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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 12:32 pm 
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1) Possibility: Convoluted courtships.
Hmmm, if elves are as intellegent as GW makes them out to be, and are constantly trying to sort out the worlds problems as long as they benefit themselves, I think the sex drive/courtship/celebacy issues are moot. If high elves realised they were in a state of decline that was threatening the survival of their species, I'm sure the ruling class (Lords, Princes etc.) would issue some sort of directive for everyone to, eh, get busy, for want of a better euphimism. Obviously not hard and fast rules, but a general sort of "C'mon guys, we need some elflings, stat!" sort of thing. While this strays from some of the more romantic notions being discussed, I think it's safe to say that sex drive and courtship length can't logically be the reason.

2) Possibility: Biological make up.
Maybe Elves have a less active reproductive cycly/system, as discussed by a number of people. A longer pregnancy is certainly a possiblity, although longer pregnancies should result in more developed babies. Is there any evidence that elven young begin more advanced than human? I don't know, but if there is, this is a logical explanation.
Maybe the female elf body is less well designed for childbirth than humans. The traditional description of pale, whisps of girls doesn't inspire confidence in birthing situation. If childbirth is dangerous for the mother, it's going to happen less likely, because women ain't stupid, what's the ppoint of losing one woman for one child?

3)Possibility: There's still lots of elves.
Some posters have alluded to the fact that while elves are diminishing compared to pre-human times, they're not exactly on the verge of extinction. This would bring the courtship etc. point back into play, that elves just don't really want kids. However, fluff stories etc. by GW employees often mention an elven life being worth much more to elves than a human llife to humans. There's an implication that with each elven death, other elves see the doom of their race coming closer.
From the size of ulthuan, it looks like the elves still have a fair bit of land for themselves, on maps it looks close in size to the human Empire. However, it has two large mountain ranges and a lot of forest, which is not hospitable. Elves also have more space per person, as alluded to in the "poor elves" post, as quality of life is better, people are richer, houses are bigger. So it's unlikely there's any over crowding oor slums. So the population on the mainly pastoral island is not going to in any way rival the empire's. There are outposts all over the world, but none are large. I think that it's safe to say that a relatively small population of elves still lives, and as such, the population decline is probably important to elves, which brings me back to point 1).

4) Possibility: War
Neverending war with a citizen militia. Ah, seems pretty dangerous doesn't it? With all your dedicated farmers, craftsmen, workers (ie. family men and women in the empire!) spending time in the militia, life as an elf can be hazardous. They are lightly armoured and armed (in comparison to elite troops) and therefore are easy targets for death. While scale of battle isn't often discussed in GW literature, it seems to be pretty large, like in the 1000s on each side. Even a solid victory would result in a high casualty toll. If there is never any real peace from these battles (from skirmishes up to world changing conflicts), there is going to be a high attrition rate. I'm not going to mention the Druchii slave trade as no matter how bad it gets it will never equal war casualties, but it is a factor.

So, 4 main possibilites, but what answer? Obviously, all have some bearing on the story, but I think that it's probably a mixture of 2 and 4, as I can't believe that the elven nations don't notice this decline and want to do something about it, and I believe that in the past 1000ish years the elven population has become dangerously low. While elves are often described as vain and arrogant and caught up in tradition, they are seldom described as stupid. As such I think a mix of people of childbearing age dying constantly, and difficulty in the physical ability of elves to reproduce quickly are affecting the elven population adversely, and the only real cure is a good old-fashioned bout of peacetime!

Wow, for a first post on a forum that was insanely long! Apologies!!!

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 12:57 pm 
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Wow, for a first post on a forum that was insanely long! Apologies!!!

You don't need to apologise when they're well-thought out like yours was. And welcome. :)

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2006 11:15 am 
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Eh, thanks. It makes my long-winded pompous rant seem worthwhile now :lol:

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 9:03 am 
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I don't think that the female elf body is less well designed for childbirth than humans as if you read some dark elf novels they seem to breed like rabbits (i mean they kill and backstab each other all the time, but they have HUGE families) so i think it's more like high elf psychology than inability to give birth

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 7:01 pm 
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This thread highlights the main problem:

Kiyo wrote:
The hands.
They are huge. Seriously, they're goddamn enormous.

Fact: If your hands are bigger than your face you have cancer. The reason for the low numbers of Elves - all of our Spearelves have cancer.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2007 1:27 am 
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Paraicj wrote:
1) Possibility: Convoluted courtships.
Hmmm, if elves are as intellegent as GW makes them out to be, and are constantly trying to sort out the worlds problems as long as they benefit themselves, I think the sex drive/courtship/celebacy issues are moot. If high elves realised they were in a state of decline that was threatening the survival of their species, I'm sure the ruling class (Lords, Princes etc.) would issue some sort of directive for everyone to, eh, get busy, for want of a better euphimism. Obviously not hard and fast rules, but a general sort of "C'mon guys, we need some elflings, stat!" sort of thing. While this strays from some of the more romantic notions being discussed, I think it's safe to say that sex drive and courtship length can't logically be the reason.


That, while realistic and pragmatic, has one failing as a theory as I see it, mainly that of the high elven pride, the high elves for all theirs strengths are not pragmatic, and the reason for them not making a suggestion such as the above, could for that reason easedly be their pride in their "superior ways", even if that pride is about to lead them to extinction i'm sure that they'll blame it on something else.
Perhaps they do not even realise that their convoluted courtships is a factor, or if they do, they may not be willing to believe it due to their pride in their heritage and culture.

