The World of Two Moons Feb 17, 2016 23:30:04 GMT
Post by Admin on Feb 17, 2016 23:30:04 GMT
The World of Two Moons
The Windrunners is a post-by-post roleplaying game based on the graphic novel series Elfquest (or ElfQuest), created by Wendy and Richard Pini in 1978.
The story revolves around a group of elves trying to survive and coexist with each other and the natives of Abode: an Earth-like planet with twin moons. Our game operates in the same world as Elfquest, but along a different canon, with player-created characters; The Windrunners diverges from the graphic novels in the middle of Kings of the Broken Wheel. A summary of the canon preceding our own is provided below.
To read the entire Elfquest series online for free, please go to The Official Elfquest Website.
Arrival on Abode
The story of Elfquest takes place on a world known as Abode, and sometimes as The World of Two Moons. The landscape and cultures are analogous to our own Earth, with the exception that there are two moons instead of our one.
The story begins with a highly advanced humanoid race simply known as the 'cone heads'; they would later be known as the High Ones by their descendants on the world of Abode. These alien beings possessed several psycho-kinetic powers (called 'magic' by the humans of Abode), which included the ability to shape-change, space travel, and immortality. When their homeworld's resources were depleted by overpopulation, they traveled through time and space in egg-shaped vessels to find new planets to explore and settle. They brought with them the last two surviving animal species from their home: precursors to the races known as Preservers and Trolls.
One of these vessels came upon Abode, where human civilization had reached a level comparable to Europe's medieval period on Earth. The humans' artwork and literature depicted ethereal beings which suggested to the 'cone heads' that others of their kind had previously visited that world. Before landing on the world, the High Ones deliberately formed themselves like elves and reshaped their egg-vessel to resemble a beautiful floating castle (later referred to as the 'Palace') that matched the native architecture, so that they could stay long enough to seek out more information about the previous visitors.
However, the evolved simians from the homeworld (proto-Trolls) had become resentful of their subservient status and wished to permanently remain on the world. As the Palace began to descend, the simians violently rebelled, interrupting the telekinetic control of the vessel enough to hurl them back through time to Abode's stone-age. Staggering from the crash-landing, the High Ones found that their psychic powers were greatly weakened on Abode, leaving them unable to defend themselves from the cave-dwelling humans who fearfully attacked them. With several members of the scouting party murdered, the rest of the High Ones ran from the massacre. The survivors that were able to adapt to the new world's hostile environment gathered into a several widely-scattered tribes.
The known tribes in the Original Quest canon include (in order of introduction): the Wolfriders (forest-dwelling hunter-gatherers), Sun Villagers (desert-dwelling farmers), Gliders (mountain-dwelling hunters), Go-Backs (arctic-dwelling hunters and herders), and the Wavedancers (sea-dwelling hunter-gatherers). The High Ones' evolved-simian servants also survived, making homes in underground caverns where they became larger and established themselves as the subterranean race of Trolls: treasure-seeking miners and metalsmiths whose original links to the High Ones were forgotten.
The insectoid race of Preservers followed the elves that became the Gliders, and eventually found themselves in the 'Forbidden Grove' before being found by Cutter and the other Wolfriders in The Forbidden Grove.
The main story begins 10,000 years later, with elves and the other beings having adapted with great difficulty to their home. Each tribe of elves has its own set of adaptations and traditions, and most of them are unaware that any of the other tribes even exist.
Fire and Flight
The Wolfriders are the main characters in the Elfquest saga: descendants of the High One named Timmain, who shaped-changed to hunt and provide for her fellow survivors. Staying in her chosen form of a wolf for several years, she eventually becomes nearly wolf-minded herself, and ends up conceiving a son named Timmorn Yellow-Eyes: half High One, half wolf. After bringing him to the other High Ones to care for, Timmain runs away to lose herself to the call of the 'wolf-mind'.
Timmorn brings Timmain's wolf pack and the elven High Ones together; he sires many children who share both wolf and elf genes, and thus begins the forest-dwelling tribe known as Wolfriders: ferocious hunter/warriors who are closely allied with wolves. Timmorn's direct descendants serve as chiefs of the tribe over the centuries, opening the story with Cutter, Blood of Ten Chiefs (the tribe's eleventh leader).
