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Spooky IF recommendations

4 months ago
...and they're all in the Creative Corner. Weird. Can't you guys talk about writing or at least get in a hair pulling fight over Israel or something? Maybe recommend some spooky IF games for Halloween. I'll go first: Tingalan, and earlier work by the author of Skybreak and Lost Coastlines. All the usual issues with getting ADRIFT games working on a modern PC, but I played this one extensively when it came out and so have a few others here. It's pretty much a getting lost and going insane in the woods simulator with CYOA choices for encounters, you'll quickly realize navigation isn't what it seems and neither is the forest, or reality itself. I might do a couple of quick runs later just to show off ways to die.

I could use a little help here

4 months ago
You creep from your bed to the parlor of your family's country house. The woods beyond Merch are full of all imaginable terrors, and many that you cannot imagine. You have packed a few simple things in preparation for this foolish adventure. What do you bring with you into the woods? You can select five things from the list below An Axe A Knife A Rusty Sword A Bow A Musket A Quiver of Five Arrows A Horn with Five Charges of Powder A Box with Twelve Matches A Candle A Box of Crackers A Pound of Smoked Meat A Can of Coffee A Can of Coco A Jar of Water A Pair of Shears A Box of Fishing Gear An Adderstone A Magical Juju A Book of Horror Stories A Book of Ancient Lore A Book of Folk Tales You have five items left to take.

I could use a little help here

4 months ago

I'd bring the book of ancient lore, book of horror stories, knife, jar of water, and box of matches

I could use a little help here

4 months ago
axe, matches, meat, water, and fishing gear

I could use a little help here

4 months ago
Crackers, smoked meat, coffee, coco, and water.

