The Fog | August Announcement

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

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New or returning? Want to catch up on our event first?

High Above, Deep Below | Sins of the Father | Starlit

Small, peach flowers used as a message break.

[ Recommended Listening. ]

The Hibernal Equinox is over. The next morning dawns gray and anything but quiet.

“Did you see it?” whisper shopkeeps to one another as they sweep their stoops. “The sky lit up, clear as day…”

Uneasy guards line the streets in front of the palace, exchanging words beneath their breath. Who had shirked their duty? It wasn’t me. Well, it wasn’t me either. Don’t look at me, I didn’t even know we had a prisoner there!

Flyers and posters rain down from on high. WANTED. ESCAPED PRISONER. CAPTURE ALIVE. EXTREMELY DANGEROUS!

A wanted poster depicting Prince Terryn fleeing Chrysanthos. The picture is blurry and is in black and white.

Word travels on swift hooves and fleet wings. It boards ships and creeps onto train cars. It settles into quaint country cottages and ursuki villages. Groups gather around posted rewards. Who would try their luck? Who would simply gossip over tea? The wheat separates from the chaff, each with their chests thrown out proudly as they accept the bounty as their own to hunt. 

“Unexplained magical explosion tied to royals?” barks a newsie peddling their papers. “Read all about it, just two coins!”

Rumors spread at afternoon luncheons and behind closed doors. The fog swirls, fighting back the burning sun. All eyes turn towards Chrysanthos.

In abandoned alleys. In empty dock warehouses. In their homes with shades drawn. From east to west.

 Bellacoste starts to remember.

Small, peach flowers used as a message break.

You made another choice. Into the fields of plenty you escaped, following a path paved in starlight. The threads you’ve woven are silvered and strong. Isn’t it beautiful, the way it cleaves through the mire? With the lights of the city at your back, you can see it so clearly. 

The spell. It’s an impressive bit of magework, by far the largest you’ve ever seen and intricately woven. A wash of color, a line to every soul. How had all of Bellacoste fallen under this blanket? This terrible, terrible fog?

It’s fraying at the corners. It ripples and tugs. There’s power in it still, but you can feel it waning in an increasing radius all around you.

It’d be a shame if it all came crashing down, wouldn’t it? The thread… no, the spell you’ve woven is focused, a sharp edge. It’s just enough. Open your eyes. Chase the burning tail of the comet ahead of you and hang tight

We’ve only just begun.

Small, peach flowers used as a message break.

The palace buzzes like a hive. Messengers dodge each other in the halls as they run missives. Guards swarm, overturning stones and leaving no corner unchecked. As the days pass, the fever pitch dies down but the tension builds. Where had procedures broken down? Someone had to be blamed, surely, but who?

Days turn to weeks. Chasing rumors leads to false positives. Suspects matching the description are marched across the throne room. None of them are him. Mistaken identities do more harm than good. Public approval plummets.

Word arrives from Firsden. The ursuki are waking unseasonably early, troubled and complaining increasingly of headaches. The missive ends simply with “Expect us.

The Saints arrive days later, faces stony as they’re ushered into the throne room. The heat billowing from St. Elidi drives their honor guard back, leaving the two alone in an ever-widening circle.

“Queen Nouvel,” St. Hart begins. His heart reaches for him, placing a steadying paw on his side. He takes a deep breath, fresh holly budding in his fur. “You know why we’re here. I’ll give you a chance to explain yourself.” He pauses, before adding a plaintive, if clipped “Please.”

The queen sits upon her throne with her Queensguard by her side. They both look harried, their eyes sunken and hollow. The princess is nowhere to be seen.

“You honor us with your presence, Saints,” the queen starts, her voice steady. “I wish that we could greet you under better circumstances. You are welcome in Chrysanthos for as long as you choose to stay.”

Nouvel,” St. Hart rumbles dangerously. Flames lick against his fur, his claws passing through Elidi’s pyre to rest on her back. “The day may be young, but we are not. Enough with the pleasantries. Where is he?”

Perth exchanges a look with the queen before she clears her throat. “At this time we’re following several leads, however…”

“So you don’t know,” St. Elidi interrupts, the tiled mosaic blackening beneath her feet. “You truly have lost him! Do you know what you’ve done?”

