Thursday, April 19, 2012

Mumewin Letters 7 (part 1)

(Date unspecified)

(The following text was nigh unreadable and has been copied here to be more legible)

Friends and fellow Mumes,

As mumes, we have mislabeled the idle "all Life as sacred" to be enlightened, but after last night, I now know otherwise. There are somethings on this world that should not be. The wolves in the woods south of Annalow city claw, bite, and rip into such a category. After I tell of my experience, or describe (blotted out) thing that came from the woods this morning, I still shall never again have peace. Mandra help me, I cannot purge that night from my soul.

(trails off)

(Writing become clearer here)

Chumkin and the local tavern here has donated the necessary alcohol I need to finish my report, but by the Living Goddess, I wish these memories would flee. They hurt to recall, as if looking at a festering wound on a fellow mume, I burn my eyes every time I think of it and know that no sleep will rescue me from my terrible knowledge. By duty alone do I continue, for I must be willing to do my every part to help save the world from the scourge that infests Mash'ta like a rotting disease.

The beginning was at the very tavern I write this letter in. Below at the tables, I readied what supplies I needed for a stealthy observation of the beasts. A heavy, but brave borc named Davite also expressed some curiosity for the wolves, but he knew the legends and stories as well as I. With his hands, he offered to me for protection, figuring he would be enough to stomp down on the occasional attack if the chance came, but he trusted his nimble quietness enough not to disturb my study by distracting the wolves with our presence.

Another offered, as well, but two people was more than we needed for such a mission as mine. Now, I thank what fortunes there was that Davite joined me, but morn his loss with such regret that no whip or needle could match the pain.

We gathered just enough food for two nights, and I wrapped the bane-weed around two small clubs, one for Davite and myself, and put them in sacks. Then we were off. The Effee Forest was rich during mid-day with the chirps and chitters of happy creatures following daily business as if there were no darkness in these woods. The trees were nothing if not deceptive.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Mumewin Letters 6

Dear Friends of the Library of Annalow,

We've been here three days now, which was how long it took to even speak with the farmer kin. T'was a mume girl who braided her white hair in two on the side. She kept a straw of gray-wheat at the edge of her lips while she talked and told me this:

"The wolves ain't nuth'n we cain't handle what with a heavy club and sum' of Daddy's bane-weed. We grow it all 'long the fences 'n such that we don't need ta' worry 'bout no wolf kin."

I asked about the Bane-Weed.

"Sher! It's a weed like 'ta grow here in the forest. Mah' Great Great Gran'pap found a spot o' the forest where none of them wolf kin show up. That's where he started the farm on the east side've the Big Silver*. So since he been planting the food we gotta eat and trade with the rest of Elexia, he been line'n the fence posts with 'em. Wolves of no kind can stand the smell of Bane-weed. Donno why. I kind'a like it m'self. Here, smell."

The flower I was given looked like monkshood. The anaviated has been using these flowers as a form of poison throughout history, and the light blue devils have been known to be toxic by mere touch, but here in Elexia this family stumbled on what seems to be a non-poisonous variety. The smell still wasn't pleasant.

I purchased some of these flowers from my new friend and wrapped a club with them. Tomorrow, I shall venture into the woods to watch the wolves.


Professor Steven Mumewin

*Silver River?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Mumewin Letters 5

16th of the First Spring, 2,001 (ADZ)

To you, my firends,

Elexia is the proverbial small village, where social connections are tight. There is even a farm run by a rickety old mume and his family who somehow hold their own against the Dread Wolves successfully enough that the sheriff has never been on their farm. They are not wholly approachable, which is a pity because their record at defending against the beasts is unbroken.

The rest of the village knows well the wolves, and when I asked they said the best bet with these studying these creatures was through a spyglass from outside the woods, preferably on a hill 10 leagues west of the forest. Chumkin got a good luagh out of that, especially when I inquired as to the location of this hill. It must have been some shared joke about world tourists.

Elexia is kindly and quaint, just large enough to require a local sheriff. What at the mill, I asked and discovered the law here is simple (if you'll pardon the local dialect):

"1. Don't take what ain't your's.

2. Don't hurt none more than they ask for.

3. Don't be a dick."

I asked the sheriff, a large woborc, what she thought of the Annalow law of "no edges larger than one's hand," and she pointed as rule number 2 and went back to work. I say back to work, but it was at the mill they she was helping at. The Even the Sheriff helps with the wood production in this town, as did everyone except the inn-keep as far as we could tell.

There is also a local Dryad here. How rare. When I knocked on her tree, I found her shy, shrinking from my investigation. The locals here generally disregard her presence as protest from tree-kin, but welcome her as a plant doctor. Ched Lumberer, the mayor and owner of the mill, said they look after the trees here because "They're our live'n."

