Monday, October 31, 2011

Walking Dead

So I've been watching the Walking Dead lately, caught up with last season which I enjoyed and have been keeping up this year. Its very good but I must confess the characters are beginning to wear on me a bit. What at first was slight doubts and questions has become a torrent of whining and 'why are we here' and then last night's ending scene made a questionable character altogether evil. No Green Lantern in that guy. The only redeeming characters right now are secondary, Glenn, Singleton, and the only truly redeeming character Norman the Redneck...who keeps asking all the others "what's wrong with you people? you still alive!?"

Its good but the belly aching needs to stop. Its wearing thin.

note: the blond chick Andrea is coming around.

Merovingian Treasure

It would seem that the first of the Merovingian dynasty, Childeric, died in 481 (I think I have that right). He was the father of Clovis, the founder of France. His grave was discovered in in 1653 and the artifacts, some Roman, some Frankish were kept in Paris until the nineteenth century at which time some knucklehead stole most of it. We do however have his sword, or at least what remains of it. This once again shows what might come out of a treasure heap....



This was a pommel held by a King, one of the Long Haired Kings. How cool is that?

Shipping Rates

We are going to hammer this home! TLG just slashed our shipping rates by 50-60%! Read more about it in the upcoming Troll's Tusk.ENJOY!


Sucker Punch

This is still one of the best movies of the year, and one of the best I've ever seen. The visuals are through the roof, especially the dragon scene. How bad ass is it to be flying a B-17 and operating a 50 cal against a huge fire breathing dragon.

It does not get better than this!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Educational Slideshow

Sometimes its very important that we all take some time and expand our horizons. This weekend would be a good time to learn a little more about how happiness is brewed. So take this tour of "how do we make it" . . . you may have to log your birthdate to get access, I'm not sure.

Friday, October 28, 2011

New form of Justice needed

Maybe we should revisit Anglo-Saxon law

Petrified

Had an interesting conversation with Tim Burns a few minutes ago. As many of you may or may not know Tim Burns works as TLG front line editor. He called with an interesting problem. It seems that petrification, a word we are all quite used to, isn't a word at all. The actual word for something that is petrified is petrifaction.

Learn something every day.

The Troll's Tusk

We've been working on this dirn thing since the 17th. I'm deteremined to get it out today. Topics under discussion: shipping rates, what's new and some other stuff.

A Merovingian Queen

The Merovingians stand in stark contrast to our image of Queens. These women were not crowned in the sense that we have come to understand. Rather they were Queens because their husbands were Kings. These are the days in which the Salic Law, that played such a role in Shakespeare's Henry V (though historically not much role at all), are formulating.

Brunhild, Queen to Sigibert, was a powerful Queen who after bearing many children may have murdered her husband in hopes to rule through her eldest son, Childerbert. Some sources report this was part of blood feud between Merovingians and Visigothic Kings (as Brunhild was a Goth). The nobles forced her out of the kingddom for suspician in her husband's death.

At this point she married her brother in law's, King Chilperic's first son, Merovich. Chilperic, Merovich's father, was none to amused and ordered Brunhild off. She then joined her son Childerbert's, still in his minority, at the powerful ducal court of Grundovald where she is involved or so the sources say, of many plots against Chilperic. After some time Childerbert rises to the kingship, and with him his mother. After many years of political in fighting in which Brunhild is suspected in having several Bishops murdered (up to eleven or), and the most famous monk of the age Columbanus chased from the Kingdom, Childerbert dies, and she assumes the regency of her grand children, both of whom stand to gain the throne. One dies soon thereafter and Brunhild is confirmed as a very powerful woman, though technically no long Queen.  Many murder plots later and after much machinations geared to keep herself in power, the Lords of Neustria have her (upon the death's of her grand children) arrested, stripped naked, tied to camel, paraded around and then torn apart by wild horses.

In any case, this woman was bad ass!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Vikings were Fashion Gods

Pagan vikings that is.



The women were supposed to have dressed provocatively.

Maybe

Maybe not

Comet hits Sun

In case you missed this piece of news.


and a comet storm on nearby star has been discovered

The To Do List

Troll Lord Games is often behind schedule...and by often, I mean always. It probably has something to do with talking that goes on around here...just had a 30 minute discussion on various species (?) of potatoes that are grown in the Andes. But as usual Peter tries to ground us and he sent this to do list over . . .

 
This post courtesy of Ken Whitman and Brothers Barbarian!

How to Face the Curtain

This is a timeless classic, like Johnny Mathis' Maria or the Eagle's Hotel California:

A Spell from The Adventurer's BackPack

This is a spell I am working on for the AB:


Idolum
With Idolum the illusionist creates doubt through passing false images across the surface of the target’s thoughts. By focusing his attention on the target for 1 round the illusionist creates images, related to something the target is talking about or doing, that makes the target question their own actions. The target is allowed a saving throw. A successful intelligence check lessons the impact of the spell, so that the action, whether combat oriented suffers a -2 penalty. If the target fails the intelligence check, they do not carry through with the action.

