Shadowdrake27, The Wordsmith

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2/19/2020 11:07 AM

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Wow a blank page with the topic of “me.”  A normal person would have this full of exciting things about themself. Me? I would rather you read my work and form your own opinion about me. Unfortunately, I am a perfectionist with a job, family, and life... so my writing may come out slowly. Therefore, I will call myself a mystery. I act like I am 12, but am at least double that in age. I have been coming to CYS to read awesome stories for awhile. I am currently using it as a medium to plop down all the stories that have been in my mind with nowhere to go. Read them at your discretion, or don’t. I will have fun putting them out there regardless. Feel free to message me with questions, or just to talk, I like both bouncing ideas off people and chatting. I just might not answer right away if I am trapped in the real world at the moment.

*Disclaimer: I am not a grammar freak! That may show up in my writing and my reviews! Please comment if a story has such bad grammar that it takes away from the story! I am working on improving in this area. Of course, if I misuse one semicolon in a 200-page story, I am going to secretly judge you for leaving that comment! But I respond well to criticism usually so it will be okay.*



If you are bored try adding a page to this fun collaborative writing prompt on


Saved threads:

Chapter 1: The She-Demon

Trophies Earned

Earning 100 Points



Clearstone was a peaceful place where a man could forage his own path in life, but that was before Mad Dog Roberts took it over. Now Clearstone is owned by the Roberts Mining Co. and the people are little more than cogs in Roberts golden machine. This traveling cowboy isn't a part of that machine, and he isn't about to leave without a fight.

Day of the Dead--One Soul's All Souls Procession

Day of the Dead Skull

Matthew Mercia had never believed in the Day of the Dead the way his mother did. He didn't get excited to wake up on November second to celebrate the lives of relatives who had passed--until he was one of those relatives. Now he can only wake up on the day of the dead, so he only has tonight to walk among the living. How did I die? Who killed me? Why? These questions may just keep Matthew from celebrating this Dia de Muertos.

Authors Note:

This story was written in four hours for Ectocomp 2019 with 4,500 words, 7 unique endings, and one epilogue. It is based on the All Souls Procession Weekend in Tuscon Arizona. No additional knowledge is needed to read the story, but if you want more information on anything look up the event! 

Edited on 12/06/19: the tense switch on the first page was fixed. Everything else was left the way it was for the contest.

Image from:

Inheritance House

A suspense/horror story. It is about a cabin you inherited from your creepiest uncle (yeah you know the one). There are two possible endings. Good luck.

Tips:  Use the link at the end to go back to the beginning, even if you die you can continue to play. Hit "Drive to cottage" after each play through and look for the room that changed. You will face a choice in that room that will decide if you live or die, again.

Note: A special thanks to Chris113022 and Gower who play tested, and proofread this story.

Leroy and Mika's Organic Poetry

Let's write a poem together,

about nature or the weather.

Alternating lines, you and me,

 writing in perfect harmony.

I will write a line, you the next,

our lais is a river of text.

Leroy and Mika are parting ways for two years. They have signed up for the Peace Corps and are going to opposite corners of the globe to make a difference in the world. Their shared loves are poetry and the environment. This lais is the perfect poem to remind them what they mean to each other; they just have to write it.

Authors Notes:

A 1,000-word story written for a contest with the theme of nature environment. The game is a craft your own poem game. A lais is a poem written with octosyllabic couplets (8 syllable lines that rhyme in pairs). You get to craft the poem that expresses these two characters' love, and you get to decide if their love is strong enough to survive two years apart.

Actual word count is 936.

A special thanks to  Ogre11 and mizal for proofreading and play-testing! Their feedback was instrumental in making this game what it is.

Merlin: Origins

Merlin Ambrosius was just an electrician working in Britain. His last job was on an archeological site doing the lighting for what was believed to be the home of Merlin the Magician. He accidentally got himself sent back in time to the days of King Arthur, where Merlin Ambrosius became the sorcerer of legend. Did he serve King Arthur well as a trusted advisor? Was he a feared but well-respected as a sorcerer? Or did he get caught trying to fool the medieval prince?

