The adventurer-to-be has travelled miles upon miles. He has faced down orcs, starvation and the wilds itself. He has grown stronger after every challenge. Every scar an indication of his increase in experience. There is only one obstacle to overcome before he can call himself an adventurer, part of the Guild. That obstacle…. Is you. ==> $episodeText[[[Next page|Intro 02]]]There he stands, sword in hand, eyes on you. He doesn’t strike, not yet. The power emanating from you has most likely nailed him to the spot. As it should. You are one of the world’s [most powerful vampires]<c1|, after all. (click: ?c1)[[Supernatural strength and speed.]<c2|] (click: ?c2)[ (append: ?c2)[ Incomphensible to mere humans. Too fast for the eye to follow. Too strong for them to understand until you've ripped their arms from their shoulders.] ] (click: ?c2)[[You can turn invisible at will.]<c3| ] (click: ?c3)[ (append: ?c3)[ A handy little trick that allows you to go through a fledgeling adventurer’s gear as he makes his way towards your mansion. You used it when this one was sleeping in the forest outside of your mansion. He had a letter from his mother in his pack.] ] (click: ?c3)[[You can read minds.]<c4|] (click: ?c4)[ (append: ?c4)[ Dive right inside what they're thinking <i>right now</i>. Or go deeper, and rifle through their memories as if they were a file cabinet. Right now this little sprout of an adventurer is thinking very hard about why he’s doing this and the farm, back home. Hmmm, apparently he needs the income as an adventurer to pay for his family’s food as the feudal lord’s taxes become increasingly heinous.] ] ==> (click: ?c4)[$episodeText[[[Next page->Intro 04]]]]What to do with this adventurer? [[Let the adventurer win->Adventurer Wins]] [[Make the adventurer lose->Adventurer Loses]] [[Kill the adventurer->Adventurer Broken]] Yes. It seems that this man would make a fine addition to the adventurer’s guild… You decide to let him win this fight. He’s not too bad with that sword, but he should really practice his footwork more. You manage to let him trip over his own feet a few times. Supernatural speed has it’s advantages, and while he’s fighting for his life, for you it’s like having a boxing match with a toddler. Eventually, his sword pierces your stomach. It’s painful, of course. But it’s a good pain. You are doing the right thing. You dissolve into a pink mist, a nice dramatic touch. You watch the adventurer fall to his knees, leaning on his sword, bleeding from several cuts. You hear him whisper as you observe him, unseen. “Mother, Father… I am coming home.” ==> $episodeText[[[Next page->Result-Good]]]No. This boy is not ready to join the adventurer’s guild yet. Something about him irritates you, as well. Is it that stupid look on his pretty face? Or maybe it’s the way his footing is all wrong. No matter. It is your decision, and he is not going to win. Sure, you are not going to kill him. But he must learn his lesson that he is not adventurer material. His sword breaks first. His armour is shredded. As you throw him from the stairs of your lair you send your best evil laughter after him. “Go home, farmboy. Maybe fighting turnips is more your style.” ==> $episodeText[[[Next page->Result - OK]]]You know you really, really shouldn’t. You’re here to test adventurers, not kill them. The adventurers guild will be very upset if they find out you killed this young man. But it’s a long, treacherous journey to your lair. And anything could have happened to him. You are too powerful. He is too weak. The outcome is inevitable. His spine snaps like a twig in autumn. The soul leaves his body, but not before you feast on his blood. It’s a bit embarrassing, really. But we all get to have a cheat day sometimes, right? Right? (set: $kills to $kills + 1) ==> $episodeText[[[Next page->Result - Bad]]] The adventurer went back home and paid his family almost all of the money he earned during his adventures. He quickly rose through the ranks of the adventurer’s guild and became an important member. When he was strong enough, he returned back home and confronted the feudal Lord that was bleeding his people dry. Years later, including a bloody revolution and a dramatic fight on the castle walls, the adventurer became the new Lord. For a while, at least, the land was peaceful and the people were happy. (set: $goodEndings to $goodEndings + 1) (set: $level = 15 + (random:1,5)) This adventurer reached level: $level ==> $episodeText[[[Next page->End of intro]]]The adventurer went back home and was about to give up on adventuring. But he couldn’t bear the thought of coming back home empty-handed. Instead, he joined a band of bandits. He sent all the money he earned back home, so his family could live a normal life. He never told them the truth of what he became. When his parents died, they believed him to be an honourable adventurer. (set: $level = 5 + (random:1,5)) This adventurer reached level: $level ==> $episodeText[[[Next page->End of intro]]]This situation has been going on for years. (if: $kills > 0)[ Well, except for the killing of adventurers. That rarely ever happens. ] The adventurer guild sends their hopefuls towards your lair as a final test. You give them a fight. Sometimes you let them win, sometimes you make them lose. But you decide on their fate. It's an agreement you made with the Guild Leader so long ago. It's the right thing to do. And you're not some kind of monster that doesn't know right from wrong. Right? ==> $episodeText[[[End of prologue->Episode1-000]]]The adventurer never came home. His family