in order to run an installation (instance) of emergence-story, you'll need node.js. you don't have to know very much about node.js to use emergence-story, you just need to have it available on your system.
you also need the dependencies. you can get these by running
npm install in the emergence-story directory.
in order to hack on emergence-story, you'll just need the dependencies for running for now. you can get these by running
you'll also need to be acquainted with node.js development.