Happy Birthday Guilds!

This is the testament of Lareawan Dawnbreaker who was witness to the events of the great Dragon Raid of New Darkhaven and the destruction of the guilds. Much of what follows was greatly aided by the records of Zistrosk, his assistance is always appreciated.

Some will mark the time as 1 year ago yesterday but those inside the Realms know the time moves very differently, indeed over 4,000 years have passed in the Realms of Despair since these events.

Let us journey back to that fateful night.

Duke Luther shouts ‘Guards! Guards! There are dragons on the battlements! Everyone marshal together to defend New Darkhaven!’

Dragonslayer was still a ghost of its former self, Arete was in the Mountain of Lost Souls, and I can’t comment for the other Orders but it fell to the Guilds to defend themselves.

As adventurers fought against white dragons in the streets the first guild fell.

Several dragons breathe fire into the home of the Vampire guild, leaving it in ruins.

Duke Luther shouts ‘The Guild of Vampires has fallen… Quickly, rally around and help defend the Guild of Nephandi!’

As the adventurers ran here and there killing white dragons and typing help map to find out where some of the guilds they had not paid any attention to were, the Nephandi guild fell.

The dragons lay waste to the home of the Nephandi, leaving rubble everywhere.

By this time many adventurers had killed at least one dragon and realized that how many they killed might matter later on as they noticed this kill blow message: You take out a quill and mark one kill on your arm. Fight as they might, the impassioned Duke Luther continued to shout for assistance.

Duke Luther shouts ‘Both the Guild of Vampires and Nephandi are destroyed. Quickly, lend aid to the Guild of Augurers, they appear to be massing there!’

Even as the assault on the Augurer guild continued, more dire sights were seen over the walls of the city.

The dragons begin to invade en masse, building up their power for further assault.

Duke Luther shouts ‘Guards! On the horizon is a large dragon… coming our way. Man the battlements, bar the entry ways. It must not make it through!’

The dragons soar high above, then dive bomb the hall of the Augurers guild, leaving nothing but destruction.

In the midst of it all, Duke Luther abandoned his post. Some claim his guards forced him out of his throne room but I brand him a coward and a traitor to the guilds since no guard would forget to protect the Duke’s family!

Duke Luther’s personal guards force him from his throne room, to a safe location as the dragon attack increases.

Gilaeformo quests ‘they left your wife in the castle dude… :P’

With his wife still in the castle, Luther’s failure became complete.

Lightning cuts across the sky as Kilgharrah dives down and begins to attack Castle Darkhawk.

Kilgharrah, the ferocious dragon of Arthurian legend is here to make you pay.
Kilgharrah is shrouded in flowing shadow and light.
Kilgharrah is surrounded by a mix of ice-shards and sparking flames.
A younger looking white dragon is angered by the destruction of his kind.
A small white dragon is shrouded in flowing shadow and light.

Many brave adventurer went to face the great leader of the dragons, Kilgharrah, but no matter the power directed that way our greatest heroes could not defeat this power. In the midst of the distraction, the Cleric guild met its most dire hour.

Kilgharrah dispatches yet another fleet of dragons, this time heading straight for the sanctuary of the Clerics.

The swarm of white dragons race through the Clerics guild with alarming speed, destroying almost everything.

As adventurers grew frustrated by the Duke’s absence and the mysterious absence of the dragon ore weapons forged to combat just such an assault some rebelled. Hurley quests 'Maybe we should kill the little guys and just say screw the Duke.' Bratac quests 'he did pick this fight' Despite the slaughter of many white dragons, Kilgharrah maintained his strength.

Kilgharrah dispatches a new group of dragons which head straight for the ancient forest of the Druids.

After a long fight, one in which Zistrosk fought valiantly as leading as only a true Guildmaster can, the Druid guild fell.

Heaving fire from above, the dragons lay waste to the forest in which guilded Druids make their home.

Kilgharrah sat in Darkhaven Square, defeating all who opposed him. Clearly the dragon was in his glory!

Kilgharrah eyes the surrounding town, a destructive gleam in his eye…

Kilgarrah roars in satisfaction as it eats another Darkhaven guard.

Dark blue lights cascade across the nights sky as Kilgharrah launches another assault!

This assault was relentless and it ended with Jensen fighting barbarians such as Arastos who were killing dragons … in such times is not the enemy of my enemy my friend? It’s no wonder that the Fathomer guild fell in such a disorganized defense.

Captain Kidd rattles his sabre at the fleet of dragons in a final valiant stand… but the ship of the Fathomers is reduced to ruins quickly.

After destroying the Fathomers, Kilgharrah continued his rampage with the Paladins. Many stood and fought with great valor but it was all in vain.

Despite the heroic efforts of the Paladins, the guild is laid to waste like the others. Though their defense will be remembered for all time.

As the raid continued many guards panicked. Some even locked the adventurers INSIDE Darkhaven, somehow still concerned with a rumoured Balrog uprising to the south. Many felt the pinch of being unable to restock from donation rooms yet the brave shopkeepers of Market Street kept their doors open, charging full price … profits on their minds instead of gratefully supplying adventurers in their time of need. Another injustice, albeit a minor one. With the injustice of the destruction of the Guild of Rangers who noticed the small ones? With nary a whimper the first home of Tharius and so many others disappeared from the Realms of Despair

The Rangers guild is now no more, as the dragons’ fierce assault makes quick work of it.

The raid reached a frenzied peak with the oldest guilds in Darkhaven falling almost together. Mages, warriors and thieves fell in quick succession … who knows but perhaps this is why they found kinship in the Guild of Origin. Kilgharrah trapped the thieves within their guild, but many used their secret exit to escape outside the walls and rally in the defense of Darkhaven.

