Long ago, two races ruled over Earth: HUMANS and MONSTERS.
One day, war broke out between the two races. After a long battle, the humans were victorious. They sealed the monsters underground with a magic spell, hoping to lock them away, forever.
Legends say that those who climb the mountain never return.
The opening of Mt. Ebott looked down upon a field of bright, yellow flowers. A small body lay crumpled in the petals. Eyes opened slowly and the child cringed as they slowly moved, testing to see what worked and what did not. They sat up in the flowers and looked around them. The brightest source of light seemed to come from above them, but there was a tunnel into the mountain next to them. Curiosity getting the better of them, they stood slowly, wincing from the bruises on their legs and arms, and began heading to the opening. They walked slowly, fear creeping over them as they treaded further and further into the tunnel. Small flowers illuminated the walls around them, making the walk slightly more pleasant. Then, there was a door at the end of the cavern hallway and the child approached, slowly taking the handle and pulling the door open. The door was heavy, but it opened smoothly and they walked through the door into a clearing. To their surprise, there was a small, smiling, yellow flower sitting in the clearing. Frowning in confusion, they walked forward. The flower cheerfully spoke.
"Howdy!" The flower chirped with a wide grin. "I'm FLOWEY! FLOWEY the FLOWER!" The child waved hesitantly.
"H-hello." they said softly. Flowey's stem bent over and he seemed to be contemplating something.
"Hmmm..." Then he perked back up and grinned. "You're new to the UNDERGROUND, aren'tcha?" he asked. The child nodded slowly, still trying to understand the talking flower. "Golly, you must be so confused!" Flowey said shaking his head. "Someone ought to teach you how things work around here!" The child nodded once more, this was all very strange to them. "I guess little old me will have to do." Flowey winked. "Here we go!" Then a heart appeared in front of the child. "See that heart?" Flowey asked. The child nodded, staying still. "That is your SOUL, the very culmination of your being!" the flower continued. "Your SOUL starts off weak, but can grow strong if you gain a lot of LV. What does LV stand for?" Flowey asked, looking to the child expectantly. They shrugged, truthfully unsure. "Why, LOVE, of course!" Flowey chirped happily. The child smiled at that. "You want some LOVE, don't you?" Flowey asked with a grin. They nodded with a smile. "Don't worry! I'll share some with you!" The flower winked and grinned at the child. Then a circle of white pellet looking things appeared above his head. "Down here, LOVE is spread through..." he trailed and paused, looking up to the pellets. "Little white... 'friendliness pellets'." they frowned slightly, they didn't like the hesitation in the flower's voice. "Are you ready?" Flowey asked as the pellets moved and spun around the child's SOUL. "Move around! Get as many as you can!" The child moved to try and avoid the bullets, but one grazed their SOUL, and suddenly they felt a shock of pain in their chest. They choked on their breath and fell to their knees. They looked up slowly, seeing their health in front of them: 1/20. They coughed shakily and looked up further, seeing the flower still smiling, but it looked cocky now, sinister.
"You idiot..." he said with a smirk. "In this world, it's kill or BE killed. Why would ANYONE pass up an opportunity like this?!" His face morphed into a sickening smile as a new ring of bullets surrounded the child's SOUL. "Die." he said simply, his laughter ringing through the air as the bullets got closer, closer, but suddenly a ball of fire was thrown from the darkness, knocking the flower away. A tall woman with the appearance of a goat and wearing a purple tunic came out from the darkness, glaring after the flower.
"What a terrible creature, torturing such a poor, innocent youth..." she shook her head and turned to look down to the child and her eyes widened when they shrank away in fear. She knelt down before them, smiling gently. "Do not be afraid, my child. I am TORIEL, caretaker of the RUINS." she carefully helped the child up. "Here, let me heal you. What is your name?" she asked as she placed her hands around the child's SOUL, a warm light enveloping it. They sighed softly as they felt strength returning to them.
"F-Frisk." they said softly, still hesitant from the previous encounter of what they thought was a friendly monster. Toriel smiled gently.
"Frisk, a lovely name. I pass through this place every day to see if anyone has fallen down." she said smiling gently, fixing Frisk's hair in a motherly manner. "You are the first human to come down here in a long time." the child looked up to her in surprise.
