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OOC: Ask Me Anything

Yeah I said I'd do an AMA.


Feb. 3, 2024, 1 p.m.

Hosted By



Aleksei Smile Fatima Austen Preston Meyneth Arman Aureth Martino Calista Ferrando Mirk Tehom Athaur Hellfrog Mihaly Mikani Apollo Duarte Pasquale Harper Crawfish Samira Mia Nisaa Anisha Morrighan Jaenelle Kalakh Liara Jan Khanne Fortunato Sorrel Spirit Roran Medeia Bhandn Ilmia Adalyn Ennettia Caspian Harlex Lethe Victus Cufre



Arx - Ward of the Compact - The City Center

Largesse Level


Comments and Log

1 Templar Knight guards, a playful black tortie kitten arrive, following Roran.

Apostate says, "Yeah, and in the unasked question, will need to remember to make event logs in arx 2 a hell of a lot more robust"

Apostate says, "And can go ahead and line/getinline if you like now"

Aleksei has joined the line.

Smile has joined the line.

Fatima has joined the line.

Austen has joined the line.

Preston has joined the line.

A murmur goes through the daytime crowd of the City Center as one of the most notables of society arrives.

Binky, an asshole crow, Greguin, an organized priest, 9 Templar Knight guards arrive, following Aureth.

Apostate says, "Okay, I'll start- ask your questions in say for the log, and line/getinline if you'd like to ask questions"

(OOC)The scene set/room mood is now set to: Join the line if you have a question: +line/getinline and remember to use Say when you are asking your question or it won't go in the log.

Turn in line: Aleksei

Aleksei says, "I will start with something positive and nonspecific! But just -- any particular plots or moments (maybe excepting the last run of finale stuff) that just felt particularly awesome or fulfilling on the GM end, like you felt things were just really firing on all cylinders, it felt like the players were really gelling with the story, etc.? (Or any definition you like of favorite moments, really.)"

Arman has joined the line.

1 Rivenshari Clansman, Lucky, the fishing cat, Patock, A clever Youth, 8 Rivenshari Elite Guards arrive, following Athaur.

Ferrando has joined the line.

Athaur has joined the line.

Apostate says, "Oh, a lot. My favorite thing that I did not personally GM but really liked and admired how it was done was when Hellfrog GM'd the confrontation with Tolamar brand at the end of the first major arc of the game. I was GMing the major battles happening simultaneously, and I thought it was one of the best juxtapositions of large scale and grand events happening simultaneously with something smaller but very impactful. Aside from that, there were at on of personal story arcs of characters that were funny. Shard being named a prima in the Assembly of Peers, which the player had no idea was going to happen or even such a thing existed, was one of the funniest things to happen in a live GM'd scene. A lot of the Assemblies were really, really good at their best like that."

Turn in line: Smile

Smile says, "You answered the question I was v curious about so. Who is your fave Herald and why is it Sapphire?"

Apollo has joined the line.

Apostate says, "She appeals to the deep troll within my heart, and she is entirely too fun, funny and charming for an unreprentently terrible character. This is a Sapphire Tribute Game basically."

Turn in line: Fatima

Alphonse, a long-suffering assistant, Maggie, an energetic Mistward Labrador arrive, following Adalyn.

Fatima says in Eurusi, "Hi! So what was up with Donrai, really? Was he just some power-hungry blood mage, or was he something more? There were some pretty wild theories out there, like he was a Seal, or he really died and Declan was his mirrorborn? What was supposed to be his endgame?"

Apostate says, "It was less that she was played by one of my favorite people, and more a reminder she was one of my favorite people because of her style that was very much visible in how well she writes characters like that, re sapphire addendum."

Fatima says, "Hi! So what was up with Donrai, really? Was he just some power-hungry blood mage, or was he something more? There were some pretty wild theories out there, like he was a Seal, or he really died and Declan was his mirrorborn? What was supposed to be his endgame?"

Duarte has joined the line.

Aureth has joined the line.

a blue and gold macaw, Renard, Haldir, a Rottweiler arrive, following Vitalis.

Harper has joined the line.

Aleksei has joined the line.

Leana, an Igniseri Guard, Tamsin, 1 Scarlet Phoenix Guard, a stoic Ostrian gelding arrive, following Luis.

Mihaly has joined the line.

Apostate says, "Donrai honestly was made into way more than he was ever meant to be. The dude was just a terrible old man, a tyrannical leader of Thrax, who happened to find out that he could kill the shit out of people in terrible ways to get magical power. So he did. He screwed up magic and aged himself down to his mid 20s self, which he realized 'oh yeah if anyone noticed this they would definitely scream viva le revolution and lynch me' so he decided to pretend to be a leper and wear a mask. By pure coincidence, his grandson Dagon was the spitting image of him, so he planned to whack Dagon and replace him. When enough people figured out he was something sinister, players decided to whack him, and I was getting ready to write his death confrontation scene when the player of Zaina at the time messaged him going, 'Oh hey these people are going to kill you, fyi', so he faked his death instead, and created the Declan guise while letting Thrax to go its own way. Later, Magpie complained to Ruby about him, and Ruby killed him and replaced him with a mirrorborn. And that little demon is how he ended the game.

He was honestly never particularly powerful. He would have been slightly more than a starting mage, in terms of level- players just crossing the threshold around 5, Donrai around 7 or 8, Ruby around 20."

Turn in line: Austen

Apostate says, "By all rights it probably would have made more sense for Donrai to kill all the conspirators when warned, but I didn't want to have that pvp element of players narcing out other players to NPCs to get incentivized"

Smile says, "I will add that TECHNICALLY Sebastian and Magpie killed him, Ruby let them!"

Calista has joined the line.

Apostate says, "What Smile said"

Austen says, "So an entirely personal question here... what *was* going on with the Ferrons and so on? I feel like I was poking around the edge of Austen's secrets but never quite understood the heart of it."

Apostate says, "So Crawfish was doing something with Austen being a member of the librarians order that she created briefly, of people that guarded magic, but since that was her thing I didn't really touch it and wrote around it. My feeling was a little different. That Ida, Austen and the Ferrons in general were a bloodline touched by Jayus, often having repeated aspects of his in their repeatedly lifetimes. I wanted to do a little fake out slightly in implying that it was about crafting, but really wasn't- that it was about the ferrons in general personifying hope and dreams, particularly in the repeated motifs of the Oathlands and honor."

Turn in line: Preston

Preston says, "So, this one is a weird personal question. I'll get back in line and ask my big thought question in a bit. But. Fawkuhl. Why did the gods whisk him off, and what was he meant to be working on with them?"

Meyneth says, "He was just an asshole and no one wanted him around anymore."

Mirk has joined the line.

Preston has joined the line.

Meyneth says, "Prism stuck him in a library to think about what he'd done."

Apostate says, "Essentially yes. Prism was just like, this guy is just a problem and is kind of in the way, time for him to do penance elsewhere"

Apostate says, "It was more of a graeco-roman god action of, 'yeah this guy has it comin"

Turn in line: Arman

Smile has joined the line.

Arman says, "So.. since this is an ask ANYTHING my question is rather selfish. I've spent 3 RL years trying to track down the 13 Rings of Diamond and having a ton of fun doing so. I came up short (7-8/13) so I'm not going to ask where they all are, but I'm wondering if you know off hand how many are NOT with PCs and are with NPCs or maybe unassigned because holders recently died... and if Smile could page me the identity of The LURE that would be great. ;) Thanks!"

Preston says, "Ah. Prism said once he was working on something to help, and yeah. Him not coming through was very Fawkuhl!"

Fatima has joined the line.

Smile says, "Oh the Lure was just Evelynn trolling the Leer"

Apostate says, "Pretty sure actually all are with PCs, though one -was- a PC, one sec while I pull up my list of dbrefs where they all are"

Johannes, the impeccably-dressed Malvici maggiordomo have been dismissed.

Marcel, a young Malvici assistant have been dismissed.

Cosimo de'Malvici, the Southport banker have been dismissed.

Arman says, "Orichalcum stole the Blackram diamond so thought it died with him unless he gave it to a PC?"

Apostate says, "Calista 1989, Jaenelle 1994, Isolde 2636, Baldessare 4098, Carita 7021, Monique 11634, Teagan 12549, Ailys 12667, Isidora 13518, Martino 18786, Locke 32611, Raphael 26221, Maja (ring herself)"

Aureth says, "Well THAT's cool."

Apostate says, "Some of those probably bounced around after that but yeah I could look at each one of those database reference numbers and see exactly where they are"

Apostate says, "Asher's one probably was the one that wound up on baldessare or something"

Apostate says, "Some changed hands like 4-5 times"

Arman says, "Asher's went to Martino. Sylvie's went to Baldessare"

Apostate says, "Ah that sounds right"

Martino says, "It did :)"

Martino has joined the line.

Calista says, "Raphael was killed and the thought or theory was that it was then stolen."

Apostate says, "But yeah as you can see a lot of those being inactive, that wasn't gonna be doable without them getting yoinked out of inactives"

Calista says, "But, that is a really great question/answer."

Aleksei says, "Monique's (I believe?) went to Berenice (for those playing at home with the log)"

Apostate says, "Ah Raphael's is on lora"

Apostate says, "And yeah I checked the dbref, monique's is on berenice"

Turn in line: Ferrando

Ferrando says, "What WAS the whole prophecy with Alarion about in the end, both in terms of what the Original Plan was and how it morphed in response to how events turned out on the game? Did he have some sort of natural power/knack for being supernaturally charming or convincing like the last vision thing I saw before I hung it up hinted at? (also what happened with finally grabbing him out of Cardia anyhoo, I missed all that, though anybody can tell me that)"

Mirk says in Draconic, "We rescued him from Cardia years ago, and he had developed a talent for dreamwalking, but that's as far as it developed (to my knowledge) under Brianna's player."

Mirk says, "We rescued him from Cardia years ago, and he had developed a talent for dreamwalking, but that's as far as it developed (to my knowledge) under Brianna's player. (For people who don't speak Draconic.)"

Mia has joined the line.

2 Blackwood trained guards arrives, following Cadern.

duckington arrives, following Tehom.

Jasher has joined the line.

Apostate says, "So the dragons of Cardia had a prophecy that an illegitimate child of the Arvani king would be responsible for the destruction of Cardia. -Brass- interpreted that as, 'oh hey blood of kings are always top notch primum, this mad lad is going to power my Kill All Dragons machine that I drop on the sky kingdom'. Most of Cardia is like, 'well prophecies don't really work unless you do literally nothing so just kill this kid or take him'. Which is true canonically- fate doesn't exist as such, due to Skald and the death of Destiny, it's just a range of possibilities that could come to pass. But Alarion was going to do one of several things depending on outcome:
1. Brass drops his city of brass on the sky kingdom killing everyone using alarion to power it.
2. The kid is changed into a Cardian and becomes a Cardian empire, killing its republic like nature and ousting the dragons except in service to him.
3. What actually happened: triggering the Cardian civil war by other dragons finally getting sick of Malar's shit, which ended that stage of Cardia."

Apostate says, "But Cardia's concern here is why they hired smiling shadows to nab the kid, who then got nabbed by Brass en route to Cardia."

Turn in line: Athaur

1 Pravus Honor Guard, Kalb, the chill bodyguard arrive, following Nisaa.

Nisaa has joined the line.

Tehom says, "I remember very early on we were thinking his kidnapping would act as a trigger event for his maternal grandpa doing A Treason and starting some huge civil war, right? But that didn't pan out"

Tehom says, "Whoever Brianna's dad is, his name escapes me"

Ferrando says, "Vercyn?"

Ferrando says, "I think"

Mirk says, "Vercyn."

