You walk around it, the servants crowding around you, the nobles following behind, then further on down the flagstones that make up the broad path through the palace yard.

You hear the crowds ahead, and soon see them, already through the gates. The hooded figure is there. The sight of that glimmering blade in their hand fills you with drear.

To show compassion, go to (61).
To show cruelty, go to (64).



(55)
Spoiler: ShowHide

You draw your sword from its scabbard and raise it to the sky, your eyes catching the pale crimson moonlight reflecting from the polished steel. Spears and pitchforks and swords are raised behind you, while the men upon the walls cry out in warning. The sally begins swiftly, with you at its head, charging out through the gate and into the open air beyond.

A wall of shields, spears, horned helms and stern faces await in the darkness, illuminated by the flickering orange glow of torches. A shout rings out, and the air grows thick with whistling arrows, which land either with a dull thud or a scream of a man as he is struck.

You heart races in your chest as you cover the final yards, exhorting your comrades into battle. The two lines crash into one another and a brutal melee breaks out, with the townsfolk joining the town guards in a desperate attack against the force encircling the town.

Did you give these people salvation, or merely a final stand? Only the morning light knows.



(56)
Spoiler: ShowHide

You meet the dead King’s hollow eyes, and the blue ice burning within them. He raises his hand, holding out an orb of crystal-clear ice in his bony fingers. A chill washes over the palace grounds as the ceremony begins.

You kneel. Every man, woman and child kneels. You hold out the dagger of ice and soon feel it lift from your hand. You look up at the dead grin of the King’s face and feel him evaluating you just as he evaluates the gift you bring. You sense satisfaction.

The blade of ice is pressed into the orb of ice. From within a great cold emerges, dripping to the ground like invisible liquid, spreading steadily into the shivering crowd. You feel it reach your knees and feet, then creep up into your very core. Your heart beats its last beat and you know that the people of the town share your fate.

You hear His voice in your head, even though He lacks the tongue with which to speak. Knowing it is his will, you rise and stand before your king. As you rise, so do the countless dead people around you.

You will all be happier this way.



(57)
Spoiler: ShowHide


You call for steel. Steel in the hands of men and women. Steel in the bars that shut the gates. Steel in the souls of those who would see the morning light. Your call is answered with shouts and rattling swords over shields, and with a blaring horn, calling the townsfolk to the walls.

Another horn answers the first, but this one is louder. A low, mournful blare from far away. It, too, is answered by shouts and rattling, far out in the night at first, but steadily approaching, along with the rhythmic thumping of boots.

The sky flashes orange, and a great flaming projectile streaks over your head and into the roof of a house. As men with buckets rush to put out the fire, more projectiles fly out. Soon the sky, already dark in the cloudy night, is filled with invisible death: countless arrows arc over your head, catching many of the firefighters in their backs and shoulders. You turn your eyes from their plight so as not to weaken your resolve, and instead face the gate.

Around you the men and women close their ranks, preparing for the inevitable. The great gate, its face decorated with silver, its hinges with brass, shudders as if a great hammer had struck it from beyond. Men rush forward to press their bodies against it. The old man is there, too, hobbling on with the rest of them. Another blow, then another. Some of the men are thrown back and the gate begins to crack.

Finally it breaks. As the gatekeepers stumble away, you face the attackers. Stout men wielding great axes and round shields, their faces covered with great masks of solid black iron, hunched low with the weight of their armour, surge forward. They pause, however, when faced with you: a dark shadow, silhouetted against the blazing inferno of the houses that could not be saved, surrounded by men and women with steel in their eyes, and their hearts.

You would not be broken this night.



(58)
Spoiler: ShowHide

You meet the dead King’s hollow eyes, and the blue ice burning within them. He raises his hand, holding out an orb of crystal-clear ice in his bony fingers. A chill washes over the palace grounds as the ceremony begins.

