The leadership here in the Covenant of the Phoenix is fantastic...fantastic yet diverse. We have a prismatic group of leaders who are different in so many ways. Some may choose to see all our differences in leadership style as an obstacle - dividing or delaying rather than unifying and progressing. However, we see our diversity as a stepping-stone. We focus on the individuals' strengths and use their strengths in a very goal-driven way within our community. We are so fortunate to have leaders like the one being appointed to Sentinel today who have joined and given us that unique edge needed to enhance our vision for this community with their special talents, talents given willingly and passionately in helping the Covenant of the Phoenix become what it is today.
Like many of us, this individual joined our community as a gamer who wanted to be a part of something bigger than his or herself. Along the way, they forged the capacity to see beyond the game and understand that it is the relationships built within a gaming chapter that fuels this community in the long run. Eventually, that understanding led to their appointment to our leadership team and, after many years in positions of preeminence in multiple chapters and games, to Director of all CotP's server-side administrative responsibilities.
It is an honor and a privilege to announce the promotion of an individual who exemplifies the type of leader we desire in this community. This individual clearly possesses the core leadership characteristics that we look for in a Sentinel.
Xugrel, rise and be recognized today as a Sentinel of the Covenant of the Phoenix.
There are four basic characteristics that great leaders possess.
The first trait is a will to lead. Leaders want to lead. And they embrace the opportunity to do so.
Second, great leaders are willing to make the difficult decisions, the tough decisions that no one else wants to make. Great leaders never pass the buck to a future generation. They confront the brutal realities. They meet them head on. They don't ignore them. They address them as best they can. It's a matter of honor.
Third, great leaders believe in something bigger than themselves. People want to follow those serving the greater good. If people see a leader focused on self-interest alone, they will not follow. At least they won't follow as far as they are being asked. They won't go the extra mile.
People search for someone who is willing to look at the bigger picture, to serve a transcendent good. And so, while it runs against the conventional wisdom, great leaders are also the greatest servants. Great leaders lead by serving because they believe in something greater than themselves.
And finally, great leaders have a sense of humility about themselves. Ironically, those who accomplish the most are often the ones who brag the least.
It is an honor and a privilege to announce that Grim has been promoted to a Guardian. Grim is a natural fit for the role, given his 9 year history with the guild and his experience in managing several guild chapters over the years as well as providing administrative support. This experience has honed his focus on the long term picture of doing what is best for the Covenant of the Phoenix community - a focus that will be at the core of the many judgment calls he will make as a Guardian.
Please join me in congratulating Grim and wishing him the best of luck in his new position as a Guardian.
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We live in the sub-arctic region of this world, so we knew Winter was coming. However, with all the unknowns that winter brings, we still were not entirely sure we had done enough over the warm period to warrant a feeling toward comfortable preparedness. We were certain we would not run out of food this year, which was good, but we were not so sure about our flax storage, and even less about our storage for straw. It is a different feeling for sure, to try and predict what our needs will be five months down the road. It is quite exhilarating to have that thought process be a part of our guild's efforts along with our day to day struggle to fight off invaders from the north and help our alliance fend off the regional destruction of our resources by the enemy.
A great new project has entered our purview and has invigorated our planners and builders as we look toward the future security of our people. Phoenix nest is the site of what will be our greatest architectural achievement to date. The castle walls will be twice as high as our current walls in Covenant City and made of granite, which is much sturdier than the old stone walls. Our builders are hard at work nearly 24/7, but the pace is slow as only the best quality and components will do. What we could do with ten more apt and able workers....
Harvest season was better than we anticipated thanks to our hard working farmers and foresters. After starting the settlement in the dead of winter, we all worked diligently to make sure the next winter's meals were not limited to roots, berries and wild game. Our agricultural prowess was on full display near the end of fall as you can see in the below images. We hope that we will soon add more to our "farm squad" as we look forward to the next planting season.
War has definitely become a daily part of our lives. Invaders from the north have caused much delay in our building plans. We now must have guarded transports during our resource expeditions and are on full alert at the mere sighting of travelers or the sound of a galloping horse. Recent skirmishes have resulted in clear victories and much loot, hopefully dealing our enemy enough of a blow to give our builders a window of opportunity for progress. To the south, our alliance is in full fledged war and has relied much on our team of battle-hardened warriors. Massive battles involving hundreds of allied forces which were at one time a fairly rare occurrence are now regularly being waged 3-4 times a week. Tactics and strategies are constantly in flux as we adjust to new terrain and different enemies. Several times over the past weeks there have been nearly a thousand warriors spread across the server fighting battles at the same exact time.
The Covenant of the Phoenix, along with its allies, defeated the 100+ strong Chinese army last night in CotP's first large scale entanglement involving Life is Feudal's battle system.
The war is literally for the entire Buyan server. With most European and American based clans, kingships and guilds living in the northern regions putting aside their existing arguments in favor of dealing with the massive invasion of Chinese clans and influence, the Warband Allance was proactive in throwing down the gauntlet and looking to deal a blow to CPLA's city claim.
The risk is certain. Win, and we reduce CPLA's city size and loot the entire enemy army. Lose, and all the gear we take into the battle is theirs for the taking. Participants on the Warband side included but was not limited to the aforementioned CotP, New France, Vanguard, RES, LR and RIP. The Chinese side consisted of CRTG, Sixgods and many of their allies.
The mood in the CotP fortress was solemn. Most of us were done sharpening our blades, stringing our bows and fixing up our armor, and focused on mentally preparing ourselves for the oncoming battle. Standing around our now glorious monument, some prayed, some said their goodbyes, and all were ready to serve their guild with honor.
The call to arms came out and CotP answered with the largest showing of all involved parties, as expected. Squads were created, battalions were formed and our members joined the shield wall, the assault crew, the cavalry and the archers. We had but minutes before initial enemy contact was made. Immediately, our side realized that the fighting would be in the midst of a large overgrown forest. CotP fighters grinned....this was our kind of country. We knew how to march in formation in spite of endless trees, we knew how to shoot through the undergrowth, and yes, we knew our cavalry's greatest enemy....the juniper, would be afoot en masse.
The conflict started first with infantry, we established our shield wall and moved forward slowly, taking moderate damage from the onslaught of the enemy's bows and crossbows. Archer's following the shield wall, and led by CotP's "Zhek the Great" looked for the terrain necessary to gain clean angles to help progress our assault. Calvary attacked separately, flanking the enemy and distracting them from the main assault.
The initial push by the shield wall proved successful, and the enemy was pushed back quickly and efficiently. Our Archers were making headway but the advance was stalled with both sides taking significant losses. The Calvary seemed slow in creating enough of a distraction due to the terrain and undergrowth.
The infantry was now passed the point of no return. Losses began to pile up with several of our side falling to the endless barrage of arrows and bolts. Damage was nearing a critical point with our shields beginning to break and many wounded and bleeding. The decision to charge in and break the enemy will was made with little to no protest. Huscarl's leaned into their busted tower shields, Assaulters assumed the posta di falcone and Archer's threw their bows aside and pulled their swords. The Cavalry began to turn the tide as the infantry charge commenced. For as much damage was done to our shields, the enemy was absolutely crushed within 45 seconds of the final assault. Cavalry mopped up the retreating and defeated enemy. We took the field and the battle was won.
We looted the enemy and left to go home to a hearty meal and a neat brew, or two. One night would be all the time we would have to celebrate....the fall harvest awaits.