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N Robin Crossby (1954-2008)

As many of you will by now know, on 23 July 2008, N Robin Crossby, the creator of Hârn, HârnMaster and the universe of Keléstia, passed on to Yàsháin.

Robin had been suffering from liposarcoma or fat-cell-cancer in his bowel that was discovered in January 2006. He underwent surgery followed by chemotherapy, and was briefly in remission in 2007. Robin is survived by his wife Sharon, his three daughters, his three siblings, his father and many friends all over the world.

All of us will miss him dearly. We will miss his wit and humour, his brilliance, his particular perspective on the worlds, his (sometimes maddening) attention to detail, his song, his love of his creation and his dedication to his vision.

Robin began to create the world of Hârn over three decades ago, and brought it to the public in 1983. Over the years he worked with many people to bring his vision to fruition. His chief love was map making, and his maps of Hârn and other places are renowned. Robin was a perfectionist, and constantly strove to reach the unobtainable - the perfection of his vision. He was never satisfied with his own work, always striving to improve it, to come closer to his vision.

His goal was to make Kèthîra, the world of Hârn, as real a place as he could for his friends and fans all over the world. Many people shared and continue to share his love of Hârn and thus part of his vision.

Robin was the Creator of Hârn, and the founder of Keléstia Productions. He can't and won't be replaced, but his legacy will live on. Robin made it clear that it was his desire for Keléstia
Productions to continue working towards perfecting our reflection of his vision. Those of us who have been working with him these last few years plan to honour that wish as best as we are able.

"Kua hinga te Totara" - "A great Totara has fallen".

"The stars of the heaven are dimmed; darkness is over all.
Our treasured bird has flown; the giant tree of the forest
that sheltered the birds and the small has fallen to the earth.
The midpost of the house has snapped asunder;
the chill wind blows through the afflicted home.
Our friend is gone; borne away on the canoe of Fate.
He passes along the viewless path by which so many have gone before".

Jeremy Baker
Project Director,
Keléstia Productions

Please make any tributes you would like to express regarding Robin
and what he and his work meant to you here

HârnChat: Keeping the Vision Alive

You are hereby invited to join us for HârnChat XXI in our online "Tavern". We are planning to talk about Robin, his great vision and how it has affected us -- and how it will be kept alive and continued.

As usual, the chat will start at 22:00 GMT/UTC. You can check the countdown timer in the "Next HârnChat" block to see when that is.

Direct link to the chat (starting Sunday, July 27th at 22:00 GMT/UTC)

N. Robin Crossby

On July 23rd 2008, Robin succumbed to his cancer at a hospice in Coquitlam, BC.

Rest in peace Robin, we'll all miss you.

NOTE: Please direct any further comments on Robin's life and what he meant to you to this thread: http://www.kelestia.com/?q=node/291

Thank you.

KEN'S HOUSE RULES: Countering Counter-Strike?

I've had this little problem for a while with the Counter-Strike mechanism in HarnMaster. (I've really only had it since my superior PC got whacked by an underskilled Gargun who decided to use the counter-strike manuever, but go figure :) )

It essentially goes like this: No matter how skilled a combatant may or may not be, they are completely defenseless to a counter-strike maneuver, no matter how badly skilled their opponent may be. An attacker with a 95 EML attacks a defender with a 60 EML only to have the defender counter-strike. The most likely outcome is that both return a Marginal Success. This results in both the attacker and the defender suffering a strike.

It's true that the Melee Combat Matrix favors the original attacker slightly during a counterstrike, but the mechanism relies soley on the defender's chances of missing. There is no active defense relying on the attackers skill.

My solution is a new attack option


An attacker may elect to suffer a -10 penalty to EML in order to perform a CAUTIOUS ATTACK. This functions exactly as a normal MELEE ATTACK with one difference. If the reduced EML of the attacker EXCEEDS the EML of the defender, then the defender may NOT exercise the COUNTER-STRIKE defense option.

NOTE: In most cases an attacker will not know for certain whether the defender's EML is higher or lower than his own, or by how much. It is entirely possible to suffer the -10 penalty of CAUTIOUS ATTACK and still suffer a COUNTER-STRIKE from an opponent who's EML is high enough to overcome the cautious nature of the attack.

Living in Interesting Times

With Eric, Eric, Eric the ‘Arf a Fish

Last week I acquired a new constant companion. The front end looks like a fish, I’ve never seen the rear end; it could like a horse, a toaster oven, or maybe a fish. It only swims backwards from left to right. I call it Eric… Eric the ‘alf a fish. The part I’ve seen has two mouths, but that’s ok… it doesn’t bite. On the other hand, it does have some odd behaviour. It eats words. If there’s a page of text, it eats the right half, then works its way left to leave only a few letters on each line.

Eric is there if I close my left eye. Eric is there if I close my right eye. Eric is there is I close both eyes. (hence my use of the term ‘constant’ when describing what kind of companion Eric is…)
Eric, Eric, Eric the ‘arf a Fish…

Thirty-eight point six is a magic number: if my temperature reaches this high while on chemotherapy, I am supposed to go directly to the emergency room (do not pass go, do not collect $200). It hits thirty-nine. This indicates I have an infection that my torn and bloodied immune system cannot manage. Also, I have a tendency to fall down every time I stand up (more than this actually) and that strikes me as out of the ordinary also.

For the first time in my life, I am wheeled through Emergency without any waiting whatsoever, and straight into an isolation room. Interesting. I make a point of not thinking about how scary this could be to some people. Doctors and mean girls with needles examine me for a couple of hours. I have an infection, they take a swab but they never determine what it is. Turns out my haemoglobin is now 42… that’s right… the answer to life the universe and everything… 42… a happy cheerful amusing number, except that it’s supposed to be about 160. One nurse observes that she’s never had a conversation with someone whose haemoglobin was 42 before… also, my white blood count is way down (well, my immune system is in collapse). They give me 6 units of blood (Redpacks… thanks to all you donors out there) some platelets, and enough antibiotics to choke a rhinoceros. Oh and hey… they gave Eric a name: patrichial haemorrhages
Eric, Eric, Eric the patrichial haemorrhages

Eric should go away as soon as my infection clears up and my immune system recovers.
I also have patricial haemorrhages in my nose/mouth but they don’t smell/taste fishy, so that’s alright.

For a few weeks I may be able to write, but I wont’ be able to read. This may mean that what I write will not meet my usual standards…

Well, the last few weeks… maybe the last couple of months, have been interesting (in the sense of the Chinese Curse, “may you live in interesting time”. I’ve been withdrawn from my last chemotherapy protocol (I suppose that’s a good idea since it was killing me what with dropping my haemoglobin to 42 and crushing my immune system). My lump-doctor broke up with me…she sees no need to see me any more. No matter what we call him… Eric is still with me, although he has evolved into a general blur. But then, one cannot complain about that sort of thing; I’ve realised for some time now that everything is evolving into a blur .