Lore Question: Reincarnation / Manifestation

Nefnate

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Hello. I understand well that we do not have all the lore and answers we would like. This post is me posing a question to those well versed in the existing lore, and who are experienced in educated guessing / speculation in the realm of MO - particularly I have @Tuhtram and @Najwalaylah in mind.

Do you think Reincarnation is canon?
  • Defining Reincarnation:
    • A creatures spirit/soul/consciousness leaving it's mortal body and entering another, presumably at the birth of a child.
      • In the new body, could retain knowledge from previous lives, or not. Would resemble previous lives in general mannerisms and reflex.
  • Gods are canon in MO.
    • What is the extent of their power?
      • How is their existence classified in terms of power scaling or dimensional property?
        • For example, in real life, the earth and how we experience the world is 3D along the 4th axis (space, and time).
        • There is a theory that our minds and ability to think are 5D, & that we are part of a hive mind entity that has dominion over space-time.
          • This is but one theory of an infinite amount, loosely backed by theoretical quantum physics.
    • Gods could be behind reincarnation.
  • Magic is canon in MO.
    • We have a lot of interesting magic in the MO world.
      • As deeply described by Mats in various old posts, magic is inherent and present in all things, with Alvarin being more attuned to it.
    • Magic could be responsible for reincarnation.
Do you think Manifestation is canon?
  • Defining Manifestation:
    • The ability to influence or create events or things by willing them into existence with sheer belief / will power.
      • The idea is that everything is one, if you zoom out enough. Or in.
        • Touched on by Mats perspective of magic, or the aforementioned Dimensional theory, and that all living things are sort of a hive mind.
      • That means that what each living thing thinks or does, influences the whole, to some degree.
      • With enough energy pushed into a thought or feeling, its influence is emboldened. Likewise, more people contributing to the idea has the same effect.
      • With enough influence, manifestation is the phenomena of a thing coming into existence.
  • Gods and Magic are canon, as mentioned above in the Reincarnation section.
    • Either of these things could explain Manifestation at some level.
      • With magic being inherent to all things (canon), it is implied that at a certain threshold of magical capability one would gain influence over everything.
      • With gods being canon, they could listen or watch, and enact manifestation manually, as if watching a show, rewarding followers, or punishing others.

I'd love to hear any and all information that others are able to find (canon) or speculate (non-canon). Cheers.
 
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grendel

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In the lore twitch, only twitch I saw to the end, Mats talking about priests and resurrection. "Suspension of disbelief" is the phrase he used several times as a placeholder for lore or player beliefs.
 
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Nefnate

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In the lore twitch, only twitch I saw to the end, Mats talking about priests and resurrection. "Suspension of disbelief" is the phrase he used several times as a placeholder for lore or player beliefs.
That would suggest that manifestation is potentially canon, if I am interpreting it correctly. Suspension of disbelief, in it's place could be belief, or openness. Letting go of disbelief doesn't need to mean choosing to believe in something, but could mean letting go of rejection and being open to influence instead of closed off; believing in the possibility of something, but not something.

I'd like to believe it is the former, that he meant to choose belief. That fits my narrative suffciently, but, that is not the way of things. Confirmation Bias is fun. I would like to know what we as a player collective think, so I may choose more objectively.

What do you think, how do you interpret what Mats said?
 
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Najwalaylah

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This post is me posing a question to those well versed in the existing lore, and who are experienced in educated guessing / speculation in the realm of MO - particularly I have @Tuhtram and @Najwalaylah in mind.
Lore in some very good games...

(Shadowbane being the best example I have seen, and World of Warcraft before the later version that was a post-disaster dystopian future of itself being probably a minor example)

... have lore that can be interpreted different ways by different factions within the game. Think of it as two or three stories about Life, the game-Universe, & Everything, hard to prove in all aspects as fact, maybe even having deliberately conflicing evidence, that are foundational to the cultures present in the game.

(It's great, because some of your lore-based arguments are built-in, along with those folks will discover for themselves.)

Mortal seen as one game is almost one of those.

