A Resurgence of Gods

So it is time,

The 10th anniversary of my table top RPG New Gods of Mankind is around the corner. To celebrate, we will be working a kickstarter next ear along with a 2nd edition of New Gods of Mankind!

A new website is up now for your viewing pleasure.

Home

Some noteworthy things.

2nd Edition will streamline the rules with only 13 primary domains and several secondary domains (including the primary ones)

Miracles will be easier to cast.

Levels for Gods will be introduced.

You can play as god or hero.

A new campaign, Lions in the storm will come forth. This will be also titled the Great War of Naalrinnon.

The timeline will be sped up to 500 years in the future. Humanity has advanced and uses Natural gas along with steam engines. (Steampunk setting).

Overall it will be an exciting time. More details will be released in the monthly newsletters coming out. Sign up now at the website above.

I will be personally posting more here and on Niume. I just need to find a good subject to write about.

Take care,

Your Nerd,

Richard

 

 

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Writing History Books for Kids

So besides the novel still in edit hell, I have a couple of other projects I am working on. One is a bestiary for the New Gods of Mankind/ Anointed Table-top RPG. Something a friend recommended. I plan to see what I can do about the outlines. I have someone leading the project but I plan to insert my ideas and put a proper outline to it.

I am in contact with publishers overseas on a series of books for kids. The idea is to take world history and role-playing game mechanics to create a new way for kids to learn. The books and complexity would vary on the audience. But it would be an incredible endeavor and one I would happily take on. Turning ancient rome into something fun for kids to learn about is one of my many dreams.

With that said, I hope all of you will bear with me as this blog has been rather sparse in postings as of late.

More things will come around the corner as it becomes available. I will get back to posting here on a weekly basis soon.

Be well my fellow readers and geeks.

 

Richard

Not Dead Yet

Folks,

I apologize for not blogging as much as I normally do. My work is taking over my life right now as I learn a new skill set. I still plan to publish Dragon Gods Rising very soon. I need to finish my third edit and then set up the Lulu account. I believe a lot of you will love the story.

So I am going to share part of Chapter 1 here. I did finish a third edit and well I have neglected you.

Chapter 1

Her claws worked delicately setting up miraculous dragon trees made of peppermint herbs mixed with forest pine and birch wood. Each plant grew to a height well over ten meters tall and three meters wide with smooth, peeling bark protecting its meaty interior and sap. Long, grasping, widespread branches held peppermint leaves close to its trunk and pine needles at the ends. Slowly Draax cultivated and shaped each one to support the weight of a full grown dragon.

 

Nine total ringed a large clearing, with other, more normal trees protecting its location. A carpet of lush blue grass over ten centimeters tall decorated the setting. The Seeing Pond lay due south of their meeting ground with waters from the pool siphoned to this small meeting place. A small pool with vapors floating up from its surface lounged near the center of the gathering spot. Perpetual sunset ruled in the Herbal Gardens of Hate, Revenge and Trust, giving strange tints and qualities, sharp and stunning to each plant growing. A ring of nine hills with peppermint herbs growing on it ringed the Seeing Pond, dotted by more pine and birch trees. The Dragon God of the Boiling Seas worked her fingers, cultivating the earth, making sure her small meeting place was ready for her pantheon of disagreeable deities. Several chosen souls from her heavenly realm guard the outer hills which ringed the trees, keeping straying wraiths and hate-filled souls at bay. Two of her chosen dead council, vision priests, sat near the private seeing pool at the center, ready to show places and people in the steam rising up from the water.

 

Careful work and planning went into this meeting. It was not often all nine dragon gods gathered. It would be a first for them all to gather at her request since the War of Elementals. She wanted everything perfect. Draax went up in her serpentine form to one of her salamander vision priests. “Show me a true current reflection of my incarnation. I need to make sure I am properly groomed.”

 

“As you wish my goddess.”

 

The steam slowly showed her form incarnate within the Celestial Garden. A serpentine dragon, with folded wings and long sinuous arms and legs looked back at her. Beautiful, iridescent aquamarine scales covered her body, capturing the sunset’s eternal light here. Dark, electric plum eyes stared back at her with yellow slits, brimming with fire. Delicate fronds covered her long neck made of silver blue. Her long snout held a perfect symmetry and her two prominent fangs rested on her lower jaw slightly. Deep blue claws covered in an iridescent coating retracted and expanded. Draax knew her beauty for this meeting could not be matched. She worked hard preparing for each god and their personality. Her quips and barbs matched the temperament and mood of each dragon. She had spent seasons having internal arguments, playing Fate, playing the role of one of her rivals, twisting logic, making sure everything, every thought was covered.

