Sunday, March 11, 2018

Little Rosie - Chapter One

(Click here for the PROLOGUE)

I had been fortunate enough, in the two years after my father was murdered, to avoid the attentions of White Kenneth and his runners.   Many of the denizens of St Giles did not.   He preyed upon the isolated, the lonely and the helpless.  And the young.  Especially the young.   Do not think, sir, that one such as White Kenneth would have been stirred to sympathy with the plight of an eight year old orphan girl who found herself without protectors.   He would not.   He would have licked those pale lips of his and given the order for a couple of bag-men to go a-hunting.  And he would have mentally estimated his profits, and imagined spending them even before those bag-men returned with their quarry.

But I was sharp witted and sly, and well aware of the dangers.   I kept well clear of White Kenneth and his dreadful crew and although my path and his did cross, rather dramatically, that was not until much much later and ended rather... messily I'm afraid to say.   I pride myself of always having been a neat worker, but alas it is not always possible to do ones best work at all times.

Do pour me another spot of sherry would you?   All this talking is dry work.    Most kind of you.   So.   After my father was taken from me I fell into the company of dear Jack Merryweather.    He was fifteen or sixteen at the time and quite the elder brother to me, having been one of my father's companions on various little jobs.    Jack was quite a card, always with a smile and a quip, and with what my father called a fool's face... he could always look entirely innocent.   Jack Merryweather was the sort of scamp that if you entered a room and saw him with his hand in your strongbox, he could tell you that he was adding a few coins of his own as a Michaelmas gift and you'd find yourself thanking him for his kindness and sending him on his way with a handshake.  After which if you were wise you'd count the rings on your fingers.   Dear Jack, he was such a kind young man too.    He took me in and gave me a safe place to sleep and we worked together on... our business... very well.  I must have been about eight years old at the time but already quite adept at the basics of the trade; shinnying up drainpipes and through tiny windows for instance; or turning a tear streaked face of abject misery to some well appointed old fellow and telling him about my broken dolly while Jack emptied the contents of his pockets all unobserved.   Oh but you know this sort of thing I'm sure, quite commonplace.   We made enough to live on, and just a little over for occasional comforts.   It was a good life I suppose, though it never could have lasted as it was.    We were good apprentices but would never have progressed much past that.

Poor Jack.  He never got the chance.

I suppose I was ten years old when it happened.  I remember the day as though it was yesterday, a dreadfully cold day in October 1850 and I was sitting inside Charlie's Chops just off Cowper Alley.   Oh I'm quite sure it isn't there anymore.   Most of the old places have gone now, and good riddance to them I suppose.   It was a little hole in the wall sort of place, more like the front rooms of a house than any real business, but old Charlie Renton made his money by selling bad food and bad gin to bad people.   Both the food and the gin were cheap as hope though so nobody minded the badness.   And it was always warm.   I got on well with Charlie because my father had got on well with Charlie so he always saved me a place by the chimney where it was warm and he'd always sell me a bowl of whatever was cooking over the fire at his cheapest rate.

What did you say?  Give me it for nothing?  Oh goodness, what an innocent you are, sir.   This was the Rookery of St Giles and Cripplegate.   For nothing indeed!   Offer any of the inhabitants of that hellhole something for nothing and they would run for the nearest bolthole in fear of their lives.   Charlie Renton sold me his dreadful stew cheap, and that was as kind as kind got in those days.

I recall I was prodding at that day's bowl of vaguely brown, vaguely lumpy stew with a wooden spoon, and sitting perched in the brick lined alcove next to the chimney. 

"Bean stew," Charlie said, seeing my curiousity.

"I don't care what it's been, Charlie," I said, "What is it now?"

He raised a fist to me then, and we grinned at each other.  It was an old joke even then I suppose, and I'd copied it from my father.  Charlie always played along with the old banter and it was one of the reasons people liked the man so much.    They said that he'd once been a sailor in the Royal Navy but he'd given that all up after he'd lost an eye and an ear and a great slice of his face to an exploding cannon shell, so he wasn't comfortable to look at but he always had a joke and a friendly welcome.  And cheap food and drink of course.

