Update of the Avatar #154 – 2015.12.05: City of Aerie, Avatar Animation Asset Pack, R24 Postmortem, NPC Submissions, HoBlotH III, and More!

Greetings Fellow Avatars!

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

  • The Making of The City of Aerie
  • New Dev+ Asset Pack: All Avatar Animations
  • Hangout of the Avatar ~ Release 24 Postmortem
  • NPC Submissions Requested for Trading Outpost of Kiln
  • HoBLotH III: Lifeblood of the Hearth
  • Envyco Gaming’s Tour Guide R24 – Pilgrim Bonnet
  • Stone Creature Statues
  • Release 24-25 Christmas Decoration Contest!
  • 31 Day Countdown for Winter Reward & Price Expirations
  • In-game Community Events
  • Upcoming Events
  • Recommended Projects to Back

The Making of The City of Aerie

SotA_Aerie_u154_5Shot of Castle Aerie at sunset

[From a Dev+ Forum Post by Esteben “SorcerousSteve” Zaldivar]

Hey guys, once again its SorcerousSteve and I’m going to give you a sneak peak at the upcoming City of Aerie!

Aerie is situated on the tip of the Longfall Penninsula, surrounded by prairies and swamps. It is the City of Truth, a scholarly place, rich in trade, and heavily reliant on wind power.


Inspiration for Aerie has come from chatting with Richard and other Devs about the strategic and geographical importance of coastal cities.


Looking North from the City’s Eastern Entrance, with Castle Aerie on the background, a central square with shops on the foreground, and the Titan of Truth up the street.


That same castle seen in the background of the previous shot, can now be seen up close near the city’s Northern Entrance and most affluent district. (Castle Aerie on the left, a central square with shops on the foreground, and castle grounds on the right.)


Current Layout of North & Central Aerie. Different areas of the city will have a distinct “feel” in representation of the inhabitant’s social class.

That’s it for now folks!
Stay tuned for the next update on progress for the City of Aerie!

Esteben Zaldivar
Level Designer

New Dev+ Asset Pack: All Avatar Animations

Bren Wilson from our animations team put all the current avatar animations in one giant file for our Dev+ backers, including all movement, combat, magic, crafting, and emotes! These animations work with the 3ds Max Rigged Avatar model we released last year. Chris Spears posted the download information for the animation files in the Dev+ Forums today! Enjoy!


Unity Asset Packs containing original Shroud of the Avatar assets were included as a reward in the now expired Developer Pledge tier. However that reward, as well as access to the Dev+ Forums, will continue to be honored at the Citizen Pledge tier and above.

If you missed the previous Asset Packs, Dev+ members can download them here:

Hangout of the Avatar ~ Release 24 Postmortem

We had a great Hangout of the Avatar this week, with Richard, Starr, and Chris chatting about Release 24 and providing a sneak peek at Release 25. FireLotus fielded lots of questions and feedback live in the chat-room and from the original post! Here’s the video in case you missed it live:

NPC Submissions Requested for Trading Outpost of Kiln

Humility[From a Dev+ Forum Post by Scott “Lum” Jennings]

Thank you for your continuing support of Shroud of the Avatar! This month, we’re seeking entries for inhabitants of the trading outpost of Kiln!

Kiln is just east of the Blackblade Mountains, and a short journey south of the fortress of Hilt. As such, its central position sees more than a few traders and adventureres passing through, including the mysterious fauns who silently serve their satyr masters. (It is rumored that one of the fauns rests here, recuperating, and may be more talkative than most…)

First, some brief notes:

– NPC visual customization, as you may have noticed, is still at a very early stage in development. Right now for the backers who want to be added to Kiln, we cannot offer any visual customization options beyond our standard gallery of NPC models. If you would like to have input over the visual customization of your NPC, please wait for further releases when we can offer this.

– Response to this will be on a first-come first-served basis for each call for responses. Kiln is a small settlement, and we are not asking for many NPCs this time. If your NPC doesn’t appear in Kiln, feel free to respond again thereafter. We have quite a few towns and cities to populate!

– We are allowing people who have already submitted NPCs to submit their ideas for Kiln as well if they like, but people who have not yet submitted an NPC will take priority over those who have.

