RPG Games: Getting Intimate with Lusternian History

online rpg lusternia

by Shay Andrew

History was always my least favorite subject in high school. I would spend my lessons gazing longingly out the window, watching the clock, or doodling on my notebook, waiting for my teacher to say something remotely interesting. As with all good things worth waiting for, I inevitably developed a fascination with the historical, long after leaving behind high school, and it all began with Lusternia, Age of Ascension.

Lusternia’s lore spans several volumes of fleshed out histories, all rich with the flavour that makes Lusternia so successful. Each book, viewable on the website (www.lusternia.com) or in the text game itself narrates everything from the beginning of the multiverse to the end of the Elder Wars, where we are first introduced to the multifaceted God characters we’ve grown to love or hate (depending on where we are geographically in the game!).

It sounds tedious; reading books, the plural form of one book, doesn’t necessarily tickle everyone’s fancy when they’re playing a role playing game. And that’s fine! If you aren’t really into sitting in a library reading the lush background of the world you’re about to enter, that’s a choice you can make because a lack of knowledge won’t deter you from whatever your goals may be. I will, however, suggest that you give Lusternia’s history a try for the following reasons:

1: It’s a great way to fill in the blanks. Have you ever played an online text game that has truly outrageous characters, screwy plots twists, a whole slew of secondary characters that are easy to lose track of, and about a dozen cliff hangers that never really seem to resolve themselves? To the people who haven’t bothered to read the Lusternian histories, the very game I’m praising may seem like that! When you enter the world as a novice player, you’re thrust deep into the story without much to go on. The introduction, though great for acclimating truly fresh-from-the-gates players, doesn’t really touch on the major elements of the game. For example, do YOU know why Mother Night and Father Sun are always chasing each other across the skies? Do you know where merians came from? And what the heck is the Avenger, anyways? You will after you hunker down and flip through the histories!

2: They’re incredibly inspiring. Some people play the text game as an active hobby, accruing the hundreds of available honours lines, bashing to Demigod, and collecting artifacts to make the previous two actions simpler. That’s great! Others of us play the rpg game to functionally live a different life. To do that, and to make it a fulfilling life, we must engage in a certain amount of roleplay in order to enjoy the full experience. By becoming even remotely familiar with Lusternia’s background story, you can pick out your favorite chunk (or chunks!) of Lusternia’s history and model your character after that. Devote yourself to learning about the Twelve Traitors or help spread negative propaganda about the Taint’s being a corrosive blight! If you’re ever having trouble shaping your character’s path in the game, I truly recommend skimming through the histories for ideas. 

3: Some current events are directly linked to the things that happened in the past.  If you’ve played Lusternia for a little while now and are still flummoxed by some of the events, it may be because you don’t know much about Manteekan and His failed experiments or the elixir that, in one way or another, led to the initial downfall of the Elder Gods. Let’s face it-- in an online role playing world as vibrant and complex as Lusternia, the intricacies are what keep it entertaining. How else will you be the first to suss out the location of the current mystical doodad if you don’t know where the doodad’s creator lived, centuries before the Coming of Estarra? Luck and a benevolent God may help you get there, but if you’d prefer to bank on facts instead of hope, knowing something about Lusternia’s history will only benefit your character’s triumphs!

I mentioned earlier that my love of real life’s history began with Lusternia, and I stand by that proclamation. I devoured the Elder Wars, couldn’t get enough of the Vernal Wars, and though the creation story was just too epic. It was shortly after I finished the Vernal Wars that I wondered how my own country defended itself against the various threats and dangers that blossom out of years of strife and calculated evil. Little by little, the curiosity that I expounded above, regarding the events in Lusternia and their first appearance in the histories, became a voracious curiosity in the way our real world sorted out its complicated affairs. 

Clearly, I am a nerd gone history buff in a rhetorical studies foil, so I am not preaching to you all to follow in my footsteps. I am, however, encouraging you to spend some time poking around in your text world’s archives. What you’ll find is guaranteed to fill in some of those gaps, inspire you to new heights of roleplay, and help solve some of those lingering mysteries. Happy reading, and have fun!

Create a character on Lusternia today if you're looking for engaging roleplay and fantastic history!

Shay Andrew is a text game enthusiasts who plays the best online text games at Iron Realms.


I never really got into Lusternia, always a fan of Achaea.  Not quite sure why I couldn't get into Lusty though.  Hmmmm


With the above post.

with the above above post

this article was awesome


This. Lusternia was always just...bleh. Achaea and Aetolia really had a nice rooting for me. Might be the similarities since I started in Achaea, but both just blew the others out of the water in my opinion

you all should be getting into MKO that's what you should be doing :D

There's lots to like about Lusternia, great RP environment and inventive guild/class system. The only thing I found offputting were the somewhat bizarre alliances between cities!

