Dungeons and Daggermon
From 1999 to 2008, I was the head of a secret cult that, at the height of its power, held sway over more than a dozen impressionable young minds in the small country town of Orbost.
Okay, maybe I should start at the beginning. One night, in the twilight years of the 20th century, back when the world was black and white and we rode woolly mammoths to school, a friend of me and my brother’s came over to visit, and showed us his Pokemon cards. As children tend to do (I was 10 at the time, my brother and his friend a year or two younger) we imitated, inventing our own Pokemon. The friend dubbed our version “Daggermon”; to this day I have no idea what daggers had to do with it.
Anyway, from there it snowballed like a… *don’t say it* like a… *I’m warning you* like that idiot who rolls down the mountain in Willow. Before long, we started recruiting our other friends into it, and I became the cardmaster, drawing up our own cards and distributing them carefully to try to create an even playing field. By the time it was all over, I reckon I’d made over a thousand. We held tournaments, special events, the whole shebang.
But it wasn’t just the card game; we also acted out adventures in the world of “Daggermon”, again, as kids do. But that too evolved, and persisted well into high school. What started as “chase me around the school yard and catch me to earn a card” developed into a kind of mutant hybrid of Dungeons and Dragons and Mass Effect. I fabricated a detailed universe with its own races, rules, and backstories, and my friends and brother became like players controlling their own factions within it, with me being the equivalent of a dungeon master, or the CPU in a video game.
I injected quite a few serious themes into it as well, like war crimes and racism, seeing how my friends would react when presented with ethical choices.
To this day, I still don’t know how I got a bunch of teenagers to mock-swordfight with me on a high school football oval while I snarled and acted out an alien Velociraptor. It also still staggers me that we kept the whole thing running for almost a decade. I can only surmise that I must have been an effective cult leader!
A big shout out to my former cultist friends, many of whom may be reading this; I won’t name and incriminate you, but thanks for all the good times. :p