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Of Hashan and Darkness: An explanation

Asmodron
Asmodron Member Posts: 3,145 @@ - Legendary Achaean
edited January 2017 in North of Thera
Over the few weeks, I have become more aware of the confusion still prevalent in the minds of many as to what Hashan is about. Thankfully Hashan's identity has gone far in strides since the days of ambiguity (also referred by myself as the 'dark' age), it seems it is still fairly confusing to some. I seek to try and finally clarify this issue of theme and hope to disperse it in the minds of the players now and in the future. This is coming from a player that has been a part of Hashan for much of his game time and is neither a Darkwalker nor neutral fanatic, thus my point will come off as what a regular citizen would see.


To start it off, I believe a history summary of what Hashan has gone through is required. This is in the hopes to clarify issues that Hashan had gone through and why certain stances would be taken by citizens. This is pretty long and some may not care for it, so i'll put it in spoilers.


We start off with Hashan's original founding under the guidance of Twilight. It was at this time that Hashan was known as the capitalcity for Darkness worshiping. Unlike other Divine, Twilight did not seek to rule with the obvious iron-fist prevalent in current divine leaders (see Sartan and Bloodsworn) but rather wanted to have control from a 'seat of shadows' concept. To do this, members of the order would attempt to persuade and influence the politics of the city to go with Twilight's whim. While this was interesting in theory, it is no surprise that future players would see the entire concept as a malicious force seeking to harm the city. This is what lead to the eventual rejection of Twilight and what I believe that began the biggest issue: Hashan's identity crisis. The Ourania player at the time was also to a part against Twilight and stepped in to try and take up the seat after His removal...this too later turned on her when she too was rejected by Hashan, making Hashan having lost its Dark Father and what basically constitutes as its Mother. Valnurana, the last of the triad, had also generally disappeared, and Hashan entered a 'dark' age.


As time went by, future leaders of Hashan tried to 'reshape' Hashan from the dark city...much to their failure. From attempts to be neutral, to true neutral, to evil-neutral, and so forth, with concepts and themes that generally fell pretty flat. Hashan could never really rock one way or the other, for it would upset the very tentative balance in place. The city was run by the approval of the current citizens (and the houses they were part of) to live their lives at their own whims, and any attempt to hamper that would cause quite the explosion of drama (which some would recall Hashan was rather infamous for). For several years some Divine would attempt to influence Hashan and gain control in one way or another. From Neraeos, to Apollyon, to Thoth, and even other lesser attempts by other gods, Hashan was just a churning pool of conflicting faiths, disagreements, and a lost compass. Hashan had lost its compass, and I would often refer to it back then as a husk that was invaded by scavengers all over seeking to gain the biggest spoils of flesh.


It became clear to some of us over time that Hashan was simply lost without the original Triad. Some of us, including myself, went out of our way to seek the return of the original concept. I personally contacted Ourania and Valnurana at the time and we eventually saw the return of Ourania to Hashan, which was a big step. Valnurana also gave her favour to Hashan, stating she was always part of it. Twilight, on the other hand, was dormant for quite some time, and without the big daddy around, Hashan was still very much "What is a Hashan?". With time, and a lot of progress, Hashan eventually rejected other faiths, most importantly evil, and started building itself up as a solo city-state. This was a tough time, as Hashani were not used to taking control and doing things themselves, but they managed to pull through. This now brings us to the modern age era.



Modern Hashan pre-Renaissance:

Eventually, with much trepidation, Twilight awoke, and with it came a lot of conflicting thoughts. Some were heavily against Twilight, merely because of what they knew of His past. "He is a manipulator" "He will try to control us" "We dont want chains" and so forth. It was pretty basic assumptions, but I frankly blame the original Twilight for this, as He was pretty headstrong on the idea of "political control". Many of us that knew better of Twilight, would attempt to explain that Twilight isnt seeking to enslave us, but sought to help us expand. He wanted us to break free of chains, not carry them. Twilight was heavily against blindly following divine and saw it as a weakness,  He wanted us to think for ourselves. If anything, true individuality was perhaps the biggest asset he sought to give.


