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Thanksgiving for Greg Stafford, 1 Dec 2018 2 December 2018

Posted by Dr Moose in Faith, Glorantha, Life, Role-Playing Games.
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The following is the text of my script, delivered yesterday evening after the 2018 Dragonmeet, at a Memorial Gathering in Hammersmith, London. It is certain that I deviated from the script in minor ways, but the text holds true.

Address for Greg Stafford Memorial Gathering, Post-Dragonmeet, 1 Dec 2018

What draws us here together is a love for the world Greg Stafford created, love, admiration, even awe, for him as a creator; a common bond of understanding forged through it. It transcends our disagreements and difference, unites us across perceptions and practice.

Greg gave us a gift. A gift of creation in which to play and flex creative muscles, difference from what had gone before. It doesn’t remove the genius of others, like Tolkien and Gygax, but adds his to the mix – and allows us to do the same.

memorialI stand here as a Christian Priest, yet also as a Gloranthaphile. Greg, the Trickster, the Shaman, encouraged us, and gave us tools in his runic formulation, to look beyond ourselves and labels, to share, explore, see beyond boundaries and disagreements into the depths and complexities of the human condition where we can all be heroes (even as Bowie put it, just for one day). Greg and I, may, had the chance arisen and I overcome my awe, have profoundly disagreed on some things and yet found common ground, common respect and common hope: something sadly lacking in our fractures, polarised world of Trump, Brexit and a thousand other conceits and slights.

Since Greg’s death, his moving beyond this realm of spirit-flesh bonding, I, we, have pondered my place afresh, using his articulation of essence, identity and motivation, the runes. They are, of course, an abstraction, a game tool, yet at the same time shed light on the greater part. (If you want to know what I think mine are, see me later!)

I never knew him as well as I wished. Over-awed perhaps, yet Greg was the great catalyst, the fire-starter, but not Oakfed, more the voice in the bottom of the Pandora’s box of the human condition, that speaks of hope, opportunity. I will miss him, and far more than I expected; I will miss the potentiality – yet that has not fled. He abides in us, our hopes, dreams, history and present, our worlds.

So friends, for I dare call you that, the Tribe, kin, close-knit and far spread, I bid you raise a toast. To Greg, To his memory. To the gift he leaves us. I bid you rise, share, celebrate “We are all us!”

Drink, mourn, rejoice! I yield the floor – let all who would speak his praise and memory, come, rise, speak!

(Thanks to Julian Hayley for an unflattering, but genuine, photo!)

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