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In the Shadow of Purpose...

Discussion in 'UHall' started by RaDian FlGith, Jun 11, 2010.

  1. RaDian FlGith

    RaDian FlGith Babbling Loonie
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    I write this with the preface that no fiction has yet been released for the upcoming Ophidian vs. Bane event... but there's already some lingering doubt about how, in character, this event is going to make sense with regard to the role my characters play in the game world.

    First, we're clearly choosing between two sides: The Ophidians, or the Bane. Now, clearly, the Ophidians have been an aggressive force both in terms of UO:T2A as well as in more recent terms re: their invasion. So one might tag them as the side Britannians would not side with.

    But then... we have the Bane. And while not much is known about them, it is known that through the use of Blackrock (Crystalline, it seems), Bane Dragons (which I presume are modified swamp dragons) are created. Now, yes, there have been some "good" uses for Blackrock (sidenote: still waiting for stuff like craftable armor and weapons like UIX or some other use for the little pieces that are easily mined), but defiling a living being by feeding it the stuff doesn't ring in as "particularly good." Sort of like feeding plutonium to your dog. And thus, one might also tag them as the side Britannians would not side with.

    Further, I keep reminding myself that when the Lost Lands were found by Crawworth, that my first encounter with the Ophidians near the Terathan fort left me in awe both at the power of the Ophidians (they were nasty mothers back then), and at the war that was obviously in progress between them and the Terathans.

    Which leaves me with one stark question that has been bothering me since Ricardo stole the Artificed Scion. Where in the world have the Terathans been during all of this? I mean, the Terathans, by all in-game evidence, are the mortal enemies of the Ophidians, and yet they don't seem to be keeping tabs on them.

    Of course, I also confess that (prior to the Ultimate Destruction of the UO Map Known as Kingdom Reborn that redrew certain areas poorly -- can you say "Hedge Maze?" -- I knew you could) when I got really deep into the Terathan Fort and found the far recesses where there used to be a bamboo ladder leading up that -- sadly -- led nowhere, and it was surrounded by Ophidians, I often felt that there was an extension of the dungeon that must lead to somewhere near the Ophidians. Much like the second level of Khaldun, that addition to the dungeon does not exist, and now that the bamboo ladder has been wiped out by the KR map redraw, it surely never will.

    But, back to the main topic, tossing the Terathans aside (especially since they're apparently holed up in their fort), the Ophidian/Bane thing doesn't make sense contextually...

    I've got the choice of two sides, neither of which are good. Neither of which seem to present what I would call a Virtuous choice in siding with. And so I wonder why the arc is being called "In the Shadow of Virtue." One might think that with the forthcoming rebuild of Magincia, and the other things that could be going on (ie: siding with Crag or Dan), that virtuous choices would be rewarded and/or be made present.

    Again, I understand that the fiction for this part of the arc isn't out yet, but... I'm definitely concerned about context.
     
  2. MalagAste

    MalagAste Belaern d'Zhaunil
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    Seems to me I am finding little in way of any reason why my character in-game would chose either side.

    Honestly I see no reason by virtue or otherwise to even get involved....

    And yes I do wonder... where are the Terathans????

    Lying dormant hoping the Banes wipe out their mortal enemies?

    Did the Terathans somehow convince the Banes to kill them?

    Do they even know??

    Seems very odd to me.

    But as a role-player... I see no reason at all to help either side... seems to me the Ophids are not attacking Britannia anymore.... and these Banes seem a murderous lot... after all they appear to me to be all murderers..... (though yes my character can not see the red tags over their heads)... They do seem most unvirtuous.... feeding their poor mounts blackrock... and killing ophids why??

    Seems they are invading the Ophids if you ask me. Again wondering why my character would care one way or another.... has either side threatened the lands of Britannia?

    I'm just not seeing any clear motivation to help either side.
     
  3. Beer_Cayse

    Beer_Cayse Guest

    I also see no purpose in declaring for either side ... yet. Perhaps the Terathans are waiting until both sides are weakened by the fight to then spring on everyone.
     
  4. RaDian FlGith

    RaDian FlGith Babbling Loonie
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    Well, and I did forget to mention, the Bane don't really strike me as Virtuous folk, given their desire to cleanse Sosaria of uncivilized races.

    I mean, on one hand, one could certainly point to the Ophidians and call them uncivilized, but if they are indeed so uncivilized, it seems to me it's mostly because the powers that be have left them so for the better portion of 10 years.

    Consider that the Ophidians (and Terathans) are possessed of language. They are possessed of magical ability (through casting). Who knows if their "fort" is something they constructed (similarly with the Terathans), but one might argue that evidence exists that they did -- or at very least are capable of such. To all outward appearances both the Terathans and Ophidians are civilized races.

    Now, do they behave with civility? That's a whole different question, but given that we don't have much by the way of their history to go on from an in-game standpoint, we can't actually bring ourselves to answer that. We know that their war, however, has gone on for some time with the Ophidians (as evidenced by the mural in Delucia). We also know that the last invasion was caused by Ricardo's theft, and that prior to that, they had left humanity pretty much alone to its own devices, and were focussed, presumably on their war with the Terathans.

    Yes, some of the Bane have lost some of their family in the war with the Ophidians. Sure, I get revenge... but revenge is not a Virtuous act.

    Perhaps that is the answer to the question I pose... perhaps siding with the Ophidians is a Virtuous act, showing them compassion, honor, and valor in the face of a bigotted enemy. However, it's a large leap without some fiction to back it up. It goes back to an issue many of us in the RP community on GL struggled with when faced with aiding a mage become* poison elemental can we please stop who was clearly evil, but yet, called on good forces to aid them. Without further Ophidian history being presented, I'd be hard pressed to call the Ophidians "misunderstood" from an in-character standpoint.

    So... here's hoping for compelling reasons, I guess.


    * Wow... how childish is it that the appropriate three-letter word that belongs here is censored?
     
  5. Nh'bdy

    Nh'bdy Guest

    I view these events as a spring board, my character has been in every major event arc since Magncinia, at this point he's just trying to chronicle the happenings of Britannia. If need be, play a double agent, infiltrate a side, or simply assist, the ophidians are a sentient race, they could use a good medic or two.
     