Was it enough? Perhaps not. At the time, Hashan needed a strong compass, but at the same time, attempting to put such a mandate on Hashan would cause a ruckus. You recall my earlier point of citizens that sought to live by their own rules, well this would be that issue again. Trying to put any control in Hashan would cause squirming and whining. It is near impossible to change the city now after all that has come and gone. They very much distrust divine at this point, especially one that had already 'controlled' Hashan in the past (again wasnt really control but eh).


Renaissance:


What did Hashan become after the renaissance? If some recall, agreeing to the renaissance was a messy affair in Hashan. Some wanted a return to the way things were, others wanted different aspects and themes approached, and some outright refused the idea. There was so much infighting that happened then, and some of you recall the outcome of it (One house even got remove and disbanded). In the end, Hashan agreed to be based on a more scholastic and mystical concept of the "Well-spring of power" that lied beneath it....which, even I knew at the time it would be, was later generally ignored, but still a great concept to have.


So what is Hashan now:

The city is more united than I have ever seen, but under the idea of individuality. Some of us adore Twilight, others merely accept His presence. The city seeks to strive for their own growth, outside of the mandates and rulings of what faiths and Gods say. Science, discovery, knowledge, growth. The city seeks to be the best in this world by its own terms, no matter what it takes, and this is basically what Twilight wants. The Well spring is perhaps the biggest focus on that. It is a spring of power, dangerous in its own right, but the city seeks to find a way to control it. Why? Because it can. Because it wants to have that power. Because it knows the level of control it can get with it.


No, Hashan is not neutral in the sense of no conflict. Hashan is very much centered on itself, no matter what. Taboo is not a word used here, and one is free to do as they wish, experiment as they wish, so long as it doesnt break safety rules or laws. Some of you may remember the experiments done by alchemists in our labs and the rather deadly outcome of some of them. The Spectres that were in the sunderland? Hashan went about to find a way to control them, and now they are our guards (though some disapprove of this but that is another story).


Where does Twilight stand in all this? He is the city's guide. Many of us love and respect Darkness, an he too loves Hashan. He encourages research into the unknown, rituals to gain power, forbidden knowledge. No, I doubt we will ever be a divine mandate of blind zealots following him, because other than the conflict that would cause...that simply is not Darkness. You cant be individual reaching taboo levels of power....while blindly following the orders of...anyone.


So no, I would have to say Hashan can never become the actual tilted "City of Twilight", but it very much can be the Court of Shadows. Darkness inclined, thirsty for power, and ready to take on the world.



I hope this helps.

tl;dr: Sorry, no way to summarize.
LiyaneVesiosTalamondBadeBreanIniarVallieKayeilKryptonAziikBorranSenaTydasEheneAstarod

Comments

  • Trey
    Trey Member Posts: 4,890 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Asmodron said:
    tl;dr

    VesiosKyrra
  • Asmodron
    Asmodron Member Posts: 3,145 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Trey said:
    Asmodron said:
    tl;dr


    If you want to see the general theme for Hashan now. The last line explains it at least ^^
  • Vesios
    Vesios Member Posts: 243 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    tl;dr. :trollface:
  • Asmodron
    Asmodron Member Posts: 3,145 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Ryzeth said:
    But why post it on the forums, when you could've had a perfect opportunity to explain it to the masses ICly.

    Well the confusion was mostly on the forums, with players stating they are still confused. I honestly dont know how I could have done it to the masses IC. The only person I knew to a point that was confused about Hashan and isnt Hashani is Nazihk.


    I suppose a player could hold some public sermon or some such...but would feel like some wierd advertisement attempt. "This is what Hashan is! Join to be part of its greatness!"
  • Cooper
    Cooper Member Posts: 5,783 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Not gonna read this, but this is the type of thing you don't post on forums and you work on IC.

