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Thread: Paladins and the Light

  1. #1
    Shadowlander
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    Default Paladins and the Light

    There's no mistaking that Trion got a lot of inspiration for Rift from "that other game."

    One of the souls I've been exploring is the Paladin. Previously, I've ignored it because it was a tank soul, and I don't like to tank. But I thought I try it out just for fun.

    I was intrigued by some of the names of the abilities. Light's Balm, Light's Vengenance, Light's Decree, Light's Reprisal, etc.

    I know that The Light is the philosophy/diety/religion in Warcraft, but I was rather shocked to see it brought into Rift in that manner. I started thinking, "Maybe they should have renamed those abilities 'Vigil's Balm, Vigil's Vengenance' etc." But that wouldn't work for Defiant characters.

    So, it got me thinking about The Light in general and how it's been incorporated into the game. To my recollection, I don't really remember seeing anything mentioned. Sure, we all know Paladins to be typically the Holy Warriors, and they fight darkness with light (i.e. evil with holiness). To be honest, I can't really think of any other term that best describes the righteous, blessed, good, moral, protectors of the innocent, judges of the reprobate, etc.. Yet, it seems like there was a blantant copy from Warcraft without any thought as to what The Light meant in Rift.

    I understand the concept of the blessed, holy Paladins. Yet, I'm having trouble reconciling how they fit into the lore with The Light. Maybe I'm taking things too literal with the direct correlation to Warcraft, but it just seems The Light doesn't fit in this game.

    Any help to assist in qualming my angst?

  2. #2
    Plane Walker
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    There is this book about the first paladin that might shed some light? :) though I am unsure now if these books are still in game.

    Amardis Mathos: Paladin (Book)
    'The story of Amardis Mathos, the first paladin to walk Telara.'
    When the chieftain of Clan Mathos united the scattered northmen to fight the Blood Storm Wars, he entrusted the safety of the land and people to his daughter, Amardis. But TeIara's landscape and weather patterns shifted dramatically during the wars, as planar energy confused the world's ecology. Crops withered, game grew scarce, and famine gripped Clan Mathos, until southern merchants brought an enticing proposition.


    lf the traders were allowed to mine sourcestone from caverns on clan land, the northmen would have all the food they required. Weak to the well-fed merchants' temptations, the people cried out for Amardis to accept the offer.


    But the young leader felt ill-at-ease about the bargain, so she entered the caves to commune with Thedeor. She finished praying and opened her eyes, and before her lay her father's shield, newly affixed with a pulsing piece of sourcestone.


    A voice spoke to Amardis: “Take it, daughter, and reveal the truth."


    The next morning, as people gathered around the strangers' carts, Amardis came forward, girded for battle. Without warning, she sent the caravan master sprawling with a backhand blow from the holy shield. Gold coins stamped with the glowing mark of Laethys tumbled from his robe, and the clansmen realized they had nearly turned over their holy caverns to agents of the Golden Maw.


    Amardis led the charge as Clan Mathos took up arms to drive out the cultists, intercepting blows meant for others and drawing the enemy away from weaker clan members. People would later report that a glowing aura surrounded her, crackling as she down the dragon's agents with devastating blows from her sword and shield.


    All seemed lost when one of the caravan’s Cyclops guards dealt Amardis a devastating blow to the chest with his serrated blade. ln a haze of pain, she struggled back to her feet, pressing her hand to the wound. Golden light seeped from her hand and closed the gash, and this miracle caught the Cyclops off guard. Amardis cleft his hideous head from his shoulders, breaking the Golden Maw offensive in a single stroke.


    The Mathosians drove the remaining cultists into the mountains. Though they claimed the food and other goods from the caravans, Amardis insisted they melt down the gold to forge an altar to Thedeor. This monument would one day stand in the heart of Caer Mathos, the home of many Mathosian paladins for centuries to come.

  3. #3
    Shadowlander
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    Yes, I've read that story before when it was on the lore pages of the original site. To me, it really doesn't suggest anything Light-based. From what I've read, Thedeor was the god of adventure, courage, honor, and combat.

