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Intro Comp - the Vote

PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 11:37 am
by P/o Prune
Sorry for the delay, but things got a little chaotic around here. :(
But finally we’re here, 5 authors and 7 entries.
The purpose of this competition was to get you guys to write an intro the way you think it should be written, and also to maybe give new comers a few tips as to how it can be done. (also I wanted to see if it was possible to shake the cobwebs off the forum :wink: )

Below you’ll find the entries for the Intro Comp. I’m trying something new this time. Only the titles of the intros are published and the authors name will not be revealed until after the voting is over.
Read them and then cast your vote. You’re more than welcome to drop a comment explaining why you chose to vote for this particular intro.

So without further ado, I present to you the following.

The Legend of Creepy Swallow:

This is a tale of Creepy Swallow.

What is a Creepy Swallow?

It’s not a what, but rather a who.

It all started a few years ago when a young mortician, Frank Swallow, met a lovely young lady named Bitt. She was a quiet young lady with dark, deep set eyes and a shy smile. They courted for several years, enjoying the stranger things in life, such as picnics beneath the Old Wailing Tree, near the wooded edge of the cemetery. The tree was magnificent, with huge twisted limbs that stretched out in all directions to provide ample shade for guests visiting those who had already passed to the other side. It was all quite normal to them, though. Many happy memories were made under the Old Wailing Tree.

Their love blossomed and they decided to move in together. There wasn’t a whole lot of money to be made by prepping the dead, so they made their home in a small attic above the mortuary. Frank did the embalming and body preparations, and Bitt made them up to look quite happy for their introduction to the afterlife.

Finally, Frank proposed to Bitt Erpillto. She happily accepted, but decided to keep her maiden name, thus making her Bitt Erpillto-Swallow. Not too long after they wed, Frank and Bitt had a baby girl, and named her Creepy. She was a very happy little girl, despite being surrounded by the dead. She quite enjoyed it, actually. The Swallows didn’t let anyone know about her, because they were afraid that she would be taken away, given their living situation and choice of careers. Bitt hid her pregnancy pretty easily beneath long black gowns. As it turns out, people don’t really notice their surrounding much when they are grieving. It turned out to be a splendid blessing for Creepy.

She had a most unusual life, but to her, it was quite normal and she was a very happy little girl. She grew up watching her father do autopsies, embalming, and watched her mom make the dead look peaceful. She was quite young and wanted to help too, but Bitt was afraid that Creepy was making them look too happy, which could be quite problematic when it came to the families of the deceased.

Frank and Bitt decided it was time to give Creepy some responsibilities away from helping the dearly departed appear happy. Her new job would be to gather all of the dead flowers and brush off the dirt from the gravestones. She loved it! She would put on what she called her mourning dress, and rush out the door with her little hand brush, not to be seen again until bedtime.

Visitors to the graveyard were also quite impressed at the appearance when they came to visit their loved ones and complimented Frank and Bitt on a job well done. Nobody even knew that Creepy even existed, until that cold winter’s day when tragedy struck. One simple decision would determine the fate of Creepy Swallow….

She had relived this day a thousand times…


Project Entropy:
You awaken abruptly, as if a light has been switched on in your mind.

Vague memories cross your thoughts and flit away; you feel that you're viewing a highlight reel of your life is being shown at a sped-up pace.

Everything is a blur; as the memories are evoked, specific places and faces are not discernible. You are unsure if the experiences were even your own.

Then suddenly you are totally aware of your surroundings.


The Louisiana Mystery:
You lean back against the seat in the train, lazily watching the monotony of the passing landscape outside.
The tranquilizing rhythm of the train, the gently swaying of the car makes you drowsy and you let your mind wander...
Was it the right thing to do? Taking a Sabbath year from college. Your parents didn't exactly approve, certainly not your dad, who threw a tantrum when you proclaimed your decision at the dinner table. You smile a little to yourself, At least you had been wise enough to break the news whiles your uncle and aunt was visiting, sort of preventing you dad to line up the heavy artillery.
You just know within yourself, that you would never have passed the final exam. What had happened? History, used to be your favorite subject, and you have always scored high. But it was like slowly your interest faded, until there was nothing left but lifeless trivial facts.

You accidentally stumbled over the add in a Sunday paper a few weeks back. A position was open as a receptionist at an old hotel at the coast of the Mexican Gulf. An area well known for pirate activity in the 1700... You felt a spark of interest as you read the add, maybe this was the way to spark your interest again. Spending time, actually living in the area where pirates once roamed could be the boost you so badly needed. If, on top of it, you were to stumble over some long forgotten pirate treasure, it would be so much the better.

The train stops with a sudden halt, jerking you out of your thoughts. You're here... At Crab-Apple Cove. The name doesn't exactly sounds like a place any Pirate with just the slightest self respect would choose for a hide-out, but who are you to argue with history. You quickly get your belongings... a suitcase, that has seen better days, and hurry out of the train. On the dusty platform a man is waiting for you. Without a word he takes your suitcase, and flings it into a carriage, then nods towards door. You get in, and he climbs up on the box, grab the reins and soon you are on your way. Not many words are changed between you. Every attempt you make to start a conversation is met with an unsympathetic grunt, and you soon give up.

