You're a young fisherman, new to the trade. Despite the warnings of sailors, you've decided to fish today. And lo! You've caught a Meron, a fish-man, worth more money than you could imagine. This will move you, your new wife, and your baby daughter to another class of society. The Meron is injured. You row home, but are caught in a storm. You wake up on an unknown island.
[[Build a raft->Build]]
[[Take care of yourself->Food]]You focus on collecting food and healing the Meron. When it becomes clear that ships do not come this way, you begin to build a raft in your spare time. You don't know how long you've been here.
[[Ready the raft.->E1]]You begin building a boat, foraging for food and caring for the Meron when you need to. You feel haggard, but it is built quickly.
[[Ready the raft->E1]](text-colour:green)[`🧜` Oho? You’ve finished your little raft now, have you? Planning to take me and sail away?][[>>->E2]](text-colour:white)[The Meron watches you closely as you work on the raft.
[[>>->E3]]`🧜`(text-colour:green)[Aye, that’s right. You were a new sailor, were you not? No wonder it’s shit.][[Look at raft->E4]]
`🧜`(text-colour:green)[Ha! Your sail and blade are backward. I’ll give you that help.]
(text-colour:white)[You inspect the raft. They were, in fact, backward. You look at the Meron, incredulous.]
`🧜`(text-colour:green)[Hmph. You...helped me, in a roundabout manner. If you had let me go, my blood may well have attracted a fish bigger than me. It’s healed now. With your strange surface cures. So I’ll help you that much, to fix your shit little raft.]
[[The Meron smirks.->E6]]`🧜`(text-colour:green)[But you will need to help me once more, aye. You won’t be making it home without my help. You’ll be floating on that water until you wither and I make your bones my meal. Now, say we wager a deal? Cut me loose on your raft, and I will point you where to row.]
[[Think.->E7]](text-colour:white)[You stop to think. You look out to the horizon. There is nothing there. The Meron’s words are true, that you have no idea what or where this island is. But if you return home without it, your family’s bright future that you have found will be gone. All of this will have been for naught. It would be up to fate if you could make your way home without the Meron’s help.]
[[Nod.->E9]](text-colour:white)[The raft bobs with the waves.
][[>>->E10]]`🧜` (text-colour:green)[Cut me loose now, lest you regret it. Or have you changed your mind?][[Cut the net.->E11]](text-colour:white)[You suppose you’re far enough out to cut the Meron loose. The water is sufficiently deep, the island is far enough away. You pull out your knife and cut the ropes, keeping your hands away from the Meron’s teeth out of instinct despite that it will soon be free to attack you if it so pleased.][[>>->E12]](text-colour:white)[ It does not attack. Rather, the Meron stretches once released from its confines, the nets falling down around it. It slaps its tail against the deck and the raft wobbles for a moment. It crawls toward the water and slides in. You can tell: this is where it belongs.
[[>>->E13]]`🧜`(text-colour:green)[Now, I will uphold my end. But in the future, trust a Meron not. Should you even trust me, is a question you should ask yourself.]
[[>>->E14]](text-colour:white)[The Meron points into the horizon at an angle far from the one you were heading.]
Sail that way, and the current will take you home. Continue the path you’re on, and you’ll be swept to sea. Best change your course.
[[Change course.->E16]](text-colour:white)[You turn your course for the current the Meron pointed to.]
[[Sail.->E17]](text-colour:white)[ The Meron dips beneath the water. It does not resurface. You keep waiting for it to resurface. But it does not.]
[[Sail.->E19]](text-colour:white)[You return home to a pot of stew.]