Wednesday, March 27, 2013

     Does anyone out there know a good recipe for Lizard? As much as I have racked my little pea-brain, I don't either, and neither do any of my compatriots. I am faced with an abundance of raw material now that we have settled this little obstacle but I am stuck with no way to prepare it. Maybe I better back up on my narrative and clarify our situation.

Big Nate, Our Mule
     This all started as I was nodding off on top of Big Nate as he was striding along near the back of the party. I knew that Eltarra was watching the back of our group with her bow and Dayne was nearby, although his nose was almost always buried in a book or practicing an incantation of some sort. I had just about been able to settle onto the big cooking pot with the barley bag as a pillow and my feet  ... I mean my foot and my peg propped up on the lashings of rope on the front of Big Nate's pack frame and was just settling into my morning nap after my breakfast, not to be confused with my morning snack of course, when I felt someone tug at my jerkin.

Eltarra and Her Bow
      Rubbing the sleep from my eyes and sitting up, I saw a fawn colored glove pulling at the corner of my coat and a lovely face looking up at me. Glancing ahead, Eltarra flipped the raven-colored braid over her shoulder and knocked an arrow in her longbow. She pointed with her chin toward the front of the group. We were traversing a small narrow passage that had gradually pinched our group down to the point that we were almost side-by-side in pairs and Dayne was next to Big Nate with Eltarra slipping behind Nate, Rissa ahead of Dayne, and Grimgar and Thrud leading the way.

     "This smells like trouble," she said and she moved back into the shadows, watching back into the darkness but I noticed she also looking forward over the head of Grimgar. He's really kind of short for a dwarf, you know.

     Thrud was just drawing his broadsword when out of the darkness. some of the ugliest creatures I have seen in my days came charging into the light from Grimgar's stone hanging from his belt, what passed as swords clutched in their grimy paws. They had wide jaws with great big googly eyes perched on top of their heads and they emitted squeaks and squawks that only the Gods know what they meant.

     Grimgar didn't hesitate to try and figure out what the first one was saying but stepped in and ducking under his sword slash, he delivered a quick slash from his axe that, unfortunately, only managed to tear the character's clothing as the green-grey creature jack-knifed to avoid the swipe. But in the follow-through, Grimgar swept the axe around and sweeping down, struck the creature a enormous blow on the back of the neck that almost severed its lizard head and laid it out comatose at his feet.

Grimgar at Rest
     Grimgar gave forth with a mighty Dwarven war-cry "Tra Kerss'k Um!", which from past experience means I think. "The Fight's On!" and leaped ahead toward the next creature. The dwarf, regretably, had not accounted for his short legs however and stumbled over the body of the first creature, who lay sprawled before him.

     Luckily, Eltarra and I had not been idle in the interval. Drawing her bow and kissing the string to her lips, she let fly with a shaft. The arrow thrummed just past Grimgar's head and buries itself halfway to the fletchings in the shoulder of the creature.

Olo Bigtoe, The Author of Our Stories
     And I? What was little Olo doing? I had only grabbed a lead oblong bullet inscribed in Goblin to "Take That" (I know they weren't Goblins but it was the best I could do at the moment) and standing on my perch on Big Nate, my sling whirred and I sent my bullet thrumming toward the creature. I didn't have to worry about hitting Grimgar, since he was dwarvenly stunty and far below my line of flight, and my bullet slammed into the creature's left eye, ricocheting off into the darkness. He clutched one of his grimy claws over the side of his head while raising his sword to try and protect himself but by then, Grimgar had regained his footing and was upon him.

Dayne Can Control Weather?
     Dayne had stepped up and had slapped his grimoire closed and had spoken power words. Risaa, having noticed the pale, white light glowing behind her, looked back and saw a ball of lightning growing in the hands of Dayne. She reached over and grabbed the bridle of Big Nate and pushed him across the hall away from Dayne, just as Eltarra loosed a second shaft that buried itself into the thigh of the creature backing up from Grimgar. Dayne raised his hands, the balls glowing and pulsing in his hands with a pale crackling fire, and he thrust his hands forward toward the creatures. I noticed, however, that the ball, which had previously been glowing large in his hands, immediately diminished to a small spark and then with a puff of smoke, winked out.

     "Is that how it was supposed to work?" I asked, from my perch on the back of Big Nate.