Athaur says, "Well Vercyn ended up dead. But probable"

Mirk says, "Vercyn ended up dead because Halfshav requested it, due to a rotating cast of players that never lasted long."

Aureth says, "real hard to keep old PCs in players"

Hellfrog says, "Oh yeah! Vercyn! I forgot him"

Mihaly says, "Poor Sigurd. Dude had a revolving door of players"

Athaur says, "I enjoyed my time with him, but I had a different vibe then the rest of Halfshav so I didn't want to keep them down. :)"

Mikani says, "I remember you as Vercyn"

Apostate says, "Yeah Vercyn was named after vercingetorix as a hint to his intentions"

Athaur says, "Ope, missed my turn. So my question is in regards to Athaur's second secret. I tried to investigate it, but my investigation skills stink and it wasn't something I wanted to share IC very much. But who sold out the Rivenshari's names?"

Anisha has joined the line.

Apostate says, "So Athaur's father had ties to the Bringers of Silence, working with Tolamar Brand to try to get the Rivenshari more strength. This was then used by a relative unnamed (I figured something more distant to Athaur, like his father's cousin of the same generation), who turned around and use that blood tie to make a pact with the Horned God, and sell out his entire generation's names, essentially their souls, to the Horned God to get him to leave the Rivenshari alone from Legion."

Joy, the advisor of roses have been dismissed.

Turn in line: Apollo

Apollo says, "Was the way the endgame played out the way you intended it around when you posted that you were gonna run the final arc (news 66, back in mid-October)? Were there parts of the arc that got axed for time? (I had seen various visions and stuff in scenes that had me thinking that we were gonna be dealing with someone trying to free Baalphrigor even after we sorted out Azazel, but that mighta also been dealt with somewhere I didn't see. Or just my imagination running off. It does that.)"

Mikani has joined the line.

3 House Velenosa Guards, Matteo leave, following Arman.

Apostate says, "Mostly. I wanted to see a resolution to Malar and the Maw of the Blizzard more on screen, but that was tied really deeply with Herja's stuff and I didn't wanna intrude, and she got eaten by RL. I had wanted to do more with Nefer'khat, I would have done a series of events there rather than a one off, because I really liked their culture and didn't have as much time as I wanted to explore it. Probably the biggest 'this is something that could have happened but didn't' was the ending of Diamond and the black diamond rings, and the ending of the will of baalphrigor, and having Calithex kill Baalphrigor using that. Baalphrigor getting free and having a second threat (or dominant one, with azazel toast) was a possible ending, as was a big fight scene in the shining lands to save reality, but I did feel I accidentally made the final fight a bit too easy. I probably shouldn't have announced we were using riddles in advance, but no big deal."

Turn in line: Duarte

Apollo has joined the line.

Duarte says, "Curious how that shining lands scene wouldve been run if Azazel ate us all, and what that director's cut alternate ending would've looked like."

3 House Velenosa Guards, Robyn, an artful archeress arrive, following Ophelia.

Pasquale wonders how different the riddles skill levels were before and after that announcement.

Marcel, a terrible mime arrives, following Dariel.

Apostate says, "What it would have been would be all other allies not being present, and each player present would have taken on an aspect of a god or archfiend they were close to, and used that to enhance their checks that are all tied to the gods. I would have had Azazel eat a god or archfiend per round, until he was defeated, and if any character or NPC very closely resembled a sphere of a dead god, rise in their place in a full ascension."

Turn in line: Aureth

Aureth says, "Do you have any dropped threads that you really regret not getting to play with? I guess you sort of answered this re: Nefer'khat, but I didn't mean just about endgame."

Apostate says, "Man, there's no end of those. Like early in Arx, I was really aggressive about writing secrets. I wrote like dozens of cool ones for people that basically quit within a week or two, so have never been seen by anyone. I did have a lot of major historical NPC reincarnations in OCs, some of which worked better than I could have ever hoped (Fortunato), but others were big big missed opportunities, partiuclarly in having the repeated motif of a gathering of characters reflecting past lives in the current. I kind of wish I had fleshed out the Crownbreaker Wars more, as I enjoyed that story a great deal but I think most of the things reflected that period didn't resonate with players as much as I hoped, so I think my writing was kind of weak there and I should have took more time with it to make it more compelling."

Turn in line: Harper

Harper says, "s "Hoping I can snag two since one of them is a yes and no question and I wont be able to stay a whole other round: Was Uthyr Durand the Duke of Wasps? And for future, Will Arx two include the same Noble Houses, completely new, some bigger?""

Athaur has joined the line.

Leana, an Igniseri Guard have been dismissed.

Tamsin have been dismissed.

1 Scarlet Phoenix Guard have been dismissed.

a stoic Ostrian gelding have been dismissed.

2 Armed Confessors, Angwyn the otter, Mordred, Abner, Capt'n Waddles the small cock with a bell, 2 Rivenshari Clan Guardsman, 2 Redrain Guards arrive, following Ann.

Finn the large Northern hunting dog with icy blue eyes have been dismissed.

a nameless overwrought highstrung pygmy goat have been dismissed.

Rocco, the rascally assistant have been dismissed.

Strawberry Pupcake, the Graypeak Mountain Dog have been dismissed.

Apostate says, "Sadly the Duke of Wasps thing was entirely Herja and I have no idea, she had no notes. Probably though at a glance. And for the second part, no. Not initially at any rate. Ties to the current game are going to be pretty deeply hidden, aside from a very few things. But the current nobility will not exist initially in a recognizable way."

Turn in line: Aleksei

Caspian has joined the line.

Aleksei says, "Do you consider the lore from this incarnation of the game to be more or less a free for all now? I know some folks have expressed worries about talking publicly about lore secrets and such because they don't know if they'll be spoiling anything for Arx 2.0."

Apostate says, "Yeah, definitely. The only things I'd be wary of sharing would be like, rp of people they consider personal and would feel it was invasive to be shared, but pretty much for anything I wrote it's totally fine, I don't mind. From a game design perspective, I just don't want Arx 2 to rest on Arx 1 lore wise much, because I very much want it to be accessible to gaming friends who did not play 1, and even if it was accessible finding they were constantly missing in jokes would be very off putting."

Apostate says, "Much more of a clean slate than people would expect."

Morrighan has joined the line.

Turn in line: Mihaly

Aleksei says, "Oh yeah, not talking so much about private PC stuff, but like the game lore itself. Thanks!"

Mihaly says, "Do you have any logistical plans in place for the next iteration of Arx. Not lore or theme as I'm sure those are already in the works, but the more administrative aspect of it. There were some bouts of time where staff was simply overwhelmed with the sheer number requests/actions/etc(never mind plain and simple burnout) in place it was just a Herculean task in to even try to keep up. Looking back now, is there anything you'd do differently, and how do you plan on mitigating that in the game? A more SOP-like way of handling things, automation, more staff? Things like that. And to that end which I guess is an associated question to tack onto that, do you feel like there was perhaps *too much theme* at times to try and keep track of? Did it ever feel like it was 'too much'?"

Duarte has joined the line.

Apostate says, "Every single +request is a failure of design, and any thing that is a prompt by a player to a staffer to write is a failure of design."

Apostate says, "Which should give you an idea that, yes."

4 First Legion Centurions, 8 Setarcan Royal Shields arrive, following Patrizio.

Apostate says, "We aren't going to be using Arx 1's existing code base at all, going green field because there's too much tech debt build in."

Jaenelle has joined the line.

Apostate says, "Next iteration of Arx will be vastly more automated, and just designed in an intrinsically different way. It will be a much different game, and I think it will appeal but it will not be as MUSH like in the way people expect."

Apostate says, "Probably feel a good bit more like an RPI than a free form MUSH."

Turn in line: Calista

Calista says, "Can we get a Malrico origins story and what ever really happened to Procella?"

Mihaly has joined the line.

Ferrando has joined the line.

Apostate says, "So when Primeria, the Queen of the Elves, was assassinated in the Dance of Skulls, loyalists of hers fled Caer'alfar to Arvum, the first human slaves and elves to visit the continent. There they constructed her tomb, and what would eventually be the city of Setarco over it. Primeria was so inherently abyssal that it allowed the slaves to hear the whispers of the demons, who empowered them and they slaughtered their captor, and embracing demonic pacts and pursuing their wants. This is what allowed Malrico to enter the world as the herald of Avarice. Procella and her family were mages prior to the Reckoning, saw the coming of it, and managed to turn Malrico from actively supporting the demonic invasion to co-opting them against the rest of demon kind, and sparing the newborn Lyceum from the excesses of the first Reckoning. Procella, after a couple generations of consolidating the rule of the Lyceum under her newfounded House Velenosa, decided she had a target on her back from her clear demonic ties and went off to Nefer'khat to cause trouble, and has been essentially in hiding ever since. Only real major living NPC that never made an appearance."

Crawfish squishes happily.

Turn in line: Mirk

Mirk says, "Okay. I have two, since one of them might be "That was Herja's thing she didn't leave notes."
1) What was Mirk's secret intended to be? Even by the end, I could never tell if I was moving in the right direction or latched onto something random and misinterpreting staff humoring my efforts to flail at it.
2) I remember hearing about a creature called the Balean and being told that it was Seraph of both Petrichor and Mangata. That's the only double Seraph I ever heard of, and I'm curious about it and what its deal was and whether that was accurate, but never had a chance to look into it."

Tehom says, "One idea we had that never was fleshed out was Procella was possibly going to be a puppetmaster behind the Forgotten Sentinels, essentially using them to wipe out potential rivals"


Crawfish says, "I remember that."

Dot, the mini war hound have been dismissed.

Aleksei has joined the line.

Apostate says, "So Mirk was intended to be a bloodline/reincarnate of one of the first humans to ever work with elemental spirits, and likely reflective of the ones like that in Nefer'khat that never went, after Dawnhome exploded. Ideally dealing with them and why there were geas, and how things like furyborn were possible to begin with, as the interplay of human souls compared to the elemental first children. I have no idea who the Balean is and I would have said being a seraph of multiple gods is not canonical, sounds like it was created without checking with me, since yeah that's not a thing"

Turn in line: Preston

Tehom says, "I found mention of it in some puffin action responses. afaik it was never documented or discussed anywhere outside of what she wrote in those, so none of us have any idea"

Preston says, "So, the Faith of the Pantheon had a lot of weird twists (and was of course the most engaging bit of lore to me), but often struggled at times for a big org in terms of 'full time' peeps (Aureth and others wrote some great chars across the Faith, but we struggled to keep them). Did the path the Faith took (incorporating the lost gods, the somewhat socially conservative stance, the fighty fights, was it what you hoped for the Faith, or did you have other plans (the return of Marach?)? And secondary to that, was the Faith being a PC vs NPC org something you would do again if we were in 2017 once more."

Crawfish says, "Samira <3"

Aureth says, "Wait, were we socially conservative?"

Preston says, "Compared to the PCs I mean."

Aureth says, "I thought we were pretty progressive! Aureth felt like a ding dang reformer."

Samira says, "Hi! <3"

Apostate says, "So there's something of a misconception that was probably the biggest one in Arx 1 in its early development. I very intentionally had no plans at all for what any of the major non-magical institutions would do. My plan was to have NPCs running the larger problematic institutions initially (Shreve, Fawkuhl, Donrai, Evarard), get bumped off/written out, and then let players do whatever they wanted with them. My feeling is that anything like non-magical politics should be entirely player driven, and if I had any kind of opinion on which way it could go, it would unconsciously bias the outcome, which I did not want. So I honestly had no dog in the race for whether Thrax would reject thralldom, or whether the Faith would add the lost gods, or whether the Inquisition would stay a twisted tyrannical arm of the Crown, I just didn't care as long as players were having fun.

