The Hound of the Fallow Queen [WIP][1/9 Chapters, 9k Words]

TWELVE YEARS HAVE passed since the last fires burnt out, but signs of the Fallow Purges still linger, from the pox-scared survivors of the plague to the ash-shrouded fields where living things cease to thrive. Few could fathom anything more devastating, but when a second wave of plagues begins to consume the land, the Fallow Queen does not for a moment stay her hand.

The all-consuming fires of the Second Fallow Purges allow you to live, but leave you marked: your arm is charred and grotesque, yet clinging to life by the will of some archaic relic. You’re brought to trial before the Fallow Queen as a drygce, found wanting, and given your sentence.


The Hound of the Fallow Queen is an interactive dark fantasy story set in the war, famine, and plague-ravaged realm of Waurdaede in the year 533.

Warnings: Game contains some violence, profanity, and dark themes.
Genre: Dark Fantasy, Low Fantasy, Fantasy Realism

CURRENT DEMO

Current Wordcount Per Playthrough: 9,500

Wordcount Breakdown
  • Act I: 9,500/60,000
  • Other: 85,000 [code only – debug mode baby!]
Planned Features
  • Eight unique origins
  • Four full companions
  • Five optional romances
  • Rise to power or remain small time
  • Play as hero, villain, anti-hero, reluctant ‘hero’
  • Play as male, female, non-binary
Progress Updates (Unreleased)

9. June, 2019: I have the entire structure of Act I done, now It’s just a matter of methodically sorting through it all before posting.
23. June, 2019: Everything is completed except for some missing writing in the weaver dialogue and the ending where all travellers are rejected. Experiencing some minor issues with the sailor in regard to the lie and subsequent confession. I expect to post the completed Act I this coming week.
August 31, 2019: I did technically finish Part II, but never ended up posing it because I realised something that would become a glaring issue the more I wrote. I’ve spent the last little while restructuring all of the coding to make writing easier on myself (simple to use, multi-use, etc…). So far, I have most the new coding for the character codex, character relationship stats, quickstart, and skills addition/checking. Now I’m working on a better choice tracking system, then I just need to finish converting Part II and playtest it.

Projected Wordcount

Projected Wordcount Per Playthrough: >58,000


Act I: I Give You the End of a Golden Thread
Part I: 2,000 [First Draft 100%][POSTED]Actual Wordcount: 3,700/13,000
Part II: 2,000 [First Draft 95%][PARTIALLY POSTED]Actual Wordcount: 3,700/13,000

  • Noble Introduction: 2,000 [First Draft 99%][PARTIALLY POSTED]Actual Wordcount: ???/???
  • Trouper Introduction: 2,000 [First Draft 99%][PARTIALLY POSTED]Actual Wordcount: ???/???
  • Clergy Introduction: 2,000 [First Draft 90%][PARTIALLY POSTED]Actual Wordcount: ???/???
  • Corsair Introduction: 2,000 [First Draft 100%][PARTIALLY POSTED]Actual Wordcount: ???/???
  • Weaver Introduction: 2,000 [First Draft 90%][PARTIALLY POSTED]Actual Wordcount: ???/???

Act II: The Plague Full Swift Goes By, I am Sick, I Must Die
Part I: 5,000 [First Draft 20%]

  • Noble Origin: 5,000 [First Draft 50%]
  • Trouper Origin: 5,000 [First Draft 0%]
  • Clergy Origin: 5,000 [First Draft 0%]
  • Corsair Origin: 5,000 [First Draft 40%]
  • Weaver Origin: 5,000 [First Draft 70%]
  • Hunter Origin: 5,000 [First Draft 0%]
  • Beggar Origin: 5,000 [First Draft 0%]
  • Courtier Origin: 5,000 [First Draft 0%]

Part II: 5,000 [First Draft 0%]

  • Noble Origin: 5,000 [First Draft 0%]
  • Trouper Origin: 5,000 [First Draft 0%]
  • Clergy Origin: 5,000 [First Draft 0%]
  • Corsair Origin: 5,000 [First Draft 0%]
  • Weaver Origin: 5,000 [First Draft 0%]
  • Hunter Origin: 5,000 [First Draft 0%]
  • Beggar Origin: 5,000 [First Draft 0%]
  • Courtier Origin: 5,000 [First Draft 0%]

Part III: 5,000 [First Draft 10%]

