Fluxion, The Contributor
I keep forgetting to put something here.
What are the limits of human ingenuity? Usually it is Nature who decides when a species is no longer worthy of continuation, but humans alone are able to truly understand their own limitations. However, understanding what you cannot do is not always enough, and eventually Nature decided to put human ingenuity to the ultimate test. Unfortunately, humanity knew they would fail that test the moment it was revealed. Unable to save themselves, they created something that could:
What are the limits of human ingenuity? Usually it is Nature who decides when a species is no longer worthy of continuation, but humans alone are able to truly understand their own limitations. However, understanding what you cannot do is not always enough, and eventually Nature decided to put human ingenuity to the ultimate test. Unfortunately, humanity knew they would fail that test the moment it was revealed. Unable to save themselves, they created something that could: PSYOPS.
Left to fend for themselves, two children brave a dark forest, and the evil it hides.________________________________________________________________
This storygame is short, and it's kind of a kid's story. It's actually part of an idea I've been rolling around about a collection of fairy tales/spooky tales, a sort of anthology. It's my take on the classic Brother's Grimm tale, and it's not complicated, nor is it replete with a myriad of parallel plot lines. There are three endings (four if you count dying), but do not expect vastly different outcomes: it basically comes down to who ends up dying by the end.
It's also possible to completely avoid the main plot section (The Cottage), although I wouldn't recommend that path, as the story is short enough as it is. I'm not sure if this falls under fantasy or horror, but I think I'll go with horror, even if it isn't particularly scary. It's a bit macabre in places, but ultimately it is a children's story.
Visually speaking, I'd advise playing with images on, otherwise you might have to highlight text in order to read it in some cases. Also, you might want to scroll the text so it isn't directly on top of the moon on a few pages. A mild annoyance, I'm sorry, but I couldn't implement the full scripting I wanted to in order to handle that problem.
Lastly, admittedly this was put together quickly from a base idea jotted down earlier, due to the nuclear attack on the website over the past month, which put me too far behind to finish the entry I wanted to for Killa Robot's "Feels" competition. It is what it is: just a short take on a classic tale. Not a lot of feels, but a little bit of pseudo-early modern English ;).
Republishing (again) due to image hosting issues. 1/8/2018
Some quick info on the setting: It is generally believed that hominids lost their thick fur around 1.2 million years ago or so, give or take. However, for the sake of this story, Homo neanderthalensis will have thicker body hair than Homo sapiens (not bear-thick, but still thicker). There are two reasons I have chosen to do this: (1) They lived in the colder regions. (2) Homo neanderthalensis appears to have had primitive clothing compared to Homo sapiens; basically just fur capes, while Homo sapiens had more advanced stitching and more tightly tailored clothing (which kept them more warm). So I feel having neanderthals a little more hairy than Homo sapiens is a reasonable liberty for me to take in this story.
As for language and technology, both Homo sapiens and Homo neanderthalensis shared almost identical vocal anatomy where it matters. Despite neanderthals not having left behind nearly as much advanced artwork, they very likely had complex language just like Homo sapiens. As for fire technology, for the purpose of this story I am assuming that different hominid tribes were further advanced than others, irrespective of species. The neanderthal tribe the protagonist comes from has yet to master creation of fire.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy!
Update: Put an End Game link on the same page the Epilogue link is, so you can skip it if you want, since it is so unpopular ;) .
The Story of Count Osmond Jorgensen
There's no price a good man won't pay to save the woman he loves...
It was an unlikely marriage, but still somehow a happy one. Though he barely knew her, Count Osmond Jorgensen counted himself fortunate on the day of his wedding. Talia was more than he could have ever hoped for: beautiful, temperate, and always smiling. Osmond was fully taken, and believed that he would do anything for her. Over the years, he discovered just how far he'd go for the woman he loved.
Additional notes: This short story is tangentially part of the Witch Hunter series. It is a more fleshed out historical account of Count Osmond Jorgensen, which is briefly mentioned in the inventory book "On Witches, Werewolves and Wyverns."
WARNING: There isn't much by way of blatantly graphic sex in this storygame, but there are plenty of deviant erotic situations, including some pretty rapey ones. If such scenarios disturb you, this storygame probably isn't for you.
At its core, this storygame is a tale of a screwed up BDSM relationship, which you cultivate as the ultimate "sub." The goal of this storygame is to get your boss to engage in as many "unprofessional" acts as possible, and to eventually sway him into falling for you, all without getting fired along the way. If you make the right decisions, the game escalates from event to event, bringing you closer and closer to a relationship with your boss. It's pretty linear, and you'll know for certain if you get the "winning" ending. Let's just say it will involve a leash and some public humiliation. *1/8/2019 Republishing to re-upload background images.
