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It's been quite a while since we last checked in on Portalarium's Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues, and since the list of updates has reached 176 installments, I figured it was time to catch up on the team's development progress. In case you didn't know, the latest build of the RPG is Release 29, which means that we're only three releases away from the moment in which both characters and lot selections will continue to persist for the remainder of its lifespan. Since that release, we've seen updates #174, #175, and #176 showcase more areas of the game, including the capital city of Brittany in this walkthrough video:
And here's a bit on the familiar companions we'll be able to team up with in the offline version of the game:
Our plan for Episode 1 is to have three companions that can meet and travel with the Avatar on his/her journey. You may remember that we have three paths of prophecy that the Avatar follows as well, and this is not a coincidence.
The first companion we'll meet is Conrad Dupre, Knight of Norgard.
Conrad's lineage is that of a soldier's soldier. He has fought under the banner of Valhold for his entire life, from his childhood as a squire to a dissolute noble to the years of struggle against the Kobolds (a race which he both respects and despises). In addition to his mastery of swords, shields, and heavy armor, he has a veteran's knowledge of Life magic, as well - not a great deal, but enough to keep himself and those around him fighting when others would fall.
Most who know him respect him, for he has little tolerance for cowardice or fear. But if he has any failing he also has little of a knight's respect for those under his care. Norgard is at war, and he will brook no weakness in its time of greatest peril. Conrad knows much of the martial arts, but unlike his impeccably forged sword Silverthorn, the heart of his courage still requires tempering.
Avatars will meet him early on in their journey through the Path of Courage, in the fortified garrison of Resolute.
The second companion that we'll meet today is Fiona Fitzowen, the travelling bard and companion to the Avatar on their path of Love.
Fiona is a bard in every sense of the word - a master of the lute, someone who will usually sing a song when prompted (and often when not) and without fail, will have something to say about the situtation she finds herself in (and she seems to find herself in many) which will infuriate some and entertain more.
Fiona is not one for fighting, but does keep a small crossbow ready when necessary (or when on the road and hunger beckons). She knows a smattering of magical arts, but like most travelling bards, just enough to be amusing.
Many claim to have stolen Fiona's heart; it is an illusion she is happy to perpetuate. In fact, if you ask who her current love is, she will quickly change the subject. For someone who makes a living at telling stories, that is a tale she is not yet willing to tell. She is drawn to the avatar, but not in the romantic way everyone assumes. But... that is a tale she is better off spinning.
Fiona can usually be found in Peladjar's Tavern in Ardoris, singing for her lodging and her amusement.
Finally, we meet Ariel Rosehaven.
One of Novia's most learned scholars, Ariel has been walking the path of Truth longer than many have been alive. Not one for being kept in the confines of a library, she will think nothing of taking up her quarterstaff and a bindle filled with a few of her beloved books and going to test in the field what others are content to merely argue about from safe confines. She has studied alongside Kobold technicians and Elven lorespeakers (racism being one of the many things that will cause her to 'lecture') and her knowledge of magic is second to few.
When she heard that an outlander had been seen at the site of an elven massacre, she, of course, had to meet this person and take their measure. What happens next is hard to predict. Many have underestimated the unassuming older woman in a cloak and quarterstaff, and learned that the truth is not always what it seems.
"NEVER ask a lady her age, or her past. Or anything else she is likely to tell you."
The Avatar will meet Ariel Rosehaven in Aerie. It simply is not up for discussion.