This is a game idea I had back in 2006. The idea and design of this potential MMORPG is © Mary Woodbury, though cited notes are referenced throughout. Ama Lur is a MMORPG starting in mythical Basque country and Cantabria, but will include all of Spain in expansions – representing other regions. Spain expands old Basque cosmologies, myths, and legends in order to immerse the modern gamer into the world. Ama Lur is another name for Mother Earth, or possibly even for the goddess Mari. This game is based on legends and myths of early Basques, and then draws those out to complete a world of fantasy. This world isn’t meant to depict actualities of early specific Basque peoples, but to provide the background for a game involving elements of lore and fantasy. Note that Basque lore evolved with the mix of Spanish Catholicism, so the ideas of many original monsters and idols changed with new beliefs. This game would also reflect this evolution of myth.
Playing the Game
Ama Lur is typical to other MMORPGs in some ways but not in others. The main objective in the game is to have fun. You have chosen a character, its lore, its traits, and its appearance. Now is your chance to pretend you’re in an alternate realm where you will have the opportunities to:
- Build up your own home in your starting city
- Learn trade skills so that you can maybe someday become a successful merchant
- Hone your class and race skills by completing quests and major battles
- Adventure out to new areas to be able to see the beautiful Basque country and learn of its wonderful legends and even frightening creatures
- Grow old and become a specialist in an area
- Start a kinship by allowing one alternate character per each 70 year old latch onto your home, reputation, and so forth
As opposed to many MMORPGs whose concentration is on grinding quests and killing other players, Amu Lur has different objectives. There is a more holistic approach to gaming because not only do you need to increase battle skills, but you also must work on your trade skills, your home, relationships with your homeland, and the environment of your world. Much of the game involves adventuring or reliving of Basque myths, some of them ancient and some of them not that old!
Gaining Experience (i.e. Growing Older!)
In Ama Lur, the player gains ages, not levels. The player starts at age 16 and gains an age via various time periods capped in game, combined with the following types of experience. The max age in game is 70.
- Gaining battle experience by hunting for crafting materials, doing battle quests, and helping defend villages.
- For each age, before moving on to the next, you must complete the following items:
- A predefined number of skill points by crafting (these are capped at each age)
- A number of reputation points for your village
- The completion of your chain of racial and class quests (one of each that go throughout the game) per age
- In-game ages are capped and available for players to receive only once every n days, but only if the player reaches the above criteria for each age.
Aging and Range of Skill/Stat Variations
Younger ages have higher melee stats, such as strength, stamina, and dexterity. Elders are higher in wisdom and have bonuses to reputation, trade skills, and merchant skills. Thus, one can deduce that at young and mid-ages, the player is best suited for learning, earning reputation, and engaging in combat. At older ages, the player is not as good in combat anymore (but of course may participate), and is better at tending to shop, perfecting and even mastering trade skills, and maxing out on village reputation so much as to become honored citizens.
So that elderly may still participate in elite combat, they may earn endurance points as they age (by completing accomplishments as end-game specialists) as well as being eligible for magical potions that increase their strength, dexterity, and other skills. These limited potions are given to the elder as rewards gain per accomplishments, and do not cost any gold, nor can be made in game by alchemists.
Reputation, trade skill, and merchant bonuses refer to being able to cap out those already learned abilities into various activities, including new titles and potential to run a business or become a trainer, guide, or hermit.
This type of game-play encourages a realistic lifespan as well as innovative goals for increasing “levels” during the game. Young to middle-age players are discovering the world, learning crafts, adventuring, and doing more combat. Older players have maxed out on reputation and their trade skills, and gain infinitely more wisdom than they started with. They may still participate in combat, but are more proficient at establishing higher-end objectives in the game, as well as being more powerful in the policy and economy of their worlds.
The end-game goals include being able to build one’s home up and start a kinship. A family will include a main character and any other character that the player makes. Subsequent characters, when made only after the main character reaches the highest age in the game, automatically benefit from the main character’s life work, including heir of gold, reputation, and so forth. Since the player may want to create a character of a different race than the original character, once a kinship is started, the homes of the main and new characters are linked via subterranean passages. All characters are bound to their own race and own race’s village regardless of kinship.
New kinship characters made from a main character automatically receive:
- An amount of gold equal to 10% of the main character’s gold—not taken away, but matched.
- An automatic 10% reputation to each village that the main character has reputation with. Faster reputation gains per character.
- Automatic discounts of 10% that for each faction (village’s) vendors.
- If the main player has a horse or donkey, the new player will be given one as well. Riding lessons must take place, however, before the player can ride a mount.
- A bonus to +10 to any craft chosen.
- A subterranean passage connecting new player and main player’s homes. This is instanced.
Other end-game goals including choosing from ONE of the following (each have specific quests and in turn, are awarded by unique title and rank). Note that all of these earn the same amount of money, but differ in personal choice of “retirement” as well as type of gameplay.
- Becoming a merchant. As a merchant in your village, you may set up your own shop in a co-op. The primary objective here is to earn gold and reputation for your kinship, village, and allies. Your shop is a continuation of your trade skill sales as well as other commodities commissioned to you to sell by the village. Need to flesh this out so that top players can all run their businesses without the economy being overwhelmed or ruined, and still allowing younger players to earn money by selling their wares.
- Becoming a lore-master. Lore-masters are historians, documentarians, and librarians at heart. They possess information that is simply not provided for anyone else in the game. Lore-masters are the ultimate teacher or guide for younger players, and as such may be hired to attend epic battles and provide such information as monster lore, uncharted territory, traps, unidentified objects, and so on. The lore-master is much more skilled and successful at accomplishing her goals than those with the lore-master craft skill—which is still useful when growing up, but not perfected. The elder lore-master can unlock mysteries that nobody else can, thus making battles and exploring a more interesting adventure for those in the party. To participate in being a lore-master you may hire out yourself, but the game itself will assign you to assist parties in epic battles.
- Becoming a trainer. You may become a trainer in your class in the game by completing all the training and teaching prerequisites. Once a trainer, you guide younger players to battle by showing them “the ropes”. This consists of sessions in which you may create quests (yes!) and objectives as a normal NPC trainer would in the game. You will earn gold in doing so. Note that in order to balance who gets to train new players, the game itself assigns trainers to either work one-on-one with younger players or to teach “classes”.
- Becoming a hermit. The hermit is for classes who do not care to rely on other players for increased gold. Hermits may build secret homes in isolated areas, study their environment, travel the “world” in a trance, and—once in a while—actually appear in town to relate some sort of crazy revelation. Gold is earned when players and villagers alike donate money to the poor, nutty hermit.
The interface in Ama Lur is uniquely customizable by the user and will include the following:
Player An area showing your name, under which you will see your current level of health and energy. Health refers to your hit points. At a full red bar, you have 100% health. Energy is the source for all classes to perform their abilities when in combat. If you are casting spells, your energy will slowly drop. If you are doing melee damage, your energy will slowly drop. Both health and energy regeneration may occur at a slow rate during battle, but at a faster rate after combat. Other methods, such as being healed or taking a potion may also regenerate health. Eating and drinking special items before combat may greatly help in regeneration both for health and energy while in combat.
Spellbook Clicking this icon will 0pen your spellbook so that you can see what spells you have, and you may also drag your spells over to a grid (this can be anywhere on the screen that you choose). Using spells is as simple as left or right-clicking them, or pressing the number or symbol on your keyboard that is bound to that spell. Note that the UI buttons may be moved by the player to anywhere on the screen, and may be added to by using Alt, Shift, and Ctrl combination keys. If a summoned pet is in place, any spells they have may also be moved around. All buttons can be assigned bindings of keys not yet in use.
Char opens your character sheet, which shows various information such as a visual representation of gear and other stats. To equip an item simply right click an item in your inventory to replace an old item. Clicking the items on the bottom row in the Char screen bring up several items on your character sheet, such as your stats, what weapon skills you’ve learned and how many points you have earned, what your reputation is with your village and other villages, your overall experience to your next age, and the traits you chose at character creation.
- Stats shows your current strength, dexterity, charisma, wisdom, and intellect. These are determined by default and bonused only with new gear; no dice rolls happen.
- Weapon Proficiency shows what weapons you may use, and how skilled you in those weapons. Weapon proficiency is never really an issue and is raised automatically as you perform combat.
- Reputation shows how much rep you have both with your village and other factions.
- Traits is a multi-layered screen showing which lore background and traits you chose during character creation, and what levels you are in those traits.
Social brings up a screen that will let you add a friend or ignore a player, see a list of emotes used in the game, look for people to party up with, or, if you have joined an alliance, see who’s online. An alliance is a larger formation of people with whom you can interact socially in the game. You do not need to be of the same race or class to form an alliance. A natural leader should form an alliance, also done in the social tab, and invite friends to that alliance. Alliances are good for building relationships with others who play and having more of a chance to find people to play with.
Inv brings up your personal inventory. Each class, depending on the weight they were assigned at character creation (only slight modifications can be made to weight) may carry only a certain percentage of that weight. You will be given one backpack, which will grow larger as you grow older. If you begin to carry around too much weight, you should definitely sell items that you don’t want or store items that you do want to save in the vault in your home. Otherwise, your movement will become encumbered.
Quest shows your current quest log. Pretty simple. You may share and delete quests if you would like. The quest log will also show level of quest, whether it is elite, and who else in your party is on that quest. Behind the quest log is also a quest history, so that in quest chains, you may review the history of what you have completed so far. This world has some breadcrumb quests, some longer epic questlines, and some adventuring random quests.
Skills brings up a multi-layered screen that shows what skills and careers you have learned. These skills include those in the spell book, passive, and other active skills. All active skills may be dragged to a UI button.
Help lets you retrieve basic help in the game as well as report things to an administrator.
The Clock in the upper-right corner shows what time it is on the server. You may alter this if you live in a time zone that is different than the server.
Home lets you go back to your own personal hut in the village, at any time, except during combat. Once at home, you may make one return trip to the previous place that you were, but only to that place and not places before that. Going home is allowed only once every half hour.
Options lets you quit the game, set various graphics and sound options, change keybindings, and so forth.
On the right side of the screen is a UI button. Clicking this will bring up two grids. The one on the left shows all possible actions that you can take in the game. The one on the right shows used (highlighted) and unused (gray) keys that you can bind to an action on the left. To assign a key to an action, just click the action on the left and drag it to a key on the right.
Warning: if you mess up, don’t fear. You may click backspace on the top-right corner to go back one by one, or simply click the Default Bindings button on the lower right to go back to the original bindings. You may unbind keys as well.
The scale slider on the bottom of the screen is fun to use. Click the unlock checkbox on the left of the slider, and you can move buttons anywhere on your screen! You can create new buttons that you’ve bound for spells that don’t fit in the provided slots, and you can scale buttons smaller or larger.
0 through = slots on the right. These are simply the default locations for skills and spells that you drag over to the slots. These can also be scaled and moved around the screen via the UI button. You can also use key combinations such as with the Alt, Shift, and Ctrl keys.
The Configuration button on the lower left brings up a new screen with lots of options that you can check or uncheck, depending on how you like to play the game (i.e. inverted mouse, camera angles, etc.).
Moving around the world of Ama Lur is quite simple. As with other popular games, you may use the mouse to move or the arrow or WSAD keys.
The arrow keys move accordingly. For instance, right arrow moves you right, left arrow moves you left, up arrow moves you forward, and down arrow moves you backward. You may also use keyboard assignments to move around.
Pressing both mouse buttons move you forward, and angling the mouse left or right moves you forward in that direction.
Use the spacebar to jump.
The R key toggles between running and walking. This of course changes if you bind the R key to something else.
The Basque world of Ama Lur is not a huge area, as it would extend from northern Spain to southern France. Though still, it would take days to traverse around the zone on foot. But this game does not have a lot of walking around to different cities. Most of the transport time will be when out questing.
All villages have caravans that you can take to the center city. The caravans leave every few minutes, and go between your village and the main cities in Basque country. Caravans also travel to other villages. Caravans always drive up to the center transport area of village and towns. Caravans only cost a few silver.
Wood workers may make small river craft, which can be used to go up and down, and across, rivers.
Once a player reaches age 30, he or she can buy a horse from a stables master in the city.
Any player may buy or rent a donkey to carry extra valuables. When in combat, the donkey may not be killed, nor can any horse.
At age 55, the player may buy a winged mount. More on this later.
You may at any time go “home” and then go back to the previous area that you were in. Going home is as easy as clicking on the Home button on the top right of your screen. If you have to go home, you may easily get back to the place you just were at by using the Go Back option when at home. You cannot port to your home while in combat. You may only go Home every half hour.
Most classes have some form of travel expediency. Witches can port directly into the magic world in order to convene with those in aideko, the supernatural world. They can also port to any village’s underground meeting house, which only witches can convene in for various rituals and meetings. Witches may fly as well, but only temporarily and when using ointments and brews.
Priests and priestesses may fly, but only for a limited time. Flying is a hover-like ability that allows the priest to be out of danger for a period of time, but still be able to help tend to the wounds around her. She also gets an aquatic form, which means that she can swim very fast and breathe under water.
Tricksters have an automatic increased run speed of 10% at all times. They are very agile and fast. However when stealth or moving in shadows, their speed is decreased by a small percentage.
Rangers, when in the forest, may run at 30% increased speed. Forest is defined as a definitive area that is zoned as a forest—not just an area with a few trees.
Fighters are the only class that do not have any special transport ability, but they are able to get a special mount at age 20—by doing a fighter quest, they may gain a ram or wolf mount. Its speed is 25% faster than running, but not as fast as the 40% speed increase as normal horse mounts. This mount is won after the fighter completes a quest at age 20 to assist Goddess Mari and her mate Sugaar in generating storms.
Interacting with Objects and NPCs
Right-click items to open them. Right-click friendly to interact with it. Left-click to auto-attack.
