I woke up one morning in 2007 with a foggy image in my mind. It was the outline of a story and a world, something that had come to me in a dream. Over the next few months I molded and shaped that outline into something resembling a plot, and attempted to write a novel, as you might remember. It fell through eventually due to time constraints and a lack of motivation. That failed attempt got me closer to the realization that while I enjoy writing, I really enjoy worldbuilding much more.
Had my fiance not convinced me to give into my temptation and make Thorns into an online RPG, I might never have started on the most important and meaningful project of my life so far.
When we began, a year ago today, we were a tiny community. The wiki was brand new, riddled with errors and I was breathless with earnestness, willing to do anything to bring people in to explore what I had created. I never could have imagined the response, both from this website and from people who had read my online novel when it was being published online. People came in for various reasons; some liked the Victorian era or low-magic fantasy, some liked a good old epic romp through a civil war, some were generally crazy about roleplay and some reportedly just liked my art and got curious about the world because I couldn't shut up about it.
I could never have predicted it, but Thorns has grown immensely over the last year. I am incredibly proud to report that many of the original people who joined on the first day are still with us, many of them moderators, trusted and integral to our community. We have hundreds of characters now, dozens of active storylines, and our world has grown in every respect. The players have added to my little seedling of a world and helped it grow into a gigantic...plant...thing.
I'm still partially in shock - not only that the damn thing's still going, but that we have a community now, regular members who are invested in the world, people who produce awesome writing and artwork by the yachtload for the game, a whole honeycomb of ideas and inspiration and talent.
We've been through a lot in a year's time. I've met more friends than I ever thought possible online, good friends that I know I'll keep with me. Each of us has had the chance to connect with people across the globe and pool our creative juices (eww). I've spent many a fantastic evening in Thorns Chat discussing pie and krill and nonsense names, but I've had amazingly deep conversations too. There's something about writing together that really connects people.
It's amazing to me that there were this many wonderful, talented individuals on the internet. Sometimes I just see people as names on a screen, and I admit I don't always pay attention. But when people join Thorns I can really stop and take the time to consider who they are. It's an opportunity for which I am exceedingly grateful.
I can't really even put into words what it's been like to see something I created growing in such a way. That people are inspired by the world I made is just the beginning...seeing what comes from that inspiration is like a supernatural experience.
Happy birthday, Thorns. I'm getting all misty, so I'm just going to leave this here.