Questions about a character or place??
for all the answers.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
all these years, The PARVERIAN TALES was ready, and I sincerely hope the
end product justifies the grueling means.
So, until next time,