Several people have asked for an update progress on Kélestia Productions products.
While I can't give precise dates as to when things will be published, I can share with you all that two publications are very near to completion.
The first is the long-awaited Chélemby City module, which will provide, I think, the most detailed description of any urban centre on Kèthîra yet published. These things always seem to take a lot longer than we expect; but that is because we hold ourselves to a pretty high standard.
The second is a module covering the Kingdom of Lédenheim; one of the sub-kingdoms of Hârbáal. This will give GMs and players the opportunity to explore beyond Chélemby into Hârbáal and towards the wild lands of the principalities of Huriséa.
Work is continuing apace on the mega-regional module of Venârivè. We think this is a very important module, because it will give people an insight into the major cultures that have spread their influence all across northwestern Lýthia; particularly the Àzeryáni, the Tríerzi and the Karéjians. Even if your players never leave Hârn, these cultures have influenced the world they live in; and if you do wish to travel beyond Hârn, then Venârivè will be the key social, cultural and political guide for that exploration.
This is just a sample of the work in progress at Kélestia Productions. Our team is working hard, despite Robin's ill health, and will hope to be able to delight and surprise you very soon.
Regards and best wishes
April 10, 2008
History of the Mángai
History of the Mángai
One of the features of advanced societies across northwestern Lýthia is the pervasive nature of the association of Guilds known as the Mángai. The Mángai is considerably more wide-spread and powerful than equivalent Terran medieval guilds, and as an international element that is largely unique to Lýthia.
How did this situation come into being? The answer to this question will be explored in the upcoming Venârivè module, but some of the key facts are related here.
The Mángai as an institution originated in the region now known as Karéjia in the third century TR. It evolved from much more ancient "trade associatons" amongst the Kàruía peoples (the ancestors of the Karéjians). The first meeting of the "Mángai" took place shortly before the conquest of Karéjia by Ázeryàn. In the following decades, under the cloak of the Imperium, the Mángai formed relationships with similar organisations in the Far East, Mafán and Anzelôria.
Eventually, in TR321, in alliance with Ázeryàni "merchant associations", the Mángai sought and were granted an Empire-wide Charter, which gave them extensive privileges in the areas of trade and the control of crafts. The new, Imperial-sponsored, Mángai came to dominate large areas of economic activity all across the Empire, and beyond, including sponsoring trading and exploration expeditions and the foundation of an number of key trading posts (such as Beldîra in TR348). By TR493, even the Hârnic "Court of Pentacles" had allied itself with the powerful Mángai.
The Mángai, by offering payments to new rulers as the Ázeryàn Empire retreated, was able to maintain its position even as the Empire which had launched it declined. Even today, the Mángai remains an extremely powerful institution, although it is not as unified as it once was.
Saturday is still part of the week, right? ;) -- As promised in the previous announcement, we hereby launch our new website feature: Scenario Ideas, an intermittently published series of inspirations and material for adventures and campaigns set on Kèthîra.
We start out with a revised version of the classical mini-scenario Tyána's Shade. It comes as a PDF document and contains maps and statistics for HârnMaster Gold and GURPS. Additional support for the d20 System is planned for future issues of the series; should you want to play Tyána's Shade using d20 rules, please say so -- we will then provide an appropriate stat sheet as a separate download.
A certain innovation is the "Information and Rating" system: On the title page of each Scenario Ideas document, game masters are given a quick yet differentiated overview over the material within the respective issue -- without giving away any possible spoilers to players that might be looking for an adventure for their group. In this regard, I would like to thank our member Allan for encouraging the employment of such a system.
We are going to quote the Information and Rating part in each issue's announcement here on the site -- like in the following for Tyána's Shade.
Setting: a hilly forest area close to human civilisation,in a temperate climate zone of Kèthîra
Overall Threat Rating: low
Extras: maps, NPC statistics
We hope you have fun using Tyána's Shade in your campaign and are looking forward to feedback of any sort.
As correctly pointed out over at HârnForum, we've had a spam bot being up to mischief at kelestia.com. Creating fake user accounts, it posted the usual links to the usual dubious websites.
We hope this wasn't too annoying or embarrassing. ;) In either case, as the webmaster I apologise for not making it even more difficult for these pests. On the bright side, I already took the appropriate measure: User registration now requires a so called "visual confirmation" -- i.e., entering numbers and letters shown in an image as distorted figures. Thanks to the spam bots' poor eyesight, they now seem to be held at bay! :)
Apart from having had some spam (of which we will hopefully be staying free from now on), we are planning to publish some new actual "meat": a new website column (in addition to Penny Arcane and Lore) that we hope will turn out to be a treat for all Hârn GMs and players. We call this new column "Scenario Ideas". It is going to be a very special answer to the call for more "Hârnic adventures" in providing both generic, open-ended and more specific, detailed material to be used in your (ongoing or freshly started) campaign on Kèthîra. You can expect this material to consist of locations, characters, and story hooks. Some issues will include maps or illustrations, some will be similar to small fleshed out adventure modules while others will be collections of inspirations and ideas for you to develop further.
The Scenario Ideas are going to be launched next week!