You kneel. Every man, woman and child kneels. You hold out the dagger of ice and soon feel His presence over you. You look up at the dead grin of the King’s face and feel him evaluating you just as he evaluates the gift you bring. You sense his trepidation as the moment anticipated for centuries approaches.

You make your move. The dagger of ice turns in your hand and lashes out. It cuts deep into the King’s chest, and you sense the silent scream emanating from his being. The dead nobles surge in, their guards lift their swords, but it is too late. Frost covers the dead King’s robe as he stumbles back. The ice blade snaps, its tip trapped within His body.

You rise and stand as He falls. One of the dead guards rushes you in an attempt to avenge his King, but is struck aside by a wall of bodies, pitchforks and spears. The living townspeople surge forward, hacking and cutting and crushing the dry bones and cold, dead flesh of the guards.

They will be free once more.



(59)
Spoiler: ShowHide

You call for fire, to the shock and horror of the guard captain. A great, screeching roar from beyond the wall invigorates the man, however, and his questions are forgotten as he begins to bark orders to haul anything flammable up to the wall.

The crowd disperses, hauling furniture, dismantled carts and even doors of the houses out into the street and up to the wall. Great pails of oil are carried out as well, with even the children carrying smaller buckets and following the adults’ lead to pour the liquid over the wooden barricade.

Another scream, twice as loud, echoes in the night. People upon the wall call out warnings and begin to hastily clamber down. You are handed a torch, just like the one dozens of others carry in their hands as well. It feels heavy in your hand, and the heat of its flame brings a bead of sweat to your brow.

You raise the torch over your head, then toss it forward, onto the wall. It flies in a high arc, then lands atop the surface of the tavern door, the sign of a raven clearly visible, carved on its surface. The oil catches fire in a flash. More torches are thrown, and soon the town is encircled by a great wall of fire.

Beyond the orange and yellow flames you see the reflections of countless eyes, surrounded by deep shadows that seem to devour the horizon. Teeth as long as man’s leg glimmer in the beasts maws, claws like great bone sabers flash as they approach the flame, only to recoil at the last moment, as the heat becomes unbearable.

Will the fire hold them back, or will the morning find only a charred ruin here?



(60)
Spoiler: ShowHide

You begin to walk out through the gates, and the crowd follows you. Somewhere to your left a harp begins to play, while to your right a woman begins to sing. More voices join in, both inside and outside of the walls.

Tents big and small spread out before your eyes in a seemingly endless field. Confused faces peer out, then fall victim of their emotions. Some smile or laugh. Some cry and wrap their arms around their loved ones. Many join in on the song.

A choir of a dozen green-skinned brutes, clad in leathers and standing nine feet tall, clasp gnarled hand in hand and sing in rumbling baritones. A choir of slender women of bronze skin, almond-shaped eyes and vivid green hair cascading down to their ankles raise their faces, and voices, to the sky and perform their own delicate variant of the shared song.

Baskets of food are brought out, and the innkeepers assistants haul out a cart with four barrels of drink to be shared. It was not enough. None if it would be enough for such a gathering.

But for this one night, that didn’t matter. For this one night, all the peoples would share what little they had, and be merry.



(61)
Spoiler: ShowHide

The hooded figure looks to you, and you look at them. You bow your head and, as you look up once more, you smile. You knew this day would come, and that the people would one day arrive here, at the behest of this outsider, to fulfill their lofty dreams of greatness.

You’ve ruled for many a long year. Led your people through the Long Winter and the Summer of Vermin, and yet they cannot see. They forget the celebrations, the quiet nights spent safely in their homes, the countless sunrises that washed the town with their light. They only recall the hardships, the strong measures you took to thwart the spread of plague, or the conscription summer of 642. They think they will find the coffers full, the treasure stuffed with jewelry and the granaries brimming. They will find but cobwebs and misery in this palace.

The hooded one walks up to you, that cursed blade in their hand. The people around them look on with contempt, the pitiable fools. You fear none of them will see many more summers.

If only you could have done more, somehow. If only you could have made some further sacrifice to buy these people the happiness they so deserved.