Then, add in a lot of hand-waving, tantalisation about 'untranslated lore', jottings on napkins (a favourite source of anicent & foundantional lore for some guilds, as well; they that I'm talking about know who they are), disappearing Devas, hand-waving, suspension of disbelief, and what I call 'Crouching Armadillos, Hidden Dragons' with a dollop of events: Soldeus vs Umbra; the Necromancer; Malturn & Mastema; Giant Rabbits, etc.; and, the long-smoldering Raffle of Caerus, finished off with Henrik saying that a lot of secrets never got discovered, and I don't know if I'm well-versed in the lore or not. All I know is that I've seen things that some of you people wouldn't believe...

I've got one hand in my pocket, and the other two were waving, above. Shortly, they will be typing tenable observations and speculations, bwlow:

Do you think Reincarnation is canon?
  • Defining Reincarnation:
    • A creatures spirit/soul/consciousness leaving its mortal body and entering another,
Up to thins point in the definition, and no further, you have the Deva system of old, which was never entirely finished nor entirely abandoned in the first game.

  • presumably at the birth of a child.
And this is kind of where the game is, right now in Beta, without a system for changing clade or race within a clade, without re-skilling. It's kind of like you have to grow up (as much as Nave lets you-- take that how you will) all over again.

Details of whether such changes, IF and when they arrive, will involve rebiirth or simple transmigration of a soul are not supplied or cannot be determined from the as yet unknown mechanics of such a transfiguration, and may or may not be determined by SV in the future.

If they're not described in enough detail, then people will decide for themselves what the hell it is that happened to their character when (i.e.) it used to be Thursar and is now Veela. (In fact, people will decide that, anyhow, canon or not.) Reborn to different parents? Fine. Jumped into a new body? Creepier, but fine. Gift from the Gods? (Well, it is, isn't it?) Fine.

For people who are showing up again on Nave having been reborn, well, why not?
For people just trim-traveling from then to 'now', fully grown, also, why not?

It's like a real master of his own lore in our world once wrote, in creating his own Black Tower, "There are other worlds than these." Nave knows of at least one: The Etherworld. It's easy to extrapolate that you go to another place and then perhaps pop back into Nave at a different point in time.
PS You may not get all the references that the kids are making these days.​
  • In the new body, could retain knowledge from previous lives, or not. Would resemble previous lives in general mannerisms and reflex.
what-would-my-deva-do.png

The back-story of how you know what you know is probably best left as an exercise for the player.
  • Amnesia is a RL phenomenon that could translate to Mortal. It might be fun for some to play at having it.
  • RL cases in which transmigration of souls has allegedly taken place are, supposedly, evidenced by people knowing what they "couldn't know unless they'd lived before", or unless their body was inhabited by a new mind.
    • I don't have to literally believe in this one to to see that sometimes, weird stuff happens and this is one of the ways people explain it. Maybe in Nave, it would be true.

In playing Mortal Online (1), I've heard apparently disembodied spirits in-game (you get whispered to, or even spoken aloud to, by invisible GMs, etc.) so at least some of the basis is there. I think 'ghost scouting' (the dead seeing the living) is more of an artefact of unpolished game design than it is something intended, but some folks do see ghosts (as intended).
  • A lot of things are canonical under the rubric of 'I experienced it during game-play', combined with Practical Roleplay. (Which I may explain elsewhere.)

Reincarnation from avatar to avatar:

  • Doesn't conflict as far as I know with what's taught as the basis of Spiritism as a School of Magic;
  • Isn't made impossible by the fact that some characters had or still have gravestones at various places in the game-world. It implies that perma-death does happen, but doesn't prove it.
  • Resurrection at a Priest doesn't disprove it, either.
  • Isn't involved in the raising of the UNDead from the dead, but doesn't make it impossible.
  • Was implicit, if desired, in the deletion of a character and the creation of another in its place under the MO1 system of statues.
.... in about that order of significance.


Just be careful where you log in naked.​
Continued, I swear, in the nsxt post I make.
 
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Najwalaylah

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Under the heading of
Do you think Reincarnation is canon?

Gods are canon in MO.
  • What is the extent of their power?
The upper extent of their power is determined in this, the 'Real' world, The World Above, where Henrik is just this guy, you know? Who runs a game studio? In Their World(s), the worlds of the Gods of Nave and of other worlds that shadow it (like the Ether World) or connect to it (like the Grey Halls), @Henrik Nyström is the Demiurge & Executive Omnipotence, or DEO, as I like to put it.

