Welcome to Exilian! We're one of the friendliest communities on the internet, democratically run and existing to help facilitate a range of projects in fields including game modding/content creation, programming, drama, music, debating, writing, RPG and wargame design, e-learning, and more. You can also come here to chat, discuss the news, post poetry, play forum games, and just to meet a diverse range of people from all over the world.

Enjoy your stay!

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Posted on August 07, 2020, 02:39:44 PM by Leafly
Exilian Chain Writing - Read The Stories!

Exilian Summer 2020 Chain Writing - Project Complete

Our Chain Writing project is now complete! Including twenty four different writers from across the world, we've created three awesome and very different stories. The project's been running since the spring, and we're very pleased to be able to share the results, which include tales from the sea, love and loss, betrayal, mighty missions, broken promises, adventure and anarchy, and a very mischievous prisoner of the ship commanded by Davey Jones. So, get ready and enjoy the creative wonders from the many members and supporters of Exilian! We hope you enjoy them!

The rules of the project were that each writer added up to 250 words to the story, building up a collaborative piece together. The writers were not allowed to discuss the story as it was ongoing and indeed didn't know who else was part of their chain - I as editor passed each section onto the next person. It's a major challenge for writers to take on this sort of collaborative project, and I'd like to hugely thank all of our writers – Andrew Conway, Arthcymro, Beebug_Nic, Bigosaur, BlackZebra, Caradìlis, Dan Shaw, Eleonora, H. E. Strachan, Irina Rempt, justatoady, KingSingh, Leo, Muxley, Nakyo, Phoenixguard, Pitys, rbuxton, Samuel Cook (Tar-Palantir), SLiV, Suzi (Spritelady), Tusky von Tuskington III, Waddleflap, and myself.

I'm hoping to run another round of chain writing in winter, probably starting mid-December, so please do keep an eye out for that.

Hope you enjoy the stories!

Jubal (Organiser)

The Chain Writing Stories

Lucia is now part of the crew and ship commanded by Davy Jones, but longs for something more adventurous. Thinking desperately how to cook up the best way to be banished from the ship and find her true passion, could lead to devastation and severe consequences for her. But she is fearless and will stop at nothing! Let’s see what happens!

A mission, designed to cultivate relationships and protect sacred Holy Land. Philip is trusted to find peaceful allies. On his quest he is accompanied by someone, but will it cost him dearly?

Different species with one common and mutual theme, love. That was until something happened, to shake and test the strength of it. Is there A Chance of Tentacles Past or is it all too late?

Posted on July 10, 2020, 02:50:05 PM by Leafly
Newsletter Issue 38: Summer 2020

Issue 38: Summer 2020


Dear reader, unprecedented times are at large but as the world starts to get back to the way things were before the pandemic, there are areas where the virus is still active and other places in the world where people have gone back to school,work and of course many other things.
We're all at different stages of these processes, but we hope from all of us at Exilian that you are all staying healthy.
While it has been a hectic time around the world, some good news is, we've been busy with creating some fun projects for you to look at! We've got some great game dev topics, nature and wildlife, top rated beers you can find near you while listening to Jubal's planned bannerlord tavern songs mod if you like!!
This month in our regular six-monthly election round all of our current regularly elected team were ratified in post. The full election results were as follows:
Jubal (FIF) re-elected as Basileus, Chair of Exilian!
Tusky (Ind) re-elected as Sebastokrator, Voting Members' Officer!
GMD (Ind) re-elected as Spatharios, Senior Moderator!
Congratulations to Jubal, Tusky and GMD!
Election results

There's more to read so lets get to it and as always: 'Enjoy your stay!'.


  • Editorial
  • Game Development
    • Roadwarden: New demo version out!
    • Jubal's Bannerlord tavern songs
    • Rbuxton's boardgaming dev diaries
    • Calling the Faithful to Utherwald Press
  • Writing & Arts
    • An Unexpected Bestiary: The Fourth Parchment
    • Topic: Dune's Island - A Free Video Learning Series
  • Miscellany
    • The Beer Thread


Roadwarden: New Demo version out!

