Cuiviénen

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
I think those last three shots capture it perfectly if we scale everything up about three times. This is a mythic tale, after all.
 

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
That's great! The only thing I would like to comment is that it looks a bit too northern. It's mostly the snow. I guess that's what you get on high mountains, but (and yes I am being picky) in the last two of those pictures I think it's a bit too low. I'd like the climate to be somewhat more friendly. It kind of looks like the Children will have to get themselves some fur coats right away, if I may exaggerate a little.
I'm trying to insert some pictures from a place in Abkhasia, Georgia, called lake Riza. It has a similar look, but with more mixed forest. The best I can do right now though is to add this link:
https://www.google.se/search?q=ritsa+georgia&espv=2&biw=1440&bih=715&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiU4L6XzYjLAhWE_iwKHS6_CiEQ_AUIBigB#imgrc=_

I don't think we have found a place with the right look that also has a greater sea. That has mostly been my idea, I guess. Perhaps it's something I have to just forget about.
 

Bre

Active Member
I'm glad you are here Anastasia!

I listened to an episode of the Shaping of Middle-earth class. Dr Olsen was mentioning the similarity between Helcar and the Mediterranean. Of course, they're not the same. I think though that, although an inland sea, it should be salt water.
It seems we are leaning towards a slightly more northern position? Like around the Black Sea? Perhaps Georgia, or Armenia?
Since the elves has such a strong connection with the sea that isn't awoken until they arrive on the shores of the west coast of Beleriand, maybe it shouldn't be a giant salt lake? I mean one of the most overwhelming things about the ocean is the way it smells, which has to do with what creatures live in salt water, and the smell would have to play some role in the sea-longing.

I've always thought of it more like one of the Great Lakes, so fresh water. I mean awaking next to fresh water is way easier in terms of livability than salt water since you don't have to boil it. Plus, I doubt the elves awoke knowing how to make fire.... so they wouldn't have stayed by the giant salt body, they would have looked for a fresh water source.
 

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
There would probably be more than a couple of streams leading from the Orocarni into Helcar. But yes, it might be more logical to have it be a sweet water lake.
 

MithLuin

Well-Known Member
I can't argue against Banff being northerly! It's near Calgary in Western Canada and a northern portion of the Rocky Mountains. (51°N - same as Oxford) BEAUTIFUL, but yes...harsh environment. I've done a Tolkien costume photoshoot there, so....maybe I'm biased ;). Much less snow on those mountains in July, though, to be fair.

Those photos from Lake Riza are also quite lovely!


If we want something much more tropical, may I suggest Lake Awassa in Ethiopia?



It has mountains....


And hippos!



And Marribou storks, some of the ugliest birds ever:




It's not really a serious suggestion, but this lake is located in the Great Rift Valley, which of course has great significance for HUMAN origins. And I could see the early elves making these reed boats:

 
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Anastasia

Member
This is a really challenging topic!
It looks like we are in agreement that it should be a fresh water lake, but the challenge looks like how warm we want the climate to be.
It seems that all of the warmer lakes we have found do not have the lush forests that we seem to be looking for, and all of the lakes with lush forests around them have cooler climates. Lake Riza seems to be the one with the middle ground.
In terms of how this applies to costumes, I was wondering if we should also think about how the elves are going to find food. I had always imagined that the area was so fertile that the elves just stayed put because they had everything they needed (this makes the development of larger pieces cloth easier because they could set up looms on the ground and not worry about transporting them, it also creates an interesting difference between our history and the history of the elves because human history started with hunter-gatherers and then moved to stable villages, whereas the elves will start in a village, and then become nomadic during the great journey). I have been wondering how this works within the framework of most of the flora and fauna being under Yavanna's sleep until light comes again. In the podcast the hosts had been talking about the beasts of horn that are an indicator of the corruption of Melkor, but I wondered why they were awake at all. Do you think that some things are awake and others are not? How are we going to make plants grow with starlight only?
 

