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How Shall I Keep from Singing? History or Allegory?

Magic_Toenail

Is it official from Elfmom that the events in"How Shall I Keep From Singing" are actual history, or an allegorical tale spun by Timmain and the Palace Spirits to teach Rayek about the dangers of Pride in the form of his doppleganger Haken?
One one hand it makes sense for there to be only 8 survivors, but on the other it beggars belief that the Gliders (and presumably the Sun Folk and the Wave Dancers) were all descended from only 3 elves. Any thoughts?

MultiMEDEA

RP has stated before that the stories are canon and, therefore, history. Which, I suppose makes it as valid as any other Wolfrider history in the comics.

Magic_Toenail

If you have Rogue's Challange though, the linking art says Rayek doesn't know whether the story is a fact, a dream or a fable.

lunakat

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One one hand it makes sense for there to be only 8 survivors,


Why? There were a lot of coneheads in that ship.



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but on the other it beggars belief that the Gliders (and presumably the Sun Folk and the Wave Dancers) were all descended from only 3 elves. Any thoughts?



For that reason alone, I'd say it's myth. Or maybe those eight elves started the Wolfriders. Maybe different groups started the sunfolk and the gliders. Maybe Rayek heard the story from Pike or Skywise, and therefore thought it might be myth.

Magic_Toenail

It makes sense that there were few survivors rather than many in that why didn't the Coneheads all stick together saftey in numbers and all that. rather than small groups going their seperate ways.I know they scattered after the initial chaos, but the forest couldn't have been THAT large that they couldn't find each other again after the coast was clear. I personally think it was more than 8 (you have at least Rellah and Samael to account for) though.

Vojira

I take it as a bit of both.

I don't buy the 'only 8 survived' because we do see shadows of the others.

Magic_Toenail

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I take it as a bit of both.
I don't buy the 'only 8 survived' because we do see shadows of the others.

Really, I'll have to look again. Odd that the shadows didn't contact the 8 though after the coast was clear. I'd like there to be lots of High One survivors myself for fan story purposes.

Vojira

They're literary background characters.

Look behind Kaslen.
http://www.elfquest.com/comic_viewer.php?fd=/gallery/OnlineComics/HY/HY06/_Hidden%20Years%20-%206_page=1#_17#
I honestly take Timmain being the only one left as a way to make the Wolfrider hyper special.

Magic_Toenail

I can't tell if they are seperate characters or the shadows of Haken and the other High Ones. If they are seperate characters it's just bizzare that they didn't try to contact the others since they were close enough to see and hear them!!

Startear

If they are shadows then they are very odd. They do not follow the movement of the Eight.

Vojira

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I can't tell if they are seperate characters or the shadows of Haken and the other High Ones. If they are seperate characters it's just bizzare that they didn't try to contact the others since they were close enough to see and hear them!!

It's other High Ones, but further back in the cave. They're likely fully aware that the surviving of the Nine are there. They're just busy tending to their wounds, talking to the person they're sitting next to, helping others who are more hurt then themselves. Lots of them could be in shock over the killings and didn't talk to anybody.

You basically have to regard them as unimportent characters. They have no role to play in this story whatsoever. They are show as shadows, just to show the humans didn't kill of every body. Timmain's group is the focus because they are the ones that started the Wolfriders.

Startear

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Lost of them could be in shock over the killings and didn't talk to anybody.




In the Blood of Ten Chief’s anthologies there were numerous examples of the High Ones or their children who eventually slipped into an apathetic state. Some of the examples are no longer canon, while others are not. Even the pure-blooded and some High Ones who in Timmorn’s time hunted (Valloa/Murrel and Enlet comes to my mind) did after a time stop doing that (though that may of course be the product of The Hunt and other wolf-blooded elves did it better.)

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It makes sense that there were few survivors rather than many in that why didn't the Coneheads all stick together safety in numbers and all that. rather than small groups going their seperate ways. I know they scattered after the initial chaos, but the forest couldn't have been THAT large that they couldn't find each other again after the coast was clear.




But we do not know how far they fled. Some groups may just have been out of sending range, if they even tried sending after others.



Aside from that fact, I do find it hard to believe that the named High Ones in How Shall I Keep from Singing were the only elves to survive, nor that they are the forefathers of all groups. Sure, it is possible that Haken and Gibra were the ancestors of the Gliders, but I hardly believe those two alone could have started such a large tribe alone. It was confirmed that the Rootless Ones are an off-shoot group from The Gliders, and thus Haken are theirs too, but not as sole ancestor.



Lastly I think it is more fun to regard the other elf tribes as not hundred percent connected. There is more magic to the storytelling in that way.

