November 28 2014

Echoes from the Caverns 11.28.2014

Hello everyone, here is the newscast for November 28, 2014.

The news actually appeared early this week, due to the Thanksgiving holiday, but here we are as usual bringing you all the SotA news and updates.

Highlights this week include:

  • SotA Successfully Launches on Steam Early Access
  • The Mad Hermit’s Video Guide to Release 12
  • New Release 13 Scene: Graff Gem Mines
  • SotA Community is Rockin’ It!
  • Cyber Monday 12 Hour Telethon
  • In-game Community Weekend Events
  • R12 Steam Access Keys Available for All Backers
  • 6 Days Left to Get Your Black Friday 15% Bonus
  • Holiday Specials
  • Last Chance Exclusives: The Carpentry Hammer and Rustic Village Home
  • Recruitment Bonus and Alienware Pledge Upgrade Promotions End
  • Upcoming Events

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November 21 2014

Echoes from the Caverns 11.21.2014

Hello everyone, here is the newscast for November 21, 2014. An awesome collection of news, coupled with the R12 release!

Join us and our guest StaticGrazer as we dissect all the news!


Highlights this week include:

  • Hearth of Britannia: Legends of the Hearth II
  • Play Release 12 Now and Get Your Pilgrim’s Hat
  • Release 12 In-game Community Events
  • Easter Egg: Sword of Power!
  • Lord British Weighs In on Companions, Solo Play and the Development Process
  • Community Spotlight: Scholars of Novia’s First Writing Contest Winners
  • R12 Steam Access Keys Available for All Backers
  • Get Your 15% Bonus
  • Cyber Monday All Day Telethon
  • Holiday Specials
  • Last Chance Exclusives: Cooking Pot of Prosperity and Magic Sigil Cloak
  • Monthly Payment Plan Extended Through June 2015
  • Alienware Sponsors $20 Pledge Upgrade Coupon
  • This Week In The News
  • Upcoming Events

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November 20 2014

Rise of the Ravagers – Chapter 1 – by Lendrick – narrated by Asclepius

Hello everyone, this is Asclepius, with a thrilling story from Lendrick. It is entitled

