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Lore & History FAQ

NIAH

The Character Collector
Retired Staff
Good
Niah_
Niah_
Good
#1
Sometimes I'm more of a newbie than I like to admit. There's always lore questions and history things that I wish I knew. Things that I feel it would be important to know, but a lot of the history is buried in the forums. Unless you specifically know what to search for, it's nearly impossible to get a cohesive idea of Altera's history. And there are lore things that are buried as well.

So here's this thread. Ask a question and get an answer, hopefully. Maybe Player Joe wants to know why he can't find copper. So Player Bob hops over and is like, "Well, you see..."

This thread isn't an official Lore & History FAQ. There's always the chance that player answers are wrong or misinformed. But some of the long standing members of HW may be able to provide insight.

(Also this is not designed to metagame information. So don't use it for that!)

Going to tag some lore folks just in case!

@Somnastra @Naelwyn @Faelin @Baron
 
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NIAH

The Character Collector
Retired Staff
Good
Niah_
Niah_
Good
#2
QUESTIONS:


Q: How common is alchemy and brewing? Is it like magic in that you can only know it if a teacher shows you how? Or can anyone take up the skill and/or profession? (Asked by Niah )
A: It ain't magic but like any skill, it's encouraged to obtain it legit. Alchemy and brewing can both be accomplished solo through experimentation and the empirical method. So long as your character is bright they can reasonably learn the basics on their own. Advanced knowledge would require oodles of RP, so it's generally easier to find a teacher at that point. (Answered by Ced & Baron )

Q:Are all animals and plants on earth also in Altera? Can I be in an RP, for example in a swamp, and emote seeing a water snake in the mire? (Asked by Niah )
A: All currently extant animals on Earth exist in Altera, given the terrain is appropriate.
(Answered by Baron )

Q: Can animals that are extinct on Earth exist in Altera? (Asked by Immerael )
A: Ask a lore team member! (Answered by Somnastra )

Q: Can players IC make their own lore? As an example, can someone research why people age differently and discover that it's a magical timestream that causes it? (Asked by Ratchat620 )
A: You're free to make lore, folk legends, rumors, stories, and wives' tales. But anything that deviates from what we already have is a no go. Creating lore on something we don't already have will have to go through the lore team, and even then it may not be accepted. Check out this link for info on Lore Submissions. As for the time thing, it's best to leave the timey wimey questions as an OOC mechanic since there's no explanation that makes sense, including magic. (Answered by Niah and Baron )

Q: Which part of the history actually matters? I've never found myself in RP where it has. (Asked by LeftwardElk )
A: Depends on your RP group, usually. The various Exoduses (what an awkward word) and brushes with Corruption are generally good information to have as common knowledge for your character, but you'll need to track down someone with a better memory than I. (Answered by Somnastra )

Q: For how many years has there been intelligent life on Altera? Would it for an example make sense to find an ancient temple while IC?(Asked by Anithola )
A: This answer is different than the one originally given. Because we're on a new map, hold off on any ancient temples, ruins, or such discoveries until more details are revealed about the new map. (Answered by Niah )

Q: Are Alterans convinced the world is flat or do they know there are other places out there? (Asked by DarkWolf )
A: They know other places exist. Kavdek was off the west coast before it was destroyed. Sea of Storms in the east. Several discovered islands to the west. The Sorrows to the South. (Answered by Niah )

Q: Ender Pearls. Yes or no? If yes, how does it work? (Asked by Mryosi )
A: *Sweats* Lore on these haven't been released yet. Avoid them IC for now. (Answered by Niah )

Q: So how do poisons work? (Asked by Immerael )
A: I should say that in regards to fatal poisons and things, we generally say that they're not effective... unless, of course, you have the full informed consent of the person being poisoned. If you don't, it's a one-hit kill type of thing, and that's not fair. (Answered by Somnastra )

Q: I see cannons on ships. Why are they a thing when guns aren't? (Asked by Cap )
A: "Cannons exist as stationary emplacements, and I do believe there's precedent for one-shot hand cannons that take your hand when they go off. Cannons actually served a pretty critical role in the Exodus war." (Answered by Baron )

"No hand cannons. I will smush anyone who tries, I swear it. And make their hand blow up.(Answered by Somnastra )

Q: What are the details on enchanting? (Asked by Immerael )
A: Enchanting Lore here!

