Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Q&A - Undead & WTF are the norns?

What is our postion on undead? Prevsiiuly were have played such stances as viewing them all as total abominations and yet at other times we (as in sithi characters past and present) have interacted with them, and even last Renewal, interceded on their behalf.

Basically what is the Aditu or wider Sithi stance on undead and why?

This leads me to the Norns? What are they? Who are they? Are they undead...see above....?


  1. I think we have to distingish between 'free-will' undead and other undead (zombies etc...). As far as I can remember we've never liked automata-undead (against the natural way of life) but our relationships with free-will undead such as vampires has been a bit more ... complex. Valent'm certainly got on well with some vampires, giving them shelter, and lying our heads off about it to other groups/factions. The Algaia as a whole have a no tolerance stance on any form of undead, so that should probably be our public stance, no matter what we decide in private.

    Norns - I thought everyone knew about Norns. Goodness me. (No, I'm not sure what they are either.)

  2. Norns was my fuck up, sorry about that.

  3. Ok so what are they Drew? Adn why do we tolerate certain, sentient undead? What is the reasoning behind it? For instnace Lich's are not auto-mata but I find it hard to beleive we would tolerate them...

    Vampires might be able to show a capcity for 'free will' but is that it takes for us? Are they not outside of ashan's cycle and therefore abhorent? I know we have used this arguemnt b4 re undead and don't see how having access to free will can counter this.

    Would be good to get somthgin fleshed out so we all know what our stance is and why.

    and wtf the norns are!!! Adn how, if at all, the fit with the undead thing

  4. Ok, norns were never supposed to be norns. Matt created the idea of these spirits from the past of aquila. I'd been reading too much tad williams and called them norns in character at a day event. By the end of the day so was everyone else. Because i'm influential.
    In norse mythology they're pretty much any kind of ancient spirit, which is what i think we should be aiming for now that i've fucked it up.

    As to the undead, i have no clue, i wasn't accepting responsibility for that. I don't see why we'd tolerate them (in any form). The franconians thing wasn't about the vampire it was about the franconians, if that makes sense. From Shao's perspective these were once comrades in arms, he had to step in. He didn't know what the cause was at the time.

  5. Ok, so norns are spirits of aquila age elves...but they take form ( i hesitate to use the word physical form for obvious reasons) so clearly they are ‘spiritual unrdad’ to talk in pure CP terms. So they are undead in a game sense… I’ll come back to this.

    But to deal with the Franconian Vampire thing, I don’t think the fact they were Fracnsonisn would be enough if we are totally anti-undead cos they are an affront to Ashan or whatever reason we deiced means we don’t tolerate them, in any form. I think we need to reason something out on this. Why are norns, and vamps who are friends of our friends ok?

    Drew’s description of Matt’s norns (sprits of elves) brings me to another thing….afterlife.

    We all know that the afterlife we have cooked up is that a Sithi spirit is is guided by Rauxlor to the feast of Jhkol and that is our afterlife… Very much an abstract one like the Christian heaven, rather than having our sprits wondering around, or inhabit new bodies/multiple lives sort of thing. So one assumes that these Norns were those that died and didn’t have the Crow rites done (I guess if they died in the sack who could have done it). This is tying together ok so far…. And i guess our goal for these would be to help send them on their way/put them at rest, hence they can be tolerated and we would prob want to aid them. Might be a nice angle to argue with the whole elven essence, rings thing too (seeting sprits to rest)???

    But it doesn’t really help with the vampire thing/why we would tolerate, or have done in the past. If something was an affront to Ashan (undead) would we tolerate it just cos we had some mutual pals with it? I am not having ago about the vampire francs thing at all as that sounds like it was awesome and totally the right thing to do play-wise, plus as Alan has said HA & HV have dealt with them favourably before… but I think we need a coherent and reasoned why we have, and why might again.

  6. i don't think that norns are undead in the sense that most people view that. they may be ancient spirits or ghosts if you like. they're not an abomination to ashan, they just haven't found their rightful resting place yet.
    Let's keep norns and undead separate please.

  7. Norns are definitly a different thing to the rest of the undead (though granted maybe only to us) because of thier links with Aquila. They are ancient spirits who, were they not at sentient as they are, we would probably be worshiping.

    On the vampire thing - raise it IC. Y'dar was in the conversations but not there in the evening when blades were being drawn etc. He can legitimately ask his Retan, and the rest of the group, what happened and why didn't they let the vampire die.

  8. As Drew said, I remember introducing the idea of the 'Ghosts of Aquila' - spirits not laid to rest from the sacking of Aquila trapped in that tomb which the Usurper then made worse for them by building the Cathedral around them, thus imprisoning them.

    His diary makes mention of 'hearing the voices of the sad and lonely' or something similar from memory. He finds it a comfort for his pursuit of reclaiming his elven bloodline and a curse also for it is a torment of his own making.

    The Returning was fundamentally about:
    1) A return of the most prized elven city back to what it should be &
    2) Laying the spirits of the ancestors to rest finally.

    Norns = Ghosts pure and simple,
    but they have consciousness and as result of their 'imprisonment' by Usurper are / were quite quite mad and irrational. Recall behaviour of them at events - not balanced.

