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Thomas Scargen must quickly acquaint himself with an ever-changing world of magic while trying to discover the truth about his father.

Level Up Your Pledge—Final Week

Add $10 to any existing pledge by using the MANAGE YOUR PLEDGE button: Choose 2 of any of the following: 1 bookmark, 1 sticker, 2 buttons, 1 drink koozie. Your final chance to grab some swag.

Disregard the SOLD OUT next to that level. Just add to your existing pledge.
Disregard the SOLD OUT next to that level. Just add to your existing pledge.

My name’s Casey Caracciolo, and I wrote a novel. It’s called The Shadow of the Gauntlet, the first book in the epic Scargen series. I wrote this novel for all the geeks out there—myself included—but it has the potential to attract a much more diverse readership. The Shadow of the Gauntlet is my attempt to successfully bridge the gap between sci-fi and fantasy and make it approachable for a broader audience (12-year-old boy – 85-year-old grandmother). To be able to accomplish this, while self-publishing, I will need your help, and that’s why we’re here. So let’s take a closer look at the concept, and see if it’s something you want to get behind. 

Yareli Chula and Wiyaloo, her spirit ghost
Yareli Chula and Wiyaloo, her spirit ghost

Five years ago I had an idea: what if I took all the mythology and magic from various cultures from around the world and combined them into one cohesive mythos. Then take this mythos to construct a fully realized world filled with characters that represent these various cultures and their magical histories.

Concept sketch of one of the creatures in The Shadow of the Gauntlet
Concept sketch of one of the creatures in The Shadow of the Gauntlet

That covered the fantasy side of it, but what would I do to add the sci-fi element? And then it came to me…

  • The magic within this mythos would be explained using science. Magic users would manipulate the sub-atomic particles that make up everything in the universe. Good magic users would ask these particles to cooperate in achieving ‘magic,’ while evil magic users would force the particles to bend to their will. All humans would be capable of this skill with time and practice, but some would be naturally adept. 
  • The novel would be set on Earth, but in the future. This would allow me to populate the world with artifs (artificial lifeforms). I'm talking robots, people—a lot of them.
  • There would be an organization that worked secretly with the governments of the world to actively suppress the use of magic through capture and elimination. They would primarily use artifs and tech to hunt down and destroy any users of magic. Their main objective would be to purposely hide the magical world from the masses.
  • In this future, everyone wears wristcoms (wrist communicators). The wristcom would replace smartphones, home computers, game consoles, TVs, books, etc., all controlled from a holographic interface. Everything you would ever need, all conveniently on your wrist.
  • Then we throw in aeromobiles (flying cars). We have been promised this for decades, and my book fulfills this promise.
Concept sketch of a diggerbot, an archeological artif
Concept sketch of a diggerbot, an archeological artif

That covered the sci-fi aspect, and the idea was starting to take shape, but something was still missing. 

So I looked to the genres of Comics and Anime to up the ante on the action. I decided that there would be no wands in my book. Don’t get me wrong—I love those books, but I wanted to take magical combat to the next level. The Mages and Necromancers in my book battle each other using various concentrated energy attacks.

Thomas Scargen, our teenage protagonist
Thomas Scargen, our teenage protagonist

To put it simply:

Sci-Fi + Fantasy + a dash of Comics and Anime = The Shadow of the Gauntlet

I’m talking robots, dragons, and fireballs shooting out of people’s hands. 

But how do I make The Shadow of the Gauntlet more accessible to nongeeks?

Let’s be honest: robots, dragons, and fireballs definitely speak to a certain audience (me), but what about everyone else?

I know what you're thinking—just add some vampires. Everyone loves vampires. It's a fair point, and there are several vampires in my novel. And you will be happy to know that they suck blood, die when staked, and they sure as hell don't sparkle—not that there's anything wrong with that. All joking aside though, I needed something a bit more than vampires to draw in everybody and make the concept more universal. 

The answer was simple:

One thing I learned from my animation background is that people respond to good story and character.

Nobody likes a book full of static, one-dimensional, clichéd characters. An honest, fallible protagonist; an independent, powerful female character; and a villain that has motive and reason—these are the types of characters that inhabit The Shadow of the Gauntlet. Strong characters with distinct opinions build relationships with readers and give readers someone to root for.

But nobody cares if you have great characters if they don’t do anything interesting. I put these diverse characters into difficult scenarios and challenge them at every turn. This makes readers keep reading. A strong story pulls everyone in.

These things make The Shadow of the Gauntlet unique yet accessible.

