Thursday, January 8, 2015

Prince Rhun ap Maelgwn Gwynedd Returns! But...where did he ever really go you ask?


2015 is turning out to be what might be a superb year and it has barely even begun yet! As the first few weeks began several great things have unfolded, opportunities and long-awaited hopes crystallizing at last!

What I am rambling about is this...even though my still fresh and new Celtic adventure series 'The Island of the Mighty' had only released the first novel 'The Sullen Queen' last summer, I had many delays in getting you the second, 'Within a Dark Mountain', and completing the third 'A Perilous Pursuit' last fall regretfully, but a recent promising turn of events has now appeared! 



This opportunity was always there but I didn't seize it, and now I am fully. What I mean to say is, soon, the series will indeed be re-released, re-edited, with a new look, meaning a brilliant new cover, possibly even interior art, and more! Just to remind my fans of Troll Lord Games these novels are the Celtic adventure modules I have written, in order, put to prose, one by one. There will be a novel for each module, as the adventures of Prince Rhun ap Maelgwn of Gwynedd and his companion (as you will discover in book #2) Llewella, make their way through Post-Roman Britain, Ireland and the Otherworld one tale at a time. Ideally, there will be, as I have posted many times before here, up to thirteen tales in this series, written in a style inspired by Tolkien and Lloyd Alexander.

- 'The Sullen Queen' is my bonus adventure module for the Codex Celtarum 'A Sylvan Gambit'.
- ''Within a Dark Mountain' is 'Goblins of Mount Shadow'
- 'A Perilous Pursuit' is 'The Crimson Pact'

See...I DO have a masterplan with my many projects....


Daroganau Fyrddin - Merlin's Prophecies


"And at a certain time, as the narrative shows, it happened that Gwenddydd saw certain rare dreams on various nights. All these she carefully retained in her memory until she should find a place and time to relate them to Myrddin her brother. Against that time Gwenddydd prepared bread and butter on a herb cake of wheaten bread with various drinks in various vessels, every drink in its grade as its nature demanded, as wine in silver, and mead in a horn, and the beer in sycamore, and the milk in a white jug, and the water in an earthen jug. All these she placed in order besides the bread and butter inside the harbour to which Myrddin was wont to come, when he was in his senses, to take his nourishment."

-Ystoria Myrddin Wyllt

The time may soon come to pass that my Master's research or thesis on Geoffrey of Monmouth's dubious 12th century 'Prophetiae Merlini' (or 'Prophecies of Merlin'), thrown into his rather famous 'Historia Regum Brittaniae' ('History of the Kings of (the) Britain(s) will be published after all! I know this was a wordy paragraph...slightly, but I think I may already have a publisher, a Welsh one at that, and rightfully so!

In the next week I will prepare the required proposal and what they need then wait for their word. Once I know for sure I will announce the publisher and give links and fanfare. This is my first serious non-fiction, academic publication, with hopes of many future ones to follow. I have many...

If I enter into the Celtic Studies Doctoral program as well in the next month then I will be aggressively producing more scholarly work for print and publication in time. With the new theories and thinking emerging in my field, it opens up amazing new possibilities not had before, and I hope that I am the only one to find them!

Aside from my half dozen Arthurian Celtic adventure modules, Codex Celtarum, and my 40+ times teaching the subject in nearly a decade at college level, this is next opportunity I get to put my Masters in Arthurian Studies from the University of Wales Lampeter (Prifysgol Cymru Llanbedr-Pont-Steffan) to good use!

Rex quondam, Rexque futurus!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Just in Time for the Trinox Samonios or the 'Three Nights of Halloween' Comes my Celtic Halloween Adventure Module! The PDF is for only $0.99!

Click on Cover for Link to Troll Lords Shop to Purchase! 

At the end of each year comes the month and holiday of Samonios, Samhain or Nos Galan Gaeaf, or Halloween. This is the time when the worlds are drawn together and monsters, gods and the spirits of ancestors wander between them. It is a dangerous and dark time in which the most holy and sacred of ideas mean more than they ever have before in the previous year. It is a time for the Dead and to honor them.

Events in the last year were steeped in bloody battles, the death of kings and encroaching evil from the Otherworld. The seers and madmen foretell that the omens are in place to bring a wrathful invasion from the Land of Magic. Most nobles and lords scoff at these superstitious words and ridicule them, but the common-folk know that there is truth in those portents and omens.

Families stay close, hold their festivities in honor of their ancestors and the gods, but stay wary of the dangers that might find their way into their darkened homes and lives. But for the young or unwary . . . .

