Counterfeit Monkey — 241 of 292

Emily Short

Release 5

Section 16 - Tale

A tale is r-abstract. The heft of a tale is 0. The description of a tale is "It begins with 'once upon a time,' and the letters scroll up delicately through the air when [you] start to read. It weaves a narrative as follows: [paragraph break][i][generated tale][/i]".

Report examining the tale:

record "Propper Rosehip award for talespinning" as an achievement;

continue the action.

[Here we want to suggest a timeless but suitably Atlantean fairy tale, which we assemble in pseudo-Proppian fashion. Themes hint at rampant xenophobia, problems with distribution of wealth, concerns about class and democracy, the roles of science and superstition, ambivalence towards organized religion, layers of polytheistic as well as Christian culture, superstitions about language, uncertainty about the behavior of abstract objects and beings, and other problems that presumably were emerging over the past several centuries of Atlantean history.

At the same time, the tale is generative and intentionally reveals its generative nature, rather than just being a cycling set of pre-written tales, for two reasons. One, I like some of the curious themes or idiosyncracies that arise from the automatic generation (e.g., a hero who defeats a robber... using something he himself stole; the hero gives up literacy to appease an angry demon and is rewarded with a mask of words...); two, many of the game's abstracts do have a randomized, unstable quality and I wanted to continue that feel.

Conceptually, this passage also owes a little bit to Andrew Plotkin's Matter of the Monster and to some blog comments from Ian Millington about generating semi-random content. It's not, of course, a particularly elegant implementation of that concept.

Contrast the inciting fable, which needs to have one and just one form.]

A tale-apex is a kind of value. The tale-apexes are t-defeats, t-tricks, t-escapes, t-converts.

A tale-protagonist is a kind of value. The tale-protagonists are t-fisherman, t-farmer, t-banker.

A tale-villain is a kind of value. The tale-villains are t-foreigner, t-thief, t-monster, t-multiple-creature.

A tale-helper is a kind of value. The tale-helpers are t-squid, t-ass, t-beggar, t-spirit.

A tale-gift is a kind of value. The tale-gifts are t-sword, t-dagger, t-gun, t-disguise, t-diversion, t-grace.

The chosen tale-apex is a tale-apex that varies.

The chosen tale-protagonist is a tale-protagonist that varies.

The chosen tale-helper is a tale-helper that varies.

The chosen tale-gift is a tale-gift that varies.

The chosen tale-villain is a tale-villain that varies.

Tale-resolution is indexed text that varies.

Tale-donation is indexed text that varies.

Tale-danger is indexed text that varies.

Tale-intro is indexed text that varies.

Tale-fight is indexed text that varies.

To say generated tale:

[first assign values]

now the chosen tale-apex is a random tale-apex;

now the chosen tale-protagonist is a random tale-protagonist;

now the chosen tale-helper is a suitable helper for the chosen tale-protagonist;

now the chosen tale-gift is a suitable gift for the chosen tale-apex;

now the chosen tale-villain is a suitable villain for the chosen tale-apex;

[now assign text to values]

let t-hero be indexed text;

let t-nom be "he";

let t-obj be "him";

let t-pos be "his";

let t-activity be indexed text;

let t-activity be "doing the daily chores";

if the chosen tale-protagonist is:

-- t-farmer:

let t-hero be "[one of]farmer[or][one of]wealthy[or]wise[or]poor[or]clever[or]brave[at random] [random vegetable]-farmer[or]seed farmer[or]farm-lab[our]er[or]harvester[or]citrus farmer[as decreasingly likely outcomes]";

if a random chance of 2 in 3 succeeds:

let t-activity be "[one of]watering the land[or]mending fences[or]getting rid of pests[or]tending the soil[at random]";

-- t-fisherman:

let t-hero be "[one of]fisherman[or]deep-sea fisher[or]clam-picker[or]shrimp-trapper[or]bivalve-farmer[or]pearl-diver[or]deep-sea scavenger[as decreasingly likely outcomes]";

if a random chance of 2 in 3 succeeds:

let t-activity be "[one of]cleaning the catch[or]working on some nets[or]repairing a boat[at random]";

