The Citadel at Nordvorn: Layout and Cover

I’m working through The Citadel at Nordvorn looking at art spaces, layout, and flow. I’ve settled on a reasonable style for some things, like text boxes and I’ve got some art placeholders there. The campaign is at 89% funding, and could use a few more pledges to move it from “over 300 folks are watching and may come in at the end” to “definitely funded; how many stretch goals can we smash?” Also got a WIP update on the cover!

You’ll recognize some of these as pulls from Dean Spencer’s art catalog. While these are low-resolution pulls from his catalog right now, I love his work and will be making use of more of it.

However, it’s not all stock art, and doing layout at this stage gives me a chance to work bespoke art spaces into the book.

This one will probably be describing Klifrið, the summer festival where folks try to climb the steep and magically smooth walls of the gorge:

  •  Klifrið (July). When the weather is as warm as it gets in Norðlond, the citizens of Norðvörn celebrate Klifrið: The Climb. Each climber attempts to scale, without ropes or tools, as far up the gorge as they can manage. Whomever climbs the highest wins a substantial prize, taken from the $50 entry fee for each climber. Spectators place side-bets, factions sponsor climbers, make boasts and taunts, and generally work out a lot of frustration brought on by the heat. Rowing and boating contests and other water sports, including an upstream-swimming competition (the laxsund), take place in the river gorge as well. Spectators row themselves out on barges or rafts to watch the competitors.

Finally, this is the piece of art that inspired an entire section of this setting, the misbehaving Jarl Gunnulf Bjornöxl of Áinferill. Wow. Public displays of private behavior, while his daughter looks on disapprovingly. He’s done the unforgivable . . . no, not that. He’s left his weapons behind. That just won’t do, and is that a jealous paramour pulling a knife?

This is, for me, the fun part. Putting it all together as it starts to look less like a jumble of pieces and more like what’s going to be a real book.

Status

We’re doing really quite well. We have two full weeks left in the campaign, and the Dungeon Fantasy Monsters 2/Box Set Reprint Kickstarter ends just before mine does.

We’re already the second most successful Kickstarter I’ve run to date, and there’s enough “latent” interest –  people following the campaign who have not yet backed – to make it likely it will be the best one yet, from a total number of backers perspective.

In fact, it’s getting close enough where it’s starting to make significant financial sense to pull in that offset print run stretch goal. Somewhere around 550-600 print copies ordered, and the offset run is not just the best quality (sewn lay-flat binding! 100# matte paper!), but it’s the most affordable too.

And that would mean Citadel gets to sit on store shelves. Which you gotta admit would be spiffy.

Cover WIP

One last image. Rick Troula, who did the image of the jarl above, is hard at work on the cover. I’ve pestered him into revealing a work-in-progress image. It’s going to be pretty.

Rick wants to remind folks that he’s barely touched the characters and trolls: They are just base painted. And there’re a lot of atmospheric stuff to happen and better light and shadow all around. So other than the fact that this is a very low resolution image, it’s not done, and the like . . . this is where we’re headed.

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