The year was 2000. I was eight years old and my third grade teacher had us watch The Hobbit on VHS during a slow day at school. I thought it was the strangest thing I'd ever see, but I couldn't look away. Something about wooly-footed earth dwellers, fanged goblins, and mighty gold-hoarding dragons ignited a spark of curiosity within me. Shortly afterward I read the book, and became obsessed with fantasy. It was like dinosaurs, but cooler. Because it wasn't dependent on the fossil record. I could imagine anything.
I began writing my first fantasy story that year on a computer which should be in a museum. It was beige colored and the keyboard was so loud, it's a wonder the neighbors didn't call our home phone (which was also beige). Some of the monsters I invented for this fantasy world have made it all the way to the present day. But I'll admit, not much else did.
At the age of nine, I began making my own card games. They were heavily inspired by games like Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh! But it featured monsters and heroes from my own high fantays setting. I began calling this world Tarn. I had no idea that this word meant "lake" essentially, but I liked the sound, so Tarn it was and Tarn it shall continue to be. Ironically, the world, from the vantage point of the divine, the world does indeed resemble a lake.
When I was thirteen, I started playing guitar. I'd developed a deep love for metal music, and by the fifteen I had assembled a band. Over the next several years, while we were playing shows and mingling with metalheads, I met a lot of people who weren't necessarily geeks. But I missed making card games, so I set out to design something that I could play with these new friends who had absoutely no experience with tabletop gaming.
Thus, Dragonvault was born.
I started bringing the game to barbecues, birthday parties, and any type of gathering I could. The first version was home printed and hand-cut. Since it was small, I could always keep a deck in my backpack, waiting for the opportune moment. I played rounds upon rounds of Dragonvault with people of all ages, and all levels of experience with tabletop gaming, from "I've never played a card game" to Magic players that have blue decks (you proabably know the type).
So now I am pleased to share with you the fruit of my labor. And a labor it has been. Creating and self publishing a card game during the meltdown of civilization has been a grueling (and increidbly rewarding) task. Like Biblo Baggins, I grew fond of the adventure. And the comments of people who have grown to love this game fuels me to keep going.
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.