This composition is organized in five sections: Creation, and Ages One through Four. Creation is... well, creation. The beginning and all. The ages are the betas and the first telling. As more tellings occur, the history will (hopefully) be expanded.
Note: This is a work in progress. One and all are encouraged to contribute. Contributions need not be in sequential order. Please go ahead and insert your paragraph wherever it fits in the timeline.
There were Teppy and Josh, who in Egyptian were called Pharaoh and Nekhmet; and they made first the builders that were the offspring of Pharaoh's thought, and they were with him before aught else was made. And he spoke to them, propounding to them themes of landscape; and the built before him, and he was glad. But for a long time they built only Old Egypt and very slowly, for each could build only through bitmap tools.
The first age was a time of few people and much chaos. This age gave rise to a hard-working bunch who put to good use the legal system to give us what we take for granted. Examples of laws from then which have since become features are guilds and banning buildings near schools and universities. The first age was completely contained in what are now known as Old Egypt and a part of Desert of Nomads. Notable pieces of work from then are Caedar's new player guide, the ancient egenesis.com website and The Oasis. There was no offline travel at this time, but people had chariots to instantaneously deliver them to a few chariot stops on the map.
Way back in the time of darkness, when people could only visit the land of Egypt for a couple of hours, once or maybe twice with each passing of the moon, a group of people gathered. They came from all parts of the world and were mostly strangers to each other. They had all heard of this land of Egypt and were all eager to see its promise fulfilled. At first there were only a few, Nefertari, Nodgmet, Tchrin, Maet, Cierra, Mekhu and some others whose names have sadly been lost in the sands of time. They met by Sunset Pond in Old Egypt, and decided to call themselves the Guardians of the Oasis (GOO). They heard of another such group which had preceeded them in making a guild, The Illuminati, who, however, quickly passed on. GOO's fame in the land spread, and soon their numbers swelled, until there were more than thirty members. People such as Vodalus, Serius, Pluribus & his wife Bellah, Petis, Caedar, Zomboe, Ecnassianer, Apophis and others joined under the GOO banner. For a while they prospered, and led the charge in technology and law in this newly forming land. They were the first to do many many things; the first camel, who was dubbed Spitty, and the first batch of charcoal to name a couple. They also pioneered new ways of working, such as 'power flaxing' or working eight charcoal hearths at a time. Almost all technologies opened at the great universities were done so with almost entirely the produce of the guild. Through the legal system they introduced the first guild halls, and many of the features they now have [Ed.: there were no rankings in guilds till beta 3. This is the most significant modification made as far as we know.], as well as the law that stops players building to close to our great schools & universities. For a while they prospered and all was good.
However as with every turning of the wheel, all that is good must come to an end. Some say they grew too fast, their ambitions were too high, some say they were structured badly and others simply say the guilds members had different idealogies and had different ideas on how they should forward themselves and the land. In truth all of these were true to different extents. A few of the members in particular grew disgruntled with GOO and decided it was time for them to branch out and to fend for themselves. People such as Apophis, Pluribus, Caedar, Bellah & Serius began to work in secret to build their own base being careful to create all of the resources themselves and not to use any of GOO's reserves. This group had decided to dedicate themselves to the forwarding of technology in Egypt. Apophis called a meeting at the original School of Architechure, just south of Sunset Pond. And all came, those from GOO and those who preferred solitude as well as members from other, newly formed, guilds. Apophis and the others announced what they had been doing, and that they were forming a new guild known as The Scholars of Thoth (SOT). An argument ensued. A couple of the GOO's elders, Nefertari & Nodgmet, in particular felt betrayed. Others were just shocked to the core. These people, SOT, were our friends, people who they had trusted, people they had planned the vision of greatness which was GOO together with. Some, Apophis, Serius & Pluribus in particular, were part of the core of GOO. Questions raced through their minds; Why didn't they talk to us? What did we do wrong? How could we not spot this discontentment growing?
