Avatar’s Update #283: Ebon Dawn Cultists and The Making of Norgard Fens

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

Game Development

News Announcements

Community Updates

Improving the Ebon Dawn Cultists

The Ebon Dawn Cultists are modern Novian worshipers of the historic Obsidian Order. They seek to restore the ancient power of the Obsidians and work with the Obsidian Cabalists and even the Undead. Until now these enemies have been using the same art as bandits. In Release 55 they will be getting their own art based on the Obsidian Order armor we created for the Release 52 Livestream Stretchgoals, albeit these versions are darker in color and more worn in appearance. Additionally in Release 56 you will be able to loot these enemies for this armor and salvage it for patterns.

Ebon Dawn Fighter

Ebon Dawn Archer


Ebon Dawn Mage

The Making of Norgard Fens

This marsh on the southern tip of Norgard was previously a Tier 3 area but is being upgraded to a Tier 5 area for Release 55. The increase in difficulty of this scene is part of a longer term effort where we will be increasing the difficulty of several scenes to better match the surrounding scenes and the character’s progress along the associated story paths that bring you near those scenes. Mushroom creatures and Reapers roam this marsh and have defeated any attempts to harvest the abundant natural resources of the area. Even the industrious Kobolds who have recently been trying to build a foothold here have been meeting with defeat and nature’s marshy hands.

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

Hey guys! SorcerousSteve here to give you a first look at the uncloning of the Norgard Fens.

A large inspiration for certain areas of the Norgard Fens came from the dark swamps featured in movies such as The Nerverending Story and The Princess Bride. This particular area featured below is dark and musty, vegetation has stopped growing, and it is littered with quicksand pits.

The home of the Beldame of Norgard Fens. This wretched crone makes her home deep in the swamp. Rumours abound that she likes to abduct children…

This Kobold camp located on the eastern side of the Norgard Fens is in a slow state of decline. Initially established as a scouting camp to research psilocybin it has started to slowly succumb to this unrelenting landscape. Disease, and starvation face the few kobolds who manage to hold on while research on the mushroom species continues.

Large open areas covered in fallen logs, tall grasses, and low water can be found throughout the Norgard Fens.

Stay tuned for more as we continue developing the Norgard Fens!

Esteben “SorcerousSteve” Zaldivar
Level Designer

Double XP for Week 1 & 2 of Release 54!

Thanks to the incredible support in reaching new stretch goals during last month’s R53 Livestream, we have doubled XP (including crafting) for Week 1 & 2 of R54! Double XP expires on June 15.

R54 Livestream Continued Today From 3-7pm CT (8-12pm GMT)

** $80,000 **

R54 Livestreams Funds Raised

Join us this Friday for a special 4-hour livestream event from 3-7pm CT (8pm GMT) that picks up where we left off from this Monday’s R54 Livestream! We will be answering missed questions, having sales, giving out prizes, and tracking towards stretch goals from the R54 Livestream!

LIVESTREAM AGENDA (Occurring roughly in the order listed below)

  • Introductions
  • R54 Missed Questions
  • Combat Deep Dive
  • Community Announcements
  • Q&A Continues
  • Ending Announcements


As a special bonus, we are offering funding rewards to any player that makes a minimum purchase of $5 during a twelve hour window during the day of the livestream, from 12:00 PM to 11:59 PM CDT (June 8 17:00 to June 9 05:00 UTC). We continue the R54 Livestream stretch goals, Tropical themed, in honor of the summer season starting!

