Myrk Mire (working title) WIP (Demo updated 16/05/2022)

This is not the world you know. This is an England a dream away from the one of your reality. It sits between folklore and truth, between warm hearths and the creeping chill, between monstrous men and creatures of such horrors to make wicked souls weep.

Upon two lonely islands clings a town, filled with folk who make their memories upon the edge of the mighty Mire, a marshland whose depths only the foolhardy and the mad dare enter. Here they find themselves, a traveller, a weary wanderer of the webbing roads that criss-cross the country. Work brings you to this place, the promise of it at least, and the security to see out the coming winter in relative comfort.

They are not alone. Small fingers flex in a childish fidget as their charge walks beside them. The child is seven, they will be eight soon.

Details

One day, whilst making their way back to the town from the wherry landings, the child tugs the traveller aside, having spotted a strange shape tangled in the matted reeds below the causeway. As the pair near, they discover a body, half drowned it seems, sprawled out upon the slick and stinking mud.

What they do, and how they approach, are up to you.

This is not the first, neither is it the last of the strange occurrences around town. Plants are wilting, the fish have all but fled, the landed beasts are sparse along the shores, and the waters that touch them all have started to grow muddy and dark.

Friends and foes await the pair’s return in town, the afternoon’s shadows are growing long, and the meagre warmth of the low sun lumbers on towards the evening’s early chill. It’s time to get moving again.

It’s time to find out what you can, learn what you’re able, bear what you must, and help your two charges survive the crawling mists as they draw ever closer to them and their family.


Myrk Mire is a story about families, both found and by blood depending on the choices you the reader make. It is a mild horror story, in the veins of gothic horror, where the scares are slow, creeping, and you are never quite sure whether what you just saw out of the corner of your eye was a shadow, or something far, far worse.

The Main Character in the story should be considered a seperate entity to you the reader. This is not a direct reader insert story. You are a puppet master, a guide, perhaps a little bit of the Main Character’s subconcious nudging them towards a descision. There will be times where the Main Character does something you disagree with, there will be times where you want to scream at them to take the other path at a fork in the road, or refuse the hand that offers to pull them to their feet in the dark. You have the ability to dramatically and irrevocably change their life, but that might not be obvious to begin with.

Initial Choices

You may determine the following about the Main Character:
Name (given and family/first and last)
Gender Presentation - Male, Female, Nonbinary (There will be no outing of Trans Characters)
Sexual orientation - Gay, Straight, Bisexual
Hair Colour - Pre-determined list plus custom text
Hair Style and Length - Pre-determined list plus custom text
Relationship to Child - Biological parent, Adopted parent, Aunt/Uncle/Pibling, Sibling
Child’s Name (given and family/first and last)
Child’s Gender - Male, Female, Nonbinary
Child’s Hair Colour - Pre-determined list plus custom text
Child’s Hair Style and Length - Pre-determined list plus custom text

There are many other choices throughout the prologue and first chapter that will develop your characters, but for the sake of simplicity I won’t post them all up here.

Romance

There are currently four romancible options open to the player regardless of gender.

Each of the Romantic or Platonic Options’ gender will be determined when you pick the Main Character’s Sexual Orientation, with randomised options available as well as fixed presets.

Male/Female

Peyton/Peidyn


Land@{pg lord|lady} of the Common Lodging House. 

${pn}'s always been good to you. 

Finding clothing and toys for ${chn}, forgiving you a day or two on the rent, sharing a quiet evening with
you both beside the kitchen range, telling such wonderful stories that make $!{chn}'s eyes sparkle.

You say a blessing everyday for the good fortune that first brought you to @{pg his|her} door.

Louis/Leila


@!{lg brother|sister} to Lars, resident of the Common Lodging house, and alongside @{lg his|her} brother stand out town clowns. 

${ln} is as much a new face as you are in the town. @!{lg he|she} and Lars had arrived only two months
before you did. They are fisherfolk, down from the northern coast, far beyond where you have ever 
travelled. The youngest siblings of an enormous clan of a family. ${ln} often jokes there wasn't enough 
room for a flea in the house, let alone two strapping young fishers like themselves. 
					
So they'd left for warmer waters, tracking the coastline down, stumbling into the mouth of the river that 
drains the Mire, then following it till the local fisherfolk saw them shivering out in the frindges, and brought 
them back to town. 
					
