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michael wikan
I have a Cunning Plan...
I have a Cunning Plan...

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Spoiler Commentary The Last Jedi
Why didn't the First Order Jump a Star Destroyer in front of the fleeing Rebel ships?

They had, like 50 right there and we know they had plenty of time to jump out and back, thanks to Finn's Casino vacation (tm).

I like a lot about the movie, but this was so, so dumb. That and I hated the Mary Poppins scene.
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No Posts yet under Star Trek? Kai Kahless! I SHALL BE THE FIRST!

After my experiences with the Demo, I am prepping a TOS campaign using a refitted ship from the Four years War (Loki Class Destroyer) USS Tyr along the Klingon-Federation Border. She's an old Tub refitted with Phasers and Photon tubes (Removing the Accelerator Cannons) and capable of Warp 5 by really pushing it. A small, quiet picket ship with just enough moxie to get into a bit of trouble!

Can't wait for the RPG to release! i'll post pre and post game play reviews on my Blog once it hits (And those of you that know i make Video Games for a living, I'll run it by the crew at the Studio too and do a few games).

Just realized Hollowpoint is "John Wick, The Game". Just saying.

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I've been building a library of ship designs for my Sci-fi setting (the Orion Arm) and have not had enough time to spend doing all my own illos. As such I've been picking out images of ships online and building stats around them. Primary sources have been EVE Online and the artist "Keranak".

The EVE online Naglfar Dreadnaught is what I settled on for the Dead Empire (Deader) hiveship at the core of their incursions into the Orion Arm.

The Design by Keranak is one I am using for the Terran Republic.

Anyone else doing this?
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LT Kendrick eased the SR-771 Boreas Scout/Recon platform behind the rubble along the ridge, providing overwatch as Sergeant Ramirez led his team down into the ruins of the city of London. He always got itchy when the team disembarked, knowing that they depended on the ability to fall back under cover of the Boreas' 9cm magrifle.

It has been too smooth, slipping upriver on the AFV's air cushions, gliding across the broad mirrored surface of the Thames. The damned ferals could be anywhere.
» Topic: Boreas give away!
» Topic: Boreas give away!

I have been considering adapting Numenera into an RPG version of Bungie's "Destiny" game. The 3 base classes actually map directly to the 3 classes in Destiny. Has anyone done this yet?

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michael wikan commented on a post on Blogger.
BRILLIANT! I can read it clear as day! LOL I saw this in the theaters and have watched it hundreds of times since and never realized it!
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This is a very cool Kickstarter for a 3D Space Combat boardgame set in the Traveller Universe. I have the Squadron Strike system and it really gets 3D vector movement right. Make that Tigress WORK for the Spinal Meson shot!

I thought I would share a snippet from a novel I am writing, set in my "Fantasy World" that has been in use since 1979.

Thanks for your kind indulgence:

From "Duellist's Choice", by Mike Wikan

Forth, Marquis of Ascanar, strolled down the long marble hall in the White Palace of Ascaneus. His jeweled rings flashed in the slanting rays of the sun that passed through the clerestory windows to his left and glinted off his oiled and curled black beard. His clothes were sumptuous, his doublet black velvet over a blood red silk shirt. The colors of his house, but they suited him. At his waist was buckled a jeweled knife in a golden scabbard- only the guards carried swords here. Behind him he heard the incessant babble of Jendry Scifo, his aide, only as a faint buzz. Much like an irritating fly that hovered around the ear, but never alighting so you could swat it firmly. He bore the irritation much like he bore all irritants, poorly.

He was the only remaining member of a wealthy and noble house. Once impoverished and on the cusp of dissolution due to the gross mismanagement of his elder brother Eggart, he had taken over the reins upon Eggart’s death during an unfortunate hunting trip and had used his cunning, connections and cruelty to wrest his house’s fate back on course and now he was second only to Minister Grallic Vale in the court. After the Emperor of course, he thought.

Forth smiled. He was born to power like a fish was born to swim. He loved deep water and the waters he swam now were deep indeed.

He swung to his right and entered a hall that branched perpendicularly off the main hall and toward the Fane of records, where he knew that Grallic was “holding court” today over the toadies in the Imperial staff. Unconsciously, his hand brushed the small velvet pouch at his belt, securely tied by a thong. So small a thing to hinge the fate of Empires on he thought, a slight frown creasing his sharp features.

He approached a heavy door, it’s stained wood polished to a rich viridian hue, and gestured to the guard standing next to it peremptorily. The soldier stiffened at attention and reached over to open it smoothly, somehow managing a bow in the process.
I have to admit, Grallic has his staff well trained, he thought.

Inside the large stuffy chamber was a wide table, piled with books and scrolls and a crowd of men arguing in whining tones with the dusky skinned man seated behind the table. A gray man, he thought. Gray of thought, gray of clothes, gray of manner. Not a man meant for greatness, just a leg slowly rotting away beneath the Imperial table, ready to be kicked out, spilling the table’s contents to the floor...

“Minister Grallic, there you are!” Forth donned his best smile as he doffed his velvet cap and swept a bow just shy of mocking. Grallic looked up with some annoyance at Forth from the book he had open in front of him and his eyes narrowed slightly. The crowd of merchants and scribes stumbled to a halt as they realized that Forth had appeared in front of them as if by magic.

“Marquis Forth, what brings you to the Hall of Records today?” Grallic queried with a raised eyebrow.

“Glad tidings, Minister” Forth purred unctuously “ I have news that we have won a dazzling victory against the Malanthians at Apella!”

“I think the word you are looking for is “disastrous”, Forth.” Grallic squinted up at the Marquis. “A few more “victories” like that and King Kyrdell’s army will be camped in front of our city!”

