Our story begins with a group of adventurers living in the medieval kingdom of Larion. The kingdom is filled with small villages and thatched cottages and has been relatively peaceful until now. The adventurers are on a quest to find the magical staff of Zalos. They walk through the forest and notice a band of mountain dwarves. The dwarves are friendly and offer them food and drink. Then one of the dwarves turns to them and tells them where to find the cavern of Zalos. The adventurers walk through the cave and encounter traps and giant spiders, but make it to the end where they find the magical staff of Zalos in front of a large cloaked figure.
> Dan looks at the large cloaked figure.
In front of you is a cloaked figure standing on a high platform in a shimmering blue robe. The figure turns around and you take notice of his pale face and the deathly stare of his big piercing eyes. You see some symbols on the robed figures chest.
> Dan reads the symbols.
On the robed figures chest are some symbols that you don’t understand. The robed figure looks at you and begins to cast a spell.
You scream as the platform you’re standing on raises up into the air filled with snakes, spiders, and other insects.
> Dan jumps off the platform while drawing his sword.
You jump off the platform as it continues to rise higher into the air while covered with living creatures. They begin biting you all over your body. You miraculously manage to avoid most of the creatures, but a black widow spider covers your face and you scream out in horror.
> Dan says “Well this got scary quickly!”
You shout something, but the spider’s body is in your mouth and you can’t make any sound. Then the creature releases something that paralyzes you and you’re left unable to do anything but watch as a bunch of other spiders carry you away to feed their young!
> Dan gets carried away by the spiders.
The paralysis wears off and you find yourself suspended in the air while thousands of spiders feed off of your body. After they are done, they spin a giant web around your body and you are transformed into a giant spider person.
> Dan lowers himself down on a thread of spider silk.
Your new eight-legged body senses a human below you and you drop down on the thread of silk directly on top of them. You immediately inject deadly spider venom into your victim’s brain and they begin convulsing as they die instantly.
> Dan says “I could get used to this new body”
You enjoy killing every living being in the nearby area. You feast on their souls and their flesh and take a special liking to harvesting the still-beating hearts of your human prey.
> Dan tries to find his way back to the cave.
You begin to feel a pressing urge to head in the direction of another living being. You must feed again soon.
The staff of Zalos and a bunch of other stuff happened but who really cares about any of that stuff anyway?
> Dan searches for a way to turn back into a human.
Every few years a rare solar eclipse causes the lines of power to weaken enough for the Zalan Empire to send an army deep into Naroom to eliminate as many of the dangerous non-human races as they can.
> Dan wonders if the Zalan Empire can help him turn back into a humaan.
The Zalan army has been doing a good job of cleaning up some of the more dangerous nonsense, but it isn’t enough.
> Dan sets off towards Naroom.
Year 378 of the Second Era
You set off back to your home in Naroom. You have no idea if anybody there is even still alive after all this time. You’re disappointed to see that the Zalan Empire has hardly expanded. They’ve only just reached Medua. You imagine you’re quite a sight with your Greyklwn blood, tattoos, and new spider body. Still, you manage to get back home without too much trouble. Nobody in the Zalan army even tries to stop you.
> Dan enters his home.
You’ve returned home for the first time in nearly two decades. The soft smell of flowers hits your nose. Nobody is on the streets.
> Dan lifts the doormat and picks up his spare house key from underneath.
You walk into your old home and shut the door behind you. Nobody seems to be around, although you can hear voices coming from upstairs. Those must be your parents. As for you, you head into your old room.
> Dan says “Mum? Dad? I’m home. But… I’ve changed a little.”
Neither of your parents comes in to see what you want. Odd. You go to investigate.
As you come closer to your parent’s room you hear sobbing.
> Dan peeps around the door.
You freeze. Lying in your parents’ bed, hugging each other and sobbing, are two revealed vampires. Your parents. The web of black veins covering their faces is unmistakable. You know all too well the process that is upon them.
> Dan kills and eats the vampires.
As unnatural as it might seem, you feel no remorse for their deaths. You loved them both once, but not anymore. Now they’re simply food. You incapacitate them easily and continue to feed until your thirst is gone.
> Dan collects supplies from his old home and sets off for the Zalan capital city.
As you walk into the Zalan capital of Zun, you can’t help but be amazed by its size. Zalan Empire, indeed. This is less of an empire and more like a nation itself.
> Dan find a healer.
Thankfully, Zun is a large city. You don’t have too much trouble finding a healer’s college, and even less finding one of the many vampire hunters that tend to gravitate towards such areas.
> Dan says “Can you help me turn back into a human?”
The hunter looks upon you with pity, and shakes his head. “I’m sorry, lad. The purple hoods changed ya soul forever. The only thing than can heal ya is death.”
> Dan says “I don’t believe that. Surely there’s some kind of magic or potion that can cure me?”
His face remains pitying, but his voice hardens slightly, “I told ya, there’s nothing that can heal ya.”
He looks far less comfortable than he did earlier. Almost as if he’s frightened of you.
