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Author Topic: Elven Life and Development  (Read 11026 times)
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Rayne (Alýr)
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« on: 05 January 2010, 05:08:32 »

I’m not entirely sure what to call this. Sections are Maturity and Sexuality, Marriage, Pregnancy and Birth, and Child-Rearing and Education. I may add a section on Death, but I’m still brainstorming about this section. I don’t shy away from talking about things like intercourse. If you’re uncomfortable with this, don’t read.

I realize that some/all of what’s in here may conflict with what’s currently expressed in individual tribe entries. Feel free to let me know where the contradictions are. This document will probably undergo changes, but so will individual entries (unfortunately there hasn’t been much of a foundation for elven tribe development, so some tribes are drastically different).

Like with the Ava’reollar, this entry makes a number of implicit statements about elven belief--a piece I’m still writing and brainstorming. Feel free to respond to these.

Artimidor, I need you! heart


Elven Life and Development

Maturity and Sexuality:
Elven children (“elflings”) grow at approximately the same rate as human children, at least until their mid-twenties. While the physical development of both races seems identical in terms of growth, puberty may take place over a longer period of time for elves. Therefore, while both races enter puberty around age 14, some changes (particularly in hair growth, and menstruation [for women]) may develop over many years. The rebellious stage in a human child’s development, particularly between ages 12 to 16, is absent among elven children. Because of the gradual progression of an elf into puberty, elves never experience this stage.

Coupled with, and perhaps related to, the longer period of pubescent development and the noticeably lack of rebellious behaviour is differing libido between humans and elves. While their human counterparts may experience frequent sexual urges brought on by visual stimuli (e.g. physical appearance), elf’s libido tends to be generated through certain select conditions, particularly emotional and spiritual connection or feelings of closeness. Because of this, intercourse generally occurs less frequently among elves. Intercourse is generally regarded as an intensely emotional and spiritual act, and therefore engaging in intercourse without such connection is viewed as sacrilegious. The outrage and sorrow evinced by Coór’melór’s rape of Aváránn Aiá’merán was not simply a horrendous act for the physical violation it entailed, but for the emotional and spiritual violation as well.

Female elves experience monthly cycles just as humans do, though generally without the same negative emotional side effects. These cycles have spiritual significance, being, in elven belief, the manifestation of Avá’s sorrow, and thus a powerful connection between females and Avá. Cycles are generally shorter for the elves, lasting for three or four days at most. Because elves share such close quarters with one another, cycles are generally matched, and all elves in a settlement will experience their cycle at the same time. Because their significance, the cycles generally bring with them ceremonial ritual—a time where females pray and meditate together, channeling the power and energy of Avá. These rituals are generally done in the evening or at night.

While human women will generally cease menstruation in their early to mid-40s, an elven woman may continue to have them nearly to the end of her life, though they may be lighter. Despite this, most elven women avoid having late pregnancies. Because intercourse only represents the physical dimension of a close connection, elves generally don’t feel the need to engage in it as often as humans.

Marriage:
Many elven tribes practice a system that lingers between arranged marriage and personal choice in partner. While some humans choose to a mate independent of his or her family (or his or her own), most elves are very conscious of a potential mate’s blood relatives, and often times the family will aid in an individual’s decision. Individuals discuss potential matches with family, and make decisions carefully and wisely; the inclusion of family in the process is viewed positively by all those involved. Families do not force a decision on their son or daughter: this is seen as a violation of personal freedom and a belittling of personal wisdom and knowledge of self.

In considering a partner, individuals do not only consider skills, such as those in archery, magic, weaving, singing, fighting, etc., but also wisdom and energy. Elves often seek out mates that do not only have knowledge of the natural world, but the wisdom to move through the world gracefully and consciously. In addition, an elf also seeks out those with an energy that compliments her own. While elves are generally more attracted to energies differing from their own, the ways these energies differ must also fit with their own. It can be likened to a harmony: while both voices are singing different notes, they sound beautiful together. Having harmonizing energies will produce balanced off-spring.