    Aodfionn
  • Sarathai
    Sarathai Member Posts: 2,139 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    The confusion on forums is also, however, a reflection of in-game attitude. So I would echo the sentiment of sermonising and preaching IG rather than here. Perhaps try and restart old debate sessions or the like.
    - (Eleusis): Ellodin says, "The Fissure of Echoes is Sarathai's happy place."
    - With sharp, crackling tones, Kyrra tells you, "The ladies must love you immensely."
    - (Eleusian Ranger Techs): Savira says, "Most of the hard stuff seem to have this built in code like: If adventurer_hitting_me = "Sarathai" then send("terminate and selfdestruct")."
    - Makarios says, "Serve well and perish."
    - Xaden says, "Xaden confirmed scrub 2017."



    Shirszae
  • Jacen
    Jacen Member Posts: 2,325 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Nothing wrong with posting something like this to the forums, but a 1500 word essay is not the way to do it. Pretty much epitomizes Hashan's problem, and the reason you felt this post was necessary in the first place. 
    image
    Nazihk
  • Asmodron
    Asmodron Member Posts: 3,145 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Hmm I was hoping this would clarify points to the populace that are not citizens. I generally feel Hashani themselves dont have an issue with their identity, but it felt like most others were confused about it themselves, and especially why we arent "Full darkness".


    My points were basically this:

    - Hashan is a city based on individuality through the concept of Darkness. To gain strength as a rogue doesnt make much sense in this regard, as one needs to work with others of similar mentality to achieve their goals.


    - I definitely do not agree that every city wants the same concept in regards to power and knowledge. Hashan easily views Mhaldor and Targossas as stunted in intelligence and vision, and merely heeding the word of their god/gods to do as they say. Where Targossas and Mhaldor seek to bring their Lord/Lords' vision and goals to reality, Hashan seeks to bring its own goals of advancement and expansion.


    - I definitely did not say Hashan isnt agreeing on anything now. It is why I summarized it in the History section. Hashan once was very divided, but as I said it is very unified now. Its goals, while not as flashy as others, are still very resolute towards their own machinations.





    I still feel sermons for the public would be all kinds of odds....if anything it wouldnt make much sense for Hashani. Those loyal to divine could perform sermons for their divines, but performing a sermon to preaching the teachings of Hashan? That just seems odd.
    Bade
  • Nazihk
    Nazihk Member Posts: 993 @ - Epic Achaean
    I am torn here. The OP is the very definition of TL;DR and yet, I am fairly sure this thread primarily exists because of me and all my "Hashan doesn't have a factional identity" posting.

    So here is what I am going to say right off the bat before I read anything:

    When your response to 'Hashan doesn't have a clear factional identity" is a three page 1449 word essay that you claim you have no way to summarize, then what you have obviously is not a clear factional identity. You can tell that it is not a clear factional identity because IT TAKES YOU THREE PAGES TO EXPLAIN IT.

    Okay, with that said, now I am going to read it:

    The fact that you consider this a valid answer to the question "What is Hashan all about?" is basically the entire reason I have a problem with your city. I want a three sentence explanation of what it means to be a Hashanite that will let me get a basic character concept in mind during character creation when I have no knowledge of Achaea whatsoever. Your response is a rambling 3 page history lesson that doesn't actually answer my question.

    All cities want knowledge and power. That's not something Hashan specific, it's not interesting, and and it's not something that makes for a good factional identity. You want knowledge and power? Fine, whatever. Nobody cares. What do you want to do with it? That's the interesting question, and from all appearances there's two possible answer to that question. One is "Nothing, we just want to have it" and the other is "We totally have a reason but it's super duper top secret and we can't tell you". Both of those answers suck.
  • Asmodron
    Asmodron Member Posts: 3,145 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Nazihk said:
    I am torn here. The OP is the very definition of TL;DR and yet, I am fairly sure this thread primarily exists because of me and all my "Hashan doesn't have a factional identity" posting.