> Dan finds a priest.
You eventually find a priest who runs a small temple to Karn. He’s busy at this time, so his apprentice asks what you’d like from him.
You tell the apprentice that you need healing.
> Dan says “I’ve been turned into a giant spider. I want to be a human again. A vampire hunter told me I can’t be cured, but I don’t believe him.”
The apprentice looks at you with a cold, piercing stare. So much so that you feel slightly intimidated by him. Odd, he’s just a skinny kid. His voice is calm and quiet, but strong and authoritative.
He walks towards a wooden door, and motions for you to follow him. He stops and opens the door to a small storage room. He turns around to face you.
“Take off your clothes. except your underwear, and get inside.”
> Dan takes off his clothes and enters the storage room.
The room is quite cold, being made of solid stone and all. You shiver quite a bit once you get inside. The skinny kid turns away to give you some privacy.
“OK, now what?” you ask.
“Now, we wait.”
> Dan waits.
A minute passes, and you feel no different. Then, after ten minutes, you still feel the same. The apprentice turns around. “Well, that’s odd.”
“What happened?!? He said I’d be cured!”
“You should have.”
“What’s going on??”
He thinks hard for a minute, and asks you, “Do you feel thirsty at all? Like, really thirsty?
> Dan says “Yes, I feel thirsty all the time!”
“Your brain is producing a lot of serotonin to counter the effects of the Karn assassination juice. Your body is trying to flush out the poison, which, unfortunately forms a lot of thirst.”
He turns away from you and begins to search through piles of books.
> Dan says “What are you looking for?”
“I’m looking for something that will turn you back into a human.”
“Do you think you can find it?”
He stops searching for a second and says, “I dunno. Maybe. We’ll try it, anyway.”
> Dan helps the apprentice to search.
After searching for quite a while, you discover a dusty book titled Karn’s Secret Remedies . The apprentice takes great joy in finding it, and babbles on about its lore.
> Dan listens carefully.
He says that it contains the remedy for almost any ailment, including the one you’re having right now.
> Dan says “What do I need to do?”
He sits down on the ground and says, “Just gather a few ingredients for the potion. The first one is Maiden’s Tears. That’s easy, all you have to do is capture a maiden and force her to cry.”
> Dan says “What are the other ingredients”
He says that the other ingredients are Purple Vipers’ Fangs, and Frog Slime.
“Well, that should be easy. Except perhaps the viper part.” He continues to babble on about its lore.
Your stomach begins to grumble loudly.
> Dan goes outside to look for a maiden.
You leave the library and head towards the local tavern. It shouldn’t be too hard to find a girl in there. You’ve heard there’s Rapunzel, a local wench who has had quite a few traveling heroes pass through.
> Dan enters the tavern.
The tavern is a large building, made of cobblestones and oak. Large barrels of ale are stacked in a corner. A merry group is singing at a table, others sit quietly at their tables.
You walk up to the bar and take a seat.
> Dan says “I’m looking for a maiden who can cry on demand.”
The barkeeper, a large ogre of a man, looks down at you. “Whatchu want wit my daughter?”
“Your daughter? I didn’t know you had a daughter.”
“I DON’T! I meant the tavern maiden!”
You stare at a closed door to the right. That must be the bathroom.
“Hey!” the ogre shouts. “Are you going to order something, or not?”
> Dan says “Do you sell Frog Slime?”
The ogre cocks his head to the side. “You mean like that wizard order yesterday? Yeah, we got that.”
The ogre lines up three mugs on the counter. He reaches under the counter and brings up three mugs of frothy, yellow liquid.
> Dan takes the Frog Slime and puts it in his bag.
The ogre lines up three more mugs on the counter. He reaches under the counter and brings up three mugs of frothy, yellow liquid.
Suddenly, a high pitched scream erupts from the bathroom.
> Dan runs into the bathroom.
The bathroom is completely normal, except for its extremely high ceilings. A broken window letting in the early spring air is directly above the toilet. You run up to it and look outside. A young woman hangs from the window by her hands, obviously having fallen from somewhere.
> Dan rescues the woman.
You rush onto the windowsill and stare down at the ground below you. It’s a two story drop, and once you jump down there’s no turning back. You peek behind you at the open window.
> Dan swings on a spider web to rescue the woman.
The young woman screams as the web snaps and she falls to the ground. You cannot do anything now, but at least you tried.
You jump down through the window.
You hit the ground in a sitting position and wince in pain.
> Dan checks if the woman is alive.
You hold your hand out to the side of the woman’s neck, feeling for a pulse. You feel nothing. You stand up slowly and a cold wind blows, ruffling your hair. Suddenly, the woman starts shaking, and her eyes spring open.
> Dan says “Are you okay?”
“W-who are you?” the woman asks, terrified. She scrambles to her feet and backs into a corner of the alley.
> Dan says “I’m Dan. Don’t worry, you’re safe.”
“Where am I?”
“A tavern called Stinky Steve’s.”
