Task of the Burdened One (WIP) 4/30/2020

The two kingdoms of Ilder and Roerhn have been at war for the past several decades. You have lived your life amongst this strife for as long as you can remember.

Play as the Mage, or The Warrior: will you believe in the cause of your kingdom? Or will you fight against the call of war?

  • Play as male, female, or non-binary; gay, straight, bisexual, aromantic, asexual, or poly
  • Choose from 7 unique backstories: 4 for The Mage, and 3 for The Warrior
  • Side with one kingdom, betray your kingdom for the other, or leave the conflict behind
  • In this war, nothing is as it seems: discover the truth behind the conflict, or let history play out its course
  • Start a romance or build friendships with complicated characters
  • Have a direct influence (or not!) on a character’s motivations throughout the story: determining who they will become at the end

Whether or not you believe in this war, you are a part of it, and your decisions will shape the fate of this continent forever.

Content Warnings

This story includes depictions of violence, loss of limb, death, and body horror, as well as references to child abuse. Anyone who is sensitive to this material, please take caution and take care of yourselves first.

For more in depth content warnings, read the spoiler text: Most of the story depicts violence and death, related to the war in the story. The body horror content warning applies to the character Orion, as well as a Player Character who chooses the Lucan Tribe background. You can avoid the content warnings for loss of limb by NOT choosing the Ashwin background (or making certain decisions during the background, but I advise avoiding the background altogether), and for content warnings of child abuse by NOT choosing the Province of Churchill background.

Backgrounds

Ilder is farmland, forests and seaside. The kingdom is governed by a monarchy and the people believe in the blessings of the goddess Yenia. Magic is believed to be gifted by the goddess. The people thrive off markets, exporting goods, trade and cultivation. Industry is an important element of this kingdom. The kingdom is also known for its many spirits and magical beings—but this often leads to tricksters and vanishings. Talent is coveted.

You can have grown up in:

The Province of Churchill:

A series of towns collected under the Lord of Churchill. You were born in the town of Fairwel, where you were the only child of your year with magical talent: as such, you were hand-picked by the Lord of Churchill to represent your town, forced to move from your home to his doorstep.

Seaside town of Glas:

A small town near the ocean. It is known for its ports and fishing markets. As a child you grew up on the docks and on the decks of ships, often hitching rides on trading vessels. Though it seems, lately, the town has been repeatedly ravaged by pirates.

The Capital – Cassica:

The capital of Ilder where the monarchy resides. Higher District : You come from a Noble family and grew up with all the resources that were offered to you. As a result, you went to the Mage’s Academy and learned magic from several masters. Lower District : You are an orphan who grew up in the Chantry of the One Mother. Due to your magical talent, the Priests and Priestesses had you work with their apprentices (Priests/Priestesses-in-training) learning Light Magic. Of course, your studies did not take up all of your time… wandering the streets one day you have an interesting encounter…

Roerhn is rough terrain and rougher people. Mountainy lands and ravaged terrain, home to frequent thunderstorms, harsh winters and hot summers. The elements run rampant and magic is harvested from its destruction on the landscape. Magicians are bred from natural disasters: blessed, not born. Often tainted by the corruption of its force. Dark magic is common here, and mages often go crazy, unable to control the magic they are blessed with. The people worship the elements, not gods or goddesses. The kingdom is run by a council of warriors. Strength is coveted.

You can have grown up in:

The Novik Desert:

A large desert near the cusp of Roerhn known for its cold nights and hot days. You have grown up in these harsh conditions apprenticed to a harvester, scouring the desert for magical reserves dislodged and left from elemental disasters. However, everything changes when you stumble upon a strange, seemingly new, elemental magic…

The Mountain village of Ashwin:

A mining village on the side of the mountain known for its minerals. The village is made up of miners that journey deep into the mountain caves to harvest mineral deposits. The mining trade has been a part of this community for centuries, though it seems lately that the mines have been in danger of collapsing…

The Nomadic Lucan Tribe:

A mysterious nomadic tribe rumored to be shapeshifters. They are tainted by Dark Magic; long ago a curse was put on its people, forcing them to turn into grotesque creatures.

