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    Canonfire :: View topic - Lendore Isles after the Takeover
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    Lendore Isles after the Takeover
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    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Thu Jun 26, 2014 11:10 am  
    Lendore Isles after the Takeover

    Carrying over from this thread:

    http://www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&p=63104#63104

    How have (or, will) some of you use, adapt to, or ignore the canon take-over of Lendore Isle by Elves?

    Since I'm still in late 577 there, I've got time.

    Has anyone done a treatment of this event? The Living Greyhawk Gazeteer describes it as a "bloodless revolution" due to Elven use of illusions (and presumably charms and scare spells), but color me skeptical. You exile tens of thousands of people and no one gets hurt? It always seemed a bit Deus ex Machina.

    The LGG describes the people of Lo Reltarma fleeing through the Gate of Glass (left by old Lendore himself) before the elves deactivated it.

    1) Anyone have any detail on this spinning crystal gate before the takeover?

    2) If the Elves wanted all the non-Elves (except half-Elves) to leave, why in the world would they deactivate it?

    This on the Gate of Glass. Fred Weining was on the LGG team (and I've seen the name Grodog before...):

    http://community.wizards.com/forum/other-published-worlds/threads/880286

    "Greyson" seems to be saying that Elves deactivated it by trying to enter it. Maybe the deactivation was unintentional?

    After the exile (for which the non-elves had 3 days to prep'), the remaining humans (410 or so) are required to remain silent in public places unless spoken to by an Elf.

    Really?

    How does ethnic cleansing and Jim Crow laws fit into the Chaotic Good Sehenine mindset?!

    The LGG also hints of a sort of post-takeover insurgency against the Sehanine. Anyone have any details on this? It does set up the unusual (and interesting) possibility of scenarios where the "bad guys" are Good.

    FWIW, there is a lot of potential for adventure here.

    Incidentally, found this:

    http://www.dragonsfoot.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=33&t=65399

    Len Lakafka (Leomund) was not happy with the Darlene map, it seems...Evil Grin

    EDIT: added links
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Thu Jul 10, 2014 4:35 am  

    Easy- I ignore it. It make no sense and adds nothing.
    Now I have considered a human invasion of refugees from the Great Kingdom, but mostly I have chosen to leave it be in case I want to run Bone Hill some day.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Thu Jul 10, 2014 12:37 pm  

    Free_City_Assassin wrote:
    Easy- I ignore it. It make no sense and adds nothing.
    Now I have considered a human invasion of refugees from the Great Kingdom, but mostly I have chosen to leave it be in case I want to run Bone Hill some day.


    -Too easy, although I'd like to see someone come up with a rationale for the CG followers of Sehinine committing what amounts to unprovoked ethnic cleansing. And tens of thousands of people moved against their will, and no one got hurt? Really? Confused

    I've never completely ignored canon (unless the PCs themselves were the instruments of it, which has yet to happen). Sometimes, trying to take canon that you don't like and figuring out how to square the circle allows you to come up with the most creative ideas. But I admit I'm coming up blank on this.

    Free_City_Assassin wrote:
    ...mostly I have chosen to leave it be in case I want to run Bone Hill some day.


    -Well, I'm currently in late 577 CY, so there's plenty of time. If you accept the "Takeover," you could continue running it with the Elves and the leftover Humans.

    Maybe an anti-Elvish resistance campaign would work?

    Ultimately, I am tempted to completely "ignore" the canon in this case.

    Maybe the takeover stories are an elaborate hoax?

    Hmmpf! Interesting that you and Cebrion both ignore this bit of canon. Anyone else? Mystic Scholar doesn't count (he ignores everything after 582 CY!). I wonder if this is the least loved bit of GH canon in the entire collection? Does anyone actually use it? Maybe if there was enough resistance to it, it could be made to "disappear" in the next iteration (if there is one)?
    GreySage

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    Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:02 pm  

    Transferred from the other thread:

    jamesdglick wrote:
    -That's part of why I'm not ready to give up on it yet. But it seems like an odd way for CG Elves to behave. And why not some other place that didn't have history?