  6. Trebr Drab

    Trebr Drab Guest

    I don't view this as a good/evil thing. I see it more in the sense of what each side is after, and how that might affect we Britannians.

    I've posted my thoughts elsewhere on what might be going on. I totally agree that we need more to go on. There was enough for me to come up with some speculations, but that's not enough. I don't want things laid out neatly, but I'd like to be able to discover information that leads better to conclusions of some sort. And I'd like that to be game play, not news articles.
     
  7. Stupid Miner

    Stupid Miner Guest

    It's baseless to assume that the Ophidians weren't justified in their invasion of Britannia, not enough information was given to be able to judge.
    It depends entirely on what was stolen, and what the significance of that item is.

    Also, Ophidians invade Britannia, and Britannians have invaded the Ophidians continually. It pretty much evens out, all sides are evil and none of them are.

    Also, why are Britannians somehow less evil than the monster races? When have they shown any restraint? They kill everyone they can.
     
  8. Nh'bdy

    Nh'bdy Guest

    We built houses and wrote down how kind we were.
     
  9. Stupid Miner

    Stupid Miner Guest

    ah, good point.
     
  10. Jhym

    Jhym Guest

    Well, here's some of my rambling analysis:

    One might argue that Britannia is in the throes of deciding whether the "virtues" are worth continuing, since the proponent of said "virtues" left (and pretty much screwed up a significant part of the worlds even when he was trying to be "virtuous".) Virtue has not needfully been good or evil, just a method of deciding ethically what you think of something.

    Now why would we think blackrock-using folks are inherently evil?

    You have to look at the past uses of blackrock -- first was FoA, where they were going to cast argmageddon using large chunks of blackrock conveniently placed in 3 or 4 chests around the realm. Which they did, opening the rifts to the lost lands. Was that an evil use? One could argue it was neither.

    Then we eventually get the blackrock generators in the lost lands and the eventual release all over Britannia (which implies that blackrock underlies the lost lands, which are underneath Britannia... which means Britannia's mantle has blackrock strewn through it.) This then causes havok as creatures turn into mad nasties and people rediscover the armageddon spell and "play" with it.

    Which led to the blackrock "dealers" around Haven that eventually seem to have cast armageddon again, this time destroying most of Haven island (or what should be Ocllo but someone was lazy and wouldn't make a separate area for it.) Was that "evil"? One could argue no, though none of my characters traded blackrock (which I was later proven to be stupid, actually holding up for a moral high ground that didn't matter and thus missing out on high level rewards that I could have used.)

    Then a few more events with blackrock somewhat tangentially involved (killing time lords and such) and now we seem to have it appearing again.

    I actually don't look at blackrock as evil, but a force of nature that needs study and control. I look at the use as the problem -- but we never know the final use of it until it's done. Thus we can never make informed decisions but only from our gut. Which is never a good idea when you're talking world-changing events.

    Now, this apparent battle between the Ophidians and the others... We need to look at this a bit.

    Remember, the Ophidians and Terathans had been battling apparently for millenia before we re-discovered them in the lost lands. The Terathans seem to have had a powerful society, or perhaps they just build their city from better stone. However, there is the volcanic area near the Ophidians, which makes me suspect that the Ophidians had a disaster that destroyed whatever major city they had.

    They have been fighting and somewhat ignoring us... but you note that once the Ophidians turned their attention to Britannia they were easily able to invade and were tough to control without special weaponry. This leads me to believe that BOTH races are quite powerful and just very angry with each other over something in the far past. But if one side "won", we might be in significant trouble.

    Since the Ophidians were able to mount such an offensive, it follows they are much more powerful than the Terathans at the moment (or the Terathans, being insect, just have no interest in anything outside their immediate needs.) It makes sense that something would attack the Ophidians -- especially if the Ophidians had been given or taken something to give them an edge over the Terathans and it needs to be removed.

    That is somewhat the only reason I can think of for someone to attack the Ophidians -- the Ophidians received something in the past that gave them an advantage over the Terathans; they used their new forces to attack us when it was stolen; the underlying power is still there, perhaps in a different form; the new group wants that power to start something else.

    As to who we should support -- we have no reason to support either party. The Ophidians truthfully leave us alone if we don't go near them; if we join with the others then they have more reason to fight us directly. The Terathans would potentially side with us if we fought against the Ophidians, but the Terathans are insect and we cannot trust them just as they can't trust us.

    We don't know the purpose of the others' attack, nor what they attempt to achieve. Thus we can't join either side until we know what's going on.

    But we never ever seem to be ABLE to find out what's going on until everything is done. This is one of the annoyances I've found with the underlying fiction for years. There are never hidden notes, carefully placed creatures or boxes that have clues for us to piece together and figure out what we should do. Instead, everyone kills everything thrown at them, an EM eventually yells instructions at us, there's a few npcs standing around announcing plot points, and we end up fighting something else at the end with most of the fighters having no idea what they're fighting.

    *sigh*

    :popcorn:
     
  11. sablestorm

    sablestorm Certifiable
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    There seem to be many unanswered questions about the ophidians. This is a bit from the transcript of Ricardo's Trial:

    I believe the rogue Ophidian queen was mentioned before after a peace accord had been negotiated with the bulk of the ophidians, thus ending the Ophidian invasion of Britannia. I always wondered if this was just a means of explaining why you still fight ophidians when you encounter them out in the world, but then again, you typically encounter them on their own lands so one could argue they are just dealing with trespassers, peace accord or no. Was the mystery of these blackrock machines they were building ever solved? Was this the work of this rogue queen? It is curious they are now in a war with another faction that seems to make use of blackrock.
     
  12. RaDian FlGith

    RaDian FlGith Babbling Loonie
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    I can sort of buy that, but if it's not handled properly in fiction, then don't we risk a Britannian civil war? If I choose to side with the Ophidians seeing the Bane as agents of genocide, and you choose to side with the Bane because the Ophidians may be up to greater evil, don't our paradigms sit opposed to each other? I'm not against things like this, but context and historical context are important. I mean, we already sort of went through a civil war with Casca. At very least, I hope they provide the context of Queen Dawn's stance on the affairs.

    Well, I've always supported more in-game avenues for fiction. I also understand that most of the background story will come by the way of a post. Personally, I think that Ricardo's in-game books were definitely a good method of conveying some in-game history and conviction.