....Since making this abbreviation up 30 seconds ago.​
----​
In the world... of Nave... my answer will naturally be biased by the fact that I am the High Priestess, or Primate¹, of Soldeus, and have views of the Nature of THings that require that kind of reification by use of capital letters.
----​

First, the Science, Such As It Is:
The presently accepted scientific (harldy religious at all) view of the Universe as it revolves around the scientists of Nave is that there; s a great big Bowl (or box, sometimes called the Sky Box) which is the Sky, and which extends under the world (the planet, Nave, which is probably more or less a sphere, though some hold it to be flat, and either shpeed like a pancake (round) or like a waffle (from a square walffle-iron). There is water down there, way down past the roots ot frees and the outsides of tunnels and caves, and a few other things; many of the learned and the unlearned have seen it.

But the plenet has an equator, oceans and continents, and Tektonic plates, an atmosphere, etc., and is part of a planetary system around the star Sunna. Here come the illustrations:

Figure 1

Pre-modern documentation of astronomical findings,

possibly contemporary with the Conflux;
original available in the archives of the Aegis Imperium
(click for larger image in a new tab)


Figure 2

Early Modern (post-Conflux, pre-Irruption)
Banner showing arrangement of Plaents
in conjunction with Sunna,
used in the trade of supplying plans for houses of religion.

Figure 3

One of Nave's incunabula,
contemporary with Figure 1,
listing the names of the Sun & the planets
which are those of their tutelary deities.
Courtesy of AIIS.

Why is this relevant to the Gods of Nave?

If you're not the Sol Deus (God of the Sun... ✠ Praise the Sun! ✠), the Raidant Lord of Light, or, one of the lesser deities Who inhabit, Personify, or take on the totemic forms & nature of one of Sunna's planetary family (either Maal, Thalassa, Nave, Crepitea, Pontos, or Erebus-- or their satellites, like Luna (moon of Nave)-- or Oghma, who can be said to dwell deep in Nave and shares Sol Deus's embrace with Her), held in place by His Divine Gravitas... You might be reckoned not much of a god. You are not as grounded as they are in mass & heavenly presence.

But there were other gods and spiritual forces presented for our erudition as being traditional among the other races, aside from the Sunna system. By 'other races', I mean those who have no apparent connection to the ancient sciences. It would be easiest to list those who might have that connection:
  • the Shinarians
  • their servants, the Sidoiians
  • the inheritors of some of their records and what may remain of their technology, the Tindremenes, and their colonial subjects among the Kallard
  • and not least, the ancient Huérgar, who may have added their technical expertise as builders.

Imagination: The Unmeasurable Force

But science is based in observation and measurement, and in what passes for rational thought; on reproduction of results, and on testing, always on testing, of hypotheses. Over the eons of sentient existence on and in Nave, it has both worked with and struggled against the imaginary-- that which can be visualised, which can then be realised, and sometimes actualised.

In practical terms, it has been measured and observed that sometimes, the very Laws of Nature in Nave change; known formulas, and what were thought to be mathematical constants shift and become set as something else; evolution (as Mats has said) is both fast and can (apoarently) pass on acquired characteristics. This may represent the actions of the Demiurge (Henrik) and-- I shall borrow another term to call them-- his Archons (the Devs).
  • There's also, very apparently, a fair amount of pure & unbounded Chaos at work in the higher world which we call 'real' that is reflected in Nave. Bugs and glitches outta nowhere.
Belief (Mats said) was powerful enough to make what 'enough people' believed in achieve power, and deity. He went so far as to say that if enough folks believed in "No-god", then no god would have power, and the gods themselves might be deprived of it. Many gods not represented in any way in the original, planetary pantheon have come, and some have gone.

History of Nave Theology, from the post-Conflux to the Irruption

In other words, soon after the game of Mortal Online 1 got out of Beta, at least at about the time that the Athenaeum Regalis closed, people joining the forums were asked whether they supported Soldeus or Umbra (the god of darkness, evil, malice, cowardice, and general gooning). This indicates quite tangibly that enough players had declared their characters to be believers in one or the other.

Necromancy was known from antiquity to be unholy, and usually inimical. Records of at least one attack upon, basically, all the living by the undead through a certain nameless Necromancer's power survive.

