Compiled below is the rough history of the Obsidian Guard. I say rough because information does slip through the cracks. My memory isn’t what it used to be but I’ve done a pretty good job remembering the basics of what happened. Like with The Elder Scrolls, our guild can be divided into eras. Now unlike the ES eras which last centuries, ours are in months. Keep in mind that the guild is always in motion; therefore we are always in the present moment called the “Current” era. Whenever a monumental change occurs within the guild; it is broken off, named and archived within our history. This is when the next “Current” era begins. We begin our history “In the Beginning”.
“In the Beginning” era:
The Obsidian Guard was created July 3rd, 2015. The name comes from the trait stone that makes Dunmer gear. I always have played as a Dunmer since the days of TES III: Morrowind. Originally, I was going to call the guild The Obsidian Order. But when you say OO, it’s taken as oh oh, which is never good. So what went good with the O? Well G of course, standing for Guard. OG makes a statement; original gangsters, original guild, Obsidian Guard. So the guild became reality; I created a recruitment page on the ESO forum, recruited what few friends I had playing the game, and off the guild went.
That first week was bumpy, primarily because I didn’t really have any idea what kind of guild I wanted to have. I’m a shy person by nature so getting out there to recruit was way outside my comfort level. But I had to try, just to see if I could. That first week saw very few people join that would stay. But amongst them at the time was DraydenDD, my first blind recruit found wandering in the EP. Every so often, he jumped into game but those days are long past. He was officially the longest serving member in our guild outside of me. That honor now goes to Romp3rStomp3r69. So after our first week and very little recruitment, I tweaked the recruiting page. I had been listening to area chat, learning the pros and cons out there. My biggest problem was that many of the existing guilds migrated over from the PC or created long before the console release, therefore established. I was starting from scratch and it was a struggle. I heard the hatred for the legions out there with their strict policies or the trade guilds with their expensive dues. So I asked myself what I would be looking for in a guild. A relaxed, no stress, pressure free guild that lets you play when you can. Bingo! That’s the guild I will build. So I tweaked the recruitment page to reflect that new direction, and it worked. Over the next couple of weeks; members like Renhardt, Raven Sonata, Romp3rStomp3r69, Coyote NZ, and Completely Toast joined our ranks. On 7/25; we unlocked the guild store for all to use, I also opened the guild bank for all to use, and more would be coming. This concludes the “In the Beginning” era.
The “Expansion” and “Wild West” eras. (Yes, I said Wild West):
I ended the “In the Beginning” era abruptly, in case you noticed. The reason; there was a distinct line where that era ended and the “Expansion” era began. The same cannot be said about the “Wild West” era. One could say it was already there, lying dormant during the expanse, waiting for the right time to emerge. I do know this; when it began is fuzzy to me. It just did and helped forge the guild into what it is today.
You read how it took 23 days to reach 50 members. Well over the next 14 days, we would grow by 200. What?! Are you kidding me?! No. Insane right? Between July 27 and August 9, the “Expansion” era saw our numbers jumped dramatically. A few notable names that joined during this time include; Wyt3Rabbit, desiianowr, Crim50nWulf(S0ulWulf), Ryu Levone, Blly Dnsr, Lady Katria(Katfeine), IHI Energy, shotofespresso, PLAGUE, and HedgeKnight. There are 2 more names of note that joined during this stretch but first I need to switch eras before doing so. Because of such an influx of members, there were no real rules in place to keep members in line. I was going with the “use common sense” approach, which clearly didn’t work.
So thus somewhere in here began the “Wild West” era. I call it that because there was no law and order, members started to do what they wanted. This honestly went with our casual, play when you want, how you want, mentality. Now while most were civil and orderly, we did have our bad apples. A few members were menaces in guild chat while others abused the guild bank, which was still open for all to use. Note: guild gold has never been at risk, I’ve always held strict control over it. But everything else was up for grabs and that was a temptation for a few who wanted to make a quick buck. This started slowing my in game playing as I began policing the bank when on, which was not fun. Hours of scouring over the transaction histories took their toll on me. However, on 7/27 I was lucky to have someone join who wouldn’t mind taking over and keeping tabs on the bank.
Our first notable name is Ariel35611. With her help, we were able to keep the bank organized, track down the offenders, and keep some kind of order. But it was still crazy out there, so I got a few of our regular chat helpers to become our first real batch of officers. They were known then as Watch Commanders, pretty much what our Ambassadors are today. They would help out members answering questions along with helping with dungeons and delves in their respective alliances. Back in these days even I would jump in and assist with dungeons and delves when time permitted. But time rarely did as I tried to get the guild moving in some sort of orderly fashion forward.