The illusionist must have some idea about what the target is doing. The do not have to speak the language.

For instance, the illusionist sees an ogre preparing to attack him. He knows the creature’s intent and inserts an image of the ogre being struck by lightening when he approaches the illusionist. The ogre is taken with fear and either calls of the attack and flees or suffers the necessary penalties

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Treasures of the Merovingians

It seems some of our knowledge of the Merovingian craftsmanship was unearthed in the 1840s by a young Shepard girl in France. She found a Roman tile with a cross on it in the turf. Beneath the tile lay a golden horde of coins, a chalice and a rectangular paten (a small golden, usually ceremonial plate). The coins have since vanished but the chalice and paten are in display in Paris.

But if that doesn't sound like a horde of treasure found on a wild adventure I don't know what does! I think it'll be the theme of tomorrow night's Castles & Crusades game.

The Winter Runes

A small excerpt:

The Drab Sinks stretch from the walls of Most to the roughly 30 miles south of the Ington. These are cold moors, filled with strange beasts of wild disposition. Tales relate how that dread lord of Chaos, Thorax, the Red Bull, in the days of his power sat upon the mouth of the river and drank from the stream.  The songs relate how he choked on the water’s oily brim and vomited much of it back up.  What came from the black tar of his bile and loss were creatures of strange mix and kind, wild chaos beasts that haunt the Sinks still.  There are deep tar pits here, that trap the unwary, who eventually sink and drown in that forgotten corner of the world’s youth.


Trolling Trolls not Troll Lord

Peter Bradley sent this over to me and though I don't normally post such this one made me laugh out loud quite a bit. It is filled with a great deal of vulgarity so be advised!

5 Ways to Stop Trolls from Killing the Internet.

Shipping Rates

Davis and I have been contemplating slashing shipping rates by half, or even dropping them altogether.

Classic Monsters: A Monster Manual

Here's a sneak peak at Classic Monsters: A Monster Manual fro Castles & Crusades:

The Bull and Pasiphae

So it seems that Minos' wife was cursed when Minos failed to sacrifice a given bull to Poseidon. She fell in love with the White Bull sent by Aphrodite. She had a cow fashioned and climbed inside it so she could copulate with the beast. From that union came the dreaded Minotaur.  Later he is tossed into a cell.

All this comes to light of course as their is a Maze in Winter Runes (a book being converted to Castles& Crusades) and I'm curious to work in the mythology of the beasts with the game. Of course the problem always is that there are more than one minotaur in fantasy gaming.

Regardless of that, the original story is really interesting and makes one wonder where it originated from. Beats the heck out of Thor's magical goats, that's for sure!

The Alfred Effect

Be sure to check out The Alfred Effect for game reviews and more!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Lycanthropes

It would seem that in Dole, France, in 1562 Gilles Garnier was accused of being a werewolf. Seems children had gone missing in the area and their bodies were found in the woods where a local hermit and his wife lived (the aforementioned Giles). When another child went missing hunters tracked him and found him (the child) being torn apart by wolves. One of the wolves had the appearance of Gilles so he was eventually arrested and put on trial. Over 50 people took oath against him. He was put on the rack, tortured, confessed to being a werewolf and then burned at the stake. Historians speculate that he found hunting children easier than wild-life and reason that he confessed under torture.

Maybe.

Maybe he was a werewolf!!!





Its time for the World of Aihrde in general and Castles & Crusade in particular to have a good treatment for Lycanthropes.

50% OFF NOW!

We've just launched a 50% OFF sale over at RPGNow and Drivethru RPG. All titles were dropped 50% (except for the CKG). This sale will only last a week or so so get them while the getting is good!


That thar picture is of Aldo Ghiozzi at Purple Cow at the last Troll Con!

Troll's Tusk

The latest Troll's Tusk is coming out today. Some news, reviews and other goodies. Be sure to subscribe!

The Adventurer's Backpack

As this book begins to take shape (along with several others) I have to say that title is driving me crazy. Its a great title, but spelling it is not friendly to the typist.

But here is the cover we are pondering for the ABP. Peter Bradley did this for the re-write of Lion in the Ropes, but I loved it too much. Comments welcome!

Valhalla Rising

I finally had the chance to watch this movie last night. The setting was cool, costumes; the gritty realism of the picture. All of that was really cool. But beyond that the movie lost me. I hadn't any idea what was going on during most of the film, who the characters were or why I should care about them. The story was utterly lost on me as well. The scene where they all might sort of go crazy but not really made zero sense to me. I'm sure the whole thing was an allegory, but for to what end I could not say. Reminded me of the scene in Young Guns when they eat the peyote; it just need crazy charlie's shooting at Chickens!

