Gary Gygax, one of the co-founders of the Dungeons & Dragons game, died yesterday. Although I did not begin playing D&D regularly until last year, he has still had a profound impact upon my life. Sometime when I was in elementary school I was in the library, perusing my favorite spot, YA Sci-Fi (Young Adult Science Fiction), when what should I spy but a row full of new books from a series I had never heard of. Not knowing what they were I picked one to see if they were any good. The book, Red Magic, the series, Forgotten Realms. I still berate myself for not checking all the available books out when they were conveniently in one spot.
Although they are young adult books, the Forgotten Realms still is a very important, if mythical, place for me. In the Forgotten Realms I found some of my favorite authors, RA Salvatore, Jeff Grubb, and Kate Novak, some of my favorite heroes, Drizzt Do'Urden and the Heroes of Icewind Dale, Cadderly, and Alias, danger, adventure, the importance of friends and love, vocabulary words, wonder, and a home away from home. It turns out that the Forgotten Realms are based on the D&D game, so, indirectly Gary Gygax is responsible for a large part of my childhood.
Thank you Gary Gygax, you are one of my rainbow connections.