The Diamond District was in a shambles Monday night, after Protection League member Electrode used his powers to thwart a heist. A group of masked thugs armed with military grade weapons charged into one of the street level diamond dealers on north side of 47th street. None of the three employees inside the small shop were seriously injured in the attack, though all were bound with duct tape and the same type of heavy-duty zip ties issued to the New York City Corrections Department. The robbers moved through the store, pulling safes and display cases out with their bare hands, and tossing them into a large rental truck out front. Before the NYPD could arrive on the scene, Electrode, the well-known masked vigilante appeared and began wrecking havoc in the street. After a brief battle between the super strong robbers and the electrically charged crime-fighter the street covered in broken glass, smashed truck parts, and the glint of loose diamonds. After the fight, Electrode left the battered and smoldering criminals to be dealt with by the police while he held an impromptu press conference on the street. Neither this reporter nor any of the others from major news sources was able to get a question answered by the so-called hero, however lifestyle and celebrity gossip reporters were able to pose several questions. For further details, see Jose Valdez’s report in the Celebrity Hero Watch section in the City Living section of this paper.
Sometimes, when you are in the fields, you forget what the big picture looks like.
We were busy for a small, independent publisher!
Dealing with Dragons » No Problem Is Too Small
Campaign Toybox » Effortless Masterpieces
Extras! Cosmic Criminals (Mutants and Masterminds)
Extras! Elven Explorers (5E)
Extras! Heartbroken Heroes (Pathfinder)
Extras! Mythic Giants (Pathfinder)
Extras! Quantum Collapse #0 (Mutants and Masterminds)
Extras! Schoolgirl Sidekicks (Mutants and Masterminds)
Extras! Unusual Townfolk 5E
Quantum Collapse (Campaign Setting for Mutants and Masterminds)
Romp! Infested Sewers (Adventure Tiles)
Tangent! Nuclear Winter
Tangent! Temple of the Titan Lord
Tangent! The Grey Man of Chapel Weir
Steadily moving forward not breaking her pace. An even stride even against such weather. Of all the things we thought would destroy us, not one was another ice age. Pulling at her clothes the icy wind cut through even the most dense fabrics. Looking up and bracing her eyes against the refracted sun in the blistering snow. Shelter, she would need shelter soon. Looking back into the bleak white endlessness. Broken only by her weary steps. She pushes on looking ever forward hoping to find one of the lost buried frozen cities. Shelter first, then food. She frowns, companionship, yes that would be nice. She shivers in the creeping dusk and steps forward one more time. If not for the promise of shelter on the horizon she would fade like so many before her…. ◊Tony Ting
A quiet week in a cabin in the woods, an hour from the nearest people, no phone or Internet or tv, sounded like a great idea to jump-start my new book. I woke up today to fresh fallen snow….and footprints leading to my front door. But there’s no one else here…. ◊Hel McGee
**Tickling Your Thoughts is a segment of short stories to help your creative juices flow.
Tickling your thoughts
New weekly (or semi-weekly) post just about Short Story Ideas. This week I asked one of my friends to make a story about this grand hall.
Through the halls the silence falls.
Everyone is home with family and friends.
Later there will be rules to make, laws to pass, society waits it’s next gaffaw.
Tonight is for celebration our thoughts of the ethereal.
Gifts for all abound.
Taking center podium, our gods await.
Happy holidays to all.
The hall of the ancients. It is here that hundreds before me became knights templar. Rigorous studies and even more intense physical training. Only now am i allowed within this sacred hall. Though i am but thirteen i am beside myself as a man. I look upon the gilded tapestries. Each a hundred plus years older than i. The two cloistered beside me anoint me with sacred scented waters and oils as i aproach the altar. Soon my training will be complete. My final test before me. As i stand upon the pedestal. Look out among my peers as a hooded knight draws his sword. The final question to my training spills from his lips as a mountain of doom. “What is the name of this place?”. My mind swirls and pours over the ancient knowledge i have studied. This place is a mystery even to the oldest of knights. He raises his sword as i look about. A wild despareging gaze as i founder in my lack of knowledge. Surely a wrong answer means death. a non answer proves ignorance and neglect in my studies. Also ultimately my death. What could it be? ◊Tony Ting
**note: this image is not mine. It was not used for retail purposes and I won’t make any money off it. It is used as a creative stepping stone only.
Empires of Glory – The First Gift
The second in a series from Curtis Baum. The first Empires of Glory – Mythology – The Creation can be read here.
When Pyren and Wenin saw what their sister, Menea, had created they sought her aid in bringing their creations to life. Menea saw beauty in both of her brothers creations, but wanted to see what they would do with a living creature. She gave both of them a simple pigeon and asked them to change the bird into the most beautiful thing they could imagine.
Pyren took the small bird to his realm, the Disc of Light. He looked at the marble statues and grand columns that he had created. He considered the purity of his creations and the brilliance of the light that filled his domain. He held the pigeon in his hands and purified the gray coloring, cleansing it (in his eyes) of imperfection. When he was finished, he held a white dove in his hands. The dove, however, did not have food and eventually perished. Pyren was horrified with his lack of understanding of life and death.