For a general melee attack, left-click the mob you want to attack. Use the buttons on the right side of your screen (default) to cast other attacks. Also use combo points to generate ending attacks.
Quest NPCs and Marks
All NPCs who contain quests specific to the player are highlighted in a green border and are shown on the mini-map by a green star. When the player finishes a quest, the NPC is highlighted in red and a red star shows on the mini-map.
In this game, which expands on Basque mythology, we see that several races will be born in various areas. Some races will start in meseta-like zones, which are high desert-like plains. Some will start near lush river areas. Some will start in primitive woodlands. Some will start high in the mountains, where they can help protect flocks of sheet and watch for storms.
The world is beautiful and pristine, vivid in color, immersive of wind and flower scents. There is a sense of danger at every corner, a musical labyrinth that will bring to the game an emotional depth. Skies are raw, and range from stormy to light to dark. Environments stretch and change depending on elevation and season. Petals fall, feathers breeze by, and animals snort and rumble. There are numerous caves, some of which are the homes of races of people, others of which are either empty or the lair of dangerous beasts. Roads are rough, tracked only by the primitive caravan wheel, human feet, or horses. Where there are not roads, there are long zones of meadows, mountains, rivers, lakes, streams, woods, and vast skies. Players may adventure off the roads, and must in some cases do so in order to complete quests, but for simple traveling between villages, it’s always safer to stay on the road. But even the road can be peril with patrolling creatures who have wandered out of their territories.
In some areas, in the mesetas and rocky parts of the mountains, there are megalithic tombs called dolmen, which traditionally the Jintil race is said to have built. There are also other stone formations, mysterious in nature, that will be related to various lore.
Basques may have also believed in an underworld, and this would most certainly be fleshed out in an expansion, though should be involved in this world with some quests.
Many of the races are genies, humans, a combination of both, or giants. Anthropomorphism is common. The gender of each race may always be either male or female.
Baxajuan (female is Basandere)
Human race of hairy men “Lord of the woods”. Have dark reddish hair that reaches their knees, are agile, strong, and hairy with animal characteristics. They are rural genies and considered to be protectors of flocks. They warn about storms to the shepherds and prevent wolves from killing sheep. They were the first to cultivate the earth. They are slow-witted but strong. They are naturals when it comes to planting and cultivating crops. Some have said these are like fauns, but also “he-goat-man” with feet like a goat’s.
Jentil (or Jentilak)
Race of giants. Were great stone-throwers and lifters. Sometimes attributed to creating the dolmens and other Neolithic monuments, and inventing metallurgy, the saw, and growing wheat. Olentzero, the Christmas giant, is from this race. They lived in the forests of the Pyrenees in Nafarroa, in the area of the village of Lesaka.
Beautiful creatures with bird-like feet. They dwell near rivers and springs and are similar to nymphs, but also a fairie class. They are normally female and are usually portrayed with a golden comb that can tempt others. They accept offers by men, fall in love, and are loved by humans. They are genies. They excel at spinning with a spindle and distaff, can build bridges, dolmens, and houses. They have a duplicity of nature, and can be good or malevolent, even violent. They can drink the blood of their victims and the flesh. They are mostly tied to water. They sometimes are embarrassed of their feet and cover them up. They might marry men. These are sometimes related to fairies or nymphs, even mermaids.
Txiki (pronounced cheeky)
Small trickster characters who steal and cause harm, but also can be playful. They invented the first saws. Their nature is duplistic, but the race is an unpredictable thinker. They are highly intelligent and agile. They are loved by everyone, and when wrongdoing is in the picture, this race is hardly suspected of being the culprit, even though they sometimes are. These characters may be anthropomorphic, part human, part animal, etc.
Humans in the every day world that do not possess animal-like, genie, or other racial features. Humans live outside the main capital village. Humans are agile, medium height, and can vary with features and hair/eye coloring. Skin color can range from pale to dark. Humans have natural tendencies to be high in charisma and diplomacy. Cantabrians are humans only.
The world is very magical and dualistic. The natural world is berezko, and the supernatural one is aideko. Adur is the term that describes the magical virtue that links things and their representations. When “things” are named, they are said to exist, a naturalistic philosophy. Many classes are only available to certain races, and when character creation is performed, the available appearances to that character will depend on class and race chosen.
Witches are assistants to Goddess Mari, and will align themselves to her bidding but usually practice dark magic, even when doing “good deeds”. Witches may portal to the supernatural world easily, perform curses and other affliction damage to their foes, and very temporarily take on animal forms (cat, ram, dog). They also use chants and ointments to perform magic. They cause sickness and death, and are known to also simply bother people they don’t like. Their main strengths lie in affliction, transformation, conjuring, and summoning. Witches might also attend mysterious rituals in which they summon storms. Witches may fly short distances, but only after taking the right potion. Light armor only.
Races available to the witch: humans, Txiki, Laminak, Basajuan
Priests are assistants to Goddess Mari, and will align themselves to her bidding but usually practice light magic instead of dark magic like witches. They practice benevolent spells and use chants and ointments to heal wounds. They can also change temporarily into aquatic or flying forms. In battle, they can practice magic to heal, tend to wounds during rest stages, or do forms of damage. Priests may also cast prayers to Mari for assistance, and in turn will receive other powers such as being able to summon an avatar of Mari temporarily, which is a powerful minion to fight by the priest’s side. Light armor only.
Races available to priests: humans, Laminak, Txiki, Basajuan
This class is very close to the composition of the Txiki race: sneaky, playful, thieving, very agile, fast-moving, highly perceptive, and so on. They are similar to traditional rogue classes in that they can sense traps, stealth, move quickly, move in shadows, and perform surprise attacks. Tricksters have the power to do a lot of fun trickery in the game such as mind-controlling, blink movements, and performing sleight of hand. They can disarm traps, sense traps, and conjure objects that afflict their foes. Light to medium armor.
Races available to tricksters: Txiki, human, Laminak, Basajuan
Rangers excel at ranged weaponry such as bow, or thrown weapons (stones, spears). There are two types of rangers: those who use agility weapons such as bow or spears/javelins), and those whose weaponry consists of heavy weight and strength. The agile rangers do best at distances with quick movement and ability to flee quickly. Their strikes are fast and sniper-like, with very good aim. The stronger rangers move slowly and are slow-witted—being used primarily for blunt and strong burst damage (i.e. throwing spears, stones, or other missives), great defense when necessary, and agro management. Rangers have a forest bonus, and Baxajuan rangers have even a higher bonus—making the class members close to forest animals and plants. Rangers may employ various forest animals as well as tree forms, for temporary aid in battles. Medium to heavy armor.
Races available to agile rangers: humans, Laminak, Txiki, Baxajuan
Races available to strength rangers: humans, Baxajuan, Jentil
Fighters take and deal the brunt of the melee damage. They may focus in more agile fighting, where their strikes are faster and more furious, or more defensive stances where they are considered enduring battlemen. Fighters are proficient at using many weapons, have high moral, and make good leaders. Racials should be considered when making a fighter class, as some races have higher natural strength. Fighters have the best agro drawing capabilities of any class. Fighters are the class (outside of strength rangers) who can carry the most in their inventory, as they are simply stronger than anyone else. They also have a natural predisposition to sensing nearby enemies. Heavy armor class.
Races available to fighters: humans, Baxajuan, Jentil, Txicki
This class is the only “foreigner” class, but in recent years the Gitano has integrated into the Basque community well, albeit sometimes suspiciously. From the southern Iberian plane and from the lands of the north, gypsies have been nomadic at best. They do open the game in a “home” but the home is a caravan that travels from village to village. This is also the only class that has free travel. Gypsies entertain others, thus boosting moral, which helps regenerate not only health but energy. So in some cases it is similar to a healing class, but only a supportive one. They are an excellent class for buffing, as their songs and dance provide various benefits to those in combat. Though gypsies are not great magic users, they can sometimes see into the future and assist with lore needs and detection. They also can hide in the shadows, pick pockets, and often escape dangerous situations easily. Races available to gypsies: humans
Druids hail from northern Cantabria, a province west and north of the Basque region. Druids come from a pagan religion that honors the spirit world as well as trees, animals, and fauna. They respect the Earth and use only what they can take. Augurs were druids who studied bird migrations and habits. The druid class may pick one animal specialty for study (crow, horse, serpent) as well as being great knowledge wielders of lore and culture. Druids are masters of fire, and can fly – donning headfeathers and bullskins. The flight of the druid is very temporary until flight is learned at age 30, and then it is permanent for the druid. The four animals that the druid may choose to study each represent a path that the druid can take. Druids wear light to medium armor. They must decide by age 21 which path to take:
Crow: Caster class who is adept at flight and can hover temporarily when healing others while in battle.
Horse: Is in harmony with animals and may get his mount for free and at a younger age. This druid is in tune with woodland animals, who he can summon to assist in battle. This druid is also a dps melee class.
Serpent: A dps caster class calling on the Earth to assist in battle in the form of storms and lightning. Ranged dps class.
Races available to druids: human, Lamia
*All classes will have two chosen paths; in this manner, support/healing roles in groups will have a suitable “spec” for soloing in the world.
Character customization is extremely versatile in this game. Because races are generally human, genie, or a combination of both (except for the Jintil giants), the user will need to choose how much heredity will go into his character. When creating a character, keep in mind that racial bonuses, class bonuses, traits and lore, and crafting skills will determine the strengths and weaknesses of your character.
- The first character screen will be race. Races have certain benefits, so keep those in mind as you go on to pick a class, and later, skills.
- Once race is chosen, the user must pick a class. Class statistics are all generated automatically and are best suited to the class AND race chosen.
The appearance of the final character depends on the race and class chosen, as well as the player’s tweaking of that character. For instance, Baxajuan are described as very hairy men, with long, reddish hair, but also as a rural genie. We can assume that this legendary creature has both human and genie aspects. Genie might be considered a race, but is also more magical than mere humans. So it is considered a spiritual bonus in this game. Baxajuan mostly resemble humans, but might have some animalistic traits, which may be chosen at the appearance selection stage. Baxajuans may be female or male.
Another example is selecting a human. When you choose a human and then a priest, your appearance selections will be wider than if you choose a human gypsy, who have different physical appearances than humans.
*There are no good and bad classes or races; though the witches might have some malevolent practices.
After choosing the class, the player must pick an appearance. Appearances will include the following choices (some may be limited or expanded dependent on class/race):
- Hair color
- Eye color
- Facial shape
- Nose, eye, mouth, cheek structure and size
- Customization of feet, hands, limbs, torso, and other body areas (don’t get too excited, not everything is adjustable)
- Body hair
- Animalistic features when applicable
- Keep in mind that general stats (in this game: strength, dexterity, intellect, charisma, and wisdom) are automatically rolled according to the class and race chosen.
- Next, choose your personality traits. Traits are linked to past feats in your character’s life, which tie to your current special abilities and traits. There are various histories that you can choose for your class. There will be a predefined set of choices that you can select. Each lore selection is tied to a specific trait. Your traits will become beneficial to you as you go onward into the game and start running quests. Note that you may later change your lore and traits, but if you do, you will lose any gained points into them, after age 21. This will give you a chance to play around with traits before making a decision about which ones to take.
You can only choose three of the following traits. As you advance in age, deeds performed, and so on, your traits will become stronger.
- Diplomacy: Good for party leaders when needing to talk themselves into or even out of a dangerous situation. Diplomacy arises from an adventurous past where you needed to travel to far lands and meet well with trades people. You also will be charged slightly less for items sold by vendors across the lands, and your reputation will increase slightly more with various factions than others’ will.
- Treasure chance: Greater odds for finding valuable treasure when solo playing, either from monster drops or treasure chests. Note, this does not mean greater chance on winning rolls against teammates. Treasure chance is the result of a past in piracy and treasure hunting.
- Water lore: If you have chosen a history of navigating rivers, you will have an increased water sense, which will enable you to breathe longer under water, swim faster, and pilot any river craft. You also gain a +5 bonus to fishing.
- Forest lore: You have a keen knowledge of the forest due to your remarkable history in the woods. As such, any collections of herbs or wood from the forests will be higher than those without the lore. You also have a lower agro range from forest animals.
- Mountain lore: Your past has included many missions into the mountains, and because of this you are well set in the ways. Your mining skill is not only +5, but you automatically will collect more ore per mine. You also suffer less when falling or jumping from high crevices and cliffs. But beware, nobody will survive really high falls and jumps.
- Artistry: This trait comes from being a successful artist in the past and gives you a bonus of +5 to any craft skill that you take. You also receive a big mark-off on the price of crafting provisions from vendors. Artists may also create sculptures, paintings, and so forth for homes and be able to understand neolithic cave paintings.
- Cooking sense: Your mighty achievements in the past allow you a +5 to cooking skill, cheaper recipes sold by vendors, and a slightly higher chance to receive a recipe as a reward from questing. You also can learn to make wine and ale earlier than others.
- Battle leader: Your past achievements leading battles gives you an automatic bonus when fighting creatures within caves. You also give your party +1 to all resistances as well as a slightly higher morale boost when entering battle.
The first time you enter the game, you will be in your own little instance that nobody else can enter. This is your home. It is a small hut on the edge of the village that you come from. Your village is specific to your race and class, and your home can never be anywhere else but nearby it. A lot of time will be spent in your home, or nearby, because you must keep your reputation high in your village. Ways of doing this are:
- Keeping your home neat and your surroundings tidy.
- Using your trade skills to help your village’s economy, whether by trading locally or by volunteering your aid on various quests given by the village council.
- Helping defend your village when others attack, whether they are other players or monsters from the nearby woods.
- Helping your village retain good diplomatic measures with neighbors.