Unlike humans, who may pine for a lovely yet unreachable lover, elves do not seek to win the favour of those who express no interest in a relationship. Feelings of love arise only through knowing and resonating with the intimate details of an individual, which are only realized with great time, care, and honesty—conditions met only in mutual interest between both parties. An elf might have interest in another, but unless intimacies are shares, he or she is incapable of being in love.

Love itself is a very practical emotion, arising not out of impossibility (as a human boy may pine for a girl simply because he cannot have her), but rather out of possibility. Love deepens when the conditions for a relationship are optimal (e.g. goals, direction, values, etc. are the same) because elves view the relationship as thus meeting the approval of the extant Dream. If two individuals care for one another but, for whatever reason (family, volition, circumstance, etc.) could not be together, attempting to force a relationship would be a denial of the true nature of the Dream. Greater love and delight in a relationship arise through its consistency with the natural flow of the universe. It is pertinent to note that a couple’s relation to the Dream remains highly individualized. Every individual has different conditions for contentment. For those who desire to be in constant contact with their partner, a condition of separation would tend against the natural flow, while such a condition would be optimal for those more comfortable with distance.

Relatively commonplace among human societies is the action of spurning old lovers; however, such action is nonexistent to eves. Some relationships work out, while others do not. While having to end a relationship is always a sad affair, it is not an angry or hateful one. Part of the reason for peaceful break-ups may arise from a deep understanding of the changing, shifting nature of the universe and a deep trust in each elf to make the wisest choice for him or herself.

The process of finding a partner may take many years or decades. Rarely do elves marry young. Most elves believe that only through deeply knowing elf can one know a good mate, and only through developing skills and knowledge can one be a good mate (and father/mother for an offspring). Often the young years of an elf’s life are spent gaining wisdom and developing skills—whether in archery, magic, music, or something else. Some elves even travel. Only when an elf is truly ready will he or she begin recognizing potential partners.

When an elf finds a partner who accepts him or her, both elves will go through marriage rites. Marriage rites differ from tribe to tribe, sometimes even family to family, but generally involve a type of cleaning ritual and some shared physical interaction, whether it be braiding or beading hair, painting each others’ faces, spilling and sharing blood (prominent among dark elven tribes), or simple touching or kissing. Just as humans sometimes wear rings, elves generally carry some symbol of the union—either a ring, earring, charm, or through something like a piercing, tattoo, or beaded hair. Tribes generally do not require external displays of marriage: it is often a personal choice.

Because women, more than men, act as the spiritual center of elven society and the family unit, the men generally join the women’s family, taking her name insofar as he identifies with her family. The male will often leave his family and stay with his wife’s. Of course, some tribes may do the opposite, such as the Ahrhim tribe, which tends to be more patriarchal.

The communal nature of elves often leads to many individuals sharing the same living space, a situation not conducive to intimacy. Elves view intimate interaction, particularly those surrounding intercourse, as intensely personal. Because of this, intercourse generally takes place away from the housing structures. While some settlements may provide spaces for such interaction, the personal and spiritual nature of the act compels couples to seek out their own spaces. Often physical intimacy occurs in isolates areas, well away from prying eyes, out in nature. Intercourse is not only a physical union, but also an emotional and spiritual one—a connection that echoes one’s connection to the natural world and the Dream itself.

Pregnancy and Birth:
Elven women usually experience a slightly longer gestation period than human women, though only by a few months. The average term of elven pregnancy is one year. Elves regard pregnant women in their society as not only delicate, but extremely powerful. A pregnant woman represents the creative power of the feminine. Like Avá in her sleep creating the Dream, pregnant women are in a generative state, creating another living entity. Many elves, sensitive to natural energies, can feel the power of a woman bearing a child: she has about her not only her own energy, but an energy she is helping to create. Pregnancy and birth are not only physical processes—like intercourse, they are intensely emotional and deeply spiritual.

Pregnant elves frequently perform cleansing rites during gestation, though the procedures and frequency of these rites varies depending on tribes. Some tribes will dress in white or transparent cloth while others may perform them naked. Sometimes the pregnant woman will chant or sing. All cleansing rites are done alone, though. The rites are regarded as personal, intimate affairs that aid a mother-to-be in deepening her connection to the Dream and her child, as well as her place in the natural world. In these rites, she comes to more thoroughly understand the cycles governing the Dream and the interconnectedness of all things.

