Author Topic: Court of Shadows and Immortal Elves  (Read 7410 times)

Nath

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Re: Court of Shadows and Immortal Elves
« Reply #30 on: (18:21:02/08-29-16) »
The sense I got about the Tuatha de Danaan is that the myth might have a tangential connection to Fourth World history, but is probably distorted and largely just a tool the Danaan families use. (It was recorded in the middle ages not sure how old it even is.)
In real life, Irish mythology displays similarities with other celtic mythology, which would hint to a common origin somewhere in Central Europe before 400 BCE and possibly much older (*). The Tuatha Dé Danann and their opposition to Formorians is likely to be related to Ancient greek Olympians/Titans or Scandinavian Aesir/Vanir. The Tuatha Dé Danann mythos does not appear to include the "new generation of gods" trope that other European pantheons have (again, seemingly from the same Indo-European source). On the other hand, its variation on the "Five Ages of Man" (with six ages, the Tuatha being the fifth) includes many biblical reference that suggest late influences.

It worth noting that early Irish mythos, as far as 2nd or 1st millenia BCE, had to deal with visible neolithic monument such as Newgrange (built circa 3200-3100 BCE) to which the Tuatha were later associated. So whatever mythos they had associated to those monuments and retained, it was merged to the Tuatha mythos when it formed.

( * Outside of the topic discussed here, that's not completely irrelevant in Shadowrun, as the Knights of Rage criminal organization, under Celedyr tutelage, are uniting people of nubian, welsh, irish, breton and austrian origins on the basis of a common mystical heritage)

Tir Tairngir and Tir Na Nog are both two sides of the same coin as far as descendants from the Blood Wood are concerned. Tir Tairngir focuses on the political, and Tir Na Nog focuses on the spiritual. But the spiritual side of Tir Na Nog is what lead to all the queens up to Alachia, each more prideful and self-centered than the last, until Alachia, in her pride, chose to have her people undergo constant torment than to accept the Rites of Protection and Passage from the Therans. That massive act of blood magic, which corrupted an entire nation (both the land and the people), was born from the same attitudes that are present in Tir Na Nog.
From what I remember of Earthdawn Bloodwood (not so much), noble families and clans played a major role. Tir Tairngire rite of progression rather seemed designed so as to allow the council of princes to make or break dynasty on a whim. I also always find it telling that they choose to have a High Prince instead of a King or Queen.

On the other hand, Tir Tairngire is also where the (few) named NPC from Earthdawn era reappeared in Shadowrun era, including Alachia (which I believe, was originally intented by Tir Tairngire authors to be Jenna ni'Faira, before someone dropped the ball, requiring the introduction of Sosan Naerain). To me, Tir na nOg is structurally closer to Earthdawn era Bloodwood, but for some reasons the immortal elves who use to be there went on to create something new in Oregon (or more accurately, to jumpstart something, with a crowd of twenty-something people, due to elven demographics).

It also worth noting that the way the Seelie Court hide in the metaplans seems like a pretty good solution to the Scourge, which in turn suggest it wasn't available at the time. Which may be the origin of the divide. By establishing in the metaplans, the Seelie Court no longer need Alachia or Theran magic to survive the next Scourge. But meanwhile, immortal elves like Alachia don't need the Seelie Court to hide during the Fifth Age.

I'm considering the possibility that the Tuatha could be "regular" elves that discovered how immortals had manipulated them. If you look at those so-called "great elves" as the bastard offspring of dragons and elves, those elves could pose as "pure", the ancestors of the elven race. Moving into the metaplans would allow them to live as long as their immortal rivals, and pass through the Fifth age (with possibly some of them leaving from time to time, infusing Irish clans, even those of Anglo-Norman origins, with elven genes, explaining that great number of elven birth).

EiraHaexa

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Re: Court of Shadows and Immortal Elves
« Reply #31 on: (20:51:42/08-29-16) »
I meant to ask, what gives you the impression that is how Aina sees Tír Tairngire?

Mostly this passage, when Aina leaves Lugh Surehand's mansion:

Quote
The limo’s headlights illuminated row after row of dormant rose bushes.
Thorns.
So many thorns.

