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Age of Conan Forum » Game Suggestions » Saturnalia - Christmas Holiday Event (suggested for 2010+)

6 posts found
  Thorgrimm

Age of Conan Correspondent

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 274

War is won by inches, not by miles...

 
OP  12/26/09 12:54:00 PM#1

All players noticed that Age of Conan was lacking in having a holiday event for its players.  We had a multitude of reasons offered by the devs and players, such as FunCom is busy in development of Rise of the Godslayer and The Secret World, or what hours left were spent in testing Update 1.06 and making appropriate patches to better flesh out the new systems.  I have my own opinions.  It is really hard to impose a Christmas-type holiday into the Hyborian Realms when Christmas evolved a millenia later to Christmas' biblical origins.  In keeping with the idea that much of Hyboria was evolved by Robert E. Howard by taking slivers of history and truth, and blending those ideas with supernatural horror and Low-fantasy themes, I would like to propose the ancient Pagan Holiday of Saturnalia, or a similar but ancient equivalent.  It could start on or about the Winter Solstice, with the historical implications and events that that encourages, and proceed until after Christmas (Dec 26th).  Some historians point to the initial date of Dec 17th which later extended through Dec 23rd.

In our event, FunCom can have the option of a lady or nobles of significant importance (Zenobia, Conan's Wife, for instance) being kidnapped for sacrifice in the dark rituals of the Saturnalia celebration by slaves or servants of the court (we know Zenobia and Conan hate slavery by the time Conan is King, early 40's in age); Conan could be temporarily wounded or unconscious.  General Pallantides could be the origin of the quest chain that is announced by a Herald in the Tarantia, Aquilonia, Market.  The kidnapping could be arranged by Picts or simply by a new small cult developed in Aquilonia.  As our heroes track down the kidnapped victims (from several different locations by now), a race against time is begun, and we are drawn to other barbaric rituals (and the history behind them) scattered across all the known realms.  With the 999 gods of Khitai, I could see it spreading there, but I would hate to limit those players who have not bought into the Rise of the Godslayer Expansion by then.  Of course, a marketer would use this event to "encourage" those that have not purchased RoTG to do so.   The Children of Yag-kosha may be tacitly encouraging it or funding the kidnappings to weaken King Conan's reign and make him appear weaker as the King.  It could also involve a short but evil investigation in Tortage, since Strom is such a sicko and his pet witch has contacts all over the known realms.  Rewards at the end of the quest could involve Social Clothing for a New Year's Celebration in King Conan's court at the return of Zenobia, new voiced conversations with highly placed patrons, maybe a medal with special stats, and a Social Pet of a Young Nobleman or Noblewoman (many models to choose from in Tarantia, non-Courtesan type), who could follow the Player Characters praising his or her accomplishments in rescuing the Lost Children of the Realm (they could be like a Bard-type that plays a melody of a lute or lyre, singing the praises.  Aion had an occasional NPC in one of the taverns in Pandaemonium that sang a song, and I kept going back to listen to that haunting melody. I thought it was a great application of a NPC. 

So tell me what you think... Would this be a fun Christmas-type event for the savage and sexy world of Hyboria.  It would not be fluff and red and white costumes with pet reindeer, elvish ears, and cute tassled hats... An broad-scoped quest to explore the barbaric reaches of the world to rescue innocents just seems so Epic to me...

I'll try to find some documentation of Saturnalia and Winter solstice-type history to round out the idea...

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  Thorgrimm

Age of Conan Correspondent

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 274

War is won by inches, not by miles...

 
OP  12/26/09 1:03:20 PM#2

"Saturnalia became one of the most popular Roman festivals. It was marked by tomfoolery and reversal of social roles, in which slaves and masters ostensibly switched places, with humorous results.

Saturnalia was introduced around 217 BC to raise citizen morale after a crushing military defeat at the hands of the Carthaginians. Originally celebrated for a day, on December 17, its popularity saw it grow until it became a week long extravaganza, ending on the 23rd. Efforts to shorten the celebration were unsuccessful. Augustus tried to reduce it to three days, and Caligula to five. These attempts caused uproar and massive revolts among the Roman citizens.

