Ulthuan

Ulthuan, Home of the Asur
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2007 9:54 pm 
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(On that note, it's worth pointing out that the elves as a whole appear oddly incapable of technological progress. I find it difficult to look at a High Elf army on the tabletop without cracking up, so ridiculous are they.

Do you read the army books at all? Hell, even look at the website sometime...

http://us.games-workshop.com/games/warh ... hrower.htm

"The Elves of Ulthuan have never developed the unreliable gunpowder technology favoured by the Men and Dwarfs of the Old World. Indeed they have never needed to, for their marksmanship is such that to rely on such crude weapons could only prove detrimental to their awesome prowess with missile-fire. Instead, the Asur rely on the tried and tested war machines that have served their race since the ancient war against the Daemons, the same weapons that saw them through the Sundering and the War of the Beard — the Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower."


Its not that they can't make technological progress; its that there's no need to. Its the difference between riding a horse or driving a car. Its the difference between shooting an arrow or a gun. Although one is clearly superior in power, the other allows for more technical precision and skill if you can master it.

Also, I don't know where you read that elves are poor, but nothing could be further from the truth. The books are filled with descriptions of gem-covered armor on even the lowest soldiers, and even the poorer elves in a city would look like the wealthiest humans in the same warhammer world.

Even as I say this, I'll try hard not to sound like an idealist, for I dislike extremists more than anything, but its difficult not too when describing elves. the High Elves are a a dream come true for people who are unrealistic. They have such high proficiency in martial arts, magic, weapon and armor forging and crack discipline that they don't need cannons, muskets, or anything like that.
They've got a strong 'if it ain't broke, dont' fix it' mentality, and as effective as this is, at the same time, its one of the many reasons why cannonically they're 'failing' as a race. A black powder rifle or cannon is more effective when it hits than its elven equivelent of bows and bolt throwers, but less accurate. Humans make up for their lack of skill by using 60 lbs of plate armour and tremendous cannons. I'm entirely certain when a High Elf army shows up on a battlefield, human generals look at their lack of blackpowder weaponry and scoff, but this comes from the false idea that ones own path is superior, and that there is no other way to become 'strong'. Average human beings, in real life or in fiction, will never be able to reach such a high standard with a weapon like a bow that using a gun is a boon, but it would only be a hinderance to an elf' inborn skill and subsequent upbringing. At the same time, if you gave an average human warrior an elven bow, he'd break it trying to pull it too hard, or he'd ruin it when his idiot general told his archer unit to charge into an exposed enemy flank in desperation, frantically using a thousand-year old bow to smash an orcs head-in.

I myself play High Elves because I used to play Imperial Guard, and after spending hours and hours painting individual teeth, making conversions and generally spending far too long on each model for such a cannon-fodder army, I felt terrible sacrificing so many men and tanks, usually to shabbily painted orks whose owner spend a sixteenth of the time I did. I won my fair share of games, but the entire nature of the army is a 'life is cheap' approach to warfare, and forming picket lines of soldiers in the open, hoping to wear down an enemy through sheer force of numbers hurt me and made me bitter towards human armies in general. Imperial Guard are representative of WW1, and 2 to some extent, style warfare, frozen as is for all time, just as Empire and Tileans are.

I'm playing High Elves now because I can spend a ridiculous amount of time on each model, and their entire race and background fit this kind of mentality. They're for people like me who look at WS 3 and can't take rolling 10 dice and only scoring 2 hits at most a game longer.

On the subject of sexuality with elves, I agree with the idea a lot of posters presented; that its a human concept and shouldn't be applied to elves. One of the problems I have with most fantasy writing in general is that Elves are always presented as superior beings, but rarely show it, a bit like your average black belt at the local dojo. You're presented with superior beings, yet ultimately written about and described by humans with human flaws and predjudices. In my experiance, its wisest and safest to use a 'less is more' approach, and show elves as mysterious and distant and unknowable, rarely using them as anything but side-rolls to starring humans, and never outright explaining their motivations or desires. But I digress. I'm sure it would be as natural for a male elf to fall in love with another male as it would a female, and sex wouldn't even necessarily enter into it. This modern day perspective that love equals sex and vise versa is hard to place in my mind with High Elves, and is one more reason why I believe that they're failing.
Having read 'Guardians of the Forest' (an entertaing but ultimately over-simplified case of human-like elves) and while its difficult to consider it canon, having not being writ down in an army book, I feel GW endorses this kind of thing anway. In it, you can clearly see that wood elves are vital, sexual creatures who elope and sleep around without marriage.
Likewise, in the Malus Darkblade series, you can see that Dark Elves are into incest, rape, sex slaves, orgies and all kinds of other fun stuff. This leads me to believe (and the stories about dark elf assassins) that there are a lot of elves born out of wedlock, and that is why these two races are thriving, despite being off-shoots of a much larger culture.

I find that High elves are much less prolific because they deny so much of themselves, and I believe everything thats been said on here could be true in one sense or another. On one hand, you have fluff that says Tyrion is faithful to Alarielle, but if you read the chapter about Avelorn, you see that underneath its fascade of a traveling court held within the forest, you see that there is a fierce rivalry for the everqueens favor. Again, applying such direct and clumsy ideas about human procreation and sexual conquests, its easy to see this as something sexual. Or you could choose to view it simply as literally 'gaining favor'... perhaps gaining it could allow a business to flourish, an artist to gain a grant, an expedition for an old artefact or military conquest to begin, etc. In other words, purely for materialistic and aesthetic gain, something that is definetly in keeping with the High Elf stereotypes for being decadent. And then you have Teclis, with his two servants...

In the end, such arguements about sexuality are pointless in my eyes. The High Elves are as varied as humans are, and yet more so. For every elf that could be seen as extremely right wing, almost republican, upholding marriage, tradition and honor, there is another that is hedonistic, loose in morals and sleeping with the finest elven prostitutes he could buy, though always under the table. *COUGH* Bad joke. What I mean to say, is that this was the reason for the Sundering in the first place; this inability to empathize and understand the others point of view. Elves are clearly very idealistic, whatever their predilictions towards sexuality, and this suggests an introverted nature, which leads to lots of hurt feelings, backstabbing and careful scheming, and this leads to very strained relationships. I imagine them to be like the Greek Gods; ultimatetly very human, but just larger than life and in the extreme.

