Author Topic: Court of Shadows and Immortal Elves  (Read 6255 times)

Ammariel

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Court of Shadows and Immortal Elves
« on: (20:45:08/08-21-16) »
I am right now reading the Alternate setting ShadowRun Book: Court of Shadows, who focus on the metaplane of the Sellie court of faeries. And it seem that no one discussing something it seem to imply.

That book seem to imply that there is no such things as Immortal Elves, that Those elves where actually using the fact that time was running much slower in the Sellie Court to pass the whole 5th age in a single lifespan, am i the only one who saw this? Did i got it wrong?

EiraHaexa

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Re: Court of Shadows and Immortal Elves
« Reply #1 on: (21:26:14/08-21-16) »
I think that only applies to the Seelie. Harlequin and Ehran had their first duel during the 18th century in France. Harley also implied he was King Richard the Lionheart when he cracked a joke that the armor Dunkie bequeathed him in his will still fit.
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Re: Court of Shadows and Immortal Elves
« Reply #2 on: (22:19:14/08-21-16) »
You have to remember this is an alternate setting, so some things may work differently.

Their  4th Age/Age of Legend  seemed fairly jolly till the mana leaked away and they do not speak a lot about Horrors in the same manner as the traditional setting did.

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Marzhin

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Re: Court of Shadows and Immortal Elves
« Reply #3 on: (03:57:53/08-22-16) »
I am right now reading the Alternate setting ShadowRun Book: Court of Shadows, who focus on the metaplane of the Sellie court of faeries. And it seem that no one discussing something it seem to imply.

That book seem to imply that there is no such things as Immortal Elves, that Those elves where actually using the fact that time was running much slower in the Sellie Court to pass the whole 5th age in a single lifespan, am i the only one who saw this? Did i got it wrong?

That's one of the confusing elements of Court of Shadows, and one of the reasons I wish they'd have included some clearer definitions of what is a fae and what isn't, what are the Ways of the Wheel, some memo on Tir Na Nog, etc. I love the book, but it can't stand stand on its own as a full setting book, there are too many holes that require to hunt info in old supplements before it makes sense.

However by re-reading Aetherology and some older supplements (Shadows of Europe notably, but also some Earthdawn books), I think that's how it works:

- The Seelie Court's Tuatha de Danann and the Immortal Elves are completely different things:
  -> The Tuatha de Danann are described in Aetherology as "an elf-like fae with luminous skin." Their name is said to mean "Bright Shining Spirits". In several books it is implied they are the mythical ancestors of the elf metatype, possibly by mating with Metahumans in early Ages.
  -> Immortal Elves, however, are only a handful and the result of something the Dragons have done (as revealed in Caroline Spector's Scars). It is strongly hinted they are elves with Dragon blood.
- The Ways of the Wheel (described in Tir Na Nog, Shadows of Europe and others, mentioned in passing in Court of Shadows with zero explanation) is an elven tradition allowing elves to claim their ancient Danann heritage and a place at the Seelie Court. It already existed back in the Earthdawn era.
- The Seelie Court might actually be mentioned in Earthdawn as well: "An elf sees all life as a journey of discovery, change, growth, and ascendancy. Throughout his life, the elf treads a metaphysical pathway represented by the Draesis ti’Morel, the Wheel of Life. (...) As an elf ages, his journey along the Wheel le ads him through each Path until he reaches the Wheel’s heart. At this still center of being, he prepares for ascension into the metaplanes, to the mystical place known as Tesrae ke’Mellakabal, the Citadel of the Shining Ones." (That's from the Denizens of Barsaive / Namegivers' Compendium). "The Shining Ones" seem to refer to the Tuatha de Danann a.k.a. Bright Shining Spirits, and so their Citadel is likely to be the old name of what is now known as the Seelie Court.
- The Seelie Court consists in Tuatha de Danann faeries, a lot of low faeries, and "a number of elves who have renounced the physical world to live with the Seelie in order to advise the court or better understand their place on the Wheel." (Shadows of Europe, chapter on Tir Na Nog)

I have written a more detailed article on my website, but it is in French ^^'

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Ammariel

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Re: Court of Shadows and Immortal Elves
« Reply #4 on: (05:12:37/08-22-16) »
That is all very interesting, i never have read any Earthdawn and that novel seem to sell for ridiculous price right now but will read your article, i happen to be French Canadian so no problem for me

Marzhin

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Re: Court of Shadows and Immortal Elves
« Reply #5 on: (06:21:37/08-22-16) »
That is all very interesting, i never have read any Earthdawn and that novel seem to sell for ridiculous price right now but will read your article, i happen to be French Canadian so no problem for me

Scars is available on DTRPG as an ebook as well: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/84605/Scars-An-Earthdawn-Novel
(still a bit expensive, but more affordable that the short run that was printed).

