bladeandsoulpot – As the crunch turns!

As the crunch turns!

Folks,

Another week of crunching, lots of updates, a story challenge, a newsletter, and so much more. Where to begin? Next week, we’ll have an update on our progress toward Beta 1. As you’ve seen from our screenshots, our new lighting system is in, and it is glorious. While it is nowhere near finished, the change that we’ve seen already in our world is, well, eye-opening. We’ve made so much progress, in such a short time, that it’s almost like watching a stop-action animation piece about a jigsaw puzzle assembling. Next week we’ll talk about how well the pieces have assembled, and what comes next. In the meantime, I’ll say that as of now, Ben says we have over 500 ability combinations in the build. They aren’t finished yet (of course), but they are getting there.

In terms of the story challenge, on Thursday, March 31st, we called on our Backers to nominate and vote on a story/legend from our three Realms. After the Backers picked one, I was told of the choice, and I had two hours to research and write a Becoming™ story based on it. The story that I was surprised with was the Andvaranaut (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andvaranaut), the mythical gold ring that was at the heart of Richard Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen and, of course, inspired Professor J.R.R. Tolkien’s stories of Middle-Earth. Well, with ten minutes to spare, I created Part I of the tale. I was then challenged to finish the tale, which I did with forty-seven seconds to spare. Good news for me, otherwise our Backers would have been able to choose something embarrassing for me to do on camera! <whew> The story, now with a little grammatical/syntactical editing by Max, is attached to the end of this update.

Third, another great newsletter, this time thanks to a Herculean effort by Max. It is so chock-full of goodness, especially for a team in crunch, that I had to call it out again! It can be found here (http://us5.campaign-archive1.com/?u=2b70fd18d895dd960141bac55&id=56912ecbb9&e=91fa0d8696).

All week, I’ve been saying how much work we have gotten into the game over the last two weeks. Well, wait till you see this list. We had 25 Old Cards with 163 Completes, and 2 New New Cards with 8 Completes

Highlights:

  1. New lighting and rendering system that exposed bugs or issues we were able to clean up to improve rendering in many areas.
  2. Hitching removed and general performance increase across the board.
  3. Per block stats, damage state, with material and quality based stability and health.
  4. Beginnings of new character creation with new stats affecting things like encumbrance.
  5. Armor weapons and items now have mass.
  6. Armor has stats which mitigates damage based on substances used via crafting.
  7. Ballista!
  8. Damage represented on buildings based on material type.
  9. Crafted first item!

 

As a Backer, I’d like to be able to be able to play an Archer.
Hook up UI targeting arc to ability stats so aiming can correctly predict target. – Complete
Second Pass: Simple UI elements display targeting arc. – Complete
Update player camera “feel.” – Complete
Allow firing of arrows to be more precisely timed, as a separate action from drawing the bow. – Complete
Improve queuing of abilities. – Complete

As a Backer I’d like to see general improvements in C.U.B.E.’s interface and functionality.
Add numeric values to blocks as they are drawn before placing, for better measuring. – Complete

As a Backer, I’d like to be able to choose the gender I want to play for each race.
Refactor login UI and add gender support.
Character creation – Add gender choice to Arthurian Humans. – Complete
Character creation – Add gender choice to Tuatha Luchorpán. – Complete
Character creation – Add gender choice to Viking Humans. – Complete
Character creation – Add gender choice to TDD Humans. – Complete
Character creation – Add gender choice to Viking Valkyrie. – Complete
Character creation – Add Gender choice to Arthurian Picts. – Complete
Add class choice for each Realm. – Complete
Create primary and derived stats page with feedback. – Complete
Create animated background for Realm selection. – Complete
Create animated background for race selection. – Complete
Create animated background for stat selection. – Complete
Update class images and animated backgrounds from web for re-use. – Complete
Create foundation for working Banes and Boons. – Complete

As a Backer, I’d like to test the updated male Human model.
First pass UI elements for character creation – Arthurian. – Complete
First pass UI elements for character creation – Viking. – Complete
First pass UI elements for character creation – TDD. – Complete

As a Backer, I’d like to test the updated female human model.
First pass UI elements for character creation – Arthurian. – Complete
First pass UI elements for character creation – Viking. – Complete
First pass UI elements for character creation – TDD. – Complete

As a Backer, I’d like to test the male Pict model.
Create textures. – Complete
Import and test model parts. – Complete
Update UI elements. – Complete

