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namuhna

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #14   Wed May 04, 2016 9:22 pm

Well, I'm not accepting that she shut down recognition at all, no way. I think she was poisoned and while she was trying to fight the mental pull of recognition to allow Teir to focus on being replacement chief without distraction, the poison got effective and shut down the biological need to reproduce as well and so we got the severing of all recognition needs. To me that's canon, unless we get the Pinis telling me that's NOT what happened. The poison did what Leetah did, basically, but just with more finality.. I hope they can reverse it if Ember one day decides she wants cubs after all.
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Wisp

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #14   Wed May 04, 2016 10:25 pm

When was she poisoned? She was not physically injured and her lack of desire for children predated her traumatic experience at the hands of the Djun. It's very explicit what happened.

Ember: "Mother...help me! What you once did, I too must do...but for Teir!...Mother, you had the power to refuse recognition til the time was right--til you could choose for yourself. The power must be in me too--because I need it to be....right now." FQ 4, pg 18-19.

"She has denied recognition...quelled it for the sake of setting her beloved free." FQ 5, pg 3

Teir: "But recognition! You're not suffering? What have you done?!"
Ember: "I found within me the power to choose...just like mother when she recognized father." FQ 5, pg. 19

It's pretty cut-and-dried. Leetah had the power (as a healer) to delay recognition and suppress its effects on her. Ember suddenly discovered that same power in herself. "She has denied recognition"--the Pinis words, not mine.

I don't think it's right to say that some external factor (poison, trauma) suppressed Ember's procreative urge. She was already lacking in that department. She didn't want recognition when it was what Teir longed for. She didn't even want to go see her baby niece because she's not wild about infants. Not everyone wants to be a parent, and I thought it was pretty cool that a major EQ character was allowed to feel that way. It's a feeling that isn't always acknowledged or respected. Ember herself tells Teir that she might want a child someday. Maybe she will. Maybe she was trying to comfort him. I don't think we'll see it, one way or another, in FQ.
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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #14   Wed May 04, 2016 10:44 pm

Yeah-- ditto that. Though... there is the complicating factor that she is chief and, theoretically, needs an heir.

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #14   Wed May 04, 2016 11:33 pm

Third that. But does anyone else suspect that it won't matter whether or not Ember has an heir, because the Wolfriders will be no more by the end of FQ? Not that I want that to happen-- they're my favorite tribe!-- but it kind of seems that it may pan out that way.

Of course, it's possible I'm misreading Wendy's "subtle hints" entirely-- seeing ones that aren't actually there, or etc. You could make a chowder with all the red herrings in this current series...
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namuhna

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #14   Wed May 04, 2016 11:34 pm

Nah see... Ember brags about the djuns son being dead and teases him about being sterile, basically never having any heirs at all, then gets fed mysterious thing by scared servant that doesn't taste like food, then suddenly is able to resist recognition which has never EVER been done before, not even by Leetah. (Seriously, just LOOK at the entire situation there, the terrified servant and the "food", it doesn't fit in at all) and when they talk about fixing it later, Leetah and Mender is unsure if they can re-ignite it. This should be no problem at all for Leetah to fix this if it was the same thing! And no further discussion of how this was done or even confirmation by Leetah that it was the same thing? Leetah keeps secrets if she thinks they're going to hurt the ones she loves, she showed that with the wolf-blood.
I mean, yeah, it's hidden, but that's what all of Final Quest is about, codes and riddles and secrets everywhere, just now they're starting to unravel with Tammain, but I'm guessing that's just the beginning!
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manga

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #14   Wed May 04, 2016 11:39 pm

Regarding Strongbow and The Now:

Yes but keep this in mind: a religious ideal is generally something you are striving to attain. It's not necessarily something you HAVE attained.

Also, Cutter lost The Now when he lost his family. Seems reasonable that Strongbow might do the same.
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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #14   Wed May 04, 2016 11:44 pm

Huh. Never thought of it that way.

My take on that sequence was that the food was human cuisine (and therefore gross to elven tastes-- remember how humans are poisoned by dreamberries? Different species and all that). Later, when Mender and Leetah express uncertainty that they can undo what they've done, I figured it was because it's yet another thing they'd never tried before.

