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 October 30, 2023, 09:28:35 PM by Jubal
Announcing Coding Medieval Worlds IV: Outcasts and Monsters!

We're very excited to be able to announce the fourth workshop in our series Coding Medieval Worlds, which connects game developers and historians to look at shared challenges and issues in modelling and representing medieval worlds. After last year's successful Landscapes and Backgrounds event, we move to the margins and marginalias, the outcasts and the outlandish, as we look at Outcasts and Monsters for the fourth workshop in the series. The poster (and PDF & Plaintext links below) give you all the details you need if you might want to participate: we'll be announcing speakers closer to the time.

If you want to know more about what's going on, do ask any questions at the Coding Medieval Worlds forum and check out the webpages for details on past events and links to the videos of keynotes from previous years.

We look forward to seeing some of you there!

Posted on October 01, 2023, 10:33:33 PM by Jubal
Updates from the Forge 51: Autumn 2023

Issue 51: Autumn 2023


Welcome to another issue of Updates from the Forge! This is Exilian's newsletter of creative geekery, telling you what we've been getting up to over the past three months across the community. This time we have another eight updates from different projects, featuring kobolds, intergalactic warfare, the monuments of Armenia, and songs about necromancy, among our usual multicoloured miscellany of topics.

It's always worth noting that our main articles here are only a handful of the things going on among our members: other projects are getting some great updates, including a new steam page and trailer for BeerDrinkingBurke's excellent Innkeep. Also, excitingly, our top article from last issue, Under the Yoke from Priory Games, now has a launched Steam page so you can head over, watch the excellent new trailer, and wishlist the game.

Nor are the projects all we've got happening around the community: there's been plenty of lively chatter about people's reading and gaming, fun in the forum games area, and continued chatter about politics around the world. Other parts of the community outside the forum also include our monthly video-call meetups where we've discussed things from gelatinous cubes and warlock patron flumphs to the fluid dynamics of some very particular fluids. Why not drop by sometime?

In any case - we have plenty to show you for this issue, and it's time to get on with doing so. Without further ado, here's issue fifty-one with eight more updates from the creative forges of Exilian!


  • Editorial
  • Game Development
    • Can you survive the elements?
    • Yip! Yip! Yip Quest!
    • Jubal's Warhammer Campaign Systems
  • Arts & Writing
    • Exilian Chain Writing 2023
    • Ben, Books, Bones, and Barbie: Jubal's Music Returns
    • BagaturKhan's Potestas War
  • Miscellany
    • In the Shadows Of Mountains: A Yerevan Travelogue
    • New Lo-fi Music for your projects from SoundImage


Can you survive the elements?

Mixing the action-roguelike and JRPG genres, new Exilian member samobee has come along with Elemental Survivors, a madcap, colourful game with an auto-attacking system, randomly generated fantasy landscapes, and a wide array of special abilities, powerful equipment and unique attacks for players to use as they forge a path through the game. The world has been overrun by a vast number of foes, and it's a peril you and your train of allies must end. Area runs last around 20 minutes each with a boss spawning at the end that provides an extra powerful challenge. Permanent upgrades and stronger equipment may help you bounce back from defeat as you try to survive the onslaught.

Elemental Survivors went into Early Access on Aug 25, and is available from Steam now, with future elements to be added including evolutions of attacks and high-powered summons that can turn the tide of your battles. The game's plans promise regular updates based on community feedback, so if you know what you want out of a game like this, getting in there at this early stage may be a great way to help shape the game's development. Why not take a look?

The kobolds ponder their next move. At least, to the extent kobolds can be said to ponder anything.
Yip! Yip! Yip Quest!

New Exilian member Ramorama brings us a kobold themed point and click adventure, Yip Quest, a tale of three kobolds trying to rob the treasury of a local princess, buy their own cave, and get as wealthy (and drunk) as kobold life allows. You need to switch between the three kobolds in your party to make use of their different abilities - Ram's strength, Raga's sharp eyes, and Kog's skinny gap-wriggling - as you concoct a fiendish and surely absolutely foolproof plan to boggle the minds of the princess' guards, and get into her luxurious treasury as seen on her PikPok profile. What nasty secrets might you find out about the princess' life and staffing along the way? And will you turn out to be the only ones with an interest in the luxurious royal treasury room...?

The game is entirely free to download from itch.io and is a delightful short old school point and click adventure made for the $107 Adventure Game Challenge. Its gameplay includes a fun range of item puzzles, whimsical comments on the scenery, and kobolds getting up to what can only be described as shenanigans. Very worth checking out if you need a silly hour or so's puzzling in your life!

