Session 5-07: Storylines of Men - Hador and Amlach

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Something about how the Houses of the Edain receive their fiefs: the House of Beor received Ladros, we’re banking on the House of Haleth carving out their existence in the Forest of Brethil. Maybe for Hador he rules Dor-Lomin alongside Fingon? It seems strange that Fingon would give up his own lands to Hador, we’d have to have an explanation for that.
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
So something occurred to me yesterday that made me a bit uncomfortable, but I figured we should at least address it. Sure, the Elves start teaching humans in various skills, but how well do humans pick up those skills? A lifetime of experience would barely raise them to the level of an Elvish apprentice. Would humans living amongst Elves not at some point be relegated to tasks where there are diminishing returns to increased skill? As farmers, miners, and general laborers? Humans could very quickly become an underclass, unable to produce manufactured goods at anywhere near the standards of the Elves?
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
So something occurred to me yesterday that made me a bit uncomfortable, but I figured we should at least address it. Sure, the Elves start teaching humans in various skills, but how well do humans pick up those skills? A lifetime of experience would barely raise them to the level of an Elvish apprentice. Would humans living amongst Elves not at some point be relegated to tasks where there are diminishing returns to increased skill? As farmers, miners, and general laborers? Humans could very quickly become an underclass, unable to produce manufactured goods at anywhere near the standards of the Elves?
It seems that Elves are either not very good teachers, or the Edain are a bit slow; in The Children of Hurin, Sador Labadal mentions that the Easterlings have learnt much faster from the Orcs than the Edain have from the Elves.
 
Last edited:

amysrevenge

Well-Known Member
A lifetime of experience would barely raise them to the level of an Elvish apprentice.
I think there is a level of diminishing returns to the craftsmanship of the Elves. How good, for example, does a saddle have to be? If Darryl Manning needs a saddle, does he really need a 99.9999/100 saddle from an Elf craftsman who spent 48 years making it, or does he need a 65/100 saddle that an apprentice with 8 weeks of experience spent a few hours on? Now, Darrlywe Elfington might have a completely different answer - it seems likely that Man manufacturing and trade would be mostly internal, and Elves wouldn't have a lot of use for most Manly crafted goods. Unless it's things where the quality truly only needs to meet a minimum standard - thinking of things like an axle for a wagon - or times where quantity takes on an unexpected importance - let's say, burlap sacks to fill with sand during a flood.

I think we talked a bit about this when it came to Dwarves and Noldor comparing and contrasting with each other over metalwork. It's like that with Men, only more extreme. In the time a Noldor makes 1 sword, a Dwarf makes 40, and a human smith makes 200. The quality of each is related to the time spent, but run through an Orc with any one of those 241 blades and it will die exactly once.
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
It seems that Elves are either not very good teachers, or the Edain are a bit slow; in The Children of Hurin, Sador Labadal mentions that the Easterlings have learnt much faster from the Orcs than the Edain have.
There is a third possibility. The Elves' eternal mindset might actually cause them to hold humans back unintentionally.
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
I think there is a level of diminishing returns to the craftsmanship of the Elves. How good, for example, does a saddle have to be? If Darryl Manning needs a saddle, does he really need a 99.9999/100 saddle from an Elf craftsman who spent 48 years making it, or does he need a 65/100 saddle that an apprentice with 8 weeks of experience spent a few hours on? Now, Darrlywe Elfington might have a completely different answer - it seems likely that Man manufacturing and trade would be mostly internal, and Elves wouldn't have a lot of use for most Manly crafted goods. Unless it's things where the quality truly only needs to meet a minimum standard - thinking of things like an axle for a wagon - or times where quantity takes on an unexpected importance - let's say, burlap sacks to fill with sand during a flood.