As a Backer, I’d like to test the male Valkyrie model.
Character is selectable in game. – Complete
Update UI elements. – Complete
Second pass face and hair. – Complete

As a Backer, I’d like to play in new biomes that change according to Realm ownership. – Biome 01
Biome 1 Viking – Create terrain mods and integrate into world for testing. – Complete
Biome 1 TDD – Create large assets. (Trees, rocks, etc.) – Complete
Biome 1 TDD – Create terrain mods and integrate into world for testing. – Complete

As a Backer, I’d like to see player stats have real meaning in the game.
UI feedback on character creation sheet. – Complete
Dexterity reduces encumbrance penalty. – Complete
Strength raises carrying capacity. – Complete

As a Backer, I’d like to see the world of Camelot Unchained continue to develop through its lore.
The Great Depths Raid Part 2 – First Draft – Complete
The Great Depths Raid Part 2 – Final Draft – Complete
The Andvaranaut – The Becoming – Part 1 – First Draft. – Complete

As a Backer and Developer, I’d like a system to set sounds to play during specific events.
Create an XML import for sounds. – Complete

As a Backer, I’d like to know about all the smaller enhancements the MOD Squad makes to Camelot Unchained.
CSE – Create a thank you page on the CU website for Mod Squad! – Complete
Block out character creation UI. – Complete
Add markdown and colors in chat. – Complete
Join room dialog. – Complete
More icons added to the ability builder. – Complete
When respawning in game, select from closest three spawns nearest player and home.  – Complete
Add uninstall confirmation to patcher. – Complete
Add command line option to patcher. – Complete
Add share rooms link in chat. – Complete
Fix the scrolling bug in chat. – Complete
Show access level next to server name in patcher. – Complete
Add fix for NaN in server counts. – Complete
Fix download time counting. – Complete
Remember last chat channels you were logged in with chat and log back into them. – Complete
Fix issue with PM for certain names that would open two tabs in patcher chat. – Complete
Fix display of chat room name in the join room dialog. – Complete
Organize user display list & show CSE at the top. – Complete
Highlight select words and your name in chat text. – Complete
Highlight CSE names in chat. – Complete
Prevent strings like C#? from being room links. – Complete
Allow @name to work with highlighting. – Complete
Allow clicking on a name anywhere in chat to send a PM. – Complete
Tab completion of nickname entering for PMs and in chat. – Complete

As a Developer and Backer, I’d like to see improvements in memory usage and threading.
Removed hitching by better synchronization. – Improved general performance. – Complete
Improve performance when running more than one client or heavy background applications. – Complete
Fix hitching caused by memory subsystem thrashing. – Complete

As a Backer I’d like a patcher to not only update my game, but also give me the most important news and updates, get support, chat with the community and look awesome while doing it!
Sound: First Pass – Background music! – Complete
Sound: Second Pass – Background music! – Complete
New splash screen 10. – Complete
New splash screen 11. – Complete
New splash screen 12. – Complete

As a Developer, I’d like to see improvements in the editor to facilitate my work.
Don’t let materials get through with deleted image resources. – Complete
Add success messaging to texture build. – Complete
Add tool to delete textures with invalid image references. – Complete
Handle cases of old textures coming in with invalid channels. – Complete
Add texture auditing to remove cases of malformed textures. – Complete
Update texture builder for new materials. – Complete
Blocks can be sorted by material. – Complete
Bad materials in editor turn pink in client. – Complete
Small improvement to server start time. – Complete
Add a depiction of the Enterprise in ascii art when the editor starts. – Complete

As a Backer in Beta 1, I’d like to have a sampling of generic clothing to wear in game.
Fix seam issue between neck and head on base body geo and shirts – all races. – Complete
Add additional Realm variations of generic shirts. – Complete

As a Backer in Beta 1, I’d like to have a sampling of Viking light, medium, and heavy armor to wear in game.
Heavy Armor – B1 version of mats created. – Complete
Heavy Armor – Adjust armor to fit female humanoid form. – Complete
Medium Armor – B1 version of mats created. – Complete

As a Backer in Beta 1, I’d like to have a sampling of TDD light, medium, and heavy armor to wear in game.
Heavy Armor – B1 version of mats created. – Complete

