Durham Headhunt Contest
|This is a historical article, describing a past event or events that occurred on Shartak.|
In November of 2006, the Wicksick Headhunters announced a contest to collect as many Durham heads (kills from Durhamites) as possible. The headhunters apparently underestimated their reputation, as outsider clans flocked to defend Durham. The Wicksick Headhunters, though not an official clan, are one of the largest and most visible native groups on Shartak.
Another possibility is that the DHC provided the various outsider groups a common enemy to fight against; this, coupled with the friendly foreign policy pursued by the Durham Pistoleers, resulted in a massive number of outsiders coming to Durham's aid.
Though the participants were largely Wicksick Headhunters, there was a smattering of involvement from other clans. One member from the notorious Scavengers and another from the Order of the Sword joined in. The Wicksick Headhunters had left the offer open to any non-Durhamites, but all of the participants were natives. There were a total of nine official participants.
The participants reportedly enjoyed the contest, and certainly racked up an impressive kill score. According to the Shartak Underworld, the nine participants collected over 100 kills, nearly 80 of which were Durham kills. Most participants followed a guerrilla warfare strategy, attacking Durhamites who ventured into the jungle.
Durham's defenders hailed from across Shartak. In addition to the Durham Pistoleers, the defenders (collectively known as the Durham Defense Unit or DDU) drew members from the Colonial Police, the Mercenary's Guild, the Derby Hospitallers, the Jolly Roger Gang, the 1st Imperial Privateers Regiment, and the 1st Derby Privateers.
The Durham Defense Unit
The DDU enacted a "critical mass" strategy, gathering as many members in a single hut as possible. At one point, over 40 outsiders and pirates occupied the Durham medical hut. The intention was to have so many people online that any attackers were likely to be spotted while they were still in the hut. This apparently worked at least twice. Lama reported a real time duel with Serph, while Prophet reported being driven out of the medical hut and hunted down in real time. The DDU succeeded in amassing 25 participant kills. However, given that most of the headhunters didn't enter Durham proper, the DDU's participants quickly grew bored with the medical hut's inactivity.
Making matters worse, infighting quickly broke out. At the outset, the 1st Imperial Privateers nearly left the DDU over a misunderstanding with the Colonial Police concerning the Order of Patriots. Additionally, with the Third Battle of York just terminated, there was considerable friction between the Colonial Police, their former enemies in the Mercenary's Guild, and the anti-York Jolly Roger Gang. Between the inactivity and intragroup conflict, many DDU participants lost interest and departed for their hometowns.
The Durham Headhunt Contest does not appear to have had the effects that the various battles of York left on the latter city. No noticeable increase in native hostility occurred in the wake of the DHC, and there was no significant change in the relations between the members of the DDU. However, the Wicksick Headhunters, apparently pleased with the contest's results, declared that a Derby Derby (essentially the Headhunt Contest, albeit with an altered location and a similarly altered name) would take place between mid-February and mid-March.