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Thread: Guardian not as midevil as we thought?

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    Telaran Dustfinger's Avatar
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    Default Guardian not as midevil as we thought?

    We can see the mathosians live in castles and were armor. that much is obvious. But is there evidence of serfs or a peasant class in their society? i havn't come across any so far. What I have found is this:

    -So these folk sent their runners ..... to beg on bended knee for deliverance. And we raised them up onto their feet, where men belong,

    -they begged us, “Stay! Rule us with courage and justice, and teach us never again to kneel.”
    http://www.riftgame.com/en/world/history/mathosia.php

    Meanwhile the Eth have this:

    -A sorcerer-king ruled every city, ally and peer to his fellow kings, each free to explore the reaches of possibility as they saw fit.

    -Our former subject peoples reviled us and would not take us in,
    http://www.riftgame.com/en/world/history/eth-empire.php

    I've seen alot on these forums that people simply dismiss the Guardians and more so the Mathosians as "Classically midevil fanstasy". On the outside, sure. But from what I can tell, their infrastructure seems alot more modern than we may give them credit for. All the non-nobles are refred to as "citizens" and care is given for them. Meanwhile the Eth empire subject peoples harbored resentment against them while theiur rulers seemed free to do as they pleased. It seems to me that the Eth were actually more fuedal and class based while the Mathosians were more modern.

    With this in light, i'd say the develpoers did a pretty decent job whhen they came up with the lore. Rather than a cut and past we assume they did with the Mathosians, they kind of made them pretty unigue, despite the swords and armor.

  2. #2
    Plane Walker Xerokine's Avatar
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    Actually, the 'classic medieval fantasy' thing comes from what Trion said.

    Mathosia:
    Mathosians are the archetypal feudal society.
    Conquering foes, through battle, business, or debate, is how a Mathosian sees the path of life.
    Often this takes the form of friendly rivalries. But it can easily spill over into a violent duel in the
    public square.


    Eth:
    For the Eth, the relationship with one’s mind is central to one’s existence. Even their great
    warriors are known for fighting smartly rather than fighting swiftly or brutally.
    Eth constantly engage one another in riddles and other games of the mind, and the great thinkers
    of their history are elevated above those who excel in any other field.
    Last edited by Xerokine; 10-10-2011 at 10:12 AM.
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    Telaran Dustfinger's Avatar
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    Right, but people seem to dismiss that as "uncreative" and "same old same old" when Trionactually put a diffrent twist on it.

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    Plane Walker Xerokine's Avatar
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    Well, certainly the knights, kings, and castles motif has been done tons of times before. There are a couple twists in the Telaran version; gender quality, for example. And Mathosia isn't two-dimensional, either; while clearly their own people see them as spreading civilization and righteousness, we also have the perspective of the Eth calling them 'unwashed savages' who take over. We also know that the Eth were basically treated as second-class citizens even centuries later. But, of course, a self-righteous society that spreads it's version of civilization by force isn't exactly new and original either, but it comes off pretty well.
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    Telaran Dustfinger's Avatar
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    Agreed. This was more to the ones who do see the Mathosians ans Guardians as a whole as "two dimensional".

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    RIFT Community Ambassador Morvick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xerokine View Post
    And Mathosia isn't two-dimensional, either; while clearly their own people see them as spreading civilization and righteousness, we also have the perspective of the Eth calling them 'unwashed savages' who take over. We also know that the Eth were basically treated as second-class citizens even centuries later.
    Don't forget that in King Mathos' telling of it (i.e., Trion), the Eth invited the Mathosians in to stabilize their leaderless land and fight back the squabbling armies.

    Also keep in mind that the Eth were as self-righteous as any empire, believing themselves to be the pinnacle and goal of all other civilizations. Their chief difference is they shied away from conflict (unlike their Mathosian cousins) and instead stayed up in laboratory towers.

    I will say though that for whatever creativity has been injected into the "Shining Knights" archetype of the Mathosians, they are still 90% medieval fantasy and 10% originality. The Eth... well, this is how I've come to see their wondrous empire. They themselves proclaim that the smarter and more clever among them are elevated above the masses, creating internal inequality -- as well as inter-social inequality through the use of Cyclopes slaves. The Mathosians, to my knowledge, make no mention of a serf-class within their society, perhaps consisting mostly of either compensated workers or merchants (and the Vigil even abolishes slavery, at least Thedeor does).