I could use a little help here

4 months ago
Oh, you guys are too late, I've been playing with Fresh's suggestions. I'll use Ford's for my next run. Anyway, I learned a spell to make light from the lore book, but unfortunately it required charges of gunpowder to use. The horror stories made me both more fearful, and more courageous from having some idea of what to expect.
You are in Merch, a peaceful trading town by a river. Forests surround Merch for leagues and leagues, so far that no Man of Merch knows where the forest ends. By day, Merch is pleasant and bright, but Merch-by-Night is a different city entirely. The more mystically inclined Men of Merch say that night here lasts a hundred years. It is still night. Perhaps they are right. You can SEARCH here, but you may not like what you find.
I explored Merch By Night and encountered a gibbering drunk, it SEEMED like he might be trying to say something a little alarming, but it was probably nonsense. I helped him home and he gave me cider for courage and a flask of water. Then I slipped out of the town and into the surrounding woods. For some reason.
You are in Tingalan, where the trees glow and glisten. Here the land is given over entirely to perfumed orchards, mostly apples, with a few cherry trees here and there for good measure. They have recently been harvested, and most of the trees are bare. They still smell divine. Merch lies directly to the South, and you can see the warm lanterns of the Northgate district burning dimly in the night.
Well that's not so bad. I got frightened off the path a little by a sudden rainless thunderstorm rolling by in the night though, and found myself in a more rundown area.
You are in Tingalan, where the trees bend and battle. There are farms here, locked in a constant struggle for survival with the quickly-growing wood. It is difficult to navigate here, fields of wheat and poorly-build fences constantly obstruct your path.
I continued to wander around a bit. Somewhere, I took a wrong turn.
You are in Tingalan, where the trees hold back something even worse. The trees here are mostly Ash and Birch. The Wood Grows Deeper...
It was a subtle effect, but the world seemed to shift around me. And I encountered there on the road a party of elves from the land of Yian! Now, you can visit Yian in both Skybreak and Lost Coastlines, and you'll know if you have that elves are inscrutable and not always friendly. But this bunch greeted me with the sign of Ysonde, and were quite kind. After a bit of discussion they decided I was worthy of their aid, but I thankfully hadn't gained any injuries for them to treat yet, and we parted ways. ....unfortunately, I'm still lost in the fucking woods. Stumbling about a bit further, I find a faded marker indicating Merch is nearly 100 miles away. Somehow I traveled very far in the night. And the woods are getting stranger.
You are in Tingalan, where the trees hold back something even worse. The trees here are full of wasp nests. ... You are in Tingalan, where the trees have no hands, but wish to. The trees here are mostly firs. Their limbs do not reach very far...yet. ... You are in Tingalan, where the trees howl and hollow. The wood here is filled with dead, hollowed-out trees. In some hollows, eyes peer hungrily, but you are more afraid of the hollows that hold no eyes at all. ... You are in Tingalan, where the trees sulk and shudder. There is a large clearing here. At its center stands a single dead tree, covered in poison ivy.
Pausing in the clearing a moment to try and get my bearings, that's when I saw him.
ENCOUNTER: THE SPIRIT WITH BATS IN ITS BEARD It reclines against the side of a nearby elm. It stands shorter than typical human, nearly elf-sized. It wears a coat, with the collar turned up to shield it from the freezing winds. Its eyebrows are so bushy that they hide the places where its eyes would be...and its beard is truly impressive: bright white with streaks of green and yellow...moss or ivy most likely. It is smoking a pipe, and it is wreathed with redolent clouds of tobacco smoke. All told, it seems to be enjoying its night in the woods. It is entirely possible that it would welcome your company. As you consider approaching, you see that numerous bats, with beady red eyes, are peering from gaps in its beard... LEAVE AT ONCE TRUST THE SPIRIT > trust the spirit You step closer to the spirit. It puffs contemplatively on its pipe as you approach. You cannot see its eyes, of course, more than likely it has none, but its nevertheless looks you up and down. You are just about to speak when its mouth spreads wide, in a hungry grin. Its teeth are yellowed and cracked and horribly misshapen. It giggles as you draw back in fear. Heeeheeheeheeheeeheeeheehheheheheeheeeheeeheeheheheheeheeeheeheeheeeeeeheeeeheeeheeeheeeeheeeheeheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee ...and then the bats come, pouring from its beard as though it was the mouth of a vast cave system. Dozens of bats. Scores! Hundreds! Thousands! They scream past you, some tear bits of flesh as they go! You have been wounded! You have gained a terror! ENCOUNTER: THE SPIRIT ATTACKS Who can fathom the mind of the fey? They are as strange and capricious as fate itself. You have committed a terrible transgression, that much is certain, for the spirit attacks! Its form shifts. Then shifts again. Kaladescopic congeries of eyes and claws, teeth and tentacles, spill forth. It howls and screams and moans and mutters and whispers words in arcane tongues. It is drawing closer... FIGHT THE FEAR (courage) > fight the