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  • Wilusa
    started a topic Are all Immortals foundlings?

    Are all Immortals foundlings?

    I can't resist posting some thoughts (because I had a new one today).

    First, some of the theories used in fan fiction...

    I have notes about theories by two other authors, though I've never read their fics, and don't recall even the authors' names.

    One was extreme fantasy: Every so often, a female Immortal feels a "compulsion" to mate with a male Immortal. From his point of view, they've just had great sex. But wthin a few hours, the female Immortal bears a pre-Immortal infant...acts on a new "compulsion" to abandon it...and then forgets the whole thing.

    The second was less fantastic...quite interesting, IMHO! A fetus becomes pre-Immortal if the already pregnant woman has sex with a male Immortal during her first trimester. (But unless there was more to it than I heard, it doesn't explain the infants' becoming foundlings.)

    I've used another possibility. I'm not going to give too many "spoilers" for my fiction! But here's the basic idea. Male Immortals (only males) are fertile...but on such rare occasions that most of them never realize it. (They don't feel any unnatural "compulsion" to mate at those times.) Often, they're so sure they're sterile that they'll walk out on a woman who tries to convince them she's carrying their child. The infants are always pre-Immortal; and the mothers always die after giving birth. So many of those infants are, understandably, given away. In cases where the fathers are still in the picture, they usually won't risk keeping the infants with them. In our era, the few Immortals who understand this believe they're all descended from a long-ago ancestor who was the product of a mutation. (Not possibly Methos: in this fan-fiction universe, he's recovered some fragmentary memories, and knows there once were Immortals older than he.)

    Here's the idea I just thought of.

    I recently learned from a scholar I admire that thousands of years ago, unwanted infants were routinely abandoned - just left exposed to the elements, with the expectation they'd die. The scholar believes even early Christians did that. So perhaps we can say every pre-Immortal was the result of a mutation - the same type of mutation taking place again and again, with both parents being "normal." Giving birth to the "mutant" would always cause the mothers to die, with the infants - somewhat understandably - being abandoned. But they'd be more hardy than other "exposed" infants, and would survive until someone found them alive and took pity on them.

    That certainly couldn't happen in our day, but it could account for there being a widely-accepted myth that all Immortals were foundlings. (While present-day pre-Immortal infants probably would be given up for adoption, because their mothers had died.)

    Others' thoughts?
    Last edited by Wilusa; 09-02-2017, 03:11 PM.

  • TheWolfEmperor
    replied
    Originally posted by dubiousbystander View Post
    It wasn't the midwife who offered Duncan. "When the midwife looked into your eyes, for it was you the peasant brought in, she cringed back in fear... and said you were a changeling... left by the forest demons... and we should cast you out for the dogs!"
    Oh okay. It's been awhile since I watched Family Tree so I got it mixed up.

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  • dubiousbystander
    replied
    It wasn't the midwife who offered Duncan. "When the midwife looked into your eyes, for it was you the peasant brought in, she cringed back in fear... and said you were a changeling... left by the forest demons... and we should cast you out for the dogs!"
    Last edited by dubiousbystander; 10-06-2018, 05:58 AM. Reason: had to remove a link that was automatically left in.

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  • TheWolfEmperor
    replied
    I had been watching Outlander and in one episode, a woman abandons her infant in the forest thinking it's a changeling. The idea being that the changelings would return the stolen infant before the changeling dies. And of course the baby dies of exposure and Jamie explains to Claire. The mother will be fine because she'll take comfort in the idea that the changelings are taking care of her "real" son. And in Highlander, Duncan's father flat out tells him that he believes Duncan to be a devil spawn, or a changeling and that it was the midwife that offered an infant Duncan in the place of the infant who had died in birth.

    I realize Highlander and Outlander have different mythologies but they both are at some level grounded in the idea of an otherworldly presence guiding events. Highlander even eventually encounters a demon like creature that Duncan has to defeat. So it's not out of the realm of possibility to think that The Game is engineered by unseen entities and that Immortals are the product of these entities. It's possible that quite a few pre-immortal infants still do die of exposure from not being found and that the ones who do have simply survived the first stage of the Game. Even more of them don't get activated and die of old age without ever knowing they are different.

