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The Lodestone Hypothesis

Heather

With the Final Quest gearing up there has been plenty of talk about "what's going to happen?" When we attended the Columbia University discussion with Wendy, Richard and Karen Green, it was hinted at that actions in the Original Quest are going to directly affect outcomes in the Final Quest. 

This obviously leaves open a wild field of possibilities, and I've been playing quite a few of them around in my mind. First off, there are so many great moments and lines in Elfquest, trying to pick just one makes it difficult. But, while I think a lot of times as we read the story again and again, we think certain moments and lines are just throw aways. Wendy doesn't do throw away lines. 

One that struck me was, the Lodestone. From the moment Skywise encountered it, he was drawn to it, knew it was something special 



He then learns from Picknose:



Then as he and Cutter and the wolfriders cross the desert, this important moment takes place:

So first we see Skywise, future Master of the Palace being attracted to the Lodestone and recognizing its power. An easy throw away moment, as Skywise is naturally curious, but knowing what we know now, it can take on a deeper meaning.

Then we hear from Picknose saying it “fell from the sky, and is very old” It is easy to dismiss this line and simply think it was a meteor that fell. After all, that happens here. However, the Palace fell from the sky a long time ago.

The exchange between Cutter and Skywise is important as well, as I feel it answers something more important at the end of the Original Quest: “There is nothing evil in the stars, Cutter...or in anything that comes from them.” The elves themselves came from the stars. Thought of as evil for generations of humans, this is an important moment setting up the quest (again, no throw away lines).

So what's my hypothesis? Maybe the Lodestone is a piece of the Home Star. The High Ones took a piece of their dying planet into the Palace with them. The trolls, when fleeing to the underground, grabbed it and took it with them (or perhaps they took it during a raid of the Palace before leaving for the caverns under the Father Tree Holt). The simple discision that Cutter made to chip off a piece of the Lodestone for Skywise so long ago, may play a bigger part now at the end.

It is also important to note that when Cutter and Skywise return to the Troll Caverns in the Original Quest, that the Lodestone is missing from the throne chamber.

I can obviously be totally wrong with my hypothesis but in time we will see and until then it will be fun to keep guessing.

Thornbrake

Well, that's interesting! That would be really cool if Skywise's lodestone really did "point the way home."

The whole lodestone WAS missing from Greymung's chamber, because it was hauled back to Guttlekraw's after the Frozen Mountain Trolls obliterated the Holt Trolls. One can assume that it's still there.

Check this out: http://www.elfquest.com/comic_viewer.php?fd=/gallery/OnlineComics/OQ/OQ17/_Original%20ElfQuest%20-%2017_page=1#_22#

P.S. How did you insert images into your post??

Heather

That's right! It's not shiny, it's not gold, but it fell from the sky long ago. For them to take it back after the raid, that means it has to be important to them.

Thornbrake

I think you could argue its special magnetism was enough for them to consider it to be a treasure.

Heather

Good point as well. And it is rare.

Thornbrake

Here's Guttlekraw after he regained his favorite footstool:

Thornbrake

You can even see the chipped out spot where Cutter broke off Skywise's lodestone.

Rob

Images are HTML:

Local image upload will be added sooner or later :)

Rob

That panel of Guttlekraw is one of my favorites. That realistic, brutal chiaroscuro inking = shit getting real.

Thornbrake

Rob: yes!

Heather

Even having that pointed out that it is the same stone has to mean something. Again, no throw away scenes.

Heather

And I totally agree, Rob. I love those dark scenes with Guttlekraw.

Rob

Heather

Amazing. Thank you! You've captured my thoughts in one gorgeous picture.

RedheadEmber

That hypothesis makes a lot of sense!

I may be wrong, but I seem to recall Skywise once expressing a desire to visit the World of the Lodestone.
If the Lodestone is indeed a piece of the Home Star, well... then it's no wonder he wants to visit.

Embala

Awesome sketch! I like how the loadtone is visually "embedded " in the Palace.