 

Draax had nothing to lose and everything to gain at this meeting.

 

A puff of ink black smoke circled around a miracle tree, spiraling along the slender trunk. A dragon, slender and long, with obsidian black iridescent scales and shadow black eyes formed from the smoke and curled along the supple branches. Star-like lights twinkled in and out along her body, giving the impression part of the skies above came down to rest in a dragon’s body. A small sigh escaped her snout with a puff of smoke. “Ah Draax, you created the miracle dragon trees again. A wonderful choice. The mix of plants soothes me, yet fills my thoughts with passions. Do not think for a moment I am ignorant of your motivations and plots. I can see your plans. I know things even Fate can only speculate about.”

 

“Kanos, Dragon God of the Fires above, I would not presume to tell you anything. If you see my plans and you are here, then obviously you approve. Your presence honors me and confirms my beliefs that you will stand by my side. I need your support.”

 

“Oh and support you shall have. We all came into existence when the invaders began to destroy this world. United we drove those parasites from our home. We are all brothers and sisters, united in creation. Yet we fight. For we are passionate people.”

 

“Salamander passion and desire is what this world needs. The Undines can only muster enough will to defend what is theirs or kill for food. We consume, we devour, we exploit and we grow. Salamanders are not content with the status quo. My plans match the will of our people. You must see that.”

 

“Draax, I see your ambition as well. The seas will belong to you. Yet this serves the greater good. For too long we have settled for a stasis. Some will call the years golden but I will call them static, a pause in our unification of the world. The war between husband and wife, Celundynn and Plthunlos will serve to be a great catalyst.”

 

“Indeed great goddess of the stars.”

 

“Oh your words are so much honey laced with poison.”

 

“Why thank you lady.”

 

Another dragon god arrived, shaking the ground on impact, grinding claws into the rich soil, shredding the grass. A mighty serpent, covered in bright reddish bronze scales and gold trimmed claws roared into the skies above. Muscles underneath the scales rippled in a pure flexing show of masculinity and prowess. Xenthi, Dragon God of the Flaming sky quickly dashed to where Draax chatted with Kanos. An oversized golden claw gripped her body in one swift, violent motion, talons pressing into the scales of the female dragon’s neck.

 

Draax already mentally prepared for this reaction. She remained calm and composed even with his hot breath in her face. Xenthi was so much fun to provoke and make up with. She started fights with him just for the make-up sessions of hot steamy sex. Xenthi boiled over like hot water and soon calmed down when the winds changed. All smoke and fuss. He played right into her hands every time. She smiled as his grip threatened to rip her head off.

 

“You dare summon me! After the quick departure and hiding. We are supposed to marry and create offspring! Instead of exchanging vows you went into some despicable pit, running from our love.”

 

“Lust my dear, lust. Never confuse love with lust!”

 

“It is the same! We have urges and we both want to see new gods for our people.”

 

“I believe the operative term is ‘you’ not ‘we’.”

 

“Insolent and beautiful. Cunning and desirable. Why did you leave my side?”

 

“I needed time to think.” She licked at one of her claws, grooming her hands in a delicate way.

 

Xenthi removed his large claw from her neck. A golden eye surveyed her form. His tongue flickered looking for scents. “One should not think as much as you do. But you are a complicated creature. It might be why I desire you so much.”

 

“It could be.”

 

“Be wary of what you say today. I will find a good tree and curl around it, waiting for the others. I need to commune with my chosen on the mortal realm. I shall leave my form on this tree and come back to it when the meeting starts. Summon my attention then.” Xenthi curled his muscular form around a tree and closed his eyes. He turned his eyes back towards the mortal realm, leaving the conjured form only partially aware of what was going on.

 

A moment passed after Xenthi curled around his tree. From nowhere the presence of a mountainous dragon, earthy dark brown scales with lumps of black volcanic rock stuck on his form, appeared. Red lava eyes peered out from a rectangular head. Huge claws with black, dull talons dug deep into the earth. The dragon sniffed the air.

