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 Grab Bag July 2015

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TrollHammer

TrollHammer

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PostSubject: Grab Bag July 2015   Grab Bag July 2015 EmptyTue Jun 30, 2015 5:32 pm

The elements for the month of July are:

a cavern/cave
coming of age
a bruise
hope
empathy/compassion
Independence
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Tymber

Tymber

Posts : 835
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PostSubject: Re: Grab Bag July 2015   Grab Bag July 2015 EmptyTue Jun 30, 2015 9:03 pm

(This is one that Embala may enjoy...)

a cavern/cave
coming of age
a bruise
hope
empathy/compassion
Independence


Balgar, Chief of the Frost Men, held a torch and threw it onto the corpses of the demons whom they had killed in Stonehowl. “Now,” he said firmly as the bodies began to burn, “we have the strength and guidance of Kuraul with us, and we will see every demon burn, just as we burn these demons.”

The Frost Men cheered, but Buren, son of Balgar, clenched the weapon harder, his tears freezing in the cold, chilling night.

As the fire raged, casting enormous shadows, Buren stared in horror. One of the demons moved; one of the infants. Instinctively reacting, Buren tossed aside the broken sword he had been clasping so tightly to, and reached over the flames that licked his skin. He screamed out in pain as the flame consumed a portion of his flesh. He grabbed the demon-child’s arm and pulled quickly, with all his might, simply falling backwards. The demon-child fell into the snow and let out a cry.

Suddenly the Frost Men stood and looked around. “What is the meaning of this?” Balgar demanded, towering over his son, his dark brown beard streaked with flakes of falling snow. Balgar’s eyes looked a few feet from Buren, his son, and saw one of the demon infants crying. The young female demon-child, with her black hair and soft green eyes looked up at Balgar. Balgar grew furious. “What have you done son? By the crest of the tide, what have you done?”

“The child was still alive,” Buren said, nursing his burned arm.

Balgar grabbed his son by the fresh burn, forcing his own son to scream in unbelievable pain. “You must do away with this ignorant weakness of yours! The demons do not deserve your compassion! They’re murderous, foul, beasts! They’re not even of this world, son! Do you realize that? They’re not natural! Kuraul demands that we cleanse the world of them!”

“You’ve spoke to Kuraul, have you?” Buren spoke definitely, speaking through the immense pain coursing through his arm, as his father strengthened his hold.

“Sherala has,” Balgar retorted. “Our shaman!”

“She can’t even see the sun rise,” Buren growled.

“She gave up her sight son,” Balgar barked back, “to gain the gift of Kuraul’s visions! She gave up her sight – something most would not do – to benefit others! To benefit us! And now, once again, you shame me twice before the sun has set once!”

“The boy is strong,” Sherala whispered, resting her gnarled hand on Balgar’s shoulder. “He is defiant and independent. He believes he knows better than you. Better than me. He will be trouble. Punishing him with a beating will not suffice. He must see. He must feel.”

“What do you suggest, shaman?” Balgar released Buren’s arm. The boy fell to his knees and clasped his burned arm.

“He wanted to save the demon,” Sherala smiled. “Let him.”

“What?” Belgar had begun to doubt the shaman’s wisdom.

“The boy has never raised a child,” Sherala explained. “The child has no mother. The child will die a slow painful death. The boy will either attempt to nurse it until it dies a slow, agonizing death; or he will grant the demon ‘mercy’ and eventually kill it with his own hands.”

Belgar turned to his son. “You heard the shaman. You want to save the demon child, try it. But I do not permit you to get any assistance from the rest of us. Anything you feed it, you must hunt yourself. You want to prove yourself a hunter. You want to prove yourself capable. This is your chance. In the end, you will either watch that demon die, or you will kill it. Either way, its death will now be because of you. Because you failed to nurse it back to health, or because you realize you’re a failure and that Kuraul’s wish is that the demon to die – as it should have in the fire.”

His father spun on his heel and began to walk away before stopping and turning. “You are shunned from the tribe until that demon is dead. Until then, you are not my son any longer. Go live in that cave as the demons did, until you learn once more your proper place in this world.”

For three nights, Buren lived in the Stonehowl cave, nursing his burned arm, as well as the demon infant. He used snow, which he melted in a fire, to boil to remove any diseases; and used that water, to cool in the snow in a stone bowl he carved himself. He then used that water to both tend to his wound, and to provide the young infant with at least water. He had managed to kill a small hopper that between himself and the infant had lasted those three days. The burned armed was now healing, and extremely bruised. He cradled the young elf child in his arms, rocking her to sleep at night and keeping her warm with his own body, despite the immense amount of pain that coursed through his still tender arm. He knew that he was the child’s only hope of surviving.

His father, Belgar watched from the shadows, snarling…


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Embala

Embala

Capricorn Pig
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PostSubject: Re: Grab Bag July 2015   Grab Bag July 2015 EmptyTue Jun 30, 2015 9:27 pm

You guessed right, Tymber! sunny I'll be back after sleep for a proper comment.

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Tymber

Tymber

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PostSubject: Re: Grab Bag July 2015   Grab Bag July 2015 EmptyFri Jul 03, 2015 12:50 am

@Embala wrote:
You guessed right, Tymber! sunny I'll be back after sleep for a proper comment.

At this point, I think they call that a coma, not sleep! Razz

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Redhead Ember

Redhead Ember

Aries Dragon
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PostSubject: Re: Grab Bag July 2015   Grab Bag July 2015 EmptyFri Jul 03, 2015 12:59 pm

The Slave's Tale

Your independence is lost.
This should have been your coming of age.
These long years spent in this darkened cave.
Where hope too soon was gone.
Your body bruised and battered, slowly worn away.
Compassion came too late.

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"When you do what you love best, you shine where you love."

