Topic: Who were "Njerpez" ?  (Read 3150 times)


user1805

« on: August 08, 2020, 09:27:39 PM »
Several times I thought, let me look that up, but I coudnt find any reference in the internet. Any trial with the word leads me to some game referring sites only. Trying from direction of sites about Finnish history there also was no hint of invaders from the east at later iron age.

Did someone find any reference here?

Galgana

« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2020, 10:53:51 PM »
The folk etymology I've taken up for the name breaks it down into нерпа + -ец = people of the ringed seal (genus Pusa), where the Russian word нерпа is cognate with Finnish norppa (species Pusa hispida). It's a bit funny, seeing that Seal-Tribe territory is on the opposite end of the map!

But I suppose there's no direct real world analogue for the njerpezit.

user1805

« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2020, 08:07:10 AM »
Etymological interesting reference, thanks :)

What i found isnt much and does not fit but can mention it:
- Settlement from the baltic region, early indogermanic, the absorbed. (3000 BC, far too early)
- Turcic/Mogolic wars. Influence to the region not before 1250. (too late)
- Moskovit expansion to the region around 1500. (even later)
- Only thing is left that at this time, is that Samojedic tribes were there at this time (~900), which culture is after Moskovit expansion left more to the north east. But those are like Finnish cousins and cant call them a different culture with a good conscienceness. They were (are) living from reindeer. Those were there, but dont fit to the hypothesis of Njerpez as the game describes it.

PALU

« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2020, 08:39:24 AM »
If I've understood it correctly, the Njerpezit aren't based on any real world peoples, but rather there to fill the need for some bad guys in the game, and then vaguely associated with the east (they'd have to come from some direction, and with water in the south, the traders from the west, you don't have many directions left). The Njerps are, after all, crazed nutjobs, rather than a normal culture.

Erkka

« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2020, 08:56:29 AM »
This might be a bit of a disappointment, but here are a few words from the very person who crafted the word "Njerpez" and drafted their place and role in the UnReal World;

1. As far as I know, the name is just a pseudo-word, chosen for the way it sounds to a Finnish-speaking person. (Of course there probably always are sub-conscious influences I'm not aware of myself.) Without meaning anything specific it just sounds "foreign". It should be noted that the same principle applies to all the other cultural names in UnReal World - most of them are pseudo words chosen to sound like a words which could've existed in ancient Finnish language.

2. Although UnReal World is based on Iron Age Finland (roughly 800 AD - 1200 AD), we deliberately chose to make a phantasy world resembling historical Finland. That way we have some artistic freedom, and not all the details need to be 100% accurate. Just like the world map is not real Finland, so the tribes and cultures are loose adaptations. Especially the Njerpez. They are somewhat based on Russian cultures.

Historically speaking, there is the 1323 AD treaty defining a border between Swedish Kingdom and Novgorod Republic. That border runs through the area which was home to Finnic tribes. So, a lot simplified, around the turn of 1200 - 1300 AD the land mass now known as Finland saw the Swedish Kingdom expanding from the West, and Novgorod expanding from the South-East.

One fictional inspiration for the world of UnReal World has been an alternative history; how would late 1200 AD Finland have looked like, if the Swedish invasion didn't take place? In that case, probably, there still would've been some sort of Novgorod expansion. And not just Novgorod expansion, but probably also Finnic tribes launching (counter)raids into Novgorod territory. Or, actually this Finnic - Novgorod warfare probably is also historically accurate, but only fragmentary documents remain.

EDIT:

Quote
The Njerps are, after all, crazed nutjobs, rather than a normal culture.

I must say that personally I'm a little bit sad about that. I mean, I feel that it would be great if we had all the cultures of UnReal World more detailed and behaving in more realistic and complex way, with multiple layers in their behavioural patterns and repertoire. But that is a huge task which would require a lot of AI programming, and the main focus has been developing the simulation of nature and animals.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2020, 09:06:32 AM by Erkka »
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PALU

« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2020, 03:17:28 PM »
Well, the only real world culture that remotely behaves like the Nerjpezit are some of the Andamanian tribes of Andaman islands (in the Indian Ocean) that attack anyone entering their islands at sight, but they're probably xenophobic because of past experience with foreigners, and aren't invading others and attacking them. You might possibly make some connection between the Nerjps and some of the former extremely blood thirsty middle American cultures when it comes to warfare.
Regardless, as it currently stands, the Njerps are basically inhuman creatures that either attack or flee, but with which you can't have any peaceful interaction, little less than rabid dogs that have to be eliminated for your own protection. Personally I'd like if they were given a little human touch, with occasional non hostile interactions, and defeated Njerps pleading for mercy (and actually leaving, most of the time if show mercy [without returning with a whole war band the next year]).

user1805

« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2020, 07:04:24 PM »
Yeah, I was searching for the historical proof that the Nerpez never tried to reach the western and northern cultures, as the changelog to [3.63] briefly tells us:

Quote
Version: 3.63 (stable)
[...] - adjusted: wandering Njerpez commonness based on the region
Wandering Njerpez are most commonly met in the east and south-east. That's an old rule which hasn't changed, but in the previous versions the borderline of their existence and non-existence was strict and rigid. Now the wandering Njerpez commonness is more gradual, decreasing the further into the west and north you go. Now it's been also verified that Njerpez raiders don't ever try to reach regions of western and northern cultures, so that's where to settle if you want to avoid raiders completely.

