December 12 2015

Swords of Midras on Indigo AKA Blade of the Avatar

I am actually embarrassed to say I do not know that much about Indigo. From what I am putting together from a few quick things I am looking at. The tag line they are using (or one of them) is “Canada’s Biggest Book stores”. Like I said, like Amazon *chuckles*. They also appear to sell a lot of other things in all kinds of categories but I do not want to spend the entire day browsing stuff I may end up wanting and can’t afford!

Point is not living in Canada it would make sense I am not familiar with them. There is very little that happens in this world though that relates to Shroud of the Avatar that at some point is not captured in my Cyber Web. The latest tidbit I got to gobble up that was caught was I got to learn all about Indigo (meaning what I could in 5 minutes) when I saw that the Swords of Midras is available for pre-order with them.

They are charging a 1.00 more for the E-book and 4.00 more for the hard back. So regardless of where you live I would suggest getting the E-book from Amazon!

Now here is the question I have! Maybe one of you know? I would not be surprised if it’s been posted in the forums. While I do not have time to get over there much these days I do get news from the forums through my grapevine (and I am always looking to expand that section of my web. If you see articles in the forums you think I may want to know about, please don’t hesitate to send me a link!). Unfortunately my grapevine isn’t big and I haven’t heard anything on this topic.

Stile.. Get the Fork to it! Right? Right…

Will the Physical Hard copy from either of these companies differ from the physical copy that the pledge rewards and store copy Portalarium sold? Collectors want to know!!!

I am 99.9% sure that the copies from Indigo and Amazon will be the same. They list the publisher as Tom Doherty Associates at Indigo. However a quick Wikipedia search will show that to be TOR books. Tor books is what Amazon shows.

I believe we already know both the Pledge book and store sold copy are the same other than potential signatures. However – I am wondering if Portalarium’s book will be different than that of these? First those who paid 40.00 for a physical copy from the store may raise some fuss about being overcharged if there is not some difference. On the other hand as someone who works in the buying and selling world know, it costs more money every time you cut a purchase order.

It will be financially more sensible of them to have worked a pre-order into their sales contracts with TOR books to give them a predetermined quantity of the physical books at a set price. TOR would most likely want that to be the same print as what they are selling elsewhere so as in order to consolidate all their purchasing and printing.

On the other hand Portalarium could in such a situation be willing to pay the differences to make their order a bit different and just make some changes. Different Dust cover for instance. That would allow the hard book to be done as one print by TOR and the Dust Jacket would be two separate jobs, making it only marginally higher in cost. Maybe a different binding, cover pages, ending pages, illustrations, or any combination of those examples.

I should mention, contract negotiations is something I have been doing most of my life. Point is while it’s likely with the experience involved with both companies that they both had a good idea of what the other wanted from the outset and it comes down to compromising and negotiating various agreements, whatever those are being each side wants most. I work for someone that really LOVES rebate programs whereas to me I personally don’t want rebates, I want the best price you can give me when I order so that I can operate as efficiently as possible selling your product to create more business for both of us.

I have no idea what Port would have negotiated on this because I do not know what their preferences would be and have never asked. They may already have had something going to print their copies elsewhere and so not even have taken anything about that to the negotiation table.

So what it boils down to is a lot of potential for there to be or not to be, some sort of differences in these physical copies.

Dammit, I’d like to know as if there is, I’ll order the Amazon copy! *chuckles*

Have the answer? Let me know and I’ll pass it along a follow-up piece!


May 10 2015

Silver Serpent Necklace, buy one today!

So if your looking for official merchandise related to Shroud of the Avatar then you may have seen the Silver Serpent official reproduction necklace.

Each Silver Serpent™ pendant is made from sterling silver (.925) and has a rhodium plated finish to reduce tarnishing.

This Silver Serpent™ pendant is a 100% replica, using the exact measurements and personally approved by Richard Garriott.

This replica has a bail to enable the purchaser to suspend the pendant onto any chain type and length they desire. By adding a bail it makes the pendant more versatile.

Now I mulled over purchasing this item for a long while. This ended up being a purchasing decision that I couldn’t make up my mind on. I was just ignoring the decision as a result for a long time but the thing kept popping back up on my radar forcing me to re-evaluate it, and so that was finally the decision maker. I didn’t want to have to contemplate whether I should order one again! So I just did it to get it over with.

I am very happy with the piece! If this is something you are torn on I would highly recommend it. It is well made and the certificate it comes with is top notch even including a wax seal! It would of course be safe to wear even for the collector. If you incur scratching over time you could have it buffed and recoated by a jeweler I am sure. Thus easily fully restoring it to its newly purchased state.

The mount on it is well set. I would have NO concerns that this would come off of my neck so long as I have a good necklace to go with it and attached it properly. I have just the thing in mind for myself if I ever do start wearing this pendant rather then having it sitting in my collection!

