Thing I’ve Learned From… Dark Souls II

New Things Are Scary

In the Forest of Giants the game plays with your expectations. You are fighting infantry men, short zombie like guys who pose a threat in a group but not much one on one. Then at the end of a long corridor you see something new. It’s thin and tall and look like it has a large sword. Immediately you start thinking about what this new thing will do. It’s tall and skinny – probably fast. Terrified I used up my throwing knives and barely survived the fight. Ten minutes later I’m slashing identical enemies apart with no thought. The initial moment of something new made it scary. It felt pretty badass later being able to ignore that threat.

Combination of Circumstances

Difficulty in Dark Souls is infamously high. But in some places its surprising how little it increases – instead it combines. In the dark cavern of a pirate den you face two main enemies. A weak infantry man who you’ve seen before. They flail around and sometimes shoot arrows – in this zone the arrows are on fire. The second is a bandit, bigger and quicker than the infantry. When far away they throw bottles of oil. Neither enemy is too hard. But when you’ve been splashed with oil and catch a fire arrow, you suddenly lose all of your health. Difficulty then is increased not because of a harder enemy but because of a combination of factors.

Let Players be Clever, but Make it Cost

Dark Souls is difficult, but it also lets you remove that challenge in many ways. In the pirate den there are blind creatures that flee light. Using a high cost item you can light a huge lantern that will make the creatures run, removing them from your path. Otherwise you have to conserve your torch fuel and scare them off by hand. Either way you can manage to scare off some of the most dangerous monsters in the area. But it costs. Dark Souls is always about choices, use up an important item here, or keep it for later. You can be clever, but you’ll have to use your resources to do it.

 

The Ancient Language: 6

The Rebellion of Avunravel

—-

Once corrupted Avunravel began teaching his powers to others and so like the Uvomelu are corrupted Somele, so he voluvomata da, corrupted them. Those who survived became known as vunbel. Vunbele live peacefully enough now amongst humans. But many Bele fear their magic. Having lived amongst vunbele myself I find they are more paranoid about magic than we are.

The Song of the Fall tells of Avunravel leading his new peoples against the Kings. He led humans to rebel against the Old Kingdom and the Somele. The Song states that these humans did so despite what Serpent taught:

Those who die heroically will return in the End Times at the same time as the First Beat returns to fight the Echo.

Chulatol varomadol da cha remele da samamadol vel U-aras, Asom da samamadol lab velomadol nul Usom vol de dadorol ras.

Ignoring such advice Avunravel attacked. He practiced necromancy, choosing the worst crime, seizing the souls of the dead from the stars themselves and forever keeping them from helping Asom. No greater evil could be imagined.

The Necromancer led his forces against the Old Kingdom in hunger. Many then proved themselves hero. (Suggesting they died.) The Serpent led the heroes into battle and together falling they drove the Necromancer away. But the Necromancer had already tainted his side, those so cursed became elves.

Avunravel ebromada da dul velol se nel Muner Derobel vul relrar. Osomedas da somedas da remele. Saladaromel eboromadol da nele remele ro velom anvaromedas doromedas da nul Avunravel osa. Lad Avunravel voluvomada da at dul velol, chulu somedas da at vunbelu.

Vocabulary

Voluvom

Verb

To corrupt

Vunbel

Noun

Corrupted Human/Elf

Varom

Verb

To Die

Remel

Noun/Adj.

Hero/Heroically

Samam

Verb

To come

U-aras

Noun

End Times

Ras

Noun

Time

Velom

Verb

To Fight

Eborom

Verb

To Lead

Velol

Noun

Army

Relrar

Noun

Hunger

Osom

Verb

To Prove

Saladaromel

Proper Noun

The Serpent

Dorom

Verb

To move

Grammar

Relative Clauses are denoted by the particle chul modified by the conjugation agreeing with the relative verb.

To indicate purpose the particle Lab is used.

Verbs are all conjugated to denote whether the action is honorable – and thus deserving of praise and eventual ascension into the stars, or a normal action. Unlike nouns there is no case for evil actions. As they say inaction can be as bad as doing harm.

Honorable/Normal

Singular

Plural

1st (I/We)

-am/-a

-amos/-as

2nd (You/You all)

-ero/-esa

-eros/-esas

3rd (He/she/it/They)

-adol/-ada

/-edas

There is no plural honorable 3rd person conjugation. Typically heroic actions are described with each hero being described separately or simply use the non heroic form.

