Awkin and I have both agreed this warranted its own thread, and so...here it is. Please keep things respectful.
Last night, I received a PM from king daphnes, telling me of a terrible event I could hardly believe to be true. I couldn't sleep--I never pray, and I even prayed. We both hoped it would prove to be some sick, twisted joke, and waited for confirmation, and...today, that confirmation has come.
For those of you that didn't know him by his real name, Jared Griffis is none other than our own beloved Duke of Clubs; one of the pillars of the Battle Arena for as long as he's been here, and a wonderfully light-hearted and humorous young man who was truly a brilliant writer and a great friend to those who knew him.
As I write this now, I am still shaking and crying, and I regret that I will not be able to do him justice in this post. In a tragedy such as this, I know he'd say something that would lift our spirits, and make us be able to grin again. I, sadly, don't have that same gift. I can only try to honor him as best I can, and try to make sure that he is remembered and hailed for the member and person that he was.
I was drawn to his upbeat and witty personality from the first day I met him in the Dome. He was unlike anyone else I had met, both in real life and online, and I was so very lucky to have him given to me as one of my first students. He taught me so much more about writing than I ever could for him--he would later introduce me to my favorite author, and would read works of my favorites, and he would help me grow into the writer I am now. His humor brightened the BA for me, and after he came, it'd never be the same without him. As we became better friends (and I felt lucky to be someone he considered a friend, especially since he only knew me from online), he became someone I could chat with about anything on AIM, and we could share songs and stories and TV shows and anything else. I probably bugged him with my little spam-wich PMs, nudging him to sign on--but if I did, he never showed it. He'd joke around with me, once PMing me before I got the chance to bother him and saying: "Har! You've missed your chance for conversation because I'm going to be playing CoD4 and finally doing my Xmas shopping until late this afternoon! Be miserable! Bwahaha."
And that was the kind of guy he was. Always joking. He had one of the brightest personalities and brightest minds I'd ever known. I sit here now, looking at parts of his novel that he sent me (a novel that he had been writing for years, and that made me ashamed because he wrote at a level at an age where I couldn't even have formed a decent paragraph. He was far beyond me at that age than I'm even at now), and looking at voice files and drum performances of his that he's sent me...and my mind boggles at the lost potential. It hurts, if I can get more emotional with you here. Of all the people...for someone so young...for him...to go...I don't have words to express how that makes me feel.
I will never be able to look at this place quite the same way again. I can never write Cadenza. Her connection was too close. I don't believe I could even write here with any character ever again. I'll still write...someday...because I know he wouldn't want anyone to give that up. I'll still read Pratchett's books even though I'll always remember him when I do, because I know he'd want that too. But this place will never feel right again. For someone so wonderful to be here one day, laughing and talking amongst all of us, and then....and then not the next...it's unthinkable. I remember putting off a review I was supposed to write for him, thinking I had all the time in the world, and now...
The show House will not be the same for me. Drums, even, might not. Poker won't. Anything that we ever talked about will make a conversation crop up in my memory whenever I hear the topic mentioned.
I've been so blessed earlier this month, before I had this news. There was my birthday, my engagement...January could not have seemed better. But now this month will bear a mark for...I don't even know how long. For one person to have had so much good fortune, and for another...so deserving...to be dealt something like this...it's not right. I...wish I could have told him how much he meant to me. Yes, he knew I thought he was "awesome", or something silly like that...but, I truly considered him a friend. You...you never tell your friends that enough, do you? That they're precious to you? You think you have all the time in the world to let them know...
Duke never had a chance to leave the mark on the world that I know he would have.
I leave you with some quotes, threads, and posts to remember him by.
Kellson - his first brilliant character and the start to an amazing run in the BA.
Johnny Bones - one of the most unique and best-known characters in the BA, and for a damn good reason.
Field Trip! - my first RP with him, a joint-assignment from when I was a TA and was just getting to know him as the great writer he was.
What Fate Had in Store - One of my most recent RPs with him. Really showcased his unique style of writing and humor that only he could put into a post.
A Strange Development - One day we're just chatting, and he mentions to me that he finds Tracey's character hilarious and, as he put it, "flamboyant". He suggests we do an RP just for hilarity's sake, and this, one of the biggest twists (nominated in the fall BA awards even), ensues. A strike of his creative and humorous genius.
Altamira's IC Homeroom - Pages and pages of his humor, wit, and brilliance. The HRIC could not have worked so well without him.
Chinatown Rush - It should be no surprise to anyone that he was part of an award-winning battle.
Unexpected Encounters - An inspirational battle to many, with some of the best battle posts I have ever read still to this day.
Farewells. - A goodbye RP in honor of Kellson/Johnny and Duke.
Some choice lines from his hilarious TA application:
There were some stylistic things that could be better, but we’ll get the grammar down pat before we go into all that. Ha. A rhyme.