  • Noble Origin: 4,000 [First Draft 0%]
  • Trouper Origin: 4,000 [First Draft 0%]
  • Clergy Origin: 4,000 [First Draft 0%]
  • Corsair Origin: 4,000 [First Draft 0%]
  • Weaver Origin: 4,000 [First Draft 10%]
  • Hunter Origin: 4,000 [First Draft 0%]
  • Beggar Origin: 4,000 [First Draft 0%]
  • Courtier Origin: 4,000 [First Draft 0%]
  • Generic: 1,000 [First Draft 90%]

Act III: The Carriage Held but Just Ourselves and Immortality
Part I: 2,000 [First Draft 80%]


Act IV: What the Hand Dare Seize the Fire
Part I: 3,000 [First Draft 25%]
Part II: 5,000 [First Draft 7%]
Part III: 2,000 [First Draft 0%]


Act V: Ten Fathoms Deep on the Road to Hell
Part I: 4,000 [First Draft 0%]
Part II: 5,000 [First Draft 10%]
Part III: 3,000 [First Draft 0%]


Act VI: She Came up to Meet Him in a Smooth Golden Cloak
Part I: 2,000 [First Draft 0%]


[Re-Outlining in Progress]

Act VII: 2,000 [Not Started]
Act VIII, Part I: 6,000 [Not Started]
Act VIII, Part II: 3,000 [First Draft ?%]
Act IX: 2,000 [First Draft ?%]


Important Notes on Update
Act I, Part II is currently an unfinished first draft.

I’m posting it in it’s current form just so that if anyone had suggestions on what they’d like to see in these dialogues, they can suggest it before I’ve finalised everything for the draft.

Some bits of text are sparse. Please keep in mind that this is only the first draft and my main goal at the moment is to create the skeleton of the story.

The weaver dialogue has been left in it’s original state because so much of her dialogue is woldbuilding-related, and I’d like to wait until I’ve solidified that part of the world. The weaver will have full dialogue in the finished draft.

The stats are not yet evenly balanced, and Part II has almost no disposition distribution at the moment.

Some of the choices are still quite awkwardly worded, or a bit difficult to understand.


Changelog

9. March 2019v1.0.0 [Original Release]
10. March 2019v1.0.1 [Minor changes to Act I]

  • can be much less forthcoming about their past
  • can refuse to hear the Reonian’s promise altogether
  • fixed the sailor’s missing name (Cenric)
  • can catch up with a rejected group/person at the end
  • changed the sister’s name to Rothaid, or Rose for short
  • added sixth origin choice by rejecting everyone’s help
  • fixed minor bug where choosing to wait for the sailor while speaking to the weaver repeated the text
  • slightly better passage of time and time variation as you await the five people

20. April 2019v1.1.8 [Active Interaction & Stat Overhaul] – Update on Post #33

  • added new dialogues with travellers
  • added two new origins
  • added stat providence
  • added disposition volatile:controlled
  • added skill deception
  • renamed dispition honest to forthright, deceptive to clandestine
  • removed disposition benevolent , sassy , aggressive , ruthless
  • added disposition instinctive, calculated
  • minor changes to existing text and choices

To Do List

General

  • balance stats
  • figure out language

Act I

  • add more bulk to noble dialogue ending
  • add more emotional reactions from noble under certain circumstances
  • add more questions to trouper
  • clean up trouper psychic stuff
  • add more deception options to sister
  • add weaver dialogue
  • add more interaction between dialogues (eg. letter)

Drafts & Feedback

A Note on Drafts and Feedback

Under normal circumstances, I would never let a first draft see the light of day, but I’m posting this story as a way to force myself to meet deadlines. But, being that it’s still a first draft, everything is subject to change.

First Draft: Focus on coding and getting the story down [Current]

  • styling and grammar will be off in some parts
  • from feedback, will fix bugs and add mostly minor choices and changes in this draft
  • the entire thing will be posted here

Second Draft: Focus on branching

  • story will be greatly edited
  • from feedback, will expand major choices and changes
  • wont be posted

Third Draft: Focus on editing

  • plots, characters, etc… will be cut or added as need be
  • draft will contain most major changes
  • will probably be posted as closed beta

Fourth Draft: Focus on styling

  • improve repetative sections and sentence flow
  • more implementation of minor choices in text

Fifth Draft: Focus on styling again

  • improve tone and atmosphere

Sixth Draft+: Final edit


Characters

Drýge Wallach Sicwéne, the Fallow Queen
Sworn in as a child, the Fallow Queen has reigned over her realm for eighty years. Since her coronation, her rule has been marked by endless war, famine, and plague.