I'll keep an eye out for wolves.


Professor Steven Mumewin

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Mumewin Letters 4

15th of the First Spring, 2,001 (ADZ)

To my esteemed colleagues at the Great Library of Annalow,

We've procured a raft at a discount from the father of a local whore Chumkin met. I shudder to think of the negotiations, but the raft is firm and will hold all six of us. Junior sat at the front, helping to navigate no doubt, and swiftly gulped up small fish curious enough to check our bow, while I and the others rowed upstream toward our next stop, Elexia.

I've been watching the woods and regarded the eyes that peer out from behind the brush. They are not friendly, tho they are welcoming. Inviting us to a feast we would not desire. Chumkin nodded to my words of worry, and the help became restless. It was not an easy night.

Legends I've heard from the slaves back home that this forest was home to the Dread Wolves who brutalized the rabbit population before they became anaviated. Again of this forest, I've heard that even all but the bravest Wild Effee would not enter this place, for fear of the evil intelligence of the wolves here.

This morning, Junior let out a Kuaw-kuaw-kuaw, waking us to the presence of a wolf who somehow jumped aboard. The borc on watch had fallen asleep and let us drift too close to the river's shore. His ravenous and yellow teeth snapped at me and mine, but pulled back, startled to the load squawks of the Ibis. The wolf was quickly knocked into the water by what oars that could be grabbed and Junior was well fed that day.

After a long two days of rowing, we've finally arrived at Elexia, a lumber village and welcome stop on the Silver River in the heart of the Effee Forrest. I shall have to study these wolves next.


Professor Steven Mumewin,

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Mumewin Letters 3

12th day of the First Spring, 2,001 (ADZ)

To my esteemed colleagues at the Great Library of Annalow,

For 2 and 3 bits* I have purchased a Sky-Blue Carrier Ibis, able to fly long distances with a load up to a full pound in weight. He's a strong bird, average in size (roughly a foot tall), and he greedily eats any fish I put before him. I will call him Steve Jr. I imagine Chumkin must still smell of the sea, because the first things Junior did was to try eating him. Ah, to watch a long friendship begin.

The Ibises here are strange and semi sentient birds that spend most of their time either looking for fish and frogs in the marsh of the river's delta or grooming themselves and their tree nests. They are all Carrier Ibises, I've discovered, and they all decorate the bushy trees surrounding Gustwind. To look at them, you see just their eyes, beak, and feet devoid of feathers, giving the illusion of them wearing long curve-billed masks. All of them have wobbly necks, like a crane, the shorten and push out in feathers when they perch.

I call them semi sentient because I've talked to the locals about their behavior. The Ibis here seems to know the common tongue (Ixxarian) and plot and plan to steal fish, berries, and anything edible from the merchants, and only the merchants. The flock together like bandits at the docks and market, and the town guard eye them not with contempt, but uneasy dispossession. While not violent, they are wily birds as I've come to learn with Junior, but a bit of kindness yields, I think, a grand loyalty.

Or I'd like to believe, as Junior is eating us out of our grant gold. Here I was worried about Chumkin's whore habbit.


Professor Steven Mumewin,

*Short hand for two pieces and 3 bits. Basically 13 bits.

Carrier Ibis (Creature)

Fit: 0 Awr: 1 Crv: -1 Res: -1 Luk: 2 Dis: 3

Athletics(Novice), Fishing (Proficient), Pick Pocket (Novice)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Mumewin Letters 2

11th Day of First Spring, 2,001 (ADZ)

To my esteemed colleagues at the Great Library of Annalow,

Many of you would believe, as I had, that my journey would begin by simply following the main road off the Great Ramp of Annalow and heading straight South into Wild Effee territory, but it was not to be so. Chumkin has assured me that the route of least conflict would be to first head east, toward the rising sun and the delta port town of Gustwind where the Silver River flows into the Gold Ocean. Our travel only took perhaps a day on mount and I spent the time getting to know, my horse, by which I mean learning to ride.

Chumkin admitted he, too, was vexed by the cheap animals we road, but the dealer said they had very few miles on them and, as long as we took care of them, these horses would last another 15 years or our gold back. Seems the dealers outside of Annalow are as shrewed as the ones within.

Regardless, Gustwind awaited us and excepted us with open arms and legs and wallets. I refer to the sex trade just at the entrance and surrounding the inns. Gustwind is a large town, perhaps merely a fifth the size of Annalow, but large none the less, and they had the Silver to thanks for that. Many traders and travelers who go by boat stop here and boy, do they like sex. It's no wonder there were so many mume here.

You may notice the deliverer of these mails is a Carrier Ibis. As I look out the window, I see squat and flush trees that hold different colored Ibises as if they were the tree's fruit and I contemplate studying them before leaving.

