"Elves are not warlike by nature..." rant (spoilers)

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Orcish Shyde
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"Elves are not warlike by nature..." rant (spoilers)

Post by Orcish Shyde »

It is repeatedly stated in the descriptions of elves in the manual that they are not warlike. Contrast with this evidence in The Sceptre of Fire, where they besiege Thursagan for many years over the use of a road that wasn't even theirs; in Son of the Black-Eye, where they work as mercenaries; in The South Guard, where they viciously assault you for killing a lich - yes, a flipping lich, so-called guardians of nature; in A Tale of Two Brothers, where they are bribed by necromancers to prevent Arne from getting anywhere, again working as mercenaries; and, in fact, in Heir to the Throne, where they decide to intervene in the affairs of Wesnoth when they could have just left it alone and - if Asheviere was anything like as bad a queen as they'd have you believe - expanded again once she'd driven Wesnoth into ruin. To a lesser extent An Orcish Incursion has it too, with Erlornas pressing the assault and even diverting to (un)kill some more things just because a silver mage suggested it, and in The Rise of Wesnoth, where they decide to let Haldric & the orcs duke it out and brutally slaughter the winner.

I already expounded heavily on my view that Wesnoth elves are evil in my Heir to the Throne rant, so I won't do it again here. What I'm whining about here is that there is little evidence to support the "not warlike" description in mainline campaigns, and plenty of evidence to refute it. I'm kinda hoping someone will come and post evidence that does support this, since that'll probably be easier than rewriting all the elf descriptions.
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Re: "Elves are not warlike by nature..." rant (spoilers)

Post by DDR »

True that, but remember you are seeing only one side of Wesnoth in the game - the times that Wesnoth is at war. I expect the elves tend to get caught up in the conflict just by dint of existing.

But, yeah, there are a lot of warring elves. :hmm:

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Re: "Elves are not warlike by nature..." rant (spoilers)

Post by doofus-01 »

The fluff doesn't always make sense. Maybe it should be viewed as a collection of notes written by some non-omniscient explorer or naturalist or something, and hence a little slanted. I doubt the orcs would be happy with their description.

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Re: "Elves are not warlike by nature..." rant (spoilers)

Post by turin »

The fluff is obviously biased towards the elves and, to a lesser extent, the humans. After all, the primary campaign (HttT) is from their point of view. I just tend to ignore it and go by what I see in the campaigns themselves, which, as you point out, tell a different story. :P
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Re: "Elves are not warlike by nature..." rant (spoilers)

Post by The Great Rings »

Orcish Shyde wrote:It is repeatedly stated in the descriptions of elves in the manual that they are not warlike. Contrast with this evidence in The Sceptre of Fire, where they besiege Thursagan for many years over the use of a road that wasn't even theirs; in Son of the Black-Eye, where they work as mercenaries; in The South Guard, where they viciously assault you for killing a lich - yes, a flipping lich, so-called guardians of nature; in A Tale of Two Brothers, where they are bribed by necromancers to prevent Arne from getting anywhere, again working as mercenaries; and, in fact, in Heir to the Throne, where they decide to intervene in the affairs of Wesnoth when they could have just left it alone and - if Asheviere was anything like as bad a queen as they'd have you believe - expanded again once she'd driven Wesnoth into ruin. To a lesser extent An Orcish Incursion has it too, with Erlornas pressing the assault and even diverting to (un)kill some more things just because a silver mage suggested it, and in The Rise of Wesnoth, where they decide to let Haldric & the orcs duke it out and brutally slaughter the winner.
Well, at least you're supporting your claims with evidence (some of which I was not even aware of).
I already expounded heavily on my view that Wesnoth elves are evil in my Heir to the Throne rant, so I won't do it again here.
I doubt you can say that any race or faction in Wesnoth is completely evil, except perhaps the Undead (well the leaders are evil but I suppose their minions are just zombie pawns a lot of the time)
What I'm whining about here is that there is little evidence to support the "not warlike" description in mainline campaigns, and plenty of evidence to refute it. I'm kinda hoping someone will come and post evidence that does support this, since that'll probably be easier than rewriting all the elf descriptions.
You are right about this. However, I think you are wrong to describe the elves as a whole, as a nation, or as a society as evil. They are sometimes territorial and racist, both towards humans and towards dwarves, but not really more so than a lot of others in Wesnoth. The elves seems to be often isolationist, and occasionally interventionist, though when they are it seems they are usually fighting for the greater good (as was the case in Heir to the Throne). They are arguably more warlike than the Knalgans, drakes, dwarves, or the Crown of Wesnoth, but much less so than the orcs or undead. In short, to say that the elves as a whole are a good or evil faction is highly simplistic. However, I would venture that they have more often been a force for good than for evil in Wesnoth.
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Re: "Elves are not warlike by nature..." rant (spoilers)

