ESCHALON TRILOGY - Q&A (SPOILERS)

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ESCHALON TRILOGY - Q&A (SPOILERS)

Post by BasiliskWrangler » February 22nd, 2014, 10:14 am

SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

I am getting a lot of messages and emails from people wanting answers to the story. Some of you love the ending, and some of you are confused by it. A few of you hate it. I will respond to the top 3 questions/comments here. Ask more if you have any.

First of all, the story of Eschalon was built around the theme of "enigma". I wanted to make a story that constantly kept you guessing and questioning. It was important to me that even at the end, there would be a need to discuss the meaning of it all. Personally, I love stories that force people to engage in discussion, and to that end, Eschalon has been successful.

What was your character's true name?
This is easy: there never was a name for him/her. The "E" at the start of Book I literally stood for "Enigma". The truth about his past is unknown...but don't you think it is odd that the very first thing you see (at the start of Book I) is the face of Malkur (The One)?

The was too much of an information dump at the end of Book III!
Hints were given to you throughout the entire trilogy, and a couple fans did figure it out before Book III. In Book I, it is mentioned that the Dwarves felt a kinship to the Orakur and so did not engage in any conflict with them. There are numerous references throughout Book 1 and 2 of the engineering skills of both the Orakur and the Dwarves. References to time travel and mining were a big part of Book 2 and The Secret of Fathamurk.

So, Book III was really just a clarification/culmination on these facts, not so much an "info dump" -- but I could see how some of you might have felt there was a rush of "revelation" at the very end.

The final big reveal- that perhaps Malkur and you were partners - that unfortunately had to be at the very end for maximum punch.

Please tell me the truth regarding the ending!!
I have my own thoughts - my own feelings on the truth of the ending - though I have no plans to reveal them. I really, truly want you to come up with your own ending. Were you really partners with Malkur or was that a lie? Did the world come to an end? Was it merely a Wizard's Duel between Erubor and Malkur to see who was the better manipulator (as suggested in one of the end texts)? Again, this is really up to the fans to figure out for themselves.

Remember: Good and Evil, Right and Wrong -- the truth all depends one what side you're on.
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Re: ESCHALON TRILOGY - Q&A (SPOILERS)

Post by Ssschah » February 22nd, 2014, 5:23 pm

Prismatic Maelstrom wrote:
BasiliskWrangler wrote:Ask more if you have any.
Why does Malkur have the Taurax invade Mistfell? The Crux of Fire is no longer in Hammerlorne Mine, he has no reason to march north. If this is done to give Erubor a sense of urgency in finding the other Crux stones I don't believe it is required.

Why does Malkur not stop Julian, Sparrow and Wendy from attacking you? Would it not have made sense for Malkur to let his servants know you are not to be touched?

If I side with Erubor why does he tell me not to pursue Malkur after the final battle? Why am I not allowed to kill him? And why do we decide to travel beyond the Great Western Sea where Malkur or Erubor will be?

If I side with Malkur why does he think it is unfortunate that we couldn't convince Erubor that our efforts were virtuous? He didn't even try! And what does Malkur know about being virtuous? Having someone bludgeon their brother to death over a book is not virtuous. And the worst part of this is that you cannot confront Malkur about what he has done, even if he genuinely believes everyone on the surface is going to die and he has to do what he must to save Eschalon. This could of made for a great conversation but none of this is mentioned in the last five minutes of the game.
I have a strong feeling that "your brother" wasn't actually your brother, but a member of Crius Vindica. For example, The Nights Watch, and other "brotherhoods" call other strong members of the same guild/faction a brother not by blood, but by friendship. Of course there's always the possibility he was actually your brother, and he perhaps knew of a plan between the player and malkur, and he attempted to stop it so he was captured and tortured.

As for why they continued the invasion past Mistfell, I think Malkur quite possibly lost control of the Taurax. It's mentioned a few times that there are many, many Taurax, and if Malkur was distracted with other things such as finding the crux, it is an inevitable circumstance that he would lose control of tens, even hundreds of thousands of minds across all of Eschalon. Which would bring up the question, what happens after all of this? The other Orakur never appear, never show themselves and their location is anonymous. Does Eschalon manage to fight off the Taurax or do they bring destruction to all of Eschalon regardless of your actions? I found this whole series metaphorical in the sense that the "dwarves" underground that "evolve" into the Orakur, and build the time machine to come prevent the disaster, could very well be the first human inhabitants on Wylderan, and the main continent is what they abandon to the destruction from the Goblins and Taurax.

