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Found 12 results

  1. So, I thought it would be interesting if there was a topic-majig about what possibly, (besides what Sanderson has already revealed), could be in the swag boxes. I'll start. Random ideas: Cytoverse swag box- DDF patch Hoid swag box - a flute, with an unknown backstory Mistborn swag box - A mistcloak and obsidian daggers Elantris/emperors soul swag box - randomized hoed mantra or soulstamp Cosmere swag box - A sack full of investiture! Yay! Warbreaker swag box - Vasher plushie! Stormlight Archive swag box - A sack of infused spheres Sanderfan swag box - Official medical diagnosis of Brandofandonitis
  2. My theory: Taldain maybe? The "Waves" could be sand? The colour scheme doesn't fit though. It could also be a new world, as Brandon did mention that. Random non-Cosmere book. I saw some theories about the two characters as Siri and Susebron. I also saw one about Nazh and Khriss. I like these ideas, and I agree with them. There is a line in one of the letter from Frost to Hoid On the cover of book 4 is a gemstone like thing. It could be a fabrial... Or we could have a Hoid POV book!
  3. I, and I suspect many others, have never bought one of the leatherbounds before and while I made pledge for the Way of Kings Kickstarter I am unsure whether or not I should go through with it. I am not sure if the cost will be worth the amount of value I will get out of them. So I have made this poll to give myself and anyone else who is considering buying these leatherbounds or any others an idea of what sort of value and usage to expect to get out of owning one of the leatherbounds. Hopefully this will help me and anyone else who has the same thoughts I am having come to a decision. So if you are the owner of a leatherbound please select the option in the poll that best describes how you use your leatherbounds. Thank you! (Of course, if you do not own one of the leatherbounds please don't vote in the poll. That would defeat the purpose)
  4. Update: Brandon posted a sneak peak of the Kickstarter with some more details and some more tiers for shipping considerations. Our original story is below. Tonight on Brandon's livestream, we finally got some specific details on the hotly anticipated Kickstarter for The Way of Kings leatherbound edition, which will run July 7th (at 9am Mountain Daylight Time) through August 7th this year. For those who haven't heard of this already, Dragonsteel Entertainment has been producing leatherbound editions of Brandon's books ten years after their original publishing date. This year is The Way of Kings, which will be done in two volumes and unlike other leatherbounds will be sold initially via a Kickstarter campaign. We have a breakdown of all the tiers and stretch goals right here so you can see what books and swag you can pick up. Also, for the next 48 hours (until ~9:00 PM MDT on June 20) email [email protected] with the word poster in the subject line for a chance to win a free version of the Bridge 4 poster. The first announcement is that on July 7th Dragonsteel will be releasing a cleaned-up ebook version of The Way of Kings Prime, Brandon's original take on The Way of Kings written just before he started work on the first Mistborn book. This book is very different from The Way of Kings and represents an early look at an unfinished Roshar that may be interesting for super fans or people interested in Brandon's writing over the years. Tier List: Tier One - $10 This tier is centered around all digital rewards. Backing the Kickstarter for $10 will net you an original novella set before Rhythm of War. Brandon has written a few scenes for this, and it has tentatively been titled Wandersail and will tell a story of Rysn and Aimia. This is similar to the Lift novella Edgedancer in that it will likely be somewhat important but not required reading to follow the main arc of the story. It will also contain a digital art pack containing wallpapers of the previously revealed Bridge 4 Poster (1920x1080) and wallpapers of any other art that is unlocked from the other stretch goals. Note that this tier does not contain any physical rewards, even from stretch goals. Tier Two - $50 This is the physical novella tier. For backing this tier, you will receive everything from Tier 1 as well as an unsigned physical version of the novella and a physical copy of the Bridge 4 poster (which will not be folded up due to popular demand). This printed novella will match the dimensions of the small standalone Edgedancer that has been released already. Additionally various stretch goals will unlock goodies associated with the various orders. You can choose one of the ten and if stretch goals unlock you will receive small items themed after that order. You will also receive any other physical stretch goals that are unlocked (pins, coins, etc). Tier Three - $200 This is the main product, with this comes the signed (but not numbered) leatherbound edition of the book, bound in two volumes in the same bonded leather as the other leatherbounds Dragonsteel has produced (only the first of the two volumes will be signed).The leather color of the books will likely be this consistent shade of blue throughout all of the Stormlight leatherbounds, with the foil sword glyphs changing for the respective orders. This also comes with all of the rewards from the previous tiers, except for the physical and ebook editions of Wandersail (which will be available separately as an add on for ~$15). Tier Four - $500 (limited to 950 backers) This is the all-in tier. This tier gives you everything from tier three, along with an unsigned physical and digital copy of Wandersail. In this case though the leatherbound version of The Way of Kings will be both signed and numbered. It will also net you an unsigned physical copy of The Way of Kings Prime (which may eventually see other companion Prime books in future Kickstarters such as White Sand Prime that they're tentatively calling Sanderson Curiosities). Additionally instead