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Thursday, February 23, 2006

The History of "Agius"

My email is agiusmage-at-gmail-dot-com. My AIM handle (which is rarely used) is agiusmage. I even had a blogspot with that handle for a while (before I went back to Neat Things, which is just a cool title). Honestly, it's a little foolish, since I have been using my Gmail account to apply for jobs online - though I have been using GMail's "send as" feature to send out email from atevans at purdue dot edu (replies sent to that address get autoforwarded back to gmail).

Anyway, agiusmage is a composite of two words. "Agius" and "mage." The latter refers to a class in Dungeons & Dragons. The former is the name of a character I played, way back when we first started D&D back in Gaithersburg. "Agius" was inspired heavily by the worlds of Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman. He was a combination of several racial characteristics from that world - a frightening splicing of Tinker Gnomes and Kender. As a friend once put it, "Good lord! As a tinker gnome, he can build anything if he has the parts... and as a kender, he has everything concievable in his pouches!"

Also, tinker gnomes and kender are both known for fearlessness (both generally because they are too absent-minded for fear to be realized). Both races are shorter than dwarves. Agius, if he were played right, would probably be a dual-classed wizard/rogue (they have specialized classes for that now). The extra skills he got as a rogue would be evenly distributed between sneaking and invention, and his wizard spells would be primarily transmutative in nature. All in all, it's a pretty frightening combination, especially since a properly played Agius would be consistantly loaded with useless wands, Rods of Wonder, and other seemingly random items.

Agius became my online handle because I liked the character so much. Back when I was just getting started with instant messenging, email, and other internety-things, I was even more into D&D than I am today. Thus, my natural online handle was an extension of myself, a part of my character - Agius. It's a simple name that's rarely taken, and at a mere five characters, it's not hard to spell. I stuck with it. I still do.

I use this name everywhere. In general, if you go to a forum and see "Agius," it's very likely me. Part of the reason I continue to use it is that the handle has such momentum. If I wanted to start a new identity, I would probably have to change my Flickr, del.icio.us, email, and all sorts of crazy things. It'd take forever. And is it worth it to change all that just to get a more professional-sounding email? Or a name representing my more furry allegiances, rather than my archaic D&D character?

Eventually I'll have to "grow up" and start using my real name @ company dot com. I already have an email address at NIST which is like that. If I were to reveal to any prospective employers that I'm not using my domain name email, let alone a free email service, I would probably look silly. But I suppose until GMail for your domain takes off, I'll probably just stick with it.

So - how did you come by your handle?

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Anonymous Nightflurry said...

Well, I had to write a silly few page story back in 6th grade. Tried to make some sci-fi crap with it. Named the good guy ship the Nightflurry, thought it sounded cool.. so yeah XD I've had this handle since 97, nobody else uses it... kinda wierd how I got it, but it's what I got. And I like it :D

Anonymous GrapeRoad said...

There's a character in EarthBound called BrickRoad. He's quite a dude, buidling a giantdungeon man to house himself for the rest of his life.
I liked BrickRoad, probably because he was so weird, so when I registered for Starmen.net's fourms back when they were still EarthBound.net, I decided to play on his name. Around my town, there's a big road called Grape Road. Thus, I chose that. Knowing the power of keeping ones name from place to place, I kept GrapeRoad from then on.


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