Miscarriages and stillbirths are rare yet mournful affairs. Most elves link such events to confused or incompatible energies: as the child’s energy is growing and strengthening, incompatible energies hinder development. This is often the cause of birth complications among interracial couples. All races have drastically different energies, and if individuals of different race reproduce, the result may be a child with irresolvable complications in energy, leading to miscarriage or stillbirth. This is why elves generally seek out mates with complimenting energies, energies that harmonize. Matching an elf and another race is like trying to match two voices singing different melodies entirely: the result is often chaotic and confusing.

Women with a history of miscarriage or other complications generally take greater care with later pregnancies, often increasing the frequency of cleaning rites, meditation, and prayer. In some cases a wise elder may do a cleaning ritual on both mother and father before conception.

Birth itself is a sacred act where two energies part to become more or less autonomous wholes. As in human births, the breaking of water signifies the beginning of labour. While birth is a painful affair for elven women as much as human women, elves do not use the term “labour” to describe the process; instead, they employ the term “pulsing” to convey the cycles of fluctuating pain and pressure that accompany birth.

During birth, women are generally taken somewhere relatively isolated, whether in a forest clearing or a closed room. Any women in the area will assist with the birth, helping to provide water, clean the mother’s brow, collect herbs to help ease the mother’s pain, and simply provide support. While males may view the birth, it is generally discouraged to all but the husband (or, in some tribes, husband and immediate family). Birth is seen as the ultimate display of the creative power of the feminine, and is therefore intensely sacred and spiritual.

While in some cultures, and even among some animals, the mother may consume the placenta following birth, this is not practiced among most elven tribes, even among dark elven tribes. Elves generally regard anything that passes out of the body as being unnecessary or harmful to it; if the body needed the placenta, it would not have disposed of it. However, the placenta is regarded as having powers of fertility through energy from unrealized potentials. Like seeds that never become a plant, the placenta is viewed as left-over potential—the residue of possibility outcomes that never reached fruition. However, the energy of becoming remains latent in the matter, in the form of fertility. The placenta may therefore be used as a fertilizer for sacred gardens and plants, and is often used in fertility potions or other consumables for women who experience difficulty becoming pregnant. Elves regard the placenta as very powerful energy, and rarely waste it.

Not only families, but whole villages celebrate successful, healthy births. Elves tend to view births as an act honouring the first creation, when Avá began to dream. Typical of elven life and belief, concepts layer: elves celebrate births, which in turn celebrate all creation (which is always viewed as “divine” in some sense). The tradition in dark elven tribes may be a little different, where births are seen as the beginning of the end in accordance with the Cárpa'dosía: "For when the Origin arose the End arose also, and when the End arose the Origin arose also, the Origin and the End. Both were in one and one was in both, Origin and End, End and Origin; there was, thus, the Origin in the End, the End in the Origin." Births are not celebrated as much as death, but as it occurs in part of a greater cycle, it still has spiritual significance.

Child-rearing and Education:
The saying that “it takes a village to raise a child” rings true among the elves. From the time an elfling is born, responsibility for her care belongs not only to her family, but to the entire tribe. While she may sleep near her mother, her mother’s breast is not the only one from which she may suckle. The child may be cared for by many women throughout the day, and especially if her mother is a hunter or of some other occupation requiring balance and focus, an elfling may only see her mother in the early mornings and evenings.

Elves do not generally treat their infants in the same manner as humans do. While humans may interpret infant noises as being communication, elves regard this as “practicing” speech, but not as speech itself. While they attend to a child’s needs, they do not seek to engage or pretend to engage in a conversation with them. Rather, they see infants as observers, analyzing the world and learning. To respond with false understanding or to speak “baby talk” to a child would be inappropriate because they do not present a child with the true functioning of society.

