Saturday, December 26, 2015

DM's Workshop: The Iron Ring

Before they encountered the would-be Winter King, Thorn & company ran afoul of an encampment of the Black Eagle's troops, holed up in the cliffside city of Byxata, in the Lost Valley. While Gilliam's bluff was enough to get them through the gates, it was not enough to keep them out of hot water once they met the leader of the Glantrian mercenaries augmenting Baron von Hendricks' garrison.

Friday, December 25, 2015

DM's Workshop: The Winter-Sworn

Those who swear their allegiance to the Dark Heart of Winter become cold and ice incarnate. Their skin takes on the cold blue-gray of frost-bitten flesh, and is painfully cold to others’ touch. An aura of cold lingers around the Winter-Sworn, out to a distance of five feet. The Winter-Sworn can increase this radius another five feet by invoking the Mantle of Winter effect.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Peril and Villainy: Threats from the Rise of the Winter King

Inspired by EPK’s “Mystara’s Enemy Number One” post late last month, and watching the ensuing discussion and polls on the Mystara 5th Edition and Mystara Reborn Faceborg groups, I got to thinking about the threats to my own iteration of the Known World.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Nuwmont 13, 998AC: Merchant's Warren, Dockside

It took three platinum coins, but that price also got us off the barge ahead of Imperial Brass cargo inspectors. It involved a leap from the connecting joint just before reaching the docks, and was nearly worth the price, to watch Grellk’s smirk fade after his off-color remark about Sera and I getting entangled in the collar-and-lead. The strange connection the device forged made the jump easier. Sera’s sense of space and timing is much better than my own. The briefest of nudges of woven Thought helped a bit, as well.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Nuwmont 13, 998AC: The City of Crystal Splendors

The great whistle at the front of the iron barge gave a long wail, and below, as well as behind and in front of us, wheels began to grind and shriek. Bright orange and yellow sparks leapt forth, some of which tried to jump through the gaps in the planked flooring. Orange and red pinpoints showered the sandy ground to either side of the metal lines on which the barge rolled, quickly fading to coal black specks. Between the scalding steam belching forth from the massive boiler tank at the front of the line of barges and the cascades of sparks from the grinding wheels, there wasn’t all that much to be seen through the square windows. I, for one, was not keen to lean out and catch any of the sparks or cinders in my teeth, or eyes.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Handmaidens of Petra: The Fallen Queen

The sky split, spilling sickly greenish fire from a golden tear that opened between the stars. The cacophony of yips, snarls and howls faltered on the other side, then became high, pained shrieks. Bursts of golden flame flashed along the base of the wall of fire, as beast men still charging from behind crashed into those trying to backpedal away from it. The beast men vanished in a lick of flame, leaving only echoes of their cries and wisps of ash on the cold night’s wind.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Handmaidens of Petra: Three and Three


“That is the last of them!” Brynne shouted, as she sloshed up the riverbank. “Petra, go!”

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Nuwmont 10-13, 998 AC: Towards Kor-Karrest

First Half Moon (on or about Nuwmont 10-13, 998AC)
“This will never work,” Ana muttered, tugging the tattered cloak tighter about her shoulders.
“It’ll work,” Gilliam said. “It’ll work better if you slouch more.”
“And scratch,” Demarra said. She brought her hand up, clad in a too-big leather glove, and worked at the back of her hood.

Friday, August 28, 2015

DM's Workshop: Blue Dragonstones

Blue dragonstones are alike in color with brilliant, deep sapphires, but shot through with a fine veinwork of silvery threads. These burn with a bright white light when the stone’s powers are activated, causing the entire gem to shine with a cold blue light.

Blue dragonstones are closely tied to the Element of Air, and the Sphere of Thought. Their power draws from the user’s own Intelligence.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

DM's Workshop: Black Dragonstones

Called “night stones,” “light drinkers,” “shadow stones,” black dragonstones appear at first glance to be deep purplish opals or highly polished onyx. A closer look reveals their main crystal structure to be nearly black, shot through with veins and lattices of purple. These purplish veins glow when the stones’ powers are activated, but rather than shedding light, when the stones are “aglow,” they sometimes sap the radiance from nearby light sources.

Friday, August 7, 2015

DM's Workshop: White Dragonstones

White dragonstones are not tied to any specific element, but share an affinity with the Sphere of Entropy. Their power draws from the user’s own Constitution.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

DM's Workshop: Red Dragonstones

Red dragonstones are closely tied to the Elements of Earth and Fire. Their power draws from the user’s own Strength.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Project Dragonwatch: Dragonstones

Dragonstones initially got their name from the fact that they were found exclusively in dragon hoards. At a casual glance, they appear to be normal gems. Countless numbers of them have no doubt been traded away at a fraction of their value by those who did not know the stones’ true potential. 
While the golden veinwork is plainly visible in the clear, or “white” variety, other dragonstones must be held up to certain types of light to tell them apart from mundane gems. By fire or torchlight, red and green dragonstones’ golden veinwork becomes clearly visible, while threads of what look to be silver gleam within blue dragonstones held under moonlight. Black dragonstones’ veinwork is best visible under shadowed conditions, when the threads appear to shed their own deep violet light.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

DM's Workshop: The Stone Dryad


Here is a very rough first pass at writing up the spotlight creature from upcoming adventure module TC2 in 5th edition format.

Very much a work in progress, like most (ok... ALL) of the TC series.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Handmaidens of Petra: Execution

“I think I’m getting the hang of this!” Morana said. The long, thin branch she held across her knees creaked, twisted, and then burst into a shower of splinters.
The shrike sighed, and handed the Darine girl another branch from the stack. 

