Thursday, October 27, 2011

New blog.

My blog is now at I'm going to keep this blogspot blog up, but I won't be posting here any more.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Blog problems.

Blogger deleted this blog for a brief period today. Obviously they've put it back, but I'm going to move the blog to my own server. I'll post the link when I've done so.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The City of Dignity

This forest settlement, despite its name, probably has no more than a few hundred inhabitants. It was founded by a group of young people from Karsh led by a man known as Uncle, which he uses as both name and title.

The 'city' is extremely secretive. Although it has few buildings, with most people sleeping in tents, it has a defensive wall that would be the envy of any great city. Some who have escaped say that there are hidden caches of weapons which are likewise of the highest quality.

The inhabitants of the city consist of the original founders, their children, and some of the local tribespeople, who entered the place due to starvation. Some say that the inhabitants of the city deliberately drove off game and poisoned water supplies to achieve this end, and that children were outright kidnapped.

It seems that everyone is effectively a slave of Uncle. It is said that sexual intercourse can only take place with Uncle's blessing, and that even talking without permission is a crime. Uncle is said to force the inhabitants to ingest various substances which render them more docile.

The stories of some escapees who made their way back to Karsh caused even the wicked people of Karsh to become outraged. Karsh thus sent an expedition to capture Uncle. However, true to their nature, the Karhsians accepted a deal which kept Uncle in power. The Karshians received a number of slaves, none of whom were the original colonists (although some may have been their children). It is also whispered that political prisoners of Karsh are sent to the City of Dignity, where they are tortured and subject to medical experimentation.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

from the Odyssey

...the gods, in the likeness of strangers from far countries, put on all manner of shapes, and wander through the cities...


Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Planets of the Celestial Realm

The planets of the Celestial Realm differ from the world of Teleleli (and from our own Earth), in that almost all of them contain only one climate each. Not all of these climates have parallels in the world below: there are jungle planets and ice planets, but also planets made of diamond, living flesh, or pure sadness for example.

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Isle of Letters

The animals and plants of this isle all have the form of letters. Many valuable T trees grow there, but it is also home to dangerous Killer Bs, and the surrounding waters are filled with C Monsters.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

from The Swords of Lankhmar

...into the dark, spacious, low-ceilinged pleasance of a subterranean rat-metropolis, lit by phosphorus, where robed and long-skirted rats whose hoods hid their long faces moved about mysteriously, where rat-swords clashed behind the next pillar and rat-money chinked, where lewd female rats danced in their fur for a fee, where masked rat-spies and rat-informers lurked, where everyone -- every-furry-one -- was cringingly conscious of the omniscient overlordship of a supernally powerful Council of Thirteen...

Fritz Leiber

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Why Grognards Aren't Hipsters

Hipsters and grognards have completely different terrible beards.

Grognards aren't wearing their Transformers tshirt ironically.

Hipsters like the early albums, before they got commercial, not the early edition, before they got commercial.

Hipsters argue about stupid things like the definition of 'alternative'. Grognards argue about important things like the definition of 'old-school'.

Hipsters use pretentious French words like mis-en-scene and cinema verite. Grognards use pretentious French words like bec-de-corbin and glaive.

Hipsters are into irony, which is where you wear something even though you don't like it. Grognards are into nerd-rage, which is where you talk incessantly about something even though you don't like it.

Hipsters spend hours making themselves look like they just put on any old pair of clothes at random and didn't bother to do their hair. Grognards don't spend hours.

Hipsters write zines because their band fell apart. Grognards write blogs because their campaign fell apart.

Grognards know that what they're doing isn't impressing women.

(in response to this).

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

What I'm Going to Write Next

I've decided that I'm going to finish two poems that I'm in the middle of, one of which is A Princess of Mars, then work on a novel set mostly in Telelee. Thanks to everyone who responded to my previous post on this.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Fantasy-themed stamps from Australia Post

Australia Post recently put out this set of stamps, called Mythical Creatures. This is a bit of a pet subject of mine, but it reminded me how fantasy in general popular culture is quite different to fantasy as represented in role-playing. D&D and other games seem to have a lot more 'sex and violence', in the form of female nudity and concentration on weapons and armour, than you'd get in most representations of fantasy worlds (heavy metal album covers and the work of Frank Frazetta being obvious exceptions, and perhaps that's what a lot of D&D artists were inspired by). In this case the differences between new and old versions of D&D don't really matter.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Soul-Sun

I have heard that in the Celestial Realm there is a certain sun, all of whose planets were inhabited. When a creature of one planet died  it was reborn on the next planet in, until at last it died on the innermost planet and became one with the sun. But the inhabitants of one planet invaded one nearer to the sun than themselves, and killed all the creatures thereof. Thus when they died there was no vessel for their rebirth, so they were reborn as rocks, and must stay in this form forever.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

What Should I Write Next?

Now that The New Death and others is out, I'm wondering what I should write next. I have two different projects that are half-finished:

  • A poem of A Princess of Mars.
  • A story called All-American Detectives, with a similar premise to the comic and film Watchmen: that is, a detective story where the detectives are superheroes.
  • I was also thinking of doing a story using the Teleleli material I've been posting here. It would probably be like those old science-fiction stories where someone from Earth journeys to another world, and the emphasis is on the details of that world.
I'd be interested in hearing people's opinion. Feel free to suggest something other than any of the above. I haven't turned this into a poll, because I want to hear people's reasons rather than just get numbers.

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Phantom Time Hypothesis

The Phantom Time hypothesis is the theory that the Dark Ages, the period in Europe immediately after the collapse of the Roman Empire, did not in fact occur. It is stated that the 'missing' years are a result of the change from the Julian to the current Gregorian calendar, made worse by medieval reliance on oral history (such as the legends of Charlemagne, King Arthur and Robin Hood). Another factor is the desire of many medieval rulers to present the history of their families or kingdoms as being longer than in reality. The theory is said to explain the almost complete lack of invention and progress in Europe over a period of 500 years.

When I mentioned this theory to a certain Telelelene mystic, she told me that the years had not been misplaced, but stolen, and taken to lands within the world of Teleleli. Her meaning, like most pronouncements by such people, is unclear to me, and I present her words to the reader without judgement as to their value.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Nadifa's Nominative Navigation

This spell allows the wizard to transport themselves, and perhaps even companions, over an unlimited distance. However it only allows travel between places with the same name. For example, someone on our world would be able to travel from Perth, Scotland to Perth, Australia. The names must be exactly the same (it would not allow travel from Main Street to Main Road, or from Mount Albert to Mont Albert). However the similarity may be in the names of countries, cities, streets, or even individual buildings (for example, two taverns with the same name).

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Volitional Fluid, or Gods' Tears

It is rumoured, but not substantiated, that this substance may be found in Teleleli.

It is said to be a milky, thick fluid, like a liqueur, and beautiful to behold. It is not, however, desired for its appearance, nor even for its delicious taste, but for its ability, when treated correctly, to give the power to move with the speed of thought.

Some say that it is literally the tears of a god. Others contend that very enlightened mystics may enter a state of deep meditation, wherein they secrete the substance from their eyes or skin.

It is notable that the Tibetans ascribe various miraculous properties to the tears of Buddha and other holy men.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Vampires and the sun

While all vampires have a fear and loathing of the sun, referring to it as 'The Enemy', not all vampires will die from its light.

Very recently-created vampires can go out in the sun with no abnormal effects: indeed they do not suffer sunburn like mortals, retaining the pallor of death. Somewhat older vampires will not die, but will blaze with a light that is said to be very beautiful. Finally, very old and powerful vampires may be able to go out in the sun, but while they do so lose all their undead powers.

