also by the MotA team
  • >Golden Dames Project
  • Red Nebula Studios
  • Lovefeast
Commission Keith W!

The first story

Note: I've been invited to participate in an online panel discussion this Friday (2/3/12) at 8pm EST.  It would be great if some MotA fans would show up. The panel will be online at

I hope to see you there! Virtually, anyway.


When I sat down and worked out the storyline for the first chapter of Mysteries of the Arcana I had certain goals in mind. They were, in no particular order:

1. Establish the personalities of the main characters. Originally, this was just Theresa and Chrys but, as I wrote further, William's personality also became important.

2. Establish the existence of a group of secondary characters. Circe. Mandrake. Blue. Kludge. Melody. BbuzZ and the Surgeon were last minute additions to the roster.

3. Establish Theresa and Chrys's attraction to each other. The romantic element of the story was always important. In hindsight, though, I could have not hit people over the head so hard with it. I've taken some flak for their instant attraction.

4. Establish the basic elements of the setting. The arcana multiverse is a pretty complex one. I had to explain the existence of different arcana, the tarot connection, the existence of keys and their powers, the existence of the royal road and how it was used, and the existence of dreamwalkers. Originally, I wrote had Kludge give a very long speech. I'm talking pages of nothing but text. In writing it out, I managed to move things around and trim things down. I believe that the two pages of explanation Kludge gives Theresa followed by the lesson in using the royal road she gets from William later does a better job. There are still some questions unanswered but most of those will be explored in the next storyline.

5. Add some adventure, some action, some enticing plotline, and some funny.

What do you think? Did I succeed? Did you enjoy the first storyline? If so, what was your favorite bit?