Hi! I'm Celina Summers, the Editorial Director of Musa Publishing and a collaborator with Richard C. White on The Darkside Codex, a new shared world project with its roots in steampunk and branches into multiple genres. I'd like to welcome you to the rich and storied world of Southwatch, an ancient port and industrial city of prominence in the wide-flung empire of Dalraida.
Since we opened for submissions on April 1, we've sent out over two hundred TDC
bibles to interested authors. I have every expectation that this shared world
project is going to develop into a tapestry of different authors, styles, and
genres. This world was designed with that idea in mind. Although we like the
look and feel of steampunk, we wanted to make certain that there were areas of
the city and storylines to explore with science fiction, high fantasy, urban
fantasy, horror, paranormal, romance, mystery, and noir themes. Regardless of
the genre, however, at the core of every TDC story is the immense and strange
city of Southwatch.
Southwatch is an anomaly among cities in Dalraida. Not only has it wrapped
around the natural harbor that first lent the city prominence, but due to a
strange occurrence in the past, it has also grown vertically. The roofs of each
structure serves as the foundation for another, and each building is
strengthened and reinforced by a cunning network of beams, support columns, hidden
tunnels with ladders that disappear both above and below, and architectural
precision that would rival that of our Roman Empire.
But when you look at Southwatch from a distance, one major feature of the city
is impossible to miss. The Dark Cloud—a toxic stew of chemicals and
pollution--bisects not only the city, but the people who live in it. Below the
Dark Cloud is the darkside—where the great Steamworks and other industries emit
the chemicals that make up the Cloud. Above the Dark Cloud is the sunside—a
place that gives the term "upper crust" a new meaning.
The dichotomy between the sunside and the darkside of Southwatch is exemplified in
the segregation forced upon the city by the Dark Cloud. Above, all is light and
clean and healthy, while below everything is dark and gloomy and dangerous. The
Darkside Codex begins on the 23rd day of the Fifth Month in the year 2958.
A week later, at the Pertcha festival, Southwatch experiences a full solar
eclipse. That eclipse foretells a year of disaster for Southwatch. As legend
has it, when the Pertcha eclipse is full, that means the goddess Dione has been
defeated in her annual battle against Chaos. A Pertcha eclipse resulted in the
creation of the Dark Cloud in 2868. What does this full eclipse mean for Southwatch
and its citizens?
You'll have to keep an eye on The Darkside Codex if you want to find
out. In the meantime, take a look through the pages here. We'll keep you
abreast of upcoming books, special events, and authors/books that we've signed
to participate in the TDC project. We'll continue to add information here
throughout the project, so there will always be something new to take in.