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  1. #1
    Clayton F. Hinton
    Guest

    Elves, elves, elves, elves...

    >
    >One word: CRAP! This is at best stereotypical and at worst a caricature.
    >This view of elves came about as a function of solely of artificially
    >imposed level limits from the 1st edition AD&D game, Birthright elves should
    >not be treated in such a caricatured fashion. They are people, some have
    >more focus than others. There is NO LIMIT on elven ability as a wizard in
    >Birthright, see the birthright rulebook. As far as humans being more driven
    >than elves, for a classic example take a look at Rhuobe Manslayer. He has
    >spent the last 2000 years killing humans whenever and wherever he can, is he
    >not "driven".

    Yes! Rhoubhe IS driven, much like the humans he hates. He is a
    psychopathic Awnsheighlin too, so if you think most elves want to be like
    him I have to disagree (i.e., he's a bad guy). You know, if you want to
    get right down to it, let's get to the basis for Birthright's elves:
    J.R.R. Tolkein's books.

    In Middle-Earth, my argument stands. Humans have the same ability to do
    something with their life as an elf does. Perfect example: Elrond and his
    brother (can't remember his name for the life of me...the first of the
    Dunedain). Both were half-elves, but Elrond chose the way of the elves,
    and thus was blessed with immortality (which is how it happens in
    Middle-earth). His brother, however, chose the way of the humans, and
    accomplished more in his lifetime than most people ever had, elf or human
    alike. But, you do have a point: my view does come from a strong basis of
    Game Balance. If a PC race has all the advantages, and no disadvantages,
    then why would one wish to play a human? If the humans are the dominant
    race, there aught to be a reason. The only one I can think of, on a
    PC-related basis, is their passion to gain power, a passion that exceeds
    those of other races. Besides, I just can't buy that an elf is driven to
    succeed like some humans are. Rhoubhe is a great exception, and I'm glad
    you mentioned it. But he's not an elf anymore: he's an Anti-Human.


    >On an individual basis, I suspect that the average elf adapts to a new
    >situation at least as fast as a human, having the same average wisdom, a
    >higher average intelligence, and a racial prediliction to a chaotic
    >environment (generally chaotic neutral alignment). As far as getting a grip
    >on their "new place" in the world, what makes you think they are content to
    >stay there?

    My point is, though, not on an individual basis. Elves as a group are not
    driven to make sacrifices for the greater whole (alignment). Some humans
    (most successful groups that is) are Lawful in nature. This is another
    reason why humans can succeed where Elves might not...they will act as a
    group more often than a freedom-loving smattering of elves. Also, because
    of their short lifespans, humans will change their ways much faster to cope
    with a changing environment. After a good 60 years, they no longer have to
    deal with people saying "back in my day...blah blah blah" to slow down a
    necessary change. As a society, they have a better ability to deal with a
    changing environment.

    >
    >I have trouble with the philosophical concept of gods (omniscient,
    >omnipotent). IMC the elves look upon the gods as powerful extraplanar
    >beings, not as something to be worshipped. They do understand that the gods
    >exist, they just aren't ponying up to the altar with offerings for beings
    >who have never done anything for them except kill them.
    >>

    So, you think they see them as their "equals?" Ok, I'll stop here. That's
    funny.

  2. #2
    Pieter A de Jong
    Guest

    Elves, elves, elves, elves...

    At 11:04 PM 6/30/98 -0500, Clayton F. Hinton wrote:
    >
    >>
    >>One word: CRAP! This is at best stereotypical and at worst a caricature.
    >>This view of elves came about as a function of solely of artificially
    >>imposed level limits from the 1st edition AD&D game, Birthright elves should
    >>not be treated in such a caricatured fashion. They are people, some have
    >>more focus than others. There is NO LIMIT on elven ability as a wizard in
    >>Birthright, see the birthright rulebook. As far as humans being more driven
    >>than elves, for a classic example take a look at Rhuobe Manslayer. He has
    >>spent the last 2000 years killing humans whenever and wherever he can, is he
    >>not "driven".
    >
    >Yes! Rhoubhe IS driven, much like the humans he hates. He is a
    >psychopathic Awnsheighlin too, so if you think most elves want to be like
    >him I have to disagree (i.e., he's a bad guy). You know, if you want to
    >get right down to it, let's get to the basis for Birthright's elves:
    >J.R.R. Tolkein's books.
    >
    Suggestion, also try some celtic mythology. All those strange seeming names
    didn't come out of nowhere you know. If elves were based off of Tolkiens
    books, they'd be a lot closer to gods. As in +3 on all rolled stats except
    wisdom, racial minimum of 11's in all stats except wisdom. Even more potent
    racial abilities. If youre wondering where this comes from, check out the
    Silmarillion, where the Noldor start a war with a fully manifested greater
    god and come close to winning, before getting driven back, mostly by
    treachery and internal betrayal.