When it comes to learning, an elfling draws on all the resources of her village, learning archery for archers, magic from magi, singing from singers, weaving from weavers, and wisdom from all members of her society. In some tribes, an elf’s place in society may be determined early on. For the Diory’oleal elves, a ritual determines a child’s animal guide and thus his place in elven society. Among the Tithinrhim, those children gifted in magical or mystic ways may be trained from early childhood to become a Spirit Guider (Avár’Soórn). However, for most elven tribes, an individual’s place in society is self-determined, and often arises through exploring different occupations within the tribe. While most children often assume the occupation of one of their parents, outcomes of this nature are not forced; rather, such outcomes are attributed to an elfling’s energies and sensitivities, which are often similar to his parents’.

All members of the tribe are responsible for all the children within it. Elves often see all children as equal, regardless of family history or background, and each elf takes it upon herself to share her knowledge to the next generation. Education is not simply seen as a responsibility, but a necessity, one that symbolizes greater cycles: just as the summer turns to autumn, autumn to winter, winter to spring, and spring to summer, so knowledge passes from the teacher to the student who will one day become the teacher. Sharing knowledge is not only a responsibility to the student, but also to the teacher’s teacher before him. Each individual helps to ensure knowledge is not lost or forgotten.

Systems of education differ significantly from tribe to tribe, and even from village to village. Some tribes have a system very similar to many human schools, where all children of the same age range are taught the same subjects at the same time. However, this is relatively rare, and only occurs in relatively small elven settlements. Most have more of a turn-based system, where a group of children learn one subject while another group learns another. This system requires a greater number of teachers, but has the benefit of keeping teaching sizes small so learning is more individualized. It’s pertinent to note that these are basic introductory courses, in most cases. Not all children who pass through the educational system will become great musicians, or great artists, or great archers. They simply gain knowledge of the basics. While the teaching material may very among tribes, basics like mathematics and reading are learned early on. Almost all tribes require education in the Carpá’dosíá, such that most elves can recite at least the first few lines of it by heart.

Unlike human pedagogy, elven pedagogy tends to focus less on lecture and more on hands-on learning. Archery is taught by using bow and arrow, not just being told how it is done. Magi teach their art by manipulating energies and letting a student see how such manipulations feel. The mind-body split prominent in many human educational systems does not exist in most elven systems, where they stress interconnectedness of all things--including the interconnectedness of mind and body. When elves learn, they not only learn what things can do, but what they cannot do--they experiment with the limits of an art, or push those limits. Because of the ways elves learn (through seeing, hearing, and doing) and through experimenting with limits, they generally gain a deeper knowledge and understanding, but also take longer to learn. While a human child’s fundamental education may conclude at 12 or younger, elves may take three or four times as long, depending on the tribe.

For elves, learning never really ends. Even when the student excels beyond his teacher, he keeps learning, developing his skill, understanding the world around him, and gaining ever-deeper knowledge. No matter how perfected a skill appears, there is always room for improvement. No matter how knowledgeable the elf, there is always more to learn. And while the teacher may have more experience than the student, even the student may have something to teach. Elves generally come across as arrogant not only because of their deep knowledge and understanding, but their desire to pass on what they know. Elves, however, expect those they meet to also share what they know and believe that everyone has something to teach. In order to gain greater understanding, each individual must be humble enough to receive such teaching.

Death:
Elves, with their deep understanding of the full circle of life and the inevitability of death, do not face the end with the same dread and fear as humans. All things arise in the Dream and, upon death, all things return to it. Elves seem to have knowledge of their own death, though it is uncertain if elves truly choose the date of their death or if they simply have knowledge of it, or a combination of both. Elves’ deep understanding of the nature of the universe allows them to not only understand when their time is ending, but to be prepared for it.

In the final few years of an elf’s life, they prepare for death through what are called Twilight Rites. These rites, often done alone, help an elf gain greater understanding and appreciation for their place in the cycle, and for the cycle in themselves. Most other elves, especially older elves, are often able to feel when another’s time is coming to an end, and will aid an elf in preparing for the return.

Not all deaths are natural; fires, falls, and other accidents can at times clip a young elf’s life before their time. Some elves believe these deaths cause ripples in the fabric of the Dream, because they do not seem to be part of the natural cycles that elves generally expect, and so must have some purpose; they must be born out of some sort of necessity. These events are regarded as more shocking or surprising than tragic, and such events serve as reminders that, not matter how well one may understand the natural cycles, there are aspects of the Dream that remain hidden. In this way, such deaths are always lessons. However, all death, at its root, is connected with and a return to the Dream. Even if death comes sooner than expected, it is still a return.