Time passes. People say time is the great healer, this isn't quite true, time allows the memories to fade, allowing the pain to be easier to bare. GOO went on, but with SOT and other guilds forming it was becoming less and less integral with the land. Whilst they remained a major player in Egypt, the political power base had shifted, forever. No longer was Egypt a land which revolved the workings of one group of people. And with it the Guild shrank, until there were only a few left. They discussed at great lengths what we should do to save the guild, some, notably Ysharros, wrote great essays on what they considered was wrong and what should be done. Alas to no availe. The final blow was when Mekhu left. As a guild we discussed with him why he was unhappy, but in the end he felt the only way he could find happiness was to go his own way. He left with our blessing. Mekhu formed his own guild, known as 'The House of Bes' (BES), which was dedicated to helping immigrants to the land find their feet. GOO stagnated, until eventually Tchrin proposed what they all knew in their hearts had happenned already. He proposed that GOO as a guild should officially disband. With heavy hearts it was agreed. And so it was that the first true guild of Egypt ended.
BES & SOT went on, and continue to this day, SOT with almost all of it's original members. Apophis and Ecnassianer, have moved on. Apophis sometimes returns to the land but not with SOT. SOT also has a few new members, Petis & his wife Neith, and Tchrin. Despite the betrayal in the past, Tchrin felt that SOT's idealogies fitted his own a lot closer then any of the other guilds that had offered him shelter from the harsh desert sun. To my knowledge BES has no original members anymore. Mekhu moved on and left the land, with Vodalus taking over the reins from him, until eventually he too decided it was time to move on. Many of Egypts most famous citizens have found a home in BES at one time or another, people such as Meffi, it, Varen, Dors & Antichaos being amongst the most notable. Due to BES's mission statement, to help new immigrants to the land, they quickly became very popular. And as with all organisations that become popular, comes resentment. This resentment came particularly from SOT who felt, with some good reason, that BES weren't as magnaminous as they tried to portray themselves. Also BES's founder, Mekhu, was one of those in GOO who had felt most betrayed by SOT's actions, so when BES was formed he already had a bone of contention with SOT. This led to the now famous rivalry between SOT & BES during the early ages of the land, but that my friends is another story, for another age.
Maya awoke to the sounds of people hurrying past her tent. The Pharaoh had arrived. She hurriedly made her way to the crossroads, and was just in time to see him approach. The sight really surprised her, as the Pharaoh was dressed in an ordinary workman's clothes with no gold or gems or jewelry of any kind. But when the Pharaoh spoke, people listened. As they were doing now.
"My friends. We embark upon a great journey to conquer these lands. Not with armies and war, but with hard work and dedication. We will not wield swords and spears, but will fight the elements with unity and progress. I will stand beside you and we will shoulder our burdens together as we work to achieve these goals."
A roar of laughter was heard from the crowd, and many heads turned to see who it was. Though not as many as Maya had expected. "Step forward, Stranger" said the Pharaoh. "Show your face. Or are you a coward who prefers to fight from the shadows?"
As the Stranger moved forward, a space cleared around him. "I am no coward. Nor am I a liar. But, I have lived with those around me, and know you to be a hypocrite. You are nothing but an oppressive dictator. You abandon your people at the mercy of these wild lands. You have built us schools and universities, yes. Yet you extort such vast donations and fees from us in the name of research and tuition. All this when you live your life in luxury with riches beyond what we dream of. And yet, you claim to be a friend. I could not but laugh at it. Stop oppressing us with your rule. Laissez faire!"
Maya expected the Pharaoh s face to go white with rage. But the Pharaoh was no ordinary man. His expression grew only more determined, if it changed at all. And he replied.
"Do not speak such vicious lies. The people know how much I work for them. They know what I sacrifice each day. Do not sow seeds of discontent among us. We are a society. We stand united in all we do. You cannot succeed in creating discord among us. We will work together, work hard, and perfect the Seven Disciplines of Man. A few trouble makers like you may appear. But we will take all that in our stride."