Post by Orcish Shyde »

The Great Rings wrote:I doubt you can say that any race or faction in Wesnoth is completely evil, except perhaps the Undead (well the leaders are evil but I suppose their minions are just zombie pawns a lot of the time)
Introducing Malin Keshar, the necromancer who never did anything but try to help his friends. Undead leaders are not evil. Necromancy is not evil, in and of itself.

Elves have more often been a force for evil than for good in Wesnoth if you ask me - they helped lose the Sceptre of Fire, they tried to destroy the humans from the moment they landed on the Great Continent's shores thus reneging on their agreement with "these un-people", they helped in an attempt to commit genocide against the orcs; in the early years of Wesnoth they murdered an orc who would have become a great leader like Kapou'e; their lack of assistance exacerbated the damage done by the eastern invasion (a campaign which gameplay-wise I does not like, sorry turin). I'd even go as far as to say that if Asheviere had been allowed to remain on the throne, The Eastern Invasion would never have happened. In fact, I already did.
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Re: "Elves are not warlike by nature..." rant (spoilers)

Post by The Great Rings »

Orcish Shyde wrote:
The Great Rings wrote:I doubt you can say that any race or faction in Wesnoth is completely evil, except perhaps the Undead (well the leaders are evil but I suppose their minions are just zombie pawns a lot of the time)
Introducing Malin Keshar, the necromancer who never did anything but try to help his friends. Undead leaders are not evil. Necromancy is not evil, in and of itself.
Then I suppose it comes down to a moral/relgious/philisophical argument over weather necromancy is inherrently evil. However, I would point out that "the road to hell is paved with good intentions", and that Haldric speculates (admittedly without evidence) that the process of being turned into undead drove the Wesfolk leaders mad, or somesuch. Pity I can't get the exact quote because I don't have access to Wesnoth right now. :cry:
Elves have more often been a force for evil than for good in Wesnoth if you ask me - they helped lose the Sceptre of Fire,
I'll take your word for it, since I've never played it.
they tried to destroy the humans from the moment they landed on the Great Continent's shores thus reneging on their agreement with "these un-people",
I'll learn the truth of this if I ever beat Rise of Wesnoth. :wink:
they helped in an attempt to commit genocide against the orcs; in the early years of Wesnoth they murdered an orc who would have become a great leader like Kapou'e;
Very bad on their part, I'll acknowledge.
their lack of assistance exacerbated the damage done by the eastern invasion (a campaign which gameplay-wise I does not like, sorry turin).
Which, as I recall, was simply due to elvish racism, rather than an inabillity to assist or any valid reason like that. If so, this was indeed a grave misdeed by these particular elves, and also a bad policy decission, since they would no doubt have been next had Wesnoth fallen.
I'd even go as far as to say that if Asheviere had been allowed to remain on the throne, The Eastern Invasion would never have happened. In fact, I already did.
Do you have any evidence to support that assertion?

In any case, the Elves are not one monolthic block. To condemn all the elves on these historical misdeeds by some of their leaders is like condeming every baby born German because of what Hitler did.
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Re: "Elves are not warlike by nature..." rant (spoilers)

Post by Velensk »

All the races in Wesnoth are warlike. No matter which race you look at, you will see them depicted as being bloodthirsty or greedy somewhere, and noble or honorable elsewhere. Don't get caught up in the fluff, go with the situation.
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Re: "Elves are not warlike by nature..." rant (spoilers)

Post by LemonTea »

Velensk wrote:No matter which race you look at, you will see them depicted as being bloodthirsty or greedy somewhere,
Exactly. I'm currently in the midst of coding a campaign (which I will share in a few days I hope, not making any promises here) and its opening line reads 'The history of the Great Continent is often but a tale of endless conflict.'

