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Topic Subject: How does the magic work in Aio?
posted 09-03-16 07:17 PM EDT (US)   
Lately I was wondering how does the magic work in Rise of Legends. From what I know only Alins can use it. The thing is, are all of them capable of it? Or you have to be gifted? Maybe all can use it but you have to practice it in some kind of school for mages? Or gift+practice/school? Is everyone allowed to do magic? So many questions but hardly any answers. We know that they use mana. But is the mana energy around us or it's like inner potential of people? Is it renewable, easy accesible? Is it everywhere? Mana is like magic resourse, but is it in the air? Another thing, is casting spells by words, gestures, scrolls or mind? Or all of them but you need like long rituals for very powerful or need to be powerful/skilled to cast them by mind? Are only Alins magicians? What about Vinci, Cuotl? Maybe some tribal magic for Cuotl? Is Alin magic only possible with fire/sand/glass and summoning of creatures from these elements? Or there are some other ways to cast spells by different elements? Maybe only other nations can get access to them?

What about nations not added into the game? Looking at the concept arts of Skald and some frozen witches/other mythical creatures from thei race i think that they look like capable of making magic too.

Do you know anything or have any idea how can it work? If yes, then let me know
posted 09-05-16 03:16 AM EDT (US)     1 / 11  
Here are my guesses...

Anything is possible as the game lore was never written with that many details.
You can see some links here in section 14 Game Backstory, Lore, and History

It seems there is a mix of magic and technology for all the nations in the game.
If you look at the hero units, only Alin and Kahan heroes have blue bars for mana, while every unit has green bars for health.
All heroes also have gray bars under their portrait image which is for upgrades.

Alin magic is based on the natural elements of Fire, Sand and Glass. When sand meets fire and it melts and hardens into glass.
As for "how" the Alin people practice the magic or how they have the ability, anyone's guess is good at this point - you can write your own fan story and make some scenarios about it if you'd like.

However there are some other abilities like invisibility for Dune Walkers which could be any type of magic.
And the Alin buildings hover over the ground and can fly, maybe they have some type of anti-gravity tech/magic.
So it also depends if you look at units, buildings, spells, powers, or researches.

Kahan & Skald
Besides the Alin it seems the Kahan and maybe Skald also have some magic.
Check out the spells of the only Kahan hero in the game, Yontash the Spiritchief:

Hush - Prevents target from using powers for 40 seconds and does 100 damage
Life Drain - 20% of all damage this unit does is returned to him as health
Greater Resurrect - Resurrects a friendly unit upon death, the unit is returned with 50% health
Split Wounds - Each attack increases damage to target by 2 times attack on subsequent attacks, lasts for 30 seconds

...So the Kahan magic system differs from Alin. Instead of 3 natural elements and their uses, it seems the Kahan use "spirit" or "life force" or "something" to use mana or acquire mana while being attacked instead of completely losing health like other mages do.

The Skald look like they maybe do "ice magic", "spirit magic" or "aurora magic" as you can see some aurora borealis-type lights in the concept art.

The Cuotl probably have some of the "highest technology" since they are a mix of alien tech and native peoples.
In the campaign it mentions some of the people worship the alien gods, others do not and are considered heretics named the Fallen.
It's possible even other tribes practiced magic in the past, mix tech with magic, or don't use the new tech at all.

The Vinci seem the "least magical" of the nations, as their technology is mostly mechanical - physical machines with gears and moving parts powered by steam which can be created by boiling water from burning wood, coal, fuel, etc.
However if you look closer it looks like the Vinci have multiple technologies besides steampunk. Clockwork Men are "clockwork robots", electrical power plants look like they have electricity from some source, and aircraft are either mechanical (scout flyer) or some type of engines (air cruiser) so there is a mix of steampunk, clockwork, electric and mechanical tech being used by the Vinci. Maybe inventors in separate city-states developed different technologies to be used?
And then there are the Condottieri who look like medieval era technology with horses, though they do have some steam cannons.

Then again, if you look at some Vinci spells they look magical, like Giacomo's Super Armor.
Since this is a video game it's a mix of reality, history, fantasy and science fiction so some things may make logical sense and are realistic and other things are fantastical, so there are contradictions and lots of questions!

The other issue is resources: timonium, wealth and energy. All nations use timonium (some type of mined mineral) and wealth (gold coins). The Cuotl use energy (power reactors) instead of wealth.
I had thought of another way to mod the game so each nation gets timonium, wealth and a "unique resource" based on their tech/magic system:

Vinci = Steam
Alin = Mana
Cuotl = Energy
Kahan = Spirit?
Skald = Aurora?

