The Vigiles Amicae is a roleplaying guild in Everquest 2, on the Freeport and Antonia Bayle Servers.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

How to: Prepare and review logs for an incident report

This article is part 3 of a series on logs. Part 1 of the creation, and Part 2 on the cleaning of personal logs, are in the archives.

We in the Vigiles are very low-drama. We strongly believe drama and rumors are a thing for rp stories and intrigues, and we expect honest, honorable, and forthright behavior from our members in all ooc interactions, in and out of guild space.

That said: even the best of us have misunderstandings among ourselves, and from time to time we will all encounter people who do not live up to the virtues we expect from ourselves. It is our position that these conflicts are best resolved in a public or officer-mediated space, with transparent, documented processes and stable, clear guidelines.

Violations of the EULA are of course, best left to SOE.

For all other personal conflicts, within the guild or not, our single greatest resource for promoting justice is the keeping and reviewing of logs. 

In the heat of any rp scene or hunt, there are inevitable mistells, overlooked chatter, and unclear or misinterpreted dialogue. Running your logs through the cleaner program, in the same way you would for personal archiving often allows you to clear up simple misunderstandings and/or gain a little distance from an emotional scene.

That record can also crystallize problematic interactions and grant us the necessary perspective for discerning when a behavior is part of a larger pattern, and when an action clearly oversteps the allowance for misunderstandings and transgresses our rules.

Even if you have not yet reviewed your logs, if you feel an IC or OOC transgression has occurred, or if you the player are feeling unsafe, objectified, disrespected or in any other wise uncomfortable: Please! Do not keep silence for the sake of an imagined peace. Go to an officer as soon as you are able. We are here to guide and protect all the Amicae, both in battle and in life. Poison festers in silence and shadow: we cannot take action unless we know there is cause to act on.

As of this writing, the officers and their alts are listed below. 
Feel free to approach any of them in private, through /tell, /group, in-game mail if you are able, or to the guild email which is only accessible to the officers of the high council.

  • Praetor Ariahdnia 
    • Alts
      • Zapdash
      • Chrysopraze
      • Chevanima
      • Veset
      • Karrha
  • Legate Sytan
    • Alts
      • Folodu
      • Baarca
      • Skih
      • Marconis
      • Luddicia
  • Legate Fafnier
    • Alts
      • Andrejja
      • Urgnog
      • Edusa
      • Yorrik

Please note: If the dispute is solely an IC matter, please specify that you are wishing to have the matter handled only IC. If the issue is an IC interaction that crosses your boundaries, violates our OOC rules, or in any way is an issue outside of the story-space of role-play, please make that clear to your officer(s).

In the course of bringing an incident to the officers' attention, or as the officers investigate an open incident, you may be asked to provide logs. Further details about what logs are may be found in part 1 of this series.

  • If you do not have logs, they will be requested from the other actors in the event which has been brought to our attention.
  • If no logs exist of the incident in question, the matter will remain open, and all actors will be asked to keep logs going forward.
  • Any repeat of the offense while a matter is in open consideration will escalate the officers' analysis of the severity of the matter 
  • Any member who fails to keep and provide logs after a specific request from an officer will be reprimanded.
  • Any member involved in an investigation who fails to provide clear, undoctored logs for the timeframe requested will be subject to reprimand, and judgment based on whatever logs are available for review.
  • Screenshots of chat are an acceptable supplement to log files, but due to tabbed chat filtering, are not a substitute for logs in most cases.
  • If you have been approached by an officer for logs, you may ask about the nature of the investigation: however, bear in mind that details of matters in open consideration may be kept confidential until a judgment can be rendered. Refusal to cooperate with the officers, obstruction of process, or harassment of ANY players will be considered an admission of guilt to any and all potential offences and may result in severe reprimand or exile.
  • The officers of the Vigiles Amicae do not have jurisdiction to reprimand non-members. Documented incidents with a member of another guild may be brought to the officers' attention, and we may conference with the officers of the other player's guild if the situation warrants it, but no particular outcome can be expected from those proceedings.
  • If the actions of a player have been deemed severe enough by consensus of the High Council, all known alts of the player in question may be placed on access:none for all guild rp spaces, and an incident report will be prepared and filed for public record. Note: this is our standard process when encountering garden-variety trolls.
  • Hearsay is not admissible as evidence in conflict resolution. The report will be noted and shared with other officers, but any such rumor shall remain an unofficial notation until and unless substantiated by logs or evidence of the rumored behavior being repeated.
  • Not all requests for logs or screenshots are matters of transgression: on occasion, you may be asked to submit logs for combat analysis (for example, after a spectacular raid fight), rp event archiving, or even to harvest npc or other lore flavor-text.

If you've been keeping and organizing logs for a while, you know how big chatlogs can be. When an officer requests logs, they are NOT asking for the entirety of your chatlog archive.

So what are they looking for?

The officer you are talking with will explain in greater detail, but as a general rule, you will be asked to provide a log for roughly the 24-hour period surrounding the incident in question, from logging in to logging out. You may be asked to provide logs from more than one character, and multiple log-in periods, depending on the situation and the stability of your internet connection during the event.

This process does take time, and you will be granted a reasonable period in which to assemble your logs, and during which the incident will remain open.

The first task is to identify when the incident began.
If you are bringing the issue to the officers, you are the best judge of this. You know what was said, and what was done, but how do you isolate that from the mass of your chat? Perhaps at the time it was happening, you had a suspicion that this was going to need further attention, and you took screenshots of the chat. In a perfect world, you might have a screenshot of the problem in action, but even if you don't, you might be able to use the Find feature in any basic word processor to land in the right vicinity of your raw, uncleaned log.

For the purpose of this tutorial, let us say that the problematic lines are as follows*: 

(1385327972)[Sun Nov 24 15:19:32 2013] \aPC -1 Trollbob:Trollbob\/a tells AnOOCChannel (3), "LOL I will steal all ur loots while ur ded"(1385328273) 
[Sun Nov 24 15:19:34 2013] Trollbob looted 71 Copper from the corpse of a party crashing gnoll.(1385328274) 
[Sun Nov 24 15:19:35 2013] You cannot loot while you are dead!

You might remember the phrase "steal ur loots" and search for that, to find these lines in the raw log. Reviewing the log reveals that not only was this a transgression of need-before-greed but a disrespectful comment by Trollbob. Perhaps after this, you broke group, and the incident ended there, or perhaps Trollbob continued giving you trouble afterwards. Now you have enough information to create a preliminary "clean log".

Wait! You said I was supposed to submit raw logs!

This is true: and also, in order to identify the timeframe you need to submit, it may be more efficient for you to create a clean log next, rather than wading through thousands of lines of combat text. From the lines above, we can see that part of the incident occurred at 15:19 on November 24, and the chatter was in both the AnOOCChannel and may have had components in /group chat. In the log cleaner, you would click only the boxes for "channels", "guild", and for "group", and narrow the timeframe to 3:19 November 24 to 3:19 November 25, and name the export file something like, "Trollbob_chatter_Cleancopy.txt".

