Desert Elves

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irrevenant
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Re: Desert Elves

Post by irrevenant »

Mist wrote:
irrevenant wrote:I'm not a fan of this approach - it seems inconsistent. Elves fae essence has nothing to do with nature. It has to do with originally being from the realm of faerie - a realm that the shyde and sylphs are closer to than most elves.
And I'm not a fan of 'copy and recolor' approach because it's both shallow and lacks any sort of creativity. If I wanted them to be like forest elves, or if there was any point of them beeing like forest elves besides this vague 'fae' requirement, I'd use forest elves instead because they do have art, portraits and balanced stats.
You seem to be indicating that desert elves either have to be either a cheap recolour or non-fae in character. I don't see why they can't be fae and unique.

To quote from the unit descriptions:
Sylph: "Rarely seen, the sage-like Sylphs are masters of both their faerie and mundane natures."
Shyde: "Devotion to her faerie side will eventually transform an elf maiden into a creature of both worlds."

Either that faerie nature needs to be retained in the new art or they have strayed dramatically from that nature and the units' abilities should be majorly changed (flight should probably be dropped).

Re: the former approach - the current Elvish shyde is a dainty fluttering faerie adorned with flowers. IMO, the desert equivalent would still be winged but it would also be hard-looking and would be posed as if meaning business, not for a calendar shoot. They should look hardened and slender, not curvaceous like the current versions.

From your comments, you favour the latter.

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Re: Desert Elves

Post by AI »

For the hardened look, dragonfly wings would look odd. So instead of dragonfly wings (transparent), how about moth-like wings? (as in coloured, and in this case, sand-coloured. This makes them look very different)

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Re: Desert Elves

Post by irrevenant »

AI wrote:For the hardened look, dragonfly wings would look odd. So instead of dragonfly wings (transparent), how about moth-like wings? (as in coloured, and in this case, sand-coloured. This makes them look very different)
I actually think dragonfly wings can look good with the hardened look. For example.

Though I wouldn't even mind getting away from wings altogether so long as the fae nature remains clear. Something like this, maybe? (which may actually have wings but they're part of the aura surrounding her and don't stand out like the Rebels Sylph's).

P.S. I'm not finding art that reflects what I'm envisioning, but hopefully these are close enough to give the idea.

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Re: Desert Elves

Post by Mist »

Hmm it seems we still mean different things by the word 'faerie'. I'd suggest you read at least a wikipedia definition of the word before we continue with this, both to see where I come from and what I think you're wrongly leaving out of the term (and probably what gets lost when I translate my toughts to english in addition to these two). Winged faeries are very late addition, most folk stories describe them either as flying with magic or riding some winged creature (bird, dragonfly, etc.). Most basic description of faerie is a humanlike beeing with supernatural power. It could be any combination of spellcasting, shapeshifting, flying and other stuff. Banshee was one of the faerie, as were Kelps and other waterfolk, even trolls and hobgoblins were considered faerie. I don't deny that the things you describe have potential, but from my point of view reducing fae to insect wings is even more overused and tiring cliche than Tolkiens standard of nonhuman races, for that reason this statement is false
irrevenant wrote:You seem to be indicating that desert elves either have to be either a cheap recolour or non-fae in character. I don't see why they can't be fae and unique.
I'm indicating that they can be both wingless and still fae. Just not in the way of Victorian era style of the Seelie Court.
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Re: Desert Elves

Post by Federalist marshal »

Mist wrote:I'm indicating that they can be both wingless and still fae. Just not in the way of Victorian era style of the Seelie Court.
Agreed. But I'm still not sure how we can replace the wings, though.

And as for the rest of the Desert Elves, I've finished the Hero and am now beginning work on the Marshal. As with the Captain, I'm having trouble thinking about how to make him unique from the rest of the line. I want the Marshal to be based on the Captain, but not too similar. Any ideas?
So far I'm thinking about moving the banner onto his back, and adding more armor, possibly with gold trim.
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Re: Desert Elves

Post by Mist »

Plant the banner in the ground next to him (and maybe add golden sun symbol to it), and have him hold a greatsword with both hands pointed towards the ground? Just an off-hand idea.