-- t-banker:

let t-hero be "[one of]banker[or]money changer[or]money-lender[or]financier[as decreasingly likely outcomes]";

if a random chance of 2 in 3 succeeds:

let t-activity be "counting a [one of]tall [or]short [or][at random]stack of [one of]gold[or]silver[or]copper[at random]";

if a random chance of 1 in 2 succeeds:

let t-hero be "[t-hero]'s [one of]daughter[or]wife[at random]";

let t-nom be "she";

let t-obj be "her";

let t-pos be "her";

otherwise if a random chance of 1 in 2 succeeds:

let t-hero be "[t-hero]'s son";

let t-helper be indexed text;

if the chosen tale-helper is:

-- t-squid:

now t-helper is "[one of]giant [or]speckled [or]vast [or]white [or][at random]squid";

-- t-ass:

now t-helper is "[one of]miniature [or]brown [or]small [or]black-eared [or]hard-kicking [at random][one of]donkey[or]beast of burden[or]ass[at random]";

-- t-beggar:

now t-helper is "[one of]wrinkled [or]toothless [or]squinting [or]hardy [or]needy [or]starving [or][or][at random][one of]monk[or]mendicant[or]friar[or]beggar[or]vagabond[at random]";

-- t-spirit:

now t-helper is "[one of]secretive [or]wailing [or]powerful [or]cruel [or]subtle [or][or][or][or][at random][one of]spirit[or]god[or]demon[or]ghost[or]seraph[or]genie[or]representation of [one of]Poverty[or]Need[or]War[or]Charity[or]Justice[or]Purpose[at random][or]spirit of that town[as decreasingly likely outcomes]";

let t-antagonist be indexed text;

if the chosen tale-villain is:

-- t-foreigner:

now t-antagonist is "[one of]man from a foreign land[or]woman speaking in a strange tongue[or]foreigner[or]sailor[at random]";

-- t-thief:

now t-antagonist is "[one of]brigand[or]thief[or]robber[or]bandit[or]wandering pirate[or]quack doctor[or]lying bishop[at random]";

-- t-monster:

if the chosen tale-protagonist is t-fisherman:

now the t-antagonist is "[one of]kraken[or]leviathan[or]whale[or]wrathful spirit of the deep[or]disembodied power of the tides[as decreasingly likely outcomes]";

otherwise:

now the t-antagonist is "[one of]ferocious beast[or]great boar[or]ravaging beast[or][a random number between 2 and 12 in words]-[one of]headed[or]tailed[or]legged[or]tongued[at random] [one of]lion[or]dog[or]bull[or]unicorn[or]scorpion[or]tiger[at random][or]beast that can't be killed (because it has no name)[or]Epsilivore that walks the land eating the letter E[as decreasingly likely outcomes]";

-- t-multiple-creature:

now the t-antagonist is "horde of deplural[ize]d [one of]merchants[or]pirates[or]soldiers[or]spies from a foreign land[as decreasingly likely outcomes] traveling as one man";

let t-tool be indexed text;

if the chosen tale-gift is:

-- t-sword:

now the t-tool is "[one of]rapier[or]cutlass[or]longsword[or]broadsword[or]shortsword[or]sword[at random]";

if the chosen tale-helper is the t-ass:

now the t-tool is "whip";

-- t-dagger:

now the t-tool is "[one of]poniard[or]dagger[or]knife[or]blade[at random]";

if the chosen tale-helper is t-beggar:

now the t-tool is "[one of]rusty[or]old[or]antique[or]much-used[at random] [t-tool]";

if the chosen tale-helper is t-spirit:

now the t-tool is "[one of]pure blue[or]shimmering spirit[at random] [t-tool]";

if the chosen tale-helper is the t-ass:

now the t-tool is "whip";

-- t-gun:

now the t-tool is "[one of]Spanish pistol[or]gun[or]musket[or]rifle[or]blunderbuss[at random]";

if the chosen tale-helper is the t-squid:

now the t-tool is "harpoon gun";

if the chosen tale-helper is the t-ass:

now the t-tool is "whip";

-- t-disguise:

now the t-tool is "[one of]mask[or]veil[or]robe[or]cloak[at random]";

if a random chance of 1 in 3 succeeds and the player is wearing something:

now the t-tool is "[random thing worn by the player]";

if the chosen tale-helper is the t-spirit:

now the t-tool is "[t-tool] made of [one of]cloud[or]darkness[or]words[at random]";

if the chosen tale-helper is the t-squid:

now the t-tool is "[one of]water[or]spume[or]black ink[at random]-col[our]ed [t-tool]";

if the chosen tale-helper is the t-beggar:

now the t-tool is "[one of]stained[or]torn[or]tattered[at random] [t-tool]";

