Expansion Devlog 1 - The Geography of the Bronze Desert
25 May | 10:00 am

Hey everyone,

With the announcement of Vagrus’s first expansion behind us, we thought that it’d be a good idea to create a short series of devlogs about certain frequently appearing topics regarding Sunfire and Moonshadow. The first of these – the one you’re reading – is about the region itself and its boundaries, with some lore tidbits sprinkled in. So, let’s get to it!

How Does it Measure Up?

Let’s not beat around the bush. The playable area of the expansion has the following borders:

  • The Brown Mountains in the west and northwest
  • The coast of the Northsea in the north
  • The River Lethe in the east
  • Voldano’s Shield, the Dead Forest, and the River Umbra in the south and southeast

Of these, some might deserve a short explanation, though we would not want to give away too much too early. The reason for not being able to travel past the Brown Mountains to the north is that the only traversable pass, the Pass of Glory, is kept open only for Imperial legions that are traveling to the frontlines past the continent and back. The lands beyond are either uninhabited or under martial law, so no free commerce is allowed anyway. Then there’s the Dead Forest, an accursed place where simply getting too close to the ailing trees can kill you, but nobody risks going in too deep. Moreover, beyond the forest and the mountain range called Voldano’s Shield lies the Plains of Agony – an ineffable, corrupted, nightmarish wasteland that none have returned from since its formation following the Calamity. And while you could theoretically pass over the Rivers Lethe and Umbra, each of these respective crossings are blocked for different reasons; these you will have to discover yourself.

And so you would have roughly the area below, which is more than a third but less than half of the original playable area of Vagrus’s open-world campaign.

The large majority of that playable area is the Bronze Desert with the foothills and coast surrounding it but down south travelers can descend into twilight made manifest as they reach the benighted Land of Shadows. Last but not least, there is the city of Kabur, Jewel of the North, a rich and diverse metropolis the likes of which can rarely be found in the Riven Realms.

What is the New Region Like?

The Bronze Desert is one of the largest contiguous deserts of a continent notorious for its arid wastelands. That said, it is markedly different from the dry badlands you have already come across in the game. For one, its natives, the Bandul, and their culture, is unique and cannot be found elsewhere on the continent. Then, there are the Tarkians – lots of them – who are not native but have certainly made a home away from home for their people. Imperials round out the list of the most prominent inhabitants, and as ever, their industrious and warlike ways have left their mark on the Bronze Desert. Even now, their war rages in the far north, and their legions are constantly on the march to and fro the frontlines. The three factions we’re adding to the already imposing list of potential allies mirrors these three people in intricate ways (more on them in the next devlog post).

They say that the region was already a desert long before the Calamity and it is true. For that reason, the people, creatures, and phenomena native to the Bronze Desert are much more in tune with the nature of this wind-beaten, sun-scorched realm. And so it would be potentially fatal ignorance to believe that the Bronze Desert is an empty, lifeless place. The many oases, outposts, and oil fields are teeming with nomadic wanderers and traveling opportunists alike, while the deep desert and the cold wasteland nights are stalked by many a strange creature.

And yet, the Bronze Desert is not the only realm of the expansion. As an almost anathema to its sun-drenched, coppery sands and blazing skies, the Land of Shadows is a dark, oppressive, benighted land that has been cursed into eternal twilight by the Calamity’s ruinous fallout. Even though few dare tread these forsaken plans and twilit forests, opportunities such as lumbering and mining draw enough interest to turn this region into a frontier – an extremely dangerous one at that. If the allegedly living shadows and life-draining trees weren’t enough, now a strange skittering echoes through the mountains to the west which brings dire portents to anyone trying to make it in this land of darkness.

So How Does One Get There?

A fair question, considering that hawk-eyed vagri such as you might have already noticed that the region outlined above does not have a direct border with the one in the base game. At this time, we can only say that it will be a unique, never-before-seen method of travel that we have spent a lot of time and love developing, and which – the dark gods willing – will be able to serve as a gateway to future content. For now, however, we shan’t give more away; instead, we hope that when you get to see it, it’ll be as exciting to explore and use as it was creating it.

That concludes our first devlogs on the expansion Sunfire and Moonshadow. In the upcoming weeks, we’ll have more of these posts on certain aspects of what we’ve been brewing up. Until then, stay tuned, stay vigilant, and conquer the wasteland!

The Lost Pilgrims Team

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