I was delighted to discover, in early November, that Emperor’s Choice Games – the publishers of David Hargrave’s Arduin – are back in business. I headed on over to their new website and ordered a couple of tomes missing from my near-complete Arduin collection.
Those books arrived today along with a bonus: the card decks for Swords & Dragons (as shown above) in a rather nice silk bag. I dutifully took a moment to grab the free rules for the game. It was generous of Emperor’s Choice to send me a copy as a free bonus.
Vaults of the Weaver is, “the Classic Arduin Module Collection of previously published Arduin Dungeons and some never before published Dungeons from the mind of David A. Hargrave”. More than anything, I wanted the iconic “Caliban” because it has long been an inspirational and legendary dungeon from the early days of Dungeons & Dragons.
At the small risk of spoiling things, I wanted to share the love I have for the hand-drawn maps of the period, such as this example from a randomly chosen page:
White Roc Inn was designed for Arduin II and is described as, “more of a campaign set in an area known as the Whisper Trees within the country of Arduin”. It has a long reputation as an interesting and exciting adventure, even if it is “more of a campaign”. I look forward to delving into the pages and seeing what inspiration lies awaiting.
For me, the discovery of Hargrave’s Arduin was the catalyst persuading me to blog about my hobby, inspiring me towards writing my own adventures and eventually to then begin podcasting. Hargrave was the writer who advocated taking risks with your gaming with his pithy advice to, “Take a Troll to lunch!”
There is much imperfection in the Arduin works but there is also a great deal more to encourage, excite, and suggest wondrous adventure. Thanks to Emperor’s Choice Games for bringing back to life the legendary lands of Arduin!