gamesread – Folka Part 3

Part 3 of this exciting short story from Nika Harper is now live!


The bear within Bolverk had awoken and he lumbered through the cold forest, hands and feet digging into the icy soil. The rites spoke of primal living, of natural existence, and shouldering the cruelty of desperation. Living at all costs was what mattered. Bears were built to withstand the harshest and worst winters, to flourish in the verdant summers. They could sleep through the cold months if the land had been kindly, but Bolverk shared the winter nights and days with the less fortunate and more hardened kind. His kind.

The rites of the berserk were strict and secret. Every few years, or any time as desired, they reconnected with the ursine spirit within them through trial and distance. Bolverk was wrong to keep any thoughts in his mind, wrong to use words in any capacity, but ever so rarely they crept back in.

The Ravens were temporarily absent of their captain. To what would Bolverk return?

Back to the woods, if all was gone. The Ravens were motley and not of his creed, nor of his capability. A finer bunch he could never find, but no fellowship among them. Bolverk was not the man to create it. He did not nurture, he enforced. The wind bit at his shoulder, an aching twinge from the scabbed arrow wound, making the cold feel deeper. That foolish girl. He broke the rites when he spoke to her. He should have chased her where she stood. That was the true way.

More land passed beneath his legs. Walk on until varl instincts were left behind.

Brigands held no interest to him, their presence only spoke of trouble elsewhere in the civilized world. Bears do not pick fights when there is naught to gain. Bolverk stayed high in his tree, watching the thin-skinned ones communicate and trek so inefficiently through the cold. Bears do not bother with talk, and Bolverk did his best to keep his ears full of the forest and not words.

But words crept in.

“Aye, the only smoke we’ve seen for days.”

“Across an entire valley, and we’re supposed to trust it?”

“Rotten yox stew is not as satisfying as it once was,” they bickered back and forth.

“Whether a camp or a home, our packs will be filled.”

To think, bears were the ones noted as savages.

Their talk grew distant as the sun hit peak in the sky. Off to make waste of their own kind. A putrid thing, civilization, rotting in its own juices.

A gust stung his cheek, his shoulder prickled with the fresh memory of the arrow. Unlikely it was the girl’s homestead that was the target of the brigands. They were a shoddy sort in any case. If she was any evidence, her family was a strong clan and would benefit from the supplies they gathered from the lowlives headed towards them.

The wind bit his new scar. He leapt down from the tree, cushioned by the crisp snow.

A bear does not use words, just instinct. Bolverk’s arms and legs followed the path cleared by shuffling human feet. He pushed out thoughts and followed the scent of battle towards a distant smudge of smoke on the side of the valley.

gamesread - Folka Part 3

Folka Part 4 on gamesread

The finale of this shot story series about Folka from Nika Harper

 


Folka heard the yox’s long moan outside and sighed. It had a tendency to free itself from the barn and yowl, trapped in the cold. Yox are not intelligent, and this one was nearly as old a family member as herself. Her boots were conveniently by the door and she trudged into the dim night.

 

Though, it was not as it seemed. Immediately Folka was aware that she was weaponless as she watched her yox get dragged through the crunchy snow. There must have been three thieves, their shadows barely visible in the night, and sounds from the barn suggested more. Folka had nothing with which to attack, but that’s never stopped a lumberer from fighting. Though the preference was strategy, she had learned to be resourceful. This would not be the first time it saved her.

 

Without even a grunt, she ran toward the stolen animal, eyes searching for something to grab and swing. The figures had stopped shuffling away and stood ready, when—

 

An enormous bulk dashed into them first, bowling into the mass and leaving deep gashes in the ice-crusted snow. It was impossible to tell the ruckus from itself, all screams and growls and the yox’s wails. Folka did not slow her pace, but leapt into the fray, twisting the first arm she saw and releasing leathery reins from its grip. It was mayhem and the yox reared back, the yoke catching a brigand in the gut and Folka in the face. Her blood joined the others in the moonlight, splattering on a sword she wrenched away from the wielder, hearing the pop of his wrist breaking under her force.

 

The barn was not in great repair before the night began, and Folka saw the shadow just before the roof crashed down by her side. Groaning, the rest of the structure could not hold as remaining brigands slammed open the doors and fled.

The white beast was upon them in an instant. Wood creaked, snapped, and the walls folded forward, toppling around the struggling figures. Dropping everything, Folka reached out her arms to stop a falling door–

And slammed it onto the outstretched heel of a brigand, causing him to drop his sword mid-thrust. Reactively, she hefted the barn door and crashed it to the ground, sending a flimsy buckler skidding across the ground. At her side, the white creature kept its stance ready to charge. But there was no longer anything to fight.

