Roger's personal Silverwater History

From AmtWiki

this was something I put on Silverwater's website in 2001 - Roger

This is from the first person perspective. Originally this covered mainly 1992 - 1997. I've recently added an update that details much of what went on since then. Its kind of extremely personal in what happened, but I hope it helps people understand where we are today in terms of what went before. I (Roger Shrubstaff) first played Amtgard in what was then the Amtgard Grand Duchy of Barad Duin in Austin, Texas. I lived in San Antonio at the time and we wnated to start a group in San Antonio, so a bunch of us went up to Austin to see what it was about. Most of the others are gone from Amtgard from that group that went up but one was Michael, Hammer of God. Anyways, eventually that came to be known as Turris Lunae (a modification of the name I originally suggested, "Torre de la Luna", which was agreed upon mainly to stop the runner up, "Blood Horde of the Mad Pain God"). Just when this seemed to be going well, I moved. I moved to several places, always trying to start up groups but never succeeding until 1992, in Lake Worth, Florida, when I started a group with Flotsam of Norgham, a guy named Stuart Pallin (later Tigger deCat), Brother Weasel, and a guy named Graham, his younger brother, and a guy named Josh Degenario. We eventually got some other people to come out, including a friend of mine named Satori, who I played AD&D; with. The whole group was skeptical and sent him out to check it out. When he came back with a positive review, the rest of that gaming group (well, except Art) came out, including MacTallon, Grubilex the Unruly, and Quillian Rhys. Satori also convinced a friend of his from back in high school, Loyal Jones, to come out (who brought two friends, one named Butch, the other I forget) who eventually moved up the treasure coast a bit. But it went well for awhile, and even Hairball came out a few times. We played in a few locations, eventually settling on John Prince Park way in back past the boat ramp. That went on all summer. At this time I had no idea of things like Corpora (which I'd never seen or been involved with back in Texas), or any contacts in Amtgard save some friends who were still in San Antonio. One of these, my former roomate Narsya Vasudeva, gave us a "thumbs up" when I asked for help so we took it as a semi-official endorsement of sorts. It kinda died out once the weather got nice (go figure), Right before this, we had one really good trip up to Jonathan Dickinson state park in the wood scrub on the far side of the sand dunes by tower hill. William Axeperson came out for the first time at that time. Anyways, it stayed dormant all winter while the weather was nice, but when summer rolled around again I discovered that Loyal Jones had a bulletin board system he ran called "The Diving Board" (don't bother, it's not up anymore). It was part of the late lamented Darknet. On this system he and I talked about Amtgard and getting it started up again, and we all used our Amtgard names as our on-line persona names at the time. Darkthunder and "Them" (Dirk Roachbearer) were also on this system and got excited about it, and so I held a meeting with them, (all of them, not "Them"), Loyal Jones, Flotsam, and they brought along Logan Whitefang (I am using their amtgard names throughout though not all went by them at the times I first mention them (not "Them", just them)). Anyways,we sparred in my backyard, and they liked the idea, so we set up to go out next Sunday at John Prince Park, at the same old site. Well, it rained. Hard. But next week, it didn't, so we got a decent game out of it, and the group was on again. We recruited a lot of people quickly via the BBS systems (this was before the net started hitting it big, most of these were local BBS systems and the like) and quickly hit around 30 people. We also got a number of walk-ons who just happened by in the park. Eventually I decided we needed some kind of contact from Amtgard as a whole, so I tried getting ahold of people in the CK to see what we needed to do. Before I go on with this, I want to make it clear there were no hard feelings about the way this went, but whatever. A number of people who were running the CK at the time (some of whom even remembered me) promised to send us stuff but repeatedly didn't. Eventually I found Amtgard-L and subscribed to it on e-mail, and wrote a note to Aramithris asking for help, and he had a contract and 6.0 rulebook (we'd been working from a 5.0 rulebook I downloaded from Halfmoon's Tower (run by Halfmoon/Bruce Tomlin back in Austin)) and corpora on my doorstep in three days. I still kept thinking we'd end up as part of the CK, but I never heard from anyone, and Aramithris suggested signing up under Burning Lands. I put it to a vote at our group, and so we did, joining the Burning Lands as the Barony of Silverwater in 1995, having put off the matter almost half a year at that point). It was about then that I decided to try and go to Clan XIII, and we ended up renting a van and driving from Floria to New Mexico. For details of this (and our trip the following year), see the picture galleries (from the main menu) of these trips. Right before we went, Logan Whitefang was elected our first Baron, Julia Silverfang (his girlfriend) our first regent, and I was elected our first Chancellor. I won't go into what Logan did at Clan XIII here (see the populace section from the main menu), but there was rather extreme dissatisfaction with him by the time we got back. What might have become a serious problem was dodged when he simply vanished, abdicating his term. To avoid any potential problems if he came back, we let the matter rest, never replacing him until his term was up. Loyal Jones was elected the second baron, with Cyrus Darkheart as his regent. After his term, I was elected our third Baron, with Seoman Bishop as Regent. We've had contact with other groups that have sprung up in the southeast, including the Land of Falling Fire (who came over for Loyal's coronation, and again in an unsuccessful invasion in early 1997), Dragon's Keep (whom we visited twice, the second time for Dragon's Rage I), the Shire of the Sinklands, and even Mystic Glade in Tennessee. Our group had come a long way, averaging anywhere from 20-40 (our record is 53) on any given weekend, with around 50-60 regulars, and over 200 on the irregular/inactive list. Last year the park service decided to pave over our main battlefield, so we moved around in the park, at Mound Hill for awhile, then inside the handicapped trail loop, and finally settling on a forest behind the park headquarters that was laced with trails. That lasted about four months until they bulldozed that forest to build an orphanage on that site, so we moved back to the field on the opposite side along the handicapped trail (it's a large loop with a lot of space inside it), and finally got some kind of recognition/approval from the parks dept (who were nice enough to install a garbage can by nirvana).

continuation (update as of 2/23/01).