However if the Alin, Kahan and Skald are magic nations then maybe they all have mana.
And the question is still what sources does the unique resource use, where they are located, etc.

Magic vs Tech
I remember reading that the developers wanted an even balance of magic and tech nations in the game, so:

Vinci = Tech
Alin = Magic
Cuotl = Tech
Kahan = Magic
Skald = Magic?
? = Tech?

...which means there could have been a 6th nation that uses tech, maybe another Asiatic (East Asia, India?) nation.

[This message has been edited by alincarpetman (edited 09-05-2016 @ 06:15 PM).]

posted 09-05-16 01:38 PM EDT (US)     2 / 11  
Thank you for this long reply, I really appreciate this.

I can make up my own mind about the magic and tech in the nations now, but the thing you said about timonium gives me even more questions!

All we know is that this is some kind of mineral, and that every nation is mining it - so it's useful for everyone and pretty much available everywhere in Aio.

But is it some kind of fuel like coal? Or the mineral itself stores energy/mana in it allowing usage of it by Alin nation too? What about Cuotl? They are aliens in aio but they use timonium too, so they might see a big energy potential in it?

Maybe timonium can be used in both ways? Like, let's say, it stores magic essence/mana/aurora in itself but also is a great fuel for tech and machines. About the other properties - I think it has to be pretty hard, firm and inflexible looking at the way miners get it. Maybe it shimmers, similarly to some jewels from our world?

The tech and magic usage of it makes most sense I think, otherwise why would i.e. Alin mine it for themselves if only Vinci needs it as a fuel?

The gold income is pretty logic and there is nothing to speak more about it, but what exactly is energy in Cuotl nation? We know that they generate it through these energy districts and that energy is needed to keep protecting shields on buildings and probably to make Cuotl units work (like sun jaguars or death snake seem both to be just robots, so they need to use some resources to work). Are the energy districts made by the False Gods from remains of their ship? I think that probably yes.

Talking again about death snakes - in Vinci campaign there is that one viscount from Torona(not sure if I spell the name correctly) who's using death snakes and is said to be working on shield technology for his buildings. All of that from the fallen cuotl temple. We know that he built his own powerplant for that - so cuotl tech doesn't need cuotl specific energy type, just any electricity I think.

What makes it more interesting though, after we destroy temple's wreck the death snakes start fighting against Dante(was that the name of the guy in this mission?) and his people. Is that just back-up plan of Cuotl False Gods if their technology gets stolen or something I didn't think of?

Are there any Skald units remains in map creator or in the files? The answer if they really had mana would help. Or is the aura or aurora really their magic resource? I don't know, both solutions seem logic, so if we had some kind of yes/no to this that would be great.

Anyway, thank you for all the work you did for me, I will make sure to check the Game backstory, lore and history link you gave me when I find spare time.

Maybe timonium is used for spells and magic but only for bigger one? Like making Alin cities float in the air or big summonings (like from the circles)? I mean limiting Alins mages power to only timonium nearby terrain is kinda bad. I mean they can wear jewelery or have cut-timonium stones in weapons to store mana. That's kind of solution but not at all. Maybe they can absorb the mana from the timonium stones and keep it in themselves for later usage? That would also explain power of Dakhla, Damanhur and Sawu (although they are magical genies, so maybe they probably have other power-level or rules in terms of their power and potential).
Also, what about the power of the Cuotl technology itself? Like when Giacomo got struck by explosion at the start of the 3rd campaign. We know that he gained knowledge and power beyond his earlier capabilities. How can you explain that level of technology that gives you power just from the contact with it? It also have negatives sides too - corrupting Sawu, making miners sick(start of the 1st campaign) or even taking some of Giacomo's ability to feel??
The subjugate Cuotl ability is also very interesting about how with technology power they take control over others. Is that some kind of brainwash or show of power so the survivors join them?

[This message has been edited by TimorenPL (edited 09-05-2016 @ 02:57 PM).]

posted 09-05-16 06:12 PM EDT (US)     3 / 11  
Again some of my guesses, doesn't mean they are "correct" if the original devs thought about this in detail...

Timonium is some type of mineral mined by all the nations. Maybe it is a a physical ore or crystal that can be burned for fuel or maybe has some "magical" properties used in other ways by different nations.

For example the color of timonium is light blue/cyan/turquoise/aqua. If you look at the Alin buildings they have cyan crystals suspended above the military districts and big pieces inside the palace district architecture.
Maybe instead of burning timonium they use it for mana or magical properties.

