In the mid-to-late 1990s, I had signed up to alpha-test a game in development called “Illusia: Quest for the Eternals” which was being produced by Living Mask Productions.  It was a tile-based RPG based loosely off the old tinyMUD programming scheme, and was among the first graphical MUDs (Multi-User Dungeons) being created.

Illusia: Quest for the EternalsOf course, the 2D graphical MUD was vastly overshadowed by the onslaught of a new gaming format: the massively multiplayer online RPGs, or MMOs, which immersed you into a 3D graphical world – but it didn’t deter the creators of Illusia from trying to push forward with their world idea, a land divided by two factions of groups – the ‘light’, human-aligned races and the ‘dark’, vampire-aligned races.  10 playable races in all, and I believe 6-8 overall classes.

I’d become so enamored of my gameplay it inspired me to write, and I posted many of those writings on the game’s writing forum – the Dragon Circlet. That got me the attention of the staff, and eventually I was invited to join the Writing Staff for the game as “Inktomi”, an Immortal within the game (which was code for staff ).  Eventually I took over as Lead Writer, but unfortunately by then the game’s end was a foregone conclusion.

I did manage, in that brief time, to flesh out much of the ideas that had preceded my involvement.  The races were only loosely defined, little more than a paragraph about each; I’d decided, as a writer, I personally needed more – more knowledge about the race I was playing, their motivations, their history and land.  So I began crafting histories for each of the playable races, so that others like myself could then use that information to further define their own characters – and hopefully infuse their own writings with this information.

I’d also decided to add some cohesion to the mythology of the world itself.  There were odd non-playable characters scattered throughout the game world, and descriptions of haunted places with no history as to why those places existed.  There was a pantheon of Gods, but nothing to give the “religious” a way to show their devotion – or even to understand the beings they’d decided to worship.  To that end, I created a primer outlining the gods and mythologies of Illusia.

I wish the game had gone further, and my tenure had lasted longer; I had much I’d wanted to do, and perhaps one day I’ll find the means to recreate the things I’d liked best about the game, for my own ends.

Until then, enjoy the histories and my own personal tales from within the game world.