January 26 2018

Echoes From the Caverns 01-26-18

Hello Everyone! Here is the news of the week! Hope you are enjoying Release 50!!!:

Game Development

  • Play Release 50 Now!

News Announcements

  • Release 50 Postmortem Telethon
  • Shroud of the Avatar Launch Event
  • SXSW Schedule Latest News
  • R50 & R51: Skill Unlearning 100% Return
  • R50 QA Testing Incentive Winners
  • Community Livestream: Wild Boars & Wolves
  • Free Trial: Choose Any Path!
  • Job Opening: Executive Assistant
  • Last Chance for Shroud Perks via BrightLocker CrowdEquity
  • Upcoming Events Calendar

Community Updates

  • Virtue Marathon 2018: Children’s Miracle Hospital Network
  • Prism and Diamond Fields Present a Grandmaster Tutoring Event
  • Getting Started Videos: ‘Crafting Complete’ Series by Datendrache
  • Did You Know: Shroud of the Avatar Features Dedicated Community Orators and Playwrights?
  • Recommended Project to Support: Midboss
  • Resources: Players Helping Players

Category: Echoes from the Caverns, News | No Comments »
January 19 2018

Echoes From the Caverns 01-19-18

Hello Everyone! Here is the news of the week:

Game Development

  • New Wolves Attack!
  • Making of Sunless Barrens (cont.)
  • Introducing the Watermill Home
  • Valentine’s Day Items

News Announcements

  • Release 49 Postmortem Missed Questions
  • Release 50 on the QA Server
  • DJ Darkstarr’s Revenge: The Sequels (Holiday Party & Release 50)
  • Last Chance for Shroud Perks via BrightLocker CrowdEquity
  • New Free Trial Continues!
  • Job Opening: Executive Assistant
  • Weekend Flash Sale: Signs, Numbers & Letters
  • Upcoming Events Calendar

Community Updates

  • The Avatar’s Guide to Knowledge and Virtue Contest: Winners Announced!
  • Virtue Marathon 2018: Children’s Miracle Hospital Network
  • UO Forever 5th Anniversary: Richard and Starr Live Video Conference
  • PaxLair 20th Anniversary – Jan. 21
  • Did You Know: Shroud of the Avatar Features Taming Skills?
  • Recommended Project to Support: Denis Loubet Patreon
  • Resources: Players Helping Players

January 18 2018

The Pilgrimage of Virtue 5 – by Olthadir – narrated by Asclepius

Hello everyone, this is Asclepius, with the next chapter in this wonderful story by Olthadur, entitled
The Pilgrimage of Virtue
Background music by Smartsound

Chapter 5, “Nightshade Pass to Resolute”

We awoke early the next morning. There were some obligatory troll jokes commenting on our survival. The Sailor, the Tailor and myself did not partake in the commentary. Mostly because I didn’t feel quite comfortable saying anything.

“You all know that the Troll is in the Pass we are about to go through,” the Soldier said. “If something is to happen, it will happen today.”

With that our pilgrimage took a very serious tone. Some must have believed the danger was in the night, but the Soldier reminded us that it wasn’t.

We packed our camp in silence.

The pass itself is beautiful. It is quiet and pleasant. The path went up into the mountains and opened into a beautiful valley. We followed it until the soldier made us stop.

“The troll is ahead. It lives near the bridge. If we are lucky, we can simply walk past. If not, it will be on the bridge and we will have to wait for it to decide to leave,” the Soldier said quietly.

The tension in the group was high. No one spoke, even though the surroundings were calm and beautiful. Other than the Soldier’s words, we had no reason to be frightened.

The Soldier went forward, cautiously, down the path to scout the bridge. He returned a short time later and said that we were clear to go.

“We must remain quiet, and go quickly,” he reminded.

The bridge was an ancient stone bridge crossing a river that came from the surrounding mountains and emptied in a lake that dominated the valley. I wish I could have stopped here and described it more, but the threat of the Troll kept us going and focussed on that. Perhaps one day I can go back when there is no longer a troll.

