Anthraxus, The Contributor

Member Since


Last Activity

10/4/2023 8:36 AM

EXP Points


Post Count


Storygame Count


Duel Stats

6 wins / 2 losses





Worldbuilder, GM, and Fool

Trophies Earned

Earning 100 Points


The Little Princess of the Forest

An entry for MHD's Fairytale contest, this is a retelling of the old Appalachian Fairy Tale "The Little Princess of the Forest".

Come listen to the telling of one of the wildest fairy tales I've ever heard.    This story was originally told by Marshall Ward for a fairy tale collection, and has stuck with me ever since I first heard it.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.  Grab a seat and listen up, as it starts like this...

A night in Dark Chicago

A retelling of a short story written by myself for an old Horror fanzine. That story focuses on a particularly eventful evening in the life of freelance photographer Pamela Grey in the world of the Dark Conspiracy RPG. In this story game you take the place of Pamela. 

The world you live in is much like today's, only a little worse.  The rich are richer, the poor are poorer, and the gap between is so much wider. So much is controlled by the mega-corporations and rich interests that large swatches of the ever expanding urban sprawl are marked as "Outlaw Territory, Enter At Own Risk" - where even the police don't go, either for fear or lack of resources.  The middle class has mostly disappeared except for the lowest echelon of corporate execs, and legislative changes have allowed many that would have previously been on the public dole to instead sell their vote to corporate interests in exchange for support. Crime is up, as are disappearances, theft, and violence. Even as bad as the world has become, there are persistent rumors that even worse things lurk in the shadows.  Many neighborhoods have abandoned houses that everyone knows better than to enter, and even in the outlaw where the police fear to tread there are rumors of entire blocks that no one but the mad or the most desperate are willing to risk going into after dark.

You and Susan, your significant other, are doing ok.  Her job with Aprico has afforded the two of you a small place in a small gated community owned by the company. A prized place in the vanishing middle class. Your home is close enough to the gates that you can still easily indulge in your favorite hobby, walking through Chicago with your trusty camera in hand, particularly at night.  The sale of these photos as art pieces to the ultrawealthy, facilitated by Susan's contacts, has helped with sporadic lump sums of money.  Susan pays the bills, but your money pays for luxuries and splurges.

In the twilight one often finds isolated moments of beauty and mystery that would never been seen in the daylight, and you work to capture these moments in the perfect clarity of your lens. You know the risks of being out alone at night outside the gates, but even Susan has had to admit that the last couple of pictures you sold would not have been possible if you hadn't been out there.  To help comfort her (and yourself to be completely honest), you recently bought a large knife to carry with you, just in case.

So, come explore the night and see what waits for you in the dark.

Recent Posts

First Glance: Fear the RNG on 9/29/2023 11:40:07 AM

My second pull was Celestial Lies: Chapter One by joshdragon

Last published on 8/15/2011, 4.65 overall rating, 10746 words.

The opening blurb of this storygame is over 500 words long.  I feel I have to agree with the top reviews that that much info would probably be better served to come in the story itself.  Especially since the most common complaint about the work in the comments is that it is too focused on the fights and not enough on the story itself.  On the plus side, not only do most comments applaud the author's writing style but this is a series that actually has more than one entry.  

Reading over the long blurb does not really entice me to read the story as the summary it presents does not read as a world I can really buy into.  The first page has a decent hook and a good level of detail, quickly setting up your immediate antagonist and giving a decent feel of place and stakes right at the outset, despite my issues with the world description from the blurb.  Based on some of the reviews, it appears that the overall story is quite linear, with only one path that doesn't end with dying in combat.

This story is an interesting artifact from 12 years ago, but other than the novelty of reading one so old there isn't much about that would draw most readers in to start the game, but if they do the first page is good enough to likely get at least a couple click-throughs.

First Glance: Fear the RNG on 9/29/2023 11:14:05 AM

This is sounds very much like an "edgier" (by making the protagonist younger) retelling of the plot of the video game "The Darkness". Wiki summary

How do I make complex story progression work? on 9/29/2023 11:07:40 AM

No need to thread spam.

When you are looking at the link options at the bottom of the page there is a little Stop Sign icon.  That can be used to add restrictions on if that link pops up based on one or more variable states. 

As an alternate to the onpage variable text swapping, you can also define your if/thens and $PAGETEXT in the page script. Check the scripting articles here for more detail:

How do I make complex character variables work? on 9/28/2023 3:33:46 PM

You can also use on-page script to swap out blocks of text based on variable conditions.

On-Page Scripting Tricks

First Glance: Fear the RNG on 9/28/2023 12:10:07 PM

My first pull is: The Lonely King by Ferany

This is the author's only notable interaction with site. It was published in 2019, and is a fairly short read at only 7k words.  There is no description or detail beyond a fairly nice graphic.  It does have three commended reviews from Cricket, Gower and Shadowdrake27.  While I don't know Shadowdrake27, both Cricket and Gower are consistent and reliable reviewers.

The consensus appears to be that the story overall is well written, with some very interesting turns of phrase, but overly linear.  The opening of the story starts in media res, coming out of a drunken stupor with stolen goods in your pockets and a stranger immediately asking for help.  Initial characterization is lacking and the order that scene details are presented is unusual.  

Little about the story itself would draw me in, especially with no entry blurb.  The reviews might get me to open it, and there is just enough of a hook in the first page that, knowing it is only 7k words total, I might give it a quick read through once.

I know it's you Avery on 9/26/2023 2:27:16 PM

Why is she trying to draw with a stylus in her mouth?

MHD's Fantastical Fairytales Contest RESULTS on 9/15/2023 2:56:10 PM

I consider it a win to be clear of SHAME again.  Thanks for the contest MHD.  Good job everyone else.

Was school ever suspended on 1/9 for you? on 9/13/2023 11:11:15 AM

I always thought he was based off that one ghoul from Lord of Shadow Keep.

Back from hiatus! on 9/13/2023 10:37:52 AM

Cool, when are you going on your next?  Anything we can do to move that time table up?

Was school ever suspended on 1/9 for you? on 9/12/2023 10:16:43 PM

Oh, I didn't even think this was a 9/11 thing.  I was working when 9/11 happened. We were in the office, but everyone just sat around watching the TV in the break room and listening to news on the radios.