The weary spirit cannot
nor does a rough or sorrowful mind
do any good
Thus those eager for glory
often keep secure
in their breast;
often wretched and sorrowful,
bereft of my homeland,
far from noble kinsmen,
have had to bind in fetters
my inmost thoughts . . .
-The Wanderer (Excerpt of the translation from Anglo-Saxons.net)
Out of Character:Edit
Eardstapan was founded in late 2005, early in Kirin Tor's history as a server, by Anhage, Vitruvius, Magyar, and a few others (including one of Kjallstrom's alts). Anhaga, who was studying Old English at the time, was particularly taken with the poem The Wanderer, and formed a guild around its ideas of exile and honor, sending out a call for the misfits and orphans of the Horde to bind together under Eardstapan's banner. Never a particularly large guild, Eardstapan did help quite a few folks to get themselves leveled up while having some fun--other notable members have included Akayuka, DrakKTor, and Du'jaabi. For a while, the guild was a notable presence in World PvP, with members often dropping whatever else they were doing to answer WorldDefense channel calls, and were highly visible with their fire-work studded initiation and promotion ceremonies that took place in the Orgrimmar Valley of Spirit. They took part in a number of the epic storylines that occurred in Kirin Tor's earliest years, such as the disappearance and recovery of Proctor Sesobael. In addition, along with the Poor Sages of Lordaeron and Facta Non Verba, Eardstapan was one of the founding guilds of the Intercontinental Coalition, Kirin Tor's original RP guild alliance. While still a functioning guild, Eardstapan now has very few active members; the only one who can still be seen around with any regularity is the guild-mistress, Anhaga.
At the heart, Eardstapan is a group committed to defending the Horde from all threats-- not only the outer threat of raiding Alliance and the Burning Legion, but also inside threats from elements within the Horde who pursue their own gain with no regard for the cost to others. Many members are loners who walk solitary, requesting aid only when they aren't able to finish a task alone. At their height, they were zealous in their vengeance against those who wronged them or other Horde, but as their numbers have dwindled, the remaining members have grown a bit apathetic in the face of overwhelming odds, feeling that useless and doomed action is more dishonorable than inaction. As a group, they have a deep and abiding sense of honor and fairness, and do their best to give aid to those who need it, even when the one in need might normally be considered a deadly enemy. Members come from all races of the Horde; they judge others by their actions, not by their birth (or re-birth, as the case may be).
Eardstapan Code of Conduct
A wise man must be patient.
He must never be too impulsive, nor too hasty of speech,
too weak a warrior, nor too reckless,
nor too fearful, nor too cheerful,
nor too greedy for goods,
nor ever too eager for boasts,
before he sees clearly.
A man must wait, when he speaks oaths,
until the proud-hearted one sees clearly
whither the intent of his heart will turn.
(The Wanderer, trans. Anglo-Saxons.net)
Eardstapan does have a code of conduct by which they expect members to abide:
Join in the defense of Horde towns whenever possible. Defense is the purpose of the Guild, and we expect that members will regularly participate in world PvP when it can be found, and go play in the Battlegrounds on occasion. We do understand that sometimes you just want to finish whatever quest you're working on, but members are strongly encouraged to join in skirmishes against the Alliance whenever they can.
Don't back down from a fight just because it is not your own. Help others who are overmatched. This runs as a hard rule in the case of other Horde members, but is also encouraged in the case of Alliance folks. The only exception to this rule is a hunter doing the epic hunter quest. If you see a fully trained hunter fighting a really bigass demon, just stay back. If you interfere, you'll not only scare off the demon, but you'll also probably get hurt rather badly, possibly even killed.
Always flag before joining in PvP. Attacking from blue is both cowardly and unfair. Doing so intentionally will result in a reprimand and the possibility of demotion. Continuing such practice after a reprimand may result in expulsion from the Guild.
Do not taunt your opponent. Taunting an opponent and trying to goad him or her into flagging or attacking first is juvenile. Logging on with an alt of the opposite faction in order to annoy an opponent through whispers is equally juvenile. Either way, Eardstapan doesn't want to be associated with people who act like childish bullies; if such behaviors draw substantiated complaints from non-Guild members, the member in question may be reprimanded or expelled.
Loot honestly and intelligently. Don't roll need on BoEs that you intend to sell; don't roll on BoPs unless they are truly needed. In a PuG or other non-ES group, make sure the group decides on loot rules before the expedition begins. Consistent bad looting manners may result in a reprimand or expulsion from the Guild.
Be openhanded with friends, and generous to strangers. This is the attitude that's encouraged, but there won't be any official action taken against members who don't abide by it-- everyone makes their own reputation here. Charging guildmates is a bit, eh, well, not bad, quite, but not very nice. Vis à vis items and strangers, again, do what you will. You'll reap what you sow in this as well, and Eardstapan will not be held accountable for your actions.
And on the other side of this: No Begging. We all hate getting those random whispers, "Can i have 3s, plz? I rly ned it 4 some armor frm teh AH!" Please don't be a perpetrator. If you're direly in need of something, ask around the guild -- someone will probably be willing and able to help you get it. And remember, if all else fails, you can always go out and do a little extra defense against Alliance incursion to make some money.
There are, of course, exceptions to these rules, and a guildmember will never be reprimanded or expelled without a fair hearing. If something untoward should occur, the Eardstapa involved should be prepared to tell his or her side of the story. The rest of the Guild will listen, and will do their best to be just.