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Elfquest
Eq05-fc-sm.jpg
Elfquest #5, 1979.
Cover art by Wendy Pini.
Publication information
Publisher WaRP Graphics, 1978–2003
DC Comics, 2003–2007
Publication date 1978 - present
Creative team
Writer(s) Wendy and Richard Pini
Artist(s) Wendy Pini
Creator(s) Wendy and Richard Pini
Collected editions
Elfquest Archives vol. 1 ISBN 1401201288
Elfquest Archives vol. 2 ISBN 1401201296
Elfquest Archives vol. 3 ISBN 1401204120
Elfquest Archives vol. 4 ISBN 1401207731

Elfquest (or ElfQuest) is a cult hit comic book property created by Wendy and Richard Pini in 1978. The basic premise is a fantasy story about a community of elves and other fictional species who struggle to survive and coexist on a primitive Earth-like planet with two moons. Several published volumes of prose fiction also share the same setting. Over the years Elfquest has been self-published by the Pinis, then Marvel Comics, then the Pinis again through their own company Warp Graphics and more recently DC Comics. All issues of Elfquest are available online for free at the official ElfQuest site.

Contents

Publication history

The first Elfquest story was published in the spring of 1978, in the underground comic book Fantasy Quarterly, published by Lansing, Michigan-based IPS (Independent Publishers Syndicate). (Sandwiched between Elfquest's "Fire and Flight" parts one and two was a brief story written by T. Casey Brennan and illustrated by future Cerebus the Aardvark creator Dave Sim titled "Doorway to the Gods".) Despite the obvious talent of the contributors, the quality of the publication was terribly disappointing to Wendy and Richard Pini. The cover was only slightly better than newsprint (the exterior was printed unglossed with a very limited color palette) and the paper used inside of the comic book appeared to be newsprint. The poor quality of this publication convinced the Pinis that they could produce a higher quality publication on their own. After borrowing money in order to start WaRP Graphics, the Pinis started publishing with Elfquest #2 (published tabloid size with glossy full color covers and a character portrait print on the back cover by Wendy; a format that would continue throughout the series' entire run). This story continued the Elfquest tale started in Fantasy Quarterly. Later, the Pinis' company WaRP Graphics would reprint the story from Fantasy Quarterly as Elfquest #1 with a new front cover and full color portrait print for the rear cover.

This series was one of the early successes that marked the establishment of a phase in underground comics at which a new market of alternative independent comic books emerged that were closer to the comics mainstream. Elfquest was also one of the first comic book series that had a prearranged conclusion. It was highly praised for its innovative themes. The fact that a female artist/writer (Wendy Pini) was the creative principal of the series was also notable.

The original series — generally referred to as "The Original Quest" or "OQ" — ran for 21 issues, with the last issue consisting entirely of letters and behind-the-scenes material. It was followed by numerous sequels and spinoffs under the WaRP Graphics (later Warp Graphics) imprint. Some of the later stories introduced other artists and writers, and also included some "alternative" stories and self-parodies. The sequels were the eight-part series Siege at Blue Mountain and the nine-part series Kings of the Broken Wheel. The spinoffs were: New Blood (35 issues), Hidden Years (29 issues), Two Spear (five issues), Kahvi (six issues), Shards (16 issues), WaveDancers (old: six issues; new: one issue), Blood of Ten Chiefs (20 issues), The Rebels (12 issues), and Jink (12 issues). Following these spinoffs was an anthology series simply titled Elfquest (known to fans as "Elfquest 2") that ran for 33 issues.

The original series was re-edited into 32 installments with some additional pages, and published by Marvel Comics's Epic imprint. This gave the series some much-needed mass-market publicity, although none of the sequels followed suit. There have also been graphic novel collections in both color and black and white, as well as novelizations and original anthologies based on the series.

The series has also served as the basis for several novelizations and short story anthologies. The full-length novel ElfQuest: Journey to Sorrows End, which included both text and several black-and-white illustrated plates, was published by Playboy in November 1982, and Berkley in March 1984.

Recent developments

Elfquest: Wolfrider #1, 2003.

In March 2003 it was announced that after 25 years of self-publication the Pinis had licensed all publishing and merchandising rights in the series to DC Comics, although the Pinis retain creative control.