Finally, on physiology, everything I've ever read about elves suggests that they indeed grow up the same as humans, but eventually hit a wall when they mature. At 35, an elf would look about 20, and he'd stay looking that way for a long time. By the time he looked 35, he would probably be closer to 1,000. This is the reason why they aren't strong in my eyes; if your body is concentrated on living longer and maintaining itself, its not going to pack on muscle like a body-builder. You'll be built like a 17 year old boy. If you're going to compare them to Lotr style elves, then they can and indeed do mate with humans, but its something thats only spoken of in legend (Gileads Blood) and its not something normal, or indeed even common knowledge, especially to normal, non-mage high elves. It always comes as a surprise that its even possible, and I'd imagine a High Elf would keep his half-elf spawn in luxory, but hidden away. A Wood Elf would probably treat one more like a normal elf, and a Dark Elf would probably use them for a sex-slave, or sell them off at a tidy sum for a blood sacrifice.

I really didn't want to even post in this thread, as in the end, this is all mostly just speculation, fluff-referrencing and people getting irritated over their viewpoints being stepped on, but if you actually read this wall of text, I congratulate you. I think a bit too much of my own personality got away from me here, and for that I apologise in all sincerity, as roleplaying only leads to stereotype-wars, where republicans batter democrats with bibles and trolls flame ordinarily rational people into oblivion using their own idealism for fuel. A taunt-and-counter strategy, if you will.

Now if you'll excuse me, I totally pulled a geek-hamstring writing the above. I'm tired and I think I need a nap now to replenish my spirits. Horny, effete, impotent, hedonistic elves FTW baby.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 3:27 am 
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~Milliardo~ wrote:
Do you read the army books at all? Hell, even look at the website sometime...
[...]
Its not that they can't make technological progress; its that there's no need to. Its the difference between riding a horse or driving a car. Its the difference between shooting an arrow or a gun. Although one is clearly superior in power, the other allows for more technical precision and skill if you can master it.


No, that doesn't explain it. A bow takes more skill to fire than an early gun, and indeed is a far superior weapon on the individual level, but there's a reason armies with guns supplanted armies with bows. You can get elitist about bows and swords and all, but it doesn't change anything.

Still, guns aren't the major problem. Guns are still fairly rare in the Warhammer World and shouldn't be too much of a problem (yet). The problem is cannons.

Think about it. We have a High Elf navy that, we are told, is the dominant power in the... whatsit, the Great Ocean, the World Pond, you know, the Atlantic analogue. Yet the High Elf navy refuses to use cannons, and indeed as far as we can tell still relies on catapults and bolt throwers as its prime weapons.

Other navies include those of Bretonnia and the Empire, which include massive ships of the line with multiple cannon banks, and if we want to get really ridiculous, the dwarf fleets from Barak Varr, which include ironclads, dreadnoughts, and even submarines.

Okay, so, culturally induced stupidity may convince the High Elves not to touch gunpowder themselves and stick with their bolt throwers. But if that's true, how in all the thirty-nine heavens do the High Elves remain the dominant naval power? Common sense ought to tell us that bolt-thrower armed catamarans versus cannon-armed galleons, much less ironclads, is a massacre. Our lovely little elitist High Elves using the same weapons they used five thousand years ago should be slaughtered.

As I said, Perry and the Black Ships. While I was exaggerating for comic effect in my last post, Marienburg should easily be able to send half a dozen warships up to the gates of Lothern and have the same effect on Ulthuan Perry's ships did on Japan. Naturally the human nations of the Old World are much too respectul of elven culture to crush them or anything, but they have immense diplomatic leverage. Pieter Lazlo shouldn't have had to beg for aid. He should have been able to say 'I'm from Magnus the Pious and he wants a bunch of your wizards to come help tutor ours. You're not too keen on it? Gee, you've got a nice city here, and you just broke the siege too. It'd be a shame if those towers were to fall down, wouldn't it? Blackpowder is very volatile, I don't know if I can guarantee that there won't be any accidents with the cannons...'

See the point? It's not that High Elves prefer non-gunpowder weapons. They can prefer whatever they like. It's that their navy, as it's usually depicted, can't compete with the others.

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Also, I don't know where you read that elves are poor, but nothing could be further from the truth. The books are filled with descriptions of gem-covered armor on even the lowest soldiers, and even the poorer elves in a city would look like the wealthiest humans in the same warhammer world.


As economically impossible as that it is, it's true enough...

That was a response to the suggestion that High Elves have a declining population for the same reason some modern nations have ageing populations. It can't work, because compared to modern post-industrial nations, High Elves are poor. They're still a pre-industrial, predominantly agricultural nation. They're not going to have the same demographic problems we do.

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Even as I say this, I'll try hard not to sound like an idealist, for I dislike extremists more than anything, but its difficult not too when describing elves. the High Elves are a a dream come true for people who are unrealistic. They have such high proficiency in martial arts, magic, weapon and armor forging and crack discipline that they don't need cannons, muskets, or anything like that.


That's foolish. Training and discipline can only take you so far.

Now, I'm as idealistic as the next man and am receptive to idealistic themes and notions where it's appropriate. However, Warhammer Fantasy is not an idealistic world. A cursory glance at any rulebook will demonstrate that the Warhammer World is not a world where positive thinking, guts, determination, and finely honed skill can defeat giant monsters or charge into masses of guns. Idealism is incongruous to Warhammer Fantasy, which is expressly conceived of as dark fantasy.

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They've got a strong 'if it ain't broke, dont' fix it' mentality, and as effective as this is, at the same time, its one of the many reasons why cannonically they're 'failing' as a race.


Ah, the old 'X are idiots' explanation. That one comes up more than you'd think. Elves and dwarfs in particular are two groups that need to resort to the 'X are idiots' explanation frequently. I recall discussing dwarf strategy and mobility and many explanations boil down to 'yes, the dwarfs are making suboptimal choices and will be defeated by better-rounded forces with a better grasp of overall strategy, but the dwarfs are unwilling to change the ways of ancestors'.

