The last of the three panels I had the honour of hosting for the Virtual Fantasy Con this year! In this one we discuss fantasy mashups. What happens when you blend fantasy with another genre? What are the benefits and the drawbacks? And at what point does a blend become a genre of its own? We have a panel full of fantasy mashup authors, and this was a lot of fun!
You can watch the entire playlist of the Virtual Fantasy Con panels HERE.
You may have noticed that I’m making some changes around here.
In light of long years of trying to get the attention of Wizards of the Coast, to no avail, I have decided to revamp and rebrand the Toy Soldier Saga to scrape out all the Wizards related copyrighted material. I may seek a publisher, or I may publish it on my own.
Fans of the existing Toy Soldier Saga will need to know that the second and third novels will remain unfinished in the Spelljammer version. They will be finished, but only in my new universe, and only after the reformatting is completed. You can still get the first novel in its fan-fiction format here and I’ll be posting it on FanFiction.net as I promised as well.
Here’s a few of the changes that you’re going to see:
I took all the Spelljammer naming stuff out of the title of my site and my Facebook group (obvious, I should think).
Over time I will be replacing the art, currently only included as inspiration, with stuff that I have either commissioned or done myself.
I am renaming most of the elven characters, since their names are largely drawn from elven aristocratic houses in the Forgotten Realms setting. Their names will be things that relate to nature (Vesper, Goldenbough, etc.)
I am renaming most of the places mentioned, and changing some significant details, for the same reason.
I am changing the names of the deities mentioned back to the real-world deities they were drawn from. For instance: Corellon Larethian becomes Lugh, Angharradh become Brighid, Hanali Celanil becomes Freya, etc. These deities will be used in ways that differ slightly from their real-world mythology and will be explained as human-elven cultural differences.
I am renaming or changing major monsters (beholders, illithid). These changes will be the same sorts of minor changes that other RPG settings have used to get around this issue, and likely they will remain somewhat recognizable to the dedicated RPG fan.
I am changing the way the arcanology of travel through the stars works. This is probably the most significant change and it will have some effect on plot elements. I’ll reveal the details of my changes in a forthcoming blog post. I’m excited because this change allows me to connect this world to the world of The Forever Throne as well! Stay tuned for more details.
I am changing the racial divides among elves. They will remain known for forces of nature (sun elves, moon elves, wood elves, etc.) and will remain similar in appearance (sun elves will be mostly warm and golden-shaded, moon elves will be pale and cool-coloured, etc.) However, they will be known as the Alfar and the Sidhe (real-world mythological elves from the Norse and Celtic cultures respectively). Drow will be known as Svartalfar or night elves and I’m sure you’ll see some cultural differences there too, but I’ll worry about that when they become more relevant to the story. I’m not sure yet whether sun, moon and star elves (the “aristocracy”) or the moon, wood and earth elves (the “commoners”) will be Alfar or Sidhe. I’m still deciding that.
I am changing and removing much of my use of the Elven language, since it is Forgotten Realms Espruar. I’ll likely make more up as I go, but I’m sure my use of it will be less liberally sprinkled throughout the book.
“Scro” will be called “high orcs,” and the cultural elements I borrowed from Spelljammer (such as the name Dukagsh for the homeworld and their racial hero) will be changed.
I am changing the names and essential natures of Forgotten Realms characters or Spelljammer characters that appeared in the books. They might still be recognizable to some but there will be significant differences. I’m also eliminating or combining contradictory characters (such as — who is really the Grand Admiral of the Elven Navy?)
I’m making some minor changes to the way magic works, because D&D magic sometimes doesn’t make a lot of sense, and so since I’m changing stuff anyway, why not?
I am changing the name of the Elven Imperial Navy to the Imperial Avalonian Navy or the Imperial Fae Navy. Bite me.
The titles of the fourth and fifth books will change. The fourth book uses a catchphrase from the elven culture of the Forgotten Realms, and the the fifth book uses the word “Arvandor.”
Things that will stay the same:
Since I made up every word of the orc language used in the story, I’m keeping all of it.
Since I invented the system of steering and navigation used in Spelljammer vessels, aside from the helm itself, I’m keeping that too. There WILL still be a symbiotic telepathic/empathic link with the helm, because that is by no means unique to Spelljammer (it’s a staple of sci-fi and has been since at least the 1950s) so they can’t copyright that.
NONE OF THE ESSENTIAL STORY WILL CHANGE. I just adapted a major battle scene to a novella which I’ve submitted to a magazine; it worked just fine, so don’t worry, the essential story will not change at all.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!
Changing the Toy Soldier Saga is one of my featured projects at my Patreon this month! If you want to see this thing come to life, you should support my Patreon. 😉
Because David Shepheard has been so patient in asking and waiting for this piece to be posted … here is Last Descent, a cover that painted for a Dungeon cover back in the early 90s. It’s acrylic on illustration board mounted to light plywood. The space scape was created using a wet in wet technique shown me by artist Randy Asplund. I used this in several paintings. The space ship, a nautiloid comes from TSR’s Spelljammer campaign setting. It’s damaged and going down to a planet surface for the last time. I actually built a rough model out of Sculpey for the ship to get an idea of how to draw the forms in perspective.
This was obviously one of my own favorites and hung on my walls at home and the office for years. Now in the hands of a private collector.
These pictures have all served as sources of inspiration for my image of the characters. Source: Google, DeviantArt, Elfwood, Tumblr, Wizards Forums. If you know who the artist is who created any of these images, please let me know so … Continue reading →
Darmynes, the sun elf who owned the Gilded Leaf tavern, strategically located in an ash tree on the edge of Bral’s landmark Elven Forest, would have been appalled to learn that his back room, kept for “exclusive” clientele such as Admirals and distinguished Captains in the IEN, concealed an opening to Bral’s labyrinthine Underdark caverns, but he was far too thoroughly charmed to notice. To be fair, he would not have tried very hard to pursue the accusation with or without the magic that afflicted him, because those distinguished clients were very good to him. Take Captain Lotharvalis, for instance. Hard luck, those burns, but he didn’t seem bitter and he always tipped well, and he never seemed to lack for female company either. Darmynes approved of how he never seemed to let his unfortunate injury deter him.