Book Excerpt: Haunted

Shaundar and Yathar stood with Sylria on Queenie’s Castle Deck, smoking cigars together.  They’d stopped smoking pipes because it was just too time consuming to load and light, and a waste of perfectly good tobacco if they were suddenly called into action, which happened more and more frequently.  The cigars were cheap and slightly sour – the best they could generally do on their Lieutenant’s pay – but Shaundar was becoming almost affectionately attached to them.

Supply lines were becoming more strained, too.  Occasionally, the alu’quesst ration was being supplemented with the human creation of grog.  Shaundar was not fond of it and generally chose not to have his allotted taut when that was what was available.  But he didn’t complain.  Nobody did.  That was just what there was.

They were in orbit around the Karpri space station, along with the burnt-out hulks of a Scorpion and an Ogre Mammoth, and a Hammership that was technically a prize but would likely be pressed into Navy service, depriving them of their shares.  The prisoners – survivors, is more like it, Shaundar thought privately – were few enough to be kept comfortably in the Hammership’s hold.  They had been exceptionally meek.  This was making the Matey jumpy, but Shaundar had no doubt that it was no act.

The Karpri station showed recent signs of battle to go with its ancient scars from when the illithid had destroyed it just after the First Unhuman War.  Shaundar felt badly for it.  The starfly plants that comprised it seemed deeply saddened.  Or maybe he was just being maudlin.  He was not sure what had possessed the scro to decide to take it.  Surely they must have guessed that there would be a reason that the elves had not used it themselves, now that war had returned to Realmspace?

The Queen’s Dirk had been sent to stop them, and stop them they had, but by the time they had arrived, the enemy had already landed and all hands not actively manning the helm were forced to become a boarding party.  Shaundar shook his head to banish yesterday’s images of screaming and blood from his mind.  Ship battles could be brutal but they were rarely so personal.  He wondered how Yathar managed it, being a marine. Continue reading

3D artist Steven “Silverblade” James releases test Man-O-War mini

Spelljammer fan artist, Silverblade (Steven James), who was interviewed by Wildspace back in April this year, is known for his 3D spelljamming ship models, that he turns into the beautiful Spelljammer art that you can see on his website: Silverblade’s Suitcase.

Now Steven, has started on a totally different type of 3D model. Instead of a high quality model used to render amazing art, this is a solid 3D model designed to be taken to your local Print on Demand printshop, so that you can use it in your tabletop games.

Man-O-War Print on Demand model by Silverblade

Man-O-War Print on Demand model by Silverblade

The test model is an Elven Man-O-War. This is an artists impression of what the model will look like, with a coin shown for scale. The model has only just been created, and has not been printed yet. Now Silverblade is looking to get someone to do a test print for him, so he can see if the model prints as expected.

To find out more, and to download the files needed for 3D printing, see his Man-O-War 3D print 🙂 topic over at the Spelljammer forum at The Piazza.

And if you do print out your own Man-O-War mini, we would love to see pictures of what it looks like.

Silverblade also has high quality artwork for the same ship, which you can see on the Man-O-War page on Silverblade’s Suitcase. You might want to refer to those pictures when painting the mini.

Video

A Star to Steer Her By

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0tc0sQxgg4]

Well, I’m a fan of the genre, so I decided to try my hand at it. My first epic music mix, inspired by pirates, buccaneers, and the Spelljammer (r) setting for Dungeons & Dragons ™, which is probably my favourite all-time fantasy setting.

Track List:

00:00 West One Music – Galleons of Glory
00:32 Audiomachine – Lost Raiders
02:15 Mark Petrie – Jolly Rogers
03:23 Hans Zimmer – Skull and Crossbones
04:01 Ms. Cinematic – Pirate War
06:27 Two Steps from Hell – Wrath of the Sea
07:39 Veigar Margeirsson – Galleons Approaching
08:00 Veigar Margeirsson – Pirates
08:53 Veigar Margeirsson – Galleons Approaching
09:41 Two Steps from Hell – 1000 Ships of the Underworld
11:02 Immediate Music – All Hands on Deck
13:16 Two Steps from Hell – Armada
15:35 Two Steps from Hell – Sky Titans
16:54 Hans Zimmer – Bootstrap’s Bootstraps
17:53 Hans Zimmer – Blood Ritual
18:26 Auracle Music – High Seas
19:01 Brunuhville – Pirates of the Underworld
22:30 Immediate Music – The Black Pearl
23:25 Epic Score – Unfurled Sails
25:53 Two Steps from Hell – Ghost Brigades
27:25 Two Steps from Hell – Norwegian Pirate
30:08 Hans Zimmer – He’s a Pirate
31:16 Ms. Cinematic – Super Mega Pirate Action
32:17 Veigar Margeirsson – Pirates
33:00 Two Steps from Hell – Merchant Prince

Audiomachine’s Official Channel
Brunuhville’s Official Channel
Immediate Music’s Official Channel
Ms. Cinematic’s Official Channel
Two Steps from Hell’s Official Channel

Running Time: 34:25

Featuring the art of Silverblade the Enchanter and John “Paladine” Baxter.

Silverblade’s Images: 03:23, 04:15, 05:35, 05:55, 06:43, 08:12, 08:30, 09:06, 09:25, 09:57, 11:35, 13:31, 16:01, 16:20, 16:38, 17:15, 17:39, 18:42, 19:43, 20:02, 20:20, 20:57, 21:14, 21:33, 21:52, 22:11, 23:03, 24:40, 25:15, 26:05, 26:41, 27:00, 27:53, 29:01, 29:19, 30:18, 30:38, 30:56.

“Paladine’s” Images: 03:43, 07:53, 10:15, 10:33, 11:16, 11:54, 12:11, 18:00, 19:06, 19:27, 24:01, 24:20, 25:00, 25:55, 26:23, 28:42.

