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Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Siwan Sandalwood 
Rhûn Darkmoon
Lihan Taifun            
Belenos the Bad      (belenosstormchaser.magic)
AelKennyr Rhiano 

In Book of Lost Tales Part 2, in the story of “Earendel”, Tolkien mentions sea spirits called oarni, which he sometimes equates with mermaid and sometimes says are different.
(outline by JRRT:)"The Oarni give to Earendel a wonderful shining silver coat that wets not. They love Earendel, in Osse's despite, and teach him about the shores of Sirion."

(note by Christopher Tolkien:) "In the outlines are found references to the love of the Oarni for Earendel (D p. 263), the coming of the mermaids to him (E, p. 263), and to Osse's enmity (C, p. 256)

(outline by JRRT:) "The fiord of the Mermaid; enchantment of his sailors. Mermaids are not Oarni (but are earthlings, or fays? --or both." (Christopher comments:) In D (p. 263) Mermaids and Oarni are equated."

(outline by JRRT:) "Earendel dwells with Tuor and Irilde at Siron's mouth by the sea (on the Isles of Sirion). Elwing of the Gnomes of Artanor flees to them with the Nauglafring. ...
Earendel and Elwing love one another as boy and girl. ...
Great love of Earendel and Tuor. Tuor ages, and Ulmo's conches far out west over the sea call him louder and louder, till one evening he sets sail in his twilit boat with purple sails, Swanwing, Alqarame ...
Idril sees him too late. Her song on the beach of Sirion.
When he does not return grief of Earenedel and Idril. Earendel (urged also by Idril who is immortal) desires to set sail and search even to Mandos. ...
Curse of Nauglafring rests on his voyages. Osse his enemy.
Fiord of the Mermaid. Wreck. Ulmo appears at wreck and saves them, telling them he must go to Kor and is saved for that.

(note by Christopher Tolkien:) "A little more is told in C of Tuor's departure from Sirion (in B there is no mention of Idril); and there appears the motive of Osse's hostility to Earendel and the curse of the Nauglafring as instrumental in his shipwrecks. ...
The place of the first wreck is called the Fiord of the Mermaid. The word 'them' rather than 'him' in 'Ulmo saves them, telling them he must go to Kor' is certain in the manuscript, which posibly suggests that Idril or Elwing (or both) were with Earendel.

Sea spirits” sounds like Maiar. It would be plausible for Maiar of the house of Ulmo to take fish or mer forms. We consider fae to be minor Maiar, so merfolk would fit there.

It seems possible to us that two Maiar in appropriate physical bodies could reproduce. (Melian had Lúthien, with an Elf father.) The mother would have to remain in that same physical body for the duration of the pregnancy. Presumably the child would be Maia.

We considered the legend (outside Tolkien) that mer-men, like male seahorses, carry the pregnancy. That, however, would not work with mermaid/human male pairings, which are said to occur.

In early drafts, JRRT used the name “falmarin” for sea spirits. In later, writing, such as the published Silmarillion, “Falmari” was one of the names of the Teleri clan of Elves.

Merfolk in folktales can sometimes shift between their fish tails or human legs. Tolkien said nothing about this, but Maiar should be able to shapeshift. We mostly feel that, for roleplay purposes, a merperson should have one tail form, rather than switching among several tail shapes.