You drop yourself to one knee and bow your head.

You wonder if the one under the hood understands what they have brought upon this world. Perhaps they were the harbinger of doom all along, and this is just the final act in their plan to bring ruin to this kingdom.

Your reign ends, and with it, your realm will die.



(62)
Spoiler: ShowHide

You reach into a chest and pull out the skin of a great beast, a tiger of orange and black stripes. You press your face into the soft, luxurious pelt and inhale the scent of its fur. It calls you, stirring within your mind images of a hunt.

You wrap the pelt around yourself and smile as you crouch down low. Your claws sink into the wood of the stage floor as your keen ears seek out and identify each individual voice in this cacophonous crowd.

Your prey do not even look your way as you pounce them, leaping into the crowd in a majestic arc, sinking your teeth and claws into the warm, living body of a man.

You will hunt freely this night, and be sated.



(63)
Spoiler: ShowHide

Faster. Sweat beads on your skin as it struggles to cool you off.

Faster. Steam rises into the air as bodies spin and twist and turn and tumble around one another.

Faster. A circle begins to form around the stage, people joining the seemingly endless spinning motion.

Faster. The circle of bodies blurs, one person melting into the next.

FASTER. You cannot stop.

FASTER. You will never stop.

FASTER. It cannot stop.

It never stops.



(64)
Spoiler: ShowHide

The hooded figure looks to you, and you look at them. You turn your head to your left, then your right, and see that all is in place. You knew this day would come, and that the people would one day arrive here, at the behest of this outsider, to fulfill their lofty dreams of greatness.

But you have not sat idle while waiting for this outsider’s arrival. Oh no. Not at all.

You snap your fingers, the sounds carried crisp and clear through the open yard, echoing from the decorated walls of the palace. The crowd stops in its tracks. Fifty paces separate you from the hooded figure.

A volley of crossbow-bolts buzzes in the air above your head. The feel of the air moving with the force of their passing is an exhilarating sensation. Countless men and women fall, screaming and flailing, as their bodies are pierced by the cold steel bolts. The hooded one shouts in anger and charges, only for another salvo of projectiles to meet them head on.

Mere minutes later the palace grounds are empty again, save for the layer of still bodies that now litter the grassy field. You step over the body of the hooded figure and plant your boot over their wrist, forcing that cursed blade from their grip.

Your rule has not ended this night.



(65)
Spoiler: ShowHide

A hand takes your own, but this time you do not let it go, but instead pull it toward yourself. You wrap your arm around the warm, glistening body of the person near you and plant your lips upon theirs. They respond in kind, the tip of their tongue upon yours, their body trembling against you, their hand grasping at your back, fingernails scraping your bare skin.

You open your eyes and tilt your head, and past their head you see others. A group of four sink into a pile of hay. A married couple embrace. A pair of secret childhood lovers, now grown into maturity, rediscover one another in a burst of passion.

A thousand new loves, like stars in the sky, burn brightly tonight.

« Last Edit: 17 Feb 2019, 13:28 by WHAM »
My Fortnightly Writing Competition collected works
https://goo.gl/VUQbzU

Baron

  • Mittens Serf
  • Not-so-Evil Banana Dictator
    • I can help with AGS tutoring
    • Best Innovation Award Winner 2011, for the concept and management of SWARMAGS
    • I can help with voice acting
    • Baron worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
        Fear seizes you and you dash for the statue as the haunting sound of claws scraping on pavement close in behind you.  You lunge for talisman but fall short as the Sgruck grabs your foot.  You are reduced to clinging to Enrico's bronze leg as the shadowy creature mauls your limb while baying with what must be a second mouth.  You scream in pain, flailing with one last desperate effort at the talisman above you.  In a stroke of luck you grasp the talisman and all is dark once more.

