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Slave armies

Re: Slave armies

Postby Catriana » Fri May 31, 2013 5:03 am

ShinjiGAR wrote:@Catriana: Look. Nobody is saying that they want humans to be the superior race. Not a single one. They're saying that they hate the elves being a superior race. That does not mean they want humans to be better than elves. It could mean they want no race to be obviously superior to any other. That's all.

I know that Kern has the right to create story elements like these, just as it is our right to criticize him for it. I don't recall anyone insulting him, either.

If you cannot argue this without using straw-man arguments, I don't know what to say.


Where in my post did I say anything about anyone wanting humans to be the superior race? I've read over it quite a few times, and I'm pretty sure that accusation wasn't in there. There were no hidden meanings behind my words.

Accusing someone of having lazy writing because the world setting doesn't match your personal preferences is, in fact, an insult. Especially considering how much time and effort Kern puts into this comic. So no, I am not making straw-man arguments.

Tsuris and Ash'arion have made legitimate points so I'm going to go back to my English paper.
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Re: Slave armies

Postby MEK1724 » Fri May 31, 2013 5:06 am

ShinjiGAR wrote:If you cannot argue this without using straw-man arguments, I don't know what to say.

She didn't use straw mans. She said that calling the element lazy writing , is impolite . You can like or not like it , but you don't really have any point but not liking it . I personally like the element where humans are weaker 1 on 1. Having said that I don't like the execution all the time, but let's be honest humans have barely shown up in the story , except for like chapter 22 (which is what everyone appears to be complaining about). Of course that one was rushed due to people wanting to get back to the underworld , and the group was only fighting 1 or 2 people at a time. Not really sure why that makes humans pathetic per se . I mean a group from the same kingdom almost killed Chiri in chapter 29 as far as I could tell .
I mean I thought there'd be new stuff to complain about in three and a half years to be honest .
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Re: Slave armies

Postby ShinjiGAR » Fri May 31, 2013 5:25 am

@Catriana: Yes, you did.

So in short, because it's not a story focused on humans wielding magic and being put on a pedestal, like every other fantasy story out there, it's lazy writing? Do you realize how elitist that sounds?


That sounds like a straw-man to me. Also, an author can be lazy in some areas of writing and hard-working in others.

@Ash'arion: The difference is that what you said is the result of a complex combination of historical events and circumstances, not any innate biological differences. I'm fine with the former, I hate the latter.

@MEK: Reminds me of my comments of Show, Don't Tell. Non-fae are said to be doing great things (like what you just said), but it always conflicts with what's shown. They kidnapped some elves, yet a handful of other elf kids beat them. Even one on one, it was against an entire castle's forces. It was painful to read.
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Re: Slave armies

Postby Ash'arion » Fri May 31, 2013 5:35 am

ShinjiGAR wrote:@Ash'arion: The difference is that what you said is the result of a complex combination of historical events and circumstances, not any innate biological differences. I'm fine with the former, I hate the latter.


Then... don't read or watch any fantasy, sci-fi, or superhero type story ever? Seriously, nobody's forcing you to be here. If you don't like the circumstances driving the characters and cultures in this story, either learn to deal with them or go away.
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Re: Slave armies

Postby Catriana » Fri May 31, 2013 5:52 am

ShinjiGAR wrote:@Catriana: Yes, you did.

So in short, because it's not a story focused on humans wielding magic and being put on a pedestal, like every other fantasy story out there, it's lazy writing? Do you realize how elitist that sounds?


That sounds like a straw-man to me. Also, an author can be lazy in some areas of writing and hard-working in others.


"I'm sorry, but to me the Drow are testament to lazy writing in the way that they were intentionally put upon a pedestal using mana and hand-waving , so as to focus on their inner conflicts." Is what was said by Derkath of Morrowind. Since you want to accuse me of using a straw-man, I will elaborate on my statement.

That sentence I just quoted? Change 'drow' to 'humans' and you essentially have the largest majority of fantasy novels/comics/cartoons out there. Why is that okay for humans but with drow it's 'lazy writing'? There are countless fantasy stories are out there about humans, despite being the underdog, somehow coming out on top over all the other supposed 'superior' races, thereby proving that humans are not, in fact, inferior. In physical, mental, and even magical strength, they prevail over the other races in the end. I have not yet seen anyone complain about, or use this point in their discussion and the one time I brought it up I do believe it was dismissed/ignored.

So once again, if it's perfectly acceptable for those stories to be around, but not one where humans really are, in fact, the underdogs instead of it merely being told and not shown to readers/viewers, then that is an elitist mindset. You cannot argue one without arguing the other.
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Re: Slave armies

Postby MEK1724 » Fri May 31, 2013 6:18 am

ShinjiGAR wrote:Even one on one, it was against an entire castle's forces.