I tend to be leery about explanations that rely on large groups of people consistently making suboptimal choices for long periods. I like to adapt dwarf strategy with the suggestion that they do have fast-moving outriders and it's only that the iconic dwarf army doesn't due to fighting in the mountains where terrain renders such strategies less practical. I'm not sure how to work around High Elf silliness yet, though.

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I'm entirely certain when a High Elf army shows up on a battlefield, human generals look at their lack of blackpowder weaponry and scoff, but this comes from the false idea that ones own path is superior, and that there is no other way to become 'strong'.


Oh, I'm not just talking about lack of blackpowder. A few lances of Bretonnian knights, or a bunch of Tilean pikemen and crossbowmen, for example, ought to laugh in the same way. It's poor equipment and antiquated battle tactics in general.

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Average human beings, in real life or in fiction, will never be able to reach such a high standard with a weapon like a bow that using a gun is a boon, but it would only be a hinderance to an elf' inborn skill and subsequent upbringing. At the same time, if you gave an average human warrior an elven bow, he'd break it trying to pull it too hard, or he'd ruin it when his idiot general told his archer unit to charge into an exposed enemy flank in desperation, frantically using a thousand-year old bow to smash an orcs head-in.


So now we've come from 'elves are idiots' to 'humans are idiots'. No. Is it really that radical to suggest that both races are composed of intelligent people? Elves are not born as super-ninja, and human generals are not particularly less competent than their elven equivalents.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 9:32 am 
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@ FVC: I think that you have wrongly ( at least in my opinion ) interpreted GW image of the world for the Asur. Yes the WH world is a dark and a miserable place but it all stop on the shores of Ulthuan. GW on purpose made a paradise and logically unsustainable civilisation to act as a candle in all that darkness.

On the matter of the Navy. I agree that in a conventional battle between the Asur and Dwarf/Bretonnian/Empire fleet the elves would lose but here steps in the GW background about how elves are magical and stuff.

Their ships are 3-4 times faster than those of other races because they not only use sails but are magically powered. A fair few ships in the fleet would have an attendant mage proficient in the lore of water ( it exists but has not be presented in the rulebook since it draws its power from the same wind as the lore of life in a similar way as necromancy draws from death ). These mages would often use the power of the sea against the enemies and there would rarely be anyone to stop them ( unless the foes are dwarfs ), also lore of fire and metal would be very popular.

Considering their speed I doubt Elves go and trade broadsides with their opponents but rather attack from the rear or prow. Considering their great accuracy they would aim for the masts and the hull just above the water mark. Crippling the ship and than disengaging while it sinks. Also elven ships are not slowed down due to the lack of wind.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 10:47 am 
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Indeed, that fits in better with how I imagine the High Elf navy. It relies almost entirely on magic because it's designs and technology are so horrible relative to its competition. Their strength isn't in their technology, for their boats are on the primitive side, but in their crew and wizards.

It's only that that doesn't seem to be the official approach, as we see in Man O' War and other sources. It should be, though.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 2:45 pm 
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Agreed, perhaps the eagle claws mounted upon the eagle ships are supported by a magic that courses through the entire ship making them able to shoot far longer and more powerfully than it'd ever be possible otherwise?

In any case, if we looked at it from a puredly realistic world, we'd have a ton of explanation problems in any case, and even if we accepted everything in the warhammer world "as is" and then tried to apply logic to it, we'd have a problem.
Black arks anyone? I mean, Ironclads are all fine and nice, but they can't really do anything against that.

@~Milliardo~:
*please* burn Gileads blood and stop using it as an example of legend, it is, and it makes it pretty clear on the last pages, a *human* view of elves, it is a human fairytale not a book actually giving anything usefull to any discussion.
I can, for the love of an unloving god, not understand why people continually pull forward a novel so clearly written from the perspective of a human fairytale told by an old (human) man.

Its about as much value as sailors claiming they have ****'** a mermaid.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 6:49 pm 
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Old time naval battles boiled down to two things: amount of cannons shot over the fight, and how long a ship could stay afloat to fire its cannons. Elves fail in the first column. I dont care how GW presents it, but a Bolt thrower cannot do significant damage to the hull of a ship in a shot, nothing compared to a cannon. Si it would take many many many many missles to create enough damage to sink an enemy ship.
But what makes the elves good through naval encounters is their speed an accuracy. Cannons take forever to reload. In that time, the elves have cleared the deck of sailors with volley shot after volley shot and archers' arrows. there is little to no armor on sailors. I see elves winning battles not by destroying ships, but by clearing the decks and outrunning the lumbering hulk till it can be blast apart with magics.

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A fair few ships in the fleet would have an attendant mage proficient in the lore of water ( it exists but has not be presented in the rulebook since it draws its power from the same wind as the lore of life in a similar way as necromancy draws from death ).


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Info. obtained here

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I see elves winning battles not by destroying ships, but by clearing the decks and outrunning the lumbering hulk till it can be blast apart with magics.

*Cough* Merwrym *cough*

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 10:51 am 
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On all my earlier points, all I can say FVC is that compared to a human, an elf *is* born a super-ninja. From all accounts, elves are just super-human in everything but strength and toughness. I can't begin to argue the economical feasibility of outfitting every elf in gems either, and I'm not even going to try. All I can say is that yes, they're unrealistic, and thats the entire point of them. If you want realism, avoid elves like the plague. I happen to enjoy their silly armour. I like their bow armed troops, their arbalest bolt-throwers that can sink ships, for whatever reason, and all the other silly things that make them a unique and powerful race.

On the subject of naval warfare, I think a strong comparison between the eldar in battlefleet gothic and elven warships can be found with some stretch of the imagination.
If you're an eldar player and you try to match a broadside with a human imperial gunship, you're going to lose, certainly, but you'd be a fool to ever do that. You use torpedoes to break the formation (magic driven tidal waves! Greek Fire! Merwyrms! Fierce language! :) )forcing them to take it or split, in which case you divide them up and launch hit and run attacks on individual ships. I believe the elves in the warhammer world function similarly, as people above have said.
Also, the thought of taking taking on the largest elven city in the world with 6 gunships would be the most short lived and hilarious footnote on the elven timeline. The elves aren't the world-ignorant folk Japanese people were at the time of Admiral Perry's day. They're very aware of humans and their capabilities. Gunpowder just isn't their thing. Even Eldar use shuriken throwers rather than gunpowder. The loud noises hurt their pointy ears.

