My mentor Shikari once told me that life in the Havens revolves around three events: the arrival of new ephemerals, the transformation of an ephemeral into an Elder God, and the resignation of an admin. The first event is exciting; imagine that your small organisation only received novices once or twice a year. How thrilled you would be to have them arrive! Imagine how desperately you’d want them to stay.
And then imagine seeing someone you’ve helped teach the ins-and-outs of Divine life finish their tasks, becoming an Arch Ephemeral, and then finally taking on a role as an Elder God. This is the happiest moment in the Havens, by far, and of the three, the least common. Many ephemerals do resign, having missed combat and socialising with their mortal peers, or having found the workload too unpleasant to manage. But when an eph stays, and becomes part of this small but strong community, the energy is infectious. In a way, it’s like we’ve all succeeded.
So you can imagine how difficult it is to face the last of these events – parting. I had been an eph only for a little while when Maylea resigned a little over two years ago. At the time, I barely knew Maylea’s player, but had put her on a pedestal in that geeky way players do (other players do that, right?), swooning over her temple designs, and her peacock, and her gorgeous writing, while daydreaming that one day I, too, might be half as good as she was at her role. “You’re interested in the Fourth Circle, right?” Maylea said to me on her last day in the Havens. “Then please consider Maylea.”
Mysrai has already written a post about how difficult it is to decide on your Divine role, and for awhile, I did consider Maylea. For me, though, she’d always been a role model. I was so terrified of stepping into her shoes and ruining them. I think it’s a common fear in the Havens, that taking on an older role will somehow ruin the good things the previous player infused into it. “No one could do Fain like Fain,” we used to joke. But Fain is gone now, too. Elostian, who taught me everything I know about Hallifax, is also gone. Lyreth and Shikari, who ushered me through my awkward ephemeral years, have left. One by one, the titans do eventually fall.
And yet this is not inherently a sad thing. It is the end of an era, which is always difficult, but it’s also a beginning of a new era, full of new faces. Old roles without new players are just fond memories. We may not have Eventru and Lyreth, but we have Valtreth, and that’s something to be excited about. It’s a whole new perspective to embrace, just as Mysrai is different from Kalikai, just as Shikari differs from Nocht, as Isune differs from Zvoltz. And this is another reason why we are so excited whenever an ephemeral reaches godhood – because it heralds the start of these new experiences and beginnings.
I feel too often, it is easy to cling to the things we have lost, and this can make people afraid to gain new things. You have no idea how many times an ephemeral feels as I once did, looking through dormant godroles and thinking, “There is no way I can do justice to this role. There is no way I can be as good as they once were.” I once told Eventru I could never imagine anyone else taking on his role. He’d said, amused, “I used to think that way about godroles. But sometimes people surprise you.” And so I continually hope to be surprised.
If you are reading this, Iosai, you are deeply missed. The Havens mourn you. And if anyone else who once floated around these cloudy halls is reading this, you too are missed. Thank you for all the memories you’ve given us, and all the time you’ve shared.