It's still debated to this day which sibling got them lost in the first place, but they're both secretly glad for 
the accident.

Abelyn/Anadora


Apprentice to Erda Lynn, resident Cunningwoman.
					
${an} came to Aldmirham not that much before you. Born and raised in the grand city far upriver by @{ag 
his|her} father, @{ag he|she} was plucked from the role of an apothecaries assistant by a visiting Erda to 
become the old woman's apprentice. 
					
@!{ag he|she} has dark hair, olive skin, and heterochromic eyes, with one green and one blue.

Keldan/Kelda

???

Now that would be telling wouldn’t it? :grin:

Content Warning

Whilst I aim to make the story as inclusive as possible, and therefore as accessible as possible for the majority of readers, do be aware of the following topics which will be discussed within the text:

  • Birth and Birth Complications (This is very dependent apon the route the player takes through the story, please read the spoilers below for a more indepth explanation)

If the player chooses to follow the biological parent route (regardless of the gender of the Main Character or their partner) they have the possibility of witnessing a flashback of the child’s birth. This is for the most part described in the abstract in terms of pain, sensation, and sound. I do not wish to perpetuate uninformed and harmful fears about pregnancy and labour, nor do I want to take the joy away from those currently pregnant or who wish to have children in the future. I have, and will continue to research the topic of labour and complications during labour throughout the writing of the story, and will do my best to include as much material as I can across all my social media platforms that provide accurate and empathetic information about the topics.
If the player does not wittness the above incident by choosing alternative routes they will still come to a scene of labour and childbirth. This scene is a stressful experience for the main character and cast, but it is guided within the narrative and will have a positive outcome.
If you have any concerns or questions about this topic please do contact me either publicly through this forum or using the websites private messaging.

  • Problematic masculine behaviour in relation to the objectification of others
    (Players will have the opportunity to call this out and react to it.)

For the first interaction with this character the reader will have a variety of choices ranging from the most verbally passive end of the scale, causing the Main Character to laugh along with what is said, at the most verbally active end of the scale the Main Character can be directed to tell the character to never say such things again, and at the most physically active the Main Character will remain stoically silent.
Please note that this is only the first meeting with said character, I’m not going to give you the opportunity to have the Main Character punch them right out of the gate, no matter how much you might or might not wish to.
As the story progresses and events move forwards you will have the opportunity to direct the Main Character into a more proactive role. Whether this does any good or not is dependent on the individual choice.
I hope that adds more clarity for people who are cautious about this particular topic.

  • Unwanted romantic attention (Players will have the opportunity to have the Main Character call this out and react to it)
  • Sexual Assault (a kiss without consent)

This will be addressed by the core cast and will not be romanticised, glorified, or ignored. It will be called out for what it is, assault.

  • Community based panic and mob hysteria (Players will have the opportunity to have the Main Character call this out and react to it)

  • Mild body and gore horror (dependent on the situation you may have the opportunity to look away, otherwise I will attempt to describe the events in a non-viceral manner)

  • Attachment stress in relation to the child If you’re the type to get overly protective of dependents in interactive media (I certainly am) be wary

Things that will not be included in the story:

  • Risk of PC death/ wrong choice = early ending This story will be long. Very long. I want to respect your time. There is no guarantee I will be able to implement a save system in the final game, and to ask you to re-read very large sections of text that could range from 250,000 to over 700,000 words and still remain as emotionally invested in the story as you were the first time round is I believe unreasonable.

  • You will not have the ability to direct the Main Character to abuse the Child character Not to say you can’t have them be apathetic to their existence, but you can’t actively harm them.

  • Depictions of sexual violence (Be it in a Physical or Emotional sense)

  • Racist, Homophobic, or Gender Identity based bigotry My world (kinda) my rules, I think these are societal problems the characters can happily live without. And I want everyone to find a place of acceptance in this world regardless of who they are.

  • Modern Religion I’m not going anywhere near the topic with a 10 ft marsh pole. Where I can I use non-religious terminology, where that is difficult to impossible I’ve adapted practices, holidays, and titles to distance things. So there will be no demonising (pardon the term) of modern organised religions or any pagan religious practices and either groups effect on the folklore (see Source Material and English Folklore for more details).