"Really?" they asked softly. Toriel nodded and her smile brightened.
"Come! I will guide you through the catacombs," she said taking Frisk's hand. The child held her hand tightly as she led them away from the battle site. Frisk looked up to the cave around them. The shadow of the RUINS loomed above them, somehow filling them with determination.
Toriel led them into an area that was much more illuminated than the catacombs. She paused once they were in the lit area and she breathed a sigh of relief before looking down to them. "Welcome to your new home, innocent one." she said gently. "Allow me to educate you in the operation of the RUINS." she said as she let go of Frisk's hand, going over to a group of stones. She walked over the second and fourth rows of stones and then she reached, flipping a switch that was on the wall of the cave. She then turned to Frisk, who was looking at her curiously. "The RUINS are full of puzzles, ancient fusions between diversions and doorkeys." she smiled gently. "Please adjust yourself to the sight of them." Frisk nodded and walked over to her and through the now open door. There was a sign before the two once they entered. It read: "Only the fearless may proceed. Brave ones, foolish ones. Both not walk the middle road." Toriel walked over to the sign and stood by it. She smiled at Frisk warmly. "To make progress here, you will need to trigger several switches." She then gave a warm chuckle at the confused look on Frisk's face. "Do not worry, I have labeled the ones you need to flip." she said as she led Frisk further into the room. Once they approached a switch, Frisk saw that Toriel had drawn arrows pointing towards it. They looked over and saw that Toriel had a large grin on her face, waiting patiently for them to go and flip the switch. Obliging, Frisk went over to the switch and pulled it down. "Ah! Good, good!" Toriel nodded proudly. "Of course, not all puzzles will be as easy as this, but it is something to help you learn." she explained as Frisk returned to the path. The child nodded in understanding and followed her farther down the path to two switches. "Now, press the switch on the left." she said gesturing over to them. Frisk walked over and pulled down the switch on the left. "Splendid!" Toriel praised. Frisk smiled happily at the praise and they returned to her. "I'm proud of you, little one. Let us move to the next room." She said taking their hand.
When they entered the next room, Frisk was surprised to see what appeared to be a cloth dummy across from them. Seeing the child's confusion, Toriel explained. "As a human living in the UNDERGROUND, monsters may attack you." she said looking down to them. Frisk looked up in concern. "You will need to be prepared for this situation." She then smiled. "However, worry not! The process is simple."
"It is?" Frisk asked, tilting their head in confusion. Toriel nodded and she smiled.
"Indeed it is. When you encounter a monster, you will enter a FIGHT. While you are in a FIGHT, strike up a friendly conversation." She said with a pleasant smile. "Stall for time, and I will come resolve the conflict." She then stepped closer to the dummy. "Why don't you talk to the dummy?" she suggested. Frisk, hesitantly, stepped forward and looked up to the dummy.
"H-hello." they said softly with a wave. The dummy stood there silently, it did not seem much for conversation. Toriel smiled proudly at the child.
"Very good!" she said. "Come now, let us move on to the next room." she took their hand and led them into the next room. 'I wonder if they can solve the next puzzle...' the worried thought passed through Toriel's mind and she shook it off before a frog monster leapt forward, knocking the child down. The frog seemed intent on a fight. Frisk yelped and scrambled back, but they remembered what Toriel had said, and they mustered up their voice, and complimented the frog.
"H-hi, you have n-nice eyes." they stuttered, fumbling for words. The frog seemed flustered by what they said, and Toriel quickly ran over, pulling the frog off of you and scolding it.
"Froggit! No, you should not fight with the human." she said firmly. Froggit shrank away and hopped off. Toriel sighed and then turned around, kneeling to help them up. "I apologize, Frisk, some monsters will attack without reason, you must do as I told you if you wish to stop the fight without getting hurt or hurting others." she said. "You did very well." she then began leading them into the next room. "For this next puzzle, you must remember that this room is the next room's blueprint." she said as they walked. Frisk nodded and continued walking with her. Their eyes widened when they walked into the next room and they were met with a floor of spikes. Toriel was quiet for a moment before she spoke. "This is the puzzle, but..." she squeezed Frisk's hand. "Follow me." she said as she started walking through the spikes. They sank into the floor under her feet. Realizing what she meant before, Frisk followed closely behind her. Once they were through that puzzle, Frisk looked up to Toriel, as she had been quiet the whole time they were walking. "Puzzles seem too dangerous for now." she said quietly. They walked into the next room and Toriel paused. She then knelt before Frisk. "Frisk, I need to say something to you." she said, looking to their eyes, and watching as they grew worried.
