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8bb42 No.10519

Inspired by Munis' idea for a CYOA (seen here >>10489), I've decided to start writing a CYOA of my own! I'm hoping to take a bit of inspiration from Impregnator Kings as well as swords and sorcery works; so I've written the first bit below. Let me know what you think, and which option our hero should choose! I'll try and update this semi-regularly

8bb42 No.10520

“Mana. The life energy of the Great Mother Ert, gifted to the mortals of this world through her divine providence. It was Mana that first breathed life and light into sterile rock. Mana that permeated the souls of Men and made them wise and compassionate. Mana that gave Men dominion over Nature through the power of magic. Mana that brought us here today…”

Yosia spoke with uncharacteristic fervor and ferociousness. Usually, during the moments that she was alone in her office, Elias thought of her as a rather skittish woman, a woman who carried a certain nervous energy with her – her black hair curly and unkempt, her violet eyes darting around the room even in stillness and silence, her fingernails bit down to the quick. A woman whose obscure tomes of religious and magical theory spilled from her desk onto the floor. A person who had seemingly chosen to detach herself from reality to bathe in wondrous arcana.

But on the pulpit – Yosia was a different beast entirely. She could be a master of religious zeal, and leave an audience hanging on her every word. With a preacher’s vitality, she could bring the energy within the room to a fever pitch, before an abrupt diminuendo left each member of her congregation feeling like she was speaking to them and only them. Elias’ ears pricked up as Yosia mentioned him by name.

“Of course, ostensibly, we are here to celebrate Prince Elias coming of age today. In the eyes of the laws of our land and our Goddess, he is a man. But in my view, what we are here to celebrate is deeper than a legal formality – joyous a formality as it may be. We are here to celebrate the living power of Mana. Now the turbulent years of adolescence are behind him, Elias’ very soul is imbued with a great excess of Mana. A great excess that the Goddess chose to imbue men of his age and character with – such that they might stand level with the Gods themselves through the creation of new life.”

Elias was aware that the congregation’s gaze was split, uneasily, between himself and Yosia. He shifted a little in his chair, averting his gaze from the crowd and back to Yosia. Briefly, he caught the glimpse of the man in the front row – his father, King Casimir of Severant. His twin wives were seated either side of him, Anja and Alis – his mother and aunt, respectively. They both looked at him with pride, but Elias knew it was a bittersweet sort of pride. In spite of a loving and decades-long marriage, coupled with a horde of concubines and surrogates, Elias was Casamir’s only child. Yosia, with dramatic flair, began again:

“For within the sac of our beloved Prince Elias, there is a roiling cauldron of raw Mana! Enough seed to fill the wanton wombs of countless royal lovers. A lifetime that shall be made vibrant through the rapturous pleasures of breeding, punctuated by the birth of dozens of legitimate heirs, and a great horde of bastard sons and daughters beside! All of this made possible with the Great Mother Ert’s deepest blessing…”

And just as soon as she had hypnotised the crowd, she had lost them. This was standard bluster for a Royal coming of age – the same spiel had been given to countless sons and daughters of countless kings and queens before him. Lavish praise of the great potency of the young regent, connecting it to Ert’s gift of Mana – and with it, love, sex and breeding – to the world. But for Elias, for the moment of time he occupied… it rang exceedingly hollow. Ignorant to the point of insulting. The last thing anybody wanted to hear – least of all the Prince – was about fertility and prodigiousness during a plague.

“My countrymen…” Yosia lowered her tone of voice – gone was the fire and fervour, replaced with subdued comfort. “I am not blind, nor foolish. I know full well of the plague of infertility that has blighted our world. Robbed men of their virility and pride. Stolen the joy of bearing and motherhood from women the world over. Left good women, the world over with the pain of feeling barren. A pain felt by queens and commoners. A pain felt by me…” She paused. “The children that have been born in this world over the past decade. Well, they would barely fill the seats of this temple. The children born in our kingdom in the same span of time – I could count on one hand. There are those who have turned their backs on Ert. Accepted that if this is the end, so be it. Internalised that we may never know the joys of fertility and fecundity again. And that, in and of itself, depletes the world’s Mana.”

