The Summoner | Updated January 6th, 2024 (148k words)

You are a bird in a gilded cage. Fight to help change the world or choose not to. Either way, nothing can stay the same.

Being a young Level 3 summoner means your future was never yours to choose. Drafted into the 1st Battalion, your hand is forced to contract with spirits that will fight for your kingdom—at the expense of your life. Dance to the beat of a drum you don’t hear, to the words of the Creators that decide whether you live or die.

Will you find yourself with the future you always dreamed about, or will you become yet another number in history?

  • Play as male, female, or non-binary.
  • Forge a bond with three other characters who are caught up in the same battle you are.
  • Play as a reluctant character who is Not having a good time.
  • Choose choices that correlate to your character instead of stat checks.
  • Get the opportunity to pet a Spirrebird if you want.
  • Have fun at a festival before unraveling the lies of the past and future.
  • Celebrate your birthday, a date you’ve almost forgotten.
  • Join in a revolution or shun it entirely.

You are lost and adrift, but in the Kingdom of Faolkr, you cannot be lost forever.

Note: Hey everyone, this is my first attempt at an IF and honestly, my first serious writing too! (That should explain why my coding is incredibly shoddy and probably misrepresents how much unique words there actually are.) It's intended to be a standalone with at least 100k words but will probably be longer. Is it romance focused? It probably is.

I might change any part of the story, my mind can be a fickle thing—I’d like to add more to early chapters but I don’t want to have the scope get too large to the point I never deliver lol

It’s looking like some POVs will have to be added after I finish things because I’ll be honest, I’m not sure which scenes would fit where even if I have the timeline sorted out.

I’ve outlined the important plot points but I’m sort of a pantser and my outlines are never good haha (why is writing a satisfying and well thought out ending so hard?)

ROs (or friends!):

-Caine: Enneagram Type 6, The Loyalist (Levels of Development ~3/4)

Binding scars from the chains imposed upon them stretch across their arms. Their clothes are nothing like you’ve ever seen before and contain shades of white, green, black, and red. Caine’s almost plain enough to be mistaken as a human, but it’s undeniable their true nature, especially when they wield their spear. While they have tougher skin than most, their fighting can get reckless at times, causing them to bleed bright red from their injuries.

Concept art: #1

-Rei: Enneagram Type 1, The Reformer (Levels of Development ~4/7)

The binding scars left by ghostly chains wrapping around their neck and body mar their otherwise perfect appearance. Their clothes remind you of sunlight, pure and white, and what the Seraphim in the Kingdom of Celen wear. Large, white feathered wings with an undertone of cream sprout from their back. They fight with several blades of unadulterated light, invisible hands sending them to wherever the next quarry is. All grime seems to fall off of them but they still bleed gold.

-Jackal: Enneagram Type 3, The Achiever (Levels of Development ~4)

They’re your summoner ally, brought in to replace your previous one that was transferred out. Like you, when in battle, they wear the familiar summoner’s combat garb. A hooded cloak atop light armor. Unlike you, they don’t wear gloves on their days off. On their right hand, they have the muted bronze mark of a fading contract. It’s in the shape of a beast, a Ferrecat. On the left, a white four-point star sits.


Extra:
The Summoner (you): Enneagram Type 4, The Individualist (L of D ~5/6)
Willow: Enneagram Type 2, The Helper (L of D ~3)
Hoofington: Your Childhoof Friend


Word count w/o code: ~148k (~38k per playthrough)
Content warnings: angsty/depressive content, mentions of self harm, war, death, slight gore & injuries

Here is the demo link:
Dashingdon: 1/6/2024 (m/d/yr)

Next update:
-Capture Viorin’s fortress
-& more?


Changelog:

3/31/2024

  • ~411k (~411k per playthrough)
  • added your childhoof friend Hoofington
  • you can have to romance the horse

1/6/2024

  • ~148k (~38k per playthrough)
  • chapter two, partial chapter three
  • added finished path for fes w/ calla
  • edited previous chapters

10/16/2023

  • ~75k (~21k per playthrough)
  • prologue, chapter one, partial chapter two, partial chapter three
Please help me with:

(doesn’t have to be restricted to this list)

  • Any grievous errors whether in the writing, story, or code or things I overlooked
  • Anything you’d like to see or if you think something’s sloppy with the pacing
  • Tips for writing romance progression :’D

Questions I’d love for you to answer: (suggestions probably won’t be implemented right away)

  • How do you perceive any of the characters?
  • How do you feel about the MC you’re playing?
  • Anything you’re confused about from the writing?
  • Any choices that need improving? How?
  • Which were your favorite scenes? Which could use improving?
  • Where do you think the story is going? How do you think it might end?
  • Did you enjoy it?
Polls:

If you’d like to help me justify spending more time writing instead of living life, I’d sorely appreciate it! I wish I could write full time :sob: ko-fi.com/kezthier
Some content you can unlock includes: “50 first-date questions ft. Caine, Rei, & Jackal”, “Scrapped scenarios featuring Caine & Rei with the summoner”, “Is this a Turadrake?”

242 Likes

Wow, that’s a really unique idea. I like it so far and that you can play reluctant grump.

The only thing I missed was appearance customization. I guess I just got so used to it in IF games that not having it felt almost strange xd

8 Likes

Great stuff here, the writing and atmosphere hooked me right in. Got me wondering about these mysterious ‘Creators’. Looking forward to meeting Rei!