The Réonian, the Merchant Who Knows, the Merchant
The rumours that follow the Réonian are often given little credence until he is encountered. Despite his manners and charm, there is something unnatural about him that often leaves people feeling at ill ease.

Viserey Regent Grimhild Veressa Adair III, the Captivating Mariticide, the Lady
Lady Grimhild was born to a middle class merchant family. At age seventeen she facilitated her rise to power by arranging to become the fifth wife to Viserae Haight of Eastern Stígand.

Wulfgang, the Trouper
Wulfgang was born to nameless peasants and left to the elements for being another mouth to feed. He was found by troupers and grew to become a cut-purse and musician.

Praetir Rothaid, the Sister
Sister Rothaid was raised to be a cold-blooded killer, but the older she gets, the more she realises how much the past weighs.

Captain Kaenrik Seaver, the Damned, the Sailor
Those who knew Captain Kaenrik as a child were sure he would grow up to take his father’s place as village alderman, but chance taught him that he was more apt at killing than farming.

Esmir Ellison, the Weaver


Ser Stiér, Head of the Adair Guard, the Guardsman
Stiér has served the Adair family since he could swing a sword, and his loyalty to the Lady Grimhild is second to none.

Vinsent, the Playwright
Dawnling Aerbeordie Dunn-Abbey, the Acolyte
Gerald Ellison, the Husband


Wassa, the Hunter
Eldgyth, the Captain of the Guard
Thiess, the Jailer
Raedrik, the Turncloak


After playing around with an interactive story for a year or so, I found this forum and have been lurking ever since. My main WIP isn’t written in ChoiceScript, so I’ve decided to start a new story so that I could share it here.

It’s based off a wholly unfinished and experimental short of mine that was meant to be a very bleak dark fantasy with a little bit of hopeless romance. I’ve planned out a rough outline (something I never do), but from experience I’m sure the finished product will be something completely different from what it is now.

Worldbuilding (To Be Updated)

Very Early Map of the East:
This map is unfinished because I’ve scrapped it to start anew after deciding on some major changes. None of the names will remain the same, the shoreline at top the of landmass has been reshaped, the location of the mountains have been changed, and the orientation has been flipped horizontally (as shown) since this version.


Very Early Map of the West:
The same goes for this map. Entirely renamed, flipped, and reshaped. As far as I have planned the story wont actually go West, but it’s still important to the plot.

I’m having a lot of fun writing this, and I hope you enjoy what I have so far, short as it is!

206 Likes

So…them choices are like an Origin thing?

so far…I say : where do I sign up ? cose its gooood! :grin:

is really interesting looking forward to more of the story will definitely add at one of my favorites
Also I found a misspelled:
four white horses at its fore, your village at it’s aft should be after

Very nice demo, Sunshine!

It’s quite atmospheric, with just the right dose of eerie mystery, and I personally found it very engaging.

It would be nice to be able to review the 5 people on the road, more than once.

Very interesting that you want us to agree or disagree to a promise we, the reader, don’t know.

3 Likes

NAME: is this a var?

“Who’s the sailor?” You ask, glancing past the man in black to his carriage for a moment.

“Captain NAME. He was a pirate once upon a time, but has since taken up the mantel of privateer for the army, though there’s little distinction between the professions.”

I don’t think I’ve ever been so gripped by such a short opening :flushed:

I was eager to join the merchant but I’m happy enough to settle for the troupe or the sailor. Speaking of which, I really like the idea of our stats being influenced by who takes us in.

Aft is correct, since it means right behind or at the tail-end.

4 Likes

God dammit. Why is it that the most beautifully written WIPs are so bloody short?

8 Likes

Thanks so much for the positive comments! I’m really looking forward to getting the next act done, it’s going to be quite a bit longer.

Yup, there are five separate origins that will heavily effect the next act, plus I was thinking I might add a sixth where you can reject them all.

You make a really good point. I’ll probably add in an option to try to catch up with someone if you originally rejected them, as well as a little bit of active interaction the first time you meet so that you can get a better idea of them.

