Showing posts from August, 2013

Worldcon 2013

We’ll be at Lone Star Con 3/Worldcon 2013 here in San Antonio, TX on Saturday and Sunday.We decided on day passes for the weekend because our jobs were in the way on Thursday and Friday (and Monday’s events are pretty boring).It’s going to be pretty hectic; there’s a lot to do!
On Saturday night and Sunday night respectively, we’ll be cramming into the Grand Salon along with everyone else to see the Masquerade and Hugo Awards, but we’ll probably spend most of the daytime attending panels.My likely schedule is:
Saturday 8/31
10:00 a.m. — 1 hour 2045 | Happy Birthday, Doc Savage! Convention Center: 103B • Panel, Literature For a legendary super hero who just turned 80, he doesn’t look a day over 33! Our panel will join Doc Savage historian Anthony Tollin in a discussion of the origins and influence of one of the all time great heroes. Anthony Tollin (M), Mike Ward, David Liss, Jess Nevins
11:00 a.m. — 1 hour 2160 | Author by Day, Poet by Night Convention Center: 102A • Panel, Poetry A numbe…

The King is Dead: Libertines and Liberated

Becoming a vampire means the death of life as you have known it; becoming a vampire means that one is cut off from the act of procreation.While many vampires claim that drinking blood is a sensation more exquisite than the base pleasures of the flesh, mortal satirists immensely doubt it.Regardless, the unliving upper crust of Society disdains mere fornication and turns to elaborate tortures and other unnatural means for their pleasures.The Church of Sathaniel, in turn, preaches hatred of the flesh as part of its support of the monarchy.
The nobles of Malleus are obsessed with the purity of their bloodlines – in terms of both literal genetic inheritance from parent to child and in metaphorical inheritance from master vampire to servitor.It is not enough to simply be a vampire; one must also be physically descended from the right people.The mortal descendants of the vampire lords are expected to produce the next generation of children before they are given the gift of immortality.

The King is Dead: A Glorious Thing To Be the Scarecrow King

 Beyond the Pale to the south sits the Darkmoor.This wilderness of bogs, mires, and granite-topped tors is home to very little modern human habitation, but boasts numerous ancient cairns, menhirs, and standing stones.Mystically-minded members of the Glorious Revolt and desperate criminals are some of the few humans to inhabit the area; the vampires largely avoid it due to the lack of prey, but some people claim the area holds stranger horrors – werewolves, wights, and wyrms amongst others.
Beyond that lies Kernow.Once an independent Kimmerian kingdom, Kernow has been assimilated into Mallean culture for nearly one thousand years and few local peculiarities still linger.Since the Kernish isthmus is the westernmost extent of the isle of Malleus, it is a natural haven for smugglers and pirates arriving from the colonies.The town of Pennsans, in particular, has become a pirate haven and a division of the Royal Army under Major General Garnet has been dispatched to pacify the town.The ma…

The King is Dead: There May (or May Not) Be Monsters in the Lochs

Lochland was an independent nation until 1715 when the Deircc – MacFindlay of Moray, the Red King – was slain by a highlander uprising led by the Clan O’Nail.Rather than freeing Lochland of vampire rule, this instead led to Wilhelm the Everlasting laying claim to Lochland through his treaty with MacFindlay and invading the country.The invasion has exacerbated differences between the southern lowlands of Lochland and the northern highlands and the nation is now at war with itself.
The lowlands of Lochland are essentially Mallean in culture and language.While the lowlanders certainly have their own unique dialect and brogue, their customs and fashions ape the fashionable of Hammerstadt.Most Lochlander nobles have kin at Sownfield Palace and civilized Lochlander high society is practically indistinguishable from Mallean.
The capitol of Edenesburch, located near the south of Lochland, is an old city frantically trying to modernize.The process began under the late Deircc -- embracing…

The King is Dead: Assassin's Creed III

I'm not really into video games, but I know art that I like.  All images are from

The King is Dead: Give Me Gonzo or Give Me Death

I could insist that The King is Dead is a very serious setting with a very serious political message and everyone should take it very seriously.  I could do that, or I could acknowledge that one of the main influences on this setting is a movie with a set piece fight scene where a supposed American Indian kung-fus a bunch of guys with Wolverine claws and the final fight is against a guy with a crazy anime-style bone whip-sword.  I think I'll choose the latter.

