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Tuesday Magic Item – Brand of Exile

16 September, 2014

Marked permanently“You are sentenced to transportation to the penal colony of Rastonia, where you will serve at the Crown’s convenience building a better land for all,” announced the black robed judge followed by the striking of his gavel.

“But me Lord,,” protested the prisoner, “it was only a pie.”

“No matter, the law is clear,” said the judge.  “See that the prisoner is bound over for transportation and branded a criminal and exile in the eyes of the law and his countrymen.”

“Please no,” wailed the prisoner as they were dragged away by the bailiff’s thugs.

Brand of Exile

A solidly built iron brand with a decorated handle, usually marked with the symbol of the nation that had it made, the brand itself is usually simple and easily recognizable, marking the recipient as a criminal who is no longer welcome in their home country.

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GenCon Adevnture 2014, Part the Second

11 September, 2014

Part 1 here.

Day 2

Up early for shower and breakfast before my first game, at 1pm in the afternoon, but I had gotten my schedule mixed up and thought that I had a morning game so I suddenly found myself at loose ends and so, back to the dealers hall I went.  Which gave me a chance to drop by and say hello to my artist friends Drew Baker and Talon Dunning (who was selling commission like they were going out of style) and picked up a print of I’m the Villain from NEN (who also did all of the art for PostHuman Studio’s new Shinobi Clans game).  I also had the chance to learn how to play the Furoticon card game (NSFW link here) which was quite fun and surprisingly deep play mechanics given its framework.

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Tuesday Magic Item – Weather Crystal

9 September, 2014

Is a storm brewing?“Check the crystal, will today be a good day for planting?”

“I’ll look, I’ll look, but my bones tell me it will be.”

“But what does the crystal say?”

He sighed and studied the crystal.  “Clouds coming in, patchy rain in the afternoon.”

“Then planting we will go.”

He sighed again and placed the crystal back atop the mantle.

Weather Crystal

These enchanted crystals are about a hand’s width in length and about the size of a finger in diameter.  They usually mounted in some fashion to keep them safe and occasionally placed in a cage for use aboard ship.

Each dawn, the weather until the next dawn will be revealed in the crystal: the weather at dawn at its tip and moving down in patterns of color throughout the length of the crystal.  The pattern is set each dawn and is accurate for the local area, it does not change if moved. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tuesday Magic Item – Coach Cushion of Comfort

2 September, 2014

Colorful ComfortI started in envy at the wealthy trader who sat across from me as the coach bounced and rattled across the the post road.  Over the last four days as we traveled across increasing rough and dangerous roads, but my constant companion never seemed troubled.  Not by weather, or rough roads, or well, anything.

I finally worked up the nerve to ask about this.  “Good sir, how is it that you maintain your equanimity in the face of such difficult travel?”

He smiled.  “Long experience of travel.   A positive view of the future.  But most important,” he patted the padded cloth he was seated upon, “is this magic cushion which keeps my expansive girth in comfort.”

Coach Cushion of Comfort

These cushions are made from the highest end fabrics, threads and stuffing and are designed to be used in a coach, so they are not excessively thick as they are usually taken with their owner rather than being left behind.   When made they are almost always marked with the original owner’s mark in the form of color choice, embroidery or both.

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GenCon Adevnture 2014, Part the First

27 August, 2014

Day -1

Writing on the wall

What was it trying to tell me?

Headed out towards GenCon, we break the trip up into two stages as we have to be there in the early Wednesday afternoon.  Stopped in Cave City, our usual transit point, ate dinner at Cracker Barrel (where there were some interesting light effects that looked like runes on the stones of the fireplace, got some poor pictures thereof).  Then chatted online with Laura while watching Face/Off, which has become something of a tradition as we did it last year too.  And then for my last really full night’s sleep until after GenCon.

Day 0
Safely arrived in Indianapolis, dropped our stuff of at our rooms and then off to help with setup.  The dealers hall was full of various venders getting ready for the big show.  Setup went pretty well, with AEG’s new expanded booth area including an actual enclosed area to store stock in, very useful.  Lots of people queuing for their badges.  At some point I hung around on the fringes of Fred Hicks’ circle, listening to some fun and crazy stuff.

