During Darkwind’s 10th Anniversary, Aredawg, Bakey, and Shadram collaborated to pen Darkwind’s history. As we continue to grow in years as a guild, we have found it important for our members to understand our past, and the people and experiences that have shaped our community into what it is today. This is our story:
11 years ago, Darkwind did not exist. Our founder–the Dark Lord Katastros–was once part of another guild. During the campaign against the Lich King, Katastros met many friends who would one day help establish our guild on the Wyrmrest Accord server. As the campaign against the Lich King went on, the leader of Katastros’ guild disappeared. Without its leader, Katastros and his new friends had a decision to make.
Katastros created Darkwind on February 9, 2009. The process of recruiting new members began immediately, with Katastros recruiting two new officers: Larinde, the High Elder, and Mahna, the Raid Leader. Katastros’ idea was to make Darkwind family friendly and a safe haven for mature players, and Larinde and Mahna worked with him to ensure it was so. He also instituted an event every October to raise cancer awareness, turning the guild banner pink. This tradition still holds true to this day.
During Darkwind’s journey through the Wrath expansion, they recruited Fawna, Dylia, Kulwych, Bakey, Dee, and Gryym among several others to help ensure the smooth operation of the guild. With Mahna’s calm leadership, they successfully marched into Naxxramas, took down Obsidian Sanctum and marched into Ulduar. With several successes under their belt, they went into Icecrown Citadel, but were unable to complete the raid and it was there that Mahna had stepped down. Katastros had to choose who would step up and help the guild as it grew. Kulwych and Dylia became Darkwind’s newest Elders.
To help lift everyone’s spirits at the impending doom on Azeroth brought by the Cataclysm, the guild planned a Pub Crawl to ring in the new expansion. It was the start of Darkwind’s growth. To help new members feel more a part of the family, the guild implemented a “Get to Know Your Guildies” program–periodic website articles that highlighted specific members. Some of the new members included Stabby, Growlie, and Aredawg. Stabby worked with Katastros to start raiding, beginning with Bastion of Twilight.
As the guild ran into Blackwing Descent, Katastros continually died to the elevator boss and the guild completed both raids on 10-man. Though only a few could participate in the raids, the rest of the guild worked towards the guildwide achievements, with Kul sponsoring a fishing contest and Larinde getting the last race/class combo. Kul then decided to step down as Guild Morale Elder, and Bakey took his position as the guild pushed into Firelands. Though no one was able to complete the legendary staff at content, Darkwind’s raid team defeated Ragnaros.
With Growlie’s recruiting techniques, the guild grew into a larger family. But with its growth, there were some pains, and so Aredawg become an Inclusion Officer, creating both RP and non-RP events for people to participate in beyond raiding. When Dragon Soul came out, Stabby’s role as a new Raid Elder was to begin an aggressive campaign to complete it on 25-man mode. Over the weeks and months of Dragon Soul, the guild was able to complete the Fangs of the Father, the legendary rogue daggers.
The guild was prepared to fight in Pandaria, it grew, with several new recruits becoming mainstays within Darkwind. However, Larinde had to step down from the officership due to her bout with cancer, and with the birth of Bakey’s daughter, he also stepped away from the game. Katastros then promoted Squee to the eldership as morale, and a new Recruitment Officer, Shadram, to help round out the Elders.
Stabby recruited Megamus, Pagdwa and Shad to help him with raiding, and the guild was successful in taking down 10-man raids. As the guild progressed into Throne of Thunder, they attempted a 25-man run, becoming the first guild on the server to successfully attempt such a run with downing Jinrokh the first boss. Though it was short-lived because of the Horridon wall, the guild was able to go back into Mogu’shan Vaults to complete the raid on 25-man. Darkwind had consistent 10-man team success moving forward that cleared all the current raid content, earning Ahead of the Curve’s in Mogu’shan Vaults, Throne of Thunder, and Siege of Orgrimmar.
Though Growlie and Aredawg also took a break during this time, there was good reason! They got married in September 2013, becoming the first couple to have met through Darkwind and tied the knot, with several guildies in attendance at their wedding. It was in December 2013, that Katastros found that real life was preventing him from being as present in-game as a Dark Lord should be. So after 5 years of being the Dark Lord, he handed leadership of the guild to Stabby, who became the second Guild Leader.
When Larinde beat cancer, the community decided to surprise her with a gift, a laptop with the Darkwind logo etched into the lid. Bakey came back from his break to become the Guild Manager, and Kulwych also returned as Challenge Mode Coordinator to lead several successful silver CM dungeon runs. Squee and Shad swapped morale and recruitment roles, and newly-recruited Karensa joined the officer rank as the new Morale Assist.
