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What were/are your people like?
House Hesson
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Post: #1
What were/are your people like?
What were your people like, and how do you know?

We went back through our LJ entries on the subject, and pulled out some parts related to the time just before to somewhat after the War, which I'll explain in its place, and to our nature in general. Most is unconfirmed memory, and I will cite supporting sources where they apply.

Ljossalfar and dokkalfar are from a common stock, and do not have any significant differences in physical demographics. We are tall, with the average height being around six feet. This is consistent with the heights of those in our system, checked against Sapphire's self-reported height with respect to the body. Pure-blooded alfar are light-skinned with golden-blond hair and blue eyes, but many of us have interbred with other races to produce different results. The height seems to breed true nearly all of the time, and the skin color almost as often. Hair and eye color are the most likely to change, and breeding with a race that tends to produce intersex or gender-shifter individuals seems to generally produce a child of that type if the genes for it are there. Again, this is consistent with our system and its memories of what else might be in our ancestry, but we're also a small population and it's not much to judge by.

Our experience of death is different from that of humans. We do not die of old age. If someone is killed in an accident or through violence, he or she will swiftly reincarnate, with a good memory of the prior lifetime, and into the same caste. There are some magical techniques that can be used to produce a more lingering death, in which the core essence must repair itself after death, taking longer to reincarnate and obscuring the memories of the prior life. When this happens, the individual is moved along a cyclic progression of the castes, either rising or falling in birth-rank according to that order.

We have not yet gotten a full impression of the castes. I use that word because birth is essential and mobility fairly limited within an individual lifetime, but there are many layers of stratification. The ruling nobles could be seen as one caste, but within that group, there is also an inner ranking according to the relative power of one's Clan. Within the nobles of a Clan, there is an inner ranking according to the status of one's House. Within the nobles of a House, there is the variable ranking of personal power.

Likewise, there is a broad-band caste of lesser nobles, with which the word "scholar" seems to click, although we get the impression that it's a culture-specific definition of that word and not necessarily a pure academic type. They were valued for their knowledge in some way. Below them is a broad-band grouping of castes that were roughly equivalent to managers in first-world human society, and below that a broad-band grouping of castes that were roughly equivalent to wage slaves. Sorting out the finer details of this system is a matter of great interest to us.

The significant differences between the two tribes are spiritual and philisophical. Both are very concerned about remaining close to a perceived standard of racial purity, but they disagree about what this means. The ljossalfar do not care about mixed blood, but are very concerned about maintaining a standard of decorum that they believe goes back to our ancient roots. They abhor killing, at least on the surface, and attempt to preserve the social strata that they currently occupy. As all are respected regardless of their rank, and political backbiting can get fairly nasty, most ljossalfar are fairly happy with this set-up, regardless of caste. Those who truly thirsted for something more, before the War happened, were low-to-mid-rank nobles, and the War took care of most of them.

A ljossalfar woman whom Rhun knew in a past life, who now lives in another body, has confirmed some details for us. She remembers the harshness of the political system, and that the administration sometimes used killing as a political tool. However, given our joint impression of things, it is likely that this was severely restricted, and possibly done out of the sight of the public. We-in-the-system have speculated on whether the Assassins' Guild some of us remember from dokkalfar lives was also present among the ljossalfar - Rhun's memories in particular seem to imply this - and if so, what a scandal it would be if that were revealed to the general populace...

The dokkalfar lived in a harsher environment. While alfar in Ljossalfheim could magically heal and plump up the edible plants, we did not have that ability over the plants of our new home. I think this was at least part of the reason why we lived underground; we had a weak ability to alter the lichen of the tunnels we constructed, and it allowed us to leave the aboveground untouched for maximum growing space. Of course, we could have also lived in the trees, but we didn't.

We accepted temporary death as a part of everyday reality for all castes. We had to be very good at what we did, and survive off of as little as we could. Children were raised communally, mostly tended to by Sapphire's race. That race normally divided childrearing responsibilities among the whole community, and adults treated all of the children as their nieces and nephews. For us, it was just a way of farming out what we saw as a distraction from the work of surviving, to our servants.