Demons have been known, possibly in all ages, to manifest upon Nave, even in the region known as 'Haven'. They seem to emanate from the Grey Halls, but that report is not one that I can flesh out from experience.

There are consistent reports of strange phenomena in the Ether,


This is the spirit of one single, simple creature
And it dwarfs the spirit of the average Mortal
by a large factor. Look upon the works of the
Archons, O ye Mighty among Mortals, and despair.
and some day it might prove to be home to stranger things than any previously dreamt of in Navian philosophy.

These phenomena of the (game) Universe are our framework for considering the nature and power of its Gods.


Again, I promise to address the rest the next time I post.
----
FOOTNOTES:


¹ This does not, at least in the orthodox Church of Soldeus in Nave, translate to "Big Ape". The experience of the leaders of other faiths may vary. Ookay?
 
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Najwalaylah

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  • How is their existence classified in terms of power scaling or dimensional property?
    • For example, in real life, the earth and how we experience the world is 3D along the 4th axis (space, and time).
    • There is a theory that our minds and ability to think are 5D, & that we are part of a hive mind entity that has dominion over space-time.
      • This is but one theory of an infinite amount, loosely backed by theoretical quantum physics.
Discussion of dimensions is daunting to me-- to say nothing of quantum physics-- it just makes me want to say "My favourite Skittle is orange", or "I like Turtles." (Unlike @Speznat , who cannot be trusted around Turtles-- but that is a story for another time.)

But I do believe that "It's Turtles all the way down"; that is to say, the macrocosm underlies and is reflected in the microcosm, and underneath that, there's probably another cosmos that we're just a projection of, and so on forever, or until I run out of Skittles. The important thing to remember is that Real Life, so-called, is more important than the game-- more significant. Your worth as a person does not rest upon any need of yours, as perceived by others, to 'git gud.'
Gods could be behind reincarnation.
Well, given that the Gods (according to Mats, who is an Archon of the world of Nave on another higher level than any of the Gods) depend, at least partly, for their continued existence on the belief that the folk of Nave have in Them, it would seem to be in Their Best Interests to revive, resurrect, reincarnate, and maybe reward those folks as much as possible.

But this question reminds me that the peoples of Nave who are apparnetly extinct-- for example the Shinar, or the Pari-- would have left behind 'dead gods', if Gods could truly die. Maybe they can't.

I know @grendel view on this is probably the same as mine, and I will quote it from the same source as he would:​
"That is not dead which can eternal lie​
And, with strange eons, even Death may die."​

Better look out for them, if they're Not Quite Dead. They may be frantic & starving for new belief to feed on.

Also, I am reminded to put in a dirty little footnote about some of the Creatures Of Unusual Size, the Titan creatures, that certain zealots seem to regard as Gods. The kind of 'gods' that if they meet you on the road (or the steppe, or on the mountains, or in the jungle) they try to kill you, and (optionally) go on to stomp Toxai flat like Godzilla on a trip to Tokyo. Maybe you believe in them out of fatalism (as in worshipping the Dragon as an Irekei in Shadowbane) and to express your contempt for a broken world? As a sign of personal bravery? It is for someone else to ponder.

Do you think Manifestation is canon?
  • Defining Manifestation:
    • The ability to influence or create events or things by willing them into existence with sheer belief / will power.
      • The idea is that everything is one, if you zoom out enough.
        • Touched on by Mats perspective of magic, or the aforementioned Dimensional theory, and that all living things are sort of a hive mind.
      • That means that what each living thing thinks or does, influences the whole, to some degree.
      • With enough energy pushed into a thought or feeling, its influence is emboldened. Likewise, more people contributing to the idea has the same effect.
      • With enough influence, manifestation is the phenomena of a thing coming into existence.
  • Gods and Magic are canon, as mentioned above in the Reincarnation section.
    • Either of these things could explain Manifestation at some level.
Yes, some kinds of Manifestation are Canon

Giving again what I have related about Things Mats Invoked (TMI for short), the concept behind the gods and possibly other forces in the world is that belief creates reality. How much this is actually played out can only be seen by experience over the course of the game(s). It's certainly canon, though it might not be much mechanically.