That said, I'd never do anything like that again because holy shit players HATED one another over that stuff. Like, flat out loathed in ways that were spectacularly unhealthy. Never again."

Apostate says, "One of the things that pissed me off the most was when some player would say, 'Apos wants X to happen' like thralldom being abolished. I well and truly did not care and very intentionally did not pay much attention to it."

Turn in line: Smile

Crawfish says, "oh no it's Smile"

Smile says, "THANKS CRAWS. So I think there was mention that things will be less obfuscated in Arx 2 but that there will also not be PVP and I was wondering, what's the plan to make things more open and yet stopping PVP type scenarios where people with incompatible ideological beliefs (whatever they are in Arx 2) know about one another?"

Apostate says, "So the way you do this is entirely coded outcomes with systematic approaches to things, without almost any kind of free form control given to authority figures. There just won't be institutional authority under the control of PCs. The problem with things like a PC king or dominus or highlord is that you put players in a position where they could (and really would) ICly just execute someone but they can't do that both for game balance and fairness elements. I'd much rather avoid that, and instead put people in positions of using coded systems to interact with the world. For example, Player A is a member of Guild HappyBros and Player B is a member of Guild SadBros. The HappyBros are doing a large project to try to make NewCity more hap, and Sadbros are trying to do another project to make NewCity more sad. It's a roll off, players don't directly interact with one another, and it's just seeing the outcomes afterwards. That's just way more healthy than putting people in a room screaming at one another with just a staffer reminding them that they aren't allowed to have Authority Figure Bob declaring them anathema and put to death."

Turn in line: Fatima

Smile says, "Noice!"

2 Culler Brutes, 1 Culler Boatswain, Clowder of the Nine, they have been fed don't let them trick you arrive, following Raja.

Fatima says, "(Apologies for length.) So, I had a lot of questions about Sina's secret, and Donrai's journal from action 3825. I suppose this is a three-part question. The big questions for me are: 1. Who was Sina exactly, and what was really up with her tattoo? 2. "The Gyre died never knowing how close his salvation truly was. If the Queen had bid him to return, even in a shadow of her soul, he would have built Arx into a coral throne of hunger and want. The tattoo called to him, but he was kept from hearing." What does that mean? 3. "Sina's mother. Blood of the deeps? It would explain why she calls to the kraken, why the hunger has her marked. The soul of Selendri does not explain it alone. Who was she? Who IS she?"

So like, who was she, in the end? Driskell told her she was a Seal, and that if she died, there would be some cataclysmic event. Was he just blowing smoke out of his ears, or was that true? :p And did I mess anything important up by having her die confronting Seleni? I was always conflicted about it, and felt like I should have maybe gone in a different direction, but it was too late to take it back. I was super attached to the character, because she had an AWESOME secret, and was very sad when I made the decision to end her story. But I was also super stressed playing her. I literally had a google spreadsheet with 53 lines of plots she was involved in. (Also if my OOC stress at being that overwhelmed caused me to have some bad reactions to things, I heartily apologize to anyone affected.)"

A murmur goes through the daytime crowd of the City Center as one of the most notables of society arrives.

Apostate says, "Bless Driskell, but one should take everything they said, tie it up into a tastefully decorated package, and then yeet it into the sea. By happenstance they might have said something accurate somewhere in there but I have not yet seen it. So Sina was one of those secrets that was honestly way way way too complicated. So Sina was the reincarnation of the last queen of house thrax before they were finally overthrown in the Crownbreaker wars. That queen, as a bid to help her family and stay in power, created her mirrorborn- which became Seleni, the White Singer of Eurus, and a Facet of Betrayal. Donrai, realizing this, was like, 'well a mirrorborn in her past was really great, how about we do that again now' and made a mirrorborn of Sina. Sina had a bloodline that was tied to the Gyre, and both because of her soul and how closely tied Seleni was to the Gyre and other facets, she could have broken his curse and invited him into Thrax lands at any time.

Her tattoo was a marking of the mirrorborn creation, and Donrai was essentially hoping that creating a mirrorborn servant of Sina would let him control the Gyre. This did not work."

Apostate says, "But no she definitely was not a seal."

Turn in line: Martino

Martino says, "Generally my question is on the clue system, which was one of my favourite parts of the game. Was it a confirmation bias on my end, or did the last clue in a tag when doing an investigation -always- take extra time (like a month+) to be revealed? Or did the difficulty in the clues mean something else?"

Apostate says, "Tehom can correct me if I'm wrong but the fewer people that knew something, the higher the difficulty ramped as I recall, at least in the final iteration of investigations. So it would assuredly be so."

Tehom says, "The code's open source so you can just look at how it work. But to clarify, the number of people who had the clue already was essentially a divisor on how long it took to discover"

Tehom says, "So if it was a new clue that no one else had, it took foreverrrrr"

Turn in line: Mia

Mia says, "Can I ask two? I'm packing to leave town and might not be able to do another turn in line!"

Apostate says, "Yeah sure, shoot"

Mia says, "TY!! 1) Who was the Lady of Flowers and what was up with her, Farvale, and leaving it? Was there plot there that staff had plans for? 2) Who was the lady of the Heartswood from Clue 922 and what was up with her, Adder, and Havroth's Hall from A Journal of Betrayal and Being Left Behind?"

Martino has joined the line.

2 Blackwood trained guards leaves, following Cadern.

Liara has joined the line.

Apostate says, "So when the Sylv'alfar saw the coming of Legion, a number of them that really weren't down for being sucked into a hive mind retreated into pocket dimensions. Farvale was an example of that one. I don't recall the Lady of Flowers- I don't THINK I wrote that one, but I might have. If I did, it was a one off mention of an Aspect of Petrichor that helped construct the pocket dimensions, and probably a PC was a reincarnate of it (there were like 5 different PCs that were tied to petrichor like that). The second thing was all about Adder, who was forced to be outside of one such bastion of safety and became the Herald of Knave because of it, becoming betrayal incarnate as a representation of his own betrayal. He had a female bestie as a character that was like a core lieutenant that never was run much, so I think that was it, she just kinda fell by the wayside in favor of Adder himself."

Turn in line: Nisaa

Nisaa says, "Two parter (and along the lines of the earlier reincarnation talk). Long ago, Tyrval called Nisaa "Blood of Sirens". I tried insvestigating a bit into that to see if she had a past life, if so who. Did she? Or was that just flavor? I'm an OC but wasn't sure if there was a secret added later. Also, there were a lot of ties to Fatima and Abbas that seemed to pop up. Was she supposed to help them get the throne back? Or was that mere coincidence?"

Raja has joined the line.

Jan has left the Benches by the Fountain.

Amora, a white bunny with especially floppy ears, small animal have been dismissed.

Fatima has joined the line.

Apostate says, "So Sirens were problematic from a lore perspective because there were lesser and greater sirens, the lesser being what people expected and the greaters being unbelievably powerful abyssal entities. Nisaa was I recall the grandchild of an abyssal siren, and could sing songs of the abyss. Since she could, and was instrinsically connected to the abyss, she had a strong tie in with Leviathan and that's where that was going. Leviathan wouldn't have touched Nisaa, probably."

Turn in line: Anisha

Anisha says, "Hi hello and thank you! My question is p simple: How many PCs had ties to Mortorius, and what were they?"

Apostate says, "Casivan, Anisha, Apollo, and uh a couple whose names escape me, but Mort was the evil ace lich scientist that gave absolutely zero fucks about mortal life except, 'oh neat you can do THIS with a soul', so there were a few different, 'yeah this guy had a lich equivalent of a mad scientist experiment on their soul'"

Apollo adds: Cassimir

Turn in line: Mikani

Anisha says, "And that was how Anisha became a Shade!""

Apostate says, "Oh, Cassimir, not casivan"

Mikani says, "My question is about the Marin'alfar.... How many were connected to them? Was there a lexicon? And I know they were a Puffin thing but did any survive.... where was Mika's mom in the family Higharchy?"

Mikani says, "I know thats a few questions but I know it could all be answered with its was all Puffin"

Jan has joined the line.

1 Rivenshari Clansman have been dismissed.

Lucky, the fishing cat have been dismissed.

Patock, A clever Youth have been dismissed.

8 Rivenshari Elite Guards have been dismissed.

Khanne has joined the line.

Morrighan gets His Daughter from raven-themed leather satchel adorned with iridescent beads and black feathers.

a blue and gold macaw have been dismissed.

Renard have been dismissed.

Haldir, a Rottweiler have been dismissed.

Apostate says, "So uh, the Marin'alfar. Okay so I very carefully did my lore for the history of the world and the elves, with the dance of skulls being a giant religious schism between the elves which left the Nox'alfar underground in their Twilight Court and the Sylv'alfar fleeing to their wilds renouncing large scale civilization as a mistake that bred access to the abyss. You'll notice in there that there was not a mention of the Marin'alfar, and that's because Puffin uh kind of added them canonically without even checking with me if they could exist. They could not. But I did not want to invalidate a ton of RP by doing so, I did my best to roll with it. I intentionally avoided added many secrets to dealt with them because I didn't wanna have to support something I felt uncomfortable telling stories around and invalidating more things Puffin was making, as she was going constantly in new directions without really checking with anyone or leaving any means to support it. She kept zero notes about anything she ever did, what you saw is what I saw. So I just had to take a look at what she made for players and take a wild swing at it and hope it kind of roughly supported it. No lexicon, no nothing, everything Puffin did I just had to support at a guess. So I was going with Mikani's mom being one generation down and a cousin of the royal family (second cousin) so Mikani could theoretically be in a direct line to their throne with most of them getting whacked."

Turn in line: Apollo

Apostate says, "And about 11 PCs or so, were puffin added secrets for them all."

Apollo says, "Anisha got half my question. XD I got a lot of elaboration and closure on the Mortorius stuff, but I was never clear if he was a player in the broader story, allied with anyone contemporary (I knew about the Thrax connection during the Crownbreaker Wars, and I know he was a mechanism for bringing back dead-ish PCs, but I mean more like org affiliations and stuff), or maybe doing business as some other name. I had some WILD theories over the years. What was the real story with him, how long has he been around, etc?"

Smile says, "In hindsight that makes what happened to the Sylv funny/terribly tragic'"

Apostate says, "So about Mort, I wanted him as an example of how primal mages not tied whatsoever with the Abyss could be REALLY evil in his very neutral-evil way of just not caring if anyone died in his research at all, and randomly ruining lives while he was doing it. My original scale of the game was much longer with an entire season about the return of magic, and primal mages going crazy and having to be put down was going to be a pretty big theme, so Mort (and Donrai) was kind of a way of warning that primal mages aren't necessarily the good guys. Mort though canonically was old, he was Reckoning era, and was one of the primal mages of that time who survived the Reckoning and and decided that you could really do an awful lot if you just gave up the mortal coil and kept on researching. He settled in Arx because of it being Death's city, and convenient for his research, and periodically popped up in history as a very problematic lich that caused problems for just about everyone, abyssal and otherwise. Mostly, I wanted to highlight that unaffiliated, dangerous characters did canonically exist that weren't necessarily tied into the broader conflicts."

Turn in line: Morrighan

Morrighan says, "say Now with endgame over, I've been constantly wondering about some things about Mo and who she was. So, a few questions. I kind of feel like maybe there were things I missed, didn't know, didn't pursue that I should have, or things I just might not have picked up on. I know Puffin was in charge of a lot of her stuff and evidently didn't leave notes, but I was wondering if there was anything you might know that I never caught on to or never found out?

What was the connection with her and Gold? There were maybe one or two visions of him protecting her, and then that painting that Fortunato did that *seemed* like it was of Gold and Mo in a past life, of some kind of Salt Parent ritual? I never really figured that out 100% - or if I did, I surely don't remember. Also, with the mentioning of Sina having a blood tie to Gyre, were they related? Cousins or somesuch.

