Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Weekly Update for Sunday, February 9th, 2014 - "Ask not for whom the klaxon honks, it honks for thee..."

Party!!! Party at the palace!!! Whee!!!

(Photo by Mike Burns)

Here at The Workbench, the hot news of this past week is that Mike Burns, Leed's answer to Amenhotep the Third, has launched his new Indiegogo campaign to help fund his line of Ancient Egyptian 'civilian' figures. While he's planning on opening an on-line store as "Dark Fable Miniatures", this campaign is a great way to get in at the beginning of things and get some great figures. The home page for the current campaign is:

There are also links to his previous campaigns, and lots and lots of photos of the figures.

The Tekumel fan may be wondering why I'm so giddy about these figures; it should be noted that the Professor was a huge fan of Ancient Egypt, and we used to use a lot of his figures for Tsolyani 'civilians' in our games with him. I've always wanted to run a game set in a party in a palace or clan house, and these figures will come in very handy for games like that. Heaps of 'charm', and lots of 'play value' here.


Not to be outdone in the miniatures department, Howard Fielding has kindly sent me an e-mail saying that his own Tekumelyani 'civilians' are shipping; I am really looking forward to seeing these, as they promise to be great. Use the link in the left-hand column, and have a look at The Tekumel Project; Howard is working very hard at making Phil's vision a reality, and he's worth a visit!


As noted earlier this week, I have hit the first big milestone on my book, "To Serve The Petal Throne" - see also the post from yesterday, February 8th - and after quite a lot of thought I have reorganized the text into six separate books. Middle Daughter, who is a professional editor, pointed out that at the rate I was going, readers were going to have to be equipped with hernia trusses in order to be able to simply lift the book in my original form; it was one massive volume, and about the size of the phone directory. (Do they still have 'phone books', these days?)

My original thought had been to divide the text into five volumes, the same as the phases of Our Hero's career, and do the thing that way. However, after mashing the keys for a while, I realized that I had a sixth book in hand - "What did you do in the civil war, daddy?" - and so we now have six books. I also broke out the word counts for each, after I got it all sorted, and you can see where I need to get cracking to fill in the blanks.

I still have no idea how long this whole thing is going to be. I'm still a little shocked to think that I've managed to rack up 100,225 words, as I think I'm just getting started! I'll tell all of the stories that Phil played out with us, and we'll see how it goes. I have a suspicion that we'll end up with about 250,000 words in total, with each book hovering around 40,000 words; I have no idea how that compares with books these days, so I can't really compare what I'm doing to the work of others.

I am now looking for at artist to do the six covers; I'd prefer to get one person to do all of them, for stylistic reasons, but I'm open to ideas since my career as Chirine ba Kal had six pretty distinct phases over the years. Different artists, with differing styles, might convey that better, but I really don't know. All of the books will have identical 'covers', in terms of format, and I think I'll use a different color for the background of each so people can tell them apart more easily.

There will also be internal artwork and maps, a lot of which has never been published as it was part of the archives of the original Thursday night group out at Phil's, and stuff we used in our gaming. I use a lot of this in my model-making, like the plans for Castle Tilketl, or the tube way car plans I did for Phil. I hope you'll enjoy them!

I'm also thinking that each book will mostly be able to stand alone, so that readers can delve into each a they have the time and interest. There will be a common timeline and index, so that readers can find things more easily, but I am not expecting people to sit down and read all six at one go!

I hope you'll enjoy the book; I plan on getting it done late this year, and I think you'll be amused at our misadventures in the world of the Petal Throne...


The bout with the 'flu that I had earlier this week seems to have subsided, and I do feel a bit better; getting the new Indiegogo and other miniatures news has cheered me up no end, as has finally getting past the first big milestone on the book. I've been pushing fluids and Enya, and getting a bit done here at the computer; I'm pleased.

I am also stepping back a bit from my Internet connections; I have scheduling issues, as I've noted, and I type very slowly due to my dyslexia and ambidexterity. So, I'm going to be spending a lot more time - and blood pressure capacity  on the book, and trying to stay out of the kinds of Internet discussions that have taken the place of the letters and phone calls that Phil and I used to get telling us in the strongest possible terms


Ah, me. I have some personal favorites from the thirty-five years I've been getting these kinds of communications; here's one or two for your amusement...

When I did "Qadardalikoi", I was soundly chastised for not stating in the rules that Tinaliya heavy pike units do not rule the battlefields of Tekumel, and are the Arm Of Decision in combat. I ran this past Phil, and he laughed himself silly at the notion.

Phil's views on how magic works on Tekumel are wrong, and he doesn't know what he's talking about.

When I did "Qadardalikoi", I was soundly chastised for not stating in the rules that Shen heavy infantry units do not... You get the idea. Insert "my favorite whatever here", and that takes care of a lot of the complain letters I got - and still get.

Phil's view of how Tekumel works is wrong, and he doesn't know what he's talking about.

I read a book once (or played a game), so I know better then you how Tekumel works, Barker. Who do you think you are, anyway? Gary Gygax?

Why can't I have a 250th level balrog in Tekumel? I want it to be OFFICIAL Tekumel, too!

Ah, well. Enough of that. It's a lovely morning, I've had a nice omlette, and I'll be back to bed at noon after I talk to my girls in Zurich in about two hours.

Have a decent week, if I don't write, and we'll talk to you later!