A nice big update this week! My favorite kind!

In this week’s page, we start to learn a bit more about the Ermehn tribe, the Sratha-din, of which Hardin has assumed leadership.The naming convention for Ermehn tribes takes a little inspiration from the Redwall book “Taggerung,” which combined tribal leaders’ names with the groups they led. The savage nature of the Ermehn culture also has some commonalities with the Juska from that book, though that’s less about us being inspired by Mr. Jacques as it is both us and Mr. Jacques being inspired the ancient Scottish Picts from the Iron/Medieval ages. The battles between the Picts and the Romans also have some similarities in theme and tone to the Ermehn/Canid struggle, as I’m sure more than a few readers have picked up on.


Another fun detail in this week’s page (and future pages) is the content of the banners decorating the interior of the garrison. If you dare to reach back — way, way back — you might remember in the Prologue chapter that the concept of recording historical events was mentioned as an important theme of the story.

In the updated draft of the script, which will be making its appearance in the first printed volume of Beyond the Western Deep, this through-line is called out with greater emphasis. To paraphrase: “history is written by the victor, but truth is written by the observer.” The Canid, being the victors in the Canid/Ermehn conflict, have their own version of history they like to bandy about — though how close it is to the truth we may never know.

Also, speaking of the tweaked script, you’ll soon be able to read it here:


That’s right! The books are COMING SOON! This one isn’t actually the real book, but is a hardcopy proof that we opted in for to help us gauge whether the files were appropriate for printing the main run of 500 books.


This is a fun new piece that Rachel put together for the front of the book.


The careful translation from RBG colors to CMYK took a lot longer than I think either of us would’ve liked, but the colors really pop off the page now. The pages, a nice and heavy 85# stock, give the whole book a substantial heft when paired with the traditional hardcover front and back. Why, it’s almost book-like!


The only changes at this stage will be to tweak the sizing of the art on the pages a little so nothing gets lost in the spine of the book, and to brighten up the cover image a wee bit. Once that’s done, the books will begin printing and the first batch of 50 should be on my doorstep two weeks later. Expect MORE pictures :)

Also, a sneak peek at some of the bonus stuff, of which there is a ton!


The major cast is laid out here with their initial concept art, showing their design evolutions ranging from BWD pre-2010 to BWD 2012.


All in all, Rachel and I are both extremely proud of the book. We spent a really long time tweaking every detail and polishing every minor point to provide both newcomers and day-1 readers with a worthy purchase that encapsulates everything BWD has to offer as a story and a world, and I think we’re going to accomplish that goal with this first volume.

This week, as a bonus-bonus-bonus, we also some AMAZING guest art to share! I present to you, courtesy of Jack McCarthy, Dakkan!


Rachel and I both absolutely adore the picture, Jack! Here we see Dakkan is exuding his usual lackadaisical vibe, using his tail as a support to lean up against. Very cool posing! His physical appearance and demeanor are both portrayed in a very fun way, and we’re both grateful to Jack for sending the piece! Thanks, Jack!