Lastly, the book I have, His Daughter, I think it was written down from another player's dream, but it mentions that Koraj couldn't kill Mo outright, she was different because of her blood, and that she was the key to more than just his forgiveness. What did that mean?"

Medeia has left the Benches by the Fountain.

2 Saik Guard have been dismissed.

Celina, a dutiful physician's assistant have been dismissed.

Giancarlo, a cooper and prize-fighter have been dismissed.

Calista has joined the line.

Apostate says, "So Morrighan was the child of Brimstone, the apprentice of Gold (Goldenpyre), and Brimstone and Cobalt fought against the Gyre. So basically Gold was essentially the best friend of Morrighan's father. This I think was mostly lore written by Pax and Puffin working together, I think, as there's enough notes for me to kind of go off of (Thanks Pax ilu). So the way I'm reading this is that the Gyre could not harm Mo directly, due to Gold's magics left with her father and passing down her line, so the Gyre tried to work through intermedaries to whack her, as Brimstone and Cobalt had some magic for use against the Gyre. (I was not involved in the Cobalt weapons arc at all except giving it a thumbs up, and pretty sure it was all that with Pax/Puffin working on that whole thing). About the last part, think that was a potential redemption arc for the Gyre that didn't quite go there, with something about Brimstone's kids."

Anisha has joined the line.

Turn in line: Duarte

Duarte says, "As someone who wasn't too plot-focused for a long period of time, I'm curious how much of the overall plot story arc was planned vs player driven? Was there ever anything memorable or hugely important the players did where you were like "Oh hell yeah, way better!" and take a giant eraser to whatever was planned to go with that instead?"

Apostate says, "Stylistically, I much prefer things to be player driven by their choices. I feel it's healthier for the game to go off of things organically, so I try to think in terms of very broad avenues things might go, and try to make initial plans for that and be ready for it, but I don't wanna weight it too much. I feel it's very destructive to push back against what players really wanna do/see happen unless it's absolutely critical and would derail too much for other players/limit too many things, so I tended to be more of a 'yes, but' type of gm rather than a 'no' GM. So many examples though of this:

Season 1 I didn't intend Tolamar Brand as anything more than an example of the Silence, but players pursued his mention so exhaustively I decided he might as well be the big bad.
- I thought the Nox'alfar would be wiped out by the Compact in a big ruinous war.
- I never really planned to detail much of Eurus except as vague background.
- I really liked the direction that a lot of the general PC orgs went, especially the Lyceum, and the different developments there in houses."

Turn in line: Jaenelle

Jaenelle says, "Were any of the bloody coins from the Dwarven pouch ever actually in circulation that I would have been able to hunt down in my quest to redeem Mydas? I could never do anything with it due to PC constrictions and always wondered if there was more groundwork already in place that I never knew."

Fatima gets a Petriochian coin made of dark steel from a wide sash of crimson starlight silk.

Apostate says, "Hmm, canonically yes but not as actual objects in game. I would have supported it if someone looked into it, yeah. That kind of thing is an example of something I made where I'm like, 'yeah I'm prepared to support it if people look into it, and if they don't, also fine'. There were hundreds of those."

Turn in line: Mihaly

Mihaly says, "Two Things. First being the Most Important Question: Will there be banjos and/or pianos in Arx 2?

Second, my more selfish question. What was Volya's secret? I never was able to really dig into it, but it always seemed interesting to me and I wish I had the time to of been able to do so. And if nothing else, it'll allow me to work it into some kind of sandbox thing later on that I'll beg Fatima to run for me."

Fatima was going to reveal it in your crossing but we never had time. -_-

Mihaly says, "Hey, we can still do it. Just in Eurus being cool."

2 Culler Brutes have been dismissed.

1 Culler Boatswain have been dismissed.

Clowder of the Nine, they have been fed don't let them trick you have been dismissed.

Apostate says, "Pianos probably, I'm not worried about historical accuracy, and that was just an echo of my good natured fight with a few super pedantic types early on. Immersion is always on a scale, where a domain knowledge expert is going to be really big mad at something they know can't exist because of their niche expertise in a time period, where no one else cares, and even some things that are actually historically accurate would break the immersion of everyone else just because of hollywood logic that is well known. Banjos I just find too goddamned silly, so probably no, because it's mostly used by people to troll scenes with gravitas by being joke characters tbh.

And Volya was godtouched by Lagoma. Now that's a very basic secret, and if it was dug into then it becomes expanded of -why- he is godtouched by Lagoma. This is usually a reincarnation, but when I would expand these things, I would usually look at someone's current RP arc to see if something has a bit more resonance with them. So like, I would have probably designed an arc here around his current relationships, like a past tie in with the character he married, that kind of thing. That was generally my process."

Turn in line: Ferrando

Ferrando says, "Bit of a grab-bag regarding the tunnels:
* they routed through some secret underside part of the Sovereign Bridge or something, right? Having to hoof it all that way down 400 meters underneath the Gray River and then back up seems tiring!
* who all used the Smugglers' Cove and Masters Room? iirc it was Calithex's sort of secret pre-Embassy guest room/observation post, then Chanse found it and took it over at some point, but that's all I still remember offhand
* Did Azazel eat all the stuff in Alarice's Study after Darius Thrax moved in? If not, where did it all go? And where DID Queen Alarice's Real Crown end up, anyway?
* Was the ritual thing that the desc in The Vault alluded to anything significant plotwise, or just flavor text mainly?
* Are there any fun facts about the tunnels in general that never made it into actual play or were only known by a handful of people?"

Crawfish says, "All the gods always touching people"

Roran has joined the line.

Medeia has joined the line.

Kalakh says, "There were a *lot* of different tunnels. I dug a whole network that I think five people saw, but I'm not even sure how many different ones there are."

Mikani has left the Shadowy Corner.

Damien Pierce - A Charming Assistant have been dismissed.

Biorna - The Protective Mastiff have been dismissed.

3 Tyde Houseguard, Fireball, a fluffy cat, 2 Redwood Initiates arrive, following Lethe.

Apostate says, "Oh yeah.
1. So all of the secret exits under arx did eventually connect to one another. And yeah you could go from the ward of the crown and underneath the gray river to any other part of Arx.
2. Cardia. Chanse was the cardian spymaster agent of station for Arx, and he murdered the Nox'alfar envoy and then wrote letters to help arrange for the King's Rest to happen, as the Twilight Court was expecting the teind and then got Alaric and the King's own and a bunch of highlords there. So all that area was Nox'alfar controlled until Cardia rolled in without the Twilight's Court knowledge, who had no idea that there existence had been suppressed by Cardia and other forces.
3. Queen Alarice's crown wound up in Albamons'alfar under control of the Rex'alfar survivors in exile. And it was then in turn stolen by the Horned God in a smash and grab. Azazel ate most things, he had a big old rooms of historical antiquities all over the place.
4. Ritual was definitely an allusion to Triarchy cultists having been active inside the Palace. I mean, Haramus was Onyx for crying out loud, and he whacked Genevieve.
%5. I have no idea who discovered what about the tunnels because I left no means to distinguish use, so assuredly yes because I wrote like, a half dozen room details hidden in scores of them, so who knows how many have been found. Just a lot of lore tidbits about Caithness era whispers and how they used magic to coordinate and aid the Compact in secret mostly, but also a lot of stuff about the Triarchy, how they operated, and some Nox/Cardia/Smiling Shadows specific stuff"

Turn in line: Aleksei

Aendal, a jumpy and introverted bookworm arrives, following Bhandn.

Aleksei says, "Will Calithex be successful in defeating Baalphrigor? Would that actually be KILLING Baal, or just killing it on the Prime and sending it back to the Abyss?"

Sorrel has joined the line.

Bhandn has joined the line.

1 Pravus Honor Guard, Kalb, the chill bodyguard leave, following Nisaa.

Mihaly has joined the line.

Apostate says, "Killing him, and more successful than he thinks. Calithex doesn't realize that means Baalphrigor gets reincarnated into a mortal body. Nothing bad will happen because of that."

Turn in line: Martino

Martino says, "While Arx2 is moving onto a new code base, what systems do you feel was underused and would like to see more in Arx 2 - if they are included in it."

Aleksei has joined the line.

Preston has joined the line.

Apostate says, "So underuse was more a sign that a system was either badly designed, didn't really fit player needs, or both. A lot of things I don't like how they turned out, specifically things that took something that could have been immersive, organic RP and made it something more abstract and clunky, hard to work with. An example of a VERY minor thing that I consider immersive are like the emits of people get while walking around on grid. Generally I'll have a lot more of character interaction with the grid directly so players can shape and change the world around them in an automated way that feels both satisfying and gives a feeling of player agency over the mutability of the world."

Turn in line: Liara

Liara says, "I saw the mention of RPIs. While this more a statement than a question, RPIs have a really troubled history and some of that stems from systems encouraging really unhealthy behaviour. I would encourage asking former RPI players for input to try to avoid those woes.

Super selfishly curious question: since Liara's secret was written sometime in 2020 after she and Alaric fell out (that was a weird time and never resolved), was someone expecting her to tear apart the Compact *again* or was that coincidental? I never dug into it much."

Martino has joined the line.

Apostate says, "Coincidental. Honestly her being Darius Crownbreaker was very funny but yeah I never intended her to destroy the Compact or anything like that. If the accords hadn't happened, Tehom and I did plan for the Compact to end, and for the great houses to rule regionally as independent kingdoms in a rough alliance with the current crown, as a different power structure than what now exists. About RPIs, that's a really deep topic but it's safe to say it wouldn't be what you are thinking of and -overwhelmingly- the players I had to ban or police the most on Arx came from RPIs, and it was extremely obvious why. I'm definitely not going to do that and the spectacularly creepy systems that a lot favored, no, lol."

Turn in line: Fatima

Fatima says, "So, pretty much everyone knows about clue 622 at this point. How much fun was it to update that clue anytime a Herald changed, and how much sniggering behind GM hands was there with that last update? :p"

Apostate says, "You know the funny thing is I generally didn't ask anyone else's opinion before doing that, like someone mentioned 'oh hey that hasn't changed yet' so I probably did it within 5 minutes of being reminded it existed. It was a lot of fun tho! I think Tehom or I mostly did the edits of it."

Smile says, "Dirge was a very belated addition. He was a Herald for a long time but we didn't add him yet and then I scrambled to think of a cool nickname for him"

Smile says, "Not nickname, descriptor*"

Fatima grins.

Turn in line: Jan

Jan says, "Thank you for Hosting this Apostate :D I have three questions 1) What was the story behind Jan’s question? 2) What was the story with Raven’s secret? 3) for cadern - which npcs didn’t survive the second reckoning ?"

Jan says, "I mean secret, apologies!"

Preston takes the axe formerly known as Vowbreaker from an ornate wooden chest covered in runic symbols.

Apostate says, "So Jan was tied to a lot of Reckoning era figures, as a significant general from that era. Corban was the First Knight who died in the Reckoning, who left Caer'alfar before the end. Jan was written as a Rex'alfar reincarnate iirc. Raven's was complicated, she was essentially adopted and doted on by the demons underneath Setarco in the Vault of Mirrors. Galathurang survived! And he's glad to not be a spoon. But I'd say most did it that weren't noted to croak."

Turn in line: Khanne

Khanne says, "Will people be able to take a roster character in some fashion during the sandboxy times or is it what we have now, we will have until whenever? During the sandboxy times, would it be conceivable to travel freely between Arvum and Eurus or any other distant place? Is there anything that should be considered off-limits while we play in the sand?"

