The Glacial Forge

I had a few minutes listening to a conference call at work today, so I sketched out another quick map. It's a true 5-minute effort, so no bells and whistles. I call it the Glacial Forge.

The Glacial Forge
Drawn with a cheap "Gel Mini" pen from Staples - I picked up a box of a dozen for a buck - on the back of a meeting agenda. I scanned it in through the copy center at work and cropped it in Paint. Unlovely, but functional.

Description
The icy passage widens into a chamber with stone and wood barricades. Dwarven guards take cover behind each barricade, ready to pepper any invaders with crossbow bolts before engaging with axe, hammer, and mace. The fourth barricade blocks the entrance to the living chamber. Some tend the iron pot while others catch what sleep they can in bedrolls on the ice floor. If the outer chamber is breached, the defenders spill the contents of the pot for whatever splash damage they can and retreat to make a stand by the forge under cover of the billowing steam cloud from the sublimating floor.

Progressing further, a tall and sturdy barricade blocks the entrance to the forge chamber proper, manned at all times by a handful of dwarven guards. A stone chair has been set up facing the lava pit for the resident pyromancer to stare into the molten rock and keep tabs on the enemy. To the left a pile of ore lays haphazardly against the wall, ready for smelting and transformation.

Two smiths ply their trade here, using the lava's natural heat to soften steel for working and the natural chill of the cavern's walls for quick tempering. The smiths look overworked past the limits of their legendary dwarven constitution, as does the pyromancer who enchants what items he can when he's not magically speeding the creation of weapons and armor for the war effort. Cold forged and elemental weapons both come from rare glacial forges like this one, and both are in high demand at the front lines.

Finished armaments move into the storage room, but most are taken daily by messengers requesting more supplies in the name of their commander. If foes overrun the forge, the surviving dwarves retreat to the storage room and collapse the forge chamber on as many of the enemy as possible. An ice plug in the floor conceals an escape passage, which will let the survivors remove any completed weapons before abandoning the forge. The lava's heat will melt the ice and recreate the forge chamber in short order, so hopefully the survivors can quickly rally a detachment to retake the forge if it falls.

(Hm. The description could use some cutting and tightening, but it's a stream of consciousness thing for now.)

Thanks for reading!

The Water Shrine

I cleaned off my desk this morning, and now I have some space to work. To celebrate, I broke out my kit and made a map. I'm still working freehand, so the lines aren't as sure as they could be, but overall I'm happy with it.

The Water Shrine map, created 23 July 2014.
I used a Sakura Micron 05 to draw the walls, and I went over them twice to give them a little more thickness. I used a Micron 01 for the room contents and fill.

Gone Mapping. Don't Wait Up.

Last week, I solicited recommendations on pens for mapping. I scored a set of Sakura Micron pens at Blick (a short walk from work, and for $6 - yay, member discount!) and scribbled a map in a graph composition book in about 10 minutes at work. Since then I've been playing with hashing and fill, and I'm still experimenting.

All the hashing looks muddy to me.
Then again it's all freehand, and I'm still tinkering.

Vacation Perspective

Last Wednesday night, I arrived at a cottage on a lake shore in New Hampshire with my family, a box of games, and 4 bags of food. We left for home with much less food on Sunday around 5PM. We only left the cottage by boat or to swim. It was glorious.

The view from the Turret.
Here's a partial list of things I did not do on vacation:
  • Turn my phone's ringer on.
  • Wear my fitbit.
  • Think about work.
  • Spend time editing anything.
  • Mind, care, nor worry.
  • Watch TV.
  • Play online games.
  • Play games on my phone.
  • Use my computer.
OK, I lied. I used my computer to pay a bill on Thursday morning. And there's a typo on a card in Seasons - "cristal" is, in fact, a correct spelling, but not in English unless you mean the champagne. But it was right there in my face; it's not like I was looking for it or anything.

ANYway.

"Players" Discovered Defusing Edition War Riots

July 7, 2014
SEATTLE, WA

We had several pieces ready to run this week, detailing the factions participating in the Edition War Riots in and around Seattle. As our reporters gathered more and more interviews, we noticed a curious trend. People arrived at the various camps, asking only to play. To learn a new game system. To enjoy the experience and the company of fellow gamers.

Remember Thursday?
Some of these people stopped in several different camps, asking to play a game in each one. They had no agenda, no central organization, and no name. In most cases they weren't even aware of each other.

We started calling them simply "Players."

When a Player arrived at a camp, he or she magnetically pulled the militant gamers to the nearest table to share a game. Their passion for play tapped into the passion that converted the System Faithful in the first place, and everyone focused on enjoying the game together. The more everyone played, the less important the camps became.