Apr 28, 2019

The War Mage

The Immortal Cleansing: Backstory Chapter 2

970 AC, Vatermont (February) 14th


Naivara Lantheral by TL Jeffcoat
  It was only a smudge but it covered just enough of the verbal component of the fireball spell to make it illegible. Naivara had not mastered a spell that could have restored the ink and now she regretted it. The fireball spell was far beyond her ability but one day she would ride into a battle and blast enemies with erupting explosions of heat and rage. In the meantime, she would have to settle for cleaning up her mess.
  Her teachers complained it was foolish to attempt to master more than one school of magic. The professors of Evocation and Abjuration both argued that she should concentrate her studies on one of their schools since she was determined to learn the arts of war. The way Naivara saw it, the tradition was foolish. Why limit yourself to one school of magic when you could be indestructible and destructive at the same time? It would not do her any good to be able to cast a fireball or bring the stormy heavens down upon her enemies if she was killed by a simple arrow before she could cast.
  In the end, her hard work would prove her path was superior. Naivara had studied for years, and the only friends she made were the books in the library. Now, with a simple drop from a glass of water, she had ruined one of her friends.
  She was different than the elves that lived in the Vyalian Magic School. The famous school was on the western edge of the Vyalian forest about twenty miles east of the Lake of Lost Dreams in Eastern Traladar. Most villages of the Vyalia Elves were so deep in their forests that no outsiders ever knew they existed. The only exceptions were a small town where humans came to trade with the elves on the opposite side of the forest and this remote school of magic. The Vyalia forest was a natural physical border between the expansionist Empire of Thyatis to the east, and the superstitious woodsmen and farmers of Traladar to the west.
  News had come a few years ago that Thyatian troops marched into the largest city in Traladar and claimed the country as a colony of the Empire. Most Traladarans had not cared since those troops had not killed anyone in the invasion and had not marched into any other part of their country. The Vyalia knew it would only be a matter of time before that changed and the Empire would swallow up their beloved forest.

Mar 29, 2019

The Twilight of Navi

The Immortal Cleansing: Backstory Chapter 1

775 AC, Flaurmont (April) 15th


art by TL Jeffcoat
Navi Moondragon - by TL Jeffcoat
  Life in the Feywild was perfectly serene until that satyr came to the Twilight woods. Navi ran her diminutive purple hands through the soft black fur of the panther. On a branch above the purple and green undergrowth of the forest, the panther purred as Navi buried her face in the softness. Her tiny pixie body was weightless on the proud animal.
  Moonbeams shined through the eternal twilight of the forest. This part of the Feywild was forever trapped in the moonlight just beyond sunset on the edge of the seasons between summer and spring. A sky that never turned black but was filled with deep blues and sprinkled with stars.
  Navi's troupe had lived here for many millennia between the great Fey courts of Spring and Summer. The lords of both rarely ventured into the shadows before total darkness. Here, the village of Twilight had existed in solitary peace.
  About a century before, a satyr named, Al'faerill befriended the elders and told stories of the distant parts of the infinite Feywild. After a few years, the elders gave him permission to pass through the barrier that the magical stones produced.
  He was always gentle and friendly, never stepping on any of the toadstool homes scattered around the clearing in the center of the barrier, but Navi never trusted him. She was always very shy, even for a pixie, and had never spoken a word to the strange horned creature.
  When he visited, she would leave the village and pretend to practice her druid training. She never really tried too hard, preferring to just explore the woods, and visit the two hamadryad sisters that lived a few miles away.
  She had been on her way there when she found this lazy panther lounging in the trees just a few yards from the barrier. She dreamed of transforming herself into one of these nocturnal hunters and tracking the satyr back to wherever he had come from. Navi always wondered about the origins of the Satyr’s stories that her sister excitedly shared after Navi would return from her wandering.
  Tonight was one of those nights. The music from the satyr's panpipes drifted on the breeze. Usually it was fast and exciting but tonight it was slower. The notes urged her to close her eyes, until the music was drowned out by the purring of the magnificent bed.
  Navi dug into the fur, completely hiding her body, with only her purple butterfly wings slowly opening and closing above the blackness. If anyone had passed by, they would have seen what appeared to be a giant butterfly resting on a panther.
  After a few minutes, the purring stopped abruptly and the panther jumped to his feet so quickly Navi nearly tumbled off. She caught herself midair and searched the area for whatever spooked her friend.
  After a few seconds, she noticed she did not hear the music anymore as the panther climbed higher into the massive tree. Navi hid behind leaves and listened to a strange sound. It approached fast and careless with the sound of branches snapping.

