"What Being A Syndicate Member Means To Me"

By Auranara
The Syndicate is different for everyone, and yet has some key items that are the same for all. I believe that is the point of the entire essay.

Being a Syndie means making friends, and staying true to them. The first time I ever encountered a Syndie was on the bank roof in Yew. It was early in the morning, and I noticed they were preparing to head off to Shame. After a few minutes talking, I was invited to go along, even though I was not a Syndie. Several months passed, and each weekday morning I would eagerly await the AM hunt on Yew’s roof. I began to be invited along to other Syndie events, such as Squad battles, and raids on enemy buildings. It seemed a bit odd originally, being the only non-Syndie present at most of these events. I was offered the opportunity to join, way back then, but due to previous commitments I was unable to accept. I will always treasure the memories of those crazy AM hunts. My proudest memory as a Syndie, was when Dragons was finally able to accept my request to join, even if it was five years after the offer was originally made.

Being a Syndie means playing honestly, by the rules, even when your opponent doesn’t. It’s not easy, but integrity is the Syndie way. I can’t count how many times it would have been easier to break into a house, or beat a group at a PVP encounter with a bug. But I never saw it done by a Syndie, and the few times I heard of it happening, any question was always answered by, “But he/she isn’t a Syndie anymore because they did XXX!”

Being a Syndie, means caring about your Guildmates. When someone is hurt, sick, or on the rare occasion a member or a family member died. We are always there for each other, to offer an ear, or a shoulder, or just someone to cry with. Whatever it takes, people step forward and give of their hearts. Not taking advantage of someone who’s hurting, or confused. Offering opinions, guidance, or just a good swift kick in the pants as needed, all are things we do for each other.

Being a Syndie, means togetherness. How many Guilds can show a 7+year track record? How many have people willing and able to fly across the ocean or continent to spend time just meeting those who are, to quote my husband, “just pixels on a screen?” After two years of being a Syndie spouse, he has changed his tune (and can’t wait to meet the strange guy who called our house a year ago asking for “Aura.” You see Dragons had taken my home phone number, not my cell phone number with him on the way to our first Convention, and ended up talking to “Mr. Aura.” Some of the Guilds I have seen, I would worry about going to meet some of them for dinner, or at a Convention, let alone introducing them to my family, or sharing a home phone number.

Being a Syndie, is being able to stand proud. Knowing that what The Syndicate stands for, is what you stand for. Friendship, Pride, Honesty, Integrity, Caring, Togetherness. LLTS!

By Xander Xavier/Yor Yenrac
I began my on line gaming career as Yor Yenrac in old Neverwinter Night on AOL. We paid nearly $3.00 an hour to play. At its peak this early MMORPG had a maximum capacity 500 players at once. As a newbie I start my own guild, Noble House. We were a merchants’ guild and I was Tai-Pan. It went the way of most guilds, a major split and gone in 3-4 months. During that time I hooked up with Kirk, a.k.a. Faust and Thral. He was AGM of an established Neverwinter guild, House ITB. House ITB (In The Bond) was an elite pvp and a name feared by newbies across the land. Kirk and I met at a Neverwinter mini-bash he hosted in Reno NV. Noble House and ITB established a business relation. We sold them pvp expendables such as scrolls. After Noble House started falling apart I joined ITB. I wanted to be part of the best. Later an AGM position opened up. ITB’s GMs were appointed by their predecessors, AGMs were elected by the membership. My opponent thought herself a shoe in. I stole the election. Unfortunately after AOL was forced by competition to go to a flat rate old Neverwinter was no longer a cash cow. They ended our world.

In our search for a new home Kirk discovered The Crimson Alliance and figured who was behind it, Dragons. Impressed with Faust’s detective work Dragons invited him to join the fairly new guild, The Syndicate. Kirk must have had nice things to say about me because Dragons also invited me to join. I sensed I was being a rare and valuable opportunity. Despite the unexpectedness of the invitation I accepted with little hesitation. I have never regretted having done so. House ITB did not survive the loss of Neverwinter. The major reasons ITB did not survive were lack of core values and strong leadership. There was not a unified vision and focus of who we were and where we were going as a guild.

