July Update

Current Progress 7/13

Below are some updates on the things we’ve been working on and a new staff member joining the team.

New Staff!

quill-and-ink-11I’d like to officially welcome Eric MacLean to the team. He’ll be joining out team as a co-conspirator and writer and has already helped me to flesh out a significant portion of the dwarf write up. Welcome Eric!

Backgrounds

Not too long ago we released a backgrounds playtest, and got very positive feedback, with some great suggestions on some improvements to them. We’ll be revising them again this week, and maybe adding one or two more to the playtest document.

Races

As far as the races of Veyrn, we very much want each race (and even subrace) to have its own unique culture and traits. The idea being that each subrace should be a distinct look at that race, not merely a dwarf or elf with slightly different bonuses but a branch of the race with very different ideals and beliefs, something that sets them apart and lets them be unique. Because of this the sections for each race will likely be longer than similar sections in other books, the dwarf section is currently at about 2200 words and only about 60% complete. When we are relatively content with what we’ve come up with we will be sure to give you a peek at what we’ve come up with.

Library_Dark_Scene_v01While the Millennial Kingdom is not meant to be an extensive look at every race in Veyrn, our goal is to include every race in the setting so that other books aren’t required to play every race found throughout the setting. Later supplements will of course expand on the material within, but won’t be required to play.

Death of Winter (First Adventure Module)

After sitting on the first draft for a few weeks, I’m ready to start the next step, and begin typing and editing it. Having taken the time to think about it over the last couple weeks, I’ve realized that it is likely a bit boated and could stand to be streamlined a bit. So I’ll begin the arduous task of cutting down the unneeded bits and making the story a bit tighter.

Thats all we have for this update, we’ll keep you posted and things progress!

 

June Update

Death of Winter

34307215_749159412140013_9084793989336399872_nThe rough draft for my first module is complete. Coming in at 153 handwritten pages. It pretty much filled a single composition book, and I look forward to going back and revising it. I will put the project aside for a week or so before I start the second draft, this way I can come back to it with a fresh perspective.

There is still a LOT of work to put into it, but am pretty pleased with how it came out. I look forward to sharing bits of it after it is polished a bit more.

After the second draft is complete I will begin organizing a playtest for those who might be interested in helping me to improve this project.

Map of the Week

I had put a lot of time into the first draft of Death of Winter, this along with working on a commissioned map gave me little time to put into producing my weekly maps. Now that the first draft is complete I plan to continue work on these maps. Look for the return of them in the next week or two. I will have a large number of maps to make for my module, so I may release versions of these as free maps and previews (killing 2 birds with one stone.)

Veyrn Campaign Setting

MellenialKingdomThis is a huge project and one I haven’t had the time to put as much effort into as I would like. As the project grew I realized I could not do it justice in a single book. I therefore have decided to do each major area of the world as its own text. The first of these will be the Kingdom of Zayre, known as “The Millennial Kingdom” This central nation will provide a solid entry to Veyrn. I have pages and pages and pages of notes on the setting I just need to start planning out the actual book and begin writing it. As with death of winter I look forward to sharing more as I get things more or less nailed down.

I will provide more detail on TMK in a future update.

 

Death of Winter

Current Project

So the last few weeks my work schedule has had me up earlier than usual. I work a “flexible schedule” [sic] and my hours typically changed from week to week. Lately however they’ve been very consistent. This isn’t an inherently bad thing, but the early morning shifts have altered my sleep schedule so that I have been up early every morning (typically between 3 and 4am) With the extra time in the morning I started to write an adventure module.

Library_Dark_Scene_v01This adventure has so far been penned entirely by hand, and as of this writing has just topped 110 pages in a standard composition book, including sketches of maps (which I will recreate in full color), and countless notes penned into the margins. The adventure is tentatively titled “Death of Winter” In a nutshell the story is about a small village stricken by a disease and the struggle to discover the source and find the cure. I haven’t been this engaged in a single project in ages, and am very pleased with some of the surprises I’ve come up with.

The adventure is set in my setting of Veyrn, but the setting elements have been toned down so that it could very easily be adapted to any setting. It contains a strong emphasis on roleplaying and exploration, but contains enough combat to keep a dedicated fighter entertained. Things the characters do or don’t do will have consequences throughout the story, and will force the players to make some very difficult choices. I hope that GMs and Players enjoy it as much I have enjoyed writing it.