If we compare the culture to the other elven nations, I believe that this could be deducted as one of the very possible causes of the decline in population in ulthuan.

Paraicj wrote:
2) Possibility: Biological make up.
Maybe Elves have a less active reproductive cycly/system, as discussed by a number of people. A longer pregnancy is certainly a possiblity, although longer pregnancies should result in more developed babies. Is there any evidence that elven young begin more advanced than human? I don't know, but if there is, this is a logical explanation.
Maybe the female elf body is less well designed for childbirth than humans. The traditional description of pale, whisps of girls doesn't inspire confidence in birthing situation. If childbirth is dangerous for the mother, it's going to happen less likely, because women ain't stupid, what's the ppoint of losing one woman for one child?


An interesting one, that would tie in with the high attridition rate of the high elves due to the ages, however, it cannot be all there is to it, after all, if it was then the dark elves would by the same logic, being a part of the same species, be extinct.

Paraicj wrote:
4) Possibility: War
Neverending war with a citizen militia. Ah, seems pretty dangerous doesn't it? With all your dedicated farmers, craftsmen, workers (ie. family men and women in the empire!) spending time in the militia, life as an elf can be hazardous. They are lightly armoured and armed (in comparison to elite troops) and therefore are easy targets for death. While scale of battle isn't often discussed in GW literature, it seems to be pretty large, like in the 1000s on each side. Even a solid victory would result in a high casualty toll. If there is never any real peace from these battles (from skirmishes up to world changing conflicts), there is going to be a high attrition rate. I'm not going to mention the Druchii slave trade as no matter how bad it gets it will never equal war casualties, but it is a factor.


War is definitly a factor, but again, it cannot be the entire factor, the other elven nations have a rather high rate of conflict as well, especially the dark elves who have an even more violent culture, and since the dark elves haven't died out, we must assume that the dark elves have a higher (or equeal) birth rate than their death rate.

Paraicj wrote:
So, 4 main possibilites, but what answer? Obviously, all have some bearing on the story, but I think that it's probably a mixture of 2 and 4, as I can't believe that the elven nations don't notice this decline and want to do something about it, and I believe that in the past 1000ish years the elven population has become dangerously low. While elves are often described as vain and arrogant and caught up in tradition, they are seldom described as stupid. As such I think a mix of people of childbearing age dying constantly, and difficulty in the physical ability of elves to reproduce quickly are affecting the elven population adversely, and the only real cure is a good old-fashioned bout of peacetime!


In case of elves I believe it would be best that we put the notion of stupidity behind us, yes it would be "stupid" from a puredly pragmatic point of view, but let us not forget the *huge* value of culture, even in the real world people has been known to value culture above life, the classic world for example had several examples of roman generals being elected due to their status and family name rather than ability (sounds familiar? *cough*Battle of Yvresse*cough*), or the battle of Agincourt where pride and prestige took precedence over sense, or the ending days of the Nazi regime where it was better to die "in glory" than to submit to a world without hitler, or the tzars of russia not seeing the revolt brewing continuing as if nothing happened, or the suicide attacks at gun lines "in glory" that happened through first world war.

Those able to see the population problem, would also only be those who had the large overview of the population, those are also the ones most likedly to be the icons of elven pride and culture, and those are the persons most likedly to be blinded by their culture, in other words, its not stupidity, its culture preventing you from even seeing the obvious solution, making you look at other causes instead.

Paraicj wrote:
Wow, for a first post on a forum that was insanely long! Apologies!!!
[/quote]

Better a long well argued post like yours, than a short one of the nature of "u r dumb, cuz the asur r into hawtness, and dey sexxor too much to have babies!" (and yes, some people actually argue like that).

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To those of you disliking Giantslayer by William King, please check your white dwarf introducing the new high elves, and look wich authors name who they specifically mentioned being an inspiration ;)


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2007 10:56 am 
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Divine Fferffee wrote:
Also the High Elves are, in my opinion, often gay homosexuals.


Actually, homosexuality is a human concept, not an elven one - elves will happily go with either sex as and when they choose without even thinking about it - the idea of homosexuality vs heterosexuality tends to be not only a human thing but a predominantly western one - in many other parts of the world, bisexuality is fairly normal - or at least it was until the colonial days where european conquerers began imposing their ideals on the rest of the world.

Just because some guy wears a white dress, has long blonde hair and prances around with bunches of flowers doesn't make him gay.

(no, honestly it doesn't ;)

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2007 2:55 pm 
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darkprincess wrote:
Actually, homosexuality is a human concept, not an elven one - elves will happily go with either sex as and when they choose without even thinking about it


While elves are of course not human, I'd doubt that you have a reference for elves having no sexual stigmas of that nature. GW doesn't seem to talk about it very much. :wink:

Why is it that you don't think elves would have such ideas? The High Elves have always struck me as a rather conservative, ritualised society with strong notions of family values. I don't think they'd be into homosexuality that much. Leaving aside any potential stigma they may have against it, it would be adulterous. As far as we know elven marriages are heterosexual - for we know of many heterosexually married elves but no homosexually married ones - which makes sense when you think about it. Pre-industrial societies tend to naturally select in favour of heterosexuality, because heterosexuals have children and homosexuals do not. If the elves are naturally monogamous, as I would suggest they are, it's simple enough to suggest most are heterosexually married. In that situation, a homosexual relationship is adulterous and therefore bad.