Being a Syndie means have both core values and strong leadership. Syndicate: an association of people or firms formed to engage in an enterprise or promote a common interest. Our common interest? Our core values? Friendship, teamwork, community, fun, integrity and professionalism. It is these core values that make us who we are as a guild. Having Dragons as leader is also what makes us who we are. So many guilds have one GM after another. It is having core values of worth that hold people together and faithful leadership throughout the years that make us who we are and have held us together, making us who we are. Many guilds have come and gone over the years. It was the lack of core values and consistent leadership which cause guilds who considered themselves the best of the best to fade and fail.

What does it mean to me being a Syndie? It means for the last six years I have had a faithful friend in Dragons. It means there has been an organization of people who could be trusted and have been there ready to provide backup and friendship. Being a Syndie is an honor beyond what I consider myself worthy. It means be a part of the greatest online gaming guild on the planet. Being a Syndie is cause for thanksgiving.

If it sounds like I am singing Dragons’ praises, I am. Being Syndie to me means being grateful to a man who has made this organization work all this time. If you have not been involved in other guilds you don’t know how rare this is. He has certainly shown me more patience than I have deserved in times past. Being a Syndie also means being associated with all you fine people whom I wish to thank each and everyone for help me become re-involved after being inactive for so long.

Xander Xavier, Yor Yenrac, Roy Carney

By Jade
It was late last August if memory serves me correctly. Back then I went by the name of my only character Whitecap. The title of Young in paranthesis seemed to attract a mix of people. This did not concern me. My goal was to Grandmaster Blacksmithing. One eve' found me mining in my hometown of Haven. A stranger named Odin of Thee Faye stopped and asked me "How are you liking the game so far?" I often visit that spot, each time it makes me smile. For that was the first day I met Wayland, that was my first encounter with The Syndicate. Wayland and I became great friends. I remember waiting at his house for house for hours just to hunt with him. His powers of magery greatly surpassed my own, we fought side by side each day. Each time I saw him the four letters above his name always invoked a strange kind of curiosity. When asked about them he grinned and replyed that he was a part of The Syndicate. The oldest and largest guild in all of Britannia. I remember thinking of how incredible The Syndicate, this LLTS must be to have survived this long. Weeks passed and my magick skills grew as did my knowledge of Sosaria. My curiosity concerning The Syndicate also grew. Each time I was introduced to one of Wayland's guildmates I was in sheer awe of these people. They were so kind, so gentle. And yet, there was a quite strength about them. Vigor if you will. By this time I had settled comfortably into my now main character Jade. I learned more about The Syndicate and its members. I met more and more of you. Wayland had given me me a website address llts.org. I stayed up reading by candlelight untill the light of the rising sun creeped across the world.Tales of the feared Feluccia and its many wars. Tales of heroisim, bravery, and courage were all that seemed to grace the pages. I read of the battles to defend Empath Abbey. My trips to that place were never the same. So much history was intertwined into the walls. I was fond of reading books written by beings of all sorts. The Abbey never seemed to have a shortage of these. My favorite was entitled In Search of Arx Draconis. To this day I am unsure as to the origin if the tale but, I read it often. I became familiar with many Syndicate members. Stopping to say hello each time I ran into one. Wayland recommended that I apply to the guildmaster. His name was Dragons as it turned out. The name seemed eeriely perfect. Images swarmed my mind, a sea of blue robes massing behind a powerful leader. My application was met with a reply that made me work harder. I must meet the requirement of 90 in a skill to be considered. The skill it turned out was Meditation. Over the weeks it had slowly creeped up as I hunted. I trained long and hard untill finally the day arrived. I burst through the doors of Wayland's small stone tower. I met the requirement I was going to apply again. It was a saturday