Q: Do Iron Golems exist in Altera? If so, where can they be found and what is the history behind them. (Asked by kaza125 )
A: There used to be one in some weird research lab under Port Silver, but thats all I know. (Answered by Sankera )

Q: Is it okay to ICly know the God Lore, fluff, etc? For example, Shalherana is the Deity of Spring, Growth, Forests, Regrowth, Nature, and Life. However this is not posted in the Grand Shrines. Would an average Alteran know her motto? Her ideal realm? Or any of the gods, for that matter? How much is it okay to be like, "I know that Jishrim is the God of Plagues and Despair." Or that Crusade rather likes Sallana? Or is a lot of that for interesting OOC reading? (Asked by Niah )
A: Right now, I'm going to give the absolutely unsatisfactory response of "some is/can be known IC or is common knowledge, some cannot." (Answered by Somnastra )

Q: Can Fire Aspect II books shoot a jet of flame when used in RP? (Asked by Damascus )
A: No. The books themselves have no magic powers that make them any different from regular books. (Answered by Baron )

Q: Can we have camels for our Sooleran caravan? (Asked by Cap )
A: Soolera typically use horses. (Answered by Baron )

Q: How many years ago was 2 Exoduses ago? (Asked by Warwolf )
A: Timey wimey wibbly wobbly.... Timelines are a strange thing.

Q: How much would be known about each god for people who don't worship that god in particular? Would they know the Tenets off the top of their head? Would new people know about the gods leaving? (Asked by CyberChaosV2 )
A: The doctrines and tenets are pretty well known, as they're all posted at the Shrines. Pretty common knowledge. As for the gods leaving, that particular event was public. Word has surely spread that the gods were debating whether or not to leave and that they've since become quieter.

Q: So, what is Redstone IC? It isn't in Materials or Technology, so I have no idea how to treat it IC. (Asked by Damascus )
A: The science-y folk amongst the Staff have been quite busy arguing about whether we destroy the rules of physics or chemistry in order to justify redstone... Chemical or electrical energy both don't quite gel with "spooky MC magic", quite understandably, so we're going to be improvising a little to come up with something less science but more feasible in lore terms.

However, all in-game observations of MC redstone can be observed IC. Fortunately, Altera isn't quite as savvy as us modern folk when it comes to science, so observations should be largely sufficient. (Answered by Faelin )

Q: Are dragons really a thing? Hiding in the northern mountains? (Asked by Raphael_Payne )
A: Altera had dragons once upon a time. You can find their lore here. However, any rumor about dragons being in any certain location is exactly that. Just a rumor with no basis. (Answered by Niah )

Q: Can you use herbs/plants that exist in real life and use them to make IC potions that are different from standard Minecraft Alchemy Potions? (Asked by Sir Saltington )
A: The only 'potion'-like shenanigans that can occur beyond Minecraft mechanics would be these:

1) Realistic Medieval-era concoctions and uses of herbs/plants

Not permitted would be taking your pick of herbs, throwing them into a cauldron, and suddenly having a cure for dysentery or a potion to turn someone into a frog.

Examples of realistic uses include: A poultice of Frankincense, Mint used to treat wounds, Thyme as a fumigate, and so forth.

Bearing in mind: While some may have some genuine usefulness (for example, people used to chew on Willow bark for various pain-relief purposes, where the active ingredient was salicin - closely related to modern aspirin), many will have very limited effect, some are very likely to be balderdash (though this makes excellent RP!), a few potentially downright harmful.

Also important to remember is to avoid meta-gaming large chunks of herb lore at a time. There are a ton of sources online, so it can be tempting to assume knowledge in-game very quickly and without much roleplay. However, far more fun can be experimentation, research in-game (does not need to be done via forum conversation provided you take some time to actually roleplay the process and do some homework OOC!), and getting things wrong occasionally. ;)

2) Yer character is a wee bit potty and invents imaginary potion nonsense

If your character suffers delusions of grandeur and the strange desire to mix eye of newt and toe of frog, then they're probably going to suffer disappointment soon afterwards. That, and a serious stomach ache. (Answered by Faelin )

Q: What's the deal with End stone? I found some in a musuem but was told it doesn't actually exist IC.(Asked by Warwolf and Immerael )
A: Not since some clarification of old, old lore. Ender materials with very few exceptions are not actually "matter" in the sense of a tangible material, and they cannot exist as such in Altera.

If you happen across a bit OOC, I'm not terribly worried, as the texture can be explained away as funny looking rock. (Answered by Faelin )

Q: Once upon a time in a land far fary away Arcturian Steel was a thing. Very rare and stronger than normal steel only capable of being crafted by Arcturian smiths. However this was in the before time. I seem to remember someone somewhere telling me it was retconned into normal steel (Which in and off itself is very rare in Altera) around the same time plants such as Palewort and other non-earth plants and materials were done away with. (Asked by Immerael )
A: Naelwyn did make the decision to have it retconned, so simply put: yes, it's retconned.