But you should decide for yourself:

On the eve of his graduation from New Salem High, Thomas Scargen awakens from an all-too-real nightmare depicting his father’s mysterious disappearance. Before the boy can regain his composure and slack back into his familiar world of artifs and hologames, Thomas is torn away from his home and hastily ushered into a secret world of magic. He quickly begins to discover his magical potential and grasp his manifesting abilities, but he lacks perhaps the most important component: control.

Yareli Chula, Spirit Summoner and member of The Council of Mages, has been dispatched to recover the boy and bring him to The Council. There he can find the discipline he needs and the answers he seeks, but getting him there alive will be anything but easy.  Yareli is not the only one searching for the Scargen boy.

Along his journey, Thomas will ride atop a teleport dragon, duel a High Demon of the Depths, run with the Lions of Sirati, outfox a spirit ghost, race a vampire, and quote Shakespeare with a whiskey-swilling werewolf—all in the hope of discovering the truth about his father.

This quest will be fraught with darkness and a malevolence far more unyielding than anything Thomas has come across in his fantasy books. Armed with his newly realized powers and his unlikely companions, Thomas Scargen will have to face this pervasive evil without being consumed by The Shadow of the Gauntlet.

I know, right? You don’t need to read any further. You’re already sold, and reaching for your wallet, but you might want to click on this to read the sample chapter before you donate. What if you don’t like it? That would be embarrassing—backing a book you don’t even want to read. That being said—I'm confident you'll like it; so go read it, and when you’re finished, come back here.

You read the chapter and you’re still with me? Good...I was starting to get worried.

Now let me tell you a little bit about why I chose Kickstarter and why we are going to self-publish The Shadow of the Gauntlet.

I have spent the last five years writing and rewriting, and rewriting, and then rewriting some more...and when it came time to find a publisher, I was kind of scared and overwhelmed. I did a lot of reading on the subject, and it seemed silly that after I do all of this hard work, I’m just supposed to turn over my manuscript to a stranger and have them tear it apart ,and then the same company retains total control of how they market and use my work. That didn’t seem right to me. The last thing I want is for some publisher to tell me what I should be writing—or worse yet—tell you guys what you should be reading. The more I thought about it, the more I began to realize: the traditional publishing model is antiquated. I think it’s time we show them that there’s stuff out there that we want to read that doesn’t fit nicely into a preconceived slot, and that we don’t need them to bring these projects to a larger audience. 

I’m not going to sugar coat it: I need money—$6000 to be exact—to finish editing the novel, finish the design of the book, publish it, and then to market it the way it needs to be marketed. These are things normally handled by the aforementioned publisher, but they’re the guys we’re trying to avoid. 

This is where you come in. Your donations will help me offset these costs, but don’t worry—I’m not sending you back empty-handed. Look at all this cool swag I have to give away for your help. And just think: you’ll get to gloat about this to your friends after The Shadow of the Gauntlet becomes super successful—and I’m confident that with your support, this novel and series will be just that.

And you might be asking yourself: what happens if we go over our goal? $6,000 is the minimum I need to get this done. So if there's extra money, it will go toward marketing The Shadow of the Gauntlet more aggressively. I plan to be attending as many cons as physically possible, starting with Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con in 2013. Direct access to fans and potential fans is essential when trying to grow and attract an engaged audience. Cons are a great place to nurture this type of relationship. I love direct feedback, and I can't wait to meet you guys and hear what you think. 

The more money pledged, the more cons I can attend, hopefully culminating in the ultimate of all cons. If I can earn $12,000, I will be attending the San Diego Comic-Con International.

Any money left over after that will go to the writing of the second book in the Scargen series: The Dragon Within. The more money made, the faster the next book can be written, and the faster you get to see what happens next...

Let’s take a look at some of the reward levels.

Level 0Newt

So you really like the project, but you have no disposable income. It's okay. You can help spread the word about The Shadow of the Gauntlet. Like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter. Tell your rich friends about the project. You will also have my personal thanks and admiration. No swag on this level, mind you, but you can't put a price on these things.

Level Up—Final Week

Add $10 to any existing pledge by using the MANAGE YOUR PLEDGE button: Choose 2 of any of the following: 1 bookmark, 1 sticker, 2 buttons, 1 drink koozie. Your final chance to grab some swag.

Level 1Sentry Mage

Pledge $10 or more: Apparently I was wrong. You can put a price on these things. Actually, I’ve now been told that’s the whole purpose of this website. At this level, you get a The Shadow of the Gauntlet screensaver for your computer or a background for your tablet.

