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Medieval or Renaissance?

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Lady Ria

Lady Ria

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So something that I know is of much debate in the community (specifically whenever Tom says Runescape isn't high fantasy) is whether or not Runescape is high fantasy. But something nobody in our community seems to question is whether we are Medieval or Renaissance, they just side with Medieval, even when Jagex Lore-Writers have said otherwise.

What does this effect besides the time period? Well, after finishing a few classes on late Medieval Europe, I'm going to give this a shot!

1) Introduction
2) An entirely different Worldview
3) (Continued)
4) Three Orders Mentality
5) Serfs, Slaves, City-Life, Colonists
6) Religion
7) Nobility
8) Royal Power
9) Rebirth
0) Runescape, Renaissance of Medieval?

Page 2

1) High or Low?
2) Conclusion
3) Post away!
neat

01-Jun-2016 13:41:21

Lady Ria

Lady Ria

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A Whole Different Worldview:

People in the Middle Ages viewed the world radically different. To them, all they knew was based of faith, not observation. Faith in the Church of the past and present, faith in the ideals of the classical philosophers, Socrates, Plato, and above all else, Aristotle. Aristotle was so important, he shows up in Dante's Divine Comedy. (Yet, Plato and Glaucon were known to get into ridiculous arguemen** involving Glaucon holding up plucked chickens and calling them humans, after Plato made a definition of humanity as bipedal creatures with no feathers or scales. After the chicken, he added "with broad, flat nails.";) Clearly, you can see how ridiculous a mentality that could build when you venerate these men.

Based off a few wild theories, people believed your eyes shot a gooey film out of them that captured visions and dragged it back to your eyes, allowing vision. Because of this we have the idea of not looking at our "better man" without permission, as by making eye contact you are sticking part of your body in a Noble or Priest without permission.

Also, is the theory that old women, for reasons I can't list on the forums, were not allowed to look at newborns or else poison from their body would give the child a birthmark. This same poison made old women more prone to witchcraft.

Because people were usually Serfs and barely left the area around their homes, they could easily believe, as my professor had stated "There are men over the hill with one giant foot, the size of their chest. When it gets hot they lay on their backs and use the foot for shade." and the people would believe it, as they had no reason to doubt you.

So how does this affect their ideas of the world? Well, as I'm about to share, Religion has a massive part in it.
neat

01-Jun-2016 13:41:48 - Last edited on 01-Jun-2016 14:03:12 by Lady Ria

Lady Ria

Lady Ria

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Out of those of you who have ever had a Science class, what is the scientific method? Question, Hypothesis, Experiment, Observe. For hundreds of years this has been our standard for experimentation. Why only hundreds? Well...

Medieval People believed that your eyes could be fooled by Demons, if not Lucifer himself. You couldn't trust what you heard, saw, smelled or tasted. You had to have faith in what you were told. What that means is the observation part of science is missing, leaving unfounded facts passed between people as a view of the world. If someone believed the people over the hill had a single massive foot, you could go over the hill and drag a person back, and the Peasant would most likely believe the demon was tricking their eyes.

All classes, Royal, Priestly, and Peasantry, believed that God and Lucifer had active places on Earth. Not just God, at that. Saints were reported as riding alongside armies to war. The ****** Mary spoke out to people, offering them forgiveness. Kings were annointed by Priests to be instruments of God's will on Earth against the acts of Lucifer and his demonic ilk.

How does this not apply to Runescape? Well, we have actual Scientists and Scientific methods based on Observation. (Oldak, Invention, the Chemist.) We have Gods just recently able to play active parts in the world, with many more learned people aware of how active they could be due to the Edicts. However, we can also observe the Gods with our eyes, can't we? Is it not possible to trust our own eye for this?

That depends on the worldview. This is a main reason why the lines are blurred, though it is implied people trust their own eyes and vision in Gielinor.
neat

01-Jun-2016 13:41:56 - Last edited on 01-Jun-2016 14:16:03 by Lady Ria

Lady Ria

Lady Ria

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The Three Orders

Those who fight,
Those who pray,
and Those who work.

