UPDATE, 2-2-2015: In light of the somehow steady streaming of traffic on this page and Part 2 of the Chivalry Lorequest, I am A: Confused, considering how rough and crude these two entries are, and B: Am interested in eventually updating these two entries so they are more up-to-snuff with the writing ability and picture quality of the latter two entries in this Lorequest series.
ALSO: Why are there so many hits coming from an Argentinian Chivalry forum? Of all places in the world. Makes a man wonder!
Well hello there, I didn’t see you come in. I do hope you wiped your feet on the entry mat before walking all over my carpet. I’ll just assume that you are a person who values hospitality and hates the mortal sin of dirt as much as I do, so let’s just get on with our LOREQUEST.
Seeing as how this is the first entry of this little series, I’ll have to give it a bit of exposition. Lorequest is a series in which I take video games with vague or sparse stories/lore and I try to fill in the gaps using the context clues and hints in the game itself. I will trying to sty as true to the game itself as possible, meaning I’ll try to avoid making random leaps of faith or wildly guessing. I think this whole theorizing of games is actually quite fun to do and to read about, see Majora’s Mask Stone Tower Temple theories for an example of the latter. It feels like an archeological hunt for lost knowledge and can actually help jump-start creativity. After all, if any of you out there are authors, published or otherwise, and are working with lore-heavy books/subjects such as fantasy, science fiction, alternate history, etc., then looking for gaps in lore can help figure out what kind of lore you want to fill your own stories.
Hmm. I should make a “Reflection” piece about that sometime. I do love lore so.
Anyway, on with the show. For this first part, I’ll be talking about what I’ve found for the Kingdom of Agatha from Torn Banner Studio’s Chivalry: Medieval Warfare.
Firstly, I’d like to blame Steam Summer Sale for making me buy this game- 80% off was just too good a deal to pass up. Almost immediately I became interested in the lore of the game’s world, particularly about the history behind the two main game factions, the Kingdom of Agatha and the Mason Order. So, I quickly turned my watchful eye and bullhonky generators up to 11 in search of knowledge about the kingdoms at war. In this entry I’ll be looking more at the Kingdom of Agatha and its relative history.
So, let’s begin-
Some usual Kingdom of Agatha sayings/battle-cries. Just to set the tone of things:
- General Philosophy
“Respect your superiors.”
“Die with valour.”
“Fight with honour.”
“Defend the weak and innocent.”
“Act in the best interest of your king and countrymen.”
“Praise the gods for all they give us.”
“Fight for Honor, Live with Honor, Die with Honor!”
“Good will prevail!”
“Honour and glory!”
“For the gold and white!”
“For the blue and gold!”
“For the Cross and Lion!”
The Agathian heraldry featured gold and white crosses and lions are usually present over a blue background. These colours and symbols work well with the primary Agathian motto of “Fight for Honor, Live with Honor, Die with Honor,” emphasizing their civilized take on the code of chivalry. However, as the map description of Stonehills shows, the Agathian Knights might value chivalry, but there are still some darker undertones in their philosophies.
So, working off of what the entry cutscene provides, King Alfonso Argon had just reunited the Kingdom of Agatha three years before the actual war between Agatha and the Order. Though I cannot say exactly what war was being fought, against whom, or for how long, certain members of the Mason Order have aroused some theories of my own.
- Theory Entry: Looking at a map “Outpost,” one can see that the Mason Order is diverse outside of its “elite order” roots (something that the training mode cutscene talks about). It appears to have recruited more barbaric mountain tribesman into their cause and the Masons have been instructing them on how to use siege weaponry- hence the siege weapon “training area” in one section of the barbarian fort. I reason that the civil war, perhaps one of the many civil wars fought by Agatha, involved those barbarians. Given their less-than-civilized nature, I wager that the civilized and chivalric Agathians waged a war of subjugation and conquest. So, naturally, the Mason Order decided to capitalize on that deep-seated hatred and take their into their cause.
Regardless, the Kingdom was gathering new men for an army to invade more “foreign lands.” It is probably this chaos that Malric takes advantage of when composing his Mason Order, even taking men right out of Agatha’s training camps, as the tutorial shows. This seems like a good time to go right into King Argon himself. This “foreign land,” is most likely the distant land of Tenosia. The map “Crusades” is set in Tenosia’s ruined capitol of Jarburdan. The map’s description claims that there was a certain amount of folly in Alfonso Argon’s crusade. There are plenty of parallels to the real-world Crusades in this scenario. The European Christians found themselves bogged down in their hot heavy armour and fighting on unfamiliar territory while the Middle-Eastern Muslims were well-acclimated to the climate and beat back the Christians at every turn. From that very simple historical fact alone, I can see why one would judge Alfonso’s crusade to be a bit foolish. However, I would also argue that the very idea of crusading across the ocean into foreign land just three years after unifying a huge kingdom would contribute to part of the folly.
