Ulthuan

Ulthuan, Home of the Asur
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 11:54 pm 
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Francis wrote:
What an excellent first post, very well done.

The part about cultural stagnation in particular is very interesting and ties in with some theories in political science and history about why empires decline.

On the military part I would actually say that the High Elves are stronger at this point than they have ever been since the time of Tethlis, and the rise of Lothern has really focused the military and the navy in particular. With the Ascent of Aislinn to Sealord I would also claim that the geopolitical reach of the high elves is longer than it has ever been since the end of the War of the Beard.

As for magical power, the skill of Teclis at this time is so great that Caledor the Dragon Tamer claims that Teclis is almost as strong as he was at his peak (King, 2013). Caledor also notes that his peak was during a period where magic was flowing freely into the world, and the fact that Teclis is much younger than Caledor was when he created the vortex. One should also remember that the White Tower was built after the Dragons went to sleep and if anything the magical knowledge of the elves will be greater than it was during the War of the Beard due to the construction of the Tower. The way I see it, the fact that the dragons went to sleep was a blessing, as it took some of the load from Caledor (the kingdom) and forced the Elves into develop their armed forces into a more effective force. It took away a crutch so to speak and allowed the Helfs to develop proper legs (the Navy, Citizen soldiers, an organized force of mages and the professional troops represented by the Swordmasters and the Seaguard).


Perhaps in individual skill and numbers under arms, but if the total number of Asur is declining, their potential military power is less, right? Failing that, even if their military power is at its highest point in history... so is that of Great Britain, right now. Even if they -are- mightier than ever before, my sense of the world is that the forces of destruction are also waxing.

As regards magical power... if Teclis is greater in skill, or at least potentially so, than Caledor... that is all for the good. If the level of magical education is higher than ever before, again, all for the good... but if there are less mages overall, greater individual power would be offset by that numerical disadvantage.

"Quantity has a Quality all its Own" - Joseph Stalin


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 11:57 pm 
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Domine Nox wrote:
Very nice post Alkar. In depth and thought out. Kudos.

Alkar wrote:
Assuming that the High Elves are in an ongoing demographic decline, and that they are in that state despite the fact that two biologically 'identical' (at least initially) elven subraces are apparently NOT in demographic decline... the question becomes 'why'?


The best guess for this 'why?' would be the nature of the people. To be rather cut and dry the Druchii and Asrai are a much more... 'free' people. Not in the sense of liberty persay, but there is more a sense of procreation and lude activities being accepted and the norm which would create an environment with a greater potential for expanding population. Like America after WWII, the baby boomers weren't because we had so many people, it was cause people prioritized certain activities as of greater import. The Asur are a much more 'proper' and formal society and so present less opportunity for the extension and continuing of the blood lines. I mean we see Asur who have only a couple children over their life span of thousands of years. While it would not be any stretch of the imagination that a Druchii has numerous offspring (many of which may be illegitimate). Asrai would not be as base as teh Druchii, but with their focus on the natural world and obvious parallels to druidism it is highly likely they have a reverence and emphasis on procreation and fertility.


Agreed, so far as it goes. But what changed? Has Asur birthrate dropped (as they MUST Have been above replacement at SOME point in the past, or their numbers would never have climbed or cities been built in the first place) or has the deathrate climbed without a corresponding increase in birthrate? (Asur population peaked before all the wars started, and recovered in whole or in part during the 'Second Golden Age'?)

And I have to wonder, still, if something else is going on. If the great lament of the Asur is that they are passing into twilight, and that they will not be able to protect the world indefinitely... if all will fall into Chaos and all will be lost... and the answer is 'have more sex'... It would seem that the Everqueen, representative of the Goddess of Fertility, could kinda wave her hand and offer 'Go Forth, Be Fruitful, and Multiply'.. and it would be so. Problem solved.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 12:17 pm 
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I'm pretty sure it's been spelled out that the Asur decline is primarily demographic - they don't have the people they once had, and death rate > birth rate. The Asur realised this during Aethis' reign - a time of peace, so while war casaulties certainly don't help, they're not the cause

Why is the question, as they must have had the reverse at some time. The Great Vortex is an easy answer - something related to the Vortex is hampering their fertility.

The other side of things, though, is to note that the Old Ones intended the elves to be whole, but instead we have multiple sides, two of which have pretty much defined themselves in opposition to one another. The High Elves are the branch with the strongest sense of responsibility and duty... But the Old Ones likely installed instincts that lead to the splitting off of the Dark Elves for a reason. What if, somewhere in the mindset now associated with the Druchii, are the traits needed for elves to successfully procreate, which the Asur are now inadvertently suppressing in their desire to discipline their Druchii-like urges and further distance themselves from their bad seeds?

