Vote for Our Mud on TMC!
 
 
Geas Home
 
Play the Game

Elven Marriages

Anything to say about roleplay? Want to share a story? This is the right place.

Moderator: Wizards

Drayn
Hero
Posts: 439
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 4:09 pm

Elven Marriages

Postby Drayn » Wed Jan 22, 2014 6:02 pm

Just now there are talks of marriages and romances and relationships flying about IC and it got me wondering just how elves handle marriage.

For example, what is their take on divorce? Till death do us part is a long ass commitment when death never comes. Is divorce seen as something acceptable so long as it's unanimous? Do Tanielite and Evrenite elves view it differently? What about polygamy? Would elves have more than one wife/husband? Can a widow/er re-marry? Would there be one law for men and a different one for women (especially in cases of polygamy)?

As a Taniel cleric, this is something that interests me. I know that the Taniel church often emulates the RL Christian church, but which view of marriage would be most appropriate? Would it even be logistically the same when you consider both parties are more or less immortal? A lot of old marriage laws and customs in RL are to satisfy the conditions of inheritance, which would surely work differently if a person could feasibly live forever. Maybe some form inheritance would be forwarded in the case of grandchildren?

Any thoughts or musings?

User avatar
luminier
Overlord
Posts: 2732
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 11:40 pm
Location: Manitoba Canada

Re: Elven Marriages

Postby luminier » Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:28 pm

Elven marriages are always between elves, they must both be virgins, more importantly the woman (boys will be boys!), and then they must both follow Taniel and they must praise Taniel and live in Taniel's name, then join the Crusaders and kill enemies in the name of the Grand Lord Marshall of Elvandar.
The right man in the wrong place can make all the difference in the world.

Drayn
Hero
Posts: 439
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 4:09 pm

Re: Elven Marriages

Postby Drayn » Thu Jan 23, 2014 4:35 am

A further spanner in the works, how would you know if you're a widow/er or not when there is the potential for your spouse to be resurrected?

User avatar
Sairina
Hero
Posts: 434
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 2:40 pm

Re: Elven Marriages

Postby Sairina » Thu Jan 23, 2014 4:49 am

I suppose if a certain time has passed and the person hasn't been resurrected, they would officially be declared dead - as it happens irl with missing people.

ceinna
Journeyman
Posts: 64
Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2013 1:43 pm
Location: Washington State
Contact:

Re: Elven Marriages

Postby ceinna » Thu Jan 23, 2014 1:13 pm

Drayn wrote:Just now there are talks of marriages and romances and relationships flying about IC and it got me wondering just how elves handle marriage.


I'm taking this from a *general* elven approach. Not my characters (whose ideas may differ on some of these points due to past roleplay).

For example, what is their take on divorce? Till death do us part is a long ass commitment when death never comes. Is divorce seen as something acceptable so long as it's unanimous? Do Tanielite and Evrenite elves view it differently?


In my opinion, the elves should as a society be mostly against divorce. Marriage is such a major life event for elves that the chances of them "getting it wrong" with the way the average elf lives is pretty rare. Courtships should last decades, not months. And yes it is a long ass commitment, but this is why the elves would never rush into it. I would think the Tanielites would be absolutely strict on the laws of marriage. They do not allow elves to marry other races partly due to the loss of a spouse as well as the lack of pureblood children, so why in the world would they allow the couple to decide "nope, I'm done bye". Evrenites perhaps could differ slightly on this, but I would still figure against this simply because the survival of species in general would come under Evren's teachings. Not to mention going back to the idea of children, elves should be notoriously picky about their ancestry, as the generations are further apart and easier traced due to long life spans. Half siblings would most likely be looked at only vaguely better than the idea of half breeds.

What about polygamy? Would elves have more than one wife/husband? Can a widow/er re-marry? Would there be one law for men and a different one for women (especially in cases of polygamy)?


More than one spouse? Absolutely not. This all goes back into the ideas that the elves are far too elegant and pompous (even the non nobles) to ever consider the idea as lawful. Regarding death of a spouse, I'm not sure this would be done either. Love is for life, and potentially through to death? In my opinion, with the elves as a rather "noble" race in itself, I doubt there would be differing laws on any of this. The idea of gender equality is far too ingrained, the elves are run under a Queen after all.

As a Taniel cleric, this is something that interests me. I know that the Taniel church often emulates the RL Christian church, but which view of marriage would be most appropriate? Would it even be logistically the same when you consider both parties are more or less immortal? A lot of old marriage laws and customs in RL are to satisfy the conditions of inheritance, which would surely work differently if a person could feasibly live forever. Maybe some form inheritance would be forwarded in the case of grandchildren?


I would still agree with Christian views on marriage within the elves. With the rest of their ideals, changing this to something else just because they are long lived makes no sense when we do not make adjustments to other parts of their lives due to this life span. I also don't think inheritances would be meaningful in any way, other than extreme cases where elves do not resurrect for whatever reason. Dowries would be more likely the case, as both elves would come together to begin a family and the familys would likely make sure they began without troubles. This is also reiterated in the sense of a community wealth which elves often had.