That clean file might not be very big, and when you look at it, you might decide it doesn't cover enough time. Keep refining the variables in logcleaner until you feel the entire incident is represented in the clean copy of the log. Make special note of the timestamps at the beginning and the end of the clean copy of your log.

Next, open your raw log, and find the timestamp which matches the beginning of your clean log. Remember the Find feature will make this easier! You might insert a line break or two above this timestamp, possibly with a symbol like # or * for your own reference.

Now, do the same thing for the ending timestamp from the clean log. If there is a camping sequence near this timestamp, make sure to include it, and place your linebreaks and reference symbol after it.

Now, copy the entire section between your reference marks to a new text document. Name this something like, "Joe_Trollbob_chatter_rawcut.txt." The size of this text document should be SUBSTANTIALLY bigger than your clean copy.

Now what do I do with it?

You are now ready to submit logs to your officers. You might wish to write a short letter explaining the nature of the incident you are bringing to their attention, and mention that the heart of the incident occurs around the timestamps you've identified. You may choose to submit your clean log in addition to the raw log for the officer's convenience, but the essential thing is the raw, snipped version.

DO NOT give in to the temptation to edit the raw log any further. Do not remove code, timestamps, combat or loot data, channel chat, or tells. If you are concerned about revealing private conversation in /tell which was going on during the incident but which you believe is unrelated, you may discuss this with your officer. You may be asked to identify the other player(s) involved in those /tell messages so that they may be consulted. Be assured, that all material unrelated to the incident will be kept absolutely confidential between you, the players in question, and the officers analyzing the incident. 
In some cases, you may be given permission to censor those unrelated tells by replacing the text of the tell with a specific phrase: do NOT do this without officer permission. Sometimes conversation which might seem unrelated will have bearing on the case.

Why not delete the whole line?

Tampering with logs in an attempt to sway the council's judgment is a very serious offense. Lies, obfuscation, and other gaslighting are destructive to personal relationships and to group dynamics. In order to assure your officers that the logs you have submitted are genuine and truthful, they need to see the code and the timestamps at the beginning of each line. Remember that your logs are going to be analyzed as part of a body of evidence, and any inconsistencies will draw the officers' attention.

What if the other person tampers with their log to make me look bad?

We've seen it all in the years we've served as officers, and we ask you to trust us that we'll know. Conflict resolution can be a stressful situation, even and perhaps especially when you know that you behaved honorably. It is very important that we have the evidence we need to expose wrongdoing and predation, and your cooperation is essential in maintaining our safe space here in the Vigiles.

I don't want to cause drama, but even though this person was reprimanded and/or exiled I'm worried...

We understand that anxiety. Your officers have your back, and public Council judgments are final, without appeal. Any retaliation in the wake of an incident will be treated as a serious offense. Incidents among us are few and far between: those who cannot abide our rules do not keep their welcome long.
We recommend that any players who have been officially exiled be placed on /ignore by all members, and from time to time our ooc channel will change names to ensure that our ooc space remains exclusive to those who abide by our Writ and Rule.

What if they make an alt?

If you are contacted by a stranger, and you feel anxious about this, one of the best ways to discover whether the stranger is cause for concern is this: bring an officer into group with you, and with them present, invite the stranger. Reply to the stranger that you will not respond to further tells, but only to group chat.
If they will not join the group, you may safely assume they are trouble, and place them on /ignore.
If they join the group and then complain to you in a tell that they will not speak in a public space, tell your officer, then take a screenshot, place the player on /ignore, and kick them from the group. Be prepared to file this screenshot and corresponding logs with your officer for posterity.

I think this one person might be an alt of this other person, and they did this one thing in this other guild and I'm worried it will happen here, and this other person was there when it happened too.

We understand your concern, and we will take every reasonable measure to promote a healthy, fun environment here among the Vigiles. More information is always a benefit to the officers, and even without logs to substantiate that history, the more details we have the better we will be able to watch for patterns. You do not need to roleplay or group with anyone that makes you uncomfortable, and if the person in question earns your trust, more the better. If, however, they live down to your expectation, be assured the officers will take action as soon as there is evidence to work with.

I'm not in your guild, but this person was recently kicked from/left our guild and you shouldn't let them join because...

We are always happy to talk with the leadership of other guilds, and we firmly believe that a strong community is one with open, respectful, and honest dialogue, no matter what the IC storylines may do. Forewarned is forearmed, of course, and as with internal incidents, the council will make decisions based on hard evidence as detailed above.

Okay - but where do I send the log files and stuff?

We like to keep things simple, so it's a free account with the guild name. Vigiles Amicae at gmail dot com, without the spaces, of course, rather like our little blog here. Sending spam to the guild account will earn you a reprimand, so don't do it.

* This is an example created for the purpose of this tutorial. Loot-stealing while a party member is dead is no longer an issue in game, so it works especially well as a neutral example.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Nearly Midnight News, March 17th

*clears the snow and ice from her gloves*

“Well, I think this doesn't need reported. But Let's do it anyways!"

"Good evening and welcome to the Nearly Midnight News. I am your anchorette, Folodu Amrunrosse. And Tonight, we killed a dragon!"

"Wait, no. Dwarf! Er… giant dwarf!"

Aisleigh tells rplfg, "Giant giant."
Pennae tells rplfg, "big giant ice thingies"

"He certainly didn't look much like a giant."
"Being undead and ghostly and all."
"He looked a little thin around the middle, if you catch my drift."
"And he might have hit hard. Once."

Aisleigh tells rplfg, "we made him that way"

"Yea, it was brief. Which is not to say he was briefs, as he was certainly not underwear. Though he went under after a few hits."

"I would like to take all the credit for this. But all I did was play in the snow."

"So! Congratulations to everyone who helped and killed things! Your bloodthirsty natures are noted and appreciated!"

Phaust tells rplfg, "YAAAAY STUFF"
Pennae tells rplfg, "<"
Lythil tells rplfg, "Yay! shiny rings"

"In other news, we had a more somber event in Somborn this week."

Vichane tells rplfg, "alot of people dont have that sig heritage quest done...maybe alternate nights..storm gorge..ring war..?"
Lythil tells rplfg, "Rp , public raids. Drinking at random bar or house afterwards?"

"It seems young Ralem Christof has finally kicked the bucket. Again. So you totally did not find his bones in Deathfist. It was a rival, and a long plot."

"Needless to say. Ralem is dead. No one knows or cares who this is. Rest well, Ralem. We will forever haven't a clue who you were."

"In other news, it seems there was bacon."

"Sorry, Bacon. The proper noun one. That most people don't try to eat. You know, that one. Kind of has teeth? And a long face?"

"Anyways! Bacon has joined a new diet regimen."

Sylvree tells rplfg, "Meeaaat."
Pennae tells rplfg, "*giggle*"

"Instead of eating adventurers, which are high in cholesterol, he will now only eat pastry-tarts."

"We are not sure why pastries… Perhaps he suspects bakers might not be on to his ways and find an easier meal. To date, he has only severed three hands that were trying to feed him."

