Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    416
    Downloads
    21
    Uploads
    0

    The mystery and wonder that is the Cerilian elf (version by: AndrewTall)

    Discussion thread for User:AndrewTall/The mystery and wonder that is the Cerilian elf. If you would like to add a comment, click the Post Reply button.

    Whoops, didn't realize this was creating new threads. Well, I'll use it to congratulate Andrew Tall on this extensive article! I like the many options; I would adopt many of them and take some further, and have some additional ideas I might put forth in the future, but I mainly hit that "Discussion" button to see if there WAS any discussion on the thread.

    Sorry, just a newbie learning how the wiki works!
    Last edited by Rowan; 12-11-2007 at 06:10 AM.

  2. #2
    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Chelmsford, Essex, England
    Posts
    2,305
    Downloads
    25
    Uploads
    0
    No worries about discussion pages, massses ar egenerated but if people don't add any text they are generally moderated out. Glad you liked the page anyway.

    Although it's a personal page (i.e. it lniks off my user name) I'm happy for people to add comments etc on the actual page itself, although I'd prefer they put them in some sort of clear 'commentary' like:

    ' * another idea is abc...
    ' * in my campaign I took the following view.

    The space before the asterisk should create a orange-brown box I think...

    The page grew out of a thread on br.net - I wound up going back to the source-books to see if I'd remembered variously correctly and pull my thoughts together coherently as the thread argument got over-whelming at least in part through my lack of clarity.

  3. #3
    A lot of good information in there.

    I am going to sound critical here, but I did feel your initial beginnings kind of stumbled over themselves, in the Immortality section, but once I got past that, I really enjoyed much of what I read.

    Immortals do not see death as part of the natural order – they live without natural conclusion. Death may therefore be very hard for an elf to accept or understand - and seen as inherently unnatural.

    Elves may be very reluctant to risk their life since they have so much to lose compared to other races.
    I feel they view it differently than humans. Put simply, a human’s soul goes on to an afterlife. An Elf’s essence returns to the source, perhaps to someday be reborn anew.

    I think they understand death far better than any mortal, just as Einstein understood mathematics much better than I.

    And with such brilliant intellect, and understanding, and love of life, and being so in tune with the natural world and all its wonders, indeed, they would be loathe to lose their lives or risk them carelessly. Unlike humans, many of whom are often more than ready to die in the service of their god(s).

    Necromancy becomes far more unnatural to an elf
    Necromancy, would be anathema to an elf, the epitome of what they would consider evil, the very opposite of the natural world.

    Also, some things you mention like Crime, Inheritance, Boredom would be foreign to elves, these are human frailties that do not fit the elves' higher state of being.

    And my last bit of critique:
    Half-Elves as stated in many other places, are almost always the result of an elf taking a particular fancy to a beautiful, handsome and/or very unique human. I read someone’s hypotheses the other day that suggested Michael Roele may have sired a Half-Elf during his brief stay in Tuarhievel… not so far fetched at all, considering the strength of his bloodline, his heritage, and the look of youth he would have had about him at that time, I could easily believe that a elf female would find him interesting enough to entice him into impregnating her.

    All that said, I do feel somewhat the heel, I am sure it took a considerable amount of effort to organize and post your work, and such efforts should be rewarded with praise... I do hope you find what I offered insightful rather than argumentative, as that is my hope.
    The better part of valor is discretion

  4. #4
    Junior Member Sejanus's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Posts
    14
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    Elves are an interesting concept - insofar as they are creations of a human mindset. And varying in substance over the centuries.

    We have the elf of Tolkien's universe, as such dogma to the D&D universe, but actually very different. Because Tolkien's elves do not age and die like D&D elves do. Their fate is tied to that of the world of Middle Earth.
    They are beings of great power and importance, but not necessarily noble. Indeed they are prone to corruption on equal measure - or even more so - as humans. Signified by Morgoth's ability to warp them into the worlds darkest and most destructive enemy - the orks.


    On the opposite scale as this we have the elves of Earthly mythology, Shakespearan for example, beings of complete nature. Take my own Scandinavian myths for example, elves are described as beings of an almost esoteric nature, whom lost men come upon in the middle of the night dancing around a great hill lifted up "on glowing pillars". They are of an unearthly beauty, but their backs are hollow and their danger to mortal men is terrible.
    Under their spell you may dissappear from this world, never to be seen again. You may awaken after their nightly revel and a decade has gone by.


