Chapter Seven has been released!

A Tale of Crowns is a high fantasy romance with Middle Eastern roots, both on pc as well as mobile! It’s entirely text-based, with choices throughout to shape both your main character’s personality and skills as well as influence their relationships with others. There are four love interests for you to choose from, both female as well as male, each with their own stories and secrets for you to uncover!

Follow my tumblr blog for the latest developments! There is also a Discord server you can join; everyone that's 16 or older is welcome!

 I will release each chapter as I finish it, so the game will be a continuous work in progress. It will not be available for download until the entire game is finished.

CONTENT WARNINGS: Violence, death and murder, trauma and PTSD, sexually suggestive themes. RATED 16+


The story takes place in Arsur, a fictional empire within a fantasy universe that draws inspiration from historical settings in the Middle East. Much of it is based on Kurdish culture, drawing from my own experience as a Kurdish woman.

Your character is 25 years old and was born and raised in Arsur, where magic is considered a skill no different from reading or writing. Gender, sexual orientation, and race have no bearing on social position or class; it is instead only based on wealth and level of education.

The Arsurian Empire itself is overseen by a single ruler known as the Crown. Unlike traditional monarchies, however, the title is not inherited through blood. Whenever the Crown dies, their famed golden eyes pass on to the one chosen by the spirits of this world to be the new Crown: this appears to happen at random, as Crowns in the past have ranged from the poorest farmer to the wealthiest noble.

Their parents murdered and the previous Crown of Arsur assassinated, your character finds themselves on the run as they’ve been bestowed with the golden eyes that mark them as the new Crown.

Unseen enemies at their heels, will they succeed as the Crown, or will they lead to the downfall of the Empire?


At the beginning of the story, you’ll have the opportunity to customize your Crown’s name, pronouns, sexual orientation, and their skill in magic. You can also customize many parts of your Crown’s appearance: hair color, hair texture, hairstyle, skin color, height, and clothing style are all up to you and will be reflected in the story as well.

Their backstory and ethnicity are the only things that are locked in. The Crown is also locked in as a person of color, as is in line with the setting - their specific race is up to the player to imagine.

As for your Crown’s personality, there are twelve different character traits in total, six of which will be decided based on the choices you make in-game. This will subsequently change your Crown’s behavior during story and romance scenes. 


Depending on what your Crown’s sexual orientation is, the gender of the love interests will change accordingly to match that. There are four of them in total, and each love interest will have their own route which you will get to choose from at the end of the common route.


The Sorcerer; Rozerîn/Rêzan
The Crown’s Sorcerer, widely regarded to be a prodigy and expected to become the most powerful magus in the Empire.


The Hero; Xelara/Xelef
A legendary mercenary and the leader of the Crescent Blades, whose exploits were chronicled in song. Also known as the Pale Sword.

The Protector; Ashti/Azad
Once a peerless soldier in the Imperial Army, now promoted to the Royal Protector of the Crown due to their unrivaled skill and exceptional integrity.


The General; Delal/Dara
The General of the Imperial Army, known for many strategic victories in warding off attacks from hostile nations.

Artwork of the characters done by @artbygaia; the other half of the genders will also be done in the future!

If you'd like some resources or visual references for the story, my blog has pages to help with designing your MC, as well as more background information about the setting and what it is based on! There's also a FAQ if you run into any problems or have other questions. Additionally, I have a walkthrough on the blog for how to get a specific LIs route, if anyone is struggling with getting the bad ending!

Development log

Comments

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(+3)

just gonna drop a comment to say how much i love this. it's genuinely amazing - the world is so interesting and the characters are so unique, and honestly some of the writing has made me laugh or smile stupidly at my computer lol. thank you for doing what you've done so far, i'm excited to see more chapters :D

(1 edit) (+2)

~the eyes in background~

eye1:"ah- crap. its her again"

eye2:"what the hell.."

eye3:"isnt it like, the 12th time this month?"

eye1:"yep, thats her"

eye2: "ugh she's so creepy..."

eye1: "just ignore her and maybe she'll leave"

eye2: "dude we're literally eyes glued to her screen"

eye3:"I wanna quit this job"


Yeah, I feel your stares judging me 👁️👄👁️ but I aint leaving!

(+10)

The only thing bad about this is that now I have a permanent need for a Xelef in my life 😔

(+1)

Depending on your answers throught the story you gain a magical ability, i got to know what's Death Of The Sun?