 

“Ah, miracle dragon trees, my favorite smell. Fresh and full of vigor, much like our people. Too bad it lacks common sense.”

 

“Xethalchoate, my favorite debate sparring partner. How good to see your huge, hulking form.”

 

Draax relied on his calculating, yet generous mind. Xethalchoate had heart, but his goals remained selfish as ever. He would only cooperate if he saw an advantage. But sometimes his help could be won if she played the sympathy card.

 

The dragon moved up to the tallest of the trees, which was obviously meant for him. The giant dragon boomed, “My bulk is about as thick as Xenthi’s wit. I reflect the thick headedness of my brother in form.”

 

Xenthi opened one glaring golden eye, “I hear your ill words Brother.”

 

“Yes and you still have no clue on how to respond except by violence.”

 

“I will refrain until this meeting is at end. Then you will face my wrath.”

 

“Why can’t I face your intelligent banter or ingenious ideas? Maybe because you have the brain of a forest giant, filled with sticks and always in pain about something.”

 

Draax looked over at Xethalchoate, “Now is not the time to exchange words. Rest your frame on the tree I made for you. The meeting will start soon.”

 

“If this will benefit our people I am all ears, Lady of Storms.”

 

“Indeed it will, Dragon God of the Fires Below.”

 

Gleaming armor flashed into existence, bright steel glowing with the eternal dying sun, giving off red and orange colors mixed with the bright steel color of the forge dragon Moorhanos. The salamander god, smaller than even Kanos, looked impenetrable in her suit of scaled armor made from her forges. Unlike her counterparts she stood on her hind legs. Her tail she used for balance and twin fang-like swords hung from her belt around her waist. Slender arms, long with delicate fingers reached out and held the pommels of her resting swords. Swirling flame patterns danced on steel armor. Moorhanos looked the part of a might salamander warrior except for the dragon head and golden cloak on her back. On top of her head rested a single gold band with a glass monocle attached to it. The monocle fell down across her left eye. She defied her kindred’s desire to transform into a dragon. Moorhanos enjoyed the scientific advancement of her priests as well as the might of her finest warriors.

 

Draax decided to belittle the forge goddess’s ego, keeping her in check but giving her a sense of worth at the same time. “The paladin returns to us. Oh mighty paladin of the forge, what wonders will you create today? Will you create for us a mechanical back scratcher?”

 

“Save you pandering for someone who cares Draax. I am here at the request of our most respected sister Kanos. My steel and inventions ride on your ships, but I also know you are not to be trusted. Only my weapons and constructs can be fully trusted.”

 

“But came you did. Are you still mad about the gnomes stealing your secret to folding steel over 100 times?” Draax eyed her sister.

 

“Do not think for a moment I have forgotten. I believe one of your spies gave up the information before death, is that not right? Somehow you stole the secret, wrote it down and traveled to the Crater of Lugos only to be ambushed…”

 

“By the Khoro Dhonil.”

 

“Yes those insufferable assassins the gnomes use. They bury like moles and pop out at the most inconvenient time. I will kill every gnome in existence if I have to in order to get my secrets back.”

 

“And I will gladly help you do this, but first we have more immediate aims.”

 

“The Undines?”

 

“Yes Moorhanos, Dragon God of the Melting Ore. We will have our revenge but we must wait for everyone else to appear. I set aside a tree especially for you.”

 

“I see you set up our favorite trees with a carved seat. Very thoughtful sister. You have my attention. For now.”

 

“Thank you dear sister. I promise not to waste anyone’s time. This is my word and my people’s word.”

 

Sounds of old leather wings flapped in the air. Several books fluttered downward, landing with a small thud. Scrolls appeared from nowhere in an empty miracle dragon tree next to where Tukono’s books landed.

 

A smaller dragon god arrived following the books dropped to the group. Her thick wrinkly hide covered her frame with scales brittle and frail. Moldy large black and green wings flapped twice and landed near the tree she marked with her scrolls. White tufts of long hair stuck out on her large neck and wizened head danced in the celestial breeze. Yellow, ancient claws dug slowly into the ground. The old dragon rose and curled around her marked tree slowly. Green eyes with yellow slits, full of intelligence, glared at Draax.

