Posting to Patreon: The Eye of the Storm (Toy Soldier Saga)

Hi all, Sable here!  This is my heads up that tomorrow I will be posting the completed and edited story, “The Eye of the Storm,” as a charged post for my Patrons at Patreon.  This is my Shaundar and Y’Anid elf-orc love story, for my Toy Soldier fans!  This is your one and only chance to get it if you want it without buying the Chasing Fireflies anthology!  Note that there may be some small changes in the story between now and the time it appears in the anthology.  Chasing Fireflies will be released July 1, 2017.  (Rated R for graphic sex.)

Originally posted at Toy Soldier: A Spelljammer Saga.

The Reverie (Remembrance,) Part 1

elvenskipperReverie (Remembrance)

Elven Stinger

Built By: Elves

Used Primarily By: Ogres

Tonnage: 7 tons

Hull Points: 7

Crew: 2/7 (5)

Maneuver Class: B

Landing-Land: Yes

Landing-Water: Yes

Armor Rating: 8

Saves As: Ceramic

Power Type: Splendid Sails

Ship’s Rating: 2

Standard Armament:

Light catapult (A; Crew 2)

Cargo: 3 tons

Keel Length: 100’

Beam Length: 20’

 

The Reverie (Common translation: Remembrance) is hardly what many people would consider a ‘ship’; it is more akin to a boat for a larger craft much like a flitter or a mosquito. It indeed looks like an enlarged flitter, big enough to carry multiple crewmen while not being large enough to be considered a true ship.

The Remembrance is an elven stinger, an ancient design from the earliest days of elven exploration. The stinger is rarely seen today, usually confined to elven-dominated spheres such as Darnannon. It is too lightly armed and armored for most captains’ tastes. Some stingers are used by couriers for long-distance message delivery between elven colonies and Armada, but little else.

The Remembrance looks like an oversized flitter, with a black body and wings, with cobalt-blue highlights. There is a single interior deck and a small top deck. There is only one weapon, a light catapult set to fire at pursuing ships. The Remembrance is not designed for battle, and would be easily defeated by anything more powerful than a dragonfly.

Top Deck

  1. Hatch: The hatch to the main deck can be bolted from the inside.
  2. Bowsprit: A small Continual Light Lantern that sheds a soft light down upon the deck is located here. The light shed by the lantern is about as bright as a full moon.
  3. Catapult: The Remembrance’s only armament, a light catapult, is set to fire in a rear-ward arc. It is movable such that it could be fired in any arc, but this requires a good deal of muscle and takes about five minutes.
  4. Ammunition: This crate is bolted to the deck. It holds eighteen round stones that weigh about forty pounds each (ammunition for the catapult). The crate has a simple latch to keep the lid closed, but otherwise is unlocked.

