The Northern Passage (WIP)

Quite the interesting story I must say. I really like the horror elements and “Witcher-vibes” you get from the MC. Finally another game where I can play another grumpy misanthrope. :smile:

Keep up the good work!
And oh well, this year can hardly be as bad as the last one… not impossible but let’s just hope for the best.


I just finished playing this and I have to say, I really got into it, although horror is usually not my thing, I found this extremely interesting and well written. You have a marvelous piece here and am looking forward to more. I wish you good luck and good writing.

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This is delightful! Fantastic start, the dream is creepy and draws you right in. I love the overall pace so far. The story moves and feels urgent, but I can still follow and everything make sense (insofar as it is supposed to – my MC has an okay sanity stat which makes me very nervous for the future… in the very best of ways).

Interested in the companion characters too – I was all ready to get cuddly with Lea but then a rogue healer swept in with a big cloak and I’m suddenly going, “Sorry Lea, I really think we shouldn’t mess up our already shaky professional relationship.” :smiley: But there’s a pirate! A very suspicious bard with bells on! And how do you decide to become a hunter handler, anyway? I have so many questions that make me long for the rest of the story. I’m sorry you didn’t get to do this as a campaign with your friends but I’m so glad you decided to write it up for us instead!

Reading through the thread, it looks like you’ve cleaned up a lot of the issues/suggestions that were brought up. I didn’t spot any code errors or language issues (except one instance where you used “less” instead of “fewer”), and your descriptions created a picture without distracting from the action.

I will follow the thread and look forward to future updates!


I’ve been keeping up with this game on tumblr and ooooooh it’s delicious…idk what a witcher is but the vibes are immaculate. I LOVE that the friend/ally RO is Chinese…I feel like the Asian ROs are always the mysterious exotic foreigner trope so for Lea to not only be the “closest” to the MC but also for their family be well-established in Blackwater? Showstopping. Sweet Lea…I wanna play their rivalmance because I love that trope but it’s so very hard to be mean to them :frowning: I keep waking them up too gently or something…aha anyway Clem is very intruiging as well with the runaway royal vibes. I’m excited to get to know Merry and Noel better also. I think each of the romance routes will destroy me in a different way and I am SO ready

Also I love how you reblog art and prose on your tumblr it’s so pretty and also helps a lot with understanding the characters I think heehee


Update 01/25/21:

A substantial update today! As usual, a few edits throughout the prologue have been made, stats adjusted, etc. Added hazel as an eye color option (lol). There is now a bit of flavor text on the stats page to let you know what your top trait is between stoic, aggressive, and genuine. I have also changed the way friendship works: it is no longer opposing with rivalry, but rather a separate stat on its own.

I wanted to make it more clear that while you can have a high rivalry, you also need to have a high friendship as well. Rivalry now opposes with civility, meaning if you have a high rivalry and low friendship…well, your companions might not be particularly nice. However, high rivalry and high friendship means you are on track for the rivalmance (if you wish to pursue that companion romantically) or you just have a friendly rivalry.

Now, for new content: Merry’s branch in Blackwater has been added in its entirety, with the demo now ending just before the branches reconvene. Some of you may have noticed I changed a few keywords around Merry’s intro at the last update… you’ll see why here. Yay first drafts! No new content warnings . Lea’s, Clementine’s, and Noel’s branches are all still being worked on, and will appear as [ WIP ] in this build of the demo.

And… new total word count: 154,652 (excluding code)


Fully obsessed with the latest update. I literally love all the characters so much. I many combust <3 Also I am now a Merry simp. And Clem…I feel so bad that they are nervous but it’s so cute how they keep wringing their hands lol. When Merry called Clem “our little southern clown” …I laughed

More importantly this update was so narratively and emotionally delicious. I really like how the hunter’s background actively influences how they behave and what they think, that the hunter isn’t just a blank slate, and how they have real vulnerabilities that are written with such intimacy and care (Greenwarden and Smoke and Velvet are two other IFs that do this and are coincidentally my favorites. In addition to The Northern Passage of course <3 lol.) ANYWAY this line is probably the best example: “Are you so desperate that you have to cling to anyone who shows you even the slightest attention? First Clementine, now Merry. Gods. Get a grip.” Like…ouch </3 but like in a good way

And of course I loooved how much depth Merry had. The flirting options just kept coming and the scene variations just KEPT COMING…the depth. The flavor. The umami. I’m hungry…but by god that lady is a minefield…but in a good way in a very good way…indeed, I am crying. The way she cuts to the feeling…about Gael and especially the hunter’s relationship with it and their past!! I was not expecting it…hoped, but not expected…lol. and about her mysterious ex…Jonah, I’m assuming? The necklace. The poetry. The gifts in her room. It’s just so crazy. Also I’m kind of suspicious of the information that we’ve been given about Merry’s ex. I think we’re meant to assume that their name is Jonah and they’re dead, but are they really? Mind games. But all in due time…currently I am busy being in love with Merry xx. I will call back in 3-5 business days

I also love how physically present the hunter is in their world. Like how when they’re with Branwen, the hunter can choose to stand and keep watch, and how Merry will do so if the hunter sits down. Like the cloak shenanigans!!! I LOVE the idea of cloaks. But usually it’s just like oh yeah, your character is here, and they have a dope-ass cloak, and then it’s never mentioned again ever. Rip to them but you’re different <3 The way the hunter really makes use of it (hiding…lol) and the way MERRY treats it especially. When she said “That hood doesn’t hide you nearly as much as you seem to think it does,”…I MELTED…send help But yeah this and just the way the characters speak about their Society™ (especially re: notherners and southerners) are all indicative of powerful worldbuilding deftly woven into the rich tapestry of the story <3 lol. It’s literally so intriguing and iconic.

I would say more but if I wanted to point out everything I liked I’d be here for weeks and I am hungry so. I will leave this with some typos or other weird things that I noticed. I haven’t code dived yet so sadly this is not exhaustive </3

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camaraderie is spelled “comraderie”
“peek under your hood” is instead “peak under your hood”
in one of the branches, Merry says “I believe this is out stop,” instead of “our stop”

continuity things…idk what to call them:

When we’re with Branwen, if you don’t take the drink, Merry says, “Yes, from Gael! From home,” (which, by the way. ICONIC AND BEAUTIFUL DIALOGUE) and the hunter is caught off guard by the statement, “from home.” If you take the drink, Merry doesn’t say “from home,” but the hunter is still described as being surprised by the phrase “from home”.

In dawnawake/dawnpassedout, the hunter describes Merry as a pirate. So it seems weird that the hunter is surprised to discover that Merry is a pirate later.

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