"'Once a Dagger, Always a Dagger' is one such phrase. It recognizes that our paths come together; our paths diverge; our paths sometimes run parallel; and sometimes they again intertwine. We are not defined by a game; we are not defined by a play-style; we are not defined by what we need or want from a game; we are not defined by our friendships nor the pressures life and circumstance place upon us. We are defined by the people we choose to be, and whom we choose as family.
"There are many references to 'Clan' within the Daggers. We adapt to a game's nomenclature in many ways but we retain the Clan to remind us of our center. We look out for each other, we try to help each other achieve goals that may not be our own, and we stand by each other. When we look at prospective members, we don't first look for their play-style, their gear, their game-time, or any of those things; we ask of them only as a means to reveal something else. What we truly look for what they contribute to our culture and to our spirit.
"The Daggers don't seek members for this game but for this game, and the next, and the next. We don't find getting-there-fast nearly as enjoyable as getting-there-together. We enjoy the games but what we enjoy most is each other. Even when members' paths diverge, they are still in our hearts and we consider them 'on hiatus,' and extended sabbatical to soothe the needs of their soul, but they are not gone from us. They are Clan; they are family.
"A quote from one of the founding members of the Silver Daggers impressed me deeply, all those many years ago: "Have fun! If you don't like this guild, or aren't having fun, get your happy ass out!" At first blush, it may sound flippant or dismissive, but it says something fundamental about the Daggers. Our members' happiness matters. Not in a we-want-to-keep-the-masses-happy way but in an honest and personal way. We make no demands on whom you group with, raid with, or play with; we make no demands to raid, to pvp, or to group; we try to help where we can to help each member feel happy and successful by their own measure. Yet paths, as I say, diverge; being part of the Daggers doesn't begin nor end at the guild-tag.
"'No piece of loot is worth a friendship' is another one of those phrases. Many of us have seen people fight over a loot, and some have even seen friendships rent in the process. The Daggers, I am proud to say, do fight over loot, and frequently: 'No, you take it, you need it more than I do.' 'No, YOU take it, you raid more than I do.' and so on. Each time I see it, it reminds me that this is where my heart is, and why I choose these people.
"And the sayings do not end there nor the ways to express the Dagger Spirit. We believe in leadership from within, when members step in to fill gaps they see. We express it when we embrace new recruits to the Clan. We feel it when our reputation alone gains us fast friends, trust, and opportunities. We live it in the way we examine ourselves, eschew cliques, and reach out to each other. We see it in the actions of our officers and their openness with the members, that they retain their positions at the sufferance of the membership, and that they maintain full approachability. Even the design of our membership process reflects the care, and sometimes subtlety, with which we protect that Dagger Spirit.
"Through moments of triumph and times of stern difficulty, we have stood together. We are rare and precioius and valued. We are Silver Daggers; we are family; we were clan. 'Born in chaos, forged in hot fire, tempered through struggle, stronger than steel: such is the heart of a Silver Dagger.'"
Chapter Founder, World of Warcraft
* SD Founded in 1999, Everquest