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Yellow elfes (Embely)


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4 hours ago, Richard S. said:

I think they're the red elves, also known as goblins.

... and Slorifings, they are all male and rely on 'nymphs' (Olarians - daughters of Uleria and Aldrya) to perpetuate. They live in swamps and are able to cope with high temperatures. All spore-bearing plants are related to Slor and the Slorfings.

{I really need to find out how to turn off autocorrect when I post here Ocarinas are not ocarinas}

Edited by Byll
{I really need to find out how to turn off autocorrect when I post here Ocarinas are not ocarinas}
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1 hour ago, Byll said:

... and Slorifings, they are all male and rely on 'nymphs' (Olarians - daughters of Uleria and Aldrya) to perpetuate. They live in swamps and are able to cope with high temperatures. All spore-bearing plants are related to Slor and the Slorfings.

{I really need to find out how to turn off autocorrect when I post here Ocarinas are not ocarinas}

I thought they reproduced via exploding and sending spores everywhere? Of course that little tidbit is from the Mongoose books so it's probably not canon.

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Actually the idea that all trees, or all forests, are either deciduous, coniferous, or tropical jungle is a really weird one. By describing Embyli as tropical evergreens (as the Guide does) or as the elves associated with broadleaf flowing plants (angiosperms) as other sources do doesn’t really help. Either the problem is ‘where are all the evergreen plants that aren’t tropical or coniferous’, or how do we classify deciduous angiosperms, or similar. No system quite fits because conifers are a class of plant (that happen to all be evergreen), but deciduous is a thing plants do that happens across many classes of plant. 

Either Glorantha is really vastly less ecologically diverse, and missing a lot of common plants, or the situation is a bit different on close examination. The latter seems more likely, as we really only have a human view of elf society in canon sources. 

My theory is that:

  • our designations of elf forests as green, brown, green/brown or yellow is an oversimplification. Humans focus on elves, and think of it in racial terms, but the Aldryami are organised more by biomes than anything comparable to human societies or nations, each of which includes multiple species of plants and animals. 
  • Basically, a large contiguous (or nearly) tree dominated biome gets you an elf forest. I suspect elves really aren’t the important bit (it might be dryads), just other Man Rune creatures tend to see it that way. 
  • Elves vary quite a bit within the elf species, depending on their tree type, age, etc. Stats for yellow elves etc are typical, not universal. There are also cases where there are closely related types of tree (and thus, presumably closely related types of elf) that vary as to there defiduousness -eg there are both evergreen and deciduous oaks, sometimes in the same forests. 
  • Almost every elf forest will then include a wide range of Aldryami from a range of classes of plant. For example, a green elf forest will be dominated both by coniferous trees and green elves, but may include holly runners (who are angiosperm flowering plants). These typically includes some (though a minority) temperate broadleaf evergreen elves in brown forests - humans don’t really recognise these as yellow elves. And culturally, they don’t present that way. We know there are the mixed green/brown forests where no single type of elf predominates, but we don’t always consider that a mixture of trees in one elf forest is normal. 
  • Some of what we regard as true of ‘embyli’, like preferring blowguns to bows, is more of an Erinorru jungle cultural difference. 
  • The multiple different forests that make up the Erinorru jungle probably represent different biomes rather than just political divisions, so not all will be tropical jungle, some will be sub-tropical, or evergreen broadleaf forests, rather than jungle. 
  • Outside of the Erinorru jungles, an implication for play is that if you want a character who is from a brown elf jungle, but don’t want them be hibernating for a session every year, just find an appropriate tree for that biome. 
  • I will continue to be disappointed that I can’t find a good place in Glorantha, both geographically and mythological it, for eucalypts. Suggestions welcome. 
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@davecake makes a lot of sense with regard to what makes up elf forests. Yet still we have the Dawn Age ecological wars between green elf and brown elf dominated forests in Umathela, Jolar and Pent. (All regions untouched by the Lightbringers message of unity, but then there aren't any reports of elf wars in Teshnos or on the East Isles either.)

Having lived near the northern tree border north of the Arctic Circle, it still makes me wonder what Winterwood looks like near the front of the Glacier. I cannot really imagine endless spruce woods there, but keep seeing rather short birches and pines battling the cold and famished beasts with little alternative for sustenance outside of berry season. If that holds true, then the arctic birches are part of the Winterwood ecology (or at least associated), even though they are deciduous. (As is the dwarf birch, betula nana, whose red leaves contribute in a major way to the Finnish Ruskea, a kind of Indian Summer of arctic tundra and open forest - no idea how that plays out in Alaska or Canada.)

So, what is mythically more important, membership in an ecosystem, or going to the deep sleep in winter? It is not like the arctic pines get to do much photosynthesis during the frozen months, they just don't drop their needles all at once. (Both pine and spruce do litter their forest ground with needles.)

Glorantha has a rather short history of winters, after the great mythical one when the glacier covered almost all of Genertela except for islands of resistance, whether on mountaintops, in enclaves encircled by ice, or under the Ice (like Manarlarvus' Dome). But that is only true if we accept the Golden Age as only one cycle. "Godtime is cyclical", we are told, but all the stories we have are just from the last cycle segment. Instead, we find cycles of build-up and cataclysm in Linear Time. Gloranthan stratigraphy e.g. in Snake Pipe Hollow suggests repeated periods of complete flooding and massive dry spells when the waters evaporated, and the fossils show that there was at least sea life when this happened. There may have been a Carbon-like domination by forest, too. (It appears that in our world that was a result of a long inability of organisms to digest lignin, making it an unrepeatable one-off event unless plants happen to develop a new such  fixer for their cellulose fibres. In Glorantha, the earth cube's upper surface bobbing in and out of Sramak's River several times, or alternatively huge standing waves claiming that surface, would be enough of an extincion event to preserve some fossil wood, although I think that most greenery that gets flooded ends up as food for the sea entities. The Treetop isles connecting Kerofinela with one of the neighboring dry lands during the Flood probably only were the plants exhibiting the most resistance.)

The demarkation line beween green and brown elves appears to be rather clearcut - hibernate in the winter, or find sleep in a day and night cycle. The Yellow elves stay awake for all of their life. That, and being an all male society ruled by the sedentary dryads, might contribute to their belligerence.

 

 

 

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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8 hours ago, davecake said:

 

  • I will continue to be disappointed that I can’t find a good place in Glorantha, both geographically and mythological it, for eucalypts. Suggestions welcome. 

Surely somewhere with a Fire Rune association...? Possibly also Chaos. They make my Sense Chaos tingle (i.e., my eyes burn and my nose runs - I've always seen Sense Chaos as very similar, being a "sort of allergic reaction").

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