    I look at the Kelari and the Bahmi as the "original races", even though their archetypes have been done before as well.
    Last edited by Morvick; 10-10-2011 at 02:19 PM.
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    Telaran Dustfinger's Avatar
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    Hmm.

    In a fantasy setting armor and swords is almost a must. I just keep trying to figure out how Trion could have moved away from the steriotype. Maybe put the "knights" with races that weren't classic elves and dwarves. Or have exchanged the Kelari for the highelves so the higheleves would be at odds with the classic midevil humans ans dwarves.

    To tell the truth I was immediatly drawn to the Eth when i first started the game, but the population disparagy on the RP/PvP shards made me role guardian. Once I started looking into them, the Mathosian Empire page caught me pleasently surprised. Especially the "Stand on your feet as a man aught to" bit.

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    Plane Walker Xerokine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morvick View Post
    Don't forget that in King Mathos' telling of it (i.e., Trion), the Eth invited the Mathosians in to stabilize their leaderless land and fight back the squabbling armies.
    So, wait, the Mathosian version on the main website is "i.e., Trion", but the Eth version on the main website is lolwhatever? That doesn't follow to me. I find it most likely to be a combination of the two stories - some groups went to Mathosia for aid, and the Mathosians used the exist to ride in and conquer no matter what the rest of the Ethian wanted.

    The Eth... well, this is how I've come to see their wondrous empire.
    You are aware that slaves didn't build the pyramids, right? It was paid laborers.

    They themselves proclaim that the smarter and more clever among them are elevated above the masses, creating internal inequality -- as well as inter-social inequality through the use of Cyclopes slaves.
    Wait. So when the "smarter and more clever among them" rise through the ranks and become leaders, this is a bad thing creating inequality? What equality; having an equal number of stupid leaders to balance out the smart ones? That just doesn't make any sense to me at all. If anything, being a meritocracy is a point in favor of the Eth Empire, not against it.

    And yes, they bound planar beings to serve them. Just like the Kelari made bargains with spirits, just like the dwarves enslaved spirits into their constructs. Even today, most Telaran nations see planar beings as lesser beings or tainted. For example, you have the Vigil, which has decreed that the entire Bahmi race is tainted and unworthy of their favor because of their heritage.

    So while I would agree with you that enslaving the planar beings was wrong, it doesn't damn everything the Eth Empire did or stood for; just like the fact that the United States used to have slavery doesn't mean that we should throw all technology into the river and return to being hunters and gatherers.
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    RIFT Community Ambassador Morvick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xerokine View Post
    So, wait, the Mathosian version on the main website is "i.e., Trion", but the Eth version on the main website is lolwhatever? That doesn't follow to me. I find it most likely to be a combination of the two stories - some groups went to Mathosia for aid, and the Mathosians used the exist to ride in and conquer no matter what the rest of the Ethian wanted.
    I'm glad you put the second sentence in there, because otherwise you would have missed the meaning of what I had pointed out. I'm essentially saying that each side tells it as they see it, and each side is officially endorsed by Trion.

    If I'm learning one thing from the Lore devs, is that aside from dates and numbers, we will never get a straight answer concerning the events relevant to the factions or races.[/quote]

    You are aware that slaves didn't build the pyramids, right? It was paid laborers.
    Incorrect. It was the aliens.
    Anywho, I did not know that distinction from history, but it does not excuse the Ethian use of enslaving native critters to do their heavy-lifting.

    Wait. So when the "smarter and more clever among them" rise through the ranks and become leaders, this is a bad thing creating inequality? What equality; having an equal number of stupid leaders to balance out the smart ones? That just doesn't make any sense to me at all. If anything, being a meritocracy is a point in favor of the Eth Empire, not against it.
    The smart ones should be listened to yes, but never given more privileges. The implications to me have no ceiling. They could impose any law they wished and said, "But look at our beautiful towers, ye plebes, and know that we have a better idea of what to do than you." Why not have the smart Eths teach the others until everyone had an equal understanding? No, it's easier to just hole the geniuses in a tower and let them play "Let's Be Gods".

    And yes, they bound planar beings to serve them. Just like the Kelari made bargains with spirits, just like the dwarves enslaved spirits into their constructs. Even today, most Telaran nations see planar beings as lesser beings or tainted. For example, you have the Vigil, which has decreed that the entire Bahmi race is tainted and unworthy of their favor because of their heritage.

