Quest Journal

Outside the walls of Valhold, I cast my eye in the direction of Lord Ferig’s Battlecamp and set off. It took me only moments to locate him within his makeshift camp, which was devoid of wine as I would soon discover. I made note to speak to Anton about the matter one my return visit to Kingsport. I handed over my documents and we got down to business. Ferig seemed quite troubled over the events that had lead me to him and bid me give him silence to ponder his next move. Without much else to go on, and no wine to partake of, I said my goodbye and went to visit with Demig who is the master of his own Battlecamp, but much more difficult to discern.

The guards were more vigilant in this camp and required me to produce my papers before allowing me to enter. I certainly didn’t look like a Kobold, so I’m not sure who they mistook me for. But good thing I kept the documents Essen had previously given me. When it comes to identify myself, I usually cast such documents aside and present myself as a man of mystery, or a man of action depending on circumstance.

Once allowed to pass, I met with Demig in his tent and produced the token Essen had also entrusted to me. Demig found the matter distressing, but stood firm on the idea that there would be peace between the Kobolds and the Humans.

Then, in a move I found startling, he made me his emissary and put forth the task of going to Skrekk to meet with their ruler and king. He quickly put together a letter of introduction and sent me off with a token of respect. Before I could object or question what he meant by “have to defend myself,” I was on my way and heading toward the mountains.

My approach was fraught with dangers as the Kobolds took me as a threat and immediately set out to remove me from their homes. Before I could explain my presence, the hazards were upon me and the “defend yourself” warning became clear. It seems inappropriate behavior to dispatch those whom you have come to discuss peace. Clearly they hadn’t been given notice of peace as the document was still stashed away in my chest armor, so this is how it would have to be.

When the forest settled, I found myself at the entrance to the Kobold Caverns with trepidation to continue. Once again, the entrance to their domicile was a sinister formation cut into the mountainside itself. But, if peace could be at hand, then I must press on. And so I did.

I marveled at the city before me. How could such a smelly peoples, with non-existent dental practices and a complete lack of thumbs make such wondrous marvels?

When I saw a guard near the city entrance, I made ready my sword, but he assured me there would be no need. As I had come this far and shown my worth, there would be no further need of combat. I presented myself for inspection and requested and audience with Korabar. The guard explained that even though I was a foolish human and most likely not to be trusted, Korabar could be found in his palace and pointed the way.

Ever weary, I walked through town and made my way to the Kobold mansion. No harm came to me, save for a jibe or two about being human and some slight in regard to the color yellow. Perhaps a peace accord could be reached.

I stood before Korabar and offered up the documents and tokens I had been given by Demig. The atmosphere was tense and I felt at any moment I would have to defend myself from a dangerous predicament. But none came.

Korbar spoke that Demig had honor, but there was still treachery in the midst of Valhold. Demig was prepared to fall on his sword with honor to bring peace, but the house of Grannus was in ill-repair and no peace would be forthcoming with such vipers in the den.

With that, Korbar, entreated me to return to Valhold, and speak with Grannus directly in regards to new details that had come to light. Since I had no choice in the matter, I soon found myself back in the Valhold palace with Mara and Essen. It was an awkward moment, but I presented them both with the new information I had been given. At this time, Grannus and Ferig entered, demanding to be informed of these new developments. As I explained the events as I had witnessed them, a volcanic argument erupted and many damaging things were said.

Unable to remove myself from the room, I interested myself in the marvelous tapestries on the walls. Accusations flew like daggers and try as I might, I could not escape the hazards. As I looked on, the situation grew violent and was dealt with in a stern and shocking manner. My task of delivering a message had unhinged a web of lies.

Grannus, full of shame and regret, thanked me for my participation and asked I take up the mantle to find Boreus and Sequanna. I explained that Samael and I had been to see Sequanna and we had done our best to set that situation right.

Amidst the carnage, Grannus handed me a scepter and sent me to find Boreus. He was last seen near Blood River, where there had been another outbreak of violence. Blood River? That doesn’t sound like a place I want to visit. I’m quite sure harm will come to me out there.

As a token of gratitude, I was offered a scrumptious mutton and pickle sandwich, replete with mug of ale. It’s not quite the sack of gold one hopes to get out of these affairs, but it’s better than nothing, which is exactly what I got the last time I was here.

