Thursday, December 13

Update to the headaches and a short story of an amazing man

 Back in October, I posted about my headache but I didn't give any background. Firstly the headaches are 90% gone!!! Right at a year ago, I had tire explode 4 inches in front of my face. It broke my nose and launched me from a sitting position into the air, I cartwheeled about 8 feet, and landed on my front. After I came to, I had a headache and a large amount of blood running down my face. My wife rushed me to the ER and after an hour in the empty waiting room, an asshole of a doctor told me I broke my nose, he prescribed me a strong dose of Ibuprofen. Three hours later, I had a HUGE headache, it was so severe that I couldn't talk clearly. So back to the asshole and only a 30 minute wait in the same empty ER. This time the doctor gave me a shot and the headache eased up.

  Over the last year, I have had the lion's share of neck pain and headaches. Most of the time it's been manageable and I could do normal activities. But back in October, they came back with a vengeance. I tried all kinds of pain medications, muscle relaxers, neck messages, and heat treatments. Nothing worked. The Monday before Thanksgiving, my amazing wife took me to a chiropractor near us. On his office door it says $25 per visit, no x-rays. Immediately I was skeptical , I mean I don't really trust chiropractors after a bad run in with one back in my early twenties and this guy doesn't use x-rays to see what he's dealing with. My first thought was that this quack was gonna paralyze my for life. I was a approached by a man who was well into his 70's if not 80's, and he referred to himself as Dr. Feelgood. (OMFG, I'm gonna be a paraplegic!)

 Well, I was in so much pain that I was willing to take the chance. I went into his treatment room and he started pointing out areas on my back that have caused me problems for years. I didn't think much of it because he's probably seen hundreds of people there and it's just a safe bet, general diagnosis for him. I wasn't there for my back, but my neck and I told him so. Still he continued working my lower back and eventually up to my neck. The thing was Dr. Feelgood was actually hitting the bad spots dead on. I had a knot behind my shoulder blade for years, this guy found it nearly instantly and one adjustment and it was gone. He didn't bother with the other side of my back and that's when I thought to myself he might be the real deal. After he got an amazing amount of pops in my neck, the pain was gone. I was kind of nauseous and lightheaded the rest of the day and my headache returned with an increased severity. I was bitching at my wife for wasting the $25. The next morning, I apologized to her for being an asshole. I was so freaking wrong. Dr. Feelgood indeed. My back felt great! The pain in my neck was gone. I felt like I was in my teens again! The pain stayed gone for another day and then returned. 

 Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I bragged to all of my family about this guy. Even though my headache had returned, it wasn't as severe as it had been. What I discovered was that my family members were a bunch of assholes and not for the reason you'd think. Apparently, they knew all about this amazing man and had been going to him for years. But I guess they didn't want to share this incredible secret (Jerks). 

 I went back to him the following Mondays and I got some of his story. He was a family doctor for years and retired in 1984. In '91 he opened his chiropractor clinic to help some of his friends with their pains. He's only open three days a week and spends the other days with his other job, golfing. He uses the money to pay his insurance and rent. But let me say this, he could charge a fortune for his skills and be worth it. He doesn't advertise, but apparently he's busy all day long just from word of mouth. From the times I have been there, his waiting room has been half full every time. And he's fast. Each time I was in and out in 30 minutes. He's spends between 5-8 minutes per patient, and does an awesome job. His office is unimpressive as it sits between a tiny dry cleaners and a BBQ joint, with a small Subway on the the other side of the dry cleaners. I can't say enough great things about this guy, but I can say I wish I had found him a decade ago, when my father started going to him.

 **Update to posts**
 Living in a very rural area, my internet is intermittent, but I will be back to posting game and story related posts soon. I have a work around going on right now, but I think I have a short term solution that may help. If not, then I will only be able to post when go over to Eric's house and use his connection, which is sporadic timing at best.

Friday, October 26

A little off my chest

Time for some explaining:

 First off I'd like to say that I've not posted in a month and wanted to explain why. About 3 or 4 days after my last post, I got a headache. It wasn't a migraine, I've had those before and this isn't even close. This started with a soreness in my neck and some sharp pains behind my left eye. Since it's that time of year for me, I thought it might be sinus pressure causing it. But the headache wouldn't go away, it's a constant pain that hasn't relented in 4 weeks now.

 The last couple of weeks, I've sat here and tried to write. But it is hard to concentrate, I keep losing my train of thought and simple words escape me. It took me a couple of minutes the other day to explain to my wife that I wanted a diet coke. My mouth kept saying diet coffee and I couldn't think of the word coke. For those that know me, understand that I take pride in my mind, and this was a little daunting for me. 

 This post is taking me some effort to keep my thoughts in order. Hopefully after my appointment next week, I can get some relief. 

