Discussion: Political Boundaries

Discussion in 'Arcanum Discussion' started by UniversalWolf, Nov 13, 2010.

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  1. Langolier

    Langolier Member

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    Arcanum is a lot bigger than we get to see. There must be dozens if not hundreds of small elven villages, dwarven clans, orcish tribes, and other small to moderate cities. It's a shame we'll never get to see all of that for real. Then again, we don't really get to experience the implied grandeur of Tarant or Caladon either.
     
  2. Muro

    Muro Well-Known Member

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    Different, yes, but why necessarily larger? It could very well be a clinic or a funny farm on some island, no?

    Doing things the game creators didn't think anyone would do are among the most enjoyable game-related things that can be done.

    The "new world" term is used in the backgrounds of three pre-generated character: Muck Evil Eye, Clarisse Vorak and Ker'ee Melange. In all of those backgrounds the new world thing boils down to "the character wanted to check out the new world, so he bought a ticket on the IFS Zephyr". Thing is, the IFS Zephyr didn't depart from some exotic continent. It set off from Arcanum - Caladon, to be exact. So those pre-generated characters didn't try to change the continent but just move from one of it's ends to another.

    If you'd ask me, the contexts suggest that the new world is Tarant or, in a wider metaphorical sense, the emergent world of the industrial revolution with its origin and spiritual capitol in Tarant.

    Caladon I can understand, but Tarant? For a computer game city, that place is breathtakingly huge. In my first game, I thought that it will just never end, and was quite overjoyed with that fact too. The only downfall was that everything seemed so small in comparison later. Tarant made me think there will be a lot of such big cities out there. Needless to say, disappointments were inevitable.

    From what I recall from my first game, Qintarra, the biggest and most stupendous elven city in Arcanum, was the greatest disappointment. While very climatic, it appeared to be unbelievably tiny. Surely I'm not the only one that expected something a bit bigger than a few trees, several toilet-themed houses and a handful of NPCs, especially after I was exposed to the potential of the authors in the form of Tarant. The previously mentioned Caladon, second largest city of Arcanum, would be a good example of such a disappointment as well.

    I'm already reconciled with the disproportion of size of the locations in Arcanum, but after my first game I was of the opinion that it would be better if Tarant was made smaller and - in exchange for that - other locations bigger. It would make the locations and the experience from exploring them more balanced.
     
  3. Langolier

    Langolier Member

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    If it were smaller I imagine you'd be more inclined to just name the place.

    That is definitely a possibility.

    Sure, 10 years ago. However with what we saw then if you read all the books and the short story that was up on Sierra Arcanum it is clear that Tarant is a bigger place than we get to see. All I'm saying is that even with as impressive as it is (for its time) there is still a lot of it that we don't even glimpse.
     
  4. Muro

    Muro Well-Known Member

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    Unless there is no happy farm whatsoever and not giving any specific names helps hide the fib.

    William Radcliffe: "He was receiving treatments, oversees."
    Living One: "Excuse me, where?"
    William Radcliffe: "What? I told you sir, *oversees*." [gives the Living One a strange look]
    Living One: "Huh? Oh, ah, yes, of course, *oversees*, why didn't you say so? So, where were we?"

    Care to say anything more?

    That is, of course, true, some things were either cut out or left to the imagination.

    For example, there is at least one issue of the Terantian mentioning a mage district in Tarant, several mentions about mage inhabitants of the city, plus Geoffrey telling us about having a job waiting for him in one of the mage consortiums in Tarant, yet the only magickal thing in the city is that one building with three shops and four inhabitants in it.

    I remember being quite sad about that in my first game. At first I even thought that perhaps I somehow missed a whole district somewhere in there.

    Not to mention the most important missing aspect of all towns (with the commendable exception of Qintarra), namely: Where are all the toilets!?

    Humour aside though, I just wanted to say that while I agree that not all that is known about Tarant is shown to us in the game, I can't agree that we can't experience the grandeur of the city. We can admire its glory - perhaps not full glory, but a whole impressing lot of glory for sure.
     
  5. Viktor_Berg

    Viktor_Berg New Member

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    SCIENTIST FOUND BRUTALLY MURDERED!

    We never get to see said scientist's home.
     
  6. Langolier

    Langolier Member

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    Certainly, it could go either way. I don't think it's worth arguing about.

    Do you know the one I'm talking about? The one about Sebastian, Edward Wilsboughy, and Perriman Smythe thwarting some mad-man's plot to have a shooting rampage in Tulla.

    I'm just saying I think it would be really neat to see Tarant again, with a more powerful engine.
     
  7. Muro

    Muro Well-Known Member

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    Sadly, I do not. So that's the "unfortunate affair" which ended up in the derailment at the Vermillion Station?

    The Terantian did mention an unidentified gentleman... Sebastian, of course, how did I not deduce this myself!

    I would very much like to familiarize myself with that story. Do you have any idea where it could be found these days?
     
  8. ytzk

    ytzk Well-Known Member

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    I read it first on Terra Arcanum, many moons ago.

    I often wish I could derail trains with phantasm spells.
     
  9. Langolier

    Langolier Member

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    I think Terra-Arcanum hosts a saved version of Sierra Arcanum, if I'm not mistaken. You should be able to find the story on there. There are some other tidbits that were on that site. They had a Tarantian newspaper (neat to see the adds in it), as well as some articles on different creatures in Arcanum, written the same way the race descriptions are in the manual. It was neat to read about kites and such. I think it actually might have been another sort of short-story, an account by a biologist who went into the Glimmering Forest.

    There was a lot of neat lore on there. A voice recording with a professor giving a lecture on magick and technology, and I think some stuff related to Franklin Payne.

    Basically, a lot of extra lore that wasn't present in the manual.

    Ahh! Found it. Here we go:

    http://www.terra-arcanum.com/sierra/

    Towards the top there is a banner that lists "Tarantian" "Races of Arcanum" "Creatures" and such... "Arcanum Tails" is there as well. It is the very same one from the loading screen!

    I suggest you give the whole site a look over.
     
  10. Muro

    Muro Well-Known Member

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    Looks like I have a lot of interesting reading ahead of me. Many thanks for the link, Langolier.
     
  11. Zanza

    Zanza Well-Known Member

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    That site brings back memories.
     
  12. Grindstone82

    Grindstone82 New Member

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    indeed
     
  13. UniversalWolf

    UniversalWolf New Member

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    I visited the Tarant City Archives last night, and I noted that the woman working there told me there are many halfling villages, orc hordes, and other population centers that are not included in the official Arcanum census.
     
  14. ytzk

    ytzk Well-Known Member

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    Having played again last night as well, I now realise that the towns are nearly all independent nations.
    My two cents wasn't even worth that.
     
  15. UniversalWolf

    UniversalWolf New Member

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    A few more notes on this.

    When you first talk to Magnus about P.Schyuler & Sons, he mentions a merchant from Arland. That makes two named settlements I've seen that don't appear in the game (Geoffrey T-A's Falsburg being the other).

    I met an NPC (and for the life of me I can't remember who it was now -- I'll have to write it down next time) who said he was from a small town in Ashbury's domain, and this town was near the Lair of Bellerogrim. Ashbury must control a fair amount of inland territory for that to be true. It would make sense, actually, considering Ashbury and Tarant are linked. The question is, how much of Morbihan does the U.K. actually control? I still say not much more than a narrow corridor.

    What's the name of the NPC mage in Black Root? The one who used to be Head Priest in Dernholm? I can't recall, but he says being in Black Root is being in exile from his homeland. Black Root is clearly not part of Cumbria, but a (former) subject state of some kind.
     
  16. Viktor_Berg

    Viktor_Berg New Member

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  17. symban

    symban New Member

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    this made me remember my days of Baldur's Gate (first one not second) the scales of towns in importance and story order was finely set there, but I kinda disliked the fact that there were houses which were.... just houses of a nameless NPC peasant who only tells you to "get out!"..but well..

    in Arcanum the good thing about a town is, I just go to the Inn/tavern ask for all gossips (btw I never understood the need for putting certain NPCs telling the gossips for 10g, if it were like you have to drink something at tavern first to get some gossips and drinking too much will lower your int etc. so you cant go on drinking till the end of gossips..well whatever) then begin walking around the town checking all buildings, and stopping every walking NPC in the street (incase they may be a *named* NPC walking around) and I ensure I met all the NAMED NPCs in the town (which is like..%95 of population in homes/buildings other than servants/bodyguards). Now I know where should I dig for something, because one way or another these NPCs must be a part of a quest or so. Unlike baldurs gate in arcanum I didnt had to wander around to only find a nameless NPC (with a locked chest with a worthless gem or a staff) in a home.

    I believe they did a good job by limiting the maps to useful NPCs only, by not putting community who only resides.
     
  18. Wolfsbane

    Wolfsbane Well-Known Member

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    Caladon is the capital of Arland. Roseborough is part of Arland as well. My guess is that Falsburg is a domain inside or near Caladon, an estate with land belonging to it or somesuch.

    The UK probably "controls" most of the Morbihan plain as they cut down the forests there and consequently claimed it as their own (on the maps, at least). The question of how much area they really control of the Morbihan is another question entirely. If Stillwater isn't part of the UK, they're probably independent. Same goes for Shrouded Hills.
     
  19. EarlSaturday

    EarlSaturday New Member

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    A: The "New World" referenced is the Industrial Revolution.

    B: William Radcliffe is a dirty liar and a member of the Molochean Hand.

    C: There are likely nations and cities not mentioned or made due to time and money constraints.
     
  20. UniversalWolf

    UniversalWolf New Member

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    Indeed. Thank you.

    Source?

    I haven't seen any evidence in the game that Roseborough belongs to Caladon, actually.
     
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