A syndication of my in-progress and non-commissioned writing.


Please note any “TODO” or “TK” – that means text around it is incomplete or inaccurate, such as missing a citation.

This document is an explanation of how I try to approach my online communication. The methods explained below have been in implicit development my whole life, but I started explicitly considering how I wanted to conduct my online communication in mid-2018. How I communicate online can be divided up roughly into two categories, though there's always some murkiness between the two.

There's direct communication, for talking with individuals, privately, and public communication, for talking with groups.

The reason I don't explicitly allow for in-between communication like “followers-only microblog posts,” is because the control of security on that communication is so low, I would prefer to treat it as public.

License and Editorial Information

This document and the source code it contains are released under the MIT License and maintained at https://git.sr.ht/~emsenn/online-communication-manual, where a list of syndications is available.

Table of Contents

Direct Communication

Most of my direct online communication happens through an ever-changing medley of instant messaging platforms defined more by contemporary trends than my opinion.

That is to say, I use whatever messaging applications my friends are using, and try not to be picky about the procedure.

Public Communication

I divide my public communications into two subcategories:

  • Posting, which is making a temporary or conversational public post onto a platform. This includes sending messages to my mailing lists and microblogging.
  • Publishing, which is more formal: creating a document and releasing it through a platform. This usually means posting to my personal website, but includes syndicating the document elsewhere.


When I want to post something online, I want to send a quick message, usually to an audience of followers, but also usually in a way that anyone could see it. (After all, I can't be sure that by sharing with my followers, I am not unknowingly be syndicated publicly.) Followers are people who have subscribed to the relevant account or stream.

There are a few things that inspire me to post:

  • Reading something that I'd like to share my thoughts on.
  • Doing work on an interesting project or piece of writing that I'd like to talk about.

Mailing Lists


The main way I post things is by microblogging: short temporary posts that are syndicated to followers' individual chronological feeds. Specifically, I use an account in the Fediverse to create posts: emsenn@mastodon.social. (You can also view an RSS feed of my profile.

These are a few assumptions I make when microblogging:

  • Since my audience chooses to see my posts, I assume they have an interest in the topics I'm posting about.
  • Anyone might take anything I've said and use it out-of-context to my detriment.
  • Anyone might find a way to say something to me about what I've posted. If they have an account in the Fediverse, this is easy, but people find a way to make themselves heard if they want.

I do not think my microblog should be permanent, since I can't reasonably moderate the posts that will show up in response to mine. In that spirit, I have taken the rather drastic step of deleting my posts that are older than 48 hours, unless I have “favorited” it myself. To accomplish this, I use @codl's Forget.

Into Data Silos

I recognize that a lot of potential and current personal and professional contacts don't have accounts in the Fediverse, don't use RSS, and won't manually check my Mastodon profile.

I maintain accounts on Facebook and LinkedIn, though I have severe ethical criticisms of both. Take it as evidence that my desire to be cooperative outweighs my desire to boycott monopolistic providers.

I don't post into these data silos as often as I post in the Fediverse, and tend to limit my posts there to what would be of interest to a professional audience.


Publishing something online is the most complicated way of communicating online, but also, I think, the most useful. Publishing here means sharing in a way that it becomes a “permanent” part of the Internet.

I explain the specifics of how I write in my Manual of Writing, the specifics of how I edit in my Manual of Editing, and the specifics of how I create a document in my Manual of Publishing. (All of which are in early development too.)

This procedure is about how I share that published document.

The first thing I do is add it to my website, emsenn.net, which is a repository of all my published documents (and drafts).

Then, I write a post about it to the Fediverse, as described in my procedures for posting online.

Finally, I send the document to the relevant list of email contacts I maintain who have expressed interest in its topic.



Please note any “TODO” or “TK” – that means text around it is incomplete or inaccurate, such as missing a citation.

This document is a manual of how I style my writing: construct it in a way that I think accurately and precisely communicates my ideas.

It is in early development.

License and Editorial Information

The Written Voice

This section contains a general description of the voice I try to use. By voice, I mean the mix of content and style that gives my writing its personality. I wrote every rule in this manual with the primary objective of clarifying my voice.

My tone might change depending on what I'm writing, but my voice should stay consistent.

Write Respectfully

An important part of my tone is writing respectively: making positive assumptions about the writing's subject and audience.

To treat the reader with respect:

  • I don't tell them how to feel.

To treat the subject with respect I:

  • I acknowledge people have qualities, but are not those qualities. (For details, see Describing a Person).

The Rules of Writing

The “rules” of writing are those relatively immutable standards which guide the construction of a clause or sentence. I call them rules because that's what everyone else seems to call them. Personally, I don't think they should be viewed that strictly.

Rules of Grammar

Rules of Punctuation

Rules of Spelling and the Treatment of Specific Words

  • Spelling

    • UK or US?
  • Noun Style Guide

    • Pronouns

      • Gender

        I hate that there needs to be this section but there does.

    • Proper Noun Style Guide

      • Specific Proper Noun Style Guide

        This section contains how to write specific proper nouns. It is simply a list of proper nouns that Gill and Sennhauser has found itself writing several times, so wanted to establish a precise styling for.

        | Noun | Notes | | Gill and Sennhauser | no ampersand | | Org-mode | not “Mode” | | emsenn | not captialised |

    • Collective Noun Style Guide

      | singular noun | formal collective noun(s) | comedic collective noun(s) | | congressperson | members of congress | a swamp | | yak | cabinet, herd | tangle, gridlock | | lawyer | huddle, group | tangle |

  • Verb Style Guide

    • Verb Specifications

      • “To,” not “in order to,” or “as a way to,”

      • “Also,” not “in addition”

      • remove, not extract, eliminate, take away

        I mean, unless those are what make more sense.

      • use

        Normally, you should use “use” in your sentences, unless you're speaking of something that is being used in an unusual way, then you can say utilize. But you should probably still say use.

      • method or methodology

        Usually method, unless it's not.

  • Contraction Style Guide

    For my personal tone, I should:

    • Use common contractions:
      • it's
      • you're
      • that's
      • don't

    In all writing, I should:

    • Never mix contractions and their full form in the same piece. This is bad: If you don't secure the hatch, you cannot proceed with decompression.
    • Never form contractions from a noun and verb. This is bad: the client's almost here.

    Use common contractions, such as it’s, you’re, that's, and don’t, to create a friendly, informal tone.

    Don't mix contractions and their spelled-out equivalents in UI text. For example, don’t use can’t and cannot in the same UI.

    Never form a contraction from a noun and a verb, such as emsenn’s developing a lot of new cloud services.

    Avoid ambiguous contractions, such as there’d, it’ll, and they’ll.

  • Adverb Style Guide

    • Forbidden Adverbs

      Obviously not forbidden, but, avoid them.

      | Adverb | Suggested alternative | | clearly | Drop it. If the sentence feels barren without it, maybe it's not that clear and you should rephrase. | | completely | Whatever it did, it did it. You only need to specify if it was incomplete. | | exceedingly | | | excellent | | | extremely | | | fairly | | | few | | | huge | | | interestingly | Leave it to your reader to decide if they're interested | | largely | | | literally | | | many | | | mostly | | | quite | | | relatively | | | remarkably | | | several | | | signficantly | | | substantially | | | surprisingly | | | tiny | | | various | | | vast | | | very | |

      Avoid vague adverbs:

      • clearly
      • completely
      • exceedingly
      • excellent
      • extremely
      • fairly
      • few
      • huge
      • interestingly
      • largely
      • literally
      • many
      • mostly
      • quite
      • relatively
      • remarkably
      • several
      • significantly
      • substantially
      • surprisingly
      • tiny
      • various
      • vast
      • very
  • Adjective Style Guide

    • Order of Adjectives

      • List of the Order of Adjectives

        Adjectives should occur be written in the following order:

        1. Quantity: many, seventeen, a few
        2. Opinion: interesting, good, gorgeous
        3. Size: big, narrow, tall
        4. Quality: broken, uncut, smooth
        5. Shape: square, rotund, triangular
        6. Age: 12-year-old, young, elderly
        7. Color: cerulean, green, pink
        8. Origin: English, Roman, Argentinian
        9. Material: Wood, aluminium, concrete
        10. Type: U-shaped, professional, engineer's
        11. Purpose: cleaning, camping, baking
      • Superseding Rules to the Order of Adjectives

        • If you've got something that might be a reduplicative (hocus-pocus, mama), it might be worth changing the order to give the noun phrase a better meter. The chief example of this is the big bad wolf.
        • Modifiers to an adjective should directly precede them in the phrase. This is most important for inserting a negation – that is, making sure to write, “there were several not calm individuals gathered at the gates.” /(Note “not calm” would more properly be “excited,” or a more appropriate positive adjective, but “not calm” is more suited for the piece. This demonstrates that even when you violate some rules to achieve the proper voice and tone, you don't suddenly throw out the others.)
      • Examples from Literature

        • “It was cold, bleak, biting weather,” in A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
        • “He's an extraordinary looking man,” in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
        • “And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor,” in The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe
      • Examples from Our Portfolio

        Coming soon – just as soon as we have a portfolio!

    • Adjective Specifications

      • Apologise Adjective Specification

        | Adjective | Meaning | | formal | An apology given with the relevant authority of the apologizer. | | sincere | An apology issued from the individual person who is the apologizer. | | courteous | An apology issued as a social habit. |

    • Describing a Person

      • Describing a part of their identity.

        Identity Phrasing
        Member of a racially marginalized ethnicity person of color
  • Special Words Style Guide

    • Reduplicatives

      Reduplicatives are words like mama, mish-mash, or bang-bang

Rules of Writing Titles, Names, and Proper Terms

Rules of Writing Numbers and Mathematics

Rules of Abbreviations and Jargon

Rules of Quotations and Dialog

  • When using quotes “improperly”:
    • When using a specific term literally or as a strong metaphor, use “double-quotes”.
    • When using a specific term as a loose analogy, use 'single-quotes'.

Rules of Phrases and Sentence Construction

  • Phrasing Style Guide

    • Avoidable Cliches

      • not rocket science
      • isn't rocket science
      • outside the box

Rules of Colors and Sensory Descriptions

  • Use the web standard names
  • If sensation is important, treat it like clues in a mystery: provide 3.

Structuring Text

Structuring a Sentence

Structuring a List

Structuring a Paragraph

Structuring a Piece

  • Sections, chapters, parts? How to use what?

Guidelines for Determining Structure

This section contains guidelines for determining how you should structure a piece of writing, for example a short list of software dependencies the reader will need to install.


Tone is that variable element of writing which conveys the piece's attitude and intention. Word choice, sentence and paragraph structure, layout, and other attributes all factor into defining a pieces tone.

