You realize the rock trails are just holding you back, you will be much more efficient if you just search on your own, after all your camp is your home now, the tree is just a formality.\n\nThe next day you set out, without any rocks this time. As you finally leave the rocks behind you know that you will find the creatures, nothing can stop you now.\n\nYou wander for several months before you find a body of water that stretches out over the horizon. When you try to drink from it, you retch it up, the water is filled with salt. The next day you [[head away|We Are]] from the water, after all the creatures wouldn't live by a body of water they couldn't drink.
You figure it would be easiest to start by digging holes and then covering them with grass and dirt. After a few minutes of scraping at the dirt with your hands you realize that you need a shovel of some kind. The best bet is to get a flat rock from the river.\n\nYou get to the river a couple of minutes later, after sorting through the rocks along the riverbank you find a rock that will suit your purposes and head back to the start of the hole you dug.\n<<set $weapon = "rock">>\nThe digging goes much quicker now, though far slower than you wish it would. When you finish the hole several hours later you realize that this plan was foolish from the start, you would need several more people to dig nearly enough holes.\n\nStill, you need some kind of protection, what if the things that threaten you come in greater numbers? You need a safe place to sleep, you need a [[fortress|Sleep then House]].
As you are dragged through the trees you see glimpses of ruined buildings. You briefly wonder who built these strange buildings and hope that the monsters weren't the cause of their deaths, you think it would be a horrible way to go.\n\nSeveral hours later you are dragged before another older monster, they gesture towards a pool and glare at your group. The several of the monsters scatter to various tasks, however two of them drag you over to a small pool of liquid and shove your head in. They hold you down while you drown in the sweet, savory liquid. You pass out.\n\nSometime later you wake up, your people are glad that they finally found a cure for your madness. You apologize for all the sorrow you have caused.\n\nYou will find some way to make up for it.\n\nThe End\n
You return to digging the moat the next day. As you dig you begin to think of all the horrible things the creatures could do to you, the thoughts spur your digging onwards.\n\nYou fall into a comfortable routine of digging and sleeping. You see no threatening creatures but you know they are out there.\n\nA couple of days after you started digging your moat you hear loud crashing noises from within the forest. Drawn by the noises you approach the forest, when you arrive you realize the creatures are cutting down the trees. You hurriedly turn around and head back to your moat.\n\nLater that night after finishing that nights work on the moat you start thinking about all the things they could do with those trees. You debate [[fleeing|Small Man]] or finishing the [[moat|I am an Island]].
<<silently>>\n<<set $num_others = 1>>\n<<set $emotion = "hostile">>\n<<set $weapon = "none">>\n<<endsilently>>\n\nWhen you open your eyes you see it, pale skin flowing over loose muscles it looms over you. Its eyes flicker about as it looks you over, startled you scramble back until your back hits [[tree bark|Tree]]. It is the tree you sleep under every night, it is your tree and standing with your back to it you can think over this situation. When you contemplate it you feel a deep need to [[drive it away|Drive]], not just from your resting spot and tree but from this field in which you dwell.
Despite your uncertainty as to what the creatures are building you are determined not to let it deter you from protecting yourself and your home. You return to digging your moat.\n\nIt takes the rest of the week to create a moat that you are satisfied with. During the week you continue to hear noises from the forest and occasionally you see a tree falling down.\n\nYou decide that opening the moat to the river should be done when you are fresh, so you go to eagerly go to sleep to wait for the new [[day|New Dawn]].
Decision made, you mull over what materials are available to you that you could use against these monstrosities. The stick you have is useful against one or two as you have demonstrated but is much less useful if you do not have surprise on your side. You have a hard time coming up with much that could be used against the monsters in the plains, unless they live in the plains in which case you think you could set the plains on fire. You realize you could probably do a lot of damage with a big enough rock from the [[river|Getting a Rock]] though hitting hard enough with it would be hard. You might be able to find a [[bigger stick|Get a Bigger Stick]] or branch in the forest but that is not your domain and the monsters might live there.
You take a closer look than before, now you realize that there are more distinguishing features than you noticed initially. This creature has a long hooked nose, and while the skin hangs loose on its frame the skin is taut across the creature's stomach. \n\nYour gaze shifts from the creature's body to your own body, it comes as something of a shock that your skin is just as pale as this creature's skin, though your skin is not as flabby you still look like a surrealist painting.\n\nPerhaps this newfound similarity goes deeper than just the skin, what a [[disturbing|Flee]] thought. What if it can [[talk|Talk]]? What if it thinks just like you? What if it wants to take your [[domain away|Drive]]?