Author's Note:

This game was made for the Year's End Contest - Choose Your Own Prompt II. The theme was "8) This story has an original and sensible magic system, built from the ground up. The plot is up to you."

Magic is defined as the power to influence reality by using mysterious or supernatural forces. Rather than having characters learn to shoot fire out of their hands, my magic system is based on having limited technology in the past.

There are two main branches, which focus on different types of "magic." One caution is that some of the smaller pathways are similar, differing only by the puzzle you have to solve and ways you can fail. Also, when choosing between the "Lady of the Lake" myth or the "Sword in the Stone" myth, please note that these tales both involve Excalibur, so the story remains the same until after you make the sword of legend. After that part, these two branches have a different (second) puzzle, which can lead to various endings.

An answer guide is provided for electrical puzzles. For an added challenge, do not use it. Additionally, there is a walkthrough here if you want help finding all 12 endings. Good luck!

Special thanks to Reader82 and poison_mara for proofreading and play-testing for me. Without them, this story would have a few million more errors. Reader82 fixed most of my bad grammar, and poison_mara thought of adding the guide for the electrical puzzles.

The Chronomantic Adventures of Professor Gower: Office Hours

Professor Gower sits in his big, big oak desk, glasses perched precariously on his nose. He lays a fountain pen down atop his grade book and steeples his hands with something of a patient sigh.

He has warned his students:

The purpose of this thread is to have a place to talk about smallish issues of language, style, syntax, grammar, word choice, paragraph structure, or whatever. This is for microlevel issues, not big stuff like "what should I write about?" or "how do I make interesting choices?" or "is that mole bigger than yesterday?"

Bring a piece of your work-in-progress, and let's all discuss it together.

It's worth 40% of your grade, and you may not have an extension.

Alas, no one has come to his office today. This is not an issue though: Professor Gower has better things to do.

Authors Note:

Time travel story-game requested by Microblue with permission from Gower.

Special thanks to TheChef for play-testing and proofreading.

The Description was mostly written by Gower, and the rest is the author's original account of the real adventures of the English professor that travels in time to ensure the safety of literary classics. While you can read this story on its own, it's recommended that you have some familiarity with the classic authors Homer, Marie de France, and Euripides. It's also recommended that you read The Iliad, Lanval, Medea, and Beowulf before reading this story. General knowledge of those works will be accepted for this story but will do nothing for your grades on Gower's quiz to follow.

There are two possible endings. There are also four authors to meet, four literary gems to save, and four historic items to frame in Gower's office; however, there is only one epilogue.

Please enjoy as you travel to the past to meet Gower's favorite authors.

Choose Your Own Cookbook Guide to Thanksgiving Turkey

A mini-game made for Mara's Thanksgiving thread.

A serious(ish) guide to cooking Turkey presented by the Choose Your Own Cookbook Company!

Dark Master

Dark Master Cover

Todd, a master of dark magic in a world that forbids it, has a chance to prove that dark magic can be used for good; unless he becomes the dark lord that everyone fears. Will Todd become a hero, or is he destined to be the villain?


More of a story with multiple outcomes than a game.

There are no right or wrong answers, although you have the option of getting yourself killed many times, and choices matter.

## unique epilogues are available. 

On the first page, there is a link to background information on the world and how it is structured. This link is for people that like to have the basic understanding and context that the main character has at the start. It is completely optional.

Helen's Resurrection

Alexander and Lamar are ready to perform the ceremony. Everything they need is at their fingertips. How to do it has been recorded for centuries, but what they will have to through was conveniently left out.

Everyone knows that the dead are gone from this world, never to return. Yet, people have been talking about ways to bring people back in every culture. Only a few have managed to cheat death. Can you?

Author's Note:

This game was created for the IWT 13 contest (on Infinite Story) with the theme of resurrection. I took the theme literally with resurrecting a person. This is a story following three different (common) methods for doing so. Feel free to explore scientific reanimation, biblical resurrection, and mythological resurrection based on myths from Ancient Greece.