 

Draax knew her old form was an act. She hid her true powers behind her frailty. Tukonos desired knowledge in all of its sacred and profane forms. She would only give her so much, less she become gluttonous. Just enough would she feed her to keep her interests.

 

“Am I in the right area for this auspicious gathering?”

 

“Yes sister. Your books and reading are making you old. I know you wish to record this event for our people. But I have yet to understand where you stand, Tukonos, Dragon God of the Searing Thought.”

 

“I stand as always, for tradition and rule of law. I stand for our people and for our ways when we first strode the earth, cleansing the filthy invaders from our soil, destroying them. Rumor has it the invaders have been recreated once more! This will not stand!”

 

“I have heard the rumors as well. I will speak of this during our meeting. Please be patient Tukonos, my dear sister. I have much to speak on besides this new creation.”

 

“Undines will be our focus?”

 

“Yes sister they are. You will understand more once my speech is complete.”

 

A loud clash of symbols echoed through the meeting area. Everyone looked to see who appeared. Standing near the small seeing pool, a large salamander warrior with a dragon’s head stood in fully detailed brass armor, form fitted and molded in flames. A huge double edged sword clung to her back, with a large cross guard, well over two men tall. Dragon runes covered the sword and everyone felt its power.

 

“Good to see you again Draax,” spoke the armored warrior.

 

“Our houses remain allies and all is well, Thaminx Dragon God of the Burning Earth.”

 

“So why have I been summoned here? Do we wish to discuss some strategy to destroy our hated enemies? Undines? Gnomes?”

 

“Yes sister. Your strategies and tactics are always needed. I will share the news first with everyone, then we can convene to plot and strategies with those willing to offer suggestions.”

 

“If it involves rending flesh and ripping off Undine heads I will be there, Thaminx,” Xenthi interjected.

 

“You have no tact as always brother. But we can always use you and your followers at the front lines.”

 

“Where else would I be? Hiding in some cave, planning, not doing anything?”

 

“I strike with my sword Kelhandros and my mind. I choose when and where. You have no such discretion and no clue how to win a war! You can only win battles with brute strength. You have no strategy and your tactics consist of brute force. You still remain the ignorant oaf.”

 

“Sister, brother, please! We will all find a way to fit in and vanquish our enemies.” Draax groomed her claw nervously. “We must maintain order her until I am finished announcing the news.”

 

“You have delayed long enough Lady of Storms. Speak the news NOW! So I may leave.” Xenthi puffed a large flame into the sky.

 

“WE MUST WAIT FOR TWO MORE, LOVER.”

 

Xenthi eyed her questionably, the last statement struck home.

 

She played him like an old reed flute. With ease.

 

Draax smiled her sweetest grin just for Xenthi.

 

“Very well we shall wait my sweets.” He curled up on the tree once more with his muscular form.

 

An empty miracle dragon tree filled with a smoky serpent form. Slowly the shape wrapped around the tree, quietly. Only Draax and her keen senses spotted her first. Draax projected a thought instead of speaking for the group to hear.

 

It is good to see you sister. I see you have chosen another form.

 

“I wish to only stay for the announcement sister. I have other things to take care of. Missions of mercy and deceit.”

 

“Mercy and deceit often do not go hand in hand.”

 

“Oh yes they do Lady of Storms. You can take what you are doing to poor Xenthi now. I have done as much before. I just know how to really get in and out of his embrace. I love the feel of his muscles bulging against me. But I am sure you know this as well.”

 

“Sharing the same Dragon has never been my intent. But I have other aims Maathenos.”

 

“So I see. I would like to meet with you after your second meeting with the Lady of Battle is over.”

 

“I can arrange that, Dragon God of the Burning Moon.”

 

“Yes I would like that.”

 

A savage roar announced the last Dragon God’s arrival, shaking trees and moving the very bodies of each dragon present. A huge, mottled dust brown dragon appeared in the center. Oversized claws and fangs gleaming white grasped at the green earth. She roared again and everyone saw her. Wild reddish orange eyes glared at everyone challengingly. No one ever took up the challenge. Even Xenthi with several battles under his belt against her did not feel up to her willingness to bring war into this garden area.

 

“Sister, it is good you arrived.”

 

“I would rather be roaming out desert home of Arablis.”

 

“I thank you for your presence. Kalamandi Dragon God of the Flaming Spirit. I will not take long.”