Forth Snorted and toyed with the golden chain at his throat. “I doubt a Border skirmish, won or lost will spell doom for Ascania. Besides all Armies need to be blooded from time to time and thus ensure the sharpness of our edge, wouldn’t you agree?” He flashed a dazzling smile at the Gray Man. “The important thing is that we now have control of Apella and the road to the High Pass. Once we take the High pass we can let the Malanthians stew on the lost revenue.”

Grallic sat back in his seat and cleared his throat. Sweeping his gaze across the assembled scribes and courtiers he growled “That is all for today. Return tomorrow at the seventh bell and we can complete the books.” He made a “shooing” gesture with his right hand and studied Marquis Forth from under lidded eyes as the room cleared.
Forth turned to his lackey, Scifo, and crooked a sleek eyebrow at him. Jendry retreated with the last of the Courtiers, making a show of bowing and scraping backward as he exited. The door closed with a snap as he passed the threshold.

“So, are you truly intent on pursuing this folly, Forth?” Grallic steepled his fingers in front of him, eyes narrowing as he studied the man.

“Marquis Forth, if you please. Or possibly “your Grace”, Minister Grallic. Do me that courtesy at least. And yes, I am intent on pursuing the glorious rise of Ascaneus. It is long past time we settled with Malanthia and took back the Border fiefs. Generations of Ascanean sons have now grown up believing they are Malanthians. I will not have it.” He snarled.

Grallic sat, studying Forth.

“I am, however, not unmoved by the losses we incurred taking Apella. Nor am I unaware of the King’s desire to avoid...conflict...with the Malanthian Army. While I believe that our losses were largely due to the fact that we employed Mercenaries rather than Ascanean Regulars, I am nothing if not a Loyal Subject of his Majesty.” Forth went on in a more subdued tone.

“Regardless of the cost” Forth began “RUINOUS Cost!” Grallic interjected. “Unexpectedly HIGH cost, let us say Minister.” the Marquis tilted his head as if acknowledging a point “ We now control the route to the High Pass and the trade route to both Malanthia and the Free City of Tyko. Once we take the High Pass and fortify it we will make the cost back in a year from the taxes alone. It also secures the mountain passes against any Malanthian “aggression”. Surely you see this?”

Grallic let out a breath that may have hidden a guttural curse. “Your decision to take Apella based on the flimsiest approval of the King will force our hand, and you know it. Malanthia will react to the loss of Apella because they must. Even now couriers must be reaching Kyrdell. Before High Summer the pass will be full of Malanthian Infantry raining down at us. So. We will have to take the high pass before that can happen.”

Marquis forth smiled and opened his mouth to say something but halted with Grallic’s raised hand.

“You, Marquis, will NOT lead this expedition. His Highness, emboldened and, frankly, deep in his cups, made the pronouncement that Count Blakemoor will lead the expedition. Once I convinced him of the necessity to take the “opportunity” of course. “ Grallic trailed off, eyes locked on Forth’s and watching his reaction.

“Blakemoor has all the tactical acumen of a Jallafruit and well you know it!” Forth grated, his teeth clenched.

“That is true, but he is also loyal to a fault and, more importantly, he is the best friend of the Emperor. “ Grallic smiled coldly. “I think the best you can hope for, Your Grace, is a “well done” from his Majesty. “Fortunately for you, sadly, his Majesty pays more attention to victories than costs. Likely he will give you a Medal or possibly a Writ of Attainment to the Koar Valley.’

Forth seethed inside, but let none of it show on his face, which was a study of careless attention. The Plan, he thought, Stay with the Plan.

“Fair enough!” he said, flashing Grallic his most winning smile “In truth I came here not to gloat, but to deliver a gift for your Lady Wife. I acquired it on a recent trip and thought she might appreciate it.”Forth reached to his belt and retrieved the velvet pouch and reverently deposited it on Forth’s desk. “ She is widely known as a collector of artifacts of the Old Kingdom.”

With surprise openly showing on his face, Grallic gently reached for the pouch. “Why Forth! How very kind of you.” He untied the strings and gently opened the bag, peering inside. His eyebrows lifted in appraisal as he reached in and lifted out the bauble “My goodness.” He stood and lifted it into the light of the windows overhead and watched it scintillate.

The item was a short chain of linked pieces, each section cunningly wrought of ivory, gold and a strange hard green metal that shimmered like liquid in the golden sunlight. At each joint was a tiny ring of engraved runes circumnavigating the joint. At one end of the chain was a strange, vaguely serpentine head and at the other a tail of sharply etched flaring points.

“Fascinating. I have never seen the like.” Grallic swiveled to fix Forth in his gaze “And where did you find it? I am sure that Lady Vale will enquire as to its provenance.”

“Oh, a wanderer from the desert. Not the sort of person you would meet in royal society circles, I fear. “ Forth smiled widely, his white teeth gleaming from under his black moustache. “He drove a hard bargain but, in truth, I knew it was a “Once in a Lifetime” find when I saw it. A bargain I could not let pass.”

Grallic slowly smiled and gently returned the chain to the pouch. “the Lady Vale often tells me that I am too mistrusting. Perhaps she is somewhat correct.” He looked up at Forth “ That is a kindness Forth, and one my Lady will appreciate. I will remark on it, in truth.” he paused a moment in thought. “Indeed quite remarkable.” he mused.
“Well, perhaps I was too harsh. You make a valid point about the opportunity your “adventurism” has earned us and after all, Mercenaries are but coins to spend, eh?”

Grallic sat back down in his chair and leaned back. “I will discuss the expedition with the Emperor. I am sure we can find...something.. there for a man of your myriad talents.”
Marquis Forth bowed low, hiding his victorious smile. “Minister Vale, you are too kind.”
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