Brittleshade, a city nestled in myth and legend. Magic and science walk hand in hand in a city unlike any other. Once ruled by dragons, the capital of a great nation, but now it was a conquered city in the Alfar Nation. It had become home to all manner of creatures from the friendly Golbry to the ingenious Tibareni.
But everyone knows there is more to Brittleshade than meets the eye. Technology offers convenience but the true lifeblood of Brittleshade is magic. Possess the right kind and you could carve out your place in the brightest jewel in the land. But beneath the shiny veneer of a city that never sleeps lies secrets that many would keep buried. One such secret is that of your sister.
A single life hardly matters in the grand scheme of the five million that live in Brittleshade. Will you find the answer or will you too end up as just another foolish tourist who got lost in the dark.
Brittleshade: Catalyst is an Interactive Novel set in a world of modern high fantasy. The player character is human with power who has come to Brittleshade to find their younger sister who came to the city to marry into the Goldman family. Only, she’s been missing for several weeks and no one seems to know what happened.
Play as a random character, a premade or customize your own. Find love, make friends, and even make enemies; all on the way to figuring out just exactly what happened. Just remember, in a city of power like Brittleshade, there is always something lurking in the dark.
TL;DR: You have a weak power, your sister is missing and the rest of your family probably hates you.
You play as a Silverstein, one of five children, who had a rather terrible upbringing due to being weak in your power. The best part of your childhood was the bond you had with your younger sister. Even if you choose to be on good terms with your other siblings, she was the only one who really ever saw you as you.
At the start of the game, you will be able to choose from several character options or customize your own. Customization will only detail the physical description, power and background of the character. There will be storyline options that can change your character’s opinion of their sister, their family and even their motivation/goal for being in Brittleshade.
The stats screen will update as you play, detailing the player’s personality and they have been reacting to the people and circumstances in Brittleshade. Some stats you can see are “Honest”, “Aggression” and “Sarcastic”. You will also see a strength meter for your power which may potentially grow as you play the game.
TL;DR: Multiple main characters to interact with and keep track of. Romanceables are “player-sexual” and not all relationships are normal (or healthy).
There will be a multitude of characters to interact with in Brittleshade. You will be able to see the stats and opinions for the main ones. Should you pursue a romance with a character, their section will change to reflect that.
It is up to the player to decide whether they wish to pursue that relationship. Keep in mind, not every relationship is healthy or traditional.
The first three characters encountered in the game, in no particular order, are:
Rebecca Goldman, a human woman with the gift of necromancy. Romanceable.
A friend of your sister’s, she can be potentially met when you visit your sister’s apartment for the first time. She’s bubbly, and happy, and gives off the vibe that she may have been a cheerleader in High School.
Zachariah Goldman, a human man with the gift of necromancy. Romanceable.
A friend of your sister’s, he can be potentially met when you visit your sister’s apartment for the first time. A bit stoic, he tends to be the more serious of the two Goldmans you encounter. He definitely looks like he was born into a wealthy family but he’s not quite as terrible about it.
Xion, a non-binary Golbry shaman-in-training. Romanceable.
Xion is one of the first people you meet “off the bus”. Literally. Like all Golbry, they’re incredibly friendly (annoyingly friendly, really) and seems intent on worming their way into your life. However, it’s clear from that first meeting that they used some sort of magic on you. Which is definitely one way to leave an impression.
Neveah Kynrel, something something human? Romanceable.
A woman you encounter when you visit the Garden for the first time. Considered the ‘caretaker’ of the Garden. Doll like in action, she seems interested in you and why you’ve come to Brittleshade even if she does not show it. Upon your next meeting, however, she is vibrant and alive.
Soliathin, male Alfar. Romanceable.
An Alfar you meet when visiting the Embassy. He becomes almost instantly curious about you, and less so about your sister. Haughty and rude, he embodies many traits of an Alfar nobleman.
Anaisa, Unknown, Unknown, Romanceable?
Unmet Character as of yet.
