Kell is a farmer's daughter. She lives with her mother and father on a farm in the foothills of the Marressa Peaks. Her life up until her 18 birthday is one of stable consistency; the rhythm of the farm and the beat of the seasons as they change around her have provided her with a comforting blanket, further warmed by the unstinting and generous love of her parents. Kell is a hard-working, attractive young woman, with a natural maturity and a bright and enquiring disposition. She has a real affinity with the natural world that surrounds her and an aptitude for the gaining of knowledge about it - a wisdom, stemming from the world that surrounds her, beyond her years. Comfortable in her bubble, she has shown not the slightest interest in journeying beyond the farm and its immediate vicinity, maybe to the capital of Retante: the vibrant Port City of Jasper, some three weeks travel to the east, at the shore of the Iron Sea and the mouth of the Hassis River, flowing through a canyon carved from the mountains to the north of the farm and meandering slowly into the grey waters of the sea, through the flat farmlands and prairies of the breadbasket of the kingdom. In short she is at peace, with herself and her life. --- All that, however, changes on her 18 birthday. On that night and almost every day since, she has been subjected to increasingly strange and worrying dreams; dreams of a starfield rotating slowly overhead, a sky full of unrecognised constellations accompanied by a strange low droning sound. At first that was all there was, that and a sense of anticipation, as if the scene were waiting for something. Then the voice started; a man's voice, soft and soothing, low, yet filled with a controlled Power. He would whisper to her nightly for hours it seemed, never outright telling her anything, but hinting and alluding to a history that she had forgotten, powers that she had never felt she had, and a destiny and legacy that she stood to inherit, if only she would cleave herself to him. As if this were not worrying enough, she has developed a growing habit of walking in her sleep, awakening more often than not, cold and shivering in her nightclothes, at the end of the path to the farm, on the verge of the King's Highway that leads east to Jasper and west to, eventually, the mountain-carved city of Knysse. Our story starts some 6 months after that first dream on the night of her birthday, and after the latest such nightly adventure, when Kell, now frightened and worried and questioning her own sanity, decides to finally speak to her parents... Spoiler (This is the straight Main Plot, it does not include any side quests or other distractions – it is still subject to change) Upon turning 18, Kell, who lives on a farm, begins having unsettling dreams. Her parents tell her that the answer – (or at least some clues to the answer) – to these dreams may lie in a book once owned by her grandfather. The book is currently in the hands of Kell's aunt, in the port city of Jasper, Capital of the kingdom of Retante. Kell's father offers to take her partway, to a coaching inn – the Inn of Cruces, some three days travel to the east – from where she can get passage to the city. They are waylaid by bandits before reaching the inn and Kell is forced to hide in a nearby cave. Her father is taken by the bandits. Following a night of further strange visions, Kell explores the cave, noticing a sealed doorway at the back of it. She is discovered by Noster, a young mercenary, currently working – apparently – as a caravan escort based at Cruces. He rescues her and takes her to the inn, as it is closer than her home and she may find information as to where her father has been taken. She does not, but she overhears a conversation that implies that the attack on the road was no accident. Unsettled by this and fearing there is more to the attack than simple banditry, she decides that she must return home to her mother. Noster convinces her not to, the road is too dangerous and besides, what if there is a connection? She said so herself. Still conflicted, Kell agrees, but on condition that Noster sends one of his closest friends, Jakob, back west to look after Kell's mother. Noster agrees, and insists on accompanying Kell to Jasper, although he is evasive when she asks him why he wants to, as opposed to simply letting her take the carriage, leaving the next morning. Kell suffers another night of restless sleep and disturbing dreams. In the morning she heads out east along the highway with Noster. The journey though lengthy, is relatively uneventful – (although there are some distractions). Along the way Kell asks Noster about the strange cave he found her in, and the locked door, but he won't talk to her about it, saying only that it has remained shut for as long as he can remember, and to the best of his knowledge no one has ever been through it, he does tell her that the name of the cave is “Hope Cave”. At a camp they make at a ruined temple – the Kormon Ring – roughly 4 days before