February 25, 2021 10 min read
Brooklynn here… I haven’t slept in over 30 hours so I’m still in a fugue state trying to process all this. Thanks so much for supporting us. It’s very touching to see people as passionate about our game as us. This has been a long journey for me and Alex, and it’s incredibly humbling to see all the wonderful support.
Stretch Goals… so many backers, so fast, no sleep.
We didn’t think this would happen on Day 1, but here we are. 5000+ backers! We’re excited to announce that we’ve unlocked not one, not two, but three stretch goals!
2500 Backers and counting!
We’ve unlocked physical copies of the 2-3 player Variant cards for all the new characters on this campaign, including Resin, Promotional Characters, the Day 1 figure, and anything in Act 2 and 3. These cards will be provided free of charge as an upgrade to the KS2 Promo Box.
To prevent spoilers, we’ll only show off a few, but you can expect 10 different additional 2-3 player variant cards.
Another Stretch Goal Annihilated!
At the 3500 backer mark we wanted to reveal something simple, affordable, yet useful. This Free Unlock is a special request we’ve had from many of our passionate supporters. We’ve added a pad of Adventure Sheets for Unintentional Malum in the KS2 Promo Box. No longer must you suffer printing your own campaign sheets or marking your Rule Book.
The vile Pit Boss has unveiled himself!
Our 5000 Backer stretch goal has been smashed out before we could even type the update. But for our min-maxer’s out there, you mustn't think you’ll smash the Pit Boss as easily as you did our stretch goals. That build you think is impenetrable, the one you worked so hard to munchkin. The Pit Boss and his goons will test your meta-game knowledge like a party of grapplers facing a new dungeon master in 3rd edition.
The Pit Boss will test your might and put your highly tuned group through the deepest sections of the Mines of Hyde. Beyond where even the most venerable warriors dare stray. And whether you end up living triumphantly as heroes, or rotting away as dead memories written on the pages of history books. One way or another, Bounties will earn your party fame in Middara.
Our Bounty Packs are unlockable add-ons They provide unique side quests that can be attempted at rare moments in our narrative. Backers at our "With Swag" pledges level will receive these as part of their pledge. The Pit Boss Bounty Pack contains a Bounty Book, multiple new Initiative cards, two new Combatants, a new Boss Monster, new Monster Loot, and hidden Item cards for you to uncover.
Behold! Our very own Nyx in her beautiful Summoner gear. She even has a magical girl staff… that subjugates others to her will.
Our Nyx promotional figure is free and part of the KS2 Promo Box. She comes with two unique Item cards, a figure, an Adventurer Card, and an Initiative Card.
SIlvia, the Dark Mother Cultist is the figure you can expect to get for free by being a Day 1 backer! Not only that, but you'll also be receiving her Adventurer card, two unique Items, and an Initiative Card!
We will be posting the backer number cut off for the free figure at 9AM MST tomorrow! Remember, as long as you back today, you'll get the free figure on the pledge manager. But if you miss it, you can still get it as an Add-On for $15 post campaign.
With that said, enjoy the first of our multipart "choose-your-own-adventure" story on this campaign. At the end of many of these segments you’ll be presented with a choice. At the bottom is a link to a poll where you can vote.
At 4PM MST tomorrow we’ll close the poll and announce the choice that won later that afternoon!
Be warned, anytime we have choices in our narrative they equate to real outcomes, different rewards, and different paths. The Item/figure/etc. that has the most votes will be included for free in our KS2 Promo Box.
The Item/figure/etc. that isn’t chosen, is gone forever…
“You’re absolutely sure you needed to call me for this?” Nyx hurried behind Yun, struggling to keep up with his powerful strides. Yun practically sprinted through the White Spires’ halls, waving them past dozens of soldiers as they rapidly closed on the best-guarded place in all Elenia: its portal. “We’re giving the M.A.S.T. next week. I have some students who need all the extra tutoring they can get.”
Yun slowed suddenly, forcing Nyx to spread her dark wings to catch herself and stop from smacking into his back.
Yun had been tactily ruling Elenia ever since Balthazar and his family had left the city, but this was the first time Nyx had ever seen him look serious. “I’ve got two kids on my hands, both lucky to be alive. The harbinger who brought them asked for you specifically.”
