Hello, it's Greebow here.
I wanted to take the time to tell you about a very hallowed place in our little community in Manchester.
It's a place dedicated to table top gaming. The D&D and Magic the gathering community come from far and wide to get together in this store. There are weekly games put on as well as major tournaments for all levels of play.
Fanboy3 is the reason myself and Thia get to play D&D so much and have made some amazing friends.
The other players that come down are great to be around and create such a geeky and fun filled vibe, that even the most socially awkward of us relax and just soak it in.
Dave the owner and the staff there are all fellow geeks. This really shows in the clear passion they have for the games, while keeping a laid back and down to earth approach with everybody. No pushy sales, they just help you find what you're looking for (even if you didn't know what it was) and are a font of information.
But it's more than just a store or somewhere to play games.
It's a place to feel safe just being you. A place all ethnicities , religions, sexualities, genders and ages come together in a mutual love of geeky adventure.
It's our haven, our sanctuary, our safe place.
And it just got bigger!!
Fanboy3 has moved just up the road from the old store. Its new location is 23-25 Hilton st, central Manchester. It has seriously leveled up!
There is sooo much more space, it now comprises of two floors.
The top floor is the big shop area, with lots of tables, all the games you could ever dream of and will soon include a little cafe section.
Downstairs there is a very well ventilated gaming area for big D&D campaigns and Magic tournaments. With double the amount of toilets of the original building.
Plus the entire place looks so fresh and open, even with all the tables for gaming. It really is an awesome space.
They are going to be hosting so many amazing events (I will drop a link for them below). Including FREE RPG DAY!!
The Cognitive Merchant will be there supporting and playing on the D&D tables. There will also be lots of fantastic entertainment such as stilt walking, block head and fire performances by the very talented Bea Noir, Chris Baxter and Annabella Stanyer!
There will be many cosplayers there and a photo booth with a professional photographer to have your picture taken in. I believe there are also some free gifts for those taking part and buying table top games.
So much gaming will be going on including:
D&D 5th ed
Conan the Barbarian
Please come join us for lots of geeky fun.
Over all Fanboy3 is a great place to be and has an awesome community.
Both myself and Thia urge you to pay the place a visit and get involved.
Hope to see you soon!
May the dice gods smile on you.
Hello Adventurers, it's Greebow here. I hope your week has been filled with Fantasy.
Myself and Thia have been having a great time reading all your comments and creating some magical goodness. You have been keeping us very very busy and we love you for it!
However, we did manage to find a little time last week to go on the B&B Tavern Podcast and have some fun with it's amazing host creating D&D characters.
It was fantastic!
We received a message from Baylor, the host, saying he really liked what we do and asking if we would like to come on his show to talk about what we do and make D&D 5th ed characters with him. We talked dates and agreed on one that was good for us all. As he is in the states, and we are here in Manchester Uk, there was a bit of a time difference but luckily both myself and Thia are night owls.
It was sooooo much fun !!!
We all talked off air for ages and bonded a little over our mutual geekery. We told Baylor all about why we do this and he told us he really loved our DM kits and had been keeping up with what we are doing. This made us smile so very much. It still astounds us that people other than our little local gaming community are interested in what we are doing and making.
After this, we took 5 minutes for a bathroom break and to make cups of tea, then we started the actual show.
Our host had so much energy and positivity, it was infectious. So even after a very long day and the events in Manchester recently, we felt energized!
He introduced the show, and then we introduced ourselves and talked a little about what we do.
Then, he asked each of us sets of questions to create our characters. Race, Class, Age, Appearance and if we are good or bad at certain stats.
I will not spoil the Podcast by telling you what we created but I will say this, we laughed............. A LOT!
There was silly voices and even ''Light Fisting''. Yep you read that right.
After it was over, we talked more with him and got into the styling of the DM kit he wanted to order first. He has some great ideas with a Paladin style, and we cannot wait to get started on it! He also asked if we are up for coming on more of his shows, and it was an emphatic yes from us.
So a great Adventure had by all, with the promise of more in the future.
Big thank you to him for a fun night and all the support.
Please, please go click the button below that will take you to his YouTube channel and watch/listen to his show.
We will also post a link on this Blog the second our episode is up.
From myself Greebow Lightbrush and Master Artizan Thia.
May the dice gods smile on you!
We have decided to really get into character for our next set of videos. We wanted to transform ourselves into Greebow (Gnome tinkerer artist) & Thia (Wood Elf huntress artisan).
