Realms Beyond: Ashes of the Fallen

Created by Ceres Games

A classic single-player RPG featuring a party-based character system and tactical turn-based combat evolved from the SRD 3.5e ruleset.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

A Happy New Year - BackerKit surveys are coming!
about 1 year ago – Tue, Jan 08, 2019 at 12:55:44 AM

We wish you all a healthy, happy, prosperous and spectacular New Year! 

Soon, you’ll receive an email from us with a special link to your BackerKit survey. 

You don’t need to create a BackerKit account to fill out your survey. When you receive the email with the survey, click the survey link to respond. Answer the questions about your reward preferences, provide shipping information, and purchase add-on items if you like. You don’t have access to this survey link yet, but it will be available soon via email!

After you respond to your survey, you can go back later and change your responses at any time before we close the surveys and get our final counts.

If you need to review your information or pledge status, you can return to your survey by clicking the link in your survey email or requesting your survey link under "Lost your survey?" on our BackerKit project page at https://realms-beyond.backerkit.com.

If you used your Facebook credentials to log in to your Kickstarter account, the BackerKit survey is sent to the email address you use for your Facebook account. If you have another email address that you prefer to use, please contact support at https://realms-beyond.backerkit.com/faq.

Due to the request of some backers, we created some add-ons like additional digital versions, the digital soundtrack, the digital world map and others.

For late backers, we added the option to support us by PayPal and other payment types through our pre-order store

Your Ceres Games Team

We brought it home. Thanks to all of you!
over 1 year ago – Fri, Nov 16, 2018 at 01:28:05 AM

This post is for backers only. Please visit Kickstarter.com and log in to read.

A Glimpse of Our World, Part 4: Kvenland
over 1 year ago – Thu, Nov 15, 2018 at 01:22:13 AM

The realm of Kvenland, defined by its dense pine forests and tall mountains, is primarily settled by four major tribes.

Vadians

At the southern shore of lake Kallvatn, right in the heart of Kvenland, at a point where several rivers convene, a trading post named Vadaheim was built. After the Great Cataclysm, the sky had darkened for several years and the cold north missed out on a couple of summers. This led to large masses of ice forming in the mountains, and once the climate normalized the ice melted and raised the water level of the lake, flooding parts of Vadaheim. An enterprising people, not willing to give up their city and stop their profitable trading operations, the Vadians converted their ships into rudimentary homes. Still today many of them live in house-boats and use these mobile homes on their mercantile journeys, traveling down the rivers with their entire families. Most Vadians are in the service of one of the two powerful families ruling the city of Vadaheim. Those who live in the town are better off joining one of the two families than staying neutral – which risks attracting the wrath of both the Ingvarsons and the Grimharsons. For independence is only an option for those who can assert it. But since the long-running feud between the two houses had adverse effects on commerce, they agreed to an armistice and divided the city amongst themselves. But if there is an opportunity to siphon the other family’s profits into their own pockets, they always take it – there may be an armistice between them, but in business, everything is allowed.

Click for high-res version
Click for high-res version

A common saying among the Vadians is, "By Valon’s golden apples!" which is an expression of surprise over an unexpectedly profitable business transaction that pulled more gold out of their customer’s pocket than they anticipated.

The origin of this expression is the myth of Valon, patron deity of merchants as well as those who acquire the property of others by cunning means, who helped an impoverished old man. This man owned nothing but a barren, rocky piece of land with a single apple tree that no longer bore fruit. He desperately called for the aid of his god, and Valon finally heard his prayers. He gave the old man a basket with three golden apples which would turn to dust as soon as he gave them away. Valon also forbid him from telling anyone where he got the apples from, and he was not allowed to sell his land before three moons had passed. The old man shrugged, as nobody would want to buy his worthless piece of land anyway, and asked what use the apples would be to him if he couldn’t sell them. Valon merely told him to carry them through town in their basket, uncovered so all could see them, and have a cup of wine at the tavern. "But how should I pay for the wine?" asked the old man. "With the apples, without promising them to another," was the god’s answer, and then he returned to his realm.

The old man did as he was told, and everyone was curious about the golden apples he carried in his basket. Indeed, the tavernkeep not only served him a cup of wine on the house, but also prepared a platter with the best food he had in stock. Soon more and more people asked the old man why he still lived in his rotten old hut and wanted to know whether his land was for sale. With a heavy heart he rejected all the offers he received, which led to the townspeople shoveling ever more gifts upon him in the hopes of gaining the old man’s favor. Soon he lived in one of the largest houses in town, and those who showered him with gifts hoped he would sell them his piece of land with the tree that, so they believed, would be rich with golden apples at the next harvest. Once three moons had passed, he accepted the best offer that was made to him, which was much higher than the best offer made to him three moons ago. Just at that moment his three golden apples vanished. The debts he had with others were not collected, since his creditors were happy to have such a wealthy man as their friend. Only to the poor soul who had purchased the worthless strip of land the old man gave a basket full of apples. Stingy as he now was, however, they were just normal apples, red and green instead of gold, as you can only be truly rich when others are poor – a popular saying among the people of Vadaheim.

