Official name for the Shadow Elf Territories

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Which official name for the lands of the shadow elves do you like best?

Shadow Elves Territories
0
No votes
Shadow Elves' Territories
2
9%
Shadow Elf Territories
5
23%
Shadow-elf Territories
1
5%
Shadow-elf Lands
1
5%
Shadowlands
13
59%
 
Total votes: 22

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Official name for the Shadow Elf Territories

Post by Thorf » Fri Jul 18, 2008 12:56 pm

I always thought it was bizarre that no obvious, capitalised name was given for the lands of the Shadow Elves in GAZ13. But a quick look through the Gazetteer revealed that it does give some possible names:

Shadow-elf Lands is the most common one, appearing throughout, but uncapitalised. Nevertheless, the hyphen is unique to this phrase, which could suggest that it's a title.

Shadowlands is used in the title for one chapter, but unfortunately nowhere else. It seems like a good name.

Shadow Elves Territories is the name appearing on the map, which I have always considered to be irritatingly ungrammatical. Surely Shadow Elf Territories would be better. Although I have also seen people use Shadow Elves' Territories, I'd rather avoid using an apostrophe in the name. (Actually, that's probably what happened with the original name - they deleted the apostrophe because it looked bad.)

Combining these options, Shadow-elf Territories or Shadow-Elf Territories would also make sense.

It's also interesting to watch how the Almanacs handle this lack of an official name.

The Poor Wizard's Almanac just lists City of the Stars, and Poor Wizard's Almanac II continues this. Then Poor Wizard's Almanac III moves the entry to Shadow Elves' Territories. Probably this happened because of the map: it seems likely that when they dug out GAZ13's map for reference to draw the new one, they found the original title, and added the apostrophe. So I suppose this is the final official name.

Does anyone have a preference? Which official name do you like best?
Last edited by Thorf on Fri Jul 18, 2008 2:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Official name for the Shadow Elf Territories

Post by Khuzd » Fri Jul 18, 2008 1:35 pm

I like Shadowlands, the best.

Under the Broken Lands, in the shadows of deep, mistery and past, lie the Shadowlands. Short and clear.

Yes, it makes you think in the biography film about C. S Lewis (with Anthony Hopkins and Debra Winger). But it doesn't matter.

By simple economy of language, Shadowlands is more logical than any other option.
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Re: Official name for the Shadow Elf Territories

Post by firebee » Fri Jul 18, 2008 1:55 pm

I vote for "Shadowlands" as well. It is also broad enough to encompass other "underdark" areas that aren't specifically ruled by the Shadow Elves.
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Re: Official name for the Shadow Elf Territories

Post by Thorf » Fri Jul 18, 2008 2:00 pm

Well, we have the fan-created term "Shadowdeeps" for the general underground area beneath the surface of Mystara, so Shadowlands could be just the Shadow Elf portion of that...

Hmm, shall I make a poll? :)

Let me know if you want a new option added.

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Re: Official name for the Shadow Elf Territories

Post by Mortis » Fri Jul 18, 2008 2:38 pm

I went for Shadowlands,but anything other than 'Underdark' <shudder> would suit me :)

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Re: Official name for the Shadow Elf Territories

Post by Hugin » Fri Jul 18, 2008 3:47 pm

I went with Shadowlands (in conjunction with Shadowdeep). Like the idea of the Shadow Elf controlled regions being referred to as Shadowlands and the Known World's underground system as a whole referred to as Shadowdeep. But of course there will be regional variations as well.

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Re: Official name for the Shadow Elf Territories

Post by Andaire » Fri Jul 18, 2008 7:25 pm

Alright, interesting question. You know, I'm always on a quest for correct adjectives and demonyms - this one is a rare case where I actually looked for a correct country name (there are others, mostly in the HW).
In the end, I had no choice but to stick to the official name, even though I never liked it, so the Mystaran Almanacs use the Shadow Elves' Territories (with the apostrophe, of course, otherwise it'd be grammatically incorrect and I don't do that :geek: ).

Would surface lands that belong to the shadow elves (like Aengmor) also be part of the (Shadowlands or whatever the vote yields) or should the term refer only to lands below?
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Re: Official name for the Shadow Elf Territories

Post by Khuzd » Fri Jul 18, 2008 7:27 pm

Ey, amici italiani, and how would you name this country in Italian?

Gazeeters were never translated to Spanish, so I always invented my own translations or left the English names. Sometimes I say "brokenlands" and sometines I say "Tierras Rotas".

Shadowelves become "Elfos de las sombras"... too long... "Shadowlands", the film, was translated as "Tierras de Penumbra"... do shadowelves dwell in Tierras de Penumbra?

