Monday, December 26, 2011

Journy into the Cold!

We are drawing close to the release of Winter Runes, we are looking at a February release, and are now opening it up for pre-orders. Winter Runes includes a host of new spells for the RuneMark or for you favorite magic user, new equipment, magic items, new monsters, and more. Complete with playable setting with maps, towns, places of interest as well as encounter charts and a host of short set piece adventures.

Check it out on the Winter Runes pre-order page! Chose the package that meets your level of interest and place your order today! Higher level packages include the actual Winter Runes, carved on wooden tiles and in a wooden box. This is set up just like the kickstarter project we did for Classic Monsters, only the dour old Trolls are doing it themselves (we'll set up on kickstarter later for those more comfortable with that venue).

Thursday, December 22, 2011

News from the Mayan World

We've read alot about the trade that existed between Central and North America in the pre-colonial periods. We know that various nations traded food, furs and worked goods from Costa Rico to the South East United States; we even have some evidence that they used shells as coinage. But there has been large speculation of how much of each society transplanted from one region to the other. According to the archeologist, its quite a bit. Seems that some Mayan ruins have been found in northern Georgia.

That is just bad ass!

Dwarves

Though lo, Agrind King, cased in iron, used teh Axe of the Dwarven Lords to drive his foe from the room. Thorax, the Red Duke, encased in armor of his own design, fell beneath the strength of the Iergild, seeing in it the fire of the All Father. He fled the halls in fear and rage, cursing the Dwarves, the world, and the All Father.

This is a Dwarf Tune!

Though I loved the original animated Hobbit, and the music is pretty darn cool, I've always considered Dwarves in a slightly more serious light . . . more as Tolkien portrayed them in the Silmarillian. This is a decent reference, though I don't think it is a quoate from the book, it comes from this site

"Azaghâl and his army fought with fierce iron masks on, and they were able to resist the fire far better than any Elf or Man. Then Glaurung trampled Azaghâl beneath his feet, but Azaghâl ran a dagger through Glaurung's stomach, and the dragon fled in pain, screaming. With him fled many of the host of Morgoth. In a solemn ceremony the Dwarves picked up their fallen leader, forgetting about the battle, and they marched him home, in a great procession. Their wrath was so great that none troubled them" 

Also, how Thorin is portrayed in the battles of Moria and where he earned his name Oakenshield. At any rate, this version of the poem/song from the upcoming movie is just bad ass:



Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Gods on High!

The apocalypse "cool factor" would go up immeasurably if it involved Odin opening up Valhalla's gates and his army of warriors issuing forth to combat the titans as they rise from the underworld...(I know the titans are Greek and Valhalla is Norse, but the giants aren't as cool as the titans). As the heavens opened up and hel vomited her contents onto the plane it would look something like this:


Of course then we could all armor up and we would all look something like this:

Classic Monster Update

Hey folks,

Alright, as you know Classic Monsters was well on its way to completion when we launched the Kickstarter Project, well though I have updated the project over there, I thought a cross post would be a good thing.

Classic Monsters is laid out, we have three more hurdles before this goes to press. Peter has to finish the six color plates (as of this writing he is done with 3 of them and has started the other 3). These are inserted in the special deal Classic Monsters. The regular printing will have b/w pictures in their place. We are also waiting for Sarah Walker's pictures. She had 40 assigned to her and as of this writing she has completed 20 of them. And lastly we have to finish formatting the monster charts for the back of the book; these charts contain all the pertinent information about the monsters from all three major monster books.

So what does this mean. I suspect that by 1st week of January everything will be ready. We are hoping to have the full print run underway by January 10th. We'll do the special edition books first, get them signed, etc etc and start shipping as soon as we can.

I would like to take a moment to thank everyone who joined in the pre-order bash! It was a smashing success! Thank you.

Steve

Wrath of the Titans

This looks darn cool!

Apocalypse 2

One wonders what the Apocalypse will be like. I mentioned surviving it to Tim once and he remarked. "What are you going do when the rivers boil." I said, "Have boiled fish for dinner." Of course if the world explodes then it might be harder to survive, boiled fish or not. Here's a few from the boiler plate!


Apocalypse

The Mayans have begun the countdown to the Apocalypse today. One year from now the 13th Baktun will come to an end, marking the end of the Long Count of 3114 years. Its also the day that Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, Earth or at least something happens up yonder way. This Terrance guy seems to know something about it, took some drugs or some such to get in touch with somebody.

The Mayans, of course, are being their normal tricksey selves and promising that "nothing bad will happen." Yeah right! I got my firefox books ready to go!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Old Dwarven

Onu Nyil u’onuet Egel!

From the Dwarven, it translates, No stone shapes itself.





The above is the Old Man of Hoy from the Orkney Isles, a perfect place to build a house!

