Wednesday, 25 May 2016


As you've may or may not have gathered aerial travel is a big thing in the world of Darmonica, especially frontier regions like Alyeska. Talked a little about aircraft and a huge amount on skyships, but another type of airship has only been mentioned in passing. This type is effectively the zeppelins and blimps of our own world but in Darmonica itself they form the backbone of long distance air travel and bulk carriage.

So strap on your flying cap as we take a leisurely look at Darmonica's so-called 'gasbags'.

A Poor Man's Skyship

In comparison to skyships, gasbags are considered to be less glamorous and 'cheap'. They certainly cost hell of alot less to construct and run than a skyship, which means that they can often be seen in the hands of small outfits and independent traders. They are also quite numerous in military service, outnumbering skyships but now widely seen as a sought after posting. But gasbags carry very little in the way of armour and are less rugged than skyships, meaning that they lack somewhat in combat endurance.

Just like their skyship cousins gasbags also make use of Lift Gas and an electric current to control the craft's altitude, but this is where the similarities end. The most obvious difference is the use of motor engines mounted in engine cars for propulsion. These engine cars also contain starter motors that drive electric when the airship is at rest or at low speeds, at normal flight speeds the generators are driven by constant-speed variable-pitch windmills. The generators provide electricity for both general purpose use onboard the airship as well as for the craft's Lift Gas.

The use of Lift Gas and how it works means that gasbags are capable of carrying a much higher tonnage compared to their real world counterparts. It is also fairly common practice for fighter aircraft to be carried onboard to help defend the gasbag if it comes under attack, military gasbags also carry dedicated scout aircraft when on long range patrol duties. A hook beneath the vessel is typically used to launch and recover aircraft in addition to an internal hanger in the airship's underside.

Home Away From Home

For Frozen Skies players gasbags are probably more likely to be encountered than skyships, either as passengers or using one as a mobile base of operations. Skyships would be the capital ships in an aerial fleet whilst gasbags would be the escorts, even the large trade consortiums have a pair of gasbags escorting one of their skyships. But for an average group of PCs going the aerial route is is expected that they'll have access to a single gasbag and a handful of aircraft, though a skyship is something to aim for as a campaign goal.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

May 2016 Update

Another month and another update.

Short version is that things are progressing well, least with regards to Frozen Skies. Also wished to discuss the rest of the events that Utherwald will be attending this year and some events that I'd like to attend next year. Finally theres some other stuff thats being considered and a treat in the form of artwork.

Now Read On...

Frozen Skies

It is looking increasingly likely that Frozen Skies will get a proper release this year.

However it'll be a case of "done when its done" as I'm not willing to commit to a release date just yet as there is still plenty of work to be done. When the book is close to being finalized then I'll be able to give a release date, until then stay tuned.

I can say that to begin with it'll be PDF through RPGNow/DriveThruRPG, then Print-On-Demand through those same sites and then other avenues of distribution.


Diceni is done and dusted, made some decent sales and spoke to a guy who'd kickstarted his campaign with my Firewater & Ice adventure. Other events planned are NOR-CON and Exilion, both taking place in October and in Norwich and Cambridge respectively.

These later events I'm hoping to have Frozen Skies in book form, but we'll have to see. Going forward I'm hoping to try and get a bit more involved in the event rather than just man a trade stall all day, granted I've sort of already started doing this by running a Frozen Skies game at last year's UK Games Expo. Nothing other than trading is planned for NOR-CON, though I am kicking about ideas for doing a talk/Q&A session based on Frozen Skies and/or Utherwald Press which I'll need to discuss with the event organisers.

I'd like to go back to UK Games Expo next year since I had to give it a miss this year because of my first child being born., maybe run a few games but again we'll have to see. Other events I'm looking at include Dragondaze in Cardiff and Conpulsion in Edinburgh, plus possibly a US based convention ideally one with a strong Savage Worlds presence.

The Other Stuff

With the possibility of Frozen Skies being done this year I've started looking into Savage Worlds podcasts with the idea of being a guest on one or more of them. Mainly to promote and spread the word about Frozen Skies. Over the next few weeks I'll be approaching some of 'em and see if we can work something out, though being on British Summer Time might make things interesting.

Oh, and artwork as promised...

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Life In The Wulflands

A fair bit on the Wulflands and even more on the Wulvers has been covered as well as other parts of Alyeska. Even gone into some detail on general life in Alyeska such as entertainment, festivals and means of communications. Plus life in the Iron Collective has been discussed, but only a general overview has been posted regarding the Wulflands.

