August 11 2018

Echoes from the Caverns 08-10-2018

Greetings Fellow Avatars! Here’s what we have for you in this week’s edition of Update of the Avatar:

News Announcements

Player Made Dungeon Update

  • Release 56 Livestream YouTube & Stretch Goal Tracking Change
  • Shroud of the Avatar Rewards Program
  • Cosmos Double XP Weekends
  • Weekend Flash Sale: Everything Elven
  • Upcoming Events Calendar

Community Updates

  • The Grand Duke Event
  • The Grand Duke Event Sale Final Day!
  • Meretz: Win a Topiary Town Dragon Statue
  • Meretz: Win a Pair of SOTACON 2018 Tickets!
  • Project to Support:Underworld Ascendant
  • Resources: Players Helping Players

And the video is here:

Echoes From the Caverns

Echoes From the Caverns

August 10 2018

Black Rose Chronicles 5 – by Belladonna Rose – narrated by Asclepius

Hello everyone, this is Asclepius, with the fifth chapter of a wonderful story from Belladonna Rose, entitled
Black Rose Chronicles
Background music by Smartsound

 

Chapter 5

Waving with a small smile Edvard then turned and walked back up to the bridge. Standing in the middle he watched as the boat made its way down river and as the sun became hidden behind the mountain. Strange sounds started up again throughout the forested area. Soon the creatures would be on the prowl again.

Charlotte curled up as close to Bella as she could. It was hard to row the craft with the child nestled against her so closely but she did her best. Edvard did not lie about the dangers of the darkness. She could hear the moans and screams coming from the river banks. Rustling bushes and brush as things seemed to make their way out into the dark. This alone made her want to row faster but she was beginning to falter in her strength. She was so tired. Much had happened to her this day. No time to rest. Must get to Soltown. Where is Soltown? Exhausted she kept rowing praying with every stroke that she did not fall asleep or worse.

Hours in the darkness eventually became less as the sun began to creep up through the trees. She had been at sea so long that she forgot how long it took for the sun to rise. Having not been on land much of late she needed to get her bearings again for life on land. The river began to narrow putting the banks much closer to the boat. This worried her a bit…but the noises from the forest became less and less with the rising sun.

Up ahead she saw the faint light of torches. Light that will soon be extinguished once the sun was out. And there …..a dock. This must be the place. Please let this be the place. A man in strange armor stood at the end of the dock. Turning his head he saw the boat and waved them forward. As if she was not doing that already. Bumping along the edge of the dock the man reached down and gained hold pulling them up closer. He pulled the tether from inside the boat and tied it to a post.

Reaching down he put his hand out to help her onto the docks. She waved him off and hoisted the child up to him. “Take her please. We have just come from Solace Bridge. Edvard bade me to bring here here to her mother. I am Belladonna Rose, the Avatar.” Blinking she was not sure if this was how she was supposed to introduce herself or not. No one said otherwise how she was to do so. No matter. Titles were not that important save one. And seems that one is long lost.

“By the stars. It is true. Another Outlander has come to help. Thank the stars. I am Captain Stanley and this is Soltown. I am in charge here til Commander Cugel says otherwise.”

Bella pulled herself up on the docks and tried her best to stand tall. Fatigue was winning over for sure now and apparently the Captain saw this. “Lets get this wee one to her mother. I know her well enough. She is across the road in the refugee camp. Abigail will be happy to see her and will want to thank you personally.”

Bella honestly could care less about thanks right now. All she wanted was hot food and sleep. Hopefully this woman will take pity on her and give that much. Smiling softly she followed Stanley across the road to the camp. Looking about she saw several tents and people milling about a roaring fire. Many children scampered about playing at being guards. From the looks of things they got away from Solace Bridge with barely the clothes on their backs. Which she knew how that felt. That was all she had.

The refugees saw Stanley and ran to him….huddling around him like vultures. He pushed his way past them to the far tent. A tall woman came to the entrance of the tent and gasped as Stanley approached. Handing the child to her she hugged the girl tightly. Crying out to the skies she turned away with the child. Many of the others cheered and applauded. Among their own despair they were happy that at least one of them had some happiness returned to them.

Stanley went to the fire and gave a short account to the people. Telling them of Bella’s journey from Solace Bridge. He told them he had news from Edvard and was going to send a dispatch to Cugel in Ardoris. They were saddened by the news. Solace Bridge had fallen. Now they had to decide what to do and where to go. Many had already left. Making way to other places throughout the lands. Some to smaller towns some to outlying areas. The pilgrimage from Solace Bridge for some would lead them far and wide. Some would stay close just for the memory or just because they had lost all hope.

