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New Magic Item – Flesh-Biting Blade

19 February, 2017

Dangerous to allGollaon looked over the captured sword.  “Nasty piece of work.”

Voddick, rubbed under the cut on his forehead, “Very.  I would be careful with it, my friend.  Such weapons often have evil spirits bound into them.”

“Not a wise choice,” Gollaon managed to force it back into its scabbard.

“No, weapon-bound spirits are dangerous enough, it is foolish to temp fate by binding one that is malevolent.”

Flesh-Biting Blade

These weapons usually look vicious with wavy or serrated blades, they are very hard to keep clean and often have bits of hair or skin caught in their edge, but this does not impair their sharpness and ability to inflict damage.

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PinkCat: Running in the Shade “Clean Up” (A different sort of SR campaign report)

15 February, 2017

To understand what is going on here, you had best read the first PinkCat: Running in the Shade post, but short summary, this is a campaign report for our Shadowrun campaign set in NorCal through the filter of a cartoon made by one of the team members.

Episode Twenty Six: Clean Up

Guest Starring: DD, Double Up and ToraIt the viper!

Some of the local student find they can make money working after school working as cleaners, Pink steps in and starts organizing them into Sunnyshine Cleaners.  Hilarity ensues as the cleaners deal with all sorts of ridiculous problems and messes, chocolate sauce spills, mermaids in tubs and so on.  But Pink and the cleaners becomes more and more corporate as they become more successful, to the point where she almost turns her back on her friends . . . but then realizes that friendship is more important than money, even clean money.  Sunnyside Clearer downsize back into nice after school jobs and Pink takes everyone out to ice cream to apologize.

What really happened:

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Tuesday Magic Item – Heartbreaker

14 February, 2017

It will stab you in the heartGollaon paused in the cleaning of his sword and sighed.

“Who are you pining over now?” asked Voddick as he carefully stitched a repair in his shirt.

“That girl.”

“That does not narrow it much you know,” grumbled Voddick.

“The raven-haired lass with the flashing blue eye,” he sighed.

“The one who stabbed you in that brawl?  The one with the eyepatch!?”

“The very one.”

Heartbreaker

The origin of this dagger is unknown, but rumors about it have been circulating for centuries if not longer.  It is a plain steel weapon with a curved blade, unexceptional in appearance but it is warmer than the ambient temperature to the touch.

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Tuesday Magic Item – Scourge of the Vanities

7 February, 2017

All is vanityGollaon pulled his plain cloak tighter around him.  “We had best make our way away.”

“Agreed,” muttered Voddick having acquired a stout club.  “Such fanaticism is dangerous.”

The pair skirted the edges of the crowd who had gathered to listen to and be led by the priest who denounced and sought to destroy those physical items which -he claimed- made people weak to their desires and passions.  Mirrors, cosmetics, fine cloth, books and artwork were piled up and soon to be put to the torch to spare people from their temptations.

Once clear of the chanting crowds, Voddick shook his head.  “Such a waste.  Fine crafts are proof of people’s soul and creativity.”

“Some people want to force us all to walk the narrow and restricted paths they see as pure,” sighed Gollaon.  “And there is the gate ahead.  Let us leave them to their path and find a better one of our own.”

Scourge of the Vanities

These weapons are plain and practical, well made but with no decoration or fripperies to distract from their basic functionality as tools of destruction.  Usually they are hafted weapons such as an axe or mace but occasionally a pole arm or a plain sword is encountered.

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Welcome Ill omened February, fare thee well January

31 January, 2017

January always seems to go by so quickly and we now move into February.  February gets its name from Latin term februum, which means purification, via the purification ritual Februa performed at this time of year.  The Romans considered February an ill-omened month which is why it is only twenty-eight days long.   For this month we return to the theme 0f curses, cursed items, ill-fortune and, perhaps, defenses against such terrible things.  As usual, suggestions, comments and ideas are welcome.

So, what was published on the journal in January, 2017?  Take a look:

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Tuesday Magic Item – Portable Desk

31 January, 2017

Fold up and go“That fellow does not seem unduly burdened by his massive load,” Voddick pointed with the stem of his pipe to the lone traveler approaching with a massive wooden box on his back, which he barely seemed to bend under.

Gollaon looked and started.  “I am not surprised.  That is Master Measure, the Imperial Auditor, and the chest upon his back carries his work desk.”

“An Auditor?  That cannot mean good things for our employer.”

“Perhaps we should draw our pay from the quartermaster directly,” suggested Gollaon, already making his way in that direction.

Portable Desk

These items are made for the bureaucrat on the go, while some are decorated with elaborate carvings and even gilt-work, most are simply extremely well made desks of durable wood.  Prepared for travel, they are either the size of a trunk or a large box on a backpack frame, depending on the particular version.
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Blog Carnival – Prophecy and Foretelling in the Sea of Stars

27 January, 2017

Tales of a GM is hosting this month’s Blog Carnival, the theme of which is Prophecies & Omens.  So, I thought I would write a little on how prophcies and other foretelling fit into the Sea of Stars.

Look to the starsWhile a wide range of forms of divination are used in the Sea of Stars, by far the most common is Astrology as the stars are so visible both above and below.  The consensus amongst the astrologers is that the stars provide guidance and signposts to people, and some would say destiny, but do not force it.  However, by aligning oneself with the path laid out by their stars, success is more likely.  Work with, not against, the currents of your horoscope, is the simple form of their advice.

Equally, if you can learn the horoscope of a rival, you can try to maneuver them into acting against their best guided path throwing them off-balance and making them vulnerable to ill-fortune and existential unease.  While the ability to seriously harm someone by this method is nearly impossible, most dragons keep the date their egg was laid and their hatching time well protected, no need to take chance.  Successful venturers and wizards often try to do the same, though the more public one’s birth, the more difficult such is to accomplish.

Most courts maintain an astrologer or group of such to choose auspicious times to begin major works, wars and marriages.  A little extra luck never hurts after all.  Most towns will have a astrologer and even a village may have a part-time one, there is quite a network of astrologers exchanging notes and observations, devices and charts, it is a popular hobby among city-dwellers and country folk alike.

Many other forms of divination exist, the elves are fond of dream-trance visions and augury (or ornithomancy divination by studying the flight of birds), while the practical dwarves use runestones and lithomancy by which the future is told using stones or the reflected light from said stones, in the Jade Pillar Dynasty the oracle bones are consulted (dragon bone being preferred when available), while the Necrourgist of Laccini turn to the dead, practicing necromancy as well.  Somewhere in the Sea of of Stars you will find every variant of divination practiced.  But, again, they are generally regarded as guides and aid to planning rather than fixed predictions of the future. because , to a certain extent divination and prophecy suffered a serious blow by the Gods War, the Sundering and ascension of the Draconic Imperium because none of it was predicted.   Even scholars who have searched through what ancient prophecies survive have been able to find one that even comes close to what happened.  It is said that when asked about this, the Empress replied that it is simply proof of her philosophy of Dominae, that one’s own will is paramount.

Notes: Telescope photo by Thomas Quine and used under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

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