Saturday, 30 July 2011

Starfall: Prologue

“It’s about to start,” calls out the father, resting comfortably in his recliner, his body angled towards the view-wall.

“Coming,” shouts back his wife from the next room of the apartment. The thump of running footfalls across the ceiling and down the stairs heralds the arrival of his son, who leaps onto the long curved sofa, excitement flashing in his eyes.

“Hayleigh? You coming down?” inquires the father.

No response.

“Leave her be,” scolds his wife tenderly as she enters the living room, relaxing on the sofa next to the boy. “She’s going through a phase.”

The father raises his hand, twisting his wrist intricately as he activates and controls the view-wall. Meekly obeying his commands, the frame of the picture blossoms until it fills the entire side of the room, the lights dimming automatically, ghosts of illumination flashing from the screen on the viewer’s faces.

The HappyFortune CorpGov logo ripples across the wall, its trademark soothing tone melting through the air. The tranquillity is shattered as the 'Triumph Challenge Battle Contest' theme bursts out of the hidden speakers, the view-wall pumping vibrant flashing images into the room. Giant humanoid machines clash with one another, buildings and structures crumbling to dust as the automatons indiscriminately unleash volleys of deadly projectiles. A massive metallic fist looms up towards the screen, pounding an imprint of the jagged TCBC logo onto the viewer's retina.

A stylish vertical fade transition reveals the face of a young and impeccably handsome man, wearing a rich blue suit and matching regal cape, the HFGC logo emblazoned on its lapel. He stands on the white pristine deck of a Hyparrion C-Class Cruiser. The constructs and consoles surrounding the man are sleek and smooth, wide teardrop viewports opening onto shadow of space.

“Good morning, evening or night to all our viewers across the universe,” says the man, smoothing back his greased blonde flop of hair. “I'm Maximilian Herald – you can call me Max – and this is the first preliminary round of the thirteenth Triumph Challenge Battle Contest.”

The screen jumps to a shot from outside the cruiser, which hangs in the dark like a ghostly cloak of metal. A military ProTek Escort Frigate scuds alongside, its dull grey hull and blocky protrusions a striking contrast to the Culture-Class vessel. Below the spacecraft, arcing across the lower half of the screen, lies a brown muddy planet, a dusting of misty atmosphere hanging on its curvature.

“We've begun to orbit Gantian VII, named after the famous explorer and terra-former Atthuew Gantian,” continues Herald via a voiceover. “This planet was one of the lucky few to be chosen from thousands of applicants, blessed to be used as a battle arena for the Contest.”

“Bet it's a right scub-hole,” sneers the son.

“Language,” remarks his mother without any real commitment.

“It was one of the first colonised worlds,” murmurs the father. “They tested the terra-forming EdenSpheres there – doesn't have much value now.”

The view cuts back to the interior of the cruiser, Herald's plastic grin looming across the view-wall.

“Let's reacquaint ourselves with the contestants who'll be competing in the first preliminary.”

The angle swings round to reveal a row of seven youths, no older than fourteen or fifteen. Each one wears a brightly-coloured jumpsuit, the emblems and logos of their endorsements and sponsors plastered over every available space on the clothing, a large corporation team logo on the chest of each child.

The boys and girls each hold a grim sternness upon their faces, looks that speak of innocence lost too quickly. Or maybe that's what they've been told to display...

As the screen centres on each individual youth in turn, a glowing stat file pops up beside their face, a pre-recorded voice proclaiming their feats and experiences so far in the TCB Contest.

“Lambs to the slaughter,” utters a sharp quiet voice from the doorway of the living room.

Father, mother and son turn to see Hayleigh watching the view-wall, the disgust in her voice matched by the black look of her face.

“Don't you think that's a bit dramatic, Hay?” asks her father.

“Not really,” she replies icily.

“It's not a lethal sport, you know they're illegal.”

“Doesn't stop a child from dying unnecessarily though, does it?” Hayleigh spits back.

“That's a rarity,” retorts her father, a mocking smile on his lips. “Any high-intensity game has risks.”

“I think you should probably stop,” the mother says quietly to her husband, a hint of danger in her level tone.

“Hayleigh wants a smelly Battle Contest orphan for a pet,” sniggers the boy.

“Better than having a fat ugly pig for a brother,” snarls his sister.

“Hayleigh, I know you're not not a fan of the Battle Contest, and that's fine,” says her mother, “but you don't have to be rude.”