As indicated by the intended pun in this story's title, we are also planning to have more community activity going on on kelestia.com. This Sunday (March 2, 2008) will see the first in a series of scheduled chat meetings, that will be held in our Tavern ("chat section"). The session will begin at 22:00 GMT/UTC, and both Hârn fans and HârnMakers are invited to join in a live discussion of what Robin called "Looking to the Future". We hope to see you there -- if you can make it.
So much for now. See you at HârnChat! :)
February 27, 2008
Life is Fun, Death is Peaceful.
It’s the Transition that’s Troubling
For this title I thank the late Isaac Asimov, one of my all-time favourite authors. Problem is, the transition can trouble some of us more than others.
Some people get cancer and get cured, while the rest of us have to fight ‘holding actions’. Some of those fighting holding actions can make the fight last for many years… The rest of us well… that has abruptly become the troubling part. I just got back from my latest visit to the oncologist. For those of you who care, I’ll just be blunt and worry about amusing us all later.
It seems that the chemotherapy protocol I am on has stopped working (they all, eventually, do) and my troubling little oncs are not as little any more. In fact they have doubled in size since December. There is one more chemo-protocol left, but it is given only a 10% chance of success.
Surgery is unlikely to actually ‘lengthen’ my life although we are looking around to see if there is a surgeon who would even be willing to even try… (I’m troublingly complicated and knotted up inside). Last time I had surgery the troubling oncs went away for ten months :).
First stage studies are available but the chance that one of them will do me any good is given at about one in a thousand (and they often raise troubling quality of life issues).
Radiation is completely ruled out; the oncs are so widespread that they would have to radiate my whole abdomen and that would be immediately fatal… troubling.
I expect I’ll try the last chemo-therapy protocol, but this, of course is the kind of thing you have to discuss with your family.
If anything changes, I’ll write another blog. I expect I’ll keep on writing them as long as I can :)
Last time I ended my blog by saying, ‘Pretty soon I’m going to have to start saying some of the stuff that’s important.’ Some people found this a bit ominous, thinking that I was going to say stuff like the stuff just above here… like I just said… dire life and death stuff. Actually that’s not what I meant. This stuff here is a bit of a surprise. I actually thought that my oncs were shrinking and that the chemotherapy was working. I seem to be wrong about this all the time. When I think I’m getting better, I’m actually getting worse, and vice versa. What I should do, is envision myself at death’s door, and my illness will miraculously disappear :).
Well, in a sense, I did mean I was going to have to start talking about dire, life and death stuff, but I was thinking about the environment, politics, overpopulation and stuff like that... stuff that seems a bit more serious to more people than just me. I’m going to talk about the kind of stuff that is going to make me unpopular in some quarters. I’m going to express my opinions, and I’m not always going to even say they are my opinions. I’m going to state them as facts.
Let’s start with a matter that’s been worrying me since the seventies, the world and our stewardship thereof.
We’re not doing it right.
We have never done it right. We’re not even close.
If we don’t do it right, and soon, we are all doomed.
The longer we wait to do it right, the more draconian we are going to have to be.
Yesterday, our provincial government delivered what it called a ‘green budget’. Two of the measures it introduced were a ‘carbon tax’ on automobiles and a $0.10 cent increase in gasoline (petrol) tax. (Brining our average fuel price to around $1.15/litre). Sounds like a step in the right direction, but the fuel increase might have been more effective at $1.00/litre, and the carbon tax only amounts to $28-$68 per vehicle per year. I can’t help thinking that what we really need to do is to at least stop adding more ‘gas guzzlers’ to the ‘fleet’. What we really need to do is prohibit the sale of vehicles of less than a given fuel economy. This, more than any other move we could make, might force the development of zero emission replacements for the worst of the worst.
In Eastern Canada they are manufacturing a car called the Zen. It is a full electric four seat sedan that is good for local work, commuting, going shopping etc. It is selling for $12,000 and is quite popular in Europe and the US, but it has not been approved for sale in Canada. What we need to do is approve it immediately, and subsidise and promote its adoption by as many people as possible. Then, the company might be able to make electric mini-vans and pickups. Why not?
Well, I’m a bit tired for some reason, so I’ll stop here. I will try to make more blogs, but probably smaller ones, in the immediate future.
Since nothing in here has anything to do with Kèthîra, please keep the comments on the blog itself…
KP alive and doing very well…
Oh hey… here’s something to do with Keléstia Productions, anyway…
I notice that our membership has topped 150, and thanks to Jan’s excellent and improving security measures, these are all legitimate members (there are probably another few hundred bots who have been unable to spam the site and are not included in our membership list). Congratulations on making Keléstia Productions a remarkable success and kelestia.com a genuine community.
Over the past five years, I have to confess that the reaction by a few Hârn fans has been rather disappointing. I have never quite understood the possibility that anyone could love my work yet have no respect for its creator. It is only the steadfast support, loyalty and understanding of the rest of the Hârn audience, who are decent, thoughtful folk that has kept me going. Without you, there would be no point in my continuing with my work.
I will continue. And when it emerges, in the fullness of time that I have to stop, others will take up the ‘cause’. Thank you from the bottom of my rapidly evolving abdomen :).
The opinions expressed on this website are those of their respective owners and do not necessarily reflect the views of Keléstia Productions Ltd. Trademarks are the property of their respective owners.