Monday 25 February 2019

Frozen Skies Episode 17: Express Train to Trouble

After dealing with the Burning Knives gang, the crew set about preparing themselves for Andrei's latest job; a train heist. Though the crew managed to pull it off, it proved to be a case of 'Things Never Go Smooth'.  One of the characters has developed doubts over the recent activities of the crew and some resentment of the latest addition to the crew.

Last Minute Business

Before conducting the heist, the crew dealt with some last minute business. Jacob had his prisoner to turn in and claim bounty, requiring the crew to travel to Morrdun in order to do so. At the same time, Jacob also enquired about other bounties with the view of lining up a few jobs for the crew. Sebastian got licenced as a bounty hunter at the same time.

Alex leaned on his black market and underworld connections to acquire some items to aid with pulling off the heist. Among these were several sets of police uniforms, complete with badges, though only two were actually used. The extra ones were gotten with an eye to the future, Alex wanting enough for the whole crew to give them opportunities with future jobs.

Then, everyone was all set and ready.

The Heist

Both Alex and Jacob donned police uniforms and then boarded the train with Herbert and Reginald, the latter pair would be acting as plain-clothed lookouts. Sebastian remained with the airship as backup in case the others required it.

Once the train got underway, the crew set about observing the movement and establishing the number of security guards on-board. They discovered there were about a dozen such guards and that they were rotated every so often throughout the train. Both Alex and Jacob got talking to some of them, being told that the guards were protecting a payroll shipment but the two figured the guards weren't being truthful. After a period of time had passed, the crew decided to make their move.

Alex made sure he was someplace unobserved and then radioed Jacob to 'warn' him of an inbound Windryder attack on the train. Jacob, in turn, told the security guard he was speaking and thus the alert caused the guards to spread out along the train in readiness for an attack. With the rest of the guards distracted, Jacob used his silenced pistols to kill the guard by the freight car before Alex picked the lock. Inside the freight car they were challenged by another guard, but they managed to bluff him along enough to kill him. Alex then proceeded to uncouple the caboose.

About this time the crew had heard the security guards on the caboose opening fire, thus lending some unexpected credence to the crew's report of an 'attack'. It turned out that a gang of motorcycle bandits had decided to attack the train, distracting the security guards but adding a complication to the crew's plans. Alex and Jacob quickly grabbed the item they'd come for and some other valuables from the freight car before trying to fend off the bandits.

A fair number of the bandits tried boarding the train, but only half of them actually made it on-board and climbed up onto the roof. The security guards' number were steadily whittled down as they fought to defend the train, but they took some of the bandits with them. Both Herbert and Reginald also took on the bandits, the good doctor striking lucky and managing to get a bandit on the roof above him with a shotgun blast. Before long the bandits were dealt with, though only a fraction of the security guards remained.

Alex and Jacob made their way to the engine and got the crew to bring the train to a halt, Alex went to fetch the other two before Jacob coldly killed the flootplate crew and the security guard before the engine got uncoupled. Reginald stops to tray and get the now uncoupled train to roll down the track whilst the crew escape in the stolen engine. They stopped some distance further along the line and called for Sebastian to come pick them up in the airship. Though whilst they waited, Herbert and Jacob went and did a bit of hunting and ended up encountering a large bear in the process.

After dragging the bear carcass back to the others and then proceeding to skin it and slice up the meat, Jacob then learned about the Dragonhawk fledging that was on-board when Herbert mentioned about using the meat to feed it. The bird jumped off the airship when it arrived, managed to arrest its fall enough to land without mishap not not gracefully before chomping down on the bear carcass. Herbert would try to tame the creature more later on without much success, though Jacob stepped in and did a much better job leaving the doctor feeling a bit resentful.

Back to Andrei

The crew headed back to Andrei to hand over the item recovered from the train, which turned out to be a Windryder relic. Though this time there was a gramophone playing some music and Herbert noticed a door ajar, though upon investigating he discovered a man tied to a chair and being beaten up for some information. Jacob intervened and helped make the man more willing to talk, though Herbert felt disgusted and questioning the morals of the crew.

Alex spoke with Andrei, the latter briefly chatting about music and the opera before getting down to business. Alex spied that the man appeared to have a large collection of keys which contained the right one to open the box that the relic was in. Andrei then said that may be a job in the grapevine, though he was still waiting on certain details. Though Andrei did hand over a fair amount of information on Reginald's brother that Alex had requested.


