Thursday, November 29, 2012

Blade & Crown Now In Print!

Today we're pleased to announce that Rachel Kronick's Blade & Crown, a gritty medieval RPG inspired by Harn, is now available in print. You can check out the game's website and blog for the game to get a better sense of what makes it unique.

My gaming group helped playtest B&C, and one of the things I like about the game is that most of what a player needs is right there on their character sheet. No need to look up lots of things during the course of play. Just consult your sheet and roll the dice.

It is interesting that Chris Kutalik and some other friends on G+ are developing Medieval Hack, a hardcore medievalist RPG. Something is in the air. Blade & Crown certainly fits the bill of hardcore medievalism, but with a much lighter touch than something like Chivalry & Sorcery. I remember owning that game, as well as Lee Gold's Land of the Rising Sun, and while I particularly liked the latter RPG for its comprehensive setting information, I admire the mechanical approach taken by B&C far more: a skills based system; one core mechanic. It is quite playable, while not sacrificing simulationist realism.

The GM does need to consult a table to determine damage, as Blade & Crown is a very realistic system. I remember one comrade-at-arms being fairly irked at that realism, when an urchin took out his knee with a slingshot. But that is how real world combat has always been. You can still create combat monsters. Just expect them to experience serious injuries from time-to-time.

"The fortunes of war." as Kor once said.

Skill and armor also mitigates this.

If you're interested in the game, stop back at The Everwayan from time to time. I'll be running periodic reportage on our home Blade & Crown games here.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Night Samurai

"Samurai" by ~janjinator
The nine great clans of War Fan will not go gently into the night. Sorcerers among the great clans have summoned Night Samurai to hunt down the Spherewalker who is bringing nine fine sword guards to the champion's of War Fan's Empress.

Night Samurai are nature spirits summoned on moonless nights, and shaped into man-forms built from the elements of Earth and Air (in its guise of Night). A pile of twigs, some obsidian glass, and a slight breeze are the only things required to call these creatures up and charge them with completing an assassination. Theiir obsidian blades are sharper than surgical scalpels and will make short work of leather, cloth, or wooden armor.

The summoner of a Night Samurai must always stay near it, remaining no farther away than 300 paces; otherwise the spirit is freed and the creature falls to pieces. But as long as the summoner stays near, and the Night Samurai retains its heartglass (a piece of obsidian stone with rust red streaks that serves as its heart) the creature will have a sufficient degree of cohesion to hunt its prey.

Night Samurai are not active or visible during the day. At dusk, a Night Samurai takes on its man-form and resumes the hunt for its assigned prey. Their preferred methods rely on stealth and surprise. They are the perfect assassin for someone travelling on a path or trail. Night Samurai will wait standing perfectly still in utter darkness, until their prey comes within striking distance. Then they strike as swiftly as the wind.

Each dawn the Night Samurai falls apart, tumbling into a harmless pile of wood, leaves, and glass stone. At sunset, the Night Samurai re-form, and seek out their prey. When they accomplish their mission, their energy dissipates and they tumble down again, never to re-form.

Night Samurai are very vulnerable to fire and somewhat vulnerable to particularly strong winds. The former will destroy their body; the latter will scatter its form, rendering it unable to perform a strike.

Everway Mechanics

    • Fire 5
    • Earth  7
    • Air 3
    • Water 2
    • Heartstone - As long as their Heartstone is present, Night Samurai can reform their bodies. This is true as long as their wood and leafy components have not been scattered or burned away (2 point power, frequent and major)
    • Natural Disguise - A Night Samurai may disguise itself by becoming perfectly still and blending with shadows, OR by tumbling for a time into a pile of wood, leaves, and glass stone (2 point power, frequent and major)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Fine Sword Guards

Japanese sword guards, UMMA
Photo c. 2012 John Everett Till

These are works of art, the unique expression of an exiled Emperor-swordsmith with a deep knowledge of his land's great families and proud traditions. Each sword guard is an exquisite object intended to accentuate the bearer's presence, skill, and grace. One is destined for each of the nine noble clans of the realm of War Fan, a war-torn archipelago of some 800 islands.

The sword guards are being carried in secret to War Fan's new Empress, who has promised to do what 30 generations before her have failed to do: unite and bring peace to her land, forcing each of the noble clans to bow down in full submission before her rule. This won't be easy.

