Some Snippets from The World

Discussions about constructed worlds, cultures and any topics related to constructed societies.
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Re: Some Snippets from The World

Post by elemtilas » Wed 27 Apr 2016, 03:27

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tqayyarere allemarhrcarave! : prima-marsi-mandoronoris and-sa-shrishruatani shinnengam
prima-marsi-lushunturuwo and-sa-criyacruatani yayangar
eiyem : pwe-rorya-morrorrona-y-yiriellele ngara-gruachrana
yung : prima-shinne-r-amarandeonom melle-lalaysyamray-shan lelanangam canil lusterangam canil shinshillengam canil : aykqkqya!
tqayyarere allemarhrcarave!


Happy days, dearest friends! High up in the oak trees the fiddlebugs are droning their song;
High up in the maple trees the crickets are chattering & yapping;
Tis true the Weather Queens are blowing in a storm from the west,
But surely in Songtide happily indeed shall we dance & tussle & make silly, merry songs. Ah--hehheh!
Happy days, dearest friends!

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Last edited by elemtilas on Sat 21 May 2016, 23:16, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Some Snippets from The World

Post by elemtilas » Mon 02 May 2016, 06:14

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The Men of Straw

They always came in threes, they did, to our little village of Kettleworth up in the western marches. The Men of Straw, that is. Others came in threes, of course. The Wise Kings came at midwinter, but they were really just old Parlam and his dour brothers. They did it for the play put on by the priests, you see. But everyone knew them. And the Raven Queens; sisters and queens of a realm now long lost. Everyone knows to toss a silver ring into the deep pool under the spring, if you want good fortune in some dealing. The priests don’t much like them, saying they’re just old wives tales.

Well, everyone also knows what they say about the tales of old wives!

But not so the Men of Straw. Quiet fellows, for the most part, they kept to themselves and made more sound than a quiet rustling as shuffled about some part of a field or pasture. Where they hailed from had always been a matter of some conjecture. Some folks said they came from down in the south away and others up in the highlands to the east. Where ever they came from, I can’t rightly say, but what I can say is the last time they came through Kettleworth, well sir, we’d have done better with roving Giants or a legion of demons!

Ah, twas mid Fogstide when the Men of Straw came to town. As they always did, there were three of them. Tall and lean they were, hooded and cloaked. They never spoke a word to anyone, they just went to work. They worked from Ciderfeast to Ciderfeast, and neither a day more nor a day less. Not even gammer Spindletooth knew how long they’d been working our fields, but she can recall as if it were yesterday when she was a young maiden and her old gramma told her the story of the Cider Girls, and that story is pretty old indeed!

It seems way back then, years and ages gone by now, the King of the Ravens was waging a war on the young Graf wan Kettleworth, the new lord of these lands. Seems they had some kind of disagreement over land rights, and the king brought in thousands of his warriors each plantingtide for three years, and they ate every seed, every seedling and every green shoot in every field around. By the third winter, folks was near starving. Seed was hard to come by, meat & flocks were gone and so were the cats and even the rats of the place.

But then a sort of strange young girl came up to the Graf before his court and declared that she could solve the problem. A great dark blue cloak she wore around herself, and it seemed like her shoulders were hunched. Her feet were bare and white as snow.

“How will you do this?” asked the Graf. “Not even all our brave soldiers and all our skilled hunters have more than culled a halftithe of the vile beasts!”

She pushed back her blue hood and the cloak fell aside from her right shoulder, revealing the midnight black wing of a dwimmerqueen! The sorceress drew from the pocket of her sleeve a long wand of hazel. The hall erupted in astonished murmuring, and many folks took to blessing themselves. Some, indeed, to ward off the evil eye. Others, to be equally sure, to welcome a potential ally.

“I shall call forth three men and three men only. But do my bidding and they shall overthrow the Raven King and your plantingtides shall be peaceful and your harvests as plentiful as may be.”

The people were delighted by her words and shouted their acclamation. The Graf, however, was not so easily swayed and became rather uneasy about the offer. He asked her, as cunning as he could: “What do you need us to do? And what if we choose to do otherwise?”

The strange girl only smiled and, piercing his eyes with hers, said: “You shall do my bidding. Or you will die. That is your choice, lord. As for what you must do, it is this only: during the planting festival and the harvest festival alike, you are to send a girl bearing a wicker basket out into the old ring of trees outside the town. She is to bear in her basket three small bottles of cider and a dozen apples resting on a bed of straw. Nothing more and nothing less. The girl will leave the basket in the middle of the grove. Sometimes the girls will wander away. You are not to follow them. Most times, you will find they make their way home again. Sooner or later.”

And so it was: each plantingtide and each harvestide a gift of cider and apples was left in the middle of the ancient ring of trees outside the town, and sure enough, three odd fellows came into the fields and overthrew the armies of the Raven King. And so it’s been ever since. Each year before planting, the Cider Girl takes our gift out to the old grove and the Men of Straw work our fields, driving off the birds and other beasts that would despoil our crops. And then, each year at harvest, another Cider Girl takes out our gift of thanksgiving and the Men of Straw disappear again.

No one rightly knows their names, these Men of Straw, nor if it’s the same men every year, but they’ve been given names all the same. Mawkins is the shortest of the fellows, but tall and gaunt all the same, always carries a great flail with him; Mowrmat is the middle fellow and he carries a scythe and an old sack; and then