Originally posted 2015-05-31 13:49:48.
The Troll King
On January 6th, 2015 Nate DeMarco passed away in his sleep at the age of 30. He was our best friend and this was a shock to many. Today, on his birthday, each of us wanted to take a few moments and write about our friend and companion.
This Weekend we Celebrated the Life of a Fallen Hill Dwarf Warrior. Well, at least that is how Nate would have like to have thought of it. It’s very cliche to sit here and think how surreal it always is suddenly losing a friend that you have known for roughly 17 years. He, more than anyone else, got me into tabletop gaming. I had already played a lot of rifts and Shadowrun but Nate reintroduced me to tabletop gaming. We played Mage Knight, D&D (several different editions), and a handful of other games. Even a superhero game of my own devising. Nate and I also played quite a bit of Halo in our time and despite his own skill at the game, he always insisted that it was me who carried him through. I still find that hard to believe.
Seems like only yesterday when myself and some of your friends carried your coffin to your tomb. But man if you could have seen it… I did what I said I would and wore a horn Viking helmet the whole time and anybody that doesn’t like it or didn’t like it could suck it.
For all the times we spent gaming and doing other s*** my most fond memory are memories are the ones when we went hunting and fishing together. I got to see you catch one of the biggest channel catfish I have ever seen in person out of a tiny pond are size 8 hook with red worms as bait. No lie that is in my top ten list of fishing moments. Another time I took you squirrel hunting and somehow you missed every shot with a 12 gauge. I can’t say that I didn’t laugh because it was god damn hilarious but I miss it. I also miss the first trip to Erie for steelhead fishing, the subsequent drinking and strip club visit after that, and then waking up with hangovers like adults should and fishing all morning. You were the only one to catch steelhead that trip and perhaps some other things but we won’t go into that. I know I’m rambling but I’m tired I’m sad and I just miss the fact that you won’t be around to do these things anymore.
To that end I’m going to go up to Erie do this weekend and hit the channel for a few hours. I’m not good at mourning with others as I pretty much seem like I’m heartless, but I figure taking a hundred mile drive up north and get in the line wet it’s a pretty good option, right?
At the risk of sounding like an elf, I love you bro and miss you.
This is something that I have been trying to write for months. Since the day Nate died, I have been wanting to put my feelings into words, but every time I tried, I just broke down. I know that is normal, but when I wanted to write down what I would say at his funeral, I just couldn’t. So when the time came to go in front of a packed room and talk about him, I basically rambled and bawled while everyone watched. There were others that said amazing things, that poured out their words and read their feelings, but I was not one of them. It has been almost 5 months now and I am hoping I can finally say what I need to say.
I met Nate when I was 15 years old at a game day which was basically a day where a bunch of tabletop roleplaying nerds got together to play a few different games. I had never been to one before but a few friends thought it would be fun to go. That day there was a group playing D&D and another group playing a game called World of Darkness (WoD). I decided to join the WoD table since the D&D table was pretty full. I had never played WoD before but the premise sounded cool. I had no idea what to play or how to play and as I sat there looking through the books a guy spoke up and said “You need to play a vampire.” I looked up and there was a guy sitting across the table from me wearing a fedora, a leather vest, and a big beard. I laughed and asked him to explain to me the different groups you would play. This lead to hours of chatting, laughing, and creating characters for this tabletop game. I had no idea when I left that day, I met my best friend.
As time went on, we would hang out more and more. Most of the time we were gaming, but many times just chatting. We could talk about anything and you were always there when I needed something. I remember the time when our characters (in a tabletop game) were dating and you made my mage so mad. We ended up fighting (all in-game) and had to move from the main room because we were causing a distraction from the rest of the time. Over half the group followed us out of the room to listen to our fight because it was so believable. Everyone thought we were really made at one another, when we were just having a great time being our characters.
There was one time we were gaming and it was the day after Nate got his tattoo of the bear on his arm. It was sensitive and very fresh. Well I probably hit that tattoo with my hands (by accident!) about a thousand times and he never even got mad at me.
Even when I moved across the country, we would talk almost every day about everything. We had so much history that one blog post could never even touch. But there is never a time when I don’t think “remember that time when Nate” or “Man, Nate would have loved this.” He was a great Uncle to my children and Remy will sometimes talk about her Uncle Nate which will bring a tear to my eye. She loves him a lot. I know that as they get older, they would have enjoyed all his voices and general good humor.
He was such a huge part of my life, that even friends I have that never met him know all about Nate. He was an actor, a singer, a dancer, a bringer of joy, and probably one of the best people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. He touched so many lives and brought happiness wherever he went.
Nate, I miss you more than words could ever describe. You were my Bear, my Troll King, and my Natey and I will always love you. Thank you for being in my life.
This post is going to be short and sweet. 5 months ago I lost a very good friend, this is the kind of friend you don’t realize how awesome he truly was until now. Reflection is one of the hardest things to do, especially when it comes to the ones we love. The Troll King (aka Nate) was such an inspiration to so many people that he forgot to inspire him self. However that is what true kings do, they inspire everyone around them and encourage and care for all their loved ones, so much so, that they forget about themselves. The Troll King did just this he was a great Uncle to our kids and an even better friend to all of us. He will truly be missed and never forgotten, as you go through your day today I ask all of you to ask yourselves, “What kind of king do you want to be?” Happy Birthday Nate! Wish you were here.
-Keep Calm and Game On-