Despite the fact that you will often venture out from your hut or your village, you will often come back here. Villages also have:
- Vendors and markets (NPCs and other players)
- Classifieds (on sign posts, these are contributed by other players when they open shop or have something to sell)
- Inns (for eating, drinking, and socializing)
Your small starting village will be tied to a larger city where there will be the above things plus a few more things:
- Areas for festivals
- Crafting areas that you can use outside your home
- Caravan stations
Your starting hut depends on your race. Baxajuans start in forest villages in small homes made of oak. Jentils’ starting areas are on the meseta and are made by the Jentils themselves: stone shelters. Laminaks live near rivers in huts made of stone; they also have access to underground caves, like palaces. Txikis, who have invented the saw and are excellent woodworkers, have fashioned their homes of sturdy wood and live in the mountains, rather in isolation. Humans start just outside the main Basque city.
However, some homes depend on class, not just race. If you are a Gypsy, you will simply start in a caravan that will travel around, since you are nomadic. Witches live in subterranean caves. They also have access to subterranean passageways that lead to the underworld as well as to the Akelarre meadows.
If you do reach age 70 and start a new character, that character will be your heir. Their new home will be true to their own race and village, but will have a subterranean passage directly to yours, which nobody else may traverse.
Your home exists for several reasons. It is a place that you can come to when you need rest, or even privacy! Home is where you build a workshop to practice all your trade skills, and where you store items. It is also where you will log out and in—but don’t worry, you can always go “back” to the place you previously existed before returning home at the end of the day.
Basque mythology describes home as the temple and the burial place. It is here that you will come to rest and be in peace, whether at the end of the day or when you “die” in the game. Death, however, isn’t permanent.
Home also has a plaque above its doorway. Basques tie strong meaning to giving things a name. If it has a name, it must exist. Basques say they are from their household, not necessarily their village—though the two can be strongly tied.
Only gypsies, who start out in the human area, are free travellers. Their personal home is simply a caravan that drifts from village to village.
When you open the door of your hut and step out into the Ama Lur world, you will then be on the same server as the rest of your online friends and villagers. From here you may do a whole lot of things!
- Visit the nearby woods, mountains, and rivers, where you may collect materials for crafting and trade skills.
- Talk to local NPCs (non-playing characters), and find out what’s going on in the city. All interactive NPCs will be highlighted. You may hear what they have to say simply by clicking on them.
- Some NPCs will have quests for you to complete. Ama Lur isn’t a game of non-stop questing, but rather quests that may take a long time to complete (though some are short). Many quests are specific to your class, race, and learned skills. These quests might take hours to complete, and are often interrupted by creatures and other things. Though this is an online game, where joining up with fellow travelers is suggested, the specific quests to you will be able to be completed by yourself.
- Speaking of skills and crafting, one of the first things to do when new in the game is to go to your village square and talk to the crafting trainers there! Learning a skill is free, though updating it later will cost a few silver.
You may choose two of the following skills to train in. Keep in mind that your traits that you chose during character creation might give you bonuses in learning skills. Until you reach age 21, you may always go back and change your traits.
- Chef: As a cook, you may make elaborate meals and even drinks that will boost others’ spirits and stats. You can help plan village festivals, thus earning reputation with your village. All cooks get the fishing skill for free. Cooks may buy some provisions from vendors, though the base foods for cooking must be either hunted or fished. Cooks automatically have the ability to grow gardens and harvest their plants (horticulture) skill. Jentils and Baxajuans have a higher bonus to this craft. Cooks may grow herbs that are primarily related to cooking, whereas alchemists pick herbs in the wild primarily related to medicinal purposes.
- Clothier: This skill allows you to make clothes by spinning or needlecraft. Cloths of various kinds are gathered when out in the world. For instance, wood contains fibers for linen; sheep and spiders can provide wool and silk, and so on. Skinning and gathering wood are automatic free skills for the clothier, as is planting new trees. Leather and other skins obtained from animals may be used in this trade. Laminaks have an automatic bonus to being clothiers as they have traditionally excelled at working with the spinner and distaff. Clothier’s have great flexibility over their items and will have a custom interface for choosing colors, fabrics, prints, and so on that goes into making player-designed outfits. Those who work in leather may also skin animals, make shoes and other gear, and make items used in musical instruments and games.
- Stone worker: Masons can build stone huts, erect dolmens used as tombs (helpful for retaining good reputation in one’s village), and create stone projectiles, still used by the giants in battle. A stone worker automatically receives the mining skill. They can also build bridges, which is an important aspect of the game, since there are many rivers in the game that cannot be simply walked across. If you do not have a woodworker to build a watercraft, you’ll need to build a bridge across to the other side. This bridge will stay up only for a certain amount of time, and then is likely to be destroyed by some evil force! Jentils and Laminaks excel at working with stone. Foundries are settlements for working the iron ore found in the region.
- Metal worker: Metalworkers may focus on making armor or weapons, and will automatically receive the mining skill. Metalworkers in early Spain were lucky to have an abundant supply of silver, gold, tin, iron, and other ores. Armorsmiths and weaponsmiths may use a custom interface to design the look and feel of their crafts. Jentils, Laminaks, and Txiki have racial bonuses increasing their metallurgy.
- Woodworker: People who craft with wood may make bows and crossbows, small river craft, huts, and toys (which raise reputation with the village). Woodworkers automatically get the forestry skill, which allows them to both cut down trees as well as plant new trees. Keeping a balance is very important in Ama Lur. Woodworkers may also build bridges, but their bridges aren’t as sturdy as the ones that stone workers can make. Woodworkers may also make musical instruments such as flutes, guitars, and drums. Baxajuans and humans have bonuses to working with wood. They may also craft bows, arrows, and furniture for homes.
- Jeweler: Jewelers must mine (and also get the free mining skill) for precious gems that come from ore. While metal and stone workers will primarily find ore in their veins, jewelers who mine have a much greater chance at finding gems such as black quartz crystals, andalusite, citrine, jet, marcasite, and sphalerite. Jewelers may make rings, charms, necklaces, bracelets, and, at higher ages, special jewels to go into socketed items. Humans and Txikis excel at jewelry working.
- Alchemist: Alchemists make potions that help cure poisons and disease, heal, give buffs to people, or even bad potions that cause affliction. Alchemists may also make philters that can seduce people, or bring magic to charms that jewelers can make. Alchemists automatically get the skills to pick flowers, plant flowers, grow herbs, and fish in order to keep stocked up on needed materials that go into making potions and ointments. Txikis, humans, and Baxajuan are excellent at figuring out the exact science of potions and ointments.
- Lore-master. This skill involves being a master technician at several items in the game including cartography and revealing of hidden areas, identification of unknown objects, ability to detect lore and habits on enemies, and so on. The lore-master must study ancient documents and scrolls in order to gain skill ages. These documents and scrolls are often found in hidden places such as chests, caves, beneath rocks, and so on. Only lore-masters may find and use such recipes. Basic lore can be taught by a trainer, but new skills are often found while out adventuring. This craft is not bound to any racial bonuses.
- Musician: Musicians excel at learning musical instruments and may apply their skill to one or both of the following: the gypsy class relies on dancing and singing to build up their party—and also, any musician may offer to sing, dance, or play music at village festivals, thus gaining both village reputation and charisma points. Humans have a higher racial bonus to learning music and dance.
- Artist: You may build sculptures, paint, draw, and have a bonus for jewelry crafting if you choose an artist. You may also sell your art to people wanting to upgrade their homes. You also have a natural proficiency for understanding cave art and other old paintings, which give clues about the world.
Many times, trades people need to work together to build items that one single crafts person cannot. For instance, to build a catapult outside one’s city, there would need to be a lore-master to find the recipe for making a new object, a metal worker to develop parts of the weapon, a wood worker to develop other parts, a stone worker to create the projectiles, and then a cook to feed everyone on their breaks!
Once you learn a couple crafting skills, you don’t even need to get started on too many battle quests yet. Your trade skill trainer will give you a few quests that are designed to get help you find the materials for your new skills.
There are a few services available in all homeland villages:
- Storage vaults are in your own home near your starting village. Vaults are crudely built dressers, with drawers that can hold the following items: crafting supplies and materials, weapons, gear, coins, etc. The drawers are quite large and can hold many items.
- Markets: Each village has a central market that sells fruits, vegetables, spices, eggs, and so on. Some vendors and markets limited supplies and also seasonal supplies.
- Outside each village are garden co-ops that herbalists and cooks (horticulturists) may use to plant, grow, and harvest their crops.
- Specialty vendors: Each village square has a row of vendors who will repair equipment, and sell tools and other supplies.
- Workshops: Depending on what trade skills you choose, your small hut will be equipped with a workbench so that you can perform your crafts at home. You may also use the forge and other workstations in the main city. Player shops and classifieds: Players may sell their goods, or items they find as drops off monsters, by joining a village coop and advertising their wares by postboards in the village. NPCs acting as messengers will spread the word around to other villages and the main city. Vendors also buy goods, but often don’t pay as much as other players will.
- The same messengers will also collect and deliver items sent to others in the game. Items are delivered directly on your home’s front steps. These messengers are near the stables in each town, and ride quickly on horseback to deliver goods and send important messages.The game will automate buying/selling so that nobody loses out money or items.
- Village festivities are announced on the postboard as well as by new NPCs heralding events.
- The village inn is a place for socializing, dancing, and so forth. Players may interact with NPCs as well as get a good bit of gossip when the NPCs drink a lot.
Ancient Iberia used various metals for currency, including bonze, copper, silver, and gold. The currency in the game has the following:
- Ring stones, made of green patina with knobs (fairly common)
- Bronze coins, with carvings (rare but value is economy-based)
Note that coins have less value in this game than in others. People trade goods instead of money for most objects. Coins are used by chiefs and high traders, while normal players may collect coins but also trade their goods for other goods. The bridge builder might trade his work on a bridge for goods to upgrade his gear or potions or seeds for his garden. Coins are generally donated to one’s faction for reputation gains.
This game is built on a non-gold-rich economy, which should discourage gold farmers but still encourage some currency exchange. Services and goods are more often traded in game to earn necessities, and everything is affordable. The economy is potluck-based, meaning that all goods may be provided by players pitching in together.
“Money” is earned in the following ways:
- Dropped off some monsters, particularly thieves and trickster enemies.
- Found in treasure chests
- Earned upon completion of quests
- Given as a donation by the village when reputation is gained
- Earned when the player sells items
Excessive gold should be donated to local villages in order to better protect them (such as building stronger walls and defense systems). This in turn propagates a player influence on the world. Other players can come along to try to destroy your village at some point, but there is never a complete destruction.
Reaping reputation comes with reward such as titles, some of which, at max reputation, the player can choose!
This game works on the trade concept, along with selling. A player may trade items with the following methods:
- Any crafted item may be traded via the postboards in one’s village. NPC messengers are always getting the word out, so don’t be surprised if someone in another village asks for your goods. You can ask for certain items in trade, and people can bid on your goods.
- At a higher age, players may become merchants with their own shops.
- At a higher age, players may also earn coins or goods to trade by getting donations or via teaching and guiding younger players.
- Vendors may trade you for items that drop off enemies when killed.
Ama Lur has far fewer quests than the typical MMORPG, but the some of the quests are long chains that take the adventurer around the world. Some of these quests are racial, and some are class-based. All quests are developed to do alone or may be done with others–so everyone has similar quests but different objectives.
Smaller quests have to do with collecting crafting materials to learn new recipes, traveling to distant lands and discovering new areas, investigation of places that seem to be hostile, and so forth.
Many quests chain up from your local village.
Ama Lur will offer three types of servers:
- RP-based (both PvP and PvE)
- PVP (world PvP is flagged out outside villages and cities)
- PvE: No world PvP
PvP: World battles. Some areas, known as contested zones, are always up for grabs. These are places in the middle of the meseta, where cold, ice, winds, and other natural factors have prohibited settlement. The barbaric nature of these lands is harsh. Players will always be warned before entering these savage areas. Once you enter, the player vs. player element is free-for-all. Almost. You may not attack anyone outside a similar age range as yourself. You should always travel with friends. Some quests will lead you into these areas to investigate trouble, retrieve a rare natural resource, or talk to a nomadic NPC. Rewards for killing others are generally reputation-based and depend on one’s own homeland. Even races who are tolerant and can get along with others become hostile or less tolerant in lands of the cold.
PvE: PvP still happens with skirmishes, but players may participate or choose not to. These skirmishes will happen at random times, be controlled by a GM, and will happen due to a piece of lore that will be explained at the time of the skirmish. The lore will generally be related to a cosmic rift in which “all hell starts to break loose”, calling up a storm or an otherwise lumbering monster, which threatens havoc. Because of this fright, players turn against each other at times while other times will work together to defend their village or main city.
During a random period of about an hour, every so often, every village will become under seige, and its players must work together to drive out anyone or anything coming to destroy them. An example is this: A GM posts a global alert (which will flash across your screen and then appear as a small red flag by your clock, which you can re-open to read the details):
ATTENTION ALL CITIZENS
Erensuge, the terrible snake of the Montecristo caves, is lamenting the coming of storms. Sheep are frightened, and children are screaming! All aid is needed in your village. Return at once and organize your armies! This event begins in x minutes. [roar of thunder and crashes of lightning…the sky turns a peculiar shade of ominous green, etc.]
Players must choose whether or not they want to participate.
If players decide not to participate, they can simply return to their homes for the period of time the PvP event takes place or attempt to hide in the forest. They might also simply log out. There is no negative result for failure to participate. But since everyone is flagged for PvP, going out into the world presents extra danger.
Players who do participate must say yes to the event before the attacks begin. Players who log in during the skirmish may also choose whether or not they want to participate.
A timer is always ticking on the screen from the announcement to the actual attack itself (generally, 30 minutes). A GM will assign those people participating to a raid, whether it’s defending the town or attacking one of the other four villagers. Everyone participating will gain reputation with their village, but there is no winning or losing since it would be impossible to have equal balances of every race (i.e village citizen) on at any given time. So it is the participation that allows people to gain reputation.
