I received some positive feedback about my first post about the D&D days of my past. I had shared information about Ren Treesinger, an “Elven Fighter” who died suddenly in the midst of an adventure. I dug back into the old school D&D archives and pulled together more information about this character who was always, to be honest, a second-stringer. (I’ll introduce the A-listers in a future post.)
First, I discovered Ren was killed by a Shrack, not a Shrike as originally posted. The Shrack was indeed inspired by the Shrike creature from Dan Simmons’ Hyperion, but I was, perhaps, wary of borrowing directly from existing material and thus put my own spin onto the creature by renaming it a Shrack. I found in the archive a complete list of “The Assembly of the Dragon”, which is what the collective of player characters was called. As part of this document, I had recorded the heroes who had fallen. Here is the entry for Ren Treesinger…
8th level Elven Fighter. Killed on the 15th day of the twelfth adventure. Died suddenly at the hands of a Shrack. Buried next to Landen. The last of the Dragonslayers. Completed 5 adventures.
It was kind of me to record his death “at the hands of a Shrack” instead of “died when a Shrack fell on him.” I was curious about the line “buried next to Landen”, but then found a short fiction I wrote in which the surviving members of the Assembly of the Dragon gather in a tomb to say farewell to the fallen Ren Treesinger. Other fallen heroes were entombed here, too, including Drezen D’Urden, Boris Creel, and Landon Aldwell. (More about those dudes later.) Interestingly enough, the same short fiction mentions Aspitis Preves died in the same adventure, but was buried elsewhere. I don’t remember the details of Aspitis’ death or even much about the character. He must have been a player character because his name is recorded on the complete list of The Assembly of the Dragon, though his name is penciled in at the bottom of the page with no additional information given.
Ren Treesinger was the last of the Dragonlayers, which made me think that the players met him as an NPC during the quest that culminated with a fight with a dragon. That fight, including its location, was heavily influenced by the movie Dragonslayer. I found a picture Jason R. had drawn from adventure #6, in which Cyric Lyonsbane faces the dragon, and since Ren had completed five quests (#6 to #11 before he died in #12) that, to me, confirms he met the Assembly in #6. Ren’s equipment sheet also reveals he had a “dragon scale shield”, which is something he mostly likely had as a Dragonslayer or made for himself during or after adventure #6. (The dragon scale shield is right out of the movie Dragonslayer, too, by the way.)
The picture that starts off this post was drawn by Jason R. in the mid-90s. Not possessing a scanner, I took a photo of the original art and then did my best to darken the pencils in Photoshop. The end result is less than the original piece, but the shoddy reproduction, to me, is in keeping with the “old school” theme of these posts. I hope Jason R. takes no offense.
Represented in the artwork is the “dragon scale shield” and Ren’s “fancy long sword” with “Elven runes”. He is wearing “padded armor” and “Elven chainmail”. His up-to-date character sheet also mentions “full leg protectors” and “bluish-silver plate bracers”, none of which are in the artwork. The blue-silver plate was a favored armor among those of The Assembly of the Dragon.
Further mining of the old school D&D archives might turn up more information about Ren Treesinger but, for now, I will say farewell to this 1990s fantasy hero.