The AEG demo team dinner was held, at usual, at the Old Spaghetti Factory.  Not a good experience this year.  We arrived before 8pm, were not seated until after 8:30pm and we left directly after finishing our dinner around 10:30pm.  Yes, there was a passel of us (~50) but that was no excuse for the painfully slow service, we did not even get drinks before 9pm!  Disappointing but at least it was decent food, when we finally got it.  Then off to bed.

Day 1
GenCon begins!  Excellent breakfast at the Embassy Suites, where I was staying, walked over to the dealers hall with some of the other demo team members before looping back to my first (of seven) L5R RPG sessions!  This was the introductory action-adventure game with five players, four of whom had played in one of my games last year!  Everything went well, some of the choices made by the characters caught me by surprise so had to rewrite some of the end scenes of the scenario on the fly but it worked out well and everyone had fun.  As usual, we were in with the Heroes of Rokugan group, so at times a little loud but as they were having a good time there is no reason to complain.

Then a quick dash to the dealers room, which is staggeringly huge this year, so only got to see a bit.  Say a hardcover (POD) copy of the L5R Strongholds of the Empire book that I had worked on, which was very impressive, at the DriveThruRPG booth.  Did find a really nice dichroic glass amulet in the shape of the Star Trek symbol from Moon Drenched Glass Art as a gift for Laura during that time though as well as picking up an East Texas University T-Shirt.

Then back for my second game, the first of the advanced intrigue games.  I had defaulted back to a murder mystery rather than my initial thought of something more political due to the limitations of the convention game format and I wanted something that would be self-contained and resolvable in four hours.  Six players, two of whom were returning from playing in one of my 2012 games, and it ran quite well, though occasionally we had to pause or repeat things as the room was some times very noisy.  But the murderer was revealed and the honour of the Moshi family was saved!

Then back to my room for a quick shower and to head out to meet up with my friends from the Hollow Throne online RPG forum games I play in for dinner.  Most of these are people I have known on and off for years, one of them since the first Winter Court play by post back in 2007, but only online.  Of the ten, I had only met two of them before in person, at previous GenCons, so it was really nice to get to talk with them in person.   Eventually the meeting broke up and we dispersed.  I returned to my room for some much needed sleep.

To be continued.

My few photos from GenCon can be found here.

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Tuesday Magic Item – Unicorn Horn Lance

26 August, 2014

Like this“You cannot escape, defiler,” shouted Dame Crystalthorn thrusting her spiral horn tipped lance.

The Agent of the Black Tree rocked back, avoiding the spear point and pushing one of his ash minions into the way.  He ducked away, triggering his escape amulet.  As the outer rampart faded, he breathed a sigh of relief.

The Agent gasped as the spiral horn punched through his chest.  “But . . .”

“I told you that you could not escape,” the elf said tearing the lance free.

Unicorn Horn Lance

While the original few of these weapons were made from actual unicorn horns, later ones are made from mithril or silver-steel alloy quenched in unicorn blood (freely given).  The lance shaft is made of wood from a lightning struck tree, usually an oak, that has been ritually cleaned and blessed.

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Tuesday Magic Item – Roqard’s Gauntlet of Challenges

19 August, 2014

Gloves for a purposeAs Roqard and his clique swept through the halls of court, scattering courtiers and servants in front of them who reformed in worried groups in their wake.

Roqard at last found his prey, the young Chevalier D’Jaq who was chatting with one of the Queen’s handmaids next to the Seven Mermaid Fountain.  He realized too late that he was being stalked.  He looked around for a way out, but unless he retreated through the fountain, he was trapped.

“I have heard that you have insulted my prowess, Chevalier,” Roqard said and snapped his glove across the young man’s face.  “Meet me on the field of Honour at dawn tomorrow or be branded a liar and a coward.”

The young man felt the sting of the glove and debated if the shame of dishonour was a greater fear than Roqard’s blade.  “At dawn,” he agreed.

Roqard’s Gauntlet of Challenges

These exquisite gloves are usually made of silk reinforced with fine leather and silver thread.  They are beautiful yet practical wear for a duelist.

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