Other Images: Sable Aradia & “Paladine” 12:03 & 28:12, Robin Wood 04:34, xxelfrockgurlxx 13:49, unknown 06:12, 15:10, 23:43, 24:11, 24:28, (please email me if you know the artists so I can credit them appropriately.)

Animations/Cinematics Used:

Alunablue (channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/alunablue)
Assassin’s Creed III
Assassin’s Creed: Revelations
Black Prophecy
Dungeons & Dragons
European Space Agency
EVE Online
Final Fantasy VII
Final Fantasy VIII
Hubble Space Telescope
Lineage II
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
Pirates of the Caribbean IV: On Stranger Tides
Sharpe’s War
Silverblade the Enchanter (channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/silverbladeTE)
Treasure Planet (original)
Treasure Planet (blu-ray)
Warhammer 40000
Warrior Women: Grace O’Malley
The Witcher 2
World of Warcraft (channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/worldofwarcraft)
World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade

THIS WORK IS MY TRIBUTE TO THE EPIC MUSIC GENRE AND THE SPELLJAMMER SETTING. NO CHALLENGE TO COPYRIGHT INTENDED. I OWN NOTHING; ALL CREDIT TO THE ARTISTS.

 

Gallery

Ship Transparencies from Silverblade the Enchanter

I have done my best to collect as many ship transparencies as possible on this one page.  The intent of the artist was that others could make their own Spelljammer art with these images.  Click on the links for larger … Continue reading

The Battle of Glyth’s Rings (Book Excerpt)

Tel’Quessir,” Captain Yvoleth began as he paced the Castle Deck, rounding the catapult turret, while the First Mate, whose name was Solahlyn Aelorothi, lurked by the hatchway with his arms folded, “I have just received orders from the Admiralty.  Strange ships have been sighted in the rings of Glyth.  They may be Scorpions.”

Shaundar let out a low whistle.  Well, that would complicate things.  Glyth was known to be a colony of illithids – squid-faced aliens who ate only brains – who kept humanoids of all sorts as “cattle” on the burnt out surface of the planet.  They were also known to patrol local space to add to their collection, despite the efforts of the Navy to curtail this.  Furthermore, the rings of Glyth were made up almost entirely of several small rocks and ice blocks, dangerous to navigate and often difficult to see.

“As the closest Navy ship, we have been ordered to investigate,” the Captain continued.  “If there are enemy ships present, we have been authorized to engage them.”

The blood started pounding through Shaundar’s veins.  Was this going to be it at last?

“So I’m sorry, leave is cancelled for now.  We need to see what’s there before they have a chance to move or hide.  We’re three days to Glyth from our present orbit.  Etriel Sylria, plot us a course.”

Sylria, Second Helmsman but Primary Navigator, saluted.  “Av, quessir.  I’ll head to the Chart Room now, sir, with your permission.”  The Captain nodded and she climbed down the hatch.

“Many of you have never seen combat before,” the Captain went on, fixing each of them with his kind but dark hazel eyes, which came to rest on Shaundar and Yathar.  “If this turns out to be the opening gambit of the War in Realmspace, keep calm, do the jobs you have been trained to do, and trust your crewmates, and all will be well.”  He smiled at them encouragingly.

Av, quessir!” they chorused.  Eyes glittered and the smiles were jovial.  They were ready to fight.

“Mr.  Yathar, you are also certified as a battlepoet, are you not?” the Captain inquired.

Av, quessir,” Yathar affirmed.

He grinned.  “I’m sure you know a few rousing battle ballads in addition to all those bawdy tunes you sing at the tavern.  Let’s hear one; that should put us all in the proper frame of mind.”

Yathar beamed.  “I’ll fetch my lute, sir!”  Yvoleth nodded and Yathar went to do so.

“Mr.  Sunfall,” the Captain said.

“Sir!” Shaundar replied, immediately at attention again.

The Captain smiled knowingly.  “I’m sure reverie will not come easily to you with a hot head to match your hot blood, but do your best.  We’ll be running full jamming shifts until we reach the rings of Glyth.”

Av, quessir,” Shaundar nodded.

The Captain returned his nod sharply.  “All right then.  All hands to stations.”

The boatswain piped the order and the crew fell in as commanded. Continue reading

The Aerdrie’s Pride (Book Excerpt)

All week Shaundar had been at the docks, lending a hand with the loading.  It was a mind-boggling process, keeping track of all the provisions, which had to be taken into orbit bit by bit in flitters, since elven Armada-class ships were incapable of landfall.  It was amazing how many things were required to feed the crew of a dreadnaught!  First there came the dried provisions; waybread, dried fruits, peas and beans, pemmican and cornbread (innovations of the green elves borrowed by the Imperial Elven Navy,) and these in scores of enormous wooden crates.  Next were the preserves; fruit preserves, pickles of all sorts, magically-sealed and preserved citrus fruits to prevent Sailor’s Disease, these in scores of slightly smaller crates that were easier to carry.  They were followed by barrel after crate full of baking and cooking supplies: flour, honey, baking powder, yeast, spices, and butter in magically-preserved containers.  After that came crates and crates of various kinds of nuts.  Then came all the fresh foods, some of which were in the form of items that kept well (such as apples, potatoes and cheeses,) some in the form of carefully-tended live plants (like the miniature orange trees and the potted beans) and some were in the form of live animals (domesticated fowl for eggs, rabbits for fresh meat.)  Flitter after flitter carried the items and creatures into the stars, where a large butterfly appeared to be hovering.  Shaundar knew that was his father’s – and now, his – ship, the Aerdrie’s Pride.
Continue reading