One important question though, is how did Malkur control all the minds that he did? Sure he's from the future, sure the magic and technology is very advanced, but tens of thousands across many, many miles? Perhaps his intention was not to cause people to go mad and try to kill you (ie. Julian), but instead his intent was to have them aid you in your quest and explain things to you. This is rhetorical and I wish not for it to be answered by BW, for I am in the same mindset that some things are best left unanswered.
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Re: ESCHALON TRILOGY - Q&A (SPOILERS)

Post by Randomizer » February 22nd, 2014, 5:30 pm

The mind control might be only a few and in the case of humans hearing the voice inside their heads causes insanity. Julian, Wendy, and the ship's captain are examples of this happening.

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Re: ESCHALON TRILOGY - Q&A (SPOILERS)

Post by IJBall » February 22nd, 2014, 9:34 pm

To anyone who might want to be a 'Modder', the answer to the game's ending is clear - Eschalon shall not be destroyed. (Indeed, preventing the volcano in the Great Rift Valley from going off might well be a great storyline for a 'Modded' "Book IV". Or helping to put Eschalon back together after this mess, might be another...)

My questions for BW are practical - more along the lines of:
  • I believe evidence was discovered by PM and others that the Chancellor of Mistfell was supposed to be an NPC character in Book II, yet he was cut from the final version - was that just due to the time-constraints in finishing Book II (i.e. couldn't "flesh him out" or "fit him in" in time...), or was there a "storyline" reason that the Chancellor was cut from Book II?
  • It's pretty clear from Books I & II that the final Crux stone was originally supposed to be recovered from Barrea (that was definitely the strong sense I got from them...). Instead, our character never makes it to Barrea at all, nor to Western Thaermore, or the Great Rift Valley, Fandugan, Midlande or to the Gambit Valley - was that also due to time-constraints (too many maps to do in too little time)? Or was there some other (compelling) reason we never got to some of those places?
  • Whatever happened to this place - was that supposed to be in Barrea?
  • And, finally - why was a revised and updated World Map .pdf not included in the Book III download??!! :evil:
I'd say, overall, I'm happy with Book III, including its storyline (probably happier than I was with Book II...). (A lot of little things that I thought were left out of Book II seemed to mostly be put back in, in Book III...) Probably the thing I was least pleased with was that I thought Book III's "bestiary" wasn't quite as strong as the first two's.

But I think the real key to unlocking the greatness of this series is for a Modder to try to take the best elements from all three Books, and combined them together - I'm looking forward somebody trying to that... :)

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Re: ESCHALON TRILOGY - Q&A (SPOILERS)

Post by Ssschah » February 23rd, 2014, 2:20 am

Why didn't you guys make the dragon a physical unit? Was it too difficult or some other reason?
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Re: ESCHALON TRILOGY - Q&A (SPOILERS)

Post by BasiliskWrangler » February 23rd, 2014, 7:26 am

Prismatic Maelstrom wrote:Why does Malkur have the Taurax invade Mistfell? The Crux of Fire is no longer in Hammerlorne Mine, he has no reason to march north. If this is done to give Erubor a sense of urgency in finding the other Crux stones I don't believe it is required.
There is a lot of back story notes to this, beginning with Malkur's unsuccessful attempt to gain control of the Crux of Ages from the Chancellor of Thaermore through mind control alone. This is when he first began using "agents" to work for him, which proved to be successful. Using the threat of war to destabilize regions is a effective way to achieve ulterior goals.
Prismatic Maelstrom wrote:Why does Malkur not stop Julian, Sparrow and Wendy from attacking you? Would it not have made sense for Malkur to let his servants know you are not to be touched?
This question is only valid if you assume you and Malkur are partners. Assuming this is what you believe, consider that Malkur would do anything to ensure victory for his “side”. He has multiple agents working to ensure the Crux are located and secured for him. So, I'll answer your questions with some ideas for you to ponder:

- Who else might have been working with Malkur the same way you were?

- Clearly, the only way for you to be successful was for you to believe you were fighting against Malkur's forces. This illusion required complete acceptance on your part, and this illusion would have been fractured had his other agents simply let you proceed unhindered. Most of the story then becomes a grand illusion- making sure you willingly put your life on the line for both Malkur's and Erubor's directives.