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the idea of homosexuality vs heterosexuality tends to be not only a human thing but a predominantly western one - in many other parts of the world, bisexuality is fairly normal - or at least it was until the colonial days where european conquerers began imposing their ideals on the rest of the world.


Actually, one will note that even in non-European cultures heterosexual marriage was generally considered more virtuous. It's the above thing about natural selection. Early societies tend to say heterosexual relationships are more important because those are what make the babies, and societies that reproduce more quickly tend to do better than those that don't.

The same with homosexual conventions in global cultures. All the Abrahamic religions did was carry the concept to the extreme. Societies that did consider homosexuality normal usually considered it an optional extra to a normal, heterosexual relationship, so to speak, not a valid alternate lifestyle choice in itself. Classical Greece and Rome, for instance. Sexual relationships between older men and young boys is fine and normal, with the implicit assumption that the older man also has a wife. Female homosexuality, interestingly enough, is something that just didn't occur to them, as far as we can tell. Two adult men in a homosexual relationship? Wrong. It has to be an older man and young boy, and it happens in addition to heterosexual relations, not as a substitute. Shudo? Similar conventions.

You will also notice that non-Western cultures do have native stigmas against homosexuality. For example, traditional Thai Buddhist teachings hold that homosexuality is a genetic inclination that a person is cursed with, so to speak, due to bad deeds in a past life. Homosexuality is karmic punishment, because homosexual relations are sexual misconduct and if a person behaves badly, in their next incarnation they may unfortunately have the urge to commit acts of such sexual misconduct in their next life which they will have to overcome in order to move on. In traditional Chinese religion and philosophy homosexuality is a sin, and homosexuals are punished in one of the levels of Di Yu, their hell.

So I'm afraid you're talking nonsense. Ideas that homosexuality is bad are not exclusively Western, and indeed many other cultures around the globe developed similar ideas in complete isolation from the Western tradition, and even those cultures that did accept it typically did not consider it a valid replacement for a normal heterosexual relationship.


Disclaimer: please don't call me homophobic. I am pointing out and correcting a historical inaccuracy, nothing more, and I have not mentioned my own personal beliefs regarding homosexuality at all. Let's not get politically correct about this, okay?


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2007 3:45 pm 
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If the elves are naturally monogamous, as I would suggest they are

Despite Giantslayer being more than a little bit "bleh", on page 18 it mentions that Tyrion hasn't been unfaithful to his consort (Alarielle), and also notes that he is different to most other elven males in this regard. Teclis, too, has the "services", so to speak, of two female elves.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2007 11:39 am 
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Ah, interesting. Admittedly I have only read the first three Gotrek and Felix novels, and frankly, I read them for the skaven bits. Gotrek and Felix themselves? Who cares about them, I want my Thanquol! :D

On another note, Alarielle is Teclis's consort? As in, the Everqueen Alarielle? I thought she was married to Finubar.

If Giantslayer does imply, if not High Elven polygamy, considerable sexual activity out of wedlock, what conclusions would you draw from that? High Elven culture is usually said to be fairly regimented and ritualised, is it not, particularly with an eye towards emotional control in the same manner as the Eldar of 40k (albeit in a more primitive manner)? It sounds rather counter-intuitive.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2007 12:23 pm 
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FVC wrote:
Ah, interesting. Admittedly I have only read the first three Gotrek and Felix novels, and frankly, I read them for the skaven bits. Gotrek and Felix themselves? Who cares about them, I want my Thanquol! :D

On another note, Alarielle is Teclis's consort? As in, the Everqueen Alarielle? I thought she was married to Finubar.

If Giantslayer does imply, if not High Elven polygamy, considerable sexual activity out of wedlock, what conclusions would you draw from that? High Elven culture is usually said to be fairly regimented and ritualised, is it not, particularly with an eye towards emotional control in the same manner as the Eldar of 40k (albeit in a more primitive manner)? It sounds rather counter-intuitive.


You misread him, it implies heavedly that *Tyrion* (not teclis) is the everqueens consort, something allready implied in the core books as it is, I mean for crying out loud, the amulet he carries is called the heart of avalon and is shaped like the proverbial loveheart! :P

And please note, that the Everqueen might be married to Finubar, but her duties ends once she has had her first child with him, after that its normal that the Everqueen and the phoenix king ignores each other and takes each their consort, no, this is not a christian definition of a marriage ;)

EDIT:
And keep in mind, that the phoenix king and the everqueen is'nt married by love, that they take a consort after their duty is done, well that is just another facet of tradition, it has happened for so long that its a part of the tradition, I would be more suprised if they did not take a consort than if they did.

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Ruerl Khan wrote:
You misread him, it implies heavedly that *Tyrion* (not teclis) is the everqueens consort, something allready implied in the core books as it is, I mean for crying out loud, the amulet he carries is called the heart of avalon and is shaped like the proverbial loveheart! :P


Oh, okay then.

Hang on a sec... Tyrion is heir-apparent to the Phoenix Throne, isn't he? I've had a quick look and can't find any specific mention of his (and Teclis') parents other than that they're a high-ranking noble family and that they're direct descendants of Aenarion, but before that I'd immediately assumed Tyrion, being prince and all, is the son of Finubar, and presumably son of Alarielle as well. Which would make any relationship between Tyrion or Teclis and Alarielle to be incestuous, and we know the High Elves don't like incest due to their response to the rumours about Malekith and Morathi.

