Saturday, January 30, 2016

.99 Cent Irrational Number Line Pulp Games

Irrational Number Line Games offers three Ace Goodknight and Penny Dreadfull game scenario booklets. These game booklets include several scenarios and several pages of game props that can be printed out and constructed.

The games typically have a Pulp feel and you will need a few Pulp miniatures on hand in order to play. Properties and attributes for characters are listed along with a setting up a scene section and the overall game rules. The Ace Goodknight and Penny Dreadfull Series can be downloaded from the Wargame Vault for .99 cents each.

Ace Goodknight and Penny Dreadfull Series:

  1. Ace Goodknight and Penny Dreadfull: The Case of the Green Elephant
  2. Ace Goodknight: Around the World on Eighty Dollars
  3. Ace Goodknight: The Case of the Missing Sweetheart/The Case of the Missing Manuscript

Friday, January 29, 2016

1/87 Figures Collection 1

These are a few 1/87 miniatures that I recently pulled from my collection for further consideration. They are in various stages of completion. The plastic figures are from Bachman, which for the most part, being that they hadn’t received the care they should have, must be touched up. The flesh colored figures are from Atlas. Many of the Atlas figures looked very anemic and thin as a rail. The remainder are cast in pewter and from various manufactures and suppliers. You will find men, woman and in various poses, some are in sitting, and one is in a barber chair. I found him in a collection of various scenic details.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Extra, extra, read -All Bones About It

This is an extra and unplanned post. All Bones About It is an online diary of one man’s efforts to paint 265 miniatures from Reaper Miniatures first Bones Kickstarter. Chris is currently on miniature number 193. It has been very interesting to follow his progress and to see how his painting has improved over time.

I have known about this project for some time and I do apologize for not making this post earlier. Like many of my plans, it was lost in the shuffle.

The Phantom Ship’s a Story within a Story #2

Philip Vanderdecken hears Krantz's Story

Krantz replies, "and now to my history.

"My father was not born, or originally a resident, in the Hartz Mountains; he was the serf of an Hungarian nobleman, of great possessions, in Transylvania; but, although a serf, he was not by any means a poor or illiterate man. In fact, he was rich, and his intelligence and respectability were such, that he had been raised by his lord to the stewardship; but, whoever may happen to be born a serf, a serf must he remain, even though he become a wealthy man; such was the condition of my father. My father had been married for about five years; and, by his marriage, had three children—my eldest brother Caesar, myself (Hermann), and a sister named Marcella. You know, Philip, that Latin is still the language spoken in that country; and that will account for our high sounding names. My mother was a very beautiful woman, unfortunately more beautiful than virtuous: she was seen and admired by the lord of the soil; my father was sent away upon some mission; and, during his absence, my mother, flattered by the attentions, and won by the assiduities, of this nobleman, yielded to his wishes. It so happened that my father returned very unexpectedly, and discovered the intrigue. The evidence of my mother's shame was positive: he surprised her in the company of her seducer! Carried away by the impetuosity of his feelings, he watched the opportunity of a meeting taking place between them, and murdered both his wife and her seducer. Conscious that, as a serf, not even the provocation which he had received would be allowed as a justification of his conduct, he hastily collected together what money he could lay his hands upon, and, as we were then in the depth of winter, he put his horses to the sleigh, and taking his children with him, he set off in the middle of the night, and was far away before the tragical circumstance had transpired. Aware that he would be pursued, and that he had no chance of escape if he remained in any portion of his native country (in which the authorities could lay hold of him), he continued his flight without intermission until he had buried himself in the intricacies and seclusion of the Hartz Mountains. Of course, all that I have now told you I learned afterwards. My oldest recollections are knit to a rude, yet comfortable cottage, in which I lived with my father, brother, and sister. It was on the confines of one of those vast forests which cover the northern part of Germany; around it were a few acres of ground, which, during the summer months, my father cultivated, and which, though they yielded a doubtful harvest, were sufficient for our support. In the winter we remained much in doors, for, as my father followed the chase, we were left alone, and the wolves, during that season, incessantly prowled about. My father had purchased the cottage, and land about it, of one of the rude foresters, who gain their livelihood partly by hunting, and partly by burning charcoal, for the purpose of smelting the ore from the neighbouring mines; it was distant about two miles from any other habitation. I can call to mind the whole landscape now: the tall pines which rose up on the mountain above us, and the wide expanse of forest beneath, on the topmost boughs and heads of whose trees we looked down from our cottage, as the mountain below us rapidly descended into the distant valley. In summertime the prospect was beautiful; but during the severe winter, a more desolate scene could not well be imagined.

"I said that, in the winter, my father occupied himself with the chase; every day he left us, and often would he lock the door, that we might not leave the cottage. He had no one to assist him, or to take care of us—indeed, it was not easy to find a female servant who would live in such a solitude; but, could he have found one, my father would not have received her, for he had imbibed a horror of the sex, as the difference of his conduct towards us, his two boys, and my poor little sister, Marcella, evidently proved. You may suppose we were sadly neglected; indeed, we suffered much, for my father, fearful that we might come to some harm, would not allow us fuel, when he left the cottage; and we were obliged, therefore, to creep under the heaps of bears'-skins, and there to keep ourselves as warm as we could until he returned in the evening, when a blazing fire was our delight. That my father chose this restless sort of life may appear strange, but the fact was that he could not remain quiet; whether from remorse for having committed murder, or from the misery consequent on his change of situation, or from both combined, he was never happy unless he was in a state of activity. Children, however, when left much to themselves, acquire a thoughtfulness not common to their age. So it was with us; and during the short cold days of winter we would sit silent, longing for the happy hours when the snow would melt, and the leaves burst out, and the birds begin their songs, and when we should again be set at liberty.

"Such was our peculiar and savage sort of life until my brother Caesar was nine, myself seven, and my sister five, years old, when the circumstances occurred on which is based the extraordinary narrative which I am about to relate.

