Whadup, folks! Today’s Patreon post is the beginning of a long series on reworking the Ranger class in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. For as little as $1, you can follow along as I look over the base class’s features, tweaking them and their arrangements. Today is level 1.
I’m currently waiting on a few guest posts and thinking up some more topics to discuss, so I thought I’d take today to talk about The Demons Within and its kickstarter campaign.
The most obvious is that it is the third book in the Grimluk, Demon Hunter series. It also represents another personal milestone. My THIRD book…holy shit, I’ve done this three times (or will have by its release). And I keep getting better at it! It’s no secret that A Demon in the Desert was a bit of a mess. Debut effort, lacked proper editing, was learning my process as I went, etc. etc. I still turned out a respectable book that people have enjoyed, but I had some growing to do. Demon Haunted was a marked improvement, especially with Tim Marquitz’s editing notes and encouraging me to maintain POVs and not head-hop.
The Demons Within puts all of those lessons together. I keep my POVs tighter but still give them a little bit of breathing room. My process is more defined, which has allowed me to write better. I went in with a clear plan and went at it.
But, this is Orctober, so I should probably focus on the orcs, huh?
The Demons Within shows Grimluk, at least at the start, more in his natural element. He travels to a town with demon troubles and proceeds to take the thing down. Up until The Plot arrives, you get to see him interacting with folks in a more regular matter, talk about his people some, and even get a look into what his dreams are occasionally like as someone who deals with a never-ending parade of the eldritch, the abominable, and the demonic.
And then there’s Emerald. Emerald is a Companion. If you’re reading that like from Firefly, then yes, it’s a lot like that, except no weird cultural appropriation/fetishization, and more bawdy saloon girl. The Companions are, explicitly, sex workers, and viewed as an important part of society in Grimluk’s world. The town of Downingville is basically built around the saloon/hotel where Emerald and her peers operate. Emerald, again explicitly, says she loves sex, loves making people feel good, and loves her work. But she still has other interests, and even does other things besides sex. Companions can just as easily serve as escorts for fancy events, masseuses, or just a temporary friend.
I’m quite proud of Emerald. She didn’t become a sex worker due to trauma or anything of that nature. She just liked the idea of being a Companion and went after it. She’s clever, feisty, self-assured, and, being an orc, more than capable of taking care of herself. She also presents as a unique orc, which I would love to talk more about but would be kind of a character spoiler and I would really like to let people meet her properly in text.
There are only two other orcs in this book and one of them is a passing character. The other, though, is the Marshal of the Rangers we meet. His name is Bringar and he is…surly, to say the least. I will talk about the Rangers another time, but I can tell a little bit about Bringar, though there’s only a little to tell. He’s a tertiary character but one that affects one of the main characters heavily, considering he’s basically her boss. You could say that he’s a bit of a mirror to Grimluk. An orc whose line of work tends toward traveling and fighting. Bringar, though, has a chip on his shoulder. He’s got some issues, probably a lot of which come from being an orc and being a marshal. Grimluk warns him to avoid the big bad of the story and Bringar ends up paying for his hubris.
I hope that this piques your interest, if you haven’t backed already. I would very much like to get this book to you next year, properly edited and with cover art. It will set up a recurring villain and a few other bits and bobs of Grim’s world, as well as shed some light on some older things. If you love orcs, then love my son, for his big and good. You can pledge here.
On Friday, we’ll see James Jakins talking about the effects D&D had on writing Jack Bloodfist. Until then!
It’s time for some news!
First up, there’s a new Patreon post up on dealing with creating art and Spoon Theory. It’s a bit rambly, and I’ll probably post it here as well next week, but there ya go.
Next up is less of a news item and more of a reminder. I’m still running a fundraiser to get a new car and medical stuff taken care of. I took my van in to have it looked at recently and the official diagnosis is that it does indeed need transmission work. I took it to a transmission specialist and the guy told me that I had two choices. The first was have them work on it, where they’d take it apart, fix it up as best they could, and basically hope for the best. That’s the cheap option. The second choice is they send my transmission out to be refabricated and it gets parts replaced and remachined back to factory specs. He also noted that I should do that if I want to keep the car for the next 3 to 5 years. On top of that, my battery contacts are extremely corroded and probably need to be replaced. So, along with all the other repairs and maintenance it needs, I’m looking at somewhere between $4-5000. And that’s provided they don’t get in there and find anything else majorly wrong.
