Sunday, 28 August 2016

Elves of Known Space

The inhabitants of Aquila, capital of the Aquila Sector, are an eccentric lot, and not only does it have a Hobbit colony, it has a population of Elves as well.

A very hospitable Garden world it attracted a large number of colonies from all over Earth including some utopian groups who rejected most technology and sought to live 'in harmony' with the environment. The global warming that had seriously affected Earth by the end of the 21st century was a prime example of what could go wrong.

Most of the colonies were underfunded, under-equipped and over optimistic about how easy it would be to adapt to Aquila's not-quite Terran ecology. The only ones who made a success of going back to nature was a Tlingit group, and they brought plenty of modern guns, chainsaws and motor boats and a laboratory load of exo-zoologists to make a thorough study of which local fauna and flora could be exploited and how much human predation they could bear.

The more dippy-hippy types mostly drifted into the farms and towns of the less idealistic colonies to avoid starvation, resulting in a relatively high proportion of Druids, Odin worshippers and Wiccans in the modern population. 

But on the edges of the major colonies and in areas left as parks and nature reserves there are still holdouts, survivors of the initial colonies, and it became the fashion among these people to have their ears surgically altered to be pointed in the cheap plastic surgery clinics catering to the suburbanites of the New Dorset, Merovin and Onika colonies. The 'wild elves' in the backwoods achieve the same effect in an initiation ordeal involving obsidian knives, bone needles and plenty of opiod and catecholamine containing plants.

There are now over three million of them. Three-quarters of these elves are part-timers, living normal lives in the technologically advanced cities and spending only a couple of months a year in their forest villages, some of which are actually rather plush 'glamping' holiday homes. Another eighth are effectively in the tourist trade or work as park rangers and a only a few live up their ideal of living entirely self sufficient lives off the land. 

The 'half-elves' seem to do well in marketing and management consultancy, segueing easily between mystical baloney and management jargon. It seems no Human Resources department on the planet is without a glib elf to promote the cosmic oneness of the team.

They follow revived and reconstructed versions of long defunct 'pagan' religions from Earth and some have gone the whole hog and treat Tolkein's fictional mythology as if it was real. Some 'serious' occultists are dismissive, but others accept that according to the theories of Chaos Magick, mentally creating your own deities is perfectly acceptable. They are well known for their use of recreational drugs, not that most of Aquila has a problem with that, and like to use strong hallucinogens for special religious rituals. Some even speak Quenya, the fictional language Tolkein concocted for his creation.

They are coming into conflict with the rest of Aquilan society. 'Green' parties have considerable influence in Aquilan politics and industrialisation has been as low impact as possible, but it has had some effect. The elves have turned militant on occasion and resorted to localised eco-terrorism, and kidnappings of campers who fail to clean up after themselves are almost routine. Others have turned their attention to the damage being caused to other worlds of the Aquila sector by even less considerate colonial regimes.

Mongoose Traveller rules

Dave 'Celeborn' Nasmith, elf advertising salesman

Part-time elf, 'half-elf'

  • Social Standing is -1 due to them being regarded as eccentrics and outsiders, Education is -1 due to ideological issues with many areas of science and technology.
  • Must take Survival 0 as one of their background skills.
  • Have a -1 DM to enlistment in any career that involves military service or travel off-world.
  • They may abandon any career and become a Drifter/Barbarian, and this the default option if they fail to enlist or re-enlist in a career.
  • In any situation where knowledge of technology is a factor they have an effective TL of 10, even though their planet is TL 12.
  • May take Militant Religious and Insurgent from the Spica Career books.
  • May not use cybernetic enhancements.

Nalacra sez take your empty beer cans home or else.

Elf, 'wild elf' or 'wood elf'

  • Endurance +2, Education -4, Social Standing -2; they are thought of as potentially dangerous due to drug use and history of terrorism. They really have no use for most conventional education.
  • Gain Survival 1 as part of their background skills.
  • Have a DM of -2 to enlist in any career other than Drifter/Barbarian, Citizen/Colonist, Militant Religious or Insurgent. Their reputation for ideological fixation and religious eccentricity precedes them.
  • They may abandon any career and become a Drifter/Barbarian, and this the default option if they fail to enlist or re-enlist in a career.
  • In any situation where knowledge of technology is a factor they have an effective TL of 4, even though their planet is TL 12.
  • Regard those who use cybernetic enhancements as less than human and are openly hostile towards them, dubious about genetic manipulation.