fear If the spirit means to frighten you, it has succeeded. You have gained a terror! ...but then it assumes a form even more terrible than these...it vanishes completely. The air falls silent and still. You know the spirit lingers here, for the edges of your vision blur and darken. You crouch low. It is coming... It is coming! SENSE DANGER (wits) > sense danger Leaves on a nearby branch rustle and twitch. You duck...but you do not more fast enough. Some faerie blade, composed of pure thought or magic or nightmare-dreams, slides across your chest. You cannot see it of course, your coat is torn and a gaping wound opens just above your stomach. You have been wounded! More leaves rustle. The spirit attacks again. You must fight back! ...but how can you fight what you cannot see? The spirit is at work in the air around you: Dust and leaves on the forest floor kick up violently, first to your left, then to your right. Trees snap and branches break. Pebbles and then stones rise up and dance. Over all this commotion you hear a laugh, first low and reserved, then rising to a maddening cackle that crawls across your skin and echoes through your mind. You were foolish, very foolish. You will pay for your transgressions. Psychic claws scour your flesh! You have been greatly wounded! Dark tendrils pick through your thoughts. They tear some away, yes...but they leave terrible things in return. You have gained many terrors! Eventually, you come to your senses. You have been swaying softly in time with some strange music for hours...possibly days. You are covered in blood. You are shaking in sublime terror. The fey is gone from this world...but you can still hear its cackling laughter echoing through the deepest parts of your soul. It will always be there.
...never trust the spirits. Well, I limped along in a bad dream for awhile after that, trying to avoid anything I encountered. I crossed through a sudden region of deep snow even though it wasn't winter, and shivered from illness and delirium that I only managed to treat after awhile with water. There was the occasional sign of human activity, an old busted up wagon, an overgrown road, fragments of a bridge. This guy:
A fallen tree near the path is overgrown with spider webs. Insects have found their way into the webbing. Most are dead, a few struggle valiently before the spiders take them. Inside the webbing, you find a pair of matches. As you pluck them out, you learn how they got there in the first place. Deep inside the webbing, you see the body of a hapless traveler, much like yourself. The fluid has been sucked out of him. These spiders must work quickly. You move on at once.
I realize at some point that the road markers were written in elvish script. But it carried me even further beyond their lands.
You are in Tingalan, where the trees glow and glisten. You are in the deepest wood, the domain of no elf or fey except the Queen of the Night herself.
And, well, there was no avoiding the locals forever...
You are in Tingalan, where the trees groan and grumble. They make no pretense of holding still any longer. You can see them uproot, crawl along on wormy roots, and sink back into the ground, looking for somewhere more comfortable. ... You are in Tingalan, where the trees roar when the stars are angry. They are roaring now. What have you done wrong? There is a road here, running from East to West. ... You are in Tingalan, where the trees feast when the moon is hungry. They are beginning their feasting now. You can hear menacing crunching sounds to the North.
ENCOUNTER: THE PHASM The phasm winds its way through the edges of the wood. It is a creature of mist and starlight. It has come from somewhere beyond the stars to feast in Tingalan. It draws closer. The mist forms into fangs and claws... FIGHT THE FEAR (Courage) > fight the fear Your hair stands on end. Your eyes grow wide. You have gained a terror! The Phasm strikes! RUN! (Wits) > run The mist is everywhere. You cannot run from it. It runs through you. You feel a chill, and the air is momentarily red with your own blood. The mist departs... You have gained a wound! You have gained a terror! ENCOUNTER: THE TERRORS You attempt to continue your journey, but your mind rebels. You have gained too many terrors...seen too many sights no mortal eyes should see...your mind was broken long ago, and now the last working fragments have been blown away by the winds of madness. There is nothing to do now but pull yourself into the tiniest ball you can, and repeat, over and over again, a magical incantation your grandmother taught you for times when all hope is lost and the night is rapidly closing in. "This is all a dream..." you say. "This is all a dream...This is all a dream....This is all a dream." It's quite likely though, that this is the only miserable world there is. You have gained seven terrors. You have gone insane. *** You have lost ***
And thaaaat's Tingalan, folks. It's a bit rough around the edges as far as consistency with the commands and stuff, since it was the author's first ADRIFT game and he overwrote a lot of standard commands and quality of life shortcuts the game engine came with. But the writing is still top notch, it genuiely feels like the most bizarre fever dream, with the occasional bit of atmospheric sound kicking in. I have never survived a game where I did more than cringe along the edges of the town and then run back home again, and I still really have no idea how the map works, but at this point anything else but going mad in the woods feels like it wouldn't be the genuine experience.