“And yet.” She descended from the pulpit. The crowd had been subdued – but in a way that invoked despair. The thin gown she had draped over her body, decorated in vibrant cleric’s colours, stopped a few inches shy of the ankles of her bare feet. Elias had faint memories of her shortly after she was hired, when he was only a toddler, as a spindly teenager. But as he grew, he had watched her mature and round out into a woman, in her early thirties, with an hourglass figure that was just barely visible under the translucence of her gown – although precious few other features could be determined. She stopped by the altar, lifted the cloth atop it, and drew, from a locked cabinet, a wide candle of white wax. “And yet. Mana still persists within the world. It burns brightly within the faithful. Even in our kingdom’s frozen tundra, I can warm myself with magic. Even during a plague of infertility, King Casamir sired Elias. So many bloodlines have ended, tragically. And yet the bloodline of our king has persisted. And I believe, if Elias can learn to channel his Mana, it will persist even further still.”

Yosia beckoned the Prince, and Elias rose to his feet. He bowed to the altar, and as he approached Yosia, she presented the candle to him. Elias took hold of it and clasped it in his hands. The wax felt parched, rough, ancient. Yosia began to explain:

“This candle has been with the people of Severant since its founding. And every Severant King has clasped this candle and set it alight through the power of their Mana alone. Prince Elias. Feel the strength of your forefathers within you. Focus on the candle. Let your Mana flow into its wick and set it aflame…”

Yosia’s voice was hypnotic. Elias, laser-focussed on the candle’s wick, tried as best he could to light it. It scarcely seemed possible. He tried to picture the wick begin to flicker and burst into light. He imagined the feeling of warmth, the scent of smoke, his face and fingers being illuminated. As vividly as he could picture it though, the candle stubbornly refused to light. One by one, he could see eager faces within the crowd turn disappointed. Nothing. Elias still pretended to strain, but he had internalised the sad fact that he had suspected from a young age. Mana was absent from the world, if such a force had ever existed in the first place. He was part of the last generation the world would know. And his kingdom was doomed to fall. He fought back tears, tried to think of happy thoughts, but every memory of joy he cycled through just left him feeling more aware of the bleak contrast with reality. So instead, he closed his eyes, cleared his mind, and thought of nothing.

And that was when the candle sprung to life. A flicker at first, a few embers at the end of the wick, followed by a dim flame. Gasps were prompted from the crowd, and Elias opened his eyes. It took a few moments for him to process that he had done it, but once he realised, he looked to his father, his mother, his aunt, Yosia, the audience at large; and beamed a smile. The flame grew taller as he did so – the wax of the candle gradually felt warmer in his fingers. He redoubled his efforts to focus on the candle, but as he did so, the flame’s brightness increased to such intensity that it hurt his eyes the stare at. As he looked away, he just caught the sight of the flame growing in height, until it barely resembled the light of a candle, but a blazing inferno in his hands. Hot wax melted down the candle’s sides, singeing his fingers and palms; yet still the flame grew relentlessly, until Elias was left clutching a fireball the size and intensity of a bonfire in his hands. The heat of the flames came to within inches of searing his face. His every breath was filled with smoke. He screamed as he began to feel the red-hot fire scorch his wrists. The crowd turned from awe to panic in an instant.

Every fibre of Elias’ being was screaming at him to drop the candle, but by the time he had finally broken away from the magnetic pull of the flames – the candle had burned up entirely. Nothing was left of the candle except for hot wax that dripped from his hands, ashes on the ground before him, and smoke that stung his eyes. The people who had regarded him with awe mere moments ago began to look upon him with confused terror.

> Take this as a good omen. It confirms that my Mana is stronger than any man before me. Bask in the adoration of my kingdom!

> Take this as a bad omen – I destroyed an artefact sacred to our kingdom! I must flee this temple.

> I don’t know how to interpret this omen. Turn to Yosia and ask her what just happened.

304dd No.10523

Oh, this is off to a great start! I'm already delighted (get it? get it? Yeah, I'll show myself out…)

Honestly, I think option 2 would make for a better story. So I'm going with option two.

1e260 No.10525


Why thank you! I'm really excited about this series, I hope to take it in some weird and wonderful directions.

I'm worried it's getting buried by everything else, so I might repost it onto /d/ so I can attach images and try illustrating this series as well! Although I am 100% incapable of drawing…

47df9 No.10526

So this becomes the chat-behind-the-scenes-thread?

I can only speak for myself, but I won't enjoy the story any less if it doesn't have pictures or if you choose to use existing pictures instead like aristo does. You don't have to draw yourself if you don't feel comfortable with it. Absolutely no pressure here.

1e260 No.10527

>>10526 Yeah, that's the plan - this is now BTS, main thread is in /d. And I'll try using existing pictures as well as some of my own illustrations as well!

f4081 No.10704

I apparently missed this getting started last month, and apparently there hasn't been activity since. You okay, op?

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