A Journey for Knowledge
This article is a compilation of the lore and information pertaining to the background lore of the world of Verra in Ashes of Creation.
This article will be kept updated as more Apocalypse lore is revealed. Most of these hypotheses are opinionated, and not factual. Please take that into account while reading and form your own opinions on the subject after reviewing the source materials provided.
I have supplied as many sources for the contents of this article as I could. For those who wish to simply see a summary of this article, please scroll all the way to the bottom. The summary will not include the majority of minute details that make this entire process worth investigating, so I’d suggest reading the full article. This project took approximately 80+ hours to complete. Some of this time was spent in game while the majority of it was spent searching for information and compiling all of it into a single article for others to read. The twelve weeks of Adventure Pass lore is split across three segments. If there are topics that you would like to see added, further investigated, or to provide new sources of information, please contact me with my Discord tag: Feardraconis#4422
The creation of Verra has some significant background lore. We start by learning of a race of beings known as the Ancients and that were created in the likeness of The Ten. This term is used to represent the ten Deities of Creation. These Gods imbued their qualities into a single race known as the Ancients. This allowed the Ancients to have ownership over all creation. Eventually there was a divide among the Gods on how to control their new creation. Three of the Ten Gods separated from the others and began to teach The Ancients the Secrets of the Essence. (Essence, we can assume is like Midichlorians from the Star Wars universe. Whether good or bad, they are included in all of life in Verra) This “Essence-Weaving” could be used to create magic that was not divine in nature. When the Seven remaining Gods learned of this, a large celestial battle ensued. In Legend it is believed that this war created the universe of Ashes of Creation and the world of Verra. As the war finally concluded, the Three Gods and the Ancients were banished into the Void. After this horrific event, the Seven decided to split their qualities across four races instead of one; this is how the mortal races known in Verra were created.
As a world rich with diverse cultures, Verra has been influenced by these four major races; Humans, Orcs, Elves, and Dwarves. Throughout history they have fought numerous wars against each other and the lesser races of Verra. These lesser races were seen as barbaric and crude, often finding refuge in makeshift villages and settling in tribal and possibly nomadic societies. Within the darker areas of Verra were the twisted and terrible abominations of creation. Twisted through essence to disrupt what times of peace that these mortal races knew. Many great churches dispatched heroes to destroy these threats to civilization. Roughly twenty-five years before the Fall, there were four great empires that spanned the known world. The Aela Empire, Pyrian Kingdom, Kaivek Protectorate and the Dunzenkell. Furthermore, there were many city states, some self governed and others vassal states of the great four empires.
The above information is a summary of this livestream transcript.
Battle Royale Quest Lore
In this section I will cover the Battle Pass Quest Lore from the Battle Royale of Intrepid’s Apocalypse. There is a lot of information, some of it is fairly vague. However it does provide some insight into the world of Verra. This includes: legendary characters, mythical weapons, corruption, essence, racial lore, factions, theology, and some creatures. I believe Intrepid Studios have done a great job of giving us some information without giving away too much of the primary lore.
Once again, the statements below are not factual, but opinionated using a hypothesis. Sources are included on the second page of the article, I encourage you to read the quests for yourself and form your own opinions.
1. Cry Havoc: Harbingers in this context refer to “Omens”. This is further backed by the blog post called Dillia’s Diary . The “Others” termed here are referenced often throughout these quests. I believe Corruption acts similar to the Flood from the Halo Universe (essentially taking control of the minds of mortals and the Essence around itself, effectively allowing it to spread to all life as everything is made to some degree of Essence). From the description, Corruption is the largest threat that destroyed the Old World. Prayers and Spells had no effect upon the Corruption. Creation (the Seven) may have forsaken the Old World and left the mortals to fend for themselves.
2. Terrorwraith: This piece of Lore hints at what could be a naturally occurring dynamic event in Verra called a “Manastorm”. The choice of words here is shocking, almost as if Mana and Essence are different substances. While the rest of the quest does not mention much else besides some backstory for the Terrorwraith creature. The description of the Manastorm stuck similar to a Biawac from the RPG Pillars of Eternity.