Savage Worlds Arcane Backgrounds in The King is Dead

All five core Savage Worlds Deluxe Arcane Backgrounds are available in The King is Dead.  If you have the Savage Worlds Fantasy Companion and you really, really want to use the new ones in there, then by all means do so.  I'm not going to stop you; I just think we don't need them.  By the same token, characters made with the Super Powers Companion are on a completely different scale than "normal" Savage Worlds PCs, so only use that if everyone in the part…

The King is Dead: Plotters and Rebels

Here’s the thing: the Illuminati were the good guys.
During their brief existence, the historical Bavarian Illuminati championed eliminating superstition and prejudice, reducing the abuse of power by governments, and treating women as equals.If you’re opposed to those goals, then you’re a primitive screwhead and I don’t have anything to say to you.The rampant primitive screwheads of the time – including the Roman Catholic Church (which still has a lot of primitive screwheads in it) and proponents of Enlightened Despotism (all the science of the Enlightenment but none of the democracy!) – outlawed it and the society died.Late 18th century conspiracy theorists then blamed them for the French Revolution, but – again – unless you’re some kind of primitive screwhead then you should at least applaud the goals of the French Revolution even if you deplore its excesses.
So, yeah; they were the good guys.
Since the King is Dead is all about anti-monarchist conspiracies, it behooves me to crea…

The King is Dead: This Grim, Unpleasant Land Part 2

Sownfield Palace -- the residence of King Wilhelm the Everlasting, vampire monarch of Malleus – sits just outside Hammerstadt.The king’s body has been changing over the last two hundred years -- he has lost all his hair, his eyes have sunken while his talons have grown, and the smell of putrescence clings to him – and so ashamed he ordered the construction of a new court removed from the prying eyes of mortals.The innocent-sounding name is in fact a grim reference to the six hundred and sixty-six prisoners who were offered as human sacrifice to Sathaniel for the king‘s protection and were buried beneath the foundations and lush gardens of the palace when construction began last century.Sownfield Palace has no indoor plumbing.
North of Hammerstadt sits the ominous edifice of the Steinheng, a prehistoric circle of standing stones whose origins have been lost to the ages.There has been a great deal of interest in the ancient Kimmerian ancestors of the Malleans in recent times – due in no …

The King is Dead: Son of Hollywood History

Cripes!  I forgot a bunch of stuff -- including several movies I own!
More Movies I Own or Have Seen
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen Screenplay by Charles McKeown & Terry Gilliam Directed by Terry Gilliam Honestly, there's not much to swipe here -- after all, the POV of The King is Dead is pro-Enlightenment -- but who can't enjoy this film?
The Duchess Screenplay by Jeffrey Hatcher, Andrew thomas Jensen, and Saul Dibb Directed by Saul Dibb Keira Knightley plays Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire, in a brutal biopic that shows just how terrible life was for women back then, even at the top of the social ladder.  Did you know that the Bavarian Illuminati believed in women's rights? 
Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters
Written & Directed by Tommy Wirkola This movie desperately wants to be in the same league as Army of Darkness and just doesn't quite cut it.  Arguably the wrong period again, but useful for the crazy witch-hunting clockpunk weapons.
Jack of All Tr…

The King is Dead: This Grim, Unpleasant Land

Malleus is a large island with a land mass of approximately 175,000 square miles.It is surrounded by hundreds of smaller islands that hug its cliffs and coasts, including the subject island nation of Clavus.The continent of Incus – home to a baker’s dozen of competing nations – lies to the east.
(Malleus itself looks suspiciously like Great Britain if somebody laid modern Germany over where England is supposed to be, while Clavus looks suspiciously like a sideways Ireland and Incus looks like somebody cut Germany out of Europe and shoved France backwards to fill in the space.)
Approaching Malleus from Incus across the Mallean Channel first takes you past the Kaiser Island and the Claws, a group of deceptively pleasant-looking islands with broad beaches on their southern sides and steep cliffs on the north.The beaches, however, are only the most visible part of dangerous shoals that fuel the local industry of wrecking.The inhabitants of Kaiser Island and the Claws are roundly despised …