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Embala

Embala

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PostSubject: Re: Grab Bag July 2015   Grab Bag July 2015 EmptyFri Jul 03, 2015 4:35 pm

Six elements. Six lines. Six fitting messages. *bows* Fitting, story telling and touching. You've unlearned nothing, Redhead!


My part ...

Grab Bag July 2015 Slaves10

Thank you for giving me reason to be creative and a way to contribute to the grab-bags when time is limited.

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Last edited by Embala on Sat Jul 15, 2017 3:32 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Tymber

Tymber

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PostSubject: Re: Grab Bag July 2015   Grab Bag July 2015 EmptyFri Jul 03, 2015 6:51 pm

Oh! I like it with that image from ElfQuest 19/20.

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Grab Bag July 2015 Ba_tym10
Signature image by Embala. <3
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Embala

Embala

Capricorn Pig
Posts : 11676
Join date : 2012-06-24
Age : 60
Location : Germany

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PostSubject: Re: Grab Bag July 2015   Grab Bag July 2015 EmptyFri Jul 03, 2015 11:06 pm

@Tymber wrote:
At this point, I think they call that a coma, not sleep! Razz
LOL ... You have no idea how close you are to the truth! Laughing


You've surprised me, Tymber. I was almost sure that "coming of age" would inspire a spotlight on Windfetcher ... and now Buran is as much a central character as this human boy can get!
Not enough ... the story took an unexpected pleasant turn! sunny

I love that this started exactly like your last episode ended. The same scene ... but what was supposed to seal darkness and sorrow for Stonehowl was turned into hope. "Lil' Purespring" wanted to LIVE! I've forgotten her name ... well, she'll probably have a name change anyway.

Speaking of name change - Balgar/Belgar cannot make up his mind. XD

Belgar is officially a meanie now - a Two-Spear type of father (tho better motivated, I'd say). Buran is the rebellious youth - much like Ember. And like Ember he uses words and reason. He's thinking - he has wits and heart. I hope he will grow up to follow better ways.

Sherala had a clever advice ... "Let the boy his way. Let the demon girl live. It will turn out the way Kuraul wishes and the boy will learn the hard way."
Clever plot device  ^^ ... it is very believable that Belgar allows the demon to live for this reason. Why do I have the impression that Belgar will learn ... that it does not turn out his way? Wink

You'll need another clever idea sooner or later. Why did Shadow and Foxhair not notice that their infant is still alive? *Sending never ends!*

I have enjoyed this turn very much, Tymber. I've wished you would not have killed off all the little children of Stonehowl ... and now one has survived.

The chief's cub lives. A little "Pureblood" by description, a hope for Shadow's sanity, for conciliation and peaceful coexistance. And Stillbreeze's family, parents and siblings, need to deal with the loss of their youngest.

All ways are open again. Smile

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Redhead Ember

Redhead Ember

Aries Dragon
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PostSubject: Re: Grab Bag July 2015   Grab Bag July 2015 EmptySat Jul 04, 2015 7:03 am

Thanks Embala. Ember Love the picture.

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Come play the Who Am I game! Twisted Evil
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Embala

Embala

Capricorn Pig
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PostSubject: Re: Grab Bag July 2015   Grab Bag July 2015 EmptySat Jul 04, 2015 12:32 pm

Thank you sunny Glad you like my choice, Tymber and especcially YOU Ember, Redhead! There were two or three "usual suspects" for a background scene ... and Pike asked for it. His expression is so speaking. Yet ... not before I've added the title I realized HOW perfect it was to go with the storyteller.

There was a second idea - basing more on Mekda and conciliating in a way.

Grab Bag July 2015 Slaves10

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Last edited by Embala on Sat Jul 15, 2017 3:34 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Tymber

Tymber

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PostSubject: Re: Grab Bag July 2015   Grab Bag July 2015 EmptySat Jul 04, 2015 5:19 pm

@Embala wrote:

@Tymber wrote:
At this point, I think they call that a coma, not sleep! Razz
LOL ... You have no idea how close you are to the truth! Laughing

I hope all is well?

@Embala wrote:

You've surprised me, Tymber. I was almost sure that "coming of age" would inspire a spotlight on Windfetcher ... and now Buran is as much a central character as this human boy can get! Not enough ... the story took an unexpected pleasant turn! sunny

I never know where the story will go until all the elements are there; then I just sit down and say, "Tell me the story that needs to be told..." And the brain and imagination proceed to do so. So in this case, it featured Buren, the young human. I guess, in part, because the previous story he was already defiant; so the coming of age element is perhaps what triggered this story to be the focus. Who knows, a few times I have written additional stories with the same elements - so a Windfetcher story may yet be born at some random moment, when I am just sitting at my computer. However, I'd rather let some other folks get some stories in before I make this all about the "July Grab Bag Stonehowl Festival."

@Embala wrote:

I love that this started exactly like your last episode ended. The same scene ... but what was supposed to seal darkness and sorrow for Stonehowl was turned into hope. "Lil' Purespring" wanted to LIVE! I've forgotten her name ... well, she'll probably have a name change anyway.

Yeah, I didn't name which child survived, just the description. I felt, because the humans wouldn't know her name; so the story should not reflect that kind of knowledge since it's being told from their perspective. But it is a specific child, indeed, as you look to have already guessed.

@Embala wrote:

Speaking of name change - Balgar/Belgar cannot make up his mind. XD

This is why I need an amazing editor, such as yourself, to catch these details. Smile

@Embala wrote:

Belgar is officially a meanie now - a Two-Spear type of father (tho better motivated, I'd say). Buran is the rebellious youth - much like Ember. And like Ember he uses words and reason. He's thinking - he has wits and heart. I hope he will grow up to follow better ways.