I find it most helpful to define a piece's tone with adjectives, such as formal, colloquial, or emotional. When creating a piece, I record these as properties, sorted from highest to lowest importance. That is, when two tone adjectives have contradicting rules, the one written first is the one whose rules are followed.


  • Authentic

  • Colloquial

  • Emotional

  • Formal

  • Natural

  • Sophisticated

Writing for Content Type

Fiction Writing

  • Mysteries

    • Always give a clue to a reader three ways, and always give the reader three clues.

Marketing Writing

  • High-End Hotel Description Writing

    The standard tone is sophisticated, natural, and authentic.

  • Online Landing Page For Service

    • Structure

      • Headline
      • Proposition
      • Exchanged utility
      • Explanation of Fulfillment
      • Social Proof
      • Closing Argument
      • CTA
  • Sales Letter

Technical Writing

  • Guide for Writing Instructions

  • Guide for Writing Training Procedures

    • Procedures should be written to the trainee: you're encouraged to use second-person voicing to give direct instructions.

Rules of Publishing


  • PDF

  • HTML

  • Formatting by Content Type

Licensing ::

Writing Training and Exercises

About this Section

This section (is in early development and) contains instructions on training staff in how to write.

Writing Flow Training

This training (is in early development and) will teach you how to write a piece, from assignment to submission.

  • Prerequisites

    This training assumes you have completed the following trainings

  • Instructions

    This section (is in early development and) contains the individual lessons for this training.

    • Writing Flow, Lesson One: The Assignment

      This lesson (is in early development and) will teach you about assignments, the unit of work for the writing necessary to accomplish an objective. Some examples of assignments are:

      • a bundle of pieces for a client.
      • a single piece written as a bid for client.
      • a series of emails for an internal marketing campaign.

      • Assignment Properties

        Assignment properties are standardized pieces of information about an assignment. Assignment properties include things like the piece's length requirements and its tone. Assignment properties are located in three places, and are inherited on-top of each other in this order:

        • First, the assignment should have whatever properties are in the Assignment Template.
        • Second, the assignment should have whatever properties are recommended by the appropriate style guide.
        • Finally, the assignment may include its own properties.

        Here's an example of what an assignment's properties might look like:

        :PROPERTIES: :minimum-length: 700 :recommended-length: 900 :max-length: 1000 :tone: sophisticated terse :END:

Assignment Research Training

This section (is in early development and) will teach you how to conduct research for a writing assignment.

High-End Hotel Description Writing Training

This training (is in early development and) will teach you how to write descriptions for high-end hotels.

  • Prerequisites

    This training assumes you have completed the following trainings: -Writing Flow Training

  • Instructions

    • High-End Hotel Description Writing, Lesson One: Interpretting the Assignment

      This lesson (is in early development and) will teach you how to interpret an assignment.

      Assignments are kept in the Writing Assignments lesson's assignment is specifically. You may notice the assignment is brief: most assignments will include relatively few guidelines, and will rely on your training and descretion as a writer.

    • High-End Hotel Description Writing, Lesson Two: Tone and Style

      The tone for this piece should be sophisticated while remaining natural and authentic. (Remember to check the section for guidance on these terms.)

      The reader should be addressed in second-person plural, to connect them to the hotel and “travel” through the article. While it's appropriate to emphasize the luxury of a 5-star hotel, do not over-sell a 3-star hotel.

      The following should be applied over your assignment specification:

      :PROPERTIES: :tone: sophisticated natural authentic :perspective: third :address: second-person plural :END:

    • High-End Hotel Description Writing, Lesson Three: Structure

      Expert opinion (15 words exactly), in the form of a quote, given in the hotel brief. E.g. Tom Gill, London: “A contemporary hotel which provides tranquillity right in the heart of London's historical city centre.”

      We love (80 words) in a list form

      This highlights why the expert has chosen this offer, explaining what they loved about the hotel and the destination. There should be 4 or 5 ‘We Love’ points which are communicated in the hotel brief.

      Don’t hesitate to add personal touches to the points, e.g. complimentary breakfasts: give examples of what you can eat, where you can eat it.

    • High-End Hotel Description Writing, Advanced Lesson: Tom's Musings

      Think of some USPs (unique selling points) that help the hotel stand out. Maybe it's close to the beach or has a spa facility, the most important thing is drawing in the reader immediately. Don’t forget to mention the location of the establishment, the number of stars, the surrounding areas and the style/architecture of the place.

      Example: “In Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, where the Mediterranean Sea and the Rhône Delta meet, one can experience traditional atmosphere and spectacular surroundings. The 5-star hotel, Les Arnelles, is a charming building defined by a harmonious relationship with the great outdoors, both inside and out. Its balance of contemporary and natural aesthetics firmly roots the hotel as the standout place to stay.”

    • High-End Hotel Description Writing, Advanced Lesson: Room Descriptions

      For each room, write a title with the name of the room included and the size in brackets. Don’t hesitate to reiterate the type of person who could benefit from this room (family, couple). Describe the benefits of the room: the decoration, the surrounding area, etc.

      Mention facilities (complimentary or optional), size, view, style, who can stay (no. of adults/children, babies allowed or not).

      Example: Beach Front Villas (95 m²): “Situated directly on the beach, these villas are ideal for a trip with the whole family; up to two adults and two children can comfortably stay here. You also have direct access to the beach and swimming pool; putting paradise outside your hotel door.”

Writing Training

  • Creative Writing Training

    • Writing Prompts

      • Writing Prompt: Force a Villian on a Vacation

        You have the opportunity to take someone you dislike – fictional or real – and send then anyplace you choose – real, on earth. You have now intercepted a post card from this person sent back to their associates. What does it say?

      • Writing Prompt: You're a Disgruntled Baby

        Continue this sentence: “I know I'm only 20 months old, but I don't think it's right that my parents…“

      • Writing Prompt: You've Won!

        Continue this sentence: “When I received the letter, I almost threw it away. It looked like a scam. When I opened it, it definitely looked like a scam. No one just gives this sort of thing away. But here I am, watching the delivery crew drop off a brand new…“

      • Writing Prompt: Give Them a Condiment

        • [ ] Think of three fictional characters and write them down:


        • In that order, describe each – in a complimentary manner – by comparing them to the following condiment:

          • Ketchup
          • Mayonnaise
          • Peanut Sauce
  • Training exercises

    • Word Substitution and Sentence Reconstruction Training Exercises

      • Word Substitution and Sentence Reconstruction Exercise: Write Around Character Replacements

        • [ ] Go to Wikipedia and find a random article.
        • [ ] Write 150 words about the topic. Choose your own writing type and tone.
        • [ ] In your piece, use the table below to replace characters. For each row in the column, go to whatever character position is suggested, and replace it with the suggested character. Rewrite the text to make sense around the character, replacing words or sentences as needed, while keeping the document truthful to the Wikipedia article on which it is based – and keeping the characters in the right position!

        | POSITION | CHARACTER | | 12 | e | | 88 | p | | 156 | i | | 287 | o |

      • Word Substitution and Sentence Reconstruction Exercise: Konami Code

        Like “Write Around Character Replacements”, but with the Konami Code.

    • Comparative Writing Training Exercises

      • Comparative Writing Exercise: Neither Slinky nor Scarf

        Describe a snake by writing the ways in which it is unlike a slinky and scarf, but you may not directly mention the snake, slinkies, or s

TODO Introduction

Please note any “TODO” or “TK” – that means text around it is incomplete or inaccurate, such as missing a citation.

This document is a manual of the procedures I use to publish my writing. It is intended to serve as a companion to my writing manual.

License & Editorial Information

This document and the source code it contains are released under the MIT License and maintained at https://git.sr.ht/~emsenn/publishing-manual, where a list of syndications is available.

Table of Contents

TODO Requirements

TODO Emacs

TODO Org-mode


TODO Ox-Hugo



TODO Setup

TODO Installing Emacs and Org-Mode

TODO Installing Ox-Hugo and Hugo

TODO Installing LaTeX stuff

Rendering Methods

TODO Render as HTML

Hyper-text Markup Language, or HTML, is the document format used across the Web.

While editing your Org-mode source document in Emacs, run org-export~dispatch and

TODO Render as PDF

TODO Render as LaTeX

TODO Render as Plain-Text

TODO Render as Hugo-Compatible Markdown

Publishing Methods

TODO To Neocities (HTTPS)

TODO To DAT Protocol


TODO Wordsmith.social

TODO Tabletop.press


Please note any “TODO” or “TK” – that means text around it is incomplete or inaccurate, such as missing a citation.

This document is a manual of the procedures I use to write. It is intended to serve as a prequel to my publishing manual.

License & Editorial Information

This document and the source code it contains are released under the MIT License and maintained at https://git.sr.ht/~emsenn/writing-manual, where a list of syndications is available.

Table of Contents





Installing Emacs and Org-Mode

Constructing a Document Repository

Every piece of writing I make exists in its own repository. There are a few reasons for this. On the technical front, it lets me change how any given document works, and deviate from the “standard” format as much as I want. On the publicity front, it makes it easier to promote just the pieces I want to with an audience, without necessarily exposing them to other pieces before appropriate. On the legal front, it makes it certain their license is their own, pretty safely against any “infective” licenses syndication platforms might have.

Each repository contains, when I make it, two files: the source file that I'll write in, and the README, where I explain some information about the document, useful to potential future authors or the editors.

Source File

The source file is the Org-mode file which represents the document. It's the file that you'll edit as you draft and later edit the piece, and it's what is used to generate renderings for publishing the document online and other places.

Org-mode Declarations

  • Document Metadata

    #+TITLE: {{doc.title}}
    #+DESCRIPTION: A document: an demonstration, "{{doc.title}}," by emsenn
    #+AUTHOR: emsenn
    #+DATE: 2019-01-29
  • Rendering Export Options

    #+OPTIONS: toc:nil ':nil num:nil
  • HTML Rendering Export Options

    #+HTML_HEAD: <link rel="stylesheet" href="/home/emsenn/org/projects/oats/build/oats.css">
    #+HTML_HEAD: <style>#content{width:85vw;max-width:40rem;margin:0 auto;padding:3rem 2rem 6rem;}</style>


  • Introduction


    • TODO Introduction /Please note any “TODO” or “TK” – that means text around it is incomplete or inaccurate, such as missing a citation./

    This document is... ```

    • License and Editorial Information

      Every document should state its license and link back to the public repository its available at, if it is. The README includes the full text of the license.

      Depending on the length and history of the document, it might be worth including another paragraph providing those details, but note that most of that information probably belongs just in the Document History section of the README.

      ** TODO License and Editorial Information
      This document and the source code it contains are released under the
      MIT License and maintained at
      [[https://git.sr.ht/~emsenn/{{doc.slug}}]], where a list of
      syndications is available.
  • Table of Contents

    #+TOC: headlines 1

A Section

* Demo Section
#+BEGIN Introduction
This section is about...