-- t-diversion:

now the t-tool is "[one of]flashing toy[or]lantern[or]mirror[or]firecracker[or]sound of an avalanche[or]bottled wind[at random]";

-- t-grace:

if the chosen tale-helper is the t-spirit:

now t-tool is "[one of]sonnet[or]song[or]poem[or]spell of persuasion[or]tale of how Atlantis was founded[or]story of the Tower of Babel[as decreasingly likely outcomes]";

otherwise if the chosen tale-helper is the t-squid:

now t-tool is "[one of]gift of lying[or]pair of spectacles that see through ink[at random]";

otherwise:

now t-tool is "[one of]wistful smile[or]bashful grin[or]raucous laugh[or]brilliant smile[or]beguiling tune[or]naughty limerick[at random]";

let t-solution be indexed text;

if the chosen tale-apex is:

-- t-defeats:

now the t-solution is "[one of]destroy[or]kill[or]maim[or]attack[at random] the [t-antagonist]";

if the chosen tale-helper is t-spirit:

if the chosen tale-gift is t-sword or chosen tale-gift is t-dagger:

let agonist be indexed text;

let agonist be "[t-antagonist]";

if agonist matches the regular expression ".(.*)":

now agonist is "[text matching subexpression 1]";

now t-solution is "slice off a piece of the [t-antagonist] so that only [agonist] was left";

if t-tool is "whip":

now t-solution is "[one of]beat the [t-antagonist] into obedience[or]make the [t-antagonist] into an obedient servant[at random]";

-- t-escapes:

if the chosen tale-gift is t-disguise:

now the t-solution is "[one of]conceal [t-obj]self[or]hide[at random] from the [t-antagonist]";

if a random chance of 1 in 2 succeeds:

now the t-solution is "blend in with the landscape so that the [t-antagonist] did not notice [t-obj] though he passed only a few inches away";

if the chosen tale-helper is the t-beggar or the chosen tale-helper is the t-ass:

now the t-solution is "resemble a soldier too ferocious to attack";

if the chosen tale-gift is t-diversion:

now the t-solution is "[one of]distract[or]draw away the attention of[at random] the [t-antagonist]";

-- t-tricks:

if the chosen tale-gift is t-disguise:

if the chosen tale-helper is t-beggar and the chosen tale-villain is t-thief:

now the t-solution is "trick the [t-antagonist] into thinking the [t-hero] hand nothing worth stealing";

otherwise:

now the t-solution is "trick the [t-antagonist]";

if the chosen tale-gift is t-diversion:

now the t-solution is "trick the [t-antagonist] into going the wrong way and being trapped";

if t-tool is "mirror" and the chosen tale-villain is t-multiple-creature:

now the t-solution is "show the [t-antagonist] its reflection and drive it to madness";

-- t-converts:

now t-solution is "[one of]soothe[or]tame[or]make a friend of[at random] the [t-antagonist]";

now tale-intro is "Once upon a time...";

now tale-fight is "Using the [t-tool], [t-nom] was able to [t-solution]. ";

now tale-resolution is "So the [t-hero] [one of]triumphed[or]succeeded[or]prevailed[or]was triumphant[or]won out[or]was successful[or]was victorious[at random]. ";

if t-tool is "gift of lying":

now tale-resolution is "'Is there anything this gift cannot achieve?' asked the [t-hero] of the [t-helper]; and the [t-helper] replied, 'No, it is the strongest weapon there is.' ";

let V be a random number between 1 and 7;

if V is:

-- 1:

now tale-intro is "Once upon a time, a [t-hero] was [one of][or]hard at work [or]busy [or]in the middle of [at random][t-activity]. ";

now tale-danger is "Then the [t-hero] met with a [t-antagonist]. [one of]For a time [t-nom] thought that [t-nom] and [t-pos] family were done for, so great was [t-pos] fear, when[or]Everything seemed lost until[or]The [t-hero] did not know what to do until[or]The [t-hero] was overwhelmed with terror until[at random] [one of][t-nom] remembered the [t-tool][or][t-nom] found the [t-tool] again among [t-pos] possessions[or]the [t-tool] spoke aloud saying USE ME, USE ME[at random]. ";