"One evening my father returned home rather later than usual; he had been unsuccessful, and, as the weather was very severe, and many feet of snow were upon the ground, he was not only very cold, but in a very bad humour. He had brought in wood, and we were all three of us gladly assisting each other in blowing on the embers to create the blaze, when he caught poor little Marcella by the arm and threw her aside; the child fell, struck her mouth, and bled very much. My brother ran to raise her up. Accustomed to ill usage, and afraid of my father, she did not dare to cry, but looked up in his face very piteously. My father drew his stool nearer to the hearth, muttered something in abuse of women, and busied himself with the fire, which both my brother and I had deserted when our sister was so unkindly treated. A cheerful blaze was soon the result of his exertions; but we did not, as usual, crowd round it. Marcella, still bleeding, retired to a corner, and my brother and I took our seats beside her, while my father hung over the fire gloomily and alone. Such had been our position for about half-an-hour, when the howl of a wolf, close under the window of the cottage, fell on our ears. My father started up, and seized his gun: the howl was repeated, he examined the priming, and then hastily left the cottage, shutting the door after him. We all waited (anxiously listening), for we thought that if he succeeded in shooting the wolf, he would return in a better humour; and although he was harsh to all of us, and particularly so to our little sister, still we loved our father, and loved to see him cheerful and happy, for what else had we to look up to? And I may here observe, that perhaps there never were three children who were fonder of each other; we did not, like other children, fight and dispute together; and if, by chance, any disagreement did arise between my elder brother and me, little Marcella would run to us, and kissing us both, seal, through her entreaties, the peace between us. Marcella was a lovely, amiable child; I can recall her beautiful features even now—Alas! poor little Marcella."

"She is dead then?" observed Philip.

"Dead! yes, dead!—but how did she die?—But I must not anticipate,
Philip; let me tell my story.

"We waited for some time, but the report of the gun did not reach us, and my elder brother then said, 'Our father has followed the wolf, and will not be back for some time. Marcella, let us wash the blood from your mouth, and then we will leave this corner, and go to the fire and warm ourselves.'

"We did so, and remained there until near midnight, every minute wondering, as it grew later, why our father did not return. We had no idea that he was in any danger, but we thought that he must have chased the wolf for a very long time. 'I will look out and see if father is coming,' said my brother Caesar, going to the door. 'Take care,' said Marcella, 'the wolves must be about now, and we cannot kill them, brother.' My brother opened the door very cautiously, and but a few inches; he peeped out.—'I see nothing,' said he, after a time, and once more he joined us at the fire. 'We have had no supper,' said I, for my father usually cooked the meat as soon as he came home; and during his absence we had nothing but the fragments of the preceding day.

"'And if our father comes home after his hunt, Caesar,' said Marcella, 'he will be pleased to have some supper; let us cook it for him and for ourselves.' Caesar climbed upon the stool, and reached down some meat—I forget now whether it was venison or bear's meat; but we cut off the usual quantity, and proceeded to dress it, as we used to do under our father's superintendence. We were all busied putting it into the platters before the fire, to await his coming, when we heard the sound of a horn. We listened—there was a noise outside, and a minute afterwards my father entered, ushering in a young female, and a large dark man in a hunter's dress.

"Perhaps I had better now relate, what was only known to me many years afterwards. When my father had left the cottage, he perceived a large white wolf about thirty yards from him; as soon as the animal saw my father, it retreated slowly, growling and snarling. My father followed; the animal did not run, but always kept at some distance; and my father did not like to fire until he was pretty certain that his ball would take effect: thus they went on for some time, the wolf now leaving my father far behind, and then stopping and snarling defiance at him, and then again, on his approach, setting off at speed.

"Anxious to shoot the animal (for the white wolf is very rare), my father continued the pursuit for several hours, during which he continually ascended the mountain.

"You must know, Philip, that there are peculiar spots on those mountains which are supposed, and, as my story will prove, truly supposed, to be inhabited by the evil influences; they are well known to the huntsmen, who invariably avoid them. Now, one of these spots, an open space in the pine forests above us, had been pointed out to my father as dangerous on that account. But, whether he disbelieved these wild stories, or whether, in his eager pursuit of the chase, he disregarded them, I know not; certain, however, it is, that he was decoyed by the white wolf to this open space, when the animal appeared to slacken her speed. My father approached, came close up to her, raised his gun to his shoulder, and was about to fire; when the wolf suddenly disappeared. He thought that the snow on the ground must have dazzled his sight, and he let down his gun to look for the beast—but she was gone; how she could have escaped over the clearance, without his seeing her, was beyond his comprehension. Mortified at the ill success of his chase, he was about to retrace his steps, when he heard the distant sound of a horn. Astonishment at such a sound—at such an hour—in such a wilderness, made him forget for the moment his disappointment, and he remained riveted to the spot. In a minute the horn was blown a second time, and at no great distance; my father stood still, and listened: a third time it was blown. I forget the term used to express it, but it was the signal which, my father well knew, implied that the party was lost in the woods. In a few minutes more my father beheld a man on horseback, with a female seated on the crupper, enter the cleared space, and ride up to him. At first, my father called to mind the strange stories which he had heard of the supernatural beings who were said to frequent these mountains; but the nearer approach of the parties satisfied him that they were mortals like himself. As soon as they came up to him, the man who guided the horse accosted him. 'Friend Hunter, you are out late, the better fortune for us: we have ridden far, and are in fear of our lives, which are eagerly sought after. These mountains have enabled us to elude our pursuers; but if we find not shelter and refreshment, that will avail us little, as we must perish from hunger and the inclemency of the night. My daughter, who rides behind me, is now more dead than alive,—say, can you assist us in our difficulty?'

"'My cottage is some few miles distant,' replied my father, 'but I have little to offer you besides a shelter from the weather; to the little I have you are welcome. May I ask whence you come?'

"'Yes, friend, it is no secret now; we have escaped from Transylvania, where my daughter's honour and my life were equally in jeopardy!'

"This information was quite enough to raise an interest in my father's heart. He remembered his own escape: he remembered the loss of his wife's honour, and the tragedy by which it was wound up. He immediately, and warmly, offered all the assistance which he could afford them.

"'There is no time to be lost, then, good sir,' observed the horseman; 'my daughter is chilled with the frost, and cannot hold out much longer against the severity of the weather.'

"'Follow me,' replied my father, leading the way towards his home.

"'I was lured away in pursuit of a large white wolf,' observed my father; 'it came to the very window of my hut, or I should not have been out at this time of night.'

"'The creature passed by us just as we came out of the wood,' said the female in a silvery tone.

"I was nearly discharging my piece at it,' observed the hunter; 'but since it did us such good service, I am glad that I allowed it to escape.'