morning, I stopped at Empath Abbey to bank a bit of loot. Wayland it turned out was there. He seemed to shout with excitement. I had been accepted. I was now, a member of The Syndicate. The rest of the morning was spent setting up mIRC. My access was limited to #lltsnew however. That suited me just fine. My first taste of how far my guildmates were willing to go to assist me came on my first trip into Feluccia. Thieves seemed to be attracted to me. A few moments of shouting and snooping passed. To this day I still think of how quickley Wayland and I were aided. The obviously inexperienced Jade seemed much more meanicing as two white wyrms appeared through a gate. Countless acts such as that one I have experienced and taken part in. Fight Night intrigued me. I was curious as to how a family such as The Syndicate which seemed so peaceful could turn so fierce. Wayland partied me explaining who all of the fighters were. He pointed out the Nox Mage Joker, Rebel, and many others that have slipped my memory. I watched awestruck as Joker and Rebel fought. I believe it was that night I fell in love with player vs. player combat. This Joker was not in green as were the other syndies. His guild was called TSG. The Syndicate Guard I learned later were the defenders of LLTS. They went to war when we could not. My access to the main mIRC main room was granted after what seemed like an eternity. I wished to meet more guildmates. I became aquanted with everyone. That very night seemed strange to me. I asked what was wrong? What had brought everyone down so? Rebel. I did not know much of guild affairs as of yet but that name haunted me so. I was in the company of RiKansu when I met him for a second time. Wayland had once spoken to me of The Syndicate's power. We were unbeatable because of our unity, because when we were hated we stood our ground. Not fighting, not moving. Just silent. We were hated by some and yet did not let it burn us so. Memories of my youth in Haven flowed back to me as well as Wayland's words. RiKansu and I stood our ground. We simply watched as Rebel's guild held their very own Fight Night atop of Empath Abbey. I smiled and introduced myself to him as the young mage who had watched him fight so long ago. I swore to myself that I would become skilled in the arts of war so that I may one day defend The Syndicate. Any crime against The Syndicate would not go unpunished. This guild and all of its members had become friends, nay, they were family. A community of friends. I have learned the reason LLTS this Syndicate still exists. Our strength comes from each other. Side by side we stand and fight for we are Syndicate brothers and sisters. I have fought beside the best. The best of the best. I have seen war in the name of The Syndicate next to the old Nox Mage Joker and TSG. I have looked into the eyes of the most ferocious monsters. I have fought to place the mark of LLTS upon a fortress defended by Ophidians. I have stood backed by an army of blue robes upon corpses of monsters no warrior could defeat alone. I have laid eyes upon the most beautiful sites of Britannia. I have seen blood. I have seen strength. All things I would never have experienced if not for The Syndicate and my guildmates. May the battlecry of The Syndicate ring loud within your ears each time you fight my friends. May you always know that within the halls of The Syndicate we are safe. With each other we find strength. I shall always draw strength from my friends, I thank you all. LONG LIVE THE SYNDICATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jade, Ectorious, Vigor Marquise, Atalanta

By Mordessa
In the dangerous lands of Sosaria, nothing is more valuable than a friend you can trust. Whether delving into the darkest crevices of the many perilous dungeons, or peddling your wares around the shifty thieves at the local market, a friend is truly an invaluable asset. This is the person who, when faced with even the most horrifying of beasts, you can trust with your very life.

When one first encounters the lands of Sosaria, most travelers are unsuspecting, and thus naively trusting. These newcomers are quickly the victims of one of the land’s many thieves. The danger increases ten fold when they encounter their first wandering murderer. If, by chance, these newcomers escape with their lives, they learn to trust only themselves. Unfortunately for them, Sosaria does not play nicely to lone adventurers. Seekers of adventure find that the shadows of a dungeon are no place to be alone. Merchants will find that, without a lookout, they are picked clean by the area thieves.