As more people began to trickle back in, the guild discussed a 25-man raid team revival during Siege of Orgrimmar, with Seraphroy joining the raid team as Raid Assist. The guild made another push into 25-man Siege and were eventually successful.
With many eventual successes under their belt, Darkwind jumped into Warlords with high hopes. Though the expansion wasn’t received as fondly by the WoW community, Darkwind increased its activities during this time. Shad moved into supervising Content and Events, Karensa came into Eldership, moving full-time into Morale and Recruitment. Aredawg moved from Inclusion to Legacy Content, starting many Legacy Content events, including two successful Herald of the Titans Run.
With raiding growing in popularity among Darkwind, the guild hosted two different times during the early part of Warlords, with Seraphroy leading Early Raid and Pags leading Late Raid. Over the course of the expansion, Pags and Seraphroy stepped down, combining both raid groups back into one under the leadership of Shadram during Blackrock Foundry. As WoW’s 10th anniversary came up, Shad successfully led two 40-man Molten Core runs made almost entirely of guild members. New events such as Guildie Appreciation Month, Raffles, Transmog Contests, Community Service, and Holiday Parties brought new activities that the community found enjoyable. Even better, the guild decided in June of 2015 to host a get together in Northwest Ohio, near Cedar Point. Spending the weekend together in Lighthouse Lodge, this was the first official DarkwindCon with about a dozen guildies from across the country meeting up to have fun and hang out.
The guild continued to raid into Hellfire Citadel, and midway through Heroic, Bloodshox stepped into the role as Raid Lead, with Waldhaar coming in as Raid Assist. Malfrost became the Guild Vault Manager to help support the many in-game events occurring, keeping the coffers filled. While all this occurred, Stabby took a sabbatical to recharge and deal with real life issues. Bakey stepped back into Eldership, and together as Elders, Shad, Karensa, and Bakey took turns making sure the guild was running smoothly.
When Legion graced the servers, Darkwind moved into Discord and created a community that would become more than just WoW. With Blizzard giving Legion a heavy content expansion, the guild became focused on the new content, doing all they could to take it down. Bloodshox kicked into high gear to help the guild reach Ahead of the Curves on Emerald Nightmare and Nighthold. But the leadership saw another change once the expansion launched. Stabby handed the leadership of the guild to Shadram, who became Darkwind’s third Guild Lead.
Games outside of WoW became more prevalent, as Aredawg moved from Legacy Content to Guild D&D Dungeon Master, creating two successful D&D groups that run every other Saturday and Monday nights. DarkwindCon also grew during this time to happen annually at every BlizzCon, allowing members of the guild to meet up in Anaheim to hang out. DarkwindCon 2017 had 10 members visit Anaheim, with the second gaining even more traction.
Quimby joined the officership to focus on casual events as Waldhaar and Bloodshox successfully created Sunday Raid to help guildies see the content outside of Progression Raid. Ahead of the Curve continued through Trial of Valor, Tomb of Sargeras and Antorus. With the advent of Mythic+ in Legion, Liarawolf came into officership to coordinate Mythic+ runs. Darkwind grew together more as a community and eventually began branching out into different games–including a guild Minecraft server–asking guildies to join with them.
With the defeat of the Legion, Darkwind headed to Kul Tiras and the leadership took a different approach. Shadram “stepped down” as the Guild Lead, paving the way for a council-led structure to oversee Darkwind’s community. Bakey, Bloodshox, Karensa and Shadram as the Elder Council serve together, leading this guild to victory, both in and out of WoW. Jinxie joined the officership as Recruitment Officer, and worked hard to grow our community. The Progression Raid team completed all Ahead of the Curves in Battle for Azeroth, even venturing into Mythic raid difficulty. This put Darkwind on the PvE endgame map, being the first Alliance guild on the Wyrmrest Accord server for several Mythic first kills.
The steady growth that Darkwind has experienced over the last couple years continues to show, as our Discord server stays active, and members overflow into several raid groups when we have major in-game events as a guild community. Darkwind’s community growth also exhibits itself in the now-established annual tradition of meeting up at BlizzCon every November. At DarkwindCon 2019, our guild had over 2 dozen Darkwind members and friends in attendance, with a group renting out an Airbnb together, and visiting the Blizzard campus at the end of the weekend.
When Katastros founded this community, he had no idea the impact it would have on so many lives. And even though some of us have not yet met face to face, we can all claim to be friends through our community. That bond between guildies is one that will never go away, and we look forward to future opportunities where we can meet–either in-game or out.
As Darkwind ventures into unknown landscapes in our exploration of the Shadowlands, Byakuei, Graenah, and Jonny have joined the leadership team as Mythic+ Coordinator, Community Assist, and PvP Coordinator, respectively. It is here where our story continues, and we hope that it will be filled with positive memories and experiences.