As a Backer in Beta 1, I’d like to play as a Crafter with basic gathering and crafting mechanics for testing.
Player is able to make items. – Complete
Create temporary objects to represent materials in world. – Complete
Create texture decals for material containers in world to identify item type. – Complete
Create additional boxes to represent alloys. – Complete
Create texture decals for alloy materials on boxes. – Complete
Crafting resources and items have mass. – Complete
Players can cancel jobs at the vox. – Complete
Add helpful crafting commands – split quantity, list what can be made, etc. – Complete

As a Backer in Beta 1, I’d like to be able to pick an item up off the ground, put it in my inventory, and if applicable, equip it.
Armor calculates damage reduction per body part. – Complete

As a Backer and Developer, I’d like to play a game that looks like it is from 2016 by implementing a new lighting and material system.
Physically based shading: Shaders
Convolving cube maps to use as light probes. – Complete
Point Lights – Complete
Spot Lights – Complete
All types of renderables done. – Complete
Physically based shading: Inputs in editor. – Complete
Metallic – Complete
Specular Mask – Complete
Roughness or shinyness – Complete
Glow maps. – Complete
Additional improvements:
Fix rendering of normals on world to work with new system. – Complete
Fix rendering of normals on character to work with new system. – Complete
Grass card assets now use both terrain and texture normals. – Complete
Update impostor system to use new rendering. – Complete
Update editor to use new system. – Complete
Add support for manually specifying PBR values on materials in the editor. – Complete
Create an IOR value translator in editor. – Complete
Create debugging tools for artists to visualize components of new materials in world. – Complete

As a Backer, I would like to be able to give to my friends and family the extra tiers that come with my pledge.
Solve edge case issues/possible problems. – Complete
Preliminary testing. – Complete

As a Backer in Beta 1, I’d like to be able to choose from a selection of classes for each Realm.
Design:
Import ability component stats into editor. – Complete
Ability import:
Add additional fields to ability importer to support class abilites as they are further defined from design. – Complete
Add effect trees to primary components with new effect to stitch effect trees into the secondary on the server. – Complete

Rough Pass ability VFX for testing:
Black Knight – Complete
Fianna – Complete
Mjölnir – Complete
Blackguard – Complete
Forest Stalker – Complete
Winter’s Shadow – Complete
Physician – Complete
Empath – Complete
Stonehealer – Complete
Rough Pass ability SFX for testing:
Black Knight – Complete
Fianna – Complete
Mjölnir – Complete
Stonehealer – Complete
Additional Functionality:
Add a TagEffect to add specific tags to a target. – Used for requirements of some abilities as well. – Complete
Abilities can consume and produce items, including ammo. – Complete
Power from nearby players – if in a cluster, abilities can be more or less powerful. – Complete
Ability buffs and debuffs are a thing we can do! – Complete

As a Backer in Beta 1, I’d like to be able to build with stability, as well as destroy the buildings of other Realms.
Building block materials:
First pass design building block material stats. – Complete
Blocks have stats based on quality. – Complete
Integrate into stability and building damage. – Complete
Spatial State – Subentity queries Pass 01:
Improve building admin tools – Pass 03 – Complete

Second rough pass vfx when blocks are destroyed. – Complete
Second rough pass sfx when blocks are destroyed. – Complete
B1 Blocks visually represent health/damage – Second pass. – Complete
B1 Blocks have damage states based on material type. – Complete
Improve performance of building meshing. – Complete
Improve performance of building stability calculations. – Complete
Add a construction queue UI to blueprint building within plots. – Complete
Improve database storage for plot data. – Complete
The construction queue for a plot is disabled while the plot is in combat. – Complete
Plots can only be captured by opposing Realms from within the inner 25% of the plot’s area. – Complete
Blocks in the queue are processed by the number of Build Units associated with their material, rather than processed as a whole. (Stone builds slower than Wood). – Complete
Players now respawn at Plots, rather than at Control Points. – Complete
The construction queue for a plot is only visible to a player if that player is in building mode and belongs to the same faction as the plot. – Complete
Queued Blueprints filter out blocks that are identical to the existing block in the same location. – Complete

As a Backer in Beta 1, I’d like to interact with the first pass of a Place of Power in Camelot Unchained.
Additional concept art for secondary rocks, dais, etc. – Complete
Create high poly rock assets. – Arches and walls. – Complete
Create low poly rock assets. – Arches and walls. – Complete
Rough texture pass arches and walls. – Complete
Create high poly secondary rock assets – wall, bridge, enviro pieces. – Complete
Create low poly secondary rock assets – wall, bridge, enviro pieces. – Complete
Rough texture pass secondary assets. – Complete
Create “rune rocks.” – Complete

