Shroud of the Avatar – Update of the Avatar #237

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

New Norgard Garments

The devs have begun creating the Viking-inspired clothing for the NPCs in the Northwest regions of Novia, including Norgard and Verdantis. This will complement the already established architectural character of the region and help to better define the area as a whole. We are creating garments for Guards, Citizens, and Merchants/Nobility, all of whom “courageously” display the color yellow which everyone knows drives the Kobolds mad, or so they say.

[A Dev+ Forum Post by Fletcher “SkullMuncher34” Kinnear and Kevin “UglyFist” Wells]

Hey all! So we thought we’d make a post showing our current progress with Norgard clothing. So far we’ve modeled out a few variations of basic shirts and pants for NPCs and are starting to create player wearable versions of everything. Keep in mind that these images are subject to revision as we move forward. Cheers!


Fletcher Kinnear
Character Artist

Etceter Polish


[A Dev+ Forum Post by Scott “Scottie” Jones]

Hello my friends!

It’s time for another update from yours truly! For the last few weeks I’ve been working to revamp the town of Etceter, one of the southern gateways to the tempestuous Bay of Storms, and the old stomping ground of the pirate lords in the centuries before the rise of the Obsidians, when the small seaside port generated enormous wealth from the now-abandoned Etceter Crag Mines. You will see from my following images how this old port-of-call has begun to change its face!

Though little has changed near the common entrance into the scene, passing through the town will eventually lead to the primary crossroads, where the port-side commerce and housing district (seen on the right) gives way to the richer estates that once belonged to the wealthiest privateers (seen up the rise of the hill to the left) who made their fortunes when the Etceter Crag Mines were at the height of production! From here we can get a better view of some of the newest points of interest I’ve added.

Turning left to look up the hill past the occupied estates, one can see the somewhat overgrown remnants of the main road leading straight from the docks below, to the abandoned ruins of the Baroness’ Keep! Just downhill and across the road from the keep is the walled, crumbling remnants of the stockade building that once served the keep, and further up the hill you can glimpse the rotting and moss-covered remains of smaller houses, both inside and outside of the wooden barricades built soon after the occupation of the Obsidians nearly 200 years ago. Among those ramshackle hovels is the long-abandoned cottage of Amanda, sister of Syenna.

Now, a little history might be in order to help explain what you are about to see.

Etceter was a small coastal mining town first and foremost, but its wealth eventually drew in raiding pirates, first on the seas, and then overtaking the town itself as they decided to involve themselves directly in the mining operations. Over time, it slowly became a more respectable town as the wealthy pirate lords chose to settle down and involve themselves in the less-dangerous pastime of trade. It is here that the culture that eventually blossomed in Norgard was born, and it was here that the Council of Might convened to discuss the rising Obsidian threat more than two centuries ago. This offense to the Obsidians was not forgotten, and before their eventual collapse they descended on Etceter, slaughtered its nobility, shattered the Baroness’ Keep, set up a garrison here with satyrs and fauns as a workforce, and continued to draw wealth from the mines until the fateful day the miners uncovered something terrible in the depths of those distant mountains. Eventually, after the Obsidian’s defeat, the town grew back again, with all the old structures still fairly intact, and an addition to the population in the form of the satyrs and fauns that escaped their dark masters toward the end…

The old stockade had housed some of the Obsidian garrison in those days, and though abandoned and decrepit now, it can still be visited by those who might not mind a broken ankle or two.

Just up the hill from that is an abandoned hovel or two, including the cottage of Amanda, the sister of Syenna, described in “The Sword of Midras” as having beautiful yet somewhat Elvin features, the product of the terrible Obsidian Reshaper experiments that left her somewhat crippled.

