the Vernal Age
2002 ~ 2004
The Sundered Guard was officially launched in mid-January of 2002 as a forum-based guild, dedicated to following the open-ended, fantasy warfare MMORPG, Shadowbane
, and was very active in the game's pre-release community. Formed from a combination of real-life friends and members of our predecessor guild - The Auberean Guard of Asheron's Call
- the early Sundered kindred hit the ground running and quickly drove themselves into an anticipatory frenzy over a game that would not be due out for over a year...
The founding council was comprised of Lord Protector Voronwe Eldalom
and Protectors Featar En'Nole
of the Wolf, Daevlin Velkrieg
of the Lion, Kirgurth Daerauko
of the Hawk, and Avathar Maeglin
of the Fox, with Tracker Haliit Ferase
of the Wolf as a founding member. The months that followed the Founding would see that initial frenzy of activity only grow, and many of the Guard's most formative and enduring kindred would, during this time, make the mistake of following the trails of madness and black & green breadcrumbs from the Shadowbane forums and wider Aerynthian community to our woods, never to emerge quite the same.
With Shadowbane's launch in March of 2003, The Sundered Guard took its first steps as a complete and active guild in-game. Thanks to the enormous efforts of our members, we were one of the first ten guilds in the entire game to establish a city, and the fourth to be established on our server, Mourning. In a later Age, when control of regional territories would be introduced as a game mechanic, the Guard would become the first guild in the game to secure sovereignty of its homeland and the neighboring fiefdoms, and the first to claim a permanent mine as its own.
the Solstice Age
2004 ~ 2006
During its more than three and a half years on the same spot of Aerynth, the city of Aldalonde would stand at the forefront of many major conflicts, and was even the start of a few, too. Throughout that time, our city's great Tree of Life, never to be uprooted in all the wars it faced save the very last, held witness to both the wild successes and regrettable failures of its people, and watched as leadership of the Guard passed, in turn, first from Lord Protector Voronwe, (when he was called to depart Aerynth for yet an even stranger world with a certain someone
), to Guardian Wolfhart Ansoul
, then second to Lady Protector Aleta
, and on to Lord Feamacar Aegnor
, then finally to Lord Protector Tasital Goldeneyes
, who, together with the tactical brilliance of Rasmus
of the Lion, would lead us through the Solstice Age - the height of our prosperity and influence on Aerynth. Leading a mighty nation against mighty foes, the Guard stood as a bulwark against all enemies of the Mother goddess Braialla, while Aldalonde stood as a beacon of hope and sanctuary during Mourning's most wartorn, and romantic, times.
This Age also saw The Sundered Guard's first and, to date, only gathering of kindred in that bizarre realm under the shattered sky we refer to as "real-life", with some members traveling thousands of miles to meet each other in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in July of 2004 - Shattered Sky Reckoning.
the Autumn Age
2006 ~ 2007
Though Aldalonde and its people stood fast through the years, the roots of its Tree undisturbed despite siege after siege ((one slight world-glitching bug of vanishing trees notwithstanding)), no wall nor army could stand against the march of time and the waning life of Aerynth, doomed as it was despite all valiant efforts to the contrary. So, The Sundered Guard of Aerynth, long-time flagship of the now-interversal brotherhood, entered its slow decline.
When the remaining gods of Aerynth threw freely open the 'versal gates to their world in one final attempt at saving it, the Sundered kin of Aldalonde rode forth again on the fields of Mourning in one last resurgence, led by Lord Protector Cydus
. The end of the world was upon us all, and the world knew it. Those end of days saw the Guard living up to its former glory in bravery and skill, but not in number. As the total collapse of Aerynth and its always-fragile civilization drew ever closer, the political alliances of the landscape drew ever tighter, claiming once proud independent nations as mere vassals to conglomerate armies in the rolling desperation to hold whatever you had against the inexorable tide of chaos and destruction. In the end, even the last huddle of noble alliances failed to prevent the inevitable, and the Aerynthian sun set for the last time on the great city and Tree of Life, Aldalonde - last to fall of the first Trees to root, oldest of those mighty behemoths to have sunk its silvery roots deep into dying soil and, in spite of it, grow towering over the horizon in open defiance of the unending Death that would, inevitably, claim the entire 'verse.
With the sun setting last on the world of Aerynth itself - not long after Aldalonde's fall - the Sundered Guard's Autumn Age, and the brotherhood's first great story, would draw to a final close.