English is a good language for inventing names mixing two words: Spanish isn't, names always are too long.
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Re: Official name for the Shadow Elf Territories

Post by Zendrolion » Fri Jul 18, 2008 8:07 pm

I voted for Shadowlands.
Khuzd wrote:Ey, amici italiani, and how would you name this country in Italian?
In Italian we named this country Terre dell'Ombra. ;)
Obviously that was a translation of us, becouse only GAZs 1-2-3-4-6-10 were translated into Italian.
English is a good language for inventing names mixing two words: Spanish isn't, names always are too long.
Nor does Italian... Ah, damn Neolatin tongues! :D
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Re: Official name for the Shadow Elf Territories

Post by Wilhelm » Sat Jul 19, 2008 12:28 am

Zendrolion wrote:
English is a good language for inventing names mixing two words: Spanish isn't, names always are too long.
Nor does Italian... Ah, damn Neolatin tongues! :D
Same thing for portuguese :?

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Re: Official name for the Shadow Elf Territories

Post by Cthulhudrew » Sat Jul 19, 2008 9:42 am

I personally prefer the one that Havard came up with when we were doing our development of the Shadowdeep- Gwaithallin.
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Re: Official name for the Shadow Elf Territories

Post by Andaire » Sat Jul 19, 2008 2:08 pm

I always found Shadow Elves' Territories to be too long, unwieldy, and artificial, unnatural.
Having a name for your people and your land is a strong factor for cultural identification and recognition. Even though the shadow elves may have a strong sense of cultural identification as "the shadow elves", it seems unlikely that they wouldn't name their land. Maybe an Elvish (shadow elven dialect) translation of "Shadow Elves' Territories" or of "Shadowlands"?
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Re: Official name for the Shadow Elf Territories

Post by Belathauzer » Sun Jul 20, 2008 4:58 pm

I voted for Shadowlands. It just has a better ring. Plus it makes a direct connection with the Shadowdeep, which the Shadow Elves are the undisputed rulers of.
Cthulhudrew wrote:I personally prefer the one that Havard came up with when we were doing our development of the Shadowdeep- Gwaithallin.
Gwaithallin is an interesting name. It has a definite Celtic (Welsh/Gaelic) sound which is perfect for any and all elves. Using a combination of Welsh & Gaelic I came up with a translation along the lines of - Over a long time, or a better literary translation - Place beyond time. Was this intended when the name was chosen, or is this just a coincidence? Either way, I like it even more now.
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Re: Official name for the Shadow Elf Territories

Post by Andaire » Sun Jul 20, 2008 7:56 pm

Cthulhudrew wrote:I personally prefer the one that Havard came up with when we were doing our development of the Shadowdeep- Gwaithallin.
Is Gwaithallin the name of the land (Caverns of Gwaithallin, like Canolbarth Forest or Norwold) or/and the name of the realm (Kingdom of Gwaithallin, or Gwaithallin Kingdom, like Kingdom of Alfheim or Empire of Thyatis) or/and the name of the elves (Gwaithallin elves, like Geffronel elves or Ylari)?
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Re: Official name for the Shadow Elf Territories

Post by RobJN » Mon Jul 21, 2008 12:49 am

I didn't vote, but I'd like to see something akin to an elven version of "Refuge of Shadows" or "Refuge of Darkness;" they fled into the deeps, abandoning the surface to make their homes in the caverns.. toss in "refuge" as an homage to their Immortal patron... and voila.
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Re: Official name for the Shadow Elf Territories

Post by Cthulhudrew » Mon Jul 21, 2008 1:54 am

IIRC, Havard coined the term "Gwaithallin" as a rough translation of "Shadow Deep", using the Elvish Language Lexicon by Jonathan Nolan at the Vaults.
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Re: Official name for the Shadow Elf Territories

Post by Andaire » Mon Jul 21, 2008 6:36 pm

Cthulhudrew wrote:IIRC, Havard coined the term "Gwaithallin" as a rough translation of "Shadow Deep", using the Elvish Language Lexicon by Jonathan Nolan at the Vaults.
Shouldn't Gwaithallin be added to as a voting option?
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Re: Official name for the Shadow Elf Territories

Post by Andaire » Mon Jul 21, 2008 6:39 pm

RobJN wrote:I didn't vote, but I'd like to see something akin to an elven version of "Refuge of Shadows" or "Refuge of Darkness;" they fled into the deeps, abandoning the surface to make their homes in the caverns.. toss in "refuge" as an homage to their Immortal patron... and voila.
Right on! An elven version of "Refuge of Shadows" would have my vote - provided it sounds good, obviously.
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Re: Official name for the Shadow Elf Territories

Post by Hugin » Mon Jul 21, 2008 7:33 pm

Cthulhudrew wrote:IIRC, Havard coined the term "Gwaithallin" as a rough translation of "Shadow Deep", using the Elvish Language Lexicon by Jonathan Nolan at the Vaults.
Andaire wrote:Right on! An elven version of "Refuge of Shadows" would have my vote - provided it sounds good, obviously.
What if "Gwaithallin" does have the literal meaning of "Shadow-Deep" but the Shadow Elves have the same word for "deep" as they do "refuge", perhaps distinguished from context or inflection. I think them having the same word for both would be very Shadow-elfish in flavour.