"Don't tell the Bakers And Provisioners Guild. They can figure it out like the rest of us did. I mean, look what he took off of me!"

*hold up a hand with three fingers*

“I was carrying this good luck charm for forever!"

*tosses the monkeypaw over her shoulder*

"Never trust the cold-blooded."

Pennae tells rplfg, "*smirk*"

"Well, there are the cryomancers… And the Coldain as a rule are pretty good… And the Rime aren't really that bad either, when you get down to it..."

"But! You get the point! No trustee!"

"In Thundermist tonight, a celebration has been arranged for the lone survivor of the annual Thundermist and Windstalker rugby match."

"For those following this story, the survivor was a bystander, though there has still been no response from them yet. The game field is again a ruin, as is usual. The Sultanate in Maj'Dul has sent his letter of appreciation of the devastation. And Thundermist has finally claimed the hitherto unclaimable title of rugby champions. They are planning their next rivalry even now with Mara, who is said to be "wicked good" by certain segments of the population."

Pennae tells rplfg, "o.O"

"For those who are interested, Monday has been cancelled. sleep in, have tea, and make cookies. Expect things to be worse Tuesday, however."

Phaust tells rplfg, "But... but... Brell day.."
Halsani tells rplfg, "But there's hockey on tomorrow..."

"Can't be helped. You will just have to cram it all in on Teusday. And for those of you whho think I am misspelling Teusday… Bugger it. I can say it however I please. I'm the one stuck with it."

"So nyah."

Pennae tells rplfg, "aha sure"

"The Nearly Midnight News staff would like to thank certain goblish tribes, who have recently donated a member to try to sell some odds and ends."

"This helper, known as Meisha, is a liar and a thief, and you should support them whole-heartedly. But don't believe a word."

Ceayla tells rplfg, "Save Meisha!"

"Save... meisha..."

Ceayla tells rplfg, "*nodnod* Buy their stuff and save them"

"I don't even... Is that what she is saying about me?"

Ceayla tells rplfg, "Maybe..."

"Oh gods… Moving on!

*mutters: gonna kill that goblin.*

"Interesting news lately. Missing persons reports are flooding the desks of both major cities."

"They are disappearing without a trace, and so far no one has claimed responsibility. However, there is an upswing in food kitchens supporting people with new resources."

Pennae tells rplfg, "*blink* Polle....."

"We are sure these are unrelated-but-balancing acts. For more details on either, stand around the corner in the dark near a food kitchen. I am sure it will all go well."

Halsani tells rplfg, "Are any of them run by a gentleman with the last name of Todd, perchance?"
Phaust tells rplfg, "*totally doesn't make meat pies out of people*"

"In an unrelated and potentially remarkable bit of news, the Lady Chancellor has been found."

Phaust tells rplfg, "(yes, Phaust does <.< > 
Halsani tells rplfg, "(The Soylent Green Special? :) )"

"While most know the Lady as Basel, I'm sure most did not know she was missing."

Phaust tells rplfg, "(indeed :D)"
Phaust tells rplfg, "Probablys because most didn't cares."

"Unless you did. In which case you are probably the perp who nabbed her. And you should feel bad and sit in a corner and think about what you did."

Pennae tells rplfg, "ahhh"

"Probably not too long, as I am sure it wsn't wholesome family fun."
"Unless it was, and then never mind."

Lythil tells rplfg, "But don't cut her hair and make it into a wig for your pet?"
Basell tells rplfg, "That's disgusting!"

"Look! There she is! Not missing!"

Lythil tells rplfg, "the pet won't mind that much"
Basell tells rplfg, "My hair is far too exquisite to go on any sort of 'pet'."

"Yay found people!"

Lythil tells rplfg, "See not hard to find Basel. Comment on her hair and puff.. I mean poof. she is here"

"In a lighter bit of news - not the kind that involves fire - a dwarf was found by the Freeport docks passed out."

Halsani tells rplfg, "Too much ale while fishing, I reckon."

"After being dragged in for questioning, it was found he was in severe violation of Freeport law and "celebrating Brew Day." The Knights would like you all to remember that there is not a god called Brell, and there is no festival called Brew Day. Anyone found celebrating within city walls will spend a night or more in the brig. "

Tyoril tells rplfg, "You know, for all these "severe dragon attacks", there's an awful lot of celebrations lately"
Ssaerasha tells rplfg, "Sacrilege! And I'm not even a dwarf."

"And possibly be misplaced on the way out. Possibly to feed the dragons.After all, they won’t stay where there isn’t food. And let's face it, they aren't trying all that hard. I mean, Silverwing would have gotten in the barrier by now."

Maevun tells rplfg, "don't play hopscotch with a Unicorn. While a unicorn only has one horn, one slip and you'll only have one of something else too."
Sylvree tells rplfg, "With how raids are tonight, Ssae.. we're best off RPing as Corpses~"
Ceayla tells rplfg, "I thought dragons only ate... nevermind... good luck finding one of those to feed a dragon..."
Ssaerasha tells rplfg, "No kidding...."
Lythil tells rplfg, "in Freeport! I think not"

"For those seeking to find out more on the dragon attacks, please stand just outside the city wearing ketchup and mayonnaise, as dragons cannot abide mustard."
"And a bit of bread would not be remiss. And some soup, perhaps with a spoon."

Kinra tells rplfg, "Don't forget the pinch of sage!"
Rayasel tells rplfg, "what about croutons?"

"I think I'm hungry now… Hmm.... boil giant spider leg… There are some just out in the Commonlands..."

"I mean..."

"Dragons! Big ones! And they are flapping a lot!"

"Which leads us to the weather!"

"Huge storms in the Feerrott! Dragons flapping in two continents make these huge storms! And see… Chaos. And weather. It's a thing."

"It sounded good on paper… And it sounds just plain crazy now. So."

Eridin tells rplfg, "Next thing, we'll be blaming global warming on Dragon fire."
"No no. That is dragon gas. Dragon fire is why the crops aren't getting water."

Rayasel tells rplfg, "lol"
Ceayla tells rplfg, "which is caused by them eating non virgins?"
Eridin tells rplfg, "ROFL"
Rayasel tells rplfg, "hahaa"
Eridin tells rplfg, "Right..virgins are gas free.. hence the preference.. glad thats sorted"

"It's awful, but I just can't find a virgin."

Ceayla tells rplfg, "Not in Norrath..."

"And when I think I got one… Well… Best left to speculation, there."

"I am Folodu Amrunrosse, and this has been the Nearly Midnight News: dragon gas edition."

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Akhutai's Research Notes, 12 Deepice, Fenin Ro, Veeshan

Archivist's note: This is one of the few surviving personal journals of one Dr. Akhutai Ssarathi, an iksar mind-mage notable for taking an early "scientific" approach to the study of the mind. Taking philosophical objection to dominating the mind by forceful or invasive magic, he experimented heavily with alchemy and tinkering to aid in his studies, and was one of the first to call themselves a psychiatrist. His specialty appears to have been mostly related to the study of dreams, as they could be observed with minimally invasive magicks, and the counseling of clients with histories of mental or emotional abuse, common for the archetypal adventurer.