Khanne says, "or like, will there be a period of time where we can ask for a character, then nothing"

Apostate says, "Nah feel free to sandbox however you want, I don't mind doing whatever you will. Can't take rosters tho, I just won't be checking much on the game to do approvals and so on. So yeah anything that needs a staff to do it, that's a not, but otherwise sandbox however you like."

Turn in line: Calista

Calista says, "This is for all staff; Which was your favorite OG fealty, going back to the start of the game and how they started to where they ended up? Did they end up where you expected them to be?"

Ilmia has joined the line.

Meyneth says, "LYCEUM 4 LYFE"

Hellfrog says, "Grayson, because they were my namesake"

Crawfish says, "I had no fealty, I was Crafters Guild ride or die. Artists living in a community interconnected by Jayus and some weird form of democracy? EAT THE NOBILITY."

Fortunato says, "YEAH!!"

Kalakh says, "No gods no masters."

Tehom says, "Lyceum and Valardin were my favorites. Thrax had some really cool ideas that were completely shitcanned by its early players and became totally unrecognizable from what was intended, which I hated"

Sorrel says in Nox'alfar, "Even as a noble, I loved hanging out with the Jayus folks and the crafters. <3"

Hellfrog says, "Sorrel speak English!"

Crawfish says, "ONLY ART and SNACKS and JAYUS."

Meyneth says, "I love the Lyceum, the smoke and mirrors, the tremble of secrets spoken and unspoken. The Lyceum rising up to overthrow Malrico and take back their power was such a gratifying event to GM, and awesomely empowering to a lot of PCs. Kudos to Jaenelle for sticking with it all!"

Calista says, "I totally feel that, Tehom."

Sorrel says, "Even as a noble, I loved hanging out with the Jayus folks and the crafters. <3"

Mihaly says, "Now I wonder what *was* intended for Thrax."

Spirit says, "I've only ever played in Grayson and the Lyceum."

Crawfish says, "Victorian sea masters?"

Apostate says, "Redrain's and Oathland's stories are big on epic last stands, which is always my soft spot, but the fealties early on didn't really develop that way. Edain is a good friend, but he has a silly strand to his RP that kind of goes in an opposite direction from that vibe I like to do. Definitely no mark against him, he's a wonderful dude, but yeah it was a little more maple bacon and corn hole and a little less valiant less stands there. Lyceum turned into what I liked the most overall, I thought it had a great vibe pretty much throughout. Shout out to Esera"

Tehom says, "For Thrax? Rigidly honor-bound society that was utterly ruthless in advancing the power and honor of their houses and felt individuals were completely disposable if they brought even minor embarassment to them. Instead we got a bunch of people who played belching and crotch-scratching edgelord pirates early on and that went way out the window"

Calista says, "I really loved the OG theme of Thrax just because of how different they were from the other orgs and how they had to face a lot of challenges."

Smile says, "Yeah there were often misconceptions about Isles men."

Sorrel says, "I was under the impression that they were meant to be very high-brow Russian-inspired types."

Apostate says, "So Thrax was intended to be the counterpoint of unrelenting house honor and collectivist mindsets vs rugged individualism and personal honor. IE, someone that reflected badly upon their family would have been ruthlessly purged, the first crop of players were so opposite of that it just would never have worked without coded reinforcement"

Aureth says, "so ... Klingons"

Meyneth says, "Thrax made me want to claw out my eyes and stuff them with spiders"

Turn in line: Anisha

Hellfrog says, "Yeah. That was a faction that was kind of ruined by a few charismatic players steamrolling everyone and sandboxing the Ironborn from GOT crossed with Pirates of the Carribbean"

Crawfish says, "The Thrax we all deserved."

Crawfish says, "I hope we see it. ;_;"

Apostate says, "Yeah Sailor Spartans vs Pirates of the Carribbean so yea"

Roran says, "Victus with guidance from staff, was slowly righting the ship."

Hellfrog says, "Yes, I'm talking about stuff long in the past."

Hellfrog says, "Not a mark against current Thrax!"

Roran says, "Not taken as one!"

Fatima says, "Fatima had some very um... questionable @actions when I picked her up, that I'm glad were sort of smoothed over/fixed."

Meyneth says, "Thrax in beta was just a whole other thing."

Sorrel says, "I will say that as a Oathlander married into Thrax, people still had confusion about how honorable and traditional the Isles were by the time I joined."

Aureth says, "I think a lot of the playerbase struggled with honor culture, honestly"

Anisha says, "So, the Fluffybottoms. What the heck was up with them, and did they take up the offer from various fealties of sheltering them in Arx?"

Fatima nods to Aureth.

Apostate says, "So, bless Puffin"

Tehom says, "Very much so. Honor cultures and ideas of the nebulous nature of power were things people struggled with endlessly"

Hellfrog says, "Yeah, it's hard, because honor culture is just kind of anathema to our modern society."

Apostate says, "Here's the story there with the Fluffbottoms (puffin changed their name to the Fluffybottoms but I will stubbornly go by the original)"

Apostate says, "Leola was godtouched by Petrichor. Her power warped reality. While in the presence of animals, they would have elaborate sentient backstories, reflected in reality. When outside, they wouldn't. This was the whole deal, she was a disney princess and had no choice in the matter, but it was only true around her"

Apostate says, "Puffin essentially retconned this by making it true everywhere and not just a factor of Leola, because it was adorable, so I just supported this"

Anisha says, "Anisha had a big IC ongoing debate with Lenne whether it was the first or the second :D"

Apostate says, "But yeah I had a ton of different animal visions about this. It first came from an action with Leola trying to talk to the animals of the Menagerie and ask if they will aid Arx, which resulted in:

Speaking to the animals of the secret groves does make them consider the gravity of the threat, and they agree to convene a meeting of The Grand Holy Order of the Petrichor's Righteous Knightly Fluffbottoms , and the Grandmaster of the Fluffbottoms, a stoat named Matthew Stoatingly that's a veteran of the great Hare-Squirrel war of 998 AR, agrees that the bringers pose a threat to all of Arvum and the Fluffbottoms need to be rallied for this righteous cause. Exactly how much aid a particularly determined pack of stoats, rabbits, squirrels, ferrets, and a surly badger might grant is anyone's guess, but Count Bumwiggle speaks highly of them, even as he declares that the menagerie will be protected by all the great nobility living in exile there."

Apostate says, "Things developed from there."

Turn in line: Medeia

Medeia says, "Three questions, the first hopefully very quick and asked on behalf of someone who can't be here: How many secret orgs were there? The second: Smile greenlit me moving forward with the idea that Sabella was Gild-touched per her second secret (this ended up making my final weeks with her more fulfilling than I could have hoped, thank you). But I never really could dig into her "always seeing the good in people." Was I on the right track? What was that actually about, if not? (very good chance I was off base due to tie-ins to Sapphire, but that seemse impossible to pursue for various reasons). Three, for funsies: Which gods of the Pantheon would place first, second, and third in an arm wrestling contest?"

Apostate says, "Count Bumwiggled was featured in a previous vision."

Tehom says, "31 secret orgs"

Apostate says, "But 2 of those were OOC constructs, so 29"

Anisha has joined the line.

Apostate says, "About second question, yeah generally. Gild being the god of civilization and commity would have had ties in there, and giving Sabella ultimately the tools to do redemptive arcs for other characters. Skald #1, Gloria 2nd for sure, rest of the nerds tied"

Turn in line: Sorrel

Sorrel says, "1. How many secret rooms are there? I know sometimes they're alluded to in the room descriptions, but I'm so not good at guessing exit names. 2. In that vein, how extensively were 'details' used? That is, where you cold look at a non-object in a room and see more information. 3. My own secrets as Sorrel were great, but I largely came to equilibrium with them. But if I can ask about other people's secrets, particularly ones that aren't around, I'd love to know more about Catalana's necklace and Oswyn's frozen army in the north."

Crawfish says, "Nerds D:<"

Mirk says, "Crawfish, we're playing a MUSH in 2024. We're all nerds and we love nerds."

Crawfish says, "No no Apostate called the other gods 'nerds'"

Tehom says, "86 room details"

Apostate says, "There's a secret tag but it's applied to exits more than rooms, and rooms are just private, so we can search the number of secret tags and that's probably several hundred. I think I'm the only staffer that did details. Catalana was definitely tied to the nagas of the Saffron, and could have been recognized as royalty by the abyssal serpents there which would have been rad. Oswyn was tied to the Rex'alfar iirc and could have gotten special human scout points with the Rex but mostly with their human servants"

Turn in line: Bhandn

Fatima has joined the line.

Bhandn says, "Hi! First I want to say thank you for the time you spent on Bhandn's secret. I think I was one of the last people to get one for an OC, so it was quite the experience peeling back what layers I did. I was wanting spoilers on it, basically. >.> Namely: what the magic of Fidelis boiled down to and whether Vows were a requirement; b) if Bhandn was a Cardian reincarnate; c) was his last life roughly when the FRactals were freed from the Bijoux?"

Tehom says, "166 exits marked as secret, tho"

Apostate says, "So Bhandn's GM notes are kind of hilarious: "Bhandn is cursed by Limerance for flamboyantly betraying his vows in a past life. He was one of the guards in the Bijoux and made the unbelievably mistake of talking to Sapphire and taking her advice, as she trained him wrong as a joke. As a godsworn knight, he had the sword which was the heirloom sword of House Morganis (ie Aleksei's cardian house in olden times), and he was oathbound to help defend the Metallics, as a sign of the Faith supporting them. However he both contributed to the Great Fire, helping them escape the Bijoux (by unwittingly undermining the defenses), and when at the meeting with the metallics and cardians, he broke ranks and ran for it, and actually cut down the Metallic he was bound to serve in a cowardly attempt to curry favor with Cardia. He was executed anyways. sword is #8098""

Aureth says, "lmao omg."

Apostate says, "The very opposite of a heroic secret tho"

Turn in line: Mihaly

Bhandn has joined the line.

Mihaly says, "Probably my last selfish question, but I suppose this could also be a wider question on souls. But there was something that Symonesse told Mihaly that has always stuck out to me. According to game lore, or at least, how I understand it, human souls appear like spider webs and that's generally pretty consistent. Mihaly's, he was told, was like a 'tapestry of stars' or something like that. Is that just indicative of him being a Star Mage and having some tie to the First Children through that? Or is that something more common to Star Mages themselves. Which I suppose relates to more of a Cardia thing since I do know that Star Mages were a pretty big in Cardia for awhile. But it did make me wonder if human souls appear as something other than those two things. I'm guessing yes, it was just something I never encountered. And I guess I was curious if this meant Mihaly's soul was particular in some fashion or again, if it was just because of how his sphere of magic worked. I had thought for some time if Mihaly was a reincarnated First Child, but I know that's not a thing and can't be a thing because stars are literal souls, but it still left me wondering what the difference was."

Crawfish says, "Bhandn <_<"

Smile has joined the line.

Apostate says, "So thematically, human souls definitely vary in the eyes of the beholder, because the nature of magic is such that it always influences someone's perceptions. But aside from that, you're essentially correct. When First Children die, they don't go onto the wheel, but become stars, so Mihaly has a connection with the souls of first children, and his magic manifests by partly calling upon that power as a primal mage."

Turn in line: Aleksei

Jan says, "So cool"

Mihaly says, "Neat!"

Medeia has joined the line.

Aleksei says, "Can Aleksei successfully give Calithex and Tyrval family counseling now that he has it in his mind that their relationship is a necessary thing for someone to fix?"

Apostate says, "Tyrval's insecurities are beyond the capability of the mightiest beings in creation. But Aleksei can help them be on speaking terms."

Turn in line: Preston

Aleksei has joined the line.

Preston says, "So. Crusader. Was it really made by Gloria, and why was there Nox writing on it?"

Ferrando has joined the line.

