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  1. #1
    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    Generic mythology, magic & anthropophobia thread

    Quote Originally Posted by ryancaveney View Post
    I concur. I also think the human gods intervened directly, fighting side-by-side with their tribes in (powerfully spellcasting) avatar form.
    Ryan
    Now that actually fits canon very well - after Deismaar we are told the gods agreed not to interefere directly (Eloele cheats I think), indicating that they did so before Deismaar - possibly quite often (although that would suggest half-breeds should have been prevalent).

    If Deismaar not only disrupted clerical magic, but also robbed humans of their greatest champions (avatars) then that would explain all sorts of things - such as the growth of human champions and endurance of the elven realms post Deismaar, and also add some intriguing options - do some folk believe that the gods actually died at Deismaar as opposed to reincarnating? Do other folk believe that the gods abandoned Cerilia? A bigger issue if you compact BR history to a 3 century empire followed by a fifty year collapse but still an issue for some legacy-types in a standard setting.

    My view on rangers is that they work better as followers of Erik/Vorynn than simply 'nature' as all other divine casters in the setting need a patron, give the elves a few extra skill points or something to compensate or let them use the magician list...

  2. #2
    Senior Member ryancaveney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by irdeggman View Post
    in PS of Tuarhievel it talks about the overwhelming numbers of humans which leads one to believe it had a lot to do with numbers (and possibly the priestly magic being the difference).
    Clearly it has to have *something* to do with overwhelming numbers: if there were fewer human priests than Sidhelien wizards, they could not have made a big difference unless they were individually more powerful than the elves, which strains credulity -- unless we imagine that the gods answered the humans' prayers by granting many extra levels to their priests. One thing I've considered is that maybe this means there were an incredibly small number of elves before Deismaar; a million humans with 1% priests could manage to beat the elves without direct divine intervention if there were only a couple thousand Sidhelien in total, but I'd rather not go there.

    Quote Originally Posted by irdeggman View Post
    "Still, the elves were pushed back year after year because of an element they had never encountered – priestly magic. The elves could easily call upon the forces inherent in wood and water, field and air, but had never worshipped deities – and thus, could not even begin to understand this new source of power. The human priests were the deciding factor against the elves' expertise in magic and combat, the old gods favored humans to such an extent that the elves found themselves practically powerless."
    This section is completely consistent with the ideas of godly suppression of elven magic and direct divine intervention; I don't see why you think it disproves them. Furthermore, I think healing magic is far more "inherent in wood and water, field and air" than is the illusion or enchantment magic which are usually considered the favorite of the elves; therefore, I think this supports my position that whatever it was about priestly magic which defeated the elves, it wasn't access to healing magic. I think the part of priestly magic which defeated the elves was appealing successfully to the gods for direct intervention, including magic suppression and personal participation in combat.

    In this way of looking at things, perhaps it was not Azrai who corrupted the elves, but the elves who corrupted Azrai! In order to defend themselves against the onslaught, they sold the most powerful and least cooperative (with the other gods) of the human gods on a plan in which they would help him defeat all his rivals, if he would first enable them to do so effectively by lifting the magic restrictions the others had emposed. Then, when at Deismaar he appeared to be winning, the elves betrayed him before he could betray them, and ensured he followed the other gods into oblivion. This neatly ensured that though they too suffered terrible losses, their power would recover better over time than the humans' would. In this version of events, the split with Rhoubhe Manslayer comes after switching sides against Azrai (in fact, I could very well see him as the one who finally slew Azrai) -- the other elves wanted to leave the field once all the gods were slain, but he wanted to switch sides again and stay until every non-elf present was killed as well.


    Ryan

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    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryancaveney View Post
    One thing I've considered is that maybe this means there were an incredibly small number of elves before Deismaar; a million humans with 1% priests could manage to beat the elves without direct divine intervention if there were only a couple thousand Sidhelien in total, but I'd rather not go there.

    In order to defend themselves against the onslaught, they sold the most powerful and least cooperative (with the other gods) of the human gods on a plan in which they would help him defeat all his rivals, if he would first enable them to do so effectively by lifting the magic restrictions the others had emposed. Then, when at Deismaar he appeared to be winning, the elves betrayed him before he could betray them, and ensured he followed the other gods into oblivion.
    Ryan
    A L1-4 wizard has little impact in a war generally, so you are only really comparing L5+ characters (dispel magic for priest and the start of the power ramp for mages). If you assume that elves rarely applied themselves hard to magic prior to the coming of humans, (the goblins were too disorganised for large numbers to need to do so) then a relatively low number of powerful mages may have been present amongst the elves - whereas the human priests would be quite driven to gain power and experience in defeating first Adurians as they fled, then goblins on arriving in Cerilia, then fighting the elves. Similarly elves may have been more likely to dabble in magic (i.e. take other class levels) then human priests were likely to multiclass. This approach means that you can have a lot more elves around before the human priests are outnumbered by the mages.