Click for high-res version
Click for high-res version

Veštani 

The Veštani are a peaceful people who value a honest heart over a sharp sword – for which they have little use, anyway, as they prefer to use spear and shield in combat.

Around the village Kvilu, which is located at the eastern end of the Lurking Forest, they herd their flocks of sheep and till the earth of their fields in peace. Their evenings they spend in community, listening to the music of the flute and stories of strange creatures and ominous events, which might stem from their tendency for superstition which their priests can only shake their heads over, try as they might, they cannot drive it out of them. It might be encouraged by their elders, whom they highly respect, as they warn the younger generations of all the dangers lurking in the depths of the forest, amongst the shadows of the trees. 

But Kvilu is not as peaceful as it may seem, as the Veštani regularly fall victim to raids of the Gauds, a tribe they share a bitter enmity with. 

But voices of reason no longer manage to calm those who lost their loved ones and their homes to the Gaudian raids. Especially the younger generations either support an escalation of the conflict to strike back at the hated enemy in force, or think of leaving their homes for greener pastures. From Vadian merchants they heard stories of prosperous towns and lives without hardship beyond the forests of Kvenland, and now grow weary of the simple and uncertain life in Kvilu.

Click for high-res version
Click for high-res version

Gauds

The Gauds are known as the most feared and remorseless warriors of Kvenland, settled in the rough lands to the north of the great lake. Ever since he had slain a dragon on the mountain of Dauganrög, they worship their king almost as a god. After his heroic deed the Gauds hailed King Odulf’s under his new name – Sigimer the Dragonslayer. Together with his retinue he founded the town of Güldinheim, which today has become the most important city of the Gauds.

The king’s treasury is filled to the brim with all kinds of riches, but also with plenty of curiosities – a collection he constantly seeks to expand. He is especially fond of artifacts from a long extinct tribe, whose king Hodar, for whose exploits there are no sources but the songs of bards, is said to have ruled the entirety of Kvenland and even projected the power of his kingdom deep into the lands of Cormac. This legendary king is, to Sigimer, an example to follow. He wants to forge a kingdom to rival Hodar‘s, and he is ready to ally with the Vresians and mercenaries of Vadaheim to take the rich lands of Cormac’s north under his control. But he will never make peace with the Veštani, as his son Sigurt lost his life on a cattle raid against them. Had he the resources for it, he would long ago have marched against Kvilu to raze it to the ground. But the day will come when his wrath will triumph over the worldly concerns of logistics, and for this day he is already prepared.

Even his daughter Siglind he kept from a woman’s comfortable life of home and marriage, so her sword would always be ready for war and not dulled by the need to care for offspring. So he declared her to be a sword maiden, and any men who dare touch her will be condemned to death by stoning.

Vresians

On a northern bay of the Galtan Sea, Vindeborg sits as the largest town of Kvenland as well as the most important settlement of the Vresians, who are known to be excellent shipwrights and seafarers as well as fearless explorers. The fishermen not only set out to drag their nets through the deep waters, but add to their catch by raiding and looting other ships. Their reputation of engaging in piracy is widespread and almost sealed their fate 200 years ago. Too long they provoked Cormac on the waters, which culminated in a crushing blow against their tribe. Once, they had reveled in their independence, their leaders chosen by election and ready to step down whenever the people grew unhappy with their rule; following this horrible defeat, they put their fate into the hands of the most charismatic among them. Unnar Usbek became the first king of the Vresians and swore on the ruins of old Vindeborg to take revenge on the Cormacian attackers, even if it took generations to pay them back for what they did.

Ever since, the Vresians have worked at erecting an impregnable fortress and training a formidable fighting force to bring the fire of vengeance against Cormac’s shores. They suffered a major setback thanks to the Great Cataclysm, but Bjar Rabek, the most influential advisor of king Hjör, claims that the time has come to make true the promise of the forefathers. He feels obligated to fulfill the old oath of vengeance, whereas the people are fearful of a war they consider to be hopeless, while a longing for the old freedom spreads through their hearts, symbolized by a white albatross – the animal that adorned the Vresian banners before they had a king, and which has now become a call for open resistance, scrawled on the walls in white chalk.



 This update is also available in German language.