So, it would be transliterated as "Shadow-Deep" or "Shadow-Refuge" but could be properly interpreted as either "The Depth of Shadows" or "The Refuge of Shadows". Thoughts?

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Re: Official name for the Shadow Elf Territories

Post by JoeNotCharles » Mon Jul 21, 2008 10:37 pm

I voted "Shadow Elf Territories" because I don't particularly like any of the others, but I don't like it as a final option. "The Shadowlands" seems a bit generic for me. I'd like to see something with Refuge in it, but I'm not a big fan of Refuge of Shadows.

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Re: Official name for the Shadow Elf Territories

Post by Thorf » Tue Jul 22, 2008 5:12 am

Sorry, I should have dealt with this earlier...
Belathauzer wrote:
Cthulhudrew wrote:I personally prefer the one that Havard came up with when we were doing our development of the Shadowdeep- Gwaithallin.
Gwaithallin is an interesting name. It has a definite Celtic (Welsh/Gaelic) sound which is perfect for any and all elves. Using a combination of Welsh & Gaelic I came up with a translation along the lines of - Over a long time, or a better literary translation - Place beyond time. Was this intended when the name was chosen, or is this just a coincidence? Either way, I like it even more now.
Andaire wrote:
Cthulhudrew wrote:IIRC, Havard coined the term "Gwaithallin" as a rough translation of "Shadow Deep", using the Elvish Language Lexicon by Jonathan Nolan at the Vaults.
Shouldn't Gwaithallin be added to as a voting option?
The simple answer is no, because my purpose in creating this thread was to see which of the official names was most popular. Gwaithallin is not an official name, and therefore not relevant to this thread.

But since we're discussing it: while I don't dislike the name Gwaithallin aesthetically, I've always felt that it doesn't really fit with the other established names for Shadow Elves and their settlements. The reason for this is now apparent from Andrew's second quote above: it sounds Welsh because it is pseudo-Tolkien. At best, Jonathan Nolan's lexicon is at least partially a direct copy of Tolkien's elvish languages. At worst, it's a rip-off. :(

I'm a huge fan of Tolkien and Middle-earth, but I really don't like mixing elements of Tolkien's work into Mystara. It just seems too much like copying, and anyway I don't think it fits. Obviously I don't object to anyone else using the name, but I'm afraid it just doesn't work for me.

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Re: Official name for the Shadow Elf Territories

Post by Khuzd » Tue Jul 22, 2008 11:58 am

I agree 100% with Thorf. "Gwaith" means "people" (an ethnic group) in Tolkien's Sindarin language. I'm also a great fan of Tolkien but I think Shadowelves do not speak Sindarin!!! ;)

Of course, you can say that Mystara canon elves do have lots of names with "el" (Porphyriel...) while "el" comes from Tolkien's Elvish "star", or from "-riel" (such as Galadriel), where "riel" means "maiden" (usually garlanded maiden).

A short particle such as "-el" or "-riel" in Mystara elven names seems to me acceptable. Let's say it's "multiplanar" elvish!

But a whole word such as "Gwaith" is too "tolkienestic".

(Dwarven names is another thing: Tolkien took the names of Thorin and Co. from the nordic poem Voluspä, those arte generic nordic names, Middle Earth men use those names to refer to the dwarves... but OUR SECRET DWARVEN NAMES IN KHUZDUL NOBODY KNOWS!!!! ;)
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Re: Official name for the Shadow Elf Territories

Post by Gawain_VIII » Tue Jul 22, 2008 1:35 pm

While the bulk of elves themselves are described in various resources as being vaguely Celtic, their naming conventions seem more Germanic... With that in mind, I'd suggest Schattenlund.

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Re: Official name for the Shadow Elf Territories

Post by Andaire » Tue Jul 22, 2008 6:37 pm

Thorf wrote:The simple answer is no, because my purpose in creating this thread was to see which of the official names was most popular. Gwaithallin is not an official name, and therefore not relevant to this thread.
I see. Well, in that case, I'll have to go with the one I've been using anyway, ie Shadow Elves' Territories - all the others are grammatically poor versions (Shadow Elven Territories would be correct, too, but isn't an option), while Shadowlands does not really appeal to me.
In several cases, the names used by the shadow elves seem to be long, descriptive names (City of Stars, Shadow Elves' Territories - even shadow elves). I like to think that they are translations in the common tongue (Thyatian/English) of the shadow elven words. And BTW I agree that the shadow elven (or elven) words should be in line with established Mystaran elven words, not Tolkienesque.
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Re: Official name for the Shadow Elf Territories

Post by metal » Tue Jul 22, 2008 8:47 pm

I voted for "Shadowland". I'm not sure why it sounds right, it just does, for me.
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