Children of Jaelda By Don Juan Mancha III and Mona Montgomery
Elevator Pitch: Three newly venerated mercenaries make their way through a mysterious island riddled with sociopolitical and magical turmoil in an effort to get back home. – Usagi Yojimbo and Samurai Jack meets Star Wars the Clone Wars(the 3d one not the 2d one) and Warrior princess Xena.
Back Story: The isle of Jaelda appeared in the center of the Caspian Ocean seemingly over night, and it’s been fought for ever since. The isle is a haven for those cast out by their countries, and a much sought after prize for rulers and warlords that wish to take advantage of its position in the center of the world. But time after time those who wish to claim Jaelda are beaten back by its inhabitants. But the fight of the people of Jaelda is on two fronts, as creatures and magics unknown to the world at large rest within the island, and slowly but surly, they are beginning to wake.
Overview: Children of Jaelda will focus primarily on Serin’s Band, a group of three sisters that take odd jobs, and deal with magical/ sociopolitical happenings. All while making their way back to their hometown in the center of the island. One day the band might reunite a skeleton priest with his body, the next they could raid a tomb. The isle is as vast and varied as its inhabitants, and there’s no telling what’s around the next bend.
The ties that bind.
What/who we’re attached to, can overtake who we are and what we want to be, And we often spend our entire lives finding a balance between our attachments and who we wish to be relative to them. And what better of a way is there to explore this concept then with petty feuds, forbidden magic, and post war hysteria?
Tone and Style: The visual style will be reminiscent of classical fantasy (Lord of the Rings, Dungeons and dragons), with a hint of colonial America. Most of the story will take place on Jaelda, which is dotted with lush forests, disgusting swamps, arid deserts, majestic mountains and merciless tundra. The tone of the series will fluctuate as the circumstances of the protagonists fluctuate. Every good day is made better by the horrible ones that preceded it. And every job well done is amplified by the previous botched jobs, that you don’t tell any one about because that may compromise your future employment.
Talus the Half Dragon:
After witnessing a fight between a mercenary and a bounty head, Talus knew her calling. In trying to spare their daughter of the damages of her aspirations, Talus’s parents put her through a grueling physical gauntlet, that, if she succeeded she would be granted their permission to pursue her dream as a mercenary. To her parents’ dismay, she passed with flying colors. To her dismay fighting is about 30% of a mercenary’s job. She hates being told what to do. She hates being sidelined in the name of subtlety, and she hates having to pay for all of the collateral damage she causes. But when she can cut loose, you’d better hope she’s on your side.
Talus can breathe fire but with have a stomachache if she over extends herself. Her dragon skin is extremely dense, only magic and the most highly sharpened swords can penetrate it. The claws on her hands and feet are retractable and can work as slashing weapons by themselves. Over time she is able to grow wings and fly, and at the height of her ability, she can turn into a full sized dragon for a short period of time. Her axe, which she won in a gamble, can extend its handle to ludicrous lengths, and can be called back to her hand at any time (essentially mjonir).
Palmia the Ghoul:
Plalmia took to being a mercenary the slowest. And she only agreed to become one in order to stay close to her sisters. But the Jaeadian war quickly taught her that she had to fight for what she believed in, and nobody else would do it for her. She doesn’t look fondly on everything she’s done. But if it would keep her family safe, she’d do it again in a heartbeat. She’s the assassin/Intel gatherer of the group. She’s Intermediately proficient in Transmutation, and can detect particular types of magic. Her tongue is cursed and if she speaks above a whisper, those who hear it will be cursed. Because of this, she talks as little as possible. Her carbon shell is thinner than human skin and because of that, she’s more fragile. She can only eat living things or things that have recently died in order to get any sustenance. She’s equipped with two wrist blades, a living chain, and a pouch full of herbs and throwing knives.
Serin the Half Elf.
Serin learned two things very quickly in life. First, money is the only thing that matters. Second never trust anyone. These maxims are the only things she’s been able to rely on for her entire tenure as a mercenary. Because of this she’s extremely money focused, to the point of having a fully written contract on her person at all times. Despite her convictions, she’s very laid-back and under reactive. Because of her convictions, she’s ruthlessly logical, long game oriented, unforgiving, and emotionally distant.
Serin is a master negotiator, tactician, cobbler, and sword fighter. She can identify the quality of jewelry and gold with minimal effort. She smokes black rot weed to keep the god imprisoned in her soul at bay, but also because she enjoys it. If she goes more than 72 hours without smoking she gets irritable, after 86 hours she gets sick. She wields an Elvin Blade modified to separate into a serrated whip that’s 5 times it’s 4 ½ foot length.
Format: Children of Jaelda will be a 10 part series (roughly 25-30 colored pages per issue). Aimed at young adults (14-18) The book also serves to address Rising Sun Comics lack of any fantasy genre stories currently in its stable of comics. The first arc will be episodic in nature, with the only major through line being a slow progression to the protagonist’s hometown.
Tentative Volume 1 Synopsis
0. The Orphan Isle. They finish up the war and start to head home. The 4th Jealdan war has ended, and Jealda has won its independence. In honor of this, its mercenaries have been paid a pittance, and have been sent on their way. Three mercenaries being, Talus, Plamia, and Serin of Serin’s Band.( I’d Like to release it for free to hype up the full release of issue 1. This could even be released on free comic book day and this could be included in a trade later)
1. Mud and Bones/ The Tortured Mass. Serin’s band is hired to escort a baker outside of her village, while they’re doggedly pursued by a beast that refuses to die. Much to Talus’s delight.
2. Old Bones. The band finds a talking skull on the side of the road. At Palmia’s behest, and a 10,000 gold reward, the band heads up the mountain to find the rest of the skeleton’s body.
3. Left to Rot/ Abandoned While taking inventory of a recently purchased tomb, Palmia is trapped inside of a deeper tomb with a creature thought lost to time. Her only hope is if her sisters can unlock the tomb’s secrets.
4. The Executioner/ The Guilty After Serin’s band imprisons a bounty head calling himself “The Executioner”, he escapes and hunts down those who would delay his “Justice”.
5. Oak Weaver/ Thenica After Talus steers the band’s wagon down the wrong road, Serin’s band is stuck in the forgotten town of Thenica. And they aren’t the only ones there.
6. The Bridge Warden. Upon reaching a bridge Serin’s band is met by a remote construct that will destroy the bridge if any of them get too close. The band must now find a way to remove the construct without destroying their only easy means of getting to the other side of the island.
7. The Lover’s Grimoire Part 1 Serins band comes across a sentient book, and an unconscious traveler. Little did they know that the two would lead to their most dangerous, and their most profitable job yet.
8. The Lover’s Grimoire Part 2 The two lovers, cursed by the lover’s grimoire travel with Serin’s band in an effort to get to a safe haven by the eastern coast. However there are those that want the book for their own purposes.
9. The Lover’s Grimoire Part 3 Upon arriving at the lovers homestead, Serin’s Serin’s band and the lovers must surpass one final obstacle before both parties can return home.
Volume 1 will be roughly 270 pages long in its totality.