Wild Stars and TTRPG Patron Play

Been thinking some about Michael Tierney’s Wild Stars. In some ways, it is, in fiction, the closest you get to something as off-the-wall as a #BROSR-style 1:1 time game with patrons in space with multiple factions, pieces on the board and off the board, all in motion simultaneously.

Left to Right: Carthage, two Brothan, Daestar, and Mack

One of the reasons why it’s hard to pitch is that it’s SO off the wall and chaotic, it’s not easy to either compare it to other works or really capture in a nutshell what’s going on. How would you elevator-pitch the narrative of what’s going on in #BROvenloft right now?

Wild Stars VII [which we’re serializing next year]: With adventuring hero-teams still regrouping, the Wild Star patrons Strazis off the board still and Erlik dead, you’re left with the Artomique Space Nazis who control earth, the Space Pirates, the telepath guild, and the psionic T-Rexes vying for control of known space.

The God Father is back, but his faction [the Purple Order] is out of commission until he can breed more with other immortal women. Phaedra is in play and gathering her own allies to wreck the Artomique / Pirate alliance.

We haven’t seen much of the Brothan (space werewolves) lately. I’m sure they’re still out there, though, but the Black Star Reavers (Space Lizardmen) are a new wildcard faction that may or may not be allied with the Artomiques, but not the telepaths guild (or vice versa).

Carthage, the renegade Wild Star, who was a Patron from the Brothan for awhile, has been factionless for some time, but he’s still around in some capacity due to Dalucar, the Saturnian.

The crabmen’s influence is still being felt across the galaxy, and their evolutionary spike that landed on Mars led to the ascendance of the telepathic T-Rexes. We haven’t seen them directly, though, since the flashback to the 20th century in the prologue of Wild Stars V.

In the context of this Patron Level game, the Ancient Warrior/Strazis is an ascended PC who went from sword & sandal Fighting Man to name-level patron for an interstellar confederation.

If you were to run a Wild Stars Braunstein, though, you’d need the following factions:

  • The Artomiques (Achilles Hister)
  • The Wild Stars (Strazis)
  • Atlanteans [specifically the pre-Wild Stars Atlanteans and those who did not become Wild Starriors after the exodus](Broadwater)
  • The Brothan (Brotah or Carthage)
  • The Five-Thousand-Fingered Hand (the Madam)
  • Space Pirate (Red Queen)
  • The Saturnians (Dalucar)
  • The Purple Order (The God Father)
  • Phaedra’s coalition (Phaedra)
  • The Black Star Reavers (?????)
  • The Marzanti (?????)
  • The Dire Griefs (?????)

And that’s just off the top of my head and for starters. Each of those Patrons has henchmen [such as Genghis and Georgian, Achilles’ two main mooks] as well as a number of adventurers.

Erlik

Because within those various groups, you have Erlik, who is Strazis’ son and one of the main leaders of the Wild Stars, his wife Daestar, who’s a member of the Five Thousand Fingered Hand (telepath’s guild that is actually a rival faction against Strazis’ Wild Stars).

Earth faction, you’d have Bully and Risky Bravo and their other family members, who are off adventuring on behalf of both earth and the Wild Stars, or, in Bullson’s case in the last volume, the Artomiques.

Different “PCs” are constantly forming, disbanding, and reforming adventuring parties against the backdrop of the machinations of the various factions vying for control of the Galaxy.

Anyway, Wild Stars VI: Orphan of the Shadowy Moon is being currently serialized in Cirsova Magazine. Part 3 just dropped. Parts 1 & 2 are on Amazon now.

We also recently published the collected edition of Wild Stars V: The Artomique Paradigm, which also reprints an original 1970s Wild Stars short story from The Multiversal Scribe that serves as a prelude to next year’s Wild Stars VII: The Gold Exigency. Plus, it contains some TTRPG write-ups for some of the major characters in case you would be interested in trying out a faction-based Wild Stars Braunstein.

Wild Stars V Out in All Formats

Michael Tierney’s Wild Stars V is out now in all formats.

Need to catch up on Wild Stars? Really, at this point, the cheapest and easiest way is with the Wild Stars Omnibus. Use promo code WELCOME15 at checkout for 15% off. This tome contains all 4 previous volumes of Wild Stars in a single coffee table format.

What IS The Artomique Paradigm + Interview on Critical Blast

Last week, we did an interview with Critical Blast talking about the Wild Stars. I was hesitant to post it, because I feel like we were all over the place and didn’t really do a good job of conveying what the book we’re publishing is about.