Jubal's Warhammer Campaign Systems

Some older style wargaming content has come up recently as Jubal has recently released the rules for two Warhammer Fantasy campaign games he ran in 2009-10, with updated rules to make more readable and clear rulebooks. The two systems are Of Stone and Iron, set in the subterranean depths around the Dwarfs' ancient Underway road, and Of Wood and Water, an exploration of the Turtle Islands in the far southeast of the Warhammer world. Both systems offer detailed exploration rules on tile-based maps, with impassable and difficult terrain, natural disasters, monstrous encounters and the construction of new buildings and military units among strategic considerations for the player generals. Individual bonuses or objectives for different factions emphasise a variety of playstyles at the strategic level, adapting to or changing the landscape itself as the different peoples of the Warhammer world play to their strengths in these struggles for dominion.

While the rules were originally written for Warhammer Fantasy Battle 7th/8th edition, much of the system should be adaptable to other editions of Warhammer and indeed probably to other battle systems like Dragon Rampant or Kings of War. Let us (and Jubal) know if you have feedback or have run these campaigns yourself - a new way to experience the tabletop gaming hobby on a grand scale beyond single battlefields, adding strategy to the classic modern games of fantasy warfare!


Exilian Chain Writing 2023

There was time to spare, for once, but that night’s journey was still uneasy.

Following her companion, the stocky little woman crept through unlit passageways with a level of quiet, slow purpose more usually reserved for snails than people. Light was not an option. Talking was not an option. Breathing was just about acceptable, as long as she held the imagined death-stare of a librarian in her mind to ensure, with withering glances, that she kept the noise down.

She adjusted her pince-nez and re-pinned a stray grey braid as she walked: there was no need for haste, and keeping her hands quietly busy helped with the nerves. The route was cool, even airy, but a nervous sweat still moistened her hands...

Exilian has done another chain writing project! This project had one chain story, a whimsical science-fantasy in which the mysterious Xellians bring a human to a piece of machinery awesome in its power. But to what end was this secretive project done? And what choices will the human - a grey-haired lady with pince-nez and a penchant for obscure books - make with a machine beyond all humaning reckoning in front of her? The answers to these questions may delight, excite and amuse you...

Our chain writing projects involve a range of writers each adding 250 or so words in sequence to make a roughly 2000 word story together - without conferring, so the tale can take many unexpected twists and turns as elements introduced by one writer get repurposed and pulled in different directions by another. The result is an exciting test of writing skill as the different writers have to adapt to and work with what they have available. Read on and see how our seven authors' penmanship shaped up!

Ben, Books, Bones, and Barbie: Jubal's Music Returns

After some months with a broken guitar and awkward attempts to learn the mandolin and gusle not getting to recording quality, Jubal's guitar is functional and that means music is finally back on the menu! Two new songs have arrived on the Exilian YouTube channel in the last month or so. Firstly, we had the Star Wars/Barbie Movie crossover parody number you very much weren't asking for, I'm Just Ben, in which Ken's earworm number from Barbie becomes a ballad for Obi-Wan to contemplate his past upon meeting Luke Skywalker. The song drops in a number of well-timed Kenobi lines with the backing video montage, and should be But that's not all...

...because there's also the song above - A Song of Books and Bone, based on Veo Corva's wonderful Tombtown novels, wrapping up the themes of these necromantic slice of life adventures and turning them into the sort of soft folksy lyrics that suit both artist and subject matter down to (and indeed, down beneath) the ground. If you like fantasy folk songs, queer magic adventure fiction, or just some warm lyrics about found family and community, this may be a song to have a listen to!

BagaturKhan's Potestas War

In the huge Infinitas setting created by BagaturKhan, thousands of years of interplanetary history and myriad alien species battle over the fate of the cosmos. One villain, however, stands out - Salazarr, a being millions of years old who takes the role of deciever and destroyer to civilisation after civilisation. He has been given many names: Marfur-Niari, the Dragon of Chaos, the Serpent of the Tempter, Bringer of Strife and Darkness. In some places, his name is forbidden, and in others it is reviled - but there is no telling whether he will bear the same name and guise when he next arises.

The Potestas War, a war so expansive it spilled even beyond the frontiers of our own galaxy to Andromeda and beyond, was one of the great rises of this ancient and terrible power, even greater than the Acheronian War and etching damage onto the stars themselves. BagaturKhan's latest story, Revenge of Tyrants: Salah'zarr War, deals with this cataclysmic conflict, tying in his with other Revenge of Tyrants stories and the rest of the Infinitas setting. The full story can be downloaded via the thread below - do go and have a read!