One would assume that if Tyrion is Alarielle's consort, he can somehow be the heir to Ulthuan without actually being part of the royal family, which sounds odd to say the least. How does High Elf succession work, then? Maybe it's in the new book, but not having that myself... judging from Malekith, there is a council with considerable influence, but Malekith himself seemed to think the crown would automatically go to the eldest son of the last Phoenix King, which would suggest genealogy is involved.

Still, rather embarrassing for Finubar to be cuckolded by such a younger elf, isn't it? Unless High Elves are naturally expected to change consort as they go through their lives due to the length of those lives and all, but I'm not sure how much weight you'd want to give that possibility...


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Erg. So many errors.

Tyrion is not the heir to the throne, nor is he directly related to Finubar. If anything he's directly related to the Everqueen. The phoenix king of Ulthuan is always elected. It does not matter what birth they are (in theory) so his being of Aenarions line does not put him anywhere near the throne, and for some, it eliminates him from candidacy.

For the incest comment, there have been about 9 generations between the then and now, so it's likely too far removed for consideration. As to the consort thing, the Everqueen and Phoenix King are not married as lovers, but politically. Each is expected to take another for a consort. The everqueen was never actually Finubar's consort, other than for a political ritual. As such, Tyrion never upstaged the Phoenix king in any way.

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The phoenix king is only married to the Everqueen for one year. This is a ritual that they have followed for a really long time and after that, they can go about their own ways find other people to be with. I think that is in the 4th edition HE book somewhere, don't have it within reaching distance right now.

Tyrion isn't the son of Finubar, because at the end of the War against Chaos, Teclis had to return to Ulthuan inorder to go the funeral of their father. If Teclis had to return for his father's funeral, and Finubar is still alive, and Tyrion is the brother of Teclis, then Finubar can't be their dad. (this can be found at the end of the story of Tyrion and Teclis in the army books, I think it's closer to the end of the 6th ed book)

Also, Tyrion may be in like for Phoenix King if Finubar dies, but I don't think he actually has full on super right to it. The succession of Phoenix Kings works like how the Empire's does: A council comes together and elects a new King. Tyrion may have a shot at it when Finubar dies, probably a pretty good one, but I like Finubar, and I hope he lives for at least a while, and doesn't get killed by a dark elf or something else kinda lame.


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@FVC:
"Prince" is a title given to all high ranking nobles, technically all you need to is to be able to hold a weapon that was forged in the time of Aenarion. There are a *lot* of princes in Ulthuan, and few, if any, are the sons of Finubar.

Secondly, you are putting christian ideals of marriage into an elven relationship, leave those out, the idea that children can be had only inside marriage is a christian ideal, the idea that all those with the title prince is a west european ideal for the central and north europe (in italy a "prince" was the lord of a city state).

In short, you are somewhat short on the fluff in this section :)

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Ruerl Khan wrote:
"Prince" is a title given to all high ranking nobles, technically all you need to is to be able to hold a weapon that was forged in the time of Aenarion. There are a *lot* of princes in Ulthuan, and few, if any, are the sons of Finubar.


I wasn't saying I'd think Tyrion is Finubar's son because he given the title 'prince'. I was saying I'd assume Tyrion is Finubar's son because Tyrion is the heir to the throne of Ulthuan, and if I recall my 6th ed. AB rightly, there are even elves who argue that Tyrion should take up the throne immediately.

Now maybe High Elven succession doesn't work like that, which is why I asked the question, but it doesn't seem too far out there to assume that a person called a prince, who is also the heir to the throne, who is a descendant of the first and most famous Phoenix King, is going to be the son of the current Phoenix King.

Maybe Tyrion isn't Finubar's son, I don't know. But presumably Finubar, being of the royal house, is also a descendant of Aenarion, and they are related in some way.

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Secondly, you are putting christian ideals of marriage into an elven relationship, leave those out, the idea that children can be had only inside marriage is a christian ideal, the idea that all those with the title prince is a west european ideal for the central and north europe (in italy a "prince" was the lord of a city state).


I hate to point this out, but just like heterosexuality, monogamy and child-bearing only within marriage is not a specifically Christian ideal, and it comes up again in many different global cultures devoid of that religious context.

You may have a point in that all of those cultures consist of humans, and elves are not humans and therefore allowed to do all sorts of wacky and wonderful things, but I would merely remind you all that medieval Christian European values weren't terribly unusual as global mores went at the time.

Admittedly it is possible I am thinking of elves through those lens. As with many, the greatest influence on my perceptions of the High Elves is Tolkien, and if you have a read of Laws and Customs of the Eldar he makes it clear that his elves are monogamous and quite loyal to their life-partners. Warhammer High Elves may be different, of course, but I'm sure I'm not the only person who thinks of Tolkien for this.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 3:37 am 
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I was saying I'd assume Tyrion is Finubar's son because Tyrion is the heir to the throne of Ulthuan, and if I recall my 6th ed. AB rightly, there are even elves who argue that Tyrion should take up the throne immediately.

Now maybe High Elven succession doesn't work like that, which is why I asked the question, but it doesn't seem too far out there to assume that a person called a prince, who is also the heir to the throne, who is a descendant of the first and most famous Phoenix King, is going to be the son of the current Phoenix King.

