Monday, 4 March 2013

Opinion: Not a Natural Winter

It would seem that various enterprising young mages in the University have set their brilliant minds to the problem of the snow. Now, this needs to be said, and I cannot possibly impress upon you enough the importance of this statement...this is no ordinary snow! No, there is something distinctly magical behind our winter, and it is imperative that we find out what.

And why.


Analysis of the snow has revealed magical motes within the ice crystals. This does not mean that the snow has somehow been ‘faked’, but that its presence is far from natural. In other words, it has been summoned.

I think we all know that this has been an unnatural winter, a bitterness and ferocity to the wind and the storms like the very weather is formed of a raging malevolence. And now, we are beginning to understand why. Who has called this winter down upon us and what could their reason be?


The hard work of the mages is to be lauded, and we must all now put our trust in them as we battle the elements and look to the skies in trepidation. Yet again the Royal City, nay, the entire land, must be thankful for the dedication and ingenuity of its mages, without whom this worrying occurrence would have gone undetected.

Hieronymous Finnigan

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Monthly News From Caewal

Greetings lovely readers in the Royal City; I hope you’re keeping warm in this bitter winter. I must tell you dears, the most unexpected thing has happened – it has snowed in Cae-on-Wal! The locals assure me this is quite unprecedented. It may be normal for a little light powdery snow on the hills to the north, not to mention enough rain to depress even the storm gods, but for the capital city itself to be buried under a thick layer of snow... well, you would think the end of the world was nigh.


The high walls and flood defences that have protected the towns in the fens from the rising waters for centuries, are now suddenly useless against the onslaught of the weather. Snow covers the fields, melting and flooding into the houses. Snow ruins the fine reeds all over Caewal, threatening the livelihood of the whole region. The boatmen of the Riverlands have to crack the ice over their waterways and eel farms each morning, and many are venturing into more populated towns for the first time in hundreds of years. Fair readers, I’m sure you can only imagine how the townsfolk are reacting to the sudden influx of waterlogged peasants, dragging the river mud in with them!


It would appear that the days inside spent weathering the snow have sent people a little stir crazy here in Caewal. You have to understand, dear readers, that these are not the sophisticated people of the Royal City; they see unusual weather and immediately start making up bedtime stories. It’s actually rather endearing in a way. First, it would seem the bog monsters are making their return to the area around Kirkgate. Oooh spooky! The latest fears are the ‘Winter Demons’, who the people of the Riverlands are saying have been blown down from the north as part of a new invasion plan from none other than the Dark Lord himself! Entertaining, no? If this snow has anything magical behind it I’ll eat my very fine hat.


At least one thing has come out of this dismal winter. The notables of Cae-on-Wal, enchanted by the beauty and novelty of the crisp snow in their city, threw a Snowflake Ball two nights ago. And oh my, were the fashions delightful! Winter-themed doublets and snowflake gowns, and miles of the finest pale blue silk. And amongst the pirouetting guests, this reporter caught a glimpse of none other than Louisa Harcourt, daughter of Cae-on-Wal’s own Lady Protector, in a passionate embrace with Lord Boswell. If that isn’t news hot enough to melt your snow, then I don’t know what is!

Until next time loyal and beloved readers!

Master Karlton Atherton

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Herald Notice: Snow Crash

Everyone here at the Herald apologises for the recent lack of posts, but unfortunately we have fallen victim to the so-called Fimbulwinter currently afflicting the Royal City. Snow drifts tens of feet high run down from the city walls into streets where whole storeys are buried and thick icicles hang from every rooftop to create what look like sparkling prison bars to those living here. And of course there's the cold; the persistent, bitter chill that kept fires burning round the clock in every hearth until the fuel started to run out. Some were able to lay hands on enough blankets to keep themselves from freezing, others made it to the refuge halls dotted across the city. Too many managed neither.

As you might imagine, business here has ground to a halt. Few people can leave their homes, let alone get to work. Lines of communication in and out of the city are all but severed; many of the messenger birds have died or fled to warmer climbs. Whatever news is breaking across the Isles has fallen prey to the only headline in town; big, bold capital letters spelling out how winter is slowly crushing the beating heart of Abevorn.

We hope normal service will resume shortly, but we more fervently hope we can keep this fire burning just a little while longer.