But hey, who among us can know for sure one way or another, at this point? We'll find out soon-- only 2 1/2 short months until the next issue... Shocked
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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #14   Wed May 04, 2016 11:54 pm

I don't think humans were ever written that intelligently throughout the series, being able to actually poison in such a clever, concealed way...they're always written like these blunt instruments, capable of doing a lot of obvious damage (the only poison instance was back in Bearclaw's time, when they poisoned his wolf deliberately, and it was detected immediately by Rain, who had limited healing powers...if Rain, a healer with limited capabilities was able to detect poison, then how could Leetah, who is leagues beyond in abilities, not notice any poison???). I always read it that the servant was terrified because they're always terrified of elves, and see them as either demons or little gods/spirits. The food grossed Ember out because she's on a wolfrider diet which pretty much entails raw meat..the stuff she was being given looked like some kind of porridge sludge. Also, I'm pretty sure wolfriders sense of smell is able to detect food that doesn't 'smell right' - there's poison, and then there's food which is kind of disgusting for them to stomach because it's not part of their natural diet...this seems to be the latter, imo.

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namuhna

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #14   Thu May 05, 2016 12:17 am

That's the decoy, we think it's because humans and elves are different, but really Ember did notice something was off but like us, assumed it was human-elf difference in taste. It really doesn't fit in with the story at all tho, there's absolutely no story-telling reason whatsover to introduce that terrified lady with her weird tasting food. Elfquest very often leaves out explanations, but very very rarely put in extra things like that unless there's a secret reason.

Also, as I said, Leetah probably knows, but wont say because of her weird "don't hurt my loved ones" thing, which she also did with keeping the mortal wolf-blood secret. And if what Leetah and Ember did was the same thing then Leetah WOULD have done this before, she would know exactly how to fix it. If it was the same thing she would probably have said somehing about it being an easy fix. Combine this with Cutter never loosing the pull of recognition, unlike Teir, it indicates that someting else was going on with Ember than what went on with Leetah.

And yeah, humans are stupid, but contraceptives is one thing humans need that elves do not need on a day to day basis. Did we ever find out how Shuna only had one baby btw? It might be very common knowledge how to avoid pregnancy in Djunsland.
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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #14   Thu May 05, 2016 3:10 am

It wasn't really an introduction to a character with the bowl of food...that was an extra. That
character is nothing more than a little servant lol. I'm willing to go along with a lot, but this is slightly more intrigue than is necessary... however, since the writing has been so shoddy, it's not surprising that it's allowing all kinds of theories to slip through the cracks. Ember doing what she did has more to do with the careless quality of the writing lately and less to do with the actual plot.

Since when was it even alluded to that Shuna had more than one baby? I mean, why even consider her having others? It's not some kind of conspiracy that she went on to have more babies, she never even expressed a desire to have some other baby lol. So what on earth would make you think she had more?

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #14   Thu May 05, 2016 6:18 am

I'm pretty sure it was just elf-human taste differences with that food. Or... maybe those Longriders are just terrible cooks, at any rate Angrif probably wouldn't have given his demon-captive good food.
Of course the servant slave was terrified; her town had just been sacked, and the guy who did it was ordering her to bring food to a demon.
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manga

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #14   Thu May 05, 2016 7:13 am

Zadzi, Namuhna was wondering how Shuna managed to ONLY have one baby, something I have also wondered. Did she turn to Leetah for help in that? Though there is such a thing as secondary infertility and other natural factors. Though birth control may be common knowledge in Djunsland, if it were it would probably have been plant based. (Like the herb the Greeks of our world used to use until they harvested it into extinction.) Thus, unless she asked Skywise to pick her up some from Djunsland and Redlance to grow her a stable crop, I think it's unlikely she had access to it back in the original Holt, which is on a different continent.
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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #14   Thu May 05, 2016 7:52 am

On the poison thing, Bone Woman knew how to make ointments to disguise or take away odor and she had something to take away pain. It would make sense that humans who are very mortal unlike trolls,elves and preservers and likewise also lack healer magic have knowledge of what heals and what poisons,where to find it and how to make it. But Ember sort of pissed me off with denying Recognition whilst cleaving so hard to the Way. Especially, since they are in a safe place and the child would have added to their numbers. Makes me wonder if Wendy was trying to get topical again or make a statement about reproductive rights. Which again, makes no sense considering the elves very low numbers and any new pregnancy is welcome.
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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #14   Thu May 05, 2016 8:41 am

Even if the humans did something to Ember, which I doubt, Leetah should be able to fix this, she can grow back limbs! And with the combined help of all those other healers (there are at least for of them, plus the palace) no poison could be that potent.