    I take a more positive view of elves than you, in the second part I'd have Azrai promising the elves to leave Cerilia in peace once he had destroyed his enemies - claiming Aduria alone. The elves would be unused to an intelligent betrayer - most of their prior experience was with goblins and I see them as having a quite naive view of dim = evil and treacherous, bright = good and trustworthy until humans came along...)

    The elves then turned on Azrai when they realised that he had something truly foreign to them - greed and ambition - and therefore would not relinquish Cerilia. Add the fact that the elves would regret teaching him magic given the clear perversion of the Lost - probably first seen by the elves at Deismaar, and his clear endorsement of goblins, orogs, gnolls etc (Azrai's minions must have led tens of thousands into Cerilia) and the elven about face on the battlefield is explained in my view.

  4. #4
    Senior Member ryancaveney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewTall View Post
    If you assume that elves rarely applied themselves hard to magic
    I've never liked this approach. It just doesn't make any sense to me. Sure, they're dabblers, and they have other things to do, but they have *thousands* of years to dabble, and magic is as natural to them as breathing -- there is nothing they'd be more apt to continue playing around with for sheer amusement than magic. Therefore, I think elves with at least a dozen caster levels ought to be as common as the village blacksmith is for humans.

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewTall View Post
    I take a more positive view of elves than you
    *laugh!* That's definitely the first time anyone has ever said that to me. I'm such an elf-lover that I honestly think the Gheallie Sidhe are the good guys!

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewTall View Post
    The elves would be unused to an intelligent betrayer - most of their prior experience was with goblins
    I think they had enough experience with the dragons to learn the lesson well. (As a side note, in my view the dragons were once much more numerous, until they basically wiped each other out in their struggle for power.) I also think the elves started fighting the humans before they started dealing with Azrai.

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewTall View Post
    I see them as having a quite naive view
    Whereas I prefer to see their leaders (at least by the time of Deismaar) as canny practitioners of realpolitik. This may mean that rulership is considered more a burden than a privilege, but I don't think elven regents should have been at all naive once their wars with the goblins got underway.

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewTall View Post
    dim = evil and treacherous, bright = good and trustworthy until humans came along...
    To an elf, there isn't much difference in intelligence between a human and a goblin. =)

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewTall View Post
    The elves then turned on Azrai when they realised that he had something truly foreign to them
    I think this is actually a less positive view of the elves than is my opinion that they had always planned to turn on him, as part of a long-term project to eliminate all the human gods which were spearheading the destruction of their way of life. I give them enough credit to have known from the beginning that no attempt to live in peace with a victorious Azrai was ever going to work out well for them.


    Ryan

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    Senior Member Beruin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryancaveney View Post
    In this way of looking at things, perhaps it was not Azrai who corrupted the elves, but the elves who corrupted Azrai! In order to defend themselves against the onslaught, they sold the most powerful and least cooperative (with the other gods) of the human gods on a plan in which they would help him defeat all his rivals, if he would first enable them to do so effectively by lifting the magic restrictions the others had emposed. Then, when at Deismaar he appeared to be winning, the elves betrayed him before he could betray them, and ensured he followed the other gods into oblivion. This neatly ensured that though they too suffered terrible losses, their power would recover better over time than the humans' would. In this version of events, the split with Rhoubhe Manslayer comes after switching sides against Azrai (in fact, I could very well see him as the one who finally slew Azrai) -- the other elves wanted to leave the field once all the gods were slain, but he wanted to switch sides again and stay until every non-elf present was killed as well.
    This is a great take on the Cerilian elves in general and on Rhuobhe in particular. I love it!!!
    I think I will use this IMC, this will really surprise my elven player. Now, Mr. elf-lover , what are your thoughts on the current situation?
    The elves came up with a millenium-spanning plan, retreating to their most ancient forests until they are strong enough again to drive the humans away from Cerilia. But, do they still stick to this plan or have they mellowed? Are they still biding their time or will they strike any time soon? And how far is the knowledge spread that Rhuobhe killed Azrai? Does the Gorgon know? Is it common knowledge among the elves or do only a select few know? What about the Chamberlain? Other humans?