I agree - the almost arbitrary switching of alliances is somewhat strange but I suppose it is true even in the real world. People work together to achieve their aims, even if they promised not to.

Sadly its true, except in the case of Magnagora and Celest, you rarely if ever have seen them aligned. I think it happened 1 time. They work together sometimes during events, but thats it. But the other strange alliances, like why would Gaudiguch and Celest be aligned, chaos and the light? It would make more sense that Hallifax were aligned with Celest. But it all depends on who is running each org, and if they are friends with people in the other orgs mainly.



Same. I did try it and it was fine but I just can't get away from Achaea.

Same here.

Lusternia always struck me as the child version of the other IRE MUDs, with tons of non-serious people and lame humour. Didn't feel as epic.

It is a fun game, but I tend to agree.

I found it too dark for me

Not interested in Lusternia, but, I think that's part of the reason why IRE has a diversity of game styles as they do. Pick the one you like, enjoy.

Yeah, I tried most IRE games and could only get along with Achaea

I like how there is so much Lore in Lusternia. It is vast and the bardics only add to that!




I know why I never got into Lusternia!


It sucks being credit-less and artefact-less and I don't wanna pay for something I already have!

Personally I'm not all arti'd out like you, but I get so frustrated having so few abilities, after being tri-trans for a while I can barely even stand making new charecters in Achaea, let alone a new game!


Also Lusternia doesn't list a skills abilites in the help files, don't know why but that irks me more than it should.

this was an issue for me too. Although I play tons of Aetolia now because of the great updates over there.

I want all the credits and arties also!!  But... bleh no artefacts for me yet.

I wanted to try but I couldn't bear starting from scratch.

I love reading the history of IRE games, they're all unique and very interesting.

Without a doubt, Lusternia has one of the better histories of the ones that I've read.

From what I know about Lusternia history it looks fairly interesting.

Lusternia does have a deep history but I've been more addicted to achaea than I ever was to lusternia.

hehe might give a shot to Lusternia one of this days!

Every now and then I go back through the lore and find stuff I'd forgotten about that's awesome. I think there's an IRE game for everyone...Lusty is easily the one that was made for me to fall in love with :)

Lusternia has, by far, the best history of any of the IRE games I've played. It's one of the primary reasons I started playing, and one of the sole reasons I continue to play today, some six-seven years later.

There is so much history in Lusternia. I've only just begun getting into it and it is quite easy to get overwhelmed by it all.

One of my favorite pieces of literature was the Story of Syvelium, the first Paladin of Aetolia.


I've played Lusternia before, but like the ones that have said before me, I couldnt get into it very much and went to Achaea

All the IRE games have a solid mythos that makes it easy to get involved.


You can't really help but pick up on the mythology and history just a little bit as you play, its so integrated into everything.

The website underwent a major overhaul a few months ago andunfortunately it still has a ton of broken links. It's not actually possible to find all of the histories there. However, Xiel kindly archived them all here.


Edit: If you're not going to read all of them, at least read the chronicles of the holy celestine empire.

I've been trying to find them. Thanks for the link!

I've never played Lusternia, but Midkemia Online is based on a series of books that consists of maybe 30 or so volumes. There's plenty of lore there if you want.

Because MKO takes place after Darkness at Sethanon, and the history will probably be different than the one in books.

was never much my thing. I took a roman history class in college and thought it was awesome. I may try Lusternia eventually, it's the only one I haven't tried out yet.

Time to give Lusty a try I guess.

I have tried out all the IRE games and I think Lusternia really does have the most advanced history.  In some ways it is liking watching how the show Lost developed since the administration has strategically released portions of the history to tie in with ongoing events.  It is really one of the most detailed and well thought out lore and history I have ever seen for a fantasy world.


Now all we need is more a comprehensive lore wiki to keep track of all these places, people and the like.

My love of history was in place before Lusternia, but the history was definitely a major factor back when the game was still in its early stages. Also, I love anything Shay writes. Write more!

I've tried Lusternia for a bit, but the limited time I have doesn't allow me to devote to it the time needed to do anything more than dabble.

Sounds like maybe teachers can take advantage of games to help in their lessons!

I was introduced to Achaea by a bunch of IRL friends, so that's where I'm going to stay. Still, I do find myself from time to time immersed in the mythology and history of Achaea(both pre and post-adventurers).

Hmmm... Perhaps I should check out Lusternia.

I've never been big on history, but I can definitely see how reading up on it adds a new dimension to your understanding of the world - whether it be real or fictional. Knowing why things are the way they are or how they came to be gives you a better appreciation for them now.

@Alizais: I know of teachers who have taught history using entirely project-based lessons. So not so much notes and essays as it is researching in order to create something. It definitely gets the students more involved and gives a context to learning the material.

Learn history or be damned to repeat it.

