The Chronicles of Genbu
Genbu and Aeons. The brothers. The twins. The Blender. Some of you may think Genbu and Aeons started together as greenies killing slugs, getting crude maps, farming Grimwood logs, creating their own tribe, etc. Truth be told, that is not even close to how the legend began. It goes like this:
Genbu was made for one purpose only: Rez creeps that died in the plains that were commonly used for PvP events originally held by members of the Kinhip No Quarter and the infamous tribe Soldiers of the White Hand. He stayed rank 2 for many months, not knowing the call he would be receiving shortly after Book 13 launched.
With the advent of book 12, legions of freeps filled the moors seeking the new PvP armor and jewelry one could obtain through the Delving of Frôr. A Loremaster by the name of Valistar lead their ranks. Not enough credit is given to this General of the Freep Army for establishing complete domination throughout the Ettenmoors. Hated even by some of his own for effectively obliterating the opposition through sheer numbers at the very Steps of Gramsfoot, something had to give.
It was getting to the point where creeps eager to join the cause would quit after getting blown up by 24 mindless soldiers of the Free People's Army in 0.2 seconds. Byakko was such a Warg. He'd sneak behind enemy lines following his pack leader Aeons only to be stunlocked into the ground, floating into mid air in the form of purple numbers for the Freeps. He couldn't stand it anymore. The constant farming. Being Fodder. Being worthless. Being a Warg. His hatred towards himself pushed him to abandon his pack. To abandon his own brother in the face of such great opposition. To abandon creepside entirely.
* * *
A minstrel by the name of Xaris made his way to the Ettenmoors with a tinge of fear. A Warg branded the name Aeons had finally turned the tide of battle. His pack grew so large that they no longer needed to strike from the shadows. He openly started contesting Valistar's reign over the Ettenmoors. So much so that when Xaris made his first appearance in Glain Vrâig, he saw Valistar looking down that hill with such a solemn look, sitting cross-legged wondering how this all happened. Xaris couldn't help but laugh. He had seen the power Freeps wielded and were capable of doing on his way to 50.
Not heeding Valistar's warnings of being farmed by creeps if we ventured out, Xaris made his way down that hill with 17 other strangers in his group. One soldier's name he would never forget. Artemii. Xaris was blown away by his expertise at keeping him alive. He played the most important role in that group without even realizing it. Aeons and his group of disorganized, overly-confident creeps were quickly wiped out. Xaris thought to himself: This is good. With Aeons leading the creep hordes and Xaris reigniting the Free Peoples, the Ettenmoors could turn into a place filled with conflict and action. A place to practice for the battles to come.
Xaris felt an unexplainable connection with Aeons. He saw him as his equal. His perfect opponent. The only reason Xaris entered the Ettenmoors was to earn enough rank to buy his Angechor bracelet. He would now play a key roll in the conflict for control of the Ettenmoors. Or so he thought.
A few days later, it was mid-morning, Xaris had finally achieved enough rank to buy the bracelet he longed for. He joined a group of Freeps led by a little stump. A Dwarf. He marveled at the fact that people would actually listen to such a small and frail fatty, but he paid it no mind. Xaris quickly picked up on how terrified this fatty was of engaging in PvP without the support of NPCs. Xaris grew tired of hugging the Captain General of the Lumber Camp. The Captain did not like being caressed by the hand of another man. Xaris later questioned the real reason why this fatty wanted us to hug NPCs no matter the size of the opposition. He cringed at the thought.
Xaris couldn't handle it anymore. You see, Xaris had a hot head. It was almost as if he was destined to be a champion like Menaleus of old, not a singer. He wasn't in a PvP zone to have tea with NPCs. He communicated his concerns to the fatty, but they fell on deaf ears. So Xaris left. For good. He knew there was only one solution. Make the fatty pay. Dearly. There was only one way:
Go back to the dark side. Not as a lowly Warg, but something greater. Something that could unify Creepside and change Gladden forever. A Warleader.
