Fantasy Friday XXXIII - The Lore & The Fantasy Behind Mythador
FANTASY FRIDAY XXXIII
The Lore & Fantasy Behind Mythador
Hello everyone! Hope your eyes had a nice break from my name plastered all over this forum - let's all give Michael a round of applause. He'll still be around, but his work will be moved to some different aspects of PR for the next couple weeks.
Let's start with a couple updates, shall we? The first round of the Closed Beta is going well, with many positive impressions and some great QA work. Please understand that the lucky first few testers are under a fairly strict Non-Disclosure Statement, but it won't be long before pick out a number of their stories, first impressions, and screenshots to share with you. Other than that, development has been going steady. We've had some wonderful recent work involving modeling some of the naval concepts we've shown you, and we hope to get those in-game soon. Our Art Team has also been working on some nicer menu screens as well as the game's box art. Our scripters have been working out some of the bugs reported by our new testers, and have released five patches for the CB so far. Other than that, just the regular progress with quest implementation, engine & AI fine-tuning, level design, etc. And while I can't say anything more on the subject, negotiations with the publishers have returned after a small break and we hope to come to a deal soon... really.
So back to the FF... today's showcase is a little different from the regular updates considering it's not about gameplay or new features. Instead, it's about one of the often overlooked, yet beautifully developed, features of the game... the lore and fantasy that go into Mythador to make the races and game world so unique and memorable. We haven't really talked about this aspect, but those of who watched the MMO Gamer podcast with our Lead Writer may remember the importance that Reverie World placed on the game narrative right from the start. So the glossary excerpts and everything else you see below is all a tribute to our magnificent visionaries and writers - most notably our Lead Writer Gordon Farrell and Senior Writer Robin Mueller.
Keep in mind that this is but an introduction to the vast subject that is DOF lore. Closer to the Open Beta, we will further discuss lore, quests, and the MMORTS storyline. After reading this post, be sure to check out our new Fan Fiction Competition for a chance to put your new knowledge to the test and win a beta key!
The race of men is, for the most part, a light-hearted and humorous race. While they aren't so different from you or I, they have some of the most memorable characters and remain witty even in battle. They are a law-abiding people, and serve the wise King Erian.
Their structure, not as tribal as the orcs or as harmonious as the elves, leaves their race plagued with more political conflict than their neighbors - between peasant rebellions, Terian lords with conflicting ambitions, and the age-old Menthorn/Dagbor power struggle.
The humans also suffered heaviest in the War Without Kings, which was fought primarily on human soil. They will be quick to point out key landmarks from the war, and the war's many veterans will recall the days of olde.
Rules of Speech: Style of speech is determined by character. Certain characters use more formal speech, others use rough and ready language, or common speech.Well met, good sir. I am Sir Lentoth of Durian Foss, in service to the Dagbor royal court. Glad you could arrive on such a short notice. And what a nice piece of land you have here - to be honest I'd much rather work here then in some hell hole in Rollingplains. The food there gives me indigestion.
GROUP 1: FORMAL SPEAKERS
a) High-born characters. Examples: lords, ladies, kings, princes, noble-born knights, noble-born royal counselorsThese characters use "thee" and "thou" instead of the subjective and objective forms of "you." They use numerous other speech formalisms as well (see Glossary). However, when they address common speakers, they will abandon some of the formality of their style and use some forms that are more familiar to the low-born, although their speech is never as coarse as common speech
Specifically, a Group 1 Speaker will use "thee" and "thou" when speaking to other groups. He will also use "thy" (instead of "yours"). But he will not use extremely proper forms like "thine" or “mine” (instead of "yours" or "my") when speaking to those outside his group. These would be reserved for conversations with the high born.
GROUP 2: COMMON SPEAKERS
a) Obviously low-born characters like soldiers, peasants, village folk, craftsmen.Common speech has none of the formalities of noble speech, so no "thee" and "thou" here. One exception might be if a low-born knight is speaking to someone high above his station in a formal setting (but not on the battlefield). Common speech is characterized by a certain amount of "laziness" in the language with a lot of contractions in use.
Questions usually start with a pre-emptive exclamation like, "What, are you crazy?" No nobleman would ever do this. Common speakers "clean up" their speech when addressing characters in Group 1 by using forms of address such as "Sir," "my lord," and "my lady" but it’s always a little clumsy. Typically, you will see slightly coarse versions of these like "milord" or "m'lord," something a high born person would never do. And Group 2 Speakers never use "sir" when speaking to each other, unless it's in a formal situation.
GROUP 3: EXTREME COMMON SPEAKERS
a) Criminals, murderers, executioners, piratesThese characters use the coarsest possible speech. It is often difficult to make absolute sense out of every word they use, because many words will be underworld slang. Pre-emptive exclamations are in nearly every sentence and are sometimes indecipherable, like the "arghhh!" we always hear when pirates speak.
GROUP 4: NON-HUMANS WHO DWELL WITH HUMANS
a) DwarvesEach of these groups will have unique speech idioms and patterns that will reflect the values and concerns of that group. Dwarfish speech will be peppered with sexual innuendo, for example. Elven speech will have cleverly constructed observations about the uncultured behavior of others.
The Elves are a very organized and ritualistic people. They are one with nature, and give thanks to the Great Lake for every blessing. One of their biggest traditions is known as the "Age of Trial," an event that has been passed down from generation to generation since the dawn of memory. It is a time of ritual war. During this war, long-standing feuds are resolved, social worth is re-measured, and nobility is conferred to those warriors who prove themselves worthy. Great damage is done to many, but through these wounds, the nhoblio are reborn. Just as the boleta is cleansed by the fire, so is the elven society purged of evils by this civilized bloodshed.