    The entities who engineer the Game could be sending in new immortals for any number of reasons not necessarily known or explainable by our standards.

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  • dubiousbystander
    commented on 's reply
    Unless it was something in Season 6...

  • dubiousbystander
    commented on 's reply
    That was Bad Day in Building A, and I don't remember anything in that about faeries abandoning human children. Was that a cut bit, or just something they didn't use in the end?
    DM - Well, they were like regular people, except they lived for... a very long time, and... they never grew old.

    Belinda - Like Peter Pan!

    DM - Yeah... sort of. Well, the fairies were handsome... and wise... and very, very clever. The problem was, as time went on, there were more and more people, and soon the fairy people had to leave their home in the fairy city. They moved into the mountains, and into the old forests, and in the caves and in the cliffs. But the other people always found these places, so the fairy people had to move on.

    Belinda - That's sad. Where do they live now?

    DM - [whispering] Oh, Belinda... they're all around us. And you know what their job is? [Belinda shakes her head.] It's to protect children. And sometimes tell them stories.

  • Methos
    replied
    I don't buy into the alien theory. There's too much that's magical about them for that to be the case. Both the movies and the series has given us a number of other magical elements, whether it's Nakano's power of illusion, Cassandra's prophesying and mind control, the Methuselah Stone, or Ahriman. Not to mention, why would aliens single out holy ground as inviolable ground for Immortal combat? And if we assume The Final Dimension is still valid to some degree, the creators of the Game seemingly monitor holy ground, as they were ready to lay down the law on that fight between Kane and MacLeod (And the series suggests that the destruction of Pompeii was a result of two Immortals fighting on holy ground).

    I wish I could remember what episode it was in, but there was an episode where MacLeod tells someone a fable he made up on the spot about faeries abandoning their children in the mortal world. I'm thinking that MacLeod's fable is far closer to the actual truth than any other theory out there. There are other beings out there, and they're not space aliens on a far-off planet, but beings far closer to Earth. And, I suspect, they may be very similar in nature to Ahriman.

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  • dubiousbystander
    replied
    I ran into one fanfic where Immortals were designed by a distant alien race on a dying world, as a possible escape hatch, and the final Quickening would be powerful enough to create a portal between the worlds for them to escape and rule Earth. The reason Immortals all appear as foundlings is because they can't send anything bigger. They had a subplot where Methos was the first sent as an adult, and the experience did him such damage that he turned completely against them. Duncan was very specifically engineered to be the person who would bring them through, believing them to be his loving family and parents or something like that.

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  • Methos
    replied
    Wherever baby immortals come from, I think their origins have to be tied into whoever created the Game and set up the rules. Immortals clearly aren't a natural occurrence. They exist with a specific purpose in mind. So somewhere, baby Immortals are either being birthed or manufactured by some other kind of being that we haven't been introduced to. But whoever they are, they seem to be actively monitoring the rules of the Game, given what happened when Kane tried to take Connor's head on holy ground in Highlander 3. The options, I think, are as follows.

    1) They're Transformed: Using the Methuselah Stone, which works as advertised, the beings creating baby Immortals kidnap human infants and use the stone on them to make them Immortal before leaving them out in the world as Foundlings. In this case, the stone we saw is one which they lost along the way somehow, but not the only one in their possession.

    2) They're Manufactured: Whoever the beings behind the Game are, they simply create Immortals, so in essence they have no parents. They're created from whole cloth the way, I suppose, God created His angels. Manufactured beings, rather than beings which evolved into their current state and reproduce.

    3) They're Birthed: Immortals do have a mother and father, but not human parents, or Immortal parents. Rather, they're the biological children of these other beings who, rather than raise them, decide to exile them and force them into the Game. For that to be the case, though, it'd have to suggest that the Immortals are different from their biological parents and don't possess the same abilities.

    IMO, there can't be any explanation of where baby Immortals come from until the purpose of the existence of Immortals and the Game is first explained.