Fortunately; that’s where our second notable name comes in, MadDawg sic em. MadDawg(MD) joined on 8/5 and had been in constant chat with me through xbox live. Over the coming days, he ran a bunch of ideas by me that I was already contemplating but had no idea on how to implement. With my zero experience on running a guild of this size, he took the reins with all his experience of running guilds/clans and began reshaping our guild. Our sheriff had arrived to tame our “Wild West” era and lead us into the “Modern” era.
The “Modern” era:
As we roll into the “Modern” era, one could say we are still in it. Yes and no. A lot of what we use and do today was implemented during this era. As for the “Wild West” era, it ended as elusively as it began. Again, my mind gets fuzzy, but over time it just faded away. Our numbers continued to grow, surpassing 300 to 350. Among the many that joined during the “Modern” era include; f1shb0wn (Fish), flujerky, Boss, Hurly, funnylady, knalei, Steel Wulfen, FilteredRiddle, and MrPunisher7.
MadDawg (MD) saw the potential of making this guild better and knew how to do it. He had a three plan approach; 1: Communication, 2: Organization, 3: Officers. This three plan concept was intertwined with each other; all three had to exist for it to work. So over the next couple of months, all three would be implemented and would build the foundation we are today. But getting there was always an adventure.
1: Communication. Game chat can be intimidating to those who are a bit shy. It also has its moments when it fails or some problem comes along. (After all, this is ZOS were talking about.) The idea was to establish an outside comm. system so our members could chat away from the game. Our first chat app was Bindle, which served us well in the beginning. But over time, there were issues with it so we moved to Skype for a brief time. While much better than Bindle, it seemed ok until we found Discord. Everything we were looking for was there and we moved to that app. Along with mobile chat, MD also created a Facebook page and a Twitter account for us to stay in contact with. The outside communication concept was a full success; it got many talking that would not have been if we had stayed solely with game chat.
2: Organization. Once Bindle was established, getting overall organized was high priority. It was at this point MD felt he was starting to over step his position. I immediately gave him full authority to do what he felt was needed for the health of the guild. He became our Lord Commander, which was the Second in Command (SIC) position at the time. This caused a little resistance among a few members; they thought MD had somehow taken the guild from me. But I assured them I knew what was happening and he had my trust. MD started us at gamerlaunch.com, a place he’d gone to in the past for his guilds. While rudimentary, the website had what we needed to get started. I decided to give it a little character by calling it Azura’s Keep. The reason; my character being a dunmer, Azura is one of the few daedric princes not wholly evil and worshiped by the dark elves. Unfortunately, the website had limitations and more was expected of it than it could provide. So Fish took it upon himself to build the new Azura’s Keep from the ground up at obsidianguard.org. That website would carry us into the “Mythic/Dawn” era.
3: Officers. The key to order is a chain of command. Let’s face it; we live in a world where there is a command structure. Without it, it’s “Wild West” chaos. The Watch Commanders did their part for the most but lacked authority or rules to govern by. While MD was getting Bindle and Azura’s Keep running, he kept tabs on the WC to see how they functioned. Once completed, he created the Elder Council. The concept was to have 3 members per faction on the council; they would handle making and enforcing policy, be available in chat, etc. Most of those serving as WC were picked to become members of the EC, with a couple of them still there today. The WC rank was dissolved, with those in that rank returning to the Sentinel. With the EC formed, rules and policies were outlined, created and voted on. Not every idea passed but what did still exist today; strengthening, protecting, and maintaining order for our guild.
With all three of his plan in place and working, MD turned his attention to his personal dream, creating an AD combat guild. Combat guilds were something he always wanted; the idea of a large force roaming Cyrodiil, rolling through enemies and taking objectives. You know them as Zergs. For those who’ve been there, you’ve seen it when a large enemy force becomes unstoppable, taking one keep after another with no way to stop them. Eventually you lose or pray for reinforcements to arrive to buffer and drive them back. It’s exciting when you’re in that moment, being a part an organized force of that size that’s nearly unstoppable and it was MD’s dream. So the idea of 3 sister combat guilds was brought before the EC and they voted yes. The combat guilds were created; Knights Obsidian (KO) led by MD, Wolves Obsidian (WO) led by Soul Wulf, Draconis Obsidian (DO) led by Rabbit. While they had some success, they didn’t get the numbers they needed to do what MD wished to do. The truth being, were not a Legion with hardened PvP players. The people he was looking for already had a guild to do that with and didn’t want to sacrifice one of their coveted guild spots to join. Ultimately, the combat guilds would dissolve or splinter off sometime during the “Current” era. I’ll explain more about that then.