The Three Orders, Knights, Clergy, and Peasants specifically, all had duties to attend to that were not just enforced, they were political and religious. Following the Christian concept of impending judgement day of the time period, Priests got together and decided a revolution to the old systems was going to take too long to implement, and was honestly a waste of time as the world of the flesh was not important, only the world of the spirit. As a result, they spread the "Three Orders" doctrine throughout the Christian World as a way to serve God in work, until that day comes.

Knights were the Warriors, bound to serve a Lord as a vassal through a ceremony of homage and protection. All the way up to the King, who swore homage to God. They needed to be prepared to fight at a moment's notice, so they were sent to train, and given land to serve as a home and source of food and income by their Lord. Peasants, or Serfs, were servants bound to the land. They worked the land with rows of crops for themselves, and rows of crops for the Lord. They were not permitted to leave the land, and many were fine with that. In an unstable world of cruelty, violence, and strange things outside the village, who would want to give up a stable home and steady food? Peasants were immaculate, cleaning their homes to the point where archeological evidence shows the floor had grooves by the door from how harsh they swept. Peasants also didn't care about clothing. Most wore leggings and tunics, men and women included. Why? Easy to make and warm.

So if Serfs were bound to the land, and didn't mind this as they felt it was temporary until they went to the Kingdom of God, how could we have so many adventurers in Gielinor? Answer is... We couldn't. The system that took effect approaching the Renaissance is in the next post.
neat

01-Jun-2016 13:42:06 - Last edited on 01-Jun-2016 14:31:00 by Lady Ria

Lady Ria

Lady Ria

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Tenants, City-Life, and Colonists

Serfs were bound to the land and given some semblance of freedom when their lordly work was done. They fished, they hunted, they cleaned and collected firewood. But the hours in a day for a Serf to pick up smithing? Impossible.

In practice, some people had Serfdom lifted and become tenants, paying coinage to their liegelord instead of food to own and maintain their houses. Tenants could be forced from their land, or choose to leave.

One system of this followed a massive population boom. Lords were suddenly aware of having too many people to sustain in a village, so they sweetened the pot for some to leave and build new villages, as peasants couldn't be forced to do work other than farming. Colonists, people who were second sons and unable to inherit the family home took up the offer in a heartbeat, draining swamps and clearing forest to build new villages. Some stayed there as tenants, others left for forming cities.

As tenants had the right to leave land, the mass emergence of the Tenant system is a necessity to Runescape with it's many slayers, adventurers, bards, and merchants. Just as it was to cities, where most of our scholarly ideas come from. After all, people who travelled far and saw or felt no monsters, and met those who also haven't seen them tend to start to trust their eyes more.

This is where we start to see a merchant class form and flourish, and after the crusades, trade routes to Africa, Constantinople, and the Middle East are established. Merchants soon became so wealthy, Nobility began to suffer a decline in their own wealth of land. Yet, Kings began to tax the Merchants and Priests convinced them to donate to the church, securing their position after the Renaissance, as Noble-focused power shifted to Royal.
neat

01-Jun-2016 13:42:17 - Last edited on 01-Jun-2016 14:45:51 by Lady Ria

Lady Ria

Lady Ria

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Religion:

Religion is perhaps the biggest jump between our modern world and Medieval and Renaissance, so this is important to discuss.

As previously stated, Medieval people believed God, Lucifer, Mary, Jesus, and the Saints walked among them and actively acted as agents of change in their world. Although those of upper class believed all power came from God, including that of the saints, peasants tended to believe the Saints were the objects of worship and some power over time, rather than a means to get a request to God.

An important note that cannot be understated, everybody, regardless of class with only a few minor exceptions of silence, believed God existed. Unlike our modern political field where we have people claim to be part of a religion to get a vote, Kings and Priests actively believed. They attributed gut feelings to notions from God, so much so that the very notion of a King knowingly using religion to manipulate the people just wasn't possible. That doesn't mean this didn't happen though. Usually specifically with the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantines, as they maintained plenty of the manipulative culture of Rome.

When Pope Urban yelled Deus Vult, he didn't do so because he wanted people to believe it. He did it because he himself believed it.

