Riptide is the idea of a never-ending survival-fantasy RPG. It is meant to be a place where you could happily, excitingly, spend all of your spare time, no matter how much it was. A third-person, single player experience revolving around an intense story of extra-terrestrials, kings and queens, monsters, and magic. It is a slow-paced game that will immerse you in my perfect world of medieval fantasy, with science, and science-fiction influence. The soul, space, time, dreams, nature, the wonders of the cosmos and the strength of a confident spirit. Portrayed through action, adventure, and through the rich and in-depth characters I've invented for this meaningful story.
If you support my idea and want to see Riptide happen, please support Ferocious Industries. Riptide is currently being fully concepted, prototyped, and written by one person. Visit the Channels section to contact me in the most convenient way for you, and head to the Home Page, to leave a donation, or become a Patron. Love goes out to all of Riptide's supporters, regardless of their status.
Lately I've seen a lot of disappointment in the gaming industry, with some companies making the decisions they have been, all the monetization and micro transactions we're seeing in beloved projects. My statement here is to say, if you are looking for someone to stand up and say no to something they believe is wrong, with common sense and a clear conscience, I promise, I am your guy. Riptide will be everything it is supposed to be. Period.
Riptide is set in a medieval-fantasy world based around monsters, magic, and super-humans. The game is a single-player, open-world, survival-RPG with a rich story, realistic graphics, and a strong atmosphere. You will be taken through a long, quaintly paced journey, on a mission for extraordinary power. Be it skills, speed, strength, powerful magic, shapeshifting, or commanding the beasts of nature itself, you will begin a tired weakling, and sculpt yourself into the demi-god of your imagination. Riptide features many factions, and hostile races to either join, or take down. Fully dynamic nature, and weather systems will influence your play. This game will feature strong crafting mechanics, from gathering, to processing, and crafting/brewing/cooking/smithing/ etc, as well as fishing, card/dice/board games, combat tournaments, gambling, trading cards, mounts, pets, boats, carts, and more. The atmosphere mainly dark-fantasy, will depend on your level of interaction with the deep constructed characters that your story revolves around, second to you. Players will be given deep character customization, and an abundance of skills and statistics that they can evolve to the many different paths to choose from.
As ambitious as this all sounds, I've created nearly all of these working mechanics at one point or another. I've prototyped the basis of a large scale RPG multiple times, and have become extremely adept in optimization. This is also due to my high standards for graphics, especially regarding Riptide. With funding, and a small team, all of this could absolutely happen.
Prototype and Pre-Alpha Preview!
The new pre-alpha features a beautifully smooth transitioning camera system that the player can customize to their liking. Scroll the video to see:
0:00 Prototype - 5:30 Old Ydan Heritage Skill Tree - 7:05 Animal Taming - 7:50 Horse Riding - 12:05 Fishing - 16:05 Swimming and Diving - 18:20 New Pre-Alpha - 26:55 Simple Lock-On Combat
What separates Riptide from other games in it's genre?
Let's get into the story.
A quick overview.
In a medieval-fantasy setting, Riptide is the story of a group of 4 extra-terrestrial sorcerers running from cosmic titans, who seek them out like a magnet, and slowly devour any planet they land on. The titans are incredibly slow, and so the sorcerers have a trick. Any planet with a large body of water, allows them to safely conjure a "star tunnel". Water strongly resists gravitational forces, and allows them to rip the fabric of space-time as a semi-submerged black hole, with an entrance and an exit. Not to mention oceans prove to be a sufficient barrier for the titans, and forcing them to take "the long way". The surrounding water becoming a somewhat safe event-horizon. This ritual over the ocean strongly resembles a violent riptide. They've lived on "Terra" in almost secret, and all nations are unaware of the incoming titans. Enough time would pass, and the titans would arrive. Word gets out, and everybody wants to escape Terra's fate. A giant race for the portal ensues. After 12 years of peace, blood is spilled, and this event is forever remembered by the factions and kingdoms, as "Riptide". They are flung from "the Old World, Terra", to "the New World, Wryn". The sorcerers trick works by moving in a pattern of sharp turns. Planets they know of and are aware contain oceans and the necessary ecosystems. The titans don't bank well without a great method of slowing down, and will even orbit the planet if it's close enough, for some time upon arrival. This gives the sorcerers hundreds of years of peace on each planet, and days or even weeks to flee. "Wryn" is the next planet in line.
