Before we get into the long-promised story behind the Drop (or as much of it as we're going to tell right now)... some great news!
Over the weekend the campaign went from about $50,000 to over $69,000 in support. This is of course an amazing jump, and we're incredibly grateful!
So first and most importantly — a huge welcome to all new backers! This will probably be the first update for many of you, so we hope that you'll also check out previous updates to read more about the game and its mechanics. Just look at the Kickstarter page (http://kck.st/XYC2QP) right near the top of the page for a list of the most important updates.
Secondly, we did a livestream over the weekend, which appeared on our www.delversdrop.com site and also on Justin.tv. We'll post this on YouTube soon for anyone that missed it, and we'll also try to do one more stream before the campaign ends!
Third, we received some great coverage over the weekend between Kotaku, Indie Game Mag, and a slick video preview on Northernlion's YouTube channel, as well as a few others. We hope you'll check them out!
And finally — we're getting really close to our goal of $75,000 (insert applause for our backers)! But we still have 8 days to go. So instead of basking in success, let's keep pushing forward to meet the goal soon and hit some of the Stretch Goals! Keep liking / tweeting / sharing all of the above articles, videos, and media, as well as telling anyone you can about the campaign!
Thanks again for your incredible support... and now to the story!
The World of the Drop
Surrounded by Murk Swamps stands the Cornus Spire — a fragmented spike of mountain, miles tall and isolated, into which were constructed the Wandering Halls, where the Delvers are imprisoned. At its center is the Drop - a hole that tunnels deep into and below the mountain’s core.
Your characters are a set of scoundrels, the remnants of old adventuring guilds. These miscreants make their livings in less than legitimate trades in the fortress city of Spirewatch. This trade town fosters shady dealings, having fallen into disrepair under the shadow of the towering castle its stone gates once led to - The Wandering Halls, secluded abode of the reclusive Gilt King. This castle hold wraps around and is carved into a massive single mountain called the Cornus Spire, a cloud-penetrating stone pinnacle thrust skyward out of vast Murk swamps below it. Only a few miles away from Spirewatch, the castle walls can be seen to shift mysteriously, its rooms and towers, walls and parapets folding and rearranging themselves, propelled by mechanisms deep within the Spire.
Living below this strange and impenetrable towering fortress, the ne’er-do-wells of Spirewatch ply their shady trades cautiously. For in spite of the chances for fortune, Spirewatch is frequently raided by the royal family’s gangs of guards — those adventurers unlucky enough to be (rightly or wrongly) apprehended for misdeeds are dragged off to be held within the Wandering Halls, never to be heard from again.
The prisoners are stuffed into a ricketty cages and hoisted on immense chains to the highest levels of the towering castle structure. Shackled in this freezing stratospheric prison known as The Chill, the adventurers wait in cells with others of their guild class.
For unknown reasons, the jailers will periodically release one prisoner, and order them down the Drop — an immense hole that tunnels deep into the mountain’s core — with the promise of loot, fortune, and freedom. At every level though the Drop is sealed, closing off ancient and abandoned levels of the castle’s shifting structure, and it can only be opened through exploration, puzzle solving, and battle.
Each Delver tries to go as far down as they can, descending toward ground level, hoping for escape from the dungeons surrounding the Drop. They also begin to find that some people are still living inside the castle structure: lost souls sealed off from the outside world, each with a story to tell. But few things are truly known about these dungeons. Does this hole lead to freedom, or just deeper under the earth? For the adventurous Delvers, either option beats rotting in a frigid jail cell. And every time a Delver dies in their escape attempt, the jailers release another.
What each Delver doesn’t know is that every predecessor who failed to find freedom returns as a skeletal version of their former selves — the Undelver wight. They bear the weapons and some previously equipped items and are very agile, making them incredibly dangerous. But defeat an Undelver, and you may just pry your previous weapons from their now fully dead skeletal hands!
Since no Delvers survive for long, it’s never been discovered how or why the Undelvers return to life. But it seems these wights may be connected to the magically sealed tombs that enclose the living spirits of Princes and Princesses — the Gilt King’s royal children. Hidden away in the recesses of the castle, a Delver will occasionally stumble upon these sepulchral doors. But if they find their way in, they may have to grant the royal child’s request... or escape like the scoundrels they are.
But the dungeon seems to have a mind of its own, twisting and changing for every new adventurer. And at the end of each zone, the ancient core of the dungeon blocks the Delvers’ passage with a Chamber Guardian. Manifestations of the living dungeon core, they are room-sized beings animated by magic and ancient mechanisms. These bosses cannot truly be defeated, only temporarily deactivated to allow passage... so even if one Delver succeeds, another may have to brave the Guardian Chamber once more.
And there is only one way to improve one’s chances at surviving the Drop - to find and consume what the jailers call a Stranger’s Heart. A severed heart floating above a pristine pillar, these items are found in rooms brimming with traps designed to eradicate those who attempt to penetrate them. The allure is that a Stranger’s Heart increases a Delver’s life, but at severe risk... the curses that weave through the Drop will make the Delver’s pay tenfold for their theft. And even after extending one’s life, the question remains — who is the Stranger?
And what is the purpose behind the Drop?
That's it for now! We want to avoid spoiling anything, so you'll just have to wait for the game to come out if you want to learn more. We'll be putting out more updates later in the week, so stay tuned. Thanks for reading!