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  1. #1

    Odd Background, Lore-Break?

    Hi all! Im new to lotro rp, though do have experience in rp on another mmo.

    I want to make an elf with a seeming very different background. At the same time, I dont want to #### the lore.
    Here is the gist: While a group of elves are heading west, they are ambushed by orcs somewhere in Rohan. A Rohan warband comes at the last minute, but by then, the elves were all slain. My elf toon, a baby then, ends up as the only survivor because his mom hides him before she is slain. So the elf gets raised by a Rohan man with no family of his own in an impoverished small town.

  2. #2
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    I'm not saying not to go with this, because I personally think you could make something interesting with it, but you will have to keep in mind:

    1. The people of Rohan are suspicious and don't trust the elves.
    2. Elves take longer to mature than humans so human parents could be elderly while elf is just reaching adulthood.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by dryope View Post
    I'm not saying not to go with this, because I personally think you could make something interesting with it, but you will have to keep in mind:

    1. The people of Rohan are suspicious and don't trust the elves.
    2. Elves take longer to mature than humans so human parents could be elderly while elf is just reaching adulthood.
    Very, very suspicious and distrustful of elves, especially those that have passed through or near to the Golden Wood. So I doubt any of them would willingly choose to adopt an elf. And the human "parents" would more then likely be dead by the time the elf comes of age. Since elves are not usually considered adults until around 100 or so.

    ?I would never tell anyone how they should or should not rp and I'll not start now. Nor do I mind a little lore bending now and then, since we all have to at times. This however, in my own opinion of course, is more a lore break then lore bending. So if you decide to go with, which is completely your choice, just be prepared for a lot of unhappy people. Its an interesting idea, but not one I would suggest going with.

  4. #4
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    I think Elves start reaching the more adult years around 50 but are not fully mature in body until 100 iirc... it's been a while since I read LACE.

    Along with Rohirrim being suspicious, while they may be good Samaritans and put aside suspicions for an infant, the biggest flaw I see in your backstory is that the Elves would not travel through Rohan to go West xD People travelling between Lorien and Rivendell used mountain passes, usually the Dimrill Dale (blocked by Caradhras' snow ingame, but I've honestly never read that was the case all the time in the book... it did not seem to be, seems to be a Turbine thing to force players to go through Moria). So there's no way they would encounter Rohirrim in the first place.

    Could get away with a place in the Lone-lands, perhaps, but in all honesty I cannot see a group of Elves *not* coming by and checking upon the place as soon as the news was heard and then looking for any sort of survivors in the nearby area.

    Best of luck to you.
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  5. #5
    Thank you for the answers!

    Simply put, Im trying for an elf raised by humans.
    Lone-Lands is more lore-friendly. More or less, it will be the same. The orcs, after their devastating triumph, wander off. My elf kid, let me make him a little older about 15 sounds a decent age. He runs away from all the fighting, and ends up in an impoverished village. His original adopting parents do die of old age, but the family more or less continues raising him until he is about 60 or 70. He goes off to explore and find out how he ended up where he was.
    Last edited by Nuuma; Sep 15 2013 at 06:14 PM.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Nuuma View Post
    Thank you for the answers!

    Simply put, Im trying for an elf raised by humans.
    Lone-Lands is more lore-friendly. More or less, it will be the same. The orcs, after their devastating triumph, wander off. My elf kid, let me make him a little older about 15 sounds a decent age. He runs away from all the fighting, and ends up in an impoverished village. His original adopting parents do die of old age, but the family more or less continues raising him until he is about 60 or 70. He goes off to explore and find out how he ended up where he was.
    Lone-Lands is better then Rohan yes. Even there though many people who do not have dealing with the elves, so almost anyone apart from the Dunedain, do not completely trust the elves. Having your elf raised by the Rangers might be a better idea. They at least have dealing with elves.

    I have to agree with the statement above too, about more elves coming to look for the other party. And many elves can good trackers so would it not be possible that they'd eventually find your elf? Or your elf at 15 would be pretty smart, since elves mature mentally much faster then men, would they not know where home is and want to return to their own people?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nuuma View Post
    Thank you for the answers!

