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Birdship: A Suggestion Game

Discussion in 'Choose Your Own Adventure Land' started by Gobblecock, Sep 25, 2015.

  1. Esquilax Arcane

    Esquilax
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    Now that you mention, oscar, that Archer character sounds mighty interesting...
     
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  2. Gobblecock Arcane Zionist Agent

    Gobblecock
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2014
    Messages:
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    ❀═══════════❀═════════════❀══════════════❀════════════❀
    A Look Into the Serpent's Eyes
    ❀═════════BACK═════❀═════════════❀═════NEXT══════════❀



    A triumphant burst of laughter echoes off the thick stone walls of the chamber inside the tall tower.

    "Haha, how quickly our fortunes can turn around, eh? Now I'm out of the hole, and you're down in it! You'll never get out!"

    "Damn my luck! Damn these dice! Damn you!"

    In the winch-room of a gatehouse tower on the main city wall, two scarred veterans are sitting on their cots, dressed in their rust-stained quilted jerkins, one with a pile of silver coins near him, the other shaking his head mournfully.

    "Throwing snake-eyes three times in a row ain't how you win this game, Hodge Fletcher! Haha! Still, I won't complain while I take your wages for this month and the next! Hah!"

    "And a bloody pox may you get from the whore that you'll be spending it all on, Watkin Stout."

    "Is that an offer to work off your debts?"

    "The Serpent take your eyes!"

    More laughter fills the room, this time from the spectators seated on other cots around the two gamblers in the winch-house barracks. Ever since the Duc de Luche had encamped his forces around the city and begun setting up his engines and mines and pickets, the high and well-built walls of Coronvallis had been put under constant vigilance--and nowhere more assiduously than at the Peregriner's Gate, which was the closest gatehouse to the White Hall, the royal palace itself.

    Despite the rough edges and the rude manners on most of the soldiers here, these were some of the best men that the Crown could gather. More to the point, they were all true-born Merrow lads without ancient noble lineages to divide their loyalties to the crown. They were tall and broad-shouldered from being raised on mutton and the meat-filled suet puddings of the Merovian yeomanry; and to a man, their strong-boned features could have graced their ancestors who had followed the legendary knight Merovech on his expedition to slay Goyemagot and Gogan in their lairs. The feat accomplished, a land he carved here for his people long ago.

    A loud crack interrupts the good cheer in the gatehouse. The room vibrates and dust floats down from the ceiling. A few days ago, one of the enemy's siege engines had been finished and then began the slow and inaccurate process of dismantling the tower, to the horror of nearby townsmen in their flimsy dwellings more than the guards in the sturdy tower itself. It was still difficult not to be a little unnerved.

    "Hoy, enough of this prattle!" One of the spectators jumps to his feet restlessly and makes for the door to the wall outside. "Time for a piss while it's reloading! Which direction should I go this time? Out toward the Luchards trying to kill us, or in toward all the damned foreign fops that we're 'protecting' here?"

    "Piss outward, Higg. You can count on a Luchard to be yellow, but a man that deals with the Dauphinois and their ilk had best know the direction that the wind is blowing before he goes to them, aye?"

    More chuckles follow Higg outside. There were few fates more draining than standing ready at all hours of day and night atop the battered Peregriner's Gate with a bunch of other rough characters. Careless laughter at everything and everyone was the only lubricant that kept the friction from grinding away their sanity.

    A few brief moments later, Higg flings open the door again and rushes back in with his leggings undone. "Bugger me! Look outside that arrow loop, Wat! There's a great huge throng of torches swarming down the Grinnersgate Broad from that squid-tower over there! What means this?"

    The men all pile toward the narrow windows on the inner side of the tower. Like a great serpent made of fire, down from the Dauphinois estate slithered a long column of men through the Peregrine District, lit torches blazing in one hand, and unsheathed swords flashing in the other hand.

    "Means we're about to earn our pay, lads. Put on your hauberks and every man be to arms!"

    ***​


    A voice drifts down. "Who goes there in that rabble?"

    Devilish shades of red and orange play on the faces of the mob, lit up by the flickers of the many torches held aloft among them. At the head of this host, the Chievre stands boldly and perfectly at ease, encased in a finely-embossed plate armour with dolphins on each shoulder and, tucked under his arm, a helmet wrought into the shape of a goat's head. Beside him, Theverin looks uncomfortable and scared in an ill-fitting cuirass and a padded jack, holding onto the staff of a limp flag bearing similar icons on quartered fields. The older man growls out in Armentish, and with squeaky shouts upward, Theverin translates to those in the gatehouse.

    "His Grace, Charles li Chievre Dauphinois, li Grand Chancelier et li Prince-Electeur de Avenois, bids me inform you that the allegiance of the Dauphinois family has been declared for the rightful king, Lucien li Aiglantier de la Tablehaute, par la grace de Dieu, li Duc de Luche and li Reis de Merovie! Come down and swear your fealty likewise!"

    The voice above, determined and gravelly, rumbles back down. "Couldn't understand a word of that nonsense, but all those spitting and throat-clearing noises sound bad for your friend's health, mate. Better get that physicked up!"

    "Come down, gentle sirs," Theverin pushes onward without translating. "You are vastly outnumbered! Your duty does not require fighting for a hopeless cause! From the coffers of the Dauphinois, we have gold and silver a-plenty for those who will join us!"

    "You keep your money, since you've already earned it fairly from me! That's my silver you got down there in your coffers, you Armentine whoremonger! I've been fucking all your women in this district after each paying out."

    "Let us speak reason, my dear sir! If you are mercenaries, then indeed you should look carefully toward your next paying out. Little joy in our chaste maidens will you find, when you are lying cold and dead."

    "So long as I'm stiff, I'll still serve them better than an Armentine bugger boy! But enough merriment, since I'll leave the last grin for you. You address the King's Yeoman Guard of the Most Worshipful Brotherhood of the Raven-Brooch, and each one was fastened to our cloaks by the hand of the King himself on the battlefield; and this tower here, our charge to keep from his own tongue, is the Grinner's Gate. And when your head hangs slack-jawed upon a post up here, you may grin at that!"

    Theverin takes in a deep breath and begins translating. An angry roar is followed by the Chievre slamming his helmet down over his rage-contorted face, shouting "A lor! A lor! Apportez moi lor testes!"

    ***​

    You decide that the time has come to begin your escape plans in good earnest. You have already delayed them far too long, while fruitlessly hoping that Theverin would change his mind and release you. Now, for some odd reason, the cooks no longer seem to have any food scraps left to hurl down their rubbish chute. If you don't take your fate into your own hands soon, you will waste slowly away.

    With a quick prayer to the Mother of Mercy, you determine that the first step should be to survey your surroundings by lighting a fire. The remains of a few old barrels that you had discovered during your blind groping of the room's perimeters should be adequate to get a small blaze going. While pasturing your sheep in the high moors, you have been forced more than once to start a fire with only the friction of two sticks and some tinder.

    You rub two broken bits of the planks together as forcefully as you can summon the strength, straining at the exertion and beginning to doubt that you have the health for this task in your present weakened state. Despair starts to leak into your efforts and further dampen your ability. Finally, with a cry of frustration, you throw all your energy into a last frenzied attempt.

    An ember glows amid the scraps of wool cloth that you placed down as tinder, and you laugh joyfully with a delirium of relief and exhaustion as the rags readily take the flame. The fire quickly flares up into a nice little blaze.

    Before your eyes, the little campfire transforms into a portal that links this realm to a different realm entirely, a realm of brimstone and of smoke and of flame. From this doorway to the fiery domain emerges an awe-inspiring visitor, a shimmering serpent of orange and red that coils itself up and winds around in mid-air hypnotically before your eyes, in a dance both majestic and utterly heart-stopping.

