So I spent the morning looking into the old folklore concerning wildlife and the symbolic meanings of objects such as anvils, combs and walnut shells. Don’t worry, it’s all in a good cause. But then it was a bright sunny day so we decided to do something very unusual for role-playing game enthusiasts. We went for a walk at the local wetlands near Wath. Yes, sunshine, fresh air, a slight breeze and a pair of dodgy binoculars became the key to the day. I have always taken a keen interest in nature, wildlife especially in our own area, among the hedgerows, under stones and rocks, all those bugs and beasts and birds are special sights.

So the day became all the better for having hardened twitchers clambering for their uber expensive scopes and binoculars when we described a couple of odd little birds we hadn’t seen before. Anyone ever seen a willow tit? (stop chortling, you there at the back). We did! Then we stopped off at the green hut they call a hide, sat down and saw what must be a common place sight…a kingfisher right in front of us fishing. It hung around for a good five minutes before dashing off like a little blue arrow. willow-tit

A tufted duck had us foxed for a while until one old hand at this kind of thing said that if it were a duck and was tufted, then it must have been a tufted duck. The duck that does what it says on the tin. Finally and sneakily a siskin had us fooled because it was a juvenile and didn’t look too much like a siskin quite yet.

Of the insect consortium were red admirals, called red admirals because they are mostly black….err. They do have nice red bits though and an over eager small dragonfly that thought my head made a nice resting place.

So how does that help with my research into folklore and meanings of things. Somehow it did. There is something visceral about encountering the reality of the world. You can’t get it in books or buy it as an app. There are no sets of rules. It is a surround sound, 360 degree, high graphic interactive experience. You can’t save it and have another go, but somehow playing it on hardcore mode makes it all that much more special. Oh yes and it’s not a beta version and there won’t be any updates or sequels.

(Image courtesy of



The problem with the creative process is that sometimes there are no ideas to be had. You just stare at the bit of paper or the screen and it stares back at you, daring you to do something, anything. You go off and do something else instead, defeated.

Other times the valve of creativity just snaps in your hand and a torrent just comes out. What to do then? Get it all written down, even if its a drawing, just quickly write key words. You don’t even need to keep the bit of paper. The fact you have acted on an idea seems to lodge it somewhere for retrieval.

Eventually this becomes a mental closet filled with notions and ideas. they all get mixed up. A horror story suddenly materialises as a sequel to a fantasy thread. A drawing planned for one module turns up perfectly fitting another.

Plan it all out?

Put it all in separate boxes?

Be more organised?

Not sure whether that’s a good idea. all these notions and half thoughts catch each others germs, they propagate, create new notions otherwise never to be found. One example. In the End of Kings I have researched alchemists of the 16th and 17th Centuries including the famous Dr John Dee, adviser to the Queen, Alchemist and Religious oddity. He used an obsidian mirror as part of his laboratory equipment. Probably for scrying and divination…

imagesUnrelated to this is The Fenworthy Inheritance, our first foray into 1920s Horror. In the sequel the investigators will be finding themselves confronting an Aztec spirit…
Tezcatlipoca….I won’t say too much apart from this…
Tezcatlipoca  translates as Smoking Mirror….The origin of Dee’s Obsidian mirror? An ancient Aztec Artefact.

How do the threads wind together!