The survivors of each faction are struggling to deal with the alien wildlife, and native humanoid factions, not to mention the idea of recent events in general. I plan to depict this event in a future cinematic, as well as the rise of each nation up to "the Great Eastern War" in the old world, in a simple time-lapse cinematic. The Player would begin their game, some time after the portal opened, as a straggler, first coming to the new world, "Wryn". I will depict the story in more detail, and include some new concept art in the sections below.
Let's start with what isn't so different.
The inspiration for the gameplay comes from games like the Elder Scrolls, Dark Souls, World of Warcraft, the Witcher, and an endless list of more. Possibly most of all however, the early Gothic games. Riptide features many factions that the player can decide to join, or turn against. There are some alliances but overall the hostility of each faction toward you will depend on the decisions you make throughout. The Player will have the option to get a job, or multiple within some cities. These jobs and many other elements will be descriptively kept in a dynamic GUI Journal, with sections on herbalism, wildlife, factions, guilds, landmarks and much more.
There is also a bounty mechanic, that would increase upon committing crimes, and decrease upon paying fines, similar to the Grand Theft Auto games. Being unable to pay a fine, depending on the Players bounty, could result in threat of death, or prison. Getting thrown in prison will have it's downsides, but there is an idea for different ways for the player to escape, or NPC's of their guild to bail them out. There will be conspiracies, shadows lurking, and strings at play, that will try to influence the players decision making.
For the most part the Player only controls themselves, but they do have access to one active Mount, and one active Pet, as well as a bank for each. Mounts and Pets will have their own small skill trees, and leveling systems. Your combat skills for instance, can change to the mounts combat skills, when you are riding it. Your pets skills can be assigned along with your own, as combat commands for your pet. Your mount and pet will obey a few simple orders from you while free roaming, and everyone enjoys petting and feeding beautiful animals. The player can level them up separately from themself, and increase their skills and stats as they please. A mechanic to extend the Players reach of power beyond them self. There is also the option of arming your Mount with a saddle, it's own apparel, and a special charm, which can also be equipped to a pet, all but a saddle. All of which will have stat bonuses, rarity, and potential abilities. The player also has the option of joining different magical guilds, some of which command natural animals, and others that conjure paranormal entities.
The game also features a heavy survival mechanic, that's been strongly inspired by games like Subnautica. Thirst, Hunger, and Fatigue will regulate the pace of the game, but the stronger the player gets, the easier these vitals will be to maintain. The plants and animals in this game have a timer, that will cause them to spawn and respawn, at species-specific rates. This can be calculated easily using the in-game day/night and 24:00 clock system. The player has the ability to purchase property in the game. Construct small camps, like fires, and lay down portable bedrolls, but they will not be able to "base-build" as seen in games like Valheim, and Fortnite. With property, the player can decide what to do with the open space around the available dwellings, for example, vegetable farms, or a stable for mounts, maybe a tall look-out tower. They may have to purchase permits, depending on where they are. Some are new and fancy, some are old, and don't have many options for expansion.
To note, Riptide is a single-player experience. That being said any "money" or "purchase" mentioned will be referring to in-game currency, that the player cannot get in any other way, besides earning it or finding it in the game world. Moving on, likewise with mounts, the player will have the option to own boats and ships, which can be spawned at any dock or port. Anything from a dinghy to a war vessel that needs a hired crew. There are ideas for different tiers of crews, some who work faster, and some who can fight back should the ship be attacked. Players will be able to fish from their boat, offering new areas to explore, and new species of fish, or larger creatures to hunt. Players will also be able to dive, and scan the lakes and ocean for lost treasures, rare vegetation, even hidden quests.
The main idea is to have the players look and style completely uniquely customizable, and have a great abundance and variety in all of these elements. I want them to feel that they have a place in the game world, and that what they do and how they act matters. The player will begin the game with one overall goal, each faction will have it's own large scale questline, and scattered across the world will be side quests. Every item, and animal will have some form of rarity, to give them a prestigious value to the players and the community. Some will be entirely unique, with only one way to retrieve them. There will be a plethora of ways to make money in the game, as mentioned in the game summary, to also give the player a level of financial influence. Information, freedom, even power can be bought on the Black Market. Bridges and borders can be bribed, and some important characters will recognize and keep vocal tabs on your level of wealth, and notable criminal activity.
Here's what I think will be more unique.
