For my own mind the date is 6th of December, eleven pm roughly. Current progress is 20 pages in with no sign of the end...
I suppose I should start this in a particular way but I simply can't. My mind feels like it has been through a blender. Reality no longer exists for me.
Many Hootooers experience this at some point; where machine and human are only separated by bodily functions and, I know from experience, that many researchers will be like me and akin to Gollum in the next five years or less.
I, however, went to the next level.
I abandoned my personal space for hours, days and, on one occasion, an entire week in favour of another (being the wanderer I am). In a moment of utter depression I had a glimpse of utter brilliance.
One or two of you1 will remember my first attempt at an RPG where I toyed with ideas of letting the game run itself through having the players control the plots. Unfortunately this simply didn't work well enough to keep people playing. Why only the great Crom knows, and he tells no one2. It did work at times with a brilliance that warmed my heart no end and it was literally like finding myself a home that I sorely needed. However the game quietened down, simply fizzling out.
So when my depression kicked in I sought solace in the arms of h2g2 as I had done for most of the year, yet found it cold and uninviting. I joined Mongoose Publishing's demonstration teams and took part in their forums and, for a while, I found solace there.
Then Crom came for me.
There's a story about Robert E Howard that I absolutely love and want to tell you. Howard was sat in front of his type writer one evening, having had writers block for a month and totally stuck. The story goes that he felt a chill go up his spine and knew that someone of great power stood behind him and that, if he were to turn round, his head would be sliced clean off. The mighty figure of awesome power told him his name, and told him to write about his adventures. Howard spent all night writing the stories and come morning, utterly exhausted he stopped typing. He then set up his bed next to the type writer and got some much needed rest. For he knew that once darkness came, the figure would return and he would have to write the saga of this mighty figure.
This figure was Conan, and thus a legend was born. What Howard did was, in effect, a Tolkien. He created a complete world based on what was already known and whilst he never went quite so far3 his details and ideas are complete; along with maps, history and many other things. Mongoose had been kind enough to turn the game into a D&D-like role play game, collecting all the data necessary into one place...
So in this depression4 I, too, felt that mighty axe at my neck. I didn't feel fear. I knew it was my time to get something done and stop messing about feeling sorry for myself – such things were not the ways of the Cimmerians by Crom5!
So me and the Cimmerian went on a little journey...
One that was to consume my life.