Rise of the Ravagers, chapter 1.
Music by Smartsound

CHAPTER ONE CHILD’S PLAY Forest of Diamond Falls, The Forsaken Vale. Village of Highvale.
The Elven village was generally peaceful year round, and would sometimes see an influx of trade during the summer months. These months would be one of the few times the elves generally interacted with the outside races, and while their tolerance was generally very thin, these months where their trade was more important than petty differences, the elves would put on a joyous face and wan smiles to keep up the façade. Glyndrel was only a young elf-ling, only thirty summers old, but he looked and sounded like a human boy the age of eight. During this one particular summer sale day, was the day when he first laid eyes on her. Glyndrel had come to the market that day due to the wanderlust gripping him and propelling him there. Always towards the “Jerky” stalls first and then his market therapy. Glyndrel loved chewing on “Jerky”, strips of dried venison salted and mixed with herbs. Coming to the markets was somewhat of a tradition that had begun two years prior between Glyndrel and his best friend Alexyius. They would meet at the Markets when they were on, trade for some Jerky, and then wander about shopping with their eyes for their next “nick-knack”, or in Glyndrels case, something to add to his treasure hoard. Glyndrel has been gathering and collecting shiny objects for years, small amounts of money, some silvers and coppers, and this is all added to his treasure stash. This stash is hidden well and nobody knows about it. Glyndrel was still waiting for Alexyius, when something strange happened. As Glyndrel was waiting in his usual meeting spot, an image appeared as though through a hazy vision dream, an image of a beautiful Etryan girl. She was just there. One minute it was a mass of moving bodies and legs. Elves, humans – and Glyndrel even thought he spotted an Ogre – moved amongst the elven stalls trading, buying and selling. Glyndrel was standing there, chewing on some jerky and wondering what mischief he and Alexyius could get up to that afternoon when she appeared. Standing about the same height as Glyndrel, the Elfling female had cascading auburn hair that seemed to capture the sun, reflect it and shine it directly into Glyndrel’s eyes. His mind’s eye flinched as though blinded and Glyndrel caught himself, letting out a little chuckle. It wasn’t just her hair though, it was everything about her. Standing there as if from an exquisite dream. Yes, the cascading auburn hair, like fire falling from the heavens. The hair fell down around a perfectly shaped Etryan head, framing her smooth featured face, but those eyes! Piercing sharp green eyes, looking at his very soul. Glyndrel felt all breath leave his body as those eyes peered deep, almost through, looking not only at Glyndrel, but at all his possibilities, looking at his heart, his triumphs, his tragedies, and all that he loved and lost. Glyndrel blinked. She was still there, her ears were cute, with what looked to be sparkling emerald ear-rings that caused the light to reflect through them as well, spreading the light across her cheeks and amplifying it up to her eyes, only to project a beam of green light into Glyndrel’s direction, mesmerizing him. Glyndrel hadn’t realized he had stopped chewing his jerky. She wore simple breeches, a tunic and vest, and if not for her long hair, she would have passed possibly as a male, albeit a very attractive one. Attached to her belt was a small knife and belt pouch, her body lithe and spritely and her head was cocked to the side in amusement as she continued to stare at Glyndrel with her mouth half open showing perfectly white teeth. Why was she staring? It was an amazing sight to behold, and Glyndrel felt his stomach tighten and realized that without knowing he had actually been holding his breath. Letting out a gasp followed by some quick panting to calm the unsettled feeling in his stomach, he shook his head, brown hair jangling, and had she not just appeared there, he would have thought he was coming down with the pox or some such illness. As it were he looked again, she was still there, so he hadn’t imagined her, yet now she stood stock still, and appeared to be looking directly at him! Time stood still, and Glyndrel did not even register his legs moving as one moment they were several dozen feet away from one another and the next, they were in front of each other. “Uh? Who are you?” Glyndrel blurted, turning as red as a rootumber (a cross between a cucumber and beetroot). “Hey, well met! My family just moved here, what’s your name?” she replied, her voice was melodious and enchanting. “Glyn, Glyndrel, but my friends call me “Glyn”” stuttered Glyndrel. “Well then, “Glyn” it is” replied the elfling, as she grabbed one of Glyndrel’s arms and tugged him along, away from the market. Taken aback by her sudden forthrightness, Glyndrel stumbled as he attempted to regain his footing and whilst on the move managed to get out: “Whoa, hey, slow up there, you haven’t even told me your name yet!” “Oh, right, sorry, I get carried away, you can call me Slyphania, or my friends just call me “Slyph”, you know, like the fairy folk!?” Slyphania exclaimed, her eyes dancing in the sunlight and a ready smile that was nothing if not infectious. “Hah, ok, then, Slyph it is” Glyndrel replied, delighted and elated that he had been able to make a friend so easily. There weren’t that many Etryan children about the village and friends were hard to come by. They raced away from the market into the surrounding forest. The wood were glorious this time of year; with the rains having just finished, everything was fresh and smelled of sweet Sun-nectar that was released from the Willowood flowers found growing on the large oak trees. The animal fauna was also emanating joy and excitement, Glyndrel could almost feel the forest buzzing as if possessed by a thousand bees. They ran in no particular direction, the whole forest was their playground, yet Glyndrel did have particular spots he had picked out as his favorite, the watering hole, the log tumble (great place to play hide and find) and his personal favorite, the Great diamond falls, a massive waterfall that cascaded off the mountainous rocks and into a pool of still, blue green water. When the sun shone through the waterfall, it looked as though there were a multitude of diamonds sparkling inside the water, which is where the name comes from, and consequently the forest as well. Glyndrel loved all waterfalls, especially the excitement of looking what’s behind them, hidden away from the prying eyes of the cruel world. Behind the Great falls was Glyndrels special spot, a natural cave, worn away from millennia of backsplash. Glyndrel keeps his treasures in there, hidden away and not even Alexis, his best friend knows about them. Everyone needed to keep special secrets, even Elflings. “So where is this special Great Falls at then?” asked Slyphania suddenly. Glyndrel was taken aback, how could she possibly know about that? Just cause he was just thinking it? Had he said something out loud and didn’t realise? Or could she read his mind? All these questions and more flashed through his head when he struggled for a response, not wanting to discuss it with someone he had only just met, yet, unable to deny it since she had asked him directly. Instead he chose to deflect the question. ‘How do you know about the great falls? I thought you were new here?” Glyndrel asked, a question for a question. “I am, but they are special to you, so they are special to me also” came the reply that made Glyndrel groan inwardly at the thought that there was no getting around her uncanny knowledge of his most special secret place. “Well, I know where they are, but only my “special” friends get to see them. Are you are “special” friend? I only just met you, so how do I know if I can trust you with such a big secret?” Glyndrel replied haughtily, looking sideways and down at Slyphania. “You can trust me, Glyn, I am a good elf!” Slyphania replied with a laugh, and Glyndrel found it hard to dispute that. The feelings for this new elfin were growing and it was hard for Glyndrel to ignore them. “Well, ok, but first you have to pass several trials to prove you are worthy of such knowledge’ Glyndrel said cryptically. “Ok, what’s the fir—“ Slyphania let out a squeak as the ground beneath her gave way and she began to fall. Due to having a hold of Glyndrels arm, Glyndrel was pulled sideways and to the ground as Slyphania’s body dropped below into what appeared to be a massive hole over a cave or something similar. “Hold..on”. Glyndrel grunted through gritted teeth, the grip slipping. “My feet can’t touch anything Glyn, it’s too high, and I’m slipping!” Slyphania exclaimed as her grip on Glyndrels right forearm slipped down. Glyndrel attempted to bring his other arm round to grab hold of her, but it all happened so fast, the grip was lost and the next thing he knew she was gone. ******************** Slyphania let out a scream as she fell, all of ten foot before hitting soft dirt and rolling with a grunt. It took a few moments for her to get her bearings with the sound of Glyndrel yelling if she was ok from above. There was some diffused light entering what seemed to be an old cave or possibly a shelter. It had been covered with dirt so much that the ceiling became the forest floor. This could be something left from the Obsidian fall. Tentatively standing, it didn’t appear as if she had broken anything, and aside from the initial shock, appeared uninjured. “It’s ok, Glyn, I’m ok, it wasn’t that far down! “ Slyphania yelled back up. Walking over to the hole in the roof, she could see Glyndrel’s concerned face peering down as she peered up. “You should come down here too – I will catch you, this could be an amazing discovery only we two know about – much like your Great falls! “ Slyphania stated, using one hand to cut the glare of the sun down. It seemed as if Glyndrel considered this, and then the explorer spirit of him took hold and he shuffled around so his legs came through the hole. “Ok, I’m going to bring myself down as much as I can, be ready!” Glyn said, lowering himself slowly. Slyphania stood to the side, in order to catch and balance Glyndrel when he let go. At his maximum arm extension, he started counting. “What are you doing?” said Slyphania. “Mentally preparing myself, I am going to count to five then let go. Ok? Be ready!” Glyndrel started counting, at number five he let go and let out a yelp. Slyphania caught him as his legs touched dirt and they both stumbled and fell, Slyphania on the bottom with Glyndrel lying on top, their faces only inches apart. There was an unspoken, awkward tension in the air, only for a moment, but they both felt it, Slyphania was sure of it. Glyndrel, a young male Etryan, with golden brown locks, deep piercing almond shaped green eyes with a mischievous glint in them. Smooth featured and his ears had the cutest curled tips to them she had ever seen in an Etryan. “There you go, did I past the first trial? You used me to break your fall, what a good friend I am too you, already!” The moment passed and Glyndrel rolled off. Picking herself up and dusting off her breeches, Slyphania glanced around letting out a low whistle. “Well, this place is, um, what is this place Glyn? Awfully weird to have this beneath the forest floor.” Slyphania wasn’t looking at Glyndrel so missed the uncomfortable glance he shot her and instead strained to see how big the cave was. “Not sure, could be from the old ruin excavations”, Glyndrel replied, thankful for the change in topic. “You mean from when the Do’Etryan invaded?” Slyphania worded breathlessly, her eyes widening and mouth opening as she looked on in awestruck wonder. “Aye, those pesky Dark Elves really gave our forefathers a run for their lives!” Glyndrel stated, moving off toward one end of the cave. “How big do you think this is? How far back?” Slyphania asked “Not sure, quite a bit I would imagine, given their penchant for digging deep and intricate cavern systems” “Can we explore?” asked Slyphania expectantly, excited like a new born elfin getting their first leaf ride down the river. “There’s not much light in the day left, how about we keep this a secret between us and meet up here on the morrow at first dawn?” replied Glyndrel, a sound and serious answer. “Well, ok, genius, but how do we get out?” Slyphania answered taking small delight in the look that passed over Glyndrel’s face at the cold realisation that they may be stuck down here. “Well, um, how about if I stand on your shoulders? Or you stand on mine? Would that give us enough height?” Glyndrel has walked back over to where the hole was, the cave much darker now due to the failing light outside and they could only see a few feet around now. “Well, I am probably lighter than you, so how about I get on your shoulders?” “Hmm, ok, we’ll give it a go – if you manage to get out, promise me you won’t leave me down here!?” Glyndrel exclaimed with consternation. “Now, why would I leave my new found friend stranded in a hole the first day I meet him? That wouldn’t be very friendly now, would it? Perhaps on the second day…” Slyphania mocked. “That’s not funny, now, up you get!” Glyndrel crouched down to allow Slyphania to climb onto his back and then awkwardly, Glyndrel stood, balancing her on his shoulders Standing on his shoulders, rocking slightly, Slyphania reached out with her arms and hand to their fullest extension. Almost there. Brushing grass from the edge of the deadfall, clumps of grass and dirt came free, but nothing allowed purchase and caused them both to tumble down. ‘Gah! It’s hopeless, we are stuck here!” Despair crept into Glyndrel’s voice, causing it to break slightly. Tears started to well up, all Glyndrel wanted to do was get out and get home to his warm tree-house. ‘Don’t give up, we are almost there, I just need a little more height, and I could pull myself out, let’s give it another go”. Her infectious enthusiasm was somewhat contagious and with a grunt, Glyndrel got back into position to have her climb back onto his back. Once balanced, Slyphania stretched out her arms again, and yelled “I need a bit more height, can you lift me?” Glyndrel grabbed her feet, closed his eyes and lifted her, slowly, above his head. The higher he went, the higher she could reach and when he had her almost at full arm’s length heard a squeal of delight and suddenly her feet were ripped away from his hands as she pulled herself completely out of the hole. “We did it!” Slyphania exclaimed with abject delight. Taking a breath and looking about, she was able to locate some vines that were easy enough to tie together and lower down for Glyndrel to use as a makeshift rope. Soon after, they were both laying on the solid forest floor, panting, Glyndrel from climbing, Slyphania from holding on to the makeshift rope to ensure Glyndrel didn’t fall back down. “See?” Slyphania stated out of breath. “Uh?” Glyndrel grunted in response. “I came back for you after all!” Slyphania exclaimed and they were both rocked with laughter. ************************ Underneath the two laughing Vertas, in the darkness of the cave, something laughed back. ************************* The next day, as promised, the two friends met up at their secret hole in the ground. This time however, Glyndrel was more prepared, having brought two canteens of spring water and a sturdy rope, which was promptly tied to a close and large tree so there would be no issues getting out again. Slyphania