As for fitting figures of speech, I was by all accounts “late to the game.”
The day I joined (the same exact day as a warm welcome from Eaves) an email appeared in my Inbox: “A fragment has reached out.” Had I, like a certain cartoon canine detective accidentally stepped on the panel in the floor that opened the trap door to mystery? No. Nothing I had done directly, to my relief, had made the email appear.
I had stumbled into this beautiful mystery not really understanding what was going on. There was a book with four locks. By the time I had arrived, two of them already had keys. By the time I joined, two fourths of the third key had even already been found.
I perused the forum, partially grasping the many threads of conversation. I wasn’t there when Cole dreamed of the Fraylily. I wasn’t there when they followed the footsteps of the Last Traveler. I never met King Rabbit. I didn’t cast the spell that freed Deirdre from her father’s hex. I wasn’t there when the Cagliostro cast his final incantation. I wasn’t even there when Aether called out from the darkness of Kemetic Solutions.
It was too much. These people and this Book had a history. A history that I could only read about but never really be a part of. I thought about leaving, there were times I wanted so badly to leave. These people were here for months before me, and they would do just fine without me. I had a life, a career and a family. What was I doing chasing the fantasy that magiq was real and all that it would take would be turning four keys to find it? I made comments and suggestions that, looking back on, made no sense. At the time, I was even embarrassed.
But I stayed. Because of the wonderful, incredible, silly, hyper-intelligent, sassy, wise people from all over the globe all working towards this common goal, I stayed. I had found a home, in my own guild and among all the Mountaineers. I read the written recaps, gaining more understanding. Slowly, but surely, what had gone before began to make sense, and by staying, I have done things that I never thought possible. I stayed and had tea to restore a lost memory. I stayed and created blindfold to cloak bodies and wrought words that addled minds. I stayed, and listened as a Storm destroyed it all. I stayed and groped blindly through maps and constellations. I stayed and spoke words and wrote dreams that echoed across the impossible vastness of time itself. I stayed, and worked to orchestrate spells that would help to end the Silver chokehold on the world of magiq. I stayed, and I’m here with the Book whole again.
All of it, in the end, for the Book of Briars. For everything I missed and for everything I stayed for, all I want is to open the Book with my fellow Mountaineers by my side. I want to finish chasing the fantasy. I want, more than anything, for magiq to be real.