The Chronomantic Adventures of Professor Gower: Origins

This is the first game in a series of tales about Gower and his adventures through time. It will explain how the famous professor first started time traveling, and how I came to know about his many trips through time. Everyone starts somewhere, although Gower's beginning and my own are not chronologically aligned, our stories are very much intertwined.

If this game is released after the second game titled The Chronomantic Adventures of Professor Gower: Office Hours--for any reason--the timeline is in jeopardy. All time-travelers need to report to Alpha-Prime prepared for immediate deployment. 

This game was written and released exactly one year before the second in the original timeline.

Author's Notes:

Another time travel game with Gower's permission.

There are XYZ endings.

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That is true. I also underestimated how many words I needed, so the story starts slow and then slams into an ending...


In the interest of time, I went with a linear story! I will read the other ones as well, but I am very busy until at least next week. My story will appall Mizal with cheesiness. The actual story is 1,987 words. As per usual, feedback is welcome. Let me know how much you all hate it!

Oh, it is also rated high on the inappropriate scale (particularly compared to my other stories).

Cheesy Valentines Day Story

Sam tapped her pen on her desk, staring out the window, blue eyes vacant, brown hair untidy. She wasn’t a bad student, but since she dropped down to remedial math, classes weren't a challenge. Being made fun of in middle school as the token nerd had prompted her to make a change. That change led to her rise in popularity; however, she felt empty most of the time.

"Samantha, care to answer the question?" Mr. Coventry said, catching her spacing out. 

Sam looked at the board and replied, "Three, ‘X’ is equal to three." Immediately after her answer, she turned back to the window. Shaking his head, Mr. Coventry wrote the answer and continued to drone on about linear equations. Sam sighed and kept her mind blank until the bell rang.

Gary was waiting for her at her locker like he always was. He was tall and muscular, with long dirty-blonde hair that gave him a striking resemblance to Sunshine from Remember the Titans. They played the same position as well: Gary was the high school’s starting quarterback.

"What's up, Sam?" Gary asked as Sam opened her locker. 

"Nothing, just trying to get through the day," Sam responded. She grabbed her books and turned quickly to head to chemistry.

"No one said that you had to be to class on time!" A devilish grin spread across Gary's face as he winked.

"Gary, if I’m late to another class, my parents won’t let me go to the dance tonight." It wasn’t the truth, but Sam knew it was the only way to get Gary to leave her alone.

"Oh, so you are going then?"

Sam cursed under her breath and said, "Yeah, if I get to class on time."

"God, your parents suck. I’ll pick you up at six though, and make sure you have an excuse for the after-party at Kelly’s House!" 

Sam wanted to protest, but Gary was out of earshot before she could open her mouth. She had been trying to avoid going to the dance with him for weeks. All of her hard was undone in an instant, which only made her last class of the day more frustrating. 

Leslie and Kelly, Sam’s best friends, wouldn’t be any help. They were both simultaneously trying to set Sam up with Gary and sleep with him. Being popular had its drawbacks, but it was better than being considered a weeb.

After chemistry, Sam texted Leslie to let her know that she wouldn’t need a ride home. She wanted to be alone and could use the long walk. Walking helped Sam clear her mind and feel normal. In her haste, she plowed into the back of a slower moving classmate as they were exiting the school.

"Watch it, Nerd!" Sam exploded, not even bothering to look at the other student.

"Sorry about that, Sammy," a calm voice responded. Looking up was no longer necessary, Sam knew she had run into Van. 

"I told you to stop calling me that!" Sam yelled at the average-sized Asian boy with spiky black hair. 

"And I told you that I wouldn’t,” Van responded. “I mean, I’ve been calling you Sammy since we were five."

"We’re not five anymore!"

"Obviously. You also stopped talking to me the moment we started high school, so does it matter what I call you anymore?" He handed Sam a stack of papers that had fallen from her bag.

"I guess not, bye." Sam grabbed the papers and stormed towards her house.

After a few minutes, Van cleared his throat and said, "We are walking in the same direction. If I call you Sam, can we talk?"


