The Compendium of North American Cryptids & Magical Creatures is a resource for any discriminating cryptozoologist and Wizard-in-training. Thanks to our supporters, we will now be able to create the artwork in full-color, and print a full-color edition! Here's a sample of what a full color piece will look like:
We anticipate this book to be around 150-160 pages long, containing 35+ magical creatures adapted from the myths and folklore of North America as well as some entirely original creations. Some are whimsical, some are terrifying and some are ... just plain odd.
Each creature will have its own full-body black-and white (now color!!!) illustration, hand-drawn and inked by our illustrator, Ffion Evans. Entries will be categorized by name, family, classification, manifestation, description, habitat, biology, diet, magical use, and defense. Each entry also will contain a brief anecdote of a time when it figured prominently in the history of the Magimundi (the North American hidden magical world). Entries are comprehensive (each about 5 pages in the book) and are ready-made to be dropped into any RPG, or just read for pleasure (or to pass your exams, Magischola students!).
Brought to you by Mike Young, Ben Morrow and Maury Brown, the Compendium was originally written in 1866 by the infamous Magimundi Cryptozoologist Foxfire Castellaw, grandfather of New World Magischola Professor Castellaw. This special 150th anniversary edition comes to you annotated with commentary from Wyn Diego, a 21st century cryptozoologist, parabotanist and best-selling author whose commentary serves to provide some, ah, perspective on the canonical wisdom of Castellaw. Neither writer can claim to be free from biases arising from their feelings and intentions towards magical creatures, so readers are advised to be vigilant and come to their own conclusions based on careful analysis of the text.
This invaluable resource for all those interested in learning about magical creatures and cryptids unique to North America is alphabetized like an encyclopedia for easy reference, but unlike other guides goes far beyond a mere history of creature sightings. Students taking courses at New World Magischola (or planning to) will want to have this handy volume, well, at hand. So long as it isn’t the hand on the tail of an Ahuizotl.
Well, unless you have a friend in a Fiji Mermaid, who, though fickle, may rescue you from certain drowning. Unless of course, you're wearing opal jewelry, a fact you would know if you had read the Compendium.
If you love all things fantasy and want to learn more about the weird and wonderful magical creatures that populate North America, this book is required reading.
The Compendium of Cryptids & Magical Creatures will join these and other notable guides to fantastical beasts and creatures:
Unlike these books, though, each creature is fully illustrated, and the descriptions, stories, and magical uses and defenses are very detailed. Backers of this project will get early access to creatures prior to publication.
Current Listing of Creatures in the Compendium:
Ahuizotl, Cactus Cat, Chupacabra, Duwende, Fairymaid, Fiddle Spider, Fiji Mermaid, Gremlin, Ghost Helicoprion, Hoop Snake, Hugag, Jackalope, Jersey Devil, Jiwa Setan, Kumcharangi, Loup-garou, Mannegeshi, Mermaid, Mishipeshu, Mothman, Nagual, Nunnehi, Polhappler's Mantis, Revenant, Sasquatch, (incl. Bigfoot, Skunk Ape), Snipe, Snow Dragon, Soucriant (Boo Hag), Squonk, Thunderbird, Triple Eagle, Vampire, Waheela, Wampus Cat, Wasco, Wendigo, Werewolf, Wyvern
Here's a sample of one of the creature entries so you can see how detailed it is:
Description: The Kumcharangi are subterranean winged snakes with a venomous bite. They are highly aggressive and very dangerous. A juvenile Kumcharangi averages about a foot in length, with adults capable of growing as long as ten feet. Their coloring is typically mottled black and brown, and they possess glowing yellow eyes with a nictitating membrane that allows them to see in the dark.
Kumcharangi live underground in burrows and are capable of moving through the soil with great dexterity. They track their prey by the vibrations from above, and attack by bursting from the earth and swallowing the prey whole, if possible.
The wings of a Kumcharangi are black, leathery and extremely flexible, capable of folding flat along their bodies so that they prove no impediment to movement above or below ground. They are used in short gliding flights, or, in unusual cases, dropping from tall trees. The Kumcharangi typically attacks by bursting from the ground and using their wings to glide toward their victim with a distinctive high-pitched scream. Human victims of Kumcharangi have described feelings of paralysis during the attack, although it is uncertain whether this is an unknown secondary characteristic of the scream or simply a normal reaction to seeing a giant winged snake with glowing yellow eyes burst from the soil.
The bite of a Kumcharangi is highly dangerous. An estimated 45% of bite victims will develop Aphotic Bane, a disease that gradually robs wizards of their sanity and ultimately requires their permanent hospitalization. Aphotic Bane has a special property that allows it to remain dormant in its host, and there are recorded cases of victims being entirely unaware that they have the Bane until the symptoms manifest years later. Although the ministrations of a Master Healer may slow the progression of the disease, there is currently no cure for Aphotic Bane, and an unknown element in Kumcharangi venom precludes the creation of an antidote.
