Purrtagonists: Fabled Felines

Purrtagonists: Fabled Felines

Update: Production & More
23 days ago
by Alchemy Art
Hey friends! Thanks so much for your patience on this campaign! As you well know, we had a ton of designs in this campaign, so it created quite the queue of things to be completed. We've also had some notable life changes, with Venetia giving birth to her child, and Mel (me!) moving my entire house/storage unit/office into a new place in a somewhat rushed fashion. We've definitely been a bit more crazed in life than usual!

However, I did want to spend a minute and drop in some updates. We did have a large gap with Chinese New Year, so we're just seeing some updates now.

Our current stats:
  • Three pins in mass manufacturing
  • 27 pins in sampling (various stages)
  • 8 pins where we're revising the artwork with the manufacturers (almost entirely pantone codes not agreeing between us and the manufacturers, so we're trying to get that ready)
  • 16 pins that are in the vector queue (in progress) with one duplicate
  • Stickers are printed and in-hand!
  • Microfibers - going into production soon (the manufacter takes about 2 weeks after samples, so less concerned on time on these and will probably go into production this month)

Some images:

As pins are finished and shipped to us, we'll get started with grading and getting items set up for mass shipments so we'll be ready later on when they're fully available.

We'll update in about a month with more progress! Everything will be done in waves, so pins will be done in a somewhat staggered fashion (and we're pushing them to the manfucturers as we complete the artwork). It'll allow us a bit more wiggle room with things arriving and being able to complete them instead of being hit by thousands of pins at once.

Anyway, that's all from the team today! :D We hope you're doing well.

- M.
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Update: Preorder Store; Cards Charged Shortly, Surveys 92% Complete - Thank You!
2 months ago
by Alchemy Art
Hey friends! A very short update for you today!

Good news: 92% of backers have filled out their surveys! In a few hours, if you've completed your survey, we will be billing any cards for add-on items and shipping. If you chose to use the Paypal option, this won't impact you as payment through Paypal was instantaneous. Thank you for being on top of it! :D

For the 8% who haven't filled out your surveys, you have until Feb. 1 to submit these. Reminders have been sent out to you if this is you! If you need help, please reach out to us.

If you weren't part of the original campaign, but wish to grab some pins, you can still get them from the preorder store. These will be fulfilled after the main campaign's rewards are done. Find the preorder store here: https://d-d-cats.backerkit.com/hosted_preorders

That's basically all I have from our end at this time, as we're working through all the art! The filler pins will probably be the first samples we see of the set, and we'll update when we have final samples of everything to show. From here on out, expect updates about once a month as we work through production.

Minor Manufacturing Update:
  • Quotes and payments have been made for 54/55 pins based off of estimations of counts at the 90% survey completion mark. We actually went a tiny bit over the funds of the campaign (lol), but it was necessary with potential error rates to order as many as we did. 
  • Pins are being placed into production (for art) in waves as we finish up the vectoring work.

Thank you again for being purrfectly awesome!
- Mel, Jess & Venetia
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Update: Surveys Sent!
3 months ago
by Alchemy Art
Hey friends! Merry Christmas (and happy holidays) to all.

Just wanted to let you know that the surveys are formally out for everyone after a successful smoke test. The survey itself should be relatively straightforward (hopefully), but please reach out to purrtagonists@gmail.com if you need assistance.

These are due for lockdown on January 15th so we can get accurate stock counts and payments will be processed at that time.

Some other notes:
  • If you successfully redeemed the promotional free D20 pin, it was added to your carts already! It will show up in your item list at the cart. This was if you signed up before launch and pledged, or pledged during the first 48 hours at 3+ pin tiers.
  • If you don't wish to add anything, the only thing you will owe is shipping. You can also add insurance to packages if you wish (this is part of the survey).
  • If you find that you're adding more than 3 standard pins, you may want to consider upping your pledge with the pledge swap function! By doing so, you get a small discount per pin with a free freebie pin.
  • For 3+ pin pledges, the vinyl stickers are free! However, based on past feedback on people wanting (or rather, not wanting) stickers, we included it as an optional item in the survey. Saying yes provides the stickers immediately at no cost.

If you can't seem to find your pledge response requested email, go to this URL (https://d-d-cats.backerkit.com/) and enter in your email. As long as you're pledged, it'll send you your survey.

If you missed the campaign as well, the preorder store is open! While the ala carte option won't have the freebie fillers/etc, it will still have the preorder pricing included (just no extras). You can find the store here through 1/31/23 (cards charged beginning 1/15): https://d-d-cats.backerkit.com/hosted_preorders

Also, here are the stickers noted above! We did get them finished over the last week.

You guys wanted some cursed objects so.... Max made some cursed objects, lol.

Annnnd that's it! Thanks for tuning in and stay warm out there (not like me, where my furnace decided it wanted to not do its job so the house got to 38 degrees; do not suggest, lol).

- the Purrtagonists gang
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Update: Slight Delay with Surveys (Updated Availability, New Microfiber Cloths)
3 months ago
by Alchemy Art
Hey friends! I wanted to touch base with you because things are a bit more delayed than we really wanted. We were facing a pretty tight schedule to have things sent out (with surveys) without being impacted by the holiday onrush, and unfortunately I've had a couple of weeks (basically the day after I sent the last update) that have not been fun.

To shortly summarize, one of my cats stopped eating or drinking and turned into a lethargic potato with insane poop, and four vet visits later we've just hit the point or sort of figuring it out. However, for two weeks I was basically hand-feeding him twice a day with a blended-funtimes-catfood cocktail, while he got shots, fluids, terrible emergency food and... more. We both were... super pleased with the situation. But, all of the urgent vet visits and the 1-hourish 2x daily feedings took a huge toll on my time and energy. I'd lost another cat over the summer who had grown up with the currently sick cat, and while I did all I could then, I had a lot of panic brewing from the ongoing situation; I hope my anxiety was understandable.

That all said, Venetia and I have been working on the surveys, but we've both been trying to single-handedly run both of our storefronts for the holidays; soon we'll be free and able to refocus a bit, but we're doing our best to try to get everything out the door for the holiday deadlines. For that we apologize, and it's mostly my fault with the whole pet emergency situation.

All of the assets have been completed (compiled below) -- we ended up with 55 designs in the campaign!? -- as well as the sticker designs from the stretch goal (we are aiming to have this shown with the surveys). One pin (the winning design of the Guardian, based on Tim Kaminski's art) will be converted in the coming month. We just confirmed it with the poll, so we're just looking at it now; we likely won't have it for the survey, so it'll be more of a blind pin addition.

We're now in the process of putting together the questions and making sure they accurately work for the tiers. You're welcome to compile your list of must haves from the below. We're hoping to have surveys ready by the end of the weekend.


In addition, we have a slight surprise... basically because someone made a joke in Discord and here we are. We'll be finishing up the design for this in the next week or so for a set of microfiber cloth. Each will be an addition for $6 (retail will be $8) - all three for $15. (We'll make it a specific question along as with an add-on item.)

Still will potentially adjust some of these... patterns, maybe not? But the center design will largely remain the same!

In terms of other updates:
We've continued to work on the vectoring process, and the first few pins are complete. We'll be sending them off before the year ends to get their molds made. 

We do recognize that there are... a LOT of pins in this campaign, so we'll be definitely splitting these up between manufacturers to tackle. Many of these may become limited editions depending on their popularity and what we can justify stocking, so we may only ever have some of them with this campaign.

Anyway, please let us know if there's anything we can help with. If nothing else, hopefully expect the smoketests to go out by the 18th, with the full surveys to go out on the 19th-20th depending on if edits need to be made.

Thank you!

Mel (& Venetia & Jess)
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Update: Pre-Surveys, Poll on Swords, More General Adventuring
4 months ago
by Alchemy Art
Hey everyone! Thanks for your patience while we worked through the next stages of the Purrtagonists campaign! There were a fair few things we had to buckle down and do in the campaign itself over the last two weeks (a lot stemming from the new campaign model we’ve been experimenting with, as we couldn’t do a lot of pre-planning during the campaign itself). We were all a tiny bit swamped by the onrush of shows and the holiday season (both with family events and shopping focused items), so things have been a bit slower than we intended. I'm wading through it as quickly as possible given everything (with Venetia spot checking my work!).

We do have some pretty big notes here today, and while we’re not quite at the survey stage yet, we’re nearly there! We’re anticipating the survey to go out early next week (it will be one of the priorities I’m working on while at the convention this weekend, since I can’t pack any orders during that time away). I will post a formal update once they have been sent!

  • Firstly, we’ve already finished/begun the vectoring for a fair number of the pins, and will be continuing to work on the remainder until the end of the year. We all personally do this by hand to ensure that all the pins have very accurate translations in the manufacturing process. It does take longer, but we appreciate the preciseness it generally allows, especially with screenprints.

