If Ascension Failed...

ViynainViynain Member Posts: 253 Master
edited January 2013 in Common Grounds
Wandering thoughts make me curious while I ponder the inevitability of another successful Ascension (and while I wait for Estarra or one of the admin to take a look at that rules thread for confirmation). I mean, really - the benefits of True Ascendancy will always mean there will be candidates aplenty, but the mechanics of it all mean that as long as any one person holds onto that staff for an hour with no time limit made for the trial, Ascension would save the world again. Thematically, we're all happy happy, but mechanically, it's just back to normal, everyday things. No actual sense of e-danger encountered cause there's no way to mechanically 'fail'.

But what if the playerbase could indeed fail? What if Ascension actually had a time limit and no one succeeds in that given time period? A deleted game is just fun for no one, but thinking about possibilities always seems to be a fun hobby. Post-apocalyptic Lusternia? A Soulless God running rampant while Elders get squirreled away by their orders? Organizations and nexii toppled or corrupted?

If Ascension actually failed one year, what if the following year during Ascension time, the opportunity presents itself for an Ascension to undo the damage? Different dynamics could also arise wherein a faction who came into prominence during the e-apocalypse would strive to make sure the next Ascension, the attempt to seal the Soulless away would fail again.

Theorycrafting is fun, and I might just be babbling, but I wonder what others think.
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Comments

  • SakrSakr Member Posts: 151 Capable
    Hehe, next step would be for new players to emerge out of a bunker into a wasteland version of Lusternia.
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  • SvoraiSvorai Member Posts: 321 Fabled
    If it failed, wouldn't the Seals just remain weakened and ready for someone to heal them?

    Whoops, you guys failed in Jan/Feb. Kethuru destroys your life. Try again in Mar/Apr.
  • QistrelQistrel the hemisemidemifink Member Posts: 1,717 Transcendent
    Well, we saw what might happen with a lot of the visions! It's slightly different in that it was the Time dames not Kethuru...

    But, we saw the cities and communes falling one by one, the old magics failing without nexii, and new magics rising to replace them (Aquachemantics & co), life on the run, and eventually an elaborate trap that killed Stepasha, but at a great cost.

  • MorshothMorshoth Member Posts: 227 Adept
    A big stir-up in Lusty would be nice.  Achaea/Imperian seem to have had something of the sorts, and I believe they are still doing fine!
  • EventruEventru Member, Gods Posts: 719 Divine
    Svorai said:

    If it failed, wouldn't the Seals just remain weakened and ready for someone to heal them?


    Whoops, you guys failed in Jan/Feb. Kethuru destroys your life. Try again in Mar/Apr.
    Who says the Seals would last that long? Maybe Kethuru is waking up during Ascension, and the full force of His awareness is too much for Avechna. Bye bye seals, hello hungry hungry Soulless Gods.
  • MorshothMorshoth Member Posts: 227 Adept
    Eventru said:
    If it failed, wouldn't the Seals just remain weakened and ready for someone to heal them?

    Whoops, you guys failed in Jan/Feb. Kethuru destroys your life. Try again in Mar/Apr.
    Who says the Seals would last that long? Maybe Kethuru is waking up during Ascension, and the full force of His awareness is too much for Avechna. Bye bye seals, hello hungry hungry Soulless Gods.

    A year of struggling to survive, and all of the orgs banding together to fight this thing.  Could be interesting!  Could even have to create new seals throughout the year with big events like all of the Goloth/Gnafia/etc. ones that we have throughout the year!

  • LlandrosLlandros Member Posts: 457 Gifted
    Ungh, a constant stream of soulless invasion mobs doesn't sound all that appealing. I vote we not flub it up. 
    On the other hand a near fail that releases a ton o' super taint might be fun. :-?

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  • MorshothMorshoth Member Posts: 227 Adept

    It could slowly progress down the planes throughout the year.  Astral being the most dangerous the entire time.  Then they reach cosmic, where they constantly battle the cosmic beings, then Elemental, where the Elemental Lords fight them off, and then Ethereal, which is defended by Maeve, the fae, and the denizens of each ethereal forest, and finally they reach prime, just as the last seal is being reconstructed.  Then 9 Ascendants must be raised in order to empower each of the seals, each one a victor of each seperate ascension event.  In the end, these 9 Ascendants get together, fight back Kethuru, and then Avechna is reborn from their essence, making them all revert back to demigods (even if they weren't before) and these now demigods must compete in the Ascension event for the honour of being given a permanent Ascension by Estarra and Avechna to True Ascendant.