    >In Middle-Earth, my argument stands. Humans have the same ability to do
    >something with their life as an elf does.
    Wrong, the actions of humans are not predestined, elves are. In other words,
    as the creators direct creation, the actions of the elves are predestined.
    The humans on the other hand are uncontrolled, choosing there own path.
    This is not to say that an elf cannot be as driven as a human, for example
    Feanor and his insane oath.

    >Perfect example: Elrond and his
    >brother (can't remember his name for the life of me...the first of the
    >Dunedain). Both were half-elves, but Elrond chose the way of the elves,
    >and thus was blessed with immortality (which is how it happens in
    >Middle-earth). His brother, however, chose the way of the humans, and
    >accomplished more in his lifetime than most people ever had, elf or human
    >alike. But, you do have a point: my view does come from a strong basis of
    >Game Balance. If a PC race has all the advantages, and no disadvantages,
    >then why would one wish to play a human?

    In practical game terms, the elves don't have all the advantages. 1) Elves
    cannot be clerics, 2) Elves have level limits in classes other than
    wizardry, try and play in a campaing without clerics On the other hand
    advantages don't come into play that often, after all, how many times have
    you had a character die (or otherwise become removed fromt he campaign) of
    old age and have the demihumans in the party also retired their characters
    and started over at that point as well? If you are looking for an
    overpowered PC race I suggest you look at halflings, with massive saving
    throw bonuses and special magical abilities.


    >If the humans are the dominant
    >race, there aught to be a reason. The only one I can think of, on a
    >PC-related basis, is their passion to gain power, a passion that exceeds
    >those of other races. Besides, I just can't buy that an elf is driven to
    >succeed like some humans are. Rhoubhe is a great exception, and I'm glad
    >you mentioned it. But he's not an elf anymore: he's an Anti-Human.
    >
    You're right, their ought to be a reason. I have difficulty saying that a
    race that dominated a continent for 5000+ years is inherently unwilling to
    work for power. Why did they enslave the entire goblin race for
    approximately 2000 years if they are not willing to work for power? As for
    alternate solution, I can see divine intervention, after all, the elves
    don't have gods to protect them from such a fate.

    >

    >>
    >>I have trouble with the philosophical concept of gods (omniscient,
    >>omnipotent). IMC the elves look upon the gods as powerful extraplanar
    >>beings, not as something to be worshipped. They do understand that the gods
    >>exist, they just aren't ponying up to the altar with offerings for beings
    >>who have never done anything for them except kill them.
    >>>
    >
    >So, you think they see them as their "equals?" Ok, I'll stop here. That's
    >funny.
    >
    No, your not getting it. They don't see them as something to worship. They
    don't deny the gods existence, or even that they have power. They just
    don't see them as something to worship. After all humans don't worship all
    divine entities either just selected ones who apply to them. It's just that
    these gods don't seem to apply to the elves.
    >>'unsubscribe birthright' as the body of the message.
    >

    Pieter A de Jong
    Graduate Mechanical Engineering Student
    University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada

  3. #3
    Tim Nutting
    Guest

    Elves, elves, elves, elves...

    > Yes! Rhoubhe IS driven, much like the humans he hates. He is a
    > psychopathic Awnsheighlin too, so if you think most elves want to be like
    > him I have to disagree (i.e., he's a bad guy).