never got any money. The land wasn’t changed. But at least you had your blood. This adventurer reached level: 1 ==> $episodeText[[[Next page->End of intro]]](set:$kills to 1) (set:$goodEndings to 4) (if:$kills>2)[(set: $ending to "bad")] (else-if:$goodEndings>2)[(set:$ending to "good")] (else:)[(set:$ending to "ok")] Ending: $endingFonts Background Colour Title screen Fancify Extra storylines Ending lines Letters - the vampire's own background story Perfect ending==> $episodeText[<font size=10>Episode 1</font>] $episodeText[<font size=5>-Samuel-</font>] <== $episodeText[<font size=6>[[Start->Episode1-100]]</font>] (set: $episodeText to (font:"Copperplate") + (text-style: "smear")) (set: $kills to 0) (set: $goodEndings to 0) =><= (font:"Copperplate")[<font size="10">VICIT VIM VIRTUS</font> <font size="4">Courage triumphs over violence</font> ] Made in about 24 hours with a combination of creativity, spit, alcohol and desperation! I hope you find this little text adventure interesting! It's my first time using Twine, which I learned by doing. $episodeText[[[Prologue->Intro 01 Starting screen]]] ==> $episodeText[<font size=10>Prologue</font>] $episodeText[<font size=6>-Unnamed adventurer-</font>] <== $episodeText[<font size=6>[[Start->Intro 01]]</font>]It is autumn when the next adventurer appears. The head of the guild, Demeter, writes that it is a young man named Samuel. Trained in sword-and-shield. The son of a woodsman, well versed in wilderness survival. But apparently there is something off. Some kind of hesitation, a lack of decision making skills. His mettle is to be tested. By you. ==> $episodeText[[[Next page->Epsiode1-101]]]As young Samuel makes his way through the Doomed forest, fighting orcs and spiders the size of a mule, you wonder about him. Would it be more interesting to [[go through his things at night->Episode1-120]], or wait until he’s in your lair and [[rummage through his thoughts->Episode1-110]]? Or maybe none of that matters, and you’ll just [[read some old letters->Episode1-130]]? Samuel has found my lair and is walking inside. You are watching him, invisible. It says a lot about a person when you observe them, thinking themselves unseen. Samuel, for example, closes the door to my lair behind him. Doesn’t even think about it. It’s the little things. As he passes through the main hallway you <i>reach out</i> to him. It’s a sort of mental turning of the doorknob, opening his mind. Will you observe his [[current, foremost thoughts->Episode1-111]] or [[long-term, deep memories->Episode1-112]]?As the young adventurer sleeps in the wilderness, the day before reaching your lair, you decide to fly to him and go through his stuff. You stand over the young adventurer for a while, looking at him. Just, observing. He will never know how close you were. Will you [[go through his pack->Episode1-121]] or [[see what he carries on his person->Episode1-122]]? It’s like diving into a freezing, dark pool. It’s always a shock to be <i>in</i> someone’s thoughts, even when you’ve done it so many times. Thoughts float around you, like opaque clouds made of bits of sound and images. The biggest one is a dark, fractured shape. You reach out and pluck out snippets of his thoughtstream like a bear fishing for salmon. “Coward.” “You godsforsaken coward. You’re shaking. You are actually shaking.” “Stop breathing so fast. Breathe in slow. Come on. Breathe in. Breathe out. In. Out.” “Coward.” “The others wouldn’t be scared. Wouldn’t feel like this. How the hell did you even get this far?” “Coward.” [[Enough->Episode1-130]] It’s a long trek down the depths of Sam’s [memories]<one|. Seems to take hours. The speed of thought, however, means it all happens when the young adventurer explores my lair. <i> (click: ?one)[<i>A young boy. A cabin in the woods. Father and [mother]<two|, sitting happily at the dinner table.</i>] (click: ?two)[<i>A freshly dug grave. A haze of tears. The hulking shape of his [father]<three|, on his knees in the dirt in front of it. He doesn’t cry.</i>] (click: ?three)[<i>Bottles. Empty bottles all through the house. A [smack]<four| in the face when he talked back to his dad.</i>] (click: ?four)[<i>Bruises. Pain. A broken arm. He had stood up for himself and got [knocked down]<five| as quick.</i>] (click: ?five)[<i>Years upon years of systematic physical abuse. Knowing when to duck. When to run away. [What not to say.]<six|</i>] (click: ?six)[<i>[And still getting hit.]<seven|</i> ] (click: ?seven)[<i>A new freshly dug grave, next to an old one. Flowers on only one of them. He doesn’t cry. </i> [[Enough->Episode1-130]]]Eventually Samuel makes his way to the top floor of your lair. You make sure that you are at the other end of the room in a dramatically appropriate pose. As Sam makes his way towards you he actually stumbles over a crack in the floor. You stifle a laugh as the young adventurer gets his bearings and stops a few yards away from you. “My name is Samuel. Either prepare yourself for battle, or surtender- I mean surrender! Surrender or prepare for battle!” [[Hmmmm...