Cabinet_064_lucas_julian_003Julian Lucas at Cabinet Magazine:

There are no resurrections in Armageddon MUD, a text-based role-playing game (RPG) set on the harsh desert planet Zalanthas. One of the Internet’s oldest extant virtual worlds, it is an amoral fairytale about dune traders and bandits, assassins and sorcerer-kings, collaboratively written by thousands of players over a period of twenty-six years. Created in 1991 by a thirteen-year-old coder named Dan Brumleve, the kernel of the story was cribbed from a Dungeons and Dragons campaign setting called “Dark Sun,” source of the game’s fantasy races (elves, dwarves, muls, halflings, half-giants), its kaiju-sized insects, and the foundational conceit of a once-verdant world desiccated by “defiling” magic.3

From there, the staff of “immortals” invented, raising from the wastes two autocratic city-states (blunt Allanak and subtle Tuluk, ruled by the Highlord Tektolnes and the Sun King Muk Utep, respectively); four great merchant clans (Stone Age multinationals with huge reptile-drawn caravans); dozens of noble houses, mercenary companies, gangs, and tribes; languages and accents; weapons, recipes, spells; cultivars of imaginary fruit, each tagged with a taste and smell; and, at the very bottom of the world, a wind-tossed sea of silt upon which one might float, or drown.

more here.