To that end, the Empress has gathered nine champions, one from each of the great clans. Together, they will pledge their swords and their lives to each other and to the Empress' rule. They will accept these fine sword guards as a symbol of their vows, and bring the nine noble clans into alignment with Imperial rule. If the champions are are successful, they will bring peace to the land of War Fan. Or they will die trying.

But first the champions must take the oath, and the Empress must have a gift for them that is commensurate with their service and self-sacrifice: each will be the end of their clan, at least as a power that challenges Imperial rule.

Standing in the way among the spheres are a number of Spherewalker swordsmen and swordswomen and Nightsworn sorcerers, each loyal to a clan or parochial cause. Disunity has a thousand allies; unity but few. The bearer of these sword guards may need allies and friends on the road who can help them reach home and the heart of the Empire safely.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Table 1.1 - Things Found Upon Spherewalkers - Completed!

This is the completed Table 1.1 for the Things Found Upon Spherewalkers Table, which has three subtables. Part 1.1 (reproduced below) has 12 items with brief descriptions, and 13 hyperlinks to in-depth descriptions for the items on the table.

All of the tables created at The Everwayan can also be found in Everwayan's Indexes, located right under the title header for the blog.

If you have access to a die roller application, you can use a d36 to determine the outcome using the original version of the Things Found Upon Spherewalkers table. If you would prefer to use real dice, use this version of the table. 

Roll a D6, and consult the appropriate tables:
Use a D12 on the selected Table

Table 1.1 - Things Found Upon Spherewalkers  
You never know what someone might be carrying from one realm to another. 

  1. The Itinerary of the Blue Khan, tracing his spherepath through the realms he destroyed
  2. An Unfamiliar, a rather nasty magical parasite, which can travel from sphere to sphere clinging to a Spherewalker's body
  3. A Triple Blessed Rosary, with 108 beads, representing the Walker's Journey among 36 adjoining realms
  4. A God-Ring bundled within a small piece of tied off felt cloth
  5. A simple leather thong ankle bracelet
  6. An assassin's journal, with dozens of persons' names crossed off, and dozens more to go. Adjacent to each person's name is the name of their realm
  7. A bag of nuts and seeds of many varieties
  8. Whisperweed, wrapping paper, and flints
  9. A fat, long finger wearing a gold ring set with a ruby gem
  10. A spherepath map embroidered on a fine silk cloth. The cloth is bunched, as several spheres have been stitched together that had formerly been separated by another sphere contiguous. There is a small sewing bundle with a pin cushion, scissors, needles, and spools of bright colored threads. There is also a spool of fine black thread that is so fine it is almost impossible to thread on the needle. The latter is some kind of hair
  11. A small clutch of soft insect eggs
  12. A tea caddy, nestled within a silk brocade pouch

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Spherepath Map...

Embroidered on a fine silk cloth. The most obvious array of linked spheres in the spherepath are arranged in two symmetric arcs: the eye-feathers of each peacock. However, there are also many subsidiary multisphere structures that can be seen here:

  • The matrix of spheres directly between the two peacocks' heads; 
  • The matrix on spheres on each peacock's back, just behind the neck; and 
  • The plant-like structure flanking each peacock, each of which is crowned by a bud of flower comprised of a cluster of spheres.

This particular spherepath is more than a representation of a set of connected spheres. The silk on which the map is embroidered is part of the fabric of the multiverse. In other worlds, this representation of gates and spheres is holographic and real. A normal spherewalker can use this spherepath as a guide.

A spherewalker with the special power and the training required to identify the Silk Portal within the spherepath will be able meditate upon the spherepath and open a gate into the textile. They will be transported directly to the Gateway Sphere within the spherepath. Once they have arrived, the Silk Portalist can use the spherepath's map to find and access gates between the spheres represented on the map. This is a normal spherewalk.

The secondary matrices or clusters of spheres represented on this textile are typically accessed via a different kind of gate. When these gates cannot be located, a desperate spherewalker may take matters into their own hand, suturing folds in the cloth to connect distant spheres directly to each other. This suturing activity creates consequences for both worlds, as well as for other surrounding spheres whose qualities may be distorted or changed by the folds in the fabric of the spherepath.

One question remains: since the silk that makes up this spherepath is truly part of the fabric of the universe, who wove the silk?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Small Clutch Of Soft Insect Eggs...
Wrapped carefully in a leaf, and bundled within a charm-sealed pouch, this small clutch of insect eggs has carried from one world to another. A pinch here, a pinch there, the traveler leaves a few the eggs behind in just the right place on each sphere she visits. 

The eggs come in many different shapes and colors. If a Keeper were to discover this egg bundle on a traveler, it would likely spell sudden death. Horrible pests and monsters have been carried from world-to-world in this way.

There are countless kinds of pests like these in ovo. The curious and vigilant may consult the Library of All Worlds for examples. Ask Librarian Moldy Scratch to find you a copy of The Egg Scrolls within the Forbidden Manifest; it is a comprehensive list of egg-types which are prohibited in Everway (or consult Hereticwerks' Strange Ovum table)

The Librarians are all-too-familiar with The Scroll Gourmands, also known as Thysanurians. They are one such intelligent pest species that have been spread this way. When in the Library of All Worlds, it is also worth your time to look-up the Stained Library of Feasting Horde; this is a cautionary tale of what destruction can be wrought from a few insect eggs.

A Fat, Long Finger...

Art by Robert Gould
Wearing a gold ring set with a ruby gem. The dead finger that wears the ring today is too large for the ring. How did its wearer ever get it onto their finger? Did it simply swell after death?

And what happened to the ring-thief? Who was it?

Just to look at the ring is to know that it is ancient and intelligent, and belongs on the finger of a great king. The ring was a testament to the supernatural pacts that an ancient line of kings established with a wide range of powers. That ring was lost by the last king of that line.

Or perhaps a last great queen? Who can really say? The ring isn't telling. It is a mute witness to the fact that barbarians can sack any empire, and that the most sacred treasures of that empire can be bought and sold by warriors, merchants, and thieves.

Everway Mechanics

This ancient ring confers on the bearer the ability to open and use gates with the same facility as if the bearer were a Spherewalker. The ring has a value of Water 6 in terms of its sensitivity to the energies of other planes, spheres, and supernatural entities. Some supernatural entities will be curious about the power of the ring, and may do the bearer a favor or award them a boon in order to draw near to or reside within the ring for a time. This is one way that supernatural entities may migrate from world to world.

This post is of course inspired by the creations of Michael Moorcock, 
including Elric of Melnibone.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Spool of Fine Black Thread...
...that is so fine it is almost impossible to thread on the needle. It is some kind of hair. 

This black thread is used to create sutures on cloth spheremaps. When it is used in this way, spheres not directly connected by an intervening set of gates can be sutured together so that one can reach from one sphere to the next through a single Spherewalk. The formerly intervening gates and spheres disappear from the multiverse; each sphere so lost enters its own pocket universe. 

The thread folds the fabric of the multiverse, bypassing some gates and spheres, and linking others directly for the first time.  In doing so, it creates discontinuities and ripples over a broad area of the multiverse spanning multiple spheres. These distortions can alter the Fate of a sphere. Rather than the Fate of a sphere being represented by the tension between the opposite poles of a single card in the Fortune Deck, the spheres effected by this thread may find that their Fates bring one card of the Fortune Deck into tension with another. This can lead to implosions.

So where did this thread come from? Is it the hair of some god or dragon? Some wild beast? Or is it hair drawn down from the Crown of Night herself, each strand a fate, each stitch a doom?

Monday, November 19, 2012

Tekumel Birthday Game

Photo c. 2012 John Everett Till
This past weekend was my second annual Tekumel Birthday Game. Brett Slocum, author of GURPS Tekumel, GMed for us for a second year. The players included Taylor Martin (front and center with the GWAR T-shirt), Eric Gilbertson (right), Bob Cook (left), Rachel Kronick (offscreen), and myself.

Last year, Brett used Guardians of Order's Tekumel: Empire of the Petal Throne for the game. This year, at my special request, Brett ran his Tekumel conversion of The Famtasy Trip, one of Steve Jackson's classic games from back in Metagaming days. The game worked well for Tekumel!

We played a group of Broken Reed clan members from the clanhouse in Jakalla. I'll leave it to Brett to share more about the scenario details (since he will be running a version of this at Con of the North in February), but rest assured that in our six hour adventure, we made some interesting discoveries about the rooms and endless corridors below our clanhouse!