 ;D

The reasons are:
1. Njerpez didnt acually exist. (Main reson)
2. They were modified by artists freedom.
3. They could have been existing in the Indian Ocean even if they were hunting there for other type of seals than in the game:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eared_seal
4. They acually were not humans because they only curse and dont talk to people. Probably also eat people.
5. They could not have been russians because on the one hand side there also must have been swedes, which are not been found and on the other hand side the etymological reference does not fit, because the referring tribe is on the wrong side of the map.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2020, 02:34:38 PM by user1805 »

user1805

« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2020, 02:35:04 PM »
No one up to refute my statement?

BlankPaper

« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2020, 03:07:12 PM »
Refute what? You got a direct answer from the game's own co-designer on their origins! What's left to speculate about? I don't understand.

user1805

« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2020, 10:10:41 PM »
Refute what? You got a direct answer from the game's own co-designer on their origins! What's left to speculate about? I don't understand.

Who told you you that a game-programmer is also a Historian M.A.?

The question is: "Was there a tribe in ironage that fits to the scenario of the game" (The name of the tribe obviously cannot be 'Njerpez' as Galgana already clearly mentioned). But what was the real name of the tribe that come in focus and around what year was it?

If someone is able to program in C is completely uninteresting for that question.
Do you understand it now BlankPaper?

Erkka

« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2020, 07:20:51 AM »
Quote
But what was the real name of the tribe that come in focus and around what year was it?

I'm sorry if my previous reply was too unclear. Here comes a clarified reply:

Q: What was the real name of the tribe?
A: Novgorod Russians

Q: Around what year was it?
A: 1000 AD - 1200 AD

It is true that I'm not a Historian M.A. But I did study some folkloristics at the University. Naturally, that doesn't mean that I would be an unquestioned source of the ultimate truth. As always in science, we need further references, and we need to back our claims by evidence and we need to question the evidence, and we need to provide our sources etc etc. Honouring those principles I gave a few links in my previous reply. Especially this wikipedia article. Sure, again we can say that wikipedia is not a fully reliable source. But that article has further references, so if you are interested you can dig further and read books, or the original sources like Novgorod First Chronicle.

Naturally, all of this can be questioned, as counterarguments are a crucial part of scientific thinking. One counterargument provided in an earlier comment was:

Quote
5. They could not have been russians because on the one hand side there also must have been swedes, which are not been found and on the other hand side the etymological reference does not fit, because the referring tribe is on the wrong side of the map.

It is very likely that I fail to understand the argument correctly. From my point of view the premises of that argument are somewhat vague. I'll provide a more detailed examination:

- the game takes place in a fantasy world which is inspired by real history. I fail to understand the argument that "if there are russians there also mut have been swedes". The only way I can understand this argument would lead to including the whole world in UnReal World, like "if you include tribe X, you must also include the other tribes which had interaction with X, and after that you also need to include further tribes which had interaction with them, and their neighbours also and then the tribes living near them and so and so on". But the answer is that no, we don't need to. In a fantasy game world we can choose what to include, where to focus and what to leave outside the game world.

- Also, I'm not so sure about the "swedes have not been found in UnReal World" part. The swedes are included in Foreign Traders.

- "the etymological reference does not fit, because the referring tribe is on the wrong side of the map" leaves me rather puzzled. As stated earlier, the word "Njerpez" is my own invention, a pseudo word. So there isn't that much of etymology to the word. It is just onomatopoeia in action. Also, the UnReal World map is not an accurate copy of real world map, so directions and dimensions could well be altered because of fantasy. But, funnily enough, in the case of Njerpez the geographical reference is accurate. Just like in the real history, seen from the viewpoint of Finnic tribes the Njerpez / The Novgorod Russians come from South-East. But, the thing is, that as a person who drafted this fantasy world, and the locations of the tribes, my brain is probably too stuck with the way I see it, so I'm having hard time wrapping my mind around some alternative way of seeing how "this or that tribe is on the wrong side of the map". I'll be happy to broaden my perspectives if provided a clear explanation which a half-educated mountain man like me can understand.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2020, 07:28:58 AM by Erkka »
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trowftd

« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2020, 10:53:57 AM »
I can't believe that nowadays you have to prove the correctness of your fantasy world.

user1805

« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2020, 12:13:56 PM »
Let me come back to this: "Now it's been also verified that Njerpez raiders don't ever try to reach regions of western and northern cultures"

Verfied would mean proven. And as the discussion (not only in this thread) refers to history as a main base of the game, to me it looked like someone found a historical proof. From here I thought 'What a hoax, who proofed that?'.