3. Cleric Training: Here Creation is referenced as some sort of Religion (or Godhead, namely the Seven). He-Who-Groveled is a large creature which has massive tentacles, this may be referencing the Kraken glyph’s and architecture found in the Underrealm. It is interesting to note that this same theme is shown in a dungeon showcase on Intrepid’s YouTube channel. This creature that is mentioned could possibly be a future Raid/World boss or an Ancient. Also by this context Resurrection magic does exist in Verra, however it is unknown if this magic will be included in some of the Class Kits. Finally a Legendary figure named Aventia is mentioned and may be further referenced in the MMO.
4. A Blunt Instrument: Creation is referred to once again either as a religion or Godhead within the Lore. The Lightpact is also mentioned, which we learn later on is an alliance of all the mortal races to combat the Corruption and Harbingers. Also to note is that there are several High Priests (one for each of the seven deities). One may assume that for the Religion Mechanic in the MMO, a Player would choose one of these seven paths of religion for their character’s progression. A location called the “Godforge” is also noted. It is possible that this forge was used to produce the weapons used to fight against the Corruption, and these weapons may be legendary weapons usable by players in the MMO. Another possible legendary figure named Brother Balmo may be referenced in further Lore.
5. A Treasured Find: The Fallow Hold is a location mentioned here, it is quite possible that it will be a Dungeon in the MMO. Ancient treasures were stored here by an individual name Atrax, which may be another legendary figure referenced later.
6. Seeking Penance: Penance in this context I believe is repentance or forgiveness. A Starchild is referred to here which could have number of different meanings. The Starchild could be a servant of Creation (comparable to an angel) or an individual with unique magical abilities. Obviously, the village did not offer what the Starchild wanted or heeded its warnings and were punished accordingly.
7. War of Towers: In this Quest, we learn of Lemlong, which is a possible city node/country within Verra. The Kaelar were not a united people and commonly fought each other, which we could assume on multiple occasions throughout their history. The Empyrean Empire also conquered these factions shortly after the war. There could possibly be an occupation or complete takeover of the Kaelar people by the Empyrean Empire in Verra at this point in the timeline. This war may be one of the Great Wars in the timeline of Ashes of Creation.
1. Let Us Remember: We learn here that the Lightpact is an alliance between the four major races of Verra to combat the Harbingers. This means that there is quite possibly more than just the Corruption threatening the Old World. It also says that the “stars fell, chaos reigned, and corruption spread.” It may be possible that the Corruption arrived to the Old World via meteors. Or that the natural disasters were the Harbingers themselves. This is further supported by the volcano being named Harbinger in the Battle Royale Map.
2. Dragon Lines: Eremus is introduced here, possible legendary character. A dragon is inlaid in his wand, which can be considered a symbol of power. It is specified that he is going on a journey for the Lightpact.
3. Savagery: Mentioned here is another legendary figure know as Rikashi the Blackened Ember. Mainly this quest is just a narrative, however it is notable that Rikashi kills what we may assume were Others and proceeds into a cavern. This narrative is continued in following few weeks quests.
4. They Cannot Hide: Mostly just a narrative here, not much that is Lore significant. Gellchrist, at least in this context will probably not be a legendary character. The Others here are interestingly described almost as a Hivemind entity.
5. Working Steel: The Obsidian forge here is shown as another location. The Dunzenkell are a Dwarven faction and are said to have amazing blacksmithing capabilities. It is quite possible that they will have innate racial abilities towards blacksmithing in the MMO.
6. The Arrow’s Mark: In this quest, Creation is recognized as an “Entity” or even a location. We also learn that Corruption may have arrived to the Old World via “Portals”. This could be a part of the Horde Mode in APOC where the players will have to close portals to halt the current wave of creatures attacking the Node. It may also be a future mechanic in the MMO if Corruption ever returns to Verra with possible quest-lines or dynamic events. Three “Behemoths” are suggested as well, these may be references to world bosses in the MMO or bosses that will be in the Horde mode of APOC. It does not take much imagination to guess that the Behemoths are actually the Ancients.
