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Do you want your character to be [[male]] or [[female]]?Would you like to have possible [[love interests]] or would you like there to be [[no romance]] in your story?
<<set $Male to true>>Would you like to have possible [[love interests]] or would you like there to be [[no romance]] in your story?
<<set $Female to true>>This Twine is going to be set in a post-ice-age environment. I will try to make things as 'reasonable' as possible.
Since this story relies heavily on your choices being permanent, please DO NOT use the 'Back' feature at all! If I want to redirect you to a page, I will do it manually OR specifically ask you to use the 'Back' button.
Really quick before we start, you're going to have to answer a few [[questions]] for me.Alright, last question!
Would you like to be [[strong]] or [[smart]]?
<<set $YesLove to true>>Alright, last question!
Would you like to be [[strong]] or [[smart]]?
<<set $NoLove to true>>Thank you for answering the questions! They will serve as a basis for your character! Now, onto the [[story]]!
<<set $Strong to true>>Thank you for answering the questions! They will serve as a basis for your character! Now, onto the [[story]]!
<<set $Smart to true>>You and your two friends, Annie and Max, have just finished your daily work! Since there isn't much to do in the Under anyways, you all decide to vote on something to do together. There aren't many options to begin with, so you choose the warmest one.
You decide to [[read a book with your friends|Read the book together]]!A few years ago, the three of you stumbled across a hidden pathway which you elected to call the Loop. Ever since, that'd been the go-to spot for 'exercise.' Now, you entered the Loop and began walking along it, behind the houses under the icy shelves of the Under. To your knowledge, you three were the only ones who knew about the Loop and its only 2 entrances. Halfway along the path, a small cavern opened up into your groups hideaway. The cavern is about 6 meters long, 4 meters wide, and its ceiling reaches almost 5 meters! All of you have stored some form of personal belonging in it, so if they were moved, you'd know if your hideout was discovered.
You sit down comfortably, and after an hour or so of talking, you hear the bedtime bell. There is a bell in the center of the Under that rings every hour, and 8pm was the designated bed time for all its residents.
<<if $Strong>>As you walk back, you hear a crack, then some quieter crunches as your foot comes down in front of you. You step back, then look down. The ice has cracked! That means there's an air pocket right under the path! If you can dig through, you might find a new area, or even be able to escape the Under!<</if>>
<<if $Smart>> Max always walks in the lead, so it's no surprise that when you hear an abrupt crack, it's under his feet. He steps back and you rush over to investigate. The ice has cracked! That means there's an air pocket right under the path! If you can dig through, you might find a new area, or even be able to escape the Under!<</if>>
Would you like to [[stay and investigate the crack]] or [[note its location and head to bed|Start a new day]]?
<<set $FoundCrack to true>>You and your friends escape the biting cold, finding refuge in the Under's main hall, otherwise known as the Underhall. There are a dozen or so books in the Under, but only one has nothing to do with rules or politics.
The book is about a place called 'Haven.' Haven is a so-called paradise on Earth. The story is about how a dormant volcano trapped in the ice erupted, melting the ice around it. The volcano stays active to a degree and keeps the surrounding area warm. The main characters are a trio of explorers who discover and colonise the area, creating a thriving civilisation.
<<if $Strong>> You and Max alternate chapters as you read it out loud. By now, all three of you know the book off by heart, so you all try to add your own comedic twist every now and then.<</if>>
<<if $Smart>> You all pick one of the main characters to voice, then allocate roles for narration and side characters. You tell the story easily since you already know it off by heart, and you all enjoy adding twists to the story.<</if>>
Just after you finish the book, the bell rings 6 times, which means it's time for [[dinner|dinner]]!
<<set $ReadBook to true>>Annie and Max don't want to investigate the crack today and will go to bed without you if you stay. What do you do?
[[Stay and investigate on your own|death ice]]
[[Go to bed|Start a new day]]
<<set $FoundCrack to true>>You move into the dining section of the Underhall. Every day of the week has 3 meals assigned to it, so everyone's sick of the same old food. The food is always tasteless and watery. We all eat in silence, then can choose between going to bed or taking a walk first.
[[Start a new day]]
[[Take a walk together]]Annie and Max leave without you and you sit down by the crack, getting comfortable.
