Category Archives: Vala

They Came From the Stars

Set sail with great adventurers around the turn of the century as great – and not-so-great – icons go to try and claim new glory. From the southern pole of the world to the bushveldt of South Africa, follow in the footsteps of brilliant scientists, egomaniacal explorers, and shifty soldiers when the Earth is – unexpectedly – invaded.

They Came from the Stars

In the They Came From The Stars set of adventures, Vala Games explores what it was like to be out and about at the end of the 19th century in a story inspired by the thrillers of Verne and Welles, exploring astronomy, chemistry and zoology, alongside courage, the spirit of adventure and tough ethical dilemmas.

The Court of Mary, Queen of Scots

Take a job at the royal court of Mary Queen of Scots and experience the flourishing ‘Scottish Renaissance’ of her reign up close and personal. Work hard to meet her expectations, strive to be noticed and become a royal favourite, protect her person and reputation from the manipulation of foreign powers, and become caught up in the great events and vicious politics of Queen Mary’s eventful reign.

The Court of Mary, Queen of Scots
In the Court of Mary Queen of Scots set of adventure Vala Games explores the life and times of Mary Queen of Scots, the influences and figures directing events in her court, and the influence and access to the powerful that medieval servants often enjoyed, as well as teaching skills of cooperation, decision-making, and observation.

Chapters:

  1. The Favourites of Queen Mary
  2. The Murder of Lord Darnley
  3. Coming Soon
  4. Coming Soon

The Favourites of Queen Mary

Leaping into action as the spring season of royal parties and councils begins, the Court of Mary Queen of Scots find themselves at the heart of the ‘Scottish Renaissance’ as nobles return to Edinburgh and foreign visitors arrive.

The Court of Mary, Queen of Scots

Moving through the palace and catching glimpses of deadly politics, foreign espionage, and even open treason against the crown, the members of her Court will find themselves very busy as they compete to become The Favourites of Queen Mary.


The Murder of Lord Darnley

Shock and suspicion rock the Court of Mary Queen of Scots when an explosion one night after midnight proves a clue in the abrupt murder of her husband, Lord Darnley.

The Favourites of Queen MaryFinding themselves at the mercy of the gathering political storm as nobles exploit the situation to their own goals, the members of the Court must be cunning, be trustworthy, and be very careful indeed if they are to avoid misplaced blame and punishment over The Murder of Lord Darnley.


The Rise & Fall of Lord Bothwell

Recently widowed and confounded in her sovereignty by rebellious Lords of all persuasions, it seems that the Queen of Scots needs must settle on a new husband or face a challenge to the throne. Few in her court are prepared however for the events that rapidly unfold as the ambitious and brave Sir James Hepburn literally sweeps the Queen of her feet and sets the Kingdom on a course towards disaster or redemption.

The members of Mary’s Court need to decide one and for all where their loyalties lie during the meteoric rise and fall of James Hepburn, Lord Bothwell.


Coming Soon

Padmasambhava comes to Tibet

Counsel and advise King Trisong Detsen of ancient Tibet and vie for dominance and supremacy among your peers as one of the powerful and mystical Ministers of the Tibetan government. Encounter the Indian demigod Padmasambhava, scheme in the shadows to help or hinder him, complete for the Elixir of Longevity, plan the conquest of kingdoms and the capture of their gods, and witness the legendary events by which Buddhism arrived in Tibet.

Padmasambhava comes to Tibet
In the Padmasambhava Comes to Tibet set of adventures Vala Games explores the little-known mythology and legendary figures behind the spread of Tibetan Buddhism, and the historical turning point at which the history and culture of Tibet was changed forever, as well as teaching skills like planning, self-reliance, teamwork, and negotiation.

Chapters:

  1. An Invitation to Padmasambhava
  2. The Great Translator
  3. The Elixir of Longevity
  4. Coming Soon

An Invitation to Padmasambhava

Seeking to raise the profile of Tibetan Buddhism, King Trisong Detsen plans the construction of a mighty temple just outside his capital. But many of the people are quietly opposed, his royal ministers squabble and give opposing advice, and construction is slowed by the hostile workings of untame demons and jealous magicians.

An Invitation to Padmasambhava

Thankfully, one major Buddhist teacher is able to suggest a solution: consult with a famous Indian demi-god and Buddhist master how to solve his problems. And so, desperate, the King sends out An Invitation to Padmasambhava.