#+TOC: headlines 1 local


The README of a document is primarily aimed at editors, authors, and publishers, not the reading audience. (That's who the License and Editorial Information section of the source file is for.)

README Frontmatter

# "{{doc.title}}"
_A document: an essay, "{{doc.title}}," by emsenn._


The document's summary should specify what type of document it is, when it was written, and usually, what it was in response to, more than its topic. (Which is usually clear from the title and catalyst/trigger.)

**"{{doc.title}}"** is a {{doc.type}} I wrote on {{doc.date}}...

List of Renderings

After explaining what the document is about in the summary, I list all the renderings (and syndications) of the document. Since this is a fresh piece, there's only one thing to list: the source file.

- [Original Org-mode Version](./{{doc.slug}}.org)

Repository Disclosure

This repository is maintained at
and mirrored on [Gitlab.com](https://gitlab.com/emsenn/{{doc.slug}}).

Author Credits

## Document Authorship
This document was written by [emsenn].

Language Disclosure

## Language
This document is written in English.

Document History

## Document History
This document was first drafted in November 2018 in response to my
experience with a small business a couple months prior.

Contribution Guidelines

## Contributing
I welcome contributions, please send a message to my [public inbox].

Financial Disclosure

## Financing
This document was written voluntarily and has no associated costs.
Donations to this project's maintainer may be made at:

- https://ko-fi.com/emsenn/
- https://en.liberapay.com/emsenn/

For more ways to contribute financially, see


## License
This document, as software, is released under the MIT License:

    Copyright 2019 emsenn

    Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person
	obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation
	files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without
	restriction, including without limitation the rights to use,
	copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or
	sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the
	Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following

    The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be
	included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.



## Credits
- This document was written by [emsenn].
[emsenn]: https://emsenn.net
[public inbox]: https://lists.sr.ht/~emsenn/public-inbox




In this very short essay, I explain why I choose to write my name in lowercase.

License and Editorial Information

This essay is released under the MIT License, and is maintained at https://git.sr.ht/~emsenn/why-emsenn-is-lowercase.


When I was 12 I joined a server where everyone's name was their first initial and the first four letters of their last name. So my username was “msenn.”


After a while we migrated systems and the rule was relaxed, and many original members changed their names to be more phonetic – I added an e to the start of mine, to become “emsenn.”

Because my name originated as a username, I always write it in lowercase: a nod to my “heritage.”

(And yes, everyone calls me emsenn, even in real life.)


Yesterday I was involved in a thread where someone was insistent that in order to solve the problems in the open-source development world, we need more developers:

The reality is that there are not enough developers coming forward to help, and that is a social problem that can be resolved by non-technical users.

For non-technical users to resolve the issue, they just need to… become technical users:

[T]here is a need for more folks to learn development so that these things can be tackled properly. Otherwise the single-developer problem will continue to exist until the end of time… Lack of developers is indeed the root of the problem.

This struck me as an exceptionally lazy suggestion of resolution. Everyone thinks that the parts of the economy which benefit themselves need more resources – of course programmers who benefit from an abundance of programmers think more programmers is the solution.

Is “lack of developers” really the root of the problem?

Editorial and Licensing Information

This letter is released under the MIT License and is maintained at https://git.sr.ht/~emsenn/dear-parlour-do-we-need-more-developers. It was originally written for my parlour mailing list.

The Implications of “More Developers,”

Saying we need “more developers,” implies we need:

  • more humans.
  • or a greater number of the current humans to have an interest in development
  • or a greater number of current hobbyist developers to do it professionally, and for professionals to do it as a hobby.

Any of those takes resources away from some other part of our economy. You just can't get more developers: either other facets of the economy grow so it'll stay proportionally equal, or you're asking for an even-higher level of interest in computers and technology among the general population, and in my opinion, the general population nearly fetishizes computers.

Efficiency as an Alternative

I don't think we need more developers, or more development.

I think we need more efficient development systems: rather than get more output by increasing the input, let's see where we can secure marginal gains.

Developers have already spent a lot of time on squeezing every millisecond of efficiency out of computers – regardless of if you're using Python or Rust, drag-and-drop visual programming or vim, any means of providing instructions to a computer is ridiculously fast.

What isn't so fast is all the other stuff around development. There's ample room to draw efficiency out of the interpersonal and decision-making aspects of software development, which take up far more of a developer's time than inputting instructions to a computer.

I advocate that developers invest an even greater amount of time learning about things like project management than variable typing: if you get one of those things wrong, you end up with a memory leak. If you get the other wrong, you might end up accidentally building software that collapses any given democratic republic, or simply spend a lot of time picking colors for links when it turns out it should've been underlines the whole time.


It's easy to see things like transitors, compilers, interpreters, and so on as innovations – and I think a lot of developers spend a lot of time thinking about how to innovate from there.

It's a little trickier to see how things like bug reports and Agile are innovations, and I think a lot of developers could spend more time thinking about how to utilize those innovations.

Because, well, it seems like a woefully under-developed field, compared with our proficiency at giving computers instructions. And on a more worrisome note, most of the effort put into the field, so far, has been by large corporations and governments. I'd love to see the open-source world take a more keen interest in the meta- parts of programming, not as a defense against social justice warriors or having the project stolen by Apple, but out of a genuine belief those methods would benefit themselves, first and fore-most.


Brave Old World is an open-source role-playing game (RPG) where 2 or more players create a story by having a structured conversation. It is a traditional RPG played with a couple of dice and your imagination.

Brave Old World is a game about asking questions. Who is your adventurer? Why are they with the party? Where is the dragon's secret lair? Is the mayor's daughter really planning to burn down the town mill?

License and Editorial Information

Table of Contents


  • A six-sided die. It is better to have two, and best to have two per person.
  • A writing utensil and a sheet of paper. It is best to have a pencil and a few pieces of paper for each person.
  • Two players. More is better. Four to six is best.
  • One to four hours. Two is normal.

How to Play

In Brave Old World, one player is the narrator while the others are adventurers. The narrator facilitates the story while the adventurers, working as a party, explore strange places and have grand adventures.

Gameplay works like a conversation. The narrator says where the party is and what is happening around them. The adventurers say what it is they'd like to do. When an adventurer takes a risk, they roll two six-sided dice and add the results. /(If the adventurer is particularly good at the thing they're doing, they may be able to add to that result.)/

  • If they roll a 10 or more (10+), they succeed at what they attempted.
  • If they roll a 7 through 9 (7-9), they succeed… but with a cost or consequence.
  • If they roll a 6 or less (6-), they fail, and something is going to happen.

You can play Brave Old World with only this rule, if your primary interest is telling a fun little story with a group of friends. The Supplementary Rules add more depth to the gameplay, providing rules for adventurer skills, equipment, health, and so on.

Supplementary Rules


When an adventurer takes a risk, their personal skills may be able to influence the results of their roll.

There are a lot of ways to describe a person's skill, but mechanically they all work out to either -2, -1, +1, or +2 to the result of a roll.




Familiar, knack


Knowledgeable, adept

An adventurer can either be familiar or knowledgable in a skill, which affects their ability to succeed at rolls involving those skills. If an adventurer is familiar with a skill, they add one to their roll, and if they're knowledgeable, they add two.


Adventurers either have a lot of supplies, some supplies, a few supplies, or basically no supplies.

With a lot of supplies, adventurers can roll and if successful, find the item they were searching for in their inventory.

With some supplies, adventurers need to subtract one from their roll, and with a few supplies, they need to subtract two.

If the adventurer has basically no supplies, the adventurer can roll with no modifier, but any success leads to an item similar to what they want, but (at narrator's discretion) unsuited for the purpose for which it was intended.


Coming soon.


Coming soon.

Conflict Resolution

Whether you're using all the rules or just the roll, eventually the group of players is going to disagree about something.

Conflict resolution in Brave Old World relies on consensus: all the people playing must agree that something is valid. This most often comes into play when a player is claiming a new skill or equipment, and not all of the players agree that it's reasonable.

Gameplay Example

Just the Roll

Coming soon.

All the Rules

Coming soon.


Oats is a simple and neutral CSS theme created by emsenn.

License and Editorial Information

This document and the source code it contains are released under the MIT License and maintained at https://git.sr.ht/~emsenn/oats.

Table of Contents

Design Philosophy

The Oats theme is based on my own Brutstrap, which claims to style content as it's constructed.

However, Brutstrap is catered toward a rather stark aesthetic, to make it more readily match the brutalism advocated by David Bryant Copeland.

Oats tries to be a little softer and more friendly. While nothing about the stylesheet contradicts the brutalist priciples Copeland provides, it does a little more styling than is strictly necessary.

CSS Rules

All of Oats CSS lives in a single style-sheet, oats.css.

Base Rules

The theme's base rules are those that go with HTML tags directly.

HTML Tag Rules

Document-wide settings, including those relevant to font-styling, are declared in the html rule.

html {
  color: #444;
  background-color: <a href="/emsenn/tag:eee" class="hashtag"><span>#</span><span class="p-category">eee</span></a>;

These colors are the lowest-contrast, three-digit hex codes that still pass WCAG2 AAA.

hyphens: auto;
font-family: sans-serif;
letter-spacing: .03em;
word-spacing: .05em;
line-height: 1.4;
font-size: 1.3rem;

Adding some spacing between letters and words helps make the document feel a little more “friendly,” and makes it a little safer to use more distinctive fonts in your body text.

  transition-timing-function: ease-in;
  animation-timing-function: ease-in;

These animation timings are used by the link styling rules.

Body Tag Rules

body {
  width: 70vw;
  max-width: 40rem;
  margin: 0 auto;


Main Tag Rules

main {
  padding: 0 2em 2em;

Headline Tag Rules

H1 Tag Rules

h1 {
  font-weight: normal;
  font-size: 2.4em;
  text-shadow: 0 .05em .03em rgba(68,68,68,.3);
  margin: 0;

H2 through H6 Tag Rules

h2,h3,h4,h5,h6 {
  text-align: center;
  text-shadow: 0 .1em .03em rgba(68,68,68,.3);

a {
  color: #222;
  text-decoration: underline dotted rgba(68,68,68,.6);
  text-shadow: 0 .1em .01em rgba(68,68,68,.2);
a:visited {
  color: #444;
a:hover {
  outline-style: none;
  text-decoration: underline solid;
  animation-delay: 0.3s;
  animation: animation-pulse 0.8s infinite;
a:focus {
  outline-style: none;
  text-decoration: underline solid;
  animation-delay: 0.3s;
  animation: animation-pulse-heavy 1.2s infinite;

Partials Rules

Skip-to-Content Rules

.skipToContentLink {
  opacity: 0;
  position: absolute;

State Rules

Selection Rules

::selection {
  color: #222;
  background-color: #777;

Animation Rules

@keyframes animation-pulse {
  from, 50%,
  to { background-color: rgba(68,68,68,.2)); }
  50% { background-color: rgba(68,68,68,.1); }
@keyframes animation-pulse-heavy {
  from, 50%,
  to {
    background-color: rgba(68,68,68,.3));
  50% { background-color: rgba(68,68,68,.2); }

Demonstration HTML Document

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en" lang="en">
    <link href="https://gmpg.org/xfn/11" rel="profile">
    <meta charset="UTF-8">
    <meta name="description" content="Oats is a simple and neutral CSS theme.">
    <meta name="keywords" content="oats, css, theme">
    <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0">
    <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="./oats.css">
    <a class="skipToContentLink" href="#content">Skip to Content</a>
    <main id="content">
	Oats is a simple and neutral CSS theme.
      <section id="features">
	    <strong>Very little,</strong> honestly.