The Cascade staircase monument in Yerevan.
In the Shadows Of Mountains: A Yerevan Travelogue

Jubal's travel writings are a perennial feature of the Exilian forums, with historical, nature, and sightseeing notes on locations from Bordeaux to Venice, Tbilisi, and Tunis. In the most recent instalment he travelled in June to the Armenian capital of Yerevan, and his travelogue In the Shadows Of Mountains gives a detailed account of the city, its sights, and its deep and complex relationship with the mighty mount Ararat, today part of Turkey but still looming and overshadowing the Armenian capital. Seeing Armenia's capital through the eyes both of a traveller and a historian, the travelogue includes a lot of reflection on how the difficult history of Armenia does - and doesn't - interact with life in the modern city.

Besides the interwoven thread betweenpast and present, though, there's a great deal to be learned about Yerevan. From sheltopusik lizards in the Hrazdan gorge to the poetry and chatter of Cafe Ilik, from the Pulpulak fountains to the mighty sweep of the cascade staircase monument, it's a city with a great deal to discover and explore. An introduction to Armenian food, transport, and money may stand you in good stead if you ever want to visit Armenia, and if you won't be there any time soon then the pictures and discussion of monuments and artefacts alike will be an excellent remote view of the city. Read on to journey across the Caucasus...

New Lo-fi Music for your projects from SoundImage

SoundImage, the huge free-to-use music and texture library created and run by Exilian member Eric Matyas, continues to grow as time goes on! Recent experiments have included a big new range of lo-fi versions of Eric's tracks, eliminating some sound frequencies to build a softer, atmospheric soundscape for your games and other projects. Some of the tracks added in the past month in new lo-fi versions include some sci-fi themed pieces, Alien Colosseum, Stranded in the Outer Rim, and Tunnels Under Metropolis. Could the lo-fi versions find a home in your next sci-fi or space themed ideas?

Eric's music releases also include OGG music packs: unlike the free MP3 versions, these can be bought in reasonably-priced bundles and which offer greater looping and streaming capacity for game and similar uses. Unlike MP3 sound, which sometimes discards tiny bits of sound at the start and end of loops leading to momentary blips in the sound quality, OGG files allow for a much smoother sound whilst still be far lighter and less filespace intensive than filetypes like WAV. You can find all of Eric's OGG files via his gumroad page.

Why not check out SoundImage and see what's there for your project? Maybe there'll be some sounds you need for the next steps of your creative endeavours!

That's all for this autumnal issue - do keep letting us know about your current and upcoming projects on the forum, we're always very happy to have new things to put in Exilian's newsletter. For big announcements like kickstarters and full releases of games or books we can also sometimes do separate front page announcements, too, just get in touch if you ever need to ask about that. We'll be back in three months at New Year for yet another issue, so see you then for more Updates from the Forge!

Posted on July 22, 2023, 04:20:56 PM by Jubal
Updates from the Forge 50: Summer 2023

Issue 50: Summer 2023


This is an extra special issue of Updates from the Forge, being Issue Fifty! It's therefore extra especially late just so you can savour the lateness about fifty times worse than the average issue. Nonetheless - since this newsletter started in May 2016 (it was monthly 2016-18, quarterly from 2019 onwards) we've now achieved fifty rounds of updates from wonderful Exilian projects.

Looking back to some of the early issues, there are both familiar and unfamiliar faces there. We gave you early updates on some great games that have since gone on to some success, like Bigosaur's Son of a Witch which, still under its development title of My Mom Is A Witch, was the very first game we reported on in 2016. There have been some ongoing projects too: we first reported on Eric Matyas' SoundImage music library in July 2016 and on Phoenixguard's Norbayne universe in January 2017, both of which are still great projects that we're regularly reporting on and supporting as an Exilian community.

On that note - please make sure that if you enjoy reading this newsletter, you pass it on to friends and other nerds and creative folk of your acquaintance. Our creators are hobbyists and small indies who need your support if they're going to be able to keep making their lovely work, and Updates from the Forge is largely here to report on their efforts making a wonderful array of eclectic creative materials. The wider this newsletter circulates, the better we support everyone in it, and the. It only takes a minute to repost the link to this issue on the alternative site or outlet of your choice, and we hugely appreciate it every time you do so.

To give some community news, it's been an interesting late spring and early summer here on Exilian. We've had some great member successes - congratulations especially to Veo Corva for their successful Books and Bone kickstarter, which we reported on the progress of in Spring's issue. Our new chain writing project let by Spritelady is also underway and we hope to report back on some successful storytelling from that in our next issue. We've had another good series of online meetups, too, and welcomed a number of new members into the community which is always exciting. If you're reading this and you're new to Exilian, perhaps you'll be next - we'd love to hear about the creative things you're doing.