I think we talked a bit about this when it came to Dwarves and Noldor comparing and contrasting with each other over metalwork. It's like that with Men, only more extreme. In the time a Noldor makes 1 sword, a Dwarf makes 40, and a human smith makes 200. The quality of each is related to the time spent, but run through an Orc with any one of those 241 blades and it will die exactly once.
I would counter this by saying that high quality makes a huge difference. Buy a sword in your local mall and contrast it with one made by an actual swordsmith. Could they both stab an unarmored opponent? Sure. But what about if the victims are wearing mail? What if the sword is used to parry? How long can they retain an edge? The Dwarves and the Noldor likely have an intuitive understanding of what metal is doing while it is being forged and how alloy components interact. That means that their blades are going to hold an edge longer, break less frequently, and maintain the desired rigidity/flexibility when they should more so than human blades.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
I would counter this by saying that high quality makes a huge difference. Buy a sword in your local mall and contrast it with one made by an actual swordsmith. Could they both stab an unarmored opponent? Sure. But what about if the victims are wearing mail? What if the sword is used to parry? How long can they retain an edge? The Dwarves and the Noldor likely have an intuitive understanding of what metal is doing while it is being forged and how alloy components interact. That means that their blades are going to hold an edge longer, break less frequently, and maintain the desired rigidity/flexibility when they should more so than human blades.
Well, it's rather difficult to buy a sword in a mall in the first place. The malls close to where I live don't sell swords.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
I'd say that's taking it too far. They don't learn nothing. But the Elves aren't adaptable enough to adjust to what they need as quickly as they might have.
And yet Orcs are corrupted Elves (who theoretically can live just as long) that do a better job at teaching Easterlings to do the same things as the Edain, and they're better at retaining.

Though when I think about it, outside of being killed, how long do we have Orcs live in the Silm Film Project? @MithLuin, @Haerangil, and I were discussing that when we were trying to decide who to send to the Battle on the Gelion-Ascar Stockade.

Conversation starts Here.
 
Last edited:

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
And yet Orcs are corrupted Elves (who theoretically can live just as long) that do a better job at teaching Easterlings to do the same things as the Edain, and they're better at retaining.

Though when I think about it, outside of being killed, how long do we have Orcs live in the Silm Film Project? @MithLuin, @Haerangil, and I were discussing that when we were trying to decide who to send to the Battle on the Gelion-Ascar Stockade.

Conversation starts Here.
My suggestion would be that they can be long-lived without being ageless like the Elves. Or we can note that they can live a summer-long time, but https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/KlingonPromotion is so common that they rarely live longer than dwarves.
 

amysrevenge

Well-Known Member
What if they "fade" at a faster rate than the normal Elves do? (Just thinking to the recent Mythgard Academy classes on Morgoth's Ring talking about how Elves fade in Middle Earth - having sadly skipped out on the reading it isn't sticking in my memory as well as I would have liked but there are only so many hours in the day for someone who is still [thankfully] working full time.)
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
What if they "fade" at a faster rate than the normal Elves do? (Just thinking to the recent Mythgard Academy classes on Morgoth's Ring talking about how Elves fade in Middle Earth - having sadly skipped out on the reading it isn't sticking in my memory as well as I would have liked but there are only so many hours in the day for someone who is still [thankfully] working full time.)
Combination of both, maybe? They fade faster, and once they do, younger, stronger Orcs kill them off for position?
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
I’ve personally thought that Orcs can live at least 140 years, since Bolg from The Hobbit succeeded Azog in 2799 T.A., and was still hale enough to lead an army in 2941 T.A.. Peter Jackson seems to have flirted with the idea, since he does the same with Azog in The Hobbit films; likewise the Keeper of the Dungeons (the one Galadriel kills to rescue Gandalf) was present at that same battle, since he’s seen fighting Dwalin in the background. There’s also the Orc warg-rider captain Sharku, which is Black Speech for “Old Man”.
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
I’ve personally thought that Orcs can live at least 140 years, since Bolg from The Hobbit succeeded Azog in 2799 T.A., and was still hale enough to lead an army in 2941 T.A.. Peter Jackson seems to have flirted with the idea, since he does the same with Azog in The Hobbit films; likewise the Keeper of the Dungeons (the one Galadriel kills to rescue Gandalf) was present at that same battle, since he’s seen fighting Dwalin in the background. There’s also the Orc warg-rider captain Sharku, which is Black Speech for “Old Man”.
Sharku in the Jackson films is just a reference to Saruman's affectionate nickname amongst his guys. But my thinking is that Orcs probably last as long as Dwarves.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Back to elven trades.

