December 12 2015

Swords of Midras on Indigo AKA Blade of the Avatar

I am actually embarrassed to say I do not know that much about Indigo. From what I am putting together from a few quick things I am looking at. The tag line they are using (or one of them) is “Canada’s Biggest Book stores”. Like I said, like Amazon *chuckles*. They also appear to sell a lot of other things in all kinds of categories but I do not want to spend the entire day browsing stuff I may end up wanting and can’t afford!

Point is not living in Canada it would make sense I am not familiar with them. There is very little that happens in this world though that relates to Shroud of the Avatar that at some point is not captured in my Cyber Web. The latest tidbit I got to gobble up that was caught was I got to learn all about Indigo (meaning what I could in 5 minutes) when I saw that the Swords of Midras is available for pre-order with them.

They are charging a 1.00 more for the E-book and 4.00 more for the hard back. So regardless of where you live I would suggest getting the E-book from Amazon!

Now here is the question I have! Maybe one of you know? I would not be surprised if it’s been posted in the forums. While I do not have time to get over there much these days I do get news from the forums through my grapevine (and I am always looking to expand that section of my web. If you see articles in the forums you think I may want to know about, please don’t hesitate to send me a link!). Unfortunately my grapevine isn’t big and I haven’t heard anything on this topic.

Stile.. Get the Fork to it! Right? Right…

Will the Physical Hard copy from either of these companies differ from the physical copy that the pledge rewards and store copy Portalarium sold? Collectors want to know!!!

I am 99.9% sure that the copies from Indigo and Amazon will be the same. They list the publisher as Tom Doherty Associates at Indigo. However a quick Wikipedia search will show that to be TOR books. Tor books is what Amazon shows.

I believe we already know both the Pledge book and store sold copy are the same other than potential signatures. However – I am wondering if Portalarium’s book will be different than that of these? First those who paid 40.00 for a physical copy from the store may raise some fuss about being overcharged if there is not some difference. On the other hand as someone who works in the buying and selling world know, it costs more money every time you cut a purchase order.

It will be financially more sensible of them to have worked a pre-order into their sales contracts with TOR books to give them a predetermined quantity of the physical books at a set price. TOR would most likely want that to be the same print as what they are selling elsewhere so as in order to consolidate all their purchasing and printing.

On the other hand Portalarium could in such a situation be willing to pay the differences to make their order a bit different and just make some changes. Different Dust cover for instance. That would allow the hard book to be done as one print by TOR and the Dust Jacket would be two separate jobs, making it only marginally higher in cost. Maybe a different binding, cover pages, ending pages, illustrations, or any combination of those examples.

I should mention, contract negotiations is something I have been doing most of my life. Point is while it’s likely with the experience involved with both companies that they both had a good idea of what the other wanted from the outset and it comes down to compromising and negotiating various agreements, whatever those are being each side wants most. I work for someone that really LOVES rebate programs whereas to me I personally don’t want rebates, I want the best price you can give me when I order so that I can operate as efficiently as possible selling your product to create more business for both of us.

I have no idea what Port would have negotiated on this because I do not know what their preferences would be and have never asked. They may already have had something going to print their copies elsewhere and so not even have taken anything about that to the negotiation table.

So what it boils down to is a lot of potential for there to be or not to be, some sort of differences in these physical copies.

Dammit, I’d like to know as if there is, I’ll order the Amazon copy! *chuckles*

Have the answer? Let me know and I’ll pass it along a follow-up piece!


October 2 2015

Few things you may want to know about

Advertisements for the R22 decoration contest are taking place over in the forums! Sign up, decorate, and put your name in the archives of history as being the winner!

Your entrie should be something creepy for Halloween.
Decorate your homes and basements for Halloween or create a creepy scene.

Go read it here:

From 10/2/15-10/6/15 – You can get the first Gina Hardwood book, written by our communities own Indi Martin, free on Kindle from Amazon!! It’s a great read, so jump on that!

