I've decided to make a weekly post relating my history in the game. It should be noted that weekly has been redefined to mean "whenever I feel like it." As a general disclaimer, I'm not bound by the laws of time and space, so if at any point the details of my story don't seem to mesh with your recollection of the order or details of events, it's because I altered history to fit what I remember, and you are now wrong.
I joined CN in the last week of July, just as the Great War was coming to a close. In fact, the war is what brought me into the game. Early that month, I had discovered the social board Random Insanity on GameFAQs. In my shot time there, I had gathered that there was some other board called Life, the Universe, and Everything, but that was all I knew about it. When someone created a topic explaining that LUE was at war with "the Red Team" in this online game and that we should help defeat them (RI and LUE are not traditionally what one could describe as... tolerant of each other's existence to put it mildly), I jumped at the opportunity.
Now, to summarize, RIA started as a Red Team alliance that wanted to join the Orders' side of the Great War. We really got off to a great start. We figured out within the first week that neither of the ideas were all that intelligent for a brand new alliance, so we changed to Maroon and decided to just keep our heads down politically to avoid drawing LUE's attention.
Perhaps I should take a moment to give a brief snapshot of the world as it existed at this point in time. The way we played, RIA would never have survived its first month if we were starting today. In the interests of avoiding confusion for our newer members later on this this story as to why exactly it is that we aren't dead yet, here's what the world at large was like.
First, there were a lot fewer alliances. I mean a lot fewer. If you had wanted to, one person probably could have maintained diplomatic relations with all of them by himself to at least an extent. It wouldn't have been fun, but it would have been doable. Raiding was also markedly less common. Few of the major alliances practiced it, and the ones that did didn't really advertise it. The biggest threat to an unaligned nation was generally other unaligned nations, and unaligneds made up a much larger population of the game than they do now. In fact, I spent my entire first month without bothering to put RIA in my bio. Oh, that's right, we didn't have in-game Alliance Affiliation bar things, either. In fact, I remember several disputes on the Maroon forum way, way back over how many people were actually in various alliances and who had the correct statistics.
All of this meant that people could actually survive decently without the protection of an alliance, and smaller alliances had nearly zero chance of being raided by someone bigger than they were. Random rogues (as opposed to politically driven ones) were a bit more common than they are today, but even small alliances could generally handle a rogue or two by themselves. Protectorates were nonexistent, Non-Aggression Pacts were considered a must for starting off relations with another alliance, and people didn't insert O's anywhere in their treaties, what few of them there were. It was into this world that I and my new alliance were born...