Choose Your Own Adventure 4 and 6: Doom and the Avoidance Thereof
The last post in the sequence is here. Since we had a tie, and one of the two choices ends in death (dun dun DUN), I’ll be writing up both of them.
However, you don’t get any post-mortem choices.
You choose to stand at the edge, and answer the call coming from the canyon mists. In fact, you make as elegant a dive as you can, given the soreness of your feet.
You’ve forgotten why you were concerned that your feet were sore.
Only a moment after your great leap into the unknown, you have forgotten everything before you starting moving downward through the sweet mists, the pleasant cool mist moving past you.
If asked, you would have forgotten the cliff, forgotten even the word for ground. You no longer realize that you are missing anything. The notion of a world other than that of a second ago would be utterly foreign to you.
Another second later, and any further questions asked of you would be pointless. Words have lost all meaning. All of existence to you is the surrounding mist, the sound of water below, and the air moving past you. You have no concept of or concern for why you are here, or what may happen at the end of your fall… or even the idea of an end to your current state.
You are never confronted with the river water and rocks that surely lie below. Instead, when your falling body dissolves into the mist, you do not even recognize the sensation of pain.
Given that that choice didn’t end so well, let’s try again…
You back away from the cliff. As you do so, at least some memories come flooding back. Up to a minute before reaching the cliff, accompanied by the feeling of compulsion, dangerous curiosity, that propelled you towards the edge.
You’re not sure what made you come back to your senses, but while stepping away on your sore feet, one thing is abundantly clear.
This cliff is seriously creepy. It makes your hair stand on end, in a way that screams “black magic.” The mist… at best, it seems to have some sort of extreme memory erasure magic. If you’re lucky, perhaps your memories will return with time and distance from this place. And the mist. Then again, such powerful magic may be entirely permanent.
Even a few paces back, standing in a bit of brush, the mist smells vaguely of decay, and something else that seems familiar. The name for it escapes you.
A few steps further is all it takes to see the other side of the sign. It reads, “Oblivion Canyon,” scrawled above a mediocre skull and crossbones. The sign itself seems fairly old and worn, with a few bits broken off the sides, but the lettering and the drawing were recently repainted.
Slightly further from the canyon’s edge, past the sign, is a worn dirt road through the brush. Across the road are thinly spaced pine trees, with various bits of brush and a few large mushrooms scattered between them. The depth of the woods is hidden by the slowly fading mist.
From upstream, the quiet rumble you heard earlier is readily identifiable as the sound of a horse and cart. You are shocked that you did not recognize the sound immediately. The mist is potent.
Reflecting further, you realize from your own observations that you have some understanding of magic. You are also literate, which you seem to recall is not terribly common.
As the cart approaches, you avoid it, hiding in the brush and behind a tree, on the far side of the road from the canyon. The cart is empty enough that you can’t see its contents from here. As for passengers, there is one young man and one elderly one, with the younger one driving. It is being hauled by two horses. The older man has a patch over one eye. Both are wearing light leather armor and carrying swords. They do not seem to be particularly anxious or in any hurry.
Knowing how little you currently know, they could be a threat. Or helpful.
Meanwhile, some part of you thinks that you could take them. (You’re fairly sure this isn’t just the influence of the mist, but it also doesn’t seem like the best idea.)
Option 8: Hide in the brush until they pass, then go upstream along the road.
Option 9: Hide in the brush until they pass, then go downstream along the road.
Option 10: Introduce yourself to the soldiers, and ask for help.
Option 11: Beat the living daylights out of them and steal their horses.