I'm in touch with BAN and he said he'd like to get back around here at some point -- just busy with the rest of life. For myself, like RO said, it's burnout. I've had a lot to do IRL, and I have very little energy for any form of social media right now. Also, without being negative about the forum as it stands, I miss too many old friends who don't come around here anymore; the place doesn't feel the same to me. The reason this was "behind the scenes" is that I felt obligated to tell the other mods I wouldn't be around for a while, but didn't want to make a big deal out of it. At the very least I needed a break. I may stick around for now, but if I turn up missing again, that's why.
Regarding deathstorm, we decided a while ago to require that his posts get approved by the staff before being published. It wasn't an easy decision, and it came after years of trying to get him to rein himself in. He's still free to come and go, and we've approved most of what he's posted since then, but I'm not surprised that he's been around less frequently.