The Ancient Language: 4

Chapter II: Legends of the World’s Creation

Verbs & Adverbs

The stories and creation of the world are long lost. Many in Remas Boral have their theories but most legends relate to the Old Kingdom and not much older.

However some “wizards/scholars” have delved deep into the records of the world and examined the old ruins of the Old Kingdom for their inscriptions and carvings.

The wizards of Remas Boral think the world didn’t exist at some point. Eventually the beat came. We call this Asom. One saying said by many is:

The beat comes before the echo.

Asom somadol da nul Usom

Colloquially people use this to indicate that causes come before effects, but wizards have guessed that the beat was what created the world. Magic often relies on, (word for rhythm), rhythm and those who have strayed use, (word for discord), discord.

In contrast the inhabitants of the Southern Islands tell a longer story about a drum beater who leads the rowers in their pace. Her creator the Sea loved her, but when she hit her drum it created an echo and the Sea thought the echo was weak and beautiful and the Sea used all its power to protect it.

Regardless it is established through the Teachings of the Serpent that all Wizards agree on that Asom created the Somele and the Somele seeing the beauty in the world created gardens, what we today call Sel.

As beautiful as the first garden.

Somada elalaron dadorol re Asel.

Vocabulary

Asom

Noun

The First Beat

Som

Verb

To Exist

Dadorol

Adj.

Similar

Elalaron

Adj.

Beautiful

Grammar

Verbs are relatively simple to learn in the Ancient Language. There is no tense or aspect, instead these are conveyed with particles. Conjugations will be described in the next section.

Particles:

Now

Da

Continuing

Cha

Finished

Ad

The fricative sound “ch” exists very rarely in the Ancient Language outside of verb tenses.

The tense and aspect are give thus:

Present

Verb

Soma

I am

Future

Now

Verb

Da soma

I will be

Past

Verb

Now

Soma da

I was

Continuous

Verb

Now

Continuing

Soma da cha

I continue to be

Finite

Verb

No

Finished

Som da at

I have been

The Ancient Language: 5

Fragments of the Song of the Fall of the Old Kingdom:

—-

Humans eventually emerged in the world and were taught by the Somele and learned language and how to be heroes. The Old Kingdom rose led by the best of men. The Song of the Fall of the Old Kingdom is one of the few pieces of their history.

The people of Remas Boral and all of the world believe that the Asom calls those who die heroically to be stars and when Asom finally turns to face Usom those stars will be allowed to fight at her side. The song teaches this lesson as well as the origin of the one we to this day call the Avunravel, the First Necromancer.

The Song only remains in fragments. Modern wizards and singers have attempted to restore the piece but here I will only recount the original fragments in the order wizards agree they probably were sung.

The first fragment introduces the temptations humanity faced even as Serpent and the Somele taught us language and to be heroes.

But the echo never rested, devoted to its jealousy it sent the Uvomelu to meet the humans in caves or in the dark of night. The Somele only taught language, the Uvomel taught power. The human known now as the Necromancer chose power.

Lad Usom usumomada, malnaler re dul modverol, Usom lorosomada da nulu Uvomelu re varomerdas nolo belo va vulu rasolulu ob vulu erunu erobu. Somele sol erabameras da nel asomeler. Uvomelu erabameras da nul rovul. Bel melemada vunravel somada Avunravel roluromara da nul rovul.

Vocabulary

Lad

Adverb

However

Su

exclamation

Yes

Una

exclamation

No

Sumom

Verb

To rest

Malnaler

Adj.

Certain/Sure

Modverol

Noun

Jealousy

Lorosom

verb

To send

Varom

verb

To meet

Bel

Noun

Human

Rasolul

Noun

Cave

Erun

Adj.

Dark

Erob

Noun

Night

Sol

Adj./Adverb/Noun

Alone/Only/One

Erabam

Verb

To Teach

Asomeler

Noun

Language

Rovul

Noun

Power

Melem

Verb

To know

Vunravel

Noun

Necromancer

Rolurom

Verb

To choose

Grammar

Negation of a verb: When something is “not” doing an action the verb is modified with a u- at the beginning of the verb.