And with all that said, a special issue this may be - but it's an issue nonetheless, and that means we're here to bring you another round of Exilian's exciting updates from the forge!


  • Editorial
  • Game Development
    • How might you fare Under the Yoke?
    • Cepheida: The Exploration Game
    • Beer's Back On The Menu, in Innkeep!
  • Arts & Writing
    • The Birth... of a Lich!
    • Ren: The Girl With the Mark - Series Two Trailer Release
    • Poems by Kjelda
  • Miscellany
    • What tabletop games are you playing?
    • The Homeromanteion
    • From Tarragon to Tomatoes: Exilian's Kitchen Gardens


How might you fare Under the Yoke?

An upcoming title from Priory Games, Under the Yoke will be a simulation of English medieval peasant life, following a peasant family through years of richly reconstructed medieval activities. With an open system in which you can work on a wide array of possible goals from love to neighbourly respect to prosperity, the game will take your peasant family from their entry Domesday Book right through the medieval centuries. Work in recent months has included development of the UI and of the game's events system, which will include personality traits for characters that help shape their decisions and possible paths through hundreds of possible dynamically triggered in-game events.

Owen of Priory Games will already be a familiar name to those who have been at our Coding Medieval Worlds events or at several of our recent virtual meetups, and we've been delighted to recently welcome him and Under the Yoke to the forum as well. You'll be able to keep up with the game's development both via the Exilian thread and via his website, which also allows you to subscribe to email updates. Do check it out!

Cepheida: The Exploration Game

And it shall be said of each one who steps into the night:
That they shall walk in the darkness, and so find the light.

A new project, or perhaps a resurrected one, from Jubal's tabletop games set: Cepheida, Jubal's sci-fi setting, is getting new rules for a tabletop exploration game! Using a high degree of randomisation to build new worlds and challenges to explore with every game played, the game constructs everything from a place's geology to its local resources, wildlife and cultures as players set foot on worlds as yet unknown.

Cepheida is a setting about exploration, aliens, and discovery, putting the weird, wonderful, and alien rather than the horrifying, human, and militaristic at the forefront of a futuristic vision of a star cluster inhabited by a huge array of creatures and spacefaring civilisations. The tabletop exploration game is based on the rules of his Greek underworld dungeon-crawler Hetairos, but putting the players in charge of exploration vessels from a range of Cepheidan factions as they attempt to collaborate or compete to achieve their objectives. The factions include the communally minded S'ruba, their cultic cousins the Lexihad whose prophet is to be sought out among the stars, the heavy honour-bound might of the mantis-like Verwynn knights and their nervous Gruth subjects, the plethora of aliens in the trading Hanstellartic League, and the innovative genius of the cyborg-like Tangalak. Who will you choose to explore the stars with?

Beer's Back On The Menu, in Innkeep!

The Master's Book in Innkeep! What will end up being recorded there?

After a while taking a break from game dev due to illness, we're delighted to see our friend BeerDrinkingBurke return to development of Innkeep, the roguish fantasy tavern simulator where as the master of the house you will find yourself not just serving food and drinks to your guests, but finding ways to squeeze an extra coin or three out of them to make ends meet - whether that's dramatic cost saving measures on the food, customers' items quietly going missing at night, or using what you overhear at the tables to your advantage.

Recent devlog posts, available on the innkeep website and on Patreon, include notes on improving pixel art characters, and a dive into the Master's book, which records your thoughts, charms, information tidbits and skills as you progress through the game. The book will also contain your inventory, with not just physical items in the inn's stocks but also gossip, rumours, and ideas that have very real currency to an innkeeper just trying to make an honest living... lots to delve into, and maybe some inspiration for your own projects too!


The Birth... of a Lich!

The cave air was wet and motionless. Lilith wasn't quite sure what she'd expected, but especially the lack of any air movement was making her feel on edge. As they walked deeper into the cave the light from the entrance gradually faded, leaving her ball of light to seem evermore fragile in the face of such dense darkness. All around them teethlike stalactites and stalagmites reached towards each other, giving one the impression they were walking into the maw of a giant beast...

Another new teller of stories has been spotted on the streets of Exilianople - AHuggingSam bringing us his tale Birth of A Lich! The story so far follows Lilith, a young squire to a pair of paladins, as they investigate mysterious reports of and find that they may be more than mere peasant panic and superstition after all. In the damp, stalactite-toothed tunnels of Glassburrough's caves, something - or someone - is lurking whose power extends beyond the grave. Whilst Lilith's superior is determined to stop the threat at its source, his followers are not convinced that what awaits them can be dispatched so easily... what will happen next?

