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The Stranger's Story - The Awakening
Player Tales and Recollections of Times Past
Note on the Notice Sign, First Rest Point Mark 122, 477
The Road to Now: Part 1: In the Beginning
All cultures have their origin myths that are recalled around the campfires to remind ourselves of who we are and what is important. Our earliest beginnings are shrouded by time, imperfectly recorded and memories waver. Much remains unclear.
Who amongst us now weave stories of the first Telling, where Khephry brought technologies that caused pollution and depleted resources, forcing us to take greater care of our environment and pursuing personal agendas to the detriment of others? Once bitten, twice shy!
Around desert campfires, who still remembers the Persian thief Malaki of the second telling, who traded worthless junk for valuables and sought to defame virtue? Beware the thief in the night!
And what about the story of those mysterious chests that washed up along the Nile in the third Telling that brought Lung Spore Disease to our shores, crippling our health while we frantically searched for a cure. Grimly prophetic, that one, in hindsight. Have we learnt anything at all, I wonder? And Geodude, at war with the world with a Woodplane and words of terror and derision. What more can I say? A story to recount to wide eyed children on the night when forgotten things emerge from the darkness to haunt us. Begone! And against all these things we have prevailed and prospered, after a fashion.
Lest we forget.
Please add your recollections here!
* Tale 1 - I think Khephry was only *secretly* the Stranger, and the Magnesium Mines (massive ecological impact, where we discovered 500+ players in one spot and live worldbuilding didn't play well together as it took the server down) and University of Progress techs were meant to be only loosely connected. Probably worth noting that we legislated our way out of the harms of most of the UProgress techs (Clearcutting, Ritual of Plant Growth) while allowing most of the benefits. While we don't have the legal system anymore, I thought that was a pretty fine accomplishment. Tale 2 - We invented chariots! You could go places without having been there before! Also we locked all our buildings up in boxes instead of letting them roam carefree in the wilderness. Herbs sprouted in the world! Some good, some bad. - Somebob * https://web.archive.org/web/20100718181916/http://wiki.atitd.net/tale1/The_History_Of_Egypt *
Note on the Notice Sign, Halfway Mark 122, 522
The Road to Now: Part II Choices and Consequences
The fourth Tale opened with the death of the Pharaoh. His two sons, Sami (eldest) and Wahim (the younger) were required by custom to agree who would ascend to the Throne of Egypt. Neither son was prepared to trust Egypt to the other.
Sami wanted to share his father's wealth with the people, and sought to win their support with gifts, contests and events with exotic goods awarded to the champions and to all participants in the revelry. Wahim refused to buy favour, but wanted to improve the people's enjoyment of everyday life. So, while Sami lavished the people with things, Wahim stirred trouble by introducing new ideas and challenging different ways of thinking. Wahim's challenges or 'tests' often encouraged crafting and introduced new capabilities and technology.
Eventually, the brothers agreed to hold a vote to determine who would ascend as Pharaoh. Sami promised that if he won, then he would require his scientists to research new skills and technologies, but all monuments completed in honour of the seven worthy test disciplines introduced by Wahim would not be passed on to the next generation. Should Wahim ascend, then the Monument Tests would become part of the next tale, but the technologies and skills created by the players will be forgotten and will need to be researched in each subsequent generation. The people of Egypt decided to support Sami as Pharaoh, and we bear the legacy to this day.
Please add your recollections here!
* Tale 3: The Valley of Kings was locked away behind a completely impassable wall, from the beginning of the time. Before this time, it had been a very popular - some say *too* popular - region for players to settle in. Mysterious altars and strange rock formations were found around the perimeter of the VoK wall, and once or twice, players were granted mysterious visions, somehow connected with unlocking our access to the region once more. Many things were tried, all to no avail. Many months later, after Swimming proved a lovely way to glitch oneself into the region and take a sight-seeing tour of the vastly, entire changed region (but take and leave no trace, for shame those who put cicadas there!) it was revealed that oops, the unlock event was, in fact, bugged and could not be completed. Someone else will have to fill in what happened next - something to do with players being allowed in, but never to build, on pain of everyone in the region being teleported out? - Somebob * *
Note on the Notice Sign, Three Quarter Mark 79, 522
The road to Now, Part III New Skills, New Horizons
Sami won the majority of citizens' votes, and ascended as Pharaoh in Tale 5. He kept his promise, and asked the scientists to create many new player designed technologies, including Foraging (memorize foraging techniques; Preservation (portable meals); Silkworm Farming (enriched silkworm food); Aquaculture (growing papyrus hydroponically); Herbology (cultivation of herb seeds); Fertilization (fertilizing flowering bulbs); and Molecular Balance (comparing two plant genomes). Mining and fishing were also significantly overhauled.