    I totally agree with you... My point is precisely that we have no idea what the true context of things were to judge the value of aiding them in this current situation.

    Well, and given that the real item was destroyed, we may never know. Also, given the lack of a replete writers' bible for the game, I question whether we'll ever truly know some of this stuff.

    Well, this all depends on context. I mean, if the history of the Ophidian race is that they're evil conquerors, and what remains of them today is the last vestiges (or rising vestiges) of their forces, then perhaps they truly are an evil. Of course, the things that would define them as evil are missing from the game. Simple combat does not make for an evil, and we know fairly well nothing about any of their culture. Do they sacrifice Terathan babies to their gods? Do they do so because the Terathans do the same to their babies? Do they drink human blood from disemboweled bodies? Or do they grow gardens in their spare time and wish only to be left alone. I guess that's my biggest issue with UO civilizations in general... the Meer and Juka were at least framed in their roles as good and evil... the Terathan and Ophidians have not been, and in 10+ years, you'd think we'd know a little more. It's actually a sad testament to UO fiction over the years that we don't. So many missed opportunities.

    Again, it depends on context and history. Sadly, we're pretty much left to presume that aggressive creatures are evil... a silly presumption... but then, what can you do?

    While the Virtues are not necessarily good or evil in and of themselves, they are most certainly intended to be a path to a good, Virtuous life. Their application is what makes them good or evil in use (see: Cascan Virtue). One might argue that Britannia has been largely bereft of Virtue since The Shattering... but a great many players espouse and attempt to live by some or all of the Virtues.

    Actually, you'd have to go way out on a limb to argue that the use of blackrock by the Followers of Armageddon was not evil. Remember, the attempt to cast Armageddon by the FoA was, indeed, to destroy Sosaria. They weren't casting baby Armageddon and getting knocked through walls. The Armageddon they cast shook all of Britannia and opened the passages that lead to the underground Lost Lands (which, no matter whose silly AoS fiction is written, is not "another facet"). Their intentions, while certainly not "evil" in their own mind, cannot be looked upon as a good act.

    And EA releases the most ludicrous use of Blackrock ever to be seen in the game. It's curious that we didn't actually succeed in blowing Britannia to bits when pretty much ever magic user in the land decided to cast Armageddon willy-nilly just to see what the hell it did. As if the spell's name left a lot in question. I mean, from a character perspective, most who cast it were basically like, "Oh, I know the spell's called Armageddon... so let's see if I can really destroy the world!" It was only after the weakness the Shadowlords exhibited to the substance was revealed that I ever attempted to cast it on my character because frankly it made no sense to try to destroy the world.

    No, that wasn't evil... that was just downright stupid.

    Shadowlords, not time lords, and yes, the use of blackrock to fight the Shadowlords was clearly a good use. It saved lives, it defeated an evil that I don't think we could question is truly evil.

    I agree that blackrock is a substance that must be studied, but as with all things, studied with care and responsibility. Ultima itself has several uses of the substance that aren't evil, and which don't drive you mad. There doesn't necessarily need to be a "final use" for blackrock anymore than ginseng, iron ore, or horned leather. However, much like sulfurous ash mixed into a potion, and lobbed into a meeting of peaceful delegates, a sword forged of iron used to chop children to tiny bits, or horned leather fashioned into armor that is used in an invasion to subjugate a non-aggressive force, certainly it's the use that must be studied.

    Which brings us to feeding blackrock to a creature to empower or alter it. We know that such use of blackrock tends to mutate and agitate creatures. The Bane are clearly using it in order to modify their beasties, an act that is unnatural. Now, the ultimate use of those creatures does leave room for interpretation, but certainly, the mere act of doing so strays somewhat from Virtue.

    We don't actually know how long they've been battling. We truly know very little about the Terathans or the Ophidians. In-game books that could tell the history have never been found. There's really not a lot that we do know save that they're at war and have been for ages.

    We also know that the Ophidians must have a vast network of underground tunnels or something because their invasion forces were huge, and came from "nowhere." We truly have no idea the extent of the Ophidian empire, but we can guess it's larger than we know. So far, the Terathans seem to be the losing force, as they've rarely if ever been seen outside of their fortress.

    True... but again, the forthcoming incursion as far as we know does not involve Terathans. Also, it's important to note that they didn't turn eye toward us until they lost something special to themselves.

    I agree with you that the Terathans appear to be a lesser force -- though I would argue that they must be larger in force than it seems, because had the Ophidians launched an offensive like they launched against Britannia against the Terathans, that fortress would have been razed and there'd be not but spider guts as a reminder of the once proud race. As for attacking the Ophidians, the Bane seem clear in their intent via the cliloc strings: cleans Sosaria of the uncivilized races. Which turns back to the looming question: are the Ophidians uncivilized?

    Well, again, we'll have to see what fiction is presented, but from what we know at the moment, it seems the Bane are going to be the initial aggressors in this new incursion.

    Well, and that's sort of the question of the day. Clearly the Bane are looking to get rid of uncivilized species, and are just starting with the Ophidians. Sure, the Terathans may ultimately rise up and take advantage of the situation, but from what base understanding we have of the Bane, they certainly don't subscribe to the theory that the enemy of their enemy is their friend. At base, there seems to be a lack of reason to join one side over the other that is in line with the Virtues, save perhaps saving the Ophidians from a potential genocidal threat.

    From the cliloc strings, it does appear that the Bane are out for revenge for fallen family members... Again, this discussion, I understand, is prior to any official fiction into the matter, but on the base values of what we know to be going on thus far, there's definitely more than one question to be answered.

    You know, honestly, that's the reason that I loved the Ricardo lamp quest. While very base, and very repetitive, it's the first time I've seen actual in-game fiction that was discovered through in-game actions that built up a history to an event in-game (even if it was an event that already took place).

    I'd love to see more books pop up in-game that explained these kinds of things. The closest we've gotten perhaps is the Ophidian books that are, as far as I can tell, completely indecipherable. If there's a context key I've never discovered it (not saying this precludes it from existing, just not something I've been able to decode), which lends to the presumption that it was flavor-text of random characters slapped together to look Ophidian.



