(a hi-res version of the video can be viewed here)
Hi, I'm Justin Stebbins. For the past ten plus years, my sister Maegan and I have been working together on a dark fantasy world called Wulfgard, and the stories of the characters who live there. It has been our main passion and a great source of enjoyment for us since at least 2005, when we started laying the groundwork. The purpose of this Kickstarter project is to help us self-publish the first printing of our comic (most of which can be read online here) and novel, and to help spread the word about Wulfgard! The funds raised will go straight into publication and associated costs. Backers can take this opportunity to get unique rewards, like signed copies, an eBook of short stories, a bookmark, a limited edition comic cover, an original drawing, or even a cameo appearance for their own Wulfgard character in the comic! And of course, our sincere gratitude for helping us make this possible.
Wulfgard is a dark fantasy world much like our own world in ages past, but one in which all myths are true. Most of the mortal realm is ruled by great empires, where citizens lead normal lives, protected by armies and well-trained military orders, so that tales of magic and monsters seem like little more than stories to them. Most people are far more concerned with their own affairs: the struggles of poor folk to survive as noble families and other groups vie for power. But beyond their borders, and sometimes hidden within, more mysterious dangers lie waiting: creatures of myth, folklore, and fairy tale, wielding great strength and often dark magic. It is a world with its own rich history, inhabited by monsters of half-man, half-beast nature who were once part of a proud ancient people, cast down and cursed long ago by the young gods of mankind. The greatest of these were the wolf-shifters, whose gift is now the curse known as lycanthropy - werewolves. They had a name for the world in its golden age, which none now remember. They called it Wulfgard.
About the Comic
The comic, currently titled Wulfgard: Into the North - Volume 1, is a "graphic novel" written and drawn by me, with help from Maegan on some story elements, proofreading, and coloring. I have been publishing pages for it online as a webcomic since 2010, in my spare time. With your help, I will be able to devote the time and effort needed to finish the comic and add a new level of polish to the pages that need it. Volume 1 will contain the first four chapters, with better artwork and extra pages to further flesh out the story from what can be seen on my website. It will be perfect bound and printed in full color on every page.
Into the North tells four concurrent stories:
In Northrim, a mysterious man stumbles down out of the impassable mountain range called the Jagged Edge, finally returning home after a year of wandering the world, only to find his home very different than he remembers. And someone - or something - seems to be hunting him.
Meanwhile, an orphan girl struggling to survive in the Imperial capital city chooses the wrong building to burglarize, and stumbles upon a dark conspiracy involving an exiled noble lord, his pet demoness, and a cult of assassins. Against her will, she finds herself caught up in their hunt for nine legendary artifacts.
In Rimegard, the northernmost city of the Empire, the Princess Adrianya wishes to help her family defend their home from the threats it faces on all sides. But she must remain in hiding due to her unique condition: she was born with two differently colored eyes - a sign of witchcraft, according to the wrathful Imperial Inquisition.
The fourth story takes place far from the others, under the earth in the realm of Nidavellir, where the people known as the dvergar - the dwarves - fight an ancient war in the darkness. An unlikely trio - a noble blacksmith, his beetle-riding wife, and a murderous berserker - find themselves on a path that will lead them far from home.
Into the North introduces all of these storylines, which are soon destined to intertwine... and will do so as the comic is continued!
About the Novel
Currently entitled Wulfgard: Knightfall, the novel is written by Maegan, and edited and illustrated by me. It will be printed in paperback form, somewhere from 300-400 pages long, with illustrations about every chapter or so.
Wulfgard: Knightfall tells the story of Sir Tom Drake, a knight of the Imperial frontier city of Illikon. Together with his close friends and fellow soldiers, he wants only to protect his city and its people from any who would threaten them. But the Empire to which they swear loyalty is always seeking out new conflicts that put his city in danger. When Sir Scaevius, Left Hand of the Emperor, arrives in Illikon to recruit Sir Drake to help fight the massing barbarian alliance to the North, Drake has no choice but to obey. But he does not obey without protest, and soon he finds himself fighting not only the barbarians, but his own superiors as well. Meanwhile, strange things begin happening to him. He suffers blackouts, and at night he is plagued by strange and terrifying nightmares. Even worse, he finds himself being stalked by terrifying monsters: werewolves. Hated by his superiors, hunted by monsters and assassins, Sir Tom Drake must fight for his home, his life, and even his mind. The events that are about to unfold will change his life, and the world, forever.
About the Creators
Justin (28 years old), Maegan (21), and Ryan (24) Stebbins are three siblings from Virginia, who all attended college at Virginia Tech. Maegan is still working toward her degree in English Literature, Justin has a bachelor's degree in History, and Ryan in English and Theatre. Justin has self-published two sci-fi novels in the past, and he and Maegan have been working on Wulfgard together since at least 2005.
Justin is the writer and artist for the comic, Wulfgard: Into the North. Maegan is the author of the novel, Wulfgard: Knightfall, with Justin as editor and illustrator. Ryan composed the music for the video above, and has contributed to Wulfgard in other ways as well.
About the Rewards and Add-Ons
Here's a handy image guide to the different reward tiers available to backers:
Note that some reward items shown here are not listed in the rewards on the side of this page, but they WILL be included! These are the new
About Each Reward:
Forum Badge - If you're a member of SSLF (the Saber-Scorpion's Lair Forums), you are entitled to a special forum badge to show you backed our Kickstarter project! You'll also get Nova Membership (if you don't already have it), with access to an exclusive board where previews are sometimes posted, and possibly other privileges we haven't decided yet.