All purchases during the twelve hour window will count towards the stretch goals, not just the four hours of the livestream! We will pick up where we left off at $47,500:

  • ACHIEVED ON 6/4! $10K: /rainbow
  • ACHIEVED ON 6/4! $20K: /wardance & /hula
  • ACHIEVED ON 6/4! $30K: Leaf Backpack
  • ACHIEVED ON 6/4! $40K: Palapa
  • ACHIEVED ON 6/8! $50K: Polynesian Dress with Tropical Flower Crown
  • ACHIEVED ON 6/8! $65K: Polynesian Axe & Spear
  • ACHIEVED ON 6/8! $80K: Large Tiki Heads with Flames
  • $90K: Polynesian Bow plus two other Weapons
  • $100K: Polynesian Daemon Themed Armor with Full Helm


Additionally, we will be having twelve hours of sales around the livestream from 12:00 PM to 11:59 PM CDT (June 8 17:00 to June 9 05:00 UTC)! All of the following items in the below categories will be on sale at approx. 20% off for the entire 12 hours. As noted above all purchases during the twelve hours will count towards the stretch goals!

Final stretch goal total between last Monday and this Friday’s livestreams will be announced on next Friday’s (June 15) weekly update!

[Read More…]

NPC Submission Requests: Brittany Alleys

Earlier this week Scott “Lum” Jennings posted our latest request for NPC submissions for Brittany Alleys. This is for Developer+ level backers who are eligible for the “Design an NPC” reward “Help create and name a character in the game”.

For reference here is our current status on which towns we have done this work on and which towns remain to be done:


  • Aerie
  • Ardoris
  • Braemar (no backer NPCs)
  • Brittany Wharfs
  • Central Brittany
  • Desolis
  • Estgard
  • Etceter
  • Graff Island
  • Jaanaford
  • Kiln
  • Kingsport (no backer NPCs)
  • Northwood
  • Owl’s Head (no backer NPCs)
  • Resolute
  • Solania (no backer NPCs)
  • Soltown (no backer NPCs)
  • Spite
  • Xenos
  • Yew

In progress:

  • Brittany Alleys

To be done:

  • Bramble
  • Brittany Fields
  • Broochash
  • Brookside
  • Celestis
  • Eastmarch
  • Elad’s Lighthouse
  • Fortus End
  • Goti
  • Mud
  • Noreach
  • Point West
  • Port Graff
  • Storm’s Reach
  • Westend

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

Thank you for your continuing support of Shroud of the Avatar! This month, we move from the jewel of the realm to its seamy underbelly – the district known as Brittany Alleys. The dark streets of the Alleys are full of mysteries and stories, perhaps one of which is yours…

Because of Brittany Alleys’ size, this will be the only area we are adding backer NPCs to for this release. If you do NOT want your backer NPC to be in Brittany Alleys for whatever reason, or if you absolutely have a character who should be in a given city not named Brittany, you should wait until we advertise for that city. We do plan on eventually populating every city in the game with unique NPCs!

First, some brief notes:

  • Brittany Alleys has many NPCs which are not currently unique. Thus, the NPCs are already in the game, but we can change appearance (to a degree, as seen below), gender, etc. to suit your request. If you want to pick a specific NPC (for example, one near your own house) we will do our best to accommodate you but may not be able to.
  • 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 Brittany Alleys, we cannot offer any visual customization options beyond our standard gallery of NPC models. (Do note, however, that we frequently add to that gallery – the pool has doubled over the past 6 months, for example.) If you would like to have input over the visual customization of your NPC, you can wait for further releases when we can offer this. We will also allow a one-time visual re-customization once customization has been added if you would like to add your NPC now.
  • There are MANY NPCs within Brittany Alleys’ walls. Although we will be accepting submissions on a first come first serve basis, if you are a Developer+-tier backer (as in, you can see this post), you are welcome to submit an NPC of your own design, but people who have not yet submitted an NPC will take priority over those who have. If your NPC doesn’t appear in Brittany Alleys, feel free to respond again in future posts. We still have quite a few towns and cities to populate!
  • When responding, please list a first and second choice for profession.
  • Due to the great number of NPCs to populate this release, the amount of custom dialog we can add will by necessity be limited. If you would like specific custom dialog added for your NPC, it would help us GREATLY if you could submit in the form of [keyword that triggers a response] [the response desired] so that we have a better idea of how you would like that NPC implemented. We reserve the right to edit or change any dialog submitted, or not use it if we feel it inappropriate for the NPC or the game in general.
  • Things that will cause Lum to send you a regretful message saying we can’t use your NPC’s background: if your NPC has a backstory that contradicts the lore of the game (“my grandfather helped Aren Bennis win the Obsidian Wars”), thinly-disguised advertisements for your player-owned town or guild, references to races or major events that do not appear in-game (“my mother was an orc”), or a name that is an obvious reference to a real person, popular fictional character, or historical figure.
  • This is currently for the district of Brittany Alleys ONLY.
  • NPCs for Brittany Alleys should be primarily human, but we will consider submissions of elven migrants.

