In my youth, being a nerd wasn't a good thing. If you were a nerd, you stood a good chance at getting taped to a pole, ridiculed for reading fantasy books instead of things that were considered intellectual like the Scarlet Letter or anything that Hemmingway wrote. And yeah, playing games like Dungeons & Dragons branded you as a Satan worshiper. You just didn't talk about it if you wanted to keep your books (some parents who found out their kid played D&D would throw their books in the trash or burn them). Others would simply punish them, keep them from hanging out with "bad influences," and increase the amount of time their children spent doing church activities.
Last night, the new R.A. Salvatore book that accompanies the release of the "Rage of Demons" storyline got released (it's called Archmage), and I downloaded it onto my iPad to read. This book comes along at just the right time for me, what with my renewed interest in fantasy tabletop games and all things "dark elf."
The gist of the story is that in the Forgotten Realms (the fantasy setting for Dungeons & Dragons) all of the communication that transpires between the underdark and those living on the surface suddenly goes quiet. Of particular interest is a drow city by the name of Menzoberranzan: a place that's huge by medieval standards and even more compelling because it's miles underground. As one of the greatest drow cities (that's the race of the dark elves), the overwhelming silence and disappearance of merchants that travel the highways of the underdark is troubling.
|This is an artist rendering of the drow city Menzobberanzan.|
The cover of the module (to be released later this month) called "Out of the Abyss" (and released in conjunction with Mr. Salvatore's first novel in a brand new trilogy detailing the events I'm telling you about here in this post) features a creature called Demogorgon, a.k.a., the prince of demons. He's a two headed monstrosity that towers some twenty feet tall; the cover illustration shows him tearing down the many structures of Menzoberranzan like they were toothpicks.
|This is Demogorgon tearing down the walls and turrets of Menzoberranzan|
I'm glad that I live in the time of evolving opinions. It makes bearing one's true self to society so much easier. And thus, I suppose, it is just another example of how a once insecurity becomes a security once broad acceptance of one's differences is achieved.