Wenin took his pigeon back to his Pit of Suffering. Unlike Pyren, Wenin knew death very well. His version of beauty was a creature that not only survived but thrived when other creatures perished. Wenin took the pigeon and tortured it until it had lost most of the feathers around its head. He replaced the desire for seed with a desire for flesh. Wenin turned the pigeon into the first vulture and was proud that he had created something that could feed on the death and decay of other creatures.
When the gods returned to Menea to reveal what they had done, Wenin went first. His vulture, perched on his shoulder, searched around for carrion to feed upon, but found none. Menea was intrigued, but asked Pyren what he had created. Pyren held out his lifeless white dove, tears in his eyes for having not been able to keep it alive.
Wenin’s vulture swooped from his shoulder, plucking the dove from Pyren’s hands. Pyren and Menea both looked on in horror as the vulture devoured the dead dove. Pyren, in agony, collapsed to his knees. Wenin was filled with pride at his creation and couldn’t understand why his brother and sister were not equally impressed.
Menea took another pigeon and placed it in Pyren’s hands. She gently asked him to create another dove. Pyren choked back his tears and formed another dove for his sister. Menea had made her decision and agreed to help Pyren create a grand world on which they would place their creations. Wenin was furious that Menea had agreed to help his brother. As he left the Well of Life, he vowed vengeance.
I love Facebook. My friends and I have been able to share ideas and keep connected as the years have come and gone. In 2016 I started a challenge. I asked my “wall” of friends to tell the story behind this image.
Given my family and friends are all very unique, I didn’t know what would happen. These are my footprints, in the first snowfall of 2016.
My friends came up with some great stories though! Here are a few for your enjoyment. Maybe they will spark an idea of your own?
Just a little farther. He could see the smoke from the chimney, it gave him strength. His Burden was heavy at times he had almost left it where it lay rather than heft it again. Always his thoughts were of home and he trudged on. Just one more step then one more it seemed endless. He looked once again, the smoke looked closer now that the snow had stopped falling. Thinking of the gifts he carried in his bag his eyes twinkled. A new dress for his wife, a gun for his boy, a doll with blue eyes the color of his little girls. Candy and other things they only had one time of the year. Merry Christmas he said as he opened the door and was greeted with laughter and hugs. It had been worth the long journey. ◊Sindy Curry
He held his breath, the only sign that would give him away was the cold air making steam as he exhaled. He crept through the snow with a soft crunch, moving towards the laboratory door. The two guards were talking quietly to each other, and didn’t spot him. No one could spot him as his powers made him invisible to both the human eye and electronics. His Quantum power was working perfectly he only had to hold his breath…The Mist paused and looked around. He figured there may be a random roving guard but he didn’t know for sure. Before he took another step , he froze in place. A mere 5 feet from the guards, ….HIS FOOTPRINTS! ◊Cory Shonuff Gelnett
You see the tread patterns in those tracks? They are from the Arctic Wanderer, one of my top-selling boot designs. I started out as a simple shoemaker long before becoming the owner of one of the top footwear manufacturers on Earth. As old as I am, I never get tired of making shoes. It keeps me grounded, I guess. I akways try to stay in touch with who I am. Who am I? My name (at least right now) is Matathias Melchus. You know me, the shriveled up old man who owns Goodfoot Shoes and Outfitters. You’ve probably bought things at my store in a local mall. Maybe on the internet? What am I doing out here in the snow, an elderly man all alone? I’ve come to rest in a cabin I own up here. I flew myself in. That was my Beaver you saw crash into the side of that mountain over there. I restored her withy own two hands. Shame i has to wreck her, but it was her time. I can see you think it’s almost MY time, too! Don’t worry about me. I’m just going to have a lie down when I get to the cabin, and I’ll wake up a new man… literally.
Go on, sonny, I don’t need your help. Thanks for the offer, but I’m not in any danger. You see, I am invulnerable, and I can’t die. Or sleep, except once a year. Tonight is the night, and it’s a special one. I will be so rested in the morning, you would swear I was 66 years younger!
No, I don’t need to see a doctor! My head is fine, and my mind is as sharp as a tack! I just need to find my cabin, say my prayers, and rest a bit. That’s right, kid, say my prayers. You pray, don’t you? What?! Let me give you some advice: say your prayers every night, always wear clean underwear, and if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all!
Of course, being rude is what got me into this sleeplessness in the first place. I was rude to a man who was on my shop’s doorstep, who only wanted to rest a moment under a heavy burden. Instead of being compassionate, I was rude, obnoxious. This man I was unkind to looked at me with the most solemn, heartbroken eyes I had ever seen, and spoke to me. I thought at first he had cursed me unmercifully. Now, after all these years, I see it really was a blessing. I’ve learned a lot, seen a lot, done a lot, and helped a lot since then.