Around this time Silverwater's star was still on the rise, our numbers were ever increasing, pride and patriotism in our land was great, and we'd raided and beaten Falling Fire on their home field, twice. We even made front page of Burning Land's own newsletter. And there was even talk of us becoming the next kingdom. Summer 1997 we averaged about 80 people for a full month. About that time, Loyal, back from another Clan trip, decided to promote the founding of companies in Silverwater. If there was a thing i regret most in our history, it was this. It factionalized our group quicker than a heartbeat. Senqua, Blackstar, Ravens Blood, Conclave of Evil... the list goes on. Instead of a land we were now a collection of factions. I wasn't too fond of it at the time, started Stonecutters kind of as a mockery of the company/household system, kind of as a way to avoid being attached to any of them. Whatever, the damage was done. Quickly Blackstar became a focal point of inner strife in our duchy, you were either one of them or you were against them. I made my personal peace with Olok Blackstar some time before over the starfish incident, but many others had big problems with him, many relating to off the field activities I felt it was not our duty to address. Some companies fell, more formed. Wild Hunt formed out of Ravens Blood's remnants, with Myrddin Wylt a charismatic leader directly opposed to Olok's tactics. For a time, Olok vanished from the scene, with only Decado carrying on the Blackstar banner. Things calmed. Then Olok returned. Some claimed it was over sluffing (something he vehemently would deny), others over things said, regardless he was always at the center of it. Myrddin was elected to two consecutive terms as Duke, with the Wild Hunt (no connection to the company of the same name in Dragon's Keep which predated them) forming a solid voting block behind him. He and his followers, including Brand Halfdane, Pavlo (Bloodwulf), Quarrel, Berenike, et al were always at odds with the Blackstars. Olok repeatedly came up short in Champions tourneys to the likes of Bishop, Brand, and others, once only due to forfeiting points for not accepting a reave's call. Myrddin's term was finally up, not being able to do 3 consecutive terms by corpora. I wish he'd not done two terms, something I've been long opposed to. I never vote for repeat terms, as in my mind they always make a persons flaws that much worse. It is easy to put up with things for six months, but for a year.... don't get me wrong, Myrddin was a good man and did a LOT for our group, but no one is perfect. He often viewed things in the worst light, didn't trust people that often, and strained relations a with Darkwater a couple times. And then there was the Shining South....

brief digression... Sarthore Silverheart came out with some of his friends, and founded a company called Dragon Claw. In time we encouraged him and his friends to start a field closer to their home in Pompano beach because of the distance they traveled to visit us. This they did and Shining South was born. Myrddin and many of the Wild Hunt travelled down there to help them out many a time, and Shining South became a self-sufficient group. Some point after this, a key incident occurred. At some point before he moved to Colorado, Loyal Jones had paid Olok to make some armor. Olok never gave Loyal this armor, and Loyal eventually moved. While visiting over Christmas, Someone (probably Hathgar) saw Olok with what appeared to be the particular piece of armor promised Loyal on our field, and took it. He gave it to Loyal in front of a bunch of people (including Myrddin) at a Christmas party. Olok found out about this and asked that something be done. His contention was that his private deal with Loyal was not Silverwater's business, but a theft of property on the field was. Myrddin felt pressured to act from a couple sources, including Toda, chancellor at the time, whose girlfriend Siobahn was in Blackstar. Not saying that this was why he took his position, but appearances can be as bad as reality. Myrddin relucantly agreed to go along with a plan to have Hathgar banned for a time from our field for this action. Toda handled the announcement... He announced that Hathgar would be banned from both Silverwater and Shining South. Hathgar, a long time member of Silverwater, was quite popular even prior to his act of giving the armor to Loyal. Sarthore was stunned by this announcement, as he had not been consulted on the matter at all. To be fair, there had been an agreement that bans from one field would apply to the other (due to an earlier incident where someone banned simply jumped fields). I'm not sure if Sarthore was aware of that. In the middle of this mess, it was revealed that maybe it was not Hathgar who actually removed the armor from the field, just he was the one who gave it to Loyal, so perhaps all he did was return something to whom he thought was the rightful owner. The motion was put on hold, which angered Blackstar, Hathgar was already upset enough to leave regardless, and very much angered Sarthore who felt disrespected for not being consulted in the matter. Being that amtgard in Florida was kind of factionalized between Silverwater and Falling Fire at the time, he threw in his lot with Falling Fire moving Shining South under them. This hurt Myrddin and the Wild Hunt quite a bit, they took more than one opportunity to help pound Shining South over this. They felt very betrayed by this action. Falling Fire at this time was our rival, and took opportunity to get at us in this and with the Parting Seas fiasco. When Kitirat and Darkwater started trying to push for a unified Florida, trying to patch differences between Silverwater and Falling Fire, Myrddin... well, how to put it. Darkwater was a group under Silverwater, their founder had played here first, and they were under us while other groups in the area were under Falling Fire. As I said, there were two main factions. At some point, in the effort to bring the sides together, Darkwater had to act neutral between the two.... instead of remaining the loyal vassal state under us. This did not sit well with Myrddin... he attacked them for this, while they were apologizing for us at the same time. Some times I think its a miracle we were able to get everything unified into one alliance for kingdom status.

edit - there was more to this but for some reason is giving me trouble adding it. looking back now, knowing what Olok Blackstar went on to do, is kind of ironic...