Puzzle Pirates Academy
|Puzzle Pirates Academy at a Glance|
|Senior Officer(s)||Dylly, Thedesertfox|
|Dormant or disbanded as of 15 April, 2006|
Puzzle Pirates Academy was a crew on both the Azure Ocean and Midnight Ocean. It was noted for being the first crew of many prominent Midnight figures, and for its thorough and comprehensive officer training programme.
Roots in Azure
Puzzle Pirates Academy was established in 2003 by Pennsuedo and Faile (then known as Diamond). Pennsuedo, captain of the Rudder Lubbers, approached Diamond, a new officer in the crew, seeking assistance for the foundation of a new crew designed to act as a training crew for OiTs of his flag Rudder Revolution. He had the name 'Puzzle Pirates Academy' in mind for this new venture. Diamond was loathe to leave the Lubbers, but ultimately was loyal to her Captain in whatever manner he required. She agreed to create an alt to help out on occasion with the PPA, unsuspecting of the avalanche of responsibility and tells her new role would entail.
One night, Pennsuedo contacted Diamond and told her to create her alt so that she could assist Murrae with the launch of the PPA. New mates were flooding the docks at a prodigious rate, overcoming all the crews with applications for work, and they simply couldn't handle all the mates on the Ocean. With that in mind, needing a strong name for a character, Diamond created Faile, the Falcon, Hunter of the Horn of Valere. Inspired by Faile Bashere, a heroic Lady with whom she could identify, Diamond was born anew as a pirate under the Azure skies.
A few other members of Rudder Lubber joined Faile to help out with the PPA including Cassidy, Jazzy, and even a RazzleDazzle alt. Early on in the crew's lifetime there was the night of a huge greenhorn run. The crew owned a large ship, the Petty Plaice, in need of her maiden voyage from Alpha Island. When the first voyage of the Petty Plaice was complete, Murrae gave Faile the position of captain. Initially she was somewhat overwhelmed by the responsibility, spending the first few days taking out ships, getting as many mates as possible to assist and rapidly training them as officers. This was so that they, in turn, could take out ships. Faile received some assistance from a few pirates from Rudder Lubbers, but they were hesitant about leaving their crew for long, eventually causing Faile to go it alone.
Growth and expansion
The first real officer of the Puzzle Pirates Academy that came along was Spyder. He was a boon to the crew, and Faile considered him a godsend. He came to her daily with ideas on how to improve officer training. At a later date he suggested to Faile that he suspected a crewmate might be doing damage to the PPA, which led to a chain of events surrounding the pirate in question. Lilyara was another officer of the PPA. She'd contacted Faile on the forums, asking join to join the Puzzle Pirates Academy, yet the two pirates struggled to meet in game. Eventually they arranged to meet on Alpha at 7pm on a specific night, near the gate back behind the buildings off the dock. Clad in yellow she met Faile, Spyder and Barbas and made an impression with her eagerness to learn. Ajani was another early member of the crew, joining Faile from the start. The two pirates would often stand on the shores of Gaea, dueling. Ajani, Lilyara and Spyder became the core senior officers of the crew, with Faile as leader.
The leadership of the Puzzle Pirates Academy planned and implemented a full 'boot camp' for Officers in Training, with as much discipline as they could reasonably manage, with the aim of producing honest hard-working officers. Their methods were not popular with all greenies and consequently failed to remain with the crew. There were also explusions in the form of a few thieves and players who were unable to get along with anyone in the crew. The PPA was firm in its belief that only the best pirates would graduate Boot Camp with honors. A captain named Silverfire from another crew wanted to go through boot camp so that he could better train his mates. He trained under the alt Vysaka, and was characterised by his ranting and raving about El Pollo Diablo. His crew eventually joined the PPA, and Silverfire himself became a Senior Officer.