Characters

The Kingdom of Ilder:
Characters:

The Mage: The Player Character. A highly respected commander and advisor to the Prince/Princess of Ilder.

Prince Vikander/Princess Viktoria: heir to the monarchy of Ilder; an adept and charismatic sword-wielder.

Alice of Boundless Voice: a priestess who specializes in healing, devout follower of Yenia. Mute. She works at the Chantry of the One Mother.

Marcol: a knight of Ilder with an intense hatred for magic

The Kingdom of Roerhn:
Characters:

The Warrior: The Player Character. A respected general of the Roerhn forces and companion of the Enchanter

Enchanter Elias/Ellyn: a mage who is known for their ability to wield elemental magic without succumbing to insanity.

Orion: a member of the Nomadic Lucan Tribe.

Talarae: a talented warrior who uses both magic, knives and sheer gall to get what she wants

Others:

Amaris: a mysterious individual whose appearance is relational to that of the PC

Yenia: the revered goddess of the Kingdom of Ilder. She has a special interest in the PC

FAQ

Why can’t I play as The Mage or The Warrior in either kingdom?

Unfortunately, you can’t play as both in either kingdom. It’s easier to code that way, but not just because of that. There is a reason why The Mage is from the kingdom of Ilder and The Warrior is from the kingdom of Roerhn.

So, all you mages out there who wanted to be from Roerhn and who wanted to use dark magic, I’ll have to apologize to you. But, don’t get too down in the dumps.

After all, you don’t have to be born in Roerhn to become a dark mage.

Will there be sexual content?

Most likely not. I’m not super confident with my ability to write it, though there may be some lead-in scenes or fade-to-black type options. Of course, I may have a stroke of genius and decide to add some in, but at the moment there are no plans for it. Basically, I’m not saying no, but I’m not saying yes.

Do the backstories have an impact on the overall story?

Yes. Which background you choose determines certain stat increases as well as other in-game benefits . It also provides flavor text, and some characters will react to you differently depending on where you grew up. For example, some NPCs will react differently to a Nomadic Tribe Warrior because of the rumors circling around about their tribe. To get most out of the game, I would implore you to try out multiple playthroughs with different backgrounds: they are all unique and give different benefits.

Can you go into detail about these “in-game benefits” you mentioned?

I would rather you go through and try out the different backgrounds on your own, but this is probably my favorite implementation into the story, so sure!

So, the in-game benefits are related to your backstory . You get certain benefits depending on which backstory you choose, and no benefit is the same: I did this in hopes of making each route unique, not just because you get to play out the backstory in the prologue, but your backstory will have impact on your character and on certain elements of the story. Also, most of the in-game benefits are optional . I’ll go into more detail about this in the spoiler text below.

If you would rather not be spoiled, I advise not reading the following text:

[The in-game benefits are special attributes/skills that your character receives during the course of the backstory . You can choose whether you accept this in-game benefit or not during the prologue.]

[The only backstory that has a mandatory benefit is the Nomadic Lucan Tribe Warrior backstory. Choosing this backstory automatically gives you this benefit, and you can’t opt out.]

The in-game benefits are also not the same as stat increases . Stat increases are also related to the backstory you choose, you will gain certain stat increases for certain backstories, but you will always gain stat increases . For example, Ilder values talent , so every Mage backstory will give you a boost in talent. The same is true for The Warrior and the strength stat . There are other stat boosts specifically associated with certain backstories, but I will let you play and find those out on your own :wink:

Can I romance Vikander/Viktoria or Elias/Ellyn if I do not choose their kingdom?

Yes, you can. The romances will be distinctly different whether you are a part of their kingdom or not. I hoped to do this in order to encourage replayability (also that sweet-sweet rivalmance), and for story variety. Also, because it sounded like a fun story to tell.

What about Amaris, are they romanceable?

Amaris is non-romanceable. Amaris will never have romantic inclinations for The Mage or The Warrior. You can certainly try though.

Is the goddess Yenia romanceable?

She was not originally, but after someone asked me if she could be, and me posing the question, I had some immediate response to the desire to have her as a RO so yes, she is now officially an RO.

Who is in the “poly” romance?

