Nature Awakens

"The Trio Arrives", by Vamuria

As Lupar gave way to Phaestian, reality dawned on my addled mind as it did for so many of us afflicted by the ailment of narcolepsy. This story was far from complete. In part two of my continuing coverage, we continue to unravel the tragic events surrounding the Wildfather, Lupus. And so once more I set off on the open road, a papyrus scroll and quill my only company as I sought the story of a lifetime.

Narcoleptics continued to fall upon the floor, though what transpired next varied greatly from previous experiences as they felt their bodies physically waking up from an agonising sleep. "It was honestly the most excruciating feeling I've ever felt in my entire life," laments one victim. "I cannot imagine the true depth of pain if mine was but a shadow."

For three months a cascading nimbus of pain had fallen upon their slumbering forms. Blood rushing into limbs, fingers slashing, the sensation of desiccated muscle and withered bone resuming their rightful position. And through it all the underlying and persistent notes of rage and loss. It came to a head as adventurers from all walks of life converged on the slumbering form of Lupus, all eager to witness the reawakening of a God.

With a feral snarl, their wishes were realised. Amber eyes opened for the first time in centuries as a bloodied visage reared back and unleashed an ear-shattering roar to the Heavens. "I was expecting to die that day," claims one onlooker. "But my curiosity got the better of me." Rather than lashing out at those crowding Him, as many expected, He sniffed at the air and disappeared into the depths of His Hunting Grounds.

What transpired next was difficult to witness. For months on end, and with nary a thought, the Wildfather unleashed unbridled fury upon His own. They howled, they fought with tooth and claw but inevitably, they all fell before His might, ripped and torn beyond recognition. Even in death there was no respite, for He simply revived them and continued the slaughter. Before long all they could manage were whimpers of acquiescence as He crushed their skulls against the crimson walls and ripped their spines free.

His bloodlust momentarily satisfied, the Wild God of the Beasts emerged from the Hunting Grounds with nothing but silent carnage in His wake. Forlorn eyes fell upon the Temple of Beauty and the bloodied and enraged God disappeared within. Concurrently, Vinceres Ebonheart and Aelyn Le'Yuet led a contingent of Villagers searching for a solution. Onorol held no answers, and neither did Vixen. Their search eventually led them to the Dryad Queen, Titania. Their plan was simple, a ritual to reach the heart of the Wildfather and let it be known they knew of His pain and were willing to share His burden if He would only let them.

On the third of Daedalan a host of Eleusians accompanied by onlookers converged in the Northreach Forest. The Lupine Vinceres spoke earnestly and with passion as participants spilt blood and emotion at his behest, a tenuous trail of verdant energy drifting towards Lake Orestis. The viridian motes lingered in the air, a frail lifeline of hope and reverence, before being consumed by an amber flash. A snarl rumbled from the bowels of the Temple, and the Wild God of the Beasts emerged. Titania staggered as she sensed His intentions and spurred the Eleusians back to their Village, dismay and pain writ across her features.

As Eleusis huddled around their gatehouse the Wildfather watched. And then He moved. Blood welled in our mouths as we sensed the coming slaughter, and I wept.

It is difficult to encapsulate the despair that drove me to my knees at this moment, but it can only be compared to the joy I felt myself incapable of grasping a moment later.

With a furious eruption, the Dun Valley volcano exploded as emerald aurae rose and coalesced. I stared up in awe as my mind refused to accept what my eyes were seeing.

They had come. Lady Artemis, Goddess of the Cataclysm and Lady Gaia, the Wildwood Queen had come to save us. My eyes and heart welled as Their voices called out to Him, receiving only a terrifying howl in response as He disappeared into Lady Selene's Temple once more. The Huntress moved to look down upon Lake Orestis, the sadness evident in Her expression mirrored in every Eleusian's heart, as the trailing of umber spores marked the Earthmother's glorious descent into the Village.

These most recent events have proven far more difficult to cope with than I ever anticipated, and I feel myself experiencing each sensation anew with every stroke of the quill. Pain, hurt, and loss but also joy, pride, and hope mingling in my chest. My eyes have dried and I find myself staring into an uncertain future. It is a future that I know likely contains both hurt and anguish, but I cannot help but hold out for hope and joy. And isn't that the way with Nature, in the end? The Cycle continues through the lowest valleys and the highest peaks, and we will always carry on, as will Nature.

