Sunday, June 7, 2009

White Plume Mountain (Part 2)

I mentioned earlier that in my formative years, I had heard tales of Blackrazor on the playground, long before I ever knew what hit points or saving throws were.  However, once I had learned the occult language of Dungeons and Dragons (c/o Moldvay's basic set) I not only spoke it with pride, but I actively looked down on those playground games of old.  After all, that was just I had an actual game with rules.

So recess discussions became much more formal and structured as I introduced friends to the game, and much of our play (besides the odd game of four-square or flyers up) was taken over by our discussion of our now after school and weekend pastime, D&D.

The twins that had initially introduced me to the terror of Blackrazor (their names were Todd and Trevor) did not join these games and eventually moved to a new school, I think (this part is hazy...they were big into basketball, which was one of my least favorite sports).  I assumed that the tales of Blackrazor were, simply put, bullshit.  I mean, an electric shaver that cut out your stupid is that?

It would be at least five years before I'd even hear about Elric or Stormbringer, and probably eight before I read my first Moorcock.  Too busy with Steven King and (*shudder*) Piers Anthony.

So it was with some amazement that I discovered a copy of White Plume Mountain in a used book store in Missoula, Montana some years later.  I had never heard of WPM except in that there was mention of "S2" on the back of other modules I owned (S1:Tomb of Horrors being an oft used adventure).  You can only imagine how, upon perusal of the introduction that part of the module's objective was to recover the famed blade "Blackrazor."

Of course I purchased it.  And I still own the module to this day (I've never encountered another copy for sale, other than eBay).  It is in terrible condition, with masking tape on the cover's binding, and pages falling out.  I should probably be packing it in shrink wrap or something, but instead I handle it as roughly as any other piece of gaming merchandise I own, even carrying it around stuffed in a backpack, so I can read it for the 100th time, when considering a post to this blog.

Perhaps one day I'll bid for another, better copy on-line so I can have something a little more pristine for posterity.  But I'll probably continue to use the same copy I've owned since the age of...I don't know, 10? 11?  Maybe 12, but no older than that. That was 23 years ago, and I'm still blogging about it today.

Well, I said this blog was for edification of my memories.  Maybe, some day I'll need to re-read this stuff just so I can remember my past.  Crazy world we live in.

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