Cairnholm – Groups

Some information about the groups that run Cairnholm, from the bottom and the top.
Quick disclaimer: The images in this post are not mine… Obviously.

Ordic Army and Navy
West of the city lies a compound where dedicated military men train and live. Even with no great war to fight these men continue to do their duty, preparing for the worst.

City Guard
As a separate entity to the Ordic army, the City Guard plays the role of enforcer and policeman within Cairnholm. Not only do they run regular patrols to prevent crime, they also have an active investigative branch responsible for tracking and capturing wanted criminals.

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Killed at PAX Aus

Well, I’m back, regardless of what the title of this post may have inferred. Once again I have journeyed into the blinding light that is the heart of my geekdom and returned with scars both emotional and physical. But really just emotional. But also like, a good scarring. Like the kind that gives you magical powers. Or in my case some recharging of the creative spirit. Maybe I should try to be less dramatic in the future… We’ll see.

CIMG1273So I’m going to jump ahead to day two here because something amazing happened in the queue room. Preface: While everyone waits for the show to open a series of beach balls are thrown out into/onto the crowd. The reaction, day one, was one of childlike wonderment. I saw people whose faces just lit up watching people bounce these balls around.
Day two was something else entirely. I was standing in the middle queue, about ten metres back from where the PAX map hung from the ceiling. It didn’t take long for someone nearby to smash the ball and have to smack into the map. He and his friends let up a small cheer and people took notice. Soon enough, other people were trying to emulate this act while the crowd’s attentions were all drawn to this new game. Even after that, when it got to the point that simply hitting the map wasn’t enough, it was time to send a ball right over the top. When one person (standing within arms reach of me) finally did succeed cheering and clapping broke out throughout the hall.
There are two things here that really amaze me. The first is that gamers can turn anything into a game. But we all know that. The second is that the nature of play is so ingrained into us that without any communication, other than some positive reinforcement, this game grew organically within a crowd of hundreds of people.

I guess the other observation to make is that once one person gets an Achievement then others are inevitably very close behind. Each getting slightly less and less applause until the once arduous task becomes mundane.

But I digress, what you really want to see is me getting slaughtered by cosplayers. I shall oblige your sick fantasies now.

CIMG1276 CIMG1277 CIMG1280 CIMG1285 CIMG1287 CIMG1290 CIMG1291 CIMG1301 CIMG1293 CIMG1295 CIMG1298 CIMG1306 CIMG1312 CIMG1322 CIMG1325 CIMG1327 CIMG1330

And my personal favourites from the last two years:
CIMG1120 CIMG1233

And my current collection of Penny-arcadians. Turns out they’re just as hostile as the rest of the attendees.CIMG1296 CIMG1314 Penny-Arcadians CIMG1098Yeah… That last one isn’t from PAX Aus.

Anyway, guess it’s back on schedule for me. New comic up tomorrow!



Intro to Cairnholm and the IK RPG

I’m starting a campaign soon for the Iron Kingdoms RPG and I thought I’d post some records for others to read. It’ll most likely be a few weeks before we get started, as the players need to lock in their career choices and paint up their figures.
But in the meantime I’ll divulge some information on the setting.

While the game will be set within Immoren I have decided to base the party in a new city.
I think this will give me more freedom as the GM and keep established events separated from the campaign. I have drawn heavily from the game Dishonored when creating the city as I’m sure you’ll see.


Located in the North-western reaches of Ord, near the Khadoran border, lies Cairnholm.
It is a bustling port city built on a tiered hill that the locals call the Cairn, and is bordered by the sea to the west and mountains inland. The city proper is made up of two districts, now called ‘Oldtown” and “the Gardens”, that take up the highest parts of the Cairn.


That’s all there was of the city until eight years ago. Sailors discovered that the oil extracted from Blight-whales could be used as an alternate fuel to coal and within the month many businessmen had set up shop on Cairnholm’s dock. Their presence caused the city to swell and Cairnholm’s newest district, Lowtown, sprang up. At first it was simply the makeshift abodes of those working in the Oilworks, lining the road from Oldtown to the docks. But as more and more people arrived to stake their claim, and were disappointed, the shantytown spread.


Now, almost a decade later, Lowtown has doubled the size of Cairnholm. The city is now host to chapters of many illustrious and infamous orders and the vast docks bring in plenty of trade. A railroad leading inland to Merin provides the markets with a constant flow of goods. However, outside of the Outer Wall the city guard have a hard time keeping up with the various criminal elements.

Picture 1

It is here, in an old city reborn, that cunning individuals of a somewhat mercenary nature can find many avenues of employment.
The style of games I’ll be looking to run will be very episodic and reminiscent of a high-action TV show. My plan is to jump straight to the action and slightly hand-wave the weeks of downtime that may have preceded it. This may sound a little railroadey but the player character’s goals will always be the driving force behind what missions they take.
Even if that goal is sometimes simply “We need the cash.” I’m also thinking of holding a brief ‘Next Time on…’ session at the end of each game to see what the players want to do next and to keep to the TV series spirit.

Final Note: The images are from the fantastic game Dishonored and the concept art is by the brilliant Viktor Antonov. Go check them out.