I could use a little help here

4 months ago
tingalan

Is this Canada?

4 months ago
It may be clear by now from the last time, but I will say that trying to be sensible about survival gear isn't too likely to increase actual survivability. But the author's got another game, The Dead of Winter that has a lot more realism there. Anyway, axe, meat, water, fishing gear, and matches, here we go. I thought it might be useful to hunt around for a bit more gear, so I attempted to visit the only shop still open.
You know this town well, and you know that even now, at the far end of the night, there are one or two shops that are still open. ...but you do not know this town as well as you thought! Merch-by-Night is a very different place than Merch-by-Day. You wander crooked streets that did not exist the night before. Strange shadows shift and scurry behind misshapen carts and broken barrels. Drifting garbage assumes nightmarish forms. Pitched roofs seem to bend and buckle in the night. You become totally lost in your own home town, and eventually discover that you have left the city entirely. You are somewhere new...
Well that's unfortunate. And while trying to return to the outskirts of town, I stumbled across something very odd.
ENCOUNTER: THE STRAWBERRY CAKE In a gap between two twisting roots, you see what is, without doubt, the strangest sight in all of Tingalan. There, on the ground, someone has placed a strawberry cake on an elegant clay dish. It looks delicious: the icing is thick and smooth and alluring and pink, its sides have been set with sugary designs in the shape of strawberries and snaking vines. You suddenly find that you have grown quite hungry. This is surely a trap, or a prank by some wiley fey...but you will need to eat something soon. LEAVE AT ONCE SEE THE TRUTH (courage) TAKE THE CAKE > see the truth It is, by all accounts, actually a strawberry cake. It is real enough that you can smell it, anyways. It smells delicious...
I should mention that I do not currently have any notable amounts of courage, wits, or knowledge of lore, all things that would make survival easier. I am however, pretty darn hungry. And that's a delicious looking cake.
> take the cake With some apprehension, you reach forward and take the cake. That is no cake! This is some strange shape-shifter from the still deeper wood! What looks to be cake is actually a coiled serpent. Its slick pink skin shivers with anticipation as your hand draws closer. There is no time to draw it away. The creature strikes! You have been wounded! The venom burns. It is strong, but not immediately lethal. You have no choice but to continue your journey.
Never trust forest cake, sometimes it can be forest snake. Shortly after that I found myself on an old road used by lumberjacks, and an abandoned beekeeper's set up. Of course the bees don't come out at night, and especially not this one, but I had some good luck in finding a wax candle and a couple jars of honey to help my sweet tooth. Then, without warning, it happened again.
Here the road is lit by bright lanterns. Whether they were lit by elves or the men of Merch is unknown, but they must have been burning for a very long time. They briefly warm your heart, until you see something horrible hovering in the darkness beyond the lights. You press on to the West, and the Woods grow Deeper...
blockquote> I decided I wasn't having any of this bullshit, and since I was still on a road, not long after I just turned around and headed back East, the way I came, towards where I knew the town was.
You are in Tingalan, where the trees know your name. There is a road here, made of rough gravel, which runs to the East and West. It is disconcerting to walk upon, every footstep releases a sharp crunch. You hope it does not carry very far. > e The road dips into a loamy defile, cutting halfway through a hill. The earth here smells of musty leaves and buried secrets. After some time, it rises to the East, and the Wood grows Deeper... ... You are in Tingalan, where the trees crawl with beetles and worms. There is a road here, which was once gravel, now there are barely any stones on it at all, so it is essentially dirt. It runs East to West. The trees here all appear rotten and pitted, and the smell is awful. Something enormous must have died nearby.
Well, Merch had to be around here somewhere. I'm just gonna continue in a direct line East, dammit. ...it was quite the journey, and I continued without incident for a surprisingly long time. Eventually climbing a mountain, but I was SURE Merch would be visible on the other side.
You are in Tingalan, where the trees creak and crackle. You have reached the summit of a small mountain. You can see for miles, but all you can see is trees and perhaps a deep canyon to the East. Someone has placed a few stones here in a shape more or less like a bench or a throne. This may have once been the seat of a great mountain king. It is hardly majestic now. A stone path runs from the foot of the throne off to the East. A smaller dirt path proceeds down the mountain to the South. > e You move east. You are in Tingalan, where the trees shroud and saunter. You find yourself on a large, broken, stone road, something that feels vaguely royal. You have no idea who built it or why. To the south you see some hulking stone things that might once have been buildings. Men may have lived here once, but there is nothing living here now. The road runs to the West, and continues in less grand fashion to the East, eventually becoming a dirt path. > e You move east. You are in Tingalan, where the trees gnash and natter. Here, there is a deep gorge, formed by a mighty river that flows from the North to the South. The water is far too fast and deep to cross, though it might be possible to follow it along its course. A swaying, half-rotten rope bridge swings overhead, running from East to West. It looks safe, if only just...
Something about all this gave me thoughts of the past.
ENCOUNTER: THE MEMORY Something here reminds you of a memory from your youth...yes...it's coming back now, over distant years. God it has been so long... REMEMBER TRY TO FORGET (Courage) > remember The night was bitter cold, perhaps colder than it is now. But you did not suffer that night...you relished the cold. You were perhaps seven or eight years old. Your father had prepared an iron tub, placed near the porch of your house, and heated by a pit of low coals below it...a bath of hot water, but out of doors, in the snow. You would leap out of the tub, and charge barely clothed into the snow. The cold was a shock to be sure. You screamed and shook as the snow sapped the warmth from your skin. Then, shivering, you would climb back into the tub, and feel the sweet warmth of the water flow through you. It was pure bliss, surely the best feeling in the world. You soaked, watching the stars through the steam rising from the tub. After a few moments, you leapt back into the snow once more. The night is growing colder by the hour, but you see now that warmth means nothing without cold. It is entirely possible you will freeze out here, but maybe, just maybe, you will return home at the end of this terrible night...and there will be low coals, and hot water, and joyful warmth once more. You can nearly feel it now. Your courage has increased!
