Thursday, July 19, 2018

Current Projects: Umberwell and Cinderheim

Krevborna: A Gothic Blood Opera was well-received enough that I've been putting in work to get two of my other settings into publishable form. As you can see from the picture above, the inspirations going into Umberwell and Cinderheim are quite different, but to be honest it's actually been refreshing to have two separate directions to work in at the same time. Here's where I'm at in the process:

Cinderheim: The Land Under the Demon Sun
Under the demon sun lies a desert wasteland of desolate barrens where seven warlords rule seven oases of savage beauty. Amid the dunes, brutal scavengers battle for survival against desperate raiders and monsters born of demonic corruption. This is Cinderheim, a blasted hellscape of barbarism, sandstorms, and unrelenting heat. In Cinderheim, freedom beckons to those strong enough to fight for it.

If you like Dying Earth fiction (Brackett, Vance, Dark Sun), Sword and Sorcery (Berserk, Tanith Lee, Clark Ashton Smith), and Weird Westerns (Jonah Hex, Pretty Deadly, The Dark Tower) then Cinderheim might be what you're looking for.

Originally I wanted to publish Cinderheim as a saddle-stitched 'zine, but apparently that form factor isn't a possibility given the other specifications I have for it. The upside is that this means I could give myself a little more breathing room in terms of page count.

Right now, Cinderheim has been been written and edited. It still needs another copy editing pass by me and one more piece of interior art. This one could be out the door at the end of summer.

You can find additional blog posts about Cinderheim here.

Umberwell: City of Rust, Blackened Be Thy Name
Umberwell exists amid the streets, across five islands, underground, suspended above the clouds, within domes beneath the sea, and perched perilously upon towers that lord over the rust and refuse below. New ways of life germinate and flower in the corroded splendor of Umberwell. Umberwell is honeycombed with all-night cabarets and taverns. Some of the city’s delights are migratory—here today, displaced tomorrow. Umberwell is a city in a world where the cosmic forces of repression and anarchy clash eternally. Umberwell is interplanar; its reality overlaps countless other permutations. Umberwell is an impossible fever dream.

If you like fantasy cities like Ashamoil, New Crobuzon, Sigil, Sharn, and Duskwall, then Umberwell might be what you're looking for.

Umberwell is the kind of city campaign setting I'm always interested in, but rarely find: heavy on adventure possibilities, light on minute definition of the city's limits.

Umberwell is written and currently in the hands of an editor. Art for Umberwell hasn't started yet and I haven't made the indexes--which can't be made until I'm satisfied that I don't desire to add more content--so this one isn't likely to see the light of day until the fall. But it will be worth the wait, and I like taking my time.

You can find additional blog posts about Umberwell here.