Canon internal conflict
Something that just occured to me. Nephils are native to the surface. As the extermination of non-humans article points out, the Nephils in Exile were sent there during the exiling period, most early in that period I'd imagine. (Side note: people in E/A1 say they are teleported down somewhere else, not Fort E/A, but we never see such a location. I suppose they might have finished the kitty exile by then, but I wonder where it was.)
BUT -- there was already a large force of Nepharim in the caves when the First Expedition arrived. They really had to have a decent-sized tribe there in order to be considered an important part of the great battle that took place, given that the numerous and powerful sliths, and a lich's forces, were the other important parts. (Since nepharim are "mostly sterile" presumably there were nephils in that tribe too -- the game has never depicted nephars without nephils around I don't think. Presumably most references to one of the other refer to both.)
Anyway, if the kitties are native to the surface, how in the world did that tribe get there? The FE had hoped the caves could be settled, so the Empire sure didn't teleport them down yet. --- Slartucker 09:56, 20 January 2006 (CST)
Nepharim in the Caves
I'd never heard of that - only of Slithzerikai and demons. Could we check the resources about the first expedition and possibly get rid of the pre-expedition Nepharim? That would be one of the easiest ways to clear up the conflict.
If Jeff does explicitly mention them, we could come up with a way to canonize it. Remember that the campaign to destroy the Nephilim has started long before Hawthorne (centuries before, in fact), and that the caves of Exile have had physical entrances before they were sealed off.
Could tribes of Nephilim and Nepharim have fled to the caves on their own, long before humans even discovered them? It could even be plot material for a scenario... :)
Re: Nepharim in the Caves
Kitties fleeing to the caves on their own sounds good to me. Believable, too, since some of the exiled ones "migrate to lower caverns." That brings up another question. Which continent(s) is Exile below? Presumably it is at least near Valorim, given the location of Upper Exile.
There are many sources in Ex/Av1. Some quotes with useful info (from Av1):
- Ah. The doom of all of us, if the sliths don't get us first. Lots of them have been sent down here, along with the humans. Many migrate to lower caverns, but many more stay here, determined to take our land. A large tribe of them lives to the north.""They don't arrive at Fort Avernum, by the way. They teleport in somewhere else
- You would guess that the Nephilim will live here eventually, and they have put goblins to work to do all of the heavy lifting. You had both races on the surface, and the smaller were often forced to work by the larger
- The Nepharim. It's weird. They're like Nephilim, have Nephilim mothers, but something makes some of them come out bigger, and meaner, and mostly sterile. A bunch of them have come here to live alone. I don't know why. It doesn't matter, anyway
- Among the clothes in this dresser, you find Anastasia's journal. You inspect it briefly, to try to figure out what a human mage was doing here. It doesn't take long to figure it out.Most of the Empire has been exterminating Nephilim on the surface for a long time. More merciful governors have been rounding the cat people up and dumping them into Avernum.Anastasia was a bandit leader on the surface, leading a group of Nephilim in raids on human settlements. When she was captured, her entire band was sent down here. She used her understanding of their ways and her existing band to work her way into a position of great influence with the chief of this tribe. She aided them with magic and advice in return for protection and wealth
- Nephilim mate for life
- This fort was built before the big wars with the sliths and Nephilim (--Fort Remote, so the wars did not start right away)
And confirming the FE Nephars:
- When the sword was broken, the creatures that slew the humans took the pieces as trophies. The Slithzerikai took a piece to their holy shrine, in a swamp far to the south. Another piece was taken by a lich, to an ancient den of undead far to the west.""Of the third piece, we know nothing. But some believe the Nepharim took it (--Solberg)
- At this end of the crypt is a bier, on which rests a mummified Nepharim. At the base of the bier are faded runes, apparently responsible for summoning the demons. The body holds the pommel of a sword clenched to its chest
- A few of us Nepharim choose to live together, with our own kind, near your city of Cotra. We guard ourselves, and the crypt.""The tomb of a Nephar hero of old, who helped win the first victory against you humans. Hrmmm. In the crypt is a piece of the great blade of a human hero
--- Slartucker 10:54, 20 January 2006 (CST)
- No mention of pre-FE Nephilim, just Nepharim. Unfortunately, Jeff's concept of a separate tribe of Nepharim makes absolutely no sense. You can't have a herd of mules, and you can't have a tribe of sterile cats. They'd die out after one generation.
- So we'd have to assume that Nephilim were living there prior to the First Expedition as well, though perhaps only fewer than the Nepharim. Perhaps the Nepharim were their soldiers?
- Well, I think it was Ex/Av2 where a band of Nepharim enslaved a group of Nephilim, and Avernum sent adventurers to free the nephils as part of a peace treaty. And a few nephils have had bad things to say about nephars. So there is clearly tension, sometimes.
- Simplest conclusions, IMHO: Some nephil babies randomly (I refuse to introduce genetics into Ermarian :) turn out to be nephars; nephars are indeed sterile, bigger, and stupider; nephars naturally enjoy being violent and cruel and may beat up on nephils who don't; in unusual cases this can lead to nephars dominating an entire tribe; regardless, nephils and nephars of the same tribe will usually form separate groups.
- I'm trying to remember, are there nephar shamans as well?
- What do we know about gender roles in nephil society?
--- Slartucker 14:58, 20 January 2006 (CST)
- I don't remember any Nephar shamans, but I can't be sure. One thing is pretty certain though, trying to find evidence for gender roles in the Avernum series is probably asking too much from Jeff. He doesn't do that much detail.
- From a hunch, I'd expect that female Nephil warriors are every bit as common as male ones, especially seeing as the preferred fighting style involves ranged combat and therefore would not favor a muscular build over agility. Some Nephil societies might even be matriarchal: Anastasia sure seemed to have no problem being accepted as a leader. And she led the Nephilim bandits long before they came to Avernum, before they had no other choice but to trust her. Something tells me that even as a mage she could not have asserted herself so well as a human female leader if at least one of the two wasn't culturally acceptable. Arancaytar | Send Reply! --- That is not dead which can eternal lie... 18:27, 20 January 2006 (CST)
- Good call. You know, this is why Exile is such a wonderful creation. We can extrapolate stuff like this, which was not explicitly or consciously put down by Jeff, from the stuff that was, and it's still a consistent and believable world.
- Also, there are Nephar Shamans, and they are no less shamanly than the nephil ones. So I guess the Nepharim can't be universally stupid. --- Slartucker 18:50, 20 January 2006 (CST)
- It's quite possible that Nephilim exiled Nepharim, which might create enough of a society to exist without reproduction among Nepharim. Also, it seems like Nepharim are some sort of genetic mutation like an XYY or XXY. --Drakey