RPG Games: Getting Intimate with Lusternian History
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.