Backstory III (Making of the Eldritch Soldier)

The highly logical framework that governed most of the OverCast societies would clash when the nobles’ greed demanded satisfaction. They understood that sometimes some of their actions were almost too risky to be worth undertaking, but the hunger for power and recognition outweighed the rational balance in politics they were aiming for.

One of the aforementioned actions was the creation of Homunculi or also Takwin.

Due to the nature of war in OverCast, it was really difficult for ambitious nobles to gain more territories or expand their rule to other city states. Even if the government body decided to invade a rival city state, they were lacking foot soldiers. The life expectancy of a soldier was one small fireball. Ways to defend against hostile spells existed but they weren’t coefficient. Auras of damage reduction and energy shields could not stretch wide enough to cover an army. The nobles could protect themselves and at a small radius around them their guards but the rest were dying like moths to flames.  Therefore, only small skirmishes were ever taking place between city states, mainly personal grudges instead of full scale wars.

That was until Farnstod, an unstable noble obsessed with her public presence decided she needed to observe the way she moves and dresses in order to be more impressive, thus gaining fame and maybe higher status in the hierarchy of nobles of her city. Mirrors were not enough for this: she needed to see herself from all angles, study every little aspect of the way she acted. An idea dawned to her mind: She could create manikins based on her image to accomplish the aforementioned goals.

The manikins were somewhat troublesome in the sense that Farnstod could not really order them to move around. Through trial and error she discovered a magical pattern that helped her control the constructs by simple spells. Her creation and discovery is considered the start of the homunculi era.

There is a lot of history regarding this period in OverCast but moving forward in time, the ruling body of Farnstod’s city state realised that the manikins  can also be used as cheap and resilient foot soldiers (with some modifications) due to their inherent magical abilities. The magical abilities came by the use of a magical stone called Jet, in the process of creation of the constructs. They could withstand and wield magic, they could be programmed to follow orders and they were expendable. That meant they were the perfect soldiers.

A dangerous war almost broke out but before the conquest began, someone betrayed the secret of manikin creation to other city states. Mass production of these rudimental humanoid constructs by every city state started and in order to gain some advantage alliances were created. The manikins weren’t even tested in war when everything came to a crushing halt. That was because the first fault of the design of the humanoids came to light; they could only be ordered to do simple things. If a construct had to perform an elaborate act, to carry out a precise plan, it had to be programmed by delicate spells with lots of details.  A battle plan that does not change during a fight is seldom the case in an ever changing battlefield where alliances are temporary and spells can change the battlefield.

We will continue with the homunculi story next week!

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Currency

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While we were discussing possible ways to give players a feeling of accomplishment and progression, we decided that including currency in our game would be a fun and rewarding option for the player. We felt that the material of the currency should be important in a fantasy setting and because we are suckers for details we immediately started researching gemstone lore. There are lots of legends about the mystical properties of gemstones around the world and we were really excited to read them. In the end we decided to go with jet. It is a beautiful black shiny stone with a lot of magical properties attributed to it. Jet has been used in magical rituals to channel arcane energies.  It is also believed to neutralize negative energies and thus has been used for healing and psychic protection.

Overcast game uses two forms of currency. The first and most important form of currency is called Jet and it is a cubical piece of pure jet. The second one is a square flat coin with a round hole in the middle, which in contrast to Jet is made of impure stone with severely weakened magical properties. Both currencies are lore based and a player can obtain/acquire them by playing the game. The cubical Jet coin is the more important of the two. It is what you gain by participating in tournaments and ranked activities. It is the currency a player will use in order to bribe the judges of the arena in order to create a convenient chaos in the battlefield and turn the tides of war to their team advantage. Most importantly, it is the currency that defines the life of a homunculus.

Lore-wise, we thought that it will be nice to combine the basic catalyst of the homunculi creation process into both a tradeable resource and part of the mechanics of the game. Without Jet a homunculus will not be able to bind the magical energies that keep their consciousness together. The swirling arcane energies will rip their mind apart and they will revert to a mindless manikin. This constant need for Jet absorption is the base for our “decay” system: while a player is not playing, their homunculus does not earn Jet and thus loses their skill, resulting in a lowered ranking.

Hope this week’s blog post was an engaging read. Join us next week when the plot will thicken!