of receiving the goodies from only one order of Radiants, you will receive them from all ten. As mentioned above, there are only 950 of these backer spots available, so if this is something you're interested in, keep an eye on it. Stretch Goals These stretch goals unlock after Kickstarter is fully funded. As people continue to sign up for it, we will hit various funding checkpoints that will unlock additional rewards at no extra cost. We don't know what the funding goal for the Kickstarter or the tiers are yet, but here are the rewards! Stretch Goal 1: A 6 x 9 sticker sheet themed after your chosen order. Will have stickers such as glyphs or little chibi versions of characters such as Kaladin, Wit, and Jasnah. Stretch Goal 2: Upgrade to the leather of the leatherbound to genuine Italian leather. They are uncertain whether they will be able to offer these in the store post-Kickstarter, so this may be the only place that these exist. Stretch Goal 3: A patch that matches your chosen order. Stretch Goal 4: Custom cloth-bound slipcase for The Way of Kings leatherbound. These only go out to the tiers that backed at 3 or 4. This is another item that may not be available in the store after the Kickstarter. Stretch Goal 5: A physical art print for your chosen order (9" x 12") showing the Radiants of that order in action. The art for these is by Steve Agyle and they should also appear in the digital art pack. Stretch Goal 6: A Kickstarter-exclusive hard enamel backer pin (1.4" x 2") displaying the original version of the Double Eye of the Almighty. Stretch Goal 7: A pin with a glyph that matches your chosen order of Knights Radiant (1" diameter). These will differ from the reward pins Brandon gives out for cosplay and may be embossed or inscribed with the glyph. Stretch Goal 8: A deck of Stormlight-themed playing cards with art designed by Rebecca Sorge Jensen. Stretch Goal 9: Knight-Radiant themed challenge coins (1.5") that will show the glyph of your chosen order of Radiants and a generalized motto on one side and their First Ideal on the other side along with the associated Herald icon from the Stormlight chapter headers. Stretch Goal 10: A Wit or Witless challenge coin which has Wit's chapter icon on one side and a witty saying inscribed along the edges. Miscellania There are of course a bunch of other details related to the Kickstarter as well. It seems like they are trying to do their best to let people mix and match what they get with add-ons as much as is feasible. You'll be able to get an add-on for another full set of Knight Radiant goodies (the exact contents will vary based on the stretch goals that are unlocked). You will also likely be able to order all of a certain item, like a set of all the Radiant patches from every order. You are unlikely to be able to add-on, for example, just a single patch from one order or just a few of the coins, these will be all or nothing. There will also be or both versions of Wandersail or the physical TWoK Prime available. All stretch goals should be available to be purchased as add-ons, such as Radiant order goodies or the poster, or the card decks.They may also offer a way to buy just the leatherbound alone. Another likely possibility is a $1 tier for people to back so they can just buy add-ons they are interested in and not go for any tier. This is obviously a ton of really exciting preliminary news, and you can expect a full blog post with the finalized details on Brandon's site before too long. I for one am so excited to have all of this new content to carry us through the summer! Leave your thoughts on the Kickstarter and what goodies you want to get down below!
  5. News time! The UK cover for Rhythm of War, the fourth Stormlight Archive book, has been revealed. What do you think of it? I'm told by Ben (a fan of the UK covers) that generally UK covers don't depict any particular scene but more are trying to convey an idea. I'm not sure how much analysis we can get out of this one. What are your thoughts on the cover? Brandon also linked to Waterstones's page on Rhythm of War, which explained how you can preorder a signed copy of the book. Neat! In other news, JordanCon is all online this year for obvious reasons, but that doesn't mean there's nothing going on. JordanCon is doing a few livestreams, and one in particular is happening tomorrow, April 17th, with Dragonsteel's Isaac and Kara. They are going to discuss the Kickstarter for The Way of Kings leatherbound and goodies within it. It will happen from 3pm-4pm Eastern time. (EDIT: there used to be a Zoom link for this but it appears the link was removed. I'm told there will be a livestream on YouTube.) Isaac is also going to be on, the Spanish cosmere fansite, this Saturday. We don't have a lot of details quite yet as that's a very new announcement, but you can check information on their Instagram. Lastly, we did a big overhaul on our 17th Shard rules, including a new, extensive Code of Conduct and more. Check it out! Here's the full cover art:
  6. Hey guys! I'm excited to announce that a while ago I was asked to help create stories in a Sci-Fi universe one of my good friends created. While I only have one very short story in this volume, I've got a novella length piece that will be published in volume two along with another small character piece he asked me to do. So what is '10,000 Dawns?' Set in our solar system in the far future, the original novel written by James Wylder is about a universe that has been subjegated under the oppressive rule of crony capitalism taken to its most pernicious extreme. The Centro Corporation is both the only business in existence, as well as the government, inside and out. It is ruled by a shadowy cabal known only as the Board of Directors. '10,000 Dawns' explores this universe late in its history as one of those directors invents a technology that can breach into other universes, and needless to say, hijinks ensue. While I haven't checked the ranking lately, during an aggressive marketing campaign James was able to push