Call it narcissism, but I did want to leave this up for the @-tagged folks that hadn't stumbled across it yet, so this is the revised, forum-TOS friendly edition. I did miss a boatload of replies to the old one, the forums tell me, but no one needs to feel obligated to re-post those.
Well, ladies and gentlemen, I guess it's my turn to write one of these trite little memoirs. I've never been the fastest in this race, nor the strongest, nor the smartest, so I've tried all I can to be one of the most consistent presences around. If I was a friend or ally to you, I hope I was a consistent friend or ally. If I was a dick to you, I apologize, but at least know that I tried to be a consistent dick, so you'd always know what to expect. But the issue with being consistent is that when you get pushed out of your niche, it's tough to find a new one. After 7 years of playing the same character in the same house, I wouldn't know how to start over if my life depended on it, and the thrills of the houseless life don't exactly get me all hot and lathered.
I've always played for the Wardens, and I've always said I couldn't inhabit any other House. Some of that's was for the roleplay, but most of it was because the Warden leadership was filled with older, more mature, most down-to-earth folks I knew in the game. @Metzger
, if you guys ever read this, you guys made this game fantastic for me, and probably a better place in general. We simply didn't have the drama that other Houses did because most of the guys playing in this corner of the game just were just better people than that. They were all DungeonMasters, more interested in other people having fun than any personal biases or agendas. (Making sure other people have fun generally means you're remembered, though, so it works out.)
One of my earliest influences was probably Dallam, going Page to Page, Squire to Squire, asking "Are you having fun? Do you think the ways we do things are working? How could we change them to be better?" That drove home to me that this House, though we valued tradition and legacy as RP bases, wasn't too proud to change. We were always trying to do what we did better. When Metzger became HL, we entered a progressive golden age. I was Knighted and became a triumvirate HL in that period, and along with Metzger and the half-dozen other dynamic, open-minded, mature names up there, we revised old, ineffective Guild policies and even started some new traditions that are still going today. We pushed boundaries, challenged norms, and weren't afraid of change or new things. As those players started to leave the game for all their separate reasons, I tried to maintain that momentum and that mindset going forward. I was even offered HL at one point, but declined because I did not want to be remembered as that "Priest who led a Knight House". Sometimes I regret that decision, but I don't think it was my biggest mistake.
By biggest mistake happened when I came back after a year of dormancy. I came back and dropped the "conflicted Priest/Knight" RP for Paladin, and dropped the "wise old preacher" RP for a drill sergeant mentality. I was ready to tackle the game like we did in the old days, and try to breathe life into a House that had gone through more than one dormant leader since I'd been away. My mistake was not realizing how much the House had changed in the meantime, how fundamentally different the perspective and political atmosphere had changed in my time away. Gone was that progressive, proactive mindset, and arisen in its place was something far, far more conservative and reactionary. I didn't realize that the current playerbase had never experienced those "golden years" and so the stagnant, quiet, non-confrontational state of the Wardens was what they were used to.
Without ever meaning to, and without even realizing it at first, I slowly alienated myself to everyone in power because of a fundamental difference in approach to the game: when everyone else around me was asking, "How do we get back to our roots? How do we become what we used to be?" I was asking, "How do we adapt to the changing times? How do we honor our past without living in it?" Not only that, but what I found was a leadership that didn't seem to be interested in the players trying to advance below them. When you expect your members to become good at combat to advance, but you haven't changed your combat test since Rajamala speed and curare/aconite was the go-to tactic, there's a problem. When your House requires younger players to swear allegiance to a Knight in order to advance, and only 3 of the Knights in the House are actually seeking younger players to help out, (Thank you @Tarkor
there's a problem. And while I might not be the most diplomatic man in the world, (Sorry for that) when you aren't pulling your weight, and I mention that, it's really not my fault if you get offended.
Did I get what I had coming? Probably. I'll admit to being brusque. I'll admit that being an aide to every office, proctor for every exam, and co-author for about 70% policies in that House might have inflated my sense of self-worth. I'll admit that I am relentless when I feel things that need to happen aren't getting done. But at the end of the day, I felt a responsibility to the new players trying to enjoy the Wardens, and I wasn't afraid to make enemies with the players at the top who were content to ignore them saying, "We've always done it this way." Actually we haven't, you're just not old enough to remember the good days. So, yeah, I waged a war against the HL and lost, although the fact that I was tossed out within 72 hours of admitting plans to contest the HL is a pretty unfortunate coincidence, made even more unfortunate by the fact that the pretense used was both suspect and chronologically impossible, if anyone cared to look at it. But by that time, I was so unpopular upstairs that no one really did. As popular I was with the lower voting ranks, I'll probably humor myself and say they must have been afraid I might have won the election.
In the end, it's okay. I had a good long run, and I've always said that everyone needs to retire after being in power for 100 IG years. I was never the guy on top, and I didn't get any honors line, but I've been pulling strings and making calls for at least 4 of my 7 years, so perhaps this is just what I get for not following my own advice. I won't say this is "goodbye," since we all know that no one ever really quits this game, but I think it's time to hang up the swords and retire. I'll still stop in from time to time to watch the world go by, but it'll be from my estate on the Zaphar, (Thanks, @Iocun
, Melodie) sipping Tom Collins and ma tais, sharing stories with the youth that involve such popular phrases as, "in my day" and "uphill both ways."