Maybe Tyrion isn't Finubar's son, I don't know. But presumably Finubar, being of the royal house, is also a descendant of Aenarion, and they are related in some way.

Tyrion and Teclis are not children of Finubar - their father is Arathion (who died near the end of Malekith's last invasion of Ulthuan - Teclis had to return from the Old World to attend his funeral). And as mentioned, a "Prince" is one who possesses one of the items forged during the First Incursion and was handed out to the soldiers following Caledor Dragontamer and Aenarion.

Nor is Tyrion really the heir to Ulthuan's throne, because the throne of Ulthuan isn't hereditary. When Finubar dies (for whatever reason), the Council of Princes will meet and choose who will become the next Phoenix King. The only time that they went the hereditary route was for Caledor II, and the Council of Princes are clearly noted as choosing him for continuity, so they still "elected" the king anyway. It's how they've done things since Aenarion's time.

Finubar was chosen in that manner by the Council of Princes upon the death of Bel-Hathor - he was elected to the throne, and bears no real relationship (or at least no known relationship) to Aenarion except by virtue of his daughter with Alarielle, the girl who will become the next Everqueen. And Alarielle is descended from Aenarion by way of Yvraine. Tyrion and Teclis are descended from Aenarion by way of Morelion. Some old, old background makes mention of a group called the "Lords of Aenarion", who are also descended from Morelion, but they haven't been mentioned since 4th or 5th edition, IIRC.

If Finubar dies next week (figuratively speaking), then yes, the Council of Princes could well choose Tyrion to be the next Phoenix King. But he doesn't get it by right of birth, because that right of birth doesn't exist when speaking of the Phoenix Throne.

As to the marriage between Phoenix King and Everqueen, Finubar and Alarielle were married for one year, in which the next Everqueen was conceived (thus making the next Everqueen always a child of the Phoenix King and current Everqueen). So their marriage has had at least a single daughter come from it, and at the end of the year-long marriage, both of them became free to choose a different consort as they so chose. Alarielle chose Tyrion. She may have had other children with Finubar, but if so, then that would be unknown. Likewise, Finubar may have children with other Elves, but those are similarly unknown. Again, Tyrion and Alarielle's situation insofar as children are concerned is, again, unknown, but in that case, at least, I'd bet that if they did have children, it would have been mentioned somewhere. Given that it's Tyrion we're talking about, if he has a child - or more than one child - it should probably have been mentioned.

Sources for information on this include the 5th edition HE book, the 6th edition HE book (check the story about Tyrion and Teclis), the 7th edition HE book, a couple of other sources that I'm recalling from memory but the name of which escapes me, and some background pieces written by Gav Thorpe/Tuomas Pirinen/Rick Priestley for that Warhammer-rules-based RPG that Snail ran in the RPG forum on this site last year or so.

Does that clear things up? I think I got everything. :?

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Eldacar wrote:
Tyrion and Teclis are not children of Finubar - their father is Arathion (who died near the end of Malekith's last invasion of Ulthuan - Teclis had to return from the Old World to attend his funeral).


Ah, that name rings a bell. Thanks for that.

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Nor is Tyrion really the heir to Ulthuan's throne, because the throne of Ulthuan isn't hereditary. When Finubar dies (for whatever reason), the Council of Princes will meet and choose who will become the next Phoenix King. The only time that they went the hereditary route was for Caledor II, and the Council of Princes are clearly noted as choosing him for continuity, so they still "elected" the king anyway. It's how they've done things since Aenarion's time.


Then why is Malekith so bitter about not being Phoenix King? I had assumed it was because he figured that, as the son of Aenarion, the throne was rightfully his. Did he also assume that he was the most competent and most deserving of the position, and was thus bitter at the idea of Bel-Shanaar being elected instead of he, the war leader?

It seems to me that heredity does matter to the High Elves, to a degree. There are noble houses, descendants of Aenarion are highly regarded for that, and so on. The Council of Princes... would they then be akin to the Electors in the Empire in function? Presumably it consists only of princes according to your previous definition, where princehood derives from being part of the army that followed Aenarion and Caledor (in which, regard, interestingly enough it's rather similar to the Bretonnian Register of the Peerage, where nobility derives from descent from the knights that followed Gilles).

I wonder if there are any hereditary monarchies in Warhammer at all? They're hiding! Kislev is the only one I can think of, plus some of the Tilean and Estalian principalities, but they may not really count. Maybe Cathay is as well, we need more hereditary monarchies. An elective monarchy is fine and all, but they shouldn't be everywhere.

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Finubar was chosen in that manner by the Council of Princes upon the death of Bel-Hathor - he was elected to the throne, and bears no real relationship (or at least no known relationship) to Aenarion except by virtue of his daughter with Alarielle, the girl who will become the next Everqueen. And Alarielle is descended from Aenarion by way of Yvraine.


Presumably the Everqueen is chosen on hereditary grounds, then?

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As to the marriage between Phoenix King and Everqueen, Finubar and Alarielle were married for one year, in which the next Everqueen was conceived (thus making the next Everqueen always a child of the Phoenix King and current Everqueen). So their marriage has had at least a single daughter come from it, and at the end of the year-long marriage, both of them became free to choose a different consort as they so chose.


A ritual marriage, then, temporary but symbolic of all sorts of things? Things like, well, I'm sure you can imagine a big list, as can I. Religious duty as well, perhaps?


