A post like this has been a long time coming. I’m honestly a little embarrassed to talk about it, because it has been so long since an official post. Did you know that the last State of Tellest we ran took place in 2020? Multiple books have released since then, and we did an immense amount of other work outside of the regular releases, so this newsletter is going to cover some of the accolades we’ve had, and some of the things that we have coming up. I’ll make it worth your while, too, as we’ll have some goodies to talk to you about toward the end of this post.
Stories Added to the Catalog
You can’t talk about a literary universe without talking about the books, so we’ll start things off there. Over the three years since we’ve released a State of Tellest, we’ve released two new books. The first is D’Aprile’s Fools, which received some nice responses from Outstanding Creator Awards, as in 2021, it received the Best Writing in Fiction award for the Winter season, came in second place for Best Fiction Book, and had many honorable mentions in other categories.
We also released Tales of Tellest: Volume 2, which introduces readers to 24 new stories in the Tellest universe, from five authors, and it moves the overall tapestry of the world along in some very interesting ways. And even though we had released that book, we had also been hard at work releasing more stories for the universe as well. We’re already well on our way to filling the pages of our eventual Tales of Tellest Volume 3
Upcoming Books and Stories
Of course, where we’re going is just as important as where we’ve been, and we have a lot to talk about there as well. At the time of this writing, I am in the process of editing two books which we are trying to release later this year
The first is the novelization of Quantum Quest. This story has been a long time coming, and after a lot of work, many cuts, and a lot of bonus scenes, it’s nearing completion on my end before it goes to the editors (I actually sent it out late last week). It’ll be great to show that off to players so that they can see that, even though Quantum Quest is a relatively simple game, it can still have an interesting backstory behind it.
The second book that we’re working on cleaning up and getting out into the world is the trilogy capper for Ancestral Magic, Adelia’s series. Wild Magic is an immense story that sort of serves as Adelia’s odyssey, bringing her as far from her home as she’s ever been, and helping her to learn more about herself, her history, and her powers. This book was much tighter from the beginning, so it shouldn’t need as much cuts and stitches. We’re looking forward to bringing Adelia’s story to life as well.
After that, my focus is going to shift to Silver Serpent’s second book. I had already nailed down a decent chunk of that story back in 2020, but life pulled me away from it, and I decided to focus on D’Aprile’s Fools instead. I have been eager to get back to Silver Serpent for quite some time, because there is a much broader part of the tapestry that those tales tell, and the heroes that we follow there are very compelling.
If I manage to wrap up Silver Serpent in an acceptable amount of time, I may shift over to The Whispers once more, as we left that story unresolved. There was a reason for that, however. Where last we left Declan, he had suffered a grand defeat. In all that time, we don’t know where he left off, but my suspicion is that when he wakes up, he’ll have even more voices in his head than he did before…
After The Whispers, I’m going to try and cap off the Thunderfury Saga as well. All of our characters from the Tales of Tellest series ought to be getting their third books before long, and I’m excited to show Bolt’s wrap-up because we do some awesome things with him and his story.
Now, one of the things that has eluded me for a while is The Maelstrom, which is the second book in Icarus’s saga. I’m trying to get it done right, and that means I take my time with it a bit more than I probably should. I write in strange circumstances with that book, but I think we’re going to have to tweak what we’re doing there in order to bring it back in house and hurry up production on it. Time will tell.
We also have our very first children’s book taking shape, and we’d like to do all we can to get that prepared for Summer if we can. As we rely on the work of an artist to help us realize that project, things are up in the air with that based on his schedule. We’ll let you know more once we get that wrapped up.
Circling back to Wild Magic, as that is the first trilogy capper that we will have released in ten years, we are going to go all out when it comes to promoting it. There’s going to be an immense push to make sure people are aware that Tellest exists, and to try and continue to bring fans into the fold, where they can see a world that grows by leaps and bounds every year.
The Art of Tellest
One thing that we never, ever stop is the art that we continue to pull together for the Tellest universe. Whether it’s character art, concept art, or cover art, there has always been a tremendous amount of work that is done to make sure that fantasy lovers can immerse themselves in the world of Tellest. This expanded to things like maps and sigils in 2019 and 2020, and since then, we’ve made the entire world interactive on World Anvil.