If you say about my post # 6 that you dont really understand the arguments, thats obvious because they are actually not arguments but an ironic summary of what was posted before. Thought that was clear to be seen. That can happen when I have the impression that I get bamboozled. But only the grin smiley in addition I counted as a double check to prevent from misunderstanding that post.

As you use a present tense in the change log (what I just overlooked before) , possibly you mean it is >set< (instead of verified) in the current game scenario. This is when >verified< now only looks like an irritating word usage here. This is what I understand now after your explanation as you also mention that historical validation is fragmentary.

I dont count Wikipedia as so bad, as thousands look at i each day and mistakes would be found. Its maybe a little speculation but as you see the Novgorod map it looks quite like expansion and they probably would have tried to reach out. Even they reached the northern regions. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geschichte_Russlands#/media/Datei:Rus_de_Kiev_es_1237.svg

As you search from Russian history intead of Finnland history, it shows up easily.

If you draw the the game map maybe 40 degrees clockwise you also see that the raiders from the east actually are coming more from the south. Thats when someone looks for raiders from the east (historically) he will not find them.

Novgorod is one possibilty but according to the current scenario setup, I would count it as the second best because the game scenario shows no possibilty of success of the invaders, but in history it was there. If I include besides conditions I would count it only as the 3rd best, what is maybe a little surprising. Swedes are not necessary to explain traders. Even in stone age there were trading routes.

What I clearly dont like is someone coming in the 'I-am-style'. Sure, the adminitrator can implement little green guys coming from space to switch off the continent if the spirit of the water is angered. Or even slap off comments in the 'I-am-style'. But that means nothing and not everyone will count you as 'something else'. There is no reason to behave from upside to down as long there is nothing abusive, discriminating, ... You should know it yourself.

Other thing is: In the game desription on the public site the game is called "low-fantsy". In the discussion the historical reference is held high. "High-historical-low-fantasy" would that be coorect? I made no notes about it but repeatingly in the discussion I saw, when someone brings an argument what historically does not (really) fit, history will slap it off. But when someone then comes with history argumentation you easily say (besides others) that its just fantasy. This looks like switching the comfortable side any time you like. You find that thing in the 'Hare and the Hedghog' story where the actually faster one looks like slow.

Every scenario is somehow restricted and arranged. Thats  also the case in the game. But that is not yet fantasy in my opinion. Even the quest stories of those spirits are something what exists in many variations in the mind of people. From that point of view I would not count it as 'Fantasy' in the strict sense. Fantasy for me would begin as dwarves and elves running around interacting. Also those Njerps are not fantasy not even really fictional as we found examples for them in area and other circumstances.

Erkka

« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2020, 12:37:57 PM »
Quote
Let me come back to this: "Now it's been also verified that Njerpez raiders don't ever try to reach regions of western and northern cultures"

Verfied would mean proven. And as the discussion (not only in this thread) refers to history as a main base of the game, to me it looked like someone found a historical proof. From here I thought 'What a hoax, who proofed that?'.

Great, thank you for the clarification!

It is my understanding that in the game release notes "Now it's been also verified that Njerpez raiders ..." means that it has been verified that the game mechanics is functioning the way it is supposed to do. To put in other words; it has been verified that an old bug is now fixed in the game. It is not meant to be a reference to the real history outside the game. I really didn't understand that you took it as such, and I'd guess this has been a source of a lot of confusion in this thread.

I mean; in the real history Novgorod Russian do what they do. In the game world we have artistic freedom to decide what we want The Njerpez tribe to do, and for that the creators' decision is enough. So we have decided that we want them to be wandering mainly and mostly around the Eastern cultures of The UnReal World.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2020, 12:40:56 PM by Erkka »
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trowftd

« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2020, 12:53:06 PM »
While things you said about history are true, saying that you are not a historian just because you can code a historical game is a huge understatement to the devs imo. This game is under development for 25+ years. The devs are also very much interested in the folklore, history of the proposed timeline and place.
You can defend the world you created by just saying that "I wanted it this way.", now I am not saying this is how Erkka and Sami are thinking but the novgorod situation is just silly IMO. I don't really understand what you really want by historical accuracy. Do you want the njerpez to completely eliminate eastern tribes as the time goes on? Do you want njerpez in Seal tribe areas?
To me, it is still a high history simulation. Just because you can't find real life representation of a tribe doesn't mean that the game is fantasy and the time and location should be changed or so. Unreal World, at least right now, is more concerned with you and the nature rather than historical relations about the tribes within the game.