"W-what is it?" they asked quietly, waiting for Toriel to speak again.
"You have done excellently thus far, my child." she began, offering a smile to them before her face grew more serious. "However... I have a difficult request to ask of you." she said before taking a deep breath, feeling the child tense under her hands. "I would like you to walk to the end of the room by yourself." she said. Before Frisk could respond, she stood up and turned them around, making them face the opposite wall. When her hands left their shoulders they turned back around, only to find that she was gone. They were silent, still, for a moment, looking around the long room as they closed in on themself, holding their hands tightly to their chest. Alone... they were alone. They could feel their heartbeat quickening its pace and their breathing pick up, shortening in length. No. No, Toriel wouldn't leave them truly, right? Surely she was somewhere, and they weren't alone in this unfamiliar place. They tried to calm themself, sucking a deep breath and gripping their shirt as they began walking forward. Their footsteps echoed throughout the long hall, hitting their ears and making them shudder. But, they could do it, they had to.
When they reached the end of the room, they stopped, looking around, trying to find Toriel. She still had to be there. They looked over to their left and they saw a few pillars, just wide enough for...
They tilted their head slightly in confusion. "Toriel?" they asked softly, walking over to the pillar and peering around it. Suddenly, Toriel stepped around in front of them, startling them as they stumbled back, eyes wide. She merely smiled warmly.
"Do not worry, I did not leave you. I was behind this pillar the entire time." she knelt down to their eye level and cupped their cheek gently, in a motherly way. "Thank you for trusting me." she said, and Frisk smiled, nodding as pride swelled in their chest. "However, there was an important reason for this exercise." she said as she stood up once more. "To test your independence. I must attend to some business, and you must stay alone for a while." Frisk's shoulders tensed once more and Toriel frowned, kneeling down again. "Please, you need to remain here, it's dangerous to explore by yourself." she said, frowning when she saw that didn't help much. Then her face lit up, and Frisk looked up curiously. "I have an idea, I will give you a CELL PHONE." she said rifling in the pocket of her tunic, producing an old looking phone and placing it in Frisk's hands. "If you need anything, just call. Be good, alright?" she asked smiling warmly.
Frisk nodded, their face brightening. "I will!" they confirmed. She nodded and stood, smiling warmly and reaching to pat their head before she left the room. Her footsteps faded in the distance and Frisk listened, choosing to look around the long room. But... this time it didn't seem as long, almost half the size. What had changed? Maybe because they were alone it seemed longer? That would make sense. They paused and looked at their phone, activating it and looking through the contacts. Sure enough, Toriel's number was in there. They wanted to call her... but what to say? They frowned slightly as they looked to the contact name: 'Toriel'. It was so... formal? They wanted to call her something more appropriate. She... she was so wonderful, they had never known someone so...
Oh... a tear slipped down their cheek. When did that start building? They didn't know when their thoughts drifted that far, but they didn't want to linger there much. Maybe... she felt so similar, so safe, maybe this would be okay? Trembling fingers reached up to press the button to call her. It rang twice, and then she picked up.
"This is TORIEL." her voice sounded so nice, so familiar... Frisk sat down on the ground, taking a small breath, cringing when it hitched. They didn't want to cry right then. "Frisk? Is something the matter?" she asked after the silence. "Do you need me to come back?" Frisk shook their head, but then remembered that she couldn't see that.
"N-no." Frisk rubbed their eyes with a curled fist, trying to get the bit of tears with their shirt. "I'm okay... mom." they held their breath, waiting for her response. She seemed stunned, and they could hear the half gasp on the other end.
"Did you just call me... 'Mom'?" she asked softly, seeming almost in disbelief.
