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Thread: Ascended, Souls, and death.

  1. #1
    Telaran
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    Default Ascended, Souls, and death.

    Hi everyone, I'm a pretty new player (started a few days after Rift Lite launched) and I've been having a pretty good time. There have been a few things about the setting, mainly revolving around the Ascended and "where mechanics end and cannon begins." Sorry ahead of time if these topics have been hashed out before

    1) Souls. As I understand it, an Ascended is someone that's in possession of multiple "souls." Are these "souls" as we commonly understand them? As in the very essence of who a person is? Or is "soul" being used as a fancy shorthand for the powers a mortal held in life, which are now being granted to the Ascended?

    If it's the former, then how does this affect Ascended psychologically? Are they basically the same person they were in life only super charged and totally rad? Is the Ascended an entirely new person altogether; a merging/mishmash of all of the souls/consciousnesses/personalities that now inhabit the same body? Or is it a mix of the two; the Ascended still retains the same personality they had in life, but their head is also sharing living space 7/8 other "people" that influence the Ascendant's thoughts or even momentarily assert their individuality?

    As a parallel question, how many Souls is an Ascended actually "holding" at once? Is it all 8 at once, and the 3 Soul limit on builds is an example of gameplay and story segregation? Or do they only ever hold up to 3 at once, and the rest are all chillin up with the Vigil between uses? Are all of these Souls being "shared" by all of the Ascended (let's keep the discussion to the Guardians for now, rather than get into the Defiant's Soul-vampire Ascended), or does each Ascended have their own little cliche of souls?


    2) Death. What's death like for the Ascended? Is death and the graveyard a game mechanic to punish bad play, and cannon wise Ascended literally can not be killed? If they die and at some point the Vigil is all "hey, no sleeping on the job" are they aware afterwards of their momentary stay in the afterlife (assuming there is one)? Or is it more like they're just asleep for awhile then they wake up with an arrow sticking out of their face? Also, how much of a "delay," if any, is there between when an Ascended dies and getting back up?

    Finally, can a Soul be permanently "destroyed?" Even if the Ascended are immortal and never "die," is there anything that can truly threaten their existence?



    Thanks for any and all replies I get. I realize that a lot of these questions may not even be within the scope of the ingame lore, but I figure it's worth asking anyway. If there's no definite answer, I'm also fine with speculation and any other discussions that are sparked

  2. #2
    RIFT Community Ambassador Morvick's Avatar
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    Souls: As best as I can tell, you the Character retain your sanity and your own soul. What happens is you "bond" with 8 other Heroes' souls who are carried in your body. You can then "Attune" or resonate your natural Soul with up to three of these Heroes at once, in varying strengths to each. Whichever one you're most attuned with, is the soul that can grant you most of it's power.

    Knowledge: You have all the knowledge of those Heroes' lives and skills, though I imagine that as you Attune to them (in your different builds and roles), the memories from different souls will grow in richness and, conversely, fade to a mute as you lose Attunement based on your current needs.

    Soul Capacity: As previously mentioned, your body is actually storing up to 8 additional Souls next to your own, bringing the total to a schizophrenic Nine. The Defiant call their Ascended bodies "Sourcestone Matrixes", which allows for a bit better imagination as to how the souls are absorbed and stored, then aligned for use as needed.

    Death: The Ascended do die, in the full sense of the word. They are rent limb from limb, decapitated, skewered, burned, drained of blood, diseased, broken, crushed, and generally hurt upon by the hostile world at large. For as many times as each Ascended has died you'd think they would have gone mad. The only difference is, the Ascended can come back. Their souls (all 9) do not escape to the Soul Stream like a normal mortal's does. Instead they are bound to the world by either the Vigil's blessing or the Defiant's technology, and a new body can be constructed on top of these souls (or they can re-inhabit their freshly-healed body if they can get close enough). The only detriment to this is a Soul whose energy is exhausted and injured from the process of being severed from the body. This is "Soul Vitality", and if it drops to nothing, you have acquired "Soul Sickness".

    Soul Destruction: Yes, a Soul can be destroyed, or at the very least, rendered unfit for Ascension. It's a bit like the Law of the Conservation of Matter: it can't really happen under ordinary means. Usually it takes horrible corruption by one of the Bloodstorm Dragons, or specifically-constructed Magitech, to thrash a Soul enough to where neither the Vigil nor the Defiant can use it or bind it to a body. This is one suspected reason why Carwin Mathos cannot be revived as an Ascended: because he was killed by a bolt of pure corruption from the Plane of Death. He does return as a Ghost, though, so his Soul is still bound to Telara. Also look at Asha Catari: while she is not an Immortal Ascended like the Defiant player character, she was in the midst of being corrupted by Regulos when Orphiel ripped her from the Soul Stream and rebuilt her body in his first "successful" reanimation, and she bears the marks of that struggle on her body -- though it's not without gain, as she has some peculiar abilities thanks to her intimate battle with The Destroyer.

    If there's anything that threatens an Immortal, it's the God of Extinction!
    Last edited by Morvick; 02-12-2012 at 08:14 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zinbik View Post
    I also made other enhancements to certain aspects of the game for various reasons.

  3. #3
    Plane Touched Arynite's Avatar
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    This is partly based on lore and partly based on my interpretation of game mechanics:

    As an ascended, you are brought back as the same person you were before you died, but with extra powers and abilities.

    First of all, you're immortal, but not invincible. This means you can be killed, but you'll also be able to come back from the dead. The little flavor text on the resurrection npcs pretty much says something along the lines of your spirit becoming detached from your body. At this point, you can either choose to patch up/re-sync with the empty vessel you just left behind, or you can choose to have a new one created. The second option is useful in situations where your corpse is irrecoverable for whatever reason, but the process is a lot more stressful on the soul, thus the soul vitality mechanic.

    Your other new-found power includes being capable of utilizing the soul system, which essentially lets your "borrow" skills and abilities from past heroes. These heroes lived, died, and have their own stories that you'll come across from time to time. The methods by which you acquire these souls seems to vary a bit. In some of the old quests you'd pretty much be handed a soul for free, and in other quests you'd have to do some sort of task to help in the acquisition process. In the Boar's Spear part 5 in Tales of Telara, you get to see Hugo revive and gain a new soul pretty much at the same time, but the memories he gains from his new soul seem a bit... selective. Also the process of revival appears to be pretty fast.

    How and why do you only get three souls at a time? I find this a little harder to explain. There's some random lore here and there on the defiant side about holding more than three souls, but it's mostly speculation or quantum related. My guess is that although you've been granted extra power with ascension, there are still limits to these powers. My interpretation is that three souls was the best the Defiant of the future could manage before their time ran out (sorry, you're stuck with three slots to put your RAM in). As for why the Guardians have a three-soul limit, you'll have to ask the Vigil. As you grow in skill and experience as an ascended, you become better at manipulating your powers and thus can draw upon more skills at a time, thus the level up mechanic.

    Can souls be destroyed? Probably, yes, but not by ordinary means. They can most definitely be heavily damaged. If you haven't already, you'll be introduced to this concept at the end of the Guardian starter area.
    Eshlon@Greybriar

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    RIFT Community Ambassador Morvick's Avatar
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    Arynite, I think we need to high five.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zinbik View Post
    I also made other enhancements to certain aspects of the game for various reasons.

  5. #5
    Telaran
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    That was exactly what I was looking for. Thank you both for the great posts

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    RIFT Community Ambassador Morvick's Avatar
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    Your welcome, glad I was able to pitch in. =]
    Quote Originally Posted by Zinbik View Post
    I also made other enhancements to certain aspects of the game for various reasons.

  7. #7
    Plane Touched Arynite's Avatar
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    Glad to be of help.

    Quote Originally Posted by Morvick View Post
    Arynite, I think we need to high five.
    Wait, you want to high five a Defiant?

    Hehe, kidding aside, you make some really great posts.
    Eshlon@Greybriar

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