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Day 3: Unlocks, Money Based Stretch Goals, and Some Magical Armor!

February 25, 2021 9 min read

Hey there backers!

To our new backers, we’re honored that you have enough interest in Middara to pledge your hard-earned money towards it!

To our Returning Backers, we are eternally grateful for your support. After all we’ve been through, you’re back again! And we couldn’t be more stoked.

Real Talk

Our Day 1 was insane. We put a lot of effort into making our launch a success, but this far exceeded our expectations. The interest kept pouring in, and with that interest came questions, comments, concerns, ideas, you name it. We’re talking thousands of messages and emails.

Right now, the two guys you see in our trailer video. That’s all we’ve got right now. Brooklynn and I are simultaneously doing our best to keep the hype rolling while trying to stay active and answer questions. But it’s frankly way more than two dudes can handle.

The Plan

So, what we’re doing is recruiting some help. We’re getting some of our fervent backers as well as some of our playtesters that are well-versed in our business to help us crush out our emails and messages. It’s hard for us to be active in the comments but we’ve got some awesome helpers there as well.

Their names are:

We’ve given these guys the Succubus Seal of Approval and the answers they give you should be correct.

FAQ

We can’t stress enough the importance of our FAQ. We are seeing a lot of questions popping up in comments and messages that are in the FAQ. We urge you to glance through either the document posted at the very top of the campaign page or the actual FAQ tab on the toolbar of the campaign.

With that said, there are many questions that remain unanswered and absent from our FAQ. Our new recruits that are helping us with our with the campaign will be compiling commonly asked questions for us to address and add to the FAQ. 

Thanks again for you patience while we handle all of this!

Money Based Stretch Goals!

 We've seen a lot of people wishing for the more traditional route for unlocking Stretch Goals which is tied to the dollar amount raised. That's understandable, and frankly a good way to raise wads of pledges quickly.

Honestly, this whole campaign is a bit of an experiment. We follow TONS of other campaigns and we really we wanted to see what works for us and what doesn't, what's fun and what isn't.

The landscape of Kickstarter has evolved so much since our first campaign that's it's almost turned into it's own form of entertainment. Unlocking cool things, watching the numbers go up, waiting for updates, seeing what the creators have in store! 

We've crushed it on our first days of this Kickstarter campaign. More so than we had anticipated. This really has allowed Brooklynn and I to entertain the idea of unlocking a whole new set of Stretch Goal freebies based on money pledged. These Stretch Goals will even further expand our world of Middara and the cast of characters within.

So, in short, we're capping out the "backer-based" Stretch Goals at 10k, and from here on out, transitioning into money-based ones. 

These money-based Stretch Goals will be free for all Pledge Levels (Through The Portal or higher)

These combined with our fun Daily Unlocks will make for a legendary Promo Box.

So, moving on!

Echo was gasping for air and reaching out blindly around her. Something had scooped her eyes out in the battle, and her once pretty face was now a gore-stained ruin.  

“Does it hurt?” A voice came from nearby. Gragus’ form was hard to describe. His many limbs and appendages stretched out in all directions until they faded into the darkness, and it was difficult to discern where his voice was coming from. 

“It does. They're dead because of me.” Charon replied, as Echo’s screams drew his attention once again. “I cared for her...” Charon turned towards the vague shape that was Gragus. “I’d like to save her still.”

A long moment of silence passed before something appeared out of the dark. A stone face shot forward, coming to a stop a few feet away from Charon. “I can save her.” Gragus said. “Though, my esper will need to stay near.” Something floated nearby, like a tear in space itself. “The Soul Stitcher will allow me to reach her wherever she might go.”

“Reach her?” Charon asked with hope in his voice.

“Yes. I'm quite the surgeon.” Gragus said as a pair of sickly, spindly arms dropped from the darkness above, each one wielding a long needle and thread. “I’ll make sure she never dies if that is you're wish.”

“I do.” Charon smiled turning back to watch Echo. His old friend was reaching out blindly in the darkness, searching for something familiar that she'd never have again.  

Our goofy mockup while we commission the real deal!
Our goofy mockup while we commission the real deal!

 For our Day 3 unlock, we will be adding a figure to the KS2 Promo Box for the Soul Stitcher Standee, featured in Unintentional Malum: Act 1. This figure will be another big, scary 2x2 miniature! 

To be clear, this figure is part of the KS2 Promo Box and is being given away for free as part of every pledge level at the "Through the Portal" level or higher. 

The cardboard standee version that is already a part of the contents of Unintentional Malum: Act 1 will remain a standee. 

 Nyx took the violin by the neck, lifting it by reflex as though she were about to play. She tilted it slightly, and sure enough there was the deep gouge she’d made into the wood when she’d dropped it after her first recital. Age hadn’t made the wood brittle and ruined as she might’ve expected—now the instrument thrummed with new magic. 

As she held it, she imagined she were smaller, accepting this from her father a few hours before her first performance. Her fingers moved automatically, tuning the ancient strings as she’d done a thousand times before. They held, and under her fingers bright pink symbols glowed from the instrument’s rim.

Someone screamed—a high, shrill voice, desperate and terrified. Nyx bolted for the door, though Kirien beat her through it.

Enoch thrashed about in bed, voice deafening in the small space. His hands spasmed into claws, tearing at the blankets and mattress as his body contorted. “Her eyes can see me! Watching with each step. Teeth at the throat of the world, tearing it out! The blood drowns us all!”

