Cache of questions

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Sneaky
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Cache of questions

Post by Sneaky » Thu Dec 24, 2015 7:24 am

We all enjoy getting together with Rias and discussing lore topics, and I'm sure we all do our best to come with questions prepared. Most of the questions I myself come up with happen during gameplay and I say, "Oh I should write that question down", but I don't and so I forget about it. Instead of that happening again, I decided it might do well to just post our questions here. This way Rias can see what we're all interested in, even if we can't make the skype chats. If you don't think it would be general knowledge, go ahead and share them here anyway.
So with that out of the way, here are a few of mine.
1. How cold is cold? How cold do the winters in Shadgard and Corvous actually get? Real world comparisons please!
2. In Mistral there was a rumor that said it has tenuous ties with the surrounding cities. What are those ties, and what cities is it referring to?
3. Where does Fabrizio get his clothes made.
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Re: Cache of questions

Post by Mooshie » Thu Dec 24, 2015 10:22 am

I dont have the ability to join in any Lore chats on skype due to timing and such, but I do hope there are answers to my burning questions!

1) General History of The Snowpine Lodge. Who IS the weathered Huntress?

actually, thats it <.<

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Re: Cache of questions

Post by Jirato » Thu Dec 24, 2015 3:21 pm

Pretty much everything asked here should be found out in-game. Regarding temperature, I don't want to reveal specific mechanics and take away from the magic. It's actually quite generous and requires lower temperatures than what their real-world counterparts are (For example, "Freezing" in CLOK doesn't start until quite a bit under 32 Fahrenheit).

The other stuff really needs to be found out ICly.
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[CHAT - GameMaster Rias would totally nuke Rooks]: Here's how elemancy works: The freeblegreeble and the zippoflasm have to be combined with the correct ration of himbleplimp, then you add the gargenheimer and adjust the froopulon for the pattern you want, apply some tarratarrtarr, yibble the wantaban, and let 'er rip!

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Re: Cache of questions

Post by Rias » Fri Jan 08, 2016 10:31 am

I'd like to encourage further questions, not necessarily with the promise to straight up answer them, but so I know what things people are curious about and wanting to know, and then can possibly incorporate some of that into events and stuff where they can be appropriately discovered ICly.

I'd also like to encourage people to come up with a lot of "common knowledge" lore questions so I can have a lot to talk about in our next Lore Chat!
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Re: Cache of questions

Post by Dorn » Fri Jan 08, 2016 1:20 pm

ESP Artifacts.

They're made by mummers, I think? I know there's a bunch of stuff, but I'm dusty on it. But more specifically, just how common is access to the ESP net then? Can we assume there is a lot of other background chatter going on between random no-named NPC scripted to die in act 5 and his wife, who runs off with named NPC Bill in act 6?

Or is there a specific reason why PCs in general only use them? Or can use them?
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Re: Cache of questions

Post by Rias » Fri Jan 08, 2016 1:23 pm

Dorn, this post might be of interest: viewtopic.php?f=26&t=3917&p=20791

ESP is still a bit fiddly in a few ways, though. A few details are still difficult to explain/convey.
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Re: Cache of questions

Post by Dorn » Fri Jan 08, 2016 1:24 pm

Damn it... and I thought I had a good question too. Foiled.

So. Just how much movement is actually done between the towns and such? For example, someone lives in Shadgard and is a townsperson. What would be the average sort of furthest distance they'd ever travel in their life? I'd assume they might know of dangerous areas and such, but never ever go there (why would they want to), but would they perhaps "Pop down to Haiban to browse the markets" or would it be the sort of thing that they'd not even consider such an option unless they were absolutely loaded, or an actual merchant who traveled for work?

I imagine people like hunters/trappers/such move around a bit more, but yeah, be curious just how well traveled the average "townsfolk" is. Enough that players probably see a lot of movement on the roads, the occasional wagon/people walking etc, or utterly deserted 99.99% of the time?
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sona
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Re: Cache of questions

Post by sona » Fri Jan 08, 2016 8:23 pm

I know I'm poking more and more about hillfolk stuff, emphasized on Briarwoods, but generally speaking how do hillfolk live as a community? Do they intermingle a lot? do the familes tend to keep more to themselves? Do they have a special holiday celebration on the day that they emerged from the Fey Forest from fleeing the Tyrant King. If so, what is that date? I know I've taken to some rural expressions, and some I exclamations that I would consider more specific to Hillfolk, such as "Sweet Sifa! What in Seraphina's name do you think you're doing?"

I imagine that all hillfolk have a real appreciation for the Cottons at any time, but how other families might interact, I'm not as sure. Cottons, likewise, are more focused on the well-being of others, bless their sweet little hearts.

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Re: Cache of questions

Post by Dorn » Tue Jan 19, 2016 8:49 am

Rias was on, and answered a random question that popped up today so throwing it here.

[CHAT - Zeel W. Orivel]: so like, you know how our graveyards are filled with nethrim? Does that happen outside of the quarantine?
[CHAT - Dorn]: Oh! And how do people deal with visiting their dead in graveyards? Or does that just not happen, without armed guards? Like, the gravediggers and stuff, would go with a group, to bury the dead, then leave?

[CHAT - GameMaster Rias would totally nuke Rooks]: There are infested and nethrim outside the Quarantine, though they're relatively rare.
[CHAT - GameMaster Rias would totally nuke Rooks]: People in the Lost Lands have kind of given up on graveyards. That's why you see those mortuaries/crypts inside towns, now. The graveyards out of town are old and mostly unused anymore.
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Re: Cache of questions

Post by Alexander » Wed Jan 20, 2016 10:17 pm

I would like to know more about the current relations Ivial has with other nations.
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Re: Cache of questions

Post by Dorn » Mon Feb 01, 2016 9:05 pm

What is the status and general stance on slavery in the Lost Lands? I know the Hyra do it, are there any other cultures within it that do? Or even temporary forced servitude? Is it a massive sticking point, or do most just not care?

Under what sort of situation were the Wyrvardn founded? They're supposed to be for the "good of the people" of Aetgard, but what did that actually consist of when they were made? Was it a Kingdom sponsored organization during a time of peace, or something random that sprung up among the people in direct conflict to an ongoing situation due to the Kingdom such as a rebel faction against the Tyrant-King.

How recognized were the Wyrvardn back then as an organization outside Aetgard? Or was it just some sort of "backwater" group that nobody had heard of outside the Kingdom? Were they Knights, state-recognized?

How do most of the towns get their food? We've PC hunters/farmers, but lets face it. Even they can be very dangerous professions what with everything else that goes on. Do the NPCs who do those sort of things, venture out in large organized groups sponsored by the towns? Or is it small individual efforts still?

What is the literacy rate like among the towns?
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Re: Cache of questions

Post by Dorn » Tue Feb 02, 2016 8:57 am

Just who do the Hyra keep as slaves? Is it known?

Is fining the usual method of punishment for people in the towns? Or is that something that is mostly done for the ease of dealing with the player base? If so, what other sorts of punishments are there.

What's the average wage in riln of most of the people in towns? Considering most of them probably don't grow their own foods in these places, what sort of percentage of that wage is then spent on housing/food? Do most people own their houses, or is it rented?

How religious are most common people in the Lost Lands? Do people tend worship one immortal, a favored one, or kind of offers prayers to one that fits the subject in their mind?
~Dorn
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Re: Cache of questions

Post by Lysse » Tue Feb 02, 2016 12:09 pm

Dorn wrote:Just who do the Hyra keep as slaves? Is it known?
While this can be a little unsatisfying to hear, there's actually an In Character answer to this. If you haven't already tried, I'd suggest asking around while you wait for a GM answer.
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"A choice nevertheless, or perhaps an alternative. You see I believe in freedom. Not many people do, although they will of course protest otherwise. And no practical definition of freedom would be complete without the freedom to take the consequences. Indeed, it is the freedom upon which all the others are based.”

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Re: Cache of questions

Post by Dorn » Wed Feb 03, 2016 3:36 am

What are the main destinations at the end of that northeast, northwest and southwest roads. As in, what are the next major towns.
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Re: Cache of questions

Post by Jirato » Wed Feb 03, 2016 6:28 am

The northwest road leads to a Tatlhuecan coastal city about 3 leagues (rooms) off the edge of the explorable map. There aren't any specific plans to release the area any time in the foreseeable future, as even if it were released, they don't exactly welcome outsiders. For now, I'm assuming that there are special trade relations between them and the Western Coalition, and this is the main source of imports for the entire quarantine zone. I haven't exactly picked Rias' brains on the subject yet.

The northeast road leads to a city of another sort. It may have something to do with Corvus Outpost, or I may be inferring too much from the limited documented notes we have on it. Again, no plans for release in the foreseeable future, and not really ever explicitly explained by the Lore guru.

The north central road (east of the river by Mistral Lake) follows the river north all the way north to... something. It's marked on our map as water. It could be ocean but I'm assuming it's a massive river (many times moreso than the standard wilderness rivers we already have) that kind of acts as a divider between the current playable area and a large jungle region. There aren't any document points of interest there. Though I wouldn't be surprised if Rias has some ideas in his brain.