the novel that started this universe, '10,000 Dawns' to the number one spot in time travel books. You can also read it for free online at his website, or get it as part of a bundle with this Kickstarter. Poor Man's Illiad, the anthology being kick-started now, explores the history of the universe leading up to the revolution against Centro Systems by the colonies that have settled on Mars. This unique history is what drew me to the universe in the first place, and I was happy to explore it with this team of talented local writers. With the interwoven tapestry of voices writing these events, each with their own take, any Sci-Fi enthusiast is sure to find at least one story they enjoy in this huge anthology, which had to be split into two volumes due to the sheer amount of material submitted. If you have any interest, I highly encourage you guys to go check out his Kickstarter page for more information to see if this is right for you. There's more information available about the project there, and if you have any questions feel free to ask me on here if you don't want to go through Kickstarter, and I'll be happy to get in touch with James if I don't have the answer. Without any further pomp or circumstance, here's the link to the Kickstarter. Come check us out!
  7. Hey everyone, I just want to let you all know that the kickstarter for the Reckoners board game from Nauvoo Games launched today. As of the writing of this post they are at $42,000 USD,which is 60% of their $70,000 USD goal in just 4 hours! The kickstarter page does a phenomenal job of explaining how the game is played through a fantastic video (narrated by MacLeod Andrews, who did the Reckoners audiobooks) and a number of clear and concise animated graphics. The artwork and aesthetics are, in my opinion, are perfectly matched to the setting and the characters. I truly cannot wait until I can play this game, even if the buy-in is a little steep (the lowest pledge level that includes the game is at $69 USD) I think it will be worth the cost. Also included in the kickstarter is a little booklet of new information about the world and Epics of The Reckoners written by Brandon himself. They do have a low, $10 USD, pledge level that consists of a pdf of this booklet and a pdf of the artwork for those who want to support the project but cannot do one of the higher pledge levels.
  8. Today, Helen Maringer from Shire Post Mint has graciously spent her time to give us an interview. The Shire Post Mint has a Kickstarter on making Mistborn coins, and it's been funded eight times over now. It ends on October 28th. The latest stretch goal would mean you get free clips blackened with ash. Check it out! If you'd like to know more, you can also look at our original article showing off all the coins. Thank you to Helen and Shire Post Mint for doing this, and making awesome coins! What made you want to make fantasy coins in the first place as your business? Tom Maringer was a coin and stamp collector as a kid, so he always had an affinity for world coins. He traveled with his parents as a kid, mainly through Europe, and he often said that looking at and feeling the coins in his pocket was the best way he could “ground himself” and really feel that sense of place while in the midst of all these new experiences. Later, when he read The Lord of the Rings the first time, there was a line about silver Pennies when the Hobbits bought Bill the Pony. He wanted to know what those pennies looked like and that feeling never really went away. In the 70’s and 80’s, Tom worked as a blacksmith making custom knives and swords. He mentioned once to a friend that he’d like to make coins someday and within a few hours he was in possession of an old (1700s-1800s) screw press used for making coins. After lots of trial and error, he made a silver Penny to finally know what it looked and felt like. It could have stopped there, but when he posted a photo online to show some friends, there was an overwhelming response to the coin. Shortly after in 2003, he was put in contact with George R.R. Martin and began making coins for Westeros and Essos, including The Iron Coin of the Faceless Man, of course. At this point, Shire Post Mint was still a weekend hobby for Tom. It wasn’t until the massive success of HBO’s Game of Thrones that website traffic and orders picked up and Tom made the decision to develop the mint as his full time business. Since then, the business has developed coins from more licenses including The Lord of the Rings which is close to Tom’s heart. Shire Post Mint now has 7 employees, 4 of whom are in the Maringer family. So we’re still a small company, but huge compared to how it started. How was it working with Brandon and his team on these coins? They’re great to work with. They had specific ideas about how these coins would look and feel from the beginning. While that sounds like it would make the process more difficult, it actually simplified it. We have a lot of flexibility in our shop in terms of what type of coins we can make, so clear direction leads to a more satisfying coin at the end. What got you interested in doing Mistborn coins in particular? It’s a perfect partnership for us! Any time there are coins in fictional books, we start thinking of how we could make them a reality. Brandon created the coins in Mistborn to function as weapons and a method of transit on top of the standard function as currency. This is a really unique treatment of coins and we love that. From working with George R.R. Martin’s work, we know that any time a coin is specifically mentioned, there is a lot more interest and excitement compared to a really cool coin that just happens to exist. Plus the metal-based Allomancy of Mistborn is close to our hearts. Tom’s dad is a metallurgist and Tom himself has a degree in Geology and has worked in the mining industry, so everyone here at the mint grew up being a metal nerd. We see a lot of subtle differences in the Era 1 vs Era 2 coins such as weathering, wear and tear, and more irregularities