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Monday, March 16, 2015

Elfquest




This one has puzzled me for a while: How come Elfquest hasn't been made into a movie? There has been talk and rumors of this for years, yet nothing. There have been various fan trailers (you can find at least one on youtube) made and the elves of Elquest seem to enjoy a good measure of popularity at comic and cosplay conventions but so far zilch on the big screen.

If you're like me (early 40s) then you'll probably remember the excellent four volume series that the was/is Elfquest. Elfquest written by Richard and Wendy Pini was a seminal moment for me as a pre-teen and I read all four multiple times. Wendy's art was incredible throughout and the story well done. It also had the benefit of being in the midst of AD&D's popularity in the early 1980s. I don't think there was anyone my age who hadn't read it once.

Elfquest tells the story of the elves known as the Wolfriders and their fight for survival against humans on the World of the Two Moons. Very quickly the tribe is forced to flee their woodland homeland which sets them on the path to find the legendary palace of the High Ones; the progenitors of the elves.

The thing that makes Elfquest great is the believability of the Wolfriders; compared to the rest of the tribes of elves who are presented as near perfect beings for the most part. It is the Wolfriders alone who adapt to the world of the two moons and thrive. Their passions are believable and they are mortal having mingled with the wolves of the world to adapt and survive.

One would think with the mega success of the Lord of the Rings and the Narnia movies that the studios would be looking for other material in the fantasy realm. I think it would be quite easy to make it into a trilogy. Cutter's quest for the Palace of the High Ones has a great arc to it with a beginning middle and end. To me Elfquest of Dragonlance makes the most sense for the "next" trilogy.  Elfquest could be done very easily in my estimation.

As I almost always do how does this apply to gaming:
  • Of course back in the day there was the RPG from Chaosium that went through two revisions that I'm aware of. Never played the system so I can't comment on the game as a whole.
  • The Quest for The Palace of the High Ones is much like the War of the Lance in Dragonlance: a dividing line between the story. To some this might not matter, but for me it makes it feel as if its two different eras in a way; a game set before and game set after. 
  • In my 2nd edition campaign world I borrow the idea of the High Ones coming to the world via silver ships. This eliminates the standard trope of "the oldest and wisest firstborn race". They may be old and wise, but are alien to the world. By doing this I've also placed them as at best neutral to humans and at times they have warred with each other. Further since they were the last race "on the scene" as it were, there is no need for the traditional animosity to dwarfs either. This gives them a bit of a different flavor in my opinion.
I'm not necessarily looking at this as a gamer with over 30 years plus experience expecting it to appeal to me, but a gamer who has kids. I havent read it in years but it always seemed part of the "scene" as it were. There were right ups of the main characters in Dragon before the dedicated rpg came out and then adds thereafter. Minis were produced and it made it to a second edition. It didn't reach D&D's popularity, but what did?

To close, without getting stereotypical I could see my daughter enjoying the read, my son probably as well. One would thing with some of the craptastic movies that do get made this would be a winner.