One important aspect to me, is showing the player what they want to see, and letting them do all the cool stuff shown. For example, if you see an insane spell casted in a cinematic or by an NPC, the player can do that. Whether it requires an item, a guild skill, whatever, the player can find a way to do that. Also, I want to remove any disappointment in games I've personally played in the past. For instance, every item you find, will have a preview image, and when worn will look exactly like the image. I would love to be able to show amulets around necks, and rings on fingers. Also for example, while fishing, the player can see the fish fighting the hook in the water when it's close enough, and gets to see the character reel it in out of the water. The size of the fish model depends on the weight of the fish. So if you catch a big heavy fish, you will see a big fish on your line, likewise for a smaller or lightweight fish of the same species will be smaller. This mechanic is present in the prototype and easily re-created, polished, and greatly expanded with any number of special effects.
During Character Creation the Player must choose a Heritage. A region in the old world from whence they came. This choice will determine how they are treated in the world by factions and guilds. The Player also will have to choose a spirit animal, giving them 2 or 3 lucky numbers as well. With the amount I intend to give you to choose from, this should add to the sense of identity and unique roll the player has among others in the game world, and other Players in the community. The game will feature 3 main skill trees. The first being universal, is the Trades tree. The player must learn to craft, fish, cook, brew, smith, pick locks, etc., and assign their skill points into what trades they would like to improve. The second skill tree, is the Players Heritage tree. This tree will consist of mostly passive abilities and boosts from their region of choice. They would also consist of skills that would help the Player thrive in a similar ecosystem, which exist in the new world, "Wryn". For example, Ydanians would have boosts to sword play, and magic enhancements, as well as strong taming capabilities for wild horses. Easterlings from Khulud could increase their thirst threshold, enabling them to go longer without water. Guineans could create deadly poisons from simple and common elements. These are just some examples. To note, the players skill points are universal points, and so every point spent, considering 3 skill trees, should be a considerably big decision.
The player will start the game a part of the "Independent Travelers" guild , or guildless. The third skill tree would be the Players Guild tree, and would remain blank until they had joined a Guild. Upon activation this skill tree would consist mostly of powerful combat abilities and some passive strengths relating to that particular Guild. The player will have played to this point with very little power, or advantage in combat. After joining a guild, no matter which one, I expect players to be very excited with the skills or spells it enables them to learn and improve. A fourth skill tree exists in secret. The Monster Curse tree. The Player can encounter beasts with life-altering properties. Were-animals, Vampires, and Goyles. There are ideas for different species, that would possess different skill trees. Upon taking a hit from a very specific bite attack, the Player would be alerted that they have 3 days, and 3 nights to seek out a cure for their curse. Each night, unable to sleep, and transforming into that particular monster. There would be ups and downs, to each type of curse. I should mention here that there is no Autosave feature, and you will be given multiple save slots that you can scum at your own discretion. There is no currently decided Level-Cap, and may never be. Continuing, after 3 nights had passed and the Player failed to lift the curse, a fourth skill tree would activate in their Character Window, revealing abilities they could invest points in to perform, in or out of that monster form. Once the skill tree is activated, the Player is free to shapeshift at the press of a button, with some balancing ideas for timers or a stamina-based system. In monster form, most NPC's would see you as a threat, and would remember if they witnessed your turning. This will greatly increase the Players bounty level. At a high enough bounty, the Player could be hunted by that faction, by guard patrols, or hired assassins.
Most games would put the important elements in front, and their mini-games and minor or optional elements in the back. What I intend to do with Riptide, is keep everything on the same line of interest, so that the Player can completely get lost in the smaller mechanics, for a deeper sense of immersion. I think the survival element, and constant threat of needing edible food, and reasonable shelter will strongly drive the Player to learn more survival tactics, make more money, and explore more areas. Aside from quests, every encounter should be random, or chance. This will give everything some form of shock value. Some encounters will depend on surrounding parameters. For example, the Player wouldn't see a Werewolf or Lycan in the daytime, nor a Tabby Cat in the rain. Or they would only find Black Market dealers in areas with a lower presence of authority. Another example, they could only catch the rare and valuable "Thunder Fish", during a storm.
