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Story Time - Dec 2013

Mar 10, 2012
King Artorius i just want to let you know, you are one of my favorites spells to summon. Keep up the epicness.

Jan 31, 2010
King Artorius on Dec 17, 2013 wrote:
1. To scare the bejeezus out of you! Clearly, Morganthe needed him for something terribly important to her cause.

2. Morganthe was born in Avalon, and then traveled with Merle Ambrose to Wizard City. After she left Ravenwood (under the blackest of clouds), she eventually made it to Zafaria.

3. It will be as long as it needs to be.
Yes, thank you for clarifying that. I knew the order of the worlds that were most important to her.

Avalon: Born and Raised in Dun Dara, Avalon and was taught some magic from Ambrose. Also committed a few evil acts here such as pushing Malory to kill Artorius in battle, giving Artorius the Horned Crown transforming him into the evil Pendragon.

Wizard City: She continued her magical education as the 1st student of the Ravenwood School of Magical Arts (and I use it's full and formal name since it is the name of the school itself) and was expelled after causing some sort of disaster

Zafaria: She once ruled here for many years until Merle Ambrose and The Council of Light drove her from power, and buried her deck/ Heart of Darkness under Mirror Lake (which we fail to stop Morganthe from regaining). Also came to fulfill the first line of her great prophecy: "The Mirror will break..."- Refers to Mirror Lake "breaking" so she can recover her deck.

Celestia: Laid siege to this world when the Celestians refused her the power of Astral Magic, and was believed to have disappeared along with the world when the Celestians summoned the Storm Titan to sink their cities beneath the waves, trapping them and Morganthe's Army with them in the process.

Azteca: Came here to get one of the direct sources of the Song of Creation, the 9 Lords of Night who listened in awe as Bartleby sang the Song of Creation and put the Titans to sleep. Also came to fulfill 2 lines of her great prophecy: "... The Horn will call.... And the Skies will fall!"- Refers to Huracan Vicious Sky opening the portal to Xibalba aka The Place of Fear; and Xibalba striking Azteca finishing it off once and for all.

Khrysalis: Laid siege to the main area of this world which is known as Bastion, for 100 years before casting a spell that turned all inhabitants to crystal thus allowing Morganthe to take over and convert this world into her base of operations. Also learned the oldest and most dangerous magic known in the spiral to date: Shadow Magic, forbidden by Bartleby and Grandmother Raven due to it's tapping into the very essence of the spiral itself.

Jan 31, 2010
King Artorius on Dec 18, 2013 wrote:
King Artorius is the great bear king of Avalon.
Huh. He looked more like a lion to me, but your the expert!

Also, are the Immortals of Aquila some sort of hybrid animal? They seem to have lion's tails, human body and a bird's wings and head. The only one I know of who does not apply is Athena Battlesight.

Apr 21, 2012
Alright, I have 2 (right now)

1) will there be some new, powerful, rank 11 spells for Khrysalis part 2?

2) I'm sure you are aware of Morganthe's prophecy, 'The mirror will break, the horn will call, from the shadows I strike, and the skies will fall.' Well, I'm familiar with most of those lines except one, What does 'from the shadows I strike' mean? Did I miss something, or is it something about Khrysalis you can't reveal yet?

If these questions seem like spoilers you only have to say so, or type so.

Oct 23, 2011
1. What was the first school of magic Merle learned and who taught him magic?
2. Will the Pigswick Academy return later in the storyline?
3. Are any of the other Professors married like Malistaire was and if so, will they appear in the future?
4. Will you return in the storyline?
5. A personal question (breaking the fourth wall): What inspired you to work for Kingsisle?
6. Will any of the Professors play a significant role (besides Professor Greyrose, who is in the Council of Light) in the future storyline?
7. Will people ever acknowledge us saving the world?

Sep 30, 2009

Question one, have you guys planed out at least a rough storyline for the third and maybe forth arc?

2. If so do you also have planned side content to come out at certain times?

Sep 30, 2009
something I forgot to mention in my last post, is khrysalis part 2 still planed for early 2014?