At roughly the equivalent of age 15 or 16 for humans, our children were assigned to a Guild based on their strengths and weaknesses, and given mentors who were not related to them so that they would be pushed to perform appropriately. Most Guilds led their apprentices through an experience that could be emotionally crushing, but not fatal. The military lost a number of apprentices each year, and the Assassins' Guild positively churned through them, but this was seen as the cost of staying strong in the face of perceived threats from our neighbors and from our former kin.

Likely because of this atmosphere, visible signs of foreign blood were a negative modifier to one's caste-given social rank. The unfavorable, whether of low caste, having dramatic foreign features, or members of the races we brought along in small numbers to serve us, were not treated with contempt or disgust. They were mainly ignored, but that was bad enough.

The Assassins' Guild dealt out the more lingering sort of death, which we saw as a necessary part of the cycle of life. We believed that it was natural for us to progress through the changes in caste, and looking back, those in the system wonder if the ljossalfar had not deliberately stopped this at some point and then decided to forget about it.

In the past, we were reluctant to speak about the reasons for the War because we feared retribution from them...but the less we let our fears cloud our beliefs about what will happen now, the less we believe they will be able to touch us - if word even gets back to them. We believe that the War was fought over the desire to set the wheel of rank spinning again, and those who would become the dokkalfar choosing to send some of the ljossalfar to their next station in life...forcibly.

The War seems to have ended when the ljossalfar captured the mate of the resistance leader, and she agreed to accept exile for her and her people in exchange for his return. There were those - including our leader's daughter and eventual heir - who believe we could have won if not for our leader "selling us out for that man"...but I don't believe it. Both of those women - and I - were predisposed to severe emotional fits and psychological frailty. The resistance leader was a figurehead because of her breeding; her mate was the one who made the decisions and later ruled the dokkalfar from the shadows. Their daughter, regardless of blood, should not have been High Queen. Her son and his daughter, my half-sister Shainin, led a covert resistance against her, but were caught and executed. Since that purge, in which Rhun and I were also killed, we have no information about what has become of our settlement in Swartalfheim.

There's more, little scattered details, but I think this is enough for one day.

-Val

"All knowledge is worth having." -Phedre no Delaunay

"Everything has a price." -Jaenelle Angelline

"I think if you try, that's being your best." -Echo
2008-01-14 16:33
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Xanthus
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Post: #2
Re: What were/are your people like?
Disclaimer: This is blatant copypasta from other posts I've made - but it's the exact same content either way, so I'm not re-typing it.

Not meaning any offense, but I general tend towards a little more scrutiny of kin with extensive and elaborate backstory of their kintype.
  • How did you find all this information?[/*:m]
  • Did you check this information in any way for accuracy, and if so, how?[/*:m]
  • How many memories related to this information have you had yourself, and under what circumstances did you remember/uncover them?[/*:m]
  • How much of this was related to you by another person?[/*:m][/list:u]

    Hope the questions don't bother you. <!-- sSad --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_sad.gif" alt=":(" title="Sad" /><!-- sSad -->

    Note: this does not constitute me calling you a fluff in any way. I am actually and honestly interested in answers to these questions.

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2008-01-14 18:21
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House Hesson
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Post: #3
Re: What were/are your people like?
A small part of that is already answered in the original post, and it would be appreciated if you would target your questions to what has /not/ been answered, in the future. As it stands, I can't even tell if you read the post.

As for the rest, one of us will do an in-line edit next time we're on Firefox. (Currently using the BlackBerry web browser...) Should be today or tomorrow.

"All knowledge is worth having." -Phedre no Delaunay

"Everything has a price." -Jaenelle Angelline

"I think if you try, that's being your best." -Echo
2008-01-14 18:46
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Xanthus
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Post: #4
Re: What were/are your people like?
The Garnet Host Wrote:A small part of that is already answered in the original post, and it would be appreciated if you would target your questions to what has /not/ been answered, in the future. As it stands, I can't even tell if you read the post.

Sorry about that, this was one of several posts recently put up concerning intricate histories of different kin-types, which I'm interested in, for multiple reasons.

I hadn't thought to deleted out certain questions, but that probably would have been appropriate.

I notice at the top that you say that most in unconfirmed memory, save for cited sources, one of which is listed below as the recollection of someone you knew in a past life who is now in a different body. Is that the same body the group of you share, or another?

