Archive for September, 2015


Boldly into October, Farewell September

30 September, 2015

October begins tomorrow, the eighth month of the Roman Calendar (thus that ‘Oct’ part of the name)  and tenth of ours.   It seems the Romans had no special association for October beyond Autumn, but we have Halloween at the end, so -as has become traditional- this month the Sea of Stars Design Journal will have Monsters as our theme.

Please consider supporting the Sea of Stars Patreon if you enjoy reading this journal.  Thank you.

If you have ideas for Monsters or horror theme you wish to see discussed here, let me know and I will try to make it happen.

September, 2015, saw the following posts on the journal:

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Tuesday Magic Item – Curse-Eating Dagger

30 September, 2015

BewareVoddick cleaned his sword and toed at the knife the killer dropped, after he and Gollaon dropped him.  “Why kill a sick grandmother and with such a nasty weapon?”

“Don’t touch that,” said Gollaon knocking it away with his blade.  “I recognize the design.  That grandmother was suffering from a curse, the dagger now contains it.”

Voddick hastily backed away.  “I have had enough curses in my life, I do not need any more.”

Curse-Eating Dagger

These weapon come from a variety of sources, some are crude, made by small communities, others are works of art commissioned by major temples, but they share certain characteristics: bone handle wrapped in leather and a blackened blade marked with mystic signs.  However they are made, they are dangerously sharp and it is almost impossible to handle the blade without being cut by it.

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New Magic Item – Robes of the Equinox’s Chosen

28 September, 2015

Stylish them druidsSavilan the Archdruid smiled and anointed Yiris. “Again, you shall serve as our voice among the people, Yiris.  Indeed, I can think of no one else wearing the robe.  Stand and be recognized by your peers.”

Robes of the Equinox’s Chosen

These robes are woven from living fibers and they are tied into the season, gradually shifting from a vibrant green in spring to a mix of reds, yellows and browns in autumn (with dark green in summer and paler shades in winter).  The belt is made from slender woven branches that also reflect the current season.  The robe is presented to the druid that acts as conduit for official relations between the distant high druids and the people with whom they share the land with.

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Tuesday Magic Item – Brickmaker’s Shovel

22 September, 2015

Hard working womanVoddick mopped his brow and leaned on the shovel.  “How is it we have ended up doing manual labor again?”

Gollaon shrugged and turned to hammed in another stake.  “We are getting paid as mercenaries and are not in the front line, so it is not all bad.”

“Put that way, you have the right of it,” agreed Voddick stretching.  “Though I am impressed they were able to gather so many building supplies in such an abandoned corned of the kingdom.”

“I suspect they cheated,” said Gollaon with a nod toward the royal mages tent.

Brickmaker’s Shovel

These shovels are of expert make using the finest hardened metal and treated wood, usually they are decorated with a variety of magic sigils both protective and otherwise, though they are often too covered in earth and mud to read them.

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PinkCat: Running in the Shade “Chili and Chocolate” (A different sort of SR campaign report)

17 September, 2015

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 Fourteen: Chili and Chocolate

Guest Starring: DD.

Homemade is best

Just like Mama made!

The trio is hired to help the small local “Chili Today, Hot Tamale” restaurant which is having trouble from the corporate Taco Tyrant chain.  The evil TT manager is using every trick in the book to drive CT/HT out of business and is best cartoon fashion it keep escalating and Pink and company keep outwitting the TT thugs and tricks.  Until finally the head of Taco Tyrant, the Tyrant himself Napoleon Nacho, comes down to see what is going on.  He takes a wrong turn and his armored limo ends up breaking down outside CT/HT so while Pink and Glitter fix the limo, DD feed him CT/HT food and he breaks down and chies because it is “just like his mama used to make for him”.  CT/HT is saved!  Napoleon Nacho become a regular customer and TT becomes a little less tyrannical . . . for now.

The whole thing is happening next to an airport, so there are always (increasingly silly) planes and other aircraft taking off or landing in the background whenever the characters are outside.

What really happened:

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Tuesday Magic Item – Conscript’s Bracelet

15 September, 2015

Wider than thisGollaon and Voddick leaned on the parapet, listening to the martial music and stirring speeches as the new conscripts were inducted into the army and bracelet closed around their wrists.  “Glad to see that someone is excited about this expedition,” said Voddick.

“Well, I would rather be fighting alongside those who are fighting for a cause than peasants forced onto the field,” replied Gollaon.

“Truth to that,” agreed Voddick.

“And as citizens, they are more likely to have coin in their purses to lose to us over a game of cards.”

Conscript’s Bracelet

These magic bracelets are mass produced for those nations that rely upon citizen conscription to maintain their militaries.  They are made of hard metal, usually steel and marked with the symbol of the state and, often have the unit and rank added later.  While in service, the bracelet cannot be (easily) removed, but once the service is complete, the bracelet can be taken on or off but is often worn as a sign of service and citizenship.

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Tuesday Magic Item – Caravan Blessing Token

8 September, 2015

Not usually this complex“Well ,” said Voddick, braiding the charm into the horse’s mane, “there are worse way to start a caravan than a blessing.”

Gollaon nodded as he finished tying his charm.  “I will take all the help we can get.”

“And the colorful tokens will help us keep track of our animals among the other caravans.”  Voddick noted with a gesture to the other caravans gathered on the staging ground.

“Good point.”

Caravan Blessing Token

These color full tokens are made of brightly colored cloth and often woven into distinctive shapes, they are primed by weaving them into a pack or riding animal’s fur and then activated by a blessing upon the lead animal of the caravan.  The token remains active until the caravan arrives at its destination or a full season has passed but it can be reactived when the caravan sets off again.

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Rokugan SRIU Episode 6 “Flowers at the Ki-Rin Shrine” (L5R Campaign Report)

3 September, 2015

Leaving behind the Inquisitors and hunted peasantry, our yoriki continues their travels arriving at the justly famous Ki-Rin Shrine where they meet up with Otaku Akilah who comes bearing messages from Doji Akira (their superior).  Which contains the news that Doji Otaro has been murdered by a nun whom, it appears, that he tried to take advantage of and that they should take some time to rest at the Shrine before returning to the capital.

Things were nice and relaxing until, on their way back from their evening meal, they spotted something the size of a child running across the rooftops towards the shrine.  As they headed off in pursuit, a figure called Akodo Akina’s name and she paused to see Ikoma Masaji, looking very haggard and expressing a desire to speak with the Bayushi priestess, if such could be arranged, the distracted Lioness agreed and then raced after her companions.

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Tuesday Magic Item – Venturer’s Book of Hours

1 September, 2015

Voddick's one is not this niceVoddick read and ran through the prayer contained in the little book, it was really quite calming.

“Ready to go?” Golloan looked in.

Voddick nodded and tucked the book safely away.  “Thank you again for the book, it really helps me find focus before heading out into another battle.”

“You are most welcome, such a book helped me once,” replied his friend with a smile.   “Now, let us go and earn our pay.”

Venturer’s Book of Hours

These small books are mass produced, usually by a mixture of printing presses for the body of the work with hand colored plates and embellishments.  They contain a selection of prayers and meditations for the traveler and trader, doctor and dilettante, scholar and soldier, with just enough religion to push someone towards a particular faith without being likely to offend.

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