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by Mike Jordan

Part One
Part One


The Culmination
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ISSUE PAGES (click a page, any page, to start reading)




THE PARVERIAN TALES Vol. 1 No. 1  JULY 2004 is published by BIG RED A PRESS, 18 Arnold Dr. Lisbon , Me. 04250 of which, Michael S. Jordan is the sole owner and operator.  The main contents of this book are 1999 by Mike Jordan; "The Culmination" is 1994 by Mike Jordan; and "Maldren's Tale" is 1998 by Mike Jordan.  Any similarities between any of the characters in this publication and any person, living or dead, is purely coincidental-and because I'm really bad at caricatures.

Maldren's Tale
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    bout a million years ago, six intrepid adventurers embarked upon their first journey into the realm of fantasy role-playing, and one among their number, a young artist, took the time from his busy schedule of hunting and gathering (and schoolwork) to chronicle their brave deeds.  And in this less than auspicious and novel way was born THE PARVERIAN TALES.
    The ensuing hundred or so pages of vicarious history were never intended as anything more than a way to entertain my close friends, which was reflected most clearly by the not surprising lack of professionalism that went into its production.  The original artwork was in a "big-nose" style, which had been adapted from that of Eric's alter ego, and was presented in a ballpoint pen and colored pencil medium on typing paper, and the story was plagued by in-jokes and archaic humor.  Worse yet, the foreground setting of the game on which the whole thing had been based was drawn from a copyrighted role-playing module, and the background plot was borrowed directly from the work of Stephen L. Donaldson.  Needless to say, that first creation, no matter how charming or entertaining, was far from ready for release to the general public.  Drastic changes were very much in order.
    Strangely enough, the idea of selling my illustrations to some magazine never entered my head until a few years later when placed  there by a high school drama teacher (who was also a member of a local gaming group).  Flattered and eager to reach a broader audience than my immediate friends, I Turned back to the beginning of the whole tale and began to diligently (and somewhat naively) re-vamp the story and artwork.  The rewrites of the script were minimal, still heavily utilizing sight gags and in-humor, so I spent most of the time developing the characters.  I enhanced their personalities and added big chins to the already "big-nose" style, producing individuals who very closely resemble their current counterparts.  (incidentally, it was about this era that I began the nasty habit of constructing insanely detailed backgrounds.)  All of this I put down with felt tip pens on a heavier stock of paper, and, about a dozen pages of lavish embellishment late, I felt it was ready for submission.
    It was about then that the wind blew out of my ambitious sails.  Two of my closest friends-the boy running the game and Valerian's alter ego-moved away, putting the kibosh to any future adventures and hitting me with a devastating emotional one-two punch.  And, to compound the situation, shortly thereafter it came to my attention just how much of our old game had been lifted from the Thomas Covenant books.  Even in my innocent youth, I was aware of the strict copyright laws governing such "borrowing" (Did you know that Helen Keller once faced plagiarism charges for her story, "The Frost King"-and lost?), and so, I scrapped the whole project.
    Some years later, on a nostalgic whim more than any other driving force, I wrote a script based upon those original characters, but with drastically altered relationships, and I even combined two of them together to form Maldren.  The story had nothing to do with the original concept, and only a handful of themes endured the metamorphosis.  On top of the other radical changes, I introduced three new figures into the realm of Parveria:  the two members of the royal house and the villain!  So excited was I by these new revelations that I did not manage to script beyond the first of part two before starting the final artwork, this time rendered with technical and nib pens on Bristol board.  The results, I'm afraid to say, were so disappointing that I shelved the whole project again for another several years.
    About five years ago, I was bitten again by the nostalgia bug, and took another shot at the unfinished enterprise, but with grater momentum than the past.  In little more than a month, I completed scripts for all six parts of "The Culmination" saga, and soon put the finishing touches on the revised version of "An Invitation to Peril".  Then everything seemed to fall into place; the story and the art meshed perfectly; and I became a very happy buckaroo, but with still a big job ahead.
    Finally, after all these years, The PARVERIAN TALES was ready, and I sincerely hope the end product justifies the grueling means.

So, until next time,                

Mike Jordan                        
Lisbon, ME.                         
July 2004