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Use of pseudo-history in Quests


Fyrd Argentus

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I am treading near the edge in some of my quest creations. Thought this would be a good place to discuss.

The issue is finding a balance between being totally unique and creative, and trying to fit into the MD realm and it's rich imagery.

Step one was using MD figures in my riddles - Drachs, birds, Windy's Pub, lore guards, etc. This is balanced against making up the distant realm of "Queen Esmerelda" as one of my prior abodes. I mingle it a bit having a Knator mentor in the distant land of my birth that was a refugee from MD. (see my papers).

Step two is the back-story for my lost path adventure. There is a Princess and Imperial soldiers that are shadows of Marind's Bell - but shadows only. I definitly can't take it upon myself to write unfounded history of MB, especially after the Ancient MB Lore fiasco (see forum). This Princess is NOT Marind herself... though it is fun to hint and misdirect. But here I am claiming there was once some OTHER princess in MB...

On the flip side, I use a number of spectral monsters that are reminiscent of the monsters clearly from other realms (mummy, vampire, werewolf, etc.)

How best to proceed as I expand on the story of the Lost Path?

The characters I am developing have flavor and backgrounds, easily affiliated with the 4 main lands. Should I simply claim they are from those places? Or should we just consider that a "translation" of where they are really from? These lands are archtypes, and resonate with similar places in other realms.

I use the word "Shadows" above advisedly - in the sense of Roger Zelazny's Amber series. That the real world casts an infinite number of shadow worlds through the dimensions that are almost but not quite the same as the one next door....

Unless I hear arguments that convince me to take a different course, here is the "Party Line" I am going to be following....

Any reference by me (or another player) in a quest to a land for "flavor" is refering to a "shadow" of the real MD realm. I as a player can't presume to make up "new" MD history, but any history I make up for the quest can be found resonating with the real MD off in some other dimension. My musical magical abilities to wander between dimensions is meant as a justification for that, and the reason I can "strengthen" these resonances between worlds and make it possible for MD players to interact with things.

So references IN MY QUESTS to spirits of a King, Queen, Princess, and Prince of the archtypical four lands are really reference to resonant spirit shadows drawn out of other dimensions..... not to be taken as straight MD historical fact.

This issue really cuts across any creative writing of stories, quest, songs, personal papers, etc. that brush up against MD history. How free should we feel to make claims and inferences, and make up supposedly historical figures of greater or lesser importance?

Anybody care to weigh in on this subject?

Postscripts:

Chewett - I did not mean actively misdirect. But if one mentions a princess and MB, people leap to all kinds of assumptions, as clarified in Mur's "Show of Force" thread.

Awiiya - I obviously feel I am creating something of intrinsic value here, or I would not be doing it. I see MD as an evolving community project rather than something frozen in perfect crystal. Sorry you are so easily repulsed by this distraction. Quests are of course optional - this is a GAME, after all.

What makes a story "nice"? The issue I'm trying to raise is not about teaching vs. entertaining or such, the issue is about style. In a nutshell, should we try to integrate our work seamlessly into the MD milieu (as we should with artwork) or should we do something distinctly and unambiguously different, thus emphasizing the patch-work-quilt nature of the MD community?

Edited by Fyrd Argentus
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[quote name='Fyrd Argentus' timestamp='1296229098' post='78145']
This Princess is NOT Marind herself... though it is fun to hint and misdirect. But here I am claiming there was once some OTHER princess in MB...
[/quote]

Misdirection is wrong. You should not be claiming anything, Nor have anything which would be adding to, or changing what is fact and known about MB.

Making up history is an intresting one, Im prettymuch against it because we have quite a lot of background to base most things on, Im still waiting for someone to make some nice quests based on the shade wars that many players havent heard about.

Espically if you are "misdirecting" people, like you say, because that merely confuses the issue and means that the real lore is merely hidden by people making up rubbish.

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[quote name='Chewett' timestamp='1296232608' post='78148']
Misdirection is wrong. You should not be claiming anything, Nor have anything which would be adding to, or changing what is fact and known about MB.

Making up history is an intresting one, Im prettymuch against it because we have quite a lot of background to base most things on, Im still waiting for someone to make some nice quests based on the shade wars that many players havent heard about.