 

“Speak, worm.”

 

Draax addressed everyone from her own tree which she now curled around. Everyone had a tree. Kalamandi found the last tree and scratched at the trunk with her claws, waiting in frustration.

 

“This meeting is a unique one. Not since the days of the War of the Elementals have we gathered. Our personalities have evolved. Our people have grown. But we have a hunger. For we are Dragons and we are ever hungry.

 

“We want to bring an order to this world. Something we have lacked. This order would be ruled by us. We will bring our values and our way of life to every place, every corner of this planet. Dragon values and Salamander ways. Our heaven right here on earth. The fittest will survive of each and every species. There will be no weak link.

 

“The two remaining gods of the Undines, Celundynn and Plthunlos, fight with each other. We have all witnessed their fighting. But like myself we wondered why?

 

“I know this answer. And it come from our original enemy. The Invaders.

 

“After we destroyed the floating city of Ar-Indurr for their violation of our sea treaty, it started a chain of events even we could not predict.

 

“Plthunlos went mad with grief from this battle. He brought the Invaders back to our world in a similar, yet new form. They are called Humans.”

 

Several Dragons gasped. A few stared intently at Draax.

 

“We know Fate intervened in this and fooled Celundynn. This started the war between the two. She killed his physical form twice. He hunted down her followers while losing his followers in droves. Plthunlos turned into a creature Fate called a Leviathan. Even after his physical defeats he came back stronger than before. Plthunlos feasted on other Undines’ fears. Plus he used these new humans to lead raids on his wife’s ships and ours.

 

“Our secret enemy are these humans, created by Plthunlos who sabotage our ships and interrupt our trade. This is why House Draax cannot deliver on time.

 

“We must turn the tables on this.

 

“I propose we find all humans, bring them to our cities and make them into our servants, our slaves to sabotage for us.

 

“We must hunt down all humans.

 

“Now the second part of this will be simple. We will gather our armies and march against the strongest city the Undines have. We will crush Celundynn and her followers at the city of Jaash. We will conquer Jaash and subjugate all to our rule. The world of Naalrinnon will belong to us, the Dragon Gods and their humble follower the Salamanders. Humans will be to the Salamanders what they are to us, the children of fire. Salamanders will lord over all this world and destroy all those who stand in our way. Even the gnomes will have to bend a knee to our might. These two first steps will lead us down a path of glory. For all of us.”

 

Draax looked across the pool to each and every god. They silently waited for more words. She had their undivided attention.

 

“With you, my brothers and sisters we will rise up and bring our order to this world. United as one pantheon!”

 

Every dragon roared into the sky of the Celestial Garden. The whole celestial garden shook with their mighty, collective roar.

 

This book will see the light of day by end of summer.

What Cha Working On Boss?

Hey everyone,

I wanted to let you know that yes, I am busy. Things are pretty hectic and I wanted to give you a brief update.

Currently still working on Salamanders of House Draax sourcebook for Anointed: Mantle of the Gods and New Gods of Mankind. This will bring one House and society of the Salamanders to life. Since Draax is the Dragon God of the Boiling Seas, expect to see the salamander version of marines to fight. Here is some stats for you to chew on.

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I am testing out these marines and the whole house with a great group of gamers including Sean over at https://heavymetalgm.wordpress.com/ I appreciate them putting up with all the new content while I work it out for publication.

Also a second book with detailed career paths, domains and powers filled out will be coming too. Currently working on a Witch Anointed Character and adding in some cool, low level Cantrips as a single power to work within the system.

Speaking of new stuff.

Currently working on a card game called Giants of Klundynn. It is a 2-4 player game where each player takes turns as a Giant with an army of elite smashing another player’s village and followers. Four types of decks will be in the game: Ogres and Humans, Trolls and Orcs, Minotaurs and Beastmen, Behemoths and undead. The whole game is meant to feel like you are wrecking total devastation like in a Godzilla movie.

Playtesting happening soon.

Still waiting for edits and proofreading on the novel, Dragon Gods Rising. I plan to release the novel in June.

I will be running lots of Demos on @roll20 or live in San Antonio at your local game shop.

Going to find a few things to write about this weekend for sure. Expect a couple of nice blog posts.

Catch you guys later.

