Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Daily Cosplay

Recent Updates to The Portal

We continue to add more items to The Portal.  Recent additions include a new section for additional player material including atrributes, equipment tables, combat maneuvers, cost of spell components.  Castle Keeper additions include starting spells, treasure, equipment wastage tables and basic siege engine rules.

We've also changed the layout a bit on the slides.  For laptops and desktops, the arrows to navigate the slides have been moved off of the slide for easier reading and navigation.  We are also jazzing up some of the thumbnail slides, that will be worked on today.

Don't forget to get your FREE 10 day trial started today and see what the fuss is all about!

Conan the Musical

This is beyond awesome!!!! Tom Tullis from Fat Dragon Games posted this on my facebook page.

Trailer ~ Walking Dead Season Finale!

Plenty Coups: Chief of the Crows

I just finished reading this book. It's a personal account of the Chief's life on the plains. Born in 1848 (dying in 1932) he played part in the many wars between the Crow and Sioux, Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians, as well as the wars with the United States. Was well known throughout the tribes as an almost invulnerable warrior.

Well worth your time in reading it. It gives a really good perspective of the life of an Indian warrior. Too often we seem to mix up our modern concepts of living in harmony with nature and what the life of hunter-gatherers is actually like.This gives you a good birds-eye, if brief, view of that lifestyle, at least from the perspective on that tribe's most prestigious warrior.


Even in the Days of Yore

Word of the Day -- Egg Fossil

Egg fossils are the fossilized remains of eggs laid by ancient animals. As evidence of the physiological processes of an animal, egg fossils are considered a type of trace fossil. Under rare circumstances a fossil egg may preserve the remains of the once-developing embryo inside, in which case it also contains body fossils. A wide variety of different animal groups laid eggs that are now preserved in the fossil record beginning in the Paleozoic era. Examples include invertebrates like ammonoids as well as vertebrates like fishes, possible amphibians, and reptiles. The latter group includes the many dinosaur eggs that have been recovered from Mesozoic strata. Since the organism responsible for laying any given egg fossil is frequently unknown, scientists classify eggs using a parallel system of taxonomy separate from but modeled after the Linnaean system. This "parataxonomy" is called veterovata.

Imaginarium ~ And the Sun Rises

Monday, March 21, 2016

Daily Cosplay

Final 2 Days to save 50% off Everything!

You may or may not know, but we are running a HUGE sale on all our items in the TLG Online Store.  It's down to its final 2 days though, so get in while you can.  Everyone saves, but if you spend $50 or more, you get 50% off.  It's a great way to get those wish list items or if you've ever thought of trying out the game, now is the best time to scoop up some core books and adventures, screens, merchandise -- you name it!

Recent Updates to The Portal

We continue to add more features to The Portal, our new interactive way to game.  This past week we added some Starting Spells, Equipment Tables and are working on Treasure now.  If you haven't checked it out, you can start your 10 Day Free Trial Now! 

Word of the Day -- Banshee

A banshee is a female spirit in Irish mythology, who heralds the death of a member of one of the prominent Gaelic families.

The banshee is often described in Gaelic lore as wearing red or green, usually with long, disheveled hair. She can appear in a variety of forms. Perhaps most often she is seen as an ugly, frightful hag, but she can also appear as young and beautiful if she chooses. In some tales, the figure who first appears to be a banshee or other cailleach (hag) is later revealed to be the Irish battle goddess, the MorrĂ­gan.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Daily Cosplay

Subscribe to the Portal

The portal is the perfect way to access all things TLG. For a small subscription fee you will be able to access mountains of gaming material. We've only just begun to populate it, but you can enjoy it NOW! Our 10 day free trial will let you get the gist of it.

Bring your mobile device to the table and you have it all!



Imaginarium ~ Enchanted Forest

The Octopus

The octopus might be the most bad ass looking creature on planet earth. It even beats out the hairless apes and all their kin. These 8 legged creatures just look fantastic. Their shape, their abilities, they truly deserve to be the next species to inherit this rock.

Lord of Swamps!

Not sure what it is about this piece that I find so fascinating, but I do. I'm not sure who painted it either. If you know, please post in the comments.

Word of the Day -- Blackhouse

A blackhouse is a traditional type of house which used to be common in the Scottish Highlands, the Hebrides, and Ireland.

The buildings were generally built with double wall dry-stone walls packed with earth and wooden rafters covered with a thatch of turf with cereal straw or reed. The floor was generally flagstones or packed earth and there was a central hearth for the fire. There was no chimney for the smoke to escape through. Instead the smoke made its way through the roof. This led to the soot blackening of the interior which may also have contributed to the adoption of name blackhouse.

The blackhouse was used to accommodate livestock as well as people. People lived at one end and the animals lived at the other with a partition between them.

