Update of the Avatar #100 – 2014.11.21: Play R12 Now and get Pilgrim’s Hat, HoBLotH II, Easter Eggs, Cyber Monday Telethon, and More!

Update of the Avatar #100 – 2014.11.21: Play R12 Now and get Pilgrim’s Hat, HoBLotH II, Easter Eggs, Cyber Monday Telethon, and More!

Greetings Fellow Avatars!

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

  • Hearth of Britannia: Legends of the Hearth II
  • Play Release 12 Now and Get Your Pilgrim’s Hat
  • Release 12 In-game Community Events
  • Easter Egg: Sword of Power!
  • Lord British Weighs In on Companions, Solo Play and the Development Process
  • Community Spotlight: Scholars of Novia’s First Writing Contest Winners
  • R12 Steam Access Keys Available for All Backers
  • Get Your 15% Bonus
  • Cyber Monday All Day Telethon
  • Holiday Specials
  • Last Chance Exclusives: Cooking Pot of Prosperity and Magic Sigil Cloak
  • Monthly Payment Plan Extended Through June 2015
  • Alienware Sponsors $20 Pledge Upgrade Coupon
  • This Week In The News
  • Upcoming Events
Hearth of Britannia: Legends of the Hearth IIOn November 16th and 17th 2013, Rustic Dragon’s Hearth of Britannia opened its Indianapolis, IN doors to thirty Ultima, Shroud of the Avatar, and Lord British fans across the country for the Hearth of Britannia Lords of the Hearth (HoBLotH), a 1:1 recreation of the meal served just a month prior at Britannia Manor IV. There was Britannian food, plenty of libations, celebrity guests, themed activities, and a host of garbed attendees.Last weekend, November 15th and 16th, almost one year exactly from HoBLotH I, Rustic Dragon once again assembled a semi-exclusive group of fans for HoBLotH II: Legends of the Hearth. Forty-one adventurers from all over the globe and fifteen cast members turned Richard’s lakefront property of Castleton into Cove, the quiet hamlet East of Britain in the original Ultima games.

Saturday morning, questers stepped through the red moongate and entered a living, breathing recreation of Britannia, complete with cloth maps, trinkets, quests, NPCs, combat, and camaraderie. Saturday was jam packed with activities including a may pole dance with the eight colors of Virtue led by SotA artist Scott Jones, tipping Dr. Cat for stories and drinks at his tavern, having their fortunes read by Penumbra, a live concert by Recap (a.k.a. The Space Bards), and so much more.

The main focus of the event was to achieve Avatarhood through mastery of the principles of Truth, Love, and Courage. However, Blackthorn was also present and offered participants the ability to gain Avatarhood through Mandrake’s alternate principles of Wine, Women, and Song.

Strip the Willow Dance

Virtue Pole

The Space Bards

Recap Concert

Quest Completion

Lord Jouten Knighted

For many, the crown jewel of the event was Capture the Keg, a 50 minute battle between Lord British and Blackthorn (a.k.a. Darkstarr). Players divided into two teams and played a modified version of Capture the Flag, each side having special advantages granted to them by their leaders. Lord British could resurrect players at-will while Blackthorn could instantly kill players with special throwing weapons that only he could touch. In true Ultima form, dead players had to say the customary “ooooOOoOOoOoooOoooo” as they ran back to their base to resurrect.

Rustic Dragon Knighted

Sunday, after waking up the wonderful sounds of Iolo playing his lute and telling stories, players walked up into the hills in search of the ruins of Stonegate where they completed their quests. There, the players rang the Bell of Courage, held aloft the Book of Truth, and lit the Candle of Love to complete their quests. The finale of the event involved the awarding of two Shroud of the Avatar Orders of the New Britannian Empire, one to Joe Garrity, curator of the Origin Museum, and one to Rustic Dragon, proprietor of the Hearth of Britannia and creator of the HoBLotH. Afterwords, all players were knighted by Lord British and received a special ankh, engraved with Lord British’s silver serpent. A fabulous time was had by all and the same question is asked by everyone: “When is the next one?”