Hey y'all, my name is emsenn, and I've had an account in the Fediverse for about a year now. I've been interested in online networking for most of my life, though, so even though I haven't been in this network for that long, I have some thoughts I would like to share, especially for people who are just now going the Fediverse, or lookign to become a bit more a part of its culture.

(The “Fediverse” is a federation of networked communication platforms – Wikipedia has an article on the Fediverse.)

License and Editorial Information

This essay is released under the MIT License and maintained at https://git.sr.ht/~emsenn/cultural-guide-for-fediverse-newcomers, where a list of syndications is available.

You Can Bring It With You; Don't

A lot of people come to the Fediverse because they've become untenably frustrated with their experience on legacy social media, like Twitter or Facebook.

Moving to the Fediverse is a really great solution to that frustration! Some platforms, like Osada, are similar to Facebook. Others, like Mastodon, are like Twitter.

But be careful that you don't bring over more than you need to from those legacy platforms! It's easy to, because you're from Tumblr, boost every post you like in your Mastodon feed, but maybe that sort of signalling is what led to the culture in Tumblr you didn't like?

When using computers, it's easy to look for ways to preserve your older habits, but when communicating with people, it's important to drop those habits if they no longer serve your interests.

So before you post, or boost, think about the problems you remember from the platforms you came from, and give some thought to if you might be recreating the culture that led to those problems here.

There Isn't A Single Culture

Of course, despite your best or worst efforts, you wouldn't be able to do more than skew the culture of your part of the Fediverse: there's no unified culture to the Fediverse, due to the distributed way in which instances network.

You'll hear people bring this up to brush off criticism and musing about the Fediverse's (multitude of) culture(s), and while they're technically correct, it's usually an irrelevant point. Sure, there isn't a single culture to the whole Fediverse, but from every single user's perspective, there is.

So talking about “Fediverse culture,” is always talking about the shapeless and shifting culture that the speaker is exposed to on the Fediverse, and while it's a bit sloppy to use that shorthand, it's not going to change.

If people are talking about Fediverse culture, and you see it, on the Fediverse, they're talking (at least in part) about the culture you're a part of, and you shouldn't just brush that off.

Everything is New

Throughout this post I've been calling Facebook and Tumblr and such “legacy” social media, which is a ridiculous phrase because they're also incredibly new.

Everything to do with online communication is incredibly new, and it's important to remember that, because it means that no one is provably right. There are a lot of people with a lot of experience, whose voice is worth consideration, but we still have no real notion of how this sort of communication affects us, either individually or as a society.

So every take is a hot-take, because nothing has had time to cool off.

Focus on Your Self

The culture that will have the strongest effect on your sense of identity is the one you build inside your head, and that's determined mostly by what you're exposed to.

Make the culture of the Fediverse something you want to be exposed to – follow people who will bring you to that goal, boost and write posts that fulfill that goal, and disregard the rest.

Practical Tips

  • #UseCapsInYourHashtags so people who have their screen-text read to them hear it sensibly.
  • If you use emoji or weird unicode in your display name or change it too often, I don't like you.


Please note any “TODO” or “TK” – that means text around it is incomplete or inaccurate, such as missing a citation.

(Also if you're reading this on Wordsmith, sorry the images don't work.)

This is the encyclopedia of a fictional setting called Teraum. It's written to be compatible with the Brave Old World roleplaying game system, if you're interested in building a session in it.

License and Editorial Information

Teraum is released under the MIT License and maintained at https://git.sr.ht/~emsenn/teraum.

Table of Contents


Teraum is a world that is tremendously unexplored. While this atlas contains information on places humans are unaware of, things they are aware of are listed under their common name for the place.

The Old World has been more explored than the New World, with the former being the homeland of humans, dwarves, and orcs, while the New World is home to elves and formerly halflings.

Old World

The Old World is a diverse continent, home to many regions. Near what is thought of as its center are the Central Plains. To the north and east are the Farsteppes, beyond which are the Farfarsteppes and further east, the Worldkeepers. Southwest of the Central Plains are the Widewoods, and to the southeast is the Unseen Sea, a massive desert.

To the west of the Central Plains is the Green Delta, the most densely populated region of the Old World, and the location of Ack, humanity's capitol city.

Central Plains

The Central Plains was once the most populated region of the Old World, but the Great Wars which occurred in response to the Collapse caused massive casualities and migrations into the Green Delta and Farsteppes.


The Farsteppes is a large and sparsely-populated region of the Old World, located north and east of the Central Plains. It has few permanent settlements, as most of its population are part of migratory communities such as the Lazy Mare tribe. The largest settlement in the Farsteppes is Helmet's Dent, formerly a mining community which has grown into the trade hub between the nomadic people and the inhabitants of the Central Plains.

Castle Oru

Castle Oru is a small keep located in the Farsteppes, controlled by Renkah and her family, though the Red Ward contests the legitimacy of that government.

Helmet's Dent

Helmet's Dent is a small town in the eastern Farsteppes, which makes it practically metropolitan. It exists in a region of otherwise-uninhabited plains, a trade hub for the nomadic tribes of the region to trade wihth those in the “civilized” world.

Notably, the Cloudbound Trading Company has a large presence in the town, maintaining an airfield for their airships which transport cargo and passengers between the town, Ack, and Tayopolis.


Green Delta


The Green Delta is the center of the civilized world: a network of settlements around the area where the Green River flows into the Optic Ocean.

The region was settled when humans moved into the region from the Central Plains. Ack, the city located at the river's mouth, is the center of the Greater Ack Metropolitan Enclosure, and is the de facto capitol of human society. As of 80pc, it is controlled by the Red Ward.

About a half-mile east of Ack down the Kingsroad is Bellybrush, a large town that grew as the merchant class of Ack wanted a place to retire to.

As of 80pc, much of the Green Delta has been converted into farmland, however there are pockets of woodland, heath, and other such pleasant environments.

Arathel County

Arathel County is located in the northwest part of the Green Delta. It is a marshy and swampy region, though the southern part of the county has farmland.


Arathel is the seat of Arathel County and is located at marks 5 and 6 on the map of the Green Delta.

Northeast Arathel County

Baruk is a small farming community in northeast Arathel County.

Southeast Arathel County


The southeastern part of Arathel County is a somewhat marshy area of farmland, located at mark 4 on the map of the Green Delta.

Southwest Arathel County
Canary Docks

The Canary Docks are a small smugglers port north of Ack, located at 1 on the map of the Green Delta.


Kibbil is a small village in southwest Arathel County located at mark 2 on the map of the Green Delta.

Honeyfern Laboratories


Honeyfern Laboratories is a large estate centered around a wooden house in southern Arathel County. It is secretly the home of the Delvers, and prominently the home of Aldous Honeyfern and his business partner Barnabus Trent.

Greater Ack Metropolitan Enclosure


The Greater Ack Metropolitan Enclosure is a recently established region within the Green Delta, centered around Ack and Bellybrush.



Ack was founded several centuries ago as a place for fisherman to compare the sizes of their catches. After being controlled by several empires through its history, Ack is now controlled by the Red Ward. As of 80pc, Ack is being reconstructed after a tremendous fire, with it being integrated into what the Red Ward is calling the Greater Ack Metropolitan Enclosure.

The city itself is divided into seventeen wards. Each ward prides itself on its local culture, with many having distinct architectural styles. Prior to 75pc, the wards were governed individually, by “merchant kings,” and several maintain an internal government for services like security, firefighting, and mail.

  • Copper Ward

  • Red Ward

    *Marker 1 on the Green Delta map.* The Red Ward is one of Ack's oldest wards.

  • 2: Northward

  • 3: Astar Ward

  • 8: Dock Ward

  • 9: Squashward

Copper Ward
  • 14: Brass Ward

  • 17: Kingsroad

  • 26: Eastgate



Bellybrush is the primary suburb of Ack, located about a half mile east along the Kingsroad. It began as a retirement community for the fisherfolk of Ack, and quickly grew to a hog farming community, to sustain the retired fisherfolk.

Gibbet Street
  • The Gibbet

    At the south end of Gibbet Street, #1 on the map of Bellybrush, is a barren gibbet: two tall poles straddling the street, with a thick board slung between them. The pools are covered in death masks, a mundane treasure that is used to remember those put to death.

  • Masked Mortuary

    This small workshop is where Daxol and his son Arandul Nabrish live, working to create the local death masks: a mundane treasure created for criminals who are put to death, the main method of justice in this part of Bellybrush. The masks are created using a wax cast made of the deceased's face, that is then artfully distorted before setting.

Ye Olde Curio Shop



Bellybrush Red Ward Job Board

The Red Ward Job Board is a place where folk can commission labor, organized by the Red Ward.

Bellybrush Market

Bellybrush Sewers


Beggar's Alley

The Wynd

Green River


The Kingsroad is a road that runs from Ack to the Central Plains, following the Green River.

Pled County



Sherwyn County

Northwest Sherwyn County


Bafeld Estate

The Bafeld Estate is a vegetable farm and fruit orchard in northwest Sherwyn County. As of 80pc, it is being audited by Ormed on behalf of the Red Ward.

Chauntean Monastery


Built in 1200bc on top of a natural spring, the Chautean monastery is a one storey stone building with wooden floors and ceilings. A tall wall hems an overgrown rose garden. The forest road leading the monastery is peppered with similar rose bushes (mark 5 on the map of northwest Sherwyn County.


The Everquench is an inn located on the northwest end of the road going northwest to southeast through the northwest Sherwyn County. It's a single storey stone-walled building, with a white tile roof. Behind the bar is a collection of tankards from inns across the Green Delta, and some more distant lands. There are a few small rooms with wooden cots for rent, and several hammocks in the common room.