  • Second: The stickers have been ordered for the packs. We ordered extras just in case anyone wanted to add them on, of course, since Black Friday deals allowed us a bit of wiggle room. :D

  • Third: At the end of the campaign, we did achieve both the goal for Onicake’s stretch goal bard (any name suggestions for the meow?), as well as the sword from Tim Kaminski! The sword options are pictured below, and a vote is above. What is your favorite? We’ll translate that into a pin, as promised!

  • Fourth: One thing we learned from the campaign is that, with this more “interactive” model… characters change a lot! From the beginning of the creation process (almost 8 months ago now, at least for some of these), these characters felt conceptually different. Adding a story to them changed the tone drastically, and eventually they went and did a lot of things I’d originally not pictured. It was a bit of a lesson for us here!

    Because of how early most of the Alchemy designs were done, we decided to give some of the earliest some minor adjustments to help fit the overall vibe. We think that these tweaks bring them more in line with the later counterparts (that were more impacted by the campaign, and saw more live tweaking). We did want to apologize a bit for this, but most improvements were adding screenprints and improving character expressions (etc) to better fit the characters they’d become.

    These adjustments specifically were geared at: Tuff, Fluff, Floof, Gray, Castor

    For Tuff: We improved the armor given how he was… actually a proficient cat in the mini-saga, and also improved the more strictly chibi-esque eye appearance he previously had. Once the full lineup was done, he stuck out a bit for that!
    For Fluff/Floof: Arguably the biggest changes came to these two gals. By the end of the story, both largely didn’t fit their original cosmetic (costume) choices. Originally, they also weren’t siblings (way way back like 8 months ago). They were just two options for the same cat… then the community said they wanted both. That said, we did some fussing with them both to bring them back in line, and also to let them visually match since they were twins!
    Gray: These weren’t big changes! He mostly just gained a belt and a few small adjusted screenprints.
    Castor: The elderly gentleman gained a few plants, as the resident druid friend. We also noticed the perspective of the leaf was a bit wonky, so we fixed that to be more accurate.

    We did want to apologize again for these particular changes as this isn’t the norm and we recognize this; this type of experimenting with the story was new for us too, and the visual changes were ultimately to bring things in line with each other – we did our best to retain everything that made them unique and just adjust clothing, etc. If we ever do something like this again, we’ll try to think of a better solution.

  • Fifth: Another thing that’s notable is that we worked on getting a sizing grid down for all of the pins between all three makers additions, to make sure that none stood out oddly (so no faces were about 1/100th the size of another if it wasn’t meant to be). With that, we actually realized that some of the later pins needed some size increases to fit. We’d designated all but one pin originally to be standard pins… but some of them just won’t allow for it (or would not translate well at such small scales).

    This impacted only later additions: Bones (now 2.65”), Lich (aka cutout crazy demon cat, now 2.8”), Max (now 2.68”), Coda (now 2.68”). Most of these increased about half an inch. There aren’t any decreases in size. For most of these, the increases in sizes were largely logistical. The Lich, for example, wouldn’t be able to successfully cut out so many spaces with as high of a fidelity at a much smaller size, and we focused on making the Grimalkin Hollow gang more logistically lined up with the rest of their Destruction friends from Venetia’s lineup.

    To be fair to everyone (since we understand that people did pledge in for specific pins), every third pin choice will have the option of getting any one of these pins at no upcharge, similar to how Basil is also a deluxe upcharge (but that one will be always at an upcharge). We will cover the upcharges on these additions – for example, if you got the 6 pin tier, your third and sixth pin choices will allow you to pick from the full list (with these four adjusted pins) at no additional fee for the four.

  • Sixth: Funds have gone through, so once we finish up the vectors, we’ll be sending the pins into production in batches.

Outside of those noted items, we’ll be continuing to work on getting the surveys out, so please expect to see them next week after the shows we have this weekend conclude. We will have an option for people to up their tiers if they wish to obtain the freebie fillers that were obtainable at 6/9/12 and the set tiers. We got a fair few emails concerning missing adjustments.

Please remember that shipping costs will be due with surveys, as noted in each of the pledges and in the confirms with pledging. We will leave shipping addresses open until later to allow any location changes to be done by everyone at a backer level, and will warn when those are going into lockdown. These will be billed with any/all residuals from the campaign.

I think that's all for today, but I appreciate your patience with us as we move into the next phase of this adventure!

- Mel (and the rest of the crew 🐾)
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Chapter 15 || The Cat, The Lich and the Feather
5 months ago
by Alchemy Art
Special Guest Creator: One Cat Adventurer #1 (Onicake)
Welcome on adventurer from fellow designer, Onicake! This is added to all full campaign packages for free (and will become an option for everyone else).
We did it! This project reached this goal!

Goal: $22,500This goal was reached on Nov 12, 2022 5:32pm PST

For all of their might, it’s clear that the lich is playing with them; it’s the same way a predator teases prey trying to escape. There’s a cruelty in its actions, as if they’d stumbled too far into its web, and now it’d finally become interested enough to torture its victims itself. The creature’s weird chortling laugh bounces between all sides of the cavern.

The lich slips in and out of the shadows, materializing behind one of them and fixing his purple eyes on them until the screams die in their throats. The ice in their veins override their urges to run, and they only can stare until one of the other party members grab them by the scruff of their necks and yank them back to relative safety. For now, the creature doesn’t follow and just continues to test their mettle before returning to its perch to watch the chaos.

Anything non-magical is useless against the lich itself, and Tuff, Grey and Beau both resort to cutting down the summons that pull themselves out of the dirt to grab at the party. Fluff is shaking, her tail curled around her leg as she struggles to hang onto her chants. Her power is clearly failing, after pouring so much into the Wand of Sacred Fire, and there’s a lilting desperation to her spells. Abitail hangs beside her, casting concerned glances while weaving her own sorcery spells.

“Bones, are you okay?” Tuff yells between waves of monsters, and ducks as the minions sweep through a wave of the undead, their little bodies glowing brighter as they absorb the life essence of these dark creatures. 

Despite their glowing bodies, Bones looks haggard, using his scythe as a support. His teeth flash as he grits them together in pain. “Don’t worry about me. The lich is far above our level. We’re out of holy magic, and nothing physical will do anything. By the way it’s acting, it can read us.”

“It’s a scrying lich?” Abitail casts out her magical yarn, which stretches itself taut and slices through a few opponents, but disintegrates with the use. She points wildly at the ceiling. “What does ‘yawning and laughing’ mean in lich language, Bones?!”

“It thinks it has new recruits soon?”

Gray’s eye twitches as he drags Fluff away from the dark shadows that erupt from the ground, shoving her behind Bones. “Oh, that’s charming. Next time, maybe tell us more potentially life threatening information about our destinations before we’re there.”

Bones looks apologetic. “Max and I just knew about the curse magic, not that a lich of this grade was behind it.” The dark chuckling made him jump, but the lich didn’t move from his perch this time. “We would have brought Soot if we’d known.”

“Famous last words, ‘should have brought the guild leader’.”

A bombing laugh made them all jump. “Did someone say guild leader? Oh Gray, why didn’t you say so sooner?”

Gray’s jaw goes slack as he twirls around, bumping straight into a giant cat with a lute strapped to his back. In his free hand, he holds an… oddly familiar yarn ball, and in the other, he’s dragging a very petulant looking Simon.

“Guild Master Coda!” Tuff squints. “Wait a minute, isn’t that…”

Fluff looks incredibly confused. “We sold that to Nightshade…”

Beau raises an eyebrow. “And how did you drag Simon here?”

“Alas, my little kittens, you didn’t see this gem for what it was worth. This, little ones, is a red string of fate. And this cat just happened to fall into my path as I was traveling.” Simon scrambles out of Coda’s grip, eyes narrowing dangerously as he clutches the chest that holds the chest he’d run away with from the dragon cat. “There are no coincidences.”

They’re interrupted by the lich bellowing above them, clearly no fan of these new reinforcements or the heightened mood. Immediately the ground shakes, splitting in more spots, and the bones begin rising out of the ground. 

Abitail starts to raise her arms, but her magic flickers. She gasps, knowing she’s also tapped out. She whirls to DERP’s guild master. “Please, can you do something? I know you’re a bard but–”

“Oh, but this one possibly could.” Coda grabs Simon, who had been starting to slink off, then pushes him in front of Abitail. “You won’t have anyone to drink with at Catatonic Brews if you don’t save them, little black cat.”

With a long grumble, Simon unlocks the chest he’s been guarding, and fishes out the feather wand. With a disapproving look, he swishes it in the air. The demonic cackling ceases while they all wait, and then they slowly watch as the Lich goes from being colored by darkness to being layered in a sheen the color of blueberries. The pause breaks with a roar of anger. 

Coda manages to block the splash of dark magic that rips through the room. “What –” Gray struggles out, “--is that shitty thing?”

