World-Building FAQ

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Is this the world of Abode/Two-Moons?

The River Twine Holt is based on an alternative version of the ElfQuest universe. While the world of River Twine is orbited by two moons, it is not the same universe/same planet as featured in the ElfQuest comic book.

Are there other tribes/can I create & introduce a wanderer character?

While it is very likely that there are other tribes of elves existing on the world, the elves of River Twine Holt have never encountered other elves since Wolfsister and her cpm[anions split from their band of High Ones and first-generation offspring, a little more than two thousand years ago. No "wandering elves" or "sole survivors of their destroyed tribe" elves can be introduced into the River Twine Holt.

(In early 2006, the Council was asked to consider the introduction of tribe of sea elves and a tribe of gliders. At that time, the Council declined to pursue the development of any additional elf tribes, as doing so would prove a huge investment of time and creative energy, and distract members from the existing world-building that was still ongoing. This is a decision that can be revisited someday in the future, if a time comes when the Council finds that expanding the club's creative focus won't prove distracting from the existing tribe and characters.)

Concerning the Palace and Preservers

The Palace of the High Ones exists -- and, unknown to our tribe, was reassembled from shards by the trolls and is currently somewhere deep underground beneath the Holt. The seven Preservers who are part of our tribe know *about* the Palace, and can feel that the Palace is in the vicinity of the Holt, but they don't really know how to adequately explain to the elves that what their 'here' means. As any elf will tell you, those yammering goo-bugs don’t make sense on the best of days, the silly pests. **grin**

Concerning Recognition

River Twine Holt's policy for Recognition is that Recognition is a reproductive function -- only sexually mature elves who are healthy will be capable of Recognition. In play, Recognitions are very rare events, and as such, future Recognitions will be made by arrangement of the Council, with several factors taken into account (such as when the last Recognition took place for the tribe, which characters have or have not yet reproduced, what bloodlines within the tribe most need new representation, and of course, the activity level of the members owning the possible Recognized characters).

Soul sibling weirdness/non-reproductive Recognitions: it would be extraordinarily rare for two elves to experience a non-reproductive Recognition that forces them to become soul siblings. Soul siblings happen by choice 99.999999999999999996% of of the time. (In-play terms: at RTH, two elves will choose to share souls; it isn't a random event they are forced to deal with, and players are asked to justify how their characters become soul sibs for in-character reasons.)

How does Recognition work?

Recognitions in River Twine Holt are determined by the Council, both in terms of scheduling, and who is affected. We consider a number of factors: we don't want Recognition as a plot device to become too common, so we try to make sure they are spaced out; and we also take into account overall plot needs, the age and distribution of child characters, the availability of adoptables, and so on.

Once a Recognition is decided upon, the Council picks the elves who would Recognize via the good old dice rolling method. The names of all characters (sans adoptables, characters under 18 years old and any character whose owner asked to be exempt from the roll) are lined up, and dice are rolled to determine three lucky potential couples. We use a three-strikes system in order to allow for some "weighting" by in-character factors, such as age and number of past Recognitions; but of course, this isn't a guarantee (for example: last Recognition around, Suddendusk, having two kids already, was "weighted" as -1, and he turned out lucky anyway.)

Once the elves are rolled up, both players of lucky couple #1 get a private note informing them that their characters have Recognized. Both have a choice of whether to accept or decline; if one player declines, the Recognition defaults to elf of the same gender in lucky couple #2. If both decline, lucky couple #2 is up. If one or both of lucky couple #2 decline, lucky couple #3 is up. If everyone declines, we scratch our heads and re-roll three new couples. Oh well.

Once the lucky couple is finally decided upon, the Council will talk to both players and negotiate a date for the Recognition. This will take place no sooner than 2 months from the selection date, although a window of opportunity may be presented to the players for them to choose from. We very much want to see stories or art related to the Recognition be prepared in time to be posted as close to that date as possible, so that is the reason for the lead-time given to the participants. Players must communicate their Recognition plot to the Council for approval -- Recognitions are inherently high drama moments in the lives of the characters involved, but the Council may need to mediate some particular plot elements out of respect to prior Recognition stories, and overall group plotting needs. The Council can also help network with other involved parties, ensuring that the Recognition's ripples are fully felt by the tribe.

If you have any questions, or if we can provide any clarification, please do ask!

