In the early 1990ís, two college students, frustrated by existing role-playing games, decided to create their own. With extreme attention to detail, Darrell Goffinet and Shane Ernst created the world of Romellia, a fantastic land of magic torn by deception and shadow. The RPG sessions, co-led by the two, were geared toward plot, not points, with each one taking the players deeper into the mythic world. As a former player myself (Father Nifeugot), I can testify to the anticipation held for the next game session, the chance to discover more of the twisting plot line. Because of the simplicity of their rules and the level of preparation and detail in the historical background of the game, the players were awarded a large measure of freedom, not having to conform to the endless tables and the packaged prefabricated scenarios of most traditional RPGs. This allowed for character development---wow, role-playing--- and a continual movement of the plot.
As time (real time) passed, it became increasingly difficult for the players, now students of different colleges, to come together to indulge in the mythic land. Darrell and Shane decided to write about the land of Romellia in script format. As their words began to take shape, we considered making an audio recording of the script. The original idea of a one-person reader later developed into a full cast production. Drafting the assistance of Shane Fox, Darrell and Shane's Purdue classmate that was interested in the story, they worked diligently to complete the 320 page script. At the same time I (Scott Spear) and Edward Hauser (Krannik the Green in the original game) began work on the music at Western Kentucky University, where we were music students. We had been charged with creating the original score for the drama.
With only basic knowledge of audio theatre, we agreed upon a characterized drama similar in style to the Star Wars audio drama of the late 70s with sound effects and musical score. As the script approached completion, a central recording point had to be found. While the five of us were all in our senior years, we weren't exactly in the same location. With better access to equipment and a fine acting base, we decided to record in Bowling Green, KY. Pleasantly surprised with the wide turnout of auditions, we cast the 78 roles amongst 37 players. In February of 1995, our volunteer cast showed up two weekends in a row for a grueling recording schedule, with no prior rehearsal. Although the recording equipment and facilities were limited, we were pleased with the resulting recording.
With the drama recorded, post-production began, and over the next year the scenes were cut, spliced, edited, and arranged. Ed and I recorded the underlying score, and the music was added to the scenes. The sound effects were recorded in the field and layered within the drama. On February 2nd, 1996, the last scene was finished, completing all 13 episodes of Ebon Storms.
With other dramas on the table and an increasing geographical distance between the members of Last Summer Productions, Ebon Storms took up residence on a shelf until October of 1998, when select segments began appearing on MP3.com. Because of renewed interest in the drama, the complete production was placed on the web and made available in CD format. The advent of new technologies allowed for some improvements in the production, and thus it was re-mastered in early 2000 to clean a few bad edits and insert a few extra sound effects.
In June of 2000, Last Summer Productions began construction of EbonStorms.com. It is our hope to get back to our roots and create a site for fans of fantasy role-playing games, with bonus helpings of radio drama and good story telling. As a perpetual work in progress, EbonStorms.com is being updated frequently. We are ever adding new glimpses into the land of Romellia and allowing people a chance to step into A World Filled with Magic. So click to your heart's content, and visit us often, for you never know what you are going to find... or what will find you.