7. In The Face of Inevitability: Harbingers here again, assuming in the context used meaning “Omens”. Interestingly “abyss” is used here, I do not regard this as a reference to the Others . Yet I believe it refers to the Void, or it may be just a figure of speech in that the Lightpact had lost hope in combating these Harbingers. Upon further inspection into the lore, one could accept that the Harbingers are natural disasters and may not be in exact reference to the Others.
1. An Alchemical Answer: Its unknown at this point if Cashitan will be a legendary character, not much description of him besides the fact that he is a fairly talented alchemist. One thing to note is however the wording of “he wouldn’t do this by hand”, in my opinion it may be possible that there is an auto crafting option in the MMO. However I doubt it will be to the extent of BDO’s (Black Desert Online) AFK Life Skills. You could assume by doing auto crafting, that it would take severely longer to complete said item and lower the potency of it. For example, a blacksmith who auto crafts an iron breastplate with X amount of durability on it may have a lower amount of durability than a blacksmith who manually crafts the iron breastplate. There are pros and cons to this. While it would allow the player to then go about other tasks, the items made would have less value. However, if said player always crafts manually they could potentially lose time in other aspects of the game like raiding, gathering, questing etc. I have no idea if there is a auto crafting system being discussed for the MMO, but it is a possibility.
2. An Evolution of Power: The Mountain Dwarves, better known as the Dunzenkell are respected as master engineers. They use a mixture of metalworking and Essence to create their items. It is interesting to note that an esteemed artisan in their culture holds higher or similar status as the nobility. Kaelmuir (Legendary Smith?) is mentioned as one such example. Creating the crossbow from a miniaturized version of a siege ballistae. Also in this quest, Intrepid gives us a very important answer to whether or not Essence-Weaving was passed down from the Seven to the four mortal races. Therefore, we can assume that all “magic” in the universe of Verra is actually just the manipulation of Essence whether for good or evil.
3. Rarefied Ingredient: The four Divine Gateways (one for each mortal race) were actually constructed by the Lightpact. However this process was near impossible as the materials required were very dangerous and difficult to acquire along with The Harbingers constantly affecting their efforts. Despite all of these factors, the Lightpact sent teams of experienced individuals to gather these materials. Also note that these individuals had to have strong minds to resist the Corruption taking hold of them. Even for some, that wasn’t enough.
4. Here One Moment..: Disclosed in this quest are mainly three topics. The introduction of a faction called “The Blue Rose”, a possible type of Essence-Weaving resulting in what is termed as “feytouched” and Dyvek, an individual who fought against a Knight from this faction. Feytouched, it seems is the ability to bend physics allowing for teleportation. While the Blue Rose isn’t mentioned more, I believe it could be a mercenary faction trying to capitalize on the chaos brought on by the Harbingers.
5. Lion’s Peace: Theron, Paladin of the Herald holds a mythical weapon named “Lion’s Peace”. There is a chance this would be an attainable mythical weapon within the MMO. It also says that he had a “devotion to his God” which may help confirm that a player may choose a Deity as part of the religious character progression system. Note also, that the Others killed did not live the same as him. The assumption here is that in one point of time they were living, and that in killing them he would have been breaking his vow to take no life. However because they had been Corrupted they were no longer living. (basically meaning that they were once mortals or creatures who had then been corrupted)
6. Going It Alone: The Harbingers here are recognized as being events. While still being omens, it would make sense that these were mainly natural disasters of some sort. In this context, the Harbinger that Rikashi has entered is some sort of cavern (possibly the volcano from the Battle Royale map). She also uses a meditation technique to avoid the army of Others surrounding her which may be a skill in the MMO. Whether this is used for stealth or possibly to restore ones Essence.
7. A Champion Appears: The Celestial Games is a tournament held every seven years where individuals participate in seven different events (one year and event for each Deity) where they test might, mettle, magic, and mind. Arenas are also present in many cities across Verra. This is very intriguing as players may be able to use these arenas for tournaments and may be used for the “Arena Style” PvP. “Celestial Champion” may be a title that players can earn by participating in arena content.