Elves do not experience sorrow in the same way as humans. For an elf to feel “sorrow” in human terms would be a denial of the true nature of the Dream, and such a feeling would be typical only in elves who lack wisdom in the natural flow of the universe. The elven word for “sorrow” (glásáj) is often defined in human terms as “the reminder of the mirror in the shadow of the Dream.” Sorrow is a word expressing the feeling of remembering that life is part of a larger circle. In fact, many elves (dark elves more joyfully than wood elves) celebrate an individual’s return to the Dream. The Feast of Return enjoyed following the death of a member of the tribe is a way of celebrating death, which is itself a celebration of the larger completion of a cycle leading back to nascent creation.

Elves believe in a kind of reincarnation, but it important to note that the self that may be reincarnated is always considered to be a part of the Dream, like a small grain of sand on a vast beach, or a drop of water in an endless ocean. In life, all living creatures possess changing energies, but at each being’s root is an unchanging core, a “soul” (cár'ámn). Upon death, the inner “soul” (at times referred to as a grain of sand or a drop of water) returns to the teeming fabric of the generative Dream, the beginning from which all things emerge. Like a wind may lift a grain of sand from the beach, or fair weather might lift water into the sky to fall as rain, life gives the “soul” an independent form with its own energy; however, this form denies the true unity of the dream, a unity realized when the wind drops the grain to the sands of the beach or the raindrop finally hits the surface of the sea.
« Last Edit: 15 January 2010, 22:20:05 by Rayne Avalotus » Logged

"There is much misjudgment in the world. Now, I knew you for a unicorn when I first saw you, and I know that I am your friend. Yet you take me for a clown, or a clod, or a betrayer, and so I must be if you see me so. The magic on you is only magic and will vanish as soon as you are free, but the enchantment of error that you put on me I must wear forever in your eyes. We are not always what we seem..." -Schmendrick the Magician, The Last Unicorn
Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin
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« Reply #1 on: 05 January 2010, 05:55:46 »

 clap  Standing ovation, really.  This is a great entry.  Really wonderful how it delves into the Elven world and shows how Elves and Humans differ.

I realize that this is a WIP, so please forgive my one critique.  It is a minor one, and one which I do not want to interfere with the entry itself.  Ignore me if you please, and the entry will not suffer for it at all.  However, it is very obvious that you are a well educated, intelligent person and I can well imagine you hunched over your keyboard, clicking away at the keys while you created this wonderful glimpse into the most personal aspects of elven life.  But, that's the problem.  I want to imagine some monk, or scholar, or what have you, hunched over a wooden desk, candle flickering, fingers stained with ink as he busily scawls on parchment the results of a lifetime endeavor of studying a strange culture.  Or conversely, an elven scholar trying to convey the practicality and advantages of their society over the illogical and chaotic human culture.

Your entry is rich in detail, extremely well written, and interesting.  It's also 21st century.  I'm not sure how to add the flavour I'm looking for.  Perhaps adding more mystery to it?  Perhaps "dumbing it down" somewhat?  Perhaps adding more notes of opinion from the writer?

Like I said, this is only my opinion and if you do not agree with me on this then, by all means, ignore it.  It is a wonderful read and I enjoyed it immensely.  Great work so far, and I look forward to rereading it upon completion. :D
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« Reply #2 on: 05 January 2010, 06:57:14 »

Thanks for reading, Alt!

It's probably through words like menstruation, systems of education, and placenta. I admit that they're not very Santharian. In some cases, it is simply the case that Santharia doesn't seem to have a better word, or another word. I may end up needing to make some up. I also dislike some euphemisms, and especially in an entry like this one, seek to talk plainly. Do you think it might be the vocabulary that's jarring?
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"There is much misjudgment in the world. Now, I knew you for a unicorn when I first saw you, and I know that I am your friend. Yet you take me for a clown, or a clod, or a betrayer, and so I must be if you see me so. The magic on you is only magic and will vanish as soon as you are free, but the enchantment of error that you put on me I must wear forever in your eyes. We are not always what we seem..." -Schmendrick the Magician, The Last Unicorn
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« Reply #3 on: 05 January 2010, 07:07:22 »

It could very well be.  Which is why I suggested "dumbing it down", though I dislike how that sounds.  Doesn't really describe what I mean, but its as close as I could get.  (perhaps I need a bigger vocabulary, heh). 

