[Discussion] The Entire Eyktol Region

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[Discussion] The Entire Eyktol Region

Postby Gossamer on January 19th, 2017, 3:45 am


So I've waited for this day with dread. I knew it was coming. I think the PMs I'm going to reveal here will show you why. Please read them thoroughly. I may have edited mine to keep them relevant to the discussion. I'm also going to keep the Original PMer anonymous. I thought the PM was sent with the best intentions and a legitimate gripe.

Benshira and Yahal Lore Pages

Sent: Wed Jan 18, 2017 4:37 pm
From: Withheld
To: Gossamer
Hi Gossamer.

I was rereading the Lore article on the Benshira and I noticed just how extensively it borrows from the Hebrew Scriptures. A tribesman leaves his family to form a new tribe after a deity speaks to him, people try to steal his wife, he has lots of children whose descendants form their own society, this society starts out as a theocracy but later asks for a king despite their deity's warnings... I could go on. Even the names are similar: Biyram vs Abraham, Zariah vs Sariah, etc. I'm telling you all this partly because it's surprising for the borrowing to be that heavy on a forum which so values originality, and I thought you might not be aware of the matter due to a possible lack of knowledge about the Hebrew Scriptures, so I figured I should let you know. My main concern, though, is where that borrowing extends into the realm of religion.

I know this is a sensitive topic, so please bear with me. The Benshiras' patron deity, Yahal, seems to be very much based on the God of the Abrahamic religions. I'm mainly referring to Yahal's interactions with the Benshira in the History section of the race's lore page, but Yahal's own lore page evokes this as well. From the Attitude section - "Those who serve him describe Yahal like a loving husband who grows jealous when his wife wanders." This is an extremely common metaphor for God in the Hebrew Scriptures. The page image also appears to be a Christian icon. A few similarities would make sense in terms of drawing real-world inspiration, but the number of similarities I noticed was beyond that level.

Mizahar is a polytheistic world and Yahal is a god among gods, so as a Christian all this makes me feel as if my God and my faith have been rebranded, then cast as part of a system which my religion actually opposes IRL. Of course I understand that no one on Mizahar would do that intentionally, but I'd still really appreciate it if you could let me know your thoughts on the matter, and possibly enlighten me if I've misinterpreted something.

Sorry to write you an essay - I wanted to be as clear as I could about my concerns. Thanks for your time!



Here is my response.


Re: Benshira and Yahal Lore Pages

Sent: Wed Jan 18, 2017 4:52 pm
by Gossamer
Believe it or not I completely understand.

Hear me out.

When we were developing Mizahar, each Founder took a region, with a few left over. I took Syliras, with the help of Gillar and then took Cyphrus to develop as well. Cayenne and Liminal took other areas/cities. Tarot worked exclusively on Sahova and a sixth founder named Columbina took Eyktol.

I am utterly unaware of the Hebrew Teachings and in many ways Christianity. Not many people know this about me but I am Native American and was born on a reservation in Idaho (Fort Hall - Bannock Shoshone Tribe). My faith is considered Pagan in modern society.

Anyhow, we were all super busy with our own regions and our developments. I trusted these other people to write original lore and they all decided to do so. After Columbina quit (she got married and started having babies) shortly after Miz opened, no one did anything with Eyktol or her races (the Benshira and Eypharians). It wasn't until a while after we were open and Columbina was gone, that I learned how similar this was to the whole teachings of the Jews and the history of Christianity. I was OFFENDED for you. Seriously. I was in a rage deeper than you can even imagine. I closed the entire region, all its cities, and started efforts on a rewrite for the races. So far the Eypharians got that since several people loved them so much that they took an interest in it. The Benshira haven't had any offers of rewrites and I myself haven't had time to do it. All I could really do is close the region, gut the cities, and start with a rewrite of the races.

Believe me... Please. I would have never produced something like this. I just flat out didn't know. And I took the steps I thought I could take (Eyktol was closed long before we invented closing cities without mods) until someone (probably me?) had the time to do a rewrite on things.

I am soooo sorry. And I knew the day would come someone would point this out and tell me flat out how offensive it is. I know it is. I was seriously offended when I learned how close it was.

So my question now is... how can I make this right? I don't have a lot of free time to rewrite the Benshira to be original (though it is on my list) other than maybe blanking the lore pages? I am willing to listen to any suggestions you might have. And honestly, though this has been important to me its really a back burner issue because no one has sent me this email (though I've expected one) before now and everything that does get attention gets done first.

I'm really open to suggestions.

Goss


Their response.

Re: Benshira and Yahal Lore Pages

Sent: Wed Jan 18, 2017 5:48 pm
by Withheld
Thank you so much for your quick reply, and for all that you've already done to mitigate the problem! You don't know how relieved I am to hear you understand the issue - I thought I might have to leave over this, and I really didn't want to because it's so cool here! :p That sounds like a really awkward situation you were put in, and definitely not your fault.

As for solutions... hmm. Blanking the lore pages seems like a good idea. If you wanted to leave a bit of info, in case of active Benshira players needing something to fall back on, the Physical Appearance, Language, and Art & Industry sections seem fairly OK. For Yahal's page, you could blank the whole thing or just blank the Attitude and Worship sections and the picture, leaving the rest to be overhauled eventually. What with being new and all, I'm not sure which approach would work best.

Thank you again for your offense on our behalf, and for taking action!


