[Celenaresspace] Raiding PHBR8 to create THE elven sphere

"Let us create vessels and sails adjusted to the heavenly aether, and there will be plenty of people unafraid of the empty wastes." — Kepler
The Book-House: Find Spelljammer products.

Moderators: Big Mac, night_druid

User avatar
Big Mac
Giant Space Hamster
Posts: 26485
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 3:52 pm
Gender: male
Location: London UK
Contact:

[Celenaresspace] Raiding PHBR8 to create THE elven sphere

Post by Big Mac »

After speaking to Colin McComb over in his Q&A thread in the Thunder Rift subforum, I had a bit of a brainwave.

People have spoken about fluffing out the "elven homeworld" or at least the homeworld of the Elven Empire for some time, but there has never been much of an agreement about how that should be done.

But after skimming thorugh PHBR8 The Complete Book of Elves, I had a bit of a flash. What if we take chapter 13 of PHBR8 as our sphere's system, and then reverse engineer every idea from every page of the book and use those ideas to flesh out the six planet concepts that Colin McComb suggested. I'm sure he wasn't intentionally designing THE elven crystal sphere, but if we are going to invent a sphere, why not invent the sphere that he has prefabricated for us.

EDIT: Full title of PHBR8 added to above paragraph, for clarification.

Anyway, here is the important part of my post over there:
Big Mac wrote:
Colin McComb wrote:
Big Mac wrote:The Elven Homeworld: Various SJ sources speak of homeworlds for races, but (as far as I recall) your reference here is the only reference to an elven homeworld. I've always wanted to go with this (as gospel), build up an Elven crystal sphere around the small throwaway reference you have given us. Other SJ fans dislike the concept of single homeworlds - I believe they see it as potentially conflicting with the canon of individual campaign settings. However, I can't see a better way to explain the Imperial Navy than to make the world you touch on into the centre of an Elven Empire that once dominated the Known Spheres and have an Emperor or Empress. Was there ever any more to this sort of thing?
This one I remember. Backstory: Jeff Grubb, Thomas Reid, and I used to take lunches and kick around the idea of a world of pure elven hegemony. This was a reference to that, playing it out further. I thought the idea of an elven sphere was incredibly cool, but because of the issue of core canon, it didn't go any further. Making decisions like this without the consent of the affected groups would have earned serious bad consequences. Instead, I got to make an allusion that could be interpreted without definitively saying "THIS IS HOW IT IS".

That being said, these are your campaign worlds. Once they left TSR, they were designed for you to play with as you wanted. There's no reason you couldn't take the idea and make it whatever you wanted.

(though again: Elves defending their sphere against beholders and illithid invaders, fleeing across the Known Spheres is a damn cool creation myth)
I think this is definitely an idea that a number of the fans want to pursue. Beyond the Moons has official site status and we could turn a number of unfinished TSR outlines into netbooks and seek approval for Beyond the Moon canonisation. At the moment, I'm gathering facts for the wiki in an attempt to make sure that everyone that wants to work on fanon has a full understanding of where the original canon leaves off. It is a bit of a slow (and sometimes boring) process and I keep getting busy at work, so I've not as much progress as I would like to. I could actually spend less time doing this and more time churning out concepts for fanon, but I have made minor continuity errors in my LARP work in the past, and they bug me to this day. So I would rather see the maze of canon simplified instead of made more confusing. Hopefully, one day soon, I'll be able to get enough of the big picture together to start inferring a ton of new fanon from unrelated canon that just asks to be connected.

But I would like to know more about "a world of pure elven hegemony" (if there is any more). Perhaps it might be more appropriate to make a thread about this in the Spelljammer forum (instead of hijacking your Q&A thread for questions about this implied world/sphere).

One of the things about the creation myths (the generic ones) that you have in the Complete Book of Elves is that they don't really work if you have elves springing up on different worlds...but if you have some sort of shared root (as your tree-like diagram suggests) then the early elves can have a shared mythology. You can justify a single set of gods and all the nuts and bolts stuff that go with it. And the same sort of thing applies to elven legends (like the story of Jarsali and the Treant). If a GM runs a game that uses more than one planet, I think the only way to deal with those "shared legends" is to invent that world that you spoke about with Jeff Grubb and Thomas Reid.

I suppose that an alternate plane is another way to go for a source of elven origin myths. I think that is what 4e has been trying to do with the Eladrin. But I would much rather lift the various "elven worlds" that you suggest in Chapter 13 of PHBR8 and stick all six of them into a single crystal sphere. A sphere like that could probably find a way to milk every single suggestion out of your sourcebook and give each concept a bespoke land, country or place where the setting fits the story like a glove. If that was done, then even stuff that might not be appropriate for Dragonlance elves, Forgotten Realms elves or Thunder Rift elves is going to be totally appropriate in the context of a bespoke sphere is built entirely around your work. Even things like your Undead Slayer kit can be reverse-engineered to infer a land, continent or moon where the forces of undeath are the main threat to elven life. And the one single linking mechanism could be Celenaress (your grey elf city from page 64) which could, over time, be the capital of a nation, continent, world an entire sphere and then the Known Spheres, themselves.

I think the only thing missing is a "scattering of the elves" myth. Something that shows the elven gods wanting their people to see the entire universe...or somesuch thing. But perhaps that sort of thing could be left a bit vague in order to allow the creation myths of D&Ds various settings to be slowly woven together.
If you want to read more, please see the Q&A with Colin McComb thread.

Anyway, if anyone thinks this idea has legs, we might end up combining it with a bunch of stuff about the navy and turning it into a netbook.

One important thing - that PHBR8 doesn't tell us - is how we can design the home sphere of the elves and then hide it so well that nobody even knows it exists. But we can deal with that as we go along. I'm thinking that this sphere would be so old that it was visited by races like the Juna and that the sphere would be so old that people would have forgotten more of its history than they remember.

