Sinners Among Saints

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Sinners Among Saints

The Sinners Among Saints (SAS) is an online gaming group (guild) that was founded in 1996 by Rivan of SAS and Aries of SAS. The group is made up from people of all walks of life including climatologists, lawyers, game developers, entrepreneurs and ex-convicts. Members of the guild are all over the world including; North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. The SAS is a competitive online gaming group of close friends.

The guild is highly competitive in several online games and always adopts a "power-gamer" playstyle. In the early inception of the guild we were strongly concentrated in a few games and dominated them together, over the last decade though we’ve fanned out into communities across many different games.

Get in touch… We still maintain our infamous IRC channel on irc.gamesurge.net #sas.

The following is a brief history of the formation of the SAS. Please also check out the individual history pages for more details on specific events. Are you mentioned in one of these stories or do you have something to add? Please get in touch! info at sinnersamongsaints dot com.

Active Games

Ultima Online, CounterStrike, Everquest, Diablo, Diablo 2, Shadow Bane, Kingdoms of Camelot, etc.


History

The SAS was founded in 1996 by Rivan and Aries during the Closed Beta of the MMORPG Ultima Online on the Pacific shard. The original name of the guild was Sosarian Armed Services and was intended to be a mercenary guild with the name being created from the game story lore of the Ultima Series. The guild would transform over time to become one of the most feared guilds in the history of UO and other games. As the guild expanded into other games, it became necessary to adopt a new name that had a more global application. Circa 2000 the guild was renamed by NeXuS to Sinners Among Saints.


The Beginning - 1996

In the beginning there was Rivan and Aries. They played games like Warcraft, Red Alert and Diablo together on Kali. They were able to secure spots in the beta test for an upcoming MMORPG known as Ultima Online, based off of the ever-popular Ultima series. During the beta months Rivan and Aries formally established the Sosarian Armed Services as a mercenary guild selling their services where they were needed.

Ultima Online was one of the first MMORPGs ever created and little was known about how online gaming communities worked at the time. The original creators of Ultima had no idea how people would play the game, and hence the game world had very little rules. This was the birth of modern day “Player Killing”. The act of “griefing” your online enemies by killing their online character. Very quickly after the launch of the game, players started to break down into their own communities. The communities were the start of the guilds and conflicts that would create the overall society of the game and give Ultima it’s rich flavor. Almost immediately, players started killing each other. Some did it because of grudges, some did it because they were protecting friends, others started doing it simply to gain wealth.

Very quickly after launch, Aries and Rivan were able to discover that you could amass more wealth and reputation through killing other players instead of the normal gameplay paths. This was a defining moment in the history of SAS because it would dictate the guilds style of play for the next two decades.

Disguising themselves as Fishermen, Aries and Rivan used to hang out on the docks on the south end of Trisnic where they would prey on the frequent ship captains that came into port. On one such occasion, they hijacked a boat and took it the Ice Island where they had their infamous meeting with Lord British, aka Richard Garriot. Check out the images of the adventure in our gallery.


Ultima Online - 1997

At the time of launch SAS had grown to be around 15 people including; Rivan, Aries, Rotifer, Gertrude, Skeletor, Elf, GodOfFear and more. The first day of final we logged into the Pacific shard, creating our first characters in Trinsic.

One of the guild's first enemies was the “Lords of Evil” or LoE. The beginnings of this war occurred when Rivan used a house break in bug to steal a Chaos Shield from their leader, Charger. At the time, Chaos shields could only be gotten through a bug that involved hours of work killing the guards in Lord Blackthorn's castle. The shields were both very rare and very expensive.

On the Pacific server, the guild made it’s home on the island of Hyloth with a guildhouse on the north side of the island between two mountains. Here they trained blacksmiths and often adventured into the depths of Hyloth.


The Sonoma Shard - 1997

While SAS had already been an established guild and achieved great success for close to a year at this point, this is where the real history of the guild begins. The guild moved to Sonoma the day it went live in November 1997 and was immediately established as a Player Killer guild. A common theme among members was to put "of SAS" at the end of their names, players such as Rivan of SAS and Aries of SAS could be seen running through Sonoma in the very early days terrorizing everyone around them. Since Sonoma was a new shard, and the SAS guys had already a year of experience working together and combining resources, we very quickly became a dominant force on the shard.

