gwelks: Nigel Jayne's Interactive Fiction Site

Source Text for Gaia's Web

Volume - Introduction

Book - The Quest

Chapter - Quest Rooms and Characters

The player carries Poseidon's trident, the sirens' song, and the sack. The player wears Hades' helmet and Hermes' sandals.

The printed name of the sirens' song is "sirens['] song".

The printed name of Hades' helmet is "Hades['] helmet".

The printed name of Hermes' sandals is "Hermes['] sandals".

Understand "Poseidon's dolearm/spear/weapon", "dole arm", and "dolearm/spear/weapon" as Poseidon's trident.

The description of Poseidon's trident is "Once able to create burbling streams to fathomless oceans as well as flood shores and sink ships, the trident is no more than a three-pronged dole arm in your hands.".

Understand "hades' cap/hat/helm", "cap/hat/helm of darkness/invisibility", "helmet of invisibility/darkness", and "cap/hat/helm" as Hades' helmet.

The description of Hades' helmet is "Black metal isn't the best headgear for journeying under the sun, but you suppose Hades didn't do much of that. You continue to wear it, though, in hopes that the invisibility it reportedly bestows on the wearer kicks in.".

Understand "Hermes' shoes/shoe/sandal/wing/wings", "shoe/sandal/shoes/wing/wings", and "winged sandals/sandal/shoes/shoe" as Hermes' sandals.

The description of Hermes' sandals is "The white wings attached to these sandals weigh your legs down as if they were not sewn from feathers but rather forged with Hephaestus' most leaden metal. But the soles are soft, and walking as if on clouds spares you the pain of callused and torn feet.".

Understand "bag/bounty/booty", "backpack", "treasure/treasures", and "sac" as the sack.

The description of the sack is "The hag enchanted this sack with a capacity beyond its simple stitchings. Within it are Achilles['] tendon, Asclepius['] staff, 3 golden apples, the Graeae's eye, and a plank (possibly from the ship of Theseus).".

The sack contains Achilles' heel, Asclepius' staff, some golden apples, the Graeae's eye, and a plank.

The printed name of Achilles' heel is "Achilles['] heel".

The printed name of Asclepius' staff is "Asclepius['] staff".

Understand "Achilles foot/leg/tendon", "Achilles' leg", "Achilles's foot/leg/tendon", and "foot/leg/tendon/thumbprint" as Achilles' heel.

The description of Achilles' heel is "This isn't just the heel of the Trojan War hero, but one whole foot. It bears the indelible thumbprint of his mother, Thetis.".

Understand "Asclepius's staff/rod/snake/", "Asclepius' rod/snake/", "rod/staff of Asclepius", and "rod/snake" as Asclepius' staff.

The description of Asclepius' staff is "As if it were asleep, a snake droops languidly from around the top of Asclepius['] staff. Its powers are still active but, given that some scars remain from your encounter with Heracles, it evidently needs to be placed in the right hands to rouse the snake and resurrect its healing magic.".

Understand "Aphrodite's gold/golden apples/apple", "gold apple/apples/fruit", "golden apple/fruit", and "apple/fruit" as the golden apples.

The description of the golden apples is "Aphrodite's golden apples embody the beauty of the goddess herself. They taste a little too sweet, though.".

Understand "Graiai's eye", "eye of the grey/gray ones", "eye of the graeae/graiai/sisters/witches", and "witches'/witches/sisters'/sisters's eye" as the Graeae's eye.

The description of the Graeae's eye is "The eye is big, blue, and bright, as if it belonged to a baby and not the old crones from whom you took it. They didn't even see you coming.".

Understand "board/wood", "plank from Theseus' ship", "ship of Theseus", "Theseus' ship/board/plank",and "Theseus's Theseus'plank/ship/board" as the plank.

The description of the plank is "This plank was part of a ship in Theseus['] fleet but, because it was replaced by another one, can it really be said that it is a plank from a ship of Theseus? Does a reconstruction take the place of an original?".

Understand "sirens's/siren song/music" and "music/earworm" as the sirens' song.

The description of the sirens' song is "[if location is Nest]You don't want to even try to recall it[otherwise]The sirens sing to the fishes now, while their feathered bodies thrash in the tides among the rocks. Their song remains, however, starting every morning upon awakening, plucking away at your brain like an eagle at Prometheus['] liver[end if].".

The Nest is north of SOC.

The printed name of the nest is "A Nest of Nymphs".

The water is a backdrop. It is in SOC and The Nest.

Understand "brook", "consciousness", "consciousness stream/river", "river", "rock/rocks", "stream of consciousness", and "stream" as the water.

The description of the water is "The water hypnotizes, brings you back to the womb, birth, and the light, followed by dark, night, and waking, and dreaming, and waking again, into a new world without influence from above but with agency from within, stepping from the hands of your fathers whose blood runs thick and deep, providing the nourishment, the enlightment, the awareness to continue as one with the many.".