EDIT: I've decided to change the name of my thread from "Milking PHBR8..." to "Raiding PHBR8..." as it sounds less weird. I'm going to ask a moderator (me) to edit the other posts.
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
Please join The Piazza's Facebook group, The Piazza's Facebook page and follow The Piazza's Twitter feed so that you can stay in touch.
Spelljammer 3E Conversion Project - Spelljammer Wiki - The Spelljammer Image Group.
Moderator of the Spelljammer forum (and administrator). My moderator voice is green.

User avatar
Big Mac
Giant Space Hamster
Posts: 26485
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 3:52 pm
Gender: male
Location: London UK
Contact:

The planets of Celenaresspace

Post by Big Mac »

This will be continued in its own thread if required, but here is what Chapter 11 of The Complete Book of Elves gives us:
  • The Elf World,
  • The Human World,
  • The Dwarf World,
  • The Evil World,
  • The Aquatic World and
  • The Outcast World
There are other things implied in PHBR8, but I'm figuring that each of these main suggestions for an "elven campaign setting" should be one of the planets of this system and that anything else should either be an island, country or nation on one of these planets or a moon orbiting the planet.

EDIT: It would be theoretically possible to reorder these planets, but why bother? Lets just do them in order (i.e. the 2nd planet becomes the planet where humans took over, the 3rd becomes the one now dominated by dwarves and the forth becomes the one that was overwhelmed by evil forces).

I'm undecided on things like asteroids yet, but I think that (as well as the PHBR8 stuff, we need to also bring in every bit of elf-related canon from the other SJ products and locate it in the sphere. And we don't need to stop there. We can milk other elf-related stuff from other campaign settings.

So far, I'm not sure if certain things (like bionoids) should be native to this sphere's wildspace or something that was found in another sphere. But we can work on that.

I think that we can infer a sun, but I'll wait for someone to find one within PHBR8 before we start deciding what that sun should look like. The same goes for the stars.
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
Please join The Piazza's Facebook group, The Piazza's Facebook page and follow The Piazza's Twitter feed so that you can stay in touch.
Spelljammer 3E Conversion Project - Spelljammer Wiki - The Spelljammer Image Group.
Moderator of the Spelljammer forum (and administrator). My moderator voice is green.

User avatar
night_druid
Radiant Dragon
Posts: 6800
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 9:08 pm
Gender: male

Re: [Celenaresspace] Raiding PHBR8 to create THE elven spher

Post by night_druid »

What does PHBR8 stand for?
Moderator: Spelljammer, Kingdoms of Kalamar. My moderator voice is green

User avatar
Big Mac
Giant Space Hamster
Posts: 26485
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 3:52 pm
Gender: male
Location: London UK
Contact:

Re: [Celenaresspace] Raiding PHBR8 to create THE elven spher

Post by Big Mac »

night_druid wrote:What does PHBR8 stand for?
Oops. I'm talking about: PHBR8 The Complete Book of Elves.

Excuse the shorthand. :oops:
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
Please join The Piazza's Facebook group, The Piazza's Facebook page and follow The Piazza's Twitter feed so that you can stay in touch.
Spelljammer 3E Conversion Project - Spelljammer Wiki - The Spelljammer Image Group.
Moderator of the Spelljammer forum (and administrator). My moderator voice is green.

User avatar
night_druid
Radiant Dragon
Posts: 6800
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 9:08 pm
Gender: male

Re: [Celenaresspace] Raiding PHBR8 to create THE elven spher

Post by night_druid »

Big Mac wrote:
night_druid wrote:What does PHBR8 stand for?
Oops. I'm talking about: PHBR8 The Complete Book of Elves.

Excuse the shorthand. :oops:
Eh, no problem. Just been ages since I had to think about what that particular set of serial code stood for.
Moderator: Spelljammer, Kingdoms of Kalamar. My moderator voice is green

ravensmuse
Ogre
Posts: 200
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 12:21 pm
Gender: male

Re: [Celenaresspace] Raiding PHBR8 to create THE elven spher

Post by ravensmuse »

I still like thinking of the IEN / EIN as being heavily influenced / analogous to the British Empire circa the Age of Sail. Of course, I like to think of Spelljammer this way too, leaning towards the end when pirates roamed free, the Empire was retreating, and there were Americans and others fighting for their own freedom on the seas.

I'm tangenting here, as always.

What I'm trying to get at is that I could see Celenaresspace as the United Kingdoms. The main elven planet would be Britain proper; separate worlds for humans / dwarves / halflings / whatever could be the stand-ins for Ireland and Scotland, with the attendant native unrest associated with that.

(and if I'm being insensitve or rude here, I apologize; the wonders of the American school system ;))

Then maybe you could stick in the garden-factories that the elves use to create their ships and worlds, a sort of terraforming - hey, here's a weird idea that just came to me. I don't recall if I read it here or somewhere else, but there was that whole thing with the halflings from Athas taking off in a living spaceship at the end of the Blue Age, right? What if they got all the way to Celenaresspace and taught the elves how to bio-manipulate? They're gone now, off somewhere else or maybe just dead, but there's something. Maybe the planet they landed on would later go on to become the main garden-factory for the elves, where they perform other research like new weapons, the bionoids, that sort of thing...

I'm just tossing out ideas here.

User avatar
night_druid
Radiant Dragon
Posts: 6800
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 9:08 pm
Gender: male

Re: [Celenaresspace] Raiding PHBR8 to create THE elven spher

Post by night_druid »

OK, just a little feedback.

Origins of the Races:
Toril - Of the worlds, FR is most detailed in its history. We know a) green & dark elves are native to FR and b) gold & moon elves came from a world called Faerie at around 28,000 years ago. Faerie, interestingly enough, has evolved from a small demiplace in the Moonshea series to the elven homeworld in Evermeet: A novel to a parallel dimension in 4e.

Oerth - very little is known about GH's history beyond 1,000 years ago. We know the elven calendar begins just over 5,000 years ago, but little is know about why it starts there or what the elves have done for the past 4,000 years prior to the twin cataclysms. Some was touched on in Ivid the Undying (a web-release), but I really don't know how much is canon and how much is not.

