The Citadel of Chaos


The sun sets. As twilight turns to darkness you start your climb up the hill towards that forbidding shape silhouetted against the night sky. The Citadel is less than an hour's climb.

Some distance from its walls you stop to rest — a mistake, as it seems a fearful spectre from which there is no escape. The hairs on your neck prickle as you look towards it.

But you are ashamed of your fears. With grim resolve you march onwards towards the main gate, where you know guards will be waiting. You consider your options. You have already thought about claiming to be a herbalist, come to treat a guard with a fever. You could pose as a trader or an artisan — perhaps a carpenter. You could even be a nomad, seeking shelter for the night.

As you ponder the possibilities, and the yarns you will have to spin to the guards, you reach the main trail leading up to the gates. Two lanterns burn on either side of the portcullis.

You hear muffled gruntings as you approach, and two mis-shapen creatures step forward. On the left stands an ugly creature with the head of a dog and the body of a great ape, flexing its powerful arms. Its opposite number is indeed its opposite, with the head of an ape on the body of a large dog. This latter guard approaches you on all fours. It stops some metres in front of you, raises itself on its hind legs and addresses you.

Which story will you opt for ?

Will you pose as a herbalist ?

Will you claim to be a tradesman ?

Will you ask for shelter for the night ?