Saturday, November 2, 2013
[A Memorial] August 14th, 2013, the world lost a jester.
Andrew Brechin was an amazing man, and many have a hole in their hearts from his passing. One minute it seemed he and I were talking I would absolutely, positively, I swear on a stack of a thousand bibles, make it to his Yuletide event since I didn't make his birthday .. again. The next minute, he was gone. I don't remember WHO told me, or where I found the information on Facebook, but I thought it some sort of sick joke and my immediate thought was "Holy shit, Tillie must be devastated." The next thought was "Holy shit, *I* am devastated." He was a bard, a jester, a friend, a father, a brat, and a role-model. Though, he'd probably have been mock-horrified at being labelled the last.
A story of Andrew Brechin that I posted to my Facebook (so if you read it there, this is a repeat.)
"You play D&D? You should join my Palladium Fantasy group!" Andrew enthused. I was thirteen or fourteen, I'd be gaming with people very much my elders, but I was already quite addicted to gaming. My Mum, not a fan of RPGs or modemmers, let herself be conned by myself and my Dad who agreed to chauffeur me, as it WOULD be social time and get me out and off "that damned computer."
I was pretty scared that first time, walking into a group of people I only vaguely knew. Nick, Renea, Tammy, are still friends because of that gaming group and Andrew. Andrew took me under his wing (as he did many a lost soul) and made sure I had fun. I also got my first ever experience of "dumbfounding the GM"
My character was a canine druid. In Palladium Fantasy that means I could turn into any canine, or ursine, animal I could think of. Most often, that form was a kodiak bear. On this one adventure we were chasing down four elemental mages and I found myself on my own in the lair of the earth mage who had obviously fled. He, however, had left his sentient walking stick behind. I, in fox form, was trying to get information from said stick and said stick was being most uncooperative. Now, one would think I would have the brains to threaten to *chew* on said stick, but no, my barely teenage mind decided to threaten it with piddle. I said something along the lines of how I hadn't seen a bathroom in a long time, and wouldn't it be a shame if I confused a certain walking stick for a tree.
Andrew stared at me. "Did you just threaten to pee on the walking stick?" I reaffirmed that yes, that's what I want to do. He boggled. This was obviously a threat he hadn't considered. I'm not sure it's a threat anyone but a young, slightly off-beat, teen would have consider it. After a long pause he laughed and said the stick didn't believe me, so I went right ahead and did the canine thing of leg lift and release. Surprisingly, the walking stick started to babble every secret the earth mage had. Go fig, who knew urine was the great releaser of truth.
Andrew said later, after the game, "You so have to join my Cyberpunk group." But alas, She Who Makes the Rules (aka, Mum) thought that ONE gaming group was more than enough of a bad influence on me. She was probably right, but Andrew remained a happy, positive, bouncy, incorrigible, influence from day one to day end.
His best advice of all was, "Be yourself. If you're not yourself, who are you?"
He gave the best hugs, and I miss him.