Turn to page 34
« Last Edit: 17 Feb 2019, 16:59 by Baron »

Sinitrena

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  • Wheel of Fate
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Wow  8-0, WHAM, I haven't read it yet but that is a monster of a branching story! (I know understand why you didn't want to use different posts - I actually expected two or three choices for the reader leading to about ten paragraphs, not 65 paragraphs ;).) Congratulations on getting it finished!

Baron

  • Mittens Serf
  • Not-so-Evil Banana Dictator
    • I can help with AGS tutoring
    • Best Innovation Award Winner 2011, for the concept and management of SWARMAGS
    • I can help with voice acting
    • Baron worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
        You awaken in the hospital once more to the sound of the chirping monitors.  Only now you discover that it is you who is hooked up to them.  A nurse marvels that you've come to at all, and reports that you have been comatose for several weeks.

   Confused, you ask after Katarina, but the nurse only shakes her head and leaves.

   You are overwhelmed with a sense of bitter disappointment.  You have failed, and now your life is more empty and meaningless than ever.  Tears drop silently down your cheeks.

   You decide that you can bear the incessant beeping no longer.  Feebly you toss the thin blankets off your bed, determined to leave this den of false hope.  That is when you discover the bloody stump just below your knee.

You live the rest of your wretched life dwelling on your failure.

cat

  • Mittens Baronet
    • cat worked on a game that won an AGS Award!
    •  
    • cat worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
Continuing A to B
Please start reading the story here: https://www.adventuregamestudio.co.uk/forums/index.php?topic=56878.msg636601694#msg636601694


Spoiler: ShowHide

You try to peek at the laptop next to you but it turns out to be difficult. While the sky outside is grey and cloudy, there is still enough light to reflect on the display and making it hard to read. From what you make out by looking at the screen, the man seems to be working on a power point presentation. You can't read any details, but the headings indicate it is about some legal regulations regarding data protection. The text seems to be in place already and the man is currently adding unrelated clip arts and exaggerated transitions to the slides. Apparently, he is not used to do such a thing with a touch-pad, because he is constantly struggling with it.
After a while, he notices that he is being watched you quickly turn away.

What do you do now?

Read what you can see of the woman's newspaper
Go to Waterloo

Start playing "Annoyed Poultry" on your phone
Go to Canary Wharf

« Last Edit: 23 Feb 2019, 21:01 by cat »

Baron

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    • I can help with AGS tutoring
    • Best Innovation Award Winner 2011, for the concept and management of SWARMAGS
    • I can help with voice acting
    • Baron worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
       “We have to go for the jade talisman,” you tell Katarina.  “It's our only way out.”  She looks at you quizzically, but says nothing.

     You look around the room for something to use as a weapon.  There is a bed, a dresser, and a rocking chair, all half consumed by flames.  You burn your hands ripping the drawers out of the dresser but find nothing of use but great piles of odd socks.  Grimacing, you instead kick the burning chair, cracking off its half-burnt arm, which you retrieve.

   “Do you trust me?” you say, extending your hand towards Katarina.

   She tilts her head, seemingly staring right through you.  But at length she nods, extending her hand as well.  You grasp it and then, breath held, burst through the door, burning chair arm held out in front of you. 

   Unbelievably, the Sgruck between you and the jade talisman is gone!  You pull Katarina towards the talisman at the end of the hall, noticing that with each step she seems to resist with greater force.  You are only a few steps from the talisman, but she is weeping now.

   “It will all be over soon,” you tell her over your shoulder.

   “I know,” she says through choking sobs.

   You turn to look at her and see the Sgruck towering right over her, teeth bared.  In a flash its sword-like claw shoots through her chest and into yours.  Your last sight is of Katarina's vacant eyes suddenly focusing on you as if in recognition before going completely vacant once more.

The Sgruck consumes your soul.  You are now both dead.

cat

  • Mittens Baronet
    • cat worked on a game that won an AGS Award!
    •  
    • cat worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
Continuing A to B
Please start reading the story here: https://www.adventuregamestudio.co.uk/forums/index.php?topic=56878.msg636601694#msg636601694


Spoiler: ShowHide

You start reading the front page of the newspaper.