You are woken by the sounds of construction. When you get up you realize where the sounds are coming from, there are many creatures building a great wall around your moat. You built a wall to keep the creatures out and they in turn are building a wall to keep you in.\n\nWhen you try to escape by climbing the wall, several creatures push you down into your own moat.\n\nYou won't be leaving your tree anytime soon.\n\nThe End
There has been enough waiting, you are determined to end this now. Since you cannot take the monsters on all at once you need something that will catch all of them at once.\n\nYou mull the problem over for a while when you realize that it hasn't rained in a month, the forest will be as dry as it ever gets. Several fires set around the monsters could grow into a large enough inferno to destroy the monsters, but you would need to keep the monsters from putting the fires out before they get out of control.\n\nAfter setting the fires you wait for the monsters to notice, all the while the fires grow. The fires grow quickly and it is only a few minutes before the monsters notice. They rush out to the fires but you are there beating them away from the growing flames.\n\nSoon you realize the fires are going to be impossible to escape if you don't leave now, so you bolt out between one of the fires. You manage to make it out with only minor burns, as far as you can tell no monsters escaped. You turn around to watch the fire when you realize the fire isn't only growing inward. You run for your life, cursing your impatience, you leave the fire behind.\n\nYou are exhausted and the fire is gaining on you. You ran for several hours then fought several monsters and now you've been running back home. The fire is practically on your heels when you break out of the forest, the grassland slows it down slightly which allows you to reach the river and dive in.\n\nYou watch as your domain and your tree burn to ash.\n\nThe End
As you stand admiring your domain, you notice another creature with pale skin approaching your [[tree|Tree]], it doesn't seem to be the same creature as before but with all that pale skin draped over its body you might be mistaken.\n\n<<if $emotion eq "hostile">>You are filled with a zeal to drive this foul invader from your domain, you will [[clean|Tree]] your domain if it is the last thing you do. <<set $emotion = "zealous">><<else>> You stand transfixed while you try to figure out what to do about this new intruder\n<<endif>>\n\n<<set $num_others = 1>>
You decide to stop your expeditions, after all you didn't find any creatures out there and you have to stay by your tree. You stay by your tree, eventually you clean up the rocks by building fanciful works of art, perhaps the creatures will see them and finally come back.\n\nMonths pass and there is no sign of the creatures, while you refuse to give up on them, your hope starts to dwindle. You find yourself going through the motions of your life by the tree.\n\nAs you grow older your memories of the creature fade but still you wait, after all what else would you do?\n\nEventually you die of old age by your tree on the river, you never saw another creature.\n\nThe End
You head out to the forest to locate some logs for your fortress, unfortunately when you reach the forest you realize that you will need to cut down the trees to get enough logs for a fortress. Scaling back on the size of your undertaking seems like a necessary evil. You gather all the branches you can find and take them back to your tree and start building a lean-to.\n\nA couple of days pass as you travel back and forth from the forest gathering the largest branches you can each time. You start hearing noises in the forest, crunching and cracking, almost as if the creatures were cutting down the trees you are unable to. Your lean-to is finished quickly and you start gathering larger branches for an outer fence.\n\nWhen you wake up you hear a great crashing noise from the forest and see several of the trees start to topple. The creatures truly are cutting down the trees. You [[fear|Small Man]] you cannot compete with the creatures now.
As you walk along the water you glance at a reflection in the water, you see pale skin draped as if melted over a bony frame. Jumping back you look about for the new creature, after a few seconds you realize that the reflection in the water is yours.\n\n<<silently>>\n<<if $emotion eq "zealous">><<set $emotion = "angry">>\n<<elseif $emotion eq "angry">><<set $emotion = "contemplative">>\n<<endif>>\n<<endsilently>>\nSeeing no other creatures you head back to your tree to [[sleep|Sleep]] and reflect on your appearance in the river.
You decide to watch the monsters, you've waited before you can wait again. You find a comfortable place to watch that allows you to observe the whole area.\n\nAfter a couple of hours you realize what has been bugging you, there is almost no communication between the monsters and yet they are constantly working together to accomplish tasks. Wondering if perhaps they have a hive mind, you make your way around the clearing towards a ruined building that most of the monsters seem to visit often.\n\nWhen you reach the building you find a hole in the roof and slip inside. You begin [[searching|End of the Hive]] the building for whatever the building holds that is so important to the monsters.