Krynn - Gods created the elves sometime at around 9,000 years ago. Now, a number of the gods are stated as coming from "beyond", and several are renamed critters from D&D (Tiamat, Bahamut, & Orcus most prominent), so its not too much a stretch that the elves also came from "beyond" and settled on Krynn after giving their allegence to the gods of good.
Moderator: Spelljammer, Kingdoms of Kalamar. My moderator voice is green

User avatar
Chimpman
Hadozee
Posts: 7959
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 6:52 pm
Gender: male
Location: USA, California

Re: [Celenaresspace] Raiding PHBR8 to create THE elven spher

Post by Chimpman »

Mystara:
BC 6000: There is no true civilization in the Outer World. Humans are tribal hunter-gatherers, living mostly in plains and light forests. Dwarves are barbaric mountain and foothill dwellers, mostly goatherds. Elves are sheltered, protected and nurtured by the forest-spirits they worship; they do not need to work or suffer. There are no monstrous humanoids on the world to threaten the demihumans.

BC 5000: The childhood of the elves is over; the forest spirits stop sheltering them, forcing them to leave paradise and to seek their own futures. The first great elf civilization rises on the southern continent.

So elves are around in BC 6000, and are civilized and building nations by BC 5000. My take has always been that the first elves were adopted by Ordana after having found Mystaraspace (which is hard to do IMM) and colonizing the southern continent.

Hmmm... I wonder what would happen if a portion of those elves escaped back into space just before Vulcania was destroyed (circa BC 2400). If they ever found their way back home it could mean that some Blackmoorian technology found its way back to the IEN.
THRESHOLD Magazine - The Mystara Fanzine
Visit the Exiles Campaign Setting (a Mystara / Spelljammer crossover)
Visit Mystara 2300 BC

Moderator of The Tabard Inn and Blackmoor. My moderator voice is purple.

User avatar
Big Mac
Giant Space Hamster
Posts: 26485
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 3:52 pm
Gender: male
Location: London UK
Contact:

Re: [Celenaresspace] Raiding PHBR8 to create THE elven spher

Post by Big Mac »

ravensmuse wrote:I still like thinking of the IEN / EIN as being heavily influenced / analogous to the British Empire circa the Age of Sail. Of course, I like to think of Spelljammer this way too, leaning towards the end when pirates roamed free, the Empire was retreating, and there were Americans and others fighting for their own freedom on the seas.

I'm tangenting here, as always.

What I'm trying to get at is that I could see Celenaresspace as the United Kingdoms. The main elven planet would be Britain proper; separate worlds for humans / dwarves / halflings / whatever could be the stand-ins for Ireland and Scotland, with the attendant native unrest associated with that.

(and if I'm being insensitve or rude here, I apologize; the wonders of the American school system ;))
Everyone seems to compare the Elven Navy to Britain's Royal Navy. I think that the Royal Navy is our best real-world model for them, but I'm not sure how far we want to go with the analogy. I think we should certainly go through the history of the Royal Navy, but that we should be prepared to change all of the details.

For example, the United Kingdom concept might work as a way for the Elven Empire to rule its home sphere, but if you look at PHBR8's campaign setting concepts they are all ones that include elves. So deciding that elf = Englishman would change those setting concepts. Perhaps I should do a summary of each of Colin McComb's elven campaign world ieas. (I'm on lunch at the moment, so don't have the book with me.)

The comparison with "Americans" is an interesting one, but again it can only be taken so far. Spiral is a planet that had broken off contact with the navy, so they might be "American Elves", but they could just as easily be "Canadian Elves", "Australian Elves" "Kiwi Elves", etc, etc.

One thing that I do think should be different is the colonisation thing. While I do think that the Elven Empire should set up colonies, I also think that they should not be the only elves in the universe. I just think they should be the first elves in the universe. I think that the Elven Navy should actually have been set up with a role similar to Starfleet (from Star Trek) and that the early ships should have gone out to explore the universe and find other elves.

BTW: I didn't personally think you were being rude. I'm sure that, with some of SJ's elves being very arrogant (especially with the ones that wanted to assasinate Teldin Moore), it might also be useful to compare them to the Nazis. But I do think they need to take most of their background from normal elves (i.e. the elves of fantasy fiction).
ravensmuse wrote:Then maybe you could stick in the garden-factories that the elves use to create their ships and worlds, a sort of terraforming - hey, here's a weird idea that just came to me. I don't recall if I read it here or somewhere else, but there was that whole thing with the halflings from Athas taking off in a living spaceship at the end of the Blue Age, right? What if they got all the way to Celenaresspace and taught the elves how to bio-manipulate? They're gone now, off somewhere else or maybe just dead, but there's something. Maybe the planet they landed on would later go on to become the main garden-factory for the elves, where they perform other research like new weapons, the bionoids, that sort of thing...
Hmm. That sounds very interesting, but would need careful comparison with canon to avoid any potential conflict.

One issue we have is that Athas is supposed to be unknown (in the AD&D time period of SJ) so it would be hard to link anything elven to Dark Sun, unless an equal amount of care was taken to break the link beween the Known Spheres and the Crimson Sphere*.

* = This is the fanon name for Athas' crystal sphere.

Another issue that we would get is that the bio-manipulation could only happen after it happened on Athas. So this might restrict the early evolution of the Elven Navy. I'm not sure how far back the Blue Age was, but we would have to be very careful to allow enough time for this Blue Age ship to get lost in the void and get discovered by elves.

It might end up being easier to make this stuff into stuff that the elves could do before they went into space.

Having said that, if the halflings of Athas are flying around in a space ship, I want to know more about it! 8-)
ravensmuse wrote:I'm just tossing out ideas here.
Brainstorming is good. As long as everyone realises that an idea that is stuck on the table might be unworkable. Keep 'em coming.
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
Please join The Piazza's Facebook group, The Piazza's Facebook page and follow The Piazza's Twitter feed so that you can stay in touch.
Spelljammer 3E Conversion Project - Spelljammer Wiki - The Spelljammer Image Group.
Moderator of the Spelljammer forum (and administrator). My moderator voice is green.

