Remember Rades

Yesterday I found out via Twitter that Rades of the Orcish Army Knife blog passed away this weekend. 

He's still there on my blog roll, even though he stopped being a regular WoW blogger quite a few years ago. He never really quit or anything, he just moved on to other endeavours, only using his blog to occasionally post Onion-style news articles about whatever was going on in Azeroth at the time.

I can't say that I knew him well, but I knew him in that way bloggers often know each other... where they sometimes read each other's posts and occasionally leave a comment. Even if the majority of our interactions happened more than a decade ago now, I still thought of him fondly. Back in 2010 I nominated him for "best writer" for the Pink Pigtail Inn list of the year. (I wonder whether that still means anything to anyone other than Redbeard.) It's not a lot, but it's not nothing either.

So hearing the news of his passing made me sad. Death is always a gloomy affair, but even more so when the person affected was still very young and full of life. The "suddenly" in Vid's announcement indicates that there hadn't been any ongoing illness previously.

In a way I find these sorts of news even more profound when the person was a blogger. I think it's because with the way we put small parts of ourselves onto the page day after day in a way that feels quite permanent, it feels like we as people should also be around forever... even beyond that youthful sense of immortality that most of us have at some point whenever we manage to spend enough time not having to think about death.

But then something like this happens and the updates just... stop. It seems strange that his post from March this year mocking the Horde's talent for picking terrible warchiefs (as well as Activision-Blizzard's hiring choices... topical!) will now be the last thing to ever appear on Rades' blog. He was more active on Twitter, where his last update will now forever be a quip about (what I think was) his D&D campaign from a little over a week ago.

I suppose one bright spot is that with so much of what he did written down somewhere on the internet, he's left everyone with lots of tangible memories to go back to and remember him by. I went back through some of his old blog posts and it was quite a trip down memory lane. Like how his paladin alt Fabulor turned into this whole comic personality - on some posts I even found comments from my past self expressing my amusement.

I also enjoyed people on Twitter sharing their own favourite memories of him, showing off some of his post-WoW endeavours - from Vid reposting strips of From Draenor With Love, the webcomic the two of them created together for several years, to Anne Stickney highlighting his creations in Animal Crossing (also inspired by Fabulor, clearly) to a race track entirely made of beer signs he built in Wildstar.

It's clear that he was an awesome person beyond WoW and blogging, and I can only express my deepest condolences for his friends and family, for whom this must be a horrible loss. All the rest of us can do now is remember.


  1. Hey, I remember the Pink Pigtail Inn list! Isn't she still with us in Twitter now? Maybe.

    You left one thing out there at the end. That was a race track made entirely of NEON beer signs. :D

    Rades was a character, but also a pillar of the WoW and gaming community. The outpouring of memories on Twitter has been touching. He was present in at least some small way in so many lives. I hope he knew that he was so beloved.

    1. She's still around, and the PPI list can still be found. Go to pinkpigtailinn.blogspot.com and it's still there.

  2. Words are inadequate to the task at hand.


    1. Just read your post! I didn't realise you were close friends with Vid as well and would have been one of the people she talked to on the phone. I feel really bad for her too. :(

    2. Yes, I feel badly for her.

      She and I are close enough friends that we exchange cards at Christmas. (Like some other people I know.) Her son is an absolute joy.

  3. I remember Rades. He's one of those folks, for me, that I tangentially noticed in my early days of following Wow blogs and Wow comics. Unfortunately, I don't remember much, but I had good impressions.

    As a widower I wish I had better words, but I do wish the best for his family and friends. That they take all the time they need to process and grieve. That they remember everything, good and not so good, so that they help keep the memories of the whole person alive.

    I also remember Larissa from Pink Pigtail Inn (via Gevlon, ironically). It feels like so many back from those days are but just a dusty blogpost now. In a way it is funny how much just exchanging comments can give you a sense of casual friendship with someone. It's nice to know we've mattered to someone, even in a small way.

    1. It's nice to know we've mattered to someone, even in a small way.

      I think this is generally a comforting thought to keep in mind. The world is large and complex, and each and every one of us has probably affected more people's lives than we'll ever realise, even if it's in small ways. You'll never know what small gesture might end up making a difference to someone's life.