Not much, I know, but the fact Aina notices seemed to imply she was connecting Tir Tairngire to Blood Wood, in her mind.
Of course, she also has a dream about thorns when she's about to meet Lady Brane, so she might actually see both Tirs as new Blood Woods ^^

She may have also been concerned that either Tir Tainrgire or Tir na nOg may cause history to repeat itself. *shudders*
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lokii

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Re: Court of Shadows and Immortal Elves
« Reply #32 on: (04:57:14/08-30-16) »
In real life, Irish mythology displays similarities with other celtic mythology, [..]

Interesting. Of course the problem with using this kind of background is the uncertainty what the authors in the 90s knew about the topic, since it is so much easier to access now. Also comparative mythology and archaeology made advances in the meantime as evidenced by our 2011 Year of Chaos.

including Alachia (which I believe, was originally intented by Tir Tairngire authors to be Jenna ni'Faira, before someone dropped the ball, requiring the introduction of Sosan Naerain).

Sósan Naerain is in Tir Tairngire though, p.36 where the topic of a secret thirteenth member is discussed and Aegis describes meeting her.

It also worth noting that the way the Seelie Court hide in the metaplans seems like a pretty good solution to the Scourge, which in turn suggest it wasn't available at the time.

I think Aina suggests in Worlds without End, that the Veil would be a protection against the horrors.

lokii

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Re: Court of Shadows and Immortal Elves
« Reply #33 on: (03:14:38/08-31-16) »
I had forgotten about it, but there is actually a short section in Tir Tairngire "Irish Connections", that talks about the influence of the Irish Gaelic or broader Celtic culture on elven culture in general and also that of the American Tír in particular. When Tír na nÓg became more powerful, those links were de-emphasized by the powers that be of Tír Tairngire.

So it's not just Tír na nÓg, they wanted to link elves to Celtic culture. Which is interesting because I don't really recognize that in Earthdawn, which was developed at the same time. Now the text largely assumes this is about borrowing elements for the purpose of constructing an elven culture that feels steeped in tradition, but of course Spes (the text's ingame author) isn't in the know. And he seems to at least entertain the notion, that the links could run deeper:

Quote
However, the astounding similarities between elements of the Awakening and Irish-European mythology make a direct and obvious connection.

EiraHaexa

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Re: Court of Shadows and Immortal Elves
« Reply #34 on: (03:45:24/08-31-16) »
I had forgotten about it, but there is actually a short section in Tir Tairngire "Irish Connections", that talks about the influence of the Irish Gaelic or broader Celtic culture on elven culture in general and also that of the American Tír in particular. When Tír na nÓg became more powerful, those links were de-emphasized by the powers that be of Tír Tairngire.

So it's not just Tír na nÓg, they wanted to link elves to Celtic culture. Which is interesting because I don't really recognize that in Earthdawn, which was developed at the same time. Now the text largely assumes this is about borrowing elements for the purpose of constructing an elven culture that feels steeped in tradition, but of course Spes (the text's ingame author) isn't in the know. And he seems to at least entertain the notion, that the links could run deeper:

Quote
However, the astounding similarities between elements of the Awakening and Irish-European mythology make a direct and obvious connection.

It may also be as simple as an attempt to fill in the gaps after having so much of their history lost over the years. Sure, Aithne has the Rose Crystal, which ostensibly holds all of the knowledge and history of the Wyrm Wood. However, AFAIK, draconic memory gems can only be accessed by someone with the power of Dragonspeech. AFAIK, none of the immortals currently still living have that ability.

If that's true, the rose crystal is just a gaudy paperweight until someone with the power of dragonspeech (read: a dragon or a first-gen dragonkin) is willing to translate for them. That would probably require accessing the jewel while maintaining a mindlink with whoever wants the info. With the schism between the immortals and the dragons growing ever larger (with the banishment of Hestaby and the dual between Harlequin and Ghostwalker), I don't think that'll happen anytime soon.
It is better to be crazy and know it, than to be sane and have one's doubts.

"Nothing is wrong if no one can stop you."

Remember, you're only a genius when they need you. The rest of the time you're just an asshole.

Well, drek. Looks like Timmy fell into the Dissonance Well again.

Marzhin

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Re: Court of Shadows and Immortal Elves
« Reply #35 on: (03:54:50/08-31-16) »
So it's not just Tír na nÓg, they wanted to link elves to Celtic culture. Which is interesting because I don't really recognize that in Earthdawn, which was developed at the same time.

Coincidentally, Earthdawn 4th edition is going to have a book dedicated to Elven Nations, and apparently Shosara has a strong Celtic vibe, at least judging from the cover art...