    Because it has history. The Spindrifts belonged to the elves before they allowed the Suel to temporarily lease one of the isles. They let Lendore's followers settle the island when the elves didn't need it, but now with darkness covering the land and the Doomgrinder nearing midnight, it's this ancient elven homeland that they need use to set things aright. Lendore Isle is some magical and planar nexus that's uniquely suitable for the ritual to take place, and the elves can't risk meddlesome humans disturbing their work.

    I think it's clear from the source material that they didn't conquer Lendore out of mere lust for land and wealth. They have some great working planned that ties into the other themes in the From the Ashes setting - the geomancy of the Walker, the appearance of Philidor in the mortal world, the foretold release of Tharizdun. In Carl Sargent's Monster Mythology, another ancient elven working, which involved blood magic somehow, accidentally resulted in the creation of the first vampire, so they should tred carefully.

    It's disappointing that we never saw exactly where Sargent was going with this, since it means that the game designers simply extended the storyline indefinitely without providing any sort of resolution to it.

    What I think it most resembles, though, is the Sundering from the Forgotten Realms setting.

    Grand History of the Realms wrote:
    Hundreds of High Mages assemble in the heartland of Faerūn at the Gathering Place. Ignoring the lesson learned from the destruction of Tintageer centuries earlier [–24500], they cast a spell of elven High Magic designed to create a glorious elf homeland. On the Day of Birthing, the magic reaches its apex as the spell extends both back and forward in the mists of time. Faerūn, the one land, is sundered apart by the unbridled force of the Sundering. As a result, hundreds of cities are washed away, thousands of elves lie dead, and the face of Toril is changed forever


    Haha, well, I didn't say the elven working was necessarily a good idea for them. One conclusion of the storyline might be the PCs attempting to stop the ritual before it's too late.

    As for alignment, well, the AD&D alignment system ruins everything. Part of the point of the storyline is that elves don't have to always be stereotypically goody-goody.

    I think their intentions are good (even chaotic good), but the results of their actions may not be. The elves weighed the scales and decided the possible benefit to their ritual - averting the apocalypse and restoring balance to the world - outweighed the costs involved in the temporary relocation of (and suspension of the rights of) the humans. They may be distressed for now, but better have them distressed now then worry about demon lords dragging the world into the Abyss or Tharizdun reawakening.

    Quote:
    -Temporary? That might work, although the temporary has continued on for over a decade. Of course, "temporary" has a different meaning to elves...


    Yeah, but I don't think the story should have been stretched as far as 591 CY. In 585 CY it was significantly more temporary. Rather than just delaying all the pay-off to the story endlessly, I'd rather see it wrapped up.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Thu Feb 05, 2015 9:28 am  

    Bump...
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:34 am  

    I find it just a bit too convenient that at time when evil forces threaten Celene and other elvish lands on the mainland, an ''ancient prophecy'' is revealed that commands the elves (of that religious faction) to invade, conquer, and ethnically cleanse a distant island chain.

    Call me cynical.

    ;)

    YMMV


    Last edited by CombatMedic on Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:59 am; edited 6 times in total
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    Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:34 am  

    double post.
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Thu Feb 05, 2015 2:05 pm  
    Re: Lendore Isles after the Takeover

    I'd consider running a game set after the takeover, but I'd ignore/reinterpret that "bloodless revolution" stuff.
    It's propaganda.



    No doubt some naļve elves involved in the invasion and conquest believed their leaders when they were told that they could just show up and command the natives to leave, and expect to be obeyed. It could even be that some of the faction leaders actually convinced themselves it would go down that way.
    But they were wrong.
    And when humans--and some local elves-- fought back, the invaders found illusions alone wouldn't do the trick. They had to accept defeat or fight and kill.
    Most chose to fight and kill.


    It could be cool: half-elf spies and smugglers, unscrupulous human collaborators, elves on both sides of the conflict(some native elves and also defectors from the invasion force) , Scarlet Brotherhood agents who have come to advise the freedom fighters...
    GreySage

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    Thu Feb 05, 2015 2:41 pm  

    Imagine that the People of the Testing are given a vision. As far as they know, it's from the elven gods.

    They see the climax of the Gord the Rogue saga: darkness and madness overwhelming the Oerth, endlessly battling pure entropy. Tharizdun has been released and all life has been extinguished from the world.