New Cards:

As a Backer in Beta 1, I’d like to see the pre-existing textures in Camelot Unchained make use of the new rendering and lighting systems.
Update Neutral grassland materials. – Complete
Update all the materials used in C.U.B.E. – Complete
Update the plot marker materials. – Complete

As a Backer in Beta 1, I’d like the ability to build, spawn, aim, and fire a ballista at players and buildings.
Break down ballista model into pieces for crafting. – Complete
Rig ballista model individual parts for simple aiming animation. – Complete
Add archery aiming functionality to ballista. – Complete
Set up basic ballista abilties. – Complete
Ammo can be used as a resource and is consumed when firing the ballista. – Complete

Impressive, most impressive, for a two-week update right?

For today’s art, since we have been showing off a lot of screenshots in the newsletter, updates, etc., let’s start with some pieces. Not the lovely pieces of candy, but pieces of schtuff (it’s an art term! bladeandsoulpot - As the crunch turns! ) from our Places of Power.

bladeandsoulpot - As the crunch turns!

Next up, how about some tats for one of our Arthurian races, the Picts.

bladeandsoulpot - As the crunch turns!

Next up, since our game is going to have so many materials, we need to have maticons (another art term, they are so creative!) for them, here they are:

For today’s final piece of art, here’s a concept piece of our Vikings engaging in their very own line dance! Well, okay, maybe dancing wasn’t involved, more like death to their enemies, but you get the point, right? Get the point? Ah, I got a million of these (and if we don’t deliver Beta 1 soon, I may need them all!). bladeandsoulpot - As the crunch turns!

And that’s it for tonight’s update! I hope you enjoyed this week’s streaming; we have more coming next week. Let us know on the Forums which segments you might want to see again (or never, ever again). We will continue livestreaming this way till we hit Beta 1. After that, well, we’ll continue to livestream, but our schedule will change. FYI, for those that are worried about our studio burning out as we attempt to bring Beta 1 to fruition, I’ve given the entire team the weekend off. That should definitely help recharge us a bit, and prepare us for the final push.

As always, we thank you for your support, patience, and of course, for being the best Backers in the industry! Oh yeah, and sorry for not participating in the April Fool’s hilarity, we didn’t want to spend any resources/time on it, since we’ve been crunching away on Beta 1.

-Mark

P.S. I love this P.S. – Breaking Broadcast Bulletin – Ballista Breaks Blocks – Builders Bummed! Link here (https://vine.co/v/ijvFErzjYaK). Okay, it’s really, really basic but, as always, you have to start somewhere and, as you can see, the building is being destroyed block by block. Next week we’ll add the real animations, bolt, effects, etc. BTW, the wood that is used in the building has a lot less health than a real castle. And yes, that means that each block in our game has its own health, each block!

And now, here’s the Becoming story I researched and wrote in just two hours, changed only for a little grammar/syntax help from Max:

Andvaranaut – The Becoming™

Darkness…

Nothingness…

And then…

Life!

What is this? Where am I?

What am I?

I am in pain.

What is touching me.

What is “me”?

What are these strange sensations?

I hurt! What is “I”?

I can’t see. Wait, I never could see?

Where am I?

What am I?

Deep within the eye of a Malevolence, the winds slowly diminished, and shreds of cloud parted to reveal a being that seemed to emerge from the storm itself.  In its appearance, it was like nothing that had ever been seen in this world. Covered with a golden skin, it (was he a he?) was tall and thin, as if somebody had taken the essence of a living being and stretched it a little too tightly across the frame of a human, and then covered it in a golden paint. It was featureless, a tabula rasa, a blank slate. Slowly rising from a prone position, the being fought against what remained of the Malevolence that still enveloped him. However, unlike most beings that find themselves in the grip of these terrible storms, this being’s body started to thicken, as if he were gaining strength from the storm itself. Standing in the midst of the storm, the being raised his arms to the sky.

Where am I?

As the storm continued to whirl around him, the being’s features started to fill out.

What am I?

Slowly, the being’s face started to take shape; the storm seemed to carve his features out of the golden material. They began to take on a masculine look, with a strong nose and chin. It was his eyes that truly set him apart from other beings. To begin with, they were the same color as his skin: gold as pure as any found in nature. The kind of purity that only the greatest smiths of the past, or the masters of the Vox in this time, could hope to create, even in the great fires of the world’s most powerful Vox Communion.

