I’ve just finished this one and had to take the opportunity to recommend it to anyone who likes a good pirate story. But it’s more than that, actually. Not only does it riff off the original Treasure Island but it takes the Silver character and fleshes him out in a way that’s wholly respectful of the source material and yet at the same time very much an original creation. The prose is excellent and totally in character for the eighteenth century, made all the more impressive that it was written in Swedish and translated brilliantly into realistically briny and nautical English.
Larsson’s Silver is a compelling and fascinating individual, powered by the desire to live on after his inevitable demise. To this end, he sets to penning his autobiography from the island sanctuary to where he has retired. Larsson has given him a truly memorable history, full of incident and adventure, stuffed to the gunwales with authentic period detail. Real characters and events mix with the fictional creations and it seems from the author’s postscript that the former might well outweigh the latter.
At a certain point, Silver starts to realise that the literary character bearing his name has taken on a life of his own; in a way, the act of writing down his account of his life is almost hastening his end. The flesh and blood fades away as the legacy steps forward to take its turn in the spotlight.
For all the treachery, bloodshed, rapacity and lusty seafaring, Silver’s character comes across as immensely likeable in a strange way. He breaks from the linear narrative several times, at one point encountering Daniel Defoe in a London tavern, assisting the author with his work “General History of the Pyrates” on the condition that Silver himself is left out. As the story continues, an air of melancholy infects the narrative as, one by one, the old pirates are hunted down or die in mires of vomit and brandy. Just as Pike Bishop saw out the era of the traditional outlaw, so Silver stands as sentry at the exit door for such colourful characters as Flint, Taylor, Hands and England.
A thoroughly enjoyable work and recommended – not just for pirate enthusiasts but for anybody who is starting to look at the story of their own life and wondering how they will be read by generations to come.
Did I mention that the front cover is by Howard Pyle?
Benbo, 3rd level Fighter/4th level Thief - he who dares.
Galzor, 4th level cleric - mysteriously disappeared along with the Third and his coffin.
Zanurax, 3rd level thief (recovering from being partly eaten by a lion and has now gone to join Merlin)
Olaf, 4th level dwarven fighter, now returning to his clan halls
Merlin, 3rd level thief (called away on the business of the Thieves' Guild)
Adthar, 4th level fighter - currently both an Ettin and a statue
Elador, nth level magic-user - called away on special assignments but will act as mentor and adviser to the team
Galadeus, 2nd level ranger - drowned and then eaten by a shark.....aaaaaand he's BACK! aaaaaaaaand he's dead again.
What I'm DMing for 6 new junior players
Old School Links to Wisdom
Give your d12...
...some Old School love
Call of Cthulhu - visit our wiki
That's what Old School means to me
"These rules are flexible and open to interpretation - designed not to cover all conceivable situations, but to allow good Referees and Players the freedom to create and play games of their own design."
from the Lulu download page for The White Box S&W from BHP
"This game is unlike chess in that the rules are not cut and dried. In many places, they are guidelines and suggested methods only. This is part of the attraction of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons"
Over halfway to 90, I started playing AD&D when the Police were a cool band and Punk was wild. I am a father to a ten-year-old Junior Grognard and have now managed to establish a five-strong gaming group made up of him and four of his friends, ages ranging from 10 to 11. Solidly Old-School.
High fives and natural 20s to you all!