RuneScape Lore Q&A Transcript
Following on from Sunday's live stream Q&A we have the transcript detailing all of the answers to your RuneScape lore questions from Mod Mark and Mod Osborne courtesy of Mod Anon! Enjoy!
1. Who was the first God to step foot on Gielinor?
Mark: First of all, it depends on what your definition of God is. There are a lot of characters in RuneScape that try to achieve Godhood. In terms of the Gods that everybody knows about, the first God to step foot in RuneScape was Guthix.
2. Who is your favourite god and why?
Dave: Iím going to be cheeky and say that my favourite God is one that isnít a god yet. Thereís a character in-game at the moment who will soon ascend to Godhood.
Mark: We may elaborate on that later. My favourite god isnít just one god, itís actually a group of gods, which is the desert gods. The pantheon of desert gods like Het, Crondis, Apmeken, those kind of characters.
3. Are there more dragonkin than Sithaph, Strisath and Sakirth currently active? What happened to Kerapac?
Mark: There are more dragonkin than just the ones that youíve seen so far. Thereís probably about a dozen hanging around runescape or near to runescape. Iím sure there will be more characters that will be introduced to the players in the short to medium term.
Dave: And Kerapac was a bit of a rogue dragonkin. He didnít do what the dragonkin should have done so I think youíre going to see more of him and I find it kind of interesting.
4. Any hints/information on who Nomad's Master is?
Mark: Yes. Nomadís master was Lucien. Nomadís had a bit of a bad time as of late, and got his bottom handed to him quite squarely by the players who have managed to defeat him. Obviously heís thinking about his next move because Lucien is no more.
5. What are your plans for Kudos Island, if you have any yet?
Mark: Kudos Island is something that we started talking about many years ago. In the office we have a name for it, which is Fossil Island. Thereís various different things that we want to happen on Fossil Island but itís a massive project and something that weíve decided to park for now. Itís not something that weíre actively working on but again itís something that Iíd really like to do in the future. Fossil Island will have lots of fossils on it and is where one of the dragonkin is.
6. Finally, the enigmatic Raptor... He's really rather secretive about his identity, as we all know. What race is he?
Mark: The Raptor is deliberately an enigma.
Dave: I think if we told you too much about the Raptor itíd ruin him, so weíre going to keep him enigmatic for now.
Mark: Thereís actually a load of story thatís been written for the core trio of heroes and the characters that are associated with them. Linza obviously is the smith and youíve got the Raptor, Ariane, Ozan and Owen. Weíre going to be putting their stories in. Ozanís storyís already in, Arianeís quests will be out this month. Weíve got some plans for Owen next year and thereíll be more and more content involving the Raptor sooner rather than later.
7. In the future updates forum, players create threads exploring the lore behind updates, quests and storylines. To what extent do these threads influence the official lore that Jagex adds to the game?
Mark: First of all, we absolutely love reading suggestion threads and the suggestions we have about the storylines and the questions that people are asking about the characters in the game we absolutely love. Itís definitely fair to say that we tend to decide our release schedule or the order in which we release quests based on the amount of interest they have on the forums. The more people that are talking about certain storylines, the more likely it is that weíre going to be exploring those storylines.
8. I absolutely love the Arposandra/Gnome series, Will we see a new quest about it soon? A Jmod told us after the release of The Prisoner of Glouphrie that they didn't want to take as much time for a sequel as last time. It has been nearly 2 years now...
Dave: Itís on the list of the quest series that we want to do and weíre still excited about Arposandra, but itís just one of those city quests, you know, Weíve got the elves with Prifddinas, weíve got the gnomes with Arposandra, weíve got the penguins with Archeron, Tzhaar city... We want to do it right and to do it right we need a big graphical budget, unfortunately.