I am going to pick on the Grey Family for a moment, because it is a necessity. The Grey family has established most of the Kingdoms on 42 and Gielinor, and with it has come the idea of a manipulative faith of "pretend you are what your people are, and they are more likely to follow you." This is a very modern concept. It also isn't out of place in Runescape, as proven by King Lathas of Ardougne. But this isn't a medieval one by any stretch.

When it comes to religion, Runescape and Roleplay both are not Medieval. They are fairly modern, at that.
neat

01-Jun-2016 13:42:30 - Last edited on 01-Jun-2016 15:01:00 by Lady Ria

Lady Ria

Lady Ria

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Nobility

As in Medieval periods Kings lacked the central authority they have in Runescape and 42, I will need to elaborate.

A single vassal to the King had more soldiers than a King did to defend their city. If a King was a poor ruler, stepping on Vassals' toes, their great-grandparents lived in days where no Monarch ruled. This was fairly recent. They had no qualms with deposing a King, as they used to be elected and not passed as a hereditary position.

Vassals were visited and spoiled with gifts to placate them, as the threat of rebellion was all-too much. A simple majority of vassals was all it took to overthrow a King. This does show up in Game of Thrones, given the lack of a royal army and dependence by Joffrey/Tommen on Lannister forces, and the fear of a Stark/Tully/Arryn alliance having a majority of power. Especially when the Greyjoys responded to nobody's call and broke off.

Kings were very important to the commoners, however. Some Monarchs were believed to be gifted a magical healing touch by God, others met with awe and wonder. Kings became masters at carefully grooming their appearance as healthy instruments of God himself. Unfortunately, Commoners didn't fight, and thus didn't go to war for their King.

By Runescape, it appears to be far enough ahead this is reversed, as with the Renaissance. In Idle Adventures, one of your quests involves making an Adamant suit of armour for King Roald when he comes to visit Duke Horacio.

Nobility were local power, and that nobility held the power over the kingdom is enough agreed. The idea of a central, national authority came when Kings had the money and army to support it, and a stronger national identity.
neat

01-Jun-2016 13:42:40 - Last edited on 01-Jun-2016 15:23:50 by Lady Ria

Lady Ria

Lady Ria

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Royal Power

That said, Kings did secure large amounts of power for themselves by the time of the Renaissance. Exploration and Mercantilism, two themes of Runescape really blossomed with the Renaissance and a larger global presence. With the Eastern Lands of Wushanko being travelled to 21 years ago, before Quinn obtained power, and now again a year ago, we know Gielinorian Kingdoms travel the world. Trader crewmembers also support this.

The idea of someone being a Draynorian, or a Lumbridge citizen, or a Catherby citizen just doesn't click. People in Runescape tend to have a stronger national identity, and with it comes a stronger identity in their King. Alongside a more central army, as Falador/Asgarnia has. When people identify with their nation's center, the Monarch, they are less prone to follow a Noble when they rebel.

When we hit the Renaissance, this is where we start to see absolute rule emerge, bleeding into the Enlightenment era.
neat

01-Jun-2016 13:42:49 - Last edited on 01-Jun-2016 15:33:57 by Lady Ria

Lady Ria

Lady Ria

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Rebirth

This feeling of adventure, of human life mattering, this mission to spread the faith and obtain coin for monarchs to stop their enemies was the beginning of the Renaissance. The booming city life led to an increase in artisan work, from goldsmiths to painters, sculpters and leather workers. Ideaology spread in many different directions, with Machiavelli stating his need for Italy to pull together, his ideas on manipulation, and how to rule. People started to question themselves and others, as science made leaps and bounds of progress, especially under Leonardo da Vinci and his fellow inventors.

Schools and institutes for learning were built, proper places to learn skills to aid in your future.

By all means, with inventors and progress, Wizards Towers and Guilds, a strong uniting force like Raddalin, can we say we are medieval? With everything mentioned so far?
neat

01-Jun-2016 13:43:06 - Last edited on 01-Jun-2016 15:42:49 by Lady Ria

Lady Ria

Lady Ria

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So... Which is it?

I am firmly set in my belief Runescape takes place during the Renaissance. It isn't exact, as fantasy would imply, but it doesn't need to be.

We have modern religious ideas, ideas of hope and new beginnings, science and faith in observation, central armies and royal power.