To express two things together you can add the prefix An- to the beginning of the noun. To indicate one thing or another you use the particle ob between the two things.

The Ancient Language: 3

Derobelo Nol Remas Boral – Kingdoms of the Great Valley

—-

The first kingdom in the Remas Boral was the ancient kingdom of men before the War of the Necromancer. This was the Old Kingdom, Muner Derobel. They built many structures in the valley. Crossing the Dusom Cha Baral is a massive bridge, carved to look like to kings crossing arms. Their identity is long lost. Today it called Dele Tabele Sarasanol, Brother’s Bridge.

To the south is the Somubel Dele Rubele Lodore, so called because of two massive stone hands jutting from the Earth. The western kingdom holds their foremost port there within the ruins of the ancient buildings.


On the eastern side of the Dusom Cha Baral is the kingdom of Somalurala, named after its capitol Somubel Nala Solurala, the City on Cliffs. It is built upon the lowest step of the Ramele Badarele.

The king of Derobel Somalurala is Robel Borel and my brother. Our glorious ancestor is Nuremel Borel, the great warrior who held the cliffs as the survivors of Muner Derobel fled to safety in the Ramele Badarele.

On the western side is the Derobel Dolo Ruberemas, The Kingdom of Glorious Ruins. It’s capital city is built upon one of the great rocks left by the rampaging ice wall. As a city built upon a stone it is called El Lunvelor, the Stone Fortress.

Now I will continue with legends and sayings of the two Kingdoms.

Vocabulary

Derobel

Noun

Kingdom

Muner

Adj.

Old (Historical)

El

Noun

Stone

Lunvelor

Noun

Fortress/Castle

Somubel

Noun

City

Tabele

Noun

Brother

Sarasanol

Noun

Bridge

Rubel

Noun/Adj.

Ruin/Ruined

Lodor

Noun

Hand

Robel

Noun

King

Nuremel

Noun

Human Hero

Grammar

There are also prepositions that can be used. These are not modified but precede the noun they relate to.

Up to

So

Over

Sa

Down to

Bo

Under

Ra

From

Me

On top of

Na

Toward/to

Re

Out of

Le

Into

Ro

Inside

Va

At/Beside

De

Against

Se

Away

Osa

The particle Re is often used in comparisons as well.

 

The Ancient Language: 2

Remas Boral – Great Valley

—-

In the ancient tongue of the Somel the Great Valley is called Remas Boral. It exists between two mountain ranges, once the Range of Sel: Badarele Dele Sele, carved in two in ancient times.

The destruction of Badarele Dele Sele occurred long before the Old Kingdom rose in the Valley. In those days the people of the valley claim a great battle happened between Somel and Uvomel. A giant wall of ice struck the Daraele Dele Sele and carved out two new ranges, much smaller than before.

These two ranges are, Badarele Dala Solurala, the Range of Cliffs, and Ramele Badarele, the Eastern Ranges. North of the two ranges are the remains of Badarele Dele Sele, now known as Badarel Del Somel.

From the peaks of the two Badarele are steps formed from the advances and retreats of the wall of ice. As the ice finally retreated into Badarele Del Somel the melting ice still flowed into the sea. Its original name has been lost but the current kingdoms of Remas Boral call it the River Thirst: Nelraralsan.

So long has Nelraralsan flown down from the hard stone of Badarele Del Somel that it has carved a great crevasse down the middle of Remas Boral. This Crevasse is named Dusom Cha Baral, the Echoing Crevasse, after the roar of the river falling into it. Many of the wise claim that the voice of Asom can be heard from the surface of the river.

Nelraralsan falls over tall cliffs and its spray creates rainbows and so the cliff is called Solural Dala Sularusa.

Vocabulary

Somel

Noun

Stone Dwellers

Uvomel

Noun

Corrupted Stone Dweller

Boral

Noun

Valley

Usom

Proper Noun

The Echo

Ramel

Noun

East

Alasan/Ralsan

Noun

River

Badarele

Noun

Range

Badarel

Noun

Mountain

Nelrar

Noun/Adjective

Thirst

Baral

Noun

Crevasse

Dusom

Verb

To Echo

Solural

Noun

Cliff

Sularus

Noun

Rainbow

Grammar

Nelraralsan is constructed from Nelrar and Ralsan, the old word for the rivers of the world. Rivers named more recently are instead called Alasan. Since the fall of the of the Old Kingdom there are several words with older forms that are used for certain places or titles but not elsewhere.

