View Full Version : Sidhelien

Chaos Lord Arioch
01-24-2002, 06:17 AM
When I first read the Birthright game book I was glad to see the Sidhelien as an angry lot who keep themselves apart from other races.
I disliked the idea of Grey, wood, sylvan, high, etc... wanting to live in human cities and swear fealty to humans.
I felt the Sidhelien were a very proud race steeped in history and tradition (they are after all, immortal).

Unfortunately I do not own the PSB for Tuarhievel, do they give much in the way of sidhelien society and customs?

I would hope that Sidhelien wizards have created some healing type spells as there are no priests in their society.
Sidhelien must also have excellent herbalists. Excellent craftsman for that matter!!

Raesene Andu
01-24-2002, 06:36 AM
Hmm, looking at the book now. If I remember the PS of Tuarhievel was widly regarded as a pretty poor effort by most people when it first came out. I haven't really looked at it since I bought it.

According to the PS Fhileraene has given himself up to the Gorgon (??) and has invested a human with his bloodline and that the Goron's ex Tara the black princess is now aiding the elves.

There is some good information, including a lot on history, some culture etc and an explaination of the province of Sideath which is claimed by the Gorgon, but controlled by an elven lich who opened a portal to the SW and killed every creature living within the province during the last war against the Gorgon.

Riegan Swordwraith
01-24-2002, 03:30 PM
Lord Arioch,in what game world have you seen where elves bow down to the whims of humans???In every published world I have ever seen some elves are friendly with some humans,while others distrust all humans.I have yet to see a society of elves that want to be ruled by humans.

All that aside,I take it then that you like the fact that elves became just as bloodthirsty and savage as elves always claim humans to be then aye???

Chaos Lord Arioch
01-24-2002, 06:42 PM
The Sidhelien topic is a hot one. I've had arguments with one of the members of this website (friendly arguement mind you;)).
Yes, Dragonlance has the Elves living apart. Yes, most elvish realms on Greyhawk are the same. There are realms on greyhawk where the elves are ruled over by human realms. Call it alliances, agreements, whatever, they seem to have to answer to human rulers. Perhaps I should read the books more in detail then, eh.
As for bloodthirsty. Its a matter of point of view. I see the Sidhelien outlook similar to that of the aboriginals throughout the world. In order to survive they had to be ruthless. There are stories of the Inuit. When one amongst them would hunt and would consistantly come home with nothing they thought he was bad luck and have him leave the community. This being in the arctic, a desolate climate to be alone.
The battles between the Cree and the Blackfoot. It wasn't because they were bloodthirsty, it was a matter of keeping your enemies out of your hunting territory so you would have the resources to feed your own people.
The Sidhelien lands have constantly dwindled. Their resources and population have dropped in the face of human expansion. Are they going to hold a resentment? Absolutely. Aboriginals in Canada still have a certain level of resentment.
Of course the issues are more complex than that and I hate to turn this into a political debate.
I do want to know if the information out there for the Sidhelien covers healing practices (with no clerics they need some form of healing), their homes (which I see as magically build into the sides of trees) and the use of animals (which I see as them using dogs for tracking and war, wildlife for scouting, magic to assist them in moving through the forest).
All are important aspects of Sidhelien life.

Riegan Swordwraith
01-25-2002, 06:57 AM
I do not take offense to your words Arioch.But I do beleive you are overly simplifying elven-human relations.

As to the sidhelein.....There is a fine line between being tenacious and being ruthless.To kill a logger as he cuts down a great old oak is one thing,to find his home and murder his wife and child is another.Now humans did the same thing mind you.The point is to kill a soldier whenever he is found,and to kill him every time he shows up is fighting a war.To kill his family is murder.

One must be wary of trying to justify acts.Slavery was practiced by nearly all ancient cultures,but was the brutality the Romans showed their slaves any more evil than the rather gentle life of a Norse thrall??No,slavery is evil.Remember,genocide of the Nations here in America was not frowned upon.120 years ago,under Queen Victoria ,the British would regurlarly oppress members of her colonies,and was considered an act of civilization.

Chaos Lord Arioch
01-26-2002, 09:36 AM
I did admit that I oversimplified things (last line, second last paragraph).
I heard a saying, "One views the world through their language". I believe that to be true. I also believe that one also views the world through their culture as well. Our Western culture values life and freedom, other cultures do not. If you were a part of a culture that existed for thousands of years with various traditions and values would you be able to make the same Western judgments you are making now? Once again its a matter of perspective.

Swordwraith, do you have the player's guide to Tuarhievel?

Riegan Swordwraith
01-26-2002, 04:11 PM
Yes I beleive I do.....Haven't looked at it in a while though....