The Cuotl use the cyan color as their player color and inside the alien tech gray metal architecture. So maybe they also use timonium for high-tech purposes.
However since the Cuotl are a mix of aliens and natives and in the intro video you see the Cuotl spaceship that crashes has a cyan color, maybe this is just a coincidence they use the same color as timonium because the devs thought the nation would look best with the cyan color.

Then again, maybe the Cuotl brought the timonium with them and it dropped all over planet Aio? Even though we see the nations mining it, it is never explained that they always mined it.
And if you look close at the Vinci ruins they have rail/train tracks, mining sites, etc which indicates they were mining something (metal, stone, timonium?) for a certain time either during or before their steampunk era.
Since we don't see any moving trains we don't know if that era is over or not.

But for now it seems that timonium is a native resource to the planet Aio and the nations use it in different ways - the Vinci mine and burn it, the Alin mine and maybe use it for mana, the Cuotl mine it and maybe combine it with alien tech, and the Kahan and Skald maybe use it for mana as well.

Maybe like you said it is an alien power source on their ship and they reconstructed some reactors or adapted their tech to the new environment on Aio. How the Cuotl electricity is generated may still be a mystery though.

And yeah I remember the snakes that Dante, the Viscount of Tarona got from the crashed Fane - maybe the power plant used timonium as an electricity source and like you said maybe the Cuotl had a back-up plan to destroy the Viscount so he wouldn't talk or maybe they have some other motivation for turning on him.

The thing about the Cuotl aliens that I'm not sure about is how they "show" themselves or use technology as a surrogate medium.
For example, if you watch the last scene here where Giacomo sacrifices himself inside the alien spaceship, it looks like the aliens are not made of stone or metal and instead may be "organic", but in this scene we only see holograms of their heads in the ship interface.

So maybe the aliens were organic and used holograms or some type of tech inside of stone/metal units to move around.
Or maybe there were no "real aliens" on board the ship, only holograms. Maybe Giacomo only destroyed the "shells" of heroes (Ix, Czin, etc) and the holograms inside the ship, but not the real aliens which could be somewhere else.
Or maybe the real aliens were never shown - you can see some concept art of the real organic aliens here.

What we do know is the aliens crashed and combined their tech with timonium, stone and metal from Aio to create the False Gods of Czin, Shok, Ix, Xil and maybe more to take over the indigenous Aionian Cuotl peoples.

They also accidentally or purposely corrupted the Alin and Vinci with fallen technological artifacts that the Alin had to deal with (Sawu was corrupted and maybe created the big dark glass scar in the desert with his kingdom Mezekesh at the end of it) and the fractured Vinci city-states fought over recovered tech (the Doge used Pirata airships to get it, Dante had those snakes).

My guess about Giacomo getting the new power to transform matter is maybe the Cuotl use some type of nanotechnology or other "exotic" tech that can change matter.
So it can get inside an organism's body and brain (looks like "dark glass") and then affect it by making it sick, killing it, corrupting it or giving it some new abilities.

I had a funny idea that for a "sequel" campaign maybe Giacomo didn't die and he also became corrupted like Sawu, so for the next campaign you would have to fight "crazy Giacomo" who turns against his former allies, or he struggles with the new power and has phases of both corruption and heroism.

Or maybe there were some more Cuotl gods, and some heroes from Skald land and Kahan land (Yontash) fought and journeyed over to the Cuotl jungle land on a similar quest like Giacomo and friends did from Vinci land.

[This message has been edited by alincarpetman (edited 09-05-2016 @ 07:24 PM).]

posted 09-06-16 03:26 PM EDT (US)     4 / 11  
'But for now it seems that timonium is a native resource to the planet Aio and the nations use it in different ways - the Vinci mine and burn it, the Alin mine and maybe use it for mana, the Cuotl mine it and maybe combine it with alien tech, and the Kahan and Skald maybe use it for mana as well.'

That sound fair enough for me but other theories are also interesting for me so thanks for sharing them although I think they aren't realistic (take in mind it's just my personal opinion). Some of them are possible, but I take this statement as the one I will use. Also, timonium looks like a crystal to me, so I will treat it as a crystal, althought I'm not sure if it's logic to mine and burn crystals?

I'm going to take the guess that they adapted their technology to Aio environment and re-used generators, etc. from shipwreck to produce energy/electricity again.
The thing to consider about what we know about Cuotl tho is that they probably didn't want to be here or at least not by their own ship being destroyed. Imagine, you are an astronaut and you wreck on the planet. You survive the crash but what do you want to do next? First - survive - second - get back on your planet or to your people!

