Last visit was: It is currently Mon Apr 23, 2018 2:34 am


All times are UTC - 5 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 205 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 21  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Musings of a Canadian Nierite. . .
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 1:49 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:47 am
Posts: 2398
Location: Central Alberta
Languages of Man:

It has been stated many times before, both online and in print, that all of the languages of Man are derived from Altheran. This language was created by Althares as his gift to mankind at the formation of First Imperium to provided a common tongue--and cultural glue--to unify the various desperate tribes of humanity together into their new Imperium. Over time, this language does not seem to have directly evolved much, with the version of the language spoken today in the Republic of Altheria being effectively the same as the one spoken in those times, a point of pride among the Altherans who seem to view keeping the language sacred and unchanged to be a form of worship of Althares. For what what would be considered (more or less) an ancient culture by our standards, this is amazing!

That beings said, we know there has been some linguistic drift across Onara since the time that Althares purportedly gifted the language to mankind. How much of this evolution (or, perhaps de-evolution back to the original languages of Man from the Eastern Continent) occured during the Imperium of Man and how much occurred by linguistic divergence following the fall of that same Empire is not known to anyone except Henry (and possibly his closest confidants), but we do know that there was a great deal of linguistic divergence by the time of the formation of the Coryani Empire in the east of Onara. We know that following the fall of the First Imperium, there were several languages which were created: Ancient Milandesian (modern Milandesian, from what I recall, contains many Coryani loan words and is distinct from the Ancient tongue), the Lowachian Dialect of Cancerese, Triduaean (the proto-version of High Coryan), Khitani, and Erdukeen. It is possible there are more languages which were descended from Altheran more or less directly--not sure about languages such as Unden or Tenician--but without more knowledge on them I shall keep to these as the 'core' languages which evolved from Altheran.

Khitani Languages

We know that Khitani has split into at least four separate languages since the fall of the First Imperium: High Khitani, Low Khitani, Auxunite, and Hainese. For reference, we know that Khitani has been split into its High- and Low-form to reflect class differences within that Empire, with High Khitani being the language of the educated and nobility of Khitan, while Low Khitani is the 'common' tongue of the lower-classes. This could be equated to the use of Latin by many of the educated in France while the majority spoke languages such as what has since become French: Both languages have the same source (or one is the source of the other), but one is kept 'sacred' to separate out those of a higher class. We have not had many examples of spoken Khitani outside place names and people, but thus far they have been repented by a smattering of Chinese languages, with no noticeable (to my eyes) separation between individual languages such as Cantonese, Mandarin, or more obscure Chinese languages such as Tibetan or Zhuang.

Conversely, Auxunite seems to be more of a provincial language that was linguistically similar but distinct to Khitani which seems to have evolved on the steppes of Northern Onara in the area that is now known as the Unsealed Lands. Like the Mongolian and Turkish people of the central Asian steppes of our world, this language became very widespread on Onara due to the nomadic nature of the people who spoke it, as well as the formation and expansion of the sprawling Axunite Empire prior to the Time of Terror, being spoken from what is presently the Empire of Haina in the west to the Pale Sea to the east, and as far south as what is presently Milandir. Following the raising of the God's Wall and the sealing of the former Auxunite 'homelands', the Auxunite language diverged still yet into what we now know as Yhing Hir. This language is often represented by Mongolian as the 'short hand', while Auxunite has followed a similar vein. It is possible that Auxunite represents a more Altaic-dervied 'proto-language' (the source of modner Mongolian and Turkish languages) which has since diverged into the modern incarnations, but this has not been expanded upon.

The final "Khitani" language that we know of is Hainese. This language started out as a regional dialect of Low Khitani--probably with Auxunite influences--which began developing in the northern provinces of the Khitani Empire. Following the raising of the God's Wall, the language drifted even more, including more loan words from the two closest 'other' languages to them in the Sealed Lands: Auxunite and Infernal. When the God's Wall fell and the Empire was once again opened to the outside world, the resulting language has diverged from its root languages to be considered mutually unintelligible by those who speak the root tongues. In 'our world', Hainese has been represented primarily by Japanese with some Chinese influence.

Languages of the Known Lands

Unlike the Khitani languages, the history of the people of Eastern Onara (the Known Lands of the story) have made tracking the evolution of their languages much easier. At the time of the Time of Terror, there were several languages spoken in what became the Coryani Empire and its surrounding territories which have their roots with Altheran, with the major tongues being Ancient Milandesian, Triduaean, Cancerese, and Erdukeen, as well as Altheran itself.

Of these languages, Erdukeen is probably the closest to Altheran of any of the "Eastern Tongues." The Erdukeen are descended from the followers of Leonydis val'Virdan and his Swords of Nier. This is probably due to the fact that the Erdukeen consider themselves, in many ways, to be the true inheritors of the First Imperium as they are the direct descendents of the followers of Leonydis val'Virdan, the ruler of the Theocracy of the Cleansing Flame (considered by the Swords of Nier to be the last 'dynasty' of the First Imperium). As such, they would probably want to keep their language fairly close to the 'original' Altheran tongue to represent their connection to the Throne of Man.

The languages of the lands of Milandir began as Ancient Milandesian (the language of the ancient Milandesian League), and has since become Modern Milandesian through the addition of many Coryani-derived loan words in much the same way that Old English has become Modern English through the addition of loan words from French and other Romantic Languages. The language(s) are spoken primarily in the nations of Milandir and Almeric, and is principally represented in terms of people names by the modern day nations of Germany, Hungary, and Poland. This is interesting choice of 'short hand nations' as these three nations actually have different roots of their languages: German is a Germanic Language, Polish is a Slavic language (such as Czech and Russian), while Hungarian is offically classified as an Uralic language. However, if you look at the linguistic distribution of these languages within Milandir based on the Arcanis: The Roleplaying Game and the older Players Guide to Arcanis, you can see that the Germanic portions of Milandir represent mostly the Duchies of Naeraanth, Sylvania, and the lands of Almeric; while the Slavic-names are common in the more Northern Duchy of Tralia, which puts them fairly close to the similarly Slavic-named Nierites of Nier's Spine. This draws some interesting connectiosn between the two populations who now consider themselves mortal enemies. Rounding out the 'short hand' naming schemes are the Hungarian (Uralic) names of the Eastmarch. In 'our world', Hungarian is considered almost a Language isolate most closely related to the language of the Finnish, Lappish, and the various native groups of Siberia. A point of note: There is one other Uralic language chosen as a "short hand" in Arcanis, and that is the Finnish names common among the Beltinians of Valentia in the Coryani Empire. How those two groups are connected is conjecture.

There is one other group which could potentially be a "Milandesian Language", and that is the language of the Skoi people of the northern Hinterlands (better known now as the Skohir). We know that the Skoi people seem to be derived from the Viking raiders of Scandinavia, and have only in fairly recent times interbred with the Yhing Hir to create a new cultural group, but many of the descriptions of the Skoi include Germanic/Scandinavian names, and many similar phenotypic traits (such as blue eyes and blond hair).

Connecting to the lands of Milandir are the lands of Canceri. Thanks to the Canceri Sourcebook from the 3.5 days, we have a fairly clear evolutionary history of the Cancerese Language and its three primary dialects. Cancerse itself is said to be primarily derived from Altheran, though (thanks no doubt to Sarishans of Nishanpur) like Hainese contains many Infernal influences, though it is unknown if these influences pre-dated the Time of Terror or are a relic of Canceri's occupation by the Infernals of that time. Of the three dialects, the "Lowachian" Dialect, spoken primarily in the northern areas of Nier's Spine, is said to be the most 'pure' Cancerese language, with the fewest Coryani loan words. The other two languages, the Sohbuckian dialect of the Cold Plains is known for its Milandesian loan words, while the Stanivalian Dialect (What the rest of the world considers to be Cancerese) contains many Coryani words, probably due to the Sarishans of Canceri being more involved in trade with the rest of the world, so they would have more exposure to Low Coryani than the more insular Nerothian and Nierite populations.

Like Milandir, the 'short hand' naming schemes of the three major portions of Canceri represent distinct linguistic groups, but unlike Milandir these groups are far more divergent in "our" world. These three groups are the Nierites of the North who use Slavic names, principly Russian; the Nerothians of the West and South who use primarily Indian names (with a distinct focus on names common to the provinces of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra and therefore are mostly Hindi in origin; and the Sarishans of the Central and Eastern Canceri, who's 'short hand' for naming is Persian. Of these three languages, both Persian and Hindi are derived from Indo-Iranian languages and are much more closely related to one another than Slavic, which is more closely related to the Germanic languages common in Milandir. How such divergent linguistic groups could live so close to one another (with the Nerothians of the Cold Plains dating the founding of the city of Ventaka to early in the First Imperium) is an interesting question.

The final major language group among Altheran languages in the Known Lands is Coryani. This language is derived from the Triduaean tongue spoken primarily in the city of Midea Triduae--now known as Old Coryan--but was commonly spoken in what is now known as the Coryani provinces of Illonia and Balantica. Following the formation of the Coryani Empire, the Triduaean language was eventually superseded by the High Coryani Language, which like High Khitani, is viewed as the 'noble' language of the Coryani Empire and its "Official Language." It has also become the 'native tongue' of many of the Val families, who teach their children the "Noble Tongue" in addition to their own common tongue. The second "Coryani" language is Low Coryani, which is actually not truly a Coryani Language at all. Low Coryani is a Trade Tongue, and as such is more of a pidgin or creole language containing elements of every language within the bounds of Coryani Empire at its greatest extent (ie: High Coryani, Cancerese, Milandesian, Altheran, Myrantian, Kio, Unden, etc). Looking at the 'short hand' for the naming schemes of the various Provinces of Coryan, most of them center around the northern Mediterranean region of "our" world, with Illonia and Balantica being Roman, Cafela (bordering the Germanic Milandir/Almeric) being more Medieval Italian, while Salantis (near the Fellglade of Malfela) is Spanish, and Annonica bordering the Sea of Coryan in the south) is Greek. Most of these languages (Spanish, Latin, and Italian) are all Romantic Languages, and can probably be chalked up to regional variations on the Triduaean theme, though the Greek is a fairly distinct language to Romance languages. The final province of Coryani is the afore mentioned Vallentia, which uses Finnish names, which appears to be a Language isolate, and may indicate an influence from the Humans who had settled in what is now Dar Zhan Vor before it became the Bermuda Triangle of Onara.

_________________
Cody Bergman
Legends of Arcanis Campaign Staff
Initial Author Contact/Adventure Vetting

Haakon Marcus val'Virdan, Divine Holy Judge of Nier
Ruma val'Vasik, Martial Crusader and Master of the Spear
Jorma Osterman, Arcane Coryani Battlemage


Last edited by Nierite on Thu Oct 31, 2013 12:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Musings of a Canadian Nierite. . .
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 2:22 pm 

Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 8:36 am
Posts: 1547
Cody that's a pretty awesome read, thank you

_________________
--Josh Elliott
Oswald val'Inares V, The True King of Milandir
Harvester Lord of the Eastern Fields of Iowa, and the dominions of Coralville and Dubuque


Top
Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Musings of a Canadian Nierite. . .
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 2:40 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:59 am
Posts: 750
Location: Northwest Territories, Canada
Cody, you truly are a scholar. I don't suppose you're a linguist in your day job, are you?

I frequent boards for other RPGs from time to time, and one of the things that keeps bringing me back to Arcanis is that we have players who think about the world in this way. It speaks heavily to Henry's skillful creation of Onara that it is complex enough to support this type of dissertation.

Well done.

_________________
Akira Currier
aka Raseri 'Crash' val'Emman - Val Grand Master (Martial 2.10)
aka Leif of House Borghild - Skohir Human Myrmidon (Martial 2.4)
aka Rurik of Nol Dappa - Dwarven War Priest (Divine 2.3)


Top
Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Musings of a Canadian Nierite. . .
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 3:42 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:47 am
Posts: 2398
Location: Central Alberta
Addendum:

"Other" Human Languages

There are many examples of "Other" Human Languages at various points in Arcanis Lore, many of them do not seem to contain any (direct) relation to Altheran or one if its derivative languages. These languages include Myrantian, Unden, Kion, Chauni, Harnen, and (possibly) Tenecian.

The easiest to explain of all of these languages is the Kio/Harnen language family. Sometime during the Dark Times after the fall of the First Imperium, a mysterious group of human-like beings arrived in what is now the Western Lands. These blond, somewhat elementally attuned creatures known as True Kio brought with them a fairly distinct culture and complex language, complete with its own alphabet distinct from the Altheran, Coryani, and Khitani writing systems. Over time, this language spread to others within the Western Lands and (unless I'm mistaken) and remained fairly 'pure' except for the Harnen tongue, which appears to be a creole language of Kio and Unden originating with the Undir of Bhiharn. This language appears to be a fairly alien tongue to the Altheran-languages of Onara, adding more mystery of the origin of the True Kio.

ADDENDUM: After some brief discussions with the King of The Western Lands (Mr. Cirillo), apparently Harnen is (likely) a derivative of UNDEN, and not Kio. It is spoken by a group of humans known as the Harns who operate in a semi-tribal society, though the written language uses the Kio Alphabet, probably owing to the dominance of that culture in the area. They have a history of conflict with the Undir, having taken over certain portions of the Undir areas. They seem to use Slavic naming schemes, though there is some aspects of Romanian in there as well.

In the same part of the world are the Unden, who also have their own unique (and fairly consistent) language. The Undir originated--according to myth--by the mating of a human with a water elemental (Undine) and have fairly elfin traits we commonly associate with Elorii in this game. Their language does not appear to have regional variations, which is impressive for a people that don't govern themselves above the local level and are spread throughout the Western Lands.

Myrantian is the next 'major' strange language, and its origins are almost as mysterious as Kion. Used primarily by the ruling casts of the Abessian Dominions and common among the people of the Myrantian Diaspora across the Coryani Empire, Myrantian is the language used by the Ancient Myrantian Hegemony. It uses its own alphabet, it has been stated many times as being 'alien' compared to Altheran languages. I recall reading somewhere that it is believed to have originated from their vile Gods, believed to be evil Outsiders who, like the Varn of Ssethregore, need the souls of those Arcanis to manifest on that plane.

While the Kio are a mystery, in that they seem to have come out of the sky itself in flying cities, the Arcanis: The Roleplaying Game book provides quite a bit more background as to the origin of the Myrantian peoples. Sometime after the fall of the First Imperium, the people we call the Myrantians emigrated to their current location "from the south" due to religious persecution for their worship of Gods like Tzitzet. Where "the south" is is a matter of debate, but we know that they traveled "by sea" to get to the Lauriol Sea which now separates the Southern Continent from Onara, implying it may be the Southern Continent, or possibly a southern part of the fabled Eastern Continent where Mankind is supposed to have originated. From there, they founded Myrantis and spread across much of what is now the Coryani Empire, including what is now Abessios, Sulpecci, and Panari. Perhaps they are from a different 'tribe' of man who didn't follow the Gods in the God's War? Maybe they were originally followers of Umor/The Other? Maybe they were late-comers from the Religious Wars of the Eastern Continent?

One interesting piece of information: We learned recently that a group known as the "Myrantian Empire" fought a lengthy war with the First Imperium of Man known as the "War of Empires", where the present day Fervidus Hills was at least one Theatre of the war. This adds even more questions as to who and what the Myrantians are.

Another language of debateably non-Altheran origin is Chauni. On Onara, the Chauni are a vaguely Turkish-inspired Gypsy population whose "Homeland" is in the mysterious 'enter and die' region known as Dar Zhan Vor, west of the Coryani Empire and south of the Corilathan Mountains. We have been told that their language is, like Low Coryani, a pidgin language being made up of bits and pieces of other languages common to where the Chauni move and trade. It has been stated that the Chauni language is basically unknown to most people in the Known Lands outside of the Chauni themselves, which is strange as at least some of it should be mutually intelligable with other languages of the Altheran family. This suggests (to me) that they have either changed the meaning of certain words to suit their own purposes, or one (or more) of the component languages is unknown to those who speak a language of the Altheran family.

The last language may or may not be an "Altheran" Language: Tenecian. The ancient Tenecian Empire sprung up in the area that is now the southern Coryani Empire and lasted between 180 and 120 years before the founding of the Coryani Empire. We know they have their own alphabet distinct from those of the Known Languages, and we know that the Coryani Empire considers the ruins of that former empire (and its Despotic leaders) as anathema. If these people related to the Eryunellian Battle-Magi (supposedly descended from the Emperor of the First Imperium's private mages) who fought against the similarly-located Myrantian Hegemony a millennium before is unknown, but geographically there could be a relation. If that is so, then they would be scions of the First IMperium, but as said nothing is known of them beyond that they are Anathema.

_________________
Cody Bergman
Legends of Arcanis Campaign Staff
Initial Author Contact/Adventure Vetting

Haakon Marcus val'Virdan, Divine Holy Judge of Nier
Ruma val'Vasik, Martial Crusader and Master of the Spear
Jorma Osterman, Arcane Coryani Battlemage


Last edited by Nierite on Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Musings of a Canadian Nierite. . .
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 3:43 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:47 am
Posts: 2398
Location: Central Alberta
acurrier wrote:
Cody, you truly are a scholar. I don't suppose you're a linguist in your day job, are you?



Nope, I'm a Biochemist by education, and an organic chemist by current job ;)

_________________
Cody Bergman
Legends of Arcanis Campaign Staff
Initial Author Contact/Adventure Vetting

Haakon Marcus val'Virdan, Divine Holy Judge of Nier
Ruma val'Vasik, Martial Crusader and Master of the Spear
Jorma Osterman, Arcane Coryani Battlemage


Top
Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Musings of a Canadian Nierite. . .
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 5:50 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:47 am
Posts: 2398
Location: Central Alberta
Okay, moving away from things that interest me to things actually directly related to the 7 years of university I took. . .

What are the Val's?

Well, we know that the Val's are--from a species perspective--humans, as they are completely (as far as we are aware) able to interbreed with regular humans (as well as Dark-kin, Kio, and even Dwarves and Gnomes!) and produce viable offspring. In that regard, from a core, genetic level, Val's are humans.

That said, how do Val's remain so consistent in their features? All Val's bear a family resemblance to their kin within a current family, even if born to widely desperate branches of the family. For example, a val'Dellenov born in Sylvania in Milandir will look very much like a val'Dellenov born in Panari in Coryan. As far as we are aware, a val'Dellenov born in the First Imperium looks much like a val'Dellenov born in modern times. While to some this may seem evident (after all, they all have the same family name, right?), considering the wide range of difference in appearance that would be introduced by the non-Val parent (and we know there are at least some of those over the past 5,000 years of the Val race) should have eroded their 'typical appearance' to almost nothing within a few generations, yet the Val's look disturbingly uniform even to this day! Even more strange, some of the Val families (notably the val'Emman and val'Virdan) contain traits such as Red hair, which are recessive traits and--while they're sure to pop up occasionally--should be suppressed in all their progeny by the 'dominant' genes for other hair colours, yet they remain the soulless gingers to the last.

So why is this? Well, for one we're going to have to look at the evolution of the Val race between the 3.5 edition of the rules set and the modern ARPG rules set. In the original version of the rules, Val's ALWAYS bred true. Period. If you have a Val and ANYTHING else, you make a Val, and a Val of that family (in the case of two Vals of different families breeding, you get one family or the other). The only exception to this--as far as I can tell, within the races they can interbreed with--are Dwarves and Gnomes as the Curse of Illiir seems to apply there. This suggested that the Val's were Val's by some sort of Divine intervention which supersedes normal human genetics.

Fast forward to the modern time from those Dark Days, we now have written that Val's no longer breed true. In fact, the ARPG now states that the Val trait is a recessive trait in humans. Of course, a passing knowledge of Mendelian genetics shows that the Val trait cannot be a recessive trait, as it would mean that the Val's would be the exception, rather than the rule: The result of either two Val's breeding or a freak occasional occurrence between two humans who carry the recessive genes. For recessive genes to manifest themselves, you need two copies (one from each parent) of the necessary genes, and if a person has even one of the non-Val genes (herein called alleles), you'd get a normal vanilla human. As this goes completely against what has been established in the universe--as well as that which we as PC's have witnessed--I think it is fair to say that the Val gene is RARE, and no longer always breeds true, but is not recessive.

By switching the word "recessive" to "dominant", it makes much more sense. In this case, anyone who carries the "Val Gene" (let's call it V) would be a Val of the appropriate family, while everyone else would carry the "Not-Val gene" (let's call it v). As a person only needs a single copy of a dominant gene to display the dominant trait, that means that Val's can either be VV or Vv in their genetics (remember, one copy each from each parent). As such, we get a few interesting combinations at this point:

VV + VV = VV (Homozygous Dominant), creating a Val.

VV + Vv = 50% VV, 50% Vv, with both cases creating a Val, but one is Homozygous Dominant, the other is Heterozygous (contains both alleles).

Vv + Vv = 25% VV, 50% Vv, 25% vv. In this case, 3/4 of the kids (statistically) will be Val's, but only 1/3 of them will be Homozygous for the trait. In this case, there is a 1/4 chance of two Val's making a normal, vanilla human.

Vv + vv (human) = 50% Vv, 50% vv. In this case, half of their statisical progeny will be Heterozygous Vals, the other half will be normal humans.

We know (by common sense if nothing else!) that Vals have bred with humans over the last 5,000 years, if for no other reason than the fact we know that Val's are just as prone to inbreeding as normal humans (there was even a Feat for it in the 3.5 days) and each family would need an injection of 'new blood' every now and then. In this case, at least a portion of the modern Val population MUST be Vv (heterozygous) Vals. In fact, we have an example of this with Senator [not sure what his first name is] Tensen-Balin: We met his son Cassicus val'Tensen in the very first Arcanis Mod of the "Year of Ill Harvest", and we get to meet another one of his kids in "Strange Bedfellows" from A1: Crusade! in the form of General Aphineas Tensen-Balin. This means that the Good Senator's val'Tensen wife was a Vv (Heterozygous) Val.

What does this mean? Well, we know that the Val families generally do not 'adopt' humans into their families, which means that the human offspring of a Val are TECHNICALLY not his kids. In fact, in the Year of Ill Harvest (well, moreso in Year 6), there was a major plot-point of a human born of two Vals (then impossible) being disowned for not being a Val. To this end, such a child--at least if born to a noble-born Val--would likely be fostered off to one of that Val family's Vassal Families. In fact, it is entirely possible that this very occurrence is what created the Vassal families in the first place!

Now, what does this mean for inter-Val matings (ie: val'Sheem and val'Assante'?). Well, from canon examples it appears that you cannot create 'mixed-Vals', blending traits of both families. In this case, each child would either be one family (with the appropriate traits), the other family (again, resembling that family), or a human (presumably mixing the traits) depending on the genetics involved. Does the Val chosen have to do if one Val is Heterozygous for the trait or not? Do certain families take precedence over another (ie: Sheem would take precedence over a Mehan, as Larissa is Sarish's mother?)? This we do not know, but there is some precedents in human genetics for what could happen.

As most people I'm sure know, sex in humans is determined by Chromosome 23 in our genetic code, also known as the "Sex Chromosomes." These come in two different forms: The X Chromosome and the stunted version of that chromosome, known as the Y chromosome. If you get a person who is XX, you get a woman. The reason why I use the term 'stunted' for the Y chromosome is it is, for all intents and purposes, an incomplete X chromosome (only about 1/3 the size). As such, men have only a single copy of certain genes as the Y chromosome only has a small selection of the genes found on the X chromosome. This is the reason why you have so few women afflicted with baldness, because the "Baldness Gene" is a recessive gene on the X-chromosome, so men don't have a dominant gene to counter it because the Y chromosome lacks that gene. Women, on the other hand, have 2 X chromosomes, each with a selection of X-linked traits. However, in EVERY cell, one of the X chromosomes goes dormant, becoming what is called Barr body in a process called lyonization. Could a similar process be active when you get two "Val" genes, meaning only one of them is activated and the other is sequestered and inactivated?

Okay, if we can track most of this via genetics (at least the general trends), can we also do something like this with the Val physical appearances? We saw before in an above paragraph that if a val'Sheem and a val'Assante' were to have a Val kid, that offspring would be either a val'Sheem or a val'Assante', and look like that family above their other parents features. Well, what if the traits associated with the Vals (blond hair for the Assante', red for the Emman, Amazonian proportions for val'Dellenov's, etc.) was directly linked to a chromosome or a gene? Well, we know in our genetics that every gene in our body preceded by a short stretch of DNA called a "promotor element", which acts as a docking site for proteins called transcription factors. Depending on the stimulus, the body makes transcription factors which travel to the part of the genetic code with the matching promotor, causing that gene to be selectively activated. Could something like this be active in the Vals? Could the "Val" gene actually be for a specific Transcription Factor which is linked to specific traits (size, hair colour, "val eyes", etc) in that Val's genetic code? If the one Val gene is lyonized or otherwise deactivated, and if a Val's trait is linked with the promotor for only one Transcription Factor, then theoretically only one of the Val's traits would be expressed. The Val would have the GENES for the other traits, but they would not be expressed.

It has also been suggested by some that the Vals are nothing but a disease, passed on by a virus of some sort like a sexually transmitted disease. While there is some merit to this argument, I personally like the above explanations better. The problem with diseases is that they are not terribly specific. Sure, you can in theory custom tailor a virus to go after a certain family, or even possibly a specific person, but we're talking about the passage of MILLENNIA. All genetics change over time (at a remarkably predictable rate), and this is true for diseases too. The E. coli we use now is genetically different then the E. coli found a thousand years ago. Hell, it is believed that HIV didn't evolve into its present form until less than a century ago! Additionally, if it were a STD vs. a genetic trait, the disease would be passed every time a val had sex, potentially 'infecting' their partner (possibly making THEM a Val too!).

Now, there is much more to being a Val than just having a certain hair or eye colour: There are all those funky powers and Psionic spells and abilities which are different in every family. As much of this starts edging into the supernatural aspects of magic, divine energies, and the like, I will refrain from figuring out how THEY work. That said, if Val-ness is inheritable, than these powers must have some sort of physical basis. We know that Valinor have a unique organ which grants them powers (as seen in "The Year of Ill Harvest"), and presumably Val's have a similar (if less developed) organ or tissue which allows them to manifest their powers. Similarly, Psionics being a mental discipline, perhaps this organ can be found either in, a part of, or connected to the brain.

_________________
Cody Bergman
Legends of Arcanis Campaign Staff
Initial Author Contact/Adventure Vetting

Haakon Marcus val'Virdan, Divine Holy Judge of Nier
Ruma val'Vasik, Martial Crusader and Master of the Spear
Jorma Osterman, Arcane Coryani Battlemage


Top
Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Musings of a Canadian Nierite. . .
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:46 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:59 am
Posts: 750
Location: Northwest Territories, Canada
Nierite wrote:
yet they remain the soulless gingers to the last.


Hey, I resemble that comment ;)

Great post. I've spent a bit of time thinking along similar lines, although I wouldn't have been as thorough as you were.

Another thought for you: Horses and donkeys can mate because they are genetically similar, but not related closely enough to make offspring which are capable of reproduction. It seems to me that dwarf and human mating is similar, but then that suggests a common genetic background between humans and celestial giants.

_________________
Akira Currier
aka Raseri 'Crash' val'Emman - Val Grand Master (Martial 2.10)
aka Leif of House Borghild - Skohir Human Myrmidon (Martial 2.4)
aka Rurik of Nol Dappa - Dwarven War Priest (Divine 2.3)


Top
Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Musings of a Canadian Nierite. . .
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:50 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:47 am
Posts: 2398
Location: Central Alberta
I am also intrigued by the idea of Celestial Giants and Humans being genetically comparable which we know they are because they can make fertile offspring (otherwise the Gnomes of Giant's Keep would have died out centuries ago). It might also suggest why the Gods asked the Giants to keep an eye on their babies while they fought the end of time.

_________________
Cody Bergman
Legends of Arcanis Campaign Staff
Initial Author Contact/Adventure Vetting

Haakon Marcus val'Virdan, Divine Holy Judge of Nier
Ruma val'Vasik, Martial Crusader and Master of the Spear
Jorma Osterman, Arcane Coryani Battlemage


Top
Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Musings of a Canadian Nierite. . .
PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 1:58 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:47 am
Posts: 2398
Location: Central Alberta
Well, I had a request to do an Elorii “musing,” so I have decided to throw myself at the challenge. I’ll admit that I have never really felt the Elorii, and I find that strange. They really do feel like the little-exposed underdog race—even moreso than the more human-centric Dwarves and the minor Human races—and that usually interests me. Alas, the Elorii never have. However, we KNOW they are major factor in the universe, as seen by how secretive Mr. Lopez has been with them in this game.

With that:

“The Conspiracy of Belisarda”

The identity and nature of all the Gods of Arcanis is an interesting question, and few are as interesting as Belisarda. She is described as a ‘godling’, indicating a young diety, yet her domain within the greater pantheon of the Gods of Arcanis is that of the world itself, implying that she is—to put simply—that she is the avatar of the world, which stands in the face of her being a ‘young’ Goddess. Furthermore, we presently have two ‘origin stories’ for her, depending on if you trust the Ssethregorans or the Elorii, casting some more fog about her origins.

First, we shall start with the Elorii version of her origin story: According to the Codex Arcanis, Belisarda began her life as a Primal (but powerful) nature spirit which was trapped by some power ‘from a previous age’ in a relic known as the Orb of Ancar. Following the summoning of the Four Elemental Lords from their home plane to Arcanis by the Lizard Empire of the Ssethregorans, the Orb was presented to them as an offering to buy their alliance, and through her power she anchored them to the plane of Arcanis. Furthermore, she provided the necessary spark to create the Elemental “Souls,” something which neither the Ssethregorans nor the Elemental Lords could provide.

The Ssethregoran story, however, paints a different story. In their history, the Elemental Lords were summoned and agreed to create the Elorii as a slave race, but were incapable of producing the race due to the lack of either power’s ability to make a ‘soul’ for them. Seeking a solution, the Ssethrics were able to divine the location of a source to solve their problems. This lead a party of the greatest Ssethric heroes to find a raw, tortured, and mad being that was the very avatar of the world itself. The Ssethrics were able to capture the avatar, and brought it back to the Elemental Lords. It then took the Elemental Lords a full year—sequestered away from any other creature—to calm the insane nature deity and bring her into their alliance with the Ssethrics. Her only price: That when creating the elementally-attuned Elorii, that she be allowed to create a fifth breed using nothing but her own essence.

Though these two stories are different, they bear one thing in common: Belisarda has somehow been victimized in a previous age. In the Elorii story, she was trapped by someone else, and in the Ssethric story she was ultimately a flayed, raw creature who had recently suffered a major trauma. Either way, someone (or something) targeted her, but for what reason? Both stories give her a very important place in the world of Arcanis as being the lifeblood of the very world—a point which even the Human “nature goddess” of Saluwe’ cannot match to the same extent—and one would think that any assault upon her would be an assault upon the whole world.

One conspiracy theory presented is that Belisarda—as the Goddess, or at least Nature Spirit, of Arcanis—was wounded due to the scouring of the world by the God’s War. The part of this war that most people know about is the face-off between the Pantheon of Man and “The Other”, the 13th God of the Human pantheon which ultimately led to the formation of the First Imperium. What fewer people remember is that before the humans and their Gods came to the continent of Onara, they were said to live upon a fabled Eastern Continent. Over the course of the war, that continent was scoured, stripped of its ability to support life by a battle between Gods and their divine servants, let alone that of Man. It has been said that Saluwe’ was so injured by the devastation that she became known as the “Barren Mother.” If Saluwe’, who is more of a Nature Goddess than the Goddess of the world itself, was injured by this, imagine how injured BELISARDA was!

Another theory provided—and one which I like—is the one where Belisarda was once allied with the Human Gods, but somehow was wounded by them. The reason for this theory stems ultimately from the complete lack of a creation myth for the human race, as opposed to the Elorii and Ssethrics. In fact, the only two Goddesses in the greater Pantheon of Arcanis (Yig being the other) who have been creditied with creating ‘life.’ Even Kassagore, viewed by many to be the most singularly powerful deity because of his role in the Ssethric pantheon, cannot create a soul. Beltine and Kassagore can manipulate and control the souls, but neither can create them.

To expand on this theory, Belisarda is tied to the story that during the God’s War, one of the Gods (the ‘gentlest of the pantheon’) was killed by The Other (known as Umor to the Elorii), which is what sparked the God’s War itself. What if Belisarda was this ‘gentlest’ member of the Pantheon who was killed, and it was she who was the Goddess who birthed humankind? If this is the case, it really starts to argue with the total story involving the whole war. If Belisarda was this Gentle Goddess, and if she was targeted but Umor and wasn’t killed—somehow managing to flee to either be trapped or left wounded upon a far-off continent—how do you explain the fairly peaceful interaction between the two when Umor and his followers fled to Onara?

According to the Elorii, Belisarda met with Umor and did not recognize him, but empathized with his search to find ‘something’ on Onara (presumably to help him either survive or defeat the Pantheon of Man). However, when the Pantheon of Man arrived, Umor kidnapped Belisarda and fled. If Belisarda is the “Gentle Goddess”, and Umor recognized her, why didn’t he immediately try to kill her again to finish the job? Could it have been that Umor didn’t recognize her until later and took her to finish the job, or did he recognize her and seeing the coming of the Pantheon, decide to take kidnap her to protect her from them? According the Elorii aspect of the story, Umor did seem fairly concerned with Belisarda’s wellbeing, going so far to say that he hid her from the Pantheon so they would not consume her essence like they did with their erstwhile Elemental Lord allies in that war (who allied with the Pantheon to find Belisarda). If he did want to protect her, could Umor NOT have been responsible for her supposed ‘death?’ Could it, instead, have been one of the Pantheon who ‘killed’ her, and then blamed it on Umor in an effort to discredit him or remove him from the equation? We know that Sarish was very involved in ‘playing all sides’ from the story about how he intervened between the conflict between Neroth and Illiir in the primal days before recorded time.

Still another theory stems from the 3.5 days. During Year 4 of the campaign, the Heroes got to talk to a chained God by the name of The Hara’mia, Lord of the Khi’faree. According to him, his children were a race of peaceful scholars who met the end of existence with grace. However, at some point the Twelve Gods (note: Anshar didn’t officially join the Pantheon until the end of the God’s War, being another aspect of Yig. Who was the 12th God then? Umor?) went back in time and usurped the Hara’mia and his siblings as the Gods of Khi’faree. Under the Pantheon of Man, these creatures were led to war and sin, and eventually destroyed themselves. This fit with the Pantheon of Man’s view that the Khi’faree were too weak to face the end of time and to fight it tooth and nail.

However, during the war between the Khi’faree pantheon and the Pantheon of Man, the Pantheon allowed two of the Khi’faree deities live: One to the land of ‘shadow and darkness’, and another by the name of Leeata, the younger sister of The Hara’mia. It has been fairly clearly stated that the first one was spared by Cadic because (having come from the future), Cadic knew that he had to conquer the land of ‘shadow and darkness’ to become the master of that domain, so the Khi’faree God was allowed to flee so he could be killed at the appropriate time. But what about Leeata? Illiir specifically spared her over all of the other Gods of the Khi’faree, but why? At this point there was no reference to humanity existing, so did Illiir need Leeata to create the race of ‘his’ children? As stated, none of the other Pantheon had the power to create life—or at least souls. If Cadic knew that the Shadow God was necessary, then surely Illiir knew that Leeata was necessary. This theory, possibly, ties in with the previous theory insofar as they are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

_________________
Cody Bergman
Legends of Arcanis Campaign Staff
Initial Author Contact/Adventure Vetting

Haakon Marcus val'Virdan, Divine Holy Judge of Nier
Ruma val'Vasik, Martial Crusader and Master of the Spear
Jorma Osterman, Arcane Coryani Battlemage


Top
Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Musings of a Canadian Nierite. . .
PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 3:00 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:47 am
Posts: 2398
Location: Central Alberta
Continuing the topic of the Elorii, I thought I’d explore in brief another conspiracy which seems to be appearing:

What is with the Ardakene?

As far back as Year 4 of the 3.5 campaign, we have gotten a hint that SOMETHING was up with the Ardakene. Some of this we could probably guess because the Ardakene simply are not like any other Elorii. They—unlike other Elorii—are not elementally attuned, with all the advantages and disadvantages that that entails. In terms of game mechanics, they are definitely at a disadvantage in because of this, as they cannot use themselves as a ‘source’ of their desired element like the Elementally-attuned Elorii and Vals can. Additionally, taking a look at their Bloodline powers, almost all of them are support-powers focused on healing, while the elemental Elorii have a more diverse collection of powers. However, despite their disadvantages, the Ardakene seem to be unique in how they are able to acquire power within the Elorii without appearing as power mongers.