arriving at Jasper, however, more mysteries are revealed to Kell. Kell is beginning to suspect that Noster knows more than he is letting on, and additionally that he is attracted to her, as he seems very eager to look after her on the road. Also, he does not seem surprised at the dreams she has had, nor at what happened during the night at the stones... Further evidence that all is not as it seems however, occurs in a canyon not far from Jasper, where the two are beset by creatures from the wilds. Kell suddenly starts to recite a spell in an unknown language, following which there is a mighty flash and the once the smoke clears the creatures are dead, and Kell has fainted. Noster brings her round, but she has no clear idea or memory of what happened. They arrive at Jasper and Noster takes Kell to see Sora at the Four Hands Inn, down by the waterfront. Kell wastes no time in bringing Sora up to date with all that has happened, although she leaves the part with her wanting to know about the book until after Noster has left - he says he has some tasks to perform, but that he will be back later. Kell tells Sora about the book, and Sora says that she has it in the cellar of the Inn, hidden away to keep it safe. Sora's father, Kell's grandfather, had always told her to keep it hidden, he said it was a thing of Power, and should be treated as such. Sora tells Kell that Kell can go and look at it but she must not try to read it until Sora has joined her, as only Sora knows how to unlock the book. Kell heads downstairs to the cellar and finds the book, hidden behind some old barrels. She takes the book out and lays it upon the floor of the Inn, waiting for Sora to join her. Suddenly the book unlocks itself and falls open on a page full of strange symbols and writing that she cannot decipher. Kell looks more closely, trying to see what the writing says when suddenly there is a bright flash, the ground shakes and she feels a terrible sensation of falling. Everything goes black and Kell loses consciousness. Hearing the commotion, Sora rushes into the cellar accompanied by Noster, who has just arrived, to find that Kell has quite disappeared and that the book itself is now blank on the pages that Kell was looking at. Noster takes the book to his real employer, Radugar, a wizard of some renown. Radugar had originally sent Noster to the Inn as he had foretold that Kell, or at least the person who turned out to be Kell, would be travelling to it. Noster's job was to safely escort Kell to Radugar's residence just outside the city, after she had collected the book. Radugar is angry with Noster for failing to keep Kell safe, and for allowing her to read and thus trigger the teleport spell that was written on the pages that Kell had been looking at when she disappeared. He tells Noster that he must go to find Kell and bring her back whilst he himself examines the book and tries to piece together the events of the last few days and what they know of Kell and her story. Noster asks Radugar where he thinks that Kell may be. Radugar tells Noster that he fears that she may have been carried to the caverns beneath Knysse, the city in mountains far to the west and close to the mountain fastness of Zildus, a Sage of great and dark power. It is likely, thinks Radugar, that Zildus also knows of Kell and the nascent power she holds within her. It may even have been his voice that she has been hearing... Spoiler KELL VALLESSE 18 Farmer's daughter, and the main protagonist of the story. Her name's actually Kellassa, although no one but her father has EVER called her that. She's a bright and lively young woman with an inquiring mind and a mature head upon her young shoulders. (See the prologue for further information about her). APPEARANCE: Fairly tall - with a shock of tousled black hair usually held clear of her face by a bandana of varying shades of blue and large green eyes. Her skin is pale and she has a smattering of light freckles across her cheeks and over the bridge of her nose. No stranger to hard work, her physique is athletic, and if not actually muscular, then certainly sinewy and possessed of surprising strength as more than one incautious farmhand has discovered to his cost. She's pretty, in an agricultural sort of a way. - NOSTER KAMARLE 21 Caravan Escort, Mercenary. Although young, he's seen and done more than any man twice his age. Nevertheless he maintains an insouciant and cheeky manner and has gained none of the cynicism of others who tread a similar path. He "just so happens" to be in the area when Kell requires help, and takes her to the Inn of Cruces, where he is apparently employed. It is not until the two of them arrive at Jasper and meet with Kell's aunt Sora in her inn that Kell begins to see that the reality behind Noster's presence and his fortuitous appearance, is rather different from what she perceived... APPEARANCE: Tall and handsome, with green eyes and long red hair, Noster stands out from Retante's populace. All he will ever say though is that he