Monday, April 7, 2014

The Island of the Mighty Saga is About To Be Unleashed after 15 Centuries in Slumber!


In less than a month I will unveil and publish the long awaited 'The Sullen Queen'. I wrote this novel last year and Fall and it went through about three drafts and many, many edits and several Beta Readers before it finally reached the point it is at now. I believe fully in this novel and the series that will follow it. This will be a very ambitious project, one that dwarfs my others by far and the efforts behind it will show this as well. The true test will be once it is in the hands of the readers...and that time will come very soon, on the verge of May Day I believe! Nos Calan Mai in the Brythonic calender appropriately.



Book two, 'Within a Dark Mountain' will follow in its wake boldly and savagely as well as I introduce this series to all by this summer with two novels. You will be able to have the first two adventure tales of Prince Rhun ap Maelgwn in a short time to get you acclimated to heroic 6th century Prydain, and with this second book I introduce a new character to join him that I feel will be embraced and loved as much as the Prince. I just wanted to alert everyone that great and epic things are around the corner and they are fast arriving. 


I am already fast on the early and first draft of the third tale in the series 'A Perilous Pursuit' and it is rolling smoothly! The iron in the forge is smoldering and I must strike whilst it is hot. In these tales I plan to return to the old days of classic story-telling with fun, action packed stories, original and complex characters, dynamic plots and wonderful settings. The Beta Readers are eager for more and I am writing them as quick as I can! Book three, ideally, should be ready by late summer or early fall if everything goes to plan. I do not want to slow on my production and skill as an author.

Book four, 'Lord of Giants' will be next in line, and it is a doozy...


Monday, March 24, 2014

Codex Nordica, The Sullen Queen, Within a Dark Mountain and MORE!

I have been furiously writing as any writer/author should lately, even in the midst of my intense dental work schedule and other mundane world matters that intrude into my own plans. In the recent last few months I have written over 250,000+ words in content, all of which are being published in the next few months. I wrote so much that my laptop of barely two years suffered and perished in the process and had to be replaced, this is not an exaggeration or lie! Most are through Troll Lord Games and the rest in my new upcoming Celtic adventure novel series being introduced this summer. If you know anything about how my Codex Nordica Kickstarter went, it was a COMPLETE success bringing in at nearly 400% of what we needed and asked and this meant producing more content for the core Codex book, and write two adventure modules for it. I wrote 'Skallagrimr's Revenge' and 'Odin's Fury', the first two in the 13 part series planned that will be a linear campaign involving the Nine Worlds from Norse mythology. Using the Codex Nordica, the extra Kickstarter goodies it came with and the modules, the Castle Keeper can run an epic campaign unheard of in this genre. This is guaranteed!


In case you are wondering, the Codex Nordica has rolled off of the printers this week and will be going to the covers and binders and then be shipped out by early to mid-April! So be prepared for the Norse fun. I wrote this Codex in November of 2012 alongside its brother Codex, the Codex Germania, which is next in line later to be released. Also soon to be released is my next Celtic adventure module, the sequel to my award winning 'To King a King', the 'A Shattered Night'. It picks up right after the events in the last, even though it skips a beat to the Halloween module (Night of the Spirits) which will be released this October,and then resumes its place. 


In April, possibly late in the month I will publish and unveil my first Celtic adventure novel in my new series, the first book being called 'The Sullen Queen.' I wrote this in the Fall of 2013 and spent the last six months editing and revising it until it is now ready for release. It just lacks a cover, and that is being worked on now...in top secret! This series is labeled the 'Island of the Mighty Saga' and chronicles the early years of the mythical-historical Prince Rhun ap Maelgwn of Gwynedd on his rise to power in the 6th century. His many wild adventures in turbulent Britain during the Saxon invasions, Irish and Pictish raids and threats from the Otherworld, and the endless problems from his own peoples the Britons. To seal the deal, and because I believe in this project so much I am also releasing the second novel in the series barely a month afterwards! Part two, 'Within a Dark Mountain', continues his adventures and adds a new character to his story as well as prepares the saga for the epic events soon to come in the third installment 'A Perilous Pursuit'.  Of course I have spent most of my life researching this topic and have a Masters in Arthurian Studies, so I have a chance to dive in and go wild finally as an author in these tales. Before I never felt 'right' about doing it, as though my mountain of data was too much to reduce down to a novel, but I have found a way to translate it I believe.

My Beta Readers have said that it is better than Tolkien and hard to put down, so that is encouraging words to hear for sure! My style is somewhere between Tolkien and Lloyd Alexander for reference and at the same time something entirely different. The best way to know is to get a copy when the time comes and see for yourself! They will be available in print and in all eBook formats on amazon.com soon. Once they are I will post links, etc on here for all. 


My third Steampunk Horror novel, 'The Axis of Shadows' will FINALLY see publication from Damnation Books soon as well, possibly by May! I will have it proofed and sent to them very soon and then that will nearly conclude the series with one more story left in the works at 25% completed. Eventually I will complete this fourth novel and see it's end and then if the fan-base exists I will continue it, if not, I will move on gracefully and pursue my many other projects. It is the only way an artist can evolve is to adapt and not to linger and remain on old projects, or they will go stagnant. I DO have other terrifying horror projects, better ones, around the corner that will see the light someday...

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Codex Nordica is NOW alive on Kickstarter! Cast your oars and bids all...

Award winning, I have come from last year's Codex Celtarum to the next book in the series, the Codex Nordica, with vigor and the fury of the Northmen running in my veins. This book has perfected the design and layout and design I used in my first book and took it to a newer finer tuned level while revealing a new gamut of Nordic materials from history and mythology that would make any campaign explode with the unmistakable Scandinavian style and culture. 

