By George Holochwost
After the vendors room at GenCon closed yesterday at 6pm, I decided to go on walkabout and check out some of the sights here that punctuate the convention space. Despite the brilliance of some of the costumes and the strangeness of a few of the events, I decided to find the various giant sculptures of Wizards of the Coast characters about which I had heard so many rumors. Although I am very familiar with these properties from years and years of playing Dungeons and Dragons, I was taken aback by the detail and sheer size of some of these creations.
Straight from the pages of those little chapbooks in the original Dungeons and Dragons brown box, comes the regenerating terror that only fire and acid can permanently lay to rest. This giant green troll looms on the first floor of the convention hall, surrounded by conventioneers with flashing cameras.
Perhaps the most hotly loved (and hated) of Forgotten Realms characters, the penitent dark elf Drizzt Do’Urden and his faithful companion – the magical panther Guenhwyvar – stands right outside of the RPGA ballroom with twin scimitars brandished for all to see. Fans of the FR’s most famous brooding swordsman repeatedly asked me to photograph them with the dark pair from their favorite R.A. Salvatore novels. Who was I to refuse?
Standing to the back of center of the RPGA ballroom is a likeness of a creature that is know to all players of Dungeons and Dragons – whether an old school fan of the earlier editions or a new era fourth edition enthusiast. With one baleful eye turned towards hundreds of tabletop heroes, the Beholder was my personal favorite. With eye-stalks twisting above its massive orb of a body, the RPGA room Beholder might be the best photo opportunity of the convention.