Apostate says, "Yeah, it's definitely a sword of Gloria. Puffin made it so of course I have no idea but, BUT, my guess is that it was forged either by or with the help of Silver, who had some connection with Gloria, thus Gloria + Nox'alfar"

Turn in line: Martino

Martino says, "When it came to character secrets, what would you do differently with hindsight? For example some secrets which might tie into roster characters that might trade through hands, having to re-establish links. If they are even picked up again."

Apostate says, "So a whole lot of secrets were only relevant to a specific existing plot line so there were characters only played well after it was relevant. Definitely tracking the plots everything is associated with, both by secrets and roster characters in general is a really, really big deal. Like I think if a roster doesn't have an active plot tie in, they really shouldn't be available, so you gotta have like a GM actively working on a plot they can leap into or else they are kind of a trap for a new player, and that's something you have to avoid. Otherwise, it's mostly just about doing a better job in making sure they feel roughly balanced, you really shouldn't have people feeling ripped off by a secret just not having oomph, and it's a worrying sign when people are like, 'oh gosh I hope Apostate wrote my secret and it wasn't done by the person who made this character', and yeah some rosters made by people for their family were like, 'THEIR SECRET IS THEY ARE FANATICALLY LOYAL TO MY CHARACTER' and yeah lol no"

Turn in line: Ilmia

3 House Riven Soldiers have been dismissed.

1 Greenwood Tribe Blood Warriors have been dismissed.

Lianna have been dismissed.

1 Bisland pride guards have been dismissed.

Feydin, a white-tailed eagle have been dismissed.

Vigilance, a juvenile female Oakhaven Bloodhound have been dismissed.

Berthold have been dismissed.

Tinsel have been dismissed.

Adalyn has joined the line.

Ilmia says in Rex'alfar, "Thank you guys for running this. I think I've got a question for each of my alts:

Acantha: Was she Orichalcum's sister in previous life? I was dumb and never really figured that out fully.

Tesha: Was she god-tocuhed/blessed given her Ritual of Thirteen Words and was Percephon's secret a mirror of hers?

Ilmia: Since her story finally got released in the final battle with Azazel can we know who she was or will that possibly come up in Arx 2.0 so it needs to stay secret?"

Sorrel says, "Speak English."

Finn the large Northern hunting dog with icy blue eyes have been dismissed.

a nameless overwrought highstrung pygmy goat have been dismissed.

Rocco, the rascally assistant have been dismissed.

Strawberry Pupcake, the Graypeak Mountain Dog have been dismissed.

Oura, a white-tailed eagle have been dismissed.

Valor, a juvenile male Oakhaven Bloodhound have been dismissed.

2 Greenwood Tribe Blood Warriors have been dismissed.

Ilmia says, "Thank you guys for running this. I think I've got a question for each of my alts:

Acantha: Was she Orichalcum's sister in previous life? I was dumb and never really figured that out fully.

Tesha: Was she god-tocuhed/blessed given her Ritual of Thirteen Words and was Percephon's secret a mirror of hers?

Ilmia: Since her story finally got released in the final battle with Azazel can we know who she was or will that possibly come up in Arx 2.0 so it needs to stay secret?""

Duarte has left the Benches by the Fountain.

Martino has joined the line.

Apostate says, "Yeah, actually impressed you got that. Acantha's GM notes are exactly: "Benny the Beaver is a sylv'alfar guardian spirit summoned to help protect her, since Acantha has sylv'alfar blood and is kin to the sylv'alfar that were in Greenwood. She is the reincarnation of Orichalcum's sister, who he murdered to help take over the Sylv'alfar along with Kerris. When asked about Benny: Generally speaking, Benny is a pretty strong spirit, but he's also a lazy one and pretty capricious. He won't be a combatant in PRPs unless things take a huge turn for the weird, in which case have Pasquale give me a nudge. He'll be mostly indifferent to things unless there is wood to chew (which he likes), or unless Sylv'alfar are about (which he'll probably talk to in Sylv'alfar, mostly about wood and dams). If anything happens that might catch Benny's interest, feel free to nudge me and I can make a call, but in general he'll be off in his own little beaver world."

Yeah, Tesha was touched by Vellichor. Percephon wasn't an intentional mirror of Tesha, but if that had been pushed it's one of those things that might have been developed into that.

So I hated making elven names, because they were always a nightmare for me to remember. But she would have been a princess of the generation immediately after Diamond, Primeria, Platinum (a niece handwavedly), who became a metallic sympathizer and yeah helped Pyrite develop the magic that was able to end the Reckoning, and seal Baalphrigor. So I didn't actually make her name because it thematically couldn't have existed, with being one of the 13 secrets that were foundational to Azazel's being. Something pretty I'm sure, being elven"

Turn in line: Anisha

Anisha says, "How many times did Aldwin remember his true identity, and what were the consequences of them, before he got shipped off to sit on an isle where PCs wouldn't accidentally do that anymore?"

Ennettia arrives, following Duarte.

Anisha has joined the line.

Duarte has joined the Benches by the Fountain.

Ennettia has joined the line.

Apostate says, "Like 4 times, there were gemits one time that was particularly bad, and resulted in a more explicit vision that had the gods debating it while everyone was getting baalphrigor stirring emits:

It is so much like the Star Chamber, in the Rectory, if the Star Chamber was made of stars, in a vast room. Nine figures are gathered, even if their faces cannot be seen, as if the light doesn't quite reach them, as they sit an debate, with Aldwin in the center. A kind voice sing, "Acting leads only to sorrow. One cannot move without a reflection moving with it." Another voice answers, like the shifting of coins, "When the First Choice acted, so did Legion, and most of the world fell under chains until he bound himself to the world and shattered his mirror." A proud female voice answers, with the clash of steel, "Mine is restrained, Calyx will act, and perhaps there we be no reaction but the smallest of stirrings. Perhaps the Sleeper will remain dead to the world." An old voice, dry as old parchment answers, "As long as the seals live, the sleeper stays where he is, but his herald will stir. The Will of Baalphrigor longs to return to the world, and where it goes, the carnage of the Archfiend of Tyranny goes with it." A voice that seems to come in every direction at once answers, "Many of their own servants have no desire to see the Silence enter the world and bring about oblivion. And Death is free to act- her reflection is already moving, the balance may be kept." A voice answers, with the rustle of wind, "Small consolation. Every Archfiend hungers to enter, and we can hardly rely upon their servants to turn upon one another. Each of our reflections would bring ruin. If Knave betrays the Silence to Leviathan, that merely brings the world into a watery grave than a silent one." The creaking of old wood answers, "But we needn't act and stir our reflections, that can bring greater ruin. We cannot show ourselves obviously, no. We cannot answer prayers that will make them stir. But some can act. There are some who could be paladins. Some that might beseech us and merely mirror the dark rites of our reflections. That keeps the balance." A crackling of flames answers, "It's time for a change. A fractal is now the Dominus. One could never predicted that. One could never plan that. But it is part of the dream now, and who better to grant absolution? Who better to grant redemption? If he prays over the Five, perhaps it might go unchallenged." The rustling of old parchment answers, "He's secret from the Prince of Secrets, a dangerous gamble for him to be so visible. If they find him, it all begins anew." The clash of steel answers, "A war we've fought before, but not with so little. Not with so few. We should stand with the First Choice, if it comes." The voice from every direction bluntly speaks, "He is a fractal. He is darkness and he is touched by the Abyss. The sinful should not be the Dominus. The Faith has slipped away from us."

The crackle of fire answers, "He was, a thousand years ago. A thousand years ago he was an evil man. But sometimes, just sometimes, people change.""

Turn in line: Fatima

Fatima says in Abyssal, "Who is/was Dulcina, who is listed as Donrai's wife? And why did she have an affair with Malrico? What other affairs did she have?"

Fatima says, "Who is/was Dulcina, who is listed as Donrai's wife? And why did she have an affair with Malrico? What other affairs did she have?"

Apostate says, "If I remember my timeline, just with Malrico, and she died briefly after- where her reincarnated spirit then went into Isolde. Primeria bouncing around."

Apostate says, "Since one generation up"

Caspian has joined the line.

Turn in line: Bhandn

Fatima says, "Fun answer! Thank you. :)"

Khanne has joined the line.

Smile says, "Oh my god I did not know that"

Bhandn says, "ohai. I was wondering if there were ever instances of practitioners contemperaneously/simultaneously utilizing elysian and abyssal magic, to kind of buffer against the corrupting effect of the Abyss. Is that a thing, or is it more like matter/anti-matter if one tries to use the two at the same time? There are instances of separate users pooling their powers (sealing Ruin, iirc?) but not one person being like Behold the Flame of Lagoma and the Ice of Stasis at the same time."

Bhandn says, "To put it in other words: how plausible is it that someone could be aligned to both elysian entities and abyssal for magical purposes?"

Meyneth says, "Esera was supposed to be a demigod between Death/Avarice. Add that to my ledger of DROPPED BALLS."

Apostate says, "Yes but hoo boy that does not work well at all. Basically both are trying to cancel and destroy each other, so it's technically possible but insanely difficult and there's a good reason there's no existing NPC that does that because everyone that tries usually makes it about 2-3 attmepts before they blow up. But, team magic is definitely possible, though elysian working with abyssal is generally way way way way not worth it and it's a sign things have gone terribly wrong if people feel compelled to try. It's just usually elysian and primal, or primal and abyssal, and almost never all three as a team spell"

Turn in line: Smile

Bhandn has joined the line.

Smile says, "Completely hypothetical scenario of course not rooted in anything for sure. If someone gets stabbed with a soul absorbing weapon and they are just in that weapon being slowly absorbed/chomped on. But at the same time their ghost is haunting people. Is that ghost also getting chomped on or is the soul separate from the haunting ghost? (TOTALLY HYPOTHETICAL)"

Apostate says, "They are definitely getting chomped on and are probably v uncomfortable. Hypothetically."

Turn in line: Medeia

Medeia says, "So! I think I got sort of an answer through RP, but what was the actual reason behind so many past lives being recalled? Was it Death being like "y'all gonna need to remember this shit" and messing with the barrier between soul and memory, or was it something else? (bonus: WHAT KIND OF WHEEL IS THE WHEEL?)"

Crawfish says, "Spinning wheel. At least, in my brain."

Medeia says, "YES"

Mihaly says, "A water wheel"

Mihaly says, "That's always how I imagined it."

Medeia says, "I have been team spinning wheel forever"

Crawfish says, "I could be wrong. Playing Sonnet really brought out my inner troll."

Mihaly says, "Like at a mill, that ground souls up into news ones or something."

Anisha says, "A cheese wheel, obviously"

Fatima says, "Yeah, that's what Obsidian wanted to know."

Calista says, "I always assumed it was a carnival wheel."

Meyneth says, "Death was really into reruns of HGTV and decided to translate that principle to souls"

Medeia says, "please just let it be a spinning wheel XD"

Fatima says, "Why so many reincarnations."

Apostate says, "Oh no that was the manipulations of Malrico. He wanted souls of exceptional power to all be around at once, so he could harvest them, channel them into a rite with the black diamond rings, absorb Diamond, and then eat Avarice to become an archfiend and dark god."

Mihaly says, "Death apparently just can't get enough of Property Brothers."

Preston says, "In the theme files, the faith does state that souls are taken from the shining lands and sent back when the Queen feels they have something to teach etc."

Turn in line: Aleksei

Aleksei says, "What was the likely ending of the journey about Morganis, Adder, etc. that Aleksei and others were on? Was Holden gonna get a dragon buddy?"

Sorrel has joined the line.

