Shroud of the Avatar – Update of the Avatar #220

Greetings Fellow Avatars!

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

The Vile Weapons of the Obsidian Cabalists

The Obisidian Cabalists will begin appearing in Town Sieges in Release 40. Each Obsidian Cabalist wields a unique artifact weapon made from Obsidian and bearing their anti-virtue symbol. Players who defeat Cabalists have a chance to find these weapons on their corpses as loot (along with hoods, robes, and plate boots). The devs made sure that each weapon type (including a shield) was represented so that players would have a chance to get a weapon of the type they favored.

[A Dev+ Forum Post by Fletcher “SkullMuncher34” Kinnear]

Hello all! We have new weapons coming for the next release for the Obsidian Cabalists!

Deceitful Vile Wand: Dolus’s wand, comprised of black branching twigs:

Dastardly Vile Sword: Nefario’s long, thin 2-handed blade:

Gaudy Vile Spear: Fastus’s 1-handed spear has a mirror on it to distract opponents:


Oppressive Vile Hammer: Nefas’s 2-handed Judge’s gavel is a mockery of Justice:


Indignant Vile Halberd: Indigno’s horrific 2-handed polearm is covered in barbs:


Punishing Vile Flail: Avara’s flail is made up of multiple blades in a 1-handed sword:


Despicable Vile Crossbow: Temna’s large repeating crossbow:


Carnal Vile Shield: Corpus’s shield sports the Anti-virtue symbol of Carnality:


The Making of Verdantis Mines

Verdantis Mines are in the northern tip of the Mariah Mountains in the Verdantis region which can be found in the northwest of Novia. The elves of the region have been mining these mountains for many years and recently they broke through to an ancient underground city full of rich ore nodes and other treasures. Unfortunately it is also full of undead and in its deepest places Fire and Earth Elementals.

[A Dev+ Forum Post by Chris “Sea Wolf” Wolf]

Hey folks, today I’ll be sharing a sneak peak at the updated Verdantis Mines. The new look for the mines is inspired by the Waitomo Glowworm caves in new Zealand, The ancient city of Petra in Jordan, Pompeii, and The Bridge of Khazad Dum from The Lord of the Rings.

In this map, a group of elves have uncovered a hidden city while mining for ore. The Elves have taken the opportunity to loot the artifacts and precious ores that were left behind when the city was flooded with magma in a natural disaster. Their disruption has awoken the undead, who they now fight for control of the city.

Feel free to leave feedback, but keep in mind this is still a work in progress. You can expect a few updates to lighting and atmosphere, more rubble, an Elven camp, and more evidence of mining and looting. I’ll make further updates to the post as the map comes closer to completion. Enjoy!

The Ancient City Ruins
The Market RuinsThe Bridge to The Citadel The Ramparts The Keep

Chris Wolf
Level Designer

The Making of Solace Bridge Outskirts

For several years now our backers have been providing the dev team with feedback that the first few hours of our game have several major issues. Those issues include too many loading screens, scenes that are too small,  starting towns that include player housing / vendors, and combat that was still underwhelming and unsatisfying.

The devs announced during the Spring Telethon that their solution to this is to add three new maps to the game that they are calling “Outskirts”. These scenes will be very close to the three starting scenes and players will go directly there after finishing those starting scenes. Outskirts will be very large scenes, similar in scope to some of our recent big scenes like Blood Bay. This will allow them to be large enough that players can base themselves in a single scene for adventuring and resupply for their first couple of hours without having to go through multiple scene loads or having to use the Overworld. Each scene will have a small outpost that will include some shopkeepers, trainers, crafting stations, and a few quest givers (and no player housing!). The scenes will also include plenty of adventuring areas (forests, ruins, bandit camps, etc.).

The first Outskirts scene is Solace Bridge Outskirts. It is downriver from Solace Bridge where the Solace River meets the ocean. The small army that was defeated at Solace Bridge has retreated here and sent on the villager refugees to Soltown. They have made camp in a ruined tower overlooking the swampy shoreline. However they are not getting to rest in their retreat for a nearby bandit camp is preying on them, stealing supplies. Plus across the river lie the ruins of an ancient village infested with the very undead they just retreated from! The devs hope to have this scene live in Release 41 or 42.

[A Dev+ Forum Post by Travis “Vas Corp Por” Koleski]

Some early shots of progress on Solace Bridge Outskirts.

This is a new zone designed to come after the Solace Bridge starting map, to give starting players a better, more cohesive/informative beginning in the game (where previously they’d load straight to Soltown).

Wide shot of the camp area

Road out of the Camp (heading towards bandit country!)

Bandit Swamp Camp

Thanks for following the post!
More to come soon (Farmland, Graveyards, Ruined Town etc.)

The Making of Kas Ruins (update)

The Kas Ruins are one of the six ruined cities found in Novia that date back to the period in Novian history in which the Obsidian Order rose to power. (As described in the Sword of Midras prequel novel by Tracy Hickman and Richard Garriott). The exact history of some of these cities has been lost to time, but it is rumored that some of them may have been abandoned even before the rise of the Obsidians. Kas is the site of the ruins of an ancient Paladin fort high atop a mountainside. At the foot of the mountain is an abandoned village with a small graveyard. The entire area has become overrun by the undead.  The goal is to have Kas Ruins go live in Release 41 or 42.

[From a Dev+ Forum Post by Esteben “SorcerousSteve” Zaldivar]

Hey guys! SorcerousSteve here with an update on the Kas Ruins!

Wide shot of the Kas Ruins with the Tears River on the foreground.

The ruins of the old Paladin Fort located along the steep cliffs of the mountains.

Sunset along the Kas Ruins.

Plenty of traps and dangers await so you can rain damage onto your opponents!

Entering the Kas Ruins from the South.

An elevator can be spotted along this mountainside offering another point of access in to the ruined Paladin Fort.

Stay tuned for more soon!

Esteben Zaldivar
Level Designer