DC's publication of Elfquest material began in July 2003 with The Elfquest 25th Anniversary Special, reprinting the first issue of Elfquest with new computer coloring and lettering by Wendy Pini, and two short interviews with the Pinis. This was a taster for The Elfquest Archives, which began in November 2003. When complete, this series will reprint the first eight graphic novel collections in glossy format with new coloring and lettering. Fans have complained that the publication schedule is disappointingly slow. Volume 2 was originally scheduled to appear in fall 2004 but after some delays was finally released in March 2005, 16 months after Volume 1. Part of the reason for the delay is that Wendy Pini was undergoing hip replacement surgery.[1]

Meanwhile, September 2003 saw the publication of Elfquest: Wolfrider Volume 1, beginning a series of bimonthly manga-sized black-and-white reprint collections which arrange the story into chronological order for the first time, beginning around 600 years before the events in the original series. Wolfrider Volume 2 is followed chronologically by Elfquest: The Grand Quest Volume 1, the first in a series reprinting the original storyline, including the additional art drawn for the Marvel version. In this series, the original artwork has been rearranged into new panel layouts for clarity in the physically smaller manga format, which sometimes involves Wendy Pini adding extensions to the original artwork. Unfortunately, sections of the original artwork are not included, for example in "ElfQuest: The Grand Quest Volume 11" the story involving Tyleet and her adopted human son Little Patch is not in the volume though later in Volume 13 Tyleet mentions Little Patch constantly while discussing the dream she had while encased for 10,000 years by the Preservers.

A newer book, Elfquest: The Searcher and the Sword was published in July 2004. Critical reaction has generally been favorable; the major criticism leveled at the book is that it is overpriced for its size (96 pages).

The latest story is the four-issue comic series Elfquest: Discovery, published between January and July 2006.

DC Comics and Warp Graphics split in 2007, it remains to be seen if any further stories will come about.

In March 2008 Warp Graphics began uploading previously published stories to the elfquest.com website, for reading on the web. They intended to make the entire series available online over the course of 2008, but the number of issues proved too numerous to upload within the deadline. Uploading of all comics was completed on March 13, 2009.[2]

Story

Origins

The elves of Elfquest are descended from highly advanced humanoid aliens known as the High Ones, who had immense and quasi-magical psychic powers and could not die of old age. When their homeworld's resources were depleted by overpopulation, several groups of High Ones went spacefaring to explore the wider universe and to find new planets to settle. They controlled their egg-shaped vessels by telekinesis and were able to adapt to any ecosystem by shifting their own shapes and metabolisms. As companions, they brought two of the last surviving animal species from their home, both of which gradually evolved during the journey (and subsequent events) into two more races of sapient near-immortals: the insectoid-descended Preservers and the simian-descended Trolls.

After journeying to many different worlds, one of these vessels came to a two-mooned planet called Abode (known to its inhabitants as the World of Two Moons), where human civilization had reached a level comparable to Europe's medieval period on Earth. The humans' artwork and literature depicted beings which they called elves, and which suggested to the High Ones that others of their kind had previously visited Abode. In order to facilitate contact with the humans and seek out more information about these previous visitors, the High Ones deliberately formed themselves to match the humans' existing images of elves, and similarly reshaped their egg-vessel to resemble a beautiful floating castle that matched the native architectural idiom.

However, by this time the evolved simians (proto-Trolls) had become resentful of their subservient status. As the 'castle' began to descend, the simians violently rebelled, disrupting the telekinetic controls enough to hurl the entire vessel and its contents back through time to Abode's paleolithic era. Staggering out 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 prehistoric cave-dwelling humans who fearfully attacked them. Forcibly dispersed away from the massacre outside the palace-shaped vessel, many of the initial elf survivors soon died, unable to adapt to the hostile environment; the others gradually gathered into several widely-scattered tribes. The High Ones' evolved-simian servants also fled, mainly into 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 main story begins 10,000 years later, with elves and 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 existed.

