The Origin of (Wesnoth) Species, or: Half-Breeds in Wesnoth?

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Mountain_King
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Re: The Origin of (Wesnoth) Species, or: Half-Breeds in Wesn

Post by Mountain_King »

K is for kilo, the metric term referring to one thousand of something. I think that was what he was trying to say. Then you also have "Gs" which is American slang for a thousand dollars (from one thousand "grand").
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Re: The Origin of (Wesnoth) Species, or: Half-Breeds in Wesn

Post by esr »

Mountain_King wrote:K is for kilo, the metric term referring to one thousand of something. I think that was what he was trying to say. Then you also have "Gs" which is American slang for a thousand dollars (from one thousand "grand")
Mountain_King is correct, 1 Kyear = 10^3 years = 1000 years. In common use among scientists who need to specify approximate dates before present time, especially with respect to approximate measurements such as carbon dating.

A Gyear is also a less commonly used unit; G = giga. This is 10^9 = 1000000000 years. Astronomers use it sometimes.

To complete the set, 1 Myear = 10^6 years = 1000000 years. Paleontologists use this one.

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Re: The Origin of (Wesnoth) Species, or: Half-Breeds in Wesn

Post by doofus-01 »

I won't push this too much, but:

If elves live for a long time in 25 year old bodies, and only age right before they die, they must find humans fairly unattractive & stinking of death, and wouldn't want to breed with them. It would also be sad to watch your children grow old and die before you do.

Orcs probably value different things than humans do, so they probably wouldn't be impressed with pretty blonde princesses and all that. Humans also wouldn't make good slaves because they are too weak. (Unless that's in some campaign, though I don't remember it being in one.)

My point is, cross-breeds already don't make much sense and can probably be avoided without bringing in rigid biological rules about fertility. An omniscient narrator/science teacher kind of breaks the atmosphere.
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Re: The Origin of (Wesnoth) Species, or: Half-Breeds in Wesn

Post by johndh »

esr wrote:My tentative theory is that elves and humans used to be one breeding population, but that fairly recently (30-50 Kyears?) elves have speciated due to contact with the faerie realm.
Maybe the more elves are closer to the natural state of h. progenitor, and we mundanes (humans, dwarves, orcs, ogres) split off and lost a lot of our magical nature over time. (Yes, I'm suggesting that all the mammalian humanoids came from the same stock.)

Just a little visual brainstorming:
evolution_chart.png
doofus-01 wrote: Orcs probably value different things than humans do, so they probably wouldn't be impressed with pretty blonde princesses and all that. Humans also wouldn't make good slaves because they are too weak. (Unless that's in some campaign, though I don't remember it being in one.)
If they use goblins for a lot of their manual labor, I think even a malnourished human slave would be an upgrade. I doubt they'd want to breed with them, though.
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Re: The Origin of (Wesnoth) Species, or: Half-Breeds in Wesn

Post by A-Red »

johndh wrote:
esr wrote:My tentative theory is that elves and humans used to be one breeding population, but that fairly recently (30-50 Kyears?) elves have speciated due to contact with the faerie realm.
Maybe the more elves are closer to the natural state of h. progenitor, and we mundanes (humans, dwarves, orcs, ogres) split off and lost a lot of our magical nature over time. (Yes, I'm suggesting that all the mammalian humanoids came from the same stock.)
It doesn't make sense to put elves and humans at the opposite ends of an evolution tree based on magical ability. Humans have magic along with merpeople and elves. Of the three only elves have a canon explanation rooted in faerie realms, so it also doesn't necessarily follow that elves and merpeople can be grouped together on the basis of magic.

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Re: The Origin of (Wesnoth) Species, or: Half-Breeds in Wesn

Post by catwhowalksbyhimself »

Elves are faerie and apparently from a faerie dimension. My guess would be that their nature is inherently magical, as opposed to humans inherently physical nature, which makes the two incompatible when it comes to reproducing. I would consider elves physical form to simply have been assumed by their ancestors to cope with the world they are in and not really their true nature.

