Celestial Lies: Chapter One

Player Rating4.86/8

"#269 overall, #25 for 2011"
based on 165 ratings since 08/15/2011
played 5,233 times (finished 204)

Story Difficulty5/8

"run through the jungle"

Play Length4/8

"A well spent lunch break"

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.

The first chapter of Celestial Lies, a series of interactive stories I have decided to create.

Thousands of years ago, the world was at peace. The many nations coexisted without conflict, and war was something that had not yet been so much as thought of. There were relics of fighting, from a time long past, but these marks of the violence that shook the primordial, forming universe are things only mentioned in stories used to frighten children and keep them in line. Weapons were not forged; the closest thing to an instrument of death that the people created was a knife, and it was not used for that purpose.

Then, a shadow fell over the world. First came the invention of murder. A bloody corpse was found, and there was no way that its owner could have died that anybody could find, other than the single, precise wound to its spine. When the injury was examined, it was found to be that of a knife. Suspicion abounded. Former friends turned on one another, and several more deaths followed. The knives were seen to be slightly ineffective; after all, now that the new purpose of steel was death, why not create a longer weapon, crafted to kill. The sword came into being. Bows were created to combat these weapons. Fighting sparked between nations once the entire community fell to a mysterious cause.

Corrupt leaders took their people to their painful ends in battle against others, to kill or to be killed, and the ground was soaked with red. When the people of the world were at each other's throats, the Dayel revealed itself. It was a terrible monster, something that had never been seen before. Fire was at its commands, and the countless fatal wounds that the people dealt to it did not even slow it down. Its minions paled next to it, but were still terrible machines of destruction and misery. Thousands fell before an army of five hundred.

It was then that a youth named Tainea found his powers, for he was the perfect assassin: the assassin of gods. He ambushed the Dayel, something many had tried. None before him had come close before the terrible creature had struck them down with his flames. Tainea, however, had buried his dagger in the Dayel's head.

The corpse disappeared and Tainea thought himself victorious. He was hungry for glory, and he basked in the fame and the crowds of thankful peasants, wishing to pay homage to the one who had saved all of their lives.

However, though the darkness had lifted, death continued. The Dayel's influence still worked at the world, and when an assassin came after Tainea in the same manner he had gone after the Dayel, he was forced into hiding. Thought dead, he was mourned, but his death was quickly overshadowed by the wars that returned among the still-recovering nations.

Tainea knew that though the Dayel was forced out of the world, his influence still remained. That meant that his minions were still at work, sowing discord. He vowed to finish what he had started, and so he left his place of hiding, knowing that he could not kill the Dayel's servants by idly waiting for them to find him.

I know that it's a bit short, but this is really more of a preview to the rest of the series, which is still in the works (the largest difference other than length being that the other storygames in this series are going to be Advanced).

Player Comments

The narrative is written well. Your writing flows, the description is detailed and most importantly your style keeps me interested. The fight scenes were exciting and descriptive, however there were far too many fight scenes and not enough story. It feels like all the story is in the storygame page's description (which should have put in the storygame itself) and this storygame is simply going to places and fighting.

You sometimes over-explain. For instance, on the first page, you say that "without [Ghall, the blacksmith], they will not have any weapons and therefore will be much less able to defend the village". This sentence is awkward and probably could have been cut off after the word "weapons". Your audience is not stupid, we can put two and two together.

The storygame was very linear. There was only one proper ending, and having multiple links only gave the illusion of choice - in reality all links either lead to death or the same (only) path. For example, after just going through portal, why are you given the option to wait or open the door when both lead to the exact same battle?

Something that broke realism for me was when you said "Deciding that caution is something you've already thrown to the wind a thousand times, and once more can't hurt...". A master assassin doesn't get to be a master by being careless. This doesn't mean he can't take risk, but he obviously will do it in the most cautious way possible.

What are the celastine people like? How do they appear? What is their city like? You go to their village and sleep in their inn but there is no mention of what would likely be an entirely new and awe-inspiring experience for the protagonist.

Sometimes there was incorrect usage of words, like "striking them in the neck" instead of "striking it in the neck" when there was only one enemy. Also, when you go northwest/northeast and escape from captivity, there's no way that the protagonist could've known the portal can be reopened and yet he rushes towards it as if it will offer him escape.