Malorn AshThorn446 on Dec 17, 2013 wrote:
Thanks for starting this King Artorius! I have a couple questions regarding a couple of things...

1. In terms of Malistare the Undying, how did he even end up with Morganthe? Did Morganthe make her way to Dragonspyre in search of Malistare? If so, how did she end up getting through all those barriers we faced while in Dragonspyre, such as: Getting into DS Academy, Getting up to the entrance to where we faced down Malistare, etc.

2. Am I right in saying that Azteca is mainly based off of the 3 Central/South American tribes known as the Aztec, Inca and Maya? Because I'm fairly certain I saw many references to them while working my way through Azteca, such as Xibalba aka The Place of Fear (Otherwise known as the Mayan Underworld)

3. Will we ever get to see Ravenwood complete with the Death School back in it's rightful place?

4. Will we ever get to go back in time and see Dragonspyre and Celestia as they were? I would love to explore a Dragonspyre that is not apocalyptic and filled with lava and ghosts.

5. With Part 2 for Khrysalis, when do you expect to release it for testing? I've been ready for part 2 for a while.
1. Morganthe worked very hard to locate his sarcophagus. I don't think we've ever stated exacted where Malistaire was buried, but his sarcophagus was definitely of Dragonspyrian design. How did she get it? You don't think she works as hard as you to get what she wants?

2. Those were our main, but not only, references and influences.

3. Maybe, maybe not.

4. Maybe, maybe not.

5. Sorry, I can't answer scheduling questions.

Slickriptide on Dec 17, 2013 wrote:
Thanks, Artorius, for taking the time both to solicit questions and to answer them. Answers to burning lore questions are always welcome. :)

Sadly, in all of these years I only just finished Dragonspyre so I don't really know what's what with the later worlds, heh.

1) Do you have plans for another "side world" along the lines of Wysteria and Grizzleheim?

2) Will we ever have a reason to visit Wysteria again? Grizzleheim and Crab Alley each can be said to have two separate "stages" nowadays. Is Wysteria in line to get some fresh content?

3) Are there any crossovers planned? Will Boochbeard and Mr. Gandry ever visit Ravenwood? Will Ravenwood students ever visit the windlanes? I should think that Headmaster Ambrose would be quite curious about "hoodoo".

4) Who sets your daily quota for "easter eggs"? ;-) When, for instance, the "African Queen" is prominently featured in the game, is that the result of one designer's sense of humor/aesthetic or is that a team decision?
I can't comment on future plans right now. But I will say we really enjoyed making Wysteria, Grizzleheim, and Aquila.

There are small references to our sister-game in Azteca and Khrysalis (and a big one in Aquila), and likewise Pirate likes to occasionally plunder our characters, monsters, and worlds.

We have an Easter Egg Czar on staff, and she insists on 24.3/5 Easter Eggs every week.

However, something like the Zafrian Queen may come from me. Though I think our Art Lead suggested it. But as we fleshed it out, the idea of a "modern" Humphrey Boggart being played by Harrison Ford led to ways to combine "Han" into Hannibal (which plays on Hannibal of Carthage - which led to a brother named Mago), having a furry partner named Sobaka, an antagonistic relationship with the shifty Belloq, and so forth.

It's primarily driven by the writer, but any good writer is open to the best ideas from the team he or she is working with.

Cunning Finnigan S... on Dec 17, 2013 wrote:
Hi, King Artorius! Nice to meet you! I love that you've set up your own thread to answer questions like Blind Mew (now I have 2 writers to pesker with questions hehe ::evil grin::)

Anyway, I do have some questions to ask you:

1.) Is King Artorius a bear or a lion? Because I'm positive he's a bear, but people call him a lion for whatever reasons.

2.) Back in Zafaria, there was mention of a time called the 'Year of the Red Comet' in the Scrolls of Light. Could you please elaberate on this? What is the 'Year of the Red Comet' and it's significance?