Though he frequently claims in his entries to be a meticulous note-taker, very little written work of his survives. It is possible that much was recorded with a mechamagical device, as this entry claims, but it is also likely that the secretive doctor employed various memory techniques to "take notes" in his own mind.


This begins my current personal log; previous installments have been duly recorded into that damnable gnomish device, and naturally, lost to equipment failure. While I originally intended these to be scientific logs of my research, obviously for future publication, I doubt anything I write here will be publishable. The denizens of Norrath seem particularly uninterested in research into their own mental health, so I doubt any scientific journal exists that would be worthy of such a paper in any case.

12 Deepice, year of Fenin Ro, Age of Veeshan ((3/23/2014))

In the last few weeks, I have been inundated with dwarven, gnomish, and even goblin, bugbear, and kobold clients seeking counseling and psychiatric help in the wake of their Brell Day celebrations. Brell Day is in fact, a feast lasting nearly a fortnight in which individuals, and especially those of the aforementioned usually stolid Serilian races, are encouraged to drunkenness and debauchery. As it happens quite near the Xegony/Ro equinox, I would not be surprised if this cross-cultural holiday developed largely in response to the warming of the weather and the inclination of these races to live underground and away from light and sound for extended periods. As such, the Brell Day feasting seems to provide a quite natural release for these peoples, an opportunity to enjoy life in light and sunshine without considering consequences.

Unfortunately, consequences still occur, regardless of whether they have been disregarded in a holiday spirit, and it is apparently my job as a counselor to talk clients through these consequences. I have had everything from the (rather expected) unexpected offspring to tragic, dancing-induced mine cave-ins to counsel clients through. And as these are Serilians, they seem to think that counseling, like much else in the culture, involves either dirt or alcohol. I have had many who could not afford to pay me in currency barter for my services in various fermented or distilled beverages, and many others, mostly dwarves, who are under the firm impression that “real” counseling cannot be happening without some form of libation being served to them. As such, the kitchen of my humble abode and office in Gorowyn has rapidly evolved into both a storage and serving facility for a great variety of beverages. One might even say I have opened a bar.

One would be incorrect, of course. This modification to my kitchen is merely a counseling tool, both for the comfort of my clients and the opportunity to observe them in a more casual state. It also gives me the opportunity to observe chemical and alchemical effects of brewed, fermented, and distilled libations upon the body in a controlled setting. Many questions can be explored: Why are some moods associated with certain kinds of alcohol, i.e. ales rendering someone an “angry drunk,” but wines making them a “sleepy drunk” and mixed liquor beverages making them a “silly drunk”? Is it the same factor for all individuals, or do different beverages have different effects on different people, and why? Is there a racial commonality in the alcohol metabolization response, i.e. dwarven ales always making goblins excessively thirsty, and if so, what is that factor? The answers to these questions may give valuable insight into my alchemical research. As I search for a soporific that does not alter dream patterns, research into how a common depressant like alcohol is metabolized may be of great utility.

Alternatively, the observation of my clients in a state of controlled inebriation may prove useful in the course of counseling itself. I think I can understand the dwarven reluctance to engage a counselor who does not have an intoxicant to serve: many clients are far too inhibited to share their true problems with a counselor without a bit of chemical aid to remove those inhibitions. Those in the adventuring profession in particular are quite adept at hiding their true feelings and keep a great many personal secrets quite tightly. A drink or two can unlock in them what several months of regular counseling cannot. I have no use for their secrets, of course, as there is very little I care for their own petty, political intrigues. Who killed whom over what ridiculous squabble is only useful in counseling the survivors in their grief and/or guilt and helping them move on to resume productivity. However, this aptitude of alcohol in revealing well-kept secrets is quite the fascinating phenomenon in and of itself. It is though alcohol pushes secrets out of the mind and onto the tongue in a way a mind-mage can only envy when they brutally attempt to rip out those secrets by force. I wonder if any others have managed to make use of this propensity?

Monday, March 24, 2014

Black Market

Roughly once a month, or whenever we can get away with it, we send some of our hands to scout and participate in the Black Market, hosted by House Shaw'dal.

The Black Market is a traveling Crafting Faire featuring sales, food, drink, and entertainment. Sales are open to everyone. Bring your own goods to hawk and link or just coin to spend.

This month's market will take place from 8pm to 10pm EST, in Metarrah's Storm Isle on Monday the 31st of March

Known attractions:

- Kezzath's battle arena
- Metarrah's notorious cards
- Honest Miesha's New Used Bed Emporium
- Djinn fortunes
- Custom Monochrome Portraits by A Skilled Limner (Ariahdnia)
- Bardic music
- Pie
- Gambling!

Icy Keep Part 2 !!

On Friday, March 28th at 7pm CST we will be mustering on the docks of Erollis in the Frostfang sea, to hunt the dragon Vrewwx!

This will be a long raid, and may need to continue over the weekend. Please be ready for a long haul, with food and drink at the ready, and possibly some repair kits as well. Please review the battle plans before muster!

In order to participate in this event, you will need:
- More than 81 seasons (yes, it is a strange cut-off point)
- Have been on the Part 1 of this raid on Friday March 21st, which ran from 7pm CST to 3:30am CST

We have attempted this raid three times already, on Friday March 7th and Friday February 28th, and Friday March 21st.

The following hunters are currently locked to the instance through March 30th:
Alteru Ecthelwe - Scutari - Elemental damage
Andrejja Pejjiic - Vigiles Medic - Chief Healer
Chevanima Amrunrosse - Scutari - Main Tank
Folodu Amrunrosse - Equites - general damage and support
Elysen D'Vren - Scutari - general damage and support
Sonantius Strigadae - Scutari and Second Tank
Vauldr D'Saren - Scutari - Elemental damage

Names in order of appearance:

(monsters which are already dead are listed at the bottom)

- - -

On Saturday March 22 we left the raid at this point:

Odaufe and Kastus - 96^^^x4
We were surprised to find this pair up the ramp from Debitino. We were unable to defeat him as of this update, but we noticed several things.

- Keeping the brothers separate allowed us to damage them - but they both have a wicked manasteal and they heal themselves.

- Allowing them to fuse makes the snow in the corners of the room clickable. Clicking the snow allows you to gather 5 snowballs. The snowballs interrupt the combined Odaufe&Kastus, and eventually cause him to divide again. As long as he is united, you can do no damage.

- There is an icy axe on the seat of Kastus' throne. It has not yet been clickable, but it may become so.

- - -

We have not yet seen:

Frozen Statue of the Snowbeast - 95^^^x4
Spawn the mob and pull it to your chosen spot, named Memwipes. When the mob reaches the point of death the first time it will fall down and spawn 2 "a fragment of a statue" mobs which you must have tanked apart from one another. If you let the fragments remain together too long the name will revive, drain the main tank and kill him. Burn down the 2 fragments and then the Statue will revive with 50% HP. Kill the name again, this time he will spawn 3 fragments which must all be tanked apart from one another, once all three of those die the name will revive a final time at 10% HP and you kill him and get your loot.

