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Rialacha Teach Mhorgunna

Well Met!

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Well met!

I have been reading ... well listening to the audible versions of various Forgotten Realms books for flavor and distraction as I drive to and from work. I am currently enjoying Erin M. Evans' "Fire in the Blood." ( a good primer for running tieflings.) And I believe the preferred greeting of courtesy in such lands.

Well met!

I apologize. Introductions should have been given at my first post and not my fourth. Please forgive my manners. I can only say I was caught up with the events of the moment.

I like getting to hear stories of peoples backgrounds. When listening to various posts by bloggers/vloggers, I am fascinated by the common grounds we have trod. I will attempt to keep this concise. This, those who know me, will be Herculean labor, as I tend to ramble more than a bit. I blame it on the fact that I was raised on the Amplified Text of the Bible. I will try and keep it bare bones and expand in further posts.

I was born to a my parents a little late in life. A whoops baby, I was aptly named John, as it's meaning is "a gift from God." Raised as an only child, I was pretty well doted on. At age 4, we started to go to the public library where I was allowed to choose books to be read to me. My preference included stories of King Arthur, Robin Hood, Greek Myths and Folk and Fairy tales. I, especially liked "D'Auleres' Book of Greek Myths" which I checked out every other trip. Later on when I went to school, I discovered another copy there as well. Soon there was very little time that there wasn't a copy in the house. It was about third grade when the assistant librarian stopped me when I went to check out my favorite book. She told me this was above my reading level and I couldn't possibly comprehend it. I politely said that I had checked out the book before. She smiled and opened the book to a beautiful illustrated family tree of the gods. She explained if I could explain it, that I could borrow the book.

I pointed my finger and said, " This is Zeus, He is king of the gods. This is Hera, she is Zeus wife. This is Apollo and Artemis. They are the children of Zeus and Leto.” I then leaned in and with a whisper said, “But they weren't married.” (Shocking enough to be said in that day and time, let alone from a young child.)

She stamped the checkout card with a bang and pushed the book forward towards me, all the while giving me a glance that should of stunted my growth. I must say that I have a twang of guilt concerning this lady. I fear I caused her a good share of head shaking as later on in sixth grade I was checking out those picture books I should have in my younger years. But then I was getting serious about my interests in art and were studying the illustrations.

My Father was a teacher and so when the day after Thanksgiving came he was also off. He declared it Father and Son Day. We would go downtown, and do our Christmas shopping. I was treated to lunch and a movie. The first such outing, we saw “The Magic Sword.” This was and is … a bad movie … of such quality that it made it's way on to Mystery Science Theater 3000. It did leave a lasting impression on this six year old. It gave me a taste for fantasy movies. I eventually discovered “The Son of Hercules” movies. I began getting up at 4 in the morning on Saturdays to catch them. I saw so many I can still sing the theme song. I was a faithful follower until one morning as they introduced the movie the narrator proclaimed “ … and one of the Sons of Hercules was the Mighty Thor!” I knew better and in disgust, crawled back to bed. I slept in there after.

My interests in such things continued through high school. It was then that I discovered through the comics, Conan and Robert E. Howard. This led to the books and other fantasy authors. Towards the end of high school, one of my oldest friends, Will introduced me to “The Hobbit.” I was reluctant at first, but once in I was committed … straight jacket kind of commuted.

It wasn't until after going to college after a few years of junior college, that I heard of Dungeons and Dragons. I was giving a lift to Drew, a friend of Will's and he told about the game. While I was interested, I was not running in his circles. It was not until I made a casual comment at work that I found some one to game with.

Frank, our custodian, had played D&D in the Marines. I was told if I could come up with the where for all to play, he would show me the game.

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I used my Christmas money to buy the starter box. We met at his house and rolled up characters. At the end of the evening I was asked if I had a good time. I replied in the affirmative. Good enough to continue playing? Yes! It was then that Frank told me this:

“There are 3 things you need to know … I don't DM. My character is always called Grok. And I always get the Sword of Kas, and the Hand and Eye of Vecna.

I didn't know what those things were … or how much work I had just volunteered for … all I knew was I wanted to play. We finished the module with Paul and Sue(Frank's Brother and wife ) and my first dungeon I made was based on the Conan story “Red Nails.”

I got transferred at work to a youth center that had seen better times. My manager would come in from his day job as a teacher and sleep. If I wasn't teaching an arts and crafts class, I had time to work on my campaign. Some of the boys saw what I was doing and wanted to play. I started a game at the youth center. They would be there waiting for us before we opened the door. We played for 8 hours, only breaking for a quick lunch. Soon, some of the older ones would come play at the youth center, and then come to the night game. During my time at the youth center, I also ran tournaments ...one with 23 participants. They kidded me about being a professional DM.

I stopped gaming when I left to go to Orlando. But over the years we would start up gaming again off and on. It was later on that I began Dueling DMs with one of my former players. Rusty was an excellent game master, being inventive and clever. Together we played off of each other sharpening each other's skills.

When Rusty passed recently … I didn't know if I would ever game again. I knew it would never be the same. But I knew that Rusty would not of ever been the reason we didn't play. And I kept on thinking on all the usual words you hear at a wake. Promises of keeping in better touch. A little later I discovered the concept of virtual table tops. I even blogged on how Rusty would of found this incredibly neat. We had talked on several occasions on how a computer might be used in conjunction with gaming.

So I made an informed choice and went with Fantasy Grounds. I set up a Facebook group dedicated to Rusty and his love of his game. Unfortunately, I turned out not to be the pied piper that Rusty was. We ran for a year with just Will's son, Kevin playing. He was gracious enough to find time to play knowing how cathartic playing would be. At the begining of this year we have gained two more players, the before mentioned Will, and Jim (one of my youth center players.)

So that is how I made it here and why I am here. I am blogging because they asked for volunteers. I don't know if I have any great insights or revelations to share. I am … afraid … just preaching to the choir. I have never worked at TSR or Wizards of the Coast. The only claim to fame I have is I got a single cartoon in to Dragon Magazine.

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When it comes to being a DM … I am just a hedge wizard. I simply try to give my players … my friends … a fun, interesting game.

So to you have read my posts and had the fortitude to make it to the end of this post …

Well met!

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Updated January 19th, 2017 at 20:47 by mhorgunn



  1. MarianDz's Avatar
    I have very good feeling from your work, my friend "[B][I]Mhogunn[/I][/B]" please continue in Blogging
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