After switching from Achaea to Lusternia I'm much more getting involved with the history of Lusternia.  It's simply amazing and makes for an amazing read!

Lusternia's History of the Elder Wars is the best-written, most enjoyable world-building history I've ever read. I highly reccomend reading it.

played Lusty. So I can't say much.

same here, never played it

Thanks for the read! I found it fascinating that the History of Lusternia could be so engaging. I honestly think, because of preference I enjoy Impy's a bit better.

about lusternia

I think there's an argument for Midkemia having a history on par with Lusternia's, given the number of novels that have been written about Midkemia. While these novels aren't complete historical tomes, they do provide are very large amount of lore.


Saying this, I haven't actually played Lusternia, but I have read quite a bit of the stuff on the website.

plus mosrlt of the novels play in the future of MKO and the game may not develop into the same direction.

As I said, the entire novels are not about the history and lore, but large amounts of useful information on customs, religion and history in Midkemia can be gained from reading the novels

I played Achaea for a while and never touched more history than I needed to know for advancing in a guild. I hopped to Aetolia and again was put off by the history. I gave Imperian an extremely brief try and never successfully got into the game. Then I gave Lusternia a go and despite the (extremely) steep learning curve, grew to love the game. I have always loved the history and the idea of Soulless gods. It was always so Lovecraft-esque, and the story is well-written so you can sit and read for a while and not grow completely bored with it.

When my husband had heard about Midkemia online he gave me the The Magician to read since I had questioned about its origins. It took me months just to reach the middle of the book. I'm usually a quick reader but when I am reading something I dislike it's: pick up the book, read maybe half a chapter, put it down, try again in a few days.

Needless to say I forced myself to read the book by bringing it with me on a very long plane trip to the States... and I have never been more bored. I don't think I'd ever want to give Midkemia Online a try, but I might just to see what I'm missing.

I tried other IRE games but I always come back to Lusternia. For some reason I can't explain, I "see" what happens here, opposed to the other IRE games, where I find myself as a half blind person walking thru dark corridors.


Anyway, I should read the Lusternia history books some day ;-)

Very impressed with Lusternia history, a nice easy read I think.

I gave all IRE games a try, and so far I think Lusternia's truly the richest. It got me addicted many years ago in terms of original history, awesome skills, amazing politics and so on.

Back when I was playing Achaea, it felt as if I'm not unique at all. Does it matter if you are doing a (spell name here) when the different class does a (different spell name here) with the same effect? And if you wish something new, you switch to Imperian and find yourself pretty much in the same environment.

Yes, Lusternia truly offers you an entirely unknown experience. It's like nothing you've ever faced before =)


Besides filling in the background for the game, I thought they were an amazing read.

Also, Tae and Bollikin are freaking epic.

Wow. I have to disagree with some of the above post. I found Achaea's history to be too lacking and not as conflicting as Lusternia is. The depth of the stories in Lusty can really help to advance one's Arpee in the game.

I think that is largely inevitable, Achaea being several years older than Lusternia and the first project for the company that become IRE (Achaea LLC IIRC).  Also the RP environment in Achaea in its formative years was somewhat lacking.

the history of the Elder Wars. The way they fleshed out forestals by lore is a lot better than most muds out there. The only thing I did found strange was the strange alliances between different organizations... politics is a strange deal.

I made the mistake of not reading up on the Lusternia lore at first. While it's not required to be able to play, guild tasks did ask for knowledge, and it really helped me understand things better. 

I did spend a great deal of time in Lusty, but found the game a little cliquey. Oh, that and I utterly couldn't get my had around the combat. Still, managed to spend a hideous amount on my aethermanse, and had some truly lulzy aethership sessions with some folks who will go nameless ;)

I couldn't get into Lust.

Truly, it was the history and lore behind Lusternia that got me hooked. I made a character on a whim (fresh off of WoW), got killed by a rat, and nearly gave up, but managed to find the history section on the website first. I read the cosmogenesis, the Vernal wars, the Taint Wars, and the coming of Estarra, and back then, I waited anxiously for the release of each now chapter of the Elder Wars. The idea of the world, and the Taint, the lost cities (not so lost anymore), the Vernal Gods, and Ascension have kept me hooked, time after time, even when I get so frustrated with text gaming that I ragequit for months.


I've tried Imperian, and Aetolia, but neither time have I been as hooked, and I wonder if it's not partly due to not having the immersive, engaging history presented to me like that, drawing me back again and again.

The History of the Elder Wars makes me cry, Especially the Bollikin part. You know what I'm talking about.


A good, well-written history helps set a good mud apart from the rest. I am happy to see that Lusternia has such depth to it. :)

I only played lusternia for a little bit so I can't say much, but all the history talked about is very interesting.


well done

I was so very lazy when I first played Lusternia, and had little interest in learning more than the basic history to get by, but I find now the more I read the more I'm enmeshed in it - it's quite wonderful!


too many people with too many skills that can hide and watch for me to wanna get down and umf

Certainly, it sounds interesting. My only experience with Lusty was as a brief lolmonkbasher, but never got into any RP there. Maybe I'll give it another shot.