I'm not about to change that when it was never quite a fair assertion in the first place, given that it made assumptions about the tech-lock as well as other factions'/individuals' standards of steel-making. I'm not saying there wasn't reasoning to those assumptions, but the claims that resulted were inevitably rather arbitrary, with a huge range between the reasonable and the ridiculous. (Answered by Faelin )

Q: What if any races are native to Altera. I do not count the Greylings and Moors as they are twisted versions of races that already previously existed. I believe I was told Nakam predate the Exodus. If so were they alone or did groups of humans, elves etc already exist and our Exodus race integrate into them or does every one in Altera trace their lineage to another world? (Asked by Immerael )
A: Memories and mythologies are always interesting snags when it comes to tracing the origins of races, but it is safe to say that all present Alteran races are at least as old as the previous world. Some are older, and date back to the first. In the previous (second) world, there were some races native that hadn't existed in the first world. In this (third) world, however, there was no sign of any other inhabitants alive at the time the Alterans settled here.

Zooming out further, it would be generally common knowledge that the current population contains some individuals born in this world as descendants of settlers from the previous world, and some (due to fancy aging and player histories) are actually the first generation of people who actually experienced the Exodus. (Answered by Faelin )

Q: Why aren't we allowed to have Nakat characters created and why are they considered legacy? (Asked by Raphael_Payne )
A: To answer at least a bit of your question; they are legacy and restricted in this way because of Kavdek (Nakat-ville) being wiped off the face of Altera. The only Nakam left, as far as we Alterans know, preside exclusively in the Northern Kingdoms. To play a Nakitty, currently existing Nakam need to have offspring and accept you as the babby's player. (Answered by Ced )

Q: Can you update your first post with all questions asked together with their answers? (Asked by Piratep00f )
A: If you insist. A year later, it is done. ;) (Answered by Niah )

Q: Are we down to three schools of magic? Is Formistry scrapped? (Asked by Immerael )
A: Formistry is still being worked on. There will be four disciplines. (Answered by solus )

Q: How do elven genetics work? If a Moor Elf and a Silver elf have a kid and it's a Moor Elf, and that Moor Elf child procreates with a Forest Elf that comes from a Forest and a Silver Elf pairing, can the child be Silver Elven because there's a percent chance? (Asked by Immerael )
A: The Moors, Silver, and Forest Elves aren't difference races, so much as "nationalities" so to speak. A group of folks that adhere to certain societal and cultural norms, and therefore share genetic features just due to proximity. It's like the image of Scandinavian people having fair skin and light hair, yet red hair and freckles being commonly associated with Irish and Scottish folks. They're all still human, but different traits based on a group of people staying within the culture and reproducing. In the case of the elves, they're all still elves. The difference is less of a "racial species" thing, and more culture based.

If a forest elf and a silver elf have a kid, the kid's going to be part of whichever culture it spent the most time in. Or it could be neither and just be "elf" as it's not required they adhere to any of the three cultures. (Answered by Niah )

Q: But why does the lore give Silver and Forest elves different gestation times? (Asked by Immerael )
A: Because people wrote the race lore for elves without actually co-ordinating with each other, you see discrepancies in things such as gestation - combined with different people having differing opinions on how they work.

If you treat them as separate interbreeding specie they take up popularity slots 2-4 in terms of characters (With Oomans in slot 1), and are all flavors of elf sundae that have been done before.

As far as backmatter goes, they are all the same species, and originated in the same place initially, and grew slowly different over time the way normal human cultures have. (Answered by Naelwyn )

Q: About the Sisterhood of Shalherana. They revive basically anyone that OOCly posts up a revival application. Perfectly fine, but -why- do they revive everyone?
Yes, I know about the rolling thing and there is always a chance (after first two deaths.) that you may not revive. I can see that, but Shalherana is a.. last I checked, the proclaimed 'Goddess of Life.' So why, pray tell does the Sisterhood bring back murderers and evil people?

(I can understand that evil people don't always murder, they can just be really terrible people, like stealing/pillaging and all that. But if you're evil and linked to murdering in a negative fashion.. You're still evil, you're in that chain.)
(Asked by Raphael_Payne )
A: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BlueAndOrangeMorality

Hypothetical situation: You go into an orphanage and kill everybody in it, lock yourself inside, and set the building on fire.

Shalherana's priesthood would try to revive everybody that died. That's it. There's no moral compunction in the sisterhood whatsoever - if you want to try and come back to life, that's it, period.

This is both a lore choice as well as game balancing, because otherwise then you'd have staff members having to make revival decisions based on their interpretation of your character morality and actions - which makes the whole thing a subjective, utter, mess.