Until GW makes a supplemental game for ship combat, I can't even begin to argue for this on anything but speculation and jumping up and down and shouting 'magic! magic!'.


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 Post subject: Why High Elve Suck
PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2009 12:50 pm 
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Why High Elves Suck because they represent our past time rival of our ancestor and their gone same with the dwarf so story doesn't make them be very powerful and they will be gone one day. it symbolize the classic marvel of the people of the past combine (Atlantis, Persian, Greek and Roman)

The real story is about how man(Human) will succeed to be the greatest race of all.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 11:07 am 
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True, the real reason is that GW is following the fantasy trope of elves and dwarves being leftovers of a past age of greatness slowly dwindling to leave the world to humans. Since GW can't Put Them On A Bus (or, rather, boat) like Tolkein did, they're implying actual extinction instead.


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draxynnic wrote:
True, the real reason is that GW is following the fantasy trope of elves and dwarves being leftovers of a past age of greatness slowly dwindling to leave the world to humans. Since GW can't Put Them On A Bus (or, rather, boat) like Tolkein did, they're implying actual extinction instead.


Oh, it's so unfabular to hear such things...

I think that elves are very little fertile, and very few intercourses among them end up with pregnancy - that would be also good explanation for their tendency to debauchery, orgies, readily available divorces and consent to incest (just recall Tyrion, Teclis and their crush on their cousin, which meet with merely gentle rebuke from their aunt after Tyrion slept with her). They try to catch an opportunity as often as it's possible :>


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 3:27 pm 
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slothqueen wrote:
(just recall Tyrion, Teclis and their crush on their cousin, which meet with merely gentle rebuke from their aunt after Tyrion slept with her). They try to catch an opportunity as often as it's possible :>


In actual medieval times it was considered acceptable to marry your cousin. So this is rather historically founded.

~Milliardo~ wrote:
Until GW makes a supplemental game for ship combat, I can't even begin to argue for this on anything but speculation and jumping up and down and shouting 'magic! magic!'.


GW had a ship based game (Man O War) and in 6th or 7th released the Generals Compendium that has rules for 28mm scale Warhammer Naval combat.

Vaeron wrote:
Old time naval battles boiled down to two things: amount of cannons shot over the fight, and how long a ship could stay afloat to fire its cannons. Elves fail in the first column. I dont care how GW presents it, but a Bolt thrower cannot do significant damage to the hull of a ship in a shot, nothing compared to a cannon.


Riiight, and I forgot that in those old time naval battles there was that time Admiral Nelson cast fireball... oh wait I don't think he did. Applying real world only logic to a world where the Elves made everything they own with MAGIC is silly.

FVC wrote:
A bow takes more skill to fire than an early gun, and indeed is a far superior weapon on the individual level, but there's a reason armies with guns supplanted armies with bows.


Yes there is a reason. Time and cost. Guess what? Elves aren't concerned with either. When it takes a human 20 years to be an awesome archer, for an elf that's a summer. If humans could be awesome archers that fast and easily, they wouldn't have gone to guns.

FVC wrote:
But if that's true, how in all the thirty-nine heavens do the High Elves remain the dominant naval power? Common sense ought to tell us that bolt-thrower armed catamarans versus cannon-armed galleons, much less ironclads, is a massacre. Our lovely little elitist High Elves using the same weapons they used five thousand years ago should be slaughtered.


Again, people are overlooking magic. We can even use the game mechanics for this one. You field 2 cannons, and I'll field 2 archmages with 5+ wards. And I have unlimited freedom of movement. Who would win? I think the mages. Maybe that's just me.

The biggest thing I'm seeing here is failure to understand progress. Progress relies on a need. Peoplemake new things and advances to fill a need. Elves don't have that worry. Their warriors are the most skilled in the world, their magic is the most powerful in the world, and their craftsmanship is tied with dwarves for the best in the world. There is no driving need to improve. Why build q cannon when they can blow up the cannon with a word and gesture? Why field guns when their archers are more accurate, more easily maintained and just as (if not more) deadly? Ever wonder why the oh so technologically advanced Empire is being overrun all the time and needs Elves to help them, while the High Elves have never had to ask for help outside their island?

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 4:31 pm 
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Domine Nox wrote:
In actual medieval times it was considered acceptable to marry your cousin. So this is rather historically founded.


In actual medieval times seducing teenage daughter of your host would end up worse than in BoA. I mean A LOT worse.

I find this comparission rather inaccurate.

Domine Nox wrote:
The biggest thing I'm seeing here is failure to understand progress. Progress relies on a need.


Civil War with Malekith isn't any great need, righ? Just a whim.

Domine Nox wrote:
Elves don't have that worry. Their warriors are the most skilled in the world, their magic is the most powerful in the world, and their craftsmanship is tied with dwarves for the best in the world.


The thing that DE could tell the same isn't bothering you too much, I see.

Domine Nox wrote:
There is no driving need to improve. Why build q cannon when they can blow up the cannon with a word and gesture? Why field guns when their archers are more accurate, more easily maintained and just as (if not more) deadly? Ever wonder why the oh so technologically advanced Empire is being overrun all the time and needs Elves to help them, while the High Elves have never had to ask for help outside their island?


Elves are too proud to ask mere humans for help. They'd rather extinct than admit to needing help from that primitive, unsteady race.


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slothqueen wrote:
In actual medieval times seducing teenage daughter of your host would end up worse than in BoA. I mean A LOT worse.


I have not read BoA yet, so cannot account for the exact circumstances in the book. My response was to the aspect of referring to their actions as resorting to incest due to lack of productivity, and stating that historically marrying and having children with a cousin is not that strange as it was rather common practice historically.

slothqueen wrote:
Civil War with Malekith isn't any great need, righ? Just a whim.