3.) We went to Avalon to claim the Sword of Kings (and learn some much needed backstories on Merle and Morganthe). It was said this was the only weapon strong enough to stop Morganthe. However, the story seems to have dropped it off in Azteca (which in my opinion may have been a perfect time to put it to use). Now in Khrysalis, King Artorius says it's bonded to our spirit. So is the Sword of Kings still central or important to the story now or will it have no effect on Morganthe.

4.) When Celestia was released, was Zafaria, Avalon, Azteca and Khrysalis already mapped out for the 2nd Arc or did they appear as the story came about?

5.) Can you tell us what Khrysalis major inspiration came from? I can get most world's themes/analogues down in a nanosecond but Khrysalis' theme is driving me nuts. From the geography and the meaning of Kermes and Tyrian, I'd say mideavel Mediteranean, but the Deer Mouses clothing and the architecture of Bastion don't match with any Mediteranean architectures I've seen. Can you help me decipher it's theme?

6.) Will we ever get back into the gobbler story from Wizard City? Like, will be ever get to see Gobblerton and dispel the witch problem there someday? I really liked that story arc.

7.) Will we learn more about our professors? I know a little about all them, except Professor Falmea. It seems she's left any detail on her past a secret.

8.) So no more Mally ever after Azteca?
2. A red comet was seen in the skies over Zafaria -- it was seen as a bad omen, and that proved to be true because that was during the time Morganthe rose to rule over an empire in Zafaria. Of course, it could be coincidence, but in the the world of the Spiral signs and portents often have great meaning.

3. Honestly, this is a blend of Story and Design. However, the Designers love to tailor the game to support Story, and I enjoy the challenge of writing Story to support Design. And if you had managed to corner Morganthe in Azteca, even with the Sword of Kings, she would probably have been too powerful, with her knowledge of Shadow magic and various other chicaneries.

4. We have a lot of rough outlines for future stories. Sometimes we stick to them like glue, and other times they get heavily transformed (Cool Ranch, for example, started out as a Wizard world, far before Pirate!).

5. Khrysalis is more based on "weird / wild fantasy" -- it is more rooted in the fantasy and SF of the 60s and 70s and even 80s, but we wanted the world to be stranger and more alien (and thus less easily identifiable). The Burrowers - your allies - are far more familiar (they have strong roots in medieval fantasy) than the weird arachna. With all the freedom of the Spiral, it's good to go a little crazy once in awhile.

6. Perhaps.

7. Certainly. And yet she posts letters to the community all the time. :)

8. "That would be telling."

Dr Von on Dec 18, 2013 wrote:
I have just 2 questions for you, King A:


I've always been a huge fan of Malistaire. Who is responsible for that first arc, for that brilliant, beautiful mess of a character? To whom do I owe my eternal writerly adoration, infinite hugs, and fan-girl rage?


I would love to write and/or do voice-acting for video games like this one. But most game companies are in the US. Are there any opportunities for non-Americans to get into the biz (other than moving to the States, since I like my free healthcare and stuff)?


Laura "Dr. Von Awesomestein" Shadowsong
word wizard, caped crusader for literary justice
1. Honestly, to several people, but the person who brought it all together so beautifully was Alhazred.

2. It depends where you live, of course. If you are in Canada (where I'm from), Montreal (especially) and Vancouver are very good for game development. Toronto (where I was for 10 years) is getting better, but still far behind sadly (though the indie movement is pretty great there).

If you live in Europe, I have less direct knowledge, but the UK has a fair bit of game development, as do other countries. Not to mention all the game dev in Asia. We (and other companies, of course) *occasionally* use talent from abroad, and if you manage to crack the code into game writing you can sometimes score remote gigs, where it doesn't matter where you live. However, you often need to "pay your dues" by living where the company is and going into the office day to day. I have worked freelance stints, which were a lot of fun, but other companies (such as KI) require so many day to day quick meetings and decisions that it would be very hard to do without a strong connection to the team.

Does that help?

