Character Intros: The Dark Rituals Inspector

Old Character Art

Name: Jarich (M)/Jarrah (F) of the Merusine

Alias: “Inspector Spooky Times” (Elith/Elodie, probably)

Race: Plithodonian

Physical Description: Jar has jet black sclera and pupils, bluish-gray skin, and bluish/purplish (and fantastic) hair. Standing at just under six feet tall, it’s no wonder that others find Jar a bit intimidating. Their hair always looks a bit damp (not because Jar is nervous because Jar is always nervous) and can glow a bit in the dark- cool Plithodonian facts. Jar likes to wear dark colors and hide away in corners behind tall potted plants to avoid frivolous small talk.

Personality: Jar is most comfortable when they are alone and comes off as aloof or condescending in social situations (especially since no one likes to have their ritual audited, pfft auditors, am I right?). Jar is completely dedicated to their job; however, they are still reeling from being sabotaged by a former coworker and friend which nearly cost them their career. Has a bit of a competitive streak.

Character Inspo Spotify Playlist

Likes: Regulations that don’t leave a lot of grey area, Cillian (the world’s best intern), the calm between inspections, rain, finding cheap office supplies with cute patterns, creating process flow charts, a good duel.

Dislikes: Elith/Elodie, small talk, mandatory office parties, sloppy sigils, traveling to locations with dry climates, their ex-friend who betrayed them, uncertainties about their career, being told to get a hobby, being told that their face is going to get stuck like that if they keep scowling, hot summers.

Character Intros: The Cleric

Old Character Art

Name: Elith (M)/ Elodie (F)

Alias: “Not You Again”

Race: Human

Physical Description: The first thing you’ll notice about El is that they look like a combination of tired (which is remarkable for a person who sleeps so much) and bored. El has gray eyes, medium length black hair, and their face is covered in freckles (just like their mother Iris Sabine). Wears the gold and white robes of the Clerics of the Gilded Dawn. Always leaning against something or standing a bit slouched.

Personality: While assisting their mother at the academy, El is absolutely professional and courteous. Otherwise, they are a fairly cold and snide individual. With the exception of their mother, Marls and the PC, El avoids the others unless they have some kind of mischief planned. Has mastered a rare form of healing in which they draw power from their dreams, and uses that as an excuse to take frequent naps.

Character Inspo Spotify Playlist

Likes: When others find them off-putting, making situations awkward, sleeping, napping, MOM, cool weather, pranks and other forms of acceptable mischief (often at the expense of Solaris/Suna or Cavriel/Cavrielle), finding excuses to shirk responsibility.

Dislikes: Meddlers (JARICH/JARRAH), extremely hot or cold weather, the responsibilities involved with being associated with Rollis-Maven Academy and the Gilded Dawn (not being able to live their life and do their own thing).

Character Intros: The Bounty Hunter

Old Character Art

Name: Marlowe (M)/Marlena (F)

Alias: Marls

Race: Elven

Physical Description:  Marls is relatively short (about 5’4) with pointed ears, orange eyes, and wavy reddish hair. Although Marls is a beloved celebrity in Hervos, they like to keep a low profile. After all, it’s quite difficult to sneak up and apprehend a bad guy if you’re surrounded by cheering fans. Marls prefers practical lowkey clothing but likes to add their own artistic touch (like a floral headband). Probably the strongest character in the group (all thanks to a century of hardcore bounty hunter training).

Personality: As the most famous bounty hunter and top magical scholar (focusing on forgotten languages), Marls is a very busy person. They like to unwind with their latest artistic endeavor (which is currently oil pastels). Sometimes they like to drag her bounty hunter partner Veerbis to the theatre. Very friendly and laid back with a great sense of humor. Can conjure really scary looking daggers. Definitely one of the most marvelous people you could ever hope to meet (unless your face found its way onto some “Wanted” posters somehow).

Character Inspo Spotify Playlist

Likes: Working out tricky conjugations in “dead” languages, arboreal geckos, jokes that end up being really bad puns, a good sunrise, having a great confidante like Veerbis, puppies, the smell of the forest after a good rain.

