So some time ago, I wrote a snippet series on the Young Writer’s Workshop Community. But it was not just a series of snippets from a story. It was a Choose Your Own Adventure style snippet series!
Basically I would write a snippet of the story every single day, post it to the community, and let my readers pick from an array of options on how the story would continue. Then, the next day, I would have to make the characters do whatever the readers suggested, and attempt to make the story intense and entertaining with whatever choice they decided (for some reason I feel like they were nicer to my characters than I expected! :P)
Without further ado, I would like to share with you the Choose Your Own Adventure Short Story: Snakeblade, along with the options i gave my readers and their choices.
I apologize in advance if the story is not edited the best, or if it’s not the most complicated story in the world. I hope you still enjoy!
Snakeblade: A Choose Your Own Adventure Snippet Series
“You going to eat that?” Ibber blinked questioningly at Charos.
Charos rolled his eyes as he looked at his best friend. “Yes. How have you finished your plate all ready?”
Once heaped with beef strips, mashed potatoes, and steamed peas, Ibber’s plate was now laid bare like a skinned animal carcass. Ibber shrugged, his light blue eyes looking like a pleading baby’s compared to the rest of his grizzled face. It didn’t quite fit with his long, dusty brown hair tied back in a bun, or the brick-shaped jaw, which sported a scruff of a few days. “I was hungry!”
“Then just order some more, huh?” Charos grinned, running his fingers through his pale blonde hair to keep it from falling over his eyes. “We’ve money enough!”
Ibber grabbed his plate. “Well I think I will! Being a wanderer is hard work. We haven’t had a solid meal in days!”
“Aye, since the village of Ternobell. It is nice to be back in civilization, yes? This city of Snakeblade doesn’t seem too bad!”
Ibber’s wide mouth had just begun to open in a smile when a bellow of a man issued from the deep shadows of the room.
Ibber and Charos had sprung to their feet in an instant. Ibber’s massive arms reached for the weathered sword at his belt, and Charos all ready felt the reassuring leather grip of his dual short swords gripped in his palms.
“What’s going on back there?” Charos mumbled up at his big friend.
Ibber’s jaw twitched. “I’m not sure. Do we find out?”
Charos was about to answer when the door of the restaurant blew open and five city soldiers strutted in. “Halt!” the first soldier inside yelled, his stiff voice reverberating through the room. “No one is to leave this vicinity!”
1: Charos and Ibber try to escape the building.
2: They go up to the soldiers and ask them what’s going on.
3: They walk toward the yell to see what it’s all about.
MOST VOTED: 3
Charos and Ibber exchanged befuddled glances. The other patrons of the restaurant threw similar looks at each other, and a hubbub of mutters floated through the tense air.
“We need to take a look at whatever is happening,” Charos whispered. “I’d like a better understanding of this situation.”
Ibber nodded. “I agree. Onward!”
The two wanderers inched away from their table and submerged themselves deeper into the spacious room. Charos spotted a flicker of movement from the corner of his eye and saw the soldiers slowly making their way to the back of the room as well, questioning civilians as they went and shoving aside any who wouldn’t make way for their company.
Charos turned back around and let out a gasp. Ibber locked his gaze on what Charos had seen and his lips flattened. The scene laid out was like a great painting, hung up in some museum of history. A short, slightly overweight man sat in a chair. His thin hair lay haphazardly over his scalp, and his spectacles, surely once pristine, now lay in pieces on the hardwood floor. He stared with eyes the size of dragon eggs, petrified, at the two figures how towered over his being—figures in tattered black robes with the glistening ends of razor-sharp daggers revealed beneath the folds. The victim jiggled like jelly when he sobbed—which was quite often in this scenario.
“Please, please just le’ me go!” The little man breathed, rubbing his plump hands together. “I didn’t mean you no ‘arm!”
Charos looked back at the rest of the restaurant. The soldiers were only halfway through the crowd, still taking several seconds to question each diner.
“Ibber, we need to do something!” Charos grabbed his big friend’s arm.
“Or we should make ourselves scarce!” Ibber hissed. “Remember the last time we tried to get involved in a local situation?”
1: Charos and Ibber attempt to help the man.
2: Charos and Ibber attempt to help the cloaked figures.
3: Charos and Ibber sit down and wait for things to unfold.
MOST VOTED: 1
“Oh come on, Ibber. This man needs help, and these soldiers are taking too long!” Charos began to push forward toward the scene. Ibber, with a small sigh, headed after him.
“Hey, you fellows there!” Charos called out when they were but yards away.
The two cloaked and hooded figures straightened and turned toward the two wanderers. Charos let out a squawk of surprise when he saw their faces. Bone white they were, with red lines streaking down in horrific patterns. Then Charos noticed the gaping black eye-holes and realized they were masks.