At the time of Sonoma I came over from Atlantic with two RL friends (RainFall and Drizzt Do'Urden/DragonMaster Dyn) and we joined a guild known as the Chaotic Horde. This was a group of established Player Killers that was based in the Southern Trinsic jungles area. Being that SAS also used the Trinsic area we had many run ins with them at an early date. There was a great deal of respect between the two guilds, along with Company of the Damned (CoTD) that would carry forward for years to come. While this is not a history lesson of CH or CoTD, I thought it necessary to mention both since they were in their own way enormous parts of Sonoma’s history and mark large PK guilds that played the shard. It is also necessary to mention them because SAS would gain many of their members from both CH and CoTD as time progressed. This was an ongoing thing for the guild as time went on. We had a bad habit of recruiting former enemies.

The guild would continue to grow in membership and terrorize the player killer battlefield. Membership was beginning to blossom on this new found shard with additions of ChaoS, ArKaiNe, MoneyMaker, True Pimp, MasterMind, Psycho the Ripper and SHADOW. Along with Rivan and Aries, these characters were making a name for SAS as one of the most dominant PK guilds in the game. Rivan also started climbing the ranks at the Oasis Fight Nights, first as a contender and then as a terrorist, more on this later. There was also this kid named Leo of EW that just loved to hang out with Rivan and wouldn’t leave him alone.

During this time is when SHAD0W purchased and placed his tower in the South of Trinny swamp… Deep in the forest there was a single splotch of land just large enough for a tower. The tower was placed during the first 3 months of Sonoma and at first it was Shadow’s residence. In a strange coincidence of circumstances, Rivan met Shadow the day he placed that tower and helped him get the last couple thousand gold to purchase the deed. Rivan then also accompanied him and Blood Dog through the South of Trinny swamps to place the tower. Looking back now – it was very strange that Shadow trusted Rivan enough to let him follow him outside town with a tower deed on him, and even stranger that Rivan didn’t steal it! As time went on though, this tower became the home and guild house of the Sinners Among Saints on the Sonoma shard. The guild had many other structures, including a keep and tower complex to the east of Britain, for some reason that tower was always home. These were legendary structures that remained a beacon for the guilds presence on all Ultima shards for years to come.

SAS would also form bonds with other guilds on Sonoma. You can never have too many enemies, but now we go back to the part I mentioned about CH and CoTD. Out of the ashes of both these guilds and another known as MO (Mount Olympus) formed a new guild, much like SAS, called Fires of Heaven, or FoH. Many of the members from FoH would have characters on the SAS stone, and vice versa. There was a strong bond between SAS and FoH and the alliance of these two guilds was legendary.

It was during this time that I began to make friends with Rivan and Aries which would lead to me eventually joining the guild...


Rep Patch

In the spring of 1998 Origin released a publish known to many as the Rep Patch which implemented Stat Loss for “Murderers”. The Dread Lord days had come to an end. Anyone who played UO will remember this day. A day when you saw so many names that you were used to auto attacking turn blue. For many of the SAS it was the first time that they could enter towns without the guards auto-attacking them.

Initially emotions ran high. A lot of guilds revolted to this Player Killer “nerf” and left the game. In other cases we saw guilds shattered and new ones form out of the fragments. In SAS’s case it was a combination of both. At this point SAS had lost a few of its more hard core PK members who no longer wanted to play in this Stat Loss Murderer system, but at the same time it had gained a whole new group of recruits. One of those recruits was MRGrimm of SAS, formerly Leo of EW, and would quickly become one of the guilds most skilled members. With the introduction of this patch also came guild wars, and with the wars came the need for bodies.

And with guild wars… A whole new chapter began. Our hunting was no longer limited to outside of town, we could now hunt down our enemies while they were at the bank or purchasing things in the stores. It also made us much more focused… The game became less about who had the highest body count, now we had to become organized and focused on attacking our enemies.


The SAS vs. BLD War

One war that we all remember was the BLD anti PK guild that SAS battled for years. Prior to the reputation patch, the BLD guild would organize themselves in town and then come into the dungeons where they thought we were; however now with the new Guild Wars system… Nowhere was safe. We could now freely attack each other inside town, a place that BLD previously was safe in. BLD was not the most skilled PvP guild on the server, but they had a large number of dedicated core of members that always showed up to fight no matter what. This was the story of two guilds with fundamentally different play styles who just didn’t like each other. This was Grunk Half Orc and rukNar the Orc vs. Rivan and MRGrimm of SAS. This is also where the guild gained a 14 year old punk who always shot from the hip and ran his mouth way too much known as Blood Crypt. I joined the guild at the beginning of the SAS vs. BLD war along with many former members of CH including; JodoCast, PaLoudaq, Barbe, Dakkon, NeXuS, of Mutilation, Drizzt Do’Urden, Skid, God II and Corn Pops.

http://www.pusateri....ures/fight1.jpg This wasn’t just BLD vs. SAS, this was the anti PKs of the server vs the PK’s. As the war continued, both sides started drawing in allies, and the battles became bigger and bigger. The biggest names that would ever play on the Sonoma shard were all involved in this war. It was, by definition, simply epic.

