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The following comes from my biography on the Lyceum.

Ryan "Drakefyre" Thompson

The quick facts

Administrator of Spiderweb Software Message Boards

Website: Drakefyre's Demesne

Scenario author: War on Bigail and Alternate Level Builder

Beta-tester for Spiderweb Software (Geneforge, Avernum 3, Geneforge 2, Blades of Avernum, Geneforge 3)

Beta-tester of many Blades of Exile scenarios

Poor graphics artist

Olympia Contest Judge: Second, Third, Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Scenario Contests, First and Second Short Scenario Contests, Second, Third, and Fourth graphics competitions, and Don't Fix the Shark Scenario Contest supreme arbiter

Winner, Best Utility Scenario category, 3rd Scenario Design Contest (Alternate Level Builder)

Winner, Best Edited Terrain, 3rd Graphics Competition (Paved Roadset)

Author of many scenario design articles

Author of many helpful walkthroughs

Prolific Scenario Player and Review (see CSR)

Two-Time Arena Champion (Seasons VIII and IX)

The long story

I have been involved with the online Blades of Exile community since early 1998. I became involved with the Blades of Exile Arena run by Akhronath, and I submitted my first entries without having downloaded Blades of Exile and only being familiar with Exile III. I was an active member of all of the old Inside the Web forums - Aceron's Blades of Exile Board, the Monster Arena, and the Lyceum in particular.

I registered Blades of Exile at some point in late 1998, and I came out with my first scenario, War on Bigail, in April of 1999. War on Bigail is not a very good scenario, it is a very silly scenario, and its password is bob.

As time went on, I became more proficient with the scenario editor, and I began to design better monsters for the arena and write and scrap several more scenarios. In September 2000, just as Inside the Web was going out of business and the Lyceum moved to ezBoard, I released my second scenario, a revamped Party Builder utility for scenario designers to include with their scenarios. Alternate Level Builder, as it was called, was never actually paired with a single released scenario. Still, it showed marked improvement over War on Bigail.

In October 2000, the Arena made the jump to ezBoard as well, and I became the administrator of the forums, Arena Authority as it was called. Since Akhronath and Pokeytax had somewhat disappeared, I stepped up and ran seasons VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, XII, XIII, and XIV, as well as several seasons of the Titan Arena, a Rabbit Arena, and an SDA Arena. I won two of those seasons - VIII and IX, with Drake Demi-Lord and Mr. Potato.

In January 2000, I began work on my masterpiece Blades of Exile scenario, Rhapsody in Blue, henceforth known as RiB. RiB was designed to be a sprawling, 20 outdoor section, 60-town epic scenario with several different endings. Alas, it was not meant to be. Halfway through the scenario (in the middle of 2002), with all towns and outdoors designed and about a quarter of the dialogue written, an OS upgrade wiped out the file and my copy of BoE. Later, after resuming from an older backup, the file became corrupted, and I lost several more months of work.

In October of 2002, I decided to abandon the .exs file and begin from scratch, with a streamlined plot and layout. It was promising, but it fell by the wayside when I realized that what I wanted to do was nigh-on impossible in Blades of Exile, and I decided to lay my hopes on Blades of Avernum. Still, the RiB process made me an excellent noder in Blades of Exile, and it has only been procrastination and setback that have prevented a scenario from showcasing this.

But back in March of 2001, Spiderweb Software created their own message boards, which the active Blades of Exile community flocked to. I became a moderator of many forums there. In September, 2001, Mariann Krizsan decided to move the company boards to UBB, for security and administrative reasons. We decided that I would become a temporary administrator to help set up the boards and smooth the transition.

In January, 2002, Mariann gave birth to Cordelia Vogel, and relinquished control of the Spiderweb Software message boards to me, and I became the full-time administrator. It is the role for which I am most known in the community. Since then I have appointed Stareye my co-administrator to decrease the time it takes to respond to message board trolls and attacks.

I became a beta-tester for Spiderweb Software around the same time as I became an administrator. I had vast beta-testing experience from Blades of Exile scenarios and several shareware programs, and I have since beta-tested Geneforge, Avernum 3, Geneforge 2, Blades of Avernum, and Geneforge 3.

In July of 2002, I created my website, Drakefyre's Demesne, to house my walkthroughs and musings for all of Spiderweb Software's games. Perhaps its most popular offerings are my partial walkthrough of Avernum 3 and Vahnatai Week, a page devoted to our favorite Exile race, the Vahnatai.

With the release of Blades of Avernum, I authored many articles espousing what I consider to be good scenario design, which can be found on my Blades of Avernum page. I also became involved the Encyclopaedia Ermariana project, which attempts to chronicle and categorize an encyclopedia about Ermarian, the world in which the Exile games take place. All of my articles can be found on my Miscellaneous page (although I've made more contributions at this Wiki), along with my Blades of Exile graphics.

Recently, I've taken a greater interest in the community and its history. I did a lot of figurative legwork in making my chronicle of Blades of Exile contests (inspired by Tonweya), and I am a prolific reviewer on the CSR. I've also begun work on a new BoE scenario using Wyrmfire's snowy terrain set.

My Contributions

Here are some of the long articles I've written - this isn't counting short articles, edits, stubs, and descriptions.