Legacy of Shoujoai.com
Back in September of 2001, a small forum had just been started with the thought of focusing on lesbian themes within the realm of japanese animation, and those who enjoyed such. Within the first few months of it's opening, and a surprising amount of activity, the site owner, one Philip Mak (pmak0 to some, and later Phil-chan to many members) opened up an IRC channel for those active members who often held extensive conversations to more easily communicate. Within that channel, over the next five months, a group of regulars took to participating in light-hearted pickup roleplay within the channel, something that wasn't really intended for it. Following that, Phil put out the idea of setting up a MUSH for those regulars that would be better suited to it, something that many had no idea what it was, but a couple jumped on with enthusiasm.
Thus was born Shoujo-Ai MUSH in late February 2002. Having strong ties to both the IRC channel that spawned it, and the forums that spawned that (due to the userbase of each largely being a subset of the prior), it followed in the same mostly social chatting with a bit of lighthearted silly roleplay. Over time, however, things started to shift, with roleplay taking up a larger part of things, and a more structured setting began to evolve with a slowly expanding history to accompany it. What originally started out as a vague idea of beachfront in Japan turning into the island of Yuriba in the south Pacific, where originally any kind of character could apply for any reason, more restrictive character roles developed to cater to female characters and lessen conflict-based roleplay, and the silly takeoff of the cursed springs of Jusenkyou from the anime Ranma ½ became an integral part of maintaining the setting.
Things came to a bit of a head around the fifth-year anniversary of the MUSH's opening in early February 2007, when word came to the staff of both the MUSH and the forums that Phil (who for the last two years had been largely idle, allowing others to manage things) had passed away, and after some scrambling, the admins of both (Sonata, sec, and Yuriko) managed to rescue the files from the server so as to allow them them to continue. Over the years, however, the userbase of both had, while not truely seperating, started to drift apart in tone and player draw. Not helping this was having to subsist entirely on the benevolence of others willing to act as a free host to the cast adrift sites, leading them often to maintaining themselves largely independantly of one another over the intervening years.
Over the next number of years, some of the old guard of the forums drifted away to other things, leading to Sonata to retire in May of 2009, and eventually culminating with sec's later death in January 2014, leaving the forums bereft of administration as Yuriko was primarily associated with the MUSH. Despite managing to retain backups to almost everything, lack of access to aquire control of the shoujoai.com domain, alongside little motivation to put in the effort needed to restore the forums and related parts of the website whose userbase had been slowly declinng over the years, leaves little chance of shoujoai.com returning at this point. Still, Shoujo-Ai MUSH, long since renamed to Yuriba MUSH as it's focus drifted and grew more defined over the years, remains, and will always remember it's origins, no matter how much it may continue to evolve in the future.