to her credit also contributed, having an expensive looking fire lantern and a backpack filled with sweet bread and honey cakes. Glyndrel offered her a ready smile, genuinely pleased to be spending another day with his newfound friend. A flash of guilt passed through him at the thought that his friend Alexyius wasn’t with them, yet it was only a flash, and then a possessive wave of jealously swept Glyndrel. Slyphania was his friend, and this was their secret hole, something nobody else knew about, not his parent, his best friend, nobody. It was a secret and shared between just the two of them. At that moment, Glyndrel’s whole world was the hole and Slyphania, and nothing else mattered. Glyndrel smiled at the thought of that. “Something funny?” Slyphania asked incredulously. “Just taking in your visage, you really look the part now, don’t you? A regular dungeon adventurer just like Mason Trollslayer!” Glyndrel explained, deflecting the true reason for his smile. “Who is Mason Trollslayer?” asked Slyphania “Only one of the most famous Dwarven dungeoneers! A legend! Even if his inventions never worked, I swear he must have thought he was a gnome!” Glyndrel explained. Slyphania did look the part though, hair tied back into a ponytail, and with her backpack, breeches, boots and knife at her belt, she looked ready to take on an Ogre-ling, that being, a new born Ogre, generally bigger than Glyndrel and Slyphania combined. “Ok, we should get going” Glyndrel stated and started to climb down the rope. At the bottom he steadied it and in short order Slyphania was also down. Lighting the lantern, the fire oil spread shadows dancing across the walls like some twisted puppet show. The cave was much bigger than they first anticipated, heading off for at least twenty feet. Where they stood was somewhat of a mound, sloping downward after five feet. Given the dimensions of the cave, it became almost a tunnel as the pair cautiously crept forward. Glyndrel realized that Slyphania had a knife on her belt, but Glyndrel had nothing. Mixed emotions washed through him like sea water through a rock cleft. What if they got into trouble, would she have to get them both out of it? This made him feel somewhat insecure and inferior. Glyndrel should be the one protecting her, not the other way around. Perhaps due to a sense of elven-hood he needed to feel like the protector, Glyndrel couldn’t be sure. In desperation, Glyndrel bent down and grabbed a handful of stones which he pocketed. He could at least throw them, and besides, he had always excelled at his archery lessons at the age of ten, his tutors always praising him for his accuracy. Slyphania hadn’t noticed Glyndrel bend down, as she was slightly ahead of him since she had the lantern, but it was something else as well, something Glyndrel noticed in her eyes. Something he hadn’t seen there before. “Slyphania , what is it’ Glyndrel asked, the cold hand of fear jabbing at his heart. “Look, Glyn, a skull…” Slyphania breathed. Glyndrel looked, and saw what appeared to be some kind of altar at the end of the cave wall. Glyndrel glanced back and could see the sunlight streaming in from the hole, and it looked to be about fifty feet away now. Had they really come that far? The sunlight called to Glyndrel, radiant, pure and good. Glyndrel felt an overwhelming urge to drop everything and run, as fast as he could. Turning back to Slyphania, the words caught in his throat, as he saw that she had moved right up to the altar, which, now, upon closer examination emanated a coldness and what could only be described as unfathomable evil. Slyphania had her free hand stretched out, almost touching the skull. “Slyph, Don’t..—“ Glyndrel croaked, but it was too late, she had already touched the skull. A force, unseen, blasted back both of them, sprawling to the dirt floor. Glyndrel felt as though all breath had left his body, yet he could still somehow breathe, yet it felt as if all joy and heat had been sucked from the cave. An apparition appeared before the two of them, what appeared to be some kind of ghost or spirit. It was there but it wasn’t, glowing iridescent blue and Glyndrel could see right through it. Could this be one of those “Revenant’s’ that his father always warned him about? The so called “Undead Warlords”? It began to speak, but Glyndrel could not see its mouth moving and it seemed to be only addressing Slyphania. “You have freed me, Slyphania. I have spent an eternity trapped down here, and all it took was a touch from you. For that, I thank you. You deserve something special, a reward as such.” Glyndrel didn’t move, not a muscle, the fear gripping him was overpowering and all consuming. Slyphania was as if transfixed, tears started to flow down Glyndrels face as the enormity and fear factor set in. This was an innocent elfin girl, and he needed to do something, fast. The spirit continued to mind-speak. Glyndrel willed his hands to move towards the stones in his pocket. “So, what should I reward you with? Well, firstly you both get to live. That to some is reward enough, yet I sense something in you Slyphania. A darkness that you hide well. Perhaps there is further potential in you? Take my tome. Study it, learn from it, and I will return, when the time is right, you will be ready.” The next few moments were a blur; the apparition, which appeared to be some kind of ancient skeletal wizard, opened its decayed mouth and started to scream. The screaming continued and increased in loudness. Glyndrel put his hands over his ears and closed his eyes tight. The screaming continued. Glyndrel felt a familiar hand on his arm which made him realise that it was he that was screaming. Slowly opening his eyes, he saw Slyphania crouched over him, clutching a large book, bound with gold runes and filigree, the cover purple in colour and the pages gold trimmed, her other arm stretched out, touching him gently. “Slyph, where…where did you get that?” Glyndrel stammered, his throat hoarse from screaming. “It was on the altar, cool isn’t it? Now I have some treasure of my own too! “ Slyphania smiled and to all intents didn’t seem to be affected by the spirit encounter and there was no mention of it at all. Glyndrel was still recovering, and let it slide for now, getting to his feet and glancing back towards the altar. Nothing appeared to have changed except that the skull had disappeared. Glyndrel would have to talk to her about what happened, but another time may be more appropriate. Letting her go first, Glyndrel couldn’t help but notice she clutched the tome tight and seemed inseparable from it. Even when Glyndrel offered to hold onto it while she climbed out, an uncharacteristic flash of anger and outright refusal stopped Glyndrel from any further offers of help. Finally out of the hole, Glyndrel was starting to really regret ever bringing her this way and finding this hole. Of all the places to walk, for the ground to give way there? Even that seemed somewhat unnatural. It wasn’t fun anymore, no more child’s games here. Glyndrel desperately wanted to spend some time with Alexyius, just to be away from Slyphania for a while. Glyndrel couldn’t explain it, it just seemed as though a change had come over her. Not a change for the better either. Glyndrel eyed the mysterious Tome suspiciously. “So what is that thing anyway? What’s the book about?” Glyndrel pried. “Oh, nothing important I’m sure. I’m off home then, ok? I’ll see you soon, safe travels!” Slyphania stated abruptly and with that she was gone, into the forest. “See you soon then”… Glyndrel whispered in reply after she had left, which she wouldn’t have heard. Glyndrel couldn’t explain why, yet there was a feeling of cold dread building up in the pit of his stomach. Glyndrel was very frightened for his friend Very frightened indeed.