The Wolfriders

The central characters are the Wolfrider elves, a tribe of ferocious hunter/warriors closely allied with wolves who serve as mounts, hunting partners, and friends. Their culture is roughly comparable to the Iroquois Native American nation. Within their founder group, a female High One named Timmain had been the only member to retain her shape-shifting ability. When winter came, Timmain shape-shifted into a wolf to hunt food for the starving elves around her. She sank very deeply into her wolf-form and eventually forgot her original identity, even mating with a native wolf to produce a half-wolf chimeric son whom she handed over to the Elves after teaching him as much as she could as a wolf. They gave him the name Timmorn Yellow-Eyes and he became the first Chief of the Wolfriders, bringing the wolf pack and the stranded elves together to form a close symbiotic alliance. This alliance breaks the Wolfriders of immortality and leaves a "taint" in their blood. In addition to the close bonds with their wolves, the Wolfriders also have some basic psychic powers like telepathy, healing and plant manipulation.

The central storyline, beginning with the series known as the Grand Quest or Original Quest, focuses on the tribe during the leadership of their eleventh chief Cutter. At the start of the story, the Wolfriders' regular forest life - intermittently interspersed by conflict with superstitiously genocidal humans - is lost when the humans set fire to the forest in retaliation for a previous battle.

The Wolfriders seek refuge in the underground caverns of their sullen, greedy, cowardly trade partners, the trolls. The elves claim that the trolls owe them sanctuary because of all the ways the Wolfriders have helped them over the years, but the corrupt troll king, Greymung, feels humiliated for being held at knife point by an elf and plots revenge. The elves are taken down a long tunnel toward what the trolls claim will be a land of bright promise, but is actually a trackless desert. Then their guide seals the tunnel behind them. Desperately inspired by a piece of "magic" lodestone that acts as a crude compass, they make an arduous journey across the wasteland until they encounter an oasis called Sorrow's End, populated by a tribe of sedentary, agrarian elves called the Sun Folk.

The Sun Folk

Compared to the Wolfriders, the peaceful Sun Folk have retained more knowledge about the High Ones and a greater degree of psionic abilities. However, there is one psychic phenomenon which has remained more common among the Wolfriders than among the Sun Folk, and which asserts itself to Cutter on arrival: "Recognition", a powerful involuntary compulsion to mate with another elf who has been identified by subconscious telepathy as a good genetic match, and thereby to produce optimal offspring. This powerful impulse can be resisted with difficulty, but at the cost of great personal stress. If the two individuals are not temperamentally compatible, they may part ways again as soon as a child has been produced, but otherwise they may form a lifelong pair-bond as "lifemates."

Cutter's partner in Recognition is the Sun Folk's beautiful and powerful Healer, Leetah. She immediately rejects him as a savage barbarian, especially since she is already partnered to her village's haughty chief hunter, Rayek. The love triangle between Cutter, Leetah and Rayek is the main focus of much of the first part of the story. Cutter and Leetah eventually become lifemates; bested by Cutter in a ritual trial and displaced as sole hunter and protector by the Wolfriders, Rayek leaves the village.

Once this conflict is resolved, the two tribes quickly unite with each side willing to adjust to the other for their mutual benefit. The Wolfriders enjoy the benefits of a more sophisticated culture with greater knowledge, while the Sun Folk benefit from a band of strong hunters and defenders of their desert refuge from humanity.

Six years later, the oasis sanctuary of Sorrow's End is breached by a handful of starving humans who approach the oasis. Although they are sent on their way (probably to die of thirst), Cutter realizes that more could follow and decides to take action. He goes on a quest with his soul-brother, Skywise, seeking other elf tribes as allies against humanity. Later, Cutter's son, Suntop, receives a warning from the Sun Folk's elder Savah, The Mother Of Memory (who is close to being a High One herself, and possess a magical ability known as "going out" where her spirit leaves her body in attempts to connect to other Elves. In this way she is able to keep tabs on the former protector, Rayek) about an evil to be avoided, and the Wolfriders and Cutter's family set out to find the explorers.

Blue Mountain

Continuing their quest, Cutter and Skywise learn of the existence of another elf tribe dwelling in a place called Blue Mountain. This previously unknown tribe, consisting of tall, thin, graceful elves, is known as the Gliders, and is worshiped by the humans as "spirit-gods". The Gliders claim to be original High Ones and are nominally led by an ancient elf named Lord Voll. They are a conservative community that has degenerated into insular decadence, dominated by the seductive, sinister Winnowill, who was once Voll's consort but who now has her own agenda.