Espically if you are "misdirecting" people, like you say, because that merely confuses the issue and means that the real lore is merely hidden by people making up rubbish.
[/quote]
Chewett, all due respect etc., I think you are missing the point of what Fyrd is saying. You should read Zelazny if you haven't.

The "real lore" of which you speak seems to be the consensus among a tiny, close-mouthed elite. There is real lore about Marind's Bell? Really? Who knows it? Is the lack of "nice quests" at all attributable to the fact that the "real lore" is nowhere readily accessible to independent researchers, [i]even the leader of an MDA guild?[/i] It's all very well to shoot people down for violating canon, but what actually qualifies as canon keeps changing. We have seen recently that the AL itself has been partly disavowed. Where is a quest writer to begin? If he writes from his own array of ideas, he's spewing rubbish. If he bases his quest on "actual" in-game events, he's glorifying the long-dead, no-longer-relevant past. He's between the devil and the deep blue sea.

A ghost has been spotted, but someone clever enough to earn himself a tag at MP3 can't figure out that ghost's identity. What's wrong with this picture?

The idea of presenting a story-based quest with symbolic and setting-appropriate resonance is an intriguing one, but it's no easy task even to conceive. It has been amply demonstrated, quite loudly by you among others, that anything less than that is "made up rubbish" - surely the irony of such a qualifier in a fantasy setting is not lost on you - and that therefore the majority of MD story-related quests are doomed to fail before they even begin. If MD is postmodern, it has no need of (and frankly should reject and even mock the very idea of) canon. If MD is symbolic, Fyrd's archetypes are appropriate. If it is a more standard roleplaying adventure game, it needs hard, immutable, canonical history in a form that quest-writers can consult.

It's not encouraging to see motivated, creative people shouted down. If you see an idea that seems wrong-headed to you, can you not provide some direction to the would-be creator? Or shall we go back to ciphers and "find me [x] adepts" quests?

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[quote name='Tarquinus' timestamp='1296235790' post='78152'] If MD is postmodern, it has no need of (and frankly should reject and even mock the very idea of) canon. If MD is symbolic, Fyrd's archetypes are appropriate. If it is a more standard roleplaying adventure game, it needs hard, immutable, canonical history in a form that quest-writers can consult.
[/quote]

This has been, and will continue to be, the hardest and Biggest question I am trying to figure out in my short time here at MD. Answering "Yes" as some have, to that series of "is it..?" questions has only confused things to me, and judging by the small sample of replies to the original post, others are likewise seeing different facets of Fact.

Yet, in everything I've seen Mur write, (the only real "canon-writer" IMHO) he will not answer in specifics, because The Question seems the most important part. So does that make everyone correct, or no one?

My unlearned thought is: If there can be Sludge and a Flood that I've never personally witnessed, but apparently happened to others in-game and is "Real", how else can Fyrd progress his own style of play if Chewett's saying "That's not Real"?

Who owns the sand to putthe lines on, and who holds the stick to draw it?
That's an honest question from a seeking Newbie.

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If you can convince people it's real, then surely it must be real.

I haven't tried Fyrd's quest(s) myself, but if they've been around so long they must be good, and so why stop it?

Fyrd: Make sure people know that your stories aren't meant as official in any way and are just stories and it will be fine.

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eh, I just remembered princess Apricot of the Mushroom Kingdom, the princess in my quest :))

If you give your characters and places made up names, you can easily take parts of the actual stories of things, and mix it with things that you invented for the sake of your quest. Just make sure that fact and fiction blend into each other, that way your story is original and interesting, and still loosely based on MD... Just loosely enough to allow everything you like.
A few examples from what i did in Apricot's quest:

Bridge of Ages turned into a wobbly, wooden bridge leading over a big river.
Mt. Kelle'tha was an icy cliff in a storm, and instead of pyramids, Wind Dragons lived on top.
Tribunal was populated with mad cannibals and little girls that sold flowers.
To the feet of the cliffs of Deathmarrow sat a lake full of water daimons, and within angiens dwelled to guard an enormous treasure.

Obviously, all of that is loosely based on actual places, actual persons and some actual story, but after changing the names, nobody really bothered^^

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