The Book of Vanishing Tales

a Everything Else by Camelon

Commended by mizal on 1/6/2020 6:20:10 PM

Player Rating6.79/8

"#97 overall, #2 for 2020"
based on 61 ratings since 01/03/2020
played 1,358 times (finished 67)

Story Difficulty3/8

"trek through the forest"

Play Length6/8

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

Maturity Level5/8

"aren't you a little too old to be trick or treating"
Some material may be inappropriate for persons under age 13. If this were a movie, it would probably be PG-13.
The muses are gone. They sacrificed themselves to save Sandrella from cataclysm, and all that is left of them are drained, stone husks, and a ring of dust orbiting the world. Your wife was one of them.
But with them went all the dreams and the permanence of stories. And now, forty years later, it seems memory is next.
Though an old storyteller with little to your name, you must undertake a long journey to the Grove of the Muses, hoping to rekindle the flames that once burned inside you, before you can't remember them at all.

Player Comments

What a beautiful, witty story. Your prompt had caught my eye from the moment I saw it, and you pulled it off! This setting has a lot of depth, and you shared just enough to give every location the flavor it needed to provoke me towards emotion. Fiction has a difficult time gripping my interest, much less make me feel.

Your story used variables and intend to form a core inside the structure of the story,which just adds to the quality of objectively great writing. You wove some words into grammatically correct sentences that added some more spice to the experience. While there were.several.typos,.It was nothing egregious.

I mentioned the effects your story had on my day earlier in this review. I will go into specifics now. The eye-catching descriptions might go over my head at some points, but looking back now I see the beautiful images you had cast into my thoughts. Not all of it was necessarily beautiful in the traditional sense, but rather little trinkets that are just nice to have, like the change of clothes we get in the city.

The characters were nicely done and I did not expect all the various different endings. My favorote, beyond becoming the muse of comedy, is A Child of Sandrella. Seriously, what a glorious ending with much potential.

Glory to the One God.
-- 3iguy on 1/7/2020 1:42:01 PM with a score of 5
This story is wonderful. It just fits right. I got lost in it and was so enraptured that when it ended the first time I wasn't sure I wanted to go back and find new endings (my first ending was the lovers one).
When I went back to find others, however, they were different but equally fitting and well done.
Not only did you create a good story, you created a great world beyond the scope of the prompt. The blood religion was interesting and you could uncover bits and pieces of it. The mages were fascinating and it was cool to uncover their story and role with the muses initial downfall and potential downfall in the future. The variance in the branches made it interesting to play again such as the different stories that the protagonist tells, the different relationships that are formed, and the different parts of the world that are uncovered.
I also appreciated that you took the time and effort to explain the mechanics of how the muses in your world work. They give but, when weak, also take. This was not only shown in the end through dialogue but through the outright statements about the Sandman, and in some ways through the stories the protagonist tells about when they were still alive.
There was also good foreshadowing given in different paths, such as the story about the egg and later finding the giant egg in the real world to prompt the reader it is important (though I wish the reader could be rewarded for paying attention by being given options to choose or not choose the egg). Also it was hinted several times that the protagonist was more important than just a simple storyteller which left me wondering throughout what his abilities were and how he would use them at the end.
The premise itself is great and while the endings usually come across as beginnings of something bigger, they are complete as well.
There were very few grammatical errors which is frankly astounding considering how much content you managed to produce in such a short amount of time.
All in all I loved this. This is the type of story I would show my friends to get them more interested in branching path stories.
-- bilbo on 1/6/2020 7:57:11 PM with a score of 10
It’s a very interesting story. The first page tells it all. It’s all about an old storyteller, looking to honour his past. The writing reflects that. It takes its time, looks with a quiet languidity to the world and finds the right words to describe it.
And that’s where this story shines. The world is lively, every location a place of wonder. There are devious slavers, cursed cathedrals, red desserts and shady taverns. The author fills each of these locations with a distinct feeling, making them all memorable.
The story itself follows a heavily bottlenecked schematic. It fits. This is a journey. The choices are not in the destination, but in which way to go. I had my fun looking for different ways, playing as a miser one time and as a spoiled man the other.
Every review needs its nitpicks. The endings, although varied and I think based on variables set during the journey, feel far more rushed than the rest of the story. The writing jumped up in pace, eager to wrap everything up as soon as possible. After enjoying the journey so much, the singular pages left a bitter taste in my mouth.
Oh, and obviously there are some spelling mistakes found, but that’s only reasonable in a story so large with a nearing deadline.
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s all the more impressive considering it’s written and thought out in a mere month and based on Bucky’s prompt. You were only handed your setting, object and character.
-- enterpride on 1/5/2020 8:34:35 AM with a score of 5
I don't like the description.

