Gower, The Journeyman Scrivener

Member Since


Last Activity

10/15/2019 7:04 AM

EXP Points


Post Count


Storygame Count


Duel Stats

0 wins / 0 losses


Notorious Marauder Exemplar of Avon



"He was slightly less unfun"

Trophies Earned

Earning 100 Points Earning 500 Points Earning 1,000 Points Earning 2,000 Points Having 3 Storygame(s) Featured Rated 98.0% of all Stories Given by mizal on 10/11/2019 - For your exceptional games and articles, many forum contributions, and disturbing sweetness and light. (Sorry about McAllen, it wasn’t our idea either.) Given by Will11 on 10/12/2019 - For your excellent stories and many worthwhile contributions to the site :)


Featured Story Kelly Unicornstrider and Friends (1982-1985) Super Quiz

A comprehensive quiz + bonus fan faction about the the underrated cult classic show "Kelly Unicornstrider and Friends" (1982-1985). Questions range from really easy to really difficult.

Featured Story Private Game for Natalie

I think putting this on "publish" makes it so only we can see this. It's just for us, sweetie. I made it to celebrate our anniversary and remember some special intimate moments together over the years in an interesting way as a present for you.

I hope you love it, Natalie, as much as I love you!

(Of course if there's any admin looking at this, or if I messed up, don't read this, because it's got private things in it.)

Featured Story Sabbatical Report Presentation

This is my required report to the full faculty in accordance with the rules noted in the Faculty Handbook (version 15.1, as of October 2017)

Sixteen Words

"Personally I can only read 16 words in one go before words stop working," wrote Mizal.


This game has sixteen words per path.  Not counting "The End."  So you can play quickly.


When reviewing, please use precisely sixteen words.   That should be plenty for your suggestions and observations.


Note this challenge connected with this game:  Write the Last Page!

Articles Written

Basic Sentence Structure: Additive Sentences
Comma Use and Additive Sentences with lots of examples

Dialogue Punctuation
This is a brief discussion of how to punctuate dialogue in US and UK English. It also notes a few rules for quotation mark use in general.

Relative Sentences
A lecture on how to write relative sentences using restrictive and non-restrictive clauses.

Semicolons and Advanced Additive Sentences
This article explains how to use semicolons to create new types of additive sentences. It includes the plain semicolon and semicolons with transition words.

Recent Posts

Tally Ho, Chapter Five on 10/15/2019 6:29:15 AM

I step to the side, revealing the purported professor.

You take a step to the side and clear your throat meaningfully.

"It's Professor Hickory!" shouts Aunt Primrose, clapping her hands, and jumping up to take his hands. "I had been under the impression that you had decided to cancel your trip! Welcome, welcome! You are just in time for dinner."

"Yes, I am Professor Hickory," says Figs. "And I am here at your invitation, Mrs. Patterson. Thank you for your hospitality."

Inspector Ambrose clears his throat. "That is a fascinating outfit you have on, Professor. I make it something of a study to determine what a person is like based solely on small details about their appearance."

Figs gulps audibly.

"For example, I can see that you are a man of distinction. You…half a moment. Is that…The Sultan?"

"Yes, it is," Figs says.

"But how would you afford The Sultan on a university salary?" Inspector Ambrose ponders. "The only reasonable explanation is that you are an impostor, here disguised in The Sultan in order to appear respectable."

Figs stiffens.

"I'm only joking," says Inspector Ambrose, but with a face that suggests that he is not joking at all.

"That is quite enough," says Aunt Primrose. "Do not play guessing games with my honored guest. Just look at him. You are making him feel self-conscious."

Figs takes a big step backward, and looks back at you.

1. I nod supportively at Figs and whisper a word of encouragement.

2. "Good luck," I whisper, and then I go stand next to Rory.

