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Tsol'aa Ears

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  • TreyTrey Member Posts: 4,798 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited January 2015
    Really there should be defining characteristics for races, though, or else descriptions for the human-like races should no longer include He/She is a/an <insert race here> if there's no easy way to discern race.

    Edit: atavians excluded from the above for obvious reasons.

    HerenicusShirszae
  • RiashainRiashain Member Posts: 191 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    Achimrst said:
    Riashain said:
    Insta kill
    The firm bosom reacting in anger, the life of Riashain has been ended.
    Adequate.
    AchimrstAnnui
  • SarapisSarapis Member, Administrator Posts: 3,398 Achaean staff
    @Herenicus I have no idea what would lead people to think that. There's literally been no suggestion in Achaea's history, as far as I'm aware, that Tsol'aa have pointed ears. None of the denizens have them, none of the art has had them, etc. 





    HerenicusAchimrstAnnui
  • SarapisSarapis Member, Administrator Posts: 3,398 Achaean staff
    Trey said:
    Really there should be defining characteristics for races, though, or else descriptions for the human-like races should no longer include He/She is a/an <insert race here> if there's no easy way to discern race.

    In a world where you know someone's name without having met them, that makes no sense at all. 
    AchimrstAnnui
  • RiashainRiashain Member Posts: 191 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    I've met everyone, true story.
    AchimrstAnnui
  • AchimrstAchimrst NatureMember Posts: 3,608 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Riashain said:
    Achimrst said:
    Riashain said:
    Insta kill
    The firm bosom reacting in anger, the life of Riashain has been ended.
    Adequate.
    In a blind fury, the bosom of Keleyn has ended the life of Riashain.
    Annui
  • RiashainRiashain Member Posts: 191 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    This game is fun.   B)
    AchimrstAnnui
  • HerenicusHerenicus The Western FrontMember Posts: 1,734 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    The big-haired lass from your gallery leaves some ambiguity. A great gust of wind could muss hairstyles throughout the Aalen, revealing the shapely ears your public craves while holding Achaea's canon inviolate. 
    RiashainAchimrst
  • AegothAegoth Member Posts: 2,811 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    100% certain that Tsol'aa have pointed ears. Otherwise they'd just be humans, and that'd be boring
  • SarapisSarapis Member, Administrator Posts: 3,398 Achaean staff
    @Herenicus ;http://www.achaea.com/info/races/tsolaa

    Ears visible, ears not pointed. 

    There's really no question here - they don't have pointed ears, and have never had pointed ears.

    AchimrstRomAnnui
  • AegothAegoth Member Posts: 2,811 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited January 2015
    It doesn't really matter either way. If players want tsol'aa to have pointed ears, they'll describe them that way. One cannot dispell decades of imagery when one uses "elf" or even "elf-ish" to describe a race. If you're really stuck on the idea that Tsol'aa can't have pointed ears ever or else the universe will explode due to bitter hatred of knife-ears, then put something like "erudite human" next to tsol'aa, because that's what you're describing them as.
    ShirszaeHalos
  • HerenicusHerenicus The Western FrontMember Posts: 1,734 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited January 2015

    But we might forgive players whose first experience with the word "Tsol'aa" is immediately followed with the word "Elf" when they fail to accurately parse the seven pixels dedicated to ears in that little .jpeg 

    edit: does anyone roleplay tsol'aa with normal ears?

    SybillaShirszaeMelodieHalos
  • AchimrstAchimrst NatureMember Posts: 3,608 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Herenicus said:

    But we might forgive players whose first experience with the word "Tsol'aa" is immediately followed with the word "Elf" when they fail to accurately parse the seven pixels dedicated to ears in that little .jpeg 

    edit: does anyone roleplay tsol'aa with normal ears?

    I guess I do, my Tsol'aa is all about the hair.
  • ShirszaeShirszae Santo DomingoMember Posts: 3,272 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited January 2015
    My question to @Sarapis is this, is he really, really against making pointy-ears canon? Even something as simple as a line to the effect of, 'a few of them have been known to have pointy ears due to a shared ancestry with the pixies of the forest, but such are often looked down by the more conservative ones,' in the Tsol'aa  race scroll.

    And you won't understand the cause of your grief...


    ...But you'll always follow the voices beneath.

    HerenicusAnnui
  • HerenicusHerenicus The Western FrontMember Posts: 1,734 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Achimrst said:
    Herenicus said:

    But we might forgive players whose first experience with the word "Tsol'aa" is immediately followed with the word "Elf" when they fail to accurately parse the seven pixels dedicated to ears in that little .jpeg 

    edit: does anyone roleplay tsol'aa with normal ears?