I'm assuming the south central road (southwest of Valeria) eventually leads into Lapis territory. To say that these guys aren't welcoming to outsiders would be an extreme understatement though. There may be a modest Fasa tribe wandering around somewhere between the area controlled by Lapis and the edge of the explorable map, as could be seen from the wandering horse merchants that Rithiel released down there several years back.

I think overall we're pretty much done with the wilderness expansions. I'm not saying there's never going to be another, but there aren't any plans to. I already feel things are too spread out as they are. The world is massive for the size of our player base, and it just makes it too hard to find others to do things with. Not to mention the amount of worldbuilding that would be involved if we ever wanted to expand again.
[GMCHAT Uyoku]: Octum is when the octumbunny comes around and lays pumpkins everywhere right?
[GMCHAT Rias]: Dimmes says "oh hai :) u need healz? ill get u dont worry thaum lasers pew pew pew lol"
[CHAT - GameMaster Rias would totally nuke Rooks]: Here's how elemancy works: The freeblegreeble and the zippoflasm have to be combined with the correct ration of himbleplimp, then you add the gargenheimer and adjust the froopulon for the pattern you want, apply some tarratarrtarr, yibble the wantaban, and let 'er rip!

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Re: Cache of questions

Post by Dorn » Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:40 am

It was more curiosity in regards to what players would have passed through to get to the Lost Lands, if they hadn't come through Shadgard. Hence the desire for main places of habitation!
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Re: Cache of questions

Post by jilliana » Wed Feb 03, 2016 2:32 pm

Do the immortals ever show up for anyone and not just some made up thing by some crazy citizen of some town?

Do the different towns deal with punishment
in different ways?

How are individuals with chronic illnesses viewed? And people with mental issues? Are they hidden away, or are they considered productive
members of society?

How does the church view the Wyrvardn? Are they considered Templar rejects and wannabes? I especially want to hear more about the Wyrvardn and their current mission in the Lost Lands. Some of my questions Dorn already asked.
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Re: Cache of questions

Post by Rias » Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:14 pm

Dorn wrote:So. Just how much movement is actually done between the towns and such? For example, someone lives in Shadgard and is a townsperson. What would be the average sort of furthest distance they'd ever travel in their life? I'd assume they might know of dangerous areas and such, but never ever go there (why would they want to), but would they perhaps "Pop down to Haiban to browse the markets" or would it be the sort of thing that they'd not even consider such an option unless they were absolutely loaded, or an actual merchant who traveled for work?
Not a lot of traffic occurs on the roads aside from largeish, well-guarded trade caravans. Individual travelers could pay to travel along with those caravans and enjoy the protection as well, but it's probably not very common, beause there's still significant risk something might happen to you, so you'd need a pretty compelling reason to do so. Not that some people aren't reckless or overconfident, or just ignorant, and go anyway. The roads are very dangerous and travel is extremely daunting, particularly if you're not Undying so you can't say "eh, if I get killed I'll probably just come back anyway."

Something like nipping off to Haiban to browse the market isn't a simple decision for the majority of people because of A) the danger and B) the time/distance. It would probably take about two days' worth of riding to get from Shadgard to Haiban (that's one-way), considering the distance, terrain, and the speed of horse travel. And that's for an accomplished rider who's riding hard, which the vast majority of commoners aren't. And without a wagon or anything like that, so traveling light - if you end up buying any significant number of goods at the market, you're likely going to have to get yourself a wagon (not an insignificant riln investment), and travel's going to take significantly longer with your horse pulling that - and of course a goods-laden wagon will be a draw for highwaymen/infested/canim. And the majority of townsfolk don't even own horses anyway (they're expensive, and not useful for people who primarily stay within town walls, which is the majority of people living in the Lost Lands). Add onto that the quite high chance of encounters with wandering infested, highwaymen/bandits, and the relatively rarer but still very possible additional encounters with nethrim, canim, Dunwyr, and various other nasties, and you'd probably need a serious reason to do that kind of traveling. The average resident of the Lost Lands wouldn't even consider it without some kind of guard escort, which would require a significant riln investment. Even if the chance of encounters is somewhat low (which it really isn't, the Lost Lands are ridiculously dangerous to the common people), just that chance existing at all means a lot to people who actually have to worry about their mortality.

I think traveling from town to town on foot pretty much never happens for everyday townsfolk. Takes too long, far too dangerous.

So, most people live strictly within/immmediately around their towns, and have likely never visited the other towns and outposts in the Lost Lands. Caravaners and traveling merchants enjoy a reputation of both bravery and wonder at having visited those other towns out there that townsfolk hear about but never see. Seeing a wagon arrive in Shadgard, laden with goods or commodities from Haiban, is probably an exciting moment for commoners. Hunting and farming are seen as very dangerous professions (because they require going outside the town walls), and I imagine hunger is a fairly significant issue in the Lost Lands due to the resulting low food supply. I think a significant portion of food supplies in the Lost Lands towns is actually imported, largely by the Trade Coalition who gets the imports primarily from the Huec port city at the end of that far west road going into the jungle.
Sona wrote:generally speaking how do hillfolk live as a community? Do they intermingle a lot? do the familes tend to keep more to themselves?
Hillfolk generally despise any sense of large-scale overarching government, although those that live near each other may form their own little mini-communities, possibly with some elected authority figures or elders or whatnot if it seems useful or necessary. It really depends on the community. They tend toward living in their own little spots of land rather than banding together in larger communities. The typical "neighbors" are probably on some farm or some log cabin miles away. That's not to say some little villages and occasional towns don't form. The area settled by the Alebrooks has become a community of significant size and density, for instance, though would still very much be considered "quaint" and "country" by people from, say, Ivial or Grum.

Despite these distances and this intense, innate sense of individuality, Hillfolk nevertheless like to come up with lots of reasons to get together with the neighbors or local community. They come up with all sorts of festivals and the like where the locals will all gather at some central place and enjoy food, music, competition, trade, and socialization in general. That's probably how most couples meet and fall in love. Horsemanship is also one of the prime interests among Hillfolk, so they can mingle all right despite the typical larger distances between families/communities. Half the fun of going to visit the neighbors is enjoying the ride with your trusty horse.

So, for people with a strong sense of individuality and tendency to live miles away from their neigbors, they still manage to be fairly social, and highly enjoy social interactions when they do occur. They just tend to have designated socialization times and activities, rather than frequently mingling with friends and neighbors because they live right on the other side of your yard fence, if that makes sense. Kind of my idealized situation, I realize, as I can be a very private person who highly enjoys quiet time and soiltude, but also very much enjoys social activities and get-togethers when they are planned and not constantly pressuring me. And again, there are some little village and town communities where Hillfolk bunch together more, they're just not overly common. They're probably the local trade/festival/news hubs for their respective regions.
Sona wrote:Do they have a special holiday celebration on the day that they emerged from the Fey Forest from fleeing the Tyrant King. If so, what is that date?
They celebrate the general exodus from Aetgard and escape from Gudleifr on Exodus Day, which is celebrated at Winter Solstice. See this article (at the bottom of the article). They might use the day of actual emergence from the forest as an excuse to hold another little festival (they love their festivals), but I don't have any specific day in mind for when that would be.
Zeel (Paraphrased) wrote:Are there nethrim outside the Lost Lands/Quarantine?
Yes, but it's uncommon. There are several theories as to why nethrim have such a large presence in the Lost Lands, some of the top ones being the mass amount of death that occurred due to the Plague, ongoing and widespread acts of unchecked sorcery (no governing body in the Lost Lands that can effectively moderate such things), and the presence of areas of significant nether-focus in the region.
Dorn wrote:how do people deal with visiting their dead in graveyards? Or does that just not happen, without armed guards? Like, the gravediggers and stuff, would go with a group, to bury the dead, then leave?
People in the Lost Lands have kind of given up on graveyards. That's why you see those mortuaries/crypts inside towns, now. The graveyards out of town are old and mostly unused anymore. Who would want to be buried, or bury their loved ones, in a place where their remains were likely to be desecrated and animated to wander the lands, seeking to harm others? ... okay, put your hands down- no, you cannot intentionally bury yourself (or your enemies (or your loved ones)) in the Shadgard Graveyard in order to become an unholy mockery of life. You people are horrible.
Alexander wrote:I would like to know more about the current relations Ivial has with other nations.
Ivial and Nuum
Well, they're currently at war with Nuum. Again. It's likely been going on for a while now, and I'm still hazy on the reasons it started, but they likely involve Nuumic slavery, the uppity Count of Nordarida, and Nuum's desire to get its hands on some slightly more fertile land. More likely than not, both countries (or at least certain individuals in them) wanted the war for various reasons, and used convenient excuses to start it. The King and Queen of Ivial likely disapprove and are very upset with the Count of Nordarida who played a big part in sparking the conflict, but on the other hand the general opinion in Ivial is that this can be used as an opportunity to go in and stick it to those monstrous Nuumic slavers. It's not a particularly enormous or bloody war, but it's still a war. Probably with long stretches of standoff/nonviolence/heated (and futile) attempts at negotiation.