    So here is what I am going to say right off the bat before I read anything:

    When your response to 'Hashan doesn't have a clear factional identity" is a three page 1449 word essay that you claim you have no way to summarize, then what you have obviously is not a clear factional identity. You can tell that it is not a clear factional identity because IT TAKES YOU THREE PAGES TO EXPLAIN IT.

    Okay, with that said, now I am going to read it:

    The fact that you consider this a valid answer to the question "What is Hashan all about?" is basically the entire reason I have a problem with your city. I want a three sentence explanation of what it means to be a Hashanite that will let me get a basic character concept in mind during character creation when I have no knowledge of Achaea whatsoever. Your response is a rambling 3 page history lesson that doesn't actually answer my question.

    All cities want knowledge and power. That's not something Hashan specific, it's not interesting, and and it's not something that makes for a good factional identity. You want knowledge and power? Fine, whatever. Nobody cares. What do you want to do with it? That's the interesting question, and from all appearances there's two possible answer to that question. One is "Nothing, we just want to have it" and the other is "We totally have a reason but it's super duper top secret and we can't tell you". Both of those answers suck.


    The long essay was mostly a history lesson as I explained the trials Hashan has been through. I also went on to explain post and pre-renaissance changes. I was hoping to address to the public why any confusion existed. You arent the first that has complained 'what is a Hashan', and this was definitely not targetted specifically at you. I attempted to try and clarify it to people.



    I honestly thought the long explanation would let people see. I know it is difficult for people to play to a role not easily defined as "Good and Evil", but Hashan's goal is pretty simple to understand. It is seeking to grow in power and strength through its own individual methods as dictated through Darkness. You could even consider it an 'industrial' RP, if it helps. Hashan doesnt care much as a whole for Faiths, Divine Mandates, and Eco-friendly adventurers. It cares about the individual through the collective. A hive-mind to grow in power and dominance through research and experimentation. You can even see this to many of Hashan's actions in its past, such as attempting to cut down the north ithmia for expansion purposes.


    Sadly not every org can be black and white, as that would be boring. Sometimes, just accepting that an org is based on personal growth has to be it.
    Bade
  • Asmodron
    Asmodron Member Posts: 3,145 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    If anyone wishes, the last section of "What is Hashan now" basically wraps up where we are now in theme, for those seeking clarification in general.
  • Nazihk
    Nazihk Member Posts: 993 @ - Epic Achaean
    Asmodron said:
    Hashan's goal is pretty simple to understand. It is seeking to grow in power and strength through its own individual methods as dictated through Darkness. You could even consider it an 'industrial' RP, if it helps. Hashan doesnt care much as a whole for Faiths, Divine Mandates, and Eco-friendly adventurers. It cares about the individual through the collective. A hive-mind to grow in power and dominance through research and experimentation. You can even see this to many of Hashan's actions in its past, such as attempting to cut down the north ithmia for expansion purposes.
    That's all fine.

    What do you want to do with that power once you get it? Targossas wants to gain in knowledge and power so that it can defend creation from Chaos' destruction, Evil's tyranny, and Darkness' manipulations. Mhaldor wants it so that it can rule the world, and Ashtan, who just wants to watch the world burn, wants those things to make it burn even brighter. Hashan wants it for ???????
    FarrahEborLiyane
  • Asmodron
    Asmodron Member Posts: 3,145 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    From a Darkwalker's perspective, the answer would be: To Reshape the world in Twilight's image. Which is the ultimate Darkwalker goal (though I would never say this IC).


    Hashan's is pretty similar, to gain control of the world, but likely in a less worldly reshaping method. Again...some people would not state this baldly, or would even deny it, but basically it is all about individual growth for power to a collective.


    Hashani that live for this tend to drool at the idea of learning to control the Well spring below. Imagine the potential
    Bade
  • Nazihk
    Nazihk Member Posts: 993 @ - Epic Achaean
    Iniar said:
    I actually think it is pretty amazing that an organisation that has no definition, has survived and intermittently thrived without one
    It's really not, though.

