Thursday, May 19, 2011

Elves of Ygg Updates

Artist Daniel Reeve's Interpretation of Some of Tolkien's Creations

The entries for the elves in the Player's Guide and Dungeon of Game-Mastery have both been updated.  There are further mechanical elements to support the world-building soon to come.  While the elves are a part of this Norse-inspired structure, and have Tolkienian and Christian elements, the most influential tradition on my poesis has been Hinduism.

The starting point for my inspiration was the old D&D convention that elves do not have souls and hence cannot be resurrected,  They may, however, be reincarnated.  I took this rather confused notion and simply interpreted it to mean that elves have a different kind of soul from human and other non-fae creatures, and that unlike humans, these souls go through a process of metempsychosis or reincarnation.  Hindu thought is thus a natural starting point for inspiration to develop the elves in the Ygg setting.  I took Tolkien's Iluvatar or Eru and identified it (for lack of a better pronoun) with (Nirguna) Brahman, and that opened the way up for a Trimurti or Trinity of Saguna Brahman. That, is, Deity in the ultimate, transcendent divine nature, and deity as known and interacting with lesser beings.

There is a nice parallel here with Sanskrit as well: my players can happily make use of any knowledge they have of Quenya to put in the mouths of the Brahmin-like priests who head elven, caste-organized society.  Making magic, or to be specific, enchantment, the elven birthright, mean the lowest members of elven society are those who have not yet passed through the cycle of rebirth, and are thus non-enchanted.  This makes nice work of the multi-class options for the characters and puts them into a social structure with mythic significance.

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