Alric Ravensinger on Dec 18, 2013 wrote:
I can answer your first question. Morganthe raises Malistaire from the dead in Azteca...if you remember from questing in Azteca there was a sarcophagus broken, I believe it MIGHT of been in Three Points but it certainly was more or less at the beginning of Azteca that her mysterious Dark Servant joins her, who turns out to be Malistaire. I think a more fitting question would be why was Malistaire buried in Azteca and not in Dragonspyre with Sylvia? Who I wonder as well why was she buried in Dragonspyre? Instead of somewhere like Ravenwood?
Malistaire was not buried in Azteca. Morganthe dragged the sarcophagus with her to the Pyramid of the Black Sun, and specifically the Black Sun Chamber, in Three Points.

crunkatog on Dec 18, 2013 wrote:
Greetings Your Majesty!

1. The other day I was heading to Crustacean Empire to help a friend with Achaelos. I noticed there are actually TWO airlocks behind the Spheres docking bay, one to the left, and one to the right. The right one leads to Crustacean Empire, of course, but the left one appears to be out of order. Where would it lead to, if someone were to say, fix it?

2. My ice has just started Krokotopia, and he was running up and down the steps inside the Pyramid of the Sun, on various errands, when he noticed there are additional sealed doorways, chambers, and broken steps inside the central atrium of the Pyramid. For instance, if you go down the stairs clockwise past the Chamber of Fire, there's a rubble-choked passageway with a scarab hidden in front of it. Now, if you turn around and look down, way down, several stories below the landing that leads to the Palace of Fire, is another sealed door! And if you stand next to the Professor on the main floor, and look up and to the left, you can see some more broken stairs and a sealed door way high up!

If my ice were to borrow the Tall Ladder from the excavation in the Chamber of Fire and climb up (or down) to these mystery chambers, what might he find? Supposing Sgt Major Talbot authorizes a crew to reconstruct the stairs leading up and down to the various stories in the pyramid. Would level 100+ wizards find themselves entering a new instance featuring all new Krokotopian themed challenges and rewards? Perhaps a trip to Krokopotamia and the Ziggurat of the Sun?
While those are excellent questions and reveal a keen eye, I really can't speculate on what you might find behind the various sealed doors and seemingly inaccessible places that are scattered far and wide in the Spiral.

But those are keen ideas!

Malorn AshThorn446 on Dec 19, 2013 wrote:
Huh. He looked more like a lion to me, but your the expert!

Also, are the Immortals of Aquila some sort of hybrid animal? They seem to have lion's tails, human body and a bird's wings and head. The only one I know of who does not apply is Athena Battlesight.
Yes, they are all hybrids -- a type of humanoid gryphon.

Athena Battlesight is part owl, and part white lion (look at her paws, and her tail).

Nathaniel OgreBlad... on Dec 19, 2013 wrote:
1. What was the first school of magic Merle learned and who taught him magic?
2. Will the Pigswick Academy return later in the storyline?
3. Are any of the other Professors married like Malistaire was and if so, will they appear in the future?
4. Will you return in the storyline?
5. A personal question (breaking the fourth wall): What inspired you to work for Kingsisle?
6. Will any of the Professors play a significant role (besides Professor Greyrose, who is in the Council of Light) in the future storyline?
7. Will people ever acknowledge us saving the world?
Great questions. I'm afraid I can't answer a lot of them right now.

However, the one I can:

5. I happened to be good friends with Alharzed and Todd Coleman for many years (going back to the Amber DRPG and the terrific gamer community that sprung up around that game). I had been working in pen&paper games for a long time, and then for video games, and specifically for kids' games (Webkinz & Tail Towns, up in Canada). I was looking for a change (and had a played a LOT of Wizard during beta), and they were looking to add to the team.

Austin and KI provided exactly the change that I needed.

And with that, I'm going to close this particular story thread for 2013 and wish you all a Merry Christmas (and belated Happy Hanukkah) and Happy New Year. I still have lots of work to do at this office, but I won't have much time to look at the boards until after the New Year.

At that time, maybe we can do this again!

"King Artorius"