The Gliders rarely venture out of their mountain except for the "Chosen Eight", the tribe's hunters and (if need be) warriors. Although they have their own powers of psychic levitation, the Eight ride massive birds with whom they share a strong bond, similar to that of the Wolfriders and their wolves. As the Wolfriders search for Cutter and Skywise, Strongbow shoots down one of the massive birds for food. Enraged at the death of their mount, the Gliders attack the Wolfriders and imprison most of the tribe within Blue Mountain. Winnowill then tortures Strongbow for the death of the bird, while Leetah, Ember, and Suntop hide in the "Forbidden Grove" which is the home of the Preservers. Nightfall and Redlance also manage to escape imprisonment, and stumble upon Cutter and Skywise shortly after Cutter and his family are re-united. One-Eye, also not captured, lurks around the base of the mountain surviving on the humans unknown generosity.

Dewshine, much to the dismay of her and her tribe, becomes recognized by one of the Gliders named Tyldak. Tyldak has been reshaped by Winnowill to resemble a bird himself. Both fight the recognition at first, but eventually give in and Dewshine becomes pregnant.

What follows is a difficult but enlightening journey, in which the elves' most basic assumptions about the world are turned upside down as they meet humans who are more good than they ever hoped, elves more evil than they ever imagined, and trolls more aggressive than they ever feared. Throughout these adventures, Cutter and his companions learn about the world and themselves in profound ways.

The Go-Backs

The Go-Backs are the fourth and last Elf tribe encountered during the Original Quest. Originally a migrating tribe, the Go-Backs are named after a sudden desire to "go back" to the palace of the High Ones. The Palace has a strong pull on all elves once in range, and the Go-Backs were the first to stumble on it since the High Ones were driven away. First appearing to save Cutter and his followers from a war party of trolls in a snow-bound tundra, the Go-Backs are arctic-dwelling elk-herders, bearing about the same resemblance to Sami as the Wolfriders do to Iroquois and the Sun Folk to Mesoamericans (that is to say, mainly in costume). They are highly warlike and hardened, being locked in continual strife with the trolls who bar their way to the palace. They have a prejudice against "magic", but not to the extent of persecuting its users. The Go-Backs, so removed from magic, no longer rely on Recognition to procreate. They provided the bulk of the military strength that allowed the completion of the first quest, and lost half their numbers in doing so.

Later stories emphasized the conservatism, savagery, and selfishness of the Go-Backs, qualities which (aside from the first) were not especially obvious in their first appearance. Their artistic depiction changed over the years to make them appear more brutal and degenerate.

Themes

The series has been interpreted as having the theme that healthy individuals and societies must be willing to accept change in their lives and take advantage of it for the betterment of all.

For example, the more sympathetic elf communities, the Wolfriders and the Sun Folk, are the ones most willing to change their ways in the face of different circumstances and opportunities. By contrast, the less sympathetic elves, the Gliders and the Go-backs, are depicted as belonging to highly conservative cultures: the Gliders are obsessed with preserving their society from outside contamination, and the Go-backs are determined to return to an earlier ideal represented by the Palace, ancestral home to all the elves. However, in their fanatic conservatism, both the Gliders and the Go-backs have in fact changed even more than the sympathetic tribes, but in far less beneficial ways, whether it be the Gliders' barren decadence or the Go-backs' warlike savagery.

Interestingly, almost all of the elfin cultures are led by females: the Sun Villagers follow Savah, the Go-Backs follow Khavi, the Gliders follow Winnowill (even with Lord Voll is the figurehead), and the Wolfriders follow a shared chieftainship between Cutter and Leetah. Only the brutish, warlike and greedy trolls and humans have male leaders without female counterparts. The feminine-as-preferable is a subtle but consistent theme throughout the series.

The Elfquest universe

The world where the series takes place has many similarities to our own, but has two moons instead of just one. The history and continents differ somewhat, but the development of human progress remains largely similar.

Besides humans, elves, and trolls, there are also small winged humanoids called "Preservers" who originally came to the World of Two Moons in the Palace with the ancestors of the trolls and the elves. They are genderless and seem unable to breed, but as they are immortal and hardy survivors, their number is relatively constant. Both the trolls and the Preservers evolved from more animal-like ancestors, but because of the magic in the palace they became immortal and gained the ability to speak and to think abstractly. Once on the World of Two Moons, natural selection caused the trolls to increase in both strength and size.