    I guess I do, my Tsol'aa is all about the hair.
    But do you describe the ears as rounded or leave the shape ambiguous? I am willing to wager that 98% of the players describing their tsol'aa ears are shaping them like elves to make the race phenotypically special and fantastical.
    ShirszaeHalos
  • TreyTrey Member Posts: 4,798 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Sarapis said:
    Trey said:
    Really there should be defining characteristics for races, though, or else descriptions for the human-like races should no longer include He/She is a/an <insert race here> if there's no easy way to discern race.

    In a world where you know someone's name without having met them, that makes no sense at all. 
    Let's not go down that road, or we'll be back to the "your characters aren't speaking English" thing :D

    ShirszaeAnnui
  • EllodinEllodin HawaiiMember, Seafaring Liason Posts: 951 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    I roleplay Tsol'aa with normal ears, but it's not like I go around saying "I HAVE NON-POINTED EARS," because they're simply the ears that have always been on Tsol'aa by canon, and my roleplay isn't based around my ears.  Other adventurer Tsol'aa may have pointed ears, but that's probably because they're freaks, like humans who describe themselves as having tails.

    I'm fairly sure this topic has come up quite a bit before, and the answer's always been consistent.  I somewhat understand why people think Tsol'aa have pointed ears, but saying something like "they basically have the same purpose as LOTR elves lore-wise, thus they must have all of the same physical features" is a bit strange.

    That said, I'm also the person who, despite having a name that's a bastardization of the name of one of Elrond's sons, first thinks of these when elves are mentioned.
    And as he slept he dreamed a dream, and this was his dream.
    Sarapis
  • ShirszaeShirszae Santo DomingoMember Posts: 3,272 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    I am so having Shirszae tug on your ears the next time I see you IC, @Ellodin

    And you won't understand the cause of your grief...


    ...But you'll always follow the voices beneath.

  • EllodinEllodin HawaiiMember, Seafaring Liason Posts: 951 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited January 2015
    emote 's DISTINCTLY NORMAL ears pop right off, revealing pointed ones underneath!

    The irony is that I do have something about ears in my description, but it has nothing to do with their shape.
    And as he slept he dreamed a dream, and this was his dream.
    Annui
  • VesiosVesios Member Posts: 243 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    edited January 2015
    @Ellodin, it was more just trying to go through the thought process of why so many people thought they had pointed ears in the first place despite nothing in the lore explicitly saying they did (thus trying to solve Sarapis' confusion over the matter), rather than "everything has to be the same!" It's just highlighting a long list of weird coincidences and assumptions and "this seems strangely familiar, maybe this is the case as well!"

    Honestly, I think if this really is such a big deal - and it shouldn't be, they're ears ffs - then I think all it takes is changing the subtext in the HTML5 creator from "elf" to something else. That'll separate the Tsol'aa from their wrongly assumed persona enough that people won't run around claiming to have pointed ears.
  • EllodinEllodin HawaiiMember, Seafaring Liason Posts: 951 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    And as he slept he dreamed a dream, and this was his dream.
    VesiosHerenicus
  • BlujixapugBlujixapug Member Posts: 1,833 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Herenicus said:

    edit: does anyone roleplay tsol'aa with normal ears?

    emote 's hair blows loose from behind his rounded, non-pointy ears to blow into his eyes. He tucks it back with a sigh of dismay.

    emote adjusts the strap of his eyepatch, briefly pausing to rub the top of his ear with a faraway look of forlorn disappointment.

    emote pauses mid-speech to idly tweak the tip of one ear in an entirely subconscious gesture.

    But yeah, I do appreciate clarity on this type of thing. When you're creating a new character in a new game, you want to clearly envision them, which requires a good idea of what their race is supposed to like. Human is obvious enough, atavians are humans with wings, tsol'aa are elves more slender, willowy humans, mhun are malnourished North Korean humans, sirens are sexxy human women. Others can be more ambiguous: horkval or grook could be imagined in many different ways. I always imagined grooks to look like Toad of Toad Hall. Even races like trolls, a fantasy staple, have many different depictions in other sources, from rock-skinned to leathery, and goblinoid to cave-man. Clarity here is what I appreciate about the racial portraits, although the two pieces of troll art are still conflicted: one is tusk-toothed and green, the other, older one more rock-skinned.

    New players aren't really equipped to wander around racial areas taking census of physical features, and will probably first have to cover their modesty by writing their character's description. Not every race has a significant racial area, and some that do are older areas with NPCs with barer descriptions.

    Tangentially related: racial naming conventions. I would have appreciated something like this when creating a character. A list of a few examples for what a typical mhun or atavian or rajamalan name might sound like. Blujixapug was originally supposed to be a grookish sort of name. I liked that Lusternia had this type of cultural heritage for its races, and although you didn't have to follow them, a typical Lucidian name would be recognisable and significantly different from an Illithoid one. It would be a bit awkward to suddenly impose this upon Achaea, though, and retrofit game-wide naming conventions that haven't previously existed outside of isolated areas.
    image
    Annui
  • AchimrstAchimrst NatureMember Posts: 3,608 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    I in fact do not describe my characters ears, but I never actually knew whether they had pointy ears or not so I just didn't describe them in any way. Besides, I want to describe my character not my ears which are boring and uninteresting.