Aladrien is the proprietor and owner. Frequent patrons include Bertio, the mercenary, Marger, a sad widow, and Ormed, an accountant visiting from the Red Ward, who is auditing the Bafeld Estate.

5: Arathel

6: Old Arathel
7: Baruk
8: Hunnul Passenger Cabin Crash Site
9: Hunnul Cargo Cabin Crash Site.
10: Hunnul Crew Cabin Crash Site

Marker 12 on the Green Delta map. Known for its apiculture.

13: Northwest Sherwyn
is home to several pubs and small farms.
14: Terro
15: Dorth
16: Forlond
17: Erenin
18: Carrot Docks
20: Nulbuk
21: Dorth
22: Sharrin
23: Alindest
24: Arlonest
27: Eridrin


29: Wafeld
31: Sherwyn

Marby County


Unseen Sea






New World


Halfling Country


Wattsman's Medicinal

Optic Ocean




Prehistory is that period of time from when the gods first buried the Worldkeep deep under Teraum, in 54000bc to when humans formed their first empire in 500bc.


The gods from across the multiverse come together to create the Worldkeep, a zoo and prison for notable living creatures, deep inside Teraum, and raise the Worldkeeper mountains around it.


A crack forms in the Worldkeep's outer wall, allowing some of the species held within to escape to the Widewoods in the Old World.

Giant spiders were the first species to settle in the region, followed by by goblins, orcs, dwarves, and finally, humans.

Another crack allows elves and halflings to escape into the Elflands and Halfling Country in the Old World, respectively.


Farsteppes. A tribe of nomadic humans, part of a larger community of tribes, invents fermented mares' milk. Over the next few centuries, they develop their craft and become known as the Lazy Mare Tribe, for their habit to lag behind their community's migration.


Central Plains. Dwarves move into the Central Plains, and start to develop a unique culture as hill dwarves.

Green Delta. A monastery is built by human monks in the Green Delta, in honour of their goddess of agriculture, Chauntea.

Early History

Early history covers from 500bc to 73bc. Its start is marked by the founding of the Indenon Empire in the Central Plains, and its end is marked by the construction of the Red Ward in Ack.

490bc¶ Indenon. Indenon empire coalesces in the southwestern part of the Central Plains.

480bc¶ Hill Dwarves v. Indenon. Indenon fights against the dwarves.

470bc¶ Astar. Astar empire coalesces in the northern half of the Green Delta.

468bc¶ Astar v. Indenon. Astar attacks Indenon, looking to seize land.

439bc¶ Rolense. Rolense empire coalesces in the southern half of the Green Delta.

432bc¶ Rolense v. Astar. Rolense attacks Astar for control over The Green's outlet

422bc¶ 19th of Winter¶ Indenon v. Astar. A very successful espionage cripples Indenon. All metal in the city melts.

Midsummer¶ Lorrestar. Lorrestar, a wizard, is granted Astarian nobility after successfully destroying Indenon.

414bc¶ Astar v. Indenon Astar and Indenon make peace.

412bc¶ Rolense v. Indenon Rolense and Astar make peace, with Rolense in control of the Green outlet.

401bc¶ Lorrestar. Lorrestar is rewarded by the Astar with land to the northeast of Ack.

368bc¶ Goblins v. Rolense. Rolense is sacked by goblins from the Wide Woods.

323bc¶ Hill Dwarves v. Indenon. The Dwarves move out of the Central Plains, pushed out by humans.

287bc¶ Lorrestar. Lorrestar builds his estate in the Green Delta.

250bc¶ Ack. Ack first begins to form, known for its smoked fish. Captains who retired to farm the fertile Delta Green would lean their decomissioned vessels against the walls surrounding the town.

182bc¶ Lorrestar. Writes and publishes A Series of Unfortunate Spells.

160bc¶ Ack. The Red Ward, constructed from the red clay of the Green Delta, is built on the north shore of Ack.

The Magical Revolution

72bc to 1bc¶ 72bc¶ New World. Human explorers discover what they call the New World.

70bc¶ New World. Humans meet the halflings.

69bc¶ New World. Humans meet the elves.

65bc¶ New World. The first permanent colony, New Rolense, is established in the New World.

58bc¶ Goblins v. Rolense Rolense relinquishes control over the Wide Woods.


53bc¶ Ack. The government in Ack collapses, and Rolense loses control of the city. The wards become self-governing regions.

51bc¶ Astar. Astar takes control of Ack.

44bc¶ Astar v. Rolense. Astar sieges Ack.

23bc¶ Astar v. Rolense. Rolense fully surrenders to the Astar. The Astar now control the entire Green Delta.

22bc¶ The Delvers. Rickle Axager founds the Delvers, an adventuring group.

18bc¶ Ack. A census places Ack's population at 80,000.

16bc¶ Ack. Rickle Axager publishes the Pocket Guide to Adventuring.

12bc¶ Lorrestar. Cooking with Taako, a VHS collection of his hit Faerun cooking show, appears on a shelf in Lorrestar's library.

2bc¶ Ack. Rickle Axager publishes the second edition of the Pocket Guide to Adventuring.

The Collapse

0pc to 15pc¶ 0pc¶ 1st of Deepwinter¶ The Collapse. In an event later dubbed the Collapse, magic left the world. Conveniently for historians, it occured at exactly midnight on the 1st of Deepwinter.

Central Plains. Without magical artifacts, the stalemate between kingdoms breaks.

Unseen Sea. The wizard kings of the Unseen Sea, without magic, find their geography inhospitable, and quickly turn to war.

Wide Woods. The goblins and spiders and other creatures which infected these woods disappear.

Elflands. The elves become feral, and roam the woods in packs like wolves.

Halfling Country. Halflings became really stupid.

Worldkeepers. The dwarven cities in the Worldkeeper mountain range shut their doors.

Lorrestar & Jelf. In an estate in the then-prosperous Ackian Delta, a wizard librarian named Lorrestar and his apprentice took refuge in a pocket universe built within their estate. The estate gains a reputation for killing adventurers who enter.

2pc¶ Ack. A census places Ack's population at 120,000.

4pc¶ Halfling Country. 80% of the halflings have been killed by now-feral elves.

6pc¶ The Delvers. Rickle Axager publishes the third edition of the Pocket Guide to Adventurers.

9pc¶ Ack. A census places Ack's population at 70,000.

New Rolense. Elves kill humans in the settlements outside New Rolense.

12pc¶ Indenon v. Astar. The Kingdom of Astar is attacked by the Kingdom of Indenon.

14pc¶ Ack. A census places Ack's population at 90,000.

15pc¶ Unseen Sea. The last of the wizard kings dies.

Halfling Country. Astar claims ownership of the Halfling Country.

Chauntea. Her monastery in the Delta Green has their charter cancelled by Sherwyn, the local kingdom. (Marker 22 on the Bellybrush County map.)

The Lull

0pc to 15pc¶ 0pc¶ 1st of Deepwinter¶ The Collapse. In an event later dubbed the Collapse, magic left the world. Conveniently for historians, it occured at exactly midnight on the 1st of Deepwinter.

Central Plains. Without magical artifacts, the stalemate between kingdoms breaks.

Unseen Sea. The wizard kings of the Unseen Sea, without magic, find their geography inhospitable, and quickly turn to war.

Wide Woods. The goblins and spiders and other creatures which infected these woods disappear.

Elflands. The elves become feral, and roam the woods in packs like wolves.

Halfling Country. Halflings became really stupid.

Worldkeepers. The dwarven cities in the Worldkeeper mountain range shut their doors.

Lorrestar & Jelf. In an estate in the then-prosperous Ackian Delta, a wizard librarian named Lorrestar and his apprentice took refuge in a pocket universe built within their estate. The estate gains a reputation for killing adventurers who enter.

2pc¶ Ack. A census places Ack's population at 120,000.

4pc¶ Halfling Country. 80% of the halflings have been killed by now-feral elves.

6pc¶ The Delvers. Rickle Axager publishes the third edition of the Pocket Guide to Adventurers.

9pc¶ Ack. A census places Ack's population at 70,000.

New Rolense. Elves kill humans in the settlements outside New Rolense.

12pc¶ Indenon v. Astar. The Kingdom of Astar is attacked by the Kingdom of Indenon.

14pc¶ Ack. A census places Ack's population at 90,000.

15pc¶ Unseen Sea. The last of the wizard kings dies.

Halfling Country. Astar claims ownership of the Halfling Country.

Chauntea. Her monastery in the Delta Green has their charter cancelled by Sherwyn, the local kingdom. (Marker 22 on the Bellybrush County map.)

The Great Wars

The Great Wars were a series of human conflicts in the Central Plains and to a lesser extent the Green Delta. Triggered by the invasion of the Indenon Empire by the Astar Empire in 60pc, the wars defined the next twelve years.


The Astar Empire uses its navy, developed to protect trade between Ack and Gnalens, to attack the Indenon Empire to the north.


In the Farsteppes, a boy named Freke is born. 63pc¶ Renkah. Renkah gives birth to Kolpe, her first son.

Bonnet. Stede Bonnet becomes familiar with the rooftops of Gnalens, serving as a courier for his family. Stede enjoys racing Stanley, the middle-aged courier who prefers sidewalks and carriages.

64pc¶ Bonnet. The last Bonnet mill in the Southwoods closes.


65pc¶ Invention. Steam engine invented in Ack.

Ack. A census places Ack's population at 150,000.

Bonnet. Stanley, the last of the household staff, resigns.

Glavin the White. This is the historically agreed upon peak of King Glavin the White's empire. He controlled from Lake Pled to the Optic Ocean.

Renkah. Renkah gives birth to triplets: Ronna, Donna, and Tonna, all girls.

66pc¶ Bonnet. Jaquese and Letrise Bonnet die.

King Glavin the White. King Glavin the White's best knights vanish on a patrol to north of Ack.

Lorrestar & Jelf. Jelf kills Lorrestar, who was becoming a nothic, and assumes Lorrestar's identity.

Jenos Anadini. Leaves the Second Battle for Enrich's Mill. Presumed missing or dead by his family.


In Arathel County, Ack's Merchant Kings attack King Glavin the White.

In Ack, in the Copper Ward, a start-up is founded. They use popcorn to shield packages they shoot via pneumatic tube from Ward to Ward.

In the Unseen Sea, Renkah gives birth to a son, Rual. 69pc¶ Bonnet. The Bonnet Estate is condemned by the Governor.

Renkah. Renkah begins to travel over the Worldkeepers, the vast mountains bounding the eastern edge of the world.

70pc¶ Invention. Someone has invented zeppelins, and commercial airships help transport vital goods across the long distances previously bridged by magic. Travel time between the Old and New World falls to about 8 weeks. And a de facto global capital begins to form. The hub of the industrial revolution on the Old World’s western coast, an overgrown fishing port grew too fast to even be properly named. Everyone calls it Ack, after the sound you make when you hit the wall of pollution which encloses the city’s maze of wards.