 

 

Professional Nerd Bastard

Hey readers,

I just wanted to share some pretty cool news. I am now a part of the Nerd Bastards team. Cool right? I will be blogging my heart out three to four times a week for them. I am super excited about this. It gives me a chance to showcase my talent on a bigger stage.

Darth-Fanboy

Right now I have three pieces up on their site.

Here

He-Man Resurrects as a Kids Reality TV Show

Here

Brand New Character Posters for ‘Warcraft’ Show Off Their Best Poses

And a Featured Post about Star Wars here

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Let’s Acknowledge The Unspoken Character of ‘The Force Awakens’

Enjoy as I will be posting much more from this website. Novel coming out soon!

Dragon Gods Rising: World of Naalrinnon Book 1

Dragon Gods Rising Cover 1 Small

Artwork by Pay Loboyko

So, I have my second novel done in first draft. Currently beta readers/ proof readers are looking over the work making sure I do not contradict myself. Or horribly break the rules of the English language.

Dragon Gods Rising is the final name I am sticking with. It will be the book following Mad God’s Gambit (a short story you can find here). It is one heck of an adventure and this book is something I have worked on internally for many years.

Writing this novel took courage. I did not feel I could do it. Heck, I had to write another novel first. But it will be on Amazon as a KDP select book.

What is this new book about? Dragon Gods. The beginning and struggles of Humanity on Naalrinnon. The conflict of Elder Gods and elemental species. A look at hope and despair. Dealing with power given to a reluctant ruler. That sums it up for now.

On the front cover is a brash and bold Dragon God, Xenthi. He fights within the city of Jaash during the Battle of Dragons, a major event at the end of the book.

A full teaser write up coming soon.

5 Tips on Improvisation

The art of improvisation. An act of instantaneous creation straight from your mind. Swirling thoughts cohering into a pattern of comprehensible story. Ever wonder if you could sling out a game right out of your posterior?  Craft a great story right onto your document? With no outline or formulated script?

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Improvisation is something everyone can do. I firmly believe humans can craft wonderful things with little time. Everything goes into preparation for improvisation. Below I will give you some pointers on how to make things on the fly and be a true improve master.

Have the urge. First you need the fire to create. It has to be a 24 hour machine, never turning off. Never let it go out. People will try and put you down. Many people hate seeing others succeed. Friends and family may dislike or even shun what you do. Never let someone else dictate what you want to do. We all have a role to play in society and our parents and family should be encouraging us to be the best we can be. Too often a creative soul will die in childhood because their parents want them to be a doctor or lawyer. Nothing wrong with either profession, but if your talents lie in the field of creativity, you need to stoke the fires and keep them burning. Often when the urge to create dies out, we decay and die, from the inside. Get that urge to create and keep it going.

This point is crucial. You cannot be a top chef without quality ingredients. For storytelling in novels or TTRPG games you need to read great material. This point is subjective of course. But usually you can find a consensus on what material is good and what sucks. Find great works of literature and read, read and READ. William Shakespeare’s plays contain an excellent source of material for all types of storytelling. More modern examples such as Neil Gaiman, Clive Barker and Anne Rice can show you a whole new world. It is OK to take a little from here and some from there. There is nothing “new” under the sun. But there are endless combination.

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For role-playing games even improvisation needs preparation. You should know the book and have many references on hand. Read the game master’s guide several times. Have tons of NPC stats on hand and random events. Know your world. This is obvious, but picking up an adventure at the hobby shop and playing that night takes a lot of skill and practice. This thought leads me to…

Lots of practice and failure. Do not fear failure. A majority of people who succeed in life do so out of blind luck or a crap-load of failures. Improvisation is a talent and a mindset. You must develop it. Start off by working with understanding friends. Or get your pet to be your audience. Most importantly get the urge out. This goes back to number one, stoking the fires of creation. You need to let out the flames and feed it more wood. So what if your cat complains about you storytelling. Figure out why and try again. The beauty of life is there is a tomorrow. You can try again.

Be fearless. This is not the same as being reckless. Or lacking the knowledge of fear. It is seeing the cliff, but knowing you have a glider. To be fearless you must know fear, consume it and then expel the feelings. Leave the feeling behind and bring forth your true self. When you tell the story, share your thoughts, do so in a way that is fearless. Get past the butterflies and swallow them. Once you start the first line, say the first lyric, sing the verse the noise of fear will dissipate. Never let it consume you. To be fearless it means action. Plan on taking the first step. Concentrate on it.