When the door opened it let in the cold air, and colder than you'd expect.   I looked up from my food to see who had entered and quickly looked away again.    If you think I sound fanciful, young man, then I assure you this is God's honest truth.   In that quick glance I knew, I just somehow knew, that the man who had entered Charlie's Chops was evil through and through.  Through and through sir.    Oh there were bad men aplenty in St Giles in those days, aye and further afield, but I had never seen one before that struck me so instantly as foul and dangerous and utterly utterly... well, forgive the repetition... evil as this man did.    He was not tall, but he was broad shouldered and as solid looking as a stone wall, with ugly flat features and skin that was pale but mottled with broken veins and discolored dark patches on his neck and forehead.   But it was his eyes, young man, his eyes that had made me look away from him so quickly.    They were cold and dry and completely without humanity.   They reminded me at once of the eyes of a dead man, sir, and I do not revise that opinion even to this day.

The other patrons obviously felt much the same as I did about this newcomer.   All conversations stopped at the instant that he stepped through the door, and all eyes were kept steadfastly away from him.   I looked at him sly-wise, my head down but peering through my lashes and wishing I'd already eaten my stew, which I had paid a farthing for, so I would not regret running out the back way if I had to.    The monstrous intruder smiled a knife-wound of a smile and said in a rough dry voice.

"Jack Merryweather.   Any friends of his here?"

Jack!   My stomach turned over at the thought that this ogre even knew Jack's name, for in our trade and in our little world, to be known of was a sign of danger and upset, and no mistake at all about that.  And by someone of this type?  Well it was plain he was not looking for Jack to award him a wooden medal for good service to the parish.   I held my breath and did not dare move.   Those dreadful dead eyes of his looked over us all slowly.

"No friends of his anywhere it seems," he said, and then he laughed such a laugh as I hoped never to hear again.   "Well if any of his friends pass this way, tell them Mister Honeyman passes on his condolences.  Such a sad end."

He raised his finger to the brim of the battered hat he wore, looked slowly over us all again and then his smile just stopped and his face went slack and empty and then he turned around and walked out of the door, not even troubling to shut it.

"Sounds like Merryweather's copped it," said old Ikey Cleaver, "or's about to.    I'll go round his gaff and see that all's well, or how bad it's bad."   He rose on creaky legs from the table.

"That's a green trick," said I, still sick to my stomach at the thought of such a monster on dear Jack's trail, "It's a pound to a penny that..."  I couldn't think of a word to suit the man who had just been and gone, but everyone knew who I meant by the look I gave toward the door, "is watching to see who runs to find Jackie and will lead him right to him."

I saw the crafty look that passed between the Monk brothers at those words.   A right pair of snakes those boys were, crafty and cruel but with no real skill to turn their ambitions into action.   I could read that look, sir, better than a parson could read a prayerbook.    They were wondering if Honeyman would pay on the nail for news of Jack Merryweather.

"Here," said Charlie Renton taking my arm and whispering confidential like, "that's sense you're talking.   Get you out the kitchen window and go warn Jackie boy.   Fast and unseen, that's the way."

"That's the way," said I, sounding braver than I felt.   If I  could get to Jack's and my little hideout before that foul Honeyman found out where he was, whether from  the Monk brothers or some other Captain Comegrass who'd sell a man's life for a handful of coins, then all might yet be well.

"I've paid for that stew!" I reminded Charlie Renton as I slipped through the kitchen door.

"Business is business," said old Charlie scraping the bowl's contents back into the big pan.

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Friday, March 9, 2018

Little Rosie. Prologue

Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring,
Rosie filches everything
Sneaking, snatching, this and that
Crafty as a creeping cat
Bolt the doors, the shutters bar,
Rosie reaches near and far,
All in rags, not dainty frocks
Little Rosie laughs at locks

I may be an old woman, young man, but there is nothing wrong with my memory I assure you.  Of course I remember that silly little ditty.   I suppose I was a little bit flattered by it. after all how many little girls are immortalised in playground chants and songs?

Oh don't look so surprised, goodness but you're a dreadful hand as a liar.    No don't act all innocent sir, for it won't wash.  You knew full well that I was the Little Rosie referred to in that piece of doggerel and don't dare deny it.   That's why you're here, and why you've spent the last few weeks ingratiating yourself with all the right people.  Or the wrong people, as most would say, eh?   Oh yes I was fully aware of your little investigation, and of all your little questions.   And the amount of money that you've been spreading around to ensure that word of your nosing didn't reach the wrong ears.   I hope you got receipts for that sir, for it was money ill spent.

