So, today I turn 23 years old. When I discovered Dragonlance I was but a wee lad of 12. Half of my life has been dedicated to this world, and I do not regret a minute of it.
Yes, times have been tough, what with the various changes that happened over the past ten years that we’ve discussed ad nauseum here and elsewhere, most recently during the Weldon wars at the start of this year. I’m not gonna bother retreading that. And as or where DL is going, well, your guess is as good as mine.
So what the hell is the point of this post? Well, there has been one constant in all my years in fandom- the people. I’ve met so many amazing and wonderful people who’ve all impacted my life, that I can’t fathom what life would have been like otherwise =)
That, to me, is the most important thing I’ve gotten from dragonlance. A community. A group of people I can talk to who understand this burden of loving a setting that doesn’t love you back =) People like Matthew Martin, Craig Ries, Frank, Cam,
Andre, Weldon, Tavin, Cassandra, the folks of DLU, AFDL, DLMB, and all that give me reasons to stick around. Even the venerable Morten and Rohan have given me things to think about, and new perspectives to look from. Dragonlance without these people is empty.
My first post on this list was comparing the thinker gnomes with gnomoi. Soon after, I linked up with Pale Horse to work on an Oriental Taladas. After that, I started talking more with other folks from here, many long gone, like Matt Lynch and Galwylin. And then I hopped on the WotC chat site and made friends with amazing folks like Stan! and
Steve Miller and Miranda, and my worldview widened.
It was only a matter of time before people started knowing who I was, and talking to me outside of the varied forums. And then going to cons and being recognized. And having newbies try to argue DL with me, using as fact random points I made in some random post I had totally forgotten about years ago. It’s really ego-boosting, let me tell you.
Seriously, the greatest strength of Dragonlance is the tight knit community. And the fact that authors will talk to you, and respond to questions, and explain the decisions they made, to help you understand their view of the setting. The fact that I can message 5 people on a whim if I have a random question about how to run my campaign, the fact that I can post an off the wall idea and have comment, the fact that there are hundreds of people who are willing to commiserate with me when books are delayed, or maybe not what we hoped, or amazing in ways beyond words, these are the true essence of fandom.
The problem, my friends, is that we are dying out. 3e has so many damned settings and stuff that DL has a hard time attracting people. And those that do come want DL1-16. Those of us who have been here for the good and bad are left to grasp at the wispy threads of a future DL, wondering where it is going to go next, and if its still tenable as a setting. And during these harsh times, we must hold on to each other and reinforce our love for the setting. Remember what Steel said at the end of Summer Flame– "All we have is each other."
To borrow Trampas’ phrase, "Long Live The Lance!"
(PS, For my birthday today, one of my buddies in Japan sent me the hardback volumes of DoAT and Second Generation…its damned cool ^_^)