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  2. Greetings Fellow Avatars! The Catnip Games development team now brings the players of Shroud of the Avatar another round of new content and improvements. For Release 93 (R93), two new adventure scenes have been added to the game, Jotungrund and The Outlaws’ Run! 12 new potions and potion recipes have arrived! 2 new artifacts! New quests! MANY new craftable items, and a long list of UI improvements and bug fixes are also live as of R93.. Check out the update below! For those... Play Release 93 Now! New Adventure Scenes, Quests, Potions, Recipes, Artifacts & Much More!View the full article
  3. Greetings Fellow Avatars! The Catnip Games development team now brings the players of Shroud of the Avatar another round of new content and improvements. For Release 93 (R93), two new adventure scenes have been added to the game, Jotungrund and The Outlaws’ Run! 12 new potions and potion recipes have arrived! 2 new artifacts! New quests! MANY new craftable items, and a long list of UI improvements and bug fixes are also live as of R93. Check out the update below! For those wishing to participate in any community activities, upcoming one-time and recurring community events have been announced! Be sure to also review the Players Guide and Known Issues list for additional information on recent changes and upcoming fixes. Now, let’s see what we have for you in this week’s edition of Update of the Avatar: News Announcements New Adventure Scene: Jotungrund! New Adventure Scene: The Outlaws’ Run Release 93 Patch Notes! Latest News Q&A Friday Livestream! Labor Day Sales Event! Crown Store: Planting Areas, Tents, Virtue Recalibration Kits, Time Machines & More! September Login Reward: Wizard’s Wand! Release 93 Subscriber Login Rewards: Wizard’s Hat, Kopis Sword, & Backpack! New Bug Brigade’s 1st Anniversary Party! Bug Brigade & Testing Directives Streamer Rewards Program Upcoming Release Dates Community Updates Community Events & Resources Project to Support: Shard RPG Project to Support: Shadow of Valhalla Project to Support: Dragonfight Project to Support: Avatar Express Resources: Players Helping Players New Adventure Scene: Jotungrund! Jotungrund, an enormous new Tier 14 adventure scene in Mistrendur which is only available to Episode 2 access holders, has been discovered! As the development team works to deliver more and more Episode 2 content, Mistrendur has become a popular hunting grounds to many adventurers of New Britannia, and this icy scene is likely to be a favorite amongst them. Packed with new content, concepts, and loot, players will have much to do in this frigid wasteland… “Far to the northeast of Mistrendur awaits the vast icy wasteland known as Jotungrund, the Plain of Giants. Large packs of oversized wolves, hidden enclaves of fearsome barbarians, and furious “ice devil” hazards are mere distractions for the hardiest avatars. Make sure to bring your friends before you climb to the battlefield dominated by the most fearsome threat in New Britannia: a storm-wielding Frost Giant!” The Frost Giants of Jotungrund utilize an entirely new character model with amazing new animations and special attacks with ominous VFX befitting their grandeur and prowess in combat. Their sheer size alone would frighten off most adventurers of New Britannia, but YOU are the Avatar! Will you dare to test your mettle against such a threat? There are other challenges within Jotungrund, for those willing. Seek out the friendly inhabitants of these lands and lend them your sword arm. Obtain rare artifacts and other treasures! Horde precious raw materials to utilize at your crafting stations, such as Pure Elemental Ice which is a common material for the new player-crafted invisible walls and walkways! But what else can one obtain within these icy reaches of Mistrendur? The common version of a new artifact known as the Ice Hammer of Jotungrund has a small chance to drop from the barbarians in Jotungrund. Players completing the first iteration and daily version of Hisa’s “signal fire” quest can also receive a common version of this artifact. This upgradeable artifact scales between Common to Epic tiers and offers varying bonuses to Ice Arrow damage. A new imbued gem can be salvaged from all tiers of this artifact at varying chances, which provides an Ice Arrow Damage bonus to items accepting imbued gems. Players can also salvage all tiers of this artifact to receive a pattern which can be applied to other two-handed bludgeon weapons. A new artifact known as the Frost Giant’s Eye can be looted from the Frost Giants in Jotungrund. Every giant will drop at least a Common version, and this artifact, which is upgradeable and scales between Common to Epic tiers, offers bonuses to Water Attunement, Ice Field Damage, and Ice Field Radius. Also, a new imbued gem can be salvaged from these artifacts at varying chances, which provides Ice Field Damage and Ice Field Radius bonuses to items accepting imbued gems. An additional stat will be added during R93 which allows wielders of this artifact or items socketed with the related imbued gem to apply a frost resistance debuff to their combat targets. The Frost Giant Skull has a small chance to drop as loot from a Frost Giant, which offers those with “peculiar tastes” to decorate their home or Player-Owned Town (POT) with this sinister decoration. The Frost Giants in Jotungrund also have a small chance to drop either a Frost Giant’s Hammer Fragment (Head) or Frost Giant’s Hammer Fragment (Handle) which can be used in a high level carpentry recipe to form the Frost Giant’s Hammer Trophy. The recipe also has a small chance to drop from the Frost Giants in Jotungrund. The Frost Giants also drop various fragments of their giant helmet when slain. These fragments can be utilized to to rebuild a Frost Giant’s Helm decoration as a trophy to place in your POT or property. Upon the first completion of Hisa’s “signal fire” daily quest, you will receive the recipe for rebuilding this helmet. We hope you enjoy this latest addition to Episode 2 content. So many more scenes are coming to the lands of Mistrendur, and as they’re added, the story of this new continent will continue to unfold. More quests, more challenges, and more rewards are inbound, so stay tuned and keep your blades sharpened! New Adventure Scene: The Outlaws’ Run The Outlaws’ Run is an additional new Tier 8 adventure scene added as R93 content, which is also only available to Episode 2 access holders. This densely wooded area is loaded with nooks and crannies to explore and dangers to face, for much is hidden from view under the thick canopy of the forest. Bandits abound! New quests aplenty! Will you dare to explore The Outlaws’ Run and claim the treasures therein? “For years, merchant caravans of Mistrendur’s central island risked using a wilderness shortcut known as The Outlaws’ Run. Recently, the criminals dominating these woods have become bolder and more aggressive, robbing caravans, destroying one of the two local waystations, and even kidnapping a handful of travelers! Unable to venture too far from the road for fear of lawless bandits, vicious wildlife, the deadly Ancient Druid that haunts the nearby groves, or getting lost in the ever-shifting hedge maze that is rumored to surround a secret outlaw village, desperate caravanners are relying on the avatar to conquer these threats before their livelihoods are destroyed forever!” Hidden throughout this bandit-ridden territory, much treasure is rumored to exist, but will you survive long enough to discover these riches? Four of the 12 new potion recipes are rumored to exist in the hands of the denizens here, but will you be able to wrest these papers from their dying grip? Or will you become lost in these woods, never to be seen again? Release 93 Patch Notes! Below are a list of the updates that are live as of Release 93 (R93) in the game of Shroud of the Avatar! R93 is a content, improvement and bug fixes month. Polish, additional improvements, and bug fixes are inbound for R94 next month. We hope you enjoy the changes that are live today as of Release 93! Crafting, Decoration, & Inventory Item Changes: All 27 varieties of regular agriculture plants now have a small chance to also yield a decorative version of the plant during an optimal harvest. The chances for the new plant decorations to drop vary slightly between plant types, but none are greater than 5% and none lower than 1%. These new plant variations can be placed on any ground surface to include the ground in Player-Owned Towns. Each plant features 2 versions, one regular and one mature, providing a total of 54 additional plant decorations. All supply bundles (and therefore Storehouse Containers) also feature a chance to drop these new plant decorations, with chances varying between bundle type. The “Ancient Druid” enemy which sometimes appears in Outlaw’s run, has a 100% chance to drop one of these 54 plant decorations upon every kill. In future releases, the ability to salvage these decorative plants for crafting materials and spell reagents will be introduced. 3 new Aether versions of the Potions of Acumen, Deftness, and Might and their recipes have been added to the game. The original versions of these potions have also been altered to behave in a fashion related to these new Aether versions. Each type exists in its own channel. For instance, only 1 Acumen potion can be imbibed, whether it is an old version or a new Aether version. Each Acumen, Deftness and Might potion scales with adventurer level, and each also features a small penalty to the other primary stats. Recipes for the new Aether potions can be found in these locations: Potion of Acumen, Aether: Satyr Mages in the Tartarus maze. Potion of Deftness, Aether: Bandits in The Outlaws’ Run. Potion of Might, Aether: Goruk in Ruined Keep. 9 Potions of Magic Mastery and their recipes have been added to the game, one for each school of magic. These potions provide a bonus to each school’s mastery ability, and the bonuses scale with adventurer level and your specialization ability. Only one Mastery potion can be taken at any given time as they all share the same channel. Recipes for the Magic Mastery Potions can be found in these locations: Potion of the Master Air Mage: Suutak in Aldur. Potion of the Master Chaos Mage: Tharsis Vrul in Solania Catacombs. Potion of the Master Death Mage: Elrin Nayer in Despair. Potion of the Master Earth Mage: The druid in The Outlaw’s Run. Potion of the Master Fire Mage: Xavara and Tier 15 Fire Elementals. Potion of the Master Life Mage: The druid in The Outlaw’s Run. Potion of the Master Moon Mage: Wisps in The Outlaw’s Run. Potion of the Master Sun Mage: The Phoenix in Rhun Ruins or Wynton’s Folly. Potion of the Master Water Mage: The Frost Giants in Jotungrund. A Withered Flesh Flayer Baby has a small chance to drop from Flesh Flayers in all scenes available, which are primarily located in PvP Shardfalls. Supply Bundles and the new druid NPC in The Outlaws’ Run also have a chance to drop a Withered Flesh Flayer Baby. This withered plant can be placed as a decoration, or players can utilize a recipe to revitalize the withered plant. The revitalization recipe can be found in the loot of the three elf mages in the small room just southwest of the Flesh Flayers in The Rise. When all the ingredients for the recipe are found, players can then craft a Revitalized Flesh Flayer Baby using an alchemical and magical procedure at their alchemy crafting station. Two new craftable decorations and their recipes have been added to the game to provide bulletin board or mounting board concepts to player-decorated walls. The recipes for the very rustic looking Wall Board (Square) and Wall Board (Rectangular) are now available on the decoration merchant above the bank in Central Brittany. Many wall decorations such as bulletin board flyers can be placed on these items. The Small Canvas Tent recipe has been added to the game and is available on the decorations merchant above the bank in Etceter. The Small Kobold Tent and the Triangle Kobold Tent recipes have been added to the game which have small chances to drop from the kobolds in Greymark Forest. Property deeds have been renamed to better indicate their functionality as well as to improve sorting results in inventories. Also, the tooltip descriptions have been revamped to better describe their functionality and how to perform an upgrade. No-trade deeds now clearly indicate that they are no-trade in their display names and tooltip descriptions, which also is indicated in the upgrade context menu if listed. All fishing bait now includes “(Bait)” at the end of each nomenclature to improve inventory search/filtering capabilities. All backpacks can now be placed as POT decorations. The Aether Vibration Amplifier Backpack can no longer be rotated along the additional axis, nor can it be placed onto walls as of this update. Newly-crafted Large Pots and Cleavers in the two kitchen utensil set recipes now feature 50 extra durability since exceptionals no longer provide 50 durability. Recipes using Pecan Nuts no longer require nearly as many nuts as before. Salvaging mundane items such as beakers, test tubes, flasks, and jars now provide a little more quartz per attempt. Zinc has some chance to be obtained by salvaging mundane items which appear to have metal parts. Fixed the issue with exceptional ranged weapons not getting exceptional modifier. Fixed the issue with leather belt masterwork attempts using the cloth armor masterwork skill. Now masterworking these leather belts properly uses leather armor masterwork skill. Fixed the issue with color deviations in dragon masks after being patterned. Fixed the visuals on the Jar of Oil and Jar of Vinegar items. Fixed the jar decorations so they can properly stack. Emotes and recipes can once again be traded properly. Empty Flask and Empty Flask, Hardened items now actually appear as empty when placed as a decoration. Fixed an issue with books not displaying the correct name in the tooltip when switching from runic to normal text. Applying the patterns from The Shard of Night, the Xen Penetrator, or the Halberd of the Sun no longer include the tier of the artifact in the patterned item’s name. Merchants with the same wares as Emily from Owl’s Head will no longer display two separate stacks of torches for sale. The artifact upgrade recipes for the Two-Handed Sword of Elf Slaying, the Two-Handed Mace of Elemental Slaying, and the Wand of Wild Lightning now also reflect the new names recently applied to these artifacts. The recipe for the Round Rug (Royal) has been renamed to “Recipe: Oval Rug (Royal)” to match the item it creates. The Skull Mask no longer allows attempts at applying dye. The visuals for this item were never designed for dyes, but dye application was inadvertently enabled for this item. The Fancy Ice Box can now be traded. The New Water Lanterns can now be placed as POT decorations. Adjusted many chandelier decorations to allow for exterior ceiling and POT placement. The Isabelline Stone 2-Tier Outdoor Fountain and the Cinereous Stone 2-Tier Outdoor Pedestal Fountain can now be placed on other decoration items which accept other decorations as child objects such as castle walls or building blocks Adjusted all the Xenossian shields to be placeable as POT decoration. The Ancient Xenossian Bracers eternal pattern now functions and can be applied to hand slot items. The ground and hanging versions of the Dunkleosteus trophies will now scale based upon the size of the lava fish. The Heraldry Heart Shield can now be placed on exterior wall surfaces. Combat & Skill Changes: Creatures throughout all of Novia now have improved hearing and can detect players behind them up to 12 meters away instead of 6 meters. The base weapon skills in the Ranged Combat, Polearms, Bludgeon, and Blades skill trees were not being applied to special attack calculations for almost all active weapon skills. This has been fixed. The Spinning Attack polearm skill will now be able to critically hit and also include polearm specific bonuses. The combo Icy Puncture’s range should now scale with the player’s polearm Reach skill. Ice Fist’s range was utilizing fire range as an additional modifier, which has been removed. The “Gust Chance” buff provided by the Ring of Air artifact or items socketed with the Imbued Jewel of Gust now correctly applies to the player’s character. Flaming Bash and Shield Smash buff descriptions now show properly on the icon tooltip in the buff window if active. Icefield damage now utilizes the correct damage bonus stat. Previously it was using the Meteor Shower damage bonus. Melody of Mending and Atonal Aria now display the proper icon in the active buff bar instead of Ice Field’s icon. User Interface, Lua, & Performance Changes: Added a pet version of the character sheet which features many pet statistics for your summoned and tamed pets. Simply right-click the nameplate or the pet to reveal the context menu, then select the “examine” option. The sheet also features 3 equipment slots which will be utilized by upcoming pet gear items to be revealed in future releases. A new feature has been added which allows players to right-click the gear item to select repair options. The appropriate repair tool must be in the player’s inventory. A performance pass was made on many UI elements and NPCs to improve frame rate for scenes with high numbers of creatures. The following items were added to the character sheet which appears when examining another player: Second ring slot. Extended character stats. Show “more” character stats button and functionality. The Looking For Group window now indicates the time the party was formed. Critical chance calculations have been improved on the character sheet and a new tooltip was added to reflect this change. Created in-game maps for the following locations: Obsidian Panopticon Desolate Hills Jotungrund Skrekk (Exterior) Kobold Battle Camp The Outlaws’ Run Added feedback in the chat window for when the AskADev command is properly utilized. Additional improvements to the game’s mouse cursor have been implemented. 82 more items have been added to the player vendor “Manage Orders” listing, to include items such as totems, young fish, wyvern heads, dragon eggs, quartz, and many more. Added 4 new Lua functions: ShroudGetCurrentSceneNameRaw() ShroudGetPetInfo() ShroudGetPetBuff() ShroudGetPlayerBuff(). Fixed an issue where the loot window would show color codes when resized. Fixed the subterfuge checkbox in the decks window filter which was not remaining checked when selected. The Hamstring combo now displays properly in the decks window. Fixed the issue for cloaks showing after dismounting even if the option to hide the cloak was enabled. Fixed the issue where the low ammo indicator was showing instead of the damaged weapon indicator. Fixed the missing low ammo indicator tooltip which showed an error. Fixed the mount icon reappearing when changing scenes while mounted. Fixed the Romeus disconnection issue when players would go AFK. Fixed for text aberrations in the decoration palette window. Fixed the issue in the dye application version of the character sheet which was inappropriately displaying the show “more” button. Fixed the issue where the mount button misbehaved when another player would mount next to you. Player Economy, Rewards, & Loot Changes: Added a new uncommon quest reward for the newly added Kingsport Storehouse Container which accepts 100 diamond fragments for the Uncommon container. The Common containers feature Metal Scrap, Leather Scrap, Fabric Scrap, and Wood Scrap. The drop rates for Zinc have been increased greatly across all mechanical/clockwork beings such as Automatons, Spiders, Flyers, Cats, and Dogs. Automatons still remain the likely primary farming source for Zinc since they are guaranteed to drop Zinc with every kill. Grey, Yellow, Blue, and Orange supply bundles will now provide much larger quantities of Zinc and at higher drop chances within their loot tables, which also increases Zinc’s availability at Storehouse Containers. Clockwork Dragons now also drop significantly large stacks of Zinc with every kill. The gold value of Zinc has been greatly reduced. Grey and Yellow Supply bundles now have a greater chance to drop a stack of Pecan Nuts, Brown Cap Mushrooms, or Cinnamon Bark. The little scavenger girl in Tanglemire now also provides Pecan Nuts as a reward to the Missing Bones daily. Pecan Nuts have been added back to NPC merchants for the duration of R92 with a price increase from 15g to 25g. They’ll likely be removed from NPC merchants in R94. Quartz nodes now also provide more quartz. Clockwork Monkeys in the Monkey Room of K’rul were unintentionally featuring regular loot and now feature reduced control point type loot. The loot for the kobold boss in Mysterious Swamp once again drops kobold boss loot. World, Quests, and Miscellaneous Changes: Aerie and Resolute: Improved the logic which allows the devotional caretakers to recognize when the avatar has defeated their respective Cabalists. Aerie: Fixed a typo in one of Vivienne’s responses. Arabella: Updated her responses related to the starting locations (Blood River, Highvale, and Solace Bridge) of the three Episode 1 storylines. Ardoris: Updated a cushioned chair so that NPCs have a better sitting orientation. Ardoris: Updated Siranto’s “undead” response logic to help ensure he gives the proper dialog. Blood River Outskirts: If a player receives the “reward” version of the manifesto from Alberic, then accidentally destroys it before giving it to Captain Bearfield, they can get a replacement by saying “manifesto” to Alberic. Blood River Outskirts: Updated the logic which Phineas uses to give poison to the avatar. Blood River Outskirts: Updated the logic, compass markers, and food interaction for the “poison the food” quest. Also, avatars on a certain stage of the quest can now delete the poison item and get a replacement from Phineas. Broken Echoes Silver Mine: Replaced several nonfunctional destructible crates with functional versions. Highvale: Updated the “Aldorn is missing” quest with improved dialog, updated journal entries, compass markers, and the chance to find “evidence” in the Battle of Highvale the same as its aftermath. K’rul: Fixed an issue with several crates that had displaced collision. K’rul: Swapped the plane version of the grate for the 3D version. Necropolis Barrens: Fixed an issue with one love letter that couldn’t be collected. Necropolis: When Davropos accepts a dead body, he’ll advise the player that he’ll return anything he finds that’s not the body. North Brightbone Woods: Katana-wielding Ebon Cultist Champions now wear proper Ebon Dawn gear. Novia: Fixed an issue where players were being drawn into a swamp encounter in a hills location. Plains Encounter: Avatars will no longer get a message about a great threat when entering the Hidden Vale dragon scenario of this encounter. Plains Encounter: Fixed an issue where the Mistrendur dragon scenario was incorrectly pointing to Hidden Vale assets. Also, ensured all random encounter locations with Aether dragons are able to spawn them. Return to Previous Destination teleporters: Added “return” boats or balloons to the docks or default entrances to several scenes. These teleporters have purple canvases. Serpent Spine Mines: Updated stairs in a “lich boss area” to improve the path grid. Skrekk: Added a “skilled hacker” and props near the west entrance to this area. Skrekk: Added compass marker to skilled hacker that appears for avatars that have a virtue recalibration kit in their inventory. Solace Bridge Outskirts: Bancroft will advise places who have received their Episode 1 lot deed to visit the banker in Soltown, now named SLT-3113. Solace Bridge Outskirts: Updated the logic which Kinsey uses to set players on the quest to deliver the report to Stanley. Solace Bridge: Updated text for Quincy’s compass marker. South Drachvald Spur: Updated the path grid to help NPCs walk on troublesome slopes. Tanglemire: A new load screen has been added for Tanglemire, which is an alteration of a screenshot provided by the screenshot contest winner Ian Berie — congrats on your contest win, and thank you for the submission, Ian! Tenebris Harbor: Changed the ore nodes from tier 4 to tier 5, as befitting the scene’s tier. The Brave Coast: Removed a redundant target (West Docks) from the signpost teleporter network. The Obsidian Panopticon: Moved an exploding barrel away from a bed that it was intersecting. Valhold: Added a compass marker for the Town Crier. Valhold: Fixed typos with the “amulet of testimony” quest. Valhold: Players are no longer blocked from finishing the Valhold amulet of testimony quest when trying to finish after completing the path of Courage. Wynton’s Folly: Swapped tier 5 ore nodes for tier 6 nodes, as befitting this tier 6 scene. Fixed issues with the dismount dissolve animations. Fixed the issue which allowed players to perform various actions while a ghost. Ankhs are now properly visible in the Ardoris PVP Arena. Linux players will no longer see a mysterious ladder appear and disappear in the Hills Random Encounter. Adjusted the spawn locations in the Village Mine Basements to prevent players from spawning inside of a support post. Decorations on the Dais in the player-made dungeon Lich Room no longer float above the surface. The player-made dungeon “Hilt Rotunda” can now be decorated on the first floor, the dais, and on the mezzanine. All store entries for planting beds (elven and viking) have been split into separate entries. All planting beds and areas are now in the crafting section instead of the outdoor planter section of the store. Cloaks, Wings, and Backpacks are all now in a new store subcategory called Cloaks, Wings, Backpacks. Fixed a typo in the Ancient Xenossian Spear store entry. Fixed a typo in the Fancy Ice Box store entry. Player-Owned Town Changes: B’azaar of the B’izarre: Upgraded to Teralopolis. Broken Ground: Upgraded to Crossroads Village. Kustingen: Added new holdfast to Novia west of Ardoris. Nauvoo: Upgraded to Metropolis. Quel Regional Market: Added crossroads village southeast of Etceter. Latest News Q&A Friday Livestream! The weekly Community Livestream is Friday, August 27th at 4PM CT on Twitch! Join Chris “Atos” Spears and other members of the development team for a community 1-hour livestream! To enter the prize drawings, type “live in the sunshine” into any in-game chat channel OR make a purchase on the website Add-On Store. Please submit questions using in-game universal chat by typing “askadev” before your question. We’ll do our best to answer these questions live on the stream, and we’ll even be periodically posting answers to some unanswered questions in the forums each month. Watch on Twitch, Friday at 4 PM CT! Atos and other members of the Shroud of the Avatar development team go live very frequently on twitch.tv/shroudoftheavatar — be sure to get the channel on follow for notifications so you can join us right as we go live! Also, if you’ve missed our latest streams, check out our archive of content at our YouTube Channel. Like! Follow! Subscribe! Prizes!!! Don’t forget to also join the Shroud of the Avatar team and community over at all our social media venues: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ShroudoftheAvatar/ Catnip Games Twitter: https://twitter.com/catnipgames Shroud of the Avatar Twitter: https://twitter.com/ShroudofAvatar Shroud of the Avatar Discord: https://discord.gg/GuBXakQ Labor Day Sales Event! Happy Labor Day! In observance of Labor Day, bonus EXP and various sales will start on Friday, September 3rd at Noon CT: +100% Adventure and Crafting EXP! Holdfast Player-Owned Towns are 20% Off! 2-Hour Flash Sale Items are 20% Off! Crowns of the Obsidian are 20% Off! Crown Store Deeds Still Include Dungeon Entrances and Foyers Until R94! Crown Store Row Lot Deeds: Ancient Tome Dungeon Entrance Pattern Crown Store Village Lot Deeds: Magic Mirror Dungeon Entrance Crown Store Town Lot Deeds: Ruined Stone Arch Dungeon Entrance Pattern & Ornate Triple Connection Stone Dungeon Foyer Crown Store City Lot Deeds: Circle of Stones Rift Dungeon Entrance Pattern & Ornate Triple Connection Marble Dungeon Foyer Player-Owned Town Upgrades are 20% Off! (Crown Upgrades Only) Episode 2 Access is $4 Off! New Character Slots is 40% Off! All these sale items except for the Crown Store Deed specials will last until Tuesday, September 7th at Noon CT, so don’t miss out! Happy shopping, Avatars! Crown Store: Planting Areas, Tents, Virtue Recalibration Kits, Time Machines & More! Many new store items are coming your way in the month ahead! Keep an eye out each week as the following items become available in the Crown Store. Available today on August 26th, Planting Areas! These planting areas allow plants to appear as if they’re growing straight out of the ground rather than in a raised planting bed. When players select the “Show Decoration Indicators” checkbox, a helpful indicator becomes visible to aid players in seeing all the nodes in their planting area. Players can now also purchase Virtue Recalibration Kits! A skilled kobold hacker, located on a hill overlooking the western entrance to Skrekk, can use these kits to bypass the Oracle’s defenses and make unauthorized changes to her secret virtue scores that she records for avatars. In exchange for one virtue recalibration token, the skilled hacker can change a highly positive or negative Courage, Love, or Truth value to a moderately positive or negative one, or a moderate value to a low one. Low values are not able to be affected. A skilled hacker cannot perform more than one recalibration a day for an avatar. A large fancy icebox is now available on the store! This decoration provides players more decorative ways to depict cold storage, and features a 300 item capacity with functional doors! Also, a 9-Pack of Xenossian shields and their separate store entries are now available! These high quality shields with stunning Greco-Roman style blazons are sure to attract the gaze of curious onlookers. Equip them! Apply their patterns to your crafted and artifact shields! Decorate your walls with them! Collect them all! Single Planting Area Small Planting Area Medium Planting Area Large Planting Area Virtue Recalibration Kit Large Fancy Ice Box Ancient Xenossian Round Shield 9-Pack Ancient Xenossian Round Bird Shield Ancient Xenossian Round Cerberus Shield Ancient Xenossian Round Face Shield Ancient Xenossian Round Crested Helm Shield Ancient Xenossian Round Octopus Shield Ancient Xenossian Round Owl Shield Ancient Xenossian Round Pillar Shield Ancient Xenossian Round Trident Shield Ancient Xenossian Round Triskelion Legs Shield Becoming available on September 3rd, 6 varieties of tents! Whether you’re looking to decorate your town or property with canvas, kobold, or market tents, you’ll certainly have a much wider variety to choose from as you delve into your creative ventures: Medium Canvas Tent Large Canvas Tent Medium Kobold Tent Large Kobold Tent Wide Market Tent Nomad Market Tent Becoming available on September 10th, 3 more varieties of Kobold Weather Machines! These amazing devices can currently only be placed as Player-Owned Town decorations by stewards and governors. Turn your town foggy! Make it rain! Make it stormy! These machines are a fantastic way to set the scene for town role-playing events or simply adding a more immersive feel to your player-created environments: Kobold Weather Machine (Foggy) Kobold Weather Machine (Heavy Precipitation) Kobold Weather Machine (Storm) Becoming available on September 17th, three varieties of Flesh Flayer decorations! These highly frightening looking plant decorations are an excellent way to add a sinister feel to your town or property decoration endeavors. Also, a Feathered Leather Wizard’s Hat that features two dye layers becomes available: Flesh Flayer Large Flesh Flayer Huge Flesh Flayer Feathered Leather Wizard’s Hat (Dyeable) Becoming available on September 24th, 4 varieties of Kobold Time Machines! Each time machine is specially calibrated to adjust the time within your Player-Owned Town to a specific setting. Freeze the clocks in your town at sunrise, noon, sunset, or midnight. Featuring a tank of bubbling magic fluid and spinning electric orbs, their time freezing powers are a true testament to the technological capabilities of the engineers deep within the underground city of Skrekk. These amazing devices can currently only be placed as Player-Owned Town decorations by stewards and governors. These machines are fantastic tools for role-playing events or improving your town’s look and feel: Kobold Time Machine (Sunrise) Kobold Time Machine (Noon) Kobold Time Machine (Sunset) Kobold Time Machine (Midnight) The Summer Seasonal store items are still available! These rare summer items will remain on the store until September 25th: Hula Emote Fire Dance Emote Fire Dance Cross Emote Flame Stained Glass Table Lamp 3-Pack Flaming Bagpipes Island Spear Flame Scimitar Island Flower Crown Island Dress Flame Shield Firedancer Outfit To see a full listing of all the items which rotate through the Vault, we have prepared a forum post showing all items which could appear throughout the year! September Login Reward: Wizard’s Wand! Log in during the month of September, and you’ll receive a Wizard’s Wand! This being the first of many wizard items to come with the introduction of this new wizard collection theme. Release 93 Subscriber Login Rewards: Wizard’s Hat, Kopis Sword, & Backpack!! Avatars! Rewards Program login items for Release 93 are a must have — don’t miss out! A new collection theme has arrived — The Wizard Collection! A variety of additional wizard items will continue to arrive in the near future. The dyeable Leather Wizard’s Hat is one of this month’s additions to this collection. Also, the Xenossian Collection continues with the introduction of the Ancient Xenossian Kopis Sword which features a dyeable grip. Dual wield these amazing swords for a very intimidating look! Additionally, a new dyeable Leather Backpack is fantastic for those wishing to sport a very outdoorsy look! Reward Program members must login during Release 93 to receive these special login items: Ancient Xenossian Kopis Sword (Dyeable) Leather Wizard’s Hat (Dyeable) Leather Backpack (Dyeable) The Shroud of the Avatar Rewards Program lets you earn the best rate on purchasing Crowns, AND receive monthly reward items! For the low price of $9 USD per month you will receive the following: 900 Crowns of the Obsidians every month Monthly Login Reward Items (about 3 per month) Exclusive Title every 3 months 3 Months: Keeper of the Faith 6 Months: Keeper of the Word 9 Months: Keeper of the Vow 12 Months: Keeper of the Flame 15 Months: Keeper of the Oath 18 Months: Keeper of the Pledge 21 Months: Keeper of the Bond 24 Months: Keeper of the Promise 27 Months: Keeper of the Covenant Pick any Dye 12-Pack every 6 months Pick any three of these 7 Obsidian Potions every month: Potion of Capacity: Increases carrying capacity Potion of Conservation: Reduces reagent use chance Potion of Expedience: Swift gathering on all gathering skills Potion of Precision: Increases Meticulous Collection to all gathering skills Potion of Preservation: Reduces armor and weapon damage Potion of Reclamation: Increases Salvage and Repair to all production skills Potion of Stamina: Decreases focus use from sprinting New Bug Brigade’s 1st Anniversary Party! Please join us for a party celebrating the 1st anniversary of the new Bug Brigade, hosted by the Bug Moderators Ravalox, Alley Oop, Justyn, and Echondas. The party will start Saturday the 28th at 8PM CT in Ardoris on the Bug Brigade’s Houseboat indicated in the image on the right. Justyn will be spinning tunes on WRFB while the party-goers dance, play party games, and more! You never know what might happen! If you have questions about this event, please post them in this event’s forum post. Bug Brigade & Testing Directives! The Bug Brigade was established to improve how the community and the development team work together to improve the game. Since the Brigade’s inception, the program has gone through a number of changes and was eventually placed on hold. The stability of the game is as important to the development team as it is to the players, therefore the program was revamped and was recently relaunched. The Brigade has been up and running for two months now, and the volunteers are getting into a good rhythm for verifying and submitting bugs to the developers. If you have reported a bug that has not yet been addressed, please be patient while the backlog is being worked. The Brigade is working diligently to cleanup the backlog of bug reports posted by players on the forums. Every month, a considerable amount of development time will be spent working many of the verified bugs which have been submitted to the team by the Bug Brigade. This focused effort on bug fixes would not be possible without the recent efforts of the Bug Brigade. Please take the time to thank these bug hunting aficionados when you encounter them in your travels! In turn, the development team would like to express a big thank you to the Bug Hunters! These community members are doing a fantastic job bringing so many bug reports to the team, and they’re doing it in a way which makes the process smooth and efficient. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Already, much improvement has been noticed by the development team, and we’re so very excited to see the program successfully back in action! The development team would also like to thank all of those who took time out to participate in the QA Testing Directive for the upcoming Mount System. Thanks to your hard work and dedication, many issues and bugs were identified and fixed prior to the system going to the Live Server! Keep up the great work! For those that wish to participate in future bug hunting endeavors, please check the forums regularly for upcoming QA Testing Directives. Also, the Bug Brigade would like to welcome its newest Bug Moderator, Echondas! Please congratulate him the next time you see him in-game or on the forums. This new member expands the Bug Moderator team to: Alley Oop, Echondas, and Justyn. Thank you Moderators! Your efforts are highly valued by the development team! Don’t forget, the Bug Brigade is open to all players in good standing, and the bug rewards are back! And they are SWEET! They will be awarded on a monthly progression basis with only minimal requirements to qualify. The available rewards to receive in progression via qualifying participation are as follows: Antennae Head Gear and Forum Title 1: “Bug Hunter” Single Ant Cloak Lady Bug Backpack Bug Painting A and In-Game Title 2: “Associate of Aphids” Ant Farm Insect Leg Table Many Ants Cloak and In-Game Title 3: “Bachelor of Beetles” Bug Painting B Bug Sprayer Bug Painting C and In-Game Title 4: “Master of Moths” Butterfly Chair Corpion Chair (Pictured Below) Yellow Fireflies VFX and In-Game Title 5: “Doctor of Dragonflies” Hacked Oracle Flyer Giant Blue Butterfly Pet Butterfly Mask Dragonfly pet Fairy Wings Monarch Butterfly Pet Dragonfly Wings Hacked Oracle Crawler Blue Butterfly VFX Orange Fireflies VFX Orange Butterfly VFX If you’ve come to think of Shroud of the Avatar as your home, signup and help make New Britannia a better place to live! To learn more about joining the Bug Brigade, please read the announcement thread by Ravolox in the main Bug/Feedback forums. Updates to the Streamer Rewards Program! Several months ago, a program was proposed for the Streamers of Shroud of the Avatar. The ultimate goal being to showcase Shroud of the Avatar while giving SotA streamers a reward for their efforts. The program is currently in Phase I, with Phase II technology currently being discussed and worked internally. So, let’s talk Phase I! Phase I: Streamers who wish to be included in the Streamer Program must contact Laney via in-game mail or in a private message on the forums with their Character Name and Twitch Channel information. If you have already signed up for the program in the past, fear not, you’re on the list, and you don’t need to reapply. Streaming Rewards Program participants must adhere to our Terms of Service (TOS) and Community Rules while Streaming Shroud of the Avatar. Streaming Rewards Program participants must stream at least 10 hours of Shroud of the Avatar ACTIVE game play to remain in the program with reward accrual. Streamers will receive a one-time digital reward of in-game items after meeting the program’s requirements: Streamer’s Cloak, Streamer’s Camera, and a brand-new LIVESTREAMING title. Future incremental rewards will occur at 6-month intervals. (More information to come). Rules: To qualify for Streamer Rewards, each streamer must continue to meet the minimum requirements for 60 days after application. To accrue additional rewards, Streamers must stream SotA a minimum of 10 hours per month, tallied on the 1st day of each month, to remain in the program. Streamers must be actively playing the game during their streams. Being away from the keyboard (AFK) for short periods is acceptable. If Twitch indicates the streamer is playing SotA but they are streaming other content or a timeout/login screen, they risk being removed from the program. Items of Note: SotAbot: Streamers in the program will be included in the SotAbot StreamPop function, appearing in the player-streaming channel in Discord. Graphics & Overlays: An optional “Streamers Kit” is available to the participating streamers as well as all players of Shroud of the Avatar, which includes graphics, overlays and other material. Watch the forums for more information, coming soon, regarding Titles, future rewards and for info on Phase II of the program. We love our Streamers, so get out to Twitch and follow them, watch them, and support them! Upcoming Release Dates Be sure to check out the Upcoming Events page for spotlighted events plus links to various areas to post or find events on our forums. The upcoming 2021 Release Schedule is as follows: Release 93 – Aug 26 (Content) Release 94 – Sep 30 (Polish) Release 95 – Oct 28 (Content) Community Updates & Resources Greetings event holders and event attendees! So many fun and exciting events are available in the upcoming weeks. Be sure to get out there and participate, make some new friends, perhaps make some great emote, recipe, or gear trades, or get some adventuring and role-playing into your mix! Here are spotlighted events or updated community resources that we’ve noticed popping up lately on the official forums: Catnip Games Contests: Catnip Games Monthly Fishing Tourney: Greetings Anglers! The monthly Catnip Games Fishing Tourney is live! Join in on the fun! SO many prizes available for the anglers of New Britannia! Catnip Games Monthly Screenshot/Video Contest: Avatars! For those of you skilled with the camera or screenshot key binding, a monthly screenshot and video contest is underway which features a large number of valuable prizes. The focus will be for players to submit creative or informative screenshots and videos of content introduced to the game during the latest 3 monthly releases. Catnip Games Monthly Treasure Hunting Contest: Want to go hunting for rare items? Want to see if you can beat other players in this quest for treasure? Well join in on the monthly treasure hunting contest, Avatars! Special Announcements: New Bug Brigade’s 1st Anniversary Party: Please join us for a party celebrating the 1st anniversary of the new Bug Brigade, hosted by the Bug Moderators Ravalox, Alley Oop, Justyn, and Echondas. The party will start Saturday the 28th at 8PM CT in Ardoris on the Bug Brigade’s Houseboat indicated in the image on the right. Justyn will be spinning tunes on WRFB while the party-goers dance, play party games, and more! You never know what might happen! The New Britannia Theater Troupe Needs YOU: If you would like to join this band of merry story writers and voice actors, give Asclepius a reply on the forums or send him a PM. Already there is a very rich selection of past work written and performed by the troupe which is available in audio form here at the Caverns.net. One-Time Events: No One-Time Events have been announced. Recurring Events: Trash to Treasure Dropped Items Turn-In: Some unscrupulous fella has been flooding the loot in New Britannia with junk: Wizard Hats! It’s time to clean this trash up that’s plaguing the loot tables, so a bounty has been placed on all gear crafted by Coswald Dirthmire that you find in loot. Turn in what you find every contest period! R93’s contest period lasts until September 28th! Mad Splatter Tea Party: The Mad Splatter Tea Party takes place in Lily Byrd’s back garden in Jade Valley. This month’s episode will be held on Sunday, August 29th at 3PM CT. This special edition of the event will be hosted by Time Lord! There are drinks and eats, there is sometimes music, there are often party games with prizes, and sometimes attendees just sit and talk about life in Novia. Get your role-playing hats on and come on over! Ironhall Tournament & PvP Training: The Player-Owned Town of Ironhall holds weekly player training events every Saturday at 1PM CT. Events are held in the village of Virtus Mons in Ironhall and can be reached easily via use of the fast travel signs. M’Hul Island Monthly Fishing Contest: Join Asmodi M’hul and friends at M’hul Island for their monthly fishing tournament that lasts from Release Day to Release Day! Prizes are available! Lightbringer Isle Fishing Contest: Why not earn some extra prizes each month and participate in Lightbringer Isle’s monthly fishing tourney? Lots of fantastic prizes — don’t miss out! Combat & Crafting Sunday School: Head on over to Immortal City every Sunday from 7PM to 9PM CT to learn the tricks of the trade in combat and crafting! 500 Crown Fishy Prize: If you’re ever worried there isn’t an active fishing contest going on, well worry no longer! Sonja Solar and friends are running a continuous fishing contest in Brittany Fort “Now and Forever for All Eternity” which has wonderful prizes and objectives. Be sure to watch the video indicated in the “bagged” link provided to see the full explanation of the contest rules. RHEC Traveling Pop Up Fishing Contest: Keep an eye out in universe chat, trade chat, and the forums! Asmodi M’hul will routinely announces at least one pop up fishing contest every week for those anglers out there anxious for extra prizes and fun! PvP Fishing with RHEC: The RHEC anglers of New Britannia will be hosting PvP fishing contests in The Brave Coast! There are 3 tourneys which will take place on July 23rd and July 24th from 7PM to 9PM CT, and July 25th from 5PM to 7PM CT. Hope to see you there! Lightbringer Isle Auction: Ladies and gentlemen! The Citizens of Lightbringer Isle welcome you to the weekly auctions! The auctions are about bringing together people from all corners of the community, with the Lightbringer Isle’s market being the perfect place to do so! Join us every Sunday at 11AM CT! Community Calendars: Avatars-Virtue Radio Calendar: Just when are all those talented DJ’s and streamers broadcasting? Don’t just guess, check out there very helpful calendar! Never again will you wonder when’s the best time to tune in! NBNN Calendar: This calendar provides a great schedule for NBNN and WRFB programing as well as many other community events. If you’re a fan of the Laz & Jack show or even if you’re hoping to catch them in action for the first time, this is the calendar for you! SotA Event Calendar: Event participants, take heed! Thoryk Omara has done a wondrous job creating a community event calendar which is available to all players of Shroud of the Avatar. Please make an effort to support this new calendar. The more resources players have at their disposable for event notifications, the better! Community Event Resources: Here are some fantastic resources for tracking down community events or posting your own events. Become involved! Create! Explore! Make friends! But most of all, have fun! One-Time Community Events Forum: Sometimes events happen only a single time, so you’ll not want to miss out on these events as they occur. Check out the forums routinely to spot these! Recurring Community Events Forum: Some events occur on weekly or monthly schedules which are a great way to routinely meet up with friends and to make new ones. Be sure to check this forum frequently for new events or time changes to existing ones. Game Master (GM) Potion Request Procedures: Shroud of the Avatar has an amazing in-game consumable for player event holders — the Potion of Temporary GM Powers! Players wishing to enhance their in-game community event by having GM Powers at their disposal need to simply follow the procedures outlined in this forum thread. Player Event Trophies and Special Item Requests: Would you like to request a special trophy or renamed item for a player event you’ve created? Head on over to this thread to see what’s available and to obtain more information about request procedures. Player Radio Station Forum: If you want to check out the latest and greatest from our in-game radio stations, go to the radio stations forum! If you’re a DJ, be sure to advertise your time slot and venue in this forum. Player Livestreams & Videos Forum: If you’re searching for a Shroud Streamer to watch, head on over to the streamer forum! If you are a live streamer for Shroud of the Avatar, be sure to advertise your Shroud stream by posting in this forum. Town Directory Forum: Want to find a town to live in or get your town listed in the directory, head over to the forums and check it out! Guild Directory Forum: Looking for a guild or want to get yours posted in the guild directory? Head on over to the forums and check it out! Fire Lotus Tavern: This wondrous role-playing and story writing forum is the spot to be if you love fan fiction and role-play. Community Resources: Looking for links to community and official resources for Shroud of the Avatar? Well look no further. On this page you’ll find links to a plethora of helpful resources created by the dev team or the community. SO many options to stay tuned-in with fellow community members. Please take advantage of all these wonderful options. Happy adventures, Avatars! Project to Support: Shard RPG Shard Studios invites you to enter the fantastic world Dárdünah, the vast shard of a shattered realm, as presented in the colorful pages of the SHARD RPG! Many years in the making, this system allows players to choose from a wide variety of animal people who are the main cast of the many adventures this otherworldly setting offers. Skyships glide through shimmering clouds past majestic crystal peaks. Giant insects prowl alien jungles or lurk in the sparkling emerald seas. Warriors with blades of diamond and amber duel across crimson sands. And mystics chant in shadowy chambers as their spirits wander abroad. Intro Sheet: For a quick glimpse into the world of Dárdünah, be sure to download the intro pdf! It’s packed with great information and features beautiful artwork, not unlike the artwork found throughout the many pages of this gaming system’s gorgeously designed manuals. Core System Manuals: It’s easier than ever to delve into Dárdünah, World of the False Dawn, with the Core Books Bundle! If you’ve never had the opportunity to experience this unique gaming system and setting, now’s your chance! This bundle includes two beautifully illustrated, full-color, hardcover books: the original Basic Compendium and the Magic and Martial Arts book! They contain everything you need to begin your adventures, and include instructions for the ritual magic and martial arts combat systems. These manuals also include 90 new Animal Templates upon which to base your character! Other Shard RPG Products: So many more manuals and gaming materials are available! Everything an avid tabletop role-player and game master needs to delve into the world of Dárdünah! So if you’re ready to experience a gaming world like no other, check out what Shard Studios has created for tabletop role-players on the Shard RPG official website! You’ll most certainly be immersed and amazed by the offerings of the Shard RPG! Project to Support: Shadow of Valhalla Shadow of Valhalla is a visceral physics-based VR combat game with dynamic RPG elements, set within an ancient realm of Viking lore and mystic powers! Early Access beta includes “endless horde mode” featuring a variety of enemies with progressive difficulty. Also, players can discover many magic spells to unlock! So much more is coming! Finn Staber with Chicken Waffle, will join the Shroud of the Avatar team on Twitch during their Friday the 28th livestream to showoff this new Early Access game! Also, here is a teaser video on YouTube:  The development team is working hard to create additional environments and new quests! Shadow of Valhalla is available on Steam as Early Access. Additional features coming to the game: More Enemies! More Environments! More Magic Spells! RPG Quests! Weapon Forging and Crafting! Much, much more! If you would like to learn more about Shadow of Valhalla, be sure to stop by the main webpage for the game as more news becomes available! Project to Support: Dragon Fight Darkstarr has also been hard at work with the team for Dragon Fight VR which recently went live on Steam! Dragon Fight VR is an internal experiment to capture the “essence” of a dragon fight, the classic penultimate experience of every fantasy story. We wanted to create a short visceral, realistic experience stripped of user interface, lobbies, scores, levels, and other visual intrusions that might distract. There were some key elements of fighting a dragon that we wanted to capture and we felt VR was uniquely qualified to convey: Face to face with a large scale hostile creature trying to kill you Using a sword and a shield Fire! Nowhere to run! This started out as an internal experiment to learn some things about VR’s capabilities, be reductionist in our designs, etc. We felt that the experiment was successful enough to release as a free experience to share. Enjoy! Available for free on Steam! Project to Support: Avatar Express [Forum post by Vladamir Begemot] I’m pleased to report that The Avatar Express is clacking away furiously. News is being delivered and we have established systems to deliver it directly to your brain. You can use one of those systems by following us on Twitter at @avatar_express. Even more reliable due to its fully automated nature is joining us on the Discord server. News items are posted there via RSS. Or you can subscribe to RSS directly on the site. If you run an event, quests, etc, please consider helping out by self reporting. The Shroud community is big, and many things are happening that are never seen by others. With 10k monthly users, we would need a full time staff to track down everything that is happening. You can fill out the contributor form, message @that_shawn_guy here or post in the Discord server that you would like to help. There is no commitment once signed up, you can post as much or little as you like. Writing up your own events has several benefits beyond the immediate exposure. It serves as a record for others to see the history of New Britannia as we create it, in an attractive format. Publishing in the Express also has a higher chance than the forums of being seen by search engines and random readers, thus bringing more eyeballs and new players to the game. It will even make posting in the forums easier! You can upload images to your news item, and then link to those images in your forum post. No more need for 3rd party image hosts! So if you have something going on in your guild or town, or want to be a Reporter, Cartographer or Historian, please join us! Resources: Players Helping Players The official SotA New Player Welcome Forum and the Player Created Resources Forum have the best player created resources for Shroud of the Avatar, whether it’s a Player Written Guide, a Video Walk-through, or a Wiki-type Website. Visit the official Community Resources page for a complete listing of all things community. View the full article
  4. Here is another great story from PhoenixWolf, entitled The Box with No Soul Background music by Smartsound Destiny tapped her pen mindlessly while she talked on the phone. One of the residents of the mental institution had run away just over a day ago, causing quite a stir. George, the escapee, wasn’t a difficult person. He took his medications without complaint, did everything he was asked to do, and never caused trouble with the other patients. It was a shock to his orderlies and doctor when he managed to escape and got stopped by police over 100 miles away. “Okay, I’m sending someone there to pick him up. He should be there in about two hours. Will that be okay?” She continued to tap the pen, an anxious gesture. She wanted to spread the good news that they found George, and that he was coming home safely. “Okay, thank you, sir. Please call me if anything comes up. Yep, you too. Goodbye.” She pressed the receiver button to end the call, then immediately dialed George’s doctor. “Dr. Steele, this is Destiny. I just got off with the police officer who has George.” “He’s not hurt, though he’s a little out of it, and may be going through withdrawals from his meds. Otherwise, he’s not hurt and is being cared for until we can get him picked up.” “Yep, I’ll call you when he gets here. You’re welcome, doctor.” ___________________________________________________________________________ George sat on the shady bench, his hands wrapped around a tiny brown paper wrapped box and held close to his chest. He hadn’t said much to the police officer, Sgt. Lee. He was finishing a phone conversation with someone at the mental institution. He knew he would have to go back. The thought of that fact made him shudder. “Hey, are you hungry?” Sgt. Lee said. “Some people are coming to get you, so we have some time.” “Yes,” George said, looking cautiously at the officer’s equipment belt. “Are you going to put me in handcuffs?” “That’s up to you. Are you going to run away or fight me?” “No. Can I have a real hamburger?” “Okay, we can do that,” the officer said, gesturing toward his car. ____________________________________________________________________________ An hour later, George finished the last of his meal. The diner was nice, quiet, and cool. He still held the small box carefully. Sgt. Lee watched George stare intently at the box. “That box must be really important to you,” Sgt. Lee said. “It is.” “What’s in it?” “My soul.” George said, hesitation drawing the words out a little. Sgt. Lee raised his eyebrows. “What’s it doing in a box?” George looked him in the eye, “It’s there for safe keeping.” The sergeant thoughtfully considered George before he spoke again. “It’s wrapped like a gift. Were you wanting to give it to someone?” “An angel,” George said, a little sadness showing in his eyes. “But I couldn’t find him.” “Angels can look like anyone, how would you know who to look for?” “This angel carries a sword and a shield.” Sgt. Lee took a sip of his water and settled back into his bench. “There aren’t many people that walk around with swords and shields,” he said. “No.” George looked back down at the small box. It felt heavy in his hands, but it was also very warm and comforting. He felt tired. His efforts to keep the package safe had been difficult, especially after leaving the institution. He had met plenty of people over the last 36 hours, none of which had looked right. Now, his time seemed to have run out. He looked at Sgt. Lee, his badge looked a little like a shield, but it was so small, and he didn’t carry a sword. Did he miss something? Were his prayers in vain, causing his search to be fruitless? Doubt gnawed at him. Sgt. Lee sniffed and wiped his hands on his napkin. “It looks like your ride is here.” George suppressed another shudder, but still stood up from his bench and walked out of the diner as Sgt. Lee walked behind him. The orderly who came for him opened the car door for George. He got in without saying a word, his actions felt heavy and final as the door closed. The orderly exchanged information with the police officer for a few minutes, then got into the car and began driving toward the highway. George looked back toward the police officer, but he was already gone. ____________________________________________________________________________ Destiny was still working at her desk when George walked through the doors, escorted by the orderly. He kept his eyes down, but made quick glances at the other residents who were in the foyer. He looked like he carried a heavy burden on his shoulders. “It’s good to see you’re okay, George.” He nodded, his eyes focused on a little scuff mark on the desk where Destiny tapped her pen. “He does have something that needs to be checked in,” the orderly said. George tensed visibly, but shook his head jerkily. “It’s just an empty little box,” he said with a sheepish expression. “Well, we still have to inspect any packages that come through, even little ones,” she said apologetically. “It will only take a minute, then you can have it back.” He shook his head again. “No, no. It’s okay, it’s empty! See?” He said, shaking the little box for her to see. “I wish I could just let you keep it, but I have to follow the rules and make sure nothing is in there,” she said. George took a step back and cupped the box in both hands. “No, I can’t let you open it. It’ll get away!” The orderly spoke calmly as he closed a little space between George and him. “George, it will be alright. She just needs to make sure there isn’t anything that can hurt someone.” George backed away a few more steps, the orderly followed him slowly. “That’s all I need to do. It will be quick, and I promise to put it back together again,” Destiny said. “No, you can’t, I’ll die!” George said. George’s expression became more frightened when a second orderly approached him from behind and placed a hand on his shoulder. “Come on George, we’re here to help you. We’re not going to let you get hurt or die,” the second orderly said, his voice warm and relaxed. “You can’t help me anymore.” Without warning, George threw his shoulder against the second orderly, knocking him off balance. He turned to run back toward the entrance doors when the first orderly wrapped his arm around George’s waist, stopping his escape before it even began. George’s screams of protest rang through the foyer and halls, echoed by the other residents. A male resident who was sitting in the foyer dropped to his knees, his face turned upward and babbling as if toward heaven. Two other residents began crying with their faces buried in their hands. One of the orderlies wrestling George tossed the brown box, now slightly smashed on one side, onto Destiny’s desk. Relieved slightly by the distraction of the box, Destiny took it and began to untie the string holding it. As more orderlies arrived to help, George continued to cry out and fight like his life depended on it. “No! No! No! Don’t open it!” Destiny could hear George yell over the cacophony. “I’m going to die! Don’t open it!” She heard him yell one last time before he was buried under the collective weight of the orderlies. She could still hear George clearly when he was half dragged, half carried away from the foyer, but the noise from the other residents hadn’t abated. She tried to focus on just the box, unwrapping the brown paper to reveal a plain white gift box, something a ring case could fit in. George’s screams became even more frantic as he was pulled down the hall, answered with equal intensity by the residents all around. She pulled the dented lid from the box, and stared, perplexed at its empty contents. At nearly the same moment, the screaming stopped. The sudden silence felt deafening to the noise before it. Destiny looked down the hallway, the orderlies now standing around the still form of George. His face was twisted into a frozen, silent scream. His skin had turned ashen white and seemed to stretch across gaunt features that weren’t there moments before. Her blood turned cold when she saw the other residents. Each one, whether in the halls behind the thresholds of their rooms, had their hands pressed together in front of bowed heads, as if in prayer. An eternity of stunned quiet filled the building, the only sound to be heard was the ticking clock on the wall. Echoes From the Caverns The post The Box with No Soul – by PhoenixWolf – narrated by Asclepius appeared first on Echoes from the Caverns. View the full article
  5. Greetings Fellow Avatars! Release 92 is upon us, and the potion system revamp has begun! Potions of Health, Focus, and Restoration have received the initial changes for the new system, with many more potion system updates in the works for R93! The User Interface (UI) has received many improvements, and a considerable amount of new crafting recipes have been introduced into the game! A large number of bug fixes and quality of life improvements are now live! For those wishing to... Avatar's Update #427: Play Release 92 Now! Potion System Update! UI Improvements! New Recipes!View the full article