Seeing this in their faces caused a pang of regret in Bella. But that is what the Oracle said. She said that she would feel regret, sorrow and many other emotions as she travelled the lands. Forsaken Love. This is the path she was on. To restore Love to the people. How the hell was she supposed to do this.

She stood by the fire as the refugees walked by patting her softly on the back or giving her a quick embrace for what she had done. As they did so she watched the woman…Abigail..tuck her daughter under a blanket on a rickety cot. The woman turned and motioned for Bella to come to her. Walking into the tent she saw there was very little here. A sack which was probably all she owned. The woman fumbled in her pocket and reached out to Bella. Taking her hand she placed a handful of gold pieces in her hand. Looking down at the pittance she looked back at the lady. Sorrow and what looked like shame crossed her face.

“Tis all I have to offer M’lady for your service. You brought my daughter back to me when I all but thought she was lost to me. There is nothing of my husband I assume…not that I thought there would be.”

“Nay M’ lady. I do not know of your husband. I do not know much of anything as I am new here. I was sent to Solace Bridge and that is where I found Edvard. We then found the child and I was sent here. Other than that I am as lost as you seem to be.”

The lady looked at Bella with astonished eyes. “Outlander…Avatar. The one the prophecy speaks of. You have done more than you could ever know. Please take the gold and make use of it. Armor, weapons whatever will aide you. It is the least I can do.”

Bella smiled and took two coins and gave the rest back to Abigail. “Please…take the remainder of this gold. Make your way out of here. Make your way to a better life if you can M’lady. For the sake of the child.”

Nodding and smiling the lady took the gold and put it back in her pocket. Little that it was it might be enough for food to get her and her child elsewhere. She would figure the rest out later.

Echoes From the Caverns

Echoes From the Caverns

August 4 2018

Echoes from the Caverns 08-03-2018

Greetings Fellow Avatars! Here’s what we have for you in this week’s edition of Update of the Avatar:
Game Development

  • Shooter Jennings Album Release Party Recap

News Announcements

  • Release 56 Livestream Goals Updated
  • Stretch Goal Tracking Changes
  • Shroud of the Avatar Rewards Program
  • Cosmos Double XP Weekends
  • Weekend Flash Sale: Cosmos Themed
  • Upcoming Events Calendar

Community Updates

  • The Grand Duke Event
  • The Grand Duke Event Sale
  • Amber and GoldenWing Wedding
  • Welcome Quest Release 56
  • Win a Pair of SOTACON 2018 Tickets!
  • Project to Support: REEF
  • Resources: Players Helping Players
Echoes From the Caverns

Echoes From the Caverns

July 28 2018

Echoes from the Caverns 07-27-2018

Greetings Fellow Avatars! Here’s what we have for you in this week’s edition of Update of the Avatar:
Game Development

  • Play Release 56 Now!
  • Global Visual Improvements

News Announcements

  • Release 56 Livestream – August 3, 2018 (Cosmos Themed)
  • Release 56 Dance Party
  • Release 55 Livestream Part 2 Final Results & YouTube
  • Shooter Jennings “Shooter” Album Release Party!
  • Shroud of the Avatar Rewards Program
  • Lord British Birthday Double XP Weekends
  • Weekend Flash Sale: Music Sale
  • Upcoming Events Calendar

Community Updates

  • The Grand Duke Event
  • The Grand Duke Event Sale
  • Welcome Quest Release 56
  • Win a Pair of SOTACON 2018 Tickets!
  • Project to Support: Avatars Radio
  • Resources: Players Helping Players

Weekly Comment on the State of the Game

Echoes From the Caverns

Echoes From the Caverns

July 21 2018

Livestream Video from 07-20-2018 for Echoes From the Caverns

Hello,

If you missed us live yesterday, which is likely as we haven’t done a lot of advertising on this new thing yet, as we work out the technical issues, we did another live hangout while recording Echoes From the Caverns!

Want to join us on next week’s hangout? Chat about the news with us? Toss out some jokes? We’d be very interested in having people join us! Contact either of us and we can send you a hangout link. Drop me a note at stile@thecaverns.net.

July 21 2018

Echoes from the Caverns 07-20-2018

Greetings Fellow Avatars! Here’s what we have for you in this week’s edition of Update of the Avatar:
Game Development

  • The Reworking of Solace Bridge
  • The Making of The Obsidian Trials (cont.)
  • R53 Livestream Sky Navy Themed Items (cont.)

