A Player's History of the Realms of Despair

Some parts of the history of the Realms are forever lost, some shrouded in mystery intentionally, some is sitting forgotten on hard drives of former players and yet more is in the foggy recollections of people who are still active. For the last I hope that this serves as a refresher.

I call this a player's history despite the involvement of some immortals because it is intended to be generated from general knowledge that was available openly at some point. Recollections of behind the scenes information make for great blog posts but that information commonly seems to be more about interpersonal relationships than having an in game explanation. I hope we can weave these threads into new areas and quests and bring the history back to life and help restore to the game a depth worthy of its 20+ years of existence.

I thank the recollections of everyone who has participated in this project but would like to specifically thank the following people for their outstanding efforts, without them this would be much more sparse: Kali, Corys, Simkin, Rhane, Chris Cherry, Craig Brousseau. If you believe you can contribute, feel free to email me or contact me in game.

Generation 1 "The Old Clans" (1994-1996)

The Realms of Despair opened to the public in July 1994.

Peaceful or Deadly was defined by membership in a clan; an induct made you deadly, outcast made you peaceful.
Clan equipment from this era remained in game and could be worn on peacefuls.
Nightbreed, Discordia and SaNiTaRiUm were deleted before the end of this era and their equipment went with them.

OrganizationActive datesNotable membersArtifactEquipmentContainerHQ
Dragonslayer Sept 1994-1996Daskyn, Simkin, Thrasher amulet, gauntlets, dragon skin belt, bracers Dragonslayer Castle
InconnuSept 1994-1996Abel, Dracula, Jemidon, Eric old/new amulet, darkened boots, blackened boots of the Abyss, circletAn elder's satchelInconnu Citadel
Darkblade1994-1996Zarkas, KaVir, Cabal, McBeth ring of death, shruken skull (ear), signet ring, skull-shaped earringn/aDarkblade HQ
Chaos1994-1996Weasel, Wes, Pilon pure chaos, crimson legs, scarlet belt, new chaos belt, new chaos legs, sigila backpack with the Chaos crestChaos Fortress
SaNiTaRiUm1994-1995Sacerdos, Mikael  n/a 
Nightbreed 1994-1995Karnage, Vasculio    
Shadowcult 1995-1996Bleys, Tachik, Airhead, Rikus old/new shimmering black rings, pair of shadow gauntlets, visor, shadowy leggings, torch of shadowsn/aShadowcult HQ
Doomshifter1995-1996Sammael, Lanfear bracers of DOOM, shard of onyx, crystal shard of doom, brand of doom, arcane gloves of doom(arms)n/aDoomshifter HQ
Arcanes1995-1996Matrix, Leatha leggings, gauntlets, bracersn/aArcanes HQ
Assamite1995-1996Amon brands, gloves of taqqiyathe Skin of the FatherAlamut
Maidenstone1995-1996Min [sleeves= "...spiraled..." ] old/new cuffs, heels? an item that was both body/waist wearablea Sequined Evening Bag Maidenstone Headquarters
Malkavian 1995-1996Bassam kilt, joybuzzer, mask of a thousand faces, cracked monoclen/aMalkavian Manor
Sabbat1995-1996    Sabbat Cathedral
Terror Vorthian Sceptre of Judgement, blood encrusted sacrificial dagger Realms of Worship

Generation 2 "Age of Exultation" (1996)

Clan equipment from this era remained in game, but was deadly only. After this, all clan equipment was removed with the clan.
Dragonslayer and Maidenstone returned within a few months as orders. Arcanes was added not long after.

OrganizationActive datesNotable membersArtifactEquipmentContainerHQ
Forsaken1996-1996Marilcrimson stained shardblack strapped boots (L25 4dr 1dex 20hp etc), brand of corruption, veil of blackest silkkhurjinCastle Zhakrin
Retribution1996-1996TachikAbsolutionan entwined ember, chrisom of the inviolate, sacrosanct glovesan ornate leather baldricFortress of Celestia

Generation 3 "V:TM Clans" (1996-1999)

With the addition of the V:TM clans, the choice to be deadly became permanent. Higher gains and other advantages were added.
Ringbearers is added as the first Order not based on a clan.
Inconnu returns as an Order soon after. They forego Order equipment as a condition of being restored.
Baali, Rol Na Feinne and Ascendere were all added later in this era.