Sit down, sir, sit down, don't take offense.  Allow an old lady her mischief won't you?   Of course you will.   Sit down and take your ease.   Yes I knew you were nosing around after me, but I still agreed to meet you didn't I?   I did.     So don't stand on your dignity.   You've been sniffing out the trail of the infamous Little Rosie Lochlan, and you've found her.   So clap yourself on the back, sir, and if you've learned that you're not as cunning or as devious as you'd flattered yourself that you were well that's a lesson learned, and cheaply too.   There are many lessons that are taught a lot less kindly I assure you.

Do you know, I'm not entirely sure why I agreed to meet with you.  After all I've spent the best part of... oh many more years than I'm happy to recount... avoiding attention, and certainly avoiding enquiries about those days in the old Rookery of St Giles.    The worst place on Earth, sir, and beyond.    What?  An unusual turn of phrase?   Perhaps it is, but I must be allowed my little ways, at my time of life, eh?   I must.

It has been a long journey from the squalor and the slums of that hellish warren to the life of a lady of wealth and influence, indeed it has been.   Look around you sir, and allow me to confirm your base speculation ... don't deny it... that barely a pennyworth of this luxurious home and its fittings has been honestly obtained.    Perhaps the occasional small ornament was fairly and legally purchased, but even good Homer nods occasionally.


Don't flaunt your erudition, sir, it is beneath you.  I do not speak the wretched language.   As you will know if you know anything of the infamous Little Rosie, you will know that I did not receive a formal education.  Greek and Latin, sir, were no use in the shadows and the cellars, and profoundly pointless when scampering along the slippery rooftops of London's foulest haunt of the poor and worthless.    No formal education indeed, but many lessons to learn.   And many taught in very hard ways.

I began my education as a child so young I cannot recall the early days of it.   I was set to steal, sir, or to offer distractions while others stole.  I neither excuse it or apologise for it.   And I proved to have an aptitude that may have been bred in the bone, for my father was equally adept at the arts of the cracksman, the prigger and the fine-wirer.   Hmm?  Pickpocket, sir.  Fine-wirer is a pickpocket, but a very good one.   The everyday pickpocket was a dip or a... oh you know the term 'dip'?   How very well informed you are, sir.   Goodness, yes.

Oh don't pout so, sir.  A little gentle mockery, that's all.   Not enough to drown a flea.    Now where was I?  Ah yes, my father.   I do not recall a mother, though I presume I must have had one at some point.   He never spoke of her, and I don't recall it ever occurring to me that I should ask.       He was a good man, though many would disagree, and a good father so far as I can judge.   He put food in my mouth and clothes on my back, yes and he taught me how to do the same for myself.  He began my education, sir, and taught me the tricks of that disreputable trade when I was still too young to know right from wrong, thank heavens. What a burdensome complication that would have been, eh?

Yes, my father began my education, sir.   But he did not complete it, alas no.  He was taken from me when I was most in need of him, when the darkness and the danger were closing in on every side and when there was literally nowhere in this world I could turn to find a safe refuge.

Oh now that is a knowing look, sir, indeed it is.   When I said 'nowhere in this world' you practically smirked.  A most unpleasant expression to find on the features of a gentleman of quality.    You know something don't you, sir?   No don't deny it, I can smell deception a mile away upwind, my life has depended on that skill for me to be easily gulled.     Well not another word will pass my lips until you prove your honesty.   You know where I found my refuge don't you?   No evasions, sir!   You tell me what you've heard, and if you're right then I'll carry on with my tale, otherwise the rest is silence.  I'll not be played for a fool.   If you've heard something of my tale, then tell me and I'll go on.    Where did I find my refuge, sir, where did I complete my training as the finest thief in her Majesty's empire?  Well?

Goodness.  You are well informed.   I must confess I am surprised, and more surprised still that you say the word without a hint of mockery or condescension.  And that, sir, suggests there is more to you than meets the eye.   Excellent.  It has been a long time since I was surprised and it is quite a pleasant sensation.   Yes, sir, Fairyland indeed.   But not as most people would understand it.

Reach for the rope and ring for my maid.   This is a story that may be long in the telling and we'd both appreciate a little refreshment as we discuss it.

Make yourself comfortable.   Then we'll begin.


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Wednesday, March 7, 2018


The young man sat uncomfortably on the statue’s plinth, back turned to the god who glared down stonily on the disobedience of youth.    He was strong, and naked except for a brief white cloth around his waist and he was staring ahead of him at the door that led into the uncertain night.

