Friday, March 4, 2022

Copper Anniversary

In the world of Tékumel, copper is the sacred metal of Sárku, the Five-Headed Lord of Worms and Master of the Undead, to whom the House of Worms clan of my ongoing Empire of the Petal Throne campaign is dedicated. Copper is also, according to the American reckoning of these things, the appropriate gift for commemorating a seventh anniversary. I was struck by this happy coincidence as I pondered the fact that today marks seven years since the House of Worms campaign began.

This is probably the single longest continuous roleplaying campaign I have ever refereed. Its length alone is remarkable and worthy of celebration, especially in this day and age, when long campaigns are increasingly uncommon. What's even more special, I think, are the friendships formed and strengthened through our weekly meetings. 

This campaign launched at the start of March 2015 with six players, only one of whom I knew very well. The others were a mix of people with whom I'd had brief interactions online or whom I did not know at all, even by reputation. I had no expectation, when we began, that the campaign would last even a month, let alone seven years. I was simply grateful that six people were willing to take a chance on gaming in the weird world of Tékumel with me.

As it turned out, our little band got on well with one another and, by the time we reached our first anniversary, it was pretty clear that this campaign was something special. Only four of the original six players made it to the first anniversary, but soon others joined to fill the ranks of the group. The number of active players has fluctuated a bit over the years, but it's been quite stable at seven for at least the past two, maybe longer – one of the dangers of such a long campaign is forgetfulness, I'm afraid!

The player characters began the campaign in the city of Sokátis, at the eastern edge of the Empire of Tsolyánu. In the years since, they've traveled to the neighboring kingdom of Salarvyá, then to Yán Kór, Sa'á Allaqí, the Dry Bay of Ssu'ú, and back to Sokátis before setting off to the Achgé Peninsula of the unknown Southern Continent. They've ventured into innumerable underworlds, done battle with the dreaded Ssú and Shunned Ones, traveled for months by sea, and visited an alternate version of Tékumel, among too many other exploits to mention. The characters have also married, advanced within the civil and religious hierarchies, become embroiled in imperial politics, and explored lands no Tsolyáni has ever visited. It's been quite the ride – and it's nowhere close to being over.

I could go on at some length about the details of this amazing campaign and some of you might even find them interesting. Looking back on it, though, what really sticks with me are the lovely people with whom I've had the honor of roleplaying each week for so many years. I've made a great many friends through this hobby and indeed consider gaming with friends to be one of the great joys of life. By that standard, the House of Worms campaign stands very tall. It's a testament to everything that's great about this pastime we share. It's my sincere wish that everyone reading this has had at least one experience of the hobby like this or will have one in the future. 

What a long, strange trip it's been! Thank you, my friends, for the untold hours of enjoyment you have given me. Here's to many years more.

(You can read an extensive reflection on the past seven years of the campaign here, written by one of the four players who's been here since the beginning.)


  1. Congrats! I'd send you a penny for an anniversary present but I'm not sure they still have enough copper in them to keep from displeasing the Five-Headed Lord of Worms. :)

  2. Amazing that it's been seven years. I still have a character sheet somewhere.