Magic_Toenail

I personally think it's more fable than fact because of the coincidences, Haken is a Rayek double, Aerth is a Leetah Double, Kaslen a Redlance Double, Sefra a Skywise double etc, and we are missing cannon characters like Rellah and Samael
among the survivors. Maybe the surviving High Ones DID meet up, later and decided to scatter as not to put their eggs in one basket so to speak. That or a small group (like humans are possibly decended from mitochondrial Eve, who had only a few "daughters" that the human races genetic lines come from) are the only possibilities that make sense to me.

Vojira

That should say 'lots'.

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In the Blood of Ten Chief’s anthologies there were numerous examples of the High Ones or their children who eventually slipped into an apathetic state. Some of the examples are no longer canon, while others are not. Even the pure-blooded and some High Ones who in Timmorn’s time hunted (Valloa/Murrel and Enlet comes to my mind) did after a time stop doing that (though that may of course be the product of The Hunt and other wolf-blooded elves did it better.)

Yup. Renn was hardly able to do anything by himself and others where so removed from themselves they didn't know how really to react to others if they made advances to them.
*Points to Seilein*
Then again, Seilein seems to have been a loooooot more 'awake' then the others.
Since she seems to have been lying awake at night and wondering if Timmorn's fur would feel like her sleeping furs. >_>
And all the other things she was thinking about and doing...

Goodness, she made that story funny at times.

Magic_Toenail

I can buy some of the Coneheads being too shocked and apathetic to do anything, but a lot of the Coneheads were seasoned adventurers of exploring other planets and probably more adaptable and with better survival insticts. The first thing they would think to do was organize the survivors and search for others. They couldn't have all been red shirts.

Vojira

Actually they could. At least Timmain's group. If we look at how Timmain did things in 'How Shall I Keep from Singing?', she hunted ceaselessly. She taught her group to be dependent on her and later her children instead of actually helping them remember or learn to do things.



Of course, that's just how I see things.

Magic_Toenail

They did try to learn to forage on their own to reduce their dependence on meat, and they must have hunted and foraged well enough to survive for the short window of time when Timmain went over to the wolves and Timmorn grew up, but yeah, both the Anthologies and Singing made the pure bloods out to be pretty hopeless.

Trollbabe

Maybe some of the survivors went straight back into wrapstuff? They were in the back of a cave, which would be a good place to play Rip Van Winkle until times got better.

Embala

The first thing they would have done was trying to grant their immidiate survival. Tending wounds, finding food, water and shelter. They would avoid to return to the place of horror for a long time. They had not expected violence, but admiration - considering the time frame they were supposed to land. They were shell shocked.



The Coneheads were explorers, that's true - but more on a spiritual, observing kind. There wouldn't be many Indiana Jones and MacGyver types among them. Even when there would be some skilled ones - they had to care for others.



And you seem to forget something - they were relying on magic. They were very surprised when their magic did not / hardly function on the WoTMs. Even sending could have been impossible over longer distances.

Vojira

That and they had pretty much forgotten violence and death. They were not prepared for what the ape-humans would do.

Magic_Toenail

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The first thing they would have done was trying to grant their immidiate survival. Tending wounds, finding food, water and shelter. They would avoid to return to the place of horror for a long time. They had not expected violence, but admiration - considering the time frame they were supposed to land. They were shell shocked.



The Coneheads were explorers, that's true - but more on a spiritual, observing kind. There wouldn't be many Indiana Jones and MacGyver types among them. Even when there would be some skilled ones - they had to care for others.



And you seem to forget something - they were relying on magic. They were very surprised when their magic did not / hardly function on the WoTMs. Even sending could have been impossible over longer distances.



All Those are excellent points. Still there must have been some level headed Coneheads with common sense. Even given weeks or months of seperation of groups, and giving the pressures and trauma, I think it would have occured to one or two of the Coneheads that there may have been other survivors. I don't believe Cutter after 10,000 years was the first elf to think "gee are there other elves out there?" Also in the picture linked to by Vojira if the shadows were others THEY WERE WITHIN SHOUTING DISTANCE of the EightHeadbang I myself have zero survivor instincts and skills, but I hope I'd have enough sense to shout for possible help if I were in their shoes.

Vojira

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All Those are excellent points. Still there must have been some level headed Coneheads with common sense. Even given weeks or months of seperation of groups, and giving the pressures and trauma, I think it would have occured to one or two of the Coneheads that there may have been other survivors. I don't believe Cutter after 10,000 years was the first elf to think "gee are there other elves out there?" Also in the picture linked to by Vojira if the shadows were others THEY WERE WITHIN SHOUTING DISTANCE of the EightHeadbang I myself have zero survivor instincts and skills, but I hope I'd have enough sense to shout for possible help if I were in their shoes.

well, the early wolfriders were busy being more wolfish then elfish and the remaining purebloods were busy dying off.
The Wolfrider weren't that fond of their pureblood cousins and they're unlikely to go look for any others since it to them just meant more 'weak and worthless' mouths to feed.


