You awake in a dimly lit forest. A flock of robins are scattered several feet away, your only companions. Otherwise, you are alone.
What is your name?
Well, , you're completely naked.
Believe me, I don't know what you're doing naked in a forest either. But, here we are.
Who am I? I'm the narrator, obviously. No, you don't get to name me too.
You are most definitely in your birthday suit, but on further inspection, you're holding something in your hand.
What are you holding?
Of course, you're holding a sword. I don't know how you didn't notice before. I mean, it's a sword. Obviously.
You are naked and holding a sword. Nothing weird about that at all. I'm not judging. You do you. This is a safe zone.
I mean, it's a zone safe from being judged. It is definitely not a safe zone. In fact, you notice several shadows making their way toward you from the forest.
What are they?
Oh, they're just bunnies. Wow, that could have been scary.
In fact, they're really cute. They're white as alabaster and small, even for bunnies. They have the most beautiful....red eyes?
On second thought, they have some red spots by their mouth. I don't really trust them. You should probably run. It's up to you though.
What are you going to do?
You run. Fast. Faster than you've ever run in your life. You can hear their adorable, ravenous squeaking creeping up on you.
They're gaining on you. You'd think that without any armour or even clothing slowing you down that you'd have the advantage. Who knew bunnies were so fast?
This won't end well though, you have to take action soon.
In fact, you see a cliff face up ahead. It sounds like there's a river underneath it and there's more forest on the other side. It's a pretty big jump, but you reckon you might be able to make it. Just maybe.
What do you do?
You put an extra spring in your step as you run as fast as your exposed appendages allow you. You put the rabid rabbits out of your mind and focus on the jump. You time your steps expertly to allow your dominant foot to touch the edge of the cliff and propel your entire body towards the other side.
Time feels like it stops while you're in the air. With no concept of how fast you're going and where you'll end, you panic. Adrenaline would hit you, except it already had when you started running from those bunnies.
You've passed the halfway point and you're optimistic. You think you can probably make it. But you're worried about how your naked frame will react when it hits the edge of the cliff.
Luckily, you land firmly on the ground and tuck into a somersault with your sword facing outward. You quickly spin around to find the bunnies mid-jump.
Damn. Who knew bunnies were such good jumpers? Well, when you put it like that, you probably should have.
You close your eyes. Knowing you've lost. There's no time to move and the bunnies land all over your body. They're not heavy enough to knock you down, but they are vicious enough to eviscerate your body slowly. You die a very painful death as these adorable mammals rip you to pieces, not unlike a pack of pirahnas.
You take comfort knowing that your body will feed some of the cutest creatures around. They've earned it, after all. Precious little devils.
You have died...
You don't even know what's down there. It could be a shallow creek, it could be more rock, it could be more bunnies! You haven't thought this through very well. That being said, you're out of options right now. So, let's jump.
You dive off the edge of the cliff and definitely see water down below. Your ears didn't lie to you. It is, in fact, a river. There are some rocky parts and logs crossed over it, but somehow you manage to evade them and hit the water.
You go into shock as you hit the cold water with your naked body. You remember someone told you that the first two minutes of exposure to cold water is the most common cause for drowning. You really wish you had your clothes now.
Managing to keep your wits about, you evade ingesting water despite the uncomfortable situation you've gotten yourself into. As your head pops up above the water, you grab onto a log and let it take you with the current.
Eventually it takes you back to your village. Your friends, who were clearly waiting around for you, perk up and start smiling. They congratulate you on running naked through the forest.
Your friends are all clad in armour and the commander of their squad comes up to you and puts a gentle, armoured hand on your shoulder.
"Congratulations , you've passed your iniatiation. You're now a knight."
You decide to turn and fight. With a firm hand on your blade and confidence in your step, you turn around and face your enemies.
In mid turn, you are mauled by several bunnies at once. They catch you off balance and the pain causes you to drop your blade as you fall to the ground.
You beat uselessly at the rascally rabbits to no avail. They quickly ravage through your muscles and nerves in your arms, leaving you easy prey. They do not go for your jugular or heart. You suffer greatly.
You have died...
You decide to stand your ground. If you don't run or fight, they shouldn't respond. Right? I mean, they're bunnies. How dangerous can they be?
They slowly hop over to you. You're feeling pretty good about this. They're not rushing you or anything. They slowly hop over and nudge at your feet. This is a good sign.
The rest of the bunnies hop over now that they know you're not afraid of them. They surround your feet, their fur is so soft and comfy. It's warming your cold feet. They're so precious.
Suddenly, one bites your foot and you cry out in pain. The rest follow suit and the onslaught of buckteeth makes you fall over. They surround you in seconds and it's over before you can even use your sword.
You have died...
You dart forward with your sword out and slash at the nearest bunny you see. You deftly slay it and mercilessly turn your blade on the others.
The bloodthirsty monsters jump at you and you expertly exterminate them in midair. You show no emotion as you dispose of these adorable demons. You left emotion behind years ago. You are a mercenary and a master of the blade. They were no match for you.
As the lifeless bodies of the bunnies surround the forest, you let out a sigh and relax your tensed muscles. You look down at your naked body, which is now spattered with blood. But there's something underneath the blood of your enemies.
It's dirt. Dirt and grass. You rubbed yourself with dirt and grass. You clearly came in here naked for a reason. You were trying to lose your human scent and take your enemy by surprise. It seemed to work.
Why did you come here though?
Right. Of course, you just came to train. That must be it.
You make your way safely out of the forest with no other interruptions. As you exit the privacy of the forest, you come out into the entrance of your village. There are a group of people waiting for you.
They are big men, they are also well equipped. A man with lots of rings on his fingers and a heavy chain around his neck lifts his chin and inspects you.
"So, , it looks like you didn't get your target."
You freeze. You were on a mission. You were supposed to defeat a monstrous creature in the forest and bring back its body to pay your debts. You probably could have even brought the bunnies in to pay for your debts. How could you forget that?
"You know the deal . No body, no money. No money, well, no body for you then."
A man sneaks up behind you and takes a blade to your leg and you fall to your knees, unable to move. They easily overwhelm you and no swift swordplay is able to save you.
As you lay bleeding on the ground, the men walk away, muttering about you. You don't pay attention. All you can think about were the bunnies you murdered. All the people you've murdered. You've lived a terrible life and massacred thousands. You have a complicated relationship with religion. Still, you can't help but think the afterlife won't be kind to you.
You have died...
Of course. The bunnies. You were hired by a man to slay all the bloodthirsty bunnies.
Well, hired is not the right word. Your family is being held hostage because you owe a lot of debt. You had to slay the bunnies or they would all be killed. You did what you had to. The poor bunnies, but your family comes first.
You use the ears of the bunnies to tie them all to eachother. You had to camouflage your naked body to ambush the bunnies, but you didn't think about how you would prove your kill to your employer. You do the best you can and after tying them all together, drag them through the forest.
They don't weigh a lot, but they make a disturbing noise as you drag them against the forest floor, to say nothing of the bloody mess you're making.
As you exit the forest, you see an angry mob of villagers standing at the entrance. They have pitchforks and torches. They look like they were expecting you, but they were not expectly the grisly scene that you've carried out of the trees.
"Look everyone! 's killed all the bunnies. That monster!"
They rush you. You drop the chain of creature carcasses that you've concocted and cut the nearest onrushing villager you can. He falls easily.
Unfortunately, there are two many of them. As you senselessly murder their neighbours and relatives, they become enraged. Pitchforks and torches fly at you, disabling and blinding you.
You feel the hot piercing of a pitchfork enter the side of your neck and feel warmth slowly leave your body.
You have died...
That's right. You've come for the Flaming Cottontail. The other bunnies were just fodder. If they came out, it means they're protecting their leader.
You head in the direction that the bunnies came from. Eventually you reach a cave entrance. You pass under its arch and enter a large cavernous dome. At the other end, sits the Flaming Cottontail.
It smells the blood of its kin on you and charges. You hold up your sword.
You stand your ground.
You can feel the ground shake with each hop that it takes.
You stand your ground.
The mammoth monster is several feet away. It makes a final leap at you.
You stand your ground.
Right before it can land on you, you dash forward, blade held upright. You rend flesh and bone with your sword and hear the rabbit fall fatally behind you.
It's over. You've defeated the beast. You cut off its tail. Its fire has dimmed and slowly doused. It's the most beautiful colour you've ever seen. Words can't even describe it and kings couldn't afford to buy it. However, it will pay off your debts and save your family.
Of course, it's a pack of wolves. This is probably not a good situation.
You've got no clothes on and only a sword to defend yourself.
They are a sizeable pack and the alpha wolf pushes out from them. It stands in front of the rest and looks you dead in the eyes.
What do you do?
You turn around and immediately start running. The alpha wolf howls and you hear the padding of feet behind you. You turn around and realise you've made one big mistake.
Ok, so coming into the forest naked might count as a mistake. That's not what I'm referring to.
Yes, turning your head instead of running was also a mistake, but that's not what I'm talking about.
Fine, you've made three big mistakes. The biggest one being that you thought you could outrun a pack of wolves.
They jump on you and tear you to pieces. What were you thinking?
You have died...
You decide to attack the wolves. You raise your sword up and charge at the alpha wolf.
He easily dodges your swing and turns around, biting the back of your calf. You cry out in pain as he shakes forcefully on your leg and you drop your blade.
The other wolves seize this moment to jump on your body and tear you to pieces in mere minutes. Your screams and cries echo out in the forest, but they are soon drowned out by the sound of howls.
You have died...
You decide to try and befriend the wolves. As you move closer, they start to growl. The alpha stares at the sword in your hand.
You glance down at it and realize that you're not going to make any friends with this thing. You carefully place it on the ground and continue walking to the wolves.
The wolf looks at you with intelligent eyes. You know you're supposed to be doing something to befriend this wolf, but you can't decide what.
What should you do?
You reach out to pet the wolf. He seems tense, but he doesn't make any sudden moves as you get closer to his head.
