As a kid, I was always a fan of Choose Your Own Adventure Stories. I've also always wanted to make an RP, but never had the patience for it. While brainstorming, I came up with an idea, to sort of merge these two likes of mine into a game:
How To Play
I will come up with a story, one segment at a time. At the end of the segment, the players will have a choice to make. Most of the time, you will be given two options for how to continue the story. Vote for the option you want to see pursued. When I write the next segment, the option with the most votes will determine how the story goes. You may vote multiple times, but may not double-post. In case of a tie, the first valid vote will win.
"The group came to a fork in the road. To the south was a rocky mountain range. To the north was miserable mire. A: Go South B: Go North"
"B. I've heard swamps are very refreshing."
"A. Mountains are good for exercise."
"The group decided to go south."
Occasionally, there may also be a free-for-all vote, where you can put whatever you want in. These votes don't affect the story, but allow you to add some personal flair.
If there are no votes, I may make my own vote and bump the thread with the next segment of the story. I will try to write once per day, but there may be longer delays between segments.
Be careful with your vote. There are no rewinds, and I won't be running this story again. While the story won't end prematurely, your choices could affect the ending and your companions.
And yes, I am making this story up as I go along. Only certain parts are set in stone.
The continent of Farondar consists of three kingdoms: The Kingdom of Gamikor to the northwest, the Norlock Coalition to the southwest, and the Trinic Empire to the east. The Empire has maintained control over the other two kingdoms for two centuries, and the land has been at peace. Glamikor does not oppose their rulers, and while the Coalition has always desired independence, the Empire's army has always kept them in check. However, peace does not ensure unity, and even the Empire's massive army was unprepared for what happened on that fateful day.
The sky opened up. A vortex that could be seen from nearly any point on the entire continent appeared in the heavens, and out of it flew a creature of legend--a massive blue dragon. It made its way towards Brinestrom, the Empire's port-city-capitol. It circled above the city, before landing on the palace.
Unfortunately, no one knows for sure what exactly happened next, as no survivors of the event managed to flee. All that was recorded to this point were given from eyewitnesses that were able to see what happened, but still far enough to escape. However, the aftermath can still be seen to this day. A massive dome, made of opaque dark energy, surrounded the capitol, then started to grow until it covered nearly half the continent. It then stopped, but it is believed that it could begin to grow again and devour the rest of Farondar at any moment.
That was two months ago.
The king of Gamikor has wanted to march his army into the dome, which has been called the Void, as he believes the dragon is still alive inside of it, and killing it will destroy the Void. However, the Coalition has seen this as its chance to build up its army and invade Gamikor. Too many innocent lives will be lost in such an invasion. Unfortunately, the army must be stationed at the border to prevent this from happening. Not all hope is lost, however. The king has invited the best mercenaries from across the land to form a group to invade the Void and kill the dragon. If they succeed they will be well compensated. You are one of these mercenaries.
The mercenaries decide to split into two groups. One will approach the void from the north, and the other from the south. You attend a meeting to determine which group you will go with.
"All right, well, welcome to my humble abode." Frederick Norton, the leader of the north group, greeted you. Despite his claim, his grand manor was anything but humble, filled with trophies from past bounties and awards given to him by grateful lords. Frederick was the most famous mercenary on the continent, having slain countless beasts threatening villages to bandits harassing merchants, and had even once foiled an assassination on the king. His long, wavy, blond hair complemented his perfectly polished white plate armor with blue accents. "Please make yourself comfortable. I'll have my servers bring out the food soon. You'll want to eat up, as I doubt you'll get a good meal once we're in the Void."
"Oh, please, cut the trash. We're not here for a fancy dinner." Everyone looked over at the speaker, leaning against a wall on the opposite side of the room. It was the leader of the south group, Jacques Martin. A middle-aged man with a fancy goatee, mustache, and crossbow, Jacques was almost as much of a legend as Frederick. He had worked as a general for the Empire for years, before eventually stepping down to pursue mercenary work for personal reasons. "Just brief the buggers so we can pack up and get moving. That Void's not going to destroy itself."