Still with us? Great! Here’s what we need for Brittany Alleys:

  • 40 guards
  • 89 citizens/travellers
  • 24 children/orphans
  • 1 guild registrar
  • 2 bankers
  • 3 town criers
  • 2 public vendors
  • 2 combat trainers
  • 1 crafting trainer
  • 1 alchemist
  • 1 blacksmith
  • 1 weapons salesperson
  • 1 butcher
  • 2 cooking supplies salespersons
  • 1 housing deco salesperson
  • 1 housing deeds salesperson
  • 3 fisherfolk
  • 2 farming supplies salespersons
  • 1 baker
  • 2 innkeepers
  • 1 tavernkeeper
  • 2 waiters/waitresses

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

  • NPC name:
  • NPC gender:
  • NPC profession (first choice):
  • NPC profession (second choice):
  • District NPC appears (optional):
  • 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 Brittany Alleys (or keeps them there), or anything else you’d like to add. We may or may not use this background, and 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 Brittany Alleys.

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 keep a tight hold of your coinpurse when in the Alleys!

Portalarium is Hiring: Web Developer

We currently have an opening for a Web Developer for Shroud of the Avatar. Qualifications for the ideal candidate are:

  • Minimum 5 years industry experience
  • *nix experience (OpenBSD or Linux)
  • CSS
  • Web development experience (PHP, web services, JavaScript)
  • Relational database architecture experience (MySql preferred)
  • Server deployment and cluster orchestration (virtual and/or dedicated machines)
  • Server load balancing, traffic prioritization, etc.
  • Extensive experience with server security
  • Strong debugging skills
  • Ability to work in unstructured, non-hierarchical environment
  • BONUS SKILLS (any one or more of these):
    • NoSQL experience
    • Strong C#/C++ skills
    • Windows programming experience
    • ASP.NET
    • Mac development
    • MMO game development experience
    • Minimum of at least 1 shipped game

If you’d like to join the Portalarium Tribe working on the ground-breaking Shroud of the Avatar game, please submit your resume to jobs@portalarium.com. Provide links to your work (if possible), including gameplay, video footage, and document forms (images, maps, and event descriptions).

Weekend Flash Sale: Patterns

In Release 54 we added Pattern Removers so you can remove patterns without destroying the item! We also made it so the radio effect on Clockwork helms stays with the pattern! To celebrate we are putting all Patterns on sale this weekend, including Heraldry!

Pattern Highlights:

And many more patterns are available! Visit the Main Store to view more items! Also, you’ll want to explore the game in detail for many more craftable items available!

Upcoming Events Calendar

June 28, 2018 – Release 55
July 2, 2018 – R55 Dance Party (Monday)
July 6, 2018 – R55 Livestream: Lord British’s Birthday!
July 26, 2018 – Release 56
Aug 10 – 11, 2018 –Syndcon
Aug 21 – 25, 2018 – Gamescom
Aug 30, 2018 – Release 57
Aug 30 – Sept 3 –Dragon Con
Sept 27, 2018 – Release 58
Oct 11-13, 2018 – SOTACON Austin 2018
Oct 25, 2018 – Release 59
Nov 15, 2018 – Release 60
Dec 13, 2018 – Release 61

Visit the official Community Calendar to see the great lineup of activities our amazing community has planned for this weekend! And be sure to check out this month’s Release Events thread in the SotA forums for additional events.

