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Once upon a time, In a land called Appalachia. . .
Deep in the hills of the Ohio River Valley in a land called Appalachia, a group of extraordinary people lead ordinary lives. Graphic Designers, Draftsmen, Accountants, and Massage Therapists work day-to-day to get by in the real world.
On the inside, however, these adventurers are itching to do more. That is the crusade. It's the never-ending quest to create. To tell stories, to make things that look, sound, feel, and smell pretty. To encourage laughter and passion and creativity. To inspire. We want you to reach with us beyond the mundane into something a little more fantastic, a little more magical, a little more you.
It began with a graphic design artist who was tired of the mundane life and decided to embrace her inner gnome and hit that big red button for all it was worth. She had some designs collected from days past that were collecting dust on the digital shelf within her Macbook, and decided to lovingly repackage them and put them on Etsy as instant downloads. The response was remarkable, and the story began to develop.
She began collecting treasures and developing plans. Mighty beasts were discovered and conquered. People saw the vision and climbed aboard. Now, though we call the Ohio River home, quests and missions and plans are being formed. We're embracing our inner adventurers, and are inviting you to come along.
We have in our wares Bardic Inspiration, Druidic Alchemy, Art by Mages, and Treasures untold. Explore our wagons and find that art supply, that planner page, that shirt, that accessory, that piece of gear that speaks to you and adds to your own journey. Be who you are. Logical or Emotional, Lawful or Chaotic, Good or. . . . "Fun."
Be the hero (or heroine) of your story.
Captain Jess: (Gnome Bard Artificer) Jess began The Rogue Crusade in 2014 as a gnomish experiment, lovingly packaging some of her old designs and putting them up for sale as instant downloads, hitting the big red button and seeing what would happen, making herself accidental captain.
Jasmynn: (Deep Gnome Barbarian Alchemist) Cousin to the Captain, Jazi is our long-distance crew-mate. A massage therapist by trade, she's using her XP on the arts of scent and self-care, crafting soaps and the like. She also manages the Steampunk Social Club, the F.F.S. Mutineers, for Captain Lucky!
Colbie: (Gnome Druid Artisan) The Unsinkable Colbie Beaver is our resident Dragon Tamer, seamstress, and shapeshifting druid. All of our hand stitched dragons were hatched by her, and she's become an integral part of the crew. You can follow her @ShadowDancerCosplay on IG.
Denise: (Dragon Kin Paladin Artisan) With her attention to detail and her newfound love of putting rings together to form wondrous artifacts, our Paladin Denise has adopted the captain as "her gnome," and we're okay with that! Denise is always ready to lend a hand and has helped in many ways beyond her chain mailing.
Jessa: (Half-Elf Bard Performer) Jessa is Chief Storyteller aboard the Crusade, and a fabulous soul who refers to herself as “Chaotic Fun.” She was our longest running and most consistent DM in our time at port on Court Street, and is a regular voice on our “Blogcasts.” It was actually she who coined the term, and we hope to have her write her tales from the D&D games she DMs.
Lady Marcum: (Halfling Wizard Loremaster) The Lady Marcum is a Wordsmith Historian who is frequently at her Hearth ready to listen and share her words of wisdom. She is a regular voice on our “Blogcasts” and has helped the Crusade in various other ways over the years, from hosting tea parties and book clubs to writing product descriptions to administrative work to her own dabbling in various crafts.
Lucy: (Kobold Cleric Ambassador) A long time friend of the Captain, The Lady Lucy is an inspiration and one of the best encouraging voices on the crew. Always ready to cheer everyone on and help in whatever way she can.
Jeremy: (Gnome Rogue/Ranger Ringmaster) Jeremy (aka Arghny "Red Beard") has already assisted with customer service, tech support, systems designer, and general skill monkey. This jack-of-all-trades trickster gnome is always happy to lend a hand, making spreadsheets and answering emails.
Petey: (Tiefling Paladin Bounty Hunter) Petey is a Numbersmith by trade and a Gamer/Tailor by hobby. Also a Paladin, Jeremy is "His Gnome," and he and Denise form Paladins Anonymous. He has not only been an occasional Numbersmith when we're desperate for assistance, but also a trusted Shopkeep, holding down the port while the rest of the crew goes on away missions.
Matt: (Dwarf Fighter Gunner) Matt has been everything from investor to protector to game master to wall painter to assistant carpenter. A treasured member of the crew, he is frequently referenced and called upon for advice and aid, and has also been a frequent and much-enjoyed DM with a darker sense of story.
Dave: (Human Ranger Bounty Hunter) The lover of the Chief Storyteller and our very own Mad-Eye Moody, he’s usually a ready hand when available. He also ran consistent D&D games in our time at Port on Court Street, and though he likes to say he is no nerd, he is strangely eager with little resistance to join in our shenanigans.
Adam: (Kobold Fighter Bounty Hunter) Much like Jess has a Paladin (Denise) and a Kobold (Lucy), Jeremy also has a Paladin (Petey), and a Kobold, and that’s Adam. He’s been a huge help to the Crusade on a number of fronts over the years. Our OG Kobold friend, everything about the Chromatics of the race are based on his model in our realm.
Reni: (Gnome Barbarian Cabin Girl) The daughter of the Captain, she often ends up getting tasked with small and repetitive Cabin Girl level jobs for spending cash, and is a frequent face and voice on Blogcasts, whether expected or not.
Making an Aethercraft living and a Hopepunk difference through form, function and fantasy.
Goal One: Make a Living with Aethercraft. We’re not aiming to get rich doing this. We joke and dream about making a billion dollars and retiring to a cruise ship offshore, off-grid community, and while that would be nice, we just want our crew to be able to feed, clothe, and shelter themselves and their loved ones, and maintain their need to make things.
Goal Two: Make a Difference with Hopepunk. This is the real Rogue part of the Crusade. This goal is more clearly defined in future chapters. We’re willing to trade off being rich for saving the planet and helping the poor and downtrodden. What good is a hoard of cash if it never does anything to make the world a better place?
Goal Three: Make Things With Appealing Form. The Makers of the Rogue Crusade put pretty high standards on ourselves. We strive for items that make someone on the crew fall in love with them visually, even if the maker doesn’t think it’s good enough, and we’re constantly tweaking our projects until we’re happy with the final result and offering each other constructive criticisms. This is the first, visual-art, surface level of our loot.
Goal Four: Make Things With Function. The loot we make and curate has to fulfill some sort of function, whether it’s a daily life function, a gaming function, or even an emotional function. We’re not out to produce useless junk. We want to produce things that “spark joy” and have a lasting concrete and/or symbolic purpose. This is the second, mental/emotional level of our loot.
Goal Five: Make Things With Fantasy. Fantasy is the aesthetic mold we slip into. It takes us away from the world of mundane and demands we look deeper and reach further. The symbolism of Fantasy has to be in everything we make and do in order to fit in the overall Rogue Crusade story. This is the third, deeper meaning level of our loot.