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Thornspace: Sarimaar, the Red Wanderer

A readingglass representation of Rowena's stellar-mechanical
"visitation arc" trajectory. The Shavarathian skyshield's thermal
ablation polished the major plane of the Andahar onyx block to
within one and a half degrees of perfect Aetheric refraction.
Shavarath,” from the Skandaharian word for “Warrior.”
ZugZul,” to the Afridhi
Nerigaul,” to Nithian star-gazers, and later corrupted to “Arik-hem” when their glyphic language was overhauled into Thothian script.
Darine astrologers know it as “Halav-eiboh.” “Halav’s Eye.”
Astronomers of Thyatis call it “Sarimaar.” The Alphatians know it as “Zwerverüd”(both of which translate to “Red Wanderer”)

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

PbP on approach to finish Act 2.....

The heroes are on an intercept course with the First THRONE. The Fifth THRONE, overtaken by the Wicked That Walked the Deeps of Uthorrad, looms closer, its Starfire weaponry slowly building charge.

But they will not be the first to set foot in the satellite since the days after the second Beast Man Crusade. Another ship is moored on the auxiliary docking pad.

Does it bring friends, or enemies...?


There is room for three more players in this ongoing Play by Post at the Comeback Inn. Set one thousand years after Uther's reign, Blackmoor's civilization is at its height. But the Empire crumbles, rotting from within. The Emperor sees enemies in every shadow, as more than one minister of the Imperial Regent's Council has been found to be playing host to demonic essences.

Disturbing reports from the Western Continent hint at massive devastation of one of the Imperial Defense Force's secret research facilities. An Aethernet blackout of all news of the incident by Imperial Edict does nothing to quell rumors from growing faster than thistle-weed in a squash patch.

Vanders Heavy Industries, in the meantime, has posted bulletins across crystalview and Aethernet news nodes that they are poised to sign a momentous armament contract with the Imperial Defense Forces that will enable far-flung troops to return home to their families.

Diviners from the University have been unable to find trace of the Empress of Pop amidst what little is left in the wake of the firestorm that her abductors called down, wiping out most of the IAF Special Operations Unit assigned to her rescue from the paramilitary compound in the mountains of Booh.....

Leave a comment below, on the Thorn's Chronicle Facebook page, or contact the GM through the Comeback Inn forum if you're interested in playing in this Alternity-based science-fantasy adventure.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Magic of Thorn's Mystara: Blackflame Lanterns

While the use of magic is tightly regulated by the Special Council of the Ministry of Guilds and Services, there are those who practice their shadow craft for coin, rather than the good of the empire and blessing of the Karrnath. Knowing what their brethren are capable of, the magecaptains of the Imperial Army have developed a number of devices with which to minimize the chaos sewn by rogue bahrthron.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Nuwmont 9, 998 AC: Syharwehrven

“Eyes!” Aurora hissed, and I barely had time to bring my arm up to shield my vision before she rasped “Diphiya!” It was followed a moment later by a chorus of screams.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Project Dragonwatch: The Greenshae's Lair

The Greenshae: Origins
About the time Ilsundal’s migration began, a series of quakes ripped through the Hyborean Reaches, damaging the the outflow piping beneath Dragonwatch Keep. Wastewater from the facility’s dragonstone reactor crystal cooling pools began to seep into some of the tributaries feeding the fledgling Ietzirah woodlands.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Project Dragonwatch: Lasiandra's Grove

Sounds of combat draw the PCs to the ruins of a township by a swiftly-flowing stream. Several trees have grown amidst the tumble-down shells of the buildings, the most majestic of them a willow rising from the remains of the mill.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Happy Alternity Game Day!

March has crept up awfully fast this year.

In remembrance of the anniversary of the shelving of the Alternity system, we raise a glass and salute what was in many ways a predecessor to the d20 system. A system where we can roll a 1 and be happy about it.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Magic of Thorn's Mystara: Wizard's Eye Globes and Seeing-Stones

Quite a few developments with this new year, not the least of which is a delving into gameplay of the newest edition of the world's greatest role playing game.

I've spent most of this past month developing the Sylvan Realm, harkening back to that nation of elven refugees shortly after its founding and before Ilsundal's creation of the Tree of Life.

As the great elven wizard's apprentice plumbs the depths of ruins and catacombs on behalf of her mentor, helping him with his Great Work, she stumbles across a minor artifact from the former inhabitants of the Sylvan Realm, which would have been somewhere near the  northern polar rim before the Great Rain of Fire.

Take a look at Aimeel's-Age Blackmoor's answer to the security camera and monitor, the wizard eye globe and seeing-stones, detailed at the Piazza forums, and let me know what you think.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Another New Year?

Happy New Year, blog-o-sphere.

It would seem last years' resolutions were a bit... ambitious.

TC2 and 3 are still in holding patterns. Ideas are well in place, but there is still very much left to do with the plot lines and encounter building.

Thorn & company are having way too much fun in Kurest Hurgon. The last vestiges of Loktar's Glittering Empire are taking a bit more time to explore than I'd thought....

The Handmaidens' adventures are a bit on hold as I work on some pre-Mistamere backstory amongst them. Will those tales see the light of day? It depends on how many want to see them, I suppose...

Act 2 of the Throne of Stars is nearly finished. Will the heroes finally manage to dock with the First Throne? What will they find there?

The play test of TC1 is technically still going. I think the players may need a kick, though...

I eagerly await the re-starting of Havard's Vales campaign, as well as reading what LFC material Rafe finally manages to cough up.

I look forward to working with the Threshold Magazine editors in fleshing out a couple levels of the Koskatep megadungeon.

And lastly, yes, dear sister(s), I do hope to get back to that other story some time this year. And maybe the other one, as well...