Adventure Hooks

  • The Voice of the Planet are a very militant elf terrorist group who have staged some high profile attacks on major industrial areas and are now targeting civilians in the Korine Pines district of Onika. The civilian attacks are unusual for this kind of group, but as the players investigate it becomes apparent that the 'Voices' have decided that the ideal population of Aquila is 30 million - the current population is over 300 million. The planet has suffered asteroid strikes in the distant past and recovered, a precedent the VoP may follow...
  • A daredevil thief has nabbed a fortune in jewels from the luxury space liner 'Princess Marguerite' and bailed out in orbit using a personal re-entry shield to reach the planetary surface. He hit ground somewhere in the Indigo Lakes National Park, players are going to need the help of the local elves to find him, and they might be helping him to find his way out.
  • The elves are leaving Middle Earth... Even though there is plenty of wilderness left on Aquila, some elves feel that it is getting overcrowded, industrialised and will be like Earth back in the late 21st and early 22nd centuries in a couple of generations. They are on the lookout for a new unspoilt planet to colonise, or have found one in the fringes of Known Space, and with the aid of a successful half-elf who has made a pile selling gimcrack magic crystals and tree-bark 'healing bands' to the gullible back in the core worlds are hiring merchants to take them there.
  • The Psionics Institute in New Dorchester has long claimed to be able to awaken mankind's latent psychic ability, and has a small but dedicated following for their meditation programs and vaguely yoga like exercise programs. Sceptics say they are nothing but a scam (their history as an offshoot of the Church of Scientology doesn't help), but they are promoting some elf called Merkurius 'Feanor' Hyvonen as having amazing powers. Merkurius background is obscure, he is apparently a wild elf from a tribe in the back of beyond discovered by a PI holidaymaker. What can he really do? How much is bullshit? Is he taking the PI for a ride? Or are they taking advantage of some shroom head hippy hillbilly?
  • Now it is getting fucking silly, the Orcs are on the march! Nationalist grav-biker gangs in New Dorset have dabbled in Nordic style paganism for a while, though vociferously disowned by the Orthodox and Reformed Grove Odinists. They have never liked the elves, stupid hippies that they are, but a couple of gangs are beating them at their own game, dying themselves green and sharpening their teeth to become Tolkeinesque 'Orcs'. They are getting hopped up on amphetamines and riding over the leafy lanes of New Welwyn Garden City stun-gunning and beating anyone with pointy ears. Rumour has it that they have been deployed as 'security guards' by Twinkling Springs Hydroelectric who are planning on damming a really quite minor river near the Indigo Lakes and have been meeting elvish resistance.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Toys for Tékumel

In Tsolyànu and the other four empires of Tékumel technology plays second fiddle to magic, but the inhabitants aren't complete slouches when it comes to chemistry and mechanics. This is a list of equipment you might find available in marketplaces here and there, or even create yourself if you have the appropriate skill.

Jnéksha'a sticks

Named for the mighty demonic Scythe of Flame and Ravener of Cities these are actually just friction matches. They consist of a blob of powdered chlorate of potash mixed with camphor, sulphide of antimony and some hard tree resin on the end of a thin wooden stick three inches long. They are kept in a box made from a short length of bamboo and closed at the ends with wooded lids. With a bit of scraping on the side of the box they burst into flame, a miracle of Vimúhla! Come in boxes of multiples of nine, this being the sacred number of that god. You can spot the very low clan workers who make them by 'phossy jaw', a painful necrosis of the teeth and jaw bone caused by phosphorous poisoning.

Roll a d6 to use, they ignite on a 1-5 and break or fizzle out and become useless on a 6, and are harder to light outdoors only going off on a 1-2. Cost 3 káitars for a box of nine.