…To be continued….

Album with EQ - B&A - Stile T as SM

November 17 2014

Mirror. Mirror…of the Lost – by Gaelis – narrated by Asclepius

Hello everyone, this is Asclepius, with a wonderful story from Gaelis, entitled

Mirror, Mirror..of the lost.

Background music “What Lurks Beneath” by Smartsound

Gordon, ropemaker by trade, was travelling from Owls Head to Kingsport to offer this months production.
It would be the last of the busy market days for Kingsport before winter dragged its frozen claws across the land.
He had been dallying, reluctant to leave hearth and home as the days were already growing short and chilly and thus, with dusk already falling fast, he decided to turn in at an old, run-down Inn he had never noticed on previous journeys.
Neither its unexpected discovery nor the somewhat haunted look of the gloomy building and not even the merry atmosphere in the warm and homely pub room could keep him from his bed.
He had his mind set on getting an early start and make up for the lost time.
As he followed the comely maid up the well-worn, creaky stairs whilst paying way more attention to her equally comely rear than a married man should, he couldn’t help but glance into the old, cloudy mirror facing him as he came up to the landing.

He stumbled, luck alone keeping him from tumbling down the stairs, as facing him from the mirror was not his face but staring back at him as through a window was a view of the pub room.
Not the merriment he had witnessed before, the warm glow of the fire and the golden puddles of beer on the polished old wood of the tables.
What he saw was bloody mayhem. The tables slick with blood, the landlady slumped over the bar with a knife in her back and the patrons mangled, cast across the bloodied furniture in sickening contortions not unlike puppets with their strings cut.
Squinting his eyes shut he wanted to turn away, and follow the unperturbed maid upstairs but found himself stunned with fear and surprise.
As he dared to look again at the hellish glass it was but his own face, pale and scarred, looking back at him.

