Maybe this should have been the first post.
I wanted this blog to be called Penultimatum. It’s a silly word I made up years ago, and it gets a pleasing reaction any time I try to crowbar it into conversation. People like it.
I didn’t make it up, as it turns out. There’s already a penultimatum.wordpress.com. I don’t know who owns it. It’s actually possible that *I* own it, and I’ve forgotten my password.
For a long time I wanted to be the guy who didn’t have an online tag, because he was so damn cool that he was above that sort of thing. Then it gradually became clear that actually, it was quite a useful thing to have if you wanted friends to recognise you while keeping some small measure of anonymity from strangers.
Drake is the final boss in the Shadowrun SNES game. It also seems like logical word to use by someone who loves martial arts, fantasy fiction, and is (okay, this last one is a stretch) quarter Welsh.
Lazarus was the first AD&D character I ever played. I was 12 or 13, at secondary school. A friend asked if I wanted to play at lunchtime, and I was thrilled. It turned out to be three groups of players in an empty classroom for an hour, with older students as Dungeon Masters, all running the same adventure simultaneously. Our characters were given to us. I was Lazarus, a half elf warrior in studded leather armour.
I remember that we had two DMs. One to tell us what was happening, one to control all the monsters. It was a luxury I never experienced since, and a smart choice. The latter guy could direct all of his energies into killing us, without us feeling resentful. It was just his job. At one point we entered a room and disturbed someone being tortured. The torturer dropped his white hot poker and dashed for the door. I dived to catch him. Evil DM turned to Good DM with a glint in his eye, and said “Is there a chance Lazarus falls onto the poker?” Good DM had to concede that yes, there was a chance. Yes, I landed on it. Yes, I caught on fire. It was fantastic.
Our group won that adventure. By which I mean we finished first of the three groups. I know, I know. Not strictly speaking the best metric for success in a storytelling medium. We got a little trophy. It was put in the school’s large, glass-fronted trophy cabinet, nestled discreetly amongst the dozens of huge football, long jump, netball and 100 meter sprint trophies. I loved that, so much. No-one else had any idea that it was there, other than the handful of people who took part.
I wonder if it’s still in there somewhere.