“Wand of Wonder!” Coda yells out, just as Simon says something about being trash, and throws the wand to the ground. “Does random nonsense. Sometimes fireballs? Sometimes butterflies. First time I’ve seen that particular reaction.” They all look up as another screech of rocks the entire cavern, then to the front as the creature begins to materialize on the floor while summoning more skeletons. “Well, this might be bad.”

“This is your inspirational pep talk?!”

“Would it be better if I told you the lich really doesn’t like its new skintone?”

Suddenly, a “MEROWW” cries out from beneath them. They all jump and duck again as more magic flies by, and squint through the dust to find a small odd-looking cat holding the feather Simon discarded. Slowly, it turns its head, and the wand glows as it casts. The team freezes, waiting for the next weird occurrence.

Then they wait.
And wait.

Finally, they look at each other, then slowly look toward the fight they’d been distracted from… where they find the Lich completely petrified. Beau reacts first, loading three arrows into his bow and firing – each hitting true. Everything turns to dust, except for a skull that drops to the ground, and a chest that sits closed.

Abitail immediately grabs Simon. “If you dare touch that, I will tell Catalina all of your secrets.” Simon grumbles savagely, but Abitail instead ducks down and gets on her knees next to the unfamiliar little cat. “Are you Unknown?” The creature cocks its head. “Your dragon cat friend was looking for you.”

It seems to sigh at the adventurers, and they all shrug at this weird creature. It listens to them debate on whether they should return with it, or whether it’ll just wander home after hearing that the dragon cat was worried. They decide that the danger has passed, and take back the giant skull back to Max – along with the chest that was dropped along with it.

The members of the group in turn pat the little Unknown on the head, and he meows at each of them in parting. He watches as the adventurers, one by one, walk out of the cavern, and the dark little eyes follow them, before he gets up to join them.

Slowly, the little cat smiles, the snake on his tail hissing lightly, and the cat begins to follow, stepping through a bit of smoke that reaches for him from the burnt ground, and leaves the cave behind without a backward glance.

And...I've finished the story. Just short of 10,000 words. I don't know how long I expected a "chapter-by-chapter DnD campaign" to be, but I don't think it was quite this long. Some light reading, right??

I truly hope you've enjoyed this production/campaign/...thing and it's been memorable for you! Let me know in the comments if you've enjoyed the ride. I've been holding onto so many of these plot points for SO LONG.

Much love to all of you - we'll touch base soon, but in the meantime... let's power through the last 20 some hours of the campaign. :D

🐾Mel, Jess and Venetia

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Updates on Stretch Goals [& How to Plan Your Pledge]
5 months ago
by Alchemy Art
Pastel Variants of Dragon Cat
Add on some color options to your dragon cat!
We did it! This project reached this goal!

Goal: $20,000This goal was reached on Nov 12, 2022 4:29am PST

Special Guest Creator: One Cat Adventurer #1 (Onicake)
Welcome on adventurer from fellow designer, Onicake! This is added to all full campaign packages for free (and will become an option for everyone else).
We did it! This project reached this goal!

Goal: $22,500This goal was reached on Nov 12, 2022 5:32pm PST

Hey friends! This is the first non-story update -- the first of probably a few since surveys and manufacturing will soon be underway. However, we're dropping in this time to remind everyone (or show you, if you haven't seen) the 'stretch goals' (coined as achievements) in this campaign. Since this platform is newer (as in, we're the 30thish campaign that's been here - we've been part of their test run!), we've been learning along with you what translates well and what's confusing, and we've heard from a few people that the stretch goals weren't as intuitive in this layout. We do communicate this back to them as best we can.

All of the designs in the campaign were unlocked from the get-go; all of your choices in the polls impacted what we would make or not. (Trust me, we had about half of the fillers originally... then we couldn't resist some of the story elements. Hello, talking to you Bones.)

As another reminder, if you look at the breakdown (by chapter), you can see what are standard pins and what are filler pins based on their backgrounds - ones with illustrated backgrounds are standard, obtained items (or smol creatures) are fillers, as noted in the body info. The perk in the 6/9/12 pledge tiers is that you add a filler pin for free with each (one for 6 pins, two for 9 pins, 3 for 12 pins). So basically, each 3 big pins, you get one filler for free. You can add money onto your pledge now and this does help the campaign and will act as a credit to your full purchase in the survey!

For stretch goals, we've already hit:
  • $12,500 - new DnD variants options (add-on)
  • $17,500 - Sticker Packs (all 3+ pin packs)

The next two stretch goals are the following:
  • $20,000 - Pastel variants of the dragon cat
  • $22,250 - New design by Onicake (bard cat) (add-on, included for all dungeon clear packs) - vote above!
  • 400 person pledge goal: New pin based off of swordtember by Tim Kaminski

However, we recognize that we may not hit the $22,500 mark given where we are. If we don't, but pass $20,000, we'll toss the design from Onicake as a sticker into sticker packs (as one of the potential options). The artwork option is below -- but we haven't decided firmly on a color, so cast your vote above!

There are a tiny few things left to unlock: Unknown, mystery filler item 1 and 2, guild master of DERP and king lich head. Those are coming tonight so I hope to see you with us for one last hurrah. <3

And, for those who need it, the current array (minus the lich cat):

See you for one last story update tonight. :D
🐾Mel, Jess and Venetia
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Chapter 14 || The Wand of Sacred Fire
5 months ago
by Alchemy Art
Sticker Pack Additions: 3x Stickers
A small vinyl sticker pack for all 3+ pin packages.
We did it! This project reached this goal!

Goal: $17,500This goal was reached on Nov 11, 2022 6:00am PST

The death in the room feels like it’s permeated everything in the cavern. The soil has taken on a sickly purple hue, the air is hard to breathe, the light feels like it’s been chased back into the forest. The gang follow the slight glow from the little minions and Bones’ scythe, which he holds up as a beacon. They say nothing.

Beau breaks the formation first, moving in with Blink hovering over his shoulder, turning in the air with a look of concentration. The silence hangs; Beau’s steps are almost nonexistent as he moves forward.

Halfway through the room, Blink swivels toward the wall, pupil expanding, and Beau launches himself sideways just in time, and they watch as a dark burst of magic blasts into the ground where he’d been.

The lich stands on a ledge above them, fully channeling the spirits with darkness pouring out of it, completely out of control. It yowls, and the room again quakes as the purple and black seeps across the floor. It’s inky and almost tangible, and the group dances away from it.

“Some assistance, please?” Beau calls to the group, and that’s enough to snap them out of their hesitant trance. Bones follows his guildmate, pushing magic into his minions who transform into wild cats, and slicing away the magic that rushes toward them.

Tuff races to the front and blocks a wide splash of dark magic that follows. Fluff backs him up, while Gray and Abitail defend the group as best they can. It seems to be at a stalemate - physical attacks making no real dent in the lich’s power.

Abigail makes a sound of surprise, before pulling out a wand. She runs to Fluff and pushes it into her paw. “Take this - pour everything you have into it. It’s a Wand of Sacred Flame.”

Fluff understands, channeling as much holy magic as she can into the spell, and sends blue flame dancing across the room. Like fire following oil, it eats up the darkness until it consumes the lich, immobilizing it on the spot. Beau sends an arrow flying, and it meets its mark, the crystal on its forehead cracking.

They stand in silence as the sticky dread ebbs slightly. It should be over, they all think, but no one feels like a victory has been won.

Abitail is the first to question it. “Okay, so…. Why didn’t the lich summon anything?”

Gray narrows his eyes. “Are you trying to curse us?”

“Just being logical.”

The cackling breaks through the hall, and they all slowly look up. Near the top of the cave, a giant cat lich looks down at them. It’s calm. Collected. Watching them with curious eyes, it plays with a pile of bones until one falls, dropping from ledge to ledge until it hits the bottom near them with an echoing thunk.

“Oh,” Abigail starts, backing up a step. “I think you spoke way too soon.”

Bones narrows his eyes, and his minions take shelter behind his legs, reverting back to their small forms. “That first little guy was a minion of this guy... I guess the real fight starts now.”
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Chapter 13 || The ‘Sus’ Cat and the Chest
5 months ago
by Alchemy Art
Logic wins out and they decide that invisibility will probably be better going through dangerous caves. Gray had looked the tiniest bit upset as they put the runes back in the bag, but Fluff had seemed relatively relieved that they don’t need to listen to screaming all through the caves.

Instead they decided to split into two groups by guild since the potion couldn’t cover them all;, DERP would go in first and try to find Max quickly, and Destruction would follow uncloaked. Beau and Biscuits both look delighted at being given the task to tear apart the monsters, like it’s a game they’ve built up between them, and Abitail looks annoyed that she has to waste her magical instruments on them.

They set off quickly and the caves aren’t hard to spot. The sign overhead says “DANGER” in red letters with a sad looking skull; only Bones seems to find this funny. DERP sets off first, only being able to move so quickly before the sounds of their footsteps are too loud. They tiptoe through the cave, ignoring the little monsters easily, and soon they hear the sound of a fight breaking out behind them.

