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D&D General Jennell Jaquays Appreciation

GuyBoy

Adventurer
Loved Dungeoneer as a teen just getting into the game. It carried a totally different vibe to the more “official” Dragon, and kind of gave a thumbs up to the idea of creativity outside the TSR message.
As to her adventures, well, simply among the best ever written.
Jennell is one of my gaming heroes.
 

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Lyxen

Great Old One
Wait... she wrote the cult of Thanatar?!

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Maybe best supplement ever ? :)
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
And the Thanatar section of the reminiscences of Paulis:

We stayed at Bolthor’s country rest for several days. We had picked off Ralzakark’s strength while it was uncoordinated; now all Dorastor would know of the heavy blows against him. As he gathered his forces, what should we do? Hahlgrim argued mightily that the rest of Bolthor’s strength must be raised, and that some should again press up the Sludgestream to engage those Chaos forces it might, while the main army should cross the Tobros Mountains, bypass Ralzakark’s musters, and destroy him and his citadel on the Plateau of Wrath.

After three days, Bolthor had agreed to nothing, and he offered little reason for his delay, except that delay was what he did best, as Ketil grumbled. We ate in our apartments at sunset, then I sat down to compose a letter to my father. Hahlgrim watched the reflection of the Red Moon from a window while I wrote. Ketil had taken a horse to visit a lady love in a village half an hour away. Oddi was adding some accounts in another room. I felt a draft, and looked to where the door to the hall swung open silently. Hahlgrim turned too, and we watched Bolthor, in full armor, walk in, and a dozen of his thanes also, all armed and some with heavy crossbows. Lord Hahlgrim was overly mindful of me, and would not at first resist. He sighed rather, saying “You are the ‘old ally’ of Ralzakark, King Bolthor? I thought it might be so, yet I hoped against it, for you could well serve out your days safely.”

Bolthor would not respond. He drew his sword and held it by the blade. “You will return my sword to me, and accept this one, Hahlgrim. I have agreed with Ralzakark that my forces will not patrol beyond Dorasta shrine, and that his forces will not penetrate beyond the Oilstream and Frog river. The patrol work will be well for your abilities, Lord Hahlgrim.” He stared pointedly at me, and I hated this fat fool.

Hahlgrim, his face mask-like, made no reply. “Give me the sword, Hahlgrim,” Bolthor commanded, then repeated the command. Hahlgrim stirred, smiling grimly, making a curious small gesture as he said, “Bolthor.” But instead of completing the sentence, we all heard a loud crack from the other end of the room. The scabbard holding Ironbreaker to the wall exploded, and the jewels from it rolled noisily across the stone floor while shreds of leather fell everywhere. But such we saw but did not attend, for Ironbreaker itself did not fall but rose swiftly into the air, glowing brightly. Several thanes made magical passes at it, others fired crossbows at it, and the cruelest thane shot my Lord Hahlgrim through the lungs. Though Hahlgrim fell, Ironbreaker did not pause. Bolthor screamed and his thanes scattered, but Ironbreaker still came through the air.

“Thanatar!” the King squeaked. A new horror came into the room, teleporting silently behind the collapsing Hahlgrim. The teleporter was a thin man, in black, and around his waist he wore many shrunken human heads. He knelt beside the motionless Hahlgrim, who was still down even though I had put my six points of Healing on him. The dark figure swiftly pulled out a silver garrote, and I knew his purpose. I launched myself at him and upset his cast even as Oddi the Keen burst through the door beyond. We all seemed to hesitate, though not truly. Perhaps the memory of the moment would be chiseled in anyone who saw the blazing sword hover over the squealing king, then descend like lightning through his armor, his skull, his torso, and plunge thunderously into the marble floor, quivering there with the sound like pork sausage sizzling.

Bolthor, superb armor and all, had been split fish-wise. Meanwhile, the Thanatari cultist and I rolled on the floor, grappling, the heads around his waist shrieking as we weighted on them or sent them thudding against the cold stone. Our brains swarmed with Rune magics, yet one could not defeat the other. This man was as strong as a demon, and at last he got the garrote around one of my wrists. Even as I squeezed my thumbs into his throat, he desperately jerked the loop closed, and severed my hand. I remember seeing the member fall away, but so filled with blood lust was I that I merely held with the other hand and shoved the stump into the assassin’s face, so that the blood rushed into his eyes to blind him. He teleported and I fainted.

