Ironhelm is a minecraft server that includes elements of PvP and building. We have a dedicated world for PvP, but also a world that's non-PvP for peaceful builds.
The Ironhelm server was originally inspired by the adults-only Woodenaxe server, hosted by Matt Drollette. Woodenaxe was the first public minecrafter server that I tried and, from what I've seen since, a very lucky first choice. The people on the woodenaxe server have always been friendly, helpful, and good; likewise Matt himself seems to be a dedicated and exceptional server admin. I strive to create a similar friendly and open environment on my own server, Ironhelm.
So... if I liked Woodenaxe so much why would I create Ironhelm and not simply play there?
I joined the Woodenaxe server way back when it was running the 1.8 version of Minecraft Beta. It was a fun time, but eventually new releases made that older world obsolete and Matt decided to start up a new world/map. I felt sad, because I'd invested quite a bit of time in that world and I really enjoyed some of the creations of the other players (most of whom are still significantly better at building than I am). I didn't want to see this world slip away and be forgotten so when I saw that Matt was making the world files available for download in his forum I grabbed a copy with the idea of hosting my own server as something of a museum/tribute to that original (at least, original to me) Woodenaxe experience.
I'm a self-taught freelance web developer that happens to have a few servers with National Net, a commercial data center; it seemed only natural to me to simply set up a minecraft server on one of those servers and indeed it was not hard at all. Pretty soon I had converted the old Woodenaxe map to the (at that time) new Anvil format and was hosting it, along with a second world for my new builds. A few friends occasionally stopped by, but mostly it was just a hobby for me. Things went on like this for awhile but over time my interested diverged and I wanted to make my server somewhat different from Woodenaxe - I wanted to do more than just build in a vanilla environment.
I started experimenting with various plugins and found some that seemed to enhance the game without really taking anything away. The server gathered a small group of semi-regular players, some of whom were interested in PvP and some who just wanted to build. I added a PvP only world and experimented with several adventure worlds. This exploration of various plugins continues today and is likely to be an ongoing process.
I, myself, am a long-time gamer. I'm in my early 40's and cut my teeth on pencil-and-paper rpgs. Despite an early exposure to a Timex Sinclair 1000, my first real computer was a Commodore 64. My first game "console" was an Intellivision. I've spent more time playing games and messing with computers than is probably healthy, as is evidenced by my extended waistline and pasty complexion. I've had a strange life, but it's been a learning experience.
My moderators for the server include my cousin (LtGriffin in-game) and his son (talondog8). Many of our first players are "IRL" friends of talondog8's but we've started to attract new people now and we are hoping to expand. We're not currently looking for any more moderators, but if we get enough new members that might change.
Running a dedicated server can be expensive; if you like Ironhelm then feel free to donate!