November 25 2016

Echoes from the Caverns 11-25-16

Hello everyone! Happy Thanksgiving – hope you all had a wonderful time with friends and family! On my own this week, with a slightly shorter news release. This is the news of the week:


  • Final Weekend for Expirations, 15% Black Friday Bonus, and Fall into Winter Telethon
  • The Making of Superstition Canyon
  • The Making of Blood Bay
  • 2016 Winter Holiday Wax Cylinder Soundtrack
  • Community Spotlight: Dragomir – Player Owned Town
  • Upcoming Events
  • Community Resources – Players Helping Players
  • Recommended Projects to Back

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November 25 2016

Bob the Wizard 1 – by enderandrew – narrated by Asclepius

Hello everyone, this is Asclepius, with a great story from enderandrew. It is entitled
Diary of Bob the Wizard


Vol I

Reality is defined by our perception of it. Magic is the art of altering reality. If I can subvert their perception of the world, then I’m altering their reality. In that sense, I am a wizard. I just use different methods than most.

Some accuse me of chicanery and legerdemain. Technically that is true, but that doesn’t mean I’m not doing magic in my own way. The minor tasks I’m frequently employed for can usually be accomplished by mundane means. People are just too lazy or insecure to do so without the belief that they have magical assistance.

So when I tell people I’ve enabled them with ritual or some magical fetish, I am helping people. How dare they accuse me of fraud or theft? The ungrateful vulgarians!

I may not be entirely honest in all of my phrasings, but people looking for magical solutions really only want to be baffled and assuaged really.

I don’t think they realize that magic is more rare these days than past tales indicate, though those could all be falsehoods. Scholars and historians like Joorus the Scribe believe magic was fundamentally altered with The Fall and the cannibalistic consumption of a sister moon that led to Daedalus.

That is possible. But does it matter what magic might have been in the past if that magic is now unobtainable? Either we can discover new magic now, or we do our best to fake it to placate the masses in exchange for gold.

There are worse professions out there. Those that are so eager to hand over their coin for baubles and reassurances will do so for someone at some point. Why shouldn’t I then be the one to relieve them of their gold they are so wont to spend?

Vol II

There is a funny thing in pretending to be an expert in something. The more you know about a subject, the more convincing you are in pretence. You’re encouraged to study the skill you approximate. With anything else you might reach a point where it is easier to just legitimately learn something, but magic isn’t so simple. Not everyone possesses the initial spark and I doubt if it can simply be learned.

I’ve been a bit defensive in the past in this journal. I’m not sure if anyone will ever read it. I keep it private currently for obvious reasons, but perhaps someday a historian will inquire about my work. If I am slandered I hope someone will uncover this in time and allow my version of events to defend me.

I may not have any actual control over arcane arts, but I have spent considerable time studying any text I can on the subject. I figured that if what I said was consistent and accurate with what any other wizard said, then I would simply be that much more convincing.

But now it is becoming an obsession. I’m a little jealous now that there are pioneers rediscovering magic who can do some truly incredible things. I’ve been improving my illusions and tricks to mirror some of their feats. But I must admit I’m also hopeful that if I study enough I might unlock some latent talent in me.

The concept of magic has always fascinated me. I’ve always seen myself some day wielding great power.

I have a plan. To date I’ve only spoken to rubes to make money with my act. I’ve never tried to convince real practitioners of magic of my ability. I’m thinking of hosting and assembling a magical symposium in Rift’s End.

If I gather magic users, I can study them directly up close. If any of their magic appears to be driven by physical talismans and fetishes, I might be able to purloin one. It will also be a useful test to see I can fool my would-be peers.

If this is the last entry in my journal, then it will be readily apparent that this was not a good idea. But fortune favors the bold. Risk can lead to great breakthroughs.


My last entry was somewhat prescient. It was not my last entry. But there was great payoff for my gamble, and it was somehow simultaneously a terrible idea.

