Act 1 Plot
Chapter 1: Call to the Wild, Blue Yonder
You've always reckoned you were meant for something more, something grand.
You've always reckoned you were meant for a life of adventure and wind thru your hair and all that.
But you've been stuck in the same Podunk town you were born in, working halfheartedly in your folks' shop—hair sufficiently windless.
You were working in that very same shop when you heard a commotion outside, the sound of gathering folks and an amount of fanfare. With nothing better to do, along with a lack of patrons inside, you decided to temporarily step out for a spell and venture outside.
The first thing you noticed was a flurry of flyers all about. Grasping in the air wildly, you managed to snatch one from the sky. The first sentence caught your attention—Do you dream of adventure in the untamed wilderness? You felt a spark, like you were finally awake after a long snooze. You quickly scanned the rest of the flyer.
Yearn for breaking out on your own and paving your own path?
Then join up with the Mountains and Streams Interregional Group!
Simply make it to our settlement in Blue Yonder, Washington and we will set you up here in one of the most prosperous cities in the west. Aim to strike gold in one of our nearby mountains? Mingle with other venturous spirits at our saloons? Gaze in wonder at our spectacular scenery? The only limit of what you can do in Blue Yonder is your imagination.
The only question remains… can you make it westward?
You've heard of people going west to make new lives for themselves, but it always seemed like a faraway dream—something too out there to be realistic. A rumor of a rumor. Your parents would talk about friends of friends moving somewhere new and exciting, dismissing it as folly and nonsense. We've been here for generations and we will stay here for generations more, they would remark at the news, tutting and scoffing.
But this… this flyer. It felt different. It was not just a story—it was something real, something actionable. It felt like a real opportunity to live that life of adventure. You frown, realizing the amount of logistics that go into travel like this…
And the great lack of money you had.
Sure, you had a job at the store—but all that went back to your family. You didn't really keep a cent. And you weren't anything special in terms of hardiness or handiness.
"…take a chance on your fate!" You picked up from the man handing out the flyers, "You only get one life to live your wildest dreams!"
This is your chance, your brain echoed. This is your dream.
You nodded in agreement, carefully folded up the Blue Yonder flyer, and headed to the town's bulletin board. You needed to get money and get it fast.
Chapter 2: Pandora's Box
You don't think you've ever worked so hard in your life—running around and doing odd jobs for folks, on top of maintaining your job at the family store. It's been a lot of firsts for you: first time wrangling livestock, first time planting crops, and… first time you've ever met some of the people in your town, despite living there all of your life. You've seen the sun come and go twice over without taking a beat to rest.
It's been tiring work, but you were so close. Your money management skills were above your peers, a small blessing coming from generations upon generations of shop keeps. By your estimation, you were a couple weeks out from having all the money and supplies you needed to take the journey to Blue Yonder. And then who knows? You've been growing new skills and feeling more competent than ever.
Maybe I can do this, you were thinking to yourself as you arrived home. A small smile crept across your face and a bubble of excitement bloomed in the pit of your stomach.
And as you spotted your parents, that bubble turned quickly into something hard, sinking down and down and down.
You only caught snippets of the words they were saying.
You couldn't pay much attention, your eyes glued to the old cigar box they were clutching. You nodded simply as they walked away with the container and, with it, much of your hope for Blue Yonder.
Your mind started racing after they were firmly out of sight. That box contained the majority of your savings. You maybe had about a few days' worth of food and provisions stashed in a nearby shed—that is, if your parents hadn't found that already.
A deep sigh erupted from your chest. Even if you worked harder than you had been the past weeks, hopefully without passing out, that wouldn't be enough money.
And that's hoping also that Mother and Father don't confiscate that money for the betterment of the family, a cynical part of your brain chimed in.
I can do this.
I can't do this.
I can still do this.
I definitely cannot do this.
You were at war with yourself. The moment of opportunity for Blue Yonder was waning. And the longer you stayed here, in this town… with your family… where nothing ever changes, the more you were doomed to this fate. And it seemed as if you were the only one helping you out of this. Certainly not your folks; you could see how they had been eyeing up potential spouses, arranging the rest of your life to fit into their plan.
That stone-like feeling in your stomach imploded into something swirling and dreadful.
Time was running out.
And you…. really needed a drink.
Chapter 3: Now or Never
You walked over to the public house to drown your sorrows. The walk—typically a short jaunt—felt like it was taking longer than ever before, your pace a mere shuffle. As you got closer to the ramshackle building, a particular horse hitched to a post nearby caught your eye.
You wouldn't say that it was a particularly beautiful horse. Its coat was simply a dusty brown in color, its mane and tail half-heartedly brushed.
But the horse looked… different.
Something started sparking in your heart as you headed into the pub.
"So… whose horse is that outside?" You tried to casually posit to the bartender, faintly remembering that you did some chore for him two weeks ago.
"Ahhh, yeah. Some big shot came in not too long ago," he answered, not bothering to look up from the mug he was cleaning, "Says he just came back from the west, bought out the room upstairs an' haven't seen 'im since."
"Big shot, eh..?" You remarked indifferently, though your mind was racing with the phrase 'came back from the west.'
…a big shot like him ain't gonna to be too sad about a missing horse…
The thought came and went. You shook your head, trying to be rid of the notion. You were a good person; you weren't going to do something as devious as steal the horse of a stranger. You sat down at the bar, setting out to do what you originally came here to do—get drunk.
The more you drank, the more depressive the thoughts that came.
…your window of opportunity for Blue Yonder is closing…
…you'll be stuck here forever…
…it's just one horse…
…I bet that horse has been to Blue Yonder…
At some point, you left the Public House to head back home. After that, things were just a blur.
All you know is where you find yourself now. Suffering a raging headache and sitting on a very familiar dusty brown horse. You look around, startled—the terrain doesn't have an ounce of identifying markers. Heck, you could be halfway to the moon by now. Looking back, you spot a series of bags messily tied across the horse. If you had to guess, they were your provisions from the shed, or at least what you could manage to pack in a drunken stupor.
"This is wrong. I should go back…" you mutter to yourself, trailing off. Even your face isn't convinced, as you feel a smile creep across your face.
Then you laugh. That kind of maniacal, hysterical laugh that only someone at the end of their rope could laugh.
You raise your hands in the air, feeling the breeze as the horse you're on dutifully trots along. Despite your brain panicking at the situation, something feels so right about this moment. Like this is where you were meant to be.
"What the heck! Let's do this!"
Let's go to Blue Yonder!
To Be Continued in Act 2...