Good luck with the new changes, have fun with the things that have always kept you,
P.S. To who ever soul-walked into that estate and pilfered all the journals you found: Thank you for reminding me why eye sigils are important, and thank you for leaving my fullplate behind, but you could have at least had the common decency to leave me a smug, gloating message. You can keep the journals, but I at least want to know whose name I can curse!
A few parting thoughts, in no particular order:@Melodie
I guess you and I are both proof, now, that you can't inhabit that grey area forever. Even when you're loved by the underdog, if the powers that be aren't impressed, eventually you'll slip up and that will be that. I hope your situation turns out better than mine did, but I think we both had some fun walking our own fine lines as we went. Don't go dormant now that you're a dragon.@Aeryllin
Never change. There are few chipper, optimistic, light-hearted characters in this game I don't absolutely despise, and you're at the top of that list. You did a fantastic job with the Cyrenian festivities, and I think, through all the light-heartedness, you have the drive that can really turn an organization around, and the empathy to care about other people and whether they're having fun. The Mojushai have needed that for a long, long time, and I hope you can turn them into what they should have always been.@Wessux
I think you guys made a bad move, and I hope you don't go dormant because of it, though I appreciate the show of support. Wessux, especially, you did some dumb shit, but I saw the hard work you put in while we were Wardens. I think you spent more time teaching combat to the younger guys than anyone in that House, and that's why I was willing to jump on any grenade that was thrown your way. (Or the ones you threw, yourself) I think you can do well anywhere you end up, you don't need my help, you just need to rage less. Nellaundra, too, but I know her rage is at least RP'd; yours is just raw and impressive in its self-destructive capability.@Maethros
For those who stayed in the Wardens and were close to me, I hope you can accomplish what you set out to do, and that nothing is held against you. Where the long list of Knights at the top of this post were the reason I got into this game, you guys were the reason I kept logging into all the frustration at the end, so I hope the time I put in was worthwhile on your end.@Verrucht
As a completely accidental and coincidental quirk of how life played out, I've never been on good terms with an Imperiate, (excepting Jhaeli) you probably least of all. And that's before factoring in that we weren't friends before you were even in government. (Or Cyrenian?) With that in mind, there at the end, you had a real opportunity to curb stomp my face into the sidewalk, and I don't think anyone would have objected or even raised a question. But despite all the disagreements and confrontations we've had, you didn't. You even stuck up for me a little. I respect that.@Silas
and the rest of @Shallam
, really: Sorry for the whole Rho vs Lumeni thing at Centre Crossing, and all of the Lumeni seperationist RP that followed. It was my first leadership position, and I was still figuring out how all the game's pieces fit together, and there was this huge deal that was specifically targetted at the folks I was supposed to be watching out for, so I jumped in with all I knew at the time. Later on, I did come to understand why following the Church's orders and Devotion's institutions were important to the game, and you guys never saw how often I argued with Cyrene and the Lumeni about how they all wanted to be heathens, but I never did really try to reach out and be friends with the East. Then again, all that confrontation did put the Lumeni on the map, so I'd do it all over again. Just know I'd feel bad about it on the inside.
On that note, @Lumeni
I'm sorry I kinda dropped you guys when I came back. I spent most of my career building you up, trying to turn you into an actual organization, then high clan, only to come back and not spend much time or interest at all. I just couldn't figure out how to keep up my original enthusiastic reformism RP while at the same time acquiescing to the changing nature of Devotion, so I thought it best to just keep quiet and watch. Except for that time I blew up on @Bahtell
. (Sorry, Bahtell)@Friztic
I am willing to admit, you probably didn't deserve all the antagonism I gave you. By the time you were elected, I had already sat through 8 months of the prior inactive leadership, so my expectations were high and my patience was already short. That's the most I'll concede, though; we had plenty of other, completely legitimate reasons not to like each other through the 6 months of your inactive leadershp. I find you stubborn and easily offended, and I find your opinions and policies to be draconically conservative, stifling more roleplay and opportunity than they will ever create. I hope the simple fact that I was willing to throw away a 7 year career in this game to oppose you as adamantly as I did at least makes you stop and reflect on yourself before you chalk me up as some random asshole.
I did forget @Tvistor
& Co the first time: You guys were always in my peripheral, whether antagonizing Melodie or breaking into my home, but I just never spared the time to hunt you down for interaction, and that's a shame. Both of you seemed like good guys, and while trying to actually hunt serpents with my sub-par rapiers would have been a futile endeavor, I have a soft spot for fighting losing battles.@Xenomorph
, and @Arador
Thanks for making Knighthood feel bigger than just a one-House show. It's fair to say I didn't know any of you well, perhaps at all, but yours were names I would refer to newer players to show that the Knighted world was bigger than the Wardens, and that there were names out there I respected as much as our own. And though it was arguably the catalyst for my downfall, the Council of Knighthood was an extremely cool idea, and I hope it does get carried on. Xenomorph, in case you missed it when the last thread was deleted, I've a few loose ends to take care of before I dawn my Hawaiian shirts and head for Zanzibaar, and that's definitely one of them.