A new guard has just been added to Crate Entertainment's Grim Dawn. Praetorian Zedlee, an in-game NPC, is the newest addition to the Black Legion.
But what's the deal behind this new character, on guard duty of Homestead?
Possibly the saddest story ever to befall gamer families.
John Hathaway's father, Lee Hathaway, was a big Grim Dawn fan.
"Once he activated his key he never stopped playing," wrote John in a game forum.
Lee had lung cancer, but he was such a big fan of the game that he even left it running during a visit to the emergency room. He was in and out of the hospital but would leave the computer on at home when he had to go for a trip.
When asked by John if he wanted to log out, Lee declined and said that he wished to finish what he was doing.
Upon returning home from a week-long hospital stay, Lee was finally able to complete the quest. However, this marked the last time ever logged onto the game, as his hospital visits grew more frequent.
Whenever John would visit the hospital, he would bring an iPad so his dad could read Grim Dawn forums and check for game updates and their details.
Lee's game alias was "Zedlee," and usually played a soldier with a sword. He passed away on Nov. 2, at 64 years old. He would have turned 65 only eight days later.
On the Grim Dawn forum, John wrote a heartfelt post and thanked the game developers for creating something that made his father happy, even during his last days.
"I just want to pass along my heartfelt thanks for the game you have made because it was honestly such a happy bright spot for him," John wrote.
He signed the note as "Zedlee's son."
Not long after, game designer Kamil Marczewski replied to John's post.
"It is truly inspiring to hear that our work can touch a person in such a way. We are glad that we could brighten up your father's last days," Marczewski said. As a small token...I wish to present you with this."
The next game update featured the character of Praetorian Zedlee.
Crate manager Arthur Bruno was also deeply moved by John's post.
"It was incredible to learn that our game meant so much to this family and that it was able to provide a bit of joy in a difficult time," shared Bruno in the forum.
When the Praetorian Zedlee update came out, John and his brother, who also played Grim Dawn, logged in to play the game.
On John's desktop background is a screenshot of Praetorian Zedlee guarding the Grim Dawn world.