“This one thinks, perhaps, it would be best to follow the Bhuradhest. Torenwyr this far from the mine… Pyrklist finds this distressing.” He wrung his hands, squinting as he looked fretfully from one outcropping of rock to another.
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Saturday, November 10, 2012
Kingsman is the Blackmoor equivalent to chess, or go. The board consists of a twenty-five square by twenty-five square grid checked off in two different alternating colors. Each side has a fifty-piece “army,” with each piece or pair of pieces having its own movement and attack patterns. The game ends when either all the pieces are captured (called a rout), or when one army outmaneuvers the other, either leaving only openings that would mean the pieces are captured (being in check), or outright blocking all the available moves (being check-mated). Capturing the Kingsman’s piece is automatic victory (called a (capital-C) Capture), is the shortest way to win, but is also the most difficult of victories to obtain.
Noblemen of the Thonian Empire would frequently make wagers, with each having to give up gold, or lands, or slaves with the capture of pieces from the board. In more than one occasion, marriages were determined by victories. It is said that Leansethar's terms of marriage were that her suitor had to defeat Rowena at Kingsman by all victory methods (route, check, check-mate, capture) in four consecutive games.
The only known instance of any victory against Rowena was by the Great Svenny, who won by Capture in an otherwise rout-oriented game in 1020 UC. The match took seven months to complete, and Svenny had only three pieces left in play.
Rowena subsequently challenged him to an alternate version of the game, played on a hex grid, with her single Kingsman surrounded by 150 pieces of Svenny's choosing. That game took three years to play out, and Uther's daughter won by rout. Unfortunately, there is no record of the moves used. It took the bank of fifty difference engines working in tandem twelve years to come up with but a single iteration, in the Last Days.
Needless to say, Leansethar never took a husband.
Monday, November 5, 2012
Blackmoor University did not get the soulbound technology right on the first try. Before settling on synthetics, they made many attempts to bind a soul into a “normal” material body beyond its natural bounds, most of which resulted in utter failure. The bonds were not strong enough to keep the soul from dissipating across the mortal boundary. The wizard-priests were only partially successful in calling the souls back. Some returned out of a sense of duty to the Empire. Very few, either twisted by the experimentation, or simply evil to begin with, returned bent on vengeance against the scientists, and the Empire that sponsored such abominable research.
They say a dragon sleeps beneath Kor-Karrest. They say the Karrnath defeated it in single combat, and when it refused to serve him, he cast it down into the deeps, bound in chains forged from the gold and silver of the dragon’s own horde. The Karrnath built his fortress of brass from the melted-down copper coins of the dragon’s hoard.