Edmund Stroff

Friday, 8 February 2013

Film Review: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)

There is a moment approximately twenty-eight hours in to The Hobbit's forty-hour running time where the fellowship of dwarves, hobbit and wizard we're accompanying find themselves in the midst of a smackdown between towering rock giants.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Film Review: Reign of Fire (2003)

When talking about fantasy films, I always find myself trying to think of a really good film with dragons in it. Inevitably I come around to Reign of Fire. It’s actually a pretty decent dragon movie. Think war movie meets apocalypse film rather than fantasy fare and that’s the sort of pseudo military vibe of a large chunk of the film.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Auntie Bladderpod

Dear Auntie B,

Try as we might, we just cannot get our tar to the right consistency for dropping on orcs. Do you have any tips?

Yours gratefully
Captain F

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Special Report: Pirate Problem Widespread in Port Population

The infamous Port Bloodwater, viewed from the sea

Anyone living on the western coast of Abevorn, especially in the regions of Sevennia, the Shadow Wastes and the Western Isles, will be familiar with the day-to-day reality of piracy. Port Bloodwater is an infamous base of piratical gangs, inhabited by buccaneers and thieves and malcontents of every kind. Violent acts against honest trade are a common and high-profile danger to shipping from the border of Caefro right down to Khaevorn. What is less well-known, is that a low-grade culture of piracy and smuggling has infiltrated the lives of many otherwise law-abiding citizens who live in coastal regions.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Letter to the Editor: Concerning the Dissanters

Dear Sir,

I am a merchant in Snowberry Wine, amongst other things, and I travelled to the land of Olverym in pursuit of my trade. I like to be there for what the people of that disagreeable nation call the 'Idea' of January. They think a month is not real until the thirteenth day has passed and that day is called the 'Idea' of the month. They are very strange folk.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Football Report: Arcrigh FC vs Quayside Utd

Hello sports fans. This week I was visiting Arcrigh - a grothole of a village in the Shadow Wastes where no one goes unless they have to. Those that have to will usually be fighting to the death in the notorious Arcrigh Arena, but on this occasion, the unwilling visitors also included Quayside Utd, who had the dubious fortune of avoiding the Arena in favour of the scorched earth of Uerthe's Clearing.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Saturday Football - League Week 22

Here are the results and revised league tables for league week 22. Click the pictures for bigger versions. Revised league tables after the break.

Editor's Monthly Roundup - January

Plunged into a deathly winter where evil strikes at goodness from every shadow, could there really have been a better month in which to launch The Fantasyland Herald?

Friday, 1 February 2013

News from Caewal

Merry greetings to my fair readers from the capital; I hope that life is treating you well and that the snows will not delay this post from reaching you. Winter is such a beautiful time in the Royal City, when all the steep roofs are dusted with powdery snow... not like winter in Caewal, which mainly consists of rain, rain and, oh yes, more rain! So dull.

Know Your Place: Caewal

Caewal lies on a peninsula in the southwestern corner of the Isles of Aebron. The distance from its eastern most point to its western-most extremity is nigh on six hundred miles. It is presently ruled over by a conclave of Witch-Queens. Little is known about these powerful magiarchs, save for the fact they enforce their draconian and capricious laws with swift and fearsome magick.

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Fantasywatch: WoW movie going ahead?

After languishing in development hell for over a decade, the Hollywood adaptation of mega-MMO World of Warcraft has moved one step closer to being marginally less unlikely.

Duncan Jones, acclaimed director of 'Moon' and 'Source Code', has signed on with production company Legendary Pictures to shoot the film this autumn for a 2015 release. The script was written by 'Blood Diamonds' Charles Leavitt.

Details of the plot remain shrouded in secrecy, but it will doubtless feature a prolonged first act where the protagonists have to kill three hundred and eight-two spiders to find a magical geegaw with a 0.02 percent drop-rate.

And yes, I know they've streamlined the quests and sped up levelling since I played it way back in 2005, but film adaptations are about capturing the essence of the source material and in this case that means lots of spider killing. And people jumping around all over the place for no apparent reason.

Vincent Holland-Keen

Film Review: The Princess Bride (1987)

In spite of its age (over 25 years old, seriously? Where's the Blu-Ray box set with extra unusually sized rodent?) The Princess Bride remains iconic among Fantasy fans and is still unrivalled in the affections of its fans.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Weekly Threefold Prophecy

Vision of the Left Eye:
Hark, the sound of an adventurer’s horn will soon fill the night. A new bard is in town.

