Wednesday, January 30, 2013


My 20+ year project 'Codex Celtarum', Celtic adventuring in the Otherworld of Faery is nearing the end of its Kickstarter with only three days to go and a stretch goal of $8,000 so close by (with pledges up to $7,387 currently)! The final edits and touches on this massive book are almost finished as well, and depending on the size of the pledge, LOTS of extras are included in addition to the main book, including a collector's edition with leather cover and so much more. Help us reach this goal and see that this can be released in a leather cover.

The exclusive module is 'A Sylvan Gambit', a plug and play adventure that involves an aggressive faery-forest, vengeful elf queen, divine spear, and island kingdom and so much more plucked straight from Celtic myth and legend.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

If you haven't 'Liked' Castles & Crusades Yet, Please Do!

Hit 'Like' on the Facebook page and raise the numbers to 1,000 tonight! Tell them I sent you from here, either by a post or message and if you are the 1000th see what happens! It will surprise you...

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Codices Celtarum et Germanorum

When I was asked if I could write the massive Codices for the Celts and Germans it seemed surreal. My academic specialties lie in Arthurian Studies with an emphasis on the 'real' historical era of 6th Century Britain, and on the Celts and Saxons of that time. The role-playing game 'Chivalry & Sorcery' was my original inspiration in finding those areas of study. They had a supplement out on the 'Barbarians' and I was always drawn to it, reading it deeply on the Celts section. Intuitively I was taken by the names of tribes, etc and it made sense to me. I knew I wanted to be somehow involved in that sort of thing someday. From the mid to late 80's I was beginning my personal studies in the field of the Celts and the Arthurian era, it was an obsession at first. I looked for anything 'Celtic', New-Age, General Reading, etc. I did not care, so long as it had the Celts as the subject matter.

By the early 90's my studies began to turn into real research and my academic side was emerging. Slowly I was able to step away from the outrageous claims and nonsense in the Pagan and New-Age books on the subject, and there were too many. Initially, it was Arthurian matters that drew me in. I went from that to a leap over into the druids and the pre-Christian Celts and then to language. It was mine-field though. Most books are rubbish and filled full of speculative garbage that is only 'correct' on the shallowest levels and they still are more than ever. To obtain actual factual data you have to delve deep and spend some money, because the basic rule I have noticed in my decades of Celtic studies is that: if the book is under $30 it is usually not worth the time or money and is superficially relevant.

Near the time I was graduating with my BA in History in 2001 from NWOSU my skill in finding and knowing my sources was finally at hand. It took a while, but it was needed for me to mature in my academics. Most people I have noticed just read (if even that) a few secondary sources, those books under $30, and assume they know the rest, filling in the gaps they don't know with their imagination and delusion. Celticism and Celticity, two concepts that 98% people who show some interest in the culture do not comprehend or even know, are crucial to understanding who the Celts are and were, past and present. 

I have heard some of the most outrageous claims and statements by people over the years regarding the Celts, but since the advent of the internet it has grown exponentially a million times over. I was able to separate fact from fiction in this field fairly easily and was happy that was the case, while most live in a fantasy world with the imagined Celts in their minds. After Undergrad school I was set on getting a Masters in the field of Celtic studies somehow, it didn't matter how or where I was going to do it. Otherwise, most people would not take my serious and fact based research at all and dip right into their delusional mindset.

In this search I found Prifysgol Cymru Llanbedr-Pont-Steffen and their new international Masters program of Arthurian Studies (Astudiaethau Arthuriadd) and by the summer of 2004 I was beginning in the program. Before I knew it I was flying through each module lightning fast, quicker than they even had the course material written for yet. This Masters was focused around the very area of my expertise, Arthur - the Celtic warlord of History and myth. Previously I have spent fifteen years studying in the field and this was my subject. 

To earn this wonderful higher degree I had to complete six modules. I could pick the subject (if it was finished and readied for study) and do one language option: Irish, Welsh or Latin. Logically I picked Welsh to perfect my knowledge of it since my skill was solely based on a handful of courses over the years and not that splendid. Before this I had learned Scottish Gaelic, Cornish (Unified/Unified Revised) and Irish Gaelic, but my Welsh was severely lacking. The final part of this graduate degree was a dissertation, and I chose to write mine on the alleged 'Prophetiae Merlini' since my other proposals were PhD material. 

In three and a half years I completed my Masters' work and was the first to graduate in the whole program worldwide with honors (Cum Laude) in July 2007. I do plan on going back to the University of Wales Lampeter and earning my PhD in Celtic Studies very soon to round out my studies, this time with an emphasis on another area of my specialities  - Celtic Gaul/Galatia. 

As a logical addition to my studies the knowledge of the Anglo-Saxons was implied since Celtic Britain was being invaded and taken over from the Germanic tribes out of Germany between the 5th and 10th centuries. This knowledge I earned on my own on the side to my primary Celtic research but it is equally as important. to know the Saxon opposition to the native Britons is only logical. Another side interest of mine is with the Gothic peoples and their language. The Goths were subjugated to the Celtic peoples in earlier times and had many traces of that period in their culture, a small fusion making them almost Celto-Germanic as a people. 

