Thursday, September 11, 2014

Gaunt and Bone

Recently I have finished the first two novels of the Gaunt and Bone Series, by Chris Willrich. In these novels, a thief couple of Imagio Bone and Persimon Gaunt, travel to the far east of their slightly like the Earth to their not-China.  In the first book, the Scroll of Years, they travel to Qiangguo, meet various people there and end up embroiled in both local politics and the affairs of dragons.  In the second book, they travel west on a quest to find the Ironsilk Moths, which has been demanded as a price to get an item they most desire.

The books are pretty good, although a bit rushed as they are harried about the country/world. Bone is a 99 year old master thief, although often out of his element in combat or against wizards.  Gaunt is a poet/bard/thief, and often ends up being the hero, since she is a bit more combat worthy.  Both books are set in the East, and have a heavy "fantasy Asian" theme, which is alternately refreshing and bafflingly new.  Reading the second book, I would have benefited more from a more detailed review of the map, since I apparently got the fantasy world mixed up with the real one, and had a different mental picture of where they were traveling.

The World of Bone and Gaunt
I also liked how there were various fantasy ideas which seem ripe for theft and incorporation into your D&D game.

Ur-Glue - magical ultimate glue that can not be undone, which is used in some pretty amusing ways.
Iron Silk Rope - rope made from silk as strong as iron, and can bear nearly any weight
Flickering Fire-gems - alchemical gems which contain candle fire
Living Calligraphy - calligraphy as spell scrolls, where a traditional saying acts itself out in some way.
Mummified Kraken - an ultimate undead monster.
Kleptomancer - creates nothing new, but steals knowledge from others using magic.
Magically cutting off an ear to be left in another location as a spy or communications method

There are also a couple of great magical libraries and plenty of weird magical creatures.

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