Augury of the Right Eye:
There are times to be civil and times to partake in civil war. Now is the former, later will be the latter.

Omen of the Third Eye:

The path is forked; now is a time to show charity, but also to be cautious. There is someone who wants something from you.

Sibyl Delphinica Starblossom

Editor's Note: The Fantasyland Herald accepts no responsibility for the future or for the actions of any person or persons who choose to act on the basis of prognostications of said future published herein.


Amarisa Innskeld, discovering her fallen comrades at Craven Abbey
Amarisa Innskeld, believed to have been killed last week at the hands of Darach Muerdelain along with the other four members of The Fellowship of the Heart, is alive.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

News from Olverym: Disant Two Combs Speaks

A large crowd gathered at Wartin Seat, in the Hammer Hills, to the north of the great walled city of Dragon's Cradle, looking out upon the superlative view of the Olver Valley, as is traditional upon the idea of January. Whereupon Disant Two Combs (so called for his quite magnificent moustache, which needs two combs just to groom it) stood upon the seat, the time-honoured place of calling, and proclaimed that he, and he alone, could bring the Dragons back. Much discussion greeted this announcement and, when the injured were cleared away, Disant expounded upon his thesis.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Queen's funeral procession - Week 2

Well my darlings, I am sending you news from the dread plains of the Steppes. Dread fully dull that is. Remember the bored to death vole from last week? Well apparently everything on the Steppes plains suffered the same fate. Everything. We have passed little in days other than the odd sad looking tumbleweed and a handful of neglected desert altars. Even the buzzards manage an air of boredom as they hang around, presumably hoping we all die.  I wouldn't be surprised if we did. The heat is intolerable and playing havoc with my skin.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Saturday Football - League Week 21

Here are the results and revised league tables for league week 21. Click the pictures for bigger versions. Revised league tables after the break.

Football Report: Dunnell Utd vs Torcastle City

Today we welcomed Torcastle City to Dunnell's home ground The Governor's Lot. The stadium is in the impressive grounds of the personal estate of Governor  Threpley. After their performance against the Skinners a few weeks ago, Dunnell wanted a good solid win on their home ground.

Film Review: Conan the Barbarian (2011)

Robert E Howard's character gets a shiny movie update since his Arnie days in this glossy 2011 movie version.

Conan is played by Jason Mamoa and offers the usual evil crazy villain, decent upstanding friends (Barbarians are really very lovely and trustworthy people, who fight a lot), beautiful woman in need of saving and lots of fighting and visual fun.

"Behold, my friend, the carriage of your dreams: a Ssangyong Korando,
36,000 miles on the clock, only one careful owner."


I'm sure there are lots of ways to take offence at Conan for its handling of female characters, its lack of depth, how completely ludicrous the plot is, etc, etc. That would be rather missing the point. Conan is and always has been, in any form, pulp fantasy fiction. I would venture that the tagline of any pulp fantasy fiction could be 'it's very silly, with lots of fighting and some girls in peril and stuff.'

Put out of your head any ideas of this being deep, clever, genre changing or in any way anything other than a ridiculous film with very pretty people having over the top adventures. Once you are there, then you can really enjoy it.

"Hold still, kid, you have a huge zit on your nose and I have
just the finger accessories necessary to expunge it."


It's a gorgeous film. The unpleasant and almost a bit gritty scenes of Conan's birth, the battles, the moustache twirling madness of the villain, the evil Wednesday Adams witch, all lush and delicious. It's almost parodying itself whilst still delivering a serious action film. Conan is a visual feast, don't think too hard, just let it happen to you.

In fairness to the movie, it was pretty well done too for the sort of film. A few clunks but mostly the scripting works, the plot hangs together in its own silly way, the acting is pretty solid and it all works together to draw you in and make suspension of disbelief as easy as possible. You don't have to work to stay in the mood of the film. Ron Perlman is a delight as Corin, Rose McGowan is brilliant and almost unrecognisable as Marique, all evil and mad and creepy as hell.

Basically a win. A good old fashioned fantasy romp and an updated outing for the archetype Barbarian.

Adele Wearing 

Friday, 25 January 2013

F1 Racing - Pre-Season Summary

The Racing Committee meets this week to discuss this year's route and any changes to the rules prior to the season starting in March. No change is expected to the traditional starting point of Royal City. For those of you unfamiliar with the sport, a bit about where it started and how it became the sport we all know and love today.