In any case, the 1st, 2nd and possibly 4th question have been completely or partially answered already, so, if possible, I'd just like more info on #3, if that's not too bothersome?

For all these that I posted questions on, I do plan on going back over each and posting more questions and discussion, as well as possibly making another thread explaining my reasons more thoroughly for my want of information on them.

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2008-01-14 18:58
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House Hesson
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Post: #5
Re: What were/are your people like?
"Different body" means not in our meat-shell, in all cases that we say so. She is not in our current meat-shell.

I do plan to go through and fisk the original post to identify sources in as much detail as possible, but for now I'll go into basic information-gathering and what our discovery process is like in general.

Most of our incoming information comes from sudden epiphanies. Some of them are in a normal state of consciousness, while most of the older ones were under the influence of untreated depression and some happened during a combination of sugar high and sleep deprivation. The ones that came out before our depression was treated, ranged from effectively normal states to high adrenaline states. Most of the information is factual, rather than imagery or cinematics; we have only seen bare glimpses. This is consistent with the fact that we currently experience touch and magic senses most vividly, and think more in feelings (both emotional and somatic) than in images, and at least as much as we think in words. What we remember is usually what would have registered a vivid impression. I could not tell you much about religious practices, except that none of us seemed to be very religious. I could tell you what the most beautiful place was in the dokkalfar capitol, how the soldiers and Assassins' Guild welcomed their newly tested members, and so forth. If there's a trigger, it's the same sort of thing that would normally trigger similar memories of this lifetime, at about the same level of detail. A smell, a comment from another person, a slip of the mental tongue. They tend to come in spurts, sometimes even when one of us wishes we could remember more, but not necessarily what we would like to remember, and there's no extending the natural duration of the spurt because we want to learn more.

We check for internal consistency, and against what little information we have from outside sources. Everything we know is subject to being discredited and forgotten if we encounter a credible opposing source. I thought for a long time that I was leanan sidhe, and that many of Rhun's memories were mine. Now I just find those things amusing. Part of my hope in posting this, was that others might recognize bits of it and be able to confirm some details that I've held back. We keep secrets for just that purpose, and our friend tripped over some of them when she brought up her dream-memory of seeing Rhun shortly before he was exiled. We have more in waiting, should she bring up the right subjects.

We do not trust internal validation that much, as we are incapable of keeping secrets from each other. Shared memory makes things difficult. We do, however, generally trust each other's impressions of our appearance.

We record everything as quickly as possible, preferably before the frontrunner switches out, including who remembered it and who seemed to be the originator of the memory if it was someone different. We've been having spurts since I Awakened and I wouldn't care to count them all.

-Val

"All knowledge is worth having." -Phedre no Delaunay

"Everything has a price." -Jaenelle Angelline

"I think if you try, that's being your best." -Echo
2008-01-17 2:01
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Post: #6
Re: What were/are your people like?
You intrigue me.

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2008-01-17 3:10
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Starwind
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Post: #7
Re: What were/are your people like?
I don't really *remember* much about my people, or even if I was an average example of the type, but I don't think we were excessively war-like, in general somewhat less likely to go against the ethical code and harm others that didn't deserve it than humans seem to be. I don't think there was an American-style legal system, either, so if you did do something, chances are, you'd get what was coming to you. I think something like an assassin's guild was unlikely, at least at the times and places I was around, not too much tribal warfare. Low technology, but capable of more than we were usually using, I think. Not sure if any form of magic was involved, or things that could be explained through science here and now but written off as magic then, or that humans will come to explain later.

I'm pretty sure we were taller than average humans, more fine-boned, and usually less clumsy. My current body is not huge, but still on the tall end of the spectrum for human females, yet I've always felt too short, and like a bull in a china shop. I get frustrated with what my body, even when I'm not expecting wings/tail/etc., can't do but I feel it *should*.

I don't think we were immortal, I'm sure we could grow old and die, it just took a lot longer than for humans, but that could be anywhere from maybe 300 to 1000 years, I'm not sure. But dying of old age, yes. I remember *being* old, in that incredibly vague sense that I ever get any memories, just feelings, pictures of everything and everyone else mostly a blur.

I also don't remember any deities known to people on Earth being involved, though I can't tell if we had any at all, and if so, the nature of them, whether they were "all powerful man in the sky", "god of this, goddess of that, god of the other", "spirit of this stream here, that rock there, that forest out back", or any other type.