There was a loud gasp from the Cook, then the Soldier drew his sword and told us all to run.

The troll was walking towards the bridge from a path on the right. We all ran onto our own path, turning left. The Soldier walked towards the troll.

“Go! I will join shortly!” he said. We all went, the Scholar and the Smith helping the Elder move quicker than normal.

We rounded a corner and were out of sight and sound of the Soldier and troll. There was a wall of rock and woods between us. We all stopped and argued between waiting for the Soldier to return and leaving to save ourselves.

“His sacrifice is valiant and seemingly necessary,” the Smith said. “If we wait, it will be for nothing. The troll saw us, it will come when it finishes with the Soldier.”

“We wait,” the Tailor said bluntly. “I’m not leaving without one of our own. Either he is dead and should be buried, alive and well and we will be abandoning him, or injured and in need of care.”

“And you would go and see?” the Scholar said. “You would risk your life just to see if he is alive or dead?”

“I will,” the Cook said.

“I can, if you all wish it,” the Farmer raised her hand.

There was a small argument before it became clear that the Cook and Farmer were not going to change their minds. They were going to go back for the Soldier.

“They are going to die, same as the Soldier,” the Smith said as they walked off and turned the corner beyond our sight.

“There is no reason why we shouldn’t wait, for them and the Soldier,” the Elder said. He was sitting on a rock behind the group, catching his breath. “I still have hope, as we all should.”

“We will give them a fair amount of time. But we shouldn’t have to die because of hope if there is no hope,” the Smith said, crossing her arms.

We waited in anxious silence for the Smith’s fair amount of time. Before she could comment that we should go the Farmer came around the corner raising a hand high and coming forward quickly.

“He is alive!” she said, “The Cook is helping him back. He broke his arm and hurt his leg. He drove off the troll for now. He says as soon as he comes we all need to get out of the pass.”

“We should get out of the pass by nightfall. There are wolves in these hills,” the Tailor commented.

The soldier was beaten, but alive. He was favouring his leg and his left arm looked limp. He was still holding his sword, it’s tip dragging on the path. The Cook was helping him walk, allowing the injured man to lean on him.

We all rushed forward and helped, saw the blood and dirt and the clearly broken bone in the Soldier’s arm.

“We must go on,” the Soldier said breathlessly, “out of the pass. I injured the troll, but we must go before it decides to look for revenge.”

We spent the rest of the day helping the Soldier – who didn’t complain about the help once. We moved quickly, our energies spent entirely on getting each other out of the pass. Only when we were out on the other side did the Soldier say we could stop and rest. He instructed some of us in what to do to set up a reasonably safe camp and we rested.

The Tailor and the Scholar tended to the Soldier’s wounds, gave him a sling for his arm, while the Elder fashioned him a sturdy cane.

We all wanted to get to Resolute to get some medical care for the Soldier – something better than sticks and cloth.

The night passed uneventfully. We heard the wolves of the pass howling back and forth. No one slept all the way through the night. There were whispered conversations between our bedrolls; discussions on our safety and whether it was worth continuing our pilgrimage.

At first sign of the sun rising many were up. The Scholar washed and tended to the Soldier’s wounds. She asked him if we should go on.

“Why wouldn’t we?” he responded.

“You are hurt,” she answered, “We are only a few days into the pilgrimage and we already nearly lost a fellow pilgrim. Maybe it is a fool’s dream.”

“We made it through the pass. I fought off the troll because I said I would protect all of you. If you decide to turn back and stop the pilgrimage now, what does that say about what I did?”

“It’s dangerous though!”

“You don’t think I knew that?” the Soldier replied softly with a rare smile. “I knew I wouldn’t be able to fight off that troll forever. I also knew that I was likely sacrificing myself for this pilgrimage. If I did die, I’d hope you would continue so my sacrifice wasn’t for nothing. I hope you don’t stop now.” He spoke these words softly, without emotion. To him they were mere facts he was sharing to a friend.