    In the end, I hope that the fiction for this event is compelling and that maybe some additional opportunities to provide context are used... but this all remains to be seen. In the meantime, the questions still remain...
     
  13. Tina Small

    Tina Small Stratics Legend
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    Perhaps a silly point, but now that we can make gargoyle characters, isn't it also important to occasionally get the Gargoyle Queen's perspective on what's going on?

    Also, and perhaps this is another dumb question, but I'm going to throw it out there anyway because I'm still floundering with a lot of this stuff, do you consider gargoyle characters Britannians? I'm not sure I do, but perhaps I should. I need someone to give me a convincing argument one way or the other. For now, what little I know makes me think they're not really Britannians unless they've specifically done something to make them loyal to Queen Dawn.

    I also wonder some of the same things for elves. How/why would they usually be considered Britannians?

    (Sorry for the dumb questions...I'm so lost these days on all this stuff and every new addition to the game makes the confusion worse.)
     
  14. hen

    hen Certifiable
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    Instead of adding new foes etc, why couldn't the devs have kept it simple and had a Terathan v Ophidian scenario?
     
  15. canary

    canary Guest

    Well, if they are gargs who have sworn fealty to Britannia, yes. I guess it is where they would declare their personal citizenship.
     
  16. Dermott of LS

    Dermott of LS UOEC Modder
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    ...

    Ahh the nature of conflict.

    From my character's point of view:

    The Ophidians invaded Vesper, he went to defend Vesper the best he could and saw fighters and townsfolk alike die to their attacks. He also believes that Ricardo was chiefly involved in causing that invasion to occur, thus is an accessory to the deaths of those people. (Note that while Casca was instrumental in imprisoning Ricardo and later turned out to be the usurper and pretender to the throne after a very odd "election" by either a just recently deceased Council, or a Shadow cabal put into place after the Council was murdered, in no way in his mind does that exonerate Ricardo of his crimes... the actions of the prosecutor does not negate the actions of the defendant)

    Now apparently the Ophidians were content to make peace, but that doesn't erase the harm they did nor the feelings of ill will between the races.

    So in good faith, he cannot join forces with the Ophidians.

    The banes are an unknown. They could be survivors of the original war having built up enough of a force to continue that war on the Ophidian front instead of Britannia's cities. They could be the embodiment of evil sent in human form However, he cannot in good faith know what the banes stand for.

    Now we get into player knowledge vs character knowledge.

    The likely CHARACTER logic would fall towards "The banes have done me no ill and are attacking the Ophidians, therefore: the enemy (banes) of my enemy (Ophids) is my friend".

    Player logic is saying "'Banes' sounds like a more evil group of beings than good (i.e. the Banes in U7Pt2), so I can't align with them"

    So in the end, I do have to agree with the above... based on knowledge and storyline, I don't see a side that my character could logically join as a player, and only a very loose confederation with the banes as a character.

    Or you know you can always say "screw it" and metagame the hell out of it by learning what side gives what rewards and pick the one that better suits your character's build :p
     
  17. Martyna Zmuir

    Martyna Zmuir Crazed Zealot

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    This thread is reminiscent of a discussion I had with Galen Nighthawk about entire races being labeled as 'evil,' and how I thought that was a bad thing.

    Traditionally, we believes that the non-human aggressive races were evil. Essentially nothing more than monsters to be exterminated as we deemed appropriate. To me, that smacks of Imperialism and a twisted Manifest Destiny-esque view of the world where the Britannian civilization was right and true, while everything else they didn't truly understand was evil.

    We view things like orcs, trolls, ettins, ogres, etc. (i.e. the humanoid races) as evil because they attack us on sight. We accept the daemonic forces, shadowlords and undead are evil because they are defined as evil by our myths and routinely perform evil acts. (we'll ignore the paranormal baddies for now)

    Yet, in both UO meta-fiction and EM fiction, we have continually run into non-humans/elves/gargoyles who are peaceful good individuals. Players have also RPed different races as good. There have even been good daemons...

    When we're faced with the next event, taken out of context at the moment, it appears that humans are attempting to exterminate "uncivilized races." This raises two big questions...

    1) Why? To whit we have been given the reasoning of 'Revenge.' Neither a Virtuous, nor overly compelling reason to support the Band Chosen cause. People die in war, it unfortunate, but it happens. To seek revenge LONG after the fact in this case could be considered terrorism (to use a real world analogy)

    2) Who gets to decide what 'civilized' means? The dictionary defines civilized thusly: "Showing evidence of moral and intellectual advancement; humane, ethical, and reasonable." Hmm... The Bane Chosen seem to be missing a few key elements there...

    And the Ophidians? As Ra'Dian has pointed out, we know so little about them or their fight with the Terathans. They attacked Britannia because something of theirs was stolen and they thought we had it. Did we? Sort of. Did we steal it?.. eh.. no.. an individual did.. but real world wars have been started over less.

    Who to root for.. Hmm.. Well, I'll probably be siding with the Ophidians... Bigots don't make good friends, and eventually my pointed ears may work against me....


    Oh.. Blackrock.. When the questions of whether or not its evil comes up. Can a rock be evil? Doesn't evil require intent? I can agree that the FoA are evil, and their intended use of blackrock was definitely evil. But the substance itself, like all inanimate matter, cannot be evil in and of itself. To use a real world analogy: Guns don't kill people, people kill people.
     
  18. RaDian FlGith

    RaDian FlGith Babbling Loonie
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    For gargoyle characters, it certainly would make sense. But then, so would a new player experience designed around the whole strange thing that gargoyles are (they don't really play like other characters, and you should learn that in-game). As well as gargish books lying around that talk about the history of Ter Mur (but then, since no expansion has provided in-game fiction in that sense, I must be asking a lot... hehe).

    Actually, no, I don't... they've made it pretty clear that Britannian and Gargish leadership is different, and that the gargoyles do have trust issues with outside influences. Now, a gargish character that's bent knee to Queen Dawn... that's a different case. Of course, since they've implemented loyalty to Queen Zhah, but not to Britannia, there's certainly no in-game measure to follow.

    Same situation, though we have no idea what elven leadership is like. I play an elf, but have since before they returned elves to Sosaria. He wasn't always Britannian, but is now through service.

    Not dumb questions at all... in fact, you make some very valid points, and have some valid things for us to consider as a whole.
     