This is the point of decision for the adventurer. They can pack up and leave the lands of Sosaria, settle for a life of begging and picking up spare equipment thrown down at the banks, or they can seek out a friend. Seeking a friend in these parts can be tricky. Many people may seem to be your friend, but the moment your back is turned, your pack is empty. This is where the many guilds of Sosaria can be of assistance. Guilds are groups of people with a common interest, working together toward a common goal. Many guilds exist in the lands that cater to the needs of seekers of adventure, or to those who possess various craftsman skills. Unfortunately, the focus of most of these guilds is on riches; thus they quickly alienate most members. What the lone adventurer really needs is a guild whose focus is on the people in it, and not on their skills or their ability to earn the guild fame and riches. For the lucky adventurers who find themselves candidates for membership in The Syndicate, that is exactly what they find.

The Syndicate, while large and very powerful, keeps its focus on its members. This starts right from the selection process. Potential candidates are selected based on the person, and not on their skills. They are each given the opportunity to make friends with existing members. Those candidates that successfully show their interest is with the people of the guild, and not recognition or riches, are granted membership. Over time, these new members create lasting bonds with each person in the guild; bonds that extend far past the reaches of the lands of Sosaria. These are true friends; friends you can trust with your life.

This is what it means to be a member of The Syndicate, or Syndie; friendship. A Syndie is a friend you can trust with your life, even when standing in the shadow of a mighty Balron. A Syndie will jump at the chance to rescue a fellow member, or to provide much needed equipment. These friends will not let you down. Long Live The Syndicate!

By PapaSmurf
We recognize that our size, strength, and intelligence gives us a unique responsibility toward our environment. We seek to live in harmony with others, bringing a balance to the game and offering others fulfillment as well as our own.

We acknowledge a depth of power far greater than is apparent to the average person. Because it is far greater than ordinary, it is sometimes called met with jealously but we see it as lying within that which is naturally potential to all.

We recognize both outer world and inner world of Britiania, and we see in the value of both, seeking a harmony with in these two dimensions. We neglect neither dimension for the other, seeing both as necessary for our fulfillment.

We recognize any authoritarian hierarchy is necessary to keep order but should not repress its members. We respect those who teach, honor those who share their greater knowledge and wisdom, and acknowledge those who have courageously given of themselves in leadership.

Calling oneself "Team Oriented" does not make one a Syndicate Member. Neither does Grand Master, the collecting of titles, degrees, and incantations. A Syndicate member seeks to help not only Guild members but also fellow Britanians in order to live wisely and well, without harm to others, and in harmony within the world we live.

We acknowledge that there is an end to Ultima and Everquest , however the bond of friendship we build will be a continuation, evolution and development of the guild.

As Syndicate members, we are not threatened by attacks from other guilds or players whom intend to harm us. We are concerned with our present, and our future.

We are an association of people formed to promote a common interest.
We are The Syndicate!

By Sandfire
You find yourself dead in a dungeon far away from a healer, it´s been a bad day so far. You died before today and you have no help request left. The next healer is minutes away and you cannot just go back to grap your valueables. You would need to organize yourself, get reequipped to make your safe way back to your body. Its just a game you think, nothing is real in here, you just look at sprites on the screen. But then, you have items of high value on you and you didn´t insure them cause it would eat up your gold on a hunt like this. You suddenlyy realise, you can lose those items, you realise how much you would miss the stuff that is now lying on your corpse waiting for the time to run its course. Stress makes its way thru your body, you start to panic and you come to the conclusion, "YES, I am about to lose those valueable items, they will decay". Like a headless chicken you start to waste time while ! trying three diffrent ways to get your loot back in time.

You would lose the stuff, if there weren´t your guild mates, if there weren´t mIRC chatrooms in which we are organized. You yell for help and within the necessary time a couple of guild mates are there and save what has caused the stress. You suddenly feel warm and grap your belongings freshly ressed in a save area controlled by experienced online player.

You return home safely, with your complete equipment in your bag and a smile on your face. You now realize, you came from the day to day work, dived into the irreality of an online game to experience real friendship. A real relationship to real people somewhere in this real world. A person you probably never would have met otherwise. You learn about these people, their ideas, their feelings, their fears and you become part of a world that grows together in a real freindship. The Syndicate, Dragons, with his high standards filter the stream of individuals in ! this game and out of it comes the best of the best. Real people you can trust, you become proud of to know. If more people would realize what an online game can do, they would all play it.

