Title: The Njerpez - What Makes Them Tick?
Description: Share your theories here
URWelo - March 1, 2012 11:49 PM (GMT)
So me and Halla were messing around in URW, and she set foot into a Njerpez village with rather predictable results. While she was shooting the locals in the face with a longbow, we got into discussing the nature of the Njerpez people. Specifically, why is it that we can't just get along?
The game's internal info system explains that the Njerpez are commonly regarded as bandits and raiders, and that they want to claim the Kaumo hunting grounds as their own.
But why? Looking at the map and walking around the now deserted Njerpez village, it seems they're pretty well off as it is, with a well-stocked tool store and well-equipped warriors and whatnot, and it seems like they'd have plenty of room to expand their borders before actually coming close to overlapping other cultures. What is it, then, that led to a situation where every single Njerpez man and woman has such a burning hatred of other cultures that they immediately try to murder any non-Njerpez individuals on sight, even if it means charging against a spear-wielding, chain-wearing Kaumo warrior barehanded?
This has to go beyond just simple greed. Sure they might consider it easier to just rob other peoples' stuff instead of making their own, but still - this level of aggression just seems to go way beyond that.
So what is it? Excessive xenophobia? Religious mandate? Does their diet consist of some weird rage-inducing mushrooms that makes them go berserk? Are they so violent even as babies? What is Njerpez family life like, anyway?
When you think about it, we don't really know very much at all about these guys, so in this topic you are all invited to share your theories and insights on the Njerpez culture and way of life.
Halla - March 2, 2012 12:04 AM (GMT)
|QUOTE (URWelo @ Mar 1 2012, 11:49 PM)|
|What is Njerpez family life like, anyway?|
I've done my share of "ethnic cleansing" when it comes to Njerpez camps and villages, and now that I think of it, I'm not sure if I've seen any Njerpez children... Which is a relief, I suppose, considering that the characters I play tend to have very little respect for human life. Maybe the Njerpez just keep their kids well hidden?
Hide yo kids, hide yo wife.
Apparently they have a habit of taking thralls since one of the survival scenarios features a runaway slave. I recall that in the starting position the slave doesn't even have any pants on...? Well, there might be some variance, but I remember at least once escaping the said Njerpez camp with nothing but a shirt on. Crazy awesome.
erkka - March 2, 2012 06:58 AM (GMT)
That is a very good topic!
Well, the story behind is twofold;
- hunting grounds: sure they have enough food to hunt in their own territory. It is just that northern fur is far more valuable, when the animals have a proper winter fur. It is northern gold, source of wealth when sold to foreign traders.
- endless revenge: for generations ago there have been some skirmish between Njerpezit and Kaumolaiset & related groups. (The Njerpezit see them more or less as a same bunch, because they speak the same language, all the Kaumo, Kiesse, Reemi, and so on) - so, to protect their pride they have to revenge, and the other side goes to avenge, and then comes the counter-avenge....
I see that all this isn't yet completely implemented in the game world, not yet. Developing the NPC AI and characteristic behavior of different cultures is a big thing to do, but sure it is one of the most wanted goals to pursue.
This being said, I'm still interested to hear your opinions about the background stories of the cultures.
ps. In real life it was so that in the era of UrW (about 800 - 1200) Scandinavian fur went to mainland European and Mediterranean market. They paid good prices for it, as clothes made of or decorated with northern fur were some kind of status symbol.
Dark_Art - March 2, 2012 07:00 PM (GMT)
I think Njerpezit HATE turtles. Dont know why, but they just do. Since everybody else likes turtles, they crusade against the world and turtle domination :ph43r:
Now, all jokes aside - it can be just about anything. Religious zeal, very aggressive war chieftain expanding tribe lands, bad harvests for few years triggering famine in warrior-type culture, or the turtles :)
Imnotbill - March 2, 2012 08:04 PM (GMT)
They are simply jerks, that's what.
erkka - March 2, 2012 08:23 PM (GMT)
You know, at a times I have been really thinking about this.
In recent years, in the real life, we have seen some kind of rise of old-school racistic and militant nationalistic views. Well, with UnReal World we like to give respect to our ancestors and to our cultural roots - but we certainly don't want to engourage "WE are good, THEY are bad and stupid" -way of thinking.