The High Days of the PPA
A pirate called Jamison, who later became Amberyl on Midnight, proved to be a font of information and organizational powers. She built a web tool for Rudder Revolution to use to track commodities and helped organize the PPA down to the letter. She eventually succeeded Faile as Captain. The crew further expanded with the addition of Unicorn who took over the apothecary on Gaea, as it began to be too time-consuming for Faile to maintain. Dragonlilly joined the PPA from the crew Rudder Royals. After attempting to return to her original crew, she decided to stay with the Academy and soon rose to the position of senior officer. Faile desired her to become the next captain of the crew, but conceded that didn't feel right in passing over Amberyl/Jamison for the job, as she had been in the crew for longer. A further two notable pirates that formed the crew included Thedesertfox, AKA Thefatalfox, who proved to be an entertaining and fine instructor, and Thunderbird. Thunderbird was once one of the most active officers in the crew, he sailed and recruited and trained countless greenies. Towards the end of Faile's reign as captain, he stopped sailing as much, which caused everyone to be greatly surprised when he resumed his activities of old. Much of the historical significance of the PPA lies in it training and beginning the piratey careers of many notable Midnight figures. Graduates of the boot camp who went on to make a name for themselves included Squid, Harrlequin, Drabillord, Potato, Dogpile and Thanos. Some stayed and some created alts after leaving. The crew was notable for its loyalty; during the first ever treasure ship hunt, a brig was prepared and the hunt was planned. However, the crew refused to set sail without Faile at the wheel.
The Decline at the Close of Azure
As the Puzzle Pirates Academy continued to blossom and mature, the crew became a problem within the flag. Pirates from other crews within the flag would enter the crew for officer training, but they wouldn't come out. Many young OiTs stayed on with the PPA after they graduated boot camp, causing the flag crews to gradually stop sending their trainees. Eventually, the only OiTs that were in the crew were ones that had been present since being greenies. With the influx of new players slowing down towards the end of Azure, the PPA became less a training crew, and more a general crew.
By this time, Spyder had left, Pyre had departed and more and more trainers had become inactive due to the lack of greenies to train. Burnout became an increasing problem; there were only so many times you could go through Boot Camp with greenies and still keep it fresh. By the close of Azure, Faile faced the task of making some serious decisions. Previously, there had been a revamp of the crew, making changes to the OiT program, and making it more accessible to outside crews. It was organized more fully, and regulated to the hilt. This proved to be the crew's undoing; it became less fun and started becoming a job. For older players, logging in was becoming something less to look forward to, and something that was necessary, if not downright unpleasant at times. The spontaneity of the glory days were quickly disappearing, Thunderbird stopped sailing, Thefatalfox logged on less, and even stalwarts Ajani and Lilyara were becoming disenchanted with training.
When Midnight opened, and Azure closed, the crew experienced a spurt of activity for a while; the excitement of building up stock and PoE for colonization was immense. Sailing and pillaging increased and generally spirits were high. Nevertheless the PPA eventually returned to being less active again; the whole crew knew that something had to change to prevent her from dying. Another full revamp was in order, something that Faile lacked the motivation for. After several days of indecision and doubt, Faile approached Pennsuedo aside and talked to him about it. She wanted to leave the PPA after the official opening of Midnight, given the expected influx of new players. Pennsuedo disagreed and suggested that the new captain handle the greenies that were sure to come along in droves. Faile saw this as sound thinking, as the new mates would need to bond with their captain. Calling a meeting of the crew, she told them of her plans. Ajani had already been talking of starting a crew, and did so immediately upon Faile's retirement. Therefore, on Gaea, in the Revolutionary Palace, Faile promoted the most senior figure in the crew; Amberyl/Jamison, to captain.
The Falcons O' the Sea were born as a result of Faile's departure, as she founded a new crew with just one senior officer from the Puzzle Pirates Academy. The PPA struggled to stay afloat, although all the mates that were there worked hard to keep her going. A few new pirates joined; however they often they left before their training was complete. Faile sent OiTs from the Falcons and her later crew, Falcon's Fury; one of them returned to the Fury just a week before the PPA was officially put on ice. Silverfire eventually departed the PPA before its end and joined Falcon's Fury. After Amberyl, Dilly proved to be the last captain of the Puzzle Pirates Training Academy, the crew eventually going on hiatus and its members moving on to pastures new.