"In about an hour and a half, during which my father walked at a rapid pace, the party arrived at the cottage, and, as I said before, came in.

"'We are in good time, apparently,' observed the dark hunter, catching the smell of the roasted meat, as he walked to the fire and surveyed my brother and sister, and myself. 'You have young cooks here, Mynheer.' 'I am glad that we shall not have to wait,' replied my father. 'Come, mistress, seat yourself by the fire; you require warmth after your cold ride.' 'And where can I put up my horse, Mynheer?' observed the huntsman.' 'I will take care of him,' replied my father, going out of the cottage door.

"The female must, however, be particularly described. She was young, and apparently twenty years of age. She was dressed in a travelling dress, deeply bordered with white fur, and wore a cap of white ermine on her head. Her features were very beautiful, at least I thought so, and so my father has since declared. Her hair was flaxen, glossy and shining, and bright as a mirror; and her mouth, although somewhat large when it was open, showed the most brilliant teeth I have ever beheld. But there was something about her eyes, bright as they were, which made us children afraid; they were so restless, so furtive; I could not at that time tell why, but I felt as if there was cruelty in her eye; and when she beckoned us to come to her, we approached her with fear and trembling. Still she was beautiful, very beautiful. She spoke kindly to my brother and myself, patted our heads, and caressed us; but Marcella would not come near her; on the contrary, she slunk away, and hid herself in the bed, and would not wait for the supper, which half an hour before she had been so anxious for.

"My father, having put the horse into a close shed, soon returned, and supper was placed upon the table. When it was over, my father requested that the young lady would take possession of his bed, and he would remain at the fire, and sit up with her father. After some hesitation on her part, this arrangement was agreed to, and I and my brother crept into the other bed with Marcella, for we had as yet always slept together.

"But we could not sleep; there was something so unusual, not only in seeing strange people, but in having those people sleep at the cottage, that we were bewildered. As for poor little Marcella, she was quiet, but I perceived that she trembled during the whole night, and sometimes I thought that she was checking a sob. My father had brought out some spirits, which he rarely used, and he and the strange hunter remained drinking and talking before the fire. Our ears were ready to catch the slightest whisper—so much was our curiosity excited.

"'You said you came from Transylvania?' observed my father.

"'Even so, Mynheer,' replied the hunter. 'I was a serf to the noble house of ——; my master would insist upon my surrendering up my fair girl to his wishes; it ended in my giving him a few inches of my hunting-knife.'

"'We are countrymen, and brothers in misfortune,' replied my father, taking the huntsman's hand, and pressing it warmly.

"'Indeed! Are you, then, from that country?'

"'Yes; and I too have fled for my life. But mine is a melancholy tale.'

"'Your name?' inquired the hunter.


"'What! Krantz of —— I have heard your tale; you need not renew your grief by repeating it now. Welcome, most welcome, Mynheer, and, I may say, my worthy kinsman. I am your second cousin, Wilfred of Barnsdorf,' cried the hunter, rising up and embracing my father.

"They filled their horn mugs to the brim, and drank to one another, after the German fashion. The conversation was then carried on in a low tone; all that we could collect from it was, that our new relative and his daughter were to take up their abode in our cottage, at least for the present. In about an hour they both fell back in their chairs, and appeared to sleep.

"'Marcella, dear, did you hear?' said my brother in a low tone.

"'Yes,' replied Marcella, in a whisper; 'I heard all. Oh! brother, I cannot bear to look upon that woman—I feel so frightened.'

"My brother made no reply, and shortly afterwards we were all three fast asleep.

"When we awoke the next morning, we found that the hunter's daughter had risen before us. I thought she looked more beautiful than ever. She came up to little Marcella and caressed her; the child burst into tears, and sobbed as if her heart would break.

"But, not to detain you with too long a story, the huntsman and his daughter were accommodated in the cottage. My father and he went out hunting daily, leaving Christina with us. She performed all the household duties; was very kind to us children; and, gradually, the dislike even of little Marcella wore away. But a great change took place in my father; he appeared to have conquered his aversion to the sex, and was most attentive to Christina. Often, after her father and we were in bed, would he sit up with her, conversing in a low tone by the fire. I ought to have mentioned, that my father and the huntsman Wilfred, slept in another portion of the cottage, and that the bed which he formerly occupied, and which was in the same room as ours, had been given up to the use of Christina. These visitors had been about three weeks at the cottage, when, one night, after we children had been sent to bed, a consultation was held. My father had asked Christina in marriage, and had obtained both her own consent and that of Wilfred; after this a conversation took place, which was, as nearly as I can recollect, as follows:—

"'You may take my child, Mynheer Krantz, and my blessing with her, and I shall then leave you and seek some other habitation—it matters little where.'

"'Why not remain here, Wilfred?'

"'No, no, I am called elsewhere; let that suffice, and ask no more questions. You have my child.'

"'I thank you for her, and will duly value her; but there is one difficulty.'

"'I know what you would say; there is no priest here in this wild country: true; neither is there any law to bind; still must some ceremony pass between you, to satisfy a father. Will you consent to marry her after my fashion? if so, I will marry you directly.'

"'I will,' replied my father.

"'Then take her by the hand. Now, Mynheer, swear.'

"'I swear,' repeated my father.

"'By all the spirits of the Hartz Mountains—'

"'Nay, why not by Heaven?' interrupted my father.

"'Because it is not my humour,' rejoined Wilfred; 'if I prefer that oath, less binding perhaps, than another, surely you will not thwart me.'

"'Well, be it so then; have your humour. Will you make me swear by that in which I do not believe?'

"'Yet many do so, who in outward appearance are Christians,' rejoined Wilfred; 'say, will you be married, or shall I take my daughter away with me?'

"'Proceed,' replied my father, impatiently.

"'I swear by all the spirits of the Hartz Mountains, by all their power for good or for evil, that I take Christina for my wedded wife; that I will ever protect her, cherish her, and love her; that my hand shall never be raised against her to harm her.'

"My father repeated the words after Wilfred.

"'And if I fail in this my vow, may all the vengeance of the spirits fall upon me and upon my children; may they perish by the vulture, by the wolf, or other beasts of the forest; may their flesh be torn from their limbs, and their bones blanch in the wilderness; all this I swear.'

