The final battle wasn’t a struggle. It wasn’t even a battle. But when Ginnunga after weeks of war declared Cogency Lord of Balenos it was an effort that never the less had taken its fair share of blood, sweat and tears. Of damage and dedication.

Damage and dedication. It’s a meme in Ginnunga, used to sum up everything that’s needed to succeed in a mmorpg. Part fun, part serious. There are of course other components in success, in the case of Black Desert Online luck is certainly one, but most obstacles can be overcome with enough damage and dedication.

Some guilds think the first mentioned is the most important one. Some guilds think it's the only one. Damage. Fielding numbers. Having the best gear. Hitting harder than your enemies. Being larger, tougher and stronger than everyone else. But forgetting the second is a sure way of becoming nothing more than a whisper in the mmorpg history, no matter the game.

Dedication means never giving up. It means taking a beating, but not going down. It means learning, adapting and planning ahead. It means making sacrifices for a greater cause. It means making friends and enemies with consideration. It means being gracious in defeat, because you know the last blow hasn’t landed. Because the last blow never lands.

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The territory Balenos, on the EU server Croxus, has seen six conquests. Ginnunga has, as the only guild, been there for every single one.

First there was fracture. Ginnunga, KHAOS, Rain and BIRDSxOFxDAWN fought, but no victory was to be had for any party. But we did not give up.

Second came revelation. Ginnunga and Marauders were preparing to duke it out, but out of nowhere Ember and their hired fighters Dishonoured charged into Balenos. Ginnunga held against overwhelming numbers for a hour and a half before admitting defeat. Marauders fell soon there after. We learned that day that the rules of war are neither clear nor fair. But we did not give up.

Third time saw the rise of the resistance. Ginnunga gathered friends like Traiana and Hydra to fight the lords and their hired thugs, but in the end it was to no avail. We knew we were going up against a much stronger opponent, gear and number wise, but chose to not back down. And at the end of the day Ember once again hoisted their banners over Velia. But we did not give up.

Fourth marked the turning point. Sick of Embers tyranny the guild Broddicted took up arms next to Ginnunga. Finding themselves outnumbered for the first time Ember quickly realized their time as rulers of Balenos had come to an end. In a last ditch effort they fought like mad and held their defence for three hours, thus liberating Balenos, leaving it without a lord. Victory once again slipped through our fingers. But we did not give up.

Fifth the hammer fell. Addicted and Broddicted set their sights on Balenos and there was no stopping the horde. Ginnunga decided to draw steel once again, if not to claim Balenos to at least be on the field when Ember were finally chased out of Velia. And chased out they were. In a battle that was as bloody as it was short Ember found themselves surrounded on three sides, unable to even step outside their own base. Slowly the three fronts tightened the noose and not 15 minutes into the conquest Embers tower fell, for the first time in Balenos. There was no possible victory that day and Broddicted were awarded the territory. But we did not give up.

Sixth time the heart rose. Addicted and Broddicted turned towards the east and the lands of Valencia. Ginnunga held back as the battle raged in the desert and as ShadowElite fell among the dunes and Broddicted were named lords of Valencia the time had come for the heart to finally rise. Broddicted let their tower be destroyed and thus Ginnunga at last claimed the throne of Balenos.

We did not give up. We never give up.

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Our enemies might fault us for the friends we’ve made. Our enemies might not think we deserve the spoils of war we now claim. Our enemies may think that damage should reign supreme. But we know making history takes more.

Ginnunga currently has no allies, but that does not mean we stand alone. There are guilds we've worked with for mutual benefits, we have guilds we're friendly with to varying degrees and we have enemies who are different shades of bitter. Through our 17 years as a guild we've come to learn that standing alone is not a sign of power, it's an omen for defeat. In games where guilds number in the hundreds shutting yourself out of the politics and believing damage is all you need seldom leads to longevity. You need both.

Damage and dedication.

Thanks to Traiana and Hydra for being there when no one else was. Thanks to Ember and Dishonoured for the fun fights, for keeping us on our toes and for making us make both good and bad calls in our pursuit of victory. Thanks to Addicted/Broddicted for honouring your word.

A big thanks to all of our members who have worked so hard the last couple months. Improving gear, levels, crafting for elephants, slaying hundreds of thousands of monsters during guild quests and who spent every waking moment in the service of Ginnunga. You’re the reason we exist.

A big thanks also to our leaders whos work both infront and behind the curtains makes it all work. Lord ”Never-TRI” Cogency, Ernesto ”AFK” Pig, Kunasha ”Did I miss it again?” Wigglr, Lyngs ”99 problems but my bank account ain’t one” Goldenpants, Gromk ”EMO is actually a valid lifestyle” Iller, Cupe ”Summer cat” Gathering god. And Chimp ”Drunk Diplo Best Diplo” Chimpzard whos semi-slacking semi-relentless pursuit of new friends and foes lays the foundation of much of what we do.

Claiming Balenos of course doesn’t mean that our adventures in BDO are finished. Not at all. But we have now accomplished the highest goal we set for ourselves just about 6 months ago when we started playing.

We're not the largest of guilds and we've got no aspirations to become the absolute strongest. We've held that position in games past enough to not yearn for it. We know there's a price to pay for such stature and we know there are values we hold in higher regard. Friendship. Freedom. Fun.

But at our core we're competitive, so we do it our way with the means at our disposal. Be it with help of force or friends Ginnunga is one of the seven guilds who have held territory on Croxus. Not a small feat for a old heavy heart.

Until next time,
Sinful ”RNG hates me even if I got 3 Kzarkas!” Spinful