Prototype on the way, details about The Five Realms book
We wanted to give you an update on how things are going with the project. It’s been a rather quite here on Kickstarter the past month, but a lot of things have been moving forward and wanted to give you a look behind the scenes. So, let’s go.
After a few days of back and forth with our printer, all of the files have been sent and set up for printing. The pre-production copy is done (the one we need to approve so we can move forward to mass production) and we expect to receive it around September 7th. If all goes well, we can start the production immediately.
Our manufacturer sent us photos of the prototype.
By the look of the photos everything seems great. Of course we are going to have another look when the prototype arrives and triple-check everything before we approve the mass production of Cavern Tavern.
Also, here is the final version of the rulebook.
Everything is the same as the one you have from the PnP, but the difference is the design and the Thank You section.
The Five Realms – Book
As you remember, the final stretch goal of the campaign was an e-book about the world of Cavern Tavern. Our writer is doing an amazing job. The world and all of the characters have really come to life, and we can’t wait to share with you the book of The Five Realms. For now, here is an excerpt from the first chapter.
Chapter 1: Spilled Honeyale & Wizards
Something wasn’t right, and the dwarf knew it.
The little figure raised his head from his stone plinth (as all dwarfs like to have a piece of their home rock to sleep on; and this one had been shipped all the way from Agate Drop, where he had been born). The dwarf was small in stature compared to many of the assorted elves and humans who came into his tavern – but that is where the description stopped. Mr Nasty (as he was affectionately known by any who had ever met him) was almost as wide as he was ‘small’. His head was a latticework of scars and old wounds, and shaved clean apart from three thin braids of thick red hair. One eye was a glassy white where an elf arrow had taken it out in the Great Burning of Darkwood, and his nose was so broken and misshapen as to look like a slab of fractured rock itself over his cascading red beard.
Mr Nasty might be a dwarf; which meant that he was necessarily small – but he was also one of the meanest, toughest, and most experienced freebooters this side of the Splintered Isles. Some had even dared to suggest that, were it not for the Cavern Tavern which he and his wife Mrs. Nasty owned and had operated for the last few decades – then Mr Nasty would himself probably be wanted in several of the five realms, and leading a life of piracy and anarchy.
The truth was, however, Mr Nasty groaned as he eased himself off of his stone bed and a thousand aches and pains shot up his spine, that he was getting far too old for the life of a mercenary. If any of his more notorious clients ever knew just how damaged and slow he had become over the last few years’ then he might have to start worrying!
“But that is why I employ all of them adventurers and swords for hire as bar staff!” the proprietor of the Five Realm’s most dangerous tavern muttered to himself.
And Widdo, the dwarf thought despairingly, when he heard yet another crash from upstairs.
Mr Nasty had been right – something had gone terribly wrong upstairs.
Widdo Wanderfoot looked miserably at the golden-red liquid spill sluggishly across the floor and then start to seep into the cracks between the stone flag tiles.
“Oh dear, oh dear, oh dearie me!” He chattered nervously to himself reaching up unconsciously to bite a nail, forgetting that the hand had been holding onto the mop, which instead he managed to thump himself around the head with.
“Ow!” He dropped the mop, which clattered to the floor.
“It’s not my fault – the mop is twice my size!” Widdo said quickly, but there was no one in the upstairs taproom to forgive him. Be thankful for small mercies, he thought to himself, a favorite phrase of his dear old grandmother, Old Ma Enid Wanderfoot who had raised him, boy and man.
Widdo Wanderfoot was a Halfling, and not the sort of person who went on adventures. Neither was he the sort of person who worked in notorious ale houses like the Cavern Tavern either, if he were perfectly honest, but, just like Old Ma Wanderfoot had said to him once, a long time ago: ‘sometimes you need to scrub them elbows and polish them knees to get anywhere in this life!’
Now that he thought of it, Widdo still didn’t quite know what she had meant – but she had always said it enthusiastically enough. When he looked at his own knobbly knees that poked out from under his shorts however, all he saw was the dirt and grime picked up from washing and scrubbing and polishing the tiles of the tap room again. And again, and again.
“But Mr Nasty’s going to be ever so cross…” Widdo said to no one in particular, as he reached for the mop to try and hide his latest infraction.
“Widdo!” The voice of the angry dwarf rose up the stairs as his head emerged from his cellars and sleeping cave below. The halfling – barely over four feet himself, cringed back against one of the pressurized barrels under the bar.
The dwarf’s one good eye focussed on Widdo, and then on his most precious commodity seeping into the tiles of his room. His face turned from annoyance to sudden anguish. “The Honeyale!” He wailed as he charged into the room. “Curses on you and the rabbit warren you popped out from, Widdo – what have you done!”
“Uh – only one cask, that is Na-Nasty sir.” The halfling quibbled. “Not the whole stock, no. I forgot the casks were all under pressure, see…”
“You forgot!?” the dwarf roared. “This is a tavern, you dirt-brained, addle-footed, hairball! And this is the taproom… where everything – including the most expensive golden ale in all of the five realms – is on tap!”