One of the figures stepped forward while the other turned its attention back on their victim.
“Do not interfere with Snakeblade business, human,” the soft voice floated from the masked face, quiet but chillingly clear. “You will regret you ever did.”
Charos blinked, but straightened to his full height—still a foot or so shorter than his opponent, and looked him dead in the eye. “If I may say so, sir, this man clearly doesn’t appreciate your presence. If you’d so kindly leave him alone, or deal with your business like gentlemen without masks and knives, I might not have a problem.”
The hooded figure’s head leaned to one side, as if unbelieving that a random patron of the restaurant would step up. Charos opened his mouth once more to speak, pleased that he had confused this person, but in the blink of an eye, the figure stepped forward and his long, steel-like hand had wrapped itself around Charos’ throat.
“Do you not know who we are, human?” the figure hissed once more. “Leave for your own safety, and forget you ever saw us.”
The hooded figure drew his arm back and hurled Charos backwards onto a table. Ibber bellowed in concern and rushed straight for the hooded figures, his sword up and ready. The two cloaked men didn’t take notice of Ibber, and instead picked up the little man they had been terrorizing. He let out a panicked shriek, kicking and biting, but the figures flew away from Ibber at a fast pace and headed toward one side of the restaurant. The soldiers looked up at the cry, registered what was happening, and rushed forward. But it was too late. Ibber lost sight of the hooded figures for half a second as someone’s head got in the way, and as soon as he searched for them once more, they were gone. Nothing but a blank wall stood where they had once been.
Charos stepped up to Ibber’s side, holding his ribs. “What happened?”
“They…disappeared,” Ibber replied.
“So what’s next?” Charos muttered. “I’m intrigued by this mystery.”
1: Charos and Ibber talk to the soldiers.
2: Charos and Ibber find the restaurant owner and talk.
3: Charos and Ibber visit the restaurant late that night.
MOST VOTED: 1
“No one move!” A Snakeblade soldier yelled from across the room. “Everyone remain calm and remain on the scene for questioning, thank you.”
“Shall we tell our story to the soldiers?” Charos looked up at Ibber, who nodded absent-mindedly.
“Yes…yes, let’s do that.”
The two men slipped through the crowd of restaurant customers in the direction of the soldier group. Charos dodged by a table with four people who simply stared at each other, confused as to what was happening around them. Many other tables were full of people doing the same thing, or mumbling to each other and shooting curious glances around them.
“Excuse me sir,” Charos called out when they were within a few yards of the soldiers. The leader of the soldiers straightened and stepped toward him.
“Greetings,” the soldier said, sticking out a hand. “I am Sergeant Taroto. Do you have a report about this disturbance?”
“Yes,” Charos nodded, and flew into a full story of what had happened to them when they had tried to approach the cloaked figures.
Sergeant Taroto bent his head and stroked the small, pointed beard on his chin thoughtfully. “You said they told you to ‘stay out of Snakeblade business’? This is bad…”
“Why?” Ibber shrugged his shoulders. “We are strangers, and this city is called Snakeblade, is it not?”
“It is,” Taroto nodded, glancing up to meet Ibber’s gaze. “However, it was once not this friendly of a city. Snakeblade was once controlled by a mysterious group of men that called themselves the Snakeblades. They terrorized the nearby lands by raiding and pillaging to help their city grow greater and more powerful. Some called them warriors, other called them sorcerers, and still others simply thought them as ruffians. They died off after a king from a nearby kingdom decided to end their rule and stormed Snakeblade, taking ownership of the city and turning it into a friendly place. However, the last couple months have been flooded with reports about these mysterious cloaked figures capturing, killing, and stealing from citizens in the city. These cloaked figures claim to be Snakeblades. I am assuming they wish to retake their old city once more. But they seem to only be targeting those who are financially struggling currently. Perhaps to target people who don’t seem to matter in society. Their trademark kill is a puncture in the neck, not deep, but most likely from a poisoned blade. Snake poison, many analyzers think…”
“This is all very curious…” Charos scratched his head and raised his eyebrows. “And a lot to take in. Thank you for your time, sergeant. We appreciate it.”
“Certainly sirs,” Taroto shook their hands once more. “We appreciate your eagerness to help. Stay cautious out there, and make sure you don’t try to get caught up in anymore of this. If you see anymore Snakeblades, report them to the soldier barracks immediately, and don’t confront them.”
“Of course, sergeant,” Charos smiled and turned away. From a glint in his friend’s eye, Ibber knew that Charos wasn’t going to heed Taroto’s warnings at all.
