The Cruel Guardians [9 Chapters, 167k Words]


Being the noble of a manor has its perks: you can enjoy feasts, fine entertainment, and even correspondence chess games with the king himself. Of course, there are many responsibilities that come with ruling over a castle and countryside too. You must keep ambitious bandits in check; hold court and consider your subjects’ many requests and problems; and navigate a complex political world where making one group happy often means making another discontent.

Yet no one ever prepared you for being haunted by a mysterious demon, or contending with a group of new radicals called anarchists. The demon seems intent on terrorizing you into adopting her own moral code, and the anarchists will never be content until they’ve toppled feudal society, starting with your own humble manor. Will you defeat your enemies first, or will they send your world crumbling down around you? Or, stranger yet, will you come to sympathize with their goals?

The Cruel Guardians is an epic interactive fantasy novel by Samuel Young, where your choices control the story. It’s entirely text-based, and fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.

  • Play as Lord, Lady, or Noble; romance whoever you want. You’re the ruler, after all!
  • Romance a sly spymaster; a witty servant; a clever advisor; a chivalrous general; a passionate fire priest; the anarchist who wants to overthrow feudal society, including you; or even the mysterious demon that haunts your manor.
  • Rule over your subjects with sympathy, pragmatism, or an iron fist.
  • Strive to maintain your sanity, and order in your domain as a demon tries to make you see things her way: voluntarily, or forcibly.
  • Attempt to crush the anarchist revolution that’s simmering just below the surface, or discard your feudal loyalties altogether and join forces with them.

Demo word count:

Chapter One: 11k
Chapter Two: ?
Chapter Three: 12k
Chapter Four: 16k
Chapter Five: 23k
Chapter Six: 20k
Chapter Seven: 19k
Chapter Eight: 19k
Chapter Nine: 25k
Chapter Ten: 22k

Total: 167k
Estimated total chapters: 22

Kinds of feedback I’m especially looking for:

  • Jelok used to be male, but I switched her to female. There are likely a lot of pronouns I missed. If you see her being referred to with male pronouns, please let me know.
  • Bugs and typos, to make the story as clean and functional as possible.
  • This is a standalone story so I’m much more open to it being less linear than my other stories. You can let me know if there are choices you would like to see added.
  • Are the stats well rounded: not too hard but not too easy? Are the resource management elements, with trading bushels for goods and services, balanced?

Future changes:

  • I’ll be making Lester an RO, so I’ll be adding in a few choices throughout the demo for that.
  • I will write a scene where you go to visit Lord Ket, Emyla’s father, requesting reimbursement after Emyla robbed you.
  • I will add a choice for whether or not to kill one of Emyla’s comrades in Chapter Five, or to take him as a prisoner.
  • I will add another minor character to the story, one of Emyla’s comrades
  • I will add a regretful note from Emyla when she steals your coins if you had a friendly or romantic relationship with her.
  • I will add a whole new chapter, which will be the new Chapter 2, where you are still living under your father’s rule as he ages and continues to get sicker. I had originally planned on spreading this throughout the story in flashbacks, but I think having it as one cohesive chapter is better.

My other works:

The Nascent Necromancer: The Nascent Necromancer

The Mage’s Adventures: The Mage's Adventures

The Magician’s Burden: The Magician's Burden


Damn… Nine chapters. Nice work.


Oh wow!! You have been updating a lot today @Samuel_H_Young. How long have you been working on this?


Roughly a year, off and on.


Thats impressive, and you just released Necromancer. Is this the complete demo then or you will add?

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There’s still a huge amount to come. I’ve listed the chapters, including the future ones, in the original post.


Very interesting story concepts and generally quite well written.

Noticed a couple of bugs, particularly being unable to set the name of the male puppy (it seems to be stuck as ‘?’), but nothing significant.

I’ll be keeping this one on my watchlist and look forward to reading more.


Flai is just the best haha. Everything she does is wholesome

Just got to the back-walk massage too :grin::laughing:


Great to have you back samuel , great to have you back.


This should be fixed now.

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I noticed that our relationship with the demon increases almost every time we’re nice to animals and eat food without animal products, so now I picture her as That Vegan Teacher.


Just finished chapter nine. Yup. That Vegan Teacher is my faceclaim for Jelok.

Anyway, here are some mistakes that I noticed:

(Ch. 6) Gelin refers to Jelok as he/him.

(Ch. 8) ${name} should be ${horse}.


@Two-Bit Thanks for pointing those out. I originally had Jelok be a male, so I knew there would be some pronouns I missed.


Love the premise and will check it out as soon as possible!


Love it :heart_eyes::smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


Oh that explains it, i got confised whether Jelok was male or female


Found a bug. I picked spending 400 bushels for the repairs, yet the text shows both my and another option results later when I talk to Flai.

after the dance, this transition is just weird, is that supposed to be ‘s’ here?

Bug: does not register that I do posess stats needed (Intelligence)


also, this is long story with amazing writing, so can we have some more save slots? ten, or so?


To the less technical part, I adore the characters. Jester is wonderfully cunning yet plays fool way too well sometimes. Priest is decent and pious fellow. Flai is absolutely wonderful to play with and I hope she’s romanceable. Amount of different options and ways to slowly shape the main character via the incremental choices is amazing. And this demon satyr? is quite wonderful even if I only got to speak in the latest chapter before the end.


Around what era of feudalism is the game supposed to take place in? It will probably influence my views of the anarchs quite a lot since a lot of their demands were literally not logistically, economically or physically possible during the early days of feudalism.

Also it’s funny how both your character and Emyla’s debate doesn’t actually touch on what’s actually most important for the people: Which system would be better at not having them starve.


Are you thinking of adding a cheat mode?