Defenders: Throne of the Bandit Lord is a forthcoming Kickstarter choose your own adventure project from Derick William Dalton.
The book is based on the solo RPG Lone Wilderlands. The Kickstarter is to fund the cover and interior illustrations. As a result, Geek Native has permission to share an exclusive preview of some of the contents.
First, though, let’s take a look at the Lone Wilderlands RPG.
The Lone Wilderlands is the setting for Defenders, and that means the book is a way to help immerse yourself in the solo RPG’s universe and build the theatre of the mind.
As a choose your own path story, you’ll read through a page of fiction to discover what is happening to the hero and then you have some decisions to make. You decide how the hero reacts and turn to the corresponding section to read what happens next.
Defenders: Throne of the Bandit Lord preview
Miri’s path led down a small hill, and she could see it get lost in the tall grass and rushes before the next hill. It didn’t look like a marsh, just well watered, so she continued on rather than taking a long excursion around. The grass stood taller than she expected, and soon blocked her view. She paused to listen, wary now her senses were limited.
Sudden footfalls she felt as much as heard rushed her. She readied her shield. Gripped her spear. From over the grass rather than through appeared the largest woman Miri had ever seen.
Miri stood her ground, and found herself at eye level with the woman’s elbows. Her skin nearly the dark brown of Miri’s hair, bare forearms thick and ropy, she crossed them on her dull breastplate. The woman’s eyes were nearly black, but her hair that Miri expected should match had been dyed a deep red with a hint of violet.
“I am Miri Oliva,” she said, brandishing her spear. “Give me your name.”
“Full of fire, this one,” the woman laughed, and Miri looked around to see if she spoke to another potential enemy. “Oh, it’s just us, Miri Oliva. Call me Maureen. Maureen Stone to my friends. You’re coming with me.”
Maureen pointed to Miri’s spear. “I’ll carry that for you. And your gear. Follow me.”
Miri didn’t move. “Follow you. All reason aside. Your ambush implies I have no voice, here.”
“Your insight serves you, Miri Oliva,” Maureen laughed. Miri noted it wasn’t a demeaning one.
Miri still hadn’t lowered her spear. “Where is it you hope I’ll follow you?”
Maureen grinned and placed an enormous hand on her sheathed sword, one Miri would have needed two hands and greater strength to wield.
“Wherever I say, Green Eyes,” Maureen said, sliding a gargantuan shield from her back and removing a pack. She pulled out a water flask. “You look parched.”
Miri didn’t move to take the massive flask, and wondered if she could even hold it. Maureen looked at her, then took several long swallows.
“Good news. Not poisoned,” she said, and held it out again.
Miri didn’t move, and Maureen shrugged and returned the flask to her pack.
“So, Maureen Stone,” Miri asked, “Where is it you say I’ll follow you?”
“The Bandit Lord can be gracious with the coins of others. He’s paid me well to be certain you’re present in his presence.”
Miri narrowed her eyes in suspicion. “I’ve never met any Bandit Lord. How is it I’ve sparked his wrath?”
Maureen shook her head. “I’m not paid to know answers. But am I correct you’ve had dealings with the Imp Mob in Dimgrove Forest?”
Miri said nothing, felt fatigue after the day’s walk, and with Maureen’s apparent skill in combat and length of stride, trying to escape would be impossible.
Maureen laughed at her reticence. “Then you have your answer. Vularpo and imps are a complexity I stay out of. We’ll also be staying clear of Rivermeet. I suspect you had your heart and your feet set on a soft bed and a hot bath, but we’ll travel northeast and be at the Bandit Lord’s encampment in two days, even if I have to carry you.”
Miri felt her moment to act had arrived. She wondered if any good could come of it.
If Miri attacks Maureen, go to section 48.
If she escapes toward Rivermeet, go to section 197.
If Miri surrenders for now, go to section 174.
We’ll have to wait until the book is published before we can find out what happens next in sections 48, 174 and 197. Which one would you have picked?
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