I dont think we know yet cause we haven't got the chance to use it yet

(+3)

So I don't usually comment on things, but this was too amazing to not! The story and characters are well thought out, and the writing is just beautiful. I played through it maybe 5 or 6 times because I just loved it so much!! 

This has kind of inspired me to make my own interactive fiction game as well! I have been planning a game for a while, but having never made any games before I was worried about it not being any good. I didn't really think much of interactive fiction before, but its a good way to practice, and show off your world building/story skills!

…Just realized I was rambling...oops...

Anyways, as I said before, this was amazing! I'm excited for what is to come!

(+3)

This is the first time I played this kind of game. And I must say. Wow.

First, the writing is so amazing that would put even most bestsellers to shame. The settings, descriptions, world, characters, everything are so rich in detail that just make you see and feel it. I can't express enough in words how much I loved and lost myself in this new world.

About the characters. I loved them all, but in special, Rozerîn. I don't think I ever felt so happy regarding an LI like I am with her. She became easily one of my all-time favorite LIs so far and some scenes with her, especially a certain very important one on CH7 are just, wow.

Now to wait for the next chapter and then the others. Thank you so much for this game.

(+1)

I’m normally not into fantasy kind of things but this may just be the single greatest thing I’ve ever read in my life. The dialogue is natural, the plot is interesting and the romance is unparalleled. I love this IF and everything about it

(+2)

Heya, same as the comment below me, this is one of the best IF I have ever played. The characters, settings, scenarios all flow together smoothly from beginning to end. Or rather "End", as I was enjoying this game so much I don't even know how I suddenly had a Bad End at chapter 5 LOL. Probably because I made the romance option pretty vague without choosing any single one. Thus I will be repeating this one from the beginning and I hope I'll be able to avoid that unfortunate end for my Crown.

(+1)

Thank you so much, comments like these and the one before are so appreciated!! 💖

Haha yeah, I would recommend focusing on a specific RO to get points with since they each split into separate routes after Chapter Four. I also have a walkthrough for how to avoid the Bad End if that would help, linked in the game description at the end!

Wow! Thanks for replying! Lol I saw what you wrote in the description, now I don't know if I feel proud or ashamed that I'm probably the few, hopefully not the only one who didn't need a guide to get the bad ending!!!

(+4)

I dont know where the start . This had to be one of the best interactive fiction games I've EVER played , for you to write so much in just a single chapter? This could very well be a book. I'm not used to chapters being so long at all , even just one chapter seems to have enough words for 3 , its amazing.  The characters are REAL , real people who dont open up easily and who react the way anyone would. Everyone seems so fleshed out and unique they all left an impression on me , I've already done the hero romance route but now I'm definitely replaying for everyone. Thank you so much for writing this story and you can bet I'll be here for the ride

(+2)

Omg thank you so much!! That's such high praise, I really appreciate it and I'm really happy to hear you enjoyed it so much 💖💖💖

(+1)

Riveting story, I've enjoyed it a lot so far! Looking forward to the next update, but I also love how replayable it is due to the various routes + personality traits that I can try out in the meantime! Thank you so much! 

hello! I’m playing on chrome on my iPad and have trouble with saving, I requested desktop mode as suggested but when I try to save on the disk the long wall of text appears and nothing is saved 🥲

I'm afraid I'm not sure how the game works for iPad as I designed it primarily for PC and mobile! You can try a different device or a different browser, and see if that helps.

I switched to safari and saving to disk works there 😅

(+1)

Ah, it must have been an issue with Chrome then. Glad it worked out!

(1 edit) (+1)

Yes and thank you for replying! I really enjoyed reading your story and Dara is currently my favorite 🥰 i love your writing and the way you write slow burn romance is just chefs kiss, I couldn't find smth like that since the times of wayhaven and fallen hero 😮 

I really liked the part when they fight over bread, who eats half the basket? also how many chapters are there going to be

(+2)

Really loving this! My only issue is that saving isn't working through itch, but hopefully I can figure it out (fingers crossed!)

(+4)

I know it can be a bit of a hassel but it really helped me to just download my save files :D

(+1)

This was a great suggestion - thank you!

(1 edit) (+8)

The writing for this is so good! I especially love the banter between the characters.

(+1)

I've commented here before but rereading the story, I've found myself absolutely in love with it once again <3
Super excited for future updates!

Also, I adore the main cast, although chapter 2 makes me wish we could also give Heval and Tûjo big smoochies 🥺 I'm sure it is quite a lot to ask but I will silently hope for some more fun scenes with them!

