You crouch down and pick up the last bundle of sticks for the day. You give a sigh of relief as you realize it is time to go home. Looking around, you are deep within the forest and it is getting late. Marching back to the dirt path, you set off in the direction of [[home->Smoke]].
(Set: $Hoe = "false")
(Set: $Axe = "false")
(Set: $Sword = "false")
(Set: $Pickaxe = "false")
(Set: $Mineral = "false")
(Set: $Shovel = "false")Not long after, you exit the forest. You smile at the thought of seeing your wife and son tonight, maybe you'll read him more of //Garnath the Barbarian// befo-
**Something is off.**
You look up and the sky has several trails of black smoke just above the hill in front of you. You take off down the trail as fast as you can. You crest the hill and see the [[village]] in front of you. Or... whats left.Your house is the closest. The roof is ablaze and it has collapsed, crushing some of the water barrels that you had stacked a few days ago. The water trickles down to the body of your wife. She lay in a growing puddle of water, blood and mud. A long gash pusses from her back. the body of your son lays on his side next to her, scratches and bruises covering his body.
Your mind is racing as you try to comprehend the scene in front of you. Your breath becomes ragged as you begin to have a panic attack.
Summoning all your courage, you force yourself to remain calm.
Now what..? [[Examine your home]] [[Grab Shovel]] [[Examine Burnt poster]] [[Continue into your burnt fields]] [[Continue down muddy path]]The house has been utterly trashed. Looking through the windows, you see your bed torn to pieces and this morning's groceries tossed about. Your bedroom wall has been smashed opened and you can see your clothes tossed about. The entire place is still aflame.
Looking around, you see a bucket on the ground. You have a well around back.
[[Its gone anyway, I have to move on.|village]]
Put [[Home]] out with well water?[[Bury Family]] Go back to [[village]] ?
(Set: $Shovel = "True")You rip the dry poster off your front door. It has a crude drawing of a man in his late 30's. His face looks quite familiar.
Return to the [[village]]?Looking around, there is not much that remains here. A few flames catch on the remaining strands of wheat. In the center of the field is a pile of your furniture that has caught fire suddenly. A hoe sticks out of the top. [[Grab hoe that is stuck in furniture.|Grab hoe that is stuck in the ground]]
Your hands tighten on the gardening tool. As you try to rip it out of the burning pile, it lurches and snaps in half. Oh well.
Now what? [[Examine wood shed.]]You examine the remains of the wood shed. It has recently burnt out and the charred remains hold nothing of value. You rest your back against the one remaining pillar.
After a few moments you shake your head.
This is not time to rest.
[[Return to your home?|village]] A few hours pass as you dig holes in the burnt field for both bodies. Your mind is blank, the shovel lifting the dirt almost by itself.
You complete the graves with some stones from the nearby riverbed. Standing up, you watch over the graves silently.
What do you even say?
You bow your head and return to your [[home.|village]]You toss the last bucket of water on the home, extinguishing the flames. Setting the bucket down, you rest on the remains of a bench in front of your home. Glacing at your feet, you notice a picture frame buried in the mud.
It's that time you went to the summer lights festival in the capital. Your son really enjoyed the roasted turkey leg we got that day. His smile accompanied by your wife's makes your stomach twist.
Can't focus on that now. I can't.
Go back to the [[village]]?You walk down the muddy path surrounded by bodies of your neighbors. It begins to rain. You look around at the destruction of burning homes and fields. [[Examine burning buildings]] [[Continue along muddy path]] You walk up to the closest straw house. These houses are barely standing, though they have long since gone out. On the front door is another poster with the same $300 bounty...