Before this “Modern” era segment closes, we have one more piece of history to unfortunately add, the heists. In an earlier era I mentioned the abuse the guild bank suffered from a few members. Nothing compares to the 3 heists that happened; 2 during the “Modern” era, 1 during the “Mythic/Dawn” era. The first heist took place early in MD’s tenure; the EC hadn’t been formed yet. The member took all high end colored items, food, and mats. He left all white items, bait, empty soul gems and lock picks. But he didn’t leave the guild, so I stockade his ass and bombarded him with messages on why he did it. No response, in fact he stopped playing xbox according to his live account. But I kept him in the stockade hoping to hear from him. Why? It’s not like it was going to make anything better, but I wanted to know. He became the first person I kicked from the guild, right after the second heist. Fortunately, our members responded by resupplying the banks with items, led by Coyote with lots of provisions. With Azura’s Keep now running, I decided to change access to the bank. I decided to only let those who signed up at the website (Sentinels) be allowed access, everyone else (Guardians) only have deposit and store access. A few weeks later, after the EC was formed, heist number 2 happened. This time everything was taken and the member left. Again our members, led by Coyote’s provisions and MD’s mats, restocked the bank. But severe anger rippled through the guild, this had to end. The thief had signed up at the website as I requested, and a few days after promotion, robbed us blind. So the EC drafted the bank access rule that exists today, and it has worked successfully, except for the last heist. That one happened during the “Mythic/Dawn” era, so we’ll get to it then.
The “Modern” era came to an end when MD decided to step down to focus more on KO. Fortunately, he already had his replacement ready to take over, BllyDnsr. He called her his “Hand”, helping with a number of guild operations. So on 10/12, Blly took over as SIC becoming the guilds first Hand. I took over the rank of Lord Commander and we moved forward in the “Mythic/Dawn” era.
The Mythic/Dawn era:
The “Mythic/Dawn” era does not refer to the Mehrunes Dagon cult in TES IV: Oblivion. The “Dawn” refers to the dawn of a new era the guild was taking. The “Mythic” refers to me becoming a recluse in game, so much so that Blly started calling me, “The Myth, The Legend”. During this era, our numbers continued to grow. We surpassed 400 and marched steadily towards capacity at 500. Amongst the numbers that joined include; DravenDraconus, fatA1 3Xistence, KCCO Taperwater, Gyp5yTear5, MadIrish, Ranger STL, miraluz, kdog, Tariel43, SGRiverDan, Colossus8181, and GrimNoirKnight.
The “Mythic” side of the era started when I began withdrawing after that horrible day in October. For those who don’t know, I live in Roseburg, Oregon. On October 1st, 2015 our community became another statistic in the mass casualty school shooting category. My daughter had just started her second year there and was in the library when it happened. Fortunately, she is fine but the incident touched everyone in our small community. At that moment, the game didn’t matter to me. The guild was in transition during this time; MD was about to retire as Lord Commander and Blly was taking over as Hand, SIC. With everything going on in Real Life, I put the guild in her hands and checked out for most of October.
When I did finally return, I was quiet in chat. Every so often I’d say hi but for the most part I enjoyed the solace of just the game’s score. But even after a couple of weeks, the game began to wear on me. I was mid-way through Cadwell’s Silver, which placed me in DC, when I burned out. Somewhere in the Alik’r desert I just quit playing, done with the game. I had no heart, no desire. Fortunately, Blly was there. I let her know I needed some serious time away and the guild was hers. I trusted her with whatever she wanted to do as long as it was in the best interest of the guild. I maintained recruiting and promoting but basically, the guild was hers. I do apologize for doing something a guild master should never do, abandon their guild. In my opinion she did a great job. She expanded the guild, making it stronger and better than before. I am forever grateful for everything she did in my absence.
The “Dawn” side of the era started with Blly taking over as Second in Command, Lord Hand. She picked up where MD left off, continuing to expand our guild and make it stronger. I also promoted Fish to Third in Command, making him Lord Commander. His primary duty was keeping our technical side running and supporting Blly when needed. I officially made Ariel our Master of Coin; she was already running the bank in the background, time to make it official. I took the role of Lord Marshal, it sounds cool and I’m a big Riddick fan. Lol! With that, the High Council was formed.
