Channel chronology

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Since memories grow overburdened with the long and often intense history of the ZBB chats and their changes, for the sake of preserving factuality this list is hereby presented for the record.

Eras are those periods separated by "interregnums", or times in which a well-defined channel structure did not exist, which have been few and short. Periods are periods of time demarcated by changes of channel founder or server, or until the third Era, both at once, and have comprised the overwhelming bulk of channel history.

Era 2003

Birthpangs of a Community

Initially, some ZBBers began keeping in touch with each other via AOL Instant Messenger. This state of affairs continues to some extent to the present day; however, as the degree of inter-contact grew in the early days, the idea of an IRC channel was formed and implemented.


Period 1

  • Channel: #almea
  • Founder: Metaforik
  • Server: unknown
  • Time: sometime in mid 2003

The earliest incarnation of ZBB-chat was a channel called #almea, named after the conworld Almea by Mark Rosenfelder, owner of the ZBB. The understanding of this author is that it had a relatively low population which gradually petered out after a couple months.

Interregnum 1

After the first #almea gradually died out, ZBBers returned to using only AIM and similar IM services to chat with each other. This continued to be the case until the beginning of Period 2 two or three months later.


Era 2003-2006

The second era of ZBB chats stretched from 2003-2006 and was characterized by the locus of chat being a single channel at a time.

Period 2

  • Channel: #almea
  • Founder: Neek
  • Server: FreedomIRC.net
  • Time: late 2003 through September 2004

The second time was the charm. Neek re-founded #almea in late 2003, to much greater success: his reign saw a gradual but steady influx of new channel users from the ZBB, kicking off a true community. Noteworthy events in Period 2 include the Great Christmas Blackout, a time of the ZBB being down for many days in which members congregated on IRC and formed some early communal bonds, and the infamous #antidazi drama, which is chronicled in The Annals. Zompist also paid his only visit to #almea in the history of the channel during late 2003.

Period 3

  • Channel: #almea
  • Founder: Rainer
  • Server: ForeverChat.net
  • Time: September 2004 through late 2005

Due to issues with the FreedomIRC server, the channel was moved to ForeverChat.net at the instigation of Pastoralist (now called Drakes). During this time Neek was infrequently present in the channel, and rather than wait for his input, Pastoralist took the law into his own hands; given a respite from the random inexplicable server-bans on FreedomIRC, the community followed him on the spot. Period 3 was characterized by a growing channel, with the original crowd that bonded in Period 2 eventually becoming swamped by the much greater influx of new users.

Period 4

  • Channel: #almea
  • Co-Founders: Radius and Kasadkad
  • Server: FreedomIRC.net
  • Time: late 2005 through April 2006

In response to the aforementioned complaints, Radius and Kasadkad took it into their heads to lead a return "home" to FreedomIRC.net, while the operator Pastoralist was conveniently on vacation. Gathering support, one day they announced a channel-move back to FreedomIRC, in conjunction with about a dozen other daily members, exclaiming that if anyone wanted to talk to any of them they'd be on the new server. This worked, but to appease a wrathful Pastoralist, Radius and Kasadkad allowed him to also have operator powers, which were eventually removed. Notable events in Period 4 include the ill-fated #Almea Constitution, a set of micromanaging rules laid out by Radius with the help of Dewrad, which was received like a lead balloon by the channel, and a worseningly socially fragmented channel eventually factionalizing, which lead to the Schism.

Schism and Interregnum 2

The Great Schism deserves its own article. Immediately upon the Schism, a chaotic period of time followed, lasting perhaps two weeks, in which a great many channels were formed and abandoned, simultaneously, as the community fractured and failed to immediately latch onto any new order of things.


Era 2006+

The third era of ZBB chats has lasted from 2006 through the present, and has been characterized by a divided chat locus. Throughout, there have usually been two primary public channels; #isharia has been the "main" one all along, and the status of secondary, or alternative, public channel belonged first to #almea and later (and more lastingly) to #erelae. Surrounding the two public channels have been a constellation of smaller private and/or special-purpose channels, most of which are by invitation only.

