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All That Glimmers Series 20 - 52


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Posted (edited)

All That Glitters

The All That Glitters Series explores the fallout of new Praetorian tech and ex-patriots in Paragon after the fall of Praetoria; the premise is that surely some gang will try to gain advantage because of this. The series levels as it progresses, with 4 trilogies of arcs that tie together, and all build to a big finale. 

 

The idea was that a Vigilante can start with this at level 1 and grow with it (among their other missions of course too). I set the missions in the zones that were (approximately) level appropriate to make it feel like it all fits naturally into the world.

 

All That Glimmers

Well, Glitters is complete now, (other than fixes players may send in or small tweaks). So my mind wandered to the magic side of the same story. Magic in Praetoria was purged by Cole, except for those survivors in First Ward. So unlike All That Glitters that starts at level 1, this series picks up at level 20, with the Citizens of First Ward making a home for themselves in a previously, and still, dangerous place, Astoria - now that the threat from Mot is over.  

 

And here is how it shaped up: 

 

2.x The Doomsday Contest

  • 2.1 Death in Light Astoria (20-29) - Final
  • 2.2 Drowning In the Vigilant Isles (25-30) - LFF
  • 2.3 Destruction in the Shadow Shard (25-33) - LFF

 

3.x - The Spirit Realm

  • 3.1 Shunting in Croatoa (30-39 ) Final
  • 3.2 Banished in The Spirit Realm (34-39) Final
  • 3.3 Incursion in Oranbega (35-41) Final

 

4.x - When It Comes To Paradigms, Shifts Happen

  • 4.1 Summoning in The Archipelago (40-44) Final
  • 4.2 Ninjas in The Wind - (45-52) Final
  • 4.3 Gods in The Planes - (45-52) Final

 

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Edited by Ankylosaur
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  • Post-Praetoria Series:  All That Glitters: Post-Praetoria Tech | All That Glimmers: Post-Praetoria Magic | Arcs levels progress with story from 1 - 54
  • Featured: Spycraft & Spidermen - 40-47 |  The Genesis & Geneticists of The Coming Hamiggedon -  41-54 | Return to Faultline - 45-54
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Posted (edited)

As mentioned above, this story begins with a fork in the All That Glitters series. All That Glitters 1.3 involves a lot of magic that only has a small element in the rest of Glitters.  So we pick up the story after that magic bit is resolved. The bridge really is just the connections made with the Legacy Chain for now.

 

The premise is that with Mot contained, Astoria is ready for the reclaiming. Meanwhile, out on Refugee Island that is in the New Praetorian arcs, there are a lot of ex-pat Praetorians looking for a home. Anna Palatine of First Ward and the other residents of the area (e.g. Carnival of Light, Forlorn, Shepherds, First Ward Citizens) see an opportunity to help reclaim Astoria so offer to move on in if they can have the area as their new home. They're used to fighting to survive, and its better than being penned up on the island.

 

2.x The Doomsday Contest

Several groups all seem to be pursuing a different end of the world event. Can you stop them?

 

 

2.1 Death in Light Astoria (or Death from Light Astoria, or Living Abroad in Light Astoria) - 20 -29

Banished Pantheon Soldiers and Coralax are coming up out of the ocean on the Astorian peninsula threatening the New Astorian's home! Will you help these Praetorian ex-pats?

 

 

Spoiler

 

Old magic lingers and not every Praetorian likes how they have been treated here on Primal Earth...

 

I first got an idea to work from this "finding a new home for first warders" area while doing my When Carnivals Collide arc. I have since realized much of the lore in that is a bit off, so I am going to pull that down. However, the idea of using the Carnie outdoor maps gave me a good home for the Carnival of Light. I then came up with it being in Astoria. 

 

There are several magic groups in this range that I had not done anything with, and the Banished Pantheon is one of them. Like All That Glitters I wanted to use this long multi-arc leveling format to bridge stories from low levels to high, and the fact that the Banished appear in different incarnations in each aids that.  And at this level 20 range, there are some good things to be done with the existing magic groups at this range.

 

Unlike All That Glitters, that I wrote a bit episodically then backfilled some episodes along the way, I am trying to be a bit more planned and intertwined with each group of three arcs. Trying to improve my approach anyway 🙂 For example, the whole 2.x part involves a contest and each arc then focuses on one group of that contest, but also an overall thread that leads into 3.x  The same is true for Glitters, I'm just a hair more organized about this go round. 🙂

 

 

 

 

2.2 Drowning In the Vigilant Isles

A lead on the another contestant group leads you to...