"Impatient as always, I see." Frederick raised an eyebrow. "Well, you all know why you're here. We'll be splitting into two groups to tackle the Void. Since we have no idea what it's like in there, we're going to have to be cautious. Splitting up makes it more difficult for dragon to take us all out simultaneously, and gives us a better chance of sneaking up it.
"My group is taking the north side. We'll be going through the northern Empire, which was mostly flat plains and farmland, and least before the Void hit. There's a lot more towns on the north side, which means more opportunities to restock on supplies.
"The south side, on the other hand, is heavily forested. There are also a couple of mountains, and a few forts. It's certainly a more difficult path that is more conducive to those with an aptitude for stealth.
"After dinner, meet up with either me or Jacques."
Who do you go with? A: Take the northern path through the plains with Frederick, the charismatic paladin B: Take the southern path through the forests with Jacques, the secretive rogue
Well, I hoping for at least two votes, but honestly I'm glad I got any.
Chapter 1 - Enter the Void
Your group decided to join up with Frederick's. You packed up rations for a two-week trip, hoping that you would be able to restock before your supplies ran out.
You traveled for a couple of days until you reached the Void. The journey there was largely uneventful, as the road was all in Kingdom territory. All the while, you could see the Void dome, slowly appearing to grow larger as you approached. Eventually, you reached its edge. At this point, the Void towered above you, and looked like a wall stretching infinitely in all directions. It was growing very slowly, at about an ant's pace. While a pure opaque black, the Void did seem to have a liquidy surface that reflected some sunlight.
Frederick grabbed a nearby branch and stuck it halfway into the surface of the Void. It went in without any resistance. However, Frederick, even with all his strength, could not manage to pull it back out. "As expected," he said. "You can enter the Void easily, but it seems no force in Farondar could push you out. This is your last chance to retreat. I won't be forcing any of you to follow me. There is a very real possibility that you will never come back out."
A booming voice was heard next to you. "And forfeit our pay?" It was Gordin, a muscular, shirtless warrior carrying a massive hammer the size of Frederick. "Ain't nobody here who would bother comin' all the way here just ta chicken out at da last second. Right?" He looked around at the group. "Or do I need ta clobber some courage into some of y'all?"
"Now, now, Gordy, sweetheart, not everyone hear is as strong as you." Elina, Gordin's wife and a beautiful, yet feared, warlock, attempted to calm him down. "Let's just go a bit easy on them. After all, if anyone tries to run I can summon some lightning to strike them down. Much more efficient, right darling?" Gordin broke into a big toothy grin and gave a slow chuckle. Any urge to abandon the quest suddenly left you. Looking back at Frederick, you caught a brief glimpse of stern disappointment before his normal glowing grin returned to his face.
"Well, now that we've got that settled, I suppose we should head in." He drew his weapon and stepped toward the Void. "Be careful. We have no idea what's on the other side. Could be hostile." He walked into the Void, and you could see the surface ripple as it was disturbed.
In case of an immediate attack, the group chose to go in with a scattered formation, to make it more difficult for them to be picked off. As you came in contact with the Void's surface, you felt strange. The Void itself didn't feel alien or hostile--in fact, it felt quite familiar. Darkness enveloped you for a moment, and then you were through. And what you saw was quite surprising.
There was no sunlight here, aside from a faint purple spot in the sky which you assumed was where the sun was trying to penetrate the Void's surface. In front of you was a massive field of azure grass, populated by blue fireflies traveling in small swarms. You could see the occasional tree as well, with some kind of strange green glowing fruits hanging from them. In fact, there seemed to be a lot of glowing spots in the distance that you couldn't distinguish. Some were moving, and were likely living creatures. The biggest eyecatcher, however, was the giant glowing pillar of light in far the distance.
