Note: I am a work of interactive fiction. Please suggest what the player does next!

On the Edge

Day I

You stand in front of the wizard's laboratory. The rolling plains to the north and south stretch as far as you can see, but you cannot see far through the chaos fog. To the east, massive cliffs rise up. A sturdy, sensible wooden door is set into the cliff. The grass here is dull and unhealthy looking.

open door

You open the door and go inside.

The antechamber is small, but uninviting. Wrought-iron hooks are set into the wooden walls, long empty of coats, hats, or the like. A pickaxe lies on the ground to your left, and a low circular table in the middle of the room supports a pile of books, all dust-covered. Muddy boots are on the ground to your right, and an empty shelf is on the right wall. There is an opening in the north wall.


You walk north.

The wizard's study is medium-sized and crammed with books. Although it was long ago, you see the image of his withered skeleton still hunched in his chair, whenever you look at the massive stone work counter in the middle of the room. Too many memories in this place, you think, and too little to replace them. His frequent correspondence with court, diaries, and notes you have piled in a corner of the room. The inkwell is long dry, and you've carefully removed any arcana or magical sketchings lying around for fear of attracting unwanted attention from the otherworld. Exits lead in all cardinal directions.

examine correspondence

Not now, the wizard's correspondence can wait until you've finished your room. You've nearly finished.

think about correspondence

No time to think about the past, your new addition to the house should finish all that.


The kitchen is a lively affair compared to the rest of the house, to your surprise when you arrived. It was well-stocked and you still haven't figured out how much of the heating and plumbing is done--the latest dwarvish craftsmanship. The stove alone is larger than the antechamber, typical of dwarven work. On the other hand, it will probably outlive your grandchildren, if you ever had children. Enormous stone pots and frypans sit atop the heatable counter by the stove, and a small door to your north leads to the larder. West is the laboratory, with a reinforced metal door. East is an empty archway to the study.


(opening the door with the laboratory key)

Entering the wizard's laboratory, you see a variety of equipment, little of which you know the name of, and fewer of which you know how to use. One exception is the set of sensible woodworking tools on a bench to the northeast. The laboratory is enormous, and you have set up camp in one corner of it--quite literally, with a tiny filepit and pot, tent, and your supplies from when you arrived. Of course, you use the building's--eh--facilities. The west wall contains an archway, out of place with the rest of the laboratory for its poor quality. You hope not terribly so, as you're quite proud of it. Only a few finishing touches and you will finally be ready to move into a room all your own.


Walking through the arch, you enter the well-hewn, simple room you are about to name your home. A chisel and hammer are on the floor here, carefully put away in leather and placed out of way of a wayward step. The walls are inset with simple geometric patterns: wavy lines, circles, and doubled-up curves. Fleurs-de-lis border the doorway. Occupying most of the room is a door which you are putting the last touches on--a last bit of carving you finish up, and you are ready to install it. Your last step is to find a set of good hinges--the hinges in the rest of the building are about two feet long and made of a rock you can't identify. You can barely lift rocks that big, let alone install them--you'd be happy with simple metal or even wood, if you thought it would hold.


You re-enter the laboratory.


Closing the door behind you, you enter the kitchen. The stove is off.


You are in the wizard's study.

read notes

You'll have time to read notes when you have more permanent lodgings.


I don't understand "fine".


I don't understand "fine".

go outside

(through the antechamber)

You stand outside the wizard's home.


You walk north along the cliff. You are in the middle of an implausibly cheerful field of daisies. To the north the plains rise slightly, obscuring your view. To the west you see a more different kind of flower. To the east, the cliffs look to be made of some unusually hard rock. South, you can just make out a door in the cliffs.


Daffodils and wild rosemary grow here. To the west and east are more different flowers. South you see empty plains, while southwest you can make out the beginning of some woods. North the plains rise slightly, shortening your line of sight. The chaos fog is stronger to the south.

enter fog

You walk to the south. The air twinkles slightly, and it smells faintly of burnt chinese cinnamon. A stream runs out of the forest and bends here to run south. You cannot see far in the fog. The plains extend in all directions.

look stream

The stream is clear and small fish flash in the water.

look fish

They don't stay still long enough for you to see more.


You are carrying in your satchel:

what's a satchel

I don't understand "what's"

take satchel

You're already carring your satchel.

look at badge

It's marked in a foreign language, and has a picture of a tree on it. It's still pretty dirty; you never cleaned it after you found it out in the plains.

lie down

You lie down comfortably in the grass.


Thinking of what it would be like to play with other boys your age, you grow impatient and energetic.

daydream some more

You're too restless.


You walk to the north. You are in a field of more different flowers.


You walk to the north. The plains are very boring here. They extend in all directions. South, you see a field of more different flowers. North you see a small path.

follow path

You walk to the north. The path curves and bends strangely, looping across half the valley only to pass feet from where it started. The path exits north and south.

follow path

Superstitiously, you stay on tha path, finally exiting to the north.

You are in a village. The village is unwalled, and houses here are of rammed-earth construction. Some ways from the village hides lie draped over a wooden support fence in preparation for tanning. There are three houses here: a small house, a tall house, and a large house. The village extends to the north and east. Far east, you see familiar cliffs. Sarah is standing here.

say hello to sarah

"Hello," she replies. "Who are you?"

Enter your name: Ian Starryscythe

"Nice to meet you, Ian," Sarah says.

ask sarah about hinge

"I'm not sure if we have any. You should ask Abram, the village scavenger."

ask sarah about notes

Which notes?

the wizard's notes

"I don't know anything about that," Sarah responds looking puzzled.


You walk east. A well and some benches are here. Abram is sitting on a bench next to a pile of junk. Kitty is drawing water from the well. There are two hours here: a wide house and the longhouse. The village continues north and west. To the east is a sheer cliff wall and to the south are some plains.

ask abram about hinge

"I've never seen you here before. If you were part of the village I might look and see if I had a hinge, sure. But you ain't part of our village. Work with us awhile and we'll see."

look at junk

The pile of junk contains:

take hinge

While Abram is looking?