You do make a very valid point about perspectives.What one culture sees as acceptable would be abhorent to another.But here is a really philosophical question,does it make it moral?The traditions in Japan said that you must be absolutely loyal to your superiors,even to KILL yourself on their whim.Yet Musashi,considered by many to be the greatest samurai who has ever lived,was by Japanese traditions an outlaw.Most of the samurai the Japanese look to as paragons of Bushido,were in fact outcasts and defied those above them who abuse the power they wield.

Just thought that was interesting when I read about that.....:)

Chaos Lord Arioch
01-26-2002, 07:25 PM
So Heros' were made out of those that stepped outside the box eh...interesting.

Japan eh, you don't happen to play Sengoku?

Riegan Swordwraith
01-27-2002, 04:51 PM
Never even heard of it.What is it,other than a game about feudal Japan??

For the most part I know little about Eastern cultures,due to lack of interest.But it is interesting that no matter what culture you come from,some of the same principals bleed through.

Chaos Lord Arioch
02-02-2002, 04:50 PM
That's exactly what sengoku is. Set in the sengoku jidai period (1600's). I love the history aspect.


Lord Eldred
02-25-2002, 03:03 AM
Perhaps there IS a reason that elves don't worship any god... they don't want healing spells. :P

Seriously, I am still of the position that there would be elven clerics that worship an elven god.

However, absent that, I would think that the elves did develop some sort of healing magic. In fact, in every movie, book, etc. on the subject of elves they always seem to have the power to heal through their magic.

02-26-2002, 03:18 AM
Don't worry about the healing spells, in 3e druids have just as many. As to elven-human relations, I think you guys are simplifying things way too much with your references to real-world history, like the native americans. The fact is that the elves aren't just nature loving humans with pointy ears. They ancient and fey, terrible and beautiful at the same time. They have a world veiw completly alien to your own. Think on how different the way your Grandparents acted seemed when you were little. Now, consider the fact that an elven child has lived longer then you ever will. Also, it's not like the humans have been the best neighbours in the world either. The elves just happen to remember every little slight over the course of that history because most of them were there. Add on to this the fact that the elves are a secretive people and you see who never explain the whole truth to anyone and you see why cerilians fear them. The scariest thing about the hunt of the elves is that it need not have any cause as far as humans are concerned. They are not a bunch of magic powered eco-terrorists who go about killing loggers to protect trees. They simply have lived so long that they don't see a difference between one life form and another. As you can see, I have always considered elves strange and mystical, and extremly hard to understand. This why I seldom let my players play elves, and when I have, I have been displeased with the result. No one, no matter how good a role player, can stay in the role of a strange, dangerous and magical creature for an entire session, let alone campaign. And once that fourth wall has been broken, it cannot be replaced. That's my opinion on the sidhelien.

Lord Eldred
02-27-2002, 01:24 AM
SO your argument is that even an outcast who goes into the world of the humans would remain so mystical that he couldn't get along in human society ever?

Is the fact that they are so mystical mean that they can not have a God of their own?

02-27-2002, 02:40 AM
Mystical here describes their very makeup, not an individual personality. Magic is like blood to them, and so the way they worship their gods is bound to be different then the way humans do. I'm sure an individual could learn to live with humans eventually, I just think it would take quite some time.
Remember the elves are insuluar, and think little of humans at the best of times. So while I do agree it's possible, I think it's a one in a million shot.

Green Knight
02-28-2002, 11:00 AM
Let elves be druids, that solves the problem :)

Riegan Swordwraith
02-28-2002, 02:43 PM
Mithrandir,what you are trying to create are the Sidhe(she).Who in Celtic myth were called the Tuatha duDanu(Tribe of the Danube).They were the ancestors of the Irish Celts.They came to Ireland and waged war against both the firbolgs and fohrmorians(any giant-kin fans???;))(this is also were Balor comes from,the Demon-king of the Fohrmorians).After their victories over the giants,the Tuatha found gates to Tir NaNog,or Land of Eternal Youth(Realm of Faerie),and moved there.Over time the Tuatha DuDanu became immortal and became the Sidhe.However their price for Immortality was they lost all emotions.But even in the Seelie Court,the Sidhe immitate humans,which is why they have a court.The Sidhe are fascinated by humans,as they love human emotion,which is what they had lost.Some Sidhe,would harm humans,but not out of hate,out of the fact that they have NO concept of good and evil,right or wrong.There are dalliances between Sidhe and humans,though it was looked down upon on both sides,the Sidhe as something beneath them,the humans for the same reason as worshipping a demon.

The Sidhe is what Tolkien based his elves off of.However,Tolkien "humanized" them to give his readers a point of reference,and also to make the good guys.How did he humanize them,by giving them emotions,the ability to have morals.By doing this,he gave them the ability to be "Good guys".

