Old Dungeons and Dragons, Francis Walsingham, and The Cure

22 09 2010

I love The Cure. I really do. I mean in some ways- of course I love the fucking cure. How could I not? Mid thirties, sci-fi geek, heavy metal refugee… yeah that’s how that works. I don’t care. I love the cure. I loved hiding in the tent of my bed and listening to Disintegration over and over again and to be honest, that is exactly what I am doing right now. I don’t want to claim special relevancy here. They will sound dated to some people, but never to me. That’s all. I wanted to share with you my abiding adoration of The Cure.

Francis Walsingham, for those of you not ass deep in his biography right now, was the spy-master for Elizabeth I (Although he entered the larger public stage as ambassador to France during the marriage gambit that kept the various younger royal Valois brothers jockeying. He was also an eyewitness to the St. Bartholomew’s day massacre. For those of you that have not seen the absolutely brilliant film on that bit of pleasantness then Netflix Queen Margot… no, right now… I’ll wait here… seriously… I’ll wait here and listen to the cure and ponder my first use of the word netflix as a verb…. that’s tasty….  So in a nutshell the protestants and the catholics of France spent several years killing each other in the mid sixteenth century and though the civil strife (read- war) concluded in the dominance of the Catholic Valois in Paris, the Huguenot factions held large areas in the south including the independent Pyrenees kingdom of Navarre. The King of Navarre, Henri, was to be wedded to the younger sister of the King of France thus, it was hoped, welding back the shattered people of France.

It really, really, REALLY DID NOT WORK…

I mean it went really badly!!

So Francis Walsingham was there, and I haven’t discovered how he, a vehement protestant (what an angry mouthful that is), survived. But survive he did and to what great acclaim. I mean it’s not everybody that gets played by Geoffry Rush (Elizabeth). I will let you know as soon as I do, but I have a feeling that the person who invented the modern spy service was probably tricky enough despite not  being able to pee (he had a case of the stones).

So last thing for this meandering edition of TSoF, they are bringing back the old D&D. Most of you… perhaps all of you are not going to care, but I care. In the old days D&D came in these neat little starter boxes that had character sheets, dice, a DM’s screen and some other stuff to build a campaign. Ahh, for the innocent days of my childhood when “campaign” still meant me and four friends sitting around a kitchen table until four am.

So fore one reason or another ($$$) Wizards of the Coast, the fantasy game titans (he he) have pulled out some of that old TSR capitol they bought up in a moment of internet and ho-ho fueled exuberance. I would imagine that they must have also got themselves a lot of cardboard stock when they purchased TSR, though whether the gurus of tradable card games though it worth driving from Lake Geneva, WI to… well somewhere on the coast I would imagine, was unknown. Unknown until now. Other than the WotC imprint on the box in place of TSR, the box is identical. Yes, I am sure. I mean I have my old one out right now and I can’t tell the difference. I do like the face that the new ad campaign includes the phrase, “Open up a box of AWESOME”       We will- Don’t you worry your silly wizard heads… we…. will…

Andrew C. Porter signing off. And I am signing off while listening to purple rain. Here is a link to the new D&D awesome box. Enjoy it.

I had a lot of good times out of this box.




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