Tag Archive | "occult"

Keys to the Supernal Tarot Review

Posted on June 12, 2009 by

Opinions vary. Some people think Tarot cards hold power, while those who know say that they are merely guides, an interface to unlock your own knowledge of ancient secrets. In this book, the 22 Major Arcana are used as keys to chronicles for your Mage: The Awakening game… a smart idea as many mages study the Tarot.

The work starts with a short story in which a regular game of cards turns into a reading, and perhaps something else. You don’t need a special Tarot deck if you know what you’re doing.


Orgy of Souls Chapter One Preview

Posted on May 25, 2009 by

Twenty souls for his brother’s life is a price that seductively beautiful Samson is willing to pay. Twenty souls drenched in blood, powdered with cocaine and more than one kind of ecstasy. A fair trade for the life of a brother. A fair trade for the life of a priest. And everyone he meets seems so willing to give theirs away. Samuel’s faith often wavers. Diagnosed with HIV and in rapid decline, he hides his disillusionment in the rituals of the priesthood. But when Samson brings him the first blood-signed contract for a young woman’s immortal soul, the steamy world of high fashion male models and the quiet decay of a sickly priest begin to writhe against the realities of life, death, and otherworldly power. Brotherly love is a deadly seduction, beauty a dangerous game. Come worship in the brutal temple of Orgy of Souls. Your faith will never be the same again.

Apex Publications has sent us the first chapter of Wrath James White and Maurice Broaddus’ Orgy of Souls novel to preview for free here at Flames Rising. In January Maurice Broaddus wrote a design essay for us called Religion and Horror about working on this book, be sure to check it out once you’ve read the preview.


Mythologies (Requiem) RPG Review

Posted on April 9, 2009 by

The concept behind this book is that, just like the rest of us, vampires tell stories. This is a collection of some of the myths and legends told throughout time in vampire communities. Interestingly, none are presented as being ‘true’ – this is left to the Storyteller to decide for himself – and so players can read the book freely without compromising their knowledge of their particular game world’s alternate reality… they will, instead, absorb the tales told amongst the vampires that they play with as little knowledge as their characters have about which are real and which pure fiction.

The book opens with a story about a mirror, and then there’s an Introduction which explains what it is all about. Following chapters look at several myths about the origin of vampires, modern legends (or urban myths) told amongst vampires tonight and finally some of the things that really scare even the bravest vampire.


Keeper of Light and Dust Fiction Review

Posted on February 17, 2009 by

After reviewing Natasha Mostert’s book, Season of the Witch, I was curious to see how this up-and-coming author’s next book would fare. Keeper of Light and Dust is not a sequel to Season of the Witch, but was written as a stand-alone story about the duality of healing as it relates to chi. Mia Lockheart is a mystic protector, a healer who works as a tattoo artist in South London secretly guarding the lives of today’s warriors, a group of boxers. The villain of this tale is a modern day vampire, a man who learned how to steal chi, that mystical and ancient energy force that fuels our souls and provides us with life’s energy.

Well-researched, Keeper of Light and Dust is an excellent nod to the modern day sport of boxing mixed with the ancient form of martial arts. Not often do we find athletics at the center of a supernatural tale, and it’s refreshing to read a book where the sport is part of the plot.


Scion: Ragnarök Now Available!

Posted on January 27, 2009 by

The End Is Nigh! Fimbulwinter has come. The wolf Fenrir runs free, and the serpent Jörmungandr has loosed Midgard from his coils. The twilight of the Gods has begun, and only the Scions of the Aesir can salvage some good from the conflagration to come. Will your character survive the final battle of order versus […]


Maurice Broaddus “Religion and Horror”

Posted on January 8, 2009 by

A new horror design essay has arrived here at Flames Rising. Author Maurice Broaddus tells us a bit about the creative process that went into his recent project with Wrath James White.

Religion and Horror

Some people have asked about what the thought process behind bringing Orgy of Souls to light. So I thought I would explore that for a bit.

At the World Horror Convention 2007, Wrath James White and I were telling award-winning writer, Gary Braunbeck about our collaboration. If I could capture a facial expression of his reaction to just the IDEA of the two of us writing together, and use it as a blurb, I most certainly would have done so.

Wrath James White and I have very little in common beyond being bald, black horror writers. Our writing styles, our lifestyles, our politics, our worldviews, our spiritual perspectives – on paper, we shouldn’t even be friends.


Dog Days Fiction Review

Posted on December 30, 2008 by

Dog Days gets off to a somewhat awkward start with too much exposition during an action sequence to make the action feel immediate, but as I got accustomed to the voice of Mason, the hero and jazz/magic improvisation master that narrates the book, the world and story both began to come together. As a practitioner, Mason isn’t much good at the actual practice implied by such a title. His real talent is improvisational magic–something that most people never master at all. Other practitioners use spells to control magic, but Mason can pull energy from the surrounding environment, using ideas and archetypes and emotions to craft the effects he desires. He also has Louie: an Ifrit (named after the djinn, though no one is sure if they’re related) who takes the form of a small, mini-doberman like dog.