Royal Gardeners Wanted! New Decoration Contest

Once upon a time, somewhere in New Britannia, a mysterious Outlander arrived.
Nothing was known about his origin, a curious place today known as “The Otherworld”.
Nobody knew of his intentions and the reasons of his arrival.
Nobody, not even the outlander himself could have forboded the fateful consequences of his arrival. Consequences that were to change New Britannia forever.
He, who was the first Outlander of our lands, is today known as Lord British, the keeper of Virtues.

On June 29th we want to gather with you in our beloved New Britannia and celebrate a very special event: Lord British’s Birthday! 

(See the program here). Inspired and amazed by the magnificent beauties, that the Community has built over the years in Novia, we want to ask you, the Community, to design the garden/plaza of Lord British’s Birthday Celebration during this contest.


  • This contest is made for groups. it is recommended to get organized in a group but it is not mandatory.
  • Every group must have a group leader (it can be the guild master, but you can also choose to have a different trusted leader for this event if you wish)
  • The group leaders are to announce which members are part of their group.
  • At the end of the Event, the group leaders of the winning garden(s) will receive the prize for the group and are trusted to distribute it fairly as agreed with the group members who contributed.


The contest begins on Tuesday, June 5 and will end on June 26, when Portalarium will decide upon the best garden(s).


  • Participants can submit their finalized Plaza in the <Submission Thread>.
  • Each leader posts on behalf of the whole group.
  • One post per participating group.
  • Resources cannot be reused for multiple gardens (one garden per group/lead!).
  • Helpers that tend to a garden may help others on their gardens.
  • By June 26th, each submission must include:
    • Location of the created place
    • 3 Screenshots of the place
    • A few sentences about the place
  • Updating your Submission is allowed at any time, by editing the respective post.


The submissions will be judged by their creativity, fanciness and/or originality.

The group of gardeners whose garden will become chosen “Royal Garden” shall receive:

  • 230 COTOs
  • 500,000 Gold
  • 1 x Stone Statue of your choice (Max. City Lot)
  • 1 x 2018 Lord British Birthday Cake
  • Exclusive Title: Royal Gardener
  • Host in your garden for the Lord British’s Birthday party

Up to two other beautiful gardens shall receive

  • 115 COTOs
  • 200,000 Gold

Once the prizes are handed over to the group leaders, the event is concluded. 

Any discussion related to the distribution of prizes are to be discussed with the members involved privately and not in public. 

Portalarium and Travian Games will not intervene in any discussions about the prizes after they have been handed over to the group representatives.


See the forum post for details. Good luck, Avatars!

Community Spotlight – Veritas Sanctuary

Welcome to another Community Spotlight! These spotlights are dedicated entirely to community content, usually about a player town and presented by a single individual or an entire guild.

For this week’s spotlight, we toured the player owned town of Veritas Sanctuary. It is a town in the forests along the coast of Longfall, just opposite of the Bay of Storms. The governor of Veritas Sanctuary, Dereck Visaard, was kind enough to provide a fascinating update on the bustling activities of the town.

As told by Dereck Visaard:

It’s been a while since we provided an update on the expansion of Veritas Sanctuary. Phase I of construction, referenced in this post, was completed shortly before the 2017 holidays when the town was a town-size POT. After the holidays, the town was upgraded to a city-size POT, and over the last few months residents have been hard at work building out the Phase 2 expansion.

I am pleased to report that Phase 2 is now complete and open for business! I’d like to thank all the town residents and benefactors who contributed RMT funds, gold, COTOs, crafting supplies, and precious time to build, test, and refine the new southern areas.