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EiraHaexa

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Re: Court of Shadows and Immortal Elves
« Reply #36 on: (04:20:03/08-31-16) »
So it's not just Tír na nÓg, they wanted to link elves to Celtic culture. Which is interesting because I don't really recognize that in Earthdawn, which was developed at the same time.

Coincidentally, Earthdawn 4th edition is going to have a book dedicated to Elven Nations, and apparently Shosara has a strong Celtic vibe, at least judging from the cover art...



The sound I just made was not metahuman.

It is better to be crazy and know it, than to be sane and have one's doubts.

"Nothing is wrong if no one can stop you."

Remember, you're only a genius when they need you. The rest of the time you're just an asshole.

Well, drek. Looks like Timmy fell into the Dissonance Well again.

Rosa

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Re: Court of Shadows and Immortal Elves
« Reply #37 on: (04:42:24/08-31-16) »
So it's not just Tír na nÓg, they wanted to link elves to Celtic culture. Which is interesting because I don't really recognize that in Earthdawn, which was developed at the same time.

Coincidentally, Earthdawn 4th edition is going to have a book dedicated to Elven Nations, and apparently Shosara has a strong Celtic vibe, at least judging from the cover art...



Could just as easily be a Scandinavian vibe, Shosara is supposed to be corresponding to Scandinavia after all. The shields and weapons and decorations could just as well be Scandinavian inspired tbh. But i'm also ooking forward to this book. I especially wanna know about the former "Western Kingdoms" now known as "The Waste", because i have a hunch the western kingdoms correspond to the British Isles, which would go a long way towards explaining Tir Na Nog and the general high birthrate of elves in the British Isles.
« Last Edit: (04:57:34/08-31-16) by Rosa »

lokii

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Re: Court of Shadows and Immortal Elves
« Reply #38 on: (11:19:40/08-31-16) »
Though if I look at this artwork for the Game Master Screen, presumedly a Barsavian scene, by the same artist I think he likes Celtic knot work in general and might draw from that for inspiration without trying to connect the style to elves in particular:

http://www.mceran-art.com/index.php?view=image&format=raw&type=orig&id=98&option=com_joomgallery&Itemid=122

That said the various people who worked on Earthdawn after FASA retained some knowledge about the original ideas so what they come up with might absolutely give further insight. Though I wish they would progress faster.

the Rose Crystal, which ostensibly holds all of the knowledge and history of the Wyrm Wood.

Where do you get this from?

Shosara is supposed to be corresponding to Scandinavia after all.

I recently had a look at this and I think Shosara is on the Kola peninsula. That's pretty much, where the arrow on the Theran Empire map points to, but it also fits the description of being "surrounded on three sides by the Gwyn Sea". And using the FASA approach that probably makes Khistova (whose example got Shosara into trouble) Murmansk.

former "Western Kingdoms" now known as "The Waste", because i have a hunch the western kingdoms correspond to the British Isles, which would go a long way towards explaining Tir Na Nog and the general high birthrate of elves in the British Isles.

Pretty sure the Western Kingdoms consist of the area around the Eastern Baltic coast, where Sereatha lies. For example Queen Failla hailed from the Kingdoms where she had reigned in Sereatha.

But remember the Tuatha De Danaan themselves came to Ireland. Assuming the legends are (partially) based on elven history, then it would work out, if at some point in the remaining ca. 2000 years of the Fourth World elves settled there and created/conquered/co-founded the Seelie Court to be in place for the start of the Court of Shadows story.

Rosa

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Re: Court of Shadows and Immortal Elves
« Reply #39 on: (12:31:13/08-31-16) »
Seratha is usually located on the Baltic peninsula, which puts Shosara ( located to the North and West of Seratha in Scandinavia ). Also if you look Earthdawn up on the net, several sites Places Shosara in Scandinavia ( including Wikipedia ), not that that in itself is proof ofc. If you look at the  map from the Theran empire box, then i find it hard to place the western kingdoms anywhere biut the British Isles, and yes they are mentioned separately from Sereatha and Shosara, so they are presumably located even further to the West from those two, Again it can't really be anywhere except the British Isles.

EiraHaexa

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Re: Court of Shadows and Immortal Elves
« Reply #40 on: (19:19:15/08-31-16) »

the Rose Crystal, which ostensibly holds all of the knowledge and history of the Wyrm Wood.

Where do you get this from?

The SR wiki. http://shadowrun.wikia.com/wiki/Rose_Crystal
It is better to be crazy and know it, than to be sane and have one's doubts.

"Nothing is wrong if no one can stop you."

Remember, you're only a genius when they need you. The rest of the time you're just an asshole.

Well, drek. Looks like Timmy fell into the Dissonance Well again.

lokii

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Re: Court of Shadows and Immortal Elves
« Reply #41 on: (04:46:58/09-01-16) »
Seratha is usually located on the Baltic peninsula, which puts Shosara ( located to the North and West of Seratha in Scandinavia ). Also if you look Earthdawn up on the net, several sites Places Shosara in Scandinavia ( including Wikipedia ), not that that in itself is proof ofc. If you look at the  map from the Theran empire box, then i find it hard to place the western kingdoms anywhere biut the British Isles, and yes they are mentioned separately from Sereatha and Shosara, so they are presumably located even further to the West from those two, Again it can't really be anywhere except the British Isles.



The arrow pointing to Shosara on the upper end is next to Arkhangelsk, Russia and points over the White Sea I would argue at the Kola peninsula. I mean it's Fennoscandia just not the Scandinavian peninsula one might think of.

The marker for Sereatha on the map, places it close to Ventspils, Latvia, were the DIMR conducted an excavation (Loose Alliances p.77). As I said before I understand Sereatha to be situated in the Western Elven Kingdoms, as its own kingdom or seat of power in one of them. Unless these Kingdoms are much more wide-ranging and even then they would probably extend to Southern Scandinavia before they reach the British Isles.

Shosara ( located to the North and West of Seratha in Scandinavia ).

So what source indicates Shosara is to the North and West of Sereatha?


the Rose Crystal, which ostensibly holds all of the knowledge and history of the Wyrm Wood.

Where do you get this from?

The SR wiki. http://shadowrun.wikia.com/wiki/Rose_Crystal

Ah, okay. I think this summary in the wiki:

Quote
The Rose Crystal is a draconic memory gem, with information which is apparently significant to the immortal elves of the Elven Court of Wyrm Wood , and possibly to the Heavenherds of Thera as well.

goes a bit beyond what's in the sources. The Rose Crystal is significant, but I don't think the sources say anything about the importance of information contained within it. (Could be wrong of course, I would have to check.)

EiraHaexa

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Re: Court of Shadows and Immortal Elves
« Reply #42 on: (05:11:06/09-01-16) »
The rose crystal, IMO, fits the description Vasdenjas gave of memory gems in Book of Dragons. Given it's size it probably doesn't hold a lot of information, but what it does hold, if anything, is apparently incredibly important to the immortal elves of the Wyrm Wood. Obviously more than just a shiny bauble, since it's exchange for the everliving flower pissed Alachia off enough to commit her army to the second Theran War.
It is better to be crazy and know it, than to be sane and have one's doubts.

"Nothing is wrong if no one can stop you."

Remember, you're only a genius when they need you. The rest of the time you're just an asshole.

Well, drek. Looks like Timmy fell into the Dissonance Well again.

Rosa

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Re: Court of Shadows and Immortal Elves
« Reply #43 on: (05:42:54/09-01-16) »
About Shosara. According to what i have found out by searching the web, it was originally meant to be in Arkhangelsk, but it was retconned to be located in Sweden by Redbrick, who had a supplement in the Works about Shosara, which unfortunately never came out. Whether it was Redbricks idea or the idea originated with FASA i dont known, but it fits with the description of Sweden in Shadows of Europe, where Sweden is also shown to have a high percentage of elves in the population.

Apparently the original Theran map is supposed to be "inaccurate"

Whether FASA's upcoming Elven Nations will follow this decision or change it Again remains to be seen, but as i commented earlier the cover art actually does have a vikingish feel to it, with the shields, weapons, beards, braids and fur lined clothes and the landscape behind them could very easily be a Swedish Fjord. Now people have mixed feelings about this naturally, personally i like it, i like that they  spread the cultures and Places more out geographically, it makes the ED World seem larger and less insular tbh.

Marzhin

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Re: Court of Shadows and Immortal Elves
« Reply #44 on: (05:55:01/09-01-16) »
Whether FASA's upcoming Elven Nations will follow this decision or change it Again remains to be seen

If I'm not mistaken the Elven Nations book is basically picking up and finishing the work RedBrick has started, just like the upcoming Travar book is based on an unfinished ED3 supplement.
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