Hello! I hope you’re doing well and staying safe.
I am working on the interactive fiction The Fernweh Saga (technically it is The Fernweh Saga: Book One) that will be the first entry in a series of books. Book One was submitted on June 17th 2022.
It is 600,000 words in total. It is 555,000 words, excluding code.
On July 22nd at 7 p.m. EST, the playable demo became 132k words, excluding code. It includes the Introduction to Chapter 4. Within the demo, you will be able to learn about the town of Fernweh, meet the ROs, and realize that something is amiss within your hometown.
The Fernweh Saga is a character driven, romance-focused, interactive fiction series with slow-build horror and suspense elements that unravel as you move deeper into the plot.
~Some homecomings feel more like rude awakenings, but this one will become a waking nightmare…~
You return to the small town of Fernweh after the death of your grandfather, which is ironic because you were explicitly sent away from the town by him following the tragic death of your parents in a house fire. It’s been several years since you left. Returning isn’t something that you had considered, but the vague letter you received about tying up loose ends was on fancy stationery and looked official enough.
What was supposed to be a quick trip to collect personal belongings and sign some legal documents soon spirals into a grim mystery when you learn of the odd circumstances surrounding your grandfather’s death and start experiencing vivid nightmares.
Familiar faces are all around; you know some of them as former childhood friends, rivals, or neighbors, but they may become current allies as you all try to unravel what exactly is going on in this small, seemingly idyllic, forested town.
A feeling of unease grows with each sleepless night spent within Fernweh’s borders, but you can’t leave yet…
It won’t let you.
- Play as a man, woman, or non-binary person with the ability to customize your sexuality, fashion style, physical features, room theme, etc.
- Allow your personality, habits, decisions, and relationships to influence how you face-off against what lurks within Fernweh like in a horror film/book.
- Experience different types of romantic burns and tropes (rivals to lovers, friends to lovers, unrequited love (or is it…?), no strings attached, and more) alongside different types of horror (dread, cosmic, supernatural, survival, and more) as you progress through the series.
- Develop ‘something’ (the choice is yours) with the 4 romance options; there are 5 romance routes that are fully integrated into the plot.
- Create friendships and relationships with the main cast of characters that are tracked by different point systems.
- Understand your past, your parents’ death, and what really happened to not only your family, but to you .
- Add to (or take away from) an inventory system that will impact/unlock certain choices later in the game. Clues, weapons, odd items, etc.
- Fight, resist, flee, struggle, or adapt to face whatever is invading your nightmares and the town; there is more to it than a boring ole’ monster… Much more .
[The ROs are open to all players and their genders are set by you.]
(Added as of 14 July 2021: Long Form Descriptions of the Characters can be found in a GoogleDoc: here. This is much more elaborate than what is below for those of you who wish to read/see it. I also update it with images.)
>Becca/Beckett Warrick (RO Aesthetic)
-Current friend of the MC
Personality: Someone who naturally tends to fret or worry over things because they mean well and overthink; B is your friend who didn’t want you to make the trip out to Fernweh alone. A realistic, borderline pessimistic viewpoint tends to be taken, but they will always try to reassure and assist their friends no matter their own assessment of the problem. They don’t know what to expect from the town, but are loyal, hesitant, sometimes goofy, and will remain close by your side for as long as you will let them…
Appearance: Expressive, hazel eyes. Wavy, light brown hair (Beckett’s hair is cut short with natural wave, while Becca’s is medium length). Olive skin with a golden undertone. Somewhat athletic build. Tends to have an earnest expression that may allude to some caution, but a tentative half-smile often curves their lips. An unassuming posture; sometimes fiddles with their hair or hands as an outlet for nerves.
