Re: Aldryami

From: Sandy Petersen <>
Date: Thu, 25 Apr 96 09:35:31 -0500

ALDRYAMI WEAPONS The fact that Aldryami weapons are generally not forged over an anvil and that their raw materials are usually taken from plants does not mean that they have plants which grow entire copper breastplates as fruit. Rather, I think that the Aldryami copper plants produce bark-covered streamers of metal, or roots containing nodules of the stuff, and that to form these into anything useful, the Aldryami work diligently -- setting up frames or molds for the plant to grow into, or selectively pruning the flower as it forms, thus shaping it in much the same way that you can grow a pear with a puckered "face" on it by poking little holes in the fruit when it is only a inch or two long.

        To form a complex object, they may need to graft a branch from one plant onto another, and force the two to grow together. I expect it is a difficult, time-consuming process. No doubt they must also ensure the right amount of water and other nutrients -- or deny the plant these. The copper tree's percentage of copper might only increase to useful amounts when it is near-starved of water, and so the Aldryami may need to guard against too much rain on the plant (digging ditches away from it, seeking good drainage, etc.).

        The Aldryami may also need to polish their copper (just as wood can be polished), or otherwise sharpen or otherwise adjust it.

>I'll heartily agree that Aldryami are associated to trees, rather
>than being connected to a specific tree

        Individual Aldryami can even be recognized as belonging to a certain type of tree. Thus, Lodgepole Pine elves are usually taller than Scrub Oak elves. Maple Elves tend to have redder hair than Beech Elves, etc.

>in Elder Secrets it says that they are reputed to go to the
Afterlife >when they hibernate, and therefore would have NO fear of Death.

        Technically this is true. But the elves really don't have an afterlife. They become part of Aldrya, in the same way that a dead tree is still part of the forest -- its leaves and wood broken-down by fungus and insects, and recycled into the humus necessary for the growth of new trees. But I do not believe that elves are conscious when they hibernate -- rather, they subsume their personalities into the Whole, which is what they also expect upon death -- not retention of individual "self", but rather an absence of self -- an ecological recycling.

        On the other hand, elves don't really have a sense of self or independence when awake and alert -- they are not self-aware in the way that humans, trolls, or newtlings seem to be. And, of course, they do not normally fear death. Or when an elf _does_ appear to fear death, this is an illusion -- the Aldryami is actually fearing the effect of its death upon _others_.

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