And Kill more Elves.

From: James Frusetta (gerakkag@wam.umd.edu)
Date: Sat 31 May 1997 - 22:46:25 EEST


Carolyn McKinney objects to my Elf pogrom.

> I am a bit sketchy on the history here, but I imagined that the fittest
> elves weathered the darkness here.
Could be -- or they might have been wiped out in the Gods War. Or as
Stephen Martin suggests, the Elves may have emigrated in under the OOO's
usurper. Or they might never have been there in the first place. Totally
open to invention, as far as I know.

> This is pretty much what I meant, the *big* trolls being the mother
> cultists (Ernalda, Kiger Litor) The tree-chopping being the "you may eat
> this" and the "don't eat anything else" being implied.
Yes. I agree with you that they'll protect the trees. A larger version of
the "This mine, don't eat it" ritual. An interesting idea, actually --
upon taking power, does an Uz matriarch tour the realm, pointing out what
belongs to her and warning other trolls to stay away from it? I like it.

> If you're a freaked-out ZZ pogrom waiting to happen, that's your
> problem. But don't expect the rest of the clan to share your obsession,
> especially if you start talking scorched earth and burning down trees
> and whatnot.
*Sigh*. I think it's been clearly established that trolls don't like
elves, and vice versa. Elves are _not_ enemies, true. They are food. They
are also food that shoot pointy things at you and commit genocide when
they have the chance (remember Borklak?) and participate in the creation
of nasty vile Chaotic gods that curse your children (Gbaji). They've
committed a long list of nasty crimes against trolls; trolls have commited
a long list of nasty crimes against elves. Co-existence is a bitch.

(And Dwarves probably hate Elves more: Elves did, after all, murder both
Mostal and Stone. Let's face it: elves are nasty, murderous Barksists.)

> You're saying elves are doomed if the trolls choose them as the target
> of full-scale war.
No. I'm saying that low-level warfare over a very long time favors the
trolls. Every year, you whittle away at the elves in skirmish and
campaign. The full-scale war would have been long-ago, when the trolls
arrived and the elves were there (if this was indeed the case).
Afterwards, the trolls don't _need_ to go to a total-war effort; my
elf-killing pointers are for the Karrg's Sons to amuse themselves during
Darkness season shopping campaigns. I wanted to make the point that hiding
in trees doesn't mean the elves are safe.

> If you could find them.
Granted. If the elves are willing to give up most fixed structures
and excel at hiding, some will survive. But after 1600 years? And again,
when they're asleep for a goodly chunk of the year?

I suppose this means you'll still find Dwarves in Dakori Inkarth, or
trolls in Greenwood? If they hide?

> I agree that trolls could rip the woods to bits, and might be able to burn
> the elves out, but why? Do they consider it some horrid insult that elves
> exist?
No. I WANT TO EAT THEM! Elves are scrum-didily-icious, and my Elf Pogrom
isn't an attempt to wipe them off the planet, it's shopping for a BBQ. Add
on that there _are_ Uz who want to exterminate them (ZZ), the fact that
they'd probably be Public Enemy #1 for a while after the Gbaji Wars for
elf support of said Chaotic Horror, and the potential for them to act as
a fifth column during wars with outside powers.

[If you're looking for a loophole to allow Elves to survive, there is one:
I agree that the Big Trolls will claim certain resources. They _might_
allow a small population of Elves to survive so that they can occasionally
hunt one down to eat. If the elves allow themselvs to be enslaved and tend
the forest for me (which you seem to be suggesting), I might let them live
(re: Greenslave from Grubfarm) but I find it hard to believe a captive
elvish population will breed and maintain their population (because I'm
sure as hell not going to allow them to keep threatening runelevels
around), or because they'll be whittled down from hunting.

Can elves survive for 1600 years outside an elf forest? Or is there
something special and magical that they _need_ from the elf forest to
survive and thrive? I'd lean toward the latter, but that's a different
debate. I'd think elves who live outside an elf forest and all its
jazzy magics will degenerate over generations.

(And just a question: why in the world would the elves _stay_ in the Troll
Woods with all these nasty, horrid uz who want to eat you? It does

depend on your view of elves, but if they _can_ leave, I think they
would, just as the Rist elves left.)]

> Forest fires? seems a bit hysterical to waste so much food,
If you're talking about a handful of elves hiding in desperation in
tree-top, you're righ, I wouldn't bother. Forest fires are for stikes
against dense elf strongholds. If there's none there, I won't bother.

> If the elves are no real threat, then
> ignore them, harvest them like any other wild crop.
Elsewhere you argue the Elves will be descending from the trees and
slaughtering trolls; I'm confused. How many elves are we talking about,
here? If there are very few elves, how do they stop me from cutting down
trees? And if there are _lots_ of elves, to stop me from cutting down
trees if they want, then they're a Real Threat.