Well, we're finally to a point where I can do some plot stuff that I've had planned for quite a while now.

Though the players did nude my memory about some stuff to do with Natasha Rogan and a potential power play in Broken Spires. So theres some stuff that can be developed there.

Monday 18 February 2019

Commonwealth Revisited Part Two

Quick follow-on post this week to a post from last month, which detailed some changes that I wished to make to the Commonwealth. Wanted to go with a more Celtic feel for the nation, something that I hope the changes help capture. So, without further ado, I present a revised version of the Commonwealth.


For the time being I'll be using Irish as the language of the Commonwealth, though I may look at doing a faux Celtic language at a later date.

The Clans

The Clans form the cornerstone of Commonwealth society and, in some cases, even influences it.
Each clan is led by a Clan Chief and is made up of a core family after which the clan is named, plus a number of affiliated families who are linked to the core family but have different surnames. Additionally, each clan maintains its own militia forces mainly protect the clan's interests as well as to help defend the Commonwealth should the need arise. 

To resolve internal disputes and help keep the clan's legal affairs in order, each clan will appoint an official known as a Justiciar. In addition to handling internal clan disputes, the Clan Justiciar also the official that deals with marriages, death certificates, etc. A Lord High Justiciar is appointed by the Crown and is charged with ensuring with keeping the peace between the various clans. 

The third important position within a Clan is the Clan Ravener, effectively the Clan's representative for dealing with those from outside of the Clan. The Raveners also form the upper house of the Commonwealth's parliament.


The governance of the Commonwealth is in three parts.

There is the Sovereign or the Crown, the ruling monarch of the Commonwealth. Depending on gender, the monarch as the title of Rí (King) if male and Banríona (Queen) if female. The monarch is the head of state, but take little direct part in governing the country and remains neutral in political affairs. The monarch's main role is to appoint the head of government and give Royal Assent to bills and thus make them into valid laws.

Then there is the Provost Court, made up of the monarch's representatives at the provincial (Lord Provosts) and county (Provosts) level. The Provost Court functions as both a formal body of advisors for the monarch and as the high court of appeal for the Commonwealth. In addition to the Lord Provosts and Provosts, the Provost Court also counts the Lord High Justiciar and head of government amongst its members.

Finally there is the Commonwealth Parliament, or Oireachtas, which is the legislature of the Commonwealth. There is upper house called Badhgan's Chamber, or the Chamber of Ravens, and is comprised of the Raveners from the various Clans. The lower house is called the Assembly, or Dáil, and is made up of elected officials called Assembly Delegates. The Taoiseach (or Leader), and head of government, comes from the Assembly and must hold the confidence of the chamber in order to remain in office.

Law Enforcement

The Garda (or the Guards) form a national police force for the Commonwealth, though it does provide local policing in some areas. The Garda tends to focus its efforts on high profile crime and internal threats to the Commonwealth. Local policing tends to be in the hands of smaller police forces generally called town or city watches, though provincial level forces also exist. The watchmen of these forces provide day-to-day policing, though cases may overlap with the Garda.

Monday 11 February 2019

Frozen Skies Episode 16: Revenge of the Burning Knives

Last time our intrepid crew pulled off an airship heist and framed a rival gang for the crime in the process. For one character it really was the chance to shine...and almost die in the process. It was also the opportunity for a new character to join the crew, filling a spot that had recently and tragedy been made vacant.

This week the crew were in for an unexpected and potentially nasty surprise...

Revenge of the Burning Knives

Having successfully pulling of the airship heist, collateral death and damage notwithstanding, the crew returned to Gravenburgh in triumph. After docking their airship, the crew found themselves being greeted by a smartly dressed gentlemen who handed them a note about meeting Andrei. Heading to the location, they found it to be outside the airport terminal and in the form of Andrei's limo where they'd previously met the Tylander keeper of secrets. Sebastian set himself up on top of a nearby billboard with his sniper rifle as Alex and Herbert got in the limo. Jacob, after giving the limo a little bit of a head start, followed after the limo on foot.

As expected, the limo driver took a roundabout route to his destination. Jacob tried keeping up with the vehicle, but ultimately fell far behind long before the car reached its eventual destination. Alex and Herbert found themselves outside a club, though were directed through it to the other side of the building. Following further instructions, the duo climbed to the top floor of a nearby tenant block where Alex finally met Andrei. Money for a job well done was handed over, snippets of another job made and it was casually mentioned that the Burning Knives gang were looking to ambush the crew at their airship.