Some trees are a backdrop. They are in SOC and the Nest.

Understand "apple tree/orchard" and "forest/tree/woods" as the trees.

The description of the trees is "The richest of soils and the thirstiest of roots couldn't support such a robust forest.".

Some nymphs are women in SOC.

Understand "blond/blonde/brunette", "forest/tree nymph/nymphs", "nymph", and "water/stream/river/water nymph/nymphs" as the nymphs.

Understand "redhead" and "redhead nymph/nymphs" as the nymphs when location is The Nest.

The description of the nymphs is "[if location is SOC]Several nymphs are sitting and standing in a clearing upstream[otherwise]Daughters of Aphrodite, all of them. As drawn to them as you are, they lack interest in you, sparing only a glance upon your arrival. Maybe Zeus commanded it to be so; he doesn't want you to become too distracted[end if].".

SOC contains some fruit and some fishes.

Understand "apple/apples", "red apple/apples" and "green apple/apples" as the fruit.

The description of the fruit is "Some are green and some are red. All are big and flawless.".

Understand "fish" as the fishes.

Should the game choose doing something to the fruit:


The description of the fishes is "The fish swim languidly, as if through fermented honey, drunk and loitering among the rocks.".

The description of The Nest is "[one of]As you approach, the nymphs part, revealing a naked, emaciated man with a patchy white beard lying on a sheet suspended between two trees. A nymph places her hand on his shoulder. Her red hair rises, and she giggles. [pb]You shake your head. The god who once cast thunderbolts, now a flirtatious magician's apprentice. [pb]Zeus raises a limp hand to pat the nymph's bottom, his light touch only stresses his impotence. He sighs, turns to you, and stares. A nymph at his shoulder whispers into his ear. His eyes widen and he nods. 'I'm told you carry the means of both saving and ending my life,' he says, his voice a croak. 'Whatever it may be, do it quickly. I care not which you choose, for I feel not of sky, land, or water, returned to my childhood, suspended here but not.' [or]Zeus has returned to a place of security, his childhood home where he had been tended by nymphs and kept hidden from Cronus. Nymphs have once again rallied around the god, who lies on a blanket tied at each end to a tree. Some caress his thin naked body, their hair raised, Zeus not. Others prepare food and drink, and one is sitting next to the stream and strumming her lyre. Her song is quiet, the notes flowing with the burbling water. The women tuned to the wildlife stand in the periphery with a menagerie of animals crowded behind them[stopping]".

Zeus is a man in The Nest. Understand "god" and "god of thunder" as Zeus.

The description of Zeus is "Zeus['] divinity isn't obvious in his physical form. He's bald, and wisps of his stringy beard lay on his chest, its ribbed indentations heaving with each breath. His skin is pale, and rashes have spread over his arms and face. He mumbles to himself, his thoughts probably following his eyes, which would normally be focused on the naked nymphs surrounding him but which now wander without purpose or interest.".

The Nest contains the food, the lyre, and the lyre-music. the wildlife is an animal in Nest.

The printed name of the lyre-music is "lyre song".

Understand "apple/apples/drink", "fish/fishes", "red apple/apples", "grape/grapes", "grape juice", "green apple/apples", "juice", and "wine" as the food.

The description of the food is "The forest nymph slices the apples while the water nymph cleans the fish. Behind them, another nymph is sitting cross-legged with her hands inside a large bowl held between her hips. Her arms are stained purple.".

Understand "music" and "song" as the lyre-music.

The description of the lyre-music is "The lyre produces notes as if the strings were plucked by Apollo himself. The nymph has a sweeter voice, though, and the song, for the moment, replaces that of the sirens.".

The description of the lyre is "It appears to be similar to all other lyres: cow-gut strings stretched over a tortoise shell.".

Understand "animal menagerie/wildlife", "black horse/horses/stallion/stallions", "boar/boars", "dogs/wolf/wolves", "raptor", "horse/horses", "menagerie of animals/wildlife", and "menagerie" as the wildlife.

The description of the wildlife is "Some of the animals forage, but most are standing or sitting as they watch and wait. One nymph strokes the neck of a black horse while the other pets a wolf. They're flanked by wandering boars. A third nymph supports a condor on her arm as she feeds it.".

Chapter - Quest Action-Processing Rules

When play begins:

now the sidebar is shown manually;

now sidebar is disallowing toggling.

Before answering something that text during Questing, try talking to the noun instead.

Before conversing during Questing, try talking to the second noun instead.

Before eating or drinking the water, try taking the noun instead.

Before eating the fruit, try taking the noun instead.

Before eating the food, try taking the noun instead.

Before examining something when the noun is neither the nymphs nor the player and SOC contains player, say "You reluctantly pull your attention away from the nymphs. [rpo]".

Before fishing during Questing, try taking the fishes instead.

Before going nowhere from SOC, try abandoning the quest instead.

Before going nowhere from the Nest, try abandoning the quest instead.

