WHO IS OLAF?
Oliver Dickinson, who lies behind the character Olaf first named in the original 1983 Pavis box (who should always be referred to as Olaf The Storyteller), is a well-known specialist in Greek archaeology, especially the Greek Bronze and early Iron Ages, who taught in the Classics and Ancient History Department at Durham University, U.K., from 1976 to 2005, and lives in Haxby near York. Like most archaeologists, he has continued his activities after retirement, attending international conferences and writing papers for these, contributing to encyclopaedias (most recently The Cambridge World Prehistory, 2014), etc. His last book was published in 2006, but he has written various articles and contributions to books since.
He has always been fond of
science fiction, fantasy (encountering The Lord Of
The Rings as a teenager), and complex
board games. His involvement with the fantasy
world of Glorantha began in 1979 when he was
introduced to the boardgame White Bear
and Red Moon by a colleague at Durham. He
swiftly began writing to Greg Stafford, bought
RuneQuest, and ran the RuneRites column in White Dwarf
in the years 1981-4, but had to give it up when
it was eating into time that should have been
spent on academic matters. He 'came out' in 1990
when he attended the Conjunction of the Million
Spheres fantasy con in Cambridge and did a
Griselda spot, reading a story and producing
other Griselda-related material, something which
he did at all the Convulsions (1992-2002) and
continued to do at Continuum from 2006; he also
attended Tentacles Untapped in 2007, where he
read the first version of The Lady of
Alone. He made a final appearance at
Continuum in 2014, where he read the last
Griselda story written, A Brief
Return to the Rubble. He has been actively
involved in preparing those stories not
published in The
Complete Griselda as chapbooks
by Tentacles Press; the first were sold in
aid of the The Kraken convention in late 2016.
Now in his eighth decade, he may well be the oldest person interested in Glorantha. He is very gratified that the Griselda stories have proved so popular and have interested players in Glorantha and particularly in Pavis, and that Griselda plays a significant role in Pavis: Gateway to Adventure.
© 2017 Oliver
"Glorantha, RuneQuest and HeroQuest are trademarks of Moon Design Publications and used with their permission."
updated 2nd October 2017