- People who flag themselves as participants but who do not stay in combat the entire length of the battle get diminishing returns in their reputation. Combat is tallied by activity on the player’s part. Sitting in the inn while in a raid gives you no activity points. Being outside and causing damage or healing gives you constant activity points.
- Players who do not join the raid group assigned by their GM get no reputation points.
- If you leave the raid, you are not allowed back in. Leaving will be something determined to be not confused with simply disconnection from the game. If you are disconnected, however, you can rejoin.
- Players who are not active for at least 10% of the raid are kicked out.
- All players in the game, whether or not participating in the raid, can be killed! If you get kicked out and then are killed, you get no reputation points.
- Players logging in after the raid starts have a notice to get to safety before they can be flagged for PvP.
- Age differentiation. Anyone more than five ages away from you is simply not eligible for you to kill or harm in any way during PvP. This is to prevent unfair player battles. Likewise, you are not eligible for attacking by them.
- It is possible to damage buildings during skirmishes and kill NPCs. That’s the whole point of the battle—to wreck havoc and destruction. The damage to village remains until the players from that village build it back up. There will be smoking and smoldering for a while until after the damage is done, after which you will be called upon to use your skills to rebuild the village as well as resurrect and heal the wounds of various NPCs (these are also ways to gain rep with your city).
Players may also participate in turn-based duels. These take place in battle arenas. Or in non-turned based duels anywhere in the game.
Note that all PvP adjusts players stats and armor somewhat so that no class is highly advantageous on one-on-one situations.
Battles and Dungeons
Most quests in the game are solo-able, but all quests are designed for partying with people if you want to. You can either go into instances with a party or join public parties. Class and race-specific quests are similar to others, and so though while quest objectives might vary, there is still rationale for a party of different races and classes to play together. In quests outside of dungeons (elite boss battles), the age of monster is slightly tougher for each party member added.
In dungeons, each party member has a role. Dungeons are designed so that various party compositions can get through it, thus going away from the traditional five-man group of tank, healer, crowd control, and two dps classes.
Dungeons in this game are multi-layered and linear. They are designed for pause so that resting in combat is possible, as is healing wounds in a more traditional type of battle. Each regular dungeon consists of the following:
- A group of no more than five may enter the dungeon, whether it’s your predetermined party or a public party. At the beginning of the instance, you will each talk to an NPC to clarify your specific quest motives. That NPC will wait until the entire group is ready and then open a door, at which time the group is transferred to the actual dungeon. If you have no quest motives, you need to only tell the NPC that you are ready.
- Once inside, the NPC will be with your group until actual combat begins, at which time the NPC will despawn. Anyone with diplomacy will have a chance to encourage the NPC to give clues about the dungeon. Anyone (usually a trickster or gypsy) with bluff or lie bonuses, may try to trick the NPC into giving clues.
- Those with the lore-master trait may also attempt to get more information not only from the NPC but from objects seen in the dungeon.
- If the dungeon is in a cave, and if there is a painting that provides clues about the cave, an artist will come in handy to be able to understand the painting.
- All dungeons lead up to one main elite boss, who may or may not have minions or some other special powers.
- Each dungeon consists of a non-scripted event; that is, enemies, their powers, and strategies are different each time. So are items dropped.
- Strategy in instances is more important than smashing buttons to kill or heal. For instance, upon entering the door, you may find yourself in a cave or other instance. There might be some levers to pull, a puzzle to figure out, a painting to decipher, a trap to disarm, a door to unlock, some water to swim through, and so on, before the next event happens. Though the strategy isn’t meant to be overly difficult, if you do try several things and don’t trigger the next event, you may “call for” the NPC from the beginning, who will impatiently come inside and direct you to your next step. An example of a puzzle is a drawing on a wall. You right-click the drawing and are presented with a multiple choice question. The correct answer will be something that someone in your party should have learned in the world. Upon selecting the right answer, the next part of the dungeon happens.
- Tricksters should always attempt to sense traps as well as disarm them while inside dungeons.
- All dungeons are linearly based though the dungeons themselves may have extra halls for exploration and finding mystery places (for those not too impatient to run a fast instance). They include triggering events, solving small puzzles, and then fighting enemies that are generally more powerful than others in outside world.
- When fighting, the leader may pause the event a limited number of times. When the event is paused, it is usually because the monster and its minions have proven to be of a certain power in nature, and the group must figure out the best way to combat them.
- During a pause, all classes may queue up one next move. Another reason for pausing is to allow the priest to apply anointment to wounds, which produces a burst heal of damage as well as heal over time effect. Pauses should be timed effectively.
- When pausing, however, the monsters you are in combat with will gain 1% of their health per minute. So acting fast is necessary.
- When fighting, healing may occur as well, by priest spells and gyspy songs, which will boost morale over time and help health and energy regenerate much more quickly than normal. In order to prevent spam heals, the heals are designed to be less needed than in traditional MMOs and more designed to wounds healing over time and buffs created by musicians. Note that anyone with the musician craft may also provide entertainment (not nearly as effective as the gypsy’s though—though a gypsy with the musician skill is more effective than those who don’t have it).
- Players should carry healing potions, because occasionally the heals during combat are not enough to last.
- All classes are expected to do melee and/or ranged damage despite affliction, healing, buffing, and so on.
- Each dungeon lasts an average of one hour, and may not be re-entered as a group for an hour after the final boss is completed.
- When you die while in a dungeon, you do not go back home but to a small cemetery outside the dungeon. You may re-enter but only when you return to full health and energy, so resting is important.
- When you return to the dungeon, you will be at the start of it, but no monsters will respawn, and there is no need to reset or redo puzzles and triggers. You may simply rejoin your group.
- Larger raid type dungeons are triggered by world events and are random. Dragons and other very elite monsters, which are rare in the Basque myth world, are sometimes either summoned via quests or simply appear. These events, when they happen, are announced 30 minutes in advance by a GM. Automatic raids and invitations go out to everyone, and all ages will be punted to the age needed (generally 40). All those joining in the raid will be ported to the spawn location, and given a chance to organize and rest before the actual event. When it starts, all players participating are given increased reputation from not only their village but other villages as well. The elite mob will drop very good items when killed. Items dropped from these raids are equal to the player’s age, increase in time, and are like tokens (adaptable to each player’s race/class and turned in at the town council to receive the gear).
When a player dies in this game, he is transported back home, where he must resurrect. When he resurrects, his body and all items and gear are automatically intact. The exception is when dying in a dungeon or raid, when the player resurrects nearby in a cemetery.
Remember that each time you are ported to your home, you may return back to the most recent area in the game that you were, and this is true for after you die as well. The only limitation is that you may not port home during combat.
The reasoning behind going “home” is that the Basque erect their tombs in their homes. Homes are considered a temple and a place to die. After you die, you are resurrected in your home. You may choose to stay in your home or return back to the place of your death. After death, there is a debuff on your body that lasts one minute; it disallows you from returning to your previous place of dying until the debuff goes away. This is so you take the time to rest before returning to the world. Your health and energy are also low. Before going back, you should eat or drink something to return to your previous full state of health and energy.
Each time dying within a 15-minute span will increase the dying debuff to +10 seconds. This debuff stops increasing when you have not died for 15 minutes.
When accepting the return event, you will have a chance to place yourself within a number or yards of radius of your body. This is so that you will not be in harm’s way immediately and can possibly escape if you were ambushed.
All loot in the natural world is randomized. If you are soloing, you may pick up loot off of every creature that you kill.
In parties, the loot system default is round robin, meaning that everyone has an equal chance at looting by taking turns.
Same goes for a pattern or recipe that drops. The first priority goes to those who have the skill to learn that pattern or recipe, and who do not have it yet. When in parties, dungeons, and raids, when loot drops, it is a boilerplate item: chest, helm, weapon, offhand/shield, boots, gloves, sash, etc. The item has no stats on it until a player wins that item. The stats auto-calculate for that race/class. If someone in the party already has the drop, they may not roll on it.
All rare loot dropped in dungeons, unless it is a world drop (which can happen anywhere) is unsellable and untradeable. World loot has a built-in basic roll on it (no need/greed).
On rare cases, if there is an unidentified object, a lore-master or person with the librarian trait may identify the object. If nobody can identify the object, then that object is a free roll by all classes. An object that is identified goes back to the priority rolling system described above.
Rarity of Items and Color Coding
There are seven types of items in the world. The color bordering the item’s icon represents what type of rarity and value that item has.
- White: These items include “trash” that the player can sell to the vendor.
- Yellow: These items are used in crafting and are of higher value. They can be sold to vendors (although are best used in crafting or sold or traded to other players).
- Orange: These items are of higher value and slightly rarer than “white” gear that the player finds. Orange items generally have bonus stats attributed to them.
- Red: These items contain socketed places where gems may be placed.
- Black: These items are of high rarity and fall off either epic monsters or lucky world drops. They have high stat values.
- Blue: These items indicate part of a set, and are rare, but usually are a drop in epic instances or are quest rewards for a class.
- Pink: Of very high quality and rare, these items are available via quest rewards to only those who reach the highest age in the game and have completed various end-game merchant, trainer, recluse, or lore ranks.
- Green: crafted items, which, when a craft skill is high enough, are the highest quality items in the game.
Rights to Loot When Gathering/Collecting
In Ama Lur there are precious ore veins, flowers, trees, chests, and so on in which people will find materials for their crafts. All ore, herbs, trees, etc. are shared, no matter who tags it first unless it is a rare piece of crafting material, in which case there will be competition.
Treasure chests are also competitive. First come, first serve.
Nothing can be open in combat.
Tagging a Creature
Whoever tags a creature gets credit for the death of that mob when it dies. Every single class has at least once instant spell. Use your instant spell to tag a mob if there is competition for it. (Note: in this game, there are no special bosses that everyone needs to wait around to kill—those are only in instances.)
The exception to this rule would be world bosses that are shared.
Storms and Interactive Environment
Weather will be a part of Ama Lur, and will be randomized and related to geographical area. Lowlands might receive rain, and mountains will receive snow. There might be some drought seasons. If so, the community of all villagers will be called upon to assist Mari with events that will bring about storms.
Fighters will have a quest to do this as well.
When storms are summoned, drought ends, which is usually a call for celebration.
The world is very interactive in many ways, including storm-bringing, PvP and villages taking damage, NPCs being killed and resurrected, and certain quests triggering fun events in the game.
The world is also a liquid world in that players may affect the world, either individually or massively. Though player-merchants and homesteads are instanced, other buildings may be interactive within the world at large. For example, a player builds a bridge and crosses it. Another player may cross that bridge or burn it down in retaliation (only after its intended use). Stronger bridges may be impossible to burn down. Temporary cheap bridges may wear and tear due to weather or other players. Another example is that when enough players tread through an area, there will eventually become a path in that area and maybe even a road.
Restorative acts may also be integral to the game (such as anti-development, planting seeds, etc.).
Festivals and Games
Villages will hold festivals and games occasionally. Players participating in the festivals will be able to gain reputation with their town council.
Village inns will hold parties often, which may result in NPCs getting drunk, talking too much, and other things. The interactive world will allow players to join their NPCs in festivities by dancing, singing, and entertainment.
The announcement of festivals is marked by the postboard as well as new NPCs coming to villages to herald upcoming events.
Jintils and other fighters who have learned to throw stones participate in pilota (known as jai alai), a game of stone-throwing or hard ball throwing (made of potato).
Olentzero, an ancient giant of the Jintil, comes out during the Christmas season to leave presents for villagers. His lore varies; some say he would endanger children and others at Christmas. In this game, we have decided to go with the kinder version.
Great feasts are prepared by cooks, and holiday apparel is made by clothiers.
Since Basque religion was based on nature beliefs, strongly influenced by sun and moon and death and rebirth, many festivals also will deal with these things as well as specific stories relating to them.
Gods and Goddesses
Source material for the following information:Wikipeida and Buber.net, http://www.buber.net/Basque/Folklore/aunamendi.mythology.php
Mari, main goddess (“the lady of Anboto“) and the possibly distinct Murumendiko Dama (“lady of Murumendi“) was a goddess — a lamia — of the Basques. She was married to the god Sugaar (also known as Sugoi or Majue). Legends connect her to the weather: that when she and Majue travelled together hail would fall, that her departures from her cave would be accompanied by storms or droughts, that which cave she lived in at different times would determine dry or wet weather: wet when she was in Anboto, dry when she was elsewhere (the details vary). Other places with where she was said to dwell include the chasm of Murumendi, the cave of Gurutzegorri (Ataun), Aitzkorri and Aralar, although it is not always possible to be certain which Basque legends should be considered to pertain to the same lamia.
One peculiarity of the Basque, and especially of the Tartaro legends, is that the hero of them is so often a madman, an idiot, or a fool. If we can trust our memory, the case is the same in the Slavonic representatives of Odysseus. 1 But the Basques seem to dwell upon and to repeat the idea in a peculiar way; they ring the changes on all states, from the wild madman, like the Scandinavian Berserker, through the idiot and fool, to the mere blockhead and ninny. Errua, Enuchenta, Ergela, Sosua, Tontua, are terms employed to designate the heroes who have sometimes, to our modern apprehension, little of the idiot or fool, except the name. Can it be that the power which put out the sun’s fiery eye was looked upon as a beneficent being in a burning tropic land, while, as the legend travelled northward, the act seemed more like that of madness, or of senseless stupidity? In other versions the young man goes into the forest with some pigs, meets the Tartaro there, is carried by him home, blinds him with the red-hot spit, and escapes by letting himself down through a garret window, The Tartaro pursues, guided by his ring, which at last he throws to the young man to put on, when it cries out as above, and the young man cuts off his finger, and throws it down a precipice or into a bog, where the ring still cries out, and the Tartaro following, is dashed to pieces and drowned.