User avatar
Big Mac
Giant Space Hamster
Posts: 26485
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 3:52 pm
Gender: male
Location: London UK
Contact:

Re: [Celenaresspace] Raiding PHBR8 to create THE elven spher

Post by Big Mac »

night_druid wrote:OK, just a little feedback.
Thanks for the feedback. It is really really useful.

I've never really formed my ideas properly before, but your comments here, as well as Ravenmuse's comments before yours has made me realise that I'm not looking for an elven homeworld to be the place where an Elven Adam and Elven Eve create a race that populates the entire universe.

What I'm looking for is the world where the first elves were born. So I want this sphere to be a very old sphere that maybe had interaction with races like the Star Folk.
night_druid wrote:Origins of the Races:
Toril - Of the worlds, FR is most detailed in its history. We know a) green & dark elves are native to FR and b) gold & moon elves came from a world called Faerie at around 28,000 years ago. Faerie, interestingly enough, has evolved from a small demiplace in the Moonshea series to the elven homeworld in Evermeet: A novel to a parallel dimension in 4e.
Hmm. Perhaps we could turn Faerie into one of the planets in Celenaresspace and put gold elves into the sphere. Or maybe it could be one of the moons in Celenaresspace. Or maybe it could be in a totally different sphere and the Elven Navy could have transported a nation of refugees.
night_druid wrote:Oerth - very little is known about GH's history beyond 1,000 years ago. We know the elven calendar begins just over 5,000 years ago, but little is know about why it starts there or what the elves have done for the past 4,000 years prior to the twin cataclysms. Some was touched on in Ivid the Undying (a web-release), but I really don't know how much is canon and how much is not.
I would personally treat Ivid the Undying as canon and set Celenaresspace (and the navy) far enough back in time that there are no clashes.
night_druid wrote:Krynn - Gods created the elves sometime at around 9,000 years ago. Now, a number of the gods are stated as coming from "beyond", and several are renamed critters from D&D (Tiamat, Bahamut, & Orcus most prominent), so its not too much a stretch that the elves also came from "beyond" and settled on Krynn after giving their allegence to the gods of good.
Here is our biggest problem. But I think the solution is to make the elven race a template that can be used again and again and again. This would mean that the "grey elves" of Celenaresspace could be the first elves and then the elven gods could create more elves elsewhere (with no biological connection) and then Eli or some other Dragonlance god could create elves in Krynnspace.

Something like this can give us a way to have many origin theories that are correct for different campaign settings without clashing with Jeff Grubb's concept of an "elven homeworld".

I also think we may be able to do a tie in with the biological urge for elves to "go away" when they get old. They could move to the elven homeworld when they get old and then slowly fade away and go to live with the elven gods.
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
Please join The Piazza's Facebook group, The Piazza's Facebook page and follow The Piazza's Twitter feed so that you can stay in touch.
Spelljammer 3E Conversion Project - Spelljammer Wiki - The Spelljammer Image Group.
Moderator of the Spelljammer forum (and administrator). My moderator voice is green.

User avatar
night_druid
Radiant Dragon
Posts: 6800
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 9:08 pm
Gender: male

Re: [Celenaresspace] Raiding PHBR8 to create THE elven spher

Post by night_druid »

Some more feedback:

* If the sphere is not completely dominated by the elves, you need to work out what exactly the situation is. Is there a big war going on? Are the elves winning/losing? Are the elves using their colonies to fund their wars, if they're going on? Or have the elves reached a truce/trade relation with the various other powers (which is probably preferrible, actually). Why haven't one side crushed the other? Etc.

* Hegomonic planets/spheres are actually somewhat boring, really. So having mixed up planets & races is probably more interesting. I can imagine the dwarf planet being somewhat like Reorx, being mountainous, with a few gray elven cities and wild elf valleys. Human world might simply be something like Ginsel, with lots of squabbling human kingdoms. Etc.

All I got for now.
Moderator: Spelljammer, Kingdoms of Kalamar. My moderator voice is green

User avatar
Big Mac
Giant Space Hamster
Posts: 26485
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 3:52 pm
Gender: male
Location: London UK
Contact:

Re: [Celenaresspace] Raiding PHBR8 to create THE elven spher

Post by Big Mac »

Chimpman wrote:Mystara:
BC 6000: There is no true civilization in the Outer World. Humans are tribal hunter-gatherers, living mostly in plains and light forests. Dwarves are barbaric mountain and foothill dwellers, mostly goatherds. Elves are sheltered, protected and nurtured by the forest-spirits they worship; they do not need to work or suffer. There are no monstrous humanoids on the world to threaten the demihumans.

BC 5000: The childhood of the elves is over; the forest spirits stop sheltering them, forcing them to leave paradise and to seek their own futures. The first great elf civilization rises on the southern continent.

So elves are around in BC 6000, and are civilized and building nations by BC 5000. My take has always been that the first elves were adopted by Ordana after having found Mystaraspace (which is hard to do IMM) and colonizing the southern continent.

Hmmm... I wonder what would happen if a portion of those elves escaped back into space just before Vulcania was destroyed (circa BC 2400). If they ever found their way back home it could mean that some Blackmoorian technology found its way back to the IEN.
I think I would prefer to move the creation of Celanaresspace back before the creation of Mystaraspace.

I think that the thing we have been shooting for has been to have no connection between Mystara and the Known Spheres, so I think we want to have no discovery of Mystara by any elven ship (unless that ship stays in the sphere).

If you want to bring elves into Mystaraspace (rather than having them spring up there (in a similar way that they did in Krynnspace) then perhaps the early elves could be introduced by the Star Folk, the Juna or one of the other legendary races of Spelljammer (or Mystara).

In fact, the entire Hollow World campaign setting has a Juna-like feel to it. It is the sort of thing they would make "just for the hell of it".
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
Please join The Piazza's Facebook group, The Piazza's Facebook page and follow The Piazza's Twitter feed so that you can stay in touch.
Spelljammer 3E Conversion Project - Spelljammer Wiki - The Spelljammer Image Group.
Moderator of the Spelljammer forum (and administrator). My moderator voice is green.