    Then: a vision of hope. A great magical working on the Isle of Lendore rebinds Tharizdun and saves the world.

    There's a catch. The cost of the ritual is the soul of every sentient being on the island. The ceremony ends with all spirits consumed in silver light, with nothing remaining. No afterlife for these heroes, just the knowledge that they accomplished something worth doing.

    What do you do, if you're a chaotic good elf? You can't let the world be destroyed, so you volunteer to sacrifice yourself. But the island is filled with innocents who have no part to play in the ritual. You tell them to leave.

    They refuse.

    Blood flows. What are the lives of a few humans compared to the lives of everyone in the world? Lives that, by moving them to safety, you're trying to save?

    Clearly there's only one choice.

    That is, assuming the vision is really from the elven gods. Assuming the gods are good. Assuming the vision has been interpreted correctly. Always assumptions.

    Maybe not every elf goes along with it, even those who have undergone the Testing.
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Thu Feb 05, 2015 3:02 pm  

    Sure it could be like that. I like the stuff about the souls or spirits of those left on the islands being consumed in the ritual.
    That puts a different spin on the brutality of the exile order.



    Although if the elves were really exiling all the humans in order to save not only their lives but their souls, why would they keep some humans behind as servants?
    And why the ''don't speak to an elf until he speaks first to you" rule?



    And why only allow three days for the forced evacuation, if the ritual was years distant? That seems rather hasty for long-lived elves.
    Why be so cruel about it?



    (A good meta-game answer for some of my questions may simply be that later writers weren't interested in addressing these elements of Sargent's metaplot, as you have suggested.)


    Last edited by CombatMedic on Thu Feb 05, 2015 3:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
    GreySage

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    Thu Feb 05, 2015 3:03 pm  

    An individual "Point of View" -- no matter whose -- always determines and influences "interpretation."
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    Thu Feb 05, 2015 3:15 pm  

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:
    An individual "Point of View" -- no matter whose -- always determines and influences "interpretation."




    Is that in reference to this discussion between real people or to the imaginary views of imaginary elves? ;)


    Of course I don't think Rasgon is wrong. He can't be. Nor can I.
    It's only a discussion about which approach to the subject matter seems most fun and appealing to each of us.


    I think it's quite possible to give an definite answer within the context of a given GH campaign, run or planned by a DM.
    Sehanine can simply come out and say ''nope, you guys are mucking it all up. I didn't say that." Or she can say ''Yes, continue doing my will."
    One side can be right and the other can be wrong. The prophecy can be true. It can instead be false.

    Or the DM can intentionally leave things ambiguous.

    But I don't have even the slightest sense that Rasgon is arguing with me and telling me how to interpret things. And I'm pretty sure he doesn't think I'm doing that with him.
    We're just discussing various possible takes on the subject, and expressing preferences for how we'd handle it.



    Am I right, Rasgon?

    :)
    GreySage

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    Thu Feb 05, 2015 7:00 pm  

    I'm definitely not claiming that I'm the arbiter of canon. The only thing we know from canon is "They simply informed the humans that the time had come for the elves to use the whole island chain for religious purposes, and no mere humans would be allowed to get in the way. A minority were permitted to stay as humble fisherfolk and laborers." (From the Ashes, Atlas of the Flanaess, page 30) The ideas that the coup was bloodless, that they only had three days to leave, and that a resistance operates from the City of Glass are from the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer, pages 69-70.

    Honestly, canon does not make the elves look good, and the notion that the elves had become lawful evil or something isn't unreasonable. The actions of the Lendorian elves does match other descriptions of the People of the Testing, though. "Though these goals might seem to be those of good, conflict may arise between the People and other good folk. For example, the People desire to protect the Welkwood against all incursions. If the incursions are made by desperate men fleeing the eastern Suss pursued by Pomarj orcs, the fleeing men would be considered as bad a nuisance and as dangerous a threat as the orcs. There is a streak of elvish xenophobia about the People, and an aloofness and superiority in their attitudes."

    To me it looks like Sargent had a bigger plan in mind than just providing a space for the 2nd edition canon that old elves sail across the sea, Tolkien-like, rather than dying. There were all sorts of playing pieces being arranged behind the scenes and the elves had a big part to play in it. But I can't know for sure.