In Roadwarden, from Moral Anxiety Studio, you play as the eponymous character, tasked with patrolling and making safe the pathways from place to place in a world where nature is much stronger than mankind and scattered villages struggle for survival in the wilderness. The game is story-focused, with navigating your way through discussions being vital and a range of options for tones and player body language allowing a highly detailed approach. A range of items and item uses can also help you unlock the mysteries of particular places and events as you go, and as with creator Aure's other games there's no 'right answer', just the stories you create for yourself on any given run.

As of recent updates there is a new demo version of the game out which is available on Steam, as well as improved visuals and more to do. More intricate details on the map have been added - a map which, unlike in many games, is focused not on a geographic in-fill but keeps its focus closely on the roads and routes from place to place, with empty and unknown lands between them. Small villages, dolmens, hermit's caves, crossroads, and more all await the Roadwarden on their travels. Where will yours end up?

Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord songs, from Exilian's Jubal

The Flower Of Charas

Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord, from Exilian's Jubal is the sequel to Mount & Blade. A role palying game (RPG) focused on immesive medieval warfare! Currently in Early Access, don't you want to know more?

A bit of history: set in a world called Calradia, it's a fairly historical fantasy with not many magic or supernatural elements. Bannerlord is set several hundred years before the previous game, in a more early medieval setting.
Mount & Blade and Bannerlord are particularly known for having a higher level of support for mods than other games which are similar.
If you want to know more check out the range of mods Exilian has hosted on Mount and Blade games!

This is the first of the eight regional themed songs planned, a popular Vlandian song commemorating their capture of the city of Charas.
By James 'Jubal' Baillie, inspired by the Calradian setting of M&B: Bannerlord, which will come out as a tavern music mod, enjoy this majestic piece offered by one of Exilian's very own!
Here are some awesome comments from YouTube!

Beautiful job man! This is what I want to hear in the tavern while I'm hiring Vlandian Armed Traders and rescuing Petta the Wronged...AGAIN
- Canticles

awesome man,  i ll be waiting to hear the flower of charas while hiring some mercs!
- Pierrelicious

great song, keep it up!
- Ayush Khanal

Rbuxton's Dev Diaries

Boardgame designer rbuxton has been busily chronicling the continued progress of Test of Time, a quick and lightweight civilisation-building game he's developing, on his blog. Test of Time is playable in just over an hour, with scientific advancements, cultural achievement, and military might all being bundled into a simple card-playing dynamic. Players expand across a modular hexagonal board to gain resources and power up the actions on their cards: playing cards in front of you builds your military strength, but technological advancement requires you to "scoop" them,  allowing you to make strides forward through technological time but leaving yourself vulnerable in order to do so.

Recent development blogposts include some useful discussions of the steps that rbuxton and other boardgame designers have been taking to keep going under lockdown. These range from teething problems with the use of Tabletop Simulator, to where to find some more good discussion and testing communities, to the problems of not having the same levels of face to face interaction as boardgames usually offer. It's a set of insights that's well worth reading for anyone interested in the processes of boardgame design and how games like Test of Time take shape.

Calling the Faithful to Utherwald Press

Utherwald press' regular blog entries have continued, now on a monthly schedule and recently including an air combat playtest, a Cold War Skirmishes update, and a fascinating post on the religion of the Commonweath, one of the main cultures in their flagship (or, possibly, flag-plane) Frozen Skies setting for the Savage Worlds tabletop role-playing game. The Commonwealth's faith what we know of Celtic (mainly Irish) polytheistic religion and imagining how it might have evolved forward into a dieselpunk culture, with everyone from doctors to aviators calling upon a range of different deities as situations demand. From the old systems of sacred groves have now emerged networks of round chapels and household shrines, with a loosely defined priesthood of "Keepers" who tend the different sanctuaries, some specialising as chaplains for hospitals or the military but most acting as general officiators of ceremonies.

As ever, you can discuss this and other Utherwald Press blogposts on their Exilian forum. Hope to see you there!


An Unexpected Bestiary: The Fourth Parchment

Sea swallow.

Ever wondered about how many animals there are that you didnt know existed? The fourth parchment of An Unexpected Bestiary, talks about the Seriema, Noble Pen Shells, Dunnocks, Maras, Sea Swallow, Honey possum and Wryneck! With a bit of everything from land living mamals, sky surfing birds, sea stirring creatures and from big to small there's definitely something here for you.
this tiny, beautiful Sea slug steals Jellyfish stings powerful enough to kill humans, and can and will sting you with them.

