If you wish, you may regard this as a sequel or part of a series with this post.
Wow, I had a serious blast from the past today.
I’ve recently been working with some members of my venerable TT group to compile a history, who’s who, travelogue and, heck, even a historiography of the Legacy of the Gods, my recently-resurrected longtime WFRP campaign (in fact, we’ve just started putting together, yes, a wiki to get this stuff remotely organized… am I becoming a wikiholic?). Given the timescale involved, memories can be hazy and information can be distorted, biased or garbled, and the voluminous (yet sometimes maddeningly incomplete) notes and play-calendars can be difficult to wade through and interpret.
However, when I was digging through a folder that used to be my graveyard for obsolete information, old handouts and the like, I found a tattered sheet of paper that contained the earliest attempt on my part to compile a history of the campaign’s metagame aspects, such as what got it going and where the principal characters came from. It’s only one sheet and it only covers the first few years of the game and cuts off in mid-development, but it got my memory churning and got me rethiking the game’s history.
It was the summer of 1991. School was not yet in. I borrowed the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay rulebook from Brian Jones and devoured it. I wasted no time in creating a new optional player character race: Beastmen. When the rules were complete, I rolled up a set of stats for my second WFRP character and named him: Uhlrik. At that time his story [backstory, that is] was nowhere near complete: a beastman who had turned against Chaos. A sketchy start, but interesting nonetheless [to an angsty adolescent gamer]. After I returned the rulebook, school started. I began making up companions for him in class. The knight Theledore, the morningstar-wielding dwarf Fragnar, the wizard Magnus, the elven archer Jerome and the scantily clad warrior woman Essandra. I thought they were sort of cool at the time.
Then I got the Warhammer book for myself. Drew [my best friend at the time, and still a dear friend today. I went to his wedding in Philly this summer] and I began making his companions, utterly diregarding my old ideas for them. They were: a wizard’s apprentice named Cedric Enric, a female elven noble named Cassandra and a dwarven tunnel fighter whose name is lost to me. Shortly after came Tanis Aran, a human squire whose master was Lord Rampant Trollroller [wince]. This ill-fated knight was slain by black orcs and an ogre. We didn’t play much.
By this time I was already formulating an epic story based around these intrepid adventurers: Siege on Bachendorf Keep. It was a monumental tale of a band of heroes helping defend a castle from certain destruction by a huge horde of undead (which soon expanded to include Chaos). This story had nothing to do with the actual adventures they were going on, but I was planning to make an adventure based on the tale. I never wrote the story, but what I did make was Octavius Mors Gunderit, Grand High Warlord of Khorne (who I later, when writing the adventure, split into two characters [the other being Prinz Gaynor Teufel, a Moorcock ripoff that ended up being the campaign’s main antagonist] and a little bit of Uhlrik’s story (his mother having left a Chaos warlord to raise him).
About then I became friends with “Mortal,” a short, spunky bespectacled 7th-grader named Ryan Powell [I went to his wedding in Missouri this summer too]. We ditched the dwarf tunnel fighter Drew had made for a not-terribly-different dwarven tunnel fighter named Derelek Caravan. One thing Derelek had that the other dwarf didn’t: longevity. While the other never died, he sort of vanished into the mists of oblivion [IE we retconned him out of existence]. By now school was out & summer was in full swing.
The heroes adventured for a while, and tensions arose: uncouth Uhlrik and the haughty elf, Cassandra, didn’t get along at all. They didn’t split because they still liked the other characters. After quite a while, this eased and they actually became friends. So far the characters had been through the Oldenhaller Contract and several unnamed scenarios, including 2 traditional dungeon crawls. Tanis went back to Kislev, leaving the others. He was replaced by an ogre jailer named Thrudd, an endearing idiot with an enormous appetite. [He was another Ryan creation]
After that, they began pursuing a Chaos Champion whose name I have forgotten [funnily, I remember it now… Erdrick the Blooded]. They followed him into a (what else) tunnel complex inhabited by (what else) goblins & orcs. There was even a troll. They found him, and his minions (including the now-infamous “fumbleman”) and proceeded to smite them, only to discover that these tunnels were also guarded by a young (but plenty potent) dragon with (what else?) a fabulous treasure.
After the smoke cleared, the heroes were still alive, and had found magic treasure, including Uhlrik’s trademark coldfire axe & [what was remade into] armor. We played this last adventure a few days before Ryan moved (which was after school started again). Drew took over Derelek, and we played a little more. I was well into designing my masterwork adventure, Siege on Bachendorf Keep (what a surprise), which was not finished until my junior year (what a surprise) [IE a year later]. To pass the time until then, I bought The Restless Dead. When Ryan came bac on a 3-week visit, we played the balance of TRD, but he went home before it was done with.
Uhlrik realized how he felt about Cassandra, and she developed feelings for him (but didn’t know it [ooh, the angst!]). Derelek lost an eye and “Fell off the wagon.” Then Elgin became my friend, so he took over Cassandra, and Mark took over Cedric during TRD. Finally, Siege was finished. We played it within a several-month span, and I will write the rest later.
Indeed, I shall.
So that’s a telling of the metagame history of the early stages of the Legacy campaign, as told by my teenaged self. So much WrongBadFun, but what fun it was.