<<if $Strong>> You decide to break through it with brute force. You kick the crack relentlessly until the cracks widen. A single stomp later, [[the ice breaks and you fall through|broke ice without annie and max]].<</if>>
<<if $Smart>> You make a tool out of some of your personal belongings in the Loop's cavern. You use the makeshift pickaxe to break through the ice. Suddenly, after being weakened substantially by your pick, the cracks spread and the [[ice breaks beneath you|broke ice without annie and max]].<</if>>They find your body in the early hours of the next day. You're sprawled on a cluster of ice stalagmites about 10 meters below the hole. You died a slow and bloody death because the spikes didn't puncture anything too vital. However, the residents of the Under discovered a large cavern to expand into, so your death was not entirely in vain. Annie and Max are scarred for life from your gruesome death and both regret ever leaving you to investigate the crack on your own.
[[You have died.|death screen]]
<<set $DiedInLoopCavern to true>>Sorry pal, but it looks like you weren't able to survive the icy wasteland.
<<if $DiedInLoopCavern>> You didn't even make it out of the Under! What a shame you broke the ice without your friends to help you and keep you safe! Better luck next time!<</if>>
<<if $ToldEveryoneDied>> You really shouldn't have told them! Sorry, but it would've been better if you'd said nothing.<</if>>
<<if $LeftMaxBehind>> You left Max to die, and you <i>still</i> died? I guess not even sacrificing a friend will ensure safety, huh?<</if>>
<<if $FrostbiteDeath>> You accepted your fate and died, not particularly comfortable, but at least you died side by side with Annie.<</if>>
<<if $WokeUpCold>> Think of your untimely death as punishment for leaving Max behind. Never sacrifice another to pursue your own selfish desires.<</if>>
Don't worry, if you want, I'll let you start again and learn from your mistakes! You may also [[see what you missed!|Opening info!]]In the morning, all three of you go to work in the lower levels of the Upper. Generally the residents of the Under only ever work in the sewers or the Upper and aren't trusted to go any higher, but 'children' are deemed easy enough to restrain if they <i>do</i> try and escape. You personally work as a food server, Annie works as a babysitter, and Max works as a hunter/scavenger. (You, Annie, and Max are all 15 and will be deemed as 'children' until you're 16.)
When you finish working for the day, it's 5pm. You make your way into the Under again, then decide on what to do.
[[Read the book together]]
[[Take a walk together]]
<<if $FoundCrack and $ReadBook>>
Or (If you've found the crack already, I encourage you not to take the walk or read the book again as it will just make the story loop.)
[[Investigate the crack together]]
<</if>>You all make your way to the crack in the ice. Max's carrying rope and Annie's got a pair of ice picks.
<<if $Strong>> You are elected to be the one to break the ice, so you tie the one end of the rope around your waist and Max holds onto the other end. You kneel by the crack and use the ice pick to make a hole. Once you've made a small hole, it's easy to chip away at the edges to make it bigger. You now have a hole that's about 30cms in diameter in front of you. You place the ice pick behind you, plant both hands on either side of the hole, and stick your head in.<</if>>
<<if $Smart>> You tie the rope around Max's middle, then hand him an ice pick. You and Annie both hold onto the rope as he mines through the ice. Suddenly, the cracks lengthen. You instinctively pull the rope and Max clears the hole just as the ice breaks under where he would've been. There's now a hole about 50cms in diameter in the middle of the meter-wide path. The pick didn't fall in, so you carefully hand it to Annie, then plant both hands on either side of the hole and stick your head in.<</if>>
A gust of icy, fresh air hits you in the face. As your blurry vision clears, you see a short, but wide tunnel. The tunnel is about 50cms high at it's highest point and about 2 meters wide. It's on an angle, and to your right, the tunnel gets brighter. There's a small bit of running water permanently flowing down the tunnel, but it's only a centimeter deep. You straighten up, a grin on your face, "There's a tunnel and it looks like it leads to the surface!"
[[Celebrate the discovery]]You all sit in the Loop's cavern, deliberating whether to tell the rest of the Under about your discovery.
Annie argues, "It's only fair to tell them! We should all escape together!"
And Max counters, "But we're the ones who found it! We should prepare, then all three of us escape this hellhole together!"
Who do you back up?
[[Annie|argueforAnnie]] (Annie wants to tell everyone else about the tunnel.)
[[Max|argueforMax]] (Max wants to keep it a secret and only have the three of you escape.)You turn to Max,
<<if $Strong>> "Look, Annie's got a point. If we don't tell them, they might suffer for letting us escape. I'm prepared to back her up, with force if nessecary."<</if>>
<<if $Smart>> "Think about it this way: Even if we don't tell them about it, they'll find it when we go missing anyways."<</if>>
Max sighs and concedes, "Alright, we'll tell them."