Any thoughts or musings?


Keep in mind, these are my thoughts on the general populace, the average citizen. The NPC's and the invisibles running around. I still roleplay on Ceinna that people in the city whisper about her past, which they should. It should be more difficult for her to be welcome in a city where she went against the grain for so long. Her current situation should also be whispered about, it just isn't normal. These opinions can also likely be swayed slightly by the council members and the judge, within their own races and religions, but for the most part, this should be relatively standard.

ceinna
Journeyman
Posts: 64
Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2013 1:43 pm
Location: Washington State
Contact:

Re: Elven Marriages

Postby ceinna » Thu Jan 23, 2014 1:19 pm

Drayn wrote:A further spanner in the works, how would you know if you're a widow/er or not when there is the potential for your spouse to be resurrected?


I agree with Sairina on this one. Chances are if someone has not been seen in many years, they would be considered truly dead. However, most elves would still likely not remarry in this case as love is rather eternal to most elves. And kudos to the characters I've seen feel this way IC, its something VERY rare on most muds.

Zehren
Champion
Posts: 977
Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2009 7:50 am

Re: Elven Marriages

Postby Zehren » Fri Jan 24, 2014 8:31 am

What if elves generally marry out of duty, in terms of bloodlines and nobility and politics, and keep out-of-marriage lovers out of love/attraction as well?

Y'know, historical inspiration, instead of slapping our modern ideas onto elves and calling them noble? (I'm seriously annoyed at some DnD sourcebooks I've been reading. Wow humans are so special and the only arbiters of their own fate. Wow. I get it authors. You are human. Guess what? I'm human too. wow. surprise.)

Elven society is not necessarily gender equal just because there's a ruling queen, either. Plenty of ruling queens up through history despite gender inequality. In fact, it is a hypothetical possibility that the average elf is very annoyed at the queen, but doesn't voice the annoyment because of laws and such. Perhaps the queen only still rules because she has not mothered any full-elven sons?

I am not saying these possibilities are necessarily correct. I am only voicing them as alternatives. Alternatives that, in my opinion, would make for more interesting roleplay.
Drayn wrote:Zehren, the Karmassassin!

User avatar
Sairina
Hero
Posts: 434
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 2:40 pm

Re: Elven Marriages

Postby Sairina » Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:11 am

I agree, a queen isn't necessarily an indicator of gender equality. We can however probably assume that Forostar in general has more gender equality than our own past, because there are plenty NPC women who seem to be running their own business or are high ranking members of guilds and clergy - and obviously, PC women can hold the highest rank in all churches or become judge of a city.

As for elves, I would personally find it cool if they had matrilineal inheritence, because if you care about the purity of your bloodline and do not have access to gene testing, this is the one relation you can at least be sure of - there's generally little doubt as to who the mother is... this would for instance make Gwenlanea the queen by law, even if her father (the previous king) had fathered an older son with a woman other than his wife (Gwenlanea's mother). Family names and inheritance would also be traded down the matrilineal line, but it doesn't necessarily mean that women also hold the power in a society (or even that they are necessarily equally powerful as men in any matters not regarding family lines).

Drayn
Hero
Posts: 439
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 4:09 pm

Re: Elven Marriages

Postby Drayn » Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:56 pm

My thoughts on inheritance are thus:

As in theory an elf will live forever, it would be grim of elvish society to have specific customs relating to death. It'd be as morbid as humans having specific traditions and laws for stillborns, beyond the usual grieving. Still, you want to ensure the prosperity of your family line.

My thought is that elvish families would have a "ruling" generation. Someone that represents the family as a whole and nominally owns the family properties and interests. My feeling is that the "ruling" generation would be the second to last: the generation that had children, but no grandchildren.

Upon an elf being born, the parents would inherit control of their family assets and the responsibility for the family as a whole. This means that the prior generations of the family aren't stuck forever in the position of family administrator and also allows the family to adapt to modern times.

This also would explain an added level of intolerance towards half-elves as they can't have children and thus the parents of half elves will forever be stuck as the family administrators.

In the event of an unfortunate death, I imagine the control would pass to the next oldest sibling.

I don't think that having a queen is necessarily indicative of sexual equality. Britain has had a slew of female monarchs and leaders and we're still hammering out the details of sexual equality. I don't necessarily view the elves as being sexually unequal either.


Next up, the help files say that elves breed extremely slowly, but how so? Either they lack a sex drive for most of the time, so they just don't feel the urge to make babies; the chances of mating resulting in babies is extremely low or an elf is only fertile for brief periods.

Personally, I don't like the idea that elven pregnancy is hit and miss. Taniel built the buggers and the words "random" and "made by Taniel" just don't fit nicely in my head. I would therefore see elves as having predictable breeding cycles which is shown by either a complete lack of sex drive for the most part, or brief periods of fertility.

