It’s been over six months since the last update on Tribes in the Dark. While I can’t really give any solid dates or timeline yet, I can say that the core book is currently in editing and layout. It looks like we have one of my favorite artists (who I can’t wait to be able to announce) for the cover and — if everything goes well — additional interior art. After several years of development, it is now largely in other people’s hands and I’m not completely sure how to feel about it.
Actually, I do know that this feels weird not having a monolith to be chipping away at. I feel unmoored. As we head into 2024 I want to focus myself on some new things — both Tribe 8 related and not. Until then, I hope everyone has had a wonderful holiday season (for whatever holidays you celebrate) and I leave you with an old creation of mine: S’klas.
Rummaging through your mind With a tentacle down your throat, What secrets will I find? Oh I really want to know!
Eyes on ivory bone rings Forcing you to watch your plight. My how your flesh truly sings As I receive my gift tonight!
S’klas is a Z’bri Joh’an living in the Skyrealms near Bazaar. Once a Melanis Lord, it was driven out of Hl’Kar because its experiments and penchant for abducting Tribal children threatened the Pact of the Dome. S’klas is convinced children hold the secret to opening the Fold because of their innocence and closeness to the River of Dream. Its experiments revealed a long-lost collective memory of a mythical figure who visited children on a special winter night every year, passing out gifts to those who behaved and leaving an item showing his displeasure for those who hadn’t. S’klas has taken on the role of this figure, corrupting it in a fashion only a Z’bri could.
S’klas, like most Melanis, conceals its form in robes — in its case, glistening exposed muscle and sinew. Tentacles often emerge from the folds and openings of the robes on their own accord. Within its cowl are a pair of inhuman eyes and a “beard” of writhing tentacles. S’klas surrounds itself with diminutive, twisted Serfs who assist it in luring children back to his lair.
S’klas is particularly obsessed with Agnes and her Tribe. It is researching how Agnes' rebirth from Mary and how Agnites use Synthesis might be used to re-open the Fold and allow S’klas to dominate all children in Vimary. S’klas hopes that success will bring vindication and allow it to return to Hl’kar.
On the longest night of the year, S’klas emerges from its lair on a sled of living bone and tissue, pulled by eight nightmarish beasts fashioned into mockeries of the Fatimas. It visits terror upon Vimary by delivering horrifying living “toys” to children — and worse to those it deems have been “naughty” over the past year.
A few Agnites have started creating small shrines in hidden places on the winter solstice, replete with grisly “snacks” and decorations. These Agnites willingly accept the items that S’klas brings, squirreling them away lest an adult take them away or Agnes Herself finds them. Their behavior only encourages S’klas, leading it to believe its methods are working. The items he leaves are obviously all corrupted by Sundering, and many are dangerous. Worse still, as S’klas' understanding of children grows deeper, his toys become more subversive. S’klas may very well succeed in getting one of its toys into the hands of the greatest Child of all.