  6. Greetings Fellow Avatars! Release 92 is upon us, and the potion system revamp has begun! Potions of Health, Focus, and Restoration have received the initial changes for the new system, with many more potion system updates in the works for R93! The User Interface (UI) has received many improvements, and a considerable amount of new crafting recipes have been introduced into the game! A large number of bug fixes and quality of life improvements are now live! For those wishing to participate in any community activities, upcoming one-time and recurring community events have been announced! Be sure to also review the Players Guide and Known Issues list for additional information on recent changes and upcoming fixes. Now, let’s see what we have for you in this week’s edition of Update of the Avatar: News Announcements Release 92 Patch Notes! Latest News Q&A Friday Livestream! Crown Store: Turbines, Invisible Walls, Turbines, Gothic Furniture, Seasonal Items & More! August Login Reward: Water Lantern 3-Pack! Release 92 Subscriber Login Rewards: Fancy Ice Box, Mini Ice Elemental, & Xenossian Spear! Streamer Rewards Program Bug Brigade & Testing Directives Upcoming Release Dates Community Updates Community Events & Resources Project to Support: Shard RPG Project to Support: Shadow of Valhalla Project to Support: Dragonfight Project to Support: Avatar Express Resources: Players Helping Players Release 92 Patch Notes! Below are a list of updates that are live as of Release 92 (R92) in the game of Shroud of the Avatar! R92 is a polish, improvement and bug fixes month. Content, additional improvements, and bug fixes are inbound for R93 next month which is slated to include two additional adventure scenes! We hope you enjoy the changes that are live today as of Release 92! Crafting, Decoration, & Inventory Item Changes: The following additions and changes to potions have occurred: A new “Aether” tier of potions and their associated recipes have been added to the Health, Focus, and Restoration series of potions, which is considerably more powerful than their “Imbued” counterparts. In addition to the new “Potion of Restoration, Aether” recipe, the Restoration Potion series now includes 6 more recipes to match the available tiers, batching, and combining recipe types available for Health and Focus potions, which also includes the previously missing Lesser and Greater versions of these potions. Other than the Aether version, all of the new Potion of Restoration recipes are available on Alchemy merchants. All of the new “Aether” potion recipes utilize a new crafted “Empty Flask, Hardened” that has a recipe which drops from Kobold Grenadiers. This flask recipe provides additional uses for Zinc as an ingredient. The new “Aether” recipes also utilize a new item called the “Aether Infusion” which can be purchased at alchemy merchants and also occasionally received from utilizing Uncommon Storehouse Containers. The Aether Infusion item will be used in many more recipes coming in the releases ahead. The recipe for the “Potion of Health, Aether” drops from the dragon in Ulfheim each time it is skinned. The recipe for “Potion of Focus, Aether” drops from the lich lord deep within Owl’s Head Sewers with every kill. The recipe for “Potion of Restoration, Aether” drops from the ghost commander within the Elysium Mines temple at a significantly common rate. Health, Focus, and Restoration potions now feature a 30 second cooldown and a stacking Elixir Receptiveness penalty of 25% which lasts for 30 second and can even affect existing potion buffs throughout the debuff duration. As more powerful potions are added to the game, many of which will be for situational use, we’ll be employing these effectiveness type debuffs to encourage more careful/planned use of potions yet still afford some flexibility if another potion must be taken in emergency situations at a reduced effect. (The first patch just after release will contain improvements to the stacking of this debuff.) All Health, Focus, and Restoration potions are now affected by Adventurer Level. The higher a player’s Adventure Level, the more effective all of these potions will be at all tiers. As the potion system continues to be revamped, nearly all upcoming potion work will include considerations for Adventurer and Production Level in the buff calculations. All potions other than Lesser Focus and Lesser Health have been removed from loot and merchants to encourage more potions being crafted by the community of crafters. The Lesser Restoration Potion has been added to the same loot tables and merchants which drop/sell the Lesser Health and Lesser Focus potions. Invisible walls/walkways (9 variations) have been added to the game. Of these 9 variations, 3 are craftable, and 6 are premium which are shown in the Crown Store section further below. These items become visible once a player approaches or when the player utilizes the Night Vision spell. The 3 crafting recipes drop in The Rise from the Imps in the invisible wall maze. As a result of their increased responsibility in New Britannia, these Imps hit the gym and have been increased to Tier 10. A new raw material has been introduced called Pure Elemental Ice which has a slight chance to drop from Tier 1 and Tier 5 Ice Elementals, but has a much better chance to drop from Tier 15 Ice Elementals. Overall, those 3 sources will provide very small amounts of this new crafting material into the player economy; however, a new frozen tundra adventure scene known as Jotungrund has been added which is the primary drop location for Pure Elemental Ice. Currently, the scene is available for early testing and the frost giant known as Jotun will not yet spawn. Jotun is only available for testing on the QA server. The first or second patch after release will add Pure Elemental Ice to the loot tables on the live server for barbarians throughout the scene, and the frost giant will be dropping larger quantities once he becomes available on live. Pure Elemental Ice can be placed as a decoration which looks like a tiny ice cube. Pure Elemental Sand can now be placed as a decoration, which looks like a small dirt/sand pile. A recipe for the “Floor Turbine, Low Power” has been added as a drop in the Mysterious Swamp. The kobold commander atop the keep has a 100% chance to drop the recipe, and all the kobold minions in and surrounding the keep have a very slight chance to drop the recipe. Three Wooden Mooring Post decorations (Short, Medium, Tall) can now be crafted, and their related crafting recipes are now available (and discoverable) on the decoration merchant in Owl’s Head. These items can provide an immersive look to your waterways but are also great for player-made jump puzzles. Two new decoration recipes have become available on Carpentry merchants. The Box Crate is a plain decoration item which works well in player vendor, docks, or crafting decoration areas, and the Box Shelf provides a rustic look to wall décor. Many cooking recipes now result in increased product, such as Butter, Flour, Pie Dough, Beef Stock, Cooking Oil, Nut Butter, Vegetable Stock, and Yeast. Animal Bone, Animal Sinew, and Fat can now be obtained across almost all animal butchering recipes. Commoner dead bodies can now be processed at butchery tables to provide items such as Rotting Flesh, Corpse Wax, Skeleton Bones, Skeleton Pelvic Bones, and Pristine Skeleton Rib Cages. The drop rates for these dead bodies has been significantly reduced. Unicorns now drop haunches, which can be processed into meat for the three unicorn food recipes. Unicorn haunches drop more regularly than the prior meat drops did, and the processing of the haunches provides extra meat, animal bone, animal sinew, and fat possibilities. Lingering gear exclusion info has been removed from Rare versions of The Ring of the Unknown BMC Member. All varieties of BMC rings can now occupy either ring slot with no exclusion considerations for other items. The Legendary version of the Ring of the Unknown BMC member no longer features the same bonus as the Epic, and therefore has been reduced to 5% Meticulous Mining Chance from 6%. A small blue light will now emit from the Radiant Energy Capacitor when it is activated. Potted flayer decorations and store entries have been renamed to indicate they are “potted” and 4-Story or Epic size descriptors have been removed as they were neither 4-Story nor Epic in size. The lich spawned from the Lich Fighter Spawner Statue T15 will no longer fight other creatures in player-created dungeons. 42 varieties of tables can now be scaled in size at a wider range so players can have more control over their size in comparison to chairs and other decorations. These 42 items were also adjusted if necessary to ensure they could be placed as POT decorations or onto other decorations which accept child objects such as castle walls or blocks. The item effects for the Shroud of the Avatar no longer features negative values. Aggro Boost was replaced with Attack Speed. Slight adjustments to other stats were made to ensure characters that are purely virtuous or purely anti-virtuous received appealing buffs. Base stats with neutral virtue are now also more appealing. Acara’s Shield of Defiance, Shield of the Wicked King, and Shield of Attraction (all variations) can now be socketed with non-imbued gems. The tooltips for skill unlearning items have been improved to better explain their functionality. Crafted Rectangular Shields now properly feature a block stat. The Two-Handed Sword of Elf Slaying now utilizes the proper animations for free/auto attacks. The Xen Penetrator, Shard of Night, and Halberd of the Sun patterns no longer apply the Legacy indicator (L) to the name of a patterned item. Artifact one-handed swords can now accept all one-handed blade patterns. Also, all varieties of the Cutlass of the Swashbuckler can also have their patterns removed using a pattern remover. Adjusted the VFX for the Lava Hot Tub so it no longer bleeds into a floor below if placed on upper floors. Colliders on the Tower Archway Teleporter have been adjusted to alleviate some placement problems as a decoration. The Beach Umbrella has received improved visuals. Various guide books provided to new players have received improvements. Combat & Skill Changes: The Damage-Over-Time (DOT) effect for Flame Fist has been fixed. NPC spell casters will use the Ice Field spell less often, and when it is cast it will have a shorter duration User Interface & Lua Changes: Players can now ask questions to developers by typing askadev <question> into universal chat. Developers will use this pool of questions for answer sessions during livestreams and within forum threads. Player can now see more stats for their character by clicking “Show More” at bottom of the character sheet. Many of these stats are approximations and could vary based upon your combat targets and their innate resistances. Broken and nearly-broken armor indicators will now show the name of the equipment items which are broken or nearly-broken. (This change will be in the first patch just after release.) A new “Dismount” button has been added to the user interface. The text for recipes in inventories or merchant interfaces will be displayed in light blue instead of white if the recipe is not yet learned. A new menu option has been added allowing players to double their mouse cursor size. By popular demand, the inventory UI has received another round of improvements. Tabs are once again available, and the “All Items” tab can be filtered for a large variety of item types. The Equipment, Crafting, Housing, and Consumable tabs are not affected by “Sorting Options” drop-down menu selections. The “All Items” tab label and the “Sorting Options” drop-down field label are both orange to help players associate the two items. A tooltip has also been added when the mouse hovers over “Sorting Options” to indicate the menu only affects the “All Items” tab. Added “Container” and “Artifact” to the “Sorting Options” drop-down menu in the inventory window. The “Hide Quest Item” inventory option (available by left-clicking the cog in the top-right corner of the inventory window) no longer hides quest items in the “All Items” tab if “Quest” is selected within the “Sorting Options” drop-down menu. “Show Locked Items” and “Hide Locked Items” are new inventory options (also available by clicking the cog mentioned above). “Hide Locked Items” will hide any locked items from view unless “Locked” is selected within the “Sorting Options” drop-down menu, in which case they would only be visible in the “All Items” tab. Players can once again sort by name or weight in their inventories. The icon which opens the Social window will now display the correct player count. Teleport scrolls will now be affected by the “Show PvP Zone Confirmation” option available in the Multiplayer menu in Options. Issues pertaining to the width for the Decoration Palette window have been fixed. An overly transparent “X” button in the bank interface is now fully visible. Crafting material bonuses displayed in tooltips should now properly show stats for negative effects. Player Economy, Rewards, & Loot Changes: A new artifact known as the Necklace of the Meticulous Forester has been added to loot tables in Serpent’s Spine Foothills and Serpent’s Spine Mines. The bandits in the foothills have a slight chance to drop the Common version of this artifact. The kobolds within the mines have a slightly better chance to drop the Common version of this artifact. The mysterious lich lord at the bottom of the pit will always drop the Common version of this artifact with small chances at an Uncommon or Rare version being possible. Salvaging the necklace provides chances to yield an Imbued Jewel of the Meticulous Forester, which can only be applied to crafted/non-artifact rings and necklaces. All potions and poisons have been removed from loot tables and merchants, except for Lesser Health and Lesser Focus potions. These lesser potions were also added to many loot tables and merchants, with many more lesser potion varieties coming in the future. With the removal of many potions from loot and merchants, players will have more potions viably available for crafting and posting for sale on their player vendors. Cinnamon Bark, Browncap Mushrooms, and Pecan Nuts have been removed from NPC merchants. All 3 items have increased chances to appear in Grey and Yellow Supply Bundles, and as Storehouse Container rewards. Cinnamon Bark now also has significant chances to drop from Fauns. Pecan Nuts now have increased drop rates with squirrels and can also be found in containers and destructible crates throughout Novia. Browncap Mushrooms can also be looted from all tiers of fungus creatures. Zinc, which is utilized in the new “Floor Turbine, Low Power” recipe, has been added to loot tables for all clockwork creatures, with a significantly higher chance to drop from Automatons. The drop rates of the Two-Handed Sword of Elf Slaying on non-control point kobold fighters (T2 through T10) have been increased. Drop rates for Kobold Essences have been increased to be more on par with the drop rate of Elf Essences. Also, Kobold Essences will drop from many more T5 Kobold types than before. Clockwork Dragons now also drop significant amounts of mechanical parts as loot. Granite mining nodes will now yield significantly more granite. Subscribers to the Rewards Program can now choose the glowing, glowing pulse, and sparkling pink dyes when utilizing their Dye 12-Pack Reward. The gold value for crafted belts has been reduced. World, Quests, and Miscellaneous Changes: Jotungrund, the new icy adventure scene has become available on live to allow players more expanded testing opportunities for the scene. The giant will not be available until R93, but players can explore the scene and engage in various roaming bears, barbarians, and air elementals. Aerie: Fixed a typo in Arabella’s conversation. All Outskirts: The adventurer trainers in Blood River Outskirts, Highvale Outskirts, and Solace Bridge Outskirts now have the title “Basic Adventurer Trainer.” Also, the Blood River Outskirts adventurer trainer now shares his name, Titus. Arch Lapin: Fixed errors in the “Collect 3 Bones” task. Ardoris, Aerie, and Resolute: Improved the logic which displays compass markers for the Devotional Caretakers’ “Tell <City> About <Cabalist>” tasks. (Players who have lingering compass markers should say the related Cabalist name to one of the caretakers in that city to help clear the marker.) Battle of Solace Bridge: Edvard no longer gives the “Investigate the Undead Mystery!” task, Also, Avatars already on this task may find it automatically archives itself. Battle of Solace Bridge: Added a safety so that the “Speak to Edvard the Wanderer” task automatically archives. Blood River Forest: Every sack in this scene now guarantees at least one item for the first person looting that sack. Bramble: Added a mailbox next to the bank stall. Brittany Estates: Brush and trees clipping into housing lots and buildings have been fixed. Brittany Wharfs: Avatars will now get this city’s town crier compass marker when entering from the default entrance or the main docks. Eastmarch: Fixed a typo in Millicent Davis’s responses. Elad’s Lighthouse: Moved a lot marker outside of the lot boundaries. Elysium Mines: Fixed several stuck spots. Etceter: Added missing conversation elements for Eric. Etceter Crag Mines: Corrected the scale of many oversized ore nodes. Explosive Chest: Fixed an issue where the explosion effects were incorrectly repeating. Graff Island: Added a compass marker to lead players to Lauran Graff when they have Samael’s broken ring. Necropolis Barrens: Changed the logic by which the “Give Another Dead Body to Davropos” task to improve automatic archiving. North Drachvald Spur: Updated the mine so that rain no longer falls inside. Northwood: Improved the logic used to archive Clara’s “Recover Chess Piece” task. Novia: Increased the chance that a Naughty Brat random encounter will appear in North Paladis. Port Graff: Corrected the label for a teleporter boat to correctly say it leads to Player-Owned Towns. POT Underground Template: Fixed an area where players could get outside the play space. Random Encounters: In addition to a message saying “You sense a great threat approaching….” before a wave of higher-threat enemies approach, there’s now a second message saying “You sense the greatest threat has passed….” after those enemies have been defeated. Resolute: Removed the schedule from Molly the alchemist because her off duty conversation wasn’t working properly. Resolute: Fixed a typo in the response for “avatar” used by the knights in this scene. Resolute: Sean Campbell has been scolded by human resources and has agreed to no longer obsessively close the building door. Ruins of Ravensmoor: Made small updates to some conversations. Also, players can now delete the Roedberk quest items. Skrekk: Returned the south exit archway back to its correct location. Solace Bridge: The “Speak with Frightened Child” task is now easier to complete. Storehouse Containers: Corrected the name of the “Animal Hide” crate. Also, added hide props to the crate. Well of Aldur: Fixed a stuck spot. Well of Aldur: For the scholar, fixed a typo in his fragments response as well as adjusted some of the daily turn-in logic. Well of Aldur: Fixed an issue with some cyan-colored collision which was unintentionally visible. Yew: Improved Pendro’s response about Yew, and he no longer indirectly refers to himself in the third person. Yew: The elevator no longer sinks into the mud. Fixed various decoration surfaces in the Ornate Triple Connection Marble Dungeon Foyer. Players no longer get stuck in small doorways as a result of recent improvements to movement up stairs and small obstacles. Fixed various error spammers which were causing lag in some situations. Fixed the bug which allowed players to play (and fish!) as a ghost indefinitely. Fixed movement issues with a number of larger footprint pets like bears, crocodiles, young dragons, corpions, spiders, and earth/ice elementals. Fixed for an issue which prevented dismounting when another player was in the same scene. Players will no longer sink into the ground slightly when idle. A new store section has been added in the Adventure Design area called “Magical Walls & Walkways” to accommodate the new Invisible Walls and Walkway items as well as future offerings. A new store section has been added in the Adventure Design area called “Traps & Mechanisms” to accommodate the new turbine and decorative trap store items. To improve performance, view distances for NPCs are now based on their size on your screen rather than fixed distances. The Ardoris PvP arena now features several more ankhs for resurrection. The dragon in K’rul will no longer fly into the hallway. Player-Owned Town Changes: Ahnen Hain: Upgraded to City. Consolidated interconnection boats. Broken Ground: Added new POT in the south side of the central island of Mistrendur. Crossroads Alleys: Upgraded to Metropolis. Hammaburg: Consolidated boats into one list teleporter boat. M’hul Island: Upgraded to Hamlet. Mist Village: Added City to shoreline near Grumridge. Mossrest: Upgraded to village and moved to near Soltown. Mysteria: Upgraded to Metropolis. NobleBright: Upgraded to Village. PaxLocus: Upgraded to Crossroads Village. Rajazel: Upgraded to Town. Salem: Upgraded to City. Skalabrekka: Moved to Novia on the road north of Soltown. Soltowns Harvest: Added Hamlet on the road west of Soltown. Latest News Q&A Friday Livestream! The weekly Community Livestream is Friday, July 30th at 4PM CT on Twitch! Join Chris “Atos” Spears and other members of the development team for a community 1-hour livestream! To enter the prize drawings, type “live in the sunshine” into any in-game chat channel OR make a purchase on the website Add-On Store. Please submit questions using in-game universal chat by typing “askadev” before your question. We’ll do our best to answer these questions live on the stream, and we’ll even be periodically posting answers to some unanswered questions in the forums each month. Watch on Twitch, Friday at 4 PM CT! Atos and other members of the Shroud of the Avatar development team go live very frequently on twitch.tv/shroudoftheavatar — be sure to get the channel on follow for notifications so you can join us right as we go live! Also, if you’ve missed our latest streams, check out our archive of content at our YouTube Channel. Like! Follow! Subscribe! Prizes!!! Don’t forget to also join the Shroud of the Avatar team and community over at all our social media venues: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ShroudoftheAvatar/ Catnip Games Twitter: https://twitter.com/catnipgames Shroud of the Avatar Twitter: https://twitter.com/ShroudofAvatar Shroud of the Avatar Discord: https://discord.gg/GuBXakQ Crown Store: Invisible Walls, Turbines, Gothic Furniture, Seasonal Items & More! Many new store items are coming your way in the month ahead! Keep an eye out each week as the following items become available in the Crown Store. Available today on July 29th, Floor Turbines! The Medium and High Power Turbines will shoot players up into the air at different altitudes when they jump from the surface! The Low Power Turbine has been added to the game as a crafting recipe. A large variety of gothic furniture and lighting has also been added to the store! “Choose One” items for the various letter and number packs available on the store is now also available, which allows players to pick a single letter or number instead of purchasing an entire pack. Floor Turbine, High Power Floor Turbine, Medium Power Gothic Display Case Gothic Side Table Gothic Wall Coat Rack Gothic Serving Table Gothic Pedestal Gothic Heavy Study Chair 6-Pack Gothic Footstool Gothic Bench Gothic Stand Gothic Long Wooden Storage Chest Gothic Wooden Chair 6-Pack Gothic Wood & Canvas Room Divider 3-Pack Gothic Great Hall Long Chain Fancy Iron Chandelier Gothic Great Hall Fancy Iron Chandelier Gothic Long Chain Fancy Iron Chandelier Gothic Fancy Iron Chandelier Block Letter (Choose One) Block Number (Choose One) Ornate Brass Number (Choose One) Ornate Runic Letter (Choose One) Becoming available on August 6th, 8 new Xenossian Shields featuring amazing predesigned heraldry as well as a customizable version which allows for player-created heraldry! For those town owners and water lot owners wishing to decorate their water surfaces, two varieties of piers have also been added to the store: Ancient Xenossian Round Shield 8-Pack Ancient Xenossian Round Crab Shield Ancient Xenossian Round Gorgon Shield Ancient Xenossian Round Phoenix Shield Ancient Xenossian Round Ram Shield Ancient Xenossian Round Corpion Shield Ancient Xenossian Round Ship Shield Ancient Xenossian Round Sphinxes Shield Ancient Xenossian Round Triskelion Shield Ancient Xenossian Heraldry Round Shield Wooden Pier with Ladder Wooden Pier 5-Pack Becoming available on August 13th, a painting of a flower by community member Irishize! Also, 6 varieties of invisible wall and walkway packs have been added to the store, with smaller craftable versions of these invisible items now also available when players obtain the in-game recipes from the Imps in The Rise. Players can only see these invisible items by standing very close to them or if the Night Vision spell is activated. In the months ahead, players can expect to see more magical wall and walkway varieties becoming available which are triggered by different effects and actions: Flower Painting Invisible Wall, Medium (5-Pack) Invisible Wall, Wide (5-Pack) Invisible Wall, Tall, Medium (5-Pack) Invisible Wall, Tall, Wide (5-Pack) Invisible Walkway, Medium (5-Pack) Invisible Walkway, Long (5-Pack) Becoming available on August 20th, a painting of community member Xee and a Floating Crate 3-Pack which is perfect for waterway jump puzzles and decoration: Painting of Xee Floating Crate 3-Pack The Summer Seasonal store items are still available! These rare summer items will remain on the store until September 25th: Hula Emote Fire Dance Emote Fire Dance Cross Emote Flame Stained Glass Table Lamp 3-Pack Flaming Bagpipes Island Spear Flame Scimitar Island Flower Crown Island Dress Flame Shield Firedancer Outfit The Lord British Birthday seasonal store items are also still available! These rare items will remain on the store until August 5th: Replenishing Lord British Birthday Cake 2021 Replenishing Lord British Birthday Cake 2020 Replenishing Lord British Birthday Cake 2019 Replenishing Lord British Birthday Cake 2018 Replenishing Lord British Birthday Cake 2017 Replenishing Lord British Birthday Cake 2016 Replenishing Lord British Birthday Cake 2015 Replenishing Lord British Birthday Cake 2014 Lord British Basement Entrance Eternal Pattern Lord British Cloak Lord British Fur Collared Cloak Lord British Shield Lord British Shield Pattern Pack 31 Varieties of Rare and Year-Round Fireworks To see a full listing of all the items which rotate through the Vault, we have prepared a forum post showing all items which could appear throughout the year! August Login Reward: Floating Lantern 3-Pack! Log in during the month of August, and you’ll receive three fantastic Water Lanterns which can be placed on water or on other flat decoration surfaces! Release 92 Subscriber Login Rewards: Fancy Ice Box, Mini Ice Elemental, & Xenossian Spear! Avatars! Rewards Program login items for Release 92 are a must have — don’t miss out! Reward Program members must login during Release 92 to receive these special login items: Ancient Xenossian Spear Fancy Ice Box Miniature Ice Elemental Pet The Shroud of the Avatar Rewards Program lets you earn the best rate on purchasing Crowns, AND receive monthly reward items! For the low price of $9 USD per month you will receive the following: 900 Crowns of the Obsidians every month Monthly Login Reward Items (about 3 per month) Exclusive Title every 3 months 3 Months: Keeper of the Faith 6 Months: Keeper of the Word 9 Months: Keeper of the Vow 12 Months: Keeper of the Flame 15 Months: Keeper of the Oath 18 Months: Keeper of the Pledge 21 Months: Keeper of the Bond 24 Months: Keeper of the Promise 27 Months: Keeper of the Covenant Pick any Dye 12-Pack every 6 months Pick any three of these 7 Obsidian Potions every month: Potion of Capacity: Increases carrying capacity Potion of Conservation: Reduces reagent use chance Potion of Expedience: Swift gathering on all gathering skills Potion of Precision: Increases Meticulous Collection to all gathering skills Potion of Preservation: Reduces armor and weapon damage Potion of Reclamation: Increases Salvage and Repair to all production skills Potion of Stamina: Decreases focus use from sprinting Updates to the Streamer Rewards Program! Several months ago, a program was proposed for the Streamers of Shroud of the Avatar. The ultimate goal being to showcase Shroud of the Avatar while giving SotA streamers a reward for their efforts. The program is currently in Phase I, with Phase II technology currently being discussed and worked internally. So, let’s talk Phase I! Phase I: Streamers who wish to be included in the Streamer Program must contact Laney via in-game mail or in a private message on the forums with their Character Name and Twitch Channel information. If you have already signed up for the program in the past, fear not, you’re on the list, and you don’t need to reapply. Streaming Rewards Program participants must adhere to our Terms of Service (TOS) and Community Rules while Streaming Shroud of the Avatar. Streaming Rewards Program participants must stream at least 10 hours of Shroud of the Avatar ACTIVE game play to remain in the program with reward accrual. Streamers will receive a one-time digital reward of in-game items after meeting the program’s requirements: Streamer’s Cloak, Streamer’s Camera, and a brand-new LIVESTREAMING title. Future incremental rewards will occur at 6-month intervals. (More information to come). Rules: To qualify for Streamer Rewards, each streamer must continue to meet the minimum requirements for 60 days after application. To accrue additional rewards, Streamers must stream SotA a minimum of 10 hours per month, tallied on the 1st day of each month, to remain in the program. Streamers must be actively playing the game during their streams. Being away from the keyboard (AFK) for short periods is acceptable. If Twitch indicates the streamer is playing SotA but they are streaming other content or a timeout/login screen, they risk being removed from the program. Items of Note: SotAbot: Streamers in the program will be included in the SotAbot StreamPop function, appearing in the player-streaming channel in Discord. Graphics & Overlays: An optional “Streamers Kit” is available to the participating streamers as well as all players of Shroud of the Avatar, which includes graphics, overlays and other material. Watch the forums for more information, coming soon, regarding Titles, future rewards and for info on Phase II of the program. We love our Streamers, so get out to Twitch and follow them, watch them, and support them! Bug Brigade & Testing Directives! The Bug Brigade was established to improve how the community and the development team work together to improve the game. Since the Brigade’s inception, the program has gone through a number of changes and was eventually placed on hold. The stability of the game is as important to the development team as it is to the players, therefore the program was revamped and was recently relaunched. The Brigade has been up and running for two months now, and the volunteers are getting into a good rhythm for verifying and submitting bugs to the developers. If you have reported a bug that has not yet been addressed, please be patient while the backlog is being worked. The Brigade is working diligently to cleanup the backlog of bug reports posted by players on the forums. As was recently announced on a Twitter post by Chris “Atos” Spears, the upcoming development time for Release 84 will be primarily spent working many of the verified bugs which have been submitted to the team by the Bug Brigade. This focused effort on bug fixes would not be possible without the recent efforts of the Bug Brigade. Please take the time to thank these bug hunting aficionados when you encounter them in your travels! In turn, the development team would like to express a big thank you to the Bug Hunters! These community members are doing a fantastic job bringing so many bug reports to the team, and they’re doing it in a way which makes the process smooth and efficient. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Already, much improvement has been noticed by the development team, and we’re so very excited to see the program successfully back in action! The development team would also like to thank all of those who took time out to participate in the QA Testing Directive for the upcoming Mount System. Thanks to your hard work and dedication, many issues and bugs were identified and fixed prior to the system going to the Live Server! Keep up the great work! For those that wish to participate in future bug hunting endeavors, please check the forums regularly for upcoming QA Testing Directives. Also, the Bug Brigade would like to welcome its newest Bug Moderator, Echondas! Please congratulate him the next time you see him in-game or on the forums. This new member expands the Bug Moderator team to: Alley Oop, Echondas, and Justyn. Thank you Moderators! Your efforts are highly valued by the development team! Don’t forget, the Bug Brigade is open to all players in good standing, and the bug rewards are back! And they are SWEET! They will be awarded on a monthly progression basis with only minimal requirements to qualify. The available rewards to receive in progression via qualifying participation are as follows: Antennae Head Gear and Forum Title 1: “Bug Hunter” Single Ant Cloak Lady Bug Backpack Bug Painting A and In-Game Title 2: “Associate of Aphids” Ant Farm Insect Leg Table Many Ants Cloak and In-Game Title 3: “Bachelor of Beetles” Bug Painting B Bug Sprayer Bug Painting C and In-Game Title 4: “Master of Moths” Butterfly Chair Corpion Chair (Pictured Below) Yellow Fireflies VFX and In-Game Title 5: “Doctor of Dragonflies” Hacked Oracle Flyer Giant Blue Butterfly Pet Butterfly Mask Dragonfly pet Fairy Wings Monarch Butterfly Pet Dragonfly Wings Hacked Oracle Crawler Blue Butterfly VFX Orange Fireflies VFX Orange Butterfly VFX If you’ve come to think of Shroud of the Avatar as your home, signup and help make New Britannia a better place to live! To learn more about joining the Bug Brigade, please read the announcement thread by Ravolox in the main Bug/Feedback forums. Upcoming Release Dates Be sure to check out the Upcoming Events page for spotlighted events plus links to various areas to post or find events on our forums. The upcoming 2021 Release Schedule is as follows: Release 92 – Jul 29 (Polish) Release 93 – Aug 26 (Content) Release 94 – Sep 30 (Polish) Release 95 – Oct 28 (Content) Community Updates & Resources Greetings event holders and event attendees! So many fun and exciting events are available in the upcoming weeks. Be sure to get out there and participate, make some new friends, perhaps make some great emote, recipe, or gear trades, or get some adventuring and role-playing into your mix! Here are spotlighted events or updated community resources that we’ve noticed popping up lately on the official forums: Catnip Games Contests: Catnip Games Monthly Fishing Tourney: Greetings Anglers! The monthly Catnip Games Fishing Tourney is live! Join in on the fun! SO many prizes available for the anglers of New Britannia! Catnip Games Monthly Screenshot/Video Contest: Avatars! For those of you skilled with the camera or screenshot key binding, a monthly screenshot and video contest is underway which features a large number of valuable prizes. The focus will be for players to submit creative or informative screenshots and videos of content introduced to the game during the latest 3 monthly releases. Catnip Games Monthly Treasure Hunting Contest: Want to go hunting for rare items? Want to see if you can beat other players in this quest for treasure? Well join in on the monthly treasure hunting contest, Avatars! Special Announcements: Fionwyn Wyldemane on WRFB: Join Fionwyn for music and community fun on WRFB every Saturday from 6PM to 8PM CT! The New Britannia Theater Troupe Needs YOU: If you would like to join this band of merry story writers and voice actors, give Asclepius a reply on the forums or send him a PM. Already there is a very rich selection of past work written and performed by the troupe which is available in audio form here at the Caverns.net. One-Time Events: Lained R91 Fishing Contest: For the duration of R91, the Player-Owned Town of Lained is running a fishing contest alongside the monthly Catnip Games Fishing Tourney. Lots of great prizes, Avatars — grab your fishin’ poles and head to the waters of Lained! Rajazel R91 Fishing Contest: Head on over to Rajazel for some extra fishing fun during Release 91! Prizes, prizes, prizes! Good luck, Anglers! Recurring Events: Trash to Treasure Dropped Items Turn-In: Some unscrupulous fella has been flooding the loot in New Britannia with junk: Headdresses, Wings, Backpacks, assorted miscellany of every sort. It’s time to clean this trash up and so a bounty has been placed on all gear crafted by Coswald Dirthmire that you find in loot. Turn in what you find every contest period! R92’s contest period lasts until August 24th! Ironhall Tournament & PvP Training: The Player-Owned Town of Ironhall holds weekly player training events every Saturday at 1PM CT. Events are held in the village of Virtus Mons in Ironhall and can be reached easily via use of the fast travel signs. M’Hul Island Monthly Fishing Contest: Join Asmodi M’hul and friends at M’hul Island for their monthly fishing tournament that lasts from Release Day to Release Day! Prizes are available! Lightbringer Isle Fishing Contest: Why not earn some extra prizes each month and participate in Lightbringer Isle’s monthly fishing tourney? Lots of fantastic prizes — don’t miss out! Combat & Crafting Sunday School: Head on over to Immortal City every Sunday from 7PM to 9PM CT to learn the tricks of the trade in combat and crafting! 500 Crown Fishy Prize: If you’re ever worried there isn’t an active fishing contest going on, well worry no longer! Sonja Solar and friends are running a continuous fishing contest in Brittany Fort “Now and Forever for All Eternity” which has wonderful prizes and objectives. Be sure to watch the video indicated in the “bagged” link provided to see the full explanation of the contest rules. RHEC Traveling Pop Up Fishing Contest: Keep an eye out in universe chat, trade chat, and the forums! Asmodi M’hul will routinely announces at least one pop up fishing contest every week for those anglers out there anxious for extra prizes and fun! PvP Fishing with RHEC: The RHEC anglers of New Britannia will be hosting PvP fishing contests in The Brave Coast! There are 3 tourneys which will take place on July 23rd and July 24th from 7PM to 9PM CT, and July 25th from 5PM to 7PM CT. Hope to see you there! Lightbringer Isle Auction: Ladies and gentlemen! The Citizens of Lightbringer Isle welcome you to the weekly auctions! The auctions are about bringing together people from all corners of the community, with the Lightbringer Isle’s market being the perfect place to do so! Join us every Sunday at 11AM CT! New Fan Fiction: Latest Plays from The New Britannia Theater Troupe: Gabriel Nightshadow, Asclepius, and friends have now made available the radio versions of “Daggers in the Dark” and “A Small Indiscretion” which feature many voices from players throughout the community. Don’t miss out on listening to these creative and highly intriguing stories! New Community Resources: Guide to Naming Housing Lots: The Guide Making Extraordinaire has stuck again! Anpu has made this fantastic guide for helping players rename their lots so the customized names can show on the new Lot Listing functionality. Read, learn, and give this Knight of New Britannia a thank you! New Skill Information at SotALore.com: A new section has been added to SotALore.com, and it’s a fantastic way to determine EXP required for achieving certain levels of skills by cost factor, and most certainly a great way to visual skill leveling in the game. Enjoy and thank you Gravidy! Community Calendars: Avatars-Virtue Radio Calendar: Just when are all those talented DJ’s and streamers broadcasting? Don’t just guess, check out there very helpful calendar! Never again will you wonder when’s the best time to tune in! NBNN Calendar: This calendar provides a great schedule for NBNN and WRFB programing as well as many other community events. If you’re a fan of the Laz & Jack show or even if you’re hoping to catch them in action for the first time, this is the calendar for you! SotA Event Calendar: Event participants, take heed! Thoryk Omara has done a wondrous job creating a community event calendar which is available to all players of Shroud of the Avatar. Please make an effort to support this new calendar. The more resources players have at their disposable for event notifications, the better! Community Event Resources: Here are some fantastic resources for tracking down community events or posting your own events. Become involved! Create! Explore! Make friends! But most of all, have fun! One-Time Community Events Forum: Sometimes events happen only a single time, so you’ll not want to miss out on these events as they occur. Check out the forums routinely to spot these! Recurring Community Events Forum: Some events occur on weekly or monthly schedules which are a great way to routinely meet up with friends and to make new ones. Be sure to check this forum frequently for new events or time changes to existing ones. Game Master (GM) Potion Request Procedures: Shroud of the Avatar has an amazing in-game consumable for player event holders — the Potion of Temporary GM Powers! Players wishing to enhance their in-game community event by having GM Powers at their disposal need to simply follow the procedures outlined in this forum thread. Player Event Trophies and Special Item Requests: Would you like to request a special trophy or renamed item for a player event you’ve created? Head on over to this thread to see what’s available and to obtain more information about request procedures. Player Radio Station Forum: If you want to check out the latest and greatest from our in-game radio stations, go to the radio stations forum! If you’re a DJ, be sure to advertise your time slot and venue in this forum. Player Livestreams & Videos Forum: If you’re searching for a Shroud Streamer to watch, head on over to the streamer forum! If you are a live streamer for Shroud of the Avatar, be sure to advertise your Shroud stream by posting in this forum. Town Directory Forum: Want to find a town to live in or get your town listed in the directory, head over to the forums and check it out! Guild Directory Forum: Looking for a guild or want to get yours posted in the guild directory? Head on over to the forums and check it out! Fire Lotus Tavern: This wondrous role-playing and story writing forum is the spot to be if you love fan fiction and role-play. Community Resources: Looking for links to community and official resources for Shroud of the Avatar? Well look no further. On this page you’ll find links to a plethora of helpful resources created by the dev team or the community. SO many options to stay tuned-in with fellow community members. Please take advantage of all these wonderful options. Happy adventures, Avatars! Project to Support: Shard RPG Shard Studios invites you to enter the fantastic world Dárdünah, the vast shard of a shattered realm, as presented in the colorful pages of the SHARD RPG! Many years in the making, this system allows players to choose from a wide variety of animal people who are the main cast of the many adventures this otherworldly setting offers. Skyships glide through shimmering clouds past majestic crystal peaks. Giant insects prowl alien jungles or lurk in the sparkling emerald seas. Warriors with blades of diamond and amber duel across crimson sands. And mystics chant in shadowy chambers as their spirits wander abroad. Intro Sheet: For a quick glimpse into the world of Dárdünah, be sure to download the intro pdf! It’s packed with great information and features beautiful artwork, not unlike the artwork found throughout the many pages of this gaming system’s gorgeously designed manuals. Core System Manuals: It’s easier than ever to delve into Dárdünah, World of the False Dawn, with the Core Books Bundle! If you’ve never had the opportunity to experience this unique gaming system and setting, now’s your chance! This bundle includes two beautifully illustrated, full-color, hardcover books: the original Basic Compendium and the Magic and Martial Arts book! They contain everything you need to begin your adventures, and include instructions for the ritual magic and martial arts combat systems. These manuals also include 90 new Animal Templates upon which to base your character! Other Shard RPG Products: So many more manuals and gaming materials are available! Everything an avid tabletop role-player and game master needs to delve into the world of Dárdünah! So if you’re ready to experience a gaming world like no other, check out what Shard Studios has created for tabletop role-players on the Shard RPG official website! You’ll most certainly be immersed and amazed by the offerings of the Shard RPG! Project to Support: Shadow of Valhalla Shadow of Valhalla is a visceral physics-based VR combat game with dynamic RPG elements, set within an ancient realm of Viking lore and mystic powers! Early Access beta includes “endless horde mode” featuring a variety of enemies with progressive difficulty. Also, players can discover many magic spells to unlock! So much more is coming! Finn Staber with Chicken Waffle, will join the Shroud of the Avatar team on Twitch during their Friday the 28th livestream to showoff this new Early Access game! Also, here is a teaser video on YouTube:  The development team is working hard to create additional environments and new quests! Shadow of Valhalla is available on Steam as Early Access. Additional features coming to the game: More Enemies! More Environments! More Magic Spells! RPG Quests! Weapon Forging and Crafting! Much, much more! If you would like to learn more about Shadow of Valhalla, be sure to stop by the main webpage for the game as more news becomes available! Project to Support: Dragon Fight Darkstarr has also been hard at work with the team for Dragon Fight VR which recently went live on Steam! Dragon Fight VR is an internal experiment to capture the “essence” of a dragon fight, the classic penultimate experience of every fantasy story. We wanted to create a short visceral, realistic experience stripped of user interface, lobbies, scores, levels, and other visual intrusions that might distract. There were some key elements of fighting a dragon that we wanted to capture and we felt VR was uniquely qualified to convey: Face to face with a large scale hostile creature trying to kill you Using a sword and a shield Fire! Nowhere to run! This started out as an internal experiment to learn some things about VR’s capabilities, be reductionist in our designs, etc. We felt that the experiment was successful enough to release as a free experience to share. Enjoy! Available for free on Steam! Project to Support: Avatar Express [Forum post by Vladamir Begemot] I’m pleased to report that The Avatar Express is clacking away furiously. News is being delivered and we have established systems to deliver it directly to your brain. You can use one of those systems by following us on Twitter at @avatar_express. Even more reliable due to its fully automated nature is joining us on the Discord server. News items are posted there via RSS. Or you can subscribe to RSS directly on the site. If you run an event, quests, etc, please consider helping out by self reporting. The Shroud community is big, and many things are happening that are never seen by others. With 10k monthly users, we would need a full time staff to track down everything that is happening. You can fill out the contributor form, message @that_shawn_guy here or post in the Discord server that you would like to help. There is no commitment once signed up, you can post as much or little as you like. Writing up your own events has several benefits beyond the immediate exposure. It serves as a record for others to see the history of New Britannia as we create it, in an attractive format. Publishing in the Express also has a higher chance than the forums of being seen by search engines and random readers, thus bringing more eyeballs and new players to the game. It will even make posting in the forums easier! You can upload images to your news item, and then link to those images in your forum post. No more need for 3rd party image hosts! So if you have something going on in your guild or town, or want to be a Reporter, Cartographer or Historian, please join us! Resources: Players Helping Players The official SotA New Player Welcome Forum and the Player Created Resources Forum have the best player created resources for Shroud of the Avatar, whether it’s a Player Written Guide, a Video Walk-through, or a Wiki-type Website. Visit the official Community Resources page for a complete listing of all things community. View the full article
  7. This is our first attempt at an audiovisual production. The video file is here: 3D Portal Adventure, Chapter One Either within or without, it is hotly debated, the vast multitude of universes and existence possibilities, there is said to be a forest that exists in none of them, but it connects them all. At the back corner of this forest between is a café where certain folk gather and socialize, with no visible impact upon their life stories…well, for the most part. This place is the Cross Time Cafe Their reasons and causes for being there vary as greatly as their number, but for a few, it is a respite from duties elsewhere. But ultimately, duty calls, and those bound to it must answer. The first to answer this call is Lady Bethelynn the White Guardian, formerly a unicorn princess of the Blue Mountain Blessing, now the proprietress of the Café, along with her great-grandsire, White Pony, [Picture of White Pony] a seemingly merry and mischievous old stallion, content to live a happy-go-lucky lifestyle, in contrast to her serious tone of life. Indeed, one would not immediately recognize them as being related, aside from their white fur. For starters, while he was completely equine in form, she was anthropomorphic, half-human in fact, standing upright at 8 feet 6 inches. Her forelimbs were arms, ending in hands with two fingers and an opposing thumb. Further, her alicorn, the spiraled horn from which unicorns project their magic, was no more. Lady Beth had been the victim of a magical catastrophe that had left her in this half-human, half equine shape. The accident has cause her alicorn to melt, burning a distinctive scar on her forehead, leaving her with a reminder of what she believed was her guilt in this accident. No less embarrassing, her equine mammary glands, once abdominal and fairly flat, had become human mammary glands, thoracic and anything but flat, causing her to gain unwanted attention, mostly from males. It did not take her long to become familiar with the phrase “my eyes are up here, if you want to keep on living”. [Lady Beth in the blue body suit] No longer able to project magic through her missing alicorn, she uses a pair of bracelets of a shiny silvery metal, given to her by an arch-mage who taught her how utilize magic in her humanoid form. Thus, did she become a warrior-mage, a protector, the White Guardian. It is that duty that now summons her. Away from her respite as café proprietress, and back to her duties as a protector. [Lady Beth in armor] In one the basements of the Café, Lady Beth stands before an archway, seemingly leading straight into a blank wall. She commences an arcane ritual, and a trans-dimensional portal begins to form with the archway. If she had hoped to do this unnoticed, her hopes were futile, for it wasn’t long before she had a small audience watching her. [PGA picture 1] Turning to her audience, she issued a caution. “You have no experience here. Now Go!! If you follow me, I cannot guarantee your safety.” A boldly striped royal tiger named TigerT spoke up. “I’d like to be of assistance, but I trust your abilities and judgement of risk. Still, wouldn’t it be more safe to take someone with you, than to go alone?” A fairly leonine figure with stripes covering half his body named CatDude, who was also in the audience, climbed the stairway to stand beside her. “My lady, life has only one guarantee for me, that it will someday end. Much as I wish that day to be far in the future, the importance of life is not derived but its length, but the quality with which it is lived You once asked us how brave we were, and I dared to say, “as brave as you need me to be.” Time for me put up. On last thought before we enter. I do not come to follow or to lead. Be it your pleasure, please let me walk beside you.” [PGA Picture 2] Lady Beth gave a barely perceptible nod, saying “First…I will wait here. For one hour. For you to gather your equipment and survival supplies. If you are not here this portal is closed. Second…this is not a vacation. Or a date. Keep your emotions in check. I need you to help protect my arsh, not stare at it.” A voice from the back of the room muttered “Apparently Lady Beth has to take on a speech impediment when using vulgar language!” “Understood, Lady Beth!” Replied TigerT. He ran off immediately to gather what may be of help, returning after a couple of rushed minutes with with a medium sized backpack, filled with: a few bottles of water, some high density food bars, a one gallon lightweight pot, a first aid kit, a small tent, a pocket knife, a lighter and a towel. “I got my sturdy cargo-pants and jacket too!” he grinned, wearing a belt with a folding spade attached to it. Donning a basecap, he said “Okay. I think I’m ready to go.” The Catdude busily donned his “Dragonscale” vest and trousers, muttering “That brand never let me down. Excellent protection with minimal sacrifice to agility.” Then set about inventorying gear: M-41 pulse rifle with grenade launcher, check 600 rounds ammo, 30 grenades, check BlasTech DL-44 pistol, check. While I do subscribe to hokey religions and use ancient weapons, a blaster at your side is a still a good idea. 5 power packs, check lightsaber, check. I’m a green blade myself. adamantium dagger, check. Forged by dwarves, enchanted by elves, always have final backstop. Runestone collection, check. Foolish mages may mock at runestone magic, until they run out of reagents and spell components. Letterman multi-tool, check multi-adaptive breathing mask, check. works underwater or in toxic gases. first aid kit, check. It is as much for you as for me. Relying on magical healing is probablematic. I can receive healing magic from others, sadly, in my own usage, I can only heal myself. 500 meter para-cord, check 30 days energy rations, check 4 liters of water, check a couple changes of underclothes and socks, check. Some lessons from mothers never do leave us. Towel, check. Never leave home without one. Strapping on his backpack, he met Lady Beth at the gate with two minutes to spare.– “I know, cutting it close. Always did give my teacher anxiety that way. My lady, about the last few things you said, I understand this is serious and I will conduct myself accordingly. I will keep my emotions in check as the Jedi have trained me to do. And I promise, I will keep my eyes where you need them. Let us proceed.” Catdude, offering a paw to TigerT for a pawbump, said “Well, mein guten Herren, I guess it’s pretty obvious who is the camper and who is the soldier in this motley crew of ours.” TigerT, accepting the pawbump, replied “I’ll let you know I can wield a pretty mean folding spade, Mister.” Catdude nodded “Glad to hear it, hopefully we won’t have to put it to use. “ That brings back some RL memories from ROTC, Sgt. M ends class with “What is the spirit of the bayonette?” Class responds with “Kill! Kill! Kill!” Then I pipe up with “What is the spirit of the e-tool? Kill! Maim! Mutilate!” Class burst out laughing, Sgt. M is not amused, orders “Class dismissed” with a “get the hell out of here.” tone to his voice. As we walk back to barracks, Cadet Okie, big smile on his face, says, “____, sometimes you have one seriously demented imagination.” I respond by reminding him of “All Quiet on the Western Front” and the use of spades and entrenching-tools there. He nods and says I’m right.– But back to our journey. On a lighter note, it seems our group stands at three: A lion, a tiger, and mare. Oh my!” [PGA Picture 3] Lady Beth casts a scornful look at the pair and says “Seriously?!” “sigh” Alright …. T, you’re in charge of setting up base camp and food prep….. CD’s in charge of security. This should provide us with the best arrangement of our resources. And gentlemen… if either of you become ill or injured – – tell me immediately. As long as you keep me alive, I’m the best first aid kit you’ll ever need. But I’ll warn you now… I have terrible bedside manners. CatDude earnestly replied “My lady when I am thusly geared up and attired, rest assured, I am serious. Unless that was a commentary on my punnery. I’m pretty certain your bedside manner can’t be any worse than that Andorian nurse on Sigma Lyra-d. I mean, when does a shrapnel wound to the shoulder require a…umm…uhh, never mind. By your command, I assume camp security and rearguard on the road. And my lady, I apologize if an earlier remark I made sounded like I was making light of coming events.” He ponders….CD? haven’t been called that since……… TigerT grinned and said “I agree – hope we don’t need the spade!” You’ll have to excuse us Beth, but I guess puns are one thing you’ll have to bear when we travel together. (I’ll try to keep it down) Camp and Food. Check. It is better to stay in good health anyway, but I’m glad we have you around if that option isn’t available. But now I’d say: Let’s not waste any more precious time. TigerT clicked his heels together and followed Beth onto the portal stairs. A noble cheetah-lioness, Mooncat, waved from the sidelines. “Have fun storming the castle…or whatever.” McClaw, a white tiger in the audience, offered Beth a small device. “I have duties here, but activating that should generate a signal I can home in on. And if there isn’t too much interference, it’ll act as a transceiver so you can request special equipment or resupply, too.” A grey Chakat, Kryslin, also waved at the trio. “As much as I’d like to join in, I can’t, for various reasons. Have fun storming the Castle!” [PGA Picture 4] Just as they were about to enter, Lady Beth turned to the pair and spoke. “There’s one more thing I should forewarn you about. Unless we’re in any danger – I prefer to sleep in the nude. This armor is not very comfortable. But if this makes either of you uncomfortable, then I will continue to wear my armor for sleep.” TigerT blushed deeply, and muttered “We.. We’re all adults here. So.. I guess we can ignore this. No need for you to be uncomfortable. Right, CD?” CatDude responded “Dragonscale* is not comfortable to sleep in either. So however you sleep is how you sleep. My armor is also coming off at night. But if it’s all the same to you, I’m keeping my shorts on while I sleep. I know, a silly human modesty some have said I should discard, but having so much of my humanity stolen… Also, I have been told I snore like a chainsaw, so I won’t be offended if either of you don earplugs. Although, if we’re are sleeping on the ground instead of bed, it won’t be an issue, the snoring only occurs in a bed, if I end up on my back. Maybe that’s why most complaints occur when I snooze on a chaise lounge or an easy chair.” A note from your humble narrator: * Dragonscale is not to be confused with the controversial failure called Dragon Skin. While superficially similar in appearance, Dragonscale was created three centuries later when the necessary nanotech needed to make it work came about. “No problem there, CD.”, said Tiger_T “I’m sure I have a pair of earplugs somewhere in my pants’ pockets. As a half-cat you can always say you’re just purring. I too usually go with shorts for sleep. *shrugs* The Catdude thanked his friends for the well wishes and then climbed the stairwell to stand at Beth’s side. “Well, my lady, it truly seems to be just the three of us. Let’s go forth.” Tiger_t also gave his thanks and joined the pair at the gate. [PGA Picture 5] Before stepping through the gateway, Lady Beth gave one last caution, “I hope nither of you are afraid of heights. Where we’re going—one wrong step…and you’re bye-bye.” NOTE from your Narrator: yes, the word “nither” is a word. It’s a Scottish dialectal variant of the word, “neither.” “Not to worry, my lady, I do not fear heights that will kill me. It’s the heights that will merely injure me that annoy me, because if it happens, then it is time wasted healing the injuries.” Said CatDude, “Hey Tig, is it wrong of me to be amused that Lady Beth is worried about a pair of felines having height anxiety? “It’s a valid concern, I guess.” Said Tiger_T, “I do not fear heights. I just have a healthy respect for them. I think of that as a good thing as it keeps me alert in situations where they matter. Although.. My hope is that we won’t need to climb any vertical mountain-sides, even if I do have inbuilt spikes to help keep my grip.” “At least we always land on our feet.” Said CatDude with a chuckle. End of Episode One Echoes From the Caverns The post 3D Portal Adventure – Chapter 1 appeared first on Echoes from the Caverns. View the full article
  8. The Isle of Xee, by Xee Background music by Smartsound The Isle of Xee was discovered in the early Earth year 2016 by a crew of pirates and their Captain, named Xee. Konahrik, Embys, Talimar, Reinkur and Sir Xee aboard the Dark princess locked up their manor on the Island in the Bay of Oracle Oasis and set out in search of the famed mines of gold and silver. It was a dark night with wind blasting the sails, and swells as tall as towers ensured that the Dark Princess and her crew didn’t see the ominous island in the storm. It was then that the Dark princess crashed into an uncharted island off the coast of Xenos. The ship lay in a wreck, smashed on the rocks and scattered on the beach. As days passed with no hope of rescue, the crew, led by Sir Xee, began to trek the island to see if they could discover any semblance of life. It was during their scouting that they came across a dark cave leading into a cavern not far from the beach. Sir Xee and the crew, with rope in hand, lowered themselves into the cave. In the cave a glimmer of light could be seen as they ventured intyo an open area, where they were greeted by a winged imp! The imp, standing in a mystic circle, smiled and introduced itself as Kruel, the island’s keeper. It explained that this island had been expecting us and that the storm drove us here. We sat and listened to the tale Kruel weaved into our minds. We soon learned that we had discovered something more exciting than gold or silver. The island was alive with magic, and guarded a secret that would see us all prosper beyond our wildest dreams. We took shelter with Kruel and learned the rituals which I dare not write in this journal, and will keep the secret to those that we trust. Days, weeks and years passed as we started to settle here on the island. We brought what remained of the ship ashore and started to rebuild. Using supplies we had brought along with our tools, we soon decided to make this our home. It was thus that the Isle of Xee was born on this day. We settled in our first built houses of stone near the dock we had built. The great city keep we decided to build above the caverns and sealed the entrance in a crypt so that others who land on the island would not discover the secrets. Years passed, and we started to travel the sea by longboats, finding our way by star to the nearby city of Xenos. It was there we ran into a merchant who built these flying machines called hot air balloons. We found these were a much safer way to travel between Xenos markets and the isle. It also helped keep unwanted travellers from landing on the island. We learned from a local in a tavern in Xenos of the rich mine that we had originally searched for. Soon the crew and Xee had riches flowing back and forth to the island, and the construction of a few houses turned into many. It was not long afterwards that the group decided to make a planned trip back to the homelands of Oracle with the purpose of conscripting more women and men into their ranks; this to help expand the hamlet into something bigger. As the years passed more people started to hear of the wealth through stories and word of mouth, and the isle started to grow. One night, while visiting the Guild leaders, Xee sat down with scribe Tila, who convinced him that he should look into the magic of her scrolls, promising that through the mystic arts this would allow transport to and from the isle. Xee liked magic, and was enraptured by this amazing concept; he immediately agreed to allow her to host a shop so that all may come and go at a faster pace. In the years that followed, the Isle of Xee grew quickly and was soon a village full of life. The Keep grew from a hall into a castle. Kruel the Imp had not lied to us with the promise of wealth. Soon every tavern was talking about this mysterious place, and many other like-minded adventure seekers came to visit the isle. The locals of the island started to open many shops, and their masterworks spread through the land, bringing even more wealth. Sir Xee soon became a Governor, as the numbers grew faster than imagined. Today the Isle of Xee is 20 strong as of October 28th 524 PC I must end this chapter here as guests are arriving soon for a feast on the island. We look forward to sharing with each other all the things we have learned. Perhaps you who are reading this will one day live here or have already done so. The island takes care of its own, and all that live here under its rule will prosper. We give thanks to Kruel and the island’s magic for providing —Xee Echoes From the Caverns The post The Isle of Xee – by Xee – narrated by Asclepius appeared first on Echoes from the Caverns. View the full article