->Episode1-131]]In his pack are a bunch of letters. Delighted, you read through them. It soon becomes obvious they are from a girl, and one that seems to like this young man. But in every letter, there are a few sentences that stand out... “... and I really don’t think you have anything to prove” “... please write back soon. I love you.” “... you are braver than you think, you know.” “... does this have anything to do with your father?” “... I worry so much about you. If only you could see yourself through my eyes.” [[Enough->Episode1-130]] It is easy enough to whisper in the young adventurer’s ear, convincing his mind to sleep as you see what he has on his body. No jewelry. No hidden letters, carried close to his heart. Just a tattoo, written in the Old Language. You know it well. “Who dares, wins.” [[Enough->Episode1-130]] What to do with this adventurer? [[Let him win->Episode1-141]] [[Make him lose->Episode1-142]] [[Kill him->Episode1-143]] As nervous as he was before, once the battle starts Sam’s movements become smooth. Days and days of practice have made him a very solid swordfighter. The metamorphosis is shocking. You could still break him like a twig, if you wanted to. But you’re not going to. Not today, at least. After a good fight you allow Sam to cut you down. He doesn’t hesitate to jump on you and ram his sword through your throat. Surprisingly efficient, that boy. You make sure to die in a haze of pink smoke. You look at young Samuel standing there, breathing like he just ran a hundred miles. His sword clatters on the floor, followed by his shield and helmet. “I did it.” [[That you did boy, that you did.->Episode1-151]]As nervous as he was before, once the battle starts Sam’s movements become smooth. Days and days of practice have made him a very solid swordfighter. The metamorphosis is shocking. You could still break him like a twig, if you wanted to. But you’re not going to. Not today, at least. But the young man is not going to win from you, either. You allow him to stab you through the chest, then simply walk forward <i>into</i> the sword. His terrified gasp is delightful. With some degree of pleasure you smack the young man around several rooms inside your lair. He ends up outside, nursing a broken arm and a hundred bruises. As an afterthought you pull his sword out of your chest and throw it at his feet. “Not today, son… [[“... but know this."->Episode1-1421]] [[“... not ever. Go home, boy.”->Episode1-152]]As nervous as he was before, once the battle starts Sam’s movements become smooth. Days and days of practice have made him a very solid swordfighter. The metamorphosis is fascinating. You could still break him like a twig, if you wanted to. And after a few seconds, you realize you really, really want to. It’s probably not fair. Then again, not a lot of things in this existence are. (set: $kills to $kills + 1) [[His blood was so fresh and so... young.->Episode1-153]]Samuel comes home after his adventure, and something has changed about him. Changed for the better. He is not quite as insecure. He has conquered his fear and realizes that courage means living <i>with</i> fear, not the absence of it. Samuel eventually marries his girlfriend, who sent him letters every week. Together, they go on adventures, helping the downtrodden, those who can’t help themselves, those who have no voice in the countries that are ruled by the strong, not the just. (set: $level = 16 + (random:1,4)) (set: $goodEndings to $goodEndings + 1) This adventurer reached level: $level [[And so Autumn changes to Winter, which changes to Spring.->Episode2-000]]Samuel returns home in disgrace. He tries living together with his girlfriend, but he hates himself too much to let himself be loved and he breaks up with her. He goes off to the desert, where he finds many adventures and eventually, after many long years, conquers his fears. This makes his girlfriend so extremely angry that she goes on a quest to find out more about <i>you</i>. Which leads her to your lair many years later. But that’s a different story... (set: $level = 7 + (random:2,5)) This adventurer reached level: $level [[And so Autumn changes to Winter, which changes to Spring.->Episode2-000]]You didn’t mean to give in to the hunger(if:$kills>0)[ again], the lust for human flesh. But you did. Samuel will not be returning home. His girlfriend, however, starts her own investigation. Fueled with the need for vengeance, she becomes a world-renowned monster hunter. Ten years later she kicks your front doors down, brandishing a spear and a Holy Book. But that’s a different story... This adventurer reached level: 1 [[And so Autumn changes to Winter, which changes to Spring.->Episode2-000]]==> $episodeText[<font size=10>Episode 2</font>] $episodeText[<font size=5>-Carolyn-</font>] <== $episodeText[<font size=6>[[Start->Episode2-100]]</font>]Spring. Slowly, the earth starts turning green again. Demeter, the head of the adventurer's guild writes about Carolyn. A perfect candidate, with an unmatchable drive. Her mettle is to be tested. By you. ==> $episodeText[[[Next page->Epsiode2-101]]]Carolyn traverses the Doomed forest. The orcs and living trees pose no real challenge to her. You wonder what [[goes on in that blonde head of hers->Episode2-110]]. But maybe she has [[something on her person->Episode2-120]] that could tell you a little bit more about little miss Perfect. It is early in the morning when Carolyn has found your lair. She doesn't enter through the front door, opting to climb through the first floor window, instead. Crafty little minx. From the moment she sets a foot inside, she is on her guard. Her shoulders are hunched forward, her hand-and-a-half sword is drawn. A shame her alertness doesn't really work when her mind is convinced you do not exist. You reach out mentally towards her. The moment you touch her mind, you realize something is... weird. Will you observe [[what's on her mind right now->Episode2-111]] or [[whatever resides in her memories->Episode2-112]]?As Carolyn makes her way towards your lair, you decide to give her a visit when she