Ankh of Lord British

“Last weekend was phenomenal. The closest any of us may ever come to experiencing the world of Britannia around us. The sights, the smells, the sounds all contributed to such an immersive experience.” – Gallara Dragon

“There are other games, groups and hobbies. But it is rare to be surrounded with so many people setting ego aside and throwing themselves in so completely into a shared passion together.” – Sir Eric O’Connor

“Now we can tell everyone we played the first new Ultima game in years!” – Goldenflame Dragon

And lastly, prominent SotA member Amber Raine, Avatars Radio founder and High Priestess of Chaos, was unable to attend at the last minute. Unbeknownst to her, this special non-Ultima item was waiting for her at the event. Everyone posed with it as a toast to her missed presence. She’ll be receiving this tapestry in the mail.Event photos will be posted early next week at www.hearthofbritannia.com.Photos compliments of Harley Dwortz, Mel Soest, and Tyler Tate. Complete cast list available here
Play Release 12 Now and Get Your Pilgrim’s HatRelease 12 successfully launched yesterday, November 20, with thousands of backers downloading, patching, logging in, and checking out the new changes! Lots of new content to check out, including:

  • An in-game hint system and New User Experience
  • More than 15 new skills
  • More than 50 new weapon and armor crafting recipes
  • 40 new songs (all crowd sourced by players)
  • Skill Trainers: when a player levels up they’ll now have to go to trainers to unlock skills
  • New Maps: Ravenswood Forest, Tower of the Shuttered Eye
  • The Overworld Map now has polished visuals and random encounters
  • Guilds
  • Open PVP Flags
  • The death system now includes being transformed into a ghost when you die
  • Alien FX support for Alienware keyboards and cases
  • …and more!SotA_R12_GrandTour_PilgrimHat_caption

The Grand Tour Quest
Just as in our last few releases, we’ve included a Grand Tour Quest designed to guide you through all the new content. And just in time for Thanksgiving, you will be able to get the Pilgrim’s Hat by completing the Release 12 Grand Tour Quest. This reward can only be unlocked during Release 12 (did someone say rares?), so be sure to log in to R12 and talk to all the Tour Guides!

We need all your help with testing the new patches, putting more stress on our multiplayer servers, and testing the new game content, so please join us in playing Release 12!If you have not backed the game yet, you will need to register and login at www.shroudoftheavatar.com, select the “Pledge or Send Gift!” button in the right side-bar, and purchase a pledge at the $45 Adventurer level or above. And don’t forget, any new purchases made from now through Black Friday Weekend receive an additional 15% Bonus (see details below)!

Release 12 Player Instructions
Release 12 Known Issues

Release 12 In-game Community Eventsavatars-circle-logo-concept-7[1]Our amazing community has another great lineup of in-game events planned for Release 12. If you missed out on these player events during the previous Releases, we highly recommend you check some of them out this weekend. Here is the latest schedule of player events from the Avatar’s Circle Community Events calendar (http://avatarscircle.com/community-events/):Friday, November 21
2:00pm CST – DJ FireLotus Release 12 Party, at Fire Lotus Tavern (Owl’s Head)
6:00pm CST – PvP Tournament (at the Brave Coast, Hidden Vale or “/zone Duke Violation”; for more details use the “/sotawiki Vengeance” command in-game)
6:00pm CST – Dungeon Run – Braemar Cemetery
9:00pm CST – PaxLair Gathering -(in the upper meadow of Valemark or /zone Winfield PaxLair)

Saturday, November 22
9:00am CST – PaxLair Working Hours – Host Winfield (in Valemark)
12:00pm CST – Welcome Quest in R12 (starts in Northshire, Hidden Vale or “/zone Celtic”)
2:00 pm CST – Port Phoenix Storytelling Event (center of Kingsport or “/zone Kazyn Phoenixfyre”)
3:00pm CST – Storytelling Event in Port Phoenix (Holtrot)
6:00 pm CST – PvP Tournament (at the Brave Coast or “/zone Duke Violation”; for more details use the “/sotawiki Vengeance” command in-game)