By Tamara
I have been thinking about this and decided to write a short one just for the chance to get to tell the people of this guild how I feel about them. When we join a guild we look for a few people to hunt with and be able to call in a pinch. It is a pleasant surprise to find people that also make you laugh on the hard days and let you vent on the really really bad ones. With time the people here are not about UO or EQ any more. While I have never actually met most the people in this guild, a lot of them are my real life friends as well. A few will be family in my heart forever. No matter what happens or where they go or what they do, they are my extended family that I got the privilege of Choosing unlike the one I was born in. If they need me I will be there, and I will find time some day to go visit them and they always have a place in my home. Just like any family there are days of celebration and days of arguments. This is not a guild but a group with many facets and edges that I will never tire of being a part of.

By Telemachus
One guild stands above all other guilds. It is a guild known by ninety-five percent of the gaming communities in which it exists. The name Syndicate commands respect, and at times evokes jealousy. The Syndicate was established over seven years ago. Long before ninety nine percent of the current guilds in these communities were ever dreamed of. It sets the standard for the smaller guilds that are born everyday. The secret to this guild’s success is within the members that make it up. Each member is of the highest quality. They are the crème’ de la crème’ of the gaming world. Every member contributes and receives three special gifts. These gifts are power, honor and respect.

The power of the guild comes from over four hundred members. Each member is powerful in his/her own respect. Every member is at the top of his or her game. We don’t recruit the average player. We only recruit the best. As a result we are the best guild hunters, the best guild craftsmen and the best guild contributors. When you take the best of the best and put them together you create the best guild the gaming community has ever seen. We all benefit from this every time we participate in a guild event. We know from the moment an event is posted that it will be a quality event with a good level of participation. We sometimes take this for granted. I have been in other guilds that are lacking this quality. As a Syndicate member it is hard to imagine a guild hunt that wouldn’t challenge you or reward you greatly.

The second gift that we are given is honor. We honor each other and the guild by participating in these events, and following the laws that have been established in the guild. Every time we go out on a guild hunt we honor the person that has organized that event. Whenever we help a fellow guild mate we honor him/her as a member. By following the laws of the guild we honor Dragons’ leadership and the veteran members that helped establish this guild. Honor affects every member and is a crucial role in our success.

The last gift that we are given must first be received. The gift I speak of is respect. From the moment I was received in to this guild I was treated with respect. I was never looked down on because I was new. I believe a lot of this comes from our recruitment process. I feel confident that if I see a new member he/she is of the highest quality. So I always try to treat my fellow members with the utmost respect. I know that if I deserve it, then everyone else does as well. This also reflects on our guild in general. I immediately noticed the respect I received from other guilds as a result of my membership. We treat other guilds with respect, so they do the same for us. I would never consider publicly criticizing another guild on a gaming website, unless they disrespected us in the same manner.

When I became a member of The Syndicate my gaming experience was enhanced extremely. I feel like a much bigger part of the game now. I used to have a hard time trusting people in game, unless I knew them in real life. Now I feel like I have a huge group of friends that I can trust and rely on. I don’t get to participate as often as I would like, but I know when I do I will have a very enjoyable experience. I will always be here for the guild, because I know the guild will always be here for me. Long Live The Syndicate!

By Randall
To be a Syndicate member, or not to be a Syndicate member, that is the question. Or more accurately, “Why should I want to be a member of The Syndicate?” The answer: respect. Just the act of becoming a member of The Syndicate is enough to garner respect from thousands of gamers all around the world. Getting into this guild is a very difficult thing to do, and that’s only if the Syndicate “gods” deem you worthy enough. Fortunately for yours truly, I am writing this essay on why I love being a Syndicate member.

The Syndicate is known for its virtues in the online gaming world. If anyone needs help of any kind, member and non-member alike, whether it be anything from a monster you are trying to best, a griefer harassing your game play, or just simply needing someone to talk to, if a Syndie is around, we will go out of our way to even the odds or be that shoulder to lean on.