... seems hard :s

I enjoyed my time in Lusternia, although I ultimately came back to play Achaea for good. The people there were fun to play with and I loved the classes. I have to admit though, I'd love for the Lobo race to be available in Achaea.

I'm not really into the history of Lusternia, but I do love the game. It's been crafted with a lot of love and the Gods are cool bunch. A very glamorous game with the warmest community in the IRE realm.

I never knew about Lusternia before, but maybe I should check out the history. Reading the lore sometimes is fun enough about games.

When bashing and questing get to be too much, I'll usually find a quiet and safe place to read HELP scrolls.

nothing wrong with that either.

This was easily the most fascinating part of the history for me. I took a year break from Lusternia a wfew years back, and I still kept the website bookmarked so I could check for updates to the Elder Wars. And now that the website's changed, I have NO IDEA where it's at.


This makes me sad.

That's the thing about Lusternia. It has such diversity that it can sometimes overwhelm people if people try and dive right into the deep end.


The history itself is fascinating, but I do admit much of it I read in my downtime between battles, questings, gold runs, etc. That doesn't mean it isn't a well thought out storyline though. Everytime I do read it I end up asking more questions and searching the libraries to learn more about what ever piece of the storyline has caught my eye at that moment.


The combat setup to me is yes very tricky to get used to at first. And some would even go as far to say impossible without a "system" (basic healing program). But I would have to disagree (at the lower levels). Between Lusternia's own made Nexus and some basic aliases you could do tons of things without needing a complete combat system.Later on though, without a good system, you would minimal chance at fighting other players and surviving.


But that is the beauty of this game. You don't have to kill other players to level up. I have seen cap level pacifists in Lusternia. They just influence all the time intead of killing things.


I personally love this place. I had tried some of the other IRE games and I always kept coming back to Lusternia. It's well thought out, the people that you end up meeting can be great freinds. And the combat IMO surpasses any other MUD I have seen tenfold. Having to actually work for your kill. Having to make strategies based on your opponent (not just your opponents class/race/skillset, but in time you will learn how your opponent fights and you will need to be able to compensate for the tactics they use as well)


Sometimes frustration is a key for the new players which I noticed alot. If you get frustrated with a particular city/commune/guild, quit and make a new character in a different city/commune/guild. Do this until you find one you thing you want to stick with. Some cities/communes/guilds have super skillsets, but lack in helpful players willing to show you the ropes. While other cities/communes/guilds may have decent skillsets but have some of the most helpful players you will ever run across. In that case learn from the helpful because once you know what you are doing and how to do things you can always relog in your old player (but this time you will have had experience under your belt)

In a nutshell, if you love MuDs... you should really check out Lusternia. Give it a couple days of your time. (I say this because sometimes not everyone is superhelpful and the people who intake new players will at times have their hands full with others too.) And I am pretty sure you will end up with something you will look forward to playing all the time.

Really enjoyable

History is part and parcel of understanding every IRE game. Definitely not exclusive to Lusternia

So, so much. It's wonderful and very well-written, interesting, too. Hardly gets boring. Though what I lack, mostly, is the time.

I want them to write the Vernal Wars now.

Lusternia was great until bards, monks, and raid defenses were buffed to ridiculous levels. :P Moar fun fighting, please.

Love Lusternia. Hate Achaea. Aetolia and Imperian could never pull me in long enough. Never tried MKO, but I've heard it's been struggling to really get off the ground.


heh, lusty is awesome. it's really indepth, and the amount of divine/mortal interaction is better then Achaea..

History is much more interesting when you're involved in its making. Playing a text game, you can see the events unfurl and be a real part of them, and in some cases make an impact yourself.

With how beautifully written most of the lore is, it's less of a history as a backstory. It's like a prologue to playing the game, and you'll get more enjoyment out of the little things here and there when you go through it.

I am relatively new to Lusternia, and I have been confused about these alliances. I can understand why we (Gaudiguch) are aligned with a "dark" commune like Glomdoring, but why are we aligned with Celest? That had me confused. Now I am not really complaining, its nice to not worry about being killed walking around and I love the bashing grounds I can get to access by being aligned with Celest. I just am not sure why Celest would align with a city whose purpose is complete Freedom to the point of almost Anarchy. I hope it stays the way it is, but like I said, I am not sure how quickly alliances may change since I haven't been a serious Lusternian for long at all.

I never could absorb, in one sitting, the whole of Lusternian history. Which reminds me to actually sit and fix up my monk over there.

Sounds interesting, but I've got enough books I have to get to reading right now.