I must now away and try to keep Chumkin from spending all our funds of whores. I will keep in touch.


Professor Steven Mumewin,

Monday, April 9, 2012

Mumewin Letters 1

9th Day of First Spring, 2,001 (AZD)

To my esteemed colleagues at the Great Library of Annalow,

This is my last letter to be written here for the archives as I make my way out into the open world south of Annalow City and into the wilderness on a trek to the hidden Felf Kin town of Alexture. I have with me 5 men, including one "Salty" Chumkin, who seems the most reliable of Mumes to be found at the Docks below our great community. Indeed, Chumkin was instrumental in the recruitment of other sailors as they tend to understand the club over the word. We also have enough provision for the team of 6 men and a map I have procured from a devilish gentle borc whom I trust.

The goal of my expedition, of course, is to make connection with the library in Alexture in hopes to consult, index, and possibly copy or exchange books with our own collection in mind. My secondary task will be that of exploration on species in the local area. As you all know, I've become hyper-fascinated with the local wild life and endeavored to make my own observations.

Wish me luck, Ladies and Genital mume, I shall need it.


Professor Steven Mumewin,

Steven Mumewin (Professor)

Fitness: 0 Awareness: 1

Creative: 1 Reason: 2

Heart Magic: -1

Luck: 5 Discipline: 4

Skills: Athletics (Novice), History (Proficient), Investigate (Expert), Literacy (Proficient), Melee (Novice), Music:Recorder (Novice), Navigation (Novice), Stealth (Novice), Survival (Proficient)

"Salty" Chumkin (Sailor)

Fitness: 3 Awareness: 0

Creative: 1 Reason: 0

Heart Magic: -1

Luck: 4 Discipline: 5

Skills: Bluff (Novice), Brawling (Expert), Firearms (Novice), Gambling (Proficient), Intimidate (Proficient), Melee (Proficient), Riding (Novice), Sailing (Novice), Stealth (Novice)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Time in Mash'ta

Have you noticed that I've been keeping track of time in Seasons, instead of years? This is an Annalow trait, because all the different countries and races in Mash'ta call the months something different, but all agree there is a sumer, fall, winter, and Spring. Since so many cultures travel through the great city, Annalow refers to months as First Spring, Second Spring, Third Spring, First Summer and so on. For such an imaginative race, this seems against character, but it was the only way to keep visitors and citizens on the same page.

In Mash'ta, days have exactly 24 hours. There are no leap-seconds. Luna, the Main moon completes it's 8 phases in exactly 30 days, and Cruithne, the second and smaller moon, completes it's 8 phases in exactly 720 days, or two years. Weeks are called a "Hand" of days, consisting of Five days, and called by fingers, the Thumb through the Pinky. Each month has 6 hands, or three pairs. At night, there are 9 constellations, one for each God, and the sun rises in each house of each constellation exactly every 2,222 years. This is called an "Age." When the sun has risen in all 9 ages, it's called a procession, or 19,998 years. This is how long Mash'ta's star system takes to revolve around its galaxy. We are in our first eon as Mash'ta is only about 13,000 years old. Felf-kin believe that Mash'ta will die when it reaches 1,000 processions in ages.

(Note, Cruithne is known as Earth's Second Moon. No joke, Google it!)

Only the Felf, Ixxar, and Crynt astrologists really understand the rhythm of the planets in Mash'tas solar system, of which there are 6 additional planets, but they do complete perfect rotations around the sun every 1,111 years, aligning and doing crazy things to Mash'ta weather patterns.

This could give rise to questions about if the sun revolves around Mash'ta (of course it does) and if so, do the other stars have world that orbit so perfectly as Mash'ta (of course they don't)? All I have to say on the subject is Mash'ta was built, not grown like our Earth, so time was divided with divine precision.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Amythra Follow Up

Okay, I'm done with the Amythra story and I'm working on an outline for the next story. I wanna introduce a lot of ideas, but I think I'll start with the characters.

What will make this next tale different is two things. 1: Since this is based on a setting for an RPG, I'll actually be making the characters using Active Exploit rules (uh...which means I should probably work on finishing my take on Active Exploit rules). 2: I'm starting with a town south of Annalow called Elexia, a lumber village which...uh...honestly, it better designed than Annalow. Blame this one on Mandra. She's not one for city planning and I'm not gonna touch Annalow. It's not MY town. I worked on Jerrow, which was hardly used, and Elexia. I think she's planing for it to be like Ankh-Morpork from Discworld. Not really set in stone, but there are district locations.

Amythra taught me a few things. The biggest lesson was I should really outline these stories if I'm going to write them. Amythra had absolutely no plan when I began except I knew the island girl would be dealing with the loss of her brother to the war and that she'd be exploring Annalow. I pulled Anna Goldeyes from the novel I've never published because I knew her well and knew she was the strong kind of character needed to pulled Amythra through her trouble, but even that came out tinny and thin.