A male half of a pre-Christian Basque deity associated with storms and thunder. He is normally imagined as dragon or serpent. In contrast with his female consort, Mari, there are very few remaining legends about Sugaar. The basic theme of his existence is to periodically join with Mari in the mountains to generate the storms.
Language of the Basques is not Spanish, nor Indo-European. It is Euskara, a language of using many suffixes. Basque is an ergative-absolutive language. The subject of an intransitive verb is in the absolutive case (which is unmarked), and the same case is used for the direct object of a transitive verb. The subject of the transitive verb (that is, the agent) is marked differently, with the ergative case (shown by the suffix -k). This also triggers main and auxiliary verbal agreement.
The auxiliary verb, or periphrastic, which accompanies most main verbs, agrees not only with the subject, but with the direct object and the indirect object, if present. Among European languages, this polypersonal system (multiple verb agreement) is only found in Basque, some Caucasian languages, and Hungarian. The ergative-absolutive alignment is also unique among European languages, and rather rare worldwide.
A maritime climate prevails in the northern part of the country, often called “Green Spain“, from the Pyrenees to the northwest region, characterized by relatively mild winters, warm but not hot summers, and generally abundant rainfall spread out over the year. Temperatures vary only slightly, both on a diurnal and a seasonal basis. The moderating effects of the sea, however, abate in the inland areas, where temperatures are 9 to 18°C more extreme than temperatures on the coast. Distance from the Atlantic Ocean also affects precipitation, and there is less rainfall in the east than in the west. Autumn (October through December) is the wettest season, while July is the driest month. The high humidity and the prevailing off-shore winds make fog and mist common along the northwest coast; this phenomenon is less frequent a short distance inland, however, because the mountains form a barrier keeping out the sea moisture.
Protection against Hacking
The developers of Ama Lur will build in several methods to prevent hackers, botters, and gold-sellers.
- The game comes with an authenticator, and the user may opt to use it. The user can opt to use a mobile phone based authenticator or a keychain authenticator. Both depend on batteries, so keep the cell phone charged and ensure that the keychain authenticator’s battery is replaced when needed. These batteries can be bought for cheap when the provided ones run out, and the battery life is very long, approximately 1-2 years.
- If you do not use an authenticator, you must enter an answer to a pre-determined question when logging in (such as your favorite teacher, pet’s name, or favorite color).
- An ISP check is performed each time you log in. If your ISP is different than the one you use the first time you play the game, you will need to do the following:
- Enter your user name
- Enter your email that you signed up the game with
- Enter a security code (different than your password), which you set up the game with
- Enter your password
You will need to do this for each new ISP/location you play the game from. Once you enter it, you are good to play there later without the security measures.
- The game has a keylog-checker, which you may opt to run before logging in to the game for any session. If a keylogger is found, it is highly recommended that before logging in, you go through the keylog-fix process and reset your security questions and password on the Ama Lur website.
- The game has a built-in check for botters, and will ban them automatically.
- Ama Lur has a built-in spam detection filter, disallowing links in chat with people not on your friends list or alliance list in game. Global channels, emails, whispers, says, and yells prohibit links and gold-selling words within links. If any spammers get through, you can report/ignore them in one click. The game will offer supply an addon for you to enter new filters to ignore.
- The social tabs in Ama Lur allow you to add contacts via your friends, enemies, traders, and alliance.
- There is no in-game mail system. When you trade through trading posts, goods or coins automatically appear in your home’s vault or bag inventory. When you trade with others, there is a special messenger system in place to act as a third party in delivering other goods to your home vault. You may also trade directly with people in game, though can also block trades from people not in your contact list.
The Cordillera Cantábrica, a limestone formation, runs parallel to, and close to, the northern coast near the Bay of Biscay. Its highest points are the Picos de Europa, surpassing 2,500 m. The Cordillera Cantabrica extends 182 km and abruptly drops 1,500 m some 30 km from the coast. To the west lie the hills of the northwest region and to the east the Basque mountains that link them to the Pyrenees.
External to the Meseta Central lie the Pyrenees in the northeast and the Sistema Penibético in the southeast. The Pyrenees, extending from the eastern edge of the Cordillera Cantábrica to the Mediterranean Sea, form a solid barrier and a natural border between Spain and both France and Andorra that, throughout history, has effectively isolated the countries from each other. Passage is easy in the relatively low terrain at the eastern and western extremes of the mountain range; it is here that international railroads and roadways cross the border. In the central section of the Pyrenees, however, passage is difficult. In several places, peaks rise above 3,000 m; the highest, Pico de Aneto, surpasses 3,400 m.
Conspicuous features of Pyrenean scenery are:
- The absence of great lakes, such as fill the lateral valleys of the Alps
- The rarity and great elevation of passes
- The large number of the mountain torrents locally called gaves, which often form lofty waterfalls, surpassed in Europe only by those of Scandinavia
- The frequency with which the upper end of a valley assumes the form of a semicircle of precipitous cliffs, locally called a cirque.
The highest waterfall is that of Gavarnie (462 m or 1,515 ft), at the head of the Gave de Pau; the Cirque de Gavarnie, in the same valley, is perhaps the most famous example of the cirque formation. Low passes are lacking; between the two ends of the range, where the principal roads and the railways run between France and Spain, there are only the Col de la Perche, between the valley of the Têt and the valley of the Segre, and the Col de Somport or Port de Canfranc, on the old Roman road from Saragossa to Oloron-Sainte-Marie.
The Pyrenees are older than the Alps: their sediments were first deposited in coastal basins during the Paleozoic and Mesozoic eras. Between 100 and 150 million years ago, during the Lower Cretaceous period, the Gulf of Gascony (Bay of Biscay) fanned out, pushing present-day Spain against France and putting large layers of sediment in a vice grip. The intense pressure and uplifting of the Earth’s crust first affected the eastern part and stretched progressively to the entire chain, culminating in the Eocene epoch.
The eastern part of the Pyrenees consists largely of granite and gneissose rocks, while in the western part the granite peaks are flanked by layers of limestone. The massive and unworn character of the chain comes from its abundance of granite, which is particularly resistant to erosion, as well as weak glacial development.
Pine, oak, beech, birch, fir (in cooler areas of the Pyranees). Willow, alder, and poplar are common along the river banks, while the olive tree can be described as the traditional Mediterranean index species.
Ordesa Park actually comprises three separate valleys emanating out of Monte Perdido, “the lost mountain.” The park’s namesake, the Ordesa Valley, is renowned — and deserves to be. Carved out by glaciers, the valley is outlined by limestone folds brilliantly marked with bands of gray, red and yellow ochre. Unlike most valleys in the Pyrenees, the Ordesa runs east/west. Since it is open to the west, the valley gets lots of cool, moist air from the Atlantic, making the plantlife lush and the climate moderate. The valley ends in the dramatic Circa Soasa, a glacial cirque.
The valley floor is home to forests of firs and beeches. On the slopes, tough dwarf mountain pine hold out up to the tree line. Above the treeline are beautiful alpine shrubs and meadows, with many seasonal wildflowers such as edelweiss, gentians, orchids, violets, belladonna, and anemones.
Chamois, wolves, mink, lynx, foxes, wild boars, wild cats, bear, wild goats, ibix, red deer (smaller than deer in America), and wild hares are common animals in the area. Wild horses, sheep, and pottoks (ancient breed of small horse, native to Basque country) graze in the open. Wolves keep check on wild boars, which eat capercaillie (grouse) eggs.
Also, badgers, rats, bats, shrew, vole, fox, genet, muskrat, hedgehog. See http://www.iberianature.com/material/mammalspain.html.
See http://www.iberianature.com/material/spain_birds/Birds_of_Spain.html for birds. Also see the site for snakes, ducks, etc.
Ordesa National Park was set up specifically to protect the ibex, a wild goat. Ironically, the ibex is still in decline, along with the lammergeier, a type of bearded vulture. However, many other species are flourishing in this otherwise well preserved enclave. The valley shelters 171 species of birds — including golden eagles, griffon vultures and alpine finches, 32 mammals — including wild boar, otters and foxes, eight species of reptiles, including the asp (Vispera aspis) of Cleopatra’s doom, and five amphibia. Especially notable are the only herds of Pyrenees mountain goats in existence and a healthy number of chamois deer, which in the nineteenth century were in danger of becoming extinct
Detailed: Collection and Gathering of Materials
Note that the following items in game may be based upon traditional or mythical properties.
Cooking is a skill that not only provides food for others to boost their stats, but also allows the cook to sell his or her dishes to the town council, who need foods for festivals, inns, and so on. With cooking you can make a slight profit and increase your reputation with the village. You can also grow a garden, fish, and of course hunt certain animals that provide meat. You can harvest grains, olives, grapes, and so forth for items that go into many recipes, including olive oils, breads, ales, and wines.
The cook’s kitchen: Since all workstations are in the home, cooks will be equipped with certain items in their home’s workspace, as well as be able to participate in the village’s cooperative garden. Note that ingredients like peppers and chocolates were not native to northern Spain but arrived after early trade with Latin America, so depending on when the timeline is, these ingredients may or may not be left here.
Some items are explained here.
Kaiku: container used by Basque shepherds to collect, deliver, and treat milk
*Olive oil is called for in several recipes and is a simple recipe on its own after the horticulturist collects olives.
Made of apples, this just calls for apples (fermented) and yeasts. In the Basque region of Guipúzcoa, it is a tradition to visit sagardotegiak between February and May to drink new sidra from the barrel accompanied by a meal such as txuleton.
Bacalao (salt cod)
Garlic, onion, parsley (horticulture)
White wine (advanced cooking skill)
Stats: energy regeneration and + to stamina
Bacalao al Pil-Pil (salt cod in olive oil dance)
Garlic, olive oil, red chili (horticulture)
Stats: health regeneration and + to stamina
Pig’s feet (drop from boars)
Garlic, onion, tomato, green chilis (horticulture)
Stats: quicker run speed for a short duration of time
Txipirones en su tinta (squid in their own ink)
Squid (fishing squid)
Garlic, olive oil, parsley, onion (horticulture)
Stats: bonuses to damage and intimidation
Marmitako (pot stew)
Salmon or tuna (fishing)
Potatoes, olive oil, onion, garlic (horticulture)
Lamb meat (buy at market) or raise animals (?)
Onion, garlic, olive oil, carrot, potato, parsley (horticulture)
White wine (advanced cooking skill)
Stats: Bonus to stamina, strength, agility, and charisma
Onion, peppers, olive oil, tomato, zucchini, garlic (horticulture)
Stats: Bonus to wisdom and intelligence
Flour (harvest from grain)
Yeast (sold by vendor)
Water (sold by vendor)
Lard (sold by vendor)
Stats: Health and energy regeneration
Red and green pepper, garlic (horticulture)
Pork shoulder (hunting boars)
Stats: Bonus to stamina and strength
Garlic, olive oil, potato, onion, leek (horticulture)
Stats: Bonus to wisdom and intelligence
Stats: Increases charisma but leaves imbiber tipsy
Eggs (bought at chicken farm)
Stats: Bonus to stamina and intellect
Angulas (baby eels)
Garlic, olive oil, red chili pepper (horticulture)
Elver (eel, caught only in late October to February; fishing)
Stats: Rare delicacy that leaves one with high regeneration of both health and energy for several minutes as well as provides increase to stamina and strength
Sugar, eggs, milk (bought at market)
Stats: Increases charisma
Whale meat (advanced fishing)
Olive oil (horticulture)
Stats: + to stamina and strength
Cream from sheep
Stats: + 8% renewal to health and energy
Alchemy & Magics
There are generally two types of potion and ointment making in the game. They both fall under the category of alchemy, though one type is produced by alchemists only and the other type is specific to witch brews and unrelated to the alchemist skill. Witches who have alchemy, however, have a bonus to creating brews. Note that cooks may grow herbs, but only herbs whose primary focus is to spice cooking dishes. Alchemists automatically have the herbalist skill, which allows them to pick herbs that grow in the wild and whose primary purpose is medicinal.
Toad’s milk (bufotenin)
This may be extracted by witches for use in creating a brew of flying potion (only the class of witches may use this ingredient in this fashion, and the skill of alchemy is not involved in such cases). The toad must be skinned, and the dried flesh is then mixed with water plantain. Water plantain is found near rivers. Or it may be used by alchemists to creating poison that may be used on weapons. Toad’s milk is extracted from various toads found near rivers and cave mouths.
Used in creating health and energy potions, mineral water may be found in various secluded springs in the mountains.
Yellow hair on a man traditionally woos women in the Basque tradition and is based off lore of Ezkabi Fidel. The herbalist must complete a few quests in order to be able to use yellow hair in a seduction potion (good for both genders). The quest revolves around this legend http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/basque/bl/bl37.htm and is part of an escort quest, simple in nature, in which the herbalist must go find Ezkabi in the woods and accompany him on his journey to better himself. The reward is the ability to create yellow hair once a day.
Medicinal herb that treats burns and wounds. When made into a tea, may relieve sore throat and congestion. A tall-stemmed plant with blue-purple blooms.
Used in combating poison, milk thistle is a short spiny plant with a pink bloom.
Induces happiness and charisma in times of defeat. A bulb plant with lilac or mauve blooms. Also picked for use in cooking.
Relieves toothaches, lice, scabies, and digestive problems. Green flowery plant.
Increases wisdom and memory. Bush-like plant with white-to-lilac blooms.
Increases resistance to poison, disease, and other ill buffs.
Used for increasing courage and regeneration before battles. Dark green holly-like leaves ?
Used for curing disease, a thick green-leafed plant with red berries as blooms.
Oil extracted from birch branches, may be made by priests as well as alchemist. Use: cure diseases and rashes.