I took the liberty of using the enter key for you. Embrace that key, because it makes new paragraphs, and new paragraphs make your work less blocky and more, er, flowy. No, that’s not a word…just remember to break your paragraph up if it looks bigger than Andre the Giant.
Second, I’m tired of saying “You’re missing a period, fwah fwah.” Please, for the love of God, check your periods. If you’re a woman, that’ll be easier. *JUST FOR YOU, AIKIES.* Third…well, just look.
And other various quotes:
Thanks to you other flat-footed, congratulatory goombahs.
Johnny: Jealous, jealous people. *Grins at Zach and Monroe because they're weaker, so their puny dreams are amusing*
Best-looking (literally) couple ever seen.. Sorry, people-with-single-female-characters. You're out of luck.
Sweeney Todd is just Edward Scissorhands 2: I'll Cut You, B****.
German's a cool language. Even if you're saying "I like chocolate and rainbows" it sounds like you're screaming death wishes.
EDIT: See? In German, that's "Ich mag Schokolade und Regenbogen!" I could absolutely see Hitler screaming that.
Originally Posted by Honour
Not all of us can be you, DoC.
True, true. Even I have trouble being me sometimes. Almost.
I'm going to go take a bath in my own glory.
And Altamira proves that Shot is the lesser woman in this battle.
Canada is America's pair of earmuffs. Warm, fuzzy, and useless in Afghanistan.
Because there are creatures clinging to the undersides of branches in the Amazon jungles that are more intelligent than our president.
ZIN--no. It's not funny. It's depressing.
Thank you all for your kind words and misspellings of my name.
Originally Posted by Angel
Besides...since when did anyone here pursue normal hobbies?
Music. The end.
Originally Posted by HH
Alright, if someone makes me an awesome Neji-cat avy, I'll join your Catboy Brigade.
The Super Aiko League is cooler. *Melts into the shadows again...like Batman*
Originally Posted by Aiko
And less organized, but...yaaay! *hugs Dukey*
Can I have my own cape now?
Originally Posted by Aiko
*pokes in the tummy* You should be excited about it too. ;_; *storms away, all offended-like*
*Wakes up* I am, I am! I'm just more excited about sleeping.
*Mr. French the Top-hatted Monster swallows HH, then spits him out*
He said you taste like a dead monkey.
How come I don't get to be a partner?
*Slinks away to sulk and blow up a few cities with Mr. French*
This makes me sad. Any self-respecting woman should gladly be willing to give their left arm to go out with Johnny.
I could probably go on and on for hours with more quotes, so...instead, since Duke never liked his posts to be too lengthy (and this one has already passed that point), I'll leave you with this last one...
Suckers. There can only be ONE Duke of Clubs, just like there can only be One Ring or One Highlander.
And here, in much more eloquent words than I can muster, Awkin has written something he'd like to add:
Originally Posted by Awkin
Duke of Clubs was one of the first people I met on this forum, and I recently heard of his untimely death.
And I'm not going to go all mushy, because he'd hate that. But I'm also not going to try to do things in his amazingly kickass manner, because I just can't do it justice -- this is just my honest and open account.
I wish I could tell you that it's all a misunderstanding. I wish I could tell you how he died, and I wish I could tell you that he did it painlessly. But I know none of these things. All any of us know is that he choked to death on January the fifth this year.
Now, none of us are sure how he died -- or where. And we barely have a how, only a news article and the details of the memorial service in his honour. But we all knew just who he was: A witty, badass and amazingly talented member of this community. He wrote like I can only dream of writing -- if I were a man, he were a giant. He was like a brother to me, and I hope that he enjoyed our presence as much as I enjoyed his.
And that's all I know. Jared wasn't given the chance to change the world like he would have done. But within us, those who knew him well, is the legacy. And I hope we can find it within us all to continue that -- by honouring him in any way we can, and by remembering the genius of his work.
I hope he finds his way to wherever he thinks he is going, in peace and rest.
That was the march hare, suckers.
Please...feel free to share your memories of him and any other things you wish to say in his honor at this time.
I couldn't see either of you pulling a joke like this.
It's far more than a shame Duke had to be called home. While he could be... irksome, he still brought something to the BA that no one else did. The only thing I could do to honor his memory is to pray for his family, and friends, and hope that they can find some comfort in this tragedy.
[Draculla's Magic] Wake up, lose your hesitation. Wake up, it's time for us to realize. Wake up, show appreciation. Wake up, it's time for us to realize. [Avy by Azure Guardian. Sigs by various awesome people.]