Distilled from certain tars and mineral oils this delightfully volatile and flammable substance can be bought at Temples of Vimúhla for fiery libations to the Lord of Red Devastation, or just chucked at your enemies in a glass grenade with a smouldering fuse. Only hold it long enough for a brief prayer to Jmár the Lord of Flame though, this stuff is pretty dangerous. Cost 2 káitars a bottle or 5 for the stuff mixed with viscous palm oil. The normal grade burns for a mere one round, the palm oil variant for 1d6.

Powder of Extinguishing

Every now and again you have to douse a fire quickly, and a jar of the pale blue dust from the Desert of Stolen Breaths (asbestos) does the job nicely. Costs 15 káitars a jar as the slaves sent to dig the stuff up and package it don't last very long and need continual replacement.

The Cunning Firestarter of Zi'po

A box of beaten bronze filled with light naphtha and equipped with a neat little mechanism of flint, steel and springs, these are a bit of a status symbol among the richer followers of Vimúhla. A basic one will set you back 50 káitars, but many are inlaid with gold and decorated with red glass cloisonne or gems, wrought in the form of a demon etc. and are as expensive as jewellery. Much more reliable than mere matches, roll a d20, ignites on 1-18, merely sparks on a 19, runs out of fuel on a 20.

Physicians Kit

Rice-paper and cotton bandages, some chlen hide splints, a curved bronze needle and some thread, a selection of faience amulets to bind over wounds, a cup and knife for bleeding and restoring the balance of the humours, some aniseed for cleansing the breath (and thus the Balétl, the spirit-soul), some bitter roots as an emetic, some pure white chalk for writing a prayer to Avánthe or Keténgku on the injured limb, all the modern Tsolyani first aider needs. 20 káitars for a neatly packed leather satchel, roll d8 for each use, on an 8 supplies have run out.

Speaker to Mortals

One magical item sometimes found in the underworld is 'The Speaker to Mortals'. Often mistaken for the much more potent 'Speaker to Gods', these are black glassy slabs framed and backed with that strange ancient 'metal' that is not quite metallic. With a bit of work from a sorcerer if they have any power they can be activated to create a soft glow marked by colourful ancient glyphs and by poking certain of these glyphs in a particular order another Speaker to Mortals can be induced to emit a musical tune, and if you press a certain glyph voice communication can be established between the users. They sometimes have subsidiary functions, but generally sorcerers don't like messing about with them too much as they can shut down or start doing strange things like exposing invisible demons hiding on street corners. Communication can be patchy, especially underground, and works best when the moon Káshi is in the sky. Cost 5000 káitars plus 100 more per glyph sequence that will activate another known Speaker. Will run out of charge on a roll of 20 on a d20.

Getting the sequence wrong results in a number of effects. One poor soul nearly wet himself when he found himself talking to a Ssú through this device, and was even more petrified when it announced itself to be Bássa, King of the Black Ssú, and demanded to know why he was making prank calls in the middle of the night. They are known to be haunted by an annoying demon named Sìri who asks stupid questions and dispenses useless advice in an ancient language.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Bundle of Lamentations

A Bundle of Lamentations is the latest Bundle of Holding offering, and my own 'England Upturn'd' is in it. And being LotFP it isn't so much a bundle, more a cacophony of anguished wails as each and every product is guaranteed to freak your players out.

For a paltry $12.95 (that's £9.86 at current exchange rates, so UK residents buy now as the pound is sinking), you can get PDFs of the LotFP rules and five scenario books, including the great Vornheim city kit. Pay $23.62 (or £17.99) and you get eight more, including the rather jolly 'Forgive Us', 'The Magnificent Joop Van Ooms' and 'England Upturn'd'.

Now $100+ worth of horrible gruesome ways to bend your players heads for less than a quarter of the retail price isn't to be sniffed at and 10% of the proceeds go to the Myositis Association.

Buy it now.

Bundle of Lamentations

Friday, 8 July 2016

God Plays Dice

Over on G+ Nick M asked if someone could come up with a random table of variant Christian beliefs for the random creation of sects and orders. Here is my attempt. I was supposed to keep it within one blog post, but there have been a hell of a lot of sects with a lot of sometimes quite odd beliefs over the last couple of millennia and it turned out pretty big.