Does this sufficiently explain things? (Answered by Naelwyn )

Q: Could a PC overthrow a God? (Asked by Jeroxia )
A: It is highly unlikely, as that's a huge feat. However, there may be opportunities for other god related shenanigans, if staff so choose.

Cannons exist as stationary emplacements, and I do believe there's precedent for one-shot hand cannons that take your hand when they go off. Cannons actually served a pretty critical role in the Exodus war.
Not since some clarification of old, old lore. Ender materials with very few exceptions are not actually "matter" in the sense of a tangible material, and they cannot exist as such in Altera.

If you happen across a bit OOC, I'm not terribly worried, as the texture can be explained away as funny looking rock.
 
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Ced

Mountain Bum
Retired Staff
#5
How common is alchemy and brewing? Is it like magic in that you can only know it if a teacher shows you how? Or can anyone take up the skill and/or profession?
It ain't magic but like any skill, it's encouraged to obtain it legit. Ced wants to get better at alchemy, and I could just say that he's practicing loads and learning on his own but that's kinda lame. Instead I'm going to hunt down alchemists and make 'em teach him through RP.
Are all animals and plants on earth also in Altera? Can I be in an RP, for example in a swamp, and emote seeing a water snake in the mire?
Yep. Just have common sense about habitat; It's unlikely that you'd find a wild camel near Thiil, or a polarbear in the fields outside Azerport.
 

NIAH

The Character Collector
Retired Staff
Good
Niah_
Niah_
Good
#6
Yep. Just have common sense about habitat; It's unlikely that you'd find a wild camel near Thiil, or a polarbear in the fields outside Azerport.
Dang. No desert polar bears? You've dashed my hopes and dreams. :p
 

Immerael

The Shadow Admín
Staff member
#7
So way back in the day in 2013 after the last Exodus I found an interesting post about Ice Age creatures. What it seems to imply is that certain Ice Age creatures could still be around, A.K.A. Mammoths. The answer then was yes but many things have changed since then as lore has been cleaned up. I talked to Solus about it last night in game and got a unsure but most likely no, they do not exist anymore. Thread is here, http://hollowworld.co.uk/threads/lore-mandate-and-overall-clarification.21116/page-3#post-311173 relevant posts by K9 and Legion.

Now while I have no plans for Mammoths I do think it would be cool if they existed and it would make sense if Altera's original inhabitants never hunted them to extinction like our own ancestors did. I'm just curious of the following.

1) Are they still a thing?
2) If yes, what other things are?
3) If no, what animals do exist? All the ones in the real world which existed say 1300-14oo?
4) If yes to 3, then are animals that are now extinct but weren't then free to be found in RP given you are in the right environment etc?
5) Same question as 4 to plants?
 

Baron

Sovereign
Retired Staff
#9
So here's a few questions of my own.~



How common is alchemy and brewing? Is it like magic in that you can only know it if a teacher shows you how? Or can anyone take up the skill and/or profession?

Are all animals and plants on earth also in Altera? Can I be in an RP, for example in a swamp, and emote seeing a water snake in the mire?
Alchemy and brewing can both be accomplished solo through experimentation and the empirical method. So long as your character is bright they can reasonably learn the basics on their own. Advanced knowledge would require oodles of RP, so it's generally easier to find a teacher at that point.

All currently extant animals on Earth exist in Altera, given the terrain is appropriate. No llamas or aurochs since we're in "Europe", as an example.
 

Immerael

The Shadow Admín
Staff member
#10
Alchemy and brewing can both be accomplished solo through experimentation and the empirical method. So long as your character is bright they can reasonably learn the basics on their own. Advanced knowledge would require oodles of RP, so it's generally easier to find a teacher at that point.

All currently extant animals on Earth exist in Altera, given the terrain is appropriate. No llamas or aurochs since we're in "Europe", as an example.
So to clarify I'm sure with minimal searching I can find some other species unique to Europe that are now extinct but weren't in the middle ages. Also Aurochs were a European ox that didn't go extinct until 1627 according to Wiki, so its conceivable they could be round the time period. Again just to clarify, only existing modern animals or is a case by case on extinct animals?
 

Ratchat620

Lord of Altera
#11
Can players IC make their own lore?
For example: I've had this idea of making the ageing differences between different characters canon (if it isn't already) and letting Mer research it IC and maybe find out it's like some sort of magical timestream thingy that affects people differently.
 

Baron

Sovereign
Retired Staff
#12
Can players IC make their own lore?
For example: I've had this idea of making the ageing differences between different characters canon (if it isn't already) and letting Mer research it IC and maybe find out it's like some sort of magical timestream thingy that affects people differently.
The timey wimey is one of those things best left OOC, since there's no explanation that makes sense, including magic.
 