Besides the three alien races that came with the palace, the palace itself consists of two main parts: the magical material of which it is made, and two magic scrolls that contain all the history of the High Ones. The palace is also where the souls of dead elves come together to spend the rest of their existence.

Sexuality

The attitude of the elves towards sex differs greatly from that of human cultures because of their biological differences. Intercourse for the elves isn't an act of reproduction, which usually only happens as the result of Recognition. Some elves take more than one lifemate or lovemate, and having sex with someone besides your lifemate or lovemate is acceptable, though not something that would happen all the time. Sexuality and nudity among the elves are seen as natural.

To survive and multiply despite their low numbers, both the elves and the trolls have had to sometimes breed with close relatives. The troll Picknose and his mate Oddbit founded their own endogamous kingdom by themselves, causing their children to breed with each other and result in a new society of trolls. According to Elfquest creators Wendy and Richard Pini, all the Elfquest elves are omnisexual and lack a well-defined concept of inbreeding, because of their very long lifespans and because Recognition makes it irrelevant to them. While the story has elements of implied incest, it and the elves' overall attitudes toward sex are used to illustrate the facts that the elves aren't human, reinforcing one of the appeals of the series, namely the portrayal of a species that is truly alien in some ways.

The first five issues of the original Elfquest comic ("The Quest Begins") have some battle violence and no explicit sexuality. In addition to some intense battle scenes in issue #17 of the original "Grand Quest", there is a controversial orgy scene: controversial because many children had been following the comics and parents were not happy with the more explicit/adult content introduced later in the series.

Adaptations

Besides an unofficial intercompany crossover in Marvel's X-Men #153 (Kitty Pryde wears an Elfquest T-shirt throughout the issue, and a sprite named "Pini" appears on p. 16),[3] Elfquest has been adapted into a range of media.

Film

In 2008, Warner Brothers announced its intention to bring the Elfquest saga to the big screen, with Rawson Thurber serving as writer, producer, and director. The format (live action, CGI, traditional animation) is as of yet unknown.[4]

Animated video series

In the early 90s, an ad for a multi-volume animated adaptation of Elfquest appeared in the comic. A few issues later, the Pinis told readers they'd withdrawn from the deal, and that readers should ask for refunds. Those who didn't, eventually received a 50 minute vhs tape from Abby Lou Entertainment, copyright 1992. Covering the first volume of the book, it consists of color still images taken straight from the comic, some minor animation, and spoken dialogue.

Role playing games

A licensed tabletop Elfquest RPG was produced by Chaosium in 1984, utilizing the Basic Role-Playing system which had first appeared in the game Runequest and some original illustrations by Wendy Pini, including the character sheets. Only 3 supplements were produced for the game, ElfQuest Companion – which included random character generation tables, and was included in the hardback second edition. Sea Elves – noteworthy for introducing information and art provided by the Pinis describing the Sea Elf tribe long before they appeared in any of the comics. Elf War – which contained several adventures outside of the comic-book continuity. 6 boxed sets of 25 mm white metal miniatures for the game were released by Ral Partha.

Both the role-playing game and the comics themselves have sprung a number of online games (mostly MUSHes). A listing of these is available from Fan Links on the Official Elfquest site.

Music

In 1987, Off Centaur Publications released A Wolfrider's Reflections: Songs of Elfquest, a collection of filk songs.

See also

References

  1. ^ Wendy Words - June 21, 2004
  2. ^ Digital EQ: Online Comics
  3. ^ Uncanny X-Men #153 (Marvel Comics, Jan. 1982).
  4. ^ Elves gather at Warners, Hollywood Reporter, July 9, 2008 (subscription required)

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

ElfQuest is a comic book series including several spinoffs, generally authored or edited by Wendy and/or Richard Pini, with the original being drawn by Wendy. However, while the husband-wife team maintain a hand in the editing, other authors and artists have written and/or drawn certain series.

"My eyes see with joy
My hands touch with joy"- Wolfrider greeting, used variously throughout the series

Contents

Original ElfQuest

Volume 16
Bearclaw: Where you go, they want to follow. It’s “The Way.” You were wrong to let yourself be muddled by dreams. What’s real, what’s now is all that matters!
Cutter: Is it Father? You killed yourself because you couldn’t think or feel beyond the moment!
Bearclaw: You’ve killed yourself by thinking too high and too far, and by trusting too much!

