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leaddolphin
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What are Gemelda, Neyd and Nebulos even for?

Tue 16 Apr 2024, 14:08

(1) Only 3 of the original 7 elves are (ahem) fleshed-out

Viridia was a proud warrior who got corrupted by Scrome, but Merigall likes them evil so he wants her just as she is. Either way, she's in a sword and she's making people kill people.

Algared decided "OK, I'm going to give this whole Elvenspring thing a go" and he still hopes that can happen. It's not his fault that his descendants got undeaded. He's in a sceptre which is pretty handy, if a tad debilitating.

Iridne said "orcs are good and I'll prove it to you" and she's now helping orcs. Hooray for her. Her cloak clasp is amazing.

The Shardmaiden shattered herself into a thousand pieces. Fine.

(2) There is no reason to worry about the remaining three

The other three remaining really early elves? Stanengist needs to have the three rubies of Gemelda, Neyd and Nebulos so it can automatically dispel magic. (Is this good? It feels like this would also dispel friendly magic cast near the wearer of the crown.) But there's no indication of what they'd do if you plucked them out of the crown, or how their personalities are different (even though that's supposed to be one of the things about Stanengist: that it contains multiple conflicting personalities).

This is especially weird as Gemelda is said to be the wisest and the founder of the Redrunners (so you'd have thought that Kalman Rodenfell would want to make sure that Gemelda wasn't one of the elves sacrificed as part of sealing the rift), Nebulos is explicitly mentioned as the one who created the Stillmist, and Neyd is the amazing gardener who made rivers work. These sound a lot more interesting than the other elves!

Stanengist also needs an additional ruby so it can send someone demonic or demon-adjacent slightly mad, or seal the rift. But the difference between "you must find Stanengist (contains 3 elf rubies) and an ancient elf ruby" vs "you must find Stanengist and an ancient elf ruby" isn't clear to me narratively.

And when it comes to the choice of which rubies to add to Stanengist to close the rift, it's pretty much down to whether the PCs want to piss off Merigall by sacrificing Viridia, whose stone is the most annoying, or whether they choose Algared, who will Break most PCs by the end of the day.
 
Farydia
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Re: What are Gemelda, Neyd and Nebulos even for?

Tue 14 May 2024, 23:56

My group chatted quite a bit with Gemelda in the crown. Looking for advice, sometimes getting it, sometimes he was not in the mood, sometimes the advice was too cryptic to be useful. But he became quite the character on his own really.

And of course they collected ALL the stones and put them into the crown. Viridia was, obviously the most difficult. Does that answer your question?
 
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Dizzyfugu
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Re: What are Gemelda, Neyd and Nebulos even for?

Wed 15 May 2024, 08:56

These rubies/elves represent the creation of the Ravenlands, and each is linked with a certain aspect. That is enough to give them a certain field of expertise, knowledge, and also personality, you just have to read the respective descriptions to bring them to life. Algared is about ruling, military know how and humanity. Iridne is into orcs and artistic things (a dieembodied Kate Bush, perhaps?), etc. Nebulos created the Stillmist and had deep relatoions to the dwarves who shaped the world. Neyd is about nature, anything that grows and shapes the land like water and wind. Gemelda is less clear, but she appears pretty pragmatic and has her role in Merigall/Viridia's history, so that she might be good for filling knowledge gaps.
 
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leaddolphin
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Re: What are Gemelda, Neyd and Nebulos even for?

Fri 17 May 2024, 02:50

Thanks for replying, and I'll gladly use your hints for roleplaying the ancient elves if my players ever talk to the voices in their heads.

But my point remains: if you find Stanengist, and realise that it needs at least a net +1 elf rubies to be useful, you have no incentive to take out Gemelda, Neyd or Nebulos.

If you find Stanengist and the Blood Star Cloak Clasp, you know that one of you will have a d12 die for Scouting, Lore and Performance, your stronghold will have defence +1, and you need to weigh up whether (1) you'll stick Iridne's ruby in Stanengist and give up the ability to levitate, and eventually (2) whether you'll sacrifice all of that to get rid of demons.

Algared in the Nekhaka sceptre gives bonuses but is also crippling, and Maligarn / Gall-eye is arguably only borderline worth it (but if you sacrifice Viridia you'll piss off Merigall). So if you've found all of the magical items, you might well decide that Stanengist with the original 3 + Algared + Viridia is your best bet; you'll piss off Merigal and you'll keep Iridne because levitating etc. is awesome.

