Thorns Paths - Twine Game - In Progress
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Startwords so the excel sheet doesn't break==><==
<h2>//Thorns//</h2>
You were always warned about the manor in the woods.
You chose to save your mother though by becoming
the Bride of the Creature of Fomorian.
Rose in hand, you walked to the manor and presented yourself in her stead.
It has been three months, and all of your preparations are in order.

It's time to run away.

[[Start New Game->Chapter 1 Start]]
(link: "Load")[(load-game: "file A")]
[[Credits]]

<!-- Inventory code -->
(set: $inv to (a:))
You were always warned about the manor in the woods.
You chose to save your mother though and to become the Bride of the Beast.
Rose in hand, you walked to manor and presented yourself in her stead.
It has been three months and all of your preparations are in order.
It's time to runaway.
3
Chapter 1 StartA gentle snow falls outside of the stained glass window. You've been watching it for hours, marveling at the soft down as it covers (link: "the world.")[the world. It's always cold here, but this is the first time you've seen snow.]

You've decided that tonight is the night that you're going to (link: "escape.")[escape. The snow will cover your tracks and the servants, so keen to keep an eye on you to care of your every whim, are huddled way in the kitchen near the fire. The Creature of Fomorian will undoubtedly be hiding up in his tower, watching the snow fall.]

You...
[[continue to watch the snow for a while.->c1.1]]
[[start gathering supplies for your escape.->c1.2]]
A gentle snow falls outside of the stained glass window. You've been watching it for hours, marveling at the soft down as it covers (link: "the world.")[the world. It's always cold here, but this is the first time you've seen snow.]

You've decided that tonight is the night that you're going to (link: "escape.")[escape. The snow will cover your tracks and the servants, so keen to keep an eye on you and take care of your every whim, are huddled way in the kitchen near the fire. The Creature will undoubtedly be hiding up in his tower, watching the snow fall.]

You...
[[continue to watch the snow for a while.->c1.1]]
[[start gathering supplies for your escape.->c1.2]]
4
c1.1continue watching snowEven with the fire crackling over in the hearth, ice starts to crawl up windowpane. You press your hand to it, leaving behind a melted imprint from the sapped warmth.

Despite your careful planning and patience, you're (link: "scared to leave.")[scared to leave. The Creature always has eyes on you. While you've only seen him twice and only in darkness, you've heard the growl of his voice and seen his twisted, terrifying form. He's never spoken an ill word to you, but every night he comes to your door and asks for your hand in marriage. Every night you refuse he storms off, his massive paws echoing through the halls.] You try to convince yourself that you're not stalling, but you know better.

You...
[[steel yourself and get to your feet, deciding to start gathering supplies->c1.3]]
Even with the fire crackling over in the hearth, ice starts to fog up the window. You press your hand to it, leaving behind a melted imprint from the sapped warmth.

Despite your careful planning and patience, you're (link: "scared to leave.")[scared to leave. The Creature always has eyes on you. While you've only seen him twice and only in darkness, you've heard the growl of his voice and seen his misshapen, terrifying form. He's never spoken an ill word to you, but every night he comes to your door and asks for your hand in marriage. Every night you refuse he storms off, his heavy paws echoing through the halls.] You try to convince yourself that you're not stalling, but you know better.

You...
[[steel yourself and get to your feet, deciding to start gathering supplies->c1.3]]
5
c1.2gather suppliesOver the past few weeks, you've carefully started to gather up different supplies, hoarding them away deep inside of your feather mattress.

Unfortunately, you don't have a pack for traveling so you will only be able to carry a few things in your pockets.

You lift up the sheets and dig into the mattress, taking out the...

[[key->c1.4]]
[[dagger->c1.5]]
[[lantern->c1.6]]
Over the past few weeks you've carefully started to gather up different supplies, hording them away deep inside of your feather mattress.

You don't have a pack for traveling though, so you will only be able to carry a few things in your pockets.

You lift up the sheets and dig into the mattress, taking out the...

[[key->c1.4]]
[[dagger->c1.5]]
[[lantern->c1.6]]
6
c1.3watch snow inv promptOver the past few weeks, you've carefully started to gather up different supplies, hoarding them away deep inside of your feather mattress.

You don't have a pack for traveling though, so you will only be able to carry a few things in your pockets.

You've wasted too much time watching the snow. You have to move fast now.

You lift up the sheets and dig into the mattress, taking out the...

[[key->c1.4]]
[[dagger->c1.5]]
[[lantern->c1.6]]
Over the past few weeks you've carefully started to gather up different supplies, hording them away deep inside of your feather mattress.

You don't have a pack for traveling though, so you will only be able to carry a few things in your pockets.

You've wasted too much time watching the snow. You have to move fast now.

You lift up the sheets and dig into the mattress, taking out the...

[[key->c1.4]]
[[dagger->c1.5]]
[[lantern->c1.6]]
7
c1.4pick up keyThe key is large, taking up the (link: "majority of your palm.")[majority of your palm. In the hands of the groundskeeper, it had barely taken up any space at all.] The old brass bow at the top has a rose etched into it.

You tuck the key into the pocket of your waistcoat.

(set: $key to 1)

[[Reach into the mattress again.->c1.7]]
[[Go to pull on your stockings and boots.->c1.8]]
The key is larger, taking up the (link: "majority of your palm.")[majority of your palm. It had looked so small in the hand of the grounds keeper.] The old brass bow at the top has a rose etched into it.

You tuck the key into the pocket of your waistcoat.

(set: $key to 1)

[[Reach into the mattress again.->c1.7]]
[[Go to pull on your stockings and boots.->c1.8]]
8
c1.5pick up daggerThe dagger is sharp to the touch, but so short you almost wonder if it might be a knife. You found it once in the empty stables and picked it up, stashing it away under your corset. The flat blade and hilt are both unadorned, but you can tell that the weapon was well made and very well cared for.

You take the dagger and stash it onto your belt. Now isn't the time to be subtle. If you need your dagger, you want it to be easy to grab.

(set: $dagger to 1)

[[You go to get your stockings and boots->c1.8]]
The dagger is sharp to the touch, but so short you almost wonder if it might be a knife. You found it once in the empty stables and picked it up, stashing it away under your corset. The flat blade and hilt are both unadorned, but you can tell that the weapon was well made and very well cared for.

You take the dagger and stash it onto your belt. Now isn't the time to be subtle. If you need your dagger you want it to be easy to grab.

(set: $dagger to 1)

[[You go to get your stockings and boots->c1.8]]
9
c1.6pick up lanternReaching into the mattress once again, you fish out a tiny, rusted lantern you stole from the empty stables. You already have a candle inside, ready to be lit.

You strap the lantern onto your belt and...
(set: $lantern to 1)

[[...you go to put on your stockings and boots->c1.8]]
Reaching into the mattress once again, you fish out a tiny, rusted lantern you stole from the empty stables. You already have a candle inside, ready to be lit.

You strap the lantern onto your belt and...
(set: $lantern to 1)

[[...go to put on your stockings and boots->c1.8]]
10
c1.7take the lantern but no shoesReaching into the mattress once again, you fish out a tiny, rusted lantern you stole from the empty stables. You already have a candle inside, ready to be lit.

You strap the lantern onto your belt and...
(set: $lantern to 1)

[[...go to put on your stockings and boots->c1.9]]
Reaching into the mattress once again, you fish out a tiny, rusted lantern you stole from the empty stables. You already have a candle inside, ready to be lit.

You strap the lantern onto your belt and...
(set: $lantern to 1)

[[...go to put on your stockings and boots->c1.9]]
11
c1.8get on bootsDeciding not to waste any more of your precious time, you hurry to pull in your woolen stockings and thick boots.

With your boots on you grab your cloak and cautiously go to open the door.

(set: $boots to 1)

[[Peek outside of the door first.->c1.10]]
[[Hurry out--you know no one is there.->c1.11]]
Deciding not to waste any more of your precious time, you hurry to pull in your woolen stockings and thick boots.

With your boots on you grab your cloak and cautiously go to open the door.

(set: $boots to 1)

[[Peek outside of the door first.->c1.10]]
[[Hurry out--you know no one is there.->c1.11]]
12
c1.9no shoes run away fastYou stop dead in your tracks when you hear someone out in the corridor walking towards your door.

[[Quickly go to your bed and pull up the covers, pretending to be asleep.->c1.12]]
[[Grab the warming pan from your bed and stand by the door, ready to fight back->c1.13]]
You stop dead in your tracks when you hear someone out in the corridor walking towards your door.

[[Quickly go to your bed and pull up the covers, pretending to be asleep.->c1.12]]
[[Grab the warming pan from your bed and stand by the door, ready to fight back->c1.13]]
13
c1.10peek outside door firstThe hallway appears empty. You tentatively take a few steps out before closing the door behind you. None of the sconces are lit, and you have to blink a few times while your eyes adjust to the shift in light.

You head down the hall as quietly as possible, planning your next move. You can go (link: "straight")[which leads to the front entrance hall], (link: "left")[which leads to the kitchen], (link: "or right")[which leads to the stables].

[[Go straight->c1.16]]
[[Go down the left corridor->c1.17]]
[[Go down the right corridor->c1.18]]
The hallway appears empty. You tentatively take a few steps out before closing the door behind you. None of the sconces are lit and you have to blink a few times while your eyes adjust to the shift in light.

You head down the hall as quietly as possible, planning your next move. You can go (link: "straight")[which leads to the front entrance hall], (link: "left")[which leads to the kitchen], (link: "or right")[which leads to the stables].

[[Go straight->c1.16]]
[[Go down the left corridor->c1.17]]
[[Go down the right corridor->c1.18]]
14
c1.11we die like men rush outYou hurry out into the corridor and find it empty. You walk purposely down the hallway as if daring anyone to stop you. You bite your lower lip in thought, planning your next move.

You can go (link: "straight")[which leads to the front entrance hall], (link: "left")[which leads to the kitchen], (link: "or right")[which leads to the stables].

[[Go straight->c1.16]]
[[Go down the left corridor->c1.17]]
[[Go down the right corridor->c1.18]]
You hurry out into the corridor and find it empty. You walk purposely down the corridor as if daring anyone to stop you. You bite your lower lip in thought, planning your next move.

