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Back in the Day

The origins of the SpoonyBards linkshell are unknown to most, and they trace rather far back.

The first Bards

It all began in BanishedRequiem around roughly 2005 or 2006, likely the former. Only a few months after I (Zackx) first joined the linkshell, Askura was leaving Final Fantasy XI because his offline commitments became serious. With the linkshell slowly dying, a few members wanted to go on. They were Jest, Raitox, and myself. We met in Bastok to create the shell. Being loaded at the time but hating positions of power, I gave Raitox the 8,000 gil and came up with the title SpoonyBards out of my love for Final Fantasy IV. A simple white shell carrying the spirit of BanishedRequiem, we set out on finding some Spoonies. After a few days of recruiting, the Bards seemed to be relatively well and I took a couple months break from Final Fantasy XI.

The Death of the Dream

When I returned, SpoonyBards was dead. According to Raitox, it was overrun by noobs who demanded help and did nothing beneficial, so he broke the shell. Everyone moved back into BanishedRequiem, but it didn't last and we all parted ways. For a number of months, BanishedRequiem was held together by Caffran, Finkhling, Kiteh, and myself through Vine and later DarkHope when a familiar name popped up: Askura.

Phoenix Rising

Askura and I began reminiscing about BanishedRequiem and he then said he wished to revive it. At this point I almost slapped myself. I never knew this Askura guy was leader. The same guy who got savagely raped on WHM during our Eco Warrior run was my old leader? Eventually we successfully revived BanishedRequiem, all the while I became good friends with Askura and made a name for myself in the linkshell, becoming the unwritten second-in-command of sorts. A lot of members, new and old, joined the new incarnation of BR, however two were more notable: Jest and Raitox, now a hume male Shonin.

Masamune Forged

For a period of time, things were truly revitalized (first as BRsHiddenRequiem, then as Masamune), though it was not meant to last. Askura began logging in less and relied on myself to keep the shell running. I didn't want the role, but no other member stepped up and I didn't want to let my friends disband again, so for the better part of a year I ran the shell along his rules, many of which I didn't agree with. In this time, I stopped meriting as much and refocused my attention on helping members accomplish their goals, have a good time, and trying to stimulate interest in the forums (eventually going so far as a podcast).

Somewhere around this period, Shonin "quit," but we later found out he left to Phoenix. The bastard.

First and foremost, I am not nor will I ever be an excellent linkshell leader. I'm much more one of the guys than a commander, so I don't imply that I'm anything of the sort. That, said, continue.

Askura would rarely log in during this period, and when he did it would be to fit his own needs (level his jobs, get his AF, PvP, or anything else he had fun with). There was already tension between us as I felt he wasn't pulling his weight, and when he'd log in and just ask for PvP I was bothered (and some other members too, I later found out). When confronting him about it, he agreed and said he'd be a more proactive leader. I was skeptical, but what choice did I have? He had enough charisma that he could shrug off his own linkshell to live up the night life, come back when it suited him, and they loved him. He has the qualities of a good leader, though to this day I argue that he doesn't put them to their best use (to his credit, I doubt he tries or cares enough to). If he wanted to bring back the shell, he could. He is a rather fun person to have as a friend, but our ways of running linkshells are far too different.

Civil War

As suspected, things didn't work out. Askura proved he could be a good leader for some time, but eventually his night life called and he answered the call. Things returned to the "Askura:MIA" days. By this time, all my online time was devoted to the linkshell. When Askura logged in, he was starting to just laugh at members' misfortune on top of aforementioned actions. I wasn't happy with how he treated his members, so I decided to use my only leverage in the matter: his makeshift replacement. Myself. After three years of membership, I quit. It was actually only going to be for a week. Something of a scare tactic, which I knew wouldn't work, but had to be used.

He caught wind of this and said he'd take a proactive stance as leader once again. I didn't buy it, but wanted to see what he'd do with it. Things went back to more of the same after a while and it was around then that Crystain began talking of leaving for good. I assured him to stay because I loved this shell. When I mentioned to Ask that he needed to show up more, he began logging in then leaving the computer so his name would be in linkshell, but that would be all. Now, what I'd been saying for ages had become clear to the rest of the linkshell: Askura didn't care. Members began taking "sides," to which I'd always been against. Some members argued I was leader, others Askura. I always held firm that Askura was leader and I was just someone he kept around to make sure BanishedRequiem survived in his absence. Regardless, the members were divided.

I told Crystain to stay as the linkshell needed him along with Devistar and other core members. College started up again and I needed some time off, so I said my goodbyes to a couple members and logged off.

Two weeks later, I checked up on everyone. They seemed well and welcomed me back, but it was only to make sure they didn't turn out like the SpoonyBards. After another two weeks, I stopped in and Masamune was divided. Crystain, Darryk , and a number of others left to form MasamuneReforged with Darryk as the elected leader. This was done because they felt Askura's absence and misuse of leadership was detrimental to the linkshell's health. Devistar remained in Masamume and essentially came to blows with the two shells.

I stepped in on the forums, stating the obvious: we have two shells when we need one and this wasn't worth splitting the member base. After I brought it to his attention, Askura stepped in and said he'd unite the shell. Once again, I didn't buy it, but this time I prepared for the worst.

The End of an Era

When Askura shuffled everyone back in to Masamune, I ran to San d'Oria and remade the SpoonyBards linkshell to once again carry the spirit of a shell I loved when the leader was gone. This time in pink. Not baby girl pink, but deep pink. Flaming pink. The kind Republicans shun.

Surprisingly, Askura's attendance was rather good this time around. Unsurprisingly, it was more of the same. Inviting random people who bothered the core members (and not just the members that complain about everyone) while not doing anything about it. Logging in largely to reap the benefits of being a member as opposed to leader. Abysmal pearlsack policy. The usual. Even so much as logging in drunk, being a touch too scathing to his own members, and refusing to leave when he's being a bad influence. So that was it for me. I wasn't going to stick around anymore if he wouldn't even respect his own members enough to sober up. I quit.

2008 Spoonies Reunion

BanishedRequiem was dead in spirit if not in body. I considered going solo for a while, or joining some other shell, but ultimately I decided to reform the Spoonies with my pink shell even though I still detest the idea of being seen as a "leader." It was funny in a bitter way, that I'd be in this position again. Hell, same shell name. I shot the idea to Crystain, asking him to become my wingman and he gleefully agreed. We said our goodbyes and still have friends in that shell. We don't harbor any hatred for it or its leader, Askura, and intend to remain on the best terms possible with them. Simply put, the problem was with the inactivity on the single most powerful member of the shell.

Duocente followed Crystain and myself and we recruited ex-Masamune member Luku. Soon after, Darryk joined as my second wingman. Some of the old Masamune members slowly started to filter in, even one of the first Bards, Jest!

The Kids Are Alright

SpoonyBards' history is intertwined with BanishedRequiem's, and although we're similar shells in style, we are not a sister shell nor an iteration of it. We are similar, yes. We all met in BanishedRequiem and a lot of us grew into the players we are because of it. The way we define friendship and linkshells shaped by it.

But we're no longer related to BanishedRequiem. We've severed our ties and left to fake it until we make it.

Now we're just out to WTF our way to oblivion on our own. Spoonies to the end -- and we wouldn't have it any other way.