For those patrons of our Kickstarter campaign at Stage Five and above, an extra for their pledge level is a very limited edition leather badge identifying its bearer as a member of the Akanri Order.
Our prototype for the exclusive badge (available to a maximum of 40 patrons, 10 of which have already been claimed) has been made by Eric Joseph, an artist in Michigan whose intricate historically inspired art pieces blew me away when I first encountered them. He’s got a website up showing a number of his pieces, so please go check his work out at griffinstone.com.
For those in the American Midwest with a taste for medieval history, Eric’s also showing and selling a number of pieces at the International Conference on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, Michigan today and through this weekend (May 12-15, 2011).
I’ll try to get Eric to chime in later with more specific details on how he makes the badges, but here’s an image of the thick leather badge prototype, the finals of which may have some tweaks to the design and most likely a hole drilled for putting the badge on a chain or thong. (Or would patrons be more interested if it were a pin-backed item with no hole? Drop a comment, please, if you’ve an opinion either way.)
That’s the real art piece available in a production run of 40 pieces and ONLY available through the kickstarter funding drive. Now for the world-detail and story stuff that’s more my bailiwick….
Within the scope of the stories and the KHARNDAM™ world, each Akanri crafts his or her individual badge, rather than having a mass-produced mark to identify members of the order. Each badge is unique, though all share similarities enough to mark them as Akanri since all must have the central image of a hand and a number of circles around it. The circles either signify auras in general or they might sometimes reveal a person’s degree of mastery in aura manipulation.
As an example, the horn-headed rhamath Karov of Flaroth’s Heart wears his badge carved on a slate disk amulet, three concentric circles within the palm of its hand bearing three squarish fingers and opposed broad thumb.
One other note in world and character detail: Any Akanri bearing such a mark inside Imperam territory knows it carries with it an implicit death sentence, as the Akanri are much misunderstood and feared by Impral military and magical forces alike. Such laws have stood for over eight centuries, even though few today remember or know why Akanri are so feared inside the Impramense.
More updates and info soon, and thanks for your patience, your support, and your time.