Blog by: Steve "Moogard" Danuser
Veeshan and the Nor’I
Of the many belief systems that have arisen over Norrath’s long history, worship of Veeshan and the Nor’I are two of the oldest. In this article, we’ll examine each of these primal forces and talk about how they have resonated throughout the ages.
When re-imagining Veeshan for EQNext, we decided to preserve much of her thematic core from previous games. Veeshan is a larger-than-life god figure with a fundamental role in the history of Norrath, but she is also removed from it, not only physically but also in terms of her perceptions. She is the Primarch of Order, a being as old as the universe itself.
Veeshan doesn’t view existence the way mortals do, nor does she value life in the same terms. As a truly immortal being, the brief flicker of mortal life is fascinating but ultimately inconsequential. To Veeshan, wiping out a planet or a species to achieve her perfect Order is an entirely reasonable course. There’s no malice in such an action; no hatred, no remorse. She has an innate drive to create Order, and will do what she must to achieve that.
Does having such a perspective mean Veeshan is good, or would you consider her evil? The world of EQNext is not drawn in black and white, but shades of gray. If mortals learned of these truths, what would they think about her? Do the dragons fully understand Veeshan’s motives? How would powerful beings like the Seraphs react to her actions? These are the sort of interesting questions we will explore together through the ongoing storyline of Norrath.
(Veeshan plays a key role in the cosmology of Norrath, but it’s a bit too in-depth to detail here. For a deep dive on her back story, you can watch an animated recap video, or check out a detailed post about it on our forums.)
Worship of Veeshan has taken varying forms throughout Norrath’s history. It began with the dragons, beings she placed upon Norrath shortly after the world was formed. The dragons coexisted with the mortal races of the Keldarain Alliance, some of whom also adopted the worship of Veeshan. The Church of the Skymother was founded, named after the dragons’ term for their creator.
As the Keldarain died away in the Lost Era, so did their worship of Veeshan. When new mortal races appeared—humans, elves, dwarves, and all the other pillars of the EverQuest franchise—the presence of the dragons and rediscovery of artifacts from the Church of the Skymother rekindled belief in Veeshan, though it never rose to its former prominence.
The devastation of the Dragon War all but snuffed out belief in the Skymother among Norrathians. Eventually a small group of outcasts secretly revived the worship of Veeshan, though they were scorned as a fringe cult at best.
As you can see, Veeshan looms large in our story. It wouldn’t be an EverQuest game without her!
Though the diverse belief systems of EverQuest Next contain many familiar names, the Nor’I is a concept that’s wholly original to our universe.
The Nor’I is the world spirit of Norrath. Think of it as the spark that makes plants, animals, and advanced forms of sentient life possible. While powerful entities like Veeshan can create magical creatures, only world spirits such as the Nor’I give rise to mortal life. What form that life takes is directly affected by the disposition of the world spirit itself. Should the Nor’I become grievously wounded by a cataclysmic event, its entire pattern of life may be altered, causing fundamental changes to the world’s population.
The Nor’I is not a person, nor does it possess a physical form. It does not speak, though those who are attuned to its essence often claim to hear its song.
While the life force of the Nor’I flows throughout Norrath, it tends to coalesce strongly in key locations. Those closely in touch with the world spirit are drawn to such places. The kerrans, for example, are particularly adept at seeking them out, and will fight vigorously against those who seek to control or corrupt these holy sites.
Across the kingdoms of Norrath, there are many different perspectives on what the Nor’I truly is and what its presence means. Some believe the Nor’I to be the one true essence of life, and that all other so-called gods are mere reflections of it. Others believe the Nor’I was a blessing from the goddess Erollisi, and that by protecting it they honor her. Still others reject any notion of divinity and view the Nor’I objectively as a source of power to be studied and harnessed. While these opinions are debated by scholars and zealots alike, the song of the Nor’I lingers on.
The Future is in Your Hands
As we mentioned in our previous blog post, EverQuest Next is a game about influence and control. Your actions in the world determine who controls territory and resources, and one of those key resources is the belief of Norrath’s inhabitants.
How strong will Veeshan’s influence grow after the Combine return to Antonica? Will the Nor’I be protected or exploited? These are questions that you’ll get to decide through the choices you make in game.
Join us again next week when we delve into another of Norrath’s pantheons. Thanks for reading!