"My father hesitated, as he repeated the last words; little Marcella could not restrain herself, and as my father repeated the last sentence, she burst into tears. This sudden interruption appeared to discompose the party, particularly my father; he spoke harshly to the child, who controlled her sobs, burying her face under the bedclothes.

"Such was the second marriage of my father. The next morning, the hunter Wilfred mounted his horse, and rode away.

"My father resumed his bed, which was in the same room as ours; and things went on much as before the marriage, except that our new mother-in-law did not show any kindness towards us; indeed, during my father's absence, she would often beat us, particularly little Marcella, and her eyes would flash fire, as she looked eagerly upon the fair and lovely child.

"One night, my sister awoke me and my brother.

"'What is the matter?' said Caesar.

"'She has gone out,' whispered Marcella.

"'Gone out!'

"'Yes, gone out at the door, in her night-clothes,' replied the child; 'I saw her get out of bed, look at my father to see if he slept, and then she went out at the door.'

"What could induce her to leave her bed, and all undressed to go out, in such bitter wintry weather, with the snow deep on the ground, was to us incomprehensible; we lay awake, and in about an hour we heard the growl of a wolf, close under the window.

"'There is a wolf,' said Caesar; 'she will be torn to pieces.'

"'Oh, no!' cried Marcella.

"In a few minutes afterwards our mother-in-law appeared; she was in her night-dress, as Marcella had stated. She let down the latch of the door, so as to make no noise, went to a pail of water, and washed her face and hands, and then slipped into the bed where my father lay.

"We all three trembled, we hardly knew why, but we resolved to watch the next night: we did so—and not only on the ensuing night, but on many others, and always at about the same hour, would our mother-in-law rise from her bed, and leave the cottage—and after she was gone, we invariably heard the growl of a wolf under our window, and always saw her, on her return, wash herself before she retired to bed. We observed, also, that she seldom sat down to meals, and that when she did, she appeared to eat with dislike; but when the meat was taken down, to be prepared for dinner, she would often furtively put a raw piece into her mouth.

"My brother Caesar was a courageous boy; he did not like to speak to my father until he knew more. He resolved that he would follow her out, and ascertain what she did. Marcella and I endeavoured to dissuade him from this project; but he would not be controlled, and, the very next night he lay down in his clothes, and as soon as our mother-in-law had left the cottage, he jumped up, took down my father's gun, and followed her.

"You may imagine in what a state of suspense Marcella and I remained, during his absence. After a few minutes, we heard the report of a gun. It did not awaken my father, and we lay trembling with anxiety. In a minute afterwards we saw our mother-in-law enter the cottage—her dress was bloody. I put my hand to Marcella's mouth to prevent her crying out, although I was myself in great alarm. Our mother-in-law approached my father's bed, looked to see if he was asleep, and then went to the chimney, and blew up the embers into a blaze.

"'Who is there?' said my father, waking up.

"'Lie still, dearest,' replied my mother-in-law, 'it is only me; I have lighted the fire to warm some water; I am not quite well.'

"My father turned round and was soon asleep; but we watched our mother-in-law. She changed her linen, and threw the garments she had worn into the fire; and we then perceived that her right leg was bleeding profusely, as if from a gun-shot wound. She bandaged it up, and then dressing herself, remained before the fire until the break of day.

"Poor little Marcella, her heart beat quick as she pressed me to her side—so indeed did mine. Where was our brother, Caesar? How did my mother-in-law receive the wound unless from his gun? At last my father rose, and then, for the first time I spoke, saying, 'Father, where is my brother, Caesar?'

"'Your brother!' exclaimed he, 'why, where can he be?'

"'Merciful Heaven! I thought as I lay very restless last night,' observed our mother-in-law, 'that I heard somebody open the latch of the door; and, dear me, husband, what has become of your gun?'

"My father cast his eyes up above the chimney, and perceived that his gun was missing. For a moment he looked perplexed, then seizing a broad axe, he went out of the cottage without saying another word.

"He did not remain away from us long: in a few minutes he returned, bearing in his arms the mangled body of my poor brother; he laid it down, and covered up his face.

"My mother-in-law rose up, and looked at the body, while Marcella and
I threw ourselves by its side wailing and sobbing bitterly.

"'Go to bed again, children,' said she sharply. 'Husband,' continued she, 'your boy must have taken the gun down to shoot a wolf, and the animal has been too powerful for him. Poor boy! he has paid dearly for his rashness.'

"My father made no reply; I wished to speak—to tell all—but Marcella, who perceived my intention, held me by the arm, and looked at me so imploringly, that I desisted.

"My father, therefore, was left in his error; but Marcella and I, although we could not comprehend it, were conscious that our mother-in-law was in some way connected with my brother's death.

"That day my father went out and dug a grave, and when he laid the body in the earth, he piled up stones over it, so that the wolves should not be able to dig it up. The shock of this catastrophe was to my poor father very severe; for several days he never went to the chase, although at times he would utter bitter anathemas and vengeance against the wolves.

"But during this time of mourning on his part, my mother-in-law's nocturnal wanderings continued with the same regularity as before.

"At last, my father took down his gun, to repair to the forest; but he soon returned, and appeared much annoyed.

"'Would you believe it, Christina, that the wolves—perdition to the whole race—have actually contrived to dig up the body of my poor boy, and now there is nothing left of him but his bones?'

"'Indeed!' replied my mother-in-law. Marcella looked at me, and I saw in her intelligent eye all she would have uttered.

"'A wolf growls under our window every night, father,' said I.

"'Aye, indeed?—why did you not tell me, boy?—wake me the next time you hear it.'

"I saw my mother-in-law turn away; her eyes flashed fire, and she gnashed her teeth.

"My father went out again, and covered up with a larger pile of stones the little remnants of my poor brother which the wolves had spared. Such was the first act of the tragedy.

"The spring now came on: the snow disappeared, and we were permitted to leave the cottage; but never would I quit, for one moment, my dear little sister, to whom, since the death of my brother, I was more ardently attached than ever; indeed I was afraid to leave her alone with my mother-in-law, who appeared to have a particular pleasure in ill-treating the child. My father was now employed upon his little farm, and I was able to render him some assistance.

"Marcella used to sit by us while we were at work, leaving my mother-in-law alone in the cottage. I ought to observe that, as the spring advanced, so did my mother-in-law decrease her nocturnal rambles, and that we never heard the growl of the wolf under the window after I had spoken of it to my father.

