Fantasy & Sci-Fi

Albinor Chronicles Introduction

By Marcus Pan

The Albinor Chronicles covers a period of (at the time of this writing) about eight years of my life. With the inception of Albinor, my Advanced Dungeons and Dragons game-playing world that I created myself, sprung numerous other entities including (in part) Legends Magazine, a slew of mini-modules under the Inferno Publishing name, the Elvrie Historia, Pan’s Dungeon Master Notebook, the Book of Albinor, Dungeon Books I & II, The Songs of Albinor and the document you are now holding in your hands.

The difference between the Albinor Chronicles and other such fantasy collections is two-fold. The first point, and the one you are most likely to notice, is that the series is very loosely-integrated. The stories do not combine together to form a typical novel, or book. They tell a similar story, yes, but not of a set of adventurers, or characters. They tell the story of a world. The series’ chapters may jump to different points in Albinor at any time. From Glantri to the Five Shires, from Darokin to Minrothad. And beyond. Many of the characters in each chapter may not even know characters from other chapters…it is that diverse. You can see a theme winding its way through each chapter…a common theme of the fall of a world from an age of good times and plenty to one of darkness, despair and rampaging hordes of evil. But this is where the similarities between them end. Chronological though they may indeed be, they tell multiple stories of multiple peoples in a world divided by obstacles.

The second, and in my opinion the most important to understand and appreciate this series for what it is, is that all the chapters have literally happened. Of course, not in a reality sense…but in Albinor. For those familiar with role-playing, you’ll understand what I mean when I say they actually happened. The casual or ignorant ones when it comes to role-playing may not understand the correlation. But opposed to other fantasy series where the stories come from the author’s mind, these were actual sessions of game play in Albinor. Of course, they were developed beyond the gaming, hit-miss forms to create a fantasy story (otherwise, I’d have nothing more than a “minutes of the game” series) that would be acceptable to other readers. But the point is, they were originally actual game sessions. Not just a figment of my imagination (the idea of Albinor itself being a figment of my imagination is beyond the scope of this writing).

Albinor began more than half a decade ago, when at the age of 18 I was able to reclaim my AD&D and related books and manuals from my parents (the reasoning behind their removal from my library is also beyond the scope of this writing). At that time I began my campaign anew. Albinor grew slowly. Unlike other campaigns, all the characters you will read about, even kings and queens who in most campaigns are quickly done NPC characters, have full statistics and PC playability. As a matter of fact, they have all been played from their creation to reach the point of power they are at now. I have full player character sheets on all of them and every one has their own adventure stories to tell and personalities to uphold. For two or three years Albinor was closed to the public, slowly growing in my mind through rigorous play, exploration and country creation. It was only the latter half of Albinor’s life that outside players were aloud in to make their own fortunes in my world.

Most of the chapters here were games played myself. These games helped shape the situation now in Albinor today. They were written here both for my remembrance and referral as well as your enjoyment. It wasn’t until Chapter 25, “The Black One Falls,” when an outside player, Jaken Steele, had an adventure considered important enough to be included and turned into an Albinor Chronicle chapter. From that point Mr. Steele had a few other chapters that involved his two key characters, Valcor and Saraya, as they did much in Albinor considered important. And his Legion of Doom, who first appeared in the following chapter (“Shakrun Survivors”), also provided me with material from which to write.

Finally, I’ll end my ramblings. For the first time, for your enjoyment, are the full Albinor Chronicles. Made popular in Legends Magazine and through other mediums, I hope you enjoy the full series up to Chapter 35 (at the time of this writing). There will surely be more as the future of Albinor unfolds and continues to dip into a time of despair. I hope you enjoy my work and the work of my players.