Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Faction War: Goldenblood, Episode 0



The latest Faction War story arc is going live- "Goldenblood."  Above are NPCs players may encounter.  Spectators are welcome: https://discord.gg/JPDxxPQ  Below is the Episode 0 storyline intro.



GOLDENBLOOD

Episode 0: Breaking Boundaries

Anduruna. Norvondire District Tower. Major Maur’s office.

“You’re insane.”
High in a tower, Dawn light stabbed through Major Maur’s office. Lieutenant Axewing showed no reaction to the bald insult, back straight, face grim as a reaper.
“Two platoons,” Axewing repeated.
“You don’t need two platoons, you have my decision. Dismissed.” Maur sighed, turned to his desk, began rifling through papers and restoring right angles. The nerve- a simple fugitive, one bimbo, did not merit such a vast outlay of lethal manpower. To think that the request had been delivered in such an arrogant... Presently he realized Axewing remained. Maur clenched a fist.
“Lieutenant, if you are so bold as to defy my-”
Axewing raised one arm, dropped a fat envelope onto the desktop, sending memos fluttering. Maur picked up the envelope, and a glossy photo dropped out. He felt his spine turn to water.
“I found this on your desk, before you entered. From her.” Axewing’s voice was terse. “Looks like she has blackmail on everyone, doesn’t it?”
The Major rammed open a desk drawer and stuffed the vile packet out of sight with trembling hands. “Is- did anyone else see this?”
“Sir, I can promise you on my honor this is the only copy.” Axewing’s voice was sharp. The threat was clear.
In short order, the paperwork to deploy two full platoons of shock troopers, complete with demolition teams, was completed. Axewing would have absolute command once the formation left Anduruna territory. The grim falcon left the office with his commission in an iron grip.
Only later when his mind cleared did Maur stop to consider why Axewing would want such a massive, heavily armed force. A quick look at his personnel files revealed an ugly connection… But surely the man wasn’t that vindictive. That vengeful. It had only been his wife.
Maur produced a flask, indulged in a rare shot of burning, joyous illicit fermentae. Picked up the commlink on his desk.
“Yes… Yes. Patch me through to the special unit. Quickly.”

Outside northwest Norvondire Sky Road. Starfall foothills. Near Devil’s Spine.

Thrown to the ground, clothing askew, Swift landed in a patch of dry leaves with a chuckle. “Ya know, it’s almost as though I wouldn’t carry my only trump card in my back pocket.”
The bristling Neon glared down at her, his fluorescent mohawk a satirical counterpoint to his bulging arms. A gust of mountain wind made the trees whisper around them, like an ocean of ghosts. It was lawless out here, but there were still rules. Supposedly. Hopefully he followed them, because kicking off her stay in Tamarack Hollow by murdering a sentry would make things awkward.
She writhed suggestively on the ground before rising to her feet. Playing with fire was a tough habit to break.
Shafts of dawn light raining through the leaves cast a glowing rimlight on the cords in the Neon’s neck. As she brazenly rearranged her clothing, his nostrils flared.
Better to push the limits now, and if there was peril, expose it on her own terms. She continued to fiddle with her clothing, tightening things that didn’t need it.
“Of course, you didn’t actually check my back pocket. Maybe you just don’t have enough experience with this sort of thing.”
Swift flounced past the massive guard, deliberately dusting him with a tail waggle. She leapt atop a mouldering fallen loveleaf trunk, her fur a bright orange in the deep forest gloom.
“So- you taking me to camp, or you gonna try your hand at searching me again?”
The Neon raised one arm. Swift tensed in her crouch, ready to fight back this time, leap, draw her-
He was holding her dagger.
“All weapons must be checked in before entering camp,” he squeaked. The voice was astonishingly high, with a lisp. “Springers must be unloaded at all times. We shall provide you a receipt for all collected items.”
Based on his speech, Swift suspected that her attempts at seductive teasing had been entirely misplaced.
“My name is Dreadlock,” he continued. “Welcome to Camp Tamarack, and I hope you have a very fabulous stay.”

Tamarack Hollow. Trading Camp. Ivy’s Overlook.

Perched on her favorite overlook, Ivy Bones looked down at Tamarack Hollow. Her camp. Her responsibility. Morning fog cast a heavy shroud. Treetops rose resolutely above the mist, vessels in a silky sea, with looming Starfall peaks eating most of the horizon line beyond. The pure blue of their slopes was a perfect imitation of the concealed sky. Woodsmoke and the crisp tang of Starfall trees spiced the chill air.
The camp itself would be quiet for another hour- mostly. The trading post was littered with stray early birds, contemplating their lot, indulging in vice and solitude. Her lodge lay silent, and the cabins & tents dotting the hollow were dark. A few shrieks echoed up from children, chasing each other around the teepees.
Ivy grinned at that- Trigger was a light sleeper. He was probably cursing in his pillow now. Bitching at the kids was one of his favorite ways of passing the time. It was hard to believe, sometimes, that all the camp residents were actually outcasts. Banished from society, deemed too dangerous, too sinful, for city life. But it was true.
The fog was heavy now, but soon it would be burned away.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Newsletter: Skirmish sales, Figurines, Music Success.

https://preview.mailerlite.com/t1x0z8

Burning Red Engines



What can cause a story to be retroactively expunged from a FurPlanet anthology?