Summary: Lord Lupus awoke amidst pain and fury, tearing His way through the Lupine Hunting Grounds before locking Himself away in the Temple of Beauty. Eleusis attempted a ritual to share His pain which only served to enrage Him further. Emerging from the Temple and with eyes locked onto the Eleusians, He moved to strike, before being stopped by both Lady Artemis, the Great Wrath and Lady Gaia, the Earthmother. Howling wildly, He withdrew to Selene's Temple once more.

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On Candy, Dreams, and Wolves

"The Hunt Begins", by Vamuria

Avid readers of The Grapevine (available now for purchase) will know that I rarely get out into the field, and I see all manner of reports and editorials. It is rare for something to pique my curiosity to such an extent that I will suffer the danger of the roads, but even I was left in awe over recent events. So I set off to unravel an enigma.

It began with a candy - a Soporific Sweet according to most reports - sold at the highly popular Grim Fayre. Found within a gift bag sold by Chamonille, Madame of the Gift (Chamonille could not be reached for comment), it appeared to be like any other sweet sold around Mayaween. However, it quickly became obvious this was not the case.

Once ingested, the unfortunate sweet seeker was instead gifted with a nefarious ailment: narcolepsy. According to my investigation, the first reported cases were that of Maajida, Meriet, and Tofi followed shortly by Lyndee, Atalkez, Traelor, and Ellenroh. From there it spread like wildfire, either by curious minds or certain shady characters forcing people to consume them.

Reports of what transpired vary, though the single thread connecting each is the effect of this dream-inducing drop: at dusk, everyone who suffers from narcolepsy is drawn into a particularly deep sleep. And so, all around Sapience, languorous adventurers began to fall like flies.

Within the deep embrace of sleep, they were gifted - or cursed - with particularly vivid dreams which almost all agree relate to the Wild God of the Beasts, the Elder God Lupus. As one such dreamer put it, "I do not know [Lord Lupus] well, but the connections seem too clear to be circumstantial."

However, these were not the simple dreams we all experience on a nightly basis. No, these were different. Visions of pain, of rage, of hate, and hurt. "[I felt] heavy-hearted with the knowledge that I was stuck in an endless loop of pain and agony, " says Ellenroh, one of many who experienced these dreams. She also reports that she felt as if "The rage and fury [was] contained but clawing to get out."

Shortly after, the fury did get out as wolves began forming around certain narcoleptics. It began in Targossas, where two packs surrounded Lyndee Faelithar, Dawnlord of Targossas, and Atalkez Al'Jafri. The experience was quite unnerving, as Lyndee recounts it: "It was alarming, really. It was hard to understand what was happening. The sleep was sudden and uncontrolled, the visions I had were unfamiliar. When I came to, I felt as if I had lost control of my body, and I couldn't glean much about what was going on."

The Dawnspear was quick to react and proved more than capable of subduing the enraged wolfpack. But this was not the end of it. With baying howls, they erupted from the forests around more comatose compatriots and proceeded to terrorise the continent. With jaw and claw did they revive the hunt, tearing and ripping at anything and everything around them. Children and men alike ran in terror as they carved a path through the very heart of Sapience, however, some brave adventurers did return the favour. As time went on, the wolves became more and more difficult to quell, their bloodlust seeming to grow with every slash and bite. The crimson rivers flowed for months on end, as every day at dusk it soaked into the soil from adventurers and wolves alike. Unbeknownst to many, however, something was stirring further north.

For over two centuries the Lord of the Hunt had remained in the same shape Lady Selene had left Him, the only sign of His continued existence the perpetual rise and fall of His ravaged chest. Yet as the blood flowed and the hunt began once more, something changed. Sothantos witnessed the changes surrounding Lord Lupus first. As he put it, "The Beast God's fangs were bloodied, and the flowers that were part of Selene's enchantment were observed to be drooping." These changes expanded as the months went on, drawing the attention of Vinceres Ebonheart. One of the few remaining followers of the Elder God, he knelt in prayer and waited.

Days passed as adventurers from all walks of life tried varying methods to awaken the slumbering Deity. Eleusis led hunts, others performed rituals, and certain foolhardy rogues even poked Him with a spear. The attempts continued in vain, with nothing seeming to work nor encourage the Lord of the Hunt, until something shifted.

With a cry of pain and glazed eyes did the Lupine Vinceres tumble to the ground, a vision of anger, pain, and the desire to escape paramount in his mind. As he came to, his gaze shifted towards his Master as a miracle unfolded before his eyes.

A single digit, innocuous to most, twitched for the first time in over two centuries as the Lord's chest rumbled in unease.