2003 - Beyond
As the Guard was emerging as a real power on Aerynth during the zenith of the Vernal Age, it was experiencing real growing pains, as well. Outer strength and unrestrained growth concealed a troubled core. Overconfidence and an unshakable need to challenge the enemies of nature combined to commit us to a brutal campaign against a powerhouse of corruption, the Undead Lords. And so the trouble would grow along with us.
Following the necrotic Lords' swift arrival to the fields of Mourning, Guardian Wolfhart made sure their city and its twisted Tree stood no longer than a few passings of the sun before laying bane and declaring war against it, and all the undead filth that dwelt within its blasphemous shade. In so doing, we awoke unawares a sleeping giant, and drew to us - alone - the malevolence it had planned to mete out to the entire world. Our city bore the entirety of their retaliation, forcing hard reality on even the eagerest of minds.
But Aldalonde's lone stand against the Undead horde became a rallying cry, uniting the lands in one of the first world wars in Aerynth's long future of total carnage. Through the struggles and turmoil that ensued, the Guard faced its first crisis. And though the hardening and experience that the ordeal would impart upon our brotherhood was invaluable, the gift took its toll on the kindred. Seeing the devastation his act had brought to our home, despite the valor and rightfulness of it, Wolfhart stepped down as Guardian and passed the helm of the Sundered to Lady Protector Aleta, who lead as only a Fury - storm-caller of Braialla - could during this time of onslaught, placing command with Lord Protector Feamacar when she could call no more. So it was that the Guard's leadership and core was beaten and broken even as the the heart of its city remained standing.
Before long, matters came to a decisive head. A massive victory was won on the fields of Aldalonde, the Tree and her city kept standing against the strongest assault so far launched by the vile Lords. Yet the victory came at a high price, for among the great many friends and honored allies that joined us at Aldalonde that day to protect her, were also the legions of the Temple - hated as much for their blind arrogance and insane crusades as the undead were for their defilement of nature. The Temple of the Cleansing Flame was our first sworn enemy, now here at our gates as our protectors. For some, this was the last straw to bear.
At the very moment of celebration on the heels of the victory, Lord Protector Feamacar emerged to address the gathered crowd - the elven figure of Voronwe Eldalom mysteriously reappearing at his side. The First Lord Protector of the Guard announced to a shocked audience that the brotherhood had fallen from its path, sacrificing its soul for only the security of a place to anchor that soul. The Sundered Guard, Voronwe said, would be stricken from the face of Aerynth. Its name and legacy would be brought to new worlds instead, to seed them against the destruction that was sure to come to this one.
All that the kindred had worked for nearly crumbled from within on that night. An uproar went up amongst the brotherhood; some, welcoming the storm and the fresh life the chaos would bring. But most felt betrayed, mourning the loss of all the order they had built to preserve. Mayhem almost broke out on what had been the fields of victory just moments before. All told, the roots of Aldalonde were struck by a deeper blow than any that an enemy could ever hope to inflict - even the symbolic foundation of the Guard, reflecting our identity throughout the multiverse, was broken in the chaos that followed, the earliest records of our identity lost to the formless void.
But still, the Sundered Guard weathered the storm. For a chaotic few days, the brotherhood roiled with activity, the kindred falling back in this time of great crisis on the one constant throughout the guild's life - community. Balance and peace won the day in the end, Eldalom and many others coming to see reason, to see that everything the Guard had achieved on Aerynth had not been in vain nor in mockery of its true purpose; only that it grew along a gnarled path to reach its goals, just as a plant may do to chase the light when finding itself in hostile shade.
The brotherhood was finding its Place in Aerynth, and doing so organically. Chaos within order, order within chaos. Impossible to follow a singular path, but inexorable in its reach towards an ultimate goal, nevertheless.
So it was decided, in October of 2003 by the Reckoning of the Shattered Sky, that The Sundered Guard would embrace all paths before it. With the roots of Aldalonde firmly planted in Aerynthian soil, its branches could stretch through the void and into all the worlds whose needs called to it - the soul of the Guard always reaching along with it, but never without a Place again. So would begin every new adventure of The Sundered Guard beyond the realm of Shadowbane: the sword that pierced a goddess and shattered a world.
The rest of the Guard's living history can be found in the oral traditions of its kindred, and in the deep part of the forests, where nothing is forgotten. Members of The Sundered Guard may view The Aldacron
, a detailed and comprehensive record of TSG's history.