On the face of it, Wild Stars may seem like a daunting IP to get into, because it’s been around for 40 years, has a huge cast of characters, and a wide varieties of stories and storytelling that takes place within it told across different media.

Michael looks at Wild Stars in the whole of what he’s doing and what he’s done with it, so his pitches can lack a bit of focus with his excitement for the work in its entirety. So, I’ll take this opportunity to try to give a more concise Wild Stars and Artomique Paradigm pitch:

Wild Stars is an action scifi epic in the tradition of the classic pulps that brings in innumerable elements to make it truly unique and, well, WILD! It’s the saga of two branches of humanity: those who left for the stars 75,000 years ago when Atlantis fell, and the human population of earth which remained. These branches have had occasional encounters over the course of that time [Ancient Aliens are really just our galactic cousins!] but the two have remained largely apart while Earth has caught up with the Wild Stars.

The Artomique Paradigm takes place when these two branches of humanity are attempting to formally establish relations. Achilles “Whip” Hister, the son of an alternate reality Hitler, is poised to take his seat on the head of the board of the Artomique Corporation, which now controls Earth. Whip is determined to walk his own path and lead the Artomique Earth in a different direction, but his father has other plans! A secret alliance between the Artomiques and Space Pirates almost guarantees the Artomique Earth’s dominance over the stars, and Whip finds himself on the run with his new friends Daestar, the telepath and wife of an immortal prince of the Wild Stars, and Bully Bravo the last Republican President of Earth before the Artomique takeover.

The Artomique Paradigm features covers by Anton Oxenuk, Genzoman, and DarkFilly, with interior illustrations by Dark Filly.

Softcover copies are as low as $20.

Critical Blast Interview is below the Kickstarter embed.

Cirsova Spring 2022 Issue Is Out Now!

The Cirsova Spring 2022 Issue is Out Now!

Amazon Paperback

Amazon eBook

Lulu Hardcover

Lulu Paperback

Orphan of the Shadowy Moons (Part 1)
By MICHAEL TIERNEY
At long last, the origins of the Ancient Warrior are revealed! Fleeing from the Artomique fleet, Daestar, Bully Bravo, and the Ancient Warrior find a refuge of the immortal race—it is there that the psychic locks on his past are finally released!

The Flying Mongoose
By JIM BREYFOGLE
Dragons have cut off the smiths of Pytheas, but Kat and Mangos have a plan! Un-fortunately, it will require the duo taking to the skies themselves!

Channel 121, After Midnight
By MARK PELLEGRINI
Bored on a Saturday night, Caleb discovers a new channel that has never appeared on the cable box before, offering strange programming and an ominous warning!

The Recorporator Finds a Live One!
By ANDREW MAJORS
A lone Recorporator has just blown a ton of money on rights to a world that he thinks may be a dud… until strange things begin to happen to his scanner drones!

Serpent God of Mars
By ADRIAN COLE
Though defeated by the trainee witchfinder, Arrul Voruum, the sorcerer Rannas Kavannian has survived in a broken stolen body and hides in the depths of Mars!

The City of the Crocodile God
By OWEN G. TABARD
Strange things are afoot in the city sacred to the Crocodile God—her son dead, the high priestess is in a malaise… and a sacred crocodile attacks during the festival!

Darla of Deodanth: Firewood
By LOUISE SORENSEN
After the incident at Machu Hampacchu, all that was left for Darla to do was to re-stock firewood for the excavation site—but no task is simple on the Eldritch Earth!

An Ayre By Landor
By JEFFERY SCOTT SIMS
A magic potion has rendered the Duke of Vardix invulnerable! Can Morca stop the Duke’s scheme to assassinate Lady Niada before all at the Festival of Azamodius?!

Just Another Crappy Story That Kills Everybody In It
By Jim Breyfogle
The Fictionverse is where stories are acted out when pen hits paper—but what happens in a bad or poorly written story? Bob the Guardsman is about to find out!

Dreaming of Mart Senson
By LIVIU SURUGIU [Translated by J.S. Bangs]
Something strange is happening to Mart Senson! The faces of individuals he has dreamed of, and who have dreamed of him, are appearing in portrait on his skin!

Touch of Night
By ERIK JOHNSON
Edward Argot, PI, is approached with a strange job: go deep undercover to inform on a mysterious prisoner… The catch? Said prisoner is reputed to be immortal!

The Sound of Silence
By RODICA BRETIN
An orphan is assaulted by the monstrous Professor Wilberforce—killing her as-sailant lands her in an institution, where trauma manifests in her strange powers!