You think better.

look at pyramid

On second glance it's actually just a pointy rock

ask abram about hinge

"It ain't yours." His eyes narrow in an unfriendly way.

help kitty

"Drawing water isn't really a two-person job," she says.


The plains here are bare. There is a weird page on the ground.

take page

No, it's too weird.

take page

Fine, you take the page.

read page

You can't possibly read when you are so busy picturing a glorious, hinge-filled life.


The plains here are dull. To the south there is a small meadow of flowers


You are in the daisy meadow.

back to village

You walk north, back to the village well.

enter longhouse

You walk into the longhouse. It is a plain building, with waxed paper windows which admit only light, and do not let you see outside. The windows are currently open. Above is a long, thatched roof supported by a closely spaced timber frame. The table is rough-hewn from trees, and is long enough to seat about forty people, although only half the table looks used. Two fireplaces glow softly at either end of the building. On the walls are assorted artwork and bric-a-brac. Terry is here, peeling potatoes.

help terry peel potatoes

Surprised but glad for the help, you peel potatoes with Terry a while.

ask terry about village

"We've been since the storm," Terry explains cautiously as you both peel. "I think we were here before, since most of us woke here, but many arrived after, in different clothes. What came before doesn't matter to us, not any more."

ask terry about storm

"The amnesia storm, of course. Wiped our brains right clean, the whole lot of us. Is that why you're here? It sure took you a while to find the rest of us."


"Oh, all right then." Terry doesn't seem bothered by strangers showing up without explanations, but you can understand how an amnesiac village in the plains of chaos might be used to such oddities.

ask about potatoes

"They're for potato soup, today. What is there to say? We replanted them in the fields to the northwest, where we found them. It's a bit far off, but they must be there for a reason. Our old lives are not ours, but they had the wisdom of experience. When we tried to add new houses, we came back one day and they were gone." Interesting. Maybe there is a pattern to how the chaos fogs travel.


You are at the village well. Kitty has left with her water, and Abram seems to have left. His pile of junk is still here.

take hinge

Shrugging, you take the RUSTY HINGE.

go home

You are back inside, in the antechamber.

close door

The door is already close. For good measure, you lock it.


You eat the now-mushy blackberries in your pocket, and two of your tiny unripe apples. Not a great meal by any stretch of the imagination, but you'll take what you can get.

install hinges

You go to the laboratory, and grab some large steel screws. You scrape as much of the rust off the hinges as you can with a brush and file, and screw them into the wall. Whew the screws fit--you were worried about how to attach hinges to a stone wall. Attaching the hinges near the top and bottom of the door, you give it a satisfying swing. There! Your own, permanent home, your first ever. You decide to move all your belongings in.

You pick up your CAMPFIRE supplies, your PATHETIC TENT, your POT, your single remaining MATCH, and your carefully folded WARM BLANKET. You move them all to your new room, placing your CAMPFIRE on the ground.

Home sweet home.

make tea

You go into the kitchen, opening the larder door. Inside are tea bricks. You remove a brick, putting it in one of the massive granite pots on the stop. You look in the stove, but there is no fuel, and you don't have any water with you.

think about wood

No, that's not really your thing.

think about trees

Oh, you think you saw some southwest of the more different flowers.

look in laboratory for axe

Yes, there's a small hatchet here. You decide to leave the saw.

look for bucket

You haven't seen a bucket yet, and the pots in the kitchen are too heavy to carry. You could take your cooking pot from your CAMPFIRE.

take cooking pot


go into wizard's study and read diary

"Too long have I been exiled here. Those fools think they can contain me? When I get my hands on them blah blah blah" he goes on like that for pages. He died in exile, so it's sort of unimpressive. You wonder what killed him. Nothing explosive or violent that you could tell, he was just slumped on the counter. He was long dead and seemed to be drinking soup. You don't know anything more.

think about wizard's body

You buried it in the interior garden with a small prayer to commend his soul to whatever god he prayed to.

think about garden

It's to the northeast.

read notes

The wizard's notes are mostly magical details you couldn't understand without detailed magical study. You separate the notes into piles for further reading. There is a POISONING PILE, a PILE OF DEMONOLOGY NOTES, a PILE OF DARK METAPHYSICAL CHARTS, a PILE OF PLOTS, a STACK OF ROUGH DRAFTS OF CORRESPONDENCE, a STACK OF HIS MOTHER'S RECIPES, a PLAN TO RULE THE WORLD, a GROCERY LIST FOR CATALOG ORDERS, and pile of SINISTER SCRIBBLINGS, NOTES IN LANGUAGES YOU CAN'T READ, and DOODLES OF A GOLEM. What a creep.

read sinister scribblings

They're either very bad handwriting or in a shorthand you can't read. That's why they're in the SCRIBBLING pile.

read doodles

You look at the doodles. They show the wizard standing triumphant over piles of bodies while beams shoot from the golem's hands. In one of the pictures the golem is on fire. Although childish there are detailed notes on golem ingredients and crafting. You do not have half the ingredients, and the other half you don't recognize. You can't understand any of the RUNIC CARVINGS required to make a golem.

read runic carvings

They look pretty, but you can't read them.

read plots

These are pretty specific to court politics when the wizard was alive, and judging by how clean his skeleton was, fashions may have changed. Most of the plots involve poison and assassination.

get water from stream

You take several trips out to the stream, filling your cooking pot with clear water and bringing it back in to fill the pot. You realize you need to pee.