Dislikes: A certain ex-friend who betrayed them, selfish people who use or hurt other people, bandits, sometimes Elith/Elodie can be annoying.

Character Intros: The Best Friend

Capture suna
Old Character Art

Name: Solaris (M)/ Suna (F)

Role: The Academy Brat, Best Friend

Race: Half-orc

Physical Description: Tall and muscular with long curly blond hair, S is an absolute ray of sunshine. Has greenish skin, pointed ears, and tusks, which are typical for most half-orcs (and also those suffering from Siren’s Scurvy but that’s not applicable here). Proudly wears their Rollis-Maven Academy issued armor and cape.

Personality: As the child of the academy’s herbalist and lead fighting instructor, S really enjoys digging through thickets looking for rare plants and punching things. They are very excitable and always full of energy and cheerful optimism. S is also painfully aware that they are a bit sheltered and are hoping that the Ritual will be their chance to learn about the world outside of the academy. Definitely a hugger.

Character Inspo Spotify Playlist

Likes: S has only known the PC for a few months but already considers them their best friend, MOM AND DAD, that feeling when you lift an entire fallen tree with one hand and find something cool like a salamander or a weird looking rock underneath, POISONOUS PLANTS, other plants, but mainly poisonous plants, cooking (but not with poisonous plants, right?), getting good grades.

Dislikes: The thought that they may be following a bit too closely in their parents’ footsteps, when it is windy AND rainy at the same time, sometimes Elith/Elodie can be a little mean if you accidentally wake them up during one of their six daily naps, people who take advantage or antagonize other people, these weird dreams that S keeps having that is just a disembodied voice saying mean things about the PC and accusing the PC of being a criminal (no more cider before bed perhaps?).

Character Intros: The Lackey

Old Character Art

Name: ??? (M)/ ??? (F)

Alias: Lachi, The Lackey

Race: ???

Physical Description: Lachi may look like an elf at a passing glance but they are something much older and more fearsome. You can’t tell if their pallid complexion and long faded pink hair result from their nap that lasted for decades. but you know better not to ask. Lachi is very tall and prefers to drape themselves in huge cloaks or robes with dramatic accents such as feathers or spikes.

Personality: Lachi isn’t familiar with current mortal fads (like blinking) so they tend to stick out like a very tall sore thumb. They are haughty and vicious and thrive on dramatic monologuing and perfecting their maniacal laughter. They are also very organized and can’t participate in any bamboozling unless they have three different contingency plans (much to the PC’s chagrin). Has very powerful sorcery and wants you to know it.

Character Inspo Spotify Playlist

Likes: Scams, striking fear in the hearts of those who dare oppose them, the PC, graphs and charts (visual organization tools!), flashy displays of magic.

Dislikes: When the PC insists on pulling scams in the sewers because it’s gross, the acoustics aren’t right for proper frenzied laughter, and the rats chew on their fancy robes. The unavoidable long con (it’s the PC’s own fault that they didn’t see this inevitable betrayal coming from a mile away).

Character Intros: The Con Artist

Old Character Sprite Art

Name: You decide! (Default Name: Breandril)

Alias: You decide! (Default Name: Breedle the Crusher)

Physical Description: Also up to you! You can be a human (default), an elf (or half-elf), an orc (or half-orc), Kovian (goat people with horns who typically live in mountainous regions and draw their power from the stars), Plithodonian (slick looking partially amphibious people), or an Ophius (you may be part dragon but you’re not quite sure). You also get to select your gender, sexual orientation, and certain physical descriptors (general height, hair length, hair color etc.).

Personality: Also up to you to help shape.