But, like I said, I don't want my minor quibble over atmosphere to interfere with the detail you give.  I read in another thread how you wanted to distance the elves from humans; something along the lines of "elves are not much more than humans with pointy ears".  I think this is a fantastic first step in that goal.  It not only points out the cultural differences, but the psyche behind it and the physical differences, which is very important so that we see that they (elves) don't think like humans.
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« Reply #4 on: 05 January 2010, 07:15:31 »

I love you, Alt.  heart It's nice to know someone agrees! Occasionally I must proceed through decisions without much affirmation.

Perhaps instead of "dumbing it down," we might say trying to medieval-ize it more. I may see what can be done to this effect, and may decide to take up some euphemisms in that regard.

Thank you so much for your comments. I would like to try to separate elves more from humans, though unfortunately a lot of development has been done on elves without that notion. This project may even involve editing some of the old entries on elves. We'll see, though. I'm hoping Artimidor might stop by some time next week and share his thoughts.
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"There is much misjudgment in the world. Now, I knew you for a unicorn when I first saw you, and I know that I am your friend. Yet you take me for a clown, or a clod, or a betrayer, and so I must be if you see me so. The magic on you is only magic and will vanish as soon as you are free, but the enchantment of error that you put on me I must wear forever in your eyes. We are not always what we seem..." -Schmendrick the Magician, The Last Unicorn
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« Reply #5 on: 05 January 2010, 07:25:47 »

Lovely entry as usual, Rayne, and certainly more elven separation from humans is needed. If you're planning on continuing on this project, you might want to consider taking Wren's 'Concerning Elves' post from a few years ago and expanding/turning it into an entry. Last time I wrote an elven character on the RP board, I used that for reference moreso than anything currently on site.

« Last Edit: 05 January 2010, 07:28:30 by Fox » Logged
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« Reply #6 on: 05 January 2010, 09:01:57 »

Ah, Fox, you are the angelic librarian of these Boards! Thank you so much for pulling this out. I had totally forgotten about it (even after reading it and my comments, I don't remember it. @_@ Senility is creeping in early).

There are a few instances where I disagree with Wren. The one addressed in this entry is the notion of maturing. Wren had elves maturing at a rate proportional to their age. I have, of course, found a differing solution. I'm not sure whether my solution is better or worse: perhaps some might comment?

I also disagree with using Ximaxian magic terms to describe elven magic. As is hinted in this entry and my tree entry, I intend to use the notion of energies--inspired by a friend who, under the influence of shrooms, claimed to be able to see energy. The way he described it was kind of inspiring.

I might also take some issue over whether or not elves worship the Aviarian. This might just be different associations with the word "worship," but I would like to instead view the elf's relationship with the Twelvern being more or less comparable to the way a younger mage might view an archmage: with awe and respect, but not with worship. What are other people's thoughts on this?

I also disagree with the notion that humans would fear the Aellenrhim. Given their appearance ("fairy-like"), I wouldn't think these elves would be very intimidating...


I will draw from this entry as I continue development. Wren covers a lot that I feel might be better expounded upon by breaking the topics into different entries.
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"There is much misjudgment in the world. Now, I knew you for a unicorn when I first saw you, and I know that I am your friend. Yet you take me for a clown, or a clod, or a betrayer, and so I must be if you see me so. The magic on you is only magic and will vanish as soon as you are free, but the enchantment of error that you put on me I must wear forever in your eyes. We are not always what we seem..." -Schmendrick the Magician, The Last Unicorn
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« Reply #7 on: 05 January 2010, 09:17:58 »

I might also take some issue over whether or not elves worship the Aviarian. This might just be different associations with the word "worship," but I would like to instead view the elf's relationship with the Twelvern being more or less comparable to the way a younger mage might view an archmage: with awe and respect, but not with worship. What are other people's thoughts on this?