*Due to the incomplete nature of this quest, the final portions will flow together in an usual manner or may not work at all. Once in Valhold, to keep the quest moving toward completion, I spoke with Mara, wherein the dialog jumped between multiple characters. A few sequences are missing, but you should receive the reward at the end, which is the scepter.

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Ah, Lord Demig, good to meet you. I have to say, I like the tent. Pity about the wine situation, but fear not, I know a few people who might be able to help. Since we’re out on the fringes it could take some time for the first shipment and the price could be dear, but wine might soon be in the cask again. As long as you don’t ask too many questions that is. You concentrate on the war effort, I’ll concentrate on the liquor.

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Oh Nay, Nay, I say! The last time I went into a cavern like this, I had a bad experience!

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Well, I will say this, you have fine craftsmanship. My compliments on snagging the best lot in the carven, Korabar.

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Yes, well, good evening! I did indeed come to blows with your guards and give them mortal wounds, but it was all in the name of peace I assure you. Hmm, that didn’t quite come out right. I say, nice chair! Any chance your minions could whip one up for me? I have a rather spacious abode myself and would adorn one of the rooms nicely.

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So, here we are again. I’m sure you have a few things to discuss based on the details I just learned from Korabar. Perhaps I should slip outside and give you some space. I’ll show myself out, no need to trouble yourselves.

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

I’ve been holding on to this amulet trinket that Gawain shoved on me for far too long. I decided I would seek out this mysterious Brigid and give it to her. Gawain bid me to travel to Resolute, which I did. He bid me to find Brigid, which I did. And she turned out to be a woman of sense as our conversation took place in the local tavern.

But she was in no mood to share a tankard of ale with me. As soon as I produced the amulet, she spun into a mead fueled rage and began to slur aspersions upon Grannus and all his dealings. Not to be outdone by Gawain, she took an amulet of her own, thrust it upon me and told me to take it to Grannus. Before I could inquire as to why I needed to be the messenger, she informed me that she was not welcome at court any longer. She was at odds with Grannus and his ilk, and if her message was going to get through, I would have to be errand boy.

Her directions were a touch unclear, but she directed me to the town of Harvest, where I need to take the boat to Estgard and then to Valhold.

Hold the gypsy wagon a moment. Did you say, ferry? The last time I took a ferry, I was stashed amongst the dead like a sack of potatoes and sent to an island with a ruinous cave in the shape of a skull. What makes you think I’m signing up for that sort of thing again?

Alas, Brigid was no longer engaged in conversation with me. She was instead having a meaningful discussion with her mug of ale about how no one understood her and that one day she would show them all. I felt it best to take my leave.

I thusly consulted the map and discovered Harvest is many leagues from here, up to the North. I grabbed my drinking horn and set off.

Upon reaching Harvest, I found it to be a rather desolate and barren sort of town. There was a gloom about the place and no one seemed particularly interested in talking to me. Their loss.

Since I needed to take a boat, and boats are usually located near water, I made my way to the docks. As luck would have it, a boat was there at the ready. But oddly, there was no ferryman, no wagon full of bodies that I would have to snuggle with. There wasn’t even a guard on duty to let them know I was nicking off with their boat. So thus, under of cover of darkness, which is always my best method of operation, I slipped out into the water and made my way to Estgard.

It was just as bleak and inhospitable. There was no need to tarry, so I left town without a saying a word to any of the citizenry. Their loss.

Once on the big island, I found Valhold in the distance and marched toward it. Upon entering, the gloom was just as heavy as the other towns I’d visited. I suppose this lot had cause, as they had recently been the victims of some sort of kobold assault. Their town was in shambles, buildings broken, and most of the population seeking shelter elsewhere.

I explained that I had come to seek an audience with Grannus, which was not well received. The feelings toward Grannus, were quite sour. The feelings toward the kobolds were downright hostile as judged by the bodies swinging on the gallows. I hoped my interview with Grannus would not add me to their ranks.

