Greetings Fellow Avatars!
Here’s what we have for you in this week’s edition of Update of the Avatar:
- Blade of the Avatar Novel: Chapter 8
- Stretch Goals: Lord British vs. Darkstarr
- Upcoming Duke and LoM Events
- Star Citizen Vanduul Polearm
- Royal Founders: Recognizing our Original Backers
- Ancestor Tombstone
- Developer Tinkerer Certificate
- Pets at Founder Tier: Option to get all 3?
- Knight’s Lighthouse Animation
- Cubit Measure of Prosperity
- Website Upgrades: Pledge Page & Campaign Statistics Page
- Pantheon Kickstarter Special Cross-Game Cloak
- “Hearts of Britannia” Valentine’s Poetry Competition!
- Only 59 Days Remain to Purchase/Upgrade/Gift Founder Pledges
Blade of the Avatar Novel: Chapter 8
The latest installment of the serialized SotA novel, Blade of the Avatar (BotA), written by Tracy Hickman & Richard Garriott, is now available for download! If you are an Early Founder, or you purchased BotA in the Add-On Store, then you will find a download link for the current installment of the novel on your personal SotA account page (log into SotA website and click on “Account” in the top-right corner). If you are a Kickstarter backer you’ll need to have your Kickstarter account linked to the SotA website (click here for instructions to link your Kickstarter account).
Here is a brief excerpt of the latest installment (illustration by Denis Loubet):
Chapter 8: Hilt
Evard Dirae, Craftmaster of the Cabal of Obsidians, rode his horse through the last and grandest of the gates of the fortress at Hilt. The challenge which the guards tried to voice at his approach died on their lips, each falling silent at the passage of a sorcerer.
Evard kept his cold, pale green eyes forward as he passed into the upper courts of Hilt. He did not need to look back down over the multiple concourses that formed the fortress. He had taken them all in with mounting anger as he rode up the various switchbacks, passing through each gate with increasing disdain. Now, as he passed through the final gate, he felt entirely too familiar with the grand structure and, so far as he was concerned, the true reasons for its existence were all too evident.
What had once been a small mountain bowl nestled above a steep, stony canyon, was now an unfortunately crowded construction site. A grand tower keep, far more impressive than practical, was nearly complete toward the front of the bowl just behind the still incomplete defensive curtainwall. The five cascades from the surrounding peaks contributed to the deep glacier lake at the back of the bowl. This, in turn, emptied into the swift moving river that plunged through a gap in the curtainwall and down its restricting channel over the concourses below. In every other otherwise reasonably dry spot, buildings of various size and designs were evident in every conceivable state of incompleteness. Some were cleared ground only, whose foundations had barely been laid out. Others had their walls partially completed with stone pillars standing free, either in their intended place or on their side. A very few others appear to be nearly complete, only lacking in a few finishing details such as a roof or doorway. The shod hooves of Evard’s horse rattled against the newly laid cobblestone paths which wound between the structures.
Such a pointless waste, Evard thought. A monumental conceit that served no real purpose…
Download your copy of the latest installment of BotA to read the rest of this exciting chapter!
For your map puzzle collection:
Stretch Goals: Lord British vs. Darkstarr
Only $85,000 more to reach the $3.25M stretch goal of Lord British and Darkstarr fencing in puffy shirts! Here are the full details:
- $3.25M = LB vs. Darkstarr Fencing in puffy shirts
- $3.25M by Feb 20 = Training Montage
- $3.3M by Feb 20 = Loser jumps in the lake
Pick your team and add one of these images to your forum signature to show your support:
[…and my personal favorite]
Upcoming Duke and Lord of the Manor Events
Lord of the Manor Dinner and Tour of Britannia Manor
On the evening of Saturday March 22, 2014, Richard and Laetitia will host another “Lords of the Manor” dinner and tour of Britannia Manor in New York. This event is included as one of the Lord of the Manor pledge rewards. As a special addition this time around, none other than Lord Darkstarr himself, Starr Long, will be in attendance! Lords of the Manor can expect their official invitation in the coming days.
