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Old 03-01-2024, 06:08 PM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Lawrence, KS
Default dreams and immortality

I've been reading Anna Vaninskaya's Fantasies of Time and Death, a study of the themes of Dunsany, Eddison, and Tolkien. One of the things she points to is Tolkien's supposition that elves are immortal within the existence of Arda (the created world)—if their bodies are destroyed they reincarnate—but they have no prospect of outliving Arda, in contrast to men, who die and go somewhere else. This seems to tie in with the old idea that elves are soulless.

So this time that made me think of my current campaign The Gate of Horn, about people who can meet and have adventures in shared dreams. It occurred to me that the people they meet in dreams are rather like elves: they don't seem to have "free will," and they have to stay within dreams, but they can keep coming back in subsequent dreams. Conversely, the actual dreamers can come out of dreams into the waking world.

So might dream beings wish for an escape from living in dreams, as Tolkien says that elves fantasize about the escape from deathlessness? That might be something I can use in the rest of the campaign . . .
Bill Stoddard

I don't think we're in Oz any more.
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