To put an end to all the questions: No, we’re not dead, you can be sure about that.
If we ever gave up the project — and there’s really no reason to do that at the moment — we certainly wouldn’t keep quiet about it. As long as that doesn’t occur, we’ll keep working, even though we might not post a lot of updates on our home page.
Therefore, we implore you to stop incessantly asking for updates. We want neither to reveal everything and blow up all suspense, nor to use all our time writing up news and specials — we’d much rather see the mod to its end as fast as possible. Trust us, if we choose not to reveal new information weekly, it’s in your best interest.
Nevertheless, we’ve decided to piece together and release a small pack at the end of summer, containing screenshots, a status update, and a short story.
Although many of us were hard at work playtesting the game last month, the project has registered great progress. As ever, it is difficult to release specific information without spoiling the game. Keep in mind, we don’t work chronologically, but concomitantly in all areas, which makes revealing percentages rather difficult to do.
The first three chapters are fully playable, but that doesn’t mean much in and of itself, because the later chapters are also of great importance. Our tech guys are toiling away at a new test version which has already incorporated all of the side quests and factions. The story department pass their time writing the last dialogues and correcting the fourth chapter.
Our greatest priority at the moment is the last chapter and various ambient dialogues, which should round things up nicely. Matters are more complicated than they sound, therefore, we ask that you do us a favour: don’t complain if the CSP isn’t playable by next week.
The tech department have sought out some particularly nice screenshots that showcase all the things we’ve modified about the game world and its inhabitants (though not necessarily in their final state — there’s always the chance we might find something worth improving or polishing). We don’t want to comment on these screenshots: that’s for you, the players, to do. We’re anxious to hear your thoughts…
Trouble with the Mercenaries
At long last Fenris the story writer has decided to regale us with one of his short stories. The story below is about one of our new characters, the bounty hunter Raven, whom you already know from door number 7 of our Christmas calendar, and whom you will be able to find within the game, courtesy of the CSP.
Trouble with the Mercenaries
“People, trust me, there’s none left for today!” Flint implored the four grim-looking mercenaries. The lot came every night to his tavern, drank their fill, and turned restless. Ever more restless, day after day. “You’ve been draining my kegs like ogres.”
“Oh, bullcrap! I see a couple of barrels right behind you!” grunted Spike. “Give us some or we’ll stuff you in an empty one and roll you down the street!”
A burst of obnoxious laughter. One of them cried out, “He probably filled the barrel with his own sweat. Not that you can tell the difference — the stuff tastes like troll piss anyway.”
Whimpering, the landlord replied, “They’re not for you. I’ve sold them to the Raging Boar in Montera.”
Spike continued, unfazed, “We don’t give a shit. Who cares about what promises you made? We’re the elite around here, and if we demand drinks, we’d damn better get them.” He leant forward, smirking, propping himself up on an elbow. “If you want our protection, bring us the damned piss already.” Roars of agreement filled the air.
“Have you ever considered why the booze tastes like piss?” came a voice from the doorway. “A threatened landlord might just get the inkling to wee into the tankard.”
Flint drew back while the other men turned their heads to the entrance. Darkness had already set in, dotted by a few sparks of light. The pungent smell of swampweed permeated the air.
“What’ve we here, then, a joker? Why don’t you step in and repeat what you’ve just said?” barked Spike.
The small glint inched closer, and before the mercenaries stood a grimy fellow in black leather armour, his hair ruffled, his boots caked with mud, dirt on his face. The throng of mercenaries tittered. “A jester, huh? You’ve a pretty big mouth for a lousy guy like you,” spat one of them.
Spike flashed a nasty grin.
Flint stayed out of it. The stranger was already in a heap of trouble. The orcs cared little for brawls between mercenaries and tramps. That’s why Spike was the absolute champion of the Faring arena. People had to give him a wide berth before yanking his chains. But the figure under the doorframe goaded Spike further as he stepped in and flicked the smouldering reefer away. “What? Is this it? I’d thought, the ruckus in this place, I’d find some pretty tough fighters in here, but all I see are bigmouths.”
The gladiator’s face crumpled with rage as he drew his blade. “You asked for–”
A hand swept from above and clamped around Spike’s sword arm; a kick to the shin and his balance was toppled. He still stood upright — only just — before a punch to the chin took him off his feet.
“As you were, men. Take your friend and make for the hills before you join him on the floor.”
The mercenaries’ courage seemed to plummet at those words; they did as instructed. Flint handed the traveller a wet cloth to dab at his filthy face. After the stranger had rubbed the dirt away, Flint realised who he was. “Raven! I should’ve known. No-one deals with troublemakers like you do.”
“Ah, let’s just say I had a lousy day. Thrashing that guy really hit the spot. Too bad he wasn’t an assassin,” laughed the bounty hunter.
“So? What happened?”
“Ah, well,” said Raven, waving his hand, “I’d caught a paladin in Montera, but one of those bloody assassins ambushed me, shot me with a poisoned arrow and made off with the guy.” The bounty hunter bent against the counter. “If I’m right, the assassin’s on his way to Cape Dun. I’ll send Bufford a letter tomorrow. The least I can do is make sure the bastard doesn’t get rewarded.”
Flint nodded understandingly. He knew of Raven’s repulsion with the desert folk and how the Hashishin made life hard for Myrtanian bounty hunters.
“And the swampweed?” asked the landlord. “What’s that for? Smoking it will make you slow, and the gods know slow people don’t live long in this world.”
“For the pain. And, besides, you’ve seen I’m anything but slow.”
“Go wash yourself, then. If you’ll stick here a little longer and keep the scumbags from breathing down my neck, I’ll let you sleep here for free and give you all the Schnaps you can drink for little money.”
“Now that’s what I like to hear.”