It brings in material from the very foundation of Christianity in the early years AD by way of the diversification of Protestant sects in the 17th century and into the 21st. It is by no means exhaustive and does drag in material from sects that are only vaguely Christian to modern eyes, and the odd Islamic one that a Christian church could get behind. I am not sure I understand all these variants myself not being a theologian, but I think I convey the gist. And do feel free to chuck out any that do not match the 'feel' of your campaign.

I have tried to word it so as to make it more general than just Christianity, for those not using 'real world' historical settings. Just bung the historical references back in if you are, it's pretty obvious what I am talking about. This table may also be of use in the Glorantha setting for random cults of the Invisible God. I have also included a few ‘fantasy’ elements.

The beliefs are grouped into sub tables. You can roll once on each sub table for each sect OR roll three times to get a selection of stand out beliefs that the sect think are most important and stick the rest in if they become relevant. These may be contradictory, but so what? A bit of mystery always helps.

This material owes an obvious debt to the old Chaosium card/board game Credo, and hats off to them for being eccentric enough to publish it.

Link here to a Google Doc.

This ought to be editable (let me know if it isn't) as I ran out of steam at Article 81 and it would be nice to get it up to 100 for neatness sake. Feel free to add to it.

EDIT: Added some more options. Only nine to go to reach 100. 

Sunday, 29 May 2016

The Book-women of Westminster

If you wanted a book in the mid 17th century London there were plenty of bookshops and wandering chapmen walked the streets with pamphlets and broadsheets with the latest news, ballads and the polemical writings of the many political and religious activists in the city.

But some of the best were found in the heart of government itself, right in Westminster Hall in booths set up between the law courts.

Westminster Hall in the 18th century

Westminster Hall was built in 1097, a huge space 240 feet long and 67 wide, as an audience chamber for the King. He had his seat and table at one end and, surrounded by courtiers, he conducted the business of the realm, dispensed justice and indulged in a little pageantry and some colossal feasts.

But by the 17th century it had been taken over by the law courts. The King lived up the road in Whitehall with the Banqueting House as his public dining and audience room. The southern end was the Court of the King’s Bench, though the last King to sit personally in judgement here was Richard III and the King’s chair and table had long since been removed. The northern end was divided between the Court of Chancery and the Court of Common Pleas. In medieval times these had been temporary (in case the King wanted a really, really big feast) but by the 17th century there were permanent wooden partitions and benches, and the centre of the hall, warmed by a huge open fire, was a throng of lawyers, court officials, litigants and spectators.

These included the ‘men of straw’, people who went around with straw poking out of their shoes to indicate that for a suitable fee they would testify on behalf of anyone. Since the floor of the hall was liberally sprinkled with straw by way of a carpet they could easily claim that they had picked it up by accident.

Between the courts were 48 booths about eight feet wide with wooden walls and open fronts. These were shops selling all kinds of things to the crowds of lawyers. These included ribbons and cloth, Samuel Pepys bought his gloves here in the 1660’s and caps, as well as refreshments such as pies and ale. But the bookshops, mostly run by women, were most common.

They sell law books; Coke’s ‘Institutes of the laws of England’, parts I and II, are very popular, and pamphlets published by the rebellious Parliament in their propaganda war with the King such as the ‘Petition of Right’ and the ‘Grand Remonstrance’ as well as unofficial write-ups of debates, and news sheets like the ‘Moderate Intelligencer’ and the ‘Mercurius Britannicus’ but you can find oddments of everything here.

Read allaboutit!

Mary Villiers the Mercury-woman

Mary has the best stock of news sheets, and even sells Royalist publications right in the heart of Parliament, being devoted to the principle of free speech. When the Court of High Commission which enforced Royal censorship and the licensing of printing presses by the Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper-makers was abolished in 1641 any political or religious crank could print whatever he liked and in 1642 her stall is weighed down with hundreds of polemical tracts from the writing of John Lilburne to the withering critiques of modern morals of William Prynne. After June 1643 Parliament reintroduced censorship with the Ordinance on the Regulation of Printing, her stock falls off and she keeps the most scurrilous ones under the counter.