Personally I would favour a system whereby elvish women are only fertile for brief periods, but in between times they aren't devoid of sexual desire, meaning for the most part their lives are similar to humans. This may also add a level of shame to bearing a half-elf child. Fertility cycles are usually marked by an increase in sexual desire and mating with a human at this time might be seen as far worse than during a period of infertility as you are giving into desire knowing full well what the consequences would be.

This could lead to a situation where extramarital dalliances are acceptable so long as they are not within a breeding cycle.

User avatar
Sairina
Hero
Posts: 434
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 2:40 pm

Re: Elven Marriages

Postby Sairina » Fri Jan 24, 2014 1:10 pm

Personally, those fertility cycles remind me too much of vulcans... :lol: Makes sense biologically though.

And I don't agree that the elves wouldn't have customs or laws for something just because it is rare and unusual - morbid or not, a death would be a rather important event for a family to deal with, and there need to be some sort of regulations. I'd imagine elves as a pretty strict society with lots of rules for every part of life. Also, we actually do have laws regarding still births (like laws that determine what exactly a stillbirth is, or laws that require them to be registered). An elven death would likely either be in battle or due to murder/suicide, and I'd think that all of these circumstances add to the likelihood of having some sort of custom to deal with them - with suicide likely being shunned, but a dead warrior might be honoured, and murder being even more serious in a species that could theoretically live forever.

Drayn
Hero
Posts: 439
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 4:09 pm

Re: Elven Marriages

Postby Drayn » Fri Jan 24, 2014 4:22 pm

True, but such circumstances are contingent rather than inevitable.

Aturshus
Veteran
Posts: 143
Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:35 am

Re: Elven Marriages

Postby Aturshus » Fri Jan 24, 2014 8:51 pm

That long post of Drayn's pretty much sums up my thoughts. Elves would have to have a low birthrate, otherwise they would be way overpopulated, so rare cycles of fertility makes sense(like Vulcans, but maybe not quite every seven years!). The passing on of responsibilities to the newest parent generation is a great idea and makes a lot of sense.

Zehren
Champion
Posts: 977
Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2009 7:50 am

Re: Elven Marriages

Postby Zehren » Sat Jan 25, 2014 9:46 am

I find the idea of elves going into heat, so to say, in terms of fertility, fascinating. What if that is why elves are "adult" at 90 - females typically enter first such heat at that time. And they could get another heat, say, every thirty to fifty years. (which might last a year or two) (Likely with biological signs showing they are about to enter a year or three in advance.) Such a system means that elves don't menstruate, since there is no egg preparation every fourth week to expel. Elven females could both turn or not turn ill if they don't get impregnated during such a period.

Given the frequency of Queen Gwenlanea's amorous encounters, it seems most viable to presume elves possess sex drive inbetween bouts of fertility. It also seems logical from an orderly viewpoint, knowing that sex functions as a way to bond emotionally.

Since elven society is generally supposed to be conservative, I would favour a system where the ruling family is the one with grandchildren, but not great-grandchildren of any sort, but that is a minor point - the basic system is still the same.

On the topic of marriage, however, the most basic question to settle is likely first whether elves marry of love or duty/politics/etc, or some third option (or fourth) that is historically present but I don't know about? Do anyone know any such?
Drayn wrote:Zehren, the Karmassassin!

Drayn
Hero
Posts: 439
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 4:09 pm

Re: Elven Marriages

Postby Drayn » Fri Jan 31, 2014 7:49 am

The help files suggest that elves choose their mates based on "complex social patterns". I imagine it's likely to be a combination of political motivation, to balance the wealth of the families (or further your own families ambitions), genetic (to minimize inbreeding and encourage superior traits), social motivation to be as uninvolved with crime and disorder as possible, lest Taniel smite your offspring. I'm not sure how much love would factor into things. On the one hand, love and order is a terrible mix; emotions are always getting in the way of otherwise perfect plans, but on the other hand the elves are usually depicted as joyful, peaceful and freedom loving. I imagine marriageable elves are subtly encouraged into the acceptable patterns but not outright forced into marriages they don't want.

User avatar
Sairina
Hero
Posts: 434
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 2:40 pm

Re: Elven Marriages

Postby Sairina » Fri Jan 31, 2014 8:17 am

Keep in mind that the elven civilization will also be very resistant to change quite naturally - they don't need to enforce it much, because generations are so far apart and everyone lives basically forever, so old values will not die out as easily as they would for us. Society's disapproval of your actions holds a lot of weight, even in our short-lived world - now imagine that your disapproving neighbours, parents, grandparents, teachers, etc. will be around forever - you'd be even more likely to conform with what society demands, or you'd be a lonely outcast frowned upon by everyone around you.
I'd assume that basing life's decisions mainly on emotion is generally frowned upon simply because a literal eternity depends on it - you'd want to weigh your options more carefully than that.


Return to “Roleplay”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron