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Thread: I'm Ascended, but who am I?

  1. #1
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    Default I'm Ascended, but who am I?

    I'm trying to puzzle out what an ascended actually is, to get an idea of what it is like to be one.

    The lore calls an ascended a resurrected hero, but there seems to be an awful lot of heroes in just one Ascended. When we are first resurrected in game, we're treated like people who have been dead but are alive again. That's before we even choose a soul. So can we assume that a new ascended, before receiving any other souls, already has one soul that was probably the sould that inhabited the body in her first life?

    Then we get the chance in short order to take on a soul for it's abilities to be used in the war. Presumably this is a independent soul of a dead hero. Do they take up residence in our bodies in something akin to multiple personality disorder? Or are they more like evil mages of tradition, binding the souls of their fallen enemies to themselves for increases in power. The fact that we readily access their skills as if they were our own, and even come to identify ourselves as "marksmen", "sentinels", "champions" seems to lead more toward the first. "I am a marksman," instead of "I wield a marksman soul".

    Of course, in short order we go on to bind two more souls to ourselves, taking us up to a whopping four people inhabiting one body.

    Then it gets even weirder. We can save up to four roles, with three souls each. With each calling able to bind nine different souls, we are a collective of ten souls able to draw on the skills of any three at a given time.

    Is the resurrected soul the Ascended's personality, with the other nine souls being merely tools? Or is the resurrected soul a ringmaster of sorts, providing the will, so to speak, but allowing various personalities to come to the fore depending on need? Or is an ascended a bizarre super-personality containing the merging of ten different people into something completely different like a river made up of its tributaries?

    Something I've been thinking about.

    Perhaps the fact that we have to relearn the skills of the bound souls offers a clue. It's not like we bind them, and then we can use every ability they had in life. We have to visit a calling trainer to learn and upgrade the skills. So perhaps the river/tributary concept works. Each soul we bind gives us raw potential in that soul's abilities, making the learning of them much faster than the lifetime it might take a mortal to study and perfect them.

    The fact that we can't learn any skills, though, without first binding a soul, makes me think that toon walking around through those first corridors is just a body with some sort of basic brain function. Perhaps it's not far off from the undead... walking, talking, but limited in will and function. Then again, it seems to have enough desire to choose the first soul.

    To throw one more thing in there, why is it that crafting/gathering is completely disconnected from any soul? Are the souls we bind just so focused on warfare that they never learned non-combat skills? Or is there some esoteric, mystical reason why those skills can't be passed to an Ascended upon binding a soul?

    Perhaps that's what our starter soul is! The Ascended are really resurrected, heroic crafters! It's the one thing that sticks with us no matter what souls we switch out.
    The Roguepocalypse is upon us!

  2. #2
    Champion of Telara Shagroth's Avatar
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    Well I took the meaning as we are resurrected from the Calling of great warriors, clerics, mages, and rogues that came before. In our primal form we take in the souls of Telara in order to save it.

    I was the resurrection of a great Cleric but from that single ascension I gathered the souls of the greatest of Clerics to transform myself into a being capable of defeating Regulos. I have take the soul of the Shaman, the Druid, the Justicar, etc, etc. From these souls I have carved my own path to domination and have sought to cease the lamentation of my forefathers.

    To that degree, I do believe the Ascended are craftsman.

    On the crafting front, I believe that as an ascended we are now flesh and blood. while our spirit allows the capturing of souls and the choosing of paths to take these souls, we still need to better ourselves as mortals. We learn crafts, we learn how to better our souls' skills, and we discover the world of Telara from the point of having never seen what we are currently witnessing.

    I believe we, Guardian ascended, are sent into the future to be reborn. the Defiant go to the past through time to reclaim their world.

    So you can definitely think of the Ascended Guardian as men and women who are learning what the ancient souls they claim are capable of as they learn what they are physically capable of.

    The Defiant are reborn from technology with the same path - only I believe they use machines to collect and use the souls of the fallen champions.

    That I'm a bit sketchy on.
    Shagroth, GM of Myth

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    Rift Chaser Arieltalia's Avatar
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    I prefer to think of it as learning that the original souls impart to us through the sharing of their own.
    I am willing to suspend my disbelief, but please don't ask me to hang it by the neck until dead.

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    Rift Disciple Aryt's Avatar
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    I would recommend reading the Boar Spear Stories on the main site. It's basically the life of a Guardian Ascended and I thought it has been pretty interesting so far.

    It may give you a better idea of how ascended are set up in Rp settings.

