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Like, OMG. Everything is SO TOTALLY FUCKED! Yeah, ok. Let me explain.
Last week Ashley (my TOTAL bestie), was like, “Hey Raven! I heard about this crazy party going on at this totally fab private resort called Arcadia during spring break, and I know this guy who can get us invites! We should totally go!”
Of course, I was like, “Sure!” I mean, what else was I going to do over break, right?
So I drove. I DROVE!!! My dads gave me a car for graduation, see. A CAR!!! He's totally such a cute little car. A pink Miata, with a SUN ROOF and white leather interior. My little Pinky! Oh god, I love him so much. And I love my dads too!
Anyway, Ash was acting TOTALLY nuts the whole time. Flashing her tits at truckers on the interstate and stuff. It was a little weird. I mean like, cool for her I guess? But, eh… I just don't think I could disappoint my dads like that.
So it took HOURS, but we finally got there. It was a HUGE resort, out in the middle of the country. Great big tall marble and glass, totally fenced off for privacy. There was a big metal gate that slid open, and a security guy that checked our invitations. Ash flirted with him, but I think he looked a little skeevy. Something seemed off, but I just couldn't put my finger on what.
We took our stuff up to our second floor rooms (adjoining), and then went down to the club to PARRRTAY!
We drank. We danced. It was a packed mass of bodies and light and sound, all gyrating and flashing together. I lost Ash somewhere in the crowd, so I pushed my way back to the bar.
I ordered another White Claw and tried to text her, but maybe it was just too loud. Maybe if I waited a little, she'd come to the bar too.
As I was finishing my drink, some skeevy guy staggered against me.
“Girlsh with glasses are sho fuckin' hot,” he slurred. Then he grabbed my ass! The nerve!
I slapped him, hard. He flipped me the bird and spun back off into the crowd.
I headed back up to my room. I was getting dizzy, and the air felt almost too heavy to breathe. I just… I had to get out of there.
Strangely, the elevator was completely empty, although someone had left their panties on the floor, a used condom leaking all over them. SUPER MEGA EW! The doors dinged open on the second floor, and I staggered toward my room, leaning against the walls for support. I had totally drank too much. I always do that. Why do I do that?
Into the room. Dark inside. The switch, cool metal, but I don't remember actually pushing it. The lights too bright then, the air still too heavy. The decor that seemed so fab before now seemed garish and fake.
Thumping and screaming from the other side of the wall. Ash's room. She must have some guy over there already. Geez.
I slid open the glass door to the balcony. Cool night air. I drank it in. Still dizzy, so fucking dizzy. Make it stop? Please?
Ash wasn't screaming anymore, but I could hear a low moaning and a squelching sound. The adjoining rooms had a shared balcony. Her balcony door was open, too, but the curtain was closed. I turned away, clinging to the railing, gulping that cool air, willing myself to be sober again.
I think I blacked out a little. I don't know how much time had passed. All I know is, there was a ripping sound and a dull thud from behind me.
I couldn't turn at first, until I remembered to let go of the railing. Too fucking drunk. Why, why?
I spun, woozily. Someone had fallen through the curtain, and was tangled in it, thrashing.
“Ashy? Is that you?” I wobbled over to her, but my heel turned and I ended up falling too.
My face landed on something wet and squishy, smelling of shit and bile.
“What the fuck!” I rolled onto my back and squirmed my shoulders up against the railing.
It was a pile of guts! A fucking pile of guts!
I mean I've seen guts before, when I stayed with Uncle Bear when I was a little girl. He doesn't eat any meat that he hasn't, uh, “harvested” himself. I mean, don't let that scare you or whatever. He's a very kind and nice man, although a little too bible-thumpy for my taste.
But there aren't supposed to be guts here. Right? This is a civilized place, in a world away from all that weird backwoodsy stuff, right?
But there it was: a pile of guts. The guts were clutched in a hand, and the hand belonged to whomever was tangled in the curtain. It was a man's hand. Not Ash's.