Sherala had a clever advice ... "Let the boy his way. Let the demon girl live. It will turn out the way Kuraul wishes and the boy will learn the hard way."
Clever plot device  ^^ ... it is very believable that Belgar allows the demon to live for this reason. Why do I have the impression that Belgar will learn ... that it does not turn out his way? Wink

Yeah, I figured a "respected" Shaman would have wisdom, not just sheer hatred. She's more into manipulating with words, rather than action (especially having given up her physical ability to see - fighting physically would never work; but if she can use words to control people and manipulate their actions, all the better!)

@Embala wrote:

You'll need another clever idea sooner or later. Why did Shadow and Foxhair not notice that their infant is still alive? *Sending never ends!*

True, but can even infants send? (I actually don't know!)

@Embala wrote:

I have enjoyed this turn very much, Tymber. I've wished you would not have killed off all the little children of Stonehowl ... and now one has survived. The chief's cub lives. A little "Pureblood" by description, a hope for Shadow's sanity, for conciliation and peaceful coexistance. And Stillbreeze's family, parents and siblings, need to deal with the loss of their youngest.
All ways are open again. Smile

We shall see where this goes next! Smile

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Embala

Embala

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PostSubject: Re: Grab Bag July 2015   Grab Bag July 2015 EmptySun Jul 05, 2015 5:01 am

No need to worry, Tymber, I'm fine. sunny Call it SHS - Sommer Heat Syndrome knocks me out in the evening ... or whenever. XD


@Tymber wrote:
However, I'd rather let some other folks get some stories in before I make this all about the "July Grab Bag Stonehowl Festival."
Wouldn't mind such a Blackfell festival, Tymber. Hoping for others to join in with many other themes and facets just like you, though!

Quote :
I felt, because the humans wouldn't know her name; so the story should not reflect that kind of knowledge since it's being told from their perspective.
Very true and fitting for the story.
Shocked ... I didn't realise that I've casually thrown in a spoiler! I know Stonehowl too well already ... Rolling Eyes  


Quote :
True, but can even infants send? (I actually don't know!)
Had to think about it again ... and I was looking for references. The best answer would be: Likely - but not necessarily.
I got the impression that the mother (parents?) can already send to the unborn - and gets answers. But this is mainly based on Leetah and personal interpretation.

Fact is children "respond" to sending. Korafay does from the first moment after birth - but Wavedancer pips are a bit special at this point. Scouter expressed his surprise that Windkin already responds to sending when he was about a year old.

I still think young children are able to send from the beginning but the ability has to ripe and needs practice to become understandable. And I figure that child sending is different. Much less controlled. Unspecific. More of the "whole picture" with feelings and images and distracting influences - not a clearly defined statement. A weak undirected sending, like a mist, and an open sending.

Thinking of it I found many reasons why the parents did not notice by sending that their child is still alive.
First - the sending abilities of the child (and/or parents) can be weak, depending on age and individual developement.
Second - the child was in shock. It was hurt. Worse ... it has probably felt the pain and deaths happening around. There must have been open sending, mental cries all around. When the child reacted like Redlance she instinctively "built walls" to close out the mental storm ...
Third - ... and possibly "turned off" her own sending. A coma.
Fourth - the parents abilities were weakened. They hurt - physically and mentally. They had gone through this mental storm of cries and pain and death. They suffer from overload and might be "mind-deaf" temporarily (like someone who stood too close to the boxes during a concert).


At a side note: My ideas about that disturbing mind storm during a battle would be a good reason for Go-Backs to skip sending!

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Last edited by Embala on Mon Jul 06, 2015 2:35 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Tymber

Tymber

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PostSubject: Re: Grab Bag July 2015   Grab Bag July 2015 EmptyMon Jul 06, 2015 2:18 pm

@Embala wrote:

No need to worry, Tymber, I'm fine. sunny Call it SHS - Sommer Heat Syndrome knocks me out in the evening ... or whenever. XD

I will always worry about the wonderful people I know.

@Embala wrote:

@Tymber wrote:
However, I'd rather let some other folks get some stories in before I make this all about the "July Grab Bag Stonehowl Festival."
Wouldn't mind such a Blackfell festival, Tymber. Hoping for other to join in with many other themes and facets just like you, though!

I know! Where's Trollhammer's submission? And others? We need to encourage more people to come in here!

@Embala wrote:

Quote :
I felt, because the humans wouldn't know her name; so the story should not reflect that kind of knowledge since it's being told from their perspective.
Very true and fitting for the story.
Shocked ... I didn't realise that I've casually thrown in a spoiler! I know Stonehowl too well already ... Rolling Eyes  

Hah! That's because you're awesome and have read the Stonehowl stories! Makes my heart happy!

@Embala wrote:

Quote :
True, but can even infants send? (I actually don't know!)
Had to think about it again ... and I was looking for references. The best answer would be: Likely - but not necessarily.
I got the impression, that the mother (parents?) can already send to the unborn - and gets answers. But this is mainly based on Leetah and personal interpretation.

Fact is children "respond" to sending. Korafay does from the first moment after birth - but Wavedancer pips a a bit special at this point. Scouter expressed his surptise that Windkin already responds to sending when he was about a year old.

I still think young children are able to send from the beginning but the ability has to ripe and needs practice to become understandable. And I figure that child sending is different. Much less controlled. Unspecific. More of the "whole picture" with feelings and images and distracting influences - not a clearly defined statement. A weak undirected sending, like a mist, and an open sending.

Thinking of it I found many reasons why the parents did not notice be sending that their child is still alive.
First - the sending abilities of the child (and/or parents) can be weak, depending on age and individual developement.
Second - the child was in shock. It was hurt. Worse ... it has probably felt the pain and deaths happening around. There must have been open sending, mental cries all around. When the child reacted like Redlance she instinctively "built walls" to close out the mental storm ...
Third - ... and possibly "turned off" her own sending. A coma.
Fourth - the parents abilities were weakend. The hurt - physically and mentally. They had gone through this mental storm of cries and pain and death. They suffer from overload and might be "mind-deaf" temporarily (like someone who stood to close to the boxers during a concert).