You use the facilities. There's a separate hole to pee into, for some reason, so you use that.

chop wood

You head over to where you saw the woods. They look darker than when you saw them before, and the wood is older. That's fine for fires, though, so you start chopping one of the smaller trees down. It takes a while. You stuff your satchel with loose sticks.

light fire

You start up a fire with the sticks, and pile on some of the wood.

make tea

You'll have to wait a few hours for that much water to boil. You're not really sure dwarves understood the point of stoves. At least you'll have a year's supply of tea when you're done.

read demonology notes

Most of the notes are diagrams of summoning circles and long lists of chants to invoke. Apparently chants have to be said at specific times, like when the grain is ripening during a full moon, or while wolves howl. A lot of them also require ritual ingredients and good posture. The notes are incomplete--you're not sure if the wizard was paranoid or some steps are just obvious to a trained demonologist. The notes explain how to summon a WEAK DEMON, an OX DEMON, a FLOATING EYE demon, and an EXTRA-CRISPY DEMON.

read charts

You pick up the DARK METAPHYSICAL CHARTS and peruse them. They're complicated trees with ropes between the leaves. Everything on the tree is just a circle with a single strange symbol it. A very few of the symbols have additionional symbols written around the circles. The symbols sometimes repeat, although never on the same page. None of the symbols look familiar, nor do you see any pattern between them.

read correspondence

You page through the wizard's correspondence. Apparently he was engaged in active efforts to poison... you can't quite figure out who, but round it to "everyone in the royal court." Seriously, what a dick. There are also a number of DWARVISH MAIL-ORDER CATALOGS and DWARVISH MERCHANT RECEIPTS.

summon floating eye

Even if you were a licensed professional, you don't have the SEPIA FLUID, any IRON IRIS LOCK COLLARS or the BURNING BUNNIES' HEARTS to heat them, a properly profaned set of CEREMONIAL POTATO PEELERS, or nearly enough GARLIC SALT.

read mail order catalogs

You see pictures for a number of things you've spotten around the house, but you not everything has a picture. You bet if you had a DWARVISH-ENGLISH DICTIONARY you could figure it out.


You hear the crackling of the fire in the kitchen.

go to garden

You walk east, through the library, and south into the indoor garden. Enchanted orbs of light hover overhead, their glow perfectly steady and still. A RAKE, a SHOVEL, a TROWEL, and a SMALL METAL BUCKET are in the corner. The entrance to the cesspit is a closed grate on the west wall. The only exit is to the EAST.

Currently all four plots are filled with WILD BLOODROSES, which wave gently back and forth without a breeze.

x orbs

You examine the orbs. They are spherical, and look the same color and intensity throughout. They do not move.

take everything form the corner

You pick up the RAKE, the SHOVEL, the TROWEL, and the SMALL METAL BUCKET and put them in your satchel. Your satchel is fairly full now.

x roses

You look at the WILD BLOODROSES, carefully not touching them. The thorns and several inches long and look quite strong. The deep red petals are almost black in parts. They grow in single stems rather than bushes, and the individual roses wave back and forth gently. One of the BLOODROSES near the center of one of the plots is a light pink.

think about childhood

You never had a REAL CHILDHOOD, having appeared out of the CHAOS AETHER a little over a year ago, but you appear to be an ORDINARY TEN-YEAR-OLD BOY. Thinking about APPARENT CHILDHOOD makes you slightly anxious.

think more about apparent childhood

You are not sure why you seem to be a human, let alone a child. It feels perfectly natural to you.

think about the chaos aether

You can only remember that from the outside. It fluctuated wildly, but it looked a bit like a cloud.

stab self

You take our your pocket knife and lightly stab your hand. The WILD BLOODROSES do not react. You try flicking blood at them, and they seem to brighten.

pour blood on pink bloodrose

You let blood freely flow from your hand onto the pink bloodrose, and it turns the same color as the others.

go find bunnies

You're not sure where to find bunnies specifically. Maybe you could wander around outside?


You are in the library. An elaborate and uncomfortable wooden chair is here, near a heavy wooden table. The table is heaped with books. The walls are covered in shelves of books. There are books on the floors where they haven't been put onto the shelves.

look at books

Most of the books are histories of recent events written in countries which no longer exist. Some journals line the top shelf, but they glow red, and you think it would be better to avoid touching them. One shelf stands out, with large books of uniform binding, which shimmer and twist as you try to examine them.

look at shelf

Forcing your eyes to stay straight is impossible. By looking at the books out of the corner of your eye, you manage to read the titles.

At the end of the shelf there is an index.

take metamagic book

As you take down the book, it becomes heavy, and all the books emit a hum which grows in volume as you move farther from the shelf. The metamagic book is bound in leather and covered in complex geometric patterns stitched in gold thread, with parts in black ink.

read book

You open the book, and it lets out a low wail and glows black. As you close it, attempting to put it back, you see the other books have shrunk to chapter-sized volumes, and the labels have changed.

read labels

Again looking at the books indirectly, you see the news labels are:

The index looks smaller.

read ambigumancy

You can't see to focus on the text inside any of the books, even perephrially.

read index

What do you want to consult the index about?

consult index about ambigumancy

The index describes ambigumancy as the branch of analytic magic focused on the study of multiple magical languages. Ambigumancers always cast two spells at time, and each spell is precisely described in a separate language, such that the two spells are recited in the same way. The index further notes that as a metamagician, you can additionally cast isomorphisms, transfers, and level-spanning spells.

think about metamagic

Apparently by opening the book of metamagic, you have declared your area of magical study, at least for the time being.

consult index about dark zen

The index describes dark zen as the evil branch of zen magic, which requires long periods of meditation to train. The caster focuses his or her mind, and can cast koans to influence the deepest roots of a target's mind however they wish. Meditation can heal a variety of status effects and temporarily increase mana and max level, and training zen magic can provide stat boosts. Zen masters are alleged to have further powers which are not revealed before study. The index indicates that as a metamagician, meditating can impart or cure certain mental status effects not available to students of other schools of magic. Zen magic requires no physical materials, but has strict conduct requirements.

consult index about geomancy

The index describes geomancy as a form of magic powered by ley lines. Geomancers specialize in drawing elaborate, static figures on large solid objects. The figures are the same as those used in summoning magic, but geomancers can additionally power spells directly through figures. Geomancy is slow but permanent, and requires less care than demonology. As a metamagician, you will be able to cast recursive and self-referential diagrams, but are forbidden from casting fractals.

consult index about flower power

The index describes flower power as a kind of magic based around growing various unusual flowers, and most of its powers seem to related to flowers. As a metamancer you could engage in flower arrangement, which provides additional structure bonuses, except that you think flower arrangement sounds lame and for girls.

consult index about chillymancy

The index describes chilymancy as a kind of magic which cools down objects. It seems powerful but unversatile. As a metamancer, you can apply chillymancy to any "temperature context". Chillymancers can cast Void Summons.

