Thread: The Sacred and the Profane

The Sacred and the Profane

  1. #1

    The Sacred and the Profane

    In this era the Humans of Nosgoth have many gods. Some religions have centuries of history, an established hierarchy of priests, saints and martyrs, even if their parables have evolved and fragmented over time. Others are younger, rawer constructs born of oppression and suffering, their stories birthed and grown in the mutterings between frightened survivors and refugees. In their desperation the people offer up prayers to anyone – or anything – that they think can offer them a chance of help or of hope. The truth of any particular belief however is always open to question.

    Oldest of those worshipped are the fabled Guardians of legend. Little is now known about many of them, with even their names and precise numbers lost if they were ever once known. Some scant details have survived: Bane the Lord of Life; Dejoule of the Holy Light; and Anarcrothe the Wise. These and their fellow sorcerer-gods once stood as teachers and protectors of all humankind, and tales of their great deeds are still told, along with how one-by-one they fell at the hands of the Vampires. The last of these Guardians the hated Kain himself struck down and so doomed Nosgoth to the domination of his inhuman legions. Their likeness and memories still live on despite the decline of the old Human kingdoms, whether in the form of ancient effigies or tales half-remembered by the sacred storytellers.

    Throughout Nosgoth there are also those who revere the legends of the Sun, the now-shrouded source of life and scourge of the enemy. This sacred light has been blocked through the machinations of Vampire-kind and so signalled what seemed the inevitable decline of the Human race. Still the worshippers test their devotion and mark their bodies with molten brands and heated coals, each searing of flesh an act of mortification in hope that the Sun may take pity on the faithful and return to save them.


    As with the Sun, the waters of Nosgoth are venerated for their ability to ward off the Vampires. Natural springs and artesian wells are miraculous gifts and the sites of pilgrimages. Sea coasts, lake shores and river crossings are marked with way-shrines each bearing the likeness of an inhuman figure, no two precisely the same. Wells dug in peasant villages have many-eyed faces scratched into their stonework, while the fountain in a great king’s court may have an elegant statue crafted by the finest artisans he can afford. Sometimes he is smiling and benevolent, other times terrible in his anger. Sometimes his aspect is that of a sombre man weighted with chains; others a monstrous amalgamation of sea creatures all bulbous-eyed, fanged and tentacled. His true name is never spoken, but like his face his use-name will change from region to region: the Seagrave, the Salt Lord, the Saint of Dark Waters, and a myriad of others.

    Some schools of worship are restricted to a particular faction. To the Red Sisters, Elustra is the Scarred Harbinger of Anarcrothe. The Lost Seers had their ancient Matriarch Azimuth turn to insanity and demon-worship, but still adhere to what they believe are her pre-fall tenets, and now have new oracles to worship in the form of Roxen and Malus. The progenitors of the Drowning Men still revere the shifting-named waters as they once obeyed the orders of the mortal Patriarch of the Waters; but the last of his line died when Vampires came again to Meridian, and with him their old faith. Now that disparate group of ex-convicts, veterans, pirates and battle-priests have their own freshly-forged and brutal immortal: the ever-restless Drowning God who reaches out to claim all in the end. And there are said to be those in the wild places of the world who still look to Bane or Dejoule for their inspiration and protection…

    Other churches are more localised. Freeport offers berth to travellers from throughout Nosgoth, and they bring their new cults with them: the Ashen Lady, the Broken-Horned God, and the Weeping Child all have ramshackle shrines on the docks here. If there were scholars to study them they may find echoes of older faiths in these upstart sects, but there are few now with the time or energy to dwell on anything beyond the daily demands of survival. Meridian has its own host of holy places, but one great hollow temple stands on its own half-drowned peninsula where sea and land hold equal sway. Here the Patriarch of the Waters and the Matriarch of the Islands would meet on equal terms in the days before the Razielim swooped down on the Isle of the Dead. Now the Matriarch of the Islands endlessly stalks its wave-lashed balconies alone, calling down curses on the leeches or blessings on the warriors of humanity as the changing winds themselves decree.


