Era: The Empowered Development Update 1

Hi everyone!
As promised, here is the first weekly update.
Writing is about 80% complete on the Core Rulebook, with most sections being laid out at the moment. I hope to finish that and send it off to proofreading before much longer – that doesn’t have necessarily to wait for the artwork to be proofread and indexed.
Keith is working hard to complete the remaining images on the timescales we need to. We’re optimistic, but it’s going to be a lot of work.
Our stated aim for the launch date is still 25th May, and we have to have sent out all of the Kickstarter backers’ copies by then if we’re going to launch on that schedule, so we’re working hard towards that. We hope to put it up on our store around June/July, once all of the Kickstarter rewards have been fulfilled!
If you’re a backer of the Kickstarter, please refer to my latest Update for a stage-by-stage breakdown of where each section is at, along with a sneak peek at a couple of the Power Trees and the latest artwork by Keith: 
Now I’m pleased to present a story about the Old Gods, and how they choose to recruit people to help them out… after all, they aren’t infinite in number.
“That feller’s no Ares,” Bastion huffed. “Don’t nobody read the paper ‘round here?” He still hadn’t got used to only speaking mentally when K’Jarr was facilitating a telepathic nexus. He ducked, dodging a bolt of electricity that came close enough to frizz his hair.
K’Jarr immediately dropped the lamppost he had been swinging like a club. Being the nearest piece of metal around, it had attracted the bolt and he had no desire to be on the other end of another discharge, even with his metal-laced skin grounding him. “You’re right,” he shouted. “Looks more like the lightning one to me!”
“Nah.” Bastion picked up the now-grounded lamppost and chucked it like a spear, knocking down an overly tall man bearing what looked like a trident. “Electric Storm, that one’s called. Got jailed for blackin’ out the whole city an’ then robbin’ everyone blind. The one what calls ‘imself Ares is Warmonger, and this honkin’ bastard with the harpoon is Drizzl. Scoundrels, both of ‘em.”
Adam’s voice echoed in their heads, compliments of the telepathic nexus. “So you’re saying Artemis is rounding up criminals and calling them gods?”
“Ayuh.” Bastion ducked behind a skip, shielding himself from a shower of arrows that were coming faster than any ordinary archer could draw a bowstring. A few of the arrows bounced off, while several embedded into the metal.
“Brilliant,” Zoey chimed in mentally. “I’ll take criminals over actual gods any day, but it doesn’t change the fact that we’re getting our asses kicked out here. I have golems made out of golem pieces, and one’s got bits of toilet paper in it. I don’t think I can hold out for much longer.”
“We can’t get there from here, girlie,” said Bastion, giving the skip a push to send it cannoning down the square. Several of Artemis’ troops scattered out of its way.
K’Jarr ignored his comment. “Show me where you are, we’ll cover you!” he told Zoey. Then he left Bastion’s side without another word and ran into the heat of the battle.
Bastion shook his head. “Mad as a hatter,” he mouthed.
“I heard that!”
He shrugged and followed after K’Jarr. All manners of projectiles, ranging from poisoned darts to bullets, whizzed past his head, a few bouncing off his metallic skin. “Damn fools can’t decide which age they belong to,” Bastion muttered. A bent trashcan lid clattered on the asphalt before him. He picked it up, and using it like a racket, started whacking at the flying projectiles. It didn’t work very well with bullets, but he found that he could bounce darts like shuttlecocks. He could even aim with half decent accuracy.
When Bastion reached the others, his trashcan lid was a mangled piece of steel, dented halfway to hell. K’Jarr was already fighting off a half-naked figure in a toga, who was carrying an oversized shield and a sword that looked like it was stolen from a theater’s prop room. Zoey was busy keeping a horde of half-crumbled golems at his heels. The sight was almost comical, like mice attacking an elephant. “How are you holding up?” Zoey asked, as she tried to orchestrate the moves of her knee-high army.
“Finest kind.” Bastion grinned. “Playing tennis, it’s great fun. Them gods ain’t immune to their own poison, I’ll have ya know.”
“I hate to burst your bubble,” said Adam’s voice in their minds, “but they are actually. The poison just knocks them out for thirty seconds or so. Then they’re up again. And they’re pretty pissed.”
Bastion frowned and took a swing at a woman wearing a set of fake wings. “Fly, little birdie!” he taunted, but the woman only staggered for a few steps, then charged back at him with the flaming torch she was holding. The flame stretched out like a snake and wrapped itself around Bastion’s wrist. He let out a curse and gave the woman a hearty kick, sending her sprawling on the ground. Shaking out his burned wrist, he readied himself for the next attack. “This would have been a lot easier if we didn’t have to deal with a whole herd of ‘em,” he told the others. “Pickin’ ‘em off one by one would make sense. This is like that story, pluggin’ the whassit with your finger. We’re gettin’ flooded.”
“I have to agree,” said Adam. “I’m also hearing the word ‘reinforcements’ a whole lot out here. I think Artemis has more people coming.”
Zoey frowned. “More? We’re drowning as it is.”
“Is that consensus, then?” K’Jarr asked as he kept fighting. “Better part of valour, live to fight another day and get the hell out of here in general?”
Bastion nodded. “Retreat, not defeat. Let’s get the hell outta here.”