I saw 8 people in armour , and 2 or 3 guys not in armour , who were killed or driven away by 4 people. I don't know how you're assuming there are many or any more then that. Others were drawn out by the raiders.
They kidnapped some elves, yet a handful of other elf kids beat them.

Ariel appears to be able to stun for a few seconds with her mana blasts, but not kill through armour . Shan then stabbed the stunned people in the throat , while Vaelia stabbed all the horses , and Chiri panicked the horses with fires , and non fatally burnt the people on the horses. I would say the adult elves only had 1 or 2 people . Or the gap between kids and adults can be gigantic if the kids train in this world .
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Re: Slave armies

Postby Derkath of Morrowind » Fri May 31, 2013 7:25 am

Catriana wrote:
ShinjiGAR wrote:@Catriana: Yes, you did.

So in short, because it's not a story focused on humans wielding magic and being put on a pedestal, like every other fantasy story out there, it's lazy writing? Do you realize how elitist that sounds?


That sounds like a straw-man to me. Also, an author can be lazy in some areas of writing and hard-working in others.


"I'm sorry, but to me the Drow are testament to lazy writing in the way that they were intentionally put upon a pedestal using mana and hand-waving , so as to focus on their inner conflicts." Is what was said by Derkath of Morrowind. Since you want to accuse me of using a straw-man, I will elaborate on my statement.

That sentence I just quoted? Change 'drow' to 'humans' and you essentially have the largest majority of fantasy novels/comics/cartoons out there. Why is that okay for humans but with drow it's 'lazy writing'? There are countless fantasy stories are out there about humans, despite being the underdog, somehow coming out on top over all the other supposed 'superior' races, thereby proving that humans are not, in fact, inferior. In physical, mental, and even magical strength, they prevail over the other races in the end. I have not yet seen anyone complain about, or use this point in their discussion and the one time I brought it up I do believe it was dismissed/ignored.

So once again, if it's perfectly acceptable for those stories to be around, but not one where humans really are, in fact, the underdogs instead of it merely being told and not shown to readers/viewers, then that is an elitist mindset. You cannot argue one without arguing the other.


No where in statements did I state that the Goblins have to win in order to achieve making them less pathetic. They're a plenty of stories where humans are inferior, yet not absolutely pathetic. How about settings where elves are superior? Off the top of my head I can only name a few. No, it should not be considered good practice to place Humans on a pedestal.

Edit: Yes, it is Kern's vision. In the end he decides. More power to him, it's his IP. But, I feel (and many people that I know read this comic) feel that the criticisms I have levied against this web comic (not kern in general) are legitimate. Would should one not criticize a work of fiction? Why should I not be able to express my opinions on a single aspect in a multi-facetted work? This web comic has its ups and it's downs: The writing isn't the best, yet the plot is intriguing and keeps my attention. Apart from that, the one thing that truly caught my about this comic is the amazing the art and coloring. Also, impolite? If asking questions and stating reasonable opinions is not polite, you must be new to the internet, or the world of criticism at large. Their are much more scathing criticisms out there, and I implore you to look for them,
Last edited by Derkath of Morrowind on Fri May 31, 2013 7:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Slave armies

Postby Catriana » Fri May 31, 2013 7:49 am

I did not accuse you of making such statements. What I am saying, however, is that, as you have said, there are plenty of other stories where humans are not absolutely pathetic. And honestly, they're not inferior because the entire purpose of those stories is to show how humans overcome adversity and achieve greatness despite their 'limitations'. Which really means that they were never inferior in the first place, they're just perceived as such by the other races' POV. We buy into it because that's what we're told. By highlighting the other races as being superior, it gives humans in those fantasy settings goals to strive for. And they not only hit those goals, they go above and beyond, usually to all the other races' detriment.

Writers are encouraged to think outside of the box. To dare to be different. Kern wanted a story where humans were simply not a real factor in the story, nor would they have any sort of impact to the elves. That is very different from any other fantasy story. It is not lazy writing so much as it's author's choice. No one is saying you have to like it, but I do believe some sort of respect should go towards the man's world setting. It's his prerogative to have his story set up the way it is, and that shouldn't be looked down upon as being a flaw or bad writing. This lore has been established for 12 years, even with re-writes. People have made these same arguments and it hasn't changed, and I don't think it should. Kern should write his story as he feels it should be written, not by what people feel should happen.

Edit: Also, I have not once attacked your person or made gross assumptions about you as an individual, I would appreciate the same respect.
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Re: Slave armies

Postby Derkath of Morrowind » Fri May 31, 2013 7:56 am

I apologize for starting to take this personally.