    Vesios said:
    Sarapis said:
    @Herenicus I have no idea what would lead people to think that. There's literally been no suggestion in Achaea's history, as far as I'm aware, that Tsol'aa have pointed ears. None of the denizens have them, none of the art has had them, etc. 

    The problem stems from the fact that on the HTML5 client character creation screen, directly under the word "Tsol'aa" is the word "elf". In addition to this, the example picture of the Tsol'aa does not have the ears visible, as they are obscured by the woman's hair. This leaves that part of the body up to the player's imagination,

    The term "elf" in its fantastical, non-Christmas terminology nowadays has been heavily influenced by Tolkien lore. As Achaea can adequately be described as high-fantasy, players will therefore equate the term "elf" with its modern high-fantasy description, over Santa's cute helpers. The poster boy of the former is this guy:



    Note the pointed ears.

    The in-game help files on the race do not help, at all. From HELP TSOL'AA:

    An ancient people, the Tsol'aa were the first race of intelligent beings created by Ayar-now-Sarapis. Though the majority of them live a peaceful, isolationist existence in the remote Aalen forest, a handful have emerged to interact with the other races. In general, the Tsol'aa are bewildered by the hastiness of humans, but seek to understand why humanity has managed to attain such dominance.

    Physically, the Tsol'aa are lithe beings of approximately human height. Brawny and muscular builds are uncommon due to their lean physique, but unchecked, they can become overweight like those of other races. Their skin is naturally pale but often tans with exposure to the sun, and their facial features are smooth and elegant, with eyes in a range of colours (brown, blue, green, black, grey, even violet). The hair is usually straight or wavy and worn long; colour is commonly brown or black, sometimes blond, and rarely red or curly. Facial hair is uncommon but not unheard of.

    Bolded areas are my own, highlighted for attention. Most people - including those who would play a MUD in 2015, perhaps even moreso than the general masses - know their basic LoTR lore, if they've at all seen the movies. Included in this is the concept of the elves before the men; the elves start off strong but decline as the humans make their foothold and become the dominant species, with the elves slowly fading into the background. This is again highlighted in the wiki entry for the Tsol'aa:

    Tsol'aa were the first race of intelligent beings and created by Ayar-now-Sarapis. Their homeland is in the redwoods of theAalen Forest by the Western Ocean, where many of them still live peacefully in their treetop homes. Slender and graceful, their natural lives can span a thousand years.

    During the War of Humanity, the God Daedalus brought Tsol'aa warriors known as the Qui'anar, mounted upon great spiders, to battle against the forces of the Triumvirate.

    The Tsol'aa are far older than other races, and fought in an ancient war of legend against the gods themselves. One can assume - and I use the term "assume" for a reason - that that was their heyday, and that they have now faded into the background, content to live their lives in isolation within some forest.

    The four other bolded sections in the second paragraph of the help file practically word-for-word describe Legolas and his brand of Tolkien elves. Note that HELP TSOL'AA does not describe their ears, nor does the wiki entry.

    So, based on all of this, my personal opinion as to the mindset of the player creating a Tsol'aa is something equivalent to: "Oh, they're like Lord of the Rings elves, just with different names. It says so right there in the subtext!" Elf > "you mean like Legolas?" becomes "Tsol'aa". Within that train of thought, somewhere between "they're like Legolas" and "Tsol'aa" is the "they must have pointy ears!" bit. The problem here is not that there was anything confirming the Tsol'aa having pointy ears, it's that, up until a few days ago, there was nothing outright denying it. Based on all of the mentioned similarities, it would not be that far of a stretch to assume the general anatomy of the Tsol'aa ear.

    And that, my dear @Sarapis, is why I personally thought the Tsol'aa had pointy ears... until you turned my world upside down.


    Tsol'aa were, in everything I have read IC, actually made by Proteus and Phaestus. Proteus becoming Sarapis in this instance as he merged with Ayar but whatever just wanted to add my two cents.
    Sarapis
  • SarapisSarapis Member, Administrator Posts: 3,398 Achaean staff
    edited January 2015
    Aegoth said:
    It doesn't really matter either way. If players want tsol'aa to have pointed ears, they'll describe them that way. One cannot dispell decades of imagery when one uses "elf" or even "elf-ish" to describe a race. If you're really stuck on the idea that Tsol'aa can't have pointed ears ever or else the universe will explode due to bitter hatred of knife-ears, then put something like "erudite human" next to tsol'aa, because that's what you're describing them as.
    Literally since day 1 in their creation by me (both OOCly and ICly), Tsol'aa have not had pointed ears, or fangs, or horns, or motorboat propellors for eyes, and we're not going to retcon any of those in, as it makes no sense whatsoever to do so. Japanese people are not "Caucasians with different eyes", in response to "erudite human". The idea that you can boil down an entire race of people to a single characteristic is just....weird. In real life it'd be racist as hell. In Achaea, it's just odd from an RP perspective. Are humans just Atavians without wings? No, they are not.