“How can our race ever be united if we can’t trust each other? Humans aren’t the enemy—We are, to ourselves!”-Cutter

Cutter: Elves? We found more elves?
Kahvi: More like we found you, pretty face.

“Hmm… Your lifemate, eh, healer? Young… good shoulders. Do you share?”-Kahvi

“You look at me with pity. Why? I am free. I belong to myself now, thanks to this brave one here! Oh… he has not told you yet? Sit! Sit! It is a tale I never tire of- and I’m in it!”-Ekuar

Ekuar: You work too hard. What do you expect of yourself.
Rayek: Everything!

“Admire… these hands? They’ve taken a life! What can heal them?”-Leetah

Volume 18

“Troll guts are mostly red from what I’ve seen- what color are yours, Picknose?” –Scouter

Volume 19

“The low blood cancels the high she said- and the high blood makes madness the low replied.”-Two-Edge

“All was even once before, and all shall be once more! Mettle against metal, troll against elf, winner take all- me, myself!”-Two-Edge

Seige at Blue Mountain

“But the high ones chose their bodies, brownskin! Eating, sleeping, loving, hurting-Life! They chose it. Why? Because it’s good!”-Ekuar

Volume 4 “Let me be a little sorry for you…*sniff*-There is no baby brownskin! What is all this scrambling for without the babies?”-Ekuar

Volume 5

“Need? All who answer her needs are consumed! All who deny her needs are condemned! Games! Only games keep her off balance- and only when the rules are yours, not hers! Fool! You do not know how to play!”-Two-Edge

Kings of the Broken Wheel

Volume 2

Treestump: What’s happening, Clearbrook? First Strongbow shoots down a glider… And now Rayek’s finished Kahvi! Elves are killing elves! How can it be? And how can they allow it- the spirits of all our dead kin who haunt the palace?
Clearbrook: Maybe they can’t see what happened in the world- or if they can, maybe they don’t judge!

Maggoty: “King Picknose…” Hah! Strutless, gutless, nutl-
Oddbit: -Not that, grandmamma! (giggle) at least not that!

Volume 3

“This is a good place to leave him… right under the moons. Mother moon is holding child moon in her arms, see? She’s telling child moon, ‘Don’t be afraid. A wolf has lived a good, long life… and has just left it.’”-Skywise

Skywise: Some parts of death I can look at. Some parts I can’t. Some… I can’t even think about!
Cutter: I know. You don’t like it when the leaves go brown and drop off the trees, thou you know the season of New-Green always follows the Death-Sleep.
Skywise: I don’t like things to end.
Cutter: Well… even the stars make room for new stars.
Skywise: No!
Cutter: No? but the scroll of colors showed us…
Skywise: All right! Maybe stars do die, and wolves and Wolfriders too! But if I have to give my blood and bones back to the land that made me… why can’t I be the one to say when?

Volume 6

“Differences make good sparks.”- Kahvi

“Look there! Ants can live anywhere! They’re tiny, but they’re survivors, like my tribe! Step in them, and they swarm back to bite you, they and their young! And sometimes the children have sharper stings than their mothers!”- Kahvi

Volume 7

Nightfall: Strands of white blending with the red-gold…
Redlance: Means an early white cold! Our cub’s changing pelt never lies!

Volume 8

Leetah: I always believed that one day your heart would open fully. I was patient… because I thought there was time! Time enough for you to learn how to love. I never dreamed you would harm me so.
Rayek: Harm you?
Leetah: My lifemate…
Rayek: But-But I spared you seeing him age and die like an animal! You knew he would! You were with him all of eight and three years! He was just a breeze through your hair!
Leetah: He… was… my… SOUL!!

“Pain given… blood changed… the only difference lies in the why of it… There is nothing I do, it seems, that Winnowill has not already done…”-Leetah

Volume 9

“A Healer is prepared to cause anguish, at first, knowing it will soon pass! But she withdrew… Just as my shame, once safely buried, erupted like a red sore! I was made to remember… and remember… and remember! Hard won, the ground I’ve gained since… Harder won than you dare dream!”- Winnowill

“It was easy when you thought we were all long dead. Can you do it now… wipe them all out, with all of them there, watching?”-Venka

“Shy and secret forest folk, teach me as I sleep. Which trees, next day, are mine to cut, and which are yours to keep.”-A Human