Of Aihrde

In 1040md, a gathering of Princes and Nobles, the Electors, crowned the 30 year old Pryzmira, Empress of New Aenoch. They took the ancient crown of the House Golden, the Cunae Mundus Usquam, the "Cradle of the World," upon her head. This act led to the greatest migration in modern times as the Empress called to the west for a Crusade against the unholy powers that resided north in Aufstrag.

                                                                              ~The Codex of Aihrde

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Ordeal

It would seem that the "Ordeal", the idea that boiling water or drowning could prove a man's guilt or innocence, was a Germanic custom brought to Gaul during the migrations. It was one of two methods to prove one's innocence...the other being oath taking. The ordeal won favor in the late Merovingian period as too many people were abusing the oath system.

"Yes myLord I promise I didn't do that! I double dog promise!"

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

This is what I imagine the World of Aihrde to look like:

Vampires Abound

During the Middle Ages it was thought that vampires spread the plague by chewing on peoples clothes. In order to halt the disease suspected vampires had bricks or stones shoved in their mouths. This vampire skull was dug up in Italy Lazzareto Nuovo in Italy in 2006.

Of No Purpose

I'm sure that this serves no purpose whatsoever, but thought it was a little interesting.

Youtube insult generator.

The Merovingians and Carolingians

Its interesting reading. Clovis, the Frank, was the son of Childerec who served the Romans in one capacity or the other. Childeric carved a smallish kingdom out of northern Gaul for himself and gave it over to his son who proceeded to create the first Frankish Monarchy, led by his family the Merovingians. For the next 250 years the Merovingians fought each other like lions...even their Queens such as Brunhild...waged constant and bloody war with each other. They eventually grind themselves down so that the steward, Pippen is able to to take control of the Kingdom. His son Charles Martel and his son Charlesmagne rebuild Frankish power. After there is a long line of seeming knuckleheads, Louis the Pious, Charles the Fat, Charles the Bald and so on.

All they seem to do is get their crowns made into ass hats and these ass hats handed to them by the Vikings.


Perhaps Stewards should not rule Kingdoms, but warlords should!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Writing Desk

As noted a week or so ago, Davis fell his computer and it does not work any more. It was a tower of gaming goodness, now its a heap of trash. He's been reverted to old school, 1995 style...you know those far away years before our lives were defined by how many cords and devices we have? ;) I had an opportunity to snap a few shots of where he works. Presently on the note pad is the rough draft for A10 The Last Respite.

Of course someone will have to enter the adventure into a computer . . . and that will no doubt be me as I can translate Davisese and type fairly fast . . . and though a bit of a pain, its not worse than sorting through his computer files, generally named things like "shit" "shit 1" "extra shit" "stuff" "stuff kent (that's my middle name) needs now" etc etc etc.

Regardless, I can't help but feel a little bit of envy while looking at his desk.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Elric, Corum & the Merovingians

Reading this history really brings to life what Moorcock managed to do in his Eternal Champion series (of which the first three books of Corum are my favorite). These Long Haired Kings, under Clovis, conquered much of northern Gaul and later Aquitaine and Burgandy. Living there, especially in the south were large populations of Romans, living in their country estates and villas. Many senatorial families survived through the last centuries of the Empire, shades of their ancestor's former greatness. They clung to power through the Church and in some cases serving the Long Hairs as Counts of their home regions. It reminds me of the dwindling power of the Vadhagh as the Mabden spread across that ancient realm.

Drive in the Country

I had a nice drive up into the Ozarks today, up near Lynn Arkansas (picking up a load of lumber for the house). That country is some of the most beautiful I've ever seen. Moving up HWY 37 was interesting too, as you drive up the land is flat, scrub and cattle country. Almost without notice a small hill comes into view and beyond it deeper forests. The road caps the hill and you find yourself in the hills...all quite sudden. It was the perfect scene for an adventure to begin . . . .

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Players Handbook

Peter "20 Dollar" Bradley sent me over a sketch of what might just be the 5th printing of the C&C Players Handbook.

From Last Week's Trolls Tusk

Things are so different on the other side of the screens. From the CK's perspective it seems so easy, from the players, it makes no sense. Riddles and any other word play always proves tough at the table.

In a recent game the players found themselves wandering down a steep canyon upon the banks of a wide stream. Eventually they came to a small dam, with several outbuildings and a four boats. The settlement was ancient, weathered and abandoned. But the boats seemed in wonderful condition, but for the small matter of what they were made out of . . . stone.  