The Wolfriders have many conflicts with the nearby tribal humans, who believe that their god wants them to kill the elven "demons". At the start of Fire and Flight, the humans are prompted by their fanatical shaman to burn down the entire forest where they make their home (known as 'The Holt'), in an attempt to wipe them out. The elves seek refuge with a group of trolls who live underground, and ask to be guided through their tunnels to a new forest home. The resentful trolls, however, trick them into an opening onto a desert wasteland, causing a cave-in behind them to prevent them from returning. The Wolfriders have no choice but to go out into the desert. They travel the for a grueling three days before discovering an oasis, housing a village of dark-skinned elves.
Cutter "Recognizes" the elf maiden Leetah, who is the healer of the Sun Village. Recognition is a force unique to elves that draws a genetically compatible pair together with an irresistible need to mate, and an instant soul-level connection. Leetah is repulsed by the "barbaric" Cutter (seeing the wolf in his soul) and resists the Recognition. Her jealous lovemate Rayek challenges Cutter for the right to "woo" her. However, he loses, and leaves the Sun Village. As Leetah gets to know Cutter and the Wolfriders better, she gives into the Recognition, and she and Cutter become lifemates. They bear twins, a wolf-blooded girl Ember and an immortal boy Suntop, and eventually come to love each other deeply.
The Forbidden Grove
Six years after the events of Fire and Flight, a small human family discovers the Sun Village, and Cutter concludes that no place is safe from humans. He decides to go on a quest to find more groups of elves, and is accompanied by his best friend Skywise and their two wolves. They return to the burned remnants of the forest, but are quickly captured by three trolls. Through a series of events, they learn from the troll Picknose that Cutter's sword, New Moon, contains a hidden key to an unnamed "treasure". After escaping, Cutter is bitten by a rabid squirrel and during a fevered hallucination stumbles into a camp of two lone humans: Nonna and Adar. Much to the elves' surprise, they heal Cutter. Nonna is from a human tribe who worships 'bird spirits' who look similar to Cutter and Skywise, but taller. This is their first clue to the existence of other elves, and the humans point the way to the 'bird spirit' dwelling. To get there they enter an ancient forest which is filled with cocoons of all sizes; coming across an enormous cocoon and Cutter opens it after thinking that he smells his family - it is in fact Leetah and the twins.
Leetah tells them that after they left, Savah (the Sun Village's elder, and daughter of a High One) sent her spirit 'out' (a form of out-of-body communication that some elves can perform). Her spirit was stolen from her body, but not before she was able to tell Suntop to find Cutter and warn him of an 'evil' she sensed on the Astral Plane. The Wolfriders who accompanied Leetah and the twins became separated when they shot down a large bird and were subsequently attacked by what looked like elves riding giant birds. Cutter's family escaped into the woods, where they fell asleep. After Leetah's explaination, they are greeted by a small, winged humanoid being, and discover that the cocoons are made by these creatures: the Preservers that had come with the original High Ones to Abode. The group sets out to find the scattered Wolfriders, accompanied by one preserver named Petalwing.
Captives of Blue Mountain
As they come to the base of Blue Mountain, the group comes across some Wolfriders, as well as the human tribe of spirit-worshipers, who give them entry into Blue Mountain. Inside, they have a brief scuffle with some of the mountain elves, who call themselves Gliders; they are very tall (like Savah) and can 'glide' through the air. A Glider named Winnowill has been torturing the Wolfrider Strongbow, who shot down the large bird, but is overpowered by the new arrivals. She brings Cutter before Lord Voll, the official leader of the Gliders, who is a firstborn of the High Ones. Voll agrees to release Strongbow in exchange for meeting Cutter's children; the Gliders had stopped Recognizing centuries ago and have been 'stagnating' in the mountain, immortal and childless.
Voll then offers to let them stay as guests, but Winnowill fears that they will rekindle Voll's ancient dream to find the Palace of the High Ones. To try to force them to leave, she has a few Gliders attack the Wolfriders, and eventually kidnaps Suntop. Suntop discovers that she is the 'evil' who captured Savah's spirit, and he sends his spirit out through Winnowill to try to find Savah. Strongbow wounds her in the chase to rescue Suntop, and she is weakened enough that Savah and Suntop's spirits go free. Leetah manages to corner Winnowill and attempts to heal her body and her twisted mind, but Winnowill chooses instead to jump off a tall ledge to escape.
After Winnowill's disappearance, Voll is told of her cruelty, and he meets Petalwing. He reveals that the Preservers (whom Winnowill had sent away long ago) know how to get to the Palace of the High Ones, and he invites the Wolfriders to come with him to find it. They decide not to, however, weary of questing. Voll tricks Cutter and his family by offering to give them a ride on the Gliders' giant birds, forcing the Wolfriders to follow on their wolves as Voll leads them toward the Palace. Voll shares a vision of the Palace with all of them, which makes them eager to find it despite their anger. They come to an arctic land where they can all sense the Palace's aura. But suddenly Voll and his bird are killed in flight by a huge spear shot from the ground. The Gliders all fly away with Voll's body, and the Wolfriders are left in the snow, where they are attacked by trolls. They fight a savage battle, during which Cutter is badly hurt. When all hope seems lost, elves riding reindeer come to their aid and fend off the trolls.