“Of course we know, it was never our intention to–”

“This was not our deal, Nouvel,” St. Hart growls, flames kissing his cheeks. “In losing him you’ve violated our treaty. Are you aware of how serious this is?”

“St. Hart, St. Elidi…” the queen stands, taking a step down from on high. “We are aware of what’s at stake and are taking every measure to have him found and returned. I promise this to you.”

“Tell me, then, Nouvel, why did we have to learn this news from bounties and not from you?” Hart reaches into his cloak, producing a charred flier. “This is affecting my people, Nouvel, or have you forgotten that we are sensitive to changes in the weave?”

Remorse flickers in Nouvel’s face, in how her shoulders sag. She opens her mouth. Closes it again. Her tongue felt like paper. “I am… so deeply sorry. It was our negligence that…”

An ear-splitting shriek cuts through the gloom. It was too late for apologies. Shouts echo down the halls, followed by a guard in full armor exploding through the doors, skidding across the throne room floor. A force of nature follows, power rippling through her body as the Arbiter forces her way through a too-small frame. Tortured wood whines and stones crumble in her wake.

Her wings flare, filling the room. Pneumir spills from her open mouth in waves. Azariah stands tall, neck arching towards the throne.

Perth draws her sword.

“Don’t,” St. Elidi warns.

“PUT YOUR NEEDLE AWAY!” the vespire snarls. “OR I WILL DEVOUR IT FIRST!”

Guards crowd in the damaged doorway. After a long, still moment, Queen Nouvel carefully flicks her wings, holding them back. “Arbiter, please, don’t throw away our peace. We fought too hard for it.” Pain flickers across her face. “Give us… give me… a chance to fix this.”

Slowly, carefully, Perth sheathes her sword again. She glances warily at the queen as pneumir billows up the stairs to the throne.

“FIX THIS?! You cannot fix this,” the vespire hisses. Her tail whips as she pivots, nearly taking the Saints off their feet. The Arbiter rises, clawing a tapestry down. “Your forefathers could not fix this. Nor the ones before them. You think you can? You are a CHILD!”

She throws the tapestry down, treading upon the insignia as she advances. The Whirling Wind. “And like all children, you LIE! WHERE IS TERRYN, NOUVEL?”

Nouvel is not the princess she used to be. A threat looms tall before her. The girl she once was became queen in a moment much like this one. Azariah’s throat burns hot, shining radiantly with a promise. The queen takes a step towards the Arbiter. As David speared Goliath.

No. Not today.

“Arbiter,” the queen takes the steps slowly, pneumir billowing around her. “I… have wronged you.”

Azariah looms angrily over the throne room as Nouvel approaches, pneumir spilling from her open mouth. Perth stands by the throne, trying to call Nouvel back. St. Hart and St. Elidi have been pushed to the side by the Arbiter's entrance. Hart shelters Elidi, just in case. Both watch the situation with grim expressions.

Perth hisses her name but the queen doesn’t look back, bowing her head. Her knees buckle and she sinks low, only the curl of her horns rising above the mist. “Forgive me,” Nouvel’s voice cracks. “I could not do it. I… I tried and I couldn’t do it.”

The vespire dominates the room, her shadow long and suffocating. Her muzzle wrinkles as she stares unblinking, tail rattling ominously as her neck arches, pneumir cascading down. She strikes with startling speed, stopping just short of taking the queen by the throat. She hovers there, hot breath billowing oppressively against the back of Nouvel’s neck. 

“Your morals will be your undoing,” the vespire sneers, clicking her jaws together decisively before she reaches for Nouvel, roughly pulling her head up with a claw. “You’ve gotten too comfortable, Nouvel. My people have NEVER forgotten their pain.” 

The queen holds very still, her expression wavering as the vespire’s hand tightens momentarily around her throat before the ancient releases her. “They’ve forgotten what the Lamentation is for, you stupid, selfish child! But they’re remembering now.”

The swell of grief choking the vespire’s voice should have been no surprise, and yet, it was. The Saints extract themselves from the wall, carefully treading through a minefield of broken promises. Elidi reaches Azariah first, her fires cooled to flickering embers. Hart follows, joining his mate in pressing a firm paw to the haunch of the Arbiter.