This war would last for months. I remember fighting well into the summer. As time went on the interest and intensity slowly dwindled as more and more members left each stone. Eventually, the war was brought to a halt. There was no clear winner, just a lot of bloodied and battered participants. What remained on both sides was a totally reformed guild, with a new structure and dozens of new members that would shape the shard for years to come. Out of this war came a great amount of respect from both sides. We had learned that the Blood Clan were a serious foe that were not to be taken lightly. And although we would remain enemies on the field, many of us were able to form friendships and bonds between the two guilds.


The End of the Beginning

After the war with BLD things began to settle down a bit for the guild. Some members quit the game. Others left the shard. SAS slowly began to become more of a tight knit, smaller guild like it was used to in days before. Although SAS has always prided itself on being among the elite in PvP, we have always been first and foremost about friendship.

The first few wars helped create the structure and the principals of the type of guild that the Sinners Among Saints would become. The history continues through new Ultima Online servers, Counterstrike, Asheron's Call, World of Warcraft, Lineage, and many many more. Have a chapter to add to our history? Get in touch... info@sinnersamongsaints.com


The Dranchenfels Shard

For a brief time period when the action on Sonoma had grown stale during the pre cast days, SAS made a move to the DF server. This was a European based server, so all of our pings were terrible, but despite that we were still able to field a full roster and compete with the most skilled guilds on the server.

This was also the birthplace and death of shadow, the black sheep. May he rest in peace. (and fuck you Deathclaw)


The Siege Perilous Test

After the second SAS/BLD war Origin came up with an idea for a server called Siege Perilous. This server was a throwback to the “old days”. It was a server without stat loss, without vendor buy backs and with limited amount of gains from monster bashing. This server was intended to be tough and present a challenge to even the most seasoned UO player, hence the name.

SAS was out in full force on this server and we brought with us many old friends from Sonoma. There were dozens of our former rivals on this shard and many potential ones as well. All of the ingredients were there for another legendary chapter in the history of our guild.

We started fast out of the gate, grinding the gold quickly to secure a boat to travel to Deceit, here we were able to farm a large amount of gold and ultimately secure a house and a guild stone. This shard is what we were waiting for, this is the kind of experience that fuels a guilds unity. We were going up against some legendary guilds from other servers, and we were winning.

One of the most memorable events on this server featured a guild called SSJ who had also just started on the server. With the server only being a couple of days old, most of our characters were newbies with no magery and non-master level combat skills. Never the less though, we weren't going to let that stop us. One evening, while hiding near the docks, we managed to gain access to a boat that was owned by the SSJ. We got onto the boat and murdered the one character already on board, only to discover that two more were hidden. After a battle of a few minutes, Aries and I were both killed. In an act of defiance though, as ghosts we stood on the open plank making it impossible for the owner of the boat to lock it.

For hours, the rest of the SAS sailed around the globe trying to catch up with the boat that we were on, in hopes that they would be able to jump on the open plank and slay the rest of the SSJ. Finally after a few hours, the SSJ guys docked at Moonglow for a few seconds to get supplies. BC & Kewl Hand Luke quickly arrived to the scene, jumped on the boat and murdered everyone.

Now the tables were turned though... We had control of the boat but their ghosts were now standing on the plank, making it impossible to lock. We quickly returned to Trinsic on the boat to get restocked and then immediately set sail before the SSJ could catch us. We sailed through the night, hoping that if we could stay awake until the servers rebooted for maintenance... We would be able to sail away before the ghost logged in and he would be booted to shore, allowing us to drydock the vessel. No such luck though, after server down the ghost and us logged in at the same time. This was looking hectic... we were now moving into day 2 of the battle for this boat.

