Topic: Information about the Spirits  (Read 1859 times)


Karmatose

« on: December 30, 2020, 06:17:02 AM »
Hi there!

I'm planning a creative project in which I write a story from the perspective of one of the spirits who is observing my character. In particular, I'm thinking this spirit absolutely despises my character, and is constantly looking for ways to kill them. Unfortunately, I do not know much about the spirits as individuals. I have heard mention of a "Waterman" and an "Old Man of the Forest" but I know nothing about them besides their domain, and the wiki(s) are unhelpful. Can I get more information on this? Specifically, the questions below:

-What is the name of the spirit?
-What does the spirit control/what is the spirit's domain?
-How can the spirit affect the everyday life of an individual?
-What powers does the spirit possess?
-Does the spirit have any motivations or goals? (i.e., protecting something, destroying another thing, etc.)
-What is the spirit's relationship to other spirits?

If this is something that can be found in real-world mythology, if someone could please point me in the right direction for searching it up myself, that'd be great. I've tried looking up 'Finnish Waterman' etc, but no luck. Would also need a list of the spirits present in-game as well.

JP_Finn

« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2020, 06:34:31 AM »
I have a feeling the spirits in-game are made up, just as the various cultures are. There are analogies of course.

Tapio is the god of forests and animals within.
Ahti rules in the waters.

There’s plenty of them, some more known/used/remembered, some less. And some aren’t ‘gods’ as per se, but rather elves (tonttu, the small and elusive fellas helping Santa at Ear Fell, not the Tolkien elves) and grounds spirits (maahinen), mostly malevolent water spirits (vetehinen)

Try to do a search for “old Finnish gods beliefs and spirits” or such.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2020, 06:49:53 AM by JP_Finn »

JP_Finn

« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2020, 06:49:16 AM »
I just recalled I wrote a short piece of the differing URW— ancient Finn beliefs few months back.

Karmatose

« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2020, 08:26:13 AM »
Browsing through the links mentioned and some Wikipedia articles. My story would be set in the game universe...I'm thinking of writing one of the major gods, most likely...Possibly Tapio or Ahti. Ahti is appealing as I like the idea of him waiting for my character to go into the water so he can drown her, but never getting the chance. I think I will have a system where if my character does a certain action (such as swimming or boating) I will roll a dice to see what happens/if she survives.

Anyway, thanks for the links and the general help. I'll look into this more. ^^

EDIT: To clarify, the in-game name of Ahti is Waterman, yes?
« Last Edit: December 30, 2020, 08:29:29 AM by Karmatose »

Privateer

« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2020, 08:37:04 AM »
 My personal favorite Kalma (goddess) the Finnish goddess of death and decay,
her name meaning "The Stench of Corpses".

 She was the inspiration for my combat trainer mod.
To help is it's own reward.
Mods:
https://www.unrealworld.fi/forums/index.php?action=profile;area=showposts;sa=attach;u=10 Player Quests, Arrow quiver, Bee hives honey & mead, Massive menus, Fish Farmer, Combat trainer, Player made markers, Weaving, Wood stacks, Chicken coop Fish cuts, string&bone.

Karmatose

« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2020, 09:13:07 AM »
Kalma seems interesting as well...perhaps I will write from the perspective of various different gods/goddesses. We will see.

JP_Finn

« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2020, 09:39:13 AM »
I don’t speak for Enormous Elk, so speculation of the name of Waterman to be Ahti, is just that, a speculation.

Although, as memory serves, older version of the game had a spell for safer swimming and the rhyme in Finnish did mention ‘Hiisi’ as the spirit to be appeased with the incantation to allow swimming—prevent drowning. That’d likely fit your narrative better than Ahti being vindictive.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2020, 09:41:15 AM by JP_Finn »

Erkka

« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2020, 10:07:30 AM »
And then a general level comment from the Enormous Elk team  :)

In a way, I think that exact names and well-formulated definitions on which god / spirit does what, is maybe a later invention. Or, if we take a look at any contemporary major established religion, we see that despite all the centuries of organized scholarship to define the exact dogmas of this or that religion, there still are a lot of internal disputes, different sub-versions constantly being forked from the main-stream interpretation of a religion.

So I feel that it would be safe to assume that this was going on already a 1000 years ago in pagan Finland. Different regions called their spirits using different names. The definitions weren't set it stone, and a lot of villages or individual people could have their own local variations and adaptations.

Then, later on, when some people got this idea that history can be documented by writing it down, we got lists of deities based on what was known at that time by that person doing the writing. It is very likely that the actual folklore was seven or twenty three times richer that what got documented.