Orcs seem to animalistic to be anything at all closely related to humans. They are as far apart from each other as humans and gorillas, I would guess.

That only leaves dwarves and humans as even being close. My best solution to that would be just to say that their resemblance is entirely external. A panda bear looks a lot like a bear but isn't anything even close, for example, so I see humans and dwarves as being a bit like that.

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Re: The Origin of (Wesnoth) Species, or: Half-Breeds in Wesn

Post by esr »

catwhowalksbyhimself wrote:Elves are faerie and apparently from a faerie dimension.
No. Elves are in contact with faerie, and not all of them. It is nowhere written that they are "from" faerie; there are no in-canon hints about their origin.

My speculation (which is not canon) is that they're descended from a group of humans already carrying the blondism gene, in relatively recent time (as I said, c.30-50 Myears), then altered both by genetic drift and by contact with faerie.

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Re: The Origin of (Wesnoth) Species, or: Half-Breeds in Wesn

Post by catwhowalksbyhimself »

That would, unfortunately, actually hurt they whole anti hybrids stance, as that would make them an offshoot of humans, making them quite likely to interbreed.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't several of the descriptions talk about their faerie nature and tapping into that side of them? That's where I got the whole they are faerie thing.

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Re: The Origin of (Wesnoth) Species, or: Half-Breeds in Wesn

Post by johndh »

A-Red wrote:It doesn't make sense to put elves and humans at the opposite ends of an evolution tree based on magical ability. Humans have magic along with merpeople and elves. Of the three only elves have a canon explanation rooted in faerie realms, so it also doesn't necessarily follow that elves and merpeople can be grouped together on the basis of magic.
My way of looking at is that humans and other races can use magic, but elves have it as an intrinsic part of their nature (hence the long life spans and iron allergy). It's mentioned in the mermaid initiate description that merfolk have a faerie nature as well. It was also included in the merfolk race description, but I don't know if that specific detail made it in when it was committed.
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Re: The Origin of (Wesnoth) Species, or: Half-Breeds in Wesn

Post by Mountain_King »

While we're all speaking speculatively here, would it be possible that elves and humans, though coming from the same breeding population, were separated when one large group (accidentally?) entered into the faerie realm? They would have gained a strong connection to faeries at this time. They then maybe lived in the faerie realm for many generations until they were almost like the elves we all know and love. Then, they used their (by this time- inherent) magical natures to leave the faerie realm for the great continent (i.e. Wesnoth).
:hmm: The merfolk are tough to explain, mainly because of their fishy appendages. I think I'll leave that group alone and let someone else try and figure it out. :D
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Re: The Origin of (Wesnoth) Species, or: Half-Breeds in Wesn

Post by StDrake »

esr wrote:
catwhowalksbyhimself wrote:Elves are faerie and apparently from a faerie dimension.
No. Elves are in contact with faerie, and not all of them. It is nowhere written that they are "from" faerie; there are no in-canon hints about their origin.

My speculation (which is not canon) is that they're descended from a group of humans already carrying the blondism gene, in relatively recent time (as I said, c.30-50 Myears), then altered both by genetic drift and by contact with faerie.
I agree with your speculation and bring it even further.
I've been holding a story about that for a year or without writing it down, maybe ill manage to get bothered to do it if i reveal some aspects
=> my proposal is that indeed, elves, dwarves, humans, and in a rather obscure way orcs..mermen could be fit into that easily though my story doesn't tell of them, come from a common ancestor race, which split due to a rather drastic event
-humans originated from a group that fled across the ocean to the west
-dwarves from those that hid into the underground
-elves from those those remained in the local forests, and came under the influence of fae spirits..the ones that didnt go bad at least
-orcs..if you look at the latest concept of their ape-ish appearance they didnt do much evolving actually, they are actually the primal race degenerated by some rather evil influence, banished from the world long ago until some stupid lich found a way to let them in again
-drakes..err ok those dont originate common, those were dragon offspring degenerated by a similar thing to orcs, but freed from being affected also mentally by that