Nyx folded her arms, raising a skeptical eyebrow. “What kind of harbinger tries to save two humans at once? I know the guild doesn’t take all their rules seriously, but…”
Yun turned away, gesturing for her to follow. They rounded the corner, stopping before the final vault door before the portal complex. Two figures in thick black robes sat beside the massive locking mechanism, as thick as any bank’s vault. The smaller of the two rose as Yun approached. Her face was completely obscured by black cloth, except for dark red eyes that never blinked. “Into the complex again, Master Yun?”
He nodded curtly.
The soldier turned, approaching the vault door. Glowing runes appeared in the air as she approached, a thousand different curses that had stopped many an intruder. Even Nyx with all her mastery of the arcane shuddered at the spells that had been crafted here to protect Elenia’s portal. Without it, the kingdom could not survive.
“If the harbinger was detected, why didn’t they postpone?” she asked.
Yun waved a dismissive hand. “He can explain.”
Light faded from before the vault door, and metal ground against metal. The guard’s massive companion kept his hands firmly on an oversized crossbow, eyes alert on the hall behind them for every second the door was open.
Yun didn’t take them into the massive portal chamber itself, though Nyx could feel its alien magic even through solid stone. They passed a gigantic mural painted on one wall, proclaiming: “ELENIA WELCOMES YOU TO MIDDARA!” The moment a human arrived in Middara was meant to be a time of celebration, almost sacred. There was no party here today, no family to greet the new arrivals.
Yun took them to a much smaller side door, with no locks or guards. He pushed the door open, and Nyx followed him into the infirmary.
It wasn’t large, just big enough for two oversized cots and a medical closet. Sterilized surgical tools hung right beside a large blue container of enchanted balm, with higher shelves weighed down by jars and mysterious bottles. No medical monitors, though the stench of antiseptic would’ve let Nyx recognize the hospital even with her eyes closed.
The room had four occupants: a doctor, two patients, and a grizzled man Nyx guessed for the harbinger. All three who had come from Earth looked bad, covered with bandages and recent stitches.
Yun was the first to speak, his voice more subdued than he’d ever sounded at any royal function before. “I brought the professor as you asked. I share her curiosity for how she’s involved. Nyx, this is Kirien, the harbinger I spoke of.”
As she approached, Kirien rose, striding over and offering his hand.
Nyx walked past them both, ignoring him and stopping beside the hospital beds.
The guy looked mostly intact, though there were several empty healing potions piled up beside the bed, and bandages covered most of his bare chest. He sat up as Nyx approached, watching warily.
“Hi!” she said, grinning cheerfully at the recently Advanced humans. “Sorry to hear your way in from Earth didn’t go that great.”
The guy seemed taken aback, running a confused hand through his unruly hair. “I’m… I’ll be fine,” he said, nodding towards the other bed. “My best friend, Enoch. He…” He trailed off. “She’s the one who needs your help, not me.”
“She…” Nyx repeated, taking a few steps to the side and inspecting the second cot. Its occupant was thin and pale, with long red hair running down her back. Her breathing was ragged and shallow, and she didn’t so much as open her eyes as Nyx approached. “It’s rare for the advancement to that. Not without…” She looked away, though the patient being unconscious made it a little less awkward than it might’ve been. “He? That was how he identified?”
Kirien nodded. “I was on Earth for Enoch, son of a friend of mine. He matched the description right until we went through the veil. And that’s not the half of it.” He slid past her to Enoch’s bed, lifting the thin sheets covering him. He pulled them back, exposing a fresh wound.
A strange symbol of interlocking crosses was burned right into his skin, glowing with an unearthly light. As she watched, each pulse made Enoch stir uneasily in his sleep. “I’ve seen this…” Nyx stammered, turning towards the cupboards. “We’ve got the best regeneratives in Middara. He’s had the Soma, so why is he still… like this?”
“We tried,” Kirien said, lowering the blanket carefully back into place. “No, it wasn’t the angels. Everything else you see was their best attempt at cutting us into tiny pieces, but those wounds are healing. The brand isn’t.”
“And before you ask,” Yun added from behind her. Nyx had almost forgotten he was still here. “I had Armaros examine the injury. Yes, the magic is active, and no he doesn’t have a clue what school it is, much less how it might be dispelled. But it’s killing her.”
“Not in here.” Nyx turned away from them again, stopping beside the boy’s cot. “We’ll help your friend,” she promised, meeting his eyes. “Just keep her—him. Keep him company in the meantime. I’m sure he’s grateful to have you here.”
He nodded, squeezing her hand. His eyes were wide and haunted, and constantly skimming the room for danger. “Can you change him back? Enoch, I mean. He’s not supposed to be like this.”