The Ancient Language: 1

Chapter I: Locations in Remas Boral

Nouns and adjectives

Remas Asel – Great First Garden of the Stone-Dwellers

—-

The disc of the world. In the north is the Great Valley and in the South are the Southern Islands. Beyond the borders of the human realm are other lands uncharted by our people.

The Southern Islands are separated from the Great Valley by the Sea of Light, called Seralsan Dal Ularus. The sea crosses the entire disc and above it hovers the sun that lights the world.

Vocabulary

Remas

Adj.

Great

Asel

Noun

First Garden of the Stone Dwellers

Sel

Noun

Garden of the Stone Dwellers

Seralsan

Noun

Sea

Ularus

Noun

Light

Grammar

Nouns in the Ancient Language have gender and cases denoted by particles. There is no nominative case particle though plurals are denoted with a vowel added to the end of the word in agreement with the gender.

The only singular gender denoted in a nominative word are heroic nouns. These are preceded by either Remel or Nuremel, the titles for heroes.

Plural particles are meant to agree with the noun, typically by adding the same vowel as the particle to the end of the word.

Stone/Heroic (el)

Nature (ral)

Non-heroic (ol/el)

Undead/Evil (ul)

Accusative

Nel

Nele

Nal

Nala

Nol

Nolo

Nul

Nulu

Genitive

Del

Dele

Dal

Dala

Dol

Dolo

Dul

Dulu

Dative

Vel

Vele

Val

Vala

Vol

Volo

Vul

Vulu

The Ancient Language: Introduction

The Ancient Language is a basic (and I’m sure incomplete and imperfect) language made for a new fantasy setting. Scenarios and setting notes for the world will be released at a later date. Look for Bridge of Brothers and other free scenarios soon!

Common Tales and Sayings of the Great Valley of Remas Asel

With Accompanying Lessons of Vocabulary and Grammar

By Renlaradel Borel Tarobel

I, Renlaradel Tarobel have traveled as far as the southernmost Islands and as North as the Badarel Del Somel. As brother to the Robel of Somalurala the greatest kingdom of the Great Valley, I have been chartered to document the language and sayings of the Great Valley. I have spent three years walking amongst the people of the Valley and recording their sayings and stories. May this work make me a Nuremel.

Here is the total of my work.

Friday Game Notes: Goliard Nunnery of Saint Rebecca

Nuremberg_chronicles_f_190r_2.jpg

A small pleasant home for a bakers dozen of nuns. Together they practice good nun related virtues and venerate their Saint Rebecca. It is a small compound with a medium sized church and several buildings for storage, food, and sleeping quarters. A low wall surrounds it though there is no gate nor guards.


Information

There is a small farmhouse between Bouclans and the Nunnery where travellers can stay the night. The peasants there, Dany and Edwige and their quadruplets, Georgette, Lucile, Clotilde, and Joan, are very welcoming.

A wagon from Puyloubard Inn seeking exotic ingredients is happy to spread rumours. With him is the squire of the steward of the Lord de Lucy who is travelling to the Nunnery to inquire if the Lord’s daughter is there.

The squire is friendly, if a little clumsy. He is happy to join anyone going the rest of the way to the nunnery and will trust anyone.

Art History – The nunnery is famous for it’s tapestries, supposedly woven by Saint Rebecca herself.

Antiquary – The nunnery is built on the site of an old Roman temple. Maybe there are hidden tunnels underneath!

Camaraderie/Common Touch – The wagon driver mentions that all sorts of things are happening at the Puyloubard Inn.

  • The Lady Maxine de Gizac arrived on her way to the Royal Wedding and has decided to stay in the Inn terrorizing everyone.
  • A steward of the Lord de Lucy is staying at the Inn and will be travelling to the Nunnery to inquire after the Lord’s daughter.
  • The squire is travelling to the nunnery and wanted a ride. He will walk with anyone the rest of the way.

The Compound

The tapestries are kept inside the Mother Superior’s Office on the top floor of the dormitory building. During the day nuns are out and about and will see any skulkers. At night a sister keeps vigil during the night with a burning candle to make sure no young men sneak in to bother the postulants.