Vrewwx Icyheart - 98^^^ x4

- - - -

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Deathfist Citadel

Mustering in the training caves.
From left:
Tyoril, Kionly, Zapdash, Fafnier, Atlier, Baarca
This Friday's Wargames took us into Deathfist Citadel to curb the reach of the upstart imperator. Contact was made with Grozmag Trainer, who is opposed to the imperial rule. Through negotiations with him, we gained valuable intelligence on the current situation in the Deathfist clan stronghold. The current imperial dynasty is not as strong as the first generations, perhaps, but certainly more numerous.

Victory was, of course, achieved.

It took some persuasion to convince Baarca the throne could not be brought back to the barracks, as it is necessary to allow the next generation to claim leadership of the clan. Such symbols are necessary for the thonnic creatures. It is unlikely that the ambitious Agtak will allow the other clans to return to self-rule, so it is to be expected that a similar raid may need to be carried out in another decade or so.

The throne of the Imperator.
From left:
Baarca, Atlier, Kionly, Zapdash, Fafnier

From the tenth volume of The Lives: Multum Mendacis

Archivist's note:

The transcript of this speech, according to contemporary records, would suggest that it was acquired at great personal cost. The Vigiles roster in this period was frequently being adjusted, and although some of these changes were for additions, many more of them were to record the Fallen. The sagittari divisions were the hardest hit, losing several officers and specialists over only a few months.

The original ciphered message is lost, but we can be reasonably certain that this is a faithful translation. It was found among other classified papers relating to the same subject, and the uneven hand, and irregular line breaks suggest that the copy we have was written as the cipher was untangled, and never recopied. For these volumes, of course, spelling has been standardized throughout, and line breaks introduced both for readability and a humble attempt to convey the delivery.

The student unfamiliar with the character of the Archbishop would do well to remember that all contemporary sources available to us agree on the great personal charisma he brought to bear in every situation. We must accept that whatever the objective qualities of his words may have been, he was able to bring such earnestness and charm to bear that for many years, even the Vigiles council was divided on the question of how - and even, whether - to deal with him at all.

Fragmentary comments on the original translation suggest this speech was given at the Cairn of the Huntress, somewhere in the month of Warmstill, in the Year of Xegony, in the first quatrain of the Age of Veeshan. It is of particular interest that although the speech is directed at an inner circle among the cultists, it seemed to have been an intensely public display, and part of an extravagant festival thrown for the purpose, rather than one of the private shrines. This may have formed part of the cause for the White Raven leadership to align with the Erollisians in their denunciation of the Declaration of Truth.

My people, I welcome you to this most special of engagements.

I have a hard thing to speak of today that has weighed heavily on my heart.

Recently, our worship of Erollisi's hand in our lives has been attacked and slandered. I cannot believe that there are eyes to read that have not seen this denouncement, and so I will not trouble our ears with the repetition.

This Defamation - pardon, a slip - Declaration of Truth broadsheet seems to have been given freely to all known cities. This public slander is signed by one I had hoped might become one of our Sisters - the Lady Amrunrosse has instead drawn a line in the proverbial sand.

Her actions have brought unnecessary scrutiny and obstruction to our mission of Love, and yet I cannot help but feel this is her ultimate cry for help - that the recent exile and discovery of her beloved being deceased - has pushed her into a most frightening and vulnerable place.

My children, even still, despite my prayers to Our Lady, she is held in thrall by this Vigiles Amicae, who must be guiding her ever further to despair. Even with this difficult time on us, we would be remiss in our duty to Love to not stretch our arms and call this Sister back to us.

Act and think not with malice, as it can only serve to drive the wedge further. If you might try to approach her, think not of us, who Love her, for the stress might be too great.

Instead, think and be with the mission we have embraced - go forth in Love, perfect and eternal.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Call to Skyshrine

Negotiating with dragons.
From left:
Lady Nevedaria and Equites Folodu Amrunrosse

Nearly Midnight News, March 8th

*crawls in on all hands and knees*

“Oh - oh gods. Four thousand seven hundred and two bars seen... only six thousand more to go... so many peanuts... so many peanuts..."

Pennae tells rplfg, "o.O"

"No like this bar crawl..."

Melsandra tells rplfg, "That is why I do not do the bar crawl."

*looks up at the ashes of what used to be a large desk made of acorn*

“Oh gods... no one cleaned that up yet..."

*falls flat*

“I give up - it's just too much."

*rolls over on her back and sticks a finger in the air*

“Good evening, and welcome to the Nearly Sober News. Tonight we have... way too many peanuts."

Melsandra tells rplfg, "*snerks*"

"I can hear them. Their little voices… calling for vengeance... Like a thousand miniature people. But not."

Kaimos tells rplfg, "weeping..."
Grurkk tells rplfg, "Sober? Eat more whiskey"

"And then! And then! They suddenly go silent. As I eat them. So many peanuts to silence..."

"We have a show - we even have an Anchorette. I'm pretty sure she's lazing about here somewhere..."

"Oh - there she is. With her hand in the air. Ha."

Kaimos tells rplfg, "waving it like she don’t care?"

"So, you may have guessed, but in case you didn't, Brell the First has called us to our true natures... Which you can reference by looking at the edition title... Something about sobriety...and testing it... in a field. It didn't make much sense."

"For those tuning in late, the Halasian games are still going. Indeed, there is stiff competition in the Iceberg Herding competition. It is expected to take three more weeks, because icebergs just don't cooperate very well."

"It was a silly notion to begin with, but made sense at the time."

Melsandra tells rplfg, "Because they were probably all drunk."

"I had a list of winners of some of the others things, but they aren't as massive as icebergs. So, congratulations to people."

"Like... Apparently Lera won the Stone Put competition. She did it by putting a stone. I'm not sure where. I assume it was kosher, though."

Pennae tells rplfg, "XD"
Melsandra tells rplfg, "*snerk*"

" narr came in second, and Lairobell in third. Apparently, they were not as skilled at placing stones."

Melsandra tells rplfg, "You would think a lizard would be.."

"Skinny legs were shown. I don't know why. But it happened, and so it is reported."

"Slipps won the kilt show. Must have been the hairy legs. Marisielle and Myrlana did not have as hairy a leg, but got an honorable shared second."

Kytharin tells rplfg, "Slipps won the' kilt show because she worked that kilt"

"And there was people hitting each other. For prizes. Don't know nothing about that. Save that some people hit like girls, and it may be because they are girls."

Melsandra tells rplfg, "oooooo"
Kaimos tells rplfg, "ahhhhhhh"
Grurkk tells rplfg, "Grurkk like to hit people. They bleed and scream and die."

"Sugue is the best hitter like girl in the nekkid drunken boxing. And Krugger and Dhavis hit less like girls."

"It was a valid measure at the time... Hitting like girls..."

Pennae tells rplfg, "*snicker* we hit hard!"
Chevanima tells rplfg, "*agrees*"

"Hellfires, I hit like a girl, and most things don't want to get up afterwards. And... and... I lost the rest of the list."