> their food/artifact/labor value. Introducing a beetle whose main skill is
> "eat tree" would be disasterous. Gorakiki might be offended. OTOH she might
> be impressed, but some matriarch would almost certainly spank you.
Actually, this strikes me as excellent campaign fodder. Find and stop the
fanatical Gorakiki nut who's sending the beetles out against the trees
and wasting food. Good point.

But frex, there's ways aroudn it. Buy the specialty bugs from Grubfarm
Military Complex. Sterilize them. Send them off to war. In limited
and non-breeding numbers, shouldn't be a problem. Probably not worth
it in this case, agreed, but it's available for me if I need it. (The real
use for these beauties is against Elf Woods, natch, though the elves
probably have counter-measures). Again, how many elves are we talking
about? Enough for such extreme measures, or No Real Threat so they can't

stop me from cutting down trees?

[And there's potential spin-off from the GMC Tree-Eating Beetle; IMG, some
Gorakiki temples use bugs to carve and cut wood. Put the tasty paste on
the part of the wood you want the bug to knaw on; apply additional paste
as needed. Not exactly a clean cut/carving, but what do trolls care?]

> Kitori are big into Ernalda, again, that's a paddlin' IF you could do
> it...Arn't dryads' moms usually dieties? That's an awful big paddle.
Fine. Corrupt the Dryads to work for me -- since it's been established
that elves will fight among themselves, convince portions of the elven
ecosystem to become hiwis for me. But kill dryads that are actively aiding
elves, and replace them with friendly dryads. Or demand Voralan-style
neutrality.

> The elves might not have to descend from the trees, but could loose a rain
> of arrows...
During the day, when I'm in my comfy cavern? (I don't know what the
terrain is like, precisely, but the close proximity of the Stormwalkl Mts.
might mean caves -- there seem to be a lot of cliffs in the area; and
troll can always just dig down, or throw up a big pile of rock/dirt and
hollow it out.) Or at night, when they can't see? What, do they have Smart
Arrows? ;) Elves have advantages in forests, true, but:

* If there's a handful of elves against my thousands and thousands of
  trolls, they don't stand much of a chance.
* If there's lots of elves that stand a chance, they're a threat, so I
  unleash the big guns.

> But I'm not convinced that they'de consider Aldryami their mortal
> enemies. Sure, they're as tasty as can be, so eat them whenever you can,
> but extermination? What's the point?
I don't think a troll (except maybe the ZZs, as you note) have the idea of
"genocide" in mind. I think it's a case of overeating for 1600 years, plus
the fact that the Elves do their damndest at times to do the trolls dirty
(which will make we want revenge, at least for a while).

If this kind of tree-cooperation took place in some DMZ in the Elder Wilds
between the trolls and the elves, or in Jrustrela, where trolls and
elves have learned to cooperate, that's one thing. When the elves live in
the middle of a troll stronghold, that's another, IMO.

> Untill there are not more elves to eat? for miles? for anyone? forever?
Where elves can defend themselves, trolls can't eat them. Where elves
can't defend themselves (the Troll Woods) the trolls will eat them all up,
yummy yum yum. Until there are no more elves to eat, for miles, forever.

> Something about elves is just irritating, eh?
Actually, I've played elves (hard as it may be to believe ;). I'd argue
that you won't see a tiny troll population surviving in an elfwoods, too,
unless they have some amazingly powerful defense (like the Elves at
Torch). The elves will exterminate them as dangerous elf-eating beasts.

> I'm *really* not trying to imply that Kitori just want to give peace a
> chance.
Right. If I understand you correctly, you're saying that killing off the
elves isn't worth the time and trouble that it'd cost the trolls.

But consider that trolls and elves have delighted throughout Glorantha in
going to great time and trouble to wipe each other out. One of the six
great troll homelands, Borklak, was conquered by the Elves and the
trollish population eradicated. It's well and good to say, "Hey, is
hunting down these elves worth the bother," but it is _done_, and done
despite the fact that over and over again the Elder Races's lack of
cooperation have collectively gotten them the shaft by Humans. The problem
with cost/benefit analysis is that humans (or non-humans) don't always
behave in a rational fashion. If I could explain why such long-lasting
hatreds occur, I'd publish the definitive RW monograph on the Wars of
Yugoslav Succession and get tenure somewhere. ;)

And note, I don't think trolls are that much different from humans. Those
digesters who say the trolls are cruel, sadistic creatures who delight in
murder, mayhem and eating their enemies alive (look back in the Troll
Trickster debate) _would_ say the trolls want to kill all elves,
automatically, anywhere, until they're all dead dead dead, because that's
the nature of a troll. I just think the trolls have far too many

advantages for the elves to survive in a troll strongland for very long.

And finally -- if you really want Elves in the Troll Woods in your game,
put them there! MGF take precedence over "correct Glorantha canon" in my
book.

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