 Anyway, I just wanted to apologize for the lack of posting and hopefully I'll have some more up soon. 

Friday, September 28

Railbox Plans #1 Concept Art

I'm not great, or even good at art so if I can't steal it from the interwebs then I'm screwed. But here's some art I acquired while working on the campaign

Probably my favorite design

Full arm replacement
One type of hand replacement
Similar to the above 

 I know this is an arm but I kinda like it for legs
I couldn't find any legs I liked

Thursday, September 27

Railbox Plans #1 What's up with the crazy Elves strange metal? and Is that a cyborg arm in your pocket?

 But first some back story;

 Eric is and easy guy to talk with, but when it comes to planning on Ganth, a hard guy to talk to. First off, he's a full time student/dad/homemaker. That's right, he wears the kilt in the family. I'm actually making jibes at him, since my kids told me that mom wears the pants in this family.

 But he tends to stay busy and has poor communication skills. He's slow about replying to emails, texts, facebook, G+, and hates talking on the phone longer than 2 minutes. Actually, that sounds a lot like me, so...

 On the bi-weekly gaming sessions we discuss some on Ganth. From those discussions, Eric has started making the maps, races, and classes. And I write the fiction. I'm lying a little, sometimes I bring candy too. Enough joking aside, this is Eric's baby. He kept these characters and adventures with him all these years. Ganth is his original idea and his concept. He let's me help and I'm grateful. If it was my world I'd do things different, but then again if it was my world, it would have already fallen apart. And with the creation of my own corner, I try to defer to him on most major ideas without giving too much away to him as a player. To free up some constraints, we decided that anything he liked from my campaign would be incorporated into Ganth and anything he didn't like would be left out or rewritten into a way that fits with his concept of Ganth.

 From our discussions, my concept for the campaign were that Ganth is a world that has the following:
         High magic with heavy chaotic nature and harsh repercussions for magic
         Life means little to anyone other than themselves
         The world itself is dying at an alarming rate
         Divine magic is nearly nonexistent
       So with those concepts I came up with the following ideas:

#1: Elven Metal

       Elves are Fae in Ganth and cannot touch iron or steel. As immortals this is one major setback. I tried to figure a way to give them some kind of help. I know there are fantasy metals like mithril already in most games, but I don't want to use someone else's concept and in all the other settings the fantasy metal is much stronger than steel. It's not a disadvantage if the metal is stronger and being immortal they need the disadvantage. I initially thought one of the regular weaker metals and alloys like copper, tin, brass or bronze, or even using obsidian. But I didn't like any of them because they don't have a fantasy feel. So I invented two new metals, Moonsilver and Heartstone.
       Moonsilver is a soft, white silver metal, stronger than copper but weaker than iron. It's also rarer than gold. Against weapons of iron or steel, moonsilver armor loses 1 AC, and moonsilver weapons lose 1 to attack rolls against steel or iron armor. But the major factor with moonsilver is it's natural attraction to magic (-25% time reduction/+25% chance to magically enchant). So for magic items in game, the majority of them are moonsilver. Obvious exceptions would be weapons or armor that only appear in a human only society. We haven't created them in game yet but imagine Aussies were only humans there, so no enchanted boomerangs made of moonsilver. (I know they're wooden, it's just an example)
        Heartstone is a super soft, pinkish metal. It is a semi-solid (imagine jello) that can only be found inside large veins of moonsilver that do not touch any veins of iron. If heartsone is touched by anything other than magical means or moonsilver it instantly solidifies into a hardened state that cannot be harmed or destroyed by any means. Heartstone can only be forged through powerful enchantments and pure moonsilver. (pure meaning completely untouched by iron or steel) Once forged, heartstone is as strong as steel and can be enchanted with the simplest of means. (-75% time reduction/+75% chance to magically enchant) Moonstone is to magic items as heartstone is to artifacts. Most (not all) artifacts are made from heartstone. Heartsone should be and is VERY rare. Even in it's ruined state, heartstone is highly prized by most of Ganth's wealthy nobility. A few wars have started over a lump of heartstone smaller than a human thumb.