Haunting

From the Holmgrad to the Sea

The Holmgrad Mountains hem in the Lands of Ursal from the North. They are stark mountain, cold and inhospitable. Though many trails lead into the mountains only one is known to cross the whole range from east to west, Yurn's Path. This path stretches the whole length of the Holmgrad Mountains, beginning in the lands Holmgald it snakes its away along the coast for many hundreds of miles until it issues forth near Unklar’s Horn. The path has many side branches and smaller paths. It is dotted with innumerable dwarven markers and stone structures that served as shelters. Many of these, called Sulole by the Dwarves, are elaborate with water, fire pits and defensible walls, others are simple dolmen structures. Yurn’s Path hugs the sea so that often it overlooks the turbulent, cold waters of the Inner Sea. Few but the northmen find habitation here, though many beasts, fell and strange, wander its length in search of prey.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Beer in Hell

It would seem that keeping a bar tab was important in the ancient world as well. Nearly 4000 years ago our species' rulers set out laws on when and how to pay a bar maid for the beer you drank! How awesome is that! Check out the findings!

Boneraker

Just finished the Boneraker for Winter Runes encounter Holfgar's Howe...

The boneraker dwells wherever unsettled souls gather, whether upon a battle field or in an unconsecrated graveyard, ghost ship, etc. It rises from the soil, a misshapen, jumbled body of bones that rarely resembles anything that once lived. The creatures is filthy, often held together by the clay and soils they have long rested in; recent bonerakers may still cling to the flesh of those cursed dead who make up their bodies. They do not wield weapons but for boney clubs. As the creature suffers damage, bones shattered and scattered it pulls more from the ground, rejuvenating themselves until such time as they are destroyed.

Common Features . . .

Cromlech: An arrangement of stones in a circular pattern. They often have dolmen’s at their center. The cromlech marks important dolmens as well as religious sites. The cromlech often marks astrological directions or ‘points’ in one direction or another.


Dolmen: An ediface that consists of at least two upright stones with one large stone braced on top. They are often covered with dirt, or mounds of smaller stones, creating a barrow. The dolmen may also serve as home, gathering place, markers for a holy sight, or landmarks, etc.


Howe: Another term for a tumuli, but the builder digs the earth out, making a hollow place upon with the tumuli is constructed. The Howe is almost always made for wealthy members of society, nobles, lords, etc.



Tumuli: A large burial mound or chamber consisting of earth, stone and timber; usually a gigantic dolmen. These may contain the burials of more then one individual. The interior chamber is much more elaborate than a dolmen, often with made of timber or stone.

The Tale of Holfgar's Howe


Holfgar’s Howe
Many years gone the northman, Holfgar road the waves of the Deep Quiet plundering towns and villages; Holfgar proved the terror of the Inner Sea for many years. In his raids he gathered a small army of stalwart followers and they amassed a treasure worth a King’s envy. In time Holfgar built himself a kingdom upon the southern slopes of the Holmgrad Mountains, his wooden hall stood a hundred feet long and 40 feet high; fashioned of timbers as thick as a giant’s leg. There he settled his men and they made merry after each raid.

In time Holfgar’s power waxed great and he took to wife the daughter of a King of Trondheim, Barahul by name. Upon the birth of his son, Dan, Holfgar made himself lord of all the lands between the Stovnet and Nosejuen Rivers, which men called the Gresselrun, and he took for himself the title of King and his Kingdom he named the Holfmark. It was a boisterous land, filled with men of violent nature and built upon the conquests of many raids. Much drink and boasting went on, fighting amongst his thanes was common and Holfgar encouraged it all.

During the third year of his reign, amidst a feast that shook the great hall, one of Holfgar’s closest Thanes, Earagon, boasted to a visiting dignitary that his lord was the greatest swimmer the world had ever seen and that if need pressed he could swim from his hall overlooking the sea to the Isle of the Neidelung. Now truth be told this isle lay over 40 leagues out to sea, that being over 100 miles as the fish might swim. The act being doubted and the strength of his lord questioned many blades the men razed until the King himself, more in bed with drink than reason, shouted that such a swim was like a dip for him and he would prove it to any man who dared doubt. Barahul, horrified at the boasting attempted to calm her lord’s rash temper but to no avail. Stripping to his dagger and a loin cloth the King dove from the cliff beneath his hall and vanished into the turbulent waters of the Inner Sea.

He was never seen again.

 Several weeks passed and those in the hall looked for their Master’s return, but their drunken boasts soon turned to bouts of anger and fights erupted. Over them all Barahul brooded, bereft of her husband and her son’s father she raged a hate upon all those in the hall. After many more days, when all had given up hope and many began to squabble over who would take the mantle of Kingship, she called for a feast. “Let all those who loved Holfgar in life, honor his memory with a feast. Though not you Earagon, you brought his life to an untimely end. When next you boast, boast of your own prowess not another’s.”

