Today, a great adventurer has fallen.
He has started his journey to Pharasma along the River of Souls to the Boneyard. The journey is a difficult one, fraught with dangers, traps, and creatures, but he is a high adventurer and nothing will stop his final exploits. The River leads to the Boneyard where his merits and contributions will be judged, and he will be sent to his final rest. Wherever his final place of rest, we know he will always strive to find a new adventure, to be kind, caring, and bring joy to those around him.
Today, the world is a little less bright and all the heavier. Our friend, Carter Lockhart, has passed away.
I never actually met Lockhart in person. Long ago he joined the forums at RPGMP3 and quickly became a staple feature of the site and eventually an administrator. He was passionate about the games he played and knew so much about them. I always loved playing games with him. We played online, and often either he would run the game or I would run the game. We told stories of great triumphs and victories. Of great terror and loss. Of desperate times and times of great happiness. We lived in a world where we could do anything, and magic was always there in the background, just a finger snap or a wand swish away.
Today, even magic is not enough to bring some light to the dark places. We are forced to try and accept that he has gone and cannot be followed on his last great adventure.
I saw Lockhart often online. We gamed together and talked a lot when we were not gaming. We had a regular group and played weekly. Eventually, he introduced us to Heather, the girl who managed to capture his heart. We suspected some kind of enhancement, but he loved her fiercely. That was clear from the very start. His eyes smiled when he talked with her and she brought out things in him that I had never seen. He was protective and gentle with her, and it was beautiful to be close to. She drew what he described in words and helped bring his ideas to life. They were clearly meant to be together and eventually they were married. Heather moved from the warm comforts of the south to the frozen tundra of Canada to be with him.
Today, a great love is split asunder and the whole world seems wrong.
Over the past few years, Lockhart and I grew apart. Things that were happening in my life made it difficult and uncomfortable for people to be around. I understood this and respected his decision, but I always considered him my friend. I wish I could have spent more time with him. I wish I had tried harder to reconnect with him. I think we all have these kinds of thoughts at a time like this. Wishes, what-ifs, regrets, and hindsight.
Today, we are filled with doubt and uncertainty. What we knew to be the truth is being tested, and we must realign how we see the world.
I am sat here at work, with the rain pounding down outside my window thinking about my friend. Thinking about what he has been doing for the past couple of years and all the things I missed. I cannot quite process that I will never see him again. I have reached out to Heather, and she seems shell-shocked, not able to process the vast emptiness of this whole thing. I can only imagine how this must feel. I offer platitudes knowing exactly what they are. We all go through the motions. I see the same filling up Facebook, and I wonder what I can do to make any kind of difference.
Thing tells me he has access to some unreleased recordings of games for the site.
A legacy of sorts.
Work as yet unfinished.
A solid piece of Lockhart we can possibly offer the world now that he has left.
Something to remember him by.
A way to hear him again.
A way for him to live on a little longer as bytes and photons.
Today, my friend died.
I cry for him, for Heather, for his family, and everyone who knew him. I will drink tonight to his memory and to the person he was. I will tell people about him and share what I have so that others can know him in some small way. I will be happy for the times we shared and I will smile when I remember him.
Today, a great adventurer fell. And nothing will ever be quite the same again.