    "Thedeor - One of the gods of the Vigil, known as 'The Sword'."

    So it's a hard stretch, for me, to transfer that to something known in-game as "the Light" when there are no further references to the Light. Like I said before, it seems like Trion just merely copied Warcraft's nomenclature with Light-based abilities without really giving any thought to how they would transfer to this game.

    As an aside note (as was pointed out by another poster on another thread) - it is shameful that Trion moved all the lore pages to an obscure place on another site. It almost as if the only thing worth promoting now is the Rift Store. There are still those of us out there who enjoy a story and GREAT LORE mixed with what we play. For me, it gives me a reason to play so that I can see how the game will progress. If I wanted mindless killing all day, I would just play PacMan and eat blue ghosts!

  4. #4
    Soulwalker Fembot's Avatar
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    Even within WoW itself, capital-L Light doesn't necessarily mean the religion that is the Church of Light. When I see abilities like that in Rift, I tend to assume it means little more than "glowy stuff that's associated with goodness and justice."

    It's not terribly uncommon in RPG settings (of which WoW is only one) to treat such a force as a separate entity from its wielder. It implies that there's nothing subjective about Doing the Right Thing. Whether this is due to religion (this capital-L Light being the will of the Vigil or some other spirit) or philosophy (humanistic ideals without the involvement of divine powers) is probably up to the Telaran Paladin in question.

  5. #5
    Ascendant Shattered's Avatar
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    I, too, have wondered about Light-based skills and how they fit into the scheme of things. There is never any explanation for it that I have found. I would love to get some clarification from Trion. I would also love it if Light-based skills were a bit more widespread.
    RIFT- now Pay 2 Gamble 2 Win
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  6. #6
    Ascendant Maeloda's Avatar
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    1) Yep, the soul books are still in the game and very much valid! They're the tales of the Blood Storm War heroes that banded together (like Ascended 5-mans except mortal) to trap the dragons while they were fighting against each other.

    2) The Light itself isn't a religion, but religions-gods can have more affinity to the Light.

    3) The Light is... well, I think in Tempest Bay there's some Lesser Essences called Lightbenders. Consider that Telara is at the Nexus of the Planes, and the Planes are not just elements, but also colors. That makes Telara the 'brightest' part of the cosmos (perhaps) and where all the elements reflect off of. Light.
    Essentially, 'Light' is the purest and most positive part of ...anything that exists. It's the bright and fun part of the Fae, instead of the sociopathic and angry part of them. It's the curious and helpful part of the Deep Ones (at least seen through the 'Deeps' character of the old world event a while ago), instead of the rageful and interfering.

    4) It's been implied that while there are the 6 known planes, there are also Light and Dark sides to it. There is even some theorizing that Telara itself has a dark side that either exists on the known world somehow, or instead there could be a Dark Telara with some Reverse Nexus that we're not aware of yet!

    5) Whatever the Vigil is, they at least currently seem to embrace the Light and send it to their worshippers through cracks in the Ward when they can, or through their 'Light' embracing Messengers. However, since Sourcestone itself may be also called 'stones of light' (they reflect and embody all 6 planes), and Ascended are MADE of sourcestone (as is most of Telara in some way, but Ascended above all), we can say even Defiant Ascended have healthy respect for the 'Light'.
    Because all the Light is, is the positive and harmonious co-existence of the Planes. It creates its own unique power that blasts away the discordant and dark parts of the Planes. That's not to say that being made of pure Water energy (for example) is bad! It's more to say that Water energy that constantly clashes against other energies can give birth to an evil that we're only starting to understand.
    It's this evil that likely gave birth to the Blood Storm (as well as many other beings we'll see), but is also possibly the explanation behind how the Blood Storm dragons could *never* indefinitely co-exist, as discordant energies lead inevitably to separation.
    Our Ascended embody harmony, ultimately, and that's why the events of cross-faction and the truce at Tempest Bay were also inevitable.

