Machina Arcana ~ From Beyond

Created by Adreama Games, Inc.

Travel the unknown, face the horrors, and survive the story. An immersive and dark experience awaits you and your group of explorers.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

A Chronicle of the Expedition to the Forlorn Icy Continent (Part 2)
8 months ago – Wed, Sep 12, 2018 at 12:32:03 AM

We worked tirelessly for months on the investigation, amassing clues and scraping up evidence. We unraveled the existence of a secret society; worshippers of powerful deities that, the faithful claim, hold dominion over this world. This cult stretches out across the continents, and its members can be found everywhere, in all spheres and walks of life. You are safe nowhere; you are never far from their eyes. I have gone through great lengths to collect information on the mythos, and I urge you – nay, beseech you – to become familiar with the themes in my book in order not to fall into their cunning traps. The House of Bliss. This enticing name is the one the order goes by, and it is fearsome in its accuracy. The rapture that shines on the custodians’ visages transcends all mortal joys. But, I get ahead of myself.

It seemed that the frequency of these ritualistic murders was increasing, but still there was no evidence of a central hierarchy, no human guides. It was as if several phenomena of strange, religious mania had spontaneously sprung into existence all around the world. Different, yet always disturbingly familiar in their recurring themes. We were always one step behind in tracking and preventing the next gory ceremony.

By observing and analyzing the abandoned places that the cultists used for their demonic invocations, patterns began to emerge and I succeeded in leading our investigations ever closer to fruition. I wanted to bring an end to this madness bathed in human sacrifice and despair!

At last, the final pieces of the puzzle fell into place and I grabbed the nearest map with a hand shaking with nervous energy. All the painstakingly collected clues and patterns formed the shape of an infernal sigil much loved by the cult. And within this mark, I was able to discern a specific location in the nearby forest. The elation of my discovery was quickly replaced with an urgency that sent me out of my home in the dead of night to contact Lt. Ward. He was prompt in responding to my summons, and together with his officers we embarked upon yet another disquieting attempt to reach the victims before Death could.

As we moved through the woods, swiftly and silently, every man of us felt the palpable, haunting dread that permeated each tree and leaf, as well as our very souls. The night sky itself seemed to shiver under the weight of our mounting agitation; our pores oozed the sweat of our terror. My nostrils quivered with the pungent odor of pure fear. Our feet dragged unwillingly through the mires of doubt. Finally, battling with the limits of our endurance, we heard them. Oh yes, we heard them there in the distance. A chanting, a psalm, a hymn. It gained in strength, reaching toward the star-strewn heavens. The unsettling, strange – and wonderful – sounds reverberated in our skulls and I cannot ever forget the emotions that blossomed within my chest; the tears that leaked from my enraptured eyes. Love and acceptance; a mother’s comforting breast, a father’s guiding hand. I felt warm and soothed; at peace with myself and filled with adoration for all creation.

I know not how long we stood there, in the grip and bliss of that terrible music. I am ashamed to admit now that had my life ended then, I would have been content. Fortunately, it was not to be; an inhuman scream pierced the perfect melody and roused me from my divine reverie. We grown men moved fretfully, avoiding each other’s faces, ashamed of the visions we had been given. Another grotesque shriek rent the firmament, and like lost children we looked nervously in one another’s eyes, searching there for the courage we had abandoned.

A silence that stretched for aeons enveloped us. A quiet so intense you could hear the noiselessness. A still so dense that I could have sworn I ceased breathing. I strove to fill that emptiness with sound, any sound, but my words were swallowed by the gloom. The stars themselves seemed to extinguish in this asphyxiating grip. Those who say that there is nothing to fear from the dark and the silence, have not known the gentle brush of the wings of madness fluttering against their cheeks.