I crawled back into my room and locked the glass door. The fuck!
Then I blacked out a little again.
A loud THUMP against the glass!
The man was still partially tangled in the curtain, but he had gotten up. He beat his fists and face against the glass. It made bloody splotches each time he hit. Bigger and bigger splotches.
I took off my shoes and gripped the heels pointing out between my fingers, each fist six inches of Neiman Marcus, ready to stab.
I backed towards the hallway door. The man kept beating the glass bloodier and bloodier. How could he do that to himself? Meth?
Then the glass cracked.
I turned and ran.
I slammed through the hallway door, fetching up against the far wall.
The lights were dim. There were a few people in the hall. Some were shambling. Others were lying motionless on the floor.
Some others were crouched over the motionless forms.
They were eating them.
Strings of guts. Strips of raw flesh, peeled away with bloody nails to reveal the muscles and tendons beneath. They were stuffing themselves with it. Inhuman lips curled back, grinding offal between bloody teeth.
Suddenly they all turned to look at me. I realized that I was screaming.
I ran, again.
I dodged around a tall skinny man in a bloody zoot suit, his dead eyes tracking me slowly as he grabbed at the air.
I skidded up against the end of the hall. A sign marking a door to a stairwell.
Something grabbed my ankle. I turned. An emaciated brunette, bloody stumps where her legs had been, her fingers wrapped around my ankle.
She was completely naked. Her nudity seemed somehow strangely obscene, far more obscene than all the death and gore.
Moaning, she pulled herself towards my ankle, her mouth gaping. I stabbed her in the head over and over until she stopped moving. When I stopped, she no longer had a face.
Then I was through the door into the stairwell.
Only one way to go. Everything still spinning, I lurched up the stairwell, and burst out onto the roof.
Cool air again. Security lights. I had blood up to my elbows. The brunette?
Stumbling across the roof, towards the front parking lot. There in the patchy pools of parking lot light, my car, my pretty little Pinky. He was hard to miss.
There were figures down there shambling between the pools of light, too. Many figures…
I found a drain pipe leading all the way down to the ground. I dropped my shoes down ahead of me, and swung out onto that pipe, trying to climb down.
I don't know what I was thinking. We have the worst ideas when we are drunk, I suppose. I fell, of course. I fell a story and a half, and caught my skirt on the security fence on the way down. Maybe it broke my fall a little.
I landed on my back, vision swimming. Pain. So much pain. I couldn't do anything but roll back and forth, moaning.
Then my shoes were back in my hands somehow, but I still couldn't stand. I pulled myself towards my car. I could hear shuffling and moaning all around me, coming closer. But all I could focus on was making it to Pinky.
Then I was finally in the car. The door slammed shut as a shambling figure plowed into it. He pawed at the glass, his moaning muted.
I threw my shoes onto the other seat, crimson streaks across white leather.
The car roared to life and we were off, tires squealing. The metal security gates were closed, so I aimed for the fence.
Pinky bounced up over a sidewalk and burst through the fence in a hail of splinters. The windshield spiderwebbed in front of my face. Oh god, my dads are going to kill me for that.
There were more shambling figures out on the road. I plowed into a couple of them, knocking them down and bouncing over them. I skidded, and the car slewed sideways, knocking down a shambling security guard with a dull thump.
They were everywhere. In front. Behind. On both sides. Moaning, pounding and pawing at the car.
I heard the engine roar, and felt myself yanking it into the next higher gear, plowing through the masses of shambling bodies. I bounced over them, skidding, and kept driving around and around, gore splashing onto the spiderwebbed windshield until I couldn't see.
I must have blacked out again, or something. The next thing I remember is sitting there, clutching the wheel, the engine idling smoothly. Part of the windshield was totally gone, a spray of bloody safety glass pebbles in my lap. The hood was dented and covered in blood and offal. Poor Pinky, my precious Pinky.
The figures all around me laid motionless, crushed and mangled among the tire skids.