Certainly not all memories are this wholesome, that was quite nice! Things are looking up, I can feel it!
You are in Tingalan, where the trees fear the night...and the night fears the trees. You stand at the edge of a deep gorge that runs North to South, cut by a river you cannot see but can certainly hear. The darkness seems much denser here, as though the trees are emitting an evil fog. The moon shines as bright as ever. A dirt path runs off to the East, and seems to cross the gorge to the West. > e In the distance you hear a shriek. It is not a cry of fear or alarm, but rather wild, raving pleasure. Something out in the wood is delighted. Perhaps you will meet it. You follow the road to the East, and the Wood grows Deeper.
ENCOUNTER: THE WRETCHED SPIRIT There are many strange sounds in Tingalan. This night, you have heard talking owls and singing shrubbery, trees that squeak like mice and mice that crack and crackle like trees. ...but now you hear the sound of soft weeping. You look and see a tall and spindly being, arms wrapped around its legs in abject misery. You know at once that it is a spirit, for it has no eyes. Its entire face is covered in budding flowers, which spill tears like blood onto its knees. It stops weeping, as it sees you, but then resumes, its body wracked by horrible sobs. It does not even bother to greet you. It moans softly, now rocking side to side... LEAVE AT ONCE COMFORT THE SPIRIT (courage)
Welllll. I know last time I said to never trust spirits, but this one seems so sad. :(
> comfort the spirit You carefully approach the spirit, ready to bolt at a moment's notice if it turns into something unseemly. It simply weeps. As you approach, it dries its face with one of its enormous hands, and turns its eyeless face to you. "You seek to comfort me? I...I must thank you. So few of the mortal races understand that we spirits have feelings to. We suffer losses and defeats. We have fears and fixations. It is...it is so lonely, here among the trees." It sobs again, briefly unable to speak. Then it continues. "I will unburden myself, and tell you my story...though I doubt you will understand very much of it. Fifty thousand years ago, when the trees here were still saplings, I befriended a fellow spirit that wandered the groves of a distant hollow. She was the one who gave me...gave me...gave me..." The spirit has a hard time finishing. It swallows, then continues. "She gave me these flowers. We were peaceful spirits, yes. Like all spirits, we wanted very little...just to haunt our respective groves and briefly breath life into rocks and dust, sand and salt...but the Night Minister had darker designs on the spirit from the distant hollow. He promised her, in marriage, to a sluglike broker from distant Kaddax, some vile merchant or other. A transient creature, like yourself, with a lifespan of perhaps a thousand years." The spirit wipes more resin and blood from its face. It seems angry now. "My love would have none of it, of course, and ran even farther into bright heart of the cosmos in order to escape the wicked tendrils of the Night Minister. These flowers...she gave them to me before she left." The spirit stares deep into the sky and sighs. "...she did not get far. The Warden of the Wood caught her somewhere beyond the timeless halls of Chorg'Vado. She swore, though, that the sluglike broker would never possess her body or her soul...and so with psychic claws she skinned herself alive, and commended her soul to the fires of Kylos that burn below distant Yian. There, her spirit burns for a thousand eternities, and I will never see her again." The spirit wails. It looks up at you, though it has no eyes. Blood is streaming down its face, but its mouth smiles. "I am grateful to find another soul who is willing to share my misery, if only for a brief time. Mortal, you are doomed, you understand this? After a few short decades your soul will be snuffed out. There is no afterlife. No thousand eternities to burn or enjoy. There is nothing for you. That you would share even a few precious minutes with me...it is a priceless gift. I could never hope to return the favor...but consider this a small token of my appreciation." The spirit holds out a hand. Draped over it is a cloth, or pelt. It is as black and subtle and silky smooth as a warm summer night. It is as cool as winter breezes. "It is the skin of my beloved." It says wistfully. You have gained a nightmare pelt! You have gained a terror! You nearly drop the pelt in surprise, but simply thank the spirit. It is a strange gift, but a valuable one. "No," the spirit says. "Thank you." It fades away into the night. You fold up the nightmare pelt, and continue your journey.
Awwww. That was...weird, but nice? I think? I hope she feels a little better anyway. And honestly, this trip into the deep woods has not been so bad as expected, perhaps good things are waiting for me after all. I'm starting to feel more confident that the night may end and I may find my way home.
You are in Tingalan, where the trees have no feet, but have their own way of walking. You think you see one uproot itself and float along, its roots trailing behind it like the hands of a corpse on a corpse-wagon. ENCOUNTER: THE UNFRIENDLY BEAR The bear comes crashing through the woods like a falling mountain. It is coming for you. You have no hope of fighting it. You must run. RUN! (Wits) > run The bear has you in its paws. Its claws rake across your skin. You try to crawl away, but it simply pulls you closer. You have been wounded!
...and yeah, I kept trying to run away, kept failing to run away, and eventually was mauled to death.
ENCOUNTER: THE WOUNDS You attempt to continue your journey, but your broken body falls to the dust. You have gained too many wounds...lost too much blood...there is only so much one mortal frame can take. At first there was pain but now there is only a weariness unlike any you have ever known. You will sleep now. You turn your thoughts to the remote possibility that this was all a dream. Very soon, perhaps, you will wake with a start and quite possibly a scream, and realize that this has all been some ghastly nightmare. It's quite likely though, that you are simply going to die. You have taken seven wounds. You are dead. *** You have lost ***
In Tingalan getting mauled to death by something as mundane as just, a normal fucking bear is a unique ending in its own right I suppose. At least it wasn't a moose. ....just wait till I find the platypus.