“That is why we are on this pilgrimage,” the Elder said, carrying a bucket of hot water. “Did you think we would not encounter deeds of Courage and Love while we were out here?” He placed the bucket next to the Scholar and smiled.

It took us two days to get to Resolute. With the Soldier hurt our pace slowed down considerably. No one complained. We took it all with stride.

We spoke about Courage – mostly about what the Soldier did for us, knowing he would likely perish. The Scholar told us that she had believed that the Soldier was the least likely to remain with us when we left Owl’s Head. She didn’t think that any more.

As we ascended into Resolute it became clear that the Soldier was ill. The Scholar’s work in tending his wounds was good work, but infection was still setting in. We took him to the apothecary and let them tend to him with medicines.

We sit now in the tavern awaiting news. We are all optimistic.

January 12 2018

Echoes From the Caverns 01-12-18

Hello Everyone! Here is the news of the week:

Game Development

  • Making of Sunless Barrens
  • Making of South Drachvald Spur
  • Making of Yew (cont.)
  • R48 Telethon Items (cont.)

News Announcements

  • R49 Postmortem Telethon Results
  • New Clasped Gauntlets Cloak Option for Community Events
  • Markeedragon Interview: Something About Bob
  • Livestream: New Log Homes Revealed!
  • Last Chance for Shroud Perks via BrightLocker CrowdEquity
  • New Free Trial Continues!
  • Job Opening: Executive Assistant
  • Weekend Flash Sale: Party Supplies
  • Upcoming Events Calendar

Community Updates

  • The Avatar’s Guide to Knowledge and Virtue Contest: Final Weekend!
  • Virtue Marathon 2018: Children’s Miracle Hospital Network
  • UO Forever 5th Anniversary: Richard and Starr Live Video Conference
  • Weihnachten Holiday Party – Jan. 14
  • Did You Know: You Can Get Combat Trophies?
  • Recommended Project to Support: Underworld Ascendant
  • Resources: Players Helping Players

January 8 2018

The Pilgrimage of Virtue 4 – by Olthadir – narrated by Asclepius

Hello everyone, this is Asclepius, with the next chapter in this wonderful story by Olthadur, entitled
The Pilgrimage of Virtue
Background music by Smartsound

Chapter 4, “The Sailor’s Tale”

The campfire crackled as we all got comfortable. Our eyes and, more importantly, our ears were directed to the Sailor.

“You are certain it is safe? I heard there is a troll that lives in the pass,” the Scholar said.

“There are nine of us,” the Sailor said.

“Not all of us are fighters,” the Tailor added.

“Virtue is on our side,” the Elder said. “Tell your story, Sailor.”

“Worry not, this is a happy tale,” began the Sailor. “It ends well, unlike the Soldier’s.

“My tale is about a boy. A man, verily, when this tale is all told. He was born in a small village in Verdantis in a modest home. He had little to show for himself. His father was a cobbler. His mother was a seamstress. They made clothing and shoes in the hamlet they lived in. It kept them fed, but gave them little else.

“This boy was well liked, true to himself, fair to look at despite the dirt that was seemingly always on his young face.

“His heart was set on the mayor’s daughter. She was his age and beautiful. She was well dressed, wealthy and well educated – for the area. She wasn’t a Brittany scholar, or a wealthy Lady of Resolute – but she was beautiful.

“Our hero courted her, picked daffodils and dandelions for her, cleaned his face in the puddles of the street, and learnt to sew his own fine clothes from his mother.

“His love, the mayor’s daughter, endured him. She smiled and accepted the flowers. She spent time with him and was kind to him. But she did always speak about going to Harvest to live. Other times she spoke about leaving to Valhold. Or even Brittany. She wanted to live in a large city with stone houses and stone streets and hundreds of people.

“Our hero smiled and nodded and said ‘Where ever you go, I will follow.’ He said this so often that the Mayor’s daughter began to believe it to be true.

“By the time they were in their late teens they were the couple of the hamlet. When they walked by, hand in hand, people would smile and say ‘There walks true love!’ and ‘He saw through the class and silk and she saw through the burlap and dirt.’