Melsandra tells rplfg, "drink more then you will find it. Might not be able to read it, but you will find it."
Chevanima tells rplfg, "*snerk*"

"In relatedish news, sort of, Es Oh Ee announces the next new thing this month. The Deadly Raid Monster, or DRM, will be greatly anticipated by all."

"The DRM can be fought at any time, and as many times as you like, but not with anyone who doesn't already have their own DRM, which must match your own DR monster. And you can't share your DR monster with anyone. And also, you can't talk about it, either."

"So no cheating."

Pennae tells rplfg, "*blink*"

"In a quote, one prominent citizen said, "The hells is that? What? You mean I can't talk about the giant... -thing- that just sat on my house?!" He was sad. And couldn't share his pain."

"He now shovels coal for the DR monster to eat. Silently. And in tears."

"We go to Velious tonight for an odd bit of news."

"The Othmir have passed some net brutality accords. Accordingly, any Yha-Lei caught in an Othmir fishing net will be beaten."

"The Othmir had tried first the more peaceful net neutrality, but decided it was too much bother and the net gets ruined either way. Said Dampion, "Them fishmen have been fightin’ for too longs. Time to eat their fishes and pillage their crabtraps!""

"I am not entirely sure he understands the accord, but he has a nice hat."

Kytharin tells rplfg, "Fashion wins over politics"

"In Rivervale last week, the halflings and the Void have finally come to an agreement."

"The void will maintain control of only 32% of Rivervale in exchange for not using the water supply. The halflings have to give up drinking for a year. The peace agreement has been strained already, as the Void really want to just claim all the land they feel is their right to own."

Pennae tells rplfg, "right thats fair"

"Said one prominent halfling wishing to remain anonymous, "Well, I think they are crazier than a bag of weasels in a carnival, but they have friends. The halflings have been despised by most cultured elven races for as long as anyone keeps records, and no one really cares."

"They will most likely all be under one Void banner in a month anyways."

Grurkk tells rplfg, "But if Rivervale go boom, where is Grurkk s'pposed to hunt tasty halflings in?"

"Today we honor the feast of Little Jim, who is said to be the first one to drink someone under a table ever."

"Little Jim was twelve feet tall, and smashed his competitor over the head with said table. To this day, no one really cares, and host parties in his name. Said one adherent of Brell, "Look, if ye go change one little story, ye got to change them all, and then people migh' know the truth. And then where would ye be!?""

"He was at bar number 7,841. We wrote it down so we wouldn't forget."

Pennae tells rplfg, "*snicker*"

"The NMN staff would like to send a call for donations out."

"We are out a table, and a cleaning crew. The table must be larger than fae size, and smaller than kromzek size. Please send all donations to NMN offices at your earliest convenience."

"Please note - please do not send gnolls. They do not clean."

"In sports today, besides iceberg herding, we had the cleanup of last week's encounter between the Thundermist and Windstalker rugby teams."

"Unlike all previous games, there was a survivor for this grudge match. No one is quite sure why there is a grudge, but it probably started with someone stealing someone else's cow."

"The survivor had nothing to say, and might be suffering mental or auditory issues. We hit them over the head a few times to get their attentions, and nothing."

"Make note: clubs do not make good attention-getters."

"In weather, we had rain in Freeport, and spaghetti in Halas. There were no meatballs, much to the disappointment of many."

Pennae tells rplfg, "damn"

"For those wishing a free meal, the frozen wasteland that so many find beautiful will keep it for up to three months. Beware of yellow spaghetti, as it might be compromised."

Pennae tells rplfg, "eewww"

"The next few weeks will see the end of the year of Xegony, the year of Air and province of mind."

"Many will note the presence of Brewday during this time. See, there is too many mind, and so we need to piss some of it away."

"I am Folodu Amrunrosse, ostensibly your anchorette, and this has been the Nearly Sober News. Only six thousand more bars to crawl to… So many peanuts..."

*turns back over and starts crawling away*

Monday, March 10, 2014

Friday Wargames: Icy Keep Retribution

On Friday, March 21st at 7pm CST we will be mustering on the docks of Erollis in the Frostfang sea, to hunt the dragon Vrewwx!

This will be a long raid, and may need to continue over the weekend. Please be ready for a long haul, with food and drink at the ready, and possibly some repair kits as well. Please review the battle plans before muster!

In order to participate in this event, you will need:
- More than 81 seasons (yes, it is a strange cut-off point)
- Not have an active lockout for Icy Keep: Retribution
- Note: If you have been in the Icy Keep in the last 9 days, you WILL have a
- Hail Keden McFurkins by the griffon and Snarf Frostfoot next to the Icy Keep access crystal.
- Note: If you CANNOT get the quests from these NPCs, you WILL still be able to go into the zone, but you will NOT be able to use the mender's anvil inside.

We have attempted this raid twice already, on Friday March 7th and Friday February 28th. One evening of hunting seems to be only enough to get us as far as Corrival.

Names in order of appearance:

Hoarfrost Pyreflyte - 92^^^x4
Adds spawn ONLY if you're next to the eggs they hatch from. Being in the water seems to counter their normal radius as well as the wingbeat style rear knockback that the name has.

Frozen Statue of the Ice Maiden - 93^^x4
Do not attack the Maiden. Kill the Frozen Blades. When an add dies, two more will pop in the center of the room to take its place. In order to kill the name you must kill the adds: each add you kill removes health from the name.

By the end of the fight you will have many, many adds, so you need a tank who can take the damage and healers who can heal through it. It is possible to mez some of the adds. Focus on one add at a time for best results. AoE strategy will bring you swarms too quickly to keep up.

Lieutenant Grauf Thundersmash - 94^^^x3
Captain H'bri - 94^^^x3
Captain H'bri is linked with Lieutenant Grauf Thundersmash. These mobs MUST be tanked in separate rooms or they will gain multiple damage shields and will be impossible to kill.

When you enter the room, head to the right and take the portal to a different room. Clear all the golems. Once the golems are dead, split the raid as you see fit to have some in the golem room and some in the Captain's room. When you pull the Captain she will emote and tell the Lieutenant to check the golem room for invaders and the Lieutenant will respawn in that room. Once you engage, you will no longer be able to use the portal until the Lieutenant is dead, so make sure everybody is in position and ready to go.

Kill the Lieutenant. Once he is dead, use the portal to return to the Captain's room and kill her.

The Frozen Corrival (Icy Keep: Retribution) - 95^^^x4
Pull Corrival so that the main raid force has their backs to a wall to prevent being scattered when the mob does his AOE knock back. Shortly after starting the fight, a level 95 Epic x 2 double of a random raid member will spawn and immediately attack them. Have a secondary tank and a healer pull this mob out of the raid force and off to a side. Do not kill this mob, just hold it until Corrival is defeated.

At 75%, 50%, and 25% Corrival will root himself in place and spawn 4 other mobs. The main tank should pull these mobs back just far enough to be out of the melee range of Corrival. The main tank then should target one of the Dark Hearted Corrivals to kill. Do not touch the Light Hearted Corrival.

