V.1 Selected Descriptions of Collectibles in RELIC / Team Synaptic Sugar
Sam Ward, protagonist
Art Team: Jessica Parker, Jenalle Mae, Jyin Zhao, Scottland Reed, Alex Ginter, AJ Woof, Gonzalo Cano, Carlos Ortega
Note: The high concept, world details, races, and relic types listed below are all the creation of Robert Gervais, the lead writer on this game project. I am currently assisting him by writing the original descriptions below and will continue to contribute by writing dialog, developing the narrative, and providing voice acting talent. Please do visit his website to see his amazing work.
The Zaxons are a lizard-like race of warriors determined to reclaim the energy source that the noble Thale once bestowed upon them. Their planets are seemingly inhospitable due to persistent arid conditions and active volcanoes.
Never will a Zaxonion warrior be found without their Rakta Blade. Forged in the fires of volcanoes in the inhospitable region of Yaktarisia, the curved weapon is presented to a warrior upon completion of rigorous and often lethal training. As such, its absence is akin to the loss of a limb or a vital organ. Those who have misplaced or surrendered their Rakta Blade are doomed to walk the world as incomplete beings: unfit to fight, unfit to lead, unfit to live.
It is known that Zaxon warriors prefer to fight in close enough proximity to watch the life leave the eyes of their enemies. One might assume that all Zaxons lack the patience and focus required to master the ranged finesse of the plasma rifle. Those who make this assumption rarely live to tell the truth.
The Red Scythe
There is not a Zaxonion alive who does not know the genesis of Emperor Zaxos. Having spent his youth in the fields, enslaved by the dread tyrant Virrin, Zaxos learned how to wield a scythe and wield it well. It was only a matter of time before the uprising, and the future emperor led the revolution with scythe in hand. To this day, legends persist of Emperor Zaxos leading troops into battle, carving through enemies so as to leave a river of blood in his wake. It is no wonder that most artifacts from his era, from currency to child armor, have been found adorned with Emperor Zaxos’ sigil, the red scythe.
This ancient axe is broken and twisted, having seen many battles and barely survived to tell the tale. The sigil of its maker has long since worn off, but its durability is a testament to Zaxonion craftsmanship. In fact, historians on Fralor believe that the Zaxonion empire was built on the formidable effectiveness of its axes, selling their exceptional weapons for influence and gold even at the start of civilization.
Many Zaxonian children startle at the constant rumbling of the volcanoes on Zaxon Prime. In an effort to eradicate this weakness, elders tell their young the story of Florianne’s Hammer. A thick-scaled warrior from the fifth century of the 4,000 Year War, Florianne took genuine delight in flattening any and every Thale who had the misfortune of crossing her path. Even today, elders assure the young ones that the volcanic eruptions are simply the sweet sounds of Florianne’s Hammer continuing to keep them safe from Thalish invasion.
The Malis are a peaceful race with a strong connection with nature and the ebb and flow of the universe. They have been oppressed by the Zaxons, but they briefly rebelled during the Malic Revolution. They generally want nothing more than to enjoy living and loving.
A great Malic philosopher once remarked, “There never was a burden so heavy as the weight of an hour.” It is perhaps with this sentiment in mind that the Malis crafted their alternative concept of time. Rather than measuring the passage of time in hours, days, and millennia, the Malics instead attune themselves to the fluctuation of their system’s energy. Each Malic timepiece contains a shard of fla’ar, a rare red metal found only on the blazing planet Zal. This ensures that every Malic – or at least everyone in possession of a Malic timepiece – is intimately connected to the whereabouts of the system and its people. However, those who would wish harm upon the peaceful Malics continue to aggressively pursue the acquisition of these timepieces…at any cost.
For centuries, Malic priests have practiced artisanal meditation. Through such acts as blowing glass and working leather, these spiritual leaders center their thoughts and channel their collective energy in order to maintain planetary harmony. This clear, iridescent jar is the product of an especially lengthy and powerful meditation session, likely crafted to seek mental strength during the Malic Revolution.
Upon first encountering the Malics during his travels, Thalish explorer Phren Maron wrote:
I admit that, at first I could not distinguish the tribe from the trees. Perhaps I was not meant to. I had been told that they breathe light, live on the wind, and speak as animals, finding words for concepts beyond humanoid comprehension. But who can believe such fancies without seeing the truth for themselves?
It was not until one of them – a short, green- and red-speckled creature that I initially took for a mulberry bush – unfurled from his distorted disguise that I realized that I had stumbled upon the very people for whom I had been searching.
Once revealed, he calmly explained that he and the others were simply conversing with nearby flowers about the prospect of picking them. When I asked why the flowers would possibly agree to this fate, he assured me that these flowers would not die and pulled an indigo vase from his velveteen cloak. It glowed with a slow, throbbing pulse that only seemed to grow stronger when the creature finally placed a flower in the vase.
Several days later, I looked again upon the vase and was astounded to find that the flower had dissolved and become one with it. Its pulse had increased in speed and intensity, a curious result with which the creature seemed satisfied. “She has transcended,” he sighed with gladness, bowing his head in reverence. I learned later that the vase was made of ja’dan, a dark blue stone capable of harnessing and spreading the celestial energy of all lifeforms. To my new friend, the flower had simply returned its energy to the collective, living on in every Malic that is, was, or ever will be.
I imagine that I am not the first traveler to encounter the Malics only to feel, upon leaving them, abruptly, painfully alone in the universe.
Malic Prayer Beads
The Daily Spiritual Regimen of a Malic Priest
First Glow (Nourish the Waking Self)
Upon waking, cleanse the feet
Walk barefoot across soil yet untouched by the day
Welcome at least 5 creatures to the day, counting them off with the first set of 5 beads of 25 on the prayer bead strand
Bonfire (Nourish the Physical Self)
Build a fire in isolation, paying special attention to the strength of the wind moving through the trees
Channel the strength of the trees, keeping in mind their age and durability
Forage for 5 edible items from the trees, thanking them as you pluck and cook the items and counting them off with the second set of 5 beads
Glimmer (Nourish the Mental Self)
Bathe in the light of a clearing, breathing deeply so as to admit the light into the body
Remember a feeling of true love and hold the feeling for 5 seconds, then release
Breathe and hold the feeling 5 times, counting them off with the third set of 5 beads
The Rekindling (Nourish the Social Self)
As the light begins to leave the world, gather edible items and return to the place of rest
Prepare edible items so that all may partake together
Embrace and bid at least 5 of the others who return welcome, counting them off with the fourth set of 5 beads
Candlelight (Nourish the Spiritual Self)
Walk across soil that has been completely enjoyed by the day
Cleanse the feet
Channel the dreams of 5 others across the galaxy, generating as much positive energy to them as possible, counting off the dreams touched with the final set of 5 beads
Jar of Ancient Soil
Pilgrims to the Malis system cannot return home without venturing to Mount H’ol’Abi, the mountain held most sacred in Malic Mysticism. Although Malic priests have since built stairs up to the top, only the strongest of body and mind can survive the taxing journey. It was at this peak where the majority of the first order of Malic priests were slaughtered by Zaxon invaders, and it is their innocent blood that now repels the evil spirits and conquerors that would do the Malics harm. Burial at the summit of Mount H’ol’Abi in contemporary times is reserved for only the holiest Malic spiritual leaders.
Copyright Alexandra Lucas 2015