Our friend Randall Walker, known to some of you as Dead Orcs, has passed away. He was a father (both surrogate and actual), a husband, a writer, and a gamer. He was loved by a truly enormous community of fellow gamers, his children, and his wife, and he is already deeply, intensely missed.
I first met Randall at Gen Con in 2011 or perhaps 2012. We had run across each other online before that, but I don’t think I would have described us as friends until after that first in-person meeting. Honestly, after meeting him, it would have been almost impossible not to. Randall was genial, interested, and couldn’t have been more in love with the hobby and the people he shared it with. He was supportive of games and gaming, immensely proud of his “internet sons and daughters,” and made every effort to build them up, especially when they were feeling down. Randall was such a positive, loving part of the community that you couldn’t help but think of him in quiet moments. He was that friend that you knew was always in your corner, even if you hadn’t talked for ages.
It’s the little things that stick with you: the deep belly laugh at a pun or a particularly over-acted line in a Trail of Cthulhu game, the sly look in his eyes just before he made an unusually clever joke, the loving quirk of his smile as he held his wife, Anna’s, hand. Randall was the kind of person who made you feel like you’d known him forever, even if you only met once or twice a year at gaming conventions. He was a role model. A goof. An ally. Someone who reminded us of the importance of living a life not for yourself, but for others. The world is a poorer, darker place without him in it.
Randall started writing for this site relatively recently, bringing his love of Dungeons and Dragons with him. His joy in the hobby came through with every article. Every word. He would, I think, want us to remember him. Even if he didn’t want to be remembered, how could we do otherwise? We will tell jokes and stories. We will remember him. We will be part of his legacy.
I’m sorry you had to go so soon, Randall. You take our love with you.
If you’d like to help Randall’s family, please consider donating to their active GoFundMe.