To Purgatory and Back

"I did truly miss writing, telling a story and building a story around characters. That is why I have found so much passion in this project. Not just because the art has truly turned out incredible...but I can begin to really build a world around these characters." -Dr. Jones

Have You Got Your Eyes on a Light Walker NFT From
The Soulless Citadel?
How Far Would You Go to Rescue One From
A Tragic Fate?
Would You Battle the Forces of
Darkness?
Would You Dare Go To
Purgatory itself?
Tread Carefully
ZilFam
It's Not As Easy
To Escape
As It Is to Enter...
The Soulless Citadel

                     

The Creation

Here with us today, to shed a little "light" on this perilous undertaking, is none other than Dr. Jones himself.

Jon: Can you give a little background on team members, and what led you to creating this epic story about a journey into Purgatory?
Dr. Jones: Of course! I, Dr. Jones, am the Co-Founder, Artist and Story Developer for The Soulless Citadel. I am originally and by trade a filmmaker and story teller.
My heart has always been to tell stories that inspire, encourage and move people to think about the deeper questions in life. For most of my adult life, I have been either telling stories or working for free with Non-profits, and spent a lot of the time working for free telling stories. Ha. all in the same I guess! I joined crypto in late 2017 like a lot. Since money hadn't been my focus, I got into crypto in hopes that I could possibly find a way to save for my family and my kids futures with the little amount I had to start from. Then as a year, then a few years went by, I fell in love with everything to do with crypto, blockchain and all that it could do to better a lot of different spheres of influence in the world. Around 2019, I began to get into NFTs slowly, and around 2020 when quarantine struck the world is when I truly decided to dive deep into creating art. I wasn't able to do much with filming while locked away, so for the first time I let myself dive into creating art of a different medium. And since then I've been all in. I have been a huge fan of Zilliqa since beginning of 2018. The team and what they were building really drew me in and I had always secretly hoped I could work in some capacity on something relating to the Zilliqa Blockchain. Which, in full circle after years, has brought me here - To The Soulless Citadel.
Joshua Jenkins, is a Co-Founder and assisting artist for the Citadel. Jenkins and myself go way back. We've traveled the world together telling stories of different cultures and people overcoming incredibly difficult odds. Jenkins is also an incredible filmmaker and cinematographer. He joined crypto and NFTs in 2020 and I convinced him to join me in this wild ride. We've made award winning documentaries together, but our dream was always to build something together.  He's an absolute legend and this is our baby that we are excited to nurture together.
Quinence is our Development team. They are absolutely top notch, cream of the crop. Quinence is the preferred development partner for the commercial arm of Zilliqa. Led by Dr. Ratul Saha — a well-known mentor among Zilliqa developers — the team brings immense product development and NFT experience to our project. Ratul is incredible. Every time we speak I am blown away and our conversations just make me even more excited about what we are building and what we can build in the future with his vast knowledge. He has a PhD in Computer Science from the National University of Singapore. We could not have asked for a better partner to build out our project.
What led us all here? I was just dabbling one late night and slowly I began developing the Soulless art and characters. I didn't have a name at first, but then I decided on Soulless. I had thought of just minting a few editions of the art, but as it began to take shape I thought, just maybe this could develop into something much more. I simply wrote in the Dev Telegram group for Zil and Ratul and I began talking. We hit it off and he really liked the art and idea. When he and also Jenkins were on board to make this happen, that is when we truly got into the story or purpose of these characters. Why were they Soulless, what is their story and what set's them apart in a saturated market of NFT collectibles.

-Jon's Takeaway:  Dr. Jones and Jenkins seem like people I would like to hang out with, and write some modern day epics together. Their Dev has ties with the Zilliqa team.  This excites me because of this project's potential with that sort of clout and experience backing it up.

