Wings of Darkness: Wizards, Demons, and Skyships!
  • Wings of Darkness: Wizards, Demons, and Skyships!


    Bruce "Voyage of the Prince Ark" Heard's latest Kickstarter is a gazetteer about a "realm of wizards and demons". Set in his world of Calidar, its a system-neutral setting supplement framed around the voyage of the skyship Star Phoenix. Bruce has kindly sent along a full page "preview" of the book, which is called Wings of Darkness!




    The book weighs in at 132-pages, and comes in both softcover ($30) and hardcover ($55) variants, as well as PDF format. You can also get 12"x18" player and GM maps (more maps at higher pledge levels).

    So, what is it, exactly. I'll let Bruce Heard describe it -- "Remember the Voyage of the Princess Ark episodes from Dragon Magazine? Along the same general idea, "On Wings of Darkness" blends a new skyship episode in a 132 pg. geographic Gazetteer packed with info about a realm of wizards and demons." While it's standalone, ownership of Heard's In Stranger Skies is recommended.

    Within these pages, you'll see some short fiction, chapters on geography and politics, NPCs and creatures (it says with stats, tough the book is system-neutral), and information on the magocracy, cabals, and more. Finally, there's details on the Sky City of Arcanial.
    Comments 19 Comments
    1. TerraDave's Avatar
      TerraDave -
      This is clearly his update of Glantri, the wizard ruled principalities from the D&D known world/Mystara where Castle Amber was set.

      If you don't know the original Princess Ark series, it was one of the best things in Dragon Magazine at that time.
    1. Rhineglade's Avatar
      Rhineglade -
      Canada! Oh, Canada!
    1. Bruce Heard's Avatar
      Bruce Heard -
      Quote Originally Posted by TerraDave View Post
      This is clearly his update of Glantri, the wizard ruled principalities from the D&D known world/Mystara where Castle Amber was set.

      If you don't know the original Princess Ark series, it was one of the best things in Dragon Magazine at that time.
      There are analogies with Mystara's Principalities of Glantri of the 80s. It would be, however, incorrect to assume this is a rehash of the original gazetteer. Other than both being magiocracies, it is quite different in fact. The dynamics are totally unlike, as for example there is a wizardly aristocracy competing against plebeian sorcerers and spellcasters of all sorts... The historical backgrounds between the two are completely different of course. Still very close is (unavoidably and quite deliberately on my part) the same writing style. Despite the grim and sinister realities of a place rife with conspiracies, rivalries, demons, and undead, an unsinkable irony still transpires through the overall darkness. The Calidar series takes the original magazine format of the Princess Ark adventures, and projects it into a book-sized, gazetteer format.
    1. Sadras's Avatar
      Sadras -
      I backed the first two (excellent), missed the third, will definitely back this and hopefully pick up the third book if still available.
    1. Bruce Heard's Avatar
      Bruce Heard -
      Quote Originally Posted by Sadras View Post
      I backed the first two (excellent), missed the third, will definitely back this and hopefully pick up the third book if still available.
      Heya, Sadras. You can get your hands on the missing material as part of add-ons on the present kickstarter. Thanks for backing the first two. I'm glad you enjoyed them. I'm pretty sure you'll have a blast with this last one.
    1. Ath-kethin's Avatar
      Ath-kethin -
      Quote Originally Posted by TerraDave View Post
      .
      If you don't know the original Princess Ark series, it was one of the best things in Dragon Magazine at that time.
      More like "best things in Dragon Magazine ever." Entertaining stories, new game rules and content, contexts, and situations, all in one. You couldn't beat it and you still can't.

