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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by FhieleLlyrandor View Post
    There is nothing indiscriminate there.
    If they were willing to kill children as willingly as soldiers, that by definition is indescriminate. That's the very meaning of the word.

    It's entirely on the humans that they weaponized their innocents as a human shield for the sake of colonialism.
    This is your defense of elven behaviour? "It's not my fault- they made me kill them" ?

    But justification is not the issue. My point is that elves killing humans indiscriminately is going to enflame things, regardless of whether you think humans arrogant.

    It took a gigantic superiority complex in the first place to decide that lands they'd never even set foot on until the expansion of the Adurian empire were theirs by divine right.
    That is incorrect. The humans fled Aduria. It had nothing to do with wanting to conquer. It was about surviving. Per Atlas of Cerilia, they were "fleeing the domination of decadent empires and the wrath of a vengeful god". You seem to be suggesting that humans' desire to survive makes them arrogant, yet you give a pass on the elves for this.

    The claim that the gheallie sidhe is arrogant for its existence reminds me of a common saw in a lot of fantasy settings, if anything, that elves are inherently arrogant for merely wanting to survive without becoming conquered subjects of humanity.
    This is what you're making of humans though- they initially came to Cerilia to survive, not to invade. This is well established in the Atlas of Cerilia. It was later generations that ended up warring with the elves as humans multiplied and needed more land.

    In Birthright, elves (as a whole) are arrogant. It says so in the original rulebook. It reads: "Elves are very conscious of their perceived superiority and treat others with coldness or condescension". Further, the Atlas of Cerilia states their hatred "extends to humans humanoids and whomever stands in the way of elven domination". This is exactly what you've been ascribing to humans! So why do you only criticize humans for this behaviour and not the elves?

    Blindly applying "arrogance" to villify only one side is simplisitic thinking and ignores a long and complicated history. By canon elves are the species with the biggest superiority complex and worst arrogance.


    Among other things, basically yes. Also some of the obviously arbitrary class restrictions; it took complete druid and complete bard to drop the silliness of elves not being able to take those up in core 2e.
    Kinda, sorta. 1st Edition's Unearthed Arcana allowed all types of elves (except dark) to be druids (unlimited level too, except for wild elves). In 2nd ed, Complete Druid allowed only sylvan elves to be druids. In Complete Bard, an elf could only be a bard if of a specific kit. So it wasn't a free choice yet.

    Now, the Complete Book of Elves included an option (to the DM) to expand level limits. The consequence of this, as noted by the section, is that elves would quickly become the dominant species on the planet due to their long lifespans.

    Humans one and only advantage was unlimited level advancement. Humans do not get bow and sword bonuses, elves do. Humans do not have 90% resistance to sleep and charm, elves do. Humans do not have infravision or the ability to notice secret doors, elves do. Etc etc. As such, human flexibility (any class) was meant to be the way of balancing, not a secret way of saying "only play humans". It never worked in any game i played though- nearly everyone wanted to play a demihuman. (Ironically, i always liked elves. )


    -Fizz
    Last edited by Fizz; 06-29-2021 at 01:33 AM.

  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Fizz View Post
    This is your defense of elven behaviour? "It's not my fault- they made me kill them" ?

    But justification is not the issue. My point is that elves killing humans indiscriminately is going to enflame things, regardless of whether you think humans arrogant.
    If you start violently conquering someone's home, you don't get to hide behind the children you put in harm's way to pretend the people opposing you are the evil ones in this equation.


    That is incorrect. The humans fled Aduria. It had nothing to do with wanting to conquer. It was about surviving. Per Atlas of Cerilia, they were "fleeing the domination of decadent empires and the wrath of a vengeful god". You seem to be suggesting that humans' desire to survive makes them arrogant, yet you give a pass on the elves for this.
    And in betraying the elves for their lands they proved that they were no better. The Atlas is history from the perspective of an Anuirean and even he admits the early settlers betrayed the elves, not the other way around. This is without even going into the PS for Talinie and Ilien implying genocidal warfare as part of the process of "human survival"

    A decadent empire worshipping a vengeful god is basically late Anuire, somewhat ironically.

    The humans decided to "survive" by conquering another people and driving them to near-extinction rather than accomodating themselves as refugees. This is the height of arrogance.
    Last edited by FhieleLlyrandor; 07-01-2021 at 03:07 AM.

  3. #23
    Member Michael Romes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FhieleLlyrandor View Post
    If you start violently conquering someone's home, you don't get to hide behind the children you put in harm's way to pretend the people opposing you are the evil ones in this equation.
    Only that it was not "one´s home". The books clearly say that the sidhelien established an empire that dominated the karamhul who retreated back into the mountains and that not ruled, but enslaved the goblins and kobolds of the Stonecrown Mountains "teaching them civilization", e. g. in the Chronicles of Cerilia from Dragon Magazin 241

    The time given between the sidhelien dominating the karamhul until a peace accord is found only took 11000 years...

