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The Story of Ikov

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AttilaSquare

AttilaSquare

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Thanks, Iron Tides! The goal was to outline the relations among several gods before the advent of Saradomin and Zaros - I've made up the order of their arrival. The dream of the conversation between Zaros and Seren is supposed to set the stage historically.

On this account, Armadyl and the Pantheon get along well, so much so that Tumeken suggests the land Armadyl ought to occupy. Both also seek justice for the peoples in the lands neither of them rule. Both avoid Loarnab. In the last two chapters, Ikov has some minimal interactions with Guthix and Seren. And chapters 1-9 involve Armadyl and Ikov's piecemeal banishment of Zaros's agents and scrying presence.

29-Nov-2015 15:43:23

Aquamancer
May Member 2011

Aquamancer

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The entire story was interesting to read through, asides from one point that left me bothered. The beginning lore about the three families of north-eastern Kandarin doesn't make any sense, etymologically speaking. Catherby was most likely not named after a noble family who ruled over it, nor would it make any sense for there to be a family called "Sotherby". Catherby's "-by" is derived from the Old Norse, which translates as "settlement" or "village" ("Cather" doesn't seem to translate into anything but mimics the structure of various English placenames), meaning that Catherby is supposed to strictly be a toponym, nor a surname, meaning the same would apply to Sotherby. I'd advice you to look for another possible name for the two other families, although I don't think there are no other important noble families in Northern Kandarin asides the Sinclairs: after all, there's nothing in Catherby that'd imply it is anything more than a common village: no mansion, no large house for a noble, nothing. Of course, these details aren't really pivotal for your story, they're just some text made to elaborate on Thormac's origins.

Asides that, I'm really interested about the nature of the various spirits present in the story. Some of the gods, such as Seren and Guthix, as well as vampyres and demons are referred to as spirits, while the identity of various other spirits (the serpent spirit, the Black Knight spirit, the dragon spirit of Kathekontos, the earthen giant, the dark spirit and the native spirits of the Moors, spirits of the Forinthryn gorge, spirit of the crystal, the spirit of the seer, the spirit who fought Ikov in Guthix's chamber, the two spirits of the Circleblade Bog, the Dagannoth spirit and the spirit who led Ikov to skavids) are left vague. Do you think you could elaborate on the nature of the various other spirits present in the story? What are they supposed to be?

30-Nov-2015 10:07:09

Aquamancer
May Member 2011

Aquamancer

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Another historical note: while you refer to Al Kharid at the beginning of the story, wouldn't it be more fitting to refer to the city as Kharid-et, like it was mentioned in the Mahjarrat Memories? After all, Al Kharid was not founded until the late Fifth Age, so in all likelyhood the city the story would refer to is Kharid-et.

30-Nov-2015 10:07:50

AttilaSquare

AttilaSquare

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These are great points. Thank you! I will make some changes: certainly Kharid-Et, when I have some time this week; and maybe the village names - I'll give these some thought.

I still want to think through how to describe spirits. I'd like to say that creatures like us have both souls and spirits - which are somehow extensions of our souls in the world. Pure spirits, on the other hand, have no life or death; they are either present in the world or not. They can last millennia, be banished, or return, but what makes a spirit the same spirit over time is something I haven't yet figured out for myself.

Anyway, gods, men, Mahjarrat, demons, and Vyre have spirits which are extensions of their souls and which a sorceror like Ikov can sense. (The spirit of the northeastern volcano was just a demon from Infernus - fully present, projected into Gielinor in physical form.) The pure spirits here - the ghostly serpent, black knight, earthen giant, shadow/dragon, fog, native spirits, spirit of the crystal (maybe this was demonic - I can think about it and clarify), the spirit of the seer, the spirit driving the Dagannoths, the dueling spirits of Circleblade Bog, and the spirit that led Ikov to the portal - in some way have no proper identity, for they belong to no individual soul.

Instead pure spirits appear in the world as patterns in the feelings and desires and actions of communities. These shared experiences and commitments bind communities together. Laws and customs enforce these patterns, i.*. the presence of the spirits among the people.

30-Nov-2015 13:44:22

AttilaSquare

AttilaSquare

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The reason I went in this direction at all is because, reflecting on Armadyl as the god of justice, I came to the conclusion that laws and customs only indirectly bind a people together. What directly binds people together is the shared feelings and desires and actions that we experience as spirits. Therefore, Armadyl, as the god of law, ought first to attend to the spirits at work in a people. Once any evil spirits at work - which would oppress or divide them - are cast out, then he can form laws which will preserve the good spirits at work in them.

