The Wisconsin Connection

It was at a GenCon long ago, where Erick hosted an Amber party instead of running his GenCon Amber campaign on Sunday afternoon. It was at that party when I asked if he knew of any Amber campaigns in Wisconsin. You see, I was working at the time on a contract job in Appleton, Wisconsin. There was nothing going on in Appleton. To get an idea of the size of the town and local community, the population of the entire metropolitan area of seven little towns all next to each other was about 75,000, a quarter the population of my home town of Fort Wayne, and half the population of the nearest big city of Green Bay.

Erick directed me over to a guy sitting by the window, who said he ran a campaign every other weekend, and he was living in Neenah at the time. Neenah, being the next town over from Appleton. I said I was interested in playing Amber and later gave him a copy of the character I wanted to play. That character was an extension of a superheroine named Changeling, who as a Champions character possessed powers and abilities that almost directly translated into Amber stats and abilities, including shapeshifting, magical‐based psychic powers, and an uncanny luck. This is what she looked like:


(The lovely artwork of Brigid as a superhero above is by artist Heather Bruton and became the image for her Trump.)

He agreed and over the course of driving down from the Appleton area (which is located at the north end of Lake Winnebago) in a van with several other of the members of the campaign to the site where the campaign was run (across the Illinois border at a small town’s community center) he introduced me to the campaign, and, later, when we arrived, introduced my character to the campaign.

Now, the character as I described her had a mysterious past, and upon arrival, found the beginnings of her past. She was a child of the Fae, one the ancient magical beings who stood apart from Amber and the Courts, yet she was also a child of Amber. Furthermore, the campaign already one such character, Ombra, the Grand Duke of Amber (Dworkin’s son by the Unseelie Queen of the Fae) and the Unseelie Prince. As it would develop, Brigid was the Seelie Princess, the exact opposite of Ombra. (And, of course, she loved her cousin dearly.)

What are the odds? Just how unlikely would be to find a campaign where my character would fit so precisely, in such an out of the way location? Suffice to say that this sort of thing has happened in my life more than once. That campaign lasted through the game master and the rest of the local players (but not the other players from the Chicago area) moving down to Milwaukee, forcing me to drive down to the game myself every other weekend (and yes, it really was that dead in Appleton that made me welcome driving for several hours on a weekend to attend) then me moving back home, where I kept in touch with the game master through email.

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