Ashen Foundry

Tulnar Attitudes Towards the Elder Races

I'd like to open a lore discussion which seems interesting to me. I've thought about this a bit since Intrepid shared some high-level details around the Tulnar. This is, therefore, considerably heavy with speculation. Please go easy on me if any of my assumptions end up being off-base. The lore and story of Ashes of Creation are largely unknown, but what we do currently understand is the following:

Many hundreds (or thousands?) of years before the setting of Ashes of Creation, the spreading forces of Corruption forced the "elder races" of Verra (man, elf, dwarf, and orc) to flee through extra-planar portals to ensure the survival of their people. This action implies the perception that their home world of Verra had become uninhabitable due to the danger and ubiquity of Corruption. We do know, however, that not all of Verra's citizens fled. Some stayed seeking refuge deep underground. Over the span of centuries the phylogeny of Verra's remaining peoples blended, altered both by their underground habitat as well as the presence of Corruption against which they continued to struggle. This new race became known as the Tulnar, meaning "the forgotten". 

How will the Tulnar react to their estranged brethren?

When the elder races eventually returned to Verra through the great gateways in an attempt to recover and restore their original homeworld, they would have been shocked to discover the survival of the sentient underground race which evolved from their ancestors. The culture and oral traditions of the elder races who left Verra would almost surely have incorporated a certain view of their ancestors who were lost. This culture would reflect feelings of sorrow and guilt for those left behind (presumably) to die. In contrast, the culture of the surviving Tunlar would likely incorporate a measure of resentment towards the elder races who chose to flee Verra instead of staying to fight for their world.

Given this dichotomy of perspectives, is it realistic to think that a reunion between the two groups would be a happy one? Would the elder races embrace the Tulnar as long-lost kin given how they have physically and culturally changed? Would they trust the Tulnar, or assume they had inevitably become agents of Corruption? From the Tulnar perspective, would they welcome back the elder races to Verra or feel that they had given up any claim to the world when they failed to defend it? I think it's not unreasonable to envision an outcome where the resulting relationship between the Tulnar and the elder races would be a hostile (if not outright violent) one. 

I wonder whether this cultural tension be present in the lore of Ashes of Creation, or whether the Tulnar simply be treated as "part of the gang" of playable races. How do you think Intrepid will handle this in their lore? Do you hope for more gritty realism which features potentially deep racial hostility or would you rather see a more amiable reconciliation between the Tulnar and the elder races? Share your thoughts in the comment section!


An Aside - Seveneves by Neal Stephenson

Thinking about this reminds me a lot of Neal Stephenson's novel Seveneves which I recommend to anyone who enjoys sci-fi and speculative fiction. I'd like to draw an analogy which seemed apt, but does contain some spoilers, so please skip this section if you plan to read this book.

[Seveneves Spoilers]

In Seveneves, the survivors of the "white sky" flee Earth to survive in the Cloud Ark, returning thousands of years later. The faction of humanity which survives in the Cloud Ark is shocked to discover that other human factions which were left behind during the original exodus had survived and evolved. The reunion between groups is fraught with tension given their divergent cultures and perspectives on history.

[End Spoilers]

About Atropos:

I am a dedicated gamer and MMO enthusiast who has been involved with MMO communities since EverQuest. As the creator of Tamriel Foundry and Ashen Foundry, I love the challenge of building platforms and tools for MMO communities to flourish.

4 Replies
  1. #1

    Rial

    Moderator9 Posts

    Ideally, the Tulnar wouldn't be one unified people with one single, invariant culture. They've certainly had more than enough time to group together and split up again. Different communities of Tulnar could have different memories of the past and beliefs therefrom. Maybe some have reinterpreted those who left as the ones responsible for whatever happened that made their world go pear-shaped and hope they won't ever show up again, whereas others have come up with a saviour myth and can't wait for whatever they have glorified those who left as to come back and make everything alright again. And there could of course be many who have just forgotten about it, or the old stories have changed so much that there's nothing recognizable in them anymore.

  2. #2

    Makinoji

    Member24 Posts

    The Tulnar reminds me of the Brazilian tribe who saw modern life for the first time. Tulnar is going to be essentially what the argonian or khajitt were in Elder Scrolls lore, the outsiders. There will be a disconnect I think or at least I would hope so since their lore as a playable race does not make any sense to me since we wouldn't have encountered them until we actually get to Verra. I don't know how Intrepid will sweep away that bit of lore but it'll happen. Not to be long winded but I can only hope they input these types attitudes. 

    Makinoji 

    Producer of Anthology Series

    Member of Sons of the Seven


  3. #3

    Relic

    Member13 Posts

    I agree with your thoughts; but can we take for granted that the elves, orcs, dwarves and humans all came from the same place, when returning to verra ?

    What if they were split up when they first escaped Verra ?

    What if the 4 gateways lead to 4 separate worlds, rather than a common one ?

    Why have 4 gates, if they all lead to the same place ? One would suffice.

    Indeed, Intrepid have already named gates after specific races. So all 5 could have very unique cultural identities and may well conflict and be biased.

    Perhaps tulnar, dwarves, elves, humans and orcs is a result of their expulsion, isolation and they were one race before leaving.

    ie. genetic evolution/adaptation to suit the enviornment of the worlds they were sent to.

  4. #4

    Atropos

    Administrator153 Posts

    Hey @Rune_Relic, really great thoughts. I had assumed that the 4 gateways were simply geographically diverse portals to the same general extra-terrestrial location, but it would be super fascinating if the races had been actually completely sequestered for generations.

    I really like your idea of the races being difference because of having evolved along different paths, but I don't think that will end up being the case because there has been (I believe) some evidence of ancient pre-exodus elven or dwarven architecture shown in some teasers and environmental flythroughs.

    I definitely like some of these possibilities, either way, I really hope that Intrepid can capitalize on the potential source of lore-based racial tension that could exist under these (or other) circumstances.

    Creator of Ashen Foundry and Tamriel Foundry. Former guildmaster of Entropy Rising. Economist and MMO enthusiast.

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