All parts of the plant are poisonous due to the presence of an alkaloid, Atropine, 1/10 grain of which swallowed by a man has occasioned symptoms of poisoning. As every part of the plant is extremely poisonous, neither leaves, berries, nor root should be handled if there are any cuts or abrasions on the hands. The root is the most poisonous, the leaves and flowers less so, and the berries, except to children, least of all. It is said that an adult may eat two or three berries without injury, but dangerous symptoms appear if more are taken, and it is wiser not to attempt the experiment. See http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/n/nighde05.html. Used for poisoning, and putting to “sleep”.
Used in baths for courage, strength, and vigor, at least in Greece.
Rhododendron (native to Spain)
Those who eat honey from bees feeding on this flower have been known to have a laxative or hallucinogenic effect. Small purplish bloom with dark green leaves.
Edelweiss (also called Lion’s Foot)
High alpine flower; white bloom. Lovestruck men have been known to gather the flower to give to women, since the flower is harder to get (at high elevations).
Clothing and Looks
See http://jmglaria.club.fr/Pbasque-Folklore.htm for some traditional dress.
Common footwear of the Basques was bare feet or simple sandals.
In the Basque Country, to speak about traditional musical instruments is to speak about the “txistu” (an indigenous wind instrument) nowadays made in factories in Zumarraga and Lazkao. But we cannot leave aside other well known autochthonous wind instruments, as the “alboka” (León Bilbao from Arteaga in Vizcaya – Castillo and Elejabeitia – is both a virtuoso and a maker of that musical instrument), and the “gaita”, widely used in Navarre. See http://www.oup.co.uk/music/repprom/erkoreka/prognotes/ for musical composition types of the Basque.
One peculiarity of the Basque, and especially of the Tartaro legends, is that the hero of them is so often a madman, an idiot, or a fool.
Arguiduna resides in a cottage in the mountains and is found only by those who happen upon her residence, or by those receiving a quest to find her. She is inside her cottage (the door is open), weeping for her lost child. A dialog ensues, of her telling, in sobs, about the death of her child. She is weak and depressed.
After the player talks to the woman, the woman sees a light arising toward the heavens and asks the player to follow her. This is an escort quest. The light disappears, but the woman follows its direction in the sky, and the player must keep her safe upon her way. She ends up at a graveyard, where another but different mysterious light appears, this time over the graveyard.
It is the apparition of her dead son. She asks if he is happy. He placates her, and she is swept with joy that he is okay. See http://bulfinch.englishatheist.org/ldp/lbp05.htm for longer, alternate version of the myth though. http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/basque/lbp/lbp03.htm too.
Instance: Mountain Passages
This quest line goes into the mountains to accomplish a few missions, mainly that of the Lady encounters, described below. This is a quest that requires the player to be at least age 68, though 70 is recommended.
“In the territory which stands between the towns of Zuggaramurdi and Echalar, a mountainous tract covered with woods, crossed by rivulets, and divided by narrow and very deep valleys, will be found, isolated and darksome, the mountain of Aquelarre, overgrown with brambles and thorns, and surrounded by rocks and waterfalls.”
The player must go through a series of smaller mobs before reaching the lady quests.
Lady of Amboto
Over the peaks of Amboto is a wandering spirit, a lady who had jumped off a precipice and killed herself due to remorse of her sad life. She leaves misfortune in her path. The player must search for her (footprints help), and end her life with a special quest staff given by the quest giver. Getting to the lady is difficult.
She symbolizes ingratitude, ambition, and crime, and her spirit dwells in the midst of general execration, and is received with curses. This is a two-part quest. The next being Lady of Morumendi.
Lady of Morumendi
Near Morumendi is another wondering spirit, her apparition a lovely mist on the mountain. When the player approaches her, the player will be filled with a buff and the quest is completed. When the lady is found, the quest giver’s village will receive a notice that “Here comes the good lady!”
She symbolizes abnegation, virtue, innocence, and lives amid the blessings of the grateful hearts of all the people. The townspeople, as well as players completing this quest, will all get a buff once Lady of Morumendi has been approached—thus her spirit released to the villagers. Again, this is part of a high-end elite quest, part of a long chain and very difficult to do. Lady Morumendi is the final part of the mountain passages. Lady Aboto, and the rest of the instance, must be completed first. Getting to Lady Morumendi will involve defeating high-level elite mobs, but she herself is friendly and simply must be approached by the players.
One-eyed giant, of which there are many variations. In this version, we have the player needing to the trick the giant. He is also similar to a Cyclops. Tartaro is noted for being dull-witted, though of great strength. Players will receive a request to aid a man who has fallen in the snare of Tartaro, at his home, which is a large barn in the forested mountains. Tartaro is a shepherd, but he eats sheep and also hunts men.
His mother, a witch, lives in the yard and must be dealt with as well…but first, Tartaro.
The objective is to get the quest in the player’s local village and then find Tartaros home in the mountains. Once there, the player sees that Tartaro is sleeping by the fire, and the encaged man asks the player for help, saying that the giant has fallen asleep after eating a sheep. The player must free the man, who then tells the player to take a spit by the fire and plunge it into Tartaro’s eye. This wakes up the giant, who yells that he will find the player. The player must then run out the door. Remember that Tartaro is blinded momentarily but very enraged.
Once the player runs back into the yard, the mother (the witch) gives the young man who was imprisoned a ring, which is automatically equipped on the man. The ring, however, is just a ploy. It lets Tartaro know where the players (and NPC prisoner) are, and the ring yells out “Heben nuk,” which means Thou Hast Me Here.
The next two parts of this quest are part of tricking Tartaro as well as subduing the mother-witch.
The player(s) must cut off the young prisoner’s finger, which has the ring on it, in order to truly set him free. This leaves Tartoro to go back into his house, dim-wittedly happy with the finger, gnawing on it to get to the ring. Once Tartoro re-enters his barn with the finger and ring, then the witch pursues the players.
She is also tough to beat because she has tricky magic powers that do great damage as well as she can fly around and regain small portions of her health while doing so.
Tartaro is merely subdued (not killed) to complete the quest.
Reward: choice of one of different rings that are good for multiple classes.
This is a seven-headed serpent, one of the most elite bosses in the game. In legend, he has consumed entire valleys, oxen, goats, sheep, people, villages, and now is hibernating after such a repast. There is a quest to kill him, but killing the serpent is part of a large public raid.
The council of all villages in the game have met together to decide what must be done. They decide that before the monster re-awakens, the villages must band together and form an entire raid to awake and subdue the monster again before he destroys the world again. This event may either take place in a server-wide raid run by a GM (spontaneously timed, usually once every day or two days), or it can be developed by enough people wanting to join in.
The monster is only subdued and then put back to sleep. This event must be ongoing, for if not, the Heren-Suge will one day awaken to cause mass destruction again. This is a quest that gives a very nice item, but Heren-Suge also drops several epic items that are rolled on.
Acheria, the fox
The is an early quest, where the player must defeat a wolf and a fox who have conjoined forces to steal a shepherd’s cheese and milk because they are hungry.
When the player arrives, he will need to talk to the shepherd. This triggers a nearby howl, where a wolf is trying to get the shepherd’s attention away from his meal. Acheria has talked the wolf into helping him distract the shepherd. Sure enough, the shepherd runs off to find the wolf, afraid for his flock.
The NPC shepherd does not ask the players to follow him, rather tells them to go stand on the lookout for anyone stealing his sheep. The quest outlines are for the player to subdue and guard off the fox and the wolf, both of whom will try to steal the food. The player(s) must engage both the wolf and the fox into combat to prevent the stealing of the shepherd’s lunch.
After the animals are defeated, the shepherd returns thankfully. Rewards: Cheese and a low-level piece of gear.
Malaga Wine Escort
Early quest, where the player happens upon a donkey in the road carrying Malaga wine. The main combat is when a wolf approaches. The donkey knows that the wolf will eat him so offers the wolf some wine, but the wolf says he is not thirsty, only hungry. The players must then help defeat the wolf. The reward is some Malaga wine, which boosts the player’s charisma.
Race Quests: Basajuan
The first racial quest that the Basajuan get is this. The Basajuan will have three boys come to his house, asking for shelter. The scripted quest will allow them shelter, but only if they act as servants. The boys agree and do the hunting for the player (thus providing meat and even cooking). The first part of the quest is simple, the hiring of the servants.
The second part of the quest comes later, when the player first turns 21. At this time, the younger sister comes to the door with a distaff and a pennycake. She doesn’t know her brothers are here, and asks for shelter.
The brothers and their sister recognize each other and plot to kill the Basajuan player. The next event is that your quest tells you to go to a ravine. You must attempt to subdue the children when they show up in their efforts to kill you, but the event is scripted so that you have no chance to win. When you die, you return to the tomb in your home, but of course resurrect. This is simply a battle that hurls you into adulthood, and facing the adversity and defeat with courage is one that you had to learn in order to move on.
Upon completion of the quest, you receive a herd of sheep, which you must guard for the rest of your lifetime. There is not a lot of time-consumption in caring for the sheep. They are part of the unique instance that is privately your own home’s. If you feed the sheep and repair any broken fences when you log in, your herd will automatically be healthy throughout your lifetime. Some sheep may die of old age (or get killed by other animals if you do not keep your fences repaired), but newer sheep are born at integrals as well.
You may shear the sheep once a year, each spring, and in doing so you will obtain wool that you can use if you are a clothier or sell.
Another reward is that if a wolf is nearby, you will sense it before seeing it.
Basajuans were some of the first to cultivate wheat, and this is worked into a quest. The player must plant and then successfully harvest wheat at his village’s garden co-op. During the several weeks (works into just a few played days) between planting and harvesting, the player must plant one and a half bushels of wheat in his given one-acre plot. Planting means simply fanning out the hand to sprinkle the seeds over the ground. And then later harrowing the seed into the ground. The wheat is ready for harvest when it turns yellow, and the player may harvest it with a scythe. Note that if there is not enough rain, the player must water his crop.
Upon completion of this quest, the player may take some wheat home and may donate some to the village (for reputation), as well as selling some through the market place for those who need it for cooking.
The reward for this quest is also a small wheat field in the player’s home unit. The player must continue to take care of the wheat throughout the game, though it is not too time-consuming.
The third racial quest for Basajuans is being called to trek high into the mountains to watch for storms. This occurs when the player reaches age 30. [make sure that this is deleted for fighters, since it is redundant]. The Goddess Mari (in various forms) will come to the player upon his birthday and tell him that he is old enough to watch for storms. The basajuan is so enamored by Mari’s beauty that he is quick to take up the quest.
It involves a long trek to a high mountain, where the Basajuan must stay and watch for an indefinite time period. During that time period, the Basajuan must stave off any beasts that come his way. Upon seeing the first flash of lightening (also heralded by a notice on the player’s screen), the Basajuan must call out to Mari, who will appear as a vision on top of the mountain. Mari will then instruct the player to notify the nearest village down the mountain path of the incoming storm.
The player must head down the path, fighting any beasts along the way, and then talk to the head councilman in the village (quest NPC).
Afterward, the villagers take cover, and the Basajuan must also, as the violent storm takes place outside.
This is a quest that can be done by multiple players at once, together. Once Mari appears to the player, the final part of the quest, where the players must travel down the mountain path to a village, is instanced, though non-elite.
After the storm takes place, the instance ends, and the player(s) are on top of the mountain again, where Mari presents herself a final time and the quest completes. The reward is innate knowledge of incoming storms, as well as some nice gear.
Race Quests: Lamia
Lamias live around the peak of Mondarrain in Ezpeleta, near rivers, and are beautiful fairies with duck-like feet.
The Golden Comb
The first quest that a Lamia gets when 18 and starting out in the game is the quest for the golden comb. Lamias typically have beautiful long curls, and use their comb to tame their wild hair (see Keats’ poem). The event that triggers this quest is when the Lamia first goes to her village and talks to some NPCs who have quests. Only after some of the first learning quests, does the player get one about the golden comb.
The quest-giver sends Lamia up to visit a shepherd on the mountain of Mondarrain. The shepherd appears to be of good intentions, but tricks the Lamia into showing him her golden comb. The shepherd then steals the comb, which leads to the player needing to chase the shepherd up to a certain rock up on the mountains that is covered with light. Along the way, the lamia must slay any beasts. When and if a beast happens upon the chase, the shepherd will also stop and tease the lamia.
When the shepherd reaches the rock, a blinding light falls upon it, trapping the shepherd, long enough for the lamia to tell the shepherd to be glad he is trapped in sunlight (check on this, and what it means). The reward for this quest is a brand new, magical comb. The comb is an offhand weapon that will last the player throughout the game, and gives the player the ability to seduce others for short periods of time.
Building the Bridge
Lamia’s have a natural ability in bridge-building, so this quests teaches them the basics and is based on a legend.
This is a story about a bridge in the village of Licq-Athérey (southern France) of a bridge that was built flimsily. The Lamia’s main village will send them up to Licq, by way of caravan. This quest happens when the Lamia turns 21.
In Licq is a man who asks the Lamia to help build a bridge to replace the flimsy one. The lamia promises to help build a solid stone bridge before nightfall. Then must join other lamias (NPCs) working on the bridge to get it done. Specifically, the Lamia must get the bridge done by the time the rooster crows, and only if the man who needs the better bridge agrees to be hers when the bridge is complete.
The man will agree, but as the Lamia goes out to help with the bridge, he will visit an old wise woman for advice. She gives him two eggs that have been laid by a black hen. One egg hatches before the bridge is complete and sings “Cock-a-doodle-do”! The lamias become angry and ditch their work, just before the last stone is made. They say “Cursed be the egg laid by the black hen of March.”
The quest is completed, however, but the bridge never is very strong, and anyone crossing the river must either go by boat or build a new bridge down the river, since this one is always “under construction”.
The reward for this quest is that the lamia earns the title bridge-builder, and whether or not he or she has the masonry profession, may build flimsy bridges in the game in order to cross wide rivers.
