The Ballad of Devil's Creek (WiP) (Update 05/05)

The current draft for the next update now includes 8 total options to answer to Lynwood.

Also, we got a sixth RO.

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And while you wait:

Seán

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Oh I love his design!
Curiously, Charlie looks like I had envisioned him (I checked the art only after reading), but Seán not at all!

I’ll admit since I’ve read about the ROs, after you added descriptions, I can’t wait to meet Tommy. Pretty sure he’s the one I’ll go for.

EDIT: ah, that makes me think of a question! When selecting MC’s gender, MC is happy Charlie refers to them by the correct one if they are trans or NB. Does that mean there is some prejudice in certain circles, towards people outside of the “cis-het” ““norm”” in this story? I know authors have different approaches of that.
My MC is cis (male), but I’ll go for male ROs, so it’s still relevant for me.

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<3

And yeah, there is some prejudice. It’s what got Seán so angry when Blayne talked about the doomsday cult, e.g.

EDIT: Now, there is less extreme prejudice in the story’s world, but it’s still there, because some people just stubbornly have their heads up their…

And fun fact: contrary to popular believe a lot of the ‘old west’ was kinda more accepting of stuff related to gender and sexuality than the ‘civilized’ world at the time. Kinda.

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Have a little bio for Seán, while we’re at it (Spoilers ahead)

Seán O'Brian

Seán O’Brian

Age: 28

Height: 5′10 (177 cm)

Eyes: Emerald green

Hair: Strawberry blonde

Personality: Masterful grifter, but can’t lie to save his life outside of a con. Talks a lot (and fast at times), with little to no filter. More quick-witted than one might think due to that.

Further Nicknames: ‘All Ears’

Seán’s childhood was anything but happy. He can barely remember his father, who died when Seán was just three years old. His mother married again almost immediately, and her new husband hated Seán’s guts. Seán’s mother didn’t seem to care the slightest.

When he was not even six years old Seán had enough of what he suffered at home and ran away. No one came after him. After a while he ended up in Chicago where he ran into a gentleman he tried to con (something Seán had developed a bit of a talent for). Much to his initial dismay the man turned out to be a conman himself, so the attempt backfired massively. But as fate would have it, the man was amused and intrigued by Seán’s creativity at such a young age and took him under his wing. Seán spent the next ten years learning from and working with what shaped up to be one of the best, till Seán thought he had to make his own way in the world.

Leaving his adoptive home (occasionally writing back) he quickly fell in with a small gang of outlaws, riding with them for about a year (always being a bit of the gang’s whipping boy) until Seán overheard the leader talk with some stranger. The men didn’t take kindly to Seán’s eavesdropping, and the leader shot Seán’s ear off before putting a bullet between the young man’s ribs, leaving him for death.

They had barely left the scene when O’Reilly and his posse arrived, saving Seán’s life. Seán begged to let O’Reilly join them, and O’Reilly agreed.

EDIT: Also, Tommy. (I’ll write up Charlie and Mrs. Mutton at another point)

Tommy Burke

Thomas ‘Tommy’ Burke

Age: 29

Height: 5′10 (178 cm)

Eyes: Green-Grey

Hair: Dark Brown

Personality: Snarky, bit pessimistic, loyal to a fault if one genuinely gained his loyalty. Slight pyromaniac streak.

Further nicknames: ‘Smokin’ Ruin’

Some say Tommy was able to blow things up before he could walk. While not true, his father was a shotfirer and taught his son all he knew about explosives. Tommy had a good career ahead of him, but his snarky personality and natural curiosity put him at odds with authority, and ultimately led to him falling in with outlaws.

He left home (sending home some ill-gotten money from time to time however) riding with some smaller gangs and refining his skills, until things took a dark turn. Having heard of Tommy’s talents the notorious Randall Prescott abducted the young man and forced Tommy into his service.
This lasted until Tommy used his talents to blow up a good chunk of Prescott’s gang during a train robbery, and made a run for it.

After spending some time in the wild he ran into O’Reilly and his gang, joining them. He went missing after the fatal shot-out with Prescott’s gang five years ago.

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Weekly Status Update:

Ch2 is at 5000 words with code.

  • You’ll be able to set your age, but so far not the backstory. Right now the backstory doesn’t come up again, but the code exists and can be answered if it does come back up at a later point.
  • I’ll be changing Mrs. Mutton’s name to ‘Meadows’
  • Florence already underwent a namechange from ‘robinson’ to ‘overton’ to now ‘Beauchême’
  • Added more name options

Hope to have it done before May.
Thank you for your support.

EDIT: Backstories are in now. Chapter’s at 10k now, we’re almost in Clementsburg.

Edit 2: Does anyone want a spoiler for seán’s or finley’s backstory while we wait?

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Oh, yes, please to Seàn’s backstory. Really looking forward to learning more about him.

(Warning for mentions of death, child abuse, mutilation)

Seán's Story

“How did ya meet O’Reilly?” You look O’Brian over for a moment. “Did he do the thing with yer ear?”

