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There are some inconsistencies related to the seige of Holtburg, the rescue by Celcynd, and the founding of Rithwic.

Holtburg

Holtburg was founded in 2 PY[1][2] In 6 PY, Tumeroks besieged the town.[3][4][5][6] Most of the population retreated to the Holtburg Redoubt, where they were slain by the Tumeroks.[3][4][6] The children were rescued by the mage Celcynd.[3][4][6][7][8][9][10][11] The children escaped through a summoned portal to Rithwic.[7][8]

Children known to have been saved are:

Adults known to have been killed are:

Adults assumed to have been killed are:

Some sources say all the adults were killed.[3][7] Other sources say many (but not all) of the adults were killed,[6] or imply that some of the adults survived.[10]

The age of the children is also somewhat unclear. Flinrala Ryndmad once said that, when her father was killed, she was just a babe in swaddling.[13] Flinrala also said that her father was going to make her an axe of her own, as soon as she was big enough to hold one.[14] Worcer and Hardunna referred to themselves as a "boy" and a "girl" at the time of the attacks.[9][8][7]

Celcynd

Celcynd stated that, when he was younger, he found adventure in the area around Rithwic.[15]

At some point, Celcynd and Brentsella were romantically involved.[16][17][18] At some point, the two of them visited Mount Esper.[17] Their relationship ended at some point, with Brentsella leaving an unsent letter behind in the Old Warehouse.[17][19] In the letter, she encouraged Celcynd to pursue thinngs with Mindorla.[17] It would appear that Celcynd did, but prior to 10 PY, Celcynd and Mindorla also ended their relationship, and by 10 PY, Mindorla was looking to reconcile. [20]

Some years prior to 10 PY, Harlune lived in Arwic.[21] Before he was known as Harlune the Misanthrope, he was Harlune of Arwic.[22] Harlune was a famous mage, and many young mages came to hime seeking apprenticeship.[22] The only pupil he took on was Celcynd.[21][22]

Celcynd was the first Isparian to master Empyrean planar magic.[11][21][6] Celcynd mastered planar magic after becoming Harlune's apprentice,[21] but it is unclear if he learned planar magic during his apprenticeship, possibly with the help of Harlune, or after his apprenticeship. What is known is that he scibed these planar spells for Harlune, but Harlune considered them to be more trouble than they were worth, and he locked them away.[21] Harlune later moved to the Mite Maze, to avoid any more would-be apprentices.[21]

Harlune once referred to Celcynd as "the planar mage from Rithwic," and that he had borrowed one of his history books a few years back from 10 PY.[23] Harlune also stated that Celcynd was once the greatest of his generation.[23]

Wylreda, the scribe of Rithwic, described Celcynd as "Celcynd the Dour, mage of Rithwic," in her text Of Celcynd the Dour written circa 10 PY.[11]

Tazal al-Ashfai, a planar mage near Al-Jalima, called Celcynd his old colleague.[24]

Hendac the Watcher wrote in The Golems: Chiseled Forms (AKA The Sleepless Stones) that Celcynd once told him that he managed to swim to the island off the coast of Eastham, and there he found a castle in the same style as Neydisa, guarded by Diamond Golems. Hendac wasn't certain on the truth of this tale, as Celcynd was inebriated at the time.[25][26]

When Holtburg was under seige in 6 PY, Celcynd was present. He used the planar magic he had mastered to summon a portal to save the children.[3][4][11][6] But, when he tried to summon a second portal to save the adults, he was unable to, not having enough mana to cast the spell again.[23][11][10][6] This failure to save the adults is what led Celcynd to become a drunkard. [27][23][11][10][6] Even the love of Brentsella was not enough to bring him out of his guilt for long.[11]

Rithwic

Rithwic was settled in 7 PY.[28][6][29] It was originally a small stonemason's hamlet.[28]

Brentsella and others used to live in the Old Warehouse.[19][30] It is implied that Celcynd may have lived there as well.[30]

Some time between Leafcull, 10 PY and Leafcull, 9 PY the second settlement of East Rithwic was built on the other side of the river.[28] The bridge, named Prosper Span, connects Rithwic and East Rithwic. It was built from the stones that, in more dangerous times, were Rithwic's fortifications.[28]

Analysis

General

One thing that seems clear regarding all the lore surrounding the sieg of Holtburg and the history of Celcynd, is that there was a much larger span of time between the past events and the beginning of the game. With children of Holtburg being described as literal infants, Celcynd being described as the greatest of his generation, or Brentsella and Celcynd being described as old timers, it seems clear that the writer(s) of that lore thought that 20 or so years had passed, rather than the 4 or fewer that we know now.