 

A trail of blood, dragged limbs and ripped clothing signaled the departure of the thieves, faster than Folka could bother to chase them, fast as it all began. She dropped the door deep into the snow and pushed past the beast to reclaim her yox, but death had claimed it first. Damned shame. The bear-varl, panting and familiar, was looking at her, then his eyes searched the glowing, empty windows of the house. His voice was hoarse as she remembered, the voice of an animal. “Where is your family?”

“I am all my family.”

The night smelled like pine and iron.

 

He huffed into his beard, “Your nose is broken.”

Folka held his stare, “I didn’t notice.”

The bear-man stood, taller than the home in which she lived, “You pretend to be so strong.”

“Why would I pretend? What would I pretend for? The trees don’t care. The sky does not care. I bring down the forest whether it believes me or not.”

She felt she owed him no thanks nor explanation. His appearance was a boon, but it did not save her yox nor her livelihood. At least there was good meat to be had, and she would get another animal somehow.

He stretched his arms and tossed a tightly-bound leather package to her feet. Folka didn’t need to open it, she had made it herself. It contained a cloth and salve, but she had no intention of using it, just as he had not. Folka had fought her brigands with a broken nose, and did not find it as difficult as the town stories said.

The land was frozen around them, so the yox would keep until morning until she was ready to prepare the meat. But dinner was on, and the warmth of the house beckoned her. Gathering an extra log for the fire, she walked back to the open door of the house. The bear-man had not moved, still surveying the night that held no other disturbance. He looked feral and fearsome, but something in him had placed him there. The gods may be dead, but their work was ever an enigma.

“I’ll finish cooking the stew,” she called out the door, “don’t leave the door open long.”

 

Folka walked back into her modest family home, remembering how many people it once held around the table, remembering the ordinary sound of living. A hulking shadow appeared at the door and for the first time in a year, she fetched two plates for the table.

 

Folka Part 4 on gamesread

The Banner Saga coming to Consoles January 12th – gamesread.com

AUSTIN, TX – December 16, 2015 – Stoic, an independent game development company and Versus Evil, one of the leading independent video game publishers, today announced that the epic Viking RPG strategy game The Banner Saga is coming to the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system and to the Xbox One via the ID@Xbox self-publishing program on Tuesday, January 12th, 2016.

The Banner Saga, which launched to much critical acclaim on both PC and mobile devices has received several awards and nominations, including winner of the 2014 Geekie Awards for “Best Video Game”, winner of 2014 Game Developers Choice: “Best Debut” award, finalist placement for “Excellence in Visual Arts” category at the Independent Game Festival, 3 BAFTA Award Nominations, and winner of Pocket Gamer’s 2015 Best Adventure/RPG Game and Best Android Game of the Year.

“We have been working on porting Banner Saga to consoles for some time” said John Watson, founder and technical director at Stoic. “Porting the game certainly presented technical challenges that we needed to overcome, and gave us an opportunity to redesign the user experience for console controllers. We have managed to merge the story and gameplay from Banner Saga with a refined controller interface to make it a very enjoyable console gaming experience.”

The Banner Saga is a single player driven Viking saga, where a player’s choice in travel, conversation and combat determines the outcome of their own personal story as well as the survival of an entire civilization. The game also features stunning 2D animation and art, a unique tactical combat system and a cast of unforgettable characters, all of which drive this epic journey forward. Players will enjoy a beautiful and haunting original score by Grammy nominated, two-time BAFTA winning composer Austin Wintory conducting The Dallas Winds orchestra, as well as a powerhouse trio of acclaimed YouTube sensations: Peter Hollens, Malukah and Taylor Davis.

“Launching the Banner Saga on next gen consoles is a huge step forward for Stoic and the brand” said Steve Escalante, general manager of Versus Evil. “With this latest achievement, the Stoic team is able to work on more platforms and reach more customers with its games and technology.  This is not a small thing to consider for such a small team.  Looking ahead at what this could mean for Banner Saga 2 gets really exciting.”

Localized in French, German, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Italian languages, The Banner Saga was one of the earlier funding successes on Kickstarter, which originally launched in partnership with independent games publisher Versus Evil.