  9. The Death Cake By PhoenixWolf, aka Alexander Huffman Background music by Smartsound Jorib padded up the ramp into his spaceship, a white box bouncing in his hands with his excitement. Behind him a human male in his early adulthood years stood wide eyed, gazing at a large stack of green sheets of paper in his hand. Jorib didn’t have any idea of how money worked on this planet, but he figured fifty thousand units of the human’s currency was more than enough for this purchase. The ramp closed and Jorib felt the inertia buffers turn on as the ship ascended into a safe orbit. “Norgat!” He squeaked out as he broke into a run down the corridor. “I got it! Come see quickly!” Jorib made excited giggling sounds as he entered the dining hall. Just as he placed the box on the table, Norgat shuffled in rubbing the sleep out of his eyes. Norgat was a short and stocky example of his species, just like Jorib. His head stalks, which usually stood straight up from the top of his head, were askew to one side, and dark lines creased his grey skinned face. The telltale signs of his most recent nap being deep and way too comfortable. “What?” Norgat said drowsily. “I got that human food item that I was telling you about! The confection that was named for bringing death upon those who dare eat it,” Jorib said with a dramatic wave of his stubby hands. Norgat stifled a yawn, ‘Okay…so, what are we going to do with a deadly dessert?” “What else! We’re going to eat it!” “What??” Norgat was definitely awake now. “I have prepared everything we need. We will not only brave this deadly confectionery, but survive to document its effects for science and posterity!” “By we, you mean me, don’t you?” “Not this time! I plan on consuming this human creation too. Just after I document your experience with it first.” Norgat stared at his companion for a silent moment. “You just want to see me suffer.” “No! Your physical health is important to me. How else will I learn from these humans without your expert assistance and experimentation?” Norgat’s stare turned into a dark glare. Not that it mattered much, once Jorib got an idea in his head, he was very difficult to dissuade. Jorib started to lift the lid of the box, but its corners caught part way, causing him to struggle and grunt as he tried to wiggle it free. Norgat watched this struggle for a few moments, enjoying Jorib’s growing frustration. Norgat grew bored waiting, he grabbed the lid with Jorib and helped lift. It came free and slid smoothly off its base with a satisfying rush of air filling the space the lid occupied. They immediately jumped back with their nose holes wrinkled at the smell that filled the room. “Uhg! That’s horrid!” Jorib cried out. They retreated to the furthest wall away from the open box and waited for the smell to dissipate. “If I start smelling like that after I eat it, my clutch-mate will replace me when we get home!” “She still hasn’t forgiven you for bringing that Durian Fruit home?” Jorib asked. “I had to sleep in the bog for a week!” Jorib shuddered in sympathy. “I think the smell is mostly gone now.” He motioned for Norgat to approach the box again. Norgat rolled his eyes, but walked up to the box again. He took a cutter tool and carefully cut the corners of the box, letting the sides fall down to reveal the contents in all their glory. “Oooh!” They both exclaimed at the sight. The cake was dark brown, almost black. It was also very tall, the top being made perfectly smooth, with dark brown flower-like embellishments arranged around its edge. Jorib reached out with shaking hands toward the cake, but stopped short as if touching an invisible barrier. “Wow. Norgat, feel the power!” Norgat gave him a sideways glance and eye roll. “Okay, let’s begin documenting. What do the humans call this?” Jorib carefully enunciated the human words, “Death by Chocolate Cake.” “‘Death’ meaning ‘the expiring of life,’” Norgat began speaking into his handheld computer. “‘Chocolate’ being a substance created from the offspring-seeds of the cacao tree, and ‘cake’ being a special confection of layered bread substance held together with a sugary paste. The implication of the name being the chocolate cake brings death to anyone who eats it.” “You take all the mystique and drama out of everything! Can’t you see this is a very artifact of human daring and death-sport?” “Your romantic fascination with human death-sports does not bode well for posterity.” Jorib dismissed the warning with a hand wave. “Nonsense, I have prepared the antidote in case the worst should happen.” He grabbed a tray with two glass containers filled with a white liquid from the cooler. Norgat immediately began shaking and backing up quickly at the sight of the liquid. “Is…is that…cow milk?” He said, the look of shock apparent on his face. “No, it comes from a different animal! The Almond. I tried it myself earlier and no profuse leaking occurred from any of my orifices.” Norgat’s shock turned quickly to horror, “you didn’t follow safety protocol! And you sampled human food without alerting me first?” Jorib ignored Norgat this time. Why let pesky things like protocols and assistants get in the way of true discovery? He continued speaking, “while cow milk is the superior antidote, the almond milk should still prove adequate.” Norgat just stared, gobsmacked, at Jorib. “Now,” Jorib continued as he pulled a long dissection knife from the drawer, “If you would do the honors, we must make exacting dissection cuts from the center point to the edge of the cake, creating a wedge shape. We will then extract it for our first sample.” Norgat glared as he grabbed the knife a little more forcefully than usual. He carefully lined the blade up to the cake, making sure the tip was centered. “Carefully!” Jorib said as the knife began to cut into the upper layer of fondant. Norgat took his eyes off the cake and glared daggers at his companion as he let the knife slide through to the bottom. Jorib nibbled on his stubby fingers in anxious horror as Norgat made another perfect cut. “Tray,” Norgat said, as he carefully slid the knife beneath the cake slice and lifted it out. Jorib held a clean tray at the ready as Norgat smoothly transferred the four-layered slice of cake off the knife. “Oooh!” They both exclaimed again as they inspected the pristine goo-marbled layers of dark chocolate frosting and sponge. “It still stinks really bad, but it looks amazing,” Norgat said. Jorib could only nod, his mouth was agape in total, dramatic awe. Carefully, Jorib handed an eating utensil to Norgat, never taking his eyes off the slice. This was the moment Norgat was dreading the most. He took the utensil with an audible groan and forced himself to take a bite-sized portion of the cake. His hand shook and he whined pitifully as he painfully drew his portion toward his mouth. “Courage, Norgat,” Jorib said, “we are on the frontier of real science!” The encouragement did little for Norgat. His hand inched toward his face, but his mouth kept moving further away. Jorib finally took hold of the utensil and Norgat’s head stalks, wrestling the cake into his companion’s mouth. There was a stifled scream as Norgat’s eyes widened in shock. His mouth made large chewing motions. An exaggerated gulp followed a moment later. “Well?” Jorib asked impatiently. Norgat didn’t move a muscle, but his skin started taking on a strange dark shade, spreading steadily over every inch of his exposed body. Jorib panicked when Norgat began convulsing and turning a dark shade of chocolate brown. “Antidote! Antidote!” Jorib grabbed the glasses of almond milk, spilling most of it, and splashed the rest into Norgat’s gasping mouth. When the convulsions didn’t stop, Jorib ran around the room in a panic, knocking shelves over and throwing things in a hasty attempt at finding something to help his dying companion. He made it back to Norgat’s body with an armload of items in time to see Norgat’s final shudder and stillness, a foamy gurgle of almond milk pouring out his mouth in a ghastly final death sigh. Jorib cried out in horror, dropping down to sob on the lifeless body of Norgat. “No! Norgat! You *sob* were so *sob* young and full *sob* of promise!” A gurgle bubbled out of Norgat’s mouth. Jorib looked up with bloodshot and goopy eyes in time to receive a faceful of chocolate cake. He fell backward trying to wipe the deathly confection from his face and eyes as Norgat let out a hearty squeal of laughter and began rolling on the floor. “You’re alive?” Jorib asked in disbelief as he rubbed the cake out of one eye. Norgat still just rolled around in laughter. “You’re still alive?” Jorib yelled angrily, realizing he was now the butt of a very messy joke. Jorib, dripping in gooey cake, dashed madly for his own fistful of cake. In a few moments, the dining hall was covered in a gloppy mess of cake and frosting as the two aliens enacted another great human tradition: the food fight. Echoes From the Caverns The post The Death Cake – by PhoenixWolf – narrated by Asclepius appeared first on Echoes from the Caverns. View the full article
  10. Six Short Scary Tales By Lyla Starflare Background music by Smartsound 1. “This New Old House”, by BatoutofHell821 We bought an old house, my boyfriend and I. He’s in charge of the “new” construction – converting the kitchen into the master bedroom for instance, while I’m on wallpaper removal duty. The previous owner papered EVERY wall and CEILING! Removing it is brutal, but oddly satisfying. The best feeling is getting a long peel, similar to your skin when you’re peeling from a sunburn. I don’t know bout you, but I kinda make a game of peeling, on the hunt for the longest piece before it rips. Under a corner section of paper in every room is a person’s name and a date. Curiosity got the best of me one night when I researched one of the names and discovered the person was actually a missing person, the missing date matching the date under the wallpaper! The next day, I made a list of all the names and dates. Sure enough each name was for a missing person with dates to match. We notified the police who naturally sent a crime scene team. I overheard one tech say “yup, it’s human”. “Human? What’s human?” “Ma’am, where is the material you removed from the walls already? This isn’t wallpaper you were removing.” 2. “I hate it when my brother has to go away”, by horrorinpureform I hate it when my brother Charlie has to go away. My parents constantly try to explain to me how sick he is. That I am lucky to have a brain where all the chemicals flow properly to their destinations like undammed rivers. When I complain about how bored I am without a little brother to play with they tried to make me feel bad by pointing out that his boredom likely far surpasses mine considering his confined to a dark room in an institution. I always beg for them to give him one last chance. Of course, they did at first. Charlie has been back home several times each shorter in duration and the last. Every time without fail it all starts again. The neighbourhood cats with gouged out eyes showing up in his toy chest my dad’s razors found dropped on the baby slide in the park across the street, mom’s vitamins replaced by bits of dishwasher tablets. My parents are hesitant now, using “last chances” sparingly. They say his disorder makes him charming, makes it easy for him to fake normalcy, and to trick the doctors who care for him into thinking he is ready for rehabilitation. That I will just have to put up with my boredom if it means staying safe from him. I hate it when he has to go away. It makes me have to pretend to be good until he is back. 3. “Guardians”, by DarkAlligator He awoke to the huge, insect-like creatures looming over his bed and screamed his lungs out. They hastily left his room and he stayed up all night, shaking and wondering if it had been a dream. The next morning there was a tap on the door. Gathering his courage, he opened it to see one of them gently place a plate filled with fried breakfast on the floor, then retreat to a safe distance. Bewildered, he accepted the gift. The creatures chittered excitedly. This happened every day for weeks. At first, he was worried that they were fattening him up, but after a particularly greasy breakfast left him clutching his chest from heartburn, they were replaced with fresh fruit. As well as cooking, they poured hot steamy baths for him and even tucked him in when he went to bed. It was bizarre. One night, he awoke to screaming. He raced downstairs to find a decapitated burglar being devoured by the insects. He was sickened but disposed of the remains as best he could. He knew they had just been protecting him. One morning, the creatures wouldn’t let him leave his room. He lay down, confused but trusting as they ushered him back into bed. Whatever their motives, they weren’t going to hurt him. Hours later, a burning pain spread throughout his body. It felt like his stomach was filled with razor wire. The insects chittered as he spasmed and moaned. It was only when he felt a terrible squirming feeling beneath his skin that he realised the insects hadn’t been protecting him. They had been protecting their young. 4. “My Daughter Learned to Count”, by RealScience87 My daughter woke me around 11:50 last night. My wife and I had picked her up from her friend Sally’s birthday party, brought her home, and put her to bed. My wife went into the bedroom to read while I fell asleep reading a book. “Daddy”, she whispered, tugging my shirt sleeve. “Guess how old I’m going to be next month!” “I don’t know beauty” I said as I slipped on my galsses. “How old?” She smiled and held up four fingers. It is 7:30 now. My wife and I have been up with her for almost 8 hours. She still refuses to tell us where she got them. 5. “He Stood Against my Window” by sabethook I don’t know why I looked up, but when I did, I saw him there. He stood against my window. His forehead rested against he glass, and his eyes were still and light and he smiled a lipstick-red, cartoonish grin. And he just stood there in the window. My wife was upstairs sleeping, my son was in his crib, and I couldn’t move. I froze and watched him looking past me through the glass. Oh, please no. His smile never moved but he put a hand up and slid it down the glass, watching me with matted hair and yellow skin and face through the window. I couldn’t do anything. I just frozen, feet still in the bushes. I was pruning, looking into my home. He stood against my window. 6. “The Happiest Day of my Life”, by recludus I watched as my soon to be father-in-law held his daughter’s hand as he walked down the aisle. Tears streamed down his face as the wedding march that played in the background reminded him that, in a few minutes, he would be watching me hold his daughter’s hand and slipping on her ring. He walked up to the altar and I took hold of her hand, grinning from ear to ear. It was the happiest day of my life. My bride’s father got down on his knees and started begging. “Please, I did what you asked. Just please give my daughter back.” I glared at him. “Shut up and stop ruining the moment. If you sit back down and enjoy the ceremony, maybe I’ll tell you where I’ve hidden the rest of her body.” Echoes From the Caverns The post Six Short Scary Tales – by Lyla Starflare – narrated by Asclepius appeared first on Echoes from the Caverns. View the full article
  11. Hello everyone, this is Asclepius, with a great story from a new author Finrodel, aka Alexander Huffman, entitled Heart of the World Background music by Smartsound The morning light glittered off the pendant as it hung on the lamp. Lexi had woken up before her alarm again. She didn’t want to get out of bed, so she laid there, gazing at the heart-shaped locket her mother gave her before she retired. “It is a link to the past. It’s easy to forget where we came from,” she said. “Everything changed when the whole started hearing the voices. Before we had the implants to protect us from the maddening sounds, there was a world of color, life, and feeling!” Lexi could still remember the look on her mother’s face when she described her childhood. It was like looking at long forgotten pain, yet she wanted to experience it again. “It was a time when joy and sadness had meaning. Now they’re empty memories, words we tell ourselves we’re better off without.” Lexi touched the locket. A strange sense of longing pulled at her, though she could not describe why. Perhaps just beyond that pull, something whole existed, like a real home. Her alarm rang, the impression interrupted by the mechanical sound and following automatic rhythms of her morning routine. Her phone rang shortly after. It was her supervisor, he always called at the same time each morning. She connected her phone device to the implant and answered. Her foreman would always ask the same three questions, “Are you healthy?” “Yes.” Not that he cared how Lexi really felt, but an unfit worker was a liability and slowed down the workflow. “Will you arrive at 0730?” “Yes.” Punctuality meant production times were kept. “Will you report any delays or production failures for your shift?” “Yes.” “Your responses have been noted. Goodbye.” Minimum interaction, maximum efficiency. She finished her morning preparations. ____________________________________________________ As expected, the workforce commuter bus was on time to each stop. The people that rode with her were almost always the same, sitting in the same places with the same clothing and expression. The color of work uniforms was the primary difference between each person. Lexi’s uniform was white, utilitarian, and indicated her position in food services. Her hair was cut short, it was more efficient that way. Practicality had little use for style, and she could not recall the last time she saw someone with long hair. The bus dropped Lexi off at her usual stop. She was often the only person to come down this corridor in the morning. Today, she was not alone. A man in a grey uniform was leaning against the wall, staring at a stream of water dripping from above him. He was mumbling something. He didn’t seem to notice her as she approached, but she was able to hear what he was saying. “302203, 900556, 30220…”, he kept repeating over and over. The grey uniform meant he worked in transportation across the complex. He was a long way from where he should be and his behavior was far from normal. “Hello?” Lexi said, stopping near him. “556…The water drops, they keep repeating the numbers. What do they mean?” He said, confusion filling his voice. Lexi cocked her head and listened, but only heard the water dropping. “I don’t hear anything.” “It’s there! See, 2, 2, 0, 3…” he continued to the sound of each water drop. She heard about rare cases where the interface negatively affected perceptions, but she had never seen it happen before. She looked at the implant slot on the side of his head. The slot was empty, no communication device, no data drive. It didn’t matter if he wasn’t part of her work crew, she had been trained to provide help to people if they needed medical aid. Besides, it didn’t feel right to leave him in this state. She gently touched his shoulder and started pulling him away from the dripping water. “I think your implant may be malfunctioning. Let’s get you to Medical so they can help” she said. He didn’t struggle or speak during their walk. ____________________________________________________ The production room was quiet after the end of shift notice. The sterile silence after the constant noise of machinery and workers felt soothing to her ringing ears. She walked between the workstations for her final inspection of the night. Beneath one workstation, a single piece of paper had slipped partially under a panel and gone unnoticed. She pulled the paper out and went to discard it in the trash when she noticed the writing. On one side a series of numbers were written multiple times in three columns before the writer ran out of space. 302203N 900556W In a moment of intense clarity, she realized that the numbers were the same ones the man in the grey uniform was mumbling when she saw him that morning. A surreal feeling tingled down her spine, a sensation she was very unfamiliar with. She held still for a long moment, waiting for the sensation to pass. “Lexi, something wrong?” A familiar male voice spoke from behind her. She spun around a little too abruptly to face her supervisor, the look on his face showing a wary suspicion of her behavior. He was a bland faced man in his 40’s. The only distinguishing feature was the pipe whistle he kept in his uniform pocket. “No, boss. I just found a piece of notepaper someone must have dropped earlier,” she said, regaining some of her composure. “What’s written on it?” “Just some numbers, I’m not sure what for,” she said, handing the note to him. He looked briefly at the numbers written before looking back at her. “You sure you don’t know what they’re for?” The intensity of his gaze was surprising. Was he testing her? “Yes, boss.” He looked at her for a few long moments. “I’ll talk to you in the morning.” She nodded and left the production room, trying not to break into a run, or even a swift walk. ____________________________________________________ Lexi awoke early again. The sunlight cracked through her window, glinting off the heart pendant and into her eyes. That same strange fascination with the locket absorbed all her attention as she stared into the reflected light. Her thoughts again drifted from her memories of her mother to the strange events of the night before. The thoughts and feelings filled her mind completely as she felt pulled into that light. Without thinking, she let herself flow into a dreamlike trance. All around her were pathways of light flowing along channels that curved, split, and angled away from some massive central point. She looked into that nexus of branching pathways, her vision adjusting to its brightness. She realized then she was seeing a massive tree, its branches reaching upward and outward, carrying the light into distances beyond. A small vine of light grew from the ground beside her until it touched her outstretched hand. The warmth of it filled her body with a sensation like she belonged there. She gazed into that thread of light that now gently curved and grew up her arm and saw something in its brightness. Numbers. A message. 30.2203°N -90.0556°W Return home She recognized the numbers as coordinates. The message is simple enough. She must go wherever the coordinates indicated, and soon. Her phone rang, ripping her from the vision and making her jump. It was her supervisor, on time as usual. She couldn’t work today, she had to find what this all meant. “Hello,” she said tentatively. “Are you healthy?” The voice asked in his usual dry tone. She knew she would have to lie, but this was important and she needed to do this. “No,” she answered, but felt her voice sounded weak and unsure. There was a pause before he answered. “You’re not the only one.” “I’m sorry?” She asked, not sure what he meant. “It’s the numbers, right?” She breathed in sharply. Another lie to keep him from reporting her to medical seemed prudent, but she dismissed the idea. He had never caused her any grief when she had issues or problems, even if they were her own fault. She owed him the truth, especially since he knew something was going on. “Yes.” “I can hear them in the tones of your voice. What does it mean?” He asked. “I don’t know yet, but I think I can find out.” “Okay, please let me know? If you find it?” “I will, I promise,” she said. She hadn’t felt the need to make a promise before, it felt right. She grabbed her locket, placing the chain around her neck. It was time to go. ____________________________________________________ The trees rose up all around her, their branches reaching overhead like a tunnel of emerald green. The coordinates lead here, down a long forgotten road and past buildings nature had claimed decades before. She would have found it beautiful if it weren’t for the buzzing noise in her ears. The further she walked, the worse it became. Her head began to pound in rhythm to her footsteps and she slowed to a shuffle. An eternity of head splitting noise later, she collapsed to the ground. Why was she here? What was she meant to do? The thoughts disappeared into the drowning static of her current existence. “Help, please”, she whispered, a plea she knew would not be heard, but she didn’t know what else to do. She felt as if the noise and pain would kill her. “I can’t do it. I can’t.” Tears flowed freely, both from the despair she felt and the pain in her head. She was about to give into the pain in hopes of dying, when the light hit her face. Her covered her eyes as a new wave of pain washed over her. Through the cacophony of her senses, she began to hear something else. A faint whisper reaching out to her, touching her mind. She opened her eyes again and saw her pendant laying in front of her, the light once again reflecting from its surface. In the tiny lances of light, she could see the numbers and message once again. “30.2203°N -90.0556°W Return home,” she whispered and repeated each time she saw the light carry it across her vision. Like a mantra, she spoke the message again and again. She crawled toward the source of the light. The plants and brush thicker with each movement, tangling her hands and legs. Within moments, she became impossibly entangled in the vines. The more she struggled, the faster it caught her. The light disappeared, and she felt fear. “No! I can’t breathe!” she gasped, but struggled in vain. As soon as her vision went black, the world exploded out in front of her. The tree from her vision was before her, reaching into the earth and sky. She saw its roots and branches touch everything in the world. It was not just a tree, it was a nexus of all living things in the world. She looked all around her and saw the world as it was, and with her now a part of it. She was home. She could see the rest of humanity collected in massive cities. They were suffocating behind the walls of their implanted minds, unable to hear the call to come home. A longing sadness filled her as she saw what humanity had become. ____________________________________________________ She awoke wrapped in a soft cocoon of vines which fell away as she arose. She pulled at a dense vine that was lodged into her implant. The vine came free, the sensation causing a momentary shudder. She could hear a voice whispering in the breeze and rustle of the leaves. Nature found a way to integrate with technology. The world’s voice bypassed her implant and gave her the ability to hear it again. She thought of everyone who still wasn’t connected like she was, and the sadness welled up again. “How do I help them?” she asked the world-voice. It answered. She knew what she had to do. It was time to bring everyone home. Echoes From the Caverns The post Heart of the World – by Finrodel – narrated by Asclepius appeared first on Echoes from the Caverns. View the full article
  12. Hello everyone, this is Asclepius, with another great story from Womby, entitled Interview with Death Background music by Smartsound It’s not often that I get to interview a genuine celebrity, but recently I heard that none other than Death himself was in New Britannia inspecting the ubiquitous resurrection ankhs scattered throughout the land. We caught up with Death and his lovely wife Morticia where they were staying at one of the delightful cottages in Kiln. ”Good afternoon, Death. First let me say what a rare privilege and honor it is to meet you.” ”Nonsense. I get to meet everyone eventually.” ”Quite. If it isn’t too much trouble, I’m sure my readers would greatly appreciate it if you could answer a few questions.” ”Sure, no problem. Ask away.” ”Many in New Britannia are curious as to why outlanders are apparently immortal. Frankly, they’re more than a little miffed about it. Is there anything you would like to say to put their minds at ease?” ”Ah yes. ‘Project Groundhog’ I call it. Technically they are not immortal. They die just like everyone else. The difference is that in their case they do it more often.” ”Oh, I see. But why?” ”The Oracle and I have a bet. She thinks that if outlanders are given multiple chances to correct their mistakes, they will eventually become virtuous. I disagree, so we have a little wager going. We’ve agreed to give each outlander a set time to become simultaneously virtuous in Truth, Love and Courage, and to facilitate that I have installed resurrection ankhs to bring them back to life every time they die before their time is up.” ”What exactly is the nature of this wager?” ”I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.” ”Never mind, it’s not that important. On another subject, Rumor has it that you are contemplating retirement. Does this presage an imminent end to mortality?” ”You wish! No, my son will be taking over. A real go-getter that one. I’m sure he’ll be setting out to impress his old man and make a name for himself.” ”Hmm. Will that be happening any time soon?” ”Probably right after I win my bet with the Oracle. She’ll no doubt be somewhat annoyed with the avatars and withdraw her protection. That would be the ideal time for my son to take over.” ”Well, thank you so much for the interview. I hope you enjoy your stay in New Britannia.” ”No problem. I look forward to our next meeting.” ”*gulp*” Echoes From the Caverns The post Interview with Death – by Womby – narrated by Asclepius appeared first on Echoes from the Caverns. View the full article
  13. Q&A with Trina and Atos on NBNN: Tune in on Friday, July 9th at Noon CT to join Trina, Atos, Laz, and Jack for a special Q&A session live on NBNN! Trina will be firing away with questions as Atos answers.View the full article
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  17. Greetings Fellow Avatars! Release 91 has arrived! Happy Birthday Lord British! A large variety of premium items are now on sale until July 5th! A new type of daily turn-in quest has been added to the game in the form of Store House Containers. Visit 9 different towns to explore the turn-in options available for up to 5 additional daily rewards. Imbued Gems and Jewels have been added with crafting and gathering bonuses... Avatar's Update #426: Play Release 91 Now! New Daily Turn-Ins Quests! Crafting Imbued Gems/Jewels!View the full article
