Writer, Story & IP Development
Below are excerpts from two "society pages" I created for Amalur.com, a 38 Studios website teasing the lore of the Amalur universe. Each full article is over 3500 words long.
"They call us haughty. They call us arrogant. But by the wisdom of Ethene, we will save their lands, we will drive out this darkness, we will bring a new dawn to Amalur!" ~ General Colicos, rallying his troops to liberate Port Myria.
The Kollossae have undergone a profound physical and cultural transformation over the course of their history. From coarse, primitive beginnings in the wilds of Jentilak, the giants rose to become noble, elegant masters of a vast and powerful kingdom. Physically imposing and highly magical, the they are emissaries of wisdom, renowned as teachers and philosophers. Though they can be prideful and sometimes arrogant, the Kollossae live in service to their beloved goddess, Ethene, and endeavor to shape themselves in her image.
Over the ages, Kollossae government has changed as dramatically as its people. During their early years, the giants were subject to warlords and despots who fought for control over shifting tribes. Later, when the Kollossae rose to prominence in Jentilak, they established a monarchy led by the Premos--or "first"--who often wielded religious authority along with secular control. Following their exodus to the Teeth of Naros, the giants adopted a representative democracy, and the Premos became the public voice for the senate. At the height of their power during the Hyperian Age, the Kollossae abandoned democracy for imperial rule. The Premos abolished the senate and assumed the title Autokrator of the Empire of Hyperia. The empire endured just over five centuries, after which time the republic was restored and the power of the Premos curtailed.
Devotion to Ethene unites the Kollossae people in a passionate pursuit of wisdom, order, and beauty. Floating above the landscape, their cities are marvels of engineering and centers for art and culture. Master stonemasons create delicate sculpture and towering architecture, and performing artists gather from across Amalur to enact ancient dramas in acoustically perfect amphitheaters.
Though some giants are satisfied with individual success, many feel obligated to raise their race to greater heights through philanthropy and civil service. This ethic extends beyond the bounds of their own society. Quick to assume command--and eager to share knowledge or render advice--the Kollossae think of themselves as noble world leaders. At times, however, an air of superiority mars their benevolence, and their gestures of goodwill are met with suspicion and resentment by the other kingdoms of Amalur.
Controlling the rich lands of Othyris and the Teeth of Naros, the giants are ideally positioned to trade in stone, minerals, and gemstones. Kollossae quarries are a chief source of granite and marble for their allies. Impressive in both scope and efficiency, these massive stone-works often employ Jottun laborers who are overseen by Kollossae engineers. Their significant geomantic knowledge allows these engineers to extract rare minerals from the rock, and the giants are one of the few reliable sources in Amalur for these precious substances.
Kollossae workmanship is highly prized, and expert masons and artisans have been known to travel vast distances to oversee particularly ambitious endeavors commissioned by foreign sponsors. Although the giants engage in other forms of trade, they enjoy relative self-sufficiency when it comes to the fundamentals of survival. The giants are adamant in maintaining this independence, which has allowed them to retreat behind the walls of Idylla in times of turmoil.
During their existence as savage hill giants in the frontiers of Jentilak, the Kollossae possessed little magical ability beyond primitive shamanistic rituals. But with the dawn of the Age of Arcana and the reinvention of their culture, the Kollossae blossomed into one of the most magically potent civilizations in Amalur.
Following this transformation, a powerful mage named Mariskos formed the Oraculum, an arcane society dedicated to advancing the theory and practice of magic. The organization has since become a cornerstone of Kollossae society, providing military support and playing an instrumental role in many of the race's greatest achievements.
The Kollossae are fervent followers of the goddess of wisdom, Ethene, who acts as an oracle of prophesy for their kingdom. She appears to her people at the Festival of Ethene, where the Premos of Idylla may ask her a single question. When the goddess answers, her response is often subject to interpretation.
Ethene's temple in Idylla is tended by mysterious, shrouded figures called the Thrones, whose presence in the area predates the Kollossae. While normally content to stay within the temple grounds, the Thrones may leave the compound as messengers of the goddess during times of extreme crisis. On such rare occasions, the giants are quick to gather at the temple to hear Ethene's guidance. The Kollossae high priest, known as the Voice of Ethene, is the first to speak with the goddess under these circumstances.
In honor of their ancient traditions, the Kollossae revere the earth goddess, Gaea, from whose womb it is said the Titans were born. The Titans are demigod figures to the Kollossae, legendary beings of great power whom the giants claim as their forbearers. The air goddess, Ohnshan, is also honored by the Kollossae, and they believe the Lady of the Winds has helped Ethene lift their culture to its destiny in the skies.
The full article continued with a synopsis of the 10,000 year history of the Kollossae.
"He's worth five goblins in battle and he tastes better too. What more do you need from a pet?" ~ Unknown Jottun warrior, showing off his prized Rutaidh to a Crymbil emissary.
Loud, crude, and violent, the Jottun are the enforcers of Amalur. Their tremendous girth and massive strength makes them ideal physical fighters, and they have served as the standing army for several of Amalur's greatest empires. Their warlike nature stems not from a desire for conquest, but rather from a sheer love of battle. While the Jottun appreciate power and influence, they have little patience for political maneuvering and prefer to earn the respect of nations from the front lines.