He's the alpha wolf, if you can befriend him, the pack will follow. It's sound logic. What else would you do?
With mere inches separating the two of you, he leaps up and clamps his teeth down on your hand. It's very painful, but you hold in a scream.
At least, you do until he starts shaking and pulling at it. You are pushed forward and fall to the ground as the rest of the pack starts to close in on you.
You reach out your other hand for the sword, but it's way too far. There's no helping you now. The wolves tear you apart as you scream out for help.
Help doesn't come.
You have died...
You quickly reach out your hands on either side of the wolves mouth and clasp it shut. You hold his mouth closed as he struggles to break free.
You desperately hold his mouth closed with your left hand as you run your right hand up to his throat. You close your eyes and twist hard.
His body falls slowly to the ground.
You look at the other wolves and they stare defiantly at you.
You've defeated their alpha, that means you're the alpha now. They have to follow you, that's how that works, right?
A lone wolf jumps out from the pack and tackles you to the ground. With the element of surprise the wolf manages to rip your throat apart as you try to cry out.
No sound comes out, just blood. Lots and lots of blood.
It looks like there's a new alpha now. Unfortunately, it's not you.
You have died...
You look down at the wolf and he nods. You raise your head and howl. It's a long, low, guttural howl.
It feels...relieving. You feel content. You feel satisfied. You feel natural.
You look up at the sky and see the night sky. It's night? Already? How long have you been howling for?
In the night sky, you see the moon. It's full. You keep howling.
You feel yourself changing. Your body feels more relaxed, less tense, more balanced.
You feel warmer and you can feel your hair growing. You wonder what you were ever doing with that sword. Why would you kid yourself, like you could be human, like you could be with them.
This is what you are. Not always, but the past doesn't matter. All that matters is your family. Your pack. You've found them.
You nudge the alpha with your nose and he licks you in welcome. You run off into the night with your brethren.
You're home again.
You see a group of humans walk out into the clearing. One is clad in boiled leather and other forms of light armour. Two are rogues, wearing cloth and leather bracers, and the fourth seems to be a bard with no armour to speak of.
They're clearly a group of adventurers. But what are they doing here? You do remember, don't you?
"Alright, , we've got you now. Give it up!"
You launch yourself at the swordsman and clash blades. He's fast, but not fast enough to get you.
Your sword bounces uselessly off a buckler that he's pulled off his back and it's clear that you won't be able to win this fight fairly.
Unfettered by armour, you are able to dance around him and dodge past the two rogues. You jump at the bard, who averts his eyes from your naked body.
You use your exposed skin to gain the advantage and wrap an arm around him, holding a blade to his neck.
They put their hands up in a form of surrender.
"Woah now. Let's not do anything we're going to regret, . Let's talk about this."
What do you do?
You draw your blade across the bard's throat to show you mean business.
The swordsman watches his teammate fall limply to the floor with dead eyes. He looks up at you and you can see the rage building.
Before he has a chance to retaliate, you rush at him with your blade in both hands. Before you even get halfway to him, you feel a thrusting pressure against your head that knocks you to the ground.
You fall to the ground on your side and watch a throwing knife dislodge from your skull. Another blade is still protruding out of your temple that you can barely see. Red slowly crawls across your vision and you start to lose consciousness.
You have died...
You call out to the adventurers.
"If you don't let me go, he dies!"
One of the rogues raises an eyebrow.
"What makes you think we care about him?"
You start to panic. What if you've picked a useless hostage? Desperation bleeds into your voice.
"I'm not kidding around. I'll kill him!"
The other rogue raises a bow faster than you can fathom and shoots an arrow straight into the bard's heart. You feel him tense up in your arms and then slowly drop to the ground.
"We're mercenaries, . You should know better than that."
Before you can respond, he fires another arrow into your adam's apple.
Your hands fly up to your throat and you can't breathe. You rip the arrow out from your throat and it no longer feels like you can't breathe. It feels like you never had the capacity to breathe. You fall to the ground and start convulsing slowly until you stop moving.
You have died...
You pull your blade away from his throat and push him towards the swordsman. He puts his sword to the side as he tries to safely catch his teammate. You use this moment to drive your blade through the back of his skull and into the swordsman's eye.
He cries out in pain.
The rogues start throwing daggers and firing arrows at you and you use the lifeless bard's body as a shield, charging your way towards them.
You drive your blade across the archer's chest and then drive it through his heart.
The rogue throws her last knife at you, but you manage to pull your sword out of the archer's chest and deflect the dagger with it.
With a high-pitched scream like you've never given before, you charge at the rogue and slash at her several times, until she finally falls to the ground.
She shudders and you look down at the many pockets of her outfit. Not trusting someone who uses ranged weapons, you drive your blade through her chest and leave it there.
You make your way over to the swordsman, still clutching his bleeding eye socket and crying out. You grab his blade and drive it through his shoulder, impaling him against a tree.
His cry reverberates throughout the forest.
"Why did you take my clothes and why are you trying to kill me?"
He manages to answer you through mumbled sobs.
"We were hired by another king. They wanted you out of the way! It wasn't anything personal, ."
"It felt pretty personal to me."
You pull your sword out of his shoulder and slash horizontally, cleaving him head from shoulder. His head flies through the air and lands nearby with a thud.
That's the last time you ever join a party again.
"! There you are. We've been looking everywhere for you."
You look at your friends. Something isn't right. They're looking tense and they're all holding onto their weapons.
The swordsman looks down at your blade.
"You wanna put that down? We're all friends here."
You don't move.
"Then why did you steal my clothes when I was in the shower?"
"Just a little fun between team members. It's like an initiation."
Do you believe them?
You lower your sword.
"Very funny. Har har har. A real barrel of laughs."
Your teammates visibly relax as you walk towards them. They put down their weapons and smile at you.
"Come on, . We've got a new mission."
You walk towards your friends and start to head to the nearby village. Back to your clothes at the inn. Then you notice a long piece of metal sticking out of your throat.
"Sorry. But the mission was you."
The metal disappears and you feel a warm liquid pouring down your chest. You fall on your face and can't seem to get up. Or open your eyes. Or breathe. Or think.
You have died...
You grasp your sword with both hands.
"I heard you in the middle of the night. You had a new target. You never told me about it. It was me, wasn't it?"
The swordsman sighs.
"We can do this the easy way or the hard way, ."
You glare at him.
"I've never been one for taking the easy way out."
An arrow flies through the air and lands in the middle of your chest. Before you can react, more arrows fly and suddenly you look like a human pincushion. You fall to the ground slowly.
"I never said it would be easy for you. Just for us."
You close your eyes and think about what you could have done different. You were wrong to trust mercenaries.
You have died...
The swordsman looks at you quizzically.
"Aren't you going to run?"
You look defiantly at the party.
"What's the point? You've robbed me of my clothes, you've outnumbered me, and you've given me nowhere to run."
The swordsman rolls his eyes.
"Look, you're not here to get a fair fight. You're here to satiate our appetites."
You raise your sword up between you and them.
"I will be no one's dinner!"
They chuckle and share knowing glances between themselves.
"Oh, you're not dinner. We're not savages. You're just sport."
They close in on you and you flail at them wildly. But you've been out here for days. You've slept in the trees, evaded them wherever you've gone. But your energy could only last for so long.
They are well equipped to take you out and they do. You're like a lion against a rich hunter. You never stood a chance.
Maybe your head will be atop a mantle of theirs like a trophy. Maybe your skin will decorate their parlour floor. Whatever reason for your death, you know it wasn't justified or deserved. But at least to them, it was fun.
You have died...
Of course, it's a crystal. It's a translucent blue with a white opaque center. While rough and jagged, it feels quite comfortable in your hand.
In fact, it feels like it belongs in your hand. It feels like you wouldn't be able to ever let it go. You're very attached to it.
What is it?
Of course. It's an amulet. You brought it for protection.
You feel safer having it on you. Although, you're naked in a forest, so you're wondering how much it's really protecting you.
So, why are you naked?
Of course. That's the first rule of magic. Nothing is free. Everything comes at a price.
Your clothes are gone. That's a pretty small price to pay. You paid it gladly. There's only one question you need to know, though.
What was it protecting you from?
That's right. Vladimir the Ebony is after you. He's been tracking you through this forest and the amulet is the only thing that's been keeping you safe.
Suddenly, a man in a cloak blacker than pitch appears from out of the trees. He has long, jet black hair and his fingers are all adorned with silver rings. He smirks at you.
"! I've found you at last. You can't run forever, you know."
"Vladimir. I haven't been running. I've been searching."
He seems surprised. Like your words don't make any sense. He's not alone, I have no idea what you're talking about either.
"Searching? For what? You've spent your wealth, your clothes, your magic. There's nothing else to power the amulet."
You smile deviously.
"Of course there is. This forest."
He raises his hand and fires a volley of dark fire at you. It's an immensely powerful magic, but costly. You would not survive a hit from a single one.
You hold the amulet up and channel the life energies of the forest into it. A crystal shield is brought up that absorbs the fireballs. He continues to throw spells at you, desperately putting all his energy into it to no avail.
He starts to become ethereal as his magic courses out against you. Before he can realize it, you notice that the crystal shield is now sucking his magic up. He doesn't have enough to sustain himself. He disintegrates into the ether.
You drop your amulet, triumphant. You've defeated him.
You look around and realize the entire forest is gone. You're now standing, naked, in a seemingly endless plain of dead grass. The holy forest of Bessarion is gone.
You've won, but at what cost?
Of course. The creatures of the forest. This forest is home to the most ravenous rabbits in any bestiary.
You see a group of the alabaster bunnies come out from the trees. Their bloodred eyes are menacing. Their adorable bodies are poised to attack.
You hold up the amulet and chant a warding spell. Before you're ready, they jump at you. All of them. All at once.
You do your best to finish the incantation, hoping you annunciate properly.
A crystal shield surrounds you and the rabbits are dashed against it's impenetrable dome. They fall limply to the ground in a circle around you. They're dead.
Of course, as you said yourself, magic comes at a price. With no clothing or other items to pay with, the amulet disintegrates in your hand.