Mark: To choose which ones we want to do next, a lot of it is based upon what players are talking about on the forums but also we look at our content schedule for our whole year and we think about all the different storylines weíre exploring, what kind of motifs those stories would have, the different kinds of storytelling that we would use, different emotions that we want to generate from the players and we want to make sure that weíve got a healthy mix of all of those things. It really depends on the shape of the year and the kind of things we want to achieve during the year. Thereís a whole bunch of storylines we want to do, penguins, pirates, elves, the sagas...thereís a whole bunch of long-term storylines we want to keep going but thereís just not enough time every year to accelerate each of the storylines weíve got in the game.
9. Will we ever actually see Priffdinas (The Elven Crystal City) within the next 3 years?
10. Hello. I'd like to ask if we're ever going to find anything out about the Elf Clans. There are eight of them but we only know about three.
Dave: We do know that there are eight and we are planning to do eight. Iíve talked to one of the developers on the elf projects and the way he imagined it was kind of like spokes on a wheel with each family in the kind of, trivial pursuit wedges as it were, of Prifdinnas, with something in the middle that we canít quite reveal.
Mark: Itís like different sections of the city which are ruled by each of the clans. You can imagine a big tower that represents each of the clans, each of the groups of elves and weíd really like to explore the ideas in the quest with the players going and getting involved with each of the clans, doing different things for each clan.
Dave: One clan may be forming things out of crystal, another may be more interested in warfare, maybe trackers. Iím really interested in doing some kind of soap-like intrigue between every different faction.
11. Is there any ongoing discussion on the underwater city mentioned ALL those years ago? Do you think this is something that will ever happen?
Mark: So the underground city is still something that weíre connecting with the pirate storyline. All of the different stories to do with Rabid Jack and what happened to Rabid Jack at the end of one of the first Pirate Wars. If youíve watched the cut scenes youíll know that he was tied to an anchor and then chucked to the bottom of the sea. At least, he certainly disappeared off the edge of the ship. So, weíve got various different ideas to do with underwater cities and his influence on those cities. There is a lot weíd like to experiment with things like that. Certainly, the developer who came up with the ideas to do the pirate series has got a real interest in H.P. Lovecraft, Cthulhu, those kind of storylines, and if anyone knows anything about those, the concepts of cities, which is this big underwater city that rises to the surface, links to things like Atlantis, thereís lots of really cool real-world stories and lore that we could learn from and explore within the realms of RuneScape.
12. What can you tell us about the Eastern Lands?
Dave: The player-owned ports which we announced last year. Weíve got pages and pages of storyline data on what weíre going to do with the eastern lands. Weíve got some interesting things weíd like to talk about. Basically, itís an archipelago surrounded by sea monsters. Youíve got all these khans who are rulers of different islands. Theyíve got sea singers who can control one sea monster, but one sea singer gains the power to control all of the sea monsters. Itís about the war that sea singer has created and weíre going to do that storyline in ports. There will be six different campaigns all playing through that storyline.
Mark: Plus, the players have seen one of the sea monsters already, havenít they?
Dave: Yes, the Thalassus from deadliest catch, and also the mermaids and the siren are also eastern-lands related.
13. Will Daeyalt Ore (from the Myreque series) ever be dealt with? I was wondering if Daeyalt ore will still be a part of future Myreque quests.
Dave: The Daeyalt ore if you donít know, is created from the stone of Jas where it was previously. So, just like it created fist of guthix, tears of guthix where itís previously been, itís magical essence that is left behind the stone of Jas. I talked to the developer recently and she sees it more like a spin-off of the story. Thereís so many different strands we want to do with the Myreque storyline and Daeyalt ore is just one of those things weíd probably do in a spin-off. Iím much more interested in Haemalchemy, what Drakan is up to, Darkmeyer, thatís really the kind of the Morytania strands we want to do in the core storyline.
14. Can you tell us where the Stone of Jas is? Or at least if it will stay hidden for even a little bit? What powers the Stone? Is Jas quite literally inside? Tell us everything you can!
Mark: Jas is definitely not inside the stone.