To learn more about The Banner Saga visit: http://stoicstudio.com/

To learn more about Versus Evil visit: http://www.vsevil.net

gamesread | The Banner Saga Now Available on Xbox One and PlayStation®4

gamesread | The Banner Saga Now Available on Xbox One and PlayStation®4

 

Stoic, an independent game development company, and Versus Evil, one of the leading independent video game publishers, today announced that the epic Viking RPG strategy game The Banner Saga launches on PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system and to the Xbox One via the ID@Xbox self-publishing program today for a SRP of$19.99 / €19.99 /£15.99.

The Banner Saga, which launched to much critical acclaim on both PC and mobile devices has received several awards and nominations, including winner of the 2014 Geekie Awards for “Best Video Game,” winner of 2014 Game Developers Choice: “Best Debut” award, finalist placement for “Excellence in Visual Arts” category at the Independent Game Festival, 3 BAFTA Award Nominations, and winner of Pocket Gamer’s 2015 Best Adventure/RPG Game and Best Android Game of the Year.

“Merging the story and gameplay of Banner Saga with a refined controller interface makes it a very enjoyable console gaming experience. Despite the technical challenges we initially faced in porting the game, we’re extremely happy with the end result of many months of hard work to deliver a worthy console version,” said John Watson, founder and technical director at Stoic.

The Banner Saga is a single player driven Viking saga, where a player’s choice in travel, conversation and combat determines the outcome of their own personal story as well as the survival of an entire civilization. The game also features stunning 2D animation and art, a unique tactical combat system and a cast of unforgettable characters, all of which drive this epic journey forward. Players will enjoy a beautiful and haunting original score by Grammy nominated, two-time BAFTA winning composer Austin Wintory conducting The Dallas Winds orchestra, as well as a powerhouse trio of acclaimed YouTube sensations: Peter Hollens, Malukah and Taylor Davis.

“The Banner Saga console launch is a huge step forward for Stoic and the brand,” said Steve Escalante, general manager of Versus Evil. “The technical efforts required to bring Banner Saga to console from such a small team is an achievement in itself. Looking ahead and with our continued efforts with the development partners that have helped us get here, much more can be accomplished with the Banner Saga. This launch is something we’re all very proud of.”

Localized in French, German, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Italian languages, The Banner Saga was one of the earlier funding successes on Kickstarter, which originally launched in partnership with independent games publisher Versus Evil.

 

The Wizard and Witch are the Final Classes to Awaken in Black Desert Online on gamesread

The Wizard and Witch are the Final Classes to Awaken in Black Desert Online on gamesread

 

Today, Black Desert Online unlocks the true potential of the Wizard and Witch classes, the last pair to Awaken. Both the Wizard and Witch are known for their devastating elemental attacks, calling down massive meteors and stirring up powerful blizzards, often leaving them wide open for counterattacks.

 

Now through the power of their new weapons―the Wizard’s Aad Sphera and the Witch’s Godr Sphera―they are able to channel the elements not only for offensive spells, but also to summon powerful allies who aid them in combat.

 

Watch the Witch and Wizard Awakening Overview video:

 

 

The Wizard gains the ability to summon Keeper Marg and Keeper Arne, fire and water elementals respectively, who will make opponents think twice about trying to sneak in for a kill. The Witch finds friends in Keeper Tett and Keeper Gorr, lightning and earth elementals who, coupled with her new stone wall spell, provide a new layer of defense while the Witch unleashes havoc on the battlefield.

 

Due to popular demand, players can now make a younger looking Wizard using Black Desert Online’s famed character creator. In addition, several in-game events will be held to celebrate the Awakening of all classes. Find more information on the special challenges and rewards here

 

Holiday Event and Sales Continue
There is still time to enjoy Black Desert Online’s holiday sales, including a free seven-day trial, 50% discount on game passes, and festive costume set. These special offers end January 4, 2017, as does the in-game world’s snowy appearance.

 

 

The Margoria Expansion Comes to Black Desert Online January 25 – gamesread.com

The Margoria Expansion Comes to Black Desert Online January 25 - gamesread.com

 

Black Desert Online’s upcoming naval-focused expansion, Margoria, is set to arrive Wednesday, January 25. In addition to adding new treasure-filled sea areas  and a new harbor that connects to a new territory. Furthermore, the Margoria Expansion will introduce underwater monster hunting, ship construction, over 100 new quests, guild-versus-guild naval combat―the best way to establish dominance on the new trade routes―and more.

 

The Margoria Expansion Comes to Black Desert Online January 25 - gamesread.com

 

The Margoria Expansion will be made available to existing Black Desert Online players for free. View the new screenshots below before braving the deep, dangerous waters later this month.

