[Ravenloft] The Bookshop is Closing!!
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    [Ravenloft] The Bookshop is Closing!!

    www.kargatane.com

    Yes, that's right - the Secrets of the Kargatane website will be closing on Halloween, 2003.

    This is a decision that has been some months in the making, and which hasn't been easy. This website has been a labour of love for the Kargatane for more than 6 years, and so we can promise you that this decision was not taken lightly. In the end, however, we have come to the conclusion that it is time to move on, and for the Kargatane to return to Darkon.

    The inevitable question is, "Why?" There are many contributing factors, but in the end it comes down to the fact that the Kargatane no longer have the collective enthusiasm and energy to make this site live up to its own standards as a Ravenloft fan site. To keep something this big going, it requires constant ongoing revision and attention to keep it fresh. In this site's heyday, the Kargatane were producing netbooks, regularly writing reviews, running competitions and creating other useful downloads for fans. Lately, updates have come much less frequently, and the running of the site has become more of a chore and less of a joy.

    These changes shouldn't be all that surprising to us or to our visitors. Six years is a long time to be devoting to a website such as this, especially when it's something that comes out of your own spare time. In that time, we've all gone through changes - we're all a bit older (some older than others!), our personal lives have changed, and a number of the Kargatane have been freelancing for the setting itself! All of these things impact our ability to devote free time to the site, and have contributed to the end decision to close down this website.

    Although this is the end of the road for the Secrets of the Kargatane, we're tremendously proud of what we've achieved. Since the Kargatane first formed in early 1997 (as a result of Chris Nichols' idea to create a Ravenloft netbook), the Kargatane has:

    * Edited 9 netbooks of high-quality fan-produced Ravenloft material, amounting to over 1,450 pages of text.
    * Built the most popular Ravenloft site on the web, with extensive reference material for both Ravenloft DMs and players.
    * Been appointed the "Official Ravenloft Website" by Wizards of the Coast in 1999. In fact, Secrets of the Kargatane was the very first "official site" appointed by WotC, and was the example used for later appointments of "official sites" for closed settings.
    * Kept Ravenloft alive on the web from when Wizards of the Coast announced its cancellation, through to the licensing of the setting by Sword & Sorcery studios for release as a d20 game.

    These achievements are not only the result of our efforts, but reflect the efforts of many in the Ravenloft community. We would never have bothered to work on any of these things, if it wasn't for the wellspring of support and enthusiasm from the Ravenloft fanbase on the web. We'd like to offer our thanks to everyone out there who has ever submitted an article, created some artwork, written a review, emailed some feedback, posted a message or simply read a netbook or visited our website. Your support and interest has always been appreciated.

    The Kargatane also received a lot of support and assistance from the Kargat over the years. While there are many who deserve to be thanked, particular mention should go to Steve Miller, who has provided support in many ways over a long period of time, and Cindi Rice, who (among other things) pushed for this site to be the first "official" site sanctioned by WotC.

    The current members of the Kargatane would also like to thank the Kargatane alumni; Barry Trevelyan, Charles Brown, Joe Bardales and Andrew Hackard. Your friendship and contribution is greatly appreciated.

    ...and so that's where it ends. The six Kargatane in that weird little bookshop in Vallaki are packing up and heading home. We'll most likely see you around in some of the other Ravenloft community haunts - we're unlikely to be disappearing for good - and we thank you for your custom during our stay.

    The Kargatane
    Andrew Cermak, John W. Mangrum, Ryan Naylor, Chris Nichols, Stuart Turner and Andrew Wyatt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mangrum
    www.kargatane.com

    Yes, that's right - the Secrets of the Kargatane website will be closing on Halloween, 2003.

    This is a decision that has been some months in the making, and which hasn't been easy. This website has been a labour of love for the Kargatane for more than 6 years, and so we can promise you that this decision was not taken lightly. In the end, however, we have come to the conclusion that it is time to move on, and for the Kargatane to return to Darkon.

    The inevitable question is, "Why?" There are many contributing factors, but in the end it comes down to the fact that the Kargatane no longer have the collective enthusiasm and energy to make this site live up to its own standards as a Ravenloft fan site. To keep something this big going, it requires constant ongoing revision and attention to keep it fresh. In this site's heyday, the Kargatane were producing netbooks, regularly writing reviews, running competitions and creating other useful downloads for fans. Lately, updates have come much less frequently, and the running of the site has become more of a chore and less of a joy.