“Come on, Charos,” Ibber said. “We don’t have to get involved in this! It’s not like its a personal matter or anything.”
Charos threw up his arms as they left the restaurant and walked down the street. “It is personal! That slimy Snakeblade fellow grabbed my neck and threw me into a table! Besides, even if it isn’t personal…I love me a good adventure!”
“That you do,” Ibber sighed. “Well, what shall we do now? I feel like we may have a lead at the restaurant, but we wouldn’t be able to look into it now…”
1: Rent a room and go to bed for the night.
2: Visit the restaurant again once its closed to find clues.
3: Take a night stroll around the city to talk and think.
MOST VOTED: 1
“I don’t know about you,” Charos shot a glance at his best friend, “but I’m exhausted, and this whole Snakeblade business simply doubled it! We’ve had a long day. Why don’t we get some rest?”
Ibber slowly nodded. “You’re right, Charos. We’ll pick this back up again tomorrow.”
“The way you said that sounds like you’re just as invested in this mystery as I am!” Charos grinned.
Ibber was forced to smile and nodded. “You know I like adventure too, Charos.”
The two men walked down the dark city streets until they came upon an inn. The warm yellow light which streamed out into the street was more than welcoming to their tired eyes, and soon they were inside, sliding a handful of silver coins across the table to rent a room. The elderly lady at the front desk gave them a wrinkly smile and handed them a small key. “Your room is upstairs, all the way down the hall.”
“Thank you, ma’am,” Charos smiled and nodded his head to her, before turning to the stairs with Ibber at his heels.
They reached the end of the hall, slid the key into the door lock, and stepped inside. Charos made a jump for the bed closest to him and flopped down on top of it. “Oh, it’s so soft! This beats sleeping on the side of the road any day!”
Ibber let out a grunt of agreement as he shut the door and walked to the second bed across the room. “At last, a soft mattress.”
“And no mosquitoes trying to bite your nose off!” Charos added.
“But also no stars to look at as you fall asleep,” Ibber said softly.
“Nor the feel of adventure,” Charos nodded. “And that, my friend, is why we are wanderers.”
“I wouldn’t choose any other life,” Ibber grinned. “Goodnight, Charos.”
Ibber reached over and turned out the lantern that flickered on the bedside table, and the simply furnished room was flooded with darkness, all but for the moonlight which filtered its way through the window.
Sleep came quickly for the exhausted men, and their slumber was deep until a few hours past midnight. Charos woke with a jerk, sweat gleaming on his brow. He listened for a long moment, heart fluttering wildly. All he could hear was the night bugs outside and the deep breathing of Ibber. Then it came again. A rattling at the door. The doorhandle jiggled again. Charos turned to look at Ibber, and from the other side of the room, Ibber met his gaze. The second rattle had woken him as well. They both nodded, and turned to look at the door.
1: Wait and see what happens, pretending to still be asleep.
2: Escape out the room’s window.
3: Open the door with weapons drawn.
MOST VOTED: 3
Ibber slipped out of his bed, and his bare heels on the hard-wood floor only sounded the slightest thump. His large hands reached for the weapons at his bedside, and he drew his long sword from its sheath. It glinted in the pale, cold moonlight, its razor sharp edge illuminated as if lit by white flame.
Charos silently threw his covers off of him and sat up as well, his hands falling to the hilts of his dual short swords. The two men met gazes once again, and, as if reading each other’s minds, stood silently and walked toward the door. The rattle hadn’t been heard for a good minute now, but Charos could almost feel the foreboding presence of whatever was outside the door.
Charos lifted his hand and raised up three fingers. Then, one by one, he dropped them. As soon as his final finger fell, Ibber reached forward and in a second, had unlocked the flimsy inn door and threw the door back.
A dark cloaked figure, who had been stooping to peer into the key hole, stumbled back with a shriek of surprise.
“Trying to murder us in our sleep, aye, Snakeblade?” Charos bellowed, leaping forward with his swords flashing. The Snakeblade recovered immediately and a knife appeared from the folds of his cloak. The Snakeblade reached up and met Charos’s swords with his dagger. Then, kicking out and sweeping Charos’s legs from under him, the intruder lifted the dagger up and away. Charos rammed his back into the floor with a thud, and watched as the knife came whistling down toward his chest. A heavy boot however, landed in the side of the Snakeblade’s forehead, and he went sprawling out on the floor of the dark hallway. Ibber helped Charos up and walked toward the Snakeblade. “Tell us why you’re trying to kill us, wretch!” Charos roared. “What are you doing here? Where are the other members of your group?”
The Snakeblade stumbled up, fumbling to retrieve his dagger, and his feet echoed down the hall as he fled. His right hand flicked back and a smaller throwing dagger zipped by the two wanderers and stuck, quivering, into the wall.