But gaining entrance proved difficult. I explained that Brigid had sent me, that I had an amulet to deliver and that I wished to speak with Grannus in his throne room. Our conversation went round in circles for some time. After several false starts, I reintroduced myself to the guard and like a welcome servant of the court, I was allowed entrance. *

Once inside the stately abode, I skulked around looking for trinkets to steal. Rather, I lead a self-guided tour of his palace and admired his many wondrous decorations.

I found Grannus in the main hall, doubled over from what appeared to be the ill-effect of a bad bowl of mutton. Since I saw no privy on my reconnoiter, it was no surprise he was in such distress. But I offered up the amulet from Brigid which contained a missive full of vitriol. Brigid railed against Grannus and I felt an awkward moment pass over the room.

With Grannus in no fit state, Mara took me off to the side and discussed how I could be of assistance in these desperate times. I was then encouraged to speak with Ennes, who also implored my aid.

The situation was grave and I was beseeched to make haste for the Battlecamp and discuss matters with Lord Ferig. Conspiracy is in our midst and I was sent with a writ that would set the wheels of justice in motion.

As I set to take my leave, I asked if they might be able to spare a mutton and pickle sandwich for the task ahead. It had been a long journey thus far and who knows what perils await me. I wasn’t looking for anything fancy, just a bit of crusty bread, a few thin slices of mutton, a couple of perky tomatoes and a few pickles to add just the right amount of zest.

My request seemed to fall on deaf ears. My loss.

* Due to the glitchy nature of this quest, using keywords did not get the guards to open the doors for the Grannus Palace. For the moment, click or type in “Hail” and the guards will let you in.

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Oh, oh my. This does not bode well.

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Quite a formidable door to this ultra-swanky domicile. Normally, under circumstances like these, I would use my prowess and skill to bash the door right of it’s hinges and make a grand entrance. But perhaps, just this once, I will see what these guards have to say about the matter.

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Grannus! Good evening to you! I come bearing gifts. Yes, yes, I know what you’ve been told about strangers bearing gifts, but have no fear, we know plenty of people in common. And rest assured, it’s in no way egotistical to be surrounded by giant statues and flags with your own image on them.

You seem to be suffering from some diabolical, gastrointestinal distress. Perhaps you need to sneak out and use the little titans room? Fear not, I don’t mind waiting, you go right ahead. I hope this doesn’t have anything to do with “using” that open well I found outside. If that’s not it’s purpose, you might want to put up a little fence around it.

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

Why can’t the abandoned ruin actually be abandoned? Why must they always be inhabited by something evil, sinister and intent on doing me harm?

As mentioned, I waited for the cover of darkness then stealthily entered the Crypt of the Avatar, as Thanatos requested. With my trusty companion Samael, we moved down the long corridor into the mysterious chamber. From the start, it had a sinister air, like death and cabbage. It was clear, we were not alone. There was a guardian calling herself the Warmaiden and her counterpart Miles Shepherd, apparently some sort of Ambassador.

I made ready to strike, but Samael informed me that creating a whirlwind of chaos wouldn’t advance our quest. Instead, he suggested I introduce myself, drop the name of Thanatos at the pivotal moment and see how I could be of assistance.

I’m under the assumption these two don’t get many visitors as they were a wealth of information and kept me engaged for quite some time. They relayed many tales, including details of an Aren Bennis, none of which boded well.

But as we unraveled the mysteries, we learned that we needed to move on, to pay the ferryman and move deeper into Midras. Samael, took his leave to make preparations for our journey. I took the opportunity to investigate the catacomb. I should have departed with Samael, as this tomb is riddled with the undead and an abundance of horrors. Some horrible deeds have taken place in this catacomb and while certain doom awaits, it felt a better alternative than my current location.

I learned that one does not simply enter Midras, you must sneak upon it’s shores under guise. When I found Samael, in the town center of Spite, he informed me that the ferryman would take us to the other side, but we would have to hide ourselves among the dead. This trip is getting worse with every step.

With no other options, we agreed to these terms, met the man at the docks and crossed the river under silence. And just when I thought the passage couldn’t get any worse, it did. Having the stench of death saturate me is one thing, but landing on shore to discover we have to enter a cave that looks to be a menacing carved skull made me want to turn around and head back to the local tavern. Nothing good comes from entering a cave like that. Nothing!

I offered to buy the first round for Samael, if he agreed to jump back on the boat and say nothing about any of this. He denied me. The damnable fool was already off and waiting for me to catch up.

