The Fountain of the Bright Mother

Hello fellow World-Walkers!  I’ve been off on a grand adventure the past couple of weeks and I’m only now returning to civilization.  I also learned there are places on Erde where my ship cannot go.  That was new and different.

Near the border of the Yoremba and Unhur’ahn, where the desert meets the mountains, is a high plateau.  You can’t get there unless you climb, or have wings.  I tried.  I tried really hard because it’s a long climb.  Had I realized my ship would not take me to the plateau directly I’d have planned better.  But I made it!  And because I made the climb I was also made welcome by the most diverse, wonderful, chaotic, terrifying group of shape-changers I’ve ever met.  (And some of my family are shape-changers.)  I will not share the details of our celebration: that was private (if you can call a gathering of a couple thousand people “private”).  But I will tell you a little about the plateau, and the well known as the Bright Mother’s Fountain.  <— Click the link!

May the Bright Mother bless you as well, and warm you in your travels!

 


 

Creative Commons License This work by Jean Headley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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Black Locust Worm

During my research I found several accounts of travelers who were afflicted with worms burrowing beneath their skin. #shudder  This creature lives in forests where the black locust tree grows, and it resembles the seed pods of that tree.  I also found that there are other species that mimic the seed pods of other trees.  I am going to be much MUCH more careful about setting up my camps from now on.

Click the link to read more: The Black Locust Worm

 


 

 

Creative Commons License This work by Jean Headley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Photograph by Jean Headley.

The Place of Wisdom

I find myself back in Mawali, in the Great Library.  I could spend many years in this place, combing through books and scrolls.  A team of researchers could spend their whole lives in this library and not touch half of it.  I found an ancient scroll with strange markings on the case, marks that turned out to be impressions of a labyrinth.  The librarian had to cast some preservation magics before we could handle the scroll inside, and we were rewarded with a beautiful full-color illustration of a labyrinth.  We have yet to decipher the writings.  We combed the wall for other scrolls, and found a few references.  I’m going to get some lunch then go back to trying to translate the old scroll.  You can read what little we found here: Mahali Busara


 

Creative Commons License This work by Jean Headley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Photograph [Paphos Archaeological Park. House of Theseus: Mosaic of Theseus killing the minotaur – Labyrinth ( detail ).] by Wolfgang Sauber used under CC license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/legalcode

Runes and Runic Magic

I’ve been thinking a lot about magic and casting and runes.  Even when magic is all around it’s difficult to access it, difficult to harness and shape it.  We use items to help focus our thoughts and the power.  We use mundane items, from herbs to gemstones, to help shape the magic.  We use runes to write it down, to imbue an area or an object with magic.

But why do the runes work?  Why can’t anyone jot them down on a piece of paper and create a spell scroll?  Part of it is in the ink, which itself it created using magic and spell components.  But many runes are carved into wood or stone, or scratched into the earth.  What is it the spell casters are doing that makes a difference?

Well… they know that runes aren’t two-dimensional.  Runes are three-dimensional.  All those gestures the mages make?  Those are runes, drawn in the air with absolute precision.  When mages write runes on paper or vellum, they are visualizing the runes in all their dimensions and embedding that power onto the flat surface.  The rest of us only see the flat result, never realizing the full scope of the marks before us.

This is one of the reasons learning a new spell is so difficult.  Mages must not only memorize the complex mathematical formulae that represent the manipulation of energy, but also decipher the runes used to execute the formulae:

“What is this?  I’m fairly certain this rune describes electricity, but what is this mark?  Oh… if I move right five inches and simultaneously move down one inch at a 45º angle, then delineate a horizontal circle, that describes a space five feet wide.  Hmmm.  Now, what about this mark, where does it go?  Is that an ‘out’ or an ‘in?’  Is that a spiral movement?  No, that makes no sense.  Wait, wait, if I move ‘out’ at the end of the ‘wide’ movement, then this becomes ‘distance’!  But how far…?  Oh!  Oh!  This creates a bolt of lightning!  Oh sweet!”

512px-Lightning_in_Zdolbuniv-Cropped


 

Not all adventures take place in the wilds, or in ruins.  Some of them take place in the library.  The Librarian asks that you please not practice Lightning Bolt or [shudder] Fireball in the stacks.  Thank you.