sleeps. You stand over the young adventurer for a while, looking at her. Just, observing. She will never know how close you were. Will you [[go through her pack->Episode2-121]] or [[see what she carries on her person->Episode2-122]]? You've dived into people's minds before. This time it's... <i>different</i>. Thoughts float around you, like opaque clouds made of bits of sound and images. They are fractured. Broken. "It's been too long." "I wonder when I can feel that again. See the hope fade in their eyes." "I'm going to have to give in soon. Pick someone small and unimportant this time." "Just this bit. Just this bit and I can travel all over the world in peace." "Wonder if this one is going to beg. It's good when they beg." [[Enough->Episode2-130]] Somehow, diving into Carolyn's memories feels like swimming through a sea made of sharks. The first memories come up [quickly]<one|, unbidden. (click: ?one)[<i> He looks at her. A handsome man. She moves her hand over his arm. Big, strong arms. Attached to broad shoulders. She says something and he grins. He follows her upstairs to her room. [The door closes behind them.]<two|</i>] (click: ?two)[<i>He looks at her. A handsome man. His hands are on her hips. Her hands are around his neck as she stands on her toes to kiss in. [They end up in the bed, leaving a trail of discarded clothes behind them.]<three|</i>] (click: ?three)[<i>He looks at her. A handsome man. She moves her lips over his neck. Laps at the skin. Tastes the metallic tang of warm blood on her tongue. [She looks down at him, watches his lips part, begging her to stop. To let him live. She is completely and utterly aroused.]<four|</i>] (click: ?four)[<i>He looks at her. A dead man.</i> [[Enough->Episode2-130]]]Eventually Carolyn makes her way to the top floor of your lair. You make sure that you are at the other end of the room in a dramatically appropriate pose. She walks towards you, her sword resting casually on her shoulder right up until she is in what she believes is the edge of your threat range. Foolish girl. "Care to beg, monster?", she says. [[Care to... <b>what</b>?->Episode2-131]]In her pack are a bunch of letters. Delighted, you read through them. They are all from different men. But there's something strange about what is in the envelopes with them. The letters are rather steamy declarations of love. Looking at the dates they were sent, Carolyn was an adept hand at juggling several men at once. But that's not what you find so fascinating. The thing that grabs your attention is that almost every letter has a folded up poster in the envelope. The posters are several variations on the 'Missing, reward for information' theme. Are all these men missing? Dead? The only one that doesn't have a 'missing' poster in the envelope are letters from a certain 'Jean', who seems to have written her just before she left on her quest for your lair. [[Enough->Episode2-130]] It is easy enough to whisper in the young adventurer’s ear, convincing her mind to sleep as you see what she has on her body. On the inside of her arm there's a tattoo. It's a list of several names, all struck through. (text-style:"strike")[Antony Glen Raphael John Adam Robert Mark] Jean [[Enough->Episode2-130]] What to do with this adventurer? [[Let her win->Episode2-141]] [[Make her lose->Episode2-142]] [[Kill her->Episode2-143]] She's good. She is incredibly good with that big sword of hers. But it's not her skill that surprises you, it's the [Blutrausch]<blutrausch| that surges through her body. Her [willingness]<willingness| to kill. You could still break her, if you wanted to. But you’re not going to. The world needs some killers. She chops right through your arm and into your stomach. Bone crushes and blood falls on the cold stone floor. You expected her to cry out in victory. You didn't expect her to jump on your body and start sucking at the cut her steel blade made in your body. Before you realize what is happening her face is a mess of blood smeared over her cheeks, nose and forehead. You quickly turn into your pink, vampiric mist. The little, almost desperate "No no no, don't go!" follows you all the way to your coffin. [[What in the ever-burning hells did you set loose on the world?->Episode2-151]] (click: ?blutrausch)[ (replace: ?blutrausch)[<b>bloodlust</b>]] (click: ?willingness)[ (replace: ?willingness)[(text-style:"strike")[willingness] eagerness]]She's good. She is incredibly good with that big sword of hers. But it's not her skill that surprises you, it's the [Blutrausch]<blutrausch| that surges through her body. Her [willingness]<willingness| to kill. This young woman is not alright. Behind her cold control and exquisite skill hides a murderous fire that will consume everything it touches, leaving a path of ashes behind it. You disarm her easily enough. It's worth it to see the dumb shock on her face. The backhanded slap you give her sends her to the floor spitting blood and ivory. [["No. Not you. Not ever. Go."->Episode2-152]] (click: ?blutrausch)[ (replace: ?blutrausch)[<b>bloodlust</b>]] (click: ?willingness)[ (replace: ?willingness)[(text-style:"strike")[willingness] eagerness]]She's good. She is incredibly good with that big sword of hers. But it's not her skill that surprises you, it's the [Blutrausch]<blutrausch| that surges through her body. Her [willingness]<willingness| to kill. This young woman is not alright. Killing her would be a mercy to everyone she would potentially meet in the future. As you dodge her blows with arrogant ease and Carolyn becomes more and more frustrated, you feel the most wicked smile make it's way on your face. You're doing the world a favour. (set: $kills to $kills + 1) [[Her blood tasted of delicious agony.