Overall, though, Ivial and Nuum have never gotten along very well. They've certainly been at war more than once (or twice) in the past. It doesn't help that they're both very proud civilizations - you know how that'll cause little things to escalate and become entirely overblown.

Consistent major points of conflict between the two include, but are not limited to:
- Nuumic slavery (this bothers the Viali to no end)
- Land/Border disputes (particularly the land the Viali designated forever sovreign property of the Fasa - explained further down - this really annoys the Nuum, who believe the Viali had no right to do so)
- One thinking the other is getting too powerful/uppity and needs to be checked
- Resources/Trade (specifics to be determined)

Iviali and Grum
Ivial and Grum get along quite well, and while not necessarily besties (the Grummers think the Viali are a little too uptight/dramatic/archaic, and the Viali think the Grummers are a little too scattered, disorganized, and morally lacking in some regards (especially in their technological pursuits)), they both find their friendship and relations to be mutually beneficial, and quite enjoy having some friendly neighbors. I imagine they do a lot of inter-cultural activities, many just for fun and to celebrate their good relations with one another (and to maintain those relations because they're good for trade and such).

Ivial and Fasa li Nuam
The Viali and the Fasa have fairly good, but at times strained, relations. The Fasa are likely concerned with how the Viali are continuing to populate and develop all their land. Not to Dunwyr levels, obviously, but to see so much of the natural world being overcome with cities and quarries and mines and roads and highways probably pains the Fasa to some degree. On the other hand, the Viali are often more than happy to listen to advice and receive assistance from the Fasa to ensure they don't ruin or overdevelop their lands.

They've had some border disputes in the past, and the Fasa did have to stick it to the Viali at least once in the past to tell them in no uncertain terms "No, you cannot keep expanding closer and closer to our Ancient Lands". The Fasa used their unsurpassed horsemanship and hit-and-run tactics to completely disgrace the heavier and slower-moving Viali forces that went to try and enforce their land claims in what was technically unclaimed regions, and while it wasn't to the point that there was a war, it was a pretty significant conflict between the two. The Viali were soundly beaten back, and the King and Queen signed a treaty forever giving the Fasa sovreign claim over a large area of land north of Ivial and east of Nuum, including a large stretch of coast. (This caused serious conflict with Nuum, as the Viali would help protect these "sovreign" lands from Nuum expansion efforts as well - they'd much rather the Fasa have it than the Nuum, and would be willing to fight alongside the Fasa to maintain those lands). This would effectively be a buffer between Ivial and the deeper Fasa Ancient Lands, and (mostly) put an end to any uppity Viali nobles feeling they needed to expand their territories in that direction.

On a more positive note, the Fasa and the Viali had friendly and cooprative relations very early on when Tse Gaiyan was first founded. It was a Viali knight who sought out the Fasa group and started the Utasa branch, seeing the dangers not only to the open plains and woodlands, but to the more densely-populated places of the world. I think that fact has always kind of been a point of friendship and unity between the two cultures.

Currently, I think they're happy with each other as neighbors, even if they probably don't have a lot to do with one another on any regular basis. At this point in time, I think the Viali have a sort of mystical, semi-reverent awe of the Fasa, with their living in harmony with the land and their druidry and all that, particularly since druidry is virtually non-existent in Ivial. I could see some Viali actually making trips to the Fasa lands to try and learn from them and their ways and attain their wisdom (while of course wanting to share some of their own in turn). Also, the Duke of Boschverddi has a Fasa druid that he works very closely with to ensure the health of his lush, green, highly-wooded territory. I could see a little Fasa enclave in Boschverddi, even, though don't quote me on that since I'm not sure who's in charge of the Fasa lore these days so I can't say that that's official.

All in all I'd say the Viali look on the Fasa with great respect and even a bit of mystified awe these days, and I assume the Fasa are happy enough with the Viali and usually quite friendly with them and happy to interact with and share their wisdom and ways, though probably smirk a bit at some of the odder traits of the Viali (their obsession with propriety and pomp, their tendency toward melodrama, their need to build big, glorious cities and such). And of course, the Fasa constantly try to convince the Viali that no, you don't have to put permanent stone structures EVERYwhere, you don't need to "tame" all of the countryside, and how about you ease up on your lumber usage a tad so your forests don't thin out and disappear. Perhaps a bit ironically, the Viali probably sometimes see the Fasa as a bit too dire and serious. I can see the Viali trying to share their "higher culture" with the Fasa in a good-natured attempt to help enrich Fasa lives with things like opera and theater and "high arts" like painting, sculpting/statuary, and advanced/beautified architecture.

Ivial and Tol Rhun
Everyone was waiting for this one, right? Well, I think for the most part the Viali try to pretend Tol Rhun doesn't exist. There's an ancient treaty since Rhun was exiled that the Viali would leave them alone, so long as the Rhuidim stayed on their land on the other side of the mountains. This has surprisingly persisted, at least in that there have been no major wars between the two. I imagine there are a fair number of border skirmishes just because of old prejudices and the like, though frankly it's most often the Rhuidim trying to come over and cause trouble. The Viali place an extremely high value on their treaties, so while I imagine a lot of Viali would want to go over and whip those abominable sorcerers into shape, they all begrudginly accede to the treaty. But if the Rhuidim ever made a large-scale move into Ivial, you can bet their armies would be very eager to respond to the breaking of the treaty and try to roll over Tol Rhun.

Some of the more practical Viali, particularly those in the county of Sudarida, probably engage is some (admittedly hushed) minor relations with the Rhuidim, mostly for trade. The Count of Sudarida is generally considered to be a very level-headed, practical, and tolerant guy, willing to look past pettiness and prejudices to get the best out of situations. The fact that he is at least rumored to have relations with Tol Rhun likely gets him some glowers and glares from his fellow Viali, but he's such a good guy that they can't dislike him too much over it. He does a lot of good for Ivial in general, and he's the main reason relations with Grum (and the resulting trade) are so good these days.

In Raffaela, prejudices against Tol Rhun run high because this is where Rhun started his rebellion and caused the most damage. There are a lot of monuments to the horrors the sorcerers enacted against the people.

The territory of Catelanne, being the mountainous border between Ivial and Tol Rhun, regards the Rhuidim mostly with stoic wariness. They're ever ready for an invasion with all their towers and forts in the mountains, but over the generations of treaty-enforced peace have become mostly tolerant of the idea that the Rhuidim are not to be harassed and therefore it's not really worth getting worked up over them or any prejudices. They're not itching to go beat up on the Rhuidim, but I imagine they wouldn't be overly upset if the treaty was ever broken and they were allowed to let loose on the people they've had to so warily be cautious of for generations, if for no other reason than that they've got all these forts and forces here with little to do other than fight off the rare group of Rhuidim anti-Viali extremists that try to cause trouble and are easily dealt with.

So overall, I'd say the Viali view the Rhuidim as this sort of unfortunate situation they are required to accept. Kind of like that troublesome family member that you aren't fond of and has harmed you some way in the past, and you have this certainty they're going to try something dastardly again at some point, but you are nonetheless required to treat them with, if nothing else, feigned propriety for the sake of preventing an explosion of unnecessary strife and conflict. And, of course, because you're supposed to be forgiving and nice.

Ivial and the Giganti
These two groups don't have much interaction. The Giganti are more likely seen as these sort of almost-mythical distant people, with many legends of their architecture and metalworking skill circulating among the Viali. Aside from that, the Viali might be wary of the Giganti due to the legendary Rullendbolg pirates and raiders, which have likely been encountered by Viali merchant ships from time to time. So overall, the Viali probably view the Giganti as sort of wondrous, yet savage and barbaric. They're war-loving, boastful, and notoriously short-tempered, yet their architecture and metalworking are widely acclaimed as second to none. The Viali have a deep love for advanced architecture and, to a lesser extent, metalwork, so this probably enamors them somewhat to the Giganti despite tales of their savagery.

Ivial and the Hillfolk
These two also don't have much in the way of interaction. I doubt the Viali think very often about the Hillfolk, save that they appreciate their peerless leatherworking and carpentry crafts. The Viali probably also respect the Hillfolk in that the Hillfolk have a tendency to follow (their own sort of vague flavor of) the philosophies of the Inner Light as far as any kind of spirituality or religious philosophy goes, even if it isn't particularly widespread or deeply-rooted in their culture.

Ivial and Parr
Ivial and Parr don't have particularly strong ties other than by trade (and Parr has strong trade relations with just about everyone, even if just because they're the primary intercontinental hub). The Viali probably think Parrens a little odd in their seeming lack of serious government or order, but the Parrens are generally such a good-natured people that the Viali can grudgingly admit that they are, overall, a fairly good and virtuous people despite lack of serious laws and moral codes.

Ivial and Tatlhuecan
The Viali and Huecs have very little interaction. One of the few significant interactions between the two is when some legendary Huec alchemists were contacted and brought to Ivial to help an ailing Queen recover (and succeeded). I don't have a lot of details on this event hammered out yet, though.

