No Map Yet, But Soon...
I was holding off with this Update because we are soooo close to having the Map of Creation ready to show you and I kept thinking that the next revision would be the finished version. But, not yet. Jared is working on my last comments, and I promise as soon as it's done I'll post it to an Update even if I get it on Christmas Day.
Here's a look at how the EX3 text is progressing:
From Holden: "More playtest-based combat Charm revisions and core tweaks, mostly for clarity. We set Lore aside (not completed yet) to do one big push through the social Charms first-- starting with Socialize. The big movement this week has been on sorcery, which is going to get its rough draft finished in the next couple of days."
Holden wanted to emphasize, and did on FB this week, that it is really gratifying to see how their new Charm designs are working, and that the changes they are making after the playtests are mostly to make wording clearer rather than imbalances or broken Charms..
I've started working with art director Maria Cabardo on the first Chapter- like I said last Update, the Exalted in this chapter are intended to be an inspirational explosion of gorgeous art that works as both an intro to the types of Exalted in Creation for new players, and also to demonstrate to experienced Exalted players just what's there so everyone can immediately grasp how EX3 has evolved from previous editions.
The EX3 Novels are in the pitch/outline phases, and the EX3 Comic has been sketched out. Composer James Semple (he created the music we used in the KS video) is composing for the EX3 Music Suites. He has spoken about creating video blogs of their progress and I'll share those links with you as soon as I get them.
We're going to be working through the holidays on our different parts of the project, and hope all of you stay happy and safe through the New Year!
Here is another sample of the Chapter Fiction going into EX3:
Prince Diamond glided across the churning surface of the river, his footfalls meeting the water as though it were smooth, solid stone. The chieftain of the Cloud Wolf Tribe lagged behind him on the winding course of the river’s banks, creeping warily for fear of the cursed ground he walked upon. “Move a little faster, SixFangs. Otherwise, you’ll more likely die of old age than anything else.” The wolfman responded with a grudging snarl of assent and hastened his pace, though he still couldn’t keep pace with the straight path the Eclipse Caste walked down the face of the river. Diamond sighed. He would have found better conversation with his horse Ember, but the steed was no more able to walk on water than SixFangs. Still, if long silences were the worst they faced on this journey, he would count it as lucky.
By the time the sun had moved halfway towards setting on the western horizon, Prince Diamond and SixFangs had reached the river’s oncehallowed origin, a waterfall cascading down from a small mountain peak. The wolfman eyed the falls warily, but there would be no need to make that climb. The gods did not live in the sky, as the superstitious chieftain presumed, nor would Prince Diamond be so rude as to intrude upon the river spirit’s sanctum. Instead, he would call the god to him. He drew a sheet of colorful paper out of his robes and folded it into the shape of a crude boat, then began to speak into it— strange words, in a tongue the wolfman knew not. Then, the Eclipse Caste laid the boat upon the water, where the raging turmoil of the water dragged it under in mere seconds. A faint glimmer of blue, like glinting sapphires on the riverbed, told him that his call had been heard.
The river spirit emerged from the water with slow grandeur, towering over them both in a form of bracken and black water that wore a porcelain mask for its face. “Who would have words with Yanamo? Who intrudes upon my peace?” SixFangs raised his hackles at this manifestation, stumbling backwards in fear, but the Eclipse Caste remained composed. “I am Prince Diamond, an envoy on behalf of the Cloud Wolf Tribe. It seems that the bridges across your river have somehow been swept away in the past few months, and its waters become entirely impassable. They would ask, humbly, that you calm the river, and let them cross over to the hunting grounds on the other side of the shore, as they have for years before now. Certainly, that can be arranged.”
The god spat in contempt, hacking up a glob of sludge onto the riverbanks. “What does Yanamo care for such trifles? Let them starve, let them eat—they will all die in the end. All of them, just like White Eyes. My river rages with my grief, envoy, and you have not the words to quell either. Begone.” Prince Diamond had no idea who White Eyes was, but the way the wolfman’s ears had perked up when he heard the name told him all he needed to know. The god had taken a priestesswife from the Cloud Wolf Tribe—hardly an unusual arrangement—and forgotten his bride’s mortality, until she died.
“My condolences. I suppose there is nothing to be done, then. I will leave you—the Immaculate Order is nigh, and I must keep far afield of their hunt.” He turned to leave, waiting for the riverspirit to break the silence. “Wait,” said the god, his voice quavering just enough to betray his fears. “The Immaculates—are they truly coming?” The Eclipse Caste grinned, but composed his face into a mask of calm before turning back to face the god. “As we speak, I assure you. Their reach has spread even to these hinterlands, it seems. But you are mighty enough to contend with the DragonBlooded, no?” The river god hung his head in silent resignation. “Well then, perhaps we could strike a bargain. The Cloud Wolf Tribe has worshipped you for years. With your blessings, and your river at their back, perhaps they could stand against Immaculate Order. But of course, it is hard to fight on an empty stomach—”
“Very well,” said the god. At Prince Diamond’s beckoning, SixFangs came forth, placing his clawed hand within the immensity of the god’s own outstretched hand. “So long as the Cloud Wolf Tribe stands in my defense, they will have safe passage across my river, and my blessings in war.” As the god spoke, the words of his pledge scribed themselves into the air, burning with the whitegold fire of Prince Diamond’s anima as the Solar willed it to sanctify the oath, shining like reflected stars on the water’s face.