->Episode2-153]] (click: ?blutrausch)[ (replace: ?blutrausch)[<b>bloodlust</b>]] (click: ?willingness)[ (replace: ?willingness)[(text-style:"strike")[willingness] eagerness]]Carolyn returns to the guild, victorious. She would volunteer for all adventures that took her far away, to exotic places. She killed a hundred and three victims before she was caught. She was not caught alive. (set: $level = 13 + (random:1,3)) This adventurer reached level: $level [[And so Spring changes to Summer and the world blooms.->Episode3-000]]Carolyn doesn't return to the adventurer's guild. Her defeat leaves something in the cold, calculating facade broken. A small fracture in the walls of humanity that she built around her monstrous soul turns into a crack. Which turns into a breach. And finally the walls that kept her hidden inhumanity crumble. She goes on a murderous rampage for five days before she is caught. Carolyn hangs with a wicked smile on her face. Her last words send chills through the bones of her captors. "At least I was honest." (set: $level = 5 + (random:1,5)) This adventurer reached level: $level [[And so Spring changes to Summer and the world blooms.->Episode3-000]](if:$kills<1)[It has been so long since you killed someone. You tell yourself you did it because she was a monster, because it was simply the best solution.](else:)[The second kill so quickly after the other. You did what was best for everyone. Including yourself.] And why saddle the poor human that has to kill the rabid dog with a heavy conscience, when people <b>expect</b> killing from you? It's better this way. Kinder. Right? Months later you get a letter from your friend Demeter in the Adventurer's guild. She doesn't ask if you had anything to do with it, but says that in light of recent discoveries by the City Watch, Carolyn's dissapearance is for the best. This adventurer reached level: 1 (set: $goodEndings to $goodEndings + 1) [[And so Spring changes to Summer and the world blooms.->Episode3-000]]==> $episodeText[<font size=10>Episode 3</font>] $episodeText[<font size=5>-Elizabeth-</font>] <== $episodeText[<font size=6>[[Start->Episode3-100]]</font>]Summer. The earth becomes a rich canvas upon which it blooms a palette of gorgeous colours. Demeter, writes to you about Ardee, a Paladin. Paladins. They take everything so <i>personal</i>. But her mettle is to be tested. By you. ==> $episodeText[[[Next page->Epsiode3-101]]]"In standing up to me, in having come here, you’ve shown more courage then you’ve realized up until now. You need to start setting <i>realistic</i> goals for yourself.” “…” “Oh, and if you tell anyone about this little tete-a-tete, I will find you and rip your head off.” [["Go home, boy."->Episode1-151]]Ardee the Paladin makes her way towards your lair, wearing that stupidly heavy armour they all wear, right in the middle of summer. She must be melting, but makes her way with this irritating, stoic expression on her face. She has a bit of a close scrape with the Orcs when they make a mass attack. Apparently seeing the holy symbol on the Paladin's tabard sent them in a bit of a frenzy. Poor Ardee. You reluctantly consider [[going through her thoughts->Episode3-110]]. Or perhaps she has something worth finding in her [[personal effects?->Episode3-120]] Or maybe if you [[ignore her->Episode3-130]], she'd go away?Ardee kneels before your lair before she enters. You are confused, at first, but then you realize that she is praying. You observe her from an upstairs window, upseen. Her voice seems small, trembling. She is clutching her holy symbol tightly. Will you observe [[what's on her mind right now->Episode3-111]] or [[whatever resides in her memories->Episode3-112]]?Even Paladins need to sleep. You stand at her campfire, in front of the girl. She seems young, no older then sixteen. What does that tell one about the church these days? You touch her forehead and whisper to her to slide into a deeper kind of sleep. One that will allow you to [[rummage through her backpack->Episode3-121]] or see what she [[carries on her person->Episode3-122]]. There is no extra resistance. No godly inference with your 'dark powers'. Feh.The young Paladin finishes her prayer in front of your lair and goes inside. You make sure that you are at the other end of the room in a dramatically appropriate pose. She approaches silently, standing in front of you. With a sigh, she draws her sword. You can only see her eyes through her helmet. [[Are you... crying?->Episode3-131]]Her backpack holds what you would expect. Rations, survival gear. Extra clothing and- A holy book. Great. Just great. [[Open the Holy book->Episode3-1211]] or [[go back to your lair->Episode3-130]]?The [young girl]<younggirl| has taken her heavy armour off and lies, curled up, on a thin mat, a mere suggestion of comfort seperating her from the forest floor. You search, but find nothing interesting on her person, until you realize what she's holding. A stuffed dragon. A toy, like a child would bring with them to bed. You stand over the Paladin, looking down at her for a long while, wondering who would send someone this young on an adventure. [[Enough->Episode3-130]] (click: ?younggirl)[ (replace: ?younggirl)[(text-style:"strike")[young girl] Paladin]]You will not be shackled by some kind of symbol! With an irritated grunt you [grab the holy book-]<grab| (click: ?grab)[-IT BURNS! It burns through your skin and straight to the bone! [Throw it away!]