The Viali probably see the Huecs as extremely strange and probably don't think very highly of them, with their penchant for human sacrifice, casual sexual relations, and complete disregard of familial ties. So they're not at active odds with one another (they're too far away from each other for that anyway), but I think both cultures consider the other generally odd and distasteful in ways. Viali likely think less of Huecs than Huecs do of Viali. Huecs probably just see Viali as silly and pompous, but not awful. Viali, on the other hand, get real hung up on the human sacrifice thing in particular, and think the society's acceptance of this practice is quite deplorable.

If they were neighbors, it'd likely be a situation similar to that of Nuum: The Viali wouldn't be able to stand their neighbors practicing these deplorable things, and there would be wars over it.

Ivial and the Faewyr
The Faewyr are a little too varietous to give any real blanket assessment of the relations between the two. That'd be kind of like asking what someone's relations were like with Arad, when Arad has so many different cultures within it. A few general qualities among the Faewyr tend to win them points with the Viali, however. Similar to the Fasa, the Viali likely view the Faewyr with great respect due to their connection with and reverence for nature, and their tendency to take these things into consideration before they act. Faewyr tend to be a bit more on the, uh, dramatic side, too, and while not on the level of the Viali, this does give the Viali the impression that the Faewyr are a passionate and honest people. On the other hand, a lot of Faewyr are rather fond of raiding (particularly by sea) and this violence and savagery can horrify the Viali.

Considering there are 12 different Faewyr kingdoms on the rather large continent of Tyr-Gwyrd, and they can all be quite different based on their kings and their peoples and circumstances, I don't think I can get much more detailed than that at the moment. So overall: Viali have respect for the Faewyr due to their powerful connetion and reverence for nature and the world, and their (as perceived by the Viali at least) honesty and passion for life, but are also wary of them due to how many Faewyr cultures gleefully take part in frequent raiding (both each other, and peoples across the sea).
Dorn wrote:What is the status and general stance on slavery in the Lost Lands? I know the Hyra do it, are there any other cultures within it that do? Or even temporary forced servitude? Is it a massive sticking point, or do most just not care?
Depends on the area. It's not widely practiced (in the Lost Lands) so a lot of people probably don't think about it much, but when brought up, most will probably have a natural aversion to it, unless of course the enslaved people are people they don't like. If someone kept, say, Hyra slaves, people probably wouldn't get as worked up about people using those "savages" as slaves (though some would probably still be somewhat uncomfortable about it).
Dorn wrote:Under what sort of situation were the Wyrvardn founded? They're supposed to be for the "good of the people" of Aetgard, but what did that actually consist of when they were made? Was it a Kingdom sponsored organization during a time of peace, or something random that sprung up among the people in direct conflict to an ongoing situation due to the Kingdom such as a rebel faction against the Tyrant-King.
Gudleifr was around a very long time ago, in earlier Aetgard history, not long after the Viali immigrants started moving in. The Wyrvardn were relatively recent (still before the Plague, obviously), and started as a sort of independent peacekeeping group as the Kingdom of Aetgard got larger. That is to say, they were probably all associated with the government in some way, but the whole Wyrvardn thing was a sort of personal side project they started, rather than something the government wanted them to do. They dealt with things like bands of brigands and highwaymen, upstart warlords trying to start (or break off as) their own little aggressive rebel kingdoms, and those savage Dunwyr that were getting uppity in their terrorist efforts against the ever-expanding Kingdom.

So they weren't government-founded, but the government certainly supported and helped fund and equip them, and the Wyrvardn enjoyed a fair amount of prestige and recognition. They weren't exactly founded and forged in the fires of war or anything, but they did help the Kingdom as it was dealing with the troubles and growing pains of getting a bit larger than its leaders knew how to manage. It also wasn't a massive group with members all over the place, but it was decently-sized and Wyrvardn tended to patrol all over the Kingdom, with various headquarters throughout.

Were they "knights"? I'm not sure I would use that term. I don't see it being a very common term in Aetgard, which tended to stick much more to its Faewyr roots. Were they considered some sort of elite fighting force worthy of great respect, and did they enjoy a heightened social status? Absolutely. If people have ideas for some fancy terms that they think would be cool to apply to them, it might be considered, but "Wyrvardn" itself should be considered a high title/term.

Oh, and "Wyrvardn" is a Faewyr-based term, roughly translating to "Protector of People".
How do most of the towns get their food? We've PC hunters/farmers, but lets face it. Even they can be very dangerous professions what with everything else that goes on. Do the NPCs who do those sort of things, venture out in large organized groups sponsored by the towns? Or is it small individual efforts still?
As mentioned briefly above, there are some regular hunting/farming efforts (both of which are quite dangerous, as you mentioned), and a lot of food supplies are imported from Tatlhuecan, or from further away, through the Huec port city at the end of the northwestern jungle road. I imagine most farms at this point are concentrated group efforts with walls built around them, but are still pretty tempting targets to raiders and scavengers. I'd love to add some of those to the game world sometime, but I worry about the constant attacks they'd suffer from are more antagonistic characters.

I know that in Shadgard, mountain goat herding is a big thing (notice all the chevon (that's goat meat) meals around Shadgard?). That's something they can do in relativley safety in the local environs within and around their canyon, rather than being out on the open plains and ripe for being attacked by anyone who wanders by. Hunting deer, turkey, and pheasant in their immediate local forest also isn't too dangerous. Farming isn't a huge option with their local climate and environment, so they probably import most of their grain and stuff, though they probably do maintain at least a few farms somewhere. All that said, hunger is probably a thing in Shadgard. Not exactly a huge problem, but I imagine a lot of people go to bed at the end of the day wishing they had a little more in their bellies.

Mistral, of course, thrives on seafood (lakefood?), and being a wealthier town probably has little trouble importing a lot of things it can't get on its own. All the local canim makes hunting pretty impossible in the area, though. The canim probably eat up the majority of local wildlife (game mechanics don't currently support this, but eh).

(DISCLAIMER: I'm not the guru of Haiban, these are my personal musings) Haiban probably imports a lot of its food, and also probably has several local farms, pastures, and orchards guarded by its mercenary forces. They're also by a larger river, so that provides possible fishing operations, if not large-scale. And of course, Haiban is built on piles of money, and has the most direct trade relations for imports from Tatlhuecan and outside the Quarantine.

(DISCLAIMER: I'm not the guru of Corvus, these are my personal musings) Corvus probably circumvents a lot of the food issue by using nethrim to do a lot of work that human laborers would normally do. Nethrim have their own maintenance costs, but food isn't one of them (directly, at least), and overall it's more efficient at least as far as food is concerned. The Corvus area also probably has the least worries about being raided by brigands and scavengers and such, simply due to its reputation, and really, if you're going to raid a place, why would you pick that run-down old outpost full of nethrim? Gross. They probably eat weird things. As far as providing their own food, they have their local forest which seems abundant enough in wildlife (beavers at least) and I imagine they have some sort of agricultural operations to support their living residents, especially considering they're least likely to have many trade relations with anyone else. Hey, Corvus is a haven for outcasts, including canim - I bet they send their canim out to do some hunting. What do canim really have to worry about out there, when they themselves are one of the scariest dangers people can run into?
Dorn wrote:What is the literacy rate like among the towns?
Depends on the town and the social class of the people, of course.

Some people might assume Shadgard to be some illiterate hillbily backwater, but I see Shadgard with a very large emphasis on basic schooling (not so much on higher educations, though). I imagine more than one multi-purposed building filled with children, volunteer school teachers teaching them basic reading and writing at least. It helps that Shadgard is the most Church-friendly (and therefore Church-populated), and I can see many Church members (not necssarily Monks - remember the Church consists of far more than Monks and Templar, whom make up a small minority of overall membership) volunteering to teach the locals in order to improve their and the town's quality of life.

Mistral Lake, I see a very large disparity between the classes. Mistral is the place in the Lost Lands that most puts emphasis on social class tiers. The higher class are no doubt taught very thoroughly, probably many of them with private tutors and the like. For the middle class there is at least one public school, which probably costs a fair amount to send your kid to. For the lower classes, they're probably just taught whatever is deemed necessary by their parents and peers, and probably don't have a lot of emphasis on serious education.