is "From the Northlands". He carries about him a vague whiff of the exotic and mysterious and in spite of herself Kell becomes increasingly drawn towards him, even though the truth about him which is slowly revealed, is neither good, nor honourable. - RADUGAR 53 Sage, Philosopher. Radugar is Noster's mysterious employer, although Kell does not find this out for some considerable time. His presence in the story, and relationship to Kell herself, is more than a little ambiguous: does he have her interests at heart? Is he going to turn out to be ultimately self-serving? Why *exactly* is Noster so loyal to him? He is, or at least appears to be a sage and philosopher, with many clients amongst the nobility, who come to him for his opinion and advice. As is revealed however, he is considerably more potent than he seems, although he hides both his power and his motivations extremely well. APPEARANCE: He affects dreadlocks and blue-dyed hair and beard, very much the fashion in the eastern region of the kingdom amongst men of a certain age, his blue eyes spend a large portion of the time peering through thick glasses. - DEUKIS VALLESSE 46 Farmer & Kell's father Deukis is a kindly man who dotes on his daughter, his only child. He is genuinely concerned about her dreams and state of mind and wants to help her however he is able to. In his younger days he travelled extensively both within the kingdom's borders and latterly, as a soldier in the Royal Militia, he ventured into several neighbouring countries in both peace and war. Upon his retirement he married his sweetheart and took up farming, nestled between the forests and foothills of the northern mountains, in a farm abutting the main east-west highway. APPEARANCE: A relatively stocky man, with short dark hair and brown eyes. He carries the scars of his years of travelling and service proudly, although Kell has always had the sense that he would, had he been given the choice, have spent his whole life on his farm, as his affinity with, and knowledge of, growing things is a constant source of inspiration to Kell. - LATYA VALLESSE 35 Deukis' wife & Kell's mother Latya is clearly the source of Kell's looks and physique. Like her daughter she was born on a farm - (literally in a cowshed) - and is from long-running Retante farming stock. She is very active around the farm, but is also skilled in midwifery and farm remedies, a service she provides free of charge for the other homesteads scattered about the region. Her knowledge has not all been gained from books, however, and she herself has a past hidden even from Deukis - the one and only love of her life. It is a past which will have a great bearing on Kell's journey of self-discovery, and potentially on an even wider scale than that. APPEARANCE Latya is tall and slender, but with the sinewy physique of a long-distance runner. She has blonde hair cut practically short and bright blue eyes. - SORA KOMARUS 40's Latya's older sister, Innkeeper of “The Four Hands Inn”, in Jasper Sora is Latya's older sister, she owns and runs an inn in Jasper. The two remain very close despite the distance between them. They keep in touch via letter, and are intimate confidantes to one another. Sora at first disapproved of Latya's marriage to Deukis, and for a brief time relations where... cordial... once Deukis proved that he was a good man who could be relied upon to look after her sister however, Sora's attitude softened and subsequently the 3 of them became very close. Upon finding that Latya was pregnant, Sora - (who, now unmarried, lost a child at an early age and never tried for another) - was overjoyed and made several journeys from her home in the city to the farmstead. She and Kell have remained close over the years. Sora has a large part to play in the ensuing story... APPEARANCE Sora affects the very latest of styles available in the cosmopolitan city in which she lives and works: Make-up, plucked eyebrows and tinted hair, along with rich - (or rich-looking) - clothing and adornments. Despite how she looks though, she is a modest woman in her mid-forties who runs a bar, and is generally, apart from one big secret, happy with her lot in life. Spoiler VILNUS Self-proclaimed "King of the West", he is himself a Sage of great power and indeterminate age. No one, or at least very few people have ever really seen him. He is a constant thorn in the side of Retante, although as yet tensions have only simmered, rather than boiled over, as both sides have for reasons been content to maintain the status-quo, if not actually cordial relations. He inhabits a stronghold not far from, and reputed to be closely linked to, the mountain city of Knysse nestled amongst the rocky peaks far to the west of Retante. - JALENA M'ZENDY Reputedly Vilnus' second-in-command, she is a ruthless soldier and commander of his sizeable militia. Possessed of sharp military and political mind she is fiercely loyal and very definitely a force to be reckoned with. APPEARANCE Jalena is widely believed to be in