April 10, 2008
Blood Elves and Earthdawn

Because I am a nerd, and feel like nattering on about RPGs of both the tabletop and PC variety. Although mostly the tabletop variety, because ED blood elves >>> WoW blood elves, and I feel like telling you why. WoW blood elves changed their name to blood elves because 1) a bunch of them died and 2) they lost the source of awesome magical power they were all addicted to. Now they sit around being vaguely arrogant and evil and making deals with demons. In Earthdawn, the blood elves are called that because they are literally bleeding, all the time. Why? Because they have thorns growing out from underneath their skin. Why? Because it kept them from having their souls eaten by extraplanar monsters.

Okay, storytime - a couple hundred years ago in the Earthdawn timeline, historians digging through the old records discovered that due to the rise and fall of magic in the world, they were due to be invaded by aforementioned big nasty extraplanar monsters, called Horrors. They also figured out a way of hiding from the Horrors, which mostly involved building cities underground and magically sealing them off until the Horrors left again. The elven court, however, being the arrogant SoBs they are, went 'Bah, we can do better than that! We're elves!'. They decided to magically alter their forest, the Wyrm Wood, to form a barrier to protect them. This worked for a while, but as the invasion grew stronger, the barriers started failing. However, the elves realized that while Horrors fed on Namegiver pain and misery, they could only feed on pain and misery they caused themselves - they couldn't feed on elves who were already miserable and full of pain. The elves' brilliant idea? Fuse their souls with those of thorny plant spirits, so they are in excruciating pain all the time. This actually worked, but the blood magic they used to accomplish this seriously warped both them, and their forest (anyone who's read the Coldfire Trilogy - the Hunter's forest? Yeah, it's pretty much like that). So, end result is that the Elven Court is badass and totally fucking crazy, which leaves most of the rest of the elves with some serious complexes - 'We have to honor them! They're the Court! But they're all insane! What do we do?!'.

Our Earthdawn game has been getting pretty epic lately, although I have the sinking suspicion we may wipe next session. We got involved in a slum turf-war while on our way to break two people (former party members) out of imperial prison. Unfortunately, it turns out that there are much larger forces at play than just a simple turf war, and we ended last session with the warren town we were protecting being surrounded by about three hundred city troops. Three of us are evacuating the town via a secret access to the sewer system, while the Swordmaster is about to engage in a duel to buy us time, and the archer is staying behind to back him up - they're almost certainly dead (although Isak now has a great deal more respect for the Swordmaster for facing death honorably, without fear - one of the big things for Nethermancers is to never be afraid, particularly of death). As for the rest of us - well, Isak has probably been Horror-marked due to raw-casting to keep from drowning (we escaped into the river, forgetting that none of us can swim), and this will probably end nastily.

Man, I love Earthdawn. I know I blather endlessly about Shadowrun because I ♥ cyberpunk, but Earthdawn, honestly, is a stronger, better fleshed-out system.