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Hall of Flame: War of the Goat
Any who would learn about the chaos the War of the Goat caused must first learn of the
Way of the Goat, for it is upon this doctrine that posters waged war and strove to change the world. They must learn of
Uno, the Lord High Goat, and Dragon Thief, the Prophet of the Lord High Goat. They must learn of betrayal by chocolate.
They must learn of many things, and then they will see the truth. Unless, perhaps, they have too much Goat in them to
believe the truth.
The Way of the Goat
There were many styles of posting on Theoryland, back in the fading year of 1999. There
was the constant influx of newbies without style, of course, as there will always be. Yet the majority of posters had
methods to their madness. Aram was devoted to the Way of the Leaf. He refused to attack other posters and their
theories, but strove all the harder to prove his own ideas. There was the philosophy similar to what Aes Sedai hold
true: if I ignore my opponents long enough, perhaps they'll go away. There was Frenzy's ruthless tactics, and there was
the cold feel of steel as Tsorovan'm'hael unleashed the dreaded TP upon his CAPS LOCK BUTTON. But a new style was about
the become the focus of the entire population, as a rather new but already influential poster named Uno brought forth
Uno claimed to have received enlightenment while smoking his pipe and drinking his kaf
one starry night. An idea had come to him, he claimed, that was destined to make its mark upon the holy boards of
Theoryland. Prophetically, his words rang true.
The Way of the Goat was powerful beyond belief, yet at its heart simplistic. A poster
had to have conviction is his or her theory, to the point where they were physically unable to admit defeat, no matter
the odds against them. No amount of posters, no amount of contradictory evidence, not even Robert Jordan himself, could
stop the stubborn nature of its adherents, so profound was their belief in their own ideas. "The Goat posts beyond
its appointed time and struggles against the theories of other posters. The Goat continually insults the theories of
others, but its theories will lay the foundation for future discussion on the boards. So should it be with all posters,
Posters flooded to the banner of the Goat, and a cult like following sprouted around
Uno in a matter of days, giving him the new name of the Lord High Goat of Theoryland. A handful of posters remained
aloof from the Way of the Goat, most noticeably Frenzy, Goldeneyes, Tsorovan'm'hael, and Tamyrlin himself. Frenzy and
Tsorovan'm'hael almost never willingly followed others, Tamyrlin was rarely present at the boards, and it was well known
that Goldeneyes was too lazy to join any faction unless chocolate bars were in the offering.
Alarmingly, more and more newbies were being swayed by the Way of the Goat. Their
conviction and stubbornness grew to the point where theory debate was all but impossible. One could find irrevocable
proof that a theory was wrong, an exact quote from a book, yet the Way of the Goat follower would simply reply that the
book must be wrong, because all knew that his theory was perfect and complete. There were no other alternatives.
The Lord High Goat and his Prophet
Watching the trend, Frenzy decided that something had to be done. She recruited her
erstwhile companion, Tsorovan'm'hael, to solve the problem. There was nothing that these two had been unable to change
when working together. Yet Frenzy's malicious barbs and piercing taunts, Tsorovan'm'hael's use of both the dreaded
Toilet Paper (TP) and unethical use of the CAPS LOCK key, even when used in combination, merely caused more stubborn
denials by the adherents of the Goat. Seeing the attack on his newly embraced way of life, one poster, Dragon Thief,
decided that his then-mentor Uno, Lord High Goat, need not be bothered with these interruptions, and set about becoming
his second-in-command. Not long after, neither the names Uno nor Dragon Thief were to be written, there were only the
Lord High Goat and the Prophet of the Goat. This Prophet ranted, raved, and threatened everyone who did not believe in
the Way of the Goat, and yet even more posters flocked to the banners of the Goat. They now rallied around the Prophet,
calling themselves Goatfriends, and prophecies abounded throughout Theoryland. The Dark Goat Prophecy, the Peace of the
Goat, and others all became common knowledge, to the sheer dread of the few remaining non-Goatfriends.
Frenzy became more alarmed, and even Tamyrlin was rumored to have shown up on the
boards, a rare occurrence in and of itself. They decided an inside job was the only means, but there was only one other
ranked person who had yet to join as a Goatfriend: Goldeneyes. After much haggling and bartering, with many Snickers
bars being given to Goldeneyes, he finally consented to act the part of the spy and join the Way of the Goat. Weeks
passed, and he finally learned the the Lord High Goat of Theoryland was due to take a vacation in the next few days.
Without him present, an powerful window of opportunity arose.
Betrayal By Chocolate
Having patiently worked his way into the trust of Goatfriends, Goldeneyes learned that
Dragon Thief had as much a weakness for chocolate—especially Snickers Bars, the greatest of candies—as the
Goldeneyes did himself. Reporting this to Frenzy, they decided to embolden themselves and act. Dragon Thief was offered
a horde of Snickers Bars if he would only defect away from the Way of the Goat. Dragon Thief held out for some time, but
due to his lack of conscience of betrayal, and his love of chocolate, he finally gave in. Soon after, probably due to a
sugar-high, Dragon Thief was proclaiming that the Way of the Goat "was only for ninnies," and his defection
caused a turmoil between the remaining Goatfriends. With the Lord High Goat on vacation, and his Prophet in rebellion,
they were leaderless. Soon, Frenzy's steel-toed work-boots and Tsorovan'm'hael's use of the dreaded TP and CAPS LOCK,
the remaining Goatfriends had either gone into hiding or had decided to abandon their Way. By the time Uno returned, he
was all but alone as a follower of the Way, yet he stubbornly held to his post.
The New Face of the Way of the Goat
After a while, Uno, still stubbornly claiming Goat-hood and refusing to admit defeat,
came to a new discovery when Robert Jordan wrote something in direct contradiction to one of Uno's theories. Small
matters, such as the loss of one insignificant idea, could be accepted while still being stubborn and true to the Way.
Thus, the Way of the Goat was reborn with the Human Face, allowing for small changes, but with the still stubborn trait
remaining strong in the poster. Having this revelation, Uno abolished his title of Lord High Goat, and disbanded the
remaining Goatfriends until they too could understand this new revelation. Since that time, no one has ever claimed to
follow the Way of the Goat again, perhaps in fear, perhaps in disbelief. But few believe that no one still believes;
only that they have yet to proclaim themselves. May the Board have mercy on them if they do.
The Great Lord of the Board spoke, and for an instant terrible anger filled that voice,
and—could it be anticipation? An instant only. "DONE BY MY ANCIENT ENEMIES, THE SANE. WOULD YOU UNLEASH THE
GOATFRIENDS IN MY SERVICE, YOUNGLING?"
The Youngling hesitated. Goatfriends. Destroyers of sanity, harbinger of chaos. Bringer
of stubbornness eternal. If they were released, there might not be a board left to post on. "As
you command, Great Lord, I obey."
"SO YOU SHALL. WOULD YOU BE THE HIGH LORD GOAT, YOUNGLING?"
The Youngling's keyboard paused. High Lord Goat. The one who would stand below only the
Great Lord, typing theories to all of the boards, bringing revelations to the masses. "I wish only to serve you,
Great Lord, however I may." High Lord Goat.
"THEN LISTEN, AND SERVE. HEAR WHO WILL POST, AND WHO WILL NOT."
hall of flame