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Author Musings: The First Gift

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.

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Author musings: Empires of Glory – Mythology – The Creation

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.

GM Notes:

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

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Guest post: Turning a Bat’leth Into a Demon

Turning a Bat’leth Into a Demon, by Chandra Reyer

A demon. A demon coming out of a portal was the assignment I got for a D3 Adventures supplement. I was being given a lot of freedom on this assignment, which is just amazing for an artist to get. I had so many ideas that went beyond the usual bat-winged, red skinned devilish demon most commonly depicted.

The title sounds like a magic trick, but for me as an illustrator and comic book artist, it’s just Wednesday. I’m not talking about drawing a bat’leth, that uniquely shaped weapon of the Klingons from Star Trek, and then turning that drawing into a demon. This was a real, metal bat’leth that had been used in stage fighting.

I had given the bat’leth to an actress friend of mine, who agreed that she would be a reference model for me in the future if I needed her. She didn’t specify for demonic purposes, but that’s what I needed. When I asked if she’d mind being a demon, she said yes immediately. Okay, maybe the affirmative was more enthusiastic and less PG than just “Yes”, but you get the idea.  Actors are great for models because they really get into the character. They do more than just pose in place. My demon had plans, ideas and an odd facial structure. My friend gave my demon intent, and some make-up which made her look less demonic, but like motion capture marking trackers would help me when it came time to make the face look less human.  What proceeded next was an hour of photography, improvisation, cardboard armor and what probably looked really insane to someone from the outside. That’s the best thing about being a fantasy artist, maybe an actor, too. The totally weird, un-glamorous things required to pull off something fantastic.

As an artist it’s important to never be a slave to any reference used. Yet, it’s equally important to use reference, because something an artist wouldn’t have thought of out of their head will come out of it. This painting became so much more than I had originally envisioned thanks to my friend.

All it had cost me was a Klingon weapon of destruction.

 

Qapla’!

 

Art covers coming soon from Chandra Reyer at Greystone Studios to D3 Adventures also include:

 

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Weekly Ramble: 2016 Winter Preview for D3 Adventures

Paul CaughellHi Everybody, and welcome to the D3 Adventures 2016 Winter Preview! We have some great products coming out this quarter.

From Curtis Baum’s lines, we have the recently released Extras! product Mythic Giants. In concert with that, Curtis is releasing a giant-themed Tangent! mini-adventure, Temple of the Titan Lord, and Let Sleeping Giants Lie, a full-length giant-themed adventure for Pathfinder. Later in the quarter, Curtis is shifting gears with Extras! Cosmic Criminals, a Mutants and Masterminds collection of villains. This quarter should also see the first release in a new line, Rcane’s Guide to Fantastic Races.

Campaign Toybox has some new releases by Joe Davis being released this quarter to add options for your Pathfinder campaigns.  Look for Encore Performance in February, featuring more masterpieces and spells for Bards including a collection of themed spells for the Lightning Seeker Bard. In March, we’ll have Weaponmaster’s Chakram, a themed collection of fighter-subclass archetypes that uses Chakrams as their primary weapons.

For those that are fans of Mutants & Masterminds, releasing under the Super-Powered by M&M license, Jim Cook is working feverishly to finish the art and layout of our Quantum Collapse setting for the Mutants & Masterminds system, with an eye toward release this quarter.

And finally, the Universal Pool System Players Guide and Campaign Companion books are both being edited and revised.  We’re hopeful they will be ready for release this spring.

Be sure to subscribe there to the left to be kept in the loop, or like us on Facebook!

 

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