By this time their racket had woken the entire inn, and sleepy faces began to show out the hallway doors.
“Quick, we must follow him!” Charos yelled in excitement.
“Wait,” Ibber scratched his head, brow wrinkled.
1: Pursue the Snakeblade
2: Stop for a minute and study the throwing knife for clues
3: Climb onto the roof to spot the Snakeblade
MOST VOTED: 2
“What are you waiting for, Ibber?” Charos threw up his arms in disgust. “This blasted Snakeblade is getting away every second!”
“We can’t simply run after him you fool!” Ibber said. “Come on. Let’s catch our breath for a second. We need to collect our wits.”
Charos crossed his arms and stuck out the bottom of his lip. “Humph.”
Ibber turned and walked back down the hallway, stopping at the pommel of the throwing knife which protruded from the wall. “Let’s see what kind of weaponry these people have.”
Charos soon forgot his pouting and hurried up to peer over Ibber’s shoulder like a curious child. “What is it?”
“It’s a throwing dagger, dragon-brain!” Ibber rolled his eyes. “What I’m wondering is who made it, and what its capabilities are…” The large man took a careful hand and tugged at the hilt. With a slight grunt of effort, the blade chipped free of the wall, and the two wanderers were able to study the knife’s design.
“Pretty basic throwing knife,” Charos mumbled, who had been studying weapons all around the land for years. “However, this metal shows that it’s been folded multiple times—creating and extra strong blade. His other dagger was probably of the same make—that’s why it didn’t break when he deflected my swords with it.”
“Look at this,” Ibber pointed to a gleaming purple liquid on the very edges of the knife blade. “Poison, no doubt.”
“Just like Sergeant Taroto said! The Snakeblade’s preferred weapons are poisoned,” Charos recalled.
Ibber nodded in agreement. “Yes. Now we can be sure that the Snakeblade’s are after us.”
“They must think that since we interfered at the restaurant…we are now onto them.” Charos scratched his head.
“Which we pretty much are.” Ibber shrugged.
“We’re marked!” Charos gasped. “They’ll stop at nothing to get us out of their way.” He turned to his friend. “You know what that means, right?”
Ibber smiled. “We should try harder to get into their way?”
“That’s right!” Charos let out a dry chuckle.
1: Take the knife to a weapons expert for any possible clue
2: Walk around the nearby streets for any possible clue
3: Return to the restaurant for any possible leads
MOST VOTED: 3
That morning, after apologizing many times to the inn owner about the racket the previous night and emptying their money pouches a little more, Charos and Ibber stepped out the doors of the inn into the beautiful morning sun. Their boots crunched the gravel under their feet.
“Well,” Charos glanced around. “Where to next? Any chance of finding a Snakeblade is gone now. Perhaps if we had pursued them last night we would have caught them!”
Ibber rolled his eyes. “Still salty about that? Come on, I have a better idea. Let’s return to Melvo’s Restaurant.”
“That was the restaurant we were at yesterday,” Charos raised an eyebrow. “Was the food really that good, or are we backtracking?”
“Both,” Ibber smiled. “First breakfast, then we’ll have a look around.”
The two men strolled down the street, surveying the city as its occupants slowly awoke and began their day. Soon the street was packed with people, walking this way and that, each on separate business. Many began to talk to people they knew. Others headed to stores for supplies. Many followed Ibber and Charos’s path and found their favorite restaurants for breakfast.
At last the two men reached the restaurant they searched for, and stepped inside to the ring of a little bell.
The restaurant owner had just unlocked the front door for visitors, and Charos and Ibber were the first to arrive.
“Oh!” The owner shuffled around from dusting the fireplace and gave them a little smile. “Welcome, gentlemen. I’m Melvo. How can I help you on this fine morning?”
“We wished for a little breakfast,” Ibber said cordially.
The elderly man nodded, his graying hair flopping about as he did. “Certainly. Two breakfast plates coming right up! They may take a tad longer because I just got the place open for the day, but I’ll see what I can do.”
“Thank you,” Charos said.
The two men sat down in the empty restaurant and waited for a moment. Then Ibber raised his eyebrows. “No one’s here. This could be our chance!”
Charos immediately sat up. “You’re right. Come on!”
The wanderers made their way to the back of the building, where the last evening’s events had transpired.
“Here was where the little man was sitting. The Snakeblade’s stood over him here,” Charos said, walking to each point.
“All right,” Ibber nodded. “Then they picked him up and ran…this way, right?”
Charos nodded. “Yes. Back toward the left back corner…”
They walked to the very edge of the large room. A wooden beam sat in the corner, which led up to the rafter work far above them. No doors or windows could be seen.
