A New Stretch Goal and the Lay of the Lands
We have decided to add a stretch goal to this Kickstarter campaign that I am sure you will be excited about. The way to obtain this stretch goal is short and sweet, and you can help us achieve this goal by spreading the word about Thorvalla. Help us reach 2,000 backers!
Once we reach 2,000 backers we will add a new playable character class to the game — the Jester!
From comments we have noticed that many of you would like a class that is superior in social skills to the others, and the Jester fills that role perfectly. Unlike the Jesters in Realms of Arkania, in Thorvalla, Jesters will also have improved lock picking skills and other abilities that may require sensitivity and stealth. A great communicator who is able to sway people, Jesters are helpful not only to obtain information and to unlock quests that may not otherwise by available to your party, but they can also serve as masterful deceivers by spreading rumors and defamation, which may just be what you need to divert attention from your party.
Help us reach 2,000 backers and the Jester will be yours to play! Be creative, talk about Thorvalla, tweet it up, post this campaign on your Facebook, or write about it on your blogs. We are counting on you!
Aside from this, we also have a regular update for you, of course, offering up more information about the game itself. One of the things I enjoy most about creating role-playing games, particularly when they are not based on an existing license, is the world building. The creation of areas and haunts, filling them with history and giving them importance, is one of the most fulfilling aspects of game design, as it is usually the moment where you can let your imagination run entirely free for a little while.
While I looked over our Kickstarter page to trim some fat from it, I realized the other day that you haven’t really had a chance to see the world as a whole very well. The image on the campaign page is scaled down from the original and is practically illegible. So I thought, I‘d give you a bit of a closer look today, along with a bit of info about some of the areas.
The region of Thorvalla makes up only a small portion of Azuria, the universe we are playing in. It is located to the North in an area that is covered in snow for much of the year. You can see the Bloodstone of Aing on the map, a landmark of significance, as it was here where the First King, Thorval Ironsky, turned into Snowfist, the Father of Dragons and thus united mankind with the dragons. (See our update “The Myth of Thorval Ironsky and the Birth of Thorvalla” for more details on this pivotal moment in history.)
Roval is the capital city of Thorvalla, just west of the White Hood Mountains.
To the west lies Cluivil, a close ally of Thorvalla, a vast tundra where long ago tribes of proud warriors and bands of dwarves fought for their freedom. Today, Kilrog Watch, a massive fortress high in the mountains, still serves as a reminder of these epic battles against an army of necromancers and their foes. It was only with the help of the airborne dragon force from Thorvalla that these necromancers had been vanquished and driven out of these lands in the most memorable battle of the Necromantic Wars at Haudruf’s Peak.
To the east lies the Norval territory. Ruled by minor lords constantly feuding with each other, the forested woodlands of the Crimson Forest are also home to the last of the wood elves. With its unique location, bordering so many neighboring states and a direct water route to the rich south, Norval has become a major trading hub for many years. But with the riches, also arrived brigands and highwaymen, eager to profit from the prospering people of Norval.
The Queen’s Empire is at the heart of Azuria; a remnant of the old Necromantic Wars. For countless generations it has been a boiling hotbed for violence and some of the darkest creatures in the entire world. Ruled by the evil Queen from her floating fortress in Keyzer, it is a haven for users of black magic, such as certain sorcerers, necromancers, and demonizers, as well as the progeny spawned from their dark arts. Beasts run rampant in this land, as it is home to hordes of orcs, ogres and other creatures, many conjured to life by the most deadly magic imaginable. For many years, since the end of the Second Necromantic War in fact, the Queen and her allies have been virtually jailed in her domain, with magic barriers and walled borders in place. Many wager that it is only a matter of time until she will once again try to extend her territory, but for the time being, much of her Empire remains locked away.
Isolated, sitting just below The Queen’s Empire, is Malaos, a region overgrown by heavy jungles that stretch from the foots of the mountains separating it from The Queen’s Empire down to the gentle slopes that lead to the ocean. Because of its remote location, not much is known about Malaos, but many seafarers have admired the beautiful shoreline from afar, marveling at the smoking volcanoes and the lush green foliage and many would have gone to explore the country, if it weren’t for the sawtoothed shoreline, and heavy jungles that make access virtually impossible.
Despite the merciless sun that bakes the Bleached Bones Desert, Sinta to the east of The Queen’s Empire has long become a prospering land. Savory spices and aromatic fruits are exported from here around the world, and exotic animals call this region their home, alongside the Sintian people, who are known for their exquisite beauty and fairy-like qualities. and seem blessed with the natural ability to heal. But despite its obvious beauty, Sinta has had a history running with blood. Ruled by warlords throughout the ages, not all rulers were as benevolent and open-minded as its current potentate, Khan Li. The books are filled with feuds and battles for dominion of this region until less than 150 years ago, Khan Li united the independently ruled districts into one empire governed by his authority alone and opened the country up to the outside world for trading.
To the south lies Lotos, a small kingdom of majestic beauty that is starkly counterpointed by the dangers lurking here. Many poisons beast make their home on the forests of Lotos and the humid grasslands. Insects of enormous scale and spiders the size of horses are only some of the denizens of this area. Haunted also by undead creatures and spirits of old, it appears that only the people of Lotos themselves are capable of surviving and thriving among these dangers. What is their secret? No one knows, but many speculate that a strong kind of magic springs from here. Magic hat has, perhaps, even spawned these creatures.
I think this should do for today. I will cover the other continent of Azuria, as well as some of the islands in another update in the future. As I said, make sure to take a look at the large version of the map for a better view.