- Sea Swallow
Its English name is based on the incredibly eerie twisting and turning motions that its head can undergo, contorting and wiggling at strange angles that along with strange hissing noises make the predator convinced that what they%u2019re facing is a much more formidable and more reptilian opponent than they%u2019d bargained for.
- Wryneck

With so much to learn here, there is a variety of different animals, facts and just interesting information that can help you find out something you didn't know before and can share with others. Jubal has now written 4 Parchments, please stay tuned for Parchment 5!

Dune's Island - A Free Video Learning Series

During lockdown everyone has been trying to find free education resources. Here at Exilian, Eric Matyas has created free information about environmental stewardship that can be found at this website: https://www.dunesisland.org

This follows on well from An Unexpected Bestiary!
Here you will find vocabulary, math problems, writing prompts and more with this free eco-learning series!
There are cool documentaries and and activities too. You will also find fantastic curriculum aids, that can be used in classrooms and have also been supported by science teachers.

Episode 1 of the learning series: Mr. Binnacle sends Dune and friends to the inlet to try to spot Buster, an endangered sea turtle whose tracking device is faltering. For ages 7-12. Please share with family, friends and teachers!
The website is always being updated, do bookmark it to keep up to date with new content.


The Beer Thread

In some countries the weather is becoming warmer, beers can be great to try or even cook with.
Beer, why do people like it so much?! So many people like the very wide range of styles, flavours and it has been around for millennia as explained by Exilian's Glaurung.

The general opinion is that there is a fondness for beers from different countries.
Here's what we came up with:

  • Dark, malty stouts and porters (Britain), Belgian sour ales and lambics, German wheat beers and Czec Largers.
  • Guiness
  • Potbelly's Lager Brau (a small chance that this could be a Gold Ale?)
  • More well known beers like Wychwood Brewery's Goliath and Samuel Adams Boston Lager
  • A nice warm lager and a packet of crisps?
  • There was a mention of cider as well as beer
  • A go-to is a local Australian lager called Great Northern
  • More of a fan of a malty beer rather than floral or tropical kind of flavours you get from most Australian ales
  • Pale ales are becoming very popular in a small corner of Australia
  • Mountain Goat Hightail, which is an ale with some toffee, coffeee and caramel notes
  • A good stout or Irish ale
  • The Kilkenny copper ale is a favourite too

There are beers that have been sold through drive-ins during the lockdown because the supplies were in stock with no public to sell them to. As lockdown begins to be lifted, and with the warmer months (depending on where you are of course) when you visit the shops next, check out the beers they have on offer! Maybe treat yourself to a recipe and try something totally new today!

Have you got any suggestions that everyone might like to try? Let us know in the comments!

We hope you have enjoyed the newsletter, we'll see you back here in Autumn!

Posted on July 05, 2020, 11:27:11 AM by Jubal
Election Results, June 2020

Election Results

This month in our regular six-monthly election round all of our current regularly elected team were ratified in post. The full election results were as follows:

Regularly Elected Staff

Jubal (FIF) re-elected unopposed as Basileus (Chair of Exilian), 5 votes to 0 with 2 abstentions
Tusky (Ind) re-elected unopposed as Sebastokrator (Voting Members' Officer), 6 votes to 0 with 1 abstentions
GMD (Ind) re-elected unopposed as Spatharios (Senior Moderator), 5 votes to 0 with 1 abstentions

The post of Tribounos was uncontested and remains vacant.

Thanks to everyone who voted and to all our staff: the next regular elections will be in December, with opportunities for joining the staff team in the meantime likely to be announced in the Questions & Suggestions forum.

Posted on June 15, 2020, 07:47:51 PM by Jubal
Mount & Blade Bannerlord sections open!

As of today we're officially reopening our Mount & Blade sections of the forum, newly set up and sorted out for Mount & Blade: Bannerlord! As we did of original Mount & Blade, we'll be hosting mod subforums, writing guides to parts of the game, and generally chatting about our various ways to conquer Calradia. We've had some good stuff out already, including a guide to Tablut and the start of work on a new tavern music mod, and there'll be much more to come. We're also looking for a volunteer to help run our Bannerlord content so if that could be you, give us a shout.