Haiban and Corvus, I'll let their respective gurus comment if they wish.
Dorn wrote:Just who do the Hyra keep as slaves? Is it known?
While interested people should do some of their own delving into this (not that that's easy to do, granted), I think it's safe to say that it's generally circulated/said that most of the "slaves" kept by Hyra appear to be Hyra themselves (with the extremely pale skin and whatnot). There are definitely stories of some non-Hyra kept as slaves as well, though. It should also be said that while scary stories told to naughty children by their mothers may mention Hyra stealing them away or whatever, it's pretty common and accepted knowledge that Hyra seem to never be seen outside Stone Canyon. There's never been a Hyra invasion or hunting party or anything like that. They're apparently happy to stay in their own little slice of the world. There are occasional tales of lone Hyra being spotted outside the canyon, but then there are also tales of that time your friend's cousin's grandma's nephew was rescued from wolves by Serafina herself.
Dorn wrote:Is fining the usual method of punishment for people in the towns? Or is that something that is mostly done for the ease of dealing with the player base? If so, what other sorts of punishments are there.
That's mostly done for "it's a game" purposes, but that's not to say fines aren't the usual way of dealing with minor crimes. More major things may be met with community service, long-term jail sentences, being branded, or death penalties. I don't really have any specifics in mind that are more detailed than that.
Dorn wrote:What's the average wage in riln of most of the people in towns? Considering most of them probably don't grow their own foods in these places, what sort of percentage of that wage is then spent on housing/food? Do most people own their houses, or is it rented?
I think most common people spend the majority of their money on basic survival needs: Food, shelter, clothing. And as mentioned above, a lot of lower-class people probably go to bed at least somewhat hungry. The merchants and upper classes, as always, can afford to spend riln on finery and leisure (and owning their own homes).

"Why don't they just go out and forage herbs for a few days? I did that and got thousands upon thousands of riln!" Yeah, that's another one of those "it's a game" things. And again, you can do that because you have no fear of dying in the process. Most townsfolk view going outside town walls as a death sentence.

I imagine that at least in Shadgard and Mistral Lake, a lot of people share housing (certainly not the upper classes in Mistral, though), and the poorer people pool their money to pay some kind of rent from the wealthier homeowner. Then again, in Shadgard people try to be nice, so I imagine a lot of homes of poorer people are paid for by philanthropists (Wynn Avery: Town Hero!), especially with all the recent refugees coming in from the beleaguered hamlets.

(Notice how I never gave an actual number to answer the "average wage" question? Neener.)
Dorn wrote:How religious are most common people in the Lost Lands? Do people tend worship one immortal, a favored one, or kind of offers prayers to one that fits the subject in their mind?
Depends on the area and the people, really.

"Religious" is kind of a tricky word. With easily-observable phenomena like sorcery and elemancy and thaumaturgy and druidry going around, it stands to reason that there are higher powers out there. I think the tendency is to respect and occasionaly beseech, but not worship as "gods". Of course, some groups are more worshipful than others.

Shadgard tends to follow the trends of the Church as far as which Immortals are the most popular, simply because the Church is the most prominent and active "religious" group in that town. That's not to say they don't believe the other Immortals exist, or that they don't follow/entreat them, though.

Mistral might actually be a little more polytheistic-religious, where individuals honor/respect/worship widely from the whole spectrum as they find is appropriate to the situation, though I can also see many of the more upper-class citizens picking favorites and dedicating more specifically to them. And of course, the Church and its more strongly-associated Immortals (mostly Serafina) are defintiely not in vogue in Mistral Lake.

I won't speak for the towns that aren't under my guruship.
Dorn wrote:What are the main destinations at the end of that northeast, northwest and southwest roads. As in, what are the next major towns.
Northwest: A major Huec port city. As Jirato mentioned, it's not welcoming to outsiders - due largely to the Quarantine/trade policies and restrictions. This is where pretty much all inter-quarantine trade occurs, so they're not taking any unnecessary chances or risks. Translation: Players will not have access to this place.

Northeast: A largeish mountainside city ruin and tall keep - probably pretty safe to assume it was a major Aetgardian city lost to the Plague (and aftermath) like all the others. Yes, I have history and stuff laid out for the place. Don't know when/if it'll ever be in-game.

Southwest: A very long stretch of not much but occasional ruined towns (and probably the occasional sparsely-repopulated (and short-lived) hamlet), eventually making its way to the Lapis area (among other branches to other ruined cities, of course - Aetgard was a big place). It was essentially a major highway between more densely-populated regions of Aetgard. (P.S. Some NPCs arrived via this highway, once. They were largely ignored. :( )
Jilliana wrote:Do the immortals ever show up for anyone and not just some made up thing by some crazy citizen of some town?
I imagine that would depend on who you asked. (If you were asking for an official "are the Immortals actually real or not" response, sorry: You'll never get one!)
Jilliana wrote:Do the different towns deal with punishment in different ways?
Yep. Briefly visited above, and I don't have intricate details, but I'll say that in Shadgard there are a number of (vigilante) shootings or (more official) hangings for major offenders, while lesser offenders usually just sit in jail for a bit and get a small fine. "Moderate" offenders probably get some sort of community service thing after jail time. Consistent troublemakers that don't warrant a hanging are simply banished from town, with a "return on pain of death" policy. A banishment is worthless if it's not severely enforced.

In Mistral Lake they're becoming rather fond of public executions for particularly prominent large-time offenders. Less-prominent but nonetheless major offenders tend to be sent to the dungeons and are never seen again. Minor offenses probably get a nice fee and put on a watch list after serving some dungeon time. Moderate offenders probably get the mercy of being allowed to serve in the fighting forces in order to earn the Keep's forgiveness (provided they survive). Of course, what Mistral Lake considers "minor" or "major" may not necessarily align with other people's opinions of what those mean.

Haiban and Corvus - their gurus can comment if they want.
Jilliana wrote:How are individuals with chronic illnesses viewed? And people with mental issues? Are they hidden away, or are they considered productive members of society?
I think they're generally allowed to do whatever they're capable of doing under their circumstances, provided they're not dangerous (contagious). Remember that old canim garbage collector in Shadgard?

Of course, this also depends on the area. Shadgard, again with its heavy influence of the Church presence there, is more compassionate accommodating, and they'll do their best to ensure the individual can live a meaningful life despite whatever limitations their condition might give them. In Mistral Lake, if the condition turns you into a significant burden on society, they'll likely find some way to make some use of the person - or they might just suddenly disappear and never be heard from again. That probably means that these peoples' families will try to hide them somehow, whether to protect the individual or to prevent rumors flying about their family.

Haiban and Corvus - their gurus can comment if they want.
Jilliana wrote:How does the church view the Wyrvardn? Are they considered Templar rejects and wannabes?
The Church and the Wyrvardn are (at least as far as NPCs and their history/lore goes) both quite fond of each other, and I imagine the Wyrvardn and Templar try to work together often, even if they have some variations in their personal codes of ethics, because they have pretty much the same goal. While I can't imagine there wouldn't be some rumors flying (in all circles, not the Church specifically) when a Templar leaves their position for any reason at all (including doing so to join the Wyrvardn), the Church (and the Templar) don't have any particular problem with it, aside from disappointment that the individual turned away from the Code and Edict. They've seen people go mad at trying to live within the Code and Edict at all costs - it's clearly not for everyone. The Church and its leaders openly acknowledge that being a good person does not require being a Thaumaturge, and that there are good things that people can do outside the Code and Edict. There's more than one way to be a good person who strives to better the lives of all those around them, and the Church knows that their specific way is only one of many ways to accomplish that.

Jilliana wrote:I especially want to hear more about the Wyrvardn and their current mission in the Lost Lands.
The nutshell version is on the wiki:
the wiki wrote:Meaning essentially "Protectors of the People", this group of elite warriors was sworn to keeping the people of Aetgard safe from any threat, internal or external.
Currently, this largely translates to eliminating major threats to make the place safer again. This includes bandits, canim, nethrim, infested, and the typical stuff out there that's making the Lost Lands a living nightmare. They also consider themselves sort of "freelance peacekeepers" in that they should do their best to stop people or organizations from coming to blows with one another and the like. They want the Lost Lands to be a safe and united place for its people to live in (though most seem to accept that this likely won't happen during their lifetime - it's a big mess to clean up). They're also not thinking they can do this alone - they're a very small organization, currently. They should be both willing and happy to work with others in order to accomplish this. That is to say, they shouldn't be elitists claiming that their way is the only way, or saying things like "Step aside, fools: Let the Wyrvardn handle this the right way." Yuck.

==========
Whew! That's it for now. Let me know if I skipped over something someone asked in this thread, and I'll get to it. I also have a bunch of PMed/IMed questions that I'll answer at a later time.
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Re: Cache of questions

Post by Acarin » Thu Feb 04, 2016 2:52 pm

okay, put your hands down- no, you cannot intentionally bury yourself (or your enemies (or your loved ones)) in the Shadgard Graveyard in order to become an unholy mockery of life. You people are horrible.
So then... <right hand up> what is the preferred method for turning one's loved ones into unholy mockeries of life?

Also, thanks for all the lore! Fun read.

EDIT: This is an especially important question considering that bodies now remain longer!!!

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Re: Cache of questions

Post by Acarin » Thu Feb 04, 2016 3:18 pm

Not all of these can be answered publicly or OOC, but I'm curious about them and it would be great to see some of these things come up in events. guild or otherwise:

1) What are Shar's actual objectives? They seem to have changed from how they were initially presented to me and we lack a clear focus as to what goals we are striving towards
2) Are travel rations made from... people?!?
3) What is common knowledge regarding major taints? Has the lore changed from that presented on the wiki?
4) How does nether actually interact with the body... i.e.... what is nether damage? Is it cellular destruction (i.e. would it cause tissue to appear necrotic) or be more akin to a burn (with blistering, etc.)? How is it able to exist inside a body without damaging the host in this manner?
5) What cultures regularly practice torture (on captives, criminals, etc)?
6) What groups has Arlen trained under in honing his fighting style? Are there other "organized" groups of brawlers outside of the Lost Lands? How many shots does it take to get him drunk?
7) Are there any other strong adversarial relationships between cultures that have not yet been pointed out?