    Look at Magick in Imperian, or look at Cyrene. Same thing. These organizations are always the largest because they attract all the 100% non-coms that aren't interested in a more martial faction or in choosing a side. They just want to bash and socialize and design things and they don't want to have to be a zealot or be evil or whatever.

    It's easy to be a Hashanite. You type "JOIN HASHAN" or whatever during creation and, well, that's that. Nothing else will ever be required of you. No beliefs, no code of behavior outside of standard city laws, no need to ever fight, no need to ever defend anything. Wear silly titles, do whatever you want, nobody will care.

    These cities always have a large population. The problem they face is that most of that large population actively wants to stay uninvolved and do nothing, which is why they'll have half the citizens in the game while never being more than a minor power.
  • Kayeil
    Kayeil Washington StateMember Posts: 2,824 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    I appreciated the post. Have tried to talk to Hashani before, but they always seem tight-lipped about ANYTHING, even if it's not related to their city. Always assumed that might have to do with all the secrecy and Darkwalker stuff. Didn't know all that stuff about Hashan, so an interesting read. Would be cool if some Hashani would come out IC like others said, and talk about their beliefs, but I understand why you think that might be difficult.
    What doesn't kill you gives you exp.

    BadeLiyane
  • Mathilda
    Mathilda Member Posts: 902 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    edited January 2017
    As a former "neutral catch-all" city, and one that still holds a "you do you" thing, Hashan definitely gets a big slice of the population pie. The city's history and how it shaped its politics is also quite amazing -- it gives a sense of authenticity to the faction, rather than "oh, we do it this way because Stereoptypical Good/Evil/Nature/Chaos."

    But, at the end of the day, it's still not a definitive answer as to why Hashan does things. "Knowledge" isn't unique enough; as others have said, it's also embraced by other factions as a means to their unique end goals.

    There needs to be a short, clear-cut identity to Hashan that showcases its endgame and is knowable and understandable to everyone, from Joe Newbie right out of the intro to Queen Alice at the top of the hierarchy. It's problematic to Twilight and the historical secrecy of the faction, but also necessary particularly to the combat crowd, otherwise Hashan will continue to have problems like half of its upcoming combatants leaving to more easily-digestible factions, or out of a city of 20, only 3 would be interested in raiding or defending.
     <3 
  • Iniar
    Iniar Member Posts: 80 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    Nazihk said:
    Iniar said:
    I actually think it is pretty amazing that an organisation that has no definition, has survived and intermittently thrived without one
    which is why they'll have half the citizens in the game while never being more than a minor power.
    That's ok, not everyone has to rule the world.


    Nataliia
  • Linton
    Linton Member Posts: 59 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    appreciate the explanation. I hope players of Hashanis do not give in to forum pressure of an assuming an 'identity' as narrowly defined by others. You already have an identity, it's somewhat unique. It works. You should be proud of yourselves. You did not go down that path that others have insisted as the only way to make a proper faction. Yes, you managed to avert making Hashan into yet another theocracy(remember when Mhaldor was the only theocracy?), and you are doing well too. Some may pick on you because of that.

    You have something that other factions do not easily have. You have an open ended storyline. Your citizens are not priests. They are also not compelled to be foot soldiers of priests. Without a hard line to adhere to, they can create and add to achaea in a way that those bounded by Truths and Creeds cannot easily do.

    As for why you want power, why do you even need to explain that? Hashan exists right now. A city state wants more power not less. A city state wants to prosper and more than anything it wants to survive. Power helps you survive. I think people forget this point because they are so used to thinking oocly, so they forget in the struggle between factions, icly, there are consequences of winning and losing. And I don't mean the next raid, I mean a faction being vanquished entirely. Oocly, we know it's impossible, but ICly, the threat of eradication should be very real. This is also why I really dislike hardline policies that puts a faction against all other factions. To me it reads of OOCly knowing there are no consequences of losing and using that knowledge in game to facilitate a grand and infinite free for all. Ok, derailing. Good luck Hashan!