in the Era 1 coins compared to the more modern, uniform quality of Era 2. What was it like to explore two points in history from the same world? In short: it was really cool. In our past coins, we incorporated a lot of nods to the history and styles of coinage through time, sometimes changing styles within worlds to highlight those differences. This is the first project where those differences have been so clear. I think this project has also been one of the best uses of our unique shop in terms of exploring those small differences and bringing them out in the metal. We brought out those differences in a few ways: engraving, minting, and patina. Woody Maringer, our engraver, used different engraving styles to translate Isaac and Ben’s artwork into the steel of the coin die. On the Era 1 coins, he left the Steel Alphabet symbols a little rougher. The copper symbol on the clip is the best example of these engraving differences: on the Era 1 Clip, the symbol isn’t smooth, it’s more like if you carved a symbol into wood with scissors. On the Era 2 Clip, however, the surface of the metal above the symbol is perfectly smooth since metalworking would be much more refined by Era 2. You can also see that the Era 1 copper symbol is engraved with the design raised up from the metal while the Era 2 copper symbol is sunk into the metal (incuse). Incuse designs are more complicated to engrave and they aren’t commonly seen in very old currency. After those designs were engraved in tool steel, they were hardened via a specific baking process and mounted into one of our antique presses. Normally, we run most of our coins on our main production press from the 1800’s but we just got a new (well, new to us) press restored that we were also able to use for this project. It’s a 110 ton knuckle press that was one of 6 presses used to make Quarters in the Denver Mint in the 1930’s! This means that were able to broadstrike the Era 1 coins on the old press and collar strike the Era 2 coins on the new press. Broadstriking is how all ancient coins were made. It’s essentially just two designs striking the metal with nothing on the sides to regulate the coin’s size or alignment. This could be done with a coin press, a drop press, a hammer, etc. Collar striking is how all modern coins are made. With this method, a metal ring is added around the coin blank and when the coin is struck, flat or ridged sides of the coin are created where the metal squishes into the collar. The collar also allows for automated feeding and faster production as all broadstruck coins have to be placed into the press by hand. Shire Post Mint has been broadstriking coins for over 15 years and no one has ever lost a finger! Hooray! As far as I know, we are the only working mint that is broadstriking our coins. It’s extra work per coin but it means we can have a lot more flexibility and authenticity in the coins we make. So the Era 1 coins have rounded edges from the metal squishing outwards via broadstriking and the Era 2 coins have those nice clean sides via collar striking. On the Era 2 Boxings we gave them an intermittent ridged edge, which is new for us! After the coins are minted they come out bright and shiny, like a fresh penny. Since that’s not the feeling that Brandon wanted, we age them with our special technique to bring out the design, darken the metal, and smooth down any sharp edges. We age the Era 1 coins to a more extreme degree since those coins have been around for (possibly) hundreds of years compared to the ones from Elendel. So, basically, we put in a lot of subtle differences that help separate these two eras in a tangible way, even if they are hard to notice. Did your approach to working on the Mistborn coins differ from how you have handled developing coins from other worlds? How was the process similar and how was it different from past projects? The biggest difference is how involved Team Sanderson was. Before designs were made, we sent them a big bag of coins that we had made in the past with varying levels of wear and patina. From those references, they were able to determine out exactly what size, thickness, and weight each coin should be. The two Boxings actually use the same blank meaning that they are exactly the same weight, but because they are minted using a different technique, they are different in thickness and diameter. The Clips are very different. The Era 1 Clip is thin and wide while the Era 2 Clip is ultra-thick, twice as heavy, and narrower. I think this choice especially relates to the idea of bounty that exists in Era 2, that the new Clip would use much more metal than the previous one. On the art, we usually create our designs in house for a variety of reasons: we know how to design for coins, we do our own research, we often design for coins and understand that specific process, it takes less time, or no one else wants to do it. With this project, the art was created by Isaac Stewart and Ben McSweeney who have both created lots of art in the Cosmere universe before. So overall there were more intentional choices since there had been so much thought about what the coins look and feel like before we got to the final products. If resources weren’t an issue, what object would you most like to create from the Mistborn universe? For me, the glass daggers. Tom made knives and swords before he started making coins. It would feel like a cool throwback to that part of his career, though obsidian would be a totally different beast to worked with compared to steel. Coins are fairly prominent in the Mistborn world (especially in the first trilogy); did their prominence change how you went about creating them? Did it make it easier or more difficult? Easier, absolutely. Most of the coins we make are not known objects in the books, we imagine they would look like. When designing those, we have to make lots of creative decisions based on lore, characters, world resources, and throwbacks to real world analog coins. With Mistborn, it was so much simpler, so we could focus on the really