    It must also be said that the rebel Humans pay fervent tribute to their own more mortal heroes. The tales of legendary figures from ages past are mixed and mingled with those of more recent vintage, the deeds of a long-dead warlord being swiftly attributed to the latest champion to win a stirring victory or make a bold and bloody last stand. While the holy folk may squabble over which of their own kind is truly worthy of sainthood, the fighting men and women of Nosgoth elevate their own idols based on simpler and harsher tallies of allies saved and enemies slain. These gore-slicked heroes, be they cunning and fierce or strong and wild, inspire all who hear tales of their feats, or see a banner bearing their likeness still held proudly aloft over a desperate melee. The foremost are venerated as the Immortals, and their assigned symbols – from chance birthmarks to deliberate ashen scarification – are thought to ward against danger of ill-luck. This particular pantheon has a shifting roster yet some few are a consistent presence, foremost being Tarshna the Winged Huntress, “she who protects from the thirst”, defender of the eternal citadel and protector of the new-born. The soldiers of the Iron Guard in particular give silent praise to her as they gird themselves for battle and their inevitable demise.

    For such a warrior sworn to victory or death on the battlefield, that any could be so desperate as to betray their own kind is hard to fathom. However for those faced with no other hope of survival as the world plunges deeper into war, perhaps there is after all surety to be found in slavery. While those Human dedicated to the battle for freedom take up their arms, there are others who have chosen a different path and remained within the embrace of Kain’s brood. For centuries before this uprising the slave population was a passive audience to the culture of their captors; for centuries there were those who like the Vampires believed that their race was divinely blessed. When faced with the unquestionable power of even the average Vampire, let alone catching a glimpse of one of the demi-gods known as the Lieutenants, who could reasonably have any doubt about this? And what does one do when faced with such a holy presence but bow down and offer it your worship? Only a fool would try to fight, when you can buy an existence of sorts for the price of willingly letting the overlords feed from your veins. When would-be liberators raid the Vampire slave pens, some captives simply weep and refuse to leave, fumbling after their loosened chains and crying for their inhuman saviours. Worse, there are insidious rumours of Vampire Worshippers playing along with their rescuers and so infiltrating the ranks of the Human rebels more effectively than even the most skilled Zephonim assassin. Distrust thus breeds weakness and doubt, and in their despair so the ranks of the secret cults of the Worshippers grow stronger.

    The Humans of Nosgoth have many gods, who may or may not listen to their pleas.

    The Vampires of Nosgoth have only one divinity, and his name is Kain.
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  2. #2
    Thanks, Chris! It's always fun to read about the backstories. You should probably put it on the main site with the rest of them (http://www.nosgoth.com/blog/page/1?tag[]=story) and link it on facebook/twittter. I hope a few of these get depicted in the maps and classes at some point.
    Last edited by Vampmaster; 27th Nov 2015 at 20:14.
    "If events are matched closely enough to course, they have a way of restructuring themselves to familiar outcomes." ~ Scorpius, Farscape

  3. #3
    It didn't focus on the Matriarch of the Islands as much as I thought it would, but I am totally okay with that. I really enjoyed reading about the many different religions the humans have going on, and even though the lore explanation for the Matriarch of the Islands boils down to "she's just a religious leader," that's enough for me. I particularly liked the bit where the humans worship the former guardians without realizing how crazy they were (with exception to them knowing about Azimuth and Kain). It would be cool to see more corrupt versions of the past coming through (ie what if the humans invented a few guardians for their stories, making the circle larger than it actually was, or what if they didn't believe Kain was ever a guardian?).

    And if the art team needs ideas for new themes for skins, might I propose a Branded series of skins? It says worshipers of the sun branded/burned themselves to show devotion, so a line of skins with cool brand/burn patterns would be cool, plus it wouldn't need any of the bright rave-lighting. Granted, they would have to show off a bit of their skin to actually show the brands (which doesn't make much sense from a combat perspective), but they could justify it by saying they believe their holy brands will protect them better than the strongest armor. They could actually probably do a few different religion-based skin sets using the info in this article. No reskins please, and fix and/or scrap the terrible chest system!

    More hints about nomadic people worshiping Bane and DeJoule? I think we've found our sixth human class.

