Sheol's Passage and the Fallen

a Grimdark Fantasy by ninjapitka

Commended by hetero_malk on 1/3/2021 12:56:20 AM

Player Rating6.42/8

"Too few ratings to be ranked"
based on 19 ratings since 12/12/2020
played 342 times (finished 7)

Story Difficulty4/8

"march in the swamp"

Play Length6/8

"It'll be a while, better grab a Snickers®"

Maturity Level4/8

"need to be accompanied by an adult"
Contains content that may not be suitable for persons under age 13. If this were a movie, it would probably be PG.
Thoughts appearing as fragments. A mind shattered. Broken. Weak. One of us. Author's Note: Official endings will be titled "Epilogue." There are seven total to discover.

Player Comments

Most of this was written as I went along, so I apologize if certain ideas are not all in neat and orderly sections.

I like how you introduce the Fallen, while its clear he isnt a normal guy, he sort of still gives the impression as being a normal guy that has attained some cool powers.

I think what really makes him creepy in his own way is how "buddy buddy" and friendly he can be with his victims before giving them the good ole shankola. Its a nice departure from a gruff and serious batman-esque vigilante stories like this tend to be based off of. I am also really liking the two sides of one coin aspect, or Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde type thing going on here. I feel like there are deeper things to be said about the whole thing, although I'm having trouble fully coming up with the ideas.

I like how you went back to the multiple pov style for this story, it suits it pretty well.

What appears to be cocaine is a fine addition to any spice.

The description of his mask is cool, and its nice he does not take any fall damage. He seems to have a flair about him that is pretty cool. I suppose he has to enjoy himself while he can, a pretty cool character. I am also getting the idea he might be slightly unhinged or something too. I suppose murdering people for a living/whatever his backstory is would do that to someone. I didn't pick the bath house option but Im now getting the sense it would reveal something about this fella that I missed.

"No, this was the kind nobility sniffed up their pampered nostrils" Hey I was right!

I'm interested to find who has been pulling the strings around the Passage. It seems it might be someone the Fallen has known previously.

The reveal! It makes so much sense he would be able to figure out who is worthy of his blade, other than his usual investigations. The distinct shift in personality confirms my idea that he really is unhinged, unless he actually has some kind of demon alter ego. But I like the idea of him just being some dual personalitied maniac of justice! Its kind of funny that his regular civilian alter ego has a demeanor more befitting of the stoic hero type. But its reversed for this story, its pretty cool.

In all I really liked this story and all of the characters. They all felt real and as if their actions made sense for their personality and goals. The only thing I'm confused about is that I thought the Fallen killed the speaker of the council earlier. I thought he had a similar description to the guy delivering the package, but I may have snorted too much of that spice.

Man, he did Jerry wrong too!

Lmao I love how the door thing comes full circle, and with similar options as before. Hey. he also finally got himself some lock picks.

Finishing up loose ends and tying them up with tiny red bows really reveals a lot about the characters backstory. The wait is over, and its quite satisfying...even if it was anti-climactic lol. Also I love the way you wrote this epilogue, especially as it makes it look like the Fallen just kills himself even though I know thats not the case lol.

Very entertaining so many genuine lols, and well written Ninja. Good work.

-- corgi213 on 11/20/2020 1:50:11 AM with a score of 0
So the opening of a story is always the most important part, in my opinion. And I very much enjoy when a story starts in the middle of the action, knowing that things have already been happening. But when I started reading this story, I think I read the first paragraph four times and I’m still not really sure what’s going on. I mean, it’s night and there’s a flying guy or thing that has legs jumping on buildings while following a rat that’s hiding but eating and looking for food at the same time. But the rat was hiding like a rat? But he’s walking. Or flying. Or maybe just jumping a lot. I don’t really know. But the rats, if they are indeed rats, are scared of his buff legs or something. And he fell. Or fell down at one time. Maybe.

No, wait, now we’re going after the pirate brigand Nils. What kind of pirate is named Nils? I’m betting he’s not a very good pirate. But now I think I understand leg-guy is maybe a bad guy, but maybe not, but he thinks he’s a good guy and he chases pirates and rats. And the city watch are all in the tank – every one of them. And now there’s a demon. I’m not sure if the demon, the pirate, and the rat are on the same side yet. But the pirate Nils is successful. At what, it’s not really clear.

So I have to say that it really did take me quite a bit of reading (and re-reading) to figure out what was going on. I did finally figure out this was a superhero story (right?). Maybe a tip on the intro page would have put my mind in the proper frame of reference. I often view that page as the back of the book – something about what you’re going to read so you have an idea of what you’re getting into. In this case, while I’m sure you were going for an effect with that page, well, the effect I saw was, “This story is about something, but I’m not telling you what.”

Overall, I liked the story, as much as I could (I’m just not a huge fan of the dark superhero genre). It was well-written with good descriptions and effective pacing. Thank you for sharing it with the site.
-- Ogre11 on 11/16/2020 9:05:28 PM with a score of 0
It's clear from the beginning that, even without saying too much about it, Sheol's Passage is a city in a wildly different time and place than our own. This earns major points in my book. Being in this place was excitng, because I was eager to explore and learn more about this place, and how it got such an evocative yet highly specific name. And what better character to explore the this place than the city's mysterious vigilante?
First impressions had everything right, until they didn't. There was the obligatory scene that, while not looking down from the rooftops per se, established the scene in much the same way, with appropriately atmospheric language. That part was good.