* * *
And so it was that Genbu joined the hordes of Angmar. His heart full of hate for what Valistar initiated fueled every rank he achieved. But there was a problem. Creepside was in disarray. Though Aeons' raids did great on occasion due to his leadership and support he could count on from Soldiers of the White Hand (Zalbag, Zenz, Blite, clibni, governator), his raids were full of what Genbu referred to as "Trash Classes". Wargs, Spiders and BAs. These raids would get farmed whenever the Freeps had a formidable raid or if the veterans were out. But they didn't give up. Wipe after wipe Aeons with Genbu's support were able to hold their own against the Freeps.
They developed dirty tactics to prevail against Valistar's mighty army. Valistar used a simple tactic to deter the creeps from summoning two trolls at a time. Leave Tol Ascern, Isendeep and Lumber Camp to the Witch King, and control Lugazag and Tirith Raw to staunch creep reinforcements. It worked, for a while. With the help of a traitor to the Free People's, a hunter by the name of Tanen, Genbu and Aeons mastered the art of ninja-ing Keeps. They got it down to 6 minutes. But Valistar could make it there in 3 to 4 minutes if a scout warned him quick enough.
This led to some of the most epic battles and keep defenses Gladden had ever seen. Tirith Raw became the most important Keep of the Ettenmoors. That corner to the immediate left when entering the Captain General's room was permanently stained with creep, freep and even horse blood. Everyone thrived, even the creep scum that camped the reinforcement path.
After a few weeks Genbu was finally rank 5 with the help of his mentors at the time: Cowbell, Hydromorph, Vurgash and above all: Medluk. A captain at heart, Medluk was a beast. Period. He is never even mentioned in the verses of today's Minstrels. Noobs. Genbu had never met such a diligent Warleader with such quick reflexes and a keen eye to predict damage.
Things were looking promising. But then, PvE happened.
Aeons, through SotWH got an invite from No Quarter. He had to raid with them 3-4 time a week, which crippled the creep raid because he was the best target caller. Someone had to step up to fill the void the nights Aeons had to raid.
Genbu remembers his first raid group like if it was yesterday. His small group was getting farmed by Valistar between Orc Camp and Lugazag. Genbu was frustrated because if his 6-man group was just a bit bigger, they'd be able to roll Valistar's raid back to GV. So he did. He put himself on the raid assist window followed by Pampers (Finradir) who stepped up to take Aeons place as target caller. Genbu invited every creep that was group-less and immediately pushed out of OC with a coordinated attack. It was a success. Genbu's first victory.
Before story time continues, there are a few people that need to be mentioned here that played a huge roll in my ascension to raid leader. Without these guys, well, that's a whole different subject.
iinbiilc: Black Arrow Often referred to as "The fake Clibni".
Easily one of the most hated hunters from book 10 to the end of book 11: Governator. He was a Supreme star-farmer. No one knows what sparked it, but he went creep. Full-time. He was one of the main target callers I relied on. I never understood why he decided to stick it out with me in SotWH instead of joining his friends in Conscripts of the Iron Crown. That gave me the motivation I needed to step up and become the leader you all know.
Kait. One word comes to mind: Helegrod. This guy was a machine. Sometimes I'd wonder if he had another PC up with all the pulls, how to do them, what skills to use. It was impossible to piss him off. I'll always admire his patience. Being a captain just like Medluk, he was a great bubbler and an even better user of Snap. He stuck it out just like Gov did and was there to see creepside at its highest point. People say he changed, even close friends of mine that I still talk to. That's something I would have to see for myself.
Blite. The original 110% creep. It's almost as if he picked up the game, accidentally made his way to the Scrying Pool at level 10, went through, and never came back. He was the perfect soldier, never followed orders. Aeons relied on him heavily to find the next target to kill because he'd never be on the main target. We met him as Snapper when we would gank on our wargs. He was the only person I trusted with being the new battle-master of SotWH when I retired. It's a shame no one mentions this guy when talking about the OG vets of Gladden.