You can go (link: "straight")[which leads to the front entrance hall], (link: "left")[which leads to the kitchen], (link: "or right")[which leads to the stables].

[[Go straight->c1.16]]
[[Go down the left corridor->c1.17]]
[[Go down the right corridor->c1.18]]
15
c1.12hide pretend sleepThe footsteps pause just outside of your door.
[[You wait and hold your breath.->c1.14]]
The footsteps pause just outside of your door. [[You wait,->c1.14]] holding your breath.
16
c1.13Rapunzel pan attackYou hold your breath, hoping that the door doesn't open.

You hear the click of the lock and the rasp of the heavy latch. Steeling yourself, you hold the pan up high and as soon as the door opens, you [[swing it as hard as you can.->c1.15]]
You hold your breath, hoping that the door doesn't open.

You hear the click of the lock and the rasp of the heavy latch. Steeling yourself, you hold the pan up high and as soon as the door opens, you [[swing it as hard as you can.->c1.15]]
17
c1.14patience winsThere's a heavy sigh, and you can imagine a hand poised to knock falling. The footsteps retreat.

You push yourself back out of bed. You've lingered long enough. It's time to go. You head over to the door and slowly open it.

[[Peek outside of the door first.->c1.10]]
[[Hurry out--you know no one is there.->c1.11]]
There's a heavy sigh and you can imagine a hand poised to knock falling. The footsteps retreat.

You push yourself back out of the bed. You've lingered long enough. It's time to go. You head over to the door and slowly open it.

[[Peek outside of the door first.->c1.10]]
[[Hurry out--you know no one is there.->c1.11]]
18
c1.15we're murderers now whoopsThe pan smacks into the head of a servant with a loud, sickening crack. It takes every ounce of self-control not to drop the pan in surprise. You look down at the servant. You knew this servant, Juniper, well--she was always kind to you. Your stomach (link: "rolls")[rolls--there was so much blood--], but you know you have no time to waste.

You set the pan down onto the ground and then gently pull the servant's body out of the way of the door. You then...

(set: $deadservant to 1)

[[peek outside of the door first.->c1.10]]
[[hurry out--you know no one is there.->c1.11]]
The pan smacks into the head of a servant with a loud, sickening crack. It takes every ounce of self-control not to drop the pan in surprise. You look down at the (link: "servant")[(you knew this servant, Juniper, well--she was always kind to you)], your stomach (link: "rolling")[(there was so much blood)], but you know you have no time to waste.

You set the pan down onto the ground and then gently pull the servant's body out of the way of the door. You then...

(set: $deadservant to 1)

[[peek outside of the door first.->c1.10]]
[[hurry out--you know no one is there.->c1.11]]
19
c1.16straight forwardThe entrance hall is eerily silent. You are used to at least seeing the servants bustling around, cleaning the nonexistent dust and wiping the windows so the sunlight can shine through for (link: "the Creature")[since he is afraid of stepping out into the daylight--you heard him once saying he was fearful of being seen].

You head down the steps and towards the massive front doors.

(if: $key > 0)[You take out the key you stole and [[use it to open the doors.->c1.19]]]
(else:)[You go to open the door but realize that it is locked from the inside and you don't have a key. [[You have to find a new way out.->c1.20]]]
The entrance hall is eerily silent. You are used to at least seeing the servants bustling around, cleaning the nonexistent dust and wiping the windows so the sunlight can shine through for (link: "the Creature")[since he is afraid of stepping out into the daylight--you heard him once saying he was afraid of being seen].

You head down the steps and towards the large front doors.

(if: $key > 0)[You take out they key you stole and [[use it to open the doors.->c1.19]]]
(else:)[You go to open the door but realize that it is locked from the inside and you don't have a key. [[You have to find a new way out.->c1.20]]]
20
c1.17left corridorYou head down the left corridor and pause at the door to the kitchen. You pause, listening through the gap between the door.

(if: $deadservant > 0)[You hear nothing from within the kitchen. Taking a deep breath, you carefully open the door, praying that the hinges don't make too much noise. As the door opens, [[you step inside.->c1.21]]]
(else:)[From within you hear gentle snoring. You think you can sneak past whoever is sleeping inside though. As quietly as you can, you pull open the door and [[step inside of the kitchen.->c1.22]]]
You head down the left corridor and pause at the door to the kitchen. You pause, listening through the gap between the door.

(if: $deadservant > 0)[You hear nothing from within the kitchen. Taking a deep breath, you carefully open the door, praying that the hinges don't make too much noise. As the door opens, [[you step inside.->c1.21]]]
(else:)[From within you hear a gentle snoring. You think you can sneak past whomever is sleeping inside though. As quietly as you can, you pull open the door and [[step inside of the kitchen.->c1.22]]]
21
c1.18right corridorIt's a long walk down the right corridor. You eventually start to smell the telltale scent of wet hay. You head for the door and much to your relief, you find it unlocked. You have to push a little to break the frost and build up of snow on the other side, but eventually the [[door opens for you->c1.26]].It's a long walk down the right corridor. You eventually start to smell the telltale scene of wet hay. You head for the door and much to your relief, you find it unlocked. You have to push a little to break the frost and build up of snow on the other side, but eventually the [[door opens for you->c1.26]].
22
c1.19YOU HAVE A KEYIt takes some effort, but the tumblers in the lock shift and you are able to open the lock. You look back behind you before opening the door.

The door opens with a loud whine. You stiffen, looking behind you once again but you don't immediately see or hear anyone rushing to stop you.

As the door opens you take a deep breath of the crisp winter air and step outside.

(if: $boots > 0)[The snow crunches beneath your boots as you walk out of the manor and onto the grounds. You almost feel a smile trying to tug at your lips as you remember walking through the snow with your sisters when you were a little girl. That was a long time ago though.]
(else:)[The snow stings your bare feet. You hiss, moving fast. Even so, you can already feel your feet going numb from the contact. You wish you would have had time to pick up your boots.]

[[Continue->Chapter 2]]
It takes some effort, but the tumblers in the lock shift and you are able to open the lock. You look back behind you before opening the door.

The door opens with a loud whine. You stiffen, looking behind you once again but you don't immediately see or hear anyone rushing to stop you.

As the door opens you take a deep breath of the crisp winter air and step outside.

(if: $boots > 0)[The snow crunches beneath your boots as you walk out of the manor and onto the grounds. You almost feel a smile trying to tug at your lips as you remember walking through the snow with your sisters when you were a little girl. That was a long time ago though.]
(else:)[The snow stings your bare feet. You hiss, moving fast. Even so you can already feel your feet going numb from the contact. You wish you would have had time to pick up your boots.]
23
c1.20no key booWithout a key, you realize your options are limited. You head back towards the corridor and choose a new direction.

You can go (link: "left")[which leads to the kitchen] or (link: "or right")[which leads to the stables].

[[Go down the left corridor->c1.17]]
[[Go down the right corridor->c1.18]]
Without a key you realize your options are limited. You head back towards the corridor and choose a new direction.

You can go (link: "left")[which leads to the kitchen] or (link: "or right")[which leads to the stables].

[[Go down the left corridor->c1.17]]
[[Go down the right corridor->c1.18]]
24
c1.21kitchen empty because you merc'd the servantHeading through the kitchen, you move towards the door you know leads out towards the grounds.

However, as you reach the door, you find it to be locked.

(if: $key > 0)[You try your key but realize that it isn't for this door. It's a larger, grander key. You decide to go [[to the front of the manor and try the front door.->c1.23]]]
(else:)[There's no way to open the lock, and you know for a fact that the front door is locked too. You are running out of time. You decide to go [[try the stables.->c1.24]]]
Heading through the kitchen, you move towards the door you know to lead out towards the grounds.

However, as you reach the door, you find it to be locked.

(if: $key > 0)[You try your key, but realize that it isn't for this door. It's a larger, grander key. You decide to go [[to the front of the manor and try the front door.->c1.23]]]
(else:)[There's no way to open the lock and you know for a fact that the front door is locked too. You are running out of time. You decide to go [[try the stables.->c1.24]]]
25
c1.22servant in the kitchenNear the hearth, you see a (link: "young servant girl")[named Juniper] sleeping by the fire. She's curled up in her blanket, snoring lightly.

You tiptoe towards the kitchen door, but right before you reach it, she stirs and wakes. She sits up, staring at you for a long while before looking at the door.

She gets very quietly to her feet, putting a finger to her lips before heading to the door and unlocking it for you.

You mouth the words 'thank you' to her before [[heading out of the manor and into the cold.->c1.25]]
Near the hearth you see a (link: "young servant girl")[named Juniper] sleeping by the fire. She's curled up in her blanket, snoring lightly.

You tiptoe towards the kitchen door, but right before you reach it she stirs and wakes. She sits up, staring at you for a long while before looking at the door.

She gets very quietly to her feet, putting a finger to her lips before heading to the door and unlocking it for you.

You mouth the words 'thank you' to her before [[heading out of the manor and into the cold.->c1.25]]
26
c1.23you HAVE A KEY go use itYou are running out of time. You jog down the hall, looking behind you every time you pass a door. Finally, you reach the front of the manor.

The entrance hall is eerily silent. You are used to at least seeing the servants bustling around, cleaning the nonexistent dust and wiping the windows so the sunlight can shine through for (link: "the Creature")[since he is afraid of stepping out into the daylight--you heard him once saying he was fearful of being seen].

You head down the steps and towards the massive front doors.

You take out the key you stole and [[use it to open the doors.->c1.19]]
You are running out of time. You jog down the hall, looking behind you every time you pass a door. Finally, you reach the front of the manor.

The entrance hall is eerily silent. You are used to at least seeing the servants bustling around, cleaning the nonexistent dust and wiping the windows so the sunlight can shine through for (link: "the Creature")[since he is afraid of stepping out into the daylight--you heard him once saying he was afraid of being seen].

You head down the steps and towards the large front doors.