Dave: Jas isnít inside. Jas probably created this. Itís one of several ancient artifacts the elder gods used to create the world. The younger gods or lesser gods decided to try and find these and many of them...Iím not going into more detail, actually! So, where the stone of Jas is, the players should know or at least one-third of it, unfortunately.
Mark: Itís such a powerful thing, it just leaks magic which is why it has affected so many different areas. At the end of ritual of the Mahjarrat, the player and some of the crux eqal had to hid ethe stone of Jas and it was deliberate at the end of that quest that none of the characters knew exactly where the stone of Jas was going to be because they didnít want it to fall into the wrong hands again. So thatís why nobody knows.
15. Tell us moar about the dragon kin! how is the stone of jas their power? do they worship any god? how were the dragonkin born? can we expect more quests about them?
Mark: The dragonkin were created by Jas using the stone of Jas and the dragonkin are like the defence group. They defend the stone of Jas and make sure the stone of Jas isnít used for purposes that Jas didnít want it to be used for. They donít necessarily worship a god. They kind of do, theyíre caught in this turmoil really because theyíre nothing without the stone. When the stone is used, they are given power and they are given huge amounts of power to stop whoever it is who is mucking around with the stone. So if you can imagine that the stone has that much power, the dragonkin have to have an equal amount of power to stop people from mucking about with the stone. Theyíre caught in this turmoil because they are bound by the stone. They hate it but love it at the same time. They canít act without it.
Thereís loads of really cool storylines to do with the dragonkin. As you know, the dragonkin have been experimenting for many years. They created the dragons, they created the many different versions of dragons that exist within the game. All of that creation is for a purpose and hereís a bit of a reveal, that purpose is so that they can find a way to breed. So they can find a way to reproduce themselves so they can create their own kind of cities and their own families and not be bound by the stone of Jas.
16. How much of Guthix's power was his own and how much came from the Stone of Jas?
Dave: Well, weíve got a piece of content thatís pretty much going to answer that question in the next year. So, what it is to be a younger god, a lesser god and how they came to be is probably going to be something weíll explore. Probably.
Mark: Itís worth pointing out that that is going to be a massive, massive, massive quest. Itís the quest that everyoneí s waiting for and Iíve never been so excited about one storyline, ever. Itís going to be amazing.
Dave: My buttocks are trembling.
17. I have questions about edicts of Guthix. What exactly are they, what do they include and who do they effect? Are they some kind of power or just rules that must be obeyed? What do they allow and what not?
Dave: The way we see it, well, the way I see it is that they donít actually exist in any form. You canít pick up a book and there it will be, or a stone tablet on a mountain or whatever. Itís very much what Guthix said when he came to RuneScape, when he banished all of the gods, when he laid down his rules and this is what he said. So, each of the different gods will have a different interpretation of that. Maybe some think that theyíre quite relaxed, maybe some think that they are quite strict and each of those different factions have been pulling at the edges of the edicts to see how much they can get away with, how cheeky they can be.
Mark: I always think of them like a set of rules that a parent will give about how a child must act in a house. For example, they say you canít draw on the walls. Thereís nothing that can physically stop you from drawing on the walls, but you know that if you draw on the walls something bad is going to happen, and thatís how i think about the edicts of Guthix.
Dave: For those of you who donít know about the edicts, the important part is that gods cannot directly manipulate the world.
18. I feel my poor lord, Armadyl, is often ignored when it comes to lore. Little information is ever given about and is often vague. When will we know more? The story of Armadyl can almost entirley be summed as: God of Law, Friend of Saradomin, owner of the Staff of Armadyl, and that he strongly loved Aviansie. When will his story be told?
Dave: Armadyl will get his day pretty soon.
Mark: We are planning some pretty big stuff next year to do with the gods and Iím sure Armadyl will feature heavily in that. Itís going to be epic.
Dave: You can piece it all together from what weíve been talking about, Iím pretty sure.
19. Did Zamorak flee Gielinor (when current sources say he was banished for his crime) to escape the wrath of the Kin after he used the Stone to ascend to godhood?