It's part of a trilogy that begins in Earthdawn and ends in Shadowrun. The second book, Little Treasures, was never released in English AFAIK, although it was translated and published in French (as Petits Trésors). It's not a must-read, in my opinion, and probably the weakest of the trilogy. It mostly deal with Aina's horrible (pun intended) experiences with maternity.

The third book, Worlds without End, takes place in the SR era and was re-released as an ebook on DTRPG a couple of months ago: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/184299/Shadowrun-Legends-Worlds-Without-End
The book includes a visit to the Seelie Court, which is essentially consistent with what is described in Court of Shadows (although of course it was much harder to reach it back then).
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Ammariel

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Re: Court of Shadows and Immortal Elves
« Reply #6 on: (06:42:19/08-22-16) »
Cool will look into that when i finish reading Court of Shadow

Mirikon

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Re: Court of Shadows and Immortal Elves
« Reply #7 on: (13:31:58/08-22-16) »
Also remember that much of the sourcebooks are written from an 'in-game' view. Perhaps not the view of the average PC, but certainly from the point of view of those living in the world. This means anything not put under the uber-crunchy "GM Only" sections should be taken with a grain of salt, due to an unreliable narrator.

Specifically talking about immortal elves, the truth about them is known by only a couple hundred beings on the planet, and they aren't keen on sharing that information, or if they do, they share it only with those who absolutely must know (like immediate family) and tack on the standard mystic "We'll kill you if you talk" stuff. Given that ALL of those beings 'in the know' about immortal elves' origins are dragons, immortal elves, and maybe a few very old and powerful spirits, we can say with some certainty that anything we see in the sourcebooks is... imperfect at best, and may well be outright misinformation.

As far as the Seelie Court, the flow of time in that realm being slower actually works as convenient camouflage for the truths about immortals, especially when you get magic involved in the narration.
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Re: Court of Shadows and Immortal Elves
« Reply #8 on: (13:46:54/08-22-16) »

I have written a more detailed article on my website, but it is in French ^^'

Thank you, that was really helpful!  (I don't have Court of Shadows yet, but the article helped me understand quite a bit about both Tir Na Nog and the Seelie Court (I have Aetherology but so far hadn't made the effort to wrap my head around that portion of it).

And to touch on the original question, I feel like this could be the reverse of the blind men and the elephant.  Instead of different views of one thing, it may be that there are different 'things' (elves/fae who have been around since once-upon-a-time) that people think are one and the same.  As mentioned, given that most of the books are written from within the game world POV, this is entirely possible to have happen, even when we read in one of the books that this is exactly so-and-so, no more and no less.

Rosa

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Re: Court of Shadows and Immortal Elves
« Reply #9 on: (03:16:03/08-23-16) »
Actually, the idea that the Seelie court should be the "Shining Citadel" of the Tuatha de Danann isn't really supported by Aetherology ( though i'm sure that the Fae of the Seelie Court likes to view themselves as the "true" Tuatha ). In  Aetherology we are told that both the Seelie and the Unseelie Courts lie towards the middle of the plane of Faerie, though neither is seemingly Associated with the Tuatha except indirectly.

The Northern Islands however is mentioned as a hyper-metaplane, which is the legendary homeland of the elves and the home of the Tuatha. Also remember that the ruling families of TNN calls themselves Danann. So while they seem to be quick to claim this name for themselves, most likely since any relationship between the rulers and semi-divine ancestors only reinforces the rule of the aforementioned, this does not mean that they actually ARE Tuatha de Danann and As said Aetherology seems to explicitly make a difference between the Seelie and the home of the Tuatha de Danann. History is full of rulers WHO have claimed descent from divine and/or mythical people in order to legitimize their rule.

Marzhin

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Re: Court of Shadows and Immortal Elves
« Reply #10 on: (06:20:05/08-23-16) »
Actually, the idea that the Seelie court should be the "Shining Citadel" of the Tuatha de Danann isn't really supported by Aetherology ( though i'm sure that the Fae of the Seelie Court likes to view themselves as the "true" Tuatha ). In  Aetherology we are told that both the Seelie and the Unseelie Courts lie towards the middle of the plane of Faerie, though neither is seemingly Associated with the Tuatha except indirectly.

True. I think it's safe to say there's the Tuatha's original metaplane is the Northern Islands. The Tesrae ke’Mellakabal / Shining Citadel is probably located somewhere in that metaplane. In turn the Northern Islands are connected to the metaplane of Faerie. The Courts are somewhere "between" Faerie and the real world, acting as an "interface" between mortals and fae.

