Sunday, 15 August 2010

The nature of the Sithi - part 2

Following a prompt on the first discussion i have managed to find the file. So what follows is a write up of a discussion, this probably needs some picking to pieces before we formalise any of it.

Elven race:
All long lived people lived in the Garden. The races were separated and distinguished by their study of and relationship to the shadows they had been created by the Gods to study. Over the tens of thousands of years the different groups took on different characteristics (both physical and behavioural) based upon this. Light elves studied the shadows in the blazing light of day and cold light of night, deep elves went to the dark places (and then began making their own dark places) to study shadows in their own environment and controlling the light that was present. Drow meanwhile sought (and gained) a closer relationship with the shadows, mimicking them and living with/alongside them. However these peoples did not think of themselves as races as such as their first allegiance, overwhelming all others, was to their holds. Now some holds were predominately of one branch of long-lived whilst others were a more balanced mix. All however had a mix. We know that during the wars of unbeing several large distinct groups left and founded the various cities. All of these groups were made up of “Sithi-lebn-schel-n’kenamal” (or some such long winded untranslatable gibberish) which in the tongue of the Garden mean “Those people who lived in the time of complete dying” – ie those who were living during the 40,000 year long war of unbeing. By the time of Aquila’s hey-day they were just called Sithi “The people”. We do not know what happened to the other cities (apart from K’s story of one of them and my reference to a smaller very northern one overrun at the start of the usurper war) and the racial make up of them. Those groups who left the Garden before the war of unbeing (for a variety of reasons) were called different things and we believe these are the other long lived peoples out there in the world. Since they left so very very very long ago – their memories/histories have become irrevocably distorted from our own (though maybe almost still true through the prism of their own experiences).

Once the final refugees reached the known world the holds of old were intentionally pulled apart. The idea of the holds was now a repulsive idea. That one group of people would utterly annihilate another was blamed upon the allegiances to holds above all else (after all, 2 million members of Hold Thennict were killed in one magical assault so there was evidence to back up this hatred – on a related note, Drew, do you remember me saying there was a 2-card reading in the deck called “Elegy of the Thennict”? This, obviously, is where it comes from). The Lords of the Holds had possessed too much power, able to command armies of millions and wield horrific powers. Most had died during the war – especially since we are talking about the loosing side here – and those that survived quickly surrendered their powers at the demand of the mob. This transition though was a peaceful one – everyone wanted an end to slaughter. This is turn led to the concept and realisation of the issue of Jingizu. Finally able to stop fighting for the first time in millennia, the Sithi were able to let loose their grief and mourn. Such was the power of this release that it became a thing in it’s own right and all Sithi were pulled to the depths of suicidal despair. Realising the risk of the race effectively willing itself to die, the gods strengthened their chosen and sent them out to preach their message. They explained how these Sithi had chosen to forsake the evils of the Garden and would thus be allowed to live without the Jingizu (and presumably gloat about the fact that the ones who followed the King were still suffering) and would only suffer it if another Sithi died at their hands. Then they would not suffer the guilt of killing one but the same grief that those who had killed thousands felt.
All people define themselves by some form of grouping, without the regime of holds to define them the Sithi began to split along their racial lines instead. They were all still Sithi but each branch now called themselves after their racial line too. The Children of the Dawn, Deep, Shadows etc. However all seemed well in the city but tensions were beginning to build as the prize was that much smaller (eg control of a single city rather than the world) and therefore could only provide power/wealth/luxury to a limited number. As Ineluki was definitely a light elf it was very much the Zideya who were perceived to rule the city. This was not resented very much by the deep elves for they remained underground but the drow began to feel they were slighted and trapped between the two other Sithi races with no-where to call their own. They began to call themselves the Drow to distinguish themselves from the rest of the Sithi and offers of senior positions in the city hierarchy were rejected to perpetuate the sense of victim-hood. The true level of their disconnect and separation from the Sithi was only realised by a terrible act that should have been more terrible still. Fin Gorrel was a Sithi judge who presided over a court that found a drow guity of arson and sentenced him to be banished. The drow refused and challenged Fin Gorrel to trial by arms to prove his innocence. The law, unchanged for thousands of years, allowed for this but only until first blood; the drow however, clearly had more deadly intent. Fin Gorrel accepted the challenge, though his reasons for doing so remain obscure, and in the ensuing fight, forced to defend himself to his full abilities in the face of the Drow’s murderous assault, his sword found the Drows heart and Fin Gorrel fell to his knees as the guilt came crashing in. This was not the jingizu of the gods warning though – merely guilt for a life wasted. The Drow had removed themselves from the Sithi to such an extent that the gods and the power of the jingizu no longer regarded them as kin. Did the Drow know this before the challenge? Was the now dead Drow there to prove this point or merely die by blade or grief to prove the Drow claim of being victims? We do not know but the Lay of Fin Gorrel has become a powerful ritual. A stylised fight before actual combat between Sithi that follows the movements and killing strike of Fin Gorrel. By the power of the ritual, or by the power suggested by the ritual, Sithi are able to enter a state where the killing of another Sithi is seen as justified and thus the victor suffers no grief.

This ultimately meant that by the time of the fall the two races, Sithi and Drow, could kill each other with impunity. Though they may have lamented the fact that long-lived fought long-lived whilst mortals ripped down their city, they did not hesitate to turn their blades upon each other.


  1. As people can probably tell, this was written by me without any reference to what we had written or said before (ie Henry only made me aware of the document about the Lay of Fin Gorel after I'd written this) as I tried to thrash out an idea that would explain the different types of elf, what jingizu is and how we could tie it all together.

    I think large parts of this are good as it is but, most obviously, it needs to be tied into the info that has already been written about the ritual.

    Does anyone have a soft copy of that we can put up?

  2. There's the stuff in the right-frame about the Blades of Tsi? Or were you thinking of something else?

  3. Nope that's probably what I was thinking of I just haven't reached that doc yet.

  4. Apart form the Lay ref I think this is good. For the record I think both this and the Lay should be reworked to fit with one another. I seem to recall Drew did a race tree, which hopefully you still have...

  5. Just read the blades of Tsi stuff and the only thing that really conflicts is that I said the name of the judge is Fin Gorrendal rather than the victim. Not a big thing to change though. Otherwise I cannot see anything that contradicts or needs changing.

    What do others think?

  6. I don't see any other contradiction. It is a good example of the synchronicity we often share, as mentioned in London.

    Are we saying then that Drow do not suffer jingizu?

    That would fit especially since we have known a few go up against one another and the nature of their Houses for in-fighting.

    The Drow in the story, had he won, would have walked away impassive to his deeds of slaying the Light Elf judge I take it from the description of the God's attitude to them and the Drow victim mentality?