Ah! Sweet relief! The chant began again, releasing us from the waking death we had been locked in. Closing my mind to the seductive cadence, I swallowed and swallowed again, but the taste of ashes remained. I urged the others to gather their wits, their daring, and to follow me. To finish what we had started, to end this unspeakable evil. My voice grew in power and every word fell upon the hearts of the men as soothing as balm. We rushed forward at last, ever closer to our focal point, led on by the call of their voices. I tried to ignore the reverberating anthem, now more ecstatic and euphoric than ever before. I closed my ears with my hands as I dashed through the undergrowth, straining my eyes in the darkness. But you cannot block joy or hinder delight, and I began to feel the glow suffusing my soul once again. Through this creeping felicity, I fought to stay sane and fixed on my objective. We were there at last. We had arrived.

I was too late, yet again. There were two corpses, although it wasn’t easy to tell whether man or beast, so mutilated and dismembered were the remains. These bodies had been placed in the center, upon an altar where the outlandish symbols of the cult glittered malevolently underneath streaks of blood and excrement. The merrily crackling fire illuminated the full extent of the gore, and the sight of it wiped my mind clean of any joyful thoughts. But it was the worshippers that drew us. They all swayed to the rhythm they were creating, eyes closed or open, and even when our arrival had been discovered, most remained in this catatonic state. They seemed to be so deeply within their own selves that the appearance of a sizeable group of armed men made no difference to them. But not all of them were so, a few of the cultists looked straight at us, and we could see the hungry, feral glares in their bloodshot eyes as they attacked us with only their bare hands. Yet more of the congregation watched with glee as their more violent brethren assaulted the newcomers, laughing and pointing, never ceasing the lilt and pulse of their eerie incantation.

It grieves me to say that we killed many. It was in self-defense, and perhaps it was even a kindness; those who attacked us were clearly beyond reason. But raving lunatics though they may have been, sometimes I am tortured by the memories and the realization that we were the ones responsible for most of the deaths that night. There was no time for self-reflection back then, however. Once we had control of the situation and area, my task was to retrieve all relevant clues. Any scrolls or signs, cultist literature or regalia; in short, anything that could assist us in getting to the bottom of this repugnant sect.

I was still preoccupied with studying the crime scene, yet aware of the solace of the approaching twilight, when a strange sound in the distance made me raise my head from my work. The noise seemed to come from afar, from the cosmos itself, and a subtle rumbling beneath my feet told of the planet’s discomfort. We stood there in expectation, like meaningless ants watching the unfolding of events greater than their minds can grasp. A small light on the horizon; was it the sun breaking through the night? No, for the blaze that came ever nearer was not golden. The crackling and hissing grew louder, and we saw then that a great meteor with a brilliantly blue tail scorched across the sky at an incredible speed. Its sheer size blocked out the morning rays and it shot over the horizon toward the south. 

We stood in silence, gripped with a foreboding we couldn’t explain. The dawn sun tickled my neck gently, but the burning streak of blue was all I could see for a long while, as if the vision had embedded itself on my eyes. Did the cult know about this? Was the ritual we had witnessed a coincidence, or perhaps a celebration of this occurrence? What did this mean for us all?

Evolution of art
8 months ago – Tue, Sep 11, 2018 at 04:25:42 PM

As you all know, the First Edition of Machina Arcana was equipped with bleak, black-and-white artwork, brought to life by our amazing illustrators that we'd like to give a huge shout-out to:  

Hrvoje Silich - Explorers
Kristian Pavlin - Monsters
Elwira Pawlikowska - Chapters  

The previous monster illustrations from the First Edition were done in such a way as to reflect a dusty old tome, complete with unclear perspective and strange, hazy details. They really were meant to invoke Lovecraft - How do you draw something not of this world that cannot accurately be explained?  

While there are some today that still prefer the original, tome-like style, we've taken a different approach this time around.  

For the Second Edition, we have decided to upgrade the artwork to a more realistic representation. The goal of this is two-fold: to better trigger the subconscious, and induce a more tangible fear.  