Relics by Rild launched a new website experience! You may want to check that out and grab some coins for Halloween give-a-ways!

One of the major reasons I put together a new site was to provide customers with a better shopping and service experience. The new site should be easier to navigate…

Go see it all here!


Don’t forget, for all your Halloween needs The Caverns Store has you covered! Whether you need make-up, shrunken heads, prosthetics, clothing, or even some cool weaponry that is safe to hit people with, we have it!

Use this code to get 10% off your order until the End of October, at The Caverns Store “SOTAUDIC10%” located at – Yes! We accept Paypal so that you know your transactions are safe as is your private information!

(Please note that The Caverns Store has no affiliation, association, or is any other way connected to Shroud of the Avatar. Portalarium, or it’s affiliates).

September 25 2015

More info for the Shroud of the Avatar Community

The first thing is of course, it is Release 22 and you are going to need those updates on what has changed as well as them instructions!

Starr Long as typical does a fantastic job presenting that for us all in the Release 22 instructions:

Not Shroud of the Avatar per say, but relates to our Lord British directly. Inverse put up a post which they talk to Richard Garriott a bit called “Space Tourism and the Overview Effect Will Transform the One Percent”. It sounds like a pretty great thing and hopefully someday anyone can go take a look but until then many of us will just do our best through virtual space trips!

“If even a fraction of one percent of the human population had a similar experience,” says Garriott, “I think it would radically transform public opinion.”

You can read the whole article here:

If you never saw it, the NBNN did an interview a while ago with Richard Garriott!

I did a blog piece a little while back about Richard Garriott’s proposed Transit system in Austin. If you watch these sort of things on the net, you will have noticed a LOT of news sites where covering that topic!


Austin Business Journal:

My Statesman:

Speaking of Richard Garriott, his book “Explore/Create: My Life at the Extremes” has been released for the Kindle (or of course the app). I haven’t read this yet but it is in my wish list and i’ll be saving up some of my Amazon Prime no rush shipping credits for digital media, to pick up a copy! You can head over and get yours and here’s a link to make it easy!

Great pics from Lady British!

Too much news and such? Take a break and let someone play a concert for you! SotA Stile!

Ome the Bard and I doing a duet of his original song Truth is Alive in Shroud of the Avatar.

July 23 2015

Armada by Ernest Cline, a cliff notes review by Stile Teckel

So as we should all know by know Ernest’s Cline’s book Ready Player One had an influence on Shroud of the Avatar. I had read it before all of that took place being a avid reader (the term avid doesn’t quite cut it). So when I heard about Armada, I pre-ordered the crap out of it!

Finished it a couple of days ago and while I thought it was a fantastic book, here are my complaints:

1 – It was to short
2- It wasn’t a sequel (I knew this pre-ordering though)
3- It was to short
4- It was not AS GOOD as Ready player one in My opinion. That’s not to say it was not Fantastic!
5 – It was to short

Seriously, those are my “complaint’s”. Not much more to say then that, if you think those are enough reasons to not read a book, then I lost you at “So” up above!

If your read.. ever, and if this is a Genre you can appreciate (If it’s not, why are you reading my blog? Seriously!), then grab this! It’s a great book.

So the question is… I wonder if well see something from it added to The Shroud of the Avatar store or pledge perks soon. History does repeat!

June 30 2015

NEWS – NEWS – NEWS – NEWS – Shroud of the Avatar and RELATED

So I know that this month a lot of community members are going to be visiting Austin. This is of course in addition to those that already live there or nearby. You both have something in common.You might want to do this!

Felicia Day (Who was on Video with Richard last year talking about SotA and Ultima.. E3 2014 if I am remembering correctly) is going to be doing a book signing in austin for her new book. Now don’t just show up! You need tickets! Go get em!

Now my Google drive is going through a restore and its taking a long time. So my google links are not working.