- Theory Entry: Given that the Mason Order, founded by Alfonso’s distant cousin and mighty general Malric Terrowin, is focused around strength and taking power from weaker individuals, I can only assume that the peace that came from Agatha’s victory was a somewhat disadvantageous one, or simply that Malric believed that Agatha could have continued the war to push its advantages. Looking at how the Mason Order apparently intrigrated barbarian tribes to fight for their cause, I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to think that Malric saw those barbarians as potential assets to the Kingdom of Agatha before he defected to form the Order. Oh, and I suppose, like many other prominent men we will soon see, Malric believed Alfonso to be a mixture of weak, senile, and bloodthirsty, so Malric probably wanted to just take advantage of the instability after the king’s death as well as blame him for being weak and failing to serve his people.
I have no pictures of Alfonso himself, but I imagine he looks a lot like his nephew King Danum. As an aside, I do not know much about Danum, aside from the fact that, by tracing the history of the war (which will get its own separate entry), I can fathom that Danum is a less-aggressive king than his uncle Alfonso.
- Theory Entry: Danum probably meant to separate himself from Alfonso after learning from his uncle’s bad example of over-extension and imperialism as well as the constant pressure on his kingdom by the Mason Order. That is why Danum is positioned in Stonehill’s Royal Palace and not on the offensive front. The history of the war also seemed to demand that Danum play defensively and try to defend the southern reaches of the Kingdom. The same will be said of Malric who appears in his Citadel. Also similar to Malric, Danum probably wants to ensure his own survival, since nearly an entire nation is following his lead, so staying alive in such a perilous time is of paramount importance. As we will see later with a man named Feydrid Kearn, being a person of interest on the front lines can have disastrous consequences.
On that note, I’ll insert this little picture here:
So, with that picture in mind, imagine an older, probably less-deranged looking man as Alfonso Argon. Again, Alfonso appears to be a man of war, even though his kingdom had just recovered from a civil war, he was apparently gearing up for another imperialist campaign. More evidence of this is is in the map “Crusade,” seen below. This map shows architecture that is different than most of Agathian design, minus the dome of the Stonehills Royal Palace, oddly enough.
- Theory Entry: Given the similarity of the Stonehills Royal Palace domes and the domes in the Tenosian capitol seen in the map “Crusades,” I speculate that Alfonso brought over some of the culture from the lands he conquered. I won’t say that the crusade in which he perished was the crusade, but it appears as thought Agatha and Tenosia have been enemies for quite some time, so the exchange of culture and architecture might have been possible in decades past.
-The Tenosian capitol, Jaburdan seen in the map “Crusades.” Below you can see the similarities to the architecture of the Stonehills’ Royal Palace.
-See? I’m not (that) crazy! They’re totally similar and I’m not just making stuff up!
-Another interior shot of the Royal Palace. Why? Because I think it looks pretty, that’s why.
However, succession is not so clean in this world, it seems. There is another man, Feydrid Kearn, who supposedly was a prime supporter in Danum’s claim to the throne, who I frankly regard with suspicion.
-Even though he may look like Danum, I suspect that is only a re-used model. Regardless, Feydrid is not an Argon, but he is still dressed as a king. Odd, yes?
- Theory Entry: This may seem to be a bit of a leap, but I do not believe that Feydrid is an entirely noble character. This is purely my conjecture, but given that I think that the northern coastal siege in the map “Coldfront” is the first actual battle in the whole Agathian-Mason War. It is also the battle in which Feydrid is eventually killed. I think it is important to note that Feydrid is called a “King” in the map and after his coastal keep falls, he attempts to flee in a ship. This is in direct contrast to the actions of King Danum who wishes to stand and fight in the Stoneshills Royal Palace. This could simply be a gameplay choice so that the maps did not become repetitive, but if I didn’t take things wildly out of context, then what kind of finder-of-lore would I be? I believe that there was once a third faction in the early stages of the war- loyalists to Feydrid who wanted him to rise to power over both Malric and Danum. Feydrid could have played off of the failure of the Argon dynasty in much the same way that Malric did and proclaimed that Agatha would need a new dynasty if they were to last against Malric. Regardless, I believe that Feydrid only attempted to contact Danum for help once his prospects of achieving power by himself were all but snuffed out. The map “Coldfront” shows an abundance of battle damage outside of the castle’s walls, showing that the battle for the castle was neither quick nor clean. So, Feydrid’s power-mongering ended up holding back the Mason Order long enough for the main Agathian fleet to arrive at the Hillside city and long enough for Danum to take up residence in the Royal Palace in Stonehills. But, more on that in the war’s history post.