    So while I would agree with you that enslaving the planar beings was wrong, it doesn't damn everything the Eth Empire did or stood for; just like the fact that the United States used to have slavery doesn't mean that we should throw all technology into the river and return to being hunters and gatherers.
    And things turned out badly for the Dwarves, for the Kelari, and for anyone else who enters in a contract with a corrupt Planar Being. The Bahmi are an unfortunate case of "the sins of the father are passed to the son", but they still refuse to try to appease the Gods (those that are neutral, and don't take up Magitech, are going in the right direction). As far as the Vigil is concerned, the Bahmi relish in the fact that they have Planar ancestors, and this is the cause of the animosity.

    The tech gained from slavery should not be discarded, no. But you should commit to never using those means again. There is something to be said for contrition. I wonder, do the Eth as a people ever come out and say "Damn guys, our forefathers really had it wrong. These cyclopes slaves... we're so sorry. Can we make it up to you?"
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    Plane Walker Xerokine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morvick View Post
    The smart ones should be listened to yes, but never given more privileges. The implications to me have no ceiling. They could impose any law they wished and said, "But look at our beautiful towers, ye plebes, and know that we have a better idea of what to do than you." Why not have the smart Eths teach the others until everyone had an equal understanding? No, it's easier to just hole the geniuses in a tower and let them play "Let's Be Gods".
    I disagree with you here. Should a medical researcher stop his research and spend all his time teaching the janitor about alleles? Should the janitor stop his cleaning to teach the medical researcher about mopping techniques? You seem to be suggesting that anyone with intelligence should never be able to use that intelligence to govern or lead; merely to teach everyone else on a constant basis.

    And look at your first sentence; "The smart ones should be listen to yes, but never given more privileges." Who should listen to them? You've already established that they are 'the smart ones'. If they think that drinking while intoxicated is bad, they should just suggest it, and then everyone else can decide for themselves if they want to do it or not? That's not even how our government works. We have smart people who are in charge who decide things the majority of people don't understand; that's why lawyers have lots of schooling, why doctors have lots of schooling, and why you can't do certain things because it was decided to make it against the law.

    As far as the Vigil is concerned, the Bahmi relish in the fact that they have Planar ancestors, and this is the cause of the animosity.
    So, honoring their ancestors is bad? What was wrong with their ancestors?

    The tech gained from slavery should not be discarded, no. But you should commit to never using those means again. There is something to be said for contrition. I wonder, do the Eth as a people ever come out and say "Damn guys, our forefathers really had it wrong. These cyclopes slaves... we're so sorry. Can we make it up to you?"
    Yeah. I did all these quests about it.
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    RIFT Community Ambassador Morvick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xerokine View Post
    So, honoring their ancestors is bad? What was wrong with their ancestors?
    You mean aside from the fact that half of them came from the same Plane as Crucia? Not much, I guess. You know I've said many times in the past that the Bahmi would make pretty boss Guardians. I don't say the same about the Eth or the Kelari.

    As to the smart leading the many; a leader should always fear the power held by his/her people. In the case of the Eth, they removed that fear and, though their empire spanned hundreds of years, they were never at risk from a revolution from within. Their sorcerer-kings had their fingers near the proverbial kill-switch for the whole duration (that's how they scuttled the Empire once the Convocation failed).

    You seem to be suggesting that anyone with intelligence should never be able to use that intelligence to govern or lead; merely to teach everyone else on a constant basis.
    Unfortunately you've taken what I said too far. I know of no limits placed upon the Eth "genius class", and so I need to assume that they could easily fall to corruption -- in much the same way as a Mathosian king could easily fall to pride.

    The Guardians look at a smart person and say, "That's great. So what good are you going to do with that?" Their god Thontic encourages people to explore mysteries and solve puzzles, then teach others. The sailor should take a break from voyages to tell stories. The philosopher should come out of his home and preach. Etc.

    So while the smart person is revered for his/her knowledge, they rightfully do not hold any special place over those who may be more artistic, or more virtuous, or more brave. Intelligence is not the only trait that should be honored, and when all things are considered, yes, each person should consider him/herself an equal to their peers. The Guardians as a whole embody this by turning down the Mathosian kingdom, by turning down rulership of Moonshade or Silverwood, because they seek no dominion over other people. They simply wish to keep the Vigil's creation as it was intended. They guard it, from intruders and from corruption.
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    Plane Walker Xerokine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morvick View Post
    You mean aside from the fact that half of them came from the same Plane as Crucia?
    Ouch. Guilt by association? I dunno if the Vigil should damn an entire species as "tainted" just because their home plane also had an evil dragon. I mean, planes are pretty big, it's pretty good odds on someone being evil on an entire plane of existence.