You work in a small law firm, performing both receptionist and data entry roles. Your job is thankless and tedious, but one thing keeps you coming back: your boss, Brandon Wheeler. Aloof and dispassionate, Wheeler exudes a muted but overwhelming power you find irresistible, and you are determined to tame that power, even if it costs you your career.
Recent PostsBest Disney Villain? on 11/26/2020 4:25:28 PM
For the Glory of CYStia on 11/26/2020 8:01:07 AM
However, take home exams may be the way to go for this sort of thing. Sure, people can cheat. But really, when you start getting to the upper division undergraduate stuff, in order to cheat you have to at least know something, otherwise you won't know where to look.
Side note: did I cheat? Well, I went to my former linear algebra professor for help on that damned coupled isolation problem. If I recall correctly, she helped me with using the Jacobian to do a coordinate transformation, and with some chain rule stuff. It helped. That might have been cheating though. (to this day I remember very little of it, because I never went far enough to get a job in the field, unless you count tutoring, which evolved to doing homework for money ;) )
Best Disney Villain? on 11/25/2020 6:48:03 PM
For the Glory of CYStia on 11/25/2020 4:16:07 PM
My Own Personal Mead Hall on 11/23/2020 11:54:09 PM
Side note: I’d think Old English is fun to try to figure out. I’m at the Lord’s Prayer level, though. Beowulf is still far on the horizon for me.
I pledge my sword ... on 11/23/2020 11:49:42 PM
I pledge my sword ... on 11/23/2020 11:49:18 PM
Combat scenes? on 11/23/2020 10:26:21 PM
I feel like what precedes the combat, and the peripheral events that happen during the combat, may be more important than the combat itself. Describing the action is necessary to an extent, but if it's constant description of movements your combat will get boring quickly. Where do you draw the line between technical action, dialogue, and description of emotion and other things not directly related to the fight itself?
It's a balance I'm still trying to find. I think my weakness is a tendency for too much exposition, but I do try to add elements that tell a miniature story as well. A couple years ago I felt like I was getting close in a storygame I predictably never finished. This is what I had written then in a rough draft (if this helps you, great; if you find something that needs improvement, by all means please comment, but the point is to show what I think is one decently done thing and one poorly done thing, which I will specify at the end):
Things were not going well. [insert stuff about how intelligence was wrong and the lines have been breached and repaired numerous times throughout the day]
During the last twenty minutes, a lull in the combat nearby had allowed you to catch your breath, and despite your instincts protesting against it, you rested on your knees, using your sword and shield to support you.
A shrill voice from behind you draws you back to attentiveness and you stand. A boy runs up to you, carrying a skin of water and parcel of some sort. "Captain, General Mathers sends word that the 43rd Division will be unable to aid the Northeastern flank." The boy, hands on his knees, takes a deep breath and continues. "They were attacked from behind by an auxiliary force of mercenaries, and while disposing of them another hostile unit from the north arrived, this one bringing more than men."
Troubled by this new development, you watch as the boy takes a drink from the skin and then hands it to you, his breath still coming out in ragged pants. He can't be older than 1o or 11. Sparing a quick glance to your left to make sure the line is holding steadily, you ask, "What do you mean by 'more than men,' son?" Turning back to the melee, you take a deep drink and await the answer. In the distance some twenty more enemy soldiers approach.
"Ogres, Captain," says the child. "General Mathers says at least ten accompany another squadron of enemy soldiers, and that they'll have to make their retreat this evening. They were nearly routed when I first ran, Captain. He begs you consider sending the running reinforcements here to the East to help along the Ilowaen Forest, and begin your retreat one night early to meet him at the next defensive position."
You feel frustration bordering on panic at that. Ogres? Rumors were already circulating among the commanders nearest your position about reanimated dead soldiers attacking on some portions of the Eastern perimeter, and what little you knew of the overall defense plan and intelligence suggested a powerful magic user may be behind the attack. But ogres? Twelve feet tall and nearly half as wide, alone they were terrible foes. If the enemy has somehow convinced them to join them in numbers against the Kingdom, things are far dire than you had previously believed.
A flurry of shouts and metallic clangs to your left signal another breach along the line. Resignedly you raise your sword and shield. "Boy, what's your name?" you ask, eyes never leaving the fighting just ahead. One of your men gets run through with a spear, and then two enemy soldiers spot you and begin to approach at a fast walk.
From behind you the boy says, "Oliver, if it please you, sir." Not taking your eyes off the two approaching men, you loosen your shield buckle and let it slide down.
