And now a word from Forge of Honor creator Dale Taylor:
I began this project with the insanely ambitious goal of creating an epic storyline that begins in children’s books, moves through illustrated pre-teen chapter books and culminates in an epic-adventure fiction series. I also wanted the plush toys to be part of the story in a real way.
The Forge of Honor toys are not like action figures that emulate a movie or a story. Nope, the toys are actually part of a secret training mission — you are on mission right now. Young kids can have the story books about the Targimals read to them, and play with their sword and shields in fun oblivion. When they graduate to the illustrated pre-teen chapter books, they’ll find out they’ve been on a secret training mission!
Children who already have a Targimal companion (pre-order yours today) are ready to enroll at the monster fighting academy of Forge of Honor. You need more brains than brawn to fight these monsters (although dexterity still counts). This breed of monster hides in pockets of ignorance in our history, thus controlling the present undetected.
The student’s primary mission is to find artifacts or other evidence (a counter-entropic legacy) and bring it into public consciousness — and boot that monster from our timeline. This requires virtual time travel and a few virtual battles as well as research and legwork in the present. Basically, history lessons disguised as a monster fighting adventure, with plenty of sci-fi gadgets and historic gallantry thrown in. And just so you know, a high-falutin “theory” of history won’t cut it. To oust a monster, we need real evidence!
The planned books (images are renderings):
(Picture Book, ages 3-8)
Benjamin reacts to his father’s frequent business trips by telling tall tales to his mother about monsters and refusing to go to bed at night. He finds an old artifact one day and strange things begin to happen.
Spoiler Alert: We will find out in later fiction books that Benjamin’s father is an engineer working for an international Environmental Impact and Abatement consultancy. Due to his contact with ancient artifacts, petroglyphs and writings, he has become something of an amateur archeologist and mystery solver. He finds evidence of the Targimals in many ancient cultures.
(Picture Book, ages 3-8)
Physics Professor Nurpwurdle is obsessed with deciphering ancient secrets he believes contain forgotten formulas. When his children find some ancient artifacts at the beach with symbols matching the ancient texts, random but helpful events occur in his lab when no one is around. He uncovers part of the formula for an ancient monster-fighting sword that has no sharp edges – can he recreate it in the lab with the help of his kids?
Spoiler Alert: We will find out in later fiction books that Professor Nurpwurdle is something of a crackpot due to his ancient UFO-conspiracy beliefs and his obsession with discovering their secret technology. He’s still a good and attentive dad involved with his children. The Targimals breach centuries of silence, when they discover he is actually close to uncovering an ancient formula needed to fight a resurgence in monsters. The Targimals convince him to design the Bordor Blades and Shields as a toy to get into the hands of more children. What is Nempasus? You’ll just have to wait and see.
(Picture Book, ages 3-133)
This is a retelling of the ancient Legend of the Targimals. It is purely mythical with primitive drawings. We learn the origins of monsters and Targimals as it centers around a pact to protect children. This legend is the basis for both Benjamin’s father’s and Nurpwurdle’s investigations. The ancient history and origins of the Targimals remain in the background and pops up in the later books.
Illustrated Chapter Books for Pre-teen Readers
(Picture Book, ages 8-12)
We meet the children again! It turns out there is a secret monster hunting school and society called Forge of Honor. Children who are befriended by Targimals are automatically enrolled! The soft Bordor Blades and Shields are actually training aids. Masters are able to wield the Bordor without the soft matrix of a pillow. Monsters hide in dark patches of history influencing and drawing power from the present. Monster fighters expel them from our timeline by bringing to light artifacts and historic evidence into our current consciousness. It has to be a physical artifact, theories don’t count and the public doesn’t believe in monsters.
Each book explores how the past affects the present. The plots are mystery, adventure and self-mastery (applying lessons learned at the academy). The books are stand-alone, although a few characters and clues might show up again.
Epic Fiction Series
(Fiction, ages 12 and up)
The relative calm and success of the Forge of Honor school and society is about to be broken. The Targimals have sensed a growing monster resurgence. They fear the monsters are planning a time-line breach into the present to destroy the world as we know it. Unable to convince the top brass at the Forge of Honor society of the direness of the situation, the Targimals go a little rogue. They contact Professor Nurpwurdle and Benjamin’s father for more help. If the monsters breach the present, they will need the more powerful and forgotten formula of ancient Bordor Blades. For the original characters from the children’s books, everything comes together in the final series: It takes pooling their knowledge, experience and friendships from Forge of Honor society to meet the new challenge.
I hope this breach of the future timeline gets you half as excited as I am. Help us get the toys and books made by supporting the project at forgeofhonor.com/kick.