    Sorry, but what makes you think that elves are good guys? Their most
    common alignment in BR is Chaotic Neutral. That means they don't care. In
    point of fact, BR elves can't choose to be of any lawful alignment. In
    support, "They are a force for neither good nor evil..." I submit that the
    amount of elves that still agrees with Rhuobhe and goes to his wood to
    serve him willingly and free of charge is at least 20%, if not more. But
    they have other places to go too, if they hate humans, Lluabraight in
    Rjurik for instance, where the captain of the armies IS a member of the
    Ghallie Sidhe.

    > You know, if you want to
    > get right down to it, let's get to the basis for Birthright's elves:
    > J.R.R. Tolkein's books.

    You make some very strong arguments about Rhuobhe, which I do not dispute.
    His own people hardly recognize him anymore, and he's becoming more Lawful,
    thus making his ability to fight for the elvish cause questionable.

    I do however dispute your choice of basis for the BR elves. If any
    resource in the TSR compendium is Tolkien-based, it is the Complete Book of
    Elves. This text reads like an index for the Quenya (and others) and
    Phrehendai. The Elves of BR, if similar in ability and form, are far
    different in act and attitude. The ME elves are by and large a happy folk
    in the midst of a grim and dark world. This is not the case with the
    Sidhelien, who are "...too mindful of their own superiority and treat
    outsiders with coldness or condescension." Perhaps my only exposure to
    them in the literature is when the company is with Gandalf, thus making the
    bootlickers treat his friends like welcome guests, but the MERP game does a
    good job of dispelling that.

    > My point is, though, not on an individual basis. Elves as a group are
    not


    Absolutely true. Elves will have allot of internal disagreement, but there
    is one group among them that does not, and that is the Ghallie Sidhe. If
    the GS were to declare war on their own, do you think that the other realms
    would abandon their brothers and sisters to retain the good will of the
    humans?

    The strength that the elves have over the human is immortality, and it is
    an advantage, not a hindrance. No they don't adapt as quickly, but they
    have the ability to devote their minds (which are of considerable power, on
    average greater than humanity's) to an issue. Whether they stick to it
    over time is another thing entirely, but Chaotic does not mean that you
    abandon something you're interested in just to do something else... I play
    chaotics most of the time, and my CX characters merely value a set of
    morals that don't include the over-riding society. Chaotics are free
    spirits. They do what they want when they want, but they can devote to an
    issue just as easily as a lawful.

    > >I have trouble with the philosophical concept of gods (omniscient,
    > >omnipotent). IMC the elves look upon the gods as powerful extraplanar
    > >beings, not as something to be worshipped. They do understand that the
    gods
    > >exist, they just aren't ponying up to the altar with offerings for
    beings
    > >who have never done anything for them except kill them.
    > >>
    >
    > So, you think they see them as their "equals?" Ok, I'll stop here.
    That's
    > funny.

    Why?

    At least 1% of the elves alive now were alive at Deismaar. That's allot of
    them. They have the unique perspective of being able to see that immortal
    gods can be killed too. Yes these things are powerful, but where's the
    proof that the clerics power really comes from the gods? Is it really that
    or is it that these powers are able to channel the undeniable power of the
    planes where they dwell and give it to worshippers? And of that 1%, maybe
    1% decided to research the issue, and that lone scholar has been doing it
    for 1500 years...

    Oh Clay - BTW - this is fun, I've not had a real argument on this list in a
    long time! Keep knocking me down please, because you've already hit some
    stuff that I've been wrong on before!

    Thanx!
    Tim Nutting

  4. #4
    Clayton F. Hinton
    Guest

    Elves, elves, elves, elves...

    >
    >Sorry, but what makes you think that elves are good guys? Their most
    >common alignment in BR is Chaotic Neutral. That means they don't care. In
    >point of fact, BR elves can't choose to be of any lawful alignment. In
    >support, "They are a force for neither good nor evil..." I submit that the
    >amount of elves that still agrees with Rhuobhe and goes to his wood to
    >serve him willingly and free of charge is at least 20%, if not more. But
    >they have other places to go too, if they hate humans, Lluabraight in
    >Rjurik for instance, where the captain of the armies IS a member of the
    >Ghallie Sidhe.
    >

    Yes, but elves made a decision, save Rhoubhe, in Deismar: they supported
    the gods of "good" (???) against the Ultimate Evil of Azrai. This leads
    me to believe, as you agree, that Rhoubhe is not indicitive of elves in
    general, and in fact he is becomming more and more unlike most elves in
    his nature.