“Then here, they disappeared.” Charos shrugged. “You saw it too, right?”
Ibber nodded. “Yes. They vanished. I wonder…”
“What do you wonder?” Charos raised an eyebrow.
Ibber began to scrape his fingers across the wooden beam, then proceeded to rap it with his knuckles. When he had done that, he walked around the beam to the wall of the restaurant, knocking it up and down and checking every inch of the surface with his hands.
“I’ve got the bacon and eggs going, and I’m just putting biscuits in the oven right now! Five minutes, I should say!” the owner of the restaurant yelled from the entrance to the kitchen. Charos turned away from Ibber to hear him, but as he did, he heard a slight click from behind him. When he turned around, Ibber had vanished from sight.
1: Yell to the restaurant owner for help
2: Yell to Ibber to see if he’s around
3: Run outside to the back of the restaurant
MOST VOTED: 3
“Ibber!” Charos gasped. “Oh no. Why didn’t I think of that? A trapdoor!”
Charos whirled and bolted from the restaurant, his mind whirling. “If the building ended in that corner, the exit to the trapdoor must be out here somewhere.”
Boots sliding on the dewy grass, Charos halted outside the back left corner of the building. He glanced around, but Ibber was not in sight, nor were any Snakeblades. A bird on a tree let out a cheerful greeting, but Charos hardly registered the chirps by his ear.
“Ibber? Ibber! Where’d you get off to?”
A sudden loud squeak made him jump, and he whirled to look at the side of the building, just where he had run by a moment before. On the ground was a small door in the ground which led to a cellar. The door was now lifting open by the inside, and Ibber’s large, stocky face appeared in the entrance.
“Oh, hello there Charos!”
Charos let out a long sigh of relief. “Goodness, Ibber! You startled me twice in two minutes!”
Ibber chuckled. “Well, my theory was right about a trapdoor. The Snakeblades are using secret entrances and tunnels which connect with unused cellars! There are at least four other tunnels which branch off down here.”
Charos raised his eyebrows. “Interesting! Very interesting. Now who would have thought about that? And what about used cellars? They very well can’t dig into a cellar that’s in use.”
Ibber shrugged. “I have a lot of questions too.”
“Well let’s figure out the answers then!” Charos grinned and made to jump through the cellar door.
“Can’t we get some breakfast first?” Ibber groaned.
1: Eat breakfast and talk about everything first
2: Enter the cellar
3: Ask around about suspicious activities in cellars around the city
MOST VOTED: Tie of 1 and 2, but I went with 2
Charos straightened up to his full height, still a good foot shorter than Ibber. “Ibber, we are not going to get some breakfast when we’re this close to getting to the bottom of this mystery! Come on!”
Ibber rolled his eyes. “Okay, fine. But we get food right after!”
“Yes!” Charos smiled and proceeded to open the cellar door. He slipped down backwards, moving his leg around until his boots found a ladder rung. The rusted bars of the ladder scraped his fingers as he descended and dropped to the cool, hard-packed dirt floor. “Wow!”
Ibber joined him, and the two examined the empty cellar. Nothing was contained inside but for the tunnel entrances that branched off through the walls. Ibber pointed to one entrance that sloped steeply upward. “That was the one that connects with the restaurant! I tumbled right down it like a slide when the trapdoor popped open.”
Charos raised his eyebrows. “Very interesting. You know, I think these tunnels look rather…old. Do you reckon that the Snakeblades who made this city actually created these tunnels to travel through this city easily and quietly?”
Ibber blinked. “Possibly. That does make some sense.”
Charos plopped both hands on his hips and grinned. “Because I’m smart, Ibber. Come on! Let’s go see where these other tunnel entrances lead!”
Ibber threw up his arms. “I thought we were getting breakfast!”
“Breakfast does not matter anymore, Ibber!” Charos nearly bellowed.
Just at that moment, they heard a noise that silenced their argument. Footsteps in the tunnel passageway. Someone was down here!
“Hey, who yelled?” a low voice drifted from a passage way.
Ibber and Charos exchanged glances, muscles tense.
1: Attack the people coming
2: Find a place to hide
3: Retreat up the ladder and get the authorities
MOST VOTED: 2
“We need to hide!” Ibber hissed.
“I know,” Charos nodded, jerking his head around to get another view of their surroundings. Everything was hard-packed earth.
