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V-Origin
Ok so I am planning to run a new major campaign where my toxic mages will be fighting another group of NON-TOXIC mages which are more insidious than our group.

Cos this new group is a cabal of immortal elves from EarthDawn! And these immortal elves use blood magick from the time of Earthdawn aka Harlequin! Help!

What kind of history do you think this cabal of immortal elves will have? What ideas or storylines will you put in the history of these immortal elves which explain why they have survived the passage of time till SR 2072?

Please whatever ideas you have, please ensure that these immortal elves are nasty and powerful enough to give my toxic mages nightmares.. They are getting a bit too arrogant for my tastes..

Hehehhehehe...
Manunancy
In my opinion the best way would be ot have these guy being just as mentally alien as the insects spirits. They've been living for thousands of eyars an have outlived more cultures and civilization than many know have existed. Regular peoples are ephemeral insects to them. There's an awfull lot of them so they have to be cautious, but beyond that they have absolutely no inherent worth beyond being the raw materials for whatever those guys want to achieve...

Eimply put, I don't think someone can live that long without taking either two paths : either freezing your mind into a stasis, or changing into somethign that can longer be considered human.

And whatver aim these guy have, ti should be big - otherwise they'd have walked the Tir Taingire/Tir Na Nog route.

I'd also suggest that in parallel you use some normal toxics, to remember your players the sort of tightrope they're walking on. They're using powers that canon says metahumanity was never designed to handle. Things that flies straight in the face of the wxay magic normaly operates.
Yerameyahu
Be sure to search for the thread that covers a fair bit of this.
Fortinbras
Know Your History
Fortinbras
Sorry. Double post.
Draco18s
While I read the OP and go, "Wha? No, just no" because it isn't ShadowRun (immortal elf blood mages? Really? There aren't that many immortal elves to begin with, where do you find a who cabal of blood mage ones?) I can at least offer up this just to give your blood mage cabal more of a ... bite.

Nothing like a cabal of cannibalistic immortal elf blood mages to ruin your party's minds. The flavor behind the Nistri actually works better with immortal elves involved (who else would Nistor, the Cannibal Dragon, have taught his secrets to, besides his dragon brothers?).
V-Origin
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Jan 12 2011, 12:02 AM) *
Be sure to search for the thread that covers a fair bit of this.


can you help me locate that thread thanks..
Yerameyahu
I forget the OP. It was before Xmas, and it was something like 'immortal elf PC?'.
TheWanderingJewels
sorry....the IE's stay in the background in my game.....
hermit
QUOTE
Nothing like a cabal of cannibalistic immortal elf blood mages to ruin your party's minds. The flavor behind the Nistri actually works better with immortal elves involved (who else would Nistor, the Cannibal Dragon, have taught his secrets to, besides his dragon brothers?).

1) All immortal elves are blood mages. All of them. They all know the rituals. Because blood magic was very common in the 4th age.
2) All dragons are cannibals. That's a dragon tradition. When the spirit's gone, the fight over the possessions of the dead dragon over, the winner may do with the body as he pleases. He can keep the bones, eyes or whatever strikes his fancy, and will eat the rest. Given they know how magic works, dragons also are autocannibalistic, eting their claw snippets and skins when growing into a new stage. Hatchlings devour their siblings. Wyvern are predator and prey alike. It's neither a big deal for dragons nor a particularily well-kept secret. Dragon taboos in SR are about crossbreeding with lesser races and joining pacts with seriously nasty spirits and the Horrors. There's a traitor dragon for each of these sins, too, but I don't think bestiality or Horror pacts are what you watt o go for.

Also, bringing Vampire stuff into SR always falls flat on it's face because SR and WoD use different morals to evaluate the PCs and Game World. SR is a far less western-oriented moralistic world than WoD (o as well as n) is.
Mesh
QUOTE (Manunancy @ Jan 11 2011, 03:46 AM) *
Eimply put, I don't think someone can live that long without taking either two paths : either freezing your mind into a stasis, or changing into somethign that can longer be considered human.

Really? There are only two kinds of immortals? You should check out The Man from Earth. It's on Netflix watch instantly. Patty, this would give you some ideas on making your plot believable.

Mesh
sabs
My Obsidiman Warrior was a blood mage in Earthdawn. He had /many/ blood charms.. and used them on a regular basis. I mean, Last Chance? Absorb Blow.. if Shadowrunners had access to that stuff they would salivate.
Draco18s
QUOTE (hermit @ Jan 12 2011, 05:54 AM) *
1) All immortal elves are blood mages. All of them. They all know the rituals. Because blood magic was very common in the 4th age.


This I didn't know.

QUOTE
2) All dragons are cannibals. That's a dragon tradition. When the spirit's gone, the fight over the possessions of the dead dragon over, the winner may do with the body as he pleases.


Again, didn't know. I haven't seen any reference to it (other than they fought over the possessions, but never saw anything about the body). Still, if you look at what I meant by it, you'll see that I did say ate the sacrifice alive rather than waiting for someone to kick the bucket.
Ramaloke
Yeah, blood magic isn't even inherently evil (aside from what Street Magic says), it's just easily abusable which gets you that whole power corrupts thing going on.

Also, all dragons supposedly know blood magic but they rarely have need for it, the dragon heart was made via blood magic for example.
Draco18s
QUOTE (Ramaloke @ Jan 12 2011, 12:27 PM) *
Yeah, blood magic isn't even inherently evil


I know that. The group I wrote up isn't evil either. They just do things that normal people go, "wait, you do what!? And they're willing!?"
Sephiroth
In Earthdawn, you have life blood magic, and you have death blood magic. Life magic was, IIRC fairly acceptable in the 4th World. I believe death magic, which is pretty much just what SR blood magic is, had almost as bad a rep as in the 6th World.

Just keep in mind that Earthdawn blood magic !≡ Shadowrun blood magic
Fortinbras
QUOTE (Ramaloke @ Jan 12 2011, 01:27 PM) *
Yeah, blood magic isn't even inherently evil


Really? You sure about that?
hermit
QUOTE
In Earthdawn, you have life blood magic, and you have death blood magic. Life magic was, IIRC fairly acceptable in the 4th World. I believe death magic, which is pretty much just what SR blood magic is, had almost as bad a rep as in the 6th World.

Thera was built on death magic and enslaving spirits. Then again, nobody liked Thera, for good reason.

QUOTE
Really? You sure about that?

Actually, yeah. The Ghost Dance was blood magic too, and blood magic created the Dragonheart, which stoppped the Horror Invasion plot. Blood Magic is a tool. Like most tools, it is neither good nor bad. Shadowrun is not "what is your biblical sin" WoD. Shadowrun is a world where morals is 'meh'.
Yerameyahu
I guess you could argue that the Ghost Dance *wasn't* evil, but it's not a great example. smile.gif
hermit
Well, it didn't have the purpose of opening gates to hell, unlike the Gestalt's doings.
sabs
And tons of life/death magic was used to screw Horrors over in ED.

I mean the opening story is about a Kaer that sacrified every living being in the Kaer to trap the horror.

Yerameyahu
Really makes you think about the nature of evil, doesn't it? Nah. biggrin.gif
hermit
As I said: shadowrun is an amoral universe. In essence, there is no 'good' and 'evil' in SR. SR is neither WoD nor D&D. Not even the Horrors are truly evil. They're just ... hungry.
Fortinbras
QUOTE (hermit @ Jan 12 2011, 04:12 PM) *
Actually, yeah. The Ghost Dance was blood magic too, and blood magic created the Dragonheart, which stoppped the Horror Invasion plot. Blood Magic is a tool. Like most tools, it is neither good nor bad. Shadowrun is not "what is your biblical sin" WoD. Shadowrun is a world where morals is 'meh'.


The blood magic they reference in Street Magic is low blood magic, like the kind Aztlan uses. The blood magic used by the immortal elves and the like is "true" blood magic, the kind that fought the Horrors and gives elves their cool horns/spikes things.
It's a little more clear in Earthdawn, from what I understand.

In any event, the use of either creates mana spikes that bump up the time-table to Apocalypse. It's why the bid D put a bounty on them.
hermit
QUOTE
The blood magic used by the immortal elves and the like is "true" blood magic, the kind that fought the Horrors and gives elves their cool horns/spikes things.

That was a special ritual by Alachia to make the Blood Wood less tasty looking to the Horrors, and worthy of a 40K chaos sorcerer, which is why nobody will ever let her be in command again. Ever. And why Oakforest will freak out on you if you mention roses.

QUOTE
In any event, the use of either creates mana spikes that bump up the time-table to Apocalypse. It's why the bid D put a bounty on them.

That's true if any magic, though. The Tir veil, the Tibet shroud, or Hong Kong's geomantic architecture warfare also atracted Horrors.
PoliteMan
Earthdawn seemed pretty clear, you have life blood magic and death blood magic, with death blood magic being very likely to attract horrors but not inherently bad. For Shadowrun, however, I don't think they can make up their minds.