For those who are unfamiliar with the game, M&B Bannerlord is the sequel to acclaimed medieval war game Mount & Blade, which takes players to the historical-fantasy world of Calradia. The original game was set in the high middle ages, whereas Bannerlord takes players a few hundred years earlier, with the Calradic Empire splintering into civil war and new realms rising to try and carve up its remnants. Beyond this world of early medieval warfare, the M&B series is also unusually easy to modify and has a large community of players who do so. Here on Exilian we've supported past modding projects including Southern Realms, Europe 1080, Warsword and the Extended Factions mod - and we hope to see just as good a range of projects take flower for Bannerlord!

Posted on April 08, 2020, 12:00:52 AM by Jubal
Updates from the Forge 37: Spring 2020

Issue 37: Spring 2020


Dear reader, this issue has been delayed, as so many things are at the moment. For once, I don't have to start worrying about whether I should have been geographically stipulating more when I say that we are living through events unprecedented in all of our lifetimes. That is at least unless we have any centenarian readers born prior to the post World War One Spanish Flu epidemic - if we do, hi, congratulations on surviving an awfully long time on a ball of rock confusedly flying around a giant gas ball, and please disregard the previous sentence. This is big, there's no doubt, and it's hard to say where things will end up.

There's really not much we can say about the world's situation that hasn't been said elsewhere and better by brighter, better people, but we'll say two things anyway. First, do the smart thing, follow relevant guidance, and look after yourself and those around you as best you can, please: we think you're all great and want you to stay healthy. Secondly, we're going to be right here for exactly what we're always here for, doing the same thing we do every night: plotting to take over the world providing you with awesome creative content, escapist geekery, and a friendly community. If you're feeling isolated, and a lot of people are during this time, please feel you can drop by our offtopic areas and chat about it, this community is here for you, dear reader, even if you just read these pages silently now and again. Thanks for sticking with us, and let us know if we can help.

Around the site, we're now twelve years old and heading on strong into the third decade we've existed in. We'd like to take this opportunity to draw forum users' attention to a clarificatory update to our Terms of Service. which we've amended to make clearer our obligations regarding posted material. The update mainly makes it clear the circumstances in which we might for practical reasons end up retaining copies of posts that are removed (for example in backups), and sets better limits for what we can reasonably ask our volunteer staff to do for users in this regard. You can see the Terms of Service here.

We've got some great projects for you this time - we couldn't even fit everything in, amid a ton of great creative stuff going on, and we're really excited to see what some of these projects will be looking like in a few months from now. This issue of Updates from the Forge includes space roguelikes, Roman warfare, mysterious meetings in taverns, a very oblique Monty Python reference and cheese on toast. What more could you ask for, dearest reader?

And with that ramble over - it's Updates O' Clock!


  • Editorial
  • Game Development
    • For The Warp!
    • Illyria Reborn in Rome: Total War
    • Beer, Buffs and Berberis in Tourney
    • Rome Total War: Vanilla Extended V16
    • Duels and Hunts in the Exile Princes
  • Writing & Arts
    • Three Coins and Seven Stones: Tales from Norbayne
    • Exilian Chainwriting Launched
    • The tales of the Ytrair
  • Miscellany
    • The Jolly Boar Kitchen reopens


For The Warp!

A new release in our game dev section, For the Warp is a roguelike/deck-building game that sees you pilot your ship through five star systems of increasingly challenging enemies as you attempt to fight your way through to the warp gates and make it home rich. Along the way you can pick up distress calls, search ruined space-temples, and collect abilities ranging from launching drone fleets to ship-disabling pulses to powerful plasma burn weapons. Conserving precious resources like fuel and avoiding ship damage which is hard to repair are both important imperatives for you on your voyage.

This is the first released game from Massive Galaxy Studios, and it's really excellent fun. Whether you're going to play the long game and rely on high powered shielding and grinding your enemies down, or whether you're going to go in with the biggest guns you can find blazing, whether you're going to go for a self-repairing ship or yet more engine boosters to keep your weapons charged and ready, your journey to the next warp gate awaits!