The dragons head toward the guild of Mages…

Kilgharrah directs the dragons to the guild of Warriors…

The hallways of the guild of Mages burn to the ground as Kilgharrath’s dragons do his bidding.

Sonoria quests ‘Aid the sick, aid the wounded… The Guild of Thieves needs our help as the last remaining guild!’

The castle of the Warriors now lies demolished.

Though it withstood a long assault, with all 3 of its leaders present in the fight, at long last the venerable Guild of Thieves fell, though it took Kilgharrah and not his minions to accomplish the task.

With a massive fireball, Kilgharrah succeeds in bringing the warehouse of the Thieves down to rubble.

Having accomplished his revenge, Kilgharrah left Darkhaven to pick up the pieces.

The mighty dragon Kilgharrah glows in victory, eyeing Darkhaven one last time as he prepares to depart…

Many more felt great anger towards the Duke, perhaps these wounds will never heal.

Gilaeformo quests ‘why destroy the guilds and leave darkhaven? the duke is the one really to blame…’

In all the time since many have rallied and build and bonded. The Guilds of Nature, Origin and Spirit have grown into reliable organizations. Many of the Orders who failed to come to the aid of the Guilds have been aided by the guilds as their recruits gained power and experience within the Realms. Many of the guilds now accept players barely out of the Halls of Knowledge and continue to serve as the first organization many new players experience.

If you have time, please consider spending some time in a guild. Lead a run. Host a quest. When the Guilds of Darkhaven flourish, we all benefit.

From Guild Port to Dragon Raid, only 3 1/2 months behind on my posts! :)

So when last we talked I got about as far as the guilds being ported onto the game port (aka 4k). At the time they had appeared there many immortals had gone over them with a fine tooth comb and they had been approved by the CoE. We were all asked to go back through the areas and start looking for typos and spacing issues, things that were introduced as part of respacing or editing. I’m certain that some made it into the game on the night the guilds opened, because Destre was busier than heck fixing things, but back to that in a moment.

The hint that things were getting close to completion was the appearance of the first of the “guild member” quests. I imagine the idea was to stimulate people who were not logging in on their guild characters to do so and it was at least topically successful. For posterity’s sake the quest was to gather vials of dragon’s blood from the white dragons of the Realms of Despair. The difficulty of the dragon decided the number of vials that would pop. When you returned the vials to Sonoria she would award you 1 glory to a maximum of 15.

This was the first time I’d seen a repeatable, automated glory quest so I had to inquire of some higher ups as to whether it was ok to repeat the quest on other guilded characters as normally you would only go at these things ip1. Some people seriously farmed the dragons to add the 15 glory to each guilded character they had. I’m sure there was more than one headache over this … the more obvious the more problems … Dragon’s Pass and Dragon’s Tower were zoos but Icingdeath and Phenn were less so.

During the second “guild member” quest everyone was instructed to find dragon ore which could be smelted and eventually forged into weapons. The particualr weapon you received would award 1 (dagger), 2 (sword) or 3 (halberd) glory. Through a small bug you could earn up to 17 glory (instead of the maximum 15) by getting to 14 and turning in a halberd. The in theme story line was that we were preparing for a dragon attack, which a few us knew would be the guild port (many suspected).

On the evening of September 19, 2013 the attack hit around 10:30-11pm. Having waited all day I was just wrapping up a Shades of Light run led by Jaxxon of Arete when the echos started appearing. I was heading to bed when this run wrapped up and was quite ambivalent about participating … after all, who the hell knows how long it would take. Still, wanting to see what it was all about, I jumped over to Lareawan and by the time I got myself organized GoV had already fallen. I ran around Darkhaven killing white dragons along with many others and it was well after midnight when we all wrapped up.

A few points about this quest… though officially kill stealing was not allowed, because you could draw the white dragons just by throwing a punch (yes, you can start a fight with another mob while you’re tanking one) if you didn’t kill steal you didn’t get many kills. For most of the quest I didn’t kill steal but when I saw people tanking 6 of the damn things, you’re darn right I started kill stealing… and since the biggest kill stealer got the biggest award a few days later when Kinux started handing out glory and noting people in the news, I can’t say I’m sorry I did it … should have started much sooner. 😛 (Ok, that’s a little childish but when you pat people on the back for kill stealing you do ruffle the feathers of the people who tried to follow the rules … it’s fair to say though that it was chaotic and I am certain Kinux and the other immortals had their attention going in a dozen or more different directions).

The weapons that everyone made during the second quest were never distrubted to the guards in contradiction of the second quest storyline and no in story explanation was ever given for their non-appearance. Of course it’s probably just an oversight, but what the heck, I can pick nits if I notice them :-> I hope to make reference to this in an IGQC quest. The other thing to note is that Kilgharrath was not killable and thus was not killed. I hope to make some reference to him in future IGQC quests as well.

While the quest was running, unknown to many, Ceirana was going crazy behind the scenes clearing out the old guilds of people and unlinking the exits. I think she was loading up people and transing them to Harakiem and force quitting them, but you can well imagine just how many people log out in a guild, so it’s equally possible she just put a program in each room of the old guilds to do it as you logged in.

As the old guilds fell the new leaders were installed. Myself as Guildmaster, Hubris (former Guildmaster of Guild of Warriors) as First and Mooq (former Guildmaster of Guild of Thieves) as Second. Due to the brands not working correctly we had to sort of make things up on the fly and at one point some people were even using induct triggers to handle the flood of requests (at least 1 level 2 got inducted!! since fixed!!) I didn’t get to bed until well after 2:30am, which makes for a very early morning since I was back up at 6am with my little boy.

This seems as good a place as any to put a pin in things, lots of things run through my head as I’m recounting but we’re well on the way to getting my point of view on the mergers out … I look forward to getting current so that I can post Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and not feel like I’ve jumped ahead :->