The more the Player is immersed, or invested in the story and world, the easier it is to affect their emotions. I have many short stories for the player to come across. Small experiences with minor or even major characters, with minor or major outcomes, to try and leave them stricken in some way. I cannot reveal much of this in text, though I have depicted some history about the characters below. For now I can only rely on the community's faith in my creativity, my writing ability, and my imagination, until the time they are properly revealed in 3D. This game has potential to be fully voiced, and I would prefer it to be. I don't expect this of the development team, but, with the amount of characters that could live in this world, I would absolutely encourage it. Moving on, every action will carry weight. If you kill someone's loved one, they will react, as if you did. If you destroy someone's business, they might begin a plot against you, or simply greet you with hatred from now on. Incorporated in the game design of course with rewards and progression. One of the main reasons I believe Riptide will succeed is humanity's relatability and lovability of heroes, and anti-heroes. I strongly believe I have invented some great ones for the Player to interact with, help, or ruin. They can share experiences, provide temporary companionship, prove a worthy adversary, or reveal interesting and more specific points of lore.
A lot of the setting might sound cliche, but that's one thing I want to reflect in Riptide. A high level quest type called "Whispers", will confront the player with every wild goose chase from Atlantis, to the Boogy-Man. Some will be true, some will be tall tales, or something else entirely. With the "Whispers" quests I hope to peak the players curiosity, by relating them to the oldest fairytales we've lived with ourselves. I have ideas for special underground guilds, including but extending beyond the common "Highland Thieves Guild", to the "Black Market Trading Company", the "One-Handed Gamblers", the "Black Mirror Society", "Esmerelda's Rangers", the "Cloud Followers", and more. Not that this reveals anything new, but more information on the more unique ideas like the Black Mirror Society and Cloud Followers will be soon added below.
I'm not saying none of this has been done before. But together in a dynamic single-player, open-world with realistically styled graphics, that you could stay in forever? With the amount to do and the added survival element, it doesn't have to end. Characters will comment on the weather, recent events, even your own accomplishments as a Player. There will be countless games within the game. You can sit down and play chess, or defend your title as Champion of the Joust. You can go see that band at the inn that you missed last Tuesday. You'll have a place to live, animals to hang out with, hunt with, places to play cards, gamble your coin, maybe the perfect fishing spot, a garden to maintain. I want 100 "percenting" this game to take multiple playthroughs, and just be damn near impossible with the randomized, rare, and unique encounters.
Furthermore it can end how you want it to. Decisions made throughout will cause some factions to be killed off, and some to strengthen. The state of your "Wryn" will completely depend on you. In the end, when immense power has been achieved, you can keep what you want to keep, and destroy what you want to destroy. This game will feature as much destructible environment aspects as it can handle, and important characters, can be killed. Graphics and good animation is incredibly important to me. In this day in age we have the ability to optimize, literally every square inch of a game. We have the ability to only draw what can be seen by the camera, and the ability to lessen the performance cost, without affecting the quality of the experience, of any object by a specific distance. Continuing, if you are truly finished with your playthrough, give your powers the ultimate test. Burn everything to the ground. Replay-ability will exist. With the Player given the ability to shape them self, and the civilizations around them in many different ways, I have no doubt there would be some creative builds made by the Players.
Most if not all mechanics I've mentioned, I would know how to implement. All I mean by this is, it shouldn't be a difficult milestone for the team in most foreseeable cases. I have no doubt I will not be the most experienced member of the team, and I am completely open to exploring different avenues and molding the basis to become something better.
How do I think this is even possible?
After creating a few games from start to finish, you have to ask, what isn't possible with this? Riptide is not something I thought of right after playing Skyrim or the Witcher 3. Riptide is something I started thinking about, after my very first brush of fantasy. A lot of my inspiration comes from The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Star Wars, the Marvel Universe, Disney, Pixar, DreamWorks, Hollywood in general. The Walking Dead, The Fast and The Furious, a lot of Sci-Fi like Netflix' The 100. I've always adored animals, and the diversity of life. I'm a huge history buff, obsessed with Dinosaurs as a boy like most, werewolves, vampires, and completely fascinated with nature, space and our universe. I always appreciate something mind-bending, or twisted. A lot of Anime growing up like Meta-bots, Beyblades, Zoids, Pokemon, Digimon, Yu-Gi-Oh, and others. Horror, Drama, Poetry, Comedy, everything Action like the Great Jackie Chan, so many Video-Games. I think most of us could go on forever, and our passion for design is steeped in the Greatest Hits of all time. I am extremely emotionally driven in this field. A movie, a game, a song, an idea. I've always been a very passionate story-teller. I'm inspired by everything, and I've played games my entire life. I've imagined Riptide's story over years and years, and it's constantly evolving. I once thought of it as a novel series. Upon discovering game-design as a career path, every idea I ever had, slowly became a video-game.