her mid- to late-thirties. Clearly not human, she is undoubtedly from one of the woodland tribes from across the ocean to south of the continent of which Retante is but a small part. She has long, shaggy, bright green, pointed ears and sharp teeth. Her eyes are dark, and more than a little unhinged. She's reputed to be solely carnivorous in habits, and indeed to devour those who displease her. - KING VOLNUS - Hereditary Ruler of Retante JAKOB - A close friend of Noster's KENSIS - A travelling merchant DENNIS - A soldier in the Royal Militia KALLYS - A courtesan in the harem of the Royal Household ANNA - A Priestess in Jasper THE RIVER GUARDIAN ASSORTED BANDITS, NE'ER-DO-WELLS, TOWNSFOLK, AND SUNDRY OTHERS Spoiler RETANTE Retante is a relatively small, but prosperous, kingdom located in the south-eastern portion of the great continent of Malvernesse. It spans the distance between high peaks on its northern borders, through foothills and lush grasslands and prairies, through forests and woods, down to dune fields and sandy beached, hidden coves and rocky cliffs at its southern edge. Indeed, both its southern and eastern borders are delineated by the vast Iron Sea a deep and outwardly forbidding expanse of water to those not accustomed to its whims. To the west the kingdom is bounded by a continuation of the northern range, although if anything the peaks to the west are even craggier than those to the north. In spite of its physical position though, Retante is by no means isolated, there are many passes through the mountains both to the north and the west - (although those to the west are used by general, national traffic rather less perhaps than before). More than these overland routes though, it is the sea that provides for much of Retante's trade and prosperity, perhaps even more so than the admirable produce gleaned from its wheat fields and grazing lands - (both of which provide for Kell's parents income). The waters around Retante's south-eastern coast are rich with fish and other sea life, providing a bountiful seasonal harvest, most of which passes through Jasper, the country's capital, and principle port city. Most visitors to the country come via the coastal route, or, if they are from beyond the northern range, arrive via the Hassis River. - JASPER "All journeys lead to Jasper" Jasper, the Limestone City: carved from the very bones of the land to take advantage of the bounty of the sea, and to send onwards from the kingdom the fruits, quite literally, of its fields and forests. Jasper is a most cosmopolitan melting pot of a city, a bustling mass of life and noise and color. In additions to being the kingdom's primary port, it is home to the Royal Palace and subsequently has drawn to itself the very best and the very greatest of artisans of all sorts and disciplines. Along with the vast amounts of produce passing both into and out of the however, comes a tide of humanity, much of it arriving on the salty planking of the docks with little more than the sodden clothes it started out in weeks or months before. Jasper, in direct opposition to the liberal and generally high standard of living that the middle and upper classes enjoy, has a dark and multitudinous underclass, quite willing and able to carry out just about any deed for a couple of Latiums, regardless of how immoral and low. Many of these are employed by noblemen and merchants, as pawns in the perpetual political games that they play with each other, all for high stakes, and winner takes everything. Many a fortune, and a life, has been lost on the point of a shank down some dark alleyway. To live in Jasper you have to know it intimately and totally, to feel its port and its merchants quarter, the smell of its tanneries and its breweries, the life that flows unceasing through its narrow streets and wide boulevards. Until you do, you are merely a visitor, and it will chew you up and spit you right back out; often the poorer for the experience, as well. - KNYSSE Knysse is the dark sister to Jasper, a city nestled amongst the high peaks of the western mountains and guarding, or rather brooding, over the wide pass that leads into the lands beyond that steep, dividing range. Despite its reputation however, Knysse is in its way no less cosmopolitan that Jasper is. Certainly the populace may be swarthier and less prone to displays of frivolity and color than the denizens of its far sister city, but they are world-wise and travelled, and keepers of great law, since all the lands of west and central Malvernesse lie beyond the pass straddled by the city. Up until recently - (50 years or so) - a great deal of trade passed through the city. That has now dropped off somewhat and it and its populations fortunes have undoubtedly waned, but it still retains its grandeur and still receives visitors. The Royal Family have an embassy and a small, highly trained contingent of militia there, and Volnus remains very interested in the city's fortunes. The reason for this can be found nestled like some great