There are many dead ends in this cave, and Floof uses her colored magic to leave small traces on the walls, which was thankfully something they’d said at the beginning to do. The other cats to follow would know what to do if they saw the sparking green lines.

Tuff is in the lead, with Gray holding the back, with the twins huddled between them. It’s Fluff who reacts first to the droplets of blood, biting back a gasp, and tapping Tuff aggressively on the shoulder. She points a now shaking paw at the trail that leads deeper in, and the tiptoeing pace is abandoned.

They start running, and the monsters around them startle, trying to find the origin of the sound. Thankfully, most of them only follow a slight ways before stopping in confusion by Floof’s color magic. Finally, they find the cat that Bones had very clearly described, curled around a scroll and surrounded by… meowing chests? Yes, those were most definitely chests.

The cat’s long tail lashes out, dark shadows bouncing off of the little chests. They equally hiss and nip at the cat, and he hisses in anger back, cradling a wounded leg. The light from Floof’s magic fades as she pulls back her spells, and she focuses on placing wards, but it’s clear her bursts of magic are coming to an end. Fluff rushes to aid her, casting light healing magic that snakes through the air.

Max sees the company, and smiles, a toothy look that almost looks cunning. He pulls out the scroll that begins to glow, and the mimic chests scatter around, fear seeming to take them as they run in odd circles. “Slam the lids shut! It should stun them for a while.”

They begin doing that one by one, until finally the room falls silent except for the odd chittering the closed mimic chests make.

“I’m glad you came when you did. DERP guild, right?” They nod, and he hobbles up, favoring the leg greatly. “There’s a problem. Something is making the monsters here go crazy - a small lich attacked me while I was studying the curse lines in the central cave. It’s not big enough of a lich to cause all of this.”

“Max!” An echoed cry comes down the hall with the sound of more fighting, and Bones appears first with one of the spectral minions darting ahead. It races in between the closed mimic boxes. “Are you okay?”

“Got caught unaware. Not my finest moment. You need to go take a look, Bones.”

“I’m not leaving you in the middle of a cave surrounded by some mimics. Do you want that on your gravestone? Was cursed 54 times but died to a mimic?” Max grimaces. “It was already a dumb idea to come in here alone.”

“Yeah yeah, you’re fussing too much.” Max sighs when Biscuit and Beau finally appear, a certain relief there. “Good, I’m glad they’re here. They can go with you. I’m sure the halls are clear leading here?” Beau nods. “Then perhaps two of these young DERP members can take me back. I’ll be of no use here, but I can take a mimic back and study it in the meantime.”

They quickly discuss the logistics, and it’s decided that the Floof - already a bit worn from overcasting her magic while guarding off the mimics - would go back, with Biscuits as the guard. The rest of them would continue on back into the chamber to see if they could figure out the problem.

As they leave, they huddle again, and Tuff raises an eyebrow at Bones, who is staring after their retreating shadows. “Why is he called the Sus Cat Mage?”

Bones blinks twice, then fishes in his pocket for something. “Oh, he… looks like that because he fusses with curses too much, but also he looked a tiny bit… suspicious when he entered the sorcerer academy. He always wore this ridiculous hat with a drawn up robe. No one knew what to think of him.”

The "Sus Cat"

Tuff takes the photo that Bones offers. “Should I ask why you keep this around?”

“Blackmail. You can always let me know what other blackmail you’d want. I’ve got tons.” Bones answers, before steeling his shoulders. “Should we be off? We need to take down a lich, it seems.”

Vote above!

Harro harro! Been staring at this one for a little bit - stickers!! If the goal is met, we get some "blackmail". I mean, not really, but look at that weirdo in his weird hat and cloak.

It'll be available for all 3+ tiers (we'll offer it as an addition or not, so if you don't particularly care for stickers, we won't force them on you). The choice today does add more "blackmail" into the set, so pick which you'd like!

3 days left! :D

🐾Mel, Jess and Venetia
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Chapter 12 || Grimalkin Hollow (& Small Time Update)
5 months ago
by Alchemy Art
**Thank you so much for voting - an actual one day timer on this one! If you're a backer, please see the note at the bottom! We had a pretty rough weekend due to a convention being utterly incompetent, and it took up a ridiculous amount of time and energy. We've extended the campaign by two days to help accommodate the remaining updates and releases since the campaign is hinged around your choices. Since I've been doing this live, this level of disruption put a delay in that I couldn't work around. But lots of cute ones today!**

It takes them the better part of two days to make it through the main part of the forest. Floof keeps jumping like there are skeletons in the trees, and Fluff keeps yelping every time a bush shakes. The group can only roll their eyes a tiny bit when Fluff puts two snakes and one mouse into a full body bind, but even Tuff is brandishing his sword when the wolves begin to howl.

Finally, Beau turns his head toward them all and ushers them forward. “Found the hut, let’s see if Bones is home and–”

Before he finishes, a little spirit bolts down the cobblestone path and jumps straight onto him. Beau doesn’t try evading, falling on his side as the spirit nuzzles him aggressively. If Blink, Beau’s minion, could make sounds, it would be absolutely cackling as it dances in the air comically.

Soon, another little spirit bounds up and presses itself in for attention with a look on its face that says it’s a bit ashamed but doesn’t really care. Beau makes no effort to get up, calling their names each in turn. 

Biscuits huffs a bit, and moves past the pile of ghost-kittens and one preoccupied archer and continues on. “Those be Bones’s projects. Bones – Bones is a softie. Wants them to move on, but some get so attached they stay here forever.”

When they walk in – sans one archer – they find a dark brown cat walking back and forth in front of a fire with a nervous energy that radiates off of him. One last ghost-kitten sits  on the padded chair in the corner, observing its master with a contemplative look.

Biscuits huffs once, and Bones jumps. “Ah, Biscuits, Abitail. Soot said you were coming with a fire message.” The last little minion jumps into his arms, nuzzling his master’s chin. “And I see you’ve brought some friends. Please, sit.”

“Is something the matter?” Abitail asks, walking over to Bones and taking the little one from him. The spirit chatters in her arms, looking at Tuff, Fluff, Floof and Gray as they all sit on a rather long workbench. It’s clear that the guildmates have gathered here before with the spirit’s familiarity. 

Bones’ face tightens with an unmasked worry. “Maybe, it’s hard to say. There have been some growing darkness in the woods, and Max went to check it out. He was thinking it might be a curse, and you know how he likes his curses.”

Tuff looks at Gray at this, who shrugs as the little minion scrambled out of Abitail arms and comes over to sniff them curiously. No one in their guild were sorcerers, so they’d seldomly seen magic that would be considered curse magic. They mostly only had interactions with wizards, or magic users who imbued their skills into items. 

Both Biscuit and Abitail look concerned. “How long ago?” 

“A few days, and about an hour ago the return scroll he keeps here for emergencies began to burn. He tried to use it, but didn’t have the power to activate it. That or he canceled it.”

Abitail raises a toe bean in question to stop him. “Did he head into the deserted caves?”

“Yes but –”

“Then we can find him. I know you’re worried, but we definitely can find him.”

Tuff opens the bag Fluff offers him, pulling out the runes and the potion. “We have these – but only probably one can work in this scenario. Do you think we can get through the caves with these?”

Vote above!

A small note because I've gotten some questions on this:
  • We designed the pledge goals to not have severe monetary jumps between tiers (aside from the full collection). However, every 3 pins added (so 6, 9 and 12 pins) adds an extra filler pin, valued at $8 (later $10+).
  • The only locked filler pin is the original promotion addition for 3+ pins; the rest will be your choice. There is no tier that includes all the filler pins by default because we made like 5 too many. Oops.
  • Bones has Binx in the pin, but it isn't a separate pin. If you wanted the little family, you'd just need Bones, Blair and Salem. 

🐾Mel, Jess and Venetia
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Chapter 11 || The Guides
5 months ago
by Alchemy Art
NOTE: 5 days left to the campaign, so the remaining vote periods will only last a day! Let’s unlock all this stuff!! :D
Colorations for Venetia's D20 stretch goal below. Give us thoughts!

“You’d think that getting rid of the threat of the dragon cat would be thanks enough,” Tuff mutters to himself as stacks yet another log down on the pile, while Spud starts tying the cross posts together with twine. Together, they begin setting this section of wood.

Fluff picks up the vial they’ve gotten from the alchemist - the golden dusty liquid in the bottle splashing against the sides, shimmering with a quiet mystery in the sunlight. She evaluates it and drips a single bead onto her paw, and immediately her toe turns slightly translucent. “Well, that works at least.”

Tuff mutters something on how it better, but continues on to the next pile of wood in their fence mending mission. It takes them another hour to complete this task before they all collapse on the ground, fence rebuilt and slightly pleased with themselves.

They’re just gotten a late breakfast and gotten their things, when Soot pulls them aside. They perk up, and easily everyone’s thoughts are apparent: A monk-healer would be the best asset on a quest to caves that are deadly.