Exilian's storytelling and writing areas are a great place to find feedback and thoughts on your writing projects, and we'd love to see more tales being woven there. Do feel free to add your own to the mix! AHuggingSam's tale of tension, faith, and undeath is the latest among a wide stable of stories posted over the years, and it's a great addition to the narratives penned in Exilian's workshops. We hope you'll enjoy it too!

Ren: The Girl With the Mark - Series Two Trailer Release

Friends of Exilian and previous convention guests Mythica Entertainment recently released the trailer for series two of their crowdfunded fantasy webseries Ren. Re-cast with Oriana Charles and Alexander Hackett in the lead roles of the eponymous heroine and her travelling companion Hunter respectively, Series Two follows Ren after her flight from her home village at the end of Season One, which was released in 2016. Camera expert Neil Oseman has taken over as showrunner for the new series, and we're very much looking forward to more indie fantasy filmic goodness! You can check out the trailer below:

It looks like in Season Two, Ren will struggle with the realisation that she is now partnered with a Mahri spirit, something she has long been taught to hate and fear, and that the Kah'nath troops dedicated to enforcing the spirits' suppression are more than willing to continue hunting her to the ends of the earth. What will happen to her next we'll see when the series is released... you can subscribe to Mythica's YouTube channel to ensure you get updates, and discuss the new releases on their dedicated Exilian subforum!

Poems by Kjelda

a man on the train, dressed in tweed, olive green
looked over at girls who in turn looked at screens
and he wrinkled his nose in disdain...

A new poetry thread has been pulled from the looms of the fates too - AHuggingSam was not the only new writer contributing to Exilian in the last three months, as Kjelda also added a poetic debut to our writing community. Kjelda's poems are inquisitive, reflective, but also observational. Kjelda first joined us via Coding Medieval Worlds this February and has also been making some lovely musical contributions to our virtual meetups in recent months, so there's plenty more to be excited about for what other creativity may be coming from this quarter. Do check out her poetry and give your thoughts and appreciation over in her Exilian thread!


What tabletop games are you playing?

Tabletop games! Here's one someone made earlier.

A new thread from BeerDrinkingBurke adds a new pillar to our already well-used computer game What are you playing and our literary What are you reading threads, opening a general chatter thread for discussing what our recent tabletop gaming exploits have been. Discussions have in just a few days covered games from A Feast for Odin to Bolt Action to Betrayal at the House on the Hill to Carcassonne, with forum members sharing thoughts on the difference between Euro and American style boardgames and how player counts can make a difference to the setup and play style of particular games as well.

If you're looking for inspiration on what to buy and play next, or if you have particular recommendations to make to other Exilian users, or simply some good tabletop gaming stories to regale us with, please drop by and let people know what's going on in your gaming world!

The Homeromanteion

3d6 tables are, it turns out, nothing new!

In case you thought that random dice tables were a feature only of modern gaming rulebooks, here's a thread to make you think again. The Homeromanteion was a 3d6 dice table from the 2nd to 4th centuries AD that produced random Homeric quotations as a way to answer questions. The use of special texts for sacred or ritual divinations goes back a long way, and this dice-based automation of it was originally supposed to be used at designated times according to an accompanying chart, with prayers to Apollo and holding the question in one's mind while rolling the dice. Prognostication is interesting in how core a historical use of magic practices it is compared to its relatively limited role in modern fantasy, limiting heroic agency as it does. But perhaps the randomness of a dice chart to hold one's fate loops round part of the fatalism of prophecy?

You can even have a go at the Homeromanteion yourself, with a modern version based on Arabella Currie's 2015 translation of the Greek - just click each die number to roll it, and then hit the button to discover which Homeric quote solves your particular life quandary. And let us know what you discovered about your (or someone else's) future on the Exilian discussion of course!

A quick test for this piece got us 6 5 3, ἐλπωρή τοι ἔπειτα φίλους ἰδέειν καὶ ἱκέσθαι - "Then there is hope that you will see your friends and return". So we hope to hear from you all soon!

From Tarragon to Tomatoes: Exilian's Kitchen Gardens

Cucumelon, tomato, aubergine... just some of the plants from Jubal's kitchen gardening experiments.

In Exilian's kitchen area you can catch up with members' valiant (or not) attempts at growing food as well as preparing and eating it! The Exilian Kitchen Gardening thread includes recent updates from Jubal on his attempts to grow tarragon, cucumbers, and other food plants, as well as psyanojim's potato crop and the uncertain fate of Tusky's cactus companion, Citizen Spikes. Being able to grow small amounts of herbs or other food can be a fun and tasty hobby and accessible with relatively low effort, so if you're thinking of getting into it, the Kitchen Gardening thread might be a great place to discuss what you're doing and ask questions of fellow food-gardeners from across the Exilian community. Oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme - the options are endless. What's your next plant going to be?