    Norns fitted well as we were ripping off and bastardising Tad Williams and others a lot more at that time.
    Like that story of how they came to be named as such - funny :o)

  9. On Vampyres:
    From past (and am going back long time even before John & Henry entering into this daft hobby / obsession of ours and when Drew & I were lot younger *sigh*)... we had it that vampyres were companions of the Light Elves in Jao.

    All forests have dark shadows and the vampyres inhabit such on the outskirts of Jao. It is a tale to keep elven children in check and from straying too far.
    Also, means the Great Wood had a second line of defence from invasive / overly curious mortals.
    The vampyres acted as their own but with a unspoken blessing from the Council of Jao.

    There were actual stories of Council Elders letting vampyres feed from them. Way we played it was if you allow any vampyre to feed 3 times from you then you are lost to them and become one of their kind.

    Due to role-played moments/situations Navarre allowed Nim-na-Thal to feed from him twice in all. (Gathering Event days to then gain access into the Drow underworlds in pursuit of the Lady Aglaranna's killer and also general role-play stuff in the wider circle of things concerning Tamarlane and the alliance with Nim's people etc etc etc.)

    Amerasu also allowed a feeding from another vampyre of her own blood.

    I think we were going with the concept that these creatures were a part of a 'shadow world' between the living and the Halls of Jhkol (as they have become) that fascinate and scare us as elvenkind. A balance between life & death and complete loss.

    Does this make sense?

  10. To be honest i don't remember any of that other than the fact that, for some reason, we were friends with Nim. Mind you i was playing Cartha in those days and a lot of the elf stuff went over my head back then too.

  11. Can't say I know anything about the vamp stuff but it does explain (conveniently) our stance at last Renewal when presented with a vamp in the Francs.
    I also quite like the fact that we are inconsistent with our approach to something (ie the undead) and even vaguely hypocritical. Makes it all the more believable to my mind. "All undead are evil apart from these ones because we like them" is a much more plausable idea than being perfectly aligned behind one approach we never flex from. Being long lived we are far more likely to have more nuanced views on things than humans who can be more puritanical and crusaderish about things as they won't live long enough to have to suffer doubt or question thier chosen approach.

  12. I reckon that if we all agreed now on the nature of our relationship with Vampyres which is, as John says, nicely hypocritical then suggest as others have already that we talk about this incident in game time when Ydar brings it up and asks about what happened.

    We have the get out of vamps being a part of our cultural history and while not being direct allies, more reminders to the long lived of utter blackness and loss of soul, we would stand beside them.

    Other undead though are issues of necromancy and foul deeds which we go up against. We have proof of such at that Renewal 2008 when we all got mashed up in the ruins that night and luckily had a friendly healing Jacob looking out for us!

  13. So basically, we believe vampires to not be 'undead' in the sense of others. This is fine for me - in fact we more think of them as immortals/long-lived rather than undead as such. The may have started as one type of creature but (perhaps according to our belief and experience of 'our' type of vamps) don't die in order to become what they are but are changed by other means (e.g. being bitten). Of course, the CP in game get out (if they make hard and fast rules that vamps are ‘x’ type of undead creature) could be there are many different types of vamps. We may assume (as one would) that all are like ‘our; type as we have no reason to think otherwise - yet!

    I don't think we would have a problem with what they are (i.e feeders on blood) as we have played that Sithi are happy to feed on blood and consume sudhod-ya on occasion out of necessity or for ritual purpose. They are cattle after all…

    This does bring me onto what where the vamps of the great wood? Are they turned Sithi or Sudhod’-ya? Or does race become immaterial once they have changed because we now seem them not as undead Sithi/sudhod-ya but now as a distinct race? I am just arguing through why we would tolerate some but not others.

    Perhaps we judge it on a case by case basis for reason I will come to. I now recall when Lanval, Cresus, Jakob and a newly made Gallo were all involved in tracking some vamp at Crusade 1107. Now whereas we set out with scepticism and a undercurrent of killing it, we were some of the least militant and zealous of the hunters, and the group we went with (which contained the Kahn and Thoronruin I recall) actually conversed with it until a bunch of sudhod-ya fumaes from other factions burst in and scared it off. Gallo even wrote to the thing later, if not in friendship then at least in understanding and with the end of trying to start a dialogue rather than just being a rouse to lure it out and kill it etc.

    Would our priority be trying to set them to rest? I like J’s mention of a reminder of soulnessness. I would tie this even further with Sithi history and call it a form of ‘unbeing’. I guess our goal towards these things would be based on what we see them as. If they are still trapped Sithi then we would want to release them (as we do the norns). Less so if turned sudhod-ya. However, if we think of them as something totally different (and therefore previous race is immaterial) once a vamp then I think that makes things easier. Let us say that, once turned after 3 bites, the Sithi soul is released (who knows or cares what happens to sudhod-ya souls) as the creature becomes something totally different. This then gives us total ‘case-by-case’ judgment call ability with how we view vamps. Those that tried to bite and turn Sithi or allies that didn’t want to enter this state of unbeing we would prob take a dim view of. But not based purely on what they are. We would be wary and prob a bit uneasy with these things of unbeing very much on the periphery of our culture but not necessarily hostile in all cases. Does this make sense and are people happy to view it like this?

  14. Would be very interesting to hear the L'Retel stance on vamps, HL being shadow dwellers themselves. Not rying to start a dicussion here as very much a FOIP for us Aditu but just want to get K thinking about it, although I am sure he already has.