-- 2:

now tale-intro is "Once upon a time, the supreme councilor of the land was captured by a [t-antagonist][one of], and no one but a [t-hero] dared try to save him[or]. A brave [t-hero] set out to save him[or], and only a [t-hero] was willing to go after him[at random]. ";

now t-activity is "searching high and low for the councilor";

now tale-danger is "At last the [t-hero] found the lair of the [t-antagonist]. ";

now tale-resolution is "[tale-resolution]The councilor was saved, and all rejoiced. ";

-- 3:

now t-activity is "[one of]treasure[or]a cure to the plague[or]fresh water[or]the world's hottest spice[or]the world's sweetest honey[or]the world's end[or]the Secret Word that Makes Men Live Forever[or]the 27th letter of the alphabet (which God gave secretly to the angels)[as decreasingly likely outcomes]";

now tale-danger is "When at last the [t-hero] [one of]discovered the hiding place of the [t-activity][or]tracked down the [t-activity] with subtle maps and a magic compass[or]uncovered the [t-activity] by asking every merchant and priest in the land[or]came to the hidden place where the [t-activity] could be found[at random], [t-nom] found it was being guarded by a [t-antagonist]. ";

now tale-resolution is "[tale-resolution]The [t-hero] and [t-pos] whole town lived [one of]healthily[or]wisely[or]joyfully[or]wealthily[at random] ever after. ";

if t-activity is "the world's end" and chosen tale-villain is t-foreigner:

now tale-resolution is "[tale-resolution]But all were amazed that the world's end should be in a foreign land rather than their own. ";

otherwise if t-activity is "the 27th letter of the alphabet, which God gave secretly to the angels":

now tale-resolution is "[tale-resolution]And the names of the people in that town cannot even be spoken by an ordinary person, because of the secret letter which is beyond pronouncement. ";

now t-activity is "[if the chosen tale-protagonist is the t-fisherman]sailing the sea[otherwise]wandering the land[end if] in search of [t-activity]";

now tale-intro is "Once upon a time, a [t-hero] was [t-activity]. ";

-- 4:

if chosen tale-gift is not t-grace and t-tool is not "whip":

now t-tool is "[one of]golden[or]silver[or]ruby-studded[or]emerald-embossed[or]gilded[or]small electrum[at random] [random animal which is not plural-named]";

now tale-intro is "Once upon a time there was a [t-hero] who had inherited a [t-tool] from [t-pos] father and [t-pos] father's mother before him. But the [t-tool], alas, was stolen; and as it was the most valuable thing the family possessed, [t-nom] went out in search of it. ";

now t-activity is "scouring the land for what was lost";

now tale-resolution is "After much struggle, the [t-hero] was reunited with the [t-tool], which the [t-helper] had stolen [one of]to give away as a bribe[one of]. And this is the danger of corruption when all tasks, even small ones, require a bribe[or][or][at random]. [or]out of hunger. [or]out of need. [or]out of a love of trouble. [purely at random]";

if t-tool is "whip":

now tale-resolution is "The [t-hero] took the [t-tool] away from the [t-helper] and began to beat him with it savagely, though he had stolen it in order to escape beating. So it is that disobeying a tyrant may only make him more tyrannical. ";

now tale-danger is "'You have stolen this [t-tool]!' exclaimed the [t-hero] in rage. 'For it has belonged to my family for generations.' ";

now tale-fight is "[one of]'What!' said the [t-helper]. 'Do you think there is only one [t-tool] in existence?' But the [t-hero] knew this was a lie. [or]'You did not truly need it,' protested the [t-helper]. [or]'All things belong to all people in common,' suggested the [t-helper], because he subscribed to a heretical philosophy of property ownership. But the [t-hero] snorted derisively. [or]Then the [t-helper] and the [t-hero] argued over the [t-tool]. [at random] ";