    6) Just look at it as Telara being a whole spectrum of color and light, and some of colors get warped, some shine right in your face, some are 'pure light', and some cast shadows either near you, or off into the distance. Many of the Planar item names work off of this idea, and so will the plot, in time. Paladins just embrace the healing power of planar harmony - Guardians channel the Vigil in this, while Defiants channel their idea of planar co-existence, but BOTH are simply using the soul of a long-deceased Paladin of the Blood Storm War in order to power their attacks.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~

    TLDR; the Light is a mystery, but it's NOT only a religion. The Vigil reflect the Light the most, but in their own ways, so do the Sun worshiping Eth, spirit-worshipping (as spirits are created from the Nexus!) Kelari, and ancestor-worshiping (as ancestor spirits are pure Death beings, not corrupted!) Bahmi. They all have their role to play as warriors of the 'Light' of Telara, but the Guardians like to focus on the more overt purity of it, while Defiants find their niches and develop on that.
    That gives Guardians the reputation of being zealots, and Defiants the reputation of being cultists themselves , but they're BOTH good.
    Last edited by Maeloda; 06-24-2013 at 11:25 AM.

  7. #7
    Ascendant Maeloda's Avatar
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    Light is also classified as Life energy in tooltips for gameplay reasons, but Life is also the perfect choice for it in the meantime (until we maybe get Dark and Light attacks themselves, at some point).

    All 6 planes have darkness and light to them, just like colors have light and absence of light (darkness).

    Life is known to be the closest to the Light. There's a reason why the Elves focus on Tavril, and are so devoted to their religion/spirituality by default than even Mathosians are. Life offers greater opportunity for creation and development, both things that the lighter side of the Planes offer. So does Death, just not as much.

    Death is known to be the closest to the Darkness. There's a reason why Regulos and the Endless Court are the most powerful of the dark planar forces so far (with only Crucia really being true competition). Death does offer chance for renewal of ideas and lives, but it focuses on decay and slaughter and reductive actions.

    So when a Vigil worshiper is to talk about the 'harmony of the planes', it really often means 'we worship Life a little more, but we do so moderately, and in acknowledgment of the other elements that keep us alive and productive (water, fire, earth, air) and even begin us on new journeys (death)'. This began with the elves on Mathosia (keep in mind this is before Brevane/Dusken lore was known), and then as 'survival' became less of a priority, the dwarves became more prominent with their Earthen focus on production, and Mathosians saw value in Fire (Thedor having fought Maelforce), and Port Scion reminding everyone of the importance of Water...

    Basically what I'm saying is that while all 6 planes are important to the overall 'Light' of the Vigil, Life is good to represent that above all, because that's what the Vigil is thought to be fighting FOR. It's good that the writers even focus on the Fae on their progression of becoming friendly and helpful folk up to Dendrome, because they're really symbolic of the whole idea of the planes eventually coming together and helping all... just as long as its done in some level of moderation (tsk tsk Greenscale)

  8. #8
    Rift Master Luteuel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maeloda View Post
    4) It's been implied that while there are the 6 known planes, there are also Light and Dark sides to it. There is even some theorizing that Telara itself has a dark side that either exists on the known world somehow, or instead there could be a Dark Telara with some Reverse Nexus that we're not aware of yet!
    is that from the in-game book of eth conspiracies? and if so, couldn't you say that slivers are those dark sides or do you believe those run in parallel to our current universe?
    Rogue - <Ascendance>"
    Luteuel@Greybriar, formely Luteuel@Deepwood

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    Ascendant Maeloda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fembot View Post
    Even within WoW itself, capital-L Light doesn't necessarily mean the religion that is the Church of Light. When I see abilities like that in Rift, I tend to assume it means little more than "glowy stuff that's associated with goodness and justice."

    It's not terribly uncommon in RPG settings (of which WoW is only one) to treat such a force as a separate entity from its wielder. It implies that there's nothing subjective about Doing the Right Thing. Whether this is due to religion (this capital-L Light being the will of the Vigil or some other spirit) or philosophy (humanistic ideals without the involvement of divine powers) is probably up to the Telaran Paladin in question.
    Yeah based on what I typed in the above posts, I see it as two choices for someone who has chosen paladin as something their character is more like (remember that this is separate from 'soul choice' as souls can be seen as just tools to an Ascended):

    1)Rightous Paladin = "I'll force this world into harmony and light! I don't care if it takes brute force and breaking a few eggs." /crusadesforward

    2)Benevolent Paladin = "I'll fight for this world to come to harmony together and heal Telara."

    The second is the more like the actual Soul story quoted earlier in this thread . The first is more like the zealous element of the Guardians, and a few parts of the Defiants (but the Defiants tend to have their zealotry shown in different ways than this).

    Overall, a Paladin is someone who taps into either the Vigil from beyond the Ward, or the Nexus under the surface of Telara, and utilizes the special energy of the Planes mixed together in harmony.

  10. #10
    Ascendant Maeloda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luteuel View Post
    is that from the in-game book of eth conspiracies? and if so, couldn't you say that slivers are those dark sides or do you believe those run in parallel to our current universe?
    It's the Eth Conspiracy and the Tempest Bay Conspiracy Theorist and the recent stuff and hints about the Forgotten Goddess etc.

    It's really nothing to go on, and lore can change quickly in a mmorpg, but yeah.

    I'm not... sure what to think about slivers.

    On one hand, if you consider Fall of Lantern Hook as the first appearance of a sliver in Rift (before Sight was even added in the game), then they could actually be more like pocket universes. Like 'dimensions' but more universal in scope than dims.

    On other hand, they could be FULLY alternate timelines, and because Trion doesn't want us to get all wibbly-wobbly with that idea, they restrict exploration of those timelines to slivers and the Defiant Terminus timeline's failsafe device. I'm more apt to go with that idea - that there are even possibly hundreds+ of Terminus timelines that go almost exactly the same way, except for the Ascended heroes created, that also survived through Terminus well enough to escape through the failsafe. They then pour out of the failsafe in the present time, except as the 'player character', 'we' are the first one to come through and populate the world with our presence.
    Anyway, slivers - I think of them the same way, except they're timelines that we're only allowed to explore a fraction of, due to our fluctuation with 'crossing (time)streams'. It's not so much that time travel is an issue, more that timestreams are typically VERY separate and interfering with that is naturally VERY difficult. Orphiel, or a version of him, may be mucking around with that though ;)
    I would love to see Rift's story go 20 years into the future again, over a while, to see if our Ascended's status starts to disrupt the world as if they've entered a sliver. Maybe there would just be a handwaving away of that like "Oh, the Ascended just got adjusted to the timeline pretty easily." or something :P

    And on the OTHER OTHER hand, there's what you seem to propose - that slivers are actually representative of the entire 'dark side' of Telara, just in different forms. Basically it sounds like the 'light side' is just an intact Telara that perseveres and survives all disasters, eventually, but the 'dark side(s)' are versions that have fallen and never gotten back up.

    I don't know how to explain that properly even to myself! - but I kinda see how this could be. Heck, mix #2 and #3 together and we get Evil-Orphiel's motivation. I mean, he could be trying to escape a Dark Telara, or something. I think things are FAR too vague so far to have an understanding of this though, so I go by #2 by default, and I really don't consider slivers to be pocket dimensions so far, but just that Sliver tech/magic has lead to advancements that allow engineers/magicians of the factions to etch out harmless pocket dimensions themselves. AKA the sliver universes aren't pocket dimensions, but we use sliver abilities in order to visit a pocket OF them.
    Dimensions (housing) therefore is just us making 'slivers' of this currently known Telara. Want to own Gloamwood without actually buying out the real estate? Well, Ascended are bloody rich, so buy a super expensive Dimension of this area instead . Dimension tech/magic fully puts Rift into the area of sci-fi, even as magic is so related to it as well.

  11. #11
    Ascendant Maeloda's Avatar
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    (To quickly add to dimension stuff:
    I would LOVE to, if I was a writer for Rift, add some story to what dimensions are and how they're affecting the very beginning of a new Telaran civilization. Like, I'd make a questhub which is actually full of 'dimension surveyors' exploring an area and laying out the 'pylons' that determine the boundries of what actually becomes that dimension. Then later on (1-2 month later IRL), release that area as a very expensive dimension )

  12. #12
    Shadowlander
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    Thanks, Maeloda, for those recent posts. That really shed some *light* on things.

    I suppose what was troubling me was how I had always perceived the Light myself. I was probably like most people, characterizing it as a combination or morality, purity, lawfulness, and religious fervor. I suppose in Rift that it still encompasses all of that. At the same time, I couldn't think of a better way to describe it. Rather than saying, "I banish you, evil spirit, in the name of all that is good, just, pure, divine, righteous, moral, and lawful," we say, "I banish you, evil spirit, in the name of the Light." Thus, to me, the Light was a synonym that encompassed all things of righteousness. That part, I understood. Yet, I struggled with that concept because I really had seen no mention of it in the game in a specific sense. There was always a mentioning of the Vigil, but nothing per se about the Light.

    The post about the Light being a prismatic outpouring of the combined purities of the planes really made sense - even more so in this game's setting since it is centered around the planes. I would have never come up with that concept, so it was an intriguing read. If I recall correctly, Telara was made at a point where all the planes collided (for lack of a better term), so this prismatic interpretation of the Light really fits with that lore. Also interesting - the possibility of a dark side of Telara existing. Hmmmmm - would make for a good expansion.

    You mentioned some things from the Storm Legion expansion in your posts. I haven't played through SL yet, so now I'm looking forward to encountering some good lore!

    On a side note - good idea about having an in-game event and letting the players participate in building new dimensions. That would be fun!

  13. #13
    Ascendant Maeloda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crim80 View Post
    Thanks, Maeloda, for those recent posts. That really shed some *light* on things.
    You're welcome!

    I suppose what was troubling me was how I had always perceived the Light myself. I was probably like most people, characterizing it as a combination or morality, purity, lawfulness, and religious fervor. I suppose in Rift that it still encompasses all of that.
    Yep, basically. While Guardians may focus on the 'light' more than Defiants (who I think dabble more in the darkness, and really anything that gets them 'ahead'), both factions are two sides of the same coin and represent the full spectrum of the 'goodness' that exists on Telara. It all comes from sourcestone (the origins of which are still kinda confusing). The Guardians want to cherish it, while the Defiants want to expend it for their tech advancements.

    At the same time, I couldn't think of a better way to describe it. Rather than saying, "I banish you, evil spirit, in the name of all that is good, just, pure, divine, righteous, moral, and lawful," we say, "I banish you, evil spirit, in the name of the Light." Thus, to me, the Light was a synonym that encompassed all things of righteousness. That part, I understood. Yet, I struggled with that concept because I really had seen no mention of it in the game in a specific sense. There was always a mentioning of the Vigil, but nothing per se about the Light.
    Yeah that's because there is no 'Light', as defined by my posts. I only call it that in convenience. There's no 'Church of the Light' itself in Telara.

    What there IS, is the Vigil (who are somehow highly connected to this), sourcestone, the 'harmony of the planes', and 'light'. Because the Vigil identify so much with this light, the Guardians are highly fanatical (at least for the Lv 1-52ish stretch!) against those that stand either against the Vigil (like the cults) or in spite of them (like the Defiants).

    Defiants can respect the light of the planes (go to Ember Isle and you'll see that current Kelari have a rather healthy respect for the Nexus and its purity and creative power), but they don't have the luxury of having the Vigil on their side, so they explore any other avenue to power. This can blow up in their faces, but just as often help the Defiants stand toe-to-toe with the Guardians. But uh, I think there's a symbolic reason why the Guardians have the LIFE Saga, and Defiants have the DEATH Saga. They each have stories that reflect parts of how each faction approaches things, and how much they value planar purity (Guardians) as opposed to simply opposing planar corruption (Defiants).