User avatar
AuldDragon
White Dragon
Posts: 2264
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 2:28 am
Gender: male
Location: Silver Spring, MD
Contact:

Re: [Celenaresspace] Raiding PHBR8 to create THE elven spher

Post by AuldDragon »

night_druid wrote:OK, just a little feedback.

Origins of the Races:
Toril - Of the worlds, FR is most detailed in its history. We know a) green & dark elves are native to FR and b) gold & moon elves came from a world called Faerie at around 28,000 years ago. Faerie, interestingly enough, has evolved from a small demiplace in the Moonshea series to the elven homeworld in Evermeet: A novel to a parallel dimension in 4e.
Avariel are native to Toril, too. :)
Big Mac wrote:Hmm. Perhaps we could turn Faerie into one of the planets in Celenaresspace and put gold elves into the sphere. Or maybe it could be one of the moons in Celenaresspace. Or maybe it could be in a totally different sphere and the Elven Navy could have transported a nation of refugees.
The elves of Faerie who migrated to Toril had no knowledge of spelljamming, and IIRC, they were fleeing some sort of cataclysm.
Big Mac wrote:
night_druid wrote:Krynn - Gods created the elves sometime at around 9,000 years ago. Now, a number of the gods are stated as coming from "beyond", and several are renamed critters from D&D (Tiamat, Bahamut, & Orcus most prominent), so its not too much a stretch that the elves also came from "beyond" and settled on Krynn after giving their allegence to the gods of good.
Here is our biggest problem. But I think the solution is to make the elven race a template that can be used again and again and again. This would mean that the "grey elves" of Celenaresspace could be the first elves and then the elven gods could create more elves elsewhere (with no biological connection) and then Eli or some other Dragonlance god could create elves in Krynnspace.
Well, considering Torilian elves are over three times older and not unique, I think it is safe to say the Krynnish gods definitely had knowledge of elvenkind.

Jeff
Let's Play Old Games with AuldDragon (Youtube) | My 2nd Edition Blog
Monster Mythology Update Project | Spelljammer Livestream Campaign
"That sums it up in a nutshell, AuldDragon. You make a more convincing argument. But he's right and you're not."

User avatar
night_druid
Radiant Dragon
Posts: 6800
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 9:08 pm
Gender: male

Re: [Celenaresspace] Raiding PHBR8 to create THE elven spher

Post by night_druid »

Big Mac wrote:What I'm looking for is the world where the first elves were born. So I want this sphere to be a very old sphere that maybe had interaction with races like the Star Folk.
I think I see what you're looking for. I'd say such a sphere would have to be at least 50,000 years old if that's the case.
Hmm. Perhaps we could turn Faerie into one of the planets in Celenaresspace and put gold elves into the sphere. Or maybe it could be one of the moons in Celenaresspace. Or maybe it could be in a totally different sphere and the Elven Navy could have transported a nation of refugees.
Elven fleet did not transport elves to Toril. In fact, they rarely interacted with the elves of Toril. First contact between the two came about 10,000 years ago or so, at the end of the Crown Wars. Prior to that, the elf fleet hadn't even explored Toril.
I would personally treat Ivid the Undying as canon and set Celenaresspace (and the navy) far enough back in time that there are no clashes.
About the only thing Ivid offered in terms of history is the story of the City of Summer Stars, which was destroyed by an insane elf prince with a nasty sword a few thousand years ago (forget what the timeframe was).
Here is our biggest problem.
ANYTHING to do with Krynn is a problem, sadly enough.
But I think the solution is to make the elven race a template that can be used again and again and again. This would mean that the "grey elves" of Celenaresspace could be the first elves and then the elven gods could create more elves elsewhere (with no biological connection) and then Eli or some other Dragonlance god could create elves in Krynnspace.
Well, in D&D, there are five basic types of elves: high, gray, wood, dark, and aquatic. Worlds have local flavors, but they still follow that pattern. Some settings, such as PS & SJ, just lump elves together into a generic elf race (usually assumed to be high elves). A few have mutations (DS). But D&D elves mostly follow that pattern.
I also think we may be able to do a tie in with the biological urge for elves to "go away" when they get old. They could move to the elven homeworld when they get old and then slowly fade away and go to live with the elven gods.
Most settings have a homeland for elves to migrate to (Evermeet, Spindrift Isles), or the elves don't migrate at all (Krynn).
Moderator: Spelljammer, Kingdoms of Kalamar. My moderator voice is green

User avatar
night_druid
Radiant Dragon
Posts: 6800
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 9:08 pm
Gender: male

Re: [Celenaresspace] Raiding PHBR8 to create THE elven spher

Post by night_druid »

AuldDragon wrote:Avariel are native to Toril, too. :)
Barely. There's what, 1 community left? ;) I almost get the sense that the writers sorta view Avariels as a mistake and have sidelined them as best as possible. I also sorta see them as a mutation, like aquatic elves.
The elves of Faerie who migrated to Toril had no knowledge of spelljamming, and IIRC, they were fleeing some sort of cataclysm.
They fled through a portal after their island home was thrashed somehow.
Moderator: Spelljammer, Kingdoms of Kalamar. My moderator voice is green

User avatar
AuldDragon
White Dragon
Posts: 2264
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 2:28 am
Gender: male
Location: Silver Spring, MD
Contact:

Re: [Celenaresspace] Raiding PHBR8 to create THE elven spher

Post by AuldDragon »

night_druid wrote:
AuldDragon wrote:Avariel are native to Toril, too. :)
Barely. There's what, 1 community left? ;) I almost get the sense that the writers sorta view Avariels as a mistake and have sidelined them as best as possible. I also sorta see them as a mutation, like aquatic elves.
I meant native in that they existed before the gold/moon elves migrated there. There were never many, but they DID exist, and were mentioned in Evermeet: A Novel. I think it's more that no one quite knows how to use them rather than viewing them as a mistake.