The Hunt could soon be alive in the world once more, though this humble reporter cannot help but ask the question on everyone's mind, "Who shall become the prey?"

Summary: After consuming Soporific Sweets from the Grim Fayre, adventurers became afflicted by narcolepsy. At dusk, they would fall into a deep sleep and experience very strange visions. Wolves began to form around those affected, which grew stronger with each passing month. As Mayaween came to a close, the prone form of Lupus twitched a single finger, the first movement witnessed since He had fallen against Bal'met.

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November in Achaea!

Welcome to November!

Mayaween celebrations draw to a close but there is plenty more to come for the last two months of the year, and that's before we even get into Logosmas!

For every 100 credits purchased throughout November, you will receive a Mayan crown to spend in the Shop of Wonders.

In addition to that, the Artifact Cart returns by popular request, with a 30% discount on all artefacts, that's 40% off if you have Iron Elite!

On top of the standard discount, we will also be discounting selected artefact categories throughout the month:

From the 1st through 7th November the Offensive, Miscellaneous, and Crafting categories will be further reduced!

From 8th through 22nd November all class related artefacts will be further reduced!


From 23rd through 30th November the Defensive and Statistic categories will be further reduced!

Keep your eyes peeled for other developments during 2020's penultimate month: we're excited and you should be too!

Find the Artifact Cart along with credits and no-brainer packages at www.achaea.com/credits!

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Become an Immortal!

Do you ever wish you could help shape Achaea?

Do you secretly desire to take on more of a "dungeonmaster" role, designing elaborate plots and scenarios to challenge and amaze (and occasionally slaughter) adventurers?

Do you like the idea of building devious quests, creating horrifying monsters, and shaping interactive landscapes?

If you answer "YES!" to any of the above, this is your chance!

We're currently accepting applications for Celani.

We're seeking excited volunteers who are interested in roleplay both grand and small, storyline conception, event creation, and/or background development.

To be a great Celani you need to be self-motivated, enthusiastic, enjoy being creative, excited to embrace a challenge, and not be afraid of interacting with other players. Ultimately, as this is a community volunteer position, what you do and when is up to you, but being able to follow through on the plans you make is very appreciated.

Successful applicants will undergo our most basic Celani training, after which they will be able to decide what direction to take with their training in order to become an exciting and productive member of the Garden team!

In order to apply, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must be 18 years or older IRL. Sorry, minors!
  • You must have, at absolute minimum, at least 500 hours of playing time.
  • Have read HELP CELANI in full.

Now, here's what you must include in your application, in a plain-text, non-formatted email to celani@achaea.com:

  1. Your real name.
  2. Your real age.
  3. If you are primarily a student, tell us your school and your course of study. Otherwise: your real occupation and your company's name.
  4. Your character(s) in Achaea and what you have accomplished through those characters, especially any leadership positions you have held or other noteworthy achievements.
  5. Why you think we should make you a Celani (keeping in mind that Celanihood normally precedes Godhood, so also why you think you should have the chance to be a God.)
  6. Why you want to do this, knowing that you will have to completely cut off ties with other (mortal) players and leave behind all that you accomplished as a mortal player.

The above point is perhaps the most important of all when considering becoming Celani. Potential applicants should seriously consider their ability to detach from existing social networks and establish new ones in a different environment.

  1. Two flawless room descriptions of 80+ words each. You MUST READ the section on room descriptions at the bottom of the HELP MORTAL BUILDERS file, and the HELP STYLE file and follow the writing guidelines therein. DO NOT SKIP THIS. The MAJORITY of applications we've received in the past have ignored some part of the explicitly stated writing guidelines. What this tells us is that you lack attention to detail and the ability to follow given instructions, and neither of these traits make good Celani candidates!
  2. A brief outline for an interesting and original IC event, totalling 100 - 200 words. This should be of the scale that you see in our regular EVENTS news posts.
  3. Any special experience outside of Achaea that you think might help you in Celanihood, such as customer service background or writing experience.

Strong writing skills are a must, as is the ability to work within an often demanding and perfectionist team environment. Other traits that will help you: consistency, creativity, improvisational skills, storytelling ability, maturity, attention to detail, dependability, and above all, a love of Achaea and the world we co-create here.

Your application MUST be received by 23:59 GMT on Sunday October 18th (see UPCOMING in-game).

If you have questions about the Celani process or Godhood in general, feel free to ask them in our Q&A thread.

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October in Achaea!

It's October already!