<throw|] (click: ?throw)[You throw the book away with a feral scream. Bats fly up in the air and the trees' leaves rustle. When you've calmed down some time has passed. Your hand has healed, but it has taken a lot of your power to undo the damage that has been done. When you have regained some of your calm you look at Ardee to see if she's still sleeping. It is then that you notice the pages that have fluttered out of the Holy Book when you threw it. You pick them up and read [the first one]<firstpage|. (click: ?firstpage)["Dear Diary. Today I am sixteen years of age. Sister Fergusson tells me I am ready to to marry God and accept the title of Chosen One. I asked what the Chosen One does and she just smiled at me and said:'The work of God.'. Of course I want to do the work of God, but sometimes I daydream that it would be nice to do something else, as well." [Another page]<secondpage|, starting mid-sentence. Apparently some pages got away in the book's brief attempt at flight.] (click: ?secondpage)["- then I got twenty hits with the cane. One doesn't ask if you can become Unchosen, I realize that now." [Another page.]<thirdpage|] (click: ?thirdpage)["Today I set foot outside of the Convent. I have trained twelve years for this day, every day. They say I cannot do wrong, since God will guide me. But then why do I feel so scared?" [[Enough->Episode3-130]] ] ]Ardee's thoughts are skittin around like a thousand little butterflies. "Do I really have to kill someone?" "Even if it's a bad person? Is that really okay?" "Why do I have to do this?" "Those people on that farm seemed happy." "How long will I have to do this?" [[Enough->Episode3-130]] Ardee's mind is as easy to enter as a house with an open door. You dive into her [memories]<one|. (click: ?one)[<i> It has been four hours in the sun. In two layers of chainmail and carrying all her travelling gear. Mother superior is walking around her, carrying a cane she uses to smack Ardee on her unprotected calves whenever the young girl falters. She is twelve. The sun becomes a big white ball in the sky. [She faints.]<two|</i>] (click: ?two)[<i>She aches everywhere. Has bruises everywhere. She hasn't slept for days. Mother superior is shouting at her. "Ungrateful child! We take you in, feed you, clothe you... and this is how you repay us? Are you not grateful to the Lord for choosing you?" The pain is a constant. The shouting is a constant. [She has no energy left to reply.]<three|</i>] (click: ?three)[<i>They are working day and night to make her stronger. More resilient. To make her ready for the world outside. They are shouting at her because they love her, because the outside world will do so much worse. The are hurting her because she is weak, and want her to be stronger. [They are hurting her because she is weak.]<four|</i>] (click: ?four)[<i>She cries herself to sleep.</i> [[Enough->Episode3-130]]]What to do with this adventurer? [[Let her win->Episode3-141]] [[Make her lose->Episode3-142]] [[Kill her->Episode3-143]] Carolyn was good. This young girl is better. Perhaps she is chosen, perhaps she has been training since she can walk. Either way, she moves as if she and the sword are one entity, an organism made of flesh and steel. But it still doesn't give her a fighting chance against something as old and powerful as you. You could break her, if you wanted. But you're not going to. As much as it pains you to admit it, the world needs someone like Ardee. It doesn't take a lot of effort to lose this fight. She pierces your throat with an expertly placed push of her sword. You fall to the floor with a strangled cry. You have heard many things since you started this, but never did you hear what she says next. "I'm so sorry!" The girl kneels down next to you, opening her visor. Tears are streaming over her cheeks as she takes the Holy Book and looks at you. "If you confess your sins, maybe you can get into heaven? Maybe? I don't know, I just-" You don't know how quickly to turn into your pink vampiric mist and get out of there. [[She meant well.->Episode3-151]]Carolyn was good. This young girl is better. Perhaps she is chosen, perhaps she has been training since she can walk. Either way, she moves as if she and the sword are one entity, an organism made of flesh and steel. But it still doesn't give her a fighting chance against something as old and powerful as you. You could break her, if you wanted. You're not going to break her. But she is not going to walk away unscathed, either. This girl should not be forced to become something she does not want to be. <!-- Check with previous actions to tailor? --> You've been annoyed ever since this Paladin set foot on your lands. It shows in the way you fight her. Perhaps a little too brutal. Throwing her out of the second floor window was, in retrospect, a little harsh. But Ardee is a tough girl. You're sure she'll recover. You walk up to the writhing mass of armoured agony. With a kick her sword scatters. "You are <b>not</b> the chose one." You rip the holy symbol from her neck. It [hurts a little]<burns|, but you don't care. "You are <b>not</b> your religion." A swift kick in the ribs, eliciting a thin, wailing noise from within the helmet. "People who save you just so they can use you are just <b>slavers</b> looking for a goddamn bargain." [["Go back to your cage or be free, I don't care."