What went wrong? Well, the introduction of The Fallen himself. He comes off as amusing, but in an unintentional way.

I'll get out of the way the stuff I do like. This does not play out like the normal encounter with a masked vigilante. The Fallen is described as a mysterious, dangerous, potentially supernatural entity with strange intentions, or at least a strange way of going about fulfilling them. He is at once interesting, bizarre, otherworldly... And then, he opens his mouth.

As vigilante dialogue goes, there are generally two schools of thought. The first is the Spiderman method, where the street-cleaner in question is a standup comedian of sorts, constantly throwing out zingers that in turn throw off the people he's fighting with. The other is the quiet, harsh, intimidating, Batman method. There is a sliding scale here, of course, Batman is never completely wordless in his encounters, and Spiderman is serious sometimes, but this mixes elements of both in an... Odd way, sort of uncomfortably so.

The 'any woman with half a brain' insult was quaint in a Princess Bride sort of way, certainly not the sort of thing I expected from a demonic smiling figure in the streets of a place called Sheol's Passage, but it's fine. If you didn't have a little bit of quirkiness, some might accuse the story of just being edgy. Not that there's ever anything wrong with that!

But his other lines detract from the mystique. Offhanded commentaries on wine, a strange ramble about the food they might serve at the looney bin where he says "a good roast" several times. Which gives me the idea that he isn't supposed to be as much of a looming and mysterious supernatural entity as a sort of 'gentleman rogue'. Which is fine, there's nothing wrong with that archetype, it just seems so strangely implemented.

Looking purely at the interaction that happened here, he stands in front of a guy, fails to intimidate him, plays off the man's attempts to insult him by throwing shade at his class and tastes in a 'fancier than thou' way, and then KILLS him, leaving a strangely verbose letter pinned in the bad guy's back with a knife.

The length of the paragraph is certainly enough for the shocking novelty and horror of a note written in blood to wear thin, and its quite unserious and wandering contents make it especially mundane, as if notes written in the blood of a stab victim are commonplace around here. Though hey, with a name like Sheol's Passage, who could reasonably expect anything different? Blood's a weirdly viscous substance, you know. It really pays to be bold and concise with your lettering in blood letters, rather than having quirky diatribes that more watery ink would allow.

But anyway, in short, there are good things established in the first page, and bad things. The good:

-It is immediately apparent that there's more to The Fallen than meets the eye. We get the inkling that he's some sort of cultured figure in this setting, and he has strange powers that aren't clearly explained, the reader must explore and discover them.
-The Fallen is amusingly macabre, leaving knives in backs with letters in blood is an old but gold habit of gothic horror type folks.

And the Bad:

-Despite the haunting language used by the narrator to describe him at first, The Fallen is not intimidating. Certainly not to this man, anyway. We are told one thing, and then shown another.
-The Fallen has the sense of humor of a middle school math teacher with a student who walked up to the board with a weirdly wrong answer. Most of his lines lack brevity, and sort of meander around in a sarcastic manner without actually making a joke. (or making one that doesn't land very well.)
-He seems to believe that he's owed something for performing a service nobody asked him to do, seemingly without any effort. It might have made some sense to ask for help or air a complaint to the authorities if he'd put himself in some considerable danger or exertion, but we aren't shown that here. He spends the majority of the 'fight' standing still and toying with, nay, BULLYING, a common thug, killing him in an instant, and then writing a letter in his blood.
-In short, he's sort of just a dick. An amusingly dickish hero, sure, but he's a dick.
-He really wants a good roast.

But that's fine, the rest of the story seems less about choices and more about watching things unfold from different locations, which keeps our reading about the awkward superhero down to short, bearable bursts and takes us on a tour of the story's strong point: The world it takes place in. I was all too eager to read more about the people and places that made this accursed city tick. The ambiguity of where it was all going, and the interconnectedness, made for a very interesting read.

I found myself invested in what sacrilege Uriah might have committed, the underground conspiracies that seek to bring an ominous and ambiguous 'Freedom' to Sheol's Passage... And whether or not The Fallen ever actually got that roast he was craving, or if Gilly just thought it was a euphemism and left his roast thirst unquelched. And if he didn't get a roast at the bath house, would he get a roast later on in the story? The mystery surrounding Roast Quest was captivating, and despite the awkward start, his campiness and swashbuckling antics eventually grew on me a little more by the end.

This story uses the format in a very effective way that had me slamming the 'Go Back' button all over the place because I wanted to read more about these places, these people, and their eccentric, dangerous efforts to save a city condemned. There was action, intrigue, sneaky antics, a surprise twist I wasn't expecting, and more mysteries that I just wasn't smart enough to solve. That being said, it's just about that time when I really should be sleeping, so I'm gonna have to cut this review short since I'm running out of thinking space. I liked it, I thought it was fun and pleasant. I'll have to revisit it sometime in the future to grab the paths that I missed the first time.
-- ISentinelPenguinI on 11/14/2020 11:36:36 PM with a score of 0
Very interesting story. Well written and easy to follow. I like the lore, how you interact with the other NPCs, and the playable character backstory.
-- Carmelle on 11/18/2020 1:08:30 PM with a score of 0
Really good but kind of dark.
-- Blackstarr on 11/13/2020 1:48:51 PM with a score of 0
This is a superb game. Well written, with an interesting story and a fascinating protagonist. I greatly enjoyed it. The main character is very insightful which makes it extra fun to follow him. Highly recommended.
-- Northwind on 10/27/2020 1:30:42 PM with a score of 0
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