Wednesday 22 May 2013

Spell books

This is a page from an alchemical manuscript in the Getty collection, and it's a pretty good fit for how I imagine the instructions for casting spells to be written out in spell books in my campaign.

There's no explicit "Tak ye ane silvere bowle by Midnyte ynde fille it with ye Teares of Ane Pure Mayde..." sort of instructions here.

The numerical sequences would have relevance only to whoever it was who wrote them down, or to someone who had deciphered his or her unique system of notation.

The images might be literal renderings of how material spell components must be laid out, or perhaps they're just mnemonic aids to achieve a particular mental state. Or maybe both. Again, unless you know the specific system used by the original writer, having access to the page itself would be of limited usefulness.

As you can imagine, copying out a spell description like this would take plenty of time, concentration, patience and skill, and certainly wouldn't be the sort of task one would want to undertake in the primitive conditions of your average monster-infested dungeon.

So until you've managed to decipher the systems of notation and illustration as used by the person whose book you've just stolen acquired found, it's not going to be of a great deal of use to you. It's still valuable though, so don't lose it.

Saturday 18 May 2013

Bugle Doodle - Elephantipuppy

I doodled this guy while listening to this week's edition of The Bugle (the greatest podcast in the universe).

I haven't really decided yet whetehr it's huge and imposing or small and inoffensive. I'm leaning towards small because of its puppyish quality, but then a huge puppy could be amazingly destructive in a playful sort of way.

Tuesday 14 May 2013


It's been a while since I updated this blog, so I suppose I'd better get my arse into gear and get on with it.

This is a wyvern figurine I got from an acquaintance a very long time ago, in the mid-late '80s. It's rather crudely cast, and I strongly suspect that it was a home-cast pirate miniature; I don't know the original manufacturer, though I imagine that I could probably find out if I put a bit of effort in to the task, thanks to the all-encompassing internet.

Much of the detail is painted on rather than modelled in. The wings were rather ill-fitting and needed a lot of pinning and filling; I did what I could to blend them in to the body with Milliput, but sculpting has never really been my strong suit.

I wanted it to be in a rather dusty, desertish colour scheme, rather like a rattlesnake (though without the patterning).

A while ago, a friend dropped it and bust its legs. I pinned it all back together and repainted the damaged area, and took the opportunity at the same time to remount it on a honking great big 50mm panel washer. That makes it a lot more stable than it was, which is all to the good.