You take out they key you stole and [[use it to open the doors.->c1.19]]
27
c1.24no other option stablesYou backtrack through the corridor, heading towards the left hall now, which leads out to the stables. You eventually start to smell the telltale scent of wet hay. You head for the door and much to your relief, you find it unlocked. You have to push a little to break the frost and build up of snow on the other side, but eventually the [[door opens for you->c1.26]].You backtrack through the corridor, heading towards the left hall now, which leads out to the stables. You eventually start to smell the telltale scene of wet hay. You head for the door and much to your relief, you find it unlocked. You have to push a little to break the frost and build up of snow on the other side, but eventually the [[door opens for you->c1.26]].
28
c1.25servant lets you outThe door opens with a loud whine. You stiffen, looking behind you once again but you don't immediately see or hear anyone rushing to stop you. The servant gives you a smile and a wave before she heads back over to the fire, wrapping herself up in the blanket.

You take a deep breath of the crisp winter air and step outside, closing the door behind you.

(if: $boots > 0)[The snow crunches beneath your boots as you walk out of the manor and onto the grounds. You almost feel a smile trying to tug at your lips as you remember walking through the snow with your sisters when you were a little girl. That was a long time ago though.]
(else:)[The snow stings your bare feet. You hiss, moving fast. Even so, you can already feel your feet going numb from the contact. You wish you would have had time to pick up your boots.]

[[Continue->Chapter 2]]
The door opens with a loud whine. You stiffen, looking behind you once again but you don't immediately see or hear anyone rushing to stop you. The servant gives you a smile and a wave before she heads back over to the fire, wrapping herself up in the blanket.

You take a deep breath of the crisp winter air and step outside, closing the door behind you.

(if: $boots > 0)[The snow crunches beneath your boots as you walk out of the manor and onto the grounds. You almost feel a smile trying to tug at your lips as you remember walking through the snow with your sisters when you were a little girl. That was a long time ago though.]
(else:)[The snow stings your bare feet. You hiss, moving fast. Even so you can already feel your feet going numb from the contact. You wish you would have had time to pick up your boots.]

[[Continue->Chapter 2 Start]]
29
c1.26leave through the stableThe stables are devoid of life. You almost wonder if there ever were any livestock kept in them.

Without hesitation you head out of the stables, walking towards the grounds. The air is crisp and cool, pooling in front of your mouth in a steady mist.

(if: $boots > 0)[The snow crunches beneath your boots as you walk out of the manor and onto the grounds. You almost feel a smile trying to tug at your lips as you remember walking through the snow with your sisters when you were a little girl. That was a long time ago though.]
(else:)[The snow stings your bare feet. You hiss, moving fast. Even so, you can already feel your feet going numb from the contact. You wish you would have had time to pick up your boots.]

[[Continue->Chapter 2]]
The stables are devoid of life. You almost wonder if there ever were any livestock kept in them.

Without hesitation you head out of the stables, walking towards the grounds. The air is crisp and cool, pooling in front of your mouth in a steady mist.

(if: $boots > 0)[The snow crunches beneath your boots as you walk out of the manor and onto the grounds. You almost feel a smile trying to tug at your lips as you remember walking through the snow with your sisters when you were a little girl. That was a long time ago though.]
(else:)[The snow stings your bare feet. You hiss, moving fast. Even so you can already feel your feet going numb from the contact. You wish you would have had time to pick up your boots.]

[[Continue->Chapter 2 Start]]
30
31
32
33
Chapter 2 Startand we're runningMist pools before your nose and mouth. You shiver, despite the heavy woolen dress and cloak you put on earlier.
(if: $boots > 0)[If it weren't for your stockings and boots, might have worried that you wouldn't make it in time to the village before the chill sets into your bones.]
(else:)[Without your stockings and boots, you can already feel your feet going numb. You'll have to hurry.]
You aren't delicate as you wade through the snow. You leave a heavy trail of displaced snow. Thankfully, it is almost immediately replaced behind you by more snow.

[[Continue->c2.1]]
A mist pools before your nose and mouth. You shiver, despite the heavy woolen dress and cloak you put on earlier.
(if: $boots > 0)[If it weren't for your stockings and boots, might have worried that you wouldn't make it in time to the village before the chill sets into your bones.]
(else:)[Without your stockings and boots, you can already feel your feet going numb. You'll have to hurry.]
You aren't delicate as you wade through the snow. You leave a heavy trail of displaced snow. Thankfully, it is almost immediately replaced behind you by more snow.

[[Continue->c2.1]]
34
c2.1decide moral path 1You hear the howl of wolves; the cackling of some creature of the night just out of eyesight. You draw your cloak in closer around you, hiding your fingers away into the folds of the fabric. You used to walk with your sisters through (link: "the woods at night.")[the woods at night. You would play a game, telling the story of the wicked witch of the woods who stole away children who didn't pay her the toll.] That was a long time ago though--before you sold yourself to the Creature of Fomorian.

(if: $deadservant > 0)[You regret the choice sometimes, not that you would admit it. While it saved your mother, you wish that she'd stood in your way--stopped you and protected you.]
(else:)[You don't regret your choice. While the Creature of Fomorian was cruel, the servants were kind to you in their own way while you were there.]

As you crunch through the snow, you decide...
That when you return home, you'll find a way to [[free the servants.->c2.2]]
That you'll round up the village to [[burn the whole damn place down.->c2.3]]
You hear the howl of wolves; the cackling of some creature of the night just out of eyesight. You draw your cloak in closer around you, hiding your fingers away into the folds of the fabric. You used to walk with your sisters through (link: "the woods at night.")[the woods at night. You would play a game, telling the story of the wicked witch of the woods who stole away children who didn't pay her the toll.] That was a long time ago though--before you sold yourself to the Creature of Fomorian.

(if: $deadservant > 0)[You regret the choice sometimes, not that you would admit it. While it saved your mother, you wish that she'd stood in your way--stopped you and protected you.]
(else:)[You don't regret your choice. While the Creature of Fomorian was cruel, the servants were kind to you in their own way while you were there.]

As you crunch through the snow, you decide...
That when you return home, you'll find a way to [[free the servants.->c2.2]]
That you'll round up the village to [[burn the whole damn place down.->c2.3]]
35
c2.2rescuepath pointsThe moon starts to peek through the dark clouds overhead. Gentle snow continues to fall, but it's no longer blinding. You can see where you're going.

Unfortunately, that means that the citizens of the manor can too.

[[Continue to hurry, heading straight for the woods just outside of the manor's grounds.->c2.4]]
[[Move with the shadows, electing to use caution over speed.->c2.5]]

(set: $rescuepath to 1)
The moon starts to peek through the dark clouds overhead. A gentle snow continues to fall, but it's no longer blinding. You can see where you're going.

Unfortunately, that means that the citizens of the manor can too.

[[Continue to hurry, heading straight for the woods just outside of the manor's grounds.->c2.4]]
[[Move with the shadows, electing to use caution over speed.->c2.5]]

(set: $rescuepath to 1)
36
c2.3destroypath pointsThe snow continues to fall, a dense sheet that obscures your vision as you struggle forward towards the woods at the boundary of the manor. Holding out your hand, you can only see just beyond the edges of your fingertips. You're grateful for the snow though. It hides your presence, making it easier for you to slink through the dark towards freedom.

(if: $lantern > 0)[You decide that it's probably safe enough to risk some light to help guide your way and take out your lantern, holding it aloft. You can see about a dozen feet in front of you now. The forest is a distant, dark line [[on the horizon.->c2.6]]]
(else:)[You wish you had some light to help guide your way towards the woods, but as it is, you have to go by instinct, hoping that your memory is correct as you trudge through the snow now gathering around your shins, edging up [[towards your knees.->c2.8]]]

(set: $destroypath to 1)
The snow continues to fall, a heavy sheet that obscures your vision as you struggle forward towards the woods at the edge of the manor. Holding out your hand, you can only see just beyond the edges of your fingertips. You're grateful for the snow though. It hides your presence, making it easier for you to slink through the dark towards freedom.

(if: $lantern > 0)[You decide that it's probably safe enough to risk some light to help guide your way and take out your lantern, holding it aloft. You can see about a dozen feet in front of you now.]
(else:)[You wish you had some light to help guide your way towards the woods, but as it is, you have to go by instinct, hoping that your memory is correct as you trudge through the snow now gathering around your shins, edging up towards your knees.]

[[Continue on->c2.6]]

(set: $destroypath to 1)
37
c2.4hurry towards woods and fallYou stumble through the snow and trip, falling into the dense, damp fluff. It immediately starts to soak through your skirts and clings to your body, freezing. You shiver, quickly standing up and trying to brush off as much of the snow as you can before [[continuing on towards the woods.->c2.7]]

(set: $cold to $cold + 1)
You stumble through the snow and trip, falling into the heavy, damp fluff. It immediately starts to soak through your skirts and clings to your body, freezing. You shiver, quickly standing up and trying to brush off as much of the snow as you can before [[continuing on towards the woods.->c2.7]]

(set: $cold to $cold + 1)
38
c2.5stick to the shadows towards woodsOne step at a time, you trudge through the snow, skirts hiked up in one hand. You cling to the shadows cast by the moonlight, pausing to glance behind you every time before you dash to the next shadow. It's slow, but you hope that it'll help shake any pursuit for a time. Eventually, you come to the edge of the woods.

As you enter the woods you smile, letting go of your skirts to run your fingers along the bark of an ash tree.

Behind you, a (link:"roar echoes out.")[roar echoes out. You've become familiar with this sound. It echoes through the halls at night, a deep, anguished cry that makes you want to cover your ears, to pull at your hair, to try to do anything to make it stop ringing through your head.]

You look back briefly over your shoulder and with a determined grimace, [[you step into the woods.->c2.9]]
One step at a time, you trudge through the snow, skirts hiked up in one hand. You cling to the shadows cast by the moonlight, pausing to glance behind you every time before you dash to the next shadow. It's slow, but you hope that it'll help shake any pursuit for a time. Eventually, you come to the edge of the woods.

As you enter the woods you smile, letting go of your skirts to run your fingers along the bark of an ash tree.

Behind you, a (link:"roar echoes out.")[roar echoes out. You've become familiar with this sound. It echoes through the halls at night, a deep, anguished cry that makes you want to cover your ears, to pull at your hair, to try to do anything to make it stop ringing through your head.]

You look back briefly over your shoulder and with a determined grimace, [[you step into the woods.->c2.9]]
39
c2.6lantern enter woodsOne step at a time, you trudge through the snow, skirts hiked up in one hand, lantern held aloft with the other. Your pace quickens as you near the edge of the woods, your chest tightening.