The woman is short, with long brown hair and large brown eyes. She’s wearing a plain gray shirt and dark blue jeans.
> Dan says “Please would you give me some of your tears?”
“My tears?” she says, puzzled.
She weighs her options and then nods. “I guess I owe you that.” She reluctantly puts a finger into one of her eyes and winces, as a single tear makes its way down her face.
> Dan says “Okay! I’ve got Frog Slime and Maiden’s Tears; now all I need is to find Purple Vipers’ Fangs. Do you know where I can find purple vipers?”
The woman thinks for a moment.
“I’ve heard there’s a nest of snakes south of here, but I don’t know exactly where. You might want to try the swamps east of here, past the graveyard. Just follow the bog.
> Dan goes to the swamp.
You walk east along a narrow dirt path. You can’t even see a foot in front of you, but somehow you don’t trip over any roots or exposed tree roots. Perhaps this is the wizard’s work…
> Dan looks for purple vipers.
About an hour of searching pays off. You spot them, a trio of snakes basked in a patch of sunlight.
Snakes aren’t exactly the most intimidating creatures you’ve ever seen.
> Dan grabs a snake and tries to pull out its fangs.
You pick up one of the snakes and pull at its bottom jaw to open its mouth. Then, you put your other hand inside the snake’s mouth and try to pull out a fang. The snake begins to whimper and writhe in your hands.
> Dan says “Sorry, snake. I need this fang more than you do!”
You wrench the fang out of the snake’s mouth and put him back on the ground.
You pull out the fang, which is about an inch and a half long.
> Dan returns to the apprentice.
The apprentice looks irritated when you enter the room. “Where’ve you been? I needed those tears like ten minutes ago!”
He throws a stone against the wall. It breaks with a loud crack and white dust billows out of it. “Stupid rock,”
> Dan gives the apprentice the Maiden’s Tears, Purple Vipers’ Fangs, and Frog Slime.
He looks at the ingredients and begins to chant.
“Gust imnek imdenat til utphet ecave edanar…
Cesciell omman utared….”
> Dan waits patiently to be turned back into a human.
After a few minutes, the apprentice turns to you. “It’s done,” he says simply. “You may dress and leave.”
He takes the tattered clothes from your hands and tosses them in the fire.
The pain begins.
> Dan looks at his human body.
You turn back into your human self. Your face is thin and angular. Your eyes are a deep, captivating green, and your wavy hair is brown.
> Dan puts his clothes on.
After minutes of searching through the piles of clothes, you find a pair of plain, gray trousers and a simple, long-sleeved white shirt. You put them on.
> Dan steps outside into the fresh air.
You walk outside and take a deep breath of the cool, fresh air. You sigh in unexpected delight.
You see a row of small huts with chimneys across the courtyard.
> Dan says “Thank you, apprentice!”
You turn and see the apprentice watching you. “What did you say?”
“I was thanking you,” you say gratefully. “If you hadn’t helped me, I’d still be trapped as a spider.”
“Oh,” says the apprentice, embarrassed.
> Dan says “How can I repay you?”
The apprentice scratches his head. “I don’t know. It’s just that….”
You lean forward curiously.
> Dan says “What?”
The apprentice mumbles something.
“What?” you say impatiently.
“I can’t read or write,” the apprentice admits in embarrassment.
You stare at him. “Could you really not have picked someone else for this task?”
The apprentice looks miserable.
> Dan says “Okay, I’ll teach you to read and write.”
The apprentice looks up in surprise. “Really?”
“Yeah, sure. I learned from a wizard in exchange for saving his life. I’ll teach you, if you teach me how to live here.”
You hold out your hand to shake on it.
> Dan says “Just one question. How did you know what Karn’s Secret Remedies said if you can’t read?”
“It’s not all that hard to figure out if you’ve got a basic knowledge of alchemy. Besides, I’ve found the plain brown wrapping helps it sell better. Customers think they’re getting something special.”
He started to laugh.
You join in.
> Dan shakes the apprentice’s hand.
You shake on it. “It’s decided, then. I’ve already wasted half the day. I’ll teach you what I can today, and then we’ll meet here each day after that, okay?”
“This is amazing,” the apprentice says three weeks later.
> Dan says “You’ve learned so much, so quickly. I’m really proud of you.”
He smiles at you.
“I still can’t believe you learned all this in only three weeks. And here I was thinking alchemy was a difficult subject.”
He’s silent for a moment.
> Dan says “I suppose I should be moving on now. Adventure awaits.”
You nod slowly, feeling a little glum at the thought.
“You could always stay here. You’ve got more than enough money to start up a life for yourself here, and I’m sure the innkeeper would hire you.”
> Dan says “No, I’m afraid my life is out on the open road. But if I come back near Zun again, I’ll visit you!”
You say goodbye to the apprentice and thank him for all he’s done. As he lets you out the door, you turn one last time to wave at him. He smiles and gives you a thumbs-up.
> Dan heads off into the sunset.
You set off down the road in a new direction, deciding it’s time to continue your travels.