Centurion

Dark Council Elite
#13

Centurion

Dark Council Elite
#14
So way back in the day in 2013 after the last Exodus I found an interesting post about Ice Age creatures. What it seems to imply is that certain Ice Age creatures could still be around, A.K.A. Mammoths. The answer then was yes but many things have changed since then as lore has been cleaned up. I talked to Solus about it last night in game and got a unsure but most likely no, they do not exist anymore. Thread is here, http://hollowworld.co.uk/threads/lore-mandate-and-overall-clarification.21116/page-3#post-311173 relevant posts by K9 and Legion.

Now while I have no plans for Mammoths I do think it would be cool if they existed and it would make sense if Altera's original inhabitants never hunted them to extinction like our own ancestors did. I'm just curious of the following.

1) Are they still a thing?
2) If yes, what other things are?
3) If no, what animals do exist? All the ones in the real world which existed say 1300-14oo?
4) If yes to 3, then are animals that are now extinct but weren't then free to be found in RP given you are in the right environment etc?
5) Same question as 4 to plants?
Archaeological passive RP is a thing as far as I'm aware, as long as you're using the same format as you would for experiments. I've heard things about it. Convo with the lorefolk. There's a format... somewhere.
 

Centurion

Dark Council Elite
#16
Which part of the history actually matters? I've never found myself in rp where it has.
Knowing things about the past can be helpful for sorting out plans to deal with ethereal threats to Altera. Like when the Gods got taken over by Corruption, the Elementals, the Exodus; being familiar with what's happened and worked in the past is beneficial for being prepared for the future.

Additional to that, knowing the history of the world you're running around in, knowing that it's all been shaped by player interaction and divine intervention, can make the experience more immersive and fun. It's entertaining.
 

Somnastra

Puppycat Herder
Retired Staff
#17
How common is alchemy and brewing? Is it like magic in that you can only know it if a teacher shows you how? Or can anyone take up the skill and/or profession?
It is highly encouraged to find a teacher, but anyone can learn it. There are, to my knowledge, several people who have taught themselves.

Are all animals and plants on earth also in Altera? Can I be in an RP, for example in a swamp, and emote seeing a water snake in the mire?
Yes.
 

Somnastra

Puppycat Herder
Retired Staff
#18
So way back in the day in 2013 after the last Exodus I found an interesting post about Ice Age creatures. What it seems to imply is that certain Ice Age creatures could still be around, A.K.A. Mammoths. The answer then was yes but many things have changed since then as lore has been cleaned up. I talked to Solus about it last night in game and got a unsure but most likely no, they do not exist anymore. Thread is here, http://hollowworld.co.uk/threads/lore-mandate-and-overall-clarification.21116/page-3#post-311173 relevant posts by K9 and Legion.

Now while I have no plans for Mammoths I do think it would be cool if they existed and it would make sense if Altera's original inhabitants never hunted them to extinction like our own ancestors did. I'm just curious of the following.

1) Are they still a thing?
2) If yes, what other things are?
3) If no, what animals do exist? All the ones in the real world which existed say 1300-14oo?
4) If yes to 3, then are animals that are now extinct but weren't then free to be found in RP given you are in the right environment etc?
5) Same question as 4 to plants?
So that looks like it was answering for "mammoths and whales," which I'm going to interpret as "whales" given the "don't get too ridiculous" comment by Legion. So:

1) As much as they ever were. So probably not a thing.
2) Whales?
3) Yes, real world animals.
4) I'm curious which you mean? But yeah, I don't see why not... Within reason. Remember, this is not intended to be a direct analog to the Middle Ages. For extinct animals, it's probably best to ask... if it even comes up!
5) See answer to #4!
 

Somnastra

Puppycat Herder
Retired Staff
#19
All currently extant animals on Earth exist in Altera, given the terrain is appropriate. No llamas or aurochs since we're in "Europe", as an example.
(Actually, there is more wiggle room than this, given that the climes in Altera are more varied than Europe's, even considering the Mediteranean. Did I spell that right? Anyways, remember to follow Legion's injunction to not "get too ridiculous".)
 

Somnastra

Puppycat Herder
Retired Staff
#20
Which part of the history actually matters? I've never found myself in rp where it has.
Depends on your RP group, usually. The various Exoduses (what an awkward word) and brushes with Corruption are generally good information to have as common knowledge for your character, but you'll need to track down someone with a better memory than I. I can't even remember the Elemental stuff that preceded the Return very well right now.