Thursday, March 6, 2014

Welcome to Volume Two

Its been awhile. I've been working with the same material for well over a decade now, finally perfecting my vision for Maelorum in its second printing. For those new to the series, this is a fantasy novel and RPG blended together, where you are the main character, and make your own way and choices through the book rather than just reading narrative. It's the ultimate form of Choose your own Adventure. Having Volume One finally in print, eBook, and currently being translated into Spanish, I can now turn my efforts to completing this series.

From the kickstarter campaign, a lot of great things emerged. The special Black Edition with the foil stamped logo, a chance to tighten up the editing, a new map for both Volumes, and the card deck. I always thought the card expansion idea was a pie in the sky, since it was one of my original concepts and most of those never pan out. But with a lot of hard work, and the support of fans, I found the way forward. The use of expansion cards in Maelorum gives you more re-readability choices of items, creatures to battle, skills, spells, and even offers new bits of story and challenges. Currently there are 30 cards in the deck for Volume One, and I can say now that I am planning to do at least 30 cards for Volume Two, or 60 cards to use in this series.

In Volume One, we have three main characters: Edan Kain, Raevena, and Bryn Morcast. SPOILER ALERT: If you unlocked all the hidden achievements, you no doubt now know that Raevena's past was obscured from her to hide a dark family secret: she is descended from the original G'hest Royal family who settled western Maelorum. We learn by reading the History of Maelorum in the school library, that the Lordains killed them off and took the throne a long time ago. The G'hest family was wiped out save for one or two, who changed their names and identities and begat their heritage to live in the slums. What does that mean for Raevena in Volume Two?

Interesting question, since there are multiple endings for each character, including one where she dies. Or, if you played with the expansion deck, you'll know she later was restored by Bryn Morcast, who confesses that he came back for the stone, not her. However, to her horror, she is told she is cursed for having used the Heart of Maelorum. She is Undead. What form of undead remains to be known.

Edan Kain, also seems to perish in one of his endings, sacrificing himself to destroy the Heart of Maelorum.

Bryn Morcast, dies an internal death, as he discovers he is not completely human, and in fact transforms into a Dragon at the end, revealing his dual nature. His childhood mercilessly destroyed, he appears to take on a darker persona by the book's end, though we can hardly blame him.

So many threads, so many paths the story could go from here. So the main question is, which of the endings for each character is selected as cannon? Which characters will return, and how will they come into play? All these things were deeply considered as I made my plans for Volume Two.

The answer: all of the endings are cannon.

So now you're can that be possible? I admit, it's not an easy trick to pull off, even for me. However, rest assured, the story will resume from where your favorite character and ending left off in Volume one. I will say, this time we will see two of the three characters return as playable characters. The third is there, but as part of the story. Actually, reducing the character perspectives from three to two will allow me to use more locations, creatures, and situations, all of which is needed to cover the large area we explore.

On that note, where are we in Volume Two? Everywhere. In Volume Two, you begin in Lordell City, but will explore the Elderwood forest and surroundings in a free roaming style. While the main story arc is rising, you will have many, many optional places to explore, and jobs to perform to earn gold, and to level up. Sometimes a small job might actually trigger the progression of the story, so you're encouraged to explore. New mechanics come into play, but nothing major is changing in the rule structure.

For instance, in Volume One the Persona stat was used to determine which ending you would receive, as well as to reward or punish you for your choices. In Volume Two, that continues, however now there is something called the Dark Mark. If you screw up a job or adventure badly enough, your name gets tainted and select future jobs will not be offered. There will be a way to remove the Dark Mark, through redemption challenges.

The original first-person perspective art style of Maelorum will also not only continue, but be improved upon. There could be as much as double the art in Volume Two as the first book, because of the use of so many new locations. I like to introduce areas by using artwork and navigation in one, and there will be a lot more of the navigation style art. I am attempting to use more shadow-box illustrations as well. This gives Maelorum's original art style another boost, creating realistic depth to the world. If you notice, the original blue ice cover of Volume One is also a shadow-box illustration. Here is a preview of the Blacksmith's shop as it appears when you enter it from the street.

One major difference between the two books will be the amount of color illustrations. I am reducing the color illustrations to things I think are crucial, and giving this book a more Medieval-art-noir style, which in fact compliments the story and events. This is another reason for my use of shadow boxes, it makes even black and white look alive, don't you agree? It's a lot more work but I think the results speak for themselves.

Back to the story: who are we up against? The only clue to this was in Bryn's dark persona ending. In the epilogue, we cut to a scene in the Elderwood forest. A secret order of people called the Golden Braid are meeting, seeing each other for the first time in a long time. These are no ordinary people, as you will have guessed by deduction. They are in fact Dragons walking in the guise of men and women, who have lost the ability to transform, and do magic. Since Bryn is revealed to be one of these beings, and he possesses a powerful Grimoire with a certain golden circlet of dragons on its cover...what could that portend? Are his true family among this group?

The Golden Braid are a powerful secret society, and you can bet they will be after that Grimoire, since they have lived under the rule of humans in fear for centuries without their native power. They are not alone in their desire to destroy you though. If you recall, Malbrak, the goblin king, had already sent his army marching towards Lordell city by the time you caught up with each other at the end of book one. Yes, there is a Goblin army out there coming your way, on top of all the other problems the city has.

All the threads, twists and turns come to an epic conclusion that no one will see coming! If all goes well, I will launch a Kickstarter campaign towards the end of the year. I will continue releasing teasers and paragraphs from the text, leading up to the project launch.

Follow Maelorum on Facebook or @Maelorum on twitter.

Buy Maelorum today at

Thanks for your support!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.