Apostate says, "Yeah Holden was going to get a space-dragon buddy for sure. So the Morgan's Fall arc was going to be about Adder doing them a solid because he was very bitter at the horned god and it was a great betrayal on his part, helping them undermine his plan to use one last elven sanctuary in a rite to Legion-poison anyone with a trace of sylv'alfar blood in them (a not inconsiderable percentage of the Compact). The little seed carried by Xandrine would have stopped that, and also sabotaged the elven home that had banished Adder, getting him a double kill achievement on both people that done him wrong and the Horned God. The space dragon tho would have been a buddy for Holden forever, after being defeated by Felipe (with some help from others)."

Turn in line: Ferrando

Ferrando says, "Ferrando's secret involved butting heads with the Red Wardens' OG Problematic Leader NPC Wolbrand and getting sorta-exiled because he killed some Smiling Shadows and used a magical widget to heal their target instead of letting her die and following the Shadows back to their secret hideout like Wolbrand thought he should have done. The healed target changed her identity and became Selene, ergo Ferrando followed her to the Whisper House. This plotline never really went anywhere as far as I knew, because Ferrando got un-exilied when Wolbrand poofed and Selene never had an active player until after I got Alaric (and then Alaric basically took over all the time I had for plot stuff). What was that intended to be all about?"

Preston has joined the line.

Fatima has joined the line.

Hellfrog says, "Felipe! The next god to rise"

Aureth has joined the line.

Apostate says, "So there was a bunch of secrets that were more woven into the death of genevieve, and discovering the ties the Smiling Shadows and Triarchy had in the city. It was essentially that. Selene, Larissa, Ferrando, Niccolo, and a ton of the initial characters were all kind of around the Onyx-whacking-Genevieve arc and figuring out what was going on, and probably leading to a confrontation there and yeeting the Triarchy from underneath the tunnels of Arx, and purging the Smiling Shadows. The game moved waaaaaay far away from that kind of politics meets magic intrigue in that very first batch."

Turn in line: Adalyn

Adalyn says, "So I am not on the character but Titania I have always been curious with her secret and her connections to Mangata was there anymore more to that? Now that I know that the Marin'alfar were not suppose to be. I am curious on what her connections were cause she got a action vision where she was with mermaids in a past life and every time I tried to look into I came into a dead end or felt like I was running into a wall...Then with her soul being protected by Mangata just curious to know what she was or suppose to be."

Apostate says, "So it really was why Leviathan felt threatened enough by her tie to Mangata enough to try to undermine it. I figure she was the reincarnation of the first Seraph of Mangata, and probably could have helped break his hold over the Darkwater, but the problem is the marin'alfar connections really bogged that down and took it in directions that didn't yield good story."

Turn in line: Martino

Martino says, "Coming in for pLisbet - What is Jade's full story?"

Ferrando has joined the line.

Apostate says, "So, an awful lot there. Jade was one of the fractals in the early days who tried to use Abyssal research for good- the fractals and metallics existed alongside of each other as just different schools of magic for ages, and it wasn't until an assassination attempt on Diamond that drove him mad that the Reckoning began to get under way. Diamond writ bound most, but Jade used a trick to evade the writ, and hlped also somewhat in the development of Pyrite being able to create the seals. She then fought on the side of the Metallics during the Reckoning, and following it, went to the nation south of Platinum's new empire in Jadairal to retire, where she ruled as an empress. She inevitably came into conflict with Platinum's perfectly new orderly society, since he had everyone under writ, but her nation wasn't, and people under free will did their thing. They went to war, and she tried to sabotage his order by helping children be writ-immune, which Platinum solved by massacring them all. She lost the war, and Platinum had Nanashi execute her."

Turn in line: Anisha

Anisha says, "Mia's questions:"

Anisha says, "Player Mia pages you: Mostly I was just curious if there were things staff wanted to do with the sylv'alfar that never got explored and also what was up with Ilinca's secret. Probably reincarnation of someone, but I had no idea where to even start with that one. <3
Player Mia pages you: OHHH! What has Emerald been up to after her writ broke?!"

Tehom says, "Emerald is fucking things up in whatever ways seem funniest to her. Some of that is hanging out as The Great Beast of the Labyrinth and occasionally hunting people for sport, maybe taking over a primasen or two in Nefer'khat, or just crewing with individuals for fun"

Apostate says, "Sylv'alfar were much more major than I expected, I intended any survivors there to be a foot note and hoo boy people really ran with it, since like 99.9 percent of all sylv'alfar died when Alarice killed them all in the Elven War. I think they were more of a thing than they probably should have been tbh.

Ilinca is the reincarnation of the Sable Lady, which is house corvini's secret history and uh I have no idea past that, didn't write it and no notes."

Turn in line: Ennettia

Ennettia says, "I have no idea of any plot relevant things since I haven't played in ages, and Medeia actually asked my only other question, so I just popped in for purely selfish reasons-- life ate me before I could keep digging, so what WAS Ennettia's secret and who missed who so much??"

Apostate says, "Ennettia was the reincarnation of Payton Igniseri, who lived during the Elven War period and was a phoenix buddy, so she was probably the progenitor of the whole phoenix deal."

Turn in line: Caspian

Caspian "so I had two questions. 1: was there anything to Caspians secret I should have or could have done? Any old gm notes from before I picked him up? 2: picking up a character with no background or previous ties was incredibly daunting.any thoughts on ways to get new characters involved in ongoing story?"

Apostate says, "So being the reincarnation of Cerdic Valardin the Sunset Wanderer honestly really needed a coded exploration game there to support it, so yeah there could have been a lot more adventure type PRPs that embraced it but I think it wasn't really on you, there were no notes aside from 'yeah he's cerdic'.

2. Yeah."

Turn in line: Khanne

Khanne says, "So, long ago, I discovered some clues/had visions, etc, that made it seem that Khanne was reincarnated from Pena. When Puffin started GMing and we were talking about something, I mentioned that and she said something like - nope, someone else is... so I always curious which character was Pena's reincarnation. Can you say who? I had a couple guesses but never figured out for sure."

Ennettia has joined the line.

Apostate says, "No idea, Puffin never noted it anywhere and I did a search on Pena and no matches in character secrets. So unfortunately, dunno!"

Turn in line: Bhandn

Bhandn says, "I was wondering if you'd be willing to talk about the consequences of Primeria's trip beyond the mirror. What exactly happened to her, and the Fractals, when they went beyond the mirror? Also, was Destiny already dead by this point?"

Kalakh says, "Yes to the second."

Kalakh says, "Destiny dying predates the elves."

Apostate says, "Oh they bodily went into the abyss. They absolutely would not have survived except by making foci to help channel it, ie becoming the fractals. And yeah, Destiny died veeeeeeery early, before mortals were created. Elves were made after, and humans after that."

Turn in line: Sorrel

Bhandn says, "So many implications about Zircon."

Sorrel says, "Are the Kindly Voices the big-s Sirens? Were they Elysian or Abyssal or neutral? (Primal?) Part of the game's themes of balance? Children of Always? There's also a lot I want to know about the religious schism that separated the Rex from the Nox and the Sylv. (A small note: the existence of the marin'alfar was one of the reasons I wondered if the game had Elder Scrolls as inspiration, but no, Apostate said not for him.)"

Bhandn has joined the line.

Apostate says, "No, the big S sirens were distinct. The Kindly Voices were very different, they were created by Aion at the dawn of creation to enforce the rules of the Dream, so they can very much kill gods or archfiends if needs be, but are a very very very limited set of things they do. The Kindly Voices would be considered part of the primal, the existing world created by Aion. The religious schism between the Rex and Nox and Sylv was primarily about the use of oblivion magic, destroying souls for power which is extremely abyssal, and how much the Seraph of Death (Calithex) and others objected to that."

Turn in line: Preston

Preston says, "So, the crusade of shattered mirrors (OK, it's me, a crusade Q was always coming). Did this ever get fleshed out in terms of what happened, with the killing of the Order of the Sword and the rise of Alor Valardin? I got the impression it was a lot more complicated with the killing of the knights of the library etc, and that maybe Alor was not generally a Good Guy (tm)."

Apostate says, "So I definitely wanted it to have moral ambiguity, but yeah I very specifically did not flesh out historical incidents outside of the most broad strokes without players looking into it. Alor was definitely a Good Guy, but yeah there weren't really white hats in this, especially since Marach, though he was clearly abyssal, was one of the 'let's see how much we can use the abyss for good' types which obviously most of them were decidedly not down with."

Turn in line: Fatima

Fatima says, "So like, what's the story behind the Great Dragon of the Heart?"

Dolmen, a prodigal agent arrives, following Harlex.

Harlex has joined the line.

Austen has joined the line.

Apostate says, "So when the world was created, it was created with a beating heart of the world that all magic flows from, and the Great Dragon of the Heart was created to guide it. Heart stops and magic stops, and the dream will decay. The dragons were created as stewards of creation and the gods were made after they were, so they don't see themselves as under any obligation to listen to the pantheon."

Turn in line: Aureth

Aureth says, "2 questions as long as errybody is asking about their own stuff:
(1)So the thing where Tikva is both the Dirge's daughter and the reincarnation of his sister, was that part of a deal between Death and Despair, or did Death do it for the lulz, or? Tikva always said it was because Death had a terrible sense of humor but humans don't get to know, BUT I WANNA KNOW.
(2) Was Eleanor the reincarnation of Jurica? I really wanted this to be true but I have no idea if it was."

Fatima has joined the line.

Apostate says, "1. That one was definitely Death thinking she was really funny and trying to get the Dirge to lighten up. Kind of missing his whole deal but that's Death for you.

2. Not specifically noted but yeah, pretty sure that's right."

Turn in line: Ferrando

Ferrando says, "Was Alaric's mom Brigitte Laurent anything more than a family tree placeholder? I used to oocly joke that she existed just to give me an excuse to make Cristoph's life hectic by rolling in to events at the Laurent manse all HI COUSIN and since she didn't need to stay alive to enable that so she didn't. Seriously though, she would have originally been the NPC relation of an NPC so she was two hops removed from any PC, so I just assumed she was pretty unremarkably normal. But now at the end I feel like I should #justiceforgenericmom here, so BRIGITTE LAURENT EXISTED, EVERYBODY"

Apostate says, "So almost all of those were family tree placeholders but honestly some of the most fun I had writing clues was when people were like, 'what was this NPC like' and I wrote long clues detailing their lives and what they were known for. Honestly a lot of the family legends got developed that way"

Turn in line: Ennettia

Ennettia says, "Asking for Wren-player: What was Wren's secret about? What was all that Smiling Shadow and shadow-touched stuff about?"

Aleksei has joined the line.

Calista has joined the line.

Aureth has joined the line.

Apostate says, "Wren was demonically possessed by a shadow demon after she went through the Darkwater Deeps (was a typo in that it was called the Deepwater in her secret). So the Smiling Shadows noted that and were big fans, and wanted to recruit her because of it."

Turn in line: Bhandn

Bhandn says, "How many of the Archfiends had materialized into the mortal (primal?) plane? And why doesn't this basically give their corresponding god unfettered freedom to act?"

Apostate says, "Legion and Baalphrigor, and mostly, the abyss was far less worried about screwing things up because it essentially sees the primal world as a mistake, so there's a lack of balance in that regard in that it doesn't really care how badly it impacts things. But that's why Skald was present in the world, and Gloria was free to act when Baalphrigor was not imprisoned, but mostly acted through her seraph."

Turn in line: Harlex

Lethe has joined the line.

Khanne has joined the line.

Harlex says, "Hey that's me. 1) I think I have a good grasp on Harlex's secret, at least what it did, but what function did the Nametaker serve for Death in her domain? 2) I have to ask because its been killing me for years. What was Tescelina Wyrmguard's secret?"