They could be a mutation, but considering they're more like high elves than either wood or dark elves, one has to wonder what they mutated FROM on Toril. Of course, that could just mean they're earlier migrants. It'd be interesting to hear what Elaine Cunningham would have to say on the subject.
night_druid wrote:
AuldDragon wrote:The elves of Faerie who migrated to Toril had no knowledge of spelljamming, and IIRC, they were fleeing some sort of cataclysm.
They fled through a portal after their island home was thrashed somehow.
Ah, I couldn't remember the details of the cataclysm. The rest of the planet could certainly be untouched in that case (although I think it would make sense for SOMETHING to have happened to it). IIRC, they had to open the portal so fast they had no idea where it would lead. I also remember having the impression that the gold elf mage who first encountered the spelljammer had no prior knowledge of them, so either Faerie had no contact with the EIN, or they'd "forgotten" about it.

Jeff
Let's Play Old Games with AuldDragon (Youtube) | My 2nd Edition Blog
Monster Mythology Update Project | Spelljammer Livestream Campaign
"That sums it up in a nutshell, AuldDragon. You make a more convincing argument. But he's right and you're not."

User avatar
night_druid
Radiant Dragon
Posts: 6800
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 9:08 pm
Gender: male

Re: [Celenaresspace] Raiding PHBR8 to create THE elven spher

Post by night_druid »

AuldDragon wrote:I meant native in that they existed before the gold/moon elves migrated there. There were never many, but they DID exist, and were mentioned in Evermeet: A Novel. I think it's more that no one quite knows how to use them rather than viewing them as a mistake.
I think that passage merely noted their departure elsewhere.
They could be a mutation, but considering they're more like high elves than either wood or dark elves, one has to wonder what they mutated FROM on Toril. Of course, that could just mean they're earlier migrants. It'd be interesting to hear what Elaine Cunningham would have to say on the subject.
On a guess, they were created by one of the Creator Races, probably the bird-like guys, in their fight against another Creator Race, probably dragons.
Ah, I couldn't remember the details of the cataclysm. The rest of the planet could certainly be untouched in that case (although I think it would make sense for SOMETHING to have happened to it).
Given the planet is still around to be visited by a faerie dragon in the Moonshea novels, I'd say its still around and still very fairy-like ;)
IIRC, they had to open the portal so fast they had no idea where it would lead.
That sounds right.
I also remember having the impression that the gold elf mage who first encountered the spelljammer had no prior knowledge of them, so either Faerie had no contact with the EIN, or they'd "forgotten" about it.
Forgotten is more like it, or their home kingdom didn't have much spelljamming involvement. I'd say forgotten is most likely, as there was a good 18,000 years or so between them leaving their homeland and first contact, AND the planet underwent a huge elf-induced catacylsm (resulting in 100 million years worth of continental drift in an hour) in the meantime. Nevermind the 10,000-year long Crown Wars.
Moderator: Spelljammer, Kingdoms of Kalamar. My moderator voice is green

ravensmuse
Ogre
Posts: 200
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 12:21 pm
Gender: male

Re: [Celenaresspace] Raiding PHBR8 to create THE elven spher

Post by ravensmuse »

Big Mac wrote:
ravensmuse wrote:I still like thinking of the IEN / EIN as being heavily influenced / analogous to the British Empire circa the Age of Sail. Of course, I like to think of Spelljammer this way too, leaning towards the end when pirates roamed free, the Empire was retreating, and there were Americans and others fighting for their own freedom on the seas.

I'm tangenting here, as always.

What I'm trying to get at is that I could see Celenaresspace as the United Kingdoms. The main elven planet would be Britain proper; separate worlds for humans / dwarves / halflings / whatever could be the stand-ins for Ireland and Scotland, with the attendant native unrest associated with that.

(and if I'm being insensitve or rude here, I apologize; the wonders of the American school system ;))
Everyone seems to compare the Elven Navy to Britain's Royal Navy. I think that the Royal Navy is our best real-world model for them, but I'm not sure how far we want to go with the analogy. I think we should certainly go through the history of the Royal Navy, but that we should be prepared to change all of the details.

For example, the United Kingdom concept might work as a way for the Elven Empire to rule its home sphere, but if you look at PHBR8's campaign setting concepts they are all ones that include elves. So deciding that elf = Englishman would change those setting concepts. Perhaps I should do a summary of each of Colin McComb's elven campaign world ideas. (I'm on lunch at the moment, so don't have the book with me.)

The comparison with "Americans" is an interesting one, but again it can only be taken so far. Spiral is a planet that had broken off contact with the navy, so they might be "American Elves", but they could just as easily be "Canadian Elves", "Australian Elves" "Kiwi Elves", etc, etc.

One thing that I do think should be different is the colonisation thing. While I do think that the Elven Empire should set up colonies, I also think that they should not be the only elves in the universe. I just think they should be the first elves in the universe. I think that the Elven Navy should actually have been set up with a role similar to Starfleet (from Star Trek) and that the early ships should have gone out to explore the universe and find other elves.
The way I see it, the EIN could have just naturally arisen from the period of exploration and colonization - the original elves, coming out of Celenarasspace, continued to make contact with multiple nations of elves in many different crystal spheres. At some point, a very charismatic leader or group managed to unify the disaparate groups and give them the official name of the Elven Imperial Navy or what-have-you, but didn't do much more than set up a formalized government, chain of command, and rules of engagement. From there, they just kept going out and exploring and adding more land to them.

Celenerasspace just ended up as the seat of government, sort of accidently.