Dave: With that one, I imagine Zamorak in an interesting conflict in that he wants to be the first one back if say, gods suddenly started coming back but heís also acutely aware that since he did it, that people kill gods and he is vulnerable. Heís probably put himself in a place where heís safe but also if he needs to, come back quick.
20. Guthix is the God of Balance, Zamorak is the God of Chaos, Saradomin is the God of Order; what is Zaros? Power, Will, Control?
Mark: This is one we were talking about for a long time. There are different interpretations, really. In fact, the description of the first three gods there I wouldnít necessarily agree with. Zaros we said was will. Well, control.
Dave: Control. I see him as very controlling, Machiavellian and pulling the strings. People donít know they are being manipulated by Zaros. But thereís other stuff. Off that list youíd have mentioned that Zaros is evil and emptiness, two things that are often put with Zaros. Heís a lot of things but thatís part of the control and manipulation. He wants to stay mysterious.
Mark: We see him as a bit of a puppet master.
Dave: Itís going to be so good to write stuff for him if we ever did. Oh, imagine.
21. When will the empty lord, Zaros, return? And how?
Mark: We definitely canít answer that question.
Dave: Hot air balloon.
Mark: He just made that up, by the way. There are hot air balloons already in the game. Maybe thatís why they are there!
Dave: Maybe! How do you think theyíre powered? Zaros power!
Mark: We havenít decided yet is the honest answer, but Dave has.
22. Are there plans to expand on Saradomin as a character? Also, is there any chance of bringing the God Letters back? I used to love reading those.
Mark: So the god letters were replaced with postbag from the hedge. That was a deliberate thing because with the god letters, it started getting to a point where...well, first of all, Iíd like to say that it is possible to write to the gods and you can do that with postbag to the hedge, but we didnít want to have letters and pages which were entirely dominated by people writing letters to the gods. It was all getting a little bit too violent, frankly, where the questions that were being asked were just getting bigger and bigger and they were trying to provoke quite heavy responses from the gods. Obviously the gods by the edicts of Guthix arenít allowed directly to affect or influence the world so we decided to put an end to the god letters specifically and replace those with the postbag.
Dave: And we will do stuff with Saradomin. He might not be as you expect. People reckon heís all good, I reckon heís got a darker side, just a slight one, but thatís my own thinking.
Mark: The only opinion they have of what Saradomin is like is from followers of Saradomin so obviously theyíre going to big him up and not necessarily be completely honest.
23. Will our actions during skilling that contribute to certain gods have an effect on what plays out in future updates or it is going to be a purely cosmetic thing so we can see which gods and their actions are more favorable to the community?
Mark: One of the things that weíre planning to do next year is have more world events where the actions of the players are dictating how the world evolves and how the status of the gods change within the world as well, and that wonít just be based on what stories youíre completing and what youíve told to certain NPCs. Itíll also be about how you choose to consume certain materials, what you do with your resources. Weíre doing a lot of cool things next year specifically to do with getting skillers involved with the way that gods evolve, the way that the world evolves. Itís a really good question and the answer is yes, there will be a lot of direct action that the players can perform that will affect the way that the gods and the world evolve.
24. What is a grandmaster quest and whatís the difference between a quest and a grandmaster quest?
Mark: There are a lot of interpretations as to what a grandmaster quest is. A lot of people think that they should be long, they should be complicated, and they should involve certain types of storylines. Whilst I can understand why people have that opinion because of the content that weíve given them in the past thatís certainly not the case. We define grandmaster quests purely by the levels you require to access the content. We think that a grandmaster quest, you know, that requires 85 cooking or like, 80 prayer or something like that doesnít necessarily have to be really long, doesnít have to involve certain storylines or complicated puzzles. It is purely a grandmaster quest because of the levels that are involved.