    And this is me just having fun!

  • SaranSaran Member Posts: 2,179 Transcendent
    I'd rather see alternate paths to ascension to be honest. Maybe one year the seals don't break, maybe some faction determines candidates, maybe they have their own methods for determining candidates, maybe the finale isn't fought on astral.

    Behind the veil the event may or may not run exactly the same, but thematically there could be vast differences. 

    I mean... ascension by great spirit, or an ancient edifice of power, or... well anything that could conceivably raise a mortal up to such heights. 
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  • TacitaTacita <3s Xynthin 4eva!!!11 Member Posts: 789 Transcendent
    Saran said:
    I'd rather see alternate paths to ascension to be honest. Maybe one year the seals don't break, maybe some faction determines candidates, maybe they have their own methods for determining candidates, maybe the finale isn't fought on astral.

    Behind the veil the event may or may not run exactly the same, but thematically there could be vast differences. 

    I mean... ascension by great spirit, or an ancient edifice of power, or... well anything that could conceivably raise a mortal up to such heights. 
    Like going back in time through the Wheel and - oh wait.
  • CyndarinCyndarin used Flamethrower! It was super effective. Member Posts: 4,508 Transcendent
    We could take inspiration from Achaea and drop Celest into the ocean.
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  • NeosNeos The Subtle Griefer Member Posts: 1,538 Transcendent
    Celina said:
    We could take inspiration from Achaea and drop Celest into the ocean.
    Yes, then whenever someone steps into the city, we strip waterbreathe and they drown while we laugh at them.
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    Celina said:
    You can't really same the same, can you?
    Zvoltz said:
    "The Panthron"
  • CyndarinCyndarin used Flamethrower! It was super effective. Member Posts: 4,508 Transcendent
    A crater would would just as well.
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  • ShuyinShuyin The pug life chose me. Member Posts: 1,613 Transcendent
    I do think it would be cool if the Ascension Events weren't always the Basin vs. a Big Bad and a version of Apocalypse How

    Like Viynain said, maybe one time, the Soulless do get a Win and we have to deal with the repercussions, or if one org decides to take the power of the Seals for themselves and the rest of the orgs have to use that same power for their own benefits, i.e., everyone is the Bad Guy.

    Such new events could result in both mechanical changes and breathe more life into RP, especially given that after living through so many Ascensions, even the most neurotic of adventurers have started taking the element of danger for granted, and for good reason.

    At the very least, maybe we could change up the different Seal events.

    On a personal note, I am also cool with more events that lead to a readjustment of conflict mechanisms instead of releasing a new area, but that's just me.


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  • EventruEventru Member, Gods Posts: 719 Divine
    edited January 2013
    What do you think would happen if the Seals actually did break?

    Soulless made a habit of wiping out thousand year old civilizations and dozens of Gods for breakfast. Kethuru bloated to cover up the entire world, by the end of the Vernal Wars.

    There wouldn't be much "repercussions" for Players to deal with. You'd be wiped out with barely half a thought. Just by looking at Viravain when a fraction of Kethuru's presence coursed through her killed anyone and everyone instantly. We're talking about terrible cosmic beings that have spent aeons feeding on other Soulless and Gods, growing stronger and stronger.

    Were the Seals to break, there would be no Lusternia pretty quickly. That's why the threat of the Seals breaking is perceived to be a big thing - once that happens, you're done for.

    Terentia, Maylea, Hoaracle, Isune and I will go chill on Eroee while you all distract the Soulless.

    I guess Zvoltz can come too.
  • OrtiOrti Member Posts: 100 Capable
    Eventru said:
    What do you think would happen if the Seals actually did break?

    Soulless made a habit of wiping out thousand year old civilizations and dozens of Gods for breakfast. Kethuru bloated to cover up the entire world, by the end of the Vernal Wars.

