March of 2006, while working with illustrators to get some groovy pics
into the Cumberland edition of Uresia:
Grave of Heaven, I held an auction to help defray art costs.
Thanks to the support of the fans on the (then-active) Uresia Mailing List,
the auction went well, a handful of folks ended up with some unique bits
of the Uresia scrapbook, and (owing to sensitive convolutions
in the fabric of magic) every kid-leather-bound copy of Timberfell's
Breakfasts, Volume 5 found in Temphis and Sindra quietly developed
a dangerous spelling error in a recipe on page 161 (for safety's sake,
visitors to those countries are advised never to order the Dunberry-Almond
Waffles when dining out, or at least to examine them carefully for inedible
This auction is closed. I'll leave this page around, however, for the interest of the casual Uresia browser, since some of the items serve as illustrative footnotes to the design process. Thanks for dropping by!
Lot A - "Temphis Runes" Logo Artwork - This is the hand-drawn logo for the Temphis Runes font set (also the basis for the complementary "URESIA" logo found on the ML homepage (and right here on this page, just over there an inch or two away), which I assembled digitally from the same drawing). The medium is permanent-marker drawn over a rough sketch in light blue ink, on ordinary notebook paper. Click Here for Image
Lot B - Shadow River Breakdown - A page of notes from the winter of 2000, part of the design process for the original manuscript. Using lots of funky little boxes and circles and a system of slashes, I used this sheet to flesh out each Shadow River neighborhood and to make sure that the city included hints and ties relevant to all corners of Uresia (making Shadow River a reflection of the whole setting was an important design goal for me). Assorted doodles and multicolored inks. Click Here for Image
Lot C - Original Caravel Carto Elements - These are two sheets of green graph paper which include the original artwork for some of the "Poison Pepper" plan elements, including the table and chart, a sea chest, and the chain-links and ropes that I digitally smoothed and then multiplied, loaves-and-fishes style, to create the heavy border used on the final design. The sheets also include a rough side-cutaway view, an early draft in the process of transforming historical caravels into the Uresia version. Click Here for Image
Lot D - Original Manuscript Page from Caravel - The first draft of some of the "Magic Maids" material, demonstrating why I have to type the second draft fairly soon after writing: my handwriting is so poor it's hard for me to remember what the squiggles meant a few weeks later! Red flair marker on spiral notebook paper. Click Here for Image
Lot E - Original Font Artwork for "Atlas of the Magi" - Two sheets of blue-and-white graph paper, with glyphs drawn in permanent marker. These are the hand-drawn masters for the font I created specifically for Uresia map-labeling, Atlas of the Magi. Includes some variants of the question mark; I had trouble nailing that one down to my satisfaction. Click Here for Image
Lot F - Original Font Artwork for "Apple Butter" - A single sheet of blue-on-white graph paper, with glyphs drawn in permanent marker. The hand-drawn masters for the "Apple Butter" font, including a time-and-place note (indicating the font was drawn in December of 2001, at the downtown location of the Little City coffeehouse). Apple Butter and variants of Apple Butter are the primary small-type font on Uresia maps. Click Here for Image
Lot G - Original Font Artwork for "Temphis Tablet" and "Temphis Scrawl" - Two hand-drawn font masters, drawn over printouts of my standard fixed-height font template. Both are from the same July afternoon in 2001, at Mojo's coffeehouse (I get a lot of caffeine in my fonts). Includes "scaling dots" to compensate for the equal-height nature of the template fonts (dots removed in the final font). Click Here for Image
Lot H - Rogan's Heath Concept Sketch - Hand-sketched in three ink colors, this is a rough plan of the village of Rogan's Heath generally accurate to the final version, but with a few minor differences (an orchard and a house traded places, some yards are just vague areas, and it shows more of the extent of the orchards up toward the waterfall which didn't squeeze into the area covered by the final published map). Click Here for Image
Lot I - Rogan's Heath Colored Image - This is a hand-colored printout of another early version of the Rogan's Heath map, including the waterfall, elevation lines indicating the hilly side and some other variances with the final map. I'm honestly not quite sure why I took the time to hand-color this map, except it looks like it was a relaxing thing to do. The colors are colored pencil. Click Here for Image
Lot J - Shadow River Neighborhood Zoom - Hand-drawn closeup map of some streets in Shadow River, drawn for the Rune Guide which accompanies the Temphis Runes, and showing in detail a couple of blocks at the south end of the city on the west bank. Fine-point permanent ink over rough blue ink lines. Kind of nice, really; I wish I had a few weeks to spare; I'd do the whole darned city this way! Click Here for Image
Lot K - Original Manuscript for Unused Kingdom, Temala - I originally drafted material for many more kingdoms than I used in the book (most of my stuff goes that way; I like to design a lot and then pick and choose the stuff I want to emphasize). This is an original manuscript page, including a map-doodle, describing Temala: Land of Children (a concept rolled instead into the cult of the Sea Dragon). It's a land of smartass kids, cute warrior chicks, and some frustrated satyrs trying to woo the latter. Founded in magical irony when the kids and a witch overthrew monarchs who had a disease curable only by the blood of the young. Was located somewhere in the Elus, I think. Will reappear as a rumor in the new edition. Two pages notebook paper, hand-scribbled. The back of one page includes a bonus "porn theory applied to combat scenes" note-to-self. Oh my. Click Here for Image