WE DID IT! 100% funded, revealing new stretch goals
over 1 year ago – Tue, Nov 13, 2018 at 12:30:39 AM

It’s a done deal!

We‘ve made it - earlier today we reached 100.000 € and we’re over the moon! Thanks a million to all our backers, many of you have been so supportive since the start. It’s really down to you that we got this far! Every single one of the 2166 backers from all over the world pushed us that little bit closer to the finishing line. You are the best! We’re so happy that we got the campaign funded 100% three days before it ends.

Now we‘re trying to make those stretch goals. The first one is a cooperation with the exceptionally talented cartographer Francesca Baerald for a digital and physical map of Argea. We’re not that far away from that one! If we reach the second stretch goal, the brilliant writers Casey Hollingshead and Scott Hamm will join our writing team.


The first new and third stretch goal is:

Listen to two of Kai's tracks here:

"Vista Point" from Gothic 3:

"Harbor City" from Risen 1:

If you want to know more about Kai and his fantastic music, please visit this Twitch channel and follow him on Twitter.

The next stretch goal is about a new character class in the game: THE MONK. Players will be able to choose the monk as a character class if we make it to 140.000€~$157,735USD  (if we fund it 140%). The monk will have his own unique unarmed combat moves, his greatest weapon will be his own body!

You'll find more information about the monk class here.

Once again - thanks to each and every one of you!

Pub Games and Voice Sets
over 1 year ago – Mon, Nov 12, 2018 at 12:57:31 AM

Pub Games

At sunset, you and your companions finally arrive in Bridgewater, a famous hub of trade and other, less honest forms of business. Milling amongst the crowds of merchants and citizens, beggars and cut-throats, you slowly wander through the town's narrow alleyways towards the Merry Hangman Inn, in a district of town known for its pleasures – many of them illicit. You enter the tavern in search for a hearty meal, a warm hearth, and some merry entertainment to lift up your spirits. 

As anticipated, you find the place is bursting with laughter, singing and cheer as you enter. The smell of good food and beer, and the sound of merry fiddles and happy folk songs out of tune, quickly overwhelm your senses. As some of your companions proceed directly to their rooms in the second floor, longing for a good bed after the strenuous journey, you manage to spot a small empty table in the far corner. When you finally make your way through the crowd of drunken patrons, the tavern maid brings you a battered pewter mug, and asks you with a smile: “Care for a Game?”

Games to spend your hard-earned coin on

Every adventurer needs some time to relax after a long day, and Realms Beyond offers you plenty of games to pass the time with when you return to town after an exhausting adventure. Cards, dice, pit-fighting and axe-throwing are just some of the many activities your adventurers can take part in, trying their luck or skill against NPCs and even wagering some money on their success.

Click for high-res version
Click for high-res version

If you’re on good terms with some tavernkeepers or have some coin to spare, who knows… they might even let you prove what you're made of in their underground fighting clubs (no arms, no armor, no spells – only fists and the cheering roars of the crowd). 

But be careful with your money – many an adventurer has lost the riches he gained during the day in the games of dice he chose to play at night. If you are clever, though, success at gambling is not only a matter of luck. A character with a high skill at bluffing will be an excellent card player, while a dexterous rogue with sleight of hand can attempt to cheat at dice. But beware! If caught cheating, you might be dragged into a fistfight, and once the guards arrive the cheater is the one who has to pay the fine.

You may even catch goblins playing a game of dice in the dungeon, and if you don’t attack them right away, you may even join in! They are, after all, not the smartest creatures nor the most vigilant guards.  

Voice Sets  

You have already heard the triumphant laughter of a wizard as he fries a horde of goblins with his fireball, but there will be many more occasions when your characters show their emotions or make a comment regarding the current events. Like in many other classic RPGs - Baldur's Gate, Planescape Torment, Jagged Alliance 2, Wizardry 8, to mention just a few examples - you can pick one of many different voicesets for your character, covering a vast array of personalities.  

Whether your character is a lawful paladin or a chaotic barbarian, you can select the voice that fits him the best and hear him commenting on certain situations throughout the game. From a simple laugh, cough, or scoff to exclamations like "Bah, elves..." or "What a nice lady!", your characters will comment on combat events, conversations, or item interactions when appropriate.  

To achieve the best quality for these voice sets, we’re cooperating with professional voice actors like Stephen Chatfield. Stephen is not only a highly versatile and exceptionally talented voice actor but also a huge fan of table-top and computer role-playing games. We’re happy that he will contribute not only one but a handful of character voices for Realms Beyond. Exclusively for this update, Stephen recorded two samples of very different character voices to demonstrate the idea.

You’ll listen to a character with a lawful good mindset followed by a chaotic character, in different in-game situations.

 If you want to know more about Stephen's work, please visit his website.