Soot grimaces apologetically, and shrugs helplessly, realizing exactly what these adventurers have thought. “Having a bit of a cheese crisis again. Can’t go, but I will introduce you to some other members of Destruction that should be of some help.”

The two characters Soot introduces them to are sitting at a round table outside of the bar, all packed and ready for an adventure. The larger of the two is clearly a brawns, brawler type, who peers at them excitedly and bellows a greeting. The other cat is small, blindfolded, with an eye that bobs up and down beside him, unblinking.

Soot introduces Biscuits, who grins further, and Beau, who motions to his eyeball friend named Blink, who excitedly… smiles at them. With its singular eye. It stares without blinking until they all, in turn, look away.

“Where we headed, folks?” the orc cat almost shouts at the small group. The archer beside him winces underneath his mask.

“Soot already mentioned that it was Grimalkin Hollow.”

“Oh, that sounds kind of nice,” the orc puzzles.

Beau sighs as he checks his bag of arrows, and the eyeball beside him seems to check over all the contents before twirling appreciatively. He turns to the new arrivals with a toothy grin. “It’s also known as the Haunted Hollow.”

Tuff twitches, and wonders whether nervousness was even permitted. “Let’s… maybe get through this. Who should we be finding?”

Beau puzzles for a moment, then pulls out a map of the Hollow. He points a few times, marking off two distinct areas. “We’d probably best to visit Maximillion, our affectionately termed our Sus Cat Wizard, or Bones, the Nekomancer. Either one knows the area well and could help us find this Unknown of yours. Who do you think we should visit?”

Vote above!

Hey friends - For those who have been following internal chatter, you probably have seen that we've had a really bad experience out at a con this weekend (probably the worst we've had in many, many years of vending), and it's been physically and emotionally draining to experience this much bad at a show where attendees lives were at risk due to negligence and more. We're dealing with it but particularly wiped out, but I'll be doing my best to end this campaign as faithfully as I can. I love this story(mode) a lot and will do as much as I can to pull off the vision I began, despite all of this nonsense popping up.

Also, these are Venetia's color choices that she's thinking about! Do you have any preferences between them? She's thinking she might like to play with a gold pearldust (but she's easily convinced! tell her things)

Annnnnnnd that's all for tonight while I drop myself like a rock into bed.

🐾Mel, Jess and Venetia
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Chapter 10 || A New Quest
5 months ago
by Alchemy Art
Tuff takes the key in hand and inspects the surface, before shrugging slightly. The unsaid "how bad could it be" rings through the air as he slides the key into place, and the lid audibly clicks. Gray seems to be ready to run, and Fluff is leaning away from the box as if it'd save her from the contents.

With a questioning look to his friends, he opens the lid slowly, before peering inside. "A feather?"

"A feather," Gray echoes, before also peering in to see the owl-like feather sitting inside the box. It was long and pristine, and the stem was molded as if to be held.

"A feather!" Tuff jerks back a little, but too late before Simon darts in and deftly grabs the objects, immediately leaping to the fence and then bounding up onto the rooftops.

Tuff and Gray look at each other, before looking at Spud, who had joined them while Abitail continued to gush over the shiny objects the dragon cat had. "Do we even try getting that back?"

Spud grimaces. "What Simon wants, he gets. Even if it was a magic wand of unfathomable power, I don't think it's worth trying to get it back."

The group all sigh at this, recognizing the futility of chasing after their lost prize. Looking toward the rest of the group, they watch as the Prince stays back, saying some apologies, and explains to them that he'll be returning to the King to share the story of the dragon cat who was benevolent and wanted for peace, not harm. For all of his previous grandeur, the Prince slips away from them and vanishes without a further remark, and they turn their attention back to the dragon, who is explaining something about the quest. 

"The last time this one heard from Unknown was around Grimalkin Hollow, which connects into the Lost Caves."

"I thought dragon cats liked caves," Abitail says somewhat absently, seemingly delighted with a huge haul in exchange for this quest.

The dragon cat bristled in response. "Not that. Evil. The way is clouded." It slowly blinked its slitted eyes. "Save my friend, adventurers."

Tuff glances around at the group, and can tell that saying no is already a lost cause. Abitail is carefully cataloging her new treasures, and Fluff and Floof equally seem charmed.

"Adventurers, may I interrupt." Those unoccupied by the shiny hunt look back to find an eccentrically clad cat standing on top of the fence which was still intact. "My name is Sully, the apprentice alchemist with the Merchant's Guild. I've been sent by Moss and Nightshade with your order, along with some mana and health potions for your journey."

Tuff cocks his head to the side. “We didn’t order those.”

The apprentice bows slightly. “An apology for the hectic nature of the key acquisition.”

Fluff claps her hands together. "Oh, delightful!" She scampers over and takes the mana and health potions from the cat, along with a small wooden box. The lid slides off, and she oohs to herself at the sight of the Potion of Invisibility. "It's such a pretty color. Look at those swirls! What would you call that color?"

What color is the potion? Vote above!

Hey friends! Writing from Detroit at the scene (scene..?) of Youmacon! I'll be doing double time between doing the show and the campaign, but in the next week, I'll will be hammering through the last arc of the story! That will mean there are some more consistent updates toward the end to showcase all of the remaining unlocks! :D

Also next episode -- and sorry for the delay -- I'll showcase the final of the 3 variants of D20s. Just need to confirm one more. The vote today is a bit more of a simplistic one that directly impacts just the coloration of one last potion. I did promise that'd come eventually!

Thanks much, and talk to everyone soon!!

🐾Mel, Jess and Venetia
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Chapter 9 || One Key to Rule Them All
5 months ago
by Alchemy Art
Chaos erupts. The dragon cat rears on its back legs, smoke exploding from its mouth as it tries to locate the source of the overwhelming catnip smell. By now, the scent is everywhere, flooding everyone’s senses. Seconds later, the creature shoots out a jet of fire that sends a small stall up in flames.

Abitail whelps, evading another shot of blue flame. “Okay, I hate to say this, but I don’t think we can subdue this guy. We need help.”

Tuff blinks. “Aren’t you part of a summoners guild? Tame it or something.”

Abitail grimaces. “Yeah, some of our guild maybe could because they’re crazy enough, but I think they’re probably part of the main expedition party.” Her hands glow as she pulls up a magical wall to avoid a spray of debris. “Someone needs to get Soot, and maybe Olivier.”

They don’t have time to ask who that is before they avoid another burst of flame that carves molten black patterns in the ground and are separated. Fluff and Floof look at each other, then Floof nods at her twin who starts spinning healing spells in the air. 

Fluff taps Gray and Tuff. “C’mon guys, we need to get that Prince out of harm's way. I’ll help direct Floof’s spells. The fire shouldn’t hurt you for now.”

The obvious warning of ‘for now’ hung in the air as the two male cats shrugged off their nervousness, pulling out their weapons and turning back to the scene. Tuff breathes in once, then moves first, baring his teeth at the dragon and running in, capturing the dragon cat’s attention and the fire hits his shield and sword.

Gray takes this as his queue and darts in, grabbing the Prince’s paw roughly and dragging him back, throwing him away from the action. The Prince goes willingly enough, something in his face saying that he realizes that his plan was incredibly dumb and not thought out.

A voice booms over them, and they look up to see a small black cat standing on the edge of the rooftop, holding a long rope in his paws. “You, warrior, pull him over here. Rogue, get that carriage door closed and get it out of here.”

Tuff follows the command because it seems like a better option than letting the dragon cat melt his newly-purchased sword, and Gray leaps toward the carriage, slamming it shut. Seconds later, the black cat jumps through the air, landing deftly on the crowd of the dragon cat’s head, muzzling him with the rope and jerking him back as if controlling a mount. 

The dragon cat, eyes blown, wheels backward in coiled circles, and crashes through the fence. The rest of the adventurers rapidly run after them, and find them in a messy pile. The black cat leaps back first, then the dragon cat rises, its entire body bristling in the motion.

The singing of magic fills the air, as Catalina appears behind them all with her small summon, and Pesto walks a few steps before shooting a giant jet of water in the dragon cat’s face. The dragon cat is yet again thrown back, but when it rises this time, it seems to blink away the daze of the catnip and glances at them all warily.

Catalina sighs, collecting Pesto into her arms. “Dragon cats aren’t violent creatures. If it was coming into the city, it wanted something. Do something about it. And this Prince.”

She leaves as quickly as she’d come, leaving a confused Prince in her wake, who stares at the whole scene with a slight hint of embarrassment. The dragon cat’s attention is immediately on him, eyes narrowing again to slits.

“The King sent me on a mission… to capture you,” the Prince starts to say.

Surprising everyone, the dragon cat sits, its long tail curling around itself. “Dumb cat. Dragons are not captured.” Its teeth bare and smoke trickles out, but in a way that looks far less lethal than before. “I look for my friend, but need help. The lich takes, and I cannot follow.”