I also think it's clear that only a handful of "true" Danaan remain. Most of them have died during the War of Sorrows, or are still sleeping somewhere. It's worth mentioning the few that are active seem to keep an eye on Tir politics: Shadows of Europe mention that a "Great Spirit of the Tuatha" is present during Tir Na Nog's Council gatherings on equinoxes. And Shadows of Europe makes it clear that when that Great Spirit of the Tuatha is not happy or refuses to show up, the Danann families are shaking in their boots :)

Most of the so-called Tuatha de Danaan are actually Adepts of the Ways of the Wheel who believe that they are reincarnated Danaan. They do hold some sort of power and influence over the rest of the fae, though, so they might not be completely wrong. However the fae clearly distinguish between "new" fae and True Fae, so a True Fae will always hold more power at the Court.

A True Fae needs to be able to prove his/her claim... or fake it convincingly :) (lots of run opportunities there... ^^)

That being said, the association between the Seelie Court and the Tuatha De Danaan is rather explicit in Court of Shadows. Comment such as "These hand-drawn maps held the keys to unlocking the doors to the Seelie Court, whether the Tuatha de Danaan wanted them to or not, and their portrayals were eerily accurate" (p.20) or "Many of the wild fae have been joining the Seelie Court to work for the Tuatha de Danaan as their bodyguards and emissaries, translators and diviners, entertainers and scholars" (p.24) imply that they are, at the very least, running the show. Whether that rule expand to the rest of Faerie, however, is not clear. Considering they're coming from another plane, they probably conquered the other fae.

Last but not least, in Worlds without End Aina mention that the Seelie Court is the latest incarnation of "something much older and much more sinister". Whatever she's referring to (maybe Blood Wood, but maybe not -- she seems to view Tir Tairngire as the new version of Blood Wood), it's worth remembering the fae of ancient legend were a rather nasty bunch... :)
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Re: Court of Shadows and Immortal Elves
« Reply #11 on: (10:29:10/08-23-16) »
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.
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lokii

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Re: Court of Shadows and Immortal Elves
« Reply #12 on: (15:19:30/08-23-16) »
from http://fondationdraco.fr/2016/07/27/memo-court-of-shadows-les-fae-et-tir-na-nog/

Quote
(ou, pour les plus vieux, Tír na nÓg)

Actually I believe the London Sourcebook had the first sourcebook description of the Seelie Court (and there is the second Secrets of Power novel). Tír na nÓg is much more feral in this version. Given the mystery that was later introduced about the Court's whereabouts, it's a bit comical that they mention it to be located in Galway as a side note. :D

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.) From what people have said about Court of Shadows the myth or maybe even more generally fairy folklore seems to be much more prominent. I assume it's not strongly connected to the ideas that existed for the Court in terms of the crossover.
« Last Edit: (15:48:25/08-23-16) by lokii »

Marzhin

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Re: Court of Shadows and Immortal Elves
« Reply #13 on: (17:19:17/08-23-16) »
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.) From what people have said about Court of Shadows the myth or maybe even more generally fairy folklore seems to be much more prominent. I assume it's not strongly connected to the ideas that existed for the Court in terms of the crossover.

Well in Worlds without End, which is THE trilogy of novels directly addressing the crossover, Aina has to make deals with a Fae spirit calling himself "Fin Bheara, King of the Daoine Sidhe" in order to access the Seelie Court, and from their interactions it seems they know each other but haven't met in a while. Then she has to summon black horses she describes as "the horses of the ancient Tuatha de Danaan" -- ancient, not "fabled" or "mythical", which seems to imply they were a real thing, not a myth. When she and Caimbeul get to the Court they encounter lots of fae which according to Aina were there in the past as well: "It almost made me forget my own mission, so good was it to gaze upon them again. The sprites and spriggans, brownies and hags, boogies, leprechauns, gnomes, and goblins all clustered around, throwing their crooked shadows against the rocky cliff behind them."

So while Court of Shadows certainly adds new things to the fae mythos in Shadowrun, as far as I can tell it doesn't really contradict what we knew before -- although it may contradict theories fans may have had.
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Re: Court of Shadows and Immortal Elves
« Reply #14 on: (04:20:07/08-24-16) »
In regards to the Tirs, i've actually always viewed Tir Tairngire more as the recreation of Shosara and Tir Na Nog as the recreation of Wyrmwood, as noone in their right mind would want to recreate Bloodwood. It would go a long way towards explaining the animosity between the two nations, also it fits with Tir Tairngires blend between traditional elven culture, magic and modern technology, whereas Tir Na Nog is much more strictly traditional in it's approach, which is in keeping with the ways of the old Elven Court ( Which the "modern" Seelie Court is a reflection of ).