Welcome back to the adventure=)
Half the fun of Choose Your Own Adventure stories is the chance to reread the stories to figure out where the difference choices lead. I used to read the books with my fingers stuck in the pages just so I could go back to each choice and I’ve been told I’m not the only one who did this=) So here’s a second chance to find out where The Quest for Pannadon’s World of Wonders can take you.
I hope you enjoy=)
Quest for Pannadon’s World of Wonders
In the woods of Pannadon a collection of rocks sit like a giant troll whiling away his time in thought. Those who are cautious avoid the place, afraid the formation is, in fact, an old troll caught by the first rays of sun.
But for those who are adventurous, the formation is the starting point to a map into Pannadon’s hidden World of Wonders.
You are, of course, one of the adventurous souls around and you’ve never had the chance to check out Pannadon’s secrets although you hear there are fairies who turn the sky into rainbows and frogs who can tell you amazing stories. Just to name a few things you’ve heard.
You carry a bag with the tools you believe will help you find this World of Wonders. A knife, a coil of rope, water, a bag of nuts and dried fruit and a loaf of sour dough bread along with a layer of warmer clothes. You’ve never met anyone who’s found the World of Wonders, so you’ve no real gauge on how long the trip will take, but no matter, you can always make do sleeping in the woods. It’s not like you haven’t done that before.
Before you sits the rock troll. If he were real, you’d offer him a cup of tea because it looks like his head aches with his face all scrunched up and his hand on his forehead. The longer you look at him, the more real he seems. He might truly be a troll frozen to stone by the sun.
In your hand you hold a map. It might be real, it might be a hoax. You bought it from a local vendor who claimed he’d found the map hidden in a trunk in his grandfather’s cabin. Part of the adventure’s the mere idea that you might be running on a wild search using a fictitious map. But it brought you to the starting point just fine, so it’s proving to be at least a pinch accurate.
The lower left hand corner is marked with a bulbous drawing of the troll. The poor guy’s imitation makes him look rather fat. From the troll’s heel runs three lines.
One appears to run deep into Pannadon, down into the bogs that soak the roots of the trees into a mash of slime. That way looks like you’re searching for an archway made of tree branches and vines covered in flowers the size of your splayed hand.
The second curves and meanders through more rocks known to you as the Whale’s Side. It’s a common area for climbing but no climbers go beyond the tip of the Whale’s Fin because the rocks become unstable farther on. The line on the map leads past the Fin and over the rocks until it marks the next destination point as another archway, this one made of rock instead of vines and it appears the rock is braided like a woman’s hair.
The last line heads west up into the mountains until the forest can’t reach and the ground becomes barren and the air thin. The line dots its way around the mountain, marked on the map as Shovant Mountain, until you reach the destination point on the north side, which appears to be a cave with sharp points lining the opening like pointy teeth.
Stepping around the troll to start from his heel, you study the map and the direction of each option.
A. Head into the bogs?
B. Head past the Whale’s Side?
C. Head toward Shovant mountain?
Quest for Pannadon’s World of Wonders B: Head Past the Whale’s Side
Bogs just make you think of bugs that like to eat at human flesh and hiking a mountain doesn’t seem all that fun either. But you’ve been climbing at the Whale’s Side before. You’re somewhat familiar with the area and the dangers of the loose rock, so you decide to make for that route.
It’s not long before the ground becomes rocky with a solid crunch under your steps. The Whale’s Side rises to your left, starting out low enough you could pull your self on top of it in one move and building from there until it’s about 120 feet tall with swooping ripples in the stone.
Walking until you reach the Whale’s Fin, where the wall stops in a straight plummet like something cut it with a knife, you stop and pull out the map. There isn’t really a trail to follow but the map indicates you should move forward across the scree field in front of you. You tuck the map back into your pocket to leave your hands free.
The first step onto the scree scrapes rock against rock with a grating you feel through the soles of your boots. You continue on, stepping with caution. A bit later the ground rumbles alarmingly and you look around, trying to locate the cause. You don’t see anything but the rumbling continues like a large rock slide.
Then something appears behind you. It’s round and bobbing with slow bounces. You’re so focused on it that you fail to look forward again until something grabs your feet and picks you up, holding you upside down high up in the air.
Hollering in surprise, you twist until you’re eye to eye with something huge. The eye staring back is brown and crusty.
“Found me some dinner,” rumbles the beast.
“Wait now,” comes another deep voice. “I helped, you have to share.”
The one holding you turns and, with ground eating strides, walks the rest of the way across the scree field and onto unfamiliar ground. A round, braided structure passes your upside down vision. There! You twist and struggle as you pass the arch but the thing carrying you doesn’t seem to notice.
Finally you’re set down. As your head clears you look up to find two round, rocky faces eyeing you with great interest.
