The Hibernal Equinox | December Announcement

Posted 1 month ago :: Last edited 1 month ago by rhiow

As harvest feasts come to an end and graveside candles turn to smoke, lights flicker within the forests of Bellacoste. The deep places come to life. The forgotten groves are remembered. Like fireflies the lights spin and beckon.

All but one.

Deep in the mountain range sheltering Snowhurst, the patron Saint of Winter is not in his workshop adding the final touches on trinkets and baubles. The hearth is dark and cold. As the first snowfall blows across central Bellacoste, the saint sinks deeper and deeper into impenetrable sleep.

As the equinox draws closer, St. Veti hibernates alone.

[ Recommended Listening. ]

The lights glimmer and dance, casting their glow on old forgotten stones. Frostbitten and cold, they show you the way. The path that’s been forgotten. The memory reignites. The way is long and the road is cold, but the reward for a journey well taken is worth it. All over Bellacoste, pouflons and vespires suit up to make the trek. They remember it now.

Firsden. 

For those brave enough to take the road south, the ancestral home of the ursuki waits with open gates and welcoming arms. The days grow ever shorter, this window in time whittles away with each sunset. But the ursuki fill the night with spectacle and good food. The darkness is not to be feared, not here.

Deep in the Heartwood, an enormous ursuki sits before an unfathomably large tree. The elder from which all else sprouted. Snow falls between the branches, though the cold does not seem to trouble him. Gently, the giant places a heavily clawed paw against the trunk of the ancient tree, a glimmer of magic passing between them.

“My Hart..?” she calls from beyond the copse. The ursuki squeezes his eyes shut and clutches his cloak around his shoulders, claws withdrawing from the tree. He turns to look to the light in the dark.

“Elidi,” Hart beckons, his voice worn. “Firelight, I’ve nearly found him. The roots only stretch so far, but…”

Elidi places a paw on Hart’s back, looking up into the boughs above. “I know you’re worried, love, but it’s only been two days. Perhaps the letter is late?” Concern creases her brow. “Visitors have begun to arrive, don’t you want to greet them?”

Her warmth always soothed his weariness. The visitors. Of course. “Perhaps you’re right,” he sighs, running his claws through his fur. “But… just once more, then I will come out.”

Elidi smiles, bumping her forehead against his arm. “Then I’ll wait here with you until you’re ready.”

Before she could prepare herself, Hart sweeps her into a warm hug. The fire on her back licks along his arms but leaves him unburnt. The two embrace beneath the heart of Firsden for time immeasurable before he unwinds an arm.

Holding Elidi to his chest, Hart once more reaches for the tree, their communion lighting up in lines around his face. She watches, as mesmerized as if it were the first time. With his mate at his heart, Hart reaches into the soul of the world.

And he searches. The roots were miles long, the filaments even more so. Where they touched others, he could jump from the world tree to its children, and so he hopped across the mountains of Snowhurst, looking, peering, hoping.

The evergreens whisper of the sky that cracked, a choice that was made, and upon their branches he can finally see his son. He reaches into the darkness before he races back along the veins of the world. With a gasp the saint returns to himself.

“Hart?” Elidi asks, reaching to gently touch his face.

“Come,” Hart stands, carrying her with him. “We have work to do.”

“...Dear?” Elidi questions, thumping him lightly on the chest with her claws. “What did you see? Is he alright?”

“Veti is… hibernating,” Hart murmurs, eyes set ahead.

“If we want to see him by the equinox, we best hurry, then!” Elidi squirms, looking towards the path ahead. “This isn’t like him.”

“Indeed,” Hart agrees, pressing his nose to the top of her head. “He’s growing up, firelight.”

Just before forest’s end, he gently sets her down. Paw in paw, the saints of Firsden walk into the raucous light of town. The sights and sounds swim around them as they stand apart from it all.

“Send the helpful sorts my way, would you?” Hart glances down at Elidi and smiles warmly.

“With a spring to their step, my Hart.” His firelight smiles back at him.

Briefly he squeezes her paw, then they both meld into their roles. The equinox would stop for no one, not even them.

Even so, Veti would not be forgotten this winter.

Welcome one and welcome all! The Hibernal Equinox is finally here! It’s been quite a year, hasn’t it? Why not end it with a bang? Go on a journey with us throughout Bellacoste to find hidden ursuki villages and enjoy an end of year spectacle unlike anything else!

There’s a lot of new content this month for you to enjoy! The patron saint of Winter seems to be struggling to stay awake-- the leaders of Firsden are looking for the brave and helpful to make things right. Are you ready to jump to St. Veti’s aid in our brand new [ Event Quests ]?

It’s time, at long last, to explore the ursuki settlement of Firsden! Outsiders are welcomed at this time of year only, so make the most of the opportunity in December’s [ Monthly Quests ].

Take the time this winter to explore the Heartwood in our brand new [ Seasonal Quest ]. Said to be the oldest forest on Bellacoste, the trees have stories to tell to those that are willing to listen. If you take a piece of the forest with you, be sure to hang on to it. Gifts are seldomly given, but said to bring the owner good fortune in the year to come.

