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At the Gallows -- A Preview

What is At the Gallows you may ask? Well, it is my upcoming scenario for Blades of Exile. Although I won't reveal too much yet, I will reveal the basic part of the storyline. It is the year 1250 for the Empire (about 400 years after the Avernum/Exile Trilogies for a frame of reference). The greatest nation that ever existed is experiencing a golden age of prosperity. The Empire's wealth and power reaches to every corner of the planet.

History books tell of the Empire being an omnipotent tyrannical force. However, the days of true authoritarianism have long since expired. Now the Empire is governed by several smaller sectors overseen by the central government at the heart of Pralgad. The hostilities of past have long been forgotten and peace (for the most part) has reigned supreme for over a century.

And yet the Empire still maintains a large military of well trained soldiers, mages, and priests. Its function is mostly two-fold now. One is internal security and the other is ceremony. The great wars and conflicts are now a things of the past. Being soldiers in the Empire means routine and more routine. Only the lucky truly ever experience real action these days.

But your luck may be changing soon. After spending two years as soldiers in an agricultural sector in Pralgad, you may finally see some conflict. The past few months have been witness to the rise of a strange group of cultists. At first the Empire ignored these as mere deviants. However, the band has increased in size and ferocity.

An epic battle against a mighty sorceror

So, your superiors have decided to assign your group, of all the others available, to suppliment the guard of a town that has recently come under assault. Up until now, the cultist's activities have been limited to raiding a few of the local farms or even looting shops. You doubt this new turn will produce much more excitement.

However, when the cultists launch a full-scale attack on the town, everyone is caught off guard. Nobody thought that they had the courage nor the strength to do something so brash. And so here you are within a massive barrage of fireballs and carnage.

And so the excitement you had dreamed of has arrived. When you think the only true combat of your entire career is over, you find out it is only the beginning. You are thrown into new adventures and discover the conflict raging beneath the finely polished surface of the Empire.

Now you know, that your actions will affect the fate of the Empire.

Save a town from lunatic cultists!

At the Gallows will be an epic that continues the Exile saga. Although this is NOT Exile IV, it does address many threads from the original trilogy. In addition, it will add many more so that other designers may receive inspiration to add on to the Exile saga.

If you have played Spy's Quest -- an earlier attempt and scenario designing of mine -- you will see many elements taken from it (such as that pentagram puzzle I love so much in the Third Barrier and a toned down version of the Twisting Temple). However, in no way will this scenario be a copy of Spy's Quest. It will feature many new elements, challenges, and puzzles. This scenario will provide hours of entertainment and hopefully some minor frustration at points.

The scenario will be designed to start with beginner parties and take you to high level ones.

Meet new friends and foes

So when will all this be released? Well, I am about 40% complete with this effort. I hope to crank out a public preview beta in a month or two of the earlier levels and side quests as I did with Spy's Quest (although this is still tentative at best). However, it will most likely enter beta phase sometime in summer and will be released (keep my fingers crossed) before the next Scenario Design Contest.

Be sure to check back periodically for new screenshots and information.

Troglos, Giants, and More, Oh My!
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