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How much history do Creation's people know?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Sundance View Post
    But in considering that historians and sorcerers and the like do have significantly more knowledge than the educated person, how does that understanding not leak out more broadly? Is it just that ancient history and mystical metaphysics are considered esoteric, impractical, and vaguely heretical by most everyone else? Or do people with that kind of knowledge just not talk about it for whatever reason?
    How is it that so many modern people in the real world know little to nothing of even recent history—let alone ancient history—when they must attend mandatory schooling where history is a mandatory subject spanning much of their formative years?


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    • #17
      Alucard: I'd imagine it would get the eye-rolling treatment that you'd get if you were studying at a seminary and asked who Cain's wife was and where she came from.

      Boston: I know about the small number of educated people, hence my question mentioning that I wasn't interested in commoners' understandings. Knowing history was a pretty rare skill in the premodern world, too. I'd also mention that strictly speaking, not being literate doesn't mean a character doesn't know history.

      Ferryman: I did mean the Usurpation at the earliest, in that it might be possible to use some kind of History specialty to reach back that far for some occasional things. Lore - History (Sijan), for instance. To take your example of the Dark Ages remembering Rome, which I think is pretty much dead-on, educated medieval people (read as: some priests and monks) had a fair bit of knowledge about at least some parts of Rome. Heck, Lookshy still sees itself as an extension of the Shogunate (I suppose they're like the Byzantines in your example), they'd have extensive records, I'd think, So I just mean that the end of the Usurpation would be the absolute limit for possible uses of the skill, but things would get pretty hazy around the Contagion. And although you have a 90% death rate from the Contagion, the Blessed Isle at least wasn't wholesale invaded by the Fair Folk, so one would think the majority of the texts on the Isle from the Shogunate would have survived. Study of the period wouldn't be impossible for a dedicated scholar, though the Order or the Dynasty might put up roadblocks. Maybe the issue is just how many of those dedicated scholars there are.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Eric Minton View Post
        How is it that so many modern people in the real world know little to nothing of even recent history—let alone ancient history—when they must attend mandatory schooling where history is a mandatory subject spanning much of their formative years?
        Also to chime in on this, there are a lot of things you don't share or say in certain contexts or around certain people, and I'd rather much of the "Really True Secret History of the World and Stuff" would fall into that general range. If all the locals hold Gaston is the best in the world and completely unique and unbeatable, and you happen to know he's nothing but an arrogant bully-boy of which there are thousands in the world... well, you shut your mouth because trying to make the people see truth they don't want to see is only going to get you in trouble.



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        • #19
          I personally think the majority of people would know parable like stories of the ages. Think like Iliad or Odyssey style stories and story telling of specific events. From the #E reading I have done literally 90-95% of sentient life was killed in the Great Contagion and the Balorian Crusade. The best anyone has publicly available history wise would most likely be in the blessed isle and taught by the Immaculate Order. I think circles of heroic mortals and exalted will stumble across ruins where the most learned may find scraps of truth. Whether shared after discovery I am guessing is unlikely to not occur often and if so not widely.

          Knowledge has always been a precious commodity. Most likely there are widely scattered people and groups who have in depth knowledge about a facet of something but nothing else since the only chance for people to really recover the past would be ruins.

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          • #20
            I agree, I think pre-Contagion history is probably full of mythical fables that scholars know or suspect are myths, but how do you seperate myths from fact? It's impossible, so you basically don't bother.

            Saying this, I think on the Blessed Isle, there probably are actual historical texts from the Shogunate, but only available to the Dragonblood, and they'll be fragmentary and mixed with forgeries, fictional works, heavily propagandised works, and so on, which Dragonblood scholars argue about in their symposia.

            Actually, in 1st ed, there were some examples of heavily mythologised works about the Great Uprising available to Patricians ("and then didst Mela, mighty with thunder, scour the armies of Anathema from her sky-chariot high above") with notes for Heptagram scholars only ("this is probably talking about a Dragon-blood on a magitech airship using a thunder ballistae, and since Anathema are actually small in number, it's likely that it's the armies serving the anathema, rather than an army made up of anathema).

