But when that moan had past for evermore,
The stillness of the dead world's winter dawn
Amazed him, and he groaned, 'The King is gone.'
And therewithal came on him the weird rhyme,
'From the great deep to the great deep he goes.'
—Idylls of the King
By now you have probably heard of the passing of Greg Stafford. Chaosium has released a heartfelt tribute, and has created a board to share condolences and memories. Nocturnal Media has released a statement as well.
I’m obviously fairly devastated by the news. My path didn’t cross with Greg’s in a meaningful way until a sequence of unexpected events found me working with him and his amazing Household (as he called his team of writers and editors) starting in 2014. (In one of his first emails to me, he concluded with “tell me what your dream project would be”—whoa!) I first met Greg in person at Gen Con 2015, and have had the honor of spending time with him every Gen Con since then. The very last time I saw him, on Sunday of Gen Con 2018, I gave him a big hug. I’m glad I had the chance to do that. His last words to me, in an email sent earlier on what turned out to be the day he died, were “Good job David. Thank you.”
Greg was the closest thing I’ve ever had to a professional mentor. I owe virtually all my success and advancement in this industry to his belief in my abilities and his unwavering support. I am far from alone. By all accounts, Greg was warm, genuine, enthusiastic, supportive, and humble.
I can only resolve to carry on his example and legacy as best I can.
There’s not a whole lot I can put into words at this point. The depth of my gratitude cannot be measured. The breadth of my awe at Greg’s creative vision, and the many lives he touched and lifted up through it, cannot be comprehended. The gulf of my grief cannot be expressed.
By way of testimony to his kind heart and boundless enthusiasm for gaming and his fellow gamers, this was the very first communication Greg ever had with me, way back in 2008. I posted on my old blog about my first Pendragon campaign, where I fell in love with the game that would become such a central part of my life over the next decade, and—imagine my pleasant shock!—he popped by to read the post and leave a kind and supportive comment.