(1 edit) (+6)

A Tale of Crowns is a work of epic proportions by Cherry, a skilled and masterful storyteller who has evidently raised the bar for interactive fiction. Before ATOC, I had not read many IFs outside of perhaps Ace Attorney, so I wasn't sure what I was getting into. Little did I know that ATOC would soon pull me into a richly defined world of court intrigue, meaningful choices, and fully realized characters. The most striking aspect about ATOC is just how clearly it is a labor of love, a heartfelt declaration of Kurdish pride. Before reading ATOC, I was unaware of the existence of the Kurdish, which speaks to geopolitical concerns beyond the scope of the game. To those who plan to play ATOC, I ask that you pay due respect to Cherry's culture and seek to understand its Kurdish context and existence in the real world.

The prose of ATOC possess a quiet power, smoothly weaving each scene with an effortless ease. Cherry writes confidently, in a way that makes it evident that the story is crystal clear in her mind. Particular lines and entire scenes stand out in the story to a devastating degree, ensnaring the heartstrings and provoking genuine emotions and intense reactions in readers (some of which I've seen expressed in the ATOC Discord server). Beyond the prose, I am impressed by how Cherry balances multiple story threads with a well-developed cast and memorable interactions. She is a master of foreshadowing, a skill difficult to cultivate in the genre of interactive fiction and rarely even used at all.

The setting and worldbuilding of ATOC is some of the best that I have ever seen in an IF. Cherry even provides a map to the audience, showing a real commitment to reader immersion. She establishes the lore of the Arsurian Empire with a deft hand, making it clear to the Crown, ATOC's main character, that their role in the story is much bigger than they may have expected at first. I could go on and on about how much I adore the magic system in ATOC, but then this review would never end.. Let's just say that I adore how Cherry took inspiration from the real world and turned the classic elemental magic on its head. 

Speaking of our MC, I am duly impressed by the extraordinary amount of variation available for the Crown. You can experiment with a multitude of traits based on choices made within the game, and experience different scenarios with the chosen RO/LI. The customization for appearance has a great deal of variety as well, and I especially enjoy the galaxy-brained way that Cherry handles the matter of gender and sexuality in the context of ATOC. Over the course of these seven chapters, I have replayed the game with different combinations and different LIs to experience this game over and over. There is a huge replay value to ATOC, due in no small part to the incredible range of variations written into the story itself.

Now, as for the main cast of ATOC... can I just say that Bisexuals (fondly) have immaculate taste. Cherry has somehow pulled off making four different ROs who are all equally compelling and magnetic in their various charms. While I have certain biases, I enjoy learning more about each RO and witnessing their interactions with each other. The ROs have richly defined backstories and lives outside of their potential romance with the MC. They demonstrate values and motivations that establish the individual strengths of their character arcs. I also love that there is no real difference between the male and female ROs. They are the same height, essentially look like fraternal twins, and possess the same personalities. As a silly lesbian, I so dearly indulged in being surrounded by capable women.

What I appreciate most of all about ATOC is that Cherry wrote this with purpose and intention. Every word is carefully picked, every thread of the plot is carefully drawn, every choice carefully considered for its future consequences. A Tale of Crowns is a creator of color's love letter to her Kurdish culture, the strong and resilient people that have been unfairly subjected to oppression in the real world. How lucky and fortunate we are that Cherry has given us this work from her heart of hearts. 

All said, A Tale of Crowns has firmly carved a place out in the upper echelons of interactive fiction with its mesmerizing storytelling.

(+1)

Thank you so much Jay, this is super thoughtful and so extensive, I really appreciate it 🥺💖💖💖

Amazing writing for both worldbuilding and characters! I'm definitely looking forward to reading more.

Deleted 86 days ago

Thank you!! The format I used is Sugarcube 2.21.0, it has a built-in sidebar and save function in the default template that I tweaked with CSS/Javascript 💖

Oh wow, Sugarcube has that built in? That's awesome, i'll give it a go. Thanks for sharing and keep up the amazing work! 👍😊

(+3)

I really love the story, also the fact you can use custom pronouns! I use neopronouns (star/stars/starself) and it makes me happy to see them being used! also i am a little bit of a simp for xelef

(+2)

it really does make me really happy thank you!!!!!!!!!!! i really love this world you created!!!

(+2)

Really love the story! In Chapter 7 I felt so immersed in the story, incredible writing.  

