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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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Back from GenCon, news and such soonish

19 August, 2014

Arrived safely back from GenCon last night.  Had a great time, played many games and met lots of wonderful gamer people.

Still recovering and catching up at work.  Hope to have news and pictures from the Con up later this week.  (Part one can be found here.)

Should have a magic item posted later today.

Hope all of you fine people are well.

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Tuesday Magic Item – Traveller’s Umbrella

12 August, 2014

Ward against rain and dangerThe Grand Duchess Ikarinova marched down the street, her maid keeping her sheltered from the rain by use of a silver handled umbrella in the Grand Duchess’ colours.

“Excellent work, my Kati,” smiled the Grand Duchess as they turned the corner towards her apartments.

“Thank you, your grace,” said Katerina, ever alert, and wisely so as two knife-wielding assassins surged from a doorway.  The umbrella flared white and the assassins first strike was deflected.  Kati left it hanging to guard the Grand Duchess and struck for she knew that its protection was at best temporary.

Traveller’s Umbrella

These umbrellas are alway made of the highest quality materials often in form that represent the patron for whom they were made, with iconography in the handles or colour choice for the cloth.

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Tuesday Magic Item – Vigilant Eye of the Republic

5 August, 2014

Always WatchingWe ducked back to avoid the citizen patrol, this shipment of wine -smuggled at great effort- would be worth a nice bag of coin.

Sticking to the back alleys, we maneuvered into a disused stable.  Once used by the Duc Aflon when his wished to visit the pleasure quarters, it had been abandoned for months.

Distantly, the bells sounded midnight.  Our buyer should be here momentarily.

Suddenly, there were lights everywhere.  “Surveillance Committee,” announced their leader, the Vigilant Eye medal as their throat flashing in the light.  “You are under arrest for crimes against public order.”

Vigilant Eye of the Republic

These amulets are made from the melted silver taken from the royal judges, on one side is the eye of vigilance and on the other side is stamped the number of the Republican agent it is assigned to.

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