  19. Dermott of LS

    Dermott of LS UOEC Modder
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    ...

    Blackrock is not inherently evil, it can be used for evil purposes, but it is not inherently evil (there is also, beyond conjecture, no evidence that Blackrock has ever been used in the Armageddon spell successfully (success = ending the world... Armageddon), only as such to cause a big bang (think nuke here)).

    Such as exlopsive material is not in itself evil, but can be used for evil purposes (consider that the name attached to the world famous "prize for peace" is that of the inventor of TNT).
     
  20. Martyna Zmuir

    Martyna Zmuir Crazed Zealot

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    Not dumb questions, they are actually quite valid as they have gone largely unaddressed by the metafiction.

    Elves: I would say they are Britannians by birth, but were simply cut off from the larger world after the destruction of the Gem of Immortality. They have served in the military, the Ruling Council, and even as a puppet-king.

    Gargoyles: As they hail from a completely separate world (just to add to the confusion) they seem to have immigrated to Sosaria with the discovery of the Abyss. Just as immigrants in the real world come to call a new country home, they will most likely still carry a fondness for their original home.

    As long as someone 'swears fealty' to the sovereign who leads the land in which they currently live (Dawn, Zhah, Empress of Tokuno) they should be able to call themselves a citizen of that land and be entitled to all that means.
     
  21. Tina Small

    Tina Small Stratics Legend
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    Thank you for the feedback about gargoyles and elves! Interesting stuff to think about.

    I'm looking forward to what follows this next event with ophidians and bane chosen. I had been thinking that the loyalty system would eventually be tied into factions and I still tend to think that. Seeing it used for actual PvM battles where players can affect the outcome wasn't something I really expected. The skeptic in me still tends to see this upcoming event as simply another test (e.g., like the "event" with Ricardo's books and Dan and Crag's chests) for something bigger and more permanent; however, I'll be glad to find out that I'm wrong about that. I hope this event will be more than just a disguised trial run for a new in-game system that tracks loyalty, fame and karma.

    Speaking of Dan and Crag, I'm still totally lost on why we were turning in information to Crag....who did he represent and why (other than on Atlantic) did giving him information result in a karma loss? Was that whole event just something to keep us busy, test some tweaks to the loyalty gump, and give people (especially those that didn't do the Abyss housing contest) more stuff to collect? Or was reading Ricardo's books supposed to tie up some loose ends and introduce yet more strangers looking for information? Do you think that last event has anything at all to do with what's coming next?
     
  22. Martyna Zmuir

    Martyna Zmuir Crazed Zealot

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    Lt. Crag worked for Minax, hence giving him information lowered your karma because he was an agent of evil - and thusly so were those who gave him information.

    Ricardo's books attempted to both tie up loose ends and lay the groundwork for future events. Sadly, however, the sheer amount of plot holes in that event hurt more than anything.
     
  23. Trebr Drab

    Trebr Drab Guest

    My silly fiction?

    So, is Malas not a Facet, since it was first reached by ship?

    It's not an uncommon thing in fiction that the heroes reach other dimensions by traveling on strange journeys that begin in their own world.

    That doesn't mean that I'm right, nor that you're right. But the attitude that you are definitely right is a bit over the top.
     
  24. Tina Small

    Tina Small Stratics Legend
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    Aha! Thank you. Guess I must have skimmed the official story too quickly and/or that tidbit just didn't stick. Just went back and looked and yes it's spelled out there that Crag worked for Minax. Enough questions from me tonight, I guess.
     
  25. RaDian FlGith

    RaDian FlGith Babbling Loonie
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    Did you write the AoS fiction that indicated that T2A's landmass was another facet? T2A is not another facet. It clearly exists on both Trammel and Felucca. It clearly is accessed by a multitude of tunnels that appeared across the facet of Felucca initially. The Lost Lands were never a facet.

    Err... compare apples to oranges much? Malas clearly is a facet. It always has been. You reach it via moongate. It was always known as a facet. As I recall, it was first reached by a ship caught up in a storm or some other event, and made the facet jump through not-so-normal means.

    The common word used for "not an uncommon thing in fiction" is cliche. However, that's got nothing to do with the fact that the Lost Lands were always underground, beneath Felucca and Trammel. It was ONLY in the fiction of AoS that some unskilled author noted that the Lost Lands were another facet.

    Err... no, it's not over the top at all. The fiction for T2A was that it was beneath the existing world, not another facet. Again, just because some nincompoop with a keyboard tripped over a few keys with a mild case of neurotic prestidigitation doesn't mean that a sentence in an ill-conceived paragraph is going to make me say, "Oh... you're right... clearly the Lost Lands are a facet."

    Not sure why you're taking this personally, but if you were responsible for writing the AoS paragraph that indicated T2A was another facet, then shame on you.

    That said, I'm pretty sure you're not. I have a feeling that if you were in charge of Mythic's fiction for UO, you'd have put together a writers' bible, indicated plot thoughts that you had when you implemented a particular course of action, would have kept track of items you put into game, and so forth.

    In short... I suspect you would have done a far better job at managing UO's fiction than Origin, EA Austin, EARS, or Mythic have done.
     
  26. Trebr Drab

    Trebr Drab Guest

    Ra, I am the one who mentioned recently that the Lost Lands were a facet. So excuse me if a mention of "silly fiction" with that idea makes me wonder whose silly fiction you're talking about, especially when you've always argued against my ideas.

    I don't understand why you and a few others want to be so tight, except that it's you're interpretation that turns out to be wrong, if it is a Facet.

    If there's moongates on our lands, isn't it possible that there's some form of the same thing within the cave journeys that take you to the Lost Lands?

    One of the biggest problems with fiction in UO is that they can't do anything more than what was presented in the Ultima games, can't add anything, without some players complaining that it breaks the fiction. But the Ultima games left a lot of mystery to everything.

    I know that they haven't been exactly true to everything, over the years and through some of the management that wanted to make UO like other games instead of the great and deep story that it is. But if someone now wants to fix it all, we're going to have to let them. And really, would it be so bad to have the cave journeys be a magical function of teleportation?

    But once again I say, I'm not claiming to be absolutely right. I don't know. That's just my thinking, lacking any means outside of their words and stories to prove things. And I've always wanted to have game play that offered clues.