At 75% only one will have the buff.
At 50% two will have the buff.
At 25% three will have the buff.
If you kill the Light Hearted, Corrival will reset to 100% life and the round starts over.

Tamer Nicoli (Epic) - 95^^^x4
After fighting the Corrival successfully, we go down a hallway full of yetis. When we reach the crossing hallway, we turn downhill (or left) and clear our way to Tamer Nicoli. He has the ability to throw targeting, but otherwise is a straightforward, if long, fight.

Debitino Coperilus - 95^^^x4
Uphill from the intersection are more yetis, and then wolves, with this guy. He will summon very brief pets sometimes, but these are weak.
The important factor is that he will create a spectral defender. Kill that fragment of him first: the main monster will take no damage as long as the spectral version is alive.

- - -

Edited on Saturday March 22 to Add:

Odaufe and Kastus - 96^^^x4
We were surprised to find this pair up the ramp from Debitino. We were unable to defeat him as of this update, but we noticed several things.

- Keeping the brothers separate allowed us to damage them - but they both have a wicked manasteal and they heal themselves.

- Allowing them to fuse makes the snow in the corners of the room clickable. Clicking the snow allows you to gather 5 snowballs. The snowballs interrupt the combined Odaufe&Kastus, and eventually cause him to divide again. As long as he is united, you can do no damage.

- There is an icy axe on the seat of Kastus' throne. It has not yet been clickable, but it may become so.

- - -

We have not yet seen:

Frozen Statue of the Snowbeast - 95^^^x4
Spawn the mob and pull it to your chosen spot, named Memwipes. When the mob reaches the point of death the first time it will fall down and spawn 2 "a fragment of a statue" mobs which you must have tanked apart from one another. If you let the fragments remain together too long the name will revive, drain the main tank and kill him. Burn down the 2 fragments and then the Statue will revive with 50% HP. Kill the name again, this time he will spawn 3 fragments which must all be tanked apart from one another, once all three of those die the name will revive a final time at 10% HP and you kill him and get your loot.

Vrewwx Icyheart - 98^^^ x4

Thursday, March 6, 2014

A Question of Time

In the Vigiles, we rely on the concept of Soft Time in our role play. This means the passage of time is flexible, and determined by narrative and the agreement of the players involved, rather than any particular fixed formula.

In dialogue, this means we usually refer to time with quantities like "some", "many", and "lots"*. We tend not to talk about firm dates more than a week or two in the future when we're in character,

But, When did things happen in Norrath?

There is great disagreement about the timing of historical events in the Norrath of Everquest 2. By design, the world of Norrath is slightly broken, and there are places where no time passes at all, time runs backwards, time runs faster... you get the idea. No powers in EQ2's Norrath have ever had much success agreeing on the time of day, let alone what year it is!

But-! There's a date when I type /time!

Yes, and in the original release of the Shattered Lands, it was standard practice for roleplayers to use /time as a reference. It was simple, it was built-in, and nobody had to do very much math to figure out what time it was in Norrath when it was Happy Hour here on earth.

You say that like it's not true anymore.

Just now, I ran the /time command and was given the year 3923 - which is only 212 years after the "official" date of the Shattering of Luclin. This corresponds to no method of Norrathian time equivalencies that I know of - but what is worse, I have logs from 7 years ago that have a /time artifact of 3950 and later.
Although /time is still a built-in command in the game of EQ2, the answer it gives you is no longer reliable - or even the same from player to player. It's still a neat feature to add some flavor to your rp, to run a quick /time check and site your character in the month and season it gives you. After all, no matter what time format other players are using, you can't be more than nine days off on the day of the week, 2 on the season, or 11 on the month. Being "wrong" about the day according to someone else's way of measuring time also gives you an instant story hook - where did you - or they! - lose that time?

So... what year is it? The game came out on a certain day, so can't we just count from there, even if the game counter is bugged? Should I bug report it?

We don't know, not for certain, and don't bother with reporting it as a bug. Even the original development teams couldn't agree on how time should work in EQ2, and rather than resolve the dispute, they built the game around all of the approaches at the same time. You can count from launch day, if you like, but there's more than one way to do it, so don't expect other role players to be using the same measuring stick.

When in doubt, use soft time.

Well, I'd like to know what time it MIGHT be. If we started from launch day, and counted each day/night cycle as one day...

It can be done. The math is interesting, because one full day/night cycle now runs 72 minutes long**, but with a decent knowledge of spreadsheets, you can calculate the exact game-clock date of any time stamp you care to try***. This odd length of time allows even daily players with a set earth-time for playing to experience every time and season of Norrath in their playtime. There are a few world events which still rely on the Norrathian time to determine spawn rates, though in the years the game has been running most have been removed or set to a base timer of 15 earth minutes or less.

A Norrathian week is 10 days long, a month is exactly 3 weeks, and each of the three seasons is 4 months long, for a 12 month year. Like our own Ancient Greeks, Norrathians group their years in Quatrains, but in Norrath each year has an elemental association and unique weather influence. For example: if you're in Freeport during the year of the Triumvirate, you'll notice it's always raining, whatever the season is supposed to be.

That's nice, but what day did the game start, so I can start number-crunching?

I've looked, but I can't determine what time of year the game clock was started. But, since there's some wobbliness about time in general after the Shattering, even the year is a but of guesswork.
For every date in the game-clock method of time progression, you'll have to give or take about 500 years, since no official, extended universe, nor fan-created timeline agrees with itself or with any other. However: most NPCs which are/were involved in the main storyline which launched with the game on day 1 informed your character that the Shattering was 500 years ago****. Official lore suggests the explosion of Luclin happened around 3711.
Therefore: launch day might be reasonably assigned as coinciding with:
Moorday, 8 Blossoming of the Growth Season in the Year of the Triumvirate, in the Age of Shattered Lands 4211.

But that means more than 60,000 years have passed! Everyone who was alive at launch should be long dead -!

It's an easy mistake to make, if even one number in your progression is incorrect, or in the wrong order. This kind of math sortof... bends your brain, if you're like me, but once you have the formula correct, it's very satisfying.

Years the game has been running...9.33
...multiplied by days...3,405.83
...multiplied by hours...81,739.99
...multiplied by minutes...4,904,399.20
...divided by 72 minutes per Norrathian day...68,116.66
...and 12 Norrathian months...5,676.39
... and 30 days in a Norrathian month.189.21

By this calculation, about 189 years and most of three months have passed in Norrath, as of today. That means the year is roughly 4400, and although most humans and other short-lived races alive at launch might be dead, the Shattering would still be in living memory for most elves. If the game clock started at day 0 of the year 4211, then we can calculate today's date as follows:

Norrathian year at launch4211
Norrathian month1Deepice
Norrathian day1st of DeepiceFeastday
Norathian year now4,400.21
Norrathian month3Stargazing
Norrathian Day14th of StargazingSoulday

or, if you think the clock may have started in the Year of the Triumvirate, the result is still very close:

Norrathian year at launch4211.33
Norrathian month5Blossoming
Norrathian day8th of BlossomingMoorday
Norathian year now4,400.55
Norrathian month7Scorchedsky
Norrathian Day14th of ScorchedskySoulday

Either seems roughly plausible, with the following catch: in that scheme, our experience of Frostfell - and other holidays! - as players bears no relationship whatsoever to the ingame year or season.