Bellybrush. Nell the orphan is found on the steps of Mother Jatha's Orphanage. (Marker 26 on the Bellybrush map.)

Renkah. Renkah's husband dies while traversing the Worldkeepers.


In Ack, a census counts the population at 190,000 humans, and Glavin the White surrenders his title in exchange for piece with the Merchant Kings. The Cloudbound Trading Company constructs the airship Hunnul.

Reconstruction Era

72pc¶ Gnalens. The current Governor is elected.

Renkah Renkah's daughter Ronna begins to study martial arts from the nearby nomads.

73pc¶ Glavin the White. Glavin the White dies and Glavinkeep is renamed Caer Pled as a sign of submission to the Red Ward. The Northroad is established as Pled's western border.

Hunnul. The airship Hunnul is built by the Cloudbound Trading Company.

Renkah. Renkah settles in an abandoned catle in the Farsteppes, and names it after the mythical Castle Oru.

74pc¶ Bellybrush. The Bellybrush Review runs an expose demonstrating the Red Ward does not provide any services.

Greengrass¶ Caer Pled. Caer Pled and its farms are placed under the control of Governor Knurri Storzand.


In Ack, a census counts the population at 220,000 humans. Bureaucrats from the Red Ward began invoicing the gentry of other wards for miscellanous services that were so abstract, no one could prove they weren't being done. The gentry passed these fines on to their subordinates as taxes. By the end of the year, almost all residents of Ack are paying some amount to the Red Ward.

In Bellybrush, the editors of the Bellybrush Review were hung for libel.

At Castle Oru, Renkah gives birth to Ekunit, the first of her children born in the castle. 76pc¶ Gnalens. Ander Falone replaces the previous Lt. Governor. Albert Wattsman, properietor of Wattsman's Medicinal, dies of natrual causes.

Bellybrush. Nell begins recovering items for Barnabus Trent.

77pc¶ Farsteppes. The last barony, House Ellon, in the Farsteppes collapses. Rumors spread of a Last Baron, hiding from his enemies.



In Ack, a census places the population at 245,000 humans.

In the Green Delta, at the Chauntean Monastery, four bandits move in: Krieg, Queg, Breg, and Greg.

In Gnalens, the abandoned Wattsman's Medicinal almost collapses.

Farsteppes. The signet ring of House Ellon is sold to two merchants, Kindal's parents, in the Lazy Mare Tribe.

10th of Highsun¶ Gnalens. The Governor of Gnalens, which has become the largest city by far in the New World, travels from Gnalens to Ack to pay the city’s first invoice. He stays in the Red Ward, leaving control of Gnalens to the Lieutenant Governor, Ander Falone.

79pc¶ Farsteppes. The Red Ward expands into the area once controlled by the Farsteppes baronies.

12th of Rotting¶ Halfling Country. A group of farmers living in the Reyny canton recover the Fisher Staff from a halfling burrow. They send it to

22nd of Leaffall¶ Renkah. An accountant named Thomas from the Red Ward comes to Castle Oru with an invoice. Renkah takes Thomas hostage.

10th of Drawing¶ Gnalens. The Fisher Staff arrives at the Reyny Estate.

80pc¶ 12th of Deepwinter¶ Gnalens. The Vagrant overhears Marcus Reyny bragging about the Fisher Staff.

14th of Deepwinter¶ Bellybrush. The Chandler's Guild buys the old Bellybrush Review press.

Midwinter¶ Gnalens. The Vagrant steals the Fisher Staff from the Reyny Estate in what becomes known as the Reyny Heist.

8th of Winter¶ Gnalens. Rumors of the Reyny Heist begin to spread.

9th of Winter¶ Gnalens. The Gnalens Gazette runs an article on the Reyny Heist.

10th of Winter¶ Gnalens. The Vagrant disassembles the Fisher Staff.

20th of Winter¶ Gnalens. The Vagrant fences most of the Fisher Staff.

22nd of Winter¶ Gnalens. The Vagrant's hideout is raided, but he gets away.

24th of Winter¶ Gnalens. The Vagrant fences the rest of the Fisher Staff, except one segment.

27th of Winter¶ Gnalens. The Vagrant begins casing the Governor's mansion.

5th of Sunsets¶ Brother Sun. Brother Sun returns to his monastery from an expedition with a mysterious putty.

6th of Sunsets¶ Brother Sun. Preliminary testing of the putty by Brother Sun and his monkmates identify several properties of the putty. It gets warm when pressure is applied, and if lit on fire, will burn for an exceedingly long period of time.

7th of Sunsets¶ Gnalens. The Vagrant is arrested on False charges. While detained, Ander Falone recruits him to travel to Ack to kill the Governor of Gnalens.

8th of Sunsets¶ Gnalens. At 10am, the Vagrant, as Wayne Helder, swindles a launder in west Gnalens.

At 11am, the Vagrant visits Old Mother Agnes, and at her request, joins Henry Camden to retrieve a wagon stuck in a ditch.

At noon, unusually large ravens attack Camden and the Vagrant.

At 6pm, the Vagrant awakes in Old Mother Agnes' living room and is informed Camden was not a human and is dead. He is offered three yes/no answers to his questions. He learns that Mother Agnes is not punishment for him swindling the launder, that magic exists in the New World, and the Governor of Gnalens deserves to die.

At 11pm, the Vagrant breaks into the Governor's Mansion in Gnalens. He confronts Ander Falone, and is detained and escorted to the police station.

9th of Sunsets¶ Gnalens. At midnight, Lt. Gov. Ander Falone meets with the Vagrant at the police station. Ander Falone explains what he expects the Vagrant to do. The Vagrant is released returns to his squat in west Gnalens.

9th of Storms¶ One Route. Ilea, Brother Sun, and the Vagrant (as and hereafter Wayne Helder) board the One Route in Gnalens, bound for Ack.

12th of Storms¶ Bellybrush. Nubbles recovers the Big Book of Mishaps & Misfortunes and sells it to Barnabus Trent.


14th of Storms¶ Bellybrush. Barnabus Trent detects magic on the Big Book of Mishaps & Misfortunes and, knowing this decides not to read the book, storing it in his vault.

Ack. The Red Ward scriveners spying on Barnabus Trent in Bellybrush learn he has a book he has not read for them.

19th of Melting¶ One Route. Wayne Helder steals the mysterious putty from Brother Sun's cabin. His experimentation reveals that if a sedative poison is applied, the putty creates a poisonous cloud.

24th of Melting¶ Farsteppes. Kindal leaves his tribe with a large shipment of furs, leather, and horn, with plans to take it from Helmet's Dent to Ack aboard the Hunnul. He also possesses the signet ring of House Ellon, though he does not know what it is.

3rd of Flowers¶ Helmet's Dent. A man named Nash Celson asks Renkah, Freke, and Jenos to kill bandits in his family home, on promise of great gold if he gets it. (This is a hook for the Celson Estate Adventure.)

On the way there, they fight a boar, just barely winning. Jenos accidentally shoots Renkah in the leg.

6th of Flowers¶ Bellybrush. Nubbles the thief sells the Big Book of Mishaps & Misfortune to Barnabus Trent. Trent notices the book is magical, and puts it in his vault before reading it.

8th of Flowers¶ Bellybrush. The Chandler's Guild realizes Barnabus Trent has not read a book he acquired, and use imps to try and find it in Ye Olde Curio Shop. Trent begins to notice things missing or moved in his shop.

The Delvers, Act 1


80 years after the Collapse humans began to settle into their role as the only sentient species. The Red Ward operating out of Ack started centralizing humanity's governments and trade, while guilds rose to handle the day-to-day industry in a post-magic world.

12th of Blooming, 80pc

1100h, 12th of Blooming, 80pc

The airship Hunnul, chartered by the Cloudbound Trading Company, launches from the small town of Helmet's Dent in the Farsteppes. Due to weather, it foregoes its normal stop in Tayopolis. Renkah, Freke, Kindal, and Jenos Anadini are passengers.

1600h, 12th of Blooming, 80pc

Over the northeast Green Delta, the airship Hunnul is attacked by unusually large ravens, causing it to crash. During the descent, Renkah, Freke, Kindal and Jenos are teleported into a long concrete hallway where Jerry the Nowit lives. Jerry requests a book from the party. He also harms them with his vision, and attacks Jenos upon learning they do not have the book he is looking for.

Teleporting back to the crash site moments after impact, the four discover they are the only survivors. They collect the belongings they can find, and head to the main road and nearest town, Bellybrush, the largest suburb of Ack.

13th of Blooming


In Bellybrush, Kindal uses the Red Ward Job Board to recruit Ross Camden to recover some of his belongings from the crash site of the Hunnul's cargo bay. They encounter fascists, who are fearful to enter the crash site because of the nearby unusually large ravens.


In Bellybrush, a beggar named Budlock discovers a body with the face ripped off of it in Beggar's Alley.


Barnabus Trent puts a listing on the Red Ward Job Board seeking helping with Ye Olde Curio Shop


The One Route spots Ack.

14th of Blooming, 80pc


Ack. At 11am, the One Route docks. Wayne Helder, Brother Sun, and Ilea leave the ship early and are greated by Elo, a member of the Chandler's Guild pretending to represent the Red Ward. He guides them into a “customs office,” where they are greeted by Wybert. Ilea assumes the identity of Atrix Hucklebee, a blacksmith. Wayne is escorted to a different office because he is noble, and locked in. Ilea and Brother Sun are locked into yet another office. Ilea and Brother Sun escape first.

At noon, Ilea starts a fire in the Dock Ward. Ilea and Brother Sun escape by taking the road east out of town toward Bellybrush. (Marker 17 on the Ack map.) Wayne escapes by boarding the One Route.

By 1pm, the Squash Ward has burnt. Wayne disembarks at the Carrot Docks and begins walking toward Bellybrush. (Marker 18 on the Green Delta map.)

By 2pm, the Copper Ward has burnt.

By 3pm, most of the city is rioting. Every market is burnt.

By 4pm, the Red Ward had started offering debt forgiveness for labor to quell the fire.

By 5pm, the fire has begun to be contained.

By 6pm, people begin to speculate the cause of the fire. Most from the surrounding wards suspect it to be due to a sing-sing lab in the Dock Ward. Some guild memebers suspect it was the Cloudbound Trading Company trying to eliminate competitors. Some conspiratorial types suspect it to have been the Red Ward's attempt to burn the rest of the city and rebuild.

By 8pm, the fire was mostly extinguished. The Red Ward has negotiated with the Chandler's Guild to handle the distribution of goods.