All in the hall readily agreed, and gathered again in the Great Hall; all that is but for Earagon who they drove out into the cold. In the hall Barahul delivered each and every one a draught of mead. “Drink my Lords. Taste the generosity of your King’s wife.” So they did and toasted the fallen King as well. But unbeknownst to them the drink she gave them she poisoned with a sleeping draught so that within a few hours all in the hall had swooned and slept a deep slumber.

Barahul left the hall then and called upon the earth gods to deliver to her a mountain of dirt to cover the hall and make a tomb for all those within. Angletor, the master of earth, heard her pleas and came in answer. “What would you give me for weregild to bury this hall of your king and husband.”

“My life is passed now and I have no love of it. Take me as your bride if you will.” And so the lord of earth and rock moved a small mountain of earth to cover the Great Hall and make of it a Howe wherein the men of Hrothgar’s hall were entombed. “May you all rot until your Lord and King returns. But you Earagon, take your Lord’s son far from this place and keep him until such time as he may make his own path in the world.” And she gave over to him Dan, her son, for she knew so great was his Earagon’s guilt that he would do this last service for his lost King.

So the Great Howe of Hrothgar came to be, overlooking the northern shores of the Inner Sea, though Hrothgar himself never lay his head within his own tomb.

Though it is said, by those who dare the Isle of Neidelung that there dwells there a shade of great body and strength and he rages against the sea and curses all those who would boast of it.


Friday, December 16, 2011

2010

Mr. Sir Peter "20 Dollar" Bradley stepped in for 2010 with his interpretation of the Troll at the holidays!

2009

2009 brought us another Jason Walton piece for our Christmas Card



Thursday, December 15, 2011

Robots A Plenty

A robotic cook, a colouring book that comes to virtual life and movies that read your mind are some of the innovations on show at a cutting-edge computer technology exhibition in Hong Kong this week.


Davis' Love of Bones Started Here


Logo from the Past

This was the original logo for the Winter Runes Tool Book, they were called Companion Books as their intent was to give every gamer more tools to use at the table.

Winter Runes

We are putting together a set of wooden tiles for the Winter Runes. The Runes of course are the ancient dwarven words of power that allowed them to travel the planes, specifically through the Rings of Brass. The magi of the White Order took the Runes and recast them as spells, that eventually allowed their Master, Trigal (Nulak-Kiz-Din), to summon the Horned God to the world of Aihrde.






The spells were each represented by a Rune, these Runes became things of power.

Its these runes we'll cast on the wooden tiles, this mimics a practice the White Order had in creating tiles from the Winter Runes in order to teach initiates the meanings of the runes. They often played games with them to better instruct them in their use.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Adventure Tools!

Every adventurer hits snags in the course of their many wanderings; challenges that leave them wondering what next to do or how best to do it. In those cases you need the SUPER MAX SUPER COOL SWISS ARMY KNIFE!


This Guy Wins

Here's an interesting photo for certain from news now. Gives a whole new meaning to the underwater world . . .

 
See more here!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Frost Giants


 Umyard and Skleeome, they are Frost Giants, they are brothers and their age unmeasured. They themselves can not remember when they came into the world as those memories have disappeared beneath too many snows and icy peaks. They have wandered the northern wastes for centuries, sometimes resting for decades in abandoned keeps, castles and caves and at other times traveling to the far flung reaches of the Holmgrad Mountains.

On one such trip several decades past, Umyard and Skleeome happened upon a small town, Yinsfeeord, which they intended to pillage. They waited for nightfall and planned to plunder the town as the last lights of the village blinked out. However, early in the evening, the inhabitants of Yinsfeeord gathered in a local temple and began a celebration. As Umyard and Skleeome waited, they heard a singularly beautiful voice rise up into the nights sky and enchant the blackness about them and cause the stars to dance. Or so it seemed.  Umyard and Skleeome were hearing the remnants of the “first song” that had coalesced into a daughter of Yinsfeeord.

Valyana, the first of three daughters born to Neemord and Hana, was gifted as no other in Aihrde.  Her voice had a luminescent quality, like a diaphanous gown it hung like a gentle shroud upon those who heard her voice. With it she could enchant and calm the minds of even some of the most vile creatures in Aihrde.  But the minds Umyard and Skleeome are ancient things and are accustomed to both the beauty and ugliness of the world and, though enchanted by the sound of her voice, they did not fall under its spell. 

They did, however, find that the voice reminded them of days long passed, before the coming of Unklar, when the – Mountains were emptier and the winds and snows, as they twisted, swirled and spun around the mountain peaks, made a music all their own.  In a moment the two giants decided to claim this voice and make it their own. 

