Prose & Dialogue Sample - The Bridge Ablaze.pdf
This is an excerpt from Beast of Winter, the first DLC for Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire.
The player arrives at a scene frozen in time. The last defenders of Evon Dewr Bridge stand tall the instant before they’re annihilated. At the head of the attacking army looms Waidwen, a humble farmer with divine light radiating out of his head. He is the vessel of the god Eothas, and both of them are about to die.
I’d been writing supplemental lore about Waidwen since 2014, but in 2018 I finally got to write this scene that explored his character in greater depth. I think it took a lot of players by surprise, and I was delighted to give this controversial, historic figure some humanizing context.
Short Fiction Sample - Under_New_Management.pdf
Shortly after Tyranny was announced, the Narrative team introduced the world of Terratus through short stories. I leaped at the opportunity and wrote as many as I could fit into my schedule. Under New Management was the first, and easily my favorite of the bunch.
In many ways, Tyranny was an easy setting to write for. Characters' morals were complex and dark, but they came from a rationale that made sense under the circumstances. When you imagine a world that's long since subverted by an immortal tyrant's calculating mind, you don't get characters invested in making things better. You get characters who can't imagine a better way, and how they choose to survive.
Most of them don't know how sick and twisted they are. They're a gang, and a gang is family.
Dialogue Sample - Bekarna.pdf
This is an excerpt from The Forgotten Sanctum, the third DLC for Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire.
The player rescues Bekarna, a wizard imprisoned in the Hall of the Unseen. She was trapped in a human zoo that scrambles the memories of its inmates. After restoring her broken mind, Bekarna is still forgetful due to a past brain injury. She asks the player to help her complete the mission that brought her to this unusual dungeon.
Bekarna is one of my favorite (and most wholesome) NPCs because she’s kind, approachable, and we share a fascination with the stars. She also has a soothing, Carl Sagan-esque presence that I enjoyed writing immensely. I only alluded to her situation in Deadfire's base game, so it was nice to offer a sense of closure to her story in the third DLC.
Prose Sample - Drummer.pdf
As we were preparing to release the backer beta for Pillars of Eternity II, I spoke with an Area Designer so we could identify any unique narrative moments to extract out of the environment. I pointed to a great big drum overlooking the docks and asked, “What’s this?” The Area Designer simply replied, “Oh, I was just going to place an NPC hanging out by the drum.”
The idea struck me immediately - an NPC who cannot speak, but uses her drum to communicate with the player. This would be easy to achieve in our conversation UI, and perhaps more importantly - inexpensive.
First draft ideas don't always lead to successful places, but I'm glad I followed this one. Even if this character doesn’t contribute to any greater quest, I think it’s a sweet moment that leaves the player with a deeper sense of connection to the NPCs around them.