    You have summoned the great Serpent himself, Gogan, now reincarnated into this realm in a body of pure flame. He races along the walls and the floor, and in some spots, he takes to the air in writhing and leaping tongues of flame. Then he spreads his wings and puffs out his chest, rearing up to his full height in front of you.

    The dragon stares pitilessly into your eyes. You shriek out a ward of protection against his evils and meet his gaze without flinching. You do not look away even when your left eye explodes in its socket and runs down your melting cheeks. The wyrm picks you up off your feet, raises you up into its roaring bosom of blistering heat, and hurls you against the chamber wall. Darkness takes you.

    ***​

    The splintered remains of the wrecked door still lay in the doorway out to the wall parapets, clogging it up. The gaping holes around this debris were stuffed full of the bodies and limbs that had tried to gain entrance into the gatehouse from that direction. Its panting defender, Watkin Stout, was drenched in sweat and matted with blood from his spirited defence. He couldn't help but wear a maniac grin on his face, grim and blood-chilling, at this heroic handiwork of his.

    Then Higg's hacked body tumbled down the stairs from the rooftop battlements, followed by a screeching follower of the Dauphinois, wild-eyed and victory-drunk. The rebels had scaled up to the rooftop and taken it. As the attacker staggered backward off the length of Wat's sword, shocked into horrified sobriety at his sudden mortal wound, Wat himself felt his battle-crazed grin evaporating. They were simply too many, even for his battle-tested boys. The Grinner's Gate was lost. Hard to keep grinning at that.

    Then the dark heavens awoke with a tremendous flash of light and the tower rattled. No, it seemed the entire district rattled, and a great infernal gout rose up into the sky in the direction from which the assault was coming. Soon he heard panicked shouts in the Armentish tongue and the assailants were running in every direction but toward the winch-room.

    ***​

    You awaken with searing pain, your shattered body half buried in a muddy section of earth, surrounded by chunks of heavy stone rubble and staring up at the unexpected beauty of a rosy-fingered dawn for the first time in an unknown number of months. The half of you that remained exposed to the open air is mostly charred or melted away, including your left eye and left arm, but after polling the various parts of your body with a desire for them to twitch with life, you are somewhat confident that you still have both legs that want to weakly respond. The pain is too great to think of trying to move your head for a glance of confirmation.

    In addition to the totality of agony that covers your body, you are left shivering and your teeth chattering. The melting of your skin and of your subcutaneous layers of fat on many areas of your body has left you gripped with a deep unshakeable sense of freezing to death, even though you suspect it is neither winter nor very cold.

    Over top all these physical sensations, your mind works analytically on a surface level to try to understand why you yet live, and your soul churns more deeply on an spiritual level to decide whether you were just now saved or damned. One search proves fruitless, and the other search ripens to a certainty as you rattle an attempt at prayer.

    "Please, Mother of Mercy, let me die!"

    The prayer comes out only as a soft, tortured suspiration. Just before you black out again, you hear the familiar cry of a dove and some peace comes to you, knowing that at least one thing dear to you has survived your hell.


    Start a New Game from the beginning.

    Continue playing as Oswald Fordwyne in his present condition.

    Continue playing as Beau Blanc, your only surviving companion.

    Exit to MS-DOS
     
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  3. oscar Tacticular Staff

    oscar
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    N

    Though continuing could be interesting. Lost eye, lost arm, many serious burns..

    Will a new character take us back to the start or will we pick up someone still kicking here?
     
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  4. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    Things got Dwarf-fortressy real fast. Did we thwart the attack? :lol:

    We have made the escape we wanted to make. With an extra oomph, too. No backing down now. We will make Oswald the best Lord ever!
     
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  5. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    What was that bird dating Simulator called? Hateful Boyfriend?
    Beau Blanc!>Oswald Fordwyne
     
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  6. Kipeci Magister

    Kipeci
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    B > O

    I want to eat our failure and carry on for once, but... being a pretty bird with luscious, full-formed wings... it's very tempting.
     
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  7. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    You know, our hero being broken, beat and scarred as he is gives us a lot of interesting opportunities for character development.
     