While I haven't read the trilogy, it does strike me that the Sundering was in fact largely caused by family love - Morathi refused to accept Malekith's dismissal of the throne when Malekith seemed accepting of it, and then Malekith snapped when faced with a choice between loyalty to his nation or his mother. Love has sometimes been described as a selfish emotion - it puts the needs of those close to you above those of the greater world, and Slaanesh himself is sometimes described as the twisted, extreme personification of love. What if, in seeking to banish their selfish emotions to avoid becoming Druchii, the Asur have reduced their capability to feel love, lust, and similar emotions - obviously not eliminating it entirely, but enough to reduce their drive to form couples and families?

While, meanwhile, the Druchii plot and scheme to secure the best results for their own houses, barely kept in line by Malekith's laws as they put their own benefit and that of their kin above that of their race or nation. Both sides of the Elven spirit are needed to be a successful race, but by driving the divide so deep, both sides have lost something they need to maintain a successful society. The Asur have all but eliminated the selfish drives that lead to procreation and the raising of the next generation, while the Druchii will likely tear themselves apart as soon as the forces that keep them in some semblance of unification are gone.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 3:51 pm 
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Nice post draxynnic


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 7:46 pm 
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So the Asrai are the only elves that may be capable of springing back if they decided to leave that forest of theirs?

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 10:05 pm 
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Or maybe if the HE got a bit more hedonistic and lustful they might have more kids. But is that behavior too close to a Druchii?


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 10:12 pm 
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John Rainbow wrote:
Or maybe if the HE got a bit more hedonistic and lustful they might have more kids. But is that behavior too close to a Druchii?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 3:30 am 
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The best Futurama character by far.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 4:11 am 
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John Rainbow wrote:
The best Futurama character by far.

That's a big call to make!!

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 2:08 pm 
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Giladis wrote:
So the Asrai are the only elves that may be capable of springing back if they decided to leave that forest of theirs?

Possibly, although I have a feeling that they themselves are damaged in their own way. An equitable Asur-Asrai rapprochement is probably the best hope, but there's a lot of pride on both sides.

But who knows - with the way Finubar's daughter has been bouncing back and forth between kidnapped and rescued, maybe it'll be the Asrai that get her in the end and two favoured of Isha can work something out...


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 3:20 pm 
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NexS wrote:
John Rainbow wrote:
The best Futurama character by far.

That's a big call to make!!

I stand by it.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 9:53 pm 
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Well a couple factors that have been touched on already but I will indulge myself anyway

#1 after the dark elf civil war and the outlaw of "cult of pleasure" I believe sexual activities even those between married couples "if too lude or made too public" could become under suspicion or brought up by rivals. Thus in order to adhere to Ashurain standards of "high elfdom"
A major decrease in mating must have taken place. Couples with many offspring could be seen as sexual deviants.

# 2. War has decimated a once populous race, all the dark elves that left, and those that perished in the wars. The chaos invasions and the sinking homelands that killed whole cities.... I don't know when elves become able to reproduce but the armies and militia are filled with rather young elves that may die before courting and marrying (having not yet gained wealth and status)

#3. As said above. Life span due to war May have become shorter. And thus not achieving great wealth and status, which is the tools used to court elven Maidens. Also the period of with out trading and exploration resulted in a less than flourishing economy thus less wealth and status. And with out the exploration and colonies there is less -> (ie expansion)


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PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2014 9:10 pm 
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Now that it has been established that the dark elves are also in decline (Ward, 2014:7), what are people's thoughts on this? I also have to mention that none of the BL novels I have read claim that the high elves are in any way less sexually active than humans (as some seem to think), in fact a few suggest the opposite (most notably Giant Slayer, Defenders of Ulthuan and Blood of Aenarion).


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PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2014 6:27 am 
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Well, that might quash the 'there's something about the Asur and Ulthuan' theory, but it also might not. Consider that the Dark Elves have an annual event where Witch Elves run rampant murdering anyone they catch, significant portions of their female population being, if not exactly celibate per se, certainly not exactly likely to mother many children either, and that's on top of their general chronic backstabbing disorder and a society that's basically based on warfare - it would be surprising if they were stable. If there isn't anything special about the Asur that means they're declining in particular, one would expect the Dark Elves to be declining faster if anything.

Given the paragraphs in the Elven books about the effects of Chaos on the elves, that might be a large part of it. The Dark Elves believe the world is their playground, so don't care (and possibly haven't even noticed) that their numbers are falling. The High Elves believe that they and only they are capable of defending the world, and so are getting involved in conflicts and losing soldiers in battles that they could have left to allies, and thus are losing citizen-soldiers at a rate they can't afford. They're aware of this, but still can't resist the compulsion to involve themselves against any threat to the world's defenses against Chaos they learn about - they've lost the ability to identify when a particular crisis isn't worth spending Elven lives in, and could perhaps be better resolved by tipping off allies to the threat. The Wood Elves are in turn twisted into isolation and self-concern, so they may be the one subrace that is able to grow (or at least remain steady) because that is in fact their main concern.


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