Level 2Cadet Mage

Pledge $20 or more: At this level, you will receive a Kindle version of The Shadow of the Gauntlet emailed directly to you once it becomes available.

Level 3Spirit Warrior

Pledge $35 or more: This is where things start to get real … literally. This level gets you an actual physical copy of The Shadow of the Gauntlet—a trade paperback copy. I know some of you don’t know what this is, but it’s similar to the Kindle version, just heavier.

Level 4Spirit Summoner

Pledge $75 or more: This is where it starts to get geeky. This level gets you a signed copy of the trade paperback. This will hopefully become a collector’s item you will cherish for the rest of your years.

Level 5Aringi Rider

Pledge $95 or more: You get a signed trade paperback version, and one LEVEL I AUGMENT

See below for list of AUGMENTS.

Level 6Hunter

Pledge $125 or more: You get a personalized signed copy of The Shadow of the Gauntlet and two LEVEL I AUGMENTS

See below for list of AUGMENTS.

Level 7Technic

Pledge $165 or more: A personalized signed copy of The Shadow of the Gauntlet and four LEVEL I AUGMENTS.

See below for list of AUGMENTS.

Level 8Aringi Captain

Pledge $215 or more: This level nets you your choice of one LEVEL II AUGMENT, four LEVEL I AUGMENTS, and a personalized signed copy of The Shadow of the Gauntlet

See below for list of AUGMENTS.

Level 9Teleport Dragon

Pledge $265 or more: This level gets you your choice of two LEVEL II AUGMENTS, four LEVEL I AUGMENTS, and a personalized signed copy of The Shadow of the Gauntlet

See below for list of AUGMENTS.

Level 10Collectorbot

Pledge $315 or more: This level is for the serious collector. You get all three LEVEL II AUGMENTS, four LEVEL I AUGMENTS, and of course a personalized signed copy of The Shadow of the Gauntlet

See below for a list of AUGMENTS.

Level 11Mage Warrior

Pledge $375 or more: This level gets you a retro Scargen Robotics print designed by me. This limited edition Giclee print will be a collector's item one day. This level also includes a personalized signed copy of The Shadow of The Gauntlet.

Add $50 for signed print. See the AUGMENTATION section for instructions on how to add to your pledge.

This level is limited to 150 people

Scargen Robotics retro print (approximately 13" × 27")
Scargen Robotics retro print (approximately 13" × 27")

Level 12Mage Knight

Pledge $450 or more: This level gets you an official The Shadow of the Gauntlet movie poster print. I personally designed the 36" × 24" Giclee print. This level also includes a personalized signed copy of The Shadow of the Gauntlet.

Add $50 for signed print. See the AUGMENTATION section for instructions on how to add to your pledge.

This level is limited to 200 people.

The Shadow of the Gauntlet movie poster print
The Shadow of the Gauntlet movie poster print

Level 13Augmentor

Pledge $525 or more: This level gets you The Shadow of the Gauntlet animated print. This 24" × 36" Giclee print is my animated interpretation of the Scargen universe. This is a work in progress, so the end print might look slightly different. It comes signed and also with the personalized signed copy of The Shadow of the Gauntlet.

This level is limited to 175 people.

The Shadow of the Gauntlet animated print
The Shadow of the Gauntlet animated print
Enlargement of animated print
Enlargement of animated print

Level 14MANCER

Pledge $950 or more: This is your chance to grab your choice of any two signed prints, all three LEVEL II AUGMENTS, and two LEVEL I AUGMENTS. And naturally it comes with a personalized signed copy of The Shadow of the Gauntlet

This level is limited to 75 people.

Level 15 - FIRST NECROMANCER

Pledge $1,275 or more: This level gets you all three signed prints, all three LEVEL II AUGMENTS, three LEVEL I AUGMENTS, a personalized signed copy of The Shadow of the Gauntlet, as well as the Kindle version. Your name will also appear in the AKNOWLEDGEMENTS section of the novel.

This level is limited to 40 people.

Level 16HIGH MANCER

Pledge $2,000 or more: Have you ever wanted your name in a work of fiction, or better yet, you wanted to just make up a character name? Well this is your chance. At this tier you will choose a name (with my approval) to appear in The Dragon Within, the sequel to The Shadow of the Gauntlet. This level also includes everything in Level 15. 

This reward is limited to 10 people.