And that's what I exactly think they wanted to do, or at least Czin, that in my opinion made some kind of beacon to communicate with his specie/brothers/sisters/masters about what happened. Maybe even they would 'pick him up' from this planet? Or maybe even INVADE IT, you know timonium sounds like a good reason, or the thing that they practically can't fight vs so highly advanced race. The thing we see in the final cinematic look like the alien's holograms - so that makes my theory viable. We can only hope that the Czin didn't give them coordinates about Aio in time, or Giacomo's dead won't matter and the whole world will be doomed.

The question is, were the False Gods real aliens or the intelligent robots from the ship? Or maybe some other race, working for it's masters? I'm really interested if the False Gods were organic or machines and if organic, were they the same aliens we see as holograms/on the art you posted?

Idea for the sequel that you proposed is really funny . I also have one, what if a weak signal from Czin's machine got received by a small alien ship nearby and they are going to check it? :P
posted 09-07-16 06:34 AM EDT (US)     5 / 11  
If you search for "aqua crystal" you can find some that look similar to timonium, maybe aqua, topaz, etc.
I'm not sure why the Vinci mine it and what they do with it, but the steampunk tech is partially realistic and is powered by steam from boiled water from burning something - either wood, coal, fuel or since this is a scifi fantasy setting maybe timonium is a special mineral which can either be burned or otherwise utilized as an energy source.

I had also thought that the alien Cuotl could have just been trying to survive and if they were robots/intelligent machines maybe they were just following a "survival program" and conquered the jungle for whatever reason...

And yeah it's still a mystery as to what the "real" alien Cuotl are - real aliens, holograms, robots, all of these or something else?
We would have to ask the devs and concept artists to get more details. From what we see in the game though, it looks like the ship that crashed on Aio had only robots and holograms.
posted 09-07-16 01:06 PM EDT (US)     6 / 11  
One more question, do you know what Narr Saghir is(I only know it's the name used by Arri and her people in first mission of the Alin campaign)? Is it name of Alin army?
Or anything more about Alin's history? I read what you linked me (Dark Alin and Giacomo's Diary) and that's very interesting.
posted 09-07-16 08:45 PM EDT (US)     7 / 11  
If you read this page here you can see a lot of stuff hidden in the game's files.

There are more units, buildings, heroes, spells, etc; some of which are viewable and usable in the scenario editor, but some of it I don't know if it can be accessed.

If I remember correctly, Narr Saghir was a manta-ray unit that was defending the relic in the first Alin mission.
As usual we didn't get much more info so it could have been a more developed character.
But now that the game is more moddable, players can mod the game and develop their own stories.

If you have any more questions, ideas, by all means keep posting

[This message has been edited by alincarpetman (edited 09-07-2016 @ 09:18 PM).]

posted 09-08-16 05:33 PM EDT (US)     8 / 11  
If you are so kind to keep answering, I will keep the discussion going, just because it's enjoyable

What do we know about Kahan and Skald?
In the link you gave me in your last post with the list of units there are some names for the heroes.
For Kahan they are Yontash, Kaighra and Belg. Who are they? Are Kahan as whole different species like ogres, humans, some animals(the ogre king, the berserkers units etc.)? Anything you can describe them as or say about them? I've been looking at some interesting concept arts too.

What about Skald? Concept Art
The skald sky hero, ice hero, hunter-master hero? The aurora beast(sounds like super-unit to me )? Do we know anything?
The possible spell names you found in game files inspire me about them too, like the ones named wall of ice, hail storm, smoke form, resist magic. Or the shape changings ones - Crow Form Wolf Form Frost Giant Form Unmorph?

If you also have anything about their history or how they got where they are (like who are skald and why they live in the north, are they there from long ago or got there somehow, etc etc) let me know too.

That's it for now, thank you for patience!
posted 09-08-16 08:56 PM EDT (US)     9 / 11  
Here are my guesses:

Yontash (The Spiritchief) - we know him from the Cuotl campaign first mission but he is really a Kahan hero, a "good guy" who probably made a journey from his land seeking the alien Cuotl, or the devs just wanted to put him (and the Berserkers and Berserker Riders) in the final game because they liked the units and didn't want them hidden

Kaighra - unknown, maybe a female character? There is a snow map named "Kahgra's Lungs" but this may just be a different name and not related, though the spelling is similar. "Kragar camp", "Kragar beast" and "Kagar beast" are more names that shows up in the files, there are different spellings but it seems there is a general theme of monsters/beasts/ogres for the Kahan and Skald - maybe that's why the northern area is named "Beastlands"

Belg - unknown, my guess was The Ogre King because on one of the concept art/3d render studio websites there was a 3d render of an ogre king for the game. However the site went down and I didn't manage to save a copy of the images in time and there is also an Ogre King unit.

