Monday, 25 June 2018

Video:- Volunde Ankh Wilderness Map

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It might be that video is a better way to present large images than stills for hand drawn maps at least. A hand drawn map is not the same as a computer designed map because the image of the computer map, original or shared, is identical but the image (photo) of the hand drawn map is not the same as the original. I have created maps of both kinds but I didn't understand how different these kinds of maps were until I tried to present stills of my own maps.

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Monday, 11 June 2018

The Stronghold of the Grinning Man

I am reusing this material because it fits perfectly for one of six ghouls who have formed a gentleman group as surviving wizards from six disparate parties who discovered AIONE. They now reside in Gulvalr.

Defn: GHOUL –– A Wizard who has in some sense survived a limited exploration of AIONE.

The Stronghold of the Grinning Man



Between two steep rocky mountains lies a broad valley of semiarid plain densely mottled with miles of man-high twisted scrub. A weak stream seasonally augmented runs from the craggy slopes in the south, now west, now north-west gaining little momentum along the valley. The woody plants within a mile of the stream brighten the way with tiny yellow or purple flowers. Snakes are here too, though not so noticeable as the flowers. Large wild cats saunter and laze about beneath the sun, stirred occasionally to stalk antelope or chase a scurrying wild pig, more often content to lie at ease yawning and licking at their teeth. Eagles fly contemptuously between the peaks in the west and the east beyond the valley.

Tribes of cavemen live like animals in high caves near the source of the stream. At night they light fires and beat drums to keep away the white worms with a thousand legs who would disturb their sleep. Some evil thing watches the night flowers, their fires, from the mountain to the east. What men are here live in a huddle of grotty hamlets at the west end of the valley. They are timid farmers afraid of strangers. There are no roads or paths there as the valley is no through-way out of the High Wilds and the west of the valley is shunned by all living things for there is located the stronghold of the Grinning Man.

The scrub is thickest in the west where sparse dark green shrubs have become stunted black trees with brambles everywhere at their knees. Channels to the west are rare but there are mile-wide clearings and in one those sits a bald hill adorned with a tower constructed with architectural foolishness.

The base of the ancient flint stone tower is round and barely six yards across. A rotted ladder leans against the wall. Above, at a height of twelve feet a small wooden door glistens beneath a lintel from which grey liquid drips. A dozen yards above the door it appears that a vast castle in the shape of a windowless black cube fully fifty yards to a side has landed on the slender flint tower, remaining poised a mere fifty feet above the hilltop. The black stone is variegated with many dark colours giving the appearance of staining and has shooting veins of silver and a white metal visible at night. The surface has depressions of false doors, windows and half-columns and reliefs depicting unfamiliar beasts, vessels, architecture and religious rites impossible to decipher from the ground.

In the shadow of the huge dark cube a long dried out moat surrounds the thin round tower and is overgrown with long yellow-green blades of grass and a plant with broad black leaves and pink flowers the fragrance of which induces sleep on all who cross the moat.

Trespassers awaken to an existence I find hard to will myself to describe. In a windowless room within the castle-cube a sickly alien light exudes from veins and stars and discs of that same white metal in the black and stained stone. Before the eyes open the mind has been overwhelmed by waves of heat and the odor of broiled human flesh. Newly conscious, all spies and interlopers, all but one, look down on a sight to steal their sanity, each from a heavy copper skewer embedded in the wall. The stench from their thoroughly baked bodies is nauseating as is the sound of slops of fat dripping from their legs and feet into copper dishes on the floor. Far away in the mind a stuttering scream, 'how am I alive? Don't let me be alive!'

In the centre of the room is a dais with two shallow steps on each of its four sides. Surrounding this kneel oblivious four human-seeming naked women azure of skin, black-dot irises on white balls, hairless with copper skullcaps each holding forth an amber chalice full to the brim. On the black stone dais a massive bath or sarcophagus of purest black-green stone and within lying on his back the Grinning Man a naked flab-fleshed wizard - all too human - drenched in grease and fat. Lying on top of the Grinning Man, embraced by the wizard's left arm is the first intruder, weakly squirming, with porcine squealing protesting the impossible pain. More than half of his somehow living meat and organs have been carved or hacked with a rotating saw in the ghoul's right hand and consumed in ecstasy, exposing his skeleton and his skull where his cheeks and lips were. Yet his remaining flesh feels and is alive. Through one uneaten eye he sees sanity on the faces of his skewered comrades flee, to return in mounting pulses to a frenzy bound to their broiled flesh by the wizard's godlike perversity.

'Yum, yum in my tum,' whispers the Grinning Man consolingly in his one uneaten ear.

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Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Map of the Lands Beyond Finished

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Here can be seen the Military Road from Tryzantium to Jyre. Everywhere to the east of the littoral mountain range is wasteland or desert in varying degrees, except for Arja and its colonies, Kas and Viz, and pockets of Sehrt particularly around the holy city of Nish. Vapora Deserta is hostile to life of any pattern; I have relocated Nekhetarr there.



Link to --> Higher resolution copy [3Mb]

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Thursday, 10 May 2018

Terrain Pieces and Miniatures For Desert Ruins - PHOTOS

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The materials I use are refuse, packaging styrofoam and the like, the board is an unwanted kitchen shelf 18" square. I frequently use PVA glue and Filler, the sort for dealing with cracks in walls. The dry-stone wall is made from air-drying modelling clay, a wonderful substance and cheap.















Links to each of the above twelve images in Hi-Res:
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https://drive.google.com/file/d/1HHLXVWMceftbQglHHHW28ld2i0OaujW-/view?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1MlefI5N_mq9Fw5_-5x3EBLClUbv2aFDq/view?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ECZ2oXJYdOJsbfiTGoFkt7TXBdsDNw1p/view?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1hBQmx3_gJKVjBpPNAeAyZV1KQDdj_4Uj/view?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/17AsmsQaQwij-p9jcysZlKi9vkjTb-4ai/view?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1WNKU19dGBtOTcY3HNebytYo_UND3EdV2/view?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1KWfffAYvqAfDJVmMmnVMDdsYPRLmLH-D/view?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1sg4PWz9lVtv97ifnxmBDOv60Hjripp4v/view?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1wh4N4Gm3Z-MwWwGnIiMe4azDfsR0Uedh/view?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/15xs_Zejhqph_h-nvxq2h5K4PercgBqqa/view?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1EVSDtt1uAUp-Lx02gMnmeCVlXZ0l9Stz/view?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1QFUsJK7Ur8FyX8bFSvX_cMNBVSOGBXLZ/view?usp=sharing
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The terrain board I can use in general for arid wasteland and desert beyond Volunda Ankh and specifically for parts of Krak-i-Shadows, a ruined crusader castle built onto Nekhetarr's outer wall.



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Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Old School Television

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Television used to be like this, at least sometimes, a twenty-three minute programme illustrating the craft of bookbinding broadcast in 1981 by the RTE the Irish national broadcaster. I don't have a television anymore because these days, indeed for a long while, television is wall to wall shit; I don't need to share in the mass culture of the world's cretins. YouTube is a blessing, appreciate it while it lasts.


... and this, a James Joyce documentary from 1986. Superb. Beautiful.

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