Is this Canada?

4 months ago
That is a more wild ending than I have ever gotten. It's so normal.

There is no joy in Tingalan

4 months ago
Tingalan has one very important command I'd forgotten about. In a way, it's your only guide through the forest, but it comes at a price. And that command is >SING. So here we go, if Disney has taught me anything it's that cute woodland animals love music, right?
> sing "Tingalan is a magic wood Where the trees are greatly feared It's haunted by hares And phasms and bears And a spirit with bats in its beard" > sing "And all things speak in Tingalan Though some things should not heard Like spirits that slurp And catfish that chirp And bats that sing like birds" Your singing has attracted something unwholesome...
ENCOUNTER: THE WOLF PACK You are very nearly encircled by them. You see yourself reflected in their eyes. Foam and blood drips from their lips. They are terribly professional, for wild beasts. There is no howling, no snarls or raised hackles. They mean to kill. Their leader emits a single sharp grunt, and then, the wild hunt begins! A wolf lunges at you from the shadows RUN! (Wits) >run The wolves are creatures of the forest. You are a child of the city. How could you hope to outrun them. Slavering jaws close around your ankle and you tumble to earth. You have been wounded! A wolf springs from the edge of vision RUN! (Wits)
Hmm. Maybe I was off key. Well...this ended up about like the bear attack. So I restarted. And then it happened again. Wits are very helpful here, or I could have picked up a weapon in the beginning for more options. Eventually I did get a knife, but I also managed to NOT get that event this time. So, back to harmonizing with nature.
>sing "And while some things hide in Tingalan Many things wish to be found There are rubies and gold And berries to hold And demons that dance underground And a spot in the sky where the moon goes to cry When the trees make their terrible sounds For moon hides not from you or I Or an awful truth or a noble lie Or the hobbling hag with one good eye Or the platypus that can never die But That Which Waits In the Deeper Sky In Tingalan..." You have gained a terror! > sing "And you'll find elves in Tingalan Where the forests lilt and laugh But you won't want to meet them And if you should greet them You should not trust them by half" You have gained a terror! Horror of horrors! You sing of elves...and they appear!
Um....Legolas?
ENCOUNTER: THE ELF TROUPE A dozen Elves stand only a few handspans behind you. Who knows how long they have followed? They are adorned in the rich finery of the forest: spidersilk robes and obsidian baubles. Their ears and lips are pierced with mouse bones. Their skin is anointed with glowing designs made from smashed fireflies. One, clearly female, stands in the middle. Her face is bandaged in fine red silk. They say nothing, but merely cock their head to the left and right in curious unison. One winks. Another sticks a finger in his ear and swirls it around vigorously. Finally, the one in the middle extends her hand and speaks. "My the forest is busy tonight." She says. "We had heard there was a human about, but we did not know if it was in one place or several. Human hands, human heads, human feet, human hearts...these are all easy to find...but all together in one working human...THAT is a delicious curiosity." "He is not a human." Another says, defiantly. "No human would venture this far into Tingalan by choice." "Perhaps he is lost." Says a third. "Perhaps he is the child of a spiral-being." Says a fourth. "Perhaps he is a curious sort of fish." Says a fifth. Their leader approaches, and strokes your face with a single, spindly finger. She peers at you through silk. "What are you?" She says. I AM A HUMAN I AM THE KING OF THE MOUNTAIN! I AM A CURIOUS SORT OF FISH (Wits) I AM A GREAT AND POWERFUL SPIRIT! (Wits)
...well obviously there was an answer I wanted to give, but these WITS challenges and me have not been getting along. I decided to tell the truth. The truth, it never hurt anyone.
