A couple years back I finally got into DDO. I've been a D&D pen and paper player (usually DM) for many, many years. I had heard about DDO for a while and, after getting really bored with the poor writing quality in World of Warcraft, I decided to give it a try. I had a lot of fun. I was impressed by the way the designers integrated the story-telling aspect of being a DM into the experience by including the voice narratives at the beginning of instances. This got me thinking about D&D and storytelling, and in turn, the nature of the fantasy genre. Somewhere along the line, this led to a story, and the story became a novel.
Like I said, I am an old-hand DM so the idea of plotting out a story progression is not a big deal to me. I have always written for fun, but it struck me that this story was really, unusually good.
It starts out in California in 1986. Two teenage boys find a mysterious occult book during a sleepover and dare one another to read out of it. One of them does, and at first he thinks nothing happened, but it rapidly becomes apparent that he has developed a sort of "second sight" that allows him to see the hidden, magical world behind our drab, everyday reality. Using this, he finds a key, and it leads him and his friend down a "rabbit hole" into the other world; Annwn, a land based on ancient Celtic (and Native American, Hebrew, and Babylonian) myth. It is a land rent between light and dark; an ancient war between mythical forces of good and evil. It is a place of magic and heroics and strange, twisted creatures from the shadow.
Naturally, the boys think this is a great adventure. They set out on a series of great escapades and grow ever more cocky as they learn the ways of this magical world. What they do not realize is that the dark powers of Annwn are deadly serious and that this ancient war of good and evil is anything but a game. When the forces of shadow reach out to touch their home in the "real world", they are faced with the most difficult decisions of their lives as fantasy and reality collide around them. Now they have to choose between protecting everything they love and making right what they have wronged.
It's a bit like a cross between CS Lewis and HP Lovecraft, and the book started off life as I played DDO and mused about what fantasy is all about. I thought I'd share with my fellow fantasy and D&D fans here. Check it out, it's all D&D's fault!
(BTW; I don' know if you guys remember the old D&D cartoon they made back in the 1980s but that was obviously an inspiration too. I definitely gave that a bit of a nod in the novel.)