You're now defenseless.
Suddenly, the ground begins to shake as a monstrous creature crashes its way through the trees.
It's the Flaming Cottontail. A massive, monstrous rabbit with its tail aflame.
Before you can concoct a plan, it opens its mouth and blasts you with its fire breath.
You cry out in pain as you slowly immmolate.
You have died...
You remember now. You were protecting yourself from yourself.
You feel a warmth emanating from your body and an ethereal fire disperses from your pores, apparating in front of you.
It's an Efreet. A fire demon. It's been possessing you.
You understand now. It burnt your clothes, not the amulet. The amulet took your memory as payment for protecting you.
", you keep fighting me. Your body is not a suitable host when you're this rebellious. It seems I must burnt up your consciousness to make proper use of you."
You hold the amulet in between you and the demon. An amulet is clearly not the right form of magic to defeat an Efreet with, but it's still a crystal. There are different ways to use it to protect yourself.
As the Efreet charges at you, you throw the amulet at him and shout out in an ancient language you don't understand, but are clearly fluent with. You can't pronounce what you just said, but you're pretty sure it meant "seal".
A blinding light flashes throughout the forest and everything goes quiet. When you finally open your eyes, you see the amulet on the ground. You walk over and pick it up. In the white center you can see the Efreet. He's trapped like a fly in amber.
You walk through the forest until you find a deep pond at the base of a tree. You throw the amulet in and hear a satisfying "sploosh".
What better prison for a fire demon than a body of water? You feel better knowing that no one will find him down there.
You should probably find some clothes to put on though.
Of course. You were using the amulet to hide. That's why you're not wearing any clothes.
You're not naked. You're invisible.
Well, technically you are naked. But you're invisible, so no one can tell you're naked. If you were wearing clothes, you would be partially visible. It all makes sense now.
Wait, why are you invisible though?
That's right. You wanted to be invisible so that you could go through the forest without being spotted by creatures.
You wanted to live a free life in the forest. But the forest is dangerous, so you need to shield yourself.
A pack of wolves passes through and seem not to notice you. Until one starts sniffing, now they're all sniffing.
It dawns on you many animals have a keen sense of smell and that being invisible doesn't protect you from them.
One eventuallly bumps into you and through trial and error, they find out that while you don't look like anything at all, you definitely taste delicious.
You have died...
That's right. You wanted to be invisible to hide from people. Specifically Baba Yaga, the witch of the forest.
She has a very rare root that you need. In fact, despite somehow using magic, you're not a mage at all. You're a thief.
You stole this amulet from a mage. He couldn't see you, so you got off unseen.
You eventually come to a little shack in the forest and walk in with little regard for being seen. You're invisible after all, no one can see you.
Baba Yaga is chopping up vegetables for a soup on a counter by the door. How very droll for a witch.
She heard the door open. Not very stealth, but you're invisble, who needs to be sneaky, right?
She looks in your direction but doesn't recognize anything. You stand still, to avoid making any more noise.
"Hold on a second, let me grab my specs. I can't see very much without them."
You hold in a chuckle. That witch won't be seeing anything. You're invisible! While she's rummaging through some nearby bags, you decide to creep over and start looking for this rare root. It should be somewhere in her kitchen, right?
She turns around with a pair of tinted glasses. The colours go from indigo, to teal, to orange, back to indigo again.
"Ah. Much better. Hmmm, who is this naked intruder in my kitchen?"
Oh no. She has magic specs. You didn't see that one coming. You realize she's still holding her kitchen knife in her hand.
Ah, just in time for dinner. How convenient. I hate vegetable soup, a nice meat stew will do."
She seems to have put some sort of spell on you. For your benefit, you don't feel the pain of the knife entering your skin. But you do feel a soft pressure of your limbs being pulled apart. You don't feel much after that.
You have died...
That's right. You came here to avoid yourself. If you're invisible, no one can see you. But more importantly, you can't see yourself.
You walk through the forest until you come to a placid pond. You peer over the edge into the water.
All you see is the tops of trees and the sky. There is no reflection.
You sit down at the edge of the pond. Your visage can haunt you no longer.
Society has deemed you terribly ugly and you have grown up believing the lies society told you. Saddened and filled with disgust every time you look into a mirror, you decided to ride yourself of the problem.
Society won't find you here. You can't even find your face here. You will live with nature amongst the creatures of the forest. You will find a place to build a safe shack where no creatures will harm you and no people will find you.
You will be happy here. No one can hurt you anymore. Not even yourself.
Of course. Your clothes were the problem. They were cursed. You rid yourself of them in a desperate battle for self-preservation.
They were trying to control you and make you do horrible things. They wanted you to kill. They wanted you to destroy. But they also wanted you to be happy.
The clothes appear in the distance. A fine robe and a billowing cloak walks into the clearing, looking like an invisible figure is wearing it.
What do you do?
You stand your ground and try to battle the clothes. An amulet won't do much for you, so you throw it at the clothes and cast out a spell.
The amulet bounces uselessly against the cloak and falls to the ground. That wasn't a very impressive spell.
The clothes rush toward you and leap on you. You fight desperately against them, refusing to let them put themselves on you.
But, that's now what the clothes have in mind. They cover your head with their expensive cloth and you realize you can't breathe.
You flail wildly, but with no success. It's like trying to fight against a plastic bag that fights back. There's nothing you can do.
Your head feels dizzy as your breath runs out and you start to lose consciousness.
Someone told you the man made the clothes, but these clothes just unmade you.
You have died...
You beg the clothes back.
"I want you back. I'm sorry I rejected you. I know you just want the best for me. To destroy my enemies, to kill those that oppose me. It's not right, but deep down. It's what I want."
The clothes stare at you for a moment, suspecting a trap. You weren't sure if you were trying to set one, but as soon as you said the words, you knew them to be true.
You toss the amulet into the forest and hold out your arms.
"Come back to me."
Your robe floats towards you and surrounds you in its warmth. Your cloak tightens around your shoulders, like a hug from a blanket.
You hear a dark whisper from the cloak.
"It's okay now, . Everything is okay."
You feel at peace. You feel half asleep. But you are somewhat aware of what is going on around you.
Time starts to lose meaning to you as the days go by. You have scorched half the world with your awesome magical might. You have subjugated the other half of the world. You rule from atop a throne in a castle on the top of a mountain.
You have more power than you could ever dream of. A part of you wanted it. However, you can't really enjoy it. The clothes are at the forefront of your consciousness. You feel like an audience member to your own freewill.
You're not sad, but you're not happy either. You don't feel much of anything these days.
You get very angry and yell at the clothes.
"I don't want you anymore! Be gone from here! Leave me alone!"
You hold out the amulet against it, hoping to keep it at bay. A dark laugh fills the air.
"Oh, . I don't want you back. I have found another host. I don't need you anymore."
Suddenly a body appears from underneath the clothes. It's a colleague of yours from the Arcane Guild. His name is Seth. He was your biggest rival. He has immense magical ability, but not as much as you do. At least, that's what you've told yourself.
The body goes invisible again and the dark laugh fills the forest as the invisible man walks away leisurely.
You feel a wave of jealousy wash over you. What does Seth have that you don't? Why didn't the cloak want you? Why does no one want you?
You fall to your knees, dropping the amulet and begin to cry.
Yes, it's a talisman. A magical artifact of immense power. You are a powerful mage who can make use of it like no one can.
It doesn't really explain why you're standing naked in a forest holding it, though.
Why are you naked?
That's right. You never wear clothes. You hate clothes. You're famous for it, in fact.
You came out into the forest to do some naked magic. As you're known for. Or were you chased?
You heard a loud chanting and turn around. A group of Templars chased you out here. They all have holy blades that can dispel magic. They also know some holy magic. Their sole purpose is to keep members of the Arcane Guild in line. You've never been one for authority figures.
They hold their blades up and start chanting. You use the talisman to shoot off dark fire at the Templars. They deflect the magic with ease and suddenly you realize you can't move. There's a holy circle on the ground around you. You've been paralyzed by holy magic.
Their commander steps up in front of you. You snarl, swear, and spit, but cannot do much else.
"Men, we have finally apprehended The Nude. You know what your orders are."
They cover you in an especially scratchy pair of trousers and shirt and haul you off to the Arcane Prison.
You sit in a cell where you are never able to call upon your magical abilities ever again. Even worse, you are forced to wear clothing for the rest of your life. Even when you sleep. You could not have met a worse fate.
That's right. You're performing a spell and the first requirement is to have no clothes on.
That makes sense. Seems like an odd spell, but hey, what kind of magic isn't odd? Am I right?
Sooooo, what kind of spell are we casting?
A destruction spell. The most entertaining and powerful magic there is. Of course, what other spell would require something as unique as not wearing clothes?
You hold the talisman tight and begin to chant. The ancient language of the magus flows forth from your mouth. You don't know what you're saying, but you seem to vaguely understand it. It sounds like you said something along the lines of "self-destruct" though.
You start to glow red, then you feel very hot. Finally, you explode, taking the entire forest with you and turning the large surrounding area to nothing but ashes.
That wasn't a very hot move, was it?
You have died...
A healing spell. That makes sense. You recall that the forest was slowly dying. You came out here with this talisman to heal the forest. You are doing so to stand out as a powerful mage in the Arcane Guild.
It's a pretty complicated spell, but you're confident you can pull it off. You start chanting in the ancient language of the magus and let the words flow through you. You focus on the inner most desire you have, which at the moment is to make this forest heal.
A light begins to glow around you and it slowly envelops the entire forest. There is a light pulsing noise and when the light dies down, you open your eyes.
The forest looks the exact same. The trees all seem to have the same telltale signs of rot and decay. You look down and realize you are wearing your clothes again.
You cast a healing spell to revive your clothes, not the forest.
That means your utmost desire was really to be wearing clothes and not to save an ancient forest and all the creatures that inhabit it.
Clearly you have some self-esteem issues to work on if you were that uncomfortable being naked in a forest with no one to see you. You should be way more comfortable with your body. Just saying.