black and misshapen bird even higher up in the barren wilderness of the western range: the Fastness of Zildus; from which he casts a jealous eye over Knysse and from which his malign influence is slowly but steadily strangling the life out of it. It has long been rumoured that a vast network of tunnels and caverns stretches from beneath Knysse and out under the mountains, holding all manner of secrets and dangers for those brave enough to explore them. Indeed, many have tried, but only a few have ever returned, and fewer still of them revealed what they had found... - THE INN OF CRUCES This is a coaching Inn and waypoint some 3 days' journey from The Valesse Farmstead. It sits at a 'T' junction in the east-west highway, where a spur leads north, following the course of the Hassis river, accompanying it through major pass in the northern range and out into the lands beyond. A bustling place, it is as much a small town as an Inn, where services of many descriptions can be bought, or hired, for a price. Kell and her father are heading for here before disaster strikes, and it to this Inn that Noster brings Kell when he eventually finds her. - HOPE CAVE A cave in the mountains where Kell hides. Between the Vallesse Farmstead and Cruces. There is a mysterious, sealed, opening at the back of the cave. - THE FORMON RING A ring of stones not far from Jasper, long reputed to be a site of no small Power. - THE CHAMBER OF LIGHT A mysterious cave to the south of Jasper. Home to the River Guardian “Shadow Destiny” is envisioned as being very much a cross between a Visual Novel and a JRPG. There is a main quest and sub quests, however there will be a much more dialog-heavy feel to it with meaningful choices based upon that dialog that will affect the eventual outcome, sometimes for the worse, and sometimes for the better. If you don’t like reading, you probably won’t like this game! It will be entirely possible to back Kell into a corner and to be simply unable to complete the game in a meaningful way, or rather, to have the game end because of the choices that you have made. Advice is to save often, and to save again, and to read and take notice of what is said and done by the characters. There will not be a huge party of characters and nor are there a large number of locations, although there will be plenty to do in each location and additionally a large number of secrets to find in many of them. Everything that happens though is part of the story, so that means there won’t be any side quests To Randomly Find Someone’s Granny’s Sunday Hat from The Goblin Cave, because why would you? Retante, and indeed the whole world of “Shadow Destiny” is a Low Fantasy place, so don’t go expecting any fantastic dragons or particularly weird random stuff – (well not all the time anyway ) – do expect, however, plenty of grit and good old-fashioned violence and drama! I hope though that the characters will be engaging quirky and ultimately relatable. Spoiler “Shadow Destiny” is being developed in RPG Maker VX Ace Aside from my own resources, scripts currently in use are as follows – (thank you to all of the creators): Yanfly Core Engine - Yanfly Fullscreen++ - Zeus81 Yanfly Message System - Yanfly Yanfly Save Engine - Yanfly XaiL System Core - Nicke XaiL System Journal - Nicke Galv's Viz Novel - Galv CC_SimpleLight – CC – yellow-mantaray.blogspot.jp Galv's Viz Range - Galv Ace Gab window - Yanfly Source Split Transitions – RPGMakerSource – Maker Systems Move Restrict Region - Yanfly Super Simple Mouse Script - Amaranth RafaelSolMaker_fog - RafaelSolMaker Source_fadeinsounds – RPGMakerSource – Maker Systems Eventing Tuning – V.M. Of D.T. Mog Anti lag - MogHunter There will also be a prose story written to go with the game that will elaborate on events that happen within the gameworld, I’ll be hoping to have that completed by the time I release the game. As said, the game is intended to be fairly dialog heavy, as such it won’t have levels per se and neither will it have a tremendous amount of random battles, there will nevertheless be a lot to do and a fair number of ways to die horribly, or at least “lose”. There will be a relationship system, and romance – (up to a point, steady now) – and both of these will have meaningful consequences within the gameworld and to the outcome. Spoiler As the game is still in the very early stages, there aren't that many screenshots, I will add to the following as I develop more of the game, but here are some to be going on with: TITLE SCREEN PART OF THE PROLOGUE DREAM TEXT EARLY DEVELOPMENT - PROLOGUE SCENE 1 EARLY DEVELOPMENT - PROLOGUE SCENE 2 EARLY DEVELOPMENT - PROLOGUE SCENE 3 EARLY DEVELOPMENT - PROLOGUE SCENE 4 From here, these screenshots are from a lot later in development - (though still in the prologue). Cellar Room: Hidden room in cellar: Dev Test Video on Youtube: I hope to be able to post regular updates on here as “Shadow Destiny” develops. I’m very excited about it, and I hope the finished product is something people will get into!