"That's the Capitol, I think," said Frederick. "The dragon's probably there, maintaining the Void."
"I always love it when me target's obvious," said Gordin.
"Honestly, this place doesn't seem that bad," said Morris, a deadeye archer standing next to you. "A little hard to see, but you could probably get used to it."
"I've been here before," continued Frederick. "These trees are in the same spots, but they've grown and mutated quite a bit. Same thing with these fireflies. They're a common species here, but they're generally not this big, or blue, for that matter." You decided to get a closer look at one of the fireflies. It was the size of your hand. "If the Void can mutate living things, then watch yourself and keep me posted if you feel sick at all." Frederick moved towards one of the trees, and picked one of the fruits. It continued to glow in his hand, and, surprisingly, the tree instantly started growing another fruit to replace it. "These look edible. You could probably just peel off the skin, like an orange or a grapefruit."
"It could be poisonous," remarked Elina.
"It looks very yummy though. Gordin wanna try some." Gordin snatched the fruit from Frederick and peeled it, then broke off a piece and threw it in his mouth. "UMM! Best fruit I've ever had! Hey you, you want some?"
Gordin is offering you some fruit. It smells very sweet.
I'm reminded of the "Eat me" cake from Alice in Wonderland. There's no sensible reason to eat some strange, magical object you know nothing about... but how could you ever pass up the opportunity to taste this sweet-scented, glowing fruit?
You take a bite of the fruit. It's delicious, sweet and crisp, almost like a perfectly ripe apple.
"Ha! Your tongue's glowing!" Gordin laughs and points at you, oblivious to his own glowing mouth.
"Well, hopefully that wasn't poisonous," said Elina. "I suppose we'll find out in a day or two."
"The quickest way to the Capitol is to follow the Northwind road." Frederick is looking down the road, trying to make out as much as he can in the darkness. "It goes through the county seat of Northbastion, and a few smaller settlements. The first one we'll come across is Riverside, a small group of houses around a lumbermill. It's about a day away."
"A day away in daylight," interjects Morris. "The path can be a bit dangerous in the dark, so I'd estimate it would take about two days to get there. We also have no idea if we'd find friends or foes in the town. I recommend we set up camp for the main group tonight, and have a smaller group who's more experienced in moving quickly and quietly scout out the town. Plus, if they are friendly, I believe it would be courteous to let them know of our group in advance."
"Okay," agreed Frederick. "Who want to join the scouting group?"
You could stay and help set up camp, but you also have some experience in some espionage from a mission a while back. You could be helpful in the scouting team. But, you do feel a little strange. Not sick, just a little different than normal.
You meet up with Morris and leave the camp, following the road at a brisk pace. "I'm glad you went with me," he said. "Most of the stealthy guys went with Jacques. I was a little afraid that I'd be alone out here. Not my first rodeo, of course, but it's always nicer to have someone to watch your back on these kinds of missions."
You have no idea what a rodeo is, but decide not to ask him about it.
The trip was largely uneventful, aside from spotting some strange wildlife in the distance. However, none of it seemed hostile, and you hurried down the road. Soon, the town of Riverside was in sight. "We should try to get a good vantage point of the town before we walk in. Hmm, that hill over there seems like good spot." You climb the small hill and crouch while Morris grabs a spyglass from his bag and scans the town. You can't see his face very well, but you can see his jaw drop. "It can't be...look at this!"
Morris hands you the spyglass. You look at the town. It's lit up with lanterns allowing you to see the town's single street clearly. Then, you see what alarmed Morris. From a distance, you had seen shadows walking through the town, but couldn't quite make out what they were. Now you could see that they were bipedal beasts, with claws, scales, horns, a tail, and a pair of small wings.
"Dramen," said Morris. "Half-dragon creatures of legend that usually serve under a powerful drake. They're also known to eat people. If they've taken over the town, then there's very likely no survivors left. We should return to the camp and tell Frederick to skirt around Riverside."