To me the Sidhe is what you are looking for Mithrandir,but you must remember this;the Sidhe are inhuman monsters.Monsters because they have NO morals.They will help or kill you on a whim.Because they can.If this is truly what you want,consider this.You in reality are human.Suppose you have a child,and in your neighborhood,there is someone who does not have the ability to distinguish right and wrong(there is a mental disorder just like this,lack of some chemical).Would you feel comfortable for yourself and your family with this situation??I sure as hell wouldn't,I would want it gone.Now back to BR,if your elves were like the Sidhe,and knowing how panicky humans can be,do you think humans would let the forests near their homes,and their families,be full of these monsters who would kill you because you were there??

Lord Eldred
03-01-2002, 01:37 AM
Orginally posted by Green Knight

Let elves be druids, that solves the problem :)

Druids that follow gods are druids that derive their power from the land?

03-01-2002, 02:30 AM
I think perhaps the elves I use are a mix of the Celtic Sidhe discribed and Tolkien's elves. They have morals, they just don't make any sense to humans. They won't kill you for no reson, you just won't understand their reson when they do. And in my campaign, everyone IS afriad of elves. After all, how would you feel if an immortal guy with strange and deadly magic powers moved in down the street.

03-01-2002, 01:42 PM
I don't think much of this source book but here goes.
History: Elves were created by a union of the four elemets (spontaneous generation, I guess) and thus have no GOD since none spawned or led them in the beginning. (Laim explanation IMO) About 5000 years ago the elves of the Aelvinnwode (they never mention the other groups, Sielwode, etc like they didn't exist) were united in a mighty tribe and enslaved the kobolds and goblins (are elves evil for enslaving evil races?). Dwarves retreated under ground. Eventually the slaves revolted and, bla, bla, bla. The humans show up and initially they get along with the elves but can't keep peace treaties (land grab similar to USA western expansion) so they wage constant war with each other. The gheallis Sidhe was formed as an order of knights to protect the elven borders (I guess it evolves into the wild hunt later). Current events are that Fhileraene has gone to conduct negotiations at Kal Saitharak (IE be a prisoner) so he invests his pregnant consort Savane Mhoried (cousin of the Mhor). Needless to say most of the other elven nobles don't like having a human on the Thorn Throne and this conflict is what most of the book revolves around.

Elven Settlements: Human merchants have set up trade in some of the provinces and Dhoesone controls some of the law holdings, even though some elves (gheallie Sidhe) kill humans who stray off the paths. The capital is a human castle with a forest in the middle of it and most of the other elves live in "graceful treehouses" (that's about all the description you get).

Politics: Again the book focuses on the Elves general dislike for Savane and the power strugle between the five great elven noble houses.

Culture and Religion: The authors describe a group of elite elven philosopher/teacher/loremasters who guide the philosophy and serve a similar role to humans priests. Elven spirituality is an individul's responsibility and although elves can become preists of human gods (druids are not mentioned) they are not alowed to openly practice in elven lands. The most confusing thing to humans is the elven focus on individuality.

Art: Elves sing, dance and write poetry (this gets a quarter page).

Holdings: Sources are described as the most important and most other holdings are described in a the humans have some and the elves want them all maner. For such a powerful race individually the elves of this book are paralyzed politically by a small group of humans and a weak neighboring kingdom.

Unfourtunately I found nothing to answer your main questions (which I think are good ones) and don't recommend this book (maybe $2 value, max). Personally I like the descriptions given earlier in the article and others that Cerilian Elves should be a slightly modified Tolkien's Elves. There are plenty of Tolkien encyclopedias out there I recommend you pick one up and use it instead of Taurhieval. Celtic myth also sounds like a good source.

Riegan Swordwraith
03-01-2002, 03:26 PM
I would be careful about pressing the fear issue.Yes you can keep 9-out-of-10 so scared that they will not do nothing against the elves,but that one will be there with determination and drive.And as him and others get together,they can cause serious damage.

Another point to consider;The Queen of the Sielwode even is starting to realize that she may need the humans help against the goblins.Now it is your campaign,and you can go with this or not,but let us look at the example anyway.What if your elves realize they DO need the humans help?As it is in BR,Human-Sidhlien relations are horrible,and getting the two to work together will be a monumental undertaking.But if you go the "Elves are viscous monsters" bit,why would the humans help.Hell they would probably help whatever was coming.

I am not saying you are wrong or anything like that Mithrandir.I am just playing Devil's advocate:)!

Lord Eldred
03-02-2002, 06:05 AM
It sounds like many GMs here would rather die fighting the goblins than allow the elves to accept help from us humans!

Green Knight
03-02-2002, 09:47 AM
Orginally posted by Lord Eldred

Orginally posted by Green Knight

Let elves be druids, that solves the problem :)

Druids that follow gods are druids that derive their power from the land?