I don’t know if I want to say… I think you should find that out on your own!

Do our choices matter in this game?

Choices do matter, but you will never be penalized for certain decisions you make. They will impact elements of the story, however, such as NPC perception of your character, or world impact you might cause depending on your decisions.

Can you explain these “character motivations” you mentioned?

Absolutely! So if you have ever played Dragon Age Origins, you know that there is a point in Alistair’s character arc where you can choose to “harden” him, or not. This influences how he reacts to certain things for the rest of the game. The “motivation” mechanic is similar to this. I’ll explain:

During the course of the story, you will learn (or maybe you won’t) about a character’s motivation: this is a defining part of who the character is, essentially what they are working towards throughout the game. During the game, you will have opportunities to either encourage this motivation, or dissuade the motivation. Once a certain level of motivation is reached, the character becomes “hardened” and that motivation can no longer be changed . This occurs organically throughout the game, so keep an eye on motivation levels if you want to change them!

This is not meant to be a skill challenge, or to be something difficult for the player to do. This is meant to represent how NPCs will be growing as characters alongside your PC. Whether or not you want to influence how they grow is up to you.

Do you have plans to add other paths aside from The Mage or The Warrior?

At the moment, I am focusing on only two paths, one for each kingdom. That being said, I do have an idea for a third path called The Outcast. If there is enough interest in a third path, I would consider writing it, but for now it is very much in the planning stages and I will not guarantee anything on that front.

Update Log

1/30/2020
The demo at the moment only allows you to play through a chunk of the Province of Churchill background, and the Glas background. Sorry fellow warriors out there! I’m still working on the first
warrior background and it should be available in a few days.

2/6/2020
You can now play a chunk of the Novik Desert background!
I added a new screen in the Stats page and updated a scene in the Glas background as well.

2/9/2020
I revamped the intro, adding an additional 12k of content!

3/6/2020
Did some minor edits to the Stats page and Intro
Added the Ashwin background chunk!

3/20/2020
Added the Lucan Tribe background chunk!

4/30/2020
Added Cassica background chunks: Noble and Orphan paths
Added Skip Customization option in Intro



This is my first project and I am still very new to coding and Choicescript, so bare with me!

The demo is available here. (*edit: pictures work now! whoop!)

I also have a Tumblr dedicated to the development of this game. Feel free to post questions here or there.

You can also support me on my Patreon, should you wish.

Comments, constructive criticism, possible flailing, are all encouraged (and enjoyed!)

312 Likes

Sounds interesting but familer for some reason

@Harley_Robin_Evans I did start writing a story several years ago called “Paragons” (2015 i believe) but it didn’t have the same premise as this one.

Fire Emblem Fates you might be thinking of maybe? I realized after I had started writing it that it reminded me of that game.

There may be another COG game or WIP out about fantasy war, I’m sure. I have wandered the forums for the last several years but not to an all-encompassing degree, so there might be a premise similar to this one out and about that I don’t know about! If so, I’d love to read it though.

4 Likes

I’m sold!

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A short demo so far but I’m definitely interested. I love fantasy and I can already see this shaping up to be a very interesting game. Is the mage and the warrior path going to be very similar or are you essentially writing two completely different storylines?

Quick question here: so we can romance people from either kingdoms, is that right? What about Goddess Yenia? Is she non-romancable like Amaris?

@Captain_Communism
It is more like you will be playing an adjacent story line. There will be elements that are the same, mainly that the war is going on and you are going up against the other Kingdom (or you can choose not to, or you can choose to switch sides, or you can do other things as well), but you’re going to essentially see the other half of the conflict. So there may be similar scenes, but you’ll have different battles, different character interactions, different “truths” to discover.

I’ll essentially be writing two separate paths for each chapter for The Mage and The Warrior, basically. So, for example, you might fight a battle in The Mage chapter, and the corresponding The Warrior chapter you may hear about a battle, but you may not ever fight in it. Something like that.

You can romance other people from either kingdom, yes, though some of them only under specific circumstances. If you betray your birth kingdom for the other, some of the NPCs won’t like that. It’s harder to romance them (still possible!) but harder.