Thanks to Brett for running such a great game, and to Taylor, Eric, Bob, and Rachel for being such great companions in adventure!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Let Them Eat Cake

Sunday will be our special Tekumel birthday event, so stay tuned for a Sunday/Monday post about that, but I thought I would share as today's post my beautiful Dachshund birthday cake!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Bag Of Nuts and Seeds...

...of many varieties. Among these nuts and seeds are a few Gate Tree seeds. The seeds are hundreds of years old. Nevertheless, someone who is sensitive to Water and Earth can feel the vital energies at work inside them. The seeds still have the potential to connect to many different worlds.
There are also many smaller seeds with a bit of a rainbow pattern to them. These are called Pattern Seeds. When poured onto a flat surface like a plate, they will spontaneously re-assemble into complex geometric patterns. These can be used to read the overall energies of a particular world - its strengths, weaknesses, and potentialities. If planted, they will each germinate and grow into a novel species that reflects the strength, weakness, or destiny of the land where they take root.

Many other nuts and seeds can be found within the seed bag. Edible nuts and seeds of all sorts, as well as the Ourboros-like, poisonous Centipede Seeds.

All the seeds and nuts except the Gate Tree seeds will replenish themselves during spherewalking, allowing the traveler a source of food while on the road between worlds.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Itinerary Of The Blue Khan...

Carl Cheng, Santa Monica Art Tool (1988)

...tracing his spherepath through the realms he destroyed. The Blue Khan came from Beyond the Deep Horizon. When settlers from the First City made their journey toward Otherway, they found the ruins of a number of recently destroyed realms along their way. These realms had been conquered, looted, and subsequently uprooted and erased by the Blue Khan.

A frequent metaphor for The Blue Khan's itinerary of annihilation among the spheres is the "roll over": his armies completely rolled over and erased numerous realms. In some cases, the ruins are still visible, and indeed some religious pilgrims seek out these worlds as sites to found monasteries and centers of meditation. Potent wizards also seek them out in an effort to catch Radiance left behind by the Blue Khan, his creatures, and his armies.

Still other realms are completely missing: the ancient gates leading to these realms no longer work, and these worlds are lost forever. However, impressions of them linger ghost-like here and there. For example, traces of them can be found in the small roller-charms called the Itineraries of the Blue KhanThese are miniatures of the larger vehicle-drawn rollers that the Blue Khan's armies used to crush and flatten the cities of his enemies. 

The large rollers took an impression of the realm they destroyed. They took into themselves the history and geography of those realms. The large roller's records could be transferred to smaller roller-charms, as well as "printed" as it were on large sandy areas. However, once one of these terrible roller weapons went through a gate, the information pressed under and impressed onto its great crushing wheel (as shown in the picture, above) was erased for all time. 

The good news is that the small roller-charms are persistent records that can be used to make maps on sand tables, or to print record strips on long rolls of paper. The ghost impressions formed by the roller-charms are our best record of many of the now-lost realms, and of the gatepaths between these realms and others. As such, they are highly prized by scholars seeking understanding of lost connections between worlds, as well as by certain vengeful hunters searching for any trace of the Blue Khan and his armies. 

Reports that a series of these roller-charms can also be assembled into a Gate Generator have not been confirmed.

Monday, November 12, 2012

LGBTQ Discovery In An Old School Text

Guido Reni's Saint Sebastian (c.1616)
My assumption until quite recently was that M.A.R. Barker's Deeds of the Ever-Glorious (Adventure Games, 1981) was the first-ever RPG product to present positive representations of LGBTQ people. I believe that is still the case. The Legion descriptions make it quite clear that Tsolyani society has significantly different social values than society in which the book was published.

I made another interesting discovery this evening looking at the table of saints in the book Fantasy Wargaming, ed. Bruce Galloway, also published in 1981. The Higher Powers table, which begins on page 244, lists "Archers, soldiers,  homosexuals" as the Areas of Interest and Patronage for St. Sebastian. It also lists "persecution" as the Area of Disfavor for this saint.

Derek Jarman's classic gay film Sebastiane was released in the UK in 1976. It is certainly possible that some of the Cambridge University gamers that collaborated with Galloway to produce Fantasy Wargaming were familiar with the film. But I doubt that in the early 1980s many of the non-LGBTQ faithful were paying a great deal of attention to this aspect of the saint - unless they were art students. Sebastian was the first gay saint adopted/appropriated by the LGBTQ movement.

