"Norv & Galv crawled along the guttural entrance to the former Roman temple, its gods long replaced by something much worse. 'Did you bring the torches?!', the voice quivered & it wasn't the rime cold or the slime under Galv's backside. Norv made his way to the ruin's gated remains which had been bent years before by something it hitting it from inside with great force. The candle light arched around the rusted remains & Norv held his hand up for silence. He took the ox oil from his pack & literally applied it but neither warrior saw the spent made from darkness as thick as a man's thigh crawl from right over their heads. The monster was another limb of the thing of darkness that lived in the ruins of the temple. The village chief would keep his half of the warriors bargain & his daughter. Norv's son would marry another & he would mourn his father. There were no time for screams & only the wet sucking sound of flesh then silence played in the aqueduct. But this was the price to pay whist messing in the darkness in the affairs of wizards & demons. ."
There are a few OSR products & rpg products that use the Slav mythology & occult traditions as the basis for an rpg setting. The Codex Slavorum does exactly this & perhaps a bit more.
"The Codex Slavorum opens roads into the mythological realms of the ancient Slavs. Born in the shadow of Siberia their myths and magic, their gods, goddesses, monsters, heroes and legends offer an untouched wealth of material for your Castles & Crusades game.
New Classes! New spells! More monsters!
Bring the ancient Slavic worlds to life!"
I opted for the physical package & grabbed my order on Friday from the mail.The books are beautiful with the cover art striking with a Chrenobog demon being confronted by a Slavic wizard in the spirit realm. Drivethrurpg lists three books in the Mythos line for Castles & Crusades by Brian N. Young. Young presents the Slav spiritual & mythological world as easily accessible & fundamentally usable to the dungeon master ( no I'm not nor will I ever be a Castle Keeper, I'm a dungeon master as Gary Gygax & Dave Arneson were). I'm going to turn this book on its side because I'm planning on using this material in my campaigns. But I want you to see the quality of the layout & the black & white artwork.
Peter Bradley does a bang up job with his artwork.
Opinions about the 'The Codex Slavorum' vary wildly from Amazon 3 star rating by Chrytal Cartwright . Then there is the five star rating on Good Reads by
Can't understand the hate nor the three star rating because I happen to be on the Crutchfield side of things. Here's why.
The Codex Slavorum we finally get the mix of the Slavic myths & the spiritual realms with D&D style elements even though its Castles & Crusades. Volkhv & their ilk finally get their due & its well done. Among these folk your not going to find any flashy fireball wielders unless you want to get burnt at the stake. This is set during the 'Time of Legends ' & folks like Oleg are important NPC's. The artwork(not in the book btw) below illustrates the importance of the occult world against the world of man. There are some dark reasons for this. 'The Codex Slavorum' presents the all too real struggle of light vs darkness with the Slavic shades of blood red & dark mythic gore. This is an epic book & tool kit.
Oleg meets the volkhv.
Painting by Viktor Vasnetsov
So what does all of this material in the ' The Codex Slavorum' mean for the Amazing Adventures dungeon master? Well many of the monsters & elements have been transcribed & filtered into The Amazing Adventures Manual of Monsters.
This isn't a slight on Jason Vey's work but when you want to have a party of adventurers meet the forces of the Slavic underworld head on. There's nothing like having the original source book in your hands to pull from in order to do it.Sure there's Wiki entries & internet what not but when you want your OSR source book to pull from when constructing then your going to want the ' The Codex Slavorum'.
I've already gotten the question of 'how can an Amazing Adventures rpg demon hunter class & the vampire PC class coexist. The answer is simple. The vampire which was transcribed over to the Amazing Adventures Manual of Monsters & the demons of Slavic lore are all under the umbrella of the gods of darkness.
There is more then enough darkness across the planes for an army of demon hunters & vampire slayers besides the two classes work extremely well together.
For the pulp/super hero gamer who wants a Slavic slant on their character's origins this is a must buy. Raiders & the like who are looking for far deeper depth on the artifacts & treasure that their going after this is the book that can give your PC's deeper grounds. Five out of five for me because of easy of use, utility, & a solid no BS approach to the Slavic mythology & material .