News Announcements

  • Release 55 Livestream Part 2 Update
  • Episode 2 Early Access & Player Owned Towns
  • Episode 2 Stretch-Goal Store: Barn Two-Story Village Home
  • Release 56 on QA Server
  • Shooter Jennings “Shooter” Album Release Party!
  • Shroud of the Avatar Rewards Program
  • Lord British Birthday Double XP Weekends
  • Weekend Flash Sale: Lot Deeds and Homes
  • Upcoming Events Calendar

Community Updates

  • The Grand Duke Event
  • Welcome Quest Release 56
  • Win a Pair of SOTACON 2018 Tickets!
  • Project to Support: Descent: Underground
  • Resources: Players Helping Players

We are also live on video! The YouTube link is here – working better this week 🙂

Echoes From the Caverns

Echoes From the Caverns

July 16 2018

Echoes from the Caverns 07-13-2018

Greetings Fellow Avatars! Here’s what we have for you in this week’s edition of Update of the Avatar:

Game Development

  • Aether Creatures Sighted in New Britannia!

News Announcements

  • Shooter Jennings “Shooter” Album Release Party!
  • Release 55 Livestream Part 2!
  • Episode 2 Stretch Goal Store: New Items
  • Shroud of the Avatar Rewards Program
  • Lord British Birthday Double XP Weekends
  • NPC Submission Requests: Brittany Alleys (extended to R56)
  • Weekend Flash Sale: Masks & Pets
  • Upcoming Events Calendar

Community Updates

  • King Grannus Meadhall in Kahli opening on July 14
  • Win a Pair of SOTACON 2018 Tickets!
  • Project to Support: Crowfall
  • Resources: Players Helping Players

Stile’s Tip of the Day and Spotlight

NEWS!! We are now using video as well as audio. For those who wish to view the newscast in video format, you can catch the YouTube record here:

 

Echoes From the Caverns

Echoes From the Caverns

July 12 2018

Black Rose Chronicles 4 – by Belladonna Rose – narrated by Asclepius

Hello everyone, this is Asclepius, with the fourth chapter of a wonderful story from Belladonna Rose, entitled
Black Rose Chronicles
Background music by Smartsound

Stepping through the other side of the rift the cloudy air cleared from her sight. She could see trees and the strong smell of smoke and death filled her nostrils. Looking around her she could see lush green grass and trees, but the smell was overwhelming. Bella could even feel the evil in the place. Deep in her bones. She had felt this many a time before. No stranger to danger or death. Ahead she saw the palisade walls surrounding the area. This must be Solace Bridge.
In the distance she could hear many sounds. Some familiar forest sounds. Birds, squirrels and even the sound of a bear in the distance. But that moaning sound was different. As she walked towards the gate of the palisade she saw something lumbering towards her. WHAT IS THAT?
Undead. Zombie. Oh great. She looked about for something to use as a weapon. There on the side of the path was a branch of a tree. Hoisting it up and taking a stance she waited for the thing to come closer. The smell was hideous. As the zombie came closer it reached for her. Pulling her arms back she swung the branch at the zombie. It took the brunt of the hit full force but kept coming. Oh great. This should be fun. She continued to hit the creature and finally after a few more hits it fell to the ground.
She looked down at the poor thing and realized it was wearing the remnants of what was probably the local inhabitants. So sad that this had to happen to a human.
Walking away again from the corpse she approached the gate. On the other side she could see an older man standing guard. Staff in hand as if waiting for something to attack him. She pushed up the lever to the gate and slowly it opened. Rushing inside she was met again by one of those zombies.
But to her surprise the old man came forth and helped her fight. Several of these creatures came forward and between the two of them they put them to rest.
“Thank the stars you arrived. Not sure how well I would have faired against that many of those things. The bridge has been overrun with those foul creatures for near a fort night. And the other undead things lumbering around as well. It has been a sad time indeed.”
Wiping the muck off her tunic from the fight she looked at the older man. He was a portly fellow but was very well trained in defence. This was a good thing.
“Good day to you stranger. I am Edvard. I was told to expect someone of your stature and here ye be.”
Bella smiled softly at the old man. Looking at the destruction of this place was more than she had expected. It was truly a battle for sure. And from the looks of things the battle did not go well.
“Hello good sir. I am Belladonna Rose. I was sent here by Arabella and the Oracle.”
“Aye. Yes. Arabella. She is a fine one that one. She has been busy of late bringing other Outlanders to the realm. Doing service for Lord British she does. And I am thankful for you being here.”
“I do not know what is expected of me here but I will do my best. Perhaps you have seen others of late. I am worried about the crew from my ship and my friend Jack. Maybe they passed this way.”
“Ah. Alas many have traveled through here and I sent them on to continue their journey as I will you.” He quickly started moving about gathering up a quiver of arrows and the long-forgotten bow on the ground. Approaching Bella he handed them to her. She looked at him with concern.
“Here..take these. I dare say you will need them more than I. That tree branch will not help you
much with the other things out there to fight. When you see a weapon on the ground pick it up and use it if need be. Or sell it for gold in the nearest town. Fair to say I do not have much else to give you. Advise and instruction is the best I can do.”
Bella took the bow and quiver and a dagger she found on the ground. Pulling the quiver onto her back she looked about. Off to the right a slow burning building caught her attention. She could hear the faint sound of a child crying.
“Quick Master Edvard. That child needs help.”
“Ah….there she is. I knew there was one child left but could not find her. She must have been hiding inside that building. Hurry Avatar….rescue the child. I will meet you at the other gate and we will get her to safety.”
Turning on heel Bella ran to the building. Pushing the broken door open she saw a soldier dead on the floor. His shining sword at his side and a crumpled note in his hand. She took both and headed up the stairway where she heard the whimpers of a child.