– When responding, please list a first and second choice for profession.

– NPCs for Kiln must be human. No fawns, please.

Still with us? Great! Here’s what we need this month:

  • 3 guards
  • 1 innkeeper/bartender
  • 2-4 travellers
  • 3 merchants (farming supplies / craft supplies / blacksmith)

If you’d like to have your namesake be a resident or visitor of Kiln, please respond via private message on this forum to me (Lum) using the following format:

NPC name:
NPC gender:
NPC profession (first choice): Innkeeper/ Merchant / Guard / Traveller
NPC profession (second choice): Innkeeper/ Merchant / Guard / Traveller
NPC background (optional): A paragraph on whom your NPC is, how they would respond to nosy outlanders poking about their business, what brings them to Kiln (or keeps them there), or anything else you’d like to add. We reserve the right to edit and/or reject any background that does not fit the lore and setting of the game.

Please specify in your submission that this NPC is for Kiln.

We will respond if: your NPC is used; if it is rejected for whatever reason (such as an inappropriate name); if a supplied background is inappropriate, or if your NPC missed the cutoff for this release.

Thanks for your support, and see you in Kiln!


HoBLotH III: Lifeblood of the Hearth


A history of events…

Lords of the Hearth

On 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 foodplenty of libationscelebrity gueststhemed activities, and a host of garbed attendees.

Images from the first HoBLotH


Legends of the Hearth

One year later, there was 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 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.

Battle Anticipation


Lifeblood of the Hearth

On June 1st, 2016, HoBLotH returns! HoBLotH III: Lifeblood of the Hearth is a five day, four night live-action role-play event in the mythos of both Ultima and Shroud of the Avatar. This event will create the experience of being in Britannia and New Britannia in the transitional years betwixt the Age of Armageddon and the first events in Shroud of the Avatar. With the exception of a few select Hearth run quests, all quests and activities will be designed and run by the attendees!

Activities will include feasting, questing, (safe) combat, puzzle solving, camping, singing, dancing, music, mayhem, and, of course, RABBLE!

Registration is to open to all!

To register, navigate to the
HoBLotH III Event Site
and click the Registration sign at the top.

Envyco Gaming’s R24 Grand Tour Quest Guide – Pilgrim Bonnet

Release 25 launches on December 17, so there are only two weeks left to complete the Release 24 Grand Tour Quest and get your rare Pilgrim Bonnet! If you need help with the R24 Quest, community member E N V Y has provided this helpful video walk-thru:

Stone Creature Statues

Want to make a statement and impress your neighbors? Then dress up your property with these epic Stone Creature Statues, including Satyr, Kobold, Bear, Elemental, Golem, and Zombie Stone Statues. Available individually or as a bundle in the Add-On Store!


Release 24-25 Christmas Decoration Contest!


[From a Forum Post by Doctor Shroud]

Welcome friends and neighbors
to the Release 24-25 Winter Holiday Deco Contest!

‘Tis the season for those of us in the snowy North as well as those in the sunny South to once again gather together to eat, drink and be merry!’

And to add to the chaotic merriment, we are announcing that the contest theme will be……….

Holiday Fun!​

Deadline for entry is December 11th, 2015
Judging will occur December 20th, 2015

$20 store credit – first place
$10 store credit – second place
$5 store credit – third place

A drawing that includes all contestants (excluding contest winners) will also be held at the conclusion of the contest for a Mystery Prize!​


Town lots and smaller only please
No multiple person entries
One entry per person
One basement limit

Criteria Entries will be judged on:
Original use of deco items
Cohesiveness of theme
Attention to detail
Wow! factor

We bid you all a happy holiday season!


[Click here for more details]


31 Day Countdown for Winter Reward & Price Expirations

As major milestones such as Alpha and Beta loom ever closer on the horizon, we are announcing the Winter Reward Expiration Event that occurs at 10:30 am CST, January 4, 2016. This event includes the following reward expirations:

  • General Rewards (Custom Crest, Name on Tombstone, Custom Avatar)
  • All Physical Rewards
  • All In-Person Rewards
  • Player Owned Town Add-On Store Houses

Additionally, the price will increase for several Add-On Store items.