My act held up well enough. It was easy enough as an organizer to constantly ask questions of others and divert away any serious attention from myself on having to demonstrate real magical ability. On the few occasions that someone asked me to demonstrate my approach or ask about my methodology, I would chuckle and deflect the question by saying “my methods are fairly well covered in my early texts. I’d be a poor host merely flaunting my own findings. I am here to be a humble host by seeing what I can learn from alternate approaches.”

Of course my early texts are intentional vagaries designed to create the appearance of competence so I can sell my “magical” services to anyone ignorant enough to hire me. No one called me out on referencing my early works. Had they cited any ambiguity, I would have claimed to have even earlier works than those that perhaps they hadn’t read.

I think most of the attendees were genuinely excited to speak with each other and learn. Magic in New Britannia had been effectively reset since The Fall four centuries prior. Either the nature of magic was truly changed on a fundamental level as many had claimed, or it was just that all prior knowledge was lost with the cataclysmic event and the chaos that followed.

In the Age of Survival, literally more pressing needs for food, shelter and security pre-empted more academic pursuits. In the Age of Warring Cities, rediscovering magic suddenly became a concern but most had little to start off with. Some of the earliest success was with Chaos magic, but was understandably unpredictable. (Note, if I am ever really forced to prove my ability, I will use the unpredictable nature of Chaos magic as a further excuse).

It was in the third age that magic really came to life again. Many of the biggest advances came from a group that history hasn’t treated too kindly, the Obsidian Cabal. I’m not one to judge morality too harshly given my career path. But Obsidian magics are so reviled by historians that I have never been able to study one of their texts.

I’ve long desired one of their tomes, but I thought it out of my reach. But then a funny thing happened.

I noticed that one of the attendees at my symposium never once took notes, and rarely spoke up. Some wizards are known for exceptional memorization techniques and not everyone cares for social niceties. But this man was not shy or obtuse. I found him often staring intently at others, but usually not the given speaker at the moment. He was sizing everyone up. He wasn’t here to learn new magical techniques because he was that confident that his own prowess and methods must already surpass all of them. Furthermore, the way he sized them all up suggested to me that he might find himself at odds with them.

I could think of only one group that would find everyone as an enemy and would be that confident in their magical knowledge. This man must be an Obsidian, as impossible as that sounded! Some had speculated that the Obsidian Cabal never truly disappeared, but merely went underground (metaphorically or literally).

I knew immediately that if there was one attendee I wanted to steal from, it was him. Since he was visiting Rift’s End and staying in temporary accommodations I knew his security would not be as good as his home lair. A dishonest life has led me to acquire several skills of questionable legality and morality. Picking his lock was not difficult.

I must have set off some magical security however as some elemental pet was instantly summoned to the room. I found myself exceptionally lucky that as it lunged forward to attack me, I was able to aim my wand right in its open mouth and fire the fireworks charge hidden within. It was stunned enough for me to finish the job with quick dagger strikes.

I scanned the room looking for my prize. I found a tome and a large gem, wrapped several times over again in cloth. I ran and have been running since.

More than a few nights since I’ve survived only because of my ability to hide. But I’ve seen some of the creatures stalking me. I know that if I was ever found, I would suffer greatly.

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

November 18 2016

Echoes From the Caverns 11-18-16

Hello everyone! Here is the news of the week! Hope you are enjoying release 36!

  • Play R36 Now!
  • The Making of Blood Bay
  • Xenos Polish
  • Game Systems Posts
  • Gift Boxes
  • R35 Lot Deed Winners
  • 2016 Winter Holiday and Assorted Add-On Goodies
  • 10-Day Countdown to Expirations, 15% Black Friday Bonus, and Fall into Winter Telethon (now with schedule & prizes)
  • Upcoming Events
  • Community Resources – Players Helping Players
  • Recommended Projects to Back

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November 15 2016

Thug Life – by Themo Lock – narrated by Asclepius

Hello everyone, this is Asclepius, with a wonderful story from Themo Lock, entitled
Thug Life
Background music by Smartsound