  6. #6
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryancaveney View Post


    This section is completely consistent with the ideas of godly suppression of elven magic and direct divine intervention; I don't see why you think it disproves them.
    Ryan

    I didn't say (or at least I didn't mean to say) it "disproved" it only that it didn't support it to the extent you are saying it does and it supported my take more completely.

    I don't think it says (or implies) that the gods dierectly intervened. The fact that the text about the gods: "The human priests were the deciding factor against the elves' expertise in magic and combat, the old gods favored humans to such an extent that the elves found themselves practically powerless" is written after a comma as a continuation of the first part of the sentence "human priests" implies something rather different.

    I do not think that human priests and "priestly magic" is the same as (or equates to) direct intervention (via avatar) of the gods.

    As far as the "new gods" deciding to no longer directly intervene - (Actually I believe the text is more along take physical form, but I could be wrong on that one)) - does not mean that they did before Deismaar.

    In the Bible when God said he would no longer flood the earth and made the promise to Noah sealed with a rainbow- He hadn't done it before. There are other examples of things (not necesarily in the Bible) where people say they will never do something again after they've only done it once. It usually (almost always) follows something really, really drastic - like say Deismaar.
    Duane Eggert

  7. #7
    Senior Member ryancaveney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beruin View Post
    This is a great take on the Cerilian elves in general and on Rhuobhe in particular. I love it!!! I think I will use this IMC
    Thank you! *grin* That's really the most rewarding part of being on this list.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beruin View Post
    this will really surprise my elven player
    You have just one elf in your campaign? How's that working out?

    Quote Originally Posted by Beruin View Post
    The elves came up with a millenium-spanning plan, retreating to their most ancient forests until they are strong enough again to drive the humans away from Cerilia. But, do they still stick to this plan or have they mellowed? Are they still biding their time or will they strike any time soon?
    That is the central disagreement among them. IMC, none have gone so far as Cities of the Sun says Rhuannach has -- I still have the refugees there, but I definitely do not think they are allowed to have temple holdings -- but there is a range of opinion. The way I like to set things up, just before the campaign begins, the majority still think the time is not yet right, though a sizable faction think the extermination should now begin; only a few think that coexistence is possible (I usually think of the percentages as around 60-30-10). However, none of them have mellowed enough that they think coexistence is possible unless the humans first accept elven overlordship, elven ways of living in harmony with the land, and gradual conversion into half-elves -- that is the long-range plan adopted by Fiona of Rhuannach and Fhilerane of Tuarhievel; Fhiele Dhoesone, Torele Anviras of Talinie, and Adara bint Reshoud of Aftane are their most prominent agents.

    However, in the very near future, the King of Tuar Annwn "decloaks" his realm, to continue Kenneth's Romulan metaphor (though I favor a Minbari-Vorlon mix, with a pinch of Robotech Masters, for my Sidhelien sci-fi influences) and convinces Llaeddra of Lluabraight that the time has come, and both begin slow expansion -- starting with nearby awnsheghlien, goblins, orogs and gnolls, so as to impress but not too soon frighten the humans, giving the other faction's plan a little more time to work (and a hint of threat to perhaps speed it up). After a decade or so, the two of them and Isaelie of Sielwode and Rhoubhe convince the nobles of Tuarhievel that Fhileraene's policies have become dangerously friendly with the humans, so it is time to depose him in favor of Rhuandice Tuarlachiem -- who immediately smashes Cariele, slaughtering every human there, and sweeps through Thurazor and the Five Peaks into Talinie and Boeruine, linking up with Rhoubhe and precipitating the general war which the Sidhelien win over the course of another decade. Along the way, a sizable number of Rjurik, under heavy pressure from the hard-line druids and seeing little better option, decide to accept voluntary magical conversion into half-elves and continued existence as the full elves' subjects and soldiers.