A few minutes later, the [[whole population of the Under and Upper knows|telleveryone]]You turn to Annie,
<<if $Strong>> "Annie, not even <i>I</i> can protect us if we tell everyone. The Over's will tear us apart!"
[[Annie relucantly agrees|anniegivesin]]<</if>>
<<if $Smart>> You can choose to be [[gentle]] or [[forceful]] with your arguement.<</if>>
The residents of the Under react with surprise and glee, but when the Upper's guards hear about it, they roughly pull all three of you away from the crowd and demand you show them where the tunnel is. You comply and take them to the Loop. The head guard shoves Annie into the hole and watches her slip down the slope and out of sight. She screams the whole way down, and 20 or so seconds later, you hear a faint crunch. Max puts up more of a fight, but he too is forced into the hole. As Max slides down the slick tunnel, the guard explains, "We can't have our servants escaping, now can we?" A moment later, you join Annie and Max at the end of the tunnel.
[[You have died|death screen]]
<<set $ToldEveryoneDied to true>>You turn to Annie, "Look, they'll find it after we're gone anyways. But it would be better for us to get a few days headstart on them."
<<if $Male and $YesLove>> Annie gives in with a smile, "Alright, I trust you." <<set $AnnieTrusted to true>> <</if>>
<<set $Gentle to true>>
[[Annie gave in|anniegivesin]]Even though you're physically weaker than her, you still grab Annie's shoulders and look her right in the eyes as you say, "Annie, if we tell them, they'll kill us! The Overs kill anyone who so much as <i>trys</i> to escape, let alone finds a way to! We <i>can't</i> tell them!"
<<set $Forceful to true>>
Shaken by your outburst, [[Annie gives in|anniegivesin]]You all begin planning how and what you'll prepare for your escape and come up with 3 options.
[[Slow and safe]] Will take up to 14 days, but will be very safe because you'll all be gradually stealing.
[[Gradual, but slightly more risky]] Will take 7 days and be slightly more risky.
[[Fast, but risky]] Will take 3 days and be highly risky.Two weeks after finding the hole, you're all fully packed. You've checked and rechecked all the packs time and time again and you're certain you have everything you need.
<<set $FullyPacked to true>>
[[You stand by the tunnel entrance|Leave immediately]]
<<set $HaveMax to true>>Over the next week, all three of you steal various important items, including rations, ice skates, skees, rations, ropes, tents, and other items. After a few close calls, everything you need is gathered in the Loop cavern. You have two options:
[[Recheck everything]] (Takes 1 more day)
[[Leave as soon as you can]] (Leave immediately)Over the next two days, you all steal dozens of items and rations, but on the third day, Max is thrown into the Under's center plaza by a guard, "This boy was caught stealing and is suspected of trying to leave the Under! He will be sentenced to death!" You and Annie panic, only having two options at that point.
[[Rush preperations and save Max]]
[[Rush preperations and leave Max behind]] After rushing all of the other preparations, your final act is to free Max. You break him out of the jail and the three of you quickly shoulder your packs and [[leave the Under.|Leave immediately]]
<<set $Forgotfood to true>>
<<set $HaveMax to true>>You and Annie leave Max's pack behind after transferring as much of his stuff into your packs as possible. Just as you poise yourselves to leave, Max's screams of agony start.
[[You leave him to his fate|Leave immediately]]
<<set $Forgotfood to true>>
<<set $LeftMaxBehind to true>>After taking another day to make sure you have everything, you realise you forgot to pack the rations! If you hadn't rechecked everything, you would've left your only source of food in the Loop cavern! It would've been disastrous if you'd left them here, how fortunate that you had the foresight to check!
<<set $FullyPacked to true>>
[[You're ready to leave!|Leave immediately]]
<<set $HaveMax to true>><<if $HaveMax>> The three of you stand by the hole, then lower yourselves in one by one. The ice boots you're all wearing have iron cleats at the bottom and steel spikes by the toes, so with a pair of climbing picks each, you all enter the tunnel. You're all wearing scarves over your mouths and noses and heavy goggles to protect your faces from the cold and your eyes from the sunlight, but it also muffles your voice. You communicate to Annie and Max that you're going and begin the arduous climb to the surface.<</if>>
<<if $LeftMaxBehind>> You and Annie quickly enter the tunnel and climb ignoring the fading screams behind you as you leave Max to die. The ice boots you're both wearing have iron cleats at the bottom and steel spikes by the toes, so with a pair of climbing picks each, you're both able to climb up the slope. You're both wearing scarves over your mouths and noses and heavy goggles to protect your faces from the cold and your eyes from the sunlight, but it also muffles your voices.<</if>>
As you reach the surface, the light from the surface hits your goggles and through your scarfs, you take a breath of fresh surface air.