“Your friend?” Tuff questions, and the dragon cat eyes him.

“Yes, Unknown. He is small. Bad at making friends. Easily lost.” The dragon cat huffs. “I have many shiny objects. Will you trade for your help?”

Abitail’s eyes go large and she steps in before Gray can shoot down this offer. “Please show us.”

The dragon cat pulls out a small bag, and begins placing items down in front of them. There seems to be a little of everything, and Fluff sees a set of keys on the ground and recognizes the shape of the ring. She pulls out the chest that Nightshade had given them and taps the top, with the same pattern engraved into it. “That’s the key,” she exclaims.

While Abitail is still pouring over negotiations to ‘save’ this friend, Tuff picks up the little keys and holds them up. “Should we open the chest?”

Vote now!

Happy post-Halloween! Sorry for just getting this update out now. Yesterday was a bit of a mess travelling back from Atlanta, and I got swept up trying to fix some other documentation. Was also feeling a little off today/yesterday - not COVID, thankfully - but gotta keep trucking. 9 days left of the campaign!! :D

Next update I'll also show off the new variants for the D20 unlocked with the stretch goals! Each maker will have their unique coloration. These are the two AA are debating - thoughts?

Any other colorations you'd like to see?

🐾Mel, Jess and Venetia
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Chapter 8 || The Honor of a Prince
5 months ago
by Alchemy Art
“It all began with a prince, you know,” says a slim black cat, sitting on top of a roof in Hississippi. He talks to the bird beside him, who cocks its head while seeming to listen. If it realizes the danger it's in, it doesn’t show it. “A very noble prince indeed.” A chirp. “You see, the story doesn’t start here in Hississippi. It started in the capital a fair way from here, many moons ago.”

Below them both, they can both see the chaos unfurling through the small town as three small adventurers dart after a familiar cat with glowing magical paws, chasing after a speeding dart of a dragon cat as it flies through the streets.

“The Prince, you see, is the heir to the crown, but he’s not at all cultured. He’s definitely no storybook prince, and he’s no prince with any honor to particularly lose and regain. No, no, it’s not one of those journeys to find and earn your title like a storybook.” Two chirps and the black cat takes out his knife, twirling it around. “Instead, he was an incredibly foolish prince with a horribly twisted expectation of the world. He thought being a prince was easy. Worse, though, was that the King had zero idea how to teach him anything or how to get rid of him.”

The black cat seems to finally consider the bird for a moment, then leans over and quickly yanks a feather out from its wing. It trills in extreme offense, but cowers immediately when the cat leans back and begins picking at his teeth with the end. The bird eyes him warily and, somewhat realizing that this bladed cat is dangerous, hops to a different piece of the log. When the cat tosses the blade in the air and catches it, the bird decides that enough is enough, and silently flies away from the building. 

“Of course, no one really knows why he actually is here,” the cat continues on as if the audience was never the bird to begin with. “In fact, his journey was about as good as a joke. Rumor has it the King stuck a bunch of tasks straight out of fairy tales into a hat and drew one. ‘Capture the dragon cat,’ his task said. If only it was so simple.”

The black cat picks himself up, and leaps from one roof to the next, until he perches on one wooden pole overlooking the town square. Below, there is one gray cat who has unsheathed his sword and a dragon cat eyeing him warily, sniffing the air with a speculative glance. It’s the Prince and the dragon cat.

“And now,” he says with a grand gesture, “the point of my story. To say that there will be a time that the Prince needs me.”

As he speaks, the Prince runs over and unlocks his carriage door, and the smell of catnip in the air goes from light to overbearingly offensive, and the dragon cat yowls, going from calm to immediately enraged in mere moments.

The Prince on the ground realizes he has made a mistake, and calls out to the gathered people, all of whom are covering their noses desperately. “You there. Friends. You look like adventurers. As the Prince, I command you to provide aid to the citizens against this perilous dragon cat.”

The black cat looks at his reflection in the knife and smirks. “Alas, what should Simon do?”

Vote above!

Ahh! Okay, so I've been really excited to show how some of the plot points come together for a while. Did anyone guess this trope coming up when they heard about the dragon cat?

I'm glad you guys seem to like this narrative format. One thing I have gotten from people is that people would have wanted to see some of the unlocks earlier (as this will go up to the penultimate day). As things are already scheduled and paced out with updates, that's not something we can change for this campaign, but we're definitely noting it in feedback for any other campaigns that want to try similar models. We be guinea pigs, hah.

The next update will be on the 31st. :D Thanks for adventuring with us!!

🐾Mel, Jess and Venetia
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Chapter 7 || The Traveling Merchant
5 months ago
by Alchemy Art
It seems like the start to a good day when all three adventurers stir and tumble out of bed. They find breakfast at a small inn down the road, and Gray voices some relief that the mysterious Nightshade had given them a few coins back. The others don’t comment that he’d only not been present because he’d been sleeping off a catnip spell – one that had cost a similar number of gold coins, but coins they definitely couldn’t get back.

The only agenda item they have for today is to hit the day market and get some upgrades and fixes to their equipment, and that seems doable enough even with their coin pouches a bit beaten up. Gray’s knife has dulled to the point where it could barely slice bread, Tuff’s jacket has patches that have patches, and Fluff wants to scout some healing trinkets with Floof.

Tuff leads the way out of the inn, and almost smacks straight into a delighted pup, who woofs merrily in recognition. “Oui!” he says, patting the mount’s forehead.

“Aha! There you are, little friends,” says Spud, towering far above them. In that brief moment, it was easy to forget the little cat was only half their size normally. “I brought someone who was looking for you!”

Tuff, Floof, Fluff and Gray all peer sideways to see a poor little merchant cat dragging along a rather large moveable cart. He seems to be in a rush, but looks greatly relieved to see them as a grin sweeps across his face. 

Instead of waiting for them to question what the cart is for, he scrambles to action, and it quickly transforms into a makeshift stall. He looks a smidge nervous, whiskers slightly twitching, as he motions for the group to come up.

“Hello hello,” the young cat says, “my name is Basil, and I’m the younger brother of Nightshade and her sharp Knapsack of Knives and Moss and her wondrous Traveling Terrarium - the merchants of Whiskers & Wares. I carry all the general use items, along with many special one-of-a-kind finds!”

Tuff tilts his head slightly. “Aren’t you supposed to be giving us a key to open that weird box?”

The small cat fidgets. “So, you see…”

Gray narrows his eyes. “You don’t have it, do you?”

“I did up until recently!” he objects. “Very recently! Unfortunately, the dragon cat sneaked through my camp when I was at the edge of the city and stole everything shiny I had, key included.”

“The dragon cat?”

“Yes! A quite fearsome beast!” It was hard to tell if he was telling the truth, or just spinning the tale to make his loss of goods more forgivable. “He often has a habit of stealing shiny trinkets in the area, but generally doesn’t do any harm admittedly. Most people are just too afraid to confront him.”

Fluff seems disappointed still. “How do we open this box then?”

“Find the dragon cat?” The small cat winces. “But due to how tall of a task that is, Nightshade and Moss sent me over with some apology runes. They equal the cost you paid for the mystery box - please don’t worry - and all three of us hope it helps with your journey. We’ll be along tomorrow with your requested potion as well.”

All of the younger cats look at the runes with interest, but suddenly Spud’s mount hops up excitedly, sniffing the air. At the same time, Abitail comes blazing into view, hands bright with magic. 

Spud lowers his visor and calls, “There’s an explosive amount of catnip in the city square! There must be a problem. We should help!” while Abitail shouts to them as she passes, “I’ve spotted the dragon cat and he’s carrying some shinies! Loot!”

Tuff, Grey, Fluff and Floof look at each other. They could be heroes, or they could pursue their key… what should they do?

Vote above!

Apologies for the late update! Typing this from a hotel in Atlanta... we've had a day... between watching a truck not realize it was too tall for an underpass and sheer off its top, to this hotel which is potentially actually haunted (the toilet shrieks)... it's been a day. I'm not going to talk about how many times I had to save these images out because I kept making 1 word mistakes. Whoops.

As a reminder, the deluxe pin will be available in the lineup during the survey selections, but will have a slight upcharge for the fact that Basil be
chonk. (Full collections already include him.) -- The two filler pins are super cute! 

But anyway, so excited to showcase dragon cat. :D :D But we're getting into it now!

🐾Mel & Sara, Jess and Venetia
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Chapter 6 || Suspicious Strangers
5 months ago
by Alchemy Art
When Tuff asks for the mysterious chest, Nightshade looks a bit perplexed and a bit abashed. “Was not expecting you little kittens to take the chest.” She pats the wooden surface once. “Unfortunately, my last sibling has the key and has been running a little late.”

Tuff grumbles. “Then why’d you offer it?”

Nightshade shrugs nonchalantly. “I never said you’d be able to open it here. Besides, if it was a mimic and ate you, I wouldn’t want to clean it up.”

Fluff’s folded ears go straight back. “Excuse me?”