    Simply put, Im trying for an elf raised by humans.
    Lone-Lands is more lore-friendly. More or less, it will be the same. The orcs, after their devastating triumph, wander off. My elf kid, let me make him a little older about 15 sounds a decent age. He runs away from all the fighting, and ends up in an impoverished village. His original adopting parents do die of old age, but the family more or less continues raising him until he is about 60 or 70. He goes off to explore and find out how he ended up where he was.
    Yah, that sounds more probable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Meluihel View Post
    ...Or your elf at 15 would be pretty smart, since elves mature mentally much faster then men, would they not know where home is and want to return to their own people?
    Or he will be as well smart enought to find this villager be nice good people & when his akins come for him, he choose to stay with the men cause he like them. Lets not forget he may have 15+ mental age but with a slow growth he will be a very small kid or toodler & is unlikely that he will survive alone in the woods & he will know that so will not venture that far.
    Last edited by YamydeAragon; Sep 15 2013 at 07:31 PM.

  8. #8
    I obviously have a lot to learn with the lore. I love you guys patience.

    Raised by Rangers.
    And I apologize for completely ignoring the part of the elves searching for any remains of the party...
    My best guess would be... the trail was lost at weathertop.

    I will do more research. ^_^;

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by YamydeAragon View Post
    Or he will be as well smart enought to find this villager be nice good people & when his akins come for him, he choose to stay with the men cause he like them. Lets not forget he may have 15+ mental age but with a slow growth he will be a very small kid or toodler & is unlikely that he will survive alone in the woods & he will know that so will not venture that far.
    Exactly which is why I don't think the elves that came looking for him would simply let him stay with the humans. 15 may have been concsidered an adult forhumans at that time but like you said an elf of that age would be little more then a child. The elves, if they found him, would of course want to bring him home again. So he'd be raised among his own people. That's what I would want for my children at least so I think it makes sense.

  10. #10
    I'd be wary of having him raised by Rangers. Rangers are pretty close with the Elves, so close that their rightful king was actually raised by Elrond. If a Ranger found a lost Elf kid, he'd most likely bring him to Rivendell (or to whatever Elf-outpost is nearest) instead of raising him himself.

    I have an overwhelmingly underdeveloped story for one of my Elf characters where she was raised by humans.
    What I wanted was a way for one of my Elven characters to consider one of my Rohirric characters her brother, and an excuse for her suspiciously Rohirric name.
    I haven't really looked into the arithmetic of who's aging at what rate, and I don't Roleplay this character at all, but how I've basically worked it is that her family had some run-ins with some rather nasty Dunlendings when she was a baby, and she lived, parentless and with no memory of where her home is, with the Dunlendings as a servant for some undefined number of generations of Men. Later, when she was whatever Elf-age corresponds to early teenagehood among Men, some Rohirrim got into scrapes with the Dunlendings (it was probably a blood-drenched massacre sort of scrape) and one of the Rohirrim men took pity on the Elf girl and brought her home. He and his wife sort of adopted her (really, her position was that of a well trusted and much loved servant; this is the point where she either took a Rohirric name for herself, or was given one by the household) and their son, an infant at the time, grew up with her (think live-in babysitter). The son is another one of my characters. He's about 30 now and his elven "sister" is still pretty much a teenager. It's a somewhat odd sibling dynamic which would be interesting to roleplay, because he grew up thinking of her as a much older and wiser sibling, and now he has aged far beyond her and their roles have been switched.
    If I were going to actually play this character or write her story out in novella form, I'd have to do some sleight of hand for explaining WHY the Rohirric adoptive family took her in in the first place, how they came to trust and love her as much as they did, if they were even aware she was an Elf, and if she herself even knew she was an Elf. If she was separated entirely from all things Elven before she can even remember, then the only thing which would set her apart from other Dunlending servant girls is her slow aging and her pointy ears.

    Actually, I'm tempted to work this out fully. The potential for interesting explorations of identity and culture and language (she's an Elf who speaks Dunlending and Common and Rohirric and no Quenya or Sindarin) are immense.
    Last edited by Runekaster; Sep 16 2013 at 12:57 AM.
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  11. #11
    I think the idea of any elf being raised by any human is pretty improbable. Simply because there are so many obstacles that would have to be overcome. I think it would be hard for an elf child, even one raised completely apart from other elves, to not notice that they are completely different from their human "family". In some ways even at a very young age. say 10-15. they are very quick mentally. Wouldn't they notice that they are aging much, much slower then those around them but that they perceive things much quicker? They would also notice quickly that their ears are different or that their skin, along with their hair and eye colour depending on where they were from, is different then the humans around them?

    Now as I said earlier I would never tell anyone how they can or cannot rp. So if you want to run with this idea that's your choice. But I will say if you are trying to stick with the lore then I think you will find this idea very hard to justify. Of course there are those who pay no attention to the lore and you meet them all the time in places like Bree rping that the Nazgûl are attacking the Pony or something like that. That's their choice and they can rp how they want. But may of us who try to stick closer to the lore have a hard time rping with people who don't.