Learn how to flow with events and actions. Every writer and story teller should be a student of life. Watching events unfold should be one of your many pastimes. Absorb great prose and watch how great writers unfold events. See actions as artwork. The dancer and the illustrator both make rhythmic movements. Learn to see the patterns in all. Know that  notes made on a guitar form patterns like that of a great novel. Our thoughts make more sense in coherent patterns. In fact people get great satisfaction in identifying reoccurring themes. We are the worlds best pattern-recognition machines and we gain pleasure from seeing the rhythm around us. When you create a game or story there is a pattern you need to see and grok. Be able to see several endings for your characters. Know sometimes life can be random. But there is a way to tie characters into the action of your devised plots without railroading the idea. Create backgrounds, tribes and stories for your characters. Play on them. Incorporate their lives into the story you want to tell. When the Tome of Horrors becomes a resting place for a character’s dead uncle, the group will go there and not ignore all that hard work. Find a pattern in your story. Work it and harmonize it with the other elements.

SImprov

The final key to creating a wonderful improvisation story is vision. Being able to understand your players and the goals you have will enable you to incorporate all sorts of plot elements and events. Allow for random individuality. But hold on to your final goal. If your characters are drifting from the story you set down find out why. Usually the goals you have are not tied directly to the players. Bring emotion to your game. Give the players a reason to care about your dungeon holding a dragon within. Tie your characters to the end goal and ensure the knots you create will not come apart.

Beta Readers Wanted Dragon Gods Rising

Interested in my writing? Don’t mind signing an NDA? Then email me bphophix@gmail.com and I will send you a first draft of Dragon Gods Rising, my next book coming out soon after you sign the NDA.

I am trying to gather more ideas to include in the novel and I want to hear from you. Once a consensus or trend pops up from various comments I will act to create the second draft.

If you need some background on it, feel free to download and read the prequel Mad God’s Gambit here 

More background can be found in the RPG New Gods of Mankind.

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Sharing The World of Naalrinnon

Lately, I am throwing out posts about my game world New Gods of Mankind in small chunks. Why? Because I am writing novels about it and additional supplements FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE. This is a work I want to share with the whole world and this tiny blog here can expose portions of my creation to people all over the internet. I have worked on developing this world since 2005 so it has had time to mature. At first I called it The Known World. Now it has a name, Naalrinnon. But that does not even begin to cover the spirit world where all the true action lies.

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Artwork by Frank Walls

Next week I will post up Chapter 1 of Dragon Gods Rising, a novel based in the New Gods of Mankind world. It will be exclusive to Amazon for some time. With this in mind, I am happy to post short stories of older material sitting around.

I feel this work is something I will continue to do for a long time. Maybe someday it will get a huge audience. Then I will have more issues to deal with.

I dislike talking about my personal life and I leave it off the table even here. I do what I must to survive. I would appreciate it if you bought once of my books. Trust me, verbal gratitude would not even begin to say what I feel inside.

Go here http://www.rpgnow.com/browse/pub/2167/Dark-Skull-Studios

Interview here https://www.smashwords.com/interview/Bphophix

My first novel on Amazon here http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0159RNIT8

Yes, everything I write ties into the world I created. So I hope you like these posts. There will be many more to come.

 

Champion of Morgis

Salamander Scout Small

Lysandra climbed the steep hill, pounding her feet into the dirt. Determination and anger gripped her visage, a countenance of holy wrath.

She could see the summit now, a circular tower made of gray stone, cushioned on a large red hill poking out of a yellow plain of grass, a huge stack of wood beside the structure. As the sun set, the tower caught rays of the fleeing sun, turning the tower and the dead bodies strewn around its base blood red. Lighting the timber was her goal, a signal fire ready to ignite and warn allies of her god, Morgis.

Scaly watchers protecting the signal tower spotted her black helm and midnight cloak marching up the hill like an oncoming black storm. The Four guards, salamander warriors, dressed in scout leathers, guarded the strategic point from anyone who would dare light the fire. The watching enemy moved to intercept her.

Lysandra, anointed champion of Morgis came to harvest them, for they were weeds choking life in her god’s realm.