->Episode3-152]] (click: ?burns)[ (replace: ?burns)[<b>burnsBurnsBURNS</b>]]Carolyn was good. This young girl is better. Perhaps she is chosen, perhaps she has been training since she can walk. Either way, she moves as if she and the sword are one entity, an organism made of flesh and steel. But it still doesn't give her a fighting chance against something as old and powerful as you. You could break her, if you wanted. You don't want to break her. You want to <b>destroy</b> her. She is <i>everything</i> that is wrong with those religious nuts that run the churches. Maybe it's not her fault. But the world turns red, anyway. And the Beast takes over. When you can see through the crimson again, her blood is in your mouth. (set: $kills to $kills + 1) [[It's for the best.->Episode3-153]] Ardee returns to the Guild, victorious. Mother superior is proud of her. She fights for the Guild and for the Convent. A life filled with death and conflict. She never fights for herself. Eventually, she finds meaning in her servitude. But she always wonders what it would be like to have a farm. (set: $level = 7 + (random:5,8)) This adventurer reached level: $level [[And so the story ends.->Ending-000]]Ardee never returns to the Convent. <i>"Go back to your cage or be free, I don't care."</i> Those words echo through her mind. She finally sees the cage around her mind. And then she changes. Ardee would go on to become one of the world's most famous adventurers. She always just wanted a farm, but more often then not, whenever she was about to plant her seeds, something would happen that required this fabled warrior's attention. In the end, Ardee would become known as the world's best swordfighter. She allowed people to train with her, if they helped her on the farm for a year and a day. (set: $level = 17 + (random:3,4)) (set: $goodEndings to $goodEndings + 1) This adventurer reached level: $level [[And so the story ends.->Ending-000]](if:$kills<1)[It has been so long since you killed someone. You tell yourself you did it because this simply had to stop, because it was the best solution.](else:)[Another kill. Who are you kidding? You enjoyed it.] But why would you have to apologize? For being who you really are? For being true to yourself? At least Ardee's ordeal is over. She won't have to be a puppet for a corrupt religion anymore. In death, you have given her freedom. You're a giver. This adventurer reached level: 1 [[And so the story ends.->Ending-000]]==> $episodeText[<font size=10>Epilogue</font>] $episodeText[<font size=5>-The Vampire-</font>] <== $episodeText[<font size=6>[[Start->Ending-100]]</font>]It is Winter when Demeter stands in front of your lair. Snow falls all around her. Her big fur coat is shiny and black, a contrast to the stark white wizard's staff she holds. She is the only one to have ever bested you, this person who understands the tapestry of magic that holds our world together. She has only come here once before. And now she is here, you know one thing. Your mettle is to be tested. By her. ==> $episodeText[[[Next page->Ending-101]]]Demeter makes her way into your lair. You cannot help but notice that she aged well. She looks as beautiful as she did when she first defeated you. When you came to this 'arrangement'. You wonder if you should send her to sleep and [[go through her possessions->Ending-110]]. Or dive into that [[big brain of hers?->Ending-120]] Or maybe that's a bad idea and you should just [[meet her in your room->Ending-130]]. She's your friend, isn't she? But why is she here? You reach out with your mind, only to hit the mental equivalent of a wall. Demeter turns around and looks <i>straight at you</i> with eyes made out of the palest blue. "No," She says. "Not today. Not with me." Without acknowledging you any longer she walks on. "I will see you in your room." [[Right. Good. Okay.->Ending-130]]Maybe it's not the nicest thing to do, but you have a burning desire to know <i>what is going on</i>. You reach out to dig in Demeter's mind. But something is wrong. The sharp stab of pain goes through your mind like a white-hot pin through a melon. It feels like your brain is going to explode. When the pain finally recedes you look up at Demeter, staring down at you with those unreadable pale blue eyes. "I will see you upstairs." [[Yes. Upstairs. Good.->Ending-130]]Demeter walks into your room like she owns it. With glance over her shoulder she looks at you. "Do you remember how we fought in this room?" You nod. You remember. You felt truly alive then. "I was such a foolish young girl back then. Thought I could take on everything in the world." [[If you were a foolish young girl, I was a foolish young vampire.->Ending-140]] [[If you had not been foolish, I would not be talking to you right now.->Ending-150]] [[Why are you here, Demeter?->Ending-160]]The head of the Adventurer's Guild and possible one of the most powerful still living mages in the world smiles at you. "Yes. You were." Ouch. "But we've changed a lot since then, haven't we?" "I decided to try and change this world. Make something better of it. And you wanted to help." "But I need to know if you have really changed, old friend. Or if you're back to your old ways." [[What?->Ending-160]]The archmage smiles at that. "Yes. I guess my foolishness was all for the best." "But if there's one thing I've learned, it's that to change is the hardest thing in the world." "Have you really changed, old friend?" [[You look at her, silently.->Ending-160]]Demeter looks down, her fingers moving over the smooth wood of her wizard's cane. She frowns. "There are those back home that say that the deal that I have with you is irresponsible. That one can never trust a vampire." She looks down and sighs. When she looks up, her mouth forms a thin line. Anger radiates from her. "Even I am not immune to politics, old friend. So here I am, sent to fight the Vampire in it's evil lair of ultimate evilness." She spits on the floor, a surprisingly shocking sight in it's unexpectedness. [["So what am I to do, old friend?"