There is nothing you could build in a short enough time you realize, the creatures will be upon you before you can finish your construction. There is nothing to be done, you will have to flee. You will miss your tree dearly but you can always find a new tree.\n\nThe next day as you leave you look back at the tree and wave goodbye.\n\n\nThe End
You wander for many more years before you find the stones. The stones lie in a perfectly straight line for as far as you can see, you realize that this must finally be the sign of the creatures that you have been searching for after so many years.\n\nYou follow the stones, practically skipping down the path. You can barely wait to finally meet the creatures. When you see the first buildings rising about the horizon your eyes light up, this must be where all the creatures live in homes with their families.\n\nWhen you reach the buildings you realize something must be wrong, there are no creatures here. \nWandering in between the buildings you approach the center of this town and are startled to discover a tree surrounded by grass alongside a river, just like your old tree. You finally see a creature sleeping on the ground in front of the tree, as you approach the creature it wakes up. You are surprised when the creature scrambles backwards towards the tree.\n\n"Hello?" \nYou practically jump out of your skin when the creature greets you.\n"Huh?!" you exclaim.\nYou turn to look at your surroundings and realize that there are no buildings or stones behind you.\n\nThe End
You realize your mistake in following the creature now, but it does not make an appearance before you return to your tree.\n\nYou hope it will come back, but even if it doesn't you are sure that another creature will come.\n\nThey must.\n\nYou [[fall asleep|Dealing]] secure in the knowledge that you are not alone.
Eventually you find a room whose sole occupant is an elderly monster connected to an elevated throne. Behind the throne looms a wall of lights, many blink repetitively while others blink on and off with no apparent pattern. Either this monstrosity is the monsters hive mind controller or the leader of the monsters. You decide to kill this monster to hopefully end the threat the monsters pose to you.
Before you continue your moat however, you need some sleep. Even though there are monsters out there beyond your home you are exhausted from your day of hard labor and fall asleep almost immediately.\n\nIn the morning you wake up and find yourself unharmed. It is time to get to work on your [[moat|Build a Moat]].
Vasily McCausland
What if this creature brings more of its friends and they take over? With this question burning in your mind you race off to prepare your domain and yourself for [[invasion|Preparation]].
Before you build your fortress however, you need some sleep. Even though there are monsters out there beyond your home you are exhausted from your day of hard labor and fall asleep almost immediately.\n\nIn the morning you wake up and find yourself unharmed. It is time to build a [[mighty fortress|Starting a House]].
Over the course of the next month you venture out in a multitude of different directions, soon your camp is the center of many streams of stones. The riverbanks are clear of rocks for as far as you can see. \n\nAt the end of the month you realize that much of your time will now be spent [[collecting rocks|Rock Wheels]] if you continue as you have been.\n\nThe alternative would be to abandon the rocks altogether and just continue looking for the creatures without worrying about coming back to the tree, after all your [[camp|City at the Center]] is your home now.\n\nOr you could just stop now, after all eventually the creatures must [[come back|Eternity]].
This is your tree, the tree shelters you and feeds you in Spring and Autumn. Your tree protects you now, nothing can attack you from behind and rain cannot fall upon you.\n\n<<if $emotion eq "zealous">>Your white hot fury and your stick drives the creature from you. You chase it to the edge of your domain and watch in satisfaction as it flees from you.<<set $num_others = 0>> You set yourself to the task of [[inspecting|Inspection]] your land.\n<<else>>[[The creature|Close Look]] in front of you is most certainly not yours, in fact, you are very sure that it is not from your domain at all.\n<<endif>>
<<silently>>\n<<endsilently>>\n//it has no right be here// you rationalize as you search for a stick to drive it away with.\n\nUpon finding one you like<<set $weapon = "stick">> you start waving your new stick at it. It flees as you approach it with your weapon, its eyes linger on you as it [[runs|Inspection]].\n\n<<set $num_others = 0>>\n\n
Simple, safe, and effective, a good rock is all of these and after several minutes of searching the riverbank you find a good sized stone that should do some damage when you hit a monster with it.\n<<silently>>\n<<set $weapon = "rock">>\n<<endsilently>>\n\nNow that you are properly armed you decide to go [[look|Patrol]] for more monsters.