Before going south from Nest, try abandoning the quest instead.

Before listening when the noun is either Sirens' song or the lyre-music, try examining the noun instead.

Before listening during Questing:

if location is SOC, try examining Sirens' song instead;

otherwise try examining the lyre-music instead.

Before removing something from during questing, follow the convert remove to take rule instead.

Before taking off something during Questing, try taking the noun instead.

Instead of dropping something enclosed by the player during Questing, say "You've gone through too much to be leaving your treasures behind.".

Instead of fighting the nymphs with something, say "Attacking the nymphs isn't necessary. Without Zeus, they will wither and die like flowers without a sun.".

Instead of fighting Zeus with Poseidon's trident:

now Zeus is off-stage;

say "You drop the sack, grab the trident in both hands, and stride over to Zeus. The nymphs around him pull away and bow. Zeus frowns, notices you, speaks: 'My [mdash]' [pb]You thrust the trident into Zeus['] throat. The middle spear punches through his neck, the two others rip through the sheet supporting him. He gurgles and thrashes his arms, but the reaction seems reflexive not defensive. When he falls limp, you pull the trident free. [pb]The nymphs around him begin to cry. You don't share their despair. It's time for humankind to direct its own destiny.";

try fulfilling the quest.

Instead of giving Asclepius' staff to Zeus:

say "You drop the sack and retrieve Asclepius' staff. You approach Zeus. Wide-eyed, the nymphs step away from him. [pb]'Be witness to the one who saved Zeus['] life,' you say loud enough for all the nymphs to hear. [pb]You lay the staff over Zeus' shoulder. He regards it, smiles, and looks at you. [pb]'Remember that I spared only you,' you say. [pb]Zeus nods and grips the staff with a strength not evident just seconds before. 'You will be rewarded handsomely, my son,' he says.";

try fulfilling the quest.

Instead of giving something which is not staff to Zeus when the noun is enclosed by the player, say "[regarding the noun][They] will do you more good than [they] will Zeus.".

Instead of giving something to the nymphs, say "They don't seem interested in you, and you figure they can provide for themselves.".

Instead of kissing Zeus, say "If the nymphs can't rouse him, a mere mortal won't.".

Instead of kissing the nymphs, say "They aren't likely interested, and you don't want a fight like you had with Artemis. These nymphs are likely to rally around one another.".

Instead of praying to something during Questing, say "[if location is SOC]There's only one god left to pray to, and you aren't sure yet whether you'll give him such reverence[otherwise]Given the condition Zeus is in, you doubt a prayer would help[end if].".

Instead of taking inventory during Questing, say "Instead of lugging them around in your sack, you've decided to wear Hades['] helmet and Hermes['] sandals, and carry Poseidon's trident. [if location is SOC]You also carry the sirens['] song locked in your head. [end if]The sack contains even more bounty: [lb]Achilles['] heel [lb]Asclepius' staff [lb]some golden apples [lb]the Graeae's eye [lb]a plank, possibly from the ship of Theseus [lb]".

Instead of taking something which is in the sack during Questing, say "You'll pull out [the noun] when you decide to use [them].".

Instead of taking a worn thing during Questing, say "[The noun] [are] easier to wear than to carry.".

Instead of taking the Sirens' song, say "[if location is Nest]It's gone [mdash] thank you, singing nymph [mdash] and you don't want it back[otherwise]You wish you could remove it from your mind, but you would have done that a long time ago if you could[end if].".

Instead of taking the fishes, say "Fishing is for idle hands, and you've no time for it.".

Instead of taking the food, say "You can eat when your quest is finished.".

Instead of taking the fruit, say "You have plenty of golden apples to eat.".

Instead of taking the water, say "Drinking from the Stream of Consciousness would blow your mind.".

Last instead of doing something other than abandoning the quest or continuing to office or fulfilling the quest or going or looking or examining during Questing:

if talking to or fighting with begin;

say "*** Run-time problem P21: Attempt to look up a non-existent correspondence in the table [']Table of [if talking to]Conversation Pieces[otherwise]Battle Throes[end if]";


say "*** Run-time problem [one of]P47 (at paragraph 4312 in the source text): Phrase applied to an incompatible kind of value[or]P50: Attempt to use list item which does not exist[or]P21: Attempt to look up a non-existent correspondence in the table [']Table of Ungodly Actions['][or]P40: Attempt to splice a snippet value which is currently invalid: words 0 to -1[purely at random]";

end if;

say ". *** [pb]Sighing, you decide that's enough testing for now. You'll add some comments to the game's transcript later. You close the interpreter.";

try continuing to office.

After abandoning the quest or fulfilling the quest:

now ending quest finally is true;

say "[quest final message] [lb] [i]Well,[/i] you think, [i]that was a bit abrupt. I'll need to talk to Ona about that. But that can wait. I need a break.[/i] [lb]".

After going north from SOC:

move the nymphs to the Nest;

continue the action.