When I mentioned Americans and other RW British colonial efforts that broke away, I was actually thinking of the human, dwarf, halfling and what-have-you civilizations that established first contact with the EIN, allowed themselves to be brought into the fold, but now have decided that the EIN is too controlling and broke "free" now that the EIN is weakened after the Second Unhuman War and civil war within Celenerasspace (between the planets of Scotland and Ireland, :D).
BTW: I didn't personally think you were being rude. I'm sure that, with some of SJ's elves being very arrogant (especially with the ones that wanted to assasinate Teldin Moore), it might also be useful to compare them to the Nazis. But I do think they need to take most of their background from normal elves (i.e. the elves of fantasy fiction).
Oh, I totally didn't see them as Nazi's or anything! :oops: I just meant to say that if I was getting British history wrong or was presenting them in a light that wasn't kind, I didn't mean anything by it. My own knowledge of it comes from American history books and Pirates of the Caribbean, :lol:
ravensmuse wrote:Then maybe you could stick in the garden-factories that the elves use to create their ships and worlds, a sort of terraforming - hey, here's a weird idea that just came to me. I don't recall if I read it here or somewhere else, but there was that whole thing with the halflings from Athas taking off in a living spaceship at the end of the Blue Age, right? What if they got all the way to Celenaresspace and taught the elves how to bio-manipulate? They're gone now, off somewhere else or maybe just dead, but there's something. Maybe the planet they landed on would later go on to become the main garden-factory for the elves, where they perform other research like new weapons, the bionoids, that sort of thing...
Hmm. That sounds very interesting, but would need careful comparison with canon to avoid any potential conflict.

One issue we have is that Athas is supposed to be unknown (in the AD&D time period of SJ) so it would be hard to link anything elven to Dark Sun, unless an equal amount of care was taken to break the link beween the Known Spheres and the Crimson Sphere*.

* = This is the fanon name for Athas' crystal sphere.
Well, from what I remember, the Blue Age ended at least several thousand years before the official Athas timeline started out, and almost all Athasians have never even heard of the Rhulisti (the biomanipulation capable halflings).

Thus, there's no need for the Crimson Sphere to come into play here; the halflings simply flew out of the crystal sphere and never returned (well, they were going to, from what I remember, but then TSR got shut down). At any point in their wanderings, they could have set up shop in Celenerasspace, taught the local elves some tricks, and then, faded away / left again. Or, as you noted, the elves could have come across one of their ships and learned their tricks from emulating what they found. Either way works fine in my eyes.
Having said that, if the halflings of Athas are flying around in a space ship, I want to know more about it! 8-)
Again, I wish I could remember where I read it. It's one of the things that's stuck out in my head and I bring it up whenever I can just as a sort of "hey, here's something you probably didn't know" trivia factoid. I want to say it was one of the original campaign writers for Athas...

User avatar
Chimpman
Hadozee
Posts: 7959
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 6:52 pm
Gender: male
Location: USA, California

Re: [Celenaresspace] Raiding PHBR8 to create THE elven spher

Post by Chimpman »

Big Mac wrote:I think I would prefer to move the creation of Celanaresspace back before the creation of Mystaraspace.
I agree. I guess the point I was really trying to make was that elves basically just pop up in Mystaran history around BC 5000... There is little to no information as to how exactly they got there (created by immortals, evolved, colonized from another sphere or dimension, etc). My own preference is to have them be very early colonizers who happen to stumble upon Mystaraspace and stay there.
Big Mac wrote:I think that the thing we have been shooting for has been to have no connection between Mystara and the Known Spheres, so I think we want to have no discovery of Mystara by any elven ship (unless that ship stays in the sphere).
It's always been my contention that Mystaraspace is a relative unknown area to those from the Known Spheres. Again, in my personal universe some early elven ships stumble upon the space and eventually colonize Mystara. However in my own personal universe there are several other spheres in the Mystaran Cluster - many of which would have been dominated by the carnifex at the time of the elven discovery. Carnifex dominated space may be very hazardous to travel through which is why the IEN never came back.

Here is another question though... we are talking about the span of thousands of years here... how long has the IEN actually been the IEN (as we know it)? It is possible that early spacefaring elves had a much less organized civilization/government, which might mean that any colonizers going to Mystaraspace might have been "on their own" and had no ties with a larger spacefaring government.
THRESHOLD Magazine - The Mystara Fanzine
Visit the Exiles Campaign Setting (a Mystara / Spelljammer crossover)
Visit Mystara 2300 BC

Moderator of The Tabard Inn and Blackmoor. My moderator voice is purple.

User avatar
night_druid
Radiant Dragon
Posts: 6800
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 9:08 pm
Gender: male

Re: [Celenaresspace] Raiding PHBR8 to create THE elven spher

Post by night_druid »

Chimpman wrote:Here is another question though... we are talking about the span of thousands of years here... how long has the IEN actually been the IEN (as we know it)? It is possible that early spacefaring elves had a much less organized civilization/government, which might mean that any colonizers going to Mystaraspace might have been "on their own" and had no ties with a larger spacefaring government.
When I asked Jeff Grubb about this many moons ago, he indicated he thought of the Elven Fleet as "eternal". It doesn't HAVE a beginning, at least, not one remotely in the realm of known history. Its been around for at least 10,000 years, and probably much longer than that.
Moderator: Spelljammer, Kingdoms of Kalamar. My moderator voice is green

User avatar
AuldDragon
White Dragon
Posts: 2264
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 2:28 am
Gender: male
Location: Silver Spring, MD
Contact:

Re: [Celenaresspace] Raiding PHBR8 to create THE elven spher

Post by AuldDragon »

night_druid wrote:
AuldDragon wrote:I meant native in that they existed before the gold/moon elves migrated there. There were never many, but they DID exist, and were mentioned in Evermeet: A Novel. I think it's more that no one quite knows how to use them rather than viewing them as a mistake.
I think that passage merely noted their departure elsewhere.
From what I recall, they were viewed at a distance early on, and then when one mage took on the ruling red dragon, he was seriously injured, they found him, and he learned some of their magic before returning to the other community of (gold/moon) elves. I could be misremembering, since it's been something like 14 years since I fully read the book (read it when it came out) and only skimmed some sections about a year ago looking for SJ references.
night_druid wrote:Given the planet is still around to be visited by a faerie dragon in the Moonshea novels, I'd say its still around and still very fairy-like ;)
Well, I meant something happened at the same time, which was 28000 years ago; time could have "healed" the "wounds." It would just be something to incorporate into the history.

Jeff
Let's Play Old Games with AuldDragon (Youtube) | My 2nd Edition Blog
Monster Mythology Update Project | Spelljammer Livestream Campaign
"That sums it up in a nutshell, AuldDragon. You make a more convincing argument. But he's right and you're not."

User avatar
night_druid
Radiant Dragon
Posts: 6800
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 9:08 pm
Gender: male

Re: [Celenaresspace] Raiding PHBR8 to create THE elven spher

Post by night_druid »

AuldDragon wrote:From what I recall, they were viewed at a distance early on, and then when one mage took on the ruling red dragon, he was seriously injured, they found him, and he learned some of their magic before returning to the other community of (gold/moon) elves. I could be misremembering, since it's been something like 14 years since I fully read the book (read it when it came out) and only skimmed some sections about a year ago looking for SJ references.
Yeah, that's vaguely familiar. Been ages since I read the book, too.

Well, I meant something happened at the same time, which was 28000 years ago; time could have "healed" the "wounds." It would just be something to incorporate into the history.
IIRC, they were fleeing some sort of war that had destroyed their island kingdom and possibly their allies. I vaguely recall reference to "evil ones", but I don't think the "evil ones" were ever defined.
Moderator: Spelljammer, Kingdoms of Kalamar. My moderator voice is green

User avatar
Chimpman
Hadozee
Posts: 7959
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 6:52 pm
Gender: male
Location: USA, California

Re: [Celenaresspace] Raiding PHBR8 to create THE elven spher

Post by Chimpman »

night_druid wrote:
Chimpman wrote:Here is another question though... we are talking about the span of thousands of years here... how long has the IEN actually been the IEN (as we know it)? It is possible that early spacefaring elves had a much less organized civilization/government, which might mean that any colonizers going to Mystaraspace might have been "on their own" and had no ties with a larger spacefaring government.
When I asked Jeff Grubb about this many moons ago, he indicated he thought of the Elven Fleet as "eternal". It doesn't HAVE a beginning, at least, not one remotely in the realm of known history. Its been around for at least 10,000 years, and probably much longer than that.
Hmmm... this is an interesting idea, and something I'd have to spend some time thinking about. In my view the word "eternal" is always linked with planar phenomenon and is much more applicable within the context of something like Planescape. Applying it to the IEN and Spelljammer just seems wrong on some level that I can't quite describe yet.

That's not to say that 10,000 years isn't a long time however. After a period like that any organization could seem eternal (especially to shorter lived races), and I could go with that interpretation much easier. In fact I'd say that 10,000 years is probably too short a time for the elves (who can live as up to 800-1000 years).

Hmmm... ok, I've been thinking more while writing this and the concept of an eternal IEN is something that strikes me as very Tolkienesk. That's not necessarily a bad thing... but it's something I try to avoid in my own games. Tolkien elves are eternal - they can be killed but don't die. D&D elves on the other hand have a definite lifespan and death.
THRESHOLD Magazine - The Mystara Fanzine
Visit the Exiles Campaign Setting (a Mystara / Spelljammer crossover)
Visit Mystara 2300 BC

Moderator of The Tabard Inn and Blackmoor. My moderator voice is purple.

User avatar
night_druid
Radiant Dragon
Posts: 6800
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 9:08 pm
Gender: male

Re: [Celenaresspace] Raiding PHBR8 to create THE elven spher

Post by night_druid »

Chimpman wrote:Hmmm... this is an interesting idea, and something I'd have to spend some time thinking about. In my view the word "eternal" is always linked with planar phenomenon and is much more applicable within the context of something like Planescape. Applying it to the IEN and Spelljammer just seems wrong on some level that I can't quite describe yet.
I struggle with it myself. :)

That's not to say that 10,000 years isn't a long time however. After a period like that any organization could seem eternal (especially to shorter lived races), and I could go with that interpretation much easier. In fact I'd say that 10,000 years is probably too short a time for the elves (who can live as up to 800-1000 years).
The earliest official date we have for ANYTHING to do with elves is roughly 30,000 years ago, when Lolth turned on her lover, Corelleon, and was banished for attempting his murder. Elves existed as soon as then.

And I just remembered: elven myth has elves being created from the blood Corellon spilled during his battle with Gruumsh, which happened shortly (relatively speaking) before Lolth's betrayal. So maybe elves have been around 40-50,000 years? :P
Hmmm... ok, I've been thinking more while writing this and the concept of an eternal IEN is something that strikes me as very Tolkienesk. That's not necessarily a bad thing... but it's something I try to avoid in my own games. Tolkien elves are eternal - they can be killed but don't die. D&D elves on the other hand have a definite lifespan and death.
Its possible that the EIN recieved its charter not long after elves were created. :geek:
Moderator: Spelljammer, Kingdoms of Kalamar. My moderator voice is green

User avatar
AuldDragon
White Dragon
Posts: 2264
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 2:28 am
Gender: male
Location: Silver Spring, MD
Contact:

Re: [Celenaresspace] Raiding PHBR8 to create THE elven spher

Post by AuldDragon »

Chimpman wrote:
night_druid wrote:When I asked Jeff Grubb about this many moons ago, he indicated he thought of the Elven Fleet as "eternal". It doesn't HAVE a beginning, at least, not one remotely in the realm of known history. Its been around for at least 10,000 years, and probably much longer than that.
Hmmm... this is an interesting idea, and something I'd have to spend some time thinking about. In my view the word "eternal" is always linked with planar phenomenon and is much more applicable within the context of something like Planescape. Applying it to the IEN and Spelljammer just seems wrong on some level that I can't quite describe yet.
Remember that there ARE some things even older than the EIN; the Juna, space leviathans, etc. the Elven Navy just has an "eternal" feel, not that it has actually existed since the beginning of time.

Something like: "A long time ago, in ages so long past they have been forgotten by all, the EIN was formed. But even before that, there existed something else...."

Jeff
Let's Play Old Games with AuldDragon (Youtube) | My 2nd Edition Blog
Monster Mythology Update Project | Spelljammer Livestream Campaign
"That sums it up in a nutshell, AuldDragon. You make a more convincing argument. But he's right and you're not."

Post Reply

Return to “Spelljammer”