Going of off what the devs have said thus far, the Northern Alliance is going be more combat based compared the trade-heavy Rayya’s Children, or the balance Ascendancy. So that continues to raise a question in my mind; what will the N. Alliance’s special class be? Will it be a combat class, a blacksmith-esque class, a crafting+ class like what the magmasmith will be in the far off future, or a class like the enigneer that focuses on defenses. Maybe even a mix of all of the above (that sounds overpowered… maybe not.) I don’t really know where to begin in that sense. But that’s only the beginning! What about the crops they grow, the tier 2 monument quests, the general style of their buildings, regional variations, and so on and so forth.
I’ll go for the low hanging fruits:
Entlings will have to turn into pine trees, I don’t think there’s any question in that
Those winter worker outfits will probably become REALLY important
The foxes will become arctic foxes
I would think that mountains would be usually jagged in map generation, that’s just what I think of cold places.
Temperature will definitely dictate a lot of the N.A.'s lives
Fishing/Hunting as primary food sources
Polar day/night cylces
There’s probably more, I’ll add onto it as we go along
One thing I remember, which can even be considered a spoiler (not sure if it is still the case, maybe it was just an old idea), was that the main starter class would not be a crafter like carpenter for Ascendancy and potter for Rayya, it would be the animal trainer.
It would be interesting.
I think we should have a glazier/glassblower class by then. He or she can be useful in other area’s, but the main thing why I think it is necessary for northern alliance is that you don’t want to be sleeping in a house with holes for windows.
Also, Polar nights and days. maybe periods of a week in both summer and winter, where the sun never sets, and never rises respectively.
It would be cool to see the enivronment be very variable with the seasons. In winter, rivers are half frozen, in summer, they are completely fluid. I would love to see that tie into the gameplay aspects as well. The variableness would also be nice since that picture posted above by @SirAstrix states that the NA pride themselves for their “tenacious adaptability”, which you will need if the seasons have a giant impact on your town.
Maybe during winters especially, food wouldn’t spoil due the cold, however that would probably make cook class far more important because someone has to warm up the food. Eating frozen foods should cause a decent mood debuff, with that piled on top of eat raw and bland foods. It could cause hearthlings to be kind of grumpy at the start.
Maybe beavers could be an enemy, that over time builds their lodge downstream of a river near you, so that if you don’t get rid of them, they could flood your town.
I have to agree that bears would be a cool enemy to encounter.
I’d bet that permafrost would make mining a challenge… which raises the question, how would they mine?
Maybe only if you bury it in permafrost, (there are people who do that right?) and yes, sources of heat would become an important part then, through the cook or otherwise. I think you cannot avoid temperature as an important gameplay aspect of NA. Would could you all do with that, I wonder.
Many people in Alaska do have basements with the purpose of it being a natural fridge year round, so that’s a thing that could be a part of NA
I’ve also noticed something about the other two starting classes,
The carpenter focuses on practicality and getting a well established settlement quickly
The potter focuses on making trade goods so that they can buy the things that they need right away
So does that mean that the NA first class would be focused on defense to protect themselves right away?
I love the premise of this thread and the ideas you guys have mentioned are spot on.
I may throw out some of my NA theories here later but I will mention the single most important question to tackle in my opinion anyway is why the Northern Alliance settled in the rough cold mountains? Shouldn’t they naturally want to avoid the harsh conditions?
You could answer that they just “spawned there” but Stephanie has divulged on a stream a while ago that all the three kingdoms started as one people and then broke up. Upon prompting on later streams we learnt more about “The Phoenix Kingdom” (I think that is what they called it.) The idea is that all the people were once under a single banner until some sort of catastrophe split them apart (as far as I know that catastrophe is unknown.) These later “discoveries” confirmed that all three kingdoms were one. If that is the case the question of why the kingdoms settled where they did becomes valid. For the Ascendancy the answer is easy, the temperate climate, good food, and habitable terrain make it the perfect living condition. For both Rayya’s Children and the Northern Alliance the question is still hanging. (I personally think that Rayya’s Children went to the desert at the behest of Rayya herself for some sort of spiritual reason, or perhaps they thought there would be less monsters in the less habitable climate, although quite frankly this second one is unlikely.)
I would love to hear your guys thoughts on this, as well as the other ideas you guys are developing on this thread
To me, the Phoenix Empire has always been the Stonehearth equivalent of Rome, a once great empire that just … fell. I believe Stephanie once said on stream that the Ascendancy is based on the Holy Roman Empire (which is to say medieval Germany and not Rome at all), and as the Romans conquered around the east edge of the Mediterranean it makes sense that the somewhat Middle Eastern Rayya’s Children would also have split from the Phoenix Empire.
But… the Northern Alliance. Their design clearly draws heavily from Vikings, and yet, Rome never made it that far north. So if they also come from the Phoenix Empire… why migrate that far, especially since they don’t seem to have the traditional Viking lifestyle, from what little lore we know?
I say exploration. Their settling to the north is just like Vikings settling in Iceland, or even further west to start exploring North America. But that’s still not a great answer by itself. Why explore? For adventure? Because the new cities of the Ascendancy were getting too crowded? For religious reasons? (I don’t think we even know the name of their old spiritual leader yet, but it might be hidden in the game files next to Cid and Rayya.)
I once had a story idea I never ended up writing, involving outcast magic-users fleeing north, settling down in barren tundras out of the reach of whatever leaders had a problems with them. The Northern Alliance could be outcasts, too. Or perhaps it goes back further - perhaps they ended up there after escaping whatever shattered the Phoenix Empire.