-- 5:

now tale-intro is "Once upon a time, [one of]a certain witch read in the cards that[or]there was a prophecy that[or]a prophetess saw in a dream that[at random] the island of Atlantis would sink into the sea. [one of]And no one believed this prophecy except for[or]But the prophetess did not tell everyone; she gave the secret only to[or]No one cared except[or]This message fell on deaf ears, except for[at random] a [t-hero], who set out to prevent it. ";

now t-activity is "going door to door looking for anyone who could offer advice";

now tale-danger is "The [t-hero] traveled for many nights and days into the cen[ter] of the island, until [t-nom] came to a deep hole in the earth. Going down in the deep hole, [t-nom] found stairs that descended for ten thousand steps. And at the bottom of the hole was a great cave; and there in the cave was a winch that held the island up. And beside it was a [t-antagonist] who was preparing to turn the winch and plunge the island into the sea. ";

now tale-resolution is "Thus the island was saved from sinking. ";

-- 6:

now tale-intro is "Once upon a time, a [t-hero] was separated from [t-pos] beloved. ";

now t-activity is "looking everywhere for the beloved's footprints";

now tale-danger is "When at last the [t-hero] tracked down [t-pos] beloved, [t-nom] found that the beloved was living in thrall to a [t-antagonist][one of], beguiled by [t-pos] charms[or], and was even about to marry [t-obj][or], having forgotten the [t-hero] completely thanks to a magic spell[or][at random]. ";

now tale-resolution is "[tale-resolution]Thus [t-nom] was reunited with [t-pos] beloved. ";

if chosen tale-apex is t-converts:

now tale-fight is "With the [t-tool], the [t-hero] wooed [t-pos] beloved back from [t-antagonist]. ";

now tale-resolution is "[tale-resolution]From then on [t-nom] carried the [t-tool] everywhere, in case it should be needed again. ";

otherwise:

now tale-fight is "With the [t-tool], the [t-hero] was able to subdue the [t-antagonist] long enough for the spell on [t-pos] lover to fade, and the two were able to reunite. ";

-- 7:

now t-activity is "[random outdoors room]";

now tale-intro is "Once upon a time, a [t-hero] was on a long journey to [t-activity] [one of]to fulfil the dying command of [t-pos] mother[or]at the wish of [t-pos] father[or]because the sheriffs of that land were searching for [t-obj][or]because of incurable wanderlust[or]because [t-nom] had heard such interesting tales of the place[or]in order to sell a cow[at random]. ";

now t-activity is "heading for [t-activity]";

now tale-danger is "Alas, on the way [t-nom] was set on by a [one of]ferocious[or]angry[or]hostile[or]blood-drinking[or]zombie[or]razor-toothed[or][at random] [t-antagonist]. ";

now tale-donation is "help carrying a heavy burden";

if the chosen tale-helper is t-beggar:

now tale-donation is "[one of]a bowl of soup[or]a crust of bread[or]a hearty stew[or]something hot to drink[or][a random vegetable][or]a meal of spiced meats better than [t-hero] [t-obj]self got at home[as decreasingly likely outcomes]";

if the chosen tale-helper is t-squid:

now tale-donation is "[one of]aid cracking open some clams[or]assistance in re-building its home in the reef[at random]";

if the chosen tale-helper is t-spirit:

now tale-donation is "[one of]tribute[or]worship[or]obedience[or]aid in building a shrine[or]the abandonment of all scientific principles[or]that the [t-hero] willingly forget how to read[or]the burning of all the books in the land[or]prayers to cleanse the land of impurity[as decreasingly likely outcomes]";

if V is 4:

now V is a random number between 2 and 3;

otherwise:

now V is a random number between 1 and 8;

if V is:

-- 1:

now tale-donation is "In the midst of [t-activity], [t-nom] was interrupted by a [t-helper]. [one of]Though [t-nom] did not welcome the interruption, [or]Though [t-nom] was rude, [or]The [t-hero] said, 'Go away! Can't you see I'm busy?' But [or]The [t-hero] made a bad face, but [at random]the [t-helper] said, '[one of]I was sent to bring you this[or]A dream told me to present you this[or]I have brought you a[or]I wanted only to give you this[at random] [t-tool].' Thinking nothing of it, the [t-hero] went on [t-pos] way. ";

if t-tool is "whip":

now tale-resolution is "When the [t-helper] met with the [t-hero] again, the [t-helper] said, 'Now perhaps you see what sort of creature it is proper to beat!' [tale-resolution]";

otherwise if t-tool is "mirror":

now tale-resolution is "The [t-helper] returned to the [t-hero] and said, 'Now use your mirror on yourself, and see what kind of person you have become!' [tale-resolution]";

otherwise:

now tale-resolution is "The next morning [t-nom] met the [t-helper] again. Astonished, [t-nom] said, 'Why did you give the [t-tool] to me after I treated you unkindly?' The [t-helper] replied: '[one of]I did this not for you, but for the whole island[or]I could not withhold that which it was your fate to receive[or]In payment, you and your family must always treat me well and bring me gifts[at random].' [tale-resolution]";