  12. #12
    Hi. I just wanted to add my two cents in here for you. First and foremost, as other people have stated, I'm lore aware, but not a lore Nazi. You can play however you want and the fact that you're aware of potential issues speaks volumes, so take my words for what they're worth and most importantly have fun!

    The History of Middle Earth, Volume X, "Laws and Customs Among the Eldar" has some points that you might find interesting.

    1) Elven children could speak, walk, and dance before they were one year old.

    2) Elven children developed mentally quite quickly. Although having the appearance of a seven year old human, they would be developed to the point where people would think them much older.

    3) By the time they reached 50 human years (although sometimes as long as 100) they were considered to be fully grown and would remain so for the rest of their lives.

    4) "They had few children, but these were very dear to them. Their families, or houses, were held together by love and a deep feeling for kinship in mind and body; and the
    children needed little governing or teaching."

    To be super-technical this information is primarily about the Noldor. It's possible that those elves that didn't go into the West, namely the Sindar and particularly the Silvan, could have had different life-spans or rates of maturity. It would be possible (but purely speculation) that Silvan elves reached physical maturity quicker than other elves due to evolution or necessity; in the same way that the age of majority in humans has changed according to time and culture. The Silvan have always struck me as a more rustic people; "Elven barbarians" to make a simplistic comparison. Again, however, this is all supposition on my part; what Tolkien wrote is what we have to go on.

    So here are the essential questions that need answer regarding an elf raised by humans...

    1) Within the first year of birth, elven children were consciously aware of who and what they were. Until the age of three they were apparently indistinguishable from human children in appearance, but they could speak, walk, even dance. I would assume that a walking, talking, dancing baby would weird out most humans, particularly if it was speaking some form of elvish. Would a human take in a baby that looked mostly human, but was mentally advanced and speaking a foreign tongue? Depending on the human, probably.

    2) Their mental maturity was so great that a ten year old elf was the mental equivalent of a full grown human (I forget the exact quote for this, I think it was from one of the letters), yet they would have the body of a child until fifty. Presumably, of course, they would grow during this time, but at a rate that would be hardly perceptible within a human lifetime. Would a human, most likely a peasant, with all the hardships of their life, keep around an apparently genius, but perpetual seven year old for most of their entire life? Maybe. Would that child have anything at all like a "normal" life? Highly unlikely.

    3) Most humans had exceedingly little interaction with elves. Men of Rohan, for example, considered the Golden Wood to be an evil place, Galadriel being a witch. The races of Middle Earth were, as a rule, pretty xenophobic by the Third Age. The War of the Last Alliance was almost 3000 years earlier. In our own history 3000 years ago is mostly legendary, and although Gondor existed as a repository of knowledge, the average peasant would probably know as much about the war against Sauron as the average person these days would know about the end of the New Kingdom of Ancient Egypt. There were interactions later than this, around the time of the Fall of Arnor, but even these were a thousand years removed. Would a human knowingly foster an elf? Very doubtful. Rangers would return them, most everyone else would view them with distrust at best.

    4) The bonds between Elves and their families were extreme. Although it would be possible for bands to be waylaid, Elrond's wife being an example of this, it is unlikely that someone wouldn't go looking; they have a lot of time on their hands and are slow to forget a slight. Elven families are very extended, every pretty much every elf mentioned in the Lord of the Rings was related to each other through blood or marriage. Would someone in the extended family search for and most likely find the child? Almost definitely.

    Long story short, it would be within the realm of extreme possibility for an elven child to be raised by humans, but it would be a multi-generational task on the part of the humans involved. Meanwhile the elves would be wanting their family back. The child, unless taken almost from the womb, would know who and what he really was. There are ways that elves could be friends with humans, maybe even live among them for a time (although men were fostered by elves there's no examples of it working the other way around), but full on being raised by humans is a difficult one.

    Again, do as you will. The beauty of RP is what we make of it, but hopefully this will raise some lore points for you to think about
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  13. #13

    Something to consider:

    According to the shared intro, "all" elf PCs witness the attack on Edhelion, c. T.A. 2400.

    Rohan did not exist until The Steward of Gondor gave the land to Eorl in T.A. 2510 ...

    This may provide your solution: your parents (perhaps because of your birth) at last decided to abandon Middle-Earth, and hoped to find some remnant of the Elf-Haven at Edhellond; they were ambushed and slain by orcs while traversing the White Mountains, and toddler-you managed to escape, wandered into a nearby human village, and were adopted. But you were always the "really-weird kid", people thought you were an uncanny creature, and eventually you had to leave before a mob burned you at the stake ...

