Let sound the Horn of Gondor
Two weeks ago today, a rag-tag group of lifelong friends gathered for their monthly night of dice-slinging.
Though many of us had been friends before Dungeons & Dragons, our brotherhood was forged anew in this theatre of the mind. We played the game through elementary, junior and senior high, college, and beyond. Then life got in the way, as it has a wont to do… and we drifted away from the gaming table.
Then, two years ago, invitations were sent out to all of those who had once thrown dice together. A reunion game was proposed, for old times sake. After many months of schedule juggling, several of us finally met up in January of 2013. Present were myself, Steve Congdon, Mike Duncan, Doug Gentry, Joe Strunk, Shaun Keenan, and Brent Smith.
As you can imagine, we had a blast. For most of us, it had been years since we’d last played. And it felt good to be together again. We fell into old habits, as if no time had passed at all. We were as kids again and that bond of friendship and brotherhood was made even stronger.
We decided then and there that we would make this a monthly reunion and we have stayed true to that. Two years past that initial reunion game and we’ve slung dice, by my count, 27 times. Steve drives down from Chicago every month. Shaun treks to Converse from Marion, and Joe slinks over from Somerset. We’ve had guest players join us from time to time, such as John Hall and his son Dylan, and we’ve added new players to the game, like my son Connor.
Tonight we will gather again, but it will not be the same.
See, two weeks ago today, we gathered for our monthly night of dice-slinging.
Then Tuesday came and we were gutted.
One week ago today, we said goodbye to our brother, Brent.
Tonight, we raise our horns to his memory and play the game he loved. We bid farewell to the great characters he breathed life into most recently — Grammoline the Dwarf, Artis the Nimble-fingered, and Del Arius the Mage. But most of all, we mourn the passing of our dear friend and compatriot.
The Oak Hill Dungeons and Dragons Club will not be the same without him, but in a very real sense, every time we play, a part of him will be there with us… cheating on dice rolls and fudging hit points in his favor.
Love you, Brent. We’ll have a place set for you should you decide to join us.