Spoiler

 

the Vigilant Isles! The Rogue Isles of Praetora. Big spoiler - 2.2 will be a significant reworking of Save the Diver Save the world. A lot evolved in game (heroes can just go to the isles and fight coralax whenever they want to) and lore (Did you know Merulina is dead?!) since that 2011 arc and the story is a little off. Part of what evolved is my storytelling approach too - I'll use less forced direction from an omnipotent contact and more discovery for the player. 

 

This will definitely tread some familiar ground for anyone that already played that, but will hopefully feel fresh and new in other ways as a lot will be revamped.

 

 

2.3 Destruction in the Shadow Shard

Finally a lead to the last contestants plot and it is out of this world!

Spoiler

 

Some early thoughts here, but my first idea around a group from another world needing to find homes here was pre-Praetoria! I wondered how the Rularularian would assimilate. (Play Rularularian if you don't know who they are 🙂I have been also been wanting to use the Rulu-shin for a while. 

 

Put em together and what do you get? Bibbity Boppity Rularuu.

 

Plus I have plans to reveal who is really behind this Doomsday Contest and maybe a glimpse as to why...

 

 

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Edited by Ankylosaur
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  • Post-Praetoria Series:  All That Glitters: Post-Praetoria Tech | All That Glimmers: Post-Praetoria Magic | Arcs levels progress with story from 1 - 54
  • Featured: Spycraft & Spidermen - 40-47 |  The Genesis & Geneticists of The Coming Hamiggedon -  41-54 | Return to Faultline - 45-54
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Posted (edited)

3.x The Spirit Realm

Now that you have foiled the Doomsday Contest, the magical potential lingering in the air is high. Things seems to be crossing the veil to our world, but are they coming on their own or is someone drawing them here to a greater purpose? 

 

3.1 Shunting in Croatoa

Archmage Hellewise thinks the veil to the spirit world is thin enough in Croatoa that she can modify her Night Ward shunting spell to work there. Help her out?

 

Spoiler

 

With a new villain behind the scenes revealed in the 2.x, you start to see that their plan was not to summon those gods, but to start powering up the magical potential in Primal Earth. As more magic is unleashed, more magical potential is too and that can fuel more and more magic. 

 

That magical potential tugs at the veil in Croatoa, which is thin enough that beings from the spirit realm are drawn here to do what they do.  This lets me bring some of the more spirit realmy things from Night Ward into Paragon - namely the drudge and the spirit stalkers.

 

I also had fun throwing in Percy - as a nod to his Praetorian equiv Master Midnight. 

 

 

3.2 Banished in The Spirit Realm

The spirit realm is breaking through at magical nexuses, Astoria finds itself under attack! 

 

Spoiler

Drudge want to ferry ghosts beyond the spirit realm and are collecting them from anywhere - Midnight Squad Spectres, Tsoo Ancestor Spirits, and just your friendly neighborhood ghosts.

 

You find yourself in between fighting and working with the tsoo, and discover the harbingers are further evolving in ways that seem familiar into a group called The Banished.

 

This one took a lot of work because of all the customs (my core mobs don't appear at these levels in AE) and extensive clues but was pleased how it came out.

  • Carnival all custom
  • Forlorn all custom
  • Midnight squad all custom (though there was a lot of reuse from an older version - I expanded them for this)
  • The Banished are new customs since I gave them the upper level Banished Pantheon bioluminescent skins. (With the Harbingers only a few bosses have them but now Minions and LTs do too).
  • Loved how the Dark Astoria and extra city map let me further extend the spirit realm - adding Astoria as a magical nexus on both sides of the veil.
  • Needed a "not quite the main leader" and my main boss' love of wandering the spirit realm fit well! I liked making her costume which incorporates the The Banished bioluminescent skin plus some Mu-esque belting on her legs.

 

If I were not so commited to my going up in levels though from mission to mission - I could probably have made this sub-33 and not had to make the custom mob versions. 🙂

  

3.3 Incursion in Oranbega

The spirit realm's incusion extends into Primeva through itsmost powerful nexus. 

 

Spoiler

 

Can you stop the flow? Will The drudge get what they are after? And does someone benefit from all of this?

 

Probably. Likely. Of course!

 

 

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Edited by Ankylosaur

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  • Dev's Choice:  Police vs. Aliens 2: Nictus Evictus - 50 -54 Rularularian - 41-54 | The Serpent Beyond the Horizon - 46-52  | Robolution - 25-34  |  Adventures in Wonderland - 25-54
  • Post-Praetoria Series:  All That Glitters: Post-Praetoria Tech | All That Glimmers: Post-Praetoria Magic | Arcs levels progress with story from 1 - 54
  • Featured: Spycraft & Spidermen - 40-47 |  The Genesis & Geneticists of The Coming Hamiggedon -  41-54 | Return to Faultline - 45-54
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Posted (edited)

4.x - When It Comes To Paradigms, Shifts Happen

What just happened speaks to huge changes in who holds the most sway in the magical world. Can you influence these shifts in power?