subtle details and making those shine. The Kickstarter filled up fast, so there is obviously a lot of interest in this project. What do you think is so appealing about objects like these coins to fans? I’ve thought a lot about this lately. We didn’t expect the campaign to take off quite this much, though I knew there was going to be a positive response after judging my own excitement about these coins. My new favorite Shire Post Mint coin is the Era 1 Boxing. We’ve made over 200 amazing coins, so I don’t say that lightly. The engraving of Kredik Shaw is truly a masterpiece and it feels so satisfying to hold. The Era 1 boxing. I agree, it's just amazing. Some reasons are: 1) The coins are in the books! I think fans have been imagining these coins for years whether they realized or not. We’ve learned over the years that a coin is specifically mentioned, fans are going to pay attention and be more interested (like Vin and Kelsier’s flattened Clip for example – lots of fans have asked for this). 2) It’s an immersive and expansive collectible. This is different than a referential collectible like a shirt or a mug. It comes from the world and expands it instead of simply referencing it and using art you’ve already seen. 3) Everybody knows and loves coins. Coins are one of the few objects that transcend language, culture, and geography. There is so much meaning and information wrapped up in every coin like who or what is depicted, the art styles, the weight and feel, what the metal is, etc. Most people that I talk to had a coin collection at some point in their life. 4) Cosmere fans in general. You’d think that since we make stuff for big fandoms like A Game of Thrones and The Lord of the Rings that we are used to ravenous fans. In a way we are, but fans have never engaged with us and given such positive feedback before. Brandon’s worlds and the fans around them are truly something special. Where did the idea with sending some coins to space come from? We’ve done one previous space flight with Earth to Sky Calculus, with ten Iron Coins of the Faceless Man. It’s a really cool organization that uses these sponsored balloon flights to do research with students to measure solar radiation levels in the upper atmosphere. They recently flew 11 different weather balloons across the US to document the moon’s shadow on Earth during the recent solar eclipse. So they were on my mind while building the Kickstarter and a lightbulb just kinda clicked. Then Dylan said level could be called the Cosmerenaut and we were like “we gotta do it.” After that, we were able to bring Wyrmwood Gaming into the project to create the fantastic Bolivian Rosewood display boxes and Brandon was able to sign the certificates of authenticity amidst all of his upcoming Oathbreaker release duties. It all just worked perfectly. Would you be interested in teaming up with a glass smelter to create Rosharan currency? YES. We have ideas about what those would look and feel like, but finding the right smelters for the job is going to be tough since we’re picky. Recommendations are welcome
  9. The Mistborn Coin kickstarter just went live today! Their goal is only $10,000, so I think this will be more easily funded than the Kaladin Kickstarter, I hope.
  10. I know we just had a big Kickstarter, but there's another one coming up, and it's really cool. Shire Mint, folks who made wonderful fantasy coins for Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, and Wheel of Time, are Kickstarting Mistborn coins from both Era 1 and Era 2. The coin art was designed by Isaac Stewart, inked by Ben McSweeney, and overall, the design, metals, weights, and styles were all approved by Brandon. For all intents and purposes, these are canonical coins. How freaking cool is this. It's basically new lore for Scadrial. I am in. Shire Mint has worked with Team Sanderson for a year, and it sure shows. Check these coins out: Era 1 Boxing The front is a picture of Kredik Shaw, with the text "One imperial" in the Steel Alphabet. The back (on the right) is, what they say, the symbol of the Lord Ruler. That's actually been the symbol for Kredik Shaw on every map of Luthadel, so it's not a new symbol, but this is the first time we see it as referred to as the symbol of the Lord Ruler. As a history lesson, these coins are officially "imperials" but are colloquially boxings as it displays Kredik Shaw, the Lord Ruler's "box." Era 1 Clip This has an image of the Lord Ruler's face, text that says "one clip," and on the back, the symbol for copper, surrounded by the iron symbol, which is 1 in the Steel Alphabet. Era 2 Boxing The front has a picture of the Lord Mistborn and the Elendel Basin, and uses the Era 2 symbols. On the back, it has a picture of the First Central Bank, also surrounded by the iron symbol, standing in for 1. Era 2 Clip On the front, we have Vin, looking awesome, and on the back, it has the copper symbol, the number 1, and the words "one clip". I must say I am completely enamored with the Era 1 boxing overall, as a huge fan of the Lord Ruler. I need this in my life. However, Era 2 is cool as well! The designs are absolutely amazing and look incredible on the coins themselves. The backing levels are pretty reasonable: $14: One gold boxing, and you can choose Era 1 or 2. $20: A boxing and a clip, from either Era 1 or 2. $35: All four coins $75: Four coins with a display box $125: Hilariously, a bag of coins, with 24 clips and 4 boxings and a leather bag. You can choose an Era 1 bag, Era 2 bag, or a mix. $350: You get a coin that has been to space, as well as the standard 4 coins, and the bag of 28 coins in the $125 level. You can also buy the bag and display box separately on add-ons. Since Shire Mint has a very good reputation, I have no doubt the product will work great, and its goal isn't that high (especially compared with the Kaladin album). This is going to be a thing, and judging it's already 30% of the way funded before I post this, in a half hour after it's been live, this is going to make it. Check it out!