Saturnalia involved the conventional sacrifices, a couch (lectisternium) set out in front of the temple of Saturn and the untying of the ropes that bound the statue of Saturn during the rest of the year. A Saturnalicius princeps was elected master of ceremonies for the proceedings. Besides the public rites there were a series of holidays and customs celebrated privately. The celebrations included a school holiday, the making and giving of small presents (saturnalia et sigillaricia) and a special market (sigillaria). Gambling was allowed for all, even slaves; however, although it was officially condoned only during this period, one should not assume that it was rare or much remarked upon during the rest of the year. It was a time to eat, drink, and be merry. The toga was not worn, but rather the synthesis, i.e. colorful, informal "dinner clothes"; and the pileus (freedman's hat) was worn by everyone. Slaves were exempt from punishment, and treated their masters with (a pretense of) disrespect. The slaves celebrated a banquet: before, with, or served by the masters. Yet the reversal of the social order was mostly superficial; the banquet, for example, would often be prepared by the slaves, and they would prepare their masters' dinner as well. It was license within careful boundaries; it reversed the social order without subverting it.

The customary greeting for the occasion is a "Io, Saturnalia!" — Io (pronounced "e-o") being a Latin interjection related to "ho" (as in "Ho, praise to Saturn").

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturnalia

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  Thorgrimm

Age of Conan Correspondent

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 274

War is won by inches, not by miles...

 
OP  12/26/09 1:05:54 PM#3

"The Talmud and Mishna describes a pagan festival called Saturna which occurs 8 days before the winter solstice. It is followed 8 days after the solstice with a festival called Kalenda. The Talmud ascribes the origins of this festival to Adam, who saw that the days were getting shorter and thought it was punishment for his sin. He was afraid that the world was returning to the chaos and emptiness that existed before creation. He sat and fasted for 8 days. Once he saw that the days were getting longer again he realized that this was the natural cycle of the world, so made 8 days of celebration. The Talmud states that this festival was later turned into a pagan festival."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturnalia

 

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  Thorgrimm

Age of Conan Correspondent

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 274

War is won by inches, not by miles...

 
OP  12/26/09 1:10:13 PM#4

"Roman pagans first introduced the holiday of Saturnalia, a week long period of lawlessness celebrated between December 17-25. During this period, Roman courts were closed, and Roman law dictated that no one could be punished for damaging property or injuring people during the weeklong celebration. The festival began when Roman authorities chose “an enemy of the Roman people” to represent the “Lord of Misrule.” Each Roman community selected a victim whom they forced to indulge in food and other physical pleasures throughout the week. At the festival’s conclusion, December 25th, Roman authorities believed they were destroying the forces of darkness by brutally murdering this innocent man or woman.

The ancient Greek writer poet and historian Lucian (in his dialogue entitled Saturnalia) describes the festival’s observance in his time. In addition to human sacrifice, he mentions these customs: widespread intoxication; going from house to house while singing naked; rape and other sexual license; and consuming human-shaped biscuits (still produced in some English and most German bakeries during the Christmas season)."

 

 

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  Thorgrimm

Age of Conan Correspondent

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 274

War is won by inches, not by miles...

 
OP  12/26/09 1:13:23 PM#5

"In society, the liberty without limit which they preach and pursue engenders license, and this license is very soon followed by the overthrow of order, the most fatal scourge of the public welfare. Of a truth, it is impossible to see society in a more pitiable or miserable state than in those places where such men and such doctrines as we have been describing have gained the upper hand even for a moment. Unless recent examples had furnished evidence it would have been difficult to believe that men, in a transport of furious and criminal boldness, could even have cast themselves into excesses of such a kind, and while retaining as if in mockery the name of liberty, could have given themselves over to saturnalia of conflagrations and murders."

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  Thorgrimm

Age of Conan Correspondent

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 274

War is won by inches, not by miles...

 
OP  12/26/09 1:19:57 PM#6

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