Bevulf staggered out of the kitchen, walked as far as the budding apple tree, and collapsed with his back against the trunk’s south side so that he could face the sun. Skild was some dozen paces beyond him in the yard, prone on her back in the greening spring lawn, gulping the air as if she hoped to taste the sunlight in it. Bevulf had to admit he didn’t feel much different, though he hoped he was hiding it better. He held up a hand. It trembled ever so slightly. Inside, aftershocks from his ordeal raised his blood and constricted his organs. Never had he felt as powerless as he had just a moment ago, when the idle will of another had frozen him in his tracks, enervated him despite his every nerve and muscle and tendon straining to move. That had been the most terrifying thing; it diminished the force of the images of his dead parents, images of his mother and his father both fallen and frozen on the Field of Winter Blight but, in this nightmare vision, still somehow alive, trapped and frozen as Bevulf had been just a moment before, cursed to remain conscious always and always suffering from cold but somehow never able to move. Bevulf was ashamed that his own misfortune was more terrifying than the imagined ones of his parents. Continue reading
In the kitchen, Nanny looked up from her stitching. As she had earlier, Skild noticed Nanny’s eyes flicker towards the bolted cellar door. The steward knew something. “What’s down there?” Skild asked.
Nanny sighed and rested her stitching on her expansive lap. “Nothing good,” she said. “That’s all I can tell you.”
“Is that why you keep it bolted?” Eirvit was at her sister’s elbow. “The bolt has no lock. You’re not trying to keep children out, but something in.”
“Whatever’s down there cannot be kept in nor out,” Nanny said. “The bolt is symbolic only.” Continue reading
Some more words of introduction:
I’m not sure how best to present these materials. Recently I returned to fantasy roleplaying, after a hiatus of more than ten years. There have been two gaming watersheds in my life: in middle school and the first part of high school and in my early twenties, when I first started having children. Perhaps during the latter period I began to feel my age and felt the need to re-experience what brought me most joy in life. That may be true again, as I recently have fathered yet one more child. Besides my new age, location, and gaming community, what I have noticed is most different about my GMing style now as compared to my last experience is the level of preparation I’m bringing to the game. In short, before I used to prepare hardly at all. I worked with no established campaign world, but just let the world reveal itself through the stories that I happened to spin during adventures. This time I not only find myself working within a campaign world but writing thousands of words in preparation for my game sessions in what amounts to something, in appearance, quite similar to published gaming materials. I therefore have decided to share these materials here, in addition to the fiction that I will be writing in tandem with the events of my campaign. Continue reading
As I have said elsewhere, though I had been intrigued by Pathfinder for some time and had purchased a number of materials, I didn’t finally get a game going until one of my sons motivated me one Sunday morning to bring all my materials down to River Quest Games and see if we could get some more interest. The night before, my son had convinced El Gibbs to join us the next morning, but in truth I felt that her agreement had been one of best intentions and that we actually wouldn’t see her the following day. I was wrong: we saw her, and two others joined our company. Continue reading
“Oh, great,” said Bevulf.
Hross could tell by the tone that his heavy-limbed companion meant the opposite. Hross glanced ahead through the dappled light of the long-fingered pines framing the path and saw two shining figures in the yard just outside the hall. “What?” he asked.
Bevulf didn’t reply. When Hross moved his gaze away from the shining gold locks of the most arresting figure ahead — the one in the light blue form-fitting gown, the one with the silver-gilt cloak shimmering like water misting in the morning chill of early spring – and glanced at the warrior to see if Bevulf was going to say more, Hross received only a raised eyebrow and a thin smirk beneath Bevulf’s poorly trimmed, spotty, young-man’s lip growth.
Not that Hross’s was much better, and he self-consciously put a hand to his three days without a shave and wondered if the gesture might make him appear contemplative and sufficiently studious. No matter. He hadn’t had any trouble with women in the past. They inexorably found their hands fingering his slightly curled locks that they exclaimed shone like spun gold. They often found themselves gazing into his blue-gray eyes that looked out at them as serenely and as at peace as cloud-flecked skies. Bevulf’s chagrin at meeting these two women hadn’t slowed their steps any, and the two women turned to regard the approaching newcomers. Hross basked in the opportunity to examine these beauties head on and in greater detail. Continue reading
A number of years ago (after many more years of a hiatus from running roleplaying games), I started hearing about how the 3.5 edition of Dungeons & Dragons lived on in the form of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. I also learned of the Pathfinder Tales line of novels that takes place in the Pathfinder campaign world of Golarion. I was told that many of the Tales novels were quite good, and they were. I bought a number of the novels. I bought the Pathfinder Core Rulebook, the Bestiaries, the Inner Sea World Guide, and, (because of my Norwegian immigrant heritage and Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings) since I’m a Northern-phile, the campaign setting The Lands of the Linnorm Kings. I tried to get a game going, but it didn’t work out. Continue reading