  11. Today we're taking a look at a really special thing. It's a Stormlight Archive album called Kaladin, by a group called The Black Piper. This is quite a huge project that has been worked on since 2015, and consists of three producers and several Hollywood composers and orchestrators. About half of the album has been recorded with the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. In other words, this is a very legit and awesome project. The Black Piper has given 17th Shard a look at fourteen tracks--half of the album--and we're here to tell you about all of them to try to give you a feel for what these are. We're going to talk about the people involved with the project, and also, we're going to talk about the Kaladin Kickstarter they have. So who's working on this? The Black Piper was formed by producer Sae Sae Norris, film composer Michael Bahnmiller (who has done music prep on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and La La Land), and videogame composer Richard Williams (two-time Student Emmy winner). These aren't newbies to the industry at all. The Black Piper also has a desire to support artists and composers, and there's a lot of other composers on the project, which you can see at the bottom of the The Black Piper's About page. All of these composers have worked in the film, TV, or video game industry. In Kaladin you can really feel the influence from films and video games; it'd feel right at home in either. In their Kickstarter, they want to produce Kaladin with the same level of quality as any movie soundtrack. Their goal is to record 95 minutes of music total, 31 tracks in total. and record the remainder with the London Symphony Orchestra. That orchestra has recorded incredibly iconic film scores, some things you may have heard of, such as Star Wars or Harry Potter's soundtrack. You know, just the minor things. They also wish to hire world-class soloists to put in the tracks as well. There's also artbooks that you can get, as well as a number of other Kickstarter upgrades, which we'll talk about soon. But first, you guys want to know what it sounds like. The Music The Black Piper has posted a playlist of excerpts from nine different tracks, which you can see here: We got to listen to complete versions of these tracks and more, for a total of fourteen tracks so far, which is less than half of the thirty-one they want to have in the finished product. Now, most of the full tracks we heard were, computer generated, which means they didn't have the live orchestra sounds in it (except for a few). I'm going to be honest: these tracks were amazing and they aren't even the final versions. It feels cinematic and epic. The unanimous opinion of our staff was essentially: "this is amazing, we can't wait to see the final version." But remember, the tracks might change into their final product, so our descriptions might be off in the long run. So let's go through each of these tracks. I'm terrible at analyzing music, but big thanks to MozyTheHealer, Kaymyth, and FeatherWriter for their musical expertise. They helped a lot in writing this. Also, Kerry, Jofwu, and Botanica helped me here, too! Thanks all! 1. Stormblessed This track is a lot like a "welcome to our story" track. There's a slow, solemn lead-up with bassoons, breaking into a proper battle theme that really evokes the battlefield well. There's big sweeping lyric melodies, with some awesome French horn. FeatherWriter says, "There’s a really incredible bit of time signature change with super interesting syncopation that really caught my attention. Just as you're getting used to the 4/4, it throws you out." This one strongly feels at home in a film. This would work perfectly as the music for a trailer in a Stormlight film. 2. Sas Nahn Shash As the title suggests, this is all about sadness, despair, and defeat. It really captures melancholy, and has a slight feeling of unwanted hope at the end. One of the composers on this album is really into impressionist sounds. It is heavier on the strings and higher woodwinds, and is overall very atmospheric with its long high notes in the violins and sopranos. 3. Sylphrena This one isn't a particular scene from the book, but it tells about Syl's journey as a character. It starts serene, as if she's a mere windspren, then slowly builds into a joyful film score sound. In the middle, it reminded Mozy of Zelda when the track picks up with chimes and violin runs. At the end, we have a big crescendo that hints at the triumphs to come, then fades away at the end. It's a great, hopeful track, which is a nice contrast from the first two. Feather thought the track portrayed Syl as a soothing comfort to Kaladin. It definitely feels like Syl's growth from windspren to Honorspren. 4. Honor Chasm Compared to the joy, happy sound in the last track, this one has a sense of mystery, darkness, and gravitas to it. It feels like the part near the beginning of The Way of Kings where Kaladin goes to Honor Chasm, contemplating ending things. The sound captures a lot of uncertainty with the sparse orchestration and minimal harmonic progression. The harmony sits on notes for a very long time before it moves. It then switches to some motifs from the Sylphrena track, and then ends hopeful and triumphant, as Kaladin has new hope. 5. Alethi Codes of War This song is quite different from the first few tracks. It'd be perfect for a training montage scene, like Kaladin training with Bridge Four. There's a Celtic or folky feel to it. It has a lot of percussion and rhythmic motives in the low strings that makes it feel properly militaristic. The reeling melody that weaves through the percussion is an excellent reflection of Alethi revelry even in the middle of the warcamps. This is one of my very favorite tracks--as well as some others' favorite too--and I think I've listened to it about forty times already. 