And about the sylph, maybe lets see what Urs comes up with. But she could for example fly in a whirl of sand that would cover her up to the waist.
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Re: Desert Elves

Post by turin »

Mist wrote:I'm indicating that they can be both wingless and still fae. Just not in the way of Victorian era style of the Seelie Court.
Sure, but they can also have wings and still be desert-esque. And since the unit currently has wings, I don't quite see why you insist on removing them...
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Re: Desert Elves

Post by Weeksy »

because having a spider-based transformation is so much cooler than a dragonfly-based one, at least in my book.
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Re: Desert Elves

Post by irrevenant »

Mist wrote:Hmm it seems we still mean different things by the word 'faerie'. I'd suggest you read at least a wikipedia definition of the word before we continue with this, both to see where I come from and what I think you're wrongly leaving out of the term (and probably what gets lost when I translate my toughts to english in addition to these two).
What really matters is what Wesnoth means by "faerie". The precedents set by Wesnoth are the Sylph and the Shyde, and (like Turin points out) both of them are winged.

The pretty outfits and flowers can be put down to matters of personal style, but the wings are an intrinsic part of their fae being.
Mist wrote:It could be any combination of spellcasting, shapeshifting, flying and other stuff. Banshee was one of the faerie, as were Kelps and other waterfolk, even trolls and hobgoblins were considered faerie. I don't deny that the things you describe have potential, but from my point of view reducing fae to insect wings is even more overused and tiring cliche than Tolkiens standard of nonhuman races, for that reason this statement is false.
Wesnoth uses Tolkien's standard of nonhuman races too, and for very good reason - they're instantly recognisable to new players. They're standard. Similarly, there's already an established standard of what "fae" means in Wesnoth.

To break out a phrase that I use a lot in the Ideas forum: Your idea is a good idea, it's just not a good idea for Wesnoth.

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Re: Desert Elves

Post by JAP »

How about desert camouflage wings?
Then they wold 1: still be winged creatures and 2: look a lot "rawer"
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Re: Desert Elves

Post by megane »

Possibly something like this is what you're thinking of? At home in Texas you'd often find these gigantic moths hanging around your porch on summer nights; I had always thought they were Luna Moths, but apparently they're actually Polyphemus Moths.
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Re: Desert Elves

Post by Iris »