Who am I?

The being began to achieve sentience. And with that knowledge, so came the first flow of true emotions. In an instant, his questions started to take on an edge, a troubling form that resembled the storm that birthed him.

What is this that engulfs me?

Now angry, his eyes glowed brightly, and he turned slowly around in the storm, searching for something, anything, to answer his pleas.

And as he turned, the rest of his body turned with him, taking on the shape of a lithe, but well-muscled being. His stance became aggressive, matching his thoughts. He then shifted around some more, his legs anchoring him as the eye of the storm started to move. The winds that had been diminished now picked up their intensity once more.

I SAY AGAIN

WHAT IS THIS?

Unsurprisingly, there was no answer from the storm.

IF YOU WILL NOT ANSWER ME

The being’s body began to glow, with the same golden light that was in his eyes.

THEN I WILL FORCE YOU TO!

The being’s glow left his body and took the shape of the creatures will: a hammer, one that a crafter would use in a forge. The hammer then struck the storm with all of its power, and…

ABSOLUTELY NOTHING HAPPENED!

As mighty as the blow may have been, compared to the power of a Malevolence, it was as useless as striking an Abomination with a feather. The great golden hammer then split apart, spilling golden bits of power on the ground, which infused themselves into the earth. These bits of golden power would sink into the land, and over the decades where they came to rest, the first veins of “Andvari gold” would one day be found.

Weakened by his attempt to battle the storm, the being fell back to the ground, exhausted from his wasted effort. However, unlike the last time, the storm no longer willingly gave its power to him. Was it angered by the being’s attack, or just its audacity? No matter the cause, the storm continued on its path of destruction, and the being simply remained on the ground, exhausted and filled with a new emotion: sorrow.

Days passed, and the being slowly regained his strength. When he finally had the strength to stand up, his body was now fully formed. On left hand he wore a golden ring, but otherwise he was naked. While the anger that filled him days before no longer coursed through his body, he was still no closer to understanding who, or even what, he was. All he knew was that he was standing outside, in what looked like a broken world, full of the detritus left from the storm. Actually, he did know one other thing: that he wasn’t feeling very well. His body shook from a state that he didn’t have the words to describe. As he looked around him, he saw that there was something else. It surrounded him, and covered the ground as well. It had no real color, and was soft to the touch. But when he touched it, though it was pleasing to look at, his body reacted badly, and his shivering increased.

“What is this?”, he thought to himself. He looked at the ground, and still no memory came to him. He must know. Maybe if he thought really hard? After what seemed like an eternity to him, still nothing came to him. Frustrated, his anger started to build within him again, though not as much anger as before, and he sat back on his haunches. This time, as he sat, the ring on his finger began to glow, and as his hands touched the ground…

Snow! It’s called snow! I KNOW THIS!

Joyfully he bounced up, running and dancing through the snow, as a young child might who had just seen snow for the first time. Which was the truth.

I LOVE SNOW!!!

After about an hour of dancing, bounding, and leaping around in the snow, his energy started to fade again, and the being found he was tired, and he needed to take a break from his revels. He once again sat back down on his haunches in the snow to contemplate his next steps.

Meanwhile, in another part of the world, another being’s anger matched the joy that the golden being experienced. He cursed the skies and his bad luck. He had the ring almost in his hands, when that damned smith unleashed the magic that brought about a Veilstorm. Now, that in itself wouldn’t have been too bad, for this angry being could handle such storms, but he had been too arrogant, and unleashed his own magic at the smith. Their magic combined to change the simple Veilstorm into a Malevolence of truly epic proportions.

When the storm had swept in, this being had known that he needed to leave the area as quickly as possible, so he had called upon what remained of his power to transform himself into a hawk, and he had flown away as fast as his wings could carry him. And as he flew, he had but two thoughts. The first:  how to regain that golden ring. The second, well, he knew that the smith would not be destroyed by the storm; maybe the smith would end up far enough away from him that he himself would have a better chance to regain the ring.

And as the angry being flew away, the newly born being continued to ponder his existence, his origins, and his fate. Still shivering from the snow, he decided that he might as well stand up and walk, for the sun’s rays were beginning to warm him and some of the snow was beginning to melt. Standing up, he had to shield his eyes from the sun, for while he found the sun’s rays made his shivering stop, his golden eyes were bothered by the direct light from it. “But,” he thought to himself, “It’s better to be warm than it is to be cold! So walk I will, though in brightest day my eyes hurt!”