[[You are free|reachedsurface]]The three of you shoulder your packs and head towards the tunnel, hoping a bright future awaited you.
<<set $Forgotfood to true>>
[[You leave the Under together.|Leave immediately]]
<<set $HaveMax to true>>The tunnel opens into the bottom of a small ravine and you can see a bridge spanning across the top. You set your pack down and pull out a compass and the book, Journey to Haven. You flip through the book until you reach the part about where Haven is, 'Haven is on the northern pole. No matter where you are, you can always go North to find Haven.' You orient the compass so its needle is facing North, which coincidentally follows the length of the ravine.
<<if $HaveMax>> All three of you let out quiet cheers as you begin walking under the cover of an overhang at the bottom of the ravine, taking your first, free steps in the outside world.<</if>>
<<if $LeftMaxBehind>> You and Annie duck into an overhang spanning the length of the ravine and us it as cover as you head North, both of you wishing Max had been there with you as you took your first, free steps on the surface.<</if>>
[[You walk until you reach the end of the ravine|endofravine]]<<if $FullyPacked and $HaveMax>> You reach the end of the ravine by the end of the day and sit down, hungry. You use your body heat and warm clothing to slowly heat up your rations, then eat your dinner relatively cold.
<<if $Male and $YesLove>> You and Annie talk a lot over dinner and grow closer <<set $AnnieTrusted to true>><</if>>
<<if $FullyPacked and $LeftMaxBehind>> You and Annie silently use your body heat to warm your food up, then eat wordlessly, still processing what you'd done to escape. Both of you grieve Max, already missing your childhood friend dearly. If only there'd been another way.<</if>>
<<if $ForgotFood and $HaveMax>> All three of you ravage your packs, realising with horror that in your rush to leave, you forgot the rations. All of you are hungry from the days exertion, having never moved that much in a day before, and now you don't have any food. It's not looking good for you three.<</if>>
<<if $ForgotFood and $LeftMaxBehind>> You and Annie desperately search your packs, then realise in your rush to leave, you forgot the food. You had no choice but to leave immediately, but this extra problem stung. You're both tired from moving more than you ever had in one day and you have nothing to fuel your aching bodies with. Thefuture looks grim for the two of you.<</if>>
[[Sleep in the ravine|sleepinravine]]
[[Leave the ravine as soon as you can|leaveravinefast]]<<if $HaveMax>> All three of you huddle up together in your sleeping bags, staying warm as night fell. [[You wake up warm]].<</if>>
<<if $LeftMaxBehind>> You and Annie huddled together for warmth, but it wasn't enough to ward off the biting cold. [[You wake up cold]].<</if>><<if $Smart>> You make a makeshift grappling hook and attach it to the rope, then swing it a few times and throw the hook outside the ravine. The hook, after multiple attempts, finally catches on something and you test it before climbing up.
<<if $HaveMax>> You help Annie up, then watch Max come up as well. You pack up the hook and rope before checking the terrain. It's mostly ice, it hasn't snowed in a while, so you all put on your ice skates and skate North, [[leaving the Under and your cruel world behind.|Escapedravine]]
<<set $EscapedRavine to true>><</if>>
<<if $LeftMaxBehind>> You help Annie up, but are immediately swarmed by Over guards. Leaving Max behind must've alerted them to a plan to escape and your dissapearances had tipped them off. You both get stripped almost naked and [[thrown into the ravine|caughtravine]].
<<if $Strong>> You use the ice picks and steel toed boots to climb up the ravine, then let some rope down, tie it around your waist, and anchor yourself to the ice.
<<if $HaveMax>> Max climbs up first and helps you hold the rope steady for Annie, and when all three of you reach the surface, you look around. There's ice almost everywhere you look, and only a few small patches of snow. You all change to ice skates and skate North, [[leaving your horrible pasts behind.|Escapedravine]]
<<set $EscapedRavine to true>><</if>>
<<if $LeftMaxBehind>> Annie climbs up and just as you put the rope back in your pack, a swarm of armed guards appear. Leaving Max behind must've tipped them off to a group escape attempt, which had ultimately lead to your failure. They stripped you of your packs and most of your clothes, [[then threw you back into the ravine.|caughtravine]]<</if>>You and Annie fall into the ravine, landing hard on the ice with audible cracks as your bones broke.