The reason for the structure of each part is this: banishing a spirit is like breaking a habit. It takes time to recognize the habit, especially in a people newly encountered. Then one must track down its source, the reason why it came about. Once the source is found one must be ready to reject it thoroughly - i.e. when the opportunity presents itself, unless one is not to fall back into the habit even more deeply and likely despair of ever overcoming it. In the story, Zaros is responsible for many of the spirits (the ghostly serpent, black knight, earthen giant, shadow/dragon, fog, demonic spirits of the north, and the spirit of the seer). Through them he seeks to reconnoiter the land and oppress the peoples there. But he can't simply send a spirit out of the blue, the way he can teleport demons or Vyre into Gielinor. He had to find a pattern in the hearts of the people there and exploit it.

30-Nov-2015 13:44:57

AttilaSquare

AttilaSquare

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In a way, many of the oppressed peoples are partially responsible. The sea-folk did not speak openly about their discoveries but were silenced by their guilt; they did not confess their wrongdoings or their suspicions or offer forgiveness to one another. Instead they remained aloof and isolated - in the anonymity common to port towns. Zaros could sense the fragility of their communal life - the way they took it for granted. He stirred up a spirit to possess the trolls, and this then strengthened the spirit of the serpent which grew in their hearts.

The Asgarnians likewise fell into mutual suspicion and competition and did not maintain their traditional chivalry. Zaros found anger there, and bitterness, and made use of this. Perhaps it is not fair to say that the Woodsmen allowed themselves to be duped - they faced three Vyre whose evil was probably not easy to predict; only some were guilty of selling out their countrymen. Perhaps he found a vanity there, connected with the glory of their nation and their control of the mount of Kathekontos, and exploited that. The witches probably welcomed the strength Zaros lent to the spirit of the fog, already strong in their hearts.

The demon of the mountain was just a demon like the ones we experience today. But Armadyl notes that he sought to disappear, to become hidden in the patterns of feelings and desires and actions of the people there - for this would give it greater power. Agrith-Naar seeks something similar when he attempts to return to his pocket dimension from which he can bring about various natural disasters in Gielinor. I never decided whether the spirit of the crystal was a demon who arrived and then entrenched itself in the land by hiding itself in the crystal and illusory totem and either dug out the gorge or simply weakened the dimensional barriers there so that the demons in the abyss could lure in unsuspecting travelers.

30-Nov-2015 13:45:32

AttilaSquare

AttilaSquare

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Zaros found in the disgruntled seer an envy and hatred he could exploit. The spirit came to outlast the life of the seer himself, and so preserved his undead body. While the spirit of the seer caused fear in the hearts of the Fremennik, it could not find any further foothold in their hearts. So when Ikov cut down the undead body of the seer, he also banished the spirit.

The shadow/dragon is a spirit which already had a place in Ikov's own heart - Zaros had found something to exploit even there. I haven't thoroughly thought threw the episode among the dwarven altars. There Guthix kind of draws out a spirit also at work in Ikov's own heart for him to face, in a way to practice for his fight against the dragon.

Throughout the story, there's something of a rule in the background which is only mentioned a couple times: the heart has layers and some spirits work on deeper layers than others. The shadow/dragon worked deep in his own heart, and Ikov could not even say what spirit worked more deeply than it, with the help of which he could slay the dragon. I think whatever spirit helped him slay the dragon led him on his journey around the kingdom and to the portal beyond the skavids.

Anyway, these are some thoughts on some of the spirits. I haven't thought through all of them. Each of them also developed in a different context. Over the course of three years, I had been thinking through the ideas of lust, anger, vanity, greed, gluttony, sloth, envy, and pride; these thoughts heavily informed the story, so that much of it is allegorical. But I can save allegorical interpretations for later. Here I just want to address the idea of spirits as such, to explain why I made use of them in the story, and to develop these ideas a little more for the sake of laying a foundation for a theory of sorcery.

30-Nov-2015 13:46:00

AttilaSquare

AttilaSquare

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@Aquamancer: Hey again. I've given some thought to your suggestions, and I have a follow-up question: which memory mentions Kharid-Et? My internet is not working too well, and I'm only seeing Kharid-Et mentioned as a fortress. I know that Tumeken's Dream is considered suspect, though it does make mention of Al-Kharid in the Second Age - perhaps the modern day Al-Kharid takes its name from an ancient settlement.

Concerning the family names, I concede your point. Unfortunately I am awful at inventing names - names are just too important. The entire RuneLabs suggestion actually comes from a dream I had a few months before I submitted the entry, so I can give this thought, but it might take some time before I'm struck with fitting replacements. I dreamt up the name Hinea and even feel compelled to invent some story to give it some significance. I want to write on Circleblade Bog too, but it's name is self-explanatory. Kathekontos is the only other name I've really introduced, and I've applied it to two towns - I could write a whole lot on the meaning and history of this word and on why I chose to apply it here.

07-Dec-2015 17:24:09

AttilaSquare

AttilaSquare

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Hey, everyone. I wrote a poem/song to fill in a piece of the story - the battle between Armadyl and the earthen giant. I hope you enjoy it!

Another brief poem to follow soon. Merry Christmas!

25-Dec-2015 15:43:35 - Last edited on 25-Dec-2015 15:50:36 by AttilaSquare

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