BIG SPOILERS AHEAD!
A bit of research I made.
#wesnoth-dev, 2007-09-25 wrote:00:16 <esr> About the steel and iron, that's based on an IRC discusion a while back in which we decided that Wesnoth elves differ from Tolkien elves in having more of a faerie nature, which manifests in some when they reach higher levels (so Shydes grow wings).
00:16 <esr> Faeries are burned by cold iron. And I liked the image of Mebrin being driven mad by iron chains.
00:17 <zookeeper> o rly
00:18 <esr> Yes, it ties the evil of M'Brin to partly the actions of humans. So "Vengeance" makes more sense.
00:19 <esr> Instead of a generic lich we now have a really tSG plot-specific lich who's a bit of a tragic figure. That's much more interesting.
00:19 <Mythological> I concur
00:20 <Mythological> of course, that makes the protagonists *not absolutely* good guys, but I can live with that
00:20 <zookeeper> yes, but that doesn't depend on any burned-by-steel things
00:21 <esr> Are you really unfamiliar with that motif in the lore of elves and faeries?
00:21 <zookeeper> yes
00:21 <esr> Interesting.
00:21 <esr> It's a very old one.
00:23 <zookeeper> anyway, the reason why i don't like including stuff like that is that it has little if anything to do with the kind of racial descriptions and such we're doing
00:24 <zookeeper> faeries being burned by steel is like saying that orcs like to rotate the piece of meat counter-clockwise on the fire, instead of clockwise
00:24 <esr> The reason horshoes used to be considered good luck and hung over doorways (do you have that tradition in Germany) was that they were among the few preindustrial artifacts that were solid lumps of cold iron -- they were thought to scare away faeries.
00:26 <esr> I'm aware that giving elves some fear of cold iron is a new thing. But I think it fits the existing lore, both within Wesnoth and outside it.
00:27 <zookeeper> we'll see
00:27 <zookeeper> Mythological, making the protagonists not absolutely good guys is always a bonus :)
00:27 <zookeeper> no one likes the absolutely good guys anyway
00:27 <esr> Besides, as I said, I liike the image of Mebrin being driven mad by the burning from his iron chains.
00:28 <esr> That's powerful stuff.
[...]
00:34 <Ivanovic> that is "why did they do to him?" "some legends state the condequences of fairies having contact to iron, maybe some fairy blood is left within him"
00:35 <Ivanovic> stuff like this is always better to have it explained
00:35 <Ivanovic> think of completely different cultural backgrounds like chinese/japanese
00:36 <esr> Ivanovic: My model of Wesnoth elves (after the IRC discussion) is that *all* of them have some of the essence of faerie in them; in some it becomes more important (Shydes and sages).
00:37 <Ivanovic> and regarding iron in german "myths": it is not very well known nowadays why the horseshoe is meant to spend luck
00:37 <Ivanovic> though in a german pnp rpg (das schwarze auge) all magical creatures do have problems with iron
00:38 <Ivanovic> that is a mage would not be able to use any magic when wearing something like a chain mail
00:38 <esr> Ah, so you have the horshoes-are-luck tradition too. I thought you might; it's supposed to go bacvk the the Anglo-Saxons in English.
00:39 <Ivanovic> (in that setting inquisition does use iron toby collars to prevent witches from using magic)
00:39 <esr> Right.
00:39 <esr> Iron interferes with magic -- very old, strong motif. Faeries are inherently magical, so it burns them.
00:40 <Mythological> in our folclore, and the one of the surrounding nations in the Balkans, iron is a mundane thing, and therefore magical creatures are disguisted by it, that is why it keeps them at bay. There is nothing about a horse shoe bringing luck
00:40 <esr> Mythological: You see how that is related, though?
00:40 <Mythological> yes, I think I do
00:41 <esr> In those times it was tthought that faeries were nostile, or at least chancy and dangerous. So whatever kept them away was "good luck".
#wesnoth-dev, 2008-04-28 wrote: [14:50:53] <Shadow_Master> ESR_: I've got a few questions about the nature of elvish shydes/sylphs that I need for my sprite artwork, I was wondering if you could help me
[14:51:48] <ESR_> Shadow_Master: Sure.
[14:52:05] <Shadow_Master> ESR_: what's exactly the nature of their wings?
[14:52:27] <Shadow_Master> are they physical or "abstract" (not sure what the word in english would be)?
[14:53:02] <YogiHH> Shadow_Master: virtual, maybe?
[14:54:08] <loonycyborg> Non-corporeal?
[14:54:26] <Shadow_Master> that is the word I was looking for, thanks loonycyborg
[14:54:27] <ESR_> Shadow_Master: The different possible words for this in English are rather vague ("fairy", "spirit", "incorporeal") and overlapping, but I understand your question and I tjhink I can answer it.
[14:55:59] <ESR_> OK. Elves in are embodied, corporeal creatures. But there is a part of their nature that is intrinsically magical annd not tied to the flesh.
[14:56:53] <ESR_> Most of the advancement paths for elves do not deaw them closer to the "fairy" side of their nature. But a few of the druids and mystics do go in that direction. They become less substantial, winged, and fairrylike.
[14:58:27] <Shadow_Master> ESR_: therefore, the wings are incorporeal?
[14:59:05] <ESR_> Another consequence of becoming more magical is that cold iron begins to burn them. An elven warrior can use a steel sword -- but an elven druid is not confortable around metal, and an elven shyde (or some of their sages) is extremely sensitive to it.
[14:59:48] <ESR_> Shadow_Master: Better to think of the shyde and its wings as being half-in and ahalf out of the material world.
[15:00:19] <Shadow_Master> ESR_: um... so, what should happen with them if I kill her?
[15:01:50] <ESR_> Shadow_Master: You can play it either way....leave them material on the corpse or have them ecvaporate in some mafgical way. The mythos allows either.
[15:03:04] <ESR_> Shadow_Master: Note that this idea of elves is pre-Tolkien. It goes back to somer themes in the sources he cribbed from :-)
[15:03:13] <ilor> ESR, Shadow_Master, a bit offtopic, but I always liked how elves are pretty much always portrayed differently in different fantasy realms
[15:05:03] <ESR_> ilor: This is party because ideas about elves in English-language folklore are somewhat confused, inheriting from Norse and Celtic sources that differ on the nature of elves. Then of course Tolkien reinvented the breed.
[15:05:16] <Shadow_Master> oneforall: ?
[15:06:37] <ESR_> (Also, the bit about being burned by cold itron is recent and mine; I folded it into a revision of TSG. It's quite consistent with older Wesnoth lore, though.)
[15:07:12] <megane> ESR_: well, cold iron burning fairy-ish things is fairly standard, yes?
[15:07:36] <ESR_> Megan: In Celtic folklore, yes. Not in Norse.
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Mist
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Re: Desert Elves

Post by Mist »

A 'save the wings' movement? :P
irrevenant wrote:Wesnoth uses Tolkien's standard of nonhuman races too
Since when? Tolkiens Orcs are green. Tolkiens Elfs don't sport wings. There is no such thing as Goblin in Middleearth. Again, you oversimpilfy. But that's not important.