My Name is John Carter (Part 11)
By JAMES HUTCHINGS

[Also, don’t forget that the Kickstarter for Michael Tierney’s Wild Stars is live!]

Initial Goal Met! First Stretch Goal: TTRPG Write-ups

Thanks to everyone who backed the project yesterday! We hit our initial goal.

Next goal will be adding some bonus TTRPG content. We were sort of inspired to do this because of Troll Lord Games’ 5e Adventures supplement for Wild Stars that came out a couple years back. While that product tried to create an entire and encyclopedic setting for Wild Stars based on the Multiversal Guide in Wild Stars volume 4, what we’re looking to do with this is something simpler, akin to the old D&D magazines where you’d see various pulp heroes like Stark or Cugel the Clever statted up to drop in your AD&D or B/X game.

While we plan on a systemless approach to the write-ups, we hope they will be written in such a way that you could easily drop them into your game as wild card factor or a faction patron, outlining some of their motivations, skills and abilities, and an approximation of level/strengths.

Just a reminder, too, if you want to get caught up on the earlier volumes of Wild Stars [linked in the Kickstarter description], you can use either of the following promo codes for 15% off your order: EMPOWERMENT15 or WELCOME15

Wild Stars V: The Artomique Paradigm is Live!

The Kickstarter for Wild Stars V: The Artomique Paradigm is now live!

75,000 years ago, an immortal being from another universe known only as the Ancient Warrior led mankind on an exodus to the stars in the face of a massive alien invasion. While the branch of humanity remaining behind survived the Marzanti attempt to terraform earth into a paradise for aquatic alien nightmares, their cousins settled in the distant reaches of space known as the Wild Stars. 

The Artomique Paradigm takes place at the first formal reunion of Earth and their Wild Stars cousins. Erlik, the son of the Ancient Warrior,  and former President Bully Bravo hope that a summit between the myriad factions now populating space will bridge gaps and build trust throughout the galaxy. However, the Artomique Corporation aims to become one of the dominant players in Earth and interstellar politics using the stolen Wild Star technology they acquired in the late 20th Century. For them, this meeting is an opportunity to solidify Artomique Earth’s dominance over the stars and implement the Artomique Paradigm.

A secret alliance between the Artomique Corporation and space pirates led by the notorious Red Queen threatens to turn the balance of power in the galaxy upside down!

The Artomique Paradigm is the 5th installment in Michael Tierney’s Wild Stars series. The previous four volumes, The Book of CirclesForce MajeureTime Warmageddon, and Wild Star Rising are available now from Cirsova Publishing, or you can pick up the 35th Anniversary Omnibus that collects all four in a single hardcover.

[use promo code: EMPOWERMENT15 for 15% off all Lulu orders].

What’s Cirsova Reading?

I’ve been trying to do a lot more reading lately, to get through my giant stack of unread books. A big part of why is that I inherited my dad’s gigantic library of history books, and I have nowhere to put all of them, so I’ve been trying to read them as quickly as possible and then give them away to friends and followers to make room for more boxes of books. If you want a chance to get your hands on the books I’m giving away, be sure to follow us on twitter [twitter.com/cirsova], where I regularly raffle off the books I finish.

The Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant

This has been a fantastic read. I’m about half-way through. I don’t think I’ve ever read a clearer narrative by a soldier and commanding officer of his campaigns. Even if it were only the first 100 pages covering the Mexican War, this would be a priceless account.

While extremely detailed, it serves to give the reader vivid and precise accounts of the action rather than bog the reader down.

Grant’s deference in his prose to the various commanders under him and over him is delightful–the frank portrait of Zachary Taylor as a commander in the Mexican War, his friendship with and deep admiration for Sherman, his frustration with Halleck as his superior and McClernard as his subordinate, are all laid out from a Grant who is focused principally on the facts of events, generous with praise for men who did their duty’s well and reluctant to disparage those deserving beyond stating what occurred in the course of things.

Lorena – Frank G. Slaughter

I’ve taken a quick break from Grant at roughly the half-way point [Chickamauga & the relief of Burnside in Knoxville] to read a period romance from Frank G. Slaughter. I really enjoyed his Phoenician romantic adventure, The Purple Quest, and have been meaning to read more of his books. I grabbed this and read the first four chapters while my GF was shopping at the Goodwill, and so far, it has not disappointed.

A brilliant young woman from the East coast has married a southern officer who is the heir to a massive plantation. The officer turns out to be a total wastrel and scoundrel; his father, the old county judge, realizes this and, before his death, teaches Lorena the ins and outs of the business of running a plantation.