    One more thing. Just because something is mentioned as a fact in the fiction presented to us, does that mean it is indeed a fact? Can the various NPCs and game characters not be wrong?
     
  27. Dermott of LS

    Dermott of LS UOEC Modder
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    ...

    T2A isn't another facet, it's an expanded area of the original Britannian facet and exists in both Trammel and Felucca (the two Britannian "mirror" facets). T2A was concieved LONG before the idea of calling newer lands "facets" was in place.

    I have to go with RaDian on this one.

    Basically, T2A is either an "underworld" or a large dungeon (however you want to look at it).
     
  28. Trebr Drab

    Trebr Drab Guest

    By the way, I went to Raph's site and looked up his comment about the Lost Lands. I was wrong, it's not part of The Lands of Danger and Despair. It's part of Ambrosia. (An Island that resurfaced a couple of times throughout the Ultima games.)

    Here's his reply:
    quote:"Back when I played, it felt as if UO (while enjoyable on its own) was an online game set in a shadow of the true Ultima lineage rather than an integral part of it."

    UO had a lot of carefully put together lore that tied to the Ultima series. Then each subsequent team pretty much moved it in different directions because there was not adequate documentation of why things were a given way, etc.

    For example — originally the Virtues, in UO’s time period, were not established — they are trying to be established firmly by LB, but he faces political opposition from Blackthorn (despite their friendship). Later teams added things like Virtue Quests which suggested that they were in fact established.

    quote: "Wasn’t that “The Lost Lands”? What was the thinking in surrounding it in mountains, as opposed to sea?"

    http://www.usecode.org/ultima/u3/ambrosia.png
    http://uo.stratics.com/content/guides/champions/t2aspawn.gif

    Lost Lands is a fragment of Ambrosia, just a small portion of the northern end. Minax in both cases was supposed to be near the top.

    It's curious that in UO, the Virtues are not supposed to be established yet. I'm guessing that the players were supposed to do that, or fail to. And we failed to establish Virtue in UO. Big time. The carrots worked.
     
  29. Trebr Drab

    Trebr Drab Guest

    Prove it! hehehe

    This is fantasy. Anything is possible. Either could be right in UO's universe. It would be nice, no it would be really cool, if there was some way to prove things out, to make discoveries in-game.
    I don't want it easy though, I don't want things handed out on a silver platter. And in truth, I don't want everything revealed. That would ruin the mystery. But some nuggets leaning one way or another, some few breaks here and there, would be fantastic.
     
  30. Dermott of LS

    Dermott of LS UOEC Modder
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    ...

    Ok...

    T2A/The Lost Lands appears on the map files Facet0 and Facet1 (Felucca and Trammel respectively)

    Within those maps, T2A appears on the dungeon server section of said maps (the same as all of the Britannian dungeons as well as Heartwood... is Heartwood a separate facet?).

    T2A does NOT appear on the list of moongate destinations as a chooseable facet or destination within a facet.

    The facets are:

    1. Felucca
    2. Trammel
    3. Ilshenar
    4. Malas
    5. Tokuno Islands
    6. Ter Mur
     
  31. Trebr Drab

    Trebr Drab Guest

    Whoe, wait a minute. If Ter Mur is a facet, and you get there via travelling on foot through The Underworld, just like you get to the Lost Lands via caves underground, does this really make your argument valid? Or does it prove mine? Just because there's no link through the Moongates to the Lost lands does not mean it's not a Facet, rather simply that for some reason Moongate Travel hasn't been "tuned in".

    Still, overall, I am starting to change my mind. Since it's part of Ambrosia, and not The Lands of Danger and Despair (which was my mistaken assumption), and with your post here, it does make more sense than what I was thinking before. It's just that we don't have definitive proof, one way or the other.

    Then again, since the Lost Lands were recreated along with Trammel...
    ...
    ...
    damnitalltohell I hate to be wrong. But I have to admit that it sure looks like I am.

    So what about Ter Mur? heh
     
  32. Dermott of LS

    Dermott of LS UOEC Modder
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    ...

    Ter Mur is a facet as it fits the technical qualifications as listed above, separate map file and moongate selection.

    However, at the same time, it IS a bit different in that you CAN get there on foot compared to the other facets (Ilsh, Malas, and Tokuno), so yeah, there's a bit more to the argument of if Ter Mur is or is not an actual facet but instead a larger T2Aish underworld area (like it is in Ultima 6).
     
  33. Martyna Zmuir

    Martyna Zmuir Crazed Zealot

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    Actually, you can't get directly to Ter Mur on foot... You have to go through a moongate to get to/from the Tomb of Kings.

    So that gate could simply be an omnidirectional inter-facet gate that *only* goes between what is left of Ter Mur and the Abyss.

    Yes, Ter Mur and the Abyss are on the same map file, but that is more a function of the game itself, not necessarily a true representation of 'reality' as we should RP it.

    The Lost Lands still aren't a facet, no matter what Raph Koster says years later. Changing the established fiction if a poor option to use to 'fix things,' Mark just needs to stop making mistakes.
     
  34. Trebr Drab

    Trebr Drab Guest

    Yeah. This makes the most sense of any possibilities. Makes everything (on this particular subject) add up except for one slip of a tongue calling the Lost Lands a Facet.
     
  35. RaDian FlGith

    RaDian FlGith Babbling Loonie
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    Okay, Trebr, you can stop with the conspiracy theory. First, I didn't read whatever mention it was of yours that indicated it was a facet... the conversation had actually come up awhile back regarding fiction and I had provided links to a great many things, including the AoS fiction which indicated that the Lost Lands were a facet... To whit: The Age of Shadows (incomplete) Fiction Page which reads:

    Another facet contains an ancient looking land with swamps to the south and a desert to the north.

    With regard to Raph Koster and the "Ambrosia" idea, well, clearly that was the intent in design, but there's been nothing in-game to support that idea since. Ambrosia of Ultima IX is beneath the sea. The Second Age Lands could be argued to be beneath the sea, and are clearly underground.

    Unfortunately whatever intent Raph Koster had for the game ended when he left. Personally, I wish he'd stuck around, because I think the Ultima of today would have been much better, but sadly, we'll never know for certain.