As you enter the woods you smile, letting go of your skirts to run your fingers along the bark of an ash tree.

Behind you, a (link:"roar echoes out.")[roar echoes out. You've become familiar with this sound. It echoes through the halls at night, a deep, anguished cry that makes you want to cover your ears, to pull at your hair, to try to do anything to make it stop ringing through your head.]

You look back briefly over your shoulder and with a determined grimace, [[you step into the woods.->c2.9]]
One step at a time, you trudge through the snow, skirts hiked up in one hand, lantern held aloft with the other. Your pace quickens as you near the edge of the woods, your chest tightening.

As you enter the woods you smile, letting go of your skirts to run your fingers along the bark of an ash tree.

Behind you, a (link:"roar echoes out.")[roar echoes out. You've become familiar with this sound. It echoes through the halls at night, a deep, anguished cry that makes you want to cover your ears, to pull at your hair, to try to do anything to make it stop ringing through your head.]

You look back briefly over your shoulder and with a determined grimace, [[you step into the woods.->c2.9]]
40
c2.7enter woods with moonlightOne step at a time, you trudge through the snow, skirts hiked up in one hand. Your pace quickens as you near the edge of the woods, your chest tightens with anticipation.

As you enter the woods you smile, letting go of your skirts to run your fingers along the bark of an ash tree.

Behind you, a (link:"roar echoes out.")[roar echoes out. You've become familiar with this sound. It echoes through the halls at night, a deep, anguished cry that makes you want to cover your ears, to pull at your hair, to try to do anything to make it stop ringing through your head.]

You look back briefly over your shoulder and with a determined grimace, [[you step into the woods.->c2.9]]
One step at a time, you trudge through the snow, skirts hiked up in one hand. Your pace quickens as you near the edge of the woods, your chest tightens with anticipation.

As you enter the woods you smile, letting go of your skirts to run your fingers along the bark of an ash tree.

Behind you, a (link:"roar echoes out.")[roar echoes out. You've become familiar with this sound. It echoes through the halls at night, a deep, anguished cry that makes you want to cover your ears, to pull at your hair, to try to do anything to make it stop ringing through your head.]

You look back briefly over your shoulder and with a determined grimace, [[you step into the woods.->c2.9]]
41
c2.8enter woods no moonlightThe cold settles into your bones as you meander through the storm. The snow bites into your legs, setting a chill into your bones. //It's only a little farther//, though you tell yourself.

The edge of the woods seems to appear in your vision suddenly. You pause, staring at the trees as they loom over you, the usually dense, dark canopy now covered in white.

Behind you, a (link:"roar echoes out.")[roar echoes out. You've become familiar with this sound. It echoes through the halls at night, a deep, anguished cry that makes you want to cover your ears, to pull at your hair, to try to do anything to make it stop ringing through your head.]

You look back briefly over your shoulder and with a determined grimace, [[you step into the woods.->c2.9]]

(set: $cold to $cold + 1)
The cold settles into your bones as you meander through the storm. The snow bites into your legs, setting a chill into your bones. //It's only a little farther//, though you tell yourself.

The edge of the woods seems to suddenly appear in your vision. You pause, staring at the trees as they loom over you, the normally dense, dark canopy now covered in white.

Behind you, a (link:"roar echoes out.")[roar echoes out. You've become familiar with this sound. It echoes through the halls at night, a deep, anguished cry that makes you want to cover your ears, to pull at your hair, to try to do anything to make it stop ringing through your head.]

You look back briefly over your shoulder and with a determined grimace, [[you step into the woods.->c2.9]]

(set: $cold to $cold + 1)
42
c2.9choose a pathThese woods should be (link: "familiar.")[familiar. You used to run through them as a little girl with your sisters.] They're an unfamiliar maze of tall, twisted, gnarled old trees and deer paths. You suspect though that if you go further in, you'll be able to find your way.

You eventually come to a branch in the woods where the dense trees open up just a bit. You don't recognize any of the (link: "paths.")[paths, but each one seems distinct. The path straight ahead seems lighter. The path to the left has low hanging branches, but offers more shelter from the snow and seems somehow less hostile. The path to the right is wide and open, but snow has covered most of the ground.]

You decide to take...

[[the path ahead.->c2.10]]
[[the path to the left->c2.11]]
[[the path to the right->c2.12]]
These woods should be (link: "familiar.")[familiar. You used to run through them as a little girl with your sisters.] They're an unfamiliar maze of tall, twisted, gnarled old trees and deer paths. You suspect though that if you go further in, you'll be able to find your way.

You eventually come to a branch in the woods where the dense trees open up just a bit. You don't recognize any of the (link: "paths.")[paths, but each one seems distinct. The path straight ahead seems lighter. The path to left has low hanging branches, but offers more shelter from the snow and seems somehow less hostile. The path to the right is wide and open, but snow has covered most of the ground.]

You decide to take...

[[the path ahead.->c2.10]]
[[the path to the left->c2.11]]
[[the path to the right->c2.12]]
43
c2.10straight ahead will lead to wolves nextYou make your way down the path(if: $lantern > 0)[,lowering your lantern as you walk.](else:)[, glad for the light.]

You hear the sound of wind and a blue glow starts to radiate through the clearing. A distant, echoing growl rolls through your bones.

[[Turn to face whatever it is->c2.13]]
[[Run.->c2.14]]
You make your way down the path(if: $lantern > 0)[,lowering your lantern as you walk.](else:)[, glad for the light.]

You hear the sound of wind and a blue glow starts to radiate through the clearing. A distant, echoing growl rolls through your bones.

[[Turn to face whatever it is->c2.13]]
[[Run.->c2.14]]
44
c2.11left delays wolves and beastYou crouch down, making your way down the path. You have to go down on your hands and knees after a while as the overhanging canopy becomes lower and lower.(if: $lantern > 0)[ You blow out your lantern, deciding to trust your night vision rather than risking setting fire to the brush. ] The forest is silent now. All you can hear is your own beating heart and chilled breaths.

You get to a point where you have to get down completely on your belly, using your elbows to help propel you [[through the path.->c2.19]]

(set: $cold to $cold + 1)
You crouch down, making your way down the path. You have to go down on your hands and knees after a while as the overhanging canopy becomes lower and lower.(if: $lantern > 0)[ You blow out your lantern, deciding to trust your night vision rather than risking setting fire to the brush. ] The forest is silent now. All you can hear is your own beating heart and chilled breaths.

You get to a point where you have to get down completely on your belly, using your elbows to help propel you [[through the path.->c2.19]]

(set: $cold to $cold + 1)
45
c2.12right meet the beast You head right and immediately fall deep into a snow drift. The snow goes up to almost your waist, and you have to climb back on top. You try to distribute your weight a little better, but the snow is so fresh that you just keep falling into it.

Gritting your teeth, you keep [[pushing forward.->c2.20]]

(set: $cold to $cold + 1)
You head right and immediately fall deep into a snow drift. The snow goes up to almost your waist and you have to climb back on top. You try to distribute your weight a little better, but the snow is so fresh that you just keep falling into it.

Gritting your teeth, you keep [[pushing forward.->c2.20]]

(set: $cold to $cold + 1)
46
c2.13face wolvesYou turn, dread settling into your lungs and heart. You know (link: "this story.")[this story. Your mother taught you about the Cŵn Annwn--the hounds of Arawn. On cold winter nights, you would sit with your sisters beside the fire while she stood over it, her arms splayed out around her while she told the tale.
"If you ever do wrong, the Cŵn Annwn will hunt you. You'll see their red eyes through the trees, hear their heavy breaths in your ears, feel their paws rock the earth as they run. If you see the Cŵn Annwn, you've done something terrible and Mallt-y-Nos isn't far behind.]
(if: $deadservant > 0)[Were they chasing you because of what you did to the servant or was it for breaking your oath to the Creature of Fomorian?]
(else:)[Why were you being pursued by them though? Was it for breaking your oath to the Creature of Fomorian?]
(if: $dagger > 0)[Steeling yourself, you take out [[your dagger.->c2.15]]]
(else:)[You have nothing to fight back with, but you square your shoulders and stare down the red eyes glaring at you from the trees. You don't care that running away was wrong. [[You're ready to fight for your freedom.->c2.17]]]
You turn, dread settling into your lungs and heart. You know (link: "this story.")[this story. Your mother taught you about the Cŵn Annwn--the hounds of Arawn. On cold winter nights, you would sit with your sisters beside the fire while she stood over it, her arms splayed out around her while she told the tale.
"If you ever do wrong, the Cŵn Annwn will hunt you. You'll see their red eyes through the trees, hear their heavy breaths in your ears, feel their paws rock the earth as they run. If you see the Cŵn Annwn, you've done something terrible and Mallt-y-Nos isn't far behind.]
(if: $deadservant > 0)[Were they chasing you because of what you did to the servant or was it for breaking your oath to the Creature of Fomorian?]
(else:)[Why were you being pursued by them though? Was it for breaking your oath to the Creature of Fomorian?]
(if: $dagger > 0)[Steeling yourself, you take out [[your dagger.->c2.15]]]
(else:)[You have nothing to fight back with, but you square your shoulders and stare down the red eyes glaring at you from the trees. You don't care that running away was wrong. [[You're ready to fight for your freedom.->c2.17]]]
47
c2.14run from wolvesYou don't hesitate. You hike up your skirts and run. The snow drags you down and you can hear the sound of pursuit. Dread fills your lungs. You know (link: "this story.")[this story. Your mother taught you about the Cŵn Annwn--the hounds of Arawn. On cold winter nights, you would sit with your sisters beside the fire while she stood over it, her arms splayed out around her while she told the tale.
"If you ever do wrong, the Cŵn Annwn will hunt you. You'll see their red eyes through the trees, hear their heavy breaths in your ears, feel their paws rock the earth as they run. If you see the Cŵn Annwn, you've done something terrible and Mallt-y-Nos isn't far behind.]
(if: $deadservant > 0)[Were they chasing you because of what you did to the servant or was it for breaking your oath to the Creature of Fomorian?]
(else:)[Why were you being pursued by them though? Was it for breaking your oath to the Creature of Fomorian?]
You aren't sure. All you know is that you have to escape before the Mally-y-Nos catches you.