->Ending-170]] "So what am I to do, old friend?" You look at Demeter, wide-eyed. Is she really asking you what you think she's asking? You realize that Demeter is probably one of the very few people in the world who could defeat you. If your guess is correct, and she has been studying magic for the decades you haven't seen each other, she might very well have the upper hand. Finally, you open your mouth to answer. "You should..." (if:$kills>2)[(set: $ending to "bad")](else-if:$goodEndings>2)[(set:$ending to "good")](else:)[(set:$ending to "ok")] [["... fight the vampire and win."->Ending-181]] [["... fight the vampire and lose."->Ending-182]] [["... kill the vampire."->Ending-183]] "You should fight the vampire and win." Demeter turns around and looks at you. She is silent for a while, looking out of the window. (if:$ending is "bad")[ Demeter turns from the window and faces you. Her eyes are starting to glow with magical power. "Yes, I think I will." [[Seven hells. That was <b>not</b> what I meant!->ending-kill_ending]] ](else:)[ When she turns around, she smiles. It's the same pretty smile from so many years ago, the one she smiled you when the pair of you realized that neither one had the upper hand. "I knew you'd understand." [[Discuss how you are going to do this->ending-win_ending]] ]"You should fight the vampire and lose." When you said it, you know that it's a mistake. (if:$ending is "good")[ Demeter tenses. Her jaw sets. Then she sighs and shakes her head. "Who am I kidding. I can't say no to you. Every decision you've made so far has been the right one." You smile, relieved that your old friend understands what you've been doing here. [[Alright, what are we going to do?->ending-lose_ending]] ](else-if:$ending is "ok")[ "No, I don't think I will lose." You tense, ready for a fight. Demeter shakes her head. "Please, don't get me wrong. I am not <i>actually</i> going to fight you. We will talk about this and I won't actually hurt you." It galls you to admit it, but she probably could. [[Agree to lose the 'fight'->ending-win_ending]] ](else:)[ Demeter turns from the window and faces you. Her eyes are starting to glow with magical power. "No, I don't think I will lose." [[Seven hells.->ending-kill_ending]] ]"You should kill the vampire." You say the words before you realize you said them. Where did that come from. Demeter just <i>looks</i> at you. The silence in the room stretches until it's too thin to hold the tension. (if:$ending is "good")[ The archmage's laughter fills the room. She looks at you with a twinkle in her eyes. "You always had a great sense of humour, for an undead aberration." You can't help but join in with her laughter. [[Alright, then what are we going to do?->ending-win_ending]] ] (else:)[ "Yes. I think you're right." [[You don't know what to say.->ending-kill_ending]] ]You sit down with your old friend to discuss the details of your 'fight'. It turns out that the political powers around the Adventurers Guild have been pressuring them to take care of you. Demeter will return home victorious. You will have to leave your lair. Burn it, probably. But the pair of you have already worked out where your new lair is going to be. And the adventurers will still be sent there. Their mettle will be tested. By you. [[The end]] You are stronger then any human. Faster then they can see. Tougher then a bear. None of that helps if your blows rebound of Demeter like you're hitting a wall. You can hypnotize humans, make them do your bidding. Demeter's mind is like a steel armour. You can't penetrate her defenses. In the end, Demeter levitates in the air, surrounded by a fiery aura. You are lying on the ground, a mass of primal fear and hate. The end is nigh. The Beast gathers it's strength for one desperate attack at the one you once called your friend. The flames she sends towards you are white hot. Then there is darkness. [[The end]]Demeter sighs and sits down with you, to discuss what you are going to do. It turns out that the political powers around the Adventurers Guild have been pressuring them to take care of you. Demeter either returns victorious, or politics will force her out of the office, her magical powers be damned. Fighting you simply isn't fair to anyone. The archmage looks tired as she stares out of the window. You feel sorry for your old friend as you watch her sit there, defeated by the same people she and you have been striving to help. That's when you realize it. You don't need your lair. If the Adventurer's Guild doesn't want the pair of you anymore, maybe you don't need the Adventurer's Guild anymore. You can become travelling Monsters. Finding adventurers everywhere. Their mettle will be tested. By you and Demeter. "Hey, Demeter. How do you feel about hiking?" [[The end]] =><= $episodeText[<font size=12>The end.</font>] [[Thanks for playing!]]That's it! It's done! Thank you so much for playing! I hope you enjoyed yourself while playing this, I certainly enjoyed myself making it! Thanks to Twine for putting their product on-line for free. Thanks to Joror for hanging out with me while we do the Dare, it's always good to hang out together! Thanks to the Ludum Dare community for being awesome! There are three endings and a lot of different paths! Want to find them all? Go back to the ending [[here->Starting screen]]!