Mar 20, 2019

The Immortal Cleansing Introduction

Welcome to the fantasy world that began from the imaginations of Lawrence Schick and Tom Moldvay back in the mid 70’s. The original design was always meant to be shared and expanded by fans of the setting. TSR and then Wizards of the Coast have always pushed it aside for other settings (although it did get a mention in the 5e Dungeon Masters Guide in the section on Pantheons), such as Greyhawk and Forgotten Realms. They only published the setting for use with the original Basic D&D series, but it had some of the greatest sandbox modules, including Keep on the Borderlands and Isle of Dread.

Mystara grew over the decades into the red cursed Savage Coasts, adding the Blackmoor lore to its distant past, turned out to be a Hollow World filled with ancient civilizations and dinosaurs, has a hidden moon called Miyoshima, a wandering flying mechanical gnome city known as Serraine, and a portal to a strange location called Thunder Rift where some people speculate might actually be on Miyoshima.

Nowadays the expansion has continued among fans on sites like the Vaults of Pandius, which includes the work from Bruce Heard, who had a big hand in developing more information about another continent explored with the Voyages of the Princess Ark series. Glen Welch has also been a huge resource since discovering his 5e conversions of all kinds of classic setting materials. Thorfinn Tait is another great resource I've used to expand the cartography of Mystara with his amazing maps. There are so many more fans developing so much that it's impossible to mention everyone.

Feb 24, 2019

Finally Returning... No, for real this time.

It's been years since I've been to this blog and I'm positive there are unanswered questions in my comments. I meant to come back sooner, but life has been such a roller coaster of distractions that eventually I unplugged from it and accepted that I was not able to make the time anymore. I've spent the last couple days skimming around it, answering any questions I can and polishing the theme for a new look.
Long story short, I have switched jobs, moved to a new city, completely failed as a modern thriller writer, and my kids are now in double digit ages.

Let me just say that raising a teenager is hard but whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right? Or is that it thins your hair out and takes years off your life? Anyway, it's an experience in patience.
I stopped writing for a while, even though I didn't want to. I picked up a very old project I started in high school and started building the world it took place in. It's a fantasy world I had created when I first explored writing.

My plan was to turn it into one of those million Table-Top Role Playing Games that was becoming popular. I have been playing those since the late 80’s, mostly Dungeons & Dragons, a little RoleMaster during the 90’s and early 2000’s.

Sep 16, 2014

Weapons & Warriors: The Scissor of the Romans



Art by TL Jeffcoat

There is much confusion about this mysterious weapon. It’s only known to have been used regularly by gladiators and history is unclear whether the word Scissor refers to the weapon or the style of gladiator. Some historians believe that it is the name of both; some deny the name to either.

The Scissor was a simple weapon in design, with an iron tube and a handle inside topped with a crescent shaped blade. The handle allowed the Gladiator better control of the blade that faced away from the tube and was mounted by a metal shaft. The shaft was most likely attached to the handle, through the top of the tube, to enhance its durability and control. There is some speculation to this, but most weapon specializing historians would agree that the blade would need to be attached to the handle and not just attached to the tube itself or the blade would be impossible to manage when it’s struck by another weapon.