And there you have it, fifty issues, probably between two and three hundred reports on at least a hundred and fifty or so different creative projects over the last seven years. And we're very much not done yet, dear reader, so make sure you send this to some friends, enjoy the creative goodness that the Exilian community's members have been coming up with - and, of course, join us next time for the fifty-first issue of Updates from the Forge!

Posted on April 02, 2023, 02:05:25 PM by Jubal
Updates from the Forge 49: Spring 2023

Issue 49: Spring 2023


Welcome back to Updates from the Forge! It's time for another issue of your favourite Exilian community newsletter (a fact we can rely on by the fact that nobody else is producing such a newsletter). Your regular correspondent and your regular imaginary editorial llama welcome you back for another issue packed with exciting projects - but first, we've had a wave of news from the site:

The last few months have been exciting ones for Exilian - among other things, this site has now turned fifteen years old, something that was rather unexpected for a forum originally meant to be up for a couple of weeks until its precursor Mixed Mods came back online. We had a lovely fifteenth anniversary virtual meetup on March 18 that ranged from music to reminiscences to the range of plush toys sold by popular Scandinavian furniture outlets to debating the historic definition of statehood. Back a little further, in February, also had the results of our Winter Competition, Snowstorm, won by Vicorva with an interactive-fiction game called Avalanchia and resulting in an absolutely wonderful showcase of writing and art that you should definitely go and check out. Our Coding Medieval Worlds 3 workshop was also a success, with more on that below.

In other site news, we've launched a bursaries scheme for Exilian Articles, where we can pay small 'thank yous' especially for writers who are in under-represented categories. If that's you and you have thoughts on worldbuilding or some quirky information you're desperate to dump on someone, then please check the bursary scheme documents out and get in touch! We've had some exciting new pieces in that section recently too, with a travelogue from rbuxton and pieces on goblins for your fantasy settings and building chimeras by Jubal that may be worth your while - just head to the Articles section to have a read.

We also saw two volunteers leave staff at our elections, with GMD and Lizard not re-standing for the positions of Spatharios (moderator) and Technikos (tech staff) respectively. Thanks to both of them for their services to this community over the years. If you'd like to help keep Exilian going or you think you know someone who'd be a good fit among our volunteers, please remember we have a thread open here detailing various volunteer posts that we'd like some support with: we're always very happy to provide the best training and support we can for our volunteer positions.

And whilst all this has been going on, have the good people and citizens of Exilian been idle or distracted? They have not, dear reader, or at the very least they have certainly been producing marvellous creations at a rate of knots while distracted. With several new projects, some very welcome returning faces, and everything from medievalisms to mushroom problems and claymores to canapes, please be regaled with Spring's Updates From the Forge!


  • Editorial
  • Game Development
    • Discover the Legends of Castile!
    • Whispers from Windy Meadow...
    • Highland lore from Norbayne
  • Arts & Writing
    • Veo Corva's The Beautiful Decay on Kickstarter!
    • Storydragon's Poetry
  • Miscellany
    • Coding Medieval Worlds 3: Videos Now Available
    • Crusts, Cheesebreads, and Canapes in Exilian's Kitchens
    • Free images for your projects from Eric Matyas


Discover the Legends of Castile!

New Exilian member Torrezno Entertainment has posted about their upcoming game Legends of Castile, a point and click about a girl called María who leaves her small Castilian village for a convent in Burgos, hoping to become a nun after believing she sees a vision of the Virgin Mary. However, her path gets intertwined with those of many of the region's folkloric creatures, for her prospective Mother Superior assigns her the task of finding proof of their existence to persuade the local Abbot to take action against them. María will then find herself entangled and interacting with a wide range of some of Castile's strangest inhabitants, and working on solving various puzzles to continue her quest...

The resulting madcap adventure, with a sense of humour inspired by Monkey Island and the Discworld books, will take players through many of the legends of Castile with over thirty mythical creatures to meet and as many lovingly hand-drawn environments to explore. Focused on core item and point-and-click gameplay (the developer promises that annoying mechanical minigames will be absent), this game looks pitched to appeal to fans of the classic genre, though also anyone interested in a good quirky tale and in the folklore and legends of this fascinating part of the world.

The heart of Windy Meadow: will the rain dampen villagers' spirits?
Whispers from Windy Meadow...