After about an hour in total silence the carriage stops at a narrow path, leading up to the hotel through a huge lawn. The man gets off the box. Drops your suitcase on the ground and without a word drives off again, leaving you by yourself. With a sigh, you pick up your suitcase and walk along the path, towards the wooden porch and the entrance to the hotel. Your “home” for the months to come.


Blank Wall:
When all the others had given up, you carried on. Everyone told you to call it a day; your boss, your colleagues, your family, your friends. Everyone said the same, he had escaped. But you didn't listen to any of them. What did they know or care?

The media just loved the whole thing of course - ritual murders, pagan practices, satanic sacrifices; it all sounded so sensational. It was nothing more than murder, rape and torture. To you he was just an evil minded monster.

So, through many long hours and even longer days you watched and waited. The weather started to turn colder with that early winter chill, but it was not as cold as the feelings in your heart.

And then your dedication finally paid off. Just after 8.00pm on a Saturday evening, at the end of a very long shift, you spotted something moving inside and almost immediately someone appeared at the front door. Not sure at first, was it him? You look carefully, oh so carefully, you must be sure. It is him - Charles Bendell!

He must have had a hiding place somewhere in the building and has been waiting for the right opportunity to run. You have anticipated this moment for such a long time, but you have no reason to rush. He looks furtively around and then slips out of the building. So, you follow. You are not sure but it looks like he is holding a small bag but in this light it is not easy to tell. He really must believe he has got away with it as he is so easy to shadow.

He doesn't go very far, only a few miles to an abandoned railway station. Standing at the old ticket hall entrance he pauses for a moment and looks around. He glances in your direction and you imagine he might have seen you. He swings around and quickly enters the derelict station.

You have Bendell now!


DIE FEUERFAUST - The Fist of Fire:
The Story So Far:
It has been nearly 2 years since you, Duke Alaric Blackmoon, thwarted the plot by the Xixon sorcerer Zalazar to summon a demonic horde from the pits of hell in order to lay waste to the world in revenge for the extermination of the lizardman's nestmates. (See "The Spectre of Castle Coris") Nowadays you live in the capital city of the kingdom of Hecate, Domreil, due to your role as commander of King Kelson's personal guard. Mind you, these days it is so peaceful that the only duties you have are mainly ceremonial ones - you haven't swung a sword in anger for months and you are beginning to develop a beergut from lack of exercise! Then one day you are summoned to the King's audience chamber where you find the young king in the company of his foreign minister, Baron Mescarl, and four foreigners dressed in sinister black armour. Baron Mescarl explains that the men are Teutonic Knights from the continent of Germania, the vast land south of Hecate on the far side of the Baltic Ocean.

Baron Mescarl introduces you to Prinz Eugen, the only one of the four knights who can speak your language. The Prinz tells you, in his heavily accented speech, that they are a deputation from the Hanseatic League, a confederation of city-states that have co-existed peacefully for hundreds of years and have become one of the most powerful trading "nations" in this part of the world. Now that peace has been shattered by the theft of the symbol of unity of the Hanseatic League, a metal gauntlet from the suit of armour once worn by the founder of the League, King Albrecht von Hollenzollern. This symbol, known as "Die Feuerfaust - The Fist of Fire" was stolen from where it was on display in the cathedral in Lubeck, the capital city of the League. Each of the city states has suspected the others of being behind the theft but none of them have openly accused any of the others outright. Nevertheless, the theft has caused long-forgotten enmities to resurface and it is these enmities which are in danger of escalating into full-scale civil war.

Your exploits in finding the lost "Axe of Kolt" and solving the mystery behind "The Spectre of Castle Coris" have become legend in the southern continent and the Teutonic Knights, a militant order of warrior-priests who work to keep the peace in Germania, have come to ask for your help in finding the stolen symbol and restoring it to its rightful place in Lubeck. King Kelson tells you that it will your decision entirely whether or not to accept the quest, but your thirst for some action is such that you immediately agree, much to the delight of the knights, who thank you profusely.

They offer to escort you to Lubeck but you decline the offer and tell them that you will make your own way across, as first you have to visit a friend. The knights then leave for Lubeck and you yourself set off to visit this friend, none other than the sorcerer Magor who lives near Hengemire in Scippar. Magor is curious to learn of your quest and he helps you by casting a temporary spell on you so that you can understand the language of Germania. He teaches you something of the geography of the area, in particular the cities of the Hanseatic League. He also presents you with the gift of a leather money pouch which has a magical quality. He does not however, tell you what this magical quality is and that you must work it out for yourself.

After taking leave of Magor you ride to the southern coast of Hecate where you are able to take passage on a merchant ship that is sailing to Lubeck, a voyage that will take around 5 days. The weather when you set sail is good but as you approach Germania a violent storm blows the ship off course and it hits some rocks and starts to sink. You are thrown into the raging water and manage to grab hold of a broken spar and tie yourself to it. It is this last action that saves your life, as you are knocked unconscious by some floating wreckage. The next thing you know is that you wake up alone on a sandy foreshore, there being no sign of the spar you had tied yourself to. Your head aches from the blow that rendered you unconscious and it takes you a while to regain your senses. When you do you stand up and look around at your surroundings.....