Here are some examples we'd like to share with you for this exciting new art direction.

Explorers
Explorers
Monsters
Monsters
Chapters
Chapters

Current stretch goals overview
8 months ago – Tue, Sep 11, 2018 at 09:05:53 AM

Congratulations, you have unlocked all the rank 1 stretch goals!

Upcoming stretch goals:

 What we unlocked so far:

More video previews
8 months ago – Tue, Sep 11, 2018 at 09:05:40 AM

The first preview is from Josef and his "Boardgames with Niramas" channel. Even though he doesn't play dungeon crawlers, it was a pleasure watching him play with his loyal companion Drako.

The second preview is from Paco and his "Hardhead's Reviews" channel. We hope that it will be really interesting to all of our Spanish backers.

A Chronicle of the Expedition to the Forlorn Icy Continent (Part 1)
8 months ago – Tue, Sep 11, 2018 at 09:04:15 AM

Over a course of couple project updates I will share the introductory chapters of this strange land, giving you - our awesome backers - an insight into the lore and mystical world that you are now a part of. 

So sit back, relax, and while reading, why not also listen to our official Machina Arcana soundtrack?

Chapter 1

My involvement in all of this started with the investigation of seemingly unrelated violent acts many years ago. Acts layered with cryptic symbols and gruesome rituals. As a man of science and an esteemed scholar of the occult, I was approached by the Lieutenant Anthony Ward who was in charge of the investigation. Lt. Ward wanted my expertise on unveiling the possible pagan, ritualistic motives behind a few gruesome murders which had happened locally.  

Ever-possessed of a lively mind and an inquisitive intellect, and by virtue of the dual benefits of fortune and situation, I have had the opportunity to pursue knowledge to the very remotest corners of the globe. It seemed to me that no matter how long I searched, my thirst for answers was never satiated. But sometimes you dig too deep.

And so it was that on one of my numerous adventures to a secluded region and a society which dwelled far below our preconceived notions of modern civilization, I came across scenes that I tremble to remember.

 

I had obtained the trust of the inhabitants with my not inconsiderable proficiency in both medicine and construction, which I had gainfully employed to assist and benefit them. In return, they had cheerfully aided my efforts in researching their culture, language, and norms, subjects which have always fascinated me. So it is not strange, perhaps, that they had enough confidence to involve me in the ghastly events of that night.

 

On the night I speak of, I was awoken by a frightened local. I could hear a commotion in the gathering place; shouts, cries and screams mingling in a raucous cacophony. From some of the more clear-headed villagers, I understood that a great blasphemy was being committed and the ritual of forbidden Gods had been performed at their sacred grounds. We hastily assembled a group of stout-hearted men, the few of us who were not paralyzed with horror, and ventured forth to confront what awaited us. We held tightly to our makeshift weapons, as we walked on, eyes drawn to the ominous flames that rose in the distance.

The sight that met us at the pyre was abhorrent. Silent, abandoned, only the grisly results of ritualistic homicide laid out before our unbelieving eyes. There were strange effigies, partially buried in the sand – carved black cylinders, decorated with bizarre symbols I had never witnessed before. The victims had clearly been sacrificed, massacred to some unspeakable horror. They were arranged around the central fire, which was still radiating an unnatural warmth on our stricken faces. Either by luck or the turn of a cog that is part of some hidden cosmic mechanism, there was a statue lying on the ground that caught my attention.


Imagine my terror, then, as Lt. Ward drew from his bag a sculpture in the exact likeness of the one I saw so long ago during my far-flung studies. The curiously carved tentacles, almost alive in their glistening repugnance, and the way in which the very cold at its heart emanated toward my unwillingly reaching hand, reminded me of those eerie memories I had hoped were locked away forever. As I listened to the facts of the case, emotionlessly set down before me by the Inspector, I knew I would have to see this story to its conclusion. No matter what lay in store for me.

..to be continued