Friday, May 5, 2017

My East Asian Connection - What It Means For Future Projects!



Having undergone some genetic testing with 23andme initially, after many, many years of wanting it, to verify my heritage and ethnic origins, and put many family stories to rest (i.e,. 'Korean Royalty', 'Coming from Ireland', etc), it was done. After a LONG nearly seven week wait, as my DNA sample was analyzed and then my Haplogroups were defined with my ancestry, to my horror and surprise I was scientifically defined. The joke is on me as I thought I was more of a 'Celtic' American but I am actually an Asian American, with the genetics to prove it! 



I grew up hearing that my Dad's side was Korean and royal but never believed it for many reasons: I never saw anything from it, never met anyone from that side, etc - ever. So for the last forty-five years, I really had no reason to think otherwise, in addition, I never met that side of my family but knew they generally lived in California (he was from there). After my genetic results, ALL of that changed. 100%. I have 13% East Asian origins, with a unique Haplogroup (and an ancestry of Mongolian, Japanese, Uzbek, Tibetan, Han and obviously Korean), and all from him. Then, using their 'Cousin Find' system, I was able to locate my long lost relatives and link up with my family and begin to piece together my Korean family tree a little. It was all true after all. 



We are descended from the Bak family that inspected the Emperor's Court and his Empire for corruption and weaknesses, and even further still back in time, we derived from the ancient Silla Empire or Dynasty. We also shared a past with the empire of Khitai and the Emperor Cao Cao in China. What our connection to Tibet is, I am not sure yet, but I am related distantly to the many peoples in the plateau that live there today. 



I ran my raw DNA data through many other genetic sites to get other results, and the end results were the same regardless. I did a lot of research to track down my Asian relatives and their past, and to know more, and every little amount of data continues to add up. As a young kid I trained in Martial Arts (Go-Jo Ru) and was almost a Black-Belt but my Dojo closed on me! I sought to run away to join a Shaolin monastery and dedicate myself to Kung-Fu, even learned the art of meditation, memorized the Tao. I didn't obviously run away to Tibet, I was only about eleven or twelve years old at the time. 



What all of this means is that my future Asian Codices will be even more in-depth and personal than envisioned before. There maybe three books, possibly four in the set for Asia, I am not sure yet. They will rival and do better than the old classic 'Oriental Adventures' AD & D book.  


Saturday, January 14, 2017

The 'Codex Celtarum - 2nd Edition' is Written!





At long last, and after spending nearly the recent 3-4 months writing, not counting the previous two decades (and more) of play-testing and the release of the 1st Edition and its award and success - the 2nd and FINAL Edition of the 'Codex Celtarum' is finished! It is the largest book I have ever written, being over 230,000 words in size, and packed with SO MUCH useful data, it will make gamers not know where to begin!


I put everything that I have promised and ever wanted from the beginning of this project into this book (within limits), and it is massive. There are so many monsters and faeries now, compared to the 1st Edition, it is a wondrous catalog of the mythic and folkloric Celtic mind through the ages. The new character classes are the actual 'Celtic Druid', 'Celtic Bard', and 'Celtic Seer', as titled, to differentiate them from the Fantasy versions. Obviously, these were originally Celtic ethnic occupations from Antiquity, and so now it is possible to play them with a mythic touch that was barely possible before in the 1st Edition.



The complete rules on Reincarnation, Ogam and more are in this tome, and the Faery Abilities, as originally intended. The Gauls, Galatians, Celtiberians and other Celtic peoples from the past are now all provided throughout this massive Codex, and their glorious glimpses into the Afterlife. There is less than 5-8% from the 1st Edition's content in this Edition, as it is a completely original and new book from cover to cover.


Next, I write the epic campaign adventuring book, 'The Island of the Mighty', as a companion to it and my many modules. It will take players on the legendary adventures alongside Arthur and his warriors, as they earn their place in his mythic warband in 6th Century Britain. Imagine many modules together in one book, broken into two parts, first working towards the 'Battle of Badon', and then the dreadful 'Battle of Camlan'. There will be nothing quite like it....