On the one hand, Amazonia's restoration was accomplished through blood magic without (apparently) any ill effects. Of course, they have a Great Dragon master of blood magic watching what they do. And I'd figure Dunklezhan's sacrifice was actually some form of blood magic (one of those death oaths things).

On the other hand, something is different about blood magic in Shadowrun. The stuff the Aztlaners use wasn't developed naturally and is much more advanced than it has any right to be. And they developed it about the same time Darke showed up. Then there's the Great Ghost Dance, which seems to have been planned to some extent by the IE and Dragons, which went terribly wrong. It jacked the mana level sky high and necesitated Dunkie's sacrifice.

If I had to guess, I'd say anyone who survived from Earthdawn has a pretty good grasp of "safe" blood magic but something is making sure that any modern blood magic technique that is developed is corrupted.

It'd be interesting to look back on magical developments in Earthdawn and see which form of blood magic (life or death) was developed first. If life blood magic was developed first, it would certainly make it strange that the first forms of blood magic to be developed in Shadowrun were he for superpowerful rituals like the Great Ghost Dance.
Ramaloke
The way I understand it, the effects of blood magic in relation to the Horrors has more to do with the emotional taint it brings along if misused. The negative emotions generated by unwilling sacrifice are what attract the Horrors, while the mana spike just makes it a bit easier for them to cross over as all mana spikes do.
PoliteMan
Nah, something gotta be different about the blood magic used in the Shadowrun timeline. Earthdawn had flying freaking ships but the Great Ghost Dance alone was just about enough to bring the Horrors over (see Harlequin's Back)? Besides, some Horrors have crossed over, see Darke/Obscuro, a mere 40-ish years after the awakening? Seems really odd.
hermit
QUOTE
If I had to guess, I'd say anyone who survived from Earthdawn has a pretty good grasp of "safe" blood magic but something is making sure that any modern blood magic technique that is developed is corrupted.

Interestingly enough, that doesn't prevent at least one of them (Aina) from severely fucking up. Then again, she probably knows all the unsafe methods.

QUOTE
Besides, some Horrors have crossed over, see Darke/Obscuro, a mere 40-ish years after the awakening? Seems really odd.

Yes, and since none of the immortals seems to know who actually WAS behind the Ghost Dance, it ... makes you wonder whether there's more to this than immortal druggies screwing up.

A short summary of near-breaches and minor breaches so far (probably incomplete):

- The Tibet veil (Shadows of Asia)
- Something in Denver (Denver)
- Something in Hong Kong, probably the geomantic tit-for-tat (Runner Havens)
- The Mauna Loa Big Mojo Dance (House of the Sun)
- Aina tells Y. to fuck off and die on Crater Lake (Tir Tairngire, Worlds without End)
- the whole Gestalt/Darke/Oscuro/Bridge Storyline (Threats, Harlekin 2, Dragonheart Trilogy)
- The Ghost Dance (BBB E1, various others)
- Ghostwalker's Return (Year of the Comet, The Burning Time)

Also, at least two types of Horror - the Wraith and the Kobold - have passed over just like that.

So yeah, *something* is going on there. In a meta way, it is the authors not willing to let the Horrors plot rest. In-universe? Has to be something else. Pity there doesn't seem to be any guidance.
Tzeentch
-- There's no long-term plan for the Horrors that I was ever aware of (but I wasn't a super-insider heh). Look at the, frankly, rather useless wankery that has been written about Crater Lake since First Edition. No one has any idea what to write about it, where it's going, or why it exists in its current state (I certainly never got a straight answer when writing TT, but maybe Rob had a plan which is why he fiddled with the text). I never got the impression that the Horrors were something they wanted to address with certainty (even after the Dunkelzahn blood magic bomb) because it was divisive in the community and Earthdawn was under new management by a completely different company.
sabs
Honestly, moving way from the Horrors is, sadly, exactly what CGL should do. They do not have access to the Earthdawn IP. As much as I love the connections, they should focus more on Megacorps and AI's and how that interacts with Magic. Than with Stuff from the 4th Age.
hyzmarca
QUOTE (hermit @ Jan 14 2011, 05:12 AM) *
Yes, and since none of the immortals seems to know who actually WAS behind the Ghost Dance, it ... makes you wonder whether there's more to this than immortal druggies screwing up.