We had three sister crafting guilds unite with the OG; FFA ran by funnylady, HOFF ran by CoyoteNZ, and Mammoth Trading ran then by AWKWERDTURTLE and now by ChatyC. Delve Hammer (DH) was formed, led by Fish and broadcasted on Twitch. Its purpose, to show helpful insight on fighting world bosses. DH also ran a fundraiser for Active Heroes Christmas 2015, raising $1000 for this important charity. A community of leaders know as our Ambassadors were formed, ran by Shots and Riddle. An event planning group was formed to keep us on top of being organized for weekly/monthly events; including lotteries, contests, trials, etc. The guild was doing very well then despite my absence and “Mythic” approach. But we did have our problems.
Early in this era we had our last heist. The member stole all high end colored items, food, mats and left the guild. However, we were able to reach this person and his excuse was classic; “it wasn’t me; my friend was using my GT”. How did this person get past our bank rules you ask? Well that one was on me. He was grandfathered in, being a member before the rules were applied. He had been a solid member up to that point, giving credence to his claim of not doing it. However, he was never heard from again. This prompted the last piece of the bank’s rules be added; no exceptions. I went though and demoted the few who were grandfathered in and we haven’t had another heist since. Abuse however, still happens and members are warned when they have been caught. Ariel stays on top of the bank’s transaction log, keeping an eye on all that goes on in there.
We also reached capacity; 500 members. I never thought I’d see the day that would happen, especially how hard it took to get us here. But not all 500 were active and more wished to join. So a purge on inactive members was needed. With Fish’s help, a list of the inactive members was summited to me and I released 100 non active members.
The Combat Guilds did not do as well as expected. Primarily because recruiting outside the OG was restricted. To help with this, we dissolved that rule, allowing outside recruiting with no requirements of them to join the OG. The name changed from Combat to Alliance guilds. Unfortunately over time, the Alliance guilds went dormant except Wolves Obsidian. Led by Wulf and independent of the OG, certain issues started to arise amongst the two guilds. This eventually led to Wulf leaving the OG, taking his WO guild to parts unknown. DH also went dormant, as its few members left the game, thanks to ZOS tweaking it.
With the loss of Wulf’s WO, Blly decided to form her own DC PvP guild; the Obsidian Covenant. Her guild took off, consuming a lot of her time. Around the same time, Fish had to step away from the game due to personal family issues. In his absence, Riddle took up responsibility of the website, Azura’s Keep. The site, which always had its ups and downs, was becoming unstable. We needed to move back to our original location at gamerlaunch, which fortunately was still there. Untouched for months, Riddle worked tirelessly there, updating it and moving everything from one site to the other. This was also around the time I returned to the game at full capacity, reinvigorated by the DLC and my introduction to warring Cyrodiil.
So in early March, the “Mythic/Dawn” era came to an end. We moved back to obsidianguard.gamerlaunch.com and rerouted obsidianguard.org to go to this address too. Blly stepped down as Hand, naming MrPunisher as her successor. Fish retired to the EC and Riddle was chosen to replace him as Lord Commander. From here, we move into the “Complacent” era.
The “Complacent” era
The “Complacent” era was the pinnacle of the Guild’s success. In reality we had made it; a successful guild within the ESO game, active recruitment and overall fun. But it was lacking freshness. We needed to go to the next level or the guild would grow stagnate and fail. We pick up after the end of the “Mythic/Dawn”era.
There had been a recruiting freeze until after the purge although a few names did slip through during it. Once the freeze had been lifted, our numbers again swelled fast to 500. Fortuantely, ZOS has added the ability for us to track when someone has last been actively on. This has been instrumental in keeping the ranks thinned for the most part. Among those who joined are; SavageFire124, ArchonRavage, Game Boyo, TRichmo, PRichmo, Demonic Ripper, Xgrimreaper96, and TyDog.
In March we saw a new High Council with Punisher as Hand and Riddle as Lord Commander. As with MD and Blly, I gave Punisher the same trust and authority. Riddle is busy keeping the website functioning and usable. Ariel continues to keep an eye on the bank, keeping me informed on potential abusers. I’ve slowly started appearing in game; although I’m mainly in Cyrodiil helping EP anyway I can. I’m listening in on chat when I can and started having more of a presence on discord. Unfortunately, my headset was slowly dying without me truly noticing. So when I wanted to jump in and say hi, I couldn’t. Eventually, I would get a new set and be again vocal in chat.