    As for me always arguing with your ideas, you do yourself a great disservice by believing that to be true. I have only ever said that I do not think that Ultima Online has ever had an over-arching story bible that people were working to continue plotlines with. We know, here today, this is a truth of Ultima Online fiction. While it's nice to suspect that they were doing something over-arching, it's never been the case.

    What I think is sad though is that from that meeting you held in-game years ago where you had the perfect opportunity to start some fantastic in-character discussions, in-character events, in-character plotlines, and so forth surrounding some of this stuff that you had feelings about, absolutely nothing ever came to fruition. Here's where you and I differ on that front... I actually enjoyed the meeting you held (though I didn't go OOC which hampered an in-game OOC meeting), and looked forward to the stuff you hinted that would be done. It's been something like 5 to 7 years since that meeting, and if you visit Ra's house near Compassion Grove (it's due south of the Brigand Camp, public, Trammel), you'll see that on his desk are a white pearl necklace, a whispering rose, and a white feather. Can you guess why those are there on his desk?

    It's because of you and your ideas.

    So you might want to rethink your position on what you believe my position is.

    Simply it's because it's not a facet, has never been a facet, was never presented as a facet, and can only be gotten to from Trammel or Felucca. It's. Not. A. Facet.

    No. If it were one cave with one entrance, I'd consider it. There are clear links between the physicality of Britannia and the physicality of the Lost Lands. There are places you go to which lead to places within the other lands. They are clearly physically, not magically, connected.

    Actually, that's not really true. Some players believe it causes issue. Personally, I enjoy and welcome different things to come. Hell, I actually expect to see things in UO that were never in Ultima Prime.

    What I do complain about is when the fiction makes no sense, when they forget to tie up fiction, when they fail to provide fiction, when they decide Fiction A isn't what they want to do and ignore it moving on to Fiction B, or when they fail to utilize existing fiction hooks that exist in game.

    To whit: 10+ years of the ophidian/terathan war in-game, and we know no more about them today than we did 10 years ago.

    No... you don't "fix" fiction by going back and rewriting 12 years of history. That's not how you "fix" something. And... aside from this discussion here, no one's really suggesting that the Lost Lands are a facet... it was a line in a poorly written history of Malas done for the AoS expansion. It's the one and only time that they've ever suggested that T2A was anything other than a physical land beneath Britannia.

    I'm completely with you on this... I want them to put stuff inside the game that allows us to see the evolving history of the world. I want to see new books that we can read about stuff. I want to see certain parts of the world fleshed out. Obviously I don't want stuff in black and white where there's no room left for players to exist in the world, but certain things shouldn't be left to black and white. We should be able to discover the various pieces of history about places in the game... and os far, it's been pretty bad...

    But, believe it or not, I'm completely with you on this.

    It wasn't really presented in that manner either... go ahead and read yourself... and no, I'm not saying in-game characters can't be wrong, but as fiction providers, Mythic has a responsibility not to introduce red herrings unless they plan to later clear them up. And then make sure that clean-up happens.

    It's sort of like the game of Dungeons & Dragons I played one evening where I was presented with a bunch of information. Then I went digging for more information, second guessed that information, triple guessed that information, tried to go get information from places that the DM, out of character, actually said, "There's no reason for you to go there." Okay, whatever. But then, after five hours of gameplay, we walked straight into a trap, regardless of anything that we tried to do to get around it. We walked into that trap because we couldn't deviate from his plotline in the least. It was all very much a fancily painted hallway with imagery along the way, but no substance. And as the trap sprung, the DM rose to his feet and shouted, "FOOOOLED YOU!" Well, of course he fooled us. We weren't given a choice to learn anything he didn't want us to learn. Some days I feel like that's the fiction we get... and that the world around is us devoid of a history that we could learn of.
     
  36. Martyna Zmuir

    Martyna Zmuir Crazed Zealot

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    Well said, Ra. :thumbup1:
     
  37. Fink

    Fink Guest

    Actually that seems to be the mandate of most people who would call themselves Virtuous; cleanse the heathens. Preach racial tolerance and self-determination and you're likely to be demonised and exploited until you wind up the celebrity carcass at the end of your own dodgy game expansion.
     
  38. RaDian FlGith

    RaDian FlGith Babbling Loonie
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    Well... the thing about the Virtues is that they're open to interpretation. By and large they're the blueprint for a good way of life, but much like other blueprints, if they're not read or used properly, the result can be varied from the intent.

    On GL, we often have IC discussions about Virtue, and the twisting Casca did to them opened up some very interesting discussions about them in general.
     
  39. Jhym

    Jhym Guest

    Technically the other races are not under fealty to the Britannian crown.

    I would argue that after British's monarchy fell apart and the Royal Council was formed, that there wasn't a crown to ally with regardless.

    Now that we have Queen Dawn, and Queen Zhah, it seems we are beginning to have alliances to actually decide upon.

    I am wondering if they will eventually add in fealty to Britannia (as they did with the Gargoyles.)

    The Elves we don't know of specifics on their leaders, I can't even remember if they have a leadership or not according to the fiction we've been given. I know we have had ambassadors but not actual princes or princesses.

    There is also the Tokuno Monarchy, that is little spoken of, and the Paladins/Necromancers of Malas -- with no real leadership there that we know of (shouldn't there have been a Paladin council and a Necromancer guild leadership?)

    Honestly, the Britannian allegiance is also split between British and Blackthorn originally, with Minax thrown in later on.

    Blackthorn was changed into a monster, though one could argue his philosophy of Chaos still is as valid, if not moreso.

    A lot of our allegiances in the worlds end up being between the players themselves and not really the constructs. This is largely because the developers never really set up a fully active leadership that players could join and connect to. Factions in some way was to promote that but it became a sub-game that never went anywhere useful. The new Factions may be an attempt to bring that philosophy into the game and actually force us to decide who we support to bring on changes (or stasis.)


    At the moment it looks like we have the following "factions":

    Queen Dawn
    Queen Zhah
    Empress of Tokuno
    Ant Queens (2)
    Paladin council (if there is one)
    Necromancer council (if there is one)
    Council of Mages (mostly subservient to Dawn)
    Elves (unknown what their leadership is)
    Followers of Minax/Shadowlords (not really organized)
    Followers of Blackthorn (fairly extinct)
    Followers of British (not entirely following Dawn)

    This to me looks like plenty of opportunity for the devs to connect our "loyalty" to particular groups for items and events, as well as extending the fictions and storylines.
     