Thursday, 24 January 2013


Guswink Foldorol's sketch of a hobbit hole
More than a century after halflings were thought to have left Aveborn the discovery of what might be hobling homes raises doubts over whether they ever really went.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Weekly Threefold Prophecy

Vision of the Left Eye:

As the Seven Wizards move into the sign of the Dragonbat, it is wise to think of the future. Save or spend for days to come.

Augury of the Right Eye:

We are entering the month of the Olive. The person who has been irritating you will soon encounter deep misfortune, but will be too embarrassed to tell you. If pressed, they may confide in you or they may lie. Take satisfaction in either response. Your life is currently better than theirs.

Omen of the Third Eye:
When all seems lost, remember: seeming is not is-ness, and lostness may in fact be mistaken. Though it may not. Honestly, who can tell?

Sibyl Delphinica Starblossom

Editor's Note: The Fantasyland Herald accepts no responsibility for the future or for the actions of any person or persons who choose to act on the basis of prognostications of said future published herein.

Auntie Bladderpod

Dear aunty wotsit

I have three fugly daughters wot no man wuld want for a wife and no sons to help me on the farm. I do not no wot I shud do. I cant afford to get any man to marry my girls and i cant afford to get help in on the farm and i cant afford to feed us all if this keeps up. Please can you help.


Public Notice from The Farriers Association

In response to recent requests from the public, The Farriers Association has decided to make used iron horseshoes and nails available to the public. These charms usually hung over doors and the nails driven into window frames have had an upsurge in popularity since the recent child-snatching spree in Laaksrad.

The iron from used shoes and nails is usually melted down for new ones, however TFA have allowed a temporary change in policy to help abate the public's concerns. TFA are keen to stress that they are making no assumptions about the cause of the missing children and are in no way endorsing the rumours that the Fae are to blame.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Opinion: Magic is not for the Common Man

Inevitably, whenever our kingdom faces a time of trouble and trial, the usual blithering fools emerge from the woodwork. This time it’s Duke Kiekegaar Sanval who has added his unwanted opinion to the tumult.

Film Review: Age of the Dragons (2011)

I cannot recommend strongly enough that you do not watch this film alone. Is it scary? No, it's really not. So why should you only risk it in company? Because otherwise you have no one to mock it with and that is not just tragic but renders the film unwatchable.


Darach Muerdelain
It happened at four minutes to midnight: The Fellowship of the Heart caught up with Darach Muerdelain at Craven Abbey in the Southern Ranges. He killed them all.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Queen's Funeral Procession - Week 1

After leaving the hoards of silent and singing mourners outside Royal City the funeral procession made its sombre way south along the King's Highway. The size of the towns and villages we passed through gradually diminished until eventually not a single house could be seen and endless plains stretched all around us.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Travels around the Isles with Bobo Melf - Part 2

The first few days of my journey were uneventful in terms of mental stimulation, but all too eventful when it came to the crippling of my buttocks. They were fighting a losing battle with the unforgiving wood of the cart that bore me north, its wheels and axles fighting their own losing battle with an increasing number of potholes riddling the King's Highway - a clear sign there were scant riches to be found in this direction.


Since the recent disappearances of children in Laaksrad, the small sect of Ranion, the goddess called upon by parents to protect their young children, has seen an upsurge in popularity.

Mothers are flocking to the small altars generally placed just outside of towns and villages, near rivers or bodies of water. The goddess is enjoying a massive increase in her flock and the offerings they bring. Mothers are hoping the goddess will take an interest in what is going on and protect their young from whatever is stealing them away in the night.

By Godiva Shrieve

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Saturday Football - League Week 20

Here are the results and revised league tables for league week 20. Click the pictures for bigger versions. Revised league tables after the break.

Football Report: Bloodwater FC vs Baselard Park

The Bloodwater Pirates clashed with Baselard Park with home advantage going to the Pirates at the Quartermaster's Cavern. It's an intimidating venue for visitors - a vast natural cavern deep in the guts of a sheer cliff, holding more pirates than a civilised country can bear, watching on from countless cracks, crevices and shadows.