(edited to add stuff, and then save the post from the giant run-on-paragraphs-of-doom)

"I" often refers to unusually large values of 1...
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2008-02-04 4:35
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Post: #8
Re: What were/are your people like?
My people were generally quite interesting - though we were quite interested in holding on to tradition... sometimes even past their time. All I truly feel I can say is that most of us were not quite as friendly towards other races as I'd honestly like to say or think we were... >_>;
;<_<
Needless to say - I'm an oddity of my people, as I tend to love dealing with all races, no issues against any race in creation.
However- my people weren't exactly remembered by current history books - as the Humans had very little to do with our people, not just because we were a bit a-social, but because the Humans found our climate to be rather uninhabitable.... a small sub-tropical jungle that vanished w/out a physical record... but oh well. That's all for now.

There's nothing the universe can do to tell you you were born to be vegan quite like when that ill feeling in your stomach only means you're craving veggie broth and a huge salad.
2008-02-29 15:45
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flarablaze
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Post: #9
Re: What were/are your people like?
Ok, please bear with. Flara, one of my main... well, "aspectS" that make me up, is to my knowledge, half sidhe, half forest elf. I say forest as opposed to wood because, from what little I remember they were a very strong, resilient people. They weren't necessarily "peaceful" and happy. To be honest I don't remember much, because to my knowledge the parents didn't live in either location (Her mother's sidhe home, or her father's forest.. dwelling.. thingy.) Also, I believe the father either ran off or died.

Now that I have the backstory, I'll tell what I remember.

They lived deep in a forest, on a planet that I don't remember enough about to have triggered a name. (Until recently I've been more focused on other parts.) There were large... well... I don't know. The closest human word to what they were is huts. (I don't remember the language, I get memories as ideas, not words.) They were large, and spherical. From what I can tell, they were created by leaves, vines, and parts of trees. There were walkways up in the trees themselves, but not like, typical "bridges". I don't remember too much specifics on that, I just know it wasn't your typical "rope bridges". They tended to live in either large groups all together or in pairs if they had just... married I guess?

The elves ranged somewhere around 6' for scale, 6-7 feet was the average. For them to be over seven feet tall was very odd.

I want to say her/my father had green hair, but I don't remember, he usually wore this.. cap.. thing.

That's pretty much all I remember. I think they were so deep in the forest that they didn't tend to get bothered often.. From what I know.

Now, note, this isn't much to remember. Just... gut feelings, I guess, that I've had since awakening.
2008-03-31 22:34
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flarablaze
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Post: #10
Re: What were/are your people like?
flarablaze Wrote:Ok, please bear with. Flara, one of my main... well, "aspectS" that make me up, is to my knowledge, half sidhe, half forest elf. I say forest as opposed to wood because, from what little I remember they were a very strong, resilient people. They weren't necessarily "peaceful" and happy. To be honest I don't remember much, because to my knowledge the parents didn't live in either location (Her mother's sidhe home, or her father's forest.. dwelling.. thingy.) Also, I believe the father either ran off or died.

Now that I have the backstory, I'll tell what I remember.

They lived deep in a forest, on a planet that I don't remember enough about to have triggered a name. (Until recently I've been more focused on other parts.) There were large... well... I don't know. The closest human word to what they were is huts. (I don't remember the language, I get memories as ideas, not words.) They were large, and spherical. From what I can tell, they were created by leaves, vines, and parts of trees. There were walkways up in the trees themselves, but not like, typical "bridges". I don't remember too much specifics on that, I just know it wasn't your typical "rope bridges". They tended to live in either large groups all together or in pairs if they had just... married I guess?

The elves ranged somewhere around 6' for scale, 6-7 feet was the average. For them to be over seven feet tall was very odd.

I want to say her/my father had green hair, but I don't remember, he usually wore this.. cap.. thing.

That's pretty much all I remember. I think they were so deep in the forest that they didn't tend to get bothered often.. From what I know.

Now, note, this isn't much to remember. Just... gut feelings, I guess, that I've had since awakening.


By the way, I meant no offense to wood elves.... if any are insulted by that I truly do apologize, I meant no offense at all.
2008-04-03 21:37
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