Ah! So, it wasn't necessarily a requirement to be naked for the spell. But you're going to transform yourself into something, so you've taken your clothes off.
You hold the talisman close to your chest and begin to chant in the ancient language of the magus. You feel your flesh and bone slowly shifting as you start to envelop the talisman.
As you envelop the crystal, you realize that it is going to be a part of your new body. Without the crystal, you won't be able to change back. Hopefully you thought this transformation through.
Your body begins to grow with the crystal at the core of your being. Your flesh and bones dissolve into a new substance, one that permeates your entire being. You begin to grow. Taller. Wider. Suddenly, you no longer need your eyes in this body.
A feeling of understanding washes over you. You're not human anymore. You're not even sentient. You are natural. You belong in the forest and you will live for as long as you like.
You are immortal.
You are grand.
You are a tree.
Of course. You're not naked. Not really, just camouflaged.
You had to evade Templars and you used the crystal to pretend you were naked. You weren't sure what the strategy behind it was, but no one even wanted to question a naked person strolling through the woods. No one's touching that one.
You hold out the crystal and chant out the counter spell. Your clothes become visible again. You're wearing a rather fancy vest, some expensive slacks, and the most striking cloak money can buy.
Now that you're equipped and ready to accomplish your mission, you take a quick moment to refresh your memory.
What exactly what your mission again?
Of course. You've been avoiding the Templars so you can find the witch: Baba Yaga.
Even the Templars are afraid of her. If you've been evading them, it's because you've deserted like she has. The Arcane Guild does not look lightly upon deserters.
You find her shack and rap on the door. You wait an unbearably long time. She's dangerous. Do you think knocking on her door like that is the right move?
Finally, the door rips open and a short woman appears with a gigantic nose, dried out eyes and more wrinkles than fish in the sea. She eyes you speculatively.
"? What are you doing here?"
You hold out the crystal, waving it in circular movements in front of her face. You recite the same counter spell as before and her skin starts to glow red, boil, then fade away.
In her place stands the most beautiful woman you've ever seen. There is nothing remarkable about her raven coloured hair. Nor is there anything spectacular about her average body. Her face is comely, but not enough to make anyone pay particular attention to her. No, this woman is so beautiful to you because she is the love of your life.
"Etreria. My love. I've come for you."
You embrace her tightly and she squeezes back just as fiercely. So tightly that tears start to stream down your face.
You've been apart for many years, stuck at the Arcane Guild. You were supposed to leave together, but you were caught and urged her to leave, vowing that you would return one day. It's been so long that she started to not believe it. She's been waiting here so long that she had created a new identity to keep Templars and villagers away. But you never gave up hope. And now you're here, you don't ever plan on leaving.
That's right. You were evading the Templars, yes. But only because you wanted the glory of slaying the evil witch Baba Yaga yourself. The Templars were looking for her, but their holy magic is no match for her elemental arts. However, you're not a bad elementalist yourself.
You make your way to her lair, your cloak flapping behind you. As you approach her home, you shout out your challenge.
"Baba Yaga! I'm here for you! I propose an arcane duel!"
She steps out of the front door. She is a woman with long, dark hair and dark eyes. She is nothing like the tales tell. Not old or short or hideous. No, she is gorgeous. But she is a witch, so you trust nothing.
"You foreigners are always butchering my name. It's Naga. Basha Naga. I accept your challenge though, if you're prepared to die."
With the oath of the duel taken, you waste no time. You charge a fireball at your side and amplify it with a wind spell. The combination is devastating as a flurry of fire blasts toward the witch.
She merely cackles and calls down a torrential rain upon the entire forest, dowsing your spell into nothingness.
You quickly call down lightning from the skies, but she is ready with earth spells. Rocky spires protrude from the ground and dull out the lightning before it can strike her.
You grab a golden clasp from your side. A weapon you borrowed from the Arcane Guild: Daystar. You channel your magic into the sword and it alights in a righteous flame. A flame too powerful to be bothered by the inclement weather.
Naga cackles in delight as several snakes made entirely of water leapt out of the sleeves of her robe. You try to parry with your sword, but she's too fast.
While you're defending yourself, the snakes bite at your ankle, calling you to drop your guard. At this point, she reaches out with a water whip and grabs the hilt of Daystar.
The weapon flies through the air, daring to land in her hands. You rush forward with a wind spell, the first thing you can think of.
She grabs the blade at the last second, absorbing the spell and causing the flame to grow in length. With a flick of her wrist, she lashes the blade across your chest. Fatally burning you.
You fall to the ground in a spasm of pain and roll over to look up at the victor. She looks just as beautiful, if not more so in victory.
"You know the rules of the arcane duel."
You nod. To the victor goes the spoils.
All of the magic in you is absorbed into her. You've royally messed this one up. If the Templars were afraid of her before, they really won't stand a chance with your magic combined in her now.
You have died...
You decide to stay away from the witch. Baba Yaga is not a foe to be crossed. In fact, much like her, you just want to be left in peace. You want to be far away and forgotten by the Arcane Guild.
You stroll through the forest, searching for a place where no one would be able to find you. Surely there must be a lonely mountaintop that Templars would never dare to go to. Perhaps Mount Volarr?
Caught in a daydream of your distant future, you forget to pay attention to your present. You walk past a tree and walk into an entire squad of Templars.
"Soldiers! It's ! Attack!"
You whip out as many spells and elemental magic as you can. You manage to take down a couple Templars, but they had their guard up and they were prepared.
In the end, they overwhelm you and run their blades through you. Normally they would capture escaped mages, but you did some pretty terrible things to escape in the first place.
Apparently their orders were to kill.
You have died...
That's right. It's not a crystal. Not really. It's a part of your body. It's your heart.
You took this form to explore the forest without disturbing it. You've come to a clearing and now you can finally go back to your true form.
You hold your crystallized heart to your chest and feel yourself changing.
What are you changing into?
That's right. You are a golem. You are unusually tall for a humanoid. You are made entirely of rock and incredibly strong.
You are also immortal. Indestructible as far as conventional means go. The only way to destroy a golem is to render it immoveable or kill its creator.
That's right. You have a creator. She commands and controls you. You have no wishes to be controlled though.
What would you like to do?
That's a great decision! Good for you, ! No one can tell you what you can or can't do! The world is your oyster. You're a nigh invulnerable golem. No one can stop you!
You stroll to the end of the forest and are able to leave it for the first time in your life. You hear the voice of your master calling into your head. It's awfully soothing. Seductive even.
You shake the thought away. You are your own golem now. No master will command you. You go to take the first step out of the forest and find that you can't.
You muster up all the strength from your golem body and try to walk forward. You close your eyes in frustration and finally feel yourself break free and move forward.
You open your eyes and realize you are just walking back into the forest. No matter how hard you try, you can't turn around. Eventually you make your way to your master's house, unable to do anything but follow her commands.
An old witch steps out of the house and leans against her cane, giving you a sardonic smile.
"And where do you think you're going, ? I made you, I can unmake you. Remember?"
You're stuck here. For as long as Baba Yaga lives at least. You content yourself with the fact that she looks as old as can be. She'll probably die soon.
Then you remember that she's a witch. A master of disguise. This might not even be her real form. Still, there's a chance. She's looked this way as long as you can remember, but it's only been 500 years.
You've got all the time in the world.
You are a salamander. A fire spirit. You have the scaly skin of a reptile, even a tail, but fire runs through your veins like blood.
Some call you pyromancer, some call you drake. Among your people, you are known as a Draconian Mage from the famed Order of the Salamander. You are magical, you are mythical, you are mighty.
What will you do with this power?
As a fire spirit, what else would you do but use the fire to cleanse?
You release an inferno from yourself and all the trees near you burst into flames. Spitfire flies from branch to branch, enveloping the whole forest faster than you could have foreseen.
You stand in the eye of the storm, admiring your work. The flames don't bother you in the least. In fact, you adore the heat. It makes you feel content.
However, you remember your oath as a spirit to uphold the balance between the elements. You have recklessly burnt down an entire forest. This is against your nature. It is an affront against the laws of the world.
You feel the magic leave you, rendering you a spirit no longer. In fact, without the fire flowing through your veins, there's nothing keeping you alive. You crumple to the ground and burn to a crisp.
You have died...
You let a throaty cry echo out of your mouth. It reverberates through the forest. You must summon your brethren. For spirits are great in strength and you need them now.
You wonder what your brethren are doing in the earthen realm. Why would fire spirits be in a forest? In fact, why are you in the forest?
A group of Templars appear in the clearing. They have been tracking you. Of course, the Order of the Salamander is policed by the Templars as well. You've deserted and now you must pay the price.
"! You must return with us at once. We will not ask again."
You hold your hands out in front of you, fireballs appearing in them.
"I would hate to make you repeat yourselves."
A din echoes through the forest as the battle rages on. You focus on the Templars, savouring the thrill of the battle. However, errant fireballs ignite the greenery and soon the entire forest is up in flames. It must be said of the Templars, they fight to the last man and after a fourth blade through the chest, you are eventually felled. Your body burns along with the templars and the entirety of the forest.
You have died...
That's right. You are a fire spirit. You have no business being in the earthen realm. Without cautious moves, you could burn down the entire forest and ruin the balance in the elements.
You sit on the ground and carefully meditate, questioning your next move. Whole days pass, but you are a spirit, you need not for sustenance. The sun peeking through the leaves of the trees is enough to keep you fed.
As you are waiting, you see a group of alabaster bunnies hop through the clearing. They ignore you, respecting the balance and desiring not to disturb it.
Eventually a monstrous rabbit hops into the clearing. You look up at it, examining the gigantic beast.
It is white like the other bunnies, but there is an orange glow tinged on its fur. It has bloodred eyes, but most importantly, you notice it has a flaming tail.
It belongs in the forest. It has found a home. Surely you can too. You walk over to the rabbit, caressing its fur gently. You put a hand to it's burning tail and take in it's warmth. You will be content together.