Be sure to visit the [ Pippet Shop ] to pick up the winter seasonal pippets! The [ December Shop ] is in town with wintery favorites, including two NEW traits this year: Flickering Pupils and Shed Horns. All December traits are now available in the [ Cash Shop ] as well!

Ursuki traits have had a complete rehaul! Take a look at their various [ Trait Pages ] to see all the new and reworked traits, including an all new legendary Royal subtype!

As with the vespire update, these traits will take a few days to properly roll out on our Lorekeeper site. They should all be added and attributed to current ursuki by the end of this week! Thank you for your patience.

That’s not all the ursuki news-- far from it! Alongside their traits I’m happy to share the first ursuki lore expansion! You can read all of the new stuff now on their [ Information ] page. Be sure to click through the tabs!

Two new [ Festivals ] have been added: The Hibernal Equinox and The Wild Hunt.

Take a peek this month at our new [ NPC Entries ] for St. Elidi, St. Hart and St. Veti!

Are you as excited about Firsden as we are? Take a look at our [ Destinations ] page to learn more about the ursuki’s most well known village. It’s not quite ready yet, but I’m excited to announce that Firsden will be the first location to come with custom music! When that’s added we’ll announce it in our [ Discord ].

Ursuki aren’t the only ones getting new content this month! Their attunement to nature is unmatched, and with their update we would also like to introduce our updated Affinities.

Each affinity has gone through a rehaul, including names, powers granted, and the way they impact specific species. Several new abilities have been added to each affinity for both training and seasoned Mages and Knights, rewarding those that have fought their way to Tier Three with powerful new skills.

In addition to that, I’m excited to share the all new Greater Affinities with you! Greater Affinities are for those that have already mastered their chosen affinity and want to push it further-- embark on a set of two new quests to obtain a greater understanding of the elements.

Those that obtain a Greater Affinity will be rewarded with an Affinity Aspect and will be able to add one of the following to their character with the Greater Affinity: Affinity Runic, Affinity Wings, Affinity Tail or Affinity Limbs. Additional traits can be added by repeating the quests or purchasing more Affinity Aspects from the [ Trait Shop ]. Affinity Runic can still be added to characters with standard Affinities using this item!

Affinities will be moving to a new launch page sometime in the new year-- until then, you can continue to access them [ here ]. Curious about more update information? Until the launch page update, you can access that [ here ].

Did you see our [ December Advent ]? The first design will be for sale later today at 12PM EST! We hope to see you there!

It’s time for our seasonal feedback! This Fall we concluded our Skyfall event and returned home from The Bridge in September. We introduced the Lamentation as well as the new questing system for Blessings and Curses in October. In November, we took a month of quiet remembrance during the Fete Passing.

How are we doing? You can let us know on our [ Feedback Form ].

Hey there! Did you know we have our own [ Ko-fi ]? Ko-fi members get access to a lot of cool perks, including on site rewards, monthly streams, and sneak peaks at what’s coming! Your support directly helps us continue making updates like this one, as well as creating new merch to sell in…

Our [ Etsy Shop ]! Our stock is currently limited, but we’re always hard at work concepting and getting new items made. There’s something new coming soon this month that I’d like to give you a sneak preview of-- we’ll announce when they’re available in our Discord!

Your support means everything to us! From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.

One last thing-- if you’re looking for a new Bellacoste character, why not commission [ Cake ] or [ Rhiow ] for a custom?

Just a couple more reminders before we part ways! Ko-fi subscribers, please be aware that [ The Crown Cafe ] stock will cycle on December 7th. Be sure to spend your noble coins on anything you want before they’re gone!

Don’t forget to enter [ November’s Raffle ] before it ends on December 7th!

Did you see the [ NPC Contest ]? You still have time to enter and forever impact the direction of upcoming characters critical to the Knight and Mage Quest update coming next year!

Finally, the [ Corrupted Shop ] will be closing for good on December 31st at 11:59PM EST. All Corrupted items will be removed from the [ Cash Shop ] at this time as well. Most will enter the Legend Shop and Crown Cafe pools and may appear again, however, if you would like a Lycore Cub or Woolyne Form MYO you MUST purchase them by the end of the year. After that, they’re gone for good.

Additionally, the [ New Healing ] quest will be going away at the same time-- this is the ONLY way to get the “Cleansed” title for your character, so be sure to complete it before time’s up! If your character is still “Corrupted” once the quest is removed, you can freely remove it with a regular Design Update, but it won’t grant the “Cleansed” title.

Woolyne Form MYOs will be able to be used as long as you have the item in your inventory. Thank you again for participating in Skyfall and the other events throughout the year. We’re so grateful to have you here!

We hope you enjoyed this update. See you next time for the Year of Bellacoste!

0 Comments



There are no comments yet.

Comments




Authentication required

You must log in to post a comment.

Log in