“Ignore her,” Moss finally interjects. “I promise in the name of Whiskers & Wares that the contents won’t harm you.”

“Will it help us?” Tuff asks.

“Yet to be determined!” Nightshade claps gleefully as Tuff resignedly digs out the amount of coins that Nightshade requests. Moss writes down their order for the Invisibility Potion, noting it will be a few days before it gets to them, almost looking a smidge apologetic. Nightshade then dumps the chest into Fluff’s arms with a wicked smile. “Do send a bird on how it goes.”

Tuff and Fluff glance at each other then, and scramble as fast as they can out of the alley before they inadvertently lose any more of their money to bad purchases. They’ve only gone a block before they hear someone calling their names. They both perk up as they recognize Ash…. or as he asked to be called, Stabby.

The green-and-blue-eyed cat saunters up with a grin. “Hello fabulous friends! Why did you ever let Gray have all of that catnip? You know how bad he is with that stuff.”

Fluff winces regretfully. “Thanks for looking after him. Has he calmed down?”

“Only after telling your sister he’d catch all the mice in Hississippi for her.” Fluff mutters something that sounds distinctly like ‘Oh dear.’ “Heh, he also talked a tall tail about how some crazy meow in the store apparently bought all of the fancy catnip and needed a carriage to pull it away. Can’t quite tell if he was serious or hallucinating the whole thing.”

Fluff shakes her head. “Speaking of my twin, where is she, Stabby? You know her bad spending habits when–”

Tuff lets out a weird guffaw before pointing at a small cat running toward them. “Too late, here comes Floof!”

This new cat comes bounding in holding a red ball of yarn in her hands, motioning excitedly. Her tail is swishing with her enthusiasm, and as she waves energetically, magic begins to flow out of her in rainbow ribbons, the colors clearly showing her happy mood. She gestures at Fluff, offering up the red yarn.

Fluff frowns as she takes it, then passes it to Tuff. “Floof, who did you buy this from?” Her eyes narrow and Floof’s eyes lower. “You spent your money at a booth like that?” Stabby and Tuff glance at each other, then back to the yarn. They had long since gotten used to the one-sided conversations. “It cost how much?!”

Tuff sighs, turning over the red string and tugging at the end. “How many meals did this yarn bundle cost?”

“Like a month–” Tuff drops the yarn in surprise, “–and a half,” Fluff fumes.

Stabby pats Floof on the head. “Sorry gal, we need to get some new equipment. We should try to return it – or try to sell it to someone looking for a gift.”

Tuff picks up the yarn again and dusts it off. “Maybe Nightshade would be interested in it… maybe she could place a curse on it or something.”

Vote above!

It's honestly a little amusing to watch this story go haywire. Two logical options? No, chaos. Why not chaos?

I promise that (almost) all choices do, in fact, impact the story in fairly large ways -- it won't always be an immediate impact on the story, much like a real DnD/RPG campaign, and you'll see where they lead eventually. Things are about to get
incredibly dramatic real soon. Clearly I wanted to be a bard class with this storytelling. :P

This marks 14 main cats unlocked, and two filler pins! More filler pins soon, promise! :D

🐾Mel & Sara, Jess and Venetia
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Chapter 5 || The Day & Night Market
5 months ago
by Alchemy Art
//Make sure to vote in the update!

The festival, it seems, lasts from dawn until midnight, and tonight is the second day. Soot says it’s part of the festival’s charm that it doesn’t have a real name. It’s like magic, he explains, that a little city appears in the streets for a full weekend. It’s just “The Festival” to everyone here.

It’s just coming to dusk when Tuff meets up with Fluff, who explains lightly that Gray is sleeping off the catnip and will meet them in the next few hours. They wander around, going from stall to stall of brightly colored drapes with shiny bits and bobs. Tuff almost loses Fluff as a light show starts, but a loud clanking of metal brings them back to the present.

The stall they find is marked with the merchant guild’s logo - and the cats inside definitely are the ones Catalina mentioned. She had also said that the sisters swapped on and off during the festival: Moss, the merchant who sold what could help you – at a price – and Nightshade, the merchant who sold you what could hurt you – or others – at somewhat more charming prices.

They approached as the pink cat seemed to be packing up. Tuff walks up as the purple meow beside her brandishes a long sword at the crowd. He flinches, but doesn’t step back like the rest of the crowd. Even hardy orc-cats would struggle with a blade that long.

“Are you Moss from the Merchant’s Guild?” he asks.

The pink cat looks up from her long scroll filled with notes and blinks twice. “Yes, little pet. I’m closing up for the day, though, and I’m afraid I’m sold out of most of the fancy potions anyway.”

Fluff looks upset. She’d been really excited when she’d heard Moss could make potions of invisibility. “Is it possible to place an order for pickup later?”

Moss makes a face which is definitely a no, but the purple cat beside her interjects, waving her paws comically. “Nighttime rules, my playground!” Nightshade’s eyes are mischievous… or dangerous; it’s hard to tell in the fading light. She drops a chest on the counter. “Tell you what, you buy whatever’s in the box I’m about to open, and I’ll make sure Boss here gets you a potion for the normal price.”

“Even a potion of invisibility?” 


Fine.” Nightshade barrels on, pushing forward the chest another inch, then slams a spellbook that seems to be smoking next to it. “You can open the mystery chest at the normal cost, or buy this creepy spellbook at double the price, and I’ll get you a reservation for any potion you want.”

Moss looks terribly offended. “Nightshade this is my–”

“Tsk, tsk, Sis, you’ve closed for the day. I’m in charge now.” Nightshade turns back. “So what will it be: Creepy spellbook or mystery chest?”

Vote above!

Whew!! I've really enjoyed writing this so far (so I do hope some of y'all are enjoying the little story). All of this campaign is super experimental, so it's honestly up to you guys to let us know if this format is something we should encourage to others! So far most of you have seemed to like it, but do let us know if you have thoughts.

Over the last two days, we hit one of the stretch goals! The DnD dice offered as a LE freebie to the promo incentive (either the 48 hour only unlock, or subbing on launch) will now have additional colorations. In the next week or so, Venetia, Jess and myself will show off our personal colors in these fun additions. They'll be available in the add-on store, or for full collections, you get one for free.

In the meantime, please try not to hurt Fluff and Tuff too much... but I guess Nightshade is going to do what she wants to do.

🐾Mel, Jess and Venetia
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Chapter 4 || Catalina's Catatonic Brews
5 months ago
by Alchemy Art
Gray, Fluff and Abitail all seem to disappear the moment the sign for Catatonic comes into view. From the gold-lettered black wood plank to a lantern made out of a skull, the whole place looks like a textbook definition of “someone’s dark magic ritual gone wrong”.

Tuff heads in with Soot and Spud, stepping cautiously through the hallway lined with candles.  He almost expects to see a summoning circle on the ground with hooded cult-like magicians running around. They all trod along silently until it opens up into a proper bar, going magically from zero noise to almost overwhelming laughter and song within moments. 

Spud grins and leads them all to the bar top, calling over the bartender with a level of familiarity. “Still workin’ off that bet, Ms. Bartender?”

A regal-looking cat swoops her way up to them in a flowing magician’s robe that is in no way an outfit you’d expect for anyone filling up cups with brews and cocktails. She narrows her eyes, and swishes a glowing hand; her annoyance is clear as a stein slams down in front of Spud out of thin air. He seems entirely nonplussed by this and picks it up. 

“You mean the one where Simon won our ridiculous guild contest and I had to bartend here until The Black Cat festival? Then he bought Three Whiskers and renamed it Catatonic just to spite me?” The bartender grimaces, and does an intricate hand cast. The next moment, a little red imp runs up, grabs another cup and rushes away. She sighs, then more gently hands Soot a similar drink, some resemblance of respect clear to the guild master. She turns to face Tuff. “Catalina of Catatonic Brews, at your service. Let me know what you want, and the minions will grab it for you.”

“She’s a summoner,” Spud explains, “which mostly just means that she makes her minions do everything. She honestly makes this bar sound like a chore, but she’s now the richest person in the guild by a mile. She should thank Simon at this point.”

Tuff finally can’t stop himself from asking: “Who’s Simon?”

Soot meows in laughter. “Just a guildmate.”

Spud grimaces. “Trouble, more like.”

“A menace.” Catalina sighs, which seems to be her favorite reaction. “Anyway, enough about him. I think my little Pesto is hanging out with your friend Castor.” 

“Castor’s here?” Tuff asks. 

She nods, and waves her hands again, and there’s a strange meowing noise in response. A mushroom dryadcat very clumsily jumps onto the bartop and settles underneath Catalina’s paws, just as another cat, draped in a leaf, follows.

“Oh hey Tuff, fancy finding you here,” Castor says as he settles in. The little minion immediately goes back to him and flops down across his leaf hat. “Don’t mind Pesto. He’s fine unless he turns blue, then you should probably run.”