O’Brian grins at you. “Naw. An’, y’know, I think ya will hear that story sooner or later. Wouldn’t be surprised if Blayne’s gonna tell ya.” He tilts his head back and thinks about something for a moment, likely where to start best.

“First thing I oughta tell ya is that, technically, I’m one of’em rich kids. Technically. Me ‘mother’,” you don’t miss the utter disdain in the word, “married me dad for money, an’ nothing else. By all means, she only got herself knocked up to tie him to her.”

“That’s… harsh…”

“But it’s the truth. When I was three me dad died in some accident. I’m bloody certain she had her hands in that. Heh, barely remember him. But that somethin’ was fishy… that was a given. She didn’t even wait out the mourning period till she married again. Her new husband hated me guts, and so did she. So, no, no happy childhood here.”

O’Brian falls silent again, brows knitted in anger.

“I ran away from home when I was just six. No one came after me. I know now that some o’ dad’s friends got worried, but the women what put me in this world didn’t give a shit. Only good that came o’ things was that I found how well I can lie. If I wanna trick people. Blayne’s serious when he says I can’t lie outside of a con. It’s weird, but I don’t mind. Anyway. At some point when I was eight I wound up in Chicago, swindled some of’em rich folks there. Till I ran into a gentleman who turned out to be a grifter himself. He had a good laugh and said he’s really impressed with me. Looked and sounded really worried for me, and invited me to his home… I made a run for it. Was scared. And a bit creeped out.”

You nod. “I think I’d have done the same.”

“Yeah. I mean, I was young, but I wasn’t stupid. But y’know, as fate would have it, winter came. I was out on the streets an’ a really nasty storm left me for dead. By pure chance that guy and his wife found me and brought me to their home, nursin’ me back to health. Turned out the guy was pretty alright.”

“Oh-hoh?”

“God’s truth.” O’Brian looks a little wistful. “They adopted me. Not just metaphorically. Tricked me ‘mother’ into agreeing to it.” Now the young man cackles. “Got her into a lot o’ trouble. She deserved it. So, yeah, that’s how I got me a new family, and I was really happy.”

“So… is…”

“I know what ya wanna ask,” O’Brian snorts. “O’Brian is me biological dad’s name. I’m keepin’ it to piss me ‘mother’ an’ her new hubby off.”

“Spite is some miraculous fuel.”

Now you got O’Brian to laugh, and he presses a hand over his mouth not to wake the others. With a deep breath, he smiles at you.

“Yeah. And, well, I spent the next nine years learnin’ from one of, if not the best. Mum was always a little wary of it, but endlessly caring and supportive. But ya asked how I met O’Reilly. As said, I had a pretty happy childhood and such till I was seventeen. That’s when I decided to find me own way on the world. I left home and, yeah, rather quickly fell in with a small gang o’ outlaws. Not O’Reilly’s boys. Anyway, things weren’t too bad, until one night we set out to change camp, and the boss wasn’t with us. I and another guy rode back, but couldn’t find him, so we split up. I then found the boss talkin’ to some guy I’ve never seen before. Don’t even know what exactly they were on about, but I had a bad feelin’. And, yeah… They caught me, and damn, the boss got furious. Beat me up, and shot me ear off. And then put a bullet 'tween me ribs.”

You stare at O’Brian. “How the hell did ya survive that?”

“O’Reilly, that’s how.” O’Brian grins. “The boss and the other guy left. Dunno what happened to the man what rode back with me. But… yeah, they were just out of sight, when O’Reilly an’ some o’ his men came round the rocks, scoutin’ for a suitable campsite. They found me, an’ decided to save me life.” Suddenly the young man’s face falls.

“What’s the matter?”

“There was… someone with’em who was able to put a word in for me.” O’Brian’s voice cracks a little. “Someone I had met a year earlier. Didn’t know he went to be ridin’ with O’Reilly. But yeah. That saved me life. And from then on I… I rode with’em till…”

“The shootout with Prescott and his gang, right?” You say with a nod. “I heard the stories. Most say no one but O’Reilly survived.”

“Well, I guess I’m livin’ proof that ain’t right.”

You nod. “And from what I gathered from yesterday, the whole deal ‘bout O’Reilly vanishin’ ain’t true either.”

O’Brian draws a deep breath and smiles sadly. “He’s gone, that much’s true, but… I think that is a story for another time.” He pauses, fiddling with his nightshirt’s cuff, before looking at you with a definite uncertainty. “We should go back to the others, before we get into trouble.”

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So dark, so realistic, i love it :+1:

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Know what, have Finn too:

Finley's story

“How did ya end up with someone like Blayne? Ya don’t really look like bounty hunter material.”

“Sorry,” the boy apologizes.

“What yer apologizin’ for?”

No answer. Instead Finley winces softly and looks at you uncertain. “Ya really wanna know?” he asks.

You nod. "I told ya mine. If nuffin else, it’s just fair.

Finley starts worrying his cuffs nervously before taking a deep breath and exhaling in a long, strained sigh.