We are with you,” the smaller Saint vows. “Our people are seeing through the fog, Nouvel. It’s only a matter of time before it unravels.”

Communion flickers briefly through Hart, his mask twinkling unsteadily before disappearing again. He sighs, reaching to help Nouvel to her feet. “My son sees something in you,” he murmurs to her as he brushes soot from her fur. “Veti trusts you. Earn it.” 

The ursuki straightens, meeting Perth’s untrusting gaze. He raises his paws plaintively before rumbling, “This is still salvageable. We must locate the prince and set this to rights. I believe I’ve caught his trail.”

“Where?” Azariah hisses, now hunkered low. “I will see to him myself.”

Perth takes the stairs in a single leap, magic glimmering around the hilt of her blade. “No. We’ll find him.”

Azariah bristles. Elidi frowns, meeting Hart’s eyes.

“Goldfair,” the ursuki concedes, his jaw set. “Do not raze it, Azariah. You will answer to me.”

The vespire chitters and clicks deep in her throat. She turns abruptly, firing a blast of heat at the closest wall. Tapestries burn as stone and glass melts, pooling around her feet. Hart steps back, bodily sweeping Nouvel and Perth away from the rapidly cooling magma. What’s left is a gaping, jagged hole.

The Arbiter spreads her wings once more, casting a derisive look towards the throne.

“No more chances,” Azariah promises, launching from the throne room and into the wide open sky.

Small, peach flowers used as a message break.

Goldfair, Bellacoste’s bread basket. The fields are sown and full of promise. Their tenders sleep soundly in their beds. A prisoner flits among them, reduced almost to his shadow. Terryn led you, at first, but as the night wears on his energy wanes with the moon.

You have to find shelter. Fast.

The sun rises on a still dawn. Farmhands chatter outside of the barn you’ve hidden in. “Why’re we looking for this guy?”

“Beats me, rewards good, though.”

“He’s kinda familiar, ain’t he?”

The spell is fraying.

You bargain and steal to survive. In bits and pieces you bring the prince back from the brink. Days pass in the food and clothing you’re able to scavenge.

They’re talking about you in the square of a nearby town.

“He’s a dangerous criminal, innit he?” a straw-chewing merchant blusters. “Been sayin’ they oughta send more guards our way. Ain’t safe at night any more.”

The threads loosen their grip.

The untended fields are safest, but hardest to traverse. The ground is hard and uneven, and the brambles grow thick when uninhibited. Yet, your caution is worth it. 

Terryn improves day by day. The bountiful food stores fill out his frame. He builds strength and can journey farther each new dawn.

Someone spots you in the next village. A confused ursuki stares as you pass.

“...Vieux?” they call, drawing eyes as you usher Terryn around a corner and out of sight.

The fog roils. The ursuki wonders why they called out in the first place.

You avoid the next town, and the one after that, foraging for food where you can find it. On a particularly clear night, you join Terryn in his vigil.

“Look,” he directs your attention. You follow his gaze to a patch of darkness where stars should be. The patch shifts. Something in flight. Large.

“We’re being hunted in earnest now,” the prince mutters. “Keep to the treeline.”

The next day, you can see the ancient more clearly. She flies in widening circles. A vespire in Goldfair. You wonder, not for the first time, if you’ve made the right choice.

There’s no going back now. All you can do is press on.

Days of evading detection later, something seizes Terryn, causing him to surge once more into the lead. A shift in the air, a sweltering wave of heat. Terryn drives you east.

“I know where we are,” he sounds exhilarated. “I know this place. Follow me!”

The fertile loam transitions to clay. The dwindling cover worries you, but the prince presses on. He was feverish now.

It dawns, eventually, on you too.

Brouzet. 

He’s leading you to Brouzet.

Updates Header

Our event’s true name reveals itself with this update: Fog of War. What is the fog, and why is it coming undone?

Our year-long event continues this month with an intermission while we work on the next part– it’s a big one! This intermission brings two new quests, Court Crashers and Hunted in Goldfair. Are you prepared to tackle the diplomatic emergency happening in Chrysanthos? Or perhaps you’re accompanying… or hunting… Terryn through Goldfair?

