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The Glyphs 1 – Gong Farming Secrets Revealed

The entrance of the sewers

What is The Glyphs?

The Glyphs is a multiple-choice game where you control the fate (and demise) of a gong farmer, as they explore the sewers beneath the Ancient City. Just choose an option from the poll below, and the most popular option will decide what happens next. I’ll put out one of these every week.

Part 1 has been decided. Check out what happens in Part Two of The Glyphs.


You are an apprentice gong farmer, one of the few prestigious workers authorised to enter (and clean out) the sewers beneath the Ancient City. Your master is one Leacio Claw, a man of powerful standing, and an even more powerful odour. It is said that he can clear a room just by entering it, and has on several occasions. But you have mostly gotten used to the stench. Mostly.

A sewer feature from The Glyphs

One very-early morning, Mister Claw (as you call him) leads you through the wide streets of the High District. You have never been here before. You peer around at the mansions, villas, and townhouses. Even in the dark, they look magical and other-worldly. So much white marble. So many flowering gardens.

In a small alley, up near the high wall, lies the entrance to the sewers: a hole covered by an iron cover. It leads down into the tunnels, drains, and underground passages that cross-cross underneath the High District.

There are all sorts of stories about the sewers: they’re haunted with ghosts and flesh-eating ghouls, goblins live within them, and kill any who intrude; all the tunnels lead to one central chamber where a massive beast lies in wait. You’ve paid no heed to those tales, until now.

With your help, Mister Claw lifts the cover. As you peer down the hole, a low growl echoes from the depths.

Seeing your reaction, Mister Claw chuckles, “Nothing down there worse than yesterday’s breakfast,” he tells you. Then he hands you the Muck Rake, and down the winding stair he heads, carrying only a small, oil lantern to light the way. Bravely, you follow.

Even without the rumoured denizens, the sewers are not a nice place. They’re not the sort of location to have a picnic, or even a leisurely stroll.

As you might expect, it’s the stench that hits you first. The smell is absolutely rancid. Despite being a gong farmer for more than six months, nothing has prepared you for this smell.

You clamp your jaw shut in an attempt to stop a purge. That would just make Mister Claw laugh, just like he did on your first day on the job. And the second day. And the third day. For more than two weeks. You want to show him that you’re much better than that now.

You concentrate on the walls, hoping that they will offer you some solace, but there’s no relief there either. They’re old. Very old. It’s called the Ancient City for a reason, and these sewers clearly demonstrate that. As you move along the main corridor, the architecture is a mishmash of styles and materials. Some have been chiselled through the stone, others have been lined with bricks, or even fragments of rock.

Yet no matter how they’re built, they are all covered by a thick layer of…muck. Let’s call it that. At least a decade’s worth, and probably much older.

Mister Claw leads you on a winding course, and you are soon lost. In places, you can hear the rushing of water, and in others the plop-plop of condensation falling from the roof. However, for much of it, there is just the sound of Mister Claw’s and your own footsteps as you meander through the tunnels.

A beacon in a tunnel

The journey is not without some interest. Along the way you pass several curious features: a well, with a cross on the wall; an ever-burning beacon; a rusty, iron ring broaching from the bricks. The latter looks very much like the handle for a door.

Mister Claw turns down one of the side tunnels. It isn’t especially wide, and Mister Claw has to crouch down to enter. Water flows down the centre of the channel, but there is still enough dry space on either side so you can straddle the stream. Eventually, you both make your way along it into a cross junction.

Mister Claw stops, raises his lantern and peers up the cross tunnel, which is even narrower than the one you’re in.

“There it is,” Mister Claw says, pointing at the small mound of detritus further up the smaller tunnel.

You can only just see the pile in the flickering light. It’s so small, surely it’ll be washed away during the next storm.

“You need to clear that,” he tells you.

What do you do?

  • Grumble, but do the job? (67%, 2 Votes)
  • Tell Mister Claw to saerk off? (33%, 1 Votes)
  • Complain loudly? (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Hit Mister Claw with your muck rake? (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 3

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skribe

I’m skribe. I’m a writer, a film-maker and an actor. While I’m originally from Perth, Australia, I currently reside on a tropical island, the Lion City of Singapore. Fingerprint: 79A1 DC6C D367 8A31 135A 7AFA 940E 4231 D7B9 B15C If you like what you see buy me a coffee.

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3 Responses

  1. 2024-06-05

    […] while solving riddles, unravelling puzzles, and struggling to stay clean, then please check out The Glyphs. A new part each week, so check back […]

  2. 2024-06-08

    […] New here? Check out Part 1. […]

  3. 2024-06-15

    […] here? Check out Part 1 and Part […]

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