    Somewhere in between these two lie your classical D&D elf - whereas I consider the Cerilian elf to be rather closer to the second example than the first.

    Tolkien uses the elf to portray all the paramount virtues of men - as well as their worst vices (consider the carefully planned nobility of Lord Elrond, Sauron's constant enemy, compared to the greed of Prince Thranduil who ends up fighting Sauron's servants in Mirkwood, but also wants his share of dragon gold - and is willing to take it by force.)

    And the mythical elf could be interpreted as a warning to men: "Do not go out into the forest and dance with the strange women there. They are hollow of back and will draw you away from your natural world." As such a tale serving the stable society.


    Now where am I going with all this? Well, good question. I believe the elf to be much more a portrayal of a hidden human longing. They are of an eternal quality, in perfect tune with nature and blessed with anything between eternal and extremely long life. They should as such be much better endowed than humans to function in a complex and unrelenting world.

    That you, Rugor, can surmise that their longevity leads them to "understand death far better than any mortal", I consider an example of the above.
    How beings by nature far removed from death, should have a greater understanding of it than humans, who are by nature inadvertently tied to death, seems strange to me. Humans know death, see it every day and has to accept it's inevitability. Humans are trained in death, not because of an ability "to die in the service of their god(s).", but because die we must. Death is our curse or blessing, depending on how you view it.

    The Cerilian elves on the other hand, caught between the Tolkienesque, mythological and classical D&D elf, are cursed or blessed to life. You could take this to mean a slowly perfection of wisdom and intelligence, let them assume the position of greater ability, of sublime existence. Or you could consider them a society hopelessly stymied by a slower than snail-pace changing culture, traditions and hence political ability to react to change. Perfect conservatism...


    The Cerilian elves certainly embody the second - as they have denied even the possibility of there being gods! Even as they were relentlessly pushed back on all fronts, by god-fearing humans and ever-multiplying goblins.
    But the first aspect could just as well be the reason for their slow retreat. Because it is certainly not impossible that the elves are there in the service of a higher purpose - a purpose that Isaelie and Fhilaerene know and perhaps disagree on, but Rhuobhe certainly does not understand (being corrupted by the essence of a dark god of humanity.)

    That all really depends on how mythical a world you want? Are the elves in service of the Tolkienesque stewards of the world - the Ainur. Or are they more a natural force opposing the relentless civilizatory "corruption" of men.

    Consider this question: How did Azrai lure the elves over to his side?

  5. #5
    Much is open for interpretation on the matter of elves, and perhaps it should be, so that each person can adapt them to his own beliefs.

    I notice a tendancy to humanize the elves, to tie them to things which are mostly human traits, the more they are humanized, the further I think they are from what Baker and others had intended for the Birthright setting.

    I do agree with your detailing of early faerie stories and tales of Scandinavian myths and that is where elf stories originated from. And their ability to draw a human into their realm, only to have him pass out of it years later, even tho only days have passed, reminds me a lot of what has been written into the Birthright setting from Torele Anviras and his history detailed in the PS of Talinie, to Michael Roele in the Iron Throne novel.

    Not quite so much in agreement on the Tolkien version, as with Birthright, there is some opportunity for interpretation in his work on elves, semi-works he discarded that were later added into his body of work after his passing... their complex history detailed in The Silmarillion, edited and published after Tolkien's death.
    The better part of valor is discretion

  6. #6
    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Chelmsford, Essex, England
    Posts
    2,305
    Downloads
    25
    Uploads
    0
    Thanks. I pulled thoughts together from a thread I'd been in where some assumptions I didn't see the need to comment on up front were mis-interpreted - I figured i'd pull my thoughts together in a page and see where they got me.

    At some point I'll re-read it, immortality will be a pain as it has such a massive impact on everything else in terms of culture, power, etc.