Class Quests: Sorginak Witch/Priest
Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be a lot about witchery pre-European infestation, after which those accused of sorcery and witchcraft were burned to the stake, subject to the Spanish Inquisition, and so forth. So, many Basque tales are after the world of Ama Lur. But some will have to be borrowed from or at least expanded from, in trying to place them in the earlier world. In doing so, the witches, unlike later years who were said to perform “Sabbat” in a goat-field, possibly devil-worship or in the least just paganism or a naturalistic religion—the early witches in Ama Lur are simply dark magic users who do the biddings of Goddess Mari. These magics are considered “good” for the world, but the witch in itself is an annoying character who can also practice mischief and affliction on those she doesn’t like.
The priest historically is also a witch, but practices light magic and healing. Some of the quests, therefore, apply to both Sorginak classes, though some are unique.
The Magic Wand (Witch and Priest)
Witches and priests are the only class to use the wand, but must past a quest in order to do so. This quest consists of taking a branch from a nearby dogwood (hazel?) tree and taking it to a village crafter for shaping into a wand. The quest is given at age 16, and the player simply needs to go to the area directed in order to find a branch off an interactive tree.
The quest gives the player the knowledge of following simple quest directions, slaying a few low-end beasts to get to the tree and back to the village, and interacting with quest-givers and other NPCs.
The second part of the quest requires the player to equip the wand and head to the main city via a caravan (this trip is free) in order to practice the using the wand. So the player also must travel, see the main city, and learn to use the wand weapon.
The reward is the wand itself, as well as a special power imbued upon it that will give the witch extra stamina. A few copper pieces as well.
By tradition, a gift of a sprig of birch to a love one was considered encouragement. It indicated “You may begin.” The wand will be made of birch, and will increase in stats as the player levels. There is never a reason to get a new wand.
Herb and Berry Collecting (Witch and Priest)
Witches and priests, even those who do not practice herbalism as a craft, automatically are able to pick certain plants that are used in their practices. Witches will be able to only pick herbs used in affliction, flying, or other ointments. Priests may pick only herbs used in healing ointments.
At age 21, each class receives a quest to go pick a few of the herbs used by their class, and then once that is done, there are various quests throughout the game—as the player ages—to pick a higher-end herb.
With each herb picked, the second portion of the quest involves learning a recipe.
Note that some recipes make ointments, and some make spells. Ointments, used primarily by priests for tending to wounds, or by witches for damage-dealing and/or flying, are simply true potions/ointments that must be made each time the use of a certain ability is required. Other herbs can be fashioned into a potion or ointment, that when used with a chant, may turn into a learned spell added to the witch or priest’s spellbooks.
This beginning class quest, and subsequent quests as the player grows older, include the gathering of a certain herb and then the creation of the potion, ointment, and/or chant.
Akelarre (Witch only)
By the time the witch reaches age 21 and should be immersed in the basic teachings of the world, she or he will get their first quest to visit the immortal world of green meadow and beauty: Akelarre. Akelarre is also part of an instance (Mountain Passages), but in the normal world, non-instanced, parts of it accessible only by witches who will learn to portal there. “In the territory which stands between the towns of Zuggaramurdi and Echalar, a mountainous tract covered with woods, crossed by rivulets, and divided by narrow and very deep valleys, will be found, isolated and darksome, the mountain of Akelarre, overgrown with brambles and thorns, and surrounded by rocks and waterfalls.”
The quest is quite simple. At the witch trainer, the witch receives orders to practice a chant that will portal the witch to Akelarre. The witch may only practice this spell once every 30 minutes. The way to practice the chant is by finding a peaceful place (either in the witch’s home or out in the wilds, alone), and click the practice button on the scroll that the witch has received from the trainer. The chant itself is: Under the clouds and over the brambles.
It will take an indeterminate amount of time to get the phrase absolutely correct. Some trials may even result in the witch transporting somewhere else accidentally or transporting to Akelarre but in terrible disorder and shape. Once the player gets the chant correct, and arrives in Akelarre in 100% health and energy, without other failure, the witch can then speak to an avatar of Mari in Akelarre, who completes the quest. From this point on, the witch will be able to transport to Akelarre under the following circumstances:
- When meeting with other witches for either festivity or other council
- To assist in summoning storms
- When learning new spells
- When entering the Mountain Passage instance, the witch may port here and enter the shortcut entrance
- The witch may not portal here during combat
Animal Forms (Witch)
The witch may choose, starting at age 30, an animal that will represent her nature and which she can transform into. The three animals are cat, ram, and dog. Subsequent ages of 35 and 40 have quests that will allow the witch to switch to dog, and ram forms (subsequently).
Cat: The witch may choose a cat form. The cat itself is black in color, sleek, and larger than the average house cat. Cats have the highest form of dps in animal form, but do not have as much natural armor. Cats may scale some areas that other races and animal forms may not, but they are afraid of water and very tall heights.
Dog: There are a few types of dogs in the world: shepherd dogs (which guard sheep and are generally of the Central European shepherd dog breed, mastiffs (regular house dogs), and the Alano (bull dog or attack dog). The latter is the type of dog that witches may transform into. The dogs have a pug face, and are mostly black with brown and white markings. Choosing this focus in animal form allows the witch to attack with great ferocity, with biting, growling, clawing, and natural defense.
Ram: The ram, a white animal with curly horns, does blunt burst damage and has natural defense armor that is much higher than that of the witch’s natural state.
Animal forms are not permanent, and in fact are very limited. To complete each quest, the player must, at the appropriate age, receive a quest from the witch trainer to summon and fight the same type of animal that quest is for (cat, age 30; dog, age 35; and ram, age 40). The cat fight is the simplest and takes place in the trainer’s cave, in a special summoning area. The dog fight must take place in Akelarre, and before fighting the dog, the witch must first gather some herbs for the NPC in Akelarre. To fight the ram at age 40, the witch must summon the ram in an instance that is part of the Mountain Passages. To get to the instance, the player must go up the mountain and fight some mobs on the way. The part of the instance that the player must enter is a subterranean one, which only witches and Lamia may enter. Once inside, the witch must summon the ram and defeat it.
When the player receives animal form, the use of it is limited. Useable only in combat and only for five minutes max per hour (or half hour?) of game play. This is to avoid the player using animal form to the extent a druid would. The witch’s main skills must be utilized (i.e. magic, charms, spells, and so on).
Class quest: Jentil
See more on the Olentzero at http://www.nabasque.org/NABO/Olentzero.htm. Olentzero, described more in the festivals section, is a legend about a giant who would come to villages
Compiled notes from the internets for reference
Cantabrian peoples are a smaller culture than the Basques and other Spaniards and live in a northern tiny province. The culture is high in apalogues (fables and allegories) and form a cult to protect divinities. They worship the sun, as is evident in wooden sculptures (stelea). They also worship the moon and the sea as well as have a god of war. They were pagans but also reconciled to Christianity later when it came along. They believed in the immortality of spirit, and were cremated – except for soldiers who died on the battlefield and whose entrails were exposed to the souls of heaven.
At the same time, a terrenal mythology of adoration to Gaia, the Mother Earth, exists through the divinization of animals, trees, mountains and waters like elementary spirits. Beliefs, on the other hand, common to all the people who received celtic influences.
Trastolillo: is mad and too restless. His favourite hobby is to come into the houses and drink some milk or sift the flour. Most of us have shared our homes with El Trastolillo from time to time. One of the most notorious figures in Cantabria’s story-telling tradition, the cheeky, smiling, playful imp, always seen in a white cap and carrying a wooden pole, is responsible for all the bizarre happenings in our houses. Items which disappear, ornaments that fall off shelves for no apparent reason, and noises in the night are all the work of the Trastolillo – and you’ll never escape him, even by moving house. He’ll follow you into your next home and carry on his mischief.
Trasgo likes to come in through the chimney and likes hiding so the owner of the house won’t find it.
Trenti is playful and plays tricks.
Zahori helps people find their lost belongings if the people are good. He has a telescope.
OJANCANO pulls down the best trees of the forests. The fountains are dried by him and he kidnaps girls. He does all those things when he is happy!
She is an ANJANA. There are two kinds of anjanas: Mozas del Agua and Hechiceras del Ebro. They protect us from Ojancano. They live in a cavern where the floor is made of gold and the walls are made of silver. They are too kind. They help poor people. And if you are lost in the forest they will help you to find the way to return home. They are very beautiful.
Goliath was handsome next to this lot
Walkers in the woods should keep a careful eye out for the Ojáncano, a gigantic creature with a long red beard, on eye, ten fingers on each hand and ten toes on each foot, who passes his time destroying trees, houses, animals and birds. Ojáncanos carry wooden walking sticks like the Trastolillo, but can turn it into a viper, raven or wolf at will. They live in caves in rural Cantabria with Ojáncanas, the female of the species, who are monstrously ugly with long, matted red hair and survive by sucking the blood of children. Ojáncanos as a species cannot reproduce, but when a female dies she is buried at the foot of an oak tree and, after a few months, a plague of worms comes out of the ground that later metamorphose into baby Ojáncanos.
What the Devil…?
Luckily, we are spared the presence of the Caballucos del Diablo for another year, as they only come out on June 23, the night of San Juan and the summer solstice. Seven red horses with long, transparent wings like those of a dragonfly, they carry the souls of seven wicked men – demons with skulls – bearing swords with which they make seven crosses in the sky to scare people. The Caballucos cause as much damage as they can, galloping in and out of the traditional hogueras or bonfires lit to mark the longest day of the year, ripping up entire fields and exterminating people who wander too far from their hogueras. The devil’s horses each have a different colour and when together, appear to form a perfect rainbow. Their spit turns to gold when it freezes, before it hits the ground, but if anyone tries to pick up this gold, he or she will go directly to hell.
One of the naughtiest and most curious – but fortunately, less dangerous – creatures of Cantabrian mythology is the Ijana. Next time you blame the kids for pinching the last chocolate biscuit, or the cats for nicking the smoked salmon off your salad plate, remember it could be the insatiable Ijana who, according to legend, sneaks into people’s houses at night to relieve the occupants of their weekly shop. Any type of food will do, although Ijanas have a particularly sweet tooth and are notorious for raiding beehives to suck out the honey.
Although they live in caves during the day, Ijanas are mostly found on the banks of rivers where they imbibe vast quantities of water to cure the indigestion they habitually suffer after gobbling up innocent householders’ secret donut stash. Those who have managed to catch a glimpse of the Ijana say she has transparent wings like a fly, one enormous breast that she has to hang over her shoulder, and is always naked.
Toil and trouble – or just an old wives’ tale?
Cantabria’s witches come in all shapes and forms – there are those who have made a pact with the Devil and others who are simply wise elderly women, but all of them have extensive knowledge of spells and recipes for potions using plants and animals that they use to pass on their powers – good or evil – to those they consider merit them. As in many countries, legends featuring witches abound in Cantabria, although in practice they were just as likely to be faith-healers, heretics, spinsters or women who knew too much, whose fate was sealed by burning at the stake or drowning – practices that are well-recorded in ancient lore around the globe.
Flower fairies really do exist
To redress the balance of the malevolent majority in Cantabria’s caves and forests, locals have the Anjana to thank. The archetypical Amélie, she thrives on spreading goodwill and solving problems. Loved and respected, slim, blonde and beautiful with vast wings that allow her to flit around the woods in the blink of an eye, the Anjana lives in palaces hidden within the rocks of Cantabria’s mountains. As they walk, they leave a trail of flowers behind them instead of footprints, and are capable of performing any type of magic or miracle thanks to a highly-versatile potion they carry with them at all times.
For an Anjana to solve your problems, you have to believe in them, but be warned – anyone who ill-treats animals or damages the environment will be severely punished by the blonde fairy.
Round the horn
Legends surrounding unicorns are rife in every society, but Cantabria’s strain of this mythical quadruped is fairly unique insofar as its horn is considerably longer and more upright, and its wings are on its fetlocks – hence its name, the Alicornio. Its horn is said to have the capacity to cure numerous illnesses and prolong life, but they are difficult to find as they live in the highest mountains of the Picos de Europa which are nearly impossible for humans to reach.
As in any fairy tale worth its salt, good wins over evil in Cantabrian legend. Far more benevolent characters exist than fiendish ones – like the Fish Man of Liérganes, the mermaid, the tree-hugging Musgoso, and the gold-weaving water nymphs or Mozas del Agua. Of course, the bird with eyes of fire whose looks can, indeed, kill; the Culebre, with his snake’s body and bat’s wings; the Roblón, or monster disguised as an oak-tree and the vampiress or Guajona make far more entertaining reading, even if they do induce nightmares.
Don’t let the evil imps, wicket witches and big unfriendly giants put you off taking a trip to this picturesque part of Spain, however. With its awe-inspiring scenery, quaint villages and clean air, even if you cannot find any Anjanas or Alicornios to protect you, Cantabria is Spain as you have never seen it before, and as you will certainly want to see it again.
Culture and Lore
See http://bulfinch.englishatheist.org/ldp/index.htm for some background.
Reference: All the following paragraphs in this section are from http://web.archive.org/web/20040812233422/http://www.arcadiaesoterica.it/basqueengl.html:
The Pyrenees are dotted with sacred sites: caves, springs, wells, valleys and mountain peaks. The mountains and the valleys were thought to be the abodes of divinities and Genies: the earth was believed to contain beautiful landscapes and green valleys hidden to mortals. The most famous of all these sites is probably a plain named Akelarre in the province of Navarra. The name comes from aker, he-goat and larre, pasture. For hundred of years, this place was connected to witchcraft and it has been probably chosen as the place where to celebrate ancient rituals and sacrifices. The Church has eradicated any information related to the pagan religion of the Basques, and has even denied the existence of such rituals. However, the Greek geographer Strabo reports beyond doubt that sacrificing goats was a ritual crucial in the religious beliefs of the Ouaskonous.