Duke and Lord of the Manor VIP Design Roundtable and Portalarium Studio Tour
On March 7, 2014, in Austin, TX, Portalarium is hosting a VIP Design Roundtable and Portalarium Studio Tour as part of the basic rewards for the Duke pledge tier (and above). We will begin at 9AM on March 7th at the Portalarium studios for a tour and roundtable design meeting with Richard Garriott. Later that afternoon we’ll move on to Richard’s lake property for some more time with the development team, and then finally culminate in the Lord British vs Darkstarr fencing match** along the lakeside. (It remains to be seen if Starr will need to jump in the lake as part of our stated stretch goals…)
On the following day, Saturday, March 8, from 2 to 4 PM CST, our guests are invited to attend a presentation by Richard Garriott and Starr Long at this year’s Hackney House, a SXSW event (SXSW passes are not required to attend).
Star Citizen Vanduul Polearm
“The universe is big, very big. It is believed there must be many living worlds.
Yet, separated by vast distances, most are likely unknown to each other.
It has long been known, that the lands of Lord British were on a planet found far from the earth.
Few have known, but many suspected, that artifacts, if not living visitors, from technologically advanced civilizations, periodically find their way to New Britannia.
Such artifacts and rumored encounters are rare, yet there are those who claim this artifact comes from such another world…”
Royal Founders: Recognizing Our Original Backers
With the recent influx of New Founders, we feel it is important to differentiate all the original backers who, during our brief Kickstarter campaign, championed our team and our project. It was their efforts and generosity that allowed the Shroud of the Avatar project to happen! To that end, we will be recognizing our original backers (those who backed us before May 20, 2013) with the title Royal Founder. We will also be creating a set of Royal Founder items that include the Founder symbol with a white color scheme (instead of the blue color scheme). These rewards are in addition to all the other Founder rewards and are associated with the same tiers (i.e. Shield for Adventurers/First Responders/Second Responders, Cloak for Immortal Adventurer, etc.).
The list of Royal Founder items includes:
- 4 Starter Armors
- 2 Melee Weapons
- 2 Ranged Weapons
- Taming Horn
- Crystal Sword
Here is a picture of the Founder Shield. On the left is the new Royal Founder white color scheme and to the right is the Founder blue color scheme.
I would like to thank our Dev+ members who assisted us with the selection of the color and title.
Included in the basic rewards of the Ancestor pledge tier, your name (or your character’s) will be permanently displayed on an in-game, centrally located, tombstone as an ancestor of the old world.
Founder status pledges will also receive a duplicate of their digital tombstone as an in-game yard decoration.
Developer Tinkerer Certificate
The Mercantile Guild of New Britannia dost hereby ordain the bearer of this certificate is recognized as a Master Tinkerer of Novia
This unique, in-game, Tinkerer Certificate decoration is included as a basic reward in the Developer pledge tier. Developers with Founder status will also receive a Printed “Tinkerer” Certificate, hand signed by Richard “Lord British” Garriott.
Pets at Founder Tier: Option to get all 3?
TheLarper over in chat pointed out that you can only choose one of the pets you get at the Founder pledge level. This means you can’t ever have all 3. So I was thinking that perhaps we could add that same reward at 2 more pledge levels so if you upgrade far enough you could get all 3 (or have 3 ravens I suppose). Does that sound cool?
Here’s the description to refresh your memory: “One (1) non-combat pet (out of 3 to choose from)”
And here’s the pic of those pets:
The response was overwhelmingly positive, so we added these same pet choices as new bonus rewards. At the Virtual Collector pledge level you’ll be able to pick two of the three pets, and Patron pledge levels can pick all three pets (or three of the same pet, if that’s what you want)!
Founder Knight Lighthouse
Finn Staber recently built the lighthouse animation for the Founder Knight Waterfront Lighthouse (available as a Founder Knight pledge reward), and it was so cool we just have to share it with you! Enjoy…
Cubit Measure of Prosperity
This unique, indestructible cubit measure increases the quality and quantity of items produced when milling. While cubit measures with similar effects can be crafted and purchased in the game this cubit measure never needs repair.