As for romancing Yenia, that one’s a bit tricky. She takes on a sort of pseudo-mother role to the PC and
those she interacts with. But if people are interested, I can see about including her as a romance option.

6 Likes

I’d like to have her as an RO, seems intriguing to me. But it’s up to your own decision anyway too. Don’t wanna demand anything or pressure you. Thanks for replying so quick! :slightly_smiling_face:

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Maybe it’s a spoiler related question, but why would both Vi and El treat the MC like they were their comrade, is that spell hit the MC also has some smokescreen effect which cause both of them unsure which side the MC is?

I really loved the demo and the blurb sounds like its sure to get really exciting. Can’t wait to see my warrior path get updated! :star_struck:

couple typos

is
fingers

Looks like an intriguing game! I picked the mage option from the capital city — haven’t decided whether I would like the noble option or the orphan option.

What is the distinction between them going to be? The noble has a magical academy and the orphan becomes a priest/priestess learning light magic? Just healing, or what would that entail?

As for ROs, I think I’d be most interested in the prince/princess and the goddess (I also vote for making her an RO, if that matters).

Anyway intrigued and I’ll be following this one. The references/comparisons to Dragon Age certainly got my attention.

3 Likes

Reference to Dragon Age Origins certainly grabbed my attention. Then I see a similiar situation from FE:Fates. I’m totally sold.
But really, I like the way you narrate your story and options to choose your background while showing us about it too. It makes me miss DAO lol. Other characters development and how we could influence them is a plus for me. Hope there will be character creation and building personality path for MC like DAII too:)

2 Likes

@everything-in-ordis It’s not really a spoiler but: depending on which path you chose, Mage or Warrior, determines which side cast the spell on you. If you choose Mage, El cast the spell on you hoping to disorient you enough that they could take you and Vik out. If you choose Warrior, the spell is cast by an Ilder mage and Vik takes advantage of the situation to pretend to be your friend and get you on their side, if only for a moment.

@Fiend Oh thank you for catching those! (and within basically the first two sentences too… i need to step up my game). Should be fixed now. Also I’m glad you liked the demo! I originally wanted to wait until I had blurbs for all of the backgrounds up, but I also wanted to share what I had so far too.

@Iello For the Cassica background, you can choose two starting points: the academy or the chantry. The story line for those is a little different from the other backgrounds because they intersect with each other. The in-game benefit is different depending on if you choose High District or Lower District, and some of your relationships are different too, but the prologue story-line is parallel to each other. As for what magic you can do, The Mage can do all magic, regardless of background. The in-game benefit for starting in the Chantry isn’t the kind of magic you can do. It’s something else which I won’t spoil :wink: It is the same for the academy mage–not related to your type of magic. Further into the game you can choose what kind of magic you specialize in etc.

@everything-in-ordis And we got two votes for goddess! Two interested parties are good enough for me. I’ll look into figuring out the logistics. :slight_smile:

I am also a huge DA fan, so I couldn’t not add references/comparisons.

@MytheaMJ Thank you so much! I love Fire Emblem and DA:O is in my top five favorite games. And yes, you will be able to do character creation. It’s a little later into the prologues, but I’m gonna try and crank out little chunks of the other prologues (mainly The Warrior ones) first.

8 Likes

Aww, I was kinda hoping it would be a situation where they both think you’re their friend. Like you got memory wiped once before and were befriended by an enemy that didn’t know you were the enemy and it took a second memory wipe to figure out the whole story. That had such great opportunity for angst.

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@grimbutnotalways That’s a cool idea! :wink: Would get a bit messy explaining it though, I think. But it’s a fun scenario idea. XD

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I’m wondering, and I don’t know if anyone has asked this. When we choose between the mage and the warrior, will the one we don’t choose still be present in the story

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The simplest answer I can give without spoiling is yes. Take of that what you will :wink:

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That’s all I needed to know. Thanks

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Not much to go on, but what there is of the demo so far seems good! I love stories that let us define our own backgrounds, and some of these in particular seem intriguing. I’m excited to read more when this updates!

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As it has been said above, the story is really good and, to be honest, I’d love it if the goddess was one of the ROs.

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