-- 2:

now tale-donation is "[one of]While [t-hero] was [t-activity][or]Just then[at random], a [t-helper] approached [t-obj] and demanded [tale-donation]. And though [t-hero] was very busy, [t-nom] gave all the aid in [t-pos] power. In return, the [t-helper] gave [t-obj] a [t-tool]. ";

if chosen tale-gift is t-diversion and t-activity is not "scouring the land for what was lost":

now tale-donation is "[tale-donation]'I cannot imagine what use this will be,' thought the [t-hero]. But [t-nom] put it away in [t-pos] bag, because [t-nom] knew that there is a use for everything in its time. ";

-- 3:

now tale-donation is "A little while later, the [t-hero] was attacked by a [t-helper] and they fought almost to the death[one of]. When [t-pos] hands were around the neck of the [t-helper], [or], until growing desperate [at random]the [t-helper] begged for mercy. ";

now tale-donation is "[tale-donation][one of]Out of soft-heartedness, the[or]Hoping for some reward, the[or]Reluctant to kill any creature, the[or]Though the red mist of rage was on [t-obj], the[or]Though afraid the [t-helper] might attack again as soon as [t-pos] back was turned, the[or]Eager to see whether it would lead to some reward, the[or]The[at random] [t-hero] agreed, and in thanks, the [t-helper] gave [t-obj] a [t-tool]. ";

unless t-activity is "scouring the land for what was lost":

if chosen tale-apex is t-tricks:

now tale-resolution is "[tale-resolution]Thus we see that it is best to fight a weak enemy but deceive a strong one. ";

if chosen tale-apex is t-escapes:

now tale-resolution is "[tale-resolution]A weak enemy is the best preparation for a strong one. ";

-- 4:

now tale-donation is "While [t-activity], the [t-hero] met a [t-helper]. The [t-helper] begged of [t-obj] [tale-donation], but [t-nom] refused, saying [t-nom] had more important tasks at hand. ";

if the chosen tale-villain is t-monster:

now tale-danger is "At once the [t-helper] turned into a [t-antagonist] in its rage. ";

now tale-fight is "Terrified, the [t-hero] cowered in apology. ";

otherwise:

now tale-danger is "A little later the [t-hero] was threatened by a [t-antagonist], and called out to the [t-helper] for aid. ";

now tale-fight is "The [t-helper] came and at once defeated the [t-antagonist]. But when it was done, it turned angrily to the [t-hero]. ";

now tale-resolution is "'Now you will not complete your task,' said the [t-helper], 'because you have not learned how easily one thing can turn into another. Go home, tell your story, and if your quest had any merit perhaps another will take it on.'";

-- 5:

if the chosen tale-helper is t-spirit:

now tale-donation is "'Let me help you,' said a [t-helper]. 'If you are with me, I cannot fail,' replied the [t-hero].";

otherwise:

now tale-donation is "'Let me help you,' said a [t-helper]. 'I do not see how a [t-helper] can be any use at [t-activity],' replied the [t-hero]. 'But you are welcome to try.'";

now tale-danger is "So the two of them were [t-activity] side by side, when they were approached by a [t-antagonist]. ";

now tale-fight is "The [t-helper] brought forth a [t-tool] and used it to defeat the [t-antagonist], while the [t-hero] watched in astonishment. ";

if the chosen tale-helper is t-spirit:

now tale-resolution is "Then in a single moment, the [t-helper] completed the task that the two of them had set out to do. 'Why did you need me?' demanded the [t-hero], feeling hurt about [t-pos] lack of agency in the whole task. 'Because,' replied the [t-helper], 'I am forbidden to do anything unless there is a human who wishes it. But as your will was tested and proven, the deed too became possible.' ";

otherwise:

now tale-resolution is "'Alas, I have not succeeded in my task,' said the [t-hero]. 'No,' said the [t-helper] sharply. 'But at least you are not dead.' ";