Imnotbill, I'm not saying this against you. I'm thinking about that section of finnish red-necks whom think that it is okay to beat up foreigners just because of the fact that they are from a foreign culture. (not to mention some bigger conflicts going on in the rest of the world. I don't want to go into world politics, but I just hope that some of the powerful leaders out there have enough wisdom and courage not to play Njerpez...)
I think we'd do better if we could offer some kind of insight into origins of conflicts between cultures. Not to rub it into players' faces, but still to have some food for thought once a player begins to wonder about it.
Halla - March 2, 2012 11:38 PM (GMT)
I recall that it is possible - or was, in some cases - to initiate a conversation with a Njerpez warrior, but only if there wasn't a line of sight between you and the warrior. Basically the dialogue you got was the same with any other trapper or woodsman. Anyhow, I can sort of see how the conversation would go. You're hiding in the bushes and you shout "Oi!" and the Njerpez goes "Huh? Wha?" and for a few seconds you get this lingering sensation that it might even be possible to avoid a fight and get along... And well, then the Njerpez sees your bewildered face peeking from the thickets and all hell breaks loose. :rolleyes:
It might be even fun if in some cases the lone Njerpez would not attack immediately. Say, if the Njerpez didn't have that much equipment and if the player had a companion... Perhaps they might even run away unless they happened to carry a formidable weapon?
At the moment it's very easy to beat up every Njerpez you see without any sense of guilt because they're always aggressive. Well, unless they have a crushed leg and a few arrows sticking from their skull... If the Njerpez had a few unique lines of dialogue, this might give more insight to who they are. Even if they said something as simple as "Hey, what are you doing on our turf? Man, I'm going to hit you so hard. Your ancestors won't recognize your face after I'm done with you."
URWelo - March 2, 2012 11:53 PM (GMT)
A week ago or so I was wandering somewhere in the no-man's-land between Kaumo and the Njerpez lands, and ran into a huntsman. Figuring he was a vagabond like some other guy I'd met earlier, I just pounded on space, eager to see if he had anything good to trade, and only once I'd actually initiated conversation I noticed that the game was referring to him as 'Njerpez hunter'. So yeah, it's definitely still possible to talk with them if you catch them off guard.
So I asked his name, can't remember what it was anymore, and we talked about the usual stuff, no I don't have anything to trade, and did you know there's a Njerpez village to the southeast...
And immediately after we were done talking he blew his lid and started taking potshots at me with a shortbow. I returned fire and injured him pretty badly, but eventually had to retreat. I tried looking for him later, but I doubt I'll ever find out if he lived or died.
Anyway, I'm with Halla that even little details like "Get out of here or you'll get such a kicking!" or "Please don't kill me, you can have my fine unmatchablestring, just leave me alone!" can make a world of difference. As it is, the line "Ah, but Njerpez aren't human", seems to have almost become a running in-joke over here.
Halla - March 3, 2012 12:20 AM (GMT)
|QUOTE (URWelo @ Mar 2 2012, 11:53 PM)|
|"Please don't kill me, you can have my fine unmatchablestring, just leave me alone!"|
I laffed! That's a terrible thing to lose. :lol:
On another note, the Njerpez don't seem to start forest fires anymore. I'm glad they finally had a serious talk with Smokey the Bear, but I do see them as people who might raid neighboring villages. And apparently they take other people as slaves - perhaps snatching kids, that sort of thing? I think there's huge potential here, imagine meeting some random Reemiläis woman sobbing after a lost child... Clearly the people of URW have reasons to dislike the Njerpez. For example, you'd think they'd hate to have a war camp in the neighborhood. Perhaps some villagers or settlers might be even willing to reward someone brave enough to go and get rid of such a threat?
The Njerpez have their own njerpeziläis scimitars, but are there any other in game items directly connected to the Njerpez? I'm not sure why, but I've always imagined that they're heavy drinkers. Njerpez ale must be filthy stuff.