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Re: Cache of questions

Post by Teek » Thu Feb 04, 2016 8:58 pm

I'm curious about about Lapis and the Templars there. With the way Thaumaturgy works, how they able to wield it in a more aggressive manner yet still keep it? Is their Sacred Flame or whatever different from Thaumaturgy?

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Re: Cache of questions

Post by Rias » Fri Feb 05, 2016 12:37 pm

Teek wrote:I'm curious about about Lapis and the Templars there. With the way Thaumaturgy works, how they able to wield it in a more aggressive manner yet still keep it? Is their Sacred Flame or whatever different from Thaumaturgy?
How people of Lapis manage thaumaturgy despite seeming to be a bit more aggressive is something I won't really get into OOCly, and also keep in mind that due to Lapis' extremely xenophobic nature and refusal to let anyone onto their land, the information you've heard may well be rumor or exaggeration.
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Re: Cache of questions

Post by Dorn » Sat Feb 06, 2016 9:18 am

1) Just how brutal are Giganti clan-wars? Are we talking, minor skirmishes, cattle raiding, etc, with a fatality rare? Or is it more full on scale minor wars? Do these wars ever typically end, or do certain Clans just have constant ongoing rivalries that never actually reach an accord?

2) It tends to come across that the Giganti in general are utter zealots in regards to the Mountain Father. To just what degree, is a non-religious Giganti in regards to the Father an oddity?

3) Do Giganti practice mounted combat a lot? If so, are their horses generally bred for larger size due to the sheer bulk of the Giganti themselves?

4) The Giganti make a great deal of skill and physical prowess, are things such as guile and trickery in terms of "beating the opposition" as much? As in, would a Giganti boast and brag about how he tricked his opponent out of some deal/victory, or would he only do it if he beat them physically.

5) Because of Aetgard's attempt to invade Sirak Drauth, is there a prevalent feeling that "those gits got what they deserved?"

6) Will we ever see some of the Runskjaere's knowledge in game? >.< What do the runes tend to get carved into? Metal, stone, and such? Can they be carved/tattooed into flesh?
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Re: Cache of questions

Post by Fayne » Sun Feb 07, 2016 8:22 pm

I'm rather curious if anyone inside or outside the Quarantine is interested in reclaiming the Lost Lands and reintegrating it into the rest of the world, or if it has been pretty much permanently written off as a hopelessly lost cause.

Was the Resen ever a huge problem outside of the Lost Lands, or was it kept pretty well in check all along, and only managed to get such a strong hold on the opposite side of The Wall due to the lack of any centralized government to fight against it properly?

What sort of rumors and stories are spread outside the Lost Lands about what lies behind the Quarantine?

Who originally conceived of the Quarantine, and how did they pull it off without sparking a war or rebellion with those inside in protest to being shut off from the rest of the world?

Is the Lost Lands in general considered to be getting better, worse, or making no progress whatsoever since the Quarantine was first established? Has the population recovered slightly since the Plague, or has it stayed about the same? With the Resen, nethrim, and canim problems, is the struggling populace of the Lost Lands in danger of dying out completely, or are they standing strong despite all the dangers?

Is riln a standardized currency for all of Arad, or is it something specific to the Lost Lands? Was it established as the standard currency of Aetgard before the Plague and Quarantine, or did it come about afterward? What is the standard used to determine the value of riln, if it has one at all?

How hard is it to find safe sources of drinking water? Is water not an issue, or is nearly as difficult to obtain as food? For that matter, if food is so scarce in a lot of places, why is it so cheap in most places?
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Re: Cache of questions

Post by Rias » Mon Feb 08, 2016 6:01 pm

Are travel rations made from... people?!?
Depends on where you buy them.
What is common knowledge regarding major taints?
That they're more tainted than "minor taints"? I don't think people think of it quite so tier-like. Most people probably think of people in 3 stages:
1. Untainted.
2. Tainted. Averse to iron and thaumaturgy, with nether in their blood/soul, and occasional creepy tendencies like drinking blood.
3. Nethrim. At this point the individual is generally no longer considered human, but a nethrim (i.e. a lich) with a body that isn't living/functioning anymore and must find sustenance in alternative ways. The nether in their blood/soul has gotten to the point that a living body can no longer function with it (and isn't necessary anyway).
How does nether actually interact with the body... i.e.... what is nether damage? Is it cellular destruction (i.e. would it cause tissue to appear necrotic) or be more akin to a burn (with blistering, etc.)?
More the former.
How is [nether] able to exist inside a body without damaging the host in this manner?
A good question. As can be seen with stage 3 of the little explanation two questions up, at a certain point the body can't handle it anymore.
What cultures regularly practice torture (on captives, criminals, etc)?
Depends on who the captive is, and what you consider torture. Some of the more brutal cultures in general, though, would be Tatlhuecan, Nuum, and Tol Rhun. Torture wouldn't be "regular" in those places, but it wouldn't be cause for particular concern or remark if occasion seemed to call for it.

Giganti, while "barbaric", generally don't do the torture thing - they'd rather battle it out in combat than poke about at some helpless prisoner who clearly already failed in combat since they've been captured. They'd either just off them, or integrate them into their own group/clan as something like a low servant (though they could prove themselves and work their way up in social status with effort).
Are there any other strong adversarial relationships between cultures that have not yet been pointed out?
The Giganti didn't think very highly of Aetgard after Aetgard tried to invade, but Aetgard got all plagued and ruined anyway so that kind of ended that conflict. I suppose Giganti could hold the grudge toward Lapis, the only significant surviving piece of Aetgard that's still holding onto that national identity, but for some reason I can't really see them caring much about it at this point.

The Hillfolk/Parrens also obviously harbored a strong dislike for Aetgard, considering they fled that nation due to extreme oppression/slaughter. Again, as Aetgard has been reduced to ruins, there's no conflict to speak of at this point.

Hillfolk probably have some cultural grudges against Grum and Nuum for building that big wall and cutting them off from the rest of the world as part of the Quarantine, even though Karnath wasn't hit by the plague. There was some significant fighting over that,

Grum and Nuum greatly dislike one another (Grum started out as essentially a group of oppressed/disgruntled Nuumic citizens who were incapable or just didn't like channeling, and were more or less kicked out of the country), and I imagine they mess with each other fairly frequently to this day, although with Grum and Ivial generally being chummy, Nuum has be somewhat careful about it. There has almost certainly been at least a couple small wars between Grum and Nuum in the past, and probably the only reason Grum survived is, again, due to Ivial's being there to aid them. A nation with an uncommonly high percentage of adept channelers is not one to mess with.

Giganti look at the Faewyr as descended from the unwanted weaklings when the Mountain Father first created his people and they formed into clans, and while the Faewyr obviously don't subscribe to that mythos, I imagine there's at least some general underlying conflict/rivalry between the two over the point. Nothing too serious, though. It's mostly the Giganti that mock and smacktalk the Faewyr over it, though that isn't to say Giganti and Faewyr can't get along - I'm sure plenty of Giganti respect how powerful the Faewyr have become on their own continent, and that despite their inferior strength and prowess, the Faewyr nonetheless have a fairly warrior-centric culture. And the Faewyr did produce the Dwaedn Wyr.

Nobody really conflicts much with the Huecs, because the Huecs are happy to stay in their (rather massive) valley, and nobody else even wants to go in there. (Aetgard tried once back in its earlier days; the Huecs didn't even need to muster an army to stand up to the potential invaders. Disease, dangerous terrain, feral critters, and various poisons and venoms from the local flora/fauna made horrifyingly quick work of them, and that has served as a sort of example for everyone else since.)

Nobody conflicts with the Parrens, because why shoot yourself in the foot international-trade-wise? That, and Parrens are just a nice, laid-back bunch in general; they're kind of hard to dislike or muster any strong feelings against. Their only serious issue is probably with pirates, which may lead to some Parren prejudices against the Faewyr (with their penchant for sea-raiding) and the Giganti (those scary Rullendbolg), but nothing too serious.

I imagine Grum and Tol Rhun having a rocky history with some significant prejudices and distates, but probably nothing too serious in the way of actual armed conflicts (though probably some minor incidents here and there). After all, Grum has that whole anti-channeling thing going on (it's why they left Nuum), and Tol Rhun is a nation founded by sorcerers who were convinced of their fate to rise to, more or less, godhood. It's kind of like Nuum all over again, but with sorcery instead of elemancy.

(Getting further out of the neighborhood ...)