    The talk of the vampire worshipers was nice. *crosses fingers for vampire worshiper class after Rahabim*

    The Drowing God - Looks like the Ironborn from Game of Thrones haves snuck into Nosgoth (for all of you who aren't GoT fans, they worship The Drowned God). Though I guess this guy is still in the process of drowning whereas the GoT god has already drowned. Nosgoth = early Westeros, confirmed. :P

  4. #4
    Ooh. Thoughts:

    1) A lot of this actually does wonders for a story I'm working on (much like Nosgoth, set in a less-traveled era - and I'm tip-toeing on glass to avoid crossing any canon). Good to see the lore inadvertently supporting some of my ideas. ^_^

    2) "use-name" and "shifting-named waters"...Those just look and read kind of awkward and off. Is it just me, anybody?

    3) "Freeport offers berth to travellers from throughout Nosgoth, and they bring their new cults with them: the Ashen Lady, the Broken-Horned God, and the Weeping Child all have ramshackle shrines on the docks here." - Could we get some ramshackle shrines on the map then? Bit of an insignificance given all the other work to be done, I suppose, but the small details like that do work wonders.

    3) Is the Matriarch a ghost or still alive on the Isle? Not 100% clear to me. Also, what's her part in the dealing out of auric armor? Did she create it? Why, if so?

    4) Might "Tarshna the Winged Huntress" (am I wrong to draw a link to the alleged bird-visioned druids referenced in the Crucible blog?) or these Immortals get banners or something in future?

    5) The "eternal citadel" - That referring to SR's human citadel, or just some other? Have the humans taken over and remodeled the Eternal Prison?

    6) Vampire worshipper talk. YES. Possible class later? Hoping so. I really love the bit about slaves clinging to their chains and weeping out for Dumah or whoever to save them from "rescue". That's just sadistically delicious.~


    @Gugulug5000: While the brands and religious stuff could make really cool skins, I wouldn't be encouraging anything of that sort until the gamble-chests are decisively terminated (or at least rid of trash items like boosters, and ideally sorted better [skins and abilities and weapons all in one chest really kills your odds).

  5. #5


    Winged Huntress?

  6. #6
    Ahhh, nice catches! I would love it if they had decided to incorporate that old stained glass into the lore somehow!

  7. #7
    Now - I'm also gonna have to be critical too. While some elements of this lore post were interesting to those of us who like to dig deep into LoK backstory....um....what does it accomplish? I mean how likely is it for this stuff to come up in maps or gameplay whatsoever? As such what will it mean to the casual Nosgoth player who doesn't even know who Kain is, or even read the blog for that matter? Probably nothing. Plus - I'm not sure it really answered our question about who the Matriarch was?
    I've said it before and I'll say it again. Unless Nosgoth actually brings in this backstory into the actual GAME ITSELF then its useless and amounts to glorified fanfiction.

  8. #8
    Originally Posted by CountEyokir
    Now - I'm also gonna have to be critical too. While some elements of this lore post were interesting to those of us who like to dig deep into LoK backstory....um....what does it accomplish? I mean how likely is it for this stuff to come up in maps or gameplay whatsoever? As such what will it mean to the casual Nosgoth player who doesn't even know who Kain is, or even read the blog for that matter? Probably nothing. Plus - I'm not sure it really answered our question about who the Matriarch was?
    I've said it before and I'll say it again. Unless Nosgoth actually brings in this backstory into the actual GAME ITSELF then its useless and amounts to glorified fanfiction.

    I'd have to agree. They didn't even really explain the Matriarch - why is she supplying the troops, how is she doing so from some deserted isle, did she forge the auric armor herself, what was her part on the Isle, was there some clan she was charged with, why was she meeting with the Patriarch, did they have a conflict...? It's intriguing but ultimately brings more questions - arguably enough to devote a full post to her.

    And there need to be reflections of this lore in-game. Shrines at Freeport's docks, in-battle dialogue from the human classes relating to these deities, tidbits like that.

    But there I go asking for the sun and moon, eh.

    Also, still want clarification on that 'eternal citadel'. Could totally be the one from SR, but then I kinda like the idea of the humans taking over the abandoned (and presumably dysfunctional) remains of the Eternal Prison...
    Last edited by Ygdrasel; 29th Nov 2015 at 21:06.