Though we are pretty creative, and ok with creating costumes, we needed help with prosthetic's for our faces. So we reached out to Sanita Liepina, here are some examples of her amazing work.
Isn't she talented? Go check her out at
To start with, I (Greebow) put on some old comfy clothes, and got into, what I can only described as a sleeping bag of bin liners. This, plus it being summer, made for a very warm experience. After I had sat down, she explained the process to us, and said it would all start with a full face cast. Now I must admit, I get a little claustrophobic, so this was kind of scary for me. But I got brave in the name of creativity and D&D.
The first step, was to have a bald cap put on. I looked handsome as hell, honest. Then she explained that the Alginate, would first be going over my head and eyes, and she would then work down,past my nose (but not over my nostrils, as oxygen is important), then would fully cover my mouth and neck.
When the first layer went over my eyes and it went dark, it was actually very relaxing. The stuff she was using was all natural and great for your skin, so it felt like I was just having a very cold facial. I got a little more nervous, after my nose and mouth got covered. Sanita and Thia reassured me lots and Thia even helped layer it up, so the process was faster.
After a little while, my head was totally encased and feeling a bit heavy. At that point, I will fully admit, I felt some anxiety and a rather rapid heart beat. I could not see and I could not speak, and felt pretty vulnerable. But again, Thia and Sanita calmed me and told me it was nearly done. After that, I became very relaxed, and could not wait to see the photos Thia had taken.
It was time to pull it all off. I had to wiggle my face inside this giant ball of solid snot. This face wiggling and stretching, really made me want to laugh. Then it all just popped and peeled off. I CAN SEE!
As I proceeded to clean my face, Sanita mixed and poured plaster into the face mold, and left it to set.
Now it was Thias turn! Thia wanted beautiful, well fitted elven ears made. So no full face cast for her (lucky bugger). But she did have to have, cold, gloopy Alginate poured in her ears.
The process was different but just as odd looking. She had to have her head laid on the table, with the side of her face, facing up covered in cling film. Sanita taped two paper cups together, with the bottoms cut out and placed this over Thias ear, after putting some cotton wool into the deepest recesses of her ear hole.
Then, she poured the Alginate in the cup until it covered the whole ear and then a bit more. It felt like having cold, runny cottage cheese poured in your ear. Thia then stayed like that for the next 10 minutes, while it set. Once all set, she pulled it off, like a strange, green suction cup (Sluurpop). Then repeated the entire process on the other ear.
Now our face and ear casts are made, Sanita is going to get working on sculpting all the parts we need to transform ourselves into Greebow & Thia.
Sanita was really nice to work with, very calming and professional. She clearly has passion for her creative work and let's face it, it really shows in the end result. We are so excited to be doing more with her. Both of us would like to give a massive Thank You to her for working with us on this project.
While Sanita is working on the prosthetics, we are going to be working our magic putting outfits together. And that is what the second part of the blog will be about. So stay tuned and may the dice gods smile on you!
The amazing folks at Tandy Leather UK are going to have a stand at MCM London Comic Con this weekend showing off their wares. Tandy is the place we go to for our finest quality leather and tools. We also go there, to learn new leather working skills and keep up to date with new techniques. They have been instrumental in the way we have increased the quality of the items we make. We can't thank them enough.
They will be taking with them our very first 'All in One' DM Kit. It was our prototype and was sold to the creative DM that is Jonathan Syson, but he has let us borrow it back for the weekend. It will be on display at the Tandy Leather stand no 3731, with explanations for the different parts of the original kit.
So please, please go pay them a visit at the stand.
Feel free to take a card and come have a chat with us, or place an order for a basic kit right there with them.
Myself and Thia are getting to start a D&D (5th ed) campaign run by the awesome DM that is Jon Syson.
It is set in the Gothic land of Borovia. It will be a homebrew but with elements pulled from The Curse of Strahd book.
A dark place full of undead, Vampires, haunted houses and all the horrific things that go bump in the dark.
We get to play this with an awesome line up of friends. Myself and Thia, Stu Aspden, Lewis Attenborough, Owain Winterbottom, Rosie Evans, and then Jon as our DM.
The first thing we got asked to do was create 3rd lvl characters with a back story. As its homebrew we could go a little more exotic than the standard races if we wanted.
This is what we came up with!
Name: Ak'kron Grendeck (Grendeck means fiend spotter)
Race: Aarakocra (eagle man)
Class: Ranger (maybe adding some rogue)
Ak'kron hails from a society of bird folk in a far off land called Halruaa.