"Uh huh." Frisk murmured, pulling their knees up to their chest. There was a soft chuckle on the other end, and Frisk chewed on their bottom lip.
"Well... I suppose... would that make you happy?" her response surprised Frisk, and they blinked, unsure of how to respond. "To call me... 'Mother'?" she continued, the lift in her voice sounding... hopeful, almost?
"Y-yeah." Frisk replied softly, waiting for her response.
"Well then," she said, her voice soft and warm, so much like... "call me whatever you like." she said. "Is that everything, Frisk, dear?" she asked.
"Uh huh." Frisk said softly, swallowing past the lump in their throat.
"Alright, well, I'll see you soon." she said before she hung up. Frisk smiled, pulling the phone back from their ear to look at it. Their face held a soft smile, their cheeks warm with happiness. A mom... Toriel was... or she was okay with being... their mom. It would be amazing to have a mother like her. They smiled and relaxed their body; and they stayed that way for many minutes, simply in silence, waiting for whatever would come next.
After waiting for so long, they found themself getting a little... well, bored wouldn't be the correct word, but they were getting slightly antsy, waiting for her to return. So, they took a deep breath and stood up, turning towards the large doorway that Toriel had left from. Surely they could look around, they had gotten this far. Even if they had Toriel’s help before, they wouldn’t go far, and they had Toriel’s number, they could call her if they needed help. They exited the room slowly, looking around and viewing their surroundings with trepidation. They took a few more steps and yelped when their phone rang again. A froggit, that’s what they were called right? The froggit gave them a look at the noise and they flushed, quickly answering it.
“Hello? This is To… this is Mom. You have not left the room, have you?” she asked. Frisk flushed in embarrassment. How did she know? “There are a few puzzles ahead that I have yet to explain.” she continued, “It would be dangerous to try to solve them yourself. Be good, alright?” she asked.
Frisk nodded and held the phone tightly. “Alright.” they said softly.
“I’ll see you soon.” Toriel finished and the call ended. Frisk looked to the phone and they took a deep breath before they turned to the froggit. The monster croaked, and Frisk was surprised to understand what it said.
“Excuse me, human.” it started, “I have some advice for you about battling monsters.” Frisk nodded and listened intently. “If you ACT a certain way or FIGHT until you almost defeat them… They might not want to battle you anymore.” the froggit looked directly at Frisk before it croaked again. “If a monster does not want to fight you, please… Use some MERCY human.” Frisk nodded seriously, swallowing hard. They didn’t want to hurt anyone. Of course they would follow this advice! They stood up a bit straighter and they looked around. The path was surrounded by fallen leaves. They approached one pile and stepped in it, smiling at the sound of the leaves crunching and crinkling under their feet. They felt filled with determination.
They stepped off of the leaves and suddenly a bug-like monster appeared in front of them, startling them. Frisk stumbled back and gaped, but the monster did the same, skittering back and looking worriedly at the child. They stood slowly and looked to the odd monster. Whimsun… the name suddenly flashed through Frisk’s mind. Was that what this creature was called? They tilted their head and shyly waved, they were about to speak when the creature shrieked and shot off, running away from them. Their eyes widened in shock as they watched the creature leave and they frowned. They had hoped to not scare the poor creature, but it was okay… maybe they would get the chance to talk again soon.
They looked around them, observing the environment. It was rather pretty in this area, surely it would be okay if they ventured out a little bit. They then turned to look behind them and saw a dark doorway at the other end of the walkway. They paused, considering for a moment before they walked towards the doorway. They figured if they wanted to know more about this place, they should explore the area. They stepped through the doorway, and came into a room, with two rectangular pools of water on either side of the room, and vines covering the wall. In the center of the room, there was a pedestal with a bowl on the top of it. They approached the bowl and saw that it was full of candy! There was a note on the bowl, ‘take one’ it read. They smiled and took a piece of the candy, sticking it in their pocket for the time being.