Both new quests can be completed once per character and will award a single Crown Coin each. These quests will remain active for the duration of the event and will be shifted to Legacy once the next part comes out later this month.

A golden padlock.A golden key.

Our August monthly quests, Summer Treats, Surfs Up and Seashore Hunt return! Our Summer Seasonal Quests will remain active for the duration of August before retiring for the year.

Autumn arrives in September, so be sure to get any and all Summer fun you’ve been putting off done this month!

Small, peach flowers used as a message break.

August is the last month of Summer in Bellacoste, which means it’s time for our quarterly Coin Auction! Have you been saving your coins, or did you spend them all in the Selstice shop? Time to pinch pennies!

Our Coin Auction will go live later this month with designs from our wonderful guest artists! First Coin Auction? These special sales are for coins instead of USD and they happen in the last month of each season.

Chester and Mochi are returning with new legendary items this month as well, so be sure to plan accordingly!

Small, peach flowers used as a message break.

Did you know that Pouflons has its own bustling Discord Community? We’d like to take this opportunity to brush up on our Discord and site guidelines as our community grows:

  • You must be 16 years of age or older to join and participate in our Discord.
  • Our Encyclopedia has a wealth of knowledge on items, traits, pippets and more. Be sure to check there first for any questions you have! Chances are you can find the answers here. Not every question can be answered by our Encyclopedia, so we’re always available for you in two separate help channels for specific questions, including one meant for new users still learning the ARPG and the site!
  • While our approval times on site are generally pretty quick, it can take up to 48-72 hours for approvals, particularly if your submission is complex. We don’t require or give pre-approvals on any kind of submission, so if you’ve finished something, feel free to submit it! If something is wrong with your submission, our staff will always kick it back to you with a comment explaining what to do to fix it, so be sure to check before resubmitting if something isn’t approved right away!
  • When trading and selling/vouchering characters or accepting a trade from someone else, be sure to review our Rules to make sure you’re following all guidelines before committing to the exchange!
  • Did you know that other artists share their work in our onsite Gallery as well as in Discord? Why not take some time to browse and comment on other's works today? Remember that you can claim a bonus coin on works submitted to our Gallery! We ask that if you post your artwork in Discord, remember that others are excited to share theirs as well. Make sure to comment before posting over others!
  • We do not permit multiple accounts on our Lorekeeper. Users found creating multiple accounts specifically to obtain more currency, items or characters risk warnings or even banning from the game. Play fair and honest!

Welcome to all of our new users! We’re so happy to have you here and we hope you enjoy your time here with us.

Support Header

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 peeks 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.

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

Did you know we have our own Discord? Stop by to receive updates as they happen, not to mention hang with the coolest community around!

One last thing-- if you’re looking for a new Bellacoste character, why not commission Cake or Rhiow for a Custom Design or Redesign?

Reminders Header

The July Raffle ends on August 7th, be sure to get your entries in!

Fluorspar Foundlings is once again accepting new orphans. The monthly cap for Golden Rhyo has reset!

Chester and Mochi will be opening the Legend Shop as normal from August 10th through August 20th.

Summer pippets will be cycling out of the Pippet Shop at the end of August. Buy them before Autumn arrives in September!

Crown Cafe seasonal stock will change on September 7th, be sure to finalize all purchases before then!

Have you seen our Endemic Life Survey? I hear we're headed towards Brouzet. Now is a great time to suggest local flora and fauna!

We rolled out some site updates in July! Check our News Post about it if you're still having display problems. Any suggestions? We'd love to hear them!

Changelog Header

Want to keep up with changes in real time? Join our Discord and select the changelog role!

July Change Log:

July 4th: The issue with text being smaller or in different fonts than intended should now be fixed on all themes but will require another hard refresh (ctrl + F5) or cleared cache!

If you notice bugs outside of the known issues on the list in our News Post please let us know!

July 13th: Just a small note, looks like a couple of Foundlings had a bit of a paperwork mix up and were adopted out for Golden Rhyo instead of a Foundling's Seal. If you adopted one of them, please take care of them!

This was our mistake in all this paperwork shuffling, but in the future, if you see a design up for a currency that isn't a Foundling's Seal, please let us know so we can correct it!

Quincey's silhouette in her signature peach.

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