Sunday, February 7, 2016

Naval Warfare on Tékumel - done and available for free download!

I must apologize for the long time that has passed since my last post (over a year!)

There are two reasons for the lapse in activity. The first is that it has been a busy year for me workwise. The second is that I have kind of kept myself cloistered from the Tékumel community at large, trying to devote my limited Tékumel time to completing my essay on naval warfare. I had really hoped to have it done in 2015, the 40th anniversary of the release of EPT. Obviously I didn't quite manage that, but close. The essay is finally done. Or as done as it is going to be.

The finished piece is an 81-page pdf, about 4.5meg in size. Pretty reasonable, I think.

If you would like a copy, just click the cover image at right to get the Dropbox link.

So what all are you getting? Well, it is a primer on naval warfare on Tékumel. Section 1 is a brief introduction. Section 2 discusses the history of naval warfare on Tékumel. Section 3 deals with naval architecture and the organization of fleets in the Five Empires. Section 4 covers the "modern" practice of naval warfare. Section 5 describes two historical naval engagements, to illustrate the points raised in Section 4. Section 6 offers some brief concluding observations. This is followed by a rather lengthy section of endnotes and then a brief list of references cited.

Now, a few words about what this essay isn't:

1) It isn't "official" canon Tékumel. It is a completely unofficial fan essay. In fact, there are a few instances (clearly identified in endnotes) where I explicitly depart from canon fact. Moreover, in the Tékumel of my imagination, it is still the reign of the 61st Seal Emperor Hirkáne “The Stone Upon Which the Universe Rests.” For me, subsequent canon historical events have not happened yet (and may never happen). The disclaimer required by the Tekumel Foundation for fan work appears on the first page of the Table of Contents.

2) It isn't a set of naval wargame rules. This is a pure fluff piece. I originally envisioned it as a naval equivalent of Professor Barker's "Military Formations of the Nations of the Universe" article published in the Dragon Magazine back in 1977. Although the scope grew over time, it is still intended to serve the same kind of role.

3) It isn't a quick read. I have to admit the style is a little pedantic and pseudo-scholarly. In fact, I even made the layout reminiscent of a social sciences monograph series from the 1950s-1970s. No apologies for that, it is just how I roll. Besides there was sometimes more than a hint of pedantry in the Professor's own work on Tékumel! Personally, I always kind of liked that....

4) It isn't professionally-illustrated. There are illustrations, in fact you will have seen a few samples already on this blog. I guess I would describe the style as "enthusiastic amateur" rather than professional. A professional artist could surely have done better, but for me, some of the fun of fan-non-fiction is building it yourself, so, for better or for worse, that's what I did.

5) It probably isn't for the newcomer to Tékumel. Prior familiarity with the world of Tékumel is assumed.

Anyhoo, if you aren't put off by what it ISN'T and you think you might be interested in what it IS, please feel free to download a copy. It should be a quick download, and it's free. I hope you find it interesting, and maybe even useful.


(ps Any problem with the download link, please let me know. I think it works, but I haven't used Dropbox before, so there could be glitches)


  1. Fully awesome! Thanks for making this available.

  2. This is great! The art is perfect, BTW!

  3. This is great! The art is perfect, BTW!

  4. Thank you for your time and effort

  5. thank you all, and you are more than welcome! I hope you find it helpful

  6. Congratulations on completing this project! I'll be bringing it to the table this coming weekend at Con of the North!

    1. really? I am honoured! All the best for your session, I love the premise. Fair winds and full sails to the Black Galleys! ....oop wait now, they're the bad guys in the scenario, aren't they?

  7. Very impressive, inspiring work.
    I love the formatting and the illustrations.
    Just a superb fan produced piece all around.

    Congratulations for finishing it, and thank you for putting it out there for all to enjoy.