I think you know the answer to that one ;)

03-03-2002, 08:31 PM
Orginally posted by Lord Eldred

It sounds like many GMs here would rather die fighting the goblins than allow the elves to accept help from us humans!

I'm sure that a lot of Cerilian elf-lords would agree with us!

Chaos Lord Arioch
03-04-2002, 01:37 AM
Mithrandir has an interesting view of the sidhe. Yes the example I used of the north american indian was simplistic but isn't that what BR really is? Simple formulas to raise GB and RP to run a realm? I simply used that example as how one can view ones dislike of "squatters".
Anyways Your mention of the Sidhe as having a foreign/alien outlook begs the question; Can you tell me a scenario (with your version of the sidhe) and describe how they would act?
Do I think the Sidhe are completely different from humans and should be run differently? Absolutely, that is the whole reason why I started this discussion on the sidhelien.
Swordwraith mentions the Sidhe of Celtic Ireland and I find that version of Sidhe to my liking. I've heard about Tir ranog (On the back of an Enya Cassette tape of all things;). This view of Sidhe may help explain why they're not reconquering their lost lands, that perhaps they dwell in another plane of existance and if they loose their access to Cerilia, hey no problem it was too cold there anyways. Perhaps the "Farie forts" help bind their plane to cerilia and allows them to move back and forth which can also explain why they move so fast through the forest? Just some thoughts;)

Thanks for the info Rcook12a

03-04-2002, 10:18 PM
Let me take the example you used of why the Sidhe aren't out trying to take back over Cerilia. For starters, they don't want most of it any more. Elves aren't empire-builders, they spread out over Cerilia in the first place because it was empty and had lots of source. Elves love magic, and so they fought to defend their sources against the incroaching humans, even though they were indifferent to them otherwise. And even this was not wholesale war, in which the elves only engage against irredeemable evil, or a direct millitary threat. The gorgon is an example of both these. Instead, it would have appeared confusing to humans and seemed random, because each elf would deal with each human as the situation called for. This leads to stories of elves healing one lost woodsman and killing another for no apparent reason. The elves also have a complex veiw of the balance of nature, and a lot of humans just wander about Cerilia without thinking about what they're doing. The average elf thinks about all the consequences for everyone involved before taking any action, and human blundering offends him. When an elf shoots a logger, it's not because he's nessecarily opposed to all logging, he thinks that the human didn't consider teh consequences and should pay for that log's life with his own out of respect. Eventually however the elves were faced by overwhelming human numbers, supported by preistly magic, so they just got fed up as a race and started to ignore us. Because elven society revolves around developing indivdual strength (I.E.:Become the best elf you can be for the good of soceity) they have alot of small but powerful units in thier armies. These forces are all but unstoppable defensivly and in small scale offensives. But they just aren't designed for large invasions. Besides, there are few places left that have enough source and wilderness for them to desire them. And those that they want, they don't need. The elves don't try to kill us all because we aren't in the way, and it would take to much effort.

05-04-2002, 03:11 AM
a few concepts to begin with,
elves have been arround for so long that they have learned to see on a much different scope than humans therefore thier actions seem to do very little as they set things in motion for years down the line instead of the do it now thinking of the humans.
seeing how humans with thier brief lives change so much both facinates and infureates the elves.

seliee: since humans change so much, use the humans to further our goals, the ones taking this attitude are seen as friendly to humans

unseliee: kill the humans outright and the changes they create will no longer matter and things can go back to the way they are 'supposed' to be, these are seen as enemies of humans

the idia that a Elf can be of these two minds at the same time could create the problem associated with trying to understand them.

I was given the opertunity to play Tuarhievel and had a great time at it. To the outside he claimed to be against the hunt and had assigned troops to locating and stoping it, these troops were however the ones assigned by Tuarhievel to BE the wild hunt. His half sister had some problems with his neighbor to the west (can't rember names right now) so he invaded and took all three regons allowing him a place to retreat to when the Gorgon attacks perhaps streching the supply lines thin ripe for a counter attack. All eyes focused on his sister as the elves became a very real power to be guarded against or entreated. Tuarhievel was looked over as being mearly the military arm of his sister allowing him to continue his course.

05-08-2002, 07:53 AM
<< seliee: since humans change so much, use the humans to further our goals,
the ones taking this attitude are seen as friendly to humans
unseliee: kill the humans outright and the changes they create will no
longer matter and things can go back to the way they are `supposed` to
be, these are seen as enemies of humans

Seelie and Unseelie are already used in Birthright to refer to the Shadow
World counterparts (good and evil respectively) of the (Daylight World)
Sidhelien. See the Blood Spawn (which should`ve been named Shadow Spawn -
and then in retrospect, Blood Enemies should`ve been named Blood Spawn)
book that can be freely downloaded from wizards.com.

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