    >You make some very strong arguments about Rhuobhe, which I do not dispute.
    >His own people hardly recognize him anymore, and he's becoming more Lawful,
    >thus making his ability to fight for the elvish cause questionable.
    >
    >I do however dispute your choice of basis for the BR elves. If any
    >resource in the TSR compendium is Tolkien-based, it is the Complete Book of


    I was only going back to the basis for AD&D elves. You are correct, I
    believe, that BR elves are the first (besides perhaps Athas elves) to get
    away from the Tolkein-style. BR elves are more "irish" than in other worlds.

    >Absolutely true. Elves will have allot of internal disagreement, but there
    >is one group among them that does not, and that is the Ghallie Sidhe. If
    >the GS were to declare war on their own, do you think that the other realms
    >would abandon their brothers and sisters to retain the good will of the
    >humans?

    Well, I really have a hard time thinking the Elves would go down the same
    path they did before Deismar, gaining allies in the ranks of evil as other
    suggested. Though they are not good, they are stounchly opposed to the
    domination of Cerilia by evil forces. I look at them as a force for
    neutrality in the world.

    >
    >The strength that the elves have over the human is immortality, and it is
    >an advantage, not a hindrance. No they don't adapt as quickly, but they
    >have the ability to devote their minds (which are of considerable power, on
    >average greater than humanity's) to an issue. Whether they stick to it
    >over time is another thing entirely, but Chaotic does not mean that you
    >abandon something you're interested in just to do something else... I play
    >chaotics most of the time, and my CX characters merely value a set of
    >morals that don't include the over-riding society. Chaotics are free
    >spirits. They do what they want when they want, but they can devote to an
    >issue just as easily as a lawful.

    Perhaps on an individual basis, but not as a society. A lawful society is
    more able to change due to the leadership's decisions.


    >> So, you think they see them as their "equals?" Ok, I'll stop here.
    >That's
    >> funny.
    >
    >Why?
    >
    >At least 1% of the elves alive now were alive at Deismaar. That's allot of
    >them. They have the unique perspective of being able to see that immortal
    >gods can be killed too. Yes these things are powerful, but where's the
    >proof that the clerics power really comes from the gods? Is it really that
    >or is it that these powers are able to channel the undeniable power of the
    >planes where they dwell and give it to worshippers? And of that 1%, maybe
    >1% decided to research the issue, and that lone scholar has been doing it
    >for 1500 years...

    Elves are not gods. The fact that they think they are on "equal" footing
    merely because they are immortal, I find humorous, and indicative of one of
    the Great Failings of the elves of BR. It's written that way, folks.

    >
    >Oh Clay - BTW - this is fun, I've not had a real argument on this list in a
    >long time! Keep knocking me down please, because you've already hit some
    >stuff that I've been wrong on before!

    Well, this whole subject is one of my pet peeves. I am sick of non-humans
    being the center of attention in other campaign worlds, with parties of
    50%+ non-humans in a world with 90% human populations. I am sick of
    hearing arguments that humans should have level limits, and that some
    non-humans should not. It's a game, it's written that way for game
    balance. The storylines aught to incorportate the rules into the histories
    for plausibility. If you want to play in a game with no humans, go for it.
    But I doubt a big-time RPG would sell all that well is people didn't have
    humans to fall back on as the primary race, just to have something to base
    the role-play on. How do you play an entirely different race without some
    kind of comparison to humanity? After all, there are no elves on
    modern-day Earth.

    - -Clay
    chinton@mail.utexas.edu

  5. #5
    Samuel Weiss
    Guest

    Elves, elves, elves, elves...