Level 17GAUNTLET BEARER

Pledge $3,750 or more: This is the ultimate reward for geekiness. Not only do you receive all of the Level 15 rewards, but at this level you will also get to sit down with me—figuratively speaking of course—and together we will create a character that will play a role in the plot of The Dragon Within. This is a huge step up from the previous tier. Your character will interact with the major characters. This is something that will forever immortalize your character. I will also do a sketch of your character—personally signed. 

This reward is limited to 5 people.

It's like when you are fighting a troll and you are wielding the Axe of Eternity, but you just want to get a few more hit points for every strike…you would naturally augment the weapon. Or for the people that don't speak Geek, this is where you can be a little more picky with your rewards. Here you get to pick and choose which The Shadow of the Gauntlet swag you would like to add to your pledge to make it kick more butt. There are two levels of augmentation: a twenty dollar value level and a fifty dollar value level. There's something here for everyone. So let's get to augmenting…

Here's how you can augment your pledge:

  • On this Kickstarter page, press the Manage Your Pledge button.
  • If you have not yet pledged, it will say Back this Project.
  • Increase your pledge in the Pledge Amount box by the total of the augments you would like to add.
  • Do not change the level you are currently pledged at—unless you want to also do this at this time. You will then hit the Continue to Next Step button and then Confirm the changes.
  • When the Kickstarter campaign is funded, you will receive a survey where you can explain what augments you want to add with the extra pledge money.
  • International shipping will need an additional $10 for up to 3 LEVEL I AUGMENTS. Add $20 for up to 3 LEVEL II AUGMENTS
Add $10 for international shipping up to 3 choices
Add $10 for international shipping up to 3 choices

The Reader

The Shadow of the Gauntlet Bookmarks: Set of 3

The Drinker

The Shadow of the Gauntlet Koozie and Bottle Opener

The Button Masher

The Shadow of the Gauntlet Buttons: Set of 6

The Street Artist

Scargen Robotics LED flashlight and The Shadow of the Gauntlet Stickers: Set of 2 - 3.5 " x 3.5 " vinyl acrylic stickers

The Robotic Engineer

Scargen Robotics Nerd Key (2 GB USB key)

Add $20 for international shipping up to 3 choices
Add $20 for international shipping up to 3 choices

The most coveted of all geek rewards...

The Shadow of the Gauntlet the T-shirt 

Hey look! It's me wearing The Shadow of the Gauntlet t-shirt
Hey look! It's me wearing The Shadow of the Gauntlet t-shirt

Please remember to tell me your size in the post campaign survey.

Support the team...

The Shadow of the Gauntlet the Baseball Hat

It's cold out there...

The Shadow of the Gauntlet the Winter Cap

One size fits all

Keep an eye out for scargen.com coming soon.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

The biggest risk involved for me is not being able to market on the scale I need to. As far as that goes, I'm confident that I can spread the word of The Shadow of the Gauntlet. To me it's a matter of getting as many people as I can to read it. I plan on a mixture of old and new ways to accomplish this. I will have an aggressive ad campaign online as well as direct contact with my potential fanbase at conventions, and indirect contact online. Accessibility is the key.

The hardest part is done. The book is written, and we are constantly editing. That being said, I'm still scared out of my mind sometimes. Between putting my work out there for the world to criticize and my extreme fear that I'm going to miss a spelling mistake or some ridiculous grammatical error, it's a miracle I'm not hospitalized at this point. But the fears pass and are replaced by a calm energy. The end of one part of this adventure is almost over, and I can't wait to get started on the next leg.
This has been a five-year journey, and I won't be stopped now. Almost twenty different people, ranging from a 10-year-old boy to a fifty-year-old woman, have read the book, and the feedback has been amazing. I am truly confident that you guys are going to love this novel, and together we can make The Shadow of The Gauntlet a success.

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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    Level 0 - NEWT: So you really like the project, but you have no disposable income. It's okay. You can help spread the word about The Shadow of the Gauntlet. Like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter. Tell your rich friends about the project. You will also have my personal thanks and admiration. No swag on this level, mind you, but you can't put a price on these things.

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    1 backer All gone!

    Level Up - FINAL WEEK: This level will get you your choice of two of any of the following specified items. 1 bookmark, 1 sticker, 2 buttons, 1 drink koozie, for a $10 pledge

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    2 backers

    Level 1 - SENTRY MAGE: Apparently I was wrong. You can put a price on these things. Actually, I’ve now been told that’s the whole purpose of this website. At this level, you get a The Shadow of the Gauntlet screensaver for your computer or a background for your tablet.

    Estimated delivery:
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    17 backers

    Level 2 - CADET MAGE: At this level, you will receive a Kindle version of The Shadow of the Gauntlet emailed directly to you once it becomes available.