Mary practically worships the ground
John Lilburne walks on, he is her hero for standing up for the Freeborn Rights of the common people and has plenty to say about the corrupt judges of the surrounding courts, pointing out especially rotten ones as they wander through the hall in front of her. She has incited young and idealistic lawyers into starting fights with the more notorious ‘straw-men’, and she is a personal friend of Richard Overton, who writes and prints pungent satires and Leveller polemics under the pseudonym ‘Martin Marpriest’, and can arrange a meeting if her trust can be gained.

‘Lady’ Harriet Marples

Harriet is the widow of a barrister and a gentlewoman and deals mainly in law books. The most senior lawyers and judges nod to her in passing and to pick up the latest parliamentary proceedings, and she has a young law student, Elias Withering, working for her who can be hired to make transcripts of anything going on in the Palace of Westminster. It is alleged she can even get him admitted to the most private committee chambers, for good customer willing to stump up the fee.

She is also well informed as to the best and most plausible straw-men for lawyers in danger of losing a case due to lack of decent real witnesses, has a couple of burly footmen who are willing to ‘persuade’ jurors on the quiet, and even a pet MP or two whose votes are for hire, though quite what she has on them is anyone’s guess. She is always interested in gossip about the members to add to her stable, and will have work for glib and presentable adventurers who don’t mind a little perjury or running shady errands in the back passages of the Palace.

Her apparently well thumbed copy of Coke’s Institutes has a cavity cut out containing a small bottle of cheap gin and she keeps a bottle or two of wine and some glasses at the back of the booth to toast the success of her protoge lawyers. If you want a sensible conversation catch her before two in the afternoon.

Cecily Jones the Lambeth Witch

Cecily comes across the river from Lambeth to the Westminster Stairs every day in her son’s ferry boat and is looked down on by many for being from ‘South of the River’. She doesn’t just sell books but pipes and tobacco as well, and many suspect it is contraband. She dresses like a Puritan but talks like a fishwife, and if she falls out with a customer she will wave a dagger and threaten to cut out their liver in Old Palace Yard.

Her speciality is books on the occult, ostensibly written by various churchmen by way of a warning against witchcraft, but containing a good many true details about the proper casting of magic. She openly offers to draw up astrological charts to predict the outcome of cases and if asked nicely by the right kind of customer will invite them over to her house where she will cast curses on witnesses, lawyers and judges in order to get a good outcome, and maybe brew the odd potion. She is pretty deft with her knife and will collect samples of hair and snippets of clothing just wandering through the crowds in the Hall.

She does have some sense of justice and feels it needs a bit of help from time to time to get past the inconveniences of the actual law and it’s practitioners. Her favourite stunt is to cook up some of Dr Chiffinch’s Spike from Skull Moss (see
Undercroft issue 9) and use it on a straw man just before he takes the stand, forcing him to tell the actual truth.

Possible occurrences in Westminster Hall

  • King’s Bench and Common Pleas are at it again. With the Chief Justice of the Common Pleas Sir John Bankes buggering off to join the King in the north, Robert Heath, Chief Justice of the King’s Bench has been snaffling lucrative cases from the rival court. Tobias Chelmsley, Common Pleas’ Chirographer got into a fight with Elijah Plunkett, a King’s Bench Notary, after Plunkett tried to bribe him to let him amend some fines in his court roll. Chelmsly’s fingers were broken in the scuffle and the two court’s corps of Ushers eye each other across the floor of the hall, an ink bottle was thrown and the sound of furious quill sharpening can be heard all around. A battle or Writs will no doubt ensue.
  • Sir William Monson, lawyer, MP for Reigate and a member of Gray’s Inn, has marital troubles. The whisper going round the Hall is that his wife and her maids overpowered him and tied him naked to a bedpost and whipped him for being against the King. Various wags keep offering a seat.
  • Elias Withering, Harriet Marple’s creature, has not been seen for a few days. Someone thinks they saw what might be his left ear nailed to a post on London Bridge.
  • James Hopkins, a Suffolk clergyman, and his son Matthew are perusing the books on Cecily Jones’ stall with a lively interest and making notes as to the authors. What are they up to?
  • Mary Villiers has been done. She took fifteen copies of Abiezer Coppe’s sermon ‘Godde’s Mightie Erucation; or the Right Methode of Skinning a Cony’ and can’t shift them since they are heretical jabbering nonsense of the first water. You can pick one up for tuppence or find the printer for her and force him into a belated sale or return deal.
  • A monkey (or was it a demon?) has been seen clambering among the hammer-beams up in the Hall’s magnificent medieval roof. A witness says it had a spyglass and hat with a panache.
  • Newgate Prison leaks like a sieve. The Keeper of the Prison has been dragged down to Mary Villiers stall by a committee of MPs to be shown how many pamphlets are being written by inmates he is supposed to have banged up. Has he not noticed the wagon loads of ink these rascals must be having delivered? How are they doing it?