And that may be it. I just picked up this book after work, so we'll see in the next few weeks whether there are any other references in the text. But I can't help but think that just mentioning this aspect of the saint in 1981 - without any further comment - was still a very bold move in gaming for the time.

Table 8 - Ten Spherewalking Assassins
One can think of many reasons why someone might travel from sphere to sphere carrying out assassinations. Such a person might carry this journal as one of their tools.

Need an assassin? Roll a d10 or choose one from the table below.
  1. The Order of Forgivers of Debt are a religious sect of assassins from the realm of The Market. The Forgivers cancel the debts of those who have the resources to pay but who refuse to do so. 
  2. The Abolitionists are a sect devoted to the ending of all kinds of flesh trade, from the selling of Mankines and humans as outright slaves, to the selling of people as debt pawns, to all sorts of trafficking and peonage. They target those who finance such trades, as well as the major buyers and sellers. Some also target the slave catchers who go after runaways.
  3. The Happy Wanderers pursue Spherewalkers who commit grave crimes in their travels. This itinerant clan is an offshoot of the Keeper family of Everway.
  4. Small bands of assassins known as The Ruined Princes wander the spheres looking for those who collaborated with and profited from the Blue Kahn's inter-sphere conquests.
  5. The Red Shield is a licensed Assassins Guild from the realm of Merryflag. They are experts in dispute settlement and will always seek a negotiated solution on behalf of their patron before resorting to the use of violence to settle a conflict. As part of their payment, they always demand that the patron supply a member of their family to perform a year of service to the Guild. Many choose to stay on for the remainder of their lives.
  6. Left Ventricle is known for his precise strikes. Why he chooses the targets he does is a mystery.
  7. The Undead Ogress known as Grendel's Mother wanders the spheres seeking revenge on those who kill her kind. 
  8. Ample Raven is a Spherewalker from the Raven family of Everway. She waddles the spheres in her black feathered cloak seeking out contracts for assassinations. Don't underestimate her girth: Ample's prodigious bulk hides significant muscle. Few who fall into her grip ever escape. 
  9. Molly Prance is a runaway from The Mask family of Everway. He is a master of disguise and infiltration, and a friend of smugglers and gatebreakers. Some say he is the King of Strangerside.
  10. Jack Woe is a serial killer who wanders the spheres. Her greatest joy causing the downfall of the proud.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Looking For Steam?

Cover art by Dan Jones/Tinkerbots
Steampunk III: Steampunk Revolution is the third steampunk collection of art, short stories, and essays edited by Ann Vandermeer. This collection contains several works by writers of color and Third World writers, including Paolo Chikiamko,Vananda Singh, Leow Hui Minh Annabeth, N.K. Jemisin, Amal El-Mohtar, J.Y. Yang, and Jaymeh Goh.

It is great to see outstanding Pinoy writers like Chikiamko getting published in the U.S.! If you are looking for work that reconceptualizes, radicalizes, and resituates steampunk in less Eurocentric terms, this is a good anthology to consider.

An Assassin's Journal...
...with dozens of persons' names crossed off, and dozens more to go. Adjacent to each person's name is the name of their realm. A wafer-thin dagger in a equally thin metallic sheath has been somehow attached to the journal's cover. The pages within will appear entirely blank, until the journal is closed and the dagger is pulled from its sheath. Once the journal is opened again, with dagger in hand,  the words within become visible in a rust colored ink.

The dagger is as sharp as an obsidian knife. You could easily slip it between someone's ribs, like a hot knife into butter. Underneath how many pillows this journal has been secreted? The dagger is much more than a weapon. It helps prepare the kill.

The assassin cuts their own skin with the tip of the blade, and draws out their own blood to be used as ink. The names of future victims and their realms are written on the pages within, and crossed out with the victim's own blood, once they have been slain. 

After a victim's name gas been crossed off the list, no one will remember that they ever existed. They will simply be a mystery victim, found in the wrong place, such as in the bed of a king or queen. 

In one of the entries within the journal, both the victim's name and their realm have been crossed out. No reference to this realm can be found in the Library of All Worlds, or in the records and spheremaps of the Chamber Platinum.

Due to some unforeseen circumstances, our Thursday night group played a one-off game this week. Rachel Kronick ran Robin Law's Og for two of us. Og is an indie RPG in which the PCs play cavemen with a very limited vocabulary. Being in character means communicating using only the handful of words that your character knows. Pretty funny, although I very seriously doubt that cavemen were any less intelligent than the people I see today staring straight down at their cellphone screen while stepping out into traffic.