And so, with regards to Riptide, I have some great ideas on how it could be tackled. With my experience in 3D and the Unity game engine, it's specific C# coding language, and the extremely generous and helpful community that helped me learn, I can create and manipulate any asset to do anything, and code anything to do, anything. And so I'm confident that when met with any roadblocks I would find the solution, because I always have.
It should be mentioned that the current Pre-Alpha is not anything set-in-stone, and I am actually open to the idea of moving Riptide to Unreal Engine, or even with a team, re-starting from scratch. Moving on, each mechanic could be built quite easily, but connecting them all together and allowing them to work together dynamically is the complicated part, right? Once these mechanics are working effectively, an infinite amount of variety can be thrown in. This is of course the most time consuming part, especially for modelers and 2D artists.
This is a perfect place to remind us that just like all technology, when the "big guys" are done with the state-of-the-art and onto something new, the "old" becomes affordable and available to the little guys, even though it is still incredible technology. The age of the first large-scale, open-world games is getting quite high, and so there are many amazing tools and options available to small teams today, to help make Riptide happen.
The idea is to create every interaction and mechanic, such as dialogue, crafting, etc., as separately as would make sense, then combine them afterwards into one main project containing Manager Scripts and Indexes to easily manage their connections. Then filling each interaction and mechanic with variety would be fairly straight-forward. When I added thirty items, or one hundred monsters to Forever Gold, I could have added one million. Obviously that's crazy but the point is there isn't a limit. It becomes a matter of time investment, and that's the only restriction when everything is working well in a single-player experience. This is just one of many reasons I need a team.
In my recent projects I've been using Manager Scripts on empty objects, that hold every piece of information I need about a mechanic, and also gives it, and it's interface, an on and off switch, as well as a disabled and enabled switch. This has made connecting separate mechanics and managing menus extremely simple for my style, and enables me to add an endless amount of interactable "mini-games" within a large game. Furthermore, I've been using Index Scripts, which just hold lists of things, such as Items, or Mounts. Each one is assigned a number, and that number by itself, gives me all the information about that particular Item, or Mount. This has made saving mass information much easier, and also has reduced the overall amount of information I need to save.
The Pre-Alpha currently contains every bit of settings the game would ever need, and saves using a binary formatter with pin-point accuracy on every subject. On top of that, there are many implemented mechanics that could be easily expanded, and modified. I've always structured the basis of this game, to be able to work with anything new thrown at it, or anything old re-imagined.
I've personally written a Game Design Document to get the team well started. There is loads to discuss, possibly change, and expand on. Again, I'm not dead-set on using the Unity Game Engine. I am open to moving to Unreal Engine 5, or 4, if 5 is not fully released in time. That being said, I understand that Unity is not the best in many large-scale situations. However, with my experience and dedication to using Unity for large scale ideas, I have found a great many reasonable work-arounds, and I truly believe everything is accomplishable with this engine, keeping optimization and performance in mind every step of the way. I hope to strongly discuss what the best thing for Riptide will be, with the future team.
Over the passed few years I've been approached by dozens of testers in my province, most I knew when I was younger. Everyone of them has spent countless hours testing my previous projects, and they have done it all for free. This is the same case with the voice actors currently surrounding Ferocious Industries. I have high standards for this project... but I already know these volunteers will offer a valuable contribution, especially if I can pay them. Of course, the more the merrier on a project of this scale, so I'll be extending my connections in these areas as much as possible, and will encourage the team to do the same.
I truly feel with the right management and direction, a small team could accomplish this game in a reasonable 2-3 years, maybe even less. It is my desire, to release an early free demo of the game. Which could be created rather quickly with this concept imagined on maybe 2-5% of the map, and a small variety, if any, to each interaction and mechanic. This would also help get the most amount of feedback possible, and help in making the final decisions before moving forward, and creating the enormous world of Wryn, as early as possible.
I'm not saying these simple methods are going to save the day every time, but that's where I come in. One thing that I won't do, is quit. Riptide is my heart, my soul, my story. I have 24 Hours a day to make this happen. I'm 100% invested, devoted, and ready take the steps necessary to bring this to life. I can't explain how lucky I feel to be in this position. This is a huge story, and it's going to be a while before the information is clear enough to get everybody on the same page. I'm prepared to put in that work. I am prepared to encourage us to be a unit of passion, and excitement during this project. In the sparkling beginning, the grueling middle, and the completely manic end.