Dark_Art - March 3, 2012 02:02 AM (GMT)
I think there has to be much more to it. Right now, they are your typical orc, that a responsible adventurer have to slaughter on sight. IRL however, if any kind of tribe would even think of behaving like this in somewhat populated area - they'd be killed off in a matter of few years, unless of course they had more advanced technology of some sorts, or great numbers - they dont have ether. So the very max that I can see is your general "ne'er do well" kind of thing: Yeah, they raid us from time to time, so we raid them from time to time, no biggie. Yeah, they attack our people sometimes on THEIR or no-man-land territory, but who the hell goes there anyway? Besides, we do the same thing anyway. But have you heard? The other day trader was talking about some crazy hermit that looked like a cannibal and my brother's-in-law friend overheard on the market day two strangers talking about terrible omens and my mother-in-law thinks that those omens explain that dream she had few months ago.... :) Err. right, back on topic.
Basically, I dont think that Njerps should be all that terrible. They are people, just like everybody else and wouldnt want to be killed of by pissed off neighbors. Why not have instead of them some kind of bandits or foreign slavers raiding parties?
Halla - March 3, 2012 11:55 AM (GMT)
That's another interesting thing. Are the Njerpez regarded as a foreign, invading culture, or are they simply rowdy neighbors? Do the ethnic groups of URW see them as the kind of threat that is eventually likely to get everyone killed? Or are they just a nuisance that bothers mostly the Kaumo people? They do behave aggressively towards the player no matter what tribe he or she represents, which would indicate that the Njerpez are hostile towards pretty much everyone except themselves. (Well, they probably shank each other to death in their own little disputes every now and then, but you get idea.)
At the moment the Njerpez mostly seem like your average ruffians, especially when one encounters them on the road or in their little war camps... But they do have a home turf as well, which sort of sets their entire culture on the map. In the earlier versions they arrived to the game area much like the foreign traders did, from somewhere else.
erkka - March 3, 2012 09:59 PM (GMT)
|Why not have instead of them some kind of bandits or foreign slavers raiding parties? |
Well, that would just move the question to another place, ie. "Why are the foreign raiding parties so aggressive? Why can't we just talk with them? Do they have any normal humanity, or are they just Evil Orcs?"
So, the Njerpez are destinied to play the role of the main antagonists. But sure, they shouldn't be plainly "bad" - majority of them should be peaceful, I think. It just needs a couple of aggressive leaders, whom gather raiding parties and go looting Kaumo, Reemi and Kiesse or even further to the west...
<real history begins>
I live in central Finland, and from here it is about 500 km to old Russia. Some of my neighbors whom are very interested in local history, can still tell family stories of russian raiding parties looting the area some 300 years ago - sure, 1700 AD is not Iron Age, but still, the conflict has been going on for generations and generations, dating back to around 1100 AD, when both Swedish and Russian realms got more interested in expanding their territory. And Finland just happens to be in between them...
<real history ends>
I don't know yet for sure, but it might be that in the future we might also see the Kaumo and the Reemi launching counter-strikes, sendind their own raiding parties to perform revenge strikes, or possibly trying to regain stolen property or even to free enslaved family members. And so on.
And then also, it might be that in addition to Njerpez war bands we might get also peaceful Njerpez traders... So, any njerpez in Reemi territory wouldn't automatically be treated as "an enemy". Hmm, its is getting more complicated, but hey, the world is like that...
I'm thinking about it, and I find the community discussion very inspiring. So keep on posting your opinions.
Halla - March 4, 2012 06:32 PM (GMT)
|QUOTE (erkka @ Mar 3 2012, 09:59 PM)|
|And then also, it might be that in addition to Njerpez war bands we might get also peaceful Njerpez traders...|
I think that sounds quite reasonable. History shows that raiding and trading are by no means mutually exclusive.
As for this whole hostility thing, the Njerpez have villages and agriculture and they're clearly capable of smithing their own weapons, so I see no technical reason why they couldn't execute serious war campaigns that go beyond stealing a few pigs from the neighboring tribe. Then again, if their culture is originally nomadic and rowdy, they might have this hit-and-run tactic when it comes to raiding... If the Njerpez leaders fight with each other a lot, the Njerpez as a whole might not be organized enough to take over (for example) the Kaumo lands. But they could still have this strong collective sense of grudge towards the Kaumo people. "Me against my brother, me and my brother against my uncle, me and my uncle against the Kaumo people."