 

The Margoria Expansion Comes to Black Desert Online January 25 - gamesread.com

 

An update to Black Desert Online’s ocean systems was released in October to prepare for the new features coming with the Margoria Expansion. If you missed it, watch the Ocean Update video to see the improved underwater world in motion.

 

Get a free 7-day trial for Black Desert Online here and dive in.

Sea-Focused Margoria Expansion Live Today in Black Desert Online on gamesread

Sea-Focused Margoria Expansion Live Today in Black Desert Online on gamesread

 

Margoria, Black Desert Online’s latest expansion, launches today and brings with it a whole new ocean as well as a host of activities for players to take part in both above and below the waters.

 

Watch the Dive into Margoria Trailer:

 

 

Teased at Gamescom 2016, the Margoria Expansion pushes the limits of what is possible in current-day MMORPGs with features like large-scale naval combat, where entire guilds can climb aboard their ships and face off on the sometimes calm, sometimes storm-ridden Margoria ocean.

Sea-Focused Margoria Expansion Live Today in Black Desert Online on gamesread

Margoria Expansion features

Guild-vs-guild naval combat – Guard your wealth and trade routes by defeating rival guilds in fierce ship-to-ship combat.

Ship construction – Build your private sailing ship or work with your guild to build powerful galleys that are packed with firepower.

New harbors and ocean – Establish lucrative trade routes as the trading system expands to the open seas.

Underwater monster hunting – Take down the terrifying sea monsters that live in the depths of the Margoria ocean and earn legendary loot.

Enhanced life skills – Reel in new species of fish in the Margoria ocean and gather other ingredients to improve your cooking skills.

Over 100 new quests – Meet new characters and continue on your grand adventure.

The Margoria Expansion is available to Black Desert Online players for free.

Get a free 7-day trial for Black Desert Online here.

Black Desert Online Teases Dark Knight Class Coming in March – gamesread.com

Black Desert Online Teases Dark Knight Class Coming in March - gamesread.com

 

Step into the night and feel your life force flicker: The Dark Knight draws near.

 

Watch the Dark Knight Teaser Trailer on YouTube:

 

 

The Dark Knight is the next character class that players will be able to choose from in Black Desert Online.

 

In battle, the Dark Knight uses a combination of melee attacks and long-range magic. Wielding a two-handed sword flaring with dark energy, she can quickly overwhelm opponents by unleashing heavy and unrelenting strikes. Tapping into an ancient power from her homeland of Kamasylvia, the Dark Knight can also corrupt and absorb power from spirits around her, then release it onto nearby enemies to extinguish their life force.

 

Black Desert Online Teases Dark Knight Class Coming in March - gamesread.com

 

Embrace the shadows when both the Dark Knight and the region of Kamasylvia arrive in Black Desert Online this March as free updates.

 

Get a free 7-day trial for Black Desert Online here.

SMITE Tactics CBT3 Introduces Chinese Pantheon on gamesread

SMITE Tactics CBT3 Introduces Chinese Pantheon on gamesread
Hi-Rez Studios has announced SMITE Tactics Closed Beta 3 will feature the Chinese pantheeon. Every user will receive all of the Free Cards from the Chinese Pantheon.

 

 
New Pantheon!

The Chinese Pantheon is now playable in SMITE Tactics. Every user will receive all of the Free Cards from the Chinese Pantheon.

New Campaigns!

In celebration of the Chinese Pantheon coming to SMITE Tactics we have also added a brand new Chinese Campaign! Completing the entire Campaign will reward you with 300 Favor and the Imperial Archer Rare Card.

New Daily Quest!

Chinese Conquest: Win two games while playing as the Chinese Pantheon.

New Keywords!

Colossal: Units with Colossal trigger their Passive at the start of their turn.

Command: Units with Command trigger their Passive whenever a Friendly Item Card is played.

Disarm: Disarmed units are unable to Attack.

New Chinese Leader!

Nu Wa: LEADER, 1/18, Ranged, Ability: Spend 2 Mana to Stealth Friendlies in Target Area.

 

SMITE Tactics CBT3 Introduces Chinese Pantheon on gamesread
New Chinese Minion Cards!

Imperial Archer: Rare, 3 Mana, 2/3, Ranged, Command: Deal 1 Damage to a Random Enemy.

Imperial Guard: Common, 3 Mana, 3/3, Command: Gain +1/+0 and Pardon until the end of your turn.