      I missed the first Calidar installment, picked it up as an add-on when I backed the second, and I've been an immediate backer for every one since. They have yet to disappoint in any way.
    1. TerraDave's Avatar
      TerraDave -
      Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Heard View Post
      There are analogies with Mystara's Principalities of Glantri of the 80s. It would be, however, incorrect to assume this is a rehash of the original gazetteer. ..
      A quick response from the creator himself! I would never assume a mere "rehash", I am sure it is great.
    1. Bruce Heard's Avatar
      Bruce Heard -
      Quote Originally Posted by TerraDave View Post
      A quick response from the creator himself! I would never assume a mere "rehash", I am sure it is great.
      No problem, Dave! Although it would be an interesting project (transplanting Glantri into another world in all its 1980s goofiness), I think readers would crucify me if I did. I would crucify myself rather than experience a game designer's groundhog day! LOL. I had a lot more fun weaving different stuff of course. Some general concepts common to both magiocracies existed at the onset of the project, but "On Wings of Darkness" moved into different directions as I developed the setting.

      And it's always a pleasure to chat with someone familiar with my old projects at TSR.
    1. Bruce Heard's Avatar
      Bruce Heard -
      Name: Future Plans.png ► Views: 334 ► Size: 339.3 KB

      The very next project following CA2 "On Wings of Darkness" will aim to produce kits translating system-neutral stats and general game concepts defining the World of Calidar for the D&D Game's 5th Edition and perhaps earlier versions (subject to copyrights limitations and OGL permissions). The present idea is to provide game stats indexed chronologically by page and sorted by topic (NPCs, Monsters, etc.) The intention is to make free PDFs and low-cost booklets. Stay tuned.

      Meanwhile, we're approaching the 4th Stretch Goal. Thank you everyone who chipped in. This will bring CA2 "Adventures in Caldwen," the supplement associated with your core reward up to 40 pages. Everyone benefits.


      Talk to your friends about this project, and make it a great weekend!
    1. Morfiedev's Avatar
      Morfiedev -
      Quote Originally Posted by TerraDave View Post
      This is clearly his update of Glantri, the wizard ruled principalities from the D&D known world/Mystara where Castle Amber was set.

      If you don't know the original Princess Ark series, it was one of the best things in Dragon Magazine at that time.

      But now with Demons and Necromancers!
    1. Zaukrie's Avatar
      Zaukrie -
      Every one of these kickstarters has been worth it. You should back these.

      Interestingly, I am trying to write novels (well, interesting to me so far), and one of them starts in a Glantri like city, but that sounds more like what this does......well, it is like Glantri in that there are a lot of wizards and others there that think spellcasters are the elite, and everyone else is for their use....
    1. Yaztromo's Avatar
      Yaztromo -
      Quote Originally Posted by Zaukrie View Post
      You should back these.
      Done!
    1. Bruce Heard's Avatar
      Bruce Heard -
      How about this? An extra stretch goal for "Wings of Darkness."
      Thank you all for pitching in!


    1. Elf_flambe's Avatar
      Elf_flambe -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ath-kethin View Post
      I missed the first Calidar installment, picked it up as an add-on when I backed the second, and I've been an immediate backer for every one since. They have yet to disappoint in any way.
      Exactly my path to the Calidar Kickstarters. The books are packed with flavorful and useful information, and the maps are beautiful! I really like the world that Bruce is building here.
    1. Yaztromo's Avatar
      Yaztromo -
      Sixth stretch goal achieved!
    1. Bruce Heard's Avatar
      Bruce Heard -
      *CLICK HERE before Oct 31 6:00 pm*


      #Calidar's Stretch Goal #10 was reached last night while many of you were out partying for Halloween. That wasn't so scary. So, "Adventures in Caldwen" has reached its top page count, now at 64, on top of the core sourcebook's 132 and up to 7 fold-up maps. This leaves just one ultimate Stretch Goal, which will unlock the Players' Guide to Caldwen. Will we reach it? The next three days or so will tell. Please pass the word! Of all Calidar Kickstarters, this is probably the most rewarding one. Thank you all for this.

    1. TerraDave's Avatar
      TerraDave -
      Just a few hours left.
    1. Bruce Heard's Avatar
      Bruce Heard -
      For the pledge of one book, up to 4 are available, including the core sourcebook reward, the adventure book, the players' guide, and the game mechanics overview, plus up to 7 fold-up maps. I think that pretty much covers the magiocracy! Best #Calidar Kickstarter... ever.
    1. Yaztromo's Avatar
      Yaztromo -
      Congratulations for the outcome of this campaign!
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