Jottun government balances diplomatic necessities with the ogres' deep-seated need for combat. This responsibility is shared between the Boltr, a venerable and respected warrior who represents the strong arm of Jottun society, and the Ragnarr, a less visible religious leader who sets policy and manages foreign relations. While most Jottun see the Boltr as their greatest leader, the Ragnarr holds the real political power, determining the direction of Jottun society and appointing the successor for each of the leadership positions. However, both leaders know that only a respected warrior will ever sway the will of the ogres, and that without the Boltr as public figurehead the Ragnarr would be powerless. Together, they channel their people's lust for battle towards politically acceptable foes, aware that without an outlet for their aggression the ogres would turn to infighting.
While other races tend to view the Jottun as primitive and dim-witted barbarians, their crude stone architecture and tribal nature is not a consequence of stupidity. The ogres are remarkably intelligent, and excel in their areas of chief interest--combat and food. The cunning of Jottun battle tactics is matched only by their complete and utter mastery of cuisine -- in particular the smoking and roasting of meats, which is considered nothing less than an art by Jottun chefs.
The Jottun understand themselves better than many of the more sophisticated races of Amalur. They enjoy simple pleasures -- raucous feasting, drunken revelry, glorious battle -- and have no patience or use for more elevated endeavors. In spite of their warlike nature, at their core the Jottun are a large, extended family. While at times they walk a fine line between civilization and barbarism, these ogres are bound together by a sense of greater purpose.
The Jottun are a self-sufficient race. Their needs are few, and the little infrastructure they require is usually obtained through conquest, or from their allies in exchange for military support. They have even been known to "trade" their martial services for nothing more than the chance at battle.
Not economically-minded by nature, they engage in limited commerce -- with the notable exception of significant annual purchases in wine from the Massariol and beer from the Dverga. Their chief export is the cured pork of the gargantuan pig-like Rutaidh, prized across Amalur for its strong flavor. This delicacy has earned the Jottun a deserved reputation as exceptional butchers and cooks.
Through the majority of their history, the Jottun were almost entirely mundane. What little magic they possessed went largely untapped, overshadowed by their immense physical might. Only during the Age of Arcana did ogres begin to actively exercise arcane ability. However, their culture is so completely dominated by physical mastery that magic has never gained wide acceptance.
Almost without exception, the Jottun view structured, intellectual forms of magic with suspicion. Those few who are willing to investigate their arcane talents focus instead on primal, ritualistic sorceries,and only the Ragnarr employs these arts without scrutiny. The most accepted magical practice in Jottun society is the brewing of magical draughts called Ansuz (Divine Breath), concoctions that create a heightened combat awareness and raise the heat of ogre blood, causing them to glow like fiery embers as they march into battle.
The Jottun worship the war god Thyrdon, whom they frequently depict as a ravaging ogre, shield-less, hands replaced by living weapons. Before battle, warriors pay their respects to Thyrdon by participating in a war chant called the Galdr. Led by the Ragnarr and fueled by Ansuz, this ritual inflames the Jottun thirst for combat, releasing the tide of their frenzy when it can no longer be contained.
The Jottun have long held that a glorious death in battle is the gateway to the afterlife. However, the creation and proliferation of the Well of Souls threw this central belief into question. While their leaders grudgingly supported the Wells for strategic reasons, many Jottun felt that they robbed battle of its joy--that without death there could be no victory.
The full article continued with a synopsis of the 10,000 year history of the Jottun.
Below are marquee headlines I created for Reckoning.com, the official 38 Studios website for Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC
Death has broken the bonds of fate, yet you are reborn free to choose your Destiny. Experience fluid action combat that sets the new standard for single-player RPGs as you fight to turn the tide of the Crystal War.
Conquer the Teeth of Naros
The epic world of Reckoning expands. Download the latest adventure to scale the jagged peaks of Naros and unearth the ancient secrets of the Kollossae.
Enter the Age of Arcana
Play Kingdoms of Amalur: ReckoningTM to challenge fate and claim your destiny.
Dead Kel Awaits
A new chapter in the Reckoning saga is here. Download The Legend of Dead Kel now and set sail for Gallows End.
The Story of Amalur
Immerse yourself in 10,000 years of history using the timeline. Learn about Amalur’s dark origins, the rise of magic, and the tides of change that ushered in a new generation of heroes.
Expand Your Arsenal
Claim unique weapons and armor, outfit your Xbox Live avatar, and lay waste to your foes in Valor Arena. Check out available DLC for all the latest info.
Join the Community
Spark conversations on the forums, show off your Reckoning achievements, and stay current with the newsletter.
Below are images from an excel document I created to chart the narrative progression of Kingdoms of Amalur (38 Studios' unpublished MMO). In the image on the left, each cell contains the plot synopsis for a geographic zone in the game. This high-level document maps out all possible routes a player might have taken through the game. The image on the right represents the in-depth "saga" document for the zone highlighted in blue on the left. This document describes the plot in detail, and lays out the step-by-step quest progression a player would have followed to complete the zone. It also lists major characters and their status at the area's conclusion (ie: alive or dead, etc).