“First one in a while. Let’s roast it,” one says.
Oh no. You’ve heard of rock trolls and that’s what these two have to be. They’re put together like snowmen made of stone instead of snow and with stout legs. And they’ll eat anything. Or so the stories tell. But you see they have two deer already ready for their meal.
“Haven’t had a good meal in a while?” you ask.
They straighten in surprise.
“They don’t usually talk. Blubber, but no talk.” One says.
“Does it matter?” The other asks.
“No. Just annoying is all.” He reaches to pick you up again but you dart away waving your hands.
“Wait, wait. I’ve some food you may find quite delicious. It’ll go well with your venison.”
“Venis…Venison? What’s it saying?”
“Let me cook for you. If you enjoy it, I get to go free. If not, well, you can eat me.” You shrug, trying to appear cool with the whole idea while hiding your shaking hands.
“Cook for us?” They kneel down and hover over you like you’re a fascinating specimen.
“Absolutely, I’ll make you…” you pause to think about what you’ve got.
Do you say…
Bb: Roast deer with a side of fruit and nuts?
Bc: Roast deer with bread and fruit?
Bd: Say nothing and run?
Quest for Pannadon’s World of Wonders Bc: Roasted Deer with Bread and Fruit
You just throw something out.
“I’ll make you roasted deer with fruit and toasted bread as a nice side,” you say as you pull your pack forward and scrounge inside for the dried fruit and sourdough bread.
“Don’t want a roast. I’m tired of roasted meat!”
“Oh,” you pause, swallowing as one troll leans so close you can see up his buggery nose. “Well then, how about a stew?”
“Hmmm.” They both sit down with a thud that rocks the ground beneath your feet. You pitch your hands out to catch yourself.
“Stew it is then. May I pick some flowers to help the flavor?”
“Whatcha think, Bern?”
“Yeah, sure. But you go farther than that rock,” Bern points to a boulder on the edge of the scree field, “and I won’t bother picking you up again. I’ll just squash you.”
“Fair enough,” you set your pack next to Bern’s large toes to reassure him you won’t run and then scramble over to some pink flowers you spotted earlier. You’ve helped gather herbs for the town healer, so the flower’s familiar to you. After picking a handfull, actually pulling them up by the roots because the roots are what you want, you glance back at the trolls.
By golly, they’re big! You pull up another handful before returning to the beasts.
“May I ask for a fire?” you ask.
“Why should we help you?”
“I could start one myself,” you assure, “but it wouldn’t be so large as a fire made by you and dinner would take a lot longer.”
“Harrrumph,” Bern stands and in quick order has a fire roaring. They’ve a pot as big as a wagon that, after directing him to, Bern places on a boulder slightly above the blaze and pours in bucketfuls of water from a small steam nearby.
Then Bern sits down with the declaration if you can’t do the rest by yourself, he’ll eat you whole and forget about the stew.
Standing on the rock with the pot, you break the roots into bits and throw them in to steep while you work on the deer. By the time you’re done quartering the second deer, you’re a mess, but the water’s starting to roll. You toss in the fruits next and then cut the deer meat into large chunks, throwing them in as you cut.
It’s not a stew you’d make for yourself but from what you know of trolls, the flavor doesn’t really matter. They’ll probably gulp down the stew without tasting it much, so you don’t concern yourself about the mixture of mismatched ingredients.
The trolls watch, licking their lips with each piece of meat added. As you wait for it to cook some more, you slice the bread into thick pieces and lay them next to the pot to toast.
Asking for a large stick hanging from Bern’s belt, you grasp the wood with both hands to stir the stew. Between the heat of the fire and exertion, you’re sweating buckets but if this bothers the trolls, they don’t tell you.
Finally satisfied with the mixture, you ask if they have bowls.
“Nah,” Bern declares, “bowls are stupid.”
He moves to pick up the pot but spots the toast. “What’s this?”
“Toast,” you explain, “it’s really good if you dip it in the stew.”
Bern picks up a piece in his thick fingers and dips it, scowling as it drips.
Then he takes a bite, catching his fingers in the process.
“Ow!” he howls and thrashes his hand like it’ll help the pain. He smacks the pot and the stew flies, hissing at it hits the fire.
You bolt, seeing the disaster about to hit. The ground shakes and the loose scree slides under your feet. You keep going, trying to reach the arch, but the running quake of both trolls makes the scree slide into a full on rock slide.
I’m sorry to say your story from here is quite sad. Take solace in that you did not get eaten by a troll. After the rock slide settled, they never did find your body.
And you were so close! I’m sorry for your rather unfortunate ending. Maybe at a later date, I’ll run the story again and you can find a happier ending.
For now, I hope you enjoy the rest of your week and we’ll see you all next week for some back story to the troll Broman, since this was requested=)