Can it sync up at all as designed? 

Short answer: No.
Because the Earth year is not 360 days long (to the eternal torment of those who would prefer the poetic and mathematical ordering of days), no, it can't. Over the course of a single earth year, the Norrathian calendar would repeat the quatrain every 72 days: a little more than five times.

Can we "flex" the Norrathian calendar in a particular month to make it sync artificially?

Yes, if you want to do the math fresh every year, you can stretch four Quatrains over the course of one Earth year, and force at least ONE holiday to fall correctly in both calendars.
I don't recommend it, as it made my head hurt.

What about that other method you mentioned? Does that "fit"?

Short answer: Not quite as designed, no.
In the Concordium Tower in South Qeynos you will find a book titled, "The Norrathian Code of Trade Standards". We have a copy in our Library and in our Guild Hall. In that text, the ordering of the months, seasons, and quatrains is explained. Each year of the Quatrain corresponds very clearly to our four Earth seasons, and in the description of the Year of the Triumvirate it is revealed that the last month of the year - and therefore, the quatrain - is a time of feasting and celebration, when Norrathians give gifts to one another.

Ah ha! That's Frostfell!

It is, and the Frostfell event occurs every year for some number of Earth days to either side of December 25th*****.  So! If you discard the rigidity of 30 days to a month, OR, you create null-periods at the end of every quatrain to absorb the extra days, you can stretch the Norrathian quatrain over one Earth year.

What's the catch?

The coincidence of Frostfell in the Deadening of Triumvirate with Yuletide in December in Winter only works for the Northern Hemisphere. EQ2 is played all over the globe, so any scheme which shows favor to any group of players based on geography is a Bad Idea.
Furthermore, if only one quatrain passes each year, then only a little over 37 years have passed since launch. That's very little time for the epic events of Norrath to take place in, although it does mean that the Shattering could be in living human memory as well.

Well, 200 years isn't very long either.

No, it's not, especially since the climate has stabilized gradually after the Shattering. The siezmic and astronomical events which shaped the Norrath we know and love were truly, unimaginably catastrophic. Remember, in the original Shattered Lands, there were only a few pockets of survivors, worldwide, and magic was unpredictable and incredibly limited. It takes time for those kinds of things to stabilize again.
Recently the moon has even been fusing itself back together...

They could be gluing it back together with magic. Or the Gods could be doing it. Norrath doesn't have to use REAL physics.

All good points - but from the beginning, EQ2 was designed to bring Norrath to vivid life, and in order to do that, the designers worked to create a plausible and consistent world for us to move in. The intention was to incorporate real physics, real geology, real materials and textures in a beautiful, magical, exciting world which didn't ask us to suspend too much of our disbelief to imagine our way through it.

But Norrath has time travel, with Chronomagic.

Right. So we may not actually be in the year we think we are, by any count. 
Chronomagic was envisioned as a way to revisit old content without necessarily needing to make the monsters trivial or have a low level group member with you. The way Chronomagic was woven into the main storyline added further ripples to the strangeness of time since the rebuilding of the Spires back in 2006****** and was never resolved. 
It has been suggested that as a side-effect of stasis-magic used in the City wards, that time may pass significantly more slowly in the two largest cities, Freeport and Qeynos, than is does in the rest of the overland world. Consistent with fairy lore in our own world, it has been suggested that time also runs more slowly in most of Faydwer.
It has also been suggested that time does not pass in any measurable way in Neriak, Odus, Sky, Ykesha, or for obvious reasons, Ethernere.

So... what time references can we use to relate to guild story?

As part of our effort to integrate our own stories into the world of Norrath, we of the High Council have developed a perhaps idiosyncratic method, which you are welcome to adopt or not as you choose.
In the interest of brevity, we do not track the days of the week in Norrath. We may run a /time to harvest the "current day" for flavor, at the most.
Instead of referencing Earth seasons of winter or summer, we refer to the years of the Quatrain.

Fenin RoDecayAprilDeepice
We number each quatrain progressively in relation to the Age they belong to, which is pretty easy to do off the top of your head without even needing to look at the chart. The Age is whatever the last expansion was, the quatrain number tracks how many January 1 have passed since the expansion's release, and the Year name corresponds directly to every third month of the year.

A chart of the ages and their earth dates has been prepared in case you want to look up any given month, year, or age in our little corner of Norrath. These are the dates we use on any of our IC "official reports" and archives, if they have them.

This is all too much. Do I have to memorize all this wibbly-wobbly time stuff to role play with you or join the guild?

No, certainly not. Remember, we rely on "soft time" in most of our stories. All of this is just for your own interest, as a tool you may choose to incorporate, or not. 

And because we're geeks*******.

* tomorrow, next week, next month, next season, soon, someday, in the future, when x happens, yesterday, last week, some weeks ago, months ago, a while ago, long in the past, after x happened, before x happened, when x was happening, in ancient times...

** It used to be 40 minutes, and some are saying since the day/night transition started to have issues around the time ToV launched, that now the cycle is 90 minutes long.
I know. It's maddening.
Years the game has been running...9.33
...multiplied by days...3,405.45
...multiplied by hours...81,730.80
...multiplied by minutes...4,903,848.00
...divided by 40 minutes per Norrathian day...122,596.20
...and 12 Norrathian months...10,216.35
... and 30 days in a Norrathian month.340.55
and with 90 minutes:
Years the game has been running...9.33
...multiplied by days...3,405.45
...multiplied by hours...81,730.80
...multiplied by minutes...4,903,848.00
...divided by 90 minutes per Norrathian day...54,487.20
...and 12 Norrathian months...4,540.60
... and 30 days in a Norrathian month.151.35
We're going to use 72 minutes for this article as that was the length quoted recently by the EQNext development team in their poll of potential players. They wanted player feedback on the length the days should be, and one of the options was "72 minutes, like EQO and EQ2". So we're using that, for now.

*** Yes, Ari is developing a spreadsheet for guild use. Yes, it will be ported to the calendar. No, I don't know how to build a calculator widget, and neither does Ari. Yes, you can build one if you want, and if it works we'll put it on the blog.

**** Some roleplayers at that time, especially on the Qeynos side, started their personal story clocks by the Shattering itself, discarding the old calendar to place the end of the Shattering at Year 0, and their stories at or around Year 500. Since the Shattering was a pivotal event, causing massive climate disruption in a world which had already been undergoing the Rending of continents for the better part of a century, both catastrophies tended to blend together in the lore, and the clean slate posited by this method made - and still makes - a great deal of narrative sense. By this accounting, current Norrathian time is in the 1st or 2nd Century P.R. (Anno Post Ruinum)

***** In 2013, Frostfell began near the beginning of December and extended to January 9th - it varies every year.

****** The result for /time in Kingdom of Sky when it launched was Year 0, and still is.

******* Yes. Enormous ones.