About this project
Published by the Melsonian Arts Council
The Melsonian Arts Council is a micro press publishing house which specialises in short works that startle and entertain us. Its output is by turns erudite, lucid and beautiful, or dumb, obtuse and ugly. We have previously and are still releasing peculiar zines.
Words by Ezra Claverie
Ezra Claverie has contributed to the resurrected Oracle, Petty Gods, and The Undercroft. His book, "The Shadow out of Providence: A Lovecraftical Metatext", made the Lovecraft E-Zine's roundup of "Best Lovecraftian Books of 2015." His scholarly writing has appeared in Intensities: The Journal of Cult Media and The Journal of Popular Culture.
Pictures by Andrew Walter
Andrew Walter is an illustrator whose work has been featured in The Undercroft, Wormskin, and various other OSR products, as well as on underground metal and punk releases. He likes schlock horror and loud noises.
Layout by Sarah Richardson
Sarah Richardson is the author of Velvet Glove, co-author of Bluebeard’s Bride, and an employee of Magpie Games. She has also written for other RPGs such as The Baby Bestiary 1 & 2 and Witch: Fated Souls. In addition to her design work, Sarah has also served as layout artist on a number of projects: Epyllion: A Dragon Epic, No Salvation for Witches, and The Shadow Out of Providence. Sarah’s illustrations have also been featured in many a RPG.
“Crypts of Indormancy” is an evocative location-based adventure compatible with Lamentations of the Flame Princess and most other Dungeons & Dragons clones. The final book will be a saddle stitched, 40-odd page A5 affair with a gloriously coloured cover and black and white internal illustrations.
- Set in a quasi-Polynesian island chain
- Dungeon fundamentals done fresh and right, evil wizard and all
- A backdrop of postcolonial elves digging through their imperial past
- Optional rules to help more fully and easily engage with the peculiar background of the world by incentivising culturally specific behavior
- Five memorable and perplexing new monsters
- A confident and distinct literary voice
This scenario is informed as much by sword-and-sorcery as by anticolonial politics, so you might say that it draws on a non-traditional "Appendix N," one that includes Aimé Césaire, Chinua Achebe, Frantz Fanon, Gyatri Spivak, and Edward Said.
Not long! The writing is complete, the art is underway and the layout is lined up. This should, barring some kind of catastrophe, be finished and getting sent out November/December time.
As many of you reading this will know, The Melsonian Arts Council publishes The Undercroft, a struggling zine for Lamentations of the Flame Princess and whatever other Dungeons & Dragons clone you might have. We are now branching out into struggling stand alone books. Beautiful, confident books full of the things and by people we want to read. We hope you will too.
Not sure if you're aware, but selling zines is not what you would call profitable. Especially when you want to pay well and publish outsiders being outside what is already pretty remote from indoors. But regardless, we have gathered up all our pennies and plonked them down on a little adventure from Undercroft regular Ezra Claverie.
Crypts of Indormancy is written with a distinct literary voice, grounded in post-colonial subtext, free of whimsy and confidently executed. In short it will blow your tits off. Don't just read and believe these entirely accurate words, go and read his previous work for free.
Although normally that would be enough and we wouldn't want to spoil you overly, we have also enlisted the services of one Andrew Walter. You know, that guy, the one who made the amazing cover you see below. Look at the picture then come back up here, then understand that this man must never be allowed to stop drawing. No matter the topic his work conveys a sly humour, an uncomfortable irony; less concerned with showing you what you need to see, instead taking you to where you need to be.
We've been making zines for some time now and like to think we know what we're doing when it comes to small circulation specialist interest RPG literature. Of primary concern is being able to pay the contributors fairly, adequately compensating them for their time and talent. Secondly we need the money to print the book decently and quickly. As it stands the text is complete, the art is lined up and the editing staff are ready to be unleashed.
By our estimation the project will cost a modest £1000 in all. This is mainly being spent on art and layout, with some left over for an advance for the writer.
By the usual definition, there aren't any. No goodies, no doodads, no shirts or bookmarks. We've all got enough stuff cluttering up our shelves already. No, instead all extra money will be used to pay for art, to give a better advance to the writer, to help ensure the publisher can fund further projects while still paying the bills, and to generally improve every step of the project.
Here are a few concrete thresholds:
At £1200 we'll make a map. Though not essential for the adventure, it would be nice.
At £1500 Oli Palmer's "Something Stinks in Stilton" will be reprinted, meaning that it will have a life past the end of this campaign. If we reach this all backers will get a free PDF copy of it.
At £1800 Crypts of Indormancy will be hand sewn rather than stapled. It looks nicer and lasts longer.
At £2000 we'll also make Oli's reprint all fancy.
At £8000 we'll be able to fund the next project we have lined up, right that very second!
Hey, some of us are poor, Gods know we can sympathise with that particular plight. But you can still help us for nothing by spreading the word, sharing and posting and even telling everyone you know that this is something you think deserves to live.
For The Shadow out of Providence by Ezra Claverie:
--Forrest Aguirre, Heraclix and Pomp
--Matthew Carpenter, “The Best Lovecraftian Books of 2015,” Lovecraft EZine Talk Show
--Sandy Petersen, game designer, Doom, Quake, and The Call of Cthulhu RPG
--George Strayton, screenwriter and producer, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Xena: Warrior Princess, Transformers 2
Risks and challenges
This project is risky, no doubt about it. The Council is kept afloat on a very thin layer of money and all of it is being poured into this project. If we achieve the goal of £1000 the book will fly through production in a matter of weeks and everyone will be none the poorer for it. Certainly, this book will be made with or without anyone's help eventually, it will just take much, much longer. As for production and the other practical considerations, all contributors are experienced, the vast bulk of the work has already been done, and we've been putting out similar stuff for a good while now. Unless someone drops dead or becomes seriously ill there is no real chance of it becoming mired.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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