Character Inspo Spotify Playlist

Some Backstory:

  • You are an exile who is currently taking it sleazy in the thrilling country of Hervos.
  • Your parents were rulers of a small province. You are considered cursed because you were born under a constellation of mega bad omen stars.  
  • Your parents hired a Kovian adviser by the name of Kasimir/Kasima to help break the curse. The adviser had other motives and was successful in running your parents out of town. Turns out your aunt had been reading “Becoming a Despot -For Dummies” and wants control of the province.
  • But you end up humiliating Kasimir/Kasima in front of a powerful tribunal of monks who were convinced that you had magical powers linked to your curse and you are both exiled.
  • You become a low level “grinder” to make ends meet. Let’s face it. Rich people love adventure but hate actually breaking a sweat. So grinders are hired to comb through ruins, set off the traps, and fight the giant spiders so their clients can swoop in and take the treasure.
    • In an old ruin of a tower, you accidentally stumble upon a sleeping demi-god/goddess and wake them from their slumber. 
    • They become your lackey known as “Lachi.”  The two of you become grifters and pull all kinds of cons and nonsense.
    • Lachi makes you BFF gauntlets that mask your identities.  Wanted posters start popping up but thanks to these gauntlets no one actually remembers what you or Lachi look like.
    • And then Lachi betrays you and you are captured by two famous bounty hunters named Marls Niistiel and Veerbis. Turns out you have a benefactor at the ritzy Rollis-Maven Academy who paid them a lot of coin to track you down.

brindle – demo release countdown!

So “brindle” has been a WIP for a while now. I started working on it when I was in grad school and the original premise was really dark and creepy.  I scrapped the entire thing about two years ago and started fresh with something more lighthearted and fun (and still a little dark and creepy).

And then I scrapped it again in 2018 because it just wasn’t working for me. But I’m giving it one last attempt in 2019. I changed things up and decided to write “brindle” as an interactive novel instead of a visual novel. Half of the battle in 2018 involved me tearing out my hair over the art assets. But with an interactive novel, you can let your imagination do all of the heavy lifting because it’s ALL text. Like a lot of other ChoiceScript games, you can customize your player character’s (PC) name, gender, sexual orientation (which will determine the gender of the romanceable characters so you don’t miss out on anybody), and personality traits.

The demo covers about 4-5 of the earlier scenes in “brindle” and will be available no later than 2-14-2019. My goal word count for the demo is 25-30k.

The PC is a con artist who is captured by bounty hunters after being betrayed by their partner-in-crime. The bounty hunters reveal that the PC has a benefactor who offered to pay them handsomely if they deliver the PC to the ritzy Rollis-Maven Academy. The benefactor is Iris Sabine, the head archivist at the academy. Iris wants to collect information on a certain ancient ritual but needs to find a prophetical hero with a special divine mark to get the access she needs. She makes a deal with the con artist; pretend to be this special hero or go to jail. You are that con artist and this is your journey.

One of the features of “brindle” is that you’ll get to pick from 5-6 heroic backstories to help the PC fake it ’til they make it. Do you choose to be a knight who was banished from their kingdom after failing to protect the royal family?  Or the member of a small militia who used the power of interpretative dance to win over the goblins who were terrorizing their hometown?  Or the child of piemakers who was abandoned when their parents became groupies and followed their favorite bards on tour? Each backstory will unlock unique situations/conversations. Make sure to stay consistent with your backstory or the other characters (especially the Dark Rituals Inspector) may become suspicious. Or don’t because conflict and chaos are fun.

At its core, “brindle” is a frivolous fantasy dating sim.  All of the characters will be introduced in the demo. If you don’t want to smooch anyone, there will be friendship paths available. And if you hate any of the characters, you can pick a nemesis path. You can go to the “Brindle” link at the top of the screen to get a full list of the characters (

You might notice some weird things happening in the background (possessed daggers, creepy bird skeletons, and unsettling dreams) during your first playthrough. If you make certain choices, the “deep” routes will be unlocked. These deep routes will offer more depth/explanation to the plot and more opportunities to interact with the stranger things. Lachi and Cavriel/Cavrielle each have a “deep” route in addition to their standard route. There is one other major character (Konich) and two secondary characters (Kasimir/Kasima and “Juniper”/Cev who are linked to the “deep” routes. Their main routes will be available in the sequel but there will be some build-up during “brindle.”

I’m going to make more posts this week introducing some of the characters.

And here is the first picture I drew of the cast after I rebooted “brindle” a couple of years ago: