1994 to 2001: The Lean Years with Sudden Burst of Activity
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During this period, I was working a number of different jobs until I became very busy working at Microsoft as a temp in 1996. For a long period between 1994 and 1998 I wasn’t running my campaign very much. Then in 1999, after some cajoling from my friends Toby Shaw and Wade Tyler, I gathered a group of reliable players and started a new plot thread.
Significant events in this period
- Sklanthar, Xerxes and several others make a brief visit to the Sigil, the City of Doors in pursuit of Mr. Farlops, the Demon Prince to return his amulet to him.
- Sklanthar suffers massive cultural shock from his visit to this city.
- Upon his return to Udra, he buries or destroys two known gates to the city, considering knowledge of its existence as too dangerous.
- Sklanthar and Xerxes decide to enter a long period of sabbatical and contemplation.
- The marriage of King Theramir to a long lost woman, Tyrathect Zeq’umthetho, missing for nearly two decades and suspected of being the mother of Theramir’s son.
- The arrival of Andru and the Big Pink One mercenary company in Boatsburg. A town near Koyaanisqatsi, the holy compound and temple of Ummanah
- Andru has a secret and requires help. Heroes are gathered in Boatsburg to aid Andru in his quest.
- Immediate dissent in the newly forming party as Captain Striker strangles Jarvis’ pseudodragon familiar.
- Bent on revenge Moose and Jarvis secretly call in a few favors from the embarrassingly powerful mage Limetor.
- Sergeant Randal Scott is mysteriously decapitated in broad daylight in front of many witnesses.
- In an attack of paranoia, Sklanthar mobilizes his holy warriors for a war against the Queen, whom he suspects as being behind Hendar’s death.
- The crisis is averted with many painful and protracted negotiations and the gods finally showing some misguided spine!
- A company is floated consisting of Captain Striker, Sergeant Scott, Sete Udes, Telwin, Moose and Andru and the crew of the Good Ship Danny Goodman
- The dangerous journey is made to Ravensland to find the missing artificer Marvek, Andru’s maker
- Combat with alien shapeshifting doppelgangers deep in the frozen north of Ravensland.
- A strange temple is found deep in the frozen north. Under the very heavy aurora activity, the temple is sealed.
- Notes are found. Marvek is suspected of having been taken over by the alien shapeshifters and fleeing to Darth Lom.
- Sklanthar Quintilia Regulus. The first player character ever to be a cleric. A priest of Ummanah. The Active Reformer.
- Xerxes Zendesium. A Holy Warrior of Ummanah. Sklanthar’s right hand.
- Andru, a fully sapient flesh golem, with a terrible secret, made by the famed archmage Marvek.
- Sete Udes, a fire mage and fanatic of the Sun God Ummanah
- Telwyn, (Nicknamed: “Cookie.”) The company cook of the Big Pink One mercenary company and wizard of some repute.
- Captain Striker, Commander of the Big Pink One mercenary company. A huge stickler for rules, clean paperwork and regulation number of boot laces.
- Sargent Scott, Aside from Telewyn, the sole surviving member of the Big Pink One mercenary company.
- Grim Jack, a dwarven thief, cursed with a deep love of all things copper. Later cured of this curse.
- Hendar the Heroic, captain of Sklanthar’s body guard. Decapitated and now dead.
- Theramir: My stepbrother renamed Ring Poco after a few months of play. He liked this name better.
- Limetor aka Clark Kent: A powerful human wizard and part-time orc outlaw. It’s a long and embarrassing story.
- Moose the Braindead: A superhumanly strong but superhumanly stupid dwarf.
- Cookie Jarvis: A human wizard with a pseudodragon familiar. Now just named “Jarvis.”
The departure of two players and a new rules system
By the year 2000, two of my players, Toby and Alex, left the country and left Seattle respectively. This pretty much cut the Marvek thread short. But before that, Alex introduced me to the new rules system Wizards of the Coast had built for D&D after buying TSR in 1997 (WotC was then bought by Hasbro in 1999.), D&D 3.0, a complete overhaul of the AD&D Second Edition. During the year 2000 until 2003, I converted my campaign to the new system. This takes us to the next chapter in Udran gaming history, 2001 to 2008, the Circus years.