[More Winter Reward Expiration details…]

In-game Community Events

Our amazing community has another great lineup of in-game events planned for this weekend. Special thanks to community member SpookyJenny (aka Jenny Phoenixfyre in-game) for her help in compiling the schedule of player events from the Avatar’s Circle Community Events calendar and the Events of the Avatars community calendar:

Recurring Events

  • Release 24-25 Christmas Decoration Contest!
    • ‘Tis the season for those of us in the snowy North as well as those in the sunny South to once again gather together to eat, drink and be merry!’ And to add to the chaotic merriment, we are announcing that the contest theme will be……….Holiday Fun! Deadline for entry is December 11th. 1st Place wins $20 Store Credit! (details)
  • Vanguard Decoration Contest – R24 / R25
    • Vanguard is hosting a decoration contest. To enter you must place a lot in Vanguard and decorate it as best as you can. If you don’t have a lot / house then you can borrow one for the duration of the contest. If you already have a lot / house then feel free to drop by and take an empty lot. This contest lasts for the whole duration of R24 and R25. 1st Place wins $30 Store Credit! (details)
  • RPOTA Monthly $160 Writing Contest – December contest involves Good Will or Winter Themes!
    • Here ye! Here ye! Biographers, Historians, Diplomats, Journalists, Story Writers, Quest Designers and Videographers! RPOTA is in dire need of your amazing talents! Role-Players of the Avatar is hosting a monthly contest to award those most famous with their quill or camera! (details)
  • The Unreliable Travel Guide
    • The Unreliable Travel Guide, created at the SotA Writing Round Table, is not an event, but a collection of hilarious short stories published by two drunken layabouts who have nothing better to do than try to derive a dishonest income from newly arrived avatars. (details)
  • Avatars Radio (Daily Programming)
    • Welcome New Britannians to Avatars Radio – Radio of the Avatars. Rocking your socks off from the town of Radio City with the Terrestrial and New Britannian bards together under one roof through the power of the Moon Towers.  Check out their daily program of amazing DJs:  http://avatarsradio.info/schedule.php
  • NBNN Lunch with Laz & Jack (Weekdays, 12pm CST)
    • Join NBNN every weekday for Lunch With Laz & Jack. They will be covering the daily goings on in SOTA. Calendar updates, Relevant issues happening in the days news. Come chat with us about upcoming events and general information. http://nbnn.info
  • Daily War Time PVP Event (Daily, 8pm CST – 9pm CST)
    • Invitation to all guilds, PK hunters, PVP’rs or players interested in PVP training to come to Chaos Crossroads (Located at the crossroads outside of Kingsport on the road to Owl’s Head). PVP Event rules: None! Use whatever spells you want, kill in mobs or solo, group with new allies and defend your territory, lure newbies into the town and wack them! (details)
  • “The Tavern Respite” RP Event (Mondays, 8pm CST)
    • The tavern door opens before you, and the scent of pipe and stew waft outwards with a wall of warmth from the hearth. Join in with the patrons of the Bear Tavern as they share tales of their adventures amid endless mugs of ale, legs of mutton, and merriment unbounded (The Bear Tavern; /zone Elgarion De’Khali; details)!
  • Challenge Dungeon Run (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 7pm CST)
    • This is a self-host event, meet at the Braemar Cemetery and organize into groups to take on the infamous Chillblain’s Compendium of Pain & Suffering!
  • PaxLair Working Hours – Host Sean Silverfoot (Tuesdays, 2pm)
    • PaxLair town and community “working hours” are for anyone interested in PaxLair. We will be in New Britannia doing things as a town when many people can work together. Sean Silverfoot hosts this working period. / zone Sean Silverfoot
  • Novian Academy – New Citizen Help Hours (Tuesdays, 6pm CST)
    • /zone Kazyn Phoenixfyre of Novian Academy in Soltown as they provide guidance to those new to the world of New Britannia.
  • Wednesday Knights (Wednesdays, 5pm CST)
    • This will be mainly an impromptu event but on occasion I may plan on doing something ‘knightly’. All will be welcome. Some possibilities include RP, boss hunts, gathering materials & crafting, hat quests, hanging out or whatever people feel up for. (Caer Dracwych; /zone Bowen Bloodgood; details)
  • Happy Hour Wednesdays (Wednesdays, 8pm CST)
    • Otherwise known as “Spend Stryker’s Gold” – Stryker will open a bar tab at one of the local Novia taverns for an hour or so for drinks, stories, news, critique of the arts, dancing, and otherwise unplanned mayhem. Zone /Stryker Sparhawk or watch this thread for locations each week!
  • Gladiator Wars (Thursdays, 7pm CST)
    • A call to all fighters PVE and PVP! Would you like to participate in the “Gladiator Wars” PvP Tournaments? Registration starts at 6pm CST. (Finchfield; /zone Pestilence; details)
  • Phoenix Republic PVE Nights (Thursdays & Fridays, 7pm CST)
    • Join the Phoenix Republic as we send our weekly foray into the control points, dungeons and other of the most dangerous locales. Each week we will depart to a different PVE locale to help train our combatants. Contact Kazyn Phoenixfyre or Malakas for more info!
  • Novian Academy – Role Play Courses (Fridays, 4pm CST)
    • Luka Melehan is hosting RP classes and practice sessions. (/zone Luka Melehan)
  • Shardfall Madness (Fridays, 6pm CST)
    • A PvP event. Contact Wind Silvermoon for details.
  • Vengeance Madness (Fridays, 7pm CST)
    • This is an Open PvP event where everyone fights it out in a royal rumble to see who the ultimate death dealer is! (City of Vengeance; /zone Bambino LudoVate)
  • Astronomy Event (Fridays, 7:30pm CST)
    • Interested in New Britannia Astronomy? Just enjoy gazing at the stars? Join us every week as we explore the night sky above New Britannia. (Player Town of Caer Dracwych; details)

