A little over a year ago, I embarked on a journey with maps, but without a map. I learned a few things about my ability to keep a schedule (or lack thereof) and what doesn’t work. Now I’m refocusing and rebooting, trying some new things to see if I can move the needle.
Sergeant Arcturus shut off the proximity sensors. Since they’d entered this narrow canyon, alarms had been screaming non-stop. A quick glance at the status display confirmed that the land speeders slaved to his own craft had followed suit. No sense filling their ears with extraneous noise; they knew how close they were flying to certain doom. One twitch in the wrong direction and all three vehicles would smash apart on the canyon wall.
%[FSV1102.uidA001]» commlink open -local=FSV1102.’Chump Change’ -uplink=su7653.deepnet.ufc -recv=systemcontrol
. . . . %uplink.open[su7653.deepnet.ufc]% . . . .
~[Chump Change.001]» SALVAGE REPORT AA-0023.Z2443. DEEP SPACE RESEARCH STATION DESIGNATE [SIGMA0023] FOUND ABANDONDED AND WITHOUT POWER. NO SIGNS OF LIFE. REQUEST CLEARANCE TO ENTER AND POWER UP MAIN CORE TO STAKE CLAIM PURSUANT TO STATUTE UFC-S235 SECTION 12 ARTICLE 07.
Countless sea caves perforate the length of the Shattered Coast. Some are underneath Hookspire and Oldport Keep itself, and have been used for generations as meeting places and hideouts for smugglers, thieves, pirates, and others that wish to remain hidden from view.
The low moor near the center of the Cerulean Wood never seemed to be a danger to the nearby villages. Called merely “the Sump” by locals, it was home to a small tribe of bullywugs that were mostly harmless. Lately, however, a lizardfolk chieftan named Ssissk’ss has taken control and started making the rangers and druids of the area nervous.
“Honestly, Haspar, why do you bother? Most of these people you help aren’t going to thank you or remember you. And hauling all this junk around—” she gestured at the huge pile of junk in the wagon behind her “—is a pain in the ass. It’s a distraction. We’re agents of the Crown, not ministers of the Temple.” Haspar insisted they carry extra goods they don’t need just so he can feel good about helping people. Alumnet didn’t see the point, or the value.
The heat of the Ashen Plains will drain the life out of you, if the salamanders and formians don’t get to you first. You may find some shelter, but nine out of ten times it will just be a mirage, false hope conjured out of the furnace of the volcanic wasteland. One out of ten times, however, it could be your salvation…or your certain doom.
“What is it about Harramantown?”
“It’s a haven for swindlers, liars, and thieves.”
“It’s a frontier town, so I expect that. We can’t fix it ourselves. Civilization, stability, law, and order will come in time. What I mean is, what is it about Alumnet and Harramantown?”
Who worships the Unknown God? What celestial portfolio does the Unknown God hold as its realm of influence? The high priests who declare themselves to be prophets claim to have all the answers one seeks, but most of them are in the dark, themselves. Only a select few know the truth.
“PENDLETON ARBORGRANE! LOOK. AT. ME.” With a sigh, he did. When she got worked up, it was hard to talk to Alumnet. It made it worse that she was often—if not usually—right. Alumnet’s posture relaxed. She had his attention; now it was time to make her case.
Clan Bitterbones comes from deep underground, their ancestral halls well hidden and separated from the surface world. Most of them have lived in the surface world for generations, and know only legends of their homeland. But when the need arises, they converge on their war throne for council and conquest.
He steeled himself, ready for what fate would bring his way. In the last second he chose to fix his face into a visage of what he considered a look of resolute determination, a signal to whatever was chasing him that it had bitten off more than it was expecting. He didn’t really think it would make a difference, but Eggledorn felt better having done it.
Even for dwarves, the Shellcracker clan is eccentric. They make their homes on the shores of a subterranean sea. They make a strong trade harvesting seafood they pull from the black depths. Once every hundred years or so, the gather in a massive convocation on an island in the middle of the ocean to celebrate their harvest and test their mettle.
The steps ended, but the corridor did not. It continued just ahead, after only a short gap. Short for most average-sized beings, that is. Eggledorn, alas, was a gnome, and he didn’t see how he could make the leap with any degree of success. Looking back, he decided he should attempt to figure out a course of action. Whatever was making those noises didn’t seem like it was going to let him back out the way he came in. Not in one piece, anyway.
I apologize—sincerely apologize—for my friend shattering your body with his hammer. No one should be accosted in such a manner in their own home, especially at so late an hour. It was extremely rude of us to come knocking on your door just as you were sitting down to your evening tea…
From the Storm Coast to Hookspire to the shining spires of Sahn-Sah-Ree in the south, fishermen deep in their cups spin stories of the the legendary crab wizard. Are they casting fish tales, or is there truth to be found in their ramblings? (Inspired by the new season of Deadliest Catch.)
Somewhere in the forest, not so deep that it won’t be found nor so close to the edge that it gets a lot of traffic, you may come across this burbling stream. On a small rise to the north lie the ruins of an old tower, its stone walls crumbling under the weight of time.
When the nomadic tribes of the western reach come together at their field moots, they choose to conduct business on neutral ground marked by great meeting-houses. One such site is the House of the Sun Dragon, first established by the wise Halkassan the Peacemaker hundreds of years ago.
Its means of construction was never revealed, but many years ago the mystic sage and scholar Alstor established the mountain observatory on the remote peak that bears his name. At first he was alone, but over time he assembled a small group of acolytes that shared his thirst for knowledge and quite contemplation.
Gerrod wasn’t even sure it was the right kind of rock. He’d seen the swordsmen sharpen their blades with a stone, but he’d never held one himself, much less an actual blade. Never felt the texture or hefted the weight. So he just found a rock that looked about the same size. A rock is a rock, right?
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X grew up on Rerun as a member of Network KRS-1. He apprenticed with the network’s doco-channels that pipe in news from across the cluster. He spent some time with his bundle traveling through several systems gathering news in a feed-ship, but never set foot on another planet himself; nearly everything he experienced came through a vid feed. He became obsessed with current events that he pulled in through electronic filters.
Callum never wanted this life. He’s a farmer’s son, but the fifth son. Might as well be a mule, for all the respect he ever received. Another mouth to feed, and not much help around the family plot. So when the baron’s men came ‘round, looking for militiamen… Callum was expendable. Let the baron feed him Callum’s da’ said.
Very little is known today of the ancient cult known as the Sky-Dreamers. And most of what is known is based on rumors and bard’s tales passed around over thousands of years. Occasionally, however, explorers come across one of their hidden vaults or temples.
The bolt of magical force that Alumnet expected to emanate from the wand never came. As a result all the goblin received was a spray of spittle that mingled with its own fetid sweat of rage. The wizard could have spent time thinking about whether she got the command word correct, but the rusty sword coming down at her head shortened her available window for thought. She thrust the wand forward, through the goblin’s eye, and into its brain.
There’s a certain merchant in Harramantown that owes me an explanation.
“Pendleton! The goblins are here!”
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