Holtburg

Holtburg's founding in 2 PY has no conflicts with other information, and makes sense in the larger picture, as Aluvians didn't settle outside of the Underground City until 0 PY, after the defeat of the Olthoi Queen.

Likewise, the seige of Holtburg occurring in 6 PY does not have any direct conflicts. We have multiple sources from release giving it that date, and it was reiterated later in The History of Auberean. The only potential conflict is that this was supposed to take place in the era before lifestones, so the deaths were permanent. But that is a topic for another article.

Our first conflict is with the death total. The historical marker states that the people of Holtburg were slaughtered in the redoubt, and only the children were spared. Hardunna's retired dialog also stated that all of the adults died in the redoubt. The text Of Celcynd the Dour also states the adults were unable to be saved.

However, the text Directions to the Holtburg Redoubt states that most of the population retreated into the redoubt, implying that some chose to hide elsewhere or flee. In the text A Crabbed Note, Harlune writes to Celcynd that he has heard the people of Holtburg praising Celcynd for saving their children. This again implies that some adults survived. And later on in The History of Auberean it states that many adults died, again implying some survived.

Finally, we have conflicts with the children themselves. Flinrala describes herself in 6 PY as an infant, and again describes herself as not big enough to wield an axe. Worcer calls himself a boy, Hardunna calls herself a girl, and in general, the survivors are referred to multiple times as children. The issue with this is that these are descriptions of these characters in 6 PY, and the game starts in 10 PY. When players were first able to interact with these NPCs, they have the appearance of adults, and their dialog does not indicate that they are still children.

Celcynd

Celcynd's history is a complicated one.

It is clear that, since he saved the children of Holtburg with planar magic, that his mastery of planar magic occurred prior to the siege of Holtburg in 6 PY. This would also mean his apprenticeship with Harlune occurred prior to 6 PY.

It also seems clear that after the events of Holtburg, Celcynd's glory days were behind him. While it is possible that he did not immediately fall into drunkenness from the guilt, we have no solid evidence that any of the events in his life took place after Holtburg.

If that is the case, then Celcynd and Tazal would have been colleagues prior to 6 PY. It would also place his younger day of adventure around the area of Rithwic before 6 PY.

Rithwic

Similar to Holturg, we have no conflicting rates for the founding of Rithwic. In 1999, the manual stated that Rithwic was settled in 7 PY. In 2004, the History of Auberean reiterated this, with the slight rewording of founded rather than settled. And in 2010, it was stated again in the town network sign that Rithwic was settled in 7 PY.

The issue this creates is that, in 6 PY, Celcynd summoned a portal to Rithwic to save the childred of Holtburg, which logically does not make sense.

Conclusion

Regarding time spans: Despite the fact that the texts and dialog describing these events indicate decades have passed between these historical events and the "present day," we know that only a matter of years have actually passed. We have no reason to assume that the founding of Holtburg, the siege of Holtburg, or the founding of Rithwic have had their dates retconned. And even if they had, there is simply not enough room in the timeline to fit multiple decades in. At the earliest, all of those events would have to occur after 0 PY, when Aluvians started settling above ground. And we know that the game began in late 10 PY.

Regarding the siege: The fact that in Harlune's A Crabbed Note he wrote that parents praised Celcynd for saving their children is proof enough that some of the adults survived. Based on all available sources, what appears to have happened is that some of the population of Holtburg (parents and children) hid in the redoubt, while others (at least some parents), fled or hid elsewhere. The Tumeroks trapped all of those that had hid in the redoubt, and all the adults in the redoubt were killed, defending the children from the Tumeroks and giving them enough time to escape.

We must assume that the surviving children players first encountered in 10 PY were not actually young children in 6 PY, but perhaps 12 to 15 years old, putting them in their late teens to early twenties in 10 PY.