There we go! And I may just use these as the reasons the sending never happened.

@Embala wrote:

At a side note: My ideas about that disturbing mind storm during a battle would be a good reason for Go-Backs to skip sending!

Would make sense. Can you imagine the constant bombardment of sending of those dying around you being so constant? You'd be as insane as Two-Edge before long.

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TrollHammer

TrollHammer

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PostSubject: Re: Grab Bag July 2015   Grab Bag July 2015 EmptyMon Jul 06, 2015 6:32 pm

Sorry, been busy, finally had a few hours to myself with a computer (sort of...)

More of Grubfinder...

He shuddered awake seemingly moments later as the door thundered knock, knock, knock.  He rolled in the dark and kicked the door shut, the cool stone of the floor a slight comfort, reminding him of his home underground.  He expected the beast to be on the other side, but somehow his panic subsided quicker than he expected as he noticed the darkness, the lack of sunlight in the cracks of the door.  

He cleared his throat, “uh, …who’s there?” he asked.

“It’s me.” Was the response, the voice of the female Elf that visited him when he got here.  A moment of thought fluttered through his mind, questioning if the whole day had been a dream, that this was still the same night as when he left the tunnels.  He shrugged it off as he reminded himself of what the rain smelled like, and how dry it seemed now.  He let her open the door finally.

She seemed caring but indifferent to Grubfinder’s nervous attitude, his eyes darting around, waiting to be attacked at any moment.  She lead him to a group of other Elves who were chittering away around a fire.  “Here we go, maybe a bit rested and more ready to tackle life up here?” She asked.  She didn’t wait for a response, and joined the circle with the others, who made room for him as well.

He cautiously sat down, wondering why they were so calm with such a horrendous monster around… or did he dream it up?  He still couldn’t be sure.

As the flames danced, they began to talk about his reason for being there, what he was expected to do, where to find water and food… it honestly didn’t seem like there was much of a purpose for him to be here they way they described it!  A few stones to move around to the areas of the wall that was unfinished, participate in hunts when the others went, and a seemingly pointless task: standing, feeling the ground for something called ‘Suncoil’.

The Elves fell silent as he sat thinking about their jobs for him, rubbing his bruised knees.  His mind was wandering all over the place, trying to figure out what he understood and what he needed to have clarified.

Wait a moment, he thought to himself. Bruised knees?

“What, exactly, does this ‘Suncoil’ look like?” he asked aloud as his thoughts clicked through to a conclusion.  He lifted his eyes to look at the others as he did so.

“Hopefully, you’ll know it’s coming fast enough you won’t need to see it,” said an older female elf with a pair of blond braids over her left ear. “So far, only two have seen it and survived to tell the others, and of the two, I’m the only one still around.”

Slightly perturbed that his question was not answered directly, Grubfinder pressed more directly. “It wouldn’t happen to be a large creature with big teeth and eight legs, would it?”  He noticed some movement behind the braided Elf and glanced over, expecting to see his… daymare lurking in the shadows.

As it turned out, it was another Troll sitting on a tree-stump well back from the rest of the group, but the effect of the glance on the braided Elf was almost magical. Her grip on her spear tightened, her posture became tensed, and her eyes began to look behind her.

Finding nothing of note behind her, she asked, “You have seen it, then? A great furry beast that can move with great speed and silence?”

“It seems I have, earlier today, when I went looking for the rest of you.” He replied.

“Where was it?” another Elf asked. Other sounds of inquiry arose from the group before he could answer. He almost left them with all their yammering, however as he looked around he noticed at least two or three other Trolls lurking in the darkness. Whether or not they were part of this group of tittering birds or the King’s observers from below, he wasn’t about to show them his discomfort.

When a break formed in the uproar, he described what he saw and did.  Their eyes grew wide when they learned he had run away from it.  Even the braided-elf’s experience seeing it had been from the top of the wall, safe and well out of harm’s way.  This story brought on another wave of incessant banter among the Elves that he forced himself to have patience with.

When it died down, he had grasped enough bits and pieces to have a better picture of what was going on up here, but he still needed more.  “So if this ‘Suncoil’ is such a terror, why didn’t it just finish me off when I fell?”

“The Suncoil has a major weakness that we have been able to exploit quite well: it needs sunlight. Lots of sunlight. The brighter the sunlight, the faster it can move and the stronger it becomes.  You only survived because it wouldn’t follow out into the shadow of the wall.  Even then, it is impressive that you were able to outrun it!” Grub had decided to consider this braided-elf as the leader. Her replies seem to carry some kind of authority, and a few times the other noticed she was talking the seemed to calm down a little to listen, more-so than any other Elf at least.

“So what are the walls for? To keep it out of a small piece of forest,  or make shade so you can walk around without it eating you?” Grub felt like he was getting a better picture, but there wasn’t enough forest within the walls to live off of, and no settlement he could see.

“Quite the opposite, actually. We plan to trap it within the walls and seal it in.” she said.  “When the wall is ready, our hope is you’ll help us locate it so we can lure it into the trap.”

Later, after the Elves took torches from the fire and disbanded to their various tasks, Grubfinder sought out his kin.  They had grouped together some small distance from the fire, waiting for him.  He recognized a couple of them as others that had been sent up here for “promotions”: Dross and Slack.  Though he didn’t know them personally, they greeted him and filled in the blanks that the Elves had left out.

Dross pointed out the more pertinent facts. “It would make a whole lot of sense to just kill the thing at night while it slept or does whatever it does without sunlight, but no one can find it.  We aren’t even sure what it might look like at night: at one point when it did pass through a shadow, Braids said it turned dark and seemed to nearly disappear.  The thing is heavy, though, and it seemed to carry through out of the shadow staggering.”

