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  1. #1
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    Roleplaying a Firstborn Elf - Any advice to give?

    So... As the title says, I am starting to roleplay a Firstborn elf, from Valinor who came to Middle-Earth to explore around 150 years prior to the curretn event, and so on. I know a satisfactory amount of lore that I feel I need to, but would like to know even more. Thanks in advance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by failed868 View Post
    So... As the title says, I am starting to roleplay a Firstborn elf, from Valinor who came to Middle-Earth to explore around 150 years prior to the curretn event, and so on. I know a satisfactory amount of lore that I feel I need to, but would like to know even more. Thanks in advance.
    There's no way an Elf could have come from Valinor so recently... that just didn't happen, it wasn't as if they could just go for a stroll. And 'Firstborn elf' is saying the same thing twice, as 'the Firstborn' was just another name for Elves in general, so I'm not sure what you're trying to say there. You don't mean one of the original Elves who awoke at Cuivienen, surely?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    There's no way an Elf could have come from Valinor so recently... that just didn't happen, it wasn't as if they could just go for a stroll. And 'Firstborn elf' is saying the same thing twice, as 'the Firstborn' was just another name for Elves in general, so I'm not sure what you're trying to say there. You don't mean one of the original Elves who awoke at Cuivienen, surely?
    Definitely not. One of the elves born of the First Age, was all. I know that some are rather adventurous, and one quite simply wanted to go and see what their friends' descendants are/were seeing. It was mainly for studies of other worlds though, before she would be returned to Valinor, and in to the Halls of Mandos.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by failed868 View Post
    Definitely not. One of the elves born of the First Age, was all. I know that some are rather adventurous, and one quite simply wanted to go and see what their friends' descendants are/were seeing. It was mainly for studies of other worlds though, before she would be returned to Valinor, and in to the Halls of Mandos.
    That seems far too casual a reason for an Elf to leave Valinor. You shouldn't trifle with something as significant as that, there really needs to be a proper story behind it.

  5. #5
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    To my knowledge, there were only two times Elves travelled to Middle Earth from Valinor. 1) En masse with the Noldor after the death of the Trees and the kinslaying at Alqualondë, and 2) when Glorfindel returned to Middle Earth after leaving the Halls of Mandos - and this one is debatable as to whether it's the same Glorfindel that hangs out with Elrond in Rivendell.

    It's not impossible but yeah, you'd want to figure out a really good reason and a way they were actually able to accomplish it.

    I'd like to see someone RP one of the original Elves from Cuivienen. That might be interesting actually!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Galadhloth View Post
    To my knowledge, there were only two times Elves travelled to Middle Earth from Valinor. 1) En masse with the Noldor after the death of the Trees and the kinslaying at Alqualondë, and 2) when Glorfindel returned to Middle Earth after leaving the Halls of Mandos - and this one is debatable as to whether it's the same Glorfindel that hangs out with Elrond in Rivendell.

    It's not impossible but yeah, you'd want to figure out a really good reason and a way they were actually able to accomplish it.

    I'd like to see someone RP one of the original Elves from Cuivienen. That might be interesting actually!
    There is an IC reason (Well, excuse, of course...) why, which seems logical. She likes discovering foreign worlds, and whatnot, and decided to catch up with old friends, such as Artanis... Well, they weren't strictly friends, but my character knew of her and always wanted to meet her but never got round to it. And so, around a dozen elves took a boat to Celondim, where they then parted ways. It was mostly for exploration after a few hundred years of studies, but with recent events, she thought she'd hang around...


    Of course, this sounds POSSIBLE, of course, which is generally what we all do, now and again to make our characters fit... Or is it just me? :P

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    I mean, sure, it's plausible, but it pretty much goes against canon. The Valar basically did not permit elves to depart Valinor after the Exile. Only the Istari and Glorfindel were allowed to travel from Valinor to Middle-Earth between the end of the War of Wrath and the time which our story takes place. You'd need to figure out how your elf got around that ban or snuck away.