Kumcharangis tend to live solitary lives, coming together only to mate. A female Kumcharangi will lay up to ten eggs in a clutch, staying to protect the nest until the eggs hatch. Kumcharangis do not develop their venom until they reach adulthood, making juvenile Kumcharangis very vulnerable to predators and poachers. Kumcharangis do not breed well in captivity so they have to be caught in the wild.
A newly hatched Kumcharangi is called a hatchling. A juvenile Kumcharangi is called a neonate. It takes two years for a Kumcharangi to reach adulthood. The collective noun for a group of Kumcharangi is a pit.
Habitat: The Kumcharangis live in small burrows in the loamy soil of the American southeast. They dislike cold weather and will become sluggish and some even hibernate in the winter months.
Biology: Adult Kumcharangis can grow up to ten feet long with a wingspan of six feet. Their glowing eyes are magical in nature as no evidence of bioluminescence has been found. An adult Kumcharangi sheds its skin about once a month, but growing neonates shed even more frequently than that.
Diet: The Kumcharangi is carnivorous and eats small- to medium-sized mammals. The favored prey of neonates are rats and mice, while adults can consume animals as large as young sheep or goats. They typically feed about once a month.
Magical Uses: Shed Kumcharangi skin has no magical purpose although it is decorative; fresh skin can be fashioned into charms and gris-gris. Their eyes can be used to make a potion that allows one to see in the dark. Their bones can be used as wands. Other parts of a Kumcharangi can be used for potions, charms, and talismans. Kumcharangi venom loses its toxicity soon after extraction and is not useful as a poison or potion ingredient. Some mages keep Kumcharangis as pets or familiars, in which case they tend to be de-venomed Kumcharangis can also be trained as guards as long as the training starts when they are still hatchlings or neonates. Seeing an albino Kumcharangi is considered a powerful omen that can be positive or negative depending on circumstance.
Defense: Kumcharangi are overall exceptionally resistant to damage with the exception of fire. Among the counter-attacks, only a powerful fire spell can deter a Kumcharangi from completing a gliding charge. Unfortunately, a poorly aimed spell cast in panic has more than once caused a conflagration that saved the Wizard from a venomous bite only to leave a burnt up corpse. Weak or middling fire spells will not have enough oomph to effectively combat a Kumcharangi. Since there is no anti-venom, those unlucky enough to be bitten by a Kumcharangi may be advised to amputate the affected limb to prevent subsequent infection with Aphotic Bane.
Annotations: (the book itself is copiously footnoted by Wyn Diego; while we cannot demonstrate the footnoted format here, we have added his commentary on this entry) It’s clear the the author has failed to account for the versatility of heat spells apart from fire creation when describing the defense to the Kumcharangi. It has been documented that a direct heat effect at a Kumcharangi’s open mouth during its signature wailing consistently causes the creature to abort its attack and flee. Likewise it’s also been shown that the glide attack of the Kumcharangi can be disrupted by spells that create a strong gust of wind; if it cannot approach you, it cannot bite you.
Of the three documented cases of an emergency field amputation after a Kumcharangi bite to prevent Aphotic Bane, none have ever succeeded in preventing the spread of infection, and may in fact have made things worse with the blood loss negatively impacting the body’s resistance to the venom. But hey, go ahead and try it if you're feeling lucky.
At $7,500 we will upgrade the paperback to a faux leather cover with gold foil embossing on the cover and spine. Interior illustrations and text remain black and white.
At $13,400, we will have all 35 illustrations inked in full color, and the book will be printed as a full-color edition for backers.
As if 35 creatures weren't enough, if we reach this amount we will add five additional creatures, complete with custom illustrations. They just keep getting stranger, quirkier, and scarier! At this level, the book will have 40 creatures total, each one 3-6 pages in the book. (Backers who pledged for the bonus creature will still get *yet another* secret creature).
MOAR is MOAR. Cube-shaped birds, insects that devour abstractions, chimerical beasts -- we will extend the book by another five creatures, making the book's page total ~200 pages. At this level the book will have 45 creatures total, each with its own full-body illustration. (Backers who pledged for the bonus creature will still get *yet another* secret creature).
Thanks for your support, and may the Duwende always guide you to the exit of whatever cave you are in.
We are a small start-up gaming and publishing company. Your pledges will help us take these creatures from abstract ideas to the tangible product. We could not do this without your support, so we are immensely grateful that you want to see our dream become real!
Money raised from this campaign goes to cover the design, printing, writing and illustration of the book.
Risks and challenges
We anticipate very little risk with the delivery of this product. The black and white illustrations are being completed, the text is nearly finalized, and vendors have been selected for the printing of the books. Our plan is to have them ready to use at the New World Magischola events in June and July 2016.
There are, of course, some risks in the delay of the product due to labor and transportation concerns, some of which are outside of the project team's control.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (21 days)