The main headline in huge uppercase letters is about a robbery in a supermarket. In a smaller font you read that it happened in another, not too far away district. No one was hurt but the suspect is still on the run. Below it, there is a bad quality photo, taken by a security camera. It is hardly recognisable.

There is also a smaller paragraph about a celebrity you don't know that was seen holding hands with another celebrity you don't know. This is illustrated by a photo as well.

The fire brigade rescued a cat that climbed on a steeple. A picture shows a fireman holding a white and brown spotted cat.

The weather report forecasts snow later today.

Besides that, you only see a small advertisement for an optician, that is partly covered by the hands of the woman holding the newspaper.

On the back page of the paper there is a full-page advertisement of an electronics retailer chain. They have special offers for a huge TV set, a mobile phone and a washing machine. You don't need any of these, but it reminds you that you should probably do the laundry later today.

There is nothing more for you to read.


What do you do now?

Peak at the laptop next to you
Go to Edgware Road

Start playing "Annoyed Poultry" on your phone
Go to Embankment


« Last Edit: 23 Feb 2019, 21:04 by cat »

Baron

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    • Baron worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
    “We have to get out of this house,” you tell Katarina.  “Or that Sgruck is going to eat us alive.”

   “What's a... a Sgruck?” she asks absently.

   “It's a....  Well, because you're stuck in a...  Uh, never mind that now.  There's something dangerous on the other side of that door, and we need to get out of this house.”

   “Who are you?” she asks, looking around at the burning room as if noticing her surroundings for the first time.

   You tell her your name as you kick out the window.  “We met on the plane, don't you remember?”

   She shakes her head in confusion.  She looks scared.

   “We have to jump for it,” you tell her.  You are relieved to find a porch roof outside the window with a relatively shallow pitch.  “C'mon!  We can make it!”

   But Katarina is now eyeing the door that is rattling on its hinges.  A malicious growl can be heard on the other side, and ghostly tendrils of blackness begin to float from the cracks around the frame.  Seemingly entranced, Katarina is reaching for the door knob.

   “Hey!” you shout, grabbing her by the shoulders and forcing her to look at you.  “Snap out of it!” you shout.  “That thing is going to eat you alive.  We have to get out of here!  We have to get away!”

   “But... my necklace....” she says, one hand on her chest, the other hand reaching for the door.  You notice that the flying sparks are suddenly making their mark on her, burning tiny circles in her sheet and skin.

   “We have to leave it,” you tell her.  “Let it go, Katarina.  You have to trust me.”

   Tears run down her cheek, but she lets you pull her away from the door and out the window onto the porch roof.  The two of you manage to climb down a decrepit trellis and then you are dashing through the snow towards the sign-post up the road.

   “Slow down!  I haven't got shoes on!” Katarina cries, feeling the shifts in temperature for the first time.

   “There's no time!” you call, looking back to see a pack of Sgrucks emerge from the burning house to bound after you.  The sign-post is just ahead.

   “I can't...  I can't make it!” Katarina pants as you pull her forward.

   “Yes you can.  We can make it.  Together.”

   She looks at you differently than before, and suddenly she has strength in her legs once more.  You make the final dash to the sign-post just before the pack of Sgrucks can close in for the kill.  Together you fall through the blackness of the axon chute.

   Suddenly you are on a sunny beach with palm trees.  You both look around in disbelief.  Katarina is now wearing a sun dress, and you notice that you are wearing a bathing suit and a Hawaiian shirt.  Someone is playing a ukulele nearby, although the beach itself is deserted.

   The jade talisman is probably lost forever.  The beach is peaceful for now, but the Sgruck will eventually find your trail again.  You need to find the next axon chute before they corner you.

   But Katarina is not looking around the beach for symbols or danger.  She is staring only at you, and despite yourself you can't help but stare back into her beautiful eyes.

   “They're going to follow us here,” you tell her.