    I admit my theory doesn't account for the human servants. Perhaps this minority was told of what was at stake and volunteered. Maybe "humble fisherfolk and laborers" was a cover story, and the human minority are actually powerful priests and mages.
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    Thu Feb 05, 2015 7:43 pm  

    I think you've got all the makings of a really fun take on this, Rasgon.


    Oh, and thanks for the FtA quotation; I lost my Paizo PDF in a hard-drive crash and the backup disk is corrupt/junked.
    GreySage

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    Fri Feb 06, 2015 8:20 am  

    CombatMedic wrote:
    Is that in reference to this discussion between real people or to the imaginary views of imaginary elves? ;)


    Too funny! Laughing

    I am, of course, referring to the view(s) taken by the Elves of Lendore, as outlined by Rasgon.

    Sorry if I . . . confused. Laughing
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    Fri Feb 06, 2015 2:33 pm  

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:
    CombatMedic wrote:
    Is that in reference to this discussion between real people or to the imaginary views of imaginary elves? ;)


    Too funny! Laughing

    I am, of course, referring to the view(s) taken by the Elves of Lendore, as outlined by Rasgon.

    Sorry if I . . . confused. Laughing


    Hehheeeee Smile
    GreySage

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    Sat Feb 07, 2015 7:46 am  

    rasgon wrote:
    Honestly, canon does not make the elves look good, and the notion that the elves had become lawful evil or something isn't unreasonable.


    Galadriel is the daughter of Finarfin, third son of Finwe and brother of Feanor. Finarfin was the only one of the Noldor Princes who did not take part in the kin-slaying of the Teleri elves at Tirion.

    In regret over his brother's actions, Finarfin -- along with many of his followers -- abandoned Feanor and turned back, seeking pardon from the Valar. Galadriel did not repent and return with her father, quite the opposite. She followed Feanor into exile instead. Nothing is ever said to indicate that she regretted those actions.

    So, the so-called "Lady of Light" wasn't quite the "good witch" everyone seems to think she is/was. An elf need not be Drow to do bad things.

    rasgon wrote:
    To me it looks like Sargent had a bigger plan in mind than just providing a space for the 2nd edition canon that old elves sail across the sea, Tolkien-like, rather than dying.


    I actually prefer Tolkien's take on the "fate" of the Elves, though that's just a personal preference. But as I was just pointing out in The Backalley thread, Tolkien is pre-D&D and cannot be evaluated on any such "Canon" materials.

    Still, I prefer his take on the Elves.
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    Sat Feb 07, 2015 12:06 pm  

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:
    An elf need not be Drow to do bad things.


    So says the plaque hanging on Markessa's bedroom wall. ;)
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    Sat Feb 07, 2015 4:04 pm  

    BlueWitch wrote:
    Mystic-Scholar wrote:
    An elf need not be Drow to do bad things.


    So says the plaque hanging on Markessa's bedroom wall. ;)


    YES!

    She's among my fave AD&D module villains.
    CF Admin

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    Sat Dec 23, 2023 10:43 am  

    rasgon wrote:
    Transferred from the other thread:

    . . .

    Because it has history. The Spindrifts belonged to the elves before they allowed the Suel to temporarily lease one of the isles. They let Lendore's followers settle the island when the elves didn't need it, but now with darkness covering the land and the Doomgrinder nearing midnight, it's this ancient elven homeland that they need use to set things aright. Lendore Isle is some magical and planar nexus that's uniquely suitable for the ritual to take place, and the elves can't risk meddlesome humans disturbing their work.

    I think it's clear from the source material that they didn't conquer Lendore out of mere lust for land and wealth. They have some great working planned that ties into the other themes in the From the Ashes setting - the geomancy of the Walker, the appearance of Philidor in the mortal world, the foretold release of Tharizdun. In Carl Sargent's Monster Mythology, another ancient elven working, which involved blood magic somehow, accidentally resulted in the creation of the first vampire, so they should tred carefully.

    It's disappointing that we never saw exactly where Sargent was going with this, since it means that the game designers simply extended the storyline indefinitely without providing any sort of resolution to it.

    . . .