Birthday month is behind us, but we're not slowing down at all with plenty of excitement to come. Mayaween, Logosmas, and a great deal more things are on the horizon!

See UPCOMING for some teasers!

And so, as we say goodbye to globes of shifting continents, we welcome back the Wheel of Fortune to New Thera!

Completing an adventure worth 50 or more renown earns you a free spin each day and premium tokens can be obtained via the Achaea website at www.achaea.com/credits!

Free spins have a chance to reward you with a magnificent pumpkin (which may or may not be carved), which can be smashed for various prizes!

Those who win or buy prismatic tokens can SPIN WHEEL WITH TOKEN for a chance at the following:

Credit prizes starting at 33
Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum giftboxes
Artefact Vials
Customisation credits
Phials of shimmering ink
Legend Deck Sleeves that unwrap for any set
Talisman caches that open for Elemental and Races sets. These caches can be traded in for 30cr
300 lessons (You won't win lessons if you have over 2500 lessons or 5 classes.)
Collections cache that opens for any collection. These caches can be traded in for 30cr
Artefact Upgrade Credits
Mayan Crowns

In addition to the prizes above you may also win bonuses of racetrack tickets for the humgii races, and shining teardrops to use in the FAESHOP.

As a reminder, the Wheel of Fortune no longer makes you wait for other people to be done spinning before you can spin!

Also keep your eyes peeled for the Wheel's grand prize, 500 bound credits on top of normal prizes for whoever claims that with a Token spin!

Prismatic tokens CAN be traded!

HELP WHEEL OF FORTUNE is up to date!

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Mysterious Happenings in Ashtan

Wandering through the streets of Ashtan in the year 833 AF, it was Paine Saer'rac that first alerted the city about a strange, bloody handprint. He had not been the first to find it, no, but he had been the first to notice how out of place it was, even in a city as rife with strange happenings as Ashtan. An investigation by several citizens found identical markings scattered throughout the streets of the Seat of Chaos, but no one knew where they came from or when they appeared, much less their purpose and meaning.

The months passed by, and many forgot about the handprints either partly or entirely. It was nearly a year later when equally mysterious posters started appearing. Titled 'APOCALYPSE', they all related an equally cryptic message about usurpers and rightful heirs. Though the citizens were quick to link these to the bloody marks, they came no closer to solving the greater mystery - or even knowing the right questions to ask.

Strange occurrences continued for years. Autino, a vagabond, was very audibly enlightened as if by an occultist, silenced by a fate that some would call worse than death. Poorer citizens began to disappear, and no one knew why. Worse, questioning witnesses only led to their bloody kidnapping, leaving the remaining citizens too terrified to speak.

It wasn't until an unassuming thief by the name of Elyon Wineapple made a fortuitous discovery that any progress was made. He had heard of mysterious robed figures being spotted at every kidnapping case prior, and he met just such a creature on one of his walks through the city. Diplomacy quickly fell through, and the serpent stood over a corpse. It carried a letter from its superior that hinted, vaguely, at their ultimate goals, and Ashtan knew immediately they needed to be stopped.

Imyrr Rousseau, Orklanishkal Eruu'Yul, and Parthenope Corder knew what to do next. Through methods that will not be divulged here, their combined acumen found the lair of these mysterious kidnappers, and yet this breakthrough led them only to a new frustration: a massive iron door, too heavily fortified and warded to be broken through.

Next came the turn of the Esoteric Consortium, who used their shadowy contacts to find a man named Decker, the Unchanter. Rumoured to be able to break any lock, Paine led the negotiations by correspondence to secure his help.

Finally, on Sarapin of the year 840, the day came where Ashtan gathered en masse, following Decker into the lair of the bloody kidnappers. Though interrupted by overzealous Targossians several times, they managed to push through, finally confronting the leader of this mysterious group: a man named Wattley Castaigne. Little is known about him, but all those who sensed the ensuing battle easily discerned that he held a great power over the magics of Chaos, decimating entire armies in seconds.

And yet, through perseverance and the brilliant leadership of Penwize Baker, it was Ashtan that prevailed. Tragically, Decker didn't survive the excursion, and so the world lost two of its greatest magical practitioners in the same month. Though their realms of expertise were nothing alike, they both possessed an air of great mystery, and much about them remains an enigma even now.

Summary:

A series of mysterious happenings and kidnappings led Ashtan to confront a man named Wattley Castaigne. Though he wielded devastating Chaos powers, he was ultimately defeated by the Seat of Chaos.

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