Cavendish brushed the pine needles from his crimson pants and adjusted his hood nervously, it was time to address his men. Cavendish was the forty-second leader of the Serpent’s Spine branch of the crimson bandits, a group that had only formed two months previous. He would be lying if he were to say that he was not concerned with the average life expectancy of the groups management positions, but at least it was somewhat higher than that of the rank and file. For reasons known only to the upper echelon of the organization, his group had been charged with the task of holding the foothills and exacting a “tax” from any interlopers. The area could only be described as “hostile”, being home to countless wolves and giant bears who had their own idea on who the regions rightful owners were. And now there were the outlanders… beings of great power that would periodically pass through laying waste to the region before carrying off entire trees, piles of bandit weaponry and mountains of bloody hides. He had once seen an outlander slain by a pack of wolves only to witness the man return minutes later to resume picking at a vein of copper in the cliff side. Cavendish shuddered and pushed the memory to the back of his mind, he had business to attend to.

He pushed aside the canvas flap and stepped from his tent, confidently striding over to the nearby clearing where his men stood to attention. “Where are the others?” he asked gruffly “This meeting is not optional”. A slightly overweight bandit in shabby, torn clothing kicked at the dirt with a scuffed, unpolished boot “This is all of us sir” he mumbled. “What?” Cavendish boomed “Where is Black Greg and Olaf?”. The portly bandit winced before answering “Wolves sir… there were just so many”. Cavendish rubbed at his eye with the palm of his hand, Black Greg was his brother in law and this was not going to sit well with his sister at all. “Alright… well that is unfortunate” he stated “I am sure they did us proud and died bravely and well”. A taller bandit with hair the colour of sun dried straw spoke up this time “Not really sir, Olaf sort of panicked and tried to run but Greg used him as a human shield…” Cavendish interjected at this point “Yes well, these things happen in the heat of battle i guess “. Unperturbed, the lanky bandit continued his recollection of the fight “… and i am pretty sure Greg soiled himself”. After a brief moment of disrespectful silence, the bandit leader sighed “OK men, we work with what we have.” he declared “Caynis, what news from the upper pass?”. The portly bandit spoke up once more “Caynis is dead sir, a bear threw him off the upper pass”. At this news, Cavendish spun on the heel of his boot and marched back into his tent to compose himself.

The bandit leader breathed deeply in through his nostrils and slowly released his breath through thin, trembling lips. He was giving serious thought to the possibility that crime did not pay and wondered if his uncle would still take him on as an apprentice lamp lighter in Ardoris. Screams erupted outside, along with the chilling sound of magical fire being summoned into being. Since the bandit groups last mage had accidentally blinked herself off a cliff some days previous, this could only mean that the camp was under attack. Cavendish briefly contemplated impersonating a bedroll before drawing his short sword and launching himself out of the tent with the best battle cry he could muster, a sound that could only be described as an enthusiastic gargle.

The scene that greeted his eyes outside the tent froze the bandit leader in his tracks. A huge circle of fire was before him, within its perimeter the roasted remains of his men crackled and spat like overcooked pork. At the epicenter of the unnatural blaze stood a small girl, clad in bright pink cloth robes and playing a merry, otherworldly tune on what appeared to a home made set of bagpipes. The girl marched around in circles squeezing the instrument completely unharmed by the flames as she kicked at the lifeless bandits, presumably in search of loot. This was no mere mortal, this was an outlander and the bandit leader suddenly felt that being anywhere else but here would be desirable. Cavendish slowly began to back away but collapsed to the ground with a loud thump as his footing was compromised by a palette of week old cabbages, the bandit groups sole source of nourishment. “Don’t make eye contact” he yelled internally “don’t make.. OH SWEET LORD I MADE EYE CONTACT!”. The girl calmly raised a tiny, well manicured hand and smiled sweetly. The last thing Cavendish witnessed in his brief role as a bandit lord was a burst of flames erupting from the bagpipes and a white hot ball of fire hurtling in his direction.

Some days later, Helgrid the bandit stood at the edge of a circle of charred earth and eyeballed a group of fresh recruits. She was the forty-third leader of the Serpent’s Spine branch of the crimson bandits, a group that had only formed two months previous. Her outlook was positive and her dagger was sharp, she had big plans for this company of bandits and there was work to be done.