These new elves are known as the Go-Backs, who under their chieftess Kahvi have been trying to recover the Palace, but are at war with the trolls who live under the mountain range between them and the Palace. Leetah heals Cutter with aid from an elf who turns out to be Rayek. Two-Edge, the previously revealed son of Winnowill (half-elf, half-troll, and mentally unstable), appears to Cutter and tells him that he can lead them straight into the heart of the troll kingdom, where they can defeat them and finally reclaim the Palace. The elves agree to try this, and on the way, they free three wild wolves who then accompany them. They also come upon the clan of trolls that used to live underneath the Holt, now slaves of the troll king Guttlekraw.
The elves help free them, and Cutter offers their leader Picknose all the "treasure" his sword holds the key to, in exchange for help in the battle against Guttlekraw's trolls. However, the treasure turns out to be elf armor that Two-Edge, a master smith, has forged. Two-Edge has been orchestrating this battle between the races so that he can align himself with whichever race wins it, and tries unsuccessfully to separate the elves from Picknose's trolls. A battle ensues in the throne room; Guttlekraw and his trolls are afraid that if the elves regain the palace they will rule over the trolls as they did in the High One's time. Guttlekraw is killed and his army defeated, Picknose declares himself the new king, and the elves' passage to the palace of the High Ones is now open.
Once the elves and some of the trolls go inside the Palace, one of the three wild wolves that had been freed from the troll pit starts acting strangely, and suddenly transforms into Timmain, the High One. Timmain realizes that almost 10,000 years have passed since she first shape-changed into a wolf. She tells them the Palace is the resting place for the spirits of all dead elves. Cutter asks her if she can explain to them the story of the High Ones and where they originally came from, which none of the elves know. Timmain takes them to a room which holds what she calls the Scroll of Colors, a magical spinning scroll which acts as a sort of 'movie screen', displaying to them the entire history of the High Ones while she narrates. She concludes by saying that the Wolfriders have a special significance because they alone “...share blood with beasts born of this world. It was my gift to my son. He was the first of us to have the right to call the land his own. If you choose, Wolfriders, you too have that right—and none can take it from you.”
After hearing the story, the elves and trolls have mixed reactions. The Wolfriders decide to found a new Holt in the Forbidden Grove. The Go-Backs decide to stay where they are, as do the trolls, who can now live in peace with the Go-Backs. Rayek decides to live with Timmain and Ekuar in the Palace to try to find a way to make the vessel travel through space and time once more.
Siege at Blue Mountain
Three years have passed since the elves reclaimed the Palace of the High Ones. The Wolfriders live in the Forbidden Grove, home of the Preservers. Winnowill is now Lord of the Gliders in nearby Blue Mountain and the Wolfriders know they must stay hidden from her; she now keeps all of the Gliders, save the Chosen Eight (the Gliders' hunters/warriors) in a deep sleep and uses their power to control the Great Egg (a magical stone in Blue Mountain, very similar to the Scroll of Colors in the Palace). She wants the Preservers to wrap the Gliders up so they can sleep eternally and she can more easily harness their power for the Egg, and dispatches the Chosen Eight to find the Preservers. Skywise allows Aroree, one of the Chosen Eight (and his one-time lover), into the Wolfriders' Holt; she says she wants to escape from Winnowill and live with the Wolfriders. However, when Aroree sees Windkin, the gliding baby of Tyldak (a Glider) and Dewshine (a Wolfrider), she kidnaps him to give to Winnowill in exchange for her freedom. Dewshine infiltrates Blue Mountain to rescue her baby, but Winnowill knows Dewshine's soul name (see: Recognition) and controls her with it. Aroree escapes Blue Mountain and tells the Wolfriders of Dewshine and Windkin's fate.
During all this, Cutter has been on his way to Blue Mountain with his human friends, planning to elicit the aid of the humans who worship the Gliders in overthrowing Winnowill. Skywise finds him and confesses his mistake in allowing Aroree into the Holt; they go to Blue Mountain to try to rescue Dewshine and Windkin.