    Edit: And man, as I think about it, we should change some of these others. "Winged Human" is pretty bad from the same perspective I criticized you on. We have to be brief as we're limited by space and by the fact that we have that very short plain-language summary to explain races whose names are unique to us, but we can do better than that.
    Post edited by Sarapis on
    Annui
  • SarapisSarapis Member, Administrator Posts: 3,398 Achaean staff
    Shirszae said:
    My question to @Sarapis is this, is he really, really against making pointy-ears canon? Even something as simple as a line to the effect of, 'a few of them have been known to have pointy ears due to a shared ancestry with the pixies of the forest, but such are often looked down by the more conservative ones,' in the Tsol'aa  race scroll.
    The canon was decided approximately 18 real-life years ago, and isn't going to be changed.
  • KayeilKayeil Washington StateMember Posts: 2,824 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    I agree focusing on a characteristic like that would be racist irl, but Achaea IC can be pretty racist sometimes, too. Have you seen those dwarves in Inbhir Ness? lol. Not that I am pro-racism at all. My character will kill any sort of race/denizen if she feels like it, regardless if they are the same race as her or not.

    For those who love your pointy ears, just call it body modification or a birth defect. Makes more sense than arguing with the Logos about whether you're meant to have those pointy ears or not.
    What doesn't kill you gives you exp.

    Annui
  • SarapisSarapis Member, Administrator Posts: 3,398 Achaean staff
    edited January 2015
    Vesios said:

    So, based on all of this, my personal opinion as to the mindset of the player creating a Tsol'aa is something equivalent to: "Oh, they're like Lord of the Rings elves, just with different names. It says so right there in the subtext!" Elf > "you mean like Legolas?" becomes "Tsol'aa". Within that train of thought, somewhere between "they're like Legolas" and "Tsol'aa" is the "they must have pointy ears!" bit. The problem here is not that there was anything confirming the Tsol'aa having pointy ears, it's that, up until a few days ago, there was nothing outright denying it. Based on all of the mentioned similarities, it would not be that far of a stretch to assume the general anatomy of the Tsol'aa ear.



    Nothing denying it except the racial art that's been around for 12+ years that shows very clearly they don't have pointed ears, and the fact that there is literally not a single mention of pointed ears anywhere in the game's canon. Not one. Of course, newbies won't see that old racial art (and it shouldn't even be up there any more...is an oversight on our part).

    We're going to change the html5 client phrase, but keep in mind that it's said "elf" for only a handful of months. Understandable that it might confuse new players, but most people who erroneously describe their Tsol'aa as having pointed ears created their characters long before the word 'elf' ever appeared anywhere in conjunction with Achaea. And that's fine. If you want to describe yourself as having pointed ears, or horns, or tentacles, that's your business and as long as it isn't offensive we don't really care. But, the canon is what the canon is, and player descriptions have no effect on it.
    VesiosAchimrstAnnui
  • SarapisSarapis Member, Administrator Posts: 3,398 Achaean staff



    Tangentially related: racial naming conventions. I would have appreciated something like this when creating a character. A list of a few examples for what a typical mhun or atavian or rajamalan name might sound like. Blujixapug was originally supposed to be a grookish sort of name. I liked that Lusternia had this type of cultural heritage for its races, and although you didn't have to follow them, a typical Lucidian name would be recognisable and significantly different from an Illithoid one. It would be a bit awkward to suddenly impose this upon Achaea, though, and retrofit game-wide naming conventions that haven't previously existed outside of isolated areas.
    Doesn't really make sense in modern IC Achaea in my opinion. Adventurers are part of a multiple-hundreds-year-old highly diverse and racially-integrated culture. There are no cultures on real-life earth that have been that heavily racially-integrated for that long (and of course Achaean races vs. human 'races' are not a perfect analog at all), but it usually only takes 1 or 2 generations for people to start largely abandoning their forefathers' naming conventions in favor of their current culture. For instance, I'm a second-generation American on my dad's side, but I have a thoroughly non-Hungarian name. I have, as do many of you I assume, many friends of all races who, once they're 1 or 2 generations removed from the immigrant forefather, have names that don't provide any clue as to racial origin. Chinese friends named Sam. Peruvian friends named John. Japanese friends named Brian. etc.

    Beyond that though, the impact would be minimal to zero considering how frequently many players change race and how many people want to play using whatever favorite name they use in multiple games.


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