    I think their intentions are good (even chaotic good), but the results of their actions may not be. The elves weighed the scales and decided the possible benefit to their ritual - averting the apocalypse and restoring balance to the world - outweighed the costs involved in the temporary relocation of (and suspension of the rights of) the humans. They may be distressed for now, but better have them distressed now then worry about demon lords dragging the world into the Abyss or Tharizdun reawakening.

    . . .

    Yeah, but I don't think the story should have been stretched as far as 591 CY. In 585 CY it was significantly more temporary. Rather than just delaying all the pay-off to the story endlessly, I'd rather see it wrapped up.

    The spammer account bumped up the thread, "What do the People of the Testing want?", which led me to Rasgon's post, quoted above, in this thread.

    I don't think I read these discussions when you first held them and have never focused particularly on the Spindrift Isles or the L-series, but unlike some GH fans, I enjoyed both Gygax's WoG and Sargent's FtA boxed sets. Thus, I add a few comments on this subject.

    First, I don't dislike Sargent's take on GH. At the time of publication, it was exciting to obtain renewed, sustained Greyhawk publications. While other campaign settings interested me, as TSR published them, Gygax's golden boxed set early impacted my imaginary, so FtA, and even Greyhawk Wars, or rather its booklet, were exciting, as was Marklands, the apocryphal Ivid the Undying etc.

    With that in mind, these decades later, what I appreciate about the several, successive treatments of Greyhawk, is that they give us an array of sources from which to select as we craft a new campaign, or for those of us with decades-long campaigns, we similarly can choose whether, not, or how to incorporate storylines that are distant from where our PCs are on Oerth.

    To me, the People of the Testing, like the grey olves of the Timeless Tree, provided new interesting details to Greyhawk olves. While I appreciate the critique that Sargent (re)-introduced or overemphasized Tolkien-esque characteristics to Greyhawk, I didn't mind that too much in part because Tolkien's treatment was so influential that I didn't originally appreciate Gygax's efforts to pull away from it.

    Nevertheless, I thought that making an island olven retreat / homeland that was so geographically close to the eastern coast of the Flanaess seemed overly derivative of not only Tolkien but more proximately, Faerūn's Evermeet, Tķr na nÓg, etc.

    With the above in mind, Rasgon's synthesis feels compelling in part because it incorporates the Gord the Rogue novels, as well as the old fan-originated materials about olves like Iquander's "Ancient History: The Great Embarkation" and Rasgon's own "A History of the Elves of Oerth."

    In this view, the current-day, remaining, Spindrifts are near where the olves first came to Oerth, and the People of the Testing are a remnant of an old cult that believes in the necessity of returning the olves to whence they came, perhaps a Fading Land that was once called Ladinion.

    A different view, derived from feflecting on Sargent's FtA, and the Flight of Fiends, is that the olven ritual on Lendore Island was necessary to aid Canon Hazen and others who invoked the powers of the Crook of Rao (and perhaps a third hidden relic, profane to Incabulous?) to cast banish or dispel evil across the Eastern Flanaess?

    I'm sure we could imagine others.

    All's to say, if I had a campaign based on the L-series, I could see ignoring FtA's development and subsequent treatments, or perhaps instead using its plot ideas to create adventures in which my PCs resist the olven demands, along the lines that CombatMedic described, but since only one of my campaigns was ever nearby (and I was a player in it and don't really know what the DM had envisioned), I don't mind it. Moreover, because of Iquander, Rasgon, and others' influence in GreyTalk, Greyhawk-L, here on the CF! forums, etc., I ultimately find this mystery of the People of the Testing another useful detail to envision / imagine Greyhawk's olves and their millennial fights on Oerth.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Tue Dec 26, 2023 11:40 am  

    mtg wrote:
    ...The spammer account bumped up the thread, "What do the People of the Testing want?", which led me to Rasgon's post, quoted above, in this thread...


    -Hooray for spam? Laughing Question

    "Hand of the Highwayman" allows a DM to tolerate the takeover while preserving Restenford:
    https://www.valdier.com/roleplaying/D&D/Web%20Enhancements/Song%20and%20Silence%20-%20Highwayman_new.pdf
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    Tue Dec 26, 2023 5:11 pm  
    Lendore

    For what it is worth, I have been playing this out for a few years on play by email game with friends (Posted in the adventure forum section).