-And here is the Mason fleet just outside of Coldshore, which is what I’m going be calling Feydrid’s castle. Why? Because it’s a cool name that’s why AND I didn’t even notice that calling it “cool” would be a pun. Now I need to keep it!
So anyway, Alfonso Argon was killed due to Malric Terrowin’s meddling and thus, there was no immediate heir to the throne. Due to the cousin status of King Danum Argon, Malric Terrowin, who is himself a distant cousin of Alfonso Argon, the throne is certainly contested. After all, the Mason Order is not a foreign in power, it is a rebellion, so clearly Danum’s rule is not unilaterally supported. The only other thing I’ve learned about the state of the politics of the Kingdom of Agatha is that Danum Argon is not the only royal heir who support Agatha. Which is good, considering that I think that Danum was actually killed during the Battle of Stonehills.
- Theory Entry: In the map “Dark Forest,” the description makes mention of how the Mason Order has succeeded to kill the filthy peasants of Stonehills and is bringing a cart of the dead sods to poison the Agathian water supply. Given that in order for the Mason Order to gather enough dead peasants for the task, it can only men that the Order actually succeeded to also lay siege to the Royal Palace and kill King Danum Argon. Furthermore, the description makes mention of a hidden mountain fortress where the “remaining heirs to the throne” are hiding. Therefore, the hope for Agatha lives on in that fortress. My interpretation of the history and timeline of the Agatha-Mason war says that the Agathians actually win the Battle of Dark Forest. So there. I’m an Agathian at heart. Sue me.
-Behold the hidden mountain fortress inside the Dark Forest. It is where the last remaining heirs linger on.
As a final, more concrete note, I’d like to point out the principle morals of the Kingdom of Agatha. The map “Stonehills” gives a rather cynical description of why the Knights of Agatha would fight to protect their peasants:
A: Because the code of chivalry demands it.
B: Because the peasants work for the Knights and they are the Knights property that they can use and abuse as they will.
Either way, the Knights of Agatha seem to at least care somewhat about the basic code of Chivalry, even extending down from the knights proper to the more common men-at-arms and the archers. I take this to mean that the Agatha Knights is actually a united army rather than just actual knights.
-The Agathians, however noble, still don’t care that much about their FILTHY PEASANTS.
On a final note, I figure I’d give some screen-time to the mysterious capitol city of the Kingdom of Agatha, which was taken by the Mason Order years ago. The fighting was apparently intense around the area, lasting for “three days” until the Agathians start to starve out their enemies. Now, I personally know the least about this map, so if new information (i.e. pictures of the city) arises, I’ll make a little editor’s note and put them below.
-The Kingdom of Agatha’s once-beautiful capitol city, now in ruins and viewed from the Agathian war camp just outside the walls.
And finally, I’d like to extend this theory about the Agatha docks, otherwise known as the “Hillside.”
- Theory Entry: The “Hillside” map shows the fleet of Agatha arriving. Given where I believe this level is positioned on the map (something I will show in the war’s history section), I believe that “Hillside” is the first battle in which the true Agatha Knights do battle with the Mason Order. “Coldfront” shows the final battle between Feydrid’s loyalists and the Order, but once the royalists rallied behind Danum Argon and left Tenosia behind, they needed to arrive by sea, so they landed at “Hillside” first, where the Mason Order was clearly waiting for them. Given the loss at “Coldfront,” I suspect that the hidden correspondence between Danum and Feydrid was discovered in the letters and exchanges between the two, particularly towards the latter part of Feydrid’s short-lived “reign.” Thus, the Order was able to predict which of the harbours (of which there are many on the Agathian continent) that the Agatha Knights would arrive at. Or the Order just got lucky/had defences at all city ports. But that’s boring!
-The Agathian fleet appears on the shore near an unnamed port city of some great importance.
As per usual, I’m sure I’ll remember more things about Agatha later, so again, if I know what those things are, I’ll make a little editor’s note so that you all can LAUGH at my forgetfulness! Or not. You know, if you want. Up to you…
-“It’s up to you…”
- Change Log:
July 5th, 2014: I added a new entry on Feydrid Kearn, who I hate. I think he is (or, was) a potential usurper to the throne and his death was not mourned by me!
So, enough of that for now! I do hope you’ve enjoyed the first entry into my “Lorequest” series. I’m sure I’ll cook another one of these up once I organize more of my research and can be bothered to talk about utterly fictional lore about an utterly fiction game.
It won’t be that long.
So, until later~
-END TRANSMISSION. GOOD MORNING, GOOD AFTERNOON, GOOD NIGHT-