My first traitor I scored from Valistar. A minstrel at that by the name of Sudonh. She never went back to Freep side. Warleaders were hard to find before we imposed the blender. She along with reddmedic, Sideshow, Grogog, Cheerz and Mudpie would later become THE defilers of creepside. She got very attached to us and quit permanently when we went to warhammer for 3 weeks. I still feel bad about that and it's been what, close to 5 years? Damn. I never had closure with someone I heavily relied upon to get things done in the moors. She was one of these true friends that stood by your side even when you were in a bad mood.
Toejamm's story is a funny one. When it came to who joined my raids, There were certain conditions that needed to be met in order to get an invite. It was much more difficult to get an invite as a Trash Class as opposed to a regular class like War-leader, Reaver or Defiler. As a regular class you could always get an invite as long as you were up to date with the skills and traits available for your rank. Sure you might get sacrificed if someone of higher rank logged on, but at least the green and blue rings had the privilege of joining the main raid.
Toejamm joined as a rank-less green ring Reaver. The lowest of the low barring trash classes. I invited him and later forgot about him. 30 minutes later I'm doing a routine check through the members of the raid and see this rank 2 green-ring. Automatic boot from raid. I get an immediate tell from the greenie asking why he was booted. I then tell him: "why should I waste my time with you when you don't even dedicate time to play your class to the fullest? You're hindering the raid". He said: "I'm sorry bro, I'm new to creep side. I joined your raid at rank 0and ranked way too fast. I haven't even had time to map to Grams and buy skills". By the end of night he was just shy of rank 4. A few days later he was rank 5 and had all necessary maps to join Soldiers.
A few months later he was one of the top Reavers on the server when it came to amount of infamy gained. His story reinforced one of the main ideals upheld by Aeons and I no matter the criticism we received for it: Never deny a noob the chance to become an asset. You just never know.
Clean: Any Class
The one and only: Uncle Creepy. He would make fun of us "city boys" as he put it for never having brisket before. We loved him. Everyone did. Snicker, Notwood, Sutnack, [reaver], [spider]. Another full-time creep just like Blite. He was one of the co-founders of the OG SotWH together with Zalbag and others. He was the first vet I ganked with on my warg.
My brother-in-Arms. When I first met him and his crew they were all maybe one rank lower than I was. I thought they were terrible players because their creeps had funny names. I didn't know they were Freeps until a few weeks down the road. Tiddels, Meatbag, Egnog and Crysoul (Tides, Primitve, Bobsevil and Kraeken/Lamora). They were the last piece of the puzzle. Everything came full circle when these guys went creep full-time. With the exception of Bobsevil that played a BA, the majority of these guys had a secure spot in the most coveted squad: Group One. The group that never died. The group that everyone wanted to be in. At its highest point, Group One members needed to have a minimum of three stars at all times, even when camping GV or being outnumbered.
Tides even convinced me to kill the Balrog for the first time with them. Our friendship extended beyond game. We still visit each other every few months. I remember the first time we all got together. There was almost eight of us. We called it PhalanxFest. From that day onwards we committed to spelling out "Phalanx" with beer/liquor bottles one letter at a time. I think we still have 3 letters to go. Back to story time before I get sidetracked.
By this point, Valistar and Kalib's ragtag raids were getting owned more times than not. But whenever soldiers of Ancient of Days, No Quarter, Phalanx or The Old Timer's Guild were out, the SotWH raid would get owned. Bad. Genbu and Aeons hated losing. Especially Genbu. He had a reputation of immediately pointing out the reasons for the defeat, what went wrong, what could have been done better. But even when the raid played flawlessly, why were they still losing?
Crowd Control. Tar. AoE stuns. Stacking Dust in the Eyes. What could they do to counter this? After a long day of battling back and forth across the Ettenmoors, Genbu and Aeons schemed and schemed looking over their attack formations and battle plans until it hit them: What classes have the tools to combat all this CC the Freeps have? It was simple: Warleaders and Reavers. These are the tools they had at their disposal:
Snap out of it: Short cool down and removed any ailment. Most importantly knockdowns and stuns
Resilience: Short cool down and saved the WL's cool down from being used
Aura of Command: 25% increase in overall group damage and 15% increase in attack speed
Devastating Strike: the most important skill. If the raid had 6 or more Reavers, this effectively cut the target's max morale in half because the target would literally die after the Reavers' synchronized DS at 50% health.
