The Caped Carousers were born out of a desire to do something a bit different to celebrate obtaining a Quest Cape - basically an online 'pub crawl'.
The original event, way back in April 2007, was a great success, and various people suggested getting together to do something similar on a regular basis. Life being what it is, it was almost a year before this happened.
The first real Caped Carousers event was held in April 2008, with a grand total of four people attending - out of a promised six. Of those founding members, Archaeox - who led the group until he stepped down in March 2010 - now holds the title of Gaffer Emeritus, while Don Chosto has the status of Carouser Perpetual. Isiridith, with the title of Principessa, no longer plays RS and has the status of Honoured Former Member. (The fourth person present was a friend of Isiridith's who didn't continue as a member.)
We gradually accumulated more members from among our friends and from chance encounters in the game, as well as from the forums. From the outset, the aim was to have a simple structure that discouraged internal politics.
Although we never intended to have a 'homeworld', the fact that the founders shared one, and initially invited friends from there to join us, led to 124 becoming our unofficial base. This remained the case (with a brief interlude when PvP worlds were introduced) until May 2009, when 124 was turned into a Bounty World, scattering us across many servers. Since the return of 124 as a full-content world, some of the oldtimers have returned there for nostalgia's sake, and group events are being scheduled there again. World 139 has also become a gathering place for many of us. There's still no obligation to play in any specific world, however. If 124 and 139 are not good worlds for you, feel free to live somewhere else. ;)
Having originally planned an event every fortnight, we moved to having a weekly event... by mid-2008 we had several Cape events in a single week. As of February 2015, there are two themed Cape events a month, each with two sessions (the first on a Saturday at 2000 and the second on Sunday at 0900) to allow members in different time zones to attend.
As the group developed, we started getting together to do other things too, from training to just having fun. Members started to take responsibility for some of these, as well as making videos of our events, and this has been a key factor in our continuing growth. By 2009 we were holding 18 events per week. This continues today, although at a lesser frequency. :) There are events currently scheduled for Penguin Hide & Seek, Tears of Guthix/member hide and seek, and Citadel gathering. Impromptu gatherings for dungeons, Evil Trees, Fish Flingers and Shooting Stars are also common.
Thrice-yearly membership sweeps (known affectionately as 'purges') serve to remove inactive members, and keep us focused.
The group's chat channel, originally intended just for organising Cape events, quickly became the centre of everything we do. Sometimes it's a venue for intellectual conversation, sometimes a place to kick back and relax, sometimes somewhere to get good advice and ideas, and sometimes it just offers some companionable silence, but it's always at the heart of our little community.
The discovery of an abandoned pub in East Ardougne by the Caped Carousers - which we quickly dubbed the 'Mary Celeste' - was brought to Jagex's (and specifically Mod Emilee's) attention in March 2009. This directly triggered a series of events culminating in the May 6th Guaranteed Content Poll for a pub name, and forum threads to decide on the decoration, NPCs etc. It's now called the Poison Arrow.
In Spring 2009, the Caped Carousers placed an impressive 7th out of the 84 clans participating in the Jagex Skilling Cup, with a team led by Crolla.
On September 19th 2009 one of our events was featured, with screen shots, on the official RuneScape Facebook page, courtesy of Mods Poppy & SteveW.
On December 22nd 2009 the Carousers were featured on the first Clan Submission Page in the Developer Blogs area of the main RS website, in a searching interview by Mod Timbo. On the same day, a new page about clans appeared in the Game Guide (Home > Customer Support > Other > Clans), where the Carousers were mentioned again. We had clearly become a fixture in the community!
The release of the 'Nomad's Requiem' quest, with its weak plot and essentially boss-killing logic, and with a far more powerful NPC opponent than any released previously, caused us to revise our membership requirements and rules.
In February 2010 the Carousers helped run the Quest Surgeries organised by Jagex as part of Clan Appreciation Month.
On March 27th 2010, Archaeox stepped down as leader of the Caped Carousers. In a group meeting on April 3rd, Archaeox was declared Gaffer Emeritus, and Lumine was selected as current leader, taking the title of Patrona.
In accordance with Archaeox's previous intention, Lumine reinstituted the requirement for new applicants to have a Quest Cape, although members already accepted without one or who lost it when 'Nomad's Requiem' was released were permitted to go on working toward it.
On June 1st 2010, all emoting events reverted to being Cape Events rather than either Emote Events (Quest Cape not part of the dress code, another specified cape required) or joint Cape/Emote Events (either Quest Cape or another specified cape required). The status of Reveller (formerly-Caped member who has not regained their Cape within two weeks of a new quest being released) was reinstituted, and 9 members of the group accepted this status.
On August 28th 2010, the first RuneFest con was held in London. It was attended by six members of the Caped Carousers: Arkayla, Daeonysus, Loctavus, Swaider, Tiffrum and Vik Icarus.
On January 29th/30th 2011, a creditably large number of Carousers took an active part in helping other players during the Questing Weekend organised by Jagex. We also attended Quest Help Event II on February 26th/27th and the third Questing Weekend on May 28th-30th.
From March 19th to 21st 2011 the Caped Carousers were the the featured (spotlighted) clan during the Jagex-organised Clan Celebration Month.
The second RuneFest convention was held in London on October 29th-30th 2011. Seven members of the Caped Carousers were there: Black Mole, Daeonysus, Estarayella, Mdv, Swaider, Tiffrum, and Vik Icarus. With the help of the Carouser attendees at the simultaneous in-game convention Deathcon II, five of the twenty-five available Golden Scythes were gained by Carousers attending RuneFest.
The third RuneFest convention, on November 2nd 2013, was attended by Azrael546, Rennae, Roelaboela, Steeldra, Swaider and Tiffrum. V iktor (formerly Vik Icarus) also attended; he was not a member of the Carousers at the time, but has since rejoined us.
The fourth RuneFest convention, on October 11th 2014, was attended by Azrael546, Black Mole, Ker Laeda, Mdv, Priest Wiz, Rennae, Steeldra, Swaider, Tiffrum, V iktor and Whapweasel. Chirpy Chi was also present; she was not yet a Carouser at the time, but has since joined us.
In August 2015 the clan moved into the physical world with the production of clan badges for members.
In September 2015 the inaugural EuroCarouser real-world meet was held in Prague, Czech Republic, attended by Archaeox, Azrael546, Don Chosto +1, Igo Weiqi and Tiffrum. Sights were seen, streets were pounded, passports were lost, beverages were consumed, flights were missed and carousing was enjoyed!
What will the future bring? We shall see!