[WIP] The Shadowbane -- Chapter Two is Out

Announcement: A small update (11/30)
If you have time, please also consider participating in this Poll

Hi, I’m Kyle, a long time lurker here, and I admit I am really nervous in presenting my first project. I am not a native English speaker, so please point out for strange expressions or sentences you spot. The cover picture in the demo is drawn by my awesome roommate Jo, who will be doing some of the character portraits soon.

Here is a summary:

The Shadowbane was a hero of Tavaria during its founding days. According to historians, it was them who faced the first incursion of Shades and won. They banished the Shades back behind the veils, a magical barrier separating the land of mortalkind and the northern waste. This singular action gave Tavarians a long respite to rebuild and prosper. However, the happy days ended when an unknown source of magical power breached the veil, releasing the vile creatures from the captivity. Tavaria, struck unprepared, suffered defeats after defeats, its fair lands ravaged and its king perished in battles. In a desperate attempt to fight back, the Shadowbane was resurrected.

In this game, you can:
  • Save the Kingdom of Tavaria by banishing the Shades. Or join the foes to destroy everything.

  • Find out who you really are.

  • Uncover the secrets behind the Shades. Where did they come from? Who made them?

  • Romance or build friendship with any of the 7 possible companions. You will get to experience an exclusive route with them after the end of the common route.

Note that since it is still in early stages, I plan to implement the save feature once the common routes are completed. They are already written, but I am still toying with the stats to modify, which might impact the save files. If you have any suggestion, please feel free to write it down!

Currently it’s about 2 chapters done, and I plan on updating every 4 weeks.

Companions

1. Ser Wymond

Ser Wymond is the younger brother of the late king of Tavaria. He is loyal and steadfast, with his whole heart devoted to the restoration of his beloved country. Mallaidh, the sky witch who travels with you, claims that he is stubborn and inflexible as a bull, but that is probably because the pair never sees eye to eye. As the other heir of the royal line, he takes his duty seriously, but he often doubts his ability to lead, considering he has always followed his brother’s command.

He is a man in late thirties with the distinctive Tavarian royal features. His hair, eyes and skin are pale, with a prominent nose and sharp cheekbones. There are streaks of silver in his hair and lines around his eyes, but his hold of shield remains steady, and his skill of sward play is unmatched among his peers.

2. Princess Kaelyn

Princess Kaelyn is the only daughter of the late king of Tavaria. After her father’s fatal defeat at the hands of Shades and Marauders, she gathered what was left of his army and marched south to recover. However, her quest to seek aid in Shairia has met with different levels of jeers and dismissals, for a monarch without a Kingdom holds no sway in the eyes of Southern Lords.

It does not help that she appears quite unconventional in their eyes. Tall and pale with an iron mask always fastened on top of her face, the Princess earned her moniker “The Iron Maiden” with her harsh and aloof personality. Nobles of southern origins snicker at her mask behind her back, claiming that she must be disfigured to wear it all the time.

3. Arvid the Shapeshifter

Arvid was a spy of the Marauders. He defected to your side to save his own skin, but that earns him no love from the Tavarians. Only Mallaidh finds him intriguing, but her interest is purely academic. His ability to shapeshift into a nightingale is useful as a scout, but like the bird, Arvid lacks courage to actually excel at the role.

When he arrives at Shairia, he is instantly entranced by the culture of merry-making. He likes to disguise himself as a Shairian, and it would work if not for his distinctive northern features. He is gangly with a long nose and a narrow chin, a mop of wild brown curls and a pair of bright blue eyes. His voice is lovely, however, and that earns him some affection among the Shairian folks.

4. Mallaidh, the Lumian Sorceress

Mallaidh is one of the mysterious Lumians - the first creation of the sun-god Bael. She is a formidable witch wielding Light Magic, and an exceptional healing should the situation calls for it. Wymond distrusts her, not because of her intentions but due to her methods. To him, her ways seem overly cruel, but Mallaidh simply considers them effective ways to end the threats of Shades once and for all.

You learned that she is the only ever ventured out for so long. Like her sisters, she is created to appear beautiful in the eyes of men, with a face that rivals art itself, and a thick pelt of shimmering golden feathers covering the top of her head and the end of her limbs. Unlike men, she has talons instead of hands, and they prove to be an effective weapon should she need to defend herself.

5. Scribe Seraphinus

Scribe Seraphinus seems to stand out from the fair-headed, pale-skinned northmen, with his olive skin and raven-black hair. Indeed, he is a man of eastern origin, a former slave in the Azure Empire. Princess Kaelyn found him in a flesh market, and freed the man once she knew Seraphinus speaks at least sixteen different tongues. Seraphinus, grateful for the rescue, pledged his service to the princess. He serves as a guide when she stays in Shairia.

Seraphinus is reserved and elusive, but he can be quite passionate when talking about knowledge of any kind. True to his nature, he has taken up the task of scourging for your origin. The place he stayed is rather dusty, but the man does not seem to mind. He even has a small magical workshop set up inside, where he studies magic systematically. To him, magic is learned, unlike Mallaidh who is born with the innate talent to master it.

6. Caitrín of Aramore

Caitrín is the mythical companion of the Shadowbane. She is said to be a fearsome warrior maiden, towering over both the champion and the first king of Tavaria. According to a popular Shairian ballad, she was in love with the champion, although they never reciprocated it. In the end, she was heartbroken when the hero perished in the final act of sacrifice. There is no records of her afterwards, but the ballad suggested that she was no mortal, and was merely hiding deep in the mountains near the Everpeak, mourning for her long-lost heart’s desire.

