The Swamp You Die In By Ive Sorocuk

Instruments: 1d6

Game Description 

This is a micro game/zine about traversing the horrors of a swamp you will not survive. You are given 6 prompts and roll 1d6 for each to determine how to meet your demise.

Game Content Warnings 

These are content warnings that are from the game prompts and are present in all playthroughs.

Playthrough Content Warnings 

These are content warnings specific to this playthrough only.

Game Playthrough

Word Count: 941     Played: Dec 30, 2020

What brings you here?

Roll: 5  You are running from something. They will never find you in this swamp.

You look down at the box you are carrying, the ones with the stolen goods from Teneneron. Your fence told you that the quickest and safest way was through the marshes, though you begin to doubt that they had ever traveled through them. 

He laughed when he said it and clapped a large hand on your shoulder. “Take the boat on your way there, and the marsh on your way back,” he winked. “It will be harder to track you on your return.”

You think back to him and wonder if he had ever set foot outside of Marshton. 

Coming alone was a bad idea

Roll: 5 There is a box just lying there. 

In front of you there is an exact replica of the box you are carrying. It is lacquered smooth on all sides and sits gleaming in a patch of sun. Your hands tighten around the one you are carrying and you wish you had sprung for a bigger sack to carry it. 

You approach it cautiously and set your box down beside it. The two are identical down to the single pock mark on the side where the lacquer had bubbled. You wonder for a moment if others had been sent down this route before, carrying the same goods as you but you had never heard of the Bell before you took this job and to your knowledge there was only every one. 

You feel a sense of safety when looking at it and you remember the stories of the ghouls. As long as you don’t see them, then you are safe. You open the box and inside is the same bell. Trembling, you open the box you brought and inside, the bell has changed. 

It is made of glass and mirrors and you snap your box shut. When you open it again nothing has changed and you decide to take the second bell along as well. You think that maybe you can see it to another one of your contacts or get twice the price for both bells. 

This place is not right

Roll: 4 You are suddenly very aware of your heartbeat

You hear the bells ringing in the box together, with every step that you take and the vibration shakes against your skin and deep in your bones. You can feel your own heartbeat resisting against the vibrations and rebelling with its own frantic pulse. 

All around you are the lamps to guide the travelers but they seem to stretch into spirals and double back upon themselves. You keep moving, mud and grime up to your calves but you will not stop. You will not die here. 

You regret coming here.

Roll: 4 You step on something extremely sharp

You scream and fall back into the waters. The box falls from your hand and the bells clink together in discord. From the water below you a corpse rises up from the waters. It is old and inanimate and you see the sharp spikes along its armor and the blood where you stepped on it. 

Your heart is no longer a pulse but a vibrating hum and you pull your knife from your belt and attack the body. It is still inanimate and you start to laugh as you weep from fear. You sheath your knife, pick up the box, and limp along down the trail. 

It is too late to turn back.

Roll: 1 You catch your reflection in the water, what isn’t right about it?

Far from the body, where the water is still you limp forward because you must. Ring goes the bells, splash goes the water, and you count each step, one two one two and you continue. 

Around you the plants have grown thin and the lanterns more sparse. You reach one and stop to rest. You see the mile marker below the light and you know you have days to travel before you are free. 

You glance down at your reflection in the water. You are tired, gaunt, and covered in filth. It may just be the shadows but you cannot see your own eyes, only the swamp waters so dark to look into was to see nothing.

This is far enough

Roll: 4 You find a tempting open grave. What makes you crawl in?

You are far from the light of any lantern. Around you the darkness sinks into your skin and the cold begins to settle into your core. 

You hear it, a distant ring, the sound of a bell. It is calling to you and you follow it. Your body, exhausted, shaking and bleeding limps forwards to the only place you know. 

Before you are three statues: one of a back iron, one of glass and mirrors and one that is your reflection in the water. 

Your reflection rings the bell steadily in its hand and points with two fingers towards the swamp below where there is only darkness. 

The bells in your box vibrate with familiarity and you know to give them to their statues. You place them upon their open palms and they are quiet. You stand before your reflection once again and it smiles at you. Behind you the swamp parts and the ground opens up into a shallow pit. 

It pushes you back and you fall. Above you is the sound of three bells chiming as one as you are returned to the earth.

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