Humble Beginnings

The League of Pirates was spawned during the pre-alpha test of Ultima Online in April of 1996. The creator was a young texan by the name of Temblor Dragon who left the crappy operation he founded soon after. Many well-known pirates graced the early, alpha test roster of the LoP - people like Vomit, Executor Locutus, Matthew, Arkhan the Black, Jade, and Caspian Dragon. A sign of a great guild is how many long time members it still has with them, and its important to note that not one of these original pirates are still with the LoP. I don't even know who the hell most of those people are.

After the first pre-alpha test of UO, Temblor gave up leadership of the LoP and turned it over to Matthew - who became known as Admiral Matthew. The Matthew era of LoP marked a number of things - over 300 members joining, an alliance with the Black Circle, a short lived irc channel on DalNet, a serious attitude towards organizing the LoP, and probably his most important achievement - PowWow meetings. Powwow meetings gave the first glimpse of the complete inability of the LoP to accomplish anything substanitive as far as organization or seriousness. Meetings evolved from in-depth discussions about UO strategy into intense testing of Powwow's voice features. There is nothing better than missing NYPD Blue so that you can listen to people say "oooooooooogggggggaaaaaaaaaaa" through your speaker and watch a man named Skrewball beg for promotions.

The Dawn of a New Era

An important thing happened in January of 1997. A pathetic, idiotic, body hairless goth punk named Darkblade created an LoP irc channel. Since then, #LoP has become the hub for all the mind numbing waste of time activities that the LoP engages in. Many pathetic people with nothing better to do with their time spend countless hours in #LoP every day idling, occasionally talking, and constantly trying to find something fun to play. It was around January, in #LoP, that the modern suckiness of the LoP was born. As it stands today, LoP is just that - a giant blob of suck that envelops almost anyone who enters its channel. Many a serious gamer has joined #LoP and before you know it they are idling and acting like completely immature idiots just like the rest of us. I have learned invaluable lessons in my hundreds of hours sitting in #LoP - such as what time Super Friends is on, the importance of having 27 fans for my computer, and that I have ten fingers. Tetrinet flows freely in #LoP, UO is either shunned or worshipped, and Everquest is anticipated with dreams of Level 50 Halfling Warrior killing machines dancing in our head. Quite simply, there is never a dull moment in #LoP......except when there is one.

Oh yea, Admiral Matthew resigned as sole leader of LoP in January 1997 also. That's really not important to this story, so we'll just move on and forget the council ever happened.

There isn't one thing that embodies the LoP - but it was around the time that #LoP was born that the current vibe of the guild was created. That vibe can't be defined, but whatever it is - it has brought pompous powergamers, sucky idlers, succesful adults, and idiotic children together in a way that is rarely seen on the internet. Some LoPers call us the Super Friends guild, I tend to think of it as a bunch of people too lame to be accepted by anyone else. And in that lameness do we succeed. PHEAR BITCH!

Ultima Online - Fuckin' Finally

The League of Pirates was originally created as an Ultima Online guild, and from the time I joined the guild in July of 1996, it took almost an entire freaking year for the game we formed around to come out. That's a pretty pathetic work effort on Origin's part, but its even more pathetic that we waited around for it. Fortunately, great games like Space Pirate, Furcadia, and the Awakening Project allowed the time we waited to pass by quickly (shea right).

Finally, in late June of 1997 the Phase One Beta for UO came out. A few lucky LoPers got into this test - and a few more managed to steal accounts to get in. And more still got in by stealing the accounts of other LoPers. The game was certainly fun, but it was even more fun to sit in IRC and watch all the unlucky bastards who didn't get a CD curse me to hell. By July, the big one - the Phase 2 beta was upon us. LoPers by the dozens poured into the Ironwood Inn with great anticipation of playing - at which point we got stuck in Ironwood by Korn/Ithaqua's tables blocking the door. That rat bastard.

Quite simply, Phase 2 was a blast. At almost all times, the LoP had 20+ people in the game and there was always something going on. From humble beginnings fishing on the docks of Vesper, LoP became one of the best known UO guilds in the beta.. We were involved in the first two major guild wars in UO - first a war on the Vesper beaches with ToC and then defending the first ever UO house (our house) against those newbs from PoDW. But, we're getting ahead of ourselves - the biggest LoP beta event came long before these clashes of training swords and fishing poles.