If you order one be sure to tell them the Caverns sent you!

Silver Serpent Necklace certificate

Silver Serpent Necklace

April 18 2015

More Leaks from the Caves

So this is an important message!

Richard Garriott Wants YOU To Subscribe To The Mad Hermit Gaming

Richard Garriott Wants YOU To Subscribe To The Mad Hermit Gaming – YouTube.

Don’t miss out on the R16 Hangout video! And for the record, Chris was already sick when I arrived so I only assume 50% responsibility for bringing the plague! *winks*

Hangout of the Avatar ~ Release 16 Postmortem – YouTube.

Now im not sure if you saw it or not, but Relics from Rild added some new merchandise to it’s line-up! Specifically that of pint glasses and shot glasses. Promises of more are on the way (which by the way Rild, don’t judge current response as a measureing stick.. I almost waited to combine on shipping knowing you have more coming but decided not to wait.. not everyone will rush it!).

I happen to be wanting some new glassware though, so this worked out for me. Perfect for my use.. so, score for Rild on timing! I plan on ordering at least 4 more as soon as he has the others in stock *taps foot and stares at Rild*. No really.. I NEED 4 more glasses as quickly as possible please. Seriously.. im not kidding.. I mean it. I really need them. Don’t forget to sample to the press for reviews also! *wink wink, nudge nudge*

I did see, pick up, touch, and put down some of these at Portalarium. I still ordered some, right? So that tells you what I thought of them. Nuff Said, review written!

Now go buy em so you own the shirt: Shop Now — Relics by Rild.

Hey, Im in this!!! Way to video it Mad!

Shroud Of The Avatar Design Roundtable And Portalarium Studio Tour (Recap) – YouTube.

The NBNN News has a Google+ page over here if you are interested:
NBNN News – Google+.

Additionally you can find them on Twitter:
NBNN (@NBNNNews) | Twitter.

One of their videos, this should certainly be an Easter favorite!
Shroud of the Avatar: The Adventures of Lazarus Long – YouTube.

This is a fun but short read:
The Origin of the MMORPG & More – Profiling Richard Garriott’s Innovations

Want to learn how to use the deck system a bit better? New gave some lessons on that and it was recorded to share with you!

Combat Lessons – From Novice To Master – Lesson 2 – YouTube.

Here’s a great write up and a few photos of the Explorers Club dinner. Richard and family attended as normal!
a href=’’>Who's Coming to Dinner? Explorers, Astronauts and Spelunkers –

Stile loves Geek subscription boxes. Check out his favorite two and if you sign up using this link he gets a bonus!

Visit Loot Crate

Visit Geek Fuel

March 17 2015

Stile gets a new keyboard – Thank you Mad Hermit!

So a while ago the Mad Hermit did a video on a gaming keyboard:
Corsair K70 RGB LED Mechanical Keyboard – YouTube.

I loved the thing but had two issues. One is I wanted more Macro keys as I was used to them on my Logitech. The MH pointed me in this directions:

The other issue.. money, that’s a costly keyboard! Well, recently the gaming keyboard I was using developed a short in the cord. I have reverted to my older keyboard in the mean time. Still costly but I now had a reason to buy a new keyboard…

So then my mom mentions shes buying a new keyboard and wants to see options. Well, she fell in love with the same one Mad has had me drooling over. A few deals, a couple of sales later, a joint order after some serious price searching, and Stile and Mamma Teckel both now sport these! Well.. Nyssa Teckel’s is in the box in my house still unopened, but soon. I’m typing on mine!

Ugh.. new key layout *sighs* going to take a while to getting used to. The typos im making are horrible *laughs*. I love the feel.

Now, you may be torn (like I was) between the Cherry and the brown (or what does that even mean?). The brown has some key click and resistance to it, the cherry is made to not have that resistance. I went brown – I like to know when I push a key. Hmm, If I had it to do over again I think I would have went with the red. I like the resistance don’t get me wrong. What I don’t like is that it sounds like I’m on a type writer (especially as I’m about 76wpm).

Something else you may wish to be aware of. I was hoping the Mads lighting profile would work on the K95, although It would need a mod for the macros. Unfortunately, Corsairs software isn’t that good.

So um… ill have to make one *mutters* that will be a ways off :(. I will be sure to share it when I do make one. If anyone else in the community makes one please consider sending me a copy (and include if It’s for my private use only or if I can distribute to the public).

Corsair K70 RGB LED Mechanical Keyboard – YouTube.

Thank you Mad Hermit! Due to your suggestion and taking the time to share a really cool gaming piece of hardware with your viewers, I knew exactly what I wanted when the time did come! Hopefully me passing it on helps lend someone else a hand in the same way!