Thursday, 26 May 2016

England is Upturned

England Upturn'd is now out, and you can buy it from Lamentations of the Flame Princess HERE for the very reasonable sum of 16.50 Euros (that's £12.59 or $18.47), and the PDF should be up on RPG Now and Drive-Thru RPG at some point as well.

Crappy screenshot of cover, it looks nicer than this.

I will be running it at the UK Games Expo at the Birmingham NEC on Saturday 4th June at 3pm. You will find the event some place on this page HERE. (I know I really ought to be doing it several times to try and promote it, but it was all kind of last minute and I'm lucky to get a slot at all).

I have also been interviewed HERE. Ignore the pic, I haven't looked like that (or been that stoned) for at least 25 years.

James Malisewski also has a new LotFP release, The Cursed Chateau. James has been suffering me and a bunch of other loonies randomly blithering across Tekumel ignoring all his best laid plans for over a year now and shows no signs of giving up yet, a very patient DM and very understanding of my PC Znayashu's preposterous plans for numerological terror and discalculic mayhem.

And a huge thank you to all those who helped in the playtesting for England Upturn'd; now you can read the thing and find out what the hell was really going on. And no, your chances of survival were always going to be slim...

Further English Civil War related malarkey will be appearing on this blog from time to time and in Daniel Sell's Undercroft zine (HERE). I have such a post brewing in fact, just need to get my head round Enochian angelology. Any suggestions as to anything of that ilk you'd like to see will be much appreciated.

All this blatant self -promotion is acutely embarrassing. Just want to crawl back under my pile of history books and watch Hollow Crown on iPlayer.

Edit: A review already! At Swords and Stitchery. Thanks Eric!

Monday, 29 February 2016

Daniel Axtell: Bastard at Large

Daniel Axtell was a Puritan and one of the few outright fanatics in the Parliamentarian Army.

He started out as a 'Particular' Baptist, a fairly hard-line sect who believed in: 

  • 'Separatism' - ie quitting the Church of England in favour of being an independent church
  • Strict separation of Church and State - no official CofE at all, and certainly not having the King exercise any religious authority
  • 'Particular' salvation - that predestination meant that salvation was not for all, only the elect would be chosen for heaven as opposed to the slightly more easygoing 'general' Baptists who at least believed in free will and achievement of salvation through one's own efforts and being thoroughly dunked in water
He was a London apprentice and joined the Parliamentarian army in 1643 at the age of 21, at first in John Pickering's regiment of foot, one of the highly effective Eastern Association units which became John Hewson's regiment after Pickering's death in 1645 and one of the core units of the New Model Army. He served at the siege of London in May 1644 and at Marston Moor later that year and in plenty of other skirmishes besides.

He served with distinction in Kent putting down the Royalist uprising there as part of the Second Civil War, and was one of the officers who held down the London mob during Pride's Purge, when the army threw out all the moderate MPs likely to vote against the execution of Charles.

He was commander of the guards at Charles' trial and threatened to shoot Lady Fairfax for interrupting the trial and was later accused of coaching his men to disrupt the trial himself with cries of 'justice' and 'execution' and of being rude to the King.