[[Keep running.->c2.16]]
[[Stop and try to fight.->c2.18]]
You don't hesitate. You hike up your skirts and run. The snow drags you down and you can hear the sound of pursuit. Dread fills your lungs. You know (link: "this story.")[this story. Your mother taught you about the Cŵn Annwn--the hounds of Arawn. On cold winter nights, you would sit with your sisters beside the fire while she stood over it, her arms splayed out around her while she told the tale.
"If you ever do wrong, the Cŵn Annwn will hunt you. You'll see their red eyes through the trees, hear their heavy breaths in your ears, feel their paws rock the earth as they run. If you see the Cŵn Annwn, you've done something terrible and Mallt-y-Nos isn't far behind.]
(if: $deadservant > 0)[Were they chasing you because of what you did to the servant or was it for breaking your oath to the Creature of Fomorian?]
(else:)[Why were you being pursued by them though? Was it for breaking your oath to the Creature of Fomorian?]
You aren't sure. All you know is that you have to escape before the Mally-y-Nos catches you.

[[Keep running.->c2.16]]
[[Stop and try to fight.->c2.18]]
48
c2.15dagger yes fite me m8You brandish your dagger in front of you and scream back in defiance. You won't die here. You've escaped the Creature. There's no way you'll let yourself be taken now.

The Cŵn Annwn begin to surround you. They're bright white, blindingly so, with red, woody nightshade eyes. Their form reminds you of a hound painted from the mist.

[["I'm not afraid! I've done nothing wrong! I just want to be free!"->c2.23]]
[[Stay silent, waiting for them to strike first.->c2.24]]
You brandish your dagger in front of you and scream in defiance. You won't die here. You've escaped the Creature. There's no way you'll let yourself be taken now.

The Cŵn Annwn begin to surround you. They're bright white, blindingly so, with red, woody nightshade eyes. Their form reminds you of a hound painted from the mist.

[["I'm not afraid! I've done nothing wrong! I just want to be free!"->c2.23]]
[[Stay silent, waiting for them to strike first.->c2.24]]
49
c2.16still nope runningThe creatures draw closer and you feel dread settling into your lungs and heart. You know (link: "this story.")[this story. Your mother taught you about the Cŵn Annwn--the hounds of Arawn. On cold winter nights, you would sit with your sisters beside the fire while she stood over it, her arms splayed out around her while she told the tale.
"If you ever do wrong, the Cŵn Annwn will hunt you. You'll see their red eyes through the trees, hear their heavy breaths in your ears, feel their paws rock the earth as they run. If you see the Cŵn Annwn, you've done something terrible and Mallt-y-Nos isn't far behind.]
(if: $deadservant > 0)[[[The Cŵn Annwn cut you off, forcing you to stop.->c2.17]]]
(else:)[You can practically feel their breath tickling your neck as they [[move in for the kill->c2.45]]]
The creatures draw closer and you feel dread settling into your lungs and heart. You know (link: "this story.")[this story. Your mother taught you about the Cŵn Annwn--the hounds of Arawn. On cold winter nights, you would sit with your sisters beside the fire while she stood over it, her arms splayed out around her while she told the tale.
"If you ever do wrong, the Cŵn Annwn will hunt you. You'll see their red eyes through the trees, hear their heavy breaths in your ears, feel their paws rock the earth as they run. If you see the Cŵn Annwn, you've done something terrible and Mallt-y-Nos isn't far behind.]
(if: $deadservant > 0)[[[The Cŵn Annwn cut you off, forcing you to stop.->c2.17]]]
(else:)[You can practically feel their breath tickling your neck as they [[move in for the kill->c2.45]]]
50
c2.17no dagger fite me m8You scream in defiance at the hounds as they move in. You won't die here. You've escaped the Creature. There's no way you'll let yourself be taken now.

The Cŵn Annwn begin to surround you. They're bright white, blindingly so, with red, woody nightshade eyes. Their form reminds you of a hound painted from the mist.

[["I'm not afraid! I've done nothing wrong! I just want to be free!"->c2.23]]
[[Stay silent, waiting for them to strike first.->c2.24]]
You scream in defiance at the hounds as they move in. You won't die here. You've escaped the Creature. There's no way you'll let yourself be taken now.

The Cŵn Annwn begin to surround you. They're bright white, blindingly so, with red, woody nightshade eyes. Their form reminds you of a hound painted from the mist.

[["I'm not afraid! I've done nothing wrong! I just want to be free!"->c2.23]]
[[Stay silent, waiting for them to strike first.->c2.24]]
51
c2.18fight dagger or no dagger(if: $dagger > 0)[Steeling yourself, you take out [[your dagger.->c2.15]]]
(else:)[You have nothing to fight back with, but you square your shoulders and stare down the red eyes glaring at you from the trees. You don't care that running away was wrong. [[You're ready to fight for your freedom.->c2.17]]]
(if: $dagger > 0)[Steeling yourself, you take out [[your dagger.->c2.15]]]
(else:)[You have nothing to fight back with, but you square your shoulders and stare down the red eyes glaring at you from the trees. You don't care that running away was wrong. [[You're ready to fight for your freedom.->c2.17]]]
52
c2.19safe for a little longerEventually the path widens and you're able to stand up again. You brush off as much of the snow as possible, but you're quite cold now. Shivering, you wipe your nose, staring off into the woods. It occurs to you that you're lost. Even if there were stars overhead, the snow laden tree tops blot out the sky.

[[Keep walking forward. You'll find the end of the woods eventually.->c2.21]]
Eventually the path widens and you're able to stand up again. You brush off as much of the snow as possible, but you're quite cold now. Shivering, you wipe your nose, staring off into the woods. It occurs to you that you're lost. Even if there were stars overhead, the snow laden tree tops blot out the sky.

[[Keep walking forward. You'll find the end of the woods eventually.->c2.21]]
[[Head back. Maybe you can find another way towards town that's more familiar.->c2.22]]
53
c2.20time to meet the CreatureDeleted.Deleted.
54
c2.21keep going lostThe path begins to wind. Looking around, you stop. A thick layer of clouds obscures what little like you had had before. Without the stars or familiar markers around the forest, you're completely lost.

You wrap your arms around yourself, tears making themselves evident. They blur your vision and trickle down your cheeks.

It's hopeless. Deep down you knew it may be. You're breaking an oath after all by running away from the Creature. You swore to be his bride.

Maybe it would be better to just [[wait for him to find you again.->c2.46]]
The path begins to wind. Looking around, you stop. A thick layer of clouds obscures what little like you had had before. Without the stars or familiar markers around the forest, you're completely lost.

You wrap your arms around yourself, tears making themselves evident. They blur your vision and trickle down your cheeks.

It's hopeless. Deep down you knew it may be. You're breaking an oath after all by running away from the Creature. You swore to be his bride.

Maybe it would be better to just [[wait for him to find you again.->c2.46]]
55
c2.23dialogue with wolvesDespite your words, tears start to trickle from your eyes. You glare at the Cŵn Annwn, waiting for them to attack. They stand still around you, watching.

"Please. I just want to go home. I miss..."

[["My mom..."->c2.25]]
[["My sisters..."->c2.26]]
[["My old life..."->c2.27]]
Despite your words, tears start to trickle from your eyes. You glare at the Cŵn Annwn, waiting for them to attack. They stand still around you, watching.

"Please. I just want to go home. I miss..."

[["My mom..."->c2.25]]
[["My sisters..."->c2.26]]
[["My old life..."->c2.27]]
56
c2.24wait for the wolvesYou glare at the Cŵn Annwn, waiting for them to attack. They stand still around you, watching. The silence grows and finally you break it, pleading,

"Please. I just want to go home. I miss..."

[["My mom..."->c2.25]]
[["My sisters..."->c2.26]]
[["My old life..."->c2.27]]
You glare at the Cŵn Annwn, waiting for them to attack. They stand still around you, watching. The silence grows and finally you break it, pleading,

"Please. I just want to go home. I miss..."

[["My mom..."->c2.25]]
[["My sisters..."->c2.26]]
[["My old life..."->c2.27]]
57
c2.25miss momYou miss your mom's smile and the stories she'd confide in you across the fire. You miss the way she would hold you close on stormy nights, braiding your hair to help ease your fear of the storm. You gave yourself up to the Creature so she could be free; so she could continue to share her love with your sisters. Your throat feels tight, and you resist the urge to wipe your eyes.

"Please...I just want to see her again. I may have broken an oath, but I had to!"
(if: $deadservant > 0)[[[...->c2.28]]]
(else:)[[[...->c2.29]]]
You miss your mom's smile and the stories she'd confide in you across the fire. You miss the way she would hold you close on stormy nights, braiding your hair to help ease your fear of the storm. You gave yourself up to the Creature so she could be free; so she could continue to share her love with your sisters. Your throat feels tight and you resist the urge to wipe your eyes.

"Please...I just want to see her again. I may have broken an oath, but I had to!"
(if: $deadservant > 0)[[[...->c2.28]]]
(else:)[[[...->c2.29]]]
58
c2.26miss sistersYour sisters were your best friends. While you'd had your differences, you couldn't imagine your life without them. You missed chasing your little sister Aoife through the woods and riding across the fields with your older sister Scathach. You'd sold yourself to the Creature so they could continue to live free. You thought you could survive in confinement better than them, but you were wrong.

"I want to see my sisters again...please..."
(if: $deadservant > 0)[[[...->c2.28]]]
(else:)[[[...->c2.29]]]
Your sisters were your best friends. While you'd had your differences, you couldn't imagine your life without them. You missed chasing your little sister Aoife through the woods and riding across the fields with your older sister Scathach. You'd sold yourself to the Creature so they could continue to live free. You thought you could survive in confinement better than them, but you were wrong.

"I want to see my sisters again...please..."
(if: $deadservant > 0)[[[...->c2.28]]]
(else:)[[[...->c2.29]]]
59
c2.27miss old lifeYou were never the most adventurous, not like your sisters, but you had a good life. You loved your village and the people in it. You loved your home and your family. The Creature's manor was stark. You had nothing other than your clothes and the few books allotted to your room.

"I can't keep staring out of a tower window. I want to see the world again...please!"
(if: $deadservant > 0)[[[...->c2.28]]]
(else:)[[[...->c2.29]]]
You were never the most adventurous, not like your sisters, but you had a good life. You loved your village and the people in it. You loved your home and your family. The Creature's manor was stark. You had nothing other than your clothes and the few books allotted to your room.