    >>I do however dispute your choice of basis for the BR elves. If any
    >resource in the TSR compendium is Tolkien-based, it is the Complete Book of


    I was only going back to the basis for AD&D elves. You are correct, I
    believe, that BR elves are the first (besides perhaps Athas elves) to get
    away from the Tolkein-style. BR elves are more "irish" than in other
    worlds.<

    Say what? I haven't paid much attention to this thread after the first few,
    but this definitely caught my eye. AD&D elves Tolkien based? Where on
    earth, Oerth, or wherever did you get that idea? Greyhawk elves were never
    Tolkien based. Some FR revisionism pushed the "retreating: nonsense, and GH
    elves started doing that with FtA (the only Sargent change I really hated,
    but it is said he had something bigger in mind). BR elves are the immortal
    ones like Tolkien's elves mind you. And the taller than human ones. And
    several other characteristics closer to Tolkien elves than mainstream AD&D
    elves. Which makes sense seeing as how Tolkien's Elves are Scandanavian and
    British Isles derived. Unlike Gygax Elves which are anti-Tolkien because he
    didn't want the game to seem like a really cheap rip-off. (As opposed to a
    moderate rip-oof with sufficient filing down of serial numbers. Of course,
    given the time it was produced, the only way it would have appeared totally
    unrelated was if there were no elves, etc. in the game at all. But then it
    wouldn't have been as fantasy oriented as he wanted. Oh well.)
    Note, most of the above is IMO, although statements have been made by EGG
    that he was not as influenced by Tolkien as many people insist.

    Samwise

  6. #6
    Clayton F. Hinton
    Guest

    Elves, elves, elves, elves...

    >

    >Say what? I haven't paid much attention to this thread after the first
    few,

    >but this definitely caught my eye. AD&D elves Tolkien based? Where on

    >earth, Oerth, or wherever did you get that idea?


    Well, as I am apparently in the company of may Experts of elves in the
    fantasy genre, I would like to know where the concept of long-lived,
    tall, ancient race of highly magical, intelligent, and powerful creatures
    (but not as silly as Sprites and Brownies) came from. If not Tolkien,
    then where? I am under the impression that Gygax's elves are more
    similar to Tolkien's elves than they are to the fairies of the various
    myths, of which I am not completely familiar (which is why I ask).


    Greyhawk elves were never

    >Tolkien based.


    Then what WERE they based on? Are you saying that they are completely
    unique?


    Some FR revisionism pushed the "retreating: nonsense, and GH

    >elves started doing that with FtA (the only Sargent change I really
    hated,

    >but it is said he had something bigger in mind). BR elves are the
    immortal

    >ones like Tolkien's elves mind you.


    Yes, but they are not the children of the gods, as they are in so many
    other worlds (including Middle-Earth). They are an interesting mix,
    somewhat unique, but obviously taking their many traits from other
    stories and campaigns. They have the physical characteristics of Tolkien
    elves (tall, pass w/out trace, immortal, good mages,
    etc.), with the attitude of the most Celtic elves yet in AD&D (neutral,
    very dangerous to man, heathen).


    And the taller than human ones. And

    >several other characteristics closer to Tolkien elves than mainstream
    AD&D

    >elves. Which makes sense seeing as how Tolkien's Elves are Scandanavian
    and

    >British Isles derived. Unlike Gygax Elves which are anti-Tolkien because
    he

    >didn't want the game to seem like a really cheap rip-off. (As opposed to
    a

    >moderate rip-oof with sufficient filing down of serial numbers. Of
    course,

    >given the time it was produced, the only way it would have appeared
    totally

    >unrelated was if there were no elves, etc. in the game at all. But then
    it

    >wouldn't have been as fantasy oriented as he wanted. Oh well.)


    I see we really don't disagree that much...I simply think the attitude,
    worldview, and "place" of "standard" (SECOND EDITION, not EGG!!!) elves
    is more similar to Tolkien than it is for BR elves.


    >Note, most of the above is IMO, although statements have been made by
    EGG

    >that he was not as influenced by Tolkien as many people insist.


    Well, I would actually believe those statements, as E. Gary Gygax is very
    well versed in mythology and history (as many
    former-insurance-agents-turned-something-else are). However, the game
    would not have taken off like it did without elves. Just look at the
    resistance I get for pushing the power of humanity over that of
    elvenkind, even in a world like BR where elves aren't the "good guys."
    Fantasy Gamers are in love with elves...the success of the "no elves!"
    Talislanta game is a testement to that (God I love that game!).


    Obviously, I'm no expert on elves in literature/folklore. I invite those
    of you who are to relate the origin of the Fantasy RPG elves, from
    pre-Tolkein to D&D to Birthright AD&D, as best you can. I'll be
    listening (reading) attentively.