    With only the barest memories of your real parents, you know only those things your human foster-parents taught you ...

    Who were these human foster-parents?

    1. Gondorian Calenardhrim: northerner-related "lesser" men who consented to the rule of Gondor, but also possessing themselves some extremely-diluted Dunedain heritage (going back to Numenor itself; remember Orthanc); only sparse populations remained after the Great Plague of T.A. 1636.
    2. Woses, the wild Dru-folk of the White Mountains: an elf-child, quite possibly, would be considered a magical gift (the Druedain were very spiritual, and revered elves, even if they also feared them).

    Naturally, these foster-parents are at least 600-years dead ...

    HoG

  14. #14
    I remembered one other point that might help you out, since you mentioned passing through Rohan. In TA 1981, Amroth, a Lord of Lorien, and his beloved, Nimrodel, traveled south from Lothlorien to Edhellond on the Bay of Belfalas in Gondor in order to pass into the West. In course of the journey, Nimrodel was lost in the White Mountains which form the border of Gondor and Rohan. They didn't sail down the Andiun, otherwise they wouldn't have had to enter the mountains, hence you can infer that in that case, at least, (and probably at other times, since Edhellond was the closest elven port to Lorien and Mirkwood) elves passed through Rohan on their way to the west. Nimrodel was never found (the river in Lorien is named after her). Amroth took ship, thought he saw Nimrodel on the shore and leapt overboard to reach her, he was drowned (the city of Dol Amroth, near the old elf lands, is named after him). Edhellond was abandoned, there are no elves there during this time period, but depending on the age of your elf it could have been possible.

    Do see my above post for some of the issues you'll face with a elf raised by humans, but here again, the *possibility* exists.
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  15. #15
    Perhaps I should try and rework the backstory...
    I am certain that half elves are extraordinarily rare, to say the least.
    Would it sound more plausible if the kid, lets say, had a human mother?
    The father gets involved in a war off somewhere and ends up getting slain.
    Mom, having just her baby, ends up returning home to her brothers.
    Humans, being humans, mom can fairly easily have an excuse to run away to where ever and end up bumping into the future dad.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Nuuma View Post
    Perhaps I should try and rework the backstory...
    I am certain that half elves are extraordinarily rare, to say the least.
    Would it sound more plausible if the kid, lets say, had a human mother?
    The father gets involved in a war off somewhere and ends up getting slain.
    Mom, having just her baby, ends up returning home to her brothers.
    Humans, being humans, mom can fairly easily have an excuse to run away to where ever and end up bumping into the future dad.
    I will more than happy to help you out with backstory or lore questions! It's my sincere hope that these responses won't turn you off from roleplaying or pursuing the lore. Half-elves are one of the most dangerous cans of lore-rage that can be opened. I know this from first-hand experience. In the entire history of Middle Earth there were three marriages between men and elves, Beren and Luthien, Tuor and Idril, and Aragorn and Arwen. Each time they and their offspring were world-changers; we're talking about literally some of the most important people in the history of Middle Earth. Some years ago I, who play a Man, and another RP'er, who played an Elf, managed over the course of a couple years to RP our characters into a marriage. It was some of the most fun RP I've done, but required a ton of time and effort to make it plausible within the lore. Even then there were some, even among our friends, that didn't look at it too kindly. There are two types of lore folks, those who say that if Tolkein didn't say it it didn't happen and those that say that the lore is a base, but things can happen that Tolkein doesn't specifically say... hence why we are able to be in the Lord of the Rings setting at all. I'm one of the latter, but half-elves...

    As I've stressed, and will continue to say, feel free to RP whatever you want. From a lore standpoint I would highly encourage you to not do a half-elf. Those extremely few "half-elves" in Middle Earth (there were five) had to choose whether to be men or elves; hence why Elrond is an elf, but his brother, Elros, as a man, became the father of the Kings of Numenor that would eventually lead to Aragorn. Although being an elf fostered by humans would be very rare, claiming to be a half-elf will open you up to alot of lore Nazis that aren't as kind as I am