The young woman entered silent-footed and stooped to pick up the discarded robe from the floor, a maiden’s robe of silk,  and held it in both her hands.

“Pyrrha,” she said.

He smiled.  “Not my name,”

“Pyrrha,” she said, challenging.   “You’re going away.  He’s taking you away.”

The young man nodded.   “Not taking.  My choice.   Been hiding too long.   There’s a war.”

She narrowed her eyes, and her voice conveyed that to him though he did not look up.

“There is always a war,” she said.  “Always.   Always men willing to kill for money, or honour, or the sheer love of killing.”

“Or glory,” said the youth whose name was not Pyrrha.   And she knew that she had lost him.

“You’ll die,”
“Who doesn’t,” he said, “This war…  Everywhere.   Forever.”  He gestured with his hands, a broad encompassing gesture and he stood up as he did.   The woman glanced from  him to the stone god behind him and found the stone wanting.   Just as she did.

“Death in battle is not glorious my love,” she whispered, “this stranger has lied to you, told you it is an opportunity for immortality, but it will fit you only for the raven’s banquet.”

He was still looking at the door ahead of him.  Staring at worlds unknown and horizons undreamed.  Battles raging.   Then he turned to her suddenly and pulled her to him.   Their kiss was hot as the pyre of a dead hope.

“Remember me,”

She touched her stomach gently.  “We will,”   But he was still too much the boy to hear and he turned and walked away into the future, and into the past and into legend.


Finn Cullen's first novel "A Step Beyond Context" is now available on Amazon.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

The Vigil of the Thorn

“It was not the thorn bending to the honeysuckles,  but the honeysuckles embracing the thorn.” 
-Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte

The old man was dead, and he was still turning the world upside down.   If Mother Wytlaf had been the sort to curse she would have cursed his name and his memory and his ancestors, she would have cursed his flesh and his bone and all his posterity.   She’d have cursed him three times three, standing, sitting and lying, with spittle and piss and blood, in song and shadow and silence.

Not being the sort to curse she stood instead on the banks of the river watching as the small narrow boat drifted downstream, fire already catching in the oil soaked cloth and straw that surrounded the old man’s body.

A warrior’s funeral he had asked for.  Here in the high valley of the moon where no weapon could come and no blood shed save for life and healing.  He’d asked for a warrior’s funeral and her maidens had pleaded for his request to be granted.

Those same maidens stood by her on the riverbank too, tears in their eyes reflecting the reds and orange of the old man’s final journey, the moon invisible in the dark sky above them it being her time of hiding.

How fitting, thought Mother Wytlaf, that the moon will not lend her presence to this travesty.    How fitting that now it was only the blazing light of the old man’s corpse that illuminated the scene.  After all he’d remade everything else in his image hadn’t he?

He’d arrived one whole moon earlier, and the sky silver had been hiding that night too.   Old he was and failing, with old wounds on his body and bitter humour on his lips.    He was dying, he told Mother Wytlaf, and had sought out the high valley of the moon to pass his final days in peace and comfort.

That was his right, the right of any who came seeking succour and who did so in peace.   She had welcomed him and set her maidens to tend him, to ease the pain of his old injuries, to soothe him in his last days, and to hear his stories.

And oh, he could tell stories.  He told them of his strange birth, and the trial of his childhood as he was smuggled from mountain to woodland to deep caverns, to high crags.   He told them of his master at arms and the ordeals he faced to earn the runes of war etched on his forearms.   He told them of his loves both won and lost.  The maidens listened as they tended him, and laughed and wept in turn.   And he told them of the war.   He told them of the war still raging beyond the world they knew, beyond the mist in the far fields and plains and woodlands and mountains.

And they listened.

He told them of the warriors striving to keep back the darkness, of the innocents falling before the foe.   He told them of the hopelessness and the need for healing and wisdom.

And they listened.

And as the old man burned, Mother Wytlaf knew his words burned too in the hearts and souls of her maidens.

When the vigil was done and the fires burned out, Mother Wytlaf knew, the maidens would gather their things and don their deep blue cloaks, and they would depart the high valley of the moon forever.

She wished she had it in her to curse the old man, but a sister owed her brother the peace he never knew in life, and she held her tongue.


Finn Cullen's novel A Step Beyond Context is now available in paperback and Kindle format from Amazon.

