Choose Your Own Adventure!

Edit: Part 2a has been written, and can be found here.  Part 2b has been written as well, and can be found here.

I made this short choose-your-own-adventure story a while back, and only just realized that I could try to put it together in a functioning format on this site.  I haven’t managed to separate the sections as much as I’d like, so if you want the full experience try to avoid reading more than one segment at a time. The uppermost section is the one to keep your eyes on. Have fun!

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You come to your senses after a long night of studying in the library and find yourself standing on a narrow dirt path running through the woods. You don’t know how you got here, and it doesn’t look like any place that you’ve ever been before. After wandering along for a brief while, you hear hoofbeats behind you. Do you:

a) Hide behind a nearby tree. Paranoia is the best survival trait after all.

b) Stand on the side of the road. Horses move quickly and you don’t want to be in their way.

c) Look for the horsey! You’ve loved horses for as long as you can remember, and you haven’t gotten to see any recently.


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Here comes the horsey! Oh goodness, the horse is covered in strangely overlapping plates, and there’s a person on the back wearing metal, like some kind of knight or something. Are you in the middle of a renaissance fair? Well, I suppose you’ll never really know, but you suspect that you aren’t because they don’t usually chop off your head with swords at a renaissance fair. And that’s what this mean guy on a horse just did to you. The end. Give it another go, eh?
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It seems like a good idea to get out of the way, doesn’t it? Around the bend in the trail comes a huge horse covered in armor, with a person also covered in armor riding on its back. You think that… he? is holding a sword, but he’s ridden past almost before you even realize what’s happening. This isn’t normal. Just a little while ago you were nodding off at your desk in the library, but now you’re in the middle of the forest and it looks like more men in armor riding armored horses and waving weapons are riding past you. Do you:

a) Stare at these bizarre people? It isn’t as though you’ve ever really gotten the chance to see a real knight before, and that has to be what these folks are.

b) Look as obsequious as you can. It always pays to grovel in front of people who have weapons.
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You can’t help but look at these people as they ride by.  They don’t seem to have any conception of how weird they look, riding around in armor in the woods. Or maybe you have no idea of how weird you look to them, standing by the side of the road and not offering them your respect, because one of them has casually leveled his lance at you. You try to flee, but getting away from a man on horseback is really hard. So is the lance, and so is the tree that he pins you to. I’m sorry to say that you are going to die slowly and painfully here. You can faintly hear many hooves going past, but everything dims slowly and the world shrinks into a little ball of pain around the lance that holds you to the tree. And then you die. Better luck next time.
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Last you heard, knights were pretty big assholes to anyone they thought wasn’t also of equal social standing. Since you’re still in your comfy library clothes, you probably don’t look very lordly to them. Best to play it safe. You bow to them as they ride by, and stay bowed. Many horses go by, but finally one of them stops and you take a chance… you look up to see a knight and several more lightly armored men halted on their horses in front of you.

The knight looks to his companions. “Hurly, take this one to our wagons. I think we could use a new cook and cleaner since the last one died.”

Well, I hope you know how to cook. But at least you’re alive! Join us again in Choose Your Own Peasant Uprising. Maybe you’d like to try again?
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They do say that discretion is the better part of valor. You valorously hide behind a tree just in time to se a knight ride by in full panoply. Then more knights come around the same bend, and you think you might be able to see some men-at-arms on horses following behind them. Yikes, this looks like a war-party! Do you:

a) Wait for them to pass by. No reason to un-valorously give away your position after all.

b) Run away into the woods. You’ve seen enough to know that you don’t want to be here and they probably won’t catch you in the woods by following on horseback.
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You courageously wait behind the tree as the war-party rides by. They don’t notice you, and you don’t get hurt. That worked pretty well, all things considered. Now that the path is empty, what do you do? Do you:

a) Push away from the path and bushwhack through the woods. No need to get any closer to that war-party.