-- 6:

now tale-donation is "While [t-activity], the [t-hero] came across a [t-helper] who possessed a [t-tool]. ";

if chosen tale-helper is t-spirit:

now tale-donation is "[tale-donation]'[one of]Whatever belongs to the spirits belongs to their people[or]What use is something like this to a spirit? I will take it[or]This is a strange thing for a shrine, and surely it would be more use to me[or]Someone must have left this here as an offering, but I have more need of it[at random],' said the [t-hero] to [t-obj]self. So [t-nom] took the [t-tool] away. ";

otherwise if chosen tale-helper is t-squid and chosen tale-gift is t-sword:

now tale-donation is "[tale-donation]'[one of]I don't suppose the squid has much use for this[or]What is one sword to a squid? He will need seven more[or]The squid can protect himself with clouds of ink, but I have no such def[ense][at random],' said the [t-hero] to [t-obj]self. So [t-nom] took the [t-tool] away. ";

otherwise:

now tale-donation is "[tale-donation]'[one of]I may have need of such a thing[or]That looks useful[or]Taking a thing is no crime if it is for a good cause[or]Possessions unguarded are no possessions at all[or]That would be a comfort to me where I am going[at random],' said the [t-hero] to [t-obj]self. And waiting until the [t-helper] slept, the [t-hero] took the [t-tool] and went away. ";

if t-activity is "looking everywhere for the beloved's footprints":

now tale-resolution is "[tale-resolution]And [t-nom] felt no shame about taking the [t-tool], because who would not go to the ends of righteousness in order to save a lover? ";

otherwise:

now tale-resolution is "[tale-resolution][one of]And the [t-hero] went to where the [t-helper] slept, and gave back the [t-tool] so that no one was the wiser[or]Cunning is truly the greatest weapon[at random]. ";

-- 7:

now tale-donation is "In the midst of [t-activity], the [t-hero] met a [t-helper]. ";

if a random chance of 1 in 2 succeeds and the player carries something:

now tale-donation is "[tale-donation]'Trade with me,' said the [t-hero]. 'I will give you my [random thing carried by the player], and you can give me your [t-tool].' And so the [t-helper] agreed. ";

otherwise:

now tale-donation is "[tale-donation]The [t-helper] said, 'I have great need of [if the player carries something][a random thing carried by the player][otherwise]a strand of your hair[end if], and will give you whatever you wish in exchange.' The [t-hero] thought long and hard, and then said, 'Give me your [t-tool].'";

-- 8:

now tale-donation is "While [t-activity], the [t-hero] found a [t-tool]. 'Take me with you!' said the [t-tool]. So [t-nom] shrugged and collected the [t-tool] for a later time. ";

now tale-resolution is "[tale-resolution]Those who make the most of opportunities have the most successful results. ";

say "[tale-intro][paragraph break][tale-donation][paragraph break][tale-danger][paragraph break][tale-fight][paragraph break][tale-resolution]";

To decide what tale-helper is a suitable helper for (P - a tale-protagonist):

if P is:

-- t-farmer:

if a random chance of 1 in 2 succeeds:

decide on t-ass;

otherwise:

decide on t-spirit;

-- t-fisherman:

if a random chance of 1 in 2 succeeds:

decide on t-squid;

otherwise:

decide on a random tale-helper;

-- otherwise:

if a random chance of 1 in 2 succeeds:

decide on t-beggar;

otherwise:

decide on t-spirit;

To decide what tale-villain is a suitable villain for (T - a tale-apex):

if T is t-converts:

decide on t-monster;

otherwise:

decide on a random tale-villain.

To decide what tale-gift is a suitable gift for (T - a tale-apex):

if T is:

-- t-converts:

decide on t-grace;

-- t-defeats:

let R be a random number from 1 to 3;

if R is:

-- 1:

decide on t-sword;

-- 2:

decide on t-dagger;

-- 3:

decide on t-gun;

-- otherwise:

if a random chance of 1 in 2 succeeds:

decide on t-disguise;

otherwise:

decide on t-diversion;

To decide what tale-protagonist is a suitable protagonist for (T - a tale-apex):

decide on a random tale-protagonist.