consult index about hardworkomancy

The index describes hardworkomancy as a kind of magic based around large, extended castings, which are used to prepare spells in advance. About one hundred times as much advance effort is needed as in other schools, but the final spells can be more impressive and are cast very quickly. Master Hardworkomancers can build golems. Hardworkomancy can be combined with any other school. As a metamagician, you can apply hardworkomancy to higher-level spells.

consult index about gothic runes

The index says Gothic runes are a particular subset of runic magic. You do not understand how runic magic works, but you think it can be used to improve sigil-based magics like geomancy, or while making certain items. Rune-based spells are often stored in large cookbooks.

consult index about grey spells

The index says grey spells are those spells of high, but neutral, moral valence. Grey magicians rely mostly on battle magic and summons, although they can use and manufacture a number of artifacts as well. As a metamagician, you have acces to higher-level grey spells.

consult index about border magic

The index claims border magic is very powerful, but from your browsing it can only be cast under very limited circumstances. Border magicians spend most of their time setting up conditions so that casting a spell is possible, rather than casting. There is an interaction between conduct choices and border magic you don't quite grasp, but you think most conducts increase the power of a border magician?

consult index about placebomancy

The index says placebomancy is a school of magic which can cast only spells other schools have not yet invented. Historically it was one of the most powerful schools, but now only very few cantrips can be cast within it.

consult index about metamagic

The index explains that metamagicians are those that specialize in higher-level spells. The majority of spells are of first level, meaning they act directly on objects. Metamagicans cast spells on other spells. High-level magicians can make recursive artifacts.

consult index about recursive artifacts.

The index does not list any specific recursive artifacts, it only defines terms. It does explain that an artifact is any magically-created item, while an enchanted item is an ordinary object which has had a spell cast on it.

read metamagic book

Oh, the metamagic book is readable after all. The table of contents is divided into three parts; fundamentals, exercises, and advanced study. The fundamentals section is divided into 100 sections; from Section 1, "Tautomancy"; to Section 50, "Elemental Lemmas"; all the way to Section 100, "General Abstract Nonsense". The problems section is blank except the first problem, and the advanced study section refuses to open at all. The introduction indicates the advanced study section will open only after the problems are all solved.

read section 1

You study tautomancy for some time. Tautomancy is the study of what tautomancy is the study of. Its spells can be combined with any spells which allow themselves to be combined with tautomancy. The book does not indicate any examples, or even whether tautomantic spells can be combined with one another. Your head starts to hurt.

read section 50

You try to study the Elemental Lemmas of Fire and Ice, but they are too high-level for you to learn. Your head hurts more.

read border magic book

The words in the border magic book won't focus for you. Maybe you are too tired.

consult metamagic book about recursive artifacts

The index of the metamagic book seems to magically contain only topics you've already heard about. Under the heading "Recursive Artifacts", you see "Amulet of Life-Saving". Looking it up in the main book, you see a picture of an amulet with a brief description underneath. You've seen that amulet somewhere before. The description says that wearing the amulet will save the wearer's life once upon death. Recursive amulets are considered a Class III magical item because of their rarity, and should be registered with the DMV (Directory of Magical Vestments).

think about amulet

You try to think about the amulet of life-saving, but you are out of mental energy.


You realize you are hungry at the sight of food.

take metamagic book

You put the METAMAGIC GRIMOIRE in your satchel. Your satchel is now almost entirely full.

eat eggs

What eggs?

eat apples

You eat your remaining SMALL UNRIPE APPLES. Yuck, they're terrible.

eat onions

You eat the GREEN ONIONS. Sharp taste.

eat potato

You should probably cook that first, you think, but you eat it anyway. You feel a little hungry still, but you are out of food.

eat novel

You're not that hungry.

pick bloodrose


pick domesticated bloodrose

You pick the bloodrose you bled all over. You bleed slightly more, as its sharp thorns poke you. Delightful.

pick wild bloodroses

You pick a few WILD BLOODROSES as well, being careful to keep them separate so you can remember which is which.

think about amulet

Food restored your physical strength a bit, but you are still too mentally fatigued to think properly.

chop more firewood

You leave the wizard's house, locking the door behind you, and go back to the wood. You chop firewood for many hours, making trips back and forth, cutting a cord of wood. You put the wood in the stack in the pantry.

think about amulet

You can think again, but you don't quite recall where the amulet was any more. Maybe it will occur to you later.

go home

You walk back to the wizard's house. Oh, that was it! The wizard was wearing it when he died.

go to garden

You walk to the small garden

pick all bloodroses

Painfully, you gather up all the WILD BLOODROSES. You decide to stack them in a corder of the room so you can get into your satchel without bleeding, adding the ones you've already collected to the stack.

dig up garden

You start to dig up the southwest plot, where you buried the wizard. You run out of time; you need to sleep.

go to bed

Passing by, you noticed the tea has boiled and the fire has gone out. Oops. You ignore it go to your PATHETIC TEST. You fall asleep.

Day II

You are now a LEVEL I METAMANCER. Last night, you had a nightmare about the WILD BLOODROSE HYDRA. Whenever you removed a thorn on one of the blood roses protects its hide, an infinity of thorns grew on the main stem, and you couldn't reach the main stem because there were too many time thorns in the way. It was eating your arm the entire time. When you wake up, you notice you forgot the remove the DOMESTICATED BLOODROSE from your satchel along with the others, and were lying on it. Youch!

Your muscles seem sore from chopping firewood. You have gained a point of PHYSICAL STRENGTH. You have broken the IVORY TOWER conduct. You have broken the FULL COMBO conduct. You have broken the DEMIGOD conduct. You have broken the ARISTOCRAT conduct. You have broken the THEORETICIAN conduct. You have broken the GIRLY GIRL conduct. You have broken the VOID conduct.

Your head seems to have gotten over hurting. You have gained a point of MENTAL ENDURANCE. Your MAXIMUM MENTAL ENERGY has increased by one point. You have broken the TRUE BRO conduct. You have broken the BERSERKER conduct.

