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eternalsage
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Location: Bree

Re: Keeping Elves out of Bree

Sat 18 Sep 2021, 17:10

What I'm getting at is they don't hang out in inns or go to towns at all, as far as can be determined. It's pretty obvious that those who move through the Shire do so in secret, otherwise Sam probably would have met them, living not just on the primary thoroughfare through the Shire but also right beside someone who Elves MIGHT visit. Xenophobic has been transformed in our modern language to mean hate and hostility, but I'm meaning the more traditional meaning of insular and isolationist.
“It is useless to meet revenge with revenge; it will heal nothing.” - Frodo Baggins, Return of the King
 
Alfgar
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Re: Keeping Elves out of Bree

Sat 18 Sep 2021, 17:39

What I'm getting at is they don't hang out in inns or go to towns at all, as far as can be determined.
The quote specifically states the Breefolk were more friendly and familiar with Elves than other Big Folk. Whether this is because they visited the town or stayed at the Pony is beside the point. There is an unambiguous canonical statement that the Breefolk were familiar with them to some extent which in the context of the thread means that an Elf would not be out of place in Bree.
 
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eternalsage
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Location: Bree

Re: Keeping Elves out of Bree

Sat 18 Sep 2021, 20:28

To me it just says that they knew Elves, in the same way that Sam does. Through stories. Then again, everything in the Hobbit and the Fellowship up to Rivendell is suspect to me, as very little of it actually makes sense with the world we otherwise see portrayed in LotR or the Silmarillion. There are no giants and trolls do not become stone in the sun. They also don't wear clothes and speak in cockney accents. Bombadil never appears in as anything else, and even later mentions seem to downplay the acid trip that he is.

It's much more likely, to me, based on Gildor and the actions of other Elves, that farmers on the outskirts occasionally hear their songs on a warm summer night or see campfires off in the distance. They know elves have passed by but have never seen them or met them.

Again, it really doesn't matter, though. You can very easily have Elves in Bree, while I have them visiting in hiding. Tolkien's ghost is not going to haunt either of us.
“It is useless to meet revenge with revenge; it will heal nothing.” - Frodo Baggins, Return of the King
 
Alfgar
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Re: Keeping Elves out of Bree

Sat 18 Sep 2021, 23:00

Again here is the quote: "... but they were more friendly and familiar with Hobbits, Dwarves, Elves, and other inhabitants of the world about them than was (or is) usual with Big People."
If you are going to interpret the words ' friendly and familiar' in the idiosyncratic manner you do with regard to Elves, then you also need to apply it to the other folk as well which means your interpretation of those words makes no sense.

Also the idea that Elves would not visit towns is contradicted by The Hobbit where the Elves visit Lake-town and even feast there:
Soon men would come up from the South and take some of the casks away, and others they would fill with goods they had brought to be taken back up the stream to the Wood-elves' home. In the meanwhile the barrels were left afloat while the elves of the raft and the boatmen went to feast in Lake-town..

Have a good weekend.
 
tedium34
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Re: Keeping Elves out of Bree

Sun 19 Sep 2021, 13:01

The challenge here is trying to reconcile the books with what is said in 1e TOR. There are lots of ways of doing this, and neither are completely consistent. There is no reason why you couldn't ignore 1e, but it is interesting to try to reconcile everything. The Breelanders have more to do with elves "than was usual". I think it is fair to say they are not as familiar with elves as the Dunadan. How about the Lakelanders and other Bardings? In the latter case there is a clear trade and diplomatic relationship. Personally I can't quite see that in the case of Bree. After all the Breelanders, even Barliman, don't know very much about the Dunadan, who definitely frequent the town and drink in the inn. I would assume their knowledge of the elves is less than their knowledge of the Rangers, although they might think they know more, about both, than they really do. When Galdor travelled from Cirdan to the Council of Elrond, did he stop for the night at the inn in Bree, or indeed in the Shire? I would assume not, personally. On the other hand Breelanders do seem to have taken the movement of Nazgul through the town relatively well, so if an elf came openly to Bree, they would be treated in a friendly fashion and no more alarm than the Nazgul were. 1e however suggests this has not happened for a very long time
 
gull2112
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Re: Keeping Elves out of Bree

Wed 22 Sep 2021, 03:01

As I seem to recall hinted at in TOR rule book somewhere, that the sacred Tolkien writings should be considered as told by unreliable narrators (with which, as an English major, I totally agree). The only concern for creating a deeply engaging world for your characters to run around in is your consistency. Your Lindon Elf should be treated the same as other elves are treated. My party has an Elf, a Dwarf, A Ranger, and a Man of Bree. They came to Hobbiton at night with the elf cloaked, and went straight to Mr. Baggins hole. The elf and the Dunadain didn't leave the house until the party left one night, in the same manner. This was only possible because they were guests of Mr. Baggins. They each also carried a letter inviting them, signed by Bilbo himself, which was helpful on more than one occasion.

That's how it works in my world. It made a simple visit to Hobbiton, possibly the safest place in Middle Earth, still fun and interesting to play. I'm not saying this is the only way to play, only that it is the way we play, and it works for us.
 
Woodrow Skillson
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Re: Keeping Elves out of Bree

Wed 22 Sep 2021, 22:59

My interpretation would be that Breelanders would not be overly alarmed by an Elf in town, but would also take notice, in the same way that the Bree Hobbits took an interest in Frodo and company. And elf might get some extra questions, people pestering them for news, etc, but not be particularly noticed or raved about.
 
gull2112
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Re: Keeping Elves out of Bree

Thu 23 Sep 2021, 21:11

Or not. Elves in Bree might be regarded with awe; spoken about, not to.
 
Sebastian
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Re: Keeping Elves out of Bree

Thu 23 Sep 2021, 22:15

Interesting topic! I just add one thing: In Wilderland Elves are a far more common sight than in Eriador. They do business with the Men of the Lake as well as with Bardings in Dale and the Dwarves of Erebor.

In Eriador Elves are not that common I presume. The Sindar in Lindon seem to keep to themselves mostly, simply having no reason to have contacts with other people. But then there are the Wandering Companies of Noldor. What Frodo tells us is, that they usually keep out of sight when crossing the Shire. They seem more than spirits and ghosts to Hobbits.

But then there is the „Bree quote“. We should also keep in mind, that Tolkien changed his work over time and sometimes didn’t even had a fixed world. I imagine Elves wouldn’t just march into the Shire, that would stirr up the Hobbits. I can’t really imagine an Elf in the Prancing Pony. But visit Bree, warning the Men of Bree of the coming of danger? Why not. I think they are just not a too common sight.

We should also not forget how old Bree is. It saw a time, when Elves crossed the land with armies of Worriers, even still in the Third Age when Angmar was overthrown.
 
Niallism
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Re: Keeping Elves out of Bree

Sun 03 Oct 2021, 02:53

I don't think there's any need to keep elves out of Bree. There's an idea that's been in Fantasy RPGs for as long as they've existed, that for verisimilitude the faux-medieval towns should be only human, or monocultural. There doesn't seem any need for it here, and I don't think it's textually supported by the very open-minded and gregarious Breelanders in the 2E book, or by Tolkien's work.Or by more modern historical approaches to ethnicity in medieval Europe.

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