Shadows Rise begins tomorrow. Are you excited? We’re sure as heck excited. We’ve been working so hard for so long on all of this. And it’s a really huge achievement for us just to have one chapter officially published somewhere. Every chapter is like its own achievement really. And to illustrate that feeling, today we’d like to present 10 ‘behind the scenes’ facts about Valcrest. Mainly how we started and how we ended up here.
1) Valcrest was born from a fed up moment
Some backstory for those of you who don’t already know it. Valcrest originated in a roleplay called ‘Shadows of The Enlightened’ created on Roplaygateway.com, by user Blackbird26 and was later joined by many wonderful people, including the RPer formely known as Mr_Doomed (aka Plotstains).
Truth is, that roleplay was created on a whim, with little to no thought, because Blackbird was fed up of not seeing any open RPs she actually wanted to join at the time. She had never run any RPs before, had no idea what she was doing, and was sure that no one would even be interested in the first place.
2) The first RP gained a sequel because we wrote ourselves into a corner
From the get-go, our philosophy became “screw it, we’re not stopping”. When the player behind one of the key characters in our plot vanished and we realized we couldn’t write around his absence, we sat down, decided how we thought Shadows of The Enlightened would have ended, and started planning Shadows of The Past.
The player in question returned and we were able to finish SOE, but we already had a whole new plot on our hands by then.
3) The second RP gained a sequel because we were too far gone already
We started planning Shadows of The Forgotten exactly two days into posting for SOP had begun.
4) A lot of elements that are now intrinsic to Valcrest didn’t even exist until the third RP
The Twins themselves weren’t conceived until Shadows of The Past was already ongoing. And prior to that mentions of any Gods were either vague or random and inconsistent. Likewise things such as military ranks within Blackpond and Newhaven and even the existence of certain factions were consistently retconned as things that had been there all long, when they in fact weren’t.
5) The names of all the Cities and Valcrest itself were spawned in a random generator.
Because names are terrible and who cares, it’s just an RP anyway.
And no, we never considered changing them for the serials. They grew on us.
6) The ‘Shadows’ naming convention started unintentionally and became a running joke.
It started with the title of the RPs, then spread to character and faction names, to names of animals within the RPs, to the name of the Skype chat we created to discuss plot elements, which we named, you guessed, Shadows Crew.
7) That’s not the only running joke we developed over the years.
Halfway through SOP we created a list of ‘unwritten rules of Valcrest’, poking fun of some silly plot devices that had at that point become habit, covering things such as the frequency with which certain characters randomly hug, to ‘there’s always a secret way out’ and ‘every RP should end in a party’. We also eventually made a game out of trying to insert the name of the RPs into dialogue and writing the most flashbacks into a single post.
8) There’s a reason we can’t post that list
A lot of those running jokes have since become legitimate plot points that we can’t talk about right now. Yes, really.
9) There was a party planned for the end of Shadows of The Forgotten
SOF was sadly left unfinished. Life happens, people drift apart, it’s how it is. But if we had gotten to play it out to the end, every one of the three Roleplays would have, indeed, ended with a party.
10) Shadows Rise was always an important part of the story
There’s a lot behind the scenes of Shadows Rise that we can’t reveal at this point; though we’ll happily do so when it no longer involves spoilers. However, what we can say is that Shadows Rise takes place roughly 25 years before the events of the first RP. When we first thought of the concept, adapting the RPs was an idea we tossed around for fun amongst many others: “One day we’re gonna write a book”, “One day we’re gonna make it into a movie script.”, “This would make a funny anime”, things of that nature. Just one more inside joke.
The plot of Shadows Rise originated in a piece of backstory created between Blackbird and one of our players, Sibrand, in the first RP. It was a very simple concept revolving the past relationship between two characters, but it escalated into a very significant plot point that would later influence even more significant events in the sequels.
This random piece of backstory had become so significant to so many characters and their personal stories by the end of SOP that we decided, somehow, at some point, we needed to explore that story further.
The first bare bones of characters and events for this story began being written in late 2011. Before the first post had even been made to Shadows of The Forgotten. It was initially a prequel of sorts, but considering all the changes we’ve since decided on for the main trilogy; and how Valcrest itself has evolved since then, it’s turned into more of a reboot. A new introduction to Valcrest.
In hindsight, all things considered, there couldn’t possibly be a more fitting starting point for this series. So, with mere 18 hours to go, we hope you’ll all join us tomorrow.
Welcome to Valcrest.
– The Crew