"One day, when my father and I were in the field, Marcella being with us, my mother-in-law came out, saying that she was going into the forest, to collect some herbs my father wanted, and that Marcella must go to the cottage and watch the dinner. Marcella went, and my mother-in-law soon disappeared in the forest, taking a direction quite contrary to that in which the cottage stood, and leaving my father and I, as it were, between her and Marcella.

"About an hour afterwards we were startled by shrieks from the cottage, evidently the shrieks of little Marcella. 'Marcella has burnt herself, father,' said I, throwing down my spade. My father threw down his, and we both hastened to the cottage. Before we could gain the door, out darted a large white wolf, which fled with the utmost celerity. My father had no weapon; he rushed into the cottage, and there saw poor little Marcella expiring: her body was dreadfully mangled, and the blood pouring from it had formed a large pool on the cottage floor. My father's first intention had been to seize his gun and pursue, but he was checked by this horrid spectacle; he knelt down by his dying child, and burst into tears: Marcella could just look kindly on us for a few seconds, and then her eyes were closed in death.

"My father and I were still hanging over my poor sister's body, when my mother-in-law came in. At the dreadful sight she expressed much concern, but she did not appear to recoil from the sight of blood, as most women do.

"'Poor child!' said she, 'it must have been that great white wolf which passed me just now, and frightened me so—she's quite dead, Krantz.'

"I know it—I know it!' cried my father in agony.

"I thought my father would never recover from the effects of this second tragedy: he mourned bitterly over the body of his sweet child, and for several days would not consign it to its grave, although frequently requested by my mother-in-law to do so. At last he yielded, and dug a grave for her close by that of my poor brother, and took every precaution that the wolves should not violate her remains.

"I was now really miserable, as I lay alone in the bed which I had formerly shared with my brother and sister. I could not help thinking that my mother-in-law was implicated in both their deaths, although I could not account for the manner; but I no longer felt afraid of her: my little heart was full of hatred and revenge.

"The night after my sister had been buried, as I lay awake, I perceived my mother-in-law get up and go out of the cottage. I waited some time, then dressed myself, and looked out through the door, which I half opened. The moon shone bright, and I could see the spot where my brother and my sister had been buried; and what was my horror, when I perceived my mother-in-law busily removing the stones from Marcella's grave.

"She was in her white night-dress, and the moon shone full upon her. She was digging with her hands, and throwing away the stones behind her with all the ferocity of a wild beast. It was some time before I could collect my senses and decide what I should do. At last, I perceived that she had arrived at the body, and raised it up to the side of the grave. I could bear it no longer; I ran to my father and awoke him.

"'Father! father!' cried I, 'dress yourself, and get your gun.'

"'What!' cried my father, 'the wolves are there, are they?'

"He jumped out of bed, threw on his clothes, and in his anxiety did not appear to perceive the absence of his wife. As soon as he was ready, I opened the door, he went out, and I followed him.

"Imagine his horror, when (unprepared as he was for such a sight) he beheld, as he advanced towards the grave, not a wolf, but his wife, in her night-dress, on her hands and knees, crouching by the body of my sister, and tearing off large pieces of the flesh, and devouring them with all the avidity of a wolf. She was too busy to be aware of our approach. My father dropped his gun, his hair stood on end; so did mine; he breathed heavily, and then his breath for a time stopped. I picked up the gun and put it into his hand. Suddenly he appeared as if concentrated rage had restored him to double vigour; he levelled his piece, fired, and with a loud shriek, down fell the wretch whom he had fostered in his bosom.

"'God of Heaven!' cried my father, sinking down upon the earth in a swoon, as soon as he had discharged his gun.

"I remained some time by his side before he recovered. 'Where am I?' said he, 'what has happened?—Oh!—yes, yes! I recollect now. Heaven forgive me!'

"He rose and we walked up to the grave; what again was our astonishment and horror to find that instead of the dead body of my mother-in-law, as we expected, there was lying over the remains of my poor sister, a large, white she wolf.

"'The white wolf!' exclaimed my father, 'the white wolf which decoyed me into the forest—I see it all now—I have dealt with the spirits of the Hartz Mountains.'

"For some time my father remained in silence and deep thought. He then carefully lifted up the body of my sister, replaced it in the grave, and covered it over as before, having struck the head of the dead animal with the heel of his boot, and raving like a madman. He walked back to the cottage, shut the door, and threw himself on the bed; I did the same, for I was in a stupor of amazement.

"Early in the morning we were both roused by a loud knocking at the door, and in rushed the hunter Wilfred.

"'My daughter!—man—my daughter!—where is my daughter!' cried he in a rage.

"'Where the wretch, the fiend, should be, I trust,' replied my father, starting up and displaying equal choler; 'where she should be—in hell!—Leave this cottage or you may fare worse.'

"'Ha—ha!' replied the hunter, 'would you harm a potent spirit of the
Hartz Mountains. Poor mortal, who must needs wed a weir wolf.'

"'Out demon! I defy thee and thy power.'

"'Yet shall you feel it; remember your oath—your solemn oath—never to raise your hand against her to harm her.'

"'I made no compact with evil spirits.'

"'You did; and if you failed in your vow, you were to meet the vengeance of the spirits. Your children were to perish by the vulture, the wolf—'

"'Out, out, demon!'

"'And their bones blanch in the wilderness. Ha!—ha!'

"My father, frantic with rage, seized his axe, and raised it over
Wilfred's head to strike.

"'All this I swear,' continued the huntsman, mockingly.

"The axe descended; but it passed through the form of the hunter, and my father lost his balance, and fell heavily on the floor.

"'Mortal!' said the hunter, striding over my father's body, 'we have power over those only who have committed murder. You have been guilty of a double murder—you shall pay the penalty attached to your marriage vow. Two of your children are gone; the third is yet to follow—and follow them he will, for your oath is registered. Go—it were kindness to kill thee—your punishment is—that you live!'

"With these words the spirit disappeared. My father rose from the floor, embraced me tenderly, and knelt down in prayer.

"The next morning he quitted the cottage for ever. He took me with him and bent his steps to Holland, where we safely arrived. He had some little money with him; but he had not been many days in Amsterdam before he was seized with a brain fever, and died raving mad. I was put into the Asylum, and afterwards was sent to sea before the mast. You now know all my history. The question is, whether I am to pay the penalty of my father's oath? I am myself perfectly convinced that, in some way or another, I shall."