When do we get to see it?

I’m still working on completing the rough draft, but am in the final stretch. Being written by hand I will be typing it up and revising it as I go. The second draft of the writing should be complete in a few weeks. After that I must go through my sketches and create all the maps I will need to accompany this tale. Once all the needed material is written and created, I will put together a working copy of it for playtest purposes. All in All it will still be a couple months until the project is ready for others to see, though I may share it with some trusted friends for initial feedback. It may not be pretty but it will be functional.

Playtesters Needed…Eventually!

I do plan to playtest this adventure as much as possible, both by myself and through  other interested parties, I need more people to gauge difficulty, clear up any confusion, and otherwise make this product the best it can be. This will be my first published work and as such I want it to be the best I can be. I will be posting more information at a later date if any of you are interested in participating, along with more information on my expectations, what I hope to get out of the play test process.

That’s all I have for now, I’ll share more as I progress!

 

 

Adulting is Hard / New Project

Somebody has a case of the Mondays

So as you’ve probably already noticed there was no new map this week. My work schedule has had me working many early shifts which have decreased the time I’ve been free to work on my maps. I do plan to resume posting them next Monday, so check back here then, for my next free map.

Project Update

As you’ve likely seen on this website I’ve been working on a campaign setting for 5e called Veyrn. This project is still in the works, though I’ve realized how large the project really is, and am considering breaking it into smaller chunks based in the various regions of the world. This will likely just be for play test purposes. The first of these is tentatively titled “The Millennial Kingdom” and will be focused on the nation of Zayre. Zayre is a human dominated nation in the center of the continent of Reghal, and contains more of the traditional fantasy elements one would expect with 5e, with a few surprises. It will contain new maps, lore, backgrounds, domains, a new race, monsters and other goodies to sink your teeth into.

New Adventure

My frequent early shifts at work has altered my sleep schedule, and currently I’m awake by 3 or 4am, whether I like it or not. This has given me a little time in the morning to write. I dusted off a composition book and went old school, plotting it out entirely by hand. Little by little its been coming along, and I’m currently up to about 40 handwritten pages (likely less when typed and formatted)., and only about 1/4 of the way through the adventure.

The adventure is set in the kingdom of Zayre and tentatively called The Death of Winter. Based in and around the village of Dynesdale. It is written for 1st level characters, and focuses heavily on roleplaying and exploration. Given the plan to focus the first major playtest release on the setting of this adventure it will likely replace Secret of the Misty Vale as my my first official release, preceding the setting material itself. While set in Veyrn, I am intentionally limiting some of the more setting specific content so that it can be run in most any setting with very little work. Stay tuned for more updates as this project progresses.

Thank You!

I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who has seen and enjoyed my maps. My maps have been well received and I hope all those who have downloaded and used them found them to be a great addition to their games. So thank you all, I wouldn’t be here without you!

Map of the Week #3

The Farmhouse

FarmhouseBarnADThis weeks map is a small farmhouse. Ready for a small family of diabolical peasants or other such miscreants or perhaps a nice wholesome family devoid of any evil or ill intent to your party of brave adventurers.

The GM and Player maps can be found HERE.

Updates

I’ve been working on some improvements to the maps, particularly the text boxes. Right now they are just plain transparent boxes where GMs can input their own information to suit their needs. I’m working on improving these by added parchment boxes I’ve made in GIMP. I was hoping to have this update ready for this week, but the holiday has taken up some free time. This new update should be applied to my next map, and if well received, added to all of them going forward.

Parchmentsample

Parchment Text Box Sample

Feedback Welcome

As always I welcome any feedback or suggestions on this map or any I have created. Are their features you’d like to see? Specific formats? Particular maps of locations you’d like to see or think would come in handy? Please let me know! I take feedback well, and want to make maps people actually can use. You input will help me to improve future content.

The Fae

The Fae, Faeries, The Fair folk

Little Thumb 2In Veyrn most make very little distinction between the fae and other spirits. In some places they are considered superstitious nonsense or dangerous threats. Modern depictions of these beings have diluted them in film and television, and they are often seen as lighthearted, silly or just a bit mischievous. The original stories were a bit darker, and the tales were heavily influenced by the arrival and conversion of the native peoples to Christianity.

