One year ago, I followed a path that, quite honestly, changed my life. Somehow, I found a thread on a forum that no longer exists. It said “Do you remember Ackerly Green’s Guide to Magiq?” To this day, I don’t know what possessed me to follow that trail, of all the dozens of mysteries on that forum, but I did. And it lead me here. To the Basecamp. To the Mountaineers. To my home.
I was fortunate enough to be able to experience most of the fragments, except the first. When I first joined, King Rabbit was stalking Deirdre and handing out clues like they were candy. Well, candy in the shape of painfully long videos of fields. Meanwhile, Brandon - or The Last Traveler as we knew him then - was capturing our hearts with his strained attempts to communicate with us. I was hooked pretty quickly, reading all of Deirdre’s blog posts and sympathizing with her hate for crappy bosses and her love of cat memes. And so, I joined up, offering to watch segments of the videos and posting on Deeds’ blog, to get more information from the mysterious Traveler.
But it was the community that really hooked me. I didn’t understand the stakes then, just that a lot of really pleasant people were solving puzzles and they were open to theories and help. So, I stayed. I helped troll The Devoted with dogs wearing people clothes. I got an A on my first magiqal exam in the first assessment. I emailed Marty and I will forever be screaming “MAAAAAAARTY!” every time that poor man gets himself wrapped up in another magimystical mystery. I wept for the Cagliostro and the fact that he couldn’t be saved. I took the “leap of faith” on the Translation. I Tumble’d with Constance. And I was there when Aether revealed the disgusting truth about Kemetic Solutions and the awful things they were willing to do to control magiq. I was there when the Storm took our Book away, and when we traveled back in time just to get it back. Even in the darker times, I felt myself getting closer and closer to you all, falling deeper into this strange, magiqal world. After all we’ve been through, I can’t imagine what this year would have looked like if I wasn’t climbing this mountain.
It’s hard to describe, especially to folks who have only seen the Book reduced to ashes, but the Book was always really there for us. I don’t mean just the poetic emails. The Book was there guiding us, whenever we struggled, it was there to help. It didn’t talk, but it would help in the background, altering posts to keep us on the right track. It was there when we were all suffering through the Translation. It was there when we were trekking through Fairyland. It was there when we were on the hunt for Augernon. The Book always wanted to be opened just as badly as we wanted to open it. And it killed me to see the Book destroyed, at the thought that its story might never be told. The Book was always here for us, but we couldn’t be there for it in its time of need. However, we can now, in this final fragment.
I don’t know what’s going to happen when the Book is finally opened, but I know I want my friend back, safe where it belongs. The Book is a part of our community too, and we owe it to the BoB to help it heal. BoB, we’re gonna make some beautiful stories and get you back on your own path.