Regarding Rithwic: The first possible explanation is that the developers retconned Celcynd's portal going to Rithwic. There are only two sources that stated Celcynd helped them escape to Rithwic, and both of those sources were dialog from Worcer and Hardunna that were removed in 2004. We cannot be certain this was an intentional retcon, as the quests involved were completely restructured, and pretty much all dialog was rewritten. But it remains a possibility that, instead of Rithwic, the children were sent to some unspecified location, making the siege of Holtburg and founding of Rithwic a non-issue.

The other possibility is that, while Rithwic wasn't officially founded as a town until 7 PY, there was at least some small settlement there prior to that. We know that Brentsella and others tried to live in the Old Warehouse. We don't know for certain if they lived there before or after 7 PY, but we do have other instances of NPCs living in dungeons prior to their town being founded, for example, in Lytelthorpe and Yanshi.

If some people lived in the area of Rithwic before it became a town, this would also help explain Celcynd's comment about finding adventure in the area when he was younger. It would also explain Brentsella and Celcynd being labeled old timers in the Warehouse Directions text - old timers would refer to those that lived in the area prior to the settlers of Rithwic moving there.

Finally, if we use our imagination, it could even help explain why Celcynd was in Holtburg at all, and why he summoned a portal to Rithwic. If the siege of Holtburg occurred later in 6 PY, and the official founding of Rithwic occurred earlier in 7 PY, it is possible that Celcynd happened to be in Holtburg during the siege because he was looking to recruit settlers for the new town of Rithwic. He would have already had a portal tie to Rithwic because he was using his planar magic to bring in settlers.

We can't draw any conclusions either way, but the fact that both explanations are plausible allows us to have the siege occur in 6 PY and the founding of Rithwic occur in 7 PY and not create a continuity issue.

References

  1. 1999/11 Release - Asheron's Call Manual: Holtburg
  2. 2010/06 Shifting Gears - Town Network: Holtburg (Town Network Sign) description
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 1999/11 Release - Worcer's Missing Heirlooms: Historical Marker description
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 1999/11 Release - Worcer's Missing Heirlooms: Directions to the Holtburg Redoubt text
  5. 1999/11 Release - Brogord's Demise: Directions to the Cave of Alabree text
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 2003/03 A Perfect Paradox - The History of Auberean: Volume V: New Arrivals (-540 to 13)
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 1999/11 Release - Worcer's Missing Heirlooms: Hardunna's retired dialog
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 1999/11 Release - Worcer's Missing Heirlooms: Worcer's retired dialog
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 2004/12 The Calm - Worcer's Missing Heirlooms: Worcer's dialog
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 1999/11 Release - Water of Mount Lethe: A Crabbed Note text
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 1999/11 Release - Water of Mount Lethe: Of Celcynd the Dour text
  12. 1999/11 Release - Brogord's Demise: Letter to Ryndya text
  13. 1999/11 Release - Brogord's Demise: Flinrala Ryndmad's retired dialog
  14. 1999/11 Release - Brogord's Demise: Flinrala Ryndmad's dialog
  15. 1999/11 Release - Mindorla's Letter: Celcynd dialog
  16. 1999/11 Release - The Old Warehouse: Celcynd's Ring inscription
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 1999/11 Release - The Old Warehouse: Letter to Celcynd text
  18. 1999/11 Release - The Old Warehouse: Dialog
  19. 19.0 19.1 1999/11 Release - The Old Warehouse: Brentsella dialog
  20. 1999/11 Release - Mindorla's Letter: Letter to Celcynd text
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 21.4 21.5 1999/11 Release - Water of Mount Lethe: The Reclusive Mage text
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 1999/11 Release - Barkeep Ricetha dialog
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 1999/11 Release - Water of Mount Lethe: Harlune retired dialog
  24. 1999/11 Release - Tazal al-Ashfai dialog
  25. 1999-2000 (exact date unknown) Microsoft Zone Archive - Asheron's Lore: The Golems
  26. 2001/10 Dark Majesty - AC:DM CD Lore: The Sleepeless Stones
  27. 1999/11 Release - Water of Mount Lethe: Celcynd dialog
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 1999/11 Release - Asheron's Call Manual: Rithwic
  29. 2010/06 Shifting Gears - Town Network: Rithwic (Town Network Sign) description
  30. 30.0 30.1 1999/11 Release - The Old Warehouse: Warehouse Directions text
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