The light emitted by young vampires is said to include colours that are not otherwise found in the world (by which is meant the world wherein lies Teleleli, although there is no overall difference between the light there and in our own world). These extra colours are named by some ulfar and jale. Science tells us that all the colours visible to humans are found in nature. Thus it may be that this light alters its observer, allowing them to perceive infra-red or ultra-violet. Alternatively, it may act directly on the human brain, bypassing actual sight altogether. Perhaps this phenomenon has come connection to the auras said to be perceivable by mystics, or the Third Eye of the Tibetan lamas. The Barsoomians, too, speak of a Ninth and Tenth Ray, which possess various powers, and which their ancestors extracted from normal light by a process now lost.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Vampire bites

If a mortal is bitten by a vampire, and their blood falls upon the ground, and they survive, the wound will always give a sharp pain in the presence of vampires, no matter how well-hidden they may be. For this reason, it is the law of the vampires only to bite once the victim is dead. However, the taste of fresh-bitten live blood is intoxicating to vampires beyond all else, and so the law is frequently broken.

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Electric Pentacle

I returned then to the center of the room, and measured out a space twenty-one feet in diameter, which I swept with a 'broom of hyssop.' About this, I drew a circle of chalk, taking care never to step over the circle. Beyond this I smudged, with a bunch of garlic, a broad belt right around the chalked circle, and when this was complete, I took from among my stores in the center a small jar of a certain water. I broke away the parchment, and withdrew the stopper. Then, dipping my left forefinger in the little jar, I went 'round the circle again, making upon the floor, just within the line of chalk, the Second Sign of the Saaamaaa Ritual, and joining each Sign most carefully with the left-handed crescent. I can tell you, I felt easier when this was done, and the 'water circle' complete. Then, I unpacked some more of the stuff that I had brought, and placed a lighted candle in the 'valley' of each Crescent. After that, I drew a Pentacle, so that each of the five points of the defensive star touched the chalk circle. In the five points of the star I placed five portions of the bread, each wrapped in linen, and in the five 'vales,' five opened jars of the water I had used to make the 'water circle.' And now I had my first protective barrier complete…I turned-to now to fit the Electric Pentacle, setting it so that each of its 'points' and 'vales' coincided exactly with the 'points' and 'vales' of the drawn pentagram upon the floor. Then I connected up the battery, and the next instant the pale blue glare from the intertwining vacuum tubes shone out. 

William Hope Hodgson.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Land of the Father-Eaters

The people of this far land have the custom of eating their old people, and those who are sick unto death. Those who are consumed do not object to the practice. In fact, no one in this land fears dying in this manner. This is all the more remarkable since they have no religious beliefs about the fate of one so eaten.

Their fear of all other forms of death is the same as that shown by people of other lands.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Dungeon Generator

This is a project I did a while ago. It's a random dungeon generator, for either Tunnels & Trolls, or Basic D&D/Labyrinth Lord combined with Mutant Future.

I know there are a lot of random dungeon generators around the web. But this one is a lot more detailed. For example, it doesn't pick monsters from a list: it creates all-new monsters for every dungeon. It also has a lot of features that most generators ignore, such as relations between different groups of monsters, the difficulty of bargaining with them, the availability of hirelings in the area and so on.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Burley, or Oh-Be-Joyful

Burley is a variety of the hemianthropoi's pipe-weed. Smoking it will temporarily banish the effects of lack of sleep. To enhance this effect, the weed is not mixed with cheap wine or ale like other varieties. Instead it is flavoured with the essence of printers' ink, and the paper used in books.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Creation of the Hemianthropoi

Legend says that the first hemianthropoi, or halflings, were the offspring of a human child and a rabbit.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

More free adventures

I don't know if anyone remembers the Worldwide Adventure Writing Month that Jeff Rients ran in 2007 and 2008. However all the entries are listed on my site here. There are a total of 17 free adventures, for various systems.

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