Illyria Reborn in Rome: Total War

We've had a great run of project announcements from the RTW modders lately, including this new released mod by Korsakoff, Illyria Reborn. It restores the planned Illyria faction that was going to be in the original RTW game, replacing Parthia and using the original planned assets many of which were included with the game and which would eventually become part of Thrace in RTW's release version, including the blue and teal colour scheme and serpent banner. Meanwhile Thrace return to their original planned yellow and black colour scheme, and the Seleucids are a far more notable starting power with their ability to build up strength further east at the start of the game.

Beer, Buffs and Berberis in Tourney

Hear ye hear ye! Travel to ye Tourney in style!

Tourney, made by our very own Tusky, is a jousing game in which you geto to build up a jousting arena with its surrounding tents, food sellers, peasant onlookers, and so on, and then hold mighty jousts, including training knights and a whole host of mechanics to feed, water, and just plain get on the nerves of the various knightly contestants.

Recent updates to the tournament ground have included the lovely wagon above, which brings spectators to your tournament ground, the important introduction of toilets and the response to something that some mysterious knights in a forest apparently demanded of the developer. Meanwhile on the gameplay side, work has been done on the training menu, where you can spend achievements to unlock various titles for your knight and give them small resulting buffs. The beer cart and hog roast wagons have also had their menu, uh, menus improved, so you can tweak the beer and fat content for amusing effects on knights and onlookers alike. You can check out Tusky's regular progress at his Exilian thread - do go have a look.

Rome Total War: Vanilla Extended V16

Sweeping in with his dramatic retinue of... one librarian? That said, never underestimate a librarian.

Ahowl11's Vanilla Extended mod version 16 has been released! One of the biggest Rome: Total War modding projects ongoing in recent years, Vanilla Extended keeps the general look and feel of classic Rome: Total War whilst packing in tons more diversity of units, gameplay options, and other possibilities. Ahowl is one of the longest-running RTW modders around, with huge experience from working on projects like Rome: Total Realism, and his commitment to making awesome RTW content continues to provide much awesome fun for fans.

In this release, changes include tweaks to the Martial Law building that make it function as intended, so that keeping it for too long will be economically damaging and the AI doesn't misuse it badly. Rather than having Area of Recruitment, this release also includes faction-specific mercenary pools, allowing more diversity of mercenary options without the Area of Recruitment issue of ending up with the Greeks suddenly fielding armies of Gauls or vice versa. New features have also been brought in from Rome: Total Realism 5.4, including a significant change to Egypt's unit tree, allowing them to recruit more vanilla-style Egyptian peasantry and low tier units in many areas whilst still maintaining their hellenic elites and pikemen, better modelling the historic army of the Ptolemies.

Duels and Hunts in the Exile Princes

The emblems of the great houses...

Jubal's Exile Princes version beta 008 is now complete! In The Exile Princes, you move around a procedurally generated fantasy world exploring its quirks, cities, and characters, ultimately aiming to make your house ruler of all the cities in the Exile Lands. Start almost alone and build up a warband, ultimately rising to take control of cities and fight wars for supremacy, picking up companions, exploring mysterious tunnels, and finding strange and monstrous beasts along the way. With four factions to choose from - the houses of Scholars, the Phoenix, Generals, and the Dragon - each with its own unique playstyle, there's a huge range of ways to play and things to do.

Additions in 008 include new quests for lords that will see you asked to fight duels to settle scores and hunt rare beasts like giant albino kinklades to retrieve rare trophies. Many of the newer quests are only given by lords with certain character traits, so the ruler's personalities are increasingly being reflected in gameplay. You now also need to wait a while to build siege weapons before assaulting a city - this slows down later game combat and makes it more of a risk to go to war, as you'll be bogged down for far longer and your own cities may be exposed to attack. Your character's resilience stat is now upgraded separately to your defence as well, making the way you build your character more flexible.

Copies of the beta are available on request in the subforum - please do come and join the testing group, the more feedback the merrier!


Three Coins and Seven Stones: Tales from Norbayne

We've been brought a huge new series of tales from Phoenixguards' RPG and setting Norbayne, via the playing logs of his campaigns. Written in epic-level scale and depth, with both blow by blow renditions of the gameplay and , the logs will be of particular interest to GMs but are a good fun playthrough story for fantasy readers of all kinds too. A classic fantasy setting but with many twists and turns to it, Norbayne sees humans rub shoulders with the sapient marsupial Leathe, elf-like but brutal Danaan, and other strange peoples besides.