What does that mean for the fundraiser? I don’t know. I’m honestly leaning heavily towards something newer still. I’ve already had to put a new engine in this thing once already and we had no idea on the mileage of said engine. I’m not hopeful that sinking thousands of dollars into it will keep it going until I can afford an actual car payment. That said, either way, I still need to raise thousands of dollars for medical stuff as well, so I guess we’ll just see where I can get to. If you don’t feel like donating, then considering becoming one of my patrons or gifting my books to people you’d think would enjoy them. Or yourself if you haven’t already read them.
For the final set of news, it’s a bit of a twofer. I’ll be doing some site maintenance soon, reworking a few areas, revamping others, and generally trying to make things look and work better. On top of that, it’s time to finally share the title of Grimluk 3!
The Demons Within
A little info about it: It will be a new adventure, set towards the end of the year after the first two books. Gwen will not be making an appearance, but there will be a host of new characters. This time around, Grimluk will be facing something he’s never seen before. A…thing from outer space. We’ll also be introduced to a new villain who will be recurring through the series. I’m fairly happy with most of the first draft but I made a lot of notes to improve things in the second.
I’ll be running a Kickstarter for the book in October. There will be a few less reward tiers this year, as I’ll only be offering this book but, if I can get it figured out, one of the tiers should prove pretty interesting and it’ll be a limited thing. I’m also looking at quotes for a couple of stretch goals in the event that they’re needed. And unlike last year, I won’t be taking to Indiegogo should the campaign fail. Tim Marquitz was nice enough to HEAVILY discount my editing fees as a friendly favor which allowed me to make use of the flex fund campaign on Indiegogo so this time it’s either full funding or I try again a few months down the line.
That’s all for now. Take care of yourselves.
In the immediate, there’s a new post concerning some worldbuilding concepts for the Grimluk series over on Patreon today. Mostly it’s just a few things I thought were interesting enough to share but haven’t been used yet or are still forming. Check it out, only costs a buck to read everything.
As I mentioned in my healthcare post Monday, I started a fundraiser for medical costs and to help afford a new car. Between Nici and I, we need some heavy stuff taken care and I really need a newer car so I can have reliable transportation and not have to worry about major repairs for a few years. We are pretty desperate and anything you can afford will help. Along with the general state of the US, this is a pretty huge source of anxiety right now.
In more pleasant news, Grimluk 3 is chugging along, gaining momentum toward finishing the first draft. I’m nearing the 56,000 word mark as of last night. The final goal for release next year will be a 75,000 word minimum, like with Demon Haunted. The first draft goal is looking to be 65-70,000 as I know I’ll be able to fill out in the second draft. There’s plenty of stuff I’ll be rewriting and expanding as well as certain areas that I’ll just be flat out finishing (mostly just little transition sections and bits of dialogue that were bogging my progress down).
I’ll probably take a month off after that, aside from Patreon, take a week to bang out the Gwen short story I started after (and set after) Demon Haunted, get some Kickstarter planning for October, as well as some Orctober planning, and then start on Grimluk 4. If all goes to plan, and no major distractions happen, I’m hoping I can finish Grimluk 4’s draft by December.
Before I end this, just want to say that however bleak things are looking right now, find a loved one and hug them and remember that there’s still good in the world.
Stay weird, be kind.
Check this shit out. For this week only, me and several other authors who frequent r/Fantasy over on Reddit are having a sale where one of our books is a whopping 99 cents on Amazon. This applies to Kindle only, and we are having an AMA over on r/books today as well! The sale will end on Friday and then it’s back to normal prices. I don’t know everyone very well but they’ve all shown themselves to be pretty decent folks and readers have had plenty of nice things to say about their books.
Click the link for an easy, all in one place to check out each book and author. Give ’em a look, give ’em a read, and join this jolly crew of fantasy fools as we attempt to claw our way out of obscurity with only the barest inkling of the very concept of dignity.
Over on Patreon today, I’ve posted a snippet for Grimluk 3. So if you’re interested in a very early taste of Grimluk’s next adventure, head on over and slap down a buck. It’ll get you last week’s lore post, as well as all future content.
I totally forgot to post this out yesterday but I put up a Lore post on Patreon yesterday. If you’re interested in learning more about Grimluk’s world (and all the other goodies), then hop on over and toss $1 my way.