I’ve been poking around the Wheel of Time books of late – not reading them as such, more studying how they – and a few other books – are written and put together. I first stumbled upon WoT sometime in the very early 90s – around the time of the third book, The Dragon Reborn I think. Hard to believe it still isn’t finished and apparently isn’t due to be until late 2011, some 21 years after it first started.
Looking through them got me a bit nostalgic – not for the books themselves, but for something. Back around 1994 I first started using the internet. Yeah, that long ago. It was very different back then – web browsers didn’t exist for starters and it was much, much smaller. Most things were text based, using such programs as Gopher, IRC and Telnet. Even back then there were games on the internet, the forerunners of today’s MMOs. They were known as MUDs, MUCKs, MUSHes, MOOs and the like, entirely text based worlds where people got together to do things. Some were pure hack and slash games, others were pure RPGs.
The first one I ran into was Discworld MUD, a game that still runs to this day. It was a hack and slash game based on the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett, and as such full of weird humour and the like.
I moved on when I found other, pure roleplaying ones and I wasted a number of years on them.
One was a Wheel of Time based MOO called Angreal. I played it from its start until its sad demise, made a lot of friends from all over the world who I have sadly lost touch with and played a number of great characters.
There was Breac, a wolfbrother early on but he disappeared when a new rule limiting the number of alts we could have came into play. Likewise there was Nessan the gleeman – really the Forsaken Asmodean in disguise. Bedwyr was a Domani Lord and General of the Queen’s Army. He was an odd but fun character – utterly loathed all nobility in general but totally loyal to the queen. He ended up dying in battle, when, already mortally wounded, he leapt from a tall cliff taking a Myrddraal with him to his death.
The two main ones were Tal, First Spear of the Rahien Sorei, Tal of the Jagges Spires Sept of the Taardad Aiel.
The second, and my main alt, was Heric Jennet, a common born Mayener. He went to the White Tower for training, ended up bonding as Warder to Eris Sedai of the Brown Ajah and rose to become one of the pre-eminent Blademasters of the game with students of his own. He wasn’t your normal Warder as he had a terrible anti-authoritarian streak and became something of a big brother to a lot of the Novices and Accepted. On the other hand he was an extreme disciplinarian for the young men in training who might one day become Warders of those young woman training to be Aes Sedai.
I did play other games – notably Pern based ones. My main characters on them were T’lis, a bronzerider on Harper’s Tale MOO and G’kar, a bronzerider on Star Stones MOO.
Looking back, I certainly miss playing them – it certainly helped my writing, sparked my imagination and met a lot of interesting people. I may even have a look around to see what is still out there and trying to get back into it one of these days, if I have the time.