Sometime after first stumbling upon the citadel through means unknown, (if I remember correctly, it was one the first day I arrived,) I hopped into chat and found two members warmly welcoming me and soliciting ideas. Their names were CaptainPenguin and MoonHunter. Somehow, despite being 15, a newbie to the site, and very shy and unsure of myself, I was coaxed into talking about (or perhaps I blurted out) a nascent Ylfharn setting in which elves evolved not from apes, like men, but fish.
What followed was an argument of epic proportions. Moon immediately cited the oft-used statistic that we share 99% of our genes with a chimpanzee, and therefore an organism more closely related to a fish would, undoubtedly, more closely resemble a fish. The Captain, in turn, defended the idea by bringing up that we were, in fact, talking about a work of fantasy in which fantastic ideas no doubt had their place. I sat, and read, remaining mostly silent for the rest of the discussion, and slowly falling in love with the site.
Afterwards, the two became totemic representations of the extremes of writing in my mind. On the one hand, there was the hyper-realistic MoonHunter, who wrote everything with a reason and a purpose and an explanation, each detail painstakingly and perfectly placed. On the other hand, there was CaptainPenguin, the unmistakably creative, who wouldn't let reality ever drag down his work or mar its beauty, letting it slip in only where necessary to support the important things. I have always strove to walk in the dead center between the two, always finding increasingly bizarre explanations for the strange, fantastic, and psychedelic.
It's because of those two that I'm here today, and I can write about all sorts of crazy weird things mollusc-like, dragons that hover on internal bladders, swim with their scales, and are occasionally pulse-jet driven or eat lighting with their metallic tongues, but at the same time give them scientific names, and be able to intimately describe the mechanisms by which they do all those things, and how those mechanisms evolved.
And I never properly thanked you for it, either.