Fast forward to mid-to-late in the Civil War: Lorena has managed to keep things running and profitable after the Judge’s death and while her husband is fighting in the war, though her methods are rather unorthodox for a Southern Lady [among other things, she has made a black her bookkeeper!] Her husband thinks himself a Rebel Hero and looks down on his wife; if he ever gets back and in charge, he’ll run the place into the ground. On the other hand, when the North inevitably wins the war, will Lorena be able to hold things together? She is well-loved and respected by the blacks on her plantation, including some who would be willing to stay on with her after the liberation–but if her rotten no-good husband has anything to say about it, he’ll drive them all to ruination.

Redfox

Okay, this is just a for funsies thing on the side [and no, I’m not raffling these off]. Redfox is a British indie sword & sorcery comic from the 80s. It’s been amusing and pretty fun so far. Redfox is looking for treasure in dungeon, but it turns out that the treasure is bogus and the rumors existed so that at some point someone would come and revive a wizard from a healing torpor he placed himself in.

The wizard DOES reward Redfox, offering to teach her magic; while she’s an apt student, however, magic ultimately disagrees with her barbarian nature.

While the art isn’t amazing, the story has been pretty engaging. It’s a little shlocky and gaggy the way a lot of indie comics tend to be, but it’s not so much so that it detracts from the enjoyment.

So far, I think my favorite character is Whitefox… After Redfox leaves the wizard, the wizard becomes despondent and fixated. He ultimately creates a clone of Redfox who he makes his new apprentice. She is powerful and brilliant but like the other living magical creations of the wizard, she struggles with her identity [it has very strong Dying Earth vibes.] You just want to give her a hug.

Anyway…

We’re going to be taking pre-orders soon for Michael Tierney’s Wild Stars V: The Artomique Paradigm on Kickstarter! Please sign up for notification!

We’ll also begin serializing Wild Stars VI: Orphan of the Shadowy Moon in our Spring issue that will be out March 15th!

Also, I was sick with the flu, so I didn’t get to properly advertise that the retail edition of Absolute Evil & A Goth From Boston is now available on Amazon!

Coming Soon: The Artomique Paradigm Collected Edition

Be sure to sign up for notification for our Kickstarter!

75,000 years ago, an immortal being from another universe, known only as the Ancient Warrior, led mankind on an exodus to the stars in the face of a massive alien invasion. While the branch of humanity remaining behind survived the Marzanti attempt to terraform earth into a paradise for aquatic alien nightmares, their cousins settled in the distant reaches of space known as the Wild Stars. 

The Artomique Paradigm takes place at the first formal reunion of Earth and their Wild Stars cousins. Erlik, the son of the Ancient Warrior,  and former President Bully Bravo hope that a summit between the myriad factions now populating space will bridge gaps and build trust throughout the galaxy. However, the Artomique Corporation aims to become one of the dominant players in Earth and interstellar politics using the stolen Wild Star technology they acquired in the late 20th Century. For them, this meeting is an opportunity to solidify Artomique Earth’s dominance over the stars and implement the Artomique Paradigm.

A secret alliance between the Artomique Corporation and space pirates led by the notorious Red Queen threatens to turn the balance of power in the galaxy upside down!

The Artomique Paradigm is the 5th installment in Michael Tierney’s Wild Stars series. The previous four volumes, The Book of Circles, Force Majeure, Time Warmageddon, and Wild Star Rising are available now from Cirsova Publishing, or you can pick up the 35th Anniversary Omnibus that collects all four in a single hardcover.

Wild Stars Comics Giveaway! [Aug 23 – 30th]

With Wild Stars V: The Artomique Paradigm coming to a close next month in the Fall issue of Cirsova Magazine, we’re thrilled to be able to run this promotion in concert with Michael Tierney!

We’re giving away a complete set of the 2000s Wild Stars Comics! We’re also giving away a rare copy of the Across the Distance Wild Stars Art Portfolio.

In the 1970s, Michael Tierney wrote a series of novels that formed the Wild Stars universe: Wild Stars Rising in 1976 (a different novel from Wild Stars 4: Wild Star Rising), Moonshadow in 1977/78, and First Marker in 1978 (later adapted into the graphic novel Wild Stars 1: The Book of Circles), which were the first uses of the trademarked term of Wild Stars.    In 1978, Michael released a portfolio illustrating scenes from these novels and his then-recently released magazine, The Multiversal Scribe . Each print was individually signed with matching numbers, with three plates illustrated by Michael Tierney and three plates illustrated by Bruce Conklin.