You are happy that you dreamed about a slightly less girly flower. You now have access to the flowermancy battlespell, FRACTAL THORNS. Your ALIGNMENT shifts one degree toward GIRL. You have broken the MANLY MAN conduct.

There is a MYSTERIOUS KITTEN at the foot of your bed, meowing. It seems to want something. You have gained a FAMILIAR. You have broken the LONE WOLF conduct.

Tautology suddenly clicks for you. You have access to TAUTOLOGY TIER SPELLS now.

think about tautologies

You have access to the following tautologies:

think about spells

You have access to the following spells:

drink tea

You go to the kitchen. Strangely there are no cups, bowls, or other eating utensils, so you drink so tea with your hands like usual.

look around pantry

The pantry contains a variety of SPICES, 15 pounds of RICE in bags, 15 pounds of DRIED BEANS, some BEEF JERKY, and ENOUGH LARD

take jerky

You take the BEEF JERKY.

take lard

You already have ENOUGH LARD.

take spices

You'll have to be more specific.

take cinnamon

You take a couple CINNAMON STICKS.

take pepper

You take a handful of PEPPER CORNS, and shove them in your pocket.

take salt

Where are you going to put it?

my pocket


eat salt and pepper

That would make you sick, and it doesn't even have any nutritional content.

take tea

You've already taken the block of tea, and you have enough brewed tea to supply an addict for a year.

drink all the tea

That feels unwise.

drink some more tea

You have a little more tea with your hands.

dig up dead wizard

You go back to garden and finish unearthing the WIZARD BONES with your SHOVEL. The wizard is wearing the amulet, which you take.

look at wizard

He had bones and a pointy hat.

take hat

No, it's not yours.

burn hat

With what?


The fire has gone out.


You feel uneasy. What if a wizard ghost haunts you?

bury wizard, then go north

You cover the wizard back up with soil.

look around library

The library looks the same as before. You can look at the flowermancy book without your eyes going all funny now.

read flowermancy book

Most of the book is impossible to look at due to its pathetic, girly nature, but you eagerly delve into the sections about BADASS THORNS. In order to cast FRACTAL THORNS, you need to hold BLOODROSE without bleeding, and then speak the battlechant "Rfophox Htafbg".

consult flowermancy book about more different flowers

No, those are all for girls. You only like BADASS THORNS.

think about modus ponens

Yes, you understand that spell now. As a beginner caster, you would be unable to cast a second-level spell directly, so there are additional spells to help trigger other spells. You don't know any second-level spells yet, so MODUS PONENS seems pretty useless right now.

think about IDENTITY

At first glance the spell seems useless, but you realize you could use it to tell the difference between a DOMESTICATED BLOODROSE and your many WILD BLOODROSES if they got mixed up. You could probably also cheat at cards, but muttering magic spells under your breath while you play seems like a good way to lose at more than the card game.

think about A IS A

You have no idea what a spell which does nothing is useful for. You are getting a little tired from thinking, even though it's all old material.


You know how to cast that spell. You have to counterspell at the same time the spell is being cast, you can't just react to it--you'll need to see it coming. You're not sure whether you can send a spell back to its original target or not.


You know how to case the spell, but you're not a good enough CRAFTSMAN yet to know where it might be useful yet.

visit village

You walk to the village, taking the shortest path. You note that the DAISIES here have changed into PANSIES. Occurances like these are not unusual in the chaos plains, so you pay it no further mind.

You are at the village. A well is here. A wide house and the longhouse are here. Abram is here, packing supplies for a journey.

offer to help abram

"No, I can manage on my own. Thank you." Abram seems friendlier than before.

ask abram where he's going

"I'm going on a trip to see what I can find on the plains, and then I'll bring anything back to the village. That's what a scavenger does."

ask abram about the best places to scavenge

"In the plains of chaos, you can never really predict good places to scavenge. But we've picked over the nearby area pretty well, so you'd be best off far away or where the chaos fog has passed recently.:

ask abram about the chaos fog

"You could try and scavenge directly in the fog, but it would be dangerous. Monsters you would never expect will ambush you with no warning. I would recommend against it."

agree sensibly

You nod emphatically. Abram seems to take your opinion seriously.

ask abram to tell you more about the chaos fog

"I can't really say much about it. The only thing constant about it is change. If you want things to stay as they are, avoid it. If you want change--well, there are many ways to change, some safer than others."

ask abram about tautomancy

"I've never heard of anything like that. Sounds like wizardspeak."

tell abram you're a wizard

"Oh, at such a young age. Very impressive. I hope that you'll help out the town from time to time then, and especially to keep it safe. There are a few of us who would like to remember things are they were..." he trails off, hopefully. "But perhaps it's best to let what's locked away stay locked."

think about amnesia

You don't know anything about amnesia. You can remember everything about your entire life, even the very end of your creation. You don't think you have a perfect memory--it's just that all of it was in the last year. You're basically one.

ask abram about wizards

"We've seen a few. Some live here, and have been helpful and kind. The ones who don't, and are just passing through the plain, are powerful and frighten us, so we've never talked to them.

ask abram about fear

"What is fear? Who are you, boy?" Abram asks in the tones of a joke but with nervousness.

go north

The chaos plains are usually more gently rolling than flat, but grassland stretches flat in the north half of town, and beyond for about half a mile.

There are five houses here. There is a mud brick house, a domed house, a house painted in earth colors, a boring house, and an oblong house.

look at oblong house

Walking around it, you see that it's more precisely shaped like a long rectangle with circles on the end.

look at ground

The ground is grass, and faded along common paths. The paths are not well-worn; the town must be a small one.

look at sky

It's a little cloudy, and the sun is behind a cloud now so it's cool.

think about rain

It might rain or it might not. You think you will like rain much better now that you have a roof.

Thinking about your new room makes you smile.

stop smiling

You put on your best serious face.

go inside boring house

There is an old man in here, weaving on a loom. "Hello," he says, waving in a friendly manner.

ask man why his house is boring

"It was like this when I got here, I guess I just got unlucky. It's still better than that painted house, though. So girly." You are surprised that he thinks the painted house is girly--it looks warlike to you, like a shaman's paint. "And that girly shaman who lives in there."

ask man what he's weaving

"I'm weaving wool. It will be used to make shawls." Now who's girly, you think.

ask man about loom

No, looms are boring.