When I awoke, I was healed. Hahlgrim was dead. No resurrection cast succeeded. Oddi howled to Orlanth that the god had no reason to despise such a hero as Hahlgrim. At last Oddi lay weeping beside his brother, the sword Ironbreaker in Oddi’s grasp. Silently we kept vigil over the body for an hour, then Oddi related the rest. Bolthor’s thanes had fled when their lord was slain, for as with Hahlgrim he could not be healed or resurrected. In his dying, Hahlgrim saluted Oddi as the new owner of Ironbreaker, and told him the secret of the sword. One of the properties of the weapon was that it would infallibly kill one person, but that the death would be paid for by the infallible death of the sword’s wielder as well. Hahlgrim had decided upon his own death when he realized that he could not protect me from the crossbow quarrels; this revelation made me feel profoundly humble, unworthy of this great man’s death, and I begged forgiveness from his brother, which Oddi granted without stint.

Oddi had healed me and arranged his brother in the Orlanthi burial position, and then had saluted Ironbreaker, which revealed its full self. With the great sword, Oddi set out for revenge, and found a dozen of Bolthor’s best thanes in frightened council. He was on them like a thunderclap, and with the terrible Ironbreaker he slew them all in moments. One of the servants told me that Oddi had been like an avenging god, and that Oddi alone broke the best of Bolthor’s line in half an hour’s time, penning them within the castle walls and forcing them to jump or to be slain where they cowered (for Bolthor’s kin were no more valiant than the fat king himself). Oddi had smashed down armored doors and torn through strong walls to corner the rats of Bolthor, and indeed I saw much evidence of Oddi’s towering rage and mighty vengeance.

A vision had alerted Ketil, and he rode in with a hundred or more followers to secure the grounds and aid in the burial preparations. After new attempts at resurrection (for then we could not believe that a sword could be so made that a god could not undo its work), we buried our Lord upon Ash hill, overlooking his lands. Oddi thereafter would observe only forms of worship, and would not swear by any god.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
So back in 2016, Justin got called out for deadnaming Jennell in that series of articles. He wrote a post about his thoughts on the matter of changing credits in past works and why he didn’t want to do it in this case.

Jennell actually commented on the post (see comment #8), not only asking Justin to change the way he referred to her in the articles but also pointing out that the series’ title should be “Jaquaysing the Dungeon”.

I love it!

I thought about talking about this, but this was a pretty positive thread and decided to omit it.

I don't think Justin is a bad person, but he apparently took some convincing, I guess he didn't understand the importance/problems with deadnaming... but he eventually changed it so as it stands now the articles is ok.
 

Reynard

Legend
I thought about talking about this, but this was a pretty positive thread and decided to omit it.

I don't think Justin is a bad person, but he apparently took some convincing, I guess he didn't understand the importance/problems with deadnaming... but he eventually changed it so as it stands now the articles is ok.
We shouldn't fault people for needing to learn, and we should applaud them for doing so.
 

FitzTheRuke

Legend
I know I've been occasionally a bit thick and slow to learn when it comes to understanding trans and non-binary needs and terminology, and I've always meant to be a staunch ally. Sometimes it takes time, even with the best of intentions. Like all good things, it's also evolving, so hopefully we will all improve as time goes on.
 

pukunui

Legend
I thought about talking about this, but this was a pretty positive thread and decided to omit it.
I brought it up more for Jennell’s response than for Justin’s thoughts.

While he did eventually change his tune re: deadnaming her, it’s too bad he didn’t correct the spelling of her surname in his article series title.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
We shouldn't fault people for needing to learn, and we should applaud them for doing so.
And that's the second reason (beside keeping the thread positive) I didn't mention Justin's initial deadnaming either - he eventually did get it.

I agree with @FitzTheRuke , some things take time, and understanding is one of them.
 



pukunui

Legend
And that's the second reason (beside keeping the thread positive) I didn't mention Justin's initial deadnaming either - he eventually did get it.

I agree with @FitzTheRuke , some things take time, and understanding is one of them.
As I’ve just said, I brought it up more as an appreciation of Jennell’s response. I like that she took the time to contact Justin, and I especially like that she pointed out that it should be “Jaquaysing” with an s.


I think that's more of a "Jaquaying sounds better than Jaquaysing" kind of thing.
Probably. “Jaquaying” sounds like “jockeying”, which sounds like one way to describe changing things up in a dungeon’s layout.

I just like that she made the effort to point that out.
 







Lyxen

Great Old One
The Enchanted Wood for Dragonquest is one of the great hexploring/sandboxes. Was blown away when I first played and has been an inspiration ever since.
All glory to JJ.

I did not know about this, but even the short blurb in amazon is a tribute to her design style: "A super-adventure with six completely different starting points to enrich variability of play and duration" :)
 

Drake2000

Explorer
Jennell Jaquays was immensely influential on my D&D-related gaming back in the '80s. As a matter of fact, her Dark Tower kicked off my long-running Arduin game, and it was epic. Whenever I saw her name in JG-related materials they were pretty much a must-buy, as I knew that she would be providing top-shelf quality content.
 

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