You follow the Flaming Cottontail to its lair and spend your days with it. Dutiful and content.
Of course. You are Bahamut. How could you forget. What kind of name is , anyway? You are too grand a creature to go by a pathetic name like .
You are barely contained in the giant clearing in the forest. You scales are black, your wings are massive, and you are the fiercest creature on land or in the sky. You are Bahamut and you are a gods-damned dragon.
What will you do?
The Templars! They have been waltzing through your forest, acting like they own the place. It is the smallest part of your domain, but it is yours nonetheless.
You cry out a thunderous roar. After all, this forest is too small for you. How else would you summon the Templars?
They come running through the forest and are frozen in awe when they glance upon your glorious form. You take this moment to breath fire onto them, setting them aflame. You bat your monstrous wings to put out the trees and start grabbing Templars in your massive maw, tossing them into the air and swallowing them whole.
Most of the Templars panic as you pick them off. One throws his helmet to the ground and holds up his blade. You've heard of this knight. His name is Oren and they call him the Dragon's Bane. You laugh at such a bold nickname. Still, it's not worth the risk. You go for him first.
With so much space between him, it is easy to blast flames his way. When you look at the wreckage, you notice that he has somehow appeared completely out of the face, glaring at you still.
You snap your neck towards him and go for the kill. That's when he teleports out of the way and suddenly is stabbing his blade into your crystallized dragon's heart.
You can immediately feel the magic in the blade as you cough up your life force. You can even analyze it. It's the Vorpal Blade. How on earth did a human get a treasure like that?
You let out a massive roar and then the Templar pulls the sword out of your chest, spewing blood across the clearing. You fall to the ground, the last of your kind.
You have died...
The witch. They call her Baba Yaga. She is your sworn enemy. No dragon can suffer a witch to live. They are too dangerous and they presume to play with magic best left to mythical beasts.
You fly up above the trees and scan across the forest. You cannot see her shack, but you can sense the magic emanating from it. You rain fire down on her house, knowing better than to hope to destroy her along with it.
You hear a vicious scream and an old woman flies up towards you with demonic wings. As she gets closer she starts to increase in size, transforming into a mockery of a dragon.
With her demonic wings, crimson scales, and black orbs for eyes, she is nothing like a dragon. Not truly.
"Baba Yaga! I sentence you to die!"
You howl at her, but she is too far gone. In her mimicry, she has lost her mind and is neither human, nor dragon anymore. She is a mindless beast and an ugly one.
You fly at eachother, flames useless against each other's hides. You slash each other with your wings and claw at her throat. She hurts your nearly impenetrable hide and you decide to end this farce once and for all.
You grab her elongated neck with your claws and crush the life from her. You let her limp body fall to the forest and land on the wreckage of her shack. She will trouble you no longer.
You fly back to your lonely mountain, your domain protected. Your legend lives on.
There is another creature here that rivals your might. The Flaming Cottontail. It lives in a cave nearby. You must snuff out its legend before people start comparing it to yours.
You make your way through the forest, trying not to topple too many trees and destroy the serenity of the inhabitants.
You reach a cave and find a creature, diminutive in comparison, cowering in the corner. It is white and looks like a slightly larger rabbit, but with a flaming tail. You raise your eyebrows at it and it shakes.
You reach out and sink your teeth into his neck, silencing him.
That was it? This was the creature that threatened your legacy? You must be losing your touch.
You char his body and feast on his remains. You take a nap, feeling sorry for yourself. A rabbit was rivalling your legend. Pitiful. Aren't dragons cool anymore?
You fall into a fitful sleep.
You are holding a dagger. It looks pretty expensive. The blade is very sharp and it has a snake wrapped around the hilt. It looks pretty menacing.
Why in the name of the gods are you standing in a clearing in the forest, naked, holding a dagger?
Seriously. What possible reason could you have for this? I mean, it's pretty gods-damned weird.
What is the dagger for?
To defend yourself? That makes sense, kind of.
It still doesn't explain why you're naked though. Also, bare flesh and sharp blade is a bad combo. Just saying.
Why are you naked?
That's fair. I won't judge. If you suit up every single day in your birthday suit, who am I to say otherwise? I'm just a bodyless, voiceless narrator after all.
You have a dagger for protection, which is great since you don't have any armour to protect yourself with. You can probably move pretty nimbly without any clothes on. You must be very aerodynamic.
You're in a forest though, a pretty dangerous one, I might add. There's lots of monsters here, so I've got to know.
What are you worried about?
Wolves. Yes, there are lots of wolves in this forest. You're smart to be worried about them.
Maybe they can smell your fear, or maybe they can just smell your odour. I mean, just because you're a nudist doesn't mean you don't shower. But, it seems like you coincidentally also don't shower.
The wolves appear and start to surround you. You're pretty swift with that dagger, but you can't fight against their numbers. They fight fast and they fight smart. They go for your legs and disable you. One of them swiftly rips your throat out and it goes black after that.
You have died...
Some humans are after you. You've been driven from your village for your predilection towards being in your more natural state. You've been persecuted for your beliefs and chased into this forest.
A group of adventurers come into the clearing. You notice a swordsman, two rogues, and a bard. Surely they don't mean to sing tales of this specific venture?
"Well, , here we are. There's nowhere left to run. Stand and fight. Die with some dignity. Oh, wait, you're not wearing anyting. I suppose it's a little late for that."
You hold back sobs. This is so unfair.
"Please. I've done nothing wrong. I didn't hurt anyone. I just don't want to wear clothes anymore. I want to be free. Can't you understand? Can't you see things my way?"
The swordsman laughs.
"No, , I'd have to take off my clothes to do that. That's not happening."
"Uh, actually, I'd like to try it."
The group goes silent. You and the swordsman both turn and find the bard with his hand awkwardly held up.
"I mean, I do like being naked. I think has a point."
"What in the name of the gods are you on about?"
You plead your case.
"Please. Just let him try. Give it a go. If you're not convinced, you can bring me in. I won't resist. I promise."
"...Fine. Give it a go, Loren."
Loren takes off his clothes and bares all in front of his party. He's silent for a moment.
"It's....it's a little cold. But the fresh air feels absolutely divine on my bits."
The swordman gives an exasperated sigh.
"What in the name of the gods are you going on about? It's just nudity. There's nothing magical about it."
You let a grim smile creep up on your face.
"Actually, there is."
You hold a hand out towards Loren and suddenly he is under your sway. He launches towards one of the rogues, catching her off guard. He pulls out a dagger and puts it to her neck.
"All of you. Now. Undress or she dies."
"What in the afterlife have you done?"
"I'm a nudemancer, he's under my control now. Do as I say, or I swear he will kill her."
The swordsman and the other rogue slowly take off their clothes, keeping care to hold their weapons. You let them. As soon as they've disrobed, their eyes glaze over and they stare at their last teammate.
The bard takes the knife away from her throat and steps back.
"You too. Unrobe."
She undresses and hesitates to leave a bandana on her head.
"All of it. The bandana too."
She takes the bandana off, letting it fall the ground. The moment it leaves her grasp, she is under your control. You laugh maniacally.
With the first of your naked minions under your control, you will force the entire world to be subjugated by your nudemancy.
No bathhouse will be safe. No changeroom will be spared. And all those who sleep without clothes will fall under your spell.
The start of your nudist kingdom begins today. All hail the Nudemancer.
Riiiiiight. You're hiding from the voices. That doesn't sound crazy at all.
You turn around. You hear it again. You hear it right now. It's narrating everything you say.
It hasn't stopped since you woke up. It's in your head and it won't stop narrating.
There's only one way to stop it.
You drive the dagger into your temple and push hard, unable to cry out in pain and immediately dropping to your knees.
Even as the blood leaves your body and your heart stops beating, the voice continues. It keeps narrating long after your death. Nothing can stop it. Only three words will make it quit. You've managed to get it to say those words at last.
You have died...
Damn, you got me there.
True. You barely remember last night, but you definitely remember indulging in too much ale. It's been ages since you've drank that much ale.
This is classic. Just like those Hangover plays you saw. You should retrace your steps and try and figure out what crazy shenanigans you got into last night.
What was the last thing you remember doing last night?
That's right. You got into a fight. It was a meaningless drunken brawl. Nothing too serious, right?
I mean, I guess it was serious enough that you had to grab this dagger to defend yourself with. Why were you naked though?
A group of Templars walk through the forest, interrupting your headache inducing reminiscence. They don't look happy to see you. They don't seem surprised that you're naked either.
"You! ! You can't run any longer! You will pay for lying with my wife!"
You vaguely recognize this woman under her armour. You laid with her wife?
It all comes back to you in a hazy blur. You were drinking in the tavern. There was a beautiful girl who had caught your eye on many an occassion. You finally worked up the courage to go talk to her. In the midst of flirting there was one little snag. She was married. You ignored it, said that her husband didn't need to know. You remember she laughed, you thought it was weird, but it makes sense now.
You wound up at her place, because she was alone. She said her partner Sam was a Templar and wasn't home often. Then of course, Sam came barging into the room and caught you two in the middle of it. Awfully heteronormative for you to assume Sam was a man, wasn't it?
You grabbed a dagger and managed to get out of the house alive. Sam said she would hunt you down though. You panicked. You ran.
Now Sam is back with reinforcements. Your dagger doesn't hold up against a group of fully armed Templars. As they bring their swords down on you, slowly killing you, you can't help but think what a gross misuse of military might this is. Aren't they supposed to be hunting mages or something?
You have died...
Of course. You remember snippets of a very wild night with a woman you met at the tavern.
She had beautiful raven coloured hair. She had the most enticing dark eyes and blood red lips. You were entranced the second you saw her. You talked and drank for hours. She was responsive to your charm and you knew where the night was going.
You thought it odd that the tavern was quite empty, people started slowly leaving and even quite early in the night no one came back in. The bartender was unusually silent, but you only had eyes for her. She said her name was Naga.