The Angawatu people (who live on the southwestern continent of Nilbindu) despise the Faewyr, because the Faewyr are always raiding them. The Angawatu culture/religion has a severe dislike, and even fear, of the sea, so this puts them at a disadvantage when it comes to defense or retalition against such attacks. The Faewyr don't particularly dislike the Angawatu people - they just really enjoy raiding them and picking on them in general (they have lots of fancy precious metals and jewelry to plunder). It's kind of messed up. (Keep in mind, when I say "Faewyr" it's a generalization - not all Faewyr are into, or even approve of, all the raiding that some of their people do.)

The Constantians (on the southern continent, where the immigrants came from to later become the Viali) sneer at and look down on the Viali, who fled their country because they wouldn't submit to the rule of the theocracy. The Constantians don't really feel it necessary to pick on the Viali much, however, and are happy to leave them to their doomed fate for their heresies and whatnot. But relations between the two are certainly not good. The Viali look at Constantia as a constant reminder of what they swore never to become.


Just how brutal are Giganti clan-wars? Are we talking, minor skirmishes, cattle raiding, etc, with a fatality rare? Or is it more full on scale minor wars? Do these wars ever typically end, or do certain Clans just have constant ongoing rivalries that never actually reach an accord?
The clan wars are frequent, but often short-lived and even petty. Fatality rates aren't too high, because clans are often happy to absorb a beaten and subdued clan into their own. "Absorbed" clans can still maintain their identity somewhat as part of the larger clan, and some can break free again, or even earn their renewed independence as a clan.

Some clans probably have a "we fought it out, now let's make up over drinks" attitude, while others probably hold lasting grudges, though I can't really imagine them being too hatred-fuelled. It's really more of a ... sort of overgrown and out-of-control urge to prove who's best and mightiest on the playground sort of thing. Certainly there are a few clans with lasting grudges and blood feuds and the like, but overall, all the warring and competition is just how things work in Sirak Drauth. It's usually not about "we just hate Clan Y, let's wipe them out and all their relations, rarrrr". So it seems barbaric to most people, how they're constantly fighting with one another, but there's a sort of underlying brotherly competitiveness to it, almost. It's not about hate and destruction of foes, it's about proving might and glory and all that.
It tends to come across that the Giganti in general are utter zealots in regards to the Mountain Father. To just what degree, is a non-religious Giganti in regards to the Father an oddity?
I don't think I'd call it zealotry. It's just that they have their one singular belief mythos and patron Immortal, rather than most other cultures which have a number of Immortals representing different spheres and creeds. It's also less regarded as "religion" to them. The Mountain Father isn't a "god" so much as he's the simply the father of their race. He's not the reason for all of everything, he's not demanding people worship him - heck, their own legends state that the Mountain Father was just one of many Mountain Giants, and was in fact the odd one out in the bunch. He's just the "Father" who created the Giganti specifically (not the other races).

So, a Giganti that "casts off" or "defies" the Mountain Father would be pretty much considered an unruly child rebelling against his dad. It'd earn the individual a measure of disrespect, most likely, but I can't see anyone enacting any punishments or anything. If a Giganti wants to defy the Mountain Father, then they've earned themselves whatever punishment they get from the Mountain Father himself.

Oh, you asked a specific question. Hmm. Are you asking how uncommon is it that a Giganti is not "religious" toward the Mountain Father? Again, a lot of Giganti don't act so much religious about it as they do simply attribute respect and wisdom to him as the ultimate father of all the Giganti.

Someone coming out and saying "the Mountain Father is a lie"? Extremely rare amongst Giganti, and they'd probably just be considered crazy by their fellows.

Someone coming out and saying "Forget the Mountain Father, I don't care about him"? Very rare, but not as much as denying the Mountain Father's existence entirely. It'd get the individual some serious disrespect in most Giganti circles, but not much else. A lot of people would probably view the individual as essentially a petulent and rebellious child.

Someone coming out and saying "forget the Mountain Father, I'm gonna ignore him and follow this other Immortal instead"? Also very rare, and I think this would strike fellow Giganti as more concerning as the previous in some ways, because not only are they saying "screw you, Dad" but "I'm abandoning you for this other Immortal whom I think is cooler than you."

Someone coming out and saying "I defy the Mountain Father?" Extremely rare, as really - why would they? The Mountain Father doesn't ask a lot of his people - mostly that they just never find themselves content with the world to the point of idleness. True, he does seem to favor those that follow his own interests, primarily being stonework and architecture, but there's no commandment to learn or be involved in these things. He never really set down a specific purpose for his people to fulfill other than "don't get all lazy and idle (and leave me like my brothers did)" and "continue to work and beautify the land - the physical land: the earth, the stone, the mountains and caves." The latter isn't required directly of everyone, but rather of the Giganti as a people overall (so it doesn't mean every single Giganti needs to be a stoneworker/miner/sculpter/whatever, just that the overall culture continues to value and support these practices). There's not much in the way of a moral or ethical code to follow (and therefore defy), other than probably a simple "don't destroy yourselves" (the clan wars ultimately strengthen the clans, rather than destroy them!) and probably some stuff against performing particularly nasty cruelties on one another.

It's hard to think of what someone would even do to specifically act in defiance of the Mountain Father. Go around wrecking the works of your fellow Giganti and ... ruining caves and stuff? Why? What would motivate someone to do that? Being lazy and idle on purpose, maybe. I could see someone doing that, I guess. Maybe saying "forget you, Dad, I'm awesome, I worked my way into a position where I can live out the rest of my life in idleness and contentment, so neener neener."

Whew. I got a little tangenty there. But the Giganti culture is one of my favorites.
Do Giganti practice mounted combat a lot? If so, are their horses generally bred for larger size due to the sheer bulk of the Giganti themselves?
Not so much, partially because of their size, and because Sirak Drauth has relatively little open space conducive to mounted combat. It's very rocky and mountainy. There's no specific "huge horse" breeds bred by/for Giganti. They prefer combat on foot, anyway, where they've got more control over their own movements and footwork. They'd see horses more as draft animals than war mounts. Not that no Giganti would ever use mounts in combat; it's just uncommon. The terrain of Sirak Drauth also isn't the most conducive to horses (again because of the relative lack of wide open spaces), so there aren't any native horses there or anything.
The Giganti make a great deal of skill and physical prowess, are things such as guile and trickery in terms of "beating the opposition" as much? As in, would a Giganti boast and brag about how he tricked his opponent out of some deal/victory, or would he only do it if he beat them physically.
While not as common as simply overpowering their foes in toe-to-toe combat, I could see Giganti boasting about outwitting, outmaneuvering, out-...tactic-ing? ... their foes, luring them into traps and ambushes, getting the better of their enemy in a deal based on words and wits instead of physically fighting, etc. (I imagine the losers would often probably complain and demand a straight fight after they're bested, and accuse their oponent of cowardice or somesuch - but that's just them being a sore loser.) I don't think it would be considered as lesser or shameful, unless it was the only thing that individual could manage to pull off - weaseling their way through every situation, and being incompetent or obviously scared of more open physical confrontations. Giganti can be brutes for sure, but that doesn't mean they require or revel in stupidity. If they can best an occasional foe via wit or guile, why not? They had just better be sure they can put up a physical fight as well if it comes down to that.
Because of Aetgard's attempt to invade Sirak Drauth, is there a prevalent feeling that "those gits got what they deserved?"
Pretty much, although I don't think they held particularly vehement malice against Aetgard. Just a long-term sort of "Those guys are dorks." The Giganti beat the Aetgardians back, after all, so being the winners of that conflict, they had less drive to keep the grudge too strong.
Will we ever see some of the Runskjaere's knowledge in game? >.< What do the runes tend to get carved into? Metal, stone, and such? Can they be carved/tattooed into flesh?
To have any actual effect, they're said to need a solid material that will maintain the runes' form. The runes could be used in tattoos and embroidery and such, but it's generally believed that to have any signficant effect, the runes need to stay static in their precise form. The latter could be considered somewhat lesser applications via inspiration, assuming the person knew the intricate details of the rune itself. So if someone just got a rune tattoo but didn't understand the rune's precise form and meaning, it would be little more than mundane decoration.
I'm rather curious if anyone inside or outside the Quarantine is interested in reclaiming the Lost Lands and reintegrating it into the rest of the world, or if it has been pretty much permanently written off as a hopelessly lost cause.
Lapis wishes to redeem the Lost Lands, restoring it to its former glory once the various issues have been cleaned up.

The Huecs could care less. In fact, they're probably happy that they have fewer neighbors to annoy them, and Tezcapetl is probably enjoying the monopoly as they have the primary import/export point in the Quarantine (not that that's exactly bustling, but still. Gives them an edge over the other two Huec kingdoms).

The Giganti and Hillfolk are in those happy areas where, despite being in the Quarantine, are mostly unaffected by the troubles that are rampant in the Lost Lands. The Giganti are probably pretty okay with things and probably even want to range out a bit into the Lost Lands and claim some new land. The Hillfolk probably see the situation as bittersweet: They have little worry that some other nation will come in and meddle, or try to set up some kind of government for them, or try and take them over ... but they do also feel a bit cloistered and cut off. They like their independence and solitude, but they'd also love the opportunity to go out and travel and visit, and receive occasional visitors.