The Phantom Ship, Frederick Marryat

Post Note

It seems that I remember hearing this story related in another text, a text that I cannot put my finger on at this time. Anyone have any ideas?

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Dead Things Board Game

Screenshot of title page of game PDF

Dead Things is print and play mini-game preview by David Fitzgerald. All of the game components are included in a PDF and include a game board, twenty zombie and four survivor counters. There are two and half pages of set-up instructions, character properties, weapon hit-chart, Luck counters (these are used with special rules that are mentioned within the text), and rules to play the game.

The game scenario is as follows. You are leaving a mall and realize that the parking lot is crawling with Zombies. Your objective is to use the weapon you have at hand. A golf club, shovel, shotgun, and a pistol are employed to shoot or club your way to your car.

If your “Luck” runs out before you reach the car you are dead. If no humans reach the car alive, the zombies win the game and the world is lost.

The game board is a colorful and measures approximately 6 by 10 inches. To make the game a bit more life like zombie miniatures in 1/72 could be used as a substitute for the card counters.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Phantom Ship’s a Story within a Story #1

The mother of Philip Vanderdecken’s recounts her story of the visitation from his disembodied father’s spirit.

"I knew not what to think,—he was in the room; and although the darkness was intense, his form and features were as clear and as defined as if it were noon-day. Fear would have inclined me to recoil from,—his loved presence to fly towards him. I remained on the spot where I was, choked with agonizing sensations. When he had entered the room, the windows and shutters closed of themselves, and the candle was relighted—then I thought it was his apparition, and I fainted on the floor.

"When I recovered I found myself on the couch, and perceived that a cold (O how cold!) and dripping hand was clasped in mine. This reassured me, and I forgot the supernatural signs which accompanied his appearance. I imagined that he had been unfortunate, and had returned home. I opened my eyes, and beheld my loved husband and threw myself into his arms. His clothes were saturated with the rain: I felt as if I had embraced ice—but nothing can check the warmth of a woman's love, Philip. He received my caresses, but he caressed not again: he spoke not, but looked thoughtful and unhappy. 'William—William,' cried I! 'speak, Vanderdecken, speak to your dear Catherine.'

"'I will,' replied he, solemnly, 'for my time is short.'

"'No, no, you must not go to sea again: you have lost your vessel, but you are safe. Have I not you again?'

"'Alas! no—be not alarmed, but listen, for my time is short. I have not lost my vessel, Catherine, BUT I HAVE LOST!!! Make no reply, but listen; I am not dead, nor yet am I alive. I hover between this world and the world of Spirits. Mark me.

"'For nine weeks did I try to force my passage against the elements round the stormy Cape, but without success; and I swore terribly. For nine weeks more did I carry sail against the adverse winds and currents, and yet could gain no ground; and then I blasphemed,—ay, terribly blasphemed. Yet still I persevered. The crew, worn out with long fatigue, would have had me return to the Table Bay; but I refused; nay, more, I became a murderer,—unintentionally, it is true, but still a murderer. The pilot opposed me, and persuaded the men to bind me, and in the excess of my fury, when he took me by the collar, I struck at him; he reeled; and, with the sudden lurch of the vessel, he fell overboard, and sank. Even this fearful death did not restrain me; and I swore by the fragment of the Holy Cross, preserved in that relic now hanging round your neck, that I would gain my point in defiance of storm and seas, of lightning, of heaven, or of hell, even if I should beat about until the Day of Judgment.

"'My oath was registered in thunder, and in streams of sulphurous fire. The hurricane burst upon the ship, the canvas flew away in ribbons; mountains of seas swept over us, and in the center of a deep overhanging cloud, which shrouded all in utter darkness, were written in letters of livid flame, these words—UNTIL THE DAY OF JUDGMENT.

"'Listen to me, Catherine, my time is short. One Hope alone remains, and for this am I permitted to come here. Take this letter.' He put a sealed paper on the table. 'Read it, Catherine, dear, and try if you can assist me. Read it and now farewell—my time is come.'

"Again the window and window-shutters burst open—again the light was extinguished, and the form of my husband was, as it were, wafted in the dark expanse. I started up and followed him with outstretched arms and frantic screams as he sailed through the window;—my glaring eyes beheld his form borne away like lightning on the wings of the wild gale, till it was lost as a speck of light, and then it disappeared. Again the windows closed, the light burned, and I was left alone!"

The Phantom Ship, Frederick Marryat

Monday, January 25, 2016

Capsule Toy #1 a Derringer Pistol Key-chain

Okay I realize that I wasted $1.00 in a toy capsule machine and at my age. I gave it two tries. I don’t know what I was hoping for, but there were some interesting toys advertised on the front of the vending machine.

On my first attempt I received a metal bracelet. It was cute and quite small, but not really my style. My second attempt I received this Derringer pistol keychain. You may correct me if I am wrong about the make of this toy gun.

I am amazed with the amount of detail this little toy pistol has. I haven’t decided hitherto on whether I will try my luck on that capsule vending machine again.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Properties for Hobbit Miniature, version #1








3 normal;
5 when wearing the ring


Short sword

Abilities scale is on a scale from a 1 to 5.

Friday, January 22, 2016

A Current List of In my Pocket Series of Games

Recently I was looking through my collection of Print and Play games and I came across two “In my Pocket Games” and I thought I would revisit the Boardgame Geek site to see if there were any new “In my Pocket games” available. Besides the Western in my Pocket and Zombie in my Pocket games, which I already have downloaded, I found a few new titles.

I have included a list of those games that are currently listed. All of these games are Print and Play games, and many of these games can be played solo.

  1. 10,000 in my Pocket
  2. Airborne In Your Pocket: Free Trial Version
  3. Fairy Tale in my Pocket
  4. Raiders in my Pocket
  5. Western in my Pocket
  6. Zombie in my Pocket

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Who or What is Gullum

Gullum Talking to His Reflection in the Pool of Water.

Although Gullum got his name after his habit of making "a horrible swallowing noise in his throat", he started out as Sméagol, a hobbit of the tribe of the Stoors, who lived near the Gladden Fields. At the time of his death Gollum was about 589 years old. Sméagol know longer resembled a Hobbit after he had been “deformed and twisted in both body and mind by the corruption of the Ring.”

