Let me start this story about 2 years ago. No, I do not have a time machine, I have a memory. And I am going to drag you along with me. I will warn you, this may be a long trip, but it is worth the travel.
About two years ago, I was a happy player of Asheron's Call. I had (what I thought was) a really kick ass mage on the server of Harvestgain. I also had a couple other characters ... Unarmed, Chef, Mules. However my mage, Frank-N-Furter, was my favorite. She was my first character, and in spite of her gimpiness, I loved her. I was also a Sentinel, a code of conduct enforcer who interacted with players ingame to attempt to help them. It was in this last guise, Sentinel Legends, that I met one called Dutchess of Windsor, homed on Thistledown. (Pay attention, that bit was important.)
She was a nice gal, always running off to help this person or that person, but at the same time, always talked to those around her also. She was (to me) a phenomenal level ... High 70's or early 80's I believe, and I was so surprised that she was truly a nice person. I had met a number of high level players as a Sentinel, and they all seemed to have no time for anything other than what they were doing. I used to follow Dutchess around and talk to her while she was hunting. She thought it was funny having an invisible shadow, and I loved watching her interactions.
Dutchess introduced me to Wren the Blurry, her patron and monarch, because she thought I would like her. I did indeed! Wren was the same way! She sat and talked to people, it seemed all the time, and tried to make time for everyone. My friend in real life, Silvermoon, had been bugging me to come to Thistledown for a while now, mainly to be Janric the Dark Jester's xp bitch. He told me about the monarchy he was in, and I found that it was the same as Dutchess'. I thought that it was great, and promptly moved over to Thistledown to be Silvermoon's vassal and a follower of Wren the Blurry.
Let us jump forward now, for the next 18 months or so passed rather uneventfully for the purposes of this story. Silvermoon and I had been having differences of opinion for a while about how he felt I should spend xp. He wanted me to pump my loyalty at every opportunity, thus yielding more xp passed up to him. He also felt that, regardless of whether I gave things back to him after I borrowed them, that I owed him because he had given them to me. That they were returned to him was of no consequence, and this upset me. I tried a number of times to discuss these things with him, but as good a friend as he was in real life, Silvermoon was a totally different person when it came to the game. I came to realize that we have irreconcilable differences when I gave something I thought was mine to a friend. I was rather promptly told that it was only half mine and that it had been promised to a friend of his. I was not consulted on this, and he was angry at me for doing to him what he was planning to do to me. I was told that I owed him for this item as well as for the item that was wholly mine. I was, as I am sure you can imagine, quite upset. I attempted to talk to him about it, however as I said, he can be quite stubborn. After finding that reason was not something I was going to be able to use, I decided to find a different patron. I consulted a number of ingame friends, asked if I truly was being unreasonable, found that I wasn't, and made the decision. I contacted Wren the Blurry to inform her of what I wanted to do and she arranged for me to swear to one of her direct vassals, Cheri. Silvermoon was, and still is, upset for how he feels I handled it. He doesn't understand that 18 months of disagreements and arguements, culminating with the issue at hand, was the reason for my leaving. He felt it was a snap decision that I gave him no opportunity to rectify with me ... he didn't understand that I had been giving him opportunities for 18 months, and nothing had changed.
Wren then made the decision that she was leaving the game. I was rather upset, crying when I found out. However, for the sake of the family of Blurrians, she was not going to hand the monarchy over to another, but keep everyone under her, as well as still have the mansion in her name. She left a High Blurry Council to rule in her stead, they had been a part of the monarchy since the beginning. When she left, the HBC did little to reassure the monarchy of their role and that they were indeed running the monarchy. I brought many concerns to them however, nothing was truly done to reassure the monarchy. They did their best to let me know that they were doing what needed to be done, but I was one of almost 1300, the others didn't know. Dutchess had left the monarchy to become a monarch herself because she disagreed with the fate of the monarchy after Wren left. She felt that Wren staying head of the monarchy was a bit selfish when another could easily have taken her place and become the new monarch.