You continue to look at the creatures, and, despite their distance, can very faintly hear them talking to each other. "Aw man, I can't wait to eat him," says one. "He's the fattest of the bunch. He'll make a great dinner."
"Why do you get him?" said another. "I'm the one who went through all the trouble of catching him! You know how fast those children can be!"
You tell Morris what you just heard. "What? How can you hear-- they must be at least 100 feet away! Never mind that, you can't seriously think its a good idea to rescue him. The two of us can't possibly take on this entire town alone!"
You know Morris is right. You could take out maybe two or three, but there was at least two dozen of them down there. Still, you can't just leave the child. Maybe you could sneak in? This strange feeling you have is also spreading through your body, but it is filling you with...confidence?
What do you do?
A: Rescue mission, attempt to save the child
B: Play it safe, return to camp and come back with a greater force
"No way!" Morris is still trying to convince you to stop, but after some arguing, he finally relents. "Okay, fine, I suppose you're right. I'm sure I'd regret it for the rest of my life anyway if I didn't at least try--Alright, you sneak in. I'm not very good at close range, so I stay back here and provide ranged support in case things get hairy. Now, you'd better get a move on."
You sneak toward the town. Hiding in the shadows, you follow the draman that you heard talking earlier. As you follow it, you can hear it, humming? "My Lady Fair," an old folk tune. You're surprised such a rough creature would appreciate such a song.
You follow it until it stops at a house. It goes inside and closes the door behind it. However, the door is in plain sight, and there are two other dramen talking to each other on the other side of the street who would clearly see you. You go behind the house to look for another entrance. Nothing, not even a window-wait, is that a chimney? It's a little cramped, and hard to climb in slowly without alerting the draman, but you successfully do so.
Looking into the room, it's very dark. You can barely make out the draman sitting at a grindstone, sharpening a knife. Then, it stops, and looks in your direction, sniffing the air
"What in the--" it mumbles. It gets up and walks towards the chimney. It's pretty dark in the chimney, so it might not see you even at point-blank range. Or, you could take your sword and try to stab it quietly.
You jump out of the chimney, and slash at the draman with an overhead swing. Surprised, it gave out a screech and fell backwards. You missed its head, instead hitting its shoulder. Your blade makes a shallow cut, causing some glowing purple blood to flow. It rolls away from you, then scrambles to its feet as it rushes through the door, yelling for help.
You're alone now, but you don't have much time. You look around the room. It seems like a typical rural dwelling, with two hay beds, a table, a cupboard, and a roasting spit next to the fireplace. It's surprisingly tidy and homey, You notice a wooden hatch in the corner, which probably leads to the basement. The child is probably down there.
It's pure darkness in the basement, so you light a candle and look around. There's a lot of barrels, sacks, wood shavings, and--a cage? You run over to it, and find, to your surpise, some kind of goat-like creature. It is covered in black wool and has glowing swirls on its horns. It looks kind of young--wait, a goat kid? As in child? Has this been a monumental waste of time?
Breathing out a sigh of frustration, you head back upstairs, but hear some talking. Peeking out of the basement, you see two dramen at the door, the green dramen you cut earlier and some tall, bronze draman you haven't seen yet. "Is it still in here?" it said, poking its head through the door cautiously.
"I-I think so. I didn't see it leave. Careful, it has a s-sword. Very dangerous!"
"Oh, come on, it barely scratched you. And look, you're healing already." The bronze draman opened the door fully and started to walk in. "Hey, uh, person? Could you come out please? Um, we won't hurt you. I'm guessing you're new here? We may look like monsters, but we're really-OW!"
An arrow zipped through the air and hit the bronze draman in the eye. Screeching in pain it fell to the floor. The green draman ran, screaming "EVERYBODY HIDE WE'RE UNDER ATTACK!!!"
You could easily flee in this chaos. Still, maybe they were peaceful?
This strange feeling you have is also getting really strong...your vision is starting to get blurry...
