Note: this is a repost. The

The Chateau

Note: this is a repost. The original article somehow had lost all the pictures that were kind of the point of it all. Which was a pity, because I specifically liked the art in the referenced articles.

I have been working on my own little D&D campaign world for a while, which I want to piece together from various sources, not all of them in English.

There will be B2 Keep on the Borderlands in there, and B1 In Search for the Unknown, The Caverns of Thracia, the original B3 Palace of the Silver Princess, and I want to finally use Jarandell in there.

So lets talk about Jarandell le jardin des magiciens (Jarandell the garden of the magicians). It is intentionally inspired by Jack Vance and the illustrations of Brian Froud, so I will show some of the pictures from the article, because they are just fantastic.

I dont see anyone else talking about it, at least in English. And neither in German or, according to my spurious Francophone Google skills, in French.

(actually, thats not quite true, a month after I posted about the art on twitter a while ago someone made a video about it. Might just be a coincidence)

This small setting was published as one of several in the classic French Wargame/RPG magazine Casus Belli no. 59 to 60 (and maybe 61) back in 1990 (!). This was way before even this old grognard got into roleplaying games, and in the wrong language to boot. Back in 90 I could say Hello and Goodbye and even count to ten in English and was really proud of it. I might have been able to say merci and bonjour in French. And the Merci mostly because theres a German chocolate brand called that.

(by the way, quick cross-cultural fact: Merci chocolate is a very popular thank you gift in Germany, for obvious reasons).

Luckily for me it was translated and reprinted in WunderWelten 40 to 42. Of course that meant that I didnt have any clue if there were any references I missed. As far as I know this was the only Casus Belli article they printed, and while the article seems to be standalone there are a few spurious connections to other settings published by CB, e.g. the mention of a few cities and locations. 

So the question always was did I miss something Or was the mystery intentional

It didnt help that I only found the first two parts in German back in the day, and now that I have access to the French ones I am hamstrung by my lack of actual French skills

For some reason most of the references I did find online seem to regard this setting as a Dying Earth location. That seems wrong, although the liberal use of Vancian tropes in there might be a reason for that. Rather than Dying Earth it seems to be a standalone expansion of the Laelith city setting CB published over a dozen or so installments in prior issues. Laelith was statted for D&D, Jarandell on the other hand has no stats at all.

The description of the place was amazing. Jarandell it turns out is a hiding spot created by a magician called Randell.

Randell created it to get away from some extraplanar threat. And the whole setting starts off with the description of the areas around Jarandell

Lots of adventure locations already. In my own campaign setting I intend to use it as the place where the road northwards from the Keep on the Borderlands ends up at.

I will have to translate some of the place names. I mean, Shanpuir sounds amazing as a name, but the Raze du Lynx hmm The Lynx Wastes

Ileterre at least might be just the Earth Island.

And then we zoom in into a single place in that area which is again a fantastic adventure location obviously intended to make even finding the actual location of Jarandell as fun and entertaining as possible.

Jarandell it turns out is situated within one of the mills in the area (why a small village and a monastery need 4 mills is not explained, but 3 of them are abandoned).

Jarandell itself is in the attic of one of the abandoned mills, and you have to find a secret door and climb up a diabolical staircase that shrinks you the further you go upstairsand then you reach the garden

The Garden Entrance

It turns out Jarandell is a miniature world, secluded away in the attic of the mill. From outside its just a few feet across. On the inside it is large enough to house an expanding castle, a labyrinth around that castle, a village with at least 50 houses, a lake, and expansive greensexcept they arent green, they are bathed in eternal twilight, only lit by bioluminescent flowers, wind created by giant flying turtles, with giant well, actually normal-sized bats left over from construction as a sort of megafauna.

The Castle

By the way, notice the pictures. These seem to have been a stylistic choice. Except for the maps and maybe two other paintings, the whole art in the article is pictures of dioramas and models. Remember, this was back in 1990. This stuff is all handmade, even the creatures and NPCs.

By the way, these seem to have been created by who also did the art for the last few years.

Dixit Daydreams

Jarandell is ruled by three magicians, the inheritors of Randell. They run a sort of magicians school in their castle, creating new magic for some mysterious purpose. The whole place is littered with magic items.

Most of the actual magic is actually done by , those enigmatic beings of Jack Vances fiction (Specifically the Dying Earth and Lyonesse stories). And much space is given as to how these beings act and behave.

I always have wondered how good a setting this actually is. It certainly is an evocative one, but after the characters have found Jarandell and interacted with the people there for a bit then what

After some wonderful buildup and amazing art the whole thing seemed to falter.

I still dont know what the extraplanar danger is that scared Randell so, and there are other hints that might or might not connect this to the wider setting Casus Belli had created in previous articles. I always feel like I am missing some context here.

This I will have to work out for my own campaign I guess. The whole place is more of a high level place anyway, so I will have some time until my players get there. Not that there are many players during these times anyway.