Imperial Soldier: Free, 2 Mana, 2/2, Command: Gain +1 Movement and +1/+0

Oogway: Rare, 4 Mana, 4/3, Colossal: +1/+1

Stone Guardian: Free, 4 Mana, 3/3, Ranged, Colossal: Gain +1 Range.

White Tiger: Free, 2 Mana, 1/2, Colossal: +0/+1

New Chinese Item Cards!

Celestial Guard: Rare, 1 Mana, Give a Friendly Immune: Items and Abilities.

Crescent Blade: Free, 0 Mana, Deal 1 Damage to a Non-Leader Enemy.

Emperor’s Prize: Common, 3 Mana, Draw a Card for every Friendly on the Board.

Evolve: Free, 4 Mana, Spawn a random Friendly with Colossal.

Projection: Common, 3 Mana, Select a Friendly God or Minion and deal its Attack as direct Damage to a Non-Leader Enemy.

Jade Boon: Free, 1 Mana, Give a Non-Leader Friendly Colossal:+1/+0

Manifold Blade: Common, 1 Mana, Deal 1 Damage. This item gains +1 Damage for every Friendly with Colossal in Play.

Rushing Thunder: Rare, 3 Mana, Deal 1 Damage to all Enemies.

Transfusion: Common, 2 Mana, Set target Non-Leader’s Attack equal to its Health.

New Chinese God Cards!

Ao Kuang
Epic, 5 Mana, 4/5, Colossal: +1/+0, Ability: Teleport to a tile while leaving behind an Illusion with Taunt.
The Illusion’s Health is based off of Ao Kuang’s Health when the ability is used.
If the Illusion is not destroyed, it will explode dealing 1 Damage to all adjacent Enemies.

Chang’e
Free, 3 Mana, 0/5, Ability: Heal Adjacent Friendlies for 2 Health and deal 2 Damage to Enemies if Hou Yi is in play.

Hou Yi
Epic, 4 Mana, 3/3, Ranged, Ability: Deal 2 Damage to an Enemy and a random Enemy adjacent to the Target. If Chang’e is in play, hit an additional Target.

Sun Wukong
Legendary, 6 Mana, 6/7, Ability: Select an animal form.
Eagle Form: Trigger all Friendlies Colossal and double your Movement.
Ox Form: Deal 2 Damage to adjacent Enemies. Attacks now Knockback units 2 tiles.
Tiger Form: Gain +2 Attack. Can Attack immediately.

New Neutral Card!

Weakening Curse: Common, 1 Mana, Disarm an Enemy until the start of your next turn.

New Features

New Ranked Queue

This patch we have officially added a Ranked Queue. Player’s will start off by playing 10 Qualifying Games. After the player has completed 10 Qualifying matches, they will be placed into one of Six Divisions. These Divisions are grouped by Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, and Masters.

New Tutorial

Tutorials have been revamped in CB3 to be story driven, and teach Tactics in a more fun and enjoyable way!

New Egyptian Environmental Tiles

Ceremonial Urns have been placed around the Egyptian Map and contain three Cards; Mana Potion, Urn of Health, and Urn of Attack. Destroying an urn will give the player one of these three Cards. Urns can not be damaged by Item Cards.

Mana Potion: Gain +1 Mana for this turn.
Urn of Health: Give a Friendly +2 Health.
Urn of Attack: Give a Non-Leader Friendly +1 Attack.

Anti Aliasing
Hi-Rez Studios has added back multiple Anti-Aliasing options. These can be found inside the settings menu.

New Audio Cue
An audio cue now plays when there is 15 seconds remaining on your turn.

General 

New Health Bars and Action Indicators
This patch we have made further adjustments to the UI which includes our brand new Health Bars and Action Indicators! Action Indicators allow the user to quickly scan the board to see what units still have actions left.

Updated unit circles
Unit circles have been updated to help user readability.

Friends List
Added Friend Removal confirmation message
Can now use enter key when adding new friends

New Soundtracks
Each map in SMITE Tactics now has its own unique soundtrack.

Balance

Divinity
Is now triggered when a God is used to heal a God already in play.

Fire Shards -> Annihilation 
Fire Shards has been renamed to Annihilation. Thanks Nu Wa…

Banish
Mana cost reduced from 4 to 3.

Bull Demon King
Attack increased from 2 to 3.

Elder Harpy 
Movement increased from 2 to 3.

Fire Imp
Movement reduced from 3 to 2.

Geb
Can now use his ability on himself.

Kang
Attack increased from 4 to 5.

Shell
Mana cost reduced from 2 to 1.

You can learn more about SMITE Tactics Closed Beta 3 patch on the official forum.

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