Elf lifespan confusion

#1BashamoPosted 2/6/2012 8:58:13 AM
According to the book, "The Real Barenziah", elves can supposedly live for 1,000 years. However, I have yet to actually see this fact dealt with in the games. Correct me if I am mistaken, because I have only played partway through Oblivion and Skyrim. Do any NPCs actually mention this in person? I know Mankar Camoran is supposedly 400 years old when you meet him, but people act like this is weird. If he's an Altmer, being that old should not be surprising.

If elves can really live that long, it should mean there are elves still alive who would be contemporary with Tiber Septim. However, you never meet anyone who is. Furthermore, you never meet anyone who remembers old history.

If I played an elf in Oblivion or Morrowind, they could still technically be alive in Skyrim. But no one remembers who they would be, despite possibly being the CoC and still being alive.

If elves really live that long, but reproduce very slowly as suggested in the book, there is no way the Thalmor could be a threat to the empire. Elves do not seem any harder to kill than humans, so this suggests that the Thalmor probably suffer similar casualties as the empire. However, given humans are rabbits compared to elves, all the empire has to do is wait 20 years to have a new set of humans who will just out number and kill the elves.

If my father is an Altmer and my mother is a Nord, do I get a longer lifespan? What if my father is a Nord and my mother is an Altmer? Do Bretons live longer, since they are related to elves?

It bothers me to no end that elves are mentioned to live for a long time in passing, but the implications of this are never actually dealt with in the game. If one group of society really lived through 10 generations of another, it would certainly leave an impression. It's not really as simple as "oh btw elves live for 1,000 years but this has no effect on anything". They should either make elves live for 80 years or explain what this long life span means. >_o

Can someone clarify this?
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#2MajorHarperPosted 2/6/2012 9:02:07 AM
but. uhm. maybe. perhaps?
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#3Stormkid5Posted 2/6/2012 9:06:03 AM
Elves can live that long, but are still susceptable to sword poisoning and disease.

Most, if not all die before 100.
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#4MajorHarperPosted 2/6/2012 9:07:21 AM
That makes sense. The world of Elder Scrolls is a dangerous place. Except, maybe, for elvish princesses.
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#5daveliciousPosted 2/6/2012 9:11:29 AM
Really... the implications are dealt with well enough... for example, you find sinderion's relatively fresh corpse in TESV... 200 years after you meet him in TESIV... at which point he's already of a moderate age...

the ES universe is very turbulent, and dangerous. Just because you physically have the ability to live for 1000 years... you aren't likely to simply because unless you constantly hide in a sheltered area, you will constantly face dangers that will eventually kill you if you go adventuring, or fight in wars, or just walk from town to town in the wilderness.

For that reason, there aren't really going to be many people who have any real relevant knowledge of epic happenings from 1000 years ago, because the only people who would be likely to survive that long have done so because they've been cowering all their life. So they don't really know much about those events anyway, and would not even be noteworthy in the games.
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#6Bashamo(Topic Creator)Posted 2/6/2012 9:19:01 AM
Stormkid5 posted...
Elves can live that long, but are still susceptable to sword poisoning and disease.

Most, if not all die before 100.


But if this is the case and elves reproduce slowly, they should all be dead. If most die before 100, they should have at least 2 children before that. But it is said they will only get pregnant a few times in their lives. If most elves can really only have 1 child before 100, they should have died out.
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#7Lord_XiaPosted 2/6/2012 9:19:06 AM
In Morowind, the leaders of the Telvanni Dark elves were really old. I think Dyverith Fyr(I know I butchered his name) was like 3,000 or 4,000 years old.
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#8ccw47Posted 2/6/2012 9:21:16 AM
" but reproduce very slowly as suggested in the book,"

well? skipped that one huh.
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#9Brenz0rPosted 2/6/2012 9:58:59 AM(edited)
If elves can really live that long, it should mean there are elves still alive who would be contemporary with Tiber Septim. However, you never meet anyone who is. Furthermore, you never meet anyone who remembers old history.

The average Dark Elf commoner might reach about two hundred. Nobility would reach around four to six hundred, and those with access to powerful Restoration magic (and life extension magic by association - basically mage lords) can push it further. Barenziah is one such, a living person who spoke with (and "rode") Tiber Septim. Whether she is still alive as of Skyrim is questionable, however, since there's no real proof one way or the other.

But yes, there are elves alive who were contemporary with Tiber Septim. Almost all the Telvanni mage-lords are pushing a thousand years old, if not more (Aryon is the youngest by centuries). Divayth Fyr is over four thousand years old as of Morrowind. This means that, if true, and if you discount the missing 1008 years of the Dragon Break in the First Era, he would have been born in the Merethic Era. He would be older than Alessia, older than the Empire, older than Akatosh and the dragons, older than Skyrim itself (if he was born in the Merethic, then the Nords would still be Atmorans), and possibly older than mankind (time still being a bit screwy in the Merethic).

Including the Dragon break, he would have been born in 1E 243 at minimum, and Alessia's rebellion started in 1E 242. He would have been contemporary with Nerevar, and would also have been a Chimer. It is likely that he was there when Azura cursed the Chimer to become Dunmer in the first place. He would have known Vehk, Ayem and Seht before they became Vivec, Almalexia and Sotha Sil, and probably also studied with Sotha Sil on Artaeum, or at least associated with him.

Make no mistake, Divayth Fyr is old.
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#10daveliciousPosted 2/6/2012 9:29:07 AM

From: Bashamo | #006
But if this is the case and elves reproduce slowly, they should all be dead. If most die before 100, they should have at least 2 children before that. But it is said they will only get pregnant a few times in their lives. If most elves can really only have 1 child before 100, they should have died out.


In the real berenziah v2... it's suggested that the reason that elves don't have many children throughout their lifetime is because after the mid to late teens... elves won't mate as readily.

Just like humans... for a species to flourish... they only need to make it to the age where they can reproduce and raise the young till they can care for themselves. If most elves have children young, and then live out the rest of their lives... it doesn't matter if most of them don't live past 100.
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