Ladies and Gentlemen,
It seemed like a lifetime ago when I first trudged through the pages of the old venerable Computer Gaming World and discovered the world of Gemstone III. Only playable via GEnie for an atrocious amount of money, I still drooled at the possibility of playing the equivalent of D&D whenever I wanted via an incredibly speedy 2400-baud connection. With the cryptic interface that GEnie offered its subscribers, it was amazing that I ever found GS III. I played for one month, kept to myself, and nearly had a coronary attack when I received my first month's credit card bill. Needless to say, it would not be until AOL brought the game to her shores (and I obtained a comp account by slaving away for Steve Case) that I would be able to afford a 'full time' career in GS. I rolled up a completely unplayable cleric, sat down, and created a character that would be the bane of some, the love of others, but would never everinspire apathy.
Six (and nearly 7) years, hundreds of playing hours, countless parties, a myriad of posts, and 20 or so gatherings later, I find myself at this precipice. So many things have happened to me in real life and in the world of Elanthia that I can find myself hard pressed to remember them all. All I know is that I have had some wonderful times, some horrible times, some joyous times, and yes some chaotic times.
I can't imagine being able to list all of you. Inevitably, one always forgets someone and feelings may be hurt. Those that know me also know how I feel about them. Thank you so very much for all the good times. I love you all (for the menthat's the platonic sort of love. Don't get any ideas, Geijon, Barberik, Jorak, Maligor, or Avantos.). Every single one of you has made an indelible mark on my existence. I have learned from some of you, taught some of you, laughed and cried with you or because of you. I would trade none of it for the world.
I have been thinking over the last few days of how I was going to close this letter. I thought about going on a rampage against all that is wrong with GS and why 'the magic' is gone. In other words, I considered one final tilt at that old, decaying windmill on the hill. I won't bother. What I would have said has been said so many times that if "TPTB" (The Powers That Be) don't get it by now, they will never get it. Instead, I would rather leave you with something productive and perhaps thought provoking.
"There is not any present moment that is unconnected with some future one. The life of every man is a continued chain of incidents, each link of which hangs upon the former. The transition from cause to effect, from event to event, is often carried on by secret steps, which our foresight cannot divine, and our sagacity is unable to trace. Evil may at some future period bring forth good; and good may bring forth evil, both equally unexpected." (Joseph Addison).