     "No," he said, irritation in his voice, and for a moment. I though he was going to cast a spell on me and turn me into a frog so I concentrated on making myself very small and trying to slide over onto the left side of Big Nate, even though I guess I ran the risk of Eltarra sticking me with an arrow. Dayne furiously whipped out his grimoire and flipped through the pages again. Hopefully, the next spell would go better.

Monday, March 25, 2013

This Looks Like Trouble...

Frikugh rubbed his soiled hand against his distended belly as it rumbled deeply. He hadn't had anything to eat since Rarg, the boss had swatted him away from the thigh bone he had been chewing on.  The bone had been his, he had hacked it loose from the corpse laying by the farmhouse the band had raided and by rights, it should have been his. Just because Rarg was bigger and a little meaner and better with his scramjac than Frikugh was didn't mean he could hog the fresh meat. He rubbed his belly as it growled again and he looked over toward the tree at the fire in the distance. The pinkies over there were in for a surprise...


My campaign will send the PCs back into a world of medieval fantasy with monsters, peasants, fighters, and magic while to maintain as much realism as possible. this will be seen by the economics of the game with the first task of the players having to pay the past-due taxes on their demesne that they have acquired of Castle Gliston, controlling the towns of Foremark, Osgodbym and Boughton. Truly medieval economies,  these towns are populated with peasants, serfs, freemen and merchants, bakers, miners, rope-makers, vintners and fullers. All of them generate income and all of them pay taxes to the Queen. These taxes have to be collected and the taxes have to be paid to the Queen. And so the first campaign...

Grimgar, the Dwarf, turned the skewer with the chunk of meat over so that the other side would be roasted by the fire. The halfling cook leaned over the fire, a pinch of spice between his two fingers and said, "The meat will be tastier with a bit of seasoning," and he made as if to sprinkle the ingredients of the bag he had pinched out onto the deer-meat. Grimgar slapped away his hand absently, mumbling, "Don't need flavoring," in a deep rumbling voice. But his mind was obviously elsewhere because his right hand reached down to slip through the strap of his war-axe that lay by his side, his head cocked slightly, his danger-sense prickling the hair on the back of his neck. He twisted on his short legs slightly, the axe-head tapping on the ground.

On the other side of the fire, red eyes peered into the dark framed by a halo of white hair. The head shook slightly as only the man heard the phantom voice say, "There are strangers in the woods." and the man said back to no one in particular in a quiet voice, "I know. I know. I can feel them. You don't have to tell me that." "I'm just saying," the voice said. "You always say I never warn you."

As the PCs travel the countryside, they will encounter the standard monsters and encounters, bandits, travelers, and watchmen. They will interact with those encounters, sometimes violently, sometimes not, sometimes earning the experience they need to learn a new skill, other times just happy to be alive and in somewhat the same number of pieces. all the players will receive tests of the their skills, Rangers, Fighters, Mages, Druids, Rogues, whatever orientation they may be.

Clarissa paused, a spoon just touching her mouth, ladling a portion of the excellent lentil soup Olo the halfling cook had prepared with a touch of spice and leeks gathered from the trail earlier. "What is it?" she asked and she put down her spoon and bowl and glanced about her at the other members of the group. Grimgar had already slipped away into the darkness and she didn't see Ash anywhere. He had, she thought, the most irritating habit of disappearing at the most inopportune times. Glancing over to where Dayne sat cross-legged by the rocks that ringed the fire, Clarissa saw the Dayne's head was down, his hat brim covering his eyes and nose, his lips moving in an incantation  Dayne's hands began to glow with an electric blue as he slipped the thin, black leather gloves onto them and grasping his staff in both hands, he sprang to his feet in a single fluid movement, his boots creating a small cloud of dust as they slammed down and he glanced right then left searching for a foe.

Clarissa paused for just a second, then grabbed the lead for the mule Big Nate and said, "This looks like trouble." Olo began grabbing the pots and pans, pouring the lentil soup onto the fire, dousing the flames. "No point in giving the bad guys fire," as he tossed the pots over onto a blanket and slid his sling from his belt, taking a small, lead bullet inscribed "Take That, You Mook!" in Goblin (Dug' Drud Ouu Suug) and slipped it into its sling. Clarissa patted Big Nate on the neck to calm him and said "Just remember. Kick the green ones. OK?" Nate snorted in agreement because he could understand the Druid...