What doesn't play a part in your decision is what to do with Gemelda, Neyd or Nebulos, even though they're potentially really useful, interesting and powerful ancient elf rubies, because there's nothing you can stick those rubies in. There's no choice available to you regarding "should I keep this elf in a magic item or sacrifice it for the good of the realm?".

I appreciate why Free League did it that way: having to potentially find up to 7 magic items take a lot longer than needing to find between 2 and 4 magic items.

But it seems really weird to me that e.g. Kalman Rodenfell wouldn't be trying to make a magical item that could hold Gemelda, and would offer this up as a bargain to whoever held Stanengist.
 
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Brior
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Re: What are Gemelda, Neyd and Nebulos even for?

Mon 20 May 2024, 19:00

If it's is any comfort, you will have more to do with these mysterious primordial elves in the Alderland expansion, also with one or two of the ones you so far don't know that well …
 
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Dizzyfugu
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Re: What are Gemelda, Neyd and Nebulos even for?

Tue 21 May 2024, 09:55

AFAIK and if I remember correctly, the elves/rubies in Stanengist never had ambitions to meddle with theri surroundings once the Ravenlands had been created (the others were more "adventurous", so there are no magical "vessels" like the clasp, scepter and sword around to carry them in their bodiless form. and I think that is is fine in Raven's Purge context, because anything else would bloat things up and distract from the core story. What IMHo should not mean that there might be lost ancient items (maybe outside of the Ravenlands) that were planned for such a purpose. And providing the ruby elves with physical bodies is just beyond the campaign's time scale, and I also would not see any benefit in such an option, when you have to complete the crown for the finale.
 
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Konungr
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Re: What are Gemelda, Neyd and Nebulos even for?

Sun 26 May 2024, 14:41

There is interesting information when you combine the myth of the original elves from Ravenlands with the facts we learn from Bitter Reach. Nebulos is probably Blaudewedd. Since Blaudewedd is also stated to have created the Stillmist and did so after winning the civil war and sealing the bitter reach in ice.

So keep in mind that by the time this happens the elves have ruled for thousands of years. They subjugated the dwarves, goblins, giants, all kinds of things.

In that context the first 7 were likely not the first anything. They were probably Blaudewedd and her generals who, having freed the world of Ferrenblaud's tyranny, took new names, made up the myth of the first 7 to hide their past, and were gifted the crown from the dwarves as thanks for helping seal away that evil and the loss of their kingdom as a result.

The first 7 are all warrior revolutionaries.

That also provides better context for some of the others. The one who wants to help the orcs? Thats because Farrenblaud used them as slaves and potentially created them? (this is potentially unfounded myth). The one who wanted to help rule the humans? Trying to prevent a new empire arising that repeated their past mistakes.
 
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leaddolphin
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Re: What are Gemelda, Neyd and Nebulos even for?

Mon 27 May 2024, 01:42

Thank you, that's interesting; I bought Bitter Reach mostly so I could confirm that the sudden snow and ice just north of the Stillmist was in fact magical rather than game writers failing to understand geography and climate (and happily it was!), but I hadn't looked into it too much beyond that.

(My interest in Ravenland is that it's a post-post-apocalyptic environment where there are very very few people, and the decisions to be made are what sort of country we want, as a newly-established polity. I have very little interest in other parts of the world where often "what do the vast armies of Alderland choose to do?" is one of the driving questions.)

In my quest to make the NPCs in Raven's Purge more interesting, I've been looking at Kalman Rodenfell. I've postulated that Stanengist was originally just a place to hang elf rubies; turning it into a crown was what enslaved the orcs and drew the attention of demons, and I think it would be dramatically appropriate if Kalman Rodenfell was the one who took that decision.

Flash forwards to the end of the Blood Mist, and Rodenfell realises that he needs to seal the rift with Stanengist, and I think he's going to want to make a deal where you take Gemelda out of Stanengist and put his ruby in something else. So if there's a connection with the elves in Bitter Reach, that might be worth thinking about.

Sadly, the only artifact from Bitter Reach that I can see my players being interested in is Lerge's Hammer, and even that's fairly uninteresting if you don't need to climb that often (which players in the Bitter Reach will, so fair enough!)

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