Well, thanks for walking me to the door. I’d invite you in, but I really want to get to sleep. I go to bed 100 year old Matathias Melchus, and I’ll wake up as my 33 year old “great grand nephew” Juan Esperadios. Why did I trust you enough to tell you what I really am? Who I’ve been? Go and tell the reporters or cops that you met the Wandering Jew in the Yukon, and let me… or Juan, I guess, know how that works out for you! ◊Jim Cook
If you enjoyed these stories, please leave a comment!
Empires of Glory – Mythology – The Creation
At the beginning of time, three ideals took form: Order, Chaos, and Creation. These principles coalesced into the first gods, long before there was a world. The concept of Order called himself Pyren. Chaos became known as Wenin. Creation, the only female among them, formed the being called Manea.
The three gods originally withdrew from each other, creating their own realms as they deemed perfection. Pyren crafted the Disc of Light, a realm filled with brilliant energy and hope. He created beautiful white marble pillars and golden statues. However, he lacked the ability to imbue any of these objects with life and soon grew lonely.
Wenin formed a land of pure darkness. Within his Pit of Suffering, he created massive obelisks of basalt and statues depicting pain and agony. There was no light in Wenin’s realm; it was filled with an oppressive darkness that consumed everything. But, like his brother, Wenin grew lonely. He lacked the ability to bring his creations to life.
Their sister, Manea, had a different problem. When she created her realm, the Well of Life, she started with a spring of fresh water. From there, a plethora of small creatures sprung forth. Birds filled the air, fish filled the spring and surrounding streams, and animals crawled through the lush grass that filled the realm. Manea, however, lacked the artistic gift to make statues, pillars, or obelisks like her brothers.
After a countless amount of time, the lonely gods reunited. They each wished to share their creations with their siblings. Pyren brought his brother and sister to the Disc of Light. Manea was impressed with the beauty of the realm, but Wenin recoiled in disgust at what his brother had done. Likewise, when Wenin brought the gods to his Pit of Suffering, Pyren was horrified and Manea was intrigued.
Lastly, Manea brought Pyren and Wenin to the Well of Life. Both of the gods were impressed with the work their sister had done. Neither of them were able to imbue life into their own creations, and both sought Manea’s aid in making a new realm, full of beauty and life.
Manea considered the offers of her brothers and created a test for them. She gave each of the gods a bird to raise and reshape as their own. This test would be the beginning of the world of Antaran, the continents of Menron and Zaenteth, and the people and creatures that fill them.
Realms are slightly different than planes. Where a plane is infinite in two dimensions, a realm is finite and less accessible. Details of realms will be released in Rcane’s Guide to Planar Travel, by D3 Adventures.
Pyren, Wenin, and Manea are powerful creator gods. They are not currently dominant religions in the world of Antaran, but the details of these gods will be released on the D3 Adventures website in the near future.
GM is Curtis Baum
I know specific games call the person who makes rule decisions different names. Storyteller, dungeon master, game master, Games-Operational-Director… but what ever you call that man or woman that continues week after week to provide you and your friends with an escape from real life, this week is a toast to them.
Many of the men and women at D3 are GMs (I’ll use the generic term for ease). That is how they came to see the need for their product. I’m curious today for you to share the images of your gaming table. Does your GM use a screen? How big is their pile of dice? What food do you bring to bribe the GM with?
Share with us the adventures at your table/computer screen. GMs – share with us your pride and joy as you do your “job”. What materials do you keep finding yourself needing and wanting?
I’ll start it off with my game this weekend. I play several Pathfinder Society a month, both on roll20.net and at local gaming stores. This weekend we had our GM pulling out her raspberry and black hair. She started off with a GM screen, but quickly lost it as we started moving around the map. The younger guy in the photo, to the left of the GM, jumped into a pool of water, unaware of what might be in the water. He’s lucky he didn’t end up sucked dry by leaches! But we had fun and barely left the store before it closed.
So, what great stories do you have? Feel free to share with us!
The bane of dungeon masters everywhere. The party takes interest in what was, until that moment, a minor NPC. Now suddenly they are stalking the person, asking one hundred questions, and putting more into the encounter than you ever dreamed of. The best part, they are bringing to life some role-playing that you thought was thrown by the way side. Only you don’t have a clue what to put together.
The best part of Extras! They are inexpensive NPCs that are all ready for you, including motivations.
Take, for example, Zanat from the Extras! Unusual Townfolk (for both 5E and Pathfinder). He is a conman on the run. He appears to be a powerful wizard. In truth, he uses magic items and his own minor capabilities to enact this illusion. His various schemes involve performing and selling “magical elixirs” to rich merchants and adventurers. Although he is hiding from the regional guards, he may take an interest in any strangers to the village.
Is your campaign a bit “taller” than that? In our Extras! Mythic Giants (CR 15 to 20) for Pathfinder, Nernuk is the oldest of the leaders of the Imperium Gargantum. He joined the cause of Karakanos in hopes of establishing a lasting empire for all giants. He has seen the destruction caused by the advance of humanoids for over three centuries and has decided to strike back. Karakanos gives the old stone giant hope where previously there was none.
Now, for the deal… all of our Extras! are 50% off through the rest of Cyber Week from our website.