As she went up the stairs an armed skeleton crashed through the far door. Still holding the dead man’s sword she quickly spun and slashed at the skeleton. Shattered bone clattered on the floor. That was easy enough. Leaping up the stairs two at a time she reached the landing only to see another of those skeletons making its way towards the child. Sword in hand she jumped between them and began slicing at the monster. This one was not that easy. The clanging of swords being crossed seemed to vibrate in her ears and throughout the room. Stumbling back a bit she regained her footing and lunged forward. Surprise caught her as her sword was wedged in the ribs of the skeleton. With a twist and a yank she freed it and the bones clattered to the floor.

Taking a breath she looked around only to see the child peering over the top of the bed where she had been trying to hide. Bella reached a hand out and the girl ran into her arms crying. Holding her close for a moment she pulled her face up to look into her eyes. Fear was obvious but there was something else there as well.

“What is your name child?” The girl looked at her with tearfilled eyes. “Charlotte Gray is my name and I want to go home.” Bella took the child by the hand and led her down the stairs and out the doorway. “Come along then. We will see about getting you home.”

Across the courtyard she could see Edvard standing by the gate. Holding the child with one hand and the sword with another she made her way across. Edvard stood solemnly. Looking down she saw another guard. He too had met his fate with these creatures. He too had a sword like the other. She reached down and took it as well. Sliding it through her belt she nodded to Edvard.

Reaching up he pushed the lever to open the gate and they proceeded to walk across the bridge. Nothing came after them this time. But she was ever watchful just the same. At the end of the bridge she looked up the hill. There she saw the rift. That must be the way they were heading.

“Master Edvard…..the rift. Should we head there and get out of this forsaken place?”

“Nay child. That is not the way right now. The stars are not aligned correctly. And I have no idea where that rift would lead us. You must take the girl to Soltown. Her mother Abigail is there.”

At the sound of her mother’s name the girl perked up a bit. She squeezed Bella’s hand eager to go to her mother. Bella looked down and smiled. “Yes. I will take you.” Edvard moved towards the edge of the road and down a short path was a small boat. He motioned for Bella to go ahead of him.

“Quickly Avatar. Take the child and make your way up river. You will be in Soltown by dawn. Tis not safe to tarry here. Darkness brings the creatures out in numbers. You both will be better off than here.” Looking across the darkening land he looked back. Bella put the girl in the boat and started to climb in when Edvard took her by the shoulder.

“Take this book and give to Captain Stanley. It is an accounting of what has happened here and such. He will make the decision of what to do next. Perhaps he can get troops from Ardoris to come and help clear the area. And that sword and note you have be sure to give them to the loved ones. The sword will goes to Emily in Soltown. That note to a lady in Celestis. If you happen to make your way there…Go now Avatar. Darkness grows.”

As she pushed away from the bank and started to row Edvard yelled out to her.

“By what name doth thee go by Avatar. So I will know if ever we meet again.”

Cupping her hands to shout back.. ”Belladonna Rose is my name.”

Echoes From the Caverns

Echoes From the Caverns