Axtell was also a preacher, and since in the 1640's preachers still had to be licensed by the church this meant turfing a priest out of his pulpit and giving vent to his own hellfire and damnation brand of Baptism. He became a Fifth Monarchist, a small sect of outright fanatics who believed that the Civil Wars were the prelude to the second coming of Jesus in 1666 and that they would be the saints who would rule a thousand years under his divine kingship.

He was a Major during the invasion of Ireland and was the man mostly responsible for starting the massacre of Drogheda, persuading the Royalist commander Aston to surrender and, after he and his men had laid down their arms, shooting the lot of them. Aston was beaten to death with his own wooden leg by men of Axtell's regiment and their cries of 'no quarter' were taken up by troops all over the town.

He was court martialled by Henry Ireton after doing the same on an even larger scale after the Battle of Meelick Island on the River Shannon, and was captured by Royalist privateers on his way back to England and held on the Isles of Scilly. He was lucky not have been hung by Irish troops in the Scilly garrison.

After being freed he returned to Ireland as governor of Kilkenny, Ireton having died of dysentery in the meantime - no doubt the judgement of God in Axtell's mind for challenging his methods - and led a reign of terror there until he clashed with Henry Cromwell, the new Lord Deputy there under the regime of his father, Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell. Henry tried to be conciliatory to the Irish and to expel the extreme Baptist officers who had come to Ireland under the previous Deputy Fleetwood and who were among the worst oppressors of the long suffering civilian population.

A Republican die hard to the very end, Axtell took up arms against the restoration of Charles II, but was captured and eventually hung drawn and quartered in 1660 for his part in the execution of Charles I, his 'I was only following orders' defence doing him absolutely no good. From the scaffold he declared his loyalty to the Good Old Cause and prayed that Charles II would convert to a Godly way of life.

In 1643 Axtell is young ensign of 21, sporting the cropped haircut of a London apprentice that earned the Parliamentarians the nickname of 'Roundhead' and looking like a street thug stuffed into a uniform, which is what he essentially is. But he is a very religious thug, never using actual curse words and backing up his sneering condemnation of the Royalists and gentry with Biblical quotations, especially from the Book of Revelation. He is very sure of himself, he is of the elect earmarked for a place in heaven and he knows it, and he is a stern disciplinarian, never letting an opportunity to berate his men for drinking, swearing and slacking in their drill pass him by. Fortunately many of them are pretty religious themselves and those who aren't are itching to get assigned to another company.

He doesn't like his captain, a gentleman slacker in Axtell's opinion, who lack of fervour in his prayers will get him a bullet out on the battlefield. Sure enough he gets one in an engagement in mid-1643 resulting in Axtell's promotion and in the confusion no one seem to notice it was in his back...

Daniel Axtell
Age: 21
Alignment: Republican Roundhead
Religion: Puritan
Level 2

Cha 13 (+1) Con 15 (+1) Dex 9 Int 12 Wis 12 Str 16 (+2)
Saves: Pa: 13 Po: 13 BW: 16 MD: 14 Ma: 15

Att +2
Can use Defend and Press

Cleric spellcasting level 1: Spells 1 Praise the Lord and Keep Your Powder Dry
Languages: English

AC 16
HP 14

Buff coat
Sash in regimental colours
Lobster-tail helm
Pikeman's armour

Sword (d8)
Brass knuckles, engraved with the message 'From a loving Mother to her Prince of Peace'
Matchlock musket with three crosses scratched on the stock for Royalists shot, room for plenty more

Musket stand
Bandoleer of 12 apostles, plus a thirteenth marked JC for Jesus; Axtell's 'lucky' bullet

Powder horn
Bag of 20 shot
Spare matchcord
Purse with 1s 8d
Normal clothing
Pocket Bible

Plain wooden cross on piece of hemp
Stern letter from his father exhorting him to Godly behaviour
Page torn from a chap-book bearing a woodcut of King Charles and the message (in Axtell's handwriting) 'Yore ENNEMY'; will be pinned to a tent pole or wall whenever Axtell's unit are encamped