The Cloud Sylph

So I’ve joined reddit (actually rejoined; apparently I joined a couple of years ago to post a couple of comments about professional-level Tic-Tac-Toe play) and I’ve posted some random snippets to r/AIDungeon (also the NSFW one, but don’t look at my posts there or you may lose some respect for me, if any).

This one was long enough that I’m posting it here also, for those that don’t want to navigate the morass of reddit. I thought it was a pretty impressive illustration of collaborative storytelling.

Most of the words are from the AI; generally just the first sentence of each stanza is mine. Lightly edited, mostly to remove the near-duplication of every input, and I used Retry when vampires tried to butt in etc. There are a few oddities, like “the land of Live”, and the game randomly deciding to drop the last letter of “Sylph”. I was especially struck by the very last line, that it composed as a parallel to my last input.

You climb higher on the mountain, to where a Cloud Sylph is said to live. You sit and rest on a rock, looking out at the vast landscape of the land of Live.

You look into the clouds. You see something white moving through the clouds. It looks like a bird. You stare at it, and it moves lower, into your range of view.

You play a song of air and wind, and life and desire. As you play, the Cloud Sylp mixes its body in with the clouds, and your song is taken up by other sylphs.

You listen to the loveliness. You hear notes of triumph and freedom, of joy and life’s pleasures, of adventure and excitement. The Cloud Sylp begins to sing with you, and the song changes. It becomes more complex, with a deeper meaning. Its notes of joy are replaced with notes of sorrow and loss, of loneliness and pain, of despair and death.

You end the song on a note of hope, and reach out to the Sylph. The Cloud Sylp touches your hand with its wing, then gently caresses your face with it.

You feel tears running down your face. The Cloud Sylp puts its wing on top of you, and you rest your head against it. You fall asleep under the cloud, and dream a familiar dream.

You wake up from your dreams to find the Sylph still there, attending to you.

You try to look at the Cloud Sylph more closely. She seems to be a young woman, with long blond hair and golden skin. She looks at you and smiles. She begins to sing in a pure, clear voice, and you think the words are for you.

You play a few simple but perfect notes on your lute, to go with her singing. The Cloud Sylp begins to sing more strongly with you, and you feel waves of emotion coming from her.

You play along using a richer tune; the emotion is very strong. You hear her speaking, and realize she is singing in the language of Air. She seems to be telling you something.

You listen to her intently. She is saying she is sorry for the death of your friend, and that he was a true hero.

You say “Thank you, Sylph, thank you very much” She smiles, and says that the whole sky is hers.

You say “That is wonderful. I am so honored to be here near you.” She casts you a glance, and seems to be pleased by your words. You look at the sun, now halfway to noon.

You kneel before the Sylph, overcome by her beauty and power. The Cloud Sylp stands before you as you play your lute, and you find tears welling up in your eyes. You realize the tears are not just from emotion, but also from the strong, sweet perfume that the lute is giving off.

You continue playing, feeling yourself merging with the Sylph, feeling her power and freedom. You can almost see into her mind. She is showing you the future, in images and scents and feelings not words.

You whisper, “I love you”. She looks at you, and her scent changes suddenly to one of pain and sorrow. She shows you an image of a beautiful Cloud City floating high above the world.

You watch in awe. Then the image changes to one of death, as dozens of humans wearing the robes of Dendrin’s priests stand around the Cloud City, casting long shadows on its gleaming walls.

You gasp in dismay. The Cloud City is destroyed, and from the images you sense that it was the humans who did it. The Cloud Sylp looks at you, her eyes full of pain.

You weep for her and her people. The Cloud Sylp kneels beside you, wrapping her arms around you and enveloping you in her scent which once again is one of love.

You are full of love and gratitude. You wish this moment would never end. Everything around you seems to be changing: the sky, the air.

You put your arms around her and hold her tightly. You feel her hands on your shoulders, then on your head. She runs her fingers through your hair, sending shivers through you.

You put your hands on her shoulders. Suddenly she grabs your hand and places it on her waist. Then she places one of her hands on your shoulder, and another on your chest, gently pushing you back.

You look into her eyes. Her eyes are a deep green, flecked with gold. They mesmerize you. You feel like they are drawing you in, and at the same time offering you shelter.

You touch her face. She closes her eyes and moves closer to you. You feel dizzy and intoxicated as your faces move closer together.

You brush your lips over hers. You feel her lips on yours. They are softer than anything you’ve ever felt. Suddenly you hear a booming voice, like that of a giant. “This place is not for you.” You open your eyes to see the Cloud City disappearing in front of you. You are in the woods.

You stand up, shaking your head to clear it. You are in the woods, the sunlight shining down on you.

You know you will never forget the soft touch of those inhuman lips on the mountainside. The memory of you will remain with her and the wind on the mountainside.


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