The dreams of conquest might rise from the simple fact that there is better fur up north, but it's also possible that the Njerpez already think that they have some mythological claim to these lands. A sense of injustice usually spices things up and makes it easier to hurt other people without feeling bad about it.
I've always imagined that the Njerpez are very fierce, straightforward and proud people. Not too smart, though. In my imagination Njerpez traders would be crafty and a little bit hard to deal with... And that they would be looked down by the Njerpez warriors who would sort of idealize the idea of using force and simply taking what you want. I also admire the Njerpez maidens who rush to kick me in the head as soon as they see the whites of my eyes.
Man, it would be great if you could actually play a Njerpez in the game and experience the kind of setting where you're basically an intruder wherever you go...
Halla - March 5, 2012 12:54 PM (GMT)
Oh, and about the SOUNDS the Njerpez make,
I recall some years ago, in a much earlier version of the game, the Njerpez would swear briskly when you encountered them. I miss the P*RKELE-sound sample dearly, because it always made me smile... In fact, if the sound sample was still available somewhere, I'd use it as a message alarm in my cell phone.
Later on the Njerpez shouted something that sounded like "pipya pinkuh" that was much more high pitched than the previous rumble they made.
And then there was this evil laughter... Then simply a system message.
Anyway, the fact that the Njerpez curse and laugh evilly when a fight is about to occur, would indicate that they go into the fray feeling quite malicious and confident about their chances. Even when they're facing their opponent alone, wielding nothing but a rock and a wooden club.
URWelo - March 5, 2012 01:00 PM (GMT)
|QUOTE (Halla @ Mar 5 2012, 12:54 PM)|
|I miss the P*RKELE-sound sample dearly, because it always made me smile... In fact, if the sound sample was still available somewhere, I'd use it as a message alarm in my cell phone.|
Totally seconding this. I almost fell off my chair the first time I heard that sample. You just knew you were into some Serious Business, a feeling that the later "pipiapinko" just didn't quite manage to evoke.
Amenra - April 5, 2012 11:00 PM (GMT)
I had actually managed to hire a Njerpez warrior during a raid on his settlement. Only moments later, he was murdered by another of my enraged party members.
All Njerpez dress distinctively differently than the other tribes of urw. I was surprised to see the women of the Njerpez camps in uniquely gray and red garb. This type of exclusivity relates deep seated issues in real life situations.
Loimulohi - April 6, 2012 07:16 PM (GMT)
I'd actually be really interested in seeing this whole "Njerpez are not black-and-white evil" -trend extend to other tribes too.
Say, for instance, that we first outgrew the purely hateful Njerpez: they would start trading too; sure there'd be hostile groups but there would also be just random travelers and whatnot.
Then we'd get counterattacks for all these years! The Revenge of Kaumo! Bloody escapades into the deep east, looking for villages to pillage and burn, riches to claim and so on!
And then! Finally we'd get the rivalry between the different tribes too. We know, reading the infos on the tribes, that small scale wars have taken place especially in the west if I remember correct. So we'd finally see this happen: hunting parties might end up in another tribe's territory, get hunted down perhaps or maybe they'd stumble into a village and a squabble would ensue.
Or maybe an old schism would erupt into a proper raid: villages are burning, the women and children are weeping for the dead!
This would obviously require, not only a crapton of new code but additionally something extra on the question of the player's participation: is the player strictly a member of some tribe?
It would seem unlikely that someone who truly views himself a member of the Kaumo tribe (instead of just being brought up there) would have wandered off into Seal Tribe territory all alone to seek out his destiny. Most likely he'd have cast off his past, he would no longer be a Kaumo tribe member but rather a vagabond. A true Kaumo wouldn't stray too far from his tribe even when seeking his own destiny for he has to stay close to his tribe lest he is needed.
Basically what I'm saying is that if one wanted to start out wherever he wanted he would have to become a vagabond. If one wanted to stay a member of his tribe, he would have to start in that tribe's area or relatively close to it (unless some starting option changed this). Also while randoming the world, different tribes should random their views of each other. Not true random, but somewhat random: Sarto and Reemi would always probably be pretty harmonous (IIRC, again), but in some games they'd be so well-adjusted that they'd basically be the same tribe and in some games some small-scale bickering might happen.