They stole into Yinsfeeord like a violent storm and laid low all those who stood in their way.  Umyard faced and challenged the brave warriors of Yinsfeeord while Skleeome broke into the central hall and snatched Valyana from the arms of her screaming mother.  Having captured their prize and knowing the men of Yinsfeeord would eventually overwhelm them in such a match, they broke and ran into the clefts, valleys and crags that make up the Halmgrad Mountains . . .




Frost Giants by Frazetta




Frost Giants by Dede Putra!



Winter's Rune Art

So Peter Bradley has been working pretty hard on new art for Winter Runes, new maps, sketches, cover art and the like. We are really expanding the concept of the book, beyond its original scope. I wrote what we are doing over on the message boards but here is the quick and dirty: Peter has created a new cover (see below) and he has embarked upon a host of new interior sketches for the book. For myself I am adding equipment listings, weapons listings, expanded rules for play in the Winter Environs, use of the Winter Runes for all classes through Mana points, and more episodic adventures to link the existing together better.


Here are a few pictures:



Hochosterwitz

Here is a site to greet any weary traveler. A berg, nestled on the crest of a lonely hill. In w a world wrapped in Winter's Dark it beckons, a promise of warmth and safety. 



Monday, December 12, 2011

Its time for our Annual (4th) 12 Days of Christmas Sale to close down, but not without one last Trollzah! For the next 24 hours we are offering 40% all PDFs at RPGNow and Drivethru. Get them while you can!



Your Going to Jail

I'm not even sure what to make of this, but apparently you have to offer those zombies in Halo honorable terms of surrender?  It would seem that the Internal Red Cross has decided to discuss "investigate" video games for possible violations of some such something or the other.

Here's the quote from their Daily Bulletin

"While the Movement works vigorously to promote international humanitarian law (IHL) worldwide, there is also an audience of approximately 600 million gamers who may be virtually violating IHL. Exactly how video games influence individuals is a hotly debated topic, but for the first time, Movement partners discussed our role and responsibility to take action against violations of IHL in video games. In a side event, participants were asked: “what should we do, and what is the most effective method?” While National Societies shared their experiences and opinions, there is clearly no simple answer."



This makes me want to go kill some orcs!




Friday, December 09, 2011

Build it and they shall come!

Massive TLG savings over at the website store! We've discounted scores of items from 20%-50%! Build it yourself Christmas bundles! Trollzah! Bring your inner Santa to the store and stock up for the cold winter to come!

Get your while you can, these offers are ending very soon!

But NOW save LATER! ;)


Thursday, December 08, 2011

best reaper mini ever

In the Icy depths! lies a Reaper Mini




reaper

Dwaven Way

As is written the Dwarves of Grausumhart migrated out of the Crusp and into the east, building roads and ways to bring their might across the world. They at last came to the Rhodope Mountains. Many settled here, but some crossed and entered the Great Ethvold Forest. There they built many houses of stone and roads as well. These lasted for thousands of years, abandoned now, they lie in ruins. Some consumed by relentless time, others remains, shades of their former selves.

Comouflage

The spelling of that word makes no sense to me. Regardless, saw this really cool article on camouflaged animals. Check it out here. Some of these are just awesome and should be in a monster book...looks likes it time to do a 4th monster book for Castles and Crusades.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Fair Journey and May We Meet Again

It looks like the Voyager space craft I has left, or is leaving the solar system. That stalwart adventurer has touched the heavens and allowed to see small glimpses of all that he has taken in.

Fair thee well, may we meet again.


Sing em out Willie!

The World According to . . .

Airhde! Today's special is the After Winters Dark Fantasy Setting at 50% off!


This is one of my favorite Peter Bradley pictures!

Ngorondoro

In the world of Aihrde the goblins dwell in deep holes and caves; secretive they strive the shape their homes to look natural and unspoilt. But they are not so, for they filled with traps, and secret ways. Too, the goblins love water and fashion fountains, pool, and lakes all underground.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Today's Special

Today's Special: The Umbrage Saga Box Set at 30% OFF. Order today and receive a FREE copy of the Codex of Erde!!

Habitable Worlds

Nasa has found another planet that lies in the habitable zone, this one, Keplar 22b, is a bit big for our tastes and lends to the believe that it is a gas or water giant, with little land (though why this is so is beyond me, though I suspect it has something to do with mass, etc etc). Can't wait for someone to get enough gumption to build a cruiser and hop on over there!

Monday, December 05, 2011

Fields awash in blood and savings!

Today's special is Fields of Battle! For the next 24 hours we have this puppy marked 40% off! So get it while its hot...and bloody...and that sounds disgusting...but get it nonetheless!