"You know, I am beginning to feel that you may really believe that! All right, I shall take you up on that. I challenge you to demonstrate Egypt s unity and it s perfection in the Seven Disciplines. I shall work with each Discipline s universities to create Seven Tests. Pass them all and build monuments to each Discipline, and you will convince me. But meanwhile, I shall not be idle. I will be working to show the people that none of what you claim is true. May the best man win."
With that he walked off. And whispers in the crowd began to get louder. The Pharaoh looked around and reassured the people by telling them that the Stranger was powerless against a united people. Maya s spirits began to rise again, and she began looking forward to making some sweet onions and to find a mate for her new sheep Pluffy.
Little did she suspect how things would turn out to be.
The Pharaoh makes a great speech to the people..
"Citizens of Egypt, one year ago The Stranger presented us with 49 challenges. This is not the first time The Stranger has been in out midst, the Ancients have faced him before. It is said that if the people can endure the challenges of The Stranger, then that civilization can live forever and it will be immortal. You have worked hard, and you have prevailed.
Oracles of Architecture, you have shown endurance and strength.
Oracles of Worship, you have shown unity of spirit and cooperation.
Oracles of Art, you have created real beauty.
Oracles of Conflict, you have shown cunning and strategy.
Oracles of Human Body, you know our land.
Oracles of Thought, you have found wisdom and knowledge.
Oracles of Leadership, you guided us through it all.
It is man's nature that he is at his best when challenged. Men reach peaks of virtue only when tempted towards evil, and that is why I invited The Stranger into our land. Soon our children will rule this land, and they too will need strengthening. They too will need their virtue tested so that they may become powerful and good. So, we must become The Stranger. We must create new challanges for our children, we must create new tests for them to pass. The last thing we must do before we pass from this world is leave behind the greatest monuments of our civilization, the tests that will strengthen the next generation. Each great monuments will be built by a team of citizens. Before you build the monument, your team must work together to design a test for the next generation. Once the test is designed you will build a massive structure, which will forever house the words of your design. Some day our children will create tests for our grandchildren. In this way our legacy will be immortal, our civilization will live forever. "
Architects... you've come to personify the act of greed, and learned to revel in one-upsmanship.
Artists... you've shown that a lack of talent is no barrier to those who have friends.
Disciples of Body... you obsess over self-improvement, eschew social contact for sake of personal advancement, and gorge yourselves fat on the delicacies of our land.
Combatants... you have shown that in a system where minimal ability is rewarded, there's no real reason to strive for success.
Leaders... you have demonstrated the qualities of betrayal, backstabbing, and the celebration of your own egos.
Scholars... your ability to create new and interesting ways to cheat, game and exploit the purity of my tests in the pursuit of advancement never fails to impress.
And finally, we come to Worship... the discipline of the lazy... You follow your co-ordinators with sheep-like obedience, and take the low-effort path to success.
Today, I gaze upon the many lands of Egypt, and see not one single completed monument, raised in celebration of the Seven Disciplines of Man. I am an old man, perhaps the last of my generation. It's funny how history tends to repeat itself. As many of you now know, in the time of King Octec, a blight similar to what is now happening in the south faced the rivers of Egypt. Octec's scientists were great men and - having spent many days and nights working on a solution to the problem - developed a powerful elixir to combat the plague. I can now announce that the secrets of this very elixir lie within the vaults of my University of Progress.
However...Today, I gaze upon your lands... and I ask myself a question... "Is this a society truly worth saving?". People of Egypt, this is my final challenge to you...Complete at least one of each of the 7 monuments before the sulfur reaches the mouth of the Nile, and the cure is yours. Your descendants will know of your perfection, and history books will celebrate the greatness of this society. But...Fail in this task, and I leave your rivers choked by the sulfur. The lands will be made barren, and your failure will be written into the history books. In place of those monuments not built, stone tablets will be placed on the land with my words above, as a warning to future generations. Perhaps then, in generations to come, a more worthy society will rise from the remains of this land.
The choice is yours."