            Anyway. For non-Dragonblood historians, everything pre-Contagion is going to by myths at best, if they even know anything. As others have mentioned, "history" in Creation probably means "history since the Contagion". The Contagion and Balorian Crusade are going to be the myths of how the world began, with the time before a mythologised golden age/dystopia.

            But everything pre-Usurpation is going to be entirely mythical for everyone.

            Essentially, think of how medieval people saw history. History goes back to the Flood, and Noah. Before then the world was full of really evil people, and giant monsters and half-angel giants and vampires and stuff wandering about, but their societies, countries, languages, culture? Total mystery. All you need to know is that it was bad so God punished them. History starts with Noah and his three sons. Occasionally you might find buried treasure or land or monster-bones from before the flood, but it's not relevant now.



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            • #21
              Consider, for that matter, A Song of Ice and Fire.


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              • #22
                One thing that might be interesting to consider is that the Usurpation is a lot more recent generation-wise for dragon blooded than it it is for mortals. For a mortal a thousand years ago is ancient history. For a dragon blooded it's maybe your great-great-grandparent's day.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Eric Minton View Post
                  How is it that so many modern people in the real world know little to nothing of even recent history—let alone ancient history—when they must attend mandatory schooling where history is a mandatory subject spanning much of their formative years?
                  They nap a lot during that time.

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                  • #24
                    The vast majority of humanity in Creation is illiterate, and like real world past peoples history as we know it isn't a thing, I mean before Herodotus experimented with setting the path to history for us bias and supposition ruled accounts of the past.

                    So I have it most civilizations only reliably know of the past just after the Balorian Crusade. The founding of the Dynasty would be the far past for most, and pre contagion would be mythic history.

                    We know for instance Autochthon and the Dragon Kings require pretty high level Savants to be familiar with unless specifically informed about these subjects.

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                    • #25
                      One thing that really throws a wrench into trying to figure out what information is available on what happened thousands of years ago is the fact that there are a number of beings that were alive back then and still remember it today: the gods.

                      This could serve as a path for the player characters to find out about how things went down in the past, about the fact the history the Immaculate Order teaches is just a bunch of bullshit propaganda, etc.

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                      • #26
                        Well, some people know about feral dragon kings.

                        Actually, do they still call them that? If not, what is the common name for them? Are some "claw striders" actually raptok?

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Eldagusto View Post
                          I mean before Herodotus experimented with setting the path to history for us bias and supposition ruled accounts of the past.
                          Implying Herodotus' works, or those of folks since him, weren't filled with bias and supposition?

                          Like, say, today? I know today's history is ruled by bias and supposition.


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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Marcob View Post
                            One thing that really throws a wrench into trying to figure out what information is available on what happened thousands of years ago is the fact that there are a number of beings that were alive back then and still remember it today: the gods.

                            This could serve as a path for the player characters to find out about how things went down in the past, about the fact the history the Immaculate Order teaches is just a bunch of bullshit propaganda, etc.
                            Gods are just as prone to misremembering, forgetting, not paying attention, or lying as anyone else in the setting is. And, like I said back on the first page, the world was different enough back then that an accurate account of things from the Time Before would still probably look like nonsense to a listener in the Age of Sorrows.
                            Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 09-20-2016, 09:19 AM.


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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
                              Implying Herodotus' works, or those of folks since him, weren't filled with bias and supposition?

                              Like, say, today? I know today's history is ruled by bias and supposition.
                              It was the first attempt at inquiries about the past using many of the modern methods to weed out bias and supposition, such as actually taking first hand accounts and actually travelling to places you write about. We would not have Thucydides without Herodotus.

                              You can argue whatever you want to from my words. I'm just saying he set a groundwork and is known as the father of history for a reason.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
                                Gods are just as prone to misremembering, forgetting, not paying attention, or lying as anyone else in the setting is. And, like I said back on the first page, the world was different enough back then that an accurate account of things from the Time Before would still probably look like nonsense to a listener in the Age of Sorrows.
                                An ancient god couldn't have equally ancient texts in their sanctum? Or there being a First Age library-manse out there to be found that has vast archives of texts all perfectly preserved because foresight?

                                There are ways to discover the truth, there SHOULD be ways, and as a player, I would be very irked if the ST said, "Nope, not possible, never happen."

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