“Well, I had to clear up behind the barrels you see, and so I had to try and move it…” Widdo continued wittering, but his employer cut him off.
“I would put you back in the winery, were it not for your butter fingers!”
Widdo stammered, “I’ I’m sorry sir… It won’t happen again. I’ll mop it up right now, right now – uh… sir.”
The dwarf growled, lurching to the side of the bar and bulling himself a dram of Deep Delver’s Whiskey from his private stash under the counter. He swore by the thirteen patriarchs of the dwarfish kingdom that he needed it right now. He didn’t want to even try to calculate just how much that little halfling had cost him over the years.
“One of these days Widdo….” He growled into his drink.
Suddenly a new voice entered the taproom, and along with it a tall shape dressed in shadows.
“One of these days, Monsieur Nasty – a patron will not have to knock several times before letting themselves in!”
“Oh, it’s you.” Mr Nasty didn’t even turn around, but Widdo could see a certain hunching of his shoulders as if he were drawing into himself.
“The Grey Walker!” Widdo exclaimed, momentarily dropping his mop once again. “The Grey Walker’s back!”
“What?” The tall shadow intoned. “None of that poetic nonsense. I have a horse now, and I haven’t walked in years. I have a name and a title, and we can use that. I don’t go around calling you the ‘little fellow’ now, do I Widdo? Really!”
“Of course not, Master Wizard.” Widdo blushed, retrieving his mop. If it were possible, the little man managed to make his red cheeks and button nose look even more distracted and nervous than they had been a moment before with the angry dwarf.
The Grey Walker – the Master Wizard – was a regular patron of the Cavern Tavern but he still elicited a whiff of mystery and excitement. He was so regular in fact, that he had managed to convince the dwarvish proprietors of the Last Free House in the Five Realms for permanent use of one of their back rooms for his Wizard’s Workshop. Widdo Wanderfoot had spent many days trying to sneak a look at what happened inside that room, with its eldritch smokes and bubbling phials – but so far had only managed to gain a thick ear for snooping! The Wizard, despite his protestations did indeed wear a thick grey cloak that was threadbare and frayed at the edges. Faint patterns of richer embroidered threads could distantly be seen, faded from many years spent resting under oak trees and battered with a life on the road. He was always coming and going, often disappearing for weeks or an entire season at a time, before returning laden down with new ingredients for his potions and liquors.
A white beard cascaded under a nose as sharp as a spear, whilst his head was as bald and bare as Mr Nasty’s heart. The only thing that made him look less sepulchral are the glittering bright flints of his blue eyes.
“Now. What does a Archmage have to do around here to get a drink?” The wizard huffed, throwing off his cloak and twirling it with a flourish that belied his obvious years, and settling it on one of the empty coat hooks.
“Oh, so they made you an Archmage now did they?” The dwarf said sulkily as he moved behind the bar, avoiding the ever-expanding puddle of honeyale and instead reaching for a tap of Longhorn Bitter. “How often do they give out promotions at your Council of Wizards? It seems only yesterday you were a humble mage!”
“Bah!” The wizard settled himself into his favourite nook by the fire, shaking his hands as if the dwarf’s comment made no sense. “That was two hundred years ago, as well you should remember!” He fixed Mr Nasty with a sharp stare, but the dwarf seemed oblivious as he topped up the pint of frothing bitter, before adding a few truffles of something dark and mysterious.
“There. Just how you like it, if I recall. Added mushrooms as well. That’ll be a silver bit, sir.” Mr Nasty chewed over the last word with a fake pleasantry. And praise be to the great depths that you pay me for your workshop in advance, old fool! Mr Nasty thought as he smiled genially at the Wizard. Or else I would have you and your disgusting smokes and potions out on your ear!
“A silver bit! Is that how you treat an old friend?” The Wizard huffed.
“Ha! When we ever friends?” Mr Nasty grumbled. All that he recalled were long evenings spent having his ears bent by boring lectures, and having to put up with it. “Well, you’re right about the old part-” Mr Nasty said at last.
It was true that Mr Nasty and the Wizard went back, had history, as Mr Nasty’s old comrades at arms would have said. But there was history and then there was history, the dwarf mused philosophically. He didn’t owe the old fool anything, and he wasn’t about to bend the rules for the likes of a human in a silly frock just because they both happen to be the oldest people in the room!…
Hope you enjoyed this excerpt! We need to smooth out some plot details and then hand it over to The Mico to add artwork.
Our next update will be around September 10th. Once we receive the prototype we’ll check it out and share our thoughts with you. Hopefully, everything will be ok, and we will start mass production.
P.S. We started something with the previous update and we want to continue that and even make it a tradition with our updates. 🙂
Cavern Tavern had 1973 backers during the Kickstarter campaign. The statistical probabilities say that 5-6 backers are having a birthday today. So, from the Final Frontier Games team, we want to say Happy Birthday to those backers. 🙂
Have a great day! Cheers!