The  briarheart

There are statues of the famed hero and their companions all over Crowned Grove. When you were younger, you tried to spy behind their mask, to get a glimpse of the face beneath, but there was nothing to be seen - the true visage of the briarheart was never captured by any artist or sculptor. 

But you had to check. You had to see if the face hidden behind the mask was your own. 

Your mother always said it was. That the mark in your forehead, the same shimmering on the hero’s mask, was all the proof you needed. You grew up under their shadow, their silent eyes judging your every move, the knowledge that one day you would depart with companions of your own to save the world  a thorn twisting in your rib cage.

Saving the world cost the briarheart their life - it was supposed to also claim your own.

But you failed.

Why?

BRIARHEART is an interactive fiction game where you play as the chosen one who failed, now returning from a self-imposed exile to the Crowned Grove’s royal court. The kingdom - the last one that still stands after hundreds of years of rot and decay - remembers your failure well, and it is not willing to forgive. But that is the least of your worries…

The Crowned Grove's sickness grows stronger. More and more people fall to the wild's ravenous hunger, devoured from the inside out as the it struggles against the rot. The woods are more dangerous than ever, the animals a source of poison, but there is nothing the people can do to protect themselves - because if the wild dies, so does the Crowned Grove.

The signs of the end are there, and your mother the Queen has no time to lose. Despite your failure, you are the briarheart still, and that means the answers lie with you and that fated trip down the roots of the great tree seven years ago. But your memories are murky, dangerous, and you have no wish to relive them, maybe not even to save the world you doomed…

  • a customizable main character — set your pronouns, choose your gender, appearance and build on top of the base personality throughout the story.
  • choose your fae heritage - soil, the power over the dead and the dying; roots, the power over all who grow from the earth; or blood, the power over the beasts of the wood.
  • unveil the mystery —why did you fail? why is the crowned grove sick in the first place? and what exactly happened down the roots of the world? 
  • build relationships — romantic or platonic, you choose how to interact with the main cast of characters (queerplatonic relationships included!)
  • fight - or not - against the wild  — the wild chose you as its briarheart, and even after your failure the connection between you and the eldritch soul of the crowned grove is strong. will you let it consume you? can you even fight against it
  • you decide  —  your choices matter and will change the outcome of the story and the fate of the characters around you.
  • delve into the kingdom of crowned grove  — the entire story is set in a truly (and i do mean truly) massive tree, where the last kingdom still stands. explore the bitter branch, the land of the fae; the alcove, a mercantile haven; the shallows, where the rot is everywhere; briar’s spear, the seat of the royal family; and much more!

the warrior - ves ul'niva (eventually comes out as nb - he/him)


Ves was a wanderer and a warrior before you doomed the kingdom, but he wants peace and rest now, and what better way to achieve it than marrying into the royal family (even if the way in is you, the disgraced briarheart), where all your needs are taken care of? Ves is an open book and wears his heart in his sleeve - but something tells you it just might not be his real one.

the savior. kaisa ul’aroh (f - she/her)


Kaisa was your childhood rival. Fiercely determined and terribly smart, she was just one step ahead of you in everything, and the obvious choice for one of your companions in the trip down to the roots of the world - but you didn’t expect her to succeed when you failed. Now she’s everything you were meant to be: famous, respected, powerful. But how much exactly does she remember about happened - what does she truly know?  

the scion. nima sil’thor (nb - they/them)


Coming from a recluse noble family, Nima’s intentions are just as big a mystery as the Silent Tower they came from. Quiet and just a bit strange, they don’t seem dangerous, but there is something about the way they move, the way they speak, that unsettles you. A Thor has not left the tower in decades, so why them - and why now?

The wild is not as much a being as it is a will. It is the lifeblood of the Crowned Grove, the soul of the giant tree where the last kingdom on earth clings to existence - and it is dying. Struggling against the rot spreading through its roots, it slips inside the minds, souls and bodies of its children, desperate for the strength it needs to survive. It is old, too old, maybe older than the tree itself - and it has chosen you as its heart.

player discretion is advised.

  • violence
  • depictions of blood and gore
  • death
  • explicit language
  • sexually suggestive themes
  • memory loss
  • sense of unreality; doubt over reality

Credits

writing, coding & art by raindev (aka me).

fonts used are available on google fonts.

a huge shoutout to idrellegames and cerberus-writes for all twine/coding tutorials!

also a shoutout to manonamora-if for all the help <3

a huge, huge thank you to my beta readers!!

Links

dev blog

twitter

ko-fi

Development log

Comments

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this is fun read 

thank you!

So beautifully written! I’m excited to see where this story goes

thank you so much!

(+1)

Just finished playing through the first chapter and I'm super excited about the story! I really like the mystery of the lost memories. Looking forward to what the story will bring in the future :)

thank you! 

I've been anticipating this IF, and it's just as good as I hoped it'd be. Better in fact, the writing is beautifully done, and I am excited to keep up with this piece of work.

thank you so much!!

yo!!! this is so cool, i'm really enjoying the style so far
Question though, if we find (maybe) issues/bugs (i can't tell if is intented or not) is there any specific place you want us to mention them?

thank you!!

it can be through here if that's more comfortable for you, but you can also submit bug reports to the dev blog here.

This is so cool!

thank you!