Monday, June 15, 2015

New Publications, Chaosium and More! (It has been a while on here)



Since the publication of my 'The Axis of Shadows' by Damnation Books last February, it appeared online, or at least on here that I went silent in the writing department. That wasn't true fortunately. Due to my teaching High School Freshmen English, which was a very involved job day to day, my writing did slow. Novel three in my Celtic series had abruptly stopped last August in 2014, leaving me hanging with only 20,000 words left! I do plan on finishing that wondrous adventure tale, filled with intrigue and Prince Rhun's first introduction to the Otherworld physically in the saga, and it isn't pleasant. 'A Perilous Pursuit' is my Troll Lord Games module 'A Crimson Pact' brought to life, and trust me, it has been! There is also wild passionate romance within its pages.



On that note, the first two books in the series, 'The Sullen Queen', and 'Within a Dark Mountain' will be re-published soon by Chenault & Grey Publishing officially. New covers and meticulous editing will help bring this Celtic series alive for readers. Once the third book I mentioned above is done, it will be added. The tale of Prince Rhun and his father's own powerful rise to power, King Maelgwn of Gwynedd, in 6th Century Britain, will be unlike any set of books before it. Last year I self-published the first on my own. 'The Sullen Queen' had limited success and it was tough, but I didn't like the uphill struggle that it involved. I wanted the comfort of having access to artists and editors. I edited the novel ten times, paid a moody and random artist to do the art (of which I could have done myself, as I was a professional Celtic artist in the 90's of some renown). I made my money back roughly but it wasn't what I wanted to do, not at the pace that I write. My ambitions are higher and my production skill is greater, so I need the backing of funds and people to support me.

So the opportunity arose and I took it! Self-publishing works for some, but unless you have a million dollar seller, you never make your money back in the end and you are always in the low-end struggling to get noticed, handling advertising and getting paid. It is too much work added to the work of writing already.

Next month my long awaited 'Codex Germania' begins its Kickstarter! Finally! Yes, it is true. You can recreate anything from the ancient Germanic sagas and tales, whether it is Anglo-Saxon, Frankish, Gothic, or name it, you can do so in this newest Mythic tome of gaming goodness. I even added a small starter adventure in the battle that takes place in Celtic Britain as the Saxons are trying to establish a foothold after the Roman Empire left. This sort of bridges the gap between the 'Codex Celtarum' and the 'Codex Germania' books now. This book is also a companion to the 'Codex Nordica' as the cultures are shared and alike, both linguistically, mythically and otherwise, so expect many commonalities.



In addition to this, it appears that later in the Fall my 'Codex Slavorum' will be next in line! That is right. The Slavic Codex, so you get a double shot of Codices so close to each other in this short time and that is amazing. That isn't all. In all of this, it is planned to get the next one (I am assuming), the 'Codex Classicum' for the Winter/Spring. This is the next volume I need to write obviously before that time comes, and includes Greek mythology (with the Roman and Etruscan). So by Spring of 2016, you will have FIVE Codices on your gaming shelf! That will be the entire European set in one swoop amazingly. Then I will plan to write the Asian set, which will be two books. One for the Japanese islands, and the surrounding isles, and another for the mainland. Added to this, I will also write a 2nd Edition for the 'Codex Celtarum' in the manner I intended originally, adding the material that I never included and much more. So it will be a mega time for Mythic Codices and gaming to come!



Now...onto Chaosium. It had long been a goal of mine someday to write and design for them. I had started gaming around the time I discovered both 'Call of Cthulhu' and H.P. Lovecraft in 1984-5. Now, that goal has come true this summer. If you know the recent news, Sandy Peterson and Greg Stafford are back to save the company from peril. I submitted a campaign book idea just barely a month before they returned. By August I will be working on it. It will be a sort of....'Codex Celtarum' meets the Lovecraftian Mythos adventure campaign book. Imagine the classic campaign books 'Shadows of Yog-Shoggoth', 'Masks of Nyarlethotep', etc but with a Celtic theme throughout Celtic Europe and time. It will be compatible with their 'Dark Ages', 'Cthulhu by Gas-Light', 'Green and Pleasant Land' and 'Cthulhu Invictus' books as the Celts occupied nearly all of Europe throughout the last 4,000 years. I have one adventure written already and it takes place in 1920's Ireland. This will be odd and mindblowing stuff...my tentative name for it is 'Savage Hyperborea: Mythos Terror in Celtic Europe'.

Also, my old scriptwriting venture is brought back to life too, with new Hollywood connections and more. One of these scripts dates back to 1999, and if ever taken by a producer and studio, it would be my 'Codex Celtarum' and the modules/novels associated brought to life on the screen. Major things are happening. So the silence on here is NOT indicative of the reality of the fervent energy going on behind the scenes.

  

Saturday, January 31, 2015

'The Axis of Shadows' is about to Become the Next Release on Feb. 1st!

Click Book Cover for Link to Damnation Books for Novel!

I wrote this third book in my 'Silent War' Steampunk Horror series many years ago, when my skill at learning how to write a novel (with skill) was still new. My ambition, as it still is, was burning and energetic, but my skill at word-craft was much less than my overall years of experience of story-telling deriving from decades of Gamemastering. That gaming experience is now going on thirty-years. These novels ALL derive from my campaigns actually and a setting that I conceived that was my gritty anti-Steampunk world. While the others were just about to ride on the emerging trend that has since fallen a little, everything in those settings was pretty, oh so Victorian and filled full of fancy. I wanted mine to be dark, gruesome and filled with a Post-18th Century Early Modernistic malaise mixed with Gothic horror and high action, told in First Person. A bit ambitious for a series from an inexperienced novelist but I DID secure a book deal with a Small Press with it all. Not bad. I am planning on writing a campaign world book to accompany these novels, and likely for Troll Lord Games logically, to supplement Jason Vey's Steampunk system soon. 

                                 Click Book Cover for Link to Damnation Books for Novel!


Each book is a chapter sort of in the life of my main character as he finds his way in this secret society of Vampire Hunters, the Shadow Society of Vampire Hunters, across the world in the 19th Century and uncovers a terrible parasitic bond between the vampires and Mankind. Since the Dawn of Man's civilization, and really because of it, the Upiri, or Vampires have been feeding and trying to herd us into their livestock one way or another but we have managed to fight them off due to the secret society's efforts. In these centuries of Silent Warring a little of the Vampires' advanced Atlantian technology leaks out to the world and its civilizations giving us our next marvels and progress along the way. Some of our greatest 'discoveries' were due to these accidental hidden staches of ancient technologies found by Mundane Man instead of being confiscated by Shadow. 


Click Book Cover for Link to Damnation Books for Novel!

It is a long story, and an ancient one. Book four, 'Atlantica' will reveal the Vampires' ultimate goal after their true origins are revealed in this third book 'The Axis of Shadows'. Once this terrible plot of uncovered it is a race against time as they set into motion something that Mankind has been too slow to discover. The war against them then is at its ultimate apex as the Upiri will play their age old plot, one that Mankind is too short visioned to perceive. These Upiri are not just shambling corpses of our own dead bent on feeding and destroying us, they have a larger plan. Mankind must devise a plan to stop them that is even smarter and unexpected, that will catch them and their bizarre intelligence off-guard. If these first four books work out to be a success, then I DO have envisioned from eight to twelve more planned in the series that will span history all the way to World War 2. 



  


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