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A speculative fiction project and experiment in the concept of crowdsourced interactive literature. Join the fight for survival!

Nobody knows where the gods went; all of the sudden, they stopped speaking to us. Those they used to gift with divine light now have but lingering shadows of their glory. In the sky, the astronomers have seen a great stone falling down on us that was not there nights ago. They say in three-hundred-and-sixty-six days, it will hit Symnis. It's three time's the planet's size, they call it Vati: Prince of Flame.

Everyone's panicking; some streets are full of rioters and fire, others are dead silent. The most faithful plead with our missing gods, others follow whispered promises of power into strange corners of the world. They come back changed, empty-eyed. Even those who still have hope are divided between The Reclamation, who want to stay and fight, and The Wayfarers, who seek a new world. With the stone looming overhead, fear in the darkened streets, and something yet unnamed rising from deep history, they still find time to fight each other.

As for me? I'm just a witness. I have my reasons. But maybe you can stand for something. So will you stand beneath the stone, or will you seek hope in the unknown between worlds?

- - - - -

What's The Deal?

"366 to Vati" is an experiment in interactive literature. Expanding on the concept of branched, linear 'choose your own adventure' stories, this 366-vignette series will become the first truly crowd-sourced worked of fiction.

Here's how it works: a website will be created to host "366 to Vati." Beginning on January 1st, 2012. I will write a new 366-word vignette told from the perspectives of various characters in both The Reclamation and The Wayfarers factions, once a day, every day, until December 31st, 2012.

But here's where you come in: the ultimate fate of the conflict will be determined by the readers. Though I will be the only writer, and will exercise authorial discretion to ensure things stay interesting, readers will have the option to write in and support a faction, either with or without donation. These votes will be counted and weighed each day, and the favored faction will advance their cause in some crucial way the next day. Balance of favor over the lifetime of the story will also be used to determine long-term outcomes.

Then What's Special About Contributing Through Kickstarter?

Well, first off, you guys get the unique rewards. Everything you receive will have unique features that signify you are one of the people who got this off the ground. Additionally, you're the only ones who get to be featured on the memorials of each faction: supporters of The Reclamation get their name on The Steadfast Wall, supporters of The Wayfarers get their name on The Gateway.

Though the story will be crowd-sourced, and others will contribute after the project has started, this way, I can easily identify, acknowledge and reward the early adopters who helped get this project off the ground in spite of how scary it can be to bet on something experimental.

What Will The Funding Go To?

A pretty hefty chunk of change will be going to the rewards for contributors, such as printed copies of the book, shirts and poster-sized prints of the memorials for the biggest contributors. A nominal portion will also go to the cost of hosting the site, and still another piece goes to acquiring the additional RAM necessary to ensure I can perform ultra-high-resolution image-editing (tens of megapixels) so that the memorial prints are pixel-perfect.

The remainder will allow me to have the time to do this project right. 366 words is not a lot, once a day. But then factor in making those 366 truly excellent words. And that I have a business doing editing, writing, graphic design and web design seven days a week. And that I will be designing several sets of unique graphics for the various rewards people will receive. And that time will be spent working with the high-level contributors who will have character presence in the stories. These things add up, and I'm excited to make this project a smashing success, so I need to have a little financial breathing room to really dig in to it. Oh, and it goes without saying that the site will be entirely ad-free.

Awesome. Sign me up!

Great! When you make your contribution, please let me know what faction you wish to be aligned with in the comments page. If you make one of the large contributions that involves a character presence in "366 to Vati," message me directly and we'll work out the details.

Oh, and just a note. If we make this thing a success, there just might be another project like this in 2013, so let's rock!

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    Supporter of The Reclamation: Your contribution brings the Symnians one step closer to protecting their world from Vati. Your name will be etched into the Steadfast Wall as a Supporter of the Reclamation. The Steadfast Wall will be available as a print when the first year is over.

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    Supporter of The Wayfarers: Your contribution furthers the search for a new world. Your name will be carved into the Gateway as a Supporter of The Wayfarers. The Gateway will be available as a print when the first year is over.