OrganizationActive datesNotable membersArtifactEquipmentContainerHQ
Brujah1996-1999FelixEternal Bond of the Brujahbracers of rage, sanguine leggings of the Brujah, corrupted visionsa tattered sackBrujah Mansion
Nosferatu1996-1999StokerTalons of the Scavengerdisfigurement, ?, ?satchel of the scavengerNosferatu Ruins
Tremere1996-1999Maril\LanercyanScales of Magus Powertalisman of the pyramid, sash of the regents, thaumaturgic tendrilsa Satchel of the WarlocksChantry of the Tremere
Ventrue1996-1999 Boots of the Chosendiamond stud, circlet of the traditions, might of the ancients celestial chorus of the justicarVentrue Citadel
Lasombra1996-1999IxshathDarksight of the Magisterbelt of ebon leather, brand of tenebrae, blackened boots of the abyss Lamech's Manor

Generation 4 (1999-2001)

Anarchy 2000-2001    

Generation 5 (2002-2004)

OrganizationActive datesNotable membersArtifactEquipmentContainerHQ
Nominis Umbrae2002-2004    Temple of Shadows
Scorn2002-2004    Malevolent Machinations
Surreptus2002-2004    Merciless Greed
Ophanim2002-6/23/2003    Fallen Graces
Vodikem 6/23/03-2004    

Generation 6 (2004-present)

OrganizationActive datesNotable membersArtifactEquipmentContainerHQ
Catarrh2004-present Sovereign Boots of the Slayerobscura, transcendence, Howls of Destinythe secrets withinDark Temple of the Catarrh
Maleficae2004-present Talons of arcane magickmalfean whisps, vestiges of deviance, scars of turmoila blood soacked sackHellish Plain of the Maleficae
Feralis2004-present Mortis sempiternuscharnel ashes, shaded strides, soulfire circletdecaying chestRavaged Citadel of the Feralis
Excordis2004-2009, 2012-present Unbridled insanityphantasma, disillusion, gordian knottattered backpackDungeons de l'Excordis

What were the original class choices? Races? Were there major rivalaries or alliances?

               Active dates         Themes     Notable members              [Artifact] .. Equipment
Darkblade     1994 - ????                      L?:McBeth, Blodkai           
Dragonslayer  1994 - present                   Simkin original leader       [blade of Honor], 
Assamite      1994 - ????                      Dominus, Nivek               
Inconnu       1994 - present                   L?:Kali, Blodkai  
Maidenstone   (????-12/07/12)                  L:Min(?), Blodkai                     ? a Sequined Evening Bag (container)
Malkavian                           Blodkai                   
Nightbreed                          L:Karnage, 1:Vasculio 
Shadowcult                          L:Bleys L,1:Tachik        

silver catskull earring?

Kevin London: I don't think all clans were wiped when Ret/Forsaken was around. Retribution was originally a clan of all Immortals that were buffed to punish people (and add some mystery/intrigue). They also were the only clan HQ that had DT's in it. Assamite and Inconnu clan were heavily allied and leaders could move between HQs with a secret door if I remember correctly. Many of the Assamite also were Inconnu members

               Active dates         Notable members
Retribution                         Anakin?
Forsaken                                                      boots of the forsaken?

When did Arcanes (leggings), Dragonslayer (claws), Inconnu, Maidenstone (earring "Essence of Sweet Whispers") become Orders? What is the story behind the order equipment and Inconnu? Did they decline to turn in their existing clan eq in sufficient quantity or what's up?

At what point did guilds become introduced, and which ones? I know it happens pre-1998 by which time Rangers and Paladins the rest are in game (not fathomers or nephandi of course, that's later

Was there a Ringbearer clan with entwined rings waist as clan eq?

Tremere, Brujah (boots), Nosferatu (L:Stoker, member: Blodkai), Ventrue (stud ear), Lasombra

Surreptus became Catarrh
Vodikem (06/23/03-????, no loot newbie clan), Maleficae, Catarrh, Excordis

Sects - Oct 03, 2008
Guild of Fathomers - Oct 04, 2002
Barbarians added Dec 28, 2004

GoO - July 04, 2014 - Erandor stepped down #2, Cytomel appointed

September 9, 2004 - Rol Na Feinne removed as an Order and replaced with Sanctus Irae.
December 7, 2012 - Maidenstone removed as an Order.
December 8, 2012 - Arete added as an Order.