Hello fellow Lorehounds;

You may know me from around the game or around the forums. You may have also read my blog Anneleigh Ascended. Recently, I started a new blog to dig deep - really really deep - into the lore of the game. I'm moving slow, pretending I don't know anything about the game, and having a lot of fun putting each and every piece of information under the microscope.

This week, I did a two part blog post on the Failsafe. Part 1 was more about the working of the machine and how it came to be in Terminus, but part 2 questions the creation of the machine and the impact its development may have had on Telara.

I thought i'd make a great topic for communication and so copy it here to bring on the chatter. Please punch holes in my theory. It helps me get better at researching - but keep in mind that what I write is based on what you could know from playing the game to that point - nothing more.

If there is a lore writer who'd like to comment - let us know if we're on the right track or just leave mysterious comments, that'd be great too!


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Questions - Part 2: What timeline are we in now?


The Fail Safe Machine is responsible for saving the world of Telara and assisting the Defiant faction with the creation of their own Ascended long before they could have otherwise.

How else did the creation of the Fail Safe device alter the course of history for Telara? Could the great magitech society enjoyed in present day Telara be thanks in part the creativity gained from future generations?


"Among Orphiel's greatest discoveries was a means by which to create a temporal anchor and a machine tethered to that anchor. While the exact name of the machine was the Distal Temporal Refraction Device, it has become colloquially referred to as Orphiel's Failsafe Device. While Orphiel never truly mastered "time travel", his device did succeed in returning objects that passed through the machine to the fixed position in tie at which the device had been built.

Orphiel would not share the exact details of its creation with anyone. As usual, he closely guarded the secrets of this breakthrough. When asked to explain in very simple terms how it worked, however, he said, "The machine has an aura that confuses time on such a base level that time would rather ignore it completely than attempt to resolve the issue."

Aside from the previous aspects discussed((in part 1)), these two small paragraphs bring almost as many questions as they do answers; the biggest question concerning how this machine was tested before it was used in the final moments of Telara and what was gained from the testing. From this quote it seems fairly simple: objects placed in the gateway, or anchor stream, are returned to the moment the machine was created; simple reversing along a straight line of time. However, any object placed in the temporal stream and sent back would be returning to a moment in time before the research was made that would allow said object to make the trip, providing those receiving the object with an unusual event that may send their cultural development in a new direction.


How were the current scientific studies and society effected by the receipt of such an item. At the very least, receivers were given indisputable evidence that such engineering was possible, inspiring their research and possibly leading them in a new direction. Assumptions can be made that the object being used in the experiment held detailed information about the engineering and advancements that made the trip possible - this is exactly the case for Defiant Ascended returning to a pre-destruction Telara - however, if true, the receipt of such information would have the effect of creating an alternate timeline - Forever erasing the timeline where the machine was originally created, tested, and proven. With this original timeline of discovery gone, what byproducts of innovation were lost when development plans changed from research to reproduction due to new information? What was created and developed through trials and what information was completely the work of future generations?

The alternate timeline created may not have been obvious, or even visible, to citizens of Telara. There is some evidence to suggest that Orphiel was working to create this machine alone. Stavel Rosso, Sylver's assistant, says it took them some time to decipher the genius of Orphiel's construction. The Knowledge Collective says Orphiel would not share the exact details of its creation with anyone. Both of these quotes lead to the realization that Orphiel was developing this technology away from other Defiants; whether it was to protect the Defiant from the possible repercussions of a split in their timeline or because of some other motivation, it is clear that Orphiel was possibly the only person to see the machine in action before it was needed in Terminus.


The Defiant Quaeni Nidain gives us some information on the time. Travellers through this failsafe machine will "arrive shortly after the discovery of the original life factory," which is year zero, after the fall of Port Scion and the official division of Defiant and Guardian. Before the division, Orphiel must have spent time researching and working on the technology of the machine. It seems unlikely that he would built the machine at such an early stage without this knowledge of its usefulness. However, this also means it is likely the machine created shortly after the discovery of the first life factory was not, in fact, the only machine of its kind. To develop the machine, Orphiel would have required a similar device to conduct his research and trials. The location, in both time and space, of the earlier machines may never be known. The Orphiel of the original Timeline disapeared and the Orphiel of the current timeline remains silent.


Digging further into Orphiel's motives offers the question of why; why did Orphiel spend his time developing a machine that would return objects? The destruction of Telara at the hands of the bloodstorm, though a possibility, was not a forgone conclusion at the time the machine was created. It was not until the machines were destroyed in the sacking of Meridian that the Defiants lost hope and locked themselves away to focus on the creation of Ascended. It must be assumed the machine was built for some other purpose, the salvation of Telara being a very important side effect - That, or Orphiel was gifted with a prophetic vision of the future.


The true reasons for its development may never be known. All of this speculation leads me to wonder about the fate of Orphiel. The Knowledge Collector in the life factory said he disapeared sometime before the sacking of Meridian, his body never discovered. Could Orphiel have used his own machine? It seems unlikely he used the same time anchor the Defiants hope to use for their Ascended; no mention is made of his unexpected appearance at the time of the machine's creation. He could, however, have made use of one of his earlier time anchors, one used for the prototype required to complete the research. His secrecy would have permitted him to transport himself to a time and place where only he, the original he, would have been witness. Perhaps, unbeknownst to the general population, there were two Orphiel's in Telara at some point in history. The Shade, Port Scion, or some other unknow point in time; until Orphiel speaks up, we will never know if this theory is true.