Yes, I appreciate the approach of wanting to familiarize with the details, names and natures of the ancient Finnish spirits and deities - or those adaptations we have in the game. Yet, I feel that the one thing we learn also in the game is that gods, deities and spirits are little bit elusive. So, ones own personal imagination is a valid guide as well, when venturing into the realm of seldom-seen aspects of our world.

All that being said, I also have an answer to one of the details asked:

Quote
-How can the spirit affect the everyday life of an individual?

I don't know for sure, but I'd guess that one way is to send accidents and other unfortunate events. When an individual feels that something unfortunate and highly unpleasant happens, it is rather tempting to assign that to the spirits, or some malicious witchery by other people. Go fishing, return with empty hands having caught only cold, and lie down in fever? Probably a punishment from the water folks? Or maybe it is Jussa from the neigbouring village - a week ago I instulted Jussa, and now he has sent his unseen spirit minions to harm me, maybe I need to go back to apologize him?

Karmatose

« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2020, 10:24:11 AM »
Although, as memory serves, older version of the game had a spell for safer swimming and the rhyme in Finnish did mention ‘Hiisi’ as the spirit to be appeased with the incantation to allow swimming—prevent drowning. That’d likely fit your narrative better than Ahti being vindictive.

Hmm, that's very interesting. I should mention that my idea was not necessarily that Ahti was vindictive, but rather that for whatever reason he is irrevocably displeased with my character. I haven't fully fleshed out the idea, but I imagine it was something beyond her control or direct knowledge - something done by her ancestors, perhaps, that placed a "curse" of misfortune on her entire family.

Is it possible to cheat the game to lower your standing with the spirits? Can anyone explain how to do that?

And then a general level comment from the Enormous Elk team  :)

In a way, I think that exact names and well-formulated definitions on which god / spirit does what, is maybe a later invention. Or, if we take a look at any contemporary major established religion, we see that despite all the centuries of organized scholarship to define the exact dogmas of this or that religion, there still are a lot of internal disputes, different sub-versions constantly being forked from the main-stream interpretation of a religion.

So I feel that it would be safe to assume that this was going on already a 1000 years ago in pagan Finland. Different regions called their spirits using different names. The definitions weren't set it stone, and a lot of villages or individual people could have their own local variations and adaptations.

Then, later on, when some people got this idea that history can be documented by writing it down, we got lists of deities based on what was known at that time by that person doing the writing. It is very likely that the actual folklore was seven or twenty three times richer that what got documented.

Yes, I appreciate the approach of wanting to familiarize with the details, names and natures of the ancient Finnish spirits and deities - or those adaptations we have in the game. Yet, I feel that the one thing we learn also in the game is that gods, deities and spirits are little bit elusive. So, ones own personal imagination is a valid guide as well, when venturing into the realm of seldom-seen aspects of our world.

I do like the idea of being given creative freedom, true. Perhaps I will run with this a bit. Perhaps the spirits do not have formal names, I'll have to see how to write that though. Could be an interesting challenge.

All that being said, I also have an answer to one of the details asked:

Quote
-How can the spirit affect the everyday life of an individual?

I don't know for sure, but I'd guess that one way is to send accidents and other unfortunate events. When an individual feels that something unfortunate and highly unpleasant happens, it is rather tempting to assign that to the spirits, or some malicious witchery by other people. Go fishing, return with empty hands having caught only cold, and lie down in fever? Probably a punishment from the water folks? Or maybe it is Jussa from the neigbouring village - a week ago I instulted Jussa, and now he has sent his unseen spirit minions to harm me, maybe I need to go back to apologize him?

I see. That makes a whole lot of sense, and kind of was along the lines of what I was thinking, yes. Thank you for the kind insight. ^^

PALU

« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2020, 10:48:16 AM »
The game mentions spirits in plural, with each body of water having its own spirit, each stretch of forest having its own spirit (there's an in game incantation for greeting the local spirit before going to sleep when traveling, for instance).

From that perspective, I'd see a vengeful spirit of the water to be the spirit of a particular body of water, so the dangers would be present only there. Said spirit would ensure the fishing luck was abysmal, swimming within its domain would result in poor swimming results, currents that oppose the swimming direction, cramps, and possibly getting bitten by pikes (the game does have swimming result rolls, but no currents, cramps, or pike attacks). Trying to use a craft on that body of water might require more work than it should due to currents and the craft might capsize (neither present in the game currently). Walking on the ice might result in falling through despite the ice really being thick enough for an elk to run over it.

However, the spirits of the game are fairly simple creatures (mechanically, anyway), that forgive past transgressions if you provide them with sufficient offerings or simply let time pass. Of course, a story version might reject the offerings or demand some particular compensation. If you want a story to match the game you should probably play enough to meet them (I believe they're called the water folk in the game).