"I can't keep staring out of a tower window. I want to see the world again...please!"
(if: $deadservant > 0)[[[...->c2.28]]]
(else:)[[[...->c2.29]]]
60
c2.28mallt-y-nosThe Cŵn Annwn began to bay, and you hear the sound of hoofs behind you. You turn to see a crone on a stag. She looks down at you, her face half in shadow. Her face seems to shift, sometimes haunting, other times beautiful, but always fearsome. She's dressed for the Hunt, wearing a flowing green dress with bracers and boots. She has a bow at her back and arrows at her side.

[[She is the Mallt-y-Nos.->c2.30]]
The Cŵn Annwn began to bay and you hear the sound of hoofs behind you. You turn to see a crone on a stag. She looks down at you, her face half in shadow. Her face seems to shift, sometimes haunting, other times beautiful, but always fearsome. She's dressed for the Hunt, wearing a flowing green dress with bracers and boots. She has a bow at her back and arrows at her side.

[[She is the Mallt-y-Nos.->c2.30]]
61
c2.29hounds leaveThe Cŵn Annwn began to bay, their cries echoing across the snow. You cover your ears from the shrill noise, gritting your teeth. The hounds turn as one and leave, loping off back into the snow.

You stare off after them for a long while before you hear another, more familiar noise: the Creature's cry.

You can't waste any more time worrying about what might have been. [[You start running.->c2.41]]
The Cŵn Annwn began to bay, their cries echoing across the snow. You cover your ears from the shrill noise, gritting your teeth. The hounds turn as one and leave, loping off back into the snow.

You stare off after them for a long while before you hear another, more familiar noise: the Creature's cry.

You can't waste any more time worrying about what might have been. [[You start running.->c2.41]]
62
c2.30fail state mally-y-nos startThe Mallt-y-Nos steps down from her stag and walks towards you. She is taller, taller than any human, taller than the Creature. She regards you cooly, her face an impassive mask.

[["Why are you here? What have I done?"->c2.31]]
[["Is this because I broke my oath with the Creature?"->c2.32]]
[["Are you here because I killed the servant?"->c2.33]]
The Mallt-y-Nos steps down from her stag and walks towards you. She is taller, taller than any human, taller than the Creature. She regards you cooly, her face an impassive mask.

[["Why are you here? What have I done?"->c2.31]]
[["Is this because I broke my oath with the Creature?"->c2.32]]
[["Are you here because I killed the servant?"->c2.33]]
63
c2.31fail state mallt-y-nosHer lip curls slightly as she looks down at you. She takes her bow off of her back.

"You are an oathbreaker and a murderer. Your life is now forfeit. I will take your soul to Arawn and you will join the Hunt for eternity. Do you have any last words?"

[[Remain silent and accept your fate. You don't want to die, but there are worse fates than joining the Wild Hunt. You may not be truly free, but you'll be away from the Creature.->c2.34]]
[["I've done nothing wrong! I had to do it to escape!"->c2.35]]
Her lip curls slightly as she looks down at you. She takes her bow off of her back.

"You are an oath breaker and a murderer. Your life is now forfeit. I will take your soul to Arawn and you will join the Hunt for eternity. Do you have any last words?"

[[Remain silent and accept your fate. You don't want to die, but there are worse fates than joining the Wild Hunt. You may not be truly free, but you'll be away from the Creature.->c2.34]]
[["I've done nothing wrong! I had to do it to escape!"->c2.35]]
64
c2.32mercy mallt 1She seems to consider your words for a moment, weighing them. Her face appears less harsh.

"Partially. Oathbreakers are sorrowful souls."

[["Was it because of the servant I killed?"->c2.37]]
[["I know it's wrong to break an oath, but I can't stay. I would rather join the Hunt than remain a prisoner."->c2.38]]
She seems to consider your words for a moment, weighing them. Her face appears less harsh.

"Partially. Oath breakers are sorrowful souls."

[["Was it because of the servant I killed?"->c2.37]]
[["I know it's wrong to break an oath, but I can't stay. I would rather join the Hunt than remain a prisoner."->c2.38]]
65
c2.33mercy mallt 2The Mallt-y-Nos nods and shrinks a little, the light around her face retreating to leave her in shadow.

"You admit to your crime?"

[["I do. It was an accident. I wish I could take it back."->c2.39]]
[["I do, but I don't regret it. She kept me locked up just like the Creature.->c2.40]]
The Mallt-y-Nos nods and shrinks a little, the light around her face retreating to leave her in shadow.

"You admit to your crime?"

[["I do. It was an accident. I wish I could take it back."->c2.39]]
[["I do, but I don't regret it. She kept me locked up just like the Creature.->c2.40]]
66
c2.34fail state malltThe Mallt-y-Nos takes out an arrow and strings it to her bow, drawing back her shot. Her gaze (link: "softens a bit.")[softens a bit. Your mother told you that the Mallt-y-Nos had been a woman named Matilda. She'd decided upon her death that she never wanted to be bound and rather than leaving for the Otherworld, she joined the Wild Hunt so she could ride for eternity. You think, perhaps, she understands your plight, even if she is honor bound to take your soul for your deeds.]

"I will make sure you run with me."

You close your eyes and [[hear the thrum of the bowstring.->c2.36]]
The Mallt-y-Nos takes out an arrow and strings it to her bow, drawing back her shot. Her gaze (link: "softens a bit.")[softens a bit. Your mother told you that the Mallt-y-Nos had been a woman named Matilda. She'd decided upon her death that she never wanted to be bound and rather than leaving for the Otherworld, she joined the Wild Hunt so she could ride for eternity. You think, perhaps, she understands your plight, even if she is honor bound to take your soul for your deeds.]

"I will make sure you run with me."

You close your eyes and [[hear the thrum of the bowstring.->c2.36]]
67
c2.35negative fail state malltThe Mallt-y-Nos takes out an arrow and strings it to her bow, (link: "drawing back her shot.")[drawing back her shot. Your mother told you that the Mallt-y-Nos had been a woman named Matilda. She'd decided upon her death that she never wanted to be bound and rather than leaving for the Otherworld, she joined the Wild Hunt so she could ride for eternity. The story claimed that years later, she regretted it, but was bound to hunt the lost souls of Arawn forever.]

"You will join me. Hopefully, time will help you to understand your actions."

You close your eyes and [[hear the thrum of the bowstring.->c2.36]]
The Mallt-y-Nos takes out an arrow and strings it to her bow, (link: "drawing back her shot.")[drawing back her shot. Your mother told you that the Mallt-y-Nos had been a woman named Matilda. She'd decided upon her death that she never wanted to be bound and rather than leaving for the Otherworld, she joined the Wild Hunt so she could ride for eternity. The story claimed that years later, she regretted it, but was bound to hunt the lost souls of Arawn forever.]

"Your will join me. Hopefully time will help you to understand your actions."

You close your eyes and [[hear the thrum of the bowstring.->c2.36]]
68
c2.36fail state mallt endYou have failed to return home, but you've escape the Creature of Fomorian.

You'll run now with the Wild Hunt for eternity.
==><==

<h4>End</h4>
[[Start Over->Start]]
(link: "Load Previous Save")[(load-game: "file A")]
You have failed to return home, but you've escape the Creature of Fomorian.

You'll run now with the Wild Hunt for eternity.
==><==

<h4>End</h4>
[[Start Over->Start]]
(link: "Load Previous Save")[(load-game: "file A")]
69
c2.37ask if because of servantThe Mallt-y-Nos nods and shrinks a little, the light around her face retreating to leave her in shadow.

"You admit to your crime?"

[["I do. It was an accident. I wish I could take it back.->c2.39]]
[["I do, but I don't regret it. She kept me locked up just like the Creature.->c2.40]]
The Mallt-y-Nos nods and shrinks a little, the light around her face retreating to leave her in shadow.

"You admit to your crime?"

[["I do. It was an accident. I wish I could take it back.->c2.39]]
[["I do, but I don't regret it. She kept me locked up just like the Creature.->c2.40]]
70
c2.38explain reasoning for oath breakingThe Mallt-y-Nos shrinks a little, the light around her face retreating to leave her in shadow.

"You have been forced into a difficult position, but I'm not here because you broke your oath."

[["Was it because of the servant I killed?"->c2.37]]
The Mallt-y-Nos shrinks a little, the light around her face retreating to leave her in shadow.

"You have been forced into a difficult position, but I'm not here because you broke your oath."

[["Was it because of the servant I killed?"->c2.37]]
71
c2.39regret for servant surviveThe Mallt-y-Nos sighs, a sound that reminds you of dry leaves blowing over the dusty earth.

"Though it was a mistake, you still admit to the crime and make no excuses for it."

She turns around and walks back to her stag before letting out a cry. The Cŵn Annwn join her, their howls a chorus as they retreat into the woods. The Mally-y-Nos draws herself back up onto the stag.

"There will come a day when you will join the Hunt because of your actions. However, for now, I'll let you live. Go. The Creature of Fomorian is coming."

You watch the Mallt-y-Nos ride off, vanishing into mist.

[[With a heavy sigh you push on.->Chapter 3]]

(set: $wildhunt to 1)
The Mallt-y-Nos sighs, a sound that reminds you of dry leaves blowing over dusty earth.

"Though it was a mistake, you still admit to the crime and make no excuses for it."

She turns around and walks back to her stag before letting out a cry. The Cŵn Annwn join her, their howls a chorus as they retreat into the woods. The Mally-y-Nos draws herself back up onto the stag.

"There will come a day when you will join the Hunt because of your actions. However, for now I'll let you life. Go. The Creature of Fomorian is coming."

You watch the Mallt-y-Nos ride off, vanishing into mist.

[[With a heavy sigh you push on.->Chapter 3]]

(set: $wildhunt to 1)
72
c2.40no regret for servantHer lip curls slightly as she looks down at you. She takes her bow off of her back.

"You are an oathbreaker and a murderer. Your life is now forfeit. I will take your soul to Arawn and you will join the Hunt for eternity. Do you have any last words?"

[[Remain silent and accept your fate. You don't want to die, but there are worse fates than joining the Wild Hunt. You may not be truly free, but you'll be away from the Creature.->c2.34]]
[["I accept my fate, but I don't regret my actions."->c2.35]]
Her lip curls slightly as she looks down at you. She takes her bow off of her back.

"You are an oath breaker and a murderer. Your life is now forfeit. I will take your soul to Arawn and you will join the Hunt for eternity. Do you have any last words?"

[[Remain silent and accept your fate. You don't want to die, but there are worse fates than joining the Wild Hunt. You may not be truly free, but you'll be away from the Creature.->c2.34]]
[["I accept my fate, but I don't regret my actions."->c2.35]]
73
c2.41survive and runThe precious time facing down the Cŵn Annwn has cost you dearly. Despite your best efforts, you can hear the sounds of pursuit once again behind you. This time, it's not the hounds chasing you. The Creature of Fomorian is almost here.

You have to think fast. There's no way you can outrun him.

[[Try to run anyway--what other choice do you have?->c2.42]]
[[Try to set a false trail.->c2.43]]
The precious time facing down the Cŵn Annwn has cost you dearly. Despite your best efforts, you can hear the sounds of pursuit once again behind you. This time, it's not the hounds chasing you. The Creature of Fomorian is almost here.

You have to think fast. There's no way you can outrun him.

[[Try to run anyway--what other choice do you have?->c2.42]]
[[Try to set a false trail.->c2.43]]
74
c2.42keep runningYou only get about twenty feet before there's a loud roar behind you. You startle and stumble into the snow. You hear heavy paws hit the snow behind you.

You push yourself up and turn.

Standing over you is the [[Creature of Fomorian.->Chapter 3 Creature]]

(set: $cold to $cold + 1)
You only get about twenty feet before there's a loud roar behind you. You startle and stumble into the snow. You hear heavy paws hit the snow behind you.

You push yourself up and turn.

Standing over you is the [[Creature of Fomorian.->Chapter 3 Creature]]

(set: $cold to $cold + 1)
75
c2.43set a false pathYou go over to the edge of the path and study some bushes that would be easy enough for someone of your size to crawl through. You grab the hem of your dress and rip off part of it, setting the strip of fabric on some thorns in the bush.

Glancing around, you find a few other spots to stick bits of fabric before finally choosing one bush to go under. You pass under the bush and then continue on through the woods, [[keeping the original path you were taking in your field of vision.->c2.44]]

(set: $cold to $cold + 1)
You go over to the edge of the path and study some bushes that would be easy enough for someone of your size to crawl through. You grab the hem of your dress and rip off part of it, setting the strip of fabric on some thorns in the bush.

Glancing around, you find a few other spots to stick bits of fabric before finally choosing one bush to go under. You pass under the bush and then continue on through the woods, [[keeping the original path you were taking in your field of vision.->c2.44]]

(set: $cold to $cold + 1)
76
c2.44escape beast for a timeAbout three minutes after leaving the path, you hear a roar of frustration and the sound of breaking branches.

You have no choice. [[You have to run->Chapter 3 Clever]]
About three minutes after leaving the path, you hear a roar of frustration and the sound of breaking branches.

You have no choice. [[You have to run->Chapter 3 Clever]]
77
c2.45the hounds leave but here comes the creatureAlmost as suddenly as they appeared, they disappear. The world goes silent. All you can hear is your own strained breath and the thundering of your heart in your chest. You pause, turning to glance over your shoulder in confusion. The Cŵn Annwn are gone.

You don't question your good fortune until you hear a roar and the sound of heavier footfalls just beyond the trees.

The Creature of Fomorian is coming.

You have to think fast. There's no way you can outrun him.

[[Try to run anyway--what other choice do you have?->c2.42]]
[[Try to set a false trail.->c2.43]]
Almost as suddenly as they appeared, they disappear. The world goes silent. All you can hear is your own strained breath and the thundering of your heart in your chest. You pause, turning to glance over your shoulder in confusion. The Cŵn Annwn are gone.

You don't question your good fortune until you hear a roar and the sound of heavier footfalls just beyond the trees.

The Creature of Fomorian is coming.

You have to think fast. There's no way you can outrun him.

[[Try to run anyway--what other choice do you have?->c2.42]]
[[Try to set a false trail.->c2.43]]
78
c2.46puca helpsYou hear something rustling in the push to your left. You stiffen, eyes widening. It doesn't sound big enough to be the Creature or a wolf. You wonder if it's a bird or some other small creature trapped in the snow.

[[Go to see what it is.->c2.47]]
[[Wait to see if it comes out.->c2.48]]
You hear something rustling in the push to your left. You stiffen, eyes widening. It doesn't sound big enough to be the Creature or a wolf. You wonder if it's a bird or some other small creature trapped in the snow.

[[Go to see what it is.->c2.47]]
[[Wait to see if it comes out.->c2.48]]
79
c2.47go see pucaCautiously, you walk over to the bush and kneel down. You reach out and lift up the branches, revealing a small creature. It has dark fur reminiscent of a fox's, but perched on top of its head are tiny antlers. It has ears like a deer and wide, gold eyes like an owl. It may be the strangest creature you've ever seen.

As the shock wears off, you realize this must be (link: "a púca.")[a púca. Your mother told you stories about the púca and other creatures from the fairy courts. They're neither good nor bad; simply nature spirits.] The púca shivers, curling in on itself as you expose it.

[[Leave it alone. Fairies and hobgoblins are trouble.->c2.49]]
[[Pick up the púca and try to warm it.->c2.50]]

(set: $puca to $puca + 1)
Cautiously, you walk over to the bush and kneel down. You reach out and lift up the branches, revealing a small creature. It has dark fur reminiscent of a fox's, but perched on top of its head are tiny antlers. It has ears like a deer and wide, gold eyes like an owl. It may be the strangest creature you've ever seen.

As the shock wears off, you realize this must be (link: "a púca.")[a púca. Your mother told you stories about the púca and other creatures from the fairy courts. They're neither good nor bad; simply nature spirits.] The púca shivers, curling in on itself as you expose it.

[[Leave it alone. Fairies and hobgoblins are trouble.->c2.49]]
[[Pick up the púca and try to warm it.->c2.50]]

(set: $puca to $puca + 1)
80
c2.48wait for pucaAfter a few moments, you hesitantly call out, "Hello?" and a small creature pokes its head out from under the bush. It has dark fur reminiscent of a fox's, but perched on top of its head are tiny antlers. It has ears like a deer and wide, gold eyes like an owl. It may be the strangest creature you've ever seen.

As the shock wears off, you realize this must be (link: "a púca.")[a púca. Your mother told you stories about the púca and other creatures from the fairy courts. They're neither good nor bad; simply nature spirits.] You walk over to the bush and lift up the branches a bit to get a better look before deciding to...

[[Leave it alone. Fairies and hobgoblins are trouble.->c2.49]]
[[Pick it up and try to warm it.->c2.50]]

(set: $puca to $puca + 1)
After a few moments, you hesitantly call out, "Hello?" and a small creature pokes its head out from under the bush. It has dark fur reminiscent of a fox's, but perched on top of its head are tiny antlers. It has ears like a deer and wide, gold eyes like an owl. It may be the strangest creature you've ever seen.

As the shock wears off, you realize this must be (link: "a púca.")[a púca. Your mother told you stories about the púca and other creatures from the fairy courts. They're neither good nor bad; simply nature spirits.] You walk over to the bush and lift up the branches a bit to get a better look before deciding to...

[[Leave it alone. Fairies and hobgoblins are trouble.->c2.49]]
[[Pick it up and try to warm it.->c2.50]]

(set: $puca to $puca + 1)
81
c2.49leave pucaYou let the branches cover the púca again and straighten. You'll have to be even more careful in these woods, it seems. The presence of a púca means that there are likely more creatures in these woods.

With this in mind, you steel yourself and choose a direction.

[[Go right through the woods.->c2.51]]
[[Continue to move straight.->c2.52]]
You let the branches cover the púca again and straighten. You'll have to be even more careful in these woods, it seems. The presence of a púca means that there are likely more creatures in these woods.

With this in mind, you steel yourself and choose a direction.

[[Go right through the woods.->c2.51]]
[[Continue to move straight.->c2.52]]
82
c2.50help pucaYou gently reach out and pick up the púca. It barely stirs as you pull it into your arms, drawing it in close to your chest to try to warm it up.

"Are you lost too?" you ask, "Maybe we can help each other out."

You wrap your cloak around the púca before straightening.

A small voice says, "I know how to get out of the woods."

"Will you help me? I'm..."

[["...trying to return to the village."->c2.54]]
[["...trying to run away from the Creature."->c2.55]]
You gently reach out and pick up the púca. It barely stirs as you pull it into your arms, drawing it in close to your chest to try to warm it up.

"Are you lost too?" you ask, "Maybe we can help each other out."

You wrap your cloak around the púca before straightening.

A small voice says, "I know how to get out of the woods."

"Will you help me? I'm..."

[["...trying to return to the village."->c2.54]]
[["...trying to run away from the Creature."->c2.55]]
83
c2.51run into houndsYou make your way right through the woods, pushing past close trees. You hope that this indirect path will throw the Creature off your trail.

After about five minutes of walking though, you hear the sound of wind and a blue glow starts to radiate through the clearing. A distant, echoing growl rolls through your bones.

[[Turn to face whatever it is->c2.13]]
[[Run.->c2.14]]
You make your way right through the woods, pushing past close trees. You hope that this indirect path will throw the Creature off your trail.

After about five minutes of walking though, you hear the sound of wind and a blue glow starts to radiate through the clearing. A distant, echoing growl rolls through your bones.

[[Turn to face whatever it is->c2.13]]
[[Run.->c2.14]]
dead node.
84
c2.52run into the CreatureYou head straight past the bush where you found the púca, picking your way through the brush and snow. It's hard going, but you make progress. You hope that this indirect way through the woods will throw the Creature off of your trail.

After about five minutes though, you hear a low roar just beyond the trees.

[[The Creature of Fomorian is coming.->c2.53]]
You head straight past the bush where you found the púca, picking your way through the brush and snow. It's hard going, but you make progress. You hope that this indirect way through the woods will throw the Creature off of your trail.

After about five minutes though, you hear a low roar just beyond the trees.