The Great Translator

Buddhism is enjoying a revival all throughout Tibet, as the Mystic Master Padmasambhava and King Trisong Detsen work to enlighten the people. But many still resist, and Padmasambhava suggests to the King that having access to certain magical texts from India would assist him.

The Great Translator

A great competition is announced in order to find the wisest people in Tibet, to be trained in languages and mystical powers so they may go and obtain copies of these rare books. And so the King’s ministers begin their search for the man who will someday be called The Great Translator


The Elixir of Longevity

The King of Tibet, Trisong Detsen, holds a symposium for medical masters from all over the world to help broaden and deepen the country’s famous system of traditional medicine. Privately, however, he has fears about his own mortality and when the visiting doctors cannot find anything wrong he goes to Padmasambhava and learns that he is coming into the last years of his life.

The Elixir of Longevity

But all is not yet lost as the King returns to his ministers with the good news: Padmasambhava has promised to help extend his life by brewing the famous Elixir of Longevity.


The Knights of the Round Table

Take up arms and ride out in search of adventure and a better world for all as founding Knights of Round Table. Chase mystery and mischief as young squires, come face to face with legendary figures like Merlin and Morgan le Fey, prove your mettle in battle and your nobility of spirits, pursue legendary quests and strange monsters, and take your place in the story of King Arthur and Camelot’s golden age.

The Knights of the Round Table

In the Knights of the Round Table set of adventures Vala Games explores a variety of interpretations and variations on the myths of King Arthur and medieval ideas about nobility, wisdom, bravery, honour, and how to build a better world, as well as teaching skills of teamwork, empathy, and good judgement.

Chapters:

  1. The Sword in the Stone
  2. Camelot Rising
  3. The Broken Sword
  4. Coming Soon

The Sword in the Stone

Accompanying their knight-masters to a vital council-of-war in Lodinum, a band of squires witness how the death of High King Uther has devastated Britain and allowed evil to creep into the country.

Knights of the Round Table

Their time in the English capital is filled with lessons in knighthood, sneaking out to explore the town, and getting into mischief in the city streets, but through a strange quirk of timing they also end up with an up-close view of the strange miracle of The Sword in the Stone.


Camelot Rising

Returning from the final hard-fought battles to unify Britain under the rule of High King Arthur, a group of knights get to experience both the merry partying and the learning and civilisation of Arthur’s reign.

Camelot Rising

But the countryside remains untamed, and they soon  find themselves drawn away on a mighty quest that will challenge their strength of arms, their strength of character, and the strength of Arthur’s reign itself as they strive to fulfil the promise of Camelot Rising.


The Broken Sword

Travelling with King Arthur to celebrate the springtime rituals at Glastonbury Tor, the knights of the Round Table find their journey interrupted by a mysterious knight who demands that they defeat him if they wish to cross the river he guards. It takes all their efforts to vanquish the stranger, Sir Lancelot du Lac, and persuade him to join the Round Table and swear his allegiance to Britain.

The Broken Sword

But the battle is only the beginning of their latest adventure, as they quest across the land in search of a magical lake and a replacement for what Arthur lost in the battle: the Broken Sword.


Coming Soon

Priests of the Ancient Nile

Study and worship among the priesthood of Ancient Egypt during one of the most dramatic periods of religious upheaval in ancient history. Guide the people through bad omens and great changes, protect the legacy of the many gods of Egypt from book-burners and defilers, learn to survive the rigid rule of the fanatical pharaoh Akhenaten, and watch the rise and fall of the supreme sun-god Aten and the Amarna Heresy.

Priests of the Ancient Nile

In the Priests of the Ancient Nile set of adventures Vala explores the rich religious life of the Ancient Egyptians, the everyday lives of their priesthood, and the period where Egypt was caught between its faith in the old gods and the new beliefs of the fanatical pharaoh, as well as teaching skills like teamwork, critical thinking, and empathy.

Chapters:

  1. The Beast in the Sands
  2. Aten Ascendant
  3. The Book of Going Forth by Day

The Beast in the Sands

Praying for the recovery of one of Egypt’s co-ruling pharoahs, the old and gravely-ill Amenhotep III, the priests of the ancient nile – and the Temple of Amun – are rocked by news from the nearby villagers of a grave omen discovered out in the desert.

The Beast in the Sands

With the locals in a state of panic, the priests must go among the people to calm them and give them all the protection and reassurance that can be spared. But at the same time, deep in the temple sanctum, they must ritually struggle to protect the sickly pharoah’s very soul from the demonic force of chaos represented by The Beast in the Sands.


Aten Ascendent

Carrying out their duties to the gods and making their prayers for people, pharaoh, and country, the priests of the Temple of Amun are shaken by news from the capital that Amenhotep IV has renamed himself Akhenaten and banned all worship in the kingdom save that of his new singular sun-god, Aten.

Priests of the Ancient Nile

With the arrival of a new royally-appointed district governor forcing their hand, the priests must apply all their wisdom to preserve what they can of the old ways of Amun and help reassure the local people through this transition to Aten Ascendant!


The Book of Going Forth by Day

Years have passed and the temple at the Faiyum Oasis, like all other temples throughout Egypt, now worships the new sun-god Aten. But there are some among the people and the priesthood who still hold out worship of the old gods, and defy the pharaoh in secret.

Priests of the Ancient Nile

As winter arrives following a poor harvest, the priests must plunge deep into this landscape of shifting faith as they help the people survive the cold hungry winter, appoint a new high priest who all can agree on, and sadly perform their funereal duties according to the old Book of Going Forth by Day.


4.

Masters of Wind and Wave

Book a berth aboard one of the daring ships that worked the dangerous and lucrative cod-fishing trade along the Grand Banks of Newfoundland in the colony’s early days. Challenge great storms, hunt for valuable seal and caribou meat, haggle with greedy fish-merchants, and brave death and disaster to scrape by and maybe even build a family legacy amidst the blustering weather and icy chill of northern Canada.

Masters of Wind and Wave

In the Colonial Newfoundland: Masters of the Wind and Waves set of adventures Vala explores the most dangerous frontier of the late 18th Century, where men and women came to pit themselves against the elements to make their fortune, as well as teaching skills like teamwork, self-reliance, problem-solving, and determination as they strive to become Masters of Wind and Wave.

Chapters:

  1. The Hunt
  2. Wave Over Wave
  3. Rant And Roar
  4. To Beat the Winter Wind

The Hunt

As Spring frees the seas for conquest, the Fishermen of Newfoundland are gearing up for their first chance of the year to ply their dangerous trade. Making a profit against the potential of a poor season, reconnecting with the community, and discovering strange maritime creatures and monsters, the Masters of Wind and Wave prepare for a hard year on the sea.

Masters of Wind & Wave

Gather your equipment and set out across the ice to hunt seal and cod alike, when they discover a leviathan of the deep – the Giant Squid. It will take all their wits and fortitude now that they’ve begun The Hunt.


Wave Over Wave

Community spirit is strong and anticipation running high among the fisherfolk of Newfoundland as the warm days of late summer draw in, signalling that the fishing season is finally here. Outfitting their ship, the Windrider, they set out along the Grand Banks in search of a fisherman’s fortune in Atlantic cod, daring savage winds, high seas, and the treacherous weather.

Wave over Wave

But they may not even reach shore in time to preserve their catch against the lingering summer heat, though they race desperately Wave over Wave for home.


Rant And Roar

Cultural tensions in the town are running high again after the fishing season, due to competition over yields and accusations of poor conduct out on the high seas. The fish merchants have arrived from England and America with a mandate to change their financial relationships and require exclusive contacts, and the town is nervous over the risk of being beggared.

Masters of Wind & Wave

The locals must negotiate the tension between the town’s ethnic communities to put up a strong front and negotiate a better deal from the fish merchants. Then they must pull together to survive the devastating impact of the 1775 Hurricane as it drowns thousands and ruins houses to expose the vulnerable (children, grandparents) to the storm.


To Beat the Winter Wind

Coming Soon

Freedom of the Bush

Explore the tangled wilderness of colonial-era Tasmania and learn how convicts lived and thrived there before the harsh tyranny of Governor Arthur. Range the bush hunting for valuable kangaroo and emu, make friends and allies among the Big River Tribe of Palawa Aboriginals, party and carouse down in Hobart Town, and meet the infamous Michael Howe before the heyday of Tasmanian bushranging comes to an end.

Freedom of the Bush

In the Early Colonial Australia: Freedom of the Bush set of adventures Vala Games explores the rich bushranging tradition of Van Diemen’s land, the freedom enjoyed by convicts before the arrival of Governor Arthur, the culture and struggles of the local Palawa Aboriginals, as well as teaching skills like good judgement, teamwork, and logical thinking.

Chapters:

  1. The Camp
  2. The Rise of Michael Howe
  3. Governor of the Rangers
  4. Coming Soon

The Camp

Leaving the world they knew far behind and embarking on an eight-month sea voyage in cramped and miserable conditions, a group of convicts are shipped down to the bottom of the world to help establish a settlement in Tasmania.

The Camp

Following in the wake of Colonel Collins as he works to establish a British colony, the convicts search for good hunting grounds, make contact with the local Aboriginal people, build the town that will become Hobart, and investigate the secrets of the nearby Bowen settlement to consolidate the position of their town: “The Camp”.


The Rise of Michael Howe

Living wild in the forests as hunters with the permission of the British government, our group of convicts make a visit to Hobart Town to sell kangaroo meat and enjoy the charms of civilisation.

The Camp

Prices are not what they hoped for, but a chance encounter with an older convict plants the seed of an idea: establish ties with the Aboriginal people to improve their situation. Sounds simple enough, if it weren’t for the government ordering them back to town, the strange ways of the Big River Tribe, and getting caught up by bushranger history with The Rise of Michael Howe.


Governor of the Ranges

Years have passed since our group of convicts first heard the name Michael Howe, and now the legendary bushranger is the topic of conversation all over, from convict drinking-halls to the dwellings of the rich and powerful. After an attempt to fire the farm of a landowner who won’t pay his debts, the convicts have a front row seat as the legend of Michael Howe begins to collapse.

Contacted by powerful figures in search of vengeance, they find themselves drawn into an investigation to find out what really happened that fateful day to the Governor of the Ranges.


Coming Soon

The World of Oliver Twist

Well now, well now, well now… so you want to visit Old London Town do you?

London Town in not-so-Merrie Olde England during that time what was called the… Industrial Revolution?

Well in that case you need to get ready for a pretty rough time of it!

Youse have been given shelter here by a bloke who they call… Fagin. You can call him “dear old uncle Fagin” if you like, if it makes you feel better; but I wouldn’t go getting too sentimental. Although he is ‘nicer’ than his ‘assistant’, name of Bill Sikes, who, truth be known, is prone to using a big stick to “keep folks in line”.

So roll up your sleeves my little thieves. Today we are welcoming new boys and girls to the gang! By the t ime ‘dear old Uncle Fagin’ and Bill have finished… instructing you in the finer points… you’ll be more than ready to hit the streets and get to work here in the World of Oliver Twist.

So let’s get going, without further ado… you’ve gotta pick a pocket or two!

Join in the merry (or not so merry) troupe of priggers, pennyweighters, and pidgeon pluckers under the ‘tender care’ of dear old Uncle Fagin in this literary romp of Dickensian proportions as we fall in with the crooks and coves of Saffron Hill around the turn of the Industrial Revolution.

Oliver Twist

Learn about teamwork and self-reliance, trust and betrayal, as well as exploring the magnificent storytelling of a true master as we toddle along with Fagin’s Gang in the World of Oliver Twist!

Winner of our Inaugural Vala Writer’s Prize

Our inaugural Vala Writer’s Prize has been a fabulous success garnering several entries from dedicated students. Thank you all for participating.

The Winner of our Inaugural Writer’s Prize was Harry Broadhead. Harry has been attending Aeoncademy since he was seven years old, and has rapidly become a stalwart of the Vala program.

Winner of the Writer's Prize
Harry, preparing himself for the scenario ahead.

Harry’s entry, Letters from Mexico, is an absolute ripper of a read, exploring the epistolary form and telling the story of the Spanish invasion of Tenochtitlan from the perspective of a conquistador. Inspired by and sourced from Fall of the Aztecs, Harry’s story lays out actual historical events from an incredibly human perspective. Congratulations Harry for your excellent work.

Special mention is due to our two shortlisted entries by Leyla and Annika, with a story sourced from our near future science fiction story Dawn of a New Horizon. Told in stream of consciousness and action-focused, Leyla’s entry is a fantastically engaging narrative that is mirrored by the beautiful comic strip interpretation of the same events.

It’s well worth a read – and you can find our top three entries, as well as a narrative pulled straight from the fantastic Young Mutant Chronicles, in our new publication AeonDawn Magazine. Available online, we also have a limited print run with a couple of copies still left for purchase! Contact the office to find out more.

Vala Writer's Prize

The Vala Writer’s Prize will open again during the Summer Holiday Program, so stay tuned for more information!