I’m pleased that upon reflecting on the past few days my initial feeling was it was a nice, normal week… and then realizing how much was accomplished (and how much fun was had) makes me quite grateful for my “normal” life.

For my disclosure on this or any of my posts or pages… please visit my Disclosure page.

First, I finally mocked up a resource for the Blackspire RPG Campaign world that’d I’d always meant to do, but (even though it’s referenced in the To Baator and Back episodes) I honestly hadn’t needed it for any of my players before…

Before now that is…

And so, here’s my first attempt to articulate a possible vision of the skies above the world of Terregastia before the sky went black, of course…

I also mocked up a version with the names of the celestial objects/deities indicated, as this will likely prove to be important reference to at least one of the player characters in Blackspire Season 2…

Celestial Deities of Blackspire

In addition, for this same character I mocked up a quick rendition of the scale 15 mile tall world tree of the Jade Dragon Empire, along with that world’s Zodiac…

Terregastia Zodiac and the Sakura-bonsai (world tree)

Which of course corresponds (and ties all the way back) to the 12 sacred animal forms!

The 12 Sacred Animal Forms

And the character I’ll be able to explore all this stuff with (to name just a bit) is our friend Jen, who will be joining us as a player character in Season 2. I’ve been tooling around in Herolab quite a bit to craft the skeleton of the character she’ll flesh out, and on top of hanging out with her and some other old friends in a pub crawl across Towson this week, we also got together for our first recording session together.

Initially the three of us recorded a short “getting to know you” episode to introduce the listener to Jen, talk a bit about her gaming background, and talk initial impressions about the game. We then pivoted, and really started to get into the meat of brainstorming up her character background, as she had a number of choices to make.

Perhaps most importantly, she’ll be playing a kitsune (an anthropomorphic fox spirit inspired from Japanese folklore) and so after a long dissertation on the various fox clans (based on the 12 animal forms) and sacred trees (based on the 8 hexagrams of the I-Ching), she chose her parents’ associations accordingly (and landing on the name Akihoshi Tengoku). This process (and similar exercises after) also served as something of a gazetteer to introduce the listener (at least the Patreon listener) to more than a few nuggets of Blackspire campaign world material that otherwise would probably never get revealed.

And now I even know the color schemes to start painting her miniature with… I’ve started on Jenny’s new character Claerydia the gorgon as well, but I’ll wait until they’re both a bit father along before posting any new photos…

If things go like I suspect they might I might get two full episodes out of that initial brainstorming session. All in all, I think it all went great. We had a blast, and everyone is excited to have her join us around the gaming table. And we ended up discussing some much cool Blackspire stuff, and have only just barely scratched the surface of where we can go here. The above art just teases at the edges of it… but now I’ve got lots of great new content to sift through to create more Teasers for the main iTunes (et al.) feed.

Time was altogether out, so I did take some time this week and edited together two more Teasers from content already released on Patreon, and I’m even going to start putting those teasers up on YouTube as well to hopefully drive even more traffic.

This week the first of those teasers I just finished did release, and while some of the sound is from episodes that (thanks to some technology demons) wasn’t the best we’ve ever captured, hopefully with the music tracks beneath and compelling content to grip you, people won’t mind much, as after these teasers we’re back to our usual quality.

Oh yeah… we also managed to fit in another Side Session for the White Hydra Mercenary Company players this week… as those who were “left” after last game had quite a lot of clean up to do. Things got interesting, and we managed to lay the foundation for yet another side session I’ve been teasing to do for the Solina character… and with two new interesting approaches for me to think about as well…

And there’s additionally side sessions for Claerydia, BISHAMONTEN and St. Jezebel to plan (and all hopefully taking place before our first get-together Season 2 session early next month)… but after the material we came up with during the Akihoshi session I’ve got a much clearer idea of what I could end up doing for each of them… and tie the whole world together that much more.

And… as it’s due to go live on Patreon in just a few days I dared not put it off any longer (as well) so this week I buckled down and tore through the complete edits of Adventure Hook: Episode 31 in a single night. It was another pretty decent show (made all the more decent with some careful edits) and a few fairly insightful moments (with plenty of laughs as well to boot). For some reason I’m having trouble wrapping up the write up for that episode’s show notes , but I’ll get it done soon enough.