#2: Cybernetics

       I know it sounds a little crazy for cybernetics in a fantasy setting, but stick with me here. I have always loved cybernetics, I'm not sure if it was growing up with a few of my close relatives having artificial appendages or my love of sci-fi, but in almost every Palladium Game (Ninjas and Superspies, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Robotech, Heroes Unlimited, and Rifts, but not  Palladium RPG since it's just fantasy based), GURPS (not gonna waste the space for every conceivable GURPS rule set), Car Wars, Battle Tech (Before and after it was called Mech Warrior), Star Wars, Star Trek, and so many others (I'm sorry for anyone I forgot but I would also like to thank my parents and of course god...sorry watching the Emmy's)  I make either a cyborg or someone with some kind of small cybernetics (Like optic or hearing upgrades). I've seen everything from warforged to drow magic/radiation cybernetics to gnome steam powered in a fantasy setting, but none of them felt right. Then it hit me, goblins. 
        That's right, goblins make cybernetics. Not all goblins make cybernetics but a certain clan does. This currently unnamed clan of goblins discovered how to make living metal. After near annihilation at the hands of humans and their iron weapons, the chief of the clan went to his shaman and ordered him to find a way to make a metal stronger than iron that would not burn them. (Goblins like Elves are Fae and unable to use iron or steel)
         Several failed attempts and the deaths of multiple assistants, the shaman discovered a way to make a metal stronger that steel. The first step of the process was to make an alloy, named Kruxsteel after the goblin shaman Krux, with iron and moonsilver. The alloy made a perversion of moonsilver and made it unusable to goblins, but the shaman found away around that. With powerful magics he discovered how to bind the living soul of a brownie to an ingot of Kruxsteel. Any pain from the steel in the alloy would be passed onto the soul of the brownie bound inside. 
         It was the secondary effect from the binding, that Krux never expected, that made the alloy a true prize. Kruxsteel was actually alive! If forged into a door handle it would actually open or close without being touched. If damaged, kruxsteel would heal itself over time. Unfortunately with brownies being pacifists, kruxsteel could not be forged into weapons or armor. It wasn't until after the chief removed Krux's left hand for failing to make a kruxsteel weapon, that he decided to try to make appendages. Once he forged himself a new, and much stronger hand, Krux crushed the chief head and became the new chief. After that day the entire clan started crafting and selling their magically limb replacements. This clan of goblins have since spread out into new areas and have amassed a monstrous amount of wealth. They currently offer limb, eye, and ear replacements for a hefty fee. (10,000 GP for simple working ear up to 1 million GP massive arm replacement with +4 strength -2 dex) 

  Upcoming in Railbox Plans #2: Are all gods created equal? and What's this dimensional rift doing here?

Monday, September 17

Railbox is dead /mourn

Warning!! Adult Language used..... 

Well the railbox campaign is over. If 5 months of silence didn't clue you in, then I will. First off we have had trouble getting a group started and staying together(for over two decades). And when I say trouble, I mean everything from players not showing or canceling last minute, then never returning, to group members getting into an all out war. Several groups have fallen to the wayside and we moved on. I'm not sure how many campaigns have been tossed out by myself or Eric (or ERIC! as he seems to prefer). But we start over. Now I will not apologize for zero posting in five months, but I will explain why. 

 This last group only consisted of Eric, Nick, and myself. Not much to start with, but it was a start. Unfortunately after our second session (which I was in the middle of typing up the post for) Eric called and said Nick was quitting. I took it badly, not within hearing of either Nick or Eric. I was pissed off. I said, to myself, what's the fuckin' point of even trying to put another damn group together. Hell it took us a year of no group to get Nick to play. It took Eric even longer to get Nick to consider it. Before I go any further I want to say that I understand why Nick quit and I respect his decision. I don't agree with it, but he's a grown ass man who can make his own choices without my help. I am not, nor ever was, mad at Nick for his choice. But I was mad at the situation.

 Eric and I continued our bi-weekly gaming sessions, but I didn't bother to post. I couldn't see the point. It wasn't until two weeks ago when Eric asked me when was I going to post again, that I realized why I hadn't posted.....

 I was sulking.

 Over the last five months, I was sulking. I could call it soul searching or dreading the public cancelling of another campaign, but that's bullshit. I was sitting at home looking for a million reasons not to post. The serious soul searching was done years ago when our last large group fell apart. I had asked all the questions from WTF to did I do that? I discovered that while losing rpg groups sucks, I would continue to try, purely for the love of the game. I know some people don't like me. I know I'm an asshole, a jerk, a guy that doesn't care what you think, and I honestly don't have a filter. I say what I feel, when I feel it, and it usually takes me a few seconds to realize I may have fucked up. I don't ever intend to hurt someones feelings by what I say, but it happens alot. I try to apologize to people for it when I first meet them, but it doesn't help. In groups I tend to keep a fair lid on it, but I've been known to spout off. So of course, I blame myself for some of those groups. Eric, for some unknown reason, has been able to see through my crap and stay with me over the last three decades (3? Holy Hell, we're old men bro). After the last soul search, I realized that losing the group wouldn't bother me so much if I didn't truly love the game.

 I know I should take the same policy with the gaming groups as I do the characters(ie. it's just a game and no crying because Tom the Allthumbs died, he's just a piece of paper), but I can't. I enjoy the game, maybe too much. I'm almost 40 (not for 6 months after Eric's old ass though) and I love role-playing games. So every failed group or campaign sucks. But every new group or campaign makes it that much more fun. 