“He started it,” Hayleigh shouts incredulously.

“Yes, and both of you need to give it rest,” says the mother, glaring at her son, then back at her daughter.

“But-” begins Hayleigh.

“That's enough,” snaps her mother. “If you don't have anything good to say, just keep quiet.”

Hayleigh remains silent, not out of obedience, but because her rage has immobilised her, anger billowing within, fists clenched and shaking. She stares at the youth on the view-wall. Will this one be the next to die? She looks at her family, watching as they drink in the scene.

Tears rushing down her cheeks, she runs back up the stairs, slamming her bedroom door behind her.

- x -

Thousands upon thousands watch, a colosseum of spectators that spans the stars. They yearn for blood. They'll never admit it – they're too proud for that. But within each man, woman and child there lies the same unholy desire: to live, whilst watching others die.

- x -

You stare into the lens of the egg-shaped cam-bot as it hovers in front of you, begging to be smashed out of the air and stomped into a heap of scrap metal and plastic. Last in line, you wait for the viewers to finish analysing you, leeching off you for entertainment.

“We're going to have a chat with each of our contestants' guardians now,” says Herald, gesturing to the group of roughly and burly men standing at the side of the deck, the cam-bot gliding across the room, away from the youths.

In comparison to the white-suited deck officers, the guardians are a motley ragtag bunch, looking like they fell out of the backside of the universe, regardless of the best efforts of the hair and make-up team.

“Contestants; I'm sure you've got lots of preparations to be getting on with,” oozes Herald. “Aim for Triumph, face the Challenge and win the Battle.”

Heeding your cue, you follow your fellow contestants towards the door. As you pass the assembled guardians, you catch Dee's eye. The grizzled chubby little man flashes you a grin, so brief only you could see it.

“Now, you've all been working on your AuGArma suits, but what-”

Herald's syrupy tones are cut off by the door as it swishes shut, leaving you in the corridor with the other contestants.

“Stay here,” orders the deck-hand gruffly, as she turns and walks away down the corridor.
You glance around at the other young people. They must still be filming you surreptitiously, try to catch some little morsel of conflict. Why else would they leave you all alone in the corridor, no deck hands or guardians available to keep the peace?

Turning to the viewport, you try to pretend your opponents aren't standing so close, ignoring the tautness in the air. The Escort Frigate is visible through the window as glides lazily beside the cruiser. Everyone knows its only here as a gesture, giving the impression that the C-Class needs protecting. Anyone with half a brain knows that HFCG ships carry enough firepower and shields to match anything the military can muster.

Peering down, you gaze upon the surface of Gantian VII – a broken old world, a relic, no longer needed, no longer important. The HFCG claims that these Battle Contests will bring much-needed economic revival to the dead planets they deem worthy of being used as arenas. Tourists will flock to watch the fights, and industry will once again thrive. Not likely. No, this place was chosen because there was no voice to defend it, no power or influence to stop it from being exploited. Much like you...

Using the reflective surface of the viewpoint, you carefully watch the six other youths.
Caleen sits on the ground, absentmindedly playing with the straps of her jumpsuit – she's the youngest, probably only twelve or thirteen, but that isn't any reason to underestimate her.

Hale and Danny are discussing tactics, gesturing animatedly. They still seem to see this as a game – or maybe that's what they want each other to think...

Josha paces back and forth moodily. Bigger and heaver than the rest of you, he likes to throw his weight around. Best not to attract any unwanted attention from him.

Leaning on the bulkhead nonchalantly is Kursh. Thin and tall, she's a bit of a mystery. You've heard she's from Ballas or Jayriel, but who knows. You've never heard her talk, that's for sure.

Standing beside the doorway like a statue is Reylan. He's the only contestant you'd heard of before entering the contest. Could have won last year, but let his guard down and lost in the semis. If he'd landed that final blow, he'd have been through – but his opponent would probably have died.

You remember watching the battle amongst the throng of people in front of the public view-wall, squeezing your head through the bodies to catch a glimpse of the action. Reylan's Arma froze, the huge man-shaped machine about to punch into the opponent's chest; a sure knockout. The crowd shouted, roaring for him to finish it. The image zoomed in on the other AuGArma suit, focusing on the crack across the front of the CommandCore. The pilot would definitely be brutally injured, if not killed, should one more attack be made.

Reylan still didn't move.