Anyway, this wasn't a bad storygame by a long stretch - I just tend to focus on the negative more than on the positive. This was written really well but I didn't enjoy it a whole lot due to 1. the linearity and 2. the feeling that this was a fight simulator rather than a storygame. Nevertheless I look forward to the next installment (and eventually finding out what these celestial lies are).
-- October on 3/3/2013 12:37:14 AM with a score of 0
I'll preface this comment with a disclaimer: On the whole, I liked this story, it was very well written and the author clearly shows potential. There are a few criticisms that I want to give to the author, though.

First of all, the world felt uncomfortably poorly developed. You speak about this vast location with complicated political schemes and wars and such, yet the entire domain of the storygame is set in one small village. There's no justification for this village being the epicenter of the plot, or why the attack on the village occurred in the first place. Why was the perfect portal to the other realm located so conveniently within walking distance of the protagonist's hiding place? This kind of setup strikes me as mechanistically useful but extraordinarily frustrating because it severs my tie with the realism of the story and thus breaks immersion.

My next criticism is in the nature of the choices of the storygame. The vast majority of choices were combat oriented and usually, the outcome was luck based. No reader enjoys having to randomly guess at which choice to make (without a logical reason for doing so), only to find out they're dead or they've done an excellent job. When writing combat, it's important to give the reader motivation for choosing any particular choice so that the consequences can be felt by the reader. Otherwise, as a reader, I don't feel any responsibility for my failure as I had no way to predict the outcome.

Finally, I thought that there was the (very) occasional piece of sloppy writing. In particular, consider limiting your usage of the word "sighing". At one point, you say that the protagonist is battling fear to such a degree that he very nearly decides not to proceed, and then in the next sentence, he's "sighing". That's a tiny criticism though, and just something to watch for in the future.

Good storygame with lots of potential.
-- JJJ-thebanisher on 11/19/2012 2:56:17 PM with a score of 0
It wasn't bad. Though it seems like half of the writing was you describing the fights. I also think the story description should be the first page, as it's a pretty important part of the story.

Other thing is bad battle deaths. They were also pretty easy to win, as all you really needed to do was aim for the neck. It seems like some options were just there for the sake of options, as choosing them resulted in a paragraph long death.

All in all decent story, I'll be reading the next chapters assuming you make them.
-- Killa_Robot on 8/16/2011 5:05:16 PM with a score of 0
While I enjoyed this game overall and it is certainly better than some other games I have read, it is not the best.
One thing that I noticed was that your level of detail was inconsistent. On the first page there was a lot of detail which is good, but you also added things that were unnecessary to the story. Then later on there was too little detail. For one, I don't know what the monster you are battling looks like, only that his appearance evokes a feeling of terror in you. That is not to say that you have to take a paragraph or two describing just what it's skin is like, but I would like to know a little more than what you have told me.
The other thing is that your story is very linear, and there is only one path you can take. All the others lead to death. The battles too, you have to attack a certain way and the story gives you no clues as to what that way is. All the rest lead to death.
I have one more thing that might just be me personally, but I feel like there should be a storygame before this explaining the characters background because to me that is interesting. You mentioned a public execution, why? Why were you in a public execution? How do you know how to fight so well? This feels like I stumbled upon a book with the first few chapters missing. I can still understand it, but I feel like I am missing something.
The grammar seemed okay to me, but that doesn't mean a lot because I am awful at grammar myself. 5/8
-- stargirl on 4/15/2021 9:41:32 AM with a score of 0
THis sTory is big poopy heD. i DIDN'T EVEN GET TO play. I just pressed Glowy words till i win, if i dOnt win thenn the gam is trAsh.
-- xXPussy_DestroyerXx on 11/7/2019 11:51:34 AM with a score of 0
Nice job!
-- Saint_999 on 9/10/2017 6:55:17 PM with a score of 0
I really enjoyed this. Your writing is remarkable, and you paint a good picture of what's going on. The narrative is a bit linear at the beginning, however, especially during the fights. The player tries to throw at a knife at an enemy, and is immediately told that they missed and ended up dead. That, and you can die in one click on the first page alone.

Overall this kept me reading, although the world itself could be fleshed out a bit more.
-- Saika on 5/10/2017 8:43:47 AM with a score of 0
pretty fun i have no real complain great story can't Wait for part two and very compiling story that you have made and i congratulate you real work of art
-- Samuel Reign on 5/21/2016 12:56:24 PM with a score of 0
-- halodeath434 on 3/1/2016 10:39:36 AM with a score of 0
I liked the story, it was interesting but I found the narrative to be very awkward and confusing at times. Just the choice of words you used really. 5/8
-- SonicTurboTurtle on 11/14/2015 4:39:08 PM with a score of 0
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