East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Leave a comment

Getting away with murder

But in the end I did it – I was able to nail shut the box of my first Murder Party script, and the client was pleased enough to buy it.
I have opened a new market – and a paying one – and my first script sale will probably be represented in April.


Now, murder parties seem to be modeled on old episodes of Murder, She Wrote and I knew those long years spent watching reruns of the series during lunch break would one day pay.
There are some perks in being a fan of Angela Lansbury.


My first script takes place at a new-age convention held in a Colorado ski resort, during the off season. A collection of quirky characters (including a medium that channels an ancient Egyptian sorceress called Amunet) are bickering and confronting each other when suddenly one of them turns up dead.
Murder or accident?
And really, can you get away with murder in a place filled with mediums and mind-readers?

It was as hard as hell, but also lots of fun.
Can’t wait to do it again.


Leave a comment

News from the Mana Bros Skunkworks Shed

italia-doppelgangerSo, we were kicking around a few ideas for a roleplaying game or our own, or maybe four.
The real instigator was my friend Alex,that is having a nice success with his Italia Doppelganger RPG, based on the universe of a popular series of horror stories of his.
And I’ve been talking about an Aculeo & Amunet RPG for ages, now. And then there’s the idea of the RPG spin-off of AMARNA1.
And a lot of other stuff – some projects I pitched and fizzed, some things I said “one of these nights I’ll do it” and we’re still here and waiting.
But not anymore!
So, let’s get to work.

Continue reading


News from Nennius Britannicus and the boys

I am happy to say that I have just signed a contract for the publication of the (first?) story featuring centurion Nennius Britannicus and his Contubernium.


I am currently revising the proofs.
As soon as the story will be out I will post here (and everywhere else) the relevant links.
I am very happy (but I guess you guessed that).


Leave a comment

A fantasy story, something completely different

So, the votes are in (had we not just left this party?), and unless some last-minute, momentous turn of events happens, it looks like I will be writing a whole new fantasy story for my Patreon supporters.

Screenshot from 2018-03-06 13-03-25

Which is fine with me – obviously, or I would not have listed it as an option.
I’m a bit sad about Asteria, but she was always the outsider in my catalog.

But I got more than votes – I got suggestions, too.
And I had plans and ideas of my own, so let’s see what’s on the plate. Continue reading


Talk like an Etruscan

Leave a comment


Leave a comment

More ancient dirty words

a0129_2The subject of ancient curses is always popular on Karavansara, so why not post another selection.
I did some reading, and found some funny Factoids, so here’s another list.

Turns out the Egyptians (them again!) were liable to swear by their gods in pretty creative ways.
Nephthys (portrayed here on the right), goddess of the netherworld, was sometimes called “female without a vulva”. Thoth was described as “motherless god”.
Even Ra, the sun god himself, is in some papyruses called “an empty prickhead”.
Which is not certainly very modern, if you think about it, but not polite, not polite at all. Continue reading


Leave a comment

The burial place of Osiris

The temple of Isis at Philae used to stand guard at the first cataract of the Nile.
With the construction of the Aswan Dam the area was flooded, and later the temple was moved to a new location.
The original Philae is mentioned by numerous ancient writers, including Strabo, Diodorus Siculus, Ptolemy, Seneca, Pliny the Elder. It was, as the plural name indicates, the appellation of two small islands, and the reputed burial place – one of the burial places – of Osiris, and only priests were allowed to live there.

And right now we can take a look at the temple and surrounding buildings in this fine animation.

The approach by water is quite the most beautiful. Seen from the level of a small boat, the island, with its palms, its colonnades, its pylons, seems to rise out of the river like a mirage. Piled rocks frame it on either side, and the purple mountains close up the distance. As the boat glides nearer between glistening boulders, those sculptured towers rise higher and even higher against the sky. They show no sign of ruin or age. All looks solid, stately, perfect. One forgets for the moment that anything is changed. If a sound of antique chanting were to be borne along the quiet air–if a procession of white-robed priests bearing aloft the veiled ark of the God, were to come sweeping round between the palms and pylons–we should not think it strange.
(Amelia Edwards – 1873-1874)