 Now back to the premise. The railbox is dead /mourn. Long live the next group. I will have a few more stories rolling out soon, but I needed to get that out. Also I will be posting the rest of the campaign in future weeks. Feel free to cherry pick. Lastly, I will be posting a rant in the next few days, completely off the subject, but I don't Facecrack or Twit(intentionally misspelled) and I really need to rant. So feel free to ignore my Razor Rant post.

Monday, September 10

WWF II: The Ring and Stiletto

 After five years of searching, Zachalion had finally found it. The vein of moonsilver was large enough to make the tools. But the greatest surprise was not finding a vein of moonsilver this large. It was size of the massive heartstone inside that caused him to have a glimmer of hope. Not only was it large enough to forge the ring, he might have enough to forge a blade for the stiletto. The Sisters must to have been looking over him. 

 Unfortunately, there wasn't enough to craft the entire weapon. Using another heartstone to craft the hilt may cause the magic to be unstable. But that was a problem for another day. Now, he would spend the next few months purifying the ore, to insure that it had never been touched by iron. After the purification process, he could then craft his moonsilver tools. The rituals would take just under a month to prepare the tools and heartstone for the forge. Working day and night, he would have the blade and ring ready to enchant within six months.

 He was comforted by the knowledge that the killer of his father and sister would be dead within a decade. By this time next year, he would begin his mission and Wynter would face the flames of his vengeance.

Tuesday, April 10

Railbox Game 1

Mage Symbol
(1) Mage's Symbol
 Friday night's railbox started off a little slow. Eric's sons joined the group so we had 2 new fighters to roll up, Chuck(Human) and Meat(Prynn). The characters got their freedom and 200 gold to buy equipment. Nick's illusionist, known from now on as Blecyn aka The Illusion Nazi(1), spent his on spell research. Being a recently released slave, he only had access to one spell, hypnosis. Before the adventure started, he researched and learned color spray. I was a little lenient with the rules, also considering he's a third level illusionist that's been a slave since first level. (MGMR)* 

 Eric's thief, known from now on as Dirk, spent the pre-adventure time buying equipment and tracking down the thieves guild. After several failed attempts to discover the thieves guild, the adventure started. The group decided to continue helping Dirk find the thieves guild. 

 By pure luck alone, they decided to go to a tavern called Rumblegut's, which is the secret headquarters for the thieves guild. Dirk picked three pockets, Blecyn was casting a few cantrips to help**. While picking the second pocket, a slip of paper was placed into Blecyn's pouch. The paper read,"The punishment of unauthorized theft is five years. Magical assistance is ten." Not quit sure how I wrote that since I left the info card at Eric's. On Dirk's third picked pocket, the thief then tugged on Blecyn's pouch.  Net gain from pickpocket: 16 gp, 15 sp, 2 saw blades, a plumb-bob, a shiny red gem, and 1 note from thieves guild.

 The group did notice three very big men, failing horribly to act nonchalant, approaching them. As the group readied to flip the table and begin attacking, Dirk felt the sharp point of a dagger press into his ribs***. And a voice whispered," Relax, they're only here to make sure you remain safe into our sanctum." The guards and the thief led the group into the back hallway. From there they opened a secret stair and entered a large room. the thief explained the rules of the guild, which guards could bribed, and the fees and services of the guild. He also offered the party a retrieval mission for a magical bone longbow with green leather wraps. The reward would be 1,000 gp.

 The group decided to go after the bow. But before heading out to the Green Caves, they attempted to sell the shiny red gem. Blecyn tried to magically fool the merchant. Making a 20 on his save, the merchant took the handle of his dagger and smashed the shiny, red glass crystal.

 The first day the away from Krixen's End was uneventful. That night the group camped near a small pool of water(unmarked on player map). They also encountered a specter, who charged the group with payment for use of his pool with," Life for a life." The party had the choice of either fighting the specter or paying the toll with the life of a child(due within 5 months). The party chose the latter(they are playing evil-aligned characters) by stating they would raid some goblins and take their children, so the specter allowed them to leave. Net gain from encounter: - their lives or the lives of 4 children.

 Around mid-day at a watering hole (marked on player map), they were ambushed by a pair of giant spiders. One pinned Dirk, and the other missed Chuck. Meat's battle ax chopped the so far into the first spider that he almost hit Dirk underneath. Blecyn, Chuck, and Dirk finished the second with ease. Net gain from encounter: 7 giant spider eyes(for future spell materials) and 4 venom sacs(for poison use). They missed out on the lair.