    And all of that happened before a single human set foot on Cerilia. And not all land in Anuire that the humans took later was ruled by the sidhelien, e.g. the 3rd tribe of the Andu, the Mhora are mentioned to have been in war with the goblin kingdom of Kar Durgar for 40 years until they razed Kar-Durgar and established Mhoried.

    And in betraying the elves for their lands they proved that they were no better. The Atlas is history from the perspective of an Anuirean and even he admits the early settlers betrayed the elves, not the other way around. This is without even going into the PS for Talinie and Ilien implying genocidal warfare as part of the process of "human survival"

    A decadent empire worshipping a vengeful god is basically late Anuire, somewhat ironically.

    The humans decided to "survive" by conquering another people and driving them to near-extinction rather than accomodating themselves as refugees. This is the height of arrogance.
    Not quite. At first they settled the coasts with the sidhelien seeing their arrival as a blessing that could help them in their still going wars against the humanoids.
    "The Flight from the Shadow" (the flight of the humans from Aduria to Cerilia) started in -515 Haelyn´s Count.
    Between -515 and -465 "Andu settle most lands now recognized as Anuire"
    -478 "First humans reach Tuarhievel; elves and humans agree to share the forests"

    That should make clear that the humans did not drive the sidhelien from all of Anuire. Quite a lot of Anuire was under humanoid rule after the sidhelien empire crumbled under the slave revolts and splintered into various kingdoms.

    The human-sidhelien coexistance lasted for 115 years as the Wars of humans and elves raged from
    -400 to -200.

    115 years for humans nowadays are already long. WW1 was not ago that long in our world and yet the current generation nowadays hardly knows anything about it or who ruled what back then.

    For a society on the level of the Andu back then that probably was 3 generations to grow their numbers and need more land and to see the lands they live in as their own.
    And if the Sidhelien use land in a way similar to the Natives in the Prairies of the US, e.g. not farming and mining, no permanent cities but perhaps a semi-nomadic lifestyle, then from a human point of view that land was free to take and put to use.
    Last edited by Michael Romes; 07-03-2021 at 10:27 PM.
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  4. #24
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    If you start violently conquering someone's home, you don't get to hide behind the children you put in harm's way to pretend the people opposing you are the evil ones in this equation.
    Your premise is flawed. The humans did not "start violently conquering". (See below). And humans did not put their children at knowing risk. Humans did not ever think "if i chop down this tree my child might be killed... ey i'll chance it". With the gheallie sidhe it didn't matter what you did- if you were human, you were to be slain.

    And in betraying the elves for their lands they proved that they were no better. The Atlas is history from the perspective of an Anuirean and even he admits the early settlers betrayed the elves, not the other way around. This is without even going into the PS for Talinie and Ilien implying genocidal warfare as part of the process of "human survival".
    I cannot find anything in the the Atlas that says the early settlers betrayed the elves. Where does it say that? It does say that the humans continued to expand after the goblinoids were pushed back, but how is that a betrayal?

    In the PS Ilien book, there is no reference to humans being genocidal towards elves. Conflict perhaps (it says the elves fled, and there were battles later), but no indication of genocide.

    And in the PS Talinie book, it specifically says the Andu did not wipe out other peoples, this is evidence that the humans did not come with a 'divine right' to conquer all, it was something specific to their encounter with the Trautha.

    The Atlas's account is largely consistent with that of the elves: it was the elves who started the genocidal wars. Consider Rhoubhe's own words from Blood Enemies. First regarding the human crimes: "Our forests were defoliated than they could repair themselves". His conclusion: "War was inevitable". His goal: "...never cease until each and every lying human on Cerilia was killed".

    So Rhoubhe acknowledges they began an attempted genocide of the humans because he objected to their treatment of the forests. After humans started being killed, of course humans would have fought back, and that led to all-out war.

    So what about this chain of events is human arrogance?

    The humans decided to "survive" by conquering another people and driving them to near-extinction rather than accomodating themselves as refugees. This is the height of arrogance.
    So in your view, once a refugee, always a refugee? If the elves expected humans to "stay in their place", that's arrogance on the elven side, not the humans.

    As shown above, humans didn't deliberately start driving back the elves until full blown war had erupted- after the gheallie sidhe began. And earlier we established humans didn't arrive on Cerilia out of conquest. Thus i fail to see the 'divine right' of conquest at any point of the history discussed here.


    Michael Romes makes a very good point about timelines. Humans lifespans are so short they may not even noticed an ongoing change to the world. To an elf, a human lifespan is like a weekend is to us. Plus elves are magical, don't need to sleep or farm, etc. These are alien species to one another. No wonder conflict occured.

    This is in part why i like Birthright. There are no simple answers. No one side is overtly evil or good. And even within each "side" are multiple opinions and individual motivations that can be misconstrued. Not good vs evil, but conflicting motivations and consequences.


    -Fizz
    Last edited by Fizz; 07-01-2021 at 07:43 PM.

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