“How many times as she seen it?”  Grub assumed ‘Braids’ referred to the Elves leader.  She had a name that sounded like a flock of birds chittering about the weather, bothersome to even try to pronounce.

”Only once, while she was a youngling as it ate her elder-mentor.  She was performing her First Watch on the wall and her Mentor decided he finally knew enough about the thing to set a trap for it.  Used himself as bait!  Only thing was that the creature seems to have no limit to its speed, and just when you think you know how fast it can run, it doubles its speed again.  Anyway, the others didn’t get the tree down fast enough to shade the thing and hit it, and it slipped through.  Braids had to stand up on the wall and watch as her mentor was devoured.” Dross seemed to like the story, her emotions and excitement fluctuating as she recounted it, as if she had been there, as if she had been the one on the wall watching it all happen.

Grubfinder cleared his throat. “So, the only real question is, why the doom-pit are we helping them trap the thing?  Sounds like it’s pretty cut and dried that it’s not our problem, this ‘Suncoil’ can’t get down into our dark tunnels and do anything to us, so why should we be risking our lives to get rid of it?”

“That’s the real question,” Slack agreed. “Trolls shouldn’t need to get tangled up with surface dwellers. We’ve done just fine alone and free, why do we need to get mixed up with something that doesn’t affect us?”

Dross had nothing better to add. “Perhaps the King is becoming like the rulers of old and figures this is a good way to get rid of anyone who annoys him?  Nevertheless, the last Troll that said ‘Poke it, I’m leaving’ and went back down was sent back up with a brand burned into his forehead, exiled forever.”

“Show him, No-Name” Slack said as he turned to a Troll behind him. In the pale starlight Grub could make out three ‘V’s marking out a circle on the Troll’s forehead, the sign of a traitor to the King.

Immediately feeling like his troubles were vastly more desirable to deal with than that of a branding and loss of a name (even one such as his), Grubfinder shook off his shock from the last few days and smacked his hands together with a decent ‘pop’. “So, how about we get to work then?”
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TrollHammer

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PostSubject: Re: Grab Bag July 2015   Grab Bag July 2015 EmptyMon Jul 06, 2015 7:45 pm

@Tymber wrote:

“The boy is strong,” Sherala whispered, resting her gnarled hand on Balgar’s shoulder. “He is defiant and independent. He believes he knows better than you. Better than me. He will be trouble. Punishing him with a beating will not suffice. He must see. He must feel.”

“What do you suggest, shaman?” Balgar released Buren’s arm. The boy fell to his knees and clasped his burned arm.

“He wanted to save the demon,” Sherala smiled. “Let him....”

“The boy has never raised a child,” Sherala explained. “The child has no mother. The child will die a slow painful death. The boy will either attempt to nurse it until it dies a slow, agonizing death; or he will grant the demon ‘mercy’ and eventually kill it with his own hands.”

His father spun on his heel and began to walk away before stopping and turning. “You are shunned from the tribe until that demon is dead. Until then, you are not my son any longer. Go live in that cave as the demons did, until you learn once more your proper place in this world.”

Good to see the flip side of the conflict from their perspective, this adds more depth to it.

Something hit me as a little off, though, and I was trying to figure out what it was. It seems obvious that the classic shaman/leader duo are setting themselves up for failure, but to what degree and in what form?

In a way, they are too sure of themselves in that Buren will fail to keep the child alive, but not for the right reasons. Balgar's faith in the shaman in front of the others, and hence, their god, is now on thin ice, as the pair is putting the outcome squarely on Buren, not their god. If Buren fails, it's his fault for not living up to the expectation he gave himself, not because their god was powerful enough to be worth following, and if he succeeds, it is because he is, indeed, wiser than the Shaman and stronger than his father... but I guess if they had put the situation on their god, then it's Buren vs their god instead of Buren vs Dad/Shaman.

But another thing sticks out to me. Their point is to make him learn...? If it's to learn to follow father without question, break his spirit, etc, then they better have another successor figured out, as these are the characteristics they need to be supporting to make him a great leader in the future. The situation ends up with these outcomes as I see it:
-The baby starves or otherwise dies, and he has a guilt trip.
-Buren kills the baby, and becomes a ruthless killer as it seems his father and the Shaman want him to be.
-Buren kills the baby, and is devastated, the effects of which will dominate his whole life.
-Buren saves the baby, and is not allowed to rejoin the tribe, and so he fails in whatever aspirations he strived to be proud of.
-Buren saves the baby, and somehow gets it to the other tribe, which then allows him to rejoin his tribe through deception... and completely destroying whatever intent his father/shaman were trying to do.

It's a hairy mess that could result in some interesting and widespread outcomes for years to come, but not a single end will result in anything Balgar will want as a result. It'll be interesting to see what happens next!
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TrollHammer

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PostSubject: Re: Grab Bag July 2015   Grab Bag July 2015 EmptyMon Jul 06, 2015 7:50 pm

@Redhead Ember wrote:
The Slave's Tale

Your independence is lost.
This should have been your coming of age.
These long years spent in this darkened cave.
Where hope too soon was gone.
Your body bruised and battered, slowly worn away.
Compassion came too late.

The first part made me think of Cutter when he was enslaved to Greymung, while the other half made me think of 'bag-o-bones'... but in a way, even the last part can be about Cutter with the spear-chip, age, and mental anguish wearing away at him while he waited for the Palace to return.... which was also in a cave (with picknose nearby... hmm... Smile ).

Your poems have quite a bit of depth that allows others to read what they want to into them. I like this!
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TrollHammer

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PostSubject: Re: Grab Bag July 2015   Grab Bag July 2015 EmptyMon Jul 06, 2015 7:52 pm

Great job on the poem-pictures, Embala, as always you have a way with imagery and interpretation, blending so much into a square on the screen!
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Tymber

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PostSubject: Re: Grab Bag July 2015   Grab Bag July 2015 EmptyTue Jul 07, 2015 2:12 am

@TrollHammer wrote:

Good to see the flip side of the conflict from their perspective, this adds more depth to it.