Thanks to the Thieves Guild DLC, cross faction grouping became a reality. The X-ALLIANCE GROUP was formed for just this purpose. Being able to do cross-alliance groups for dungeons and trials meant the days of being separated by alliance allegiance were over. Discord became the key to helping organize such events, especially last minute groups like Undaunted Dailies. We also gained another sister guild; The Boss Hunters ran by GrimNoirKnight. This complete crafting guild helps those with their need to level character’s crafting skills, craft gear for members, and go shopping for that rare piece.
With so many former great officers, I wanted to create a special rank for them. Going back to our origins, I chose the name Watch Commanders for this special group. The WC rank is for those who have served in the EC or HC, members who have helped this guild be what it is today. This is where Year1 ends.
The 2nd year started with our 1 Year Anniversary events. Hosted by funnylady; a month long celebration of our 1 year anniversary went off pretty smoothly. Lots of hosted events and prizes were given out. I did the Year in Review on the history of the Guild in the newsletter. You can now find the complete history on the website. All on the surface seemed to be going good but I could feel a bit of staleness taking hold. Here we were celebrating 1 Year as a successful guild in ESO; a feat not many original guilds can claim. But where do we go from here? How do we get the guild renewed and moving forward again? If something doesn’t happen were going to spiral to collapse.
With an all new High Council in place; it was time to start looking to the next phase. But to get there required something that was always lackluster; speed. The guilds’ governing body, the Elder Council, liked to move at the speed of slow. Now I’m sure to ruffle a few feathers with that comment. In fact I’m sure a few would say, “at least we showed up Randall.” And I’ll take that, I deserve that. I have my faults and I’m always working on them. But the EC has responsibilities that at the time were not being met. The same could be said about the Ambassadors as well. So some restructuring happened. Punisher took the rules that were in place by Blly; revised and enforced them. Along the way a few EC and Ambassadors retired and familiar members took their place.
However; even that process took time. I did not like the fact that everything was moving so slowly that I unfortunately jumped the gun. I made the mistake of expediting a couple of EC member’s retirement without fully consulting everyone. Then and now I regret the way I handled it. The couple I am speaking of understood the decision and held no hard feelings. But I do apologize and learned that some things can’t be rushed. And so the slow crawl of moving forward continued. Once new personnel were in place; the process of where to go from there began. Of course that’s easier said than done.
This is where one might say there were 2 parts to the “Complacent” era. Hindsight being 20/20; even after all the moves, the staleness wasn’t going anywhere soon. In fact it would stick around until January 2017. Part 1 being the New Direction “Complacent” came to a close and Part 2 being the Busy “Complacent” began. How is that possible you ask? Unfortunately everyone was busy with the game and “Complacent” with the Guild, me included. The reason happened to do with the biggest change to the game at that time; One Tamriel.
ZOS kicked the game on its side by unlocking the alliance boundaries. No more were we separated and for the first time, we could group together to do content with no restrictions. This latest Update saw the end of the Vet ranking system and the ability to go anywhere and game however you wanted to. It had its complications, its haters and lovers. But for the overall success and survivability of the guild, this was a win. We’re a casual guild with members across all 3 alliances; having no border gave us unlimited possibilities. Over the next few months ideas would be thrown out there; improve guild participation with events, possibly revamping the guild and rebranding its image. But things still ran slow and ZOS wasn’t done.
A Halloween Event with new recipes, Motifs, and rare costumes had everyone looking for Plundered Skulls on World Bosses. Along with double XP, the grind was on to get it all. When that was over; ZOS celebrated the 1 year anniversary of Orsinium. I unfortunately missed that event do to burning out on Plundering Skulls. I would take a few weeks off gaming before returning in December. I would be on for promoting, purging, and researching. With the holidays rapidly approaching, everyone started to relax and ride the year out. I figured we would work on pulling ourselves out of this “Complacent” era after New Year’s.
With the arrival of 2017 came the New Life Festival; with more recipes, new Motifs, rare costumes and double XP. Unlike before; you were tasked to go all over Tamriel to complete various New Life events. So the grind was on again but that would not deter Punisher and his plan. Entirely bold and exactly what the Guild needed; a redesigned, rebranded look. And unlike before, slow wasn’t an option. We needed to turn it around quickly or alienate and lose members we had. So with the help of the entire officer’s corps; the “Complacent” era abruptly ended. The “Reinvention” era had begun.