Wait who won? Oh right the High Elves, how about the next time? I think that was High Elves too... in fact I think Malekith has failed to take Ulthuan despite all the extra stuff he's tried to seek out (Dark Magic, Daemons, Allies, technology [Crossbow is technology]), so yes, there is no great need as their tried and true methods are actually working far better than any of Malekith's alternate ideas.

slothqueen wrote:
The thing that DE could tell the same isn't bothering you too much, I see.


They are the same race just with different attitudes. I don't see your point. If it's to refute the 'best' part, those two races are of equal footing as far as capability goes, and so do not get additional praise or slander.

slothqueen wrote:
Elves are too proud to ask mere humans for help. They'd rather extinct than admit to needing help from that primitive, unsteady race.


And yet that pride has foundation as they have not needed the help, where as other nations have. Even if you compare the two dwindling races side by side Elves and Dwarves. Elves are just fewer in number facing the possibility of eventual extinction from inability to maintain their population from losses in wars, time etc. But they still have all parts of their land that didn't sunder. While the Dwarves have been losing kingdom after kingdom and now only about half of the dwarven cities actually belong to dwarves. Neither group asked for help with their problems, one maintained their lands, the other didn't.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 9:20 pm 
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Domine Nox wrote:
Wait who won?

Nobody really did. A battle, maybe even whole series of battles turned out victorious for High Elves, though both Asur and Druchii still bleed and die in this neverending war without prospect of ending. And that's the real problem, mainly for Asur, because Malekith is not concearned with lives of his vassals. Moreover, if I had to assess actual distribution of forces, I'd say that Druchii are in a slightly better position - because of many things Asur are too "noble", "confident" or maybe "naive" to implement in their own army - like slaves (helpful also in economy of Druchii - nearly whole nation are kind of "nobles", or at least warriors, while slaves are busy with feeding them etc), enlistment of women, crossbows, not to mention whole cult of Khaine, which influence on Druchii's morale is priceless.
Domine Nox wrote:
They are the same race just with different attitudes.

I know. :)
Domine Nox wrote:
I don't see your point. If it's to refute the 'best' part, those two races are of equal footing as far as capability goes, and so do not get additional praise or slander.

I just wanted to draw your attention to the fact, that in spite of what you say, there is a reason for HE to develope - the armaments race (or rather lack of it) between them and dark kin. HE are fighting from the position of defenders, if they were as perfect in arms as you claim, they should have won the war centuries ago. Changes are needful. For example to stop bloodshed and slaughter of Asur (of Druchii too, though Malekith seems to not care about his people that far as Phoenix King)...
Domine Nox wrote:
Elves are just fewer in number facing the possibility of eventual extinction from inability to maintain their population from losses in wars, time etc.

And that's just why adoption of guns (as an example of development, not to take me too literatim :>) wouldn't be that bad idea. And what this topics is about BTW. The chance for HE to raise their population is to end war - and they can end the war by winning it. And they can win by surprising enemy with new, better strategy and armament.
Domine Nox wrote:
But they still have all parts of their land that didn't sunder.

Yay...!

That's alot.
Domine Nox wrote:
While the Dwarves have been losing kingdom after kingdom and now only about half of the dwarven cities actually belong to dwarves. Neither group asked for help with their problems, one maintained their lands, the other didn't.

Human race have had never such a problem - mainly because it didn't have problems with asking for help (Sigmar, Magnus the Pious etc etc). And that's also problem, bro, and nothing funny - even if it comes to dwarves extinction. People don't have problems with breeding and refilling ranks in army. Elves and dwarves do. And the fact that they're stuck in millennial conflicts between chaos and each other is another nail in their coffins.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 8:47 am 
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A lot of different views here and a somewhat heated (and very old) debate too. I just want to point out that in the real world a longbow is superior to a musket in almost every way. The only advantage that a musket has is that it takes almost no time to learn to operate it properly. In fact Wellington actually asked for 500 longbowmen to give his troops in Spain rapid fire support, but there weren't time to train the troops so his request was declined. For the elves where every citizen knows how to use a longbow and who can train for centuries there is no reason to make the change to gunpowder.

On the navy, every ship from Hawkship (frigates) and up through Eagleships (cruisers) and to Dragonships (battleships) have mages onboard. The Hawkships have usually only one (navigator, I guess lvl 2) but the others have a number of them and the Dragonships probably a whole squad (including lvl 4s). Add to this that each elf ship would be protected by strong shielding maintained by the mages and probably infused in the ships themselves, and that they hardly need any wind to move fast (and that mages can conjure up that wind if needed), I see no reason why the Helfs should even bother with gunpowder. It is dangerous, noisy and clumsy and at the end of the day not needed. Also remember that human ships are not the 74s of Nelson's navy, at best they resemble the ships of Elizabeth I.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:28 am 
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Maybe I'm missing something, but I always thought it was sort of implied that the magical vortex, and the heavy concentration of magic it causes in ulthuan, was making the asur sterile.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:49 pm 
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Never been implied as far as I know. If that were the case there really shouldn't be any chaos warriors at all since the marauder tribes bath in the stuff. I always kinda compared it to the declining birth rates we got here in the west. Give women the same rights as men plus an education and it stands to reason that the amount of children born will decline.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 11:43 am 
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Francis wrote:
Never been implied as far as I know. If that were the case there really shouldn't be any chaos warriors at all since the marauder tribes bath in the stuff. I always kinda compared it to the declining birth rates we got here in the west. Give women the same rights as men plus an education and it stands to reason that the amount of children born will decline.


Ergo the difference in the corrupting influence of magic/chaos towards elves vs men.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:14 am 
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Maybe, but since no army, rule or BL book ever implied it, it remains conjecture on your part. I think a cultural explanation makes far more sense.

The new AB actually states the only corruptive influence that magic has had on the Helves is to amplify their already considerable arroganse.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 10:28 am 
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Francis wrote:
Give women the same rights as men plus an education and it stands to reason that the amount of children born will decline.
This joke is already a bit old. :)
But if I go with it, then I must correct the statement: women may have equal rights (more or less), mothers don't. Hence the problem. Equal shouldn't mean "the same".
So we can assume High Elves have at least as good medicine as we do, so not many deaths amongst the infants. The structure of their society doesn't depend on both partners securing a daily job as it is with us. The time elven women spend caring for children is not long compared to their lifespan. Same most likely goes for education (you know, education in itself doesn't work like that anyway, really...). So the comparison doesn't stand.