There was an awkward silence that followed. Three and a half years of separation hung between the two old friends like an iron curtain. Sam twirled a lock of her hair in her fingers and studied her shoes; Van scratched the back of his neck and coughed.

"So, are you headed to the Valentines Day Mascaraed?" Van asked after far too long.

"Yeah, I'm going with Gary, I guess," Sam sighed.

"Ugh, I'm sorry to hear that."

"Gary happens to be the best athlete at the school!"

"And a moron..."

"He... Yeah, sort of."

"I know he likes you. He tells everyone you are 'his girl,' but I am kind of surprised to hear you feel the same way about him."

"What does that mean?"

"Sammy, I mean Sam, let's be honest for a second. You are the smartest girl at our school, and even if you deny it, you would rather read a comic book than Gary's twitter posts. Meanwhile, Gary might not be able to read. Lie to the other girls you started hanging out with if you want, but I don't buy that you are into that jock."

"Maybe you don't know me as well as you used to."

"Maybe I don't, but I would like to know what happened to the girl I used to know if that is the case."

"Okay, let's not psychoanalyze my life right now, please. What about you, are you going to the Mascaraed?"

"Dances aren't my thing."

"You love to dance, Van. Don't you remember dragging me to those dance lessons in the park?"

"I am surprised you remembered, but I meant school dances. No one dances at them anymore."

"That is true." Sam spent school dances making fun of anyone who was dancing, with Gary, Leslie, and Kelly. "So, you are not going?"

"I was debating it; however, it doesn't seem like it would be worth going anymore."

"Why not?"

"I was going to go with an old friend, but she already has a date," Van said before turning down the side street leading to his house. "It was good talking to you, Sam!"

Her house was only one street further, but Sam remained frozen on the corner where Van left her, waving. Part of her wanted to make the familiar walk to Van's yellow rancher; his parents both worked late so they would have had some time to talk alone. She could have asked him some of the questions he had left in her head with his parting words, and rekindle the best friendship she ever had.

Instead, she continued down the road to her house. Sam's mom, an annoying helicopter, started with her interrogation as soon as Sam entered the house. Questions about the school day were easy to answer, but the interview got tougher when Sam brought the dance up.

"Who are you going with?" she asked

"Gray is picking up Leslie, Kelly, and I." Sam lied.



"When will you be back?"

"I might go to Leslie's after."

"Is it just you two or some wild party?"

"Just us two."

"I'm calling Leslie's parents and checking!"


"You are doing drugs, are you?"


Conversations like this had become regular between them. Both of them would get worn down and angry; this was no exception. Sam stormed into her room to get dressed and do her makeup, slamming the door to make a point.

Six o'clock hit just as Sam finished getting ready. Gary was on time, but he didn't come up to her house. He blasted his horn in the driveway, honking two or three times before Sam could get downstairs.

"Why do you hang out with these kids?" Sam's mother asked as Sam put her white high-heels on to match her feather gown and mask.

"They are my friends, mom!" Sam shouted in response.

"What happened to your friend Van?"

Sam was cut off by the horn and ran out to Gary's mustang. He nodded from the driver's seat as she climbed in the passenger side. Once her door closed, Gary peeled out of the driveway fast enough to leave tire marks. A Grin spread across his face as he raced out of her subdivision towards the school.

They didn't talk much on the way to the dance, but Leslie and Kelly made up for it at the dance. Talking was all they did. Teasing every other kid was their sport; no one could compete with the sharp words they had for anyone and everyone at the dance. Before long they had spread rumors that Jonny was gay, Tim had an STD, and Gary was Sam's boyfriend. 

Only a few lucky classmates escaped their tongue by hiding their identities well with their masks. Sam was too frustrated to join in or care. She was being called "Gary's girl," and being with him at the dance seemed to be the only proof peopled needed to make the label stick.

A memory popped into Sam's head. She was ten years old again and back at the park halfway between her and Van's house. He was dragging her up two a group of around thirty people that called themselves the Swing Dancing Society, a silly grin on his face. 

"Oh, Van, you brought a friend this week!" an older girl said with a friendly smile.