Obviously, players have certain expectations when it comes to certain storylines and how they should form and I certainly agree that certain storylines deserve really long pieces of content, complicated quests, complicated puzzles and things like that, but i donít believe that just because it has really high levels it has to be really long or really complicated.
25. Will there be a grandmaster quest were we can see the actual Zamorak?
Mark: Thatís a very interesting question. There are various areas in-game where Zamorak might be...
Dave: That arenít necessarily quests...I donít want to give lots of spoilers, you know!
Mark: It depends. For example, those players that have explored lots of Daemonheim, they will have read various different pieces of lore, the letters that players can pick up and thereís direct references to Zamorak and even in the saga we produced recently with Moia, thereís lots of references to do with Zamorak and maybe Zamorak being at the bottom, and what happens with Bilrach and the Mahjarrat and what happened to Moia...
Dave: So I really thought that the best way to tell this story is to continue with those stories, continuing with the sagas.
26. Can you tell us a bit on the background of Kharshai? It would be good to hear something from him as he is the least known Mahjarrat who isn't confirmed to be dead.
Dave: So Kharshai is the only Mahjarrat that is on RuneScape, on Gielinor that hasnít been accounted for. He is in-game currently. Players can go up and talk to him, and he does exist. He is not aware that he is Kharshai, so there is a current character in-game that you can talk to who we may introduce later on who is Kharshai. Speculate all you want, but he is there. See if you can guess who Kharshai is. By the end of the month, win something. Markís getting good at making cakes. Heíll make you a cake.
Mark: So, second prize will be the penguin costume and first prize will be a cake from me. Thanks Dave! Are we going to announce this competition, then? If we run a competition on this weíll have to actually announce who it is.
Dave: Weíll just release a quest.
Mark: Yeah, true. Put some lore in the game. Add some text to Ďití. Letís say for sure, in January weíll add something to the game to confirm who is Kharshai.
27. Who is that "dead body, wriggling with maggots" found on the last floor of Daemonheim?
Dave: When the journals went out for Daemonheim, there was only one character that it could have been, but since weíve got the latest saga, thereís been a bit of a debate I feel, about who that might be, of which it can be two. I think the guys would be happy with me saying that itís probably one of Bilrach or Moia, and hopefully you get to explore that later.
28. The Signature Heroes are a relatively new piece of lore and I have two questions about them. How did you came up with the idea of them and what is planned for them in the future?
Mark: We created the signature heroes because we wanted to have a group of characters to explore the early storylines of the game and to have a mini-clan for new characters, new players to immediately be able to relate to. MMOís are quite notorious for having quite aggressive communities sometimes and new players feel quite intimidated. They donít want to get involved with the massive community straight away, which is a shame but you can understand why. It can be the same for any walk of life, really. So, we wanted to create this kind of network, this group that the players could relate to, they could get involved with, they could build relationships with them and they would almost act like a small community in the early parts of the game.
Iíll be honest with you and tell you that there were strong marketing reasons to do that as well. We wanted to have key characters, archetypal characters such as the ranger, the mage, the warrior but we wanted to put different twists on those characters so they wouldnít be as you would expect in a fantasy world. Weíve already explored the character of Ozan and you can see all of the different things that heís been up to, the kind of stories of him stealing the artefacts from Varrock and going and putting them back, stealing the different copies that they come up with, etc. Those kinds of stories are really cool and we like those storylines. Thatís why weíve created that core trio of characters, and of course the characters that are associated with them like Linza and the Raptor.
Dave: So, in terms of the future youíve seen Ozan, weíve got Ariane coming up very soon as youíve seen in the Behind the Scenes and we do intend to soon do Owen, explore his background and his roots. Definitely next year. Heís definitely more melee-centric. Iíve always seen him as a Jason Statham, Jack Bauer character so I think youíre going to see something very much in that vein.
29. Do vyrewatch eventually become a full vampyre? Or are they born a full vampyre, are they converted to a full vampyre? Where do they come from?