The Vortex hypothesis was in BL books somewhere. Giantslayer probably.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 8:21 am 
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I can't see the joke you are referring to Aicanor. This effect is a pretty established fact in the social sciences. I must also point out that even in countries were the cost of caring for a child is relatively low, this holds true. In Norway for example where you get a year paid maternity leave (it is expected that the father take 14 weeks of paid leave as well) and kids have a right to kindergarten from the age of 1, women still only give birth to 1.87 children on average. The only reason why the population in Norway is still growing is because of immigration and high birthrates among former immigrants (and these birth rates are also dropping as immigrant women becomes more integrated).

On the age and lifespan of elves I would actually claim that this would support the idea of less children per elf. One of the main reasons as to why humans choose to reproduce is so they can have somebody to care for them when the grow old. Since elves don't grow old in the same way as humans do (they don't get particularly weaker) there is no reason what so ever to get kids, besides a form of loyalty to ones race. Taking into account that High Elves are rather egocentric as well, I just can't see that the majority would bother to care for another creature for 20-25 years (possibly even longer depending on the way elves develop).


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 8:43 am 
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I somehow get the feeling that social sciences are mixing up cause and effect here a bit. Just because 2 things happen at the same time, it does not mean that they are directly related. Lower birthrates have more to do with decline in religion (which often actively promotes having big families), increase in birth control means, better pension (so less need for kids to take care of you later) and a desire for fewer children (since many people want time for themselves).

All of these are tied to societies advancing. Female rights are also tied to societies advancing. But that does not mean that the second causes the first. Rather, they are both symptoms of the same thing.

Also, non of them realy applies to HE I feel. Spending 20-50 years taking care of someone is less demanding when you have a 1000 years in which to do so. It's a much smaller percentage then when you only get to live 100 years max. Also, a human (in western societies) only has roughly 25 years in which to reproduce (20-45 ish for women at least). For elves, given the longlivety and general health, it's pretty safe to assume that this is not the case for them. Instead they would have 800-900 years to do so.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:18 am 
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Not going to debate this to closely here, but I would just like to give the example of Italy where religion is still a very prominent factor in society and where birth rates are some of the lowest in the world. I must also add that to give birth is relatively dangerous and unpleasant and when women get to choose they tend to choose to have less children overall. The ability to choose is closely related to women's rights, so that argument still stands.

The increase in birth control is also closely related to the rights and the education of women, as an example you can look at some of the programs to promote contraception in Africa. They are mostly directed at women since men hardly care at all (in fact they often prefer not to use contraception).

I agree that women's rights follow from a more advanced society, but in order for birthrates to drop markedly you need other factors than technological developments as well (naturalists tend to ignore this).

On the high elves my argument still stands. Why should you bother to have any children when they aren't needed for when you get old (even in advanced western societies children is an advantage at old age). Add to the fact that elves are natural egoists and I am actually surprised that any children are born at all.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 10:23 am 
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The "joke": Give a woman education and she won't want to have children anymore. That is an arrogant assumption and just not true. I know many educated women and I not one thinks like that, sorry. Education may cause a difference in age in which women are having their first child, but not dangerously so, considering that these days there is no longer need to give birth to six children for three (on average) to survive. So even contraception would not be that much of a problem if other factors didn't interfere.

But after studies this woman has to secure a job, a place to live, and save some money so the family can afford to have children without being accused of not giving them all the society expects children to have in western world.
Still, her employers is not exactly happy with the possibility of her going off having children, are they? So another delay. Then she has a child, then she gets back to work and now she is unreliable because children get sick and she will have to stay at home with them. She also can't be at work 24/7 as she has other obligations. So in our country, the employer will quite often try and use every option to get rid of her (may be better in other countries, but it is so here and now). Even if the employer can't do this, she is still "unreliable" employee.
Of course, the reasons Rod gave come also come into play, current 'culture' is a massive influence all right. But well, take all I mentioned above and tell me you would not be 'somewhat' discouraged by these prospects.

Quote:
In Norway for example where you get a year paid maternity leave (it is expected that the father take 14 weeks of paid leave as well) and kids have a right to kindergarten from the age of 1...
To send a child at age of one to kindergarten is something that should be done only if there is abslutely no other choice. It is too soon. We have 2-4 year's parent leave (and it is a horror to get a child into kndergarten at any age due to our clever governments selling them off when there were less children for a few years).
The leave is 'paid' (well, not much money, but something - always the same amount of money, so the parent gets more money monthly if s/he decides to go for the two years variant). We have slightly better birth rate and women decide to have children a little earlier age than average in Europe (still not good though), but we may get to those averages in a few years...

For some odd reason every time our government decided to make the conditions slightly better, the birth rates went up. The causes were apparently absolutely unrelated to this. There always was another cause of it (baby boomers or something else was blamed) and went down when - as it had no real effect - it was canceled by the next government to come to save money. Then repeated with the same, unrelated effect, and cancelled again...
So yes, it is well established in social sciences that equal rigths and educated women are the cause. Obviously.



I do not want to turn this discussion entirely into a rant unrelated to the original purpose so I will add to what I wanted to say about HE in this matter (and what Rod summarized so well): High Elves live long and in "harmony with nature". Having too many children would cause population raise and therefore unbalance so it may just not be natural for them to have many children. Which is a problem in an age of constant war, of course. On personal level, it may not be so easy for them to bear children, love them, raise them and then send them to war and death.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 10:48 am 
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Francis wrote:
On the high elves my argument still stands. Why should you bother to have any children when they aren't needed for when you get old (even in advanced western societies children is an advantage at old age). Add to the fact that elves are natural egoists and I am actually surprised that any children are born at all.

You are completely discounting nature here though. In many western societies, children are not needed to take care of you when you grow old. They are almost always a negative businesscase. If you were to simply save up all the money you put into children (and that is a lot...) you would have a lot more then whatever those children would pay for you later. And yet, still children are born in western society.