Jace strained to hold his friend down, but Enoch’s lithe twists were too rapid. Kirien’s hands were quicker, and soon enough a nurse rushed past Nyx from behind, with a needle already primed in one hand.

“I need her neck!” the nurse called, urgent. “Hold her still.” A few more tense seconds, then Enoch began to relax. His eyes glazed over, body sliding into a natural resting position. The mark had burned through the bandages over it, and the blankets above those. It left a dozen imprints on the bed, a ghostly trail of black marks wherever Enoch had moved.

“She shouldn’t have woken up,” the nurse whispered, tossing the spent needle away into a bin. Her eyes were pleading as she met Yun’s. “I already have her on more than I would give a man twice her size.”

“She was a man twice her size,” Jace muttered, finally letting go. Nyx now understood why he looked so haunted. She gave him one last, sympathetic glance, then slipped back outside. As awful as that was, what she had to say next would be worse.

Then she felt an unfamiliar hand touch her shoulder, just for a moment. She looked up, shaking her head once to clear away the memory. She tucked her new acquisition away.

“Are you still with us, Nyx?”

She nodded angrily, tilting her head slightly to one side. “You said the wolf-creature gave you this. Said you should… ask for my help to save the child, I’m assuming?”

Kirien shuddered. “We’re getting things a little out of order. First she wanted me to, uh… wanted me to kill him. Said that he was going to bring disaster, and thousands might die if I didn’t. It was hard to read, but I think she was pleased that I refused. That was when she gave me this, told me you might be able to help.”

But how did she get her paws on it? Objects from Earth aren’t even supposed to be in Middara at all. Nyx didn’t ask, of course. This Harbinger hadn’t even recognized the symbol. 

“I might. It all comes down to the mark. There are ancient texts in Faulkism that describe it—it’s a symbol of a terrible monster, who will one day arrive to unmake the fragile world of men and leave only an endless revel. Typical ancient religion stuff. Most people like to ignore the unpleasant things people used to worship. But she’s also probably the whole reason for the Great Divide, possibly even the Great Adversary referenced in the… neither of you are listening.” 

Yun had turned away to puff absently on his vape, while Kirien clutched the cross around his neck. “Some of us aren’t Godless pagans. Faulkan tradition might be tolerated in Elenia, but not elsewhere.”

Yun laughed. “That child is lucky we are Godless pagans. Where would Enoch be if he arrived in Brahma instead?”

Nyx could imagine the answer, and it involved the end of a Grim Deacon’s sword. Kirien’s sudden stillness was all she needed to know he was thinking the same thing. 

“It’s the only interpretation that fits the facts. The Dark Mother is too alien to stay here without a host, and the stories are all clear about the effect she has on her vessel. She—always a she—chose Enoch. My guess is, she’s not finished. Clearly the Dark Mother hasn’t taken her vessel, or we would all be dead.”

Despite his brief flash of religious fervor, Kirien didn’t object and only nodded his understanding. “I need to find Enoch’s family—they need to know. Whatever—” then he hesitated, looking to the side. “Yun Jeong. Did you, uh…”

He shook his head. “Enoch’s father? I did look into it. According to my sources, he left Elenia three days ago, I’ve determined that with certainty. Traveling north towards the Brahman border. Given his associates in the underground, I don’t suspect I’ll be able to find him.”

Kirien nodded solemnly. “Then despite everything, I have to ask the two of you for help. If not out of kindness to the child, then self-preservation. We can’t kill him because of what some… unknowable cosmic thing wants with his body. But we can save him. Her. Please.”

Yun turned away, apologetic. “I’ve given the child all the resources Elenia can spare. There is trouble in Fairedge, and what little Balthazar has left to me must be committed there.”

Kirien turned on Nyx. “You then. Lymn was right—you did know what was going on, and you do know how to help Enoch. I can’t stop pagan gods and ancient prophecies, but maybe you can.”

She might’ve been able to refuse, if it hadn’t been for the violin still hanging in her other hand. Or the screaming. “If the Dark Mother is real, she can’t be fought. Disrupted, maybe. Royally pissed off—hopefully. Yun, can you at least make sure somebody covers my classes?”

Yun nodded. Despite his stiffness, Nyx thought she could see some relief on his face. He didn’t really want this kid abandoned to his fate, no matter how big his other problems might be. “I’ll have someone escort you to the armory. If you see something there that you think will help you, take it. Consider it your royal commission.”

Despite everything, Nyx felt her mouth start to water. The Jeong family armory—all the greatest treasures unearthed from beneath the White Vaults. Few outsiders had even been near it.

“Thank you,” Kirien said. “And for what it’s worth, I don’t think you’re Godless heathens.”

Yun turned, unable to restrain a laugh. “Only because you don’t know me. But the sentiment it well taken, anyway.”

A few minutes later, and the last of the magical protections were finally lifted from in front of her. Nyx strode eagerly into the armory. A wealth of enchanted objects was displayed on pedestals, racks, and shelves everywhere she looked. There were swords that sang, armor that stretched and warped, more than she could appreciate in just a few minutes.

“He said you could have any one item you desired,” her escort said from behind her. “Look for as long as you like.”

She might’ve stayed for hours, gleefully testing each bauble and enchantment. But somewhere else in this ancient structure was a child tormented with a curse, who needed Nyx’s help. After a little searching, she narrowed her selection down to just two objects…

One was a sturdy cloth gambeson, light enough to wear comfortably but humming with protective magic.

The other was a frock of a light, modern cut, with far less in the way of protective magic. But what it lacked in protection it would offer in utility.


Alex Hansen
Alex Hansen



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