Dani Russo, @snarksonomy , known on FFXIV as Milloux Allard/ @aethersmoke-and-ash, Violetta Fierlane/ @violetcuriosity, T’Many Allowe/ @tams-catte, and others, has passed away. Dani was the former leader of the Ashen Enclave FC and the head and founder of the Tangled Boughs. She organized many public events over the years, founded Crystal’s first Duskcord, and was also a well-known moderator of the Balmung RP Network. She will be remembered as an amazing artist, leader, organizer, and most importantly, a wonderful friend.

I am devastated, as I’m sure many of you are. Dani has been one of my closest friends for the better part of 5 years, and nothing I can think to say feels adequate to express my grief. When I think of the hard work she has put into her FC and the FFXIV community in general, I am overwhelmed at the prospect of trying to share this news with all of the people she has touched. Her warmth, humor, and eye for beauty will continue to inspire me for the rest of my life. I can’t believe she’s gone.

I have left a private note to Dani’s family about how beloved she was by her online community and extended an offer to help memorialize her, however, I do not expect to hear back quickly, if at all. It is important to give her family space in this time of loss, as the handling of her online presence and online friends are probably the last thing on their minds right now. I will give updates if I get any news on this front. That being said, while I’ve found and confirmed her obituary, it did not contain details and I do not have further information on her passing. While those who were close to her knew that Dani struggled with her health for the last few years, this loss is still very much unexpected, and her family may choose not to disclose more. Let us focus instead on being here for one another and sharing all our good memories of Dani.

Dani has touched so many lives. She always took time to get to know people and their characters, remember their interests and jokes, and made them feel special and included. As her frequent collaborator and close friend, I know how much it meant to her to make connections and run events for this community. She worked endlessly to make sure others were having fun.

Her reach and impact on the Balmung community are farther than I realized.  I’ve been overwhelmed with all of the love and stories I’ve heard so far, and I know I’ll hear more. Because of this, I do intend to eventually put together something more public-facing in her honor so that we can share our stories and memories of her – probably during The Rising. The summer fireworks were always a time of reflection for her character Milloux, and that seems like an appropriate time. For now, though, I am heartbroken and sorry to be the one to share this news.

Look after yourselves and your health. Enjoy goofy, weird jokes and strange beauty, embrace your unique tastes and interests, and be strong and firm in your convictions. These are the things Dani always helped me to do.

Thank you.

– Etienne “Eti” Clairemont