- There is also the concept of “survival of the fittest”: multiple agents working secretly and independently towards the same goal. Through elimination, even at the hands of another agent, only the strongest would advance the quest. This would be a perfectly suitable way of ensuring Malkur, or Erubor, were putting their trust into the most dependable agent.
Prismatic Maelstrom wrote:If I side with Erubor why does he tell me not to pursue Malkur after the final battle? Why am I not allowed to kill him? And why do we decide to travel beyond the Great Western Sea where Malkur or Erubor will be?
Erubor points out that Malkur is powerless without the Crux. Erubor's side had won. What would the death of Malkur achieve at that point? And why did you decide to travel beyond the Great Western Sea? That's a provocative question that I don't have an answer for at this time.
Prismatic Maelstrom wrote:If I side with Malkur why does he think it is unfortunate that we couldn't convince Erubor that our efforts were virtuous? He didn't even try!
From the time of Book 2, Erubor had an increasing better understanding of what the Orakur and Malkur were trying to achieve. At any time, he could have determined that what Malkur was trying to do was more virtuous than the plan of the other Orakur. That is what Malkur meant- that it was unfortunate Erubor never accepted Malkur's efforts as virtuous.
Prismatic Maelstrom wrote:And what does Malkur know about being virtuous? Having someone bludgeon their brother to death over a book is not virtuous.
Being virtuous is all about what side you are on. History (and the present, for that matter) is littered with events that could be considered “virtuous” or “villainous” depending on what side you are on. When you are fighting for what you perceive is “right”, nothing (even the life of another) will hinder you from your goal.
Prismatic Maelstrom wrote:And the worst part of this is that you cannot confront Malkur about what he has done, even if he genuinely believes everyone on the surface is going to die and he has to do what he must to save Eschalon.
As you point out, Malkur knows everything on Eschalon is going to perish anyway. He is not fighting for the present; he's fighting for the overall future of the sphere (planet) and the Plane of Existence within which it resides.

Of course, you never even bring up the third possibility, that is was all fake. What if there is no impending apocalyptic event. Remember in Book II, Erubor mentioned the Mage Games and the strong rivalries between mage guilds? What if this whole thing was just two old rivals, Malkur and Erubor, competing against each other for the ultimate prize of 4 powerful stones that they each coveted. The whole plot line changes if you think of it this way. Perhaps you just helped a powerful wizard achieve complete domination over Eschalon by handing him four Crux stones. With these stones, he can control armies, manipulate time, and even travel into and out of dimensional planes. The one who possesses these stones would be a god. <shudder> ....no, let's not think of that possibility. :wink:
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Re: ESCHALON TRILOGY - Q&A (SPOILERS)

Post by Sslaxx » February 23rd, 2014, 8:44 am

Trying to put together possible reasons as to why you may not be the (original) patsy, but Malkur and/or Erubor are (or were). Or that everyone was being manipulated by your "brother" (until he was found out somehow), and you're just some random schmuk caught up in the middle... or even perhaps that the player character was (originally) the manipulator.
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Re: ESCHALON TRILOGY - Q&A (SPOILERS)

Post by munster » February 23rd, 2014, 9:21 am

One way, in-game, of finding out is it genuine or not is to side with Malkur and help him win. Then go back to the wizard in Old Moonrise with the prediction machine and find out how soon exactly "soon" means when it comes to the cataclysm that is supposed to happen.

If no super-volcano erupts and spreads fiery death all over the surface of Eschalon within the time-frame of however long the machine predicts, then you know you've been played for a patsy and either Erubor was right, or it was only a mage game between Malkur and Erubor - we never see any other Orakur, apart from that supposed prisoner of the Taurax and he disappears very conveniently, which means he could have been an illusion all along :mrgreen:

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Re: ESCHALON TRILOGY - Q&A (SPOILERS)

Post by Elveronion » February 23rd, 2014, 9:51 am

BasiliskWrangler wrote:Perhaps you just helped a powerful wizard achieve complete domination over Eschalon by handing him four Crux stones. With these stones, he can control armies, manipulate time, and even travel into and out of dimensional planes. The one who possesses these stones would be a god. <shudder> ....no, let's not think of that possibility. :wink:
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mindblowh! Haha never thought of that!!!! luv it bro!