Despite his plans to sleep early and move on soon after dawn and despite the weariness from the journey so far Gordon couldn’t fall asleep.
Every time he closed his eyes he saw the scene from the mirror. Every time drawn to a new horrific detail he hadn’t noticed before.
He couldn’t help it, he needed to take another look at the mirror, convince himself that it was merely a spectre of his imagination.
Slowly, carefully he crept up to the landing of the stair and peeked into the cloudy glass on the wall.
There it was again, the pub room drenched in blood and death. Yet it was not entirely the same scene.
Just at the edge of the mirror, where the lower landing of the stairs was visible the maid stared at him with dead eyes, still clutching a key akin to the one of his room, her limbs twisted and broken.

Gordon had to steady himself on the wall as he rushed back to his room, all thoughts beyond flight banished from his mind.
He grabbed his things and ran for the stairs, avoiding another glance at the mirror.

A few days later ….

A young merchant making his way back from Kings Port came upon the Inn.
After drinking through most of his earnings with the regulars, he followed the maid upstairs almost knocking down an old, cloudy mirror as he staggered up to the landing.
He screamed as in the mirror he saw like through a window a view of the pub room, guests slaughtered, the landlady stabbed and blood on every surface,
…….and swinging gently from a rafter on a very new rope, the ropemaker whom he had missed at the Kings Port Market.

Album with EQ - B&A - Stile T as SM

November 15 2014

Echoes from the Caverns 11.14.2014

Hello everyone – here is the newscast for November 14, 2014. Lots of exciting updates this week, with Lord Baldrith and myself.
Highlights this week include:

Duke & LotM VIP Design Roundtable
Share Your Screenshots on SotA’s Steam Community Hub
More Release 12 Scenes
$5M Backer Bonus Reward
SotA Community is Rockin’ It!
Get Your 15% Bonus
Holiday Specials
Last Chance Exclusives: Cooking Pot of Prosperity and Magic Sigil Cloak
Alienware Sponsors $20 Pledge Upgrade Coupon
Upcoming Events

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November 14 2014

The Stranger-Written by Lendrick Dawnfire-Narrated by Lord Baldrith

Hello Everyone:  Lord Baldrith here with a very creepy and awesome story by Lendrick entitled The Stranger.

Here is the text:

Background music:  Zander Noriega:  Song titles:  Abelian, Theorem 199 Variant 1, Bestial Paragon Interface

The Stranger by Lendrick Dawnfire

The Shadow Wood

The forest spoke of eerie adulations of un-bespoken cries of anguish. Fearful glances about, as the bedraggled stranger could sense the worms in the soil with benevolent smirks of doom. Teeth gnashing as they came flying out and bored into the eyeball of his mind. The stranger screamed.

For three days he had run, stumbling and tumbling through the forest, scratched and shaken by thorny brambles and brambly thorns, the stranger grew ever so weary. The witch sisters never mentioned it would be this painful, the hallucinations. Or were they? Scrambling and grunting the stranger picked himself up and continued to run, the worm in his eye blinked away.

On and on he ran, the spirits of the dead climbing their way to the surface and shrieking and screaming ran at him in translucent glory. Each time, the stranger seemed to scream louder.

The sisters were forever in his thoughts, but to get to the end, to achieve the unachievable spoke volumes of his determination. Driven by fear, pushed by loathing, the stranger needed to keep going, needed to survive.

Glancing about again, he saw that now he was in a clearing, with a path leading to a small cottage that had a single candle burning like the sun in one of the quaint windows.

Maybe the occupant was home? Salvation? Redemption? Hope? All these thoughts and feeling burned through the stranger’s mind that he might be at an end to the perpetual torment.

Willing his tired and slashed legs to obey, the stranger half hobbled, half ran along the path to the cottage. Only twenty feet. Two hundred feet? The cottage seemed further away, then further away, and so on and on the stranger kept running, it must be close, and it was only twenty feet. Stopping dead. The carnivorous worms, now poking through the spectral shades eyes, shrieked ever closer behind him.

Closing his eyes, the stranger knew that the cottage was only a short distance away. All he had to do was reach out and….

Opening his eyes, the cottage was right in front of him. Grasping the door knob as if death itself stalked him, the stranger flung the door open and leapt through.

The shrieking was getting louder and louder and….the door slamming shut, the shrieking stopped.

The stranger was standing in a modest room, with a roaring fireplace, a bearskin rug, wine, food and fruit were on a table in-front of him. Warmth flooded through him like a wave off the Bay of Storms. The stranger was home, safe. Secure.

The scene faded, replacing the cottage with a ramshackle hut. No fire and no fruit, dilapidated and ruined, it looked as though nobody had been here for a millennium. Since before the Cataclysm. A figure in front of the fire turned. A blood zombie!

