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Maidens and Mayhem

Prior to the development of Pirates, Vikings, and Knights II, there was a short lived effort to re-make the original Pirates, Viking, and Knights on the Half-Life engine with improved graphics and gameplay. This game, titled Pirates, Vikings, and Knights: Maidens and Mayhem never got far in development and was abandoned in favor making Pirates, Vikings, and Knights II on the Source engine after Valve Corporation publicly announced the development of Half-Life 2. Many of the developers involved with Maidens and Mayhem joined the Pirates, Vikings and Knights II team.

Pirates, Vikings, and Knights II

The Berserker model being shown on March 2005

Soon after the release of Half-Life 2, the Valve Corporation released a software development kit (SDK) for the game's Source engine. The SDK allows for the game to be modified in various ways, from model and texture changes, the creation of new maps to the creation of an entirely different game based on the coding framework of Half-Life 2, known as total conversion modifications. Pirates, Vikings and Knights II was developed as a total conversion modification for the Source engine, and is a sequel to Pirates, Vikings and Knights, a total conversion modification of Half-Life. The development of Pirates, Vikings and Knights II was conducted by a small team of developers, who produced the game's range of programming, art, modelling, texturing and sound. Development on the game began immediately after the release of the SDK, and the first public beta version was released on 1 January 2007, consisting of three of the game's intended classes. Subsequent updates adjusted gameplay and balance, as well as adding additional maps. The second major beta version was released on 7 February 2008, adding three additional classes. On 14 October 2008, the team announced that version 2.3 Pirates, Vikings and Knights II would be built on the same version of the Source engine used by The Orange Box, allowing for more advanced graphical effects. In addition, version 2.3 is to be integrated in Valve's Steamworks program, allowing the game to be directly distributed through Steam, free to customers who own a Source engine based game by Valve.

Captain's Log

August 13th 1717

The cargo ship carrying the chest did not make port today. It’s rumored that all her cargo was lost at sea thanks to Captain Black Bellamy and his crew of Pirates. The Royal Navy could find no survivors, nor cargo amongst the wreckage. What happened out there? Did a mishap occur with the storage of black powder? Reports of a terrible storm in that area were being told as well, on that very day of the disappearance. I fear that the loss of the chest is immeasurable, and incalculable. How shall I explain this to my master? I should have taken greater measures and not chartered a merchant vessel. I’ll be lucky if I’m not flogged for this…
I can understand the value of the chest as it being rumored to have originated in a monastery in Lindesfarne, Northumbria 793.a.d. The Viking Sagas spoke of a cursed chest imbued by the power of the White Christ to exact revenge upon the Vikings for the massacre that took place in the monastery. I’m not a highly educated man like the master, but I pride myself that I have learned to read under his tutelage. And so, as I have read from his other volumes that he laid strewn about while he slumbered at his fireplace from sheer mental exhaustion, that the chest has also seen many other lands in its centuries of travels. A historian in the 12th century noted that the same chest was logged in a royal treasury under the reign of King John Lackland October 30th 1215 a.d. There is more than enough controversy over the details of his quick and sudden demise in 1216 a.d. There are even some that say he didn’t die that day at all…but disappeared instead.
Now that this has happened, I can’t help but wonder if the master were meant to possess the chest at all? The master seems to be consumed by this artifact, dedicating all his days in hopes of the discovery of it. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if he hired out a mercenary vessel on the morrow to see the wreckage with his very own eyes. I wish to have no part of the cursed thing.
I think tomorrow would be a good day for me to slip away and fetch those other volumes from Mr. Kensington in Wales. The fresh air would be a welcomed change from these dreary walls.

~End of Journal Entry~