His opponent took his chance, releasing his last remaining shell from his shoulder cannon, the blast sending the Reylan's Arma flying backwards into the building behind. That was it. He had lost.

Looking at him now, you wonder if there's a shred of mercy left in the boy. What would you have done? Could you kill to win?

“There something fun going on out there?”

You turn to see Josha looming over you.

“Want to float away? I could arrange it.”
Remaining silent, you look into the brutish boy's pudgy red face. In another life he could seemed jolly. Staring up at him, you know you cannot appear weak. You feel the eyes of the other contestants watching, waiting for a show. The hidden cameras gaze down upon all of you, hungry for a show.

“Why don't you calm down?”

Reylan's question sounds like an order. The eyes and camera lenses shift away from you. Josha turns from you, his cheeks fiery with anger.

“What do you care, loser? Afraid someone might get hurt?”

“You? Yes, I've very afraid that you'll get hurt. It keeps me up at night.”

Josha strides across the corridor, fist balled, arm coiled back to strike.

Reylan stands still and calm, smiling peacefully.

Just as Josha is about to reach Reylan, the door to the deck slides open, the guardians entering the corridor. Josha halts clumsily, stumbling as he tries to pull back from his momentum. He glares at Reylan, but turns away, following his guardian away the corridor.

“Come on, pup. We've got work to do.”

Dee takes you firmly by the arm, leading you away from the other youths. He keeps a rough grip on you until you round the corner, then lets go, relaxing as he walks beside you. You know it's all a pretence; he wants the other guardians to think he's mean and cold.

Dean Paravakhesko is the only adult you've ever been close to – and you've known him for less an a month. Close is a little bit of an exaggeration – he's the first adult you've known for an extended period of time that hasn't beaten you, sold you or tried to do worse to you. He's a corps man, an employee. You can tell by the metallic cyBall in his left eye-socket. Corps are very distrusting of their employees; they like to know what you're up to. You shudder to think what else they replace or remove. Maybe it's better being owned rather than employed...

“How are ya feeling? Nervous? Calm?” he asks.

“Dunno,” you reply.

It's all happened so fast. One minute you're being grabbed by a CorpPol officer after stealing a neuround battery from the market sprawl, then you're being paraded in front of the Fel-Judge – he waves his fat little finger, gesturing that you be removed from the queue of juvenile delinquents, away from the corridor leading to the transport from the Labour-Reclamation Centre.

Then you're washed, dressed and introduced to Dee, who gives you hundreds of tests, physical and mental, shoves you into a Jump-Puncher and makes you fight in mock battles over and over. Four weeks later and you're taking your first ever space flight, sick and giddy, but trying to hide it as you feel the engines fade from a rumbling roar to a dull hum.

Now, you're here. On the eve of the event that could change your life forever.

Reaching your assigned staging dock, you follow the stubby man inside. Dee has made every effort to make the large dock his own, the clean sparkling surfaces tarnished with oil and dust, wires and machinery cast here and there in an organised array of chaos.

Towering some twenty feet in the air, stands Ragnarok, your AuGArma suit. Painted in the red and black of your corporate team, it has the appearance of a giant angular man, great metallic limbs stretching out from its broad abdominal section, a fearsome chiselled face – for decoration and intimidation only – cut upon its head piece. Bits and pieces are missing from the Arma – a leg plate here, some wiring hanging loose, one of the fist modules lying on the deck next to the robotic machine.

“Still got a fair bit to do,” mutters Dee. He must feel you're judging his slap-dash approach, but you trust him to do his best.

“I wish you would hurry up,” chimes a voice from above. Looking up, you see one of the eyes detach from the head of the Arma, bobbing down to float in front of you and Dee. The little round ball winks its mechanical eye at you, its slender mandibles clicking impatiently.

“Hello Ray,” you smile.

'Good to see you young master,” says the orb in a shrill happy tone.” It spins around to face Dee.

“I've been strapped in there for ages,” the robotic ball warbles angrily. “When are you going to let me get some exercise?”

“Curse the day I uploaded your A.I., you little scub,” growls Dee, taking a swipe at the floating ball. “You can wait until I'm ready.”

Ray dodges, hovering back up to the AuGArma head, emitting of buzz of electronic muttering as he goes.

“Grumpy little git, isn't he?” chuckles Dee. “But he does take care of some of the harder interfacing issues, so I guess we're stuck with him.”