Little Addolgar ap Maelon Gof has wandered into the thick foliage of the Coed Celyddon, lured by the many colored playful lights that he saw dancing and laughing. Now the young dark haired child of ten winters is deep in the mist-shrouded forest soaked in Otherworld energies. A storm is brewing in the dark woods, stirring the trees and causing the limbs and boughs to crack and knock against each other. Owls hoot in their haunting voice and somewhere distant, wolves howl. Addolgar climbs over fallen trees and makes his way in bramble patches trying to get closer to the mysterious lights in the boughs of the trees.

Night of Spirits plunges you into the heart of Nos Galan Gaeaf, bringing your characters face to face with the Otherworld and the true horrors of the holiday! 

Night of Spirits is an adventure for 3-5 characters of around 4th-6th level.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

New Most Recent Adventure Module 'A Shattered Night' Has a Review!

Click on Cover for Review of Module

As more of my adventure modules are released, for both the Celtic line and the 'Nine Worlds Saga', I am hoping the reviews follow in their wake, feedback is always important! I believe some of my most important work is yet to come in these series. The Codex Germania is about to be premiered soon as well after months of intensive editing, and after I spent an additional seven months writing on it. 

I took a small break in my writing, about 3-4 months. It was needed, for sanity and because I have a new teaching position to adjust to, and there was no way to do both with great skill. Now that everything is in order I can resume my plans as before. My previous novels will be edited and released/published, and obviously my Troll Lord projects were already underway as before. In addition, I have another gaming related project that will be completed too and written before long.

The Codex Slavorum is at its end now as well finally, it has been a lengthy book to write, more so than the Codex Germania due to the source material and how deeply I sought to get it accurate. This means that by the winter season I plan to work on the Codex Classicus slowly. That will be the larger Codex comprising the Roman, Greek and Etruscan worlds. Meanwhile I will also be writing more of the 'Nine Worlds Saga', having just finished the third module in the series recently. 

My 'Island of the Mighty' novel series involving the Celtic prince Rhun ap Maelgwn is also back underway as well. Book two, 'Within a Dark Mountain' will be finished with its editing and published at some point, and I will return to the first book, 'The Sullen Queen' to revise its own editing again before I release the second. I believe it needs it. The third book, 'A Perilous Pursuit' is still lacking its last 20,000 words but it will be completed before long and published. Then I will still publish them in Welsh as planned as well. 


Monday, July 14, 2014

My Progress on the 'Codex Slavorum' is Russian Along!


A bad joke I know, but it is true! The latest Codex will be quite a complex tome of Mythic and historical data to use at the gaming table for sure. Last year I started on it and wrote in earnest, flying on it like mad, making progress by mid-Summer until I had reached 38,000 words and then I had to rest for a time. I was over six months ahead on my projects because I produce quickly, but now, a year later, I need to keep that pace and speedily make sure I do not slow down. With the Codex Nordica now released and the next, the Codex Germania, to come very soon, I want to get the next edition in the series ready. So I returned to where I left off from last summer, almost exactly to the week! 


Similar to the plethora of Celtic tribes that once populated Europe, the Slavic peoples were a plurality as well, but unlike them a commonality wasn't so easily found and there was room for much variation. What balances out this unfortunate high level of diversity is their more recent entry into history. They came into history following in the wake of the Fall of the western Roman Empire during what is generally termed the Migration Era, and so their period is better documented than the earlier Celtic peoples. These early Slavic peoples are grouped into the category of 'Old Slavs' for an easier reference. It is from this period and peoples that the Codex Slavorum is based.


I introduce three new character classes in this Codex. The Vampirdzhija or 'Vampire Hunter', derived from the real historical counterpart that existed not more than 6-8 hundred years ago that also functioned as a Witch-Hunter in Eastern Europe. Next is the Koldun, or Wizard, not the typical wizard one finds in basic fantasy gaming or other European cultures, but a more modest and humble nature that serves the common man, and finally the Molfar, or Shaman, the most ancient of all spiritual holy-men. In addition to these classes I also have other very particular Slavic racial breeds that can be chosen and played that will be a welcome addition in any game. They are blessed and cursed both.


The monster and mythical beings section is very large, possibly the largest of the Codex series to date, pulling from every Slavic nationality, and there are many! I will be digging ever deeper before this book goes to press still to find more, making sure I don't miss any because as it stands I have plenty now. The chapter is huge. Between the many beings and monsters alone, it could be a mini-book nearly. There isn't much left to go in the completion of this book and it will be finished by the end of the summer. The only section in the book that will be nearly as large is the deities from the Slavic peoples I suspect and that will be written soon by Perun's Bolt! 

Once this Codex is done, I take a breath and then dive into the next volume - the Codex Classicus

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The First Two Modules in My 'Nine Worlds Saga' Series Are Going to Print!