b) Get back on the path. Now that the horsemen have ridden by the path should be nice and comfortable for walking on, and this way you get to see where it goes!
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You bushwhack through the woods and away from that path, and after a little while come out on the edge of a field. The woods continue to either side of you, but ahead you can see what looks like a settlement. Either these guys are really into period architecture, or something seriously weird is going on here. The houses look like they’re roofed with thatch, and you think you see someone using a scythe in the field ahead of you. Do you:

a) Sit here by the edge of the woods and just watch, hoping to get a better idea for what is going on?

b) Run up to them yelling about that war-party you saw? Surely they must know something about whatever that was.
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Well, now that you’re back on this nice path, you realize it is actually quite a pleasant day today. You’ve been stuck indoors for so long you had forgotten how great it felt to wander about outside. The path goes in two directions, but which way do you want to go? Do you:

a) Follow the war-party’s route. They must be going somewhere. It can’t hurt to find out where, right?

b) Head off in the other direction. You didn’t like those knights, and you have no reason to go any closer to them.
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The path continues for a while, winding around in the woods and generally following the trail of fewest trees. Eventually it comes out on the edge of some fields, by what used to be a very nice village. Now it is burning and knights are riding about killing people and setting things on fire and generally doing horrible things left and right. Your previous valor served you well, and you make use of it again as the knights finish up their murdering and ride on. Sadly, now you are stuck in the middle of nowhere with no friends. Just smoking ruins and many dead bodies. How miserable. The end. How about trying again?
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So you’ve made your way to the edge of the woods and can see a town, but it turns out that you’re just in time to see those knights from earlier kill everyone. From your vantage point, you can see them, errr, getting medieval as it were. Murder, pillage, arson, lots of unpleasant screaming, the works. Now here you are in the middle of nowhere with no idea of what to do. If only you’d spent your time learning how to survive in the wild instead of writing those papers on Locke’s conception of the enemy. The knights finish their murdering and ride on, leaving you alone with all the bodies and smoke. What a terrible day. The end. Better luck next time?
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You happily set off down the path, and have a lovely afternoon. At some point you realize that you don’t have any food and the sun is going down. Maybe you should have found some food earlier? Or some water. You’re kind of thirsty too. And now you’re getting chilly. You stumble about in the dark and lose track of the path, and finally find a brook by falling into it. You drink your fill, but you think you’ve sprained your ankle and you’re cold and wet. Morning finds you shivering, sleep deprived, and hungry. You try throwing things at squirrels, but you never seem to hit them hard enough to kill them and now they’re chattering at you from the branches and scaring away any other food you might find. You think you’re getting sick from being cold and wet and exposed, too. Oh well. You didn’t really like life here anyways. The end. That didn’t go so well. Try it again?
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Those knights can’t have been up to any good. You’d probably better warn these folks about what you saw. The villagers are surprised to see you and at first react with fear, but the moment you mention knights and point behind you they all seem to spring into action. You see them bustling about, gathering up sacks and packs and doing their best to carry important tools with them. You are given some things to carry and you stagger off in the peasants’ wake as they flee into the woods. And it seems that your message arrived just in time, since behind you you hear the sounds of hooves and yelling. Once you are hidden with the peasants, you can watch as the town and the peasants’ fields are all burned to the ground. The peasants are all very thankful to you, and they seem to think that you are the best person in the world. Well done! Join us next time in Choose Your Own Peasant Uprising. Maybe you’d like to see some of the other paths?

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6 responses to “Choose Your Own Adventure!

  1. Pingback: Choose Your Own Adventure! Part 3 (or 2b?) | Fistful of Wits

  2. Pingback: Choose Your Own Adventure! Part 2 | Fistful of Wits

  3. Pingback: Rough Drafts and Epiphanies | Fistful of Wits

  4. I can never seem to put down choose-your-own-adventure things unless I see all the endings (and with the use of the back button rather than multiple bookmarks, it’s conducive to reading everything). I tried the same thing on my site, and as much as I love ‘proper’ books, online CYOA are much more convenient. Looking forward to Choose Your own Peasant Uprising =)

    • I tried to follow my memories of the old choose-your-own-adventure books so there are a number of dead ends. In which you die horribly, of course :P

      Also, I forgot to include a link back to the start for that dead end! My apologies. I hope you enjoy trying the other routes :)

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