As he walked through the snow, he started to truly notice the world around him for the first time. Where before he had only seen destruction, he began to notice that some of the world was quite pleasing to his eyes. While he was still having trouble with naming those things that filled his senses, seeing those tall things covered with snow made his heart pound. And when he came to the edge of a cliff, he looked around, still shielding his eyes, and was amazed by the beauty of this rugged landscape. He smiled as some new words came into his head.

Mountains!

“Those tall things are mountains!” he said, “I know that!”
And his head was soon filled with other words to describe and name each of the mountains. And he was once again filled with joy!

“And below me,” he smiled, “is a fjord! And I know which one. It is….”

PAIN

TERRIBLE PAIN

SORROW

Images filled his mind. Another being who once stood here.

CRYING

“NO!” he screamed, “What is this?”

I AM FALLING

The being once again fell to the ground, his arms hugging his body as he was overcome with the terrible images and emotions that had suddenly dominated his mind. And once again he experienced something new: he cried. And as he cried, golden tears fell from his eyes and were absorbed into the ground. These tears, like the golden shards before, moved through the earth, and were transformed into something else, the substance known as “goldeneye”. (Need a good name).

When he regained control of his body and his mind, he remembered what had happened the last time.  He needed an answer! He had tried to summon his power, and he did so, but with more than a little fear. For he knew that he might not like the answers that he got. But he didn’t care that much; he wanted to know the truth, and so, with his eyes and ring glowing in unison, the story unfolded before him.

A long time ago, there was a woman who had reached an age where she was the last of her family to survive. For it seemed that there was a curse on her and her kin. She bore 6 healthy children, but as they reached maturity, their lives took a terrible turn. Each of them died, some tragically, some heroically, and some mysteriously. And her beloved husband’s heart broke when his last child and most favored son died while fishing, and the man just faded away. And when that happened, she was shunned by what remained of her family, for they believed her cursed by the gods. They forced her out of her village, and alone, with only her meager belongings and a ring, which had been given to her by a merchant.  She wandered the world for years. She always wondered why the merchant had given her this valuable ring, but all he would say is that he was near death and since he had no family, he would rather her have it then anybody else, for he thought her a kindly woman. She still smiled at the thought of that, even as he leapt off a cliff, which happened to be that same cliff that the golden being was standing on.

As the last memory of that woman left his mind, the being stood again. Once again filled with new words and memories, this time he did not dance with joy. Rather, he walked weakly along a path, which led down the cliff to the village of the woman below. And again he experienced something new: a darkness that surrounded him, lit by two great objects in the sky. The light from the moons of this world didn’t warm him, but though it be a darkest night, he still found his way down the cliff toward the village and torches which its inhabitants lit to help ward off evil spirits.

With the woman’s suicide still in his mind, the being approached the village, naked and cold. As he got closer, villagers looked at his approach with a variety of emotions: some were confused, others angry, and some, both men and women, looked at him with envy and desire.
And as he got closer, one man in particular was smiling at the being’s approach. The man’s name was Andvari, and even if he the strange being didn’t know who he was, Andvari knew what was on his hand. For a Dvergr always knows where gold can be found, especially this particular piece of gold. While it might have been on the hand of a strange, golden being, Andvari knew that the ring he created, the ring that was stolen by the Greater Power called Loki, had returned home to him.

And as Andvari grabbed some clothing from one of his taller workers, he said to himself, “…that my most precious ring, that golden item that I created from my own soul, would be mine again. Even if I have to kill the thing that wears it now.”

Andvari walked up to the being, placed the clothing over his body, and smiled at him. And while he looked up into the stranger’s eyes, for the stranger was much taller than Andvari, he said “Welcome to your new home. You are safe here with me.” And as the final words left his lips, Andvari’s eyes moved down from the stranger’s eyes to the ring on his hand, and he smiled, as strongly and as falsely as any being in this world has ever smiled.

And as the Dvergr smiled, the ring on the stranger’s hand began to glow. Unfortunately, the golden being did not see the glow, for he was preoccupied with his new clothing, and the kindly touch and words of the smith. Once again, the smith smiled at the golden being. While comforting him as he would a long-lost relative, he led him back to his shop.

Thus ends Part I.

Leave a Reply