“The Real History of Evindale”
Things People Couldn’t Give a Crap About
I couldn’t tell you when exactly the word “Evindale” first popped out of my brain. The world that became known as “Evindale” started in the early 80s on several pieces of hex paper all taped together. In 1991 I ran a small company in Stamford, CT and we hosted table-top gaming competitions. Once it shut down for the night, the world of Evindale came to life in a D&D campaign with one or two employees and many more friends. Its roots, however, started in the summer of 1977.
My mother took me to her friend’s house. Together with her friend’s son and his friends we ventured into New York City and visited a store whose layout at the time (and to my knowledge hasn’t changed much) I won’t forget. We entered the storefront and walked up a small flight of stairs on the left side of the store. A corkboard with business cards or some such was on the wall to the left and the sales counter on the right, also in the front of the store.
I had no idea I was in the Compleat Strategist but I do remember a large, heavy-set gentleman with curly black hair (and glasses?) handing my mother a business card explaining he ran “Dungeons and Dragon” games at parties. This was the first I heard of the game but not the first I had heard of Gary Gygax whose Chainmail game I had seen before in a model train hobbyist’s store in White Plains, NY where we lived. It was a small tradeback plastic spiral bound book with light-blue/gray stock cover and an interior that looked more like a typist’s work than a professionally created book. If I only knew…
We went back to that woman’s house and her son and his friends started playing this D&D while the women gabbed away. Apparently the jaunt to the City was to pick up adventures, dice or something related to the game. I wanted to play but was told I was too young. I was 10.
Of course, that’s what you don’t tell a 10 year old if you want them to not learn.
With whatever saved money I had, I went back to that hobbyist store in White Plains and purchased a set of small books that was published by “Tactical Studies Rules” for some ridiculous price. It was hard to follow and I don’t know what ever happened to them but right around that time a blue box of Basic D&D with all the basic rules in it and some dice that have since seen better days.
The following year found me running a game out of the red boxed Basic set with a kid who worked the hot dog stand at poolside at the Tamarack Country Club in Greenwich, CT. I think the module I ran was “In Search of the Unknown”.
Soon after that, I got the hang of DMing and after one of my favorite modules was released, “Keep on the Borderlands”, I began to think of my own world.
I remember taping together the pieces of hex paper, grabbing a fine point ink pen and starting in what is now Iviria. The coastline drew out with a forced twitch in my right hand to get a rough outline. Since I’ve never been a student of geography, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least to know that geographically-speaking the world doesn’t make sense at all. Nonetheless, I drew it, colored it and looked at the final product. Now it needed towns.
The first city to appear on the map was Cultrek and the world grew from that little point. Stories of civilizations ran through my head and most every idea was scribbled on a piece of paper. I’d visit art stores to buy those huge tablets of graph paper for detailing cities and villages. I didn’t know how big it was to become but I knew I wanted it HUGE.
Cultrek was the first city thus detailed. Every shop was drawn, every NPC I thought was important (which included all of the shopkeepers and many assistants), variable pricing percentages depending on their supplier, etc. I was detail-orientated, that’s for sure. So much so and by the time I was done with that particular streak of creativity, I had filled two small two-drawer filing cabinets with tables and maps, keys to those maps, stats on various NPCs and more.
Except for those things not stored in the filing cabinet but were elsewhere in the mess of my room, everything was destroyed in The Great Purge of 1981. My parents sent me away to a Born Again Christian camp in Maine and when I returned, I found most of my stuff had been tossed. My mother got caught up in the “B.A.D.D.” movement, or “Bothered About Dungeons and Dragons”. Apparently when I wasn’t singing the praises of our lord and savior J. Christ, I was worshiping the devil. I never forgave her.
In high school I became the president of the school’s first D&D Club. Evindale got put on the back burner, I lost my reason to do it after so much had been lost.
Many years later in ’90-’91, I ran a campaign that was centered in that world. Since then, I’ve been rebuilding it with many years between progress. This site is the first such actual improvement on its development.