Welcome To Valcrest (FAQ)

Hello there, future readers, Blackbird here.

New year (for a while now actually), brand new blog! I think it’s time to explain what we intend to accomplish here.

I’ve been meaning to write an introduction to this blog for a while now, but haven’t actually gotten around to it and wasn’t quite sure how to go about it. I decided to do it as simply as possible and make a Frequently Asked Questions page. Despite the fact no one actually asked us anything.

1) What is Written In Shadows?

Written In Shadows is a blog (clearly) created with the express purpose of publishing stories based on a Roleplay series we have been collaborating for a few years now. Our end goal is to rewrite this roleplay series into a series of episodic novels to be released online (here and in some other places around the internets). Since we are still running the last RP of the series, however, for the moment this blog will be dedicated to a few side projects.

Aside from the stories themselves we also plan to make out of character posts discussing the world and characters of the series. We’ll also answer questions should there be any sent our way (we have a handy little contact form).

We plan to release the writing itself on several platforms, but this is going to be our official home base and where I personally will be hanging out the most while out of character. ^^

2) What is Valcrest and why are we being welcomed there?

Valcrest is the country where our stories take place; our setting. It’s only a small portion of a continent we’re working to expand on, but for now, it’s where most of the action will take place. It’s an interesting little place to be welcomed to; I guarantee that much.

3) Who are you people?

We are a group of writers who met through the aforementioned roleplay. After developing this world and this story together for such a long time we decided to start taking it a couple of baby steps beyond.

Any further introductions will be made in time. When I have the time, and when my fellow writers have the time, to sit and talk about ourselves.

4) Okay, but what are these stories even about?

The Shadows Series; as we’ve been calling it, takes place in a medieval-like world; Valcrest, and upon first glance, you have a very simple formula really; assassins, mercenaries, kings, knights, magic… The whole fantasy schtick.

Things begin in a rather straightforward story. A clan of assassins; the Wolfpack, is being targeted and framed by a man who has been hunting and murdering magic users across Valcrest. A large sum of gold is being offered to anyone who can reveal the location of their encampment, and they need all of that to stop.

The beauty of this series is that it started very simple; with a group of characters and a problem they need to solve, but… By the end of the first RP (or the first Arc, as I’ve been calling it now), it became very clear that the solution to that one problem has done a lot more harm than good. Not just for those characters, but to Valcrest as a whole. So instead of a simple victory party where all the plot threads are tied together neatly in a satisfying resolution, we were then left with an overwhelming sense of dread and the possibility of two more, increasingly complex, story arcs dealing with the aftermath of the Wolfpack’s initial problem-solving. And suddenly nothing is straightforward, or simple, anymore.

Six years later; here we are. 🙂

5) What are these side projects you mentioned?

We have two stories in the works. One; Shadows Rise, is being written by me and the other one, still unnamed at this point, is being worked on by Mr_Doomed.

Even though in Valcrest everything is connected, these two stories are independent of the main series. Doom’s story is set thousands of years in the past, and Shadows Rise begins around 30 years before the start of the main series.

I will make a post talking exclusively about Shadows Rise at some point soon before release, but for now, I’ll just say that I’m planning it to be a simplified version of what I want the Shadows Series to be. It will be much more focused on particular characters and their relationships, and not as heavy on world development as the main series is/will be, but hopefully, it’ll work as a good teaser for what’s to come in the actual main series.

I don’t know how Doom is planning his story, but Shadows Rise is going to be episodic. Episode 01 is going to be released in the next few months hopefully.

6)  Why don’t you just make it into a novel and sell it?

I was actually asked that one a couple of times by a couple of friends and family who feel we’re wasting an opportunity by not straight up selling this. Welp, here’s the thing guys; the RPs are public on the internet, free to read. And yes; they’re not wonderfully written by any means, but the story is there if you can overlook that. It doesn’t feel right, at least to me, to rework that and sell it. We could do that, sure. It is fair to charge for the work we’ll have to pour into reworking this series. We just decided that it’s not what feels right for this series.  So, no, we’re not going to sell this story straight up. We’re not going to ‘make a proper novel’ as some would say. The whole story is always going to be available to read here for free.

We are going to eventually start up a Patreon and yeah, we’re going to figure out proper rewards and milestones, things like that (I’ve been looking into how to do Patreon for a while now), but we’re never going to restrict access to the story to Patreon contributors. There will be extras involved; thank yous for contributing, but this isn’t going to be one of those cases where if you aren’t a Patreon you don’t get to fully experience things. Because, personally, I really don’t like that.

So there you go, guys! These are all the questions I can think of right now and hopefully it’s enough to explain our purpose here. If you’re curious about anything else, feel free to ask us questions in the comments.

And keep an eye for Shadows Rise. Coming soon to… Well, this blog. 🙂

B.B