Aure, creator of the highly acclaimed Roadwarden, has returned to his previous story, Tales of Windy Meadow, giving the story-game a major overhaul with an upcoming release that promises to realise new potential from the game and its story. With the vast majority of dialogues changed, deepened character interactions, and the lore updated to better reflect the version of the Viaticum setting presented in Roadwarden, this promises to be the sort of re-release that gives whole new life to a game at every level. Whilst the core story beats will be familiar to those who played Windy Meadow before, the main characters have more and different conflicts to deal with, and some of the themes and outlooks of characters throughout the game have been changed to give them a deeper and less dogmatic outlook on the difficulties of life in Viaticum.

From Stabulus' Tasty Claw Inn to Salvia and Iudicia's cabin in the woods, the setting of Windy Meadow offers an everyday, slice-of-life vision of a fantasy world where nature is stronger than mankind. Its protagonists may live in a world where the Wrath of the Herds looms as a real threat, and the palisades of a village are a vital line between it and the surrounding wilds - but, even so, the everyday and human problems of growing up and working out their relationships with those around them are still very present. They must work out how to make their way through the world, and we're very excited to see their intertwined tales being revisited and deepened.


Highland lore from Norbayne

Some of the heroes of the Highlands from Phoenixguard's Norbayne campaigns.

In the Norbayne section, Phoenixguard has been posting more lore for his standalone RPG Norbayne. In particular, we've recently had an update on the ancestry of the Midlanders - the people we might most recognise as humans - and especially the Highlander lineage of this ape-descendant species. The celtic-themed Highlanders have played a particularly key role in Phoenixguard's playtests of the game, with the McFyfe clan in particular contributing multiple player characters to the tales of Norbayne already. Their serried ranks of kite shielded foot spearmen may be the core of highland armies, but as individual warriors brutally spiked targe shields, claymores, dirks and of course magic spells may all be part of a Highlander character's arsenal for taking on the world. Their insistence upon traditional thick furs and leathers even in tropical environments may not be what those of other cultures might consider sensible, but some things are a matter of pride.

Keep your eyes peeled for more Norbayne content in the near future - the team are hard at work, and a little birdie spotted them chatting to the Exilian Articles section as well: stay tuned!


The Tombtown books. How to try and improve through a series: ensure book 2 has an additional cat on the cover.
Veo Corva's The Beautiful Decay on Kickstarter!

Author (and Exilian winter competition winner 2023) Veo Corva has their latest book, The Beautiful Decay , on Kickstarter! The sequel to 2019's Books and Bone, this second Tombtown book The Beautiful Decay is a tale of pet zombies, secret libraries, queer romance, fungal horror, and a Very Good Cat. In a book that sees things more from the perspective of the outcasts and mixes dark aesthetics with personal warmth, characters often casually killed in other fantasies get to take the forefront. The community of necromancers Veo has penned into existence in the rambling secret crypt settlement of Tombtown must face up to one of the things most dangerous to the undead themselves - fungi, the embodiment of life as decay.

The kickstarter is already fully funded so you can back it in the guaranteed knowledge that you'll get your rewards - ebooks at the cost-efficiency end, but you can also preorder paperbacks and get bundled sets including Books and Bone. There's also a chance to get V's other works and stories, including the TTRPG Kin and the novel Non-Player Character. If you want to find out more about Veo's stories, they are also currently doing a regular read-through of Books and Bone on Twitch every Sunday, so you can check out their channel if you want to listen in on that!

Storydragon's Poetry

StoryDragon is another new member who arrived with the snowstorm of our winter competition, bringing two lovely pieces of writing to add to the snowfall. Now he has his own poetry thread, where he's posted a first poem, The Eyes of the Universe, with an intriguing interweaving of the cosmic, the referential, and the down-to-earth in how it views the night sky...

The eyes of the universe
Look down towards earth.
And while you fiercely curse
Your network, (that's fast as snails,)
I search the western sky;
Where I spot, up high...

Do go check out the rest of the poem in StoryDragon's thread, linked below: more details about the poem's background are also available to subscribers of the StoryDragon Ko-fi. Several members have said they're looking forward to seeing more work from our newest poet, so hopefully that will be forthcoming in future weeks and months!


Coding Medieval Worlds 3: Videos Now Available

February's Coding Medieval Worlds was a great event for many of those who attended - but if you missed out, then you can catch up on the panel and talk highlights of CMW via Exilian's YouTube channel. Four keynote sessions from the weekend were recorded. From the Saturday, we had a panel on Medievalisms and Soundscapes with Clio Em and Prof. Mariana Lopez with some fascinating insights on sound and worldbuilding, and a fireside chat where Kitfox Games captain Tanya X. Short (of Moon Hunters, Boyfriend Dungeon, and Dwarf Fortress fame) had a great conversation with Tess Watterson covering setting design, historical inspiration, and hints about their next planned release. On Sunday, meanwhile, we had a panel where art historian Madeleine Sterns, environmental historian Acer Lewis, and archaeologist Maria Vargha talked medieval space and how it's represented - and could be represented differently - in games. And to finish off, our final keynote was by Zoe Franznick, one of the narrative designers on medieval murder mystery Pentiment which has had a lot of success since its release last year. Coupled with the breakout discussions this all made for an exciting event and we're delighted to be able to share the videos with you!

