I don’t have a whole lot to go over for the blog post for this week. To be clear, I’ve had a LOT of things to go over this week, with progress on products and meetings to plan things out as we proceed, but not a lot that I can really share with all of you, at least not quite yet.

I’ve discussed what’s going on a little bit on Discord, but just to cover it here as well, we’ve got a back and forth ongoing with layout for the two Companions. Art is getting put into the mix, and we need to make sure we’ve got the styles situated just right and figure out what our end page count is going to be. There are price breaks in how our page counts are numbered, so we need to make sure things are laid out to make the best use of the space for the cost. From the way things are looking now, I don’t think we’re going to have any problems filling the page count; if anything we’ll have to hold some things back. I want to try really hard not to leave anything out of the Companions, as I feel most everything slated to go into the books are useful for filling in mechanics and world building needed, and before I cut something I’d rather try to shuffle it between the books in order to keep them evenly distributed.

We also had a writer’s meeting this weekend discussing some of the metaplot going forward, what things we’re going to be including in the planned products leading up to that story arc’s climax, as well as possibilities for additional supplements that may get thrown into the mix to flesh things out more, and a bit of a look at where we want to go afterward. Again, not much I can really share specifics with all of you just yet, but there’s some great ideas going back and forth that I’m really looking forward to exploring and seeing how they are received.

So, without a lot of solid discussion that I can share from the present, I took another dive into the past archives and found a short piece in the fiction writing that I thought was worth sharing. I don’t think this one has been posted before, I’m sure you’ll let me know if it has and I’ve missed it in the blog post archives. Kind of hard to keep up with things flying as fast as they are right now, though I’m hoping next week will be a little bit quieter so that I can get something new and interesting together for you. In the mean time, enjoy!

Fred Dobbins came in from the barley field at noon to find his wife loading a basket into the donkey-cart. Two wooden boxes full of jars and a cloth-wraped ham from the smokehouse had already been put in, and he could see a bag of flour on the kitchen table through the open doorway of the farmhouse.

“Long trip I ain’t been told of?” he asked, putting the end of the hoe down on the ground and leaning on it.

His wife heaved the basket into place and wiped her hands on her apron. “Davy run over from th’ ‘Awkins place. Annie’s growin’, Fred.” A brief pause. “She’s growin’ ‘orns.”

Fred took a step forward. “No,” he said, his voice shaking. “Not the Fever. Not ‘ere, Maggie. Not ‘ere.”

She nodded once, grim. “Aye, Fred, it’s th’Lookin’ Glass. Ben’s been feedin’ ‘er everything in the ‘ouse but he can barely keep up, and they’re goin’ to run short, and he’s got coos needin’ milkin’.”

Fred caught at her arm as she tried to hurry back into the house. “You can’t mean t’go over there! An’ with all this?” He waved a hand at the cart. “What’ll we eat come winter?”

She shook off his hand. “Fred Dobbins, this’s our neighbor we’re speakin’ of now. Where’s your charity?”

He stepped into her way as she tried to resume her efforts. “But th’ Fever! Maggie, they still don’t know as t’how it spreads, an’ there’s been nobody down from th’city but th’post and th’dairy train since it began.”

She waved him off. “Fred,” in a warning tone, “if it was cholera you’d not think a moment. You’d be drivin’ me over there t’nurse th’family yourself. An’ there’s no cure for that, don’t you forget.”

“Aye, but –”

“But me no buts, Mr. Dobbins.” She went around him, into the kitchen, swung the sack of flour up onto her shoulder. “Someone’s got t’see Annie through this, and th’good Lord has seen fit that I got th’ news of it.”

Fred, at least, had the sense to get out of the doorway. “Again I’ll ask you, y’go feedin’ ‘er all this, what are any of us goin’ t’have come March?”

Maggie planted herself before him, fists on her hips. “Fred Dobbins, you’d leave a neighbor an’ a good friend t’starve out o’worry for your own stomach and you call yourself a Christian? Oh, th’vicar’s goin’ t’ave some words for you, you can bet your ‘at on that!”

Fred’s shoulders lumped. He sighed. Leaning the hoe against the house, he started down the steps to the root cellar. “I’ll bring up two pecks of tatties, y’think?”

“Best make it three,” Maggie said, her voice warming. “An’ ‘alf th’mince, I ‘ear fat an’ sweets ‘elp with th’growin’.”