Stream posted to Youtube: https://youtu.be/gXH_-XkNn2E. It was fun; thanks all!
Posts made by Wizard
RE: The Riddle-Master of Hed
Now this is very interesting! I didn't notice that reference, but it does sound an awful lot like aspects of Cythera's story come from there.
Spoil away, Pallas! I don't know that I'll get around to reading the books, but I am curious about a couple things. Two Jacks mentions that the high one may actually be a shapeshifter in disguise. Is that the case? Cause it makes us question a lot more about Alaric... Although I'm not sure that gandreas would go that far as having Alaric be an Undine, especially if Cythera II would have had Magpie bemoaning Alaric's death. Plus we have the main storyline of the Undine trying to take control of Alaric.
But I do wonder about a twist on that theme. For instance, what if Jhiaxus had been killed along with Jinrai and the one we meet is actually an Undine pretending to be Jhiaxus? Seems odd there were the two beds there but only one died? Gandreas repeatedly warned not to trust Jhiaxus, at least that was my perception of his comments, and it would make sense of everything: gandreas' warnings, the story of the two inseparable lovers being separated, and the eventual downfall of Alaric after our hero has thought to have saved him.
Edit: I was trying to set up spoiler tags, but the main package relies on websockets and dynamic nodebb, which I don't really have configured, so for now we'll just have to warn about spoilers if people don't want them.
Edit 2: Also good call, Two Jacks, about the similarity of the maps!
RE: Ferazel's Wand Playthrough
This may compound the blasphemy, but I wanted to share that there will be a livestream celebrating 20 years of Ferazel's Wand this Saturday. At present, I think both Ben Spees and Eric Speier will be participating! Here's a little promo: https://youtu.be/lgq6QKo6eW8
RE: The Immortal Prophecies of Neleneus the Savant
Thanks for making this thread, BW! 😁
Since the livestream, this topic felt like the last important thing to discuss. Tree of Life was confirmed an incomplete side-quest, Seldane as a language with historic inspiration, and then the hints given about the Cythera sequel.
Looking back through the prophecies, I'd thought of a couple comments as well.
In the first prophecy, I agree with your uncertainty about the Lost returning. See, I'd initially figured the "Voice of a God" referred to Alaric and the Lost being the mages, but then with the Voice being destroyed as the last act of the Tyrants, it must be a reference to the Cult of Scylla, which makes sense given the religious overtones tying them together. But that does leave the question of Lost. It makes me wonder as to the nature of the Scylla themselves. Perhaps a subservient species to the Undine or exiled or something, but are they trying to come back in opposition to the Undine? Or are the Undine themselves the Lost? Tavara said the Undine played him for a fool with Abydos, but he was clearly still associated with them during the times of the Cult, despite UrSylph saying the "traitor" attempted to subvert the humans by worshipping false gods.
Again, I agree with most everything you say about the second prophecy. I'm also baffled why it says the Traitors do not fail since that seems to invalidate the Comana brothers. But from what we know about the Cythera sequel, it's not clear that we actually saved Alaric at the end, so I guess they didn't fail? If so, it's also unclear whether or not they were responsible for Alaric's fall or something more insidious (recall gandreas specifically called out "trust no one" when we spoke with Jhiaxus during the livestream).
The Hidden does seem like the Undine since they joined forces with the Traitors, but my initial thought was the Cult of Scylla. That feeds back into prophecy one where the connection between the cult/scylla and the undine is not completely clear.
In this case, I think assigning Master to Alaric is the most reasonable interpretation. The in-game mention of Master is interesting though. Perhaps the Hidden are the scylla and they are trying to overthrow the Undine? Comana may also have been trying to overthrow the Undine in the same way Tavara was working with them while seeking personal revenge.
The third prophecy beginning with the end of the second age and passing of the Great Unifier lines up with the first and last line of prophecy two, suggesting to me that the "Second End" is a reference to the second age ending.
The rest is really open to interpretation. Are there more Air and Fire around to wreak havoc? We know the land will break into pieces, so is the One to Many Cythera itself or a reference to the crolna being broken again? The world is mentioned as being sundered separately, and so is the Opener of Ways (crolna from prophecy two) but as One.
The Fifth Element seems to tell us how the Cythera saga will end. I thought humans had been referenced as a fifth somewhere before but may be misremembering. These "Walkers" seem like something different. I suppose today that refers to zombies, but I expect here it refers to humans or a class of humans like evolved mages.