The point is it isn't exactly medieval, or renaissance, or anything. It's Runescape. But if we're filling the holes of a Renaissance game with Medieval history, surely some things just won't fit perfectly? Please comment on this. I'm no professor of medieval history, so I'm bound to oversimplify certain ideas (or not be remotely accurate.)

As for the Low/High fantasy debate? Well, let's jump into it.
neat

01-Jun-2016 13:43:21 - Last edited on 01-Jun-2016 15:51:07 by Lady Ria

Lady Ria

Lady Ria

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High or Low Fantasy? Real answer... Neither Sort of?

Heroic Fantasy best suits Runescape in the Fifth Age. The story of the hero and their lens into the world is what becomes important, not the fight for absolute good, nor the gritty goal of accomplishing your task in a world of jerks.

Heroic fantasy doesn't delve often into politics, but if it does many of the political villians are pawns of some higher power. (Examples, Lord Iorwerth and the Dark Lord, Hreidmar and (a delusion of) Zamorak, Bandos Avatar and Bandos, Amascut's followers.)

However, when we enter into the Sixth Age we gain more high fantasy qualities. The world is fragile and in need of protection, constantly hurling the World Guardian to stop apocalyptic scenarios. Whether you use it or not, magic ends up being the solution to most of these problems, whether it be through Ariane, or the inherent magic of the World Guardian.

Runescape is a hybrid of Heroic and High Fantasy. Magic is no secret, and magic is a solution to many problems the World Guardian encounters. Yet, almost all we see of the world comes through the Hero.

This is why we have these problems of discerning what to use as filler for our politics and our armies, customs and ideas. We don't see much into them. We see only what our hero(es), the World Guardian and Sally (Idle Adventures) see.

But what they see is something unique enough it draws us in and makes us want to be a part of it.
neat

01-Jun-2016 13:43:37 - Last edited on 01-Jun-2016 16:09:51 by Lady Ria

Lady Ria

Lady Ria

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Magnickicent said:
Honestly these threads always seem to pop up all the time and do absolutely nothing. People will say runescape it high fantasy, others will not. People will say it's medieval, others will not. It's just how people on this game are. But, kudos for the effort.


People say one way or another, but mostly just bicker about it. I'm throwing all the knowledge I have on Medieval sources and structures of power down, to make it very clear that what defines the Middle Ages to academia simply doesn't exist in Gielinor.

If I start a topic on it, great. If people continue on with what their doing... Well, that causes problems.

If I view things as Renaissance, and you don't, but your character is mine's Liegelord/King, that changes my character's ability to rebel, hold their ground, and overall power.

Many people simultaneously want to have Serf structures in their Kingdoms and central power, but... You can't have your cake and eat it too, is what I'm saying.

If you want to do strictly medieval stuff, you have to be aware that means Nobles (like mine) don't tuck tail and follow often. If you want to do Renaissance stuff, great. You can have central power, while my Nobles continue their mercantile trade as they've been doing to stay afloat, wealthy, and competitive. Constantly changing between the two makes it difficult for Noble roleplay to exist, enough so that it's frankly non-existent.
neat

01-Jun-2016 16:25:02 - Last edited on 01-Jun-2016 16:27:11 by Lady Ria

Lady Ria

Lady Ria

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poop in pant said:
Lady Ria said:
Tom says Runescape isn't high fantasy

This is ****ing dumb

"High fantasy is defined as fantasy set in an alternative, fictional world, rather than the real world. The secondary world is usually internally consistent, but its rules differ from those of the primary world." - wherever

do I need to explain further


Usually he dragged real world evidence to something and added ''Before someone says High Fantasy...''
neat

02-Jun-2016 16:05:23 - Last edited on 02-Jun-2016 16:06:29 by Lady Ria

Lady Ria

Lady Ria

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An Item Mule said:
Does it matter? Nothing ever happens on 42 anyways. This is a game, quit overthinking it. People will rp what they want and when.


And they can. Never said they couldn't. What I am saying is the way we interpret the holes we fill in our structures, specifically PoKs affects the roleplay around them. If you don't run/play nobles in a PoK, this is entirely unimportant.

As for overthinking... That's the product of a free morning to type this up and nothing better to do.
neat

03-Jun-2016 04:29:40

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