Lot L - Original Manuscript for Unused Kingdom, Edar - The kingdom of Edar gets a reference in Grave of Heaven as one of those currently part of east Koval, but this page (with map doodle) is from its earlier days as a candidate for full-on inclusion in the Uresian scene. Kind of a land of music meant to complement Dreed as a land of food, with some notes on courtly murders. Discarded as redundant with the Rinden minstrels and other material. Handwritten draft material on notebook paper, one page. Click Here for Image
Lot M - Shadow River Master Note Diagrams - These are inkjet printouts of the digital Shadow River maps, covered with the hand-scribbled notes and numbers and lines and lord-knows-what-else I used to keep track of where all of the locations are, where the street names mentioned in the book runs, and so on. These were the master references I used when building the published Shadow River plan, and they really show off how jumbled my thoughts look on paper! Includes earlier (inaccurate) scaling and pop-density notes. This is two sheets - one for street names and one for everything else. Includes some street names not referenced in the text or included in the final map. Click Here for Image
Lot N - Original Manuscript for "The Surviving Gods - One page of handwritten draft from Grave of Heaven itself, describing the five (rather than four!) post-Skyfall gods. One of them - the Night Goddess - got the axe in the second draft. From early in the writing process, 2000. Includes some red-ink markings that I no longer can guess the meaning of. Click Here for Image
Lot O - Signed/Inscribed Copy of BESM2 Edition - This is a fresh new copy of Uresia: Grave of Heaven (the original BESM2 edition) which I'll sign or inscribe for you (anything you like, within reason). Includes a lingering bit of new-book smell!
Lot P - Signed/Inscribed Copy of BESMd20 Edition - This is a fresh new copy of Uresia: Grave of Heaven (the followup BESMd20 edition) which, as above, will include a whiff of new book and a whiff of S. John inscription.
Lot Q - S. John's Personal Temphis Runes Prop - A full set of "Temphis Runes" hand-sculpted by me for my own games, made from baked plastic clay. These are the items I describe on the page appending the main Temphis Runes page (see images there), and are some of my favorite Uresia things I own. Treat them well and game with them! Click Here for Images
Rules and Procedures
This is a single-round privately-run auction for PayPal users ONLY. Email any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Other Perks: All winners will be thanked as special supporters in the credits of the new edition. All winners who spend a total of $60 or more on their bids (not counting shipping charges) will receive a complimentary copy of the new edition PDF prior to its public release. All winners who spend a total of $100 or more (ditto) will have private access to advance proofreading and indexing drafts, as well.
Shipping/Packaging Rates (United States): The winner of each lot except Lot Q will be charged a flat fee of $3 for shipping and packaging within the United States (regardless of how many lots they win). The winner of Lot Q will be charged $5 for shipping and packaging within the United States (even if he/she wins other lots as well).
Shipping/Packaging Rates (Other Countries): Winners in other countries will be charged shipping and packaging equal to the shipping rate charged by my local PostNet (which charges more than the Post Office, alas, but they're much easier to deal with and get to), plus an additional $2.
How to Bid: Email all bids privately to email@example.com, indicating items by their Lot Letter and title. When bidding on multiple items, feel free to include all bids in a single email. Feel free also to do blanket bidding (for example "$30 on Lot P and then $1 each on every other lot, just in case anything goes without bids"). There are no minimum bids or hidden reserves.
Important: Include the email address you use for PayPal purposes, for invoicing if you win (see below). Bidding emails that don't specify their PayPal-email can't be accepted (but if you forget, I'll email to ask, of course).
Bid Deadline: The auction ends at 11:59 PM local time (Central Standard Time as S. John's clock interprets it) on March 19th, 2006. All emails received by that time will be compared to determine the winner of each lot. Winners will be contacted privately and invoiced via PayPal. Payments are due via PayPal by March 25th.
Misc Additional Rules: Lots unpaid-for by the deadline will be offered first to the second-place bidder at their own bid price. If they prefer to decline, the lot will go unsold. Exact ties in bidding will be decided by random draw from a hat (possibly a metaphorical hat, but random anyway). To avoid ties, feel free to bid funky amounts with small-changed tacked on. The final results of all bids and transactions will remain confidential; only the total raised by the auction will be announced (on the Uresia Mailing List). S. John Ross retains copyright on all applicable auctioned material; these are auctions for the original items only, not the rights to what they describe or depict. All lots won and paid for will be shipped by March 29th, 2006.