Looking about, the door shut behind him, the stranger needed food, bandages and perhaps a weapon. Why was this happening? The sisters had deceived him!

There was a great explosion, the stranger was knocked to his back as the hut disintegrated around him. Fear threatened to overwhelm him and cause him to recede into the depths of his psychosis, where darkness and despair reigned supreme and he but their lap dog.

Something though, deep down, stirred. A spark. The spark grew and spread, igniting inside his soul, the light of the soul fire purged the fear from the stranger. Warmth and joy replaced the cold.

Rising up, the stranger turned around, the two sisters standing before him. Wreathed in soul fire, the stranger stood before them, unafraid and vengeful.

The fear was gone, replaced instead with a feeling of righteousness and strength. There was nothing this world could do to him now, any-more that would bring him to the same dark place he had just encountered. The wailing spirits, the blood zombies, the eye gouging worms. On this, inaugural day of change, initiation and no doubt a day that would become famous, it was the day he was born again.

‘You have not beaten me” The stranger proclaimed with the light of justice burning bright.

“Very good. You have passed the test, you’re Majesty”. The sisters replied.

At that very moment, the world exploded.


Excerpt from The Grim Sisters’ Anthology of the Mysterious & Macabre
By Lendrick Dawnfire, noted scholar of Brittany
Lord Commander
Knights of Novia


Album with EQ - B&A

November 10 2014

A Fisherman’s Lament – by Sir Hemlock – narrated by Asclepius

Hello everyone, this is Asclepius, with a fine story from Sir Hemlock, entitled

A Fisherman’s Lament

Background music “Leap into Eternity” by Matthew Pablo at


DAY 1: [Morning] Strong E. header. Sighted gulls circling brine offshore from Kingsport. Sighted sudden diving of Herring to depths to escape large predator. Fishing net strangely shredded.

[Late morning] Meandering. Adrift from Kingsport at 4knots. Weather inclement. Squall forming. Sighted shark fins.

[Midday] Sighted heavy rainclouds flashing with lightning bolts due NE. Sea tempestuous. Light downpour. Inspection of hull revealed steerage loss due to rudder linkage failure. Absence of insect or bird life. Sighted sail moving away in distance. Sighted landforms ahead.

[Mid-afternoon] Frequent heavy rain. Seized by current, stranded on course. Westerly squall blowing boat E. toward larger of two mist-shrouded isles. Progress swift despite moderate waves. High tide should ensure safe passage through reef. Sighted sail again through fog.

[Late-afternoon] Sighted seabirds diving for herring off starboard bow. Mild zephyr. Weather icy. Sea foamy with presence of flotsam and jetsam. Sky clement, thinly clouded. Sighted peculiar thrashing of large shark in tentacles in turbulent dark water patch. Sighted lighthouse.

[Nightfall] Landed ashore. Sighted glow of arrow-slits in Palladium balistraria from sandbank. Sighted sail from earlier belonging to docked Baron ship upshore. Winds fierce. Repaired rudder.

Personal entry;
Under a palm on a sandy loft sat I pouring my last skerrick of rum into a Flagon I pilfered from Fire Lotus Tavern whilst a patron distracted that foolhardy barkeep.

…a skeletal Lich ascended from blackness and sat itself upon a throne of carnage, said he! The fool has taken seriously the drunken ramblings of seamen. The last such spectre sighted was vanquished decades ago.

Chart indicates I am on the largest of two sister isles due W. of Kingsport. Not that I am in the least perturbed, for she surely is prettiest of the two.

DAY2: Darkness seceded into dawn as I whiled away the hours in dreary stupor after troubled broken sleep.

With sunlight encroaching slowly over the isle I swaggered to a trail winding up a nearby hill blanketed in dense jungle. A point where I had the previous night glimpsed a dim glow.

Before I could reach the point the wind ebbed, and with it my curiosity. Whilst the weather was clement I set back down to the boat and launched for Kingsport.

[Mid-morning] The return voyage was placid and without incident. Sighed sail fish.

Personal entry;
DAY 3; Ashore. From Kingsport I set off Sth. through a grand habitation amidst an Oakridge abloom with bluebells and flowered shrubbery to a wooded Towne, Pax Lair, in which I watched a local chef garnish exquisite culinary dishes with locally grown herbs. After which I mingled among the entourage of farmers and visitors arriving at the market.

A venerable community garden grows in the center of town, overlooked by a hilltop monastery a short walk East. The belfry tolls 3 times daily signifying the beginning, middle and end of the working day.

A bullock drawn mill grinds chaff into flour sold on to local bakers. And the distillery produces Hidden Vales finest wine extracted from grapes harvested from nearby vineyards.

One enters and leaves via iconic archways cut by the regions skilled masons from bluestone extracted from a disused road.