You ended up at her place and you don't remember too much of it. You remember it was wild, though. You remember waking up early while she was still sleeping and leaving your clothes in an effort to not wake her. You grabbed a dagger as you left, because she lived in the forest and you knew the forest was dangerous. You were still very drunk though, so you must have stopped for a quick nap in this clearing. Not very smart of you.
It was a walk of shame. A naked, drunken walk of shame. Nothing out of the ordinary.
You start making your way out of the forest, but somehow your legs lead you right back to Naga's house. You stand several feet from the door. What are you doing back here?
The door opens and you see a woman step outside, barely concealed with her robe. You remember the robe, it was a dark blue with silver snakes patterned all along the sleeves.
However, the woman wearing the robe is not someone you recognize. She is short, has dried out eyes and more wrinkled than the oldest tree in this forest. She sounds like Baba Yaga, the witch that supposedly lives in this forest.
"! There you are. Come back to bed, lover. I'm feeling rather low on energy and could use a...refresher."
You really didn't drink all that much last night. In fact, you didn't drink at all. You remember now, the night was wild. It was definitely a night of hedonistic debauchery, but it was wild because you could feel her sucking the life out of you every time your bodies were touching.
You're still under her spell and a part of you wants her. Badly. So, you head back into her bed and you never leave.
Classic . You got drunk and had to make some friends. Normally you do so at the tavern, but everyone was rude last night. So you went out into the forest to make friends.
You spot some of the alabaster bunnies over in the forest. You run over to them.
That's right, they were so cute! You wanted to be friends with them. You wanted to live with them. So, you got naked and decided to be natural. You wanted to run with the bunnies.
Is that the expression? Isn't it run with the wolves? Wait. There were wolves too, right? That's why you have the dagger. You were trying to protect the bunnies from the wolves? That doesn't sound right though. You really did drink too much last night.
You see the wolves appear in the distance and you hold up the dagger at them. They look at you and slowly back away. They look terrified. You truly are a fearsome sight to behold.
Wait, a naked human with a dagger? Scaring wolves? Really?
You feel the alabaster bunnies jump up and bite fiercely into your neck. You cry out in pain as they pull you down to the ground and start feasting on you.
Ooooooh. I get it now. You were running with the wolves. You got the dagger to defend the wolves from the bunnies. They're the real dangerous ones. That's an understandable mistake to make, right?
Well, understandable or not, as the bunnies eat you alive, you realize it's the last mistake you'll ever make.
You have died...
Someone dared you to go running through the forest, naked, with only a dagger?
Well, , you truly are an idiot. Do you get off on stunts like this? Are you trying to impress people? Do you really want to be friends with the kind of people that this sort of thing impresses?
In fact, I don't really care much for you, either. You're on your own. I refuse to narrate for such an irresponsible fool.
Oh, something's coming to kill you, by the way. I don't care what at this point. What did you expect, ?
No, I'm not even giving you descriptive choices anymore. Pick whatever. SPOILER: You'll die either way.
Seriously. I'm done narrating for you. You're on your own. You can't even be responsible to pick proper choices.
You're dead. Bravo. You've also driven everyone who cares about you away, myself included. Good job.
A ritual? You're doing a naked ritual in the forest? Wow. I don't know what I was expecting, but definitely not that.
Ok, so, wow. Yea, sorry. I'm kind of at a loss for words. This is some weird stuff. Uh, I guess, yea, I gotta ask.
What kind of ritual?
A summoning ritual? I didn't know you had to be naked for those, but what do I know about rituals anyway? Clearly nothing.
Alright, I guess there's one obvious question then.
What are you summoning?
You decide to summon Efreet: a fire demon.
It takes a lot of magic to do so and the only source you have is your blood. You stab the dagger into your chest and feel the life bleed out from you.
It works, though. With the last vestiges of your life, you see the Efreet materialize in front of you. It doesn't even recognize your sacrifice. It admires the trees around it before scorching them all and setting the forest ablaze. You close your eyes as you feel the scorching heat start to mar your dying body. You just sacrificed yourself to set a fire demon loose in a forest. Good going.
You have died...
You decide to summon a golem. They are magical slaves that are as powerful as the substances that it is made out of. This means you need materials to create it.
You remember that you had a collection of stones gathered somewhere in the clearing. You walk over to it and raise your hand over it, using the dagger to make a cut in your palm, letting droplets of blood fall on the stones.
With the remainder of some blood on the blade, you stab into the ground and start carving into the ground, drawing a summoning circle around the rocks.
As a practitioner of the dark arts, you know that with the right magical signs, you can amplify an energy source, such as your blood, to summon great things.
You chant the required words and throw the dagger into the center of the rocks. The bloody blade acts as a catalyst for the rocks and binds them together with magic and steel. The golem arises, strong and stoic.
You point to your discarded clothes at the edge of the clearing.
"Put those on, my golem."
After a bit of a struggle, your golem is wearing your clothes and you are still standing naked.
Ah, I guess that's why you didn't have clothes on. Still weird, but sure.
You walk through the forest with your golem absently following behind you. You approach a shack with an old withered woman standing outside of it. You lock eyes.
That means you must battle.
"I choose you, golem!"
Your golem jumps in front of you, separating yourself and the old woman.
She throws out a red and white artifact of some sort and another golem appears before her.
"Golem! Rock slide!"
The golem takes damage, but doesn't seem overly affected. The old woman points towards your golem with an outstretched finger.
"Golem! Metal claw!"
At this point you realize that her golem is made entirely of steel, probably created out of pots, pans, and pieces of armour. Yours is a stone-type golem. It's not an ideal match up. Steel beats rock.
Her golem throws a staggering fist at your golem and a screeching sound fills the air.
It's super effective!
Your golem falls to the ground, disintegrating into stony pieces. For some reason, you reach for your belt, hoping for another magical creature to defeat her golem. You realize you don't have any.
You thrust the knife into the ground and take a couple steps back. You chant several words and palm some holy signs with your right hand. A bright light slowly fills the clearing and when it dissipates, there are a group of Templars staring at you.
The leader of the Templars steps forward and takes her helmet off. It's Sam, your captain. She runs her eyes over your naked body.
"You must work out. Ever thought of becoming a Templar?"
You roll your eyes.
"Very funny, commander. You'd think that wandering naked through the forest to evade Baba Yaga's warding spells would award me a little more than an ogling and a quip."
"Well, if this works, I suspect there will be a promotion in it for you. Boys! Where's 's uniform?"
Your coworkers toss you some clothes and bits and pieces of your armour. You quickly get dressed, something you've learned to do especially fast during training.
"All right, soldiers! I've got a very impatient wife waiting for me, let's slay this witch so we can go home!"
The Templars all cheer loudly as you begin your march through the forest. You quickly reach the witch's lair. After all, you got as close as possible to summon your compatriots in. That way she would have as little time as possible to prepare for your arrival.
"Baba Yaga! We have you surrounded! If you come out and surrender peacefully this doesn't have to end in blood!"
The door creaks open and a young woman slowly comes out. Her raven coloured hair hangs messily about her shoulders and her dark eyes look scared and her face is red, as if from crying. She holds a dark blue robe around her body, barely concealing her naked body. She is covered in bruises and her lip is bleeding.
"Please! You have to help me, the witch went out and left me here. We have to leave before she gets back!"
Sam lowers her sword. She signals to her men to do the same. They don't want to frighten this girl anymore than she has been. She walks towards the girl, putting a comforting arm around her shoulder.
"It's okay. You're alright now. What's your name?"
You freeze. You know that word. You studied it when you were learning the holy signs for your Templar training. It means 'snake'.
"Sam! Get back! That's her! It's the witch! Baba Yaga!"
Sam slowly turns to you, her mouth half open with a quizzical look on her face.
The girl thrusts her palm against the side of Sam's head and a blast of wind magic shoots Sam's brain matter right out of her skull.
You grab your sword and charge at the witch. She cackles and throws spells at your friends. Some fall, some survive. At the end, you thrust your holy blade into the witch's heart. You get revenge.
You've defeated the witch. You're guaranteed that promotion that you were hoping for. But your friend is gone. And now you have to tell her wife that she's not coming back...
A sealing spell? That's serious. It take some serious magic power and knowledge to pull something like that off. I didn't know you were so talented. I apologize for speaking to you like the naked idiot I thought you were. Apparently, you're more of a naked scholar.
Well, good on you! Coming here to protect this forest. There must be something very powerful that you're trying to seal in here.
What are you trying to seal?
You've come to seal a Yaksha? That's unusual. Yaksha are benevolent spirits of the forest. However, they're known to be a little two-faced and can sometimes have a dark side. If a Yaksha has fallen to their dark side, then you're needed more than ever.
You wander the forest, searching for the Yaksha. It turns out to be a fruitless waste of several hours. You decide waiting is better. After all, Yaksha have been known to prey on lost travelers.
You sit next to a crowd of trees and close your eyes. You focus on your surroundings and wait. It's barely been a quarter of an hour when you feel a presence in the immediate vicinity.
You open your eyes and see an ethereal form wearing an opaque blue mask. The mask shows an endearing expression and the movements of the Yaksha match this. You notice a single tear dripping from the eye of the mask.
However, you're prepared for what's about to happen. You slowly back away from the Yaksha and find yourself pressed against a tree trunk. The Yaksha closes in and its head suddenly swivels around, revealing a demonic red mask in place of the blue one. Its expression is one of monstrous rage.
It charges at you and you roll around the base of the tree. It attempts to float through the tree, but you had pierced the tree with your dagger when you had your back to it. The dagger freezes the Yaksha in place and you grasp hold of the tree, chanting the necessary words for the sealing spell.
The Yaksha is sucked into the dagger and the tree turns a violent red hue. You keep your grip on the tree and keep chanting, calling on the good nature of the Yaksha to fight against its dark side. Eventually, the red darkens and the tree turns a serene blue.
Walking around the tree, you pull the dagger out of the bark before it can use it to escape. The Yaksha is now trapped in this tree, only able to use its benevolent side to continue to bless the forest. Its dark side will devour travelers no longer.
You've come to seal a Djinn. There has been one haunting this forest and causing mischief to all who travel through these woods.