So my composition of the Celtic and Germanic Codices with Troll Lord Games does come with LOTS of academic validity and is not just out of pure fringe interest. To add to this I have been a teacher since 2002, first in Higher Education teaching Humanities, and now in the public school systems with an expertise in History/Geography and English. Know this summary of my academic expertise in this very subject and gaming history (going back to 1984) are here to ensure that what I write and design does come with decades of work behind them. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Codex Celtarum's Official Cover Preview

Cover (and interior) art by Peter Bradley, for more of his art and illustrations go to his website here.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Codex Celtarum Kickstarter!

Codex Celtarum Kickstarter! Join us at the Table once again! The Codex Celtarum should be print ready in the next few weeks, and to wrap this project up we've decided to launch it on Kickstarter. This is going to broaden our ability to bring it out as a hardcover book, something the entire series of Codices deserves. So join us and pledge/pre-order the package deal that most appeals to you! The Codex Celtarum has hundreds of new spells, monsters and monster abilities. Well see you in the feast hall!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Atlantica - Book Four in My Series.

I am aware that my writing schedule seems to be all over the place but I am busy, and with good things, for gaming and literary purposes. Taking a break from my Celtic Fiction projects (two to count), I am now returning to complete this next story in my ongoing series before part three comes out in March. This is my long unfinished fourth book in my Steampunk Horror series called 'Atlantica'. It is filled with intense action, gripping horror and complex conspiracies midst strange technologies and otherworldly plots. This book will conclude the first part of the Silent War series and prepare for the next four in the projected series that might be either 8 or even 12 books in length. 

Books one and two are out now with Damnation Books, these are 'De Civitate Sanguino' and 'The Vampire's Code' with the third part, 'The Axis of Shadows' due out this March! I see these books as the Steampunk equal to the John Carter series by Burroughs meets a little bit of the Death Merchant & Mack Bolan/The Destroyer, with espionage and action in the middle of a dark 19th Century setting hunting vampires or 'Blood & Thunder with Fangs'.

It is a nice and very familiar feeling to be working on the FOURTH novel in my Steampunk Horror action series. As I write them I am evolving them, in style, setting and in my very literary skills to compose them. The first in the series is not the strongest by far but it does get the ball rolling and opened up the gates for the others to follow. It has taken me these many books to see my project for what it is, it isn't a lurid, flowery Victorian drama with flowing gowns, fancy garb and stilted dialogue, but an action packed, gritty set of stories dealing with espionage and horror, with characters filled with personality and human failings. 

They face an old enemy, vampires, which have been generally handled in a very Bram Stocker-like manner by most writers since the time of his novel 'Dracula', but mine have been deconstructed back before the rise of the vampire that everyone takes for granted. It is the Old World meeting the new in these books, not the Victorian World only, or pure Apocalyptic Steampunk (as many are), but something else that ties in the mysteries of the Old (Atlantis, early scientific thought, and the origins of myths) with the new ideas and thinking of the 18th and 19th centuries. 

This fourth book will cement what 'The Vampire's Code' put in place, and hopefully open peoples' eyes to a new angle in this (now) tired genre of 'Steampunk' without the pretentiousness or common quasi-Victorianisms. I do not call these books by the trendy label but instead '19th Century Sci-Fi Horror' since the Victorian English aspect only enters into it in this present work I am doing. There is romance, but it doesn't dominate the stories, only plays a part in the many plots, and the technology is there but it isn't the sole reason to write these stories (as in some).

Give them a try, take your time on them and soak in my style (First Person) to gather where they are heading. Throw away all of your ideas about 'Steampunk' to start anew and do not compare these to the rest of the genre because it is not quite a part of the rest, but something else different...

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Gaming, Gaming and More Gaming!

Module # 6, 'A Shattered Night', a homage to one of my favorite medieval metal songs ('16th Century Greensleeves' from 'Blackmore's Rainbow') is now completed and sent to the Troll Lords. Just as swiftly I am now working on module # 7, 'The Idle Wizard', an adventure which calls to mind the many legendary 'plagues' that fell upon Celtic Britain from the myths and stars the mythical Wizard-King Idris Gawr from the realm of Meirionydd. What happens after this module I am not certain, if there are more in this series or not is up to the Head Troll, but if so, I am ready and able to write more original and unique adventures in a Celtic fantasy milieu.

The 'Codex Germanorum' is about 50% completed now and will be done soon, to fall into place right after the Celtic and Nordic codices in the next few months. It will interest gamers that next in line will be a codex that covers each Slavic, Native American, Classical and Japanese myths and cultures separately  These will be written down the line, and will take a while, but well worth the wait! 

In addition to this I am also writing and contributing to Flying Buffalo Inc's 'CityBook 8: Magicker's Way'. If you don't know who this company is, or what they are known for in the gaming scene go to for more info, they have been around in the gaming scene since the early 70's. I have several other gaming related contributions with other groups and companies on the horizon soon, but it is too early to mention them yet. Once I get the links for everything I will post them on here for you to see. 

2013 is my year for producing amazing projects and literature without a doubt!