Chronicles of Tellus
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In the fall of 2001 I had just begun my freshman year of High School. Growing up I was always somewhat of a loner. My mom moved us into my grandmother’s house so we could look over her as she aged ever so gracefully. This, of course, meant that I lived in a neighborhood full of my grandmother’s peers and not my own. A perpetual lack of kids my age guided my descent into the world called Nerd. I would explain this world to you, but we’re trying to keep this book shorter than an encyclopedia. Suffice it to say, I was the Nerd of Nerds. From Star Wars to Star Fox (ha! you thought I’d say ‘Trek’…dork), I was deep in the geek muck. I even played in the marching band at my high school and made sure to be terrible at sports. Like…all of them.
But there was always that region of Nerd that even I dared not approach. If this were Lion King, Mufasa would point to this darkness and tell me never to go there. But the Fates had other plans in mind, and I would never guess who would drag me down into that vile darkness which spread so menacingly on the horizon.
Mufasa, you bastard.
That’s right, my dear old dad brought me into the world of Dungeons & Dragons. He and my ma split when I was so young that I have no memories of them being together. What this means is that I only had two weekends a month to see my father. So when those weekends rolled around we would do everything together. One weekend he came to pick me up and said he had “a thing” to do that night and that I could come or not. He didn’t say much about this “thing,” and I never suspected it would be D&D. I mean, my dad…playing D&D? Nope. Never.
Allow me to fill you in. This is the man who had been turning wrenches as a grease monkey his entire life. Sure, he enjoyed Star Wars and Star Trek, but that was pretty much the extent of his delving into Nerd. He didn’t read any fantasy books, let alone books in general. The closest he got to a roleplaying game was Risk and Monopoly. So imagine my surprise when we got to the “thing” and I see five forty-something-year-old men sitting around a table full of dice, miniatures, and character sheets.
My dad loved Dungeons and Dragons.
Turns out some guys my dad worked with would play during their lunch break and had somehow coaxed my old man into joining them (I can only assume they used an extremely powerful Enchantment spell). As you’ll soon learn if you continue reading, it was Ghandhar that made him do it. My dad took to Ghandhar Zham, the half-orc ranger, like the drow take to darkness. He started talking in character outside of game. Literally days outside of game! I found his lack of control…disturbing.
I had heard D&D made fun of. Hell, I had made fun of D&D! I was the butt of every dork joke except one. Dungeons & Dragons was reserved for the ultra-nerd, the nerds so nerdy that some sort of cosmic goo had transformed them into nasty dorkses doomed to spend eternity in their mother’s basements, scrabbling for scraps of Doritos and Mountain Dew like so many dire rats in so many 1st level dungeons. Surely I, who still walked in the somewhat respectable light of Nerd, would be able to avoid this toxic ooze and maintain my footing as “Not the Nerdiest Dork in School.” I would just go along and play, if only to be spending time with my dad. Simple.
I love Dungeons and Dragons.
From the moment I was handed my first character, Sera Phina the female dwarven barbarian, I was hooked. Try as I might, I couldn’t stop thinking about that damn game after my dad dropped me off. I secretly played D&D two weekends a month with my dad, miles from my friends. It was perfect; no one knew I was playing the vilest of vile nerd things! I even dared to purchase a Player’s Handbook and read it cover-to-cover in my secret Wizard’s Tower (the bathroom). Soon character sheets littered my room and my mind was full to bursting with ideas. My passion yearned to be free.
As is the way of Nerd, one eventually must share one’s passion. I told my friends in marching band about my newfound home country in Nerd, and awaited the ridicule. Instead, I received nervous glances, timid shuffling of feet, and budding glints of curiosity in their eyes. These idiots wanted to play! Somewhere in the back of my mind I heard an old wizard yelling, “Fly, you fools!” But the Balrog that is my passion for D&D emerged victorious that day and I pulled my fellows into the depths of Khazad-dumb.
They love Dungeons and Dragons.
Fast-forward to today and I’m still playing this stupid game with those stupid fools. Why is it stupid? Because we’ve never kissed a lady before! Because one of us was ate by the gazebo! Because we’re in our thirties and still sitting in our basements chugging Mountain Dew while firing Magic Missile into the Darkness, scrounging for a bag of Cheetos and making jokes about all the girls we want to do! BECAUSE WE GET THOSE REFERENCES!!
But…it’s not a stupid game. And we’re not the fools the Gandalf-in-my-mind thought we were. The truth is that we possess a degree of creativity, imagination, and courage that is lost on the rest of the world. There’s a reason the Lord of the Rings was one of the greatest epic movies of all time. There’s a reason that comic books have taken Hollywood by storm. There’s a reason
Game of Thrones A Song of Ice and Fire is the hottest show on HBO. And that reason is that now is the time of our people! That everyone secretly wants to play Dungeons and Dragons but they’re too afraid to take that leap. Well you, my friend, have obviously taken that leap. So join me, my crew of fools, Vin Diesel (that’s right), and countless other citizens of Nerd in our quest for adventure!
What you’re going to find here is the culmination of a decade of dice throwing, dragon-slaying, TPK-ing madness. We’ve created this world because we could. And we’re sharing it because we can. Yes, some of it is
stolen borrowed material. In the pages that follow you’ll see pieces of Tolkien, the Dark Tower, and Star Wars. We’ve got settings from Wizards of the Coast and Paizo alike. We do this not to profit from their work (because there is no profit to be had here), but to honor their awesomeness. Hopefully (and with a little luck) none of those big boys will sue us, but it’s a risk we’re willing to take (or at the least, assuming won’t happen so we can sleep at night). We’ve taken the great pieces of the great stories, mixed them in with our own ideas, and created one hell of a world. I entreat ye, dear Constant Reader, to delve into my little piece of Nerd and have a look about. The World of Tellus awaits! (Hey! Listen!…click that link to enter the wiki!)