  18. Greetings Fellow Avatars! Release 91 has arrived! Happy Birthday Lord British! A large variety of premium items are now on sale until July 5th! A new type of daily turn-in quest has been added to the game in the form of Storehouse Containers. Visit 9 different towns to explore the turn-in options available for up to 5 additional daily rewards. Imbued Gems and Jewels have been added with crafting and gathering bonuses which can be extracted by salvaging crafting and gathering related artifacts. MANY bug fixes, UI improvements, and quality of life improvements are now live! For those wishing to participate in any community activities, upcoming one-time and recurring community events have been announced! Be sure to also review the Players Guide and Known Issues list for additional information on recent changes and upcoming fixes. Now, let’s see what we have for you in this week’s edition of Update of the Avatar: News Announcements Storehouse Container Daily Turn-In Quests! Release 91 Patch Notes! Lord British Birthday Sales Event! Latest News Q&A Friday Livestream! Crown Store: Lord British Birthday Cake 2021, Ruined Walls, Transformation Potions & More! July Login Reward: Beach Umbrella! Release 91 Subscriber Login Rewards: Lord British Telescope, Xenossian Bracers & Shield! Streamer Rewards Program Bug Brigade & Testing Directives Upcoming Release Dates Community Updates Community Events & Resources Project to Support: Shard RPG Project to Support: Shadow of Valhalla Project to Support: Dragonfight Project to Support: Avatar Express Resources: Players Helping Players Storehouse Container Daily Turn-In Quests! A new type of daily turn-in quest has been added to the game in the form of Storehouse Containers! These containers are located in 9 different towns by their docks, with each town providing a variety of 5 containers to fill with player loot and crafting goods. Upon each turn-in, players will be rewarded a variety of rewards as follows: Grey or Yellow Supply Bundle Loot, Adventure/Production EXP, Gold, and a chance for a large variety of bonus rewards. Each day, a single character may trade with any 4 Common Store House Containers. Common containers contain the same loot as a Grey Supply Bundle as well as additional bonus reward items from a newly added loot table. Also players will receive Adventurer and Production EXP from each turn-in and a small amount of gold. The bonus reward items are greatly varied and will not always be provided. The Common Storehouse Container bonus rewards and turn-in items are as follows: Ardoris, Harvest, Xenos: Bonus rewards are gear and decoration related crafting goods as well as items such as Ancient Essences. Players must turn in 150 Fabric Scrap, 150 Leather Scrap, 150 Metal Scrap, or 150 Wood Scrap. Brittany Wharfs, Broochash, Westend: Bonus rewards are consumable related crafting goods as well as items such as Elixirs of Longevity and Potency. Players must turn in 15 Cure Plague Potions, 150 Animal Bones, 150 Fat, or 150 Sinew. Mud, Port Graff, Storms Reach: Bonus rewards are agriculture and fishing related goods as well as rare chances to receive gathering related common artifacts. Players must turn in 15 Animal Hides, 150 Bone Powder, 150 Quartz, or 150 Small Balls of Clay. Also each day, a single character may trade with 1 Uncommon Storehouse Container. In additional to other items, Uncommon containers always include same loot as a Yellow Supply Bundle. Players will also receive Adventurer and Production EXP from each turn-in and a larger amount of gold. There is also a significant chance to receive bonus rewards which are gear and decoration related crafting goods, but bonus reward items are greatly varied and will not always be provided. The Uncommon Storehouse Container turn-in items are as follows: Ardoris: 25 Sunfish Brittany Wharfs: 25 Tilapia Broochash: 25 Elven Brandy Harvest: 25 Anomalocaris Mud: 25 Mechanical Parts Port Graff: 25 Kobold Spirits Storms Reach: 25 Salmon Westend: 25 Maple Tree Bark Xenos: 25 Satyr Spirits The Storehouse Container system was developed to provide a variety of possible benefits in the years to come as it continues to be expanded and enhanced: Login Reward: Upon logging into the game, some players might find that delivering their 5 Storage House Container turn-ins becomes a daily ritual to receive extra rewards for daily login. Item Values: Many of the items utilized for turn-in for these new dailies will now have more purpose and could essentially become more valuable to players through trade and sale. Overstock Reduction: Some players might find many of these turn-in items are overstock items in their inventory and banks. Players now have a method to exchange applicable overstocked items for potentially more valuable rewards. Additional Item Delivery Option: With these newly added containers, developers will now possess an additional tool in their arsenal for reward deliveries and item exchanges. Lottery/Jackpot: The Storehouse Container system is also designed to provide a lottery/jackpot feel. Initial implementation of these rewards will be monitored and updated regularly to ensure players get significant changes to earn valuable items. Players can expect loot ratios to be adjusted based on feedback, and MANY additional reward items added into the system in the future. Supply Bundle Improvements: Since a portion of the rewards from these containers are direct from Supply Bundle loot tables, any future improvements we make to the bundles will also improve loot in the Storehouse Containers. Influencing Daily Play Routine: Upon delivery of rewards, players might obtain items which influence what they do for the remainder of their play session. We hope players enjoy the new Storehouse Container system. Developers will continue to improve this system in the future with new and exciting turn-in and reward concepts, and we’ll be very attentive to feedback about item scarcity, reward values, and reward types. In the future, we will add additional Storehouse Container shelters in more geographically-separated NPC towns. Hidden Vale is next in our sights! Release 91 Patch Notes! Below are a list of updates that are live as of Release 91 (R91) in the game of Shroud of the Avatar! R91 is a content, improvement and bug fixes month. Polish, additional improvements, and bug fixes are inbound for R92 next month! We hope you enjoy the changes that are live today as of Release 91! Crafting, Decoration, & Inventory Item Changes: 10 additional Imbued Gems and Jewels are now available! Each can be salvaged from the available crafting related artifacts, and these gems/jewels can be applied only to crafted gear. Not all artifacts have a chance (yet) to yield a special gem or jewel upon salvage, so please take note! This spreadsheet, which will be maintained as we continue to expand the system, lists all available Imbued Gems and Jewels and their source, whether it be from crafting or from the salvage of artifacts. There are still many non-tiered artifacts which will be tiered and gain special gem/jewel salvage chances in the months ahead. Imbued Gems or Jewels which are not related to a particular school of magic will not yet yield special enchanting bonuses yet, but there are plans to add more special enchanting bonuses in the future. Here’s a list of all the new Imbued Gems and Jewels, which are also easily viewable in this spreadsheet. The source from which to obtain the gem or jewel is listed in parenthesis: Imbued Gem of the Expedient Forester: +25% Forestry Gathering Time (Forest Mangler) Imbued Jewel of the Meticulous Forager: +6% Foraging Meticulous Collection (Belt of the Patient Harvester) Imbued Jewel of the Expedient Miner: +25% Mining Gathering Time (Gauntlets of Lead) Imbued Jewel of the Expedient Skinner: +25% Field Dressing Gathering Time (Belt of the Brutal Butcher) Imbued Jewel of the Master Alchemist: +10 Alchemy/Alchemy Enchanting (Ring of Chrysopoeia) Imbued Jewel of the Master Blacksmith: +10 Blacksmithing Masterwork (Wayland Loop) Imbued Jewel of the Master Carpenter: +10 Carpentry Masterwork (Maple Band) Imbued Jewel of the Master Chef: +10 Cooking (Ring of Jones) Imbued Jewel of the Master Tailor: +10 Tailoring Masterwork (Thimble of Evelyn) Imbued Jewel of the Meticulous Miner: +6% Mining Meticulous Collection (The Ring of an Unknown BMC Member) These are the chances of success for receiving an Imbued Gem or Jewel by salvaging an eligible artifact: Common: 10% Chance, 1 Gem or Jewel Uncommon: 50% Chance, 1 Gem or Jewel Rare: 100% Chance, 1 Gem or Jewel Legendary: 100% Chance, 2 Gems or Jewels Epic: 100% Chance, 3 Gems or Jewels Salvaging an applicable chest piece, a weapon, or an offhand will yield a gem, while salvaging all other gear items from other slots will yield jewels. An additional round of artifact changes has been implemented. This time, all crafting/gathering artifacts except for the Pax Ring have received stat or even functionality changes which are also presented on this spreadsheet. This spreadsheet will be maintained to serve as a reference for players. The Forest Mangler now has base stats equal to crafted 1-Handed Swords. This artifact now has 5 tiers available, with the current version already in-game becoming the Uncommon version. The 5% Forestry Meticulous Collection Chance bonus has been removed, and the 5% Forestry Gathering Time Bonus has been spread across all tiers, scaling from 5% to 25%. The Ring of the Unknown BMC Member no longer features any dual wear restrictions with other BMC rings. The encumbrance bonus has been halved to help accommodate the dual wear restriction removal. The Mining Meticulous Collection Chance now scales from 2% to 6% instead of 3% to 9%. The Health penalty on The Ring of the Unknown BMC member now scales throughout the tiers. Common varieties feature MUCH less health penalty compared to the Epic versions. The Belt of the Patient Harvester no longer features a gathering time penalty, and the Foraging Meticulous Collection Chance has been reduced to scale between 2% and 6%. The Belt of the Brutal Butcher no longer features a meticulous collection penalty, and the gathering time bonus has been reduced to scale between 5% and 25% between tiers. The Gauntlets of Lead no longer feature a jump penalty, and the fizzle chance penalty has been reduced to 14% to match that of crafted plate gauntlets. The Mining Gathering Time Bonus has been increased slightly and now scales between 5% and 25% between tiers. Basic armor protection stats for these gauntlets have been lowered to match those of crafted plate gauntlets. The Blacksmithing Masterwork bonus on the Wayland Loop now scales from 2 to 10 between tiers instead of 3 to 11. The Tailoring Masterwork bonus on the Thimble of Evelyn now scales from 2 to 10 between tiers instead of 3 to 11. The Cooking bonus on the Ring of Jones now scales from 2 to 10 between tiers instead of 3 to 11. The Alchemy and Alchemy Enchantment bonuses on the Ring of Chrysopoeia now scale from 2 to 10 between tiers instead of 3 to 11. The Carpentry Masterwork Bonus on the Maple Band now scales from 2 to 10 between tiers instead of 3 to 11. Fixed the stack sizes in merchant inventories for many items to equal the max stack limit in character inventories. Corrected a typo in the Lich Totem recipe. Various books were corrected for typos, incorrect covers, and flipping functionality. The “Theme for Rabbling” book now displays the correct lyrics. Grandma Kellen’s recipes can now rotate in all directions. Dungeon Entrance to the Compendium of Pain and Suffering can once again be placed as a POT decoration. Harvesting banana trees will sometimes produce a seed like other agriculture items. Spindrift Shark now properly displays as “Spindrift Shark Fritters” in the inventory display name, the progress bar when eating, and the tooltip for the buff icon. Fixed typos in the display names of 5 Pavillion related items or store entries. The Skeleton Bone now properly places as a decoration at long camera distances. The penalty for Nefario’s Cabalist Hood is now for Glancing Blow Chance instead of Combat Dodge Chance. The light source for the Ornate Stone Fireplace now turns off when the fire is turned off. The Miner’s Hat with Goggles and the Miner’s Virtue Hat with Goggles now have functional spotlights when worn. Also, they are now named Miner’s Helmets instead of Miners Hats to match the other miner’s helms without goggles. The set bonuses for the Acara armor pieces should now apply properly when equipped. The Shield of Attraction, Shield of the Wicked King, and the Acara’s Shield of Defiance (all variants) can now be socketed with non-imbued/older style attunement gems. Also, all variants of these shields can be masterworked and enchanted (many tiers were missing) and are also now viable targets for pattern removal. A large variety of potions can now be canceled by right-clicking the buff icon for the dismiss option. The Treasure Chest, Treasure Piles (all sizes), Gold Piles (all sizes), and the Chest of Gold can now be placed as a POT decoration. Collision on the Haystack deco has been fixed to allow proper placement and to prevent interference with pet pathing. Fixed pink materials appearing with certain LODs for the Plaid Shawl Peasant Dress when placed as a decoration. Dungeon entrances can now be placed on floors and exterior floors rather than just ground and bottom floors. Combat & Skill Changes: Effects that speed up casting time, like Chaotic Feedback, will no longer speed up the consumption time for consumables. A number of consumables had no cooldown timer set for dynamic deck mode which allowed them to be cast without any delay. This has been fixed. Various combos such as Quadruple Slash, Icy Puncture, and Saw Blade Sweep now include bonuses from the base skill. Small Damage-Over-Time attacks will no longer force people into combat mode. Enlightenment VFX will no longer display inside a character’s head when mounted. Pets will now respect the “Teleport” and “Stop attacking” commands while in combat. User Interface & Lua Changes: Removed all tabs in the inventory window and added a dropdown list with MANY more sorting and filtering options. Modified the player vendor and public vendor UI to feature similar changes made to the inventory window. Players can now salvage items that are stackable without needing to manually separate the stack into single items. Added new options for disabling the chat window. Players can toggle the chat interface with a new key binding, or they can select a checkbox in Options/Interface to disable chat. This is highly useful for streamers who wish to keep private messages private. When doing a search or turning a page in the Crown Store, the first item shown on that page will now be selected to help prevent accidental store purchases. Tooltips now feature less transparency to improve their readability when displaying over other windows featuring text. The top right menu now features improved icon placement and availability. The Window Selector menu has been cleaned up and reordered. Fixed load screens which were displaying portions of the skybox. The Lot Deeds menu has received minor UI polish. Various small journal entries now display correctly in the quest journal. Added the ShroudIsUIActive() Lua function to help determine if the current game HUD is active. Added 3 additional Lua functions by player request: ShroudOnSceneLoaded(sceneName), ShroudOnSceneUnloaded() and ShroudOnSceneLogout(). Player Economy, Rewards, & Loot Changes: The kobold loggers in South Boundless Forest now have small chances to drop the Common Forest Mangler artifact which features the Forestry Gathering Time Bonus. This artifact has been removed from Lich boss loot tables. The logging camp in South Boundless Forest now also features a Logging Camp Foreman with increased chances to drop the Forest Mangler. This T10 Logging Camp Foreman will only appear after considerable attempts to thin the Kobolds around the bunker. Bait recovery chances have been soft capped at 80%. Any increase beyond 80% will provide diminished benefits. We’ll be monitoring bait consumption and feedback and provide bait drop improvements in R92 accordingly. Also, 3 types of rare baits have been added to the Common Storehouse Container reward possibilities for Mud, Port Graff, and Storms Reach. Added “The Stone Dragon” (Part 1 and 2) as world items in the game. Sturdy Maces now drop as loot with slight chances to appear in supply bundles and from melee skeletons. The Sturdy Mace also has a chance to yield a Sturdy Mace Head in salvage. The Sturdy Hammer has been renamed to Sturdy War Hammer and has a chance to yield a Sturdy War Hammer Head in salvage. The Sturdy Axe has been renamed to Sturdy Hand Axe and has a chance to yield a Sturdy Hand Axe Blade in salvage. These salvaged components provide the following stats to your weaponry when added as a component during crafting: Sturdy Axe Blade: +5 Strength, +1 Weapon Damage, +5% Poison Effectiveness Sturdy Mace Head: +5 Strength, +1 Weapon Damage, +5% Bludgeon Stun Effectiveness Sturdy War Hammer Head: +5 Strength, +2 Weapon Damage Added the recipe for the Imbued Theurgy gem to an additional Well of Aldur loot table for air elementals and significantly increased its chances to drop from Suutak. World, Quests, and Miscellaneous Changes: All 4 Shardfalls now feature adventure level and skill caps. These scenes as well as The Obsidian Trial now have improved tooltips on the overworld map, and there is a load message which indicates the level/skill caps upon load of the scene. Grunvald Shardfall is capped at 100. Verdantis Shardfall is capped at 110. Paladis Shardfall is capped at 120. Quel Shardfall is capped at 130. Player movement has been improved to greatly reduce how often players get stuck on small obstacles. This should dramatically improve behavior on steps and rough terrain and reduce how often mounted players must dismount. Cloaks will now reappear after swimming while mounted. Resolute: Sean Campbell will no longer feel compelled to close the door of his building. Savrenoc Stronghold: Removed invisible collision that was blocking part of a ruins. Desolis: Fixed typos in the “Defeat Luminous Atavist” journal entry given by Ranees Binders. Well of Aldur: Fixed a wall that had incorrect collision. Well of Aldur: Fixed a stuck spot and improved the path grid on a set of stairs. Xenos: The banker now correctly states he is in Xenos (not Yew). Kingsport: Corrected Laura’s title to be Master Moon Magic Trainer. Aerie: Improved the logic for displaying Felicia’s “Deliver Letter to Barkley” compass marker. Necropolis: Adjusted the logic by which Kardan Marbane delivers his companion whistle to the player. Ferig’s Battle Ground: Added extra logic for the “Deliver Wine to Ferig” task to auto-archive after Ferig is no longer able to be visited by the player. Ardoris: Improved the logic for ensuring the “Tell Ardoris Caretaker About Corpus” compass marker stops appearing. Ardoris: Fixed a typo in the responses from Caravaggios Wolf. Caverns of Skrekk: Removed redundant lights in a remote tunnel area. Northwest Blackblade Mountains: Removed dragons from a scorpion-themed spawner set that was near the entrance. Obsidian Panopticon: Fixed several stuck locations. Adjusted a slope to better allow NPC movement. Solace Bridge Outskirts: Adjusted Kinsey’s logic for giving players the report for Stanley, Banner of Love, and caregiver title. Solace Bridge Outskirts: Adjusted some stones by exit archways that appears to be floating, setting them properly into the ground. Solace Bridge Outskirts: Those who are first to loot the “sack” object in this scene (and others) will now always find at least one object in the sack. Owl’s Head: The “Kill Myron or Return to Myra” and “Kill or Leave Myron” tasks should auto-complete if Myra refuses to interact with the player. Owl’s Head: Todd’s dialogue has been improved. Crafting Tutorial: Updated Edwin in Soltown, Gilda Metcalfe in Aerie, and Bledig deCani in Resolute with improved logic for completing their crafting tutorial. Necropolis Barrens: Moved a floating maple tree to the ground. Etceter Crag Mines: Fixed a stuck spot behind a mine wall brace. Brittany Fields: The horses at Oakley’s stables should no longer be able to climb nearby ladders. North Midmaer Way: Moved a nightshade resource so it can be harvested. K’rul: Adjusted the collision and path grid in the clockwork dragon room to prevent the dragon from exiting the room. East Sanctus Forest: Removed a floating cabinet. Hills Encounter: Removed a mysterious ladder that could only be seen from far away. Spite: The “Give Another Coffin to Shimzu” task will no longer auto-archive when leaving Spite. Wynton’s Folly: Adjusted some terrain to prevent the phoenix from getting stuck. Point West: NPCs have received bark and dialogue improvements. Explosive barrel traps have been fixed. A common lantern used throughout many scenes now has improved collision. Made a slight improvement to the collision of common tree curtains. Removed text from a store entry that was a bad copy paste from a charity item. Numerous objects have had their LOD issues resolved. Player-Owned Town Changes: Bladewyke: Changed owner. Ironhall Highlands: Added new holdfast near POT Ironhall in Novia. M’hul Island: Added a new holdfast on the northwest shore of Norgard. Mossrest: Changed biome to Forest 01b. Rock Ridge: Upgraded to Town. Tortuga: Upgraded to Town. Lord British Birthday Sales Event! Happy Birthday Lord British! In observance of Lord British’s birthday, bonus EXP and various sales have begun (some will start on June 25th): +100% Adventure and Crafting EXP (Starts on June 25th) Holdfast Player-Owned Towns are 20% Off! 2-Hour Flash Sale Items are 30% Off! (Starts on June 25th) Crowns of the Obsidian are 20% Off! Crown Store Deeds Include Dungeon Entrances and Foyers Until R92! Crown Store Row Lot Deeds: Ancient Tome Dungeon Entrance Pattern Crown Store Village Lot Deeds: Magic Mirror Dungeon Entrance Crown Store Town Lot Deeds: Ruined Stone Arch Dungeon Entrance Pattern & Ornate Triple Connection Stone Dungeon Foyer Crown Store City Lot Deeds: Circle of Stones Rift Dungeon Entrance Pattern & Ornate Triple Connection Marble Dungeon Foyer Player-Owned Town Upgrades are 20% Off! (Crown Upgrades Only) 5X Additional Crowns in Loot Drops! Episode 2 Access is $4 Off! New Character Slots is 40% Off! All these sale items except for the Crown Store Deed specials will last until Tuesday, July 5th at Noon CT, so don’t miss out! Happy shopping, Avatars! Latest News Q&A Friday Livestream! The weekly Community Livestream is Friday, June 25th at 4PM CT on Twitch! Join Chris “Atos” Spears and other members of the development team for a community 1-hour livestream! To enter the prize drawings, type “spring makes my heart sing” into any in-game chat channel OR make a purchase on the website Add-On Store. Please submit questions into Twitch Chat by inserting !question at the beginning of your text. Watch on Twitch, Friday at 4 PM CT! Atos and other members of the Shroud of the Avatar development team go live very frequently on twitch.tv/shroudoftheavatar — be sure to get these channels on follow for notifications so you can join us right as we go live! Also, if you’ve missed our latest streams, check out our archive of content at our YouTube Channel. Like! Follow! Subscribe! Prizes!!! Don’t forget to also join the Shroud of the Avatar team and community over at all our social media venues: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ShroudoftheAvatar/ Catnip Games Twitter: https://twitter.com/catnipgames Shroud of the Avatar Twitter: https://twitter.com/ShroudofAvatar Shroud of the Avatar Discord: https://discord.gg/GuBXakQ Crown Store: Lord British Birthday Cake 2021, Ruined Walls, Transformation Potions & More! Many new and returning store items are coming your way in the month ahead! Keep an eye out each week as the following items become available in the Crown Store. Available today on June 24th, the 2021 version of the Replenishing Lord British Birthday Cake and other amazing seasonal items! Lord British and Fireworks Seasonal Rares will remain on the store until August 5th, 2021. Replenishing Lord British Birthday Cake 2021 Replenishing Lord British Birthday Cake 2020 Replenishing Lord British Birthday Cake 2019 Replenishing Lord British Birthday Cake 2018 Replenishing Lord British Birthday Cake 2017 Replenishing Lord British Birthday Cake 2016 Replenishing Lord British Birthday Cake 2015 Replenishing Lord British Birthday Cake 2014 Lord British Basement Entrance Eternal Pattern Lord British Cloak Lord British Fur Collared Cloak Lord British Shield Lord British Shield Pattern Pack 31 Varieties of Rare and Year-Round Fireworks Becoming available on July 2nd, new Ruined Stone Wall packs! Also, the Replenishing Green Growth Potions Box is now a regularly featured item on the store: Ruined Store Wall & Columns Set Ruined Stone Tall Wall, Crumbling Archway Ruined Stone Column, Small 10-Pack Ruined Stone Column, Large 10-Pack Ruined Stone Tall Wall, Intact 3-Pack Ruined Stone Medium Wall, Intact 3-Pack Ruined Stone Short Wall, Crumbling 5-Pack Replenishing Green Growth Potions Box Becoming available on July 9th, Obsidian Potions of Transformation! These new potions will allow players to alter their appearance for 7 days at a time and will be available in various pack sizes. We even added potions for the Cuttlekin, Frogkin, and Lich Kind effects just in case players would like to display those skins without wasting a ring slot using one of the related artifacts: Obsidian Potion of Transformation: Barkskin Obsidian Potion of Transformation: Barkskin 6-Pack Obsidian Potion of Transformation: Barkskin 12-Pack Obsidian Potion of Transformation: Ghostly Glow Obsidian Potion of Transformation: Ghostly Glow 6-Pack Obsidian Potion of Transformation: Ghostly Glow 12-Pack Obsidian Potion of Transformation: Obsidian Skin Obsidian Potion of Transformation: Obsidian Skin 6-Pack Obsidian Potion of Transformation: Obsidian Skin 12-Pack Obsidian Potion of Transformation: Cuttlekin Obsidian Potion of Transformation: Cuttlekin 6-Pack Obsidian Potion of Transformation: Cuttlekin 12-Pack Obsidian Potion of Transformation: Frogkin Obsidian Potion of Transformation: Frogkin 6-Pack Obsidian Potion of Transformation: Frogkin 12-Pack Obsidian Potion of Transformation: Lich Kind Obsidian Potion of Transformation: Lich Kind 6-Pack Obsidian Potion of Transformation: Lich Kind 12-Pack Becoming available on July 23rd, a Kobold Weather Machine to keep those skies in your Player-Owned Town clear and rain free: Kobold Weather Machine (Clear) The Summer Seasonal store items are still available! These rare summer items will remain on the store until September 25th: Hula Emote Fire Dance Emote Fire Dance Cross Emote Flame Stained Glass Table Lamp 3-Pack Flaming Bagpipes Island Spear Flame Scimitar Island Flower Crown Island Dress Flame Shield Firedancer Outfit To see a full listing of all the items which rotate through the Vault, we have prepared a forum post showing all items which could appear throughout the year! July Login Reward: Beach Umbrella! Log in during the month of July, and you’ll receive a wonderful Beach Umbrella which features 2 dye layers. Get out there and enjoy the sun and fun! Release 91 Subscriber Login Rewards: Lord British Telescope, Xenossian Bracers & Shield! Avatars! Rewards Program login items for Release 91 are a must have — don’t miss out! Reward Program members must login during Release 91 to receive these special login items: Ancient Xenossian Round Shield Ancient Xenossian Bracers Medium Lord British Telescope The Shroud of the Avatar Rewards Program lets you earn the best rate on purchasing Crowns, AND receive monthly reward items! For the low price of $9 USD per month you will receive the following: 900 Crowns of the Obsidians every month Monthly Login Reward Items (about 3 per month) Exclusive Title every 3 months 3 Months: Keeper of the Faith 6 Months: Keeper of the Word 9 Months: Keeper of the Vow 12 Months: Keeper of the Flame 15 Months: Keeper of the Oath 18 Months: Keeper of the Pledge 21 Months: Keeper of the Bond 24 Months: Keeper of the Promise 27 Months: Keeper of the Covenant Pick any Dye 12-Pack every 6 months Pick any three of the 7 Obsidian Potions every month, including: Potion of Capacity: Increases carrying capacity Potion of Conservation: Reduces reagent use chance Potion of Expedience: Swift gathering on all gathering skills Potion of Precision: Increases Meticulous Collection to all gathering skills Potion of Preservation: Reduces armor and weapon damage Potion of Reclamation: Increases Salvage and Repair to all production skills Updates to the Streamer Rewards Program! Several months ago, a program was proposed for the Streamers of Shroud of the Avatar. The ultimate goal being to showcase Shroud of the Avatar while giving SotA streamers a reward for their efforts. The program is currently in Phase I, with Phase II technology currently being discussed and worked internally. So, let’s talk Phase I! Phase I: Streamers who wish to be included in the Streamer Program must contact Laney via in-game mail or in a private message on the forums with their Character Name and Twitch Channel information. If you have already signed up for the program in the past, fear not, you’re on the list, and you don’t need to reapply. Streaming Rewards Program participants must adhere to our Terms of Service (TOS) and Community Rules while Streaming Shroud of the Avatar. Streaming Rewards Program participants must stream at least 10 hours of Shroud of the Avatar ACTIVE game play to remain in the program with reward accrual. Streamers will receive a one-time digital reward of in-game items after meeting the program’s requirements: Streamer’s Cloak, Streamer’s Camera, and a brand-new LIVESTREAMING title. Future incremental rewards will occur at 6-month intervals. (More information to come). Rules: To qualify for Streamer Rewards, each streamer must continue to meet the minimum requirements for 60 days after application. To accrue additional rewards, Streamers must stream SotA a minimum of 10 hours per month, tallied on the 1st day of each month, to remain in the program. Streamers must be actively playing the game during their streams. Being away from the keyboard (AFK) for short periods is acceptable. If Twitch indicates the streamer is playing SotA but they are streaming other content or a timeout/login screen, they risk being removed from the program. Items of Note: SotAbot: Streamers in the program will be included in the SotAbot StreamPop function, appearing in the player-streaming channel in Discord. Graphics & Overlays: An optional “Streamers Kit” is available to the participating streamers as well as all players of Shroud of the Avatar, which includes graphics, overlays and other material. Watch the forums for more information, coming soon, regarding Titles, future rewards and for info on Phase II of the program. We love our Streamers, so get out to Twitch and follow them, watch them, and support them! Bug Brigade & Testing Directives! The Bug Brigade was established to improve how the community and the development team work together to improve the game. Since the Brigade’s inception, the program has gone through a number of changes and was eventually placed on hold. The stability of the game is as important to the development team as it is to the players, therefore the program was revamped and was recently relaunched. The Brigade has been up and running for two months now, and the volunteers are getting into a good rhythm for verifying and submitting bugs to the developers. If you have reported a bug that has not yet been addressed, please be patient while the backlog is being worked. The Brigade is working diligently to cleanup the backlog of bug reports posted by players on the forums. As was recently announced on a Twitter post by Chris “Atos” Spears, the upcoming development time for Release 84 will be primarily spent working many of the verified bugs which have been submitted to the team by the Bug Brigade. This focused effort on bug fixes would not be possible without the recent efforts of the Bug Brigade. Please take the time to thank these bug hunting aficionados when you encounter them in your travels! In turn, the development team would like to express a big thank you to the Bug Hunters! These community members are doing a fantastic job bringing so many bug reports to the team, and they’re doing it in a way which makes the process smooth and efficient. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Already, much improvement has been noticed by the development team, and we’re so very excited to see the program successfully back in action! The development team would also like to thank all of those who took time out to participate in the QA Testing Directive for the upcoming Mount System. Thanks to your hard work and dedication, many issues and bugs were identified and fixed prior to the system going to the Live Server! Keep up the great work! For those that wish to participate in future bug hunting endeavors, please check the forums regularly for upcoming QA Testing Directives. Also, the Bug Brigade would like to welcome its newest Bug Moderator, Echondas! Please congratulate him the next time you see him in-game or on the forums. This new member expands the Bug Moderator team to: Alley Oop, Echondas, and Justyn. Thank you Moderators! Your efforts are highly valued by the development team! Don’t forget, the Bug Brigade is open to all players in good standing, and the bug rewards are back! And they are SWEET! They will be awarded on a monthly progression basis with only minimal requirements to qualify. The available rewards to receive in progression via qualifying participation are as follows: Antennae Head Gear and Forum Title 1: “Bug Hunter” Single Ant Cloak Lady Bug Backpack Bug Painting A and In-Game Title 2: “Associate of Aphids” Ant Farm Insect Leg Table Many Ants Cloak and In-Game Title 3: “Bachelor of Beetles” Bug Painting B Bug Sprayer Bug Painting C and In-Game Title 4: “Master of Moths” Butterfly Chair Corpion Chair (Pictured Below) Yellow Fireflies VFX and In-Game Title 5: “Doctor of Dragonflies” Hacked Oracle Flyer Giant Blue Butterfly Pet Butterfly Mask Dragonfly pet Fairy Wings Monarch Butterfly Pet Dragonfly Wings Hacked Oracle Crawler Blue Butterfly VFX Orange Fireflies VFX Orange Butterfly VFX If you’ve come to think of Shroud of the Avatar as your home, signup and help make New Britannia a better place to live! To learn more about joining the Bug Brigade, please read the announcement thread by Ravolox in the main Bug/Feedback forums. Upcoming Release Dates Be sure to check out the Upcoming Events page for spotlighted events plus links to various areas to post or find events on our forums. The upcoming 2021 Release Schedule is as follows: Release 91 – Jun 24 (Content) Release 92 – Jul 29 (Polish) Release 93 – Aug 26 (Content) Release 94 – Sep 30 (Polish) Release 95 – Oct 28 (Content) Community Updates & Resources Greetings event holders and event attendees! So many fun and exciting events are available in the upcoming weeks. Be sure to get out there and participate, make some new friends, perhaps make some great emote, recipe, or gear trades, or get some adventuring and role-playing into your mix! Here are spotlighted events or updated community resources that we’ve noticed popping up lately on the official forums: Catnip Games Contests: Catnip Games Monthly Fishing Tourney: Greetings Anglers! The monthly Catnip Games Fishing Tourney is live! Join in on the fun! SO many prizes available for the anglers of New Britannia! Catnip Games Monthly Screenshot/Video Contest: Avatars! For those of you skilled with the camera or screenshot key binding, a monthly screenshot and video contest is underway which features a large number of valuable prizes. The focus will be for players to submit creative or informative screenshots and videos of content introduced to the game during the latest 3 monthly releases. Catnip Games Monthly Treasure Hunting Contest: Want to go hunting for rare items? Want to see if you can beat other players in this quest for treasure? Well join in on the monthly treasure hunting contest, Avatars! Special Announcements: The New Britannia Theater Troupe Needs YOU: If you would like to join this band of merry story writers and voice actors, give Asclepius a reply on the forums or send him a PM. Already there is a very rich selection of past work written and performed by the troupe which is available in audio form here at the Caverns.net. Twitch Gift Card Giveaway: Alleine Dragonfyre, New Britannian streamer extraordinaire, is giving away a $25 Twitch Gift Card (no purchase necessary.) The drawing takes place on June 25th, so don’t miss out! One-Time Events: Cannon Fodder vs Organized Chaos: On Friday, June 25th from 4PM to 5PM CT, Organized Chaos is hosting a special PvP Tournament located in Verat Chaos Decimus! Lots of prizes, lots of fun! Get your PvP gear ready, Avatars! Rajazel R91 Fishing Contest: Head on over to Rajazel for some extra fishing fun during Release 91! Prizes, prizes, prizes! Good luck, Anglers! Recurring Events: Ironhall Tournament & PvP Training: Ironhall is opening up it’s weekly training and skill events to the public. Starting on Saturday, June 19th at 1PM CT, this event will run every Saturday thereafter. Events are held in the village of Virtus Mons in Ironhall and can be reached easily via use of the fast travel signs. M’Hul Island Monthly Fishing Contest: Join Asmodi M’hul and friends at M’hul Island for their monthly fishing tournament that lasts from Release Day to Release Day! Prizes are available! Lightbringer Isle Fishing Contest: Why not earn some extra prizes each month and participate in Lightbringer Isle’s monthly fishing tourney? Lots of fantastic prizes — don’t miss out! Combat & Crafting Sunday School: Head on over to Immortal City every Sunday from 7PM to 9PM CT to learn the tricks of the trade in combat and crafting! 500 Crown Fishy Prize: If you’re ever worried there isn’t an active fishing contest going on, well worry no longer! Sonja Solar and friends are running a continuous fishing contest in Brittany Fort “Now and Forever for All Eternity” which has wonderful prizes and objectives. Be sure to watch the video indicated in the “bagged” link provided to see the full explanation of the contest rules. RHEC Traveling Pop Up Fishing Contest: Keep an eye out in universe chat, trade chat, and the forums! Asmodi M’hul will routinely announces at least one pop up fishing contest every week for those anglers out there anxious for extra prizes and fun! PvP Fishing with RHEC: The RHEC anglers of New Britannia will be hosting a week of PvP fishing contests in a different POT every month! The upcoming events will take place in The Barren Shores POT from June 4th to June 10th, and in the Bodega of Blood from July 2nd to July 8th. Hope to see you there! Lightbringer Isle Auction: Ladies and gentlemen! The Citizens of Lightbringer Isle welcome you to the weekly auctions! The auctions are about bringing together people from all corners of the community, with the Lightbringer Isle’s market being the perfect place to do so! Join us every Sunday at 2PM CT! New Fan Fiction: Latest Plays from The New Britannia Theater Troupe: Gabriel Nightshadow, Asclepius, and friends have now made available the radio versions of “Daggers in the Dark” and “A Small Indiscretion” which feature many voices from players throughout the community. Don’t miss out on listening to these creative and highly intriguing stories! More Stories from Womby: Womby, an esteemed New Britannian author, has graced us with 2 more stories, and Asclepius has narrated both of them. Enjoy! The Howling Wind of Spindelskog: Akandriel has written a wonderful 2 part story which Asclepius has narrated. Please give these two talented individuals your appreciation! Mingo’s White Raven Inn: Join Mingo and friends for an ongoing forum role-play session. Flex those creative muscles, Avatars! New Community Resources: Guide to Naming Housing Lots: The Guide Making Extraordinaire has stuck again! Anpu has made this fantastic guide for helping players rename their lots so the customized names can show on the new Lot Listing functionality. Read, learn, and give this Knight of New Britannia a thank you! New Skill Information at SotALore.com: A new section has been added to SotALore.com, and it’s a fantastic way to determine EXP required for achieving certain levels of skills by cost factor, and most certainly a great way to visual skill leveling in the game. Enjoy and thank you Gravidy! Community Calendars: Avatars-Virtue Radio Calendar: Just when are all those talented DJ’s and streamers broadcasting? Don’t just guess, check out there very helpful calendar! Never again will you wonder when’s the best time to tune in! SotA Event Calendar: Event participants, take heed! Thoryk Omara has done a wondrous job creating a community event calendar which is available to all players of Shroud of the Avatar. Please make an effort to support this new calendar. The more resources players have at their disposable for event notifications, the better! Community Event Resources: Here are some fantastic resources for tracking down community events or posting your own events. Become involved! Create! Explore! Make friends! But most of all, have fun! One-Time Community Events Forum: Sometimes events happen only a single time, so you’ll not want to miss out on these events as they occur. Check out the forums routinely to spot these! Recurring Community Events Forum: Some events occur on weekly or monthly schedules which are a great way to routinely meet up with friends and to make new ones. Be sure to check this forum frequently for new events or time changes to existing ones. Game Master (GM) Potion Request Procedures: Shroud of the Avatar has an amazing in-game consumable for player event holders — the Potion of Temporary GM Powers! Players wishing to enhance their in-game community event by having GM Powers at their disposal need to simply follow the procedures outlined in this forum thread. Player Event Trophies and Special Item Requests: Would you like to request a special trophy or renamed item for a player event you’ve created? Head on over to this thread to see what’s available and to obtain more information about request procedures. Player Radio Station Forum: If you want to check out the latest and greatest from our in-game radio stations, go to the radio stations forum! If you’re a DJ, be sure to advertise your time slot and venue in this forum. Player Livestreams & Videos Forum: If you’re searching for a Shroud Streamer to watch, head on over to the streamer forum! If you are a live streamer for Shroud of the Avatar, be sure to advertise your Shroud stream by posting in this forum. Town Directory Forum: Want to find a town to live in or get your town listed in the directory, head over to the forums and check it out! Guild Directory Forum: Looking for a guild or want to get yours posted in the guild directory? Head on over to the forums and check it out! Fire Lotus Tavern: This wondrous role-playing and story writing forum is the spot to be if you love fan fiction and role-play. Community Resources: Looking for links to community and official resources for Shroud of the Avatar? Well look no further. On this page you’ll find links to a plethora of helpful resources created by the dev team or the community. SO many options to stay tuned-in with fellow community members. Please take advantage of all these wonderful options. Happy adventures, Avatars! Project to Support: Shard RPG Shard Studios invites you to enter the fantastic world Dárdünah, the vast shard of a shattered realm, as presented in the colorful pages of the SHARD RPG! Many years in the making, this system allows players to choose from a wide variety of animal people who are the main cast of the many adventures this otherworldly setting offers. Skyships glide through shimmering clouds past majestic crystal peaks. Giant insects prowl alien jungles or lurk in the sparkling emerald seas. Warriors with blades of diamond and amber duel across crimson sands. And mystics chant in shadowy chambers as their spirits wander abroad. Intro Sheet: For a quick glimpse into the world of Dárdünah, be sure to download the intro pdf! It’s packed with great information and features beautiful artwork, not unlike the artwork found throughout the many pages of this gaming system’s gorgeously designed manuals. Core System Manuals: It’s easier than ever to delve into Dárdünah, World of the False Dawn, with the Core Books Bundle! If you’ve never had the opportunity to experience this unique gaming system and setting, now’s your chance! This bundle includes two beautifully illustrated, full-color, hardcover books: the original Basic Compendium and the Magic and Martial Arts book! They contain everything you need to begin your adventures, and include instructions for the ritual magic and martial arts combat systems. These manuals also include 90 new Animal Templates upon which to base your character! Other Shard RPG Products: So many more manuals and gaming materials are available! Everything an avid tabletop role-player and game master needs to delve into the world of Dárdünah! So if you’re ready to experience a gaming world like no other, check out what Shard Studios has created for tabletop role-players on the Shard RPG official website! You’ll most certainly be immersed and amazed by the offerings of the Shard RPG! Project to Support: Shadow of Valhalla Shadow of Valhalla is a visceral physics-based VR combat game with dynamic RPG elements, set within an ancient realm of Viking lore and mystic powers! Early Access beta includes “endless horde mode” featuring a variety of enemies with progressive difficulty. Also, players can discover many magic spells to unlock! So much more is coming! Finn Staber with Chicken Waffle, will join the Shroud of the Avatar team on Twitch during their Friday the 28th livestream to showoff this new Early Access game! Also, here is a teaser video on YouTube:  The development team is working hard to create additional environments and new quests! Shadow of Valhalla is available on Steam as Early Access. Additional features coming to the game: More Enemies! More Environments! More Magic Spells! RPG Quests! Weapon Forging and Crafting! Much, much more! If you would like to learn more about Shadow of Valhalla, be sure to stop by the main webpage for the game as more news becomes available! Project to Support: Dragon Fight Darkstarr has also been hard at work with the team for Dragon Fight VR which recently went live on Steam! Dragon Fight VR is an internal experiment to capture the “essence” of a dragon fight, the classic penultimate experience of every fantasy story. We wanted to create a short visceral, realistic experience stripped of user interface, lobbies, scores, levels, and other visual intrusions that might distract. There were some key elements of fighting a dragon that we wanted to capture and we felt VR was uniquely qualified to convey: Face to face with a large scale hostile creature trying to kill you Using a sword and a shield Fire! Nowhere to run! This started out as an internal experiment to learn some things about VR’s capabilities, be reductionist in our designs, etc. We felt that the experiment was successful enough to release as a free experience to share. Enjoy! Available for free on Steam! Project to Support: Avatar Express [Forum post by Vladamir Begemot] I’m pleased to report that The Avatar Express is clacking away furiously. News is being delivered and we have established systems to deliver it directly to your brain. You can use one of those systems by following us on Twitter at @avatar_express. Even more reliable due to its fully automated nature is joining us on the Discord server. News items are posted there via RSS. Or you can subscribe to RSS directly on the site. If you run an event, quests, etc, please consider helping out by self reporting. The Shroud community is big, and many things are happening that are never seen by others. With 10k monthly users, we would need a full time staff to track down everything that is happening. You can fill out the contributor form, message @that_shawn_guy here or post in the Discord server that you would like to help. There is no commitment once signed up, you can post as much or little as you like. Writing up your own events has several benefits beyond the immediate exposure. It serves as a record for others to see the history of New Britannia as we create it, in an attractive format. Publishing in the Express also has a higher chance than the forums of being seen by search engines and random readers, thus bringing more eyeballs and new players to the game. It will even make posting in the forums easier! You can upload images to your news item, and then link to those images in your forum post. No more need for 3rd party image hosts! So if you have something going on in your guild or town, or want to be a Reporter, Cartographer or Historian, please join us! Resources: Players Helping Players The official SotA New Player Welcome Forum and the Player Created Resources Forum have the best player created resources for Shroud of the Avatar, whether it’s a Player Written Guide, a Video Walk-through, or a Wiki-type Website. Visit the official Community Resources page for a complete listing of all things community. View the full article
  19. (Insert music track # 1 – something orchestral) The New Britannia Theatre Troupe presents A SMALL INDISCRETION: A BEAR TAVERN TALE Director and Producer: Asclepius Writer: Gabriel Nightshadow Assistant Director of Public Relations: Alleine Dragonfyre Sound Effects Supervisors: Gabriel Nightshadow and Asclepius Technical Consultant: Stile Teckel CAST Asclepius as Randall Wolfe and the Narrator Jarvi Mystara as Governor Vallas Tellen Alleine DragonFyre as Astra Wolfe and Herself Addy as Shannon Kiras and Melody Tareti Lauremir Elenir as Molly and Amber Gabriel Nightshadow as Geordie the Teddy Bear And Fionwyn Wyldemane as Mother *************************************************************************************** (Insert music track # 2 – something you would expect to hear at a “Beat of Novia” dance party) NARRATOR SCENE I Twenty years after Vallas Tellen became the Governor of Beran’s Reach… (Insert “Party Crowd” sound effect – recorded by Daniel Simon) DJ ALLEINE DRAGONFYRE This is DJ Alleine Dragonfyre, broadcasting to you live from the Bear Tavern in the metropolis of Beran’s Reach on Avatars Radio. Welcome to a special edition of “The Beat of Novia” as we celebrate the retirement of Governor Vallas Tellen! Now everyone – get out on the dance floor! NARRATOR Randy Wolfe and Melody Tareti dance the Samba in front of Alle. MELODY (grateful) Randy, thank you for convincing me to attend Vallas’ retirement party! It has been SO long since I’ve been out. I have been keeping myself busy with work ever since Frederick passed away a year ago… RANDY (reassuring) Quite understandable, under the circumstances. I know how much you loved Frederick. He was taken away from you far too soon… NARRATOR Governor Vallas Tellen walks over to the couple. VALLAS Ah…Randy, my dear fellow, you really know how to throw a retirement party! Everyone seems to be having such a good time! RANDY Thank you, Vallas! Just my way of giving back to the community! VALLAS Melody, you are looking quite lovely this evening! MELODY (cheerful) Why, thank you, Vallas! You are looking rather dashing yourself… VALLAS You are too kind, Melody! May I borrow Randy for a few minutes? MELODY Certainly, I will give you two some time to talk! I will just head over to the bar and grab another mug of Fire Mountain ale! VALLAS (serious) Randy, now that I am retiring from office, I have given much thought to my replacement. Of the top three candidates for the job, I think you are the most qualified. I intend to recommend you to the Council tomorrow. RANDY I don’t know what to say, Vallas… I always assumed that either Lt. Governor Keldon or City Council member, Budner, would succeed you. I promise that if I am chosen by the people, I will serve to the best of my ability! VALLAS Both Keldon and Budner are good men, but I think you have much better skilled at administration and public relations! Plus, I’ve never fully trusted either one of them since that incident at the Bears’ Fifth Anniversary party… You certainly have come a long way from that scrawny, penniless young sailor who arrived here from Kingsport fifteen years ago! Now your import and export business rivals that of the merchant prince, Stile Teckel… I was disappointed to hear that your lovely wife, Astra, was unable to join us this evening… RANDY Unfortunately, she is still away visiting her cousin, the legendary bowmancer, Jarikith Rivinson, over in Rifts End. I still find it hard to believe that in three months, I am going to be a father… VALLAS I’m sure that you will be a fine father! After all, you have had plenty of experience dealing with children through your volunteer work at Melody Tareti’s Orphanage for Lost Souls. Have you two decided upon a name for your daughter yet? RANDY We decided that we will name her Molly, in honor of her maternal grandmother. Oh my…look at the time! I must be off now. I have an early business meeting tomorrow with Asclepius, Director of the New Britannia Theatre Troupe, about financing their latest production, “Little, Lost Bear Cub”. Phillip and the boys will clean up when the festivities are over… VALLAS Good night, Randy! Please stop by my office tomorrow afternoon and I will formally present you to the members of the City Council. RANDY I will… *************************************************************************************** (Insert music track # 3 – starts off very romantic, but turns very dark and sinister halfway through) NARRATOR SCENE II Later that evening, on a cliff on the far side of the island… A beautiful, raven haired, voluptuous (and very pregnant!) young barmaid known as Shannon Kiras anxiously waits for her lover, Randall Wolfe. NARRATOR Randy steps out of the shadows. Shannon runs to him and they embrace and share a passionate kiss. SHANNON (happy) Randy, my beloved, I am so glad that you are finally here! I have been waiting for nearly an hour! I don’t understand why we couldn’t simply meet at your home or at the Tavern… NARRATOR Randy moves behind Shannon and rests his hands on her shoulders as they both look up at the blood-red shattered moon in the pitch-black night sky. RANDY (whispering) You know I can’t risk anyone seeing us together, especially since I am running for office! I must maintain my image as a pillar of the community! SHANNON (anxious) But what about after our daughter, Amber, is born…? You promised me that you would leave Astra and marry me… RANDY (whispering) I know I did… You know I only married Astra for her late father’s three galleons, which allowed me to start my import and export business. It was so easy to seduce her with my good looks and charming demeanor. She is SO thin and plain looking! She may be an excellent cook, but I hunger for the pleasures of the flesh! I have really enjoyed our many nights of passion this past year, my beautiful Shannon, but, unfortunately, I can’t afford to have that nosy reporter from The Avatar Express, Fionwyn Wyldemane, finding out about our affair when I am so close to achieving my goal. As my ancestor, the great Obsidian General, Damian Trumbull, once said, “He who controls the media can sway public opinion in his favor.” Now it is time to move on to greener pastures! It seems that the beautiful widow, Melody Tareti, inherited a large fortune from her dearly departed husband, Frederick, who died from food poisoning. Bad fish, they say… Ah well, my dear…all good things must come to an end! SHANNON (shocked and upset) What?! You are breaking up with me?! RANDY (sinister, whispering) You could say that… NARRATOR Randy suddenly snaps Shannon’s neck in one quick motion! (Insert “Neck Breaking” sound effect – recorded by Mike Koenig) Her lifeless body slumps to the ground, a look of astonishment frozen on her face. (Insert ”Fall” sound effect.) Randy rolls her corpse off the cliff and watches as it splashes into the water far below. (Insert “Splash1” sound effect – recorded by Gene Le Fave) He takes out his monogrammed silk handkerchief and wipes the sweat from his forehead. An evil grin crosses Randy’s face. (Randy laughs evilly.) *************************************************************************************** (Insert music track # 4 – something that is scary as hell!) NARRATOR SCENE III Five years later… (Insert “Thunderstorm” sound effect – recorded by Tim) It is a dark and stormy night and Governor Wolfe is having trouble sleeping. His wife, Astra, has her back to him and is peacefully snoring. Randy suddenly finds himself in a dark and desolate place, with the ground covered in fog. He hears constant whispering but can’t make out the words. (Insert “Ghost Whispers” sound effect – recorded by Litruv) The whispering grows louder and then disembodied hands suddenly appear and start pawing at him. (Insert “Hell” sound effect – recorded by Mike Koenig) RANDY (screaming) Nooooo! NARRATOR Randy suddenly sits up in bed and looks around the room. He is drenched in sweat. RANDY (relieved) It was just a nightmare…just a nightmare… SHANNON (scary, ghost voice) No, it wasn’t! NARRATOR Randy screams in horror as he sees, not his wife, Astra, lying there beside him in bed, but the gray, and decaying corpse of Shannon, wearing a tattered, red dress and covered in seaweed! She reaches out to him with bony fingers… SHANNON (scary, ghost voice) I have come back for you, Randy! Heh…heh… Don’t you want a hug and a kiss? RANDY (screaming) No! Get the hell away from me! NARRATOR Randy bolts from the bed and runs into the hallway. (Insert “Creaking Door” sound effect – recorded by Mike Koenig) The door to his daughter’s room suddenly creaks open, and he sees the gray, decaying corpse of a raven-haired, five-year old girl wearing a tattered, white sleeping gown. She is dripping wet. (Insert “Spooky Water Drops” sound effect – recorded by Mike Koenig) The little girl is clutching a worn-out, brown teddy bear in her left hand. The partially torn teddy bear is missing half of its stuffing and its right eye, and its mouth is curled in a snarl. AMBER (spooky, childlike ghost voice) Why did you kill me, daddy, before I was born? Why didn’t you love me as much as Molly? NARRATOR Randy starts sweating profusely as he slowly backs away. He glances around for something he can use as a weapon, to no avail. Shannon shambles out into the hallway and both she and her daughter slowly move towards Randy with outstretched arms, as does the now animated teddy bear! (Insert “Zombie Attack Walk” sound effect – recorded by Mike Koenig) SHANNON and AMBER (ghostly moaning) So hungry! We will feast on your tender flesh! NARRATOR A frightened Randy turns and run towards the staircase, failing to notice the toy that his daughter, Molly, had left on the floor at the top of the stairs. He trips over it and goes tumbling down the staircase! (Insert “Falling Down Wooden Stairs” sound effect – recorded by Benboncan) (Insert “Leg Breaking” sound effect – recorded by Mike Koenig) RANDY (moaning in pain) Argh…I can’t get up! I think I broke both of my legs! NARRATOR Shannon and Amber encircle Randy while he is lying prone on the floor. SHANNON and AMBER (moaning) Meat! Meat! NARRATOR Shannon and Amber start tearing away chunks of flesh from Randy’s exposed arms and legs and eagerly devour them. (Insert “Flesh and Bone Tearing Away” sound effect – recorded by Mike Koenig) RANDY (starts screaming VERY loudly) SHANNON and AMBER Mmm…tastes SO good… (Insert “Blood Squirts” sound effect – recorded by Mike Koenig) NARRATOR The animated teddy bear leaps onto Randy’s face, claws out his right eye, and places it in his own eye socket, where it instantly becomes fully functional! The gleeful teddy bear proceeds to scalp Randy with his razor-sharp claws and starts pounding on his exposed skull! (Insert “Peeling Face Off” sound effect – recorded by Mike Koenig) GEORDIE (eager) Geordie wants brains! Geordie wants brains…NOW! (Insert “Strange Angels” sound effect – recorded by martysonic) NARRATOR Suddenly, a familiar, beautiful, red-haired young woman clad in white emerges from a cloud of smoke in front of Randy. Shannon, Amber, and Geordie immediately stop munching on Randy. MOTHER (comforting) My darling Randy… RANDY (confused) Mother? But you died long ago when I was but a wee child! NARRATOR The smiling woman, who is bathed in a glowing yellow aura, nods. RANDY (pleading) Mother, please help me! NARRATOR Mother glares at Shannon, Amber, and Geordie and they quickly back away from Randy. RANDY (breathes a sigh of relief) NARRATOR Mother stretches out her right hand and a crimson glow envelops the area over Randy’s heart. (Insert “Spooky Heart Beats” sound effect – recorded by Mike Koenig) NARRATOR Randy clutches his chest! RANDY (crying out) My heart! MOTHER (hissing) Evil is a master of disguise. It can be anywhere…and anyone. NARRATOR Randy’s mother suddenly transforms into a big, red female demon and plunges her clawed hand into his chest, pulling out his beating heart! MOTHER (hissing) If you expect to wake up from this nightmare, think again. This isn’t a dream. This is hell and you’re here…FOREVER! Your soul is…MINE! NARRATOR The female demon proceeds to devour Randy’s beating heart! (Insert “Blood Squirts” sound effect – recorded by Mike Koenig) RANDY (lets out a BLOODCURDLING scream.) NARRATOR Randy dies with a horrified look frozen on his face… (Insert “Eerie Horror Scene” sound effect – recorded by BlastWaveFx) *************************************************************************************** (Insert music track # 5 – something which starts out very bright and cheerful but becomes very haunting halfway through) (Insert “Sunny Day” sound effect – recorded by Stephan) NARRATOR SCENE IV A few days later… The pallbearers lower the ornate, solid gold, jewel encrusted coffin containing Randall Wolfe’s body into the grave. (Insert “Opening Casket” sound effect – recorded by Mike Koenig) MOLLY (cries out) Daddy! NARRATOR Molly tries to throw herself on the descending coffin, but Astra manages to grab her in time and pulls her into a deep embrace. ASTRA (breathing heavily) I’ve got you, dear… MOLLY (sobbing) I miss my daddy! ASTRA (comforting) I know, dear, but rest assured that one day we will be reunited with your father again… MOLLY (quietly sobbing) I hope so… NARRATOR Vallas Tellen walks over to give his condolences to Astra and Molly. VALLAS (sighing) Ah…such a tragic accident… Astra, my deepest condolences to both you and Molly. ASTRA (mournful) Thank you, Vallas. Randy really looked up to you. You were like the father he never had… VALLAS (sad) I know. If you ever need anything, do not hesitate to ask! May the shadows of the night guide and protect you! NARRATOR After the others leave, Molly turns to her mom. AMBER (spooky, child-like ghost voice) Now will we have that happy life we dreamed of long ago, mommy? NARRATOR Shannon smiles and hugs Amber. SHANNON (spooky ghost voice) Yes, my beloved Amber, now that our spirits have possessed Astra and Molly’s bodies and we have inherited a large fortune from your late father, the future looks bright… NARRATOR THE END *************************************************************************************** (Insert music track #6 – another orchestral piece) SOUND EFFECT CREDITS All sound effects used in this production are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/) The following sound effects can be found at: http://soundbible.com “Party Crowd” – recorded by Daniel Simon “Neck Breaking”– recorded by Mike Koenig “Thunderstorm” – recorded by Tim “Hell” – recorded by Mike Koenig “Creaking Door” – recorded by Mike Koenig “Spooky Water Drops” – recorded by Mike Koenig “Zombie Attack Walk” – recorded by Mike Koenig “Leg Breaking” – recorded by Mike Koenig “Flesh and Bone Tearing Away” – recorded by Mike Koenig “Blood Squirts” – recorded by Mike Koenig “Peeling Face Off” – recorded by Mike Koenig “Spooky Heart Beats” – recorded by Mike Koenig “Eerie Horror Scene” – recorded by BlastWaveFx “Sunny Day” – recorded by Stephan “Opening Casket” – recorded by Mike Koenig The following sound effects can be found at: http://freesound.org “Splash 1” – recorded by Gene LeFave “Ghost Whispers” – recorded by Litruv “Falling Down Wooden Stairs” – recorded by Benboncam “Strange Angels” – recorded by martysonic Echoes From the Caverns The post A Small Indiscretion – by the New Britannia Theater Troupe appeared first on Echoes from the Caverns. 