Monday, January 9, 2023

News from the Hill Cantons, Both Real and Fictional

A quick update on my personal Ahabic project, the Slumbering Ursine Dunes Omnibus, TLDR version: the alpha version is going to be released today exclusively for my long-suffering Patreon backers, Hill Cantons players, and the usual frauds/ne'er do wells/vagabonds I associate with.  (Never fear the print version and final PDF in its full Bilibin-ish, Lukaesque, Kalinite glory will be coming in a few months when Radegast permits the crowdsourcing to begin). 

It lacks some art in the design holes but this is essentially its final form content wise and will be more or less what one sees when the hardback edition (and it will be in glorious high quality because that's what I want for myself selfishly).  It's wild to think that the entire Slumbering Ursine Dunes series kicked off with a modest wee kickstarter in 2015 will finally be coming to an end point. I never expected to see a few, too easily promised stretch goals launch five books of material but here we are. 

And guess what? I am actually running the Hill Cantons campaign again after a few years of the players being lost in eternal slumber deep inside Revoca Canton's infamous mesa (ruled by of course The Wizard of the Mesa). I have a whole new notebook of material burning a hole in my bookshelf and in need of playtest so hmu if you are a long time reader and always wanted to play online in said campaign. 

And now the real news of the Hill Cantons...

Yesterday's bi-lunar eclipse has caused quite a commotion in the cantons. Vast shadowy winged metallic beings were seen by some winging their way along the porcelain dome of the heavens moments before, leaving some to wonder if the two disks had been stolen from their metal tracks. 

Boumila the Bountiless has returned from a far voyage on the stout if strangely-named caravel, the Flux of Doom. The crusty sea-lass spins wild tales of the land of Cockaigne where the plum brandy runs in streams, halushky grows on trees and where no dice are rolled for saves. She is hiring for her next voyage.

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Eldish AI Weighs in On What it Thinks Marlinko Looks Like

Friends, it's been a long while as I have been taking a long turn playing political player in the so-called real world instead of the shiner ludic one out here. The good news is that I am writing and planning on running the Hill Cantons again and just finished up some new material on further adventures in that most feverish of cities, Marlinko. It's been enjoyable bringing up the banners of the years gone by and you will possibly see some reflections right here on this blog that has been in a coma. 

The bad news is that Eldish AI has weighed in on some of my old pictures of a town I lived in Slovakia and produced some sadly accurate pictures of what the entirely real Marlinko looks like. It's all true. 

Lady Szara's neighbor

Townhouses near the Counting House

Sundome of the Sun Lord

One-Armed Jiri's

Penn Station

Friday, November 25, 2022

Black Friday

Every year the Black Friday comes. The crowds throng true places of worship, the lands called strips and malls that run without limit through zones our cities. The long stares start in the morning and extend through the day to a 1000 yards. In the backs of lines children howl and squirm. Black Friday will come again.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

The Mauve Plague, Gravy Urns, and Batlace Frills: News from the Hill Cantons

And now the News...
In a statement beamed from the Oracular Society today Morafans the Rickmaster, the Psychosocial Health Minister of the Overking, has issued guidelines for the “mauve plague” of crowned micro-psychonauts sweeping the borderlands this season. Hill Cantoners are advised to stay underground for extended periods of time preferably in small armed groups of 4-12 to avoid mauve plague infection.

Morafans also clarified a recent statement from Our Dear Overking Adaulf II that his people should “embrace chaos—we have the greatest chaos, the best chaos--and prepare for the End of All Things” as “poetic license that in fact means quite the opposite, all other interpretations are nuncupatory.” Construction of the Great Ziggarut will continue in order as part of the royal stimulus package.

Panic buying of white gravy and halushky has created severe shortages throughout the Cantons. Lady Draga, her most serene boyaress of Revoca Canton, is offering a cold hard cash bounty of 5,000 gold suns for the procurement of the Great Gravy Urn of Svat the Four-Faced from a nearly murderhole.

In equally important news “Little Szara”, the newly-arrived Marlinko high society bon vivant, has introduced mandiblar-bat frills into local fashion. Everyone who is anyone is wearing them, really darling.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Regimental Goats, Bounties, and Free Pasturage for All: News from the Hill Cantons Returns

We return to our regularly scheduled program of fortnightly updates from the Hill Cantons campaign.

And Now the News...

Agents of Koza the Regimental Goat have been spreading the political gospel of the horned exile through the Cantons this month. The Weal-and-Chaos platform of Koza has great if subversive appeal to the enlisted Black Army ranks and rural lesser classes especially the newly rolled out Free Pasturage for All plank.

Last month's horrific murders and cannibalistic debasement of Pilof, the second son of Subgraf Androj the Unsubtle, in the wilds of Upper Marlinko Canton during a routine investigation into unlicensed witchery has produced suspects after a Seers and Wainwrights Guild consultation. A bounty of 7,500 gold sun has been issued for the restorative justice deaths of the so-called Revoca Seven. The Brothers of the Other Mother are however extending an 7,257 weregild price (base weregild plus oracular reimbursement and a “stocking fee”) has been generously extended to the perpetrators.

Widespread pig-rustling and petty warfare has broken out in the Translittoral Canton of Heimbutboch (spelling variable by monthly whim of the editor). Local sources say breaking with recent tradition this round of conflict is more of a “card-driven affair.”

Hisfytla the newly-crowned queen of the Amazons (western branch) is holding a lavish contest in which outlanders are invited to captain large combat barges “long-term leased” from the Eld in a battle of wits and valor. Qualified contestants will be supplied with a barge and crew of male-helots. The winners are promised a 2,500 silver “balsaccs” (extremely-large Amazonian coins worth 5 of your masculine tainted gold suns) and magical accouterments worthy of your ranked status. Losers will be granted special lifetime entry-level positions in the Regal Torture-Harem. 

Long live the Vy-Queen!

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Radegast Speaks: Ask Me Anything about the Hill Cantons

I've been fielding a lot of questions by email and DM on the various books of the Hill Cantons (Slumbering Ursine Dunes, Fever-Dreaming Marlinko, Misty Isles of the Eld) and the setting in general. Its been fun digging out old dog-eared notebooks, coffee-stained maps and the like to remember what exactly went down in Lady Szara's Bathe in the Blood of Servants charity ball, what lies across the World Canal, where the kuduks live, etc.

(Ten-Minute Guide to the Hill Cantons here.)

So how about we open up the floor for a few days. Is there anything you'd like to know about the Hill Cantons? Any elaborations or clarifications from the books, setting, or blog?  Projects old and new?

Any idle words of mine to pounce on?

crappy players map from the campaign