As such, here is a temporary location of the add-on-store-archive from drop box. I have made a lot of updates to it, but still have a few left yet to do. I will let you know when its fully back up to date!

Today on Twitter The Mad Hermit shared a link to a map of the Ardoris sewers you might want to check out!

This article is a tad outdated but I hadn’t blogged it yet. A blurb over at Gamasutra about Shroud and E3.

Much the same for this piece at WCCFtech.

Did you catch the R18 Hangout Post Mortem live? If not then you might want this!

Don’t miss out on the R18 Unreliable Travel Guide!!!!

Duke Gréagóir started a great project for an App. The SotA New Britannian Runic App. Go show a little love and support for this if your interested and tell him Stile sent you!

Another good friend of mine, Avatar Acid posted a Time Lapse video of the Britannia sky a few months ago. Here’s the forum thread for this and tell him I said hi!

June 27 2015

Ernest Cline – Author of Ready Player one has new book coming: Armada

I’ve spoke to people in the shroud of the Avatar community that are not aware of the connection to Ready Player One and Shroud of the Avatar. One of the primary charecters in Ready Player one has been confirmed as to draw inspiration from Richard Garriott.

Ernest Cline visited Portalarium and did some photos, talked to the team, and some of the items from the book became in game items for pledge rewards and the like. In fact the first time Row Houses where announced I believe was when this all took place and that Row Houses came about from all of that as well. I am going off of memory here!

Another cool bit that is even more obscure and is why you all have someone like me around… Back in the Portalarium days when the Facebook game Garage Sale Ultimate Collector was being tested, Ernest cline did a big marketing contest in conjunction with 3 different games. The contest involved similar scenarios to correlate to the plots in the books and you had to get through gates.

An eventual all over winner was to receive a Back to The Future car (in real life.. obviously the Flux capacitor was a fake!). Ultimate Collector Garage Sale was one of these games. In fact I personally completed that gate in the game and had an in game item to show for it! So obviously paths have crossed a lot! Smack even mentioned over in the forums that Ernest Cline will be making an appearance at the July Event I did a blog piece on a day or two ago, which includes a play at the Curtain Theater.

Out of all of this, I can say Ive read Ready Player One and enjoyed it immensely. One of the best books I’ve ever read! I couldn’t put it down. I recommended it to others who had to also finish it the same night.

So I was pretty excited today when I pre-ordered his new book “Armada”! I can’t wait to get this in my hands. I have seen blurbs on the internet that it is epic and the like. Additionally I believe I saw something that a movie is being planned for it!

Preorder your copy on Amazon!

Hey as just one of my fun side notes! With my fun on the Recent Loot Crate and Geek Fuel, I decided to get a Barkbox for the dogs! If your not familiar with it, it is what is sounds like. A subscription box for dogs! Now, I can’t afford to be getting 3 of these a month so that each dog has one, so they are sharing.

Honestly though the amount of treats I get is just saving me that much money and time shopping getting them treats. Since they share I have to save up the toys until I have 3 at a time, but that works. The other misc items I have gotten have each turned out to be useful for me for one reason or another!

Finally, 10% of all their profits (or something along those lines) goes to rescue dog programs, fund raising for rescue programs, and things of that nature. Which was what cinched it for me. Spoil my dogs, get things I can use, save time shopping, and know some of that money is improving the lives of other dogs? That just makes me feel virtuous. I think i’ll keep this over any other subscription box I every try. Sure i’m doing a few here and there, but long term Ill only be keeping one or two, i’m not rich. The Barkbox dollar for dollar is giving me more value in more ways then any other box. Love it!

If you’d feel the same, use my referral link here and you get a free box added to your subscription.

April 23 2015


Oh yeah, it is finally here! Shroud of the Avatar comic book #1!

Congratulations to Tortoise & Hare creations for a fine piece of work!

First, they where spotlighted in the most recent Portalarium update, over yonder: Shroud of the Avatar: New Beginnings | Shroud of the Avatar.

