Quickly, what's Vessels about?
From the team that brought you the Kickstarter smash KILLTOPIA, Vessels is a dark fantasy saga inspired by the Dark Souls video game series, with influences including Dragon Age, Skyrim and trippy movies like Inception and Doctor Strange.
When the fantasy realm of Cairnthala collides headfirst with our modern day universe, the fabric of reality shatters, throwing existence itself into chaos, as alternate dimensions, wormholes, cataclysmic events, and grotesque creatures rip the laws of logic and reason apart.
As existence itself breaks down, a gifted woman called Wake emerges. She's a fabled warrior of legend, who is said to possess the power to re-shape reality. Together with a band of outcasts and rogues, Wake must face her darkest fears and slay a warband of five horrific knights known as Vessels - the twisted and demonic incarnation of the five human senses.
Only by slaying the Vessels and collecting their souls can Wake save both our world from complete systemic collapse.
Who are the Vessels?
Each of the Vessels has a power linked to their sense, and they were inspired by the weird and wonderful bosses of the Metal Gear Solid and Dark Souls games.
From top to bottom:
- Touch: she may be small, but if she gets a hold of you in her metallic claws, she can make you feel any sensation, like you're being burned alive in your own skin, or being stabbed a million times at once - ouch!
- Taste: This hulking wraith is made entirely of tongues, and can consume people to absorb their power. Her fleshy . body regenerates at an alarming rate, making her hard to kill.
- Smell: The brat of the Vessels sisterhood. She is a skilled alchemist who can brew a whole manner of toxins, gas bombs and poisons with the herbs growing on her bony body.
- Sight: The leader of the group. Although she has no eyes, she sees all thanks to her staff. She has a telepathic link to her sisters, and somehow can always see where Wake is, unless she's inside the Veil.
- Sound: Cold and unfeeling, Sound can mimic anyone right down to the finest detail, even their voice. But first she has to kill them and steal their soul, which of course is really unfortunate for the victim.
If you're thinking, "Will I like Vessels?"...
If you like any of the below then heck yeah, we think you're going to love it!
- RPG gaming, specifically the Dark Souls trilogy, Demon's Souls, Bloodborne, Dragon Age, The Elder Scrolls, The Witcher and more.
- Dark Fantasy movies and shows, such as The Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones.
- Manga and anime like Berserk and Full Metal Alchemist.
- Weird and trippy movies and shows, like Inception, Doctor Strange and Twin Peaks.
Cool, you're still here! Here's the longer Vessels #3 synopsis and story so far:
When we first met our hero Wake, she was running from a giant, demonic eyeball in the sky called the Eye-God, a being that evaporates everything beneath its terrible gaze - yep, even entire cities and people!
After she escapes the Eye-God, Wake notices that things are getting a little strange in the realm of Cairnthala. Modern day object from our world are falling from the sky, corrupting everything they touch. Skyscrapers, technology and entire city streets from our reality come crashing down, killing countless people and warping both our realities beyond recognition.
Things seem bleak until Wake meets a cockney, asshole thief called Marillon (who's basically a fourth wall breaking, dark fantasy Deadpool), and a Mind Keeper called G'Dala (basically, he's a powerful mage who can tap into the realm of dreams and do all sorts of badass Level 99 mage type stuff!).
Together, they form a plan to trace the source of the Eye-God's power and destroy it before the fabric of reality tears apart completely. But not everyone wants them to succeed, as betrayers and unseen dangers lurk in the shadows of Cairnthala's twisted keeps, cursed castles and ravaged woodland.
In order to find the Eye-God's source of power, our heroes must take a freaky trip to the edges of logic and reason, travelling through dreams, cosmic wormholes, pocket met-verses and through time itself.
It's going an abstract battle royale of the mind, and you're all invited to join us on this epic, trans-dimensional journey. Whether you're new to the series or returning, you can follow the next chapter of Wake's saga by backing the 40+ page book of Vessels #3.
But wait, there's more! (did someone say 'prequel?')
That's right! All copies of Vessels #3 also include a new prequel short starring our very own master thief, Marillon. It's the first in a series of prequel shorts we're calling 'Before Vessels.'
Vessels #3 comes with the first short, called 'Marillon's Big Score." It follows the loudmouth thief several hours before she first met Wake in Vessels #1. She's crashed a fancy royal ball disguised as a regal lady, in an attempt to steal a priceless artefact of great power.
The only problem? She can't hold her booze...
Can she keep it together long enough to fool the other guests and pull of the heist of the century? You can find out in Marillon's Big Score.
Check out the official cover artwork by Gary Kelly, with colours from Lesley Atlansky:
Critics love the Vessels series so far. Here's a selection of quotes from sites that reviewed the first two issues:
"Vessels is a captivating start to an intriguing mystery that’s all but guaranteed to get far stranger before any answers are had, and with an opening this compelling that’s quite an exciting thought.” - Starburst Magazine
“Vessels is one of the most original comic books I have read in a while, a wonderfully deeply crafted plot set in a detailed and exciting world. Dark fantasy mixed with a Grimm fairy tale feel, led by a cast of three unique and well thought out characters.” - Comic Sleuth
"Vessels is another reminder that indie and small press books can match any of the big publishers with the right story and creative team behind it." - Comics Anonymous
"Vessels knocks it out of the park. Effortlessly engrossing, the writing creates a world and story that is sullen and forsaken. If you like your fantasy stories full of darkness and intrigue, then Vessels is sure to be right up your alley.” - Geek Retreat
Dave Cook (creator/writer):
Hailing from Scotland, Dave spent the best part of a decade as an award-winning games journalist before setting up his comics label Card Shark Comics.
He has created and written four comic series so far - the award-winning cyberpunk battle royale KILLTOPIA, beat-em-up game tribute BPM: BEATDOWNS PER MINUTE, the post-apocalyptic road trip series BUST, the rapture-themed civil war short series FEATHER and of course, VESSELS. His love for the Dark Souls and 'Soulsborne' games by From Software were the spark that inspired the series.
Edward Bentley (Artist):
Edward Stems from Sussex but now resides in the south of France and has been involved in creating and drawing comics for the last 10 years. His published works include Cadavers, Darkboy & Adler, Morrigan, Madhouse and Last exit Too Brighton.
“I think it’s important to add the unexpected to my comics, like there is never a bad time to introduce a giant psychic octopus.”
Dennis Lehmann (Colourist):
Born and living in Germany, Dennis has worked as colourist for indie publisher Plem Plem Productions since 2012 - home of The Changer and Mr. Kill. He has also coloured a range of critically-acclaimed indie titles around the world, such as Three Swords, Salvagers, Astronauts, Psychonauts, Savage Dragon, Upstarts and of course, Vessels.
Micah Myers (Letterer):
Micah Myers is a freelance comic book letterer from Portsmouth, Va. Micah has lettered comics for Action Lab, Zenescope, Scout, and Devil's Due Entertainment. Micah has also ventured into the world of writing with a supervillain team book called "The Disasters" for Loophole Comics.
Here's a breakdown of some of the great rewards we're offering with Vessels #3 - and we've also got some stretch goals lined up too!
Risks and challenges
There are always risks that Kickstarters might miss their launch window and other things like that, but this will be our 8th Kickstarter campaign after 7 successful campaigns were delivered on time and as promised.
That said, we believe an open, transparent dialogue with backers is crucial to a successful campaign, so if you ever have questions, our inbox is always open at email@example.com - don't be afraid to drop us a line!
-DaveLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)