The only thing I liked about "How Shall I Keep From Singing?" was that they gave a name and a little bit of a backstory to the first victim of the humans. I was always a little obsessed about him since I got the first Donning Starblaze 1-5 edition when I was 13.
any thoughts about Adya? I always liked him, but then I realized that his stupidity in going up to the humans or proto humans might have gotten himself and a whole bunch of High Ones killed. It was one thing for Adya to win a "Darwin Award" when it came to his own safety, but not when it came to the rest of The High Ones.
I don't think it was stupidity to greet the (proto) humans. It was just; trustfulness. Remember that to Adya, or indeed any of the Firstcomers, killing was completely unheard of.
Probably "stupidity" is too harsh a word, but it did lack common sense and contingency planning. A similar plot was in D'ARC Tangent (I'm old enough to remember that) when one of the characters got himself killed because he thought the universe had only one "Needlessly violent" species (homo sapiens) and was blind sided by meeting another. The character was young and cocky, and lacked the thousands of years of combined experience of the High Ones. By their observations of modern humans, Adya should have realized that there was a good chance primitive humans would not automatically be peaceful.
The Coneheads should be familiar to the concept of killing - when it happens on other worlds. Remember - they have visited various worlds before and I doubt that all of the native people there were pacifists. Even when the last few contacts should have been peaceful they should have been still aware of the other side of the coin.
They were explorers, they had access to memories and experiances of eons - and they didn't occur to me like fools.
Adya seems to be a very gentle and kind character. Possibly it was his "job" to make contact and greet the natives. And his trustfulness most probably had reasons:
1. They were relying on magic abilities which - so far - had always protected them.
2. His "reaching out" might not be only physical - offering an open hand - but accompanied by a mental "message" as well. Oh no, not that he had expected the natives would be able to send. I can imagine that there was a "soothing" sending, that normally created trust and peacefulness in the natives for first contact.
3. The most important reason - they could expect to be welcomed by right! Remember - when they scanned the planet 20.000 years in the future they learned that the Humans "worshiped" Elves. And they had adepted their appearance to these legendary figures.
The Coneheads' lethal fault was that they landed in a totally wrong age ... and that they were so used to their magic being functionable that they not even considered to test it first. Abode was unexpectedly hostile for them.
Last not least - this crash landing, the time shift and Abode itself obviously had a confusing effect on the Coneheads and the landing party. They were not in best mental condition ...
Embala, you convinced me I was a little hard on Adya, but I still think he and the other Coneheads should have had a contingency plan if the proto-humans acted unexpectedly. Perhaps I'm comparing him to a Jean-Luc Picard, who was always very cautious, and (mostly) hated interfering.
From a reasonable, human point of view I totally agree with you, Magic_Toenail.
When I take the Coneheads point of view I get the notion that their constant contingency plan was their magic. And it was explicitly pointed out that the weakening effect of Abode was absolutely uncommon and unexpected.
With things going normal "as it should" the landing party would have simply floated out of reach or shielded themselves - and the only one risking his skin would have been Adya indeed. The Coneheads' major fault was the belief to be "untouchable" - but this seems not uncommon to "superior" races.
And there is one more point - the Coneheads can exist as mere spirits. It's even a less limiting lifeform. That they decided to stick to their physical bodies doesn't mean that "being killed", having their outer shell destoyed, is a big deal for them.
Timmain with her liking to touch was an exception among her people.
Hmm. speaking of non interference policies, the Coneheads should have had one.
Imagine the trauma to a society actually meeting gods and goddesses (or creatures that may well be deities). I know the Coneheads went there seeking information about other elves that may have visited, but could have done so with far less flash.
Maybe a few High Ones in more "plain" human shapes infiltrating society at all levels
might have been the way to go.
Again a very Human POV - a Star-Trek-trained POV. It's not so long ago that one race considered themselves supirior to other, that one part of the world was convinced that their way is the only rightful or only successful way to do something - and these times arn't over by far.
Of course, the Coneheads should have the knowledge and wisedom to do better as the early human conquistadores, missionaries and explorers - and better as religious fanatics and social dogmatists. But - the Coneheads are not human at all - they came from another planet, had another developement and ... a TOTALLY different lifstyle. Why should they see things the way we - hopefully - will do it some day? Why should they be "perfect" in our eyes just because they have developed a hive mind and can exist in spirit form?
What if ...
