Thursday, August 27, 2009

Age of Conan - The Palace of Cetriss - New Stygian Update?

AmazingAvery, Age of Conan Advocate for MMORPG.com has found several pieces of information which leads to some discussion that a future area for Stygia may be in the works.
He states....
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So glancing around [Funcom sites] I noticed some new concept art just recently put out without anyone picking up on it.
Looks like there could be some development coming down the road.
If it is anything from a lore perspective then we should be in for a treat.

If you really are not into the lore then there is really just the pictures to look at here ;)

Basically it seems to be tieing in a pastiche called:


Basically the premise of the book is, a sorcerer has cast a deadly spell on Conan, hoping to harness the mighty Cimmerian's skills for his own evil purposes. Conan's only resource is to ally himself with the sorceress Zelandra, who promises to help the warrior if he steals the wizard's cashe of Emerald Lotus. The wizard being Ethram-Fal with his abode being the Palace of Cetriss which lies to the east in Stygia, near an expanse called the Dragons Spine.
What we know from the lore is the Palace of Cetriss is an ancient, abandoned palace carved into a cliff of living rock in a canyon amid the crags of the Dragon's Spine in eastern Stygia.
It was the abode of Cetriss the mage during the days of Old Stygia, 3000 years ago. It was here that he created a living flower-fungus hybrid, the green lotus.
He used the sorcerous powers of the lotus to keep the world-hungering Empire of Acheron at bay. (as per the book noted above)

Going back further in lore history, The Acheron Empire's area roughly corresponded to Aquilonia, Argos, and Nemedia, and its dominion later extended over western Koth, Ophir, and Corinthia. The latter three nations were also under the hegemony of Old Stygia at one time, apparently falling to Acheron at a later date. It seems likely that Acheron overextended itself by annexing these Stygian satellites, leaving its northern frontier vulnerable to the subsequent Hyborian invasions.
The exact chronology of Acheron is shaky; but it seems to have flourished for about 2,500 years, a theocracy under the control of wizards. The barbarian pressure of the more vigorous Hybori pouring down from the north ultimately destroyed Acheron. Its demise took place 3,000 years before the time of Conan.
The resurrected wizard Xaltotun attempted to restore the ancient kingdom, but was frustrated by Conan.

On a side note, can you see all the things Mage here? Who said Hyboria had little lore magic huh! Which leads us on to the recent concept art quietly put out on the web which looks like some development tie in is under wraps at the moment:

Lady Zelandra:
Notice it says The Dragonspine concept series?

The Dragon Spines themselves:


And finally the Palace of Cetriss! :


And

Could this be the Stygian update people have been asking about?

Could this be Tier 3 raiding ?

Is this the interim updates post 1.06 and pre Godslayer Expansion?

Who knows, all I know is the book is a damn good read and something is up!

What do you think?

Lastly, here is some info on the Palace of Cetriss from the Conan D20 game by Stefan Strysky, which may be a source of inspiration for this area, and is a bit of a wall of text so everything below you can of course skip if you want For me though I love this stuff!

Amid the southern wastes of Stygia in an area little known or travelled there is a row of small peaks called the Dragon’s Spine. Legends tell that three thousand years ago when Old Stygia waged war against Acheron, Cetriss, a powerful Stygian sorcerer built a temple in the maze of canyons that form the approach to the Dragon’s Spine Mountains. In this palace Cetriss discovered the secret of the Emerald Lotus. The plant’s properties enhanced sorcery and allowed the Stygians to defeat Acheron.

Afterwards Cetriss disappeared into his palace never to be seen again. Some say he discovered the key to immortality and elevated himself alongside the gods. The Dragon’s Spine and the Palace of Cetriss make a tempting destination for adventurers. The area is remote enough to have kept away robbers and looters and the secrets rumoured to exist in the palace are too much for a hardy band to resist.
The Dragon’s Spine lies far off the trade roads in the desert of southern Stygia. A few brave caravans pass the jagged peaks on their way to Shem or Keshan but the area is mostly devoid of life. Except for time-haunted Pteion to the east there is very little evidence of civilization.
Characters will need some expertise in overland survival to live through the trip. Knowledge (geography) and Survival will be essential to staying on course and not getting lost in the sandy wastes.

Dust storms are a constant threat. There are other threats besides the environment.
Small groups of bandits patrol the caravan road running north to south. Horrible creatures residing in forgotten Pteion occasionally make forays into the desert and woe to anyone who meets them among the dunes. Yizil, desert ghouls whose strange night-time calls sound like hyenas,haunt lesser ruins scattered in the desert. A few of these ruins – outposts of those who built Pteion– also contain demons bound to the sites through ancient magic.
Even though the Dragon’s Spine is visible from a great distance the mountains are not easily reached. They sit amid rocky uplands that form a maze of canyons, cliffs and cul-de-sacs. The palace itself sits at the end of a canyon on the north side of the Dragon’s Spine. Rather than a free-standing building, the Palace of Cetriss was carved out of the canyon wall. Only the
front fa├žade reveals its presence as an artificial structure.
Water sources in the uplands are non-existent except for the shallow pools and ephemeral streams left after a rain storm. Half a day’s walk north of the Palace there is an oasis.
South of the Dragon’s Spine the arid land eventually falls towards the Jeluba River.

3 comments:

Yasmina said...

I love me some Conan fiction. I'm always a little suspicious of modern efforts to slip into the tradition, although the comic books have done a fine job, and of course the whole game could fall under that category.

Of course, Howard's inventions were paste-ups too, in some sense, with all the borrowing he did of myth and legend and places somewhat foreign to Texas. With all that, the larger backstory is so much more interesting to me than game-spawned settings like those of Warcraft and Warhammer.

Jayedub said...

This looks awesome. Being that my main character is Stygian I welcome some additions to my homeland!

Slith said...

I would rather see some of Black Kingdoms or Picts wilderness

There is hight chance of Turan also (very detailed in the lore)