Matt probably had more characters than the rest of the gang. But Matthew also holds the distinction of being the longest running player in our Greyhawk Campaign. Matthew joined Dale and I, shortly before we made the transition into 1st Edition and remained with me through thick and thin.
In that time Matthew played a wide variety of different characters, but never will I forget Celowin Silvershield the elven warrior who helped to defeat a pit fiend in the Perrenland and was later killed by a possessed copper dragon.
Or, the elven bounty hunter Durin who attempted to bring to justice a pair of thieves who worked for K-os Bloodsword. Durin was successful in bringing them to the noose, but K-os later hunted the bounty hunter, capturing him, killing him, raising him, torturing him beyond belief and then killing him some more.
The next elf Matthew played, who was also called Durin, had the misfortune to be present when K-os and his crazed companions challenged a young red dragon in the Yatil Mountains. Somehow only Durin was killed in the ensuing battle.
After K-os was finally gone, Matthew played a thief unlucky enough to go adventuring with Teega Bloodsword. Teega was at least as deranged as her late husband and led Matthew’s new character Skillbeck headlong into a battle with an orcish war band that outnumbered them fifty-to-one. The end was inevitable and very bloody.
One of my all-time favorite adventures arose quite by accident and revolved around a boat called the St. Joseph. The boat belonged to a party of adventurers led by Destro the Barbarian. The adventurers had bought it from a down-on-his-luck noble. However, the thief, Kheris Nimblefingers, was upset that Destro kept stealing and destroying everyone’s magical treasures and so he decided to steal the boat and run away with everything.
To pull off his ingenious heist, Kheris enlisted the aid of Matthew’s latest elf, Thalaric, and his brother Taramis. Matthew took delight in stealing the boat and making away with it, and Destro and his enraged companions gave pursuit.
Things got more complicated though very quickly; the noble who had originally owned the boat now believed that his last will and testament were hidden on board and he was now sending a force of his own to recover the St. Joseph.
And, just to push things really over the edge agents of Dispater were also chasing the boat believing that dark artifacts had been hidden on board. All three factions caught up with the boat at about the same time (naturally) with another party of adventurers stumbling on the madness just for good measure. The chaos that ensued was a work of art.
Matthew then played Kurt the Barbarian who fell afoul of a group of bandits in a disused castle after becoming charmed by their evil cleric leader. She wanted the hunky barbarian for her personal ‘use’. When Scintilla Galahad rode in to the rescue, he almost abandoned his gallant deed (“What? You mean the barbarian is Matthew? No, wait, we leave him here then!”).
‘Picker’ Pete Lightfinger, one of Matthew’s rare rogue characters who was short-lived but an absolute star.
One of my favorite of Matthew’s PC’s was Berline. Berline was a young necromancer apprenticed to Malek Cathoris who had long been an ongoing ally and nemesis within the campaign. Berline’s adventures were very role-playing orientated, and may have marked a departure for us. Played from 0-level, his first adventures were literally in the classroom of the necromancer’s dark tower, competing with his fellow students. Long before anyone had ever heard of Hogwarts, Berline the Boy Wizard scampered about from lesson to lesson competing with other student wizards.
But these are just a few of Matthew’s creations, there were others. It was not until Michael Torgrim that Matthew truly came into his own. In my opinion one of the finest works of art as a PC ever to walk off the character sheet.
Michael Torgrim, 2nd level paladin, was a pre-generated character that I handed to Matthew so that he could join the others on their trips into the Temple of Elemental Evil. Matthew took my scanty notes “Your paladin is a tough ‘Dirty Harry/Judge Dredd type of bad ass” and discarded them within a moment, forever making Michael his own.
I am forever grateful that he did. Michael is one of the most involved, evolved and deep characters I have ever seen and the product of many years hard work.
Kyrian Darkstar was Matthew’s other work of genius, although never have I seen a character rocket to such lofty heights in such a short period of time. It can only be said that Kyrian was meant to be.
Michael’s and Kyrian’s tales were still yet unfolding when I left Britain but my time spent rolling dice with Matthew were the best of times, he was the light to Richard’s darkness, and like Michael Torgrim, Matthew was dedicated and true to the cause.