Thank ye, sir.

@TrollHammer wrote:

Something hit me as a little off, though, and I was trying to figure out what it was.  It seems obvious that the classic shaman/leader duo are setting themselves up for failure, but to what degree and in what form?

Call Me Captain Cliche'.

@TrollHammer wrote:

In a way, they are too sure of themselves in that Buren will fail to keep the child alive, but not for the right reasons.  Balgar's faith in the shaman in front of the others, and hence, their god, is now on thin ice, as the pair is putting the outcome squarely on Buren, not their god.  If Buren fails, it's his fault for not living up to the expectation he gave himself, not because their god was powerful enough to be worth following, and if he succeeds, it is because he is, indeed, wiser than the Shaman and stronger than his father...  but I guess if they had put the situation on their god, then it's Buren vs their god instead of Buren vs Dad/Shaman.

Very good point. I suppose when I wrote it, it was with the idea that their god allowed the "demon" to live to test Buren, to see if he's worthy of being a part of the North Men, or if he is truly too weak (and by weak, I mean compassionate). Perhaps it's entirely possible I did not convey the point well enough. (And with my writing, that's entirely possible, since I tend to write whatever comes to mind without doing edits, when I do these grab bags, because I use them as "mental sprint test runs" - just write what comes to mind without thinking or planning anything - so in my head, I may have had a cleaner vision of how it should have all been said, but as it poured out of my mind, to finger tips, translation was lost!)

@TrollHammer wrote:

But another thing sticks out to me. Their point is to make him learn...?  If it's to learn to follow father without question, break his spirit, etc, then they better have another successor figured out, as these are the characteristics they need to be supporting to make him a great leader in the future.  The situation ends up with these outcomes as I see it:
-The baby starves or otherwise dies, and he has a guilt trip.
-Buren kills the baby, and becomes a ruthless killer as it seems his father and the Shaman want him to be.
-Buren kills the baby, and is devastated, the effects of which will dominate his whole life.
-Buren saves the baby, and is not allowed to rejoin the tribe, and so he fails in whatever aspirations he strived to be proud of.
-Buren saves the baby, and somehow gets it to the other tribe, which then allows him to rejoin his tribe through deception... and completely destroying whatever intent his father/shaman were trying to do.

It's a hairy mess that could result in some interesting and widespread outcomes for years to come, but not a single end will result in anything Balgar will want as a result.  It'll be interesting to see what happens next!

Indeed. I wish I even could say I know what happens next. But I do not plan each segment (as it can be easily seen, as some segments, best as I try to make them smooth, are disjointed and difficult to flow into the next). I wait until all the elements are there, and I have 30 minutes to write, and tell my mind, "Go!" and see where it goes.

Thank you, as always, very much for the time, and the comments, and giving it an in-depth look! I will have your segment read before this week is through.

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TrollHammer

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PostSubject: Re: Grab Bag July 2015   Grab Bag July 2015 EmptyTue Jul 07, 2015 2:28 am

I wasnt meaning anything bad by it, just letting my thought process come out on the keyboard, I do the same thing when I write, only making minor edits if something doesnt gel when I get to the end of the segment (like if a grab bag element gets missed by the end and needs a home). Anyway, I liked it, full of good, non-typical plot twists.
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Tymber

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PostSubject: Re: Grab Bag July 2015   Grab Bag July 2015 EmptyTue Jul 07, 2015 3:42 am

@TrollHammer wrote:
I wasnt meaning anything bad by it, just letting my thought process come out on the keyboard, I do the same thing when I write, only making minor edits if something doesnt gel when I get to the end of the segment (like if a grab bag element gets missed by the end and needs a home). Anyway, I liked it, full of good, non-typical plot twists.

Laughing Rest assured, I love when something I write is picked apart. When I do these little writing exercises, it's me just spilling contents out of my brain. But frequently, when I sit down and do serious writing, it's very much the same idea (though with no time limit). So knowing where I am weak is the only way I will know where to focus and become stronger. So I took absolutely NO offense to ANYTHING you said! The fact that you didn't say, "Great story!" and left it at that - but took portions that STUCK out as not seemingly to flow or be complete; makes me look at those and know where I need to strengthen myself. So please, NEVER be fearful when it comes to my own writing of ripping it apart and virtually scribbling "red ink" all over it.

Because it's true; how often do you see the leader and shaman duo? All the time. Even in ElfQuest we saw it. And I can't count how many similarities Shadow has to Cutter.

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PostSubject: Re: Grab Bag July 2015   Grab Bag July 2015 EmptyTue Jul 07, 2015 12:58 pm

Sorry to sidetrack here, but there has bee something on my mind as far as 'shaman' in general are concerned. I probably should open a thread for it, but it doesnt seem that important.

I understand the whole point authors make of trying to highlight the hypocacy and other issues surrounding some 'religious' leaders and mentors, and in Elf Quest this precipitated out into the tribal 'shaman'. While it is true that a character who has an effect contradictory to what they represent sticks out to a reader, in some ways its been overdone in EQ. While there have been the rare few Elder characters that were 'good', why would nearly every shaman the elves come across be evil, and not just that, but every tribe (up until shards where the line was blurred) had to have a religious leader leading the fight against the "demons"? Sure, its a major plot line, but to me its a point too well worn, like these authors had a grudge (at least in the early days). It hasnt been until the current story line (FQ, and shards too, I guess) that we have a leader that doesnt represent a religion lead the charge against them, and this is still rooted in religious tradition as a major leverage. Why should the human's prejudice against the Elves require religion? Why couldnt they have landed on a continent and the humans just say "those guys are wierd, I dont like them cause they're wierd, lets kill em cause they're not like us!"