The Old World, Terra
This story begins on a planet called Terra. An alternative version of Earth dreamt up for this fantasy. The continents, humans, and animals have evolved a little differently. A mega-continent, with a large southern island chain make up this world. The poles have completely melted, and the only remaining ice surrounds the north-eastern asteroid crater. The central desert holds the strongest population, in the scorching heat of the sun. The western mountain ranges and valleys remain warm and mild, and a thriving ground for a plethora of creatures. The north mountains harbor horrifying beasts that seem to be conjured from a nightmare. Second in terror however, to the southern island chain. A hot spot for paranormal activity, and deadly, exotic wildlife. The oceans are littered with predators and prey, even monsters, and medicinal vegetation. The vast body of water is unforgiving, with nowhere for ships to land, should they travel too far for comfort. Most naval vessels will stick to the shore, though there has been good men and women lost to curiosity...
Work in Progress!
A Brief History
Magic began with a violet bang. A strange meteor from a distant world, struck Terra on the north side of its mega continent, causing an enormous crater, rising the earth around it to mountainous heights. Humans were still in a primitive state of technology, and nearly extinct from the large, powerful mammals that had arisen along with them. A small group of around 250 underground dwellers, decided to make their way to the origin of this event. For miles surrounding the meteor grew a violent blizzard, turning the north side of the mega-continent into a treacherous tundra.
The diggers knew they couldn't climb the enormous mound, and decided to dig a tunnel under the meteor. Beneath, they were safe from the icy world it had created. They cleared out a large living area the size of a small town, and after months of work, the rock had revealed to contain potentially powerful energy, and was named the Arcane Stone.
For years this group of diggers studied and dissected the Arcane Stone, creating powerful artifacts that would protect them for generations to come. After decades, the blizzard outside the tunnels faded and cleared, leaving a giant blanket of snow, across a quarter of the entire continent. The mountain dwellers were free to leave their dark underground city, lightened only by the faint purple glow of the Arcane Stone, which had now faded, along with the thunderous blizzard that it once stewed. Allying, and combining with nearby villages of weary survivors, the rise of the Tundra Saxons had begun. The mountain was named Neorwulf, meaning black ice, after their ancestral belief of a cold, dark, apocalypse. The word "vulf", became very old and lost it's meaning, "to die in ice".
After hundreds of years would pass, nearing the present day(in-game), the tundra would come to be named Neorwolf, meaning "night wolf", through misinterpretation, and misunderstanding of the original name, Neorwulf. In later historical findings, this group was dubbed the Arcanum, the Pioneers of Magic. The radiation from the otherworldly rock had changed them into something more than human. Batteries, for any imbued artifacts, and the stone itself. The stone hadn't run out of fuel, or burned out as they had originally thought. It had dispersed it's energy among the mountain dwellers, who spent their lives intimately close to the stone. Half-bloods, and quarter-bloods would form long lineages of genetically mutated humans. Who would later be called, Arc Mages, or Arcs.
Neorwolf. A forsaken iceland. Dormant, as it is violent. Here, the Tundra Saxons hardily resist the extreme weather, and live comfortable in the wind-shadow of the mountain range. The enormous crater in the center of North Glade, that the locals fancy a mountain, came from the impact of the Arcane Stone, and would forever be the icon that the mortals below would worship forever. The tundra is strewn with history, myth, and legend. The deepest section of the crater being the origin of the Arcanum, and the study of magic itself, this treacherous core of the tundra is deemed the unreachable heart of Neorwolf. Though herein lies a lack of vegetation, hunt, becomes the main source of food. With the exception of some hardy, boreal herbs and berries in the southern channel, and the more western parts of West Claw.
The factions of Neorwolf are the under-dogs of this story.
Work in Progress!
The Moon Clan
The benevolent faction of Neorwolf. The Moon Clan was created by a group of astronomers descended from the Arcanum. It was known that the Arcane Stone fell from the sky, but this group had proposed it came from much, much farther. The study of the constellations, and the fear of another rocketing asteroid, possessed them with the idea that the sky was an illusion, and a larger world lay beyond. The night sky was their only proof, and the Night Clan was born. An observatory was created at the foot of the mountain in North Glade, and was named the Moon Altar. Not only a structure, but a device powered by Arcane magic. The altar would rotate, and keep the circle in the ceiling locked in the direction of the moon, with the known constellations surrounding it in cutouts. This device fueled the research of the stars. As the Arcane bloodlines slowly scattered and diluted, the altar's ability to rotate would fade. It remains a dead mechanism, as a place of ritual and initiation for the later renamed, Moon Clan. One night every 4 years, the moon would sit perfectly within the ceiling circle, and the constellations in their respective outlines.