The halls of the cave were a terrible place, with twists, turns and false corridors. Multiple times spiders dropped in from nowhere, full of venom and ill-tidings. Samael, was too busy chatting up a ghost to be of any use to me. I had to do all the work with the help of my air elemental.

Finally, I discovered the right corridor, but the way was blocked by some mysterious force. I had to piece together a series of letters found on the bones of those less fortunate than myself and felt it proper, that if I should make it out of this cavern alive, I would do my best to deliver them. Someone must know these poor souls.

Since death was imminent, I took out a new sheet of paper and wrote my own final thoughts. I kept it short and to the point so that others might learn from what transpired in the cave:

“Mistakes were made”

Then it was time to speak with Anapa. This poor soul did not look to be in the peak of health and had nothing but vitriol to spit at me. He verily exuded contempt and hatred toward me. I tried to be the voice of reason and offer my help, but progress was not forthcoming. He refused my cordial offer of a tankard of ale and frowned sternly upon a bowl of mutton. I even offered to spritz up the place with the strategic placement of a few whimsical jack-o-lanterns. My tidings of joy were not well received and Anapa has a severe aversion to the orange gourd.

And like so many other malcontents that have been locked away too long, Anapa ordered his minions to attack. The musty room became a theater of slaughter. I was beaten savagely and had to make a tactical retreat on more than one occasion. My sword was crumbling to mere shavings and I had to resort to a rusty sword I managed to salvage from one of the fallen. I plunged into a melee with Anapa himself. The odds were shockingly stacked against us, but somehow, perhaps luck favors the desperate and confused, the air elemental and I were triumphant.

Since all the dangerous work had been done, Samael piped in with some sage words of advice. Pressing further we made a dreadful discovery. Locked away was Sequanna, the Titan of Love. I did my best to free her, but she explained her destiny was elsewhere.

Now that the fury of Anapa was contained, Sequanna had hearts to heal and instructed us to make haste to find Grannus and Boreus. They most likely had met with a similar fate and were being confined in a similar fashion.

Grannus and Boreus? Hold on a moment now, there are more of you that let yourselves get captured? I have to face more horrors, more terrible caves, more rabble-rousers with designs on realm domination and ruin yet more of my good leggings to free you vagabonds?

There better be a darn good reward at the end of all this.

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Hmm, creepy sarcophagus with beams of light streaking down. Quick, let’s go have a look!

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Ok, no reason to panic. This in no way means we won’t get out of here alive.

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I like the chamber, but I could do without the warrior decorations on the side. They bring down the overall mood of the place.

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Say hey! Quick, give me a boost so I can nick the cup! One drink limit at the pub indeed, we’ll show them!

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Absolutely nothing right about this. Nothing.

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Ok, A for creepy atmospheric effect. I don’t even want to know what this green vapor is.

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Anapa! I’ve been looking all over for you. Thanatos sent me. By the way, love the space, could use a bit of cheering up as far as decor goes, but overall, quite lovely.

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What the devil do we have here? Samael, don’t just stand there, chip off some of that good ice and we’ll break out the drinks!

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

I previously made a few comments about some of the tools I use to catalog my adventures in SotA. And it’s becoming very handy. My choice is to use OneNote because it allows multiple tabs – which I use for each Town – and it uses Pages  – which I use to write down general information and quest details. But OneNote isn’t the only tool out there. In fact there are two other great programs that I highly recommend and by luck, they’re on sale. Perfect timing! Release 12 is right around the corner.

Tools like these are perfect for a game like Shroud of the Avatar. You can catalog resources, make note of where people are located, log quests, recipes, people’s name, where they put their house, which lever you need to pull while in The Clink, where the Treasure Chests are hidden, which chests have the best loot and what the next step in your journey will be. You can also paste images so you can remember what something looks like.

First up is AllMyNotes Organizer. A very simple to use Editor that allows for multiple folders and multiple notes under each folder. You can quickly build a hierarchy for each Town and then multiple entries related to resources and quests. It looks a lot like a file manager, but it’s all about the text. It also has a very small memory footprint so it’ll work on that old laptop you have lying around. Great to have next to you while adventuring away. Use the Coupon Code INDIA71 to get a massive 71% discount and get the full version for $9.86. It’s well worth it!