12 Thrax Elite Guards, Lilybelle - The Claw of Arx, Scarf, a sinewy, serious, shiny-seeking otter arrive, following Victus.

Victus has joined the line.

Martino has joined the line.

Marcel, a terrible mime leaves, following Dariel.

Apostate says, "So Harlex as Nametaker was specifically taking the dead with a great deal of rage, and letting them vent to him about it before they could find rest. The bad way to think of that is Death was specifically having Harlex tormented with the really irate dead and sparing her their griping in the Shining Lands. But the truth is more that she knew he could take it, and was an instrument to make sure that the most angry of souls would pass on, rather than linger forever as undead.

Tescelina's family had abyssal corruption, and were slowly turning into shards. She had slight corruption, but could resist it, and was able to help others avoid turning into shards."

Turn in line: Austen

Aureth says, "omg harlex therapy"

Austen says, "So at one point I started digging into Titanium, but never quite figured her out beyond her maybe being a Ferron, is there more to her story that was written up somewhere?"

Apostate says, "Sword therapy is best therapy"

Apostate says, "So! Pax did that one, and she did have some notes:

"Titanium is the most biocompatible metal, and pretty much all surgical implants are titanium. The Metallics don't seem to have a healer among them (I guess maybe Tin could invoke healing, but none who specialize in it.) So maybe Titanium should be an invoker specializing in healing, both physical and spiritual. One who was good at trying to cleanse people of the taint of the abyss." Buuuut that's all she went with it."

Turn in line: Fatima

Fatima says, "I have a question from a player who can't be here: If you can say, who were the PCs that were reincarnations of Seraphs in the past, and of what gods? (And from me: What are the NPC Seraphs, or which PCs became Seraphs?)"

Bhandn has joined the line.

Apostate says, "As I'm starting to get a lil tired and my memory of that is fuzzy, let me just answer for every character secret that had 'seraph' somewhere in the notes: Ailith, Eirene, Sebell, Percephon, Tibault, Umay, Grazia, Kaede, Lysander, Cluade, Ianna, Soren, Jaufrey, Gilroy, Olivando, Tatyana, Etiennece"

Turn in line: Aleksei

Aleksei says, "Okay one real SHORT one: What was Tungsten's original, non-Metallic name? (The Valar/Sugan kiddo)"

Aleksei says, "But also What was up with the Expanse Crystal the Prismatics were responsible for? I know (believe?) it was a piece of raw creation, but I'm kind of curious where it came from, how it ended up Prism's responsibility and subsequently the Prismatics, and the overall idea of what it would be in the larger story"

Apostate says, "Fred. (I don't think ever named, so let's go with that.) Prism as the seraph of freedom really had control over expanse and movement, but that's more of a meyneth question methinks"

Turn in line: Calista

Tehom says, "For NPC seraphs, notes I found: Prism for Skald, Gloria: Calyx, who is a female warrior valkyrie type, Limerance : Marjorie, an old woman who gives out grandmotherly advice and peppermints, Lagoma : Gelassen who embodies the healing change of therapy and is a Whisper, Vellichor : Conascenze (Connie) who is a bartender part time at the Ambassador, Petrichor: The Lorax (he speaks for the trees), Mangata: Ayllish, Sentinel: Justus, Death: Calithex, assuredly (poor Tyrval), Jayus: -aspect: Inspiration (Joscelin)"

Meyneth says, "The crystal in question was part of the Dream, crystallized. It was raw, infinite possibility. Something Prism had known about from the old, old days, before her first death as Skald's Seraph. It could have been used for a great amount of making or unmaking, which was why the Prismatics were tasked with protecting it. Its intention was uncertain, unshaped; it could have been used for almost anything."

Meyneth says, "Which ties nicely into the idea that much of the story was told by virtue of player agency -- it was what players shaped it to be!"

Dolmen, a prodigal agent have been dismissed.

Calista says, "Thank you for running this AMA. it's been Amazing. I have a question about Miraya and the Corsetinas. Her secret speaks about being cursed by her Corsetina blood. I was looking forward to diving deep into this but alas - what was it about the curse, the Corsetina line and who were Miraya's real parents? I really enjoyed playing her in the short time I had her and wished I had taken her sooner. The whole Corsetina family was just so cool."

Apostate says, "So that was one of those player written ones that I found a little difficult to navigate since it was so meaty. Isabella's mother was a corsetina who had a shadow demon lover, a facet of Veil that was summoned by the Smiling Shadows to help perform a mission, and yeah then tried to threaten the gallos to keep that one a secret, and the curse was a reflection of the blood price by that demon."

Turn in line: Aureth

Aureth says, "What was up with Fort and Aureth's dad Tobias Grayhope? I think Myrinda was murdered about this but I never figured out how to follow up on it and then Myrinda's ghost plotline eventually faded into the sunset because life."

Cufre has joined the line.

Apostate says, "Lol, under Myrinda's secrets: "That her husband was an assassin for a death cult had something to do with their divorce. Didn't really work out. Pretty awkward. She detected the signs early on, that some of the jobs he did weren't for the Grayhopes at all, but was actually a front for the Smiling Shadows and a convenient cover that could explain him working in the Lower Boroughs. That much could probably be forgiven, and for years she pretended not to notice, and then one time she caught him coming home while being -literally- a shadow. He somehow used magic to meld into a shadow, but what's more as it turns out Myrinda is one of the handful of people that has a special knack for detecting that sort of thing. It shocked her husband, and not long after she left him it seems he was killed by the Smiling Shadows for being a little lax in revealing their secrets. So, she knows they exist, and she has a talent for detecting that sort of thing, which she devoutly hopes never ever comes up again.""

Turn in line: Lethe

Lethe says, "What was Lethe's secret about? Was there more to it than being a disciple? I never really knew who the people were that she was supposed to meet."

Apostate says, "The Leer was like, 'Tobias we talked about this'"

Binky, an asshole crow have been dismissed.

Greguin, an organized priest have been dismissed.

9 Templar Knight guards have been dismissed.

Apostate says, "ngl, Lethe's secret is really badly written. The way I read it, she's a reincarnated nox'alfar for sure, and should have some kind of resonance with them, but yeah I hate how that's written, there's nothing to go on there, so sorry about that."

Turn in line: Khanne

Khanne says, "Perhaps a silly question.... LONG AGO, probably 2017? Khanne had a vision (Clue 2544) of her past life on Druid's Stand During the First Reckoning with other druids who were performing a ritual to defeat --- "The ashes begin swirlig high, like a cyclone, the ashes beginning to turn into a mounstrous visage of a thousand mouths, each fanged and gibbering that suddenly all begin to scream as one, "BAALPHRIGOR! BAALPHRIGOR! BAALPHRIGOR! BAALPHRIGOR! BAALPHRIGOR!" with each shout shaking the world as the cyclone of ash looks with a thousand hating faces at the assembled robed figures." Were they standing against Baalphrigor himself or another... entity that just really liked yelling his name?"

Hellfrog says, "I'll say Lethe's secret is written in lovely prose! but it's not very much to go on, I think he meant"

Apostate says, "So they were standing against one of the Heralds of Blight, but during the Reckoning, it was customary for every part of the different demonic legions to cheer on Baalphrigor as Da King who was leading all demonic forces."

Apostate says, "Yeah sorry, Hellfrog said it better."

Turn in line: Victus

Khanne says, "ah, thanks. Sometimes I read it as one way, sometimes the other. Thank you for clarity."

Lethe says, "I always thought it was confusing, but it wasn't all bad. I did have fun being a Harlequin. Thanks for answering."

Victus says, "Hi! I have an Arx 2 question and an Arx 1 question. So since the Compact now knows magic exists and have forged all these connections with different nations, along with some characters undergoing a metamorphosis in the endgame, could wee see PCs that aren't human at chargen? Nox'alfar, Venandi, people who are already familiars? And for Arx 1, with the whole battle centered around the city and the Thinnest Point, what has Silver been doing this whole time?"

Anisha has joined the line.

Apostate says, "Yeah, I was intending non-humans as a char gen option, though as an expensive merit type with some drawbacks. And Silver either died trying to reach Platinum or she was busy saving the world elsewhere, like in the Thicker or something."

Turn in line: Martino

Martino says, "From pTitania et al - What was with the jade necklace Lisbet, Cillian and Petal made? Did it have any protection against his dad or did it help the centipedes munch on his soul? | From me: As I've gone to get a beer and, if you drink, would like to buy you one should you drink. Is there a paypal, koffee or something we can toss dollars at you to say thank you for running this, the last month of intense GMing and running Arx."

Crawfish says, "If he gets alcohol I want alcohol."

Apostate says, "So the jade necklace was an atavistic reflection of Lisebet's magic there, and it did offer general magical protection against the Horned God, in the sense of a fractal making a warding against a metallic (however much betrayed). And I appreciate it! But yeah very much not necessary, I'm in a good place, and the thought is immensely flattering <3"

Turn in line: Bhandn

Bhandn says, "Question about Arx 2: will you be doing open source similar to Arx 1? On a related note, what systems do you think showed the most promise for being in Arx 2?"

Apostate says, "Eventually probably but only after the foundational systems I really want are built, I have a really opinionated design so yeah will be taking pull requests eventually but later down the line. For Arx 2, I really, really like how the battles went here, so I'm definitely going to codify that in a much more robust way and use that for a lot of conflict resolution, I think it'll be fun and worked great."

Turn in line: Cufre

Cufre says, "I have questions about my alts: For Magaen: What is/was Glacipar and what's the deal with Fidel and the cocoon? For Neviah: Who is she/Catrinella and what work was she meant to do?"

Smile says, "Catrinella was apprentice to duke of pestilence!"

Liara has joined the line.

Apostate says, "So Charon was designed by a player, and they left it vague. I decided Glacipar was an elder spirit who was dangerously close to becoming a blood spirit, and was much closer to a mortal mind set than other spirits. Player that wrote the secret for Fidel's notes were: "Character is low-key based on the Monarch from the Venture Bros. After an action or two trying to explore his connection to the butterflies, they might start reacting to him. There are some broad possibilities here. Maybe they play into the family thing and he becomes the butterfly whisperer, maybe some of them begin to live in Arx year-round and become a kind of familiar for him. He might see things through them in dreams."""

Apostate says, "I had to share this because based on the Monarch"

Turn in line: Anisha

Anisha says, "From Desma: What was Desma's secret all about?"

Apostate says, "Yay robust notes for Desma: "Desma in a past life was an adept, who specialised in projecting their consciousness into birds and controlling them. or: She has been touched by both Petrichor and Mangata to be able to commune with the raptors of the sky and see through their eyes, a gift from them to aid her in observing their enemies from above. or Her osprey is in fact far more than a simple bird (perhaps one of those Blessed Sentient Animals of Petrichor?) and indeed is the one who orchestrates these experiences because Desma is recipient enough to be able to commune with.""

Apostate says, "Gonna end this with Liara's because my dog is going to lead a puppy revolution if he's not walked soon"

Turn in line: Liara

Liara says, "Prompted wholly by the prestige joking there: legend was a weird system where I enjoyed making big number get bigger, but also it favoured absolute dinosaurs (like Liara). Looking at anything much like that for Arx 2?"

Liara says, "Not bad weird - I had fun with it."

Apostate says, "Yeah but I gotta level with you, the prestige and resource systems were done in like 10 seconds as a 'yeah okay let's have an incredibly simplistic gameplay loop that a few players will enjoy', I knew they weren't sustainable and the very obvious flaws. So yeah much healthier and ones I actually design well will be there, and I already have some mapped out. There will be Numbers Go Brr but in ways that don't have very obvious 'hi I have 20 million resources now' things I knew would happen but did not care about the end balance results for."

Apostate says, "Aaaaaaand that's it for now, I gotta run, thanks everyone"

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