February 25, 2021 11 min read
A humbling $2 million big ones
First off, this is yet another humbling moment for Alex and I. Without our wonderful backers and their constant support we could have never made this happen. The two million mark is astounding, something you can plan for over and over in a business plan, but still be completely flabbergasted to actually see it happen.
And while the money is impressive, and truly means that we will never be forced to compromise our vision. Seeing people love our passion and work as much as we do is a gift that any artist strives for, one that money could never buy.
It's easy to get caught up in the limelight, but the reality is that the two of us could have never come close to delivering a behemoth like this without the constant support of our close friends and family, our playtesters, the collaborators in the comments, everyone giving us direction and feedback, and of course, our backers.
Stay sexy, guys and gals.
Board Game Revolution Preview!
This wonderful video was created by our friends over at BGR. Go check it out!
Shea from RTFM created a really well made succinct How to Play video.
We highly recommend it to get your players to the table as quick as possible. It gets across all the basics in under 30 minutes while letting you reference what is needed beyond that in the Rule Book as you play.
Shea specializes in doing incredible rules videos for game of our size. His Twilight Imperium Video was a lifesaver for our uninitiated new players.
Shea will also be covering our 1.1 Rules Update in a later video post campaign.
You may be seeing a trend here... :D
The blighted guardian is a mockery of the human body, a twisted shadow of the person that it once was. Sickly green liquid oozes from its orifices, each drop sizzling when it hits the ground. The blighted guardian was originally thought to be a creature native to Elenia. When travelers first encountered these monsters in the southern wilderness, they simply noted them down on the long list of menaces that made founding cities there impractical and dangerous.
It wasn’t until people wounded by blighted guardians began to develop the same symptoms, that it became apparent that the blighted guardians were not native monsters to Middara, but the result of a parasite. They were humans who were unlucky enough to be infected by other blighted guardians.
The blood of a blighted guardian is highly acidic. When struck, their blood can melt steel, and they are covered in weeping sores that coat their bodies with corrosive fluids, making even their touch dangerous.
Some people are resistant to the parasite. Unfortunately, there is no way to predict who will be immune and who will not without being potentially infected by a blighted guardian. It is unknown whether or not the host actually dies from the blight, or if the parasite just takes control of the body, leaving the mind captive in a withering, rampaging husk. This has difficult and unpleasant implications in regards to the disposal of these creatures. Many of those who lose loved ones to the blight, argue that a cure might one day be found, and those infected should be locked up until that time. Others argue that they are nothing but dead bodies under the control of a dangerous parasite.
Researchers have found that infected individuals kept in captivity occasionally become lucid, screaming the names of people they once knew, or even begging for death. This lends some weight to the idea that these creatures are still truly human inside, and so perhaps could still be saved. Unfortunately, there is no known cure. The Kingdom of Elenia is most effected by the blight, and has many financial incentives to find some sort of remedy. They have even tasked specialized groups with developing a cure, though there have still been no successes.
For our Day 7 unlock, we will be adding a figure to the KS2 Promo Box for the Blighted Hendrix Standee, featured in Unintentional Malum: Act 1.
To be clear, this miniature 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.
How does one define content? Is it the total amount of time a game can be played? Does the time only count when it's "new" content? Or is content defined by the total amount of individual pieces and artwork? Well, regardless, for those who are looking for new content we got you covered with the following Free Stretch Goal!
For our 2 Million Dollar Stretch Goal, we will be unlocking another FREE Upgrade to the KS2 Promobox!
This upgrade provides a booklet that expands the Crawl Mode in Middara considerably. With additional Scenarios with Ranks at every level, (Including levels that will require Act 2 & 3 to play) this book will expand your Crawl experience by over a dozen hours.
Each Crawl Scenario included is unique, not part of any other Adventure, and includes any relevant Diagrams and hidden information inside of the Compendium itself.
For those who might be unaware, the Crawl Mode provides something challenging and unique to play even on the nights that you don't have all four players show up. If you want to try a one-off adventure to test a build out, or show the game to a new friend, this Crawl Compendium will expand the options available to your gaming group considerably without spoiling any content already in a story.
In the Crawl Mode, you play through a more generic adventure that isn't tied to specific characters. This means that you can choose to play any Adventurer you own, including the Resin Kits, Promotional Adventurers, and any Adventurer's you've unlocked during another story.