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Re: ESCHALON TRILOGY - Q&A (SPOILERS)

Post by serenetempest » February 23rd, 2014, 11:57 am

One thing I wondered is why Malkur gives up in the end if you side against him and win the final battle. Assuming for the moment that this isn't a mage-games type contest between Eurbor and Malkur, both sides need all four crux to accomplish their task, and Malkur still has two of them. If he had slipped away into hiding with two of the crux (something he seems very effective at), he wouldn't be able to return to the future and prevent the Orakur from altering the timeline, but the other Orakur wouldn't be able to prevent the catastrophe either. It might be a qualified victory for Malkur, but it seems like a better outcome for him than it would be for Eurbor and the other Orakur.

In a way, this almost makes more sense if it was a contest between him and Eurbor. Eurbor had clearly won the contest at that point, so handing over the stones would have been conceding defeat. Plus, if I believed that the events that had just transpired had doomed the entire world (and possibly even the entire plane of existience) to oblivion, I don't think I would be very comforted by the belief that I had the better plan and the other side just got lucky. That sounds a lot more like something you say when you just lost a board game to a bad dice roll.

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Re: ESCHALON TRILOGY - Q&A (SPOILERS)

Post by Ssschah » February 23rd, 2014, 3:39 pm

Prismatic Maelstrom wrote:There is also a fourth possibilty in that you are making the Eschalon story more complicated that it really is and are trolling us hard, like you did with what we found in Talushorn. :wink:

But I don't believe you would be so devious as to do that. :D Thank you for commenting on my questions, I will come back to them after I've had time to think.
So why would Shina lie to you, then?

Also, to add a non-story question BW: Why is there no swords pendent?
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Re: ESCHALON TRILOGY - Q&A (SPOILERS)

Post by Palog » February 24th, 2014, 4:10 pm

I could have forget many elements but I don't see where are the two evil+good sides.

Who is torturing? Only Malkur.
Who is murdering? Only Malkur.
Who is creating invading wars? Only Malkur.

I don't see any ambiguity there's only one side using rather evil tools.

There's clues on the Malkur ending? Then I really need the list and anyway, clues that only 1% readers can see aren't clues.

For me that's because of those two points that the end just doesn't work at all and feels artificial. Not enough to have waste the game for me, it's just an end, for me it's just few minutes compared to decades of hours of play.

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Re: ESCHALON TRILOGY - Q&A (SPOILERS)

Post by BasiliskWrangler » February 24th, 2014, 7:32 pm

Palog wrote:Who is torturing? Only Malkur.
Who is murdering? Only Malkur.
Who is creating invading wars? Only Malkur.

I don't see any ambiguity there's only one side using rather evil tools.
Your comments support Erubor's ending then.

But if Malkur knows the whole world will come to an end anyway- that civilization will fall and the air and water will turn to poison- then it doesn't matter that he uses war to accomplish his goals. If he is acting virtuously, then his only focus would be to undo the paradox of the split timeline and allow the volcano to vent, thus allowing Eschalon to recycle itself for another age. And if he is just playing a Wizard's game with Erubor, then of course Erubor would be just a villainous as him.

I'm not saying you're wrong, just that you could find virtue in Malkur's actions if he is trying to save the greater world.
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Re: ESCHALON TRILOGY - Q&A (SPOILERS)

Post by serenetempest » February 24th, 2014, 8:01 pm

Palog wrote:I could have forget many elements but I don't see where are the two evil+good sides.

Who is torturing? Only Malkur.
Who is murdering? Only Malkur.
Who is creating invading wars? Only Malkur.

I don't see any ambiguity there's only one side using rather evil tools.
Actually, a lot depends on how you acted as Eurbor's agent. How many dwarves did you kill in order to steal the Crux of Fire from them? How many Akkad did you kill in the process of trying to win Andular's favor?

Granted, Malkur went a lot farther. But unless you went way out of your way to get through the games without killing good characters, you (and by extension Eurbor) also have blood on your hands.

Another thing to consider is that if Malkur succeeds and the Orakur never arrive in Eschalon's past, does that mean that everything he did in order to bring that about never happened in the repaired timeline?

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Re: ESCHALON TRILOGY - Q&A (SPOILERS)

Post by Vroqren » February 24th, 2014, 8:07 pm

While I'm not trying to argue, and in fact, completely agree with your point, I thought I'd post this. Unfortunately, it's not possible in Book III.
[+] SPOILER
Knowing that you don't actually need the Crux of Terra, I don't know how many kills are necessary. Right not the only ones I can think of are in the final battle, the ones required to tip the turning point of the battle.
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