Last night with all my packing and prep for Arisia
completed I headed down to the bar for well deserved break. Shortly after I arrived there I was informed by one of the bartenders that a fellow regular and friend of mine had died early that morning. This was not the first time my friend had been hospitalized and being a private person he had let little word out onto the street as to the gravity of his condition. It was the kind of news you hoped not to receive yet knew in the back of your mind was always at least a remote possibility. That said it was still a shock.
Nigel was the most ardent D&D player I have ever known participating in as many at five active campaigns at any given time. He was the other, and funny to say bigger, RPG geek at our local bar. It was often that he would excitedly regale me and sometimes Blanche with his characters’ latest adventures especially the beguiler – a class that did not exist in the older editions of the game with which I was familiar. I enjoyed the stories nonetheless. For years I had been trying to convince him to attend Arisia. “These are your people”, I told him. “Maybe next year,” he’d say. I guess we just ran out of years.
I will miss his rich laugh, his broad smile and his boyishly exited recounting of tabletop triumphs and near disasters. We were not the closest of friends, that was always difficult with him, but the shared years of laughter and stories and outright geeking had certainly bonded us far beyond mere acquaintance.
In the end like all his imagined alter egos Nigel faced death bravely. I don’t know where he is now, but wherever it is I hope that he is finding all the adventure, excitement and glory that he had to imagine here in this world… and I hope he’s still slaying dragons.
Christmas in January has now come and gone. At last we here at the Alcott Street Home for Wayward Geeks and Lunatics say goodbye to the holiday season. Ahead in nearly no time lies Arisia
, the grand tribal gathering. Shortly following we celebrate the first full year in the reign of His Imperial Majesty, Wee Mr. N, who has changed all of our lives in so many brilliant and unexpected ways. Is there yet an oracle that knows what waits for us beyond that as this new decade unfolds? There are clues. Another birth is imminent. Another wedding beckons seasons on and I have been granted the great honor of being a part of it. Some among us will be moving into new living quarters and yet into old patterns of living. I pray, please God, let those of us who are not currently so be eventually employed! There will be negotiations, skirmishes, alliances and wars. There are adventures planned by many and surely even more adventure ahead for which none of us can plan. There is expectation and there is hope. There is trepidation and exhilaration. We are not naïve though we may be fools. May the bells ring. May our hearts sing. May we be wrapped in wonder and awake to long awaited bliss. In our hearth fire shall we forge our plows and swords to take us boldly forward into this brightly awakening time. This is tomorrow and we embrace the future.