Many people will agree that the LoP's greatest day came when we purchased our first boat in UO. A number of boats had been bought during Phase 1's buggy days, but only one or two guilds had gathered the neccessary funds to get one in Phase 2. There were many great wars in UO, but one of the greatest ones occured each day between the LoP and the Fuckheads when UO wiped - the moment that the game went back up members of each guild raced toward the Vesper tanners to grab the free hides that were available in the basement. With these hides and a sewing kit a group of 3 or 4 people could build themselves up quite a nest egg. Well on some anonymous day early in phase 2, three LoP snagged these hides and then under the cruel rule of DarKnight - began to tailor the hides into leather skirts, studded leather sleeves, and whatever else that jerkoff DK ordered us to do. For hours Loki and myself toiled in the stuffy backroom of the Vesper tanner while DarKnight ran around as if on a pleasure cruise. Elsewhere, disposed Admiral CaffeineZ was chopping lumber for a nest egg of his own. Eventually, the funds were gathered. Asha gave us the final gold and the boat was ready to be purchased. The tailoring crew quietly moved to the shipsmith's store and reluctantly gave our corrupt treasurer, Loki, all the funds. Loki had already "lost" the gold needed for a boat a few days beforehand, so we obviously had the utmost confidence in his ability to mess it up again.

In honor of our former guildmate Caspian Dragon the first ever LoP boat was named the Mighty Caspian. And what an event the christening was. Around two dozen LoPers and friends, including the guilds founder Temblor, donned their finest newbie outfits and came to the Vesper docks to see its creation. The boat was created, its crew the -1st boarded the vessel, then all the loser passengers boarded and under the incompetent navigation of DarKnight we were off. Amazingly, the LoP actually acted like pirates on this initial voyage. Other players stood by the shore to watch us on our boat, and our newbie archers picked off a couple of people - most notably Henry and our very own guildmate Imar (nice shooting there Wind). Since then of course, we haven't done a damn thing in UO pirate like other than taking over taverns and hoarding the ale for ourselves

The League of Pirates continued to be a huge presence throughout the rest of the Beta. Most notable in their asskicking were Overlord, CaffeineZ, Muiy, Youngblood, Zion Dragon, Yaga, and Ben-Wah. To offset the powergaming of these players, other LoPers such as Loki, Bludgeon, and Drusus took sucking to a new level of greatness. The area around the Ironwood Inn became known as the Killing Fields in large part because of all the sparring and dumbass-beatdowns that the LoP was involved in there. The Vesper Beach became a similar area of chaos, and the men in the blue and yellow were a fixture of badassness in that area. The LoP was huge, the beta was fun, and everything was jolly.

Then, of course, the final came. A huge amount of LoPers - including most of the aforementioned buff beta people - decided not to buy the game when it first came out. The League of Pirates completely tanked the early final - and if not for the efforts of people like Long Dong Copper, Yaga, and Icarious our name would've completely vanished from the Great Lakes shard.

Slowly, the LoP came back to UO. With the establishment of the Lusty Wench Tavern as our headquarters, nightly sparring and para field parties got the "newbies" back up to snuff. Every night our front yard was a buzz with trash talking, skinning knife slashing, purple pot throwing, lightning bolting, and accidental killing. It was great fun for awhile, but soon we became restless for action - which the guild Temple of the Four Winds provided. The ToFW was a guild which has established a castle on the same Vesper/Minoc coast that our tavern sat on, and on one fateful afternoon one of the members of ToFW took a stroll down the coast. No one remembers who actually killed this poor sap, but whoever did cemented war between the ToFW and LoP. And with that the beatdowns began. Early on the battles occured at the Lusty Wench, with ToFW mages recalling in, hiding under rooftops, and trying to lighting bolt our members. In one of the fights we acquired a key to the ToFW castle, and soon after made our charge in. They tried to stop our advances with cows - but those efforts failed and we took over the castle and chased Temple of Four Winds all the way back to DSO.

Our time didn't last long in UO. We became bored of this buggy game quickly, and in December of 1997 Drusus gave the official announcement that the League of Pirates had retired from UO. A few members, such as LDC and Basil hung around - but LoP was really out of things for awhile there.