My guess is all 3 are heroes. One idea is that maybe Yontash is a "good guy" and Belg is a "bad guy" because ogres/orcs/etc are usually portrayed as evil. So maybe ogres live in the Beastlands in Kahan land and they fight with the human Kahan.

However if you check this image here of extracted Kahan content you'll see: Berserkers, Berserker Riders, Grunts, Ogres, Ogre King, Stone Ogre, Yontash. Maybe the ogres are part of the Kahan nation and are like the Alin monsters of fire, sand, glass so maybe they aren't evil but can be summoned and exist in the wilderness like the salamanders, manta rays, scorpions, glass spiders, flying beetles, etc in the Alin desert.

If you look at the Vinci, Alin and Cuotl there are the main villains and their minions such as the Doge and some Vinci lords, Sawu and his dark genies, and Czin and the Cuotl alien-robot false gods. So there probably would be similar villains for the Kahan and Skald. Maybe different types of beasts and monsters influenced by Cuotl artifacts started attacking the Kahan and Skald.

Here is the Kahan concept art.
For the Kahan buildings you can see Camp/Stockade, Cave, Shaman/Spirit Stones, Kragar base, Kragar border totem, Kragar cairn stone, Kragar tent.
Maybe the Shaman Stones are a "mine" that is placed over a timonium source and it extracts timonium and mana, similar to Lodestones in the Total Annihilation Kingdoms game which has some similarities with ROL and is free here or on Gog. However on some of the snow skirmish maps the Shaman Stones summon Yontash and other units so maybe this is a barracks or something and not a mine.

All I could find is the few lines in the xml files and the concept art so we know less about the Skald than the Kahan. From what I managed to find out, the expansion for ROL was going to have ice/snow as a theme.
Maybe the Kahan nation was supposed to ship with the original game and have 4 nations, then 1 or 2 new for the exp. Or both the Kahan and Skald would be included later in the exp.

So maybe the Skald have ice magic, aurora magic or both. You can see auroras on top of buildings and beasts in the concept art, maybe this natural phenomenon is a source of energy/mana, or just decoration.
If you play Age of Mythology there are Frost Giants that freeze enemies and Valkyries that have a trail of aurora color as they move, so you can imagine a variation of this inside ROL.

I guess you could expand the ice magic to include water - so ice (solid), water (liquid), mist/fog/vapor/steam (gas) for 3 magic types like the Alin fire, sand and glass.

It looks like Skald architecture is a mix of stone, ice, snow and aurora lights on top.

Other Nations
I'm also going to mention ideas for a 6th nation, to balance the 3 tech and 3 magic nations for a total of 6 nations.

Vinci = tech
Alin = magic
Cuotl = tech
Kahan = magic
Skald = magic
? = tech

Maybe the 6th nation could be a counterpart to the Vinci - another mechanical tech nation based on Japanese medieval/steampunk fantasy mecha that you see in anime, manga, and games.
Here is a concept art I found which looks like it could fit into ROL perfectly.

Or another nation could be a counterpart to the Cuotl - another scifi energy tech nation based on Indian mythology such as the vimanas which were fantastical flying spaceships according to some interpretations of legends.

You could keep going and add more ideas for more nations based on cultures from around the world - Africa, Americas, Oceania, Southeast Asia are usually not portrayed as much as the European, Mideast/Persian and East Asian cultures.

Check out the section 15 Fan Fiction etc, someone also speculated on the Skald here, Kahan here and a 6th nation here and came up with some creative ideas and linked art images.

[This message has been edited by alincarpetman (edited 05-08-2019 @ 07:44 AM).]

posted 09-18-16 03:07 PM EDT (US)     10 / 11  
Alin and Kahan are the only ones capable of doing magic from what we know, Vinci and tribes from Kumee (was that the name?)jungle aren't capable of doing so. Although what would happen if i.e. cuotl or vinci married alin or kahan and had a child? Scientist in a big battle mech surrounded by magical auras summoning beings to do his orders? Or maybe only 'pure' Alin/Kahan can cast spells? Is it different for both of these nations? You know, magic and technology as one seems pretty inspiring.

[This message has been edited by TimorenPL (edited 09-18-2016 @ 03:08 PM).]

posted 09-20-16 09:14 PM EDT (US)     11 / 11  
It's an interesting question, depending if the ability to practice magic is genetic, learned, both or other possibilities.

Two nations might also make a hybrid of magic and tech, or perceive another nation's tech as a form of magic like our computers today.

There are plenty of sci-fi and fantasy fiction books published that go into such details of how beings acquire special abilities such as magic, and since we don't have much to go on from the devs for this game any fan fiction or fan theories are welcome.
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