Somehow, once women reach a certain age (men as well, but less strongly), nature starts calling. And they just want to have a child. I've seen it happen over and over again (a lot of my female friends are in this age group currently). And even women who a few years ago said they would never ever get children are getting pregnant. Somehow, people are just wired so they want to have kids at some point.

Easy as that.

Same probably goes for elven society. At some point you just want to have children and share your live and future with them. Nothing magical about it. And I doupt that elves are more egoistic then humans are. If anything, elves can probably more easily afford to take a few years off to take care of a kid.

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@Rod, Sure, I have seen it myself, but even with this urge, western nations (not counting the U.S. here) are seeing birth rates (just realized that I am really talking about fertility rates, but you get the idea) that are to small to keep the population growing. Just to keep stable population you need fertility rates of 2.1 per women, whereas the average in Europe (EU) is closer to 1.6 (http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/statis ... statistics).

The Helfs could actually have a fertility rate close to 2 and still be in decline.

@Aicanor, I never said that an educated woman don't want to have children, I would never say anything like that, what I said is that the fertility rate declines as education and women's rights increases, in other words, women often don't want to have many children as their education increases.

For most people in the west 1-2 children that grow up is the norm, unfortunately this will still lead to a situation where the population on the whole declines.


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Tho' much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
-Ulysses, Alfred Lord Tennyson

...Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;...
-from The Second Coming, William Butler Yeats


"The time of the High Elves has passed, or so it is said."
"The empire... is now confined to the kingdoms of Ulthuan and scattered outposts..."
"cities... are now naught but empty echos"
-WHFB Army Book - High Elves


To examine the decline of the Asur in the WHFB world, we have to examine exactly what is meant by 'decline', as well as the nature of the Asur (in comparison with other elves and perhaps other races) and the role of 'Elves' in the magic-based, fantasy setting. If we speak of Elven power as 'passing', what are we speaking of? Absolute power or relative? Military Power? Magical? Geopolitical? Demographic? Spirit? And what is our point of comparison? The victory over the forces of the Warp and the creation of the great vortex? The first defeat of the Dark Elves? The height of peace and prosperity during some relatively peaceful reign? All of the above points are interconnected, but I will -try- to break them out for individual discussion.

1.) Absolute Power vs. Relative Power: "The High Elves are in Decline because they have less relative power in the world"

A nation can be at an utter peak of its own absolute power, relative to its historical power, and still feel that it is a nation or empire in decline. Consider briefly the modern United Kingdom. Certain the Royal Navy as it exists in 2014 could engage and decisively defeat the Royal Navy as it existed during the heyday of Admiral Nelson. So in 'absolute' terms, the United Kingdom is more powerful today than it was 'at its height'. Relative to other nations in the world, however, the United Kingdom plays a much smaller role now than it did in the past.. and for many similar reasons. The United Kingdom no longer has colonies covering the entire world, and can no longer dictate local policy to almost any other first world nation. This decline is tied to a loss not of absolute power, but of relative power, as other nations come to the forefront, and as the Royal Navy has lost its former advantages in size and technology. Even if -no other- factors of 'decline' were in play, the simple fact of the loss of whole subsets of the Elven population, not to death, but to division (notably the Dark and Wood Elves), coupled with the abandonment of the majority of overseas holdings and the rise of other powers in the world (most notably Human) would be enough to allow an observer to say the elves are 'in decline'.

2.) Military Power: "The High Elves are in Decline because they are no longer as militarily competent as once they were."

Elven military technology and technique peaked early, in the war against the demons, and has remained fairly static ever since. Despite subsequent conflicts, no apparent advances in military science or technology seem to have taken place. At the same time, only one major military capability seems to have been lost: Modern elves deal with a declining access to Dragons. Reasons for that decline are worth a post in their own, but simply replacing every Elven Steed ridden by a Dragon Prince with an actual Dragon, even a 'mere' Sun Dragon, represents a massive increase in power - both in terms of actual killing power, and also in mobility and resilience. Additionally, access to -enough- dragons to comprise an actual force in their own, rather than serving as support to another force, would have allowed the elves to function in tactical and strategic ways that no other force could and no modern force can. A significant force of dragons would have strategic -entirely- out of proportion to their ability to impact a single battlefield, due to their combination of mobility, resilience, and striking power.
However, outside of this loss, Asur seem to have lost no military potency, on a unit-per-unit basis. To state the Asur are in decline due to lost of military power seems to overstate the case for that military loss.

3.) Magical Power: "The Asur are in decline because they have less magic to call upon than once they did."

The Asur connection with magic may have been lessened by the creation of the great vortex.. though drawing down the level of magic in the world no doubt lessened the power of chaos, it could also have weakened any race as reliant on magical power as the Asur. On the other side of the coin, they continue to have at least a handful of individuals whose magical ability is competitive with the highest that has ever existed (c.f. Teclis). That said, the elves seem to treasure 'old' items of power, so perhaps new ones are no longer being created (or not created as quickly... even if still above 'replacement' levels of production, lessened production of magical weapons of war would lead to a relative decline, as discussed above. Still, to say that 'The Asur are in Decline' because of declining magical power seems false, and as such is an interesting contrast to the Lord of the Rings Eldar, who -do- seem to grow less magically powerful as a race over time.

4.) Geopolitical Power: "The Asur are in decline because they no longer wield as much power in the world at large as once they did"

This seems to be the singular preeminent decline of the Asur. By losing -large- subsets of their population to rebellion, and by withdrawing back on themselves and 'turning inward' (fortress mentality), the Asur lost population, gave up control and influence over large swaths of the world and the powers growing therein, and set the stage for the growth of other great powers in the world (most notably human). See 'Relative Power' discussion above. Even if they were -not- declining in other ways (and it will be argued below that they are), the Asur's geopolitical influence, whilst still vast, is a fraction of their former position. It can fairly be said that in geopolitical terms, the Asur are in decline.

5.) Demographic 'Power': "The Asur are in decline because there are less of them than there used to be."