I'll be trying write each weekend after the game and will also try and fill in the background and history of my world as it develops. As the world grows, I am hoping to use Realm Works to create a record of the game. But I want to see how my players can access information with that program. If it is not up to what I want, then I'll be going with Obsidian Portal to create my world's log.

See you then.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Once More Into The Breech ...

Well, we are going to try this blogging thing once again. Each week, I will try and add a litttle to this blog and keep the layers informed about the progress of the party as they make ther\ir way throught the wildlands of Asselin.

So where is Asselin? First, a little information about the world. I run a GURPS-based world and have recently made the investment for Dungeon Fantasty, a GURPS supplement that essentially streamlines the game and makes it more of a classic dungeon-crawl and all of the characters will enjoy the additions to game from DF. Althoough we are running an overland campaign, there will be a lot of time spent underground as well. Right now, the PC's have to figure out how to get the taxes paid to the royal treasury on the demense they have taken over (run by a noble when they are off adventuring), purchase or pirate a ship perhaps and locate the legend of Qilla the Wizard and where her stronghold was located. All of this while they have to settle Goblin raids, meet Orc incursions, trade with the Elves, and worry about to PC's who decided to jump the broom and have run off to make babies together.... But that's another story.

Here is a little background for the Island-Continent:

"The fleet of the three Drakkens dipped their oars into the sea, splashing spume into the air as the soldiers tugging against them bent their backs and thrust the ships forward toward the distant shoreline. The noble leaned forward in the lead ship, foolishly clad in his heavy armor, ducking his head against the spray of the bow wave from the ship as it crashed against the waves that were driven by the fierce wind. If anything happened aboard ship, the noble would sink like a stone, clad in the plate mail like he was. But he was the King, and he needed to put forth a brave face as his ships churned forward toward the land.

He turned and thrusting his sword in the air, his left hand gripping the rail, he shouted, "Pull, you dogs! Pull like your life's depended upon it!" for they surely did, thought the King. The damn fool weather wizard had cast his spell and apparently offended some wind spirit, for the air shrieked and howled and blustered against the furled sail, bound tightly upon the spar, the wood beating a tattoo against the mast straining against its rigging. One of the other Drakken had already lost its mast and lost headway, its mast dragging like a sea anchor over the port side while soldiers furiously rowed to keep up, the sailors of the ship hacked at the rigging and mast with axes and hatches, trying to free the mass with no hope of raising its mast again.

The King saw the white splash of the surf as the lead Drakken near the shoreline and the King bellowed to the men to pull harder. The men, sensing a final victory and smelling earth and trees and the solidity of land, hearing the close-by surf pounding, pulled with a will and the Drakken surged forward, it's stern rising on the strength of the wave and the rising tide caught its stern, thrusting the ship forward. The King Feeling the motion grabbed the rail with both hands, his sword forgotten in the moment, as he sought to steady himself and the ship turn to starboard, the wave pushing up on the ship's hull. As he tightened his grip, the King felt the ship begin to turn turtle, the side coming up and over, the oars on the port side splintering in the oar holes and the starboard oars waved in the air liked an insects arms and legs.

The King felt. His body, weighted by the armor, sailed through the air and then he felt the splash of water as he landed in the sea, salt spume running into all the openings of his armor, gushing into the slits of his helm, the terror of drowning flashed through his mind. But only for a moment as he felt the sand of the beach slam into his back, the air rushing out of his lungs as he convulsed hard from the impact. As his eyes regained their focus, he instantly saw the silvery glint of steel as his sword, which had lain forgotten on the deck of the ship, flashed in the sunlight as it flew through the air and plummeted toward the King. Only a quick jerk of his head to the side saved the King from being stabbed through the helmet slit as his sword buried itself halfway to the hilt in the sand. But nothing could save him from the entire contents of the cargo hold as it poured itself out of the hatchways and buried both King and soldier alike

Only his moaning two hours later allowed one of his lieutenants to discover King Asselia lying under two nettings and three water casks, half drowned and tormented by the crabs feasting upon the dead and the dying.