   “Maybe,” she says, grabbing you by the hand.  You begin to walk along the peaceful beach, into what you realize is a gorgeous sunrise. 

   “Maybe we could spend a little time here,” you say to her, continuing to look over your shoulder.  “You know, relax for a bit and get to know each other.”

   “I'd like that,” she says.

   There is a black storm cloud hovering over the sea in the distance, but for now the sun shines pleasantly.  You will spend the rest of your lives roving from dream to dream, searching for islands of apparent safety such as this one, with the malicious Sgruck never far from your heels.  But just as the storm cloud on the horizon has a silver lining, at least you will face this uncertain future together.

The End

cat

  • Mittens Baronet
    • cat worked on a game that won an AGS Award!
    •  
    • cat worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
Continuing A to B
Please start reading the story here: https://www.adventuregamestudio.co.uk/forums/index.php?topic=56878.msg636601694#msg636601694


Spoiler: ShowHide


You take out your phone and start a game of "Annoyed Poultry". You are doing quite well today and progress smoothly. You are so focused on playing, that you don't even notice the announcement of your station. At the last moment, you notice that the train is approaching your destination. You jump up from your seat and make your way through the now crowded corridor to the exit.

Go to Aldgate


Baron

  • Mittens Serf
  • Not-so-Evil Banana Dictator
    • I can help with AGS tutoring
    • Best Innovation Award Winner 2011, for the concept and management of SWARMAGS
    • I can help with voice acting
    • Baron worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
    You are suddenly standing in a thick jungle with vines dangling from impossibly tall trees.  A steady rain falls, turning the forest floor into a quagmire of mud.  A sudden flash of lightning casts a surreal intense light over the thick undergrowth, and for the first time you notice that some of the tree trunks are actually ancient stone columns swallowed by parasitic plant growth.  A bombastic crack of thunder follows several seconds later, indicating that the heart of the storm is not far off.  You are already nearly soaked, but the rain is at least warm.

    You begin to push your way through the thick vegetation, slipping frequently on the unreliable ground.  Thick spiderwebs glue themselves to your face as you stumble onward, blinding you further.  You need to get out of this thick undergrowth or you will never be able to see far enough to find Katarina.

   Another flash of lightning reveals an ancient stone stairway ascending a hill, although it is half choked by plants spilling over from the sides.  You push your way towards it.

   At the base of the stairs are two stone statues of mythical creatures.  They stand silent sentries, empty eye sockets facing forward.  You notice the ace of spades serves as a helmet crest for the creature on the right.  You also notice the faintest traces of muddy footprints ascending the stairs, but the rain blurs the last remnants before you can inspect them in detail.

   You begin to climb.  The rain seems to be coming down harder now.  Lighting flashes more frequently and the thunder rages like an angry beast. 

   You emerge onto the summit of the hill, which is more open than the slopes.  In a flash of lightning you notice what looks like a stone altar ahead, and the outline of someone tied to it squirming at their bonds.  You rush over, slipping on the wet paving stones.

   It is a bearded man, bound and gagged.  He has long soaking hair bound into a pony-tail, which is draped unnaturally over the top of the altar, directing the water to fall off of it as if from an open faucet.  At first he looks terrified at your approach, and then confused.

   “Oor ooo?” he shouts over the din of rain through his gag.

   You notice a stone knife on an adjacent pedestal.  Curiously, there is the jade talisman as well, its golden chain wrapped around the dagger.  Careful not to touch the talisman you free the knife and use it to cut the ropes holding the man.  He sits up, pulling off the loosened ropes and gag.  You tell him your name, and then ask him his.

   “Enrico,” he says, feeling over his bare chest as if checking for wounds.  He looks around furtively as if looking for something.  Or someone.

   “Is there anybody else here?” you ask, following his gaze.

   “You want my advice, my friend?” he asks, continuing to survey his surroundings.

   “And what is that?”

   Enrico stares you long and hard in the eye.  “Run,” he says, and he slips off the altar and into the thick growth of the hill's far slope.  You are left alone on the hill-top to contemplate his words.

