Saturday, April 21, 2012

L is for Lohwand

Lohwand is an anagram of "Howland" which comes from my own name; it is a name I have often used in the past for wargaming or role-playing. Whenever I needed a fictitious nation or world, sometimes pure fantasy, others vaguely historical.  Others have Ruritania, I use Lohwand (though I'm not knocking Ruritania!) In it's current incarnation it is both the name of this blog, and a nation in my Garden of Kama setting.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

K is for Kalidah

Illustration by W.W. Denslow

With the heads of a tiger and the body of a bear, I think the Kalidah would be a great creature for the Garden of Kama setting, even though it doesn't come from any eastern mythology. Instead it comes from Frank Baum's "The Wizard of Oz", from whence this illustration comes.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

J is for Jasoom

The view from Barsoom
(NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona)

When Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote his tales about John Carter and the incomparable Dejah Thoris (see "D is for Dejah Thoris") he went to some trouble to do more than just set out the plot. While he didn't develop entire languages in the way linguists such as JRR Tolkien did for Middle Earth and MAR Barker did for Tékumel, he did work out the martian names for people, places and things. Barsoom, of course, was the name for Mars itself. Jasoom was their name for Earth, and Cosoom was the planet Venus.

I is for Iaijutsu

Historically, Iaijutsu is the Japanese art of fast sword drawing first developed in the 15th century. In modern times, it is known as Iaido which translates roughly as "the way of mental presence and immediate reaction", or so wiki tells me. I first encountered the term in the old Bushido RPG, where IIRC it was a skill one could take to strike first in the first round of combat.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

H is for Hanuman

Hanuman is a character from the Hindu epic the Ramayana. He is one of the Vanara, a race of ape-like half-men who dwell in the forests. In the Garden of Kama, he is a hero of the Vanara, who are one of the non-human factions.

Monday, April 9, 2012

G is for Garuda

Common Representations of the Garuda

The Garuda is a creature that is half-man, half-eagle. Often identified as the King of the Birds, Garuda is sometimes referred to as a singular entity and at other times as a race of beings. The Garuda feature in both Hindu and Buddhist traditions all across south-east asia from Tibet, to India, to Thailand and beyond. The Garuda is the traditional enemy of the Naga.

In the Garden of Kama setting, the Garuda are a race. The intent is to produce miniatures with both male and female versions. They aid Solar Dynasty of the Kshatriya and war with the Serpent Dynasty.

Friday, April 6, 2012

F is for Flash Gordon

One of my all-time favourite movies!

Locally we have a retro-Sci/fi game that is very much inspired by the campy goodness of Flash Gordon.

"Dispatch War Rocket Ajax!" :-)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

E is for Elephant

Sketches by Stephen May

Here are some sketches of War Elephant designs for the Garden of Kama factions.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

C is for Conan

Or for "cop out" as I couldn't think of anything else from the top of my head!

Overall I thought that Jason Momoa made a good Conan, but I think the script-writer and director really let everybody down. The opening scene with Conan as a lad was near-perfect but the movie quickly moves on to rolling foam rocks down a hill like in so many bad Hollywood movies from the 60's and 70's. Was that all they could come up with? Why are so many movies filmed in what looks to be a quarry? What's up with the boat the bad guy is hauling around? (Except to splinter nicely when Conan hurls a rock at it!) And what is up with that stupid mask?!

The ingredients were there but the director (and co.) made a mess of it. It was better than Pathfinder, but not by much!

Monday, April 2, 2012

B is for Barsetshire

Barsetshire is located somewhere in southern England, south-west of London, north of Portsmouth and east of Stonehenge - but not really, seeing as it is actually a fictional county created by Anthony Trollope. Several later writers also set their novels in Barsetshire, including Angella Thirkell. In addition, in the original St. Trinian's movies, the school was located in Barchester.

My interest in the county comes from the relatively recent "Very British Civil War" craze - or the "Third English Civil War." Over the years several artists have made some rather good maps of the area, and one of these I am misappropriating for my "Very British Civil War" games.

What is the Very British Civil War, or VBCW? See here.

Eh, Wot! Wot?!

The intent is to divvy up the stately homes and manors between Royalists, Libertarians, Anglican League supporters and Fascists. Going by the names of the various towns (Winter Overcotes, Worsted, etc) there is a strong contingent of woolen mills and garment manufacturers whose factories workers will fill the ranks of the Communists and Trade Unions. There is at least one school shown which could have a unit of cadets. Then there are the Anarchists!

The naming of the main watercourse - the River - brings a nice little bit of overlap with "Wind in the Willows", which is perfect as Mutton Chop Miniatures now has a line of quirky character types and ne'er-do-wells inspired by the characters in that novel; for example: the "Windy Chaps", representing Toad, Badger, Ratty and Mole, and the "Weasley Wretches", representing the weasels, in the form of a gang of smugglers and brigands.

Angella Thirkell's novels appear to be set around the same general time and there seems to be a good bunch of online reference material. I am hoping to borrow names and minor details from these online sources to help flesh out the county. I can always modify the bits I don't like and throw in characters from other sources - such as the Mutton Chop lads mentioned above!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

New Galley Pic...

Finished Galley, by Tony Harwood

The finished basic galley with a figure for scale. This will be cast in resin before the bow and stern posts are cut in order to make the whole thing modular. The bits will then be sent to one of sculptors to get the various carvings done. In addition to the plain variants, the plan is for 2 different bow, stern and hull pieces. Some examples can be seen in previous posts: here and here.

The crew will consist of a steersman sitting on a chair in the stern, ten oarsmen down each side, a captain and some fighting crew. There will be Khmer, Cham and Amazon (Aoan and Ologogi) variants for the crew. Note that the oars will be relatively short compared to the longer oars found on the more familiar Greek galley.

A is for Aoa

The two Amazon nations in the Garden of Kama, Aoa and Ologog, are alike in many ways but are bitter rivals, often being found on opposite sides of any conflict. Both are ruled by a Rani of the Kshatriya warrior caste and both revere the Goddess Kali. The Kshatriya of Aoa are of the Fire Dynasty, however, while the Kshatriya of Ologog are of the Solar Dynasty and this is the source of their great rivalry.

More information about the Kshatriya can be found here.