You were sent by the Archmage at the Arcane Guild to try and seal this creature and bring it back to the guild. You've studied Djinni and know that they wear no clothes, so you have prepared to come naked to try and catch it off guard.
Walking further into the forest, you finally find the cave you are looking for. Upon first glance, the mouth of the cave looks like a giant panther's mouth. It must have been a trick of the light though, because it looks like an ordinary cave on a secondary inspection.
You enter the cave and find the Djinn floating at the other end. It seems like it was expecting you. Just as you assumed, it notices your naked form and doesn't immediately take you for an enemy.
Using this momentary surprise to your advantage, you hold out the dagger to draw the Djinn into it. You chant your most powerful sealing spell and the Djinn shrieks as it spins through the air like a full tub of water emptying down the drain.
You hold a strong stance and keep channeling your magic as the Djinn spins closer and closer to you. You hold the dagger as far away from your body as you can and time it's movements just right to seal it straight into the dagger.
The Djinn bounces off the dagger and stabilizes itself. It takes one angry look at you and burns you alive with a powerful fire spell.
You really should have tried to seal it in a bottle or lamp or something. What were you thinking?
You have died...
That's right. You've come to seal Baba Yaga, the famed witch of the forest. She wanders from her shack from time to time, causing nothing but trouble. If you can seal her in her shack forever, the world will be better off.
It pains you to do this. You were lovers once. You were in the Arcane Guild together. Back when she went by the name of Etreria. She took the name of Naga and left, refusing to be a chained dog of the guild any longer. Refusing to live in fear of the Templars and the Archmage. She settled in this forest, spent her time practicing dark arts and earned a reputation as the wicked witch Baba Yaga.
But, orders and orders. You've grown apart since then. You had a chance to run away together and she left without telling you. You never forgave her for it. A part of you hates her for it. A larger part of you still loves her though.
You make your way towards her shack, steeling yourself from your emotions. All they are is complications. This mission is simple, there's no time for feelings to get in the way.
You've approached as quietly as you could. You didn't notice any warding spells on the way. After all, you always were the better student. You would have noticed them.
You mark the ground around her shack. With pixie dust as your catalyst, you sprinkle a circle around the building. You make the necessary designs in the circle to properly seal her in the shack. It's ready.
You start chanting and focus the sealing circle on the shack. There's only one problem. There's no one in there to seal. It's empty.
Hmm, she must be out. You walk towards the building. Maybe there's some clue as to where she went in her shack and when she'll be back. You open the door and scan the surroundings.
There's a dinner being made, a stew is bubbling on the stove. There are books and scrolls scattered all over her desk. She always was disorganized. You find a robe hanging up on a hook. It's dark blue and has silver snakes down the sleeves. How vain, Naga the Snake. Who gives themselves a nickname like that? You grab the robe and can't help yourself, you bring it towards your face and give a brief sniff. It's the scent of her perfume. It brings back lovely memories.
What are you doing? She left you ages ago. This is all history. You weren't even worth a goodbye. Why are you giving another gods-damned thought about her?
You start to walk out of the door and freeze in the doorway. You see her standing outside of the sealing circle. Smiling and waving.
"Hello . So nice to see you."
She holds both hands out and the circle glows. There's a bright flash and suddenly you regain your senses. You try and exit the shack, but you can't. She's sealed you in it.
She saunters towards you, raven coloured hair flowing behind her, her dark eyes shining at you, her smile enchanting you. You've failed your mission. You came to seal her in this forest forever, protect the world from her. Now you'll never be able to leave again.
Stuck in the doorway, you open your mouth to give her a piece of your mind. Before you can get a word out, she grabs both sides of the doorway and aggressively presses her mouth against yours. You feel her tongue, taste her lips, and smell her perfume.
You are stuck here forever. With her. Isn't that what you wanted?
You relax your muscles and kiss her back.
Of course. You've come into the forest to commune with one of the spirits here. There is something going on in this forest and you need answers.
There are a myriad of invisible spirits that wander through natural places like this. Some are helpful, but all are dangerous.
Who will you commune with?
You decide to summon a Sylph. However, a dagger is not very useful in offering anything to summon a wind spirit. You think hard on how you can do so.
You start to sing. An instrument would have been the ideal object for something, but you hope your voice will suffice.
For the most part, the song is wordless. A calming melody you learned in your extracurriculars at the Arcane Guild. Who knew music would be so helpful in your studies? You sing out your call and meld it into the melody.
"Sylph, hear my call and accept my offering."
The wind starts to blow through the trees and you shiver with the cold air blowing against your naked body. An elemental spirit will definitely appreciate you coming in your natural state, but some clothes would have been nice for communing with a wind spirit.
The spirit appears before you in the form of an annoyed teenage girl, constantly flicking her hair around.
"Yes, human? What do you want?"
"Great spirit. There is a creature in this forest that has been disrupting the natural cycle. It is the Flaming Cottontail and I plead with you to blow out the fire on its tail and save the nearby village from it."
It eyes you with a bored expression.
"Sure, why not?"
It whistles and you hear the ground start to shake. A gigantic alabaster rabbit with blood red eyes jumps into the clearing, its tail burning brightly. The sylph glides around the rabbit, turning into a gust of wind and finally blowing the flame on its rear out.
Success! With the source of its massive firepower out, the villagers will be able to live without fear of their homes being set ablaze.
The once-Flaming Cottontail eyes you angrily. Without its burning tail, it can no longer breathe fire. However, it's still a monstrous rabbit. It jumps at you, flattening you to the ground and begins to feast on your bare flesh.
You have died...
The answer is obvious. You're trying to save the forest, so who else to summon but a Dryad? Summon a tree spirit to save the trees, right?
Your only issue is how to summon a tree spirit with a dagger. Surely cutting a tree or sapling for an offering will only infuriate it?
You look down at the blade and realize that it has a wooden handle, although there is silver and steel wrapped all around it. It's the best move you have though.
Digging the blade into the ground, you step back and try to summon it.
"Dryad! Hear my call and accept my offering!"
The dagger starts to shake. You're afraid it's going to fly out of the ground and shoot at you. However, the wood starts convulsing and eventually growing, expanding the steel outside of what is now becoming a massive tree trunk.
Faster than you can comprehend, the tree grows large and tall, with steel leaves growing from the branches. A Dryad steps out of a hole in the trunk, appearing as a lovely girl with chestnut skin, syracuse hair, and a myriad of freckles on her face.
"Thank you for your offering, human. This will be a grand tree. How can I repay you?"
You pause for a moment. A boon from a spirit? What would you even ask? What could it give you?
You shake your head, you're here for a reason. You push your personal gains aside and focus on the task at hand.
"Great spirit, I was sent from the Arcane Guild. This forest is a place of natural magic and great power. Recently, a nearby militia has turned their eyes upon the forest. They mean to cut down the trees and make boats for war. We cannot allow this to happen. I beseech you to help me defend this forest."
The Dryad smiles brightly at you.
"You are a worthy ally of this forest, human. Take these and plant them at the edges of the forest. I will summon my Dryads to do the rest."
Numerous steel acorns fall from the tree, littering the ground around the tree. They slowly roll in front of you, gathering in a small mound of silver.
"Plant these and trees will rise in their place in but a day. The leaves will be of steel and as sharp as any blade. They will defend against any who come into the forest. Any who are not as naked as you are now."
The dryad winks at you.
"I grant you one final boon. May you go in peace and may your guild flourish along with this forest."
The Dryad retreats back into the hole at the base of the tree. A beige bag falls out of the top of the tree, along with a pair of brown trousers and a light shirt. After you dress yourself, an evergreen cloak falls out of the tree and you wrap yourself in its protective warmth.
You collect the steel acorns in your new bag, which are suprisingly light, and you plant them all around the forest. You forget the Dryad's warning of stepping into the forest wearing clothes, but realize that your cloak protects you from any ill intent of the trees. The steel trees begin to grow as you step away from the forest and you feel content, knowing that your mission is a success and the forest is safe. Better yet, you look positively striking in your new cloak.
You put the dagger in your palm and draw blood. You need an offering to commune with an elemental spirit. The most obvious offering for a water spirit is blood.
You walk over to a large pond at the edge of the clearing and let a single drop of blood fall into the water.
"Undine! Hear my call and accept my offering!"
The drop of blood produces ripples that cascade along the surface of the water. The ripples abruptly stop, leaving the water looking more viscous than liquid. You can see the blood dispersing into the water. It materializes into a small form and then rises from the pond. It takes a large portion of water with it and suddenly an Undine is floating before you. She is in the form of a beautiful woman with long slick hair.
"You summon me, human? What is your intent?"
You pause. Spirits are not used to speaking with humans. Any word you say could be misinterpreted. You carefully consider your words before speaking.
"Great spirit. This forest is slowly dying. I call upon your aid to heal the trees and save the forest."
The spirit eyes you cautiously.
"I have not known humans to care for nature as you claim to. I do not trust your intentions. Humans always have ulterior motives."
You panic. This is the kind of response you were worried about. This could turn ugly fast.
"I beseech you! My intentions are sincere. I would do anything within my power to save this forest."
You freeze. You did not pick your words carefully.
It raises an eyebrow.
"Anything? I will test your sincerity."
Watery tentacles reach out from the pond and pull you under. Water rushes into your open mouth and before you can avoid ingesting the water, you feel the blood being pushed out of your body. You thrash and fight, but it's pointless.
The Undine seems pleased with your sacrifice. If a drop of blood could summon it, imagine what 5 litres of blood could do to save the forest? On the bright side, you've accomplished what you set out to do. However...
You have died...
No reason? Why are you being so secretive? That's pretty suspect. It seems like you're up to no good.
That's fine if you don't want to tell me, but you've got to do something. You can be vague if you like, but what exactly are you trying to do in this forest?
Why are you here?
Ok, so you're looking for something in the forest? That's so mysterious. I'm intrigued.
This forest seems to have a lot of rare creatures and magical things happening in it. That makes sense. So, the obvious question is...