Run Speed Pots: 20% Run Speed pots. This enabled WLs to kite effectively and the Reavers to keep up and catch a fleeing target despite the massive amount of slows the Freeps had. Everyone in Group One and Two were required to have them.
The Idea was there. The tools were there. All Genbu and Aeons needed was a spark. Aeons made a post, but it was ridiculed by the fatty and others. It fell on deaf ears. A few days past and nothing. No one was willing to stop playing their main classes and roll Reavers and WLs.
The spark came. It came in form of Valistar inbetween Tirith Raw and the famous TR Hotspot. Valistar had his usual ragtag group of 12 or so. They weren't great, but they weren't bad. It was roughly 5:30 in the afternoon. Genbu was frustrated. Their raid was getting ripped apart in the open. They were forced to retreat under the NPCs skirts time after time. Genbu snapped. He made every Warg, Black Arrow and Spider make brand new Reavers and Warleaders whether they liked it or not. He took a huge risk. But it was worth it.
They listened. With Genbu and Aeons as escorts, they ran all the way from the Steps of Grams to Tirith Raw. Not caring whether his new creewere exhausted or not, Genbu and Aeons drew out the plan and immediately went out the Keep Gates. They were bloodthirsty. They ran as one right into the heart of the Freeps and wrecked havoc. Valistar, overwhelmed, fell back to the hot spot. They followed them right into it not caring for the 12 NPCs that waited. Before the last creep died, every member of the Freep platoon either fled, died or had their bodies defiled by the green ring Reavers.
The Blender was born.
It was a snowball rolling down an endlessly steep hill. There was absolutely nothing the Free People's army could do to stop the pent up hate raging inside every creep.
CC didn't work. Healing didn't work. NPCs didn't save them. Strategy after strategy failed. There was only one thing they could do. Augment their numbers. But even this rarely worked. This just resulted in bolstering the creep ranks and two Trolls rampaging accross the Moors. More creeps joined the ranks, four of which aided The Twins and played key roles in the complete destruction of the Free People's morale: Urgbuz, Unguluk, Adder and Nazgrel.
Genbu saw this young Warleader asking the normal questions greenies usually ask in OOC, and paid him no mind. He knew he would have to deal with him eventually because this Warleader, with the dumbest name Genbu had seen so far, was different. Something was off. This Uruk was much more clean cut than your average uruk freshly arrived from the Sulfur Pits. He didn't smell bad. He was not hot-headed at all and did not make irrational decisions as Genbu was notorious for. This Uruk needed to be taught a lesson. To be toughened up. That voice that sounded too much like the other sex needed to be squashed. There was no room for weakness in SotWH’s Ettenmoors. He invited it to raid and before he knew it, Genbu had a new officer in his tribe. One that would help Genbu and his right-hand Aeons carry the increasingly growing load of not only the raid, but the battle for the Ettenmoors in its entirety.
Story Mode off for a second. Urgbuz was one of THE most under-rated creeps on Gladden. Out of the endless number of creeps I played with, no other showed the growth as a player that Urg did. She went from being a terrible Warleader to being a Group One Warleader in a relatively short time. Ask anyone that used to play with me back in the day. The people in Group One couldn’t be good. They had to be great. Especially under pressure. Sometimes I would tell myself: “W T F, why am I not dead right now”? She finally learned to predict incoming damage, the most important thing a healer in any game needs to know.
Great person to have on the raid or group assist window and one of the smartest players I had the privilege of playing with. I found out how to correctly pronounce his name maybe a year after we started playing together (Oongoolook, lol). As far as I can remember, he was the only warg besides Aeons that was always in Group One. Later on he became the only warg allowed in Group One when Aeons rolled Mursamane. He was one of the only two burgs that could consistently kill my Minstrel in a duel (the other being Lamora).