Those are my long rambling thoughts about the prophecies.
One and Two are mostly clear. I just question the exact nature of the Cult of Scylla and how they tie into the Lost/Hidden. That question affects a couple little things, but in the grand scheme of the things, we know the third prophecy is more concerned with Alaric's death and the havoc of the other elements until the "Walkers" appear.
I hope this covers a lot of the discussion that was had about the prophecies on Discord. Thanks again for making the topic!
... This reminds me I still need to make a topic about difficulty level in Cythera.
RE: Seldane Language Discussion
Good point about transliterated as a separate branch, Buzzzzy! I guess it's true that we don't know what all was inspired by Egyptian or Greek, and you and Pallas are right about the original intention for the language possibly being different.
Adding their names and places makes sense too. I recall having some discussion in the past about whether Ayrit and Maayti are the formal place names or more general terms like "home."
Seldane Language Discussion
We got some interesting comments from Glenn Andreas during the 20th Anniversary Livestream (BW kindly provided a transcript!). Among them was the remark that the Seldane language is based more on phonetic Egyptian than anything else.
I thought we'd discussed the Seldane language in depth before, but I could only find one topic which partly addressed it. At the time, we were understandably looking more at Greek inspiration, so I figured it's time to revisit the discussion following Glenn's comment.
For simplicity, I've split the analysis into two sections: written and spoken Seldane. Since we don't know their relation, it's hard to say how related they are. We're given symbols and translations for written signs but only transliterated English for the spoken utterances, which may correspond to symbols but we have no examples or translations to work from.
Also, we need a better name than "Seldane language"... Seldanese? Seldanian? For that matter, is it clear who all used their language? Maybe it's Ancient Elemental. My computer would like to submit Sedan Ian for consideration 😛
First, I wanted to upload images of the Seldane signs since the links in the old topic are dead.
Cave Under LKH Access
Outside UrSylph's Prison
I haven't found a good table plugin yet, so I made a little document outlining the written examples we have:
The leftmost column is the text representation as seen in the data files. This is likely meaningless since it's only used to map a character to a Seldane symbol for displaying in game.
The top 3 match the signs we encounter as above, while the bottom 4 are only in the data files, unless I'm missing their location in-game. They appear to be part of a puzzle or something that was never implemented.
Based on the translations we have, written Seldane appears partly logographic (which would make sense given an Egyptian basis). All but the first end in "door this" and have matching symbols, one of which looks like a doorway. If so, the "hall" referenced in the first example looks like a caret or arrow symbol. Beyond that, I'm struggling to identify any other direct matches. It may be similar to Egyptian hieroglyphics which included some form of alphabet characters as I understand it. We need Pallas' expertise for this! 😀
Jhiaxus and Uset (Herald of the second Ayrit) say the first; Unhayt (Doorkeeper of the second Ayrit) the second; Seqedher (Watcher of the second Ayrit) third; and the last is a quote from Glenn Andreas himself regarding the status of Cythera's sequel.
Sadly, we have no translations for any of these phrases. Once you learn the language, they no longer give greetings.
The second column of symbols have been drawn directly from the text using the Seldane font, but just as I felt the text didn't have any meaning when being used to display symbols, I also doubt the symbols have any meaning going the other direction here. If the text representation does match with symbols... maybe. At first, I hoped so because of the presence of the door symbol in Seqedher's statement, but Seqedher is the watcher; it's Unhayt who's the doorkeeper. Regardless, if the text is transliterated based on some phonetic structure or rules, then there's likely no connection.
I couldn't understand much out of phonetic Egyptian conventions, so I started looking up the terms with "Egyptian" thrown in, trying to trace any of them to a meaning. I didn't find much, but I did locate some noteworthy mentions regarding the Cythera 2 remark: Har em akhet xepheru.
Har Em Akhet was actually a name given to the Sphinx, apparently meant to impart its two-fold nature.