Niphredil

I recall that too, RedheadEmber. Can't find the issue in wich Skywise spoke of it, anyone?

jeb

That scene with Cutter freaking out when Skywise marks the lodestone has always annoyed me. If there were evil spirits, wouldn't they have been released when Cutter chipped it out in the first place?

Although this discussion does remind me of the connection between the little palace left in Sorrow's End and the big palace. Maybe the lodestone will be a key to getting back to the homeworld, and something cool will happen when the two pieces are re-united.

Thornbrake

OOoooo, good observation @RedheadEmber! It's from King of the Broken Wheel:

Heather

@Thornbrake-Thank you! Was just looking for it!

Thornbrake

@Jeb, I think the point of Cutter freaking out about Skywise marking the Lodestone was to contrast Cutter and Skywise's viewpoint on space and the stars. Cutter is mistrustful and suspicious of such things, Skywise is open and comfortable (a thread that continues to be woven throughout the tale). Also, after Picknose's treachery, I think Cutter is on extra high alert for trouble in a way that he wasn't in the heat of the moment of his "attack" on Greymung when he chipped the piece out in the first place.

Mkal

One thing that I cannot get out of my head is that while Timmain/Suntop moved the Scroll of Colors in EQ #20, "they" spoke of the homeworld as "dying". Are we sure that the world is still there? Could it have finally died and the Lodestone is the remains of a world that is no longer there?

Heather

@Mkal-"Dying" but not dead. Skywise has already spoken that they want to go to the Home Star, so that would lead us to believe the elves feel it is a possibility. And if the planet was dying, it doesn't mean it would just blow up or disappear.

Thornbrake

@MKal the life on a planet can die out, while the planet itself remains. It's possible that it's just bare rock at this point and the elves, if they return, might need to use their powers to breathe new life into it. Or, since the High Ones left literally billions of years ago, it's possible that the planet went through a "dead cycle" and will have become inhabitable again by the time the elves return. We shall see!

Embala

Or it's eaten by the sun ... ;) Would be a bit pointless, tho.

Thornbrake

lol @Embala, or that. ;-)

Heather

Hopefully, we will be seeing more of Skywise soon. But, I think our next peak into the World of Abode is mainly going to be spent with Ember and her Wolfriders.

RedheadEmber

If the Home World has been eaten (for lack of better words) by its sun then we know how it'll end:

They arrive at where the Home World used to be and... POOOOOF!
Final Quest indeed!

Heather

Ha! Ha! Yes, but I am thinking there is something a bit more planned than that!

Thornbrake

@RedheadEmber, you just made me LOL! ;-)

RedheadEmber

@Thornbrake, I'm glad to be of service!

Niphredil

Well, that's a way of dealing with what seemed to be a good hypothesis LOL :)

Tavie

@Heather

So what's my hypothesis? Maybe the Lodestone is a piece of the Home Star. The High Ones took a piece of their dying planet into the Palace with them. The trolls, when fleeing to the underground, grabbed it and took it with them (or perhaps they took it during a raid of the Palace before leaving for the caverns under the Father Tree Holt). The simple discision that Cutter made to chip off a piece of the Lodestone for Skywise so long ago, may play a bigger part now at the end.


This gave me chills. I'd almost forgotten about the Lodestone as anything more than a Signature Skywise Accessory, like Jughead's hat. Brava!

Tavie

@Rob THIS PICTURE
ALL THE FEELS
SO BEAUTY
VERY STAR

Heather

Thanks @Tavie. It seriously just hit me while I was I getting ready for work in the morning. I think it's one of those things that has always been there and we just take it for granted.

RedheadEmber

@Niphredil, it's still a good hypothesis. I just have a pretty... morbid... way of thinking.

Mkal

@Heather Yes, but the planet was dying and they left it. It would only be fair to guess that since there was nobody left to care for it, it is now a dead planet. We have no idea how much time passed from their departure of the homeworld until they crashed on Abode.

We have reports on how Mars once could have supported life, but now it would take a great deal to make it inhabitable again.

Of course, with plant shapers and rock shapers, it might be easier to resurrect the dead world.

Heather

Mkal said: It would only be fair to guess that since there was nobody left to care for it, it is now a dead planet. We have no idea how much time passed from their departure of the homeworld until they crashed on Abode.

