In my most recent entry, I mentioned that the guild I was in, Dol Amroth, had just recently joined an alliance with another guild, Echoes in Eternity, prior to our slaughtering of Cazic-Thule. So, I figured I should tell the story of how that marriage came to be. It was all because of a immensely stubborn dragon named Telkorenar.
A Brief History of the Temple of Veeshan
The Temple of Veeshan is home to the mightiest of dragons in all of Velious. Much of the temple is off limits even to the most devout followers of dragonkind as well as those Lord Yelinak would regard as an ally. For no matter what good deeds a Norrathian has performed in the name of dragons, ultimately dragons are simply superior to the "second generation" of races, and this is their most holiest of places. The dragons were here before the other gods took notice of Norrath, and they will likely be here after the other races die out.
The south wing is where those that made it past Sontalak outside will arrive in the temple. Though, once inside, there is no immediate means of exiting. The south wing has one enormous straight hallway decked with dozens of almost life-size paintings of some of Norrath's most notable dragons including Lady Vox and Lord Nagafen. This hall is guarded by small drakes of various shades. This hall is safe to those allied with the Claws of Veeshan, as is the west wing, known as the Hall of Relics. The east wing, the Hall of Testing, is where friends of the dragons go to prove their skills and return to Skyshrine for rewards in the form of exquisite armor. And the north wing, known as the Vault of Worship, is off limits to absolutely everyone and is full of some of the world's oldest and most powerful dragons.
An Alliance is Born
In the Scars of Velious expansion, much of the content is based on three warring factions. The Coldain (dwarves), the Kromzek/Kromrif (giants), and the Claws of Veeshan (dragons). Each faction has its own city (Thurgadin, Kael Drakkel, Skyshrine). Players, and guilds from a larger perspective, had to make a decision on which side to take. The choices each have their pros and cons, of course. We took the more difficult route of siding with the giants. The dwarves and dragons don't really care about each other, but the giants at war with both. Raiding the Temple of Veeshan is the end-game of the Velious expansion (aside from Sleeper's Tomb). And the logical line of progression was to tackle the three dragons in the west wing before venturing into the much more difficult north wing.
As a guild, we had been farming the west wing for armor drops every weekend for upwards of eight hours a day for weeks. The armor that the wurms and drakes dropped were blank, but could be turned in to certain giants in Kael in exchange for some insanely good class-specific gear. The first dragon in the west wing is a red dragon named Telkorenar. There is nothing specifically unique about this dragon. He has an AoE fire spell that also dispels buffs and it's impossible to land any kind of Slow spell on him, but that's about it. Even so, he was the bane of our existence for what seemed like forever. We even had one encounter where his health bar got down to that almost invisible last pixel, and we still wiped. I think our guild leader admitted to crying after that loss.
One weekend, we had spent time farming armor again, and decided to go after Telk one more time. If we couldn't beat him, the dream of heading to North ToV would be simply that, a dream. As we were getting ready, Echoes in Eternity showed up in the zone. They were a relatively new guild that had broken away from one of the two top tier guilds on the server. Like us, they had been attempting to make their way deeper into ToV. We knew that if we failed, they would take a shot next. Unfortunately, we lost our battle with Telk once again. As we gathered our corpses and belongings, we watched as EiE ran past us in their rightful attempt to slay Telk, but they too fell short of the goal.
I'm not sure who first presented the idea of joining forces, but there we were. Two guilds with one goal. All of us just wanting to finally crush this damn dragon. So, we helped each other get our corpses and got our buffs back in order. The guild officers from both sides called out groups for us to form up. It's hard to explain, but in EverQuest, your guild sort of became a family. Attempting a raid with strangers was…well…strange. I knew some people in EiE from pick-up groups in Velketor's, Sebilis, and other high-level dungeons, but I never thought I'd be in a healing rotation keeping one of their warriors alive on a dragon raid. Clerics had to work together by casting heals on set intervals, and I didn't know any of their clerics. Pick-up groups don't typically need more than one, so I'd never really spoken to them.
The main tank charged in and the clerics, including myself, started our rotation of casting heals that would hopefully keep him alive. It was a rocky start, and our main tank went down pretty early. Several players died before a new warrior could establish gaining Telk's attention to take over the main tank role. We had many more bodies to throw at him, but that wouldn't mean anything if the clerics didn't work together to keep that one warrior alive. And we did. The only problem was that having so many people in a small space created a ridicules amount of lag, which made communicating in chat quite difficult. You have to remember, this was before we ever had voice chat.
But, Telkorenar finally fell. And, when he did, the chat log caught up with a flood of exclamatory shouts that would be heard throughout the zone. It was that night that shouting "MOTHER FUCKER" comically became our unofficial battle cry. Everyone had been so frustrated with this encounter that the fact we had finally defeated him felt like we could do anything. You can see the elation in some of the chat in the third image below. And, while we had hoped to do it on our own, joining forces with Echoes in Eternity gave us the opportunity to progress through the game's content much faster. Quite literally overnight, we had become a powerhouse. A force that the top two guilds on the server had to be concerned about.
This alliance between Dol Amroth and Echoes in Eternity on the Rodcet Nife server would last for nearly ten years. Players came and went, but that alliance stood strong through two server mergers, sixteen expansions, and countless other MMOs being launched.
Next time, I think we'll stay in Velious and talk about the controversy surrounding Sleeper's Tomb.