“I-I… I mean I told ya ‘bout me da an’ all,” he begins.

"Yeah, I actually wondered 'bout that. Ya said yer ma never told ya who yer father was. "

“Me ma’s been a dollymop,” Finley announces shyly before you can say anything else. “I-I only learned that when I ran into a friend of hers a while ago. Me da’s been one o’ her regulars. So regular that he certainly was more than just a client.”

“Ah.”

Finley blushes deep red and clears his throat. “Yeah. That’s what I meant. No one seemed to know who he was, 'cause ma was very secretive ‘bout him apparently. But I know ma’s been writin’ with him, till… She died when I was six.”

“I’m sorry to hear.”

With a heavy sigh Finley nods gratefully, sniffling a little… “Thank you. I… They put me in an orphanage a few cities over. Dunno if me da tried to find me or not. I didn’t like the orphanage. Then I ran away when I had just turned eight. They caught me an’ put me back. That’s when I learned to pick locks.” The boy pauses, and you can’t blame him. “Ran away again. Got caught again. Ran away a few months later. Three’s a charm, I guess. Hid in the wild. The winter that year saved me arse, I think…”

You do some calculations. “Wait, yer seventeen, right. So, that was eight or nine years ago, right?”

Finley nods. And you shudder. The winter back then had been hell. In lack of a less ironic word for what had been going on. Blizzards had raged over the plains and forests, freezing rivers and lakes nearly to the bottom. It had cost a lot of lives, human and animal alike.

“How did ya survive that on yer own?” you babble in disbelief.

“Barely,” Finley says, and swallows.

“Oh.”

“I-I had learned some things ‘bout survivin’ in the wild from some of ma’s friends what been lookin’ after me from time to time. Guess whenever ma got a client. I was lucky there.”

“Still impressive.”

Finley scratches his arm. “Thank you. An’, well, when I was thirteen I had roamed a good chunk o’ the frontier and the ‘civilized world’, and ended up here. Had learned how to throw knives an’ pick pockets. I-I think I’m pretty good at it.”

“Ya mentioned the knives thing.”

The boy’s eyes light up. “I-I could show ya later, if ya want?”

“We’ll see. But first tell me how ya ended up with Blayne.”

“He caught me. I kinda overdid it a bit with stealin’ things. Guess he pitied me. Bailed me out an’ gave me a home. In return I do odd jobs for him.”

“How come he’s lookin’ for yer da?”

As if to answer Finley pulls out a small, very pretty pendant. “Me ma gave me this. Said me da gave it to her.” A sigh. “Dunno why she told me that, but not who he was.” He sighs softly. “I mean, a bit of jewelry ain’t much to go from, but I think Blayne knows somethin’ 'bout it? He didn’t tell me what yet, though. Wants to surprise me for some reason.”

You ponder this. “Ya think yer father might be a rich guy or something?”

Finley turns the pendant in his hands before stuffing it under his shirt again. “Maybe. It looks neat enough. An’… I mean it would make sense. Ma not tellin’ me, no one else knowing who he is, all that stuff.” He pauses and rocks back and forth in thought. “Dunno if I wanna be a rich man’s son, though. Would be weird. An’ 'cause more problems than it’d solve, I think.” He looks at you curiously. “Would ya wanna be a rich man’s kid?”

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Both stories are engaging and very well written. Are the similarities by Design or just coincidence?

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both, come to think of it.

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Alright, got the first 10k word (with code) of ch2 ready-ish. Do you want a partial update (including some bigger changes to ch1) or wait till the whole chapter is done?

  • partial is fine
  • full update please

0 voters

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I think partial is fine. I can’t wait to meet Charlie again.

But do not Rush yourself, If you want to wait do not feel pressured.

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I think right now I’m picking my character is pretty much a badass a****** is saying the obvious truth very bluntly it is pretty much they’re going to their deaths you can survive once but you can’t survive second time any f****** can get anyone killed moment’s notice

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Ch2 will go up as a semi-partial update.
The chapter begins with a dream-sequence that splits into 6 paths corresponding with the skill stats. Three I got written, but i’m a bit fighting with the last three.
The main body of the chapter is about to be done, so I shall upload the next chapter (plus the changes and fixes to ch1) as a semi-partial update and add in the missing paths as soon as i have them.

thankies <3

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The Game has been Updated with CH2

New Wordcount: 36400 (total with code) / 18k per playthrough

Updates:

Added Ch2 (Some dreampaths are missing as of now)
Reworded and added interactions in CH1
Added Names
Renamed Mrs. Mutton to Mrs. Meadows.
Fixed the choices for genderfluid MCs not re-setting verbforms.

Enjoy

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Alright thank you @MeltingPenguins keep up the good work

Also cliffhanger really???

you’re evil :rofl:

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Of course :smiley:

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Really loving the backstory for Finley and the interaction between him and MC.

A couple of typos, very insignificant :

Missing end quotation mark at the end.

Don’t know how I missed it the first time. Missing stop punctuation at the end.

Lynwood be like at the end -
1620233503373

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