The word Armageddon is derived from the Hebrew word “Har Megiddo”, which means “Mountain” or “Range of Hills”. In Greek it’s rendered as “Harmagedon”. The Hebrews derived this word from the Ancient Egyptian “Har” or “Ar Em Akhet”, meaning ” “Lord of the Two Horizons”. If we break down the word Armageddon: “Ar” in Egyptian means “To rise”, “ascend”, or “mount”. “Har” or “HR” signifies the name “Horus” or “light”. “Adon” in the word “MegiDDON” is semitic in origin, from the Hebrew god “Adon”. According to the Ancient Egyptian Wisdom Keeper “Hakim Abdel Awyan” the name “Har Em Akhet” was given to the Sphinx to Masculine her from her Feminine name “Tefnut”. The word “Har Em Akhet” may have a hidden meaning, considering the Sphinx is believed to be two-folded in nature, or a two-horizon in nature; half human/half animal. Perhaps the real Armageddon is the war within us all, the constant and perpetual battle we face between our Animistic nature (Lower Mind), and our Humanly divine nature (Higher Mind). Metaphorically speaking, it could be analogous to the adept ascending to his or her higher divinity.
Xepheru was a bit trickier. Fantasy books, essays, and religious systems include references to the name. The most useful discussions of its meaning come from that last link, all in reference to the temple of Set, who is apparently the Egyptian god of chaos, fire, and trickery and who also shares my name in an Americanized form... 🤔
Step 1 - Arise
Step 2 - Transform
Step 3 - realize
Step 4 - enter
Step 5 - Take Place
Step 6 - Exist
Step 7 - will be in the Future
Step 8 - introduce the solution
From this, I get the sense of a process or idea of something taking place over time and into the future.
All this is to say I think you could roughly translate Har em akhet xepheru as "king on the horizon will be in the future" or similar. That glosses over many of the deeper aspects about multiple meanings in Har em akhet or the process of going from "unaware" to "aware" along the path of Xepher, but from a high-level, it communicates that Cythera 2 is a process to happen in the future.
Well, there you go! Another topic about Seldanese. What do you guys think? It all reminds me a bit of that one Star Trek episode.
Thanks for the transcript, BW!
It's opening in a separate window for you because the
.rtffile downloads and gets recognized as a TextEdit document by your system. You can disable automatic opening of downloaded files to avoid that, so it would just go to your download location and you could choose what to do with it. That's considered a little more secure but wouldn't change much otherwise.
To avoid the Rich Text version download, here's a plain text version which will open directly in most browsers:
RE: Someone was really mad at Andrew...
- Looks like the forums are sorting topics by start date instead of last post date, which buries long threads (like the Officer’s Club Bar).
That's very odd. Last post date is tracked inside the topic entry and a supplemental "event" entry in the database. Both those fields get updated by the importer script and seemed to work correctly when making the Cythera forum.
But I can't get the new one to sort properly no matter what, so I'm guessing the latest version of NodeBB has some changes. Well, it certainly does since I had to alter the source to get profiles showing post history—they'd changed the way viewing permissions are handled. If I get a chance to track down the change, it may be possible to fix with a re-import.
- Is there any reason not to incorporate ATT? I can send you my backup.
Mostly laziness on my part 😛. Although I did think about asking you, I decided there'd be edits to make for the slightly different link structure and that an external link might be a good way to reference your archive.
You're welcome to send your backup! If I can find any other archives about, a re-import would definitely be worthwhile.
- Since this is in the interest of preservation, would you consider putting a database dump somewhere so others could easily back up your server without writing their own scraper? :)
Yes! I would like to do this and will put up a copy on Google Drive soon. Since media isn't included, the DB is not too big.
RE: Someone was really mad at Andrew...
A quick update on this topic:
Recent discussion on /r/evnova reminded me that others may benefit from an ASW forum archive. I elected option 4 because NodeBB's searching is just too good to pass up for something that will be used for reference:
It's read-only to preserve the integrity of the archive. Plus, until I see what the usage stats are, I'm not sure there's much of a community who would use it for posting; even us Cythera folk have migrated a lot of discussion to Discord these days.
Being a separate subdomain also protects the integrity of these boards and makes it easier to fill in missing ones should we ever manage to locate another archive. I've pondered emailing Andrew to ask if he'd switch the server on for a few more days or share the database so we can convert it, but I'm not sure anything would come of that.
Anyways, it's not much but seemed worth sharing since this topic had been left hanging.
I did some updates to the forum yesterday (the default theme is slightly different now). Somehow, all file uploading got disabled, even images, which had been working. I've re-enabled image uploads and turned on generic file uploading for registered users.
P.S. @453 you can surround text with three backtick marks before and after to denote code blocks, like ```. You probably tried that, but I wasn't completely sure. I was also toying around with plugins that would allow collapsible and expandable blocks. Some of the plugins which add spoiler tags claim to do this, but I can't get any of them to work. Some of them are fairly old, so maybe they're not compatible with the new version yet.