  • Witches I know, this is an odd one to tack on the end of the list, considering the other entries. But I’m kinda tired of witches and hearing about the persecution of them, also allot of the modern and historical discussion of witchcraft is wrapped up in religion. So there will be no witches mentioned in the story.

Source Material and English Folklore

So, I imagine this won’t be the most clicked on category of this post, but it’s here for the folks who are curious.

The initial idea for this story came from wanting to write a story set in a marsh. Glamorous, I know. You see, I live in a National Park in the UK called the Broads, and while it can be glorious and sunny during the summer, I think the place is at it’s richest in the gloomy grey winter months, when all the tourists have fled and the murky mists reclaim the waterways. Call me an old style gothic romantic but an environment like that is made for ghost stories.

I knew I wanted the story to have low fantasy elements, but firmly set in place. I also knew that I found the idea of relying on the Celtic folklore mainstays of Fey, Elves, etc, or the Hellenic folklore of Satyrs, Dryads, Harpies, Centaurs, etc, unappealing. So, I brought a wonderful little book titled The Oxford Dictionary of English Folklore and started building from there.

The world of Myrk Mire is firmly based within the local folk histories, but it should be considered history and folklore adjacent. The monsters and creatures featured in the story are inspired by and adapted from the living and ancient folklore of the area. This is not a historical story, this is not a work of acedemia, this is fiction, but it is fiction inspired by elements of English history.

Prepare to meet monsters and mythical creatures with a distinctly different twist to them.

One last note in this section to bear in mind though. I trying to use a little bit of linguistic archaeology to construct this world, and a lot of the terms and structures are inspired by the Old English language. Detailed explanations for many terms will be built up in the in-game journal, and will include brief pronounciation guides and entries that develop over time.

Current Sources:

  • The Oxford Dictionary of English Folklore

  • Beowulf

  • Old English Translator

  • Ecclesiastical History of the English People and The Reckoning of Time Bede

  • Glossary of the Norfolk Dialect I might have lived here for the better part of twenty eight years but heck if I know what half the bred and born folk are saying

  • Folk Tales of Britain Katharine Briggs

  • Tales from the Lincolnshire Carrs Mary Balfour

  • A Dictionary of Plant Lore Roy Vickery

  • Discovering the Folklore of Plants Margaret Baker

  • Witch’s Garden Sandra Lawrence, Publish by the Royal Bontanic Gardens Kew

  • A Consise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary J.R. Clark-Hall

  • Physica Hildegard von Bingen

  • Culpepper’s Complete Herbal Nicholas Culpepper

  • Medieval Medicine Toni Mount

  • Popular Magic Cunning-folk in English History Owen Davies

  • A Grim Almanac of Norfolk Neil. R. Story

  • Too many historical documents to count but I’ll try and compile them into a full list at some point.

Links

Myrk Mire Demo

Patreon Page

Discord Server

Ko-Fi Page

Tumblr Blog

Current Status and Updates

The first part of Chapter 2 is due to go up on the 25th of April. It’ll be around 14,000 words and will be the first real oppertunity to get a feel for K.

The current word counts are as follows (this includes all routes collectively and command lines):

Prologue - 41,900

Chapter 1 Aldmirham - 173,921

Chapter 2 Rising Lights - 135,483 (currently on rewrite)

Chapter 3 - 1,298

Chapter 4 - 1,177

Chapter 5 - 21,878

Chapter 6 - 15,341

Chapter 7 - 2,948

Chapter 8 -

Chapter 9 - 26

Chapter 10 - 3,574

Chapter 11 -

Epilogue - 3,956

Stats Screen - 11,647

Total - 413,149

Upcoming

Chapter 2 Demo - Part 1 25th of April 2022

Changelog

3.0.0 - 24/04/2022
Chapter 2 Part 1 uploaded.
Adjustments made to introduction to reflect the Main Character being a separate entity to the reader.
Minor formatting adjustments throughout.

2.0.0 - 14/02/2022
Rewrite of Chapter 1 with full systems intergrations.
Mild to Moderate changes to most scenes within the story.
Lots of tweaks to subroutines and systems that effect better choice recall within the game.

1.0.1 - 29/03/2021
Major spelling update to prologue.
Minor changes to some terms and labels in attempt to help with intial choices.
Bug fix on available choices at the end of section.