In total, 12,000 people lost their lives and 80,000 were displaced. Elo died. Wybert transfered to the Chandler's Guild in Bellybrush.

Bellybrush. At 3pm, Ilea and Brother Sun meet Richie on the road from Ack to Bellybrush.

At 4pm Ilea and Brother Sun arrive in Bellybrush. They visit Opal's Tavern.

At half past 4pm, Jenos & Kindal meet Richie. The first refugees arrive from Ack.

Wayne Helder meets with Ilea and Brother Sun at Opal's Tavern at 5pm. Wayne Helder returns the mysterious putty to Brother Sun.

At 4pm, Jenos & Kindal visit Ye Olde Curio Shop. (Marker 33 on Bellybrush map.) They meet Barnabus Trent. He asks them to guard his shop overnight. Jenos & Kindal agree, and go to the Waterfront Fletcher. (Marker 37 on the Bellybrush map.)

At 5pm, Aldar Honeyfern arrives in Bellybrush and shortly after, lists a job on the Red Ward Job Board to recover items from his research laboratory.

At 6pm they return to Ye Olde Curio Shop. When they arrive, Siggrian Greymane is berating Barnabus Trent about a pair of dice. The argument is actually cover for the imps digging into Trent's basement.

By 7pm, every room in Bellybrush is booked.

\page¶ Chauntea. At 6pm Ilea, Brother Sun, and Wayne Helder arrive at the Chauntean Monastery southeast of town. (Marker 5 on the Sherwyn, Northwest map.) They kill three occupying bandits, Greg, Breg, and Queg. They take one bandit, Craig, hostage. Ilea excuses herself to explore the property and grounds. While she is exploring the area around the monastery, she sees a badgerdillo and successfully fights a boarqupine. She continues exploring the woods, discovering nothing.

Meanwhile, Wayne notices Chauntea at the bottom of a well, aided by the hallucinogen he adds to his pipe. (Marker 21 on the Chauntean Monastery map.) She cannot sense his presence, but he can hear her repeating, “Hello? Is anyone there? Hello?”

He relays his vision to Brother Sun, who deduces Chauntea's identity, and suggests that they trim the rose bushes, as a form of worship. (Marker 22 on the Chauntean Monastery map.) Before tending to the roses, they bury Greg, whose corpse was in the roses.

From 7pm until 9pm, Brother Sun and Wayne dig a grave and tend to roses. At 9pm, Wayne returns to the well. Chauntea can now hear him, and the two have a conversation. She states that she has not had visitors in a long time, and thanks Wayne for tending to her roses.

At 10pm, Wayne wakes Craig up. Craig, still hallucinating, mistakes Wayne for Greg and Brother Sun for Breg. Wayne says he's going to kill Craig, and then says that was a joke. The conversation continues, while Craig has mood swings.

After a while, Craig realizes Wayne and Brother Sun are not Greg and Breg, and seems to become aware of his possible futures. After some more conversation with Wayne, Craig becomes resigned to the fact he will die.

Wayne and Brother Sun have a moral crisis, and decide to release him. The situation is awkward. After Craig has already begun to walk away from his home, Wayne calls him back. Brother Sun and Wayne explain that Craig can stay in the monastery, as they will be moving on for a few days. Craig becomes upset that they killed his friends for no reason. Brother Sun adds the condition that Craig must be a farmer if he stays at the monastery, to appease Chauntea. Brother Sun specifies that the party will be moving on in a few days anyway, to go “clear” more temples and monasteries. Wayne and Craig look at Brother Sun like he's crazy.

Craig leaves, saying he needs to get some beer and collect himself. Ilea arrives back at the monastery dragging her dead boarqupine while Wayne and Brother Sun are still outside. This is where their story ends.

15th of Blooming

0100h, 15th of Blooming, 80pc

In Bellybrush, Jenos Anadini and Kindal are attacked by imps while guarding Ye Olde Curio Shop. The imps leave when Barnabus Trent enters the room, and shortly after every goes to bed.

0700h, 15th of Blooming, 80pc

In Bellybrush, at Ye Olde Curio Shop, Barnabus Trent suggests to Jenos Anadini, Kindal, Renkah, and Freke that they should explore Lorrestar's Estate. He suggests that there, they might find books about imps.

At noon, they arrive at Lorrestar's Estate. At 2pm, they dispel magic using the device in the foyer and fight with Jelf, and he appears to die, but this is not verified. At 9pm, Jenos sneezes while reading a spellbook on prestidigitation and ice cubes come out of his hand.

16th of Blooming, 80pc


In southern Arathel County, Jenos Anadini, Kindal, and Renkah encounter a fascist and discover Freke had been killed. They travel back to Bellybrush, arriving at Ye Olde Curio Shop around 1400h.


In Bellybrush, at the Ye Olde Curio Shop, Barnabus Trent gives Renkah a wineskin, Jenos the easy-smoking pipe, and Kindal the fancy fur coat.

In the Bellybrush market, a small fight breaks out.


Jenos, Renkah, and Kindal discover a recently-dug hole in the basement wall of Ye Olde Curio Shop. They enter it and begin exploring the sewers under Bellybrush. They find a room with an entrance to a staircase, where they fight and kill a human brigand and two cloaked individuals, whose bodies disappeared upon death. The cloaked individuals were darklings, working for the Cloudbound Trading Company. They barricade themselves in the room.

Meanwhile, the clerks of the Chandler's Guild, who occupy the building above that room, hear the commotion and pack up their printing press, planning to move their operations to Marby. As they escape, they fill the stairwell leading to the sewers with melted wax.


In Bellybrush, clerks with the Red Ward arrive and set up two tent encampments, constructing a small fort in the southern camp to organize the distribution of water and food. They also distribute letters offering debt-forgiveness in exchange for labor and supplies to the town's residents, including Barnabus Trent.


In Bellybrush, an anonymous human corpse is found behind the Wynd.


A large scuffle occurs in the Bellybrush town market. Peacekeepers deployed by the fort in the southern Red Ward camp settle the brawl.


A fire starts in the Bellybrush town market, but is quickly extinguished by firefighters from the northern Red Ward camp.

17th of Blooming, 80pc

The Red Ward begins to set up refugee camps in the area around Ack, dubbing it the Greater Ack Metropolitan Enclosure.





Aladrien is the owner and proprietor of the Everquench inn in northwest Sherwyn County. His parents were killed in the Great Wars, so he has great anti-fascist sentiments.

Aldous Honeyfern

Aldous Honeyfern is a researcher who specializes in the development of mundane power sources and transfer devices. As of 80pc, he lives at Honeyfern Laboratories in southern Arathel County.

Atrix Hucklebee

Atrix Hucklebee is a member of the Chandler's Guild who claims to be a member of the Blacksmith's Guild, and is actually a clerk of the Red Ward.

Barnabus Trent

Barnabus Trent is the de facto leader of the Delvers and former owner of Ye Olde Curio Shop in Bellybrush. As of 80pc, he lives at Honeyfern Laboratories in southern Arathel County.


Bertio is a mercenary in the Green Delta who can often be found at the Everquench inn.


Breg is a bandit and farmer living in northwest Sherwyn County.


Budlock is a homeless person in Bellybrush, and a scout for the Delvers.


Donna is one of Renkah's children.


Ekunit, daughter of Renkah, was born at Castle Oru in 75pc.


Greg is a bandit and farmer living in northwest Sherwyn County.





Kindal is a member of the Lazy Mare tribe who served as one of their traders through his teen years and early twenties.





Kolpe, eldest son of Renkah, is the governor of House Oru, living and working at Castle Oru.


Krieg is a bandit and farmer living in northwest Sherwyn County.



Jenos Anadini


Jerry the Nowit

The Last Baron

The Last Baron is the rumored last surviving member of House Ellon.


Marger is a widow whose husband mysteriously vanished.


Ormed is an accountant working for the Red Ward. As of 80pc they are charged with auditing the Bafeld Estate in northwest Sherwyn County.


Queg is a bandit and farmer living in northwest Sherwyn County.








Ronna is one of Renkah's children.

Ross Camden

Ross Camden is a warrior/adventurer in the Green Delta.


Rual, son of Renkah, was born in 68pc, in the Unseen Sea as his mother began to migrate through the Worldkeepers.







Freke was a human hermit who lived in the Farfarsteppes before emigrating to Bellybrush in 80pc, where he was murdered by an anonymous member of the local fascist movement.

Glavin the White

Glavin the White was a leader in the Green Delta during the Reconstruction Era.


Stevie was a human steward for the Cloudbound Trading Company who died during the crash of the airship Hunnul, after Renkah ripped the cockpit from the rest of the vessel.






Giant Spiders






Unusually Large Ravens


There are a number of objects which exist in the world which are notable for one or more reasons. Many of these items are, or were, magical, but many are notable for entirely mundane reasons.

Apparel and Accessories

Every sapient species of Teraum has created artifacts of note. This is a catalog of all that are known.

Awareness Frames

The awareness frames are a pair of thick-framed glasses. They give the wearer a knack for investigating.

Arcane Trickster's Glove

The arcane trickster's glove is a white leather glove with sloppy navy stitching. It gives its wearer a knack for using magic covertly.

Bendbak's Tea Cube

A small cube of metal which, when placed in a tea cup of liquid, will heat the liquid to hot-tea temperature.

Cloak of the Manta Ray

This slick leather cloak enables the wearer to breathe underwater, and makes them exceptional at swimming.

Dancing Slippers

These plain leather flats enable the wearer to dance as though familiar with the style they're attempting.

Sir Fresh

A small gnome which is inanimate (and unaware of the passage of time) until needed, at which point it will use the brush and solvents it carries to thoroughly clean something. It is a very small gnome, so it takes a very long time to clean things that are large.

Otto's Dancing Slippers

Once worn for more than a few minutes, the wearer will feel a very strong compulsion to dance and move about, which they will find unusually exhausting.

The wearer may risk a case of nerves to remove them.

Defender's Dial

A belt with a dial in the middle containing three images: a flame, an ice cube, and a lightning bolt. Once a day, the belt will grant the wearer resistance against a certain type for 5 minutes depending on what it is set to: A flame: fire resistance An ice cube: frost resistance Lightning bolt: lightning resistance

Fancy Fur Coat

The Fancy Fur Coat, like all fur coats, was once a living creature. This particular creature could not part with its skin, and on the anniversary of its death, returns to life to attack the wearer and anyone else in the area for the next hour, unless banished. Destroying the Fancy Fur Coat will break the curse.

Featherweight Cuirass

A piece of torso armor covered in dark gray feathers. It contains the same AC as the owner's current armor, but grants the wearer +3 to Acrobatic checks.