Review by Alana Abbott


Backup (Dresden Files) Fiction Review

Posted on December 8, 2008 by

One of the great elements of Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series is the large cast of interesting characters that Harry Dresden encounters throughout his adventures. Friends, foes and fellow wizards make up a variety of supernatural (and a few “normal”) beings in the Dresden-verse. One of the most interesting characters is Harry’s half-brother Thomas Raith, who also happens to be a vampire.

Although the marketing for this tale makes claims of it being a novella, I’d have to say it is more of a short story with great art. Without the fancy hardcover or the illustrations by Mignolla this would fit just fine in one of the urban fantasy anthologies we’ve seen other Dresden Files tales in (My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding for example).


Keys to the Supernal Tarot for Mage: the Awakening

Posted on November 5, 2008 by

The Major Arcana

Each key, each trump, is a step along the path of the mage. From the dangerous ignorance of the Fool to the completion of the World, each card holds a secret. Seek Justice, pursue Strength, trick the Devil, and defy Death — the cards will show you the way.

A Chronicle Book for Mage: The Awakening

Keys to the Supernal Tarot is available in print at Amazon.com and in eBook format at the Flames Rising RPGNow Shop.


Armed and Magical Fiction Review

Posted on October 6, 2008 by

You may remember that in my review of Shearin’s Magic Lost, Trouble Found, I expressed some confusion about reading a novel that felt like urban fantasy but was set in an elves-and-goblins style world. Armed and Magical follows the further adventures of Raine Benares as she tries to get rid of the Saghred, the evil stone that has claimed her as its link to the world, and has very much the same style as the first book. In reading the sequel, however, I finally made the connection that I missed in Raine’s first adventure: Raine is a seeker, which is roughly the equivalent of a private investigator for her world. What Shearin is writing isn’t a hybrid of urban fantasy and low fantasy–it’s hard boiled fantasy noir.

Review by Alana Abbott


Hell Week Fiction Review

Posted on September 29, 2008 by

You might remember when I last wrote about one of Rosemary Clement-Moore’s books, I pronounced it the scariest book I’d reviewed for Flames Rising. Since I’m also a fan of “fluffy bunnies” level horror (as I also expressed in that review), I was not disappointed when the sequel, Hell Week, was not as nightmarish. In the sequel, girl-psychic Maggie Quinn does face a whole new level of evil: Rush and sororities. As a college freshman and budding journalist, her plan is to infiltrate her campus’s Greek societies and write scathing exposés. Balance this with an undefined relationship with the cute upperclassman who, in Prom Dates from Hell, helped her defeat a demon; her grandmother’s urging to continue her psychic training; her best friend continuing to study witchcraft against Maggie’s long-distance advice; and freshman year would be tough enough. But evil doesn’t take a break, and there’s something scarily lucky about the Sigma Alpha Xis, who choose Maggie to join their number. When Maggie’s usually helpful dreams disappear and she finds herself on the receiving end of that same good luck–and enhanced sexual attraction–that is the mark of the Sigma Alpha Xis, she suspects something dark at work. On the bright side, evil is always good for investigative journalism, if it doesn’t kill her first.

Review by Alana Abbott


Night Child Fiction Review

Posted on September 17, 2008 by

The mystical is also believable in Jes Battis’s ace début novel.

An Occult Special Investigator for Vancouver’s Mystical Crime Lab, Tess Corday arrives at a crime scene where a vampire is dead. A note and photo on the vamp lead Tess to Mia Polanski, a thirteen-year-old in danger but whom also possesses great power, and Lucian Agrado, a necromancer who’s liaison to the vampire community. And the action heats up as the investigation deepens…

Vancouver is a welcome diversion from the seemingly endless stream of American cities in urban fantasy. Jes Battis gives a right good dose of Canadian flavour that makes the setting all the more enjoyable.

Review by Tez Miller


Mage: Ancient & Sublime

Posted on September 3, 2008 by

New Mage Bundle available at RPGNow!

After the Fall of Atlantis, mages wandered as exiles in the wilderness, forced to eke a living without the protection of their grand city. With new eyes, they explored the world they had so long ignored, unhindered by Atlantean creed. They discovered that magic was not born in Atlantis — it had always existed, hidden in the land itself.

These materials normally retail for $53.98, but in PDF form for the next seven days, you can acquire both Mage supplements for $20.99 (USD).