667 Likes

Wow, just read it all the information and this wip looks very interesting :slight_smile:

I really like that we will have the opportunity to react. :ok_hand:t2:

“If you’re the type to get overly protective of dependents in interactive media”
fck, I’m that type of person @ HelloStress :joy:

What a bad person,okno :rofl:

Sending virtual support, I will be back when the link is avaliable
images

8 Likes

I must say it sounds like a fun game good luck in making it.

4 Likes

@Catt
Either I’m blind or I simply can’t find a link to the game. Without a playable demo this is just an “idea thread” and I don’t think those are allowed in this section of the forum. You need a playable demo for the WIP section IIRC.

Solved.

7 Likes

Yeah there is no demo, its just an idea thread ATM, and the demo seems to still being worked upon considering author putted an teaser in the end.

3 Likes

It is recommended that a Demo be available to play, but not required to post in this section

I understand that the lack of a current demo here may be disappointing, but I hope to amend the issue as soon as it is ready to play.

Sorry about that, you were right, and it’s all been sorted out.

3 Likes

Please have a link to a demo before posting a WIP. The author should let the moderators know when a link is available; at that time the thread can be opened.

Edit: @Szaal here. In addition, please use the Interest Check Thread to gauge interest, discuss early concept, or general pre-alpha discussion stuff. Thank you.

Read the demo really enjoyed it. I am intrigued with anything that has english folklore

4 Likes

There are not many games where you get to take care of a child. I liked this feature of the story and that you give us variety of options for our relationship between MC and the child. Also, the ending got me curious. For example, what do you mean by drowning? I’m sure that it will be explained later and can’t wait to see what kind of force (magic?) or creature influenced the MC. Great description and character interactions as well! :relaxed: Good luck with your game progress​:smiley:

22 Likes

@Catt im loving this, beautifully written, simple and not too complex. keep it up. :+1: :grin:

1 Like

This was certainly an interesting start. I assume that the switch to third person at the end was intentional, rather than a mistake… :sweat_smile:

I would suggest changing the save name from mygame, though, as otherwise it can clash with other games that use that name (maybe use *sm_init myrkmire | 3 instead).

Good luck with the game!

6 Likes

Intriguing, so far.
Between the way the story is told and the whole idea of having to take care of a child, it’s very unique.
Not to mention, seems like a romance-horror story, and that’s one of my favorite mixes.

I also like the fact it’s written in first person, with touches of third at the end. I’m not a fan of second person writting, and sadly it’s way too common in these games.

Ah, by the way - since the kid can be the biological or adopted child of the MC, why not add some variety to the sibling status? Like a step-sibling or whatever you fancy?

Anyway, I’ll be waiting for updates! Good luck!

3 Likes

Damn, do we get to kick the ass that forces the unwanted attention?

Ooh lovely :smirk_cat::roll_eyes::neutral_face:

Hell yeah.

4 Likes

Oi Catherine


Could you tell me what Ren is?!? Is it calling by name choice? Or is it a non-binary parent route?!?

1 Like

I really enjoyed the demo! The wip has a dark and eerie atmosphere that I totally like! Oh and the idea of having to take care of a child? LOVE IT! Thanks so much for sharing your demo to us ^^

5 Likes

Main character with a child? I’m sucker for it. Many options too. I’ll bookmark it.

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yeah thats a name for a nonbinary pa"ren"t

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@VeloursLapin Got their before I did on that one :smile:

Yes, Ren is a nonbinary term for a parent, perhaps I should add a bracket on the end of the nonbinary options to avoid confusion?

:grin: I’m perpetuating the air of mystery and suspense, its one of his/her best qualities!

You are in for a treat then!

I’m really glad folks are enjoying having the child around, I was worried they would be seen as the almost universally loathed escort quest NPC. If he/she/they ever do start feeling like that please let me know.

Cheers for the info! I’m completely new to the technical side of all this. Change implemented and uploaded.

Can’t say exactly why for intense spoilery reasons, but there is a mighty good reason why this is not an option. Spoilery enough to blur even this much info about it :grin:

Kicking ass can be arranged :grin:

Thanks to all the folks who’ve dropped in to like, comment and play the demo so far!

12 Likes

after i played i must say it look fun cant wait for more
:fire::fire::fire::fire::fire::fire:

2 Likes