Words from the Wise (Guys)

Copyright Nicholas HM Caldwell © 2009

Edited by Nicholas HM Caldwell for The Guild Companion


To the 130th issue of The Guild Companion. This being December, it is also the eleventh birthday of the magazine.

Proof of Life

I've been busy in the real world and I have also been busy in the surreal world of the roleplaying industry with multiple negotiations, some concluded, some still ongoing. None of them were or are "negotiations with lightsabers", fortunately, but they have rather derailed my attempts to get the final chapter of Something Wicked finished

That's the downside. The upside is I want you to look at this picture:

Silth armed and dangerous

Faking an Australian accent, "can you tell what it is yet?"

Yes? No?

Perhaps you may recognise it from this description:

"The Silth are a bipedal race with both males and females averaging 170 cm in height. In build, they are usually slim or slender. They have a tough leathery hide, consisting of a multitude of tiny colored scales, which are various hues of green on their arms, legs, tail, and back, but shift towards red shades on their chest and head. Silth have no hair. The tail is slender and relatively flexible, extending from the base of their spine down to ankle height, and helps the Silth's balance. Silth hands and feet have five digits, however the outer two digits on the hands serve as opposable thumbs. The other fingers sport retractable claws, which can be used to inject a nerve toxin into their foes. Like most sophonts, the Silth's brain is located in the head, protected by a bony skull. The Silth have two relatively small ears, one on each side of the head, and a pair of large eyes for binocular vision. Instead of a nose, they have a vertical slit in the centre of their face for breathing. Below the breathing slit is a large mouth, filled with two rows (top and bottom) of sharp incisors. Silth evolution has combined the senses of taste and smell on their tongue -- thus a Silth whose mouth is open is tasting the air for strange scents."

Picture courtesy of Rick Hansen, not Rolf Harris. (All pictures here have had some compression to keep file sizes down for this editorial.)

Let's try another:

A Madji character

Yes? No?

The answer is "Madji are short pudgy bipeds, averaging 125cm in height with a half-meter long prehensile tail. Madji are completely hairless. Their tough smooth skin varies in color from bright pink through to deep red. Madji limbs end in paws with seven digits. On the handpaws, the outermost digit is a large thumb. Madji have relatively large heads with rounded faces. They have three large eyes, one on the left side of their face, one forward facing and one on the right side. Their eyes can see light wavelengths in both the human visible and near ultraviolet portions of the spectrum. Beneath the middle eye is a small mouth, under the other two eyes they have sets of breathing slits rather than cheeks." Picture courtesy of Rick Hansen.

And because the third time is the charm, here's an easy one for you all.

a floating Krakur

This is: "Krakuren (singular: Krakur, informally nicknamed Hexapods or "Pods") have an ovoid main body approximately one meter tall and fifty centimeters in diameter. Female Krakuren are slightly larger (60 cm in diameter) than male Krakur. Four tentacles (each one meter in length) are connected to the bottom of the body and these serve as "legs" for swimming and motion on land. A further pair of tentacles (approximately 75 cm in length) act as "arms" with one on each side of the body, about halfway up. The four suction pads on the manipulator tentacles are very flexible and strong, giving Krakuren a high degree of manual dexterity. In its natural state, a Krakur's skin is partially transparent (so cartilage and some organs are visible to onlookers), but Krakuren can consciously trigger pigment organs close to their skin, enabling a Krakur to change skin color to match the surroundings, whether on land or underwater. The upper portion of the ovoid functions as the Krakur's head with four equidistant eyes providing a 360-degree arc of vision, two bumps on the side of the head (in line with the manipulator tentacles) that are actually cartilaginous ears, and a large oval mouth orifice used for respiration, consuming food and communication." Picture also courtesy of Rick Hansen.

There will be official announcements and press releases in due course; this editorial is about giving the HARP SF fans hope and reassurance that the game they have been waiting on for so long will be finished and published.

Farewell for now ...

I'm off for more negotiations and writing of Something Wicked interspersed with the Christmas shopping and the other tasks of the season. On behalf of all the Guild Companion team, let me take this opportunity to wish everyone a very merry Christmas. We'll be back in the New Year with issue 131, but until then ...

Keep gaming and have fun,
Nicholas HM Caldwell
General Editor for The Guild Companion