1. Divine Gifts: I believe that these chests were left behind as caches of powerful weapons by the Lightpact. These weapons were effective in fighting the Others. These chests are described identically to the ones used in the Battle Royale as they “glow and chime, as if they want to be found”.
2. Old Reliable: Sadly, this quest is mostly just narrative. It is interesting to note however that Hrngnir is trying to escape Verra and that it had become hell. Also that he was having to fight so much that he actually dulled his axe.
3. Cairon’s Wing: Molle is described as a master artisan. She has created a heavy plate which she has named “Cairon’s Wing”, and this is most likely a mythical item that could be attainable in the MMO. The item was imbued with Essence to give the item more tensile strength and higher mobility. With this detail, we can assume that working with Essence will have a large impact on crafting.
4. Hand of Fate: It is possible that with the information in this lore that Essence allows an individual to control the specific elements like fire for an example. Despite Ashlar being able to use his wings to fly, I believe Intrepid Studios has taken a stance on no flying for players and mounts. However gliding will be a system for mounts as far as we know. These wings described may be future cosmetics or even skills available to certain class kits.
5. A Moment of Crisis: Another narrative with Aventia which talks about each member of her group’s Essence. She was able to recognize her companions through their “Essence Strand” which she sensed “familiar, warm, and felt of friendship and love”. In the area there was little ambient Essence, Aventia had to use her own Essence to save her compatriots lives. Note, that there is a different terminology between ones “Essence Strand” and ones “Lifespark”. It is possible that these are in fact, the same. However, different races or cultures may refer to it differently. One detail that I find perplexing is the concept of “ambient Essence”. In a sense, Essence can be view as a resource and specifically get low in quantity in certain situations. Because of this, Essence may be a food source for creatures or fuel for certain magical interactions. With that being said, I believe that “Mana” is condensed Essence that can be used to help fuel ones magic.
6. Stereotypical Mages: Mostly just narrative here but it does introduce the idea that spells can be cast without an item. But this comes with a con, as more complicated spells in the spur of combat, become very difficult to cast without an item to channel through. Logically this makes sense and when you take it to a game-play situation, spells that are used without an item may be weaker or have a longer cool-down. This may hint at what Intrepid has previously stated as ‘Sigils’ being an item that a player could equip in their off-hand to bolster their stats and usage of magic.
7. The First and the Last: This meeting I believe was between the Champions of Verra (possibly some of the individuals introduced throughout the quest lore) and the leaders of the Lightpact. These leaders called this gathering to decide who among those champions would lead the military efforts against the Others. Every living being on Verra depended on this decision.
Languages of Verra
Elder and Younger Futhark: If you look closely at the scope UI of the Crossbow of Revealing and the Grimoire, there are runic symbols within these elements. These symbols are similar to the Elder and Younger Futhark Runic languages. Elder Futhark originated as a writing system used by early Germanic tribes. It was then simplified in Scandinavia and eventually became Anglo-Saxon Futhorc. The Anglo-Saxon and Younger Futharks remained in used during the Early and High Middle Ages. The wiki pages provided give quite an interesting read. Surprisingly enough, these runic languages are extremely similar to Dwarvish runes across many different fantasy settings. Tolkien’s writings, World of Warcraft, and even Dungeon and Dragons Dwarvish appear similar. However they are not a direct match to many of the symbols shown. It could also be true that this is a home-brewed language (as Ashes of Creation was originally Steven’s home-brewed Pathfinder campaign) as some of the symbols do not match any of these other languages. While attempting to translate these runes provided very little insight into their purpose, I believe that a cipher is needed to fully comprehend the meaning behind them. In my opinion, it is quite possible that they are Words of Power imbued within these weapons themselves to give them their abilities and mainly just add some extra flavor to the UI.