Flee or make reparations?
A: Run for the hills and retreat back to camp with Morris
You run past the bronze draman moaning in pain by the door and sprint down the street towards Morris. However, you are only a few yards away from the house when you are suddenly full of strange pains all over your body. You feel extremely weak all of a sudden, and collapse to the ground. The last thing you see before you black out is Morris running towards you, yelling your name...
You hear a strange voice, one that you have certainly never heard before, yet feels hauntingly familiar...
Welcome home. I know we haven't gotten to the best start, but I hope you don't stay mad at me for this. After all, everything I've done has been for your people.
You then hear some other voices, but they're muffled. You slowly open your eyes to see two blurry silhouettes leaning over you. You blink a couple of times, and they come into focus. The one on the left is Morris, while the one on the right is a navy blue draman. You were laying on a bed in a small cabin, likely not the same one you were in before with the goat.
"Hey, you're awake!" Morris says in a quiet voice. "It's all right, just get up slowly. You hurtin' anywhere? Alright, just take my hand, I'll help you up. And, uh, don't freak out."
You lift your arm, but then retract it out of surprise. At the end of your arm was no longer a hand but--a claw? Your arm was covered in scales--no, wait, your entire body was covered! You touched your face, but instead of the flat handsome face you were used to, you had a long, scaly snout. You got up to get a better look at yourself and--yep, that's a tail, and some wings.
You had turned into a draman!
"So I'm sure this is a big shock for you," said the blue draman. "I'm guessing you ate some of the fruit here? This would have happened to your regardless, but eating food here greatly speeds it up."
Morris began to speak. "Yeah, so it turns out we were completely wrong about these guys. Apparently the Void doesn't just change plants and animals, it affects people, too."
"We were once humans like yourselves," the draman continued. "When that dragon Naurigex invaded and spread his influence, the landscape changed almost instantly. All of our livestock changed soon as well. Our preserved food stayed intact, but some grew tired of it and tried to eat some of the plants and animals around us. They turned into beasts after a day. The rest of us tried to avoid eating the food, but after two weeks here, even we felt Naurigex's influence and were transformed. There is no escape from it."
"Gordin also ate some fruit," said Morris. "I hope the camp's not in complete chaos right now."
The door opened, and the bronze draman from earlier walked in, rubbing its eye. "Uh, sorry agin about shooting you," Morris said.
The bronze draman snorted. "Well, it's not like you could have done any significant damage. One of the perks of being part dragon is that we can heal from virtually any wound pretty quickly. My eye should be fine by tomorrow. Still, I hope that taught you to think before you shoot."
The bronze draman sat down next to you. "So your friend here explained everything to me. Really, you thought we were cannibals? I mean, I guess you didn't know our true nature, but the whole thing seems kind of silly honestly. Minus the 'getting shot in the eye' part. And maybe the 'stab Richard' part. Richard's that other guy whose house you broke into, by the way. Oh, my name is Bartin, and this is my wife, Camilla. So you're part of a mercenary group who wants to kill the dragon who caused all this? I mean, I get why someone would want to, but is being a draman really all that bad? Though I suppose I would like to see the sun again."
"Naurigex is extremely powerful," said Camilla, "and his influence grows stronger the closer to the capitol you go. We were only mildly affected, being on the outskirts of his spell, so its only affected our bodies, and only to a relatively minor amount."
Bartin interrupted. "Yeah, I've heard some of the people at the capitol have become full-fledged dragons and are extremely protective of Naurigex. Even long before that, you're going to run into people who greatly disapprove of your mission and will try to stop you."
"That's of course assuming Naurigex's influence doesn't completely take over your body and make you his slave before you even get to that part," continued Camilla.
"And, none of this even really matters, since Naurigex is immortal," Bartin interrupted again. "You can barely damage a draman with your sword. A Great Dragon like Naurigex will laugh off any attack you make on him. He'll probably just gobble you all up in one bite."
"We have a secret weapon," said Morris. "Frederick the mercenary is on our side, as well as Jaques."
"Yes, I've heard of them," said Bartin. "If rumors are true their weapons are forged from melted dragonscale itself, so there's a possibility it could damage Naurigex--still, I wouldn't get your hopes up."
You had a quick meal with the dramen, then Morris pulled you aside. "I've got to go back to camp. I'm worried about what may have happened to Gordin in our absence. But, I'm not sure if it's wise for you to come. You've still got to get used to your new body, and maybe these people can teach you how to use some of your new draman powers. However, I won't force you to stay."
I'm glad you guys are adding your own input into the story. Some extra flavor is nice.
Chapter 4: Betrayed
"Staying in town, huh?" said Morris. "To be honest I expected you to come with me. But that's all right. I should be back with Frederick in the others in no more than two days. If we don't arrive within five days, though, you should probably head to the rendezvous point, where our group is supposed to meet with Jacques' for the final assault."
You gave your goodbyes, then went to meet the townspeople. Riverside was a rather small community, which prior to the void's appearance, made most of its money from lumber. Some fields of wheat, barley, and cattle to south provided the town with sustenance throughout the year. Now, however, the town was mostly a shadow of its former self. No one worked the mill or the fields, due to how dark it was, and lack of need to labor any more.
"Being a draman has its perks," said Bartin. "We're virtually immortal. No need to eat, drink, or sleep, though we can still do those things if we want. And, as you have seen," he pointed to his eye which had fully healed by now, "we heal quickly. I don't even know if we can die, honestly."
"We used to continue doing our jobs after the transformation," said Camilla, "but the lack of any necessity to do so made people less willing to do any work. Honestly, the worst part of being dramen is that we've all grown lazy."
"Could be worse, though," said Bartin. "At least we still have our free will, unlike those poor souls in the capitol."
You continue to converse with the two dramen, then meet everyone else in town. Not getting many visitors, they are very interested in the stories you have to tell, and news from outside the Void. Without being able to see the sky or feeling tired, you talk for hours on end, far into in the night. The younger ones are especially interested in your stories and ask to play a game with you. They challenge you to a game of hide and seek, which ends up being a perfect way for you to realize your new abilities. You had enhanced vision, and could smell and hear things from nearly a mile away. Honestly, it no longer mattered that it was dark; your other senses made up for it enough that you were able to tell what was around as if it were as bright as day. It was almost as if you had a sixth sense that projected the entire environment into your mind.
Your enhancements were far from just sensory, however. You were fast, swifter than any horse. You were strong too. One of the children were hiding in a bush, and attempting to move a branch out of the way, you ended up somehow uprooting the entire bush with one arm. Running around like this was exhilarating. You had never felt a power rush like this before. In your excitement, you jumped up and attempted to fly--then crashed back down.
"Oof, did that sting?" said Bartin. "Yeah, these wings are kind of wimpy. Maybe you could glide with them, but they're certainly not flying you anywhere. And if you're also wondering, no you don't have any kind of fire breath. At least, none of us have."
You enjoy this time. It almost feels surreal, and for a time you forget that you are here to kill the dragon that gave you this power. No responsibilities, just having fun. Then, you hear a horn, and you remember the other mercenaries that are coming.
You, along with the other dramen, gather in street to greet the mercenaries. Frederick is leading the group of mercenaries, and you smile as old friends come into light. It fades though, when you can't see Gordin (or a draman) or Morris.
Frederick speaks up. "People of the empire, we have come to liberate my homeland from the tyranny of the dragon that plagues it. I am glad to once again breathe familiar air, walk familiar roads, and stand among my own countrymen. Which is why it excessively pains me to do this."
Frederick drew his sword. "Kill them all."
You're surprised and suddenly very afraid. You know how skilled Frederick is, and his mercenaries outnumber Riverside's small communities. However, you are a draman now, so it's unlikely anyone besides Frederick could do any lasting damage.