And as Prism wrote, it's weird to call Ember the "keeper of the way" but at the same time she denies recognition*.


*This doesn't mean, I judge her, quite contrary

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #14   Thu May 05, 2016 8:54 am

I see it wasn't as obvious to others as it was to me then... Oh well, when in Elfquest I get the choice between shabby writing ignoring years of canon and the possibility of secrets and riddles and alternative solutions, I'll take the secrets any day. It's why I haven't given up on understanding the Moonshade/Strongbow situation as well, and why I'm very much into the Tammain-situation. Tammain just puts things into place that were a bit of a mystery before so I LOVE that my latest reread I noticed all those things and can follow the story and emotional impact in a new way.

I really feel like there used to be more of a balance before tho. Strongbow again being a perfect example, I could always understand and follow his hatred of the Blue Mountain, it really doesn't need any more explaining and secrets, it might just be what it is, yet I always felt as tho there was something lurking just beneath the surface. And as the story went on every revisit revealed a bit more of the mystery, with just how messed up Winnowill was, with the dangers of stagnation, with the dangers of human manipulation, with the dream visitations. Perfect balance of emotional sympathy and intellectual curiosity that has made me revisit many, many times. With Ember now it made me revisit again, but mostly because the change in recognition-rules annoyed be so much.

I'm still gonna believe in my theory. It would take the word of Pini to change my mind about this particular thing, and if they did I would be seriously disappointed.

Also, Ember has no obligation to reproduce if she doesn't want to, but it would be seriously sad if she wanted to and never got the option. (Could this be a way to make Jink all that more special tho? If Tammain decides she'd done with Timmain and decides to live in Tam, then Jink would be the only decendant of Cutters to have wolfblood. Gosh, but I relly dislike Jink btw, this would not help that dislike at all)
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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #14   Thu May 05, 2016 9:50 am

I need to read the issues again, but I can get behind this idea that the Djun fed something harmful to Ember while she was there. I often get the feeling in Final Quest that it is a jumble of ideas that have kind of hastily jammed together, so each story never gets fully fleshed out. So maybe there was more to those scenes than was shown. Or like someone said, why show this part with the slave offering food? What does it give to the story? What do we get from the whole arc? Unless it was just to provide a compelling reason why Ember, who was the "keeper of the way", would fight so hard against Recognition to the point of delaying it indefinatly.

I also think that authors tend to return to the same themes and imagery repeatedly. We had a story line earlier that involved biological warfar against the Wavedancers. It's easy for me to think that if that wasn't written by Wendy or she wasn't directly involved in it, it might still have been based on her visions for where the story would go. So, if it wasn't able to be introduced in that story, maybe it will be introduced now.

Maybe Ember has been infected with some kind of virus, undetectable by the healers (maybe masked by the wolf genetics), and that will be the catalyst for a mass cleansing of wolf blood and the elves finally fleeing the planet. Maybe Cutter, being part of Timmain, will be immune somehow, and that's why we see him in the palace later. Maybe the palace becomes some sort of death ship. Maybe that's also why Timmain needed to take the best opportunity to get off the planet, even if it meant pushing Cutter to madness.

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #14   Thu May 05, 2016 10:23 am

I think assuming any poison that works on the elves, especially such a subtle one, assumes a knowledge of elfin biology that the humans can't have. If dream berries are poisonous to humans, that shows there are sufficient biological differences that would put a spanner in the works of any subtle attempts at poisoning.

