Monday, August 17, 2009

Happy 1st Anniversary to The Illuminati

This past Saturday marked the one year anniversary of my first guild, The Illuminati. I did not know it at the time, but the guild was only founded about 3 weeks before I started playing with the guys in Azeroth, and I joined up about 1.5 months into the guild's existence. However, the core group of initial guildies were high quality and acted as if they had been together for far longer. The chemistry was nice and even though I've had my gripes at times, overall this has been a steal of a guild to jump into as my first guild. So to celebrate the anniversary, our Saturday night raid was replaced by an Amazing Race competition.

As I zoned into Shattrath, lots of preparations were going on for the race. We had 20 participants, so 5 teams of 4 players were formed. I was made a team captain, which I consider a neat honor, but then again, Mikola was running the event and I almost was a member of the team running the event anyways. But I decided to just try out my luck participating in the race, which is good since I was the only one of our group of friends that could make it as a participant. I was not given a choice of team color and was "randomly assigned" Team Pink by my best buddy Mikola...little did he know I had my pink dress from Lunar Festival to match the team shirt!

Here I am getting my team shirts from the well-dressed Mikola, and then I got my teammates. They were Danyella, Drdemise, and Brucefoot. All people I really had not played with very much at all, so I was even more excited to build relationship with 3 other people through vent and the fun competition. The first hint was given and the teams were off. The first hint was finding a stranded Dwarf near the writhing mounds.

Well after flying about that area in Terrorkar for a good long while, we finally tracked down the missing dwarf. Her name was Laqueefa, and it turns out she was very hungry and thirsty. Your two quest options were to go get four types of food in outland or four types of drink in outland.

We chose the drink, did a little research to find them, and split up. Brucefoot found a jug in Shattrath, Drdemise made some Rumsey Lager with his cooking ability, and Danyella and I nabbed the other two. After a long flight back from Netherstorm (we had to use regular flying mounts, but thank god they are 150% now), it was back to the top of Auchindoun and the lovely dwarf. Note that there was definitely a lot of RP from the NPC's for added fun, and our guild leader did a nice job in this role.

The next hint was to find a moving underground poker game, this week taking place at a location serving the biggest omelettes you've ever seen. This turned out to be the demise of the pink team, as we followed a first lead to Tanaris and Gadgetzan, thinking that the underground auction house would be correct. We finally figured out the eggs that make monster omelettes mostly come from Winterspring, so I followed the lead and found Gamblerette yelling about her skills the second I flew over Everlook.

Gamblerette's quests were lost or found. Lost was asking what lucky numbers were on the hatch in Shaolizar Basin, and Found was getting a Mood Ring from a vendor in the Exodar. I immediately picked Lost and answered the numbers from the actual hatch in the TV show Lost which is 4-8-15-16-23-42, but that was wrong because the hatch in wow adds one to each number. Before I read wowwiki to find my mistake, we'd sent the doctor off to the Exodar to get the mood ring and had to wait for him to come back with it. So that cost us more precious time, which was my mistake. Still, the team seemed very happy with how quickly I knew what the riddles and quests were looking for. A little bit of online research goes a long way. The next NPC to find was a gnome needing medical attention in a land of bugs, AKA Silithus. It's a long flight from Everlook down to Silithus, but we could see each other in the long flight as shown below.

Once we got to Cenarion Hold, we searched and found the poor itchy gnome. I forgot to get a screenshot of Esiwlil, but I do have one of the character at the end of race celebration you can see the lovely actor. Our choices were to find some pick to scratch him with via a rogue, or to hire an outside alchemist to come make a purification potion. We did not understand what he wanted from the rogue half, so we found a guildie alchemist who happened to be in ungoro crater. I don't know if he was a plant, but he asked us to pay double a "bribe" from a previous team...which I think was just part of the act. We got Choowie there and made the potion, then were told to find a night elf mourning her love in a swamp.

We found Alerrah the night elf right away in Swamp of Sorrows, and she needed some ink and parchment or a rose from Stormwind to send to her lover. I went myself to Stormwind and had a bit of trouble finding the vendor, but then I found him and got the ink and parchment for her. Again, some fun roleplay with our guild's second-in-command when we brought back the lucky love items. She provided the final clue to the finish line, which was on the top of a pair of twins in a dense forest, which was clearly twin colossals in Feralas. So off we went.

We had to grab an item on the way, so I did that in Duskwood and found that we were in third place at the point. So we hustled over together and found our way to portal up to the top of one of the colossals, finishing the race in third place. As you can see, there were already two other teams drinking in game and out of game, celebrating and having a good time. At this point the other two teams were invited to join us as were non-participating guildies for the celebration and party on top of the world so to speak.

While we waited for everyone to be summoned with more summoning demon closets than one might care to count, we did lots of fun levitating, jumping off the colossal on mounts, and other fun fireworks. Everybody put a campfire on the water which made a nice romantic effect on the lake up there. It really is a cool place to be if you've never seen it. Finally we got everyone summoned and the big event and announcements began.

The prizes were plentiful because a ton of guildies donated everything from gold to epic gems to delicious chocolate cake! Awards went out for the top three teams, best NPC, best teamwork, etc. We won third place and best teamwork award, so I think my group worked together well and everyone in the group loved the experience. The doctor was hugely complimentary of me at the end of the race, but it was nothing really...I love helping lead. We made out with some gems, some random armor, elixirs, and cake.

The guild then all put on their tabards and either went naked or not very well clothed underneath the tabard. I mean, what more do you need? I got to run through a lot of outfits during the celebration, and I loved my out-of-season christmas ho ho ho outfit. Here's our proud guildies standing on the edge of the cliff. A big party to be sure!

Then there was a special announcement to be made that they had been teasing us with for over an hour. As it turned out, it was time to honor some members with promotion to Knight. As a reminder, The Illuminati has one Magus, then Regents are guild officers and raid leaders, Knights are top members who represent the guild well and have been around a long time, most regular members are Minervals, and then there are recruit Novices. Well Mikola has been an officer for a long time, and Aurys and Eitrin became Knights in the first class of nine Knights who were named a few months ago. Five more joined the fraternity of knights, and it is clear that this is a big honor considering how much fanfare and celebration went on.

And yes, I joined my friends as a Knight, which I am very proud of. It's not a full on officer or anything, but considering my limited playtime, I appreciate the high honor bestowed upon me. As it turns out, I was getting a phone call from my mother IRL at the same time finding out my grandfather went into the hospital and it looks like he has real bad cancer. So it turned out to be an emotional and very bittersweet moment, as I gained and lost at the same time. But anyways, I don't want to dwell on that IRL stuff in this entry because this was a time to celebrate a very successful first year as a guild. I think with the leadership we have, we will continue to be one of the top Alliance guilds on the realm. Congratulations to my fellow new knights as well.

So that was one year...and what will the second year bring? We can only wait and see, but it is exciting times to be in The Illuminati. Special congratulations to Vowain and Mikola for putting together and running such a smooth and unique event. And thanks to Larisa's guild for some of the idea to go this direction with our celebration. It is indeed one of the most memorable blocks of time I will ever spend in Azeroth.

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