Thus began the first expedition to what would become the kingdom of Asselin three hundred and fifty years ago. The humans met limited resistance and slowly expanded, occupying the outer rim of the island-continent on three sides, encountering the races, both hostile and non, and slowly building their empire. In expanding, they discovered that they had not been the first. They discovered old worlds, old castles and keeps, the remains of ancients races, the remnants of evil empires and strongholds, dungeons and crypts, necropolises and ruined cities. They slowly spread, increasing their hold in the south, building their central kingdom and slowly expanding to the north with smaller cities. Resistance was often met, hairy and scarred races that did not want the humans in their areas (and some that did, only because they tasted good and crunchy), evil Goblins, slimy Troglodytes, nasty and pimply Orcs, Giants, and Cyclops.

Then when they thought that there would be no redemption of this evil and scarred land, the Elves finally showed themselves and the communication between the two was at first tentative, then casual and cordial but distant. Next the Hobbits popped out theirhobbitholes with their hairy feet, once they realized that the Elves were making friends (because they wouldn't want the Elves to secure all the trade) and so they began making inroads with the Humans, too, opening roadhouses near the Hobbit world and slowly expanding into the Human areas. Even more secretive were the Dwarves and the Gnomes, always competitive, the Gnomes of the Forest and the Mountain Dwarves above and the Svirfneblin Gnomes and the Deep and the Duergar Dwarves below, made their presence known and began to trade with the Hummans, too.

The world as it is now is dominated by a mix of Humans and Demi-Humans struggling to establish themselves against many other races of Humanoids and other types spawned from the evil and dark lands.

The Kingdom of Allesia is currently ruled in a fuedal government by Queen Elwyn of leFullere, who lives in the Black Keep of Allesia, the capital city of the kingdom, and has ruled since she was three years old. She is, in fact, assisted by the Royal GovernorCouncilor - Degore Reymund of Penton Mewsey, who basically controls everything in the kingdom for the girl of 22 until she learns her place in the kingdom. She currently spends her time hunting, feasting, celebrating festivals and faires and the like.

The Army is commanded now by General in Chief Lord Geroldin de Ernauld, who is currently in the north with his swordsmen and archers, spearmen and wagonners, and leading the way, the Rangers of the Order of the Queen’s Will, led by High WardenGamel of Clyst St. Cyrcampaigning against a move by the Orcs to try and drive the expansion of the Humans south. He is being assisted by the Grand Diplomat Wilmot of Sedgehille who is trying to get the Northern tribes and clans to make a move from the north against the Orcs from Cemmes and the surrounding araes through Vambag Pass.

Meanwhile at home, the High Priest Thim, who guides the Kingdom's religious growth and sees to its spiritual needs, continues her not-so-secret machinations among the religious sects and insures that they continue at each other’s throats while remaining above the fray, her hands clean to adjudicate their disputes. She has lately been assisted by Magister Rogerius the Red, who guides the Kingdom's higher learning and magical employment and also heads the Magical Guild "Archons of Panadera's Creed.”

While this is all going on, the Peace is kept (or tried to be maintained at a civil level) by the Marshall Good Osgood Alston and his sheriffs throughout the countryside in their surcoats of Red and White checkerboards, adjudicating justice in courts, forming juries when necessary and answering the Hue and Cry of the peasantry, and dispensing summary justice as needed, not always fairly but at least even-handedly. Alston is oft-times assisted in the shadows by the Royal Assassin atta Welle, who will deal many times with the more serious crimes summarily, the justice unseen by the peasantry but swift and true none the less, the party or parties simply disappearing, “a victim of the Good Shepherds”, “carried off by the Orcs” or some other disaster of natural or unnatural means. Meanwhile, the Spymaster Le Chaluner Hardegin, a secret and unseen individual who may or may not exist but surely makes his presence felt, for even the Queen raises her hand for silence when his name is mentioned, slithers about in the dark alleyways and byways, drafting the thieves, cutpurses and footpads for his secret and never-mentioned needs.

Meanwhile, funding it all, through his typically fair and balanced taxes (and sometimes by other means that are not mentioned), the Treasurer Bardwin Theabaldus sits in the Royal Black Keep, filling his coffers, stacking his bars of Amber Golden Pegasi, counting his piles and bags of Silver Riyals, Copper farthings, and Heavenly Nine Pound Pieces of Platinum. Suffice to say that the taxes are fair, the money flows in and out, and the economy has its ups and downs.

But on the whole, the world is dangerous but it is good. Now all it needs is a few good adventurers to help clean it up. And there are few of them at the moment …


 I'll be filling it in as we get deeper into the campaign and will detail some background on the characters and more of the world, my gaming philosophy, and the like.