    - -Clay

    chinton@mail.utexas.edu

  7. #7
    Samuel Weiss
    Guest

    Elves, elves, elves, elves...

    This is a multi-part message in MIME format.

    - ------=_NextPart_000_000B_01BDA931.E8B1CCE0
    Content-Type: text/plain;
    charset="iso-8859-1"
    Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

    Clay rebutted, I expand on my original statement.

    Overall, old style AD&D, Gygax Elves were, IMO, closest to the lesser =
    faeires of Scandanavian mythologoy, sans longevity. New style, FR, =
    Greenwood Elves are closer to the Tolkien model in terms of the retreat =
    and certain behaviors towards humans. BR Elves are closest to Tolkien =
    Elves in terms of physiology, and closer still to British Isle Elves in =
    terms of attitude.=20
    Which means I generally agree on points two and three and clarify on =
    point one.

    Samwise

    - ------=_NextPart_000_000B_01BDA931.E8B1CCE0
    Content-Type: text/html;
    charset="iso-8859-1"
    Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable









    Clay rebutted, I expand on my original statement.
    &nbsp;
    Overall, old style AD&amp;D, Gygax Elves were, IMO, closest to the =
    lesser=20
    faeires of Scandanavian mythologoy, sans longevity. New style, FR, =
    Greenwood=20
    Elves are closer to the Tolkien model in terms of the retreat and =
    certain=20
    behaviors towards humans. BR Elves are closest to Tolkien Elves in terms =
    of=20
    physiology, and closer still to British Isle Elves in terms of attitude. =

    Which means I generally agree on points two and three and clarify =
    on point=20
    one.
    &nbsp;
    Samwise

    - ------=_NextPart_000_000B_01BDA931.E8B1CCE0--

  8. #8
    DKEvermore@aol.co
    Guest

    Elves, elves, elves, elves...

    In a message dated 98-07-06 13:38:10 EDT, Clay wrote:

    > Obviously, I'm no expert on elves in literature/folklore.

    Near as I could tell from that last post (it was kinda long) the only thing
    you were asking was, "If it didn't come from Tolkien, where did it come from?"

    I had to laugh at that one!! Geez, man, do you really think Tolkien made it
    all up? Get real!!! Then do some research on Celtic mythology. This is not
    the forum for me to rehash it here.

    Take care!
    DKE

  9. #9
    Clayton F. Hinton
    Guest

    Elves, elves, elves, elves...

    >
    >Near as I could tell from that last post (it was kinda long) the only thing
    >you were asking was, "If it didn't come from Tolkien, where did it come
    from?"
    >
    >I had to laugh at that one!! Geez, man, do you really think Tolkien made it
    >all up? Get real!!! Then do some research on Celtic mythology. This is not
    >the forum for me to rehash it here.

    Sorry, too busy with real life to research fairies. But I'd appreciate a
    little more info, if you don't mind replying off this list to me. Thanks!

    - -Clay Hinton
    chinton@mail.utexas.edu

  10. #10
    Tim Nutting
    Guest

    Elves, elves, elves, elves...

    I'm kind of lost at this point as to what this argument is about.... sorry
    guys.

    Are we talking core AD&D or are we talking about the Sidhe? We've been
    down the Real World track before, and the list has pretty much agreed to
    disagree on its importance in a game. As its one of the few models we have
    to go by, well...

    The only elves we have in our world culture are those of myth and those of
    literature. In all cases the elves of myth are Celtic in nature, virtually
    no other culture on the planet recognized them (as near as I am aware).
    Those of literature were first pioneered by Tolkienn.

    The elves of BR, the Sidhe, seem based much more closely on the Celtic myth
    than the Tolkienn literature. Whether they are superior to humans or not
    depends on who you ask (quite obviously), so lets agree to disagree there,
    neh? In my mind an individual elf against and individual human is a gross
    mismatch. The Sidhe has many more physical and mental abilities than the
    human (no matter the culture here). On the whole the story is a bit
    different. As written, the humans beat the elves back, but the books don't
    tell us the cost on either side. Take a minute and imagine on a battle per
    battle scale, who lost more people, and for what?

