When I started playing World of Warcraft in 2008 on my blood elf hunter, Sriset, I didn’t know anything about guilds. Once my older brother stopped playing Warcraft, I was left to quest alone, but I was okay with that and I’m still okay with that. However, there’s something to be said for being in a guild.
The first guild I joined was called Đark Đreams and its guild leaders were a husband and wife who said they lived in Perth, Australia. They both seemed very nice, but I remember most of my communications were with the female leader because she was on more often than her husband. I no longer remember their names anymore, but it was a good first guild experience. The female guild leader started calling me Sri and it stuck.
Unfortunately, for personal reasons, the guild leaders had to stop playing World of Warcraft and announced to the guild that they would be disbanding Đark Đreams. Despite more than one offer to take over the guild, the leaders were insistent on deleting it. Not wishing to lose the online friends I’d made in Đark Đreams, I volunteered to start a new guild and invite as many current members of Đark Đreams into it as wanted to join.
Stepping up into a leadership position was not really something a slightly introverted person such as myself had ever done before. But I didn’t want to lose everything Đark Đreams had meant to me, so I mustered my courage and went about creating a guild name and getting my guild charter signed by several members of the now defunct Đark Đreams.
I took a long time thinking of a name for my guild and I eventually came up with Firelight Shadows. I had a whole long paragraph or poem that went along with why I chose the name, but I didn’t save it anywhere that I can find. It had something to do with sharing stories amid the dancing firelight shadows at night after a long day of adventuring. It was much more poetic and well-written than that I imagine.
Getting that first guild charter signed was one of the most nerve wracking experiences I’ve ever had. I believe I had five signatures of former Đark Đreams members and then needed five more to complete the charter. Atop her hawkstrider, I took Sriset through Silvermoon City, Eversong Woods, the Ghostlands, and I believe Orgrimmar asking for signatures, offering gold for them, and then traveling to meet the willing signers.
I created that first guild before the shared realms started, so the only people I encountered were actually in my realm and therefore able to sign. I’ve started a few guilds since the shared realms started and I’ve found it more challenging, but obviously not impossible.
When I finally had all the names I needed for the charter, I went to the tabard vendor and put the finishing touches on the tabard I’d taken forever to design. Then Firelight Shadows was born and my time as a guild leader began.
Firelight Shadows had a decent number of active members for some time, but that eventually dwindled as people had less time to play. Even so, I enjoyed playing with my guild mates and helping them whenever and however I could. For my ridiculous ability to become hopelessly lost quite often, I earned the nickname Perpetually Lost Sri.
When my father died in the autumn of 2009, my desire to play the game dwindled. My desire to do anything I’d previously enjoyed dwindled. I played for a while after he died, but eventually I just didn’t want to anymore. A friend of mine took over the guild and promised to keep it going, but she too had to take a break from the game and eventually Firelight Shadows became lost to me forever.
My friend eventually started a new guild when she discovered Firelight Shadows had been taken over by other guild members. She called it Vengeance of Shadows and she made me co-guild master when I started playing again. I enjoyed playing in her somewhat active guild, but it just wasn’t the same as having my own guild that I’d made from scratch.
Eventually I made another guild and after a few name changes, settled on Rawr Flex. Why that name? Well, rawr flex is something I often say to my children and text to my friends when I’m feeling especially fierce after accomplishing something. Plus, it was a guild name that didn’t exist yet. I just checked again in fact and I’m the only one who has any guilds by that name.
Right now my daughter and I are the only active members in any version of my Rawr Flex guild and I’m okay with that. It’s nice having the guild bank and other guild perks. Even if my guild is never more than a handful of people, I’m just happy knowing that it’s mine and that I always have a place where I fit.