Messages within SWC are referred to as DMs (Darkness Messages). These are the internal messaging system used, and allows players to communicate with each other within the game interface.
To send a message is simple. At the top of the screen, just under the advertisement banner, there is a row of icons. These are explained in more detail elsewhere, but the one we are interested in is the 3rd from the right - it looks like an envelope. It will have 2 different looks depending on whether you have unread messages or not. These are explained later. Clicking this link will open your Message Inbox.
On the left of this page are three links. [Read Messages], [Send Message] and [Sent Messages]. Simple click the word Send Message and you will open up the compose message part of the page. Alternatively, on the sidebar to the right, near the very bottom, there is a [Send Message] link that will also take you to this page.
You will have 2 text boxes to write in. The first text box is where you input the name of the player you wish to send a message to. The system has an autofill option so if you type the first few letters, it will give you a list of players names that match those letters anywhere in their name. Be aware though that it has a limit to how many names it shows, and it always shows them in alphabetical order. To narrow down the options, simply input more of the name and it will updated as needed. You can also send the same message to more than one person by putting a semicolon(;) between each name. Be aware though that the autofill only works for the first name.
The second text box is where you input your message. Simple HTML codes will work, allowing you to embed pictures, or add bold text etc.
Click the [Send] button and the message will be sent.
In addition there are several ways to bypass a lot of these steps. If you are browsing through the forum, each player will have a [Send Message] under the avatar. Clicking this will open the [Send Message] page, with their name already autofilled into the recipient field.
When browsing Profiles, there will be a [Send Message] option there as well, if that players profile is set to visible.
When looking at factions, clicking on a faction leaders name will open a new window with the [Send Message] page open and the leaders name filled in for you.
Also, if you have the Privileges, you can send a Mass Message to your whole faction under the faction tag.
When you have received a message, the Message icon at the top will change. Usually its a faded image, but when you receive a new message it will either blink yellow (default setting) or be highlighted with white lines (if non-flashing icons is chosen in the Account Settings pages). Clicking this icon will open your inbox with just the new messages present, and hiding older messages.
Checking Old Messages
At any time you can check any message you have received in the last 30 days (messages older than this will be removed from your inbox to save server queries - they are archived, and you can contact any ASim to recover these old DMs). Clicking the [Read Messages] link in the inbox will open you entire DM inbox - you can scroll through them in the center of the page - there are no separate pages, so if you have a lot of DMs you may have to scroll through a lot of them. If you do not have a new message, this page will be whats opened automatically.
Checking Messages You Sent
This option will allow you to view all messages you have sent to other players over the last 30 days (for the same reason as above). You will have an option to send another DM to that player rather than having to copy/paste their name into a new [Send Message] page.