Aina knows exactly who was behind the GGD, and why.

There is no great conspiracy about it. The guy just liked a particular native American tribe and decided to help them out.
hermit
QUOTE
Aina knows exactly who was behind the GGD, and why.

There is no great conspiracy about it. The guy just liked a particular native American tribe and decided to help them out.

Oh, was it her favourite emo demon? Then it's a marvel the NAN didn't fold into third world poverty and decay within a week ...
cyronc
AFAIK from skimming the novels, the culprit for the spreading of the blood magical knowledge necessary to perform the first GGD was Aina's half-Horror son, who, feeling like an outsider to both his father's company (Horrors) and his mother's lot (IEs), tried to get some positive recognition by looking for his own peers within a native american tribe, who worshipped him as some kinda idol/pseudo-god.

so he might not have had entirely 'bad-wrong' intentions, despite having some father-/mommy-issues, but his partly corrupted nature might have been some fuel which twisted his agenda to the Horrors' (and especially his father's) needs.

while IIRC it is never really addressed and may be not an issue, it could be that the mana spike, which was generated as a result of the GGD, was making the building of the 'bridge' between the netherworlds/metaplanes easier, because the nature of the magical ritual in use might have been Horror aspected because of the source of Aina's sons magic. (but as said before thats just speculation. officially it was just the sheer amount of power used that created the high mana level at the specific location, which made the building of the 'bridge' that much easier.)

anyways just thought to drop that info here, since many ppl never could get a hold of the info within the novels.
PoliteMan
The official explanation can't be the whole story, the comet alone had way more magic behind it than the GGD. Horror aspected magic makes sense to an extent, more attarctive to them, but doesn't explain the problem of the mana level. No matter how attractive, if the mana level isn't high enough the Horror's shouldn't be able to bridge over.

Of course, if it's not a mana level problem, that would indicate that Horrors could cross over at any time, there's simply not enough "tasty energy" out there to tempt them.
hermit
QUOTE
so he might not have had entirely 'bad-wrong' intentions, despite having some father-/mommy-issues

Never said so, but he's an emo nonetheless.

QUOTE
while IIRC it is never really addressed and may be not an issue, it could be that the mana spike, which was generated as a result of the GGD, was making the building of the 'bridge' between the netherworlds/metaplanes easier

Actualy, that about sums up the Metaplot up until Dragonheart, and it was mentioned more or less openly in numerous books. And you don't need tainted evil magic t make Horrors ome over. You just need a lot of magic.

QUOTE
The official explanation can't be the whole story, the comet alone had way more magic behind it than the GGD.

And the Shedim habe Horrors-exclusive powers. And then there's the Kobolds. Where would they come from.
cyronc
QUOTE (hermit @ Jan 19 2011, 04:16 PM) *
Never said so, but he's an emo nonetheless.

Sry i misinterpreted the emo demon talk to be directed at his father (Yrsthgarthe ? , not sure about spelling; Aina's son's name is Thais right? just realized how long it has been i skimmed the Worlds Without Ends novel....)

edit: fixed some quote tags (edit2: and some unnecessery blank lines......)
hermit
Far as I remember it's Tha[i-with-two-dots]s, but you need a French keyboard to write this correctly.

And yeah, thought as much, but Yrs was mor the bastard sort.
KarmaInferno
Also remember that Shadowrun casting doesn't have spell matrices.

It's inherently "unsafe".




-k
hermit
QUOTE
Also remember that Shadowrun casting doesn't have spell matrices.

... yet.
hyzmarca
QUOTE (PoliteMan @ Jan 19 2011, 08:24 AM) *
The official explanation can't be the whole story, the comet alone had way more magic behind it than the GGD. Horror aspected magic makes sense to an extent, more attarctive to them, but doesn't explain the problem of the mana level. No matter how attractive, if the mana level isn't high enough the Horror's shouldn't be able to bridge over.

Of course, if it's not a mana level problem, that would indicate that Horrors could cross over at any time, there's simply not enough "tasty energy" out there to tempt them.


The Earth's surface receives about 5.5*10^18 joules worth of sunlight every day.

A 10 megaton nuclear bomb releases 4*10^16 joules of energy.

Sunlight doesn't level cities, but nuclear weapons do. Area matters. The Comet may have released more mana in total by an couple orders of magnitude, but the GGD released it into a much smaller area. Spreading a hundred million units of mana across more than half a billion square kilometers is a lot less devastating than concentrating a million units of mana into an 500 square meters.

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