They returned out of the room and continued forward on the path, their footsteps echoing across the walls of the RUINS. They turned the corner at the end of the hallway and came across a differently colored patch of floor with six symbols on the ground. There were two holes in the wall as well, one on either side of this apparent puzzle. They bit their lip as they remembered Toriel saying that puzzles might be too dangerous for now, was this what she meant? They approached the puzzle and looked at it carefully. There was no difference in the symbols, so it was up to chance. They took a breath and stepped on one of the symbols, and gasped as the floor opened up below them and they fell. They cried out in shock, but luckily their fall was not too horribly far; certainly much shorter than the fall down the mountain. They landed in a pile of leaves, not quite breaking their fall, but helping somewhat. They winced as they pulled themself up, testing to make sure nothing was broken by stretching their limbs. Satisfied, they got up and looked around. It was just a room, with two doorways on either side of the leaves. They looked to the door on the right. They wondered if this would take them to the hole that was on the other side of the puzzle. It was certainly worth a try. They walked over and entered the doorway. No sooner had they done that they were tumbling out of the hole on the other side of the puzzle. Landing with a huff they picked themself up. Well, if this kept up they needed to work on their landing skills. They continued forward, though, and walked away from the puzzle. Once they entered the next room, their phone began to ring. They looked at it and answered the call.
“Hello?” Toriel’s voice came through the line when the call was answered. Frisk smiled slightly and they found themself relaxing. “This is mom. For no reason in particular, which do you prefer? Cinnamon or butterscotch?” she asked. Frisk was slightly caught off guard by the question.
“Um…” they thought for a moment before answering, “Cinnamon.” they decided. There was a small pause before Toriel continued talking.
“Oh, I see. Thank you very much!” she said, sounding cheerful.
“You’re welcome.” Frisk replied with a soft smile before the call ended. That was certainly a random question, but they supposed it was alright. They started to go forward again before the phone rang once more. They now looked to it slightly confused before answering again.
“Hello? This is mom, again.” she said, her voice still cheerful. “You do not dislike butterscotch, do you?” she asked. Frisk blinked in surprise and opened their mouth to answer before she continued hastily, “I know what your preference is, but… Would you turn up your nose if you found it on your plate?” she asked.
“N-no, it’s okay.” they said softly, confused but happy to give their answer.
“Right, right. I understand.” she said, still cheerful, and a little more so now. “Thank you for being patient, by the way.” she said.
“You’re welcome.” Frisk replied with a smile before the call ended again. They were sure she was baking something now, that would certainly be nice. They looked around the room. This one was certainly larger. Before them there was a rock at the end of a small path that led to a button, and after that there was a row of spikes that stretched across the floor of the room. There wasn’t a way to pass it without keeping something on the button, they supposed this was where the rock came into play. They looked around a bit more and saw that there was a note stuck to the wall, with the two patches of the wall on either side of the note covered in vines. They approached the note and read it: ‘Three out of four grey rocks recommend you push them.’ They nodded slightly. Three out of four, that was interesting, maybe they only needed to push three. They walked over to the lone rock and tried pushing it, and it moved easily with their efforts down the path and to the button. Once the rock was on the button, all the spikes sunk into the ground. They smiled brightly and walked forward, careful to move quickly over the spikes, lest they come shooting back up. They breathed a sigh of relief when that did not happen.
They moved forward, and a Froggit hopped towards them. They wondered if they could simply talk to this one, but they did need to get on their way. As they tried to walk past, the Froggit leapt at them, hitting their chest. They gasped as they fell back, shocked from the pain of the hit. This Froggit wanted to fight it seemed. They got up quickly, and the Froggit was looking around in a seemingly confused way. Frisk frowned slightly and looked to the creature. Maybe they could do what Toriel said to do. They shyly complimented the Froggit. It made a sound, now looking flustered. It hopped away quickly, and on the ground there were two gold coins. Frisk looked at them for a moment and went to pick them up. They were real gold, and they were heavy in their hand. They put them in their pocket. Maybe they would be useful? They weren’t quite sure, but it was better to be safe than sorry. They continued onward into the next room. The first thing they saw was the same rectangular hole as before and they frowned slightly. So it would be another one of these puzzles, okay, they weren’t so bad before. They walked further and saw that the entire expanse of the floor was covered in the same markings from before. Their eyes widened as they looked around. This… this was worrisome. They considered a few places to start, looking around before finally stepping onto one of the symbols. To their shock and relief, nothing happened. They must have picked the correct place! They walked forward slowly, taking each step carefully, but unsure of what to look for. Once they got to the other end of the room, they turned to the left, taking a breath before stepping in that direction. Again, nothing, maybe they could simply luck out of this one? They slowly walked, trying to go to the other end of the room. Once again, they were fine. They turned to the right now, continuing this zig zag of a path, and they were relieved when they made it to the other end of the hall.
