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Library: Guardians and AntiGuardians, a history of Player Unions at B

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Author: Yari
Date:Nov 2 1995

Guardians, AntiGuardians and Other Player Organizations

   Recently, I was asked to explain exactly what was an anti guardian.  
This is not such an easy topic that can be explained by one or two lines 
over a channel, so I thought I would devote a book to it.  As a matter 
of caution, I shall put in a disclaimer right here, one that erases any 
and all blame for any inaccuracy in this tale.  You see, for all that 
read this and do not know me, I have made it my policy over the 
years(yes, god, it has been that long) that I have been at bat not to 
get directly involved with other player's affairs in matters like this.  
I attempt to remain neutral in things, not for any lack of conviction, 
but more for a realization that things are seldom as important as the 
parties involved think they are.  So, unless I am one of those parties, 
and begin to think that the events are far more important than they are, 
I keep a discreet distance, and try to remember things.  That said, I 
begin this outsider's tale of the AntiGuardians...

   A tale that cannot begin with Tulkas.  Tulkas is in many ways quite 
the opposite personality to myself.  Tulkas has made it his business in 
many ways to get involved with everyone else's affairs, whether or not 
they request it.  This penchant for direct involvement came to a head 
when he decided to make his involvement a tad more organized, especially 
in the realm of Bat's thieves.  At the time, thievery was rampant.  The 
chests of the day had no overheating, so one could attempt to unlock 
them one combo after another, with no time-consuming delays.  Thieves 
were using scripts to pop chests in a very short time, and so, if your 
defenses weren't up to the task, high level thieves could wipe you out 
in no time.
   Apparently, one day a thief robbed someone that was close enough to 
Tulkas so that his raw anger coalesced into his declaration that he was 
going to put a stop to thievery.  At the time, the gloves were off in 
terms of reincarnation, and a wand of reincarnation was easily used on a 
killed thief to force reinc him or her, with the nice penalty that went 
with reinc at the time.  Tulkas would kill thieves and reinc him or her,

immediately hurting the worth of the character, and destroying the items 
on him/her/it.  Tulkas carried out his mission alone, with little help 
for a while, reincing thieves until they either chose some other guild 
or were so low in worth that they were no longer a threat.  A few of 
Tulkas's friends decided that this was a very good idea, and before 
long, their little posse had cooked up a name for themselves, the 
Guardians.
   The Guardians preyed rather relentlessly on thieves, until(and I 
don't know how long this took, I cannot imagine it was terribly long) 
they became a bit more organized in their resistance.  Thieves, and 
friends of thieves(or enemies of Tulkas's...) formed the AntiGuardians.  
The two groups clashed now and again, but mostly kept a mutually assured

destruction sort of peace, where neither side was overly willing to go 
after the other in any long-term large scale war.
   To say that the Guardians and AntiGuardians were inactive against 
each other would be oversimplifying.  There were many behind the scenes

agreements and other secret deals that never became public knowledge.  
Both organizations had "spies" as it were, people who would pass covert

information about castle defenses, or perhaps the location of a known 
guardian who was idling alone someplace.  Assassinations like this were 
common, but no real organized wars were fought.
   After a time, the Guardians ceased to really have much to complain 
about, as thievery went down in importance.  New chests came along that 
made picking much harder, safes were invented, which almost preclude any 
sort of picking with the poison needles, and a few other changes made 
thievery less present in Batmud.
   With no large-scale thievery to stop, the Guardians seemed to fade 
away.  The AntiGuardians, however, kept their loose(they never seemed to 
me to be nearly so organized as the Guardians, perhaps it is impossible 
to get thieves to coalesce into anything more than a group of people 
looking out for themselves, it would seem that their thiefy nature would

eliminate any true loyalties) organization long after, as if holding 
onto old hostilities.  To this day, I'd wager that there are people who 
will say that they are a Guardian or an Antiguardian.
   People have asked me before, and perhaps the reader of this book 
might wonder, why did I not get involved, as I have made it clear in the

past(and present) that I do not like the concept of thieves in Bat.  To 
say I was uninvolved would be perhaps untrue.  If one was around back 
then, and one has a particularly keen memory for such details, I did 
post a string of articles to the news system on the topic.  Contrary to 
what one might expect, it was a flame directed at the Guardians.  You 
see, at one point, Tulkas had made it his business to exterminate 
thieves, and was doing a hell of a job of it.  If you were a member of 
the guild, you were a target, whether or not you had stolen from players 
was not the issue.  Tulkas had all the markings of a fanatic, and I did 
not and do not endorse the extermination of a guild simply for its 
existence.
   As for my endorsement of AntiGuardians, well, that is equally 
impossible.  Thieves, in my opinion, certainly have a right to exist, 
but I do not agree that their main function should be the disruption of 
other players' fun.  I believe I am correct in assuming that the vast 
majority of players do not wish to have items taken from them, and that 
the thieves guild is designed for this function, and not as a cool way 
to deal with monsters here at bat, well, I think that's unfortunate.
   So, where does this all lead?  Nowhere, I suppose.  In the end, all

player-based organizations have never lasted.  There have been attempts 
to try to be "the next Guardians" by a few players.  At one time there 
was a group called Lone Wolf and Cub, in which a rather notorious figure 
in Bat history, Crowe, was directly involved.  LW&C's main function was 
to try to aid newbies here at bat, a noble profession indeed, but, I 
believe that it was done in by the total surge of new players that bat 
was subject to just after its formation.  LW&C's members attempted to 
"recruit" me, but I knew that there were simply too many new players to 
help them all, and I'd certainly not pledge 100% of my time to fight 
what I viewed as a losing battle.

   In conclusion, I'd like to again state that this history is a 
subjective one, and by no means complete.  Certainly there are better 
people to describe the inner workings of the Guardian/Antiguardian daily 
grind, as it were, but I will warn you now that their history will be 
even more subjective.  Perhaps mine is one of the only neutral(well, 
mostly neutral) accounts of their history that you will get at Bat.  If 
sordid tales of what went on behind the scenes is what you want, ask one 
of the former AntiGuardians or Guardians, he or she will be able to tell 
you all sorts of tales of who did what to whom, but, as I said, that was 
not my intent here.

   I am the EverMortal.  I watch, I listen, and I remember.

                                                  Yari




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