 The rest of the second day remained uneventful. During Blecyn's watch, they were attacked by 3 goblins mounted on hyenas. After a couple of close battles, the party survived with no deaths. Knowing that these particular goblins were worth 1 gp per Black Ears goblin head, 5 gp per hobgoblin head, and 1 gp per hyena pelt, they took the heads and skins. Net gain from encounter: 11 gp (which NOBODY wrote down), 3 Black Ears goblin heads, and 3 hyena pelts. 

 The next morning, they entered the Green caves. Following a rough (not drawn) map they found the entrance to The Crypts of Unspeakable Chaos. In the entry chamber they find some piles of bloody clothes. The chamber is made of rough stone walls and they decide to start searching for traps and hidden doors. The noise from their search draws the attention of three giant lizards from the southwest. They decide to take a strategic retreat back through the entrance which is too small for the lizards to pass. Net gain from encounter: nothing.

 The group decides now that they know the location of the caves, they will head back to Krixen's End and pick up supplies. We called it a night after that.

* MGMR- My game, My rules. 
** Ganth is a high magic world. Most people in Ganth have access to cantrips. 
*** Sorry Eric, I didn't know the pencil was that sharp. Man he really jumped.

Wednesday, February 15

Old Friends

 The tower of Tyrin stands above Wynter, like a rotten sliver of stone and iron. From atop this perch of the gods, stands two figures. One is short and bent and looking out over his city. He is completely unaware of the second, much taller figure looming behind him. Until he says," Greetings, old friend."

 "So," the stooped figure tensely asks," you've finally come to kill me then?" 

 With a small sigh the tall man says," No. Unlike you, I do not kill those whom I call friend."

  With plenty anger, and some fear, the short man responds," I did what I had to."

 For several long moments, the tall man stares in appraisal at the smaller figure. Finally, he bows his head mournfully and says," Mongoose, I'm not here to take your life. I'm here to give you a final chance for salvation and peace."

 "Lies," Mongoose says with a sneer," You only come to tease me. You spout your lies about peace and salvation. But I know the truth. With this blade, I am free from your touch, Harvester. You come to trick me into releasing it so you can finally have your revenge, friend." He spits the word friend out with disgust. Continuing, he says," No, my old friend, I will not give up that which keeps me safe. In fact..."

 Mongoose reaches up to his left ear and fondles a shining gem. With a smile on his face, he says," You do not wish to kill me. You want to give me the.."

 "STOP!" Jaccob roars. "You think that bauble's little magic will work on ME?! You were always foolish, but I never thought you were a fool. That earring will never be able to affect my kind. As one of the three facets of Life, I am beyond the simple magic tricks your feeble kind could possibly dream of."

 Mongoose, slightly cowed, responds," Yeah, I know. If it were only that simple. But with this blade, you cannot touch me. It is I who could destroy you." He raises his right arm towards Jaccob. In place of a hand, lays a metallic claw made of  a black, ethereal material. 

 "I do not doubt," Jaccob sighs with sadness in his eyes," You could destroy this body. But you could not destroy me. I do not come to tease or torment you. I call you friend, because you truly were my friend, once. I have returned to you after these long centuries to repeat my last warning to you, and to plead with you one final time."

 With distaste on his face, Mongoose turns away and says," Say what you have come to say and leave me be."

 "I have seen where this path you walk leads to. I watched, helplessly, as our old friend Straahd was slowly lead to his doom. The path he chose took him from my grasp as well. But in the end, he was more of a fiend of Chaos, than a person. This path you choose is the same as his and will truly destroy you, as well."

 "Do not compare me to that insane fool," Mongoose shouts. "I am not some crazy gnome, who's half mad, half suicidal. His fate is not mine. His lunacy ran rampant through the realms for over four hundred years! My sins are nothing compared to his!"

 Mongoose,  with a cocky smile creeping upon his face, continues," Or yours for that matter, if I remember correctly. With this blade, I am removed from your touch. And as such, you can not see what happens to me. You have no power over me."

 "Oh, you would be surprised, by what I can see," Jaccob, with a dread filled voice, says," I see many things and know these truths to be fact. Curiosity can cause more pain than any other emotion. The Coin of Life, placed in all mortal souls, has three sides. Ebon broke my heart. And I destroyed the world. I am more than aware of my sins. And next to mine, yours are nothing. I will wear my sins and suffer my punishment for the rest of my existence. 

 "And I can see more about you than you think. Your true weakness is fear. Your greatest fear is death. So, I am here to give you one last assurance, your fear has caused you more suffering than any hell you could imagine. I bear you no ill will and harbor no hatred or vengeance against you."

 "Just get on with it. I tire of this game." Mongoose said in exasperation.