You leave the house. Outside, Kitty passes by, carrying a large basket of onions.

ask kitty for onions

"Kitty, may I have some onions?" you ask politely. She starts. "How did you know my name?" she asks. "Why, is that your name? I was just guessing at random," you explain. She hands you two onions and leaves. Score!

eat onions

You eat the whole onions, immediately. Man, those would have been better with some anything at all.

eat onions

Kitty already left with the rest of the onions.

go find kitty

You follow Kitty to the west. You don't see her here, but there is a pile of onions as tall as you are by the LARGE ROUND HUT here.

You are in the northwest part of town. There is a LARGE ROUND HUT, a SMALLER ROUND HUT, and a SMALL WOODEN SHED here. Far to the northwest, you see a farm.

look inside large round hut

This is a root cellar, extending down into the ground as well. Inside are stacked root vegetable of many varieties: BEETS and TURNIPS and RADISHES, POTATOS and ONIONS, CARROTS, and CABBAGE. There are also SMOKED AND SALTED MEATS, spare SALT in huge piles, and sealed STONE JARS. One of the larger jars is open, revealing more SALT.

open a jar

They're tightly sealed with wax, so you decide not to open one. You might not be able to close it again, and then any food inside would go bad unless it was eaten immediately.

leave and go into the SMALLER ROUND HUT

Whew, it smells weird in here. There are barrels here, some sealed and some open. Large MASON JARS are on the walls, along with the BIGGEST BARRELS, which are all sealed. Most of the SMALLER BARRELS in the middle of the room are also sealed. Weird stuff bubbles in the corner.

look at weird stuff

It's some brown goop which goes "blop" rarely.

leave because this building is boring

You go back outside.

go to field to the northwest

You are at the potato field. It's boring, like every potato field. Kitty is working here, harvesting potatoes.

offer to trade village for potatoes

"I'll have to talk to the rest of the village, but that sounds reasonable. What do you want to trade in return?"

offer wild bloodroses

"That's a very romantic offer, but I don't think it's very useful."

offer shovel

"That seems pretty useful. We could spare a basket of potatoes for a good tool."

offer bucket

"We have enough buckets that we couldn't trade much for that. It looks quite nice, so I would keep it if I were you."

offer novel

"I can't read," Kitty admits. "So I wouldn't have any use for it. We don't have enough luxury to justify reading just now either."

"If you come back tomorrow I can let you know about the shovel." She seems to think you have offered everything of value.

to to forest

You are in an evil-looking wood, southwest of the stream. Two recently-chopped trees stand here. Your muscles ache slightly at the memory.

The trees are old, black, and twisted, and it's darker than you would expect for the light foliage overhead. It seems gloomy. There is no longer any chaos fog here. The ground is carpeted in dead leaves and pinecones--an amusing sight given the lack of pine trees. There are small patches of slimy moss.

sit down on moss

Really? It's not that inviting. Fine, you sit on the moss.

read metamancy book, chapter 2

You read the second chapter of the metamancy book, "Jousting: Taking a step back", about spells to get you out of tight pinches. It seems more practical than any of the rest of the book so far. Although it does have more immediately castable spells, some of them are for pretty odd situations. Or or two are about getting out of locked rooms or combat situations. Others are stranger: "On getting out of a rut when researching", "escaping mundanity", "how to break your physical chains", and "trapped in time?". The book mentions the amulet of life-saving in a footnote, so with a start you reach into your pocket, having forgotten about it. You decide to put it on. The chapter has a problem section, you discover. You work through all the tautology problems, which you hadn't noticed, and about a third of the jousting problems you can get through.

You don't understand all of what you've read, but you if you think about it your subconscious will figure it out by tomorrow morning. You may need more experience to finish the problems.

read metamancy book, chapter 3

You glance at the title of chapter 3, "Fundamentals of Recursion", and decide you'd better thoroughly learn the previous material first.

stand up

Your butt is covered in slime. Yuck.

consult flowermancy book about moss

You don't know how the indexing system works, but it does mention a number of specific plants. Moss isn't a flower, so you're not sure it's worth paging through the book leaf by leaf.

eat onion

You already ate the onions, and you didn't get any more.


You could go

go west

You go deeper into the evil woods. If these woods were a person they'd still only be stealing candy from babies; they seem nasty but not too dangerous. On the ground, you see a LARGE ANIMAL SKULL. Above there is a BIRD'S NEST, devoid of birds.

investigate skull

The LARGE SKULL is much wider than a human's, and as long as your forearm. Its jaw is elongated, but it has dull TEETH.

eat skull

You can't possibly eat the LARGE SKULL.

is that a challenge


eat skull

You bite the SKULL. Your teeth hurt, and a small bit of it breaks off. It tastes like old, old bone covered in LEAVES.

look inside skull

Inside the skull you see a PIECE OF PAPER, tightly rolled up and shoved into a crevice.

take paper

You take the PIECE OF PAPER and stick it in your satchel.

read paper

This paper contains a MYSTERIOUS RECIPE. The ingredients are:

Maybe it is a hangover cure? At the end are directions on how to prepare it.

think about hen's teeth

Hens don't have teeth, obviously. Maybe it actually says "Three parts, HENSTE ETH", or the ETHER OF MAGICIAN HENSTE. You think you've read something about HENSTE.

think about henste

You're pretty sure he was a famous magician. You'd have to consult in the LIBRARY to know more, your memory is imperfect.

think about grubs

There are some in a log here.

take grubs

Yum, GRUBS. You eat some and same some for later, wrapped in broad LEAVES in your satchel

spit out grubs

You already swallowed them.

count grubs

Plenty. There are plenty of GRUBS.

look for mica

You look around for MICA, but don't see any.

look for porcupines

There's no need to look for PORCUPINES. You'll notice when you see one.

explore deeper

The evil woods don't get any deeper than this. To the WEST, EAST, and NORTH, they get lighter. To the SOUTH they are just as dense, but get less EVIL.

