Thursday, July 27, 2006

The history of the Serenguard

Back when I used to play Lusternia, my character was a member of, and eventually the spiritual leader of, a guild called the Serenguard, a group of tribal warriors charged with the defense of the Serenwilde Forest. Alone amongst all the guilds in Lusternia, the Serenguard were not mentioned at all in the world history, and had no explanation for where they came from, how they were founded, or whether they had any tradition.

For a while I struggled to figure out these things, in character. I gathered all the clues available, many of which bordered on being mutually contradictory, but I found resolutions for the contradictions. I presented my findings as I went, both IC and OOC, in case the admins ever wanted to provide some more clues (or even an event) that'd help fill in the gaps. I roleplayed out going on vision quests, asking NPCs for answers they should have had, and communing with the Great Spirits, even embarking on a quest that led to a prophet and seer to ask him. Eventually, it boiled down to one pivotal question, when the guild was founded, which I could find only circumstantial evidence to answer.

I chose what I thought made the best answer that made the best sense and also provided the best potential for the guild's future: that the guild was founded at the time the Serenwilde went into seclusion to protect itself from the Taint. The result of this was a bunch of really good roleplay, plus a story, To Arms, which won the bardic contest for the month (as judged by the admins) and which may be the best short story I've ever written. But though I gave the admins every possible chance to make it canon, they simply ignored it and gave the guild no answers.

It was a year and a half into the game's play (that's more than forty game years), long after I gave up on Lusternia, that they finally decided to address the question. I just recently found out their story... and it sucks.

It contradicts a number of clues that can be found around the game and in the game's histories. It's muddled and messy. Worst of all, it almost completely deprives the guild of any nobility or sense of purpose, any reason to have any traditions or culture of its own, or really much of a reason to continue existing. It doesn't build upon the histories. About all it does is provide a method to force yet another change on the Serenwilde that the admins wanted to force on them in their never-ending quest to react to complaints with knee-jerk changes that miss the real point of the complaints entirely, then whine that no one appreciates that they're listening and doing what they're asked to do. And it has no poetry, no mythic overtones, no charm.

Yet another summary in small of what's so awful about Lusternia. Beautiful potential, brutally wasted.

Someday I'm going to convert Lusternia into a roleplaying game setting, and when I do, my history of the Serenguard will be the true one.


Anonymous said...

You always were a goof old friend. You wanted to force the Serenguard into your vision of what it was supposed to be, and not what the majority of the players wanted it to be. You can't force people in a GAME to be something they do not want to be. That is why you failed in converting the Serenguard over to your system entirely. It might make you happy to know however, that the Spirit Paths you started are being re-emphasized...

Be well! Raan

Hawthorn Thistleberry said...

That's why MUDs are no place for any more than individual roleplay: you can't ever make anything that someone else might not like, and since there's always someone who won't like anything you could create, you can't make anything. The only problem is that 90% of the players perpetuate the myth that you can.