Online Text RPGs: The Undercover Achaean - Lusternia
By Rio Rivera-Young
Greetings, once again, my faithful readers. I return once again to delve into the depths of the Iron Realms games and see how their text adventure games measure up against one another. This time, my sights are set on Lusternia: Age of Ascension.
As always when starting a new online text role-playing game, I take my time with the novice introduction – for that often sets the tone that the administration wants the game to take. Instantly, upon character creation, just as soon as you enter your name, you are thrown into the world head-first. The character selection part happens in a roleplay environment, as Clotho reminds your intrepid adventurer what sex, age, and race you were. Lusternia boasts an impressive race system – with several races having favored classes and cities which can impact what species of a certain race you become or evolve into. This adds to the roleplay of a certain race, for historically racism can and does run rampant within Lusternia, as different races excel in various walks of life.
Instead of merely having city-states, such as in several of the other online text adventures that Irons Realms has to offer, Lusternia introduces the concept of communes. A commune is a city within nature, whether it be those that worship the purity of nature within Serenwilde, or those that have been affected by the Taint within Glomdoring. There are still, however, cities boasting large playerbases – Magnagora and their rival, New Celest. There are also the cities of Gaudiguch, a bastion of liberty and justice, and Hallifax, a city that bears great pride for its logic and harmonious ways.
There are seven different classes within Lusternia, called archetypes. There are Guardians, Warriors, Mages, Druids, Wiccans, Bards, and Monks. Although each city may share archetypes with rivaling cities, no city has to worry about another having their power. For example, the bards of the Harbingers within Glomdoring utilize the specialization of Shadowbeat once they have mastered Music, while the Cacophony within Magnagora are adept at Necroscream, instead – two different skills entirely boasting individual abilities which are used for vastly different effects.
Conflict within Lusternia is different altogether than it is within both Achaea and Aetolia. In Lusternia, cities actually struggle against one another utilizing their power nexuses to help spread, or attempt to stave the spreading, of the Taint, a product of fallen Holy Celestine Empire. (The whole story of the creation of the Taint and the fall of the Holy Celestine Empire can be found here on the Lusternia website!) The Taint spreads and mutates those within it, creating sinister variations of other races, such as the origin of the Viscanti within Magnagora. There are races, however, which wish the world cleansed of the Taint again, such as the Forest-adoring Elfen, or the intelligent Merian.
Another interesting note is that Lusternia also runs on an interesting resource system – known as Power. Through quests, adventurers can strengthen their city’s power nexus, drawing upon that power to enhance and utilize their greatest abilities. Power can be placed into reserves, which will slowly convert itself into power at a steady rate, but only so much power can be accumulated at a certain point and time.
In most Iron Realms text adventure games, there are rewards for excelling in the PVE (also known as hunting, bashing) aspects of the game. Lusternia has a very interesting reward, in particular! At level 99, a Lusternian becomes a Titan – an adventurer so powerful, their own bodies can no longer contain their spirit. Titans can further strengthen themselves, and upon reaching level 100, can become a demigod itself.
Certain demigods, that are within the order of an elder God, become Avatars, who can boast several powers mere adventurers in other text games could only dream of – including the power to zap other adventurers from afar. Lusternia is called the Age of Ascension for a reason, and that reasons is that the very players that contribute to the game can become Divinity, whether by trial or tribulation. We’ve covered the tribulation, but there are also trials which can bring an adventurer from mundane mortality to absolute divinity.
Through the trials of the various nine seals, champions of various cities, guilds, and communes all stand in competition – competing for the honor of becoming a true ascendant – whose powers are even greater than Avatars.
So, if you wish to push the boundaries of mortality itself, come to Lusternia: Age of Ascension, and show that your adventure will truly know no limit.
Give Lusternia or any of Iron Realms's text RPGs a try today!
Rio Rivera-Young is a text game enthusiast and currently plays games from Iron Realms.