Why is Ancient Lore Banned?
Many of the stories now referred to as Ancient Lore, although certainly not all, were written on request to serve a specific goal. So why are they banned? Well, there are a number of different reasons, but most often they either stopped meeting that goal; the players grew the stories beyond their intended scope; or the MD world as a whole reached a point where the story could no longer serve its original goal.
Looking at the story of Marind, because it was the first story people encountered most people put a lot of interest into the story. Not having any logical conclusion from a narrative sense led a lot of people to make up their own endings, and then their own begins and middles as well. The story kept growing and growing, with the community making collective decisions about how they felt things should be. But, the story of Marind was not a simple narrative – rather, it was a complex and carefully weighted symbolic lesson, designed to put the answers immediately in front of us, and yet still leave us to ask the questions we needed to think of to properly understand.
By adding extra elements to the story, we not only take away our ability to see the questions the story is there to make us ask, but we cut ourselves off from the possible answers those questions can lead to. And yet still, this is only the surface of the problem.
The more people focused on Ancient Lore, the more of it was made, and the more it was associated with things that it had no connection to. In every part of MD, there are powerful symbols. Many of them stare us in the face, and yet our own perceptions prevent us from seeing them. We don’t ask why there are as many bricks in Necrovion’s walls as there are, because we know the wall is there to separate Necrovion from the rest of MD. We don’t ask why the Lorerootian guards look the way they do, because they are guarding the forest and we expect fantasy forest guardians to look like trees. How many of you have asked why some of the most challenging NPC’s in the game are modeled off one of the only creatures that normally do no damage?
When we don’t question our expectations and understandings, when we accept the answers we have reached, we stop looking. The Ancient Lore that has been banned gave us a false context to many of the symbols within MD, preventing a lot of people from looking beyond the surface – or even in some cases, from recognizing the surface at all.