    The post about the Light being a prismatic outpouring of the combined purities of the planes really made sense - even more so in this game's setting since it is centered around the planes. I would have never come up with that concept, so it was an intriguing read. If I recall correctly, Telara was made at a point where all the planes collided (for lack of a better term), so this prismatic interpretation of the Light really fits with that lore. Also interesting - the possibility of a dark side of Telara existing. Hmmmmm - would make for a good expansion.
    Yeah I think it goes that on this 'nexus plane', the 'ley lines' (magical threads of planar power) cross the cosmos and affect each of the planets. The soulstream itself might be a strong version of one. I think this plane would basically be pretty close to our own galaxies otherwise, but because the planes cross with this one (and likely influence it to its core), things are much different
    There's a short story by Trion of a planet where the ogres originated. It crossed much more with the Plane of Earth and they learned to tap into its power, and eventually worship Laethys. This helped them get fat and (the elite of them) rich, and then she just scooped them all up.
    We meet peaceful ogres later in Storm Legion questing, who have taken up a nomadic lifestyle seemingly on purpose. I like to think they're doing this just to atone for their race's previous corruption, just like the Bahmi's ancestors may have.

    Also damn right it could be a great future expansion. We don't know their plans though. They could be going with faster-made planar expansions, or alternate between planar expansions and Telara-based ones, or none of the above. We'll see

    You mentioned some things from the Storm Legion expansion in your posts. I haven't played through SL yet, so now I'm looking forward to encountering some good lore!
    Storm Legion has better core-lore/questing as long as you can get past the Carnage quests ;)

    On a side note - good idea about having an in-game event and letting the players participate in building new dimensions. That would be fun!
    I wasn't actually talking about a World Event or anything (though that might be a good idea at some point!), but more just a questhub in a future expansion of dimension surveyors going on an expedition to 'sell off parts of reality' as dimensions for a quick plat :P

  14. #14
    Shadowlander
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    I'm going to kick a dead horse on this follow up. Bear with me.

    My curiosity got really piqued on this topic after the insightful explanations. I haven't been an avid player of various MMO's. I think five has been the max number that I've ever attempted to play. I do love fantasy lore, however. So, it got me wondering --- since the accepted widespread "definition" of a paladin is some type of divine-touched warrior or other warrior/cleric hybrid, what lore do other games utilize to justify that?

    So far, I've been disappointed. In my research, I've found the generalized "Paladins are the knights of virtue" and "Paladins use divine magic" definitions, but very little is mentioned FROM WHERE that divine magic originates. I suppose one could argue that it's a given that they get it from some patron diety. But, as Rift points out, not all factions have dieties. Thus, I thought it was rather bizarre for EVERY game to claim a diety is responsible. Some games were even more vague, basically claiming that they are just moral warriors whose morality enhances their skills or that they get to learn better moral skills because they have stayed moral so long. Disappointing, to say the least. It's like the creators of those games gave no thought into the background of classes and just said, "Let's have some holy guys that use holy spells. Oh, and how about some mages that throw fireballs. How do they do it? We don't care. They just can."

    Okay, granted, some of those games I have never played. Maybe the lore and source of divine spells was hidden within. But I was still hoping to find something (whether a pact, an item, a patron diety, a ritual, etc) that granted the Light-based/divine-based/holy-based/charisma-based abilities.

    So, after that long gripe, I would like to commend Trion for at least trying to incorporate some good lore into their game. The lore pages that were specific to each soul were really interesting. Those were one of the things that lured me to the game. (LOVED the Warden story!!!) Similarly, I know we gripe about WoW a lot sometimes, but at least they put some thought into it too. I suppose they set the standard oftentimes, and many games may just be mindlessly mimicking them. But at least there was information posted.

    Thanks, Trion, for your efforts on lore. Keep up the good work. I enjoy the story as much as the game mechanics. <applause>

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