The most respected Saxon in all of Neorwolf. Despite his nickname, Ichabod is no clairvoyant. A wise old druid, kind, and nurturing. Offering sage advice, he is more the local "shrink", than a seer. Ichabod lives in search of answers. Aspiring naturalist, herbalist, geologist, and earth-bender. He helps any who need or ask, and would gladly give his arm, to save an innocent soul from a terrible fate. Ichabod is the all-around expert, in history, science, and most importantly, medicine. Ichabod feels at home with the Moon Clan, but he mostly keeps to himself in the wilderness, researching, and experimenting. Excitingly, he has a mutual fascination for birds... Ichabod is alerted from near and far if there is distress in the tundra, and aims to keep it in a natural balance, for as long he lives.
Ichabod, the Mountain Seer
Mara, the most caring, and loving person the Moon Clan was ever blessed with. She tends closely to everyone, in hopes to find their complexion bright, bellies full, and spirits in tact. Mara is no almighty, blind in fact. But she does possess a peculiar ability. Her beloved, Ichabod, one night performed inception on her curious mind. Accidentally of course. Mara had some ale, and deeply needed to know, "Ichabod? How is it you do what you do. How does Dante do what he does? I do not understand how it's possible." Ichabod replied, "In body, there is much we can accomplish, but in spirit my love, there is nothing we cannot." They held each other close, until sleep overcame them. When Ichabod awoke, Mara was gone. He had an overwhelming feeling of grace, and submission to her disappearance, and listened to his gut. Three days later Mara re-assembled, from a murder of five crows, separating her arms, legs, and torso from the mortal prison that is, her human body.
Mara, the All Mother
Dante is a young druid, once thought to be a wild monster. He was sought out by Ichabod, who was the first to see he was not a monster, but rather a struggling shapeshifter, with no direction, no family, and no home. Ichabod spent weeks with him in the outer forests of North Glade, before it was time to bring Dante to the Moon Altar, and welcome him into the Moon Clan. To his surprise, he was widely loved. Much like Mara, Dante does not understand his ability, but has developed focus, and control over it. He has had his power from birth, and believes it is heavily linked to his emotions. During the Great Eastern War, Dante proved he can be a valuable protector, even if he lacks some maturity. He is in never-ceasing awe of Ichabod's ability to bend the ground and trees to his imagination. Even though Dante believes his one and only power to be a plight in his life, Ichabod has helped him understand it can prove to be a blessing, in the lives of others.
Dante, the Werebear
Bick is one of the few remaining Saxon Battleborn. What this means, is from the age of 1, Bick was smothered in the art of fighting and killing for his country. In this time he discovered that he was able to manipulate the Arcane. After the Great Eastern War, the few Battleborn, and the Marauders disbanded. Most of the surviving soldiers found sanctuary in the Moon Clan. Bick spent many years as a blade-for-hire within the Moon Clan. He is a half-blood Arc Mage, descendent of Dora, the Virtuous. His axes were a prestigious gift of the Battleborn. The artifacts, "Calim and Dora" are self-magnetized throwing axes, named after the mage couple who forged them, during the time of the Arcanum. Bick is the only known Arc among the Moon Clan. He has tried to ignite the Moon Altar, but one half-blood would never be enough.
Bick, the Moon Clan Assassin
Charles, too young to be Battleborn, yet still a strong-spirited warrior, lead a large guild of infantry on Neorwolf's southern glade. Hundreds of hunters and craftsmen turned soldier. Charles repeatedly stopped his battalion from retreating in fear during the Great Eastern War, holding the foot of the mountain long enough for the "cavalry" to arrive. His passionate leadership skills leave him a revered war-hero. Charles and the Marauders had no quarrel with any other Saxon guild, and simply held the south border from any hostile alienation, and thus are humbly welcomed into the Moon Clan as valued members of the community. Though the Moon Clan believes in democracy, they would all of them, look to Charles in times of hardship.