    BorranBadeAsmodronNataliia
  • Vesios
    Vesios Member Posts: 243 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    Okay so if I stop memeing for a moment, I'll be honest and say I actually didn't read it. Not because of its length, but because it'd ruin what I feel Hashan's actually about. I agree with the others that have said Hashan not having a hardline, obvious ideology is actually a benefit. 

    We already know what all of the other cities are about, it's printing on their cover pages. Hashan being equally as up front about it would be more of the same. Personally, I actually like that Hashan's motives are so ambiguous. It adds spice to the pie because you never know what side they're gonna be on or how they'll react to certain situations (outside of the obvious stuff like shrine defilement or raids). 

    There's also a ton of possibility for internalized conflicts, politics and sects. The citizens of the other cities are all unified behind a common purpose - two Mhaldorians may absolutely hate each other, but they're still unified behind the principles of Evil. Meanwhile two Hashani could have completely different views on Twilight's role in the city and there's nothing there to unite them to a common cause; everybody's in Hashan for a different reason. 

    I like to think that's what's meant by "city of darkness" - you're taking a leap of faith into a city where there is no guiding light. You need to find your own way in the dark, and who knows what you'll find. 
    Brean
  • Borran
    Borran Member Posts: 845 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    I found this topic intriguing and enlightening.

    Upvote +1

    LiyaneNataliia
  • Asmodron
    Asmodron Member Posts: 3,145 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Thank you.


    I choose the forums as it seemed most confusion was based on players not part of Hashan itself. I thought to do a favor by trying to lessen their general confusion with an explanation and a history lesson. In general, there is almost no reason for us in game to go around preaching to outsiders about Hashan. Why should we care IC if they get us or not? Unless it furthers our goals, then there is little point.



    I do definitely get the point of "If people dont get it, why should they join", but I honestly believe if someone was actually curious about Hashan and wanted to join...then they could simply inquire about it from high standing citizens, whom I am sure can explain it fairly well.
    Bade
  • Anaria
    Anaria Member Posts: 184 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    I actually read every word of this thread. I still don't know what "city of darkness" or "darkness inclined" means in practical terms, other than sounding really kitsch.  

    Personally I've always viewed Twilight as being the decaf alternative to Sartan. If being a Darkwalker isn't required or even super common, and "Darkness" doesn't mean Evil, do you mean you literally base your identity on an absence of light? If so... Why?
    Liyane
  • Asmodron
    Asmodron Member Posts: 3,145 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Anaria said:
    I actually read every word of this thread. I still don't know what "city of darkness" or "darkness inclined" means in practical terms, other than sounding really kitsch.  

    Personally I've always viewed Twilight as being the decaf alternative to Sartan. If being a Darkwalker isn't required or even super common, and "Darkness" doesn't mean Evil, do you mean you literally base your identity on an absence of light? If so... Why?


    Hmm I believe the confusion here may lie in the definition of Twilight's Darkness, which I honestly dont fault anyone for, it is quite secretive. I'm no Darkwalker IG, but I think the general Help file of Twilight summarizes it pretty well (and damn..it's been updated to be pretty intense now):


    He appeals to the unknown, offering forbidden knowledge to the shackled masses,
    awakening their minds from the constructs of morals and the structured systems
    of control forced upon all by the false religions. Hailed as the Lord of
    Mysteries, His mortal followers channel the black magic of darkfire within the
    secretive Order of Darkness, manipulating the ruling elite that conspire to
    exploit the populace. Ambitious, cunning, and powerful, the God of Darkness
    relishes the day He will be worshipped throughout Sapience and the known
    worlds. For in the beginning there was only darkness, and so shall darkness
    cover the lands once more.


    Darkness is based on the ideal of 'truths', the concept of 'seeing with eyes open', and the Darkwalkers believe that absolute truth comes from within the darkness. When you consider it, everything was once in darkness and came from it, thus the absolute truth would be within darkness and everything else is but a twisted concept taken from it.


    Though Hashan is not as intense in their devotion, they do follow the general ideals in Darkness and enlightenment, and take that up.
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