Farewell to a friend

Destiny members, l-r, Shin, Even, Comic, and Slvr do the nekkid altar dance in Shroud.

There’s just no good way to say things sometimes, which is why I’m sitting here at 4 am typing through tears.

Earlier tonight, I found out that my friend and gaming buddy Tom McGill, aka Shindurza, passed away in a car accident last week.

Shin was one of the first people I met in DDO (“met” virtually – we never quite managed to meet up in person, although we got close a few times). This was back in the days of MyDDO; we both had MyDDO blogs and got to commenting on each other’s posts, which led to sending a few messages back and forth, and so on.

I wasn’t sure I really wanted to post a public blog… but I met Shin through blogging. I think it’s appropriate.

The DDO blogging community was, at least at that time, fairly tight-knit and supportive. There was a core group of us who read, liked, and commented each other’s posts. Eventually we had enough camaraderie to want to play together – of course, we were on different servers. Shin set up a guild on Cannith and named it Destiny; he issued an open invitation to everyone with a MyDDO blog (and a few non-bloggers who were prolific commenters) to join.

Shin, Comic Relief, and I were the original members. Various people came and went over the years. Cannith became my home away from home; we had guild night every Tuesday, and I logged on my monk, Tirae, fairly often.

Destiny is still going on Cannith. Comic and I are still there, though I rarely run over there any more; my DDO playing time has dropped, so I’m usually just on Thelanis now. Shin hadn’t played DDO in the past several months. He went through periodic burnouts with games; when we didn’t see him for a week, it wasn’t cause for concern. He’d been running LotRO with us and seemed to be enjoying that as his “main” game lately.

There is SO much I could say about Destiny and the history of my friendship with Shin, but right now I’d really just like to think of some specific memories.

Early members of Destiny. Shin is second from left, then my monk Tirae, then Comic; Slvr is on the far right. I THINK the far left is Mizzaroo and second from right is Belgarim/B.Ogre, but not 100% sure on those.

The time I got a call from him on a Friday night and answered only to hear a lot of shouting. I called him back and he seemed confused – “What’s going on?” Turned out he had pocket-dialed me from a high school football game and didn’t know it.

The time during an event when an employee of then-Turbine dropped a kobold on his head, except he was afk in Storm Horns. He called me later laughing hysterically because I’d left him a message to check his combat log when he got back, and he’d seen, “Larafay Do’rret killed kobold.” (Larafay is a hireling, for anyone who doesn’t know.)

The time I hadn’t logged into Sarlona in a couple of months, so my guild leadership had fallen into delinquent status, and he usurped me just because he could. It was all in fun, of course – he handed the guild back over when I logged in, although he gave me a good ribbing about it!

The time I convinced him and Comic to drag my then-level 5 ranger, Azida, through her very first Pit – on elite – and she pulled a Muck’s Doom, which she couldn’t use yet because it’s ML 6. More ribbing – “Geez, she finally gets the item she’s been wanting forever, and she complains because she can’t use it!” followed by Shin’s one-of-a-kind laugh.

When we started playing Neverwinter Online with a few other DDO folks, and one member of our group kept mansplaining everything to me and even answering for me when people talked to me. Shin’s DMs, always supportive and usually funny, kept me from cyberstrangling the guy.

All the times I’d look at the guild list and see Shin running something with all three of his accounts. I have to work at drumming up enough patience to log in ONE alt and drag them through stuff with my main. I cannot begin to fathom running three accounts simultaneously, but he did it all the time. All of his main account toons had names that started with Shin, and his secondary account toons started with Snake.

I’d just talked to Shin on kinship night the week before last and asked him about coming back to DDO from his hiatus. He told me he was concentrating on LotRO for the time being but would probably start playing DDO again this summer. I told him that, thanks to a generous guildie, there was an improved epic Otto’s box waiting for him in the guild chest.

I don’t know what we’re going to do with that box now. I guess Seki and Slvr and Comic and I will talk it over and decide what would be the best thing to do with it. We each already have one; maybe one of us has or will have another toon that could make good use of it, or maybe we’ll do some kind of pay-it-forward thing.

Shin, wherever you are – I really wish we’d gotten the chance to meet in person, maybe ride some coasters at Knoebel’s or Cedar Point, or just hang out. It feels really strange to know that I’m never going to log in to see you and your skellie standing on the ship again. I’ll miss your rants about lag and the one-up competition we had about whose internet service was worse (it’s still mine  ;P). Thank you for all the times you let me talk your ear off, and all the times you kidded me back into a good mood.

Some people might find this offensive or disrespectful, but I think you would totally appreciate it – I hope your affinity for playing pale masters leads you to world domination in the afterlife.

I will remember you, my friend.  ❤