All that lives, or seems to, in Nave brings to my mind a hive, all right-- a hive of hornets. This is probably part of what prompted Godly to call some of his actions 'bashing the beehive'.

I spent the first part of my main Mortal life telling folks (in-character) that "There is a Light that loves you, and a spark of it is inside of you." After a time (and an update to the Etherworld), that became very visibly true. There are lights inside of player- and other non-player- characters, some of which can be captured. No-one among the Devs did that just for Saint Malachi (late Archbiship of the Church of Soldeus, and once King of Wessex & the Brood Isles) and me, but it was the kind of thing I really wanted to happen. Let's call it a coincidence.

  • If you zoom out far enough, all of us in the once and future game are (sooner or later) just a sea of sparks-- a Vault of Stars.
    • And if I'm correctly informed, calling the company 'Star Vault' was a happy accident due to a mis-translation. That worked out well.
On the other hand, if what each individual thinks and/or does influences the whole to some degree, why were the friggin' timers so long?
  • And why this face?
"With enough energy pushed into a thought or feeling, its influence is emboldened", you say. I prefer embiggened. Likewise, more people contributing to the idea probably does have the same effect, unless it's for something for which those folks are banished back to WoW.
  • No 3rd-person view; stop asking.
  • With magic being inherent to all things (canon), it is implied that at a certain threshold of magical capability one would gain influence over everything.
  • With gods being canon, they could listen or watch, and enact manifestation manually, as if watching a show, rewarding followers, or punishing others.
Certain thresholds of magical capability are marked "Do Not Enter". The Archons Themselves have expressed this as 'You may NOT eidt oyour config (*ini) files"; Likewise, the Doors of Perception are forbidden to be opened if it involves "game information data-mined from the game client or encrypted database." These are not the only immutable laws of Mortal existence, but they will serve to exemplify the rest which act as a barrier to playing in the Gods' Domain.

But the Gods themselves might well be the Ones to thank for reincarnation, as they apparently sponsor an almost-silent priesthood, red-handed and otherwise, who at least oversee the process of resurrection in most cases. In other cases, Mages call one's wandering spirit out of the Ether, or enter and leave it at will themselves. Both of these methods, if you will, of being restored to life and breath are so common as to seem ordinary, which is often the way of miracles we take for granted. It is more to be wondered at & feared, in my humble Priestess's opinion, when a life on Nave ends with the spirit being banished, unable to ever resurrect.
 
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grendel

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What do you think, how do you interpret what Mats said?
I think Mats said something about pretending we were wouded and knocked over, instead of dying and resurrecting, and then he said the thing with "Suspension of disbelief". I might remember wrong. Anyways, I am not happy with that kind of lore hole, so I think we should make our own beliefs about what happens.
 
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Nefnate

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I think Mats said something about pretending we were wouded and knocked over, instead of dying and resurrecting, and then he said the thing with "Suspension of disbelief". I might remember wrong. Anyways, I am not happy with that kind of lore hole, so I think we should make our own beliefs about what happens.
The reason I wanted to ask this question is due to OOC mechanical reasons. You know me. I play a Tindremene. Good ol' Nefan. But canonically I struggle to find a way for him to exist after the Irruption and the time that has passed. So I fragmented his identity with various ideas of how he could exist.

Then I tried a Veela.

The style of Veela play and their clade tree direction make them literally perfect for me. I have always played with more agility and tact than is good for a human, and Veela let me get away with all of it. For sake of mechanical, base fun, Veela is for me.

So that means I need a new character who is an Alvarin, or, I need a way that allows Nef to exist as a Veela -- and I most certainly have trouble letting go of my about decade long identity.

My head canon is that Nef is extremely intelligent and spiritually enlightened, allowing him to harness phenonoma to do with life that break tangible reality, such as move his spirit into a new body, or halt a body from aging.

But,I seriously do not like having a head canon that others from the setting find silly or improbable -- I want the others in this community (that care about RP, anyway) to be able to at least see the logic and possibility of what my character may be up to, or why they exist. You know what I mean?

I guess the TLDR is: i want(ed) to see a collective understanding or agreement that reincarnation/manifestation is accepted in our (not quite canon) lore.
 
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grendel

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For me the continuation will be more like a family heritage, and not deva manifestation or reincarnation.
Metaphysics and related rp aside, there is not much difference.