So what is life like for the average Wulflander?

Against The Angry Night

Life in the Wulflands, unsurprisingly, is one of constant siege.

Alyeska's western reaches are very much the Wulver's domain with scattered outposts of man stubbornly clinging on. The most successful settlements west of the Wulfwall are those like Calharrow that have some sort of natural defence like being sited upon a mesa or a river island. Others are where people have generally taken to living on the upper floors of buildings, the ground floor being abandoned for all intent and purposes simply for self-defence and a lack of resources. There are one or two towns that have managed to fortify themselves, though all of these settlements require an armoury of weapons to safeguard their continued existence.

Wulflanders need to be on their guard at all times in case of a Wulver attack and most carry firearms of some description to defend themselves with, particularly since there is no guarantee that the Commonwealth military can come to their aid. Most Wulflanders consider themselves to be independent as it is generally considered that the Commonwealth has effectively abandoned the region, though they might still give aid to the Wulfbane Commandos and the Outriders who's job it is to keep the Wulver threat in check. The Outriders especially are typically the closest thing to the Commonwealth that alot of Wulflanders have contact with and some even fill the ranks of that organisation.

There are usually three different categories that Wulflanders fall into;

*Settlers - Most of these are the inhabitants that were around prior to the Wulver War and refused to leave, the rest are those who have chosen to come out and live in Wulver territory perhaps with dreams of one day reclaiming the land.

*Hunters - From 1830 AF there have been a growing number of so-called 'Hunters' ever since the Commonwealth started placing bounties on the Wulvers. The only official place that said bounties can be handed in is Calharrow, though some of the other settlements offer their own independent bounties.

*Outcasts - The final group of Wulflanders is the Outcasts, typically outlaws or others who have shunned human company for whatever reason. Whilst dangerous the Wulflands are favoured by those on the run due to the fact that the Royal Alyeskan Air Police is unwilling to venture there unless the outlaw in question has committed a very serious crime.

Wulflander Society

Despite the Wulvers and the nature of those living out in this forsaken region there is a functional society of a sort out in the Wulflands. The area is very much the frontier as luxuries such as running water, electricity, telephones and even a doctor are virtually non-existent other than Calharrow. Thus Wulflanders have to be a practical and resourceful bunch, making the most of what little they do have and try to survive another day. A few fair Wulfland settlements sustain themselves either by scavenging the many ghost towns that now exist, farming food from fortified smallholdings or trading Wulver pelts. Many even share information with the Commonwealth military (normally the Outriders) in exchange for supplies, especially if they're running low on critical items. Some have started catering for the so-called 'Wulver safaris' that have sprung up in recent years.

An informal network of communication and trade has sprung up, though this is heavily reliant on freelance pilots and a handful of radiosets that some settlements have managed to keep running. Wulflanders have to charter an aircraft to deliver messages and goods to other settlements, though normally a trader will fly out to a settlement where he can do business particularly if the settlement has scavenged goods or pelts to sell. Most trade out in the Wulflands is done with a barter based system, occasionally coinage is used. Virtually all of this is done via aircraft, though some attempt to travel via land but not all make it.

Wulfland Adventures

Here are but a few ideas for adventures that take place out in the Wulflands;

*Settlement - The party could be a group of settlers either trying to found a settlement or defend one out in the Wulflands, though they'll be under near constant threat from the Wulvers. They have to manage their resources and interact with other factions for trade which can mean alot of social interactions.

*Outcasts - An Outcast campaign could be similar to the Settlement one above as the party will have to fight for survival and gain resources. Alternatively they could be a band of smugglers using the Wulflands as a route to get goods to and from the sky pirate haven of Broken Spires.

*Military - Finally there is the Military campaign, quite probably where the party are members of the Outriders patrolling the Wulflands. Stealth and combat are going to be the obvious aspect of this sort of campaign but there could be a social aspect as the party interacts with a Wulfland settlement. Alternative the party could be part of the Wulfbane Commando which will lead to a more combat heavy game or for a one-off or short series of adventures they could the survivors of a crashed military aircraft.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

For Freedom And Past Glories: Tyland Free State

Having covered the Artian Confederation last week it is only right that we take a look at the Tyland Free State, a nation that is a sad relic of its former glory. No other nation in Darmonica has played such a major role in its history and ended up falling so low. For nearly a decade it has endured occupation and humiliation whilst harbouring a strong regret of all that has been lost. It is also a dangerous place where gunfights in the streets and bombings aren't unheard of.