Jon: Can you touch on how your experience with film lends itself to the way in which you design the story? I am sure some of the tools you gained helped, but are there any film instincts you shy away from because of the change in medium?
Dr. Jones: Yes, like I said since quarantine I have not been able to produce much in the sense of story telling. I was really enjoying creating art, and through that art, relaying a message to the viewers; but I did truly miss writing, telling a story and building a story around characters. That is why I have found so much passion in this project. Not just because the art has truly turned out incredible (I'm biased ha) but I can begin to really build a world around these characters. Plus, what I have truly gotten excited about is the community that comes with building a project like this. How involved the community can get around a story, and then in the end to hold a character from that story and building on it even more from there.  
I think I haven't shied away from any filmmaking instincts, but it has been very interesting to bring what I do know so well into a project like this. I keep pushing the goal of how can we bring what we know into this project more. At the same time, it has been a challenge because there is so many moving parts and so many routes you can take and for me, technologically speaking, there was a huge learning curve on building functionality and utility on top of just cool art and cool story.  So, to be honest, it will be nice when we hit our bench marks and finish our initial sale/minting, so that we can bring people into the team to help focus on community, marketing and things like that so we can focus on continued development and building a story world around the existing NFTs and the community holding them.
Jon: I love the aesthetic of the world you are making. Were there any outside influences or past experiences you drew from when beginning the world building process?
Dr. Jones: Thank you! Like I said, I had created the rough draft art, had the idea to create a generative PFP project around it and then dove into the story of the characters afterwards. So it was a bit backwards, I guess you'd say, of how you'd normally work, but art is that way sometimes! Sometimes you just create and later you find out what you were creating.
I think the story has a lot to play into my background. Light, Darkness overcoming difficult circumstance ( I mean purgatory, pretty bad!) For me, most of my art, storytelling and everything comes from my understanding of God and human nature. My stories and art come from my experience with God and what that's meant to me. But whatever you believe in, we all struggle with light and dark, so to speak. Internally, externally and subconsciously. I like writing and telling stories on human nature, human struggle and redemption.  So I'll hint... there will be redemption for the Citadel.
Or will there be? Maybe it's a choice? I'm just not sure ;)

Jon: I especially like the choices of Lux (Latin for light) for the clan leader, and Tenebras (Latin for darkness) for the protagonist. Are there plans for a redemption arc to escape purgatory for the warriors?  A “Post Tenebras Lux”, if you will?
Dr. Jones: First off, thank you for noticing the Light and Darkness origin of their names. Ha. That makes me happy. In short yes, the story will continue. It doesn't just end where we have it now. I don't want to give away too much of the future development, but I'll give you these questions:
The question is who.
Who will redeem the Soulless?
Who can open the gates to the citadel?
I believe one must be able to wield the Staff of the Almighty to open up that portal, but only Lux knew how to wield the ancient relic. He had begun to train his only son, but sadly, as the first born, he's also a member of the Soulless. In the end, after say possibly centuries spent in purgatory, do the Soulless want redemption or have their hearts grown bitter and cold?

The Journey

Jon: Speaking of story plans, how do you see the narrative progressing? Is it an open ended or do you have a timeline and definitive ending for the story in mind?
Dr. Jones: I guess since the way it has been created, you can think of it as an ongoing series. We do not in fact know the final ending, but we do have the plot, turning points etc.  A lot depends on our growth as a project and community. Our first check mark on the road map for the story itself will occur at 70% of our supply minted. Once we hit that mark. The story continues to unfold and new characters are introduced to the story.
These Characters will eventually bring the community to a cross road, where the NFT holder will make a decision for their character and next NFT outcome.
I can't say much more because it's in development, but it will be interesting for sure and I am super excited about it.

-Jon's takeaway: NFT fueled choose your own adventure?  Count me in.

Jon: Is there anything unique about this NFT project that sets it apart from others?
Dr. Jones: I'd like to say that we are so special, but there are a lot of projects doing truly amazing things and I love seeing it. So much creativity and so much innovation happening. We haven't even fully realized anything close to the full potential of what NFTs can do and the magnitude of the part they will play down the road. Just my opinion, but in the future I think NFTs are going to have some amazing utility that can fully flip whole sectors/industries upside down. It's a pretty exciting time to be here and now. But yes, I think what we are building is special, I think that what we are building is at a perfect time with everything Zilliqa is building and expanding as far as the metaverse and web3 related topics. I think our story and plans of involving the holder are significant.  I think the possibilities for Soulless are expansive -- because we have such an incredible team working on the development side, we can truly be on the forefront and cutting edge of the possibilities for this project. So that really excites me. I'm a dreamer so I could go on for hours of what I'd love to build. Haha Actually me and Jenkins do this all the time together.

The Path

Jon: Do you have a ballpark timeline for presale, release, website drop, etcetera? I know these projects have a lot of moving parts, so I promise not to hold you to anything. We all know that numerous things can change that could affect the timeline.
Dr. Jones: Yeah, We estimate are pretty close to being ready for launch, but like you said there are a lot of moving parts. Right now our timeline is targeting an end of march launch. It's all dependent on things like the ZRC-6 Standard and when that launches, because it will play a huge part. We are ready, we are building and in the meantime we just want to continue to grow a community around the project and bridge over people from other chains to mint on zil. We will have a presale for sure, as well as the public sale. There is already a way to get whitelisted, which you can find in our discord. Nothing is final yet, but we are thinking of setting up another way that people, who are not keen on the way we have set up now, can get whitelisted. So stay tuned!

