|Not Chirine's, sorry to say; I'll get a photo of it, if you like.|
Well, here we are at the beginning of the intercalenary days, between 2,392 A. S. and 2,393 A. S., and as usual I get a little reflective this time of the year. I should also note that the year-date is from the Long Count of Years, started in 1975 by Prof. Barker, and used in our notes and article on Tsolyani / Tekumelyani astrology; it is the astronomical year, and not the game year in Prof. Barker's campaign; I measure that from his novels and events that he wrote about. Currently, the game year is roughly 2,385 A. S., with the fourteen chapters of "Beside The Dark Pool Of Memory", Phil's last and unfinished Tekumel novel, starting to extend that.
I traditionally throw a party on the vernal equinox, the beginning of the Tsolyani year, slightly adapted to meet the schedule of game days here at the house. This year's little clambake will be on March 22nd; there will be a bottle of bubbly to consume.
The beginning of the new year is always tinged with a little melancholy, as well; we lost Phil this time several years ago, and I do miss him. However, Tekumel goes on, and I think he'd be pleased.
With that, I thought I'd review a few things, and see where we've been and where we're going...
"To Serve The Petal Throne" - The book just keeps on going; I added another 1,000 words to Book Six the other night, and I'm still steaming away on the thing. I think - and this is tentative! - that the six books will average about 50,000 words each, for a rough total of some 300,000 words.
"Advance Standards!" - The revised and updated second edition of my old set of miniatures rules is getting going again, inspired by a slug of lead from Howard Fielding; bless the man!
Quite a few of my construction projects have been finished, I am happy to say, and the net results are now all in tubs in the storage shed. I have abandoned the set of city walls and towers that I had started to make some years ago; I got some very negative feedback from the staff of The Source about having hand-made scenery items in my games, - they preferred that I use 'professional' products - so I replaced the set with a double helping of the GW plastic fortress walls that I got through the kindness of Neal Cauley of Phoenix Games. These work just fine, and have the 'professionally finished' look that the guys at The Source apparently want to see. Sadly, with the issues vis-a-vis booking games at The Source, I no longer game there; the new wall, gate, and tower sets do look really nice, though.
The Big Sakbe Road Set - as opposed to the Little Sakbe Road Set that is a dedicated scenery element for the Battle of Anch'ke - is the last major project that I have in the stack to be worked on; after I get that done, sometime in 2015, I'll have a lot of little projects to amuse myself with. Palanquins; one never has enough palanquins!
I do have one major construction project in the design stage - I'm planning to build a model of many of the element of the wonderful Padmanabhapuram Palace in Kerala; Phil was there, once, and it serves as the model for many of his palace / clanhouse complexes. I had some 1,575 scale roof brackets made, some years ago - I had access to a laser cutter, at the time - and now all I have to do is finish the cutting plans for the building bases in the computer and start milling everything out. The idea is not to have One Big Model - the idea is to make many smaller sections that can be used both in the actual configuration and in modular fashion to make an entire city-scape when used with my other scale buildings.
It'll keep me busy for a while... :)