6. Chasm Kata There's a lot of atmospheric anticipation in this one. Layers slowly build up, eventually ending more triumphant, with a sweet violin solo. It has the feel of a character's self-discovery moment. It's easy to imagine this right in a movie or TV show, and you can feel exactly the scene this track would go into. 7. Highstorm You know exactly the scene a track named "Highstorm" would represent: Kaladin facing the storm. This track starts dissonant and discordant, giving you a feel of unease. Then, the track rapidly builds, like the stormwall is rushing right toward you. The string instruments go crazy, the brass enters, and the bass is literally dropping. Just listening to the track, you can feel your heart beat faster and you're just thinking, "oh crap, oh crap!" This is intense. The song ends more calmly, almost ethereal, as the highstorm passes and you're in the riddens. This one is spectacular and perfectly matches the urgency and majesty of the highstorms. 8. Hearthstone (Tien) This one feels warm and homey. Kerry described it perfectly: "I feel like I’m walking the main character of a JRPG through their hometown, and that’s exactly what a Hearthstone track should feel like. Rich with emotion and nostalgia. I thought I caught a bit of a Shenandoah-inspired melody here and there, which lent an air of homesickness when listening from the perspective of Kaladin reminiscing." At the end there's a snare drum part which made basically everyone who heard this song die. The drum could either represent the drums of war, or the drums before an execution. R.I.P. Tien. 9. Wandersail So, obviously, Wandersail has a flute part in it. Well... we didn't hear this song with the flutes. (I imagine this is one of the "hey we want a world class soloist to do this" thing from the Kickstarter.) What we heard is a sweet underscore of non-flute stuff where Kaladin is seeing what Hoid is making, in between flute parts. In some respects it feels a bit like Pirates of the Carribbean in Stormlight, which is a big compliment. It's strong and cinematic, especially near the end, where it is gets faster and darker, to show the end of Derethil and the revelation about the Uvarans. Still, we really want to hear the flute part! 10. Three Glyphs - Wind, Protection, Beloved This is the scene where Bridge Four is on a bridge run, and Kaladin, in Parshendi armor, distracting the Parshendi from the bridges. You can very clearly hear the transitions between the three glyph themes. Wind is ominous and powerful, Protection is equally powerful but more rhythmic and certain, and Beloved lifts the piece up into a state of joy. The end, though, feels like it pulls at least the second two together into one. It takes a while for this to feel like a cohesive piece, but the payoff at the end is worth it. 11. 16 Seconds Pre-Death The title of this references the death rattles, and as you could imagine, it is quite spooky. It isn't a slow track, though, but more a scene during a battle where things are going very wrong. It's about the part where Kaladin says the Second Ideal, and it is dark and despairing. It has some synth parts creeping through the other sounds, which makes it feel foreign. It gave me a slight bit of a Mass Effect vibe because of it. I'm told there will be some Parshendi chanting added into this song, which will be layered on top of the abstract synths. Considering it already sounds alien and weird, I can't wait to hear the final version with the Parshendi chanting to it. It can only add to the effect. 12. The Tower It's the Battle of the Tower, of course. It opens with an epic, truly film soundtrack feel of a battle, but then transitions to a section that captures the feel of betrayal and sorrow of the moment. Then it moves into with some triumph in it, but also keeps you on edge. It grows frentic and chaotic, as the fighting intensifies. Some of the transitions are so gradual and then others just happen in a split second, that it makes there be a feeling of uncertainty amidst the badassery. At the end, it slows, and you can finally breathe, as the battle ends. The end fades, but it isn't a glorious triumph, instead feeling just like they got out barely, and so many died. It fits the battle excellently. 13. Thath This we heard with the final orchestrated version, and everything I said about the other tracks being awesome are true, but this really feels way more awesome with the orchestra and the vocals. Mozy describes the track as such: "The beginning does some pretty good anticipation IN THREES with the first motive. (Threes are my favorite thing where it takes three times to really hit the moment). The first start is like “ooh is something happening?” and the second one is like “Yuusss something is happening” and then it flakes out. There’s obviously a few different things going on. I feel like the beginning is more war-like, and then it hits a pretty nice lyric section, that moves into the vocal part at the end." A piano joins at the end, building into a true triumphant moment, which feels exactly like would play when Dalinar puts his Blade on the Thath glyph to save Kaladin. Heck yes. It's emotional, stirring, and breathtaking. 