    I certainly wouldn't tell you that you can't do it - after all, it's your character and your story to tell. It would certainly make for an interesting and unusual character backstory - but you will very likely face resistance from lore purists.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Galadhloth View Post
    I mean, sure, it's plausible, but it pretty much goes against canon. The Valar basically did not permit elves to depart Valinor after the Exile. Only the Istari and Glorfindel were allowed to travel from Valinor to Middle-Earth between the end of the War of Wrath and the time which our story takes place. You'd need to figure out how your elf got around that ban or snuck away.

    I certainly wouldn't tell you that you can't do it - after all, it's your character and your story to tell. It would certainly make for an interesting and unusual character backstory - but you will very likely face resistance from lore purists.
    Then she was very naughty and stole a boat and went away alone... That works, aye? :P

    Edit: Maybe it was her own boat, too? Or the boat of a close friend?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Galadhloth View Post
    To my knowledge, there were only two times Elves travelled to Middle Earth from Valinor. 1) En masse with the Noldor after the death of the Trees and the kinslaying at Alqualondë, and 2) when Glorfindel returned to Middle Earth after leaving the Halls of Mandos - and this one is debatable as to whether it's the same Glorfindel that hangs out with Elrond in Rivendell.
    If we take it as a given that he's 'that' Glorfindel, for the sake of argument, there'd be some questions to ask as to why someone else might do the same:

    - why would the Valar permit an Elf to return to Middle-earth? What would this Elf be supposed to be there for? It's got to be something really important.

    - as a story-telling hook, which of the Valar might make such a request to Manwë to allow it to happen? That'd be tied to why this Elf would have returned.

    Glorfindel seems to have been there to help Elrond out, somehow - maybe to be his strong right arm, the Captain he relied upon to help keep Rivendell safe and secure (since 'Glorfie' didn't just sit around being all wise, he was there when the Elves helped the Gondorians take down Angmar). That'd fit neatly with why he doesn't go with the Fellowship - he's needed where he is. But it wouldn't be interesting to just copy that, so something else would be needed for best results. Something that did occur to me as an example would be hunting down monstrous beasts, the sort of thing Oromë had once done in his role as Huntsman of the Valar and that he might want someone to do in his stead - the perfect excuse to be out there killing big, scary beasties. It'd be pretty cheeky lore-wise, but fun. (And no worse than some of the stuff the devs have come up with!)

    One other wrinkle is that having come back for a good reason doesn't mean they've stuck with it - like Radagast, they could become distracted, or they could fall into despair, or fail in their mission in some other way. Plenty of scope for interesting story there.

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    Really good points, Radhruin, and I totally agree with you. If done right, you could make a really interesting story about this. And I love your idea about Oromë sending someone to take care of the beasties.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    If we take it as a given that he's 'that' Glorfindel, for the sake of argument, there'd be some questions to ask as to why someone else might do the same:

    - why would the Valar permit an Elf to return to Middle-earth? What would this Elf be supposed to be there for? It's got to be something really important.

    - as a story-telling hook, which of the Valar might make such a request to Manwë to allow it to happen? That'd be tied to why this Elf would have returned.

    Glorfindel seems to have been there to help Elrond out, somehow - maybe to be his strong right arm, the Captain he relied upon to help keep Rivendell safe and secure (since 'Glorfie' didn't just sit around being all wise, he was there when the Elves helped the Gondorians take down Angmar). That'd fit neatly with why he doesn't go with the Fellowship - he's needed where he is. But it wouldn't be interesting to just copy that, so something else would be needed for best results. Something that did occur to me as an example would be hunting down monstrous beasts, the sort of thing Oromë had once done in his role as Huntsman of the Valar and that he might want someone to do in his stead - the perfect excuse to be out there killing big, scary beasties. It'd be pretty cheeky lore-wise, but fun. (And no worse than some of the stuff the devs have come up with!)