 "Very well then," Jaccob sighs," I'll repeat my first warning to you, deliver unto you an additional warning, and as a parting gift, I give you the truth to one question. Use it well. 

 "Firstly, my initial warning from all those long years ago. Seven times you will witness the rise and seven times witness the fall of Wynter. If you do not relinquish that blade before the eighth fall of Wynter, you will have a choice to make. Keep your soul and die as a child of Life or lose your soul and live as a child of Chaos."

 "You've said this all before." Mongoose says," And you will not trick me, Jaccob. I freely make my choices and you cannot stand it. Now what is this new warning you have for me?"

 "Do you recognize this?" Jaccob asks holding up up a large, golden coin in his hand.

 "Yes. It looks to be a Heidracht coin."

 "This coin caused the death of a good man this evening. I met with the man personally and before he left this world he was on the trail that would have led to your doorstep. Lord Thistledown had two coins minted special for the birth of his two children. This one has the face of his daughter on it. The other, his son. Of course you already know what befell the lord and his daughter. What you do not know is this. The twin of this coin is coming to Wynter and will cause the eighth fall. And that blade you wear will belong to him."

 With a chill running down his spine Mongoose asks," How do you know this will come to pass? Do we not all have free will? If my choices are truly mine, the how does anyone know my fate?"

 "I can say no more of these things my old friend. Unless one of those is the question you wish to be answered."

 "I have no use for your answers. You will not help me with my wishes. And I doubt you would be honest in the answer. So for the final time begone." Mongoose turns his back to Jaccob and starts walking to the door.

 Jaccob says in a mournful voice," I have always been honest with you. And we will see each other one last time. But sadly, I know what your answer will be. And unfortunately, you will ask me the wrong question."

 Mongoose opens the door and asks, with a small laugh," Since you know what the punishment for my sins is. What is the punishment for yours?"

 "So be it. When everything is gone and nothing remains. In that void I shall remain for ever alone with him. My punishment is the same as his. In the end, I cannot be destroyed. But it isn't farewell yet. I will be there when your choice is made. And that was the wrong question."

 Mongoose could see his shadow sharply etched into the wall in front of him. As a brilliant light flashed from behind. When the light vanished, he heard a metallic clink. He turned towards Jaccob and saw that only ash and the Heidracht coin remained.

Friday, February 3

My Railbox attempt

Player's map

Inspired by Stirges suck. I ran across that post a few weeks back while researching for one of my tales, I started using the slackbox idea to make the locales and adventures for my heroes. After realizing that I was putting waaay too much work for a few short stories, I thought maybe I could throw my hat back into the DM ring. I haven't DM in a decade now. Usually when I DM I either take the lazy way out and run a module or I spend way too much time plotting out an adventure to railroad my players through. I say railroad because I always tried to set up almost every possible scenario so I could have fall backs for when the player, inevitable, turned left when they should go right. I was basically writing a choose your adventure book, instead of allowing for player imagination, I was basically writing the story that I would use in some of my tales. The players were basically allowed to choose which directions the characters would go but in most cases, I already had that mapped out. Let me tell you, it was way too much work.So I hated to DM.

 Now the idea of running a sandbox scared the hell outta me. I knew that I would never be able to plan out every situation in a large enough area to make sandboxers happy. But I also know that a long time ago, more than ten less than twenty years, I had a friend living with me. He and I would alternate DMing our two characters, his was a dwarf and mine was something weird (they usually were since I'd gotten bored with the standard a long time before then). All we had was the three core books and The Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting for 2nd edition. So using this map we started our characters out. Now we were both pretty busy at the time so we played about an hour every couple of days. So with almost no prep we relied on storytelling and random encounters. We had a freakin blast. It was the last time that I remember having fun as a DM.

 So I said," Screw it." I called Eric up and asked him if he would mind me trying out a sandbox campaign in Ganth. He said with a little trepidation," Sure." Right now, it's not in the BIG BOOK of GANTH yet, but we'll see how it goes. It's not my place to tell you what's in that book, so far, but maybe this will be a sneak peek. I do plan to have a few random tables(including some adventure hooks), npc names, lair locations, and a couple dungeons ready. The dungeons will be drawn, hopefully in some unique ways, and have a few key encounters but I'm going to try flying without a safety net. We'll see how it goes.

Krixen's End

 The players will start off in Krixen's End as recently released slaves. I allowed no clerics or paladin's, since they wouldn't survive the slavery. The character's also start off as third level characters for this railbox. The were originally first level when they were captured and sold into slavery, I decided to say after five years in bondage they gained the extra levels. So ends the rail part of the box. Now on to the sandbox version.

So far the guys have chosen to make a dwarf thief and human illusionist. Both are neutral evil, we'll see how that works out. We could use a couple more players but as of now these two will have to learn to survive. Let's hope Eric and Nick make some interesting tales.