“There!” Ibber’s heavy hand fell on Charos’s shoulder and he pointed to the ladder. Charos saw it immediately. Behind the peeling red ladder was a small, natural cleft in the dirt and rock. The two wanderers scrambled toward it. Ibber dove head first, his shoulder slamming into the back of the shallow crevice. Charos squeezed up beside him, and the two pulled themselves up as tight as they could. In the most comfortable and concealed position, only Charos’s boot toe stuck from around the ladder. The two men waited as the footsteps of the tunnel-occupants grew nearer. Then they walked out into the open cellar. The light in the cellar was dim, only illuminated by cracks in the closed cellar door, but these men held flickering torches, which revealed their faces quite clearly. At the front of the group of six men, was Sergeant Taroto.
Charos and Ibber exchanged glances. What could this mean?
“Did you here that yelling too?” Taroto was asking one of his men.
“Aye, sir. But then again, we were makin’ plenty of noise for it ter be us,” the dark cloaked figure said. He wore the clothing of a Snakeblade, and a mask dangled in his hand.
“Sergeant Taroto with the Snakeblades?” Ibber whispered to Charos. “He must be…in league with them!”
“This is where we captured that stupid little farmer,” another Snakeblade said just then. “Your burst in the restaurant was very timely, Taroto. Gave us the chance to get away.”
Taroto smiled. “Yes. Control over the entire soldier squadron has its benefits for our plans.”
“This cellar isn’t used either?” a Snakeblade scratched his head. “Ain’t this the cellar for the restaurant? I would think they’d use theirs.”
Taroto laughed. “But don’t you remember? I forged a law that outlawed the use of cellars! Made up some sort of hazard for them! Now we can use them all and these tunnels without fear of being seen.”
The other Snakeblades chuckled.
“Taroto, you are a smart one!” a Snakeblade praised.
Taroto opened his mouth to reply, but just at that moment, Charos’s toe slipped in its awkward position and a rock skittered over the floor. Charos attempted to pull his foot back in closer, but his leg had fallen asleep, and now it stuck out in plain view. He gave a wobbly smile as the group of Snakeblade’s turned to stare right at the wanderers.
“Oh…hello there, fellows.” Charos squeaked.
1: Get up and fight
2: Give themselves up
3: Run blindly away through the tunnels
MOST VOTED: 1
“Taroto, you traitor!” Ibber grasped the situation with far greater speed than Charos, and shoved his friend away to crawl out from underneath the ladder. He rose to his full impressive height and pointed a finger at the sergeant. “You’re a part of the Snakeblades? I thought you wished to help this city!”
“I do wish to help it,” Taroto smiled. “And return it to its former glory! The Snakeblades will rise again once we take out all the rest of those who still oppose us. Starting with you.”
“Oh shut up, I don’t want to hear the speech,” Ibber grunted as he drew his long sword.
Charos had now joined him at his shoulder, and his hands were reaching for the short swords at his belt. “We won’t let you ruin this city again!”
“And why not? You are wanderers.” Taroto rolled his eyes. “That means you should stay out of public affairs. This city isn’t your home!”
“You’re right, we are wanderers,” Charos said proudly. “Which means the entire land is our home, and we care for it all. Stand down now, or taste the steel of our blades!”
Taroto snarled and drew his own sword, which was curved and of black metal. The same purple liquid as was on the throwing knife the other night now lathered this blade’s edge. A poisoned weapon.
The wanderers exchanged glances, then threw themselves into the fight with a cry of valor. The six Snakeblades scattered. Taroto backed up, leading Charos and Ibber on and engaging them in sword play. While they fought, the other dark-cloaked figures inched along behind them, drawing weapons of various design.
Taroto made a high cut with his curved sword, which Ibber blocked easily. While Ibber pushed Taroto’s sword to the right, Charos came in the left with his two jabbing short swords. Taroto was forced to dance out of the way to dodge them. Just as the wanderers were getting the better of Taroto however, Charos heard a footstep behind him and remembered at that moment that five other Snakeblades occupied the cellar. He turned, but just not fast enough. All he saw was the handle of a heavy mace heading directly into his forehead. It connected. Charos saw a display of blinding fireworks, an overpowering ring in his ears, and, dimly, as if disconnected with his body, felt his back strike the earth.
Charos awoke to a pounding headache. He slowly straightened his head and opened his eyes. He felt a terrible kink in his neck, and could only see a dark dirt wall in front of him. The crackle of flames filled his ears. He attempted to turn, but found that he was tied to a large, unmovable object. He turned his head to look behind him, fixing his kinked neck and surveying his surroundings at the same time.
A group of Snakeblades sat around a fire in the middle of a large room—most likely another abandoned cellar. On the outside, ringing the room next to Charos, were many more prisoners, tied and facing the wall just like him.
“Where’s Ibber?” Charos whispered suddenly, looking around. He realized then however, that Ibber was what he was tied to, right behind him. He let out a sigh of relief. “Well, this is quite a mess we’ve got ourselves into.”