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Friday, March 2, 2018

Cold Artistry

They took him at wordpoint (the gun was not visible but had been mentioned) into the basement.    It was cold and well lit and there were shelves on which the usual basement detritus lurked dustily.  In the centre of the floor was a gurney on which lay a dead body.   That did not shock him, he had seen too many of them for the simple truth of meat-hood to bother him.  Guns bothered him and he was trembling.

“Do your thing,” said the unsmiling man who’d led him there.

“Yes, of course.”  He looked at the body.   She must have been beautiful in life, but death’s alchemy made all gold into base metal in time.   “Photograph?  From before?”


“Thank you,” he said.   He put it on the gurney by her head, and opened his case.

He massaged the dry skin of her eyelids to loosen them, make them close more naturally, rubbed dry lips with Vaseline until cracks vanished.    He took up a stiff brush and foundation cream and began to work.

He took pride in this.  His cosmetics could not cover enough to remove grief, but they painted over truth well enough.     A sponge and crème blush for the cheeks, a very subtle lip colour applied  delicately.   This took the most time, it’s hard to make cold lips look real, and any imperfection in art here stands out.    Eyeliner and mascara then, necessary to give the eyes definition or they would get lost in the unmoving matte landscape.  He worked precisely and carefully and blotted away excess with a dry white tissue.

He stepped back then and looked, nodded in satisfaction.

“What now?” he said, nervous breath in the cold air.

“We take you home,” said the gunman, “with enough money to erase your memory.”

A whisper then, soft and paper dry from the heart of the room.

“Has anyone got a mirror,”

The artist kept his eyes on the gunman.   “It had better be a lot of money,” he said.


Thursday, March 1, 2018

Sister, Waiting.

I start and end here on the timeless rocks, and the sea is endless.   Here is the place where I rest, and feast, and rejoice, and mourn and where I wait, where I always wait.

Here on the rocks where once I saw long low ships with bright sails, distant things with black winged birds above them seeking out land.    Those ships knew me, though not by name, and sometimes I reached out with my need and I took them.

Sunrises and sunsets turned the sea to fire and blood more times than could be counted, and the distant ships grew larger, and stranger, sailed and sped faster and more often.   And sometimes, from time to time, when it pleased me, I took them.

I watched as brief men came to the rocks and flickered anxious lives, and stern eyes raked the land.   A tower rose , iron girders obscene here in my presence, and stone and glass.   They set a light, a shining eye to turn ancient mother night into their harlot to dance at their command.   And sullen I sat on the rocks and watched the ships with longing but now I could not take them.

Sunrises and sunsets seem further apart now, the iron girders an anchor binding me to dreadful day-by-day.   I wait.  I always wait.    The sea showers the rocks and the hard upright tower, and time showers it too.   Soon, not soon as flickering men measure things but soon, the tower of stone and glass will wear away and iron girders will fail and wash the rocks rusty, pass blood-red into the sea and be gone.

For now though I wait.  I hunger but I do not starve.   I watch the ships pass by and though I cannot take these ships in this place I am still nourished.  All seas are one sea and I close my eyes and listen.

Listen now to the waves between the rocks.  The salt sweet sigh of shipwrecked souls.


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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Index Card RPG - Runehammer Games

I don't often review games - I'm usually too busy playing and find it hard to come up with things to say that aren't just lists of rules that I like or dislike, but I'm going to make an exception now and make a suggestion:

You should buy Index Card RPG.

Not so much a suggestion as an unsubtle instruction I guess.   But let me explain why.

Some time ago, no idea how, my YouTube meanderings brought me across a channel about Dungeons and Dragons - The title was as unsubtle as my suggestion - "Drunkens and Dragons - How to play D&D like a big old bad ass."    My interest piqued by the approach I watched, despite not believing anyone could tell me anything new about D&D.

Ah the folly of approaching senility.

The channel was run by one Hankerin Ferinale the nom-de-jeux of one Brandish Gilhelm whose real name is as player-character worthy as his assumed name.   Hankerin (for so I always think of him) presented a series of episodes about room design, rpg theory, rules essentials... all stuff I've been doing for decades.   But he still hooked me, fired me up and got me thinking.   Hankerin presented his ideas with an infectious enthusiasm that could not help but be inspiring.   His focus was on making the gaming experience more direct and more fun at the table and stripping away everything that got in the way of that.   And then he released an RPG that embodied all these principles.   I bought it right away.

