Origins of Torbid...


Many of you have wondered where the name Torbid came from and just why I call myself by that name. There are several things that led up to this name.

It all started several years ago, before the internet, when BBS's (Bulletin Board System) ruled the lands. Before T1's and cable modems, where the fastest speed was 2400 baud and as a general rule, only one person could be on any BBS at a time, I helped run one BBS called "Dark Realms". Now before you cringe at the name, it wasn't a place dedicated to dark and evil as some believed by its name. No, it was a friendly place; its name simply came about by its location. The system was owned by my good friend Tim Jones, and it was set in his bedroom in his parents house. His bedroom had no windows, so with the lights out and the door closed it was very dark, even in the middle of the day. Thus is why his BBS got that name, his moto "Dark Realms, I live in a cave."
I had several user names or handles as they are sometimes called while working on that BBS and in the BBS community. Snave, my first, was my last name backward. I stopped using that when I found out "Rodents" (under aged users who liked to cause trouble), liked to communicate by spelling things backward, among other things. I didn't want to be associated with this type, so dropped that name. I know I bounced through a couple more, which I didn't like, until I settled on the user name of Captain Kirk. Now I'm a big Star Trek fan, a self proclaimed Trekkie, so naturally I found this name quite appealing to me and used it for several years. I did eventually drop the name for this one reason. I and several other BBSers helped another BBSer, Ed Goldstein aka The Bagelfather, with a college film project, it was enjoyable and fun. When however I saw the completed project about 1/2 a year later, everyone had credit in it, everyone was thanked by their real name, I was thanked by my user name, Captain Kirk. It looked more like Ed was thanking a character then me, no one would know it was me, and this kind of upset me. I don't blame Ed however, at the time he'd only known me by my user name of "Captain Kirk". So from that moment I dropped Captain Kirk and started using my real name as my user name.
However, I still wanted a user name that was uniquely me, now my real name was good enough, but no one in the BBS community went by their real name. Now I tried a couple other names, none of which I was ever happy with until that faithful day I went to play D&D (Dungeon and Dragons). Another Sysop (System Operator), Kenny Unferth (who has since passed away) with the BBS name of "Trantor" invited a bunch of his users over to his apartment to play D&D, which we did every Saturday until he moved away. Now this is before online games remember, so this sounded like a good idea. I got there and filling out my character sheet picked a character class of warrior and race of Gnome, but didn't have a name for him. Over the next week before we got together again, I thought and thought, trying to come up with a name, but couldn't settle on one I liked. I didn't want a real name like Bob or Joe or Bill, I wanted something made up, which would fit a gnome, but be believable. Then by rearranging different Scrabble letters over and over again, I came up with an order that spelled out T O R B I D. Sounding it out several times, I like the way it sounded, looked, was easy to spell and remember. So on that day my gnome warrior became Torbid, The Fighting Gnome, and the name was created.
Now mind you I still didn't start using Torbid widely as a user name, not for awhile. At the time, it was simply the name of my character in D&D and a couple computer games which required names.
Well our DM (Dungeon Master) moved away, and my character sheet got put in a drawer somewhere. Shortly after this, AOL had started making the scene, the first taste of the internet. Well being the computer junkies both Tim Jones and I are, loving modems and BBS, this internet thing had great appeal. So he got an AOL account (Not as bad then as it is now), and let me have a user name on that account. When Tim Jones was trying to sign up for the first time, he entered several user names. With AOL if a name is already in use, it will of course reject it but offer suggestions of that name slightly changed or the same name with a number after it, depending on how many other people also have that name. For the several names that Tim Jones tired to enter, all came back with huge 4 or 5 digit numbers after them. When it became my turn to sign in I quickly went through several names in my head, eventually settling on the one I'd been using for games, Torbid and entered it. It went through without a hitch, at that moment I knew, I knew I'd found my user name. It was unique, different from everyone else, no one else in the entire world had it, it was mine alone and anyone who saw that name would know it was me and no one else.
Thus the name Torbid became my user name for all things, these web pages, everywhere I sign up, any games I play and even revived the Gnome warrior of Torbid when I started playing EverQuest. I even have it carved in wood hanging over my computer. It's who I am.

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