Dave: I can see where youíd get confused with that because the Vyrewatch are more of an occupation rather than a particular race or breed of vampyre. A vampyre from Vampyrium can become a vyrewatch as can one whoís just created by another vampire. In terms of how many created vampyres there are and how many are from Vampyrium, thereís very few from Vampyrium which is the home place, the world where vampyres came from and those are vampyres that are born as vampyres. They didnít stick their teeth into somebodyís neck. There are probably only a few in this world that includes Ranis, Vanescula and Drakan.
30. Is the reason that Lord Drakan locks himself in his castle because of the curse that befell everyone involved in the staff of Armadyl incident during the Ghostly Robes miniquest? Who was it that placed the curse on everyone in the question above?
Dave: For a start, who says heís in castle Drakan? I think thatís an assumption a lot of people make based on what the vampyres tell them. It doesnít necessarily mean that Drakan is there. I imagine that Drakan is pretty heavily distracted by other things. Heís got things that heís after and if youíve played the quest youíll probably know a couple of those things. I think youíll probably find out more about where Drakan is and what heís up to.
31. Will we ever learn about our characters past? After all, we are amongst the most important persons in Gielinor's history
Mark: With a game like RuneScape we want everyone to be able to create their own characters. Theyíre not inheriting a character. Itís not like a game with a defined storyline or a linear progression. Itís not a console game where youíre playing a character, like a Halo game where you are Master Chief and your history is defined. In role-playing games, particularly in games like RuneScape i want the player to be able to decide what their background is rather than have us define it for them. I think there will always be times where when theyíre visiting the past weíre allowing the player to explore elements of the history of the game but really itís entirely up to them what their history is. What we can do is provide them with cool content that they can define what their future is by the way that they consume the content that we give them. I donít want to do anything that defines their charactersí past because thatís not what role-playing is.
32. Will you release a definitive guide to the lore?
Dave: That would honestly take years. I would love to and itís probably something I should do. Itís not something that will happen overnight because weíve got a lot of lore thatís in our wikis at work, weíve got all of these stories that weíve built up and all of these intentions for the future plans. Itís trying to unpick what the players know, what they donít know, what we intend to do for the future and itís going to take a lot of work. But yeah, Iíd love to, and Iíve probably committed myself to do that. Weíve got ten years of rich content and one of the joys that I find with RuneScape and what might feed the projects a little bit is that people find out the stuff for themselves. They go out and pick out little things and because there are so many unreliable narrators in RuneScape as well youíre not really sure whatís true either. So people have been picking up all these details, working it out in the future updates forums and on the recent updates forums all working together so it would also lose that bit so weíd have to do it very carefully.
Mark: There are different levels of lore. Thereís the lore that players understand based on things that have evolved within the game. Then, thereís the lore that they understand based on the things that NPCs say within the game but as I was saying earlier, even the NPCs within the game have their own interpretation of lore. It doesnít mean itís necessarily true just because some character said so on the street. For us to publish a lore bible, a guide, a big heavy tome of stories would also mean that we would have to give loads of reveals about content in the future. To be honest, weíve got loads of storylines where weíve got to a certain point and we donít know where theyíre going to go next. Itís almost like the joy of some of the storylines that we have. We like the fact that we get new developers involved, we hand them storylines that other developers have expanded on, theyíve moved on to other things and we let them take the storyline in a slightly different direction. For example, the Myreque storyline is a really good example of that. Thereís things that weíre doing with the Myreque storyline right now that six years ago I hadnít imagined that we would do with it at all. Iím not disappointed by that, itís just the direction the developer wants to take it in and weíre really happy for that to happen. We want the developers to feel that they can explore their own creativity within the lore that we put together, so itís not actually in our interest to have a really heavy framework that surrounds the lore of the game. There are certain storylines, the really big, massive important ones where we know where we want them to go and we have an end goal, but thatís certainly not the case with all the storylines in the game.
08-Nov-2012 14:10:58 - Last edited on 08-Nov-2012 14:46:59 by Mod†Anon