Remember how, when we discussed whether or not Maedhros would have a prosthetic hand, we talked about the elvish aversion to 'machines'? Whereas orcs are very inclined to think in terms of machines.

Men like machines.

I'm fairly certain that's the main reason there's a difference in 'skills acquired' when comparing the Easterlings learning from the orcs vs the Edain learning from the Elves.

Elves are into art. They will of course create the tools to allow them to make their art, but they are at heart artisans, not engineers. Even the Noldor (who are the most engineer-y of the Elves) have a more naturalistic approach to their place in the world than your average Man would. The Elves may be happy to teach the Men various skills, but they will (naturally) teach the way that they do it. Men, who are going to care a lot more about efficiency, will be left to 'adapt' those methods on their own, rather than adopt them wholecloth.

So I agree with those who say the elves aren't very adaptable as teachers - they don't recognize, oh, here is a thing that the Men could do, but they'll need to do it differently to be quicker, simpler, more direct. They are just going to say 'this is how we do this' and let the Men figure out how to adapt it to their own needs.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Back to elven trades.

Remember how, when we discussed whether or not Maedhros would have a prosthetic hand, we talked about the elvish aversion to 'machines'? Whereas orcs are very inclined to think in terms of machines.

Men like machines.

I'm fairly certain that's the main reason there's a difference in 'skills acquired' when comparing the Easterlings learning from the orcs vs the Edain learning from the Elves.

Elves are into art. They will of course create the tools to allow them to make their art, but they are at heart artisans, not engineers. Even the Noldor (who are the most engineer-y of the Elves) have a more naturalistic approach to their place in the world than your average Man would. The Elves may be happy to teach the Men various skills, but they will (naturally) teach the way that they do it. Men, who are going to care a lot more about efficiency, will be left to 'adapt' those methods on their own, rather than adopt them wholecloth.

So I agree with those who say the elves aren't very adaptable as teachers - they don't recognize, oh, here is a thing that the Men could do, but they'll need to do it differently to be quicker, simpler, more direct. They are just going to say 'this is how we do this' and let the Men figure out how to adapt it to their own needs.
So how long would it take for the Edain to figure out how to make their own armor and weapons, with little to no prior training, to not be useless on the battlefield?
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Back to elven trades.

Remember how, when we discussed whether or not Maedhros would have a prosthetic hand, we talked about the elvish aversion to 'machines'? Whereas orcs are very inclined to think in terms of machines.

Men like machines.

I'm fairly certain that's the main reason there's a difference in 'skills acquired' when comparing the Easterlings learning from the orcs vs the Edain learning from the Elves.

Elves are into art. They will of course create the tools to allow them to make their art, but they are at heart artisans, not engineers. Even the Noldor (who are the most engineer-y of the Elves) have a more naturalistic approach to their place in the world than your average Man would. The Elves may be happy to teach the Men various skills, but they will (naturally) teach the way that they do it. Men, who are going to care a lot more about efficiency, will be left to 'adapt' those methods on their own, rather than adopt them wholecloth.

So I agree with those who say the elves aren't very adaptable as teachers - they don't recognize, oh, here is a thing that the Men could do, but they'll need to do it differently to be quicker, simpler, more direct. They are just going to say 'this is how we do this' and let the Men figure out how to adapt it to their own needs.
So I’ll ask again: was the Orc approach better?
 
Top