Once the Free State was known as the Kingdom of Tyland, a nation with a long history that stretched back centuries. Many Tylanders even claim that the Kingdom was the first Darmonican power to arise after the fall of the Ancient Terrans, whether true of false this claim has yet to be proven either way. Though whilst it may had been the oldest power in Darmonica it wasn't immune to upheaval as a number of civil wars occurred throughout its history as various houses vied for the Tylander throne. 

Much like the Holy Sodkan Empire, the Tylanders were devout followers of the deity known as 'The Great Maker' but there were theological differences between the two that often led to conflict. The two nations warred on and off over the centuries until the early 1700s when their differences in religious doctrine were put to one side, bonds between them were further strengthened in 1738 when an arranged marriage linked the Sodkan and Tylander royal families. Plans for a Darmonican superstate devoted to the Great Maker were beginning to bear fruit, especially after the United Provinces had been conquered.

Then the Tyland-Artian War broke out.

At first the war went in Tyland's favour as the various Artian states fell one after another in the first couple years of the conflict, least until the Siege of Utherheim that was the Kingdom's undoing. As the siege raged on the Tylanders allowed themselves to tunnel vision and become obsessed with crushing Viktor Wilstein, effectively leaving the Tylanders blind to events taking place elsewhere. Sensing an opportunity, the Commonwealth had struck a deal with Wilstein to get some payback for the defeat it had suffered at Tylander hands some years earlier. In a bold move the Commonwealth landed a large army in the United Provinces, taking full advantage of the fact that the Tylander garrison had been weakened due to the war against the Artians. Faced with a sudden second front opening up and a renewed Artian offensive, the Tylander war effort crumbled.

Worse was yet to come when the Tylander king was killed during an Artian artillery bombardment on Tyland's capital, a loss that the Tylanders never fully recovered from and sparked the Kingdom's decline as well as the Great Darmonican War. The Tyland-Artian War ended a few weeks after the king's death and Tylander ambitions for a pan-Darmonican superstate were permanently put on hold as the Kingdom sought to recover and crown a new monarch. For the next half a century the Tylanders lick their wounds looked to settle accounts, ultimately leading to the Great Darmonican War in 1796 AF.

The Tylanders had hoped to relive their early successes of the earlier Tyland-Artian War by taking a rapid, blitzkrieg like advance into the Confederation. They had also gotten their Sodkan allies to attack from the east, hoping to defeat the Artians by forcing them to fight a war on two fronts. At first things went to plan as Confederate soldiers were forced to conduct a fighting retreat, though a number of delaying actions caused the Royal Tylander Army to start getting bogged down. Similarly the Sodkans enjoyed some early successes, though they advanced on a much broader front and at a more sedate pace. Things changed when the Commonwealth attacked the Holy Sodkan Empire and captured a major port city, in addition they conducted raids along the northern coastline of Tyland.

The ultimate doing of the joint Tylander-Sodkan war plans was the rise of the Order of the Great Machine, a radical religious sect that stirred up wide spread civil unrest in the Holy Sodkan Empire and eventually left it unable to support its Tylander allies. This left the Artians free to redeploy troops from the Sodkan Front, at the same time the Commonwealth landed troops on Tyland's coast and captured a number of ports. With the Sodkan Empress' death in the event known as 'The Blast', the Sodkans withdrew from the conflict and the joint Artian-Commonwealth forces crushed the Tylander war machine.

Present Day

In aftermath of the War the Tylanders found their Kingdom occupied by both the Artians and the Commonwealth, the latter holding the northern ports whilst the former occupied the rest of the Kingdom. A treaty forced upon the Tylanders saw the creation of a rump of a state called the Tyland Free State with a chunk of former Tylander territory given to the Artians. The same treaty allowed for Artian troops to occupy the Free State and the Commonwealth to hold the northern ports (thus known as 'Treaty Ports') for a period of ten years, though amidst growing tensions it is doubtful that either country will honour the treaty and withdraw their troops.

A number of Tylander resistance groups have sprung up over the past decade, all of them united in fighting the occupiers but divided by their ultimate goals. The resistance groups are just as likely to fight one another as they are the Artians, leading to a low level civil war like situation in the Free State. There is a provisional government, but it is seen as little more than a puppet and ineffective as it has to rely heavily on the Artians occupation forces. If the resistance groups could put aside their differences and co-ordinated their efforts they can could have a shot at reclaiming their country...