According to the Basques there is a duality of beings and of worlds: on the one side the natural world (berezko), on the other the supernatural one (aideko); to operate in the first, one has to use natural instruments, one enters the second through magic. The magical means are many but they are all based on the ADUR, or magical virtue, that links things with their representations. Curses or birao are transmitted thanks to adur, to the person or thing which is signalled: a symbolic action towards an image emits its adur, that operates at a distance. Names are sound images of things. According to a popular Basque saying all that has a name exists “izena duen gutzia omen da”.
The main gods are Ortzi or Eguzki, the sun god, Ilargia or Illargui, the moon goddess, Mari the earth goddess and Sugaar, the god both of the earth and of the sky. Ortzi, also called Ost or Eguzki, is the god of the sun, of the sky and of thunder and is often compared to Jupiter, Zeus and Thor.
Ortzi, and its western equivalent Osti are the first elements in a dozen words like “cloud storm”, “thunder” and “dawn”. For example “rainbow” is Ortzadar (adar means horn)and “daylight” is Orzargi (argi means light).
In many children’s rigmaroles there is mention of a female being, scion of the earth (Lur). According to an old way of thinking, the sun is born from the earth and goes back to it. It is believed that sunlight is not liked by witches or by certain categories of Lamies, as in a narration concerning a Lamia whose golden comb was stolen by a shepherd. He was about to take it back when a ray of the rising sun touched lightly the man’s clothes ….” thank the sun ” she told him and retired in her cave.
Sun symbols are circles, swastikas, the flowers of thistles, very frequent in Basque popular funerary art. The dolmen culture with its dolmens oriented from east to west are a proof of sun worship. Unfortunately little remains of the god and of the myths and knowledge of whatever ritual was celebrated to adore it. The moon goddess Ilargia or Illargui appears in many myths and legends. Because they are agriculturists and fishermen, the Basques are very close to the moon cycles. Ilargia is the guardian of death; lshe accompanies people on the way to the afterlife.
Ilargia regulates the world of the secret knowledge, of divination and magic. Illargui like the sun, is of a feminine gender; when she appears on the eastern mountains one says:”Illargui amandrea, zeruan ze iberri?” (Lady, mother moon, what news do you bring us?). Friday is sacred to her in the same way as Thursday is sacred to the sky. According to an old belief, the moon is the light of the dead and to die with a waxing moon is considered a good omen for the afterlife. Sun and moon are children of the earth where they both go back after their run in the sky.
In traditional tales it is said that the face of the earth is unlimited in all directions and whoever wants to explore its borders is destined to fail. The earth contains treasures hidden in caves and mountains that often cannot be found because there are no precise indications useful to find them and also because menacing genies intervene and terrify those who seek the treasures and force them to abandon the search. It is the habitual dwelling of souls,of divinities and of most mythical beings some of which take on the likeness of bulls, horses, goats and other animals.
The mythical world of the Basques is peopled by genies or divinities that take on the shape of animals or of half human beings who live inside caves.
Among these one is particularly important. This is Mari, an anthropomorphic goddess, one of the most ancient chthonic female deities. Mari’s husband is Maju, who also appears as a snake or Sugaar. Apparently they live separately.Mari lives on earth and Maju/Sugaar in the sea. This is for a good reason. When Maju and Mari meet they produce violent rain storms with hail, thunder and lightening.
A 16th century legend says that Mari is the founder of the House of the Lords of Biscay.
The ” Lady ” or the ” Dame”, as Mari is often called, lives in the regions of the deep, but also in grottoes and in precipices linked with each other by subterranean conduits, Mari’s shapes are diverse: in the subterranean regions she takes on zoomorphic shapes, on the surface instead she appears as a very beautiful lady elegantly dressed who is combing her hair with a golden comb; sometimes she moves in the sky in a chariot drawn by horses or surrounded by flames. She also appears like a flaming tree, a white cloud, a rainbow, a gust of wind, a bird, a sickle made of fire, moving from one mountain peak to another. Mari sometimes drives across the sky her chariot drawn by four white horses or she rides a white ram. Like Persephone she is abducted by a bull. She leads all subterranean genies. Sometimes she is not alone in her dwelling but is surrounded by animal-genies or by young girls.
Many of her attributes are those characteristic of witches. A legend narrates that Mari gave a piece of charcoal to one of her prisoners, Catalina. The coal became pure gold. The goddess often changes her dwelling place and for each of these places there is a corresponding different character, as if the goddess was not one and the same but a plurality of sister goddesses.
The caves where these live are often meeting places or witches’ Akelarre. Like Mari, the witches have power over natural phenomena.
The way the witches are called is Sorgin. Do witches exist? ” One cannot say that they exist, one cannot say that they do not exist ” according to a popular saying.On the other hand the witches themselves confirm their existence:” No, we do not exist, yes we do exist, we are fourteen thousand here “, thus they answered some women weavers at Eldauayen. In many popular tales there is mention of the abduction of people who disbelieved in them. There are genie-witches and human-witches.
The first ones belong to Mari’s cort’ge. They take on many of her tasks and they build bridges and dolmen. Men can also belong to the second category of witches but more often they are women with a bad character whose interventions cause death or infirmity.
The witches often transform themselves into cats, sometimes into dogs or rams and they very often move about from one place to the other by smearing themselves with an ointment and reciting a phrase that says:”Sasi guztien ganeti eta odei guztien aizpiti” (Above all the thorns and through all the clouds).
Next to the subterranean and malevolent genies there are some who are helpful (familiarrak), some aquatic, rural, nocturnal, who fly, etc.
Between the world of the gods and that of man there is the Lord of the Woods, the Basajaun. He is semi-divine and a strong, hairy being with animal characteristics. Basajaun watches over the forests and all wild creatures. He is a rural genie, the lord of the woods or also the Wild Lord. He is considered to be the protector of flocks. When comes a storm he shouts warnings to the shepherds; he prevent wolves from approaching flocks. He is the first to have cultivated the earth. Human beings obtained the right to cultivate the earth when a man won a bet with Basajaun. He stole the seeds that Basajun was sowing and he came back to his peoples to teach them how to produce food.
The Lamie or Laminak have a particular importance. They are genies with a human shape although they have chicken, duck or goat feet. In the coastal areas they are women with the lower part of their bodies in the shape of a fish. They are not of a specific sex, although they are mostly female genies. Some legends describe them as small people that live underground.
Caves are their dwellings but they can also live near puddles and river pools. They are in the habit of spinning with a spindle and a distaff, of building bridges, dolmen and houses.
Lamies often appear with a golden comb, they willingly accept offerings left by men on the window sill of houses; they fall in love and are loved by human beings. If people enter per chance in their dwellings they greet them kindly unless they are intrusive. In that case they abduct them. The duplicity of their nature is obvious. They can be beneficiary or malevolent.
They can become extremely violent with those they abduct. They can drink their blood and also eat the flesh of their victims.
The cycle of the Lamies has many links with that of the witches or that of the Gentiles.
There are other deities, spirits, semi-divine beings like Intxitxu, the invisible spirit that builds the Cromlechs, the mysterious stone circles in the mountains that surround Oiartzun. Irelu is a subterranean spirit that abducts whoever disturbs it. Its mysterious footprints can be seen near the caves of Armontaitz and Malkorburu. If one climbs the mountain called Ubedi you can hear its singing mixed with the sound of the wind.
Near the caves of Balzola and Montecristo lives Erensuge, a terrible snake that attracts people with its breath only to devour them. In the area of Albistur and Zegama one can be frightened by the echo of strange laments and by some sheep nearby that is running away. It is Basajun that announces its presence and warns shepherds that a storm is about to come.
Near the caves of Santimamine, Sagastigorri and Covairadea, look for a cow that is completely red, a calf or a bull with ferocious eyes. It’s Beigorri, the guardian of many of Mari’s abodes. This animal is represented in many of the paintings found in the caves of this region.
Basques are attached to house cults, etxe. A home is not only the place of origin but a temple and a cemetery, a symbol and a common centre for the living and the dead of a family. The'”etxekandere” or lady of the house is the main priestess of domestic cults and she performs some rituals inherent with frequenting the dead and the training of living people.
These traditions bear witness to the great respect that Basques have for female roles, so much so that at the time of the fueros the choice of the heir would fall on the first born, boy or girl, contrary to the feudal laws that gave this prerogative only to male descendants.
Before the arrival of Christianity the house was used as a family burial place. Among the beliefs that are part of the religious rituals there is that it is forbidden to turn around a house three times. The Basque house was considered inviolable so much so that it provided the right of refuge, and inalienable because it had to be bequeathed whole and undivided to the members of a given family.
The souls of the dead were prayed to in the domestic cults, They have a particular importance in Basque culture. According to a widespread belief they appear in the shape of lightening,lights or wind gusts, sometimes like shadows. By night they often go back to their etxe through subterranean passages.
According to tradition, death does not break family links. The memory of the dead lives in the magic rite of lighting thin candles, the argizaiolak. The 1st of November is the day when the Winter Festival begins. In places like Amezketa in Gipuzcoa the argizaiolak light the tombs to keep alive the spirit of the dead.
The winter solstice has become part of the long Christmas festivities. A character named Olentzero announces this season and seems to have originated in some pre-Christian rituals. He is described as a simple coalman who was the first to hear the good news. Maybe he is what remains of a character that was linked with the ceremony of the lighting of the fire in a remote past.
An interesting custom is that of “beating the Yule log “. The log is brought to the house under a cloth blanket. The relatives and the children say a prayer towards the log, then each of them beats the log three times with a small branch. When the blanket is removed the Yule log is exhibited together with candles and cakes.
The most important winter festival is Carnival. In many cities this festivity is announced by strange processions during which the participants are dressed like gypsies, a reminiscence of the time when large tribes of gypsies used to come to the Basque carnivals. In the province of Gipuzcoa the children of the two villages of Amezketa and Abaltzisketa dance around all the houses to awaken the generosity of their neighbours. In the city of Lasarte-Oria the dance of the witches ‘Sorgin Dantza’ is performed on the Sunday of Carnival..
While the ancient rituals of the winter solstice have almost entirely been absorbed by Christianity, the traditions of the summer solstice have remained strong and intact. The celebrations emphasize the purification and the exaltation of summer and the sun. On the night of the solstice practically in all the villages, city or farm, a fire is lit. In the countryside these can be seen on the mountains and in front of the farms. In the towns they are lit in the middle of squares or in a nearby field. A very popular custom is that of jumping over the fire. In the country fires burning branches are taken from the fire and dragged in the fields to cast off any form of evil. The day after the summer solstice the markets of the towns exhibit ” lucky branches”, pieces of wood that have not been entirely burnt in the fires. These are considered to be protective against fires.
This is only a brief research on a very old and little known Tradition. There is much to learn concerning the mythology and the magic-spiritual practices of the Basque peoples. They contain the archetypes from which all the knowledge of the world has emerged. Within the deep knowledge of this people it seems that are hidden the keys to open the secret doors of all the world Traditions.
The genetic and ethnic-cultural constitution of the Basques, the remote origin of their language that seems to stem directly from the ancestral memory of the earth and possibly from words, sparks of life fallen from the gods of heaven, allow us to perceive a remote enchanted garden, beyond
the barriers of time, inhabited by fantastic and wonderful creatures.
The attempts at erasing the signs of the Great Origin have not been capable of shadowing the intact consciousness of reality that appears in the folds of a world as modern as it is unreal and ferocious.
The Lamies of the Baia still sing their melodious whispers in the gusts of winds coming from the ocean and Mari still travels in the starry sky of the nights in Euskal Herria, with her flaming chariot leaving behind her on the top of the mountains tokens of her love for her wonderful kingdom.
And in the streets of the villages, in the countryside and in the towns one can still hear the agonizing laments for a Peace that has never been acquired and of a Freedom forever negated to the Euskaldunak people, those that speak the Basque language.
Environment and Map
The Basque people have remained surprisingly isolated forever. They have their own language, mythology (though some converted partially to Christianity in modern years), and way of life. Their country lies in the Pyranees in southern France and northern Spain. Of all European countries, the Basques (not really a “country” but more of a province) have never been assimilated as a people. Their terrain is rocky and offers some sort of natural protection. But their will is also fierce, and they successfully drove off not only Romans but Visigoths during times of conquest and trade. Despite being rather aloof, Basque people have also tied into the rest of the world and are known as great historic fishermen, sailors, miners, and so on. They were wonderful early capitalists as well while whaling in Canadian waters and trading spices, cocoa, tobacco, and so on with early Latin Americans. Like many peoples, they have been both divided and together on issues of keeping rural tradition and living in the modern world.
- The underworld and introduction to glimpses of Goddess Mari’s physical self. Previously, she has only appeared in avatar or transformation.
- No extension of ages but potential extra depth to characters.
- New bonuses to traits.
- Extension of trade skills, new recipes and patterns.
- New game content including quests, new dungeons, new reputation builders.
- New hero-classes for those reaching 70.
- Introduction of home expansion, meaning one can build their home to be larger and furnish it with items found in the world.
- Expansion of the home to include inviting guests for meals, drinks, and workshop meetings.
- Introduction of early trade markets with various other countries.
- Battles with outside soldiers wanting to conquer the Basques.
- Newer technology for metallurgy, clothiers, woodworkers, masons, etc.
- New traits for those sailing and venturing capitalist (expansion of water-lore, merchant traits, etc.—all traits are upgraded to a changing world).
- New quests and expansion of lore to meet slight assimilations from migrants.
- Introduction to a larger home “yard” component–homes appearing actively in villages, with the player choosing place in the game world. The home and yard are still instanced within, but are not hidden from the world.
This is but a draft of a game I have imagined–with only preliminary ideas and quests.
The featured image is of a dolmen in Bilar (Álava) by Asier Sarasua Garmendia, Assar – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0