The muses are gone. They sacrificed themselves to save Sandrella from [the] cataclysm[*] and all that is left of them are drained, stone husks, and a ring of dust orbiting the world. Your wife was one of them.
But with them went all the dreams and the permanence of stories[**] And now, forty years later, it seems memory is next.
Though an old storyteller with little to your name, you must undertake a long journey to the Grove of the Muses, hoping to rekindle the flames that once burned inside you, before you can't remember them at all.

* - the extra comma here creates confusion because of the `, and` followed by another sequential listing in the same sentence.

** - the period should be a semicolon because of the connecting word `and` but with a separate idea

Unless 'cataclysm' is a being instead of an event, it should have 'the' before it.

Onto the game:

I would never wake up in the early winter and go lay out in the wet grass. This sounds unpleasant and gross particularly in the muddy months.

Do you know how difficult it is to count sounds in an active forest? If you've ever sat in a lively wood or forested area, it's basically impossible unless you generalize to words like "bird", "wind", or "squirrels."

"But today is different, for it will be your last day in Dreaming Forest for some time, perhaps forever." I read 'for for for for' in for, forest, for, and forever. Even if this is intentional I think it would flow better using 'because' instead of the first 'for'.

I hope a "weeks' worth of food" includes water or I'm not getting very far as an old man. Medicine of some kind would probably also help with the back pains or to barter with later. I did just come out of an oasis of natural flora and fauna after all.

If I were afraid to forget stuff, I'd probably just die of anxiety. My memory is garbage.

LBH The closest person I have to a best friend is probably just my best friend.

I like te cage bird story.

My play strategy was to get to the...? Garden of muses or wherever as quick as possible. No telling how long an old man will live. As I am writing this while reading, my memory of the goal is fading just as much as the stories in the game. I've been fairly bored for a few pages now with nothing special happening. I'm probably just one of those types of readers that enjoy a burst of fireworks and action rather than the slow burn of a satisfying flame. I'm certainly not the audience for this kind of story.

I have many other nit-picks, almost two per page, but I am also too lazy to write all of them after losing steam from the first page onward. Find someone with an eye for grammar to suggest edits here and there and I think the rating would have an average +0.5 or perhaps even a +1.

I liked the story I told to Ronin.

The sailors were surprisingly nice.

Oh shit the grove was a lot closer than I thought it was! Thank christ for merchants. I was slogging through pages for a while there. Kind of felt like reading a book for a highschool report and it didn't seem the goal was in sight until I was basically there. Now that I'm here...I'm not sure what to do lol. I didn't think I'd make it this far.

Hell ye boi gonna change the mf world. Hype.

Solid 6/8 from me.
-- Ford on 12/11/2020 9:04:56 PM with a score of 6
Took a little while to get going, but it's a beautiful story, and I'd like to read more about this world. I went with Bivedos since the only other option was to kill Ivani, but I wonder if there's a happier ending that can be unlocked.
-- Klockwerk on 12/11/2020 11:45:21 AM with a score of 5
-- Kiara on 10/22/2020 12:44:27 PM with a score of 8
Well done, this is a gem of a story, I especially liked how you mingled poetry and prose so perfectly. Amazing!
-- ChainsRBroken on 6/21/2020 7:11:22 PM with a score of 7
I have great respect for tales of travel, as they are very difficult to pull off. This one was beautifully done. The narration has a quiet elegance to it. Although the dreams of the world are gone, the story felt like a dream. Very rewarding. Highly recommended.
-- Northwind on 6/15/2020 6:32:58 AM with a score of 15
A wonderfully descriptive story with a sweet ending. The world building was wonderful. Now I want more of the adventure!
-- Tiff on 4/20/2020 7:36:16 PM with a score of 7
I absolutely loved this story. I didn’t go through all the paths but the one I made was just how I wanted it to be. The whole setting was deep. I could picture it all clear as day. The descriptions you provided were deep. I could feel the emotion of the characters. The endings really made me feel. Sacrifice and love. It is a beautiful thing.

The overall plot and story was very simple and enjoyable to read. I like the different settings and how each place had a choice. The currency was a good addition to it. I really liked the whole lore of the world. I’m very interested in exploring the other paths and learning more about the world this is set in. At the beginning, I was worried I would run out. As the story went on, I ended up finishing with 500-600 silver which was awesome. Now I can save the world in style!

The MC felt pretty well rounded. He had good intentions and the choice revealed more about him to the reader. His story’s were actually very entertaining. I was worried at some point a story wouldn’t have the same flare as the beginning ones, so it was good to see you didn’t loose steam when making the mini stories.

As far as errors go, I think I only saw maybe one misspelled word? It was supposed to be trembled but you wrote trenbled. It was on the path of working for the boat as a doctor.

I’m not usually one to like super fantasy stories, but you sold me on whatever genre this would fall in (I’m more of a horror reader). I would love more in this universe, whether it be the past, another point of view of this story, or the future with the muses! Great, great, great work!
-- DireRyse on 4/20/2020 3:25:07 AM with a score of 12
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