I actually think Thornbrake covered this best here:

Thornbrake said: @MKal the life on a planet can die out, while the planet itself remains. It's possible that it's just bare rock at this point and the elves, if they return, might need to use their powers to breathe new life into it. Or, since the High Ones left literally billions of years ago, it's possible that the planet went through a "dead cycle" and will have become inhabitable again by the time the elves return. We shall see!


Just like our own planet, we need to take care of earth because we live on it, not because it needs us. If humans disappeared tomorrow, earth would still keep on spinning and growing. So possibly the Home Star has come back. I don't think Skywise would have mentioned trying a journey there if it wasn't something he thought was possible.

Mkal

Of course, it is possible, but what happens if they travel to the homeworld and it is dead and cannot support life any longer? Wendy would not have mentioned so many times that the world was dying if that would not come into play in a future arc.

The phrase "You can never go home again" is just nagging at me in the back of my head in regards to this.

My speculation: The elves that decide to leave Abode and travel to the homeworld will find it dead and barren. There is the possibility that they will encounter other 'shells' and all decide to return back to Abode with Skywise, Timmain, and the rest of our beloved elves.

Of course, there is no telling how long it will take for them to return.

I think that they will travel back to the world their race came from, but it will not be the nice and tidy happy ending.

Heather

You bring up some excellent points @Mkal. And I have also wondered if they will encounter other 'shells' and that takes the story someplace else we never thought of. And I also don't think it will be a tidy happy ending either.
We've come a long way on the journey with the elves and I think we have longer still to go!

Thornbrake

I think they will go there. What they will find is anyone's guess.

PCoquelin

You have not seen the Scroll of Colors, then?

Thornbrake

PCoquelin said:


Ok, I'll bite. What about the Scroll?

lunakat

A lodestone is just a magnetized piece of magnetite. The name lodestone means "leading stone" or "compass stone." People used pieces of lodestone suspended from strings as natural compasses well before and well into the Middle Ages.

Skywise theorized that the lodestone was "a piece of" what he called the "hub" star-- and which (I think) the Sunfolk referred to as the North star. But he was clearly just guessing. A lodestone points north/south because it is reacting to the planet's magnetic field-- not because it is "tugged on" by a star. The Wolfriders, even Skywise, are not scientists- they mostly just go by instinct. Skywise didn't really know what he was talking about when he explained the lodestone to Cutter- he just had some basic observations and semi-educated guesswork.

And yes, Picknose said it fell from the sky-- but that probably just means it was a piece of meteor. Space is really big- and the likelihood of the lodestone being a piece of the planet the high ones came from seems pretty remote.

I also really don't think the elves are going to go back to their original world. That doesn't make sense. Timmain told them that the High Ones left that world because it was dying. Why would they choose to return to a dead world? Why would they even expect it to still exists- considering that the Coneheads travelled for a really long time in their shell before landing on abode- and so many thousands of years passed after the crash. That world should be long gone by now... and any character who paid any attention to the Scroll of Colors should know that.

I thought that when he mentioned the "star home," Skywise was referring to the ship itself-- to restoring the Palace into a floating spaceship.

lunakat

Interestingly enough, rumor has it that lodestones can be created by a lightning strike.

Thornbrake

lunakat said: I thought that when he mentioned the "star home," Skywise was referring to the ship itself-- to restoring the Palace into a floating spaceship.


Interesting. He says to Ruffel that the elves will "return to the Star Home" and since he was already in the Palace when he said that, I'm thinking that he was referring to the High Ones' original home planet. That really stood out to me in the story because I don't think that was ever mentioned before as something the elves wanted to do. It's always just been "return to the stars" which I interpreted as traveling space in the Palace-ship visiting other worlds.

But honestly, I have NO idea where this is all going. Can't wait for issue #2 in two weeks!

lunakat

He actually says 'restore' the star home. He could be talking about uniting all the elves and restoring the Palace to be a flying starship.

Thornbrake

lunakat said: He actually says 'restore' the star home. He could be talking about uniting all the elves and restoring the Palace to be a flying starship.