  9. #9
    I don't know if making large changes to existing maps is worth delaying new ones for, considering how long they take to make. I think a lot of people are getting bored of slow content development already. For now, efforts to incorporate lore should be focused on new content so it's not spreading the staff resources too thinly.
    "If events are matched closely enough to course, they have a way of restructuring themselves to familiar outcomes." ~ Scorpius, Farscape

  10. #10
    Honestly, I think that having someone write up lore posts when they get a little down time between doing other things is a great thing. It gives us something to read and helps flesh out the world for those of us who are interested, and you've seen the way people were screaming bloody murder that they weren't getting enough lore updates out there before this came out. It's obviously something people want. Yeah, it'd be nice for them to find a way to implement it into the game somehow in some form of the Dark Chronicle, but that can take time to develop, and until they do, I'm quite happy with just getting to read these things as they are.

    Heck, every time something like this gets updated, I always end up spamming my LoK fan-friends with it on our social media site! ;D Even the ones that don't get to play the game gobble it up like it's candy!

  11. #11
    Originally Posted by Vampmaster
    I don't know if making large changes to existing maps is worth delaying new ones for, considering how long they take to make. I think a lot of people are getting bored of slow content development already. For now, efforts to incorporate lore should be focused on new content so it's not spreading the staff resources too thinly.
    Large changes? Can't imagine a few ramshackle shrines is that large. I mean, it's ramshackle.

    But yeah, if they incorporated them in future maps instead, that'd be fine too. As long as it's incorporated, doesn't have to be Freeport - I'm sure they worshipped elsewhere too. Point just being, wherever possible, the lore should - eventually - be made something more than just words on a page.


    @KP: "...our social media site..." - Facebook or Twitter? And a Dark Chronicle couldn't take that much time, could it? It's basically the blog just relocated.

  12. #12
    Actually, Plurk! :P It's more obscure and usually it looks like the people who use it the most are people that RP on Livejournal or Dreamwidth-style sites.

    And eh, a Dark Chronicle wouldn't be too extensive, but they'd have to write the code to fit it into the UI and all of that, which would just take some time and testing, and when they're working on bug-fixes and maps and new classes, it's probably best to leave that for maybe right before they send the game into it's full commercial release.

  13. #13
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    Interesting read hope there'll be more following on stuff

  14. #14
    Originally Posted by Vampmaster
    Thanks, Chris! It's always fun to read about the backstories. You should probably put it on the main site with the rest of them (http://www.nosgoth.com/blog/page/1?tag[]=story) and link it on facebook/twittter. I hope a few of these get depicted in the maps and classes at some point.
    The article went live with the story filter before this thread went online . And we popped it up on social media on Sunday, when plenty of people would have time to read a considerable amount of text. Always glad to have the community keeping us on our toes though, thanks .


    Originally Posted by CountEyokir
    Now - I'm also gonna have to be critical too. While some elements of this lore post were interesting to those of us who like to dig deep into LoK backstory....um....what does it accomplish? I mean how likely is it for this stuff to come up in maps or gameplay whatsoever? As such what will it mean to the casual Nosgoth player who doesn't even know who Kain is, or even read the blog for that matter? Probably nothing. Plus - I'm not sure it really answered our question about who the Matriarch was?
    I've said it before and I'll say it again. Unless Nosgoth actually brings in this backstory into the actual GAME ITSELF then its useless and amounts to glorified fanfiction.
    We do want to integrate the lore into Nosgoth in a slightly more meaningful ways, and the joy of running Nosgoth as a Free to Play game with regular updates means that we may well get a chance to do that later down the line .

    As for what the lore posts achieve on their own? Well, they help us to communicate what our ideas and intentions are as far as world/universe building goes, to the people who most care about that; which is quite important. It also brings many of those people joy....which is pretty much our entire goal as game developers, we want to make people happy.

    Originally Posted by Vampmaster
    I don't know if making large changes to existing maps is worth delaying new ones for, considering how long they take to make. I think a lot of people are getting bored of slow content development already. For now, efforts to incorporate lore should be focused on new content so it's not spreading the staff resources too thinly.
    Spot on, there are higher priorities at the moment. Releasing new features like pinging, getting a new map close to completion, and some other loveliness has been a higher priority to date. However as the game becomes increasingly well rounded, we can begin to look at fleshing out how lore is integrated into the game as well .
    Square Enix Europe Community Manager
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