Given that historical background, explain how to avoid going into wars :wink:

Well you can just let yourself get killed, that works :P
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Re: "Elves are not warlike by nature..." rant (spoilers)

Post by Orcish Shyde »

The Great Rings wrote:Then I suppose it comes down to a moral/relgious/philisophical argument over weather necromancy is inherrently evil. However, I would point out that "the road to hell is paved with good intentions", and that Haldric speculates (admittedly without evidence) that the process of being turned into undead drove the Wesfolk leaders mad, or somesuch. Pity I can't get the exact quote because I don't have access to Wesnoth right now. :cry:
The feeling I got from DiD was that Malin's life fell apart because everyone he knew rejected him as a result of his magic, not because of the magic itself. There's also the theory that he was mad from the beginning but I don't support that simply because it detracts from the tragedy if a saner person wouldn't have fallen into the same trap.
they tried to destroy the humans from the moment they landed on the Great Continent's shores thus reneging on their agreement with "these un-people",
I'll learn the truth of this if I ever beat Rise of Wesnoth. :wink:


Well, technically not from the exact moment... but they DID make the decision to feed Haldric and his men to the orcs and murder the winner. Which is as bad as attacking from the start IMHO.
I'd even go as far as to say that if Asheviere had been allowed to remain on the throne, The Eastern Invasion would never have happened. In fact, I already did.
Do you have any evidence to support that assertion?

No, not really, just speculation - we see nothing of Asheviere's "reign of terror" and there wouldn't really be any direct benefit to her if she ruled in such a way, so I figure she had a bloody good reason to be persecuting her own subjects e.g. completely destroying a cult of evil necromancers a hundred years before it became famous.
In any case, the Elves are not one monolthic block. To condemn all the elves on these historical misdeeds by some of their leaders is like condeming every baby born German because of what Hitler did.
The original point of this thread was the wide gulf between the manual's elves and the actual game's elves. Admittedly elves can in fact do good things, but the only campaign evidence I have of them doing so is An Orcish Incursion (assisted Linaera the Quick, put themselves at risk to save their brethren (and Wesnoth) from Rualsha) and Under the Burning Suns (helped the trolls [or the dwarves] when they could have just let them both kill eachother, protected a human red mage whose exact name I forget, and executed Yechnagoth rather than let it conquer the world). No, Heir to the Throne does not count, we never see any of Asheviere's supposed evil, nor do we have anything but Delfador's word that she ever touched her nephews, or convinced Eldred to kill Garard. I already ranted on the subject, so I won't go into detail here.
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Re: "Elves are not warlike by nature..." rant (spoilers)

Post by Limabean »

I figured i'd just point out that elves are neutral, not lawful. Therefore, they are neither good nor evil, but a little bit of both. Their actions reflect this "moral standing" in that they do evil as often as they do good.
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Re: "Elves are not warlike by nature..." rant (spoilers)

Post by Orcish Shyde »

Limabean wrote:I figured i'd just point out that elves are neutral, not lawful. Therefore, they are neither good nor evil, but a little bit of both. Their actions reflect this "moral standing" in that they do evil as often as they do good.
I figured I'd just point out that orcs are chaotic, not evil. Therefore, they are neither good nor evil, they just don't respect the law and fight better at night than in daylight. Furthermore, loyalists are lawful, not good. They are organised and are trained to fight best in daylight, but that doesn't mean they're the good guys - or the bad guys, for that matter.
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Re: "Elves are not warlike by nature..." rant (spoilers)

Post by thespaceinvader »

I'd go so far as to state that lawful and chaotic really just mean diurnal and nocturnal, but when it was discussed, we couldn't come up with easily-comprehensible and good-sounding terms meaning just that, so it was left as it is. For instance, Drakes don't necessarily follow laws, whilst orcs could be said to follow one very basic rule (might makes right, or a variation thereof) and have the remainder of their society hanging from that. They also appear to have a fairly traditional tribally based society, based on evidence in SotBE.

And Loyalist-based forces aren't necessarily following the law of the land - HttT, whatever you say about the characters, has a number of loyalist, lawful units available to the player which are clearly on a side of renegades.

I wonder if it's worth re-hashing the discussion about lawful/chaotic changing to some variation on nocturnal and diurnal.
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Re: "Elves are not warlike by nature..." rant (spoilers)

Post by Akkarin345 »

