Saturday, August 27, 2016

Welcome to The Black Tower

So, I'd considered making a more formal address to everybody, but it occurred to me that the sheer number of administrative posts I've had to make since the site went live were getting out of control.   If I'm posting something that reads as bureaucratic, that's me fulfilling my duties as the M'hael, not me as a person.  A lot of people here know me in real life, but for those that don't, I want to make it clear that I'm not normally that guy.

Folks that know me can probably confirm, about 90% of what I post online are jokes.  I'm the guy that parties until dawn every night at JordanCon, and the guy who (faithfully?) never missed an opportunity to turn Rand On The Run into Chuck Norris. ;D  Some of the big reasons for starting this organization was to provide a venue for fellow WoT geeks to hang out online, share cosplay ideas, talk about the books, and (most important) HAVE FUN!

A little history about how The Black Tower, and Black-Tower.Net, came to be...

Every year immediately after JordanCon, like clockwork, I found that I was having the same conversation.  Someone on Facebook would ask “How come there is no Asha’man version of TarValon.Net?”  Someone else would answer “Well, there used to be a BlackTower.Net, but they took the site down years ago.”  And that’s about as far as the conversation went.  Finally back in March, that conversation came early and I decided I’d had enough of waiting for someone else to pick up the flag.  And so, The Black Tower was reborn!

We started out as a Facebook group, as more of a temporary forum space, while we could build Black-Tower.Net properly.  And our first official meetup as a group in the bar at JordanCon.  (Photo by [member=4]Braid_Tug[/member] )

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We were about as organized as the Black Tower in the books; which is to say it was total chaos. ;D  With confusion about when we were supposed to start, and what time one of our member's wedding proposal was going to happen at the dance, which none of us wanted to miss.  But, we finally got together for me (out of breath at this point) to give our inaugural toast.

This was followed up by some group pictures in the lobby, where we discovered that David Bowie's "Dance Magic Dance" is a form of Compulsion, as evidenced by Tsorovan'm'hael (Storm Leader) [member=3]Tsingtao[/member] failing to make it into either of these shots. ;D  (Photos by [member=4]Braid_Tug[/member] )

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A little more about where I see the site going...
Early on, we had identified that one topic that is not covered by other WoT fan sites is cosplay.  We specifically looked (in other fandom) at the 501st Legion as a model for this, and agreed this would make an interesting long-term goal.  I say long-term here, because until the upcoming television series is released, demand to have a group of Asha'man or Aes Sedai show up to little Timmy or Jenny's birthday party in exchange for charitable contributions will be fairly low.  But, we would be on the ground floor of building towards that within WoT fandom!

In the meantime, I still see this as a great way for fans all over the world to share their work in cosplay, both for Robert Jordan's "The Wheel of Time" and for other works.  (Who knows?  Maybe whoever makes the show might take some creative queues from what we all dream up.)

For groups that want to get together and hangout, either in or out of costume, we offer a place to organize that.  And, coming soon, we'll be adding the capability of hosting charity events for causes that members want to see The Black Tower support.

Additionally, no fan site would be complete without an array of discussion forums, including a spoiler-free section for people that are new to the series, and fantasy casting for the upcoming television show (hosted by yours truly).

Some people to thank...
[member=3]Tsingtao[/member]  [member=14]Nesteph[/member]  [member=2]Ariana Davion[/member]  [member=4]Braid_Tug[/member]  [member=5]Radical Edward[/member]  [member=7]Lariean Malinar[/member]  [member=13]Gabriel Kross[/member]  , everyone that volunteered to help out as moderators, all our members in the Facebook group, and all of you just joining us!  This project would never have moved forward, if not for your tremendous help and support over these past few months.  *raises a glass*  Here's to the future!

The late Robert Jordan, for creating the series; his wife Harriet and the rest of Team Jordan, for keeping the dream alive; and Brandon Sanderson, my personal hero for finishing the series.

*music starts playing*

Oh, they're playing me off...  Thanks to everyone!  See you on the website!

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So, I know it has been quiet around here for a bit. I have a post I'm working on, and will hopefully have up this weekend. (Waiting ...