Adder: Black Arrow
A prize from Freepside. Just like Unguluk and the Warg class, he was one of the few BAs allowed into the Blender. He was the type of guy that would hop on whatever class we were lacking. That reminded me a lot of Clean and his army of rank 6 toons. After a few of our BAs hit rank 7, we’d put them all in Group 4 to VT anyone with 3 stars or more.
Mariuss. He finally got fed up with dealing with Valistar and the fatty and came to try out creep side. Nazgrel became his main. He was one of those guys that we never expected to join us. Despite having one of the worst computers for gaming, he racked up a lot of KBs and played well. He was exactly what we needed. A Veteran. With Nazgrel as a new addition along with Reaver veterans like Eunuch, Blite, Meatbag, Mursamane and Nodeninja, we were unstoppable. Their skill was enough to offset the skill lacking in the reavers coming up in the ranks. Story Mode on.
They were unstoppable. It didn’t matter how many Freep raids were out, what Keep the Freeps chose to make their last stand, the end result was the same: A map covered with Sauron’s Eye. That was their queue to return to Gramsfoot, now barren of Freeps at its steps, to celebrate the day’s battles.
The Freeps finally gave up. Their morale completely destroyed. The Ettenmoors became a desolate wasteland with no blood to spill. Whenever Genbu and Aeons got their Soldiers mobilized, the opposition would disappear after the first skirmish.
They finally won, but what now? There was nothing left to prove.
Rumors could be heard in the wind of a new conflict rising in the far west. Genbu and Aeons decided to leave the Ettenmoors along with another Tribe by the name of Conscripts of the Iron Crown. They enjoyed many battles on these new lands, but something kept bothering Genbu. The reports coming in every week kept fueling Genbu’s anger: The fatty had returned alongside another amateur by the name of Ericthered. There were freeps getting 20k renown in a day. He had to return. He was gone too long. The Chieftains he left behind were being overwhelmed and humiliated. But there was a problem. Aeons had to stay behind for a while longer. Genbu understood. He had already been through this once. He could do it again.
He turned on his Mobilize and started running. He ran and never looked back. When he finally arrived at Gramsfoot, he was in awe. Freeps at the very Steps of Grams. Impossible. He quickly looked over the roster of his tribe and looked away in disgust. Over three quarters of the Creeps he relied on were gone. What was to be done now? Infuriated, Genbu rushed out of Gramsfoot and into the cluster of Freeps, alone. He needed to let the Freeps know he was back. It took them every drop of effort to make him succumb to his wounds. But it was worth it. A storm was coming, and a lowly Uruk, rank 4 at the time knew it.
Cuomo said: “Welcome back, things have changed a lot since you were gone. Creepside is in turmoil. Our leadership is weak. They are doing what they can to stop the Freeps’ advance. Everything has gone back to the way it was before you and Aeons revitalized creepside. I’m here to help”. And so it was that Cuomo and his squadron joined SotWH. Cuomo, Lathius, Aterju, Cyclic, Cahboom, Mudpie and others would soon form something far greater and powerful than Genbu and Aeons did before their untimely departure. The days to come would later be referred to as the Golden Age of Gladden’s Ettenmoors.
The most epic battles the Ettenmoors had ever seen were taking place. Aeons had finally arrived and the SotWH were in full swing. Rules were established. No freep was allowed to have over 3.5 stars. All loot obtained through keep takes belonged to Genbu. Anyone who had a problem with this was quickly dispatched to the Sulfur Pits. Anyone that power drained Genbu automatically received the red skull, a mark that condemned its wearer to a swift death and cursed his next three generations. A Loremaster named Rahzyc didn't care. He made it his sole mission to constantly annoy Genbu. Genbu admired that. He was one of the only freeps that wasn't intimidated by his tactics.
Kalib and Ericthered, after being crushed time after time, finally decided to do their PvP at three in the morning when SotWH were resting in their tents made of Dwarf hide. By this point, all the kinships of Gladden were challenging the blender. Ancient of Days, Exodus, The Old Timer's Guild, No Quarter, Phalanx, Agents of the White Council, and the most lethal kinship of all: Just a Game (JAG, led by the Hero of the Free Peoples: Ol' Gunnor). They all failed. SotWH's fastest time at wiping a 24-man raid was 2 minutes, though some say the fight was won even before it started. The freeps even tried to mimic their raids by using 10 champions in a raid, but when put to the test, failed.