The distinct call of the shy blue-jacket and speckled bush hen are often heard within waterway reeds. The astute observer would note the red bellied finch nesting in thicket, and the occasional shadow of Great Eagles passing over paddocks occupied by newborn lambs.

Most noteworthy, however, is a curious hedge maze constructed by farmers to entertain children and visitors. For a mere 2gp one can wander about the maze in search of hidden prizes.

As much as I enjoyed the fine local hospitality and partisanship, I had to press on for I was overdue in meeting my beloved wife in OwlsHead, for whom I acquired a flask of the finest primrose oil.

The way led Nth. along a decrepit path that often disappeared beneath dense vegetation. Eventually it opened into a clearing where my journey resumed…

Album with EQ - B&A - Stile T as SM

November 7 2014

Echoes from the Caverns 11.07.2014

Hello everyone – here is the news from 11.07.2014. An awesome newscast this week – lots of news from Shroud of the Avatar, along with special guests
Static Grazer
Lady Adnor
Amber Raine

And a special welcome to Lord Baldrith – back in the captain’s chair!

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

Tower of the Shuttered Eye!
SotA Community is Rockin’ It!
Chris Spears’ Release 11 Impressions
Lord Marshal Automaton Servant
R11 Still Open! Get Your Carnival Mask Tricorn Hat!
Steam Access Keys Now Available for All Backers
Get Your 15% Bonus
Holiday Specials
Last Chance Exclusives: Wood & Plaster 2-Story with Balcony Town Home
Alienware Sponsors $20 Pledge Upgrade Coupon
This Week In The News
Upcoming Events

News Team logo with moon

November 6 2014

The Ballad of Amber Raine – by Gabriel Nightshadow – sung by Amber Raine

Hello everyone, this is Asclepius. The New Britannia Theater Troupe is proud to present

The Ballad of Amber Raine.
Written by Gabriel Nightshadow, and performed by Amber Raine, this has a special place in the history of Shroud of the Avatar.

It was performed during the first ever live in-game stage production by the theatre troupe, in conjunction with Avatars Radio.

Chaos save Ye Virtuous Gentlemen (The Ballad of Amber Raine)

There was an orphan maiden girl, most innocent and pure
Who joined the Church of Chaos, her path in life was sure
She waited for her Lord to come, the prophecy did say
Her dead master would come to life one day
Come to life one day
Lord DarkStarr would come to life one day

She took up arms in mortal fight, a warrior was she
Defending all her sisters, and her skill was great to see
Until the day she fell in war, on Owls Head road she died
Though Time Lord brought her back to life
Her faith did not survive
Though Time Lord brought her back her faith did not survive

She left the Church and wandered far, till Time Lord showed the way
She’s now a bounty hunter, finding criminals for pay
The felons run in fear of her, no mercy does she show
Her blades and Mori Tura are the last things they will know
Last things they will know
Her blades and Mori Tura are the last things they will know

She lingers in the shadows, for the darkness is her friend
And happiness is something she will never see again
Still waiting till her master comes, and finding her lost spoon
The Spoon of Chaos will be with Amber soon
Be with Amber soon
The Spoon of Chaos will be with Amber soon

The children taunt the villains as they cower in the night
They cry “What will you do now, as you face the force of might?
Our Amber Raine is after you, her red hair fierce to see
The Angel of Darkness will never let you be
She’ll bring you down you’ll see
The Angel of Darkness will never set you free!”

Album with EQ - B&A - Stile T as SM

November 6 2014

Thank you for Giving me Hope – by Amber Raine

Hello everyone, this is Asclepius. The New Britannia Theater Troupe presents an exquisite and tender piece, composed and performed by Amber Raine. It is entitled

Thank you for Giving me Hope
I think anyone who has been through a deep personal loss will find that this is very moving, and indeed strikes a chord.

Feeling the tears well up in my eyes
I fight them back, I do not want to cry
This is the hardest thing i will have to do
Wear this mask of smiles as we say goodbye to you

My heart shatters and I just want to hide
racing for the shadows, “safer here” i lied
Facing the people, I worry and dread
This pain in my heart making me wish i was dead

With a brush you stroked the very essence of my soul
Gave me strength to move forward when life dealt such blows
For you helped me awaken the greatness in me
Without your help it may have never been seen.

With colours more vibrant then my personal greys
You helped me learn of a future with brighter days
Now the clouds have rolled over, the sky turned pitch black
I am returned to the shadows, where I can not be attacked.

A feeling of cold darkness enters my soul
Alone once again, can I keep fighting, i do not know.
No one will ever understand the strength I got from you
Watching you create masterpieces as only you can do

NO one will ever understand what I am trying to say
Why I feel like this for you, you helped show me the way
I soon started to remember what you helped me want from my life
I must seek out the light, it will hurt but it will be alright

Things will move forward, although my heart feels like dying
I will face another day, with an exclamation mark
… of sighing.

Album with EQ - B&A - Stile T as SM