May 2000

I don't believe in coincidence any more... There are too many things that point to a "final" ending, even though it's not really final. For example, I have met several friends on an online game called EverQuest. Friends who are very dear to me, enough so to say that I love them (and you know who you are). Now, let me backtrack to the events that led up to these meetings.

My father often included me in his computer activities, leading up to my love for computers.

I received my first computer while I was in high school, and through a friend who gave me a phone number to a BBS, discovered the joys of online text adventuring.

I began role-playing Dungeons & Dragons in high school as well, through that same friend.

I began playing SSI's Dungeons and Dragons computer games (Curse of the Azure Bonds, DungeonHack, etc).

I graduated to using higher quality adventure-type games (Diablo).

I began playing Diablo as a multi-player game, online.

Delta Force introduced me to a whole new perspective of online games, the first person shooter. (Yes, I was familiar with Doom and it's ilk. And yes, I had played Doom in a deathmatch-type environment... But it was Delta Force that changed the way I felt)

Ultima Online hits the stores. I'm momentarily intrigued, but balk at the thought of paying for an online game, especially in the perspective (angled view down on top of your character) it is.

A dear friend of mine (yes you Corey) points out an ad for a game called EverQuest, with some very intriguing screen shots, due out "sometime in 98".

Now the seed is sown... Let me further the "coincidences."

I get pregnant, I get married, I get a joint spouse assignment to a place my husband had already been assigned to in Florida.

He discovers that one of his coworkers plays EverQuest, and begins coming home with stories.

He begs me for EverQuest, and I am leery... but I agree.

I refuse to play out of spite, recalling the fact that when we both played Diablo, computer time was a hot commodity, and caused more than a few "disagreements".

I begin watching over his shoulder, however, and feel myself giving in more and more.

I finally break down and create a character (and, as I predicted, we have quite a few "discussions" about computer time).

After too many discussions, I get a network card for our second computer, get a second copy of the game, and I get my own account.

Now, because his coworkers already played, they told us that we had to log onto the Prexus server, one of about 20, so they would be able to help us.

I play my dark elf shadow knight (because that's what my husband played) for a while, and meet a few friends. Osgood is another result of not-coincidence, asking for directions in a place that I happened to be. We hit it off, and I played Kilauea when he was on.

Osgood's player goes on a trip for a week... It's just not as fun playing Kilauea alone, so I make another character.

Kaelenea races up in levels, making 10 in just a few days. I decided to take her to Lavastorm to see what I can do with the drakes.

While there, I run into one of those Player Vs Player characters, with an incredibly long name, and some incredibly long blades.

I watch this character (Zerashkurinah) kill a drake with the dual-wielded rapiers, and then make a comment to him about the kill.

Through him, I meet his "brother" Praxern, another good friend. I am constantly meeting people, wishing that I could meet them IRL.

Sometimes I think I play EQ too much... But then I see a tell across my screen:
(Insert name here) tells you, "hey sweetie, what's up? *hug smooch*
and I think... nah... I play just right.