They took a breath and continued onward, and nearly tripped over a creature that looked like a jello mold. They gasped and stepped back, but the creature just remained still, seemingly looking up at them. They waved slightly and stepped aside, letting the creature slither, slither? Was that the movement it made? Moldsmal… was that the creature’s name? They were about to continue further when they spotted another gold coin on the ground. They knelt down and picked up the coin. They had gotten three so far, there had to be a reason for them.
They continued onward, entering a room with three rocks, each of them on the end of a separate path leading to three buttons. Further ahead there was a lake separating the two sides of the room. There was a bridge to cross it, but the bridge was covered in spikes. They shuddered. Maybe… the note from before had said that three out of four rocks recommend they be pushed. Would they have to… maybe convince the last one? Or did they only need to push two out of these rocks. They went to the one on the far left first, pushing that easily onto the button. Okay… that one wasn’t bad. They went to the next one down, once again easily pushing that into its spot. Okay, so it was the last one. They approached the last one, and went to push it before it suddenly started talking.
“WOAH there, pardner!” the rock exclaimed, startling Frisk. “Who said you could push me around?” the rock asked, sounding annoyed. Frisk quickly shook their head.
“N-no! I-I mean, could you please move forward?” they asked quickly and quietly. The rock grunted.
“HMM? So you’re ASKIN’ me to move over?” it asked. Frisk nodded quickly, smiling at the rock. “Okay, just for you, pumpkin.” Frisk was a little taken aback by the pet name, but then the rock moved forward just a bit before stopping. Frisk was quiet before approaching the rock once more.
“U-um, could you um… move just a bit more?” they asked softly.
“HMM?” The rock asked, “You want me to move some more?” it asked. Frisk nodded once more, sheepish now. “Alrighty, how’s this?” it asked before it moved to the left. Frisk blinked slightly and shook their head. “HMM?” it asked again. “That was the wrong direction?” Frisk nodded. “Okay, think I got it.” The rock moved back onto the path, and then forward so it sat on the button. The spikes sank into the ground and Frisk breathed a sigh of relief. “Was that helpful?” the rock asked. Frisk nodded with a warm smile and went to continue onwards. They were about to step on the bridge when the spikes shot up again. They gasped sharply and fell back, scrambling backward. They looked behind them and saw that the rock had moved backward off of the button. They frowned and picked themself up, walking over to the rock. “HMM? You wanted me to STAY there?” the rock asked. Frisk nodded, looking a little exasperated now. “You’re giving me a real workout.” the rock continued before going back onto the button. Frisk nodded in thanks and walked over to the once again spikeless bridge, looking back to the rock before it stepped onto the bridge and crossed quickly, just in case.
Once on the other side, they were met with a Froggit and a Whimsun. The Whimsun shook and almost immediately flew off. The Froggit stayed, opening their mouth up and flies flew out of the mouth. Frisk gasped when the flies hit their body and they found it hurt quite a bit, each one like needles in their body. It was over quickly, though, and they picked themself up from the ground, looking to the monster before them. They wanted to keep from fighting… it felt wrong to act against the creature when it likely did not know anything different. “You…” they fumbled for words, a bit put off by the steady staring from the Froggit. “You are worth more than this battle, please don’t fight!” they said, their voice trembling. The Froggit blinked at them and then hopped away, leaving behind two pieces of gold. They watched after the Froggit and then walked over the bridge, going quickly in case the spikes rose up again. They looked behind them before walking through the narrow hallway before them. They came into a widening in the hallway, making it look more like a room. There was a mousehole on the wall to the left, and to the right, there was a small table with a wedge of cheese on it. And beside that, there was a shine off of the floor. They stepped closer to it and looked over to the mousehole.
Knowing the mouse might one day leave its hole and get the cheese…
It fills you with determination.