    One other wrinkle is that having come back for a good reason doesn't mean they've stuck with it - like Radagast, they could become distracted, or they could fall into despair, or fail in their mission in some other way. Plenty of scope for interesting story there.
    Perhaps her true reason to go there, was to try and bring the elves back to Valinor, then. Of course, she did 'a few things first', and by the time she finished, elves were already returning, and there was trouble around.... Just an idea, of course... And to hunt of course, too... And befriending animals which hunt, also.

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    Quote Originally Posted by failed868 View Post
    Then she was very naughty and stole a boat and went away alone... That works, aye? :P

    Edit: Maybe it was her own boat, too? Or the boat of a close friend?
    It didn't work like that - Valinor had been removed from 'the circles of the World' by Iluvatar after the Downfall of Numenor, and the only way to get there (or get back) was to use the Straight Road - an invisible path through the air that could only be found if you were meant to. So no, no sneaking out just because someone felr like it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    It didn't work like that - Valinor had been removed from 'the circles of the World' by Iluvatar after the Downfall of Numenor, and the only way to get there (or get back) was to use the Straight Road - an invisible path through the air that could only be found if you were meant to. So no, no sneaking out just because someone felr like it.
    A shame. These elves don't like things the easy way, do they? Can't even go to Lothlorien without broken bridges, and they cant just go for a boat ride far away from Valinor, either :P She must have had some 'divine task' of sorts then... Hmm...
    Last edited by failed868; Mar 01 2014 at 10:02 AM. Reason: Spelling Mistake

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    Well, there's always that passage in The Fellowship of the Ring where Gandalf mentions "lesser rings of power" to Frodo. Perhaps Celebrimbor's spirit came to the Halls of Mandos and there he made a list of all the rings they crafted in Eregion... perhaps this elf is sent back to Ennorath on a mission to find out what happened to one or more of them.

    It's not a very original idea, but since there's no mention of exactly how many lesser rings there were, there's room for an original story, maybe? What do Galadhloth and Radhruin think?
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    Quote Originally Posted by ferdinanda View Post
    Well, there's always that passage in The Fellowship of the Ring where Gandalf mentions "lesser rings of power" to Frodo. Perhaps Celebrimbor's spirit came to the Halls of Mandos and there he made a list of all the rings they crafted in Eregion... perhaps this elf is sent back to Ennorath on a mission to find out what happened to one or more of them.

    It's not a very original idea, but since there's no mention of exactly how many lesser rings there were, there's room for an original story, maybe? What do Galadhloth and Radhruin think?
    I'd leave the 'Rings' stuff alone, myself - any lesser rings wouldn't matter that much in the grand scheme of things, and I think there's enough of a story revolving around the Great Rings already.

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    Forget the difficulties with Valinor. Either Role play a survivor of beleriand, lost amongst Middle Earth or residing in celondim/mithlond or one of the Moriquendi who never left middle earth for valinor in the first place. jobs a good one.
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    I still like Radhruin's idea of a specific, but lesser, mission on behalf of one of the Valar - anything too "grand" and the natural question will be "And given this is so important, why wouldn't it have been in the book?" My personal instinct is always to avoid Mary-Sueism at all costs.

    Oromë's mission to go hunt down the great evil beasts is a good idea... maybe Yavanna wanted to send somebody to advise Treebeard and co., like a mission to the Ents; maybe Tulkas the Strong couldn't stand the idea of champions of evil going unfought. Tulkas was always a bit of a loose cannon. Maybe Aulë was angry that the Istari were largely ignoring his Dwarves. Maybe the Valar wanted to find out where exactly those two blue wizards actually went. It depends on your interests and idea for your character.
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    A first age Elf would not float a boat to Celondim because Beleriand was still above the waves.

    The Valar did allow Elves to leave Valinor, it was not a prison. In the second age there was trade with Numenor and Elves could come and go, perhaps to Middle earth as well until the time the straight road was created.