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

November 11 2016

Echoes From the Caverns 11-11-16

Hello everyone! Here is the news of the week!

  • The Making of Midras Ruins
  • The Making of a Forest Town Siege Map
  • Xenos Polish
  • R35 Postmortem Recap
  • Homes of New Britannia – House Decorating Contest Winners!
  • 17-Day Countdown to Expirations, 15% Black Friday Bonus, and Fall into Winter Telethon
  • 2Community Spotlight: Beran’s Reach
  • Upcoming Events – 1st Bear Tavern Beast Brawl
  • Community Resources – Players Helping Players
  • Recommended Projects to Back

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November 4 2016

Echoes From the Caverns 11-04-16

Hello everyone! Here is the news of the week!

  • Happy Halloween from Portalarium
  • Make A Difference: World Toilet Day & Charitable Giving Report
  • 2016 Yule Stockings
  • Hangout of the Avatar ~ Release 35 Post Mortem
  • The Making of Elad’s Lighthouse (cont)li>
  • The Making of Graff Island (cont)
  • 24-Day Countdown to Expirations, 15% Black Friday Bonus, and Fall into Winter Telethon
  • Community Spotlight: Bay Lunaire – Player Owned Town
  • Upcoming Events
  • Community Resources – Players Helping Players
  • Bastion’s Point Lunar Rift Chronometer
  • Recommended Projects to Back

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November 3 2016

A Beastly Exhibition – by Themo Lock – narrated by Asclepius

Hello everyone, this is Asclepius, with a wonderful poem by Themo Lock. It is entitled
A Beastly Exhibition
Background music by Smartsound

Kevin was a visionary, a farmer and a showman,
his farm had recently been struck by flood, he took it as an omen.
The land was in proximity to the bustling Brittany Fields,
he had a plan that would surely profit more than agricultural yields.

He would build a grand bestiary… a pay-to-spectate zoo,
and fill it with every creature known, from wolf to bugaboo.
So far he had a horse, 2 sheep and a mildly distempered bear,
and was in negotiations to acquire a crocodilian breeding pair.

Construction was already underway, he was renovating the stable,
hammer in hand, Kevin perched atop a ladder that was quite unstable.
It’s dietary needs misunderstood the bear ate its curry but wasn’t well,
the beast’s rear let out a trumpet blast that’s volume was rivalled only by its smell.

Alarmed by the sudden demonic turn, the sheep charged blindly at the wall,
the impact jarring the rickety ladder which in turn began to fall.
Kevin’s trousers caught a loose nail, leaving him temporarily suspended,
then with the sound of tearing cloth.. pants remained but Kevin descended.

He landed on a panicked sheep and he grabbed the creature to prevent its escape,
and looked his naked torso over in relief that he barely suffered a scrape.
The bear however was enraged and confused and broke free from its stall,
startled further by Kevin’s womanly screams it burst right through the wall.

The entire side of the barn collapsed in a noisy, dusty cloud,
leaving the half naked Kevin clutching a sheep in full view of a gathering crowd.
He would have thought himself in a nightmare if he only was asleep,
as realization set in that it appeared as if he was a little too fond of sheep.

A woman screamed and covered the eyes of her giggling and pointing child,
anger spread, a guard was called, the crowd was quickly getting riled.
“What in the abyss is this?!” questioned the guard as he fumbled with his sword,
“A mishap with my bestiary” Kevin squeaked “Nothing untoward”.

“Bestiary!?” the shocked guard exclaimed “That is illegal and obscene!”
“What? NO, WAIT…” Kevin gasped “That isn’t what that word means.”
The guard was having none of this and Kevin was violently arrested,
on charges that would never be dropped no matter how much he protested.

Meanwhile in Rajim’s Curry Hut patrons were caught unaware,
as the seaside restaurant was unexpectedly stormed by a berserk, farting bear.
The events of that day would never be discussed in company that was polite,
and unfortunately for Kevin, the truth of what transpired would never come to light.

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