Basebrawl: Off Season News

A quick update on some of your favourite stars of Basebrawl while we are in the off season.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Adventurer Review: The Fearless Seekers

Last week I joined with a new band of adventurers looking to earn fame and fortune by hitting things with swords. They go by the name of 'The Fearless Seekers' and aren't to be confused with 'The Feckless Seers', a group of hapless druids working out of The Green Watches who foretold extensive bruising in my future and then tried to attack me with their holy cudgels. But I digress. The Fearless Seekers: destined for greatness or fated to be nothing more than a smudged footnote in history? Read on to find out.

Thursday, 17 January 2013


A Queen's Crier, braving the snow in Royal City
As snow continues to fall over the Royal City, a stark red symbol stands proud against the white. The six stroke cross, long the symbol of Abevorn, has taken upon new meaning. Now it stands for the defiance of the people or the hubris of a single man, depending on who you listen to.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Weekly Threefold Prophecy

Vision of the Left Eye:
One who plays with matches shall get on like a house on fire with another long thought lost.

Augury of the Right Eye:
Your future, near or distant, is filled with the shadowy form of a person who means you harm. Ward against hexes by wearing a thick hat.

Omen of the Third Eye:
The great Numerion teaches us that there is a time to be practical. Those who follow his advice will witness great fortune.

By Sibyl Delphinica Starblossom

Editor's Note: The Fantasyland Herald accepts no responsibility for the future or for the actions of any person or persons who choose to act on the basis of prognostications of said future published herein.


A map of possibly not a real place

Scandal struck The Royal Academy of Cartographers late last night after it emerged one of their members had faked a series of official maps.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Opinion: Lord Hawkcroft's Benefaction

Today's Guest Opinion is courtesy Duke Kiekegaar Sanval
Lord Hawkcroft is indeed a rare breed of nobleman with wisdom and clarity of wit beyond his years: Our beloved Queen died because she loved our King and our Kingdom. It is our right and our responsibility to do whatever is necessary to protect our families, our land, and our kingdom from harm! The lifeblood of Abevorn runs through our veins. It is self-evident that the sons of this land will defend her! If our blood is shed, what greater gift could we give than return our blood from whence it came?

Opinion: Lord Taking Liberties

Is it disingenuous to say of a Lord-Councillor, one of the most important and esteemed people in the land: who exactly does he think he is?


Look! Winter!

Winter well and truly arrived in the Royal City overnight with an inch deep blanket of snow covering the streets and buildings. However, weather wizards warn worsening conditions round the corner.

Monday, 14 January 2013


Lord-Councillor Hawkcroft on the steps of The Broken Arch

Lord Edward Hawkcroft made a sensational speech on the steps of The Broken Arch today after Queen Janna's body was borne out through the Dockmaster's Gate en route to its final resting place in her family's mausoleum in Suward Gardens' Moirai Arboretum.


Darlings! Today saw the first part of the funeral rights of Queen Janna, and I, your humble correspondent, will be following the whole process up to the burial in Sunward Gardens and reporting back with a close up view for all my lovelies out there.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Travels around the Isles with Bobo Melf - Part 1

This adventure started with a question: what more can be written about our great and glorious Royal City?


Dr Leechman's hand isn't really that big, it's just perspective

The Royal Physician, Tenebraeus Leechman (42), refused to comment today on the state of the King's health following last weekend's attempted assassination.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Saturday Football - League Week 19

Here are the results and revised league tables for league week 19. Click the pictures for bigger versions.

By Max Skaylock

Football Report: Skinners Park vs Dunnell Utd

A good turn out at Hunters Yard as table-topping home team Skinners Park convincingly trounced visitors Dunnell Utd in this week's match at the Bloodstains.

Battle Report: Western Isles

Yesterday, the sleepy isle of Felicity’s Wish was the venue for a fantastic three-way clash between the Iscean Merfolk Clan, Bloody Throat Pirates sailing the sloop Vertinue, and the Western Isle Militia.


Prince Mikael, still missing

The latest reports from the south offer no clues as to the whereabouts of the missing Prince Mikael. Meanwhile, two scouts looking for the Prince have been found dead.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Enchiridion: The Blades of Kry'ceh

The Blade of Kry'ceh secured at the Royal Armoury

By the time the Dark Lord finally crossed the Mordant Sea and set foot upon the land of our forefathers, few of the legendary Ten Thousand Heroes remained to fight against him. Of those that did, many were old or infirm and that included the twelve Disciples of Waerness.