    The humans, over the course of many generations, probably waged several
    small wars, each one with marginally acceptable losses to gain the desired
    chunk of land at the desired time. To the elves this was one continuous
    mass. I doubt any huge mastermind behind the humans on this one, because
    none could have lived long enough. (pre-Deismaar - remember that the
    landings were over 500 years before the Shadow War caught up with Cerilia)
    Each Ghallie Sidhe lost meant that another had to replace him. We don't
    know how long the Sidhe take to reach maturity, but as they are a magical
    race rather than biologically long lived, who can really say. I guess its
    up to the individual DM on that.

    So, while I may have argued the numbers point earlier, I can now see that
    the humans could have won through sheer attrition. They had the time and
    the mass to do it with.

    Now, we argue human superiority on this issue, but I still think in modern
    Cerilia that the elves are the superior species, individually and socially.
    The elves society has remained whole from its point of inception to the
    present, the humans change on a yearly basis. The elven nations, the
    hearts, have remained unconquered and uncontested for centuries, and the
    rulers have remained in power for huge stretches of time. Internal crime
    does not run rampant because each criminal knows that those he offends will
    not be punished for taking vengance.

    As we Americans can bear witness too, this is not the case in a supposedly
    lawful society. OK, point 1 there SUPPOSEDLY LAWFUL SOCIETY. A society's
    alignment is based on the attitude presented by the ruling class, not by
    the attitude of EVERY person. In the USA we have a society that pledges
    loyalty to law and goodnes with every raising of the flag (when some jerk
    isn't burning one) but crime is terrible. Why? We are obsessed with the
    rights of the criminal, not the rights of the victim.

    I want to get clear who we're talking about when we say "the humans". It
    is far too broadly based. Each human is an individual. In no world is
    this more self evident than Birthright. I ask what at least 50% of the
    awnsheghlien armies are composed of? Think about it.

    Human Army (mostly): The Gorgon, theChimaera, the Siren, the White Witch,
    the Swordhawk, the Raven, the Magian, the Serpent, the Vampire, the
    Banshegh.... there may be more, but no books are handy.

    Monstrous army: The Hydra, the Sphinx, the Harpy

    Non-Human army: The Spider, The Elf, 50% the Gorgon.... prolly more, but
    not many more.

    So the humans are nearly as divided between the good/evil issue, in fact
    more divided, than any other race on the planet.

    Well, they are the dominant race, they rule more land, they have more
    power, greater numbers, but they are not superior. They will win, but they
    still will not be superior, because they are too evil. They are the single
    race most responsible for the existance of evil on the continent. (Every
    awnshegh except the Elf, Spider, Wolf, Boar, Leviathan, and Kraken (mbe one
    or two more) was HUMAN.) The Enemy at the Battle of Deismaar was at least
    75% human, and the Southern Empire that will one day swallow the north and
    consume this world in Azrai's name: 100% human. In the end the humans
    will win, Deismaar will happen again when the a new god rises out of the
    south, for there cannot be that much worship power going to nothing.

    How many of you really think that there is no god answering the prayers of
    the Adurians?

    The elves will do what they can, and in the intervening years, the magic
    that the elven realms can muster must be staggering. Would the humans be
    able to unite in time to stop an elven wave on conqest? Could any regent
    unite the Holy Order of Haelyn's Aegis, the Militant Order of Cuiracen, the
    Impregnable Heart of Haelyn, the Northern Imperial Temple, the Orthodox
    Imperial Temple, the Eastern Temple of Nesirie, the Life and Truth of
    Avanalae, the Veiled Sisters, etc. etc. ad nauseum, in time to get their
    gods against the elves?

    Before Deismaar, the answer would have been yes. The humans were united as
    never before, an enemy at their backs, the enemy in their midst, and the
    enemy ahead in the form of the elves. In a time when extinction
    threatened, there was little resitance to follow the same church. What is
    not in Cerilia? The humans are dominant and they know it, and the gods are
    immortal and they know it, and they will never again directly manifest,
    they're too damn scared to do it. The ultimate of immortals has the most
    to lose, and they KNOW they can be killed.

    Pleasant Dreams
    Tim

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