The rest of the PMs really revolved around maybe putting this to a transparency thread where Eyktol is discussed, you as a playerbase get told why lore pages get blanked and rewritten... and a lot of this work finally gets done.

Here's what I need.

1. What do you guys think of this situation? It's always been a secret shame of mine that this is such a rip off and one of the reasons Columbina and I had a falling out. She left the site for good and hasn't been back in years so I'm having no issues rewriting or gutting the entire region.

2. Can you help? Would you be willing to assist in certain aspects of this project like maybe brainstorming or developing the region further?

3. Ideas ideas ideas. What do you guys all think of this? Are we taking the right approach?

We got a rewrite (and a nice one!) on the Eypharians. We just need to add it to the lore. I can do that this weekend maybe after I edit for grammar spelling and content. We do need to do some minor tweeks to the Yahal Gnosis rewrite. But its thankfully been rewritten by Gillar. So, to totally solve this issue we need the cities in Eyktol gutted and rewritten. We need the Benshira rewritten. We need Yahal rewritten into something original.

I'd love to hear your thoughts and see if anyone is willing to volunteer. I already have a couple from the staff. Namely I think Prophet might take one of the cities down south. :)

Thanks ahead of time for the time it takes you to respond. And like I explained to the player, I'm sorry its taken so long to get to this project but around here the squeaky wheel kinda gets the grease first with developers being so thinly stretched. That means until someone sends a pm like this (please don't flood me on your pet projects!) I don't move on it until the mood strikes or inspiration hits. It sounds like due to this player its Eyktol's time though to get some TLC.

Goss


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[Discussion] The Entire Eyktol Region

Postby Irathia on January 19th, 2017, 4:25 am

As a person that personally does not have a religion, I am personally not offended by the fact that the lore is a rip off of Christianity/Jewish texts. Though, I can completely see why this needs to change, two main reasons in fact. The first and main reason is that it is not okay to rebrand texts from other religions and sell it as something new. It is disrespectful to the people that follow the certain faiths. Two, its unoriginal! This site seems to pride itself on not following tropes!

I would like to try to the best of my ability, though school might get in the way of my full out time and attention. I think it would be fun to further develop the region and help rethink certain aspects. I think my ideas will be best suited for the physical area itself though, not as much as the races and lore itself. Sorry about that, and for this situation, just from the few PMs I saw it seemed like this was a really bad and important issue for you.

As for ideas, the PMs covered what should be done currently, blanking all things that resemble the religions in question and keeping the rest. For Yahal I would think to change his nature in a way that makes him more like a healer warrior, he is willing to take in people that want to worship and if they prove to be good enough he would reward them by purifying something. Or perhaps he can be more of a peaceful god compared to well... Christian and Jewish God?
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[Discussion] The Entire Eyktol Region

Postby Dovey on January 19th, 2017, 5:36 am

Although I haven't been here too long, I'd like to work on the rewrite for the Benshira lore page. It's awesome to see the region getting overhauled. I'd post ideas now but I should be in bed; I mainly just wanted to get in on this thread and be ready to participate in the discussion.

Irathia, Yahal as a healer-warrior sounds amazing.
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[Discussion] The Entire Eyktol Region

Postby Prophet on January 19th, 2017, 6:33 am

Just chipping in for now, I think that adjusting Yahal from his present stance/abilities would diminish him. The current gnosis fights corruption which directly opposes several gods and discipline s in the system. So, in a way, he is already a healer just one in more of a less physical nature. Images and history can surely be rewritten to adhere more to the new Benshira lore. I'm all for a rewrite and have tons of ideas regarding the culture that move away from the history and tenets of Judaism. However, I really think changing what Yahal represents will compromise existing characters and the balance he offers to the game.
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[Discussion] The Entire Eyktol Region

Postby Gossamer on January 19th, 2017, 2:41 pm

So far I have volunteers for Yahal, The Benshira, one city in the region to be gutted (possibly two), and I might tackle the Chaktawe myself to remove the Disney Native American Ideals from them. If your interested in helping on a project let me know.
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[Discussion] The Entire Eyktol Region

Postby Gossamer on January 19th, 2017, 2:42 pm

So far completed: The Ephs, Yahals Gnosis (with a few minor tweeks).
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[Discussion] The Entire Eyktol Region

Postby Khida on January 19th, 2017, 5:00 pm

I'm not really in a place to spearhead a rewrite myself, but I would be happy to provide critiques/feedback/second opinions as desired.

Will these be going through the WD forum?
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[Discussion] The Entire Eyktol Region

Postby Prophet on January 19th, 2017, 6:41 pm

Khida wrote:
I'm not really in a place to spearhead a rewrite myself, but I would be happy to provide critiques/feedback/second opinions as desired.

Will these be going through the WD forum?


I will gladly accept your proofreading skills. :)
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Postby Nara Utovosm on January 19th, 2017, 6:59 pm

PC revamp
Last edited by Nara Utovosm on August 5th, 2020, 11:39 am, edited 2 times in total.
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[Discussion] The Entire Eyktol Region

Postby Vaerin on January 22nd, 2017, 5:35 am

Sorry for being a little late to this party. For what it is worth, I think that it is great at how this is being dealt with. Clearly it is unfortunate that something like this happened in the first place; but I do feel that this is being handled in a very mature and respectful manner.

I am more than willing to assist in any way that I can in these endeavors; though I will admit that I think my new status might be limiting as I am still learning the ropes. But it is better to offer to help, I think.
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