Ah, right. But that makes me think even more that he's talking about the planet, not the Palace. The Palace has already been restored, and they've even left the planet in it.

Heather

Thornbrake said:
Ah, right. But that makes me think even more that he's talking about the planet, not the Palace. The Palace has already been restored, and they've even left the planet in it.

My thoughts as well.

lunakat

Yeah- but they can't live in it and travel across the galaxy yet. It's not a "Star Home"- just a big house and a docking station, at this point. Isn't the point of the Palace for all elves to live in it as a self-sustaining ecosystem? It's not that yet. The Sunfolk are still gardening their food- the Wolfriders are still hunting... or opening preserver cocoons. We know, from FutureQuest, that the Palace will one day house a self-contained ecosystem and elf/troll society that travels through space. It's not there yet.

And beyond that-- I'm just assuming Skywise has read the Scroll of Colors which basically says that old world is dead. Why would he think it's a smart idea to go back to a dead world that his ancestors left billions of years ago?

Heather

lunakat said: And beyond that-- I'm just assuming Skywise has read the Scroll of Colors which basically says that old world is dead. Why would he think it's a smart idea to go back to a dead world that his ancestors left billions of years ago?

Because he might think they can breathe life back into it.

sulken

If 'Star Home' really refers to the dead planet of the High One's... well, technically all planets are 'Star Homes'

Heather

I've been thinking about this still and remembered another panel from the OQ
Screen Shot 2014-06-22 at 12.33.54 PM
Could this sweet moment be forshadowing of what is to come? "So far apart." "But always together." Will Leetah and Cutter be separated by the stars but always connected? Perhaps, if the Home Star is found and reborn, Leetah wants to remain there but Cutter returns to Abode? Or perhaps something different? Cutter's soul, able to travel where it will, goes between Abode and the Star Home?
The gerbil in my mind wheel is running!

jeb

And beyond that-- I'm just assuming Skywise has read the Scroll of Colors which basically says that old world is dead. Why would he think it's a smart idea to go back to a dead world that his ancestors left billions of years ago?


I'm on my tablet, so I can't check the online comics, but isn't that what the cone heads did? Return and try to restore the planet? Then, when they realized it wasn't possible, took the insect and monkeys with them? I guess he'd figure it might still be a possibility.

I also think it's kind of silly to refer to the planet as dying. The sun could be dying, but the planets conditions are just changing so it's no longer habitable to lifeforms we know of. But the concept of returning and restoring habitable conditions is a theme that's crossed Wendy's mind. Just look at that one movie storyboard.

I'm with Luna in not wanting the lodestone to be part of the home world. Sometimes a meteorite is just a meteorite.

RedheadEmber

lunakat said: And beyond that-- I'm just assuming Skywise has read the Scroll of Colors


And for a sec (reading the quote in jeb's post) I thought you meant this Scroll of Colors. The forum... :>

RichardPini

jeb said: Sometimes a meteorite is just a meteorite.


In this instance, I can say that's the case. Skywise, right now, is doing the best he knows how - without Carl Sagan or Neil deGrasse Tyson to mentor him - to put widely disparate puzzle pieces together and make some kind of sense out of the resulting picture. He's got a ways to go. I envy - and do not envy - the journeys he may be called to make.

RedheadEmber

You know, that's too intriguing to be put up here. It could be years before we get to that part.

Hmm... the "big lodestone", is that still lying around somewhere?

RichardPini

RedheadEmber said: You know, that's too intriguing to be put up here. It could be years before we get to that part.


It could be. You double-parked somewhere? ;)

RedheadEmber

RichardPini said: You double-parked somewhere?


No... (I don't have a car) but reading these messages, knowing it could take quite a while before it actually happens in the story, is going to potentially make me crazy.

RichardPini

RedheadEmber said: ...is going to potentially make me crazy.


As long as it's only "potentially," then my work here is not yet done. $-)

MrsGrizzley

RichardPini said: As long as it's only "potentially," then my work here is not yet done.


And thus we see that ElfPop is truly the Father of All Trolls. We need to see a statue dedicated to him somewhere...

RichardPini

MrsGrizzley said: And thus we see that ElfPop...