I think the game was designed for amusing one-off play. However, both of us players left the experience feeling like you could do a semi-serious campaign with this game and have it be interesting. Rachel did a great job GMing on the spot.

We also got to see a near-perfect proof of the trade paperback edition of Rachel Kronick's gritty medieval RPG, Blade & Crown. I can't wait until this and the hardcover go up for sale!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A God-Ring...

Brooklyn Museum
Bundled within a small piece of tied-off felt cloth. the ring has twice the diameter of a normal human finger. It is made of the purest gold, and is always warm to the touch.

After her coup against the priests of Bonekeep, the Ghoul Queen raided many of sacred sealed tombs of ancient kings and queens. Within her court, it is whispered that the Ghoul Queen chewed the ring right off the finger of an ancient God-King in his eternal repose. She wore it for a time as a bracelet. 

Eventually, the ring was stolen from her palace. The Ghoul Queen blamed visitors from The Peacekeepers Sect, one of the infrequent delegations from other spheres that was still willing to come to Bonekeep. The Ghoul Queen murdered the entire delegation before they reached the Eastern Palace Gate to depart for the next step up in the Divine Rotunda. 

(The majority of the Peacekeepers conceptualize the multiverse as a great round building with an infinite number of floors. Their journey draws them ever-upwards in a great spiral toward the edifice's great dome. Peacekeepers believe the ceiling of the dome is painted with living stars, and teach that when a delegation finally reaches the uppermost level, they will join the living stars in the ceiling. Certain apostates within this sect reject the Peacekeepers' path and have sent delegations downward into the depths. They contend that the true duty of the faithful is to confront and destroy the demons and monsters that dwell in the fundament of the universe.) 

After murdering the Peacekeepers' delegation, the Ghoul Queen and her servants were unable to locate the ring. Perhaps one of the baboons that accompanied the Peacekeepers had taken it? Most of the troop was captured, but unfortunately, several of the apes may have gotten away.

The Power: The Ring is sacred to the god Horus. The wearer of the ring may take the form of a giant falcon during the daytime, as long as the sun is directly visible in the sky; the wearer may remain in this form until nightfall.

Monday, November 5, 2012

A Tea Caddy

Tea Caddy - Japan (UMMA)
Photo c. John Everett Till
Nestled within a silk brocade pouch. It is an ancient tea caddy, made by an expert craftswoman from the Great Kingdom. Carried by many hands, the exquisite blue and white porcelain tea caddy within this brocade pouch has brought teas from one realm to another for special ceremonies and rituals. 

From time to time, it has carried rare herbal teas, such as The Wizentea, used by the Plateau Folk create living mummies from their Enlightened Khans. Most of the time, however, this caddy has simply carried fine cultivars of tea (Camellia sinensis) from monasteries and palaces in one sphere to those in another sphere. If you are offered tea from this caddy in a gateside inn, be sure to partake. Someone is doing you an honor.

Need a Tea Seller? Check out this great NPC description and Encounter Table from Rachel Kronick. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Triple Blessed Rosary
With 108 beads, representing the Walker's Journey among 36 adjoining realms. These rosaries are a commonplace in Everway. They're sold by the priests of the Pyramid Cult. They are said to bring good luck to those who travel between the spheres. They are also used to meditate upon the Fortune Deck, since each realm is represented in the rosary by thee beads: one for a realm's Virtue, Fault, and Fate.

The Pyramid Priests say that faithful meditation on the Walker's Journey using these beads can cultivate the ability to spherewalk. For a fee, they will teach the proper meditation techniques, and what each successive triptych of beads represents. And it is true that every year, a few faithful students of the Walker's Journey do develop the ability to spherewalk.

Of course, if you advance in the Pyramid Cult hierarchy, you will learn that the beads represent far more than a simple journey from sphere to sphere. Meditation on the Walker's Journey sometimes unlocks new Powers in the person meditating. These usually relate to a specific realm represented in the rosary.

Be sure to keep your eyes open when a rosary breaks near the Walker's Pyramid. When the beads spill onto the stones, they take up entirely new arrangements. These have great meaning. Scribes scurry to ink these to paper, because meditation on these new patterns often leads to the discovery of new gates and spherepaths.