Apparently though, we don't listen to official announcements very well. By April the League of Pirates was heavily back into UO. Fresh blood and veteran blood alike gathered at the Lusty Wench Tavern to hone their skills, and by May - with the guild war patch on the horizon - our headquarters was a veritable UO fitness club with people sparring, casting, and messing around with polar bears to tweak those skills out. As the guild war patch neared old school LoPers began to realize just how far ahead of most UO players they were. After a few encounters in dungeons with PK groups - we realized that our characters were some of the most badassed on the server. A really really brief skirmish with the guild Kil'Jadn made up of former ToC members didn't satiate our taste for asskicking - and when a bunch of no names from the Crusaders of Justice (CoJ) started showing up on our message board we jumped at the chance to give them a beat down.

CoJ was supposed to satiate our desire for killin'...........instead they gave us a few days of laughs as we utterly humiliated them. Once again a guild disbanded after going to war with LoP. The first blow was struck by Blazer who took down the CoJ named Mundial in a duel, and later that same night the real massacre began. LoP had implanted Abindago in CoJ as a spy, and he was able to get us a rune to their HQ and tell us when they were meeting. Members of CoJ had gathered for a meeting that night to discuss, what else - LoP, and we decided the real thing was better than talking about us. First Ampere chased the CoJ's Gm Runner and 2nd in Command Trazk across the entire continent and eventually bagged him. Aviticus, the leader and head trash talker, came out briefly before having to KoP while his guildmembers stood idly by not helping. Next I dueled CoJ's "best", Lord Doom, and forced his surrender after he healed himself about 7 times and chugged an equal number of pots compared to my one In Vas Mani. Later that night, using the key that Abindago had procured, we charged into the CoJ forge killing Aviticus and Trazk again while a GM friend watched helplessly. The next day CoJ began an amazing disappearing act, saying they "needed more time to prepare" for our war. The last time we saw them was a few days later when Abindago was running off with the master keys to their entire estate which he has now turned into the headquarters for our allies Rudolph's Gang.

Spring turned to Summer and UO boredom turned to the Guild War Patch. Quickly after the patches inception we declared war on our long time rivals the Shadows of Britannia. A collection of the best guilds on Great Lakes would engage in battle after battle over the next week - SoB and its allies DDH and SiN against the LoP and a conglomerate called the Untouchables (UnT). The LoP lost some battles, won some battles - which is how life goes, eh? From getting our asses handed to us outside the SoB-LoP compound, to taking them out at Serpent's Hold, to getting spanked in Moonglow, to jumping a few of them right back in the Scholar's Inn, we had a damn good time in this classic war. In the end UnT disbanded, SoB gained at least a modicum of respect for LoP, and once again UO went back to normal - sometimes fun, sometimes boring.

Which tells the story of the LoP's immersion in UO pretty well. Sometimes fun, sometimes boring. Our activity in UO has more fluctuations than Darkblade's sexuality - but its obviously the exciting times that we'll remember longest as we look back on this game - our first big game together. Overall, I had a blast. Ultima Online has unquestionably been my favorite computer/video game of all time, and the sole reason for that is being in the LoP. Its so great to look back on screenshots and remember the excitiment before, during and after the crazy shit that went down. Wargames, taking over Kazola's, Purple Cape Boys, Annoying Roleplayers, Dueling, Russian Roulette, Rudolph's Gang, Lame OSI monster quests, even fishing was fun for chrissakes. And now a quick check of the people who led the way in all these great LoP - UO Final experiences - Abindago, Ampere, Basil, Blazer, Drusus, Gregor, Icarious, Jacques de Molay, Jander, Long Dong Copper, Muiy, Wind Walker, and countless others. Great job fellas.

On To Norrath

Who knows when the book on UO will close - hell as I'm writing this I'm being urged by others to come pk with them at Rat Valley. It could be said that UO keeps drawing us back, but I think its more accurate to say that other LoPers keep bringing us back. The League of Pirates is now an online institution, we've been around for more than two years now, and aren't showing any signs of slowing down. I'm sure that in a year's time I'll begin filling these pages with a recount of our adventures in Everquest, and after that who knows what worlds await us. At some point we'll return to an improved Britannia, and I'm sure the rehash will be fun. Its not the game that I'm interested in, it's the people who I'm playing the game with that makes it fun - and ain't no more fun a group of players than those in the League of Pirates.

Now, who's up for some Tetrinet?