Given discussion in the books of large High Elven cities now partially or entirely emptied of people (without a corresponding increase in rural population), and given that those cities of Ulthulan are empty -despite- the recall of large amounts of Elves from foreign colonies, it can be taken as a given that there are less elves answering to the title 'Asur' than there were in the past. But why is that the case?

Obviously many elves left to become Dark Elves, and some number refused to return to Ulthuan when called. Many were also killed in the great civil war. What we do not know is if there are more, less, or about the same number of Asur now as there were immediately after the civil war. The Asur would have their empty cities and sense of loss even if the numbers had been stable (or even slightly increased), and it certainly seems possible that their population, while diminished, is stable or slowly growing (creatures with a 2000 year lifespan will tend to have a low replacement rate!). This would allow them to have relatively declined, without demanding more. However, this author at least finds the feel of an ongoing demographic collapse (though of course a very, very slow one, given their lifespan) to be one appropriate to the 'feel' of the fluff, and to the classic high fantasy tropes and setting, so we will explore it.

If there are less Asur today than there were 1000, 2000, 5000 years ago, it is because less Asur are being born than are dying. However, the Asur are only one of three races of elves, and two of them are -not- spoken of as declining. Of those two, it is probably a safe assumption that the high-martial, highly violent, and highly betrayl/backstabbing/bloodletting focused Druichi suffer a higher average mortality rate than the Asur, yet are -not- spoken of as being in decline. Ergo, the Asur birthrate is apparently less than that of the Druichi, and argueably less than that of the Asrai. 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'?

6.) Spiritual Decline: "The Asur are in decline because some of the old fire is gone, because something is 'missing' from their race."

For this author, the point above is the telling one. Whether one looks at it from mythopoetic roots (older/higher/better world passing away, parents and mentors passing on to make room for children, turn of seasons, passing away of the old order/the old guard), evolutionary reasons (species -seem- to have a 'lifespan', or so my friend the biologist tells me.. every few million years, more or less with some variation, the clock gets punched and the species gets replaced in its niche, most of the time, with high elves representing rigidty and lack of change), or another perspective, the best and seemingly most sensible story is that the Asur have lost something, and are carrying on, rather than creating anew.

Asur society exists almost purely in reaction to a few definitive events.. the war with chaos and the sundering. Their defining events are change and -rejection- of change, at least uncontrolled change. The unformed, primal Asur society, now lost to mist, was forced into a single form, unchanged in the modern era... a reaction to the threat of Chaos, and perhaps one intended by their Old One Creators. Having been proven victorious over that threat, they settled into a form opposed to that threat, the threat of Chaos. Of Change. They are defined -in opposition- now, rather than for their own sakes as 'whole' creations. Similarly, on the heels of their greatest victory, they saw their society split nearly in half and all of their sacrifices nearly undone because some of their number sought a different path (a violent, bloody, etc. etc. et. different path, but even so... rejection of and fear of passion seemed to be driven into the Asur psyche from day one). So it seems possible that spiritually, the Asur were at that point paralyzed... no longer looking forward to the future, but back to the past... to their highest and best glory, their greatest sacrifice for the world (which after all was why they were created - to save the world).

In this they differ from their cousins, the Druichi and the Asrai. Whatever their (many) failings, the Druichi are not static, or backwards looking.. they are, in their own eyes, cutting a bloody path for themselves into a better future (at least for that individual). They are forward looking. They are proactive... the Dark Elves want to kill all of the High Elves. The High Elves wouldnt mind killing all of the Dark Elves, but would probably be just as happy if they all fell on their own daggers.

The Asrai, whilst not as tied to bloody passion as the Druichi, are still those elves who felt so tied -to the world-, so connected to where they were and what they were doing -now-, that they did not return to Ulthuan when called, but instead focused on the -now-, the immediacy of their experience. This pattern follows in their tie to nature and to natural cycles... like the forest and its beasts that are their home, the Asrai are less concerned with what will be than the Druichi, and less focused on looking back to and maintaining as much as possible of a specific perfect past as the Asur. For all the Asur ideas of 'balance', it is perhaps the Asrai who are the best 'balanced' of the elven races.

This spiritual malaise or lack may tie into the demographic issues above. If the Druichi are striving, fighting, future-focused, they might be (both because of the magical world, and because of personal choices) more relatively fecund than the Asur, allowing them to sustain or grow a population despite a greater mortality rate. The Asrai, being tied into the endless now and the immediate cycle of nature, need no excuse to be more fertile than an elven culture tied instead to studying harder, building higher walls, fearing for the future and struggling to preserve the past.

The saddest part of the above is of course that the Asur's spiritual malaise is, arguably, inherit in their very nature. Created (like most other races) to war against Chaos, the Asur, more than any other, hold to that line. Unfortunately, their own cultural arrogance (heightened, by the winds of magic drawn in by -their own efforts- against Chaos) has fixed them into defending a fixed view of the world, and their place in it, the form they were beaten into in their first great war with Chaos. Lacking the willingness to change, focused on the past, rather than the future, the Asur are and -must- decline... because the world changes, and they do not. They are what they were made to be, a brittle blade of unalloyed metal.. but all the sharper for it, whilst they last.


I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
-Ozymandias, Percy Bysshe Shelly

'I will diminish, and go into the West, and remain Galadriel.'
-LOTR, Fellowship of the Ring, Book 2, Chapter VI "The Mirror of Galadriel"

Postscript-
WHEW. Sorry for the novel of a first post. If anyone actually reads this far, thanks! All ideas are of course my own, YMMV, IMHO, blah blah blah... but this has all been rattling around in my head since I first read this topic a week ago. The Asrai, like the 'Light Elves' of Middle Earth, do not change.. and the world is leaving them behind. They are true to what they were created to do, even if they were created by giant space frogs instead of by Eru Illuvatar. Now, of course, WHFB != LOTR, but many of the mythic roots go back there (or to earlier stories), and Ill admit to being influenced by them.

Anyway, thoughts are welcome, comments are sought, and even criticism is appreciated.

PPS: The quotes are probably pretentious as all hell, but I like them, and they fit the flavour of the topic.

PPPS: Wow, thats all kinda depressing.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 1:53 pm 
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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).


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 3:59 pm 
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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.

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