The influence of Ring affected just about all who came in contact with it. Sméagol had first came in contact with the ring while out fishing with a mate. Sméagol had been dragged out of the boat in which had been fishing by a great fish, a large fish for a Hobbit anyway. Sméagol went for a bit of a swim while still holding on to the pole as the fish swam along.

The fish would eventually get away, but while in Sméagol's underwater travels he encountered the Ring. Upon swimming back to shore his fishing buddy noticed the Ring and wanted it for himself, the two got into an altercation and Sméagol slew his friend. The evil in the ring having influenced Sméagol to murder and Sméagol goes into self-exile.

Gullum’s Reflection Talking and Reasoning with Gollum. However demented it might seem, Gullum and his reflection were conversing with one another. Gullum’s reflection actually seemed to be the more lucid of the two.

Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.

Gullum Resources

Lord of the Rings Wiki
Lord of the Rings Fantasy World

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Unraveling of the Riddle

“B, B, O, O, C, T, A, P, W, E, R, Y, twelve letters in all”

The residents of Redwall sat together and tried to make sense of the random twelve letters. The prize for coming up with a likely answer would win one of Father Abbot’s pink iced woodland plum and spice cake.

Some of the words and phrases that the woodlanders came-up with:

  • “Baby power to be.”
  • “Coop Water Byb”
  • “Cot Abbey prow”

And the winner is;” Abbey top crow.”

The creatures of Redwaller had cracked the cipher. The answer alluded to a stone crow that stood on the roof of the Abbey. There are more clues to come.


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Characters of the Case of the Green Elephant Scenario

Here are the characters of Ace Goodknight and Penny Dreadfull for a quick intermediate level skirmish game.

Good Guys

Ace Goodknight


Tuesday Wednesday

Aces girl Friday

Penny Dreadfull

Aces right-hand-woman

Drew Nancy

Penny's assistant

Bad Guys

Yu Noh Hu

The Doctor of Destruction

Lo Fat

Yu Noh Hu bodyguard

Tan Kyu

Yu Noh Hu's concubine

Carnies & Freaks
Strong Man
Rubber Man
Fat Lady

Regular civilians that either pack or provide a
punch as needed

 Flunkies and Flatfoots

Generic minions of Yu Noh Hu


Generic civilians that you find sprinkled around

Monday, January 18, 2016

Star Wars Droid B-U4D Viewer

I obtained my Star Wars Droid B-U4D viewer while on an expedition to the grocery store where I was tasked in making some purchases for our household. Having to pass through the cereal aisle I happened to notice the last two boxes of a specially marked General Mills cereal. I typically would not eat this type of cereal, but seeing what seemed to be an end to this promotion I purchased two boxes of cereal in hopes of obtaining two different Star Wars Droid viewers. However, upon returning home I realized that both boxes contained the same viewer. Atlas, now I have one for my collection and one to sell on EBay someday.

There are six different viewers and depict six different droids that are featured in the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie. Hold the viewer to a light (not directly at the sun) and look through the view finder on the other end to view an image of a droid within a scene of the movie.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

The Red Flag Fleet, a Formidable Foe

The Red Fleet, the largest plying the South China Sea, was a force to be reckoned with. Not only was the fleet larger than most navies of the day, but they were also well armed and manned.

The oceangoing junks were equipped with between twenty and thirty cannon and could carry up to four hundred men. The coastal junks usually carried anywhere from twelve to twenty five cannon and two hundred men. Imagine watching swarms of pirates coming over your bulkheads

And, although the smaller river junks may not have carried too much in the way ordinance there were dozens of these craft each carrying between twenty and thirty men. The Red Fleet was a formidable force indeed.

Under the Black Flag, David Cordingly

Saturday, January 16, 2016

An English Proverb 2

“He that shipped with the devil must sail with the devil.”

The Life, Adventures, and Piracies of the Famous Captain Singleton, Daniel Defoe

The Miniatures of Gear World

Sometime last year Plastic Soldier Review reviewed the miniatures from 35 board games. The author did not review the miniatures from Gear World, so I have taken it upon myself to review these miniatures.

Gear World contains 100 soft plastic miniatures. They come in red, green, blue, and white and measure 20mm from the bottom of their base to the tip of their bayonet. The base measures 3mm, so the miniature itself is 17mm. These miniatures are used only for markers to mark territories and other possessions of each player.

Although there isn’t too much in the way of facial details there are some details on the rest of the miniature such as rucksack and ammo pouches. There is only one pose.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Blasted Planets 25mm Miniatures

As I have mentioned in an earlier post Blasted Planets Special Figures is just one collection of miniatures from the larger Blasted Planets line.  There so many different variations of miniatures. Some with humanoid bodies, some a mix of an animal and human forms, while other sub-collections of strictly human forms. Blasted Planets has an interesting collection of miniatures here for use with the Blasted Planet game rules or some pulp scenario.

Animal Guys
Combat Chicks
Dwarf Space Pirates
Gator Guys
Heavy Gravity Aliens
Human Infantry in Greatcoats
Human Heavy Infantry
Human Light Infantry
Quack Heads
Super Devil
Special Figures

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

A Riddle of Loamscript

Along with the inscription found on the abbey foundation stone, the residents of the Abbey, found this riddle. The riddle was written in a long forgotten script called Loamscript, a script used by residents of the now defunct Loamhedge Abbey.

The script was primarily used to communicate with those who were in leadership, namely among the Abbess Germaine and her cohorts. Abbess Germaine had long since passed on and there were only a few that could still decipher this script. Most notably was John Churchmouse who was still in residence at the Redwall Abbey.

Not having used the script for some time, and after a few false starts, John Church mouse was able to decipher the script into the following riddle.

A Riddle in Loamscript

“Through the seasons here I lie,
‘neath this Redwall that we made.
Solve the mystery, you must try,
Graven deep in will not fade.
Somewhere ‘twixt our earth and sky,
Birds and gentle breezes roam.
There a key you might espy,
To that place I once called home.
Take this graven page and seek
What my words in stone mean.
What can’t fly, yet has a beak,
Mixed up letters evergreen.
Two Bees, two Ohs
One Sea, one tap,
And weary with A.
Leave me now to my long rest,
Good fortune on y our way.”

