Conan Exiles is a survival game built using the Unreal Engine. Its one of a newer breed of games that are part RPG, part MMO and part Minecraft, where the aim of the game is to collect materials to survive, craft items and build structures. There are multiple quests and a plot arc you can follow if you wish. The map is enormous, ranging from dune deserts in the south to rocky desert in the midlands, turning into jungle in the east, temperate lands in the north then cold mountainous regions in the far north with a massive volcano dominating the northern lands which has secrets inside its caldera that you must investigate.
Its a big game, made even bigger by the fan-crafted mods that add huge amounts of extra content to the game, including clothing and armour, added hairstyles, new quests and crafting items, expanded levelling and entire replacement maps. It is rated R as the violence is brutal and bloody, with a lot of gore and dismemberment and quite adult themes from cannibalism to slavery as well as the server level “Nudity Level” which has three settings “None, Partial or Full”
The game has a “pet” system that allows you to capture young wild animals and train them up – there are Elephants, Rhinos, Wolves, Panthers, Gorillas… even Scorpions.
It is also possible to capture NPC humans, known as Thralls and enslave them to serve you. This is done by placing them to the Wheel of Pain , which supposedly breaks their spirit and makes them loyal to you. In the base game you can only have one Thrall follow you at a time, but there are of course mods that allow you to have a band of Thralls and pets follow you.
The game is playable as single-player only, which is hosted on your own PC as well as on shared servers. There are a large number of ‘Official’ servers which are in theory moderated and do not have any mods, but there are even more hosted private and public servers you can join and even rent your own!
I began playing on my own single-player instance and you can see a page with some screenshots by clickon othe image to the right.
The single player option is fun as an introduction to the game, but the world only exists while you are playing. On the shared servers, they are runnig constantly even when you are logged off and this can be more convenient when waiting for long tasks to finish!
It was while playing Conan Exiles on the single player instance that the realisation struck me that the Kallistiverse was not just the City of Heroes characters, but ALL the Kallistis. it happened when I was talking to others about playing Conan Exiles and I called this Kallisti ‘Kallisti the Barbarian’ and that eventually she would get picked up by the Space-time warp and brought to Paragon City.
I had a light-bulb moment and realised that this Kallisti could ALSO be the Kallisti from Mardona, somehow transported from her comfortable retirement after the long struggle the stories set in Mardona were leading up to. It also finally gave me the last elements of the plot that to be honest I’d forgotten about in the intervening years (decades?) since writing the Mardona stuff. That prompted me to start digging out the old writings and revising the page I built way back in 1997 to display the stories on this new fangled World Wide Web thing! The result of all that is this latest revamp of the Kallistiverse website.
There is a new story that links Kallisti from Mardona with Kallisti in Conan Exiles. Its not easy trying to write a coherent story around game mechanics in CE that are frankly ridiculous, and I’m going to have to use a large dollop of artistic license to get it to work properly.
First there is a sequence set in Mardona to set things up:
Kallisti and the Apparition: Hyborean Exile Part 1
which then continues into the Exiled Lands here:
Kallisti and the Desert: Hyborean Exile Part 2
In the end, Kallisti won’t go home just yet. Instead she will end up in City of Heroes as Kallisti the Barbarian, converting from this look