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A thread of fake answers to real world questions

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  • A thread of fake answers to real world questions

    Greetings fellow gamers. Have you ever found yourself going through a wikipedia article or studying history and mentally trying to explain away some twist of fortune or historical decision in terms that align with the fiction of the game world?

    Well, here's a thread devoted to that. Ask your own questions and speculate on possible answers. Here are mine. I would love your input.

    1. Why is Irem not remembered at all in Ancient Egyptian texts but apparently survived in the folklore of Arabia and eventually made its way into Islamic holy texts?

    2. More of a first edition question but I'm assuming things have not been changed for second unless specifically mentioned- Why do the Guilds of the Arisen have structures that so closely mirror the human guilds of the medieval world- like having apprentices, journeymen and masters in the ranks?

    3. Have the various expeditions into the Empty Quarter of Arabia ever found the city of Ubar or is Shisr something else entirely? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlantis_of_the_Sands

  • #2
    At least from the first edition standpoint, 1) is already solved. The Nameless Empire and its capital aren't remembered by history because their name was fed to the Devourer. The capital of the Nameless Empire was never called Irem until long after its destruction, then appropriating a name from Arabic folklore in the same spirit as mages call the sorcerous empire of the lost Time Before "Atlantis."

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    • #3
      Originally posted by nothri View Post
      2. Why do the Guilds of the Arisen have structures that so closely mirror the human guilds of the medieval world- like having apprentices, journeymen and masters in the ranks?
      It's a very simple way to define the stages of training. You get taught by someone, you have enough training to work semi-independently, then you have enough training to work on your own.

      Alternatively, it's the Medieval guilds who have copied the Arisen.


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      • #4
        Looking up something for another thread I came up with a partial answer to this...

        Originally posted by nothri View Post
        1. Why is Irem not remembered at all in Ancient Egyptian texts but apparently survived in the folklore of Arabia and eventually made its way into Islamic holy texts?
        The Weret-Hekau, the Egyptian great cult of mages spent centuries if not thousands of years trying to erase it from history.

        Further, at least in 1e, the first rising of the Arisen in Egypt was extremely destructive and most of them fled, so there would be few of them around to contradict the Awakened.


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        • #5
          Originally posted by Stupid Loserman View Post
          At least from the first edition standpoint, 1) is already solved. The Nameless Empire and its capital aren't remembered by history because their name was fed to the Devourer. The capital of the Nameless Empire was never called Irem until long after its destruction, then appropriating a name from Arabic folklore in the same spirit as mages call the sorcerous empire of the lost Time Before "Atlantis."
          This is an underrated and excellent answer. Just wanted to say.


          See you all on the other side.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Stupid Loserman View Post
            At least from the first edition standpoint, 1) is already solved. The Nameless Empire and its capital aren't remembered by history because their name was fed to the Devourer. The capital of the Nameless Empire was never called Irem until long after its destruction, then appropriating a name from Arabic folklore in the same spirit as mages call the sorcerous empire of the lost Time Before "Atlantis."
            I'm not finding any information on your answer. Can you tell me where your getting info on references to the Empire being erased from history (on top of the capital physically being shunted to the underworld), the name being given to the devourer, and the name getting borrowed from the Islamic reference to Iram of the Pillars?

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            • #7
              Given the nature of 1e's drip-feed of setting information, it would take me some digging to see if I could find a definite confirmation of the Empire's name being fed to the Devourer (or it might have just been claimed in the same sense as, for instance, the Nameless Lion owns its own name and none else can use it).

              The city was never called Irem until long after:

              Originally posted by Mummy: the Curse First Edition, p. 18
              It’s said the sorcerer-priests never named the city, for no one has ever found or recalled its name, but later legends call it Irem (a term for a false paradise in a tongue long dead). It becomes known throughout the Nameless Empire as the City of Pillars.
              Originally posted by Mummy: the Curse Second Edition, Chapter Two
              Though the city had no name, its inhabitants and visitors referred to it as the City of Pillars. The name “Irem” came much later, a word that means false paradise in a tongue as dead as the Nameless Empire itself.
              Making the connection that the later name comes from the Arabic legend is left to the reader, in the same way that it is left to the reader to infer that the Ki-En-Gir who presented the first true military challenge to the Nameless Empire were the armies of Sumer.

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              • #8
                1. I agree with @Stupid Loserman

                2. Because the medieval guilds imitated the Arisen

                3. Ubar was controlled by Scelesti. I thought it was in Canaan, not Arabia, but that could have just been my impression. If you mean archaeological expeditions, it’s the same reason no one ever found the ruins of the Nameless Empire. The actual in-game explanation has something to do with temporal physics and how the Nameless Empire (and I guess Ubar) are “unstuck” in time. If you want a simpler explanation, just rule that it’s so old that everything crumbled to dust and there’s nothing left for archaeologists to find.

                I’m basing this stuff on the 2e Kickstarter. I’ve never read 1e.


                The die is cast. - Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by nothri View Post

                  I'm not finding any information on your answer. Can you tell me where your getting info on references to the Empire being erased from history (on top of the capital physically being shunted to the underworld), the name being given to the devourer, and the name getting borrowed from the Islamic reference to Iram of the Pillars?
                  It was part of the reveal over what the Shan'iatu did as part of setting up the right of return. The true name of the Empire was sacrificed to Ammut as part of bringing the city to Duat where they thought they'd rule as kings with servants and earthly pleasures.