    These changes shouldn't be all that surprising to us or to our visitors. Six years is a long time to be devoting to a website such as this, especially when it's something that comes out of your own spare time. In that time, we've all gone through changes - we're all a bit older (some older than others!), our personal lives have changed, and a number of the Kargatane have been freelancing for the setting itself! All of these things impact our ability to devote free time to the site, and have contributed to the end decision to close down this website.

    Although this is the end of the road for the Secrets of the Kargatane, we're tremendously proud of what we've achieved. Since the Kargatane first formed in early 1997 (as a result of Chris Nichols' idea to create a Ravenloft netbook), the Kargatane has:

    * Edited 9 netbooks of high-quality fan-produced Ravenloft material, amounting to over 1,450 pages of text.
    * Built the most popular Ravenloft site on the web, with extensive reference material for both Ravenloft DMs and players.
    * Been appointed the "Official Ravenloft Website" by Wizards of the Coast in 1999. In fact, Secrets of the Kargatane was the very first "official site" appointed by WotC, and was the example used for later appointments of "official sites" for closed settings.
    * Kept Ravenloft alive on the web from when Wizards of the Coast announced its cancellation, through to the licensing of the setting by Sword & Sorcery studios for release as a d20 game.

    These achievements are not only the result of our efforts, but reflect the efforts of many in the Ravenloft community. We would never have bothered to work on any of these things, if it wasn't for the wellspring of support and enthusiasm from the Ravenloft fanbase on the web. We'd like to offer our thanks to everyone out there who has ever submitted an article, created some artwork, written a review, emailed some feedback, posted a message or simply read a netbook or visited our website. Your support and interest has always been appreciated.

    The Kargatane also received a lot of support and assistance from the Kargat over the years. While there are many who deserve to be thanked, particular mention should go to Steve Miller, who has provided support in many ways over a long period of time, and Cindi Rice, who (among other things) pushed for this site to be the first "official" site sanctioned by WotC.

    The current members of the Kargatane would also like to thank the Kargatane alumni; Barry Trevelyan, Charles Brown, Joe Bardales and Andrew Hackard. Your friendship and contribution is greatly appreciated.

    ...and so that's where it ends. The six Kargatane in that weird little bookshop in Vallaki are packing up and heading home. We'll most likely see you around in some of the other Ravenloft community haunts - we're unlikely to be disappearing for good - and we thank you for your custom during our stay.

    The Kargatane
    Andrew Cermak, John W. Mangrum, Ryan Naylor, Chris Nichols, Stuart Turner and Andrew Wyatt.
    Very very sad news...I always thought your site was one of the best if not THE best D&D fan sites out there. You will be missed

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    That's mucho sadness - though I have to admit, the Kargat certainly deserves a break after years of such great work. I second JeffB - I've always considered you to be the best D&D campaign setting site out there, and (alright, I'm biased towards ENWorld ) the second-best D&D site, period. You'll certainly be missed.

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    Sorry to hear the news. If you don't already have an arrangement with someone else, perhaps Morrus could archive the site as a wing of EN World...?

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    Wow. That sucks. But understandable. I will miss the Kargatane...but at least Ravenloft will still live on.

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    Will there be a new official Ravenloft site?

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsemlak
    Will there be a new official Ravenloft site?
    If anyone should make one it should be Arthaus. Ravenloft
    IS there baby now, under license.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsemlak
    Will there be a new official Ravenloft site?
    I hope and expect so, but I have no idea. We've officially punched the clock.

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    This is indeed very sad news. My very first "publication," before I began writing for White Wolf, was in one of the Kargatane's netbooks. And it was the first D&D site I frequented regularly, after Eric Noah's.

    I'm sorry to see it go, but I understand the need to move on. Hopefully someone else will pick up the slack, and maybe in a few years the Kargatane will feel recharged enough to fire it up again.

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    Secrets of the Kargatane was one of my original internet hangouts. The Kargatane Gallery featured some of my earliest artwork, and in fact, my screen name "Klaus" was a RL character.

    SotK will be missed, John. But you all can rest knowing that you did one hell of a job!

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