(Mattimeo, Chapter 22, pg. 158)

Monday, January 11, 2016

Blasted Planet’s 25mm Special Figures

Listed Left to Right: The Brotherhood: Assassin, Brain Siphon (aka N'ood), The Monk, Space Vampire w/Needle Gun, The Brotherhood: Arsonist

As I have mentioned in an earlier post, I recently acquired a few additional Blasted Planets Special Figures. Blasted Planets is a line of products from Histroifigs. There are nine miniatures in this collection. I made a post on three Blasted Planet miniatures sometime back, which included two Chickasaurus, also from the Blasted Planet line and Agent Annya Nova from the Special Figure collection. At the time Agent Nova was the only woman in my collection.

BP-001 Agent Annya Nova
BP-002 Brain Siphon (aka N'ood)
BP-003 The Monk
BP-004 The Brotherhood: Assassin
BP-005 The Brotherhood: Arsonist
BP-006 The Guide (aka Lederhosen Guy)
BP-007 Space Vampire w/Needle Gun
BP-008 Digger Dan w/Shovel
BP-009 MP w/Pistol

Friday, January 8, 2016

My Latest Digital Media Downloads

I will be making more detailed reviews of these titles as time permits. These titles include game rules, a short story and print and play games.

A Magical Society Guide to Mapping

This was a freebie that I downloaded from Steve Jackson’s Games Warehouse 23. A Magical Society Guide to Mapping gives you a thorough understanding of what goes into mapping of your own worlds. What I have read so far has been very interesting and informative.

Astounding Tales 2nd Ed.

I haven’t read this text yet, but Astounding Tales gives you some background into the Pulp genre and provides characteristics and properties for your Pulp miniatures.

Dead Things (The Zombie Board game) 1st Edition

Dead Things is a free board game that is offered as a preview game.

Shootin Iron: Davestown's Most Wanted

Davestown's Most Wanted is a supplement to Shootin Iron: Davestown Cock N Bull.

To Rescue General Gordon

To Rescue General Gordon is a free steampunk short story.

Dead Man's Island

Another print and play game. This one features pirates and zombies.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The Little People

The little people are the ants of Redwall. The little people as they are called by the residents of the Redwall Abbey were watched as they made their way through a long disused tunnel. The tunnel led to a room that has long been forgotten. In the room was laid the foundation stone. The residents of the Abbey were one step closer to solving the riddle.

Inscription Found the Abbey Foundation Stone

“Upon this stone rests all our hopes and efforts. Let Redwall Abbey stand for ever as a home for peaceful and a haven for woodlanders. In the spring of the Late Snowdrops this stone was laid in its place by our Champion, Martin the Warrior, and our Founder, Abbess Germaine. May our winters be short, the spring-times green, our summers long and the autumn’s fruitful.”

(Mattimeo, Chapter 18, pg. 135)

Sunday, January 3, 2016

My Goals for 2016

For the New Year 2016, I will keep my list of goals to minimum.

Games, Game Rules, and Miniatures

I have already taken in two new games in which I will be making posts very soon. One of the games features Zombies. The game contains a set of paper zombies and defenders.

I need to create properties and characteristics to my Hobbit and the monster miniatures I am in the process of completing.

More Images

In the past I have been accused of not providing enough images with my posts. I would like to answer this complaint and provide more media, of all types, to my posts.

Pirate, Pulp, and Zombie Miniatures

Some of the game rules that I have obtained or plan to obtain make use of such characters. I do have a few Pulp figures, but would like to add rocket-men to my collection for I like the characteristics they may bring into game play. I would also like to take in some pirate and perhaps a few Wild/Weird West miniatures.

The Zombie game mentioned above is supplied with paper zombies and survivors that could be replaced with miniatures of the same type.


I am in much need supplies, like a set of paint brushes and color ink for my Ink Jet Printer.

More Scenes

Take the miniatures I already have on hand and combine them into interesting scenes.

Toy Monsters

Start to collect a few small plastic toys as they make come available. I am especially interested in small monster toys.

New Post Idea-Create a Series

I have thought of running a series of posts on a particular topic or subject before, but haven’t been able to implement this in a fashion I am happy with. One topic would be covered exclusively over the course of a month. Material for the month would have to be completed a month in advance. That would mean a good 15 to 20 posts on one topic and would need to be ready to go before the start of the month or at least the majority of the months material would have to be ready to post.

I don’t know when I might get to implement a month long series, but I could conceivable sun short sets of series over the course of a few days or even a week. My first attempt will take place during the second week of January.

Primed and Ready for Paint

I have the following miniatures primed and ready to receive paint, so why don’t I get on the ball? One reason is I forget about the miniatures or I get side-tracked with other projects. The biggest problem though is that I seem to get more out of the procurement than preparation of the procured.

This post will replace my customary “Projects For…” for some time to come. You can aspect a few additions to the list as I acquire new miniatures. In addition, my workbench is still cluttered with half complete projects that need my attention.

Eye Slug
Tazjh Raptor Hatchlings
Monkey First Mate
Buckshot the Jack-a-lope
Powder Monkey
Brain Siphon
(aka N'ood)
The Monk          
The Brotherhood: Assassin         
The Brotherhood: Arsonist
Space Vampire w/Needle Gun
Artizan Designs
Sky Pirates w/rifles (3)
Brigade Games
Alpha Unit w/pistol
17 total

I need a paradigm shift, a new reason for my purchases. Perhaps I should make it a goal that every miniature I purchase must have proposed purpose. For instance, these miniatures will be used in game play, or on some diorama. Collecting a particular miniature just because of its type or size or because of its aesthetic should become an nonviable proposition.

Friday, January 1, 2016

You have been Warned!

“It is absolutely necessary, for the peace and safety of mankind, that some of earths’ dark, dead corners and unplumbed depths be let alone; lest sleeping abnormalities wake to resurgent life, and blasphemously surviving nightmares squirm and splash out of their black lairs to newer and wider conquests.”

Chapter 12, At the Mountain of Madness, H.P. Lovecraft

At the Mountain of Madness will be my last Lovecraft novel for a while. Although there are a few of his texts that have been left unread, I need time to regain my equilibrium. I would like to do a fact checking study sometime soon on Lovecraft’s mention of ancient texts, places, and purported experts.