 

4.1 Summonings in The Archipelago (35-44) WIP

The victims make a last ditch effort to turn things in their favor. 

 

Spoiler

 

With the CoT fairly beaten up by the Drudge in the last one, the power shift between them and the Mu is becoming more pronounced, but its not like the Oranbegans to take it on the chin. 

 

Most of the really meaty stuff in the Circle of Thorns mob happens around this level, with Lilitu and more. Plus I found some creative ways to illustrate the spirits of the CoT that were displaced from the bodies they possessed, and some ways to illustrate they are possessing people again.

 

Fun action-packed series a you go from battle to battle. Found some fun ways to drop in some of the locals, like Psimon and Crimson Revenant and even Granny Beldam who hangs out nearby.

 

 

4.2 Ninjas in The Wind - (45-52)

New players on the magic scene shake things up!

 

Spoiler

This was an arc that I originally did as a one-off, and it turned out really well. But, it also did something that has been part of the MO of our villain all along - use someone else to exact that plan he needs.

 

For a totally unrelated reason, a group wants what Ice Mistral and Scirocco have - essentially eliminating them for our villain and giving him a path to take over the Mu from Scirocco and earn Recluse's patronage. 

 

It also had the benefit of using Recluse's tower map, but the Conference room is not part of the action, so I was able to use it for a cut scene you can listen in on. I mean you could go in and fight them if you really wanted to, but it will be tough...

 

4.3 Gods in The Planes - (45-52)

And the ultimate plan is revealed....

 

Spoiler

But that's not all they want. The reason all of these disaffected Praetorians embraced the magic of the banished was for power and revenge - and in the revenge category would be bringing back the old banished pantheon to turn this planet into a one subjugated by the gods - even at their own peril.

 

Partnering with the Mu, who wanted to bring back Hequat, was a win-win.

 

And if you are going to fight gods - it's good to have a few on your side - and fortunately, you can gather all those that you have defeated across the series to help ending in a god on god showdown of epic proportions.

 

I'm running low on maps I haven't used, and I try not to reuse, but kind of like Maria Jenkins and Unai Kemen, traveling dimensions or "planes" gives you a bit of free reign to fit in just about anything.

 

 

Edited by Ankylosaur
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  • Post-Praetoria Series:  All That Glitters: Post-Praetoria Tech | All That Glimmers: Post-Praetoria Magic | Arcs levels progress with story from 1 - 54
  • Featured: Spycraft & Spidermen - 40-47 |  The Genesis & Geneticists of The Coming Hamiggedon -  41-54 | Return to Faultline - 45-54
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Try my AE Arcs: Search for @Ankylosaur for the below and more...

  • Dev's Choice:  Police vs. Aliens 2: Nictus Evictus - 50 -54 Rularularian - 41-54 | The Serpent Beyond the Horizon - 46-52  | Robolution - 25-34  |  Adventures in Wonderland - 25-54
  • Post-Praetoria Series:  All That Glitters: Post-Praetoria Tech | All That Glimmers: Post-Praetoria Magic | Arcs levels progress with story from 1 - 54
  • Featured: Spycraft & Spidermen - 40-47 |  The Genesis & Geneticists of The Coming Hamiggedon -  41-54 | Return to Faultline - 45-54
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  • Ankylosaur changed the title to All That Glimmers Series 20 - 52

Well, I'm pleased to say I finished what I set out to do - place the First Ward, magic using ex-pats in our world and see what happens. I am sure I will tweak it a bit, but I can call it done!

 

Like the All That Glitters series, this series changes the game world, so I am considering doing a single 5.0 to tie the Glitters and Glimmers paths together in a bit of a capstone or epilogue. We'll see if I get around to it...

 

All in all it was a very fun writing/creating experience. I planned this one out a bit more than I did Glitters, so it was a lot less haphazard in how the story evolved and its construction. I think overall it is probably tighter as a result too.

 

If you give it a whirl, as usual I'm open to all feedback to make it the best it can be. 

 

Enjoy!