Hidden Years

Volume 5

“Farewell my cub! Live…! Live…! The stars are out. Can you see them…? Look up! Do you see Skywise…? …Skywise…”-Eyes-High

Volume 6

“What are the feelings that come when you see yourself mirrored in the eyes of a higher one? Love? Peace? Acceptance? Or something else?”-Timmain (Narration)

“Cruelty? What do you think powers this new ‘paradise’ Sefra brought us to? This place where there is no magic… Where death is dealt as a greeting! Is it cruel to send the truth, Aerth? To tell the others that to survive here we too may have to deal death… and consume what we kill!”- Haken

“There are many truthsm Haken.”-Gibra

“It was a very dim memory. But we had once been creatures like these. If my people were to survive… I must remember how to run… and eat… and sing!”-Timmain (Narration)

“These tiny creatures… They labor and search and hunt. They flutter and twirl and hide. And yet, as the evening falls, as the sun rises… they sing. Songs of joy. Songs of being. Everything here is so precarious… That no thing is taken for granted. Water is celebrated. Seedlings are celebrated. Breeding is celebrated. Even death is celebrated. No thing here dies, that it’s passing doesn’t feed something else. In the great cycle of this world, life lays itself down to preserve life, season after season. And no greater love of life is there than this.”-Timmain (Narration)

“Our kind does not die. We build new vessels to house our spirits. Do you hear me, Guin?! WE DO NOT DIE!! We live… forever.”- Haken

Volume 7

“From the songs of this world I had learned the dance of I push… you pull. But Haken had learned another dance… I push… you bend!”- Timmain (Narration)

Kaul: I… can’t sing.
Timmain: Then keep time, old friend. Strike on the pulse of your heart, Kaul.

Volume 8

Rayek: I-I’d rather tend his wounds… than finish him off!
Venka: Too late for that, father. He knows the game… and regret is not part of it.
Rayek: He cannot run- but he can fight! Can’t you feel the rage in him, Venka? He wants to live! How can I-?
Zahntee: How can you leave him halfway in between, Rayek?

Volume 9

“One’s body need not be perfect to be whole.”- Sun-Toucher

“Somehow, and believe me, I know not how, ‘when I am ready’ came to mean ‘whenever you wish!’”-Rayek (Narration, in regards to Leetah)

“Do not fear the dark, child! It always passes.”-Sun-Toucher

“The enemy… the darkness which overwhelms, possesses, engulfs the light… was no longer a fearsome stranger to her. She faced it- and conquered! All without show, for no one’s acclaim! None but I would know.”-Rayek

Shards

Volume 1

“Curse you, Rayek! How dare you seek to capture my spirit by means of real love! That is cheating!”-Winnowill

Volume 2

Rayek: The scroll records past, present and future! If she can decipher it, she can track anyone, me, you- maybe even Ember!
Krim: Brrr! That’s bad!
Strongbow: That’s never! We’ll beat her- once and for all!

Mender: (singing) Oowooo! Oowooo! The tale we tell is true!/ The High Ones traveled through the stars/ and saw this world so new!
Drub: Aaarrgh! Not that again! Let’s have a decent ditty!
Drub and Flam: (Singing) When I was a young troll I had brave ambitions/ to murder my uncle, his treasure to win/ but he was the stronger, he laughed at my folly/ He’ll die of old age, his gold buried with him…
Rayek: For pity’s sake, duel your songs more sweetly!

(Upon finding the trolls’ tunnel) “Curses of Threksh’t! The moles are getting big as dogs these days!”-Villager

Volume 4

“Your past is affecting my present, Lady Venovel, beginning with my master builder. A faceless voice… and miraculous inventions for my citadel were all he offered. The creature, whatever he is, served me dependably- until the crystals and you- came under my roof. Now he is capricious… uncooperative. And since you share history not only with him, but with the demons who blasted my library and stole my treasure last night, I must conclude it is not my world you have entered, but yours which encroaches upon mine.”- Grohmul Djun

Volume 5

“Carved when my fingers weren’t crippled with the old folks scourge! Now then, I’ll just bury you out back… so the grand-babes can dig you up later… and have something to believe in…!”-Old man in regards to carvings of preservers

Volume 6

“Hear me, friends…! Grohmul Djun is… Only a man! Kill him! Or he’ll kill your spirit forever-!”-Atvon Grang








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