The Seven RavensThose fae that currently inhabit the world were descended from powerful beings that once sought to conquer and rule the world. Most see them as just stories, but to the people of Falta they are a frightening reality. While not every fae bears malicious intent, all of them are potentially dangerous and known to react violently for even a slight insult. This has caused the people of Falta to become fearful of the unknown, and every ill both natural and unnatural is often attributed to these beings. Homes are often decorated in iron, a substance known to keep them at bay, and occasional offerings are left for them, to placate them and entice them away from their homes.

Perhaps the biggest impact the fae have had on the world of Veyrn was the introduction of beings such as they elves and goblins. These two races once served as loyal generals and foot soldiers in the strange faerie armies. After their failed attempt to conquer the world, they remained behind and are now for good or ill, a part of the world.

wood-3072434_1920To the south of the nation of Falta, rests the forest of Dormach. This massive forest is a dark and foreboding place, rumored to be inhabited by strange faerie creatures. It is also the home of the Feituwatha, a race of elves who were unwilling to turn from their old ways and abandon their ancient masters. They work in secret forging bonds with the fae who remained and trying to find away back to the strange realm the elves know only as The Grey. This twilight realm is said to exist between the borders of our world and the world of dreams, much like the fae themselves. It is a strange mercurial realm bound to whims of its masters. In times past great conflict existed between the Feituwatha and the druids of Falta. It ended after much bloodshed, and a pact was made, stopping all aggression between the two people. Unfortunately, the powers of the druids have begun to fade, and conflicts with other nations only serve to embolden the Feituwatha. Some say these elves seek to return to The Grey, others insist they wish to hand the world over to them as an offering or proof of loyalty. Only the Feituwatha know for certain.

Halqan Creation Myth

candlebook

The Myths of the Halqan people are old, and predate their use of written language. The story of their creation has changed much over the years, and many different versions are still told.

When they learned to write, during the early days of their people, they set down these ancient stories into the Book of Nushku, a text of stories and beliefs, regarding their history as much as their religious beliefs.

Below is a first draft of my human myth of creation, and one of the oldest stories of the Halqan people.

And lo, they descended from their blessed realm,
Two of the Magatu, Lords of Nushku, shapers of all creation.

First was Utu the elder, lord of the Sun, and giver of life,
Second was Enu the younger, Lady of the Moon, she of many faces.

The Light of Utu shone down from the sky,
Chasing away the darkness, which fled from his sight.

Enu stirred the seas to motion,
The tides swelled, and waves crashed upon the land.

Yet they beheld the land barren, devoid of tree or beast,
Utu released his breath upon the earth, and life sprang forth.

Seed and plant grew from every corner,
Filling the land with tree, flower, and grain.

Soon the lands of Nushku were lush and fertile,
But the Magatu were not satisfied.

The two lay together, in a grove of sacred trees.
Enu took his seed into her sacred womb, and from it sprang life.

Her children dwelt from forest to plain, from coast to sea,
Each of them blessed according to their measure.

Of their progeny one was blessed above all others,
Born with strength of body and mind.

These children tamed the beasts of the fields,
They bent the land to their purpose.

Yet above all, honored their creators,
Giving them offerings of grain and flesh.

The Magatu were please by this,
And so rewarded them for their devotion.

Utu blessed them with prosperity,
And the people’s cities prospered.

Enu gave them hope,
For without it, they would not endure.

The people rejoiced,
Their voices echoing through night and day.

The Children of Nushku have awoken.

A World Without Heroes [Fiction]

A World Without Heroes

by Patrick Harron

Tamerus lead the young acolyte through the vaults of the great library. The air was stale, dust heavy upon the assembled tomes. Library_Dark_Scene_v01They seemed endless, written in many languages. Some of them were easily recognizable, others strange, foreign tongues. Others encoded in esoteric symbols, puzzling even her keen mind.
The wise old sage had brought her here for a reason, and with steady hand he held out a lantern, guiding them. They walked together in silence, past row after row of books. The sound of their footsteps was the only noise to break the silence, echoing through the depths of the vault. The light of the lantern flickered and she watched as shadows danced across the walls. The shadows enthralled her and for a moment she thought they took shape of creatures and beasts, monsters from legend, such as those within many of the old texts they walked past as they continued their way through the long dark of the vaults. Only their tracks in the dust gave any sign of their passage. This was a place seldom tread, even within the vast repository of knowledge. Just the thought of being here filled her with an excitement and curiosity she could scarcely contain.
“There exists within the depths of my library countless tomes. Words penned by ancient scribe bearing names long forgotten by most. They contain the wisdom of ages, thoughts and ideas which have over the many years evolved, taking on a life of their very own. I have read them all, each and every one. Every page committed to memory during the course of my long life.” Tamerus spoke, breaking the silence. He pulled a volume from the shelf with care, opening it with long, calloused fingers. The words were written in a fine, delicate hand. She recognized the script, the flowing calligraphy of the Althuwatha. Known in the common tongue as elves, they were said to be as eternal as the great sage himself. The tongue of her mother’s people, but one foreign to the young pupil. He held the book out before her. She reached out with trembling hands. It felt heavy, smelling of frankincense, cloves, and something otherworldly. A sweet pungent smell, that seemed familiar, yet unknown. The words though beautiful, held little meaning to her. “You have no doubt seen them,” her teacher continued. “Myriad tales of myth and legend. Stories of heroism and adventure, of hearts won and favors earned. Such tales form the foundation of our history. The backbone of every culture, shaping the very beliefs and ideals we live by today. In these stories monsters are slain, and nations saved from certain doom.” The acolyte nodded, handing the book to her elder. He placed it back onto the shelf with care. “Fate choose those destined for greatness. Through their deeds and hardships they became more than mortal. They became myth. Their actions elevating them, granting immortality in form of story and song. These sagas remain, forever etched in history. Many of them line these very shelves. The heroes, however, are gone, long since turned to bone and dust.”
Tamerus motioned them forward, leading her through a passageway into another section of the vault. He unlocked doors as they went. Making use of the large keyring that hung from his waist. They continued in silence until they came before another locked door. She noted the slightest smile on her teachers face and he procured the key to the door. There was a loud click, and the door unlocked. He pushed it open, revealing a small study or workshop. An empty workbench sat in the middle of the room. Beyond it, a small bookshelf in the corner, next to a desk, covered in papers. Candles lined the room, and she jumped as their flames sprang to life as if by their own volition.
quoteShe felt a comforting hand on her shoulder, and he motioned for her to sit at the desk. He began to rummage through the books on the shelf. “Once again a darkness spreads across the land. It waits, lurking just beneath the surface of conscious mind. Hiding in the cracks between waking thought and the fantasy of dream. It is insidious, growing greater in strength and influence with each passing day. When strong enough it will threaten to devour the world. The first signs are now upon us. Crops wither and livestock suffers. The blight grows and spreads, but mortals do not recognize the danger. Nor will they until it is too late. Threats both old and new will rise to swallow the world whole.” Tamerus set a pair of books down upon the desk before her. Opening the first she found it blank, numerous pages of empty parchment. The second was full of words and symbols she did not recognize. They were unusual, alien, yet seemed to hold some power. She felt a warm tingle in her fingers as she ran her hand across them. Tamerus said nothing, only placed a quill into her unsteady hand. “I have not asked you here to frighten you with tales of danger or prophecy. Nor to scare you from these hallowed halls of knowledge. The time for heroes must return, but will they heed the call? Will they rise up and protect the world? Or will they throw it away, plunging it forever into shadow. The choice is yours. Yes, yours young one.” She could only stare at him with wide eyes. Thoughts raced through her head as she tried to discern meaning from his words. “I tell these stories, not simply to educate, but to inspire. Heroes have not disappeared, they reside within each of us, a tiny voice, whispering to them deeds that will lead them to greatness. That voice resides within you as well, young one, you need only listen. The pen is in your hand. It is time to write your story…”

Progress Report

Updates

I’ve shared a few bits and pieces of my work over the last few weeks, but I feel I should talk a bit about what the status of the project currently is and what I’ve been spending my time on. I would expect to have most of the groundwork complete by the end of the year, and a “working version” of the setting by spring. I’ve been putting a great deal of time into various pieces, laying a foundation I can build from as the work continues to narrow in focus.