@ your first post
Orcish Shyde wrote: It is repeatedly stated in the descriptions of elves in the manual that they are not warlike. Contrast with this evidence in The Sceptre of Fire, where they besiege Thursagan for many years over the use of a road that wasn't even theirs;
Are these not the renegade Elves that did not agree with Kalenz, i think it says it in the dialogue.
Orcish Shyde wrote: in Son of the Black-Eye, where they work as mercenaries;
Well every faction has its small groups of mercenaries i am sure.
Orcish Shyde wrote: in The South Guard, where they viciously assault you for killing a lich - yes, a flipping lich, so-called guardians of nature;
Well if you look at it from the Elves point of view, the lich was their former master. If i raised someone close to another person then although that person is undead they would feel a slight bit of anger against the person who killed the lich. Also this is only a section of the Elves.
Orcish Shyde wrote:in A Tale of Two Brothers, where they are bribed by necromancers to prevent Arne from getting anywhere, again working as mercenaries;
Same answer as SotBE
Orcish Shyde wrote: and, in fact, in Heir to the Throne, where they decide to intervene in the affairs of Wesnoth when they could have just left it alone and - if Asheviere was anything like as bad a queen as they'd have you believe - expanded again once she'd driven Wesnoth into ruin. To a lesser extent An Orcish Incursion has it too, with Erlornas pressing the assault and even diverting to (un)kill some more things just because a silver mage suggested it, and in The Rise of Wesnoth, where they decide to let Haldric & the orcs duke it out and brutally slaughter the winner.
Well they felt their homes were threatened, it is a lot easier to face Asheviere with the other races then on their own, a bigger chance of sucess.
Orcish Shyde wrote: I already expounded heavily on my view that Wesnoth elves are evil in my Heir to the Throne rant, so I won't do it again here. What I'm whining about here is that there is little evidence to support the "not warlike" description in mainline campaigns, and plenty of evidence to refute it. I'm kinda hoping someone will come and post evidence that does support this, since that'll probably be easier than rewriting all the elf descriptions.
Well it would be hard to see this in campaigns as you can't have in scenarios Elves that go, 2 we are peaceful we won't help either of you" and just sit there all sceanrio. A lot of the time the Elves act in self defence or as shown in EI they choose to stay in their forest.





Orcish Shyde wrote: Well, technically not from the exact moment... but they DID make the decision to feed Haldric and his men to the orcs and murder the winner. Which is as bad as attacking from the start IMHO.
Well you could say they were trying to avoid big loses, which ever side won would be weak enough so they would only take small casulaties.
Orcish Shyde wrote:we never see any of Asheviere's supposed evil,
She lied to her daughter.
She got the rebels hunted down.
She hired orcs to kill the Elves.
She took over the mage island.
She made an agreement with the undead and therefore let the dead be rise again.
She overthrew Elvensfar
She tried to steal Gryphon eggs.
etc

Practically every mission in the campaign is an enemy under the order of Asheviere.

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Re: "Elves are not warlike by nature..." rant (spoilers)

Post by Orcish Shyde »

Drakes are explicitly stated to despise the use of deception to another drake, and to have a strictly enforced hierarchy that can only be entered by defeating the elites in ritual combat. Note how in "Children of Dragons" the two rebel councillors politely take strategic positions to oppose Kahn in broad daylight rather than trying to do away with him while he's not looking. The orcs have a similar system, except that poison and deceit are acceptable methods of taking control of a clan.

That said, the only aligned Rebel units are lawfuls... I guess "light" and "dark" were already suggested as alignment names.

Ref Akkarin's post:
She lied to her daughter.
She got the rebels hunted down.
She hired orcs to kill the Elves.
She took over the mage island.
She made an agreement with the undead and therefore let the dead be rise again.
She overthrew Elvensfar
She tried to steal Gryphon eggs.
etc

Practically every mission in the campaign is an enemy under the order of Asheviere.
The only thing that contradicts Asheviere's story is Delfador's story.
She hunted down the rebels because, well, THEY WERE REBELS! That's what you DO to people who oppose your lawful reign!
She hired orcs to kill the elves because the elves were harbouring a pretender to the throne.
She took over the mage island because it refused to serve her willingly.
We have no proof that she made an agreement with the undead, and even if she did, that is not a crime in and of itself. The only appearance of undead helping her forces is The Siege of Elensefar, and that was probably the orcs hiring them behind her back.
She overthrew Elensefar, which is by all rights the territory of Wesnoth, because it refused to swear fealty to her.
It was Konrad who tried to steal gryphon eggs. The Loyalists were only trying to deny them to the rebels.

Every enemy is under her orders. Well, she's dealing with rebels who apparently won't consider negotiating, what do you expect her to do?
Are these not the renegade Elves that did not agree with Kalenz, i think it says it in the dialogue.
First, they're still elves; second, the fact that there are any renegade elves who won't agree with Kalenz is further proof of my argument that elves are not notably peaceful by nature.
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