What precisely is it you want them to do? Go over and talk to Haken and the others?
Hear what they have to say? Get to know them by name?
That would require a longer story that is more focused on the High Ones themselves, not a story which's focus is to tell Rayek a thing or two.
Here they're background characters. Nothing more.

Magic_Toenail

Maybe I'm asking for the impossible. Logic in a fable.
But if I was in the other group I would go up to Haken's group, if nothing else to see if any close friends of mine were in there, to see if their powers were working any better than mine, ask about any other survivors etc, and I would expect the Eight to do the same. Actually if they could see it was Haken and the others-who were something of a group of leaders amongst the Coneheads, it would be even more likely the others would go to them.
That's why I believe all the elves were a. either descended from a small group, or B. did eventually meet up and reunite, but agree to splinter off. You might have had one founding group get lost and lose contact for thousands of years, but not multiple ones.

Embala

In my opinion these shadow figures were already members of this survivor group. The story simply concentrates on the Circle of Nine as Vojira pointed out already. The others are literally background. It makes even sense for me besides "for story's sake" only. Those nine had a special function for the ship, they had a special connection with one another - they were and are in charge for the others. They will stick closer together, being more active - the leading group.

About the resemblance between Haken and Rayek that you find so irritating - it is not the only one! Sefra/Skywise - Kaslen/Redlance - Kalil/Strongbow ... I can even see Leetah in Aerth and Tyleet in Deir. They are archetypes, most probably for story's sake - not the story told to Rayek, but simply the story told to the reader.

Two short issues had to tell the story about a genesis ... there was not much room for character developement. The characters look similar to well-known elves to make the reader feel familiar with them and their function. And honestly - in my eyes it would have been forced to "change colors" - combine bad temper with white hair, a treeshaper with black tresses, a silent blond guy, the stargazer with a red crest ... think about it. In a two issue storyline this would have been only confusing.

Magic_Toenail

About the resemblance between Haken and Rayek that you find so irritating - it is not the only one! Sefra/Skywise - Kaslen/Redlance - Kalil/Strongbow ... I can even see Leetah in Aerth and Tyleet in Deir. They are archetypes, most probably for story's sake - not the story told to Rayek, but simply the story told to the reader.

I think that's why I dislike this story and hope it's more a fable than historyHeadbang3. It's too convienent, even though the small group in a way made sense. I'm spoiled by Wendy's "Cast of Thousands" art AND writing with every elf having a distinct body, personality and story. That's why I'm reluctant to see the shadows as seperate elves. It's "cheating" me in both story and art.

Vojira

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About the resemblance between Haken and Rayek that you find so irritating - it is not the only one! Sefra/Skywise - Kaslen/Redlance - Kalil/Strongbow ... I can even see Leetah in Aerth and Tyleet in Deir. They are archetypes, most probably for story's sake - not the story told to Rayek, but simply the story told to the reader.



Tyleet is Deir? O_O I've always wondered who Deir and Gibra would be...

Who would Gibra be? Aroree?

Raenafel

Deir always seemed the plainest of elves, with no distinct talents. Perhaps he's a Pike prototype?))

manga

Whatever you think about the merits of the story, it is clearly fact. The linking art in "Rogue's Challenge" says "Hold hands...! Listen! You'll hear Brownskin's voice -- but he'll speak the thoughts and words of others... Memories captured in the colors long ago..."

It is a little annoying how much the Circle of Nine resembles later elves but elfin genetics work in unusual ways. The family resemblance of Ingen, Rayek and Venka is quite strong. They don't seem to have much in the way of "hop-out-of-kin," where someone has inherited a bunch of recessive genes and looks unusually different from the rest of their family.

lunakat

manga said: Whatever you think about the merits of the story, it is clearly fact. The linking art in "Rogue's Challenge" says "Hold hands...! Listen! You'll hear Brownskin's voice -- but he'll speak the thoughts and words of others... Memories captured in the colors long ago..."


The only reasonable justification I can really see would be if Rayek's vision colored the story- maybe he identified with a certain character- and identified others he knew with the personalities of the other characters... and in his vision, they were physically similar.


manga said: It is a little annoying how much the Circle of Nine resembles later elves but elfin genetics work in unusual ways.


Eh... I think you are giving way to much credit to the artist. I think somebody just didn't bother to do terrifically original character designs. Or- maybe the writer didn't feel confident enough that the story communicated the identities of the characters and instructed the artist to make them look like existing characters to get their personas across... but I rather think it's the former.

manga

Well, I was checking my book yesterday for this and Wendy was the "story-art editor" so the character resemblances seems to have Elfmom's "OK."

Zeina

Does anyone know what was going on with the preservers that whole time? Where were they? We know the trolls just kind of disappeared into the wilderness and did their own thing. I don't remember if anything was said about the preservers.

