The Road to Reaving – Part IX

BOOM!; photo by Mark Maestas

As promised, another installment. You can catch up in the usual place; today we’ll look at layout ideas and beyond after a brief interlude.


Thought I’d drop in some interesting factoids that readers of the eventual release will find within its pages:

  • Twelve Clans survive the Wars of Reaving
  • The true mystery of the Titanic is revealed
  • The Star Adder/Blood Spirit feud finds a violent end
  • At least one Khan from every Clan dies
  • There are three ilKhans within
  • There are only 26 Clan worlds in 3085
  • Connor Rood is alive in 3086
  • The Blood Spirits royally tick off the Ghost Bears
  • There is a Riga-class WarShip named the Hetherington, named in honor of Tim Hetherington
  • The Tanis system is the final resting place of a Cobra Khan
  • The Sharks lose over 50 JumpShips in one engagement
  • The epic voyage of the Swift Strike is detailed
  • Stellar System Waypoint 531 is detailed
  • Denizli becomes a Falcon killing field
  • Elliot McKibben is regarded as a false Khan
  • Three Kerenskys steer the fate of Clan Wolf
Sample layout design for Wars of Reaving

Light at the End of the Tunnel (or Maybe It’s a Train)

With an absolute, no-way-it-can-move, cement-fixed drop-dead to-the-printer date of July 8, everything was in flux. We were in the week just before the Fourth of July and with the big holiday weekend, nothing looked certain.

What lay before us was just under 180,000 words of text that needed edited, a nice pile of art dropped in by the Art Director (Brent Evans), and a severely stressed layout guy named Ray Arri-something. (I kid, Ray!)

Jason heroically edited almost the entire text in less than a week; it did help that we had a few select factcheckers also scan for obvious errors as well as the fact I’d rewritten the text four times at this point. Errors were, all things considered, minimal. With my completion of the short story “Way of the Warrior” and the remaining bios, the entire document file was handed off to Ray. I also managed to include a Glossary section similar to the one in Warriors of Kerensky and Øystein popped out of his Norwegian shell for a moment and constructed two great maps of Clan space, both before and after the Wars. And, since I had a few spare minutes lying around (not), I quickly did up three Clan Political Power tables, covering 3067, 3076, and 3085.

During the course of the last month, Ray and I had been exchanging emails regarding the design of the book. When Ray grasped what the concept was – a “tome” of remembrance for the Council of Six Clans for handing off to subsequent leaders – he came up with some seriously great ideas.

“As we discussed, the columns change through the book, reflecting things as far as the home clans, more or less. The only little nod to ‘tech’ is the sidebar design – and since a huge chunk of the book is made up of these, I think it should be balanced all right. The columns are classical, something which might look foreign in BT, but which – as today – would be used by the clans in places of reverence (and government). The background is rough and organic, the titles are legible but ‘shaken up’. The method for framing images furthers the rough feel.” -Ray Arrastia

One of the key components would be the first eight lines of the Remembrance that would wrap through the border columns. Only the first four were in canon, so I quickly created the next stanza:

Hark children of the Clans,
To the wisdom of Kerensky and your forebears,
Know what has come before;
Remember it as you strive toward the future.

Wisdom is the power
Unbroken by the future, stained by the past.
It is the Way to heed;
Those who fail find their flame extinguished.

-The Remembrance, Lines 1-8

Back cover copy

After running the design by Randall and Herb – who loved it – Ray was off. Despite having just completed two previous marathon layout sessions with two other books – the ones that would make GenCon – he quickly jumped into this one as well, despite the fact it would be well past that particular window.

Over the course of four days, Ray jammed everything into the book. As each chapter was completed, it was posted for Patrick (aka Roosterboy), Øystein, and myself to pour over for last-minute corrections. And we found a few, fortunately. All four of us worked feverishly through the week as the Friday deadline loomed large.

Early on Friday, July 8, the printer informed us that we could upload as late as Monday morning. This was huge, as both chapters 10 and 11 were still not completed. Ray could finally sleep a bit and then, over the weekend, we continued our grind. By Sunday night, the book was laid out and completed. Corrections were inserted, the new back cover copy made, and all the little legal and logo stuff popped in.

While we wouldn’t make GenCon, we did make the printer’s deadline. CGL wouldn’t be missing out on a production window, a book would make the schedule on time, and it looked like everything was completed. The Wars of Reaving was now in the hands of our printer and attention could turn elsewhere. The project was finished.

Or was it?

(To be continued. Yep, there’s still more to this story; it’s an epic in and of itself.)

Oh, right – the final Table of Contents! Enjoy.

Table of Contents of the Wars of Reaving...

10 thoughts on “The Road to Reaving – Part IX

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