Wassail, traveler, and welcome to The Gable Grey -- a place of retreat, of renewal, and of resistance: a tree-shaded refuge in Dark Times. Now pass the threshold, and rest from journeys! For a cold wind is blowing; and here, if you wish, you may hear tidings of the world without...

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Harad Road

So. I have once again shifted my gaming focus... this time, back South, to Umbar, the Haradwaith, and beyond.
I have recently rediscovered one of my favorite characters, the Haradan thief and adventurer Roon Dorozhand, son of Roon, son of Roon, son of Roon, Keeper of the Sword of Hoodrazai.
Elements for a Quest are forming and are slowly being put into place. I am slowly gathering together a very small cadre of companions for this, as well as assembling the needed library of MERP volumes.
I am very excited, and think about the possibilities every day. Umbar, Greater Harad, Far Harad, Boshisha-Dar, Ciryatandor, Ny Chennacatt, the Yellow Mountains... I have never been so excited about a campaign!
So far, I have two possible companions to come with me and my mule, Chu-bu, on this Quest, fellow Haradrim both: Reav Bodrahan and Blod Tarkhaan. There is another, possibly, but we shall have to see if his overlords allow him time to come and play.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Another has left these shores...

I discovered that one of my favorite fantasy illustrators, Angus McBride,

died earlier this year. I usually am not too saddened by celebrity deaths, but this one hits me harder than most. McBride's art served as covers for many MERP campaign and adventure guidebooks published by Iron Crown Enterprises back in the 1980's and early 1990's. His work helped shape my ideas of what certain peoples and areas in Middle-earth might look like. I had not thought about him in a long while; I suppose I took his work for granted.

Angus, I hope you found that far green country under a swift sunrise. You are missed.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Back to the Fields I Know...

I am being sucked (albeit willingly) back into Middle-earth Role-playing.
I have not got any writing done. Much of my free time is spent prowling Ebay listings for MERP titles. Beyond that, I plot adventure scenarios and conjure up wierd characters for my imagined campaigns. It's almost as if I were still 17 years old, staying up till all hours rolling stats and perusing Treasures of Middle-earth as if it was a Christmas catalog for Elves, Dwarves, Men, and Hobbits. Want THAT sword, THAT elven-ring, THOSE boots...
This is becoming an increasingly frequent occurrence, this slip back into Endor. It's probably not a good thing, but I can't muster the will to care. I mean, I'm planning on eventually introducing elements of time-travel to my Third Age campaign, if certain characters survive long enough to become moderately powerful and at least locally famous (or notorious). Third Age characters testing their mettle in war-ravaged Beleriand? How cool is that??? I get giddy just thinking about it.
Whiles carried o'er the iron road,
We hurry by some fair abode;
The garden bright amidst the hay,
The yellow wain upon the way,
The dining men, the wind that sweeps
Light locks from off the sun-sweet heaps --
The gable grey, the hoary roof,
Here now -- and now so far aloof.
How sorely then we long to stay
And midst its sweetness wear the day,
And 'neath its changing shadows sit,
And feel ourselves a part of it.
Such rest, such stay, I strove to win
With these same leaves that lie herein.

-- William Morris, from
"The Roots of the Mountains"