In the Summer of 1995, Wil Harris went to work for a small ISP in Anchorage, AK, in a voluntary capacity. Since the company could not afford to pay him, they offered their site for a MUD. Having been mudding for over two years at that time and serving as an imm for several months, Wil was greatly excited by this prospect. He downloaded the code for Rom2.3 and began to make modifications to make it what would become LUN.
After a couple months of modifications by Wil and his girlfriend, Kelly, Wil returned to college, where he would have time to open the MUD to the public. After preparing and doing so, he soon found himself with a LOT of players. However, this load was more than the small ISP had anticipated and they simply could not sustain it. The MUD had to shut down.
Several months later, in the Spring of 1996, Wil and Kelly were about to graduate when they were visited by a friend from the previous School Year, Timmy. Timmy worked as a sys admin for an ISP in Western Mass., and he offered the opportunity to help start up LUN again. Wil, seeing an excellent opportunity, given that Timmy was a coder of Master level, jumped at the chance and LUN was reborn from an old discarded backup disk.
After two months of preparation, LUN reopened in the same place it is now, in July of 1996. At first, it was slow, until a young man named Thor logged on and immed in less time that it took Wil to eat dinner that night.
LUN ran without major incident for a year and a half. At that time, in the Mid Fall of 1997, a group of LUN's Immortals, led by Erik Backus, Wil's former roommate, and with Timmy's support, decided that they did not need Wil or Kelly involved in the mud and that they would rather continue the mud without them. They approached Thor, who had by this time, advanced to the fourth highest immortal (after Wil, Kelly and Timmy,) to enlist his support. However, they underestimated his loyalty to LUN, and he revealed the mutiny to Wil and Kelly. In order to protect their mud, they immediately gathered up all files and deleted them from Timmy's site. They brought the mud up on it's current site, moments thereafter. Though the plan of the traitors was still in infancy, Timmy had made a previous, slightly old backup, which he used to bring up the mud separately.
Wil and Kelly, with the support of Thor and about 1/2 of their immortal staff, decided to ignore the other mud and move on with LUN. The best way they could revenge themselves on their former friends was simply to make the best mud that they could. It is this mission that they strive for today.
For the next several years, LUN remained in a virtual holding pattern. LUN eventually came to rest on a server hosted by Thor in the mid-west. New Immortals came forward to take the place of those who had left, and slowly the land began to heal and LUN began to move forward again. In late 2000 Oidhche was given permission to house a test mud, a critical part of any mud’s continued development, since it can be disastrous to bring changes to the code and areas live without testing them first. This was a rock solid symbol of the new friendship forged between Wil, Kelly, Oidhche, and a number of the other active Immortals.
In 2001, Thor was no longer able to accommodate the mud due to concerns at work. After a long and desperate search for a new home, it was in the 11th hour that a very old friend stepped forward. KAHN was probably the third character to ever create on LUN, the first two being Kennon and Allexia. A long time friend of Wil and Kelly’s, he, as a hobby, ran a residential ISP in central New York that just happened to have space for one extra server. Delighted, Wil and Oidhche threw themselves into moving the mud, and with KAHN’s help, LUN once again made it through.
Several months later, Thor retired as an active administrator, and Oidhche was appointed as a Hierarch. From this position, he continues to try his best to help keep the mud a vital and active place for players from around the globe to enjoy themselves. Through many years, innumerable changes, and constant strife and adversity, the heart of LUN has remained solid. A number of the more active players have been here pretty much since the get-go, and new ones wander in regularly. It is, at the end of the day, the players who have always made LUN anything that it might be. They bring the creativity, the purpose, and the imaginative role-playing that a mud like our must have to thrive. The Immortals are dedicated, working for no pay and little thanks, as they paint the backdrop upon with all those with a sense of fun and adventure may play out their imaginations in a magical and fantastic world. LUN has, over the years, provided a connection both in character and out of character to more people than even the Immortals know. Now as 2003 draws near a close, we invite you to join in with our community, share, and have fun. For without fun, we ask why we should bother?
And, of course, that Unicorn is still out there, just waiting to be glimpsed…