The World Comes Alive
One of the ways we have begun using the art is on our Etsy shop. Over the past eight months, we’ve stocked the Tellest Etsy store with hundreds of items, from posters, to mousepads, to stickers and bookmarks. We’ve got more things than ever that we’re showing off, and we’re becoming a one-stop fantasy shop that you can truly lose yourself within.
Part of the reason that we even thought to make an Etsy store to begin with was that we were trying to add value to the Tellest Patreon, and give people even more reasons to want to support our little fantasy world. We added things like the sticker club and the poster club to Patreon to make sure our biggest fans would receive awesome content every day, monthly, and ongoing. Tellest patrons can also get items from the Etsy store at a nice discount.
One of the things that we did this year was introduce Tellest Battlemaps to both Patreon and Etsy. At least twice a month, my brother Matthew and I put out a new battlemap that you can use for your tabletop games. At the time of this writing, we’ve already got 13 battlemaps out, with 45 variants to those maps that you can get on Patreon.
Wyrd Witch Wands
And those are not the only items that we added to the Etsy shop and the Tellest Patreon. One of our biggest new items are Wyrd Witch Wands, which is Rhianna’s newest project, and something that brings her immense joy. Rhianna crafts these beautiful, one-of-a-kind wands out of wood, clay, and precious stones, and really brings magic into this world.
But one of the coolest things is that we’re planning on integrating it a little more deliberately into the Tellest universe, as Rhianna has been working on a story that ties everything together very nicely. She has been working like mad during her downtime to build up her inventory, and we are looking forward to showing all of those off more as we build up our brand.
Now, looping back to Quantum Quest… Our novelization is not the only project we’re working on when it comes to our dungeon crawling side project. We’re making moves with the Tabletop versions of Quantum Quest again, and are going to be really focusing on getting Reinforcements out this year. While we have to live with COVID (one of our friends was sick for a week with it just last month), we know that we can’t hold onto this expansion forever, so we’re going to let it out into the world later this year as we launch our Kickstarter for it.
And not only that, but we’re looking to begin showing previews for our second expansion, which adds to the game’s mechanics in some very cool ways. Quantum Quest will always have an element of luck to it, but this adds more tactical value to the game, and we’re excited for folks to experience what we have to share.
Now, Quantum Quest isn’t the only experience that we’re working on anymore. In 2022, we also introduced the concept of TowerSphere into Tellest. It’s a sporting event that begins to take the world by storm, and though it will certainly be present in stories going forward, we’re also working slowly but surely to turn it into a game that you can experience on your table as well. And we’re going all out on it, making tremendous strides toward branding to make sure that you can find your favorite teams and root for them on the table, in stories, and beyond.
Fan Expo 2023
One way that we can bring all of this together is by getting in front of the people who take the magic we put out into the world and multiply it a hundredfold. It has been three long years, but Tellest is doing what it can to make it back to a live convention later this year. For our big return, we’re planning on breaking out all the stops. Everything you see up there plus some is what we’re planning on bringing to the convention, though we certainly have to be aware that space is limited.
With that in mind, for some of the items, most notably the ones that are more “produce on demand”, we are going to do things a little differently than normal. That’s why we commissioned Francois to create this incredible brochure for us:
Right now, that might look a little small and busy, but that’s going to be a pretty sizable 11×17 brochure, and it’ll hit on a big chunk of what we do—yet not even all of it. You’ll notice that TowerSphere isn’t mentioned anywhere, nor is there a sign of our upcoming children’s book. But Tellest is growing by leaps and bounds, and this will continue to be something we refine over the years.
Riddles and Rewards
For all those who are here on the website who have not subscribed to the newsletter, one of the things that we do on the newsletter is something called Riddle and Reward. Anybody is free to enter, and I don’t even need the right answer for you to qualify to be a part of our drawing. The person who is randomly chosen is given their choice of reward, which as of right now is one of the three of these:
- A $5 Amazon eGift Card
- A 4-pack of Tellest posters
- A $5 coupon to use on one of Rhianna’s wands on the Tellest Etsy store
Let’s take a look at the most recent riddle I ran:
I cover cities and destroy mountains,
I make men blind, yet help them see.
The answer we were looking for here was sand. But even if you would have said “shoes”, I would have entered you into the drawing. Everyone should be having a good time!
And of course, every week I’m also showing off tons of great Tellest goodies, like what comes through on the Etsy shop, what new projects we’re working on, and some other neat things from the world of Tellest and beyond. So what are you waiting for? Subscribe to the Tellest newsletter today!
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