[[Go back?|Continue along muddy path]] You continue along the muddy path through the village, the buildings beginning to fizzle out. Ahead of you lies a forest, onward you recall tales of a city past the mountains. You turn to look at the aftermath of destruction and your heart sinks once more. A spark of anger begins inside of you. You take that energy and turn it into a sprint. The shadows of the clowds above you matching your mood. Soon you are lost in the trees. [[To the Forest]]You glance around at the forest above. Despite your current emotional state, the forest is truly beautiful. The smell of burning wood is still strong here. [[move on down the path]]You emerge into a clearing, the crunch of dead leaves beneath your feet. Ahead of you is a wooden cabin with its roof caved in, a few flames still burning inside. A few broken barrels line the house and a well with a bucket is off to your right. To the left of the cabin lies a body with a wood cutting hatchet stuck in it's back. [[Move further along the path.]] [[Examine body of wood cutter]] Hoofprints mark the path ahead and you start to hurry. This could be the closest lead you have had to figuring out what happened. [[I have to hurry!|Path to cave]]The body is of a man in his early thirties. You remember this man. He gave you wood last winter. Even hauled it for you. [[Grab axe from his back]]
You glance around. [[Examine signs of struggle]]
[[Go back?|move on down the path]]You hesitate.. Isn't this desecration? Well.. You might need this.
You rip the axe from his body, the sound makes you cringe slightly.
You sigh and cover the body with a nearby tarp. No one deserves this.
[[Go back?|Examine body of wood cutter]] The ground around the body has all sorts of tracks. Human prints alongside hoofprints mark around the body. [[Follow signs to well.]]You follow the signs up to a well nearby. You haul up the bucket and inside is a single finger.
[[Put out fire on cabin]]After a few hours you put the cabin out. It's.. time to move on. You're wasting time.
[[move on down the path]] You look up as rain begins to patter on your coat.
Maybe this will help take out some of the fires, you think absentmindedly.
I've got to hurry.
You press on.
[[Emerge from forest]]You emerge from the forest and find a tower greeting you. The path stretches up the side of a mountain, and past that you can just make out the shape of a cave entrance.
I've got to hurry, I can't waste time.[[Follow up path towards the cave]]
Maybe there is something up there I can use. [[Examine tower]]You set off towards the cave and before long, your feet have grown tired. You rest for a moment on your climb, leaning against a nearby rock. Looking out across the path, you notice a quarry down below.
[[Move up towards cave.]] [[Examine quarry.]] The tower is made of wooden poles leaning against each other in the shape of a pyramid. You see a man seated at the top, a bow leaning against the railing. He looks down at you and raises an eyebrow.
[[Speak to man]][[Hey! What way to the lord?]]He points up the path and says,
"Thats the fastest route. Though it isn't really the safest. You could try and cut through the quarry, but I'm sure there are plenty of people looking for you."
He grins and holds out a poster.
"Don't worry, I won't say nothin."
[[Points up the path]]"The only thing is, you're gonna wanna follow the lanterns. Its easy to get lost in the there." He says.
"Your journey has been easy so far. Don't expect the same once you enter there.." He warns.
[[Do you have something to help with the light? |Ask for a light]]
[[I've wasted enough time. |Follow up path towards the cave]] He frowns for a second and then nods.
He disappears for a few seconds and you can hear the sound of him rummaging around up there.
After a few moments he returns and puts something in a bucket. Using a pulley system, he lowers it down to you.
Inside is a lantern.
"Here ya go. You shouldn't have to worry about any oil, there is plenty in there."
[[Thank the man and leave. |Follow up path towards the cave]] You climb that last mile or so in silence. The hike is taxing, your bodyis quite tired but you are determined.
The cave stands before you, the small glow of lanterns ahead. [[Into the cave!]]A can just barely see a few people moving about. Several men clad in armour bully the workers, holding a paper up to their faces. They shake their head and return to their work.
You shake your head. They'll never find you up here. As you get ready to leave again, you notice something jutting out of the rocks below.
It looks... like a pickaxe! You might need that in the cave ahead, though it looks quite tricky to get to.
[[Try to reach for the pickaxe.]] [[Don't risk it.|Move up towards cave.]]You climb down the rocks and reach for the pickaxe.
You are only a few inches away before you suddenly lose your grip and fall. You scramble and grab a rock ledge just in time. Looking down... that would be quite a fall.
[[Should I try again..? |Try again]] [[I'm wasting time. I can't solve this if I'm dead. |Give up]]You bite your lip.