"No, this is Sammy!" Van responded as if that explanation perfectly described the shy girl hidden behind him.

"Well, it is nice to meet you, Sammy! My name is Nora."

"Hi," Sam squeaked from the safety of Van's arm.

Sam found herself wishing that she could take off her mask. Not the feathery one that covered her eyes, but the false life she had built over her entire high school career. All of the people Gary, Leslie, and Kelly were calling lame for dancing, looked like they were genuinely having a good time. Alternatively, Sam was forcing a laugh to fit in with the people she thought would make her happy.

Turning up the music, the DJ called for everyone to hit the dance floor. Gary grasped Sam around the hip and ushered her to the dance floor. Protests fell on deaf ears or were drowned out by Leslie and Kelly's cat-calls. Either way, there was no avoiding this dance.

Gary led Sam to the center of the dance floor, where a sea of grinding classmates swallowed them. Both of Gary's hands moved below the waist and latched on to Sam's butt, pulling her against his pelvis as he swayed off beat to the music. Sam screamed and tried to push away, but Gary either misinterpreted her actions or didn't care as he gripped her tighter.

Other girls had their dresses lifted, with their partner dancing closer than clothing would allow. This was not how Sam wanted to spend her Valentines Day; however, Gary was trying to lift her skirt anyway. Desperate, Sam looked for a way out, but everyone around her seemed to be pushing her in and cheering Gary on.

"Can I cut in?" a voice shouted above the music from beneath a wide-brimmed hat and black mask.

This stranger spun Sam out of Gary's hands and into a person-sized gap between two preoccupied couples. Confident dancing guided Sam away from Gary and out of the mass of bodies, as Gary turned red and tripped over a hockey player and cheerleader. The former punched Gary for interrupting their "slow dance," buying the masked stranger time to spin and twirl Sam to the opposite corner of the dance floor.

Sam's mask savior tucked an arm behind her back as the song ended, positioning her for a dip. Sam leaned back into it as the stranger pulled the hat down to cover his mask from view. Not that Sam needed to see his face.

"Van, no one else knows how to partner dance... why even hide your face?" Sam asked.

"Because it is way cooler," Van responded, followed by a familiar laugh.

"I thought you weren't coming?"

"Well, I am not staying... I just came to pick someone up. Unless, of course, you wanted to stay here."

"Hell no, let's get as far from here as possible!"

"Let's go, Sammy," Van said with a grin spreading beneath his mask.

Cave of Time vs Everything Else on 1/30/2020 8:59:05 AM

What you are describing is (I believe) the style known as a "funnel." A gauntlet is a linear story where a "wrong" choice leads to a instant death/ending.

Cave of Time vs Everything Else on 1/27/2020 11:26:14 PM

You almost have to explain the looping for this to work, otherwise you character is inexplicably gaining meta knowledge from a story perspective. I agree that it can be really cool if done well, though.


Cave of Time vs Everything Else on 1/27/2020 11:21:58 PM

There are ways to do this without bottle necking. If a game has fixed plot points that happen in order independently from player choices, then you just have to write each event from a different point of view in each path. For example, when your theoretical kingdom is invaded maybe you can be in one of three spots:

1. In the kingdom, tasked with defending it.

2. In the kingdom, but using the commotion to escape from prison

3. You left awhile ago and defected to the other side, so now you are leading the attack with intimate knowledge of the kingdom

This type of story sprawls out of control and almost has to be long... My long fantasy WIP is based around 4 major plot events. Based on your previous choices you are in different locations and different things happen, but the same 4 events do happen. You can be good or evil, and fighting with or against almost any character. The result is something like 16 full length endings to accommodate all of the options. That is why the game is also looking to be around 150,000-200,000 words minimum.

Cave of Time vs Everything Else on 1/27/2020 8:03:06 PM

I mean, my choose your own prompt contest entry was stat-reliant to make different outcomes. I don't think people were "stat focused" while reading it either... The key would be to have various branches still possible so that it wasn't just the "right" and "wrong" answer. My goal for that game was to make every outcome of the puzzles equally entertaining and long. Granted, you did die in some of the branches, but you lived in most. My game was also short; any of the complete branches could have continues though (unless you were dead).