 {Siwan's comments removed at her request 6/18/2011}
Lihan Taifun:             so what do we know about merfolk?
Rhûn Darkmoon:      'They smell like fish?'
Lihan Taifun:             by the end of tonight, will we know whether merfolk speak Quenya?
Siwan Sandalwood:   •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Lihan Taifun:             oooh, he does?
Siwan Sandalwood:  •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
AelKennyr Rhiano:  They're all wet
Siwan Sandalwood:   •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Belenos the Bad looks from one to the other and wonders which one's worse
Siwan Sandalwood:   •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Lihan Taifun:             "sea spirit" sounds like maiar
Siwan Sandalwood:   •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
AelKennyr Rhiano:  It does. so could there be two water Ainu and one mortal?
Siwan Sandalwood: •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Lihan Taifun:             and it sounds like Christopher, at least, thinks oarni are "mermaids"
AelKennyr Rhiano:  so...are mermaids Ainu?
Siwan Sandalwood:  •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
AelKennyr Rhiano:  As the mermaids are not mentioned in later versions of the legendarium, it might be that Tolkien envisioned these creatures as the "servants and helpers" of the Maiar (mentioned in later versions of Elven chronicles)[6] ‚ lesser spirits that would have remained in Middle-earth (and would thus perhaps be equivalent to the Faeries). As Tolkien never cared to elaborate much on these "lesser Maiar" in the texts used by his son Christopher when preparing the published The Silmarillion, one could speculate on how much Tolkien would have retained or rejected of this earlier conception
Lihan Taifun:             there is also a word falmarin which are "sea spirits"
Siwan Sandalwood:   •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
AelKennyr Rhiano:  Yes, that is another name by which the Teleri are known
Lihan Taifun:             he may have reused the name
AelKennyr Rhiano:  oh, yes, Lihan
Siwan Sandalwood:   •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
AelKennyr Rhiano:  Why among the fae?
Siwan Sandalwood:  •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
AelKennyr Rhiano:  oooh....yes.ok...thought you had another reason
Siwan Sandalwood:   •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Lihan Taifun:             "minor maiar" would fit with "fae". Belanos, if maiar mated, what type would the child be?
Belenos the Bad:       I would imagine it would depend on what form the parents had when they mated? for don't they take the form that best suits their characteristics? and their child would inherit a mix of these..
AelKennyr Rhiano nods...thoughtfully
Lihan Taifun:             would the child be maia, though?
Belenos the Bad:       now that's a good question.. technically I cannot see why not. maiar do not surrender their power when they become physical, do they? So why would that not pass onto their children?
AelKennyr Rhiano:  but is it possible for two maiar to reproduce?
Belenos the Bad (belenosstormchaser.magic) looks at Ael sweetly... umm.. if they both had physical bodies complete with all the right working parts, why not?
Lihan Taifun:             Melian did
AelKennyr Rhiano:  but with an elf
Lihan Taifun:             what happened with your dragons? they had maiar ancestors, didn't they?
Belenos the Bad:       Yes they did. Their abilities were changed a lot by the corruption of Morgoth.. but still they retained some
Lihan Taifun:             so I don't see why TWO maiar couldn't
Belenos the Bad:       especially if they both had the same form
Lihan Taifun:             Melian had the hard part, Thingol only had to supply a little DNA
AelKennyr Rhiano:  Then that commits the mother to being in physical form until she gives birth?
Belenos the Bad:       I beleive it would
AelKennyr Rhiano:  would the birth be as it is for mortal creatures?
Belenos the Bad:       mortal bodies, mortal birth I would think
Lihan Taifun:             it might be bad to shapeshift during pregnancy
Belenos the Bad:       I would say so
Rhûn Darkmoon listens and blushes as he decides to keep well out of this discussion
Belenos the Bad grins at poor Rhun. I would think Lihan that if one wished to maintain the pregnancy to it's natural conclusion one would have to maintain the physical body at least until the birth
Lihan Taifun:             I would think so, too
AelKennyr Rhiano:  and after to nurture the child
Lihan Taifun:             after birth you wouldn't want to be gone very long
Belenos the Bad:       Yes, unless suitable foster parents were arranged .. but I'd think that if the committment were made to have a child so too would they commit to raising it
Siwan Sandalwood:   •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Belenos the Bad:       now THAT is an interesting concept.. *grins* Belenos the Bad pictures Rhun or Ael as pregnant mermen
Siwan Sandalwood:   •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Lihan Taifun:             ok, well, whichever parent is carrying the child should stick around in physical form
Siwan Sandalwood:   •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Rhûn Darkmoon looks horrified at Belenos and blushes to the tips of his ears
Belenos the Bad (belenosstormchaser.magic) grins at Siwan
Lihan Taifun mutters, "the males can dish it out, but they can't take it?"
AelKennyr Rhiano eyes Belenos...his eyes narrowed....oh. noo
Siwan Sandalwood:   •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Belenos the Bad (belenosstormchaser.magic) looks all innocent.. what's wrong Ael?.. *grins*