Architecture – The church building is built of large thick marble stones that are easy to climb and the other two buildings, the dining hall and dormitories are a jump away from the roof on either side.

Antiquary – The marble blocks of the church are repurposed blocks from the Roman Temple and the foundations look like they kept the same shape of the original. There is probably no way to access any secret tunnels under the church from inside anymore. Maybe there is an entrance in one of the other buildings.

Notice – A sister calls down to another who has been locked onto a tiny platform inside the well. She sounds miserable down there.

  • Reassurance – The nun at the bottom of the well will welcome anyone who can promise to help her off the ledge, her knees nearly giving way.

Easy (2) rolls to sneak into the nunnery or climb the buildings.


Mother Superior Hélène

The head of the nunnery is a warm and wide woman who could be described as bustling. However under her cheery personality she is cruel and demanding, threatening cruel and unusual tortures for her daughters.

Tortures:

Candle Torture – a misbehaving nun who can’t keep their hands still must hold their hands above a burning candle until the candle burns out.

Well Watch – A stone passage under the nunnery opens into the well shaft by a small wooden door. On the other side is a small overhang just a few feet above the water only a foot or so wide barely wide enough for a nun to stand.

Bullshit Detector – The Mother Superior has a short fuse under all that fat and cheer, it would be unwise to upset her.

Flattery – Hélène is very proud of her nunnery and is happy to show visitors the famous tapestries which she keeps locked in her study.

Performance – The Mother Superior is very keen on violent puppet shows and will be happily distracted clapping her hands like a child while watching one.

Normal (4) rolls to trick the Mother Superior.


Sister Carole

The accountant of the nunnery, Sister Carole takes care of all the monetary concerns. She has a small office off of the kitchens and dining room building.

Accounts – It is clear with a careful peek upside down at the book Sister Carole works at that the nunnery has very little money and is struggling. The nunnery relies solely on donations to survive.

Intimidation – It is clear that Sister Carole is terrified of the Mother Superior and wont tell her about the financial troubles of the nunnery for fear of punishment.

Negotiation – Sister Carole is willing to pinch and sell one of the tapestries if she thinks a rich enough seller will pay for it.

Forgery – By faking papers from the Templar Bank she will be convinced that the visitor can pay for a tapestry. However they will have to provide her with a good way to steal the tapestry from under the Mother Superior’s nose.

Easy (2) rolls to trick Sister Carole.


Dormitory

The tunnel inside the well is part of the old Roman foundations and run underneath the dormitories. There it opens into a cellar being used to store extra bedding. The nuns use this tunnel for a quicker way to get water from the well or as the Mother Superior’s extra punishment.

The stairs from the cellar lead into a back hall. To get to the staircase leading to the second floor where the Mother Superior’s rooms are a thief would have to cross through one of the nun’s sleeping dorms. The hall is up against the outer wall and so has no window to climb out.

Each night some nuns sneak out. The nuns can be snuck by but if any of them wake a Intimidation or Reassurance spend of 1 point will let them pass without a panic.

If they sneak through at night they may witness two nuns sneaking down the stairs from the second story dorm.

Sense Trouble – Someone is coming quick hide!

Notice – Those foot steps sounded irregular, perhaps there are squeaky steps that they were avoiding.

  • 1 point spend – By carefully counting steps you think you’ll be able to figure out which steps they were avoiding. At least with a little luck.

Normal (4) rolls to sneak around the dormitory.


Mother Superior’s Rooms

Upstairs is another dormitory for the postulants and the Mother Superior’s rooms. The Mother Superior keeps her rooms locked and an Infiltration roll is required.

Her suite is split into two rooms, an office and her bedroom. During the day she closes off her bed room but at night she sleeps with the door open.

The only window is in the bedroom and she keeps it open but any thief trying to sneak in this way finds they will have to climb over the sleeping Mother Superior to get to the door. The Mother Superior keeps the tapestries rolled inside a locked chest in her office besides her desk.

Normal (4) rolls to sneak around the Mother Superior’s Rooms.


Target

Tapestries of Saint Rebecca

Woven by the saint herself they show images of the Lord standing amongst rather sloppily woven flowers. They must have some value. Right?