The player would also have to have his personal relationship with different tribes. Someone of Kaumo would very much resemble that tribe's relationships with others, but these could change. Also if the person stays a member of his tribe and goes on murdering other tribes by the hundreds, he would probably his own tribes relationship with that tribe... Or more like the other way around. Anyhow.
Callan S. - July 17, 2012 12:34 AM (GMT)
Anyone seen the movie the thirteenth warrior?
Megfir - October 26, 2012 12:35 PM (GMT)
| when both Swedish and Russian realms got more interested in expanding their territory. And Finland just happens to be in between them...|
So where are the Swedish at this point? Shouldn't there be swedish folks on west coast at least? But also I agree that urw is mostly about survival, so maybe it would focus more on the period before the swedish-novgorod wars/skirmishes. The eastern peoples aren't separated from Finland by sea, so it makes sense they're there in more force.
If Swedes were to come, we should porpably see them in west/south harbors. Also, there'd need to be boats and ships in game maybe. Meeting middle european merchants in the harbor looking at their exotic ships would be quite cool. Making boats and terva(tar?) would fit in also. Would it make more sense in general to have boats instead of rafts? Or is punt the boat I'm thinking...
Sorry for the uncohesive post, got into a flow of mind state.
hostergaard - November 25, 2012 10:11 AM (GMT)
On the note of evil:
Slavery was very common back in the day, not seen as the great evil it was today, it was pretty common in iron age northern cultures (Slaves where called treller, at least in norwegian, its where english got the word "thrall").
But an economy based on slaves constantly need more slaves to supply the ones that die of, thus most such cultures are fond of raiding and colonisation.
So its not as much as that the Njerpez are evil as that they are a different culture that need slaves to sustain itself. One could say the one weak point is that Njerpes always kills you on sight rather than capture you, but I think that is due to insufficient programming, either way I am sure its easy to end up killing someone rather than capturing them when you cave their skulls in. So maybe its somewhat realistic. :rolleyes:
So why won't the other non-slaving go on a crusade and do some good old ethnic cleansing? Because slavery was relatively common; it was seen as a part of life, there would always be someone else to replace the Njerps. And for most tribes in the game they are just some far away tribe of grade A cave entrances that rarely shows up anyway, a lot of villages would never really raided to any significant degree. So there is no great interest in spending all the resources needed to drum up a war-party large enough to drive of a tribe the size of the Njerps that whose location you barely knew. Kinda like of how none of the European countries ever bothered invading the northern countries to kill of the Vikings; dangerous, expensive and not likely to succeed.
For the close neighbors they are a big tripe you have been warring for generation, they raid you, you raid them and so on. Its the way life is.
bopoh - March 20, 2013 05:16 PM (GMT)
The legends are not very reliable. What would happen if we could look at the situation 500 years before the events of the game?
Imagine great towns of intricately carved wooden cottages drowning in vast fields of rye and barley, countless artists and musicians are gathering in town squares.
Spectacular town fairs attract traders from the north.
Culture is thriving, manuscripts are written, roads are built, gentle bears are playing with kittens in the streets while laughing Njerpez children decorate them with flowers and wreaths.
One day reports of burned villages start to come from the west, where Njerpez lands border the torn domain of reclusive warlike islander communities.
As crazy as it sounds, their warriors wear the finest armour and wield bronze spears and maces. No one believes this at first, no one in their right mind has ever thought that the islanders could afford anything more than primitive bows and stone axes.
The situation becomes desperate before any response is possible. The islander horde is advancing like an avalanche, crushing town after town.
Rare reports indicate that the islanders have sided with the powerful culture of Driik from the remote lands.
Before long, remains of Njerpez people, hurt, helpless and afraid, are forced to eastern marshlands, their fruitless land now crushed between powerful eastern kingdoms and the alliance funded by the Driik in the west.
Once proud and independent, Northern tribes are now forced to trade with invaders and are starting to embrace their strange culture.
Foreign traders quickly adapt to new requests and switch from trading art and crafts to weapons and armor.