Despite Sami's intention to invalidate the monuments and their embedded test proposals, the people, with some heckling from The Stranger, managed to complete four new Monuments and four new Tests were proposed by Egypt's Oracles. Although some took several tales to be implemented, they are now part of our rich tradition. The Test of Isis's Bounty enables exploration of Egypt's seas and waterways in sea-going ships. The Throne of the Pharaoh challenge requires teams to work together to produce elaborately decorated thrones, showing off Egypt's craftsmanship.
Others proved less pleasing to the populace over time, and have been left discarded in the sands. What happened to Wahim? A strategic retreat to the deep desert was his fate. Do we now know him as The Stranger?
Please add your recollections here!
* Tale 5: Second-hand recollections but: Late tale, I believe a few people's buildings got blown up, fairly deliberately. Possibly by my T5 guildmate Skyfeather, but I'm less clear on this part. Anyone recall this better? - Somebob * *
Note on the Notice Sign, Final Marker 79, 477
The road to Now: Part IV Almost there
In Tale 7 The Stranger returned as an agent of chaos, seeking to incite civil unrest and destabilise loyality to Pharoah. The ledgers of the scribes recorded this exchange, carefully restored from ancient scrolls:
"I see the Pharaoh has begun his unreasonable demands of you. Are you blind to his hypocrisy? Do you not see how his Universities exist only to fill his pockets with the fruits of your labour? Fools! He extorts the very sweat from your brow. Your ancestors knew me as The Stranger. You thought me dead. You should have known better, I am as immortal as Pharaoh himself."
'In the time of the ancestors, Pharaoh asked me to set 49 challenges to improve your vigour and skill and to prove your worth and loyalty. In this age I come without permission or request. As I gaze upon your feeble efforts I can see you are not worthy of my tests. Prove to me that your society is WORTHY to be tested!'
"First, a proof of my power. <The Stranger snaps his finger and all Egypt's Chariot Stops crumble into dust> "
"Are you truly a society with potential for greatness? Show me now! Gather 1777 cuttable stones, drawn from the lands that you claim to respect. Your time is short. Give your contributions to my representatives at the broken chariot stops before 3 hours is up. Fail me, and you have failed yourselves and all posterity."
How far we have come!
Please add your recollections here!
* Tale 7: Most notable thing was the return of *every* Test Pluribus could get working again - far in excess of just 7 per discipline. This was some pretty great coding wizardry to resurrect stuff so old, and buggy, and getting it to work in the current ATITD codebase, and I think was a great idea to give people more choice in just how they wanted to engage in the game. I realized I never had to do Acro again, since Bedouin now provided Dexterity. And many other people could probably avoid tests they, too, didn't care for! Additionally, test unlocks were finally moved to be almost completely player-driven. As soon as we could meet the demo requirements, and had the levels, we could unlock a test, instead of waiting for the dev in charge to decide we're ready for the test, which was the cast for many other tales. As example, Safari was thus unlocked far in advance of when it was most other tales, and yeah, the carrot staring sucked enough, and the test was fun enough, I'm gonna keep on bragging about it :p Oh, right. Also the long-promised (like, promised back when the level system was first introduced and I first started complaining about it) way to bypass the cursed Level system was introduced: Beer Tokens one could use to skip an initiation, or gain a level instantly. Given for each month subscribed/paid or something I think, so full-tale prepays could level up massively instantly. - Somebob * *
* Tale 8: Factions exist - we all know this, but that's the big change. It also leads to much of the drama throughout the tale, so even an RP-centric explanation probably has to address this. Test unlocks are now fully player-driven, with the Stranger's University of Progress making a return, and gating how many tests we could open in a given period of time - all the T7 tests, which had sometimes been implemented over the course of the tale, made a return right at the start. Demonstration requirements still had to be met, with some notably pleasing bugged exceptions. Mega Lag early tale. Maybe someone can invent a good story explanation for this, but it was a very notable event. Game of Thorns - Tribute/territory control wars. I don't think there is an uncontroversial version of this story, and Lukeera tells it a lot better than I do, but that was a defining event of T8 for me and probably a bunch of people. - Somebob
* Tale 9: Levels go away, replaced by the Skills/XP and Tasks system. This is a fantastic idea, repeatedly marred by implementation quirks and bugs throughout the tale. The Tribute (territory control) minigame was refined, to be less grind-heavy and in theory more fun, but an all-faction regional control treaty was created in beta which was largely held to, with some notable violations and misunderstandings, leading to region capturing being a far smaller source of drama this tale, for good and ill. -Somebob