Home > Choose Your Own Adventure, Your Turn > Choose Your Own Adventure 131: Dagger of the Mind

Choose Your Own Adventure 131: Dagger of the Mind


The previous post in the series is here.

Your choice, from last time, was to go ahead and listen to the Emperor… but keeping a close eye for funny business, and staying close enough in the event that you need a hostage.

Note that this is the penultimate part of the story!  Ponder your choice wisely, for this shall lead to the end of the tale…

Also, bonus points if you recognize the reference in the title.

Part 131

You step forward, refusing the Emperor any opportunity to maneuver or escape.  “Speak your mind,” you say, holding you stolen sword out, tip directed at his throat.  “But be brief and to the point.”

The apple of his throat bobs.  “Very well.  A minimum of prevarication.”  After another swallow, he says, “You’re making a mistake.  You swore to protect the Empire, and its Emperor… I had to hide part of what was happening.  Unknowingly, your treachery would have ultimately protected the Empire in perpetuity.”

“More specifics.”

He edges away from you.  Slightly.  “If you sacrifice yourself by falling into that enchanted canyon, the power stored in that canyon will be released, and fall under my control.  The spellbook you recovered was a second copy of a version that had previously been held in our archives.  By alerting you to its existence, it was possible to set up the spell.”  He brushes a bit of dust off of his face.  “The magical power involved provides the knowledge and ability to change the world as I see fit.  I would be an immortal Emperor protecting an eternal Empire.  Surely you can see the sense of it?”

Then several things happen at once.  In front of you, you note that Dleshan Kaev, your Emperor, has use the hand not mopping at the dust to pull a dagger out of his desk.

Lehhev, behind you, drops out of the spells hiding him from sight.  “Severel, don’t listen, he’s-”

A pair of guards who had been approaching behind you, under cover of their own invisibility, fling enchanted daggers at Lehhev and yourself.

As to Lehhev, you are uncertain; as for yourself, it is easy enough to avoid being injured.  You were already leaping forward, to either take the Emperor as your captive or kill him outright… whichever was more convenient.  You use your sword to flick away the dagger he has barely had time to raise, and then punch him in the face for good measure.  He stumbles to his hands and knees, and you delicately place the tip of your sword on the back of his neck.

Then the world spins, as if someone had jerked the dust-covered rug out from beneath your feet.  Everything fades to gray.

***

You know this place.  You can almost feel the tendrils of mist gently prodding at your mind.  You have fallen to your knees, but the bloody sword is still in your hand.  The thin mist hugs the ground, not quite banished by the morning sunshine.

The Emperor is only a few steps away, still on his hands and knees.  The jeweled dagger you relieved him of is nowhere to be seen.  His back is to you; the rich red and black material is still coated in dust from destroyed masonry.  He is in a small clear path of dirt, with a few small shrubs and weeds.  In front of him is a cliff.  A familiar cliff, over a narrow canyon filled with mist.

You don’t know what happened — it must be something to do with the spell that affects you both.  The dull red presence of arcane sigils on your skin confirms your suspicion.

Nonetheless, now is the best time to move.  Before the Emperor regains his bearings, and can do something about his… grand, dangerous plans for the Empire.

The Choices

Option 133: Enough.  Put the Emperor out of his misery, and dump the body in the highly convenient canyon.

Option 134: Why kill him yourself when you can let the fall into the canyon do it for you?  Push him over, and have done with it.

Option 135: Hm.  People may not believe he’s dead unless they have the body.  And perhaps a bit more demonstration of the truth.  Take him captive, haul him back to Alederick, and set up a proper presentation.

Option 136: Wait… maybe he was telling the truth.  You could try the self-sacrifice of jumping over the cliff yourself…

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  1. Dan
    2014/02/18 at 5:43 am

    134, but position him between yourself and the canyon, wait to see if it does to him what it did you you when you first were there.

  2. 2014/02/20 at 8:38 pm

    First, I’m not clear on what Severel’s initial treachery was or was supposed to be. Second, I’m not clear on how alerting her to the spellbook’s existence worked to set up the spell.
    It’s not entirely clear what’s going on (perhaps deliberately so). I think Several and the emperor attacking each other was the act of treachery that transported them both to the canyon, but it’s also conceivable she dragged somehow dragged him there herself and doesn’t remember it because of the mist.

    In Chapter 123, Lehhev says the two targets of the spell are interchangeable, which (if he’s telling the truth) makes 136 redundant (not to mention not in your self interest). All of the other options involve killing the emperor, which is a dangerous prospect, since you don’t know for sure what’s happening.
    If we had more time, I’d be inclined to say 137: Since it’s just the two of you now, drag him away from the cliff alive and interrogate him more thoroughly.
    However, since there’s only one more chapter, I’ll say 134. If my theory is right, this will allow Severel to take over the world. Muahaha!

  3. 2014/02/21 at 1:46 am

    My apologies for the ambiguity!

    Regarding your second point first: It’s not direct. Alerting her to the spell’s existence caused her to go out, do some awful things for the Empire, and bring the copy of the spell back… but also to realize that the spell had some unpleasant effects. She confronted the Emperor with this information, leading to, effectively, a crisis of faith on her part… and some treachery.

    Regarding the first, I’ll need to check the previous parts, but I believe a partial explanation has shown up. It involves, essentially, what she does after the Emperor refuses to accept the nastiness of the spell. Nonetheless, Severel’s memories were a little hazy on the part, since that time frame is close to when Bad Stuff Happened. Thus, I shall include another little flashback which clears up everything in the final chapter. To satisfy your curiosity. 🙂

  1. 2014/02/26 at 4:00 am

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