Friday, June 30, 2017

Dwarven Trade Stone

When you order your custom forged sword from a dwarven smith does he write up a receipt from his handy accounts book? Of course not. Paper crumbles and burns. Stone? Stone lasts. Dayne Hodson brings us proof of that precept with this rare dwarven trade stone.

Found primarily in parts of Europe, Dwarven Trade Stones are used for proving that one has placed an order with a Dwarf.

Due to the time it takes for a Dwarf to forge an item, they would give one of these stones to the one requesting the forged item, than tell them to return at a later date with the same stone. The stone would then be examined to identify which item they had requested and proof of the trade.

Because many races seek out to purchase a Dwarfs forging skills, be it man, beast, fae or otherwise, many of these stones are lost before they can be traded back to the Dwarves.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Diadem of Dagon

Swedish artist Hanna Hedvig brings us this hand forged be-tentacled tiara dedicated to Dagon

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Delta Green: The Movie

Oats Studios is an experimental project from director Neill Blomkamp, the man behind "District 9" and the aborted live action "Halo" movie. It's an independent production house specializing in short genre films that wouldn't make the cut in the traditional studio environment. Instead, they rely on crowdfunding and literally selling off digital props and assets. "Firebase" is their latest short, and it's essentially a Vietnam-era "Delta Green" scenario brought to life.

It's not without flaws, including some stiff acting and dodgy dialogue, but it's one of the very few films to really dip into the realm of cosmic horror. It also offers up an interesting twist on one of the major plot points of "Watchmen", both the graphic novel and film incarnations. I suspect that's not accidental.

Dragon Fossil

Photographer Sabrina Raymond brings us this well preserved dragon fossil recovered by the staff of Iron Antler Forge.  How long can mainstream science continue to deny the existence of dragons with evidence like this?

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

War Helm

Sander Propworx returns to our pages with this gorgeous LARP helmet

Monday, June 26, 2017

Duergar Trail Ration

Wats6831 returns with another fantasy RPG inspired meal. This time it's the food of the dread Duergar, the Grey Dwarves of the Underdark.  The Reddit discussion is over here.

The Duergar (gray dwarves) are the hated subterranean cousins of the surface dwelling shield dwarves. Vast Duergar kingdoms exist beneath the Surface in the Underdark. Duergar are known for their foul tempers, penchant for cruelty, grim and bitter dispositions. Their food is as coarse and uncouth as they are. Clockwise from top left: Sour Deep rothé pepper cheese (Limburger), boiled Deep rothé kidney (whole beef kidney), foraged roots and tubers; skirret and Fellroot (ginger and turmeric roots), contorted strangler fungus (Enoki mushrooms), onion & mushroom gravy hand pies.

I really liked these projects when they started. They were interesting thought experiments about the diets of stereotypical fantasy races and how that could be adapted as player snacks during a game. Now it feels more like "What gross food can I get my wife to vomit in the sink?"

I understand not everyone has an adventurous palate. That's what makes the lack of effort to actually create something genuinely tasty all the more puzzling. Why just plop a fresh beef kidney into boiling water, the absolute worst way to possibly cook it? If you're going to posit the Duergar have access to fresh kidneys, mushrooms, onions, and root vegetables, why not try one of the dozens of real world recipes using those ingredients?  Why pair un-prepped kidney and its ammoniac tang with Limburger, of all the cheeses?

Maybe I'm over reacting.  I just assumed a project focusing on bringing fantasy foods to life would feature a bit more craft.


This nicely done demonic mask comes to us from artist Morgan Hughes.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Cthulhu Fhtagn! Cruz Edition.

This stone-finish Cthulhu idol comes to us from artist Abraham Cruz.  He's working on a Lovecraft inspired chess set and this is the first piece.

Friday, June 23, 2017

False Idol

Josh Hardie returns to our pages with another wonderfully alien idol.  He has a real gift for creating creepy icons.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

From the Vaults of the B.P.R.D.

This tableaux of props from Mike Mignola's "Hellboy" comes to us from the folks at Skelton Crew.   Their line of props from the comics is currently on hold, but I'm hoping it will be revived with the reboot of the series.  