Most people outside the Quarantine have pretty much given up on it for the forseeable future, and are likely more waiting for the troubles there to sort of "burn themselves out". Keep in mind that most of the outside world considers stories of what the Lost Lands is like to be extremely exaggerated, so it also doesn't seem too bad to outsiders. They see it more as a quarantine zone that just suffered a massive plague and now just needs time for the populations there to recover - or perhaps die out, and then others can come in later to attempt to repopulate, once it's "safe". They're not so much aware of and worried about the growing presences of nethrim and infested and all that. Surely those are just overexaggerated tales. (Obviously, this is a generalization of the Outside's view of the situation.)

While Ivial would probably have hopes and desires that the Lost Lands could one day be restored, they're wary of sending people in there in what is commonly seen as a death sentence, and after the incident with Valeria, they're only more cautious about it. So they probably want to, and are trying to come up with a way to help it happen, but as of now don't have any significant ideas. Plus, they have their own issues with Nuum at the moment to deal with.
Was the Resen ever a huge problem outside of the Lost Lands, or was it kept pretty well in check all along, and only managed to get such a strong hold on the opposite side of The Wall due to the lack of any centralized government to fight against it properly?
Tse Gaiyan has done a bang-up job of keeping it under control, once the resen was discovered for what it really was. Outside the Lost Lands, a lot of people probably consider the resen stuff to be myths and rumors, overexaggerations of some spreading fungus that while certainly warranting being checked since it could overcome and overtake other ecosystems, certainly can't be as bad as these "mushroom zombies" stories say. So outside of the few places where the resen has really taken hold (which are rare outside the Lost Lands - thanks Tse Gaiyan!), people on the Outside probably never really even think or hear about it. I bet a lot of people mistakenly believe it's little more than some kind of agricultural or druidic eco-nut concern, if they've even heard of it all. I imagine Tse Gaiyan effort outside the Lost Lands is largely thankless work, unfortunately.
What sort of rumors and stories are spread outside the Lost Lands about what lies behind the Quarantine?
Most people outside the Quarantine probably figure the biggest problems on the inside are chances of the Plague spreading again, rebuilding and repopulating the land, and ... probably some concerns about nethrim stuff. As seen in the previous paragraph, resen stuff isn't very widely-known or widely-understood outside the Quarantine because it's not a largely noticeable problem anywhere out there. Nethrim, people know about (particularly because of Tol Rhun), though even that is considered by many to be myth and superstition who don't live somewhere they can see it with their own eyes. I imagine rumors about nethrim problems in the Quarantine exploded particularly when people saw Ivial send a small army over to deal with sorcery and nethrim issues they were worried would take root and expand there, though. Stuff about the canim probably circulates as scary campfire stories and the like.

Sorry, I don't have much specific or interesting to say on this one. I guess I will add that everyone pretty much assumes that if someone goes into the Quarantine, they're as good as dead. Aside from all the rumors of the dangers and stuff (whether they be considered true or not, and pretty much everyone acknowledges and is terrified of the Plague still being a possible threat), people know that if you go in, you're not going to come back out, if for no other reason than because of the Quarantine itself and how strictly it's enforced.
Who originally conceived of the Quarantine, and how did they pull it off without sparking a war or rebellion with those inside in protest to being shut off from the rest of the world?
Grum in particular was worried, with these reports reaching them of a massive plague rapidly spreading on the other side of the mountains. They met with their Viali buddies, and then even Nuum got involved. It was primarily these three nations that came up with the idea of preventing people from coming east for fear of the plague spreading across the entire continent. I can't say who specifically first said "Hey, let's stop these guys coming in" at the moment, because frankly I'm not sure.

The people that were stuck on the other side certainly did protest the decision, but there wasn't anything they could do about it. Aetgardians were too busy being ... plagued ... and dying in droves. Sirak Drauth blocked off all the passes and tunnels into their mountain realm, so they were effectively quarantining themselves. The mountain pass from Aetgard to Grum was mysteriously sealed by a glacier, and nobody to this day knows the details behind how that happened (the glacier's still there). Considering the little splinter kingdom ruled by Destiny Owleyes was in the vicinity of that pass, you can guess what most people say caused that.

While Karnath (where the Hillfolk are) didn't seem to be affected, and it was unlikely anyone would be able to get through the Fey Forest from Aetgard to Karnath and spread the plague anyway, Grum and Nuum in particular weren't taking any chances: They set up the border in southwest Grum (the only other land passage from west to east aside from the mountain pass now blocked by a glacier) and eventually began work on the Quarantine Wall there. I imagine it was a hairy time, and a lot of the Hillfolk did protest and even fight, but really, what were a scattered bunch of independent small communities going to do against Nuum and Grum? In the end, they couldn't do anything but stand by and watch as they were cut off from the rest of the world.
Is the Lost Lands in general considered to be getting better, worse, or making no progress whatsoever since the Quarantine was first established?
Worse. More nethrim, more resen, more canim. But hey, at least the Plague seems to be over!
Has the population recovered slightly since the Plague, or has it stayed about the same?
After the Plague had passed, the population began to recover slightly, but then the rising CNR (Canim, Nethrim, Resen - we need that acronym, for how often they come up grouped like this) influence started to check that, so it has sort of stagnated, or is even getting worse again at this point. At best, when people die, they stay dead. Unfortunately, a lot of people are lost due to becoming CNR, so the normals lose numbers as the CNR gain. Not to mention that the resen are taking over animals and throwing off those ecosystems and making them inedible, so hunting's not only dangerous but harder to find clean, edible prey. And the nether is worryingly imitating plantlife now in some areas, which is slowly choking normal growth. Food's increasingly becoming a problem.
With the Resen, nethrim, and canim problems, is the struggling populace of the Lost Lands in danger of dying out completely, or are they standing strong despite all the dangers?
I'd say there should be a significant concern at the decline of "normal" population levels, while CNR levels are on the rise. But hey, get yourself a nice fancy house, snazzy clothes, fine dining - just pretend it all isn't happening!

After answering all that, yeah - I still don't think a lot of players realize how dire the Lost Lands situation really is, and kind of treat it like they're on the border of some dangerous land, but that things are generally okay and mankind is, as you said, "standing strong." They're not. I suppose we as GMs could do more to make this clear in-game, although people tend to take things like undead invasions, hordes of mushroom-infested zombies, and ravening packs of beastmen in stride.
Is riln a standardized currency for all of Arad, or is it something specific to the Lost Lands? Was it established as the standard currency of Aetgard before the Plague and Quarantine, or did it come about afterward? What is the standard used to determine the value of riln, if it has one at all?
It's a standard recognized widely in Arad, and it came about at some point after trade was established between Aetgard and the Eastern nations (mainly Grum, Nuum, Ivial, and Tol Rhun). That doesn't mean it's the only currency, though. I imagine Huecs in particular have their own currency, but accept/exchange riln somehow, and probably the same for Nuum. Ivial and Grum have probably fully embraced riln at this point. It was probably Grum that put forth the idea to have a standardized currency. Really, I don't have a head for economics and stuff though, so I don't have a ton of details on this.
How hard is it to find safe sources of drinking water? Is water not an issue, or is nearly as difficult to obtain as food?
The major towns are blessed in that they have dependable, clean water sources. I'm not pro at water sanitation so I probably shouldn't comment further until I can come up with stuff that makes logical sense (particulalry for Shadgard, which had a river in its original design but was taken out to facilitate some lore with an "I'll come up with an alternative water source for them later").
For that matter, if food is so scarce in a lot of places, why is it so cheap in most places?
A) The worth of riln to PCs is less than it is to NPCs. A PC can earn riln ridiculously easily and quickly. This is largey because ...
B) It's a game. You can go out and mine up a staggering number of ore veins/gems or chop down and process a staggering number of trees, forage herbs, kill and loot bodies ... you can do a lot of this within a day, by yourself, and have a super sweet bank balance that'll buy you food until the end of your days. That's because you're a player character. Gameplay would be terrible if it took hours and hours of constant work for the majority of the daylight hours just to make enough riln to feed yourself and provide basic necessities. That's what the NPCs have to do, though.

And also, you can zip across miles and miles of distance within seconds. Just walking across town would take a while, but since it's a game you can zip all over town virtually instantly. Don't have to wait in lines at stores or venues, either! Don't even technically need shelter - homes to players are just glorified lockers, not places you need in order to survive (except you Snowpiners and Dunwyr, you guys are hardcore, no home required).

Anyway - I was getting started with a "food stores are running low" large event a long while ago, but it would have been such a pain to change the prices of every single food item in the game that I put it off with hopes to code up a way to mass adjust food item prices, and then I never got around to it. Oops.

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Wheeee. Hey, if anyone wants to try and integrate any of the info in this thread into wiki articles, that'd be wonderful. And we should have a thread for when people do this, so we know what's added and what isn't and stuff.
The lore compels me!

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