I'm not going to argue with you all, if you can't live with other aspects of fae in Wesnoth, I won't force you to do so.
irrevenant wrote:What really matters is what Wesnoth means by "faerie"
irrevenant wrote: Your idea is a good idea, it's just not a good idea for Wesnoth.
And if that's to be the only reason for constraining the options I have for further development of both the campaign and the elves I'll detach UtBS from Wesnoth. It's different enough to warant it's own world, and any connections were vague at best. What Wesnoth means by faerie is undecided, Shadowmaster quoted some conversations that prove that only person on the creative part of dev team that has any crystalised concept of these is ESR
Shadow Master wrote:[14:56:53] <ESR_> Most of the advancement paths for elves do not deaw them closer to the "fairy" side of their nature. But a few of the druids and mystics do go in that direction. They become less substantial, winged, and fairrylike.
And I disagree with the winged part, as I'd do if the issue was ever discussed on the mailing list, and suprise suprise, it wasn't. And please don't talk precedents to me, having one sun was also a precedent, precedents are there to create or ignore. UtBS allways was the most inovative and out of the box campaign in the whole mainline, I don't think Quartex gave a damn about Wesnoth conventions or world assumptions when he wrote it and I'm going to keep i that way regardles of wether you like it or not. I am not going to change the grand picture just because six months after I started drawing out plans somebody who didn't seem to care earlier jumps in and tells me it's not Wesnoth without any solid argument to back that statement up. So again if you can't give it benefit of doubt as a part of Wesnoth metaverse, it'll cease being that part.
Weeksy wrote:because having a spider-based transformation is so much cooler than a dragonfly-based one, at least in my book.
And that is verging on insult. I'm well past the age when I tought in terms of 'cool'.
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Re: Desert Elves

Post by Neoskel »

Mist wrote:A 'save the wings' movement? :P
irrevenant wrote:Wesnoth uses Tolkien's standard of nonhuman races too
Since when? Tolkiens Orcs are green. Tolkiens Elfs don't sport wings. There is no such thing as Goblin in Middleearth. Again, you oversimpilfy. But that's not important.
The underlined are blatantly false. Unless you're trying to make a point by them being false.

Tolkien's orcs are never ever described as green. Ever. In fact i think his most detailed description of them (not in the books) was that they had mongoloid features.

There are things called goblins in Middle Earth. It just happens to be synonymous with orc, especially smaller ones.

And i think its a bit drastic to remove UtBS on account of wings. You can go ahead and not include the wings, none of the sources indicate that the Wesnoth elves' faerie nature always manifests as wings. Try the 'whirlwind legs', that fits to me and explains why she can't fly over deep water.

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Re: Desert Elves

Post by Iris »

Mist wrote:And I disagree with the winged part, as I'd do if the issue was ever discussed on the mailing list, and suprise suprise, it wasn't. And please don't talk precedents to me, having one sun was also a precedent, precedents are there to create or ignore. UtBS allways was the most inovative and out of the box campaign in the whole mainline, I don't think Quartex gave a damn about Wesnoth conventions or world assumptions when he wrote it and I'm going to keep i that way regardles of wether you like it or not. I am not going to change the grand picture just because six months after I started drawing out plans somebody who didn't seem to care earlier jumps in and tells me it's not Wesnoth without any solid argument to back that statement up. So again if you can't give it benefit of doubt as a part of Wesnoth metaverse, it'll cease being that part.
Quartex?! Ah well, why did he keep shyde wings in the desert elves graphics? Lazyness? In the times I met UtBS (before it was mainlined), Quartex would not mind about ugly frankensteins, so if he wanted the shyde/stars not to have wings, he'd have removed them from the graphics in the first place.
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