I also mocked up the promo art for the episode, which I think sums up the show’s concept quite succinctly.

But, I couldn’t really decide on a more Viking “Holmgang”-like image, or if I should use medieval armored combatants, so I mocked up two versions…

Aaron and I both wound up preferring the first image, and so that’s what we’ll end up using, though it can’t hurt to have variants available. Who knows which one might get more attention in the end?

We also went ahead and knocked out the recording for the next episode of Adventure Hook (Episode 32) as well. Our plan this time was to skip our usual banter intro section altogether, and jump right into developing the #newadventurehook.

Our thinking was this would mean we’d end up recording a shorter, tighter show, but instead we still ended up with over an hour and a half show, and the extra time was just spent on developing the idea further. Maybe it’s for the best, I really did feel like it was a good show, and in the end I don’t even have to worry since it’s not my turn to edit the episode. We don’t plan to record again until the end of the month, but when we do plan to make it a double header. Aaron’s Hellblazer duties are stretching him thin, so we need to build up buffers wherever possible.

He also proposed an idea for changes to the way we do Patreon which I think makes a lot of sense. The idea is we only keep the most recent episodes (say the last dozen or so) live in the iTunes stream. Anything older than that gets retires to the “archives” of our Patreon page. Then we make a small dollar tier which gets you access to all that old stuff… which even makes referencing back to previous episodes more valuable in the long run.

We’ll see, but it is a fairly smart way to monetize what we’ve already finished without actually creating any additional work for ourselves.

Still, Episode 30 of Adventure Hook did debut this week on iTunes…

And had some nice responses, especially from the teacher who submitted the idea to our random episode chart in the first place.

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”><a href=”https://twitter.com/TheReliquum?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@TheReliquum</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/olmancampbell?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@olmancampbell</a> I love what you did with my bird-brained idea 😁 on <a href=”https://twitter.com/adventure_hook?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@adventure_hook</a>, especially using the young adventurers’ book from <a href=”https://twitter.com/JimZub?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@JimZub</a>. User and teacher friendly, and smelly dragon’s breath is a hit with all groups—we never grow up!</p>— Robin Feins, Agent of G.I.R.L. (@rbnbk) <a href=”https://twitter.com/rbnbk/status/1161776358734929922?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>August 14, 2019</a></blockquote> <script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>

Also, the book we reference in this episode I’m trying to embed below using the fancy Amazon Associates link that didn’t seem to work in WordPress last blog post (and I didn’t care that enough about to spend more than 5 minutes messing with).

So here you go. It’s a fun book. We talk about it on the show, and even use its ideas a bit to develop some of the adventures we talk about. It’s especially good to introduce brand new/young players to D&D.

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Did you buy it?

Hmmmm… guess I need a better marketing spell…

Still, the full moon today marks yet another performance of my monthly Abundance ritual, and this month really has started to turn around for me in that direction more fully. There’s much to be grateful for, even though I’m perhaps a good deal busier than usual, it’s all work I’m glad to have…

And oddly enough, a specter from my past reared its head this week as well, and curious news out of the OTO inadvertently prompted contact with some old Temple of the Western Gate (former) attendees as well. Those affairs will remain private, except to say that I used this opportunity to once again make it a point of having put any and all associations with that particular magickal order behind me.

And I keep hearing about folks seeing grasshoppers… and I even saw one myself this week land on the window screen of my studio. I’ve heard grasshoppers are a sign of time jumps… and the curious news I got this week can’t help but make me thing of the curious news surrounding the death of Jeffrey Epstein, and I can’t help but suspect the entire world is starting to vibrate on a higher frequency… a more positive timeline you could say…

It’s about time.

So yeah… I guess that week counts as “normal”.

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Thursday 8/15/19-

Sun: Leo–

Moon: Aquarius (FULL)

If you’d like to start from the “beginning” of all this… you can read from my first blog post.

For my disclosure on this or any of my posts or pages… please visit my Disclosure page.

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