 ALSO, as a side note, there will still be Tales coming. I'm currently writing up the first few parts of The Fall of Wynter. Hopefully, I can get the first post up in the next few days.

Thursday, February 2

Wynter Will Fall

 Wynter. The glimmering city of rot. It's shimmering spires and majestic citadels rise from the land like festering boils on the face of Ganth. The wounded city, doomed forever in it's own beautiful death.

 The city of Wynter is locked eternally in a war between Law and Chaos. Since time immemorial, Wynter has been the center of commerce, art and knowledge. But trapped beneath it's beautiful surface lies avarice, envy, and pride. The putrefaction slowly creeps into the city's heart over generations. With the disease comes the clarion call for destruction. Following the razing, either self-inflicted degeneration or the purifying flames of the just, the city is slowly rebuilt.

 Only the ancient histories of the elves or the memories of the eldest dragons could possibly know how long the city of Wynter has been locked in it's endless cycle of death and rebirth. No one living knows how many countless faces the city has worn. With the inevitable turmoil one truth remains constant, Wynter is doomed. Wynter is known in all languages of Ganth. In many it is a warning, a feeling of dread, or a source of excitement and adventure. To all races, Wynter means City of Man.

 And soon Wynter will fall again.

Tuesday, January 31

A little about Jaccob Sorrow

 "I said she poisoned you." Jaccob replied.

 " So are you taking me to a healer?" Kellin asked, a tremor of fear began form in the back of his mind.

"Sort of," Jaccob paused a moment and said," This isn't going the way I intended. I'm usually better at this. But I'm meeting an old friend soon. I haven't seen him in a very long time. And I've looked forward to this moment with both anticipation and dread. So my nervousness is causing me to lose focus on the task at hand. So with my sincerest apologies, allow me start again.

"My name is Jaccob Sorrow. To some people my name is familiar, to you it is not. I have been known by many names. Some think I'm some horrible demon who walks around in robes and carry some wicked edged blade and look like Skeletor"


"You wouldn't know him. Sorry. Flustered. Some call me Black Knight, Thanatos, or Harvester of Souls. I am Death Incarnate. And to tell you the truth, I don't really care for edged weapons all that much. As a matter of fact, when I was an adventurer, I used a maul."

Kellin stopped and asked," So, I'm dead?"

"Yes, sorry again," Jaccob smiled at Kellin and said," The assassin's poison killed you with the first drink. You saw me as you died and you've been walking with me ever since. Most people see their death coming and are prepared. They go on to their own person afterlife. Some souls never see their deaths coming and without that knowledge it takes them time to understand. Normally I appear to them at the moment of death to assist them. You are one of those souls."

"I have a son," Kellin began to plead.

"I know."

"I have to see him, tell him.."

"Tell him what?" Jaccob interrupted. "Are you going to tell him you died? That's not possible. If you want to see him, that's what the afterlife is for. Well, for some anyways."

Jaccob turned Kellin towards him and said," You are dead. Your son will grow to be an honorable man. It will be long years before you meet him again. But you will. 

"I do not appear before souls of evil men. Allowing them to wonder as a spirit  is the greatest kindness I show them. The hell that some of them have created for themselves makes my avoidance of them a blessing. Until you accept that you are dead, you will wander this world as nothing more than a phantom. You will not be able to touch or even interact with anyone or anything. Eventually, you will not even know that you were alive and become some mindless spirit forced to forever roam. Good souls, like yourself, do not deserve to suffer beyond your death."

"Once again," Jaccob said," I humbly apologize for my ramblings. And my wish for you to accept what has befallen you this evening and move on to your pleasant afterlife. Now I must leave you to your choice. I have a very important appointment that I cannot miss.

Wednesday, January 25

Terraria is crack

First off let me say, I hate you Eric. Terraria is crack and I blame you.

Secondly, I have been stuck in that stinkin game so much I haven't posted the continuation of my first post. And I have other tales to spin. Tomorrow, hopefully, I'll post the rest of that story and then move on to some others that I have in the works. 

Sorry for the delay. And I hate you Eric

Friday, January 6

So it begins

 When Kellin was a child, the world appeared to be a land of excitement and adventure. When he as a young man in the streets of Wynter, the world appeared to be a dark cavern of fear and terror. But now in his prime, the world is a small and vile place.

 Kellin's father, a simple farmer from the northern plains, used to tell tales of the great seas of gold and brown that surrounded his family's farm. How the wind would blow and create waves in those seas. He would tell of the tiny menites, who would built their minuscule villages in those seas. About the deadly grass cats that roamed, hunted and even killed children there.