    There wouldn't be much "repercussions" for Players to deal with. You'd be wiped out with barely half a thought. Just by looking at Viravain when a fraction of Kethuru's presence coursed through her killed anyone and everyone instantly. We're talking about terrible cosmic beings that have spent aeons feeding on other Soulless and Gods, growing stronger and stronger.

    Were the Seals to break, there would be no Lusternia pretty quickly. That's why the threat of the Seals breaking is perceived to be a big thing - once that happens, you're done for.

    Terentia, Maylea, Hoaracle, Isune and I will go chill on Eroee while you all distract the Soulless.

    I guess Zvoltz can come too.


  • ViynainViynain Member Posts: 253 Master
    Except that the perception of it as a 'big thing' dies off after the third trial or so. As Shuyin said, even the most neurotic roleplayers can get jaded because there is always a guarantee that Ascension would save the world.

    The guarantee aspect of things being ok afterwards dulls the imminent danger somewhat. And indeed, while the Soulless getting an overall win would essentially mean the whole Basin would get eaten, I'd think it'd be more than possible for other scenarios to happen, and these scenarios are a lot more fun to consider rather than things simply going back to the normal everyday.

    Zenos claiming Hallifax for his own cause of the Trill, maybe? Lucidians becoming second class to the feathered favourites? Crazen going wild in the Moors or Lirangsha, actively spreading out to the nearby forests? Either way, an alternative to the guarantee would be very entertaining as a shake up to what has become the standard 'the world is ending' scenario with the same answer and result.
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  • CyndarinCyndarin used Flamethrower! It was super effective. Member Posts: 4,508 Transcendent

    Well, not to draw another Achaea comparison, but violent, shocking events like dropping an entire org into an ocean really shake up the RP of the game. I think it's interesting. I wouldn't be opposed to something of that scale happening in Lusternia (mirrored is scale, not in the story line) , orgs getting wiped or taken over for a while and refugees hiding in the wyrden isle or some such. That being said, I predict epic complaining if that were to happen, so I doubt it ever would.

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  • LeradLerad Member Posts: 2,405 Transcendent
    Alternative endings to the Ascension event are not likely to happen, even if we don't consider the OOC need to have a winner for a competition. Possible, but not really likely. Just looking at IC circumstances, I have to agree with Eventru about the strength of the Soulless. Even if we kept the same event structure and had a winner, but the event just "failed" in an IC sense (ie. we DO raise an Ascendant but Kethuru escapes), the Soulless Gods, Kethuru specifically if you want to finger the Ascension event, are more than capable of wiping out the entire Basin on whim. It's been implied that the Elder Gods are capable of great damage and perhaps even flattening cities. And the Soulless Gods are definitely on a level higher than them.

    I might be wrong, but my impression on the reason why Lusternia didn't just implode during the Vernal wars was because (or it was implied) the races had spread out across the entire world and were taking the Soulless time and effort to crush. They were like cockroaches, you could squish one city and another would be there where you last scratched your ass on.

    A possible theoretical ending could be that Kethuru comes back and sits on the entire Basin, flattening it, and everyone is evacuated out of the Basin to some of the remaining pockets of life (there should be some) to continue to fight the good fight. After a few millenia, we manage to raise a few thousand Vernal Ascendants (because no one can create Vernal Gods anymore) and they all sacrifice themselves to create Avechna ver 2. Basically, delete the Basin and start with a new "continent". Partial destruction of the Basin is probably not going to fly ICly, because it's probably a safe bet that Kethuru's priority #1 if he ever returns is to piss acid on the 6 orgs that managed to foil his prison break 6 times in a row. And there's no IC technology or weapon available to the people living in the Basin to fight the Soulless except the Seals.

    Now, if the Ascension event was tied to something NOT the seals, with a big-bad that wasn't the Soulless, we could certainly see a failure. (OOCly, they'd still have to crown a winner, most likely) Not sure if that will give any fresh new sense of e-danger to the event, though. I still don't think any City will end up destroyed due to the outcome of the ascension event. That will feel too much like a punishment for not winning the competition. They could nuke a City as those usual one-track events, something that happens period kind of thing. Judging from the kind of resistance to merge Guilds, though, bombing Cities out of existence probably ranks right down there with Kethuru turning out to be that misunderstood fatty everyone in the class bullied because he was always pouting and smelled bad.