Sunrock, capital of Benden.

In Three Coins, Two Birds, and a Gilded Sword, a warrior named Harold Oakenshield is elected leader of a rag-tag band comprising a light-footed leathe assassin and two brutal danaan, a mage and a ranger. Can this party, and the additional friends they pick up on the way, map the twists and turns of the intrigues of the border town of Summer Hill, between Elspeth and Naille? And if they do, where will the results of this border conflict ultimately lead them?

Meanwhile, in the new adventure, Seven Stones and a Pale Shadow, a mysterious voice leads a rugged northern mercenary, Michael, from his long journey into the unusual company of a leathe called Ailbhe Blackrose in the town of Stonebridge. Their jarring meeting - unexpected by either of them, is cut short as they interrupt a local gang shaking someone down for some coin. But what has brought them together? And who are the mysterious Black Hand who the local gang seem to be working for?

Find out the answers to these, and more, boozier and gruesomer questions besides, in Phoenixguard's epic campaign stories here on Exilian:

Exilian Chainwriting Launched

“I think it’s time to give up on the air breathing octopuses. We’ve run twenty nine emulations now, and the best one only lasted less than 40 gigaseconds.  We need to go back and look at the bears again.”

Sergei shook his head in frustration. “Environmental collapse every time with the bears. Twenty runs, and they all ended the same way. Overfishing, overeating. You can’t build a decent civilization with a species that hibernates. It has to be octopuses. They are intelligent, they have fine motor skills and mainpulative ability. Just get them out of the water so they can learn metallurgy. Let’s try one more time.”
In one of our previous chain writing stories, two characters consider their next plot twist.

Exilian is doing a new chain writing project! Those taking part will write 250 words each in a chain of 8 or 9 people. They don't know who else is in the chain or get to communicate with them - they just have to write With a range of different chains and themes, we'll be producing some great stories for you which will be available and published in five or six weeks' time. With participants from a huge range of backgrounds and countries, we hope you're every bit as excited as we are to see what awesome ideas everyone comes up with.

Our last project, in 2018, created three great stories - Last of a Kind, in which a terrifying plot to wipe out a whole species may be being orchestrated by forces unexpected to those involved, Of Storms and Silence, in which a weary traveller must protect their comrades from horrifying monsters, and The Divine and the Feline, in which the age-old arguments of Greek deities intertwine with the life of a housecat in unexpected ways. You can read those here.

We still haave a few writing slots available, so if you want to get in touch and join in you can do so until midnight, next Sunday, April 12th.

The tales of the Ytrair

"And if there are things here unsaid, it is because they have been lost to the fast-flowing river, time, that pulls us all toward the open water."

A new creative writing piece by Jubal, Tales of the Ytrair is a story loosely based upon a playthrough his modified version of Civilisation II, War of Realms. Following the Ytrair people from their nomadic beginnings to the birth of the Republic, a writer called Syesh carefully documents the recieved wisdom of his people about the trials of their past. The piece is written in the style of a medieval chronicle, and goes not only into the usual campaign log details of an AAR but the imagined heroes, kings, and ideas of the Ytrair, how they saw the other peoples of their world, and the tales of great explorers among them who discovered far off lands... read on to discover more of this unique little creation!


The Jolly Boar Kitchen reopens

Come and chat about it, even if it's just cheese on toast. No wait, especially if it's cheese on toast.

Many more of us are stuck at home than usual, and one of the things we can still all enjoy in trying times is food. But as it's harder to eat communally and more cooking may be needed, now seemed like a great time for us to re-open a previously mothballed part of the site - the Jolly Boar Kitchen, Exilian's food discussion forum! Head into the Kitchen to post recipes, discuss what you're eating, ask for advice on how to use up your ingredients, and pick up ideas for what to eat. Whether you're cake-making, cress growing, or just having some good ol' cheese on toast, the Jolly Boar Kitchen awaits. Come along, pull up a chair, get a drink of your choice and have a chat:

As usual, please leave your feedback in the comments, and if you can think of any ideas to improve these columns, do let us know. Hopefully by the summer issue things will have turned around, and we won't need to worry so much about Fox Box goblins stealing our loo roll. But until then, give us a shout if we can help out, take care of yourselves - and we'll see you next time.