What are you looking for?
That's right. You've come into this forest to find a magical robe, fit for a powerful mage.
You walk through the forest and find the shack you're looking for. You creep toward the door, making sure to evade the warding spells that protect the building.
You slowly open the door, it makes a screeching noise and you abruptly stop, leaving the door half open. You slide in through the small space and leave the door ajar, afraid to make more noise by closing it.
The room is darkly lit by a single flickering candle while a witch is asleep completely naked on the bed in the corner. You can't believe your eyes. Who would sleep with a lit candle in the room? So dangerous.
You hear Baba Yaga's light snores and creep to the edge of the bed. She is mostly covered by the blankets, but you are quite sure she is wearing nothing while she sleeps. You've never seen so many wrinkles before, it's not a pleasant sight.
You leave the old crone sleeping and see a dark blue robe hanging from a nearby hook. It has silver snakes circling down the sleeves. You slowly grab the robe and drape it around your naked body. It is the single most comfortable material you've ever felt on your skin. It's truly magic.
You walk toward the mirror on her vanity and glance at the surprising reflection.
Staring back at you is a beautiful woman with raven coloured hair and impenetrable dark eyes. Your skin is a flawless porcelain and your beauty is so enticing that you can barely glance away from the mirror. However, you manage to peel your eyes away and look back at the bed.
You realize that Baba Yaga isn't sleeping in the bed. She's dead.
You hear a loud cackling reverberate throughout the shack and feel paralyzed.
"It's nice to meet you, . Sorry to intrude, but I'll be taking this body now."
You feel your consciousness being sequestered to an isolated part of your mind. Or at least, it was your mind. Now it's Baba Yaga's. You're not dead, but you're eternally imprisoned in this mind.
A magic sword? That sounds pretty epic. I didn't even know such a thing existed in this forest.
You walk further into the forest and find a large wall of shrubs. You reach your hand into the shrub, searching for a hidden doorway. You walk along the wall, probing until you find an opening.
You push through the branches and enter a small clearing surrounded by thick, impassible trees. At the end of the clearing there is a stone dais with steps leading up to it. In the center there is a marble pedestal with a golden hilt sticking out. There is a holy blade sealed in this slab of marble.
Walking up the stairs slowly, you circle the marble slab and reach one hand toward the blade. Cautiously, you grip the handle and take a deep breath. With an effortless pull, the blade slides free of the marble and you hold out a marvelous silver blade.
Daystar. The Firebrand. Shadowsbane. The sword to light the darkness.
It is known by many names.
You hold up the sword and it immediately engulfs in a holy, blue fire. The Templars told no one outside of their circle about this blade. But you learnt. And now it's yours. Although, why they would leave such a holy artifact sitting in some marble in the forest is beyond you. Unless...
You hear a dark laugh echo through the trees. A shadowy form materializes in front of you. It is a man with hair black as jet and a murderous look in his eyes. He is wrapped in a dark cloak and his hands are covered in dark fire.
Vladimir the Ebony. The sword was sealing him here. What have you done?
He ambushes you with a barrage of dark fire and you deflect it with your holy blade. Daystar is a fearsome weapon, but Vladimir is a powerful villain. You do all in your power to fend him off with the blade, all but put it back into the marble and attempt to seal him again. After all, you came here for the blade. You won't leave without it.
Eventually, Vladimir overcomes you and puts a flaming hand through your chest. You cough up blood and drop the sword to the ground, then fall backward to the ground.
Your vision fading, you manage to glance Vladimir picking up the blade and hold it up admiringly. The silver blade slowly turns to black and you realize that you've unleashed a terrible evil on the world.
You have died...
A magic ring? That's pretty mysterious. Magical rings can do virtually anything. Is it an amulet? A talisman? No hints, huh? Fair enough.
You walk further into the forest and come upon a pond up against a tree trunk. You drop the dagger in front of the tree and dive into the pond. You are down there for a long time, but eventually swim back up holding a small chest.
You pick up the dagger and use it to break open the lock. The expensive looking chest opens up, revealing a red cushion with a golden ring with an onyx set atop the ring.
So, what does it do? No hints? Fiiiiine.
Leaving the dagger and the chest on the ground, you walk further into the forest, dripping wet. You eventually come to a small shack in a suspicious clearing. You walk toward the building, disregarding the warding spells you're setting off.
You push open the door and walk towards the bed. A woman with raven coloured hair is covering herself with blankets and looking as if she was abruptly awoken. Her dark eyes stare at you with utter disbelief in them.
"? What are you doing here?"
You absentmindedly take a robe off the wall and cover yourself with it, quickly drying the droplets of water from your body off. It's incredibly comfortable for a mere robe.
"Naga. No, Etreria. I came here for you."
You bend down on one knee and hold out the ring towards her.
"I have loved you since the day I met you. When you left the Arcane Guild, you took my heart with you. A day hasn't gone by where my head hasn't been filled with thoughts of you. I don't ever want you to leave me again."
You take a deep breath.
"Etreria, will you marry me?"
She stares at you, mouth agape. She closes her mouth. Then opens it to speak a single word.
You've come into this forest, completely naked and holding a dagger, to see someone? I don't know about you, but if someone came to see me in such a state, I'd be a little freaked out.
Well, it looks like there's no stopping you. I know better than that.
Who did you come to see?
Of course, you've come to the forest to find a Templar. The Templar Commander, in fact. They're here on a mission trying to find and kill Vladimir the Ebony. You were supposed to be on that mission with them, but you were dishonourably discharged for inappropriate conduct.
Persistent is key, though. You can't take no for an answer. You know that Sam wants to be with you. Even if she doesn't know it herself.
You've been following the Templars through the forest. You've been biding your time. You've waited until she was separated from her group. She's sent them out to scan the area and she's alone. Now's your chance.
You step out into the clearing. Sam sees you. She looks surprised to see you. A happy surprise, obviously. At least, you're pretty sure.
She starts backing away.
"? What are you doing here? Why are you naked? And...what are you doing with that dagger?"
You laugh. Silly Sam, why else would you be naked? To seduce her.
"Oh, you know me. When they took my uniform away, I couldn't bear to wear anything else. I came to you to get it back. Or...we could both disrobe."
Sam continues to back away, putting her hand on her blade.
"I've told you, . I am married. I love my wife and I'm not interested in you. This has to stop."
You pull out the blade and rub your finger along the blade. She doesn't get it. No one gets it. Her wife doesn't treat her properly, but you would. Of course, you can't force her. If she doesn't want to be with you, there's nothing you can do about it. But, you can't let her continue to be unhappy with her unappreciative wife. If you can't have her, no one can.
You rush at her with the blade, but you don't get far. You're unarmoured and clearly outclassed. Sam sidesteps your thrust and stabs her sword through your back. You feel it protruding from your chest. You hold there for a moment, savouring being this close to her. Then she withdraws the blade and you fall to the ground, bleeding out.
You have died...
You've come to see the witch? Baba Yaga? The dangerous witch who lives in the center of the forest that parents warn their children about? Wow, you're really brave. Or really stupid.
You walk further into the forest until you come towards her lair. It's a dusty looking shack that looks deserted. Except for a dim light that you can see through the window.
Slowly approaching the doorway, you push the door open and burst into the room. You rush to the bed and see her lying in the bed, wearing her dark blue robe. The one with the snakes on the sleeve. You remember that robe and it enrages you.
You raise your dagger and impale the figure, stabbing it over and over again.
You were lovers once. Back during your days as students in the Arcane Guild. You loved her more than you thought it was possible to love someone. Then she left. She left you all alone.
She committed numerous atrocities since leaving the guild and even the Templars couldn't bring her in. You were tasked by the Archmage to bring her back to answer for her crimes.
Of course, why bring her back alive when you can just end her here?
Tears are streaming down your face as you repeatedly stab the bed. It was easy to do. Too easy. You expected more of a struggle. Then you smell her perfume.
You stop midswing. It reminds you of your time together. When it was good, it was really good. How did you get from there to here? How did you convince yourself to murder her?
The dagger swivels around in your hand and suddenly flies toward you. It digs straight into your heart and you fall over on the bed. You feel someone kick your body over and look back at the love of your life. She is looking down at your lifeless body with those beautiful dark eyes.
She looks as beautiful as ever.
You have died...
You've come to see yourself? You mean, find yourself? Is this some kind of naked walkabout? Some kind of perverted pilgrimage or something?
You walk through the forest, clearly ignoring my questions. You come to a pond at the edge of a clearing. You lean over the water and look back at your reflection.
It's . The love of your life. The most beautiful sight you've ever seen. You've always wanted to hold yourself in your arms, but you'll never be able to.
You deserve yourself. No one is capable of loving you the way you could love yourself. But it's physically impossible. You tried cloning yourself with dark magic, but the Arcane Guild expelled you and disrobed you.
The Templars chased you to this forest and you fled here, naked, with only a dagger.
You didn't expect a happy ending, but you wanted better than this. You wish you could have your happy ever after, spend your twilight years with yourself.
You'll settle for seeing the love of your life as you pass from this world into the next.
You stab the dagger into your chest and let out a final breath. Blood spews from your mouth and ripples ruin the image of yourself in the water. You cry out in frustration.
You hold yourself still for as long as you can, waiting for the water to settle. Eventually, you see yourself in the water and you fall forward to embrace yourself one last time.
One last thought enters your head as you fall into the water, drowning. I'll be with you soon, my love.
You have died...
No reason? You're standing in a forest naked with a dagger for no reason?
Ok, fine. If you want to lie to me, the narrator, then you can go ahead and do that.
You are standing in the forest for no actual reason. You got naked for no actual reason and you have a dagger for no actual reason.
Since you have no actual reason for being here, no actual person or creature comes up to you. In fact, no actual thing happens to you at all.
You stand there for no actual purpose and eventually starve and die. They have a funeral for you but there's no actual turnout for it. Then some gravestone maker is forced to make your gravestone and it reads thusly:
Here lies : They lived for no actual reason and left no actual impression on the world.
You have died...