*While we're not comfortable giving an exact page count until the product is complete, this book is not small. In fact, by its very nature it will exceed the playtime of the Crawl Book included in Act 1. These books add a lot of weight to our shipping boxes so it's a careful balancing act on our end when including things like this. We want to be careful that we don't end up getting rekt on shipping this time around.
Getting a hold of someone one nation over wasn’t so simple as it might’ve been back on Earth. Middara had no phone lines, no cell towers, and Brahma was far from a cooperative neighbor eager to share information with them. But bureaucracy was a world Nyx could navigate as skillfully as the ancient ruins she sometimes explored. It took days—days poor Enoch could ill afford, but eventually she got her response.
The message was only a single sheet, written in elegantly scrawled letters like a knight’s missive. After florid greetings and pointless ceremony, the letter finished with one sincere line. “I will be at the embassy tomorrow. Meet me there.”
Nyx was there, though the investigator had been infuriatingly sparse with details. With no time, without even a physical description, she was forced to sit outside and wait, conscious every moment of Enoch’s diminishing faculties. The child had gone from occasional injections to a constant IV drip of the most potent sedatives either magic or chemistry could conjure. But still he woke in the night to cackling madness, terrifying his loyal friend and often breaking whatever was used to contain him.
Maybe Lymn was right. Maybe we can’t save him.
She reached one hand down to the edge of the bridge beside her, where her familiar had just clambered up, a glowing bracelet in his mouth. She took it, stroking the little creature’s back. He looked like a sugar glider, but with a long body like a ferret, and a propensity for getting into places he shouldn’t. How he could sneak anywhere with bright green fur, Nyx couldn’t guess, but he never ceased to amaze her. More importantly his claws were sharp, and his nose for magic was even sharper.
“Halphas, where did you find this?” she took the object from his mouth, turning it over once in her hand. A necklace of some kind, with large beads each made from a different precious stone and a large cross on the end. The strength of the enchantment surprised her, and she nearly dropped the object over the edge of the bridge. A rosary?
Her familiar didn’t speak, only made a pleased squeaking sound, nodding towards the embassy.
A second later the doors opened a figure strode confidently out, like a conquistador landing in the new world. He dressed a little like it too, his armor an absurd amalgamation of eastern and western styles, with thick metal plates running down his legs, but nothing more than a heavy breastplate protecting only some of his face.
“Christopher Amaya?” she asked, rising from her makeshift perch on a bridge-railing. Nyx glided down in front of her, then bowed slightly. Maybe playing along with his chivalrous fantasy a little would make him more cooperative. “Is this yours?” Halphas had a way of stealing things from people he wanted her to meet.
“Sí sí, Christopher Amaya. Lo siento por el retraso, pensé abía perdido alguna cosa preciosa. Tu animal lo ha encontrado para mi.”
Nyx winced, offering the rosary. “I, uh… don’t speak Spanish.”
He frowned, then answered in thickly accented English. “If I must use your barbaric language, then I must. I’m sure your… creature was just being helpful. But now it is returned, so it has done no harm.”
Christopher stuck out one meaty hand, swallowing both of hers in a grip that could’ve bent steel. “If you know me, you must be the one who wrote about the Ortiz family.” He reached up, replacing the rosary around his neck with reverent care. “I am eager to talk.”
Then he looked up, at the other massive structures of the High District. Here were many of the city’s oldest buildings, its most important civic functions. They were mostly carved from white marble, with the hints of steel underneath that let them grow so tall. But this stranger looked as though he’d just stepped off on the wrong floor. “This is Elenia? The thorn in the Empire’s side for almost a hundred years is… this place?”
“Small, but fierce,” Nyx muttered, her tone darkening a little. I just need what he knows. Don’t piss him off before that. She turned, leaning over the edge of the bridge. The wide river Acheron wound its way below, its water clear despite the city. “We didn’t build this place in the fifth century.” We’ve got plumbing.
Christopher only laughed again. “You are too kind, uh…” He hesitated. “What title is appropriate?”
“Nyx,” she said. “You’re not my student, so even Professor would be too much.” Then she had an idea. “I know a great place less than a block from here. We could get lunch, and talk there. Somewhere more private.”