Tuff blinks slowly. “Blue.” The green minion stares at him with unblinking eyes. “Right.”

“The little guy knows how to cast a spell. Or eat one.” Castor laughs. “The merchant guild tried to buy him off of Catalina a bit ago. Have you met with them yet?” Tuff shakes his head. “They just got here for the festival yesterday. Worth hitting up if you’re planning on pushing into Grimalkin Grotto.”

Catalina joins in at that, her hat meowing with her sudden interest. “Oh, yes! I hope they’ve brewed some of their more interesting potions. The Potion of Invisibility is always good, and their Potion of Heroism somehow tastes like apples, I’m told. Are you going to buy one?”

Vote above!!

Steadily more of the story comes together! These chapters are harder to write than most probably think, haha, but I'm having fun with it. There's a lot of: "But what if this isn't interesting / but what if this isn't weird enough"

TL;DR - typical writer things.

Hope you enjoy these new unlocks!! They definitely changed quite a bit just to fit the story!

🐾Mel, Jess and Venetia
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Chapter 3 || Onto Hississippi
5 months ago
by Alchemy Art
Soot comically gestures. “Well, they’re probably the most sane guildmates I have. The rest can be… a lot sometimes. I’m sure you’ll meet Simon – just beware of his knife.”

Fluff winces and steps again behind both of her guildmates. Gray leans in slightly and whispers, “What are the chances that the mouse is the strongest one of their guild?”

Tuff elbows him but eyes the mouse as it scampers past. It’s holding a lump of cheese at least three times its size. “It’s nice to meet you,” he offers.

If Soot hears the commentary about his pet he doesn’t show it, welcoming his mouse friend back onto his shoulders. He instead smiles, and lets out an “Aha!” of recognition as he hears the loud padding that comes from ahead of them. Soon, a lumbering dog-mount and two riders appear, one who instantly dismounts when reaching them.

Soot waves to them both in turn. “This is Spud and Abitail.”

Abitail grins as she pats Spud’s dog mount. “I’m glad we caught up with you. Hississippi is just a little ways up and a few of your guildmates are there waiting.”

Tuff sighs and inspects some of the loot on the ground. Unfortunately, it’s all junk. No luck in this batch. The best, it seems, is the cheese. He finally looks back at the other guild and their group. “And they couldn’t come greet us?”

Spud steers his dog-mount onto the path that’s opened. “Ah, well, you see… there’s a small festival going on, and some pretty great ale down at Catatonic.”

Tuff’s eyes brighten with his interest, but Gray’s ears flatten. “Anything else of note?”

Abitail grins as the whole party starts to set off. “A great catnip lounge named Urban Tails! There was this one time that the whole guild got stuck there for an entire day because –”

Soot pats her head as he passes. “Maybe don’t give them the worst impression.” He glances back at the three DERP members, who look spectacularly puzzled. “Where would you like to head first: Catatonic or Urban Tails?”

Vote above! :D

Honestly, I'd probably be equally afraid and interested into walking into a bar called Catatonic. Probably more afraid, but who knows. Maybe I'd be slightly more brave at some point.

Abitail is one of our favorite new additions - gotta love the pearl effect in her magic! :D -- As we've talked about a tiny bit, each of our three groups are split into three guilds. Venetia's are a mix of just about everything on the chaotic/neutral/lawful scale, which makes it fun to use. It's honestly a bit of a challenge to try to keep everything integrated (and if you get too tired of the story, just stare at the unlocks and don't tell me).

That all said, yes, I'm giving into the puns that have been pushed upon me. All the pawsibilities, I suppose.

I hope this update reaches everyone well. The next one should be around the 20th! :D

🐾Mel, Jess and Venetia
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Chapter 2 || The Cheese
5 months ago
by Alchemy Art
Variant Colorations of D20 Pin (one for each maker)
We did it! This project reached this goal!

Goal: $12,500This goal was reached on Oct 21, 2022 3:56pm PDT

“Did it have to be giant rats?” Tuff hisses as they defeat yet another swarm of rats. “They don’t even actually like cheese!”

“Tell that to the map,” says Gray as he snatches his knife back and gingerly sidesteps another pack of red-eyed creatures. “I’m sure the boss is somewhere up ahead.”

Fluff yelps as she hides behind Tuff, but continues her healing spell. “You don’t…. mean that one, do you…?”

Both Tuff and Gray whip around as they are both swallowed in a giant rat’s shadow. Gray grumbles loudly, “What do we do, oh glorious leader?”

Tuff throws his sword, and it… bounces off, clattering to the ground unceremoniously. He looks back to the path they’ve come down, a distant light shining through the trees. “Run?”

Before they take any steps at all, a boom shakes the ground, and the giant rat – seconds from probably eating Tuff – gets thrown back with a dazzling light, showing off a treasure trove of cheese it was guarding. A small mouse, a hundred times smaller than the giant rat, darts up to the chest and seemingly does a dance. 

At the footsteps coming from behind, they all turn to face the new intruder. A monk cat stands there, sheepishly holding a sizzling staff. “Apologies – Whiskers saw the sign for cheese and got carried away. Had to make sure he didn’t get harmed.” He glances to them each in turn. “You must be the group from DERP. My name is Soot, leader of Destruction.”

They nod and return his greeting. Tuff nonchalantly picks up his fallen sword. “Is it just you?”

“A few of my guildmates aren’t far behind. How should I describe the two of them…”

{Vote above!}


Ahhh! We be doing it! At $12,500, we get some variant D20s pins! Super close to that goal. 
What colors would you love to see a D20 dice in? :0

Also, random: A Destruction is a group of feral and/or wild cats.

Vote in the poll and drag your friends in. We want to see them here. :D

🐾Mel, Jess and Venetia

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Chapter 1 || The Map of Meowing
5 months ago
by Alchemy Art

Well, that's that, it seems. The new adventurers pick up their new map (which promptly meows at them), and they head through the gate that closes behind them with a thunk of finality.

Fluff meows to herself. "Are you sure we can't go back?"

"No way," Tuff insists, huffing and turning the map sideways. He begins to drag them down the road, waving it in his hand. "We just need to meet up with the others in a few days. Nothing could go wrong."

Gray looks like someone took his favorite box and soaked it in water. "All of what you just said is what people say before someone gets eaten."

Before long, they reach a fork in the road that is marked (surprisingly) on the map. It is brightly labelled in letters that inconspicuously appear: "Head left for monsters, cheese and loot; head right for chests that may or may not be traps."

Looking none too happy, Gray sighs. "None of this is comforting. You decide what we do."

Time to make your choice: Cheese or chests?

Thank you so so much to everyone who joined the campaign on day I! We were funded at 3PM PST sharp (marking exactly 24 hours to fund ALL pins in the campaign). We're super excited for that. :D

The prologue led us to a map - evil? good? chaotic? - and it's now added to the campaign breakdown! Feel free to vote in the poll above, and it'll decide where the story takes us! The poll will be up for about 48 hours, so expect another update on 10/15 with the next bit of story, more pin designs and the next portion of this little tale.

The next funding goal is at $12,500 for variant colorations of the D20 dice (one for each maker); these variants will be available in the add-on shop. The Full Dungeon Clear packs will include one maker exclusive for free (of your choice) that comes with the stretch goal, with the ability to add the other two at a discount as well!

Again, thank you so much for joining us; we're ever so thrilled that this has funded!!

🐾Mel, Jess and Venetia
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Prologue || Before the Adventure
6 months ago
by Alchemy Art
In the world of our finest furry felines, many forces are training diligently to be a part of a grand quest for fame.

We follow the newest members of DERP - the Dungeon Exploring Role Players - who signed up their new comrades.... mostly by accident. Their rival guilds claimed they didn't have the fluff for it and, one catnip dose later, someone submitted their adventuring application. Oops.

So here we are: meet Tuff (the warrior), Fluff (the cleric), and Gray (the rogue), all scrambling to get together their equipment and wares before adventuring out of the city. They've trained for at least a single moon, so they have skills and are ready for this new journey. What could possibly go wrong?? (Just don't look at their duller-than-average swords.)

The academy recognizes that they probably need to provide them with a bit of equipment - the slip of paper the masters hand them says that Whiskers & Wares (the merchant guild), Destruction (the summoner guild) and the rest of their guild are waiting for them to catch up... but the shiny chest they open has a single gift. What will it be?

Thanks so much for everyone who has pledged already! Be sure to vote in the first story poll above, as that determines the first filler pin that joins the campaign. :D - This is the exception to the order where it will last just one day (the next story update will happen somewhere around 6 PST tomorrow).

As of posting this we are
almost funded (82% to our goal which unlocks ALL pins) in 9 hours - and all of you in 3+ pin tiers have secured the free filler pin for yourself. This is a little different, of course, than smaller sets of pins unlocked, but we wanted to ensure we could unlock the entire planned collection (no buts). :D

Thank you so much for being here. We're looking forward to this adventure.

🐾Mel, Jess and Venetia
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