I stayed in the Blurrians because of me overt fear of change. As if everything hadn't changed drastically when Wren left, I didn't want to have to find a new monarchy also. So I voiced my opinions to whoever would listen, received the obligatory pat on the head that everything was all right, and went back to not having faith in the monarchy I'd been in for so long. I finally got tired of feeling that nothing I was saying made a difference.
I gave it one last ditch effort, bringing up all my old concerns plus a few new ones. I was upset that I was in a monarchy without a monarch. I chose Wren as my monarch, I didn't choose the High Blurry Council as my monarch and this didn't quite sit right with me. After being told the same old things about how it was all going to change, I decided that I no longer wanted the words of promise, I wanted action. The action I chose was to find a new monarchy. I called on my old friend Dutchess of Windsor, talked to her for a while, asked her if she thought I was over-reacting. She was very understanding and invited me to join her monarchy if I chose to leave the Blurrians.
I spoke to Cheri and asked for my release. My characters were sworn to Dutchess of Windsor as a monarch within the hour. Many of my Blurrian friends said that there was much speculation and anger over the fact that I left without telling anyone why. I was again in the situation as before. I mistakenly think that people understand that if I make complaints that go unanswered, this means I am unhappy and will attempt to find my happiness elsewhere.
I posted to the Blurry Board about why I left. I made no attempt to sugar-coat the reasons I left, and was quickly branded as lying, trying to cause arguments, and people kept responding to my post, taking what I said and trying to twist it to their own purpose. I defended myself and was told that I was obviously trying to cause trouble, stop bringing this drama to the boards, and in not so many words, get out.
I did so. I only posted when trying to get in touch with people, inviting them onto quests, and trying to still be friendly to those I called my family for so long.
Wren then resurfaced to begin building a monarchy for Asheron's Call 2, due to begin beta testing and hit stores for release in November or so. I was invited to join her "Dream Monarchy" as well as a number of others in the Blurrians. Everything was well for a couple months. Since my complaints regarding AC 1 were specific to AC 1, I had no problems with those who were in the DM. I liked many of them and posted with and joked with them on the new message board designed specifically for AC 2.
I thought all was well until I received a personal message from Wren. She told me that a number of people in her DM were unhappy with the fact that I was there. Saying that I was a drama queen who liked to cause trouble and that no one wanted me as a vassal. Direct or otherwise in their line. I responded as nicely as I could that I was upset by this, that I didn't realize that my one time actions in one game were deciding my fate in a game that hadn't even been released yet. I also asked if this was a request for me to 'explain myself' or an informal goodbye, in essence asking me to leave. She responded that she wasn't interested in hearing 'my side', that my actions had spoken for themselves, and that I had no place in her monarchy. I was quite upset. I at one time held this woman in high regard as a respectful monarch. I see now that I was wrong. She is merely a skilled talker, making sure that those who will hold her aloft and shoot massive amounts of xp her way are happy, and be damned those who do not.
What Wren failed to realize is that I was one of those people. Loving her for all she did, ignoring her faults, and doing everything she ever asked of me just to make her happy. I walked on clouds when she turned her face my way and was sad when I was unable to talk to her for long periods of time. She had made a large part of my Asheron's Call life tolerable, making me believe she cared about all her followers, not just those who powerleveled and drowned her in vassal xp. I now see that she is no different from 95% of all the people in Asheron's Call, looking out only for her own interests, making sure nothing or no one threatens what she wants for herself ... I have found that the little people don't matter to her as she said they did ...
And I feel sorry for her and all that choose to follow her.
I now know who my true friends are. They are those who may not have time always to talk to me, but try to make time when possible. They are those who ask nothing from me, and thank me for what I do anyway. They are those who give to who needs it, without finding something to ask for in return.
Her name is Dutchess of Windsor