Unknown: There are three shrines in the Battle Royale map that have these symbols. They bare some resemblance to the Draconic runes used in Dungeons and Dragons. However I have been unable to find runes/glyphs that match directly with them. Attempting to find Elvish translations also bore no fruit. It is probable that these runes are an early hint towards the Tulnar. Sadly, this logic does not fit the timeline well as the Tulnar appear after the Fall. As there isn’t a system of runes that matches well, I believe these are glyphs. (runes and glyphs are very different, runes have a more alphabetical meaning creating words or sentences. Whereas glyph’s hold more of a meaning comparable to “Beware, dangerous path ahead!”. You could assume similar to an Inuit Inukshuk.) These shrines or runes may hold a meaning in there is dangerous Essence here or that an area is rich with ambient Essence. The same assets show up in this environment teaser on Intrepid’s YouTube channel.
- Spiral: Possible Node Locations
- Blue eyes: Points of Interest
- Orange eyes: Locations with strange Objects
- Red G: Possible Future Mob Inhabited Areas
- Yellow W: Areas That Hint at Larger Creatures
The reasoning behind this labeling is based on personal opinion. A lot of the layout of certain areas can give you a glimpse of what they could be in the MMO. Especially as the map for the Battle Royale is using assets and landscapes from the MMO, however they have been shrunk down into a playable size for the Apocalypse version. Most of the cities and towns we can assume will be small nodes in the MMO or have similarities. If you have noticed in playing the Battle Royale so far, the south west part of the map has a Elvish design (Empyrean) while the north east side has more of a Human architectural design (Kaelar). It is interesting to note that both in the Underrealm and just south of Fort Ryll, there are the exact same two crystals as the ones show below in the concept art. It is possible that these crystals were used to “seal” dangerous Essence or creatures in those areas.
Locations like Sky Mesa, Rotweald Forest, La’sai Village, and Farstrider Outpost have more primitive designs. This could be hinting at the Lesser races in the background lore and may represent Goatmen, Goblins, Lizardmen, Birdmen, or others that have yet to be referenced.
The Three Behemoths mentioned in the quest lore may also be referenced within the map itself, designated Kraken, (possibly “He-Who-Groveled) Groot (is actually a Treant) and lastly the giant stone head north-east of Brighthold could be a stone Golem.
Please note that the information listed below is my personal opinion and not factual material.
Over time, four great empires arose from the ashes of conflict into the Aela Empire, Pyrian Kingdom, Kaivek Protectorate and the Dunzenkell. Just when relative peace seemed to settle across Verra, the Harbingers appear. Surely this was a evil omen, foreshadowing the end of civilization. After all natural disasters must be a sign for the Gods. Not too long after, portals from the Void appeared. Carrying with them numerous corrupted beings never before seen by the eyes of mortals. Prayers went unanswered, Spells had no effect, traditional weaponry barely held them at bay. It seemed as though Creation had forsaken Verra. In an act of desperation, the major empires formed an alliance called the Lightpact whose sole focus was the survival of Verra. Many heroes were born, and more perished by the Others. However not only did the Others appear, but Corruption also twisted the land and the minds of those infected. It was never ending. The Lightpact began to create powerful weapons using the master smiths from the Dwarves and Words of Power from their most esteemed scholars. But it was too late, the Corruption could not be stopped. In an act of desperation the Lightpact sent their best artisans and warriors across Verra to gather materials for what would be their last hope; the Divine Gateways. These materials were extremely dangerous and between the Harbingers, Others, and Corruption, it was near impossible to gather enough. However despite their efforts the Lightpact fell. Those who were still sane made their last desperate attempt to survive the chaos by fleeing through the Divine Gateways. Many however did not make it. Creation, seeing the mortals desperation took pity upon them and created the sanctuary known as the Underrealm. A immeasurable amount of time has past, the Verra that the mortals had once known is gone. Those who had survived have been thrust into a familiar yet exotic world. At this point I believe the Apocalypse timeline ends, and thus begins the MMO’s timeline.
