We're halfway through the Maelstrom's Edge Kickstarter and things are going well - nearly twice our initial target already! We're hoping that over the next three weeks we can raise a bit more to reach some stretch goals and add better value to the boxset - the free terrain sprue at £45k and the new base sprue for the Hunter and Spider robots at £60k would be awesome. Every bit we raise is going back into the project to invest in the next set of models, not just for the Epirians and Karists but also for the three more factions in development.
As part of the Kickstarter updates, we've been releasing short stories set in the Maelstrom's Edge universe, by me and my fellow Lead Writer Stephen Gaskell. As well as an audiobook of Stephen's story 'Transit', there have been three of my short story released so far.
In the most recent update, we see how the Scarecrow patrol bot for the Epirian Foundation defends its territory from intruders. When a naive young Karist priest decides a rural farm is an ideal location to steal resources, he doesn't plan for the Scarecrow keeping watch over the buildings. This is one of the first stories we wrote when designing the universe, and it's a nice short intro to our new unit. The Scarecrow is amazingly poseable with every limb having complete freedom and I'm very excited to get my hands on the sprue!
A few days ago we shared another story showcasing an Epirian robot, in this case the heavier-duty Hunter warmech. Hunters are specifically designed for combat, unlike the smaller robots in the box set, which are adapted for battle from civilian designs (the Scarecrow was originally a crop duster, for example). This short story was written during the Kickstarter itself, and takes place during events of the second novel, Maelstrom's Edge: Sacrifice, where the Karist Enclave has launched a full-scale offensive on the city of Pike's Basin. A Epirian Handler has left his bots on patrol whilst he sneaks off to be with his girl, and is left to rely on two Hunters to save the train depot he's supposed to be protecting. Canny readers will spot that this story explains why the characters in the novels later use the trains to get where they need to go!
The Shipyard was another early story I wrote at the beginning of the project, showcasing the way an Epirian Handler interacts with her bots, as well as teasing a few details of the Broken, one of our future factions. Like the Scarecrow, The Shipyard is set after the events of the novels, when conflict between the factions has erupted into the open. We're looking forward to exploring this timeline more as things progress.
There'll be more stories to come over the course of the Maelstrom's Edge Kickstarter! Hope you enjoy reading them!