500 years after alliances are broken, old legends are gone, western tribes are now scattered and living their own lives. But the proud Njerpezit have not forgotten. They will rise again.
Jus' kiddin, ma driigga! Ah like to shoot me sum eastern scum as much as mah fella Kaumo. Look a' dem, thinkin' dey can grow rye on dem swamps there. Haha, funny man! Don'cha look-a me like dat! Tha look on yer chomper, ah tink ah'm gun' die! Now, pour me more of yer fancy foreign ale, ah got eenuff furs ta buy all yer stuff!
...I think I got carried away. Oh god. I just couldn't resist. Don't kill me. Eek!
Blxz - March 20, 2013 10:45 PM (GMT)
Krask - April 10, 2013 07:39 PM (GMT)
I was always of the impression they were Russians raiding poor old fins,
Blxz - April 11, 2013 05:58 AM (GMT)
Just so you realise, 'iron age' as a term relates to the period from approximately 1200BC until early AD. So middle to late iron age is when the romans were running around conquering stuff.
So 'Swedish' and 'Russians' are very loose terms here. Don't think medieval europe and established countries. Think wild germanic and steppe tribes and scattered family groups rather then any sort of developed towns and the like.
Most likely the Nerps are of some sort of base Russian stock, or at least a mixture of some sort that have migrated in from the east a bit. As for the person up above who asked about the swedes coming from the west, it may be a few centuries or a millennium or more too early for that.
EDIT: Apparently I was wrong. Errka corrected me about the rough historical period.
erkka - April 11, 2013 07:14 AM (GMT)
Well, actually, while the mainland Europe was living the medieval times, in Finland we were still free roaming pagan tribes. In Finland Iron Age begins somewhere around 500BC and goes on until 1200 AD or so.
What ended iron age in Finland was that swedes turned into christianity, and while establishing their kingdom they crusaded into finnish territory, slowly converting pagan finns - or at least making them under the rule of King of Sweden. This process lasted for couple of hundred years, and during that time Finland found itself being a battleground between Sweden and Novgorod - aka the Russia.
So, UrW takes place in some kind of imaginary history towards the end of Iron Age. The world map doesn't have Sweden and Norway on it - mostly because it is map of how finnish tribes themselves thought the world to be.
So, Foreign Traders are like peaceful viking/swedish traders. Yup, in real history they weren't raiding us, we were just trade partners - until they started this Kingdom and Christianity stuff... (well, the history knows at least one major viking raid, around 1000 AD. They came in peace, as usual, but in the night they raided a finnish store of furs in a market place, and tried to get away with the loot... As soon as the finns realized what had happened, they set up ambushes down the river. Only one boat made it back to Sweden.)
And the Njerpez represent people from Novgorod / Russian area. Still, that is not a valid answer to the question WHY are they so aggressive :(
(as a side note, I have a feeling that all this can be read from UrW homepage and from this very thread...)
OK, and anyhow, cultures and NPC AI need some improvements. They are not easy tasks to code, but fun and interesting... So, I hope that some future version will see more realistically behaving Njerpez and Foreign Traders and Local Bandits and peaceful Njerpez Traders and all that kind of stuff, which sure would make the UnReal World feel more alive...
aislinn - April 11, 2013 04:47 PM (GMT)
on a side note:
a cousin of my mother's once did a family history that claimed one of our ancestors was 'Fornjot, King of Finland'. after moving to Finland I found out that if Finland had any kings they were Swedish potentates appointed while Finland was under Swedish rule.
sorry guys, this little potentate really prefers to stay in her little cabin and avoid society at all costs - rule yourselves B)
Blxz - April 12, 2013 06:38 AM (GMT)
I never realised Finland was so backward. In that case I guess I should retract my previous post; I was under the impression that the finns became more technologically advanced on their own merits rather than through Swedish conquest.
Moonk - April 12, 2013 01:04 PM (GMT)
you must have been eating noadis while writing that haha
erkka - April 12, 2013 06:53 PM (GMT)
Oh, transition from Iron Age to the Middle Age is not about technological advance. Crusading Swedes at 1150 AD didn't bring any new techonolgy with them. They just brough a need to pay loyalty and taxes to their king... (naturally, we fought back, and it took them some time to establish their rule here.)
