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I found the ur-eladrin

Well, maybe.
4e D&D turns the usual wood elf/high elf split into elves vs. eladrin, and gives eladrin eyes that are a single color, no white or pupil. This seemed weird and creepy, which has its virtues. Seemed like a weird idea, too. anima-mecanique tells me it's common these days in WoW and such, due to being easier to animate... and she's offline now so I can't annoy her by saying "4e really is WoW!"

But anyway, I've just read Poul Anderson's Three Hearts and Three Lions and am reading The Broken Sword, and in both of them elves -- immortal, highly magical, and rather capricious -- have solid color eyes with no whites and "no visible pupils". Poul tries to be scientific with his magical beings -- the elves have funky alloys to avoid iron, and 3H3L has a magnesium "dagger of burniing" -- so I infer he wanted to avoid stating or having his scientific protagonist conclude that the elves actually lacked the usual aperture for light.

Given WoW I'm not sure anymore if 4e was harking back to this, but it might have been. Eladrin do seem a fair bit like Poul's elves, minus the immortality but with extra teleportation.

Poul's elves explicitly do have long, pointed, and movable ears -- Imric "cocks" his. A human likens them to ears of a beast. They're also sort of more androgynous -- the usual slender stuff, and the males are less lustful than human males, the females more lustful than human females. If you're a lusty human female, just accept the stereotype he's working with.

Also on the odd or interesting notes found in recent books, some Liaden stuff, for the appreciation of who knows.
"Lord of the Dance": Liadens do called line dances, like contra or country dance. I am amused.
Fledling totally had a DDR machine.
Saltation refers to "maize buttons", which are vague but may be cornbread muffins. There's mention of "Trantor's docks". Also "LaDemeter miniguns", which sounds like a name in its own right -- the Demeter? -- but is probably rooted in Doc Smith's DeLameters. In Mouse and Dragon, the mob boss of Liad's Low Port had had a gay marriage before they broke up.



( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Aug. 27th, 2010 03:48 pm (UTC)
I don't think I've read any of Poul Anderson's stuff, but to be fair, humans can be described as "cocking their ears to listen." It's just that we do it by turning our heads, rather than my ear musculature. I don't know whether you can conclude that Anderson's elves' ears are any more movable than humans'.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )


Damien Sullivan

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