You nod, looking up at the giant piece of technology. You'll be riding inside of it tomorrow, dropped down onto an alien planet, pitted against six other children in a game that could easily lead to the death of one of you – or all of you.

“Is it alright if I try the CommandCore again?” you ask?

“Sure, why not,” says Dee. “I'll get on with prepping the suit.”

You roll the gantry over to the Arma suit, climbing up the stairs. Pressing the release switch on the side of the torso, you lean back as Ragnarok's chest whooshes open, thick metal plates folding back to reveal the soft cocoon of the CommandCore. You clamber inside the fleshy pouch, relaxing into its surface. The protective plates close around you, encasing you in darkness.

Were the circuits active and connected, every slight twitch of your body would translate into a movement from the gears and mechanisms of the Arma. You've had intensive training in the spindly Jump-Puncher suits – primitive training Arma with limited capabilities, as the name suggests. You know the claustrophobic closeness of the CommandCore, seen the world through the extended eyes of the head piece, logged hours of training and sparring. Are you ready?

“We need to pick a load-out,” shouts Dee across to you as you descend the gantry ladder. “Come over here and see what feels best to you.”

You jog across the staging bay to the older man's side, surveying the various arrangements of the AuGArma components on the computer display. All your corp's best civilian equipment is here – their next season's stock. No energy weapons or shields, they're off-limits to contestants. The military are still a little nervous of rogue pilots attempting a coup of sorts, so they want to have the edge over any weaponry in your armoury.

“It's up to you, pup,” says Dee, gesturing at the selection laid out in front of you. “What would you like to choose?”

To be continued – by you!

Choose your AuGArma specifications during the 'Character Creation' process – first voting session begins on Wednesday the 3rd of August, at roughly 8:00am GMT.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Unveiling the next Tweet RPG!

The time has come to reveal the details of our next Tweet RPG adventure. After choosing to work within the fantasy genre for our first story, King Slayer, we're going to head for the realms of science fiction, sprinkled with a touch of anime. It's massive robots, mechanised battles, hyperspace travel and alien planets from here on in! There are a few inspirations for the new adventure: Star Wars, Zone of the Enders, Rahxephon, Ender's Game and a few others. The title of our next adventure is...
The story of Starfall places you, the hero, at the threshold of a deadly combat tournament, played out using giant robotic 'AuGArma' suits, on a backwater colony planet deemed suitable for economic revival by the HappyFortune CorpGov regime. Watched by a galaxy yearning to see some bloodshed, you must compete against ruthless opponents, all searching to throw off their humble roots and carve out a meaningful existence in a harsh universe.

The start date for Starfall is Friday the 5th of August, with the Character Creation process beginning on the Wednesday the 3rd of August. The prologue will be posted shortly!

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Calling all King Slayers!

You've played the adventure, you've slain the king - now we want to know how you found the whole experience! With King Slayer being the first ever Tweet RPG adventure, there's a lot of things to learn which could enhance the way new stories are constructed and put into action.

We would appreciate it if you could fill in this questionnaire, and in return, we will send you your own copy of the King Slayer story YOU created! You will be sent a PDF document containing the prologue, story summaries and epilogue - if you don't want to receive a copy, just leave the 'email' section blank.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

King Slayer Stats and Achievements

After a couple of hours worth of number-crunching and scrolling back through the entire sixty-five voting sessions, the King Slayer stats are now finally available! Thanks to all the players who took part in our first ever Tweet RPG adventure – check out @tw33t_rpg/tweet-rpg-players on Twitter to find out more about your comrades.

King Slayer Statistics

Battle Stats

Times bow was used = 7
Times sword was used = 9
One-shot kills = 9
Arrows used = 13
Enemies killed = 22
Damage inflicted = 243 HP
Damage sustained = 81 HP
Stealth kills = 3

Story Stats

Provisions used = 4
Interactions = 8
Morality choices = 9 ('good' = 7, 'evil' = 2)
Avoided combat = 9 times
SPD tested = 11 times ('successful' = 8, 'unsuccessful' = 3)
DEF tested = 3 times ('successful' = 1, 'unsuccessful' = 2)

Voting Stats

Total votes = 383
Lowest number of votes per session = 3 (7 sessions)
Highest number of votes per session = 13 (1 session)
Average amount of votes per session = 5.89
Number of times was used to adjudicate a split vote = 2 times

King Slayer Achievements

The King Slayer Achievements are awards given to players according to the actions they took during the quest. Bear in mind, all these accomplishments are based on the statistical analysis of the adventure, not on which players are valued more highly others. Have a look below to see which Achievements you were awarded!

Early Bird – players who voted in the first King Slayer voting session:
@adamdjohno @Ghrinonon @historc @lauren_brier @longwan @jaduffied @jvncab @m0ok @mattholmes_pt @whale4499

Hive-mind – players who took part in a voting session where everyone voted for the same option:
@adamdjohno @CostalsAwesome @danjohnson6 @Ghrinonon @HairyDM @historc @Katie_Harflett @lauren_brier @longwhan @m0ok @Paul_F_Harris @sherwoodm @slloyd14 @the_blind_GM @whale4499

Lone-wolf – players who were the only person to choose a particular choice in a voting session:
@adamdjohno @danjohnson6 @Ghrinonon @historc @joe_the_drummer @Katie_Harflett @lauren_brier @longwhan @m0ok @Paul_F_Harris @sherwoodm @whale4499

Reinforcements – players who joined the adventure over halfway through:
@CostalsAwesome @FrakkinNerd @HairyDM @sephwan @the_blind_GM @therealrpgguy

Narcoleptic – players who returned to the game after not voting for five sessions or more:
@_laurapatricia @danjohnson6 @joe_the_drummer @Katie_Harflett @m0ok @mattholmes_pt @Paul_F_Harris @sherwoodm @slloyd14 @whale4499

Finish Him! – players who voted in the final King Slayer voting session:
@adamdjohno @CostalsAwesome @danjohnson6 @historc @Ghrinonon @FrakkinNerd @joe_the_drummer @lauren_brier @longwhan @m0ok @mattholmes_pt @slloyd14 @whale4499

Veteran – players who voted in over half of the voting sessions:
@adamdjohno @historc @Ghrinonon @lauren_brier @longwhan

Crowd-pleaser – 'Veterans' who voted with the majority choice in over two thirds of the voting sessions they took part in:
@Ghrinonon @lauren_brier

Last Man Standing – the player took part in the most voting sessions:
@lauren_brier = 60/65 (players who came close: @longwhan = 59/65 @Ghrinonon = 45/65 @adamdjohno = 43/65)

Thanks to everyone who played – you all can claim the title of 'King Slayer'! Look out for the next Tweet RPG adventure!

Monday, 11 July 2011

Hail to the King Slayer!

Congratulations! You have slain the king of Skavak, and have therefore saved your nation from being enslaved under brutal foreign occupation.

King Slayer, the first ever Tweet RPG adventure, has most definitely been a success. We've been able to test the different processes and mechanisms at the core of the project, such as the voting sessions and battle mechanics, as well as generate a fair amount of interest in a short space of time, through visits to this blog and interactions on Twitter.

Most importantly, King Slayer has gathered a loyal group of Tweet RPG players to engage in the project, shaping the story and helping to develop many of the core elements involved in Tweet RPG. Certain ideas that have been put into practice came directly from individual player's feedback, such as the inclusion of illustrations and story recap summaries. Without each one of you logging on and voting day by day, this whole idea would have been an exercise in fultility - thank you for playing, it's been a pleasure providing you with this first role-playing experience!

To carry on the King Slayer fun, we're going to be holding a King Slayer Trivia competition throughout this next week. A couple of multiple-choice questions will be posted on Twitter each day, at similar times to the previous voting sessions, each one testing your knowledge of the recent quest and its events. All the answers can be found somewhere within the articles on this blog, so if you don't feel like guessing, you can do some research! This event is just for fun; the only prize will be an inflated sense of pride!

The first King Slayer Trivia question will be posted this evening, between 8:00-9:00pm GMT.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

King Slayer: Epilogue

You crouch down, looking deeply into the older man's wide eyes.

No,” you reply coldly.

The Skavakian king's head snaps back, mouth gaping open, as the 'King's Dagger' slides into his heart. Blood gushes out around the blade, spilling over the man's broad chest. The king gives one last rattling convulsion, then lies still.

You stand, the full weight of your quest suddenly falling upon you. You feel tired beyond belief, the urge to fall upon the nearby bed whispering seductively in your ear. This is no time to sleep, however...

Stirring yourself into action, you bolt the heavy door. It shouldn't take the soldiers long to head this way. As the sun rises over the hills, its light beaming across the chamber, you head over to the arched window. Throwing back the thick-hide drapes, the blinding sunrise now unhindered, blazing over the mist-shrouded Long Plain, you peer over the window ledge. The curving wall of the Spire stretches down below – too shear for even you to descend. Looking up, you see the lip of the tower's peak above. Unless you can fly, the door is the only route out of the chamber.

The muffled sound of soldier's boots drumming on stone issues through the door. Soon the dull thud of men pounding on its surface will reverberate around the room. A wild thought flashes through your mind – you grasp it, letting it direct your resolve. Maybe, just maybe, this fool's plan could work...

- x -

The door splinters off its bulky hinges, crashing onto the chamber floor. The Skavakian soldiers pour into the room, weapons bared and ready. No enemy awaits them. A Captain pushes through the throng of men, flanked by two beefy Skirmishers. He surveys the carnage, his eyes alighting on the bodies of Prayro and the former king of Skavak.

Is he dead?” one of the soldiers whispers.

The Captain throws him a vicious glare.

What do you think, you imbecile?” he barks, his voice wavering slightly.

The assembled men stare down at their fallen lord, the true gravity of the sight seeping into their minds, a deep dread welling within each of them.

That foreigner must of done it,” someone spoke up.

The king shouldn't have trusted him.”

We'll wipe them out for this.”

Silence, you fools,” spits the Captain. “You'll leave this room and await your orders.”

Oh, so you're in charge now, huh?” pipes up someone at the back of the group.

Who was that? I'll have your head - ”

On whose authority? We've no king; who do you serve?”
I serve the nation of Skavak, that's who.” The Captain's resolve fades with each barbed challenge.

I say we march out to meet the main troop – get some of the action,” says someone.

Yeah, get in on the fight,” another voices chimes in agreement.

Quiet!” shouts the Captain, nodding to the Skirmishers. The armoured brutes slam their broad shields onto the ground, the metallic clang shocking the soldier's into submission. “Get out, now,” orders the Captain.

The soldiers reluctantly turn away, filing out through the door. The fat soldier separates from the group, looking at the bodies with interest.

Didn't you hear what I said?” seethes the Captain.

Um, yes, but...”

But what?”

This man,” the fat soldier continues, gesturing towards Prayro's body, “he was killed with a blade.” He points to the gashes and cuts from your sword.


The king was wielding a flail, but there are no crushing wounds, and nothing that looks like an axe blow...”

One of the Skirmishers steps forward silently, and smashes the fat soldier onto the floor with a gauntleted fist. The fat soldier heaves and chokes, crawling out of the room. The Skirmishers follow him, the Captain leaving last. A flicker of doubt crosses his face as he passes the bodies, but he continues on, exiting the chamber.

- x -

You wrap your cloak tight about you, fending off the stabbing claws of the icy cold wind. Perched on the tip of the Spire, you prepare yourself for a long wait. None of the soldiers ventured anywhere near the window, none of them thinking to check the walls of the tower.

You don't have to wait very long after all. It takes less than a day for the Skav soldiers to turn on each other. Watching from your lofty perch, you observe your King's plan unfolding before you. With a strong leader, the Skavakian army could not be stopped. But cut off the head, and the body dies. In the citadel below, you see tiny specks rushing back and forth, the cries of men and the clash of steel on steel floating up on the breeze. In it's death-throes, a beast can be at it's most dangerous. But if you stand far enough away, you can watch it beat itself into nothingness.

- x -

You leave Rockreach with ease, the Skav soldiers too pre-occupied with their own battles to notice you. As you travel back through the country, you see the evidence that your countrymen also prevailed in their attempts to ward off the Skavs. The city of Herran lies in ruin as you pass through – the Skavs there must have also lost sight of the real enemy once a power vacuum had emerged. The soldiers of your nation are rounding up the last sorry-looking foes – you greet them with the victory salute, letting them know your sworn allegiance to the King.

- x -

As you enter Crownsledge, no-one celebrates your arrival. You left a stranger, you return a stranger. Laughter echoes throughout the lanes and streets of the royal city – news of the victory has travelled quickly.

Although you long to see your son, you head to the palace gate first. The gates open as you approach – the King must have been watching for your arrival. Tired and weary, but eager to tell your tale, you enter the King's chamber, embracing your master with warmth and triumph.

Once you have feasted and related your story, the King releases you from his presence. You lay the 'King's Dagger' down before him, your quest complete. As you leave the palace gate, you see a small figure standing with his ward outside the illustrious arches of stone.