Belcan, Unknown, Unknown, Romanceable
Unmet Character as of yet.
Keith Goldman, human Necromancer.
Keith was the man your sister came to Brittleshade to marry. The more you learn about him, the more you question that decision. Known for being cruel and ruthless. He is the current heir to the Goldman family.
Brief World Overview
TL;DR: There’s magic and fictional races but they still got phones and cars and stuff.
Brittleshade is a modern high fantasy world. It combines the technology of our world with magic and different races. Brittleshade, itself, is a large city with several million people. Magic is not commonplace but there are enough people with some manner of power that everyone knows someone with magic.
The city is in the Alfar Nation which is the supreme nation on the continent. The Alfar have conquered all the other peoples and rule from their own capital city. Brittleshade has been ruled by a nominated official for several centuries. This has led to the populace being very mixed but it is primarily Alfar, Human, Tibareni and Golbry.
Alfar are characterized by longevity and possessing abnormal beauty. Tibareni are industrious and inventive but possess no forms of magic. Golbry are naturally inquisitive and aggressively friendly. Humans are, well, humans.
Abilities are unique to humans. Abilities have become a point of pride for certain wealthy families. Some, such as the Silversteins (the player character’s family) and the Goldmans have endeavoured to increase the strength of their bloodlines by marrying other powered individuals into their families. However, having a power is not necessarily a good thing. Certain powers can attract the wrong kind of attention and some humans have been hunted down because their power has been deemed too dangerous.
Some abilities are Empathy (perceive and affect emotions), Pyrokinesis (control fire), Telekinesis (move things without touching them), Medium (speaking with spirits and ghosts), Necromancy (raising the dead) and others.
Magic in Brittleshade comes from pacts with spirits. The average person is capable of making a pact with one of the lesser spirits provided they know what the spirit would want in exchange.
Through playing the game, there will be tidbits of additional lore such as what became of the former ruling line of Brittleshade, what it takes to actually make pacts with spirits and more.
Some Game Features
Character generator – Play as a randomly generated Silverstein or a premade if you don’t feel like customizing a character.
Romance Jealousy – If you do pursue a romance with an NPC, it is possible to negatively impact their romance by spending time with other NPCs. Not every RO will become jealous as this is based on their personality.
Glossary – As you play, more words will be added to the in-game Glossary which can be found in the stats menu.
Dynamic Sats Menu – The sections of the Stats Menu will change as the game progresses. The more you play, the more it fills out. For example, you won’t have the option to see info about a character you haven’t met.
Comfort Switch – The game has a switch that can be enabled at the first of the game to reduce the level of violence. This might be expanded later to also include a switch for things people don’t like but I kinda prefer it to be a character-by-character basis and part of actual dialogue with them.
Character Death - Depending on your choices, your character can die. The game, however, will try really hard to get you not to choose the death option.
Autosave - The game will autosave at the start of every chapter. This fits with the potential character death happening as the story plays out.
Things I may add later
Trigger Switches - I’m hesitant to add these because while I do prefer readers to be comfortable, it changes the dynamic of the NPCs a lot (one character is very touchy-feely once a relationship exists, another is incredibly flirty). I included the violence/description one as personally, certain things squick me out.
Dialogue Notifications - I’ve tried to write the options to be obvious on what it might affect. Some are obvious with words like “Rudely” and “Sarcastically” but others are less so.
Currently, a random playthrough is about 11k words (with the shortest options selected in most cases). In total, the coding and writing equals about 60.5k words.
To play the demo, go to Brittleshade: Catalyst on DashingDon
Frequently asked questions can be found at Tumblr FaQ
Now with Snippet Sunday where I post a few lines that aren’t yet in the online demo.
Contains depictions of: Violence, foul language, corpses/zombies, murder and death.
Contains mentions of: Animal cruelty and nudity.
I also appreciate any feedback or problems. Like if I accidentally typoed a word, have the wrong pronoun or if something just doesn’t make sense. I only ask that feedback be polite. <3
Thanks for stopping by!