The Throat of Winter (and other news)

First things first: as those of you who follow my Facebook page are aware, I recently published The Throat of Winter, an adventure for RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha. This was published through Chaosium’s new community content program, the Jonstown Compendium. Similar to the DM’s Guild for Dungeons & Dragons, or the Miskatonic Repository for Call of Cthulhu, the Jonstown Compendium provides fans of the RuneQuest and HeroQuest game systems the opportunity to produce and publish their own content.


You can get The Throat of Winter here. Here’s the blurb:

Winter Descends on Dragon Pass!

When the child Rolf goes missing after a blizzard, his parents Rastolf and Serla grow frantic. They come to the village of Apple Lane begging for help from any who will listen. They come seeking any who will brave the wind and snow of winter to find a little boy. They come seeking adventurers.

The search will lead adventurers to a mysterious cave, known to locals as the Throat of Winter for the howling winds which blow forth. Inside, they face a terror from before the Dawn—Krampus. In this Gloranthan take on Scandinavian myth, the adventurers will find their bravery and Loyalty tested as they decide how best to protect Apple Lane from the demon’s predation.

This site-based adventure is intended to provide one to three sessions of RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha play for four to six beginning to intermediate adventurers. While it is integrated into the Colymar campaign provided in Chaosium’s Gamemaster Screen Pack, this adventure is designed for use in any Dragon Pass campaign.

If you’d like to find out more, Reviews from R’lyeh published a review.

Sometime in the coming weeks I intend to spend some time writing up an article reflecting on my experience producing and self-publishing The Throat of Winter. Making no promises—anyone who’s read me for a while knows that follow-through on the blog isn’t my strong suit.

What’s Next?

I have a few other Jonstown Compendium projects currently in the pipeline.

Up next is almost certainly Treasures of Glorantha. In the tradition of Chaosium’s 1980 supplement PlunderTreasures of Glorantha provides a collection of new magic items for use in games of RuneQuest (or nearly any other D100/BRP game system). I also plan to include some longer articles, providing advice to gamemasters on utilizing treasure in Glorantha. My goal is to make the supplement interesting to old fans, yet accessible and helpful for new ones.

I am currently assembling the first draft manuscript of Treasures of Glorantha, and aiming for a release in early Spring 2020. I expect writing on this supplement to be pretty easy, and hope to be ready for editing in January.

More tenuously, I have two different adventure supplements (also set in Glorantha, and slated for the Jonstown Compendium) in drafting stages.

Dragon’s Rift is intended to be a large-ish site-based adventure describing the ruins of New Lunar Temple and the weird happenings in that region since the cataclysmic Dragonrise at the start of RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha‘s intended period of play. Basically, a gigantic dragon devours a temple-city which was the magical center of the Lunar Empire’s power and oppression in the game region. The adventure is about exploring the aftermath in conflict with ghosts, traps, dragonewts, and other adventurers seeking to loot the ruins.

I have a good chunk of that manuscript done, but it’s been a while since I’ve worked on it. I originally wanted to submit it to Chaosium, but as I explored my ideas about what happened, and consulted the canon descriptions of the region, I’ve decided to develop it myself for the Jonstown Compendium in order to retain my own vision.

I have no clue when I’ll be moving forward with this project—I’m mostly noting it to say “it exists!” Last I worked on it, the structure of Dragon’s Rift was pretty much in place in my outline. The writing should mostly entail fleshing out ideas and locations. However, I anticipate that production on this adventure will be long and expensive, if it’s to be as visual and map-extensive as I think is most fitting.

The City of Sylthi (tentative title) is about the small city Sylthi in the region of Esrolia, “the land of 10,000 goddesses.” I will be describing the city’s religious and political life—in particular focusing on the Temple of Hevduran Dege, the home of the (in)famous Sword Sages of Lhankor Mhy—and how to translate that into experience and play at the game table. In addition, the supplement will include at least one adventure; I’d like to have more, but at the moment I’ve only got one good idea (so we’ll see how it goes).

I anticipate that Sylthi will extend to at least two volumes, with the latter depending on when Chaosium publishes official rules for performing magical “heroquests” in games of RuneQuest. I have a seed in mind for the climax of a short campaign set in Sylthi, but it requires a heroquest, which I don’t feel comfortable writing for publication until the rules are published. So the first volume will probably be a description of the city and that first adventure which I’ve got outlined, and I’ll keep a list somewhere of other ideas to use in returning to Sylthi.

But Austin, What About the Novel?

Yeah, yeah.

The Fall of Jiharel exists. It isn’t abandoned. I actually got a good bit of work done on it recently, during NaNoWriMo while between production and publication for The Throat of Winter. Currently, I’m trying to make sure I spend at least half an hour with it each day. During November, I found that if I did a word sprint—just hauling as fast as I could without thinking too much—of 30min I could make good progress without getting bogged down in my usual over-thinking.

Over-thinking’s been the real problem, as I dig deeper and deeper into Jiharel. It’s a story I care about, a story I want to get right. Not that I don’t care about other projects I work on, but there’s something additional with this one. When I set the timer I manage to just go and not worry about prose and aesthetics and setting and that sort of nonsense, but otherwise it’s a real grind.

I don’t know when I’ll be done. At about 60,000 words, I feel that I’m halfway-ish. So really, we’ll just have to see.

On the other hand, adventure material tends to flow pretty well lately. I don’t have general problems writing—just with that particular project. Overall I’m pretty happy if I’m able to maintain a steady flow of words and work. That feels more key to me than working on particular pieces.

Of course, getting the high of finishing & publishing something doesn’t hurt either.


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