Concerning Baby Elves

The Council determines all Recognitions, as well as the gender and possible future magics of any child born into the tribe. Members who own the parent-characters will be given the freedom to determine the infant's hair and color eyes, as well as the child's first cub-name. The new character will be adopted out when the child becomes old enough to be a playable character, around the age of two; priority in adoption will be given to existing members, and if there are multiple interested parties, a selection process based on submitted character proposals may be used by the Council in their final determination. If there's no interested existing member wanting to adopt the baby, the character will be open to adoption by a new member.

Twin births at RTH: there have been no past twin births at RTH, and the birth of future twins is unlikely. OOC, any twins birth decision will be dependent on multiple factors, including IC storyline needs, member support, club growth needs, genealogical bloodlines, etc.

Births outside of Recognition at RTH: Births outside of Recognition were not unusual during the settling generation of River Twine, when Healer Feverease helped her tribeswomen 'spark' several pregnancies in the tribe's early efforts to increase their numbers. In the centuries that followed, however, births outside of Recognition is a rare and unusual event. There are only three elves known to have been born of natural causes outside of Recognition: Streak (RTH 978), Newt (RTH 1909), and Otter (RTH 2488). By co-incidence, all three were boys. In RTH 1745, in the wake of the terrible winter plague that resulted in the death of 17 of the 54 members of the tribe (including five children), Healer Owl forcibly impregnated Beesting with a son, Raven (born RTH 1747).

Concerning Soul Names

Our club's standard operating procedures regarding soul names:

1) You Recognize someone, you know their soul name.

2) Mothers always know a child's soul name.

3) Fathers will always know a child's soul name, if the child is the result of Recognition. (Fathers of children born outside of Recognition will only know a child's soul name if the child's mother decides to share.)

4) Some intuitive children know their own soul names from birth or from very early childhood. Alternately, some may know it from having had their mothers send it to them while in the womb/while infants. Therefore, it is not unusual for young elves to know their soul names from a tender age.

Concerning characters in wrapstuff

As of summer 2006, all NPCs in wrapstuff have been created and approved. The determination of which of these characters may survive future storylines and become available for adoption as new persona characters has yet to be made. Some might live. Some might die. The club'll cross that storyline bridge when we get there. [Updated: as of 12/08, the Council has begun to take adoption requests for the wrapstuff characters, with the intention of beginning to wake them up and adopt them out during the summer of 2009.]

Concerning characters & magic abilties

All elves are capable of sending, to various degrees of skill and ability; less common is the ability to weild an additional magic (such as rockshaping, plantshaping, gliding, healing, etc.). Magic abilities within the tribe appear to follow specific bloodlines and are not likely to randomly manifest.

Sending Strength: in a CIS, when a character is described as a "strong", "weak" or "average" sender, the default assumption is that a character's raw, basic ability to send is being referenced, not a character's skill at sending. As with physical skills, it's assumed that the older and more experienced an elf becomes, the more skilled they are at sending, but that the range and strength of their sendings is based on their base, raw sending talent.

It's not uncommon for young cublings to send in their sleep (this would be similar to sleep-talking, except that due to the nature of sending, feelings and images get passed along too). Locksending is a skill that must be learned; the strength of sending talent that would allow an elf to eavesdrop on a locksend is currently unknown to the tribe.

Can my elf have a pet (besides his or her wolf-friend?)

Over the course of the tribe's history, it has not been uncommon for individual elves to take in orphaned animals and raise them as pets. Within reason, pets can happen -- with the understanding that the wolfpack can't be trained or restrained from eating prey-species like deer, elk, and rabbits, and will not live in harmony with other big predator species like snow leopards or bears. In OCC terms -- current elves can have pets only so long as it is supported IC as a storyline, and that the pet shows up consistently in future stories (until its natural death or another resolution...)

Can my elf have two wolf-friends at once?

An elf bonding more than one wolf at once happens very very rarely, and will be allowed at River Twine Holt only under special circumstances.

Concerning Spirits & the Spirit World

Spirit Communications: With the shards of the Palace literally under the roots of the Holt, the deceased spirits of the River Twine tribe are never far from their living kin. The living members of the River Twine tribe acknowledge that the spirits of the deceased still exist. Communication between the living and the deceased is rare, however, and very limited in scope. Spirits can interact with the living only through vague impressions or subtle clues: a healthy living elf in possession of his or her healthy mind will never see a full-body apparition, and the spirits of the deceased will never manifest themselves to behave in poltergeist-y fashion. However, in very rare situations, living elves may interpret vivid dreams about their deceased family or friends as spirit visitations. The "truth" of this interpretation is generally accepted on face value by other living members of the tribe.

Concerning Wild Magic