Nyx let go. “The Advancement is permanent. But you can still be here for him when he wakes up. I’m sure that will mean a lot.” Then she turned, leaving the terrified kid behind.
She led the others out, where they wouldn’t give this poor kid nightmares about things he wasn’t yet ready to understand. Only when the door was shut did she spin on Kirien, yanking him down to eye level. Her tail snapped angrily against the ground, punctuating her shouting. “I want to know why the hell you went in for those kids with angels on your ass. And while you’re at it, why did you go for two humans at once? Do you even care about what the guild says?”
“He doesn’t,” Yun said, puffing on something in two fingers. A wave of vanilla-smelling vapor emerged from his mouth, and he sighed, relaxing. “This wasn’t a sanctioned retrieval. The whole thing was freelance.”
Kirien pulled away, glaring defiantly at her. “The angels were already coming. That mark you saw—it was on Enoch before his Advancement. His friend, Jace—he’s the only reason Enoch is still alive. You know how it is—once you start fighting, an angel doesn’t care what you are. It was bring him or leave him to die.”
Nyx glanced to the side. “Is that what Jace said?”
Yun nodded once. “Confirmed the story without Kirien present to pressure him. If we didn’t think he was telling the truth, he’d already be in a cell.”
“Everything about this is wrong,” Nyx muttered darkly. “Angels don’t attack humans, and the brands of dead gods don’t just appear before someone even passes through the veil. Are we… are we sure that Enoch hadn’t already been to Middara? Maybe that’s why the angels were after him?”
Kirien shook his head. “I saw the advancement myself. His friend was through it in a few seconds, but for Enoch… it felt like he’d never stop screaming.” He reached behind his leather jacket, lifting something he’d been concealing in his pack and holding it up for her to see.
A mysterious lockbox covered in ancient runes. The following Item has been added to the KS2 Promo Box.
A dark metal box with brass filigree, studded with gemstones. The box was covered in strange symbols,
most of which were so ancient and obscure that Nyx didn’t recognize them. But one stood out prominently: the same mark that was branded onto Enoch’s belly.
“You recognize this symbol, don’t you?” Kirien asked, tossing her the box.
Nyx caught it, touching the box only gently at first, as though contact might activate some unseen curse. It didn’t, though the symbols did shift and move. It seemed that no matter what way she looked at the box, the mark always moved to face her, sliding along its rough metal surface like oil on water.
“Yeah,” Nyx said, unable to take her eyes from the strange symbols. Her fingers worked, searching for a latch or clasp to open the box. But no matter what way she turned it, it didn’t open.
“It’s the mark of the Dark Mother Divine,” she whispered. “But this is the first time I’ve ever seen it in a real artifact. Before today, it was only ever in edgy tattoos.”
Kirien nodded gravely. “I’ve taken dozens of new arrivals through my Room before. It isn’t unusual to find an object waiting for us. Clothing, weapons, relics, cores… but this wasn’t the only thing waiting for us. There was a… creature already there.” He raised a hand, silencing her. “I know, that’s supposed to be impossible too, she wasn’t touching us when we went in. Seeing the pattern yet?”
Nyx shut her mouth, going back to tugging on the lid. But it didn’t budge. “I guess the kid vouched for you there too?”
Yun nodded. “And we couldn’t open the box. Tried everything up to and including blasting it to pieces, and nothing works. If you’re about to summon that lockpicking esper, save it. There’s no way to open it.”
Kirien ignored him. “While Enoch was writhing on the floor… she watched us. Bigger than a wolf, bright purple fur—do you know an esper named Lymn?”
“A wolf-shaped esper named Lymn,” Nyx repeated. “Can’t say I’ve heard of anything like her. Are you sure it wasn’t a warp dog? Pink horn, thin tail…”
Kirien shook his head. “She’s the reason I called for you. She gave me proof I was supposed to deliver to you.” He reached into his pack again, pulling out…
An old, rugged violin, the very first she ever played on Earth. Though the lacquer is faded and scratched, the old wood seems strangely intact despite the many years. Words of power glow along its outer edge, filling Nyx with a profound sense of familiarity.
An ancient plush doll, still smelling of the apartment Nyx’s mother had sewn it in. The doll has a few new stitches holding it together, and someone has given it a model of an enchanted Core to hold. Its plastic eyes seem friendly.
Oh, last thing. We finally got the Chapter 3 audio files up on our Downloads page!
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