I've never been very good at beginning things, so I'm just going to jump right in.
Just when it might be time for me to start writing and plotting with the community at large (of course!), I'm going to be saying adieu to Grey Wardens. This is a decision that has been long-coming and something I've been mulling over for a few months now, but it's not one that I've finally arrived at lightly. I've waffled back and forth in my own head about staying or leaving, but now that I've finally come to a decision, I feel that it must be the right one.
No one person or one event has led me to this decision. To be perfectly clear: the anonymous business that happened a few days ago was not the deciding factor (I wouldn't give anonymous the satisfaction, so I'm stating it plainly). That was something awful and personal that happened to Falina/Jess and has little to do with me -- other than my resulting anger and disappointment with whoever decided to take that course of action. I can't say anything to anonymous that hasn't been more eloquently stated elsewhere by the mods. Taking a hard line is the only way to weed out this sort of behavior if any evidence comes to light, and I applaud the mods and wish them the best of luck in that search.
To make a very long story short, I simply am not taking to RP and writing the way that I should. The thought of contribution has begun to feel, unfortunately, like an obligation, rather than the fun it should be. It is due to a variety of reasons, not the least of which is my own writing schedule for work, which saps the creativity right out of me on a daily basis. My own shyness and trepidation has prevented me from feeling like part of a writing community, and right now I don't have the desire or effort to throw myself back in.
The lack of desire has little to do with the community at large.
The player base and moderators of this game have been, by and large, the most wonderful group of writers and RPers that I've had the pleasure to write and communicate with. I may not have been the loudest member of the community and I know that my appearances in chat and IM were sporadic at best (that whole shy thing), but I was always happy and humbled to be accepted into a game with writers of such high caliber and with a group of people that had an overwhelmingly friendly nature. It truly impressed me and those are the memories that I will take with me when I go - memories of laughter, endless ideas for plotting, enthusiasm, and a generous love and skill for writing. Unfortunately, I just don't have those characteristics in me right now, and it's not fair for myself or anyone else for me to stay when I really need to go.
I love you all. I may not be the best at expressing it, but all I can do is to extend loving virtual hugs and hope that they're accepted <3
I've already expressed my decision to leave to the mods, and I thank them for leaving me access to the OOC to post a goodbye.
In terms of plot, Viara and Thren decided that they really didn't care enough about the Blight to stay on with the group, and after some traveling with Valan and Galen, turned around with the family that they were escorting and went back to the Northern Star. Viara is available as an NPC (and might even be adoptable to the right person) and as far as I'm concerned, she belongs here, with you all, so do with her as you see fit. She'd certainly be amenable to being contracted by the Grey Wardens or other groups for ferry runs, attack, or supplies (for a modest fee) and she will always be there, along with the rest of the crew, to serve this game and the fantastic plot that's yet to come.
Thank you for accepting me, and thank you to the mods for making this game. It's been a good ride.