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Angelmar

A Crow has Fallen - Coolwaters

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It is with the heaviest of hearts that I must announce that Coolwaters a.k.a. Charles Wesley 'Wes' Fowler passed away suddenly this past weekend.

This has been a stunning and devastating loss to Wes' Family, Friends and the Winterblades community. With dedication, wit, intelligence, and sometimes sheer stubborness, Wes was one of the beating hearts of Winterblades, helping our family grow and succeed over the last 16 years.

As part of the greater community, Wes employed his great talents as a Shadowbane Moderator and as the community Sentinel Advocate for the Shadowbane focus group. One of his great joys was theorycrafting creative builds to break the current meta (though he hated the use of the word "meta" with a passion). Many such ideas made it out of the Winterblades skunkworks to the greater community through Wes' guides and posts. 

In Crowfall he continued his tradition of community advocacy whether on the forums or off them. Be it in the development partners, testing feedback, or general forums Wes was prolific in his posting as part of the greater community. While he played many games that we tried out over the years, nothing got him anywhere near as excited or fired up for a debate as Crowfall as many can attest to. His impact will certainly leave a crater of absence.

An enduring love of gaming and competition were not Wes' only pursuits. Although, perhaps cliche, he really did have a flair for life. He enjoyed life and had no "chill"--there were always pictures from his latest adventure. Often this meant something crazy, possibly reckless, and a whole lot of fun. Ziplines. Motorized skateboards. Very large hills and motorized skateboards. Wakeboarding. Surfing. Brazilian excursions. Spearfishing with Sharks..... 
Likely more hobbies that didn't make the news. Needless to say Wes lived life with vigor, elan, and a side of adrenaline.

Wes shared his excitement with many of us when he hosted the Winterblades meet up in July. The shared memories of that week are now bittersweet with his unexpected passing.

At request of his family in lieu of flowers they are asking for donations in his name to Wes' alma mater University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law Moot Court division.

Regarding donations, Wes' Friends and Family are working on raising funds to create an endowed scholarship for the winner of the top Oral Advocate in the Moot Court program.  Wes competed nationally in Moot Court and won the top Oral Advocate at his school.  His law school friends and members of the bar in Memphis are getting some big donations lined up.  Any donations direct to the school should also be tax deductible. Winterblades internally has already collected around ~$1,000 to donate.

 If anyone is interested you in contributing you can PM me directly and I can provide details.

His obituary can be found here: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/commercialappeal/obituary.aspx?n=charles-wesley-fowler&pid=186443823&fhid=17199

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Edited by angelmar

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He was certainly quite the character. A lawyer to the core of his being, his responses to forum warnings would put Clarence Darrow to shame, and still, in the end, we managed to wrap it up with a virtual handshake. 

While we enjoy getting to know most of our players online only, Cool was one of the few CF players I'd actually spoken with. MrMike and Bill spent many hours on the phone with him. Their office is near my desk, so I'd pop in and say hello. He was always cheerful and friendly despite the situation that was wonking up his connection to the game. 

Our hearts are with his friends, family and guildmates. 

Lastly -- and I hate that I even have to say this -- please be kind and respectful in this thread. It's not the time or place for shenanigans and improper comments will not be tolerated. Thank you for your cooperation. 
 


Valerie "Pann" Massey, Director of Community
 

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Wes was one of my best friends. He enjoyed playing with and against all of you. I don't really want to write up anything new here for the CF boards so I'll just copy paste my thoughts from our private boards.

It's such a surreal thing. Something you never think ahead about or plan for. I've been a part of this community for almost 15 years. It was Wes who really took me in and fought for me. Without him there would have been no -W- for me. Without him I'm not sure that there still is. At least... things will never be the same, never be as good.

He was one of my best friends. Always there for you no matter what. I can't recall the numerous times that he had helped with advise or encouragement. There was always an open offer to come stay by him or come work for him. To go to Brazil. He was an investor and he invested in the things he loved, often including people. He always wanted the guys here to start something up so he could back it because he believed in us.

Gaming has always been my favorite pastime and he was my favorite person to game with. He would get these crazy ideas in his head for a character or spec group, things that would sound ridiculous to most other people. And he would often come to me and I'd be able to translate this idea into something useful. Most times nothing was there but sometimes there was. We enjoyed breaking games together. I think that is what I will have the hardest time dealing with in the coming weeks, months, years. I'm going to miss hoping into TS and him just being there, like always. "Heeeeeeeeey Yoink! What's up buddy? Listen to this idea I have."

You just get used to that after 10+ years. And for it to be ripped out from under you with no warning... it sucks. It just custard sucks.

And after a while, when what has just happened is no longer at the forefront of my mind, when life returns to 'normal' I'll be thinking about some spec or idea. I will get excited about it and want to hop in TS or text him and then it will hit me that I can't.

I know it is cliche but he really did have a flair for life. He loved life and he had no chill. He went out the way everyone joked that he would. Doing something crazy, reckless, and a whole lot of fun. (I was pretty sure it would have involved spearfishing and a shark) He didn't suffer. He didn't have to slowly fade away from some terrible sickness. And I can take some comfort in that.

Also, for everyone here who really hasn't been around that much. I really appreciate all the great things you've had to say.And anyone who was lucky enough to have met him would know that he wants this party to keep going. He'd want you to pick up a shot, ( or most likely an edible) and toast to his memory, then go stomp some fools.


 

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My fondest memories of Coolwaters were arguing with him on the forums and fighting him in game. Though we often disagreed, Coolwaters was always respectful to people who argued in good faith- a sign of good character. My condolences to Winterblades and his other friends and family. I'm glad to have known him.

I'm drinking fine scotch tonight in his memory.

Edited by soulein

Shadowbane - House Avari/Hy'shen
"Gimp elves get good elves killed." - Belina

Avari Discord - https://discord.gg/Bch24PV

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Yea man....as dumb as it might sound it's sometimes easy to forget that you play with real people in online games. Unfortunately things like this happening are a pretty harsh reminder of that fact.

 

Edited by Zybak

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This is a sad time .... his humor in dealing with the community and insight into his vision of a fun and engaging game will be sorely missed. 

I remember the first time he ganked me .... he stole my apples then pinged me in discord wanted to know if it was ok if he just hung around as I harvested, to kill those who were attacking me since i seemed to be the only PvP magnet at the time.


Don't forget, the one EK that no one will judge you for looting your guilds treasury is Anhrez's Doober Shack. Where you can take those long con gains and 'simplify' them to more easily fit in your inventory. While you are unloading your hard earned winnings, swing by the Bazaar and pick up something to celebrate your genius.

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This is really sad news. I didn't know coolwaters personally but reading someone's posts for two-plus years almost every day makes you feel like you know them in some capacity, however limited. I always had respect for him because he seemed very genuine and passionate about the points he would argue and defend. I had questions about his forum name and the thought has crossed my mind over the past few months to send him a PM asking him about it but I never did and now I can't and that makes me sad. I know it's a small, petty thing to be concerned with when you consider the weight his family and friends must bear but, for me, it's a reminder of the brevity of life.  

My condolences to the Winterblades and Fowler families, the community mourns with you. 

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