    If you have any questions or if these post are helping you, feel free to ask or comment away. There is an astounding amount of lore involved in this game and though it can seem daunting, I (and others) are doing our best to make it manageable. Again, I'll be glad to help you with anything you need lore wise.
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  17. #17
    In all honesty, I think it's more plausible to have an Elf raised by several generations of humans than to have a half-Elf. Marriages between Elves and Men are world news, and Half-Elves aren't just torn between two cultures, they honestly have to choose if they are going to live as Men or as Elves. This is not a matter of culture an language and religion, but a matter of lifespan and a state of being. It's tempting to think of the races of Middle Earth as parallels of the various Human races which exist in real life, but this is not the case. Men and Elves and Dwarves are different species.
    That said, I have a pet theory that there might possibly be more marriages between Elves and Men than the three which we have record of, but that it's highly unlikely for such couples to be able to have children. This excuses the occasional Elf and Man falling in love in RP, and but still keeps Half-Elves ridiculously uncommon.
    And if you think about it, if Elves and Men marry and have children all the time, then there would be plenty of half-Elves running around marrying other half-Elves and then, since the world is old and people have been marrying and having kids for so long, there would be three possibilities:
    1.) One race would absorb the other, either Men or Elves would cease to exist as a race and simply be part of the heritage of the people today (sort of like what happened in the real world with Neanderthal and Modern Humans).
    2.) Men and Elves would sort of be merged together as one great big race of half-Elves.
    3.) An entirely new third race of culture of half-Elves would arise.

    Since none of these things have happened, we can assume that Elves and Men having children together is indeed as rare as it seems to be. If my Elven RP character marries a Man and they have kids, then this should be pretty much the ONLY instance of that happening across the entire player base. Better to just not touch on half-Elves entirely.

    In short, an Elf raised by humans can be made to work, but it will take a lot of doing. A half-Elf screws with the existing cultures and sociology of the world as portrayed by both Tolkien and Turbine. I try to be nice about it (or I just keep it to myself, more often than not), but when I see people claiming their characters are half-Elves, it makes me think they don't care about the Lore at all and are just throwing ideas around willy nilly because it sounds cool. Also, people who have seen the movies but not read the books have seen Aragorn and Arwen's relationship but have not been given the context that shows just how rare and special their relationship really is.
    Last edited by Runekaster; Sep 16 2013 at 07:45 PM.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by dermax View Post
    ...1) Elven children could speak, walk, and dance before they were one year old...
    Human children can speak & walk before they are 1 year old, exactly at 10 months old. Actually, all humans are born with the innate hability to talk. What prevent them to so so the second after they born is the innability to keep the head upright (same reason why monkeys can't talk). About 10 months old they have gain enought strenght to stand up if nothing have delayed the physical developement. If the parents have encourage them to comunicate they will start talking as soon they can stand.
    Dancing is another matter, not everyone can be a good dancer.

  19. #19
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    Do not play a half-elf, is my strong recommendation.

    Half-elves are ignored by most heavy RPers who care about lore in my experience (they may RP with them, but will not acknowledge them as a half-elf at any time in their own canon). The take on it is it's that it's supposed to be special and rare, and most people who do do it mess it up rather nicely..

    In the end, other than the exceptions mentioned in canon through Earendil's line, the children of elves and men seem to be Men (see Imrahil's line).


    In all honesty, OP, the more 'normal' of a background you give for your character, the more 'special' your character will be. Why? Because creators (myself included!) cannot give their characters anything resembling normal. My earliest created characters I now back-pedal to make them appear as normal as possible, and I was not too bad with the 'specialness'. :-)
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  20. #20
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    Of course you are free to role-play whatever you like. However, I would say that the more you depart from the lore, the harder it is for some others to role-play with you. Some years ago my elf met another elf who was VERY rude and unmannerly, and seemed not to know how to behave with other elves. It turned out, he'd been orphaned near Bree when orcs slew his parents, etc., and he'd been raised by a Bree farmer who made him wear a hood to hide his pointed ears. I'm sure the person playing that character was very imaginative, but it was too hard for me and some others to try to think how to role-play with that, since there's nothing remotely like it suggested anywhere in Tolkien's works. So we avoided that elf, and he found many in Bree to interact with.

    It's all a matter of finding people who like to role-play the way you do.

    Also, you might also want to give your character one of the Mary Sue tests that are out there, such as http://www.katfeete.net/writing/marysue.html.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by YamydeAragon View Post
    Human children can speak & walk before they are 1 year old, exactly at 10 months old. Actually, all humans are born with the innate hability to talk. What prevent them to so so the second after they born is the innability to keep the head upright (same reason why monkeys can't talk). About 10 months old they have gain enought strenght to stand up if nothing have delayed the physical developement. If the parents have encourage them to comunicate they will start talking as soon they can stand.
    Dancing is another matter, not everyone can be a good dancer.

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