“So long as the food is less boorish than your architecture, I accept.”
They didn’t have far to go, a block like Nyx had said. But it was busy today, and instead of the private booth she’d imagined, they were crammed into a table on the second floor. At least they had a good view of Elenia below, its citizens seeming neither barbaric nor insane. Nyx went over the menu. “Las Delicias is the real thing,” Nyx said, running a finger down the menu. As though she hadn’t already known what she would order before they sat down. “Really authentic. Maybe the taste of home will help you relax.”
His eyebrows went up. “Wrong continent, señorita. This is Mexican food. In Spain we have...” His eyes skimmed the menu, seeming momentarily disappointed. But when their server arrived a moment later, he ordered without complaint. “When in Elenia, I suppose.”
Nyx fought the instinct to fly away in embarrassment. She waited until the server was gone, then turned to more important subjects. “You were the lead investigator in the Ortiz family’s, uh…” She trailed off. “Accident?”
Christopher shook his head, his one red eye going dark. “Not an accident, and not just an investigator. Their mother, Mary, was cousin to my uncle’s father, or…” He shrugged. “You wouldn’t understand. We were close, this is what matters. Your letter didn’t say what new information you might have.”
Of course it didn’t, because you never would’ve gotten it. Nyx told him. She told him almost everything, right up to the name of the Dark Mother or a description of her symbols. There was no king around to tell her to be careful what she shared—Nyx told him everything.
By the time she’d finished, both of their plates were empty, and her companion had two sugar-rimmed glasses by his plate. He hadn’t taken a third. “So I was hoping you might be able to help me find her,” she finished. “Or at least more information about her plans. Assuming Silvia really is behind any of this.”
The man no longer seemed patronizing. He had listened intently through her whole story, and had even casually tossed one of his daggers onto the table, where it would be within easy reach. “I wouldn’t put it past her,” he finally said. “That girl was a scourge on the house from the moment she entered it. Cruel and capricious.”
“I read the note you sent, in Salma’s file. You thought things were sour, but didn’t say how.”
He nodded curtly. “I visited often enough, in the days after Sandra and Salma returned from your… Institution. Had to fill some of the holes in their instruction and…” He trailed off, looking away. “No offense.”
“None taken,” Nyx lied.
“They were so friendly at first. But as the years passed, they became… strange, like her. The older sister had acquired an evil religion—all the stranger since she did not have a Pagan education like her sisters. But she corrupted them, and it was all they talked about by the end.”
“The Dark Mother,” Nyx whispered, as quietly as she could.
He nodded. “When the estate burned, I found things I did not put in that note. Things tucked away. The Deacons who oversaw the investigation would’ve burned it all… so I kept my mouth shut. Until I could use it to find more.”
Christopher reached sidelong into his heavy satchel, removing a dark volume from within and handing it to her. Its pages were tattered and stained, and prominent latches across the front had been pried off. “Sandra’s diary. Most of what I know came from in there.”
He reached down into his pack again, then stuck out his hand towards her. Nyx took it, dreading what he might put in her hand. Burned bones? Or the last message of the dead scrawled while they burned?
It was worse. A little cloth envelope, with something gnarled and withered inside. Nyx opened it, and recognized the shape instantly. It was a charred and withered tongue, torn violently out by the roots.
Nyx almost lost her burrito back onto her plate. She shoved the little bundle back, gripping the table with her other hand until her knuckles went white. She took a few deep breaths, then looked up. “Was that the only, uh… piece?”
Christopher Amaya nodded. “Before you ask, yes. The servants died from the smoke, not the flames. I checked, and none were missing their tongue. My best guess is this came from one of the family—murdered. Probably by Silvia.”
A question danced in her mind, one Nyx very much didn’t want answered. But she needed to, for Enoch’s sake. “Did you find the weapon?”
Christopher was already moving. He unwrapped something from his bag, holding it out for her. It wasn’t a dagger, or a set of snips, or any other grisly implement she might’ve expected to sever a tongue. Instead of it was…
An elegant jeweled pen, made of dark metal and with a raven’s feather. She had a sick feeling that the dried brown she saw on its grip wasn’t ink.
A crude drafting pencil, formed of shaped crystal wrapped in wood. As her hand approached it, its symbols lit up in response, old magic coming alive for her.
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