Interview with Tad Stones, Producer and Writer for Animated Hellboy

Posted on August 11, 2008 by

Flames Rising is proud to bring you an exclusive interview with Tad Stones, a veteran in the animation industry and long-time Hellboy fan. Tad worked as a producer and as a writer on the popular Animated Hellboy series; breathing life into “Big Red” on the small screen.

In this interview, Tad talks to us about his experiences working on the Animated Hellboy films Sword of Storms and Blood and Iron, how he met Hellboy creator Mike Mignola and a few, other surprises.

Interview by Monica Valentinelli


Hellboy II: the Golden Army Movie Review

Posted on August 7, 2008 by

As a fan of Big Red, I was eagerly anticipating seeing this sequel to Hellboy after watching the Hellboy and the Golden Army trailer and hearing about Guillermo del Toro’s involvement with the film. Impressed with del Toro’s work on Pan’s Labyrinth and Christopher Golden‘s novelization of Hellboy with artist Mike Mignola, I went into the movie with certain expectations.

Like other films and content within the Hellboy franchise–you do not need to be familiar with the characters or the setting to watch this film.


A.W. Gryphon “Witchcraft, Magick, and Tackling The Unknown”

Posted on August 4, 2008 by

So far our horror design essays have featured creators of horror role-playing games talking about the development of new projects and the systems that went into those projects. We have more horror game design essays on the way over the next few weeks as well as other creators.

Today we are going to feature our first horror novel essay. Author A.W. Gryphon tells us about her novel, Blood Moon, as well as the challenges that went into writing that elusive first page.


Zorcerer of Zo RPG Review

Posted on July 18, 2008 by

“The Zantabulous Zorceror of Zo,” by Chad Underkoffler and Atomic Sock Monkey Press, is a game of adventure and wonder set in a world of fairy tales. But the land of Zo is more than just pixies and knights. The game includes classic story elements from almost every childhood fantasy, from “The Wizard of Oz” and “Alice in Wonderland” to “Peter Pan” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

The game uses Underkoffler’s Prose Descriptive Qualities (PDQ) system, which is also used in the super-hero RPG “Truth & Justice” and the manic “Monkey, Ninja, Pirate, Robot: the Roleplaying Game.” In PDQ, characters use Qualities to represent their abilities. Qualities can be anything from skills to beliefs to personality quirks.

Review by Michael Erb


The Samaritan – Hellboy II

Posted on July 13, 2008 by

Sideshow is proud to bring you this 1:4 scale prop replica of ‘The Samaritan,’ Hellboy‘s famous pistol used in the film Hellboy II: The Golden Army. The display stand features an engraved B.P.R.D logo and four bullet display spaces. The round red portion of the base can be detached, and features a magnet imbedded on […]


Cursed Empire RPG Review

Posted on July 11, 2008 by

This is a review of the second edition of the game with the name altered from Crimson Empire, which the earlier edition was titled, due to a dispute with Lucasarts. Cursed Empire is a small, independent press game written by Chris Loizou and presented enthusiastically and comprehensively at many UK conventions. This is a weighty book and obviously a labour of love for the creator whose enthusiasm for the game is obvious and infectious. This makes me feel bad about criticizing the game given that it’s such an obvious and singular labour of love, but there are significant problems with it.

Review by James ‘Grim’ Desborough


Preview of Silver Ladder for Mage

Posted on July 8, 2008 by

Earlier we brought you previews of White Wolf‘s upcoming Hunter: the Vigil RPG. Take a look at Professions, Endowments and exclusive quotes From the Authors.

Today we’re switching over to a new book for Mage: the Awakening. The Silver Ladder is a sourcebook that features the history, methodology and ultimate goals of the Silver Ladder as well as new spells, Artifacts, imbued items, Legacies and more.

Today’s preview offers up a sneak peek at this new book:


Email Newsletter Sign Up

Click Here to Sign Up for FlamesRising.com's Weekly Newsletter.

You will receive horror and dark fantasy updates, news, and more once a week!

11 Tales of Ghostly Horror

    Reviews Wanted!

    The new Review Guidelines have been posted on the Flames Rising website. We are currently seeking a few good reviewers to help us expand our collection of horror and dark fantasy reviews. RPGs, fiction, movies, video games and more are all welcome on the site...

    What do you get out of it?

    Beyond helping out fellow Flames Rising readers by letting them know what you think of these products, we're giving away some pretty cool stuff. Regular Reviewers can earn free products to review, which is their to keep after the review is submitted to the site.

    Note: We are especially looking for folks interested in reviewing eBooks (both Fiction & Comics). We have lots of great titles in digital format and even get advance copies sometimes.

    Use the Contact Page to submit reviews or let us know if you have any questions.

    The Devil’s Night WoD SAS

    Free Devil's Night | White Wolf