    The Sehanine elves, in my campaign, are in the process of clearing Lendore to put a final seal on all the rifts, gates, etc that have been popping up as the humans have more and more ties to devils. They, rightly, blame the humans or other races for the problems and hold them in contempt for it. Though not out to kill the humans, they do want to drive the vast majority away and subjugate the rest.

    The adventurers and the towns of Kroten, Lake Farmin and Restinford will remain as an agreement with the heroes and those that helped the elves. They will be watched closely by the Sehanine elves garrisoned at the old Bone Keep. The heroes, should they survive, will likely become local leaders or have strong associations with the them.

    I am hoping the adventure will transition into more of a chess match with each character commanding a certain area to see if they work with or against each other.

    Each character has vastly different angles and motivations they may wish to pursue.

    It should have some fun political intrigue.
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    Mon Jan 15, 2024 4:45 am  
    Re: Lendore Isles after the Takeover

    [quote="jamesdglick"]Carrying over from this thread:
    Has anyone done a treatment of this event? The Living Greyhawk Gazeteer describes it as a "bloodless revolution" due to Elven use of illusions (and presumably charms and scare spells), but color me skeptical. You exile tens of thousands of people and no one gets hurt? It always seemed a bit Deus ex Machina.
    The LGG describes the people of Lo Reltarma fleeing through the Gate of Glass (left by old Lendore himself) before the elves deactivated it.


    One solution is that this departure is voluntary. The elves alert the human population that the islands will gradually disappear because they are part of a "fading land". These territories which formed the link between Faerie and the material plane are "fading" little by little. The elves, gnomes and dwarves in their subterranean realms will return to Faerie. Humans can't get there. The Suel embark in their city of glass. Only a few humans agree to stay. The islands are one of the first places that "fade" because they were the first point of arrival of the elves in the Flanaesse.
    Also, I don't see the greyhawk elves forcing the Suelois who have a flying city and glass ships. Magic/technology is far superior.
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    Thu Jan 25, 2024 8:41 pm  

    The takeover of the Lendore Isles is, in my Greyhawk, part of a larger story arc for the elves as a whole. A lot of it is based off what the LGG writes about both the Lendore Isles and the Valley of the Mage...

    The short version is that, when the mortal races were first created, Sehanine Moonbow preached that the elves should remain aloof and apart from other races, living in their own realm of twilight dreams. Sehanine proved to be woefully shortsighted, as many of the elves rejected her pleas and set off all over the Oerth, never to be united. (I did this because it shows that even the elves and their gods are not always all-wise and all-knowing. I also wanted to avoid the cliche of the elves being on the decline from their former glory days.)

    The elves have thus never had a "Golden Age". They've always been fractured, always incredibly gifted but never able to reach their full potential. Such was Sehanine's error, and such is the goal of those elves who most fervently believe in her original dream. The People of the Testing are trying to reunite the elven race, and are willing to do anything they feel they must to achieve this, even turning on elven leaders who disagree with them like the Council of Five or Queen Yolande's Prince Consort. (The LGG notes that the Council of Five who ruled the northern Spindrifts were themselves exiled, showing that the elves have their own internal conflicts.)

    The true deciding factor, though, may be the prophecy of the One True King, the elf who it's said will be able to at last reunite the elven peoples and correct Sehanine's mistake. Queen Yolande has thought long and hard about what this could mean for her people...

    ...and at the back of her mind wonders if she might even be the One True Queen?
    Master Greytalker

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    Sat Jan 27, 2024 4:41 pm  

    I decided to resolves the Lendore Isle "question" by having Leomund become a Quasipower serving Lendor. He returned to the island from a mission a short time after the elven takeover and expressed his displeasure to the new ruler. Leomund began explaining in excruciating detail why the elves had to go, whcih became more excruciating for the elf lord's bodyguards when they attacked him. His explanation was cut short when the elf lord begged for mercy, which Leomund grudgingly granted, provided the elf lord also provided monetary compensation to those displaced who must be assisted in returning, as well as extending protection to the island from the conflicts of the Asperdi and Duxchaners. Preferring life, the elf lord agreed, and the islands have returned to the status quo ante.
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