In the morning you follow the bodies of the monsters who you slew during their retreat. The trail leads straight into the forest. You decide to try and follow any tracks the monsters left in their headlong flight into the forest. \n\nSeveral hours pass as you follow the trail, the monsters were so panicked that they did nothing to conceal their tracks. Even with the obviousness of the trail you are forced to backtrack several times during the day.\n\nYou stumble into a small clearing that appears to be one of the primary areas the monsters live in. You manage to make it back into the trees before you are noticed. There are too many monsters for you to take at once. You want to eliminate these monsters as quickly as [[possible|Inferno]] and go back home.
Plans race through your mind, digging [[pits|Pitfighter]], digging a [[moat|Digdug]], and building a fortress. You need to do something, anything to deal with these threats.\n\nWhen you reach your tree you get to work.
Sometimes bigger truly is better, and a bigger stick is more useful in a variety of ways that you are willing to brave the forest to find a branch that you can use.\n\nAs you enter the forest you realize that there are few branches at all let alone any large enough for what you want near ground level. Your footsteps are like tambourines to your ears and you spot a monster in the distance, your heart nearly stops but you steel yourself and continue on.\n<<set $weapon = "branch">>\nAfter a couple of hours you find a branch that you think is suitable for fighting, you hurry out of the threatening forest. When you arrive back in your domain you decide to [[check|Patrol]] to see if any monsters arrived while you were in the forest. A part of you hopes some did.
<<silently>>\n<<endsilently>>\nYou are woken by splashing in the river. The monsters are attacking you and at night, you are stunned by the monsters duplicity. You grab your <<if $weapon eq "rock">>rock and attack the monsters, there are many and in the darkness you cannot tell how many you hit but you are certain they won't be getting up again.<<else>>branch, it is a good thing you decided to upgrade from a stick. You sweep the monsters before you with broad swipes of your branch.<<endif>>\n\n<<if $num_others gt 0>>You are grabbed from behind by two sets of clammy glowing pale hands. Struggling avails you nothing as the monsters drag you away into the [[forest|Indignity]].<<else>>Eventually something changes for the monsters and they go from attacking to fleeing in a moment, you [[chase|Hunt Them Down]] several down before they are gone. You are too keyed up to go to sleep now.\n<<endif>>
Awkwardly Alien
The next morning you wake up early, you hurry to one end of your moat ready to finally finish your moat.\n\nYou start to clear the dirt from where it is blocking the river from the moat. You work quickly spurred on by the imminent completion of this large project and by the large quantities of water spraying through. Finally you are done, racing to the other end you find the water has beaten you there. You clear this end as well.\n\nHaving finished the moat you decide to spend the rest of the day celebrating. The rest of the day is the best you have had since that creature showed up, especially so since you hear nothing from the forest.\n\nEventually you go to [[sleep|Action Reaction]].
As you trudge through the grass, you spot two more creatures purposefully striding towards your domain. You contemplate trying to drive them off the same way as [[before|Scare]].\n\n<<silently>>\n<<set $num_others = 2>>\n<<endsilently>>\nLeaving them behind you continue on until you can barely see your tree, you decide to head back to the tree until [[tommorow|Sleep]].
Leaving the [[tree|inter Tree]], you survey your domain. In front of you is your river, it flows into a forest on the edge of your territory. The low burble of the [[river|River]] is a comforting companion.\n\nTo the south lies the [[forest|Forest]], it is not your forest though you wish it was. The forest is quite dark, you might not be able to find your way out again. \n\nThe [[grassland|Grass]] streches away in the north and east, you have decided that everywhere you can see your tree is yours. \n\n<<set $emotion = "zealous">>
<<if $emotion eq "zealous">>You charge at the two creatures roaring at the top of your lungs and waving your stick about. When you reach the creatures you strike one in the face and when it grabs at your stick you hit it as hard as you can with your other fist. As it starts to retreat, you cover its milky white hide in welts, you turn on the other. Giving the other creature the same treatment as the first you send them both fleeing. Satisfied that you have driven off these repulsive creatures you head back to your [[tree|Sleep]].<<set $num_others = 0>><<else>>You yell at the creatures and wave your stick in the air, they do not seem to be concerned with your theatrics. As they come up to you one of them takes your stick from you while the other hoists you up on its shoulder. They walk to the river and dump you in.\n\nThe water is extremely cold. You are aware of every bump and bruise you have.\n\nEvery time you attempt to scramble up the bank onto the shore the creatures poke you with your own stick until you fall back into the freezing water. Eventually you give up and let the river carry you to whatever fate it desires.\n\nThe End<<endif>>
"Hello?" you start as you reach out to this creature.\n"Huh?!" the creature starts to back off uncertain how to interact with you.\n\nYou consider [[following|Follow]] the creature, and persisting in trying to establish a common ground but that might scare it off. You realize that you should probably care for your territory, especially if you have guests.