3. I hold out a seat next to Mopsie for Figs to sit down in.

Happy Thanksgiving! on 10/15/2019 5:48:09 AM

For some reason, my story is covering up the picture Camelon posted, which makes my story nonsense.  Here it is.

Happy Thanksgiving! on 10/15/2019 5:46:04 AM

"...The blade that is kept in this scabbard ne'er shall break.  Nor shall it fail you in time of need or be turned by the shield of your foe.  For you are the most unyielding of your company.  And so your blade shall never yield," said the elf queen, raven locks swaying in the wind, though there was no wind here in the changeless land of Mothróin where the starlight is born.  "It was your grandfather's, you know, who perished in the mines of Tracho'on."

"Thank you, my lady.  You know my heart, and I shall fight in your service," said Malconium, last of the Druain.  He took the scabbard, and bowed, weeping at the return of his ancestral relic.

"And you, Shadwell son of Sadmell, I have this small token to see you through your trials.  I have here hope and life, distilled into a drop of sun, contained in the heart of this crystal.  Use it at a moment of utmost peril and fear, when all seems lost.  For you are the bravest of this company."

Shadwell, dwarvish heart high, took the crystal from the elf queen.  "I shall, your majesty.  I judged you wrong, I reckon."

The elf queen looked down at Filby, last and perhaps least of their company.  "For you, I have this pie.  For you are, you know, the fattest of your company. And so..."

"What does the pie do?" Filby said.

"We use the lard of the jugjun beast in the crust.  It's really tender," the elf queen says.  "But seriously, it's just a pie."

"Should I use it in a time of peril?"

"I want to tell you to share it with the fellowship, but I think we both know that's not going to happen," she said gently. 

"I don't get a sword or a magic lamp?"

"No, just the pie."

"That's probably for the best," said Malconium, watching Filby begin to eat the pie with his hands.  "I frankly don't even know why we brought this guy."

"There will come a time when Filby's fatness turns out to have a purpose," the elf queen said mysteriously, pushing forward some additional baskets of pastries.  "If my mirror tells me true."

Malconium winced.  "I don't like even one of the possibilities for what could mean.  Goodbye, queen. And thank you."


Insomnia on 10/15/2019 5:27:08 AM

Nothing makes it harder to sleep then knowing that you have to sleep, too.  Then the stakes feel higher, and sleep runs away.  I know for me when I can't sleep that's what happens.

Happy Thanksgiving! on 10/14/2019 8:59:47 PM

Nobody posted pies.  I was looking forward to it.

Risk My Attention (CYStia: Land of Freedom) on 10/14/2019 8:27:38 PM

Regarding #4, the death endings are just different stories.  I think about difficulty as "hard to get to an endgame link" or a clearly truncated story.

Risk My Attention (CYStia: Land of Freedom) on 10/14/2019 8:24:33 PM

1.  Recommend unpublishing Forgotten Magician

At 2.01 rating with 13 ratings after 10 days.

Tally Ho, Chapter Four on 10/14/2019 7:37:17 PM

Here's my postmortem on Chapter Four.

This chapter was a pain in the butt to write.  It is essentially three full chapters stuck together, except that you aren't diverted into one of them, you get to bop back and forth between the hunt and the house and Valentine, with discoveries you make in each place potentially informing what you do in other places.

For example, you can find things in the house that give you questions you can ask on the hunt, which you then can talk about with Valentine.

I wrote this chapter over the course of two months and then my editor helped me realize that the structure of it just didn't work, that there was too much looping in it.  Originally, you searched the rooms manually, saying what exactly you search, which returned you to a central search menu.  It was too much, and it wasn't fun.  So I rewrote the code for another full month so that each room now had a very specific thing to do that didn't have to be prefaced with a search mini-game.  It's much better now, I think, although I was pretty sad to recode everything at the time.