[[The Creature of Fomorian is coming.->c2.53]]
85
c2.53run into creature You startle and stumble into the snow. You hear heavy paws hit the snow behind you.

You push yourself up and turn.

Standing over you is the [[Creature of Fomorian.->Chapter 3 Creature 2]]

(set: $cold to $cold + 1)
You startle and stumble into the snow. You hear heavy paws hit the snow behind you.

You push yourself up and turn.

Standing over you is the [[Creature of Fomorian.->Chapter 3 Creature 2]]

(set: $cold to $cold + 1)
86
c2.54trying to get homeThe púca snuggles in closer, "I can take you there. It's not too far from here."

You know it can be dangerous to trust fae or hobgoblins, but you decide to listen to the púca. The púca peeks out from your cloak to see before giving you directions. You follow them, absently petting the púca while you walk.

"Humans don't usually come into the woods this far. Why are you here?"

[["I'm running from the Creature of Fomorian. I was his bride.->c2.56]]
[[(lie) "I got lost."->c2.57]]
The púca snuggles in closer, "I can take you there. It's not too far from here."

You know it can be dangerous to trust fae or hobgoblins but you decide to listen to the púca. The púca peeks out from your cloak in order to see before giving you directions. You follow them, absently petting the púca while you walk.

"Humans don't usually come into the woods this far. Why are you here?"

[["I'm running from the Creature of Fomorian. I was his bride.->c2.56]]
[[(lie) "I got lost."->c2.57]]
87
c2.55trying to escape creatureThe púca squeaks and wiggles in closer, briefly hiding its face.

"A bride of the Creature? How did you manage to escape?"

"I ran away...(if: $juniper > 0)[one of the servants helped me. Her name is Juniper. ]I had to. I gave myself as the bride to save my mother, but I didn't realize what that meant."

"Did you ever meet the Creature?"

You shake your head, "No. I only heard him. I never saw him."

"I'll help lead you out of the woods." The púca was silent for a while, before it asked, "Do you know his story?"

[["I know parts of it..."->c2.58]]
[["No?"->c2.59]]
The púca squeaks and wiggles in closer, briefly hiding its face.

"A bride of the Creature? How did you manage to escape?"

"I ran away...(if: $juniper > 0)[one of the servants helped me. Her name is Juniper. ]I had to. I gave myself as the bride to save my mother but I didn't realize what that meant."

"Did you ever meet the Creature?"

You shake your head, "No. I only heard him. I never saw him."

"I'll help lead you out of the woods." The púca was silent for a while, before it asked, "Do you know his story?"

[["I know parts of it..."->c2.58]]
[["No?"->c2.59]]
88
c2.56tell puca the truthThe púca squeaks and wiggles in closer, briefly hiding its face.

"A bride of the Creature? How did you manage to escape?"

"I ran away...(if: $juniper > 0)[one of the servants helped me. Her name is Juniper. ]I had to. I gave myself as the bride to save my mother, but I didn't realize what that meant."

"Did you ever meet the Creature?"

You shake your head, "No. I only heard him. I never saw him."

"Do you know his story?"

[["Yes.->c2.58]]
[["No?"->c2.59]]
The púca squeaks and wiggles in closer, briefly hiding its face.

"A bride of the Creature? How did you manage to escape?"

"I ran away...(if: $juniper > 0)[one of the servants helped me. Her name is Juniper. ]I had to. I gave myself as the bride to save my mother but I didn't realize what that meant."

"Did you ever meet the Creature?"

You shake your head, "No. I only heard him. I never saw him."

"Do you know his story?"

[["Yes.->c2.58]]
[["No?"->c2.59]]
89
c2.58I know the Creature's story"The Creature is a very lonely being," the púca says sadly, "He was cursed a long time ago by the first settlers. He wanted to travel across the sea to study with the goddess Danu like the Tuatha Dé Danann, but his people saw him as a traitor for doing that since they were at war with each other. So they cursed him never to be able to leave his home."

"But that was hundreds of years ago," you say, eyes widening.

The púca nods, "That is part of the curse. They say he can't leave and he can't die, not until he finds a bride."

"He's never had a bride before you," the púca adds, "They all run away before they can be taken to his manor. You're the first who honored the oath...well, for a while."

[["You know a lot about him."->c2.60]]
[[Remain silent->c2.61]]
"The Creature is a very lonely being," the púca says sadly, "He was cursed a long time ago by the first settlers. He wanted to travel across the sea to study with the goddess Danu like the Tuatha Dé Danann but his people saw him as a traitor for doing that since they were at war with each other. So they cursed him to never be able to leave his home."

"But that was hundreds of years ago," you say, eyes widening.

The púca nods, "That is part of the curse. They say he can't leave and he can't die, not until he finds a bride."

"He's never had a bride before you," the púca adds, "They all run away before they can be taken to his manor. You're the first who honored the oath...well, for a while."

[["You know a lot about him."->c2.60]]
[[Remain silent->c2.61]]
90
c2.59I don't know the Creature's story"Not many people know his story. The Creature is a very lonely being," the púca says sadly, "He was cursed a long time ago by the first settlers. He wanted to travel across the sea to study with the goddess Danu like the Tuatha Dé Danann, but his people saw him as a traitor for doing that since they were at war with each other. So they cursed him never to be able to leave his home."

"But that was hundreds of years ago," you say, eyes widening.

The púca nods, "That is part of the curse. They say he can't leave and he can't die, not until he finds a bride."

"He's never had a bride before you," the púca adds, "They all run away before they can be taken to his manor. You're the first who honored the oath...well, for a while."

[["You know a lot about him."->c2.60]]
[[Remain silent->c2.61]]
"Not many people know his story. The Creature is a very lonely being," the púca says sadly, "He was cursed a long time ago by the first settlers. He wanted to travel across the sea to study with the goddess Danu like the Tuatha Dé Danann but his people saw him as a traitor for doing that since they were at war with each other. So they cursed him to never be able to leave his home."

"But that was hundreds of years ago," you say, eyes widening.

The púca nods, "That is part of the curse. They say he can't leave and he can't die, not until he finds a bride."

"He's never had a bride before you," the púca adds, "They all run away before they can be taken to his manor. You're the first who honored the oath...well, for a while."

[["You know a lot about him."->c2.60]]
[[Remain silent->c2.61]]
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c2.60ask why the puca knows about the creatureThe púca shrugs and crawls out from beneath your cloak a little, "He was a friend of mine for a time. His ship was lost at sea, but he survived by turning into a salmon. By the time he arrived, the Fomorians were already at war with the first settlers. He never felt like it was his place to join in the battle and just wanted to be left alone."

You reach the edge of the woods. You stop, briefly looking back over your shoulder before you decide to...

[[...go back to try to talk to the Creature.->c2.62]]
[[...keep moving forward towards your home.->c2.63]]
The púca shrugs and crawls out from beneath your cloak a little, "He was a friend of mine for a time. His ship was lost at sea, but he survived by turning into a salmon. By the time he arrived, the Fomorians were already at war with the first settlers. He never felt like it was his place to join in the battle and just wanted to be left alone."

You reach the edge of the woods. You stop, briefly looking back over your shoulder before you decide to...

[[...go back to try to talk to the Creature.->c2.62]]
[[...keep moving forward towards your home.->c2.63]]
92
c2.61remain silentYou reach the edge of the woods. You stop, briefly looking back over your shoulder before you decide to...

[[...go back to try to talk to the Creature.->c2.62]]
[[...keep moving forward towards your home.->c2.63]]
You reach the edge of the woods. You stop, briefly looking back over your shoulder before you decide to...

[[...go back to try to talk to the Creature.->c2.62]]
[[...keep moving forward towards your home.->c2.63]]
93
c2.62go back to the creatureYour heart is heavy, but you decide you can't in good conscious break your oath, not after hearing the púca's story. You know that it could be a trick (this is a púca after all) but you want to learn the truth for yourself.

"Are you able to get home from here?" you ask, looking down at the wide, gold eyes of the púca.

It nods with what might have been a smile, "I can. Thank you for your help. Aren't you going to go home too though?"

"I have to finish something first," you explain. Your voice catches, and you feel a shiver of fear run through you, but deep down you know you have no choice. "Thank you for your story. It helped me."

The púca hops out of your arms, chirping as a way of thanks before it runs off towards the distant light of your village, far off on the horizon. The ache of homesickness eats at you, but you've made your choice.

[[You turn your back on your home and march once more into the woods.->Chapter 3 Return]]
Your heart is heavy but you decide you can't in good conscious break your oath, not after hearing the púca's story. You know that it could be a trick (this is a púca after all) but you want to learn the truth for yourself.

"Are you able to get home from here?" you ask, looking down at the wide, gold eyes of the púca.

It nods with what might have been a smile, "I can. Thank you for your help. Aren't you going to go home too though?"

"I have to finish something first," you explain. Your voice catches and you feel a shiver of fear run through you, but deep down you know you have no choice. "Thank you for your story. It helped me."

The púca hops out of your arms, chirping as a way of thanks before it runs off towards the distant light of your village, far off on the horizon. The ache of homesickness eats at you, but you've made your choice.

[[You turn your back on your home and march once more into the woods.->Chapter 3 Return]]
94
c2.63keep moving homeYou adjust your hold on the púca and continue on. In the distance, you can see your village, a small pinprick of light on the horizon.

"Are you coming to the village with me?" you ask the púca.

"I am. It's a warm place to stay during the winter months and no one minds if I steal a few scraps of food if I'm a dog or a bird."

"You can stay with me," you offer, "We could always use a cat to catch the mice or a dog to guard our home."

The púca perks up and snuggles in closer to your chest. You can hear it purring, a gentle rumble that rolls through you.

[[You're almost home.->Chapter 3 almost home]]
You adjust your hold on the púca and continue on. In the distance, you can see your village, a small pinprick of light on the horizon.

"Are you coming to the village with me?" you ask the púca.

"I am. It's a warm place to stay during the winter months and no one minds if I steal a few scraps of food if I'm a dog or a bird."

"You can stay with me," you offer, "We could always use a cat to catch the mice or a dog to guard our home."

The púca perks up and snuggles in closer to your chest. You can hear it purring, a gentle rumble that rolls through you.

[[You're almost home.->Chapter 3 almost home]]
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Chapter 3escape Mallt start
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