 

Progress Report

ZayreDetail

The Region of Zayre

A lot of my time the last few weeks has been spent working on the map for the main continent, Reghal. I’ve worked and reworked the map, adding more details as I go, and making minor improvements based on feedback I’ve received from various cartography pages on Facebook. I’ve found these communities very helpful and they’ve help me to improve my skills with Campaign Cartographer 3+. I don’t yet consider myself an expert, but my work has improved substantially over the last few months.

I’ve been keeping a OneNote notebook to keep track of my work. As of this writing it contains about 15,000 words. This includes notes on nearly everything from nations to races and cultures, religions, and a sizable chunk (8 pages and counting) of history and time lines. I don’t expect to use every word (nobody wants to ready 10 pages of just timelines, right? But it gives me a good starting point and backbone to build a narrative from. Not included in this word count is two pieces of original fiction I’ve written based on this material. These are short works of about 2k words each, and may be used to add fluff to the setting and break up and add depth to the “crunchier” bits of the book.

Moving Forward

In the months ahead, I expect to add more meat to the skeleton I’ve been constructing over the last few months. I will likely take a more focused approach picking one nation at a time until I have a basic framework for each. In the spring I will start a campaign in this world, using my own group to playtest the world and tweak it or add additional details as the campaign progresses. I will be starting with the Kingdom of Zayre, as it will be the most “traditional” in terms of setting. Early next week I will be posting some more fiction, and will continue to keep posting updates as work progresses. I may release a guide to Zayre as a sample this spring before the start of my next campaign.

 

Thanks for reading!

-Patrick Harron, Triple Moon Games

The Goblins of Veyrn

Knives in the Dark

Blix2Of all the creatures in fantasy gaming, goblins are one of the most common and most used creatures. Rare is the character that has not had to battle these small, evil creatures at some point in their career. They exist in most settings, and rare is the game that does not make use of them in some way.

Veyrn will naturally have goblins, they exist as one of the most prominent creatures that a character may encounter, and they will have an interesting and unique history, and background, but before I get into some of that I’d like to make a few distinctions between my goblins, and those most common to most worlds.

Goblins are NOT comic relief

Goblins in most worlds are well, stupid. They have low intelligence scores, and this is often used to provide comic relief. Combined with their generally lack of threat (though even the weakest creature can be powerful under the right circumstances.) they are often depicted and being evil to the point of ridiculousness. They are dangerous to the unprepared, but not often a serious threat to the average character, sometimes even bumbling and cowardly toward those stronger than them.

Goblins in Veyrn, will not be more physically imposing that standard 5e goblins, but they will be a great deal smarter. I would state them as having a cruel intelligence, a cunning that allows them to think outside the box, coupled with a low wisdom that keeps them from holding back, even when a situation might warrant caution. Rarely will they attack without a strategy, and often have several escape routes planned. The people of Veyrn treat them not as weak creatures who sometimes cause trouble, but a more serious threat. In Veyrn they are a force to be feared. This change is tied to their origins, which I will discuss next.

Legions of the Archfey

The goblins are not native creatures to Veyrn, though they have been there long enough to have found their own niche. They have survived and flourished by taking what they need, and brutally killing those in their way.

The Althuwatha [High Elves] tell of their origins. The small vicious creatures made up the bulk of the armies of the Archfey. They were the favored troops of these beings, employing them on many campaigns, until they, along with the elves were abandoned, and left to their fates. Without their Fae masters to rein them in the task fell to the elves, who struggled with the task. Eventually the goblins broke free of even their control, and continue to wreak havoc wherever they go. They are smart enough to avoid large settlements, but smaller towns and villages are often considered easy targets.

Lurkers in the Dark

blix

Blix from Legend (1985), Universal Pictures

Goblins prefer to hide in the shadows, and make their homes in the caves, holes, and other places untouched by the light of day. They are not hindered by the sun, but prefer a nocturnal existence, as it the concealment the night provides is advantageous to them.

 

Without Number

Aware of their physical limitations, when possible the goblins will attempt to use strategy and tactics that emphasize one of their biggest advantages. Goblins breed quickly, far faster that any other intelligent race on Veyrn, this allows them to replace their lost warriors quickly, they will creep from the cracks and crevices of the earth, assault in considerable numbers, then disappear. Villages near known goblin settlements must keep careful watch, often hiding behind walls or palisades for safety. They seldom stray beyond these wall in cover of night. Those who do are often never heard from again.