MithLuin

Well-Known Member
Lake Riza looks beautiful to me, and a fine option here. I do like the idea of them being in a fixed location to start with, so the conditions can't be too harsh, and the food has to be fairly abundant. So, a freshwater lake, plenty of fish, maybe a lot of birds around for eggs, the kind of forest that would have a lot of berries and edible roots growing in it, and of course deer, rabbits and other yummy creatures in abundance. (No one will be upset if we show them hunting squirrels, right?)

I realize that a modern American audience is often horrified by any details of where food comes from and how survival works, but my grew-up-on-a-farm sensibilities very much encourage me to tell everyone to go stuff it. How much we show will be up to those discussing the particular scenes, but I think we should work out a reasonable viable material culture for the elves even if it is not seen.

So, anyway, yes, good :)


As for the, hey....how do you have forests without the sun? The answer is....shhhhh. :p
We had the Lamps, the forests grew, and...now they are just kinda growing realllllllly slowly, like a taiga forest, while waiting for the Sun. Or something.
 

MithLuin

Well-Known Member
In the most recent Session, it was mentioned that the Hosts would like a sizeable island in the Lake at Cuivienen, so that the elves have a place of safety that doesn't involve building barricades or walled towns. It would also be a bit reminiscent of Almaren.

So, I must throw a new image into the mix - Crater Lake!

 

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
Why? I don't get it. That would make the elves safe from the Hunter and make that story less interesting.
 

MithLuin

Well-Known Member
Not all of the elves would live on the island. Some on the island, some on the lake shore, some in tree-houses.

Don't worry, they won't be safe from the Hunter, but won't they come across as rather stupidly dull-witted if they just hang out and wait to be snatched with no defensive attempts at all? And the Execs don't want a walled village. So.....
 

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
Well they could hide. I agree that they would look stupid if they don't go to the island if there is one, but if there isn't one they don't have to build a barricade. Especially if they don't think there is any way to defend themselves and that running away is what they can do.
 

MithLuin

Well-Known Member
Corey Olsen requested an island in the most recent Session discussion. It also allows for some diversity among the early elves, as they aren't all living in the exact same place doing the exact same thing.

Ted Nasmith's painting of the elves kinda just hanging out on the lake shore staring at the stars is nice and all, but...we do have to give some thought to what the original elvish dwellings would look like.
 

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
I don't think I've said we should avoid a discussion, or that we shouldn't think about this.
 

MithLuin

Well-Known Member
Oh, I know. And I imagine we will end up with scenes of elves running through the woods being chased by the Hunter.
 

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
We won't have time to show any evolution or differentiation of the elven groups, but we can at least do two things: firstly, we can show the three tribes being in three separate settings at Cuivienen, engaging in three different activities, and secondly, we can show three different ways to deal with the threat of the Hunter (I almost wrote 'the Big Bad Wolf'...). Perhaps the Vanyar swim to the island pretty quickly and in an organised way. The Noldor do the same thing but are slightly less organised, or for some other reason some of them don't swim to the island but just dive into the water and stay there. Some of the Noldor have been far from the lake and don't get to the water in time. The Teleri (or Nelyar) are even less organised and some stay on land or try to climb trees. Most of the elves caught are Nelyar.
 

MithLuin

Well-Known Member
One advantage of the island is that it will really improve our establishing shots.

We want Cuivienen to be on the shore of a very large lake, possibly in some sort of bay protected from the rest of the lake. But that can result in just a 'flat' view of the shore, and any variation making the lake (or backdrop mountains) look small. By adding an island in the lake, we get some depth and perspective to play with to give the right idea of a large, vast lake...and maybe rafts or canoes to ferry back and forth from the shore to the island giving the elves a reason to be *in* the lake. I think it will help with the overall image of the first elven home.
 

MithLuin

Well-Known Member
Playing with perspective when you get to add an island to your lake photography -

Lake Kivu (Rwanda):









I know we don't want anything this tropical (this lake is on the equator), but I think it illustrates how we can really do some interesting things with land in the water.
 
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