<<if $Smart>> You and Annie huddle together for warm as you try to return to the tunnel to try and re-enter the under. After hours of crawling, you reach the tunnel entrance. [[Return to the under]] or [[Accept your fate and die]].<</if>>
<<if $Strong>> You practically have to drag Annie back to the hole, the cold setting in on your fingers. You reach the tunnel entrance, but aren't sure what to do. [[Return to the under]] or [[Accept your fate and die]].<</if>><<if $EscapedRavine>>You all travelled long into the night, skating across the barren landscape, always heading North. Once the sun came up, you finally paused at a small ice cave. You went inside and all slept for a few hours, tucked away in the back of the cave.
<<if $FullyPacked>>You woke up at midday, then ate some lunch rations.<<if $Forgotfood>> You regret your hasty decisions that lead to forgetting food and you all stay hungry.<</if>>
<<if $SleptInRavine>>You all travelled until about midday, skating across the barren landscape, always heading North. Once the sun reached its peak, you finally paused at a small ice cave.
<<if $FullyPacked>> You all ate a lunch ration each, the luke-warm food filling you up.<</if>>
<<if $Forgotfood>> You wish you'd remembered the food, but you didn't, so you're all hungry.<</if>>
At about 1pm, you all leave the cave, [[skating North again.]]Annie goes first and you hear a scream and a crunch. You force yourself to go after her and slide down. You collide with Annie's half torn in half corpse and climb up it. You lie on the Loop floor, realizing what'd happened to Annie. She'd timed jumping into the hole perfectly, but had been going too fast. When her body hit the edge of the hole, her momentum almost ripped her in half. You crawl to the village center, all your fingers and toes blackened and dead. You reach the generator, the main source of warmth in the Under, and pass out from relief. You're rescued and are treated.
You live your life as the example of why you should never try to escape the Under, haunted by your friends deaths.
<<set $Elder to true>>Frostbite sets in on both you and Annie, the biting cold freezing you alive.
[[You have died|death screen]]
<<set $FrostbiteDeath to true>>Well done, you finished the game!
<<if $Elder>> You survived, but at the cost of your friends lives. Not a good way to go, dude.<</if>>
[[See what you missed!|Opening info!]]All three of you are over the moon with joy, but your moods are dampened by the thought of how long it'd take for the guards to notice your absences. You'd timed it so you'd left on Friday after work, which meant they shouldn't notice until your shifts on Monday morning. You decided on a plan to leave the ravine, then enact it.
<<if $Smart>> You make a makeshift grappling hook and attach it to the rope, then swing it a few times and throw the hook outside the ravine. The hook, after multiple attempts, finally catches on something and you test it before climbing up. You help Annie up, then watch Max come up as well. You pack up the hook and rope before checking the terrain. It's mostly ice, it hasn't snowed in a while, so you all put on your ice skates and skate North, [[leaving the Under and your cruel world behind.|Escapedravine]]<</if>>
<<if $Strong>> You use the ice picks and steel toed boots to climb up the ravine, then let some rope down, tie it around your waist, and anchor yourself to the ice. Max climbs up first and helps you hold the rope steady for Annie, and when all three of you reach the surface, you look around. There's ice almost everywhere you look, and only a few small patches of snow. You all change to ice skates and skate North, [[leaving your horrible pasts behind.|Escapedravine]]<</if>>
<<set $SleptInRavine to true>>You and Annie wake up freezing cold, surrounded on all sides with guards from the Over. They're aiming their rifles at you, appearing to have waited for you to wake up. One of the guards scans your eyes, which was why they'd waited for you to wake up, then shouts, "Targets confirmed. Open fire." The guards open fire, killing you and Annie almost instantly.
[[You have died|death screen]]
<<set $WokeUpCold to true>>As of now, this is as far as I've gotten. Go to [[Opening info!]] if you want to play through again and unlock <i>all</i> of the variables!
Keep in mind that I haven't proofed everything yet, so if there's any errors or if you think you should've gotten additional text eg. a large empty space, then a small bit of text and a hyperlink at the bottom, PLEASE DM ME.