Cave of time seems like the easiest and best type of game to write. Experimenting with crossing paths in a long game is difficult because the background information the character has either had to exactly match or not matter. Still, having variables is a nice flair, and they can be used in a long story to make something cool.

As for the "how do you alert readers of the stats" thing, making it obvious what choices affected where they are at seems like the way to go. Being too obvious could be a problem, but in the "walk through or around the house" example, you could have the main character find something in the house (no need to use items, they just find a flashlight or something) then later you either can see on the dark tunnel or can't. If you can't maybe adding a line like "maybe if I had looked on the house I would have found something to help!" To let the reader know where they went wrong. I don't have the most experience, but that sort of thing seems to work well...

The whip of the Phoenix's sun My IS contest entry on 1/25/2020 1:53:52 AM

The entire city congregates as every harvest day next to the great tower of fire (this sentence reads awkwardly. I believe what you are going for is something like "The entire city congregates, as they do every harvest day, next to the great tower of fire". I would rearrange this to "The entire city congregates next to the great tower of fire, as they do every harvest day."). The light of the three moons shines for the last time before dawn; the time of the weekly ritual is approaching. After that, the orchestra and the (can delete this "the" but it is technically correct) choir start to play the ancient song in a slow and monotonous tempo, again and again, in an eternal loop ("eternal loop" isn't wrong, but "endless loop" is the more common way to say it in English). (This last sentence uses "and" a lot. Consider revising to eliminate or separate some of this into multiple sentences)

Amazing Grace, How sweet the sound That saved a wretch like me I once was lost, but now am found
T'was  blind but now I see

T'was Grace that taught my heart to fear And Grace, my fears relieved How precious did that grace appear The hour I first believed

Through many dangers, toils and snares We have already come.

The coffin's procession commences(comma here) floating with its anti-gravitational fields, while citizens watch the show bored, as every week the same spectacle has been happening since the dawn of times (This sentence looks like it should be broken up into two separate ones. I suggest putting a period after "bored" and deleting "as."). (capitalize at beginning of sentence) most of the citizens simply navigate the holo-net (comma) checking out that their own Karma credits aren't dropping. (I would replace "checking out" with "making sure that." This sounds more natural. Checking out might technically work, but it is not usually used in this context)

"You, however, are an important party in the ritual; your inert body is sleeping in one of the communal caskets. Your memory and brain (this is repetitive... is the brain being expunged or disintegrated? Pick one and go with it) begin to being (be) expunged as your brain begin (begins) to disintegrate, soon The primordial energy of the Fire's tower will return your body two ashes, blood, dust(comma) and bones. (this is another really long sentence. Consider replacing ", soon" with a period) A new you with your same DNA would respawn as it has happened to you through thousands of reincarnation circles (recommend "cycle" rather than "circle") ... Have you understood?" The weird voice sounds bored. (so, this dialogue seems strange. It feels like they are continuing the description of the scene from the previous paragraph, but now someone is saying it...)
You confusingly (I would delete "confusingly" because it is already confusing, so you don't have to state it.) think about the fact of ("of" should be "that") you do not see who is talking with you. Is this a dream? "Do (did, not do) you talk to me? Who are you, (semicolon not comma) what am I?"

"I have already explained it to you, (semicolon rather than a comma) I have another thousand to guide in my turn (this should maybe say "on my shift" rather than "in my turn"?). Just think about who you were in your previous life (comma) and everything will be fine."


Hey Mara,

Here is the feedback I promised a few days ago! I hope this helps a little!

CYS Book Club: Book Ten on 1/23/2020 4:31:09 PM

@Reader82 did you want to join us?

CYS Book Club: Book Ten on 1/23/2020 4:11:43 PM

Well, it was from the few people that read it. Bill also weighed in, which was cool, but didn't help increase the review count...

CYS Book Club: Book Ten on 1/23/2020 4:10:23 PM

Haha, true.