(+1)

This is amazing! I'll definitely replay the story more than once. The story feels super interactive, and I LOVE every single chapter. Thank you for this awesome game!! <3 <3

(+2)

Your work is amazing! Please keep going, we are waiting for the next chapter;)

(+2)

this is like the best game ive played, it's so fun and there's no words to describe how much i love this oh my god

(+1)

That's very high praise, thanks so much!! ❤️

(+1)

THIS IS SIMPLY *CHEF'S KISS* its amazing like WOWOWOWOW 

(+5)

I was really impressed by your game so far. The characters have such a good deep interaction with the player that it feels so good to invest the time to really weigh your responses. I cannot wait to see the end product (or even more content),  because you've done such a lovely job.  It also inspires me to want to figure out twine so I can put as much love into my writing as you do AND let people enjoy it. Good luck!! 

(+1)

Thanks so much!! ❤️

(+3)

Hi Cherry it's been a while since I last made a comment but I do go through your tumblr and read the comments and your responses to them and I must say I'm always impressed at how you handle some of  them and I lough sometimes cause from them I can tell that you are not a lady to be triffled with hehehe. Anyhow I realy enjoyed Chapter seven and I only just went Ashti's route.

Here is my Crown days before being found,take care of yourself Cherry,your work is amazing.

(+1)

Thank you, that's very kind! 💖

(+1)

Will this be available for download at any point, perhaps when the story is finished? I’d really like to keep this handy during times when I’m without internet, and I’m more than willing to pay if that’s a concern.

(+7)

Yep, I'm planning on making it available for download once the entire game is finished! No worries about paying, it'll still be free haha

(+3)

I don’t know how I could possibly go on… I need to finish it! This really is absolutely amazing. :)

(+4)

Brilliant update, I didn't expect such depths from Dara! Keep up the good work. We love the game! :D 

(+2)

This game is a masterpiece no joke. I cut my gaming time by around half an hour for a few weeks just so I could finish this story off. I simply can't wait to see Chapter 7!

(+3)

This game-

No. This isn't a game, IT'S A-

What's a word for an amazing thing? 

Oh  a MASTERPIECE


Beautifully written with well-made characters that I ABSOLUTELY LOVE-

This is such a great game and there are no words to describe it. I can't wait for the eighth chapter, since the cliffhanger got me GOOD. So far I really like all the characters (currently in the Rezan route) and-


Yeah. I will wait (like the impatient person I am).

(+4)

the dialogues in this chapter are amazing *chef's kiss*

(+7)

Has anyone else been encountering problems with trying to save when opening the game from the itch.io app? Seems to work fine on other browsers for me but not the app.

(+2)

Unfortunately the app doesn't like the pop-up prompt for renaming your saves 😭 I'd recommend using browser to play the game for now!

(+9)

The chliffhanger is killing me! Aaaaah I can't wait for chapter 8 :D

(+3)

Thanks so much for this! I just finished playing the demo and it's really good, I totally loved it! ♡ I liked all the characters, but Xelef has a place in my heart (●´ω`●)/~☆ 

Hope to see more in the future!

(+6)

I'll be honest, I've been hooked to every single one of these characters. I just can't decide which ones are my favorite. Thank you so much for making this.  ^^

(3 edits) (+2)

amazing story and writing, lovable characters and relatable mc, i fell in love right away and read all night, thank you!

(+3)

this is so lovely. i have no words. i love the characters and the plot and the writing i have no regrets reading this <3 it's so, so wonderful

(+5)

Someone recommended this on reddit, said it was good. So, I checked it out and it was better than good!! I'm used to fast-paced romance and this one's a bit slow but it's not bad at all. I enjoyed the read so much! The romances in this story are super CUTE. I love all the RO's personalities, they all make my heart flutter. I've done one route for now but I'll definitely do more.

(+4)

I've just found this game and I'm already in love! The characters definitely don't feel one-dimensional and like just...random people that can easily be seduced? Azad and Xelara remain my favorites so far but I'm thinking they're all very intriguing.

Wait, lemme reiterate what I've said though. The characters' personalities feel fully immersive and fleshed out, like real people with actual concerns and opinions. That and being the ruler of the land, having to deal with the potential backlash of decisions that I, the player, select, is a lot of pressure and continuously has me sweating haha. I want the country to thrive and for people to be okay, and this Steward to be appropriately handled, though he's a minor irritation compared to the assassins. 

All in all? Consider me heavily invested.

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