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  • n107
    replied
    Originally posted by Perfect Warrior View Post
    Oh. Ley lines. Witch ties into the whole celtic/ highlander thing, as far as it meshing with legends as they anciently stand. Nice fit.
    Yes, indeed. The goal was to have it make sense using concepts seen in the show and in the real world rather than make up something completely different and try to force it into the lore.

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  • Perfect Warrior
    replied
    Oh. Ley lines. Witch ties into the whole celtic/ highlander thing, as far as it meshing with legends as they anciently stand. Nice fit.

    Leave a comment:


  • n107
    replied
    Originally posted by Nicholas Ward View Post
    That is a very interesting theory. Does it suggest that in areas where a lot of people died (clan wars etc.) occurrence of immortality would be higher?
    The odds of a foundling being created wouldn't be dependent on the number of dead in an area but rather where the Quickening energy in the earth had come together.

    I imagine Quickening to operate like a magnetic or gravitational force. It is always attracted to itself and pulling towards itself. As more and more of the energy combines, it is able to pull more of it closer which eventually lead to these pools or "sources" of Quickening that can spawn new Immortals. That is also why Immortals can sense each other because the magnetic-like force of the Quickening inside each Immortal starts to pull towards each other, causing that sensation. Also, that would be why the Gathering happens when only a few Immortals remain because they each have a significant portion of the entire Quickening inside each of their bodies. The Quickening would be constantly pulling towards the other pieces, drawing each of them closer and closer to whatever the midpoint of all the remaining Immortals would be. In the original Highlander film, for example, that would have been New York City. It would be like a siren's call that urges them onward to reuniting the Quickening into a whole.

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  • Nicholas Ward
    replied
    That is a very interesting theory. Does it suggest that in areas where a lot of people died (clan wars etc.) occurrence of immortality would be higher?

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  • dubiousbystander
    replied
    Originally posted by n107 View Post
    Here's my take on it, which is part of a still unfinished story I've been planning/working on for a while:

    The short and sweet of it is that the foundlings are a creation of the Quickening itself. The Quickening is the power of life, which is why it fuels immortality, and is also why it can create new life. I imagine that the Quickening energy, which is spread across the globe, had gradually pooled together in certain areas. These areas are what we think of as holy ground; the energy of the Quickening is the reason why ancients felt that they were in a sacred place and built their places of worship on top of it.

    The concentrated pools of Quickening permeating the holy ground occasionally spawn a child when it interacts with DNA of human bodies buried in the soil. This would explain why so many "abandoned" babies seem to be left at churches, convents and so on. Sure, some of them are actually abandoned by their parents but the immortal foundlings were actually materialized there. Not all foundlings start at one of these places but that's because not every single "source" of energy has a structure built on it, hence those found in the wild. Because these foundlings are derived from the DNA of people in the area accounts for why they would (typically) have the same racial/ethnic features of people from that region.

    There are a lot more details of what is going on and why but that's not what this thread's topic is about.
    I like that. And no one has to die for an Immortal to come into existence. Almost as though it could be magic, and things such as the Methuselah Stone exist.

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  • n107
    replied
    Here's my take on it, which is part of a still unfinished story I've been planning/working on for a while:

    The short and sweet of it is that the foundlings are a creation of the Quickening itself. The Quickening is the power of life, which is why it fuels immortality, and is also why it can create new life. I imagine that the Quickening energy, which is spread across the globe, had gradually pooled together in certain areas. These areas are what we think of as holy ground; the energy of the Quickening is the reason why ancients felt that they were in a sacred place and built their places of worship on top of it.

    The concentrated pools of Quickening permeating the holy ground occasionally spawn a child when it interacts with DNA of human bodies buried in the soil. This would explain why so many "abandoned" babies seem to be left at churches, convents and so on. Sure, some of them are actually abandoned by their parents but the immortal foundlings were actually materialized there. Not all foundlings start at one of these places but that's because not every single "source" of energy has a structure built on it, hence those found in the wild. Because these foundlings are derived from the DNA of people in the area accounts for why they would (typically) have the same racial/ethnic features of people from that region.

    There are a lot more details of what is going on and why but that's not what this thread's topic is about.