                  See you all on the other side.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    "It’s said the sorcerer-priests never named the city, for no one has ever found or recalled its name, but later legends call it Irem (a term for a false paradise in a tongue long dead). It becomes known throughout the Nameless Empire as the City of Pillars."

                    Okay, this is why I disagree with your answer. You said that the name for the old capital of the Nameless Empire was lifted from Arabian legends and adopted by the Arisen when referring to their old home. The text implies the opposite- that knowledge of the City of Pillars was preserved for six thousand years in one form or another and that references to 'Iram of the Pillars' are speaking specifically of the Nameless Empire's city. It sounds a little pedantic but I feel like it has important implications, since it suggests that either the Arisen or their enemies (perhaps even the descendants of survivors of Ubar itself) have kept that memory alive and given it a name. I'll admit my bias here- I think of the Arisen as old and stubborn creatures, who even scorn the culture of Ancient Egypt as an impure and debased tradition compared to their old empire. For such beings to accept the word Irem implies to me that somewhere beneath their shrouded memories the name must resonate with them on a personal level. If the concept of Maat sounds like blasphemy, why would the ramblings of some nomad's myth (a nomad whose ancestor likely called the Arisen 'master') deserve even the satisfaction of contempt? Unless the Arisen have some reason to believe its more than that....

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by TyrannicalRabbit View Post

                      It was part of the reveal over what the Shan'iatu did as part of setting up the right of return. The true name of the Empire was sacrificed to Ammut as part of bringing the city to Duat where they thought they'd rule as kings with servants and earthly pleasures.
                      I'd still be interested in a page number if you can find one. I know they slaughtered Ubar to summon the Devourer and get secret knowledge from her. I know they killed hundreds or thousands of slave, sacrificing body and soul to her jaws. But I still can't find any info on sacrificing the name of their city. It just sounds counter intuitive- if an ancient egyptian wanted to utterly destroy someone's soul, they would take a chisel and remove any reference to his name from his tomb and monuments. But while the Shan'iatu wanted to drag Irem into the underworld, they specifically wanted the city and all its luxuries preserved for their enjoyment when it got there. Wouldn't sacrificing the true name ensure the opposite- that the city was completely erased rather than being transposed? Granted, weighing the long term consequences of their actions never seemed like the Shan'iatu's strong suit to begin with, so I can see it happening. I just can't find any definitive information on it.

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                      • #12


                        Originally posted by Penelope View Post
                        2. Because the medieval guilds imitated the Arisen


                        Which implies a relatively large scale amount of mummies or scorpions cults operating indiscreetly enough for their hierarchies to be noticed and copied. Which is possible, given a Sothic Turn hit around the time of the Middle Ages and their guilds were just beginning. I can't help but wonder what they were trying to achieve is all.


                        Originally posted by Penelope View Post
                        3. Ubar was controlled by Scelesti. I thought it was in Canaan, not Arabia, but that could have just been my impression. If you mean archaeological expeditions, it’s the same reason no one ever found the ruins of the Nameless Empire. The actual in-game explanation has something to do with temporal physics and how the Nameless Empire (and I guess Ubar) are “unstuck” in time. If you want a simpler explanation, just rule that it’s so old that everything crumbled to dust and there’s nothing left for archaeologists to find.

                        I’m basing this stuff on the 2e Kickstarter. I’ve never read 1e.
                        I doubt that. Ubar was probably operated by powerful Sorcerers based on some of the information we have on them in Dark Eras (specifically the Age of Isierion). Mummies tend to confront workers of "low" magic rather than the Mage's "High" magic, the two disciplines don't have much experience with each other's brand of arcana. And yes, I was specifically referring to the expeditions discussed in the wikipedia article. Iram of the Pillars, real world legend wise, is often said to be in the Empty Quarter of Arabia. Also, the ruins of Ubar, as far as we know, are still out there somewhere. They were destroyed by Shan'iatu magic and the Herald of the Devourer, but nothing physically dragged them down into hell like it did with Irem. Of course, that doesn't mean they aren't cursed or full of things man was not meant to know.

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                        • #13
                          nothri sorry, I get confused. What’s the difference between a sorcerer and a mage again (in setting terms, not in terms of rules)?


                          The die is cast. - Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Penelope View Post
                            What’s the difference between a sorcerer and a mage again (in setting terms, not in terms of rules)?
                            A sorcerer has, through dedicated effort and/or institutional backing, learned how to take advantage of secret shortcuts in reality to accomplish particular effects, including many that can be accomplished by pretty much any human.

                            A mage is someone whose soul cracked open and rebuilt itself in an encounter with the raw Truth of creation in such a fashion that reality alters symbolically around them with or without their direction; they can use similar trappings to sorcerers to focus the effects of their magical workings, but their power works because of what they are rather than what actions they're performing.


                            Resident Lore-Hound
                            Currently Consuming: Hunter: the Vigil 1e

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                            • #15
                              Thank you.


                              The die is cast. - Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon

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