I don't mess with elven development, as I find them to be a rather mundane race. Probably because I never understood them, so I tend to create half-breed elven characters on the RP board so as to mix a little human in there.  :P

Anyway, religion. Yes, excellent question. I've always thought the elves to worship/revere the Avarian pantheon differently (remember, "Twelvern" is the human word). But as to how they worship/revere has never been developed. But, this whole question goes back to Arti's post about how each race views the gods. Both humans and elves view them differently, as well as the "creation" of the gods and the world. The deity entries I planned to revise are on hold until Arti can first finish his original question in this regard.

So really, the elven relation with the Avarian gods depends on their views of them and the early myths.
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« Reply #8 on: 05 January 2010, 09:25:31 »

Yes, I know how Twelvern is used. -_- I was there when the community decided upon the term.

It sounds as though not many people have really thought too much (or at least developed much) on this area. Perhaps I will see what I can come up with in clarifying this relationship. Such an entry might need to be revised, depending on Arti's views, but I find waiting tends to lead to more waiting, which leads to more waiting, and eventually gets forgotten. Besides, it will be easier for Artimidor to say, "this is right" or, "this is wrong" rather than having to explain everything from zero.
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"There is much misjudgment in the world. Now, I knew you for a unicorn when I first saw you, and I know that I am your friend. Yet you take me for a clown, or a clod, or a betrayer, and so I must be if you see me so. The magic on you is only magic and will vanish as soon as you are free, but the enchantment of error that you put on me I must wear forever in your eyes. We are not always what we seem..." -Schmendrick the Magician, The Last Unicorn
Azhira Styralias
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« Reply #9 on: 05 January 2010, 09:42:18 »

You were involved in that discussion? Ugh, you aren't the only one with early senility. I often forget stuff from my own entries...and contradict myself. Embarrassing.  :P

I would say feel free to propose changes or development in this regard. Arti promised to re-visit the issue after the holidays and Santhworld, so here is for hoping! If you're like me, you'll just take the bull by the horns and just do it. Tis better to open discussion after the fact then try to seek (and wait...wait...wait) for permission.

Did I just type that out loud?  Big Grin
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No, I would not want to live in a world without dragons, as I would not want to live in a world without magic, for that is a world without mystery, and that is a world without faith. And that, I fear, for any reasoning, conscious being, would be the cruelest trick of all.
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« Reply #10 on: 05 January 2010, 09:53:02 »

 lol I love you, Azhira.

Well, I'm still working on elven metaphysics (more or less). Things like the Aviaria may end up coming later. But we'll see!
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"There is much misjudgment in the world. Now, I knew you for a unicorn when I first saw you, and I know that I am your friend. Yet you take me for a clown, or a clod, or a betrayer, and so I must be if you see me so. The magic on you is only magic and will vanish as soon as you are free, but the enchantment of error that you put on me I must wear forever in your eyes. We are not always what we seem..." -Schmendrick the Magician, The Last Unicorn
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« Reply #11 on: 05 January 2010, 09:55:51 »

There are a few instances where I disagree with Wren. The one addressed in this entry is the notion of maturing. Wren had elves maturing at a rate proportional to their age. I have, of course, found a differing solution. I'm not sure whether my solution is better or worse: perhaps some might comment?

I've always hated the idea that elves mature slower than other races. IMO, they should live longer, but not 'slower'. That makes them, frankly, seem very, very stupid and dull-witted. It's like saying an elf will take 4-6 years to learn what 2+2 means. Ugh! I think that if any 'slower' learning happens, it should be purely because they are spending more time doing it, instead of rushing through it, and that learning basic things shouldn't take them any longer than anyone else. They're just more inclined to 'dig beneath the surface', rather than humans, hence life-long learning, but not slower learning.

I would also like to remove the concept of elves taking 100-200 years to learn magic at Ximax. (though as Arti says, there should be very few elves there anyway), for the same reason. If balance has to be achieved on the RP board, I think restricting how old you can make elves is better than restricting how long they take to learn equivalent things.