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    Plane Touched MacDeath's Avatar
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    IMO, a person is the sum of Body, Mind, & Spirit. When we are Asended, our body is brought back to life. Some of our Mind remembers who we used to be (our Prior soul) but we need to retrain most of the skills that we have forgotten. We also get the opportunity to equip additional souls. As we level up we are becoming better in Body (Str, Endurance, etc); Mind (Wisdom, Int, etc); and Spirit (addtional souls).
    Last edited by MacDeath; 01-18-2011 at 05:10 PM.
    Mac

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    Rift Chaser Arieltalia's Avatar
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    I guess the part that I don't get is, the souls are supposedly people from Telara's past that embody the lifestyle of a certain set of abilities. So how does more than one person equip someone else's soul?

    For example, the Riftstalker is Anan Mkhai, and here is the end of his story:

    Transporting his mind to another time, Anan saw his father cradling his own body tenderly, muttering apologies and weeping after smashing the device—his life’s work—to spare his son from complete disintegration. For all the agony, his father’s experiment allowed Anan to spare others from pain, a gift he shared with the next generation of Riftstalkers.

    “I walk in the space between here and there, and slip through the seams in reality to deliver a most timely death upon my enemies.”


    From dictionary.com:

    –noun
    1.
    the principle of life, feeling, thought, and action in humans, regarded as a distinct entity separate from the body, and commonly held to be separable in existence from the body; the spiritual part of humans as distinct from the physical part.
    2.
    the spiritual part of humans regarded in its moral aspect, or as believed to survive death and be subject to happiness or misery in a life to come: arguing the immortality of the soul.
    3.
    the disembodied spirit of a deceased person: He feared the soul of the deceased would haunt him.
    4.
    the emotional part of human nature; the seat of the feelings or sentiments.
    5.
    a human being; person.
    6.
    high-mindedness; noble warmth of feeling, spirit or courage, etc.
    7.
    the animating principle; the essential element or part of something.
    8.
    the inspirer or moving spirit of some action, movement, etc.
    9.
    the embodiment of some quality: He was the very soul of tact.
    10.
    ( initial capital letter ) Christian Science . God; the divine source of all identity and individuality.
    11.
    shared ethnic awareness and pride among black people, esp. black Americans.
    12.
    deeply felt emotion, as conveyed or expressed by a performer or artist.
    13.
    soul music.
    –adjective
    14.
    of, characteristic of, or for black Americans or their culture: soul newspapers.
    I am willing to suspend my disbelief, but please don't ask me to hang it by the neck until dead.

  7. #7
    Champion of Telara Shagroth's Avatar
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    If you go with definition 14 it starts working in our favor.

    Black culture is all about soul. The deep yearning, artistic vision, and style that we do things. Combine it with the actual soul that has the ability (the Hero was have taken in) and you get the diversity and whatnot that this game has promised.

    The Lore isn't going to be 100% realistic (I mean its fantasy and a video game) but if we each apply a "piece" of that character's soul and within us that soul can be reborn in our own imagine then we are starting off on the right foot.
    Shagroth, GM of Myth

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  8. #8
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    In some instances there are certain table top games that remincent. For example: Exalted. Accended heros from the past, freed souls blessed by the gods. Granted they have a elemental base more so. Sun water earth air fire and death. Hmm, perhaps not at all different in some sense... still al the same, thinking too much into it is going to give a huge headache.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arieltalia View Post
    I prefer to think of it as learning that the original souls impart to us through the sharing of their own.
    So that puts the additional souls at a little bit of a distance. Kind of like receiving a blessing from a patron spirit in a particular area of skill. I'm not sure the language in the game upholds this though. We seem to be binding souls to ourselves... appropriating them. I'm not sure if I am conveying the difference I see here, but it seems like those souls are becoming part of the character when we acquire them, and that's what intrigues me. How much do they become part of the character? Are they tools at the original souls disposal? Or are the merged so that Ascended are unique beings formed by the merging of many souls into a group soul?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aryt View Post
    I would recommend reading the Boar Spear Stories on the main site. It's basically the life of a Guardian Ascended and I thought it has been pretty interesting so far.

    It may give you a better idea of how ascended are set up in Rp settings.
    Thanks for the tip. I went back and read through them, but it's not entirely helpful. The Boar Spear seems to strongly be a Ranger. There isn't mention of having access to other souls, nor is there mention of a time between when he was resurrected and took on the Ranger soul.

    That's one of the things I'm very curious about. Who is that person who gets resurrected, before they bind any soul? Just a body and rudimentary brain function (enough to run around and pick a soul?), or a complete personality with no history of combat abilities, who must bind their first soul to receive them. The Boar Spear stories suggest that our first bound soul defines who we are. Then again, I'm not sure the authors of the BS story are really thinking about what the multiple soul thing really implies. They're probably just writing a Ranger character in the Rift world.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arieltalia View Post
    I guess the part that I don't get is, the souls are supposedly people from Telara's past that embody the lifestyle of a certain set of abilities. So how does more than one person equip someone else's soul?
    I see a lot of people assuming that there is one ranger soul, one marksman soul, one pyromancer. Reading the histories, however, it looks to me like they are intended to be the history of the first of a given type, and there were others who followed after. I've been interpreting soul binding as happening to one of a type, not the original. So an ascended o binds Riftstalker now has the soul of a dead Riftstalker from the past, not necessarily Anan Mkhai himself.