In mainland Europe the Antiquity ends with the collapse of Roman Empire, and after that begins The Middle Age, with feodal christian society. At that time Finland and Scandinavia were outside Christian cultural empire - the vikings were trading, raiding and looting until they converted into christianity. And we Finns were hunting, fishing and farming and mostly minding our own business. I don't think that it counts as being backward =)
Major techonological and scientific advances come only after the middle age, from 1500 AD onwards, with the advance of modern science.
But, OK, it must be said that we didn't have written language before the christian priests formulated one. That might be considered as "techonological advance", altough I think that pre-historic iron age Finns were doing perfectly well without written language. We had a rich folklore of songs and tales, passed on from generation to generation.
brian.shapiro - April 12, 2013 11:42 PM (GMT)
|QUOTE (erkka @ Apr 12 2013, 06:53 PM)|
| Oh, transition from Iron Age to the Middle Age is not about technological advance. Crusading Swedes at 1150 AD didn't bring any new techonolgy with them. They just brough a need to pay loyalty and taxes to their king... (naturally, we fought back, and it took them some time to establish their rule here.)|
There were a lot of technological and social advances in the Middle Ages before the Scientific Revolution, at least for people living in continental Europe.
The mechanical clock was developed; earlier clocks and automata used water to make them work. So was gunpowder devices like canons and increased alchemical knowledge. There was a lot of renewed interest and research into steam and hydraulics. There were advances in medical knowledge, for example, contributions by Galen. Engineering knowledge advanced, as in castle-building and siege weaponry. Iron smelting was now done large scale (Catalan forges). Although alchemy was later abandoned in favor of modern chemistry, the research and framework of thought really set the stage for modern developments. The approach of Scholasticism in general was really important for later developments.
Socially, although feudalism seems at first like a setback, it also set the stage for later social developments. Look for example at documents like the Magna Carta (1200s) and the Christian interest in Natural Law. The Roman Empire was corrupt institutionally and it was good thing it collapsed. The university system also arose in the Middle Ages, around the 6th century. The guild system was also an important development, its what eventually led to free cities and modern republics.
I think people really underrate the Middle Ages.
Although I can't really comment on what Christian Swedes brought to the "backwards Finns." Yea they were probably doing fine without the help of others :)
Blxz - April 13, 2013 06:08 AM (GMT)
Re-reading my comment now I can see that there are several ways in which to interpret it. Lets not take the "Finns were backwards until they were brutally conquered by a foreign people" interpretation and instead take the "Ohh, I was mistaken. I thought that we were dealing with an earlier time period" interpretation.
As for what the swedes (and the rest of europe) introduced, I'm with Brian here. Governmental approaches of Feudalism were more 'advanced' than what the finns are displayed as having in UrW, especially for this time period. Without a doubt the highly organised bureaucracy of the Chinese wins hands down if we want to compare 'advancement' (which is such an arbitrary term anyway). But if I were to draw a line from the past to current times and take everything as a step towards modern as being 'improved' or 'more advanced' then without a doubt the Swedes did bring new institutions and new technology to the native finns. Whether that ultimately improved or worsened their way of life, well I will not comment on that. I wasn't around to witness it and have read very little on the subject.
erkka - April 13, 2013 06:48 AM (GMT)
Agreed. I was thinking from Scandinavian point of view; it was not like Swedes invading with muskets and cannons and Finns defending with bows and spears. The level of technology was roughly the same on both sides. Altough, yes, Swedes had more "advanced" society, in the sense that they had more organized occupations, central government and such - whereas Finns were prepared to defend themselves for local raids, but not for a full scale, continous and organized invasion.
But now this again brings us back to the basic questions:
One would imagine that instead of Njerpez we should have conquering swedes as the main aggressors. Years back, when we were thinking about world in the game, we decided to imagine an alternative historical setting - what if the swedes remained pagan too? Something like 1200 AD without crusading swedes?
Well, comparing 1200 AD mainland Europe to Finland, we Finns indeed do seem a bit backwardish both technologically and culturally... During the development of UrW we wanted to step out from high phantasy elements loosely based on English and mainland European mythology, instead turning to our own cultural roots.