“It was true, you know. They did love each other. As much as they were able to.

“Time went on. Our hero wanted to give the entire Island of Norgard to his love. So he started to look at how to get her there and give her a place to live in a stone house on a stone street.

“He needed a job, something that would pay their way and would buy that stone house on the stone street. He couldn’t make that coin in the small hamlet they lived in.

” ‘I must go my love!’ he said one day, holding her hand tightly.

” ‘No! I can’t go on without you!’ she replied.

“They went on like this, as lovers do. Our hero eventually persuaded his love that he must, indeed, go. He was offering her everything she wanted, and it was the only way she believed she could get it. They would talk through letters. He would constantly update her on how things were progressing and how close they were to moving to Norgard.

“I won’t tell you the details of what he did. But he worked. More than most would. His heart was in it. He worked two jobs if finding work was difficult. He worked through his free time. He worked the land, on boats, underground, protecting caravans, anything that gave coin. And he saved every coin he could.

“And he wrote a book of letters to his love. He spoke of his work, where he went, his friends and how close he was to delivering her to her dream.

“Her responses were always joyful, excited. She was very thankful and reminded him in every letter of what she wanted, and how much she loved him. As time went on, the letters from the mayor’s daughter got shorter and further apart. Our hero kept working. When his coworkers went to the brothel, he would stay away. Even close to the end of his work when he hadn’t received a letter in months.

“He would imagine the delays in her responses would be from her travelling to him to surprise him one day. Maybe tomorrow. But she never did come to him.

“Years after, he returned home. He was so excited to see the mayor’s daughter. When he finally saw her, he grabbed her and held her close and started telling her to gather her things. She was shy, hesitant, and avoided his gaze.

” ‘I’ve…’ she began.

“He knew. Right then and there. It all made sense. She didn’t wait. It took him years to get what she needed. He nodded, gave her one last kiss on her cheek and handed her a bag of coin, then walked away.”

“That… that’s not a happy ending!” the Smith yelled.

“No? And why not?” the Sailor replied. “Also, I’m not yet finished.”

“I don’t see how this is a good happy story. And I don’t see the value in it,” the Smith said.

“Well, you see, it’s quite simple,” the Sailor said. “The entire time, the boy, our hero, kept true to his love. He lived his entire life in her service. In the end when she proved not to have been true to him he had the Courage to remain true to her, hence he gave her what he had earned for her, and the Courage to return to the unknown. This time by himself for the first time.”

We all grew silent.

“Truth and Courage. The boy, the man now, is free to do what he will, knowing that he held true his oath. He will find happiness in the end,” the Sailor said.

“I don’t think,” the Elder said, clearing his throat softly, “that we should explain our tales. They may affect us differently, teach us lessons we may not know we needed to be taught. They may leave us riddles we may need to answer ourselves. After all, that is why we are on this pilgrimage.”

And so we all agreed. Some of us got into our bedrolls, while others had hushed conversations. The Soldier kept watch, probably for the troll.

January 6 2018

Echoes From the Caverns 01-05-18

Hello Everyone! Happy New Year! Finally back from a bit of a vacation and have more wonderful news for you:

Game Development

  • New Log Homes
  • Making of Yew (cont.)
  • R48 Telethon Items (cont.)

News Announcements

  • R49 Postmortem Telethon
  • New Free Trial Continues!
  • Job Opening: Office Admin / Executive Assistant
  • Party: Portalarium Studio Grand Holiday Party – Jan. 12
  • Weekend Flash Sale: Clocks
  • Upcoming Events Calendar

Community Updates

  • Creative Writing Contest Winners Announced!
  • The Avatar’s Guide to Knowledge and Virtue Contest: Weekly Winners!
  • Spotlight: The Metropolis of Moonglade
  • Virtue Marathon 2018: Children’s Miracle Hospital Network
  • Did You Know: Shroud Features Moondials?
  • Recommended Project to Support: Denis Loubet Patreon
  • Resources: Players Helping Players