    To me this is the most interesting aspect of the lore, and one that hasn't been specifically detailed. My inclination is to think that the Trion team included multiple souls as a game feature, and haven't yet full explored its implications for lore. I see a lot of interesting story opportunities in it.

    What if a soul bound late in an ascended's advancement was particularly strong willed and tried to gain ascendency over the others for control of the ascended?

    What if an ascended bound two souls who were fierce rivals during their lives?

    What if some ascended had difficult juggling all those personalities and it lead to a rash of identity crises among the ranks?

    What if some ascended started to question the fact that they are given a new life, but they are using other souls as tools? Are they denying an afterlife to those other souls, while not really giving them a chance at a second life?
    Last edited by Kymeric; 01-24-2011 at 07:02 AM.
    The Roguepocalypse is upon us!

  10. #10
    Rift Chaser Arieltalia's Avatar
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    But but but... I don't want to play a schizophrenic!

    Been there, done that, too much work!
    I am willing to suspend my disbelief, but please don't ask me to hang it by the neck until dead.

  11. #11
    RIFT Fan Site Operator EntreNous's Avatar
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    Here's a quote I love ... showing the Guardians Ascended power ....

    "the day came when Cyril himself led an army of Ascended Guardians to take it. The outcome seemed predetermined, as soldiers with the power of three men rolled against the walls of the city."

    How's that for soul-power! ... hooya!
    RiftRares ... A work in progress.
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    RIFT Community Ambassador Morvick's Avatar
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    Default Past lives...

    It's hard to say, but I think the souls we collect lend us their power, though their original owners are gone/at rest.

    We the actual Ascended could have been anybody, but we quickly grow to assimilate more heroes into ourselves; united we stand, so to speak. I look forward to the RP potential where I can craft up different personalities/lives/memories for each Soul, and have them intercede on my character's life.

    Think of it like meeting someone important in your life, who then dies somehow. Sure they're gone... but are their lessons? Their values? Their legacies? You can build yourself up with the beliefs and missions of many other people, and still be your own person by applying them to a unique direction. You could even say (as I do) that people continue to "live on" for as long as you can honor their memory and recognize their personality for what it was. Knowing them can keep them around to teach further.

    Gather them all in, I say. Your character could be perceived as having multiple personalities, but I think of it as multiple perspectives and memories. The "person" this soul belonged to is dead, but not his knowledge or his purpose.



    Very interesting topic, though. Extremely philosophical. =]
    Last edited by Morvick; 01-24-2011 at 06:33 PM.
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    I also made other enhancements to certain aspects of the game for various reasons.

  13. #13
    Rift Chaser Arieltalia's Avatar
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    Thank you, Morvick, I feel a bit better about it now.

    It is true in this life that we do become a little bit of everyone we meet. And the longer the relationship lasts, the more of the other person we assimilate into ourselves.
    I am willing to suspend my disbelief, but please don't ask me to hang it by the neck until dead.

  14. #14
    Champion Pretext's Avatar
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    Wonderful care bear explanation there.

    I think this again is something which has not been entirely nailed down when they came up with the theme of the MMO. It sounded great but the lore consequences are quite difficult. You could argue we should all be suffering from schizophrenia for example.

    Once we are brought back they should have made it clear that you are only getting the powers of the second and third soul. This could have been explained by those two souls being of lesser renown than yourself, lesser heroes not worthy of your reincarnation.

  15. #15
    Telaran Darkfae's Avatar
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    While I was working on my background, and looking over various RPers' ideas for their characters, I noticed that there were naturally different views on what happened with the soul collecting we can do in the game, since there's no really solid lore on the exact nature of the transaction, as it were.

    That then gave me the idea that each Ascendant has their own (potentially unique) interactions with the souls that become our classes. Some outright devour them, some merge with them and don't end up keeping the soul's personality, some merge with them and do end up keeping the personality and developing MPD, others merge and keep the personalities but they remain apart from them rather than having MPD, some might merge with them like either of those and give each soul a turn at "being the driver" from time to time, while others merely learn the new class from the soul much like the mortals do at Quicksilver and the College. People argue over the morals and ethics, advantages and disadvantages, and whether or not some people are just delusional and the souls really are completely consumed and their power transferred to the imbiber; these all create some pretty awesome potential RP situations.

    It's just a way to encompass everything that players come up with, without having to chose which one is the truth, etc. =)

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