explore south

The woods here are brighter and more vibrant. The greens are greener and the trees here are tall and rustle in the breeze. It's a nice change from all these damn PLAINS. There is a BOULDER here which looks comfy, much better than SLIMY MOSS. Small animals scurry in the undergrowth. There are some POISONOUS BERRY BUSHES here which you know better than to eat from, and some MUSHROOMS which you can't identify.

eat mushrooms

It's a bad idea to eat MUSHROOMS without identifying them, but you're hungry and need some flavoring for those delicious GRUBS. You eat the MUSHROOMS, and immediately throw up. It gets all over the scenic boulder. You are pretty low on food now, but if you ate anything for a while you would REGRET IT.

think about mushrooms

You hope you're not poisoned. You threw up immediately so it's probably fine.

look at mushrooms

They have pointed tops, are light tan in color, and the underside wraps tightly toward the stem. The stalk and mushroom top and both thin. You carefully memorize what they look like, and will recognize the VOMIT-INDUCING MUSHROOMS in the future so you don't eat them.

look at vomit

It's vomit.

look at boulder

It hasn't changed, and it probably won't change in the future. The BOULDER is half your height, and wider than you are tall in all other directions. It is roughly circular, and uneven in height. You don't know how to recognize types of stone.

think about mica

Yes, you know how to recognize MICA, because of its distinctive thin flakes. It's fun to peel apart.

think about basalt

You don't know what basalt is, but you would probably call it granite, because that is the best-sounding rock. Just like how BADASS THORNS are the best plant, except edible ones and trees you can climb.

think about badass thorns

This forest looks like some BADASS THORNS would fit in unusually well. Thorns are cool, but you are not so interested in them that you want to think about them very long, so instead you think about some water to wash the taste of vomit out of your mouth.


You go east into some more woods. You hear a brook to the east. There are some more GRUBS here, but you already have enough. There is also a FORGOTTEN MYSTERY here.

look at mystery

It's made of metal, and curves and warps strangely. You see clearly where you could put a hand, but no one knows what the FORGOTTEN MYSERIES are for.

hold mystery

You pick up the mystery, and hold it in the obvious fashion. Nothing happens.

put mystery in satchel

You don't have enough room in your satchel


In one hand is a forgotten mystery. You are currently nauseated, hungry, and thirsty.


You are in a meadow. To the north and east a small stream runs. On the ground some raspberry bushes are growing.

pick raspberries

You pick all the raspberries, and shove them in your pack. You can never have enough berries.

take leaves

Okay. You take some raspberry leaves

look for mica

You don't see any mica, but you'll keep an eye out from now on.

go east and drink some water

Using the SMALL METAL BUCKET, you get some water out of the stream and swish it around in your mouth for a while, spitting it out to clear the taste. You wash your face and hands to get rid of the smell. Much better. Finally, you drink some water, which you barely keep down.

fill bucket

You fill the bucket with water. Both of your hands are full now.

walk home

You walk back to the wizard's front door. Putting down the FORGOTTEN MYSTERY and the SMALL METAL WATER BUCKET next to the PICKAXE, you close the door and lock it behind you. You pick back up the SMALL METAL WATER BUCKET, forgetting the FORGOTTEN MYSTERY for the time being. Those things always stick around, so there's no need to worry.


Even though there's no need, you fret a while. Good, now the mystery will know you care about it.

go to library

You go through the study and into the library.

explore north

To the north, a stone arch is carved with the words "Hepetatorium". Inside is a small ampitheatre, apparently designed for plays. The steps are circular stone benches. You expect the room could hold about 80 people. In the center of the room is a large stone slab, with grooves carved in it. The only exit is the archway to the south.

You have explored the wizard's home. +1 point

look at grooves

The grooves are deeply cut, and angle toward a drain. They are apparently for drainage.


You sit for a while on the cold stone benches, letting your upset stomach settle.


You exit back to the library.

read up on that one wizard

You search the library for references to HENSTE, but find nothing. Since you know everything you've learned about wizards from the wizard's correspondence, you are probably mistaken, and HENSTE is not really a person.

go to room

You go to your room.

drop food

Not wanting to think about food, you leave the ENORMOUS PILE OF FRESH RASPBERRIES, ENOUGH LARD, some CINNAMON STICKS, your DELICIOUS GRUB-FILLED LEAF, and the JERKY on the floor by your PATHETIC TENT. You keep the POCKET OF SALT AND PEPPER because if you put it down you probably won't be able to pick it all back up.

drop badge

You drop the TREE BADGE.

drop nobel

You drop the POPULAR NOVEL.

drop tools, except pocket knife

You drop the RAKE, the EGGBEATER, the SHOVEL, and the TROWEL. You also set down the heavy WATER BUCKET, at least for the time being.


You are sick to your stomach and hungry.

take badge

Changing your mind, you take the BADGE WITH THE TREE ON IT. You never know when you'll need to scare off some OAKEN HOODLUMS with a touch of authority.

do metamancy problems

You work on the metamancy problem, making some progress.


Tired after a long day, you nibble halfheartedly on some grubs and go to sleep.


You are now a LEVEL II METAMANCER. You dream about being in a dream. In the dream, you wake up, but you notice you're still asleep. You keep waking up, but every time you wake up, it's only another dream level. Finally, something clicks, and your dream-self casts an ESCAPE SPELL, waking you up for real. Wow, that was surreal. You pinch yourself, making sure you're really awake.

The kitten is by your side, mewing insistently. It seems hungry. You have broken the CARETAKER conduct.

Wandering the forest let you gain experience spotting things. You gain a point of PERCEPTION. You have broken the OBLIVIOUS conduct. You have broken the HARD MODE conduct.

Throwing up after eating a mushroom makes you feel like you gained more life experience. You gain an EXPERIENCE LEVEL. You have broken the BABE conduct. You have broken the KILLER conduct.

Succesfully bargaining with a villager makes you feel more cooperative, as well as market-savvy. You gain a point of CHARISMA. You have broken the HERMIT conduct.

