There's something in roleplay that has always bothered me: the legitimacy of playing mahjarrat. As far as I was concerned, even when it was for all of the best reasons, playing a mahjarrat was almost always either lorebreak or overpowered. Nevermind the questionable number of them concentrated into the community. That's not really to the fault of you players who have them so much as just the nature of the race, but it was always just the sort of thing that I had to suck up and accept. Because, well, the community is going to use them whether I like it or not.
But now, I may have come across a solution that makes everyone happy. It would level out their power thresholds, explain their relationships with the storyline mahjarrat, AND allow for some new in-character activities (like rituals) that were heretofore outright lorebreak.
I'm going to call it the "Divisional Split Theory."
So, What Happened?
In this theory, things started out as normal. All Mahjarrat were beings of Freneskae, until at some point in the Second Age they were summoned to Gielenor by Icthlarin. Gradually, they shifted their loyalties to Zaros and all was normal.
After several hundred years passed (a couple of rituals-dates in), some distinct differences began to show themselves between the scathes of mahjarrat.
Some of them seemed to have nigh-infinite capacities for power; they could soak up rejuvination magic like dry sponges and hold onto it with a vice grip. When fully rejuvinated, these mahjarrat could perform unspeakably difficult magic - say, raising an entire batallion of undead warriors - with just the flick of a finger. These will from here on be referred to as, "division one" Mahjarrat. These division one's also began to notice that, during rituals, half of their brethren were useless. Of those brethren, a division one could kill one, five, ten and beyond, and the division one wouldn't become rejuvinated, so comparatively insignificant were the resulting energy waves from this half of the mahjarrat. Only when another of the division one's died did the rest of the division one's become rejuvinated.
The rest of the Mahjarrat - here on known as "division two" - noticed these patterns as well. They were very powerful, much like the division one's, but it seemed that, after a certain point, the rejuvinating energy just slipped through their fingers. It was as if the division twos had an upper limit to their potential strength - a level cap, if you will - that prevented them from exceeding a certain power level. They were stuck maximized at around twice the natural strength of the strongest humans and couldn't exceed that limit despite their best efforts - and there WERE efforts, no doubt. It was also observed among the division twos that, unlike the division ones who would all experience rejuvination from the death of a single fellow, the death of a division two would only rejuvinate perhaps 10 others.
And thus there was a split. Continuing to lurk in the presence of division one's most often meant slaughter for division two's, because their presence at rituals was only a nuisance, and their lack of usefulness as sacrifices meant there was no reason for a division one to put off killing a division two. Gradually, the split grew until the two divisions weren't even mentioned in the same breath. Two's became irrelevant to the goals of one's, and soon one's ceased to even consider two's to be part of their same tribal race. They continued to be able to sense each other, but the skill between divisions was not put to much use - division one's had no reason to care where division two's were, and two's were better off not seeking out the more dangerous one's. Two's went so far as to stop attending division one rituals altogether, instead waiting to sense spikes of energy from the ritual stone to attend smaller, less powerful rituals to rejuvinate themselves in sets of ten or twenty.
What Are Division One Mahjarrat?
- These are the storyline mahjarrat, like Azzanadra and Zemourgal.
- The only female division-one is Enakhra.
- They have seemingly infinite capacities for power; they can absorb and hold on to massive amounts of ritual rejuvination energy, and supplementing their preexisting powers with artifacts, enchantments, etcetera continues to have significant effects.
- This division doesn't specify the power level of a given mahjarrat; a D1 can be abysmally weak if he misses enough rituals and uses up enough energy. However, even the most hopelessly pathetic division ones are capable of absorbing nigh-infinite amounts of power, should they gain access to it.
- They are purely the children of a pair division one parents. The D1 gene is recessive, so a D1 who mates with a D2 will have a D2 offspring.
- While this division has a much higher concentration of potential power, their numbers have always been less.
- The members of this division always wait until the rejuvinating environment of the ritual site is at its peek, so as to maximize their rejuvination from the sacrifice.
- These mahjarrat, by nature and breeding and tradition, almost always have major, long-term aspirations in their lives. Whether they're building an undead army or working as the right-hand man to another D1, sitting idly for no reason is generally not something these beings do.
- They can only be effectively rejuvinated by the sacrifice of another division one.
- They don't really consider division two's to be mahjarrat. (This is the, "I am a track athlete, cheerleading is not really a sport," sort of mentality.)
What Are Division Two Mahjarrat?
- These are the mahjarrat our community roleplays; the non-canon mahjarrat that we make up and play within the w42 universe.
- They have a limited capacity to absorb power that peaks at the point where a character would be considered "overpowered" in public roleplay. Beyond this point, further rejuvination, enchantments, artifacts, and miscellaneous power sources are useless; the energy simply slips away from them.
- This division doesn't specify the exact power level of a given mahjarrat; a D2 can be stronger than a D1, but there is a certain threshold of strength that a D2 physically cannot exceed, unlike a D1.
- The division two's are much more capable of reproduction, as there are several known females among their ranks.
- While this division is limited in its power potential, they have always had the power of numbers.
- This division does not have to perform its rituals at the peek of the ritual site's conditioning. Instead, they wait for occasional spikes and have smaller-scale rituals more often.
- The sacrifice of a division two mahjarrat will only rejuvinate about 10 other division two's.
- These mahjarrat, for various reasons, are more capable of settling into casual lifestyles than their stronger counterparts. Along these lines, they often take on human forms and masquerade as an everyday member of society. Most even have a favorite appearance that they identify with.
- Most division two's consider themselves as much mahjarrat as division one's, and speak of themselves as if there is no significant difference between the divisions.
1. What about Jhallan? He was a storyline mahjarrat, but he was really weak, so isn't he a division two?
- Jhallan would still be a division one. According to this theory, despite the fact that Jhallan was weak, he was still capable of absorbing those unlimited levels of power, if only he could have gotten access to them. It's that power threshold that defines the divisions, rather than their respective power levels.
2. So, this means we can have legitimate rituals that don't lorebreak now?
- If you subscribe to this theory, then yes.
3. Does this have any implications regarding the ratio of Zarosians to Zamorakians IC?
- It could, I suppose. It's totally possible that the respect for Zamorak's power isn't as thorough among D2's as it among D1's. This could be justified on the grounds that division one is much more power-oriented because, among them, power is an unbiased measure of worth and accomplishment. Conversely, since the strongest division two mahjarrat are all on the same power level, what sets them apart as superior are things like character quality and cunning. Given this, it would definitely be believable that division two's prefer the mischevious, manipulative Zaros to their bully-kin Zamorak.
4. Interesting theory but wouldn't this be rewriting lore?
- Well, no. This is lorebending, not lorebreaking. As with all lorebending, it's a theory that exists only in the realm of roleplay, neither contradicts nor is backed by anything stated concretely in-game, and is accepted on the understanding that it will have to be either re-written or totally scrapped if canon lore is released that DOES contradict it.
5. Can I subscribe to this theory and then make my Mahjarrat a division one?
- No. Exempting private, sandbox, and other non-mainstream roleplaying, you can't do this. The whole point of creating the theory was to explain the strange phenomenon that is our IC mahjarrat, so to claim to be a D1 defeats the purpose. Note that the very first trait listed for division two is that they are roleplay-based Mahjarrat, as opposed to the storyline canons. That aside, there is no good reason in public roleplay to need to be a division one character, as the only real difference is the power threshold, and to surpass that threshold is to overpower your character, which is already covered in the common rules of roleplay.
- This topic also has a thread on our main forums. If you would prefer to discuss the topic there or want to see what forum-goers have said, the QFC is 237-238-488-64011223.