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Building a Better Mouse Trap

By Richard Luschek

A while ago, about 3 years in fact, an article was written on the Small Mammals of Harn. It was to be released with the Hunting and Trapping article rules. Well, CGI decided it wanted the article expanded, and the groups of animals to be fleshed out a bit more.

I like drawing beasts and creatures, but usually prefer that they be snarling, nasty, and huge. Also, it would be nice if they are firebreathing.

So, with a list of animals that one would consider pretty mundane, my job was to come up with interesting images, that are useful for game play and are fun for me to do.

When it came to the intro page for Rodents, I got the idea that it would be fun to paint a medieval manuscript page image as it might appear in a Peoni illuminated manuscript on the saints. Just so you know, I will be doing these instead of the woodblock images I have done in the past for Harn articles.

St. Vusa and the Mice

Copyright © 2013, Columbia Games, Inc. and Richard Luschek

I chose a peaceful religious image of a saint dealing with a plague of rodents damaging crops (I know, it has been done). I got to thinking, this could be a miracle or even an example of a Peoni invocation at work. Maybe a prayer is said that will drive out pests from a field saving the villages crops. For the text I chose, “Saint Vusa of the Garden Drives out the Mice”. We looked at the Harn Religion Team page for info on the Saints and I thought St. Vusa fit the best. Special thanks to  Rob Barnes, who I have do all my translating into Harnic. I  use the Harnic Font to type the text and then draw over, twist and pull it to give it a more natural look.

Fanon Opportunity!

I want to offer this image up for use in any fanon Peoni invocation article that someone may want to write for this illustration. The image is a story all its own that could use a good imagination and some text to flesh out. Anyone? Comment or email me if you are interested in using this image in your fanon article. I thought a single page invocation on this, the saint and possibly the book it is found in would make a good little fanon addition. Could even be used for a Peoni temple article if the manuscript is in the library. Maybe this invocation is on a scroll found stored away that is found by the players. Anyway, someone do something with this image?

 

The other image in that article I was particularly proud of was the Harnic Squirrel. The text was changed after I drew the image to include info about them being ‘pack rats’ that collected shinny things. This little gray squirrel could result in an entire adventure hook. Say a player spotted a squirrel in a tree with something that looked like a gold coin. Or…. if a party buried a chest of coins in the woods only to come back to a dug up and nearly empty box, as a PC sees a squirrel scamper up a tree with coin in its mouth. What fun having to scour the woods for your hard earned treasure. What a great way for a game master to torture their players.

The Hoarder

Copyright © 2013, Columbia Games, Inc. and Richard Luschek

 

I hope you enjoy this article and can find some interesting ways to incorporate it into your game- even though rodents are not your typical fantasy game beasts.

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