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Then why is Malekith so bitter about not being Phoenix King? I had assumed it was because he figured that, as the son of Aenarion, the throne was rightfully his.


When Aenarion died there was no precedent as to how to elect a new King, some, like Malekith, believed it should be hereditary. While others, believing the taint of Khaine to be too strong in Aenarion's line, thought otherwise. The latter won out and elected Bel-Shannar over Malekith as King. When Malekith killed Bel-Shannar, those other elves who believed that he was the rightful ruler then fought for him in the coming civil war and were ousted along with him.

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The High Elves have always struck me as a rather conservative, ritualised society with strong notions of family values. I don't think they'd be into homosexuality that much. Leaving aside any potential stigma they may have against it, it would be adulterous. As far as we know elven marriages are heterosexual - for we know of many heterosexually married elves but no homosexually married ones - which makes sense when you think about it.


"Conservative with strong notions of family values" is something I just don't connect with the Asur. I've not seen a single piece of fiction centered about an elf and his lover apart from Tyrion and the Everqueen (and they're not married). Nor have I seen anything about a father or mother and their elven children. No mention of Aenarion's connection with his children at all, one story of Eltharion being brought back from the edge of death by the ghost of his father... but that's it.

Warhammer elves seem very detached from human values of family and monogamy. Sexuality on the other hand is something one can only make assumptions on based on the aforementioned detachment.

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But as to the question of why the elves are becoming extinct;

Having participated in and witnessing several "Druchii Among Us" games, no wonder they're dying out if 3 or 4 Druchii can have half a village hanged before being rooted out :D

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Garadehl wrote:
"Conservative with strong notions of family values" is something I just don't connect with the Asur. I've not seen a single piece of fiction centered about an elf and his lover apart from Tyrion and the Everqueen (and they're not married). Nor have I seen anything about a father or mother and their elven children. No mention of Aenarion's connection with his children at all, one story of Eltharion being brought back from the edge of death by the ghost of his father... but that's it.


As I said, it's probably from Tolkien. He has his elves very dignified, very proper, very monogamous. Laws and Customs of the Eldar, I mentioned, in book ten of The History of Middle Earth, from page 207 onwards in my copy. Tolkien defines a lot of how we think of elves, and he was clear -

Laws and Customs of the Eldar wrote:
The Eldar wedded once only in life, and for love or at the least by free will upon either part. Even when in after days, as the histories reveal, many of the Eldar in Middle-earth became corrupted, and their hearts darkened by the shadow that lies upon Arda, seldom is any tale told of deeds of lust among them.


And so on. It's a very interesting essay, if you ever find it. Of course, Warhammer High Elves are a different race and don't need to have the same social norms, but you know how much Tolkien dominates this genre just as well as I do.


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FVC wrote:
As I said, it's probably from Tolkien. He has his elves very dignified, very proper, very monogamous.


Just based on the wording you used I can see that the way some of the members here are portraying Warhammer elves is seen by you as something below your own moral standards. But one must realise that when we have a fictional world where many opinions form what happens within it, we must view morality objectively.

I'm not making any claim as to how the Asur really do behave, but it's just as likely that pre-marital sex, homosexual marriage and homosexuality are seen as 'very dignified and very proper'. It's up to the individual player how the fiction around his own version of the elven psyche works. I view the Asur society as being emotionally advanced as it were, where some elves are staunchly monogamous and/or heterosexual, while at the other end of the spectrum some are borderline hedonistic. Perhaps this is a factor as to why the elves are disappearing; the emotional mindset of each individual elf can potentially be so extremely removed from the mindset of another.

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Garadehl wrote:
Just based on the wording you used I can see that the way some of the members here are portraying Warhammer elves is seen by you as something below your own moral standards.


I'm not sure where my own moral standards come into it. Admittedly I may be a bit traditionally minded compared to some of the more progressive members here (and I can think of at least one argument over that on this site I've had), but I hardly see the relevance of that. Are the terms I used to describe Tolkien's elves loaded? Perhaps, but from our human perspectives it ought to be clear what I meant. Those elves are somewhat prim, with specific ideas of what is and isn't acceptable, and as far as sexuality goes fit in very well with Tolkien's own Catholic value system.

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I'm not making any claim as to how the Asur really do behave, but it's just as likely that pre-marital sex, homosexual marriage and homosexuality are seen as 'very dignified and very proper'.


Quite possibly, but without any specific sources telling us that High Elves have quite a liberal attitude to sex, I wouldn't think we can comfortably make that assumption.

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I view the Asur society as being emotionally advanced as it were, where some elves are staunchly monogamous and/or heterosexual, while at the other end of the spectrum some are borderline hedonistic.


'Emotionally advanced'? Isn't that at least as much a loaded term as my use of the phrase 'very dignified, very proper'? Indeed, would it not be moreso, for while my phrase is a relative value judgement it does make a qualititative observation about Tolkien's elves, while 'emotionally advanced' doesn't tell me anything save that you think they're really good.

That's all incidental, though. More relevantly, wouldn't you expect the High Elves to be somewhat leery of hedonism because of their problems with the Cult of Slaanesh? Based on that wouldn't it be logical for the High Elves to at least discourage value systems based on pursuit of pleasure?


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FVC wrote:
I'm not sure where my own moral standards come into it. Admittedly I may be a bit traditionally minded compared to some of the more progressive members here (and I can think of at least one argument over that on this site I've had), but I hardly see the relevance of that. Are the terms I used to describe Tolkien's elves loaded? Perhaps, but from our human perspectives it ought to be clear what I meant. Those elves are somewhat prim, with specific ideas of what is and isn't acceptable, and as far as sexuality goes fit in very well with Tolkien's own Catholic value system.


Sorry, I guess I inadvertently took exception to your opinion that Asur elves could not be homosexual/non-monogamous and took your wording in the last quote as almost offensive. IE; Dignified and proper =/= Homosexual.

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Quite possibly, but without any specific sources telling us that High Elves have quite a liberal attitude to sex, I wouldn't think we can comfortably make that assumption.


But likewise could be said of your view. There's very little fiction describing Asur as loving the family unit, nor is there any fiction of heterosexual OR homosexual relationships...

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'Emotionally advanced'? Isn't that at least as much a loaded term as my use of the phrase 'very dignified, very proper'? Indeed, would it not be moreso, for while my phrase is a relative value judgement it does make a qualititative observation about Tolkien's elves, while 'emotionally advanced' doesn't tell me anything save that you think they're really good.


Ah, this isn't what I meant by 'emotionally advanced', my apologies for lack of clarity. But what I meant was this; the elven psyche is something extraordinarily deeper than that of a human. I was not meaning that non-dignified non-proper is better or more developed than traditional behaviour. Rather that elves are capable of far deeper emotion and I like to think that either end of the elven psyche scale stretches so much more further than the human psyche allowing for much larger variance in the population.

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That's all incidental, though. More relevantly, wouldn't you expect the High Elves to be somewhat leery of hedonism because of their problems with the Cult of Slaanesh? Based on that wouldn't it be logical for the High Elves to at least discourage value systems based on pursuit of pleasure?


Too true, but it's still possible to encounter a huge range of emotion/behaviour within the populace such as the Nagarythean stereotype of anger/hate/withdrawal as opposed to the extremely proud in Caledor for instance.

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Garadehl wrote:
Sorry, I guess I inadvertently took exception to your opinion that Asur elves could not be homosexual/non-monogamous and took your wording in the last quote as almost offensive. IE; Dignified and proper =/= Homosexual.


On a personal note I think the homosexual subculture in the West at the moment is far from dignified, but hey, that's not exactly relevant. I am not a big fan of homosexuality myself. Sure, it's their choice and they can do what they like, but I can't say I'd want anything to do with it myself.
(Note: when I say I think the subculture is undignified, I don't mean any individual homosexual person is undignified by virtue of being homosexual or anything like that. I simply mean the subculture, the organised movement promoting their rights and so on, all of that extra baggage, I think is rather silly-looking and it rubs me the wrong way. Maybe that's not politically correct, but stuff political correctness, that is what I think. On a personal, subective and aesthetic note, I think there's a certain romantic beauty to a traditional Christian wedding that a homosexual ceremony lacks, but I admit that not everyone has the same aesthetics I do. Heck, on an aesthetic level I find the notion of homosexual sex, whether male or female, to be rather disgusting, but I'm sure they feel the same way about heterosexual sex, so that's fine.)

Oh dear... I'm sure I've just opened up a horrible can of worms and I'm going to be flamed from here to tomorrow for being homophobic. I suppose I should just delete the paragraph to be on the safe side, but no, damn it, I am not going to be a coward about how I feel. Those are simply some of my thoughts on homosexuality. All personal, all subjective, and I have nothing against homosexual people doing what they want with each other or having whatever ceremonies they like. I merely, personally, don't find it as beautiful as a heterosexual relationship, and they have no right to dictate to me what I will and what I will not consider to be beautiful.

I've done it again, haven't I? Forgive the rant, please. Let's just move on. Everyone has their hot-button issues. Presumably the implication that heterosexuality is more 'dignified' and 'proper' that homosexuality is is one such issue for you? Apparently it is for me! Dignity and propriety are in the eyes of the beholder. I've just talked about my eyes. Let's now deal with the real question, which is what would see through a High Elf's eyes!

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But likewise could be said of your view. There's very little fiction describing Asur as loving the family unit, nor is there any fiction of heterosexual OR homosexual relationships...


That's true. I merely spoke of the image they projected, which to me was by and large consistent with Tolkien. I freely admit, though, that we don't know about the High Elves specifically.

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Ah, this isn't what I meant by 'emotionally advanced', my apologies for lack of clarity. But what I meant was this; the elven psyche is something extraordinarily deeper than that of a human. I was not meaning that non-dignified non-proper is better or more developed than traditional behaviour. Rather that elves are capable of far deeper emotion and I like to think that either end of the elven psyche scale stretches so much more further than the human psyche allowing for much larger variance in the population.


Ah, that's more consistent with what I know about High Elves, and indeed Eldar in 40k, who do the whole 'intense mind' thing with, if not necessarily more flair, at least more detail.

I would of course agree that the elf is capable of feeling emotion more intensely. This is a risk consistent to all elves and the High Elves appear to go to some effort to control it. Not to the degree of the Path, of course, but they do nonetheless. The mention of hedonism comes in here, as avoiding obsession with it is going to be fairly integral to the stability of High Elf society.