On Kickstarter this book is now active with many stretch goals, each packed with really exciting goods and appropriate for the theme. Follow the link and take part and be there until the end in 32 days' time when it ends, we have grand surprises if all of the stretch goals are met by the end. If you have always wanted a Viking campaign that takes place in the Nine Worlds of myth and legend, and be able to play many unique character classes straight from Nordic culture and myth, this is your chance! 


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

DieHard GameFAN Table-Top Game Awards Are In!

The DieHard GameFAN Gaming Awards have been handed for 2013 and I placed in them, not once but twice! One was for my old pet project that was play-tested and worked on for over two decades in various incarnations and titles (Tir nAille, Tir na nOg, etc) and the other based off of one of my favorite Medieval Metal Songs of all time. So this was a double whammy of amazing! So...here it is and the link to the awards site as well. I guess this makes me an award winning writer now...

BEST OLD SCHOOL RENAISSANCE TITLE




The Codex Celtarum just might be my favorite Castles & Crusades release ever and considering I’ve been getting pieces here and there since first edition, that says a lot.Castles & Crusades had a fine year, with releases like To Kill a King and Tome of the Unclean, but I fell in love with the Codex Celtarum when it was released and it’s been hard to get out of my mind sense. The codex is part sourcebook and part campaign guide, but all masterfully done. The book is a one stop shop for all things Celtic Mythology-wise. Everything from creation myths to new character classes is covered here. It’s simply a fantastic piece and it can easily be used with other retro-clone system like Swords and Wizardry, Labyrinth Lord, Mazes & Perils and so on, with little to know work by the GM.

The Codex Celtarum one of the oldest and best OSR systems available. Whether you want to run a Celtic themed campaign in this or any other system, I can’t think of a better resource available to you than this book. Heck, even if you never plan to run a Celtic themed game, the Codex Celtarum is worth picking up and perusing simply to see how well written and organized the book is. Truly, this was not just the crown jewel in Castles & Crusades this year, but across all OSR games.

Runners-Up: Castles & Crusades: To Kill a King, Dungeon Crawl Classics #78: Fate’s Fell Hand.


BEST ADVENTURE (SOLO)


When it comes to Castles & Crusades, I tend to love the corebook books, but find the adventures lacking. Not so with To Kill a King. This was not only the best adventure I’ve seen written for one of the oldest D&D retro-clone systems out there, but it was by far the best adventure of the year. There was a lot of competition this year too. We could have easily done a top ten solo adventures for 2013 list and we still would have had to drop some favorites off. In the end To Kill a King won because it was the best stand alone adventure for your gaming dollar, as the adventure opens up enough subsequent story potential to let your GM turn this the fallout into a long running campaign. The adventure features some great writing, including covering all the ways the adventure can go completely off-rails. To Kill a King is pretty much prepared for all the choices the PCs could make and how to run the adventure accordingly. The majority of published adventures tend to really railroad characters into a set path and so it was refreshing to see how truly open ended To Kill a King could be, and doubly so that it was prepared for all the possibilities. It’s one of the best thought out adventures I’ve ever encountered and since it came out in July it really has been the litmus test for every other adventure I’ve played this year.

Besides the writing, it’s great to see an adventure that caters to both good and evil aligned PCs. After all, the title of the adventure does imply an assassination attempt and it’s wonderful to see an adventure where the Assassin class features so strongly in the game. I can’t remember the last time an Assassin PC got the chance to take center stage in a published adventure. Usually retro-clone pieces focus on warriors, mages and clerics. Again, the adventure can still be pulled off if you don’t have an Assassin amongst your PCs, but this is just another way To Kill a King was a breath of fresh air.

Even if you don’t play Castles & Crusades any fan of old school style systems should pick up this adventure just to see how it is written and/or laid out. To Kill a King is pretty much the gold standard for how to design a non dungeon crawl adventure for your D&D style games. Definitely take it upon yourself to see why.

Runners-Up: No Security: The Fall Without End, Deadlands Noir: The Old Absinthe House Blues.

Friday, January 10, 2014

A Shattered Night - Due SOON!




Castles & Crusades
F5 A Shattered Night
Product Type/Format & Price: 8.5 x 11 Saddle Stitched, 24 pages; $6.99
Ordering Info: TLG 8127, ISBN 978-1-936822-73-7

Ælfwic is a cold hearted Prince with designs on the royal blood of Penllyn. To this end he sent his brutes abroad to seize the Princess Gwerfyl and bring her to him. They stole into her castle and there overtook her guards and bore her off into the dark. She fought, but to no avail, for with them were strange magics and a haunt of weirdling power. Many followed the trail, taken up after a father’s desperate call, but few returned, and none with the Princess.

And she vanished into the east, prisoner of a Prince most foul, to lie in the dungeons of her captor, bereft of hope.

A Shattered Night is complex adventure of intrigue, and espionage. It involves a wild hunt across ancient forests to find the Princess. But once done, its no easy task to free her. The force of arms carries an adventurer far, but at times stealth and care carry them further. The game is afoot!

Set in a semi-historical mythical Post-Roman Britain, in the Mercia and the east Saxon kingdoms, A Shattered Night has a strong element of the faery-folk and druidic magic about it. This module can be easily placed in the Airhde world setting or any other with an easy change of names.

A Shattered Night is an adventure for 2-5 characters, of 4th-6th level.

(This module was inspired by one of my favorite songs 'Sixteenth Century Greensleeves' by Richie Blackmore's Rainbow, thus the title. If you listen to the lyrics well you can hear where I derived my own name...)



Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The 'Codex Nordica' is at hand!

This is the next-to-final draft for the cover of my next Codex. The name is officially 'Codex Nordica' and not as shown on the title on this draft however. As soon as I get the info on the Kickstarter, etc for the book I will post it here, with links and more.