There is little left of her life there centuries ago, and its barren interior bespeaks of sadness and loss. Syenna had hoped for a cure for Amanda, but in the end realized that the only cure the Obsidians would offer her sister was a vial of poison, and the release of death. Though little is known of Syenna’s fate, for it is said that she followed Aren Bennis to the northeast after the fall of Opalis 200 years ago, it is written that Amanda once loved to rest upon the stairs at her doorstep and chat over the stone fence with her neighbors, and to sit with great yearning inside her bay window, from which she could gaze down the earthen main road toward the center of town and the harbor beyond in the vain hope that one day she would see her beloved sister Syenna walking up that long path to finally come home for good.

Across the road and just down from Amanda’s cottage still stands the shattered and crumbling remains of the Baroness’ Keep. Here Aren Bennis was taken, Sword of Midras in hand, to speak before the Council of Might and be interrogated about the activities of the Obsidians before their fall. Within those somewhat treacherous ruins can still be seen the Great Hall where Aren stood before the seven chairs which contained the Baroness’ guests from distant lands. In retaliation for this affront, the Obsidians came and dealt a terrible blow to Etceter, and left this great Keep broken but still impressive despite its ruined state. May it forever stand as a testament to the sacrifice of those that helped to bring an end to the Obsidian Empire!

Heading back down the long hill towards town, the main road offers a great vantage point for checking out the changes I’m now making to improve the look of the town itself, and specifically the various approaches to the numerous properties and estates. My hope, of course, is to add a bit of personal touch to insure they seem authentic and welcoming, while maintaining the look and feel of centuries of varied habitation and development. I’ll be adding retaining walls, more obvious paths, stairs, more lanterns, and a broader degree of cultivation and flora.

Since this is such a small scene by comparison to places I’ve touched before (such as Xenos), there won’t be near the amount of time and resources invested in it, but hopefully it will eventually feel much more developed and “lived in” by the time I’m done with it. There will be at least one more post to show you other improvements as I continue, but as a last stop this evening you can get a gander at what has now become a sort of “market square” near the center of town, where the main road now passes beside the crafting pavilion. I’ve opened this area up, improved the view of those living nearby a tad bit, and hopefully upgraded the look of the area in general!

Ah well, time to call it a night. Join me here later as I reveal some coastal/dock-side details and final polish! Take care, my friends!

Scottie ^_^
Senior Environmental Artist

Vertas Polish 

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

Hey guys! SorcerousSteve here to give you a look at another town on the Path of Truth that we took a visual polish pass this R44!

In order to emphasize that Vertas is on the Truth Path the color blue was used throughout the town alongside the green that represents the elves.

A new elven structure now lies in the town center and houses a library.

Pennants, banners, and awnings now cover the town streets alongside manicured walkways and potted plants.

Library inside the central building in Vertas.

The Elven Symbol can be seen on a banner just south of an elven glass home.

For a tie-in to Vertas, check out my work on Aerie last week (which is making its way into Release 44 next week!).

See you next time!

Esteben Zaldivar
Level Designer

Making of Hallowed Plains (cont.)

On the outskirts of the Boundless Forest and to one side of the Broken Road is the Hallowed Plains, a sacred site to humans because of a massive battle once fought in this location. Kobolds do not have the same respect for this land and have begun building along the road despite protests from locals. This scene was temporarily a clone of another scene but is being completely rebuilt. Devs hope to have the Hallowed Plains ready for Release 44.

Last week Sea Wolf revealed the first images and this week reveals more of this haunted battle plain.

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

I have new updated screenshots of Hallowed Plains! Check them out:

The Kobold Construction Site

The Kobold Checkpoint

The Trenches

No Man’s Land

The Revenant Fortress

The Tunnels

Chris Wolf
Level Designer

Making of Grannus Colossus (cont.)


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

Here’s a sneak peak at progress on the Grannus Colossus! This Colossus map is located in northern Novia, and houses the giant Colossus statue of Grannus, titan of courage.

As Boreas was to the path of truth, with solving puzzles and using clues to progress to the colossus, this area is to courage (pitched battle against barbarian cannibal tribes of the north).

More to come soon! Thanks for following our progress!

Travis “Vas Corp Por” Koleski
Level Designer