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In Portal Year 21, the Ancient Lugian Fortress appeared. But just how ancient is it?

Our basis for calling the fortress ancient is the Mine Chamberlain, who, when given the Well-Balanced Lugian Greataxe, tells you, "When I was a boy I heard stories of an ancient fortress. I never imagined it could be true." The axe itself, found in the fortress, is described as ancient as well.

Here is what we know about when Lugains may have first arrived in Dereth:

  • The Virindi were the first alien species to arrive on Auberean[1][2], and they arrived in -40 PY.[3]
  • Lugians were among the first species to arrive on Auberean.[4]
  • Both Tumeroks and Lugians arrived prior to Humans.[2]
  • The Tumeroks first began to arrive on Auberean in -29 PY.[3]
  • A diagram of Auberean's history seems to indicate that Lugians arrived before Tumeroks.[5]


From all of that, we can assume that Lugians first arrived on Auberean between -40 and -29 PY. If the fortress was built by Lugians some time after their official arrival, that would mean that at most, it could be 61 to 50 years old when it was rediscovered.

While we do not have any information on the lifespan of a Lugian, if the Mine Chamberlain heard stories of an ancient fortress when he was a boy, we can pretty safely assume he heard those stories at least 20 years ago, making the fortress only 41 to 30 years old when he may have heard those stories.

One would expect an ancient fortress to be hundreds of years old, not just a few decades.

Theories

Let's consider what was going on in Asheron's Call's development when this fortress was introduced:

  • In November 2009, a Letter From the Producer was released stating that new playable races were going to added.
  • In April 2010, there was a bug introduced where Lugians, Tumeroks, and Empyreans were incorrectly identified as other races. Frelorn commented:
    Just a coincidence that the AC2 Races were impacted by this little bug. Or is it....
  • In May 2010, the ancient fortress was added.
  • In July 2010, we received an update on the new playable races. This included this statement about lugians:
    Players from this large earthen race are disgruntled members of the Laigus caste who have left Lugian society to travel among Isparians and improve their lot in life. The Lugian who leave to live among the Isparian races are sometimes drawn to learn skills of magic that are forbidden to the Lugians in their society.
  • In April 2012, Lugians were finally added as a playable race. Their description states that:
    The Lugians now joining with the other citizens of Dereth are from Linvak Tukal, and serve under Lord Kresovus.


Given that the backstory for the playable Lugians changed between July 2010 and April 2012, it seems plausible that the fortress was originally added as part of a backstory for the playable Lugians, but the backstory changed and the ancient fortress remained in the game as a piece of abandoned lore.

The only other bit of lore we know is that in -884 PY, Empyreans opened a portal to the Lugian homeworld Tuu. The Empyrean researchers, concerned about the size and aggressiveness of the world's inhabitants, used spells to disguise themselves.[6] While there is no information to indicate that Lugians and Empyreans had contact at this point, it is at least possible that some Lugians ended up on Auberean in the period between -884 PY and -579 PY, when the Sundering occurred.[6] For example, we know that the Gearknights saw through the Empyrean illusionary magic, and after that the Empyreans did not hide themselves from the Gearknights, and even brought some of them back to Auberean.[7] And then there are the Olthoi, who managed to get to Auberean because of an improperly closed portal connecting their world to Knorr.

In this entirely hypothetical scenario, hundreds of years ago some Lugians managed to come to Auberean, with or without the Empyrean knowing or helping, and they constructed a fortress. At some point, this fortress sank below the ocean, but legend of its existence managed to survive, and eventually when Lugians started to arrive between -40 and -29 PY, they heard these legends.

References

  1. 2001/11 Dark Majesty - AC:DM Bestiary: Virindi
  2. 2.0 2.1 2001/11 Dark Majesty - Ages of the Empyrean
  3. 3.0 3.1 2003/03 The History of Auberean/Volume V: New Arrivals (-540 to 13)
  4. 2001/11 Dark Majesty - AC:DM Bestiary: Lugians
  5. 2003/03 The History of Auberean/A Diagram of Auberean's History
  6. 6.0 6.1 2003/03 The History of Auberean/Volume IV: Shifting Ways (-888 to -574)
  7. 2009/09 Cogs in the Machine - Interactions and Observations, 'Gear Knights'
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