You run into each other's arms.

This time, you allow yourself to shed tears, grasping tightly onto the boy whilst Sister Terray watches, beaming.

I have returned – but I bring you no grief, only the fire of the sun and the joy of my life,” you say, finishing the passage of the Old Text you quoted to your son days ago.

Your mission is fulfilled.

Although your name will never be written in the Annals of the Nation, as is the custom of your people, you will forever be remembered as a faceless hero who rose up when evil made it necessary.

You are the King Slayer.

And you have finished your quest.

The End

King Slayer: The story so far - Votes 53-65

You clamber onto the ladder, careful to make sure your flame isn't extinguished. Moving cautiously, you ascend into the darkness above.

An ominous 'click' issues from one of the stone rungs as you grasp it, followed by a series of thudding 'clunks'. Looking down, you see to your horror that the ladder has begun to recess back into the wall at an alarming pace.

Dropping the burning ember of wood, you climb blindly upwards as fast as you are able, the ladder disappearing rapidly. As you haul yourself up, you catch sight of a dim light above – some sort of ledge or passage. You throw yourself upwards, just as the last rung below you slides into the stone wall. Your fingers grasp hold of the ledge. Summoning all your strength, your muscles screaming with pain and exhaustion, you pull yourself up, rolling onto your back, panting and wheezing.

When your breath returns, you see that you are in another dark passageway. At the end is a T-junction, with a thin barred grate high in the middle of the wall, from which light issues into the murky passage. You sneak closer, peering through the tiny opening.

On the other side of the grate you see two soldiers sitting in a small storeroom, peeling vegetables – one of the soldiers is large and round, and the other is a weaselish skinny fellow. Listening in on their conversation, you learn that a strange visitor entered the fortress the previous day – a foreigner, possibly a spy. You ponder this information as you progress along the passage, choosing to take the left route – a thin crawlspace, low to the ground.

Coming to the end of the tunnel, you find yourself looking down into a latrine, a soldier occupying one of the toilets. You wait for him to leave, and then shadow him through the corridors of the tower. The soldier, a royal Honour Guard, heads along a passage towards a small staircase. Peering up over the top step, you see him rejoin one of his comrades, the two of them guarding a large ornately-carved door – the entrance to the royal chamber.

A voice behind you causes you to spin round – it is the fat soldier from the storeroom, inquiring who you are. Putting on your finest dramatic performance, you manage to trick him into thinking you a royal spy, sending him on his way. After that you deal with the two Honour Guards – no tricks for them, just two arrows and a fatal sword strike.

You are about to investigate the door, when it opens, revealing none other than Prayro, fellow 'King's Lord', also given a secret quest and a 'King's Dagger'. Behind him stands the Skav king; tall, scarred and smiling triumphantly. You allow Prayro to explain himself, refusing the king's offer of food. Prayro states that he wishes to save your nation by bartering with the Skavakians, but all you see in his eyes are greed and avarice. You draw your sword, taking the fight to the traitor.

Prayro draws his needle-like dagger with lighting speed, landing a swift blow.

You swipe at him but he evades your attack.

The traitor stabs viciously, gashing your forearm.

You manage to land a punch into his side, the crack of bone audible.

Prayro plunges his blade into your midriff – a grievous wound.

With renewed vigour, you gouge your sword into Prayro's leg, blood flying out.

His movement impaired, your foe slashes at you weakly – you dodge the attack.

Your sword finds its mark – Prayro screams as it tears into his flesh.

Prayro attacks clumsily, unable to strike you.

You drive your sword into his heart, staring into his eyes as the life drains out of them.

The king of Skavak looks down at his fallen henchman, seeming only mildly interested. Throwing back a leather covering from a nearby table, he reveals two horrific weapons – a barbed flail, and a huge single-bladed axe. Grasping the two instruments of death in his massive fists, the king gives you one last ultimatum – turn on your master and live to serve his nation, or fall under the crushing wave of his wrath.

With unearthly speed, you leap towards the king, slashing at his shoulder.

The cruel spikes of his flail collide with your body, sending you reeling back.

Recovering from the blow, you grasp the chain of the flail, sending the king stumbling into the path of your blade.

The towering man's axe hacks into your chest, cutting deep.

With a cry of grim determination, you send your sword hammering down, severing straight thru the king's arm.

The crippled giant falls to the floor of the chamber, screaming in agony, clutching at the bloody remains of his limb.