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    Honored Soldier of The Wayfarers: You make safe the way to a new home for the races of Symnis, and shall be especially recognized on The Gateway with the title of Honored Soldier.

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    Honored Soldier of The Reclamation: You have fought hard to save Symnis, and shall be especially recognized on The Steadfast Wall with the title of Honored Soldier.

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    Officer of The Wayfarers: You have demonstrated great compassion and foresight despite the terror of Vati. You will be recognized on The Gateway as an Officer of The Wayfarers. Officers will also receive a free, faction-branded eBook copy of the "366 to Vati" stories when the writing is done.

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    Officer of The Reclamation: You have demonstrated great leadership and dedication under the shadow of the great stone, Vati. You will be recognized on The Steadfast Wall as an Officer of The Reclamation. Officers will also receive a free, faction-branded eBook copy of the "366 to Vati" stories when the writing is done.

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    Champion of The Reclamation: Your deeds are known to many; your name will have a place of prominence on The Steadfast Wall as a Champion. Champions receive the free eBook, as well as mention by name (of their choosing) and deed in "366 to Vati."

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    Champion of The Wayfarers: Who has not heard of your accomplishments in pursuit of a new home? Your name will be prominently displayed on The Gateway, Champion. Champions receive the free eBook, as well as mention by name (of their choosing) and deed in "366 to Vati."

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    Founder of The Wayfarers: You have blazed a trail to hope in the midst of despair, and so the people of Symnis shall never forget their debt to you, you will be named a Founder on The Gateway. Founders receive the free eBook, recurring character mention and dialogue, and a printed copy of "366 to Vati."

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    Founder of The Reclamation: You have given so much to protect Symnis; you shall be remembered on The Steadfast Wall as one of the first amongst the leaders of the cause, styled a Founder. Founders receive the free eBook, recurring character mention and a printed copy of "366 to Vati."

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    Hero of The Reclamation: Your example inspires greatness in all who witness it. You will be honored as a Hero on The Steadfast Wall, and all shall know your name. Heroes receive the free eBook, a signed printed copy, a faction-branded T-shirt with an exclusive 'Hero' insignia design, and a starring role (with a name and persona of your choosing) in a "366 to Vati" story.

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    Hero of The Reclamation: Your example inspires hope in all who witness it. You will be recognized as a Hero on The Gateway, and forever remembered. Heroes receive the free eBook, a signed printed copy, a faction-branded T-shirt with an exclusive 'Hero' insignia design, and a starring role (with a name and persona of your choosing) in a "366 to Vati" story.

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    The Stone Prophet: Power-hungry, you have become a wielder of dark forces, and seek to harness the coming of Vati for terrible purposes. This is a special package that trades the faction-themed rewards for an exclusive eBook, signed print copy and T-shirt with branding reflecting your specific identity--which you will help develop--as one of the five Stone Prophets who act as major antagonists to both factions. You will be one of the most prominent forces driving the plot. Keep in mind that these items will be utterly unique to you: none of the other Stone Prophets will get the same designs, and these will never be available as general merchandise.

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    Visionary of The Reclamation: A sage in our time of darkness, you were at the fore in risking the unknown to bring the Symnians safely to a new world. Your name shall be forever recorded on The Gateway in full splendor, so your foresight will inspire future generations. Visionaries receive all the rewards in the Hero package, as well as a 300ppi print of The Gateway, suitable for mounted display.

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    Visionary of The Reclamation: A figurehead of the movement, under your hand, millions have defied impending doom. Your name shall adorn The Steadfast Wall in a place of glory that you might be remembered as a Visionary. Visionaries receive all the rewards in the Hero package, as well as a 300ppi print of The Steadfast Wall, suitable for mounted display.

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    Legend: As Vati bore down on the world and divided the hearts of the people, you stood for unity, understanding and hope. Your deeds far surpassed mere factional boundaries, and both causes utter your name with reverence. The Legend will receive a customized eBook, signed print copy, T-shirt, a starring role in a story and recurring mention in "366 to Vati," your name on both The Steadfast Wall AND The Gateway, and a customized 300ppi print unifying both, suitable for mounted display.

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