Tales of Wulfgard, Vol. 1 (eBook of short stories) - This eBook will combine the short stories already available on the website with 2-3 new short stories written by Maegan and myself. These stories flesh out the backgrounds of important characters and provide new perspectives on the world of Wulfgard.
Bookmark - It's a bookmark. It will have Tom Drake on it from the cover of the novel, with the Wulfgard emblem at the top.
Limited Edition Comic - A limited number of comics (probably 100, but possibly more if we get enough backers) will be printed with the unique and stylish limited edition cover art. The art itself has yet to be finalized, but will be revealed in an update later. The current plan is to show the Wanderer walking through a snowstorm as a werewolf stalks him - a more minimalist design than the rather crowded standard cover. Each limited edition will be signed and numbered by me.
NEW! Wulfgard Guidebook - A paperback handbook to the world of Wulfgard! It contains details about important people, places, factions, creatures, history, and more - with black-and-white illustrations of most of them. Consult it when you need your lore fix.
(add-on price: $12 - may increase if $7,000 stretch goal is met)*
NEW! Custom Minifig - A LEGO minifigure customized to look like a Wulfgard character using stickers, paint, and accessories! Backers get to choose a minifig from several options, including Tom Drake and Whisper (seen above), a Venator, an Inquisitor, and more! Keep an eye on the updates - new figures will be posted as they are designed. Each minifig also includes a stand with a "Wulfgard Kickstarter Backer" sticker.
(add-on price: $24)*
NEW! Playing Card Deck - A regular 54-card deck (52 plus 2 jokers) of poker-sized playing cards, with a Wulfgard logo design on the back and art of a different Wulfgard character on the front of each card. All backers at Level 6.5 ($75) or more will get a deck! It's also available as an add-on.
(add-on price: $12)
Special Thanks Credit - Every copy of this edition of Wulfgard: Into the North will contain a special thanks page listing everyone who backed the Kickstarter project at level 7 or above. I may also include small "portrait" icons beside the names of level 9 backers, showing their characters as they appear in the comic. I haven't decided for certain yet.
Original Wulfgard Drawing - I will draw a detailed sketch of a single character by your request. I can draw a character from the book or comic, a generic character from a particular race or faction, or an original character of your creation if you prefer. I haven't yet decided if they will be drawn in pencil or digitally, or if I will let backers choose which.
(add-on price: $50)*
Your Character Appears in the Comic - You and I will work together to come up with a character who fits into the comic, so they can make a cameo appearance! Your character will either be inserted onto an existing page or make an appearance in a new one. They may only appear in as little as a single frame, but I will make sure they are prominently visible. I might also put a "portrait" of your character next to your name on the special thanks credits page.
Want to customize your reward level a bit? Maybe you want a particular goody, like the guidebook or minifig, without increasing your pledge level too much? Well, a few items are available as add-ons! Just increase your pledge by the add-on price, without changing your reward level, and we will ask you which add-ons you paid for once the Kickstarter has ended. Only backers at Level 4 ($30) or above may order add-ons. Here are the available add-ons:
- Guidebook: $12 - price may increase if $7,000 stretch goal is met (this reward is already included at Level 6 and above)
- Custom Minifig: $24 (already included at Level 6.5 and above)
- Character Drawing: $50 (already included at Level 8 and above)
- Playing Card Deck: $12 (already included at level 6.5 and above)
$4,200 - Custom Minifigs - ACHIEVED! - see rewards section for details
$4,400 - Comic Book Prologue - ACHIEVED! - A short chapter (probably around 6-8 pages) will be added at the beginning of the Wulfgard: Into the North comic book! This prologue will be EXCLUSIVE to this version of the comic and will NOT be posted on the website. It will provide a glimpse into the Wanderer's recent past and Lord Plutarch's motivations...
$4,600 - A Handbook to Wulfgard - ACHIEVED! - see rewards section for details
$5,000 - Playing Card Deck - ACHIEVED! - see rewards section for details
$6,000 - More Wulfgard Music - Did you like the music Ryan made for the introductory video? For every $100 we receive between $5,000 to $6,000 levels of funding, he will create one track of Wulfgard music - themes for major characters and factions, and other music inspired by the world and stories!
$7,000 - Wulfgard: A Complete Illustrated Guide - If we reach this goal, we'll expand the handbook into a larger Illustrated Guide to Wulfgard, with big, colored artwork on every page! It may also contain some pure art pages and a section with commentary by the two of us on the story behind the creation of Wulfgard. Again, all backers Level 6 and above will get a physical copy.
Follow Wulfgard and Spread the Word
You can keep up with updates here on Kickstarter by contributing at least a dollar, and/or you can follow us at any of these places:
Wulfgard Website News Blog: http://forums.saber-scorpion.com/index.php?app=blog&module=display§ion=blog&blogid=23
And whether you can contribute to the Kickstarter campaign or not, we still appreciate any shares, retweets, reblogs, or old fashioned word-of-mouth mentions you can provide! Please tell anyone you think might be interested to help spread the word! Thanks!
Note: LEGO® and the Minifigure are trademarks of the LEGO Group of companies which does not sponsor, authorize or endorse this project.
Risks and challenges
Barring unforeseen accidents or delays, there are few risks involved, since Maegan and I have all but finished both of these works. We only have some finishing touches and the last few pages of the comic left to go. I have self-published books before and shipped them all over the world, so I know pretty well what to expect when handling the fulfillment. We've come too far to be stopped now!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (49 days)