The "Age of Trial" occurs every 100 years, and conveniently enough, a new Age is about to unfold just as the player's adventures begin. While the Rules of the Trial forbid Elves to attack young settlements, this great tradition will have a significant impact in shaping the game once you develop your town, as you will be pitted up against not just the orcs and men, but your fellow brothers.
Rules of Speech: Style of speech is determined by elven social class and by elven culture. There are three elf social classes: Low, Middle and Elevated."It seems you have lived without watching, and survived without understanding. You must change. You must learn to understand the small actions through which our lives are lived. Harmony guides our thoughts and balance steers our hands. When we take resources, we do so with great care. Wardens harvest resources through use of gentle magic. With this same magic, this gallo, they transport the resources to your stockpile.
1. Low Elf Speech
Low elf speech is spoken by simple workers, who are almost always wood elves. It is essentially an in-bred form of the elven language. It is so dense and idiomatic that they can only really understand each other. Anyone else listening to them can grasp the general gist of what they’re saying or what they want to do, but the specific nuances of meaning are lost. It is a working class dialect and few people from outside that group can understand the subtle details being communicated.
Examples of this can be seen in the wood elf vernacular:
2. Middle Elf Speech
This elf dialect is spoken by rank and file warriors, shopkeepers, guards, etc. It is more comprehensible to listeners outside that particular social strata than low elf, but it will be peppered with words that cannot be fully grasped except by other speakers of middle elven. It is a rough and ready utilitarian style of speech that can sometimes have hints of eloquence but falls short of the beauty of elevated elven speech.
Examples of this can be seen in the Ranger and Warrior vernacular:
3. Elevated Elf Speech
This is the speech of noble elves. The meaning of the speaker is sometimes lost to the uninitiated listener, but with practice you can catch the subtler nuances of this speaking style. This idiom is used by educated elves and elves of noble blood. In longer conversations, these elves will interweave references to elf culture, to mystical concepts, and to the ancient history of Mythador, as a way of preserving the lore of their people -- something educated elves take very seriously.
Some examples from the Sorcerer vernacular:
Centuries ago the, the Elves divided into two groups: the High Elves who pursue alchemy and the arts of the intellect, and the Wood Elves who are devoted to nature lore. Often speech patterns or vocabularies will differ between these two groups. High Elves are often haughty and aloof. Without question they consider themselves to be far superior to any other race in Mythador. Wood Elves on the other hand are often obscure and mystical in their use of language. This is a habit that has grown up over many years of keeping their specialized knowledge of the forest secret from others -- even from their High Elf kindred!
GENERAL ELVEN TERMS
Although their society is complex and striated, all elves share a common historical origin. Consequently their core language is the same. These are words, phrases or idiomatic expressions that may appear in the speech of any elf.
There is no plural form of any elf word, for in the elven world all things are one and one thing is all. Thus, a noun may be either singular or plural, depending on context.
Elves have a habit of coloring their words for dramatic effect - for example they might speak of "erdro, soft death". Although erdro means only death, this is typical elven embellishment.
Elves are immortal. Recently the disease of mortality “Moxiso” has plagued their society.
Words (and the world) are by default female. To transform a word into a male word, the syllable “ar” is inserted. This however, is very rarely done.
It should come as little surprise that the orcs are a war-hungry and tribal people. To show one's worth to another orc of great power, one must engage that orc in combat and show great strength. Only then, will then will the orcs be brothers.
The orcs are far less organized than the other races, and the orc race is composed of several subraces including Ogres and Goblins. You will see many rogue orc camps scattered across Gokkholm, but a powerful stronghold can often unite nearby camps under a common master.
As the wise shaman Prot Nubhun comments, "War is a game." There will always be bloodshed amongst the orc tribes, but following the recent death of the great king, a new orc has claimed the throne and the struggles between orc, between brother, have climaxed. Many orcs refer to the new king as the "Usurper King," for he is not of royal blood. The late king left behind 14 children - six of whom have been mysteriously murdered in the wake of the king's death and the other eight of whom yet had enough power to seize the crown, leaving behind a vacuum conveniently filled by the Usurper King, Skav Otom. Hungry for more power, Otom soon wages war on not only foreign scum, but all who stand in his way.
Orc Speak: Orc speak is an uncomplicated but forceful language. It is full of grunting energy, both violent and sexual. It is the language of the body. It stems from the gut, not the heart, and has been likened to the purr of Graa, the mythical war beast made of steel, who purrs only when his claws are sunk deep in blood.You are the Grrr Mada, our fierce master. We follow your orders. When new orcs arrive, if you desire them to hunt immediately, you must order them, or they will wait like lazy snakes. Once you give them a task, they will become that type of orc forever. Cakkamakk! No one here will dare to disobey you.
Orc swear words have no real meaning in the human sense. Their meaning is imparted by the passion with which they are used. It is said that a true master can tell a whole story using only swear words. Of course, this would be the only story orcs care about - a tale of war.
For full effect, swear words should be spat out with as much emphasis on each vowel as possible. Imagine trying to kill the chef, by spitting at him the most disgusting food you have ever tasted.
Alex Walz | Former Assistant Producer & Publicist of Reverie World Studios, INC.
Last edited by Andy Joslin : 07-02-2010 at 03:45 PM.