Maybe the NA exploring the mountains for a rare item or material? In the DT where they showed the cards in the start menu the NA’s card had a glow in the background, one that they and the player wants to explore, so maybe the thing that they’re looking for is a material of some kind that’s like silver to a werewolf, deadly to monsters. As a result the monsters are constantly trying to slow their progression towards this material.
Perhaps RC (Rayya’s Children) settled in the desert because it’s so barren that not as many monsters lived there, and maybe someone named Rayya led her disciples there; as a result became more a deity, like the Buddha was.
I never really thought about the back stories of each of the groups, this opens a lot of possibilities. Thanks!
@coasterspaul I’ve been hiding in the background waiting for lore posts. I lol’d when I saw the picture you posted.
Your idea about the Phoenix Empire is very cool. Truth is it makes a lot of sense if you think about it- their are a lot of similarities between the Ascendancy and the HRE. Therefore logically we can say that the Phoenix Empire was similar to Rome.
About the NA settling the mountains as a sort of colonization sounds good at first glance but the details are a little hard to work out (and your the first to admit it.) One would presume that if they wanted to settle it they would still have strong links to their original community (this is less true in the case of the Vikings but it is certainly true in the Americas.) Plus it would also have to provide resources that are worth all the difficulty of settling the mountains. The problem is that I get the vibe that they are pretty isolated, and their doesn’t seem to be any trade or connections between them and the other kingdoms. But if we add in perhaps a motive for their adventure i.e following their religious leader we could begin to understand why they are in the mountains (I could swear they released the name of the NA religious figure, and that it is somewhere in the code but its escaping me.)
Another idea I had (and I happen to be a big fan of this theory) is that the NA is kinda like Sparta, Sparta was so confident of their fighting abilities that they didn’t have walls, the NA is so confident in their survival abilities that they choose a tough location to live in. This could solve a lot of the mystery. Their society and skill is focused on survival so they chose the icy mountains, this is why they don’t have connections with the outer world. It is below them to “need” others to survive, and it is likely a great embarrassment to leave the mountains, after all you can hardly claim to be a survivor if you leave the area occasionally. This embarrassment would also be a sort of “societal fence” that keeps the individuals in their weak moments to stay in the mountains, if they leave they will be ashamed forever and would be turning away from everyone else they have ever known. This cycle would build on itself and each generations would get more entrenched in this lifestyle.
One might ask why are the NA so obsessed with survival? Well this is where the “Northern Spartans” Theory ties back to the Phoenix Empire and creates quite a pretty package. From what we know the Phoenix empire was sort of like a paradise, an opulent, happy, and diverse city that was the seat of civilization. In a society like that people tend to get soft and lazy and when the catastrophe befell the great empire they were unable to fight it or face it. It is easy to see a group of survivors feeling frustrated about this “weakness of wealth” that caused so much pain and damage to them. For these survivors it probably was pretty natural to choose a lifestyle that was hard and required a constant struggle for survival, so they moved to the treacherous mountains to keep themselves and their prodigy from ever going soft again. They would never face another catastrophe unprepared.
@Fencin_Penguin the truth is there is quite a bit of lore in the game that is unknown to most. The team makes a point to keep it pretty secret. A lot of their decision making is actually based on this lore which actually gives the game a lot of depth.
I’m tempted to make the “Northern Spartans Theory” a thread of it’s own. It is one of my favorite theories that I have come up with since it covers so many bases and fits so well.
I kind of thought that each kingdom was an opposing faction, I assuming that a civil war that destroyed the empire happened, and in the end each group went their separate ways. RC and NA went away and left the Ascendancy in the temperate forests as a result. I believe that the civil war was on the subject of monsters. With intelligent groups like the Red Kiln each group had different thoughts on how to deal with them. The NA thought that all monsters must be destroyed, RC thought that peace could be made, and the Ascendancy was either neutral or would roll with the punches. In the end, the Phoenix Empire fell. Perhaps the Ascendancy is like the Byzantines in that sense, they still view themselves as part of the Phoenix Empire, but it’s a shell of what it originally was and they are going in their own direction.
I myself had a theory about this.
As far as I know (might be wrong), the roman empire fell on a logistical failure. They made the mistake to pay the military out of bounty from conquered lands. To keep paying the military, they needed to conquer lands. To conquer lands, they needed a military. But you also need your military to protect a ever growing border, and you need your government to govern all lands inside the border. Eventually the empire just simply became too big, and infighting/factionalization occurred, and the empire broke apart.
If this is what befell the Phoenix Empire, the factionalization could have spurred wars/feuds between the now different kingdoms, and that could’ve pushed NA into the mountains, where they knew nobody would follow them, or something like that.
But I actually like your lore more @TurtleSquish. It certainly does produce a pretty package.
@Fencin_Penguin@nikosthefan both your approaches are viable but the problem with them is that the team has confirmed that the kingdoms are not hostile towards one another, further they split by the nature of events (what ever that initial catastrophe was) around them and not from internal strife.
Glad you guys liked my theory, the truth is I have a huge amount of lore notes that I have taken over the years with the soul purpose of being able to discover the lore secrets. For those who have attended streams (unfortunately I haven’t been able to for a while) would remember that in almost every stream I asked for lore from the team.
But I’d love to hear more theories, I love lore in every way.
@MaddyGrand it’s true that the physics in the game would lead to a different history arc. Nonetheless the lore tends to follow our own historical arc.