December 6 2014


The following glass bottles are wanted, so long as new and unbroken! If you happen to see glass bottles on a website you shop at that look like this, please notify Stile Teckel! Assuming the price is reasonable (like 3-5.00 a bottle or something, and not like 27.00).   Thank you for your assistance!

Note – No, this is for real, im serious. I have a reason I want to buy glass bottles similar to this in real life. Scale wise they should probably only be about 6″ tall.


October 8 2014

One of the reasons Im excited to be going to Austin

A side note first! I know ive been away a lot lately. No big all – Things have been slow in SotA world for the MOST part… and while some stuff has been coming out its not hugely time sensitive. So ive been taking the opportunity to slack off a bit! Take a bit of a break, not because im burnt out, but because the timing was good both for SotA and vs. life.

Anyway, going to be paying for it from a huge back log! Ooops..

I wanted to share something cool though. Since the package is arriving to my house tomorrow, I feel I can share the coolness on this!

Now it was in the update that the day before the Hobloth II, which I am attending now, is a Duke / LotM meet towards the reward tier. This is one of the reasons I am happy to be coupling this up with the Hobloth as it may be the last time I can travel for a very, very, long time.

Now we have all seen a lot on “Shield of the Avatar”, the 2014 Magic the Gathering Card designed by Richard Garriott.
Shield of the Avatar (Magic 2015).

Our own community member Derium, post in the forums images of his buying over a thousand of them.

I made a statement back before this every came out, that I planned on getting the best piece I could think of for this, short of the original. Richard’s games and works has inspired my life as it has many here. Additionally I once owned a MTG collection that I unfortunately determined recently If I still had it, Id be looking at 500K-1million in selling. Short story – I held one of the worlds largest private collections I am aware of many having at the time (and I traded with over 600 people spanning 22 countries, I knew the collectors of the world). Happy to be out of it, but it played a big role of my life. It actually paid off debt I don’t know how I could ever have otherwise paid off to be honest.

So – A Magic the Gathering Card, designed by Richard Garriott? Had to have it.. BUT I stated – I wanted an artist proof version, signed by both artist and Richard.

I might be topping that! Arriving are 3 FOIL artist proofs of the card. Only 30 are made in the world and the artists keeps 10 and sells 20. Leaving 17 at this point and I know they where being reserved fast. I contacted the artist before the cards where ever released, months in advance of that actually. I also have 4 non-foil out of 50 in the world, and he keeps 10, coming. The white side, he draws a custom pencil sketch. This is his way of signing it.

Being that I am lucky enough to be able to bump heads with Richard again in November, I can take these in person and if hes willing to indulge me, sign them. One of each is my moms and then the rest mine. The reason for the odd non-foil is a spare to do something with at some point.. Maybe giveaway at some point or in a contest, but not promising on that! I might find a very deserving home for it and just give it out. I was contemplating.. well, a few ideas thats more then the cards I have, so ill be debating that.

Beyond that I might decide to give away the other pair also. Leaving me with 1 pair. I got a duplicate set in case I had to ever mail to him with pleas, and them getting lost I would have a back-up. So something that I will have to debate for a while! However I also have 4 foil and 4 non-foil standard versions.. I might take those with, but thats a lot to ask to impose to sign. On the other hand Im thinking I could offer to let Richard keep an artist proof in exchange and a promise that some of these would be going to the community in some form…. Even if I kept two full sets of everything for myself Id have 2 foil and 2 non-foils left to hand out..

So something I will be considering and hence why I am mentioning it.. Do you have a project contest idea to launch something special this would be cool for? Let me know and I will consider it! I am not making any promises! There’s more cool things then I will have spare cards.. and I don’t think im going to give out the artist proofs. They where rather costly at a time when I didn’t have the money, but given I was asking the artist to reserve cards for me from a long while back when finances where better, I had to go with them :). But I definitely don’t mind giving out a few of the non-artist proofs for something.. Just a token item, but if I got them signed that could be cool.

Anyway, thanks for listening to the ramble on this, and ill share if something comes up with them! IF I am able to get them all signed, I will do something at some point to put at least a couple of the standard cards in someones hands. Maybe with a pair of dice tossed in for free, if I have any Caverns dice left after this event! Luckily my last order was for 200 *grins*

Anyway, ill be playing catch-up soon so bear with me!

Magic the Gathering Shield of the Avatar

May 14 2014

Firelotus Designs

That’s write, shes not just a Tavern owner but she also makes cool stuff and YOU can buy it!

Not only can you get some cool things from her store but you can order custom pieces as well. So not only are you supporting a Dev, earning some brownie points, but you are also getting neat stuff.

Be sure to visit her Facebook page and give it a like, share it, and all that good stuff at the least!

(1) FireLotus Designs.


Fire Lotus Design | Square Market.

Ankh Quill