Upon a stand in front of each boat the players found written the following words: A Gift from the Sea Kings of Alanti; Call upon the All Father (here was a symbol that meant "spell" or "magic" in Dwarven followed by the word: Restore. It seemed rather straight forward.

But then again, it always does . . . . The Troll's Tusk

More Merovingian

As some of you have discerned I've been reading a great deal on the Long Haired Kings, the Frankish Kings. In some of my reading I came across this passage that explained how those keeping records, both at the many courts and in monasteries and the like took paper from the Roman period...tax documents, legal papers, books, what have you...and scratched out the ink and reused the paper. Its one of the reasons that we don't have a great deal of demographic information on the late Roman period. It occurs to me that perhaps we could take these more medieval texts and with modern technology read what is under it....yesterday Peter sent me this interesting article.

Archimedes Lives!

Viking Boat Burials

UK Archeologists have uncovered a Viking boat, largely intact, in the West Highlands (I'm not really sure where this is, but I assume its in the western part of England or Scotland and in some area known as the Highlands ha). The Ardnamurchan Viking boat consisted of pieces of the boat, in the midst of which lay a Viking Warrior. He possessed a sword with a decorated hilt, a spear, a shield boss and a brass ring pin. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Tree of Battles

Should a Knight who aids the King against the King's Will Receive Wages?

Two arguements presented in the Tree of Battles say that indeed the Knight can claim wages for the deeds of his valor. But the Tree states categorically that despite these learned arguments, that the Knight cannot ask for wages due to the truth of the King's refusal.

The Merovingians

History is interesting and often offers  more than fiction. Upon Rome's decline . . . really not a fall, but a slow erosion which experienced brief periods of resurgence, followed by even greater decline . . . several Germanic ttribes usurped their power. The Alamans, Visigoths, the Ostrogoths, Franks and a smattering of smaller tribes. In the northern part of the decayed Empire the Franks under Clovis shirked Roman Rule and declared themselves Kings. They were known for their unshorn hair and were therefore called the "Long Haired Kings."

The name is as good as anything in fiction!

This image is copyright the Bettman Historical Archive.

The Merovingians

I find this map strangely comforting:

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Tower of Night

Speaking of castles, A9 The Tower of Night is about finished. Peter sent over the next to final map and its looking sweet. This one is a castle solid crawl through the tower/castle.

"The Tower of Horesk is an ancient edifice built upon the edge of the Grausumlands. Its dark stones sit upon an island-anchorage in the midst of a deep morass of bogs, saw grass, and gray, stagnant water . . . .

Castles

For a really good book on Castles check out "Castles, A History of Fortified Structures Ancient, Medieval and Modern." Lots of information and some really good illustrations as well. Castles seem to get passed over frequently in the various games.  In watching the movie Elizabeth this past weekend, which takes place largely in a Castle I couldn't help but notice how really cool the setting was. We've done a little exploring with Castle here at TLG, with most recently Robert Doyel's Engineering Castles but its a subject that wants for more.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Tree of Battles

The Tree of Battles was written by Honore Bonet in the latter part of the 14th century. Bonet was Priest that served the Abbey of L'Isle Barbare at Lyons, France.The Tree of Battles is a treatise, a book, that outlines the codes and conducts of war, knightly combat. Written not to be a code, but a cure to the many wars of the time, its author had the intent to bring Christian Europe, specifically France together. What it rapidly became however was the cornerstone for Knightly Combat and Battle. It is a marvelous read, if you can get a copy of it, give it a shot!

Some questions posed:

"Whether it is fitting for a King or Prince b deceit or subtlety to overcome another Prince his enemy and in what way he may offend in this matter."

"Whether vassals should go to war for their Lord at their own expense."

The Tree of Battles.

The Walking Dead

For those who enjoyed The Walking Dead on AMC last year, your season premier is tomorrow (Sunday the 16th). I came late to The Walking Dead and caught the whole 1st season backwards several months ago. I was hooked with whatever episode I started with, pretty cool zombie stuff, maybe the best out there. 8/9 Central.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Castles

One of the coolest Castles your ever going to have the chance to see lies in Austria. Hochosterwitz. It is this great berg that sits atop a large rocky hill with many gates as you wind up the slopes. It is, simply put, awesome. It served as the inspiration for a really cool game we ran and then the entire Golden Familiar adventure that comes with the Casebound screens.


New CKG

The CKG is at last in stock. And now with a full printing from Walsworth should be in stock for awhile. As many of you know we could not keep this book in print through the use of our own print shop. The demand kept it constantly out of stock so we sent it to Walswoth to do a full on print run. The books arrived today and they look wonderful! Walsworth did its normal bang up job!

To celebrate we are waiving Shipping Fees!

Dock Bogs

This song by Dock Bogs alwasy reminds me of the Troll Lords. Would be about our luck.