In a previous installment of Old School D&D I mentioned I could not remember much about a player character named Aspitis Preves. Tonight, I once again sifted through the folder of old D&D material and found two of his character sheets. One (seen above) is very tidily written but is missing his XP and Level on the front-side. The other appears to be the active character sheet, with modified experience, money that has been reduced, and stats that have changed, but the back-side does not list his skills or his biography. The skills and biography are on the first sheet.
I know I copied the character sheets between adventures, updating the biographies, skills, equipment, and so on, so perhaps I had started to do that with Aspitis but did not finish before a new adventure began. I may have also started copying the character sheet as the adventure neared its completion but abandoned the task when he died. Either scenario might explain why I kept both copies. Since this was more than 20 years ago I can only speculate. I had hoped finding his character sheet would jog my memory but it has only created more mystery. His biography is full of tantalizing information….
31 years old, 6ft 2, 188lbs, born in the spring
Born in the seaport city of Pansis, Aspitis was naturally fascinated with the great seafaring ships. As the son of a nobleman, however, he was not permitted to join a crew, nor did he really want to. Aspitis wanted to captain his own ship, so as a child he studied navigation and when he was old enough, he purchased the Wavewalker. How he fell into the evil of slave-running with the ruthless Morgan Eskalderne, he will not say. Before these dark years however he traveled the seas to distant lands, carrying exotic goods. He soon accumulated great wealth.
This biography strongly suggests Aspitits was a NPC who became a character, much like the sailor Salporin Charn or even the aforementioned Ren Treesinger. I think I can safely say Aspitis helped the players in a quest and decided to join them as a way to atone for his darker, slave-running days. That feels like something the teenage me would do. I am, however, a wee bit surprised that I had slave-running in my old school D&D.
Those of you who enjoy the fantasy genre might recognize the name Aspitis Preves as a character from Tad Williams’ Memory, Sorrow and Thorn trilogy. I was quite terrible (and lazy) at creating names so I often borrowed from genre fiction I enjoyed, including Tad Williams’ work. Indeed, the surname Eskalderne is most likely a riff on the character Einskaldir from Memory, Sorrow and Thorn.
Apsitis’ character sheet reveals he had a Shrack Axe (-2) slung on his horse. (I’d give negative modifiers for a weapon with which a character was not familiar.) This suggests Aspitis survived at least one encounter with a Shrack and thus may have, in fact, been predeceased by Ren Treesinger. (I had written earlier about how Ren and Aspitis died in the same adventure.) But I still don’t remember!
As a final note (for now) about Aspitis, I see that he never named his horse.