Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Digitizing Tékumel, Part 19: a return to the Mssúma river valley...

After a long break, I am starting to look at my "Digitizing Tékumel" project again. Here is another look at the Mssúma river along the border of Urusái and Jakásha provinces. The sákbe road runs south from Usenánu and crosses the river at what, in My Tékumel, I am calling the twin towns of Métlan and Jáyo. Métlan is in Urusái province, while smaller Jáyo is in Jakásha province. For inspiration I am drawing somewhat on the early history of Budapest which was originally two towns on opposite sides of the river.
To the west, Jikutlár fief is visible. This fief features in one of the Solo Gamebooks - the one with the green cover, IIRC. I have located it according to the description in the book: approximately 200 tsán north of Jakálla. The other named places - Anján Wood, Cholúga, Máshtla, Diridé, and Chorkúda - all come from that adventure.
The other two named features - Lake Vejápa and the Abásun River - are my additions. I've stolen the name "Vejápa" from a work of popular science fiction that many may recognize. The word "abásun" means "white" in Tsolyáni, so the Abásun River is the White River. I haven't decided why it is called that yet.
The Abásun River is a dry bed during the hottest months of the year but as the rains come and the Mssúma River rises it flows south into Lake Vejápa. The lake itself gets quite shallow in spots during the summer. Note the small island in the middle. It is possible to wade out to it some summers if one knows the route. When the floods come the Mssúma overflows its banks and the Abásun disappears as the whole area is inundated. Lake Vejápa expands about ten times its original size and neighbouring villages exist as tiny islands or clusters of huts on stilts.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Girls und Palanquin

Here are Dark Fable's pretty Senet players all ready for a day's shopping in Thebes! They're riding the Tékumel Project's Qól Palanquin.

But wait, where are their bearers? Poor Girls! No Shopping today. :-(

(Unfortunately the Qól are both too sinister and too afraid of the bright sun to be much good for shopping.)

Senet players by David Soderquist. Available from Dark Fable Miniatures.

Qól Palanquin by Roderick Campbell and available from the Tékumel Project.

Friday, June 12, 2015

The Gulf of Perudáya

The Gulf of Perudáya

Diving back into the Digitizing Tékumel project after a long break. Here is a re-imagining of the sandbars in the Gulf of Perudáya. Those in my first attempt I just drew more-or-less at random. For these I have traced the shallows as actually marked on the Swords & Glory map.

These sandbars would be exposed to varying degrees at low tide. They would be constantly changing shape but would roughly the general shape as drawn. There would be a myriad of smaller channels cut through them that would also change over time. Local Knowledge suddenly becomes a very important skill! I expect that there are clans that specialize in providing pilots, which merchants can hire to navigate them through the channels. Some merchants might try to go it alone - at their own risk. And other times there might be pirates who masquerade as pilots to deliberately lead a ship astray, running it aground so it can be looted.

Also, I should point out that a while ago I started some boards on Pinterest under the heading "Inspiration for Tékumel" with the aim of pinning pictures that I think somehow - sometimes in only the smallest of ways - offer some sort of inspiration as to what Tékumel might look like. It's hard, of course, because Tékumel is Earth but I think for the most part I've selected pictures that provide at least a tiny bit of inspiration. If only to ensure that people get out of the Medieval European mindset that prevails in most settings.

I've started adding more and more specific boards, targeting cities and geographic regions of Tsolyánu, for example. The most recent of these is the Gulf of Perudáya board which features the picture above. I am planning on integrating my digitization project with Pinterest even further as I go along.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Meeting in No Space

WIP by Zhu

Depicting a scene from "The Man of Gold"...buy the book!

Note that my use of the term "No Space" is just a sign of the influence of Dune on me; the term was never used by Professor Barker to my knowledge.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Thinking about the Swamp Folk...

Given that our Swamp Folk are going to show up eventually, if not soon, I have started to think about how to paint their white flesh. I stumbled upon the art of Chet Zar via his father's art page. I think the two pictures above, in particular the top one are along the lines of the effect I would like to achieve. 

In case you don't remember what they look like, here are some pics of the Swamp Folk greens...

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Art Cards

The Clan of Flowering Life, Art Card #03

Art Card #02
Art by Jeff Dee

Some time ago - back in 2010 - I decided to try some promotional material. For U-Con 2010 I had a promotional postcard (or art card, if you prefer) made up with some art by Paul Ballard. On the reverse was a blurb and a code that gave a 10% discount on any purchase. IIRC, nobody actually redeemed the card. So much for promotions!

Art Card #01
Art of Paul Ballard

But I decided to persevere, mainly because I just like that sort of thing, and had another one done with art by Jeff Dee. This I had intended to include with parcels and was sized to fit my common package size. A few went out but I discovered there were issues with packaging the figures and the card so neither was damaged by shipping. It turned out the cards just got in the way.So I stopped doing that.

Then James Maliszewski started publishing his little fanzine for the Empire of the Petal Throne RPG: "The Excellent Traveling Journal". After receiving my copy I realized that the art card fit inside the center of the booklet. I had fifty copies left and I arranged with James to get them inserted into the first fifty copies of the fanzine ordered.

The plan is to include similar cards in each issue, if I can manage it and for as long as James is willing. Card #03 is pictured at the top. That card is away at the printers now and Zhu is already working on the next one. :-)

Saturday, March 7, 2015

The White Worms

Image by Hobobill (negative version of...)

In My Tékumel, the Íto clan uses the chalky hills of the Chákan Range to mark out both the eastern boundary of their lands and also their allegiance to Lord Sárku. Great worms, some with five heads, are carved out of the hillsides beyond the forest boundaries allowing the chalk to show through. (Just like the White Horses that are found in the UK). Some of these White Worms, as they are called, are actually now outside the present boundaries of the clan. At least one is large enough and high enough to be seen from the north-south sákbe road. There are no such worms in the vicinity of the Monastery of the Grey Cloak as that region has long been a stronghold of Lord Thúmis.