In another strange turn of events... The SSJ were allies with a guild called "the F - heads" back on their home server of Atlantic. The "F - heads" had also spent some time on Sonoma battling the SAS and CoTD and we knew them very well. MRGrimm and Rivan also had a serious axe to grind with one of their members named "P*****e". The F-Heads, getting the call from their SSJ allies, logged onto the server in bulk and jumped on their boat to come after us.

The next day had already started and many of the SAS were exhausted from a night with no sleep trying to keep the boat under their control, however they knew that this battle couldn't go on much longer. So they hatched a plan - a simple one. All the SAS would get on the boat and hide, with only Rivan standing in a death robe on the boat. He was the bait to the trap.

After an hour of preparation, the team stopped the boat in the middle of the ocean with only Rivan on it and the rest of the team hidden. Within 30 minutes the boat filled with F-Heads and SSJ troops pulled up. They immediately pulled up side to side with our boat and started trying to run aboard. After everyone was on board, Rivan yelled "forward" to the ships captain and boat took off while the rest of the SAS members unhid. A gruesome brawl ensued on the highly lagged oceans. Corpses were appearing everywhere and people seemed unable to heal themselves. Finally as the tide of battle was swinging in their favor, Rivan stopped the boat and they started to clean up the last few SSJ and Fheads that were left.

The boat was covered in bodies but there was a clear victor. After resurrecting the dead SAS members, we dropped off the enemy ghosts in Moonglow where they disembarked. We then also returned to the original boat the F - Heads had showed up on. Everyone except for Rivan got off the SAS boat and onto the Fheads boat to declare victory. Rivan decided to go and dry dock his boat at this point. After pulling away from the group though, Rivan discovered that there was a hidden person at the helm of the ship! After a few seconds of using detect hidden... a familiar person appeared. "P*****e" was still on the boat, hiding like a coward while his friends were all killed. Rivan pulled out his Halberd and fought him... but it was clear Rivan's character was more advanced and killed him on the ship, laden down with loot, in a 1 on 1 situation. That would be the last time MGRimm of Rivan would ever see or hear of that player again.

Unfortunately for us the server had a name attached to it, Test. It was evident now that Origin had planned to wipe the server the entire time. They were trying to see what methods people would use to advance the fastest. They saw that many guilds were gaining at an accelerated rate, something they had wanted to prevent or at least make difficult on this new server. Eventually the server was wiped, and with it all of our hard work including boats, houses, gold, skills, guild stone etc.. Although there were many of us that still wanted to play the new “improved” server, many did not. At this point many of the SAS members who had returned for SP Test now left the game again, most went back to Sonoma and any that remained on SP were told to do so under a different guild tag.

A potentially great chapter in the history of the guild was lost with the wipe. I have often wondered in the past how differently our history would be written if they had not wiped the shard. It isn’t that we weren’t up to the challenge, it was that many just did not have the energy to start over again after so much hard work. Many people who had come back to the game had invested free time that was very limited with RL commitments at this point and simply could not do so again, at least not immediately. By the time we did make it back to the Siege Perilous shard as a guild it would be to late. Many of the top guilds remained, but SAS had missed out on a lot of epic battles. I know this because I was one of the people who stayed, under a different tag known as DTM (Disciples of the Moment) a guild formed by my friends Meursalt and the late Orin Warrick (RIP) on the Sonoma shard and later re-formed on SP after OGD became active and GC stabbed them in the back.. but that is another story for another time.

Cool Test Center

Now I pvped on a lot of shards in my days, I spent time on Great Lakes, Pacific, Atlantic, DF, SP, Sonoma, Catskills, Chesapeake.. like serious play times with finished characters. I dueled a lot and was a part of a lot of guild wars, and nowhere did I find the same skill level as Sonoma. When CTC went live we grabbed anyone from the old days and headed over. We had M's roster (which was the most numerous guild at the time) along with any SAS left playing and anyone else we knew from the old days. When we got there we were apparently going up against some guild called KoC from Chessy. I had seen these guys fight before and I knew they were good, but this wasn't the same guild. There were a lot of names I didn't recognize, but there were enough there to carry the tag. Either way, no matter who it was, they got lit up. We beat them so bad they wouldn't even leave their houses. Again, further re enforcement that Sonoma had the greatest PvPers in the game. We were never the most populated shard, but we were definitely the games best kept secret.