    As to the smart leading the many; a leader should always fear the power held by his/her people. In the case of the Eth, they removed that fear and, though their empire spanned hundreds of years, they were never at risk from a revolution from within. Their sorcerer-kings had their fingers near the proverbial kill-switch for the whole duration (that's how they scuttled the Empire once the Convocation failed).
    Well, now you've gone from "smart people should never have authority" to 'V from Vendetta' (great movie, by the way). I'd respond by pointing out that we don't actually know if they were ever at risk from a revolution, that we have no idea whether the average citizen was happy or discontent, and that the Empire was scuttled by the backlash of the sabotaged Convocation itself - no such 'kill-switch' existed.

    Unfortunately you've taken what I said too far. I know of no limits placed upon the Eth "genius class", and so I need to assume that they could easily fall to corruption -- in much the same way as a Mathosian king could easily fall to pride.
    But that's an unwarranted assumption. All we know about the Eth is that their prided themselves, as a nation, on intelligence. "For the Eth, the relationship with one’s mind is central to one’s existence. Even their great warriors are known for fighting smartly rather than fighting swiftly or brutally. Eth constantly engage one another in riddles and other games of the mind, and the great thinkers of their history are elevated above those who excel in any other field." That's not a description of the 'genius class'; it's a description of the Eth as a whole. There
    probably was no genius class - every Eth would be expected to pursue intelligence over strength, mind over muscle.

    So while the smart person is revered for his/her knowledge, they rightfully do not hold any special place over those who may be more artistic, or more virtuous, or more brave.
    I see. So you'd be fine with laws being written by the person who draw the best painting instead of the person with the Master's Degree in law? You'd want the person governing you to be the brave warrior who charges into combat, not the scholar who has studied international politics and diplomacy?
    Last edited by Xerokine; 10-10-2011 at 04:03 PM.
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    Plane Walker Kreiri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morvick View Post
    You mean aside from the fact that half of them came from the same Plane as Crucia?
    You know, it was pretty hard to refrain from godwining this your "argument".
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    RIFT Community Ambassador Morvick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kreiri View Post
    You know, it was pretty hard to refrain from godwining this your "argument".
    It's not my argument. It's the Vigil's -- one of their few lore-tied pieces that I disagree with.
    The question was asked, what have the Bahmi's ancestors done wrong? The only wrong they've done is by the reasoning of the Vigil gods, and that was to procreate with Planar Beings (interlopers from beyond the sanctity of their realm, Telara).

    @ Xerokine, I don't really hold knowledge to be sacred or awe-inspiring. It's cool and useful, yeah, but my preference is to instead have (perhaps) a collective that decides, not just one. All perspectives must be represented in that law-making or war-leading process. If the law would affect the artist, then yes, the artist should have a say in the law. If the time is one of war, then yes, I'll entertain what the brave warrior has to say as much as the scholar. It makes more sense to me if you say "You've got a Law Degree? Counsel me, please -- and you, General, and you, Priest, and you, Farmer." rather than placing one man on a pedestal and saying "Oh good, you have a Law Degree? Govern me, please."
    Last edited by Morvick; 10-10-2011 at 04:45 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zinbik View Post
    I also made other enhancements to certain aspects of the game for various reasons.

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    Plane Walker Xerokine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morvick View Post
    It makes more sense to me if you say "You've got a Law Degree? Counsel me, please -- and you, General, and you, Priest, and you, Farmer." rather than placing one man on a pedestal and saying "Oh good, you have a Law Degree? Govern me, please."
    Agreed, but you're arguing my position. You're saying that the person with knowledge of war should be in charge of war; the person with knowledge of art should be in charge of art; the person with knowledge of farming in charge of farming.

    My issue with what you just said, however, is who is being counseled here? You say "lawyer, counsel me about law" instead of the lawyer governing matters of law. But who is the lawyer counseling? Who is ultimately making the decisions about law if it's not the lawyer who has studied law? Because no matter how you answer that question, it's going to be 'someone who knows less about law'.
    "I get up early. And I don't go to bed until I've made some very poor decisions."

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