Let's Divide the Years by 10

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I have a bold proposal for tweaking RuneScape's lore. For years we have accepted the following account of the ages of Gielinor:

The 1st age lasted for 4,000 years. It was once said that the 1st age began when Guthix discovered Gielinor and ended when he departed its surface for his slumber.
The 2nd age lasted for 2,000 years.
The 3rd age lasted for 4,000 years.
The 4th age lasted for 2,000 years - perhaps my memory fails me, but I seem to remember a time when the 4th age was said to have lasted for 4,000 years.
The 5th age lasted for 169 years.
And, as has been recently shown, we currently live in the 4th year of the 6th age.

Two things always bothered me about this account. First, who's ever heard of a war that lasted 4,000 years? I could believe that four millennia saw lots of warfare, but we humans would subdivide those millennia into shorter conflicts and wars. Such a timeline is simply not human.

Second, compared to ages lasting millennia, how could the 5th age deserve the title of an age? All we did was find a new magical technology and expand our holdings around the world. How can such short-term success constitute an age while the twists and turns of 4,000 years of warfare constitute just one age and receive just one title, i.e. "The Godwars"?

18-Jul-2016 22:50:50 - Last edited on 18-Jul-2016 22:53:59 by AttilaSquare



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In response to these concerns, I propose this: that we divide the years of the ages preceding the 5th by 10. Thus we would have the following account:

The 1st age lasted for about 400 years.
The 2nd age lasted for about 200 years.
The 3rd age lasted for about 400 years.
The 4th age lasted for about 200 years.
The 5th age lasted for 169 years.
We are currently in the 4th year of the 6th age.

18-Jul-2016 22:51:21



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This significantly shortens the timeline of Gielinor. But it also yields some benefits:

First, this account is far more thinkable for us today - in common speech, we measure Western European history, for example, in centuries, e.g. "the 13th century," "the 19th century," "the 20th century," "the 21st century." As it is, Gielinor's history is made up of unthinkably vast stretches of time largely devoid of story.

Second, the whole idea of the Godwars becomes more believable - and 400 years of warfare is plenty long for the purposes of story-telling.

Third, the various immortal characters who have lived through the ages, e.g. Mahjarrat, Vyre, demons, Illujan*a, become more plausible and relatable - a lifetime of 10,000 years is hardly conceivable, but a lifetime of 1,000 is within the reach of my feeble, human imagination. I see no genuine story-telling benefit in making any characters unrelatable (even the elder goddesses themselves).

Fourth, by compressing the history, the potential for relations among legendary characters is vastly increased - this is great for story-telling. And I don't think 1,400 years is too crowded for the countless stories we could tell. Perhaps the only bit of lore that suffers is Juna's references to a myriad of fragile civilizations existing before the Godwars - this has always been suspect and hardly developed.

18-Jul-2016 22:51:48 - Last edited on 18-Jul-2016 22:54:21 by AttilaSquare



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Fifth, this increased story-potential, as well as the new nearness of the ages past, ensures that their development will not be wholly eclipsed by the development of the lore of the 6th age. I have feared that if the 6th age were developed too quickly, the Jmods would lose interest in ancient lore - it's not clear to me whether this has happened.

Sixth, the increased density of the stories of the past ages will also provide a stronger foundation for the development of the 6th age, for now it is easier to develop stories which continue from the 3rd age. It is now more plausible that grudges from that ancient time remain, that they have changed in the intervening years, and that they will play themselves out in the present conflicts.

For these reasons, I think the Jmods and we as the lorehound community should consider the proposal.

18-Jul-2016 22:52:03 - Last edited on 18-Jul-2016 22:54:32 by AttilaSquare



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Now I would like to address some objections.

First, the biggest problem lore-wise concerns the rituals of the Mahjarrat. We would have to redescribe the rituals as occurring only every 50 years. I think this is plausible; it simply changes the image of the Mahjarrat a little - they require a lot more upkeep than previously thought. Positively, this does introduce a new story-possibility: some humans may have lived to witness more than one ritual or have suffered the effects of the rituals more than once. Also, if there have only been 19 rituals, then the new account places the beginning of the rituals in the 3rd age, after the disappearance of Zaros. This could be addressed in a number of ways, such as increasing the number of rituals, changing the time between rituals, or messing with the known lore.

Second, many aspects of the game refer to the timeline as it stands. Outside of dialogue, various museum pieces come to mind. The amount of work to edit all the dialogue would be enormous. But, if this proposal were adopted, the Jmods could make the corrections in a piecemeal fashion, only editing a character's dialogue when the character is related to some other update. I do not think they would be opposed to leaving this unfinished for some time, since they and we still have not sorted out the timeline problems created by the 6th age - I'm sure we'll be able to figure out a good solution eventually.

These are the only significant objections I have anticipated. I invite you to discuss the proposal and any more objections below! Thank you for reading!

18-Jul-2016 22:52:25 - Last edited on 18-Jul-2016 22:54:59 by AttilaSquare

Mar Member 2019


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I thought this would be a terrible idea but I actually like it! I do believe that your proposal is a biiiittttt to short, maybe add a few centuries or 2 to the ages or something. Brassica X Marimbo OTP

18-Jul-2016 23:10:11

Maiden China
Jan Member 2019

Maiden China

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my problem with this, that you didn't really mention, is that Gielinor goes from this thing that seems to have always existed to some place that you just moved into, they wouldn't yet feel like gielinor's their home
a few hundred years doesnt really seem like enough time for people to forget Guthix, to forget Zaros, the dragonkin, and all these other chaps that keep popping up

I know who napoleon is, I know who alexander the great is, I know who hammurabi is.
It would take an immense amount of effort to actively make people forget things far more memorable than those in such a short timeline

that being said, I'm not completely against them applying *a* division to the years, just not one so big as ten... maybe 3 or 4

18-Jul-2016 23:57:01 - Last edited on 18-Jul-2016 23:58:17 by Maiden China

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