Besides, can you really imagine that Angrif would have been able to resist smirking when Ember taunted him about his lack of heirs if he had intentionally poisoned her reproductively? Nor failed to throw a fit if his more blatant poison plan had failed to either make her I'll or DRI e her crazy?
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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #14   Thu May 05, 2016 11:21 am

They could easily poison her by accident, but that implies a subtlety I don't think WARP has at this point.
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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #14   Thu May 05, 2016 12:14 pm

Think it's been stated several times that the only reason it was possible to actually suppress the Recognition was due to the presence of two strong healers and the Palace Pod. Sure, Ember was able to tap into some latent power to keep herself from suffering, and to - eventually - break the connection with Teir. However, if it hadn't been for Leetah and Mender then Ember would have become pregnant right at the end of issue 6.
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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #14   Thu May 05, 2016 1:23 pm

Namuhna wrote:
gets fed mysterious thing by scared servant that doesn't taste like food, then suddenly is able to resist recognition which has never EVER been done before, not even by Leetah. (Seriously, just LOOK at the entire situation there, the terrified servant and the "food", it doesn't fit in at all) and when they talk about fixing it later, Leetah and Mender is unsure if they can re-ignite it. This should be no problem at all for Leetah to fix this if it was the same thing! And no further discussion of how this was done or even confirmation by Leetah that it was the same thing?

The Djun is feeding Ember because he wants her alive.  She's no use to him if she starves to death.  If he can terrify a new slave woman in the process, so much the better.  He knows that the woman fears elves.  He's just a sadist.  

I think Leetah suppressed the negative effects of recognition in herself.  Cutter was unable to sleep, unable to eat.  He was suffering physically from the "pangs" of recognition.  Leetah was able to correct those physical symptoms in herself, and apparently Ember tapped into the same ability.  But she couldn't turn recognition off.  For that, she needed Leetah and Mender's help.  I think they were both...maybe not surprised by her request, but unsettled.  As healers, they're champions of life.  Leetah probably hoped that her daughter's recognition would be an occasion for joy, not confusion and suffering.  I'll admit, however, that I don't buy Leetah and Mender's trepidation about whether they'll be able to reignite recognition in the future.  Leetah essentially did the same thing for Nightfall and Redlance ages ago, so why couldn't she and Mender help Ember and Teir conceive in the future?

I'll be the first to give you a tip of the hat if your theory proves right, but I think we've seen the end of the Ember/Teir recognition storyline.

Redhead Ember wrote:
I'm pretty sure it was just elf-human taste differences with that food. Or... maybe those Longriders are just terrible cooks, at any rate Angrif probably wouldn't have given his demon-captive good food.
Of course the servant slave was terrified; her town had just been sacked, and the guy who did it was ordering her to bring food to a demon.

Quote :
Sure, Ember was able to tap into some latent power to keep herself from suffering, and to - eventually - break the connection with Teir. However, if it hadn't been for Leetah and Mender then Ember would have become pregnant right at the end of issue 6.

This was my understanding too.

Manga wrote:
Besides, can you really imagine that Angrif would have been able to resist smirking when Ember taunted him about his lack of heirs if he had intentionally poisoned her reproductively? Nor failed to throw a fit if his more blatant poison plan had failed to either make her I'll or DRI e her crazy?

Exactly.  "How are you enjoying your...meal....mwhahahaha!"  That's more Angrif's speed.

Outlier wrote:
I also think that authors tend to return to the same themes and imagery repeatedly. We had a story line earlier that involved biological warfar against the Wavedancers.

If you're talking about the original wavedancers, didn't the "curse" come from Winnowill or dark magic or something?  It definitely wasn't related to humans.  I highly doubt the EQ humans are capable of targeting elf biology to that degree.  Even the djun doesn't seem to have much confidence in his own physicians' "spells and potions"!

Namuhna wrote:
I mean, yeah, it's hidden, but that's what all of Final Quest is about, codes and riddles and secrets everywhere, just now they're starting to unravel with Tammain, but I'm guessing that's just the beginning!

Quote :
Oh well, when in Elfquest I get the choice between shabby writing ignoring years of canon and the possibility of secrets and riddles and alternative solutions, I'll take the secrets any day.