Shut Up!
About a fortnight ago you had a telephone call from a cousin offering you an expensive parrot as a gift. Never one to look a gift horse in the mouth you accept. It was a little over a week ago that you took delivery of the large colourful parrot. It was a few days later that found out why they want to get rid of the animal. The parrot has a bad attitude and an even worse vocabulary. You make a mental note to beware of relatives bearing gifts in the future.

As usual you couldn't get tickets to the big game this week but it is being shown live on the television today. So, you have taken the day off to watch it.

Your bossy aunt Maud has threatened to drop in today and the vicar is coming to collect some old clothes.


The Lost Children:
The Story So Far:
It is only a month or so since your return from Germania and victory over the mad wizard Wladyslaw in the Marienburg Fortress (see "The Fortress of Fear"). You have started to get reports of strange events in some of the more remote villages in Hecate - children between the ages of 11 and 15 have started to go missing at night, apparently kidnapped from their beds without a struggle.

The King orders you to investigate and thus you travel to the area, which is in the far east of Hecate close to the border with the neighbouring kingdom of Alizon. When you arrive you are told that a shepherd, tending his flock at night, witnessed huge trolls carrying child-sized bundles under their arms heading towards a bleak moor in the region. You travel to this region, escorted by a platoon of your troops commanded by a sergeant, and question the shepherd.

The shepherd tells you that he has seen mysterious lights far out on a bleak moor, miles from anywhere. The only feature on this moor is an ancient megalith which has been there for thousands of years. You ride down to this moor with your escort and on arriving at the megalith, a huge gateway-like structure, you see that there is a glowing sheet of light inside the megalith, and a dome of scintillating blue energy over the whole thing which prevents you getting within several metres of the megalith. Leading up to the megalith you see lots of large footprints which can only be those of trolls - this is where all the children that have been kidnapped from the villages have been brought to. You send a carrier pigeon back to Domreil with a message to summon your old friend, the sorcerer Magor, as he would seem to be the best person to deal with this.

After kicking your heels for several hours, unable to get anywhere near the megalith, Magor arrives with a pop of displaced air, scaring the living daylights out of the guards around your camp. Fascinated by the spectacle, the sorcerer quickly disables the dome of energy and then examines the sheet of light, which still glows within the megalith. After several minutes and numerous spells which he cast at the sheet of light, Magor mutters "Well I never!" and turns to make his report. "This is a gateway to another part of the world," he tells you. "I do not know how far away, but it is not any part that I recognise."

After a brief discussion with Magor and the sergeant commanding your escort, you decide that you alone will go through the gateway to wherever it leads to. You agree that the sergeant should wait no longer than a week for your return before asking Magor to destroy the gateway. You equip yourself with supplies and money and, holding your broadsword ready for action and taking a deep breath, walk into the glowing sheet of light. You experience a brief moment of disorientation and you realise you are in a completely different place.

Re: Intro Comp - the Vote

PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2016 11:29 am
by P/o Prune
Alright, I’m an old grump and a pain in the neck (or lower if you prefer) but I can’t help feel a bit disappointed when I see the number of people having voted in the Intro Comp. :(

4 votes out of 86 visits? Even if some of those visits are made by bots of one kind or the other it’s a pretty lousy percentage altogether.

How long can it take to read through the intros and choose the one you think is the best? Even if you don’t think any of them are any good, you can at least vote for the one you hate the least!

How often do we hear that the forum is dead, Adrift is slowly sliding downhill into oblivion? No bloody wonder if no one is prepared to be just a little active. This forum isn’t just about getting answers to you problems regarding writing Interactive Fiction. If it were Campbell could just as well have skipped all the other topics and just had the one: Adrift V.5

So, please, take the couple of minutes it takes to read the intros (you might even learn something) and vote.

Re: Intro Comp - the Vote

PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2016 2:47 pm
by ParadoxGames
Okay. I voted (was off the forum all week) In fairness, didn't vote for my submission.

Re: Intro Comp - the Vote

PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2016 4:16 pm
by P/o Prune
Thanks for your vote, ParadoxGames, and to "all" :wink: the other voters.

Re: Intro Comp - the Vote

PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 12:56 am
by ElliotM
I get where you are coming from, Po, I post a lot of things too but often don't get replies. Went ahead and voted though.

Re: Intro Comp - the Vote

PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 12:10 pm
by P/o Prune
ElliotM wrote:I get where you are coming from, Po, I post a lot of things too but often don't get replies. Went ahead and voted though.

Thanks for voting Elliot. It's just that it's a little discouraging when people are making an effort to "spice" up the forum only to find out that nobody really cares.

Re: Intro Comp - the Vote

PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2016 2:10 pm
by P/o Prune
Only 9 votes so far? :?
Only 9 more days to go. How long can it take to read through the intros and decide which one is the best? :P