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In the game, we come across various references to Persian Culture and the Orient in general, particularly in the architectural layout of Arqua and the design of certain objects.

MausoleumEdit

Once we've made Rebecca's acquaintance in the Study, we can choose to return to the Mausoleum together with her. According to her estimation, the incense burners that fill the space with an air of solemnity appear to be of Persian origin. These fire bowls also reappear in other locations later on, such as in the crypt before the Caverns and in the realm of Arqua.

Adam: Incense burner.
Rebecca: Persian judging by the design.

CavernsEdit

Caverns

The Caverns constitute the interlink between the house and Florentine's Observatory. Before entering the actual dungeon, Adam and Rebecca pass through some sort of crypt, characterised by a rumbling ambient noise, various chest tombs and some more of the above-mentioned incense burners, which, according to Rebecca, appear to be of Persian origin.

RaquiaEdit

RoomOdysseus

The Siren is an element pertaining to the puzzles and trials in Raysiel's Tower. She appears as a floating figure dressed in a faintly Oriental attire, similar to the Arabian Djinn type of ghost, that has been prominently featured in productions like I Dream of Jeannie and Disney's animated motion picture Aladdin. The room in which we find her is adorned with various colourful tapestries and carpets, planters and incense burners, all of which also emanate a subtle Oriental flair.

ArquaEdit

Arqua-Ex
Arqua-In2
Arqua-In
Arqua-In3

Arqua is dominated by a magnificent two-storey edifice of cubiform layout, with one entrance on each of the four sides leading to a pavilion of sorts. In the centre of the edifice is a great fountain which branches off into four streams leading outside. According to Rebecca, the structure has a partially Persian design. Persian architecture in general makes abundant use of symbolically charged geometry, using pure forms such as the circle and square, and plans are often based on symmetrical layouts featuring rectangular courtyards and halls. Infact, the creators of the game may have been to some degree inspired by the Taj Mahal complex when they were designing Arqua.

Apart from the similar cubiform layout, the surroundings of the actual palace deserve some attention as well. The Taj Mahal is girded by a charbagh garden which symbolizes the four flowing rivers of Paradise and reflects the gardens of Paradise derived from the Persian paridaeza, meaning 'walled garden'; it is hereby worth noting that the Arqua edifice mentioned above is in fact surrounded by a massive wall. In mystic Islamic texts of the Mughal period, paradise is described as an ideal garden of abundance with four rivers sourcing at a central spring or mountain, separating the garden by flowing towards the cardinal points and representing the promised rivers of water, milk, wine and honey.[1] The fountain from which these four rivers spring may symbolize the Tree of Life.

Paper FanEdit

Fan

According to Adam's estimation, the Paper Fan that we find in one of the elemental rooms of Arqua, appears to be of Oriental origin, while Rebecca emphasizes the item's Yin and Yang design, which is a concept usually associated with Chinese philosophy though, describing how contrary or opposite forces are often actually interconnected with or complementing each other. The Chinese expression 陰陽 (yīnyáng) literally means "dark—bright", and as such represents all the manifold dualities that exist in our world, like Good and Evil, Fire and Water, Woman and Man, Body and Soul.

Hookah PipeEdit

Pipe

The Hookah Pipe, usually an Oriental tobacco pipe, is one of the items pertaining to the riddle in Arqua and subsequently, our acquisition of Eternity. It's a single or multi-stemmed utensil for vaporizing and smoking tobacco or other herbs, common in many cultures around the world. The invention of the waterpipe is attributed to either an Irfan Shaikh of the Mughal Empire or alternatively to the Safavid dynasty of Persia,[2] [3] [4] [5] from where it eventually spread to the east into India during that time. The hookah or Argyleh also soon reached Egypt and the Levant during the Ottoman dynasty from neighbouring Safavid dynasty, where it became very popular and where the mechanism was later perfected.

TishtryaEdit

InfoTishtrya

Tishtrya is the entity that, upon completing the Ritual of Eternity in Arqua, rewards us with Sword of the Dragon. The creature is identified by Rebecca during her discussion with Adam:

Adam: Who do you think that spirit was who procured Eternity?
Rebecca: Well given the Persian undertones of Aqua [sic][6] and the fact that he materialized from a fountain there's a good chance he was Tishtrya.
Adam: I've heard of him. Yes. The Iranian god of water.
Rebecca: God of all water. Clouds, lakes and the sea. He was an ally of Ahura Mazdah the Wise Lord in the struggle against the dark forces of evil under Ahriman in mythol... [sic]
Adam: O.K Rebecca, that was all a long time ago...

Tishtrya is accompanied by four aqueous Angel figures, the so-called Hafaza, as implied in the ArquaScroll Scroll that we received upon entering Arqua.

Take the four elements to the Ring of Eight and place them correctly. They will conjure the presence of the Hafaza.

See alsoEdit

  • Egypt, for cultural references to ancient Egypt.
  • Greece, for in-game references to ancient Greece.

References Edit

  1. "Char Bagh Gardens Taj Mahal" (in English). About Taj Mahal. Retrieved on 2007-07-23.
  2. Sandra Alters, Wendy Schiff (28 Jan 2011). Essential Concepts for Healthy Living Update. Jones & Bartlett Learning.
  3. Nichola Fletcher (1 Aug 2005). Charlemagne's tablecloth: a piquant history of feasting. Macmillan. p. 10.
  4. Robert Machray (1902). "The Pipes of All Peoples". Cassell's magazine: 210–215.
  5. Harmsworth Brothers (1899). "The Harmsworth monthly pictorial magazine". Harmsworth Brothers: 372.
  6. This supposed spelling error in the subtitles actually sparks a bit of interest, considering aqua is the Latin word for "water" (and Tishtrya is the Zoroastrian deity representating all forms of water).

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