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  20. The New Brittania Theatre Troupe presents DAGGERS IN THE DARK Director and Producer: Asclepius Writer: Gabriel Nightshadow with additional music lyrics by Jakdaw Foxlauden Music Composer and Director of Public Relations: Amber Raine Technical Consultant: Stile Teckel CAST Asclepius as Vallas Tellen Elgarion as Tarin Merrywhistle Sol Stormlin as Aimend Addy as Melody Stryker Sparhawk as Ertai Vodalion Cordelayne Valkaris as Astor Cerberus Woftam as Keldon Lighthand Vallin Tregres as Budner Stile Teckel as Frederick Tareti With Amber Raine as Chastity and Herself Alleine DragonFyre as the Narrator And Celith Wraine as Cyrus (Asclepius exits stage center) *********************************************************************************** SCENE I (Keldon, Budner, Chastity and Cyrus enter from stage center) (Keldon is at stage center standing on top of the table, holding an ornate beer stein in one hand and SINGING. Budner, Chastity, and Cyrus are seated behind the table. Cyrus is DRINKING a mug of ale. The Narrator is standing on the balcony.) NARRATOR As I peer into the scrying pool, I see that dusk has fallen on the Bear Tavern. The Bears’ Fifth Anniversary Party is in full swing and everyone is having a good time, thanks to Keldon… CHASTITY (screaming hysterically) Take it off! Take it off! (KELDON removes his shirt and continues SINGING bare-chested). NARRATOR Keldon throws his shirt to Chastity, who catches it. She inhales deeply. (Chastity SQUEALS in delight.) (Chastity PLAYS DEAD.) CYRUS (grumbling) I miss those lovely dancing girls who used to perform here. Ugh…this Fire Mountain ale tastes kind of strange. Hey…why is it suddenly turning pink? BUDNER Ah…my good friends, Fred and Harry, our new head brewers, were kind enough to prepare a special batch of their “Pink Paradise on Fire Mountain” Ale for today’s event. Our patrons seem to love the fruity flavor and extra creamy foam! CYRUS (grumbling) Not me! Good ale shouldn’t taste like pomegranates! Hey…I heard about those two guys! There better not be any of that banned synthetic aphrodisiac, Shamizar, in here! BUDNER Heavens, no! Only natural aphrodisiacs, I assure you! Fred and Harry learned their lesson after that unfortunate incident in PaxLair two years ago… (After Keldon finishes his musical number, he steps down from the table and BOWS to the audience, then turns around and BOWS to Budner, Cyrus, and Chastity. Budner stands up and TOASTS Keldon, while CYRUS stands and CLAPS. Chastity stands up, WHISTLES and CHEERS. Keldon walks over to Chastity.) KELDON (charming) Are you new in town, miss? I never forget a pretty face… (Keldon FLEXES.) NARRATOR Chastity blushes as she gazes at his glistening abs and pecs. CHASTITY (flustered) This is my first time in the Tavern. I’m Chastity, the new school teacher. Just moved here from Wizards Rest yesterday… KELDON (charming) I’m Keldon, Master Ranger of the Bear Tavern Guild. Pleased to make your acquaintance, Chastity. I would be most honored to give you a private tour of our fine establishment…including our secret Red Room… CHASTITY (confused) Red Room? KELDON (whispering seductively in her ear) There can be no pleasure without pain… CHASTITY (lustfully) Ooh… I think I would enjoy a private tour very much… (KELDON and CHASTITY exit stage left as BUDNER gives KELDON a THUMBS UP!) BUDNER Looks like Keldon is getting lucky tonight! CYRUS (grumbling) I honestly don’t know what all those beautiful women see in him. He’s not THAT handsome or muscular! Must be his charming demeanor… (Budner and Cyrus exit stage center) *************************************************************************************** SCENE II (Tarin, Astor and Aimend enter from stage right) (Tarin Merrywhistle, Astor Cerberus, and Aimend are seated at the table.) (Insert music track # 3 – “Underhanded Conspiracy” by Amber Raine. Loop as needed.) NARRATOR Meanwhile, upstairs in the Tavern Council meeting room… ASTOR (hesitant) I don’t know, guys. Vallas has done a lot for the guild… TARIN (insistent) We have no choice, Astor! The force field generated by our moon towers can’t withstand a sustained bombardment by Nefario’s new Dragonfire cannons and his army outnumbers our militia by a factor of 10 to 1! Quite frankly, I don’t know even know how he managed to resurrect himself after we defeated him a year ago. Somehow, he has been able to amass enough resources to lay siege to so many towns simultaneously. I’ve heard rumors that he has been able to swell his ranks by using a combination of magic and science he acquired from Atos’ identical twin brother, the rogue technomage, Kriz, to either clone troops or abduct and brainwash large numbers of unsuspecting Novians. AIMEND Be reasonable, Astor! If we don’t accept Nefario’s terms, Beran’s Reach will surely be destroyed! All of the other Tavern Council members have voted to accept the agreement. We all appreciate everything that Vallas has done for us, but the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few…or of the one! ASTOR (resigned) Very well, Tarin and Aimend, but I still don’t like this one bit. Vallas deserves better… TARIN Good man, Astor! (Tarin gives Astor the THUMBS UP sign.) AIMEND Come, I will show you the document you must sign! (Aimend. Tarin and Astor exit stage right.) ************************************************************************************** SCENE III (Vodalion enters from stage right and is seated at the table.) NARRATOR Vodalion is busy in the kitchen preparing a very special dish for Vallas. Visible among the many HUMAN bones in the waste bin is a gold ring inscribed with the initials “F.T”, indicating its previous owner, long missing Tavern Council member, Frederick Tareti. (MUSICAL NUMBER 2 – SUNG BY VODALION. Insert music track # 4 – “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” by Todd Reed Music) VODALION (singing merrily) It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood A beautiful meal of a neighbor Would you be mine? Could you be mine? It’s a neighborly day in this beautywood A neighborly day for a beauty Would you be mine? This cut is so fine I have always wanted to carve up a neighbor just like you I’ve always wanted to cook in a neighborhood with you So, let’s make the most of this beautiful day Since we’re together, I might as well say Would you be mine? For me to dine? Won’t you be my neighbor? Won’t you please Cease your pleas Please won’t you be my neighbor? Mmm…nom…nom…nom… (Melody enters from stage left and walks over to Vodalion.) MELODY Is that last dish almost done, Vodalion? VODALION I just sent out the fried liver and onions. Let me check on the Bear Surprise for Vallas… MELODY That smells so delicious, Vodalion! What’s your secret? VODALION I simply boiled the meat to a slight undercook and then popped it in the oven to finish baking it in a candy coat made of sugar glaze. I hope Vallas likes it… MELODY I am sure that he will… (Very sexy voice) I know you have been working very hard preparing this feast today, my darling, but do save a bit of energy for later tonight… (Melody SIGHS.) I don’t know what I would have done without your comfort and support this past year since Frederick suddenly left me to spread the word of Chaos to the natives of the southern continent. He didn’t even have the courage to tell me to my face and left that letter on my bed instead… VODALION What an insensitive fellow! I would never abandon you like that! I love you SO much and look forward to our wedding day next month! …and don’t worry… I always have plenty of energy for you, my dear! (Melody and Vodalion KISS.) NARRATOR Vodalion leers at Melody’s voluptuous form as he hands her a tray and she turns to leave. He starts preparing the dessert at the table and fails to notice her pour a vial of poison on the Bear Surprise as she exits the kitchen. (Melody stops at stage left for a moment before exiting.) (Vodalion exits stage right) ************************************************************************************** SCENE IV (Vallas enters from stage center and is seated at the table. Melody enters from stage left and places a plate and a mug on the table.) MELODY I hope you enjoy Vodalion’s version of Bear Surprise and this mug of Fire Mountain ale! NARRATOR Vallas seems more interested in Melody than the meal as he gazes lustfully at her. VALLAS I am sure that I will…Melody! Mmm…this Bear Surprise is really delicious! Vodalion has really outdone himself this time! (Melody SMILES and NODS her head and then exits stage left.) (Tarin Merrywhistle, Keldon Lighthand, Aimend, and Astor Cerberus enter from stage right and form a semicircle behind him.) (Insert music track # 6 – “Betrayal“ by Amber Raine. Loop as needed.) VALLAS Ah…just the people I was looking for! Fine job you’ve done with this event, mates! An impressive turnout, although I am a bit disappointed that Beran was unable to join us again this year. We still don’t know which one of us is his descendant and heir to his huge cache of gold and rare artifacts. Hope you’ve all been having a jolly good time! TARIN Indeed we are, Vallas! You wanted to discuss something with us? VALLAS Yes, Tarin. I have become quite concerned with the recent sieges on the surrounding towns by the Obsidian Cabablist, Nefario. We must make sure our defenses are strong enough to repel any such attack on Berans Reach! AIMEND Oh…I don’t think we will have to worry about that, Vallas… VALLAS (curious) Why is that, Aimend? (Vallas suddenly gets up and staggers forward in front of the table.) VALLAS Oh…I suddenly don’t feel so well. Dizzy, nauseous, and my limbs feel like rubber…Stay back, I think I am going to chunder! (Vallas suddenly PUKES on the stage floor.) KELDON (mocking) Must be that extra something that Vodalion put in your entrée…Guess I better go find my mop and clean up this mess! (Keldon NODS to Tarin and then LAUGHS.) VALLAS (confused) Eh, what’s so funny, Keldon? TARIN (serious) The Tavern Council recently negotiated a mutually beneficial agreement with the Obsidian Cabalist Nefario, but one of the conditions was a change in leadership… VALLAS (shocked and angry) What?! How could all of you betray me like this?! KELDON (gleefully) Die, Vallas, die! (Keldon enters combat mode, draws his dagger, stabs Vallas and then LAUGHS. Aimend and Tarin also enter combat mode, draw their daggers, and take turns stabbing Vallas.) (Insert music track # 7 – “Death of a King” by Amber Raine. Loop as needed.) VALLAS (gasping for breath, and sounding very disappointed) Astor…I trusted you the most… (Astor CRIES.) ASTOR I am sorry…Vallas…but the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one! (Astor enters combat mode, draws his dagger, and stabs Vallas.) TARIN Berans Reach and the Bear Tavern Guild must survive at all costs! Our NEW guild leader has seen to that… VALLAS (weakly, due to blood loss from the numerous stab wounds) …and who would that be? KELDON (gleefully) That would be ME! I personally negotiated the terms of the agreement on behalf of the Tavern Council with Nefario’s emissary…and here he is! (Budner enters from stage right, wearing an Obsidian robe and boots!) VALLAS (shocked) Nefario’s emissary is Budner?! Bloody hell! BUDNER (gloating) That’s High Priest Budner to you, Vallas! Yes, my master will be quite pleased with the terms of the agreement and looks forward to a long and profitable relationship with the Bears! VALLAS (coughing up blood) You will all regret making this dodgy deal with Nefario! He can’t be trusted! BUDNER (sneering) That is none of your concern, Vallas! Your time is at an end! VALLAS (defiantly, with his last breath) Sod off… (Vallas PLAYS DEAD.) (Astor exits stage center.) ************************************************************************ SCENE V (Vodalion enters from stage right. Aimend, Tarin, Vodalion, Keldon, and Budner surround Vallas’ body, which is lying at stage center in front of the table.) (Insert music track # 8 – “Dream Walking Nightmare Remix” by Ambrew) NARRATOR Several hours later… The Bears’ fourth anniversary party has ended and all of the guests have departed. (Vallas gets up from the floor.) (Aimend SLAPS Vallas.) AIMEND It’s about time you woke up, Vallas! What kind of example are you setting for your men? VALLAS (disorientated) Ow! That really hurt! I have a splitting headache… KELDON (mocking) Geez…Vallas, you were so rat-arsed that you passed out halfway through the anniversary party and were drooling all over the floor! The party would have all gone to pot if Astor hadn’t stepped up and taken over! Hmm…you know, Astor has been in the outhouse for an awfully long time. He said something in the Bear Surprise seemed to disagree with him… (From offstage, Astor can be heard GROANING LOUDLY in pain!) VALLAS (relieved) Thank heavens… it was just a nightmare! A horrible nightmare! AIMEND (curious) Oh? What was your nightmare about, Vallas? VALLAS (happy) I’ll tell you guys another time, but for now, another round of Fire Mountain ale for me and my friends, Melody! AIMEND (confused) Who is Melody? Vallas, you know we haven’t had a barmaid since Mindy quit six months ago to take that job at the Evil Eye Tavern in Rifts End. We haven’t had any applicants since then due to Budner and Keldon’s roving hands… BUDNER AND KELDON (in unison) Hey! That’s not true! We always treat women who come into the tavern with the utmost respect… AIMEND (sarcastic) Yeah…right! VALLAS (disappointed) What…Melody wasn’t real?! But she was so beautiful… (Vallas SIGHS.) (angry) You two, stop scaring away prospective barmaids! BUDNER AND KELDON (in unison) Sure thing, Vallas! We promise to be on our best behavior from now on! NARRATOR No one notices that both Budner and Keldon have their fingers crossed behind their backs. (Amber Raine enters from stage left.) AMBER RAINE Oh my! It seems that I missed out on all of the festivities… VALLAS Amber, so glad that you could make it! Here, have a mug of Fire Mountain Ale! AMBER RAINE Thank you, Vallas! Sorry I am so late, but I just returned from an expedition to the uncharted southern continent in search of a lost Bear. No, I am not referring to our directionally challenged Bear Cub either! VALLAS (sighing) If youré wondering where he is, apparently, he got lost in the Serpent’s Spine Mine again and used up all of his Teleport and Recall scrolls! At least he had enough sense to bring along his Noble’s Magical Discourse Orb! Efxtive and Fantalio are out searching for him now… (Amber Raine LAUGHS.) AMBER RAINE Took us a couple of weeks, but we finally found him… NARRATOR A bearded and disheveled Frederick Tareti walks into the Tavern. (Frederick Tareti enters from stage left.) FREDERICK Hi, guys! Long time, no see… VALLAS, AIMEND, TARIN, VODALION, KELDON, AND BUDNER (excited) Frederick! (Frederick walks to stage center and everyone surrounds him.) VALLAS What happened to you, man? You’ve been gone for nearly a year… We thought you had perished! (Insert music track # 9 – “Golden Dreams” by Amber Raine) FREDERICK I nearly did, Vallas! The first natives I came across in my travels turned out to be a lost tribe of Kaitoth cannibals who were worshipping a statue of their missing king, which looked a lot like Dinsoo! They believed that their king would return one day to lead them back to their ancestral homeland, which is now occupied by PaxLair They thought I would make a tasty meal, so I made a hasty retreat to the nearby river. I managed to avoid getting hit by their arrows, but ended up going over a waterfall and got knocked unconscious. I washed up ashore a few miles downstream and was found by a fearsome, but beautiful, female warrior who nursed me back to health. Unfortunately, once I was fully healed, her Queen would not let me leave their jungle village. Their tribe needed me as breeding stock, as all of their men had succumbed to some unknown disease a few years before. KELDON Frederick, you lucky dog! I am so jealous! AIMEND (mocking) Why am I not surprised? Please continue, Frederick… FREDERICK I was so exhausted by having to “perform” eight hours a day in addition to the eight hours a day I spent cooking, cleaning, and gardening while the women were out hunting. I don’t think I would have lasted much longer! Fortunately, that was when Amber and her group found me. She asked their queen, a raven haired beauty named Shadrai, to release me into her custody, but she refused, as all of the children I had sired up to that point were female… AIMEND (curious) So how did Amber secure your release? AMBER RAINE I challenged Shadrai to mortal combat, with Frederick as the prize! After a long and fierce battle, I emerged triumphant, but opted to spare her life. Shadrai seemed fascinated with my teachings, so I gave her a copy of the Parma and two of my male acolytes volunteered to remain behind in Frederick’s stead. So you see, Brother Frederick was able to bring in some new converts to the Church of the Dark Star, although not in the way he intended… FREDERICK Indeed, Amber! However, I think I will leave the missionary work to our more experienced members from now on! AMBER RAINE Quite understandable considering the ordeal you’ve been through! Don’t worry, Brother Frederick, there are plenty of people here in Novia for you to convert! FREDERICK Well, there is one good thing that resulted from my ordeal. May I present my lovely new bride, Melody! (Melody enters from stage left. She is wearing leather armor.) MELODY Hello! It is so nice to meet all of Frederick’s friends! He has spoken highly about all of you. NARRATOR Both Vallas and Vodalion gaze lustfully at Melody but quickly regain their composure before anyone notices. VALLAS As governor of Beran’s Reach, let me officially welcome you to our fine community, Melody! MELODY Thank you, Governor Vallas! VODALION Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Vodalion, head cook here at the Bear Tavern… (Vodalion and Melody SHAKE HANDS.) MELODY Have we met before? You look VERY familiar… VODALION (flustered) I…don’t see how. I have never been to the southern continent… MELODY Hmm… (Melody PONDERS.) (All the Bears onstage line up at stage center.) VALLAS, AIMEND, TARIN, VODALION, KELDON, BUDNER, FREDERICK, MELODY, AND AMBER (in unison) For Honor! For Glory! For Beer! (Everyone TOASTS.) AIMEND The three of you must be starving after your long trip! Come, have a seat at the table. Vodalion, do we have any hot entrees left? VODALION I’ll check on that… (Vodalion exits stage right as Amber, Frederick, and Melody sit down at the table at stage left. Vallas and Tarin stand in front of the table and continue chatting with them, while Keldon and Budner walk to stage right.) (Cyrus enters from stage left and stands at the edge of the stage.) CYRUS When last I was here, I did promise to check in from time to time to see how things were going. Vallas, you should have realized that the dream I sent you was a warning! The gods have forbidden me from taking a more direct role in the coming Shadow War. Now I sense that the future of both the Bear Tavern Guild and Beran’s Reach is shrouded in darkness… (Cyrus SIGHS.) NARRATOR Cyrus suddenly shapeshifts into his true form – that of the demigod, Beran! (Cyrus turns around and exits stage left.) (Insert music track # 11 – “Whispers” by Amber Raine) (Keldon BOWS to Budner and hands him a piece of paper.) KELDON (whispering) As requested, here is the agreement signed by all members of the Tavern Council in their own blood. BUDNER (whispering) Excellent work, Keldon, I knew I could count on you…and what about Vallas? KELDON (whispering) Don’t worry, High Priest Budner, I will make sure that he does not live through the night! He should not have underestimated me or treated me so poorly! Keldon, mop up this mess! Keldon, you pillock, you’ve burned my trousers again! Well, no more! Come dawn, I will lead the Bear Tavern Guild! BUDNER (whispering) That you will, my good friend! (Budner LAUGHS and NODS to Keldon as they both exit stage right.) NARRATOR (pleased) Excellent! Despite Beran’s interference, everything is still going according to plan! The Bears have welcomed my daughter, Melody, with open arms. Until I can amass sufficient mystical energy to power the cloning chamber which I received from Kriz, my spirit remains trapped in the body of this wandering female healer who stumbled upon my burnt and defiled remains! Soon I shall have my revenge on the Bears for destroying my physical form and preventing my resurrection! So swears… Nefario! (Narrator SHAKES HER FIST) (Narrator laughs maniacally) THE END *************************************************************************************** (During credits all cast line up at the front of the stage) (Insert music track # 12 – “RPG Never Go Full Bard”) Music Credits The following music tracks are used in this production with the permission of the composer, Amber Raine: “Epic Entrance” “Underhanded Conspiracy” “Betrayal“ “Death of a King“ “Dream Walking Nightmare Remix” (as “Ambrew”, in collaboration with Andrew Head) “Golden Dreams” “Whispers” The following music tracks used in this production are licensed under either Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 or 4.0 Unported or Creative Commons 0 (Public Domain) (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/) (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) (https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” by Todd Reed Music The following can be found at www.opengameart.org “RPG Never Go Full Bard” by Hitctrl The End (All Bow to audience) The post Daggers in the Dark – by the New Britannia Theater Troupe appeared first on Echoes from the Caverns. 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  21. Jack T. Lamplighter

    Leaderboard update rate changed

    On last stream player asked to get the Leaderboard to update stats hourly instead of daily. This is just a mention to say it's on! View the full article
  22. Hello everyone, this is Asclepius, with the continuation of this fantastic story from Akandriel, entitled The howling wind of spindleskog Background music by Smartsound As darkness arrived Twistar prepared his party with a final lecture and hand gestures to ensure everyone was briefed on this adventure they sought. He led them to the darkened forest The mighty adventurers traversed through hills and rough terrain, passing through dense shrubs on the plains. Twistar,s keen eye found roaming creatures under the glow of moonlight. As his party drew near they hid and numbed their fear with a puff of psilocybin smoke and a final swig of beer. Mentored by Alphaine six plus three, he used barding skills to gather creatures near the trees. Song and fire with shooting flames, the eight legged creature is attracted by loud taunts and screaming shouts, with stagnating movement thereabouts. Twistar sneaked past the slow-moving bodies of creepy eyes and long legs near his side; the battle started in the dead of night. He performed a magical ritual to surround himself in fire; a flame with intense heat capable of burning flesh if anything came close to his position, leaving bodies burned beyond recognition. The fire illuminated the area and revealed a creature hiding near a tree; the adventurers followed Twistar’s lead. A magical cold strike surrounded the creature in ice spikes, trapping its movement to a slow crawl, making it easier to target for a violent brawl. A loud thundering sound emitted from a hammers ground pound; a sensation of vibrations caused blurred vision to anything around, delaying their actions in a momentary pause, giving the adventurers a few more seconds to avoid the creature’s claws. The magic dissipated and the creature escaped with only a few scars on its face. The adventurers scrambled in an unorganised manner, trying to find some light that is hiding in the darkness of night. It was a chaotic pace with weapons swinging wildly during the creature chase. A sword swung fast and freely in mid-air, but it was unable to hit the fast moving creature as it ran in circles, the speed blurring its shadow features. A polearm patiently waited to attack as the weapon is slow to move when trying to slice, but it missed the creature with each attempted strike. A bow shot arrows from afar, but the arrows were unable to find the target in darkened space as the creature was camouflaged by its colour and shape. Twistar moved fast with his skills of haste, delaying his perception of actual events; a fierce battle with rage that took place; attacking the creature with eight legs with a storm of fire and a finishing melee stab. He paused his actions for a second to assess the battle; the cacophony’s inception rumbling crashing and çrackling noises from close proximity. It was a tumultuous event confused by haste due to darkness and a scary place. When his eyes blinked to focus his vision, he saw a large hammer swinging above him with rising and downward motion towards his position. He squinted in fear as a hammer strike came near but it landed near his feet where the creature was last seen; he continued to move fast to avoid another melee bash. Twistar’s mind draws a blank as he is unable to remember the next event that led to his party’s horrific ending fate, leaving four people dead and without a trace. The solace of the forest deepened as if the ghost of their corpses found relief, but he did not. He reeled from the loss of blood which he suffered and felt his eyelids twinkle of their own accord. He holds the Fang still and digs it into his chest for a faster exit. The light of the moon went out as soon as the Fang broke through the Bony cage of his ribs and touched his heart. The afterlife wasn’t all it seemed as Twistar’s eyes fluttered open. His burning headaches are from the nightmares which he suffered. The violent intensity of the dreams seemed to drain his own body of energy. His heart paced when he sensed he recognised the forest space from the dream he had just awoken from. Something about the dream dragged within him. It flutters in the region within his reach like a butterfly but these details elude his stretching grasp. Twistar jerks from his position into a standing one. His heart sinks when he finally realises the events of the night. He throws the fang on the ground, pinching his skin and slapping his face for effect. He feels the sting of each action. He has to be awake. The thoughts of the battle enter his mind and panic sets in. There was no exit. The entire forest space is an enclosure of dull grey matter covering every side of the mountain. The air reaches his nostrils in jagged breaths. “Hello” he cried out “Hello!” The voice that returned was not an echo of his yelling; it came from a particular section of his mind. He swallows a hard bowl of air when the realisation of what happened trickles into his memory, like a small pool of water sluicing into the corridors of his thoughts. “Welcome to the world you have made for yourself Twistar” The voices followed the travelling wind that came in through a crack in which the rays of moonlight flickered in. After a moment he recognises all the voices. It’s the same voices that begged for life when Twistar attacked his party, a party of four adventurers; the eight legged creatures he saw that night. He had burned them all with his fire, and a final stab with his handheld weapon – a poisonous fang that dug deep in their chests rendering their bodies dormant and dead as the venom settled in. One by one he killed them all. When it was all over, he stared at the bloody fang and threw it on the ground. “What have I done?” he thought. A voice in his head offered a solution – run. The details of his actions recorded in a flashback. Twistar searched for the source of the voice. A man of violent disposition even he was forced into cowardice by the situation. “Now, let’s play a little game shall we?” The voice turns sinister and the chills come back. Twistar couldn’t plead for escape from what should be the 15th loop of the vicious circle. He reaches instinctively for the Fang and goes about his business with fluid acuity. For the first time in days he has all the yearnings for an escape and no willingness to run. He’s a man insane. From the troubles of life in a circle which he did not understand . He didn’t flinch when the Fang dug into his flesh and tore into his chest . He didn’t hesitate to shield his eyes when his eyelids closed. Twistar’s eyes would open once more to the agony of an unending night. The hallucinations continue until the bartender in the Tavern shakes his body. “Twistar, wake up! Your friends are ready to go on the adventure.” Twistar the howling wind of Spindleskog! Echoes From the Caverns The post The Howling Wind of Spindleskog 2 – by Akandriel – narrated by Asclepius appeared first on Echoes from the Caverns. View the full article
  23. Hello everyone, this is Asclepius, with the first chapter of a wonderful story from Akandriel, entitled The howling wind of Spindleskog Background music by Smartsound The sound of the unseen entity manifested like fire and scorching judgement and punishment all in one. It was a simple screech that broke the silence in the dark forest with a chilly gutterance. The chill started from Twistar’s spine, searing it’s way too his arms and leaving his hands cold as soon as the piercing cry hit his ears. Through his entire being was the agony of a painful panic gnawing into the depths of his consciousness and finding no resting place. There was no escape from his tormenting desires, desires that had brought this on him; vengeance. “I know you’re here!” he yelled. The signs had been there etched in his mind from when the fang struck deep into the chests, injecting its venom into its prey, and incapacitating the victims with poison that flowed through their bodily tissue, capillaries, and veins. The poison accelerated decay, liquefying the victims’ internals into a mush, leaving behind a burned and empty carcass husk. All his companions lay dead Twistar wasn’t able to prevent these traumatic events. His brain is swollen from reccurring thoughts of the disaster. Continuous use of inhaling smoke from burning stimulants and drinking ale did little to calm his shaky nerves The ray of light passes through a crack in the forest trees, unveiling a moon hung from the sky by an ancient orb. It’s this specific light that only reveals the entity during the night; the creature that made him angry and full of spite. Twister’s revenge is buried deep inside, but its strength resurfaces from time to time sparking his desire to find the creature that slaughtered everyone during the fight. The area is partially illuminated by fragmentations of light hindering Twistar’s sight, but he sees a peculiar shadow that isn’t completely concealed by the darkness of night; it may reveal the creature nearby He navigates through cobwebs, twigs, and leaves using his stealthy expertise, sneaking closer to the shadow’s form, preparing himself to unleash his raging storm. Twistar feels an odd sensation when he arrives at the battleground, feeling the essence of the horror; not forgetting just how he felt when the creature handed its strike without making a sound nor revealing any identifiable presence at night. He remembers the silence, then the attack that surprised them when the creature displayed its form, a faint shadow exposing a familiar size, and a blurring screech that echoed off the mountainside. “Please make it stop!” Twistar pleaded. Twistar’ s head points down as he cries when recalling images from that night. His eyes watering and his mouth fills with saliva while the liquid in his throat dries. He shivers in his own perspiration, and his subtle vibrations shake the stains of sweat off his skin. “I know you’re here!” he yelled. Echoes From the Caverns The post The Howling Wind of Spindleskog – by Akandriel – narrated by Asclepius appeared first on Echoes from the Caverns. View the full article
  24. Hello everyone, this is Asclepius, with a wonderful story from Womby, entitled The One-eared Rabbit of Braemar Background music by Smartsound When night falls and the busy town folk retreat to the tavern to relax and socialise, conversation often turns to the strange and inexplicable. Stories of lost kingdoms hold perpetual fascination, while tales of mysterious crypts and the walking dead cast a pall of fear over those who hear them. All this is nothing, however, compared to the sudden hush that comes over the assembled crowd whenever someone mentions an encounter with the sacred One Eared Rabbit. “Did he empty your purse?” they ask, in hushed tones. “Yes” comes the inevitable reply. “I barely glanced at him and when I got home, sure enough, all my gold coins were missing.” “His secret hoard must be somewhere near there!” someone exclaims. “How long has this been going on?” asks a stranger. “Since before The Fall,” comes a chorus of replies. “The amount of gold that rabbit has collected must be enough to fill a huge cavern.” “Why has no one found it?” asks the stranger. “Oh, we can’t do that” replies a wizened old man. “The rabbit is sacred. To disturb its lair would be sacrilege. We try our best to leave it in peace. In fact, we’ve made a map of the locations of all the known sightings, so that strangers such as yourself can avoid the area.” “Of course,” replies the stranger. “I wouldn’t want to disturb the sacred rabbit. May I have a copy of the map?” “Certainly,” replies the old man. “I can sell you one for 100 gold pieces.” “Done,” replies the stranger. Yes, thinks the old man. You certainly have been. Echoes From the Caverns The post The One-eared Rabbit of Breamar – by Womby – narrated by Asclepius appeared first on Echoes from the Caverns. View the full article
  25. Hello everyone, this is Asclepius, with a wonderful story from Womby, entitled The Strange Case of Thaddeus Mange Background music by Smartsound It was around a year ago that Thaddeus Mange, long term resident of Kingsport, disappeared with nary a trace. Nobody thought too much of it at the time. What with the rise of bandits, the newly encroaching undead, and the loss of shipping contact with Novia, residents of Kingsport had other things on their minds. What did attract their attention, however, was the gradual disappearance of his house. Piece by piece, item by item, parts of his dwelling have been mysteriously disappearing. Naturally thieves were blamed, and the local guard Douglas kept watch. To his disbelief and horror, items appeared to walk off and vanish before his very eyes, resulting in him locking himself securely in the watchtower at night. Soon these strange disappearances became public knowledge, and as is often the case when the ignorant are confronted with the inexplicable, his neighbor formed a cult. Naturally, this cult interpreted the disappearances as a message, although the exact nature of the message was the cause of much argument within the cult. A split formed between those who believed that the disappearance foretold a final cataclysmic end to the world (the Enders), and those who interpreted the disappearance as a sign that all Avatars would one day suddenly vanish (the Avatarians). Disagreement between these two factions has recently turned violent, with both sides fighting for possession of the site. Meanwhile, Thaddeus Mange has almost completed the transfer of his house from the Hidden Vale to Novia by row boat, and hopes to move the last few items any day now. He uses an invisibility spell and works at night so as to avoid having to talk with his neighbors, whom he cannot stand. Echoes From the Caverns The post The Strange Case of Thaddeus Mange – by Womby – narrated by Asclepius appeared first on Echoes from the Caverns. View the full article
  26. Greetings Fellow Avatars! Release 90 is upon us! Imbued Gems! Imbued Jewels! Combat balance improvements! User Interface improvements! MANY bug fixes and quality of life improvements! Log in to check out this amazing update! For those wishing to participate in any community activities, upcoming one-time and recurring community events have been announced! Be sure to also review the... Avatar’s Update #425: Play Release 90 Now! Imbued Gems & Jewels! Balance Work! UI Improvements!View the full article
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