Saturday, December 5

  • 9:00am CST PaxLair Working Hours
    • PaxLair town and community “working hours” are for anyone interested in PaxLair. (/zone Winfield)
  • 11:00am CST Church of the Dark Star – Saturday Service
    • High Priestess of Chaos, Amber Raine, and the Dean of the Novian Academy, Kazyn Phoenixfyre, welcome you to the Church of the Dark Star. A shared project, built upon equality, where all are welcome. Services range from what is Chaos and Order to how they affect different aspects of our life. The path you choose is yours. (PaxLair; details)
  • 12:00pm CST Beran League Construction – Harvest & Craft
    • A weekly craft & harvest event for the purpose of supporting all towns, guilds and player run establishments within the Beran League! All harvested materials, crafted items and decorative items purchased will be collected and sorted in a specially designated warehouse. Town owners, guild leaders and proprietors of the Beran League (and those designated by them) will have access. (Meet at the Bear Tavern in High Rock or /zone Bowen Bloodgood; details)
  • 6:00pm CST Elysium Social Nights – Arts in the Heart of Elysium
    • Each Saturday we meet together in Elysium and have a whole series of activities with our friends inside and outside of the island and the republic. Join us each month in a different spot within Elysium for a monthly block party celebrating all of the people and places that make Elysium great! This event was originally started by the Phoenix Republic in order to promote the foundation of Port PHoenix at the founders ball and has since evolved into a celebration of music, dancing, story telling, crafting and even occasional PVP! (details)
  • 8:00pm CST Vengeance 1v1 Tournament
    • The longest running Player vs Player tournament in Shroud of the Avatar. (City of Vengeance)
  • 8:00pm CST Gladiator Tournament
    • Hosted by The Weeping Seven, held in Chaos Crossroads. Purchase your Entry ticket from the Vendor outside the arena in Chaos Crossroads and your name will be entered for the follow Saturday’s Tournament. 1st Place wins 40% of Entry Fee total. (City of Chaos Crossroads; details)