Another lesson learned was the "Quest" given to the main character wasn't any big deal. That was a mistake. Characters are driven by their own desires, sure, and Amythra had a desire for her brother back, but the setting for such a question should have had grander stakes.

Enough of the bad. As for the good, I'm quite proud of my word work, though it's in desperate need of proper proofing, and not my seat-of-the-pants approach, but aw well. What can you do?

Next week, while I work on the outline a little better and test out the chemistry of the companions, I'll release some extra world building info, and try to do it in a more fashionable way than before.

Leave me a comment, or something. Let me know someone's reading this.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Amythra 43

The next morning, Amythra was on her way. She had long since bid goodbye to Anna, Roose, and Boose. All conversation aside, she was only in the city on business. Amythra carried with her more than Anna Goldeyes ever saw in four months pay, and guarded it in her burlap sack while she boarded the ship back home. She looked on to another ship she recognized as a military vessel, wondering if Marvate was aboard, or if another ship was his calling.

Alone again in a small cabin below deck, she thought about it. She would be in the city more often and may even again run into the strange red guard inside. It was at once so very overwhelming, yet very small. And mad. Who ever heard of celebrating a candy smith's birthday? She thought of Anna and felt glad, lucky, really, that they met. A friendly face. That was what she had needed.

Unbeknown to her, her adventure was as much Roose and Boose's interference as much as the map was. All of it a mere side effect of a spell unconsciously cast in motion by two Ixxar to help support the war in the north. Such is the way of one's life, I suppose. Aren't we all cogs in one form or another? But Amythra didn't know or care.

She pulled out a stretch of papyrus from her sack and carefully rolled is open, weighing the corners with a lamp and some random debris from within her cabin. Finding a nice compressed chuck of charcoal, she began to write.

Dear Marvate,

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Amythra 42

Above the city street, Amythra and Anna watched the few parade stragglers and night watchmen below. Anna passed over a jug of wine, which Amythra graciously took. She'd been old enough to drink since she could read, which means either she's a new literate or, more likely, the drinking age is pretty low in Jerrow. This was some of the best wine that touched her lips.

Behind them is a warm lit dinning room, Arrow and the Ixxar twins were cheerfully talking about business over some after dinner drink, leaving the womumes out of it. Amythra didn't mind. Her task complete, she felt relieved. "The Living Goddess stresses on experience, yeah?"

Taking a good glug of drink, Anna wiped her mouth. "Sensation, child. Savor everything."

"What about loss?"


Amythra looked down from her cup to the heavy bag of coins seemingly enshrines on the table beside her. It felt like she had traded her brother for a coin purse. Didn't feel right. She turned back to her glass. "What do I do? I mean, I'd give anything not to feel this anymore."

Anna sighed. She remembered what happened the first time she lost family while on assignment in the western lands. "I can only say deal with it in anyway that pleases you, except one." She put a firm grip on her Amythra's shoulder. "Don't run from it. Run and it'll rot inside you like a disease." She didn't tell the girl that the hurt never really goes away, and who knows? Maybe Marvate would survive and come back home alive.

He would, but Amythra wouldn't see him again.

The night passed with brothers and sisters in the minds of most mume that night. He's not dead, she reminded herself. He's not dead, and I'll write him every chance I get.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Let's talk about Roll Playing Part 5

Why is Annalow fun?

Why is Improvisation fun?

Why is Roll Playing in general fun?

Even in the more tactical games, like 4th Eddision, there's still entertainment in story telling. People who play miniature battles or, for that matter, shoots and ladders has some form of improvising story. Annalow as a setting aspires to be colorful and conflict oriented, granting each player their own tale. I'd love for Annalow to be a setting for romances, mysteries, political dramas, or comedies. Even tragedy is welcome as long as the player could walk away and say "You gotta hear what happened to me last night."

I guess that's the point of any roll playing experience, the story telling. Boring is the sin of any game and with lack of dice, more emphasis on resource management, Active Exploits is the perfect system for an intellectual approach to roll playing, in my humble opinion. That's why I picked it for the Annalow setting.

Why is it fun?

I hope it's fun because it's a good way for friend to come together and tell a good story. The GM sets the stage, the players gather round, and everybody has a beer (or Mountain Dew) while they work toward saving or damning a city under Mandra's watch.

The Wild Effee's will try and free Tame Effees who don't want to leave. The Ixxar and the Church will butt heads. All the while Merchants and travelers from far lands come through town for a cut of profit. The Felfs will question what it's all about and the Crynt will sit back and watch. There's a lot of stories to be told in Annalow.

I hope I won't be the only one having all the fun.