Edited by Ankylosaur

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  • Dev's Choice:  Police vs. Aliens 2: Nictus Evictus - 50 -54 Rularularian - 41-54 | The Serpent Beyond the Horizon - 46-52  | Robolution - 25-34  |  Adventures in Wonderland - 25-54
  • Post-Praetoria Series:  All That Glitters: Post-Praetoria Tech | All That Glimmers: Post-Praetoria Magic | Arcs levels progress with story from 1 - 54
  • Featured: Spycraft & Spidermen - 40-47 |  The Genesis & Geneticists of The Coming Hamiggedon -  41-54 | Return to Faultline - 45-54
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Commenting on 4.3 Gods in the Planes

  • First mission send-off has a broken <br>-tag, right after "TUNNEL".
  • A little confusion in the first mission when a random Spirit got attached to me after I found the main objective, and the target for the escort changed. But I sorted it out.
  • Considering that Marchand seems to be mostly conveying information from Nadia I wonder why our contact isn't Nadia directly, but that's just a minor questionmark.
  • Getting used to the spirit guides in mission 2, they can be helpful to find the things I need to click... clever trick I might have to steal! 😛
  • Tormented Souls (helpers?) in Hell have the default description that says they are floating in the streets of Paragon City and are angry with us.
  • In various clues in mission 4, you pluralize "shaman" as "shamen" - it's actually "shamans". I've made this mistake myself, too many times.
  • Nadia's email (clue) is written as if she's writing with an accent? I doubt she would spell "of" as "o'" or "old" as "ol'" - but maybe that's just me.
  • Mu'Drakhan says "with the The Stray as my right hand" in the fight, there's one 'the' too many.

 

This felt like a suitably epic conclusion to the magical arc, and even if I'm not sure about your interpretation of the canon deities and spirits and their relationship, canon itself is so muddled that any interpretation is almost equally valid. Also, just because the Mu wrote something in their magical tomes it doesn't make it true.

 

Check out my stories in the Mission Architect. Just search for "@Take One" or "SFMA". Here are some enticing titles:

  • Praetoria-related: Earth Revolution Red, Earth Revolution Blue
  • Mercenary Action: West Libertalia: Born And Raised, West Libertalia: Global Empire, West Libertalia: Love And Rockets
  • Soldier of Arachnos Arcs: The Tangled Weave, A Taste For Evil, Faultline By Night, Fear And Loathing On Striga, The Warburg Connection,
  • Various: Project Dragon, Evolve Or Die, The Murders in the RWZ Morgue, The Last Crystal Out Of Cimerora

These are just a few, and more to come...

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Thanks for giving this a run and for the feedback! All of your feedback throughout the series has been super helpful, and as you know, even influenced some things.

 

As to Marchand

I struggled quite a bit on who should be the contact. Originally it was going to be the spirit world Vanessa DeVore since she bookends the Carnival of Light's involvement, but then she couldn't hand you the things you needed to compel the gods. Then it was going to be Hellewise since she has all the magic knowledge and knows about traveling dimensions/planes, but she has been a bit out of the picture to step in and take charge. In the end, I thought back to 4.1 and how Marchand is coordinating all of the special ops related to this, so he would have been in charge when Desdemona and Pendragon went missing on their op, and consequently - even though he doesn't know much about magic - he would bring all the resources to together to solve the problem. That's just who he is... It also helps bridge the slight left turn that 4.2 is. So as he is coordinating the ops he reaches out to specialists: Hellewise knows about the magic of the planes, Nadia about charms and compelling gods, and Archivist Jaena of the midnight squad about the history of the gods on Prime, the banished pantheon, and the Mu - it takes a team!

 

Interpretation of the Gods

Way back in 3.1 Hellewise talks about this interpretation of the gods. I'm with you though, its far from perfect - even just the Mu history alone has many different beings / dieties / sources of magic and sea gods seem to be around in different forms with Merulina's history suggesting she's not even a god at all but an alien. But, as you say, just cause the Mu wrote down with their interpretation does not mean its true - and I think its "true enough" for the purposes of this. 🙂

 

As to the fixes and typos - thanks so much! Will get to those fixed post haste.

Try my AE Arcs: Search for @Ankylosaur for the below and more...

  • Dev's Choice:  Police vs. Aliens 2: Nictus Evictus - 50 -54 Rularularian - 41-54 | The Serpent Beyond the Horizon - 46-52  | Robolution - 25-34  |  Adventures in Wonderland - 25-54
  • Post-Praetoria Series:  All That Glitters: Post-Praetoria Tech | All That Glimmers: Post-Praetoria Magic | Arcs levels progress with story from 1 - 54
  • Featured: Spycraft & Spidermen - 40-47 |  The Genesis & Geneticists of The Coming Hamiggedon -  41-54 | Return to Faultline - 45-54
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