Siwan Sandalwood:   •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
AelKennyr Rhiano:  whew!
Siwan Sandalwood:   •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
AelKennyr Rhiano:  O.O
Lihan Taifun:             so what kind of child do you get from half human, half mer?
Siwan Sandalwood:  •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Belenos the Bad:       I suppose it would depend on which side of the family the child took after.. what it had inherited
AelKennyr Rhiano:, could it be there is no such thing as a full blooded mer? That maybe it would always take a human male?
Siwan Sandalwood:  •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Belenos the Bad:       geez.. that's a bit of an insult to the poor mer males isn't it??
Siwan Sandalwood:   •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
AelKennyr Rhiano:  not if the merman was sterile...then it would be evolution and practicalities
Siwan Sandalwood:   •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Belenos the Bad:       gee.. is it any wonder the mermaids prefer human males then?
Siwan Sandalwood:  •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
AelKennyr Rhiano:  Do we have any documentation of a Ainu fathering a child?
Lihan Taifun:             I don't know of any ainu children other than Luthien
Siwan Sandalwood:   •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Belenos the Bad:       all you need is one precedent.. one foot in the door.. :D
AelKennyr Rhiano:  very true
Siwan Sandalwood:   •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
AelKennyr Rhiano:  We have had fae rp in the 4th Age but no recurring characters as yet.
Siwan Sandalwood:   •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Lihan Taifun:             do we know whether they reproduce?
AelKennyr Rhiano:  I know neither, to be honest.
Lihan Taifun:             do any of them have the attention span to reproduce?
Siwan Sandalwood:  •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
AelKennyr Rhiano chokes on his water
Siwan Sandalwood:   •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
AelKennyr Rhiano:  cough, cough. cough...brb....runs off, choking
Siwan Sandalwood:  •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Lihan Taifun:             granted, humans don't require much attention span, but humans are in no danger of shapeshifting
Siwan Sandalwood:   •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Lihan Taifun:             I've never heard of a fae shapeshifting, but I don't know a lot about them
Siwan Sandalwood:  •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Lihan Taifun:             so merfolk can change which fish tail they have?
Siwan Sandalwood:   •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Belenos the Bad:       Why would they have this ability?
Siwan Sandalwood:   •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
AelKennyr Rhiano:  why would they be shiftshapers? Because I can make the case that if they depend upon human males to perpetuate the species, then it would make very good sense for females to be able to take human form.Belenos the Bad:       No, I was thinking more why would they need or be able to change their tailfin types?
AelKennyr Rhiano:  ooh....
Siwan Sandalwood:   •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
AelKennyr Rhiano:  I agree with Siwan on that.
Siwan Sandalwood:   •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Belenos the Bad:       if it were established that a mer could change colour depending on mood, or say health, then perhaps.. but on a whim?.. at least as far as role play is concerned, I wouldn't think so?
AelKennyr Rhiano:  Changing color is usually established in a species as a part of a mating ritual or for survial..only humans alter their colors for mere pleasure.
Siwan Sandalwood:   •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Lihan Taifun:             I'm not imagining how it could affect the rp
AelKennyr Rhiano:  It's not very logical...though
Siwan Sandalwood:   •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
AelKennyr Rhiano:  But not for pleasure, for survival
Belenos the Bad:       if you use that logic then a dragon should be able to change the colour of their scales.. just because they want to.
AelKennyr Rhiano:  Right
Siwan Sandalwood:   •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
AelKennyr Rhiano:  which is survival, too, if you think about it.
Siwan Sandalwood:   •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Belenos the Bad:       in second life of course they can.. and they often love to do so, just like the mer... but within the role play boundaries, no
Siwan Sandalwood:   •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Lihan Taifun:             ok, do we want to continue merfolk next week? or take a new topic?
Belenos the Bad:       well I think as far as tolkien is concerned we have covered it?
Lihan Taifun:             ok, new topic, then
Siwan Sandalwood:   •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Belenos the Bad:       as regards the role play guidelines, the Eldars and the Game Master/Mistress decide do they not Lihan?
Lihan Taifun:             technically, yes, they decide
Siwan Sandalwood:   •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Lihan Taifun:             but I think that a group consensus would weigh heavily
Siwan Sandalwood:   •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Lihan Taifun:             thank you all
Belenos the Bad:       Fair winds to you both and safe journeys.. my apologies for running, but I'm working on time constraints at the moment
Siwan Sandalwood  •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Lihan Taifun:             good night!