They live in the high mounting earies surrounding the land and serve as its protectors. Mainly because bordering these lands on the outside of the circle of mountains there is an unstable waste land. Within this land once in a wile random tears open up from an evil dimension and entities try to slip through. Demons and fiends trying to get a foot hold in this world.
Ak'kron worked as a scout for the King and Council of Halruaa. Flying lone patrol runs over the wasteland watching for tears. Armed with his eagle eyes and his trusted longbow.
On one of these runs he spotted a tear opening up and three strange creatures stepping through. He sped towards them taking aim and started to fire. His first shot slammed directly into the face of one of them and it dropped to the ground and turned instantly to black ash. The other two scatter fast as he unleashes a second arrow hitting another, it stumbles but keeps going. As Ak'kron takes aim to finish it off, the third creature shimmers and vanishes from site. Ak'kron fires at his original target and hits true. The entity just like the first turns to ash.
Ak'kron searches all over to no avail and heads back to Krakaa the main base of his clan, to report what he had seen.
Other scouting parties with warriors are sent out but with no luck in finding the missing creature or even evidence of the first two.
Months go by. Life carries on as normal for Ak'kron. But within the clan and the main society of Halruaa a few mysterious deaths occure, including finally a member of the council itself! All with arrows just like the scouts use.
An armed warrior unit confronts and arrests Ak'kron taking him before the council and king. An eye witness had come forward and said they had seen Ak'kron killing the council member. He had no alibi as he was home alone sleeping. He is found guilty by council vote and sentenced to death.
The king who had grown up around Ak'kron could not go against the will of the council. But he could give the option of a more pleasant death than having his wings cut off and his throat cut, as was custom for killing a council member.
So Ak'kron was given a choice between the later OR having his wings and bow and limbs bound tightly to his body, and taken to a dark pit called the Howling Mouth. So deep and black was this fizzure that nothing going in ever came out. He would be thrown into this pit head first to die, with his weapon at his side and air rushing through his feathers like one last flight.
Ak'kron chose the more honorable death.
He was taken to the Howling Mouth and thrown directly in. He plummeted for what seemed like a life time, but never uttered a screech, his stoic manner holding his nerve. He tensed his wings and began to struggle against his bonds. To his surprise his ropes were not as secure as they should have been. He had never been strong but he was fast and acrobatic by his nature. so he began to spin, roll and squirm in his bonds. He angled himself so he could scrape himself along the fizzure wall to tear at the ropes, but every impact wounded him badly. The ropes finally snap free and Ak'kron tried to unfurl his wings but they cramped and had become numb. they managed to slow him a little, enough for him to use his claws to get a grip on the walls.
He began his clime to the top of the fizzure. painfully slow and clostrophobic he made his way up. It took him hours and hours but eventually reaching the lip he pulls himself over and lay exhausted.
But he was startled awake a short time later by a screeching call. He looked round and in the distance saw the tiny form of another Aarakocra flying his way. He knew better than to stick around and took to the air and flew as fast as he could away from Halruaa. Again he kept going, pushing himself to his very limits, this time for days. Until exhaustion took him once more. During his sleep pieces started to connect in his mind. What if the fiend that had escaped him could do more than just become unseen or teleport? What if they had somehow infiltrated the his clan or even the COUNCIL itself! And had framed him to get rid of him or as revenge for the death of his cohorts.
As he woke he vowed to find away to unmask and stop this creature and prove his own innocents.
From then on he roamed the unknown lands before him honing his archery skills as he looked anything to help him in his quest.
Personality: Ak'krons sensibilities may not match that of normal humanoids and he may find it hard to understand how non Aarakocra races react to things. He is both a meat and veg eater but only eats raw or very rare meat. He is very stoic and lofty in his demeanor and not normally easy to rile or become overly emotional. He is very eagle like in his coloring and form apart from the odd feather dyed blue or green to represent his clan.
Background: Far traveler
My name is Sheslyn and I have found myself land-bound and away from the beautiful waters I call home.
Prior to this day I used to live with my triton kin in the vast underwater city of Tri'Panzuriel. There has never been a city so beautiful and full of controlled chaos. With many different types of aquatic life, all working together in their own unique ways under the rule of queen Shihnadyn Lagemnath. Always a benevolent and fair ruler, she strived to keep the peace between the many facets of triton society.
Within our matriarchal society only few are chosen to become Protectors against the 'above waves' or sometimes known as air breathers, I was one of them. Form a young age I began training in the ways to manipulate, enthrall and confuse those of a weaker mind. This training was so we could learn to steer away passing travelers or lure them to their deaths, if they persisted to encroach upon our realm.