..mermen according to this could easily be elves that suffered some sinking-town disaster, but where nature would say they should die, the fae magic had something else in 'mind'


I say - wesnoth is open to creation, so we shouldn't bar any possibilities. Go on - paste in some evolution and plumb the holes with magic, that leaves plenty of space for UMC options - want science? you got it! want magic? it's right around the corner! want crossbreeds? well it's rather cheesy, but there might be EXTREMELY RARE cases
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Re: The Origin of (Wesnoth) Species, or: Half-Breeds in Wesn

Post by vcap »

StDrake wrote: -orcs..if you look at the latest concept of their ape-ish appearance they didnt do much evolving actually, they are actually the primal race degenerated by some rather evil influence, banished from the world long ago until some stupid lich found a way to let them in again
You got it backward. Orcs are the evolved apes; humans and co are the degenerate ones ("neotenic" is how they like to put it, but that doesn't change anything).

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Re: The Origin of (Wesnoth) Species, or: Half-Breeds in Wesn

Post by Midnight_Carnival »

If someone digs up my Phoenix Empire (a long story) Campaign text - yeah, I still didn't get round to working on that campaign- you will find a possible explaination for Orcs wich may be useful. Simply put, Humans and Orcs shared the same origins, but developed differntly. The original humanoids were often enslaved by Saurians (and kept as livestock) Elves and Dwarves encouraged some of them to develop intelectually after they were liberated from the Saurians, these grew upright, enjoyed daylight (the nocternal Saurians did not apreciate their slaves being out and in the sunlight too much lest they get up to all manner of mischief) and became Humans.

Some of these creatures were captuered by and evil sorcerer or some bad guy and altered by magic to become more agressive and more fertile. They were kept in a huge dungeon and not fed much so that the stronger ones would eat the weaker ones. Presumably their captor died or grew tired of them, and so after the thousand years it took them to tunnel out they could not stand the sun (but they loved fire, the only source of light and warmth they had in their home) - they became Orcs.

But if this interferes with your ideas about keeping fantasy races "pure", don't use it. Unless you want it so that the Dark sorceries used on Orcs made it impossible for them to breed with Humans.

As for Merfolk, my suggestion is that they are either an Elf-like race who used their magic to adapt themselves to an aquatic environment, or that they were magical hybrids, Chimerous creatures such as Gryphons (and I would argue Naga).
...apparenly we can't go with it or something.

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Re: The Origin of (Wesnoth) Species, or: Half-Breeds in Wesn

Post by StDrake »

That would make sense but it leaves out the question about origins of elves and dwarves.
Plus it breaks the canon (cannon? muahaha) that there were no humans in wesnoth until they arrived from the west and the Green Isle..aside maybe for those barbaric tribes to the north, but there's so little notice of those that cutting them out might even be a good idea.
I also makes a mess when we ask about the resemblance between elves, dwarves and humans, while jointing humans and orcs who don't have much in common to an untrained eye.

Ad. vcap - um..yes, if you're an orcish player that'd probably the correct version for you :>
don't you love propaganda, it still complies with war and power being an obsession..or if you prefer - what brings value to life for orcs
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Re: The Origin of (Wesnoth) Species, or: Half-Breeds in Wesn

Post by Midnight_Carnival »

Not quite, I'm afraid!

No Humans in Wesnoth, but I never claimed they evolved there, if you look at my storyline you will see that the Saurian Empire encountered Elves in "distant lands" and they sent ambasadors to the empire who were appalled at the slavery, etc...

The resemblance between Elves, and Humans and Dwarves and Humans could be explained by the relevant races taking an active (magical?) role in the development of the proto-humans. Even if that is not the case, it is not impossible to imagine that all the humanoid species had a common, or at least similar origin if you go back far enough.

As for breaking the canon... My face breaks the canon! That's how I roll.
...apparenly we can't go with it or something.

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