Man, you feel tired this morning. You gain the status effect CAFFEIN-ADDICTED. You have broken the STRAIGHT EDGE conduct.

You completely understand escape spells, and quickly finish the exercises in the metamancy book. You learned the following QUARTERJOUST spells:

You also learn a hardworkomancy spell: * A STITCH IN TIME: Switch three items you actually now, to cast this spell later. When you cast it, one of the three items teleports into your inventory. Before you can cast a hardworkomancy spell once, you need to practice it 100 times--in this case, you realize it will cost 200 spent items plus prep work to cast A STITCH IN TIME.

You can spend your experience level on one of the following abilities:

stat boost, please

You feel your capabilities grow as you gain your first point of MAXIMUM MAGICAL ENERGY. In a couple of minutes you will be charged enough to cast a MANA-BASED SPELL.

cast A IS A

You mutter the magical chant "o yg o" under your breath. Nothing happens. You wonder if it worked.

cast identity

You can already tell all your items apart.

cast identity on salt grains

Okay. Chanting "Yqubhyhi", you cast the spell. You now have 16,792 salt grains. You can tell them apart.

cast stitch in time on 3 salt grains

"O ghyhpt..." The three salt grains disappear into the ether. Wow, your first spell! You feel proud.

cast stitch in time on 3 salt grains

You cast the spell again, and another 3 salt grains disappear. You are breathing heavily--this magic stuff is harder than you thought.

cast stitch in time on 3 salt grains

Okay, but this is the last time you can cast it for a while, you're exhausted now. 3 more grains disappear.

read table of contents of metamancy book

  1. Tautomancy
  2. Jousting: Taking a step back
  3. Fundamentals of Recursion
  4. Delaying and accelerating cast times
  5. Extending Duration
  6. Extending Area
  7. The equivalence of time
  8. Isomorphisms
  9. Breaking context barriers
  10. A detour of punnery
  11. Self-torture
  12. Taking recursion further
  13. Morphisms, morphisms, everywhere.
  14. Automorphisms of the first kind
  15. Taking recursion too far
  16. On the uses and improvement of hindsight
  17. Jumping to the heart of the matter
  18. Getting back out of the heart of the matter
  19. Helping yourself
  20. Helping those who help themselves
  21. Cooperation
  22. Basic game theory
  23. Autoeconomics
  24. Theory and practice of self-psychoanalysis for infinitely split personalities
  25. Normal forms and forms fantastique
  26. Metamancy of metamagics of other fields
  27. Weed and other shortcuts to True Flower Power
  28. Polymancy of polymancy
  29. The lazy man's hardworkamancy
  30. The zen of zen
  31. Absolute Zero: An applied excursis to chillymancy
  32. Consuming yourself, and avoidance thereof
  33. Futher Onanism
  34. Automorphisms of the second kind
  35. Spells that are and spells that are not
  36. Recursing on recursion: Hyperrecursive forms
  37. Leaving the physical realm
  38. Conversing with angels
  39. Bargaining with angels
  40. Leaving the heavenly realm
  41. Conversing with metaangels
  42. Bargaining with metaangels
  43. Leaving the metaheavenly realm
  44. Advanced theological explorations
  45. Speaking with devils
  46. Commanding devils
  47. Wish contract law
  48. On the uses and improvement of foresight
  49. General Abstract Nonsense I
  50. General Abstract Nonsense III
  51. General Abstract Nonsense V

Looks like only the odd chapters are visible in the student's edition of the Table of Contents, unless you solve them yourself.

think about loot

Oh, you'd quite like some loot, you suppose. How else could you tell you were succeeding at being an adventurer? It would quite brighten up all this unending granite, anyway.

Your favorite kind of loot is the figurine, because you like playing with toys, but gemstones are a close second.

think about figurines ' You sure wish you had one.

go questing!

You'll have to be more specific.

go outside

Okay, you go outside. You are standing outside the wizard's door. To the north is a meadow of daisies, and to the west is a gentle stream passing through a grass plain. To the south is a desolate pit entering a terrifying-looking ravine. Wait, was that there before?

go south

You go south. There is a pit here. The ground slopes gently down at first, and then steeper and steeper, until it is almost vertical. If you go in, you doubt you can get back out without digging hand- and foot-holds. To the west are some grass plains, through which a stream flows. To the south is a ravine.

go south

You are on the north edge of a ravine. There appears to be no way to directly descend into the ravine, although if you go west, it looks like you can walk around it. The bottom is dark, and you cannot make out details.

go north and descend into the pit

You slide down into the pit. Wheee! At the bottom, are you are much dirtier.

When the cloud of dust settles, you see a small pile of bones in the center of the pit. Something glitter from within the pile.

investigate glittering object

You poke the bones with your foot to see what's glittering. Aww, it's just some broken glass.

look at bones

They're assorted animal bones--mostly pretty small. Nothing larger than a bird.


You walk into the ravine. It's dark, and you mostly can't see. You walk forward carefully, avoiding another slide you might not be able to go back up so easily. You hear a growl behind you. Whirling around, you see a pair of red eyes in the darkness.

fight eyes

You whip out your pocketknife, entering a fight scene. How do you attack?

stab eyes with knife

You lunge out wildly, slashing with your knife. You don't get to the eyes, but you hit some shadowy flesh they're attatched to. The creature shrieks in pain. It rakes at you, gashing your leg. The wound burns more than you would expect.

cast fractal thorns

You can't cast fractal thorns in the dark--it would be a bad idea and you'd just run into all the BADASS THORNS.

throw knife at eyes

Abandoning all hope, you close your eyes and wildly throw your open knife away from yourself as hard as you can. It makes a "splut" sound and the creature screams again. Man, you're so good at aiming!

open eyes

(Your eyes)

You open your eyes. The red eyes are fading, and have stopped moving. You must have beaten the creature. That's good, since you're out of knives. You walk over to the creature and prod it. Yup, definitely dead. You feel around for a knife, and remove it. You decide to carry it around until you can wipe it off properly.

take loot

You grope the creature's body in the dark. Oh, there's a--no wait, just some organ it needed to live. Hmm, you'll need more light to locate anything.