For a limited time we’re offering 33% off! Reserve yours now (or send as a gift) at the Add-On Store!
Website Upgrades: Pledge Page & Campaign Statistics Page
We’ve been upgrading the SotA website recently, and you may want to check out some of the changes. We’ve added a whole new pledge page to display the pledge descriptions. For now, the pledge names in the right side-bar link to the pledge page and display the text descriptions you’re accustomed to. This new format will allow us to display the reward images along with the text descriptions. We’ll be integrating all of the reward images into the pledge page over the coming week.
Some of you may have noticed the changes to the statistics displayed in the right side-bar. The new format shows the total funds raised and the number of “New Britannians” (the number of registered members of the SotA website). We added a new campaign stats page that displays all the previous stats plus a few more we thought might be interesting:
14 Days Left to Get Your Special Pantheon/SotA Cross-Game Cloak
In a joint effort with Visionary Realms, both Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen and Shroud of the Avatar are offering a cross-game cloak to those who back both projects. Pantheon will feature a Shroud of the Avatar symbol (Lord British’s Coat of Arms) emblazoned on a cloak in their game, while Shroud of the Avatar will have a cloak bearing the Pantheon symbol.
To qualify for the special Pantheon/SotA cross-game cloak you must be a Pantheon backer at the FALLEN’S SPECIAL PLEDGE tier (or higher) and the SotA FIRST RESPONDER (Kickstarter) / ADVENTURER (post-Kickstarter) Pledge tier (or higher). There’s only 14 days remaining in the Pantheon Kickstarter campaign, so if you’re as big a fan of Brad’s games as we are, then head over to the Pantheon Kickstarter site and pledge your support!
“Hearts of Britannia” Valentine’s Poetry Competition!
The Bards of Poets’ Circle, on authority of Royal Warrant, are hosting an Official Competition! Winners of the competition shall be personally rewarded by Lord British and his Court, and have their work performed by Grandmaster Bard Holt Ironfell!
Come one come all, and prepare your submissions for the First Annual “Hearts of Britannia Valentine Day Poetry Slam!” Muster the Truest of Courage, the spirit needed for Love! (Or Trolling.)
All winning entries will be bound into an in-game book which can be found in-game. The top winners of the Lord British and Darkstarr poems will receive the in-game Darkstarr or Lord British cloaks. We will also create a video of Richard, Starr, Gina, and Stephen reading the winning poems that were written to them.
MAY THE BEST POETS WIN LUV 4 ALL TIME!
Additionally the Poets’ Circle are making music for Shroud of the Avatar and to help that effort they are holding a fundraiser to purchase instruments to record the music. Please help if you can: http://poetscircle.net/donations/
Only 59 Days Remain to Purchase/Upgrade/Gift Founder Pledges
Until the promotion ends on April 7th, 2014, Founder backers will be able to purchase and/or gift additional Founder pledges containing all the original Founder rewards, as well as upgrade any of their pledges at original Kickstarter prices. After April 7th, prices for upgrades, gifts, and purchases will increase to Benefactor prices and no new Founder pledges can be created. Don’t miss out!
Referral Bonus for Gifted Pledges!
Early Founders who wish to act as patrons to their family, friends, guildmates, or members of the SotA community, will also continue to receive the $25 Referral Bonus for every additional pledge they purchase as a gift for others. Not only are you helping out others to become Founders, but you are also growing your own pledge account by $25 every time you do! Win-win for everyone!
We’ve created the Player Marketplace area in the forums to help facilitate these transactions between our community members and we ask that you keep these transactions in that section.
Hurry and take advantage of this tremendous offer as there are only 59 days remaining until the Early Founder Pledge Promotion ends on April 7, 2014.
[NOTE: Any pledge payment plans started prior to April 8, 2014 will remain in effect at the original Early Founder price until that plan is completed or cancelled. Until we automate the process, you can send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org to have your pledges merged.]