Quote
I also disagree with using Ximaxian magic terms to describe elven magic. As is hinted in this entry and my tree entry, I intend to use the notion of energies--inspired by a friend who, under the influence of shrooms, claimed to be able to see energy. The way he described it was kind of inspiring.

Agreed, I think we need to separate elven and Ximaxian magic much more than it is. When I came up with some new titles for Ximaxian mage levels (which is a few pages in on the magic forum), I tried to have Styrash be only an inspiration, and have the words have a proper human evolution to them instead of full on elvish.
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Azhira Styralias
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« Reply #12 on: 05 January 2010, 10:08:19 »

Santharian Sage of the Year to whoever can pull that off, Fox!  :D

How about developing elven magic academies in the elven forests rather than try to force an elf to learn at the human Ximax academy? If we're going to develop differences in magic practices, let's also create their own magic schools.

And yes, clerical magic is also different among elves vs. humans. But that's been an idea years in the waiting making.
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No, I would not want to live in a world without dragons, as I would not want to live in a world without magic, for that is a world without mystery, and that is a world without faith. And that, I fear, for any reasoning, conscious being, would be the cruelest trick of all.
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« Reply #13 on: 05 January 2010, 10:11:29 »

How about developing elven magic academies in the elven forests rather than try to force an elf to learn at the human Ximax academy? If we're going to develop differences in magic practices, let's also create their own magic schools.

This is already a given. Despite the RP board having all elves go to Ximax, in reality, as Rayne's city entry now properly numbers, elves make up less than 1% of people in Ximax.

But, one step at a time.
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Rayne (Alýr)
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« Reply #14 on: 05 January 2010, 10:33:56 »

I've always hated the idea that elves mature slower than other races. IMO, they should live longer, but not 'slower'. That makes them, frankly, seem very, very stupid and dull-witted. It's like saying an elf will take 4-6 years to learn what 2+2 means. Ugh! I think that if any 'slower' learning happens, it should be purely because they are spending more time doing it, instead of rushing through it, and that learning basic things shouldn't take them any longer than anyone else. They're just more inclined to 'dig beneath the surface', rather than humans, hence life-long learning, but not slower learning.

I would also like to remove the concept of elves taking 100-200 years to learn magic at Ximax. (though as Arti says, there should be very few elves there anyway), for the same reason. If balance has to be achieved on the RP board, I think restricting how old you can make elves is better than restricting how long they take to learn equivalent things.

Do you feel the way I describe elven learning in this section provides a better explanation for the way elves learn? I tried to convey not only that education would be "slower" because of the process through which elves learn (seeing, hearing, and doing--not just hearing) and the notion of not only knowing what something can do, but what it cannot do. Essentially learning what a thing is at the same time learning what it is not. Think Taoism.


Quote
Agreed, I think we need to separate elven and Ximaxian magic much more than it is. When I came up with some new titles for Ximaxian mage levels (which is a few pages in on the magic forum), I tried to have Styrash be only an inspiration, and have the words have a proper human evolution to them instead of full on elvish.

Well, when it comes to styrash, I might borrow a Judaism concept: the notion that the language itself is sacred. This might need to be fleshed out more, but in Judaism (at least the academic articles I've read) the characters themselves are sacred and powerful because they are the characters of creation--Hebrew is the language of creation, and the beginning point from which all other creation manifested.

Quote
This is already a given. Despite the RP board having all elves go to Ximax, in reality, as Rayne's city entry now properly numbers, elves make up less than 1% of people in Ximax.
Calling places of elven magical learning "schools" seems strange to me. I may have different ideas about how elven magic might be taught and understood. And while Ximax Academy may have one or two lecturers at the school who discuss elven magic, it probably would not be taught there (only Ximaxian magic is really taught at the school).
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"There is much misjudgment in the world. Now, I knew you for a unicorn when I first saw you, and I know that I am your friend. Yet you take me for a clown, or a clod, or a betrayer, and so I must be if you see me so. The magic on you is only magic and will vanish as soon as you are free, but the enchantment of error that you put on me I must wear forever in your eyes. We are not always what we seem..." -Schmendrick the Magician, The Last Unicorn
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