"Wonderful news!" The elf wreathed in scarlet says, with horrible glee. She steps back and raises her arms to the sky. "The trees will sing of this miraculous encounter for timeless eons to come! For we were hungry, and the woodland spirits sent us a head full of human brains! We were thirsty, and they sent fine blood to drink! For we were naked, and they clothed us with a ribcage!" "And WHAT a ribcage!" One of her companions says, with an approving coo. ENCOUNTER: THE ELF TROUPE The elves nock bone-tipped arrows into bows as the moon glints in their eyes. They mean to attack! RUN (wits) FIGHT BACK WITH KNIFE > fight back with knife You fight back with your knife. It is a feeble thing, and it draws little blood before an elf knocks it from your hand and tears his claws across your belly. They break bones. They slice off chunks of your flesh as souvenirs, your screams of pain are nothing compared to their screams of bloody ecstasy. It is a very long time before they are finished with you... You have been wounded! > status It is still night. You are still among the trees. You have one wounds You have two terrors Your Lore is 0 Your Courage is 0 Your Wits are 0
...well, that was rude. And horrifying. But let us continue.
> sing "There are many paths through Tingalan Some pale, some green, some black But while rivers and fields Run into the weald You'll find almost none that run back" You have gained a terror! Are the trees dancing in time with the music, or are you simply lost in the majesty and horror of the song? As the lyrics escape your lips, you realize that you are somewhere new...
> sing You struggle to remember the next verse. The lyrics spill forth from some forgotten corner of your mind. Some spirit lurking among the trees must want you to remember... You have learned a terrible secret! "And your journey may take you to many a place Where the trees seem to shift and to shiver But in truth there is only one road In truth there is only one river There is only one place where the trees twist and tangle There is only one place where the trees arc and angle There is only one hollow where evil things wait There is only one shrine There is only one gate There is only one dream You have only one life You have only one heart SHE has only one knife Yes, you have only one mistress, And she is not here... But you'll find her off In one corner I fear, In Tingalan" You have gained a terror! A light dies at the edge of your vision. You know that the watchfires of Merch have gone out. Will you ever see them again?
Yeah, I think we all know the answer to that question...
> sing "For there is no death in Tingalan Merely dreams that seem like death Ghouls blinker and peek Where trees rattle and reek And cry out for warmth and for breath! And there is no sleep in Tingalan Merely death that feels like sleep And visions of stars That swim like gars And eyes that cannot weep" You have gained a terror! Your singing has attracted something unwholesome... ENCOUNTER: THE GHOULS They are suddenly all around you. White, fleshy creatures unfit to dwell among the living or the dead. They did not rise up from the ground or step from behind the twisted trees. They seem to condense from the bitter air. Their faces are torn and bleeding, simply pits with no eyes or mouth. They reach for you with broken fingers... RUN! (Wits) FIGHT BACK WITH KNIFE > fight back with knife The odds are against you, but somehow you prevail. You fight back, and are relieved to discover your knife draws blood, oozing and thick though it is. You have learned that they can be wounded, and you use this knowledge well. Four ghouls fall, and the rest evaporate into the misty air. You are alone.
> sing "For there are no tears in Tingalan Merely blood that falls like tears And skull-fruit like bells! And heavens like hells! And minutes that pass like YEARS!! And there are no dreams in Tingalan Merely lives that pass like dreams And bell-fruit like skulls And treasure like coals And laughter that sounds like screams!!!" You have gained a terror! You know the words...but you had never considered their true meaning until now. These dark lyrics have taught you something new! Your lore has increased! Your studies have been strangely fruitful...you think you can cast a new spell. The spell you have learned is LIGHT. This consumes a charge of gunpowder, and provides as much light as a candle.
I'm gonna do it guys, I can reach the end, and all knowledge will be given and all questions will be answered! This is the secret to finally winning the game!
> sing "For there is no joy in Tingalan! And there are no happy sounds!! For the king is not dead!!! Though they hacked off his head!!!! And buried his guts in a mound!!!!!" And HE WAITS there roaring LOUD and LONG! With the drum of his hands and the crash of his gong!! And NICTATING CHORUS that don't belong! And the stars overhead shine WICKED and WRONG!! And the singer goes mad at the end of this song!!!! In Tingalan!!!!!! You have gained a terror!
That's...that's the seventh terror. You go insane and lose the game at that point. There are no happy sounds in Tingalan.