Genbu and Aeons kept pushing the potential of their raid to its limits. They solely focused on the battle at hand. Once thought to be impenetrable, Ost Ringdyr became their playground. Even with a raid of Freeps inside and the incredibly swift arrival of Coldfells reinforcements, the Blender prevailed. Gladden became the only server where infamy per creep was greater than renown per Freep. As put by one of the best players to ever play on Gladden, Azareth: "Gladden Creeps are OP". They were.
Chief Warrior Urgbuz had matured into being a battle-master, with his own hordes to command. With the forces of SotWH, Bad Blood, Red Sun Rising and Dark Ones of Middle Earth, the hordes of Angmar seized control of the Ettenmoors with ease. For good.
Reports came in from a distant land called Windfola. The situation was dire, the creep veterans had abandoned their brothers-in-arms years ago. Genbu and Aeons sent their fastest wargs to scout and evaluate this new land. The reports were spot on. Genbu decided to dispatch a new breed of Uruks and Orcs straight from Urugarth to the land of Windfola. Their leader would be an Uruk that caught Genbu's attention in his bouts with his Uruk-hai brothers in the arena. His name was Zeid. Zeid's best Reaver, Mursamane, accompanied him.
They arrived by nightfall the fourth day. All Keeps were under control by the Free Peoples. This would be Zeid and Mursamane's test. One victory against a full raid of veteran freeps. A week later, their army was ready. They were all rank 3-4. These freeps were easy to goad, easy to taunt, easy to deceive. In their eyes, Zeid's horde were noobs. Zeid counted on this. His life depended on it. It This would become his greatest advantage.
The day came. Zeid would use one of the plans right out of Genbu's battle files. His wargs kept constant eyes on the Freeps. They were on the lawn of Tol Ascern, right in front of the bridge harassing some random creeps. This was the perfect opportunity he'd been waiting for. His raid swam over from Orc Camp and ran along the river bank adjacent to the Auroch fields. When the freeps turned around and saw 24 rank 2-4 Uruks and orcs, it was already too late. They quickly followed their instincts, something they hadn't done in a long time. They ran. They ran into Elf Camp. Zeid followed, it was either now or never. They killed freep after freep, but it wasn't enough. He needed help. There was only eight of them still standing and reinforcements kept pouring in from GV. He blew his chance to prove himself to Genbu and the Windfola creeps. For the first time, he lost hope.
But it came. It came in the form of Veni Vidi Vici. The vets came and made short work of the freeps in their own outpost. Zeid lived to tell the tale. In the days to come, Windfola had turned into a battleground. The original creeps fought with a thirst for battle that gleamed on their blades. Zeid and Mursamane completed their mission.
Genbu had summoned them back to Gladden. As the goblins were preparing everything they'd need for their journey, a warg that was known for his ability to understand and speak human, approached him. He was a sort of ambassador for the servants of the eye. This warg had a message from a captain of the Coldfells' army by the name of Aristedes. The message said: "I admire the way you fight my brothers-in-arms. Our lands haven't seen such excitement in decades. Where do you come from? Who is your Battle-Master? The creeps here are worthless, my men are getting anxious. What say you? Forward this message to your Master."
Zeid couldn't help but smile. This is exactly what Genbu and his right-hand Aeons needed. And Zeid would be the one to deliver the news. What would be his reward? 30 hobbit feet? 20 legs of Man? He shouted into the air to activate his mobilize, and was off. Running at full speed with Mursamane at his side. They laughed the entire way back.
* * *
The moors were winding down. Bree, Rivendale and Fattys' Hall recalled all of its forces from the Ettenmoors. They were getting ready for the war breaking out in the Mines of Moria. Genbu and Aeons, with their hordes of creeps with no one to terrorize, prepared to take the biggest risk ever: Openly strike at the heart of Fatty's Hall. One could only dream.