Getting the respect by joining is one thing, keeping it is something entirely different. As mentioned before, all gamers respect just joining, since it is incredibly difficult to get into the guild. However, it is our responsibility that we do our part to not tarnish the guild’s image, or our own, since we are all ambassadors for the guild, together or separate.

A Dragons, the guild master of The Syndicate, has been the leader of the guild since its inception over seven years ago. He has put so much of his time into the guild to watch it grow from a few members so long ago, to the behemoth the guild now stands as today. He is very proud of what the guild has become, as are all of its members, its peoples and myself included, of the true greatness of the guild in general, therein. No other guild has come close in size, life and quality of members that The Syndicate has, in the past years. Current membership, which spans over 500 people are either active in Everquest, Ultima Online, other games, and some are inactive in games, but still help with guild related assignments.

Since my introduction into the guild, I was warmly welcomed by one and all. Each and every one of the Syndies has blown away my expectation in hospitality. If I ever needed anything and asked for help, there would be someone there to watch my back, supply funds or supplies, and hold something for me, just to name a few things that they do. In turn, I would do anything I could to help the next member who needed it.

The Syndicate is also about Community. Although Syndicate members are scattered throughout the world, we all have similar interests, likes and dislikes, yet there is enough diversity to keep things interesting. As in all communities, The Syndicate is made up of all types of personalities and backgrounds, and unlike most all other communities, The Syndicate has its cliques, favorite hunting buddies, chat partners and such, but we are all friends on one level or another.

A third way I would describe The Syndicate and its members is professional. Since Dragons founded the guild over seven years ago in the mid-90’s, the guild has currently grown to over five hundred members worldwide! That is an average increase of a little over 71 members per year. Part of being quality-tested professional gamers, members of The Syndicate are anti-PK, cheater, and griefer. When we see these types of players, we do what we can to even the playing field, either by reporting them to game administrators, or hunting the PK (player-killer), to aid all gamers to enjoy their time online.

Last, but not least, The Syndicate is team and goal oriented, meaning if there is an extra of anything that a member of the guild needs, they are kindly donated by the member that has either excess and does not need him/herself. Other needs for donated items would be prizes for leading successful hunts, winning contests, lottery give-aways, and other event that are held weekly by the guild. For example, the guild master, Dragons, does not sit around on his pile of gold, drying up the economy, and bark out orders, instead, on Monday nights, he leads a monster hunt with any and all members that come along. Tuesday nights, Sandfire leads what he calls his dungeon explorer hunt where he and other Syndies pick a dungeon to explore and cover every inch of the floors in it. Wednesday nights, Christina leads her weekly recruit hunts, to get a feel of the type of team environment we have here in the guild. Thursday nights, Dragons holds an event called “Craftsman Night”, where the guild artisans get together to serve the public. Afterwards, a guild-only event, called “Fight Night”, takes place in a tower owned by a member of the guild. In this event, all participating members fight each other to train for pvp (player versus player) combat and to gain a better chance at survival, in case of being attacked. Finally, on Saturday night, a few members hold a midnight hour treasure hunt for all members that are up that late. I personally look forward to joining all of these activities, as they help me learn about my fellow guild mates and learn better teamwork. On that note, I am especially proud to be a part of The Syndicate, as Dragons is to be the father of this great guild!

By Malavia
Being a Syndicate Member was my Life Long Everquest Dream from the Day I started Playing I had Syndicate Members Help me get Started and i sai to myself thats What i want to be, a Syndicate Member. Being a Syndicate Member gives me the Feeling Of being Part Of a Big Big Family, with Lots Of Extended Family, i think of all syndicate members as my extended Family and Dragons as my Great Grandpa of them All. I love the syndicate In each and every way and i wouldnt want it to change How it really is, it doesnt need to change the Syndicate is a Family Fun organized group of Friends whom like to have fun and do stuff, talk be Merry, and thats all I wanted and I got that when i was accepted and give the Glorious Tag that Showed:
*The Syndicate*
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