There will be 13 modules in this series, not just because thirteen is the typical number in which all series of Castles & Crusades modules end at, but in Nordic tradition that is one of the 'magic' numbers unique to their beliefs. These first two, along with the Codex Nordica, will enable the gaming group a jump start into the campaign, or saga, to find the Fimbulwinter Runes. 


In the rough mountainous region of Ormr, the earth groans, turned this way and that by forces beyond understanding. The tremors send shock waves across the Nine Worlds, jolting the local kingdom of Eucia terribly. People, high and low, turn to their King, as is their right. But King Hrolfr is in the dark, as are his seers; so he must look beyond his wooden halls, calling to the stalwart heroes of his realm, brave adventurers to venture forth in his name and conquer the unknown.

Little does the King know that the quakes are brought about by a menace sent from the dismal world of Helheimr far below. Raiders carried by dark longships on ghastly winds have come with evil intent, but their goal here goes deeper than anyone could possibly imagine.

The adventurers must search out what is going on in the kingdom of Eucia, but to do that, they'll find more than they ever bargained for, because Hel has her fingers planted deep in the roots of all things. Before they can end the quakes they'll see this and so very much more . . . or die in the trying.


With Hel's plot unearthed, the Nine Worlds beckon, for somewhere beyond Midgaard lies Odin AllFather's scattered Fimbulwinter Runes! And to stop Hel and bring peace to King Hrolfr's realm, someone must fetch the runes and return them to Valhalla, before any take note!

But beginnings are oft as hard as endings and King Hrolfr's heroes must first sail to the frigid seas of the north and seek out the portal to the shadowy world of Svartalfaheimr in hopes of seeking the first of these coveted Runes of Odin AllFather.

Svartalfaheimr, however, is an endless world of shadow and confusion, where Dark Elves rule sprawling realms from deep places, wild beasts hunt for wreck and ruin and the Lord of that world is crafty and altogether evil. Somewhere in the midst of this lies a wise man, Boddi, who can serve as a guide through the Nine Worlds and aid those seeking the Fimbulwinter Runes before either Odin or Hel, or their agents do in time.

To fetch the runes, to find the guide, all this before the wrath of the Dark Elves is unleashed and before Odin AllFather learns of what's afoot, for his fury is one none can withstand and failure, unbeknownst to all, means the end of days . . .

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

My Newest Adventure 'A Shattered Night' Is Finally Released!

CLICK ON COVER FOR LINK TO PURCHASE

It has been a long wait, with a lot of delays in the meantime (the Codex Nordica and its two modules Hel Rising and Odin's Fury), but it is now available in PDF and print from the official Troll Lord Games site and on DriveThruRPG and RPGNow


This adventure is the sequel to my award winning 'To Kill a King' and was written not long afterwards, but takes place after the Halloween adventure 'Night of the Spirits', which will be released this October. These were all designed in order in 2012. We are a long way from the end of this successful adventure series, and it has many epic twists and turns to go before it concludes. I even have a campaign series that envisioned to follow up this one with concerning the legendary Arthur involving about 35-40 adventures. It is something that I have spoken about before on here and will again, it would bring everything the Codex Celtarum and Codex Germania (once it is published in the Fall of 2014) books have to their complete potential.


As Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow inspired the first module through the song 'Kill the King', another of their songs, 'Sixteenth Century Greensleeves' inspired the second as well. Each module was my way to honor those song that have been a constant source of inspiration throughout the last thirty years of my gaming and Medieval/Celtic Studies. 


Once I get the covers for the two new Viking adventure modules being released I will post them along with the blurbs and other info as well. I have spent three fourths of my life studying and creating medieval and fantasy, in both music, art and civilization, in a sort of complex fusion. It is nice to finally see it all come together at last with these projects. If you think 'To Kill a King' was difficult and gave a good snap-shot of a Mythic Celtic Britain during the 6th Century (my specialty), this sequel continues that story without a break. 


However your version of 'To Kill a King' played out, you can adjust this adventure to fit to that outcome and move on, or make complete modifications in names, kingdoms, etc. The Saxon prince of Mercia will still kidnap a Celtic princess and drag her to his tower to ransom, ravish and do the same regardless and the adventuring party must stop it to the best of their ability. The module to follow this one is 'The Idle Wizard' and it involves a dreadful menace that the pagan Celtic world feared and revered mightily...

In addition, I will be handling the retail for Troll Lord Games at conventions and, if I can help it, game shops in the state of Oklahoma, very soon personally. So when you see me at conventions my booth will be bristling with my novels and filled with all of the Troll Lord Games publications, new and old! I will be your go-to guy!