Near the Palace of the High Ones, the Go-Back chief Kahvi gives birth to Rayek's child Venka but hides her from him, wanting to protect Venka from his domineering nature. Rayek has been living in the Palace and decides to visit the Gliders to ask for their help in getting the Palace to fly again. He gets sidetracked into the Forbidden Grove, where he convinces the Wolfriders that he and other elves who have powers effective against Winnowill would be able to subdue her together, and they go to Blue Mountain to try. However, Winnowill easily manipulates Rayek and then sends him into a magical sleep to join the other sleeping Gliders.
Winnowill orders the human tribe that worships the Gliders to find and destroy the forest-dwelling "demonic" elves. Dart, a young Wolfrider who has been in the Sun Village to train hunters, has been sent back to the Holt by Savah, who senses that the Wolfriders are in danger, and he arrives with his hunters just in time to help the Wolfriders defeat the humans. Not all the humans believe that the Wolfriders are "demons," and one young human, Geoki, befriends Dart.
The Wolfriders go to Blue Mountain and join the elves and humans already there in to trying to overthrow Winnowill. But once inside, Blue Mountain starts transforming into a huge floating mountain-sized egg. Winnowill plans to take the egg-ship into space; she plans to use the egg's powers to kill all elves with 'tainted' wolf blood, then gather all other elves to the ship and keep them sleeping forever in Preserver cocoons. The elves, however, are able to subdue Winnowill and free Windkin. Petalwing wraps the weakened Winnowill in wrapstuff, and Tyldak grabs her cocooned body and flies off with it.
Everyone except the sleeping Gliders makes it safely outside before the egg-ship collapses, killing the Gliders. As a result of Geoki and Dart's cross-species friendship, the human tribe vows to be friends with elves and sets off to look for a new place to live, taking Door (a Glider who was rescued from the mountain) with them to care for him and honor him as the last living Glider.
Rayek departs to guide the Gliders' spirits to the Palace where the spirits of dead elves are meant to go. He also hopes that the Gliders' combined power will be enough to make the Palace fly again. The other elves return to the Forbidden Grove and celebrate their freedom from the threat of Winnowill. Tyldak drops Winnowill off on a deserted island in the middle of the ocean and leaves her there after freeing her from the Preserver's cocoon.
Kings of the Broken Wheel
Rayek returns to the Palace of the High Ones with the spirits of the dead Gliders inside of him, giving him almost unlimited magical power. He sees the Go-Backs fighting with the trolls, and feeling disgusted with them, uses the power to attack them all, not realizing that he could have killed his baby daughter (whom he doesn't know exists). Destroying the Go-Back's lodge, he creates a huge chasm between the Go-Backs and the Palace, saying that they are "not worthy" of it.
When the Gliders' spirits enter the Palace it regains the ability to fly, and Rayek flies it to the Forbidden Grove. Cutter's young son Suntop has recently been hearing a strange continual mental cry for help inside his mind, and Rayek offers to use the Palace to travel to its source. Everyone in the Forbidden Grove—elves, trolls, wolves and Preservers—decide to first travel to the desert Sun Village where old friends and kin are reunited. Most of the elves decide to stay in the Sun Village, as some decide to join the Palace quest.
Rayek then takes the Palace to a land far to the West, across the ocean, which is presumably the source of the cry, but they find that no elves have ever lived there. Timmain realizes that the cry is actually the cry of the High Ones during their accidental landing on the planet, and the place where Rayek has taken the Palace is the place where the High Ones first intended to land before they were thrown off-course. Rayek then decides to take the Palace far forward in time to meet the High Ones as they are descending, so that he can prevent the accident which caused them to land in the wrong place and the wrong time. The others are all against this, because it would mean that all elves, trolls and Preservers who are not in the Palace at the time of its merger with the original Palace will have never existed, and will in essence be wiped out via a time-paradox. Cutter decides that he will have to kill Rayek if Rayek does not change his mind about this plan.
However, Winnowill is dwelling in the ocean nearby, and sends to Rayek, encouraging him to carry out his plan immediately. Rayek decides to go forward with his plan without anyone's consent; Leetah, Suntop, Ember, Skywise, Ekuar and Picknose's daughter Trinket are with him in the Palace, but all of the other elves and trolls are outside the Palace when he causes it to travel to a distant future time. They watch in shock and horror as it disappears. Expecting at any moment that their lives will suddenly be snuffed out, they make a home for themselves in the nearby forest, and count out the years until the Palace's return.
The Windrunners game begins here, during a period known as the Hidden Years. Read more on the History/Timeline.
Summary gathered from the The Elfquest Timeline and Our Gazebo.