-Jon's Takeaway: This is happening sooner rather than later.  I would highly advise joining the fun times and good info to be found in the discord server.  The link is at the end of the article.

Jon: Can you touch on your relationship with Zilliqa and Metapolis? I know many of us saw some of your art in the recent Metapolis teaser.
Dr. Jones: With Quinence being the preferred development partner for Zilliqa's commercial arm, naturally that is a great start to collaborating on things. I can't say much as it's not my place, but I can say that Sandra, @sandra_tlibe, is an absolute legend. She must have a million things going on with all that Zilliqa is developing, and she has still taken the time to speak with us and encourage us on our project, vision, and art.

-Jon's Takeaway:  Sandra is involved?  What's the limit I can buy again? What? Only 10?

Jon: Is there anything upcoming you would like to announce to share with our audience?
Dr. Jones: Yeah, Website should be coming up soon! As things fall into place we will be releasing all the info people have been asking - Price, whitelist opportunities, roadmap, launch date etc.
Best way to keep up with us is in our discord server which has more in depth info, and of course Twitter for all things public.
One thing I want to express to the ZilFam and Soulless Citadel community is thank you. The Zilliqa community is such an awesome family to be a part of and the Zil NFT community specifically is second to none. You have all been amazing and such provided an awesome home for us. We're in the grassroots now as a community, and it's going to be fun to see things all come to fruition together! So thank you all for your support for our project and vision. As we grow we want to involve the community and holders with decision making and ideas for future development. So it's our focus to implement that and give holders a voice in how we can move forward together.

-Jon's Takeaway:  Love to see the community centered mind of Dr. Jones.  And again, join the discord.  Seriously.  I need to get whitelisted.

Jon: For those in the community not already following your project, what's the best way to get info and learn what steps to take in preparation to snag one of these Light Walker clan warriors?
Dr. Jones: Like I said, best way to follow along is to join our Discord. There's a lot of active community members in there willing to help. We will be releasing some videos for people coming into the space brand new, and also for people who want to jump over from other chains for the project. Two main things you will need to mint is a web3 wallet (Zilpay is recommended. Get for PC or Mobile) and some Zil. Minting will be live on our website, so once you have your wallet and your Zil you will just have to connect your wallet to our website and click mint!

-Jon's Takeaway:  Sounds easy. Click the appropriate link for Zilpay above.  Maybe Dr. Jones and Adam can integrate Alchemy by Carbon as well? I prefer my wallet either cold or non-extension, myself.

Jon: Anything to add in closing?
Dr. Jones: I know we are taking our time to go live with minting, but I am sure the wait will be worth it. We want to build something that lasts, something that innovates, and something that truly brings value to the Zilliqa NFT space as well as to the holders and community of our project. We have some big ideas and some big dreams and we are really excited to have this all unfold. It's all in the hips... I mean the timing!

-Jon's takeaway:  I am not usually one to FOMO into, or even like most of the NFT's out there, mainly due to the high level of market saturation.  They can't all retain their value in my opinion (and from my own experiences).  This one however, has made me set some Zil aside to be ready for mint day.

The Verdict

Jon: I may have gotten carried away when I labeled obtaining one of these exciting NFT's as a "perilous undertaking".  No need to go to purgatory or fight any minions of the darkness.  Your soul is safe for now.

All you need is some Zil and a wallet to mint from.  Get ready to rescue your own warrior in the near future

Thanks for reading, ZilFam.  You can find links to this project's various media platforms, and details on how to win some goodies below!

The "Thanks for Reading" Gift

Dr. Jones:  We are giving away 1 FREE Soulless NFT (to be fully received once the minting is live)  To enter the giveaway, join Soulless Citadel Discord Server and make your way to the Giveaways Channel.  Instructions will be provided there.
Jon:  Thanks Dr. Jones! This giveaway is to thank you, the ZilFam, for your support. The contest will run for 3 days.  To celebrate this super fun collaboration, I have decided to join in and will be donating 25 $CARB from my personal funds to add to the NFT prize!

Join the Discord to enter for your chance to win!