... when they simply don't care? From their POV a Medieval culture is just step away from animals.
... when they follow more playfulness and curiosity instead of doing undercover investigation?
... when they simply know that their interferance would not have a significant effect on the natives developement at long range? (long range from their eternal experiance!)
... when they thought this IS an effective and non-inversive contact making?
Don't forget - they assumed that the Abodian natives were familiar with "Elves" and that this appearance is good for making easy contact and getting informations. No one could guess that their interferance would CREATE the Elves saga.
I don't have answers - just questions.
Easter EggQuest 2013 found
Embala you're either very good at thinking like an elf, and/or less of a physical coward than I am. I tend to project that instinct for self preservation onto everyone else.
That's why I can't watch horror movies, because the people get themselves killed so stupidly!
I still find it hard to believe that they had absolutely no inkling that their powers had been affected, seeing how magically attuned they were, before the Coneheads left the Palace.
I wonder if Adya would have been killed if he came out alone with just a few Preservers, instead of every one coming out as a large group. A single elf might have intimidated the proto humans less and they might not have attacked.
Hmmm ... I've just tried to remember my first impression when I read EQ1 - and later "How shall I keep from singing?".
I had the impression, that the landing party was waiting at the doors of the Palace to make first contact with the medieval Humans when the Trolls revolted.
Disturbing the cocooned navigators, displacing the Palace in time, crashlanding in the past and opening the gate happened within instants.
The members of the landing party were affected by the happenings - disoriented and puzzled by the confusion within the Palace (remember the hive mind). Yes, they should have steyeed in the camomarably safety of their sphere. But they were "programmed to enter this new world - and automatically stepped out. Only then they noticed they were tterribly wrong ... and Adya did the first that came in his mind, possibly exactly what was successful before. But Abode and their natives were beyond their experiance ...and the shock about the violence and magic failure led to more wrong decisions.
Actually I blame Abode ...
This world weakened the magic. Could it have weakened the hive mind as well? Imagine the elves loosing contact to each other - this would be an inconceivable shock.
... and it would explain why the Firstcomers were scattered.
Think of the accident as on giant car crash or airplane crash the High Ones got into. One minute, they're expecting to touch down at LAX, on their way to Disneyland or something. The next minute, the airbags have gone off in their faces and their ride is wrecked in the middle of some forest nobody's ever heard of. If you had just stumbled out of your vehicle and come across, say, a deer, would you expect that deer to rise up and whack you upside the head with a club. Would you personally really have a contingency plan for that?
A deer isn't a bunch of mean looking big dudes with clubs.
The High Ones should have known from their observations that even anatomically
modern humans were not always peaceful.
I can buy Embala's argument that the Coneheads' faith in their magic trumped basic common sense at every step of the way, but still think it was sad series of avoidable mistakes that a more cautious and humble people could have avoided.
As the Troll advocate on the Forum, I am tempted to take sides. I once compared the arrival of the High Onces to crashing a gold-plated luxury vehicle in a seedy neighborhood, and emerging in designer gowns.
Maybe Adya's death was a warning to the High Ones, the Preservers and the Proto-Trolls. I assume that no one but High Ones died. In the first few pages of Elfquest, Adya appears standing next to a Proto-Troll, who doesn't appear later as a victim of the humans. The Preservers kept the ability to fly, and the Proto-Trolls scattered. (The Preservers are oddly absent in critical parts of "How Shall I Keep from Singing.")
The High Ones either didn't respond quickly enough, or were already positioned in the wrong place, at the wrong time. It was a Palace, not a fortress, so they had no defenses. Preservers took to the sky, Proto-Trolls took to the ground, and Ayda and his people were caught in the middle.
Looking at Ayda's gesture when he first appeared, it was easy to feel sorry for him. But after the Scroll of Colors was revealed, I felt a little less sympathy for him. Who is "bestial"... the indigenous population who are terrified by the unfolding spectacle of the firestorm, the Palace and the huge, freakish strangers who seem to be invading their space? (Remember, the Palace had to have landed on something.) Or the sophisticated spacemen who use inferior beings for their convenience?
I think it wasn't a given that even the medieval humans would have completely peaceful. I keep on remembering The Day The Earth Stood Still and
the assassination of Klaatu.
I'm fairy certain that the medieval humans wouldn't be peaceful. Djun, anyone?
How would things have been different, had Adya gone out alone?