Nope, I’m just dumb. It was a placeholder that completely missed. The sailor’s working name is Cenric.

2 Likes

I really like how you were able to show us the nature of the mysterious guy. The writing is engaging and atmospheric. Well job so far, I’ll definitely keep an eye on your WIP!

1 Like

I’m definitely intrigued! I’ll be interested to see how the next act differs based on which person you choose.

Choices/Reactivity

You point to the hill where your home once sat, now topped with black ash flattened by the spring rains. “There was a blacksmith there once, with gardens and a family.”

“You know this place well.” He gives a thoughtful look to the ruins, then to you.

I chose “He doesn’t need to know anything about me or my past,” which doesn’t seem to track with pointing out our old home? (Idk how recognizable a burnt/ruined blacksmith would be.)

You nod your head and purse your lips. “Luckily I wasn’t here when it happened.” You say. “Everyone that was died.”

Again, this seems to be implying I’m from here, when my initial choice was to not let on.

“Come here.” He says with the slightest cock of his head.

You take a step forward and hesitate.

“Closer.” He says.

It might be nice for the choice to be before the first step towards him.

He looks you over, and gently runs a hand along your cheek, as if making sure you’re really there. “Aubrey, survivor of the first Fallow Purges.” He says in a whisper, the hint of a smile never leaving his face and his eyes never leaving yours.

Again, I didn’t tell him I was from the village. Is it just that everyone in this area, whether they’re from a purged village or not, is a survivor of the purges? Did he guess that it was my village? (It’s fine if he did – that doesn’t seem like much of a stretch – but if that’s what’s happening I’d prefer it were explicit.)

Grammar

You glance over his shoulder to the carriage parked on the dirt road a short distance away, four white horses at its fore, your village at it’s aft, and golden lettering along it’s side. Somehow, you managed to entirely miss it’s passage through the charred ruins.

“In any case, you were lucky to be away when it was put into it’s current state.”

“Death always collects it’s dues.”

“You’re just a child now, you’re fast learning that the world is unfair and cruel, but be careful not to overlook it’s beauty.”

These should all be “its.”

Stats: It looks like the disposition stats could pretty easily be paired into opposites. Is there a reason you chose not to do this? (Just curious!)

Interesting through I don’t get the strangers bit what’s the difference and that’s

I liked this. The mysterious merchant was interesting, and I’m wondering why he took the ring. Can items transmit this White Sickness? I also liked having the different origins to choose from and the back and forth between the MC and the merchant.

The only thing I thought was strange was that the player never finds out what the promise is, even though the MC hears it and we’re able to agree or disagree with it.

Otherwise, I’m looking forward to interacting with the people on the road. :relaxed:

2 Likes

You made a lot of good points, and I’ve already gone through and changed a few things in regard to your honesty level toward the merchant and some of the stuff I said in my previous post(though I haven’t reuploaded the file yet). I’m going to try to make a bit more use of one of my previously unused stats, temporarily called “not_forthcoming.”

I tried to clear this up as well by having the merchant give more information on the Purges without having him give you a lecture in recent affaris. It wasn’t just a couple of villages, it was the entire kingdom that was purged. Picture this plague as Spanish Flu-like, followed by mass killings to try and stop the spread of disease. Anyone who survived is extremely lucky, whether they were present at a purge or not.

This is a personal preference that might end up changing. I feel like it can pigeonhole the reader. I just find that if I have, for example, 80% honesty to 20% deception, I wont choose an option to lie even if I want to because I feel I’m only losing out by lowering my honesty.

I originally had him say the promise aloud, but I decided it added more to his mystery and felt more impactful if it was unsaid. The point isn’t so much what the promise is, it’s whether or not you trust the merchant enough to agree.

4 Likes

Seems interesting games so far… I will come back to this

Ignore the word games please :sweat_smile:

So will we be able to get revenge on this fallow queen.

Not dialogue heavy at all, the fact that it has so many choices more than makes up for that. I really liked it and the direction you took with this

1 Like

I don’t know what to expect just yet, but I like your writing style

I really enjoy what you have! My gripes have already been mentioned and you’ve addressed them, so I’d just like to say that I think you have a strong place to build off of and I’m looking forward to seeing where you go with this

Absolutely, but not until she’s ruined your life a teensy bit more. She’s set to make her appearance around chapter fiveish, where you’ll be able to interact with her quite a bit.

3 Likes