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Arcanum prequel ideas (and general lore faggotry)

Discussion in 'Arcanum 2 Suggestion Forum' started by NamelessOne, Apr 6, 2013.

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  1. NamelessOne

    NamelessOne New Member

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    Now, I know Arcanum 2 isn't being made and it's bloody unlikely it ever will be, but on certain other topic someone was making music for possible fan-made Arcanum sequel and there were also wild discussions about more futuristic sequel. I had different ideas though and decided to go in and dump in some of them for just heck of it. Ofcourse in a form of texty walls of text I love. Things got way too long for my own good though, so I was instructed to make a new topic about them.

    Anyway, here they are, enjoy and feel free to use the ideas expressed here for whatever and maybe even add your own!

    [ramble starts]

    IIRC Iron Clan is much older than Age of Legends, ie. Iron Chest being older than Bellerogrim. Setting it into Iron Clan times would give pretty free workaround what to include and what to do, since Iron Clan to my knowledge is the only concrete thing Arcanum that is that ancient. It should be noted though it was probably time of much higher magic than even the Age of Legends (the older you go, more magic you have, since it's nearer to the supernatural selection and Epoch of High Enchantment) and there might have been giants, dragons etc. It is very unlikely though that Iron Clan is older than Epoch of Enchantment, I'd say at maximum their demise was 10 000 years ago, but more likely about 5000 years ago.

    There is really interesting information on the manual suggesting that the dwarves retreated into mountain caverns due to some sort of unknown catacalysm. It somewhat smells like that there was nuclear (and possibly magickal, involving creator of orcs as it seems dwarves have unknown racial drudge towards orcs) war that obliterated Iron Clan as well as other cultures back then. That would explain why dwarves retreated into their stone homes (in the times Iron Clan dwarves most likely lived above ground, this is confirmed by manual too) and it would explain also why they're very carefully considering consequences of technology they use. Most likely Iron Clan (and possible other clans back then) was more free with their usage of technology and that was what led to it's demise. Also the dwarven tomb in Tarant might have been nuclear/magickal war survivors who had been afflicted with mutations for generations. There is possibility for some Fallout-like scenario material here!

    What the other races were doing back then is somewhat mystery. It is known that elves were as advanced as today by 750,000 years ago, but human, halfing and gnome cultures in the times of Iron Clan are totally unkown. Then again orcs (which I mentioned earlier) were born somewhat 5000 years ago (in Dark Fens) and this might be related to times times Iron Clan. It could even be that the dwarves (of Iron Clan and others) were actually fighting against great magickal powers and were possibly allied with other races against the threat which might have been very well someone who created the orcs. This would also make interesting scenario and explain why, there was both nuclear weapons and probably more than Arronax level of magicks involved. One hypothesis is that Kerghan wasn't the first necromancer, but infact it was one of the early Dark Elves, specifically their leader who also possible created orcs.

    Still it is possible though that Iron Clan were just your average mountain dwelling Dwarves albeit with better technology, but lack of their dwellings seems to point in other direction, as it's pretty clear such dwellings would have survived the catacalysm unlike surface cities.

    It's also notable that certain dwarf in Arcanum has ancient toy train as family heirloom, though it's highly possible Wheel Clan dwarves would have utilized trains inside their mountain mines too and the train isn't really that old and doesn't look advanced enough to be based on Iron Clan technology. Still it could have been based on some very ancient Iron Clan engravings containing pictures of their earlier trains when they were living in the plains of modern Arland as is said in the manual.

    I'd place the tech of Iron Clan into 1950s earth, as their tech definitely wasn't as advanced as present day tech we have, but they still might have had rudimentary computers (most likely atleast mechanical ones, if not even electronics), modern guns, combustion engines and they might very well have even attempted spaceflight. What is clear though is that they didn't most likely have digital technology nor any energy weapons, unless you count their firehammer. Most likely that hammer is just normal hammer with resevoir of pressurised flammable liquid having electrical ignition mechanism and nuclear power source to last thousands of years. It's hard to imagine they would have used anything other as power source than somesort of nuclear energy considering how long lasting it seems to be. Then again ironically enough nuclear power is technically steam power (though everything that uses heat to generate energy is), so it fits well. :D

    I know, Place of Lost Voices suggest kind of lower technology with phonographic drums, but it seems to be designed purely as time capsule (same can be said by Durin Stone burial), so I think they opted for something that would last the ages rather than having magnetic media, computers and what not that are prone to failure after few decades. It is also more than likely that these places were hastily created to store important knowledge during the catacalysmic war when dwarves realized they're losing it. The fact that Place of Iron also seems to be burial chamber for their king would suggest that things were looking pretty grim for Iron Clan when they built it.

    Another interesting tidbit is that it seems very clear that the Iron Clan was inventor of arachnids and other robots, since they all look like ones made by Iron Clan. Their original power source was most likely not basic steam engines though. Considering how long those robots (not to mention their power armor) have been running I believe their power source might have been some sort of fantasy nuclear RTG with very long lifetime if it was true that they dabbled in nuclear technology. It is also unknown whether original Iron Clan automatons had electronic "brains" or just clockwork AI, but I'd say some sort of electronics are far more likely.

    I wouldn't consider present day Arcanum machined plates and robots running on nuclear power though, even if it highly seems so in the game. It's just game logic you don't have fuel them. Like the fact that every gun fires same ammo. :p

    More well known Age of Legends would make good setting too though. There is high-magic and on the side of technology we have Vendigroth.

    I'd vision those times as mostly peaceful (atleast not many major wars) rule of Elven Council all over Arcanum, but few individuals like Bane of Kree and Gorgoth causing ruckus all over the place. I'm not sure where the Elven Council was based and what major countries and cities there were back then, but most likely Arland was very major player. Kree was probably pretty big city too and judging by it's architecture it wasn't exactly very nice place. Too bad Torian Kel doesn't tell me much of it. Then again many ruins seem to share it's architecture, so it might have been part of a larger lost culture. Possibly an earlier human culture that might have been much more warlike than current human culture of Arcanum. Though still I think altar of Shakar was added later by barbarians or possibly wandering orcish tribes, considering that there is another altar (probably the original) near it with the golden idol. Can't say anything about what gnomes, halfings or ogres were doing though.

    The dragon Bellerogrim was also living and kicking back then along with many other legendary creatures. Gods of all races played important part too as there was no universal religion like Panarii back then. There was also lost spells, atleast Mass Resurrection and some sort of flame spell IIRC, but it's suggested that every college of magick had 8 spell instead of 5.

    Vendigroth on the otherhand I vision mostly as 1920-30s (earth) in terms of tech, but having some wonder-technology like possibly mechanical computers (mechanical AI atleast, but even present day Arcanum has mechanical semi-intelligent automatons, though both are probably actually reverse-engineered Iron Clan technology), medical technology oddities (Vivifier), somewhat odd weaponry like Bromwyck's gun and ofcourse the iconic Vendigroth Device. Warbringer is another interesting case though as it does electrical damage, but not so odd, since there actual electroshock rounds even in real-life. I suspect reason for such electrically charged bullets would be to counter resistances of magickal enemies.

    It would seem (atleast to me) that Vendigroth was basically ancient equivalent of Bates and Tarant. Meaning that they didn't invent most of their technology, but most likely somehow discovered old Iron Clan ruins or it was Velorien who showed them it. Not much is known about Velorien except that he(or whatever) was the creator gods and everything. It might be that Iron Clan were Velorien worshippers too and received their technology via that route. Durin philosophy might vaguely suggest Alberich, but it could be that Iron Clan were polytheistic. Atleast in the case of Vendigroth polytheism was very likely considering that Velorien actually requires you to do offerings to every god there is.

    It is unkown what sort of power sources Vendigrothians were using. They might have focused on combustion, possibly water power or even just old coal fuelled steam power. It's hard to say from those cars in ending slides whether they have steam or combustion engines. It is still possible though Vendigrothians actually had some sort of nuclear power, since those automatons still run. Though if they did they probably didn't fully understand (ie. using salvaged Iron Clan reactors as base or the schematic were granted by Velorien) what they were dealing with or otherwise they'd have bombed Elven Council to smithereens. I'd say myself that Iron Clan hypothesis is pretty solid, since it fits very well with lore and everyone knows history repeats itself. I can't help, but to see Vendigroth as ancient version of Tarant (just look at the newspapers), but just little more advanced. This would explain also why there is very little left of the Iron Clan. Vendigrothians basically salvaged everything for themselves. Aside the two time capsule vaults which they might have not known about or didn't care.

    Another somewhat interesting timeline would be post Age of Legends medieval arcanum. Not much tech there, but still lots of lost magicks. There would also be dwarven clan wars with their mighty engines of destruction providing some tech fun though. That time I would vision as pretty basic medieval high fantasy, but with dwarves giving it some technological flavour. Lots of crazy necromancers building dungeons and castles, dwarves duking it out in their civil war with Lorek (the Hitler) and Tullans being Tullans as they are although more magickal. I'm not sure were those the times of Gray Legions and Molocheans too, but IIRC it wasn't during the Age of Legends as Kerghan was banished before Derian Ka was founded although I recall there were some sources in the game saying that he founded it. Then again Arcanum's timeline according to the dialogs is full of inconsistencies and silliness, but I blame it on forged history and errors of historians. :roll:

    [/Ramble ends]
     
  2. Ruda

    Ruda Member

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    First of all I must give you praise for your interesting ramblings. Many new and refreshing thoughts.

    Secondly, I think that a proper timeline would be invaluable to any discussion of Arcanum's history. You're entirely correct in sugesting that the Iron Clan is the earliest culture we know of and that their demise was followed by the Age of Legends. However, actual timelines could help

    About your thoughts, then. For the record, I'm only comenting on the stuff I either disagree with or have my own opinions on. The things I don't comment on I more or less buy completely.
    I'm not entirely sure where you find support for your nuclear war theory. While it is plausible I find it unlikely due to the lack of fallout and the rather healthy environment we find in the game. A nuclear war the obliterated entire cultures would, I believe, leave scars on the land. The manual does indeed sugest that the orcs were involved somehow. A simple war between orcs and dwarves works as an explanation to the Iron Clan's downfall, without the nuclear aspects. However, the game does mention some sorts of "weapons of mass destruction" (either Ravdner or Loghein (or however they spell their names) talks on the subject briefly) in the form of machinery able to destry mountains and the like.
    Having a powerful magickal enemy cotemporary with the Iron Clan capable of destroying the all the ancient cultures (ancient meaning Iron Clan era) would work if this "enemy" in fact is an early version of the Elven Council (then consisting solely of followers of the "conservative" dark elven philosophy) and actually survives and thrives after the cataclysm mentioned. (That would further challenge your nuclear war theory, I think.) The problem here is that the Iron Clan must be, as you point out, much older than the Age of Legends. The Iron Chest itself is the sole remaing Iron Clan relic in Bellerogrim's lair. It's much older than the dragon and the dragon itself was pretty old at the time it was killed by Kraka-tur, which was during the Age of Legends. Yet, if the Elven Council caused the cataclysm and built a new society afterwards, then the Age of Legends would follow immediately after the Iron Clan's demise and not much later. This could easily be retconned, however.
    This is a very interesting theory. Early dark elves (or elves following the same elitist philosophy) could fit with my Elven Council theory. The early (dark) Elven Council fights the Iron Clan and creates the orcs to do their fighting for them. Afterwards the council slowly drift towards the more peace loving Nasrudin style Council causing their more conservative members (the current dark elves) to form their own club. The relation between dark elves and orcs that you sugest also partially explains the fact that the dark elf racial icon is a combination of the orc icon and the elf icon as I mentioned in this thread. The others did not agree with my theories, however.
    I can't see any relations between the Iron Clan and the Vendigrothians; they are on completely opposite sides of the continent. However, we do know that the Vendigrothian Empire was pretty large. The cogs found in Shrounded Hills are probably of Vendigrothian origin (the only readable text on them is "...groth", after all), which sugests that they were pretty far reaching.

    Anyway, you're ideas are obviusly a bit more thought through than my pitiful impressions. I do think, however, that a prequel has to take place during a time where magick and technology are on fairly equal terms, for gameplay reasons. Also, having one race being absolutely dominating all technology (as the Iron Clan dwarves would do during the ancient era) could make a game a bit strange for non-dwarven technology using players.

    On a final note, I'd like to mention that your prequel lacks one ingredient which was vital for my enjoyment of Arcanum. That ingredient is that it mirrors our world, albeit very loosly. To begin with we have the 19th century industrial revolution led by Tarant and the Unified Kingdom and the gnomish bourgeoisie fighting it out with the orcish proletariat. The dragons are the dinosaurs of Arcanum. Even though the timeline doesn't fit you have got to agree that they have the same role. Having a prequel where the dinosaur-dragons are alive and kicking, as you say, would feel very strange to me at least. There are, of course, MANY other similarities (such as the different races mirroring stereotypes of different ethnical groups in our world - I daren't enter THAT discussion just yet...) but these are enough for you to get the picture.


    Other than that, I adore your ideas. Good luck with your modding, eh?
     
  3. NamelessOne

    NamelessOne New Member

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    True, I'm kinda surprised no-one has ever attempted it, but then again no-one has actually even tried to collect Arcanum's lore anywhere. Sad, but true. Compare that to many other games with even less lore having their own wikis neatly documenting every small bit. It would be awesome if remains of Troika (in Obisidian) would release the design documents. I'm sure they still have them.

    You know Fallout takes place and even the second part advances time merely by 160 years since the war, so it's nothing compared to how ancient Iron Clan was. Also in that setting effects of nuclear war are grossly exaggerated, since it tries mimic 50s nuclear scare theories which promoted idea of nuclear weapons turning everything to arid desert. This is also why there was no nuclear winter either, but it's highly probably that nuclear winter is just as bogus theory as nuclear desert. Radiation and fallout as we know will be likely gone in few hundred years at most.

    Considering that Age of Legends ended most likely about 2000 years ago (at most) and lasted for maybe 1000 years or so, it means that there still would be atleast millenium or so between it and the destruction of Iron Clan (if we say it happened few years/decades after the creation of orcs), though I'm not sure when Elven Council was established (someone who knows could correct me), but it was definitely not so long ago as the creation of orcs. Pretty much most of the effects of a nuclear war would be probably gone by 1000 years or so, leaving only the hints of destruction which do exist (somewhat), considering how there is no ruins or anything left of the Iron Clan times.

    There could be massive craters still left though (unless the weapons were airbursts), but even they could eventually turn into swamps and bogs or otherwise get filled with vegetation. Also if a city was built on top of such crater(s) I believe it/they would be likely filled. Even 1000 years is a really long time. There's also lack of forests in Arcanum. We all know forests of Morbihan were cut down by Tarant, but Caladon cutting down all Arland forests seems unlikely at most and there isn't really much forest outside Thanatos and Glimmering anyway. Something big happened and it wasn't probably just Tarantians and their clear-cutters. I find it hard to believe that it's just game logic either, since they managed to easily do forest areas in some places.

    The reason why I had this hypothesis of M.A.D. by nuclear and/or magickal war was partly because it was made by same guys as Fallout, but also because something very destructive made dwarves to retreat into caverns (this is a concrete fact, actually), possibly caused surface dwelling dwarves to mutate (tomb in Tarant) and the fact that not even elves (or anyone) seem to have any records (not even oral ones) dating back to those times. Note how even the Iron Clan itself is just a myth. It could be magickal superweapons only too, but it was something EXTREMELY huge and destructive for sure. I can't see mere dumb orcs destroying most technologically advanced culture, even if they'd come in hordes. I mean wouldn't they just shoot them and laugh? Now on the otherhand their mage masters could easily do that (like Arronax), but there is possibility that dwarven weapons of mass destruction were involved too.

    Regardless, those facts above suggest that there was some sort of massive destruction and it had long lasting negative effects to the living conditions outside dwarven caverns. Elves might have avoided that partly through magick and humans/others probably just survived through the hardships by just enduring them.

    Those machines of mass destruction mentioned by Randver and Loghaire refer to different and more recent time though. Specifically the Clan Wars of Lorek. I believe they are probably more of a humongous mecha type, but it could refer to nuclear bombs too. That was 500 years ago IIRC, but even that time is pretty much enough to hide most effects of (very small scale) nuclear warfare especially considering that they didn't probably use many of such bombs during Clan Wars. I believe the levelling of mountains could easily and most likely refer to single event. Still, it might that Lorek possessed some of the Iron Clan technology. Infact it's more than likely since it seems that Lorek's clan (or kingdom or whatever) was based in Arland considering that the final battle was fought in Gorgoth Pass. It might have been that Lorek was trying to revive some sort of Iron Empire (I will delve into this later), ie. multiracial empire ruled by dwarves (who would consider themselves racially superior), since it's hinted he betrayed his stone and thus his race.

    There is also the fact that something very long lasting is powering all the gadgetry of both Iron Clan and Vendigroth. It's definitely not coal burning or even somesort of gasoline combustion. That pretty much points into nuclear direction, unless Fire Gems (mentioned by Teach) are the suspect. I mean if they are actually naturally (and thus neutral) occuring phenomenon in Arcanum and produce long lasting heat, then they could be easily used to generate power. Then again it doesn't make much sense why we never see anything powered by them even if they are rare. There is still possibility though that the Fire Gems themselves are somesort Arcanum equivalent to fissile materials and their heat generation is actually caused by nuclear fission reaction, so it might be that the current technologists of Arcanum don't know how to use them.

    There is also rather interesting possibility regarding origins of Iron Clan that wouldn't be so problematic with Age of Legends stuff. It might have been that the Iron Clan itself was splinter group of greater dwarven empire that used to exist way back. It could be mean that catacalysm that destroyed surface dwelling dwarves happened much more earlier and orcs or the party who made them had nothing to do with it. The fact that Iron Clan was a clan and not Iron Empire or something suggests this, but it could still have been once something like Iron Empire and only reason why we know them as clan was the fact they were just small band of survivors of some very devastating event. Maybe Iron Clan was small group like Fallout Brotherhood of Steel that eventually got overrun by orcs and magick. Although it's highly probably they once were great empire at some point, since it's unlikely some small dwarven community developed technology that seems to be more advanced than Vendigroth.

    Another theory (more like wild hypothesis though) that gets often thrown around is that the Iron Clan were surviving Vendigrothian dwarves, but this is discounted by the fact that their time capsules (which were obviously designed by civilization that already knew it was dying soon, can't see why they would make such places if they were prospering in some golden age) are more older than Vendigroth.

    I like your theory, though to be honest I was personally thinking a way different scenario that had nothing to do with Elven Council. In my scenario an alliance composed of all races was fighting against lost dark elven civilization led by great necromancer who made orcs (from humans, most likely) as slave warriors and laborers. Something akin bit to Mordor and Sauron. Anyway it was good observation concerning the racial icon and I'm pretty sure it was dark elves who made the orcs. I mean, anyone else would be very unlikely canditate. Unless the orcs were actually formed by accident in the catacalysm (whether nuclear or magickal) that made dwarves to retreat into caves.

    Noting how there is no Iron Clan related ruins anywhere (aside two places which clearly weren't ever meant to house people) I think someone must have looted them so hard that there was nothing left. One explanation would be that they were very small akin to Stone Cutter clan (like I pointed earlier with enclave-hypothesis), but considering how high level of technology they had and how lasting their legacy seems to be, I find it hard to believe they weren't something greater at some point. I'd say they might have occupied whole Arland at some point and they might have worked alongside humans, gnomes or even (non-technology despising, they seem to exist in game ironically enough) elves, but that might have been before they were a clan.

    The way I see it there might have been many ruins of Iron Clan (or their forefathers) in Arland, but early Vendigrothians (which at that point weren't so advanced) amassed naval exploration fleets that would loot and ravage those ruins while shipping their spoils back to Vendigrothian factories for reserve-engineering and repurposing. These places were probably considered as taboo by other cultures, but Vendigrothians didn't care. It's highly probable that Elven Council didn't care either. Infact they might have been even happy that someone was removing "bad" technology from their lands. Even dwarves probably didn't care since it's unlikely they understood it was actually dwarven ruins as they already had this cave-dwelling mindset. It could be even that Vendigroth claimed that those ruins were made by their ancestors and others bought that theory. The latter might explain why no-one seems to remember those ruins.

    Anyway, I don't agree with Vendigrothian Empire (in a strict sense) though. It is clearly stated in the game that they were a city-state, but they definitely were very large for a city-state. Much larger than anything Arcanum currently has atleast. They might explored whole Arcanum and beyond, but I don't think they had permanent settlements outside the current wastes and Isle of Despair. Reason why that cog ended up in that mine might be that someone looted it from Vendigrothian ruins (way back) and it was just used to make equipment that was used to mine the iron. Surely there have been looters all over the place anyway (probably explains lack of surface ruins) and I don't believe that mine is so old that it was originally Vendigrothian. The reason why not many know of Vendigroth might be that majority of surface looting happened so long ago that people didn't even understand what they were looting and things got repurposed or smelted. It's hinted though that most ruins are underground, so it's doubtful there was much to loot on surface, but since there are still few surface ruins left, it would suggest there used to be more. It might be also that dark elves who despise technology were deliberately supressing (atleast at some point) the existence of Vendigroth and destroying what remains they could.

    True, though there could be always fellows like Bates and if the Iron Clan (or their ancestors) were large empire or kingdom they surely had people of all races, even if it was the dwarves who had most of the political power. Like I said before it is totally unknown how big was Iron Clan and what was their origins. Only thing we know is that once there were surface dwelling dwarves in Arland (atleast VERY VERY long ago, in literally caveman times, eons ago to be correct, what followed those times is unknown), so Iron Clan might have been either very short lived remnants of something greater or very long lived remnants of something greater. Anyway, if they were remnants of something recently destroyed this could mean Fallout-like scenario with people surviving in the ruins of once great civilizations and Brotherho...I mean the Iron Clan hoarding most of higher technology and Big Bad Enclave of Dark Elves planning magickal purge of sub-elves. :wink: This scenario might conflict a bit with Age of Legends though as you pointed out earlier, unless that age was short-lived (few hundreds years at most) and ended up with Iron Clan (and most of dark elven remnants) being destroyed while civilization and environment recovered.

    This is true, although with Age of Legends you could make parallers to real world Roman and Ancient Greek times. Interestingly enough, the game already does that. You could also see Age of Legends elves as Ancient China (maybe Elven Council was somesort of High Elves? Not much is known about them anyway), something that is suggested in the game already too with elven dynasties and all, but the fact that they ruled over other races would ofcourse change things a bit. Regardless, I seriously doubt the Elven Council was some tree dwelling forest elves considering their power. More than likely they had actual cities, probably bit like Tulla, but bigger, much more multicultural and less university-oriented. Kree for example could have been actually High Elven city, but I admit the architecture of it is kinda dark for that. Also IIRC dragons were really rare already by Age of Legends too, so I doubt there were many aside ol' Bellerogrim.

    On the otherhand with Iron Clan times there would be not much room for real world references, but possibly maybe Egyptian influences (heavily edited ofcourse) would make some great basis for dead Iron Empire (if there was such thing) even if the Iron Clan doesn't express anything like that. Iron (which in this case would be exaggerated as technology that many would probably consider as a form of magick) vs. bronze dichotomy might make interesting plot-point though.

    I don't see how can you balace tech and magick in a sequel (or prequel) though, unless you set it very near to the current time of Arcanum. I mean if you go way backwards then magick is stronger and if you go too much forward then magick weakens. 1920-30s themed sequel might be good idea though, but the reason I'd love a prequel would be that we could explore the history of Arcanum. Then again such exploring could be easily covered in a sequel too, especially if the Vendigroth was raised, since Vendigrothian historians surely would have very extensive records and solving mysteries of Iron Clan would make great quest. Infact it might be like the Half-Ogre quest. You would be resolving conspiracy of Vendigrothians that would eventually reveal lost Iron Empire (player could discover untouched ruins for example, which would be immediately afterwards destroyed by Vendigroth) as source of their wonders, yet no-one would believe you and the evidence would be gone. Infact it would be interesting if Vendigrothians were racist against dwarves generally (ironically enough), believing that technology is THEIR birthright and the dwarves are only new players on the block even if the truth is total opposite.

    Edit:
    For even more crazier and outlandish hypothesis we might ponder on this:
    What if Vendigroth was actually founded by few surviving Iron Clan dwarves even if it was mostly human city during Age of Legends? It just might be, considering that we know nothing of Vendigrothian history. Regardless, they definitely seemed to have advanced quite fast even though their tech level is "low" enough to have been reached in few hundred years.
     
  4. Salvius

    Salvius New Member

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    From what I remember in the Arcanum manual, ancient Dwarves lived in the plains, there is even mention of pictures/murals of dwarf fisherman. There was no known reason for why the Dwarves fled to the mountains, but it was suggested that it was some sort of catastrophe because of the Orcs which would also explain their hatred of Orcs and why they fled to the mountains.
     
  5. Ruda

    Ruda Member

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    Heh, I might have overreacted slightly. I do not, however, believe that nuclear winter is a bogus theory. While there is no scientific consensus on the matter, it is still a popular theory and taught at elementary schools (which, of course, isn't proof enough). Still, I consider nuclear weapons to be, how shall I put it, too falloutish. I very much prefer your other theory:
    I don't even think that it needs to be "EXTREMELY huge and destructive". Magick and technology is said to coexist, but I believe that it's also mentioned that they come in cycles (high magick followed by decline and rise of high tech, followed again by decline of tech and new rise of magick etc). Isn't it possible that the world simply cannot handle the dominance of either? The game starts in an era of high tech (the mages have fled for Tulla and Tarant is kicking the Cumbrian arse with technology). Eventually that could lead to nuclear weapons (or something equally destructive) and the "end of the world as we know it". Civilization will then be reborn with a new rise of magick etc, etc.

    Ristezze describes magick as something that is "bending the laws of nature" while technology on the other hand "follows the laws". With that description I get the feeling that magick is much more unstable than tech. How long can the world stand and era of magick dominance where the laws of nature are constantly bended (broken even). Pushing it too far, perhaps magick could be just as destructive as nuclear weapons. The world is severely injured and civilization dies. While the world is reborn, new technological civs will rise.

    The Iron Clan could be the last technologists in an era of magick dominance. They notice the effects magick have on the earth and goes into hiding. (Now we just have to work the orcs into this somehow...)


    I can live with this theory as it answers a lot of questions. Another posibility (quite unlikely though) is that Vendigroth could be an Iron Clan colony using humans as slave labour. Then the humans pull a "planet of the apes" and overthrows their dwarven overlords and rewrites history.

    First of all, I utterly despise the happy, happy ending for Vendigroth. It's revolting. How on earth can one restore a destroyed technological city using magick!? I always kill Arronax (or make sure he dies in the final battle) to avoid it.
    The idea of a 1920-30s sequel is brilliant though. I'll return later with more ideas on that!

    Edit:There are loads of interesting themes from the 1920-30s. I'd actually want to go as far as 1900-1960 to cover as much as possible, at least one of the world wars among other things.

    Interesting themes and how to include them:
    1. World wars - I'd go for the first one, since trench warfare is more immobile and therefore more fitting for a role playing game. One of Arcanum's endings (I believe the one with war between Caladon and Tarant where you hadn't given the camera to Maxim) contained a picture of a dead knight and trenches. However the actual war should be fought between Tarant and Dernholm. It should be over Blackroot (with both Cumbria and UK guaranteeing their "independence") and it should start with a news story in The Tarantian ("The Shot in Blackroot") where the mayor of Blackroot has been assassinated (conspiracy quest material). Oh, and the war would need Ironclads and Landships.
    2. Depression - This too could be included nicely. The Tarantian currency in Arcanum is backed by gold, right? Well, do you remember "the crazy old man" in Shrouded Hills? He found out how to create gold which threaten/destroy the economy. Loads of quest material.


    Also, more prequel thoughts: What about the m'nura coins? It's obviously currency, but which civilization used it?
     
  6. Lealo

    Lealo New Member

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    Colonization is bound to happen, or have already happend at some point. Use it as you see fit: )
     
  7. NamelessOne

    NamelessOne New Member

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    Yeah, magick is like that. Mage manipulates laws of physics with his/her willpower and considering that such act is very chaotic and unstable (even as an idea) it could very lead to destructive results on a large scale. Considering that during Epoch of Enchantment elves and many other magickal beasts were seemingly created just by magickal energies it seems to also have some sort of mind of it's own and that makes it even more unstable. I also believe that magick can be far more destructive than most poweful of nuclear weapons. I mean it's technically almost limitless.

    Generally you're correct and I find your idea of Iron Clan being the last technologist in a more magickal era interesting. Maybe they were very long lived dwarven clan who actually retreated to caverns due to diasterous results (to technology) that Epoch of Enchantment brought about. Imagine dwarven surface cities being bombarded with magickal energies and all technological infrastructure failing. Pretty much equals nuclear catastrophe and if they had atomic power it might have been partly nuclear anyway. They might have lived very very long mundane lives in caverns when the surface was filled with magicks. Slowly dying away, perhaps even forgetting some of their past and at some point splitting into different clans.

    Regarding to cycling we know that magick apparently "entered" Arcanum during Epoch of Enchantment (900k years ago) and it had very profound effects on races and everything. This was (possibly) the first cycle of magick and it's still going somewhat strong. Next magickal cycle might take hundreds of thousands of years to come, since next fully technological era has not even began yet.

    I don't personally believe in rapid cycling of magick/tech (or more correctly natural/supernatural), since the game seems to suggest those cycles are VERY long.

    There is also possibility that orcs might not relate to Iron Clan at all, since they are so young. It's possible that Iron Clan wasn't around anymore. Sadly, we can never know.

    Yeah, I have never been much of a fan either, but it's sad fact that it's integral part of perfect good ending and thus likely (would have been) considered as sequel material. Now that there's no-one making sequel ever, aside possible fan productions it's not that important actually. I just liked to play with it bit. Far better idea would be to combine Tarantian and Vendigrothian tech. Sort of Vendigrothian reneissance culminating into pulp-scifi esque tech Vendigroth had.

    Early gnomes I believe, since Kerlin takes them as offerings. It was probably the first currency in Arcanum and possibly all races utilized it, since it's very commonly found everywhere. This is only wild speculation though. It's never explained (at all) in the game where they came from.

    Your 20s ideas are pretty much what I was thinking, although I'd put some pulp-exploration (Indiana Jones style) fantasies there too. Maybe some Lovecraft too and orcish mafia. I was thinking the world war part could have been already over though when the game began. Would be easier to implement as even slow thrench warfare is kinda hard to implement in Arcanum like roleplaying setting. Also it makes very little sense to have actual ongoing world war in 20-30s style setting. Perhaps the second one would be brewing though.
     
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