Originally Posted by Anime_Queen, about Power Shot
[11:35:27 AM] Anime_Queen says: thing is,
[11:35:41 AM] Anime_Queen says: it IS unfair that all tehse ideas and vocal taents belong to the one person >.<
[11:35:48 AM] Anime_Queen says: quite unfortunate
We met mid February in 2003, when we both joined the RS clan Kentai Shadow. It was a clan run by a triumvirate and shortly after we both joined within a day of each other me, him and Phanatic88 became the assistants to the triumvirs. I wasn't really important cuz I was just the assistant of funds, but he was assistant of war. That was the first time he jumped up in ranks like he continued to. After a year and a half or two, that clan started changing. It went through names like crazy, and me and him quit it after the most recent identity change because it wasn't near the same as KS. Then I linked him here and the rest is ZU history. Much covered by Altamira already.
Almost all of my internet friends faded away and stopped getting on or talking to me, but he was here until the end. Almost 5 years.
Damn, things won't ever be the same.
Didn't know the guy too well, but he seems to have been a big piece of the Amphitheater.
According to a second hand source, he choked to death while his family was out to dinner.
Edit: A piece of humor he would appreciate, He lived as he died.....In America!
He liked Bandit Keith from Yugioh The abridged series.
I am so terribly sorry. My deepest condolences. I honestly, don't know what to say.
Though I never knew him, I could only expect the best from him. After reading what you've had to say, I can only say that I am so sorry and it's terribly tragic to hear about this. I'm sure the BA will miss you.
Please rest in peace, Duke of Clubs, and I really wish you all the best. To your family, friends, and anyone else who may have known you, I am so sorry.
I never knew him personally, but his posts always made me smile, a little at least, just like some of those quotes you put up there, Aiko. He would step in and brighten up the place, kickstarting it if he had to.
This...is really a shock. It won't be the same anymore, really...I'm thinking that there'll always be a space in here that'll be empty because no one else could fill it but him.
Simply, he was amazing--but the word doesn't do him enough justice.
--I do not know what else to say. Rest in peace, Duke.
I pray nothing for the best for his family. I never knew him, but it's sad nevertheless. <3
"I have a habit of falling in love with souls who have yet to be at peace with their bodies, their minds, their weaknesses. I try to build them, to find the parts of them that are missing in me.
I end up with holes in my chest."
It's strange how sometimes you can think that the people you know will never just... not be there.
I never really tried to get to know Duke well, but if he was anything like Johnny (which I believe was the general consensus, yes?), then you can rest assured that he lived his entire life to its fullest, to the best of his ability, and the way HE wanted to, and I will always respect him for that. What little I remember of his posts that were not Johnny/Kellson echoes this thought.
I'm not really sure what to say. I didn't really know him, and I greatly regret that. I feel... ashamed that even though I'm a Councillor, I didn't get to know such an important member of the BA, and now I'll never have that chance.
The few memories I have of him were some of our posts in the previous incarnations of the IC, where my character briefly dated Johnny Bones. I should've taken that brief interaction as a cue to get to know him better, but sadly, I didn't seize that opportunity.
From what I've read, however, he was a great person and will be sorely missed by the BA.
Duke of Clubs was the most upbeat, hilarious, and active person to enter, or leave, the Amphitheatre. I say: may he not rest in peace. The Duke of Clubs I had the occasion to speak with would have been bored out of his mind.
May he have one hell of a time in heaven and play his music at the throne of God, for all eternity and then some.
I find myself at a loss for words. Nothing seems to make any sense as my minds spins out of control. Part of me still denies it, and thinks he will come back. But I know this not to be true. Thought I did not know him well, I knew him well enough to miss. This place will see a lot more dull without him.
Rest in Peace Dukey. You will be missed. Rock out in Heven for us Man.
I never knew him, or heard of him, but if his death affected this community with such potency, then he must have truly been worth knowing, and it's sad that we never met. But I'll be damned if I don't point out the purity of this all: when young people die, it's almost like, they were chosen. I don't mean that in any real religious way, I kind of mean that their life had such an impact upon those who knew them that they did in a few years what it would take most people a lifetime to accomplish. And I think it's obvious by what has been stated that this boy accomplished a lot.
My respects and condolences to all those who were involved in this young man's life. I'm sorry.
I'm more or less a stranger to ZU, but I've known Jared for about the same period that Daphnes has, being one of the triumvirs that he mentioned. I heard about this about a week ago from a shaky source, and reported it to Daphne a few days ago, but neither of us were sure it was true until he found the article, which I just now have read.
Though I know I will be repeating others, I have to add in my own sentiments. Always the youngest of his clan-peers, Jared was sharp far beyond his age and had a witty sense of humor and had a personality that added to the clan more than perhaps any other member in its years of existence.
I truly regret, however, that I lost most of my contact with him for the last several months or so. No one ever expects death, of course, but...Jared was the sort of person that I above all could not see coming to an end in such a fashion.
Altamira, if it would not be too much to ask, could I see the sections of the novel that he sent? I've always known him as a great writer, and I know that it was something that meant a great deal to him.
I honestly don't know how to end this post. This is too unbelievable..