 It was in one of the tales of the the grass cats that caused Kellin's father to lose his arm as a child. In another one, his father told of the terrible fires during the dry years. It was one of those dry years that took Kellin's father and mother. What also took the adventure and excitement and drove a young scared child to the streets of Wynter also turned him into the cynical, yet strong man he was. But strangely, it was one of his father's tales about the menites that drew his attention now.

 "And thus, the Menite King slew the giant beast," the old bard in the back of the tavern said. 

 This was the first time since his father died that Kellin had ever heard the word menite. He looked at the old speaker, but saw a young man there instead. Kellin shook his head, trying to clear the fog of drink away. He remembered coming into the tavern and seeing the bard in the corner. But he could swear that he had been a man long grey in his years.

 Maybe, it's the ale, he thought to himself, as he assessed the young man. 

 His age was hard to guess, but Kellin figured he was somewhere between his second and third decade. The man's strange skin was a dark gold color and his strange yellow hair was tied back into some ornate braid that hung to his waist.

 Elvish, or some kind of elven blood, he thought. Maybe I should talk to him. he may know something about the Ambassador's death. Kellin wondered.

 As Kellin approached, the stranger turned and smiled at him. Kellin felt a slight tremor of fear as the man's piercing blue eyes gazed upon him. Those eyes seemed to see straight into Kellin's heart. It seemed if all his sins were laid bare before this man.

 "Greetings," the man said.

 "Yes..."Kellin stuttered. He couldn't seem to shake the disturbing feeling coming over himself. He tried to speak again but could only mumble,"It is."

 What is wrong with me? He thought to himself.

 "Well, then," the man's said smiling," I'm Jaccob, nice to meet you Constable."

 "How'd you know I'm a Crowner?"

 "Someone we both are familiar with drew my attention to you," Jaccob said.

 "And who is this unnamed person you speak of, so that I may ask them to explain you?" Kellin asked, feeling a little angry at this stranger's cocky smile.

 "Let me explain something to you Kellin," Jaccob said as he placed a hand on Kellin's back. "Let's go for a short walk. I assure you, it will be very enlightening."

 Kellin felt no fear leaving the tavern with the strange man. He actually felt a little peaceful, as if his worries over finding the Ambassador's killer didn't seem to matter. This man would take over the hunt for him.

 It's a spell. He's using some kind of magic to manipulate me. Kellin screamed to himself.

 "I'm not manipulating you Kellin." Jaccob said placing a calming hand on his shoulder. "I'm actually here to help. Let me tell a little about your investigation. Your informant told you the truth. The assassin is in the tavern. Unfortunately he also told the assassin that you were in the tavern."

 "You're here to kill me then?" Kellin asked.

 "No," Jaccob said," I'm not here to kill you friend. As I said, I'm here to help you. The assassin was the tavern matron. When the Ambassador and his daughter dined at the tavern, she killed them with a poison in thier wine.

 "She actually poisoned the entire table. Since ratroot is only deadly to elves, the rest of the ministers and counselors were fine. Maybe a slight uncomfortable night of abdominal pains, and in a few case some vomiting. But overall they were fit the next day."

 "So why don't I just go and arrest her?" Kellin asked, trying to turn back towards the tavern.

 Jaccob stopped him by saying,"Because she has already poisoned you."


Monday, January 2

A little about myself

 Yeah, I know. Everyone starts with this garbage. But hopefully this is the last time you hear from me. Jaccob will do the rest of the posts (hopefully). It all started in 3rd grade playing D&D in Mrs. Smith's class during recess with Eddy. We played off and on through 6th grade.

 7th grade my family swapped churches and I met my best friend Eric. We started hanging and playing D&D over at his place after church on Sundays and sometimes Battletech with Bradshaw. Course we had to hide it at the time from his mom. Don't get me wrong she was a cool lady, but at the time D&D had the bad stigmata. But her fears were soon alleviated by the best pastor EVER. Bro. Bob Nicholson.

 I digress. Eric, myself and a few friends started playing everything under the sun, with D&D being the main game. Ganth hadn't been born yet. The idea was there, but it wasn't alive yet. Every new campaign was built upon the previous one. So the lore of Ganth started long before the world took shape. If a PC became a king, god, or even villian they lived on through the campaigns and eventually shaped our campaign world into the Ganth we are currently building, and will probably always be building. 

 Jaccob Sorrow is not my creation. He was created by Eric. But once the campaign was over, I thoroughly loved the name and character concept so much, I stole him. Over the years Jaccob Sorrow continued to evolve through other DM's campaigns, every rpg video game I played, and even several mmo's into the Jaccob I love and hate today.
 Most of these Tales from the Harvester will revolve around our original PCs, some will be about other characters I've created over time, a few are characters from close friends(they will know who they are), and a little will be some junk Jaccob makes up.

 I hope you enjoy.