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

They Bite

The talented Karen Main returns to our pages with these unusual leech specimens preserved in test tubes

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Lay of the Land

Erinus20 brings us this hand inked map of Cyrodil from the Elder Scrolls games. 

Monday, June 19, 2017

The Witch's Table

This look at a witch's accoutrements comes to us from Dark Moon.  It's a nice collection of props, but the photography really makes the tableaux.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

The Mark of Cthulhu, Alvarez Edition.

Photographer Stephen Alvarez brings us this petroglyph in the Barrier Canyon Style from Utah.  The conventional description of what you're seeing is that the large figure on the left is a "bird".   That you're actually looking at a painting of humanity cowering before huge, tentacled creatures is too outre for conventional science.

The Mythos has been active in North America for a very, very long time.

Friday, June 16, 2017

The Un-Wailing Mandrake

Alice Tochylovska brings us this rather creepy specimen of an immature mandrake.  Even at this stage of development its wail is potentially lethal.  To prevent unfortunate incidents the creature is cleverly restrained within a bath of calming potion.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Qvasi Fantasy Fonts

Norwegian artist Stein Strindhaug brings us a collection of fonts based on his self-created Qvasi language. He originally designed the glyphs for a conlang project that didn't pan out. Boutique fonts like this are a great resource for paper props because they're totally unrecognizable. That helpfully avoids what I call the "Curse of Futhark", where the immersiveness of a prop falls apart because the font is wildly overused.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Hand

Decayed Decor brings us this horrible severed hand cast in silicone.  And by "horrible" I mean awesome. 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Stalhrim Dagger

This recreation of the Stalhrim Dagger from Skyrim comes to us from the talented folks at Arsynal Props.  I was a little disappointed Bethesda didn't announce another installment in the Elder Scrolls saga during their E3 presentation.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Journey to Innsmouth

It appears you'll have a chance to travel to shadow haunted Innsmouth this October.  The Haunted Rose Halloween Haunt has posted some work in progress pictures of their upcoming show inspired by Lovecraft's classic "The Shadow Over Innsmouth".  I'm looking forward to see how it shapes up.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Of Unknown Origin

Mr. Zarono returns to our pages with this occult artifact of unknown purpose and origin.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Casting the Bones

This creepy little set of casting runes comes to us from Andrea Falaschi.  The grimy finish gives them a wonderfully aged and icky appearance.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Exposed Bone Makeup Tutorial

Katrina Leanne Foley brings us this tutorial on creating a rather gruesome hand wound. Most of the materials (cotton, latex, acrylic craft paint) are readily available off the shelf.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

The Book of the Dragonborn

This massive leather and brass tome bearing the sigil of the Dragonborn from Skyrim comes to us from Alex Libris.  As always, his craftsmanship is impeccable.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Cthulhu Fhtagn! Sizemore Edition.

This well done Cthulhu idol, complete with it's own stone altar, comes to us from artist James Sizemore.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Just Another Bug Hunt

This squad of Colonial Marines comes to us courtesy of Basemental Props.  It's telling that fans are still recreating props and costumes from the first two films in the franchise while generally ignoring any of the follow ups.

Monday, June 5, 2017

The Bones

Artist Gerard Geer brings us this curious mounted skeleton.  He specializes in creating literal chimeras- specimens of fantasy creatures built up from the bones of other animals.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Putting the "Great" in "Great Cthulhu"

After years of work Gabriel Marquez is finally getting ready to roll out this massive 21" figure of Cthulhu in kit form.  I can't wait to see the painted up test shots. 

Friday, June 2, 2017

Food of the Underdark

Wats6831 returns to our pages with another fantasy RPG inspired meal. This time it's a bit of fine dining from the Underdark featuring favorites from DnD's Drow.  You'll find the Reddit discussion over here.

Menzoberranzan black truffle rothe cheese (Black Knight Tilsit), Donigarten Moss Snails (Escargot in shallot butter sauce), Blind cave fish caviar in mushroom caps (Lumpfish caviar), faerzress infused duck egg imported from the surface Realms (Century egg), Black velvet ear fungus (Auricularia Black Fungus Mushroom).

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Freakish Fetus

Artist Miguel Gomez performed midwife duties for the delivery of this Cthulhoid fetal specimen