1: Wait for things to unfold
2: Wake Ibber
3: Try to slip out of his bonds
MOST VOTED: Tie of 2 and 3, but I went with 3
Charos leaned back against Ibber, looking up at the dark dirt ceiling above him. He let out a long, quiet sigh and tugged at the ropes which cut into his wrists. They were dreadfully tight, but Charos and Ibber had been in similar situations before, and Charos felt the gears in his mind turning slowly faster.
“Ibber!” Charos hissed. “Ibber, wake up!”
Ibber let out a low groan. “Go ‘way, Charos. I’m tryna sleep!”
“Ibber, this is no time for that! We’re being held captive, you great oaf!”
“Did you say breakfast?” Ibber lifted his head and blinked groggily, taking in his surroundings. “Why are we underground? And why does my head hurt? I don’t see breakfast…”
“Remember, Ibber?” Charos rolled his eyes. “We were fighting the Snakeblades. They knocked us out and tied us up here.”
“Oh…right.” Ibber nodded. “I remember now…”
“Okay, good.” Charos was forced to smile. “Now help me get our binds off! Can you get your thumb in between these ropes?”
Ibber pushed his fingers blindly in between the ropes binding Charos and pulled them apart as hard as he could. Charos could begin to feel the slack around his wrists. “Yes! One more time. Then I’ll try to slip out.”
Ibber let out a grunt of effort as he pushed, and Charos tugged his hands up as hard as possible. The rope scraped against his skin, chafing it terribly, but he slipped free and let out a sigh of relief.
“Perfect. They shouldn’t have tied us up together!” Charos chuckled. “Now let’s see about yours…”
Charos turned halfway around until he could see Ibber’s wrists. He found the end of the rope and tugged it through the knot until the binds grew slack. Ibber pulled the ropes off and rubbed his wrists. A drop of blood slid down his peeling, red skin.
“All right. That’s that. Now what do we do?” Ibber whispered. “Those Snakeblade’s could see that we’re free any minute if they get closer. We need our weapons or something! I think I see them right by the fire.”
“Hmm…” Charos stroked his chin.
1: Try to retrieve their weapons
2: Try to free the other prisoners
3: Escape through a tunnel
MOST VOTED: Tie between 1 and 2, but I went with 1
“All right, our weapons are our best bet!” Charos nodded to Ibber. “But how are we going to get that close to the fire without them spotting us?”
“We could just crawl,” Ibber shrugged.
Charos rolled his eyes. “Oh yes, Ibber. Because when we crawl it makes us as inconspicuous as the worms of the earth. That’s the stupidest idea I’ve heard!”
Ibber smiled. “All right then. You have something better?”
There was silence for a moment. All that could be heard was the breathing of the many captives in the cellar, the crackling of the fire, and the mumbling talk of the Snakeblades.
“No, I don’t have a better idea,” Charos finally admitted.
“Then crawling it is.” Ibber turned and dropped to his knees. “Follow me!”
The two wanderers proceeded to drag themselves across the hard-packed dirt floor on their bellies. Their forearms were used in front of them, scraping against the dirt to propel them a little further along. At last the two began to come within yards of the fire. The Snakeblades had yet to see them, and now Charos could clearly spot their weapons. They lay haphazardly over each other in a pile next to one Snakeblade.
Ibber moved toward the pile, his forearms digging into the dirt. There was but a yard left. Charos could hardly breathe. Two feet. One. Ibber reached out a hand and grasped the hilt of his longsword.
The sword let out a loud clang as it collided with the steel of Charos’s short sword.
Every Snakeblade around the fire turned to stare at the two dusty men spread out on the floor. Charos looked up and smiled. “Hi.”
“They’ve escaped! Those meddling wanderers!” A Snakeblade leaped to his feet, pointing. The rest of the Snakeblades followed, drawing weapons of various kinds.
“Charos!” Ibber tossed the two short swords over to his friend, then kicked upward to land on his feet, sword ready in his grasp.
The two wanderers drew together, back to back. The Snakeblades began to circle around them.
“Hey!” a whisper caught Charos’s attention. A fellow prisoner, his entire body tied with ropes, stared at him with eager eyes. “Set me free! Please!”
1: Set the prisoners free
2: Fight the Snakeblades first
3: Ibber and Charos split up to do both
MOST VOTED: 3
“Ibber, distract them!” Charos yelled over his shoulder.
“Distract them? You’re telling me to distract a squadron of angry armed men?” Ibber yelled back, eyes wide.