Besides Franck Dion, this was a collaboration of a few people from what I can see. One of them seems to have been J. Balczesak, the other collaborators were Denis Beck, Denis Gerfaud, and Didier Guiserix,the photographs are given as Yolle (Guiserix according to some Google searches). I cannot really find more of her work, except the other articles in CB (mostly the Laelith setting which seems to be connected). 

The Sandestin Phoboxen

I really wish there was more stuff in this vein out there, this combination of sculpture and photography as RPG art, especially in this style. But I think outside of some dioramas for the Laelith series of articles they might never have done more. and to be fair, sculpture and modelmaking might be a bit too much work just for some articles in an RPG magazine. On the other hand this is just some of the stuff RPG fans might be into.

Magic portrait

#casusBelli #diorama #jackVance #jarandell #laelith #RolePlayingGame #sandestin #sculpture #setting #ttrpg #wunderwelten

When the clock strikes midnight, a woman's Terracotta statue becomes her secret, exceptional lover.

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Troll of the Day: Lilja.

Last of the Little Italy, Cleveland, OH series. Shot in May 2023.

Haniwa (Hollow Clay Sculpture) of a Warrior (5th century)

As the two visitors delve deeper into their holographic cards and the profound insights they offer, they realize that the universe is an intricate tapestry of interconnected ideas and experiences. Withdrawing in disgust is not the same as apathy, and building walls is not the path to understanding. 


The Guardians in an internal courtyard of the Italian Centre in the Merchant City area of Glasgow. These were created by Jack Sloan in the late 1980s.

Geisha/geiko/geigi every day in October (GEDIO) 2023 day 15: a geisha/geiko/geigi woman with her eyes closed sculpture in Sculpt+

Showcasing sculpture from around the world.

d some time in New Egland and loved the site. amazing! and wonderful interpreters to hel us learn more in-depth about the , his times and his work.

Demain, c'est la deuxime rencontre du "Spoon club de Wallonie".

NO 01A

Software used: Maya / ZBrush / Adobe Substance Painter / Arnold

One of my favorite weekends! Open House Chicago. At HKS Architects!

Troll of the Day: SREN.

Ugo Rondione at Gladstone Gallery

Takamura Kun - Monkey

Star-people 2023

Visiting Antonio Lopez exhibit in Barcelona. I love that artist!

11/411/12 NoeLily's nest

Ces esquisses me rappellent un chef-duvre de David Altmejd admir lors dune exposition au MACM :

Le dsert et la semence

Troll of the Day: Roskva.

Taken this day, 2009, fishermen's memorial, St Abb's Head (aka New Asgard these days!)

Pendentif chat et rat


Are you a creature of the dark For a limited time, were selling blanks of our Bat-Thing to be customized and finished by YOU!

An unpainted, raw mask can be acquired at our online shop: 

Theo Jansen's extraordinary 'Strandbeest' sculptures have evolved into massive wind-powered walking machines that are linked together like a caterpillar. Watch:

nel 1893 lo scultore calabrese

Gli angeli ribelli
Brooklyn Museum, New York

Morie Ogiwara - Woman (1910)

A repurposed Della Robia Clay Sculpture of Jehovah rises as Poseidon from the furnace room floor of my David Hockney Installation. 1990s.

"La forma plastica non rappresenta la figura, ma la sublima, ne trasforma l'essenza, ... la cala e la isola nello spazio reale e, isolandola, la idealizza.."

Italian sculptor Antonio Canova died in 1822. Often regarded as the greatest of the Neoclassical artists, his sculpture was inspired by the Baroque and the classical revival, and has been characterised as having avoided the melodramatics of the former, and the cold artificiality of the latter. via

Saint Mungo as the Patron of the Arts and Music by George Frampton. Created in 1900, it's set into the central arch of the main entrance to Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in the west end of Glasgow.

Odd question and I'm not sure where best to ask - does armature wire (or similar material) come in 1/2" or above sizes, or does it top out at 3/8" like I seem to be finding in searches so far I was hoping to find something that was still metallic-looking, conductive and human-bendable at around 20mm in diameter, but so far it looks like I might have to scale down and make do with 3/8" (around 9.5mm). Boosts welcome for reach/ideas.

Cool Art Toys by Knock

Apollonius, Boxer at Rest, c. 100 B.C.E., bronze, Hellenistic Period (Palazzo Massimo, Museo Nazionale Romano, Rome).

Troll of the Day: Gro.

DesignBoom : bulgari marks 75 years of serpenti jewelry with live robot arm chiseling in its milan exhibition

Un autre pendentif chat

Virgen de Las Nieves entre Dos Castillas, ante la sierra de Guadarrama.

Virgen de Las Nieves entre el cielo y la roca de la sierra de Guadarrama.

Had a great time at the 2023 Taiwan-Guam Austronesian International Art Exhibition held at the Hyatt Regency Guam this weekend. It was sponsored by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office of Guam in conjunction with the 112th Taiwan National Day celebration and it was an absolutely lovely affair!

We're marveling at these new paper fighting fish exquisitely constructed by Lisa Lloyd. See them this week at StART Art Fair.

Showa Daibutsu (1984)

Everything to know about Chinese Fabric and Textiles