You stand over your foe. He looks up into your eyes, transfixed by fear. How small he now seems...

Drawing the 'King's Dagger' from within your cloak, you prepare to strike...

Please,” he begs, tears running down his face. “I'll give you everything - you'll rule my entire kingdom. Please spare my life.”

Friday, 8 July 2011

Tweet RPG is forging new alliances - King Slayer Logo!

Tweet RPG is teaming up with Andrew Joyce to add some visual fun to your adventures!

Andrew is an illustrator based in Bath, whose work has been featured in Playstation 3 Magazine. Andrew takes a documentary approach with his creativity, drawing inspiration from everyday objects he comes into contact with, from famous landmarks to bourbon biscuits! Here's his amazing 'King Slayer' logo, drawn in his new 'felt tip' style:

Like what you see? Head over to to see more of Andrew's work. Stay tuned for more Tweet RPG illustrations!

Saturday, 2 July 2011

King Slayer: The story so far - Votes 29-52

Instead of copying and pasting the exact updates from the Twitter feed, I thought it would be more fun to summarise the votes in a prose narrative fashion. This way, the story is a bit easier to follow. Enjoy!

You observe the scout, watching as he enters the kitchen. The man screams out as he finds himself caught in a bear trap – good thing you didn't go into the kitchen first. You decide to be merciful to the Skavakian scout, releasing him from the trap, but then have a sudden change of heart, and torture him for information. Sadly, this was an unsuccessful tactic – the man passes out, leaving you to continue your journey towards the fortress of Rochreach.

Approaching the overrun citadel under the cover of early-morning darkness, you effortlessly scale the outer wall, undetected by the enemy soldiers luring within. Vaulting over the battlements, you encounter a sentry standing with his back to you – a quick slit of his throat and you're on your way. You continue along the wall, but notice a group of captured soldiers being herded along by enemy troops in the courtyard below. Unable to leave your comrades in their hour of need, you leap down to their aid. Your arrows and sword-strikes make quick work of the soldiers. You leave the freed prisoners to make their own way out of Rockreach – you've got a mission to complete.

Moving from shadow to shadow, you make your way stealthily towards the gate leading to the inner circle of the fortress. You see two heavily armoured Skavakian Skirmishers guarding the entrance, and therefore decide the clamber up some crates near the wall, dropping lightly onto the other side. As dawn begins to creep over the horizon, you approach the Spire, the central tower within the citadel – most definitely the location of the enemy King. Two guards stand at the door to the Spire, but you deal with them easily.

Entering the tower, you see a staircase ahead and a locked door to the right – no time to investigate further however, as you hear footsteps from the stairs. Pressing yourself flat against the wall you prepare an ambush. As the Skavakian Captain steps into the room you grab him about the neck – he struggles, but you end him with a quick twist of your arm. You try to open the locked door, but just end up with a bruised shoulder. You turn back to the stairs and head upwards.

Peering up onto the next level of the Spire, you see a couple of guards slouching lazily against the wall. You attempt a ruse, shouting out to the men that you need help below – the Skavs fall for the trick, leaving their post and heading towards the stairs. Hiding in a narrow alcove, you watch the men pass you as they descend. Leaping out from the alcove, you cut down the second man – the first turns and engages you in combat. You sustain some wounds, but manage to emerge the victor.

You bar the door to the stairwell and inspect the room, finding a plate of freshly-prepared Skavakian broth on a table. The smell of the food is too enticing to pass by – you gobble down the tasty meal. Initially you feel content and restored, but the unusual meal doesn't sit well in your stomach, causing you to take an emergency toilet break. Feeling dirty and uncomfortable, you continue on your way.

Climbing up the next set of stairs, you notice a strange noise as you pass a certain step. As you investigate the floor for clues, finding nothing, a Skav Captain appears at the top of the stairwell. You land an arrow on your target, but the soldier doesn't fall – you clash with him, your sword triumphing over his sabre.

You decide to check the wall for any hidden secrets. Loud crashing noises issue from the barricaded door – the soldiers are alerted to your presence. Pressing a stone on the wall, you manage to open a secret passage, a narrow dark corridor within the tower's structure. Diving inside, you hear the door slam shut behind, trapping you within the wall but also hiding you from the pursuing soldiers. Lighting a flame with your tinder box, you can see a ladder at the end of the gloomy passage, descending down into the depths of the tower, and upwards towards it's peak.

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