  40. Jhym

    Jhym Guest

    Similar to Blackrock, the virtues can be turned into anything given enough time and effort.

    There is also the impact of the Gargoyles' and other virtues as well. What will be the impact if different civilizations argue their virtues?
     
  41. Martyna Zmuir

    Martyna Zmuir Crazed Zealot

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    These would be the three main Trammel rule set 'factions.' However, they are all at peace (based on metafiction) and currently share similar if not complimentary goals.

    This could quickly change however... I just don't see Mythic being able to pull off convincing 'international strife.'

    Aside from not being attacked by one color or the other and getting powder of translocation made, I don't see this being expanded any further. Ever.

    Luna has been claimed as a protectorate, if not an outright colony of the Crown, several times now...The same goes for Papau and Delucia. Umbra has been left up in the air, so far.

    Many shard's RP communities see these cities in different ways, and follow different 'rules' regarding them.

    Council of Mages are definitely NOT subservient to Dawn, and outright opposed LB's desire to reunite the shards.

    Minax is active again and I'm sure her role will be changing as the events over the next year unfold. (Don't screw this up, Mythic!)

    Shadowlords are dead, the faction is pointless.

    True Britannians follow the ideals set forth by LB in name, if not necessarily in practice. I wouldn't say they are following Dawn at all.

    The Elves of Heartwood had elders at one point, probably still do... But have been incoporated into the Kingdom of Britannia for quite some time.



    The only real external factions that could be a threat would be, in order of danger:

    The Empire of Tokuno
    The gargoyles of Ter Mur (They really need a name for their kingdom)
    The gargoyles of Ver Lor Reg in Ilshenar
    The Isle of Nujel'm (which is ruled by a Sultan)


    I've left out the Ophidians and the Terathans since they currently seem more interested in killing each other again, and only the Ophidians have shown any interests beyond their borders. (The Bane Chosen may change this.)
     
  42. Trebr Drab

    Trebr Drab Guest

    LOL
     
  43. Trebr Drab

    Trebr Drab Guest

    Conspiracy theory. Yeah, that's what it is.
     
  44. Basara

    Basara UO Forum Moderator
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    Personally, I've always felt that if they ever decide to add another facet, they'd be better served cutting T2A off from Trammel & Felucca, and expanding it into its own facet, making the areas around Papua (including Paroxysmus) & Delucia Trammel ruleset, but changing to Fel ruleset once you left the towns.

    One could even theoretically have a Trammel ruleset T2A facet on each shard, then have each server farm have a shared T2A Fel facet that could be used for inter-shard spawns/raids and commerce (with the risk that anything being moved from shard to shard would be in constant danger of theft, and would have to be transferred from one account from shard A to another account on shard B, to complete the move).
     
  45. RaDian FlGith

    RaDian FlGith Babbling Loonie
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    Okay, Trebr... not sure what I did to **** in your Wheaties, but apparently you aren't reading, and have some issue with me, so I'll leave ya to it. I've complimented you, I've explained that in-game I respected both you and your desire to seek further knowledge about these things you often talk about, and yet you continue to pick and choose portions of what I say, completely out of context, and respond in a dismissive fashion.

    I guess my respect for your ideas was completely misplaced, and I apologize.
     
  46. Gidge

    Gidge Sage
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    I did my best to read everyones words. that being said....

    The gargolyes? queens tied the gates together or something like that. Where are they? They have stars like Malas. So i suppose floating in air.

    Malas? They have stars around them. They are floating in the air.

    Tokuno? They have water. i can't drive my boat to them. They are on another shard of my shard.

    a mini shard. broken off of ours?

    Ilshnar. Gates? mini shard? like tokuno? shard of my shard. They have shrines like our shrines. Same britannia type stuff.

    Elves. MONDAINS LEGACY. they bald headed freak kept messing with things, till he made yet another mini shard.

    T2A. I take ladders, hidden from view. Everywhere, down down down, and walk OUT into something. This tells me down is under. other side of our shard? mmm nope. all the caves, What is that movie where the people go down into the cave and pop up out of a volcano and slide down the through the farmers grapevines? YES! That's it! an underworld.

    maybe it just should not be so bright. Half light.

    facet - faceted - many sided. Our gem has many sides. Gems don't always break perfectly. (well for equality for humans, our money pays for us to have the same on every "shard") So our Gem of immortality, broken, faceted - many sided. i can't look down over the edge into the stars when i am in Malas or Ter Mur nor can i look up in Britannia. But i do know that our moons Trammel and Felucca do wax and wan with something shining on it.

    ....cept, well The Second Age (lost lands), cause they clearly have no gates for me to travel via the "MOONGATE" system. Flashback! cause they are underground.

    perspective.

    methinks all this recalling around has left some without the ability judge direction!!!

    *walks away*
     
  47. Gildar

    Gildar Babbling Loonie
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    While you can walk to T2A, you are going through narrow passageways that could very easily have difficult to detect teleporters in them that transport you to an alternate facet.
    Also, you could be going so deep into Trammel that you end up in an area that isn't visible through the Trammel facet, but is visible through a different facet of the gem.
    Crossing serverlines might be crossing through different facets, but ones that are only slightly offset from each other

    Or, all of that could be wrong and T2A isn't a facet, but just a deep cave with an artificial night/day cycle like everybody first assumed it was.

    None of our characters can really confirm it either way... so does it really matter other than knowing what everybody is talking about when they say "facet"?
     
  48. Trebr Drab

    Trebr Drab Guest

    Oh you don't mean that.

    The compliments are appreciated. You know I respect you too. We're just both a little edgy. Lets drop it and try to move on, agreed?
     
  49. Trebr Drab

    Trebr Drab Guest

    It'd be really nice if these things did mean something. I think the whole point is, you know, give us meaning. We need consistency, and to know that if something is inconsistent, there's a reason for that.
     
  50. Martyna Zmuir

    Martyna Zmuir Crazed Zealot

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    Since this was explicitly stated in the original Second Age fiction, yes!