    I haven't yet run this campaign in its full glory, because I haven't yet found the right party: bloodthirsty wargamers who want to both conquer the world and all play tree-hugging elves. In other words, people just like me. ;> Parts of it always show up, though, especially the change of government in Tuarhievel and the ensuing Gheallie Sidhe in Cariele on a massive scale -- but that last is sometimes considered cause for celebration in Mhoried.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beruin View Post
    And how far is the knowledge spread that Rhuobhe killed Azrai? Does the Gorgon know? Is it common knowledge among the elves or do only a select few know? What about the Chamberlain? Other humans?
    Many elves know. It's sometimes cited when teaching children about the foolishness of humans -- "most of them still worship the servants of the so-called gods we killed that day, though we who were there know they died also." The Gorgon knows -- it's why IMC he leaves Tuarhievel and Sielwode alone. As long as his goblins stick to killing humans and dwarves, Rhoubhe doesn't really care what he does; but if he ever threatens the elves again, the Manslayer will kill him, just like he once killed the Gorgon's boss. A number of humans have heard the story, but most don't believe it. I personally don't think the Chamberlain is quite that old -- Michael Roele's Chamberlain, yes, but not Haelyn's -- but if he were, he'd have been in the wrong part of the battlefield to personally know for sure, and would have far less reason than most to trust anything the elves say.


    Ryan

  8. #8
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryancaveney View Post
    After a decade or so, the two of them and Isaelie of Sielwode and Rhoubhe convince the nobles of Tuarhievel that Fhileraene's policies have become dangerously friendly with the humans, so it is time to depose him in favor of Rhuandice Tuarlachiem -- who immediately smashes Cariele, slaughtering every human there, and sweeps through Thurazor and the Five Peaks into Talinie and Boeruine, linking up with Rhoubhe and precipitating the general war which the Sidhelien win over the course of another decade.
    In full Romulan mode, I will take up Fhileraene's side of things, assuming that others go more or less as suggested by Ryan. The Prince has cultivated a set of servants, not only Fhiele Dhoesone, Torele Anviras of Talinie, and Adara bint Reshoud of Aftane. There is Rhuimach Taeline, who spent 80 years under the tutalage of Fhilerwyn during his reign and is now regarded as more fey than man. He is now the military commander in Dhoesone. There is Savne Mhoried, whose mission it will be to guide the policy and destiny of Mhoried so that it serves sidhe purposes. Other so-called half-elves, or [i]hanner sidhe[/] if you prefer have been guiding realms and domains too. The High Mage Alies, who has placed Cole and Cale Alwier into the deepest government of Aerenwe. Alies personally defends the Erbannien and prepares it for sidhe re-habitation, and recruits elves willing to dwell there now. His placement of the Alwiers means Aerenwe is being prepared to serve sidhe purposes when the time is right. Braedonnal Tuare serves the same kind of purpose in Tuornen.