Period 5

  • Channel: #isharia
  • Founders: Dewrad and Radius (as a team)
  • Server: Xelium.net
  • Time: April 2006 through April 2007

One of the three main channels (#isharia, #almea, and #valhalla) to emerge from the Schism. Initiated by Radius, but, he having recognized the expenditure of his political sway to accomplish the Schism, he handed power over to Dewrad and acted as an advisor to him thereafter. #Isharia became the clearly dominant channel within a month of the Schism. In December of 2006, Dewrad elected for personal reasons to hand power back to Radius, who kept it until April. In April, Radius handed it back to Dewrad due to a combination of computer difficulties and hospitalization preventing him from responsive to the growing need to find a new server. Notable events during this time include the re-allowance of two of the users banned from #isharia, Xephyr and Zeikan, back into the channel.


  • Channel: #almea
  • Founder: Dudicon
  • Server: Xelium.net
  • Time: April 2006 through April 2007

Another of the channels to emerge from the Schism, #almea-2 began life as a strong and viable channel led by Dudicon, a close rival to #isharia. Eventually matters degenerated as complaints of mismanagement were levelled against Dudicon, with Xephyr - a prime activity-generator - upping stakes and moving to #isharia, after which #almea declined gradually to become a prison cell for MrSaturday where he received occasional visitors.


  • Channel: #erelae
  • Founder: Gonorrhoea
  • Server: Xelium.net
  • Time: October 2006 through April 2007

The channel #erelae began life as an outgrowth of #almea, a subset of that channel which wished to divest itself of MrSaturday. Gradually it took on the status of the main secondary-channel to #isharia that had formerly been occupied by #almea.

#valhalla, another of the originally stronger channels arising from the schism, was found to be no longer in existence by the end of Period 5.

Period 6

During Period 6, there were two server changes, but all the channels stayed together on the same server. First there was a switch to irc.unilang.org, and soon after to irc.sorcery.net. The constellation of private, nigh-invisible, invitation-only satellite channels increased during this period (the author knows of five for certain and suspects the existence of two more as of 2009), and have come to host a probable majority of the total chat among members of the community. At least one such channel has evolved away from participating in the general community at all, and is now located elsewhere if it still exists; most of its members are now rarely if ever seen on #isharia or the ZBB.


  • Channel: #isharia
  • Founders: mostly Dewrad
  • Server: Sorcery.net
  • Time: April 2007 through present

The channel #isharia continues to be active and retains a stable population of chatters as well as a much larger set of people who show up irregularly and infrequently. It appears to be the main place where new ZBB chatters land when they first check out IRC. Dewrad has continued to hold power, in general, though Radius took it over for a couple months in late 2007 while Dewrad wanted a break. The #isharia of 2009 was a much more relaxed and less-moderated place than it was in 2006 - fewer people have ops (then only four - Dewrad, Radius, Pharazon, and Brel, down from a high of nine in 2007) and they use their op powers rarely because they have better things to do than run a stupid IRC channel.

Fast forward to 2014, and the denizens have somehow avoided alienating each other into leaving, and even gained more regulars in the vast epoch travelled. Current ops are Pharazon, Brel, and Dewrad, with Pharazon having Foundership because of the wise and far-sighted actions of Dewrad (AKA it devolved onto Pharazon when Dewrad's nick registration expired). Moderation is all but nonexistent, channel order being handled primarily through gratuitous shouting matches.


  • Channel: #erelae
  • Founder: Gonorrhoea
  • Server: Sorcery.net
  • Time: April 2007 through present

The channel #erelae was a strong alternative to #isharia; further details were unknown to the 2009 author, who did not go there. The channel is as of 2014 on the barest possibly level of existence, with weeks or months going by without any messages aside from joins and parts.


  • Channel: #almea
  • Founders: Stefan (aka Feijuada, Smaug)
  • Server: Sorcery.net
  • Time: ?April 2007 through present

The namesake of the original channel still survives, though its history from 2007 until 2012 is unknown to this author. From that date until the present time the channel has been little more than a ghost town, used by only a few people to keep in touch (most of whom are (ir)regulars in #isharia as well).