  • MoiMoi Member Posts: 1,213 Transcendent
    If Kethuru got loose, you could always sacrifice nine Elder Gods...
  • EnyalidaEnyalida Nasty Woman, Sockpuppeteer to the Gods Member Posts: 4,386 Transcendent
    Before we got to the Retreat, I sort of expected (it was one of a few possibilities) that to be the punchline of the Goloth event, that Kethuru wasn't trying to get out this time, but we needed to empower the seals to lock out yet another soulless. 
  • SaranSaran Member Posts: 2,179 Transcendent
    Tacita said:
    Saran said:
    I'd rather see alternate paths to ascension to be honest. Maybe one year the seals don't break, maybe some faction determines candidates, maybe they have their own methods for determining candidates, maybe the finale isn't fought on astral.

    Behind the veil the event may or may not run exactly the same, but thematically there could be vast differences. 

    I mean... ascension by great spirit, or an ancient edifice of power, or... well anything that could conceivably raise a mortal up to such heights. 
    Like going back in time through the Wheel and - oh wait.
    Except in that case hadn't Xynthin already ascended? But you could have had time shenanigans where a faction from an alternate future brought through a device that created an ascendant to defeat the Goloth at a "critical point in the time line where the past could still be saved".

    While ascendants might still occur each year, it doesn't lead to the dilution of the impact of Kethuru being released and the seals weakening.

    Right now, this is the seventh time that is has occurred in the lifetimes of a decent of the characters experiencing it, they know that if the seals start to crack the ascension protocols kick in and as long as a mortal turns up for each seal it's all good. 

    If an org wiped out all others there wouldn't even be any fighting for it, you'd just pick nine people and then one to hold the staff.
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  • EritheylEritheyl ** Trigger Warning ** Member Posts: 1,670 Transcendent
    Well, the Seals are in place as Kethuru's prison. If we used them to trap another Soulless, ergo pushing them in next to Kethuru as a cellmate...Kethuru would get bigger and we would all die :(
  • MoiMoi Member Posts: 1,213 Transcendent
    Enyalida said:
    Before we got to the Retreat, I sort of expected (it was one of a few possibilities) that to be the punchline of the Goloth event, that Kethuru wasn't trying to get out this time, but we needed to empower the seals to lock out yet another soulless. 
    I had a brief moment where I was like "What if it's going to be like the Ice Angels and the Goloths are secretly the good guys?"

    But then I realized I was being silly.
  • SaranSaran Member Posts: 2,179 Transcendent
    Eritheyl said:
    Well, the Seals are in place as Kethuru's prison. If we used them to trap another Soulless, ergo pushing them in next to Kethuru as a cellmate...Kethuru would get bigger and we would all die :(

    I just kinda think that Kethuru and the Seals are too much and too big for them to be a yearly event. 

    Like... it's getting to the point where we should be going "You know what... maybe we should put like... a door on the caves to keep the bad guys out" or "Maybe we could sacrifice Eventrus god realm for the essence to forge defenses to stop these shenanigans"
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  • QistrelQistrel the hemisemidemifink Member Posts: 1,717 Transcendent
    I was actually hoping it was Draxbaylock behind the Wheel. I thought perhaps the Wheel giving out dragon masks was a clue of some sort. (Yeah, I know Dracnoris killed her, but, the elders also 'killed' all the other Soulless in that battle, and they just reformed.)

    Was hoping for the Goloths to be black dragons, and the red and green Dracnoris dragons would swoop in to our rescue, and then we'd find their homeland, and they'd be weak to cold and excorable.

  • EritheylEritheyl ** Trigger Warning ** Member Posts: 1,670 Transcendent
    edited January 2013
    I would love for Draxbaylock to make a comeback, even with a different name. The dragon form, though...that would have to stay. Favorite Soulless God <3
  • AlacardaelAlacardael Member Posts: 197 Capable
    Hadn't Draxbaylock splintered into the black dragons in aetherspace?
    If it's broken, break it some more.
  • EritheylEritheyl ** Trigger Warning ** Member Posts: 1,670 Transcendent
    I like to think not :(
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