You figure it would be easiest to start by digging a dry trench and then opening it to the river. After a few minutes of scraping at the dirt with your hands you realize that you need a shovel of some kind. The best bet is to get a flat rock from the river.\n\nYou get to the river a couple of minutes later, after sorting through the rocks along the riverbank you find a rock that will suit your purposes and head back to the start of the trench you were digging.\n<<set $weapon = "rock">>\nThe digging goes much quicker now, though far slower than you wish it would. At the end of the day you have disappointingly only managed a few feet of trench. You feel like you could give up on the moat idea to build a [[house|Sleep then House]] but you are loathe to give up on the [[moat|Sleep then Moat]] now that you have started.
As you walk along the perimeter of your domain you spot several monsters lurking in the forest but they fade back into the brush when you go after them. When you reach the river you see two monsters watching you from across the river. They follow you as you walk along the river, you long to swim over to them and chase them away but they look ready for a fight and the river is wide.\n\nEventually you complete your circuit, it's taken a while and it feels like a good time to sleep. <<if $weapon eq "rock">> You decide to venture into the forest tomorrow to capture a monster and find out where they come from.<<else>>There were far more monsters on the edge of the forest than your trip through the forest suggested there were, you decide to venture back into the forest to determine where the others came from.\n<<endif>>\nYou settle down to [[sleep|Ambush]].
The next day you search everywhere within your territory, hoping to find a new creature or the one who fled. You fail to find even the slightest trace of the creatures by the end of the day.\n\nYou [[refuse|Searching]] to give up on finding the creatures.
The next day you decide to use stones to mark a trail back to the tree, which you hope will allow you to search farther afield for the creatures.\n\nAs you venture forth from your tree you leave a stone behind you every few meters. You make very good progress and venture far from the sight of your tree before twilight when you turn back.\n\nThough you did not find any creatures today, your success leaves you jubilant when [[sleep|Far Afield]] finally finds you.
So what that you will have to spend some days collecting rocks and some journeying out to the ends of your trails? The trails of rocks will attract the creatures attentions on their own. Today will be your first rock collection day, but it will not be your last.\n\nAs your rock trails grow longer and the river loses even more of its rocks, you start to build trails out to the river far from your tree, and camp there to collect rocks. You never fail to return to your tree though. You also start seeing trails that you swear you didn't put down, when you follow them they connect to other rock trails. Perhaps the creatures are trying to communicate with you, it is not too much to hope for after all.\n\nOne day when you wake up at your tree, you find a pile of rocks. It is not your pile of rocks, the creatures must have left them for you. You decide to stay by your tree to see if they come back. \n\nThe next several days pass at an agonizingly slow pace, how did you ever manage to do so little before the rock trails? However you do not once see the creatures. They must be so shy, still the message seems clear, they will share the trails with you.\n\nYou never once see the creatures before you die but you know they must be out there, after all who else would leave you piles of rocks and put down new trails. Your unseen collaborators are just shy. When at long last you die your network of trails is visible from space.\n\nThe End
<<if $num_others = 0>>You fall to sleep easily knowing that you are alone in your domain and that no one is going to sneak up to you while you sleep.\n\nThe End<<else>><<if $emotion eq "angry">>Sleep comes slowly and you worry that one of the others might come upon you while you sleep and try to harm you.<<endif>><<endif>>\n\n<<if $emotion eq "zealous">>When you wake up you know what you need to do, the monstrous creatures that encroach upon your territory are coming from somewhere so you must seek them out and [[destroy|Preparations]] them.<<endif>>
You follow the creature as it heads away from your tree towards the grasslands. Every time the creature stops and looks back only to find that you have continued to pursue it. It becomes visibly distressed but does not stop its flight. You only turn back, when you realize that you have almost lost sight of your tree and that if you do not turn back now you will never find your home again.\n\nYou head home, [[alone|Alone]].
As you approach the edge of the forest you realize that there are several more creatures dwelling within it, you decide to settle for just skirting the edge of the forest on your patrol.\n\nAfter a relatively quiet patrol you head back to your tree to [[sleep|Sleep]].