For better or worse, I think EQ is pretty straight-forward.  The Timmain thing came out of left field, I wouldn't call it a code or a riddle.  That would imply that someone could have reasonably seen it coming.  But even though there will surely be more surprises ahead, I don't think the Pinis are grand puzzle-masters.  I'm a modern Doctor Who fan, and the current showrunner has turned the show into an honest-to-god mind@#$%.  But EQ?  The storytelling isn't that sophisticated.  At its best, EQ is earnest, emotionally honest, and exciting.  At its worst, it's plodding, expositive, and the characters are reduced to blunt instruments.  When in doubt, I go with Occam's Razor.

Bluetree wrote:
But does anyone else suspect that it won't matter whether or not Ember has an heir, because the Wolfriders will be no more by the end of FQ?

I agree, and maybe Ember does too, in her heart of hearts.  All she has to do is look around at what's left of her father's tribe to see which way the wind is blowing.  And her own tribe is stuck on top of a mountain. That's an island in a sea of humans, not freedom.
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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #14   Thu May 05, 2016 1:34 pm

Wisp wrote:
@Outlier wrote:
   I also think that authors tend to return to the same themes and imagery repeatedly. We had a story line earlier that involved biological warfar against the Wavedancers.


If you're talking about the original wavedancers, didn't the "curse" come from Winnowill or dark magic or something?  It definitely wasn't related to humans.  I highly doubt the EQ humans are capable of targeting elf biology to that degree.  Even the djun doesn't seem to have much confidence in his own physicians' "spells and potions"!
It was Ardan Djarum in the "New Wavedancers" storyline who encouraged a scientist to develope parasites (bacteria or something else) to poison the seas and kill the demons (and probably all maritime life in the process). Several Wavedancers suffered from this disease/poisoning and were saved by healers' effort. Sandsparkle's miscarriage was a result of it, too (at least this seemed to be the plan in the WAVEDANCERS story arc).


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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #14   Thu May 05, 2016 1:52 pm

Thanks, Embala. I stuck it out through a lot of the non-Pini comics (I even read all of New Blood Shocked) but by the time of the NWD, I'd reached my limit. I didn't really love the art, there were so many characters...I just gave up. Maybe I should give it another shot sometime, especially since it's free and right at my fingertips.
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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #14   Thu May 05, 2016 2:09 pm

One is glad to be of service.

In case you decide to give it a try, Wisp ...
- read it as an AU or be ready to shrug off the inconsistences with DISCOVERY
- be prepared to deal with ever changing artists and decreasing quality of artwork
- and keep in mind that the arc is not really finished (despitethe extension "New Wavedancers unfinished")

I've liked it. Fishy All the new characters were a bonus for me. Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #14   Thu May 05, 2016 2:12 pm

I didn't see Tammain specifically, not even close to that tbh, but I definitively knew somehting was up. Ever since Timmain mysteriously knew that Skywise had lost his wolf-friend and that weird bonding with Cutter all those years, it all comes together in retrospect. Even Cutters weird draw towards finding other elves, the parallels with him and Rayek vs Timmain and Haken/Winnowill, why on earth Cutter had the power to resist Winnowill, even why Strongbow knew Cutter would change them forever after the challenge, the dreams if you interpret them righ (tho they still have ALOT of unanswered questions) It isn't out of the left field, it's all there if you know what to look for. They all have the surface explanation as well, but once Tammain was revealed there was a whole nother level to every one of those things. I seriously loved my last read through because of it, and I guess, right or wrong, it really put me in a sort of detective state where I see secrets everywhere.

I've got countless other theories as well, but Embers is the one that really seemed finite and basically canon to me. I might be wrong tho, like with Tammain, I'm usually very good at picking up when there are secrets, but I'm pretty useless in discerning exactly what they are, specifically. But tbh nothing you've all said so far has been left out of my consideration when analysing Embers situation. I'm sticking with it, and we'll see if I was wrong or not when it's all finished!
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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #14   Thu May 05, 2016 2:14 pm

I think if it were going to have been part of the story that Ember was poisoned, we would know by now. But none of the characters have mentioned it or reacted to it in any way-- nor has it been incorporated into the story-- and we are years past that point in time now for the characters. Here's my take: if you want to believe that she was poisoned-- go ahead. If you prefer to think she just doesn't like sludgy soup-- go ahead and think that. It doesn't change things either way, in the macro.

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