Off topic, but germane: The continuation of "Elfpop" (and "Elfmom") as useful or desirable is under discussion right now. There may be some truth to the notion that "familiarity breeds contempt" - or at least invisibility. Father's Day was a week ago, and "Elfpop" did not receive a single - even playful - nod of acknowledgment.

RedheadEmber

^:)^ ^:)^ ^:)^ ^:)^ ^:)^ ^:)^ ^:)^ ^:)^ ^:)^ ^:)^ ^:)^ ^:)^ ^:)^ ^:)^ ^:)^ ^:)^ ^:)^ ^:)^ ^:)^ ^:)^

Better?

Vaeri

happy father's day elfpop!! want an ice cream cake from baskinrobins in the shape of a beer mug? or better yet, a mug of dreamberry wine!*will make a note for next year though*

anyway, figured i'd put my two cents in. pointing out about the world the high ones came from...in the original quest, Timmain calls it "lifeless" and that it bore young..perhaps the elves could go to a descendant planet of their original world?

Timmain also says that when the original high ones came back to their world, they awoke their magic and "Eased the aging land through the last of its life" which i take to mean...when they left, it was dying and quite on the edge of death, like a person who is lying on their deathbed. they are not dead yet, but they are dying and close to the end(sorry for the morbidity!)

also in the scroll, when Timmain continues her tale on page 26, we see the elves and what seems to be a big sun shape...oblong. perhaps a testament to how old their sun is?

so yeah..my thoughts, if they even make any sense...XD though a part of me does kind of like the idea...oh what, what if that is what the lodestone is? a "young" of the original planet, that crashed on Abode, or possibly was carried by the high ones as another reminder of their planet?

also, in "How shall i keep from singing?", Timmain states that their sun was dying. generally when suns die, that's it for any life bearing planets...even if the sun doesn't destroy the planet, it's just not warm enough anymore for life.

Llannen

I've been mulling thoughts of this over lately too...same along the thoughts of the home world may be gone (destroyed by a supernova or something but we can blame Cosmos for that) but....then I wondered if the palace being from the home planet holds the "spirit" or soul of that world and allows for the spirits of the elves to travel between wherever the others pods that left the home world went? And maybe that's why it takes time for the spirits to be "woken" up or communicated with by the living? It's been suggested in FQ that there is MORE to be learned in death? I don't have the comic in front of me but by Krim? Where does the lodestone play into that thought line? I was thinking it was pointing to another pod.

MrsGrizzley

@ElfPop I'm sorry I missed Father's Day for you. I can't even give a legitimate excuse as I don't have any OTHER fathers to remember this time of year.

Please forgive?

travelbug

Happy belated Fathers Day, Elfpop ;)

The Final Quest, the elves big quest to find their own home somewhere in space, with no humans :)

What if the neverending are descendants of the coneheads too? They do know how to send..

Vaeri

i find it difficult to believe the pod could have held any of the planet's "spirit", because the shells were just made from earth of their planet.

and if the elfen spirits could find the other pods, then the High Ones would have been able to as well, and they admitted they could not find them at all. i rather hope we'll eventually learn what happened to those other pods...

lunakat

Dear Richard Pini,

Blame the elves! Take those naughty, little rascals to task for their forgetfulness. You are their pop after all!

Sincerely,

Luna

Knightbird

@Heather, I just listen to The ElfQuest Show and listen to you talk about the Lodestone...I thought went right to the cover of the Rebels #8 (with Chandra and the stone). There is a link there and it is going to be interesting to find out.

Heather

@knightbird I agree. I am so excited to see what we are all right and wrong about. And of course surprises!

WildBlossom

Vaeri said: What if the neverending are descendants of the coneheads too? They do know how to send..


I've always wondered this too, but then it would be almost *too* convenient. I'm hoping that Final Quest will fill in all the blanks that led to Future Quest. I may be remembering incorrectly, but wasn't one of the scrolls from the Scroll of Colors in a museum on Abode in Future Quest? How did the elves lose it?

lunakat

I thought the Neverending were probably descended from one of the other pods or even the ships that left earlier...