Screw it. You lauch yourself and grab the pickaxe. Holding on for dear life, you haul yourself up and get an even footing. Well that paid off.You put the pickaxe in your pack and head back to the path. [[Move up towards cave.]] It's not worth it. I'm wasting time. As you climb back up to the path, the ledge that you were on gives way and falls. That.. was close. [[Move up towards cave.]] [[Entrance of cave]]The silence of the cave is unnerving. Your steps echo off the cave walls, but at least the lanterns light the way.
[[I have a lantern!]]
[[I don't have a lantern..]]The pathway splits[[Go left!]]
[[Go straight!]][[Go straight!]] Railways lead down this path and you reach a fork in the path.
[[Go in the direction of the dripping]]
[[Go in the direction of scuffling]]
[[Go back.|I have a lantern!]]
This path is quite dark, the wood around you is rotting and you start to notice the pathway leading downwards. [[Go back.|I have a lantern!]] [[Pfft, Keep going!]]You set off along the railroad tracks lined by lanterns. Your footsteps echo off the cave walls as you crunch the dirt of the cave floor.
Before long, you reach a large chamber with a single railroad track running through the center of it. Halfway up the track is a platform branching off to the left. It would appear there used to be a second track this way but it has long since crumbled. On the far left wall the other side of the track remains and you can just make out the shape of a backpack.
[[Continue following the lanterns.]]You enter the room and immediately notice a pool in the center of the room. A small waterfall trickles down the northern wall and enters the pool. Your lantern barely lights the large room but something glows inside the pool. Peering closer you notice that there are several small radiant stones at the bottom of the stagnant water. [[Dive in and pick away at the stones!]] [[Step away from the stones]]Dead.You plunge into the pool and take the pickaxe off your back. The stones give way in a few swings and you collect the remains in your pouch. [[Go left!]] You step back uneasily and return to the main room. [[I have a lantern!]] As you continue downwards, the path starts to curve immediatly, weaving back and forth. Soon after you can't remember which way you came from. "Well... Shit." You say, glancing around at the endless pathways in either direction. You spend the rest of your days trying to find the way out of the caves. You chop away at the rope and it gives way. Glancing across at the gap, you figure you could probably swing across. Probably. You bite your lip as you think.
[[I can't risk it.|Continue following the lanterns.]]You set off down the track once more, the lanterns light casting shadows along the walls.
Up ahead you notice a warm glow being cast on the rock side. Moving closer, the pathway opens up into a large room. There are forges and anvils scattered around the chamber and plenty of tools and books laying about. Bits of glowing pebbles sit in barrels nearby. You wonder why..
At the other end of the room are a pair of wooden doors. A bright light shines through the cracks.
[[Try using the stones?|Make a sword.]]
[[Go through the doors.|Cave Exit]]You decide to risk it. Grabbing ahold of the swinging rope you take a few steps back and ready yourself. "Well, here goes nothing.." You say dryly, and take off at full sprint. The momentum launches you forward, a beautiful arc forming. Your eyes grow wide as you realize you aren't going to make it.
[[Quickly try to swing back!]]You let go and slam against the side of the cliff. You hold for dear life as your fingers begin to slip on the rocks. Gritting your teeth and using all your strength, you pull yourself up onto the ledge. Your breath is ragged from the recent experience but out of the corner of your eye, you catch a gleam near the backpack.
Sitting up, you approach the backpack and find an Iron Shield laying next to it. Inside the backpack is a Brown Cloak. You gather up the items and great ready to leave. Now.. how to get back.
[[Try to jump!]]
As you swing back, you hear a groan from the platform. The support snaps and you are sent reeling into the dark. You are never seen again.You leap across in one bound!
or at least you try.
You fall a few feet short of the platform and plummet to your death. There isn't much space on this cliff but nearby is a stack of supports. Picking one of them up, you swing it across and create a makeshift bridge!
[[Time to move on.|Continue following the lanterns.]]Using the minerals that you mined earlier in the cave, you select one of the molds and begin fashioning a sword.
[[Acquire Sword!|Continue following the lanterns.]]You push open the doors and are greeted with a soft sunset, the sun barely above the horizon line. A massive city stands a few miles in front of you, the walls easily a few stories high. You made it. You're finally at his palace.
**Continue to Part Two later!**
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