"Grab the shield, Oliver, and run back twenty paces. Keep the shield up in case that one throws his spear at you. If I fall, strap it to your back and run as fast as you can to my second in command, Lieutenant Marks, and inform him that he has command. Deliver him the message from General Mathers and then retreat to the next position." You look back and see the boy frozen, staring at the shield. "Oliver!" you yell. "Do you hear me, boy?"
Shaken back to awareness, the boy nods. "Then go, Oliver, now!" He picks up the shield and begins to run back. Knowing the boy is temporarily safe, you turn in time to see the two soldiers reach just outside of your attack range, their pace more deliberate now.
The two fan out as they approach, flanking either side of you, and in the distance you see a third approaching. The one on your left holds a spear, the other two short swords and shields. The flanking soldiers exchange glances, and then the one to your right screams and charges. Anticipating the charge is really a feint to draw your attention away from the spear wielder, you immediately turn to your left, swinging your sword down. As you expected, the other man planned to stab you from behind, and your sword deflects his spear to the ground.
Stomping hard on the blade, you pin it to the ground with your foot and sword, simultaneously drawing your dagger from your belt with your left hand. In a single, swift motion, you fling the blade underhanded at the spear wielding man, and the dagger strikes him directly in his unprotected face. You turn back just in time to deflect the sword strike from the other man with your own sword, and then kick his shield to gain distance. As he stumbles, you turn back to the other man and finish him with a stroke to the neck from your sword.
Pulling out your dagger just in time, you use it to parry an overhead swing, pushing it to your right, then you step around the man and stab your sword into his right side, just underneath his armpit. You quickly slash him in the throat with your dagger and he falls, hot blood soaking your forearm.
You pivot to face the final enemy, but before you can react, a savage strike lands on your unprotected upper left arm, exactly where a hole in your mail armor had been made earlier in the day. The pain is shocking, but you manage to hold on to your dagger. The enemy steps back, and the two of you square off.
He slowly swings his sword in an arcing figure-eight, and then leaps forward, attacking you on your left side, trying to gain an advantage from your wound. Knowing your left arm may be too damaged to go where you want it to, you jump back and parry with your sword instead, taking the defensive. You try to raise your left arm back up to use the dagger as a fighter would with a rapier, to parry attacks and thrust with your sword, but the pain nearly makes you feint. You let your left arm hang low, but hold onto the dagger so your opponent is forced to assume it is still a viable threat.
The man attacks again, and you are again forced to step back. Suddenly your foot lands upon one the men you just killed and you slip to the floor. The man comes in for the kill, but a blow from behind causes him to turn back: the boy named Oliver struck him with the shield. Wasting no time, you quickly leap to your knees and lunge at the man's groin with your sword. In defense he swings down at you, but you are able to raise your dagger arm high enough to take the blow with the flat of the blade, holding it reversed so your forearm supports it. You drive the sword in deeper, and the man's own sword falls from his hands. Standing, your sword still deep with him, you cut his throat with your dagger.
As the man falls to the ground, you look at Oliver. "I would chastise you for not following orders, Oliver, but you saved my life. Thank you." The boy, still in shock, doesn't seem to hear you. His chest heaves rapidly, and he sways before you. You slip your dagger back in your belt and place your hand on the boy's shoulder. Kneeling, you say, "Oliver, look at me. You're okay. You're a hero, son, and I need you to carry my message." The boy seems to perk up at that and meets your eyes. You hold his gaze for a moment, then you squeeze his shoulder and stand.
Now, what I like about this excerp is the little side character Oliver gets a tiny bit of interaction with the player, and manages to go through his own mini-story arc. It's a little bit god-from-the-machine, but I feel like it adds some additional depth to the battle situation. I feel that too often, combat scenarios, especially battle sequences, forget about the peripheral things that go on, like messengers running from position to position to deliver intelligence when other means fail. I feel like here, that was done pretty well.
What I don't like is I feel I'm a bit too descriptive with the combat. I think I can streamline it, maybe a lot. Some of it I think is necessary and adds some character (like the main character having an injured left arm, but refusing to drop the dagger so that the enemy must respect it as a threat), but some of it was way overboard in move-by-move description.
So, the point of this example was to show what I believe is one thing done passingly and one thing done poorly in combat description. DO add some things not directly related to combat, some stuff on the periphery; DO NOT spend an excessive amount of words saying which sword goes where and how long which swing lasts. Give enough information to paint a reasonably clear picture, but save the detailed description only for the key moments.
Can't seem to open my chapters at the moment. on 11/19/2020 12:44:30 AM
Can't seem to open my chapters at the moment. on 11/19/2020 12:26:28 AM