“I’m telling you exactly that!” Charos grinned and jumped away, toward the prisoner who lay on the floor. His deadly short swords swung down. One bit into the ropes at the man’s wrists, while the other severed the bonds about his ankles. They fell limply to the floor, and the man rose, instantly rubbing his limbs to restore circulation.
“I thank you, brave sir!” The prisoner smiled. “Mind if I borrow one of them swords? I have business to settle with these Snakeblades!”
“Be my guest.” Charos handed the man one of his swords and turned to cut through the ropes binding another prisoner.
By the sound that exploded in the room, Charos decided Ibber had all ready begun to engage the Snakeblade warriors. He fought with a surety and grace that didn’t fit his massive frame.
The freed prisoner with Charos’s sword leaped into the fray next to Ibber, striking madly at his ex-captives.
Charos hurried around the room, slicing through ropes and helping prisoners to their feet. Soon a mass of men and women stood in the cellar, surprised they had been let free, but not disappointed.
“Come on!” Charos yelled, lifting his sword. “Let us stop these Snakeblades, and earn back our freedom!”
This rallied the prisoners, and with roars of valor, they charged as one into the group of Snakeblades. Now it was their turn to fall into a defensive circle, fighting back to back. The prisoners, however, picked up any weapon they could from the fallen Snakeblade’s hands, and in only seconds, the last few Snakeblades gave in, lifting their hands in defeat.
“Stop!” Ibber roared before the angry townspeople could run the defenseless Snakeblades through. “They have given up!”
“Victory is ours!” Charos yelled to the prisoners. He lifted his short sword, and it gleamed in the light of the nearby fire, half-stomped out from the battle. “Everyone here held as prisoners is free!”
There was a sudden outburst of cheers. Charos and Ibber met gazes over the heads of the crowd, and they smiled.
OPTIONS: Because there’s only one snippet after this, there was no choice. I simply wanted to wrap up the story! 🙂
Ibber leaned so far back in his chair that it squealed in protest. His large hands fell flat onto his belly. “Ohhh,” the wanderer groaned. “That was…that was delicious.”
Charos grinned and looked down at Ibber’s plate. Every last bite of eggs, bacon, potatoes, and plum tart that had been served was licked clean.
“Ibber my friend,” Charos said, leaning across the table to slap him on the shoulder, “that was what I call a well-earned breakfast!”
“You got that right!” Ibber grinned. “A band of terrorist warriors taken down before nine o’ clock in the morning!”
Just then, the door of Melvo’s Restaurant swung open and a troop of soldiers flooded in. At their head was a heavy-set bald man who immediately made toward Charos and Ibber’s table.
“My friends!” the bald man smiled. “I am Sergeant Bradock. Thanks to your information and instruction, we have scoured the tunnels of the Snakeblade’s and arrested all we came across, including the traitor Sergeant Taroto. Thank you!”
“You’re quite welcome,” Ibber replied.
“We would like to do the honors of giving you four hundred gold coins,” the sergeant continued, pulling a mammoth sized sack of jingling coins from his belt, “as well as promote you to soldiers in our army, if you so choose!”
“Soldiers in your army?” Charos nearly choked with laughter, ignoring the bag of money offered him. “We aren’t even citizens of Snakeblade, sergeant!”
“But that could change in a matter of minutes!” The sergeant protested. “We would officially make you citizens of our city and give you a high-paying job! You will be looked upon with respect from all around you!”
“Trust me, we’ve been offered high-paying jobs before,” Ibber mumbled. “Like the time we were offered to be a witch’s test-subject—or to become the dragon slayers of Herodrim kingdom!”
Charos stood, his chair scraping back as he did. “Thank you kindly for your offer, sergeant. However, Ibber and I are wanderers. We move on from every place we stop at. It’s in our blood, and honestly, I think it’s time for us to go.”
Ibber stood as well, hefting his and Charos’s packs over his back, which had been lying ready at the foot of their table.
The soldiers followed Charos and Ibber out of the restaurant and down the street of Snakeblade city to the very end of the city limits.
“Please, I beg of you!” the sergeant said. “Will you not reconsider? This is a hefty lot of money!”
“Money isn’t everything, sergeant.” Charos turned around to face him. “Again, we thank you for your hospitality. But we really must be going.”
Charos and Ibber turned and left the city without a second glance. The soldiers were left dumbfounded in the road, their gold still in their hands, and confusion whirling in their minds.
However, they should have known better. Charos and Ibber were wanderers, and they wouldn’t have it any other way.
Aaaand that was it! It was extremely fun to write this snippet series for the people who read it and voted on it. I hope you enjoyed reading through this, seeing what people voted for and how it went from there!
Have you read the Choose Your Own Adventure books? Have you ever wanted to write your own? Let me know in the comments!
Thank you all for reading! Until later,
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