The Working Barbarian

A Tale of Blood, Fire and Steel

Archive for the category “Announcements”

All Good Things

In the far distant south, past the fever swamps of Trolah and beyond even the Nightmare Mangroves of the Thrice Killed King, there lies is a range of hills at the very feet of the high-fells. A place still shrouded in a white mist that clings to the valleys like cobwebs. A place where the forests are as tall as they are dark and are far more ancient than man. It is an old place filled with old things; the grim spectres and shades of monsters which haunted and hunted man even before he had mastered fire or learned to speak. Only a fool ventures into these hills. For despite all of man’s might and pretensions at civilisation, the old things still hold sway and can still make you very, very dead. But amidst a night made of knives and teeth, a small clan have forged a life. They are a people of dusty brown skin and their tales say they were hewn from the foundation stones of the earth, back in the Old Time when the world was young. If you ever meet them, you would like as not agree with their tales. They spend their lives like coiled springs, filled with raw power, yet it is a power restrained and mastered, a power stored away until it needs to be used. They are lithe, and they are stout, they are quick and they are slow, they are murderous, yet they are also wise. They are people, perhaps here more so than any other race anywhere else. As if they were the first and we are all but shadows of their ancient grandeur. These people are the ones that the darkness first learned to fear, they are the fire makers and the wilderness-tamers. And it is these simple, yet mighty people who have a saying:

“To all things there is a season, A time to live by the sword, and a time to die by the sword; a time to give and a time to seize that which is before you; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to raise up heroes, and a time to tear them down and crush them unto dust; A time to love, and a time to hate; And after the time of war, there will be a time of peace. But for all things, there is a time to end.”


And so I am here to say that our saga is now at an end, at least for now. So The Working Barbarian is going on hiatus. But don’t worry, there are plans in the works and we will be back. After all we can hardly leave the end of the Lay of Jala unsung can we? Her inevitable confrontation with the Whelpslayer will find its way to your screens eventually. But for no we’re venturing off into the wilds and we may be some time…

Thanks for reading.


It Awakens…

In the far and distant realms of the High North, the icy grasp of winter has finally relinquished its hold on the land. The snows have melted, shoots and buds of green life appear where once there had been only whiteness and death. Now that the passes are clear, we can at last depart from Working Barbarian Towers and retake our place in the world. That is our official excuse for being gone from your browsers for nigh on 4 months and we’re sticking to it. Our absence is most certainly not the result of a slide into indolence, or a growing affinity for the hedonistic joys of lying on the sofa like a loppy dog while pouring gallon upon gallon of tea into our collective faces. A warrior cares not for these things! So even if they might be entirely true and accurate, could you please just pretend we’ve been off fighting dragons or rival tribes of belligerent northerners? As a small gesture of our contrition, the next instalment will be a bumper two parter!

Since it’s been such a long while since the last instalment of Jala’s saga it’s more than likely that some, if not all of you, will have forgotten the deeds and events that have thus far transpired. But worry not my hale and hearty friends! The great Skaald James of Clayton has prepared something to jog your memories a little.

Read more…


When last we met, a brave warrior lay wounded and a young girl called Freya was thoroughly conflicted.  Should she attempt to help Jala using the resources available to her, though her medical training is limited and her resources consist of local fauna?  Or should she journey on underneath The Fountain of the Meek and hope to find help there?  Evidently the fates were equally uncertain what she ought to do, for when the poll closed yesterday the results were 50/50.


It wouldn’t be completely untrue to say that the team at Barbarian Towers had not rigorously considered this eventuality before starting the project, so there is no contingency plan for a situation like this.  How will Ali, penner of part seven, continue the tale so that Freya both abandons Jala in the woods and continues on into the dark and unknown?  We don’t know, and she doesn’t either.  Tune in on Monday July 1st to find out!


If you grew up in the 80s or 90s and were a fan of books and fantasy, chances are that you have memories of the Fighting Fantasy books by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone. Whether those memories are fond memories is probably down to how much you were willing to cheat and just how many pages you could wedge open with fingers, bookmarks or pens. For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, these books were ground breaking in that they made you the hero. It was you who decided where you went and what you did, it was you who made the mistakes and it was you who claimed the glories.

The Life and Times of a Working Barbarian is a project that harkens back to these nostalgic days. We’re going to bring you some old school tales of high adventure and derring-do. It’s going to be seriously pulpy, it’s going to be extremely tongue in cheek and more than likely, just a little irreverent. Chances are there’s probably going to be quite a bit of gore too. Because gore is very in right now.

The concept, like the Fighting Fantasy books, is simple. You are going to be the ones who make the decisions: This is crowd-sourced barbarian fiction. After every instalment you, the internet public, will be given a choice. There could be two options, there could be three, but what the outcome actually turns out to be is down to your votes. If you’ve got any suggestions for adventures or events that you want to see in the storyline we will write them down and we will use them. Providing they’re not too dodgy that is.

After about a week of voting  the results will be given to one of our team of writers and they’ll set about writing the next part of the story based on your decisions. We don’t have a plan, we don’t have a goal, we’re just going to see where the story leads us.

This project can only be a success with your help, so spend the word, light the beacons and tell your friends. Because on Monday April the 8th the adventures of the Working Barbarian begin!

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