   Another flash of lightning, and suddenly there is a blonde figure pacing along a stone lintel above the altar.  She has dishevelled hair and is wearing a white dress.  Curiously, she does not seem to be getting wet.

   “Katarina!” you call, but she does not respond.  Her head is cocked at an awkward angle, and she seems to be staring vacantly into space.  “Katarina!” you call again, but to no avail.

   There is another flash of lighting, but this time the thunder seems to be accompanied by the feral growling of a vicious animal.  From down the slope there is the unmistakable scream of a man, and then something that sounds like bones snapping.  You look back up to the stone lintel, but Katarina is now gone.  You look around, confused.

   Whatever got Enrico will soon be coming for you, too.  Katarina had the good sense to disappear, and your instincts tell you that you should too.  You begin to back down the stone staircase, when suddenly there is a deep, gravelly challenge from behind you.  You turn, and in a flash of lightning you see a nightmarish creature.  The brightness of the illuminated surrounding jungle contrasts with the ghastly creature's intense blackness.  Tendrils of black smoke wrap around a beast of many limbs.  It seems to have an exoskeleton or is encased in black armour, replete with jagged spikes of almost impractical length.  Great twisted claws extend from the tips of its limbs, and razor sharp teeth bristle from multiple sneering mouths.  The Sgruck has no apparent eyes, which only adds to its grim menace.

   You have lost Katarina and are now left with two unappealing options.  You can dash back up the steps and grab the jade talisman, waking you from this nightmare but effectively condemning Katarina.  Or you can attempt to dodge past the Sgruck to reach the axon chute at the base of the stairs, hopefully giving you a new chance to find Katarina in a different dream.  What should you do?

If you choose to go back for the jade talisman, turn to page PAGE 31

If you choose to go for the axon chute back at the statue, turn to PAGE 28
« Last Edit: 21 Feb 2019, 04:22 by Baron »

Frodo

  • Welcome down... to my Planet Hell!
Eep, I forgot about this.   :embarrassed:
Need to finish my story

*gets writing*

Baron

  • Mittens Serf
  • Not-so-Evil Banana Dictator
    • I can help with AGS tutoring
    • Best Innovation Award Winner 2011, for the concept and management of SWARMAGS
    • I can help with voice acting
    • Baron worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
        Before the Sgruck can strike you dive for the manhole axon chute as if diving for the safety of a base in baseball.  As soon as you touch it the world around you goes black, and you have an odd feeling of weightlessness again.

        You are suddenly standing in a forest at night.  A few inches of snow carpet the forest floor, and the leaf-less trees stretch skeletal limbs into the sky, casting claw-like shadows in the bright moonlight.  You shudder in the chill air, wondering why you cannot dream up a winter coat to suit the landscape.

   You begin to trudge along, cursing as your feet are occasionally ensnared by a hidden root or fallen branch.  At length you emerge onto a narrow lane way and discover a single set of footprints in the snow.  The feet are smaller than yours and appear to be bare.  The left foot seems to drag slightly, and there are drops in the snow of something dark every other step.  You follow the footprints, quickening your pace.

   The lane way crosses another and there is a wooden signpost with an indecipherable word and an ace of spades carved into it.  There is also another set of prints crossing the first at right-angles, these ones much larger with claws.  Judging by how the snow from the first set has been pushed over the new set, you conclude with some relief that the monstrous footprints were laid down first.  But they are worryingly fresh, nonetheless.

   You continue to follow the small footprints.  Over a small rise you perceive a new light up ahead, this one orange and flickering.  It appears to be a house with flames beginning to lick from the roof, and the footprints you are following lead directly to it.  Any eerie howl echoes through the night.

   You begin to sprint towards the burning house.  Flames glow from several windows, and you see the unmistakable silhouette of a woman wandering through the second storey.