    What of an Elf that may have decided to stay in Middle earth after the War of Wrath? It would be rare if at all but... these are a few ideas. However, in roleplay, no one really gets into YOUR background much, it's for you to know and others to find out if they are at all interested.

    Have fun and build your character as you play.

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    I can't advise about the lore part, since other folks have covered that. However, one of the things that helped me play an old elf, rather than playing one as a human with pointed ears or as a Vulcan, was to base the views and actions and way of speaking on Kosh and other First Ones, from Babylon 5. It seems to work best for keeping that 'I am other' feel.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ellis View Post
    I can't advise about the lore part, since other folks have covered that. However, one of the things that helped me play an old elf, rather than playing one as a human with pointed ears or as a Vulcan, was to base the views and actions and way of speaking on Kosh and other First Ones, from Babylon 5. It seems to work best for keeping that 'I am other' feel.
    Somehow I didn't imagine Elves floating about saying cryptic things like "You have always been here". B5 borrows unsubtly from Tolkien, but the Vorlons and the Shadows would approximate to Maiar. The Minbari are the 'Elves', the mightier-than-thou elder race that looks down on humanity.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    Somehow I didn't imagine Elves floating about saying cryptic things like "You have always been here". B5 borrows unsubtly from Tolkien, but the Vorlons and the Shadows would approximate to Maiar. The Minbari are the 'Elves', the mightier-than-thou elder race that looks down on humanity.
    Ah, good point.
    Favorite Dev Quote from 2009: Graal: The lack of an instant threat catch up skill is one of the differences in tanking between Wardens and Guardians, just like Wardens dont have a easily used forced taunt. It is unlikely, but not impossible that this will change. Bottom line...Dont die.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Eldarian_Grace View Post
    Role play a survivor of beleriand, lost amongst Middle Earth or residing in celondim/mithlond or one of the Moriquendi who never left middle earth for valinor in the first place.
    I agree, this suggestion would be quite plausible (and interesting). Just be careful with the age/power of your character, as Cirdan is generally considered to be the oldest elf in Middle Earth (he was born/came into being during the Years of the Two Trees, and was around when Orome first found the elves in Middle Earth and tried to lead them to Valinor), and the oldest and most powerful Morquendi.

    In the OP, you state your character was born in the First Age, and currently resides in Middle Earth. If your character is of Noldorian descent, you would have been born in Beleriand. If your character is not of Noldorian descent, you are one of the Moriquendi, and have never seen Valinor.

    So if you don't want to, um, "creatively interpret" the lore, you would not have been born in Valinor, as there are only three known instances of elves leaving valinor (once at the end of the Years of the Two Trees, when a vast majority of the Noldor population left to recover the Silmarils; once at the end of the first age, when the vast majority of the Vanyar, Noldor, and Teleri left Valinor to fight with/transport the Host of the Valar; and finally, Glorfindel's reincarnation/resurrection).

    Everyone approaches roleplay differently, and I don't know your character, so take everything below this point with a grain of salt.

    As an elf, you will probably be highly aware of the history of your people, and probably wouldn't make important decisions (like leaving Valinor to study Middle Earth and visit relatives/friends) without putting a fair amount of time and thought into it, nor would you do it without very good reasons. After all, you are immortal... you've got all the time in the world ;-). However, you can be quick and decisive when need be.

    I'd (personally) avoid rash/impulsive decisions. Being born in the First Age, you'd have seen firsthand the result of Feanor's (arguably) rash and impulsive decision to rally the Noldor and leave Valinor in pursuit of the Silmarils, and while your character might be OK with such decisions, the rest of the Elvish community would probably frown on them.

    I would definitely suggest brushing up on your lore (specifically regarding Elves) before undertaking serious, earthshattering RP. A lot of the stuff that has been covered in this post and in other posts in this thread can be found in The Silmarillion or other works by J.R.R. Tolkien (and I'm not just talking about Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit, either). lotr.wikia.com and tolkiengateway.net are great wikipedia-style online resources to look at, as well.

 

 

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