Guardians of Fangorn:

By the time I left the Knights of Destiny, I handled the gaming world a little better. I was still a casual, but at least I knew how to speak the language. For someone that has never played, trying to figure out what people are talking about is quite hard.  Enter in my new home the Guardians of Fangorn.

The Knights were in tatters and there was no reviving it because everyone either left or quit the game all together. Existential dread filled my heart in the thought of having to find a new kin to join. It was also during this change of my Middle Earth life that someone that I had become close with decided also to take a break from the game.

Trying to find a kin was exhausting for someone who did not like to be social. Having to advertise that you were looking for a new kin meant entering the world of global chat. The entirety of Brandywine would see my message. I liked being in the background where there was not much attention put on me. Taking a deep breath, I posted in chat “LM needing a new home with fun people.” 

Almost instantly, I got a response from the Guardians of Fangorn asking if I would consider them. With a little bit of hesitation, I hit accept. I was now a member of the Guardians of Fangorn, which meant having to get to know and talk to a completely new set of people.

One of the first things that happened was getting the rules of the kin. The very first one was that we were required to be social and say hi when we logged. Being a rule follower because I am that person, I knew I had to bit my lip and be social. As a new person in any group, there is always that initial stage where you are not a full member of the group. There is an initiation phase where you have to gain the trust of the older members. 

For those of you that may not be aware of how kins or guilds work, there is a hierarchy within the group. On the top is the founder or leader of the kin, followed by the officers, the established members, and the noobs. Noobs means the new players who have not been put through the test. I had no intention of being nothing more than a regular member. 

Every day I would log in, be pleasant, and try to help people as much as I could. I never ignored anyone when they asked a question or refused to help when needed. Next thing I knew, I was being asked to be an officer of the kin. I had many reservations about whether to accept because I knew that it meant that I would have to be more socially active and enforce rules. For someone who has a social anxiety issue, being put into a position of power and authority is a bad idea. Struggling with how people perceive you makes it hard to make the tough choices needed for the group. 

Everything was good for a while, but then the game and the kin hit a slump. The main leader had to step away for a bit for personal reasons, and the group activities occurred less and less.Next thing I know, I people harassed me with questions about the fate of the Guardians of Fangorn. I had no clue.

Enter back in someone who I knew from the Knights. They joined with the Guardians because of me, but I could tell that they were not happy. Mostly due to the attitudes of some of the people who became power hungry. Eventually, they left and joined a new kin called Ironhead. Ironhead would be the last place that I would be in Middle Earth and the place where I moved from a casual to a raider.



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