The Stone Fields

It is written in the Codex of Aihrde that when the noble dead die they are set upon the Arc of Time by Heth and guided beyond the Endless Pools to the Stone Fields. There they mark their name upon a pillar and dwell in the afterlife free of torments in homes of happiness and contentment...

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Daily Dose of Literature: James Fenimore Cooper

James Fenimore Cooper - Image attributed to Samuel Morse

Born in 1789, James Fenimore Cooper may be one of the earliest authors we cover in this series, but nevertheless, he was a key figure in popular adventure literature, whose works would bear a major influence on later pulp writers. He is perhaps best known for his seminal work, The Last of the Mohicans, but was a prolific and wildly popular author in his day.

Like many early adventure writers, Cooper lived an interesting life that would serve to inform his later writing. He was born in New Jersey to William and Elizabeth Cooper. His father was a judge and a Quaker, who later went on to become a Congressman. The town in which they lived was siezed from the Iroquois nation following the defeat of the British in the Revolutionary War, at the time a forced cession of land in penance for the Iroquois having supported the British.

James enrolled at Yale at the age of 13, but was expelled in his third year after a number of pranks including locking a donkey in a lecture hall and detonating another student's door. At age 17 he became a sailor and by the age of 21 was a midshipman in the U.S. Navy, given an officer's warrant by Thomas Jefferson. These experiences later influenced several novels of his, including the Pathfinder and The Spy, about a counter-terrorism operation in the Revolutionary War.

By the age of 20, he was comfortably well-off after his father passed, leaving him a considerable fortune and in 1811, the same year he became a Navy officer, he married Susan Augusta de Lancey. Their daughter, Susan, would go on to become a noted writer on women's suffrage and nature, among other subjects.

The Spy was a bestseller and launched his literary career. He followed it up not long after with The Pioneers, the first of his Leatherstocking series (though not the first chronologically, which would be The Deerslayer), which would center around the character of Natty Bumpo, also known as Hawkeye. The second book in this series would prove to be Cooper's masterpiece, a book that would stand the test of time for the next 150 years (give or take): The Last of the Mohicans. 

From 1826 to 1833, he lived in Europe with his family, seeking a better education for his children while simultaneously becoming actively involved with political issues, battling against what many viewed at the time as European anti-republicanism--at the time many Europeans had imperialistic and/or oligarchic political views which sharply contrasted with the Republic-based ideals of the United States.

In 1833 he returned to the United States and for the rest of his life his writing career oscillated between politically-charged fiction, essays and history. He was enmeshed in controversy due to the political nature of his writings often, but never stopped. He also explored other genres of fiction; 1847's The Crater, or Vulcan's Peak was an experiment in Gothic science fiction and supernatural horror.

After his death, he was celebrated at a public dinner by such notable figures as Daniel Webster, Washington Irving and William Cullen Bryant. His legacy lives on to this day. He was one of the first authors to include Native American, African-American and African characters in his works and put them on the same level as the white characters. His Leatherstocking stories present an incredibly complex and nuanced view of the Native Americans, varying between the points of view of the Native Americans themselves and the white settlers in the region. Victor Hugo considered him one of the great masters of Romantic literature, while he had his detractors--Mark Twain thought his writing over-wrought and cliched.

Regardless, his stories in many ways are a prototype for the historical adventure tales that would fill the pulps of the late 19th through mid-20th centuries.

For more about Cooper:

Monday, March 14, 2016

Daily Cosplay

TLG's Portal

Get it on the Go!

We've just launched a bad ass subscription service for all things Troll!

The Portal!

Now you can access everything we've done, are doing and are going to do by creating an account, signing up and diving right in. The cost is $5.99 a month and it works on you desk top, lap top, tablet, ipad, iphone or whatever other mobile device you are hauling around! No need to cart around a ton of books to get your C&C on!

This is gaming made easy....


What in the Name of the Red God did They Do?

Over in Spain, or if you are reading this from Spain, In Spain, they attempted to restore the ruins of the Castle Matrera. They did restore it...or rather, they rebuilt it. Not sure where restoration merges with rebuilding, but this probably falls into the latter category.

Two comments from the Dens.

1) At least they made a defensible castle tower again. Come the apocalypse someone will appreciate that.

2) on that upper part, how did they determine that is where the outside facade went. Its just free standing/hanging there.

Now to dig the moat...

Movie Trailer ~ Hell, My Name is Doris

Alright, this trailer made me laugh out loud three times...wait, made me LOL 3 times...

Have a gander....if for no other reason than you owe it to Sally Fields for helping make Smokey and the Bandit one of the greatest movies of all time!

Imaginarium ~ Watered Paths

Word of the Day -- Encampment

A place with temporary accommodations consisting of huts or tents, typically for troops or nomads. First known use 1598.  Gives rise to more common every day words such as campus, camp.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Daily Cosplay

Ghostbusters Reboot

I now this poor movie is getting savaged all over the place, and those doing the savaging are getting called sexist because it has an all female cast, and those savaging the savagers are being savaged for the savage nature of internet savergeness. (clearly some of those are not actually words).