And for our German friends: Es haben sich einige aktive Spieler aus Deutschland in Veritas Sanctuary niedergelassen. Damit heißen wir jeden Spieler auch in deutscher Sprache herzlich willkommen und laden dazu ein sich in Veritas Sanctuary niederzulassen. Als Ansprechpartner dient Catweazle Waldschrath. (Anflüstern: /w Catweazle Waldschrath, oder eine private Nachricht an @CatweazleX hier im Forum)

What’s New?

Town historians explored the ruins south of Scholar’s Square further and confirmed that the elven refugees from Vertas settled near two ancient trees along the river. One of the trees still stands at the riverbank, while the other evidently fell sometime before the refugee’s arrival. The few records we found relate that the mighty stump was sprouting new leaves when the elves arrived, so they built a small shrine there to commemorate a new start and appropriately named the tree “Hope Tree” symbolizing their hope of starting a new life.

To honor their memory, we built the Hope Tree Market around its remains.

The market features a full set of expert crafting tables, NPC merchants, an Oracle and banker, several new row and village spots for player vendors, and an upgraded auction house named Veritas Coliseum on the south side. Yes, the Veritas Sanctuary Auctions will soon return! :)

[Read More…]

There are so many towns and historical landmarks to explore throughout New Britannia. Visit the Community Spotlight section of the website to read about more of these sprawling towns. If you are interested in sharing your tales of adventure, message community managers Berek or Cerus!

BMC 20th Anniversary Event – Friday, June 8 at 8pm CT

Details in the forums!

Chicken and Stars Party in support of The AERIE Fund – Tuesday, June 12 at 8pm CT

What is this event for? Rauchbier Platz, a player owned town nested in Central Brittany, is hosting a party in support of the June 2018 AERIE Fund campaign, Primal Nature.

Whereis the party being held at? The party is being held in the player owned town (POT) of Rauchbier Platz, which is nested in the main entrance of Central Brittany. See the Rauchbier Platz community profile for directions!

What events will be happening during the party? There will be games, dancing and star gazing since this is being held at an observatory. For those that have attended prior Rauchbier Platz events, “Wheat, Wurst, Bread” will be played, along with a new game, Chicken Poop Bingo. We plan to have the wonderful Radio Free Britannia DJ Justyn spinning tunes for us during the event!

Details in the forums!

AERIE Fund – 24-hour Streamathon, Primal Nature – June 23

When: Saturday, June 23rd (12:01 AM – 11:49PM) NBT
Where: twitch.tv/aeriefund

Snag your Primal Nature Reaper Sapling Pet and join us in New Britannia and beyond as we host the Primal Nature 24 Hour Streamathon on Twitch! We’ll be raising awareness and support for Conservation International (an amazing org protecting the environment), gaming, and giving out some neato prizes. Tune in and support your favorite streamers!

Wanna stream? Sign up and join the roster!

Win a Pair of SOTACON 2018 Tickets!

SOTACON Austin 2018 is giving away a pair of tickets and t-shirts to SOTACON Austin 2018!

Enter daily to win! To enter, get the Meretz App:

Or watch Lunch with Laz & Jack Daily for additional entries, as well a chance to win a weekly prize of a Custom SOTACON t-shirt!

Relics by Rild on Meretz: Win Shroud Swag!

Project to SupportCrowfall

Crowfall is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), a game that is played online in a persistent, shared environment with thousands (and thousands, and thousands…) of other players.

In this ‘Throne War Simulator’, characters are persistent but the campaign worlds are not, thanks to voxel tech which enables fully-destructible settings. A seamless blend of an MMO with a large-scale strategy game, players are immortal champions, traveling between realms to fight in an eternal War of the Gods.

Resources – Players Helping Players


The official SotA New Player Welcome Forum and the Player Created Resources Forum have the best player created resources for Shroud of the Avatar, whether it’s a Player Written Guide, a Video Walk-through, or a Wiki-type Website.

Visit the official Community Resources page for a complete listing of all things community.

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