If the ballad is telling the truth, Caitrín was a woman with silky black hair and lovely hazel eyes. She protected the champion in many occasions, placing herself between them and danger. The steadfast loyalty she displayed never failed to move the more romantic audience to tears.

7. ???

You are not sure what they are, but you get the sense that they are a being as ancient as the sun-god Bael. Mysterious and formless, they seem to come to your defense at your most precarious moment, without asking anything in return. You are unsure if you should trust them, despite their proclamation that they have no ulterior motives.

Gather your party and venture forth!

The game’s stat mechanic is inspired by DnD, without the dice rolling part. Some of the characters are also my old PCs, whom I think will be interesting to write a story about.

Change Log

16/11: A small update at the beginning, allowing for custom character creation for play testing.
Also added a bit of chapter two for the very same purpose. There might be some adjustments to the current chapter 2 scenes in the future.

19/11: Chapter 2 is updated. Actually the time in Caerfall is supposed to be very short, but I expanded in re-write. I might also add a few more choices and scenes. If you find some part rushed/discontinued, please let me know! (The code for this chapter is hell to write)

30/11: A small update. I expanded a choice in Chapter 2, and added part of chapter 3. The time with companions are not done yet, for that part is not originally in my draft.

Tumblr: link (Yes, we are accepting asks!)

200 Likes

Can we become king?

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@Nathan_Wolverton
Yes, you can. The easiest way is probably through Kaelyn’s route, but there are hidden paths to reach that goal designed for other routes as well. Of course, they will be significantly harder.

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Wow this looks like a really promising project!

I really love the atmosphere that you created! You can really feel that they’re struggling with the war. Definitely going to keep an eye on this!

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Can we get some save slots?

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Can the mc use magic

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@CookieMuncher Thank you so much for your kind comment :slight_smile:

@Big_fan1231 Yes, but I will only implement after the common routes are finalised. As indicated in the first post, I am still toying with stat implementations, and hope to settle that first before including a save system in. Otherwise I will just break it with every update.

@Custodes Yes, and I think it is implied that you can in a few choices. Basically you can wield it well if you have high mental stat, just like the DnD system. The game will elaborate on that later.

13 Likes

It’s a tad weird that the shade dragon comments on how we were a great swordsman when the shadowbane’s paraphernalia is a mage’s staff.

So shouldn’t her comment reflect what the Shadowbane’s preferred weapon was? Or maybe make it more vague- “a great warrior” or “powerful mage.”

Oh and maybe it’s implied by the vaguely dnd nature of things here- but is healing the province of Light magic? Someone might wonder why they can’t have their MC heal the nightingale shifter’s leg ourselves.

Looking forward to more, by the by.

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Great demo! I will be looking forward to its further development. Good luck! :blush:

P.S. Is that dragon Caitrin?

Interesting, I’m excited for more. I only wish Caitrín was gender selectable.

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Enjoyed it. One issue I ran into, I sacrificed my strength for the bridge but it later stated I had watched the Ice Guard due.

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Dude the staff is the most versatile tool / weapons options given… it’s cheaper all you need is a long shaft, easy to wield, simple to pick up ( proficiency wise ) but harder to master… what else… and in theory when fighting someone with the same proficiency on the respective weapons provided in a 1 on 1 match the staff always wins… But I’m fond of blades, I lean on the daggers side, I don’t know why but I find it soothing but I’d pick versatility over anything anyday… anyways let me know what you guys think, just remember any feedback is good feedback :sweat_smile::yum:

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Yeah i was surprised to see that too.

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@stsword Ah, thank you for spotting that out. The swordman comment was aimed at Wymond, but I also added a comment on MC’s weapon type if you select one of the questions. (Well, let’s hope that I didn’t accidentally confuse the weapon types.)

As for light magic - There is a reason why MC cannot use it at that point of time. I added a option for you to attempt it, and inside it hinted that something is amiss. If you have high intelligence or charisma, you should be able to see those texts. No worries, MC will eventually know how to wield the full lore of light if you choose a certain path down the road.

@Mei_Hiroshi Spot on! Yes, and MC will learn why she joins the dark side.

@Sheena_Felmey Ah, if enough people want, I think I could try to make that happen. (But that might require more beta testing effort later down the road, because I might miss out using ${} sometimes.)

@Dej @rafsan Thanks for pointing that out. I forgot to set the variable, and now it should be fixed!

@Clash_Account I was thinking to be more liberal than DnD’s weapon system, so you are not that limited by the weapon of your choice (like you are still able to do most of things). But that will probably make your weapon choice cosmetic, and I am not sure if players want that. Hm, any ideas?

@MyAccountWasLost Thank you! I will take this into account as well. Perhaps ability stat for checks and personality stat for flavor?

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I wonder if this was inspired by Dragon Age Origins, with the parellels between the Darkspawn and the shade, the Morrigan/Alistair dynamic between Mallaidh and Ser Wymond. One of my all time favorite games. The demo is aweseom, cant wait for more :star_struck:

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@MyAccountWasLost Ah ok, I’ll keep that in mind. As for the weapon choice, sorry, I seem to forget to update the start_up. Should be fine now.

@Pumpkaboo I admit they are sort of inspired by these two’s dynamic! Dragon age is also my favourite series. The interaction between Alistair and Morrigan is so fun to watch.

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I got this when I choose the bow

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@kyle_fiction stat checks are good thing imo, if I don’t want stats to effect my play then I’d want to play delight games :joy_cat::joy_cat::joy_cat: or something like that, those has no actual stats or anything, it’s simply linear story with choices that lead to basic flavour text.

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This is so good!! The dialogues, the intrigues, the atmosphere! mama mia! Want more! :+1:

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:joy_cat::joy_cat::joy_cat: don’t go wild for more though

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