Secondly you can get your digital copy or print on demand copy right… this… way….
Shroud Of The Avatar: New Beginnings | IndyPlanet.

Finally if you want a nice crisp autographed copy, your shit outta luck! They are sold out! MWAHHAA… ok, WAIT, WAIT!!! Just kidding… you can still get one, they are out at the moment but will have more soon, just chill! Tortoise & Hare Creations by TortoiseHareCreate on Etsy.

Now I happen to have one of these that I opened up and read today. Really enjoyed it! The artwork was fantastic. You could tell the creators are people that have had years of experience in doing comics and graphic novels.

I very much liked the way the first comic starts out the way it does. I love that there is tragedy. There are certainly aspects that have me wondering about some story things.

What I am not, is a big comic book person. I was when I was a kid, I have many friends that are, I will flip through one on occasion and that sort of thing. So I must include that disclaimer in my review, and please do not take my review as gospel on this matter. You will need to buy a copy and judge for yourself!

However I found it enjoyable and well worth the purchase.

Now forgive me in this photo.. I haven’t been out of bed other then for a shower and a trip to the doctors since Sunday. Its also the first time I ever took a selfie and apparently I have the quality levels set low or something.. don’t know. Deal with it!

It also added 50lbs, I swear.. geesh!

Shroud of the Avatar Comic book and me number 1

Oh, I better include a note on the Shirt. Its the D&D shirt you get this month from Lootcrate in the Fantasy Crate. If your interested you can check that out here.

March 24 2015

The R16 Unreliable Travel Guide

Wow! It looks like there’s been some sort of change of staff.. Although it looks like it may be temporary?

Important Notice

Greetings Avatars. My name is Marius. My friends at The Homeguard and I are filling in while the proprietors of The Unreliable Travel Guide take a well earned rest. I hesitate to call the previous issues dull, but I think you’ll find that in this issue we have managed to add a dash of excitement to your travels. Enjoy!

May want to hop over and check some of this stuff out! Looks like they are doing a bang-up job!

The R16 Unreliable Travel Guide | Shroud of the Avatar Forum.

Tell em Stile said hi! No really… I haven’t seen em in a few days, and they’ll know I’m thinking of em!

R16 Unreliable Travel Guide

March 10 2015

Nibbles and tidbits

Really good interview from Redbull with Richard Garriott over here. Some nice screen shots as well! Definitely worth a read.

Shroud of the Avatar: Ultima in all but name.

Don’t miss out on Sir Frank’s writing contest! Hes giving away cool prizes to the winners. You can hit the official forum thread here!

Sir Frank's contest | Shroud of the Avatar Forum.

So we’ve all been excited about the community application for mobile that’s been being worked on. You mobile fans will be happy to know Brenton started putting together something for us as well! Crafting, Bestiary, and other cool things! What’s more hes allowing people to get in on the testing also!

Hello. Let me begin with a quick story of how things changed for me. Up until release 14 I had participated with my dev+ account but only to a certain extent out of a bit of frustration. I started off extremely involved from the kickstarter, watching every hangout and chatting in the forums, IRC, etc. Over the time I had to back off and withdraw a bit however. The experience was just really buggy and slow for me and so I had a hard time staying involved being unable to walk through towns and participate in events,etc. Then came r14 and I decided enough was enough and made a trip to my local pc store and upgraded my rig quite significantly. And then…Finally! I could actually walk through Owl’s Head and Ardoris and spin my camera, look around and enjoy the beauty of a game that was unfolding before me. I was hooked again, and it felt great. I was able to go to places people were posting about and try these things out. I was so excited with the everything now that I decided my experience needed an app that I could reference while playing. Bringing up maps and crafting recipes, knowing places to find certain creatures, etc. And so, in the last couple of weeks I made this:

Head over and check out the whole thing! There’s even video!
A little Story and an iPhone App | Shroud of the Avatar Forum.