WildBlossom said: I may be remembering incorrectly, but wasn't one of the scrolls from the Scroll of Colors in a museum on Abode in Future Quest? How did the elves lose it?

That's a good question. And can you turn the scroll with only one post? Probably not.

travelbug

Could the elves learn to duplicate the scrolls at some point to come? As in there exist more than two scrolls.

They are flying the palace anyway in FutureQuest, maybe they learned to fly without scrolls?

lunakat

I guess that depends. What ARE the scrolls?

travelbug

You know, Skywise and Sunstream flies the pods without scrolls, so maybe the scrolls aren't important for the flying.

However the scolls contain the pictured histories of all elves and can help living elves comunicate with the spirits. Remember Rayek learning the stories of the high ones in Kings of the broken wheel?

They seem to be made of a similar substance as the palace itself

RedheadEmber

lunakat said: I guess that depends. What ARE the scrolls?


I always thought the Scrolls were basically the all-inclusive-major-history-document of the elves.

lunakat

I think that's their function- but what are they made of and how do they work?

RedheadEmber

Magic! *-:)

travelbug

My guess in a magical, undefinable material unlike anything we know in this world.

Knightbird

"Magic is technology before its time." Quote Robin Williams.

TrollHammer

Another thought I had about Cutter freaking out about marking the stone: he might have had a recollection of the result of previous meddling causing Madcoil.

I wrote a fanfic about the loadstone's origion thats a bit less serious, but I think the OP's idea fits well into the storhline pretty well. Nice!

I was going to say the Trolls didnt usually value magical power, making it even more pecular that they would prize it so much, but then I recalled they prized rockshapers pretty highly too. They had a purpose in mining, though, so unless they take the lodestone down new tunnels every once in a while to find iron/cobalt/nickle deposits, it would be interesting to find out why the kings above all prize it so dearly.

Does anyone know if Picky picked it up at some point? If not, it might suggest that the prior kings knew stories of old that were not passed on (though old maggoty might still know).

RichardPini

travelbug said: Could the elves learn to duplicate the scrolls at some point to come?


Sure! Command-C, then Command-V, any ol' where they want one. 8-X

travelbug

Hahaha :D

jeb

travelbug said: What if the neverending are descendants of the coneheads too? They do know how to send..


I've wondered if they are descendants of the Wolfriders. I haven't read Future Quest in a while, and only once, but don't the Neverending also communicate by smell? A keen sense of smell always being pointed out as a particularly Wolfrider trait.

travelbug

The neverending can smell feelings, it's like they have a more advanced sense of smell, than even the wolfriders

Eyeshigh

It is in the wiskers. Like catfish, :x

lunakat

The High Ones only looked like they did because they shaped themselves that way. They could have taken on any form they liked. Maybe the Neverending a result of a different group that chose a different sort of form.

sulken

when immortals die, their souls return to the palace, right? So during the disappearance of the great palace, where did those souls, who died during the war in Sorrows End go to? The little one (a bit crowded, ne?)?

Maybe, they went to the "there is more" place, Krim was talking about when she died

Embala

They might have gone to the Palace - as simple as this. I don't remember the exact quote of that first statement. Wasn't it along the lines: ...they are bound to space and time of the Palace...?

Maybe the spirit "life" is not linear, not bound to the passing of time the way the living elves are? And when they die they go where the Palace is - no matter whether it is present, past or future seen from the time of death. (Sorry, it's kinda hard to word it right.)


And when they were drawn to the Little Palace as the next available spirit home it need not be crowed at all. Final Quest explained that the spirits are not "packed within" the crystal walls of the Palace. There is a huge spirit sphere around the Palace, reaching far beyond the borders of Abode. They could have built a sphere a around the Little Palace as well.

Thornbrake

Embala said: Maybe the spirit "life" is not linear, not bound to the passing of time the way the living elves are? And when the die the go where the Palace is - no matter whether it is present, past or future seen rom the time of death. (Sorry, it's kinda hard to word it right.)


I think something like this is going on. In the teaser preview for issue #6 Kahvi and Tyldak even reference that in the spirit realm, time doesn't exist.