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On 28 December 2019, The Varden’s two bases, Galbaflautr III, and the in-progress Ilirea Kastle were griefed by Valhalla. The bases were found after a long hunt in the area, their locations confirmed by then high-ranking Varden member Fae, who leaked the coordinates to Valhalla. Following the two successful raids, The Varden lost its status as one of the most powerful factions on the server, with the group falling into disarray, and dissolving entirely a month later. This grief was soon followed by Valhalla’s attacks on the bases of Dawnbreakers, Erebus Core, and Greenland, all three being demolished on New Year’s Day.

Overview

Ilirea Kastle prior to the grief

Varden members at Galbaflautr III prior to the grief

Galbaflautr III (GF3), was a base built by Varden centered around a gold farm, considered their HQ. Its coordinates were only given to the most trusted members of the faction in order to reduce the chances of the base being compromised. In the same region was Alaska, a build created by Mrska999 and iSTiNO, notable for being The Elmo Union's founders.

Ilirea Kastle was a work-in-progress base being built by Varden, which was going to be a cluster of sky islands orbiting around a central courtyard island, each individual island being built by an individual Varden member. Meant to be a mainly aesthetic build, it was not going to have many practical features aside from a gold farm in the same region. It was also going to have a Museum, which was being built at the time of the raid. In the region an underwater base was being built by Lilliana(N0Xi3), a new member of the faction.

Prelude

Coauthor’s Leak Scare

On 25 December, the player Coauthor, who had become a member of Varden recently, joked in chat that he was selling Varden coordinates, and messaged Spundra over Discord that he “may actually be selling the coords to Iliria soon” to “whoever believes that [he has] them.” Spundra informed Varden leader Edami of this, and not wanting to risk it, he immediately stashed the shulkers of artifacts, obsidian, and building materials, all meant for the construction of Ilirea, in a secret location. Liliana was told the situation by Edami, and believing the base to be compromised, she and Spundra demolished the underwater base and started scouting for a new location. Coauthor explained to Edami that he was only joking, saying to Spundra that the situation did not go how he expected.

Departure of Edami

See also: EDAMI: A Break from Purity
After being tired with the drama around both Coauthor and W3Know, who had a separate falling-out, Edami announced that he was taking a break from the server as well as the leadership of Varden, saying he was “over ungrateful insufferable leeches” compromising his work. Immediately after, Spundra was promoted to Eldunarí, the top rank in the faction, as she was one of the most active group members. After being informed of the location of his materials stash, Spundra and Lilliana checked it out, then continued the re-construction of Lilliana’s water base.

The Raid

Valhalla Obtains Coordinates

In the month of December, Valhalla was hunting the bases of their main rivals, including The Varden. Based on rumours, Valhalla members concluded that Varden’s base must be in the -/+ quadrant, and as a result had many members in the region searching for Varden’s bases. It is unconfirmed whether these efforts in fact found the bases. Fae, an Eldunarí within Varden, leaked the coordinates to Valhalla's leader Satan while in a period of mental instability. According to Valhalla, her sending the coordinates merely confirmed the locations of the two bases.

The Raid Itself, Evacuation

A sign frantically left by Spundra during the raid

See also: Valhalla: Raiding The Varden
The Valhalla members involved in the raid included LaxetheKing, Satan, Winterb0rn, J0nsie, Vivid, and Gamer1300. While on a call with other Varden members, StrangerJ noticed that some of the builds at GF3 had been griefed. It was initially believed to have been a joke by someone else at the base, but when J saw GF3’s villager breeder destroyed, the Varden members on call realized that the base was being raided by Valhalla. J saw Vivid below him, so he shot the attacker a few times before running off to put on some actual decent gear. J returned, and attempted to fight Vivid, before fleeing once more when Vivid called in LaxetheKing to fight on his behalf.

It was clear that if GF3 had been raided, a base which had been seen as secure, that Ilirea would be next. Spundra, who was on the call, immediately logged back on and immediately dmed Lilliana to “LOG IN RIGHT NOW, TAKE YOUR ELYTRA, AND RUN”. Prior to Valhalla reaching Ilirea, the two were able to evacuate all the materials left for the construction of the water base, as well as the obsidian and head shulkers left by Edami.

Damage to the Bases

Alaska after the grief

Ilirea Kastle was left relatively undamaged due to Valhalla liking the build too much, merely combing the base for whatever relics they could find. GF3, however, was griefed far more thoroughly, with builds such as Alaska being razed to the ground. However, Valhalla was disappointed with the amount of loot they got from both raids, calling their rival “Poorden” due to them being unable to extract much wealth from either raid. They were especially disappointed by Ilirea, which was an unfinished build, explaining the lack of valuables. On the matter, Satan remarked “Varden poor asf :(, I honestly expected so much more from the kastle its dumb lol”. Valhalla also claims to have griefed a base called “Eldumari”, but it is unclear what build this refers to, as Varden has never had a project by this name.

Effects of the Raids

The Future of Varden

As both of their bases had been destroyed, the Varden leadership debated what the future of the faction would be. Multiple ideas were floated around, including merging with Dawnbreakers, an idea which was almost immediately shot down. It was decided that they would regroup at an unoccupied and ungriefed base Varden members had found, then begin the construction of their new base at an entirely different location, named Illium. Spundra stepped down from the Eldunarí position after being unable to deal with the pressure of leading the construction of a large base.

Varden’s Great Purge

Following the raids, two main people were accused of giving the coordinates of GF3 and Ilirea Kastle to Valhalla. In the immediate aftermath of the griefs, W3Know was accused of leaking the coordinates of the two bases to Valhalla, as he had a falling-out with Edami earlier in the day. However, on 3 January, more information was found by the Varden leadership that revealed that Fae had actually leaked the bases, which she admitted to this later in the day. When both of these people were removed from the faction, people considered to be closely associated to them were also kicked. These waves of kicks have been referred to as the “Great Purge” by critics of The Varden, referencing a wave of mass execution by Stalin’s Soviet Union. Below is a list of the members of Varden who had their membership revoked during this period.

  • W3Know (DEC 28): Kicked during the raid after being accused by Edami of leaking base coordinates. At the time believed to have leaked base due to drama between Edami and W3 earlier in the day. He is also known to have been planning to leave the faction at the time due to the same drama.
  • Cat_Muncher (DEC 28): Removed from the faction due to his close friendship with W3. Left the Discord server after an argument over having his Varden membership revoked.
  • LanceCripple (JAN 2): Kicked for inactivity due to health issues. Later invited back into the Discord server. (According to Coauthor, he was kicked as cover for Fae being kicked, as it had not yet been confirmed that she had leaked the Varden coordinates)
  • Fae (JAN 2): Kicked after it became known that she leaked the coordinates to Ilirea and GF3. Was also considered to be inactive by the Varden leadership.
  • Spundra (JAN 2): Left following Fae being kicked. It is disputed whether she was already going to be kicked due to sympathizing with Fae.
  • N0Xi3 (JAN 2): Kicked following Spundra leaving. It is disputed whether it was due to her friendship with Spundra, or due to being relatively unknown within the group.
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