Sunday, November 23
11:30am CST – Live Book Reading – Net’s Contest Winner (PaxLair Theater, Valemark or “/zone Winfield PaxLair”)
1:00pm CST – Church of the Dark Star – Power of Chaos – The Hunger of Coveting (PaxLair, Valemark)
2:00pm CST – Real Human Live Chess Event (meet at Town Crier of PaxLair, Valemark)
3:00pm CST – All Town Gathering (at Kingsport or “/zone Jack Knyfe”)
6:00pm CST – PvP Tournament (at the Brave Coast or “/zone Duke Violation”; for more details use the “/sotawiki Vengeance” command in-game)
7:00pm CST – PaxLair Meeting – (in Valemark or /zone Winfield PaxLair)

You will also find the “Release 12 Events” book in your in-game inventory, providing a list of the community events provided by the Avatar’s Circle Community Events calendar. Here are some sample in-game images from the Events book:

Easter Egg: Sword of Power!Some of you may have already discovered the Sword in the Stone Easter Egg hidden by designer Finn Staber in Shroud of the Avatar. For those of you that haven’t, check out this video by community member The Mad Hermit guiding you to this elusive sword:
Community Spotlight: Scholars of Novia’s First Writing Contest Winners

“In a crumbling stone tower, deep in the Shadow Wood, there live two sisters, Vomica and Repugna. Some say they are immortal, having survived from the time before the Cataclysm by the use of an enchanted hair comb. Others say they are simply two old crones who have gone half-mad eating poison mushrooms in the forest…”

This introduction to the Scholars of Novia (SoN) first player-written book contest for Shroud of the Avatar revealed the “Sisters Grim”. The strange “Sisters” received 19 book submissions through the SotA Scholars of Novia Forum, they read and savored every word, and argued for hours about which books were the best. In the end, they decided five books were the winners to be published in Shroud of the Avatar.

Winfield, one of the three Grand Masters of the Scholars said, “We Scholars of Novia are a new player group, formed over the past few months. We envision a New Britannia filled with great player-created literary works to entertain, educate, and inspire people for many, many years. We seek to foster a community which loves to read and write. We are committed to discovering and documenting lore for everyone’s enjoyment. Our contest revealed many great authors and stories worthy of being in New Britannia. The top 5 were selected:”

1. A Tale of Braemar – By royalsexy
2. The Journal of Dereck Warden – translated and with an introduction by “The Bard from Shadow Valley” (by Net)
3. The Smokehouse – Anonymous (by grnarrow)
4. Mirror, Mirror…of the Lost – by Gaelis Trajan, translated by Tolon
5. Moonlit Vigil – a selection from the Tales of Lux, from the Lux Sanctuary Library Collection (by Spoon)

The Scholars also help bring the literary artists and their books to events in New Britannia. In fact, royalsexy read his book live in Release 11 and narrated by Trevor on Avatars Radio. In Release 12, Net plans to read his award winning book as well, also narrated on Avatars Radio. Keep an eye on the Avatars Circle Calendar for all the latest events and times.

“Whiiiiiiizzzzz” is the best word to describe the sound the boy’s sling made as he
spun it over his head. He loosed the stone and startled a lizard basking on the
side of the mountain, part of the range known as the Bone Spires.

“I’m so bored! Nothing ever happens here!” the boy complained to his friend.
You can read all the Contest #1 stories on the Scholars of Novia Forum final books thread. The Scholars are currently extracting loric references from the books to be published as reference material in the SotA Wiki and will have another call for books out soon.

The Scholars of Novia are led by three Grand Masters: Winfield, Amber Raine, and MalchorII. Within their ranks they have several Scribes and Lore Keepers working with authors, Portalarium, and publishing areas such as the SotA Wiki Library. They are the notable and immensely talented Unseen Dragon, Wahooka, Miracle Dragon, Balec Fares de Cani, Bowen Bloodgood, Browncoat Jayson, and Grant MacGregor. For more information, see SoN Wiki Page  or reach any of the Scholars on the SotA Forums any time.

Steam_logoSteam Access Keys Now Available for All SotA BackersSotA will launch on Steam Early Access on November 24, but we’ve made Steam Access Keys immediately available to all our backers as part of their basic pledge rewards! Once you’ve redeemed your Steam Access Key you’ll have the option of playing SotA either with the Steam client or the regular client (or both).

Click here for instructions to redeem your Steam access key and installing the Steam SotA client…

Only 11 Days left to get your 15% Black Friday Bonus!SotA_15PercentBonusIf you were thinking of

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