UrW magic is usually subtle. So subtle that you can't actually tell if it exists at all or if it's just luck. Did the ritual have the desired effect, or were you just imagining it did? Anyway, it doesn't harm to perform the rituals, as they generally don't cost much in materials and effort (there are a few exceptions).

Post added while the above was written:
You anger the spirits by taking without offering compensation, so fishing a lot without offerings will put you on a bad standing with the water folk, killing a lot of animals, cutting a lot of trees, and setting a lot of traps are all actions that affect the spirits of the forest negatively. However, I doubt anyone has made a tool to hack the standing with the spirits (the information is obviously stored somewhere in the save).

Karmatose

« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2020, 12:13:23 PM »
The game mentions spirits in plural, with each body of water having its own spirit, each stretch of forest having its own spirit (there's an in game incantation for greeting the local spirit before going to sleep when traveling, for instance).

Hmm, I did not realize that. I thought the spell for the local spirit that you make before sleeping was for a tontuu of some sort, although I can't recall why. I was under the understanding that there are major spirits, or possibly more aptly referred to as 'gods', that have influence over all the world, and then lesser spirits such as the water spirits you mentioned which may have influence over a certain region. Perhaps I should proceed with the usage of the term 'god' or 'goddess'?

From that perspective, I'd see a vengeful spirit of the water to be the spirit of a particular body of water, so the dangers would be present only there. Said spirit would ensure the fishing luck was abysmal, swimming within its domain would result in poor swimming results, currents that oppose the swimming direction, cramps, and possibly getting bitten by pikes (the game does have swimming result rolls, but no currents, cramps, or pike attacks). Trying to use a craft on that body of water might require more work than it should due to currents and the craft might capsize (neither present in the game currently). Walking on the ice might result in falling through despite the ice really being thick enough for an elk to run over it.

I realize not everything will happen in-game, I can take liberties with the story, usage of the game is mostly for the sake of inspiration as well as screenshots.

However, the spirits of the game are fairly simple creatures (mechanically, anyway), that forgive past transgressions if you provide them with sufficient offerings or simply let time pass. Of course, a story version might reject the offerings or demand some particular compensation. If you want a story to match the game you should probably play enough to meet them (I believe they're called the water folk in the game).

You harbor a very good point there, I have played a lot of the game but I have a very bad habit of starting over frequently so I haven't gotten particularly far in a single save file. I was not aware until recently that you could even meet the spirits at all. Are the water-folk the only spirits you can meet?

UrW magic is usually subtle. So subtle that you can't actually tell if it exists at all or if it's just luck. Did the ritual have the desired effect, or were you just imagining it did? Anyway, it doesn't harm to perform the rituals, as they generally don't cost much in materials and effort (there are a few exceptions).

I know that URW magic is typically more subtle, but as this is from the perspective of the spirits/gods I believe it'd make sense to understand their abilities and such both in and out of the game, as while I am inspired by the game, the story did not take place in a game, if that makes sense? The characters believe it's real, so I cannot make the excuse that "I didn't flesh out this character because the game didn't tell me anything about them".

Post added while the above was written:
You anger the spirits by taking without offering compensation, so fishing a lot without offerings will put you on a bad standing with the water folk, killing a lot of animals, cutting a lot of trees, and setting a lot of traps are all actions that affect the spirits of the forest negatively. However, I doubt anyone has made a tool to hack the standing with the spirits (the information is obviously stored somewhere in the save).

Understood, so angering the spirits would take a fair bit of time, and cheating it is currently unknown territory. Thanks for the information. :)




I believe I've gotten everything I need out of this thread. I'll leave it open in case someone has something they would really like to contribute (and because I have no idea how to close threads, or if it's even possible for me to do.) That said I think my main questions have been answered, thank you all for the lovely insight and resources. :)

PALU

« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2020, 02:05:59 PM »
There are 3 spirits you can meet:
- The water folk
- The spirit of the forest
- The forest maids

If you go on a wood cutting and animal killing spree you can probably get on the bad side of the spirits in a week or two, but, on the other hand, being on their bad side isn't lethal (there was someone who had religious objections about offers to the spirits a while ago, and the advice was that you can ignore the spirits without too much trouble).
Actually, the fastest way to anger the spirit of the forest is to keep setting and resetting traps (I've done that as a way to train trapping while waiting for my characters to regain their breath).

JP_Finn

« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2021, 01:09:10 AM »
As a in-game source for multiple individual, separate Waterfolk, see attachment

JP_Finn

« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2021, 01:10:58 AM »
And another:

Karmatose

« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2021, 07:22:57 PM »
Thanks everyone for the help! I am thinking I will adjust my idea a bit, perhaps the person watching my character is not actually a spirit, but rather the itse (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finnish_paganism#Soul) of a deceased relative. Still developing the idea, but it seems to make a lot more sense. ^^

 

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