I'd add, though, that what this means is that High Elves feel emotion more intensely than humans, not that they feel a broader range of emotions or anything of that nature. By and large they feel the same emotions, they merely have greater effect upon the elves. Whether that's a positive or negative thing is up to you, of course.

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Too true, but it's still possible to encounter a huge range of emotion/behaviour within the populace such as the Nagarythean stereotype of anger/hate/withdrawal as opposed to the extremely proud in Caledor for instance.


Of course, of course. The range varies widely, and not always according to provincial stereotypes. ;)


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@FVC:
Offcourse you view it through a certain lens, we all do, its a part of our upbringing and the culture that we live in, for example most westerners has a law tradition that states that unless its forbidden -its illegal (a tradition coming from the roman empire -yes, we still base the foundation of our laws on something written more than four hundred years BC, the eastern part of the world, mostly the arab world is based on the justinian (east roman) system where its reverse: unless its permitted, its illegal), our view on moral and sexuality, might seem to be spread out and common outside europe, but that is because our foundation in that belief is based on Christianity, and before that the jewish way of thinking, this was merged with greek culture (who I assure you, had little in the notion of adultery unless it was with another mans wife, ie: women could have affairs, men could not), in the roman empire, wich forms the foundation of the culture that we have in Europe, and by extent, the culture in the states even though they are slightly different due to settling in the states with people from europe in the middle of a rather large upheaval.

Other religions tend to have a more loose definition of marriage, especially nature religions wich is often seen as somewhat primitive in comparison, but the thing to note here is that the main difference is that the large organized religions tend to get the status of state-religions wich is then used to enforce a cultural unity within the nations borders, a term that is oft dubbed "otherness" or "definition by opposition to the others" for example the US had a lot of people considering the french somewhat cowardly and less valueable as opposed to the brave and free american nation (a classic example of otherness), that picture is offcourse likedly untrue, but it is still cherished within the borders as it gives a defining feature to a culture so broad and often otherwise lacking a national culture.

In short: Yes, your lenses are that of a westener, and yes, this means that the elves might be something wholly outside our range of perception, not that I think so, the elves of the warhammer world where after all designed by westerners in the first place ;)

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Then why is Malekith so bitter about not being Phoenix King? I had assumed it was because he figured that, as the son of Aenarion, the throne was rightfully his. Did he also assume that he was the most competent and most deserving of the position, and was thus bitter at the idea of Bel-Shanaar being elected instead of he, the war leader?

More or less. Malekith believed that because he was Aenarion's son, the throne rightfully belonged to him (though since there had never been a Phoenix King before Aenarion, assuming that it would naturally be hereditary is a bit off). The Council of Princes denying him that would have seemed like a slap in the face after all that his father had done for Ulthuan. However, it is noted that Morathi was in fact the one who objected most shrilly (so to speak) - while she was crying out in protest, Malekith was the one who calmed her and said that he would accept whatever decision the Council made regarding the matter.

So basically, Malekith agreed to follow their rules, lost, got bitter about it, and when he could, he rebelled against the Council of Princes in the events that obviously led to the Sundering.

It's interesting to note that even if it had been hereditary, Morelion held the stronger claim, being not only the son of the Everqueen (instead of Morathi...), but also because he was Aenarion's firstborn male child. We're not told why he didn't take up the mantle of Phoenix King, though (the new HE AB specifically notes that "history fails to record why").

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It seems to me that heredity does matter to the High Elves, to a degree. There are noble houses, descendants of Aenarion are highly regarded for that, and so on.

Descendants of Aenarion are a mixed bag. While often younger elves follow them and see the glory of ages past brought to life (paraphrasing from one of the Army Books), older elves are more unsure, because frankly speaking, Aenarion's line is cursed. Teclis is physically weak, bitter, caustic, and all those things. Tyrion suffers from the same sort of battle frenzy/madness/lust that Aenarion did. Aenarion is regarded highly for his deeds, yes, but that does not necessarily translate directly to high offices and the like for his descendants. Tyrion is the High General of Ulthuan's armies, but he still had to earn the position. The Asur learned the lessons that Malekith's betrayal forced on them.

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The Council of Princes... would they then be akin to the Electors in the Empire in function?

More or less in the sense that they elect the next Phoenix King when the old one dies. They're not directly similar down to the last bits and pieces, but the essence of the thing is there. It's an elected monarchy.

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Presumably the Everqueen is chosen on hereditary grounds, then?

Yes. Each new Everqueen is the eldest daughter (assuming they have more than one - if she only has one daughter, then that daughter will become the Everqueen) of the previous one.

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A ritual marriage, then, temporary but symbolic of all sorts of things?

Yes - it's symbolic of the marriage between Aenarion and Astarielle. IIRC, the only specific obligation that it entails (or at least the only one mentioned that I can recall offhand) is that the next Everqueen must be produced from that union.

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I think it's possible that the HE have homosexual relationships between each other, though they would also only probably ever marry the opposite sex.

It certainly seemed to me that Morvael and Mentheus were possibly in a relationship.

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Spider_wells wrote:

It certainly seemed to me that Morvael and Mentheus were possibly in a relationship.


Yeah, I got that impression as well, and fairly strongly at that.

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@FVC - So basically we've come to an agreement. Although you say the elves would still feel the range of human emotions, only to a much greater intensity. Which we can't really deny, being human we can't exactly invent new emotions for which the elves might feel without ourselves being able to feel it. But that's too philosophical to be bothered with :P

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