The Ardakene are very much the most pacifistic of the Elorii breeds. They, more than any other breed of Elorii oppose the genocide of humanity for the crime of killing the Elemental Lords, stating that while their Gods may be wicked, not all of humanity necessarily is. That said, they are credited with being the first to stand up against injustice, being the leaders of the rebellion against the Ssethrics which earned the enslaved Elorii their freedom. They make up (by a significant amount) the majority of the priesthood of Belisarda, and are therefore typically the masters of the Elluwe Pools. They act as the intermediatries between the Elorii people and the Ouromar, the Soulspring where Elorii souls travel to be reborn every generation.

The first hint that the Ardakene may not be as beloved as they appear comes from the adventure from Year 4 “The Banished.” There, we learned that the Berokene denizens of Raven’Tindal were banished from Elonbe’ by the Ardakene of that nation due to some political machinations that were centered on the Ardakene. In fact, in that adventure the Berokene (while not expanding on WHAT happened) would jeer and cursed at Ardakenes, and act angrily towards the Marokene, Osalikene, and Kelekene asking them why their people ‘did not stop the Ardakenes.’ Every time a reference came up for the Ardakene, it was always associated with them being false, dangerous, or references to them asking as usurpers. This conspiracy was furthered by the overt statement in the Arcanis: The Roleplaying Game book: “If the others knew the truth, how long would their perch remain safe?” This overtly states that the Ardakene have some secret which—to the other Elorii, at least—would be SO vile, SO horrible that it might lead to the end of their race.

What could this be? Well, one bit of information comes from the Ssethregore Sourcebook. When the Elorii were created, one hundred thousand of them were created to act as shock troopers in their war against the Psionic il’Huan because the Elemental nature of their being made them less susceptible to the il’Huan’s mental powers. However, if the Ardakene are not elementally attuned, then they would have been no more effective than any of the other Ssethric slaves against the il’Huan. Aside from Belisarda’s deal to make her own breed, for what the Ssethrics wanted the peaceful Ardakene would have not been an effective use of their time. If the Ssethrics would see no point in the Ardakene, would they have delayed in order to fulfill their deal with Belisarda? Would these one-hundred thousand Elorii only be the elementally-attuned, and that the Ardakene were made less? Did the Ardakene fill some non-combat role in the Ssethric hoards?

During and following the il’Huan War, the Ssethrics used the Elorii to wipe out twelve sentient races. As the Goddess of Life, there is a question as to how Belisarda and her direct scions—the Ardakene—would take this. Why didn’t they rebel? Were they also on the front lines in the later wars? Additionally, following the Wars when the Ssethrics had killed off all of their possible rivals, they began abusing their Elorii slaves, using them as test subjects and for anything else that suited their pleasures and whims. It has been stated that the Ardakene were among the first to rebel against the Ssethrics, but it took 500 years between the end of the il’Huan War and the Elorii revolt. During this time, what were the Ardakene doing? Were they acting just like any other Elorii and following their Ssethric masters?

The final bit of written information we know about the Ardakene, or, at least the final bit we can deduce, is their role in the withdrawal of the Elorii to the forests. It was a Prophetess of Belisarda, Ardelia, who is supposed to have spoken the words of Belisarda who said that the Elemental Lords would one day return and that one day they will have their revenge. While I do not believe it has ever been stated, but from the name and the role associated to Belisarda, I would assume that Ardelia was an Ardakene, which means that it was an Ardakene who seems to still have a connection to the Life Mother, while the rest of the Elorii have lost such a connection.

There is one other piece of information which could be of interest in this subject. On the previous forums, there was a discussion about ‘what qualifies as a soul.’ In this discussion, Mr. Lopez stated that Elementals do not have souls, instead having ‘spirits.’ Though this sounds like the same thing, from a mechanical perspective they are not the same. For example a Beltinian’s power to ‘strike the soul’ would not work on a creature with a mere spirit than a soul. In the same conversation, he said he was on the fence about if Elorii, in fact, had souls or spirits (likely related to the Elemental nature). This was not further expanded upon that I recall, but it does draw attention to the fact that, if the Elorii have spirits (not souls) because of their Elemental Nature, then what does this mean for the Ardakene. Unlike the other Elorii, they DON’T have an elemental nature, and are entirely the creation of Belisarda. Do they have a soul? If so, how do they relate to the Ouromar? Henry has implied that the one-hundred thousand Elorii created by the Ssethrics imposes an upper limit on their population, but if the Ardakene are somehow separate in the souls/spirits, do they also share the Ouromar with the elementally attuned Elorii (the Ouromar exists at the nexus between our plane and the elemental planes)? Are they simply lying about their ability to contact Belisarda and see into the Ouromar because they are separate? Is there something else going on there?

Thus far, we do not have much detail on this subject, but with Mr. Lopez releasing the “Secrets of the Elorii” series starting with A2-HP4 “Visions of Lives Past,” I have a feeling we’ll be getting some information about this in the near future.

_________________
Cody Bergman
Legends of Arcanis Campaign Staff
Initial Author Contact/Adventure Vetting

Haakon Marcus val'Virdan, Divine Holy Judge of Nier
Ruma val'Vasik, Martial Crusader and Master of the Spear
Jorma Osterman, Arcane Coryani Battlemage


Top
Offline Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 205 posts ]  Moderators: james.zwiers, PCI Eric, PCI_StatMonkey Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 21  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group
Theme created StylerBB.net & kodeki