    Personally I think that elves would be very familiar with death - pets, animal companions, etc would die around them constantly as they aged, but would be quite detached from it as a concept - much as some children cannot conceive of a world without them in it or an end to their own existence.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewTall View Post
    Personally I think that elves would be very familiar with death - pets, animal companions, etc would die around them constantly as they aged, but would be quite detached from it as a concept - much as some children cannot conceive of a world without them in it or an end to their own existence.

    Well you are either experienced with death or you are not.

    Children are the way they are, because they have no experience with anything, they have no way of referencing one thing to another.

    Most elves on the other hand, have seen countless loved ones pass away.

    That would be cause for their great sorrow when they do lose even one elf, that elf is lost to them for ALL eternity... they will not meet up with them in the after-life, those lost will not move on to a greater existance on another plane.

    Their lives are (should be) without disease, without aging, so their lives are absent of many of the things that might make a human long for death... I agree, they will not view death in the same way, life in the same way... but if they have lost a brother or father, mother or daughter, they would be as aware of that loss as any human could be, if not more... and therfore would know death, very well.
    The better part of valor is discretion

  8. #8
    Junior Member Sejanus's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Posts
    14
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by rugor View Post
    Much is open for interpretation on the matter of elves, and perhaps it should be, so that each person can adapt them to his own beliefs.

    I notice a tendancy to humanize the elves, to tie them to things which are mostly human traits, the more they are humanized, the further I think they are from what Baker and others had intended for the Birthright setting.

    I quite agree.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by rugor View Post
    Much is open for interpretation on the matter of elves, and perhaps it should be, so that each person can adapt them to his own beliefs.

    I notice a tendancy to humanize the elves, to tie them to things which are mostly human traits, the more they are humanized, the further I think they are from what Baker and others had intended for the Birthright setting.

    I do agree with your detailing of early faerie stories and tales of Scandinavian myths and that is where elf stories originated from. And their ability to draw a human into their realm, only to have him pass out of it years later, even tho only days have passed, reminds me a lot of what has been written into the Birthright setting from Torele Anviras and his history detailed in the PS of Talinie, to Michael Roele in the Iron Throne novel.
    I think that every player or GM of a Birthright game interprets elves to fit the game they run. Given that what is written about them gives us only a brief look into elven culture, life, beliefs, and society and most of it is from the perspective of an outsider looking in.

    I agree that there is often a tendency to humanize elves. Its something that everyone does to some degree, whether they notice it or not. After all we are human and we understand most things as they relate to us. Also, being mortal as we are, we can only THEORIZE how an immortal might think. It is impossible for us to KNOW how a truely immortal being would think. They might find death to be a part of the natural way of things, however they may also view it as horrible, the complete oposite of their immortal existance.

    I think there is much written in Birthright that relates the elves to the fairies and elfkind of our own mythology.

  10. #10
    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Chelmsford, Essex, England
    Posts
    2,305
    Downloads
    25
    Uploads
    0
    Elves would indeed comprehend how animals and plants die - but at the same time might struggle to apply such a concept to their fellow elves who by nature do not die - ever. An elf may truly expect to speak to a friend slaughtered thousands of years before when they see a particularly beautiful sight one morning because deep down they simply cannot recognise that the friend is gone. So even though an elf knows that their father/sister/etc was killed, they may yet be unable to truly understand that this death is permanent. Some quite interesting psychosis come to mind for a grieving elf if one takes the view that their neural architecture has qualities of this kind.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. The mystery and wonder that is the Cerilian elf
    By ConjurerDragon in forum The Royal Library
    Replies: 57
    Last Post: 06-23-2007, 11:42 PM
  2. House Rules AndrewTall (version by: AndrewTall)
    By Anomandaerys in forum BRWiki Discussions
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 06-23-2007, 02:50 PM
  3. New Paper Version of BR ?
    By Aeron_Durnovtsev in forum The Royal Library
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 03-02-2005, 09:25 AM
  4. Revised Version: When?
    By Cruelsader in forum BRCS 3.0/3.5 Edition
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 01-29-2004, 05:02 PM
  5. D&D version 3.1?
    By geeman in forum The Royal Library
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 12-07-2002, 11:26 PM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
BIRTHRIGHT, DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, D&D, the BIRTHRIGHT logo, and the D&D logo are trademarks owned by Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and are used by permission. ©2002-2010 Wizards of the Coast, Inc.