Luckily Alex had a radio on him to warn the others back on the airship about the attack as he and Herbert raced back as quickly as they could. Jacob got the ratings onboard the Stormrider organised into some form of defence as Sebastian kept a sharp look out for anyone trying to sneak up on the airship, though it was Jacon had had the sharper eyes. Spying some shadowy figures moving into cover behind some nearby crates, Jacob brought his pistols up and hot lead filled the air as the figures opened up with a volley of rifle fire. Despite standing right out in the open, Jacob fared far better than the figures who'd fired upon him be felling them in a blaze of gunfire.

Meanwhile, Alex and Herbert arrived on the scene and found themselves behind the gang. The good doctor, armed with a trusty SMG, proceeded to mow down half the gang in surge of energy. Unnoticed, Alex managed to stalk up to one of the gang members and introduce the man to the business end of Alex's gun cane. Then the heavy machine guns of the airship were brought into play and decimated the gang, forcing most of the survivors to flee. The gang leader, Pete Wisdom, gave his position by shouting at the fleeing remnants of his gang. Sebastian, homing in like a bat on its prey, wasted no time and fell Pete Wisdom with a single shot to the head.

Alex and Jacob hurried over and found Pete to be still alive, only just, though it wouldn't be for long as Alex had reloaded his gun cane and took the chance of taking out an enemy. As the crew took stock of the aftermath of the very one-sided battle, police sirens wailed in the distance. Presenting his bounty hunter warrant and credentials, Jacob managed to convince the constables that the battle was fought in self-defence. Rather fortunate as the gang had only recently had bounties placed on them for sky piracy,  uncanny timing one might say. The crew also got Ardent Gowan's goods back, the paperwork now 'fully resolved'.

Finally the crew found out that Andrei's latest job was a train heist whilst Jacob found some juicy bounties to go after.


It proved to be another fun session, the highlight had to be the Burning Knives rolling 18 on an unskilled Stealth roll without the aid of a Wild Die. Though, as mentioned above, both Herbert and Jacob were able to spot them.

Sebastian also got a chance to shine, dropping an enemy Wild Card with a single shot.

Interesting to see where the players go from here since they have the train job from Andrei or the bounties Jacob managed to find.

Monday 4 February 2019

Update Feb 2019

Well, its been a while since an update was posted.

Now we've settled into a new year its probably an idea to make a post about whats planned for Utherwald in 2019. The big news is probably going to be Frozen Skies and SWADE related, but some other stuff will be covered.

Frozen Skies

Its already been mentioned that Frozen Skies will be updated to the Adventure Edition of Savage Worlds.

Have been working on an update document, which covers the changes needed for Frozen Skies to conform with SWADE. The last real job left to do is update the Bestiary and NPCs found in the book as well as going over the air combat rules to see whether any improvements can be made.

A Jumpstart for SWADE is ready to go, just waiting for it to go out to the SWADE Kickstarter backers before it gets put on general release. It features some new content and an adventure that I hope captures the feel of Frozen Skies.

Then it'll be a case of updating the book and releasing a SWADE version, though the Savage Worlds Deluxe version will remain on sale. It is my intention to have separate listings for the different versions.

After all that, the next release planned for Frozen Skies is called Skies of Crimson. This book will focus on the sky pirates of the setting; showcasing a few gangs, feature a more detailed look at Broken Spires and more air combat related content.

Other Projects

Some of you may recall a series of posts about various Setting Ideas, basically ideas for settings other than Frozen Skies. The various ideas are as follows;

Cold War Skirmishes - Covering lesser well-known conflicts of the Cold War period.

Darkwatch - Heroes fight to restore order in a city recently liberated from dark forces.

Forsaken Space - Scavenging for relics in the alien ruins of a dead galaxy.

Gwentshire Chronicles - Confronting the supernatural horrors of an English county throughout the ages.

Keep The Home Fires Burning - Supernatural horror amidst a plague ravaged post-WW1 London.

It is hoped that each of these will see the light of day as Jumpstarts, then followed by full books for each setting.

Also looking to update a previously made fan adventure to SWADE and release it through the Savage Worlds Adventurer's Guild, stay tuned for further updates on this.


One of the other things I'm hoping to do this year is update the blog/site and reorganise stuff.