Roughly a ten day after my 30th spawning day the great queen Shihnadyn Lagemnath was found dead in her quarters, to add to this tragedy a powerful item has gone missing. An urgent council meeting was held, and all of the city Protectors had to be present. As we soon found out, the missing item was the biggest pearl that bejeweled her crown. But it wasn't just any pearl...it held within it ancient mystical powers. It's subtle magic kept the peace within Tri'Panzuriel. Now it was gone! Sooner or later everything would fall to chaos and war would be had. The future of our realm was in grave danger, there had to be something we could do! The unknown attacker had to be found and brought to justice! The palace and all of the city was turned upside down and searched, only a single scrap of man made cloth was found caught on the thorns of an Eadro bush.
The council asked for volunteers from within the Protectors and told that this mission would be upon land. To stay out of the water for long would be abhorrent and normally seen as the harshest of punishments. Only three came forward, so I closed my eyes, dug deep within myself and volunteered. Week with just four Protectors, we chose four different directions to search the world. I became North and gained a glyph on my wrist to indicate such. Our mission was to find the pearl and bring the culprit to justice or death. We each were given a necklace with the power to turn our strong, beautiful fish tails into humanoid legs, to enable us to travel on the land of the air breathers.
After the meeting was over, there was no time to waste, it all feels like a blur now...we got armored and then packed only necessities and weapons. Then were sent on our way without much of a ceremony and that's how I ended up here, on dry land...I hate it, but I will do everything in my power to help restore the balance in my beloved land.
What do you think?
We cannot wait to use them and see what adventures happen!
A little progress report from one of our DM kits for an adventurer called Oli.
For him we are going for a Green Dragon style!
So we managed to get hold of some high quality white Alligator scaled leather from Tandy Leather UK.
After cutting it into the right size panels and cleaning it down, we have started dying it a more befitting Emerald Green.
What do you think?
We also top coated and treated it so that it is so much more durable and holds the color perfectly. only by scraping scissors down it did we even slightly scratch it.
On the 30th of April we went down to Fanboy3 for a pre-arranged game organized for a good friends Birthday and because we missed International Table Top Day. The gentlemens Birthday in question is Rupert Wainwright, a beloved DM and longtime gamer that we met through D&D and became friends.
The game itself was different from our usual D&D games in a few ways. First of all, we all started at level 22! It was also a mash up of characters players have used in different types of games. Including Pathfinder, LARP and all versions of Dungeons & Dragons. All of them got converted to very roughly fit the 5th edition mechanics of DnD. We got split into two separate tables, but each hour, when the signal of singing "Rupert the Bear" a member of each table would swap with each other.
The campaign and the world it's in originated over 30 years ago, by a lovely man called Majid, that we met for the first time at this game. To say this world is full of lore and colorful stories is an understatement.
The basics of our mission and the story was as follows.
We are all magically transported to a druidic battle grove, that is there to hold back evil and keep the balance. The keeper of this battle grove is a Druid called "Rupert". In his silver bear form, after he began his hibernation, something went very wrong. He didn't wake and began rotting from the inside. Through his daughter and some investigation, we found it was because there was a vast imbalance within the grove. There needed to be an equal set of elemental sheep. There was already an abundance of storm sheep but no other types. Our mission was to travel to different elemental planes to collect the other elemental sheep needed to restore balance in the grove.
We faced many challenges in our adventure, including:
It was a fantastic game and an apt way to celebrate Ruperts birthday. We met some great people and the characters they created.
We do love how creative and sociable tabletop gaming is and always look forward to it so much.
Greebow and Thia
Welcome to our Cognitive Merchant Blog.
First a little about us.
We are just two geeks that fell in love with each other, and wanted to create geeky things together.
We enjoy all things Fantasy and play D&D on a regular basis. We are based in Manchester, where there is a thriving gaming and Cosplay community, including our favourite gaming shop Fanboy3. It hosts all kinds of games and events and is staffed by some amazing people.
Within the Cognitive Merchant we have created ourselves characters (Avatars) that befit our fantasy roots and ideas.
Greebow Lightbrush is a male Gnome with shape-shifting and magical abilities. Plus a big flair for the artistic!
Thia is a female Wild Wood Elf with a love for leather craft. Always hard at work when not playing in the wilderness
We are going to use this blog section to chronicle what we get upto and the projects we are working on.
The Two of us hope dearly that you will join us on our adventures and share in our journey.
Greebow & Thia