Pillars of the Light [fantasy WiP]

Pillars

You were six when you were taken by the Sun clan.

That is how your story began, but then it ended when the person you were supposed to save put a hand through your chest. Though, it would be more accurate to say this was where the story began for the second time.

A fantasy story I’m working on-and-off in my free time, so updates will be slow. I’m intending for it to remain a free game from start to finish. Currently writing Act 1, which focuses on MCs younger years.

As of 12/06/23, prologue and the first half of ch1 are done and can be found here
Current word count: 33430 words without code, 35820 with
There’s also a tumblr blog here. I’ll gladly answer any questions if you have any!

Planned features:

  • a story with a focus on plot and character interactions, starting during childhood and proceeding to young adulthood;
  • a MC that is not a completely blank slate, but whose stats and relationships will affect their behaviour;
  • a mix of adventure and political intrigue storylines;
  • though there will be opportunities to build relationships, this won’t be a romance-focused game. (romance will be a possibility but not a focus);
  • and more that is not yet in the game.

The story is expected to eventually touch upon some pretty heavy topics in addition to the usual (by usual I mean profanity, fantasy violence, blood and injury etc.).

If there’s any bugs, typos, mistakes or inconsistencies, I would be grateful to be informed of such. I welcome any feedback in general.
Thank you for your time :cherry_blossom:

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Really like the story so far. Would like to see where we go from here and what would be required for us.

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Can you make a discord server in the future

Really cool.

I’ve quite enjoyed what’ve read so far. Will be looking forward to seeing what comes next.

Lovely story so far! The prose is really neat and elegant, and I love the subtle use of humour to make you slightly smile, even as you’re mostly fixated on the drama. One thing I will suggest is that it is slightly strange not having a character customisation. If you don’t want to, it is of course fine, but as a reader it feels slightly strange reading an IF novel with no frame of reference for your character, even just as flavour text. Apart from that, I’m looking forward to learning more of the plot!

Overall, I really enjoyed the demo, and am looking forward to seeing how this develops :grin:

Thank you very much, I’m glad you enjoyed it :smiling_face:

Maybe in the future. Life is quite chaotic right now, and I’d hate to create a space like this only to end up not interacting with anyone there due to RL kicking my ass.

Thank you for your kind words!
Re: character customization: my main problem with it is that I don’t particularly like the way it’s implemented in many games. If the story starts with “pick the color of your eyes”, I’m like 50% likely to just drop it immediately, and elsewhere I just click through it to get to the story. And then it mostly comes up in descriptions like “your green eyes flashed in the dark”, which is… not something I want to write, lol.
But I also recognize that the customization segment can be useful for worldbuilding, and that I guess without it it can feel a bit like you’re playing a featureless blob… So I’ll see if I can add something, probs at the beginning of ch2 :star2:

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I replayed the game, and I still like it a lot. A few things did make more sense to me on re-read, and I’m now really looking forward to seeing how the plot will continue :slight_smile:

And now, feedback! While last time I kept a more surficial grasp of the story, this time I’ve tried to keep a note of any errors in the writing or code, as well as individual sentences that seemed a bit off or strange. I’ll try and give explanations for the latter as the come up.

Errors

Misc

These things aren’t wrong, but they’re phrases or sentences which either didn’t make a lot of sense to me, or feel like they’re lacking some context behind them.

From what I gather, in this sentence, what is meant is: “The Ash Clan was significant enough to pay them enough attention.” But because our MC addresses them as ‘We’, it felt a bit strange. This was doubly so as I didn’t really feel like the MC had an established sense of belonging to the Ash Clan, especially given that they were taken away as a child, so their most formative memories of the Clan should be them giving the MC away to be a hostage.
Maybe if the MC’s desire to return to the Ash Clan, or their admiration of some particular part of the Ash was established, this would feel less jarring, or maybe the reaction to seeing the Ash Clan could be player-dependent (MCs who feel they belong to the Sun address the Ash Clan as ‘they’, while those who feel longing to return address them as ‘we’).
If you think it’s fine, of course, it’s not a huge problem, but it is slightly strange going from an MC who’s never shown any interest in factional clan politics, to one who instantly identifies with one of the sides. Although, perhaps I misinterpreted this line, in which case I do apologize for wasting your time.


(This one isn’t really and error, but I do think just using the bold tags would both look and feel better here)

I can’t wait to see where this goes.

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So can we openly rebel against Sun clan since the mc was basically kidnapped for whatever reason despite being ash. I’m ok going with whatever sun say but I want to know what a rebellious mc can do

@VThapar Thank you for pointing these out! It can be difficult to notice on my own, so this is very helpful.

Ohhhkay, so this is a bit of a spoiler so I’m putting it under cut:

MC and the Sun clan

So actually you’ll get your chance to break away as early as Ch3.
To elaborate without spoiling too much: the Order (think an old, monastic sect fallen on hard times but with enough reputation to throw its weight around still) is going to hold a competition, which you and Neith (the heiress) will be sent to attend. If you win (or otherwise impress), you can get accepted as a disciple of the Order. While you have your orders as a reason to be there, it’s something you can try to win explicitly because it lets you break away from the S clan.
In general, even if the MC can be played as not being openly resentful, I don’t think I’m writing them as someone happy in their circumstances. That’s why, despite the “lighter” scenes like the dragonfly chase or festival, the overall atmosphere of ch1 is meant to be kinda depressing.
And, even later on in the story. Given what/who MC is (which is s p o i l e r), you’ll have your choice between letting Neith take over the clan branch, or take over yourself (or you can take over a cult. Or both.). With more or less collateral damage. That’s what I have planned for now, at least.

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Will there be a focus on the relationship between MC and their overseer?

If I understood the question correctly and it’s about the relationship between the MC and the person who’s gonna train them/give them missions… they don’t get a personal trainer anymore, and they won’t stick around for that much longer anyway. For (spoilery) details, please refer to the answer to the post before yours.

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By overseer, I meant Lady Nimaat :sweat_smile:

Oops, my bad! Totally misunderstood that :melting_face:

Not a focus, per se, but I won’t just disappear her from the story. So, like a supporting character?

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Thanks for letting me know without spoiling too much. It’s nice to know the mc isn’t just a backseat driver following the sun cos they said so. I just like exploring different breaches in wips like this

Ever since I came across the demo in Dashingdon, I’ve liked playing through every update. The plot hooked me in with ease, and I find the setting interesting.

I do love playing a resentful MC; I find it the most appealing path for me. The Sun clan wanted a loyal servant? The prospect was doomed from the start.

Great job on the story; I be following along as you write it.

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Thank you! I’m glad you like it :white_flower:

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Progress report 05/06

(copy-pasted from Tumblr since I forgot to post it here ><)

There was really only one path to follow there, and it was decidedly empty. But there were still eyes on you, you could feel the weight of them on your back. They were watching from behind the curtains on the windows and half-closed doors, and you had to wonder just what about your presence could’ve gotten them so spooked.

Fear?

Fear of what?

Or maybe that’s not it.

As you approached the first row of houses, five figures appeared as if out of thin air to bar your path.

I made a scene-by-scene breakdown of ch2, and I’ve actually started writing it, too. I think I’ll release it in chunks as I want to alternate between writing and editing, but I won’t make an official “update” post until like half the chapter is done. I don’t expect this chapter to be very long, but it’ll probably still take a while cause I’m a slow writer and an even slower editor.

Not much more to report for now. Hope everyone’s having a nice day~

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Keep up the awesome work. :blush:

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Hah, thanks.


(jk, I don’t really mind :yum: )

Also changing the tag on this to high fantasy, cause it fits better? I guess???

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