1)The Power of Old Religions
Norrath is not a young world. Entire civilizations have risen and fallen, each leaving their mark on the pages of history. As we crafted the world of EverQuest Next, we wanted to ensure that the world’s religions reflected that deep history and felt rooted within Norrath’s societies for thousands of years. The young races might worship their shiny new Seraphs (as covered in a previous blog post), but the ancient races remember the old gods, such as the Four Shapers.
2)Norrath’s First Gods
Many historians claim that the first sentient beings to perform acts of worship on Norrath were the giants. According to early accounts--mainly collected from ancient shrines or passed down through legends--the giants, beings born of the elements, were astounded when they saw massive elemental titans towering above them. The colossal titans reshaped Norrath at will, scraping earth to form mountains and swelling water to cover land with vast oceans. The giants named the greatest titans, each representing one of the four primal elements: Amaril (earth), Ignestus (fire), Ohnsha (air), and Prexus (water).
Little verifiable history survived from this ancient time, but it’s clear that the titans, if they ever truly existed, disappeared before mortal races emerged on Norrath. Giants claim it was the dragons who drove away their gods, and have fought many wars against the children of Veeshan in the name of vengeance. But it’s unclear how or why the dragons would’ve been responsible for the titans’ disappearance.
Even after the titans were gone, the influence of the Four Shapers remained. The giants told legends that one day their gods would awaken to reshape the world again. They built massive monuments to honor the titans, some of which endure to the present day.
When the first mortal races appeared, early tribes discovered the giants’ monuments and adopted the titan deities as their own. As Keldarain society developed, they expanded on the simple depictions of the Four they found, giving the faceless titans personalities and associating them with seasons. Festivals were held in their honor each year, and rituals were established to garner their favor.
Over time, Seraph worship rose to dominance, and devotion to the Four declined. Yet the celebrations held in their honor remained a reminder of their former influence.
The younger races that came after the Keldarain – gnomes, dwarves, kerrans, etc. – discovered ancient temples and revived worship of the Four. Though some clung to these old ways, the religion never regained its former prominence.
We’ve said in our previous articles that belief is an important resource in EverQuest Next. But the worship of deities isn’t only about gameplay. It’s also a crucial element in making the world feel authentic and lived-in, especially for less popular religions like the Four. By making belief in these gods a very old, storied religion filled with ancient rituals and superstitions, it reminds us that Norrath is a world built upon layers of history. Beliefs have evolved greatly over the ages, but the old ways often linger on.
We want this to be especially apparent in the less civilized corners of the world, where giants and other primal races reign. Their devotion to the Four is part of what should make them feel so barbaric.
But we also want to make sure that it’s not just giants. The Four are the primary gods of Halas, where the northerners are known for stubbornly clinging to their traditions. And there are organizations you can interact with--and potentially align with--which represent this older religion. For example, you might encounter the Children of the Shapers, an outcast cabal of elementalists that reveres the titans and seeks to channel their power, or the Shifting Grove, an ancient sect of druids devoted to worshipping the Four Shapers.
Of course, one of the great things about EverQuest Next is that you get to decide who and what thrives in the world. Will you defend the small pockets where this ancient religion is still practiced, or will you root them out as heathens and heretics? The choice is yours.