Fletcher's Mitt

A green-clothed glove that allows the user to avoid or catch a projectile. It gives the wearer a +1 AC against all ranged non-magical attacks. If the wearer completely avoids the attack, the user catches the projectile.

Glasses of Lightning Comprehension

These glasses allow the wearer to read and comprehend any text that is an a language the user knows 10 times faster.

Location: worn by Barnabus Trent.

Haunted Doll

A very creepy looking doll. When the owner of this doll fails a third death saving throw, the doll will die in place of its owner.

Lens of Straight Creeping

A monocle that allows the user to once a day see the footprints of a specific person or creature that has been within the area.

Monkey Belt

This belt is made of silver monkeys, each holding the next one's tail. The wearer gains a knack for acrobatics. It is rumored that when magical, the belt allowed the wearer to grow a temporary prehensile tail.

Phantom Fist

A guantlet that grants the user +1 to unarmed attack rolls. When successful, the target must succeed a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or be knocked back 2d4 feet.

Plastic Sheriff's Badge

Adds +3 to deception skill checks when impersonating a person of authority.

Slippies of Haste

Footwear that resemble house slippers with small aesthetic wings attached on the heel. These slippers give the wearer Advantage on initiative rolls.

Trendy Choker

This necklace gives the wearer the benefits of a necklace of adaptation. However, once attuned, it slowly chokes the wearer. They must pass a DC25 Strength check or be choked to death.


Diadem of Fabulous Truthiness

Once per day, the wearer can use this simple circlet to cast a version of the spell Zone of Truth. This will not cost the wearer a spell slot and will only target one creature as opposed to a radius.

The Physician's Pendant

A pendant with a small red cross imbued on it. After casting a spell that restores a creatures hit points, the wearer rolls a d20. On a 16 or higher roll, the spell does not cost the user a spell slot.

Strongmaus' Laughing Amulet

Traditionally worn by a high priest of the boisterous and jovial, smiling God. The amulet carries the image of a stylized human face, mouth open in laughter. Whenever a foe is defeated, the wearer may activate the amulet by tapping it twice and then delivering the best taunting joke or victorious one-liner applicable to the current situation. If the jest pleases Stronmaus (DM), he rewards the adventurer by recharging up to 1d10+Con hp. But Stronmaus is a fickle god; jokes that fail are punished with a small bolt of lightning, dealing 1d6 lightning damage per failure.

Band of Projected Thought

A small, circular bracelet. The wearer can communicate telepathically with any creature they can see within 30ft of them.

Copper Bracelets

These matching copper bracelets cast haste on the wearer for the first minute after they're put on. This ability must be used one a day.

After the bracelet's haste ability has been used, they age the wearer one year.

Tarantula's Bracelet

Once per day, this bracelet allows the the wearer to perform the spell Spider Climb on themselves for 10 minutes, allowing for Advantage on Stealth checks when climbing.

True Heart Clasp

A small clasp that can be fastened onto the user's ear, allowing the user to know someone's true intentions. This gives the wearer Advantage and +2 on all Insight checks.

Alchemist Ring

When the wearer of this ring imbibes a healing potion, they recieve an additional 1d6 hit points.

Ring of Frost

A blue steel ring that is cool to the touch. When the wearer is holding any beverage in the same hand as the one with the ring, the beverage becomes frosty and refreshing. The ring also grants the user resistance against Frost damage… though its main purpose is for frosty beverages.

Ring of the Giant Slayer

A plain copper ring that grants the wearer a +1 AC and +1 to attack rolls against any enemy in the “large” or bigger size category.

Ring of the Grammarian

The wearer of this ring can, once a day, alter one letter on a spell's title to alter the spell being cast for a different effect:

Example: – Cause Fear becomes Cause Bear.

The effect of these altered spells are deteremined by the DM, but with the caster's intentions taken into account.

Ring of Pointing

A copper ring with an inlad ruby that can project a small visible dot onto any surface. [It is essentially a laser pointer].

Ring of Recall

A small ring that allows the spellcaster wearing it to regain a spell slot after having failed in casting a spell.


Bellybrush Review

A defunct newspaper that ran from 34pc until 78pc. The final front page headline was, “Bellybrush Review Staff Set to be Executed for Sedition & Libel.”

Big Book of Mishaps & Misfortunes

The pages of this weather-beaten, bloodstained book contain lists of names, most of which have been crossed off. Once you become attuned, you may write the name of an individual whom you now. For the next 24h, that victim suffers disadvantage on all Dexterity saving throws. For the 24h after that, the victim suffers disadvantage on all Constitution saving throws. For the next 24h, the victim suffers disadvantage on all Wisdom saving throws.

After a victim has suffered three days of the curse (or has perished), the book crosses off the name. Until the previous name has been crossed off, no new text may be written in the book.

If a victim does not die after being affected by the book, they become aware that the book's owner is responsible for their bad luck.

Book of Wish

This book contains the wish spell.

History: This book ended up in the possession of the Chandler's Guild in 43pc. It was burnt during the Ack Fire of 80pc.

The Delvers

A podcast existing on Earth in another dimension, set on Teraum in this dimension. Location: https://emsenn.net/r/thedelvers

Caliban's Guide to Sinister Relics

Gives advantage on arcana checks involving cursed items.

The Canonical *Brave Old World

This book. If someone gets ahold of this, something has gone terribly, terribly wrong.

Cooking with Taako

The complete Cooking with Taako on VHS.

HISTORY Unknown to Taako, his stagehand Sa'zed magically recorded all of his performances and released them as bootleg flip-books after the show's cancellation in DR1485. One copy was ordered by someone in the small community of Refgue. The tapes were placed inside a bag of holding to be shipped. Due to a shipping error, that bag was nested inside another bag of holding and both shifted planes. The inner bag and its contents spent some time in the Arcadia plane, where the flip-books were magically remastered & dubbed to VHS. An incident involving a hole thrower resulted in the VHS series ending up in the Brave Old World around 12bc.

LOCATION On a shelf within Lorrestar's library, can only be found with a critically failed Investigation check.

Extreme Teen Bible

A +1 Chauntean holy symbol that contains a cover featuring a rad skateboarder with a stalk of wheat hanging out of his mouth. Gives the user advantage on Religion checks involving Chautea.

HISTORY Printed in 13pc to try to win over the disenchanted youth. All known copies were burnt in 17pc.

Rickle Axager's Pocket Guide to Adventuring For all editions, once per day, the ownder of this guide may read a section associated with a particular skill to gain Advantage on all rolls relating to that skill for the next 24 hours. For the second edition, the owner may also read the passage out loud to grant one additional party member the same benefit. For the first edition, reading the passage out loud benefits all players.

HISTORY First edition published in 16pc. Second edition published in 2bc. Third and final edition published in

LOCATION There are about 30 copies of the first edition, 90 copies of the second edition, and 350 copies of the third edition. They are scattered around the world.

A Series of Unfortunate Spells

A collection of spells assembled and published by Lorrestar. It contains a few of the more mischievious spells he collected. It contains beginner's mind, capricious defense, displaced magic, flawed crafting, fumble, jinx, misfire, misstep, twisted words.

HISTORY Published in 182bc. 20 copies are produced and kept at Lorrestar's Estate. In 16bc, Lorrestar transfered the books to the

LOCATION There are 12 copies of this book, scattered around the world, concentrated around the Central Plains and Green Delta. One is in Barnabus Trent's workshop, under a pile of newspaper.

A Treatise on Accursed Objects

Gives advantage on arcana checks involving cursed items.

Wards of Ack

Gives advantage on History checks about the wards of Ack, reducing travel time through the city, so on.

Weapons and Tools

All-or-Nothing Coin

Once a day, the owner of the coin can substitute a regular 2-sided coin flip in place of a d20 roll. If the coin lands on heads, it is considered a Critical Hit. If the coin lands on tails, it is considered a Critical Fail.

Anti-Gravtiy Sphere

A small, fist-sized glass ball filled with a silvery smoke. When the sphere is destroyed, it diables the effect of gravity on everything within a 30ft radius.

Astral Shell

A conch shell that allows the user to interrogate the souls of the recently deceased. [Not much more info is given].

Attractive Sword

Each time the user successfully hits a target with this sword, they become slightly more magnetic.

Bellowing Bellows

Each time the bellows are pumped, a non-aggressive ghost which is constantly shouting is emitted. Any attempt to destroy the bellows will convert the ghosts into an appropriate other creature. (Setting the bellows on fire turns the ghosts into flame demons.)

Billow Branch

This small tubular device resembling an electric cigarette grants the user Advantage on Persuation and/or Intimidation checks when smoking it. (It's a vape.)

Bloody Crossbow

This crossbow has no apparent string, and can be used without bolts. It uses the shooter's own blood. When the user attacks, they roll 1d4 and take that much necrotic damage, and then adds that amount to their attack and damage roll. All damage done by the bloody crossbow is necrotic.

Broom of Flying

An item that resembles a simple broom. Upon using the broom’s command word (owner's choice), it will begin to hover and allow the user to fly when mounted on it. Flying speed: 50ft, up to 400lbs.The user can send to the broom to travel somewhere within 1mile of the owner using the command word and can also call it back, assuming it is still within 1mile of the owner.

Butcher's Knife

Anyone who touches this knife must make a DC30 Wisdom saving throw or be thrown into a killing frenzy that will continue until they kill someone. Anyone who has successfully killed someone or beat the saving throw can handle the knife without concern.

Convenient Rapier

If this weapon is used to attack with advantage, the attacker may make another attack as a bonus action. If that attack hits, a third attack may be made at disadvantage.

Dark Dagger

While it appears to be made of obsidian, this dagger is actually made of antler. After attunement, the Dark Dagger functions as a +1 dagger.

If the user critically succeeds while using this dagger, the target must pass a DC20 Charisma saving throw or suffer the effects of bane for one minute.

If they critically succeed their saving throw, the attacker suffers bane for one hour.

Desperate Shortsword

Shortsword. After an attack, you can choose to sacrifice 2 Strength to make it a critical hit. Sacrificed strength is recovered after a long rest.

Earlybird Rapier

Rapier. +1 to attack and damage if the user has more than half of their total health.

Easy-Smoking Pipe

A wooden pipe which emits an intoxicating smoke. The spell comes from the pipe itself, as anything burnt produces the same smoke. A drunken malaise will overcome the smoker and all those who whiff the smoke. (DC15 Constitution saving throw or develop 1 level of exhaustion.)

Any pipe left near the Easy-Smoking Pipe for more than a day has a 50% chance of disappearing. This usually results in the hero who has the Easy-Smoking Pipe using it anyway, because the consequences of not smoking are worse.

LOCATION Jenos Anadini possesses the easy-smoking pipe.

Esther's Touch-up Tonic

This is a cosmetic kit that makes you more pretty, for now, but make