    Now, when Fhileraene catches word that the grand plan is being put into effect, he puts his assets to work.
    • Conflict is fomented between Ghiallri and the Rjurik in the Giantdowns, the elves maintain the balance and keep the conflict at a boil so that both sides kill each other off. Hanner sidhe "druids" who have been placed in those community will convince the Rjurik to ask the elves for help and the Giantdowns will suddenly be a protectorate of Tuarhievel. The Rjurik will nominally be happy citiezens, but in fact they are servants no less than the goblins were eons ago.
    • The arrangement between Dhoesone and the goblins of Thurazor is a sidhe plot to being about the destruction of both the guilds and Thurazor. When the time is right, conflict is sown between them and the guilld war, kept active by the sidhe, spreads to Thurazor, in phase II of this operation, Dhoesone and Talinie invade Thurazor and the goblins are destroyed with human cost.
    • Savne in Mhoried prepares the realm to deal with the most outrageous guilder in northern Anuire, Mheallie Bireon. But while she makes these preperations, she waits for Talinie and Dhoesone to be ready to cooperate to completly destroy the first human realm to fall to sidhe plans. Note, all the while no elf dies, always humans fight these battles and elves move in from behind to take control and settle the problems as saviors and proectors.
    • In Tuornen, a serious battle between the Manslayer and the humans ends with the destruction fo a human army. Braedonnal Tuare is in the north watching affairs in Thurazor and the Five peaks as Dhoesone and Talinie move against them. Braedonnal moves south and the Manslayer withdraws. Tuornen supports Talinie and Dhoesone in goblin affairs and cooperates with Mhoried regarding Cariele. Alamie is scouted in preperations for phase IV.
    • Agents from the High Mage, Mhoried, and hanner sidhe agents in Sielwode prepare the Eastern Marches for war, fomenting war between Osoerde and Ghoere, which will ultimately become a general war as Coeranys and Elinie are dragged in on opposite sides. Once Cariele is crushed, Mhoried and Aerenwe intervene in the war, on whatever sides make the most sense, “sides” are immaterial. Key forested places will be seized and elves brought into tend and protect them, while the humans spend themselves in war against one another. Alamie will be brought into the war by subversion, charms, espionage, or gentle prodding. Then Tuornen and Mhoried will crush that realm with harsh abuse. Refuges pour south and it goes mostly unnoticed that Cariele is now devoid of humans, having fled or been slaughtered.
    • By now it may be possible that wise counsel in Anuire or elsewhere might be alert to a sidhe master hand behind everything. These figures are long known to the elves, who 1) either employ them to misdirect “Manslayer is behind a plot to seize the Iron Throne!” 2) or they are discredited in advance, or 3) they are simply killed.
    • If by now the other faction of elves, the non-accomodationists don’t recognize that the humans have both advanced sidhe purposes and destroyed themselves, they have missed a great opportunity to gain control of half of Anuire and use it to destroy the other half, and then turn elsewhere. Ideally all this has been going on while the elves move on abominations and humanoids directly.
    • In the north, once Cariele is vacant, Talinie is prepared for a war in Boeruine with Tuornen under the command of Braedonnal Tuare, Torele Anviras, and other sidhe agents. If Braedonnal’s work with Manslayer has been effective, by now he sees the virtue of Fhileraene’s plan and initiates his own invasion of Boeruine. Talinie and Tuornen engage in talk that sounds like moving to aid Boeruine, but they invade as well. Once Boeruine is taken, humans are driven from the forest and the southwestern Aelvinwode prepared for re-sidhification.
    • Humans in Dhoesone and Talinie are taught, coerced, or forced to adopt sidhe care of the forests or move to the plains. Humans are gradually made into servants of the elves. Quietly without them even knowing, on the basis of war-time necessity or whatever argument makes sense on a local basis (building on work done by the hanner sidhe already).
    • Forces from Dhoesone are used in Boeruine or against the abominations as the elves see fit. Elves now defend Dhoesone from the Rjurik.
    • Treaties are made with the Rjurik guaranteeing their realms and borders, and the lands of west of Stjordvik and Hogunmark are saved for later.
    • By now it is expected that all human realms remaining in Anuire are fighting against the Tuarhievel coalition.
    • The elves will govern like the Romans, insurrection will be crushed by genocide.

    Humans will generally fall into three categories, 1) those who must be killed, 2) those who may serve, and 3) those who are taken back to the sidhe homelands to be trained as hanner sidhe and to eventually rule as intermediaries between the humans and the elf lords.

    Using Ryan's 60-30-10 ratios, perhaps the most anti-human will be happy to see 60% of men killed, 30% serve, and 10% lead, while the less anti-human might be happy to see 30% die and 60% serve, and 10% rule. The humans will now either learn to live in harmony withe the land as the elves originally intended when humans first arrive in Cerilia, or they will die as occasion presents itself. Either way, the elves rule.

  9. #9
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Love the color, imagery and majesty of it.

    Doesn't mean I would adopt it to my game - but it is still beautiful none the less.
    Duane Eggert

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    Senior Member ryancaveney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kgauck View Post
    Once Cariele is crushed, Mhoried and Aerenwe intervene in the war, on whatever sides make the most sense, “sides” are immaterial. Key forested places will be seized and elves brought into tend and protect them, while the humans spend themselves in war against one another. Alamie will be brought into the war by subversion, charms, espionage, or gentle prodding. Then Tuornen and Mhoried will crush that realm with harsh abuse. Refuges pour south and it goes mostly unnoticed that Cariele is now devoid of humans, having fled or been slaughtered.
    Oooooooooh! I REALLY like this plan.

    Quote Originally Posted by kgauck View Post
    The elves will govern like the Romans, insurrection will be crushed by genocide... The humans will now either learn to live in harmony withe the land as the elves originally intended when humans first arrive in Cerilia, or they will die as occasion presents itself. Either way, the elves rule.
    I like the way you think, sir. My evil cackles are still echoing off the walls! This is much more entertaining than my plan, which was itself hatched mainly as a replacement for the more obvious but terribly dull "just cast Death Plague an awful lot." This way I can enjoy both reaping goblin heads like ripe wheat and watching the humans slaughter each other with abandon, thinking they do it for their own reasons but all the while playing straight into my hands. I love it! You have definitely saved Fhileraene's throne IMC, and proved him a worthy descendant of his grandfather the Manslayer.


    Ryan

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