Just seems like the authors had a soapbox that limited their vision. Prejudice and racism takes a lot of different forms, and while some forms of religion are still used to this day to perpetuate it, there are far more subtle ways that people are slighted due to age, race, social status, gender, and other things that could have been visited. No one can do everything, though.
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Redhead Ember

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PostSubject: Re: Grab Bag July 2015   Grab Bag July 2015 EmptyTue Jul 07, 2015 1:30 pm

@TrollHammer wrote:
@Redhead Ember wrote:
The Slave's Tale

Your independence is lost.
This should have been your coming of age.
These long years spent in this darkened cave.
Where hope too soon was gone.
Your body bruised and battered, slowly worn away.
Compassion came too late.

The first part made me think of Cutter when he was enslaved to Greymung, while the other half made me think of 'bag-o-bones'... but in a way, even the last part can be about Cutter with the spear-chip, age, and mental anguish wearing away at him while he waited for the Palace to return.... which was also in a cave (with picknose nearby... hmm... Smile ).

Your poems have quite a bit of depth that allows others to read what they want to into them. I like this!

It's about Mekda. Was swinging back and forth between writing about her and Ekuar, with the compassion - from Rayek - of course coming in time.
Never thought about the story about Cutter being enslaved by Greymung. It was too brief a period, and honestly I'm not even sure it's canon.

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Tymber

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PostSubject: Re: Grab Bag July 2015   Grab Bag July 2015 EmptyTue Jul 07, 2015 2:59 pm

@TrollHammer wrote:

Sorry to sidetrack here, but there has bee something on my mind as far as 'shaman' in general are concerned. I probably should open a thread for it, but it doesnt seem that important.

I love it because it's open discussion! Smile

@TrollHammer wrote:

I understand the whole point authors make of trying to highlight the hypocacy and other issues surrounding some 'religious' leaders and mentors, and in Elf Quest this precipitated out into the tribal 'shaman'. While it is true that a character who has an effect contradictory to what they represent sticks out to a reader, in some ways its been overdone in EQ. While there have been the rare few Elder characters that were 'good', why would nearly every shaman the elves come across be evil, and not just that, but every tribe (up until shards where the line was blurred) had to have a religious leader leading the fight against the "demons"? Sure, its a major plot line, but to me its a point too well worn, like these authors had a grudge (at least in the early days).  It hasnt been until the current story line (FQ, and shards too, I guess) that we have a leader that doesnt represent a religion lead the charge against them, and this is still rooted in religious tradition as a major leverage.  Why should the human's prejudice against the Elves require religion? Why couldnt they have landed on a continent and the humans just say "those guys are wierd, I dont like them cause they're wierd, lets kill em cause they're not like us!"

Just seems like the authors had a soapbox that limited their vision. Prejudice and racism takes a lot of different forms, and while some forms of religion are still used to this day to perpetuate it, there are far more subtle ways that people are slighted due to age, race, social status, gender, and other things that could have been visited.  No one can do everything, though.

So for:
@TrollHammer wrote:

Why should the human's prejudice against the Elves require religion?

For me, in this story - it's because the Frost Men are representation of something similar to Norse Men, which were religious (and violent). But I think in general, it's a writer's way to deal with any religious group - because, no matter the religion - it seems there's always fanatics. But even just "normal" religious people can focus so much on "if my religion says this is wrong, it is wrong." So you have a large group (as an example) of Christians who say that something isn't "right" because the Bible says so. (I won't even begin to get into the fanatics such as the Westboro Baptist Church). So being able to have this "ambiguous" Shaman and these people who follow the words of this shaman so blindly is sometimes a way of conveying another message. Not just a story. But also a subtle (or not so subtle) statement about "organized religion." And sometimes, it is just a story element.

But in truth, if we break it down - every ElfQuest fanfiction is very cliche from anything ElfQuest has already done. Because (while I love the world of ElfQuest), it is very small and limited as to what can be done. How many times have we read in ElfQuest where - for whatever reason - whether it's because of a shaman or some leader - that humans have hated Elves? Whether it was the humans at the beginning of the original quest, or the humans later with the ugly shaman woman and Thief who encounter Cutter and Skywise, to even the more current Final Quest, with the humans Ember and her tribe are fighting, and on and on - the except is the occasional human that DOES NOT hate the Elves for what they are. There is, if you look, not really a lot of diversity in ElfQuest stories.

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TrollHammer

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PostSubject: Re: Grab Bag July 2015   Grab Bag July 2015 EmptyTue Jul 07, 2015 5:43 pm

Yeah, I wasn't meaning your story specifically, but the main EQ plot-line, where it's almost like "The humans would be OK with the Elves if it wasn't for their deities they made up..." which, if they are indeed made up, means the humans desire to get rid of the Elves anyway, but feel better if they have an excuse. There is the twist that perhaps these 'deities' are not 100% made up: something had to mess with the Elves' magic when they arrived! (perhaps not necessarily a true 'god' or anything, but a force that is felt and interpreted by the Humans as such. My head goes 14 different directions with where that could go!) No big deal, though, was just rambling.

Anyway, as per request by Embala, here is a rough character profile sheet for the Grubfinder/Suncoil stories:

Grubfinder- Pretty average male Troll. No beard beyond a few scraggly hairs, bald head with no unusual features, average height and build. Has little more to his name than his name, a customary draping loincloth, and a ratty vest of a course tan fabric. He is used to pulling carts underground and doing slow, steady work. He can be unusually quick on his feet for very short periods of time and gets winded easily if he has to move quickly (dodging a falling rock or cave-in is well within his ability, but he can't maintain an all out sprint for even as long as a minute.)
Relatively 'dumped on' his whole life, he has not had much in the way of luxury. As such, he has not had lanterns, torches, glowstones, or any other light source to light his path, and his eyes are corrispondingly sensitive to light. His name comes from the first assigned job he showed adeptness at: finding grubs and other edible crawling creatures. This is due to his hearing and sense of touch being very sensitive to vibration. As such, as well as spending so much time in the tunnels alone has caused him to become easily irritated by unnecessary noise. Most Trolls end up with similar discomforts when the come to the surface, but these were initially extreme for Grubfinder.