Main Deck

  1. Hatch: The hatch to the top deck can be bolted from here. A ladder leads up to the top deck.
  2. Bridge: The Bridge of the Remembrance is fairly bare. There is a simple mapping table with charts to about half a dozen spheres (none Steelspace) and a Telescope of Planetary Location. The Telescope is a primitive version of the Planetary Locator. When a person gazes through the telescope, it directs the viewer towards the nearest planet of size A or larger, and shows the viewer a fuzzy image of the planet and a general distance in days of travel. Once per day, the viewer can view another planet so long as he knows the generally accepted name of the planet. There is also a pair of chairs in front of the windows for stargazing.
  3. Galley: The Remembrance’s galley is fairly advanced, thanks to an upgrade by Gistor before he died. There is a small, magical stove that can be commanded to become very hot three times per day, enough to prepare a simple meal. There are four barrels in this room (grog, apples, citrus fruit, and salted pork), several sacks of flour, and the usual pots, pans, skillets, and knives to prepare a meal. The Remembrance usually carries enough food to keep the crew fed for four months.
  4. Captain’s Cabin: The captain’s cabin has been claimed by Griim. It has a long bed, specially built to accommodate Griim’s eight-foot tall frame. There is also a writing desk, a trunk of clothes, and a small coffer with 500 gp in various currencies (to pay for docking fees). There is also a bookshelf with more than a dozen books written by Griim on life in the Known Spheres. These books detail the people and cultures he has encountered, with little attention to defenses or battle-readiness of non-ogres. As such they are completely useless to the ogres of Steelspace.
  5. Crew Quarters: The four-man crew shares this room. There are four hammocks and four sea chests for the crews’ belongings. A silk screen decorated with an oriental-style dragon is in one corner, to allow Sakka some privacy when she changes. There is a writing desk and more than two dozen books on a shelf, all detailing life in the Known Spheres. There is a small table with a drawer that contains dozens of colorful ceramic tiles – useful for play Mahjong and Go! Griim and Krosh often play against one another; when sailing in deep space, their games can last hours.
  6. Privy: This tiny cubby of a room has a Chamber Pot of Devouring and Cleanliness (a magically enchanted chamber pot that not only disposes of waste but also cleans the backside with a spray of water and hot air) and an Incense Burner of Neverending Delightful Scents (Jasmine-scented).
  7. Cargo Hold: The cargo hold of the Remembrance is quite small, only capable of holding small amounts of cargo.
  8. Companionway: The companionway is lit by two small glowing globes, both putting off light equal to moonlight. They can be shuttered to show no light at all.

By Adam “Night Druid” Miller

Escape from Borka (Book Excerpt)

It was over.  The Champion of Clan Bloodfist looked over the flotsam and jetsam that had once been the greatest fleet in the history of the Scro Empire, shattered and broken like so many forgotten toys.  At least, they would be if the blood and body parts weren’t floating serenely between them.  His blood brother Corin, the clan leader, was no longer pouring blood from the wound in his throat where a stray shard of broken metal from their shattered rail had pierced it, but he was still unconscious and whether or not he would live or die remained very much anybody’s guess, especially since the healer was only Sarga’s acolyte.  Sarga was dead, killed when their primary helm was crushed by rough-hewn accelerator shot.  They were adrift in the Void, and all around them the noose tightened as the butterfly-shaped vessels of the Imperial Elven Navy Fleet, easily three times the numbers they had any reason to suspect, swarmed the outer limits of the shattered remains of Borka, prepared to pick them off if they dared to navigate the dangerous, oddly floating rocks and escape their deadly trap.

“Helm’s down, sir!” Thorgir, their Artillery Commander, bellowed too loudly through his ringing ears.  “Shall I get some straws?”

Continue reading

This Month’s Poll: What’s the Most Interesting Spelljammer War?

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

In the Hands of the Enemy (Book Excerpt) * Trigger Warning

The following book excerpt contains scenes of graphic violence and torture.  Discretion is advised.

A door opened.  Shaundar tried to get a grip on himself at once; the last thing their captors needed to see was weakness.  His eyes blinked against the sudden brightness of the lantern in the corridor, but it was quickly blocked by an enormous silhouette.  Its owner was a scro; gray-skinned and huge, with arms like tree trunks.

“Ah, good, you’re awake,” the scro rumbled in a voice that sounded almost like a lion purring.  His unconscious echo of Yathar’s earlier remark was a little disturbing.  It was odd to hear the Espruar tongue in such a rough baritone voice.  “Maybe you’ll be more forthcoming than your friends.”  He grabbed Shaundar’s shirt and with one hand lifted him to his feet.  Shaundar was too weak to stand, however, and his leg startled him with the blinding jolt of pain it reported when his weight was put on it.  He made a noise that sounded to his own ears like the bleat of a goat.

Yathar was on his feet as well.  “He just came to a minute ago,” he was saying.  “He’s still not quite aware.  You should give him some time.”

The scro backhanded Yathar in the face as casually as one might swat an insect.  He crumpled backwards against the wall.  Shaundar noticed now a purple bruise all the way around Sylria’s left eye.  He imagined this scro punching her in the face the way he had just punched Yathar and his fists involuntarily tightened.

Continue reading

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.