RedheadEmber

Supposedly they went with the those who would later become the Gliders (of which an off-shot seemed to have become the 'Rootless Ones', which became the Sunfolk) and Winnie told them to go and collect food which the Gliders would later pick up, only the Gliders didn't come back to pick anything up. This is also to explain why - in the beginning - Petalwing and co. simply wrapped up everything that fell asleep.
Though it doesn't explain why their were so opposed to wrapping up something that had already died, but was still fresh.

Raenafel

I feel more like it was a speed motion of the story.

Timmain's search and transformation couldn't have happened in mere days, right?


Personally I would really prefer if this story could be re-done by Wendy in the same way as Recognition has been.

It really deserves Wendy's touch.(and it could be made longer, too!)

RedheadEmber

Raenafel said: Timmain's search and transformation couldn't have happened in mere days, right?


Does it ever say it's mere days? We just only see bits of it.

Zeina

Thanks, RedheadEmber!

I know they went with the Gliders...but is there anything that shows of them like right after the ship/palace landed ? They don't come up until later. So I'm not sure.

RichardPini

manga said: Well, I was checking my book yesterday for this and Wendy was the "story-art editor" so the character resemblances seems to have Elfmom's "OK."


Not to say we are not proud of all the books we did back in the day, but to be mortifyingly honest, there were many instances where both Wendy and I let things get into print under the pressure of deadline that, under less stressful conditions, we would have tweaked. The truth about the look of the Circle of Nine probably lies somewhere between Lunacat's two hypotheses - and it's all far enough in the past that all we have left is speculation now.

lunakat

Holy shemoly! I feel so darn validated today!

RedheadEmber

Okay... random thought. What if the members of the circle looked like "modern day" elves, but had different powers? Imagine people going:

"Oh... she looks like Redlance. Treeshaper!"

"Nope! Stargazer!"

"There's one who looks kinda like Leetah, healer."

"Rockshaper!"

And so on.

travelbug

I actually like the both story and art of Rouges Challenge.
Yea yea, it's not Wendy and all that, but still its pretty good, better than the latest parts of Wild Hunt and Forevergreen. Colors are really really beautiful.
I do agree that How shall I keep from singing" feels a bit rushed, it would probably have benefited from being stretched and added through a few more issues like a 6 part story arc like Final Quest.
But we can always hope that Elfmom and Elfpop has another story to share about those early days of the world of two moons :)

lunakat

I agree. I also like Rogue's... Challenge or Curse? The one where he is wandering with Ekuar. It's not Wendy's style- and it's not trying to be. But it's still cool. And it fits the story well. I also like the art in Wild Hunt. The whole tale moves along at a very compelling pace and the art is pretty decent.

RedheadEmber

For me the biggest problem with Wild Hunt is the fact that it's black and white. I know that some of us you like that better than colour, but to me it just seems unfinished.
On the other hand; the fact that the last bit of Forevergreen is black and white (or rather greyscale) makes so much sense in-story, there has just been a huge fire and everything is covered in ash, making the landscape bleary and uninviting.

lunakat

I think being black and white saves it a bit (WildHunt- I didn't read Forevergreen). It looks like it was drawn by two different artists- and at least one section appears to be in pencil. The first artist, I think, is trying to keep the look similar to Wendy's... doesn't quite manage it, but tries. The results are decent enough. The second artist doesn't even bother, and is doing his/her own thing. It works, though. I like it.

I also liked the latter half of Hidden Years- when Ember and her tribe meet Tier, etc. It wasn't bad.

The thing Wild Hunt really has going for it is that it's well written, fast-paced story, that also has a lot of good character development. I like the way the pages and scenes are composed. It really sucks you in and keeps you reading. It's hard to put down. It's well balanced.

The second artist who was doing their own thing... I really ended up liking the style. I mean- the first was good too- but I liked the uniqueness of the second style.

Thornbrake

RedheadEmber said: the fact that the last bit of Forevergreen is black and white (or rather greyscale) makes so much sense in-story


It's one of the few things that made sense in that story, art-wise! Sorry, couldn't resist! \m/

Sadachbia

I've always run under the assumption that the remaining members of the Circle of 9 weren't the ONLY survivors. It's like the cast of LOST: there were 40 or 50 people on the plane that crashed, but they only named a dozen or so, because those are the ones the story revolved around. (In my own AU, I decided to codify that there were 128 Firstcomers originally on the Ship, and about 40 of them died in the first contact with humans or shortly thereafter, leaving the rest of them to scatter and give rise to Abode's various tribes; most of whom, this being an AU, are non-canon.)

The short stories Richard wrote for the Blood of Ten Chiefs anthologies are definitely canon, even if some of the other ones are questionable, so some of the named elves in those (e.g. Seilein, Renn) must be canon too, even if they didn't show up in the Hidden Years comic.