Dross- female, as tall as an average Troll male (slightly taller than average females in this kingdom), wears a woven shirt and a leather apron. Her skin is speckled with various sized and colored spots, and has a larger-than-average nose.
Obscure history, last known job before being sent up was to haul tailings from precious metal refining. She is suspected of collecting these tailings and manipulating them to appear as precious metal ore. Supposedly she gave the tailings to a love interest to bring in from the mines to increase their loads (and therefore pay), but this is an unconfirmed rumor.

Slack- average height and thin for a male Troll. Maintains the heavy leather forge-slippers and vest he wore as a forge assistant.
Named after the quenching tank used at the forge (AKA a 'slack tank', presumably derived from 'slaking' the heat from the metal with water). Originally a stone-cutter, he was able to work his way as a forge assistant and gained his new name. He wasn't cut out for this work, however, and the King assigned him to work on the surface.

No-Name- Short, stocky male Troll with a radial pattern of 'V's branded into his forehead. He has regained a hammer and a shard of sharp rock he uses as a knife.
Branded a 'Traitor to the King' for returning to the tunnels without permission. He is never allowed to go back, and his branding allows any Troll to kill him on the spot without reprecussion if he does so. Above ground, it means little. He has done nothing more wrong than abandoned the post his King assigned him, and the others mildly respect him for having the courage to attempt returning home.
He is considered the master Stonecutter for the worksite. While he was known for slacking off and not getting things done on a timely basis, he is considered a moderately hard worker on the surface.

Braids: Elfin Female. Older, with blond hair. Wears two leadership braids over her left ear, otherwise has fairly short hair. Carries her weapons and tools in a pouch on a strange sort of straplike garment, that crosses from her shoulder to her hip with a second strap that connects to the middle from her other shoulder. A lightweight, almost gassimer cloth is attached to the straps to protect from bugs and sunlight. Her pants are simple, featureless leather down to her knees, designed to hold up while climbing around on the stoneworks.
'Braids' is the name the Trolls have made for her, and even refer to her as such in front of her. Her name is nearly unpronouceable to the Trolls, and is described as being 'a name that sounded like a flock of birds chittering about the weather, bothersome to even try to pronounce". Long ago, she witnessed her mentor being eaten by the Suncoil during her First Watch on the wall.

Braids's Mentor: Male, former leader of these Elves. Devised a trap for the Suncoil during the early stages of building the wall and used himself as bait for the trap. The trap failed and he was killed by the Suncoil. His leadership position was passed to Braids.

Suncoil: Magical creature born of the desert. While it feeds off of creatures to grow in size, it derives most of its energy from sunlight (it's speed and strength are directly proportional to the amount of light shining on it). It has 8 powerful legs, a massive triangular head with two foot long fangs protruding from a mouth of shark-like teeth. Moves FAST, and it is unknown how fast it can actually move. It appears to hunt for the thrill of killing other creatures, and the more they run and struggle, the more excited and animated it seems to get. It is suspected that it avoids shadows as it would be too weak to move or escape from the shadow. Visually reported to disappear or otherwise become hard to see when sunlight is not shining on it. It is unknown what happens to the Suncoil at night or when there are clouds overhead. It cannot climb far: it can only move over an obsticle that its short legs can push it over.

'kind elf': Female elf healer that Grubfinder still has not taken the time to learn the name of. Her main job is to help acclimatize the Trolls that are sent up to help with the wall. She wears fairly plain clothing when she is outside, a brown leather outfit with a cut similar to Nightfall's.
She is a typical healer, wishing to soothe any discomfort regardless of the species. Initially very welcoming, she seems to have grown a little cold as she has realized Grubfinder doesn't feel that Elves are worth his time to connect with. We haven't heard her name yet, as Grubfinder found it too difficult to remember.

At this time it is unknown how many Elves and Trolls are working on the wall, and if there are any humans nearby. It is also unknown if the Elves are mixed-blooded or are a splinter from any other group. All that is suspected is that they were chased from the desert by the Suncoil, settled 'here' and are aided by the Trolls to entrap the Suncoil. We also don't know why the Trolls are helping the Elves yet.
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Tymber

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PostSubject: Re: Grab Bag July 2015   Grab Bag July 2015 EmptyTue Jul 07, 2015 7:07 pm

@TrollHammer wrote:
Yeah, I wasn't meaning your story specifically, but the main EQ plot-line, where it's almost like "The humans would be OK with the Elves if it wasn't for their deities they made up..." which, if they are indeed made up, means the humans desire to get rid of the Elves anyway, but feel better if they have an excuse.  There is the twist that perhaps these 'deities' are not 100% made up: something had to mess with the Elves' magic when they arrived! (perhaps not necessarily a true 'god' or anything, but a force that is felt and interpreted by the Humans as such. My head goes 14 different directions with where that could go!) No big deal, though, was just rambling.

I dig your rambling. Smile I took no personal attack on the comment! Was just enjoying the conversation and explaining the story from my POV.

But yes, without getting into a huge religious debate; Man (whether on the ElfQuest world or real world) has long had "gods" that they worshipped; whether Norse, Greek, Native America, Christian, Muslim, and almost all of them teach some form of "intolerance." (Because every religion is "my way or the high way"). So it's not at all surprising that in a fantasy, primative world, you'd find religious zealots and those that follow. As a long time player of D&D, religion is a major factor of every game, or else Clerics and Druids become pretty pointless. Smile

As for Magic; I always felt that Magic was harvested the same way solar power is, for example. And that the World of Two Moons simply has very little magic, so it can't be "harvested."


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