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    48 backers

    Level 3 - SPIRIT WARRIOR: This is where things start to get real…literally. This level gets you an actual physical copy of the book—a trade paperback copy. I know some of you don’t know what this is, but it’s similar to the Kindle version, just heavier.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $20 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $75 or more
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    13 backers

    Level 4 - SPIRIT SUMMONER: This is where it starts to get geeky. This level gets you a signed copy of the trade paperback. This will hopefully become a collector’s item you will cherish for the rest of your years.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $20 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $95 or more
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    3 backers

    Level 5 - ARINGI RIDER: You get a signed trade paperback version, and one LEVEL I AUGMENT. See below for list of AUGMENTS.

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    Add $20 USD to ship outside the US
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    5 backers

    Level 6 - HUNTER: You get a personalized signed copy of The Shadow of the Gauntlet and two LEVEL I AUGMENTS. See below for list of AUGMENTS.

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    Add $20 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $165 or more
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    2 backers

    Level 7 - TECHNIC: A personalized signed copy of The Shadow of the Gauntlet and four LEVEL I AUGMENTS. See below for list of AUGMENTS.

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    Add $20 USD to ship outside the US
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    1 backer

    Level 8 - ARINGI CAPTAIN: This level nets you your choice of one LEVEL II AUGMENT, four LEVEL I AUGMENTS, and a personalized signed copy of The Shadow of the Gauntlet. See below for list of AUGMENTS.

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    0 backers

    Level 9 - TELEPORT DRAGON: This level gets you your choice of two LEVEL II AUGMENTS, four LEVEL I AUGMENTS, and a personalized signed copy of The Shadow of the Gauntlet. See below for list of AUGMENTS.

    Estimated delivery:
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    1 backer

    Level 10 - COLLECTORBOT: This level is for the serious collector. You get all three LEVEL II AUGMENTS, four LEVEL I AUGMENTS, and of course a personalized signed copy of The Shadow of the Gauntlet. See below for a list of AUGMENTS.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $30 USD to ship outside the US
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    0 backers Limited (150 left of 150)

    Level 11 - MAGE WARRIOR: This level gets you a retro Scargen Robotics print designed by me. This limited edition Giclee print will be a collector's item one day. Add $50 for signed print. This level includes a personalized signed copy of The Shadow of The Gauntlet.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $30 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $450 or more
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    0 backers Limited (200 left of 200)

    Level 12 - MAGE KNIGHT: This level gets you an official The Shadow of the Gauntlet movie poster print. I personally designed the 36" × 24" print. This is a limited reward for first print. Add $50 for signed print. This Level also includes a personalized signed copy of The Shadow of the Gauntlet.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $30 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $525 or more
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    0 backers Limited (175 left of 175)

    Level 13 - AUGMENTOR: This level gets you The Shadow of the Gauntlet animated print. This 36" × 24" Giclee print is my animated interpretation of the Scargen Universe. This one comes signed and also comes with the personalized signed copy of The Shadow of the Gauntlet.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $30 USD to ship outside the US
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    1 backer Limited (74 left of 75)

    Level 14 - MANCER: This is your chance to grab your choice of any two signed prints, all three LEVEL II AUGMENTS, and two LEVEL I AUGMENTS. And naturally it comes with a personalized signed copy of The Shadow of the Gauntlet.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $35 USD to ship outside the US
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    Level 15 - FIRST NECROMANCER: This level gets you all three signed prints, all three LEVEL II AUGMENTS, three LEVEL I AUGMENTS, a personalized, signed copy of The Shadow of the Gauntlet, as well as the Kindle version. Your name will also appear in the AKNOWLEDGEMENTS section of the novel.

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    Level 16 - HIGH MANCER: Have you ever wanted your name in a work of fiction, or better yet, you wanted to just make up a character name? Well this is your chance. At this tier you will choose a name (with my approval) to be appear in The Dragon Within, the sequel to The Shadow of the Gauntlet. This level also includes everything in Level 15.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $45 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $3,750 or more
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    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    Level 17 - GAUNTLET BEARER: This is the ultimate reward for geekiness. Not only do you receive all of the Level 15 rewards, but at this level you will also get to sit down with me—figuratively speaking of course—and together we will create a character that will play a role in the plot of The Dragon Within. This is a huge step up from the previous tier. Your character will interact with the major characters. This is something that will forever immortalize your character. I will also do a sketch of your character—personally signed.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $45 USD to ship outside the US
Funding period

- (30 days)