If you want something that more closely resembles OneNote, then head on over to Bauerapps.com and pick up a copy of RightNote. This is also a fantastic program for cataloging information and organizing all the details about your quests. Like OneNote it has tabs across the top and uses pages going down the side. It also supports screenshots so you can document what’s going on. Just in time for Release 12, RightNote is on sale for 50% off. It also has a small memory footprint which makes it great for laptops and other machines. The Coupon Code should be on the main page, but just in case something goes sideways use – NOV-WK1D-SALE

One big advantage to AllMyNotes and RightNote is that they store all their information in one centralized DB file. OneNote uses a separate file for each new “Section” you make. While this is no big deal, it does make it a little tougher to share your notes. You have to make sure you grab each one. On the other hand, AllMyNotes and RightNote use a single file which you can hand over. While they don’t technically support sharing, it’s easy to have two files open at the same time and copy information between them. Not quite as cool as the Sota Wiki, but darn handy between friends if needed.

Anyway, both are on sale and will serve you well in your adventures. Also, both programs come with a free version that doesn’t expire. The features are somewhat limited, such as pasting screenshots and formatting, but they will still work as a game journal. I really recommend grabbing one. Not only are they great for SotA, they work well in the business world as well. I personally have been using AllMyNotes and OneNote in my daily routine for over a year now. Can’t think of doing my job without them.

Release 12 is coming. More quests will be included. It’s time to write it all down so you don’t get lost!

AllMyNotes Organizer
RightNote

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A generic shot of RightNote and how it can organize data in a hierarchy

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A quick sample of how I would put things together for SotA inside AllMyNotes Organizer.

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

It’s become pretty clear to me that Shroud of the Avatar is going to be a massive game full of locations, quest items, people to talk to and plenty of other things to remember. The built in quest journal is pretty cool, but egad, I’m already writing down who I talked to and what they wanted to me to do.

In the old days of Ultima we used to write all this stuff down on paper, most likely in a spiral notebook or maybe in a fancy, big 3-ring binder. But I think we can do better these days and this time around I’m using OneNote to organize where I’ve been and who I talked to. For example, Lord Enmar says to go deal with the Red Sashes. While there, Kelly says to go talk to Bodan in Braemar. He then sends you back to Kelly. Of course while in Braemar you talk to lots of different people who offer up tons of information and low and behold you have all sorts of things to keep track of. Most of it won’t be quest related so it’s not in the main journal.

So this is my plan for OneNote. I’m going to create a new Notebook called Shroud of the Avatar. Each Tab will be a city name such as Owl’s Head, Owl’s Nest, Kingsport, Ardronis, etc. Under each tab will be General information such as where people are located so I can find them again and then a tab for each Quest or person of interest.

Owl’s Head will list important characters such as Wyclifee, Morton and Lord Enmar and the important buildings like the location of the Firelotus Tavern, Armory, Crafting stations, The Clink, etc. Nothing worse than going back to town only to forget where the different characters are.

After the General info, there will be inserts for each quest and what need to be done and how I got it. Since the game keeps resetting it will be nice to know where I need to go to pick up the quests again.

The Quest tabs will list the keywords needed to invoke the quest, like going to the Firelotus Tavern, buying a beer and giving it to Morton. After that he’ll ask me to go get his Ledger from Kingsport. His shop is the first building in town that faces out to sea. Alicia is his wife and she has the Ledger. You have to say you’ll take the ledger to Morton in order for her to give it to you.

I’m just now starting to put this together and will keep filling it out this weekend when the game is up and running. I have a lot of notes about Ardoris that still need to be entered, but I think this structure will work well for me. It might need some tweaking as we move forward, but I think I’m pretty close. Also, OneNote will let me link pages together so if information in Owl’s Head is relevant to something in Kingsport, I can make a link to jump between pages.

Here is a quick screenshot of what my Notebook looks like so far.

OneNote is one of a few apps that come to mind for this sort of thing and it’s an app I use all the time. However, if you don’t have OneNote, you could just as easily use AllMyNotes Organizer, RightNote and UltraRecall.

I figured this might help out some of the other adventurers out there.

 OneNote

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

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