When the original Neverwinter Nights went offline I wrote a document I titled “The Secret History of the Steppe Warriors” so that I could record for posterity the events our gaming guild had been a part of in that realm while they were still fresh in my head. I distributed electronic copies to all of the Steppe Warriors and I had a copy sitting on our Yahoo Groups site so that anyone with access to the group could re-download it as needed.
However, in a fit of pique, I decided to delete the Yahoo Group as extraneous since no one was posting and the Steppe Warriors had, in essence, disbanded. I did not back these files up to my hard drive at the time because I was certain I already had copies of everything there. On my hard drive, in my documents there is still a folder called Steppe Warriors and it has a number of subfolders that include old copies and current copies and beta versions of every single official Steppe Warrior document; subfolders that have old message board posts and fiction written about our characters. What I don't have is a copy of the Secret History.
This is particularly annoying in light of the fact that I have recently restarted the Steppe Warriors Yahoo Group and now I don't have our single greatest history document. I restarted the group largely so I could have some communication with former Steppe Warriors, whom I miss a lot. Kind of an alumni association. I also did it so I could have the guild structure in place for future online gaming endeavors. It is just easier having a ready made group of friends to game with, whether it's an RPG, RTS or whatever.
Now, the old Secret History was not without it's flaws. Complaints regarding it came mostly in two kinds. The Secret History was considered by some to be too unkind to the memory of Ogotai (Darryl C.) who was our first Khakhan or that the Secret History was too easy on the memory of Ogotai. I tried to be as unbiased as possible in my presentation of the facts and to show both sides of any contested arguments, but I know my personal bias showed particularly in the parts regarding the end of Ogotai's reign and the beginning of mine. Ogotai was certainly a polarizing figure of a man.
Sadly, gone forever are a number of minor stories and even vast swathes of history. We fought a number of inter-guild wars, some of them were just to roleplay our characters, some were in deadly earnest. We destroyed a number of guilds that made themselves our enemies and I am not sure I could name the roll call. We spawned a couple of child guilds, but only one comes to mind right now. The Secret History also documented mine and Darryl's entire history of play within Neverwinter Nights up to the formation of the Steppe Warriors. All of the guilds we had previously been members of, whose names I barely remember now for myself. The Secret History contained at least one minor anecdote about every single member we had, even if they left the guild early on, now I'd be lucky to remember the names of most of those people.