Now here's a confession, and an awkward one.   I've never run ICRPG.   I may never run ICRPG.   But was it worth the money?  Hell yes.   Let me tell you why:

If you do decide to run ICRPG you will get a system that allows you to quickly make up distinctive characters in a variety of settings - from the evocative fantasy world of Alfheim to the futuristic space opera of Warp Shell.  Or mix and match them.   Later iterations of the ruleset include a Weird West campaign background and rules for dealing with horror and suspense stories.   All using the same system, all without losing any of the flavour and efficiency of the system.

The rules are as simple as they come but they aren't vague in the way some rules-lite systems are.  It's a d20 Roll Over system but with a few tweaks.  Characteristics are reduced to the modifiers to that roll.  Character type adds more options and bonuses.    Loot gathered during the course of play gives bonuses with conditions based on what it is.     This same rulebase covers combat and non-combat skills alike.    In a move I haven't seen anywhere else before every roll can be handled like combat with a result (success/failure) and an effect:  In combat as we're all used to the effect is damage.  In other skill use you still make an effect roll based on who you are and what you're using and complex tasks can be accomplished in stages... just like taking down a goblin would be in a fight.   Want to pick a lock, a complex lock?  Well make a roll to succeed each turn and each time you do another dice roll moves you closer to the lock popping open.     Since ICRPG keeps the focus within measured turns and there is always a timer ticking down this adds real suspense to any task.

Timers did you say, Finn?  Yes I said Timers.    

I Love Timers

Did I mention I haven't run ICRPG yet and can't see myself doing so for the foreseeable future?  I have about four or five campaigns on the go at the moment using a mix of homebrew and official systems.  I don't want to start something new.    But what I am doing is stealing elements from ICRPG to make things more exciting and Timers is one such element.

What Hankerin does is give every scene one or more time pressures - making them known to the players and overt.   Usually a roll of a dice sets the starting number which ticks down each turn that the player characters act.  When it reaches zero something bad happens - reinforcements, collapsing ceiling, transformation of the floor into angry stoats, something.   It always escalates things.  And that simple little technique adds so much tension you have to try it to believe it.   

I used it recently during a game of Masks.   My group of teen supers were raiding a stealth-battleship to rescue some abducted kids and a climactic battle took place in a room where one of the kids was about to be experimented on (Seraphim's kid brother Tomas, master of extortion and seeing things he shouldn't).   An early move by one of the player characters badly damaged the big lit-up gizmo in the heart of the room and I decided there and then to employ a Timer.

"You can tell it's going to blow in... three rounds."

Now rounds in Masks are pretty vague but everyone kind of knew what that meant.   Suddenly they had to deal not only with the bad guy, the henchman and rescue Tomas from a surgical table where he was strapped but they had to do it all in a handful of actions.

In my favourite moment of the session on the very last round before the Timer ticked to zero, Two-Blade delayed their own escape from the room to slam the bad guy onto the table and lock their arm to one of the restraints.  One mad dash later and Two-Blade got out and slammed the door... the bad guy wasn't so lucky (but you know the old rule - if you don't see the villain's body he's halfway to Acapulco).

Without the Timer the urgency would not have been there.
Without the Timer that cool moment would have seemed like arbitrary fluff.

And Timers are just one of the things that make ICRPG so cool.

What's the best bit?

The very best thing of all though is Hankerin's 'voice' which comes through in every part of the game.   He clearly loves what he does and he communicates that with every bit of advice, every example of play, every suggestion for how the game can be used.    If you feel a bit jaded as a GM I challenge you to read this book and not be hungry to get to the table and revolutionise your games either by using ICRPG as is or, as I'm doing, stealing parts from it and frankensteining them into my own games.

He's rebranded his YouTube channel as Runehammer now which you can find HERE and which I recommend to anyone who plays any roleplaying game.  His key mechanics playlist is one of my go to watches when I'm at a loose end and need to get myself thinking about gaming.

ICRPG is about to be released in its second edition, incorporating changes and refinements added since first edition was released, honing it still further.  I'll be buying second edition too and reading it cover to cover.    Runehammer's page on DriveThruRPG is HERE.

Hankerin's very tuned into Thor, which is cool.  I'm more of an asshole Odin guy myself as this over-wordy post probably proves, but let me tell you about Thor.   The Norse saw him as a god who brought fertility and plenty, and of course the god of storms and lightning.    Stick close to Hankerin and you'll give birth to ideas and wonderful stories, and if there is anything worth kindling in you his lightning will cause it to blaze.