>Sofia/Silas Dorran (RO Aesthetic)
-Former neighbors with the MC
Personality: ‘Wait and see’ characterizes S’s approach to most things since assessing and learning more is what is preferred before making effort and getting invested. However, once they decide to be invested, actions that defy logic and reason will be considered to protect the ones they care for. Their keen intellect is often made that much sharper by their dry sarcasm. No stranger to hard work, S helps out their mother at the B&B and is the type to assist without being asked. Your sudden return to Fernweh is unexpected and new in a way that S isn’t quite sure what to make of it…
Appearance: Dark brown eyes. Long, ebony hair that has been braided with care; a few lengths have been dyed a deep cerulean blue. Dark brown skin. Lanky, willowy build. Tends to school their features with cool neutrality, though there is often a natural curiosity and inquisitiveness to how they look at things. Relaxed, unbothered posture.
>Ruby/Reese Verner (RO Aesthetic)
-Former playground rivals with the MC
Personality: ‘I see it, I like it, I want it, I got it’ is applicable. Playful, arrogant, calculating, but also charming, perceptive, and sometimes well-meaning, R can leave people off-balance and uncertain of where they truly stand with the Verner heir. Their mischievous smirk can just as quickly turn into a frosted over, sharp smile once they are crossed. They have an irreverence for the tradition that they were strictly brought up within. Your return to Fernweh is viewed as a potential diversion from the stuffy business meetings, glitzy parties, and small town politics that they must deal with, though R’s interest may go beyond that…
Appearance: Pale blue eyes. Sleek platinum blond hair that is styled with some sort of product (Reese’s hair is crew cut and styled back, while Ruby’s is long length). Fair borderline pale skin. A runner’s build toned without extra muscle. Tends to have a proud set to their lips, not quite a smirk or a smug smile, but amused at what is happening around them that they are above. Perfect, elegant posture.
> Jane/James Corvin (RO Aesthetic)
-Former childhood friends with the MC
Personality: ‘All work and no play’ could characterize J alongside a strong sense of what is right and wrong. They take their job seriously because they do care about the town and the people within it and don’t want to mess up as the Detective. That care—that conscientious—that protectiveness extends to you, so your return to Fernweh is something that was marked on their calendar, though they wish it was under better circumstances… Intense and unwavering with a carefully guarded softness, they stand by their choices and those they care about, though sometimes that is at the cost of what they want.
Appearance: Intense green eyes more often than not accented by faint, dark circles from sleeplessness. Medium length, raven hair often restrained by a hair tie (James’s hair is jaw length, while Jane’s is closer to shoulder length). They have naturally tan skin with a warmer undertone. Well-built and muscular, broad shoulders. Tends to have a severe or serious expression that can unintentionally intimidate. Tense posture with arms often crossed.
~Romance and building relationships are the focus, but there are elements of horror, so please be aware of that.
~The story either contains or may contain at some point:
-Violence, death, references to a house fire, mild cursing, mentions of alcohol usage and sleep aids/drugs, and other mature or dark themes.
DEMO Link: The Demo
-As of 1 June 2021: 81k words excluding code, Introduction to Chapter 3.
[Hints about the twists are throughout the initial demo, but are furthered in Chapter 4; you may be able to figure some out prior to then. If not, consider this a heads up that there is more to come.]
-As of 8 July 2021 (moved earlier due to your support): approx. 37k words, Chapter 4. Total playable word count is now 119k words.
-As of 1 January 2022. A fully revamped demo consisting of the first four chapters with some additional content/changes has been uploaded. See post 186 for more details.
-As of 22 July 2022 at 7 p.m. EST. An overhauled demo with additional stats, stats pages, a few added choices/scenes, and most importantly, a new gameplay mechanic that can impact your time in Fernweh. See post 291 for more details.
Tumblr Link: lacunafiction tumblr blog
-I have both formal and informal updates, inspo posts, aesthetics, and an open ask box on Tumblr.
FAQ Link: FAQ
-A link to the Tumblr FAQ that I will update as needed with general questions from there or from here.
Fernweh Saga MC edits: here.
Fernweh Saga Fanart: here
I would be happy to answer any questions you may have and welcome feedback both on my Tumblr (lacunafiction) and on the COG forum page. Typos or errors/comments/questions can also be submitted to: email@example.com.
Thank you for playing my game. Best wishes to you!