The Awesomely Epic Tale Of Crusaders Of The Light
(As told by three of its Guild Leaders)
As one of the last founding members still actively participating in the guild, it makes me sad to know hardly any of the original members are around, having moved on to end-game guilds, real-life adventures, or other things. On the other hand it makes me extremely happy to know that something so small that started between a small circle of friends has grown to encompass in-game friends from more countries than I've visited in my lifetime! The diversity of the guild and its lengthy history never ceases to amaze me.
Crusaders of the Light is one of the oldest guilds on the server, having started up in March 2007 just a couple months after the server itself opened. Mythik (who is now GM of his personal guild) was the original guildmaster. The other founding members were Talye (now name-changed to Tyan), Renelda (whose main toon is now Tambra), Jeth (inactive), and Zapie (inactive but still in guild).
When Mythik retired temporarily from the game, he handed the guild over to Renelda for over 1.5 years. The guild grew enormously from a leveling guild to a guild that now wanted to try some "end-game" content such as Karazhan and Zul'Aman. Holyrain was the next guildmaster and after her reign of madness the guild was passed on to Darthvaader. Other Co-GMs who have carried the guildmasters along should not be forgotten for their essential roles in maintaining the guild's morale and the sanity of the GMs!
Nowadays the realm is aiming towards end-game, and what started as a leveling guild now has 54% of its members as max level and running regular raids successfully.
Forever this guild will be "my baby" and it gives me such pride to see how much its grown, not only in size and prosperity, but the comraderie and reliability of its members.
And remember everyone, AFK is not okay!
When I finally started participating in guild chat, I found myself right at home with a generous, sincere group of goofballs. My GM at the time, Renelda (Tambra), as well as her husband Zapie and sister Talye, made an effort to answer EVERY single comment or question or request made in guild chat. No one went unanswered, no one left hanging, no one entered the game without fifteen "Hellos!" thrown at them. I knew I could ask for any bit of help, no matter how small, and someone even 20 levels above me would drop what they were doing and come to help. But we were small in numbers! And as we all approached 60 and BC came out, the push to 70 became strong as everyone was excited about the new end game content: Karazhan! We only had 2 or 3 70's amongst us, so when a guild called Dark Riders asked if we wanted to Sister-Up, leaving our alts in COTL but moving our 70's to them for raiding, the pull was too strong for those wondering 'I'm 70, what now?'. But a funny thing happened, as most people reached 70 they refused to go to Dark Riders, or they went there and came back within the week. They all realized what a precious thing they had with COTL, how unique to the game of Wow. And many of our leaders like Renelda gleaned what gear they could from Dark Riders and their Kara runs, and then returned to us a formidable team. Dark Riders collapsed and we fought on (and stole some of them to boot). The same thing happened with VooDoo. Again, nearly all toons leaving us to run with our new sister guild, VooDoo, came back for various reasons because the pull to CoTL was too strong. And I must say we managed to adopt some of the best players of VooDoo into our own before they also collapsed. Soliaanna, Oxford, Draxilla, and I'm sure more that I can't recall! And not many remember that Draxilla used to be the GM of the most successful raiding guilds of it's time. And now he's my personal court jester, and a dang good leader recently made coGM :)
It was during this collaboration with VooDoo that Tambra asked me to coGM with her. I was intimidated, and honored, and excited all at once. But I must have performed up to task because a few months later I found myself switching spots with Tambra and leading CoTL with her still by my side as coGM.
When VooDoo disolved our sister-hood I was approached by many guilds requesting to replace them as our new end-game sister guild. As a group, we decided that we had grown to adulthood ourselves, that although we would never fully be considered a raiding guild, we had enough great players to give it a go on our own. And I must say, regardless of the comings and goings and comings back, we have survived stronger and stronger and managed to retain our sense of humor, our loyalty, and our sincere devotion to each other, higher than a purple item drop.
I had many great other coGMs since then! Thorren, Turaida, Bombour, Zapie just to name a few. But the one that has the greatest rags to riches story of all is my short in stature but large in legend, Darthvaader. I invited him one spring, only for him to go inactive for a time and Tambra kicked him from the guild! (Don't blame her, it WAS the rules, lol). This unassuming, polite guy continued to haunt our new forums at our website, pleading his case for re-entry to the guild but through a serious of unfortunate events, never seemed to be online at the same time as me so I could reinvite him. We finally connected, and I took him under my wing. (He was still trying to figure out how to sic his pet on a mob, as he had spent the first 20 levels of his little warlock life playing the AH market for thousands of G) He endeared himself to me in every way. And half a year later was sporting his new coGM crown. When I decided to take a break from the stresses of GM to concentrate on my new pregnancy, I left the guild in his and Zapie's hands..and soon DV and Anorelia took up the reigns and has driven the guild to what it is today. I have taken a few breaks from CoTL to deal with pregnancies and babies, but I have always been pulled back to this great place (that and DV's gentle demands I resurrect my toon have helped, haha). He oversaw the melding of us with toons from OBC who have turned out to be stupendous people and dear friends. I see our family as a typical family, we have a few nuts, a few dysfunctionals, and a lot of prodigal sons and daughters, but mostly a whole lot of love and good times :) Long live CoTL! And Long Live Naked-Level-One Hogger Night!
I believe my first officer meeting was also the first time I utilized Ventrilio. I gotta say, it was weird to me. "Why am I talking to these people playing a game? What the hell am I doing here?" By the end of the first meeting, I was throughly impressed. To this day, our guild remains strong in large-part to our strong leadership team. As time progressed, I actually focused on leveling my character and finally hit level 70. All of the members of CoTL were immesly helpful in assisting me figuring out the most monumental question in all of WoW. "I maxed out my character's level..... now what?"
In the Fall of 2008 I was nominated and voted into a Guild Leadership role as a Co-GM with Tambra and Zapie. A short time later, both Tambra and Zapie had to leave the game, leaving me alone to fend for myself as Guild Leader. It was obvious I needed help, but I was not sure how to go about finding a suitable partner to help me lead the guild. So naturally, I used a selection process very common to most 20-something year old men....... I went on our guild's website, to the photo section and I chose the best looking woman availible to help me lead................................ After my first four choices declined the promotion into a guild leadership role, I settled on Anorelia. By nature, I should loathe this woman. She does play a Rogue class which torments me so easily in PvP play. Still, we got along great and complemented one another very well in our leadership styles. Together, we grew the guild and led CoTL into the latest expansion, "Wrath of the Lich King" together. We recognized that this expansion was going to drastically change the game. Countless hours were spent by us discussing all of this new content and how best to lead CoTL into it. Within a few short months, the tiny, social, just-for-fun guild had cleared Naxxramas.. the first 10 man raid encounter in WOTLK. The best part is, we may not be as tiny, but the fun, family-friendly dynamic is still alive and thriving. We proved that raiding succsess can be obtained outside of a raiding guild. This point alone, is what I am most proud of during my tenure as guild leader.
Today, CoTL continues to thrive. Anorelia decided that Graduate School is more important than WoW (mistake) and has since stepped down as a co-GM. More recently, I have been honored to have two of our longest standing guild members, Huken and Draxilla step into co-GM leadership roles to direct us through WOTLK and beyond. To conclude, always pay attention and remain helpful and kind to those lower level toons asking for help. Some day in the not-too-distant future, they could be leading you clearing a raid or (GASP) leading the guild you love so much.
Peace and Love.... Peace and Love