Sunday, December 6

  • 5:30am CST Explore Novia! with royalsexy
    • Starting at the entrance to Owl’s Head, come explore the wide world of Novia – for people on our side of the calendar! (Dancing Rock, Owl’s Head Entrance, /zone royalsexy)
  • 8:30am CST PaxLair Meeting
    • Come see what PaxLair is up to in Novia and other town areas! Many people also attend from towns and guilds for a bit of a weekly wrap-up and what’s happening. Good discussions! (PaxLair, /zone Winfield; teamSpeak:
  • 11:00am CST Phoenix Republic Weekly Teamspeak Meeting
    • A Gathering of members of the Phoenix Republic to cover important topic areas of the month. It is here that the republic shall discuss new event types, ideas on new laws and other concerns effecting the Phoenix Republic. (Republic Town Hall, Port Phoenix, teamspeak at ts3.portphoenix.com)
  • 12:00pm CST Violent Underground – Team Tourney!
    • Join War Sage in Hometown in group combat! This 4v4 (and more) Team tournament creates a wargame where only the best team wins! Come on out and grab a drink, cheer on your team, and BATTLE! This tournament takes place every other week and tests only the best of the teams in SotA! (Hometown)
  • 1:00pm CST Serenite Shopping Extravaganza
    • Shopping Extravaganza at the Serenite Selfridge Mall. Crafters will be available for special orders.
  • 3:00pm CST Gustball
    • Two teams are pitted against each other in a sporting event not dissimilar from soccer, football, and basketball. The object of the game is to Gust a Gustball around the field and into your opponent’s goal (/zone Bambino Ludovate, details)
  • 5:00pm CST BMC Grid Iron Feast and Registration
    • Register to compete in the BMC Gridiron and mingle with other participants and spectators before the big fight! (Blackrock Cove on Novia near Etceter Crag Mines, details)
  • 5:30pm CST BMC Gladiator’s Grid-Iron
    • The BMC is proud to present the nastiest, the foulest, the most feared arena in all of New Britannia! The Grid-Iron is equipped with a pit-style arena, locker rooms, a VIP round-table, betting & vendor booths, and all the blood-sport you can handle. (Blackrock Cove on Novia near Etceter Crag Mines, details)
  • 7:00pm CST PaxLair Meeting
    • Come see what PaxLair is up to in Novia and other town areas! Many people also attend from towns and guilds for a bit of a weekly wrap-up and what’s happening. Good discussions!  (PaxLair, /zone Winfield)
  • 8:00pm CST Fishing with Winfield
    • Come sit with Winfield on a log or rock to hear some fish tales or tell your own. Chat about anything from the moons to the earth worms. Spend a relaxing day in nature near a stream or lake — bring insect repellent or a sword.  (some fishing spot or pond, /zone Winfield; details)

Be sure and check out the Release 24 Events thread in the SotA forums for additional events that may not be included here.

Upcoming Events

2015.12.17 – Release 25
2016.01.28 – Release 26
2016.02.25 – Release 27
2016.03.17 – SXSW Gaming
2016.03.31 – Release 28

Recommended Projects to Back

The Dark Unknown: A Quest for Art

The Dark Unknown is a free old school RPG inspired by and in the style of games such as Ultima. You play as a young hero of the realm, the younger child of the King, called upon when your brother declares himself in rebellion. Fight monsters, learn spells, solve puzzles and figure out the true meaning behind these events. It has been a personal project of the author for over 8 years now, and as it nears completion it is time to put all the pieces together.  Help them commission the best art possible to go with and in the game.


  1. enderandrewenderandrew

    It is really exciting seeing all these new cities being added to the game.

    And I cannot recommend HoBLotH 3 enough. More people have registered already than there were attendees last time. Register now before all the spots are gone.

  2. Kendric Darrow

    Aerie looks great and its nice to see where the inspiration came from.

    Love the fact more statues have been added however can heroic figures be added at some point, like knights with swords and shields, or past kings or queens?

    HoBLotH looks extremely fun also :)

  3. Finn StaberFinn Staber

    Awesome! The city of Aerie is looking cool! When I was in the Army, I got deployed to Honduras for 3 months, in the Cape de Trujillo. That was where Blackbeard actually built his pirate fort to fight off the European naval ships. When Esteben was roughing out the terrain last week, I showed him in detail how the landmass in that cape created a natural advantage for the fort. Very cool that Esteben included that in the post:)

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