One of Bruce’s plates featured the first appearance of Phaedra.
One of Michael plates featured the first appearance of Eagal Ir Radin.
While Phaedra has since appeared in the comics and novels, Eagal Ir Radin will make his first series appearance in 2022 when Cirsova Magazine begins serialization of Wild Stars 6: Orphan of the Shadowy Moons (originally the 1977/78 Moonshadow novel).

To enter, send an email to: Cirsova at yahoo dot com

Subjectline: Wild Stars Giveaway

In the body of the email, include the answers to the following Wild Stars trivia question:

1. In Wild Stars 4, Part 2, what is the Lantern Star?
    A. A lodestar
    B. A pair of stars in very tight orbit.
    C. A stellar signpost used by Roy Kirk’s grandfather.
    D. All of the above.

2. In Wild Stars 4, Part 2, what is the the E=MC2 trigger used for?
    A. Assassination.
    B. Manufacturing beer.
    C. Launching a starship.
    D. All of the above.

3. In Wild Stars Volume One: The Book of Circles–Recalibrated, what was the identity of the telepathic armored warrior?
    A. A time traveling First Marker.
    B. A time traveling Ancient Warrior.
    C. A time traveling agent selling auto warranties.
    D. None of the above.

For the Across the Distance portfolio:
   
4. Who is Eagal Ir Radin?   

A. The Ancient Warrior.
    B. The Ancient Warrior’s father.
    C. The Ancient Warrior’s adoptive father.
    D. The immortal known as God Father.

All Entries must be received by 8 PM CST August 30th! Entries with the most correct answers for Questions 1-3 will be entered for the drawing to win a complete set of Wild Stars Comics. Entries with correct answers for Question 4 will be entered for the drawing to win a copy of the Across the Distance Portfolio.

Be sure to visit http://thewildstars.com/ and https://cirsova.wordpress.com/wildstars/ for more about The Wild Stars!

Cirsova Fall 2021 Issue Out September 15th!

Cover by Raven Monroe
[Left to right, Red Queen from The Artomique Paradigm, Tanree from Badaxe, and Kat from Mongoose and Meerkat]

The Cirsova Fall 2021 Issue is available for preorder now!

This fantastic issue features the conclusions of both Wild Stars VI: The Artomique Paradigm and Badaxe! Also, another illustrated adventure of Mongoose and Meerkat from Jim Breyfogle.

We wanted to do something special for this issue, we featured two heroines and a villain from our serials. Huge thanks to Raven Monroe who took out the time from working on Cookies n Scream to step in and deliver this gorgeous cover for us on short notice!

The Artomique Paradigm (Part 3 of 3)

By MICHAEL TIERNEY

Achilles “Whip” Hister is dead! The Galactic summit has turned into a massacre, and the Artomiques are ready to unleash their ultimate weapon: dreadnoughts based on the Space Shark Erlik created! Can anyone, or anything, stop them?!

Too Many Mangos

By JIM BREYFOGLE

Foes pursue the Mongoose and Meerkat in the frigid north, seeking to prevent retrieval of a magic trinket for a client! One of the bandits…appears to be Mangos!?

The Black Skull

By REV. JOE KELLY

A strange and forbidding artifact has wended its way to an abbey! What is the black skull, and what strange powers might this grotesque and evil object possess?!

We Have Always Been Beasts

By S.H. Mansouri

An evil rain falls on the cursed children of Grewal… Brothers hope that they can end the rains that have corrupted and deformed them by ending their father’s life!

Dead Neighbor

By DAVID SKINNER

Armed with his only wits and his experimental Existential Motion Detection Device, a man is determined to discover exactly what has become of his neighbor!

The Light of Reason

By TEEL JAMES GLENN

Jack Stone and his mentor, Doctor Argent, have finally tracked down the vampire lord, Count Mendoza! But will they be able to vanquish the cornered monster?!

Locker No. 249

By JAMES LAM

A new student has just been assigned a locker next to that of a boy whose mysterious disappearance is connected to rumors of a Chinese mummy’s curse!

Remorsels

By LOUISE SORENSEN

Ghosts of animals appear as if by magic in paintings! The phenomenon is a strange blessing… Until a butcher begins supplying choice cuts of mystery meat to the artist!

BADAXETM

By

PAUL O’CONNOR – WRITER

KENT BURLES – PENCILLER

JAMES BALDWIN – INKS

BARB KAALBERG – TONES

PAT BROSSEAU – LETTERS

MITCH FOUST – COVER PAINTING

MICHAEL TIERNEY – DIGITAL RESTORATION