Creation is the term used to describe the 10 Deities of Verra. Three of these Gods taught their offspring known as the Ancients the art of “Essence-Weaving” causing the Ancients to gain a great deal of power. When the other Seven discovered this, there was a great Celestial War. Eons past, and the energy from the battles fought is what created Verra. Eventually the Seven Higher Gods won the war, and cast down the Fallen Three and The Ancients into the Void. Realizing their mistake, the Seven decided to imbue their powers into four races instead of one. Thus the Humans, Elves, Orcs, and Dwarves were born. It is important to note that the Lesser races were also a factor, and may have been subject to genocide, slavery, and discrimination. The Harbingers were natural disasters that affected the world of Verra and the mortal races considered them ill omens. However it is fascinating to learn that the knowledge of “Essence-Weaving” was also past down to this mortal races. It is also disturbing to learn this as it makes the Seven seem like hypocrites for teaching this secret art to the four Major races. While casting down the Three and the Ancients into the Void for the exact same reason. There is a high probability of celestial politics at play for the majority of the Ashes of Creation lore. The Fallen Three and the Higher Seven are obviously at war with one another, but there is most likely some contention within those two groups as well. Surprisingly, this shares similarity with ancient Greek Mythology as the Greek Gods held each other often in contempt, pitting their children against each other. The Ancients also heavily remind me of the Titans from this Mythology as well. Each of these Ancients may have a singular Essence that they focus in like fire, earth, water, air, light, void, etc.
It is important to note that Essence, Magic, and Mana, are very different things. I will attempt to clarify why and how. To understand this terminology, one must realize that Essence is basically the building blocks of all organic and possibly inorganic life in the Ashes of Creation universe. Scientifically, you could consider Essence to be the atoms of everything. Now Magic is the process of weaving this Essence into shapes and processes. An individual can use this Essence-Weaving to bind these atoms to create materials, items, organics, etc. Resulting in special abilities or higher tensile strength. The actual applications in this regard are almost endless. The art of weaving Essence can allow the control of elements in the form of spells. Now doing this without an Essence infused item is possible, however less efficient especially in combat situations. As this process requires tremendous mental fortitude and focus unless an individual is inherently gifted. Therefore in combat most Mages use an item to help channel their magic in a sense. Mana can be seen as a fuel for these magical processes. To simplify, Mana is condensed Essence that can be consumed to help cast magic. It is also important to note the term “Lifespark”, as it is unknown if this is just a reference to an individuals “Essence Strand” or in other words, ones soul.
Now this is opinionated, not entirely factual. The three fallen Gods possibly control the forces of Corruption, Abyssal, and Demonic Essence respectively. Whereas the seven higher Gods may represent the seven virtues: Chastity, Temperance, Charity, Diligence, Patience, Kindness, and Humility. It is quite possible that when choosing a religion within the MMO that a player may choose one of these seven higher virtues or one of the three fallen faiths as their religious progression for their character. This system may also include how NPC’s and Nodes will interact with a player. We could consider the seven and even the fallen three as “Creation” in that they are referred similar to the Godhead in the Christian faith. It is important to note that the story of creation bares similarities with Greek Mythology and their “Myths of Origin”.
From the description of the “Others” it seems that Corruption may operate similar to a “Hivemind” entity. It corrupts the land, creatures, and mortals eventually overtaking them and causing their free will to be controlled and then used by whatever power controls the Corruption. It seems logical to assume that Corruption can affect both organic and inorganic substances. To combat this the Lightpact created very powerful weapons imbued with different types of Essence. These weapons may be future legendary weapons attainable in the MMO.
In conclusion, the world of Verra is vast and much of lore has yet to be obtained. However, I hope that this article helped shed some light on some of the lore in the Ashes of Creation that we know so far. I will be updating this article throughout Apocalypse with more insights as the lore progresses and breaking it up into segments. Personally I would like to thank the entire staff at Intrepid Studios for their amazing work so far on Ashes of Creation. I am truly excited to see what will come next and hope that they realize that their hard work doesn’t go unnoticed. I would also like to thank everyone in the guild Mythic who helped me gather this information in game and allowed me to bounce ideas off of them. Finally, I am grateful that The Ashes Post allowed me to use their website as the medium to deliver this content. I hope that you enjoyed this article and I look forward to the future of Ashes of Creation!
See ya’ll in game!