Kali the Cleric! Hey, did you hear something? It sounded like a dropped hand grenade!

For those of you who haven’t been paying attention, Kali is the current Head of the Council of Elders. This _vampire_ vampire has been kind enough to contribute as our guest writer today. If he’s visible then there’s a certain nervousness that spreads across Realms. If he’s not inclined to destroy you today, your deity might be on the chopping block! 🙂 I have had longstanding respect for the quest lines surrounding the Shattering and while acknowledging the many contributors to those quests, my favorite remains the closing and reopening of the Tower of Despair which Kali was so involved with. Where did he get started? He’s been on the wizlist as long as I can recall … well here it is, in his own words!

During my first year in university a friend of mine introduced me to a now forgotten iteration of a sloth mud. I played this mud a lot. More than I wanted to, really. At this point in time access to the internet meant using the public computer lab, which put all of my time-wasting on display for the whole dorm. After a couple of months I finally quit that game cold turkey and swore off muds forever and ever and ever.

Then, during my third year, one of my roommates started talking about this mud he found where you could play as a vampire. I declined to play. No more muds for me! Then another roommate started playing. I still resisted. Then a third roommate joined in and told me about the player killing he was doing as a vampire. Finally, I gave in and decided to test out this mud. But as my act of defiance I decided that I wasn’t going to be trendy and follow everyone into being a vampire. I followed in the footsteps of my slothmud days and chose to play a mighty cleric.

Shockingly, that did not last long. When some of my friends lapped me to avatar on their second or third vampire, I decided that I might have made the wrong choice. I abandoned that level 32 cleric and started my first vampire. As an aside, I came back to that cleric many years later and finally took him to avatar. I still have him. But vampire became my main class, as they were for most players in those days.

I was actively almost exclusively in pkill for my first couple of years on the mud. My belief was: Why go kill a mob for one piece of equipment when I could just kill a player for a full set of equipment? Some players farmed mobs – I just farmed those players instead. I had members, secretly or publicly, in every one of the clans, but my main loyalty was to Inconnu.

At that point in time if you owned a deadly character, you were not permitted to be an Immortal. There was too much concern that cheating would occur. Eventually, that rule was removed and I imm’ed on an unknown alt along with about a dozen other deadlies. A few months later, they reinstituted the ‘no immortals with deadlies’ rule and I chose to demote rather than leave my clan. About ten months later, they decided to remove all of the existing clans and replace them with two clans: Retribution and Forsaken. Once my clan was deleted, I chose to retire from pkill and become an immortal (albeit a deadly one and the Head of the Pkill Conclave). That was in 1996 and I have been an Immortal ever since. In addition to Pkill Conclave, I co-headed the Visionary Consortium and then joined the Council of Elders in 1999.

Trivia note: Both times I was immortalized they moved me directly to 52. I have been many things in the game, but I have never been level 51.

In response to the question about inspiration, I did quite freely involve ideas from Vampire:The Masquerade in my early years on the mud, but the tradition of utilizing that world actually started with Caine/Dominus. I didn’t learn about V:TM until I started playing Realms and I wanted to learn more about the game as it was heavily part of the mythos of deadly clans. As a result, I bought a large number of the books and even played VTM for a few years as well. While the VTM source material was part of my inspiration as an immortal for a number of years, I’ve always drawn from a multiplicity of sources: literature, music, plays, current events, art and anything that happens to catch my fancy. Sometimes an idea can grow from something as simple as a name or an image. I don’t contribute as much creatively now as I did in the past, but growing the seeds of those ideas was always one of my favourite parts of being an immortal.

The chance to implement some of these ideas is one of the things that keeps me coming back to the game, along with the friendships I have made and the sense of responsibility I have towards the stewardship of the game. I hope that my contribution to Realms has overall been a positive one and I’m proud to be part of the Immortal teams, both present and past, that have helped to create this world. I would say that I am proud of the mortal contribution as well. Realms of Despair is a story jointly created by the presence of all involved and it has been a pleasure to be able to tell that story alongside so many wonderful players.

Well, that’s about all the niceness and sappiness I have in me for this decade. I’ll probably kill you all in the morning.