Charles Lunev, the Marauder Captain
Leader of the Saxon "Knights". The Berzerkers of Neorwolf are nomadic beast masters. They patrol the snowy hills of West Claw with one strong survival tactic in mind - "Fur is Friend. They protect us with their companionship, and after death they keep us warm." The bears of the tundra are being forcefully evolved to understand pack mentality. Respect and fairness are the strongest characteristics of a Berzerker. To be a non-threat to potential allies, but show your strength to repel their threat against you. Nothing is more passively threatening than an unbreakable defense. The Berzerkers harbor the most creative blacksmiths of the Moon Clan to pertain to their needs. They were also the first to propose that nature has provided the blueprints for powerful armor, such as shells, tusks, and layers. Teecher has single-handedly recruited all 58 human members of his guild, as well as 4 large wolf packs, and over 20 bears.
Teecher, the West Claw Berzerker
Jack. A beloved creature. A playful and gentle giant, towering nearly 10 feet tall. Ape-like, and seemingly wild, Jack will defend the Moon Clan from malicious threats. He is believed to be an old species of giant, and is a sacred heirloom to the people of Neorwolf. His age is unknown, and little is understood of this being, but there are theories. Some say he is natural. Some say he is from another time. Some say, that he is unique. A story of a giant, a witch, and a wolf. Though there are few who believe it, there are many who can tell you this tale.
Jack, the Moon Clan Guardian
The Briar-Blood Clan
The Briars are tall, large, hulking giants. Averaging 8 feet tall, and able to reach hundreds of years of age. Surface survivors of the Arcane impact, able to withstand tremendous conditions, temperatures, physical damage, and pain. The Blood Clan is the last of their kind. During the Great Eastern War, the Briar family, and the Berzerkers of West Claw were the turning point for Neorwolf. In an un-intentional "Pincer Maneuver", the bear-riders stormed down from the northern hills, while the giants charged from the south-east of the battlefield. The Blood Clan joined the fight 24 strong. Enraged, and blood-drunk, as is their nature, they ploughed deep into enemy lines. In the end, the Briars pushed the Easterlings back into Khulud, but lost the majority of their own endangered species in the process. They blame the Moon Clan. To this day, it is unknown why they were targeted by the Empire at all. The Moon Clan's numbers were gravely wounded, but after empowered, by absorbing the Marauders, Battleborn, and Berzerkers. What remains of the Blood Clan, is just 6 Briars, adding jealousy to the seed of resentment. The Briars are a proud, stubborn people, and would refuse to merge their clan. The Moon Clan can only tolerate their negative company, and empathizes with their loss. There is great tension between these 2 remaining clans.
Radana is the mother of all remaining Briars, and the Leader of the Blood Clan. She's birthed and raised many tremendous brutes, and their obedience to her has made them her weapon. Radana is a very spiteful, and angry soul. She is in constant anguish, as the Briar women have always greatly outlived the men, she has buried many sons. Her fertility was lost, in a desperate attempt to preserve their blood-line, she committed incest. The result, was triplets to destroy her womb, and the deformity of the three, Ivan, Ingmar, and Ilian Briar. Radana killed the father, her brother Thorne, in an emotional rage. Present day, her mind is slpping into madness. Vera, her only daughter, is also infertile, believed to be born this way. Radana is taken care of by her eldests, Kurt and Vera, as she witnesses the struggle of true failure, the extinction of her blood-line.
Kurt is a pure-blood Briar. Intelligent, brave, and filled with hate. As his mother inches further toward death, Kurt feels more and more helpless. For the giants this is more frustrating than it might even seem. The biggest and most powerful human species, and there is nothing he can do. Kurt lost his father, brother, and one of his sisters in the Great Easter War. The blame of the Moon Clan behind closed doors became darker, and harsher. Poisoned with Radana's words and beliefs, and crippled with disrespect, Kurt would carry-out the most brutal acts of his time. One last hoorah'. To say, "Yes. We died. But first, we were the Giants. And we will leave this world, no less."
Vera shares an inner-struggle with her mother, Radana. The last of their kind, unable to reproduce. Vera however, unnaturally has a cheerful spirit. Her personal and selfish defense against the gravity, of their ineviteble future. Vera encourages the Blood Clan to drink, and be merry. To live and laugh, to be a family. She is rowdy with her brothers, and a skilled hunter. Vera is extremely strong for her size, and capable of taking all the dissapointment, resentment and regret her mother Radana throws at her. Vera would be the saving grace of the giants, but she has one fatal flaw. She is alone in her happiness, and would in a heart-beat, follow her brother Kurt, into shear oblivion. Vera would bare-witness, and protect her brother from anything. In a universal binding of blood, she loves him, she is proud of him, and she believes in him.
Summary coming soon!
Ivan, Ingmar, and Ilian Briar
Work in Progress!