    Leave a comment:


  • dubiousbystander
    replied
    Oh yeah! Twins, identical or fraternal. That could be possible. Or they might die, not having enough power from only two parents. Or one would absorb the other and THAT could be an interesting complication. Or not.

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  • Nicholas Ward
    replied
    Nice theory, Maybe the newborn immortal absorbs their parents essence?

    Also that would leave the (im)possibility of immortal twins...

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  • dubiousbystander
    replied
    Perhaps the parents of a gestating pre-immortal always run away together, and both are disintegrated with the birth of the baby. I like that better. Thus the baby is born far away from those who knew its parents, and there aren't any parents to be found. This happens very rarely, because for two people who carry the necessary genes to come together wouldn't happen often. And, after all, the full compliment of genes is not coming back into the mortal population.

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  • watcher nido
    replied
    A friend of mine told me once an immortal origin, the author was Coyote hush ( I dont know who is) a preimmortal when is born... its quickening desintegrates the mother...that's why immortals are foundlings... I dont know how true is that theory...but I like it

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  • dubiousbystander
    replied
    Originally posted by Saber Dog View Post
    Duncan killing too many "breeders" is hilarious.

    Given Duncan's attitude toward women immortals, they would be the most dangerous for him. The most dangerous would be Grace. She drugs him, ties him up, calmly apologizes explaining he's killing too many "breeders", opens her bag and gets out her bone saw... Duncan: "Grace... What are you doing Grace? What are you doing with that saw?" Grace: "Hold still. I'll be quick." Duncan: "GRACE??!!" Grace gets out a marker and puts a dotted line around Duncan's neck.
     Hahahah. Again, it wasn't the women who were bothered by Methos killing breeders. Turned out particularly to be an older male Immortal who was trying to breed his own army. It came to Methos' attention that rather quite a few of the younger Immortals he was running across were this guy's.

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  • Saber Dog
    replied
    It is only the foundling part that i don't see as crucial. Not having immortals raising baby immortals is crucial. Not having immortals as a as a breeding population is crucial. I don't have a problem with random babies being immortal.

    Duncan killing too many "breeders" is hilarious.

    Given Duncan's attitude toward women immortals, they would be the most dangerous for him. The most dangerous would be Grace. She drugs him, ties him up, calmly apologizes explaining he's killing too many "breeders", opens her bag and gets out her bone saw... Duncan: "Grace... What are you doing Grace? What are you doing with that saw?" Grace: "Hold still. I'll be quick." Duncan: "GRACE??!!" Grace gets out a marker and puts a dotted line around Duncan's neck.

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  • dubiousbystander
    replied
    Eh... operationally, the Foundling thing is crucial. As in, someone found a baby and said "Looks good. I'll raise this one as my own."

    Yeah, there was another variant where, again, only very old Immortals (1,000 years or so) are fertile. The numbers are dwindling and someone has decided that Duncan MacLeod must be eliminated, because he keeps killing breeders. There was an almost funny interaction between Methos and Ceirdwyn where she yells at him that he's killed her children and he counters that they had to be somebody's. Suffice to say, it wasn't the women who were after Duncan.

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  • Saber Dog
    replied
    I don't think the mothers need to die or lose their memories in order for pre immortal babies to be relocated.

    I also don't think the foundling thing is crucial either. Most of them end up as part of a family anyway.

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  • Perfect Warrior
    replied
    Our modern sensibilities would be happier with abandonment causing immortality, yes. (Instead of the reverse.)

    I understand that in ancient Rome there was a way, culturally, to deal with an unwanted/unsupportable newborn- there was a specific spot in the marketplace to leave them. The first flickers of modern 'safe place' drop-off spots. (& back then, when debt slaves were common, there were dirtbag futures speculators who would take the girls and pay to have them nursed, then sell them as prostitutes.)

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  • Nicholas Ward
    replied
    If the Source is mainly electrical I could imagine that maybe some children get struck by lightning, so maybe they start off as normal foundlings but because of unique circumstances become pre-immortal. Maybe abandoning kids was a ritualised happening which could explain why there seem to be more in the past than in the modern day.

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