I climbed out of the car, my knees shaking. I was hyperventilating. I leaned against the car, smearing the ichor with my elbows. I didn't care.
Eventually, I could think again. My head was strangely clear, but I was still shaking.
That dead cop over there… Lying next to him, is that… ?
I took the rifle. It is different than the little .22 that Uncle Bear taught me gun safety with when I was a little girl, but I think I see how it is supposed to work.
The dead cop had a handgun of some kind, too. And some kind of protective vest, but it was gross and soaked in gore. Ew.
But I took it all. For some reason it didn't bother me. It should have bothered me, robbing from the dead. Why didn't it bother me?
My hands were still shaking.
I'm free. I made it out. I can see them wandering around inside of the resort, but it's all quiet out here now.
They must be zombies. I don't know what else to call them. Zombies.
Maybe this is an isolated incident. Maybe I can go home to the loving arms of my dads, and forget about all of this like a bad dream.
But what if this has happened in other places? In that case, maybe I should find my dads and get out of the city. We could all go to Uncle Bear's, even though he and Papa Tom don't get along very well sometimes. We would be safe out there in the middle of the woods, right?
And…. Ash is still in there. Could she still be alive? I… I can't leave my bestie behind to die, can I? What kind of friend would I be then?
Oh, Dear Diary… What should I do?
Well ladies and gentlemen, there we have it! The beginning of Raven's story. I hope you've enjoyed reading it as much as I've enjoyed writing it! :D
Here is Raven's initial character build in CDDA:
I had originally gotten the Crazy Party + Sorority Girl combination on a random start, but I thought it was so delightfully hilarious that I started it over again with a bit more thoughtful character build, with the aim of doing some kind of Kruggsmashy thing like this, but with prose rather than drawings.
I'm using the “Stats through Skills” mod, and so did not assign any points to stats. I also did not assign any proficiencies other than what the Sorority Girl class starts with.
For for positive traits, she has:
For negative traits, she has:
The main traits that have meaning beyond narrative luls are Squeamish, Optimist, and Stylish. Because she is Squeamish, she can't wear Filthy clothing (including armor looted from cop zombies, at least until she has time to clean it up). Wearing filthy clothing would give her a morale penalty, which because of this she'll never incur. Optimist gives her a permanent bonus to morale, and Stylish gives her a bonus to morale the more Fancy clothing and accessories she is wearing.
All of these morale boosting traits mean that she will be in an incredibly positive mindset most of the time, which mechanically equates to learning things faster. More motivation I guess. Very high morale also gives a small stat bonus.
As for skills, she can learn from books and by doing.
This story isn't only being generated by CDDA. I'm also using the Mythic Game Master Emulator to help procedurally guide the narrative (see the “About” link up in the top banner for more information about that).
So, we have some characters to log into the GME:
Raven has a few potential plot threads to list, too:
That scene was pretty out of control so we will:
I think the biggest short-term question for the moment is:
Ash is her bestie, and Raven is a basically moral person. However, there are also a shitload of Zeds in there, and Raven is worried about her dads. So personally, I'd give it a 50/50.
Eventually if this thing gets going, I'm going to set up a Patreon and let backers help me determine the odds of these plot-direction questions. But I haven't done that yet. So for the moment, please feel free to comment below and tell me what you think the odds for that question are. I'll average them together and roll on the fate chart for the next scene.
In the GME, the odds you can pick are (in order from least likely to most likely):
So, comment below and let me know what you think the odds are that Raven will go back in to try to rescue Ash! :D
(For privacy, you don't need to enter your real email address in the discussion field; just make something up. I'll modify the code to remove that field later. All comments are moderated to avoid spam, so please don't be offended if your comment doesn't appear until I get around to moderating them.)
(Addendum 7/26/2021: I'm going to install a plugin that should allow me to add a poll down here, but I may not get finished setting it up tonight. If you don't want to leave a comment with your vote, check back tomorrow night!)