Chapter Four is crazy to include in this game because it expands ungodly much what the main character could know, so from this point on, I had to include variations, conversations, and little action loops depending on if you know people's secrets, if you have certain inventory items (like you having the map now),  how much Regina likes you or whether you meddled with Rory and Frankincense's engagement, et cetera.  In addition, you could also have had sex with someone in chapter four.  Not with this crew of players, obviously, but you could have. 

Searching the house is best for characters with high skullduggery/observe; the hunt is best for persuade/culture; the Valentine one is sort of a toss-up because you can approach it from a number of tactical directions based on what you've done already.   My motto for this chapter was that I wanted you to leave it regretting all of the stuff you didn't find.

By this chapter, I've forced you to make some hard decisions about what you care about, because time is so limited you can't look into Valentine and learn what's up with Mopsie and Firesnuff and Haze and Regina, etc. and give Rory advice and get to know Frankincese and  impress the Inner Circle.  So this sort of softly closes some doors--not that you can't shift still at this point, but it becomes a bit harder after this point to shift priorities.

Ending chapter four marks halfway.  (There are eight full chapter plus an epilogue).  I think of the first four chapters as the "make your bed" chapters and the last four as the "now lie in it" chapters.

You would think I'd have learned my lesson, but I'm writing the sequel to this now and the final chapter is a similarly structured chapter with three big locations, and it's like x3 the length.  Help. 

Tally Ho, Chapter Five on 10/14/2019 7:22:18 PM

I open the cab door vigorously, knocking the book out of Fielding's hand, and then peek at the dust jacket of the book to see the answer.

"Could you step a bit closer to the cab, Fielding?" you say. "We can't quite hear you."

Fielding smirks and steps a bit closer. When he is close enough, you quickly open the cab door directly into him, slamming his hand. He drops the book and howls in pain.

You pluck the book from the ground and look at the back. Qualtaugh. You don't think you would have guessed that, you muse, whispering the name to Figs and then holding the book out for Fielding.

He doesn't take it, instead holding his injured hand to his chest. "I think you've broken my hand!" he cries.

"It's 'Qualtaugh,'" says Figs, proudly.


"It's 'Qualtaugh.' My middle name."

"I don't care about that anymore," Fielding says, face white. "I think it's broken in several places."

"I can run you over to the hospital after I let these folks out," offers the cab driver, and Fielding agrees, climbing into the cab.

"That's a shame," you say, as the driver lets you out in front of the house. "Hope you get well soon."

At last, you pull up to the front entrance of the house and step out of the cab with Figs.

"I can't believe I'm about to see her," Figs says. "I'm shaking."

"Remember. Stay in character."

Together, you walk through the front hall, and towards the dining room, where you can hear the guests are already taking their seats for dinner.

The dining room's long, rectangular dark walnut table is spread with vibrant autumnal floral centerpieces and silver candelabra with three white candles flickering in each. Swags of powder-blue, rose, and parchment hydrangeas and eucalyptus adorn the crystal chandelier, matching the colors of the charger plates.

Aunt Primrose sits at one head of the table, directing footmen to bring out the first course. Across from her, at the other end of the table, sits Col. Firesnuff, who is delivering a lecture to one of the underfootmen regarding the way boots are made these days.

Haze and Mopsie sit next to one another on the near side of the table as you enter. They are bickering over the salt cellar. Near them sits Inspector Ambrose, examining his silverware and impassively regarding you.

Rory and Frankincense are sitting companionably close to each other on one side of the table, facing you as you come into the dining room. Rory lifts his glass to you as you approach. "Good to see you, Pennyworth," he says.

"Hallo, Pennyworth," says Aunt Primrose, looking critically at a fork.

Figs stops just behind you, gulping audibly. "Er…" he says.

1. "Go on, sir," I whisper. "I'm here to help."

2. I step to the side, revealing the purported professor.

3. "Look who I found during my walk!" I cry.

Prompt: Write the Last Page of Sixteen Words on 10/14/2019 7:20:49 PM

Especially for a story prompted by "Contemplation."