14. Shallan's Lullaby So in the description of the project on the Kickstarter, they say this album is about Kaladin's journey through The Way of Kings, but here we clearly get a Words of Radiance inspired track. It has both male vocals and female vocals singing the lullaby in Words of Radiance, clearly echoing the notion that Shallan's father sung this at the beginning of her flashback sequence, but Shallan also sung it at the end, too. It's a sad track that feels despairing, with a soft, mourning air to it. It starts with male vocals, alternates between female and male, and there's a short duet, ending with the female vocals. I enjoyed that it ended on female vocals, as anyone who read the last Shallan flashback would know. The background sounds of blowing winds, dripping raindrops, and lightning add much to the music. Then, silence for a few seconds. It slowly grows into a huge choir and organ part, which would be appropriate in any dark moment, evoking the feel of the horror of either moment where this lullaby is sung. It reminded me more of the end of Shallan's flashback sequence, with the storm outside of the manor, and a corpse inside, as Shallan realizes what happened. This last part was a bit controversial among us, as it was quite a different change in the track, but this is how I interpreted it. ---- And that's all the tracks we heard! Overall, there's a depth and complexity to the music that so wonderfully feels exactly what the scene would feel like. We all felt like this would be right at home in a Stormlight movie, TV show, or video game. If we had one critique, it was that we generally wanted the tracks to be longer--which I'd say is a pretty good thing, to have us wanting more! I have absolutely no doubt that the final product will be spectacular. And this is just fourteen tracks. There is definitely a track called "Bridge Four," but after that, I imagine there will be some other really sweet things here. They want a total of thirty-one tracks, for 95 minutes of music, if they hit their goals. So, let's talk about the Kickstarter. The Kickstarter The Kickstarter is very ambitious. There seems to be three goals, which are not all listed at the moment. There's a $110,000 tier as the first goal, there's a second goal at a money value I'm not certain what it is, and then there's their final goal, which seems to be $600,000, but it isn't fully spelled out. If they hit their second goal, then they will create the second half of the album (which is not created yet), and also record with the London Symphony Orchestra. That means at the first goal, as listed, we wouldn't get the full 31 tracks, but that is their hope to get that many. The biggest goal will involve musicians working on bonus tracks. So, admittedly, that's ambitious. But what we've heard so far is really great, and if it sounds cool to you, consider backing the project! What are the reward tiers for the Kickstarter? $25 or more: a digital download of the album, a Black Piper wallpaper, and a digital art/sketch card. $45 or more: in addition to the lower tier things, you'll get a physical album, which will come with a six page art insert, containing Kaladin art, and a physical art card $100 or more: in addition to the lower tier things, you can be a voice in the virtual choir and actually be in the album $950 or more: in addition to the physical album and those things, you'll receive a page of the score of a given song, handwritten in the composers hand, coated to protect it, and signed. $3500 or more: in addition to the physical album, you spend an evening with the creators over dinner. So... you can spend a lot of money if you'd like to! The physical art card in the physical editions are one of six collectible character art cards. They will be one of these six: Kaladin, Sylphrena, Bridge Four, Navani, Dalinar, or Szeth. There are also a variety of add-ons you can add to your pledge. You can add $2 for a Stormlight character bookmark, drawn by the amazing Botanica Xu, who has drawn tons of Stormlight art, or $12 for a full set of eight bookmarks. You can get a physical album signed for $5. There's an 100 to 150 page Kaladin artbook at $57, containing some existing Stormlight art but also new art too. With pages something like this (though this isn't final): That's Kaladin. It's a big, ambitious project, but these composers are insanely competent and I'm sure if they meet their funding goals, it will be an amazing final product. Hopefully this gave you a huge amount of information into Kaladin so you can decide if you want to back this! Huge thanks to the Black Piper for letting us listen to some tracks in advance! Also, thanks again to MozyTheHealer, Kaymyth, Kerry, Jofwu, FeatherWriter, and Botanica for helping me writing this article, especially with discussing each of the tracks.
  12. Does anyone support projects on Kickstarter? I just did for the first time; it's a board game called Scythe that looks pretty fun. I hope it does well commercially. What other cool projects have you guys found, and do you support them financially?