2 Likes

Good first demo, it’s long so it’s easy to get attached to the character and I’m glad you make the first demo long because usually other people’s make it too short

Pretty nice story in the beginning, it give me the sense the MC will get some tragedy friend death or losing part of his body or something else because the tone of this early chapter portray war without hope but maybe mc will change that and make more bright world so who know

Can’t wait for next update and the summoner battle, stay safe and healthy

2 Likes

This demo was such a good reading. I loved the setting and I love Caine so much. Their reaction when my MC called them pretty was priceless, they are adorable.. And their POV? OMG, amazing.

Both Caine and MC are in a terrible situation, I am playing a MC who’s very reluctant to fight and just want to live her life in peace. At the same time, she’s happy that she met Caine. I hope there will be some way of “free” Caine for the bond but they are a spirit to that would probably mean that they woud disappear? :weary: It’s conflicting I just want them to be happy

9 Likes

Thanks for all your feedback everyone :smiley:
I liked reading them and am glad the demo is well received so far!


I really should add at least hair & eye color customization at some point. I was reluctant to because I didn’t know if I could have it matter, but!! I suppose I should!

Heads up, it’s normal for humans on Therra to have some unrealistic hair colors. Jackal literally has red hair and so can you when I get around to it :+1:

There will be sad things happening to characters, but I’m not confident in writing serious moments lol

I hope I can make these moments hit but ahhh, we’ll see


Also just so it’s out there, I wrote different variations for some of the scenes if you have a low affection w/ Caine and you choose friendly/romantic options with them. And vice versa w/ antagonistic options and high affection/like stat! I tried making it angsty c:

It might be hard to meet the threshold if you don’t code dive, though

5 Likes

@Kezthier a very good demo it has me looking forward to seeing more as well learning more of the world and lore exspecially when it comes to the why of things.

2 Likes

:eyes:

3 Likes

I love it when characters have unrealistic appearance features :>

Little pronoun bug (mc is male)

Btw. Could it be possible to skip some options during the festival?

2 Likes

Theory about a possible path/ending (or the only one, who knows) based on the card reading: I’m guessing we’ll become a spirit ourself, or at least that’ll be a possibility. Definitely what it sounds like, with the long future but short life with an unexpected end but no death.

5 Likes

I don’t come out of lurking often, and I haven’t even finished the demo yet, but I can not contain how much I love this. It is my new favorite WIP. This is such an original idea and I have been invested from the first page. You have such a way with words and really make your reader care about the story and characters. Caine in particular is precious and I will do anything for him.
I cannot wait to see where this story leads! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

5 Likes

When i played through i could only do i think maybe four options so should be possible to not so them all allready i think.

1 Like

Thanks again for telling me your thoughts about the story, everyone! I really appreciate all the kind words and help, I love reading all your theories and about you getting attached to a character, that’s the best feeling. I hope I’ll deliver a satisfying story to you all!

I’ve updated the demo a bit, no new content yet except for choosing your hair & eye colors and ironing out a few bugs during editing.
I don’t know how much the colors are gonna come up, but enjoy being able to visualize your character more c:
Height might be a future thing you can choose, but that adds a lot of accounting for so I might not reference it much lol

I’ve been currently writing the festival w/ calla, after I finish with that, the plot can finally move on in the next content update! Which will probably take a month or more rip


It’s so easy to get Caine’s affection up :sob:
No need for angst, just shower them with love and be open w/ them, they could use it haha

Thank you!

The attractions are price value based so it depends on what you choose, you can’t see them all. But the shortest path would probably be doing the mask-making booth +the food stalls or fortune telling w/ the possession-based reading!

That’s such a cool idea that I never thought about! But unfortunately your summoner can’t become a spirit–no matter what, your use of the contracts will shorten your lifespan, but depending on the ending you get, you’ll be able to see them get killed as opposed to them dying offscreen due to their shortened lifespan.

8 Likes

an hearing that about the mc it is kinda sad hope we get to go iut with a bang then and if had my way put some people in there place for forcing things lol

2 Likes

Wow! I really like the concept and your writing style. Looking forward to seeing more. It seems potentially very angst filled to have a summoner fall for a summon, and I do so love stories with angst.

2 Likes

Huh, I think I managed to see all :thinking:

1 Like

You quite literally had me at the title. I absolutely love the summoner class of magic, and the story of of someone fighting (and likely dying) in a war they couldn’t give two f***s about has me intrigued. I can’t wait to see where this goes.

1 Like

@Kezthier currently on my way home from a trip and was thinking about your game lol and have some thoughts for consideration. Yet since will be back to driving again will half to wait until later on before i can try to get them down here. Still loving what i am finding and looking forward to seeing what comes next.

1 Like

Aww you guys, stop making me blush haha
You’re all too sweet, this’ a good prescription for my fluctuating ego c:
I wish I could reply to every comment individually, but that would take time from writing and clog up the thread ;; (know that I seriously appreciate and read every comment and this is directed to all of you! Including the lurkers :+1:)

Anyway let me say that coding & testing your work is rlly hard :')
I bring you all another bug fix with a slight bit of content on top! As in, a slight change to Caine’s low affection POV when you brush snow off their head, bc I somehow completely overlooked the differences btwn that and the high affection/like one.

Also edited some scenes/sentences so that they read more smoothly. Nothing much, but there should now be no game/immersion breaking bug. Probably.


I’m not completely sure about my plans for this aspect yet, but what if I told you that you have to betray them to make them want to kill you? Idk who’ll be the one at fault yet lol. Or maybe everyone’s problematic!

Huhh, I couldn’t replicate this so that’s very strange. You saw all 6 options in one playthrough? Please let me know if this happens to anyone else o-o


Forgot to say, I added the characters’ enneagrams to the desc if anyone wants to check them out! I’d say the personalities in the link are pretty accurate give or take a few details, including how their relationship with the summoner will inevitably play out.

3 Likes

Lol the anwser is all most likely

1 Like