This little "project" is what has been keeping me busy / sane / less than sane these last few months. It's got a way to go yet before it is up and running, but I figured I'd show it off here too. I'm making this using RPG Maker XP, with a lot of custom scripts for it written by the good people in the RMXP community. So, without further ado: Story It is 344 NE, twenty-five years after the destruction of the kingdom of Etainia and the final battles of the Graecian War. The nations of Lucadia, having suffered greatly during the last generation of prolonged war, have rebuilt and move toward a new age of peace. However, the peaceful illusion is violently shattered on the island of Zuone. A group of mercenaries, hired to stop a priceless trinket from falling into the hands of a band of brigands, soon learn that a group known as the Psalms of Shadow is trying to overthrow the nations of Lucadia. The Psalms of Shadow are already extremely well established, though, so how can anyone, let alone a wandering swordsman in search of “the light”, a moody healer, and an archer known as “Tallairia’s Most Wanted” hope to defeat them? Cast Arthur Steel Age 26, Preferred weapons – Swords (Short Swords mainly, but he’ll also use a Broadsword if necessary) Arthur is a wanderer in search of clues relating to an artefact known as “the light”. To fund his journeys from place to place, he takes work as a mercenary, which is how he happened to be working with Steelknight on that fateful mission in Zuone. He’s a sucker for hard luck cases, and has been known to take in runaways and help them start up a new life in other places. He could probably find the answers he seeks far more easily if he didn’t stop to help hard luck cases along the way, and he’d probably get into a lot less trouble too, but then, he wouldn’t be Arthur Steel. Esaka Krystal Age 22, Preferred weapons – Staves, Spears, Magic Esaka is a young healer from the village of Lemnia on Zuone. She has an extensive knowledge of herbs and their applications, as well as a genuine concern for people who are suffering, although she dislikes mercenaries and soldiers. She acts tough, but she’s actually extremely jealous of those around her, especially after she joins Arthur on his search for “the light”. Jonathan Fyre Age 24, Preferred weapons – Bows, Short Swords Fyre is also from Lemnia, where his short temper is legendary. Once engaged to Esaka, he broke off the relationship after he met the true love of his life while fighting with Steelknight. Thanks to her, he was posted to the Tallairian Border Defence Force, then later the Tallairian Imperial Guard. It all came to a brutal end when Fyre seemingly found himself on the receiving end of a conspiracy that left him labelled as “Tallairia’s Most Wanted”. Fyre fled and is still at large, while his friends work to try and clear his name. Tallera Alexandra Princeps III Age 23, Preferred Weapons - Spears, Magic, her armies The sole daughter and heir apparent of the Tallairian Empire, Lady Tallera is well known and well liked by her people. Having been taught by the best teachers available, Tallera is incredibly knowledgable and cunning, not to mention ruthless. Even at her young age, she is a major force behind the scenes in Tallairia's politics, as well as the leader of a group dedicated to finding and driving out those Psalms of Shadow who have infiltrated her father's court. To this end, she approaches Arthur Steel, but at the same time, she cannot let go of a grudge she bears toward another member of the Steel family. Valeria Ciceral Age 17, Preferred Weapons - N/A A runaway that Arthur met while he was travelling. She is currently travelling with Arthur, trying to find her place in the world. She constantly worries about Arthur when he goes out on increasingly dangerous missions. She longs to do something to help her friend, but having no skill in either magic or in weapons, she is forced to watch from the sidelines. Gorlois, the Phantom Blade Age 46, Preferred Weapons - Tyrfing, a former treasure of the Etainian Royal Family An intimidating one-eyed man who is somehow connected to the Psalms of Shadow. He wields both his demon sword, Tyrfing, and arcane magics with unworldly skill. His personal goals seem to be mostly to further the Psalms' goals of world domination, although he is also pursuing a personal agenda. Steelknight The mercenary group, Steelknight, has gone through many incarnations since it first came into being twenty five years ago. Currently it is made up of Yala Ashtear (top left), Reese Orkeney (top right), Indigo Darkmoon (bottom left) and Maximus Romanov (bottom right). They fight to protect the innocent from oppression, for a modest fee. Currently, they are being employed by a wealthy aristocrat in Zuone to ensure that an artefact known as the Ring of Hope does not fall into the hands of the Psalms of Shadow. The Psalms of Shadow The Psalms of Shadow are a group who are masters of hiding in plain sight. By use of both stories to frighten small children and bandits frequently doomed to failure who bear their name, they have convinced the world at large to be at best sceptical of their existance. The Psalms operate in a pyramid-like structure, with lesser members only having contact with one or two other members. The organisation is headed by a mysterious figure known as the High Psalm, who wants to bring his own brand of peace to the world, by taking total control of everything. Fearing that his intentions might be uncovered before he is in full control, he uses various agents placed in Lucadia's various nations to keep the nations of Lucadia at odds with each other. Below the High Psalm are his three generals. Gorlois the Phantom Blade (see above) is his strength. The Shadewalker, a sorceress from Etainia, acts as his chief magician. A cloaked being known only as The Dark Champion, who has rarely if ever spoken in the pressence of the others, is the High Psalm's chief council. Each of the three all have their own agendas, which the High Psalm helps them in pursuing, in return for their continued support. They are possibly the greatest threat to peace that Lucadia has seen in the last 200 years. Features Spirit Force - build up energy as you fight, then unleash it as a variety of Limit Break-style attacks! Equip a wide variety of weapons, each with their own unique Limit Break attacks! Use running, jumping and sneaking to find hidden areas. Gain skills by equipping different personal effects. Acquire magic by equipping yourself with spellbooks! Reforge and improve your weapons and armour as you progress through the game. Up against an enemy who uses a lot of fire magic? Reforge your armour to add fire elemental defence! Screenshots Exploring the world She's beautiful when she is angry Esaka being herself Lord Jade greets the Imperial Family of Tallairia Arthur's achievements are recognised New Screenshots 02/18/07 Jade Hunter laying down the law Jade Hunter telling it like it is Tallera monologuing Escaping from the dungeon. The guards will spot you and throw you back in the cells if you end up in their cone of vision Arthur VS Viscen in a head-to-head battle.