But I think I'm going to refrain from judging the movie until it comes out. Does the trailer look interesting? Eh, more or less like many trailers it has its ups and down. Some trailers fool you into thinking the movie is going to be awesome and then you sit their bewildered, trying to figure out why you the film is raping your eyeballs.

Trailers are deceptive.

But I know this. I love Kristen Wiig (though there seems to be too many "I"s in that name, much like the Chennault branch, that has too many "N"s in their name). She had fantastic timing the Secret Life of Walter Mitty.

Of course that movie was well written...and an actor can only work with what they are given...

Armor Up

Most of these are from the Show Vikings...

Tips of Adventure

So apparently, for a few days each year, the sun strikes the Horse Tail Falls in Yosemite just so, making it appear as if it is a river of fire. This is actually really cool and an example of red herring adventures that you can bring to your game almost any time. Anyone of bold intent is like to adventure in the direction of burning falls that almost look like gold, not knowing of course, what it actually is.

The journey there, perhaps taking a few days is the real adventure, for the trail is strewn with dangers . . . .

From Aufstrag

The discarnate are lost souls, shadows of their former selves. They linger in the infernal planes as a wisp of pale, gray smoke. Much like the smoke from any fire the discarnate are tangible, but not so. They cling to any living tissue they come into contact with, coalescing in coils of evanescent smoke. The discarnate are cold, to pass through him draws the warmth from living tissue, but they are mindless and see little beyond their own suffering.

The discarnate are the souls and spirits of those who died in hell and were trapped there, their bodies left to rot, unburied. The discarnate cannot leave hell for the weight of that dread place bares down upon them. Lost in fear they shed what they were and became nameless voices of despair, lost in the nether world. There they gather like some foul gas, congealing into a noxious poison, often settling in pits and deep holes where they became a mass of twisted fear.

The discarnate are barely cognizant of anything around them, though living creatures attract them as a haunting memory of what they once were. The naturally drift toward them, hoping to engulf them in order to make themselves whole again. Of course they cannot, and all they manage to do is choke to death the person with whom they sought to join.

Cool Castle Rendition

Cartographers Guild

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Daily Cosplay

Essays on Pop Culture

I watch alot of movies coming out of Korea these days. Recently I watched "No Tears for the Dead". A really cool movie about a hit man who accidentally kills a little girl and then has to hunt down her mother. He does so reluctantly, but then things start to happen...I'm not going to ruin it.

This is one of many of these films I've watched and they all seem to pull me in and unleash my inner demons. They are evocative, powerful stories that have no morality to them beyond that which governs the characters. There are no messages. No one is lecturing the audience. There seems to just be a story, told in film, with all the consummate acting that comes with a good tale.

Alot of our action films in the United States seem to lack these elements. The story, and the characters, have their own tale to tell, but they have to do it with the backdrop of some greater evil, some morality that plays out in it...whether it is slavery in the South from 150 years ago, or climatologist reports from today.

Its exhausting and makes me shy away from action films these days.

Pop culture can surely be a vehicle to teach people about the artist's world view, lord knows that the undercurrent of the world of Aihrde I created is that "work pays the debt of life," though it is very understated, never a lesson, only the world view of the dwarves, the All Father's favored people. But perhaps subtly is the better route to go in an action movie...or better yet, not at all.

Just tell me the story of beautiful people doing extraordinary things.

Of course there are some that stand out, the Revenant is one, Mad Max anoter.  But its hard to beat the movies coming out of Korea....

No Tears for the Dead....

Imaginarium ~ And They Brought Fire


I headed over to the Mufon website to see what was up and saw three reports in the news feed of people seeing and or encountering triangular shaped UFOs in three different states. I wonder if this is the beginning of an invasion...

New JerseyA New Jersey witness at Jobstown reported an encounter with a hovering, triangle-shaped UFO sitting just above the tree line near a military base, according to testimony in Case 74437 from the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) witness reporting database.

Nebraska: A Nebraska police officer in Omaha reported watching a slow-moving triangle UFO under 500 feet above a local Walmart store, according to testimony in Case 74492 from the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) witness reporting database.

Iowa: An Iowa witness at Marengo reported watching a 75-foot-long, triangle-shaped UFO hovering 75 feet over a local cornfield, according to testimony in Case 69105.

Maybe, just maybe....

Movie Trailer ~ Precious Cargo

Elephant Tracks in the Snow

I stared at this picture for about five solid minutes...then thought, well hell, you have to blog it now.

Its Elephant Foot Glacier, or something like that.

Songs from the Drowned Lands ~ Kernaghan

Recently I took a trip to New York (the city) and needed something to read that I could easily carry on the plane. I don't really buy pa...