The Bloody Crown: Rhona Argusdottir

As mentioned earlier, I’m posting chapters from The Cyclops BannerA Bloody Crown, a novel I wrote. It’s a second-world fantasy inspired by the First Scots War of Independence.

As I post chapters, I’m also going to post game stats for many of the chief characters here, on the Sword’s Edge Publishing website.

Rhona Argusdottir Trevean, after the death of her father, embodies the resistance for the kingdom of Kellalh, under occupation by neighbouring Surraev for going on 15 years. Her father, the Old Baron, was the last holdout in his isolated province of Selcost, and with him gone, she is his heir. Except traditionally in Kellalh, women can’t inherit.

So, Rhona is fighting for the freedom of her kingdom and for her own freedom. Cristobel might be the commander of the army that seeks to free Kellalh, but she’ll be its leader.

As with last time, I’ll present Rhona as she would have been as a new character, and then how I see her in the novel.

A character sheet for Rhona Argusdottir, a character in the novel A Bloody Crown, as a young person
A character sheet for Rhona Argusdottir as presented in the novel A Bloody Crown

The Bloody Crown: Cristobel vel Lupus

In 2023, over on my personal site, I’m going to be posting chapters from The Cyclops Banner: A Bloody Crown, the novel I recently finished. It’s a second-world fantasy inspired by the First Scots War of Independence.

As I post chapters, I’m also going to post game stats for many of the chief characters here, on the Sword’s Edge Publishing website.

One of the first characters you are going to meet is Cristobel vel Lupus, Count Terenquist and Captain-General of the Free Company of the Unicorn Banner. He is a key protagonist whose presence has an outsized impact on events in the story.

For Cristobel, let’s build him as a Sword’s Edge character. I’m going to provide both stats for when Cristobel was an introductory character (probably about 20 years before the events in the novel) and then as the character as presented in the novel. That later character will have had 10 Advances—one for every couple of years of life experience. He probably would have earned five of those in the first two years of his career as a mercenary, with the others accumulating after.

Ballad of a High Plains Samurai

As I’ve mentioned a few times in a few places, I’m working on a fiction commission. It’s done and dusted, handed in and awaiting editing. It’s also okay for me to let people know what it is.

I’ve written a four-part story outlining the early history of Black Scorpion, a major figure in High Plains Samurai. Black Scorpion is a legendary bandit who once challenged the warlords hold on the One Land, and the story I’ve finished takes her from childhood to the final battle between the Desert Sun gang, with Black Scorpion as its chief, and the warlords of the Five Cities.

I’ll let you know when and where you can read the fiction when that information becomes available, but it’s probably best to follow Broken Ruler Games for all the breaking news. You might notice, if you are checking up on High Plains Samurai, that there is a stretch goal for fiction with my name attached. This would be a continuation of the four-part saga which would reveal more about my version of Black Scorpion.

And I would say my version, because if you are playing or running High Plains Samurai, your Black Scorpion might be different. Your One Land might be different. For me, it is a place where the weak cannot hope for justice and order is the same as submission. For me, Black Scorpion began as an outcast and became the most powerful warlord in the One Land, becoming such a threat that the other warlords united against her. For me, Black Scorpion is a tragic hero who desires justice but is fuelled by rage. In a world in which justice is absent, she is left with her rage.

So I hope you’ll enjoy it when its available, and I hope you’ll support High Plains Samurai, a fantastic game and a fantastic setting.

You can find out more about High Plains Samurai here.

You can find Broken Ruler Games here.

Farewell, Something Lovely: Postmortem

I’ve been doing some of the math for Farewell, Something Lovely, wondering if it would be possible to deliver the product for the amount raised. Here’s the numbers.

I raised $679 CAD, which after Kickstarter and payment processing fees would likely end up around $610.

The cost of delivering the 12 books would likely be around $110 USD – including printing and shipping – which would translate into around $130 CAD presently (and given the CAD is weakening, that’s going to increase). For the 11 signed copies, it would likely be about $130, or around $150 CAD.

Okay, so for the printed material, that’s around $280. That leaves me with $330. That’s not enough to pay for layout and editing, let alone get me any money, however it would be possible to create a bare-bones, very generic version for that cost.

It’s something to consider for the future. Still, I think there are other avenues that will be explored once Nefertiti Overdrive has been driven.

Farewell, Kickstarter

Art by by Paul Slinger, Design by Rob WakefieldFor those of you playing at home, Farewell, Something Lovely didn’t fund. I can’t look to anyone else than myself for this. I will likely explore other options to try to fund my fiction writing, but for now, my focus is going to be on two things.

First, I’m about to depart on a rather lengthy trip. Suffice it to say, this place is going to be a little quiet over the next month. I’ll post when I can, probably about the second item of focus, but I’m not even going to venture a guess about timeframes, as I have no idea what my internet access will be like.

Second, I am still on schedule to Kickstart Nefertiti Overdrive. I have high hopes for this project, given that Centurion: Legionaries of Rome was a success and that whatever z-list celebrity I might have is from writing RPGs and hosting an RPG podcast.

A thank-you to all those who pledged for Farewell, Something Lovely. Your support is greatly appreciated. I hope you will all be willing to support Nefertiti Overdrive when that starts kicking in middle to late March.

Kicking Something Lovely

Art by by Paul Slinger, Design by Rob WakefieldJust stopping in to let you know that SEP is going to be quiet while the Farewell, Something Lovely Kickstarter is ongoing. However, please visit that page, as I’ll be putting up articles through the updates. You can already find “Five Great Film Noirs” and “Five Influences on my Writing Philosophy.” You can expect to see “My Top Five Fantasy Fiction” and “My Top Five Fantasy Films.” That should give you a few recommendations to consider while you wait for your paperback copy of the short story collection.

Because you have supported the Kickstarter, right?

Please support the Farewell, Something Lovely Kickstarter.

Get Ready for the Farewell

Art by by Paul Slinger, Design by Rob WakefieldSo, here’s the thing: work is taking me away from home for about three weeks, and – while the timing hasn’t been confirmed – it’s probably going to be from late January to mid-February. That makes timing the Kickstarter for Farewell, Something Lovely difficult. I was hoping to do a full four weeks, from mid-January to mid-February. That’s now no longer possible, unless I just leave the Kickstarter to run on auto-pilot, which is probably not a good idea. Delaying Farewell, Something Lovely delays Nefertiti Overdrive, and I’m not happy with that.

The solution is a shorter Kickstart with sub-optimal timings. That sucks, but I’m willing to hazard it. I’m going to run the Farewell, Something Lovely for two weeks, from 10 to 20 January. Let’s see if we can get to $3,250 in two weeks. Maybe not, but that’s a risk I’m willing to take.

Are you with me?

Good News, Bad News

I’ve got some good news and some bad news.

The good news? The physical copies of Centurion: Legionaries of Rome are with our fulfillment company and should be in the mail any time now, if not already.

The bad news? With the physical copies of Centurion on their way, I was ready to go live with our next Kickstarter – the sword noir short story collection Farewell, Something Lovely – however I’m likely to be travelling in January, and so I’m going have to delay the kicking the start until February 15.

I don’t know about you, but I’m getting frustrated with waiting to go live with Farewell, Something Lovely. This was originally planned for November! Delay seems to be endemic with Kickstarter, so I guess I just better accept it and move on.

Waiting impatiently for February 15.

You can find more information on Farewell, Something Lovely here.