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  8. Gobblecock Arcane Zionist Agent

    Gobblecock
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    The New Game option goes all the way back to the beginning of the time frame and resets everything to initial conditions of play, so that, like any good CYOA paperback book, you can make much better choices. (Or not.) That includes rolling a new character with a new background. (Or not.)

    Yes! They really didn't know why their stronghold and staging point would suddenly vanish in a ball of fire and raining debris, but whatever caused it was probably not good and meant that their plot had been exposed beforehand and they were put into a trap by the king. Or so it seemed from their vantage point.

    Hmm. I may have some research to do.
     
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  9. Grimgravy Augur Patron

    Grimgravy
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire
    B>N - People voted for a bird brained religitard, now we can be a bird!
     
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  10. Elfberserker Liturgist

    Elfberserker
    Joined:
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    N

    While playing as burned half-dead man or lovely bird sounds unusual paths, but I kind a wanted to control personal field more than playing some creepy burned stranger who has no land in his name.
     
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  11. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    You'll never know, the writ might have survived!
     
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  12. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Oh, dammit guys, we just summoned an evil serpent spirit and leveled am entire army of traitors and you want to quit now? Saint Oswald's tale is only beginning! Deus Vult!
     
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  13. Gobblecock Arcane Zionist Agent

    Gobblecock
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    The text of the writ was written in duplicate on a large parchment, which was then cut jaggedly down the middle to form two halves with a matching pattern to their torn edges, a crude authentication measure, and one half was stored in the Chancery archives. With knowledge of the details, you'd be able to get a restoration of the writ.

    What restoration you cannot so easily get is... your eye, your arm, your semblance of a human being, etc. The writ is the least of your worries.
     
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  14. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Our faith will see us through!
     
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  15. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Clearly, we have transcended humanity.
     
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  16. Elfberserker Liturgist

    Elfberserker
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    Oh, fine.
    flopping to O>N

    As long as we don't continue as bird, no matter how lulzy it seems.
     
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  17. lightbane Arcane

    lightbane
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    Well, that ended poorly, as expected. Still, I didn't expect the main character to survive. This must be the second CYOA in a row that right at the start the protagonist suffers severe body injury (including losing an eye), due a bad choice. Unfortunately, I doubt we'll find a conveniently placed Deus Ex Machina Device to heal our wounds (unless your wish your future choices to be something like: A: Cry in agony ; B: Whimper ; C: Struggle to move; D: Pass out from the pain). Still, it's tempting just to see what happens. Same with the bird. Lastly, what happens with the "Exit to MS-Dos" option? Would we get to play another CYOA game, such as a Doom-inspired one, a Rance CYOA or even a Call of Duty one?:troll:

    Jokes aside, I vote for: B>O>N>X

    PS: Also, it's Hatoful Boyfriend. There's a lp here about the game, but sadly it was abandoned, most likely because the LPer went mad from learning such dark, eldritch knowledge that man was not meant to know. Be careful if you dare to play that game.
     
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  18. archaen Arbiter Patron

    archaen
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  19. oscar Tacticular Staff

    oscar
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    Bump
     
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  20. Esquilax Arcane

    Esquilax
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    Voting N as well. I have no fucking idea what an LP as a deranged man's bird companion would look like.
     
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  21. Grimgravy Augur Patron

    Grimgravy
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire
    Pooping on the heads of our enemies and flying away with impunity! +M
     
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  22. wjw Augur

    wjw
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    O - The codex always fancies desperate projects.
     
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  23. oscar Tacticular Staff

    oscar
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    Bump
     
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  24. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    So... how dead is it? :M

    Gobblecock, you seemed to mention that you have created certain subplots for this game and that you would like to keep them.

    If the preservation of the protagonist or turning him into a bird makes this impossible (which it well might be), we can just choose another protagonist.

    The game has an interesting premise, and the choices so far were extremely varied and interesting. It would be a shame to see this end prematurely.
     
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  25. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Nah, he's out gobbling cocks and being a drama queen. Should be back shortly.
     
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