Other Information

Trinsic "Trinny"

The City of Trinsic is sacred for SAS. This is the area where we have our roots, this is the area where we started and finished the game. Many of us PKed in the Trinny spawn area, specifically the southern peninsula known as "Trinny Pen", early in the game and it is where all of us met for the first time. SHAD0W's famous tower "The Devil's Own" was placed and kept in the southern Trinny jungles. This would serve as a base for the guild for years to come and is a major part of our history.

The town of Trinsic itself is where we fought a lot of wars and forged many bonds. There was a group of us that used the Southern Trinsic Bank, this was known as the "Trinny Crew". Not everyone who was in the Trinny Crew was a part of SAS, but they all held ties to the guild in one way or another and we considered each other a family. If you ever needed help all you had to do was recall to the top of the bank and let the call out, within minutes you had a Trinny Crew assembled to confront your enemies.

Trinny was a weapon for us in guild wars. We knew every pathway on the walls, or as I liked to call them the "tunnels", and we would use this to our advantage in fights. Many times when outnumbered you would see us teleport to a sweet spot up on the wall that only we knew about from practice, eventually one of the four or five enemies would find it and follow foolishly separating himself from his guildmates. Ask anyone who ever fought us in Trinny and they will tell you that SAS knows that town just a little too well. There was a time during guild wars when you couldn't use magic in town. The trick was to get people to follow you along the walls until the "You have left the protection of the guards." message appeared. At that point they’d be lit up up, many people called me a cheater over that.

That was one of the best parts about Ultima Online, identifying yourself with a territory. This is something missing in today's game. If we wanted to fight BLD we went to Vesper, BoL were found at their valley in Yew. OGD was in Skara Brae and BD was in Serpents Hold. If you wanted to fight Koreans you went to the Trinny North (or Big) Bank and if you wanted to fight SAS everyone knew you went to Trinny South (or Small) bank.


EverQuest

I didn't play Everquest. Can Phil or Nexus fill in something about what we did here?


Counter Strike

Arkaine or Phil needs to fill this out.


World of Warcraft

This needs an lengthy update about hewhat happened with Sir Radjin.


Ultima Online Redux - In Por Ylem

Rivan needs help here. Can someone with a better memory give me an outline?


Ultima Online - In Por Ylem - 2

Rivan needs help here. Can someone with a better memory give me an outline?


Notable Achievements

Oasis Fight Night Terrorism!

So... I just recently saw a speech by Starr Long, Raph Koster, and some of the other developers of UO at the Game Developers Conference and amazingly... they briefly touch on our terrorist character Tinker Boy! You can see the speech here: http://www.gdcvault.com/play/1016629/Classic-Game-Postmortem-Ultima

Back circa 1999, you used to be able to "chain" together several purple potions. If you put a few on the ground, then you detonated another one nearby, they would all explode at once causing enough damage to kill anyone nearby!

I'd been using wooden boxes full of purple potions to kill people in battles for a while, but hadn't used it for anything "big". Finally we had an event on the Sonoma shard called "Fight Night" which was a weekly event held on Sunday evenings. Hundreds of players would come show up and watch players battle it out inside of some GM made cages in an organized tournament. Given the way the game worked though, hundreds of players would cram up against the sides of the cage on the same tiles. (This also created incredible lag). One Sunday evening though, I hatched my plan and brought my character to the fighting pits. I waited until about halfway through a match when the population was at its highest... dropped a wooden box full of purple potions, used my axe on it to break it, and then detonated the first one in the middle of the biggest congregation of players.

I remember it like yesterday - the countdown on the screen started and people were just annoyed, thinking no one could get killed by a single purple potion. When the thing detonated though... my entire computer locked up for about 15 seconds, and when it finally came back... I was looking at the grey screen of death with hundreds of bodies on the ground and hundreds of ghosts walking around freaking out. To make matters worse - because it was Fight Night everyone was wearing their best gear that took them months to collect.

People who were on the outside of the blast radius came running in to start looting, most of them immediately turning grey. Other opportunists started attacking them, and because there was so much on the screen, everyone was lagged to hell and auto-defending and dieing before they could recover from the lag.

It was... amazing. The next morning, (Monday) OSI immediately patched out a fix that made it so that axes didn't break boxes anymore, thus making this impossible to quickly put 10 potions on the ground at once.

After seeing this speech, I sent Starr Long a message through LinkedIn telling him I was TinkerBoy and got this response. :

Starr Long has sent you a message. Date: 1/09/2013 Subject: RE: GDC Talk - I was Tinker Boy! So nice to e-meet you Alexander. Your letter brought a huge smile to my face. -Starr

Awesome!