But, then the question bes why involve human like goblins, or indeed goblins at all?
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Re: Slave armies

Postby MEK1724 » Fri May 31, 2013 8:19 am

Derkath of Morrowind wrote:But, then the question bes why involve human like goblins, or indeed goblins at all?

Why not ?
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Re: Slave armies

Postby Derkath of Morrowind » Fri May 31, 2013 8:31 am

My point is: If you want to focus on elves and have goblins (outside of being food), give them a legitimate reason to be there and for having human-like forms, because in doing so certain readers will identify with the Goblins more and ask why the writer made them completely pathetic without any redeeming qualities (except for a single character here and there).
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Re: Slave armies

Postby Ash'arion » Fri May 31, 2013 9:01 am

The reason they're rarely seen is because the humans live on the surface and the majority of the story takes place underground. The reason that most of them seem so pathetic is the same reason the demons can't hurt them, which is because they're a manaless Bronze Age civilization, save for the hermionnes, who are Iron Age and consequently taking over the surface. However, the drow are superior because not only do they have magic, but they also did not allow this advantage to cause their development to stagnate. The drow have advanced to the use of steel and some steampunkish technology powered by their mana. Then again, the power of the fae is also their weakness. They need to maintain a steady supply of mana or they would rapidly age and die. All of their tech essentially feeds off the people using it.

That's why the drow usually travel short distances (they haven't left the perimeter of the crater they all live in) and stay in large numbers. For all we know, the goblins have overrun the rest of the world in the absence of fae dominance. But this story isn't about them. It's about the drow and the region of the world where their power is the greatest. The humans within this story's reach are usually just villagers and farmers, by no means prepared for a raiding party of magic-bearing, armed and armored psychopaths. Those that are warriors have insufficient resources to meet these threats on a level playing field, and even if they did, the average adolescent drow raider has at least as much combat training and experience as a seasoned human veteran.
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Re: Slave armies

Postby MEK1724 » Fri May 31, 2013 9:15 am

Derkath of Morrowind wrote:because in doing so certain readers will identify with the Goblins more and ask why the writer made them completely pathetic

Create sympathy ? A break from normal story telling tradition ?
I personally think you're being a bit too harsh on them really. I mean one little fraction of a castle garrison gets a bit beat up, after they move most of their troops out, and suddenly goblins are completely pathetic and irrelevant?
I mean what if they're not taken by surprise next time. What if the army has more armoured guys because of the Hermiones more advanced metallurgy . What if your expectations get played with because you're basing everything off one chapter. What about foreshadowing which actually suggests this stuff ?
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Re: Slave armies

Postby Dalvyserran » Fri May 31, 2013 9:19 am

It's been mentioned by several people in this thread that hermionne are anything but pathetic. Its also been said that nonfae races take a backseat to fae races in a story about said fae races. At this point I think you're just cherry picking things to complain about, man *hmmm*

Humans in this setting are fine where they are.
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Re: Slave armies

Postby Junglefowl26 » Fri May 31, 2013 2:06 pm

Frankly, I am not even sure how we got to this topic from the original topic since the answer to "Why don't we see more slave armies?" is a combination of three factors:
1. They are Proud Warrior Race guys who only use slave soldiers as a last resort.
2. The distance from Drow to human and orc lands, and ecological concerns makes the mass enslavement of non-drow rather economically impractical, to say nothing of the dubious loyalty of slave soldiers in most cases.
3. The focus on a small group of main characters and politics generally means we aren't seeing the large scale battles.

I find the accusation that mana and such is "lazy" is particularly bizarre, when it is actually a topic that is quite complex with implications for nearly everything that happens - economy, history, politics, personal abilities etc. It is part of the reason they can survive underground, but it is also why they are trapped in a tiny area, unable to expand and do agriculture like other races do, and why they now have trouble surviving in the verdant world above. It is a powerful weapon, but one that kills the user if wielded too often. It made their empire great, but it is also made their entire ecology vulnerable.
Frankly, it is one of the least lazy applications of magic I have ever seen - on like other stories magic isn't just there to provide flashy special effects and the occasional plot point, it is pretty important to how things work.

As for the infamous castle raid - frankly, I have seen kid heroes do more with less justification in other stories.
Plus, everyone always seems to forget that it was the human member of the group that did the most fighting, kicking butt with a weapon horribly suited for the environment.

Edit: Plus, to be blunt, I have to wonder why people complaining about humans not getting a time to shine and no one cares about the poor Kotorcs and Noz, who get even less attention? (Ferals seem to do pretty well - particularly in Ptp where one is the current martial arts champion and another tore out the throat of a drow warrior from a badass clan.)
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