Coding Medieval Worlds is a joint event run by Exilian and the University of Vienna's Digital Humanities unit, who kindly provided the funds for the online venue this year, so thanks are due to them. It's also a major volunteer effort, so thanks in particular to Jafeth for his camera-work allowing us to get high quality recordings of all these panels, and to him, Tess Watterson, and Sarah-Nelle Jackson for their work as panel chairs. You can access all the videos in the linked playlist below - including those from previous years. We hope you enjoy them, and do share them to friends and colleagues!

Crusts, Cheesebreads, and Canapes in Exilian's Kitchens

It's homemade bread! Like bread, but made at home!

We've seen a flurry of recent posts in the Jolly Boar kitchen, where Exilian members post their food ideas, inspirations, and achievements. All comers are welcome to share interesting recipes and ideas, making the best use of our wide array of members and their global food interests. Why not head over yourself sometime?

To whet your appetite, recent foodstuffs include Spritelady's bread-making, after inheriting a wide arrayof baking paraphernalia and deciding to experiment with it. We have it on good authority from our European correspondents who've ventured to the island that British bread-making does not have a good reputation, so perhaps Spritelady's valiant efforts as one of our UK-based members can improve matters! We've also had Jubal's advice on salads, with a thread on Georgian salad-making (and the importance of walnuts therein) which has also spread out into discussing Persian use of oranges, olives, and red onion, the possibilities of portulaca, and more besides. Canapes, fried khachapuri, turnip tarts, and savoury strudel are all also part of the recent kaleidoscope of foods being posted about: plenty of food for thought! And, also, food for eating.

Free images for your projects from Eric Matyas

Just some of the textures SoundImage can offer for your upcoming creative projects...

Whilst Eric Matyas is perhaps best known for his vast array of free-to-use music, his SoundImage website includes the latter as well as the former, and recently there have been new additions to his tile-able textures selection! The SoundImage texture library contains many hundreds of high quality images that you can use in tiled format for a wide range of projects and applications. Like Eric's music, they're available as-is for use in both hobby and commercial projects with attribution, and commission variations and non-attribution licenses can be purchased from Eric if you need something a little more fine tuned for your particular work.

The Skills and Resources Offered section on Exilian is always worth a look more widely: there are tons of links there to free art and music to use in your creative projects, so if you're tired of re-using the same stock assets but aren't able to pay for commissions, there are plenty of great options out there - head over and take a look!

That's felt like an even more packed issue than usual of Updates from the Forge - and I hope you, dear reader, will check out the threads of some of these great project creators and let them know what you think of their work. Getting support and constructive feedback as an independent creator is hugely valuable, and it's an important part of Exilian that we try to provide a healthy space for those discussions. The more we engage with one another's work, the stronger the community becomes and the more worth it is other creators starting to spend time here, so do head on, explore, and get inspired for your own creativity as well. Perhaps some of that will be in our next and fiftieth issue? Until then, take care and keep creating!

Posted on March 18, 2023, 10:05:09 AM by Jubal
Fifteen years of Exilian!

Exilian is fifteen years old today. It's almost a strange thing to write - that the first post I made back on March 18, 2008, would have sparked somethign that would still be such an important part of my life - and bringing community, inspiration to a fascinating gaggle of other people from across the world - a decade and a half later. In that time we've done so much - game mods, poems, conventions, workshops, games, articles, atheniads, chain writing, travelogues, TTRPGs, elections, seven WBU threads, 33128 words in a single word association game, and myriad other things recorded in the depths of this forum.

The world today looks pretty different to back then as well: I don't know how much is because it's changed and how much is because I'm older, but certainly the past decade and a half has seen some big shifts in the internet and in creativity, and in the world we have to live in while doing those things. One thing I am sure of, though, is that the spirit of wanting to be curious, kind, and creative in our approach to the world was needed then and is needed now. I hope Exilian will keep fostering that spirit of enquiry, open-mindedness, and welcome for many years to come.

Thank you for being part of this journey, whether you've been here since 2008 or whether you've just arrived today. Exilian is your space for creative geekery - and there's more to come.

We'll be having our special anniversary virtual meetup this evening! Keep an eye out for the email or, if you're not on the emailing list, shout in the comments below this post to be messaged the link on here.