~JeanNadira


Image courtesy: By Lyoha123 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
The image was modified for the page, rotated and cropped.  View the original here: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ALightning_in_Zdolbuniv.jpg

 

Underground Garden Map

The module I’ve been working on is cooling.  I’ve got a friend looking at it, and when he’s finished I’ll make revisions.  I spent some time this week scouting around for artwork, and I’m not satisfied with what I’ve found.  We’ll see.  The most frustrating part is that I always underestimate how much time these things really take, from the blog posts, to the maps, to revising my game notes into a coherent module that other people can use.  Oy!  Factor in the puppies, and my time gets stretched really thin!  Ah well.

I also bought some new grid paper that I’m hoping is light enough the grid won’t show when I scan it.  *crossing fingers.*

Here is another map for your personal use.  It’s an underground complex including two large, domed gardens.  I don’t know who built it, or why.  I just get a sense of a desire for retreat and seclusion.  Not the “we’re hiding something nefarious” kind, but the “We want the world to leave us alone” kind.

https://jeannadira.deviantart.com/art/UndergroundGarden2-711097875

 

UndergroundGarden2


 

Creative Commons License This work by Jean Headley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Misc Stuff

So I discovered this week that I can either make maps for the blog or work on the module, but not both. 😦 I will, hopefully, have a finished map for you this evening. I also discovered that the “gridless” maps I posted last week aren’t truly gridless. I can’t see the lines on *this* pc, but I can see them clearly on another. Whoops! So I’ll be working on fixing that, too. Yay! Have a good Sunday my fellow World Walkers.
Just for funsies, here is part of the poster-sized world map I drew for our first D&D campaign, many years ago:

AtldMap3

And I see I need a higher-resolution image of the map!  LOL


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The Alley Cats Tavern

The jump drive is definitely fixed.  I took the ship home, had one of the engineers double-check my work (she replaced the fuel generator and about half the bio-gel in the computer, and cussed me out the whole time for what I’d done to “her” meaning my ship.)  To celebrate, I decided to find someplace new in Koenigsburg.  I was directed to a tavern called the Alley Cats, in a poor section of the city.

It’s an interesting place, run by a trio of ex-adventurers.  If you’re ever in Koenigsburg, I recommend it.

Click the link here for more: The Alley Cats


 

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City of the Setting Sun

Last, but certainly not least, is the city called Golden Path of the Setting Sun.  Western names are beautiful, but they are a mouthful.  This city is the largest of the west coast cities, both in terms of territory and population.  It’s the only western city to include floating fishing towns within its borders.  The city is laid out in overlapping circles centered on fifteen plain megaliths.  I haven’t been able to find any information on where the stones came from, or how they got there.  I didn’t even find any of the usual “the gods did it’ legends.

I think I have the jump drive on my ship repaired, and I’m going to test it tomorrow.  In the meantime, click the link for a synopsis of the information on Golden Path of the Setting Sun.


 

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City of Divine Peace

Eight years ago (Erde’s time) a minor noble seized power in the city of Divine Peace.  Proclaiming himself a god on earth and king of the city, he adopted the name Sozetsu Kyoi.  While the name is generally taken to mean Sublime Thunder, it can also mean Imminent Danger.  And while the city is quite peaceful, it’s more the quiet before the storm…  or the peace of the grave.

I don’t believe I will be touring there any time soon.

Read more:  Divine Peace


 

 

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The Lost and Found

Whatever has affected the jump drive on my ship has also affected my ability to access systems.  I’ve been spending most of my time the past two weeks running diagnostics and trouble-shooting ship systems.  Rebooting a jump ship’s systems is a tricky business when you’re not on your alpha dimension; there’s always the risk of losing navigational data and, consequently, losing your way home.  I was relieved when I found data in the logs indicating another dimensional traveler had been here, and one I recognized, my uncle John Benoch!

I had begun to suspect that Erde was close to Terra.  The presence of Benoch’s Lost and Found pretty much confirms this hypothesis, since the shop’s not allowed to wander very far from its alpha.  The important thing is that my uncle’s presence means this Erde is close enough to a Terra that I should be able to get a Message Bird* through to someone who can rescue me in a timely manner, if need be.

I’m going to go back to work now, but I’ve left a description of the shop in my archives in case you ever run across it: John Benoch’s Lost and Found.

*a Message Bird (or scroll, or blade) is a communication spell that works across dimensions .  My family has used, and perfected it, for generations.

 


 

Creative Commons License This work by Jean Headley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.