One author’s work caused a firestorm of controversy, pious wailing, and gnashing of teeth. But how dangerous can a piece of fiction really be?

The author KSchnee has responded by sharing their work with the open world, so you can see for yourself here:


Personally, I love danger, controversy, moral abominations, and terror in fiction. I can’t think of a better place for those things.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Fully Funded!


Fully Funded!  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/nikolasalbrecht/dreamkeepers-volume-5-soundtrack

The Dreamkeepers Soundtrack is officially a go.  Secure your copy of the limited-run CD, signed art print, and help boost that stretch goal- a live Orchestra recording in Budapest.  Let's do things no webcomic has done before!

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Soundtrack Kickstarter

Your ears can take you to entrancing vistas- and Nikolas Albrecht has compelling soundscapes in your future.



After composing the Volumes 1-4 soundtrack, the maestro returns for Volume 5 (with exclusive early access to the story script). And, if goals are met, the tantalizing prospect of a live orchestral recording by top-of-the-line professional musicians in Budapest. 

These are the same artists who can be heard on the tracks of major motion pictures and video game productions- and now there's a chance they can bring never-before-heard Dreamkeepers music to life.

So check out the rewards Nikolas has on offer, close your eyes, and imagine a thousand adventures in a million places.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/nikolasalbrecht/dreamkeepers-volume-5-soundtrack

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Q&A 13

45 Are powers developed randomly, or is each Dreamkeeper "meant" to have the particular power they have?

Powers are loosely connected to a core element of their personality or intrinsic characteristics- so I don't think random is the right word.   I suppose the answer depends on whether you think we're fated to be the way we are.

38 Do powers leave behind any distinguishable marks or effects on the body? Can you tell by looking at dreamkeeper that they've used their abil

Generally no.  If somebody sneakily uses their power, drops the halo, and then strolls back into the room with their buds like nothing happened- there's no obvious visual marker to give them away.  They might be tired looking if they were channeling a volume of power near the limits of their endurance. 

As with most Dreamkeepers lore, there can be exceptions to this rule- especially if a character's power involves changing their appearance, like the Indigos.

31 Can projectiles based powers be redericted to shoot from other limbs? For example, can Bast throw fire from his feet or *ahem* other extremi

Usually yes.   Some powers might *require* the use of hands- but most do not.  It's just easier to guide one's focus using physical gestures, and hands are the most intuitive instrument.   But if say Bast wanted to incinerate someone to his left, he could leave his hands down and do it with a peeved glance.

28 What is the minimum age requirement for drinking fermentae

21.

28 What is the next great frontier for DK merchandise now that we already have card games, plush toys, and soundtracks?

The big one for me:  VOLUME 5.  Dreamkeepers has leveled up from Skirmish and Wayward- but I've got to refocus on the main attraction, and knock out the next graphic novel. 

That said, there are a few things in the works that don't require much of my time. 
Faction War, the free online DK roleplay system, is soonest- I've upgraded the game mechanics and I'll run one last test game this September. Then future story arcs will be in the hands of the players and mods.

Nikolas Albrecht is launching a Kickstarter this September to compose & record the Volume 5 soundtrack.  We've just licensed an indie company to create limited runs of 3-D printed DK figurines- plus Liz may create handcrafted goodies once Skirmish figurines are done.

A couple years back I wrote a novella that needs a few hours of final editing, and then I can start sharing that on the side, along with illustrations that have also been done for it.

The video game engine continues to be upgraded in the background- faster surface reflections have been integrated into the rendering gamut.

So, some backburner items and mostly-completed endeavors- but the big thing is to rock out on Volume 5.

FACTION WAR: Round 2

Create your original Dreamkeepers character, join a Faction, and get ready for action.  The DK community is launching another roleplay story arc, slated for a launch date of September 13th.

The game system has evolved from our alpha test earlier this year.  There's now a solidified skills list with interlocking strengths and weaknesses- plus inventory.   Purchase armor, sniper weaponry, a ryuu-neko companion- some items will aide in combat.  Others will give you superior command of terrain, or even an edge when it comes to blackmailing and other social tricks. 

The new Faction Wars Discord server is here:  https://discord.gg/UCxh7CX

Slots for new players are limited. 

Moderators will get the final call on who can participate in the story arc which launches Sept. 13th. 

Requirements include submitting a finalized character sheet to them, and demonstrating activity and responsiveness in the server. 

There's a Free Play room for people to get the hang of things, and for players to roleplay even if they're not in the official Story Arc. 

So jump in, create a character or two (It's way simpler and faster than most rp systems) and prepare for war!  I'll see folks in there tonight.