   “Katarina!” you shout, charging through the door.  The smoke is thick, but you can still see well enough to notice that the front room of the house is surrounded by eight doorways.  One must lead to a stairway, but above the growing roar of flames you can hear a menacing scratching sound against the other side of several other doors.  One of the doors shakes visibly and the two-inch end of a claw bursts through, sending splinters of wood flying towards you.

   You are acutely aware that you have not yet found the jade talisman and that chasing Katarina up and down stairwells might well prove a wild goose chase again.  On the other hand, the number of Sgrucks on your trail seem to be growing.  Do you dash back to the axon chute at the sign-post and try your luck again, or do you dare to start trying doors?  With the flames growing in intensity there is not much time to decide.

If you choose to rush back to the sign-post axon chute, turn to PAGE 65

If you choose to start opening doors, turn to PAGE 59
« Last Edit: 24 Feb 2019, 03:51 by Baron »

cat

  • Mittens Baronet
    • cat worked on a game that won an AGS Award!
    •  
    • cat worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
Continuing A to B
Please start reading the story here: https://www.adventuregamestudio.co.uk/forums/index.php?topic=56878.msg636601694#msg636601694


Spoiler: ShowHide


You sit down on the seat next to the door and start looking out of the window. The train accelerates as it leaves the station. A suburban scenery passes by. Everything is grey as to be expected in this season. You see back gardens with lawns, swings, pools covered up for winter, bare flowerbeds and leafless trees. The sky is quite dark for the time of the day. Maybe there will be snow later today?


The train arrives at the next station and an elderly lady with a cane and a full shopping bag enters. What do you do?

Stand up and offer your seat
Go to Paddington

Pretend you didn’t notice her and continue looking out of the window
Go to Victoria


« Last Edit: 23 Feb 2019, 20:41 by cat »

Baron

  • Mittens Serf
  • Not-so-Evil Banana Dictator
    • I can help with AGS tutoring
    • Best Innovation Award Winner 2011, for the concept and management of SWARMAGS
    • I can help with voice acting
    • Baron worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
        You decide to dash after Katarina, come what may.  People block your way right and left, and in frustration you pull off their veils to get by as they crumple to the ground as heaps of empty clothes.  Finally you find her, cowering beneath a fruit stand in a corner of the market.

   “I'm not going to leave you here,” you tell her, crouching down to her level.  “Bad things have happened, but I'm here to make it right.  I've come back for you.  I always will come back for you.”

   Katarina looks you in the eye, wiping away a tear.

   “You're not going to leave?” she asks.

   “Never,” you say.

   She takes your hand, and together you stand.

   A silent crowd has gathered, forming a semi-circle around the fruit stand.  One by one they pull back their veils, collapsing into heaps of clothes and black smoke.  There is a vicious growling from all sides as a pack of Sgruck begin to take shape.

   “You're not going to leave?” Katarina asks, trembling.

   “Never,” you repeat.

   Suddenly the black creatures surge forward in unison, and you are both slain in moments.

The end

cat

  • Mittens Baronet
    • cat worked on a game that won an AGS Award!
    •  
    • cat worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
Continuing A to B
Please start reading the story here: https://www.adventuregamestudio.co.uk/forums/index.php?topic=56878.msg636601694#msg636601694


Spoiler: ShowHide


You continue looking out of the window. With every station, the scenery gets more and more urban. The houses get higher, the backyards smaller and are finally are replaced by multi-story apartment buildings. You have seen this view countless times while commuting, but as every time, there is some new detail. A poster promoting an upcoming musical. A huge truck with brand new SUVs. A new level is built at the construction site. There is just a glass pane between you and the outside, but it feels like a different world. Your mind starts to drift away.

When you hear the announcement for your station, you slowly let go of the window and prepare yourself for leaving the train and entering reality.

Go to Elephant & Castle


Sinitrena

  • Mittens Serf
  • Wheel of Fate
    • I can help with translating
A bit more than a day left! Cross your Ts, dot your Is and make sure all your links are properly set  ;)! (And ask if you need a some more time.)