First off, the bad news. I can't get a minnow mounted. The taxidermist in Achaea will only mount fish caught through fishing - an unfortunate setback in my attempt to create the perfect gag gift for my text-husband. I had to settle for a yellow perch - the smallest catchable fish - instead. Nonetheless, my excitement over the developments outlined in my post from earlier this evening has yet to diminish, and they reminded me that I meant to post about the event in which I took part during the Year 600 festivities.
Anyone who has been following this blog knows that the canon history of the game is one of my obsessions. When I first began playing, I was floored by the size of Achaea's backstory, and even more amazed by the wealth of events churned out by their staff and players that had built upon it. Despite all that has been done, there is still plenty of room for discovery and development. It seems like every event run in an Iron Realms game leaves the door open for another to occur down the line.
Most events within Achaea are a surprise to the players, and many more are spawned from spur-of-the-moment roleplay interaction with other players or NPCs. The Gods are almost always observing, even if they aren't visible on any of the WHO lists. I've met many new players who were shocked when they greeted an NPC, and were actually greeted in return. Sometimes, though, a player will have an idea for a large event of their own, or they would like to add something special to their personal roleplay. The staff in Achaea encouragepeople to propose their own ideas, and have even established a system to ensure that ideas are received and facilitated, if possible.
Players whose characters are rogues - that is to say, they aren't a part of any city, House, or Divine Order - or who have an idea for an event that will affect the world at large, will typically communicate their idea to the staff via e-mail addresses listed in one of the game's many HELP files. The event is then (as far as I know) approved or rejected by the staff member who has been appointed the director of roleplay, and carried out at their discretion. Players whose characters are part of a city, House, or Divine Order, by contrast, typically contact the Divine Patron of the organisation that the event will affect most directly. This request can be made using an in-character or out-of-character method, according to the preference of the Divinity. Usually, in-game messages will suffice.
A Divine Patron acts as an organisation's representative to the Garden of the Gods - the in-character way of describing the staff of both employees and volunteers who do all of the behind-the-scenes work in an Iron Realms MUD. Any idea for an organisational event is directed by one of an organisation's leaders to its Patron, who will then procure the approval of a higher power, if necessary, and proceed to do whatever must be done to make the player's idea a reality.
While players are free to propose an idea to their Patron that is as in-depth as they would like, the Garden always has the final say in its approval, as well as when and how it is executed. Any idea proposed can be altered by the staff as they see fit. Furthermore, it isn't always a given that the player who proposes an event will be the central figure of that event, unless the event is a minor one that was proposed to further one's personal roleplay. If you ever propose an event in an Iron Realms game, it is best to be flexible with your expectations - things may not always go exactly how you planned them, but the surprise is half the fun.
My character is one of the leaders of the Ashtan, Bastion of the North - one of the first major city-states on the continent of Sapience, and the one that may boast the most extensive history in the game. Back in January, the city was occupied for several in-game months by enemy forces who laid waste to the city's defenders and stormed the ruins of the Palace of Ashtan, which had been destroyed in the Anarchy Rebellions nearly five hundred years before. The story of the Anarchy Rebellions had been a mark of had been a mark of pride for Ashtan - it was a fabulous tale of revolution, in which the citizens of the Bastion rose up against a tyrannical sovereign, becoming the first city-state to adopt a more democratic form of government. This was the history Ashtan knew until the end of the Occupation of 586, when a voice from the past informed them that some key details of that story had been omitted. The truth left a bit of egg on the city's face.
After the dust of the occupation had settled, Ashtan was left with its newfound knowledge, and once again with the ruins of the palace, which their military tactics had opened for public inspection. While several suggestions were made regarding what could be done with the ruins, including one asinine (and appallingly serious) proposal to turn the buildings into an ice cream parlour and shopping centre, my character's plans to restore the palace to its former glory and utilise the building as a museum was the one that was finally approved by the rest of the city council. There was a fair bit of out-of-character communication between myself and the city's Patron regarding the limitations and specifics of my idea, but the vast majority of what transpired was as much to my surprise and delight as everyone else's. My character worked closely with Ashtan's resident NPC architect, Lukia deGage, and several "mini-events" bearing tangible improvements to the city occurred before the project was complete.
Shortly before the Year 600 festivities began, Lukia came to my character and said it was time to plan for the grand re-opening. Never having been one to do things half-assed, I enlisted the help of my dear friend Lianca, and together, we managed to throw together a soiree fit for royalty. After I made a terrible speech on the fly, I cut the ribbon, and the citizens of Ashtan began pouring in. Everyone had time to explore every crevasse of the palace. While they ogled the artefacts displayed throughout, the ballroom provided dancing (to a string quartet!), an array of unique cocktails, and dignified guests in the form of NPCs that were lauded among Ashtan's greatest scholars. Best of all (and to my complete surprise) conversation with the NPCs provided tantilising bits of insight into parts city history that were not mentioned anywhere else. Apparently, I'm not the only one who puts their all into a project - the amount of effort that our Patron poured into the renovation and its culmination was nothing short of astounding.
The palace remains open, for anyone interested in creating a character and checking it out. Contact my character (Amunet) in the game, and I'll even take the time to give you a guided tour and discuss the city's history in detail.
People ask me why I've been playing Achaea for so long - this is why. Every Iron Realms MUD has a staff equally dedicated to providing a top-notch gaming experience for its players. Who the hell needs graphics when you have depth like this?