Near the top of the hill, she jumped, over thirty feet into the air, short spear cocked back, body coiled, snarling in fury, ready to throw.

They stared at her, calmly with meat cleaving swords raised, shields at their side. One cocked an arrow into a shiny, red metal crossbow.

Mankind had warred with the Salamanders since the first human stepped foot on the known world. Salamanders are descendants of fire spirits, two legged lizard-men, who worship dragon gods and believe in their manifest destiny to rule the world.

Air split, creating a small thunderclap behind the cast of her spear. Birds flew from nearby brush; red dust kicked up in the air. Lysandra finished her throw pointing her hand right at the dead scout whose forehead was pierced and nailed to the ground. Quickly she cocked back another spear as she landed on her feet. Battle lust entered Lysandra’s body in waves of pleasure, consuming her will, heightening instincts.

The Salamander archer fired her barbed, red tip arrow. She dropped down on scaly haunches to reload.

The black cloaked champion dodged to the left, spinning to gain momentum for the spear throw. The arrow hit her fore-arm; blood welled up like water in the desert from the wound. Thunder roared again as her spear flew to its target another warrior charging with shield and sword. Red dust blew across the top of the hill; pieces of wood from the signal pile fell down. Her spear pushed the enemy back to the tower, impaling it on the outer wall, through the right eye socket.

A wicked grin split Lysandra’s face. She pulled her sword, an enchanted short blade made by her god. Runes carved in the sword pulsed with power, her lord named this weapon, Morgis’ Paw for it could swipe down a herd of cattle in a single blow. Lysandra’s eyes blazed yellow under eyebrows furrowed in concentration, ready for the next move. Moving forward quickly she struck from the right side at the third guard.

The lizard warrior met her blade with a snarling hiss. “You will die here flesh slave” he yelled “And I will make sure to eat your corpse!”

She pushed him back with a kick. He lost his footing and threw up his shield. Lysandra followed the stumbling movement with an overhand chop, shining bright with her sword. On his back the warrior dropped the sword and braced for the blow.

A bright light filled the area, blinding everyone, except Lysandra. Thunder followed immediately and the red hill vibrated, sending ripples into the grassy plains.

From chest to groin the salamander warrior was cut, shield shattered, exposing steaming guts and cauterized flesh. He looked at her one final time and expired.

Lysandra looked up to see the last Salamander scout kneeling with a kill shot.

They locked eyes for a second, looking into each other’s soul. Death brings men closer than life ever will.

Lysandra saw courage in her eyes, an unflinching iron will ready to do whatever her god and commander wanted. She could identify with this as she was dedicated, body and soul, to Morgis’ will. Respect came to Lysandra for the creature’s dedication to duty.

She noted the salamander’s wide grin, bigger than her cohorts. Was that contempt? Or the sheer joy of killing? The grin turned to a sneer. Contempt washed over Lysandra from the lizard woman, in waves of pure disregard for other life. Humans were merely cattle to her. Hate boiled up inside. How dare she put her race above everyone? Time for this bitch to die.

She moved, quick as lightning, launching into the air. The scout was just as quick, letting off her shot.

The arrow met Lysandra midway, punching her armor into the meat of the shoulder. This did not stop her. With both hands she held her sword close to her right side by her hip. Near the warrior she let the blow fall, a power thrust straight to the throat.

Light pierced the sky, thunder shook the air and earth. Half of the wooden pile fell to the ground. A few pieces of brick crashed off the tower.

The last salamander’s head rolled down the hill, gathering dust. Her corpse dropped to the ground on the hill, twitching in death throws.

Lysandra landed behind the decapitated remains, shoulder intact, throbbing. She still felt the heat of battle lust coursing through her veins. The anointed champion made a quick hand gesture. Flames came forth quickly, engulfing the remaining wood pile. She ripped the head of the arrow off the shaft sticking in her back. Agonizing pain ripped through her body. She pushed the arrow back through the wound. More pain. In a haze of numbness, she took a wooden log, hot with embers from the fire and cauterized the wound. Sleep took her finally as the sun set in the yellow fields.

In the twilight of the evening, Morgis, King of Man, Lion-Headed Savior of all Humanity, Conqueror of the twelve tribes of Raanon incarnated on earth and picked up his anointed one. She smiled and fell into a deeper sleep, cradled in the arms of a god.

Written by Richard Leon