For all those familiar with PaxLair, you should know that the PaxLair Guards (PxG) have taken a 'leave of absence'. Obsidian Dragon, Captain of the PxG, disbanded the guard just a week or two ago. The guards were having trouble enforcing the laws and ways of PaxLair.
Around that time PaxLair officials were trying out a new system to deal with people that came to PaxLair with intent to cause harm. Obsidian Dragon stated that when the new murder system was put in place (the one with the two different counters), the guards started having problems staying blue. As Obsidian Dragon explains, this actually caused more problems then it prevented for PaxLair.
"PxG could have been classified as Blue PK's. The kind, OSI wanted to rid the game of." Obsidian Dragon stated. "Well, it was like a chain reaction. A NPK would come here [PaxLair], and kill a Grey Guard/Citizen/Affiliate.PxG would then come in, and proceed to kill, in cold blood, or Noto PK, the NPK. Problem is, with this new system, a "Red" may be rezzed. Thus, we rezzed our fallen Guards, allowing them to guard again. This.. however attracted more.. NPK's. PxG is known to be rather... tough. Perhaps not the best P vs. P. Never the less, we killed a lot of people, they learned we were red. Bamn. They show, kill us, kill our healers, disrupt RPing. Exactly the opposite of what PxG wanted." "So, in effect, you were actually causing what you were trying to prevent?" I asked.
"Yes." Obsidian Dragon confirmed.
I could see how the PxG would have problems. Normally in UO, Pks hardly stay in one place. They usually have an 'area' they Pk in, such as a dungeon. So, it'd be hard to track down a red player after he leaves the area he just Pked in. However, the PxG do not play like that. They became red from defending an area, an area they had to stay in or around (PaxLair). So, it was easier for NPKs to come to PaxLair and attack the red guards they knew would be there, then to stalk the dungeons and Pk spots hoping to find someone.
While the problem of being red was the PxG's biggest worry, there were others. Toward the end of their commission, the number of active guards drastically reduced. In the beginning you could always count on finding a guard at PaxLair. Toward the end, there were very few. Obsidian Dragon told me that the reason for this was just due to inactivity [I.E. they weren't online or just not playing their characters], and the new murder system. He stated that most guards were inactive because they moved on to other things. The active guards that stopped guarding within the last month was due to the murder system.
"It [the murder system] made us unable to do our job, period." Obsidian Dragon said.
Mayor Winfield of PaxLair said he noticed the shortage of guards. "Aye, there was a shortage of guards and I was aware of this." Winfield reiterated. "I personally did not involve myself in the guards affairs because Obsidian Dragon led them so well. The shortage of guards is not the fault of the guards or their Captain, but a fault of the ability for a wilderness town to justly protect itself from the villains, both 'evil' and 'good' The guards sacrificed a tremendous amount of their time and resources for their love of PaxLair."
Many different methods were tried to enforce peace in PaxLair by using the guards. One way, as Winfield explained, was; all the guards were friended to the Mage Tower and they stored their joint provisions there. Many townsfolk attempted to help keep their provisions in stock. Though this did not solve the murder system problem. As it may seem, the PxG were in themselves, just another way PaxLair tried to enforce peace. Shortly after their disbandment, the villains that so often plagued the city of PaxLair, started to subside. It would seem the PxG were really causing most of the villains to focus on PaxLair, and now that the PxG are gone, so are the villains.
"PxG might never be reinstated as it had. It may just be used for show." Obsidian Dragon concluded. "Not as a protection system. Just there for quests/Events."
The next step for PaxLair is to find a way to enforce peace, without the PxG. PaxLair has had town meetings to deal specifically with this issue. Winfield explains their outcome.
"A policy of silence to the perpetrators is our current scheme." Winfield said. "The City of Peace is designed just as that. Those who do not wish to come in peace may still come as we are open to all. Yet, many people of PaxLair are very busy working on projects, quests, and adventures for many to enjoy. To attempt to deal directly with the attackers detracts from our main goals. All are welcome in the town who come in peace and we are willing to work with them on joint projects if they at least respect the town's peace tenet."
The policy of silence would require anyone directly affiliated to PaxLair not to pay attention to, or interact with anyone there to cause direct harm to the city. The idea behind it, is to not give them what they are looking for. Quite often what they are looking for is just someone to yell at or fight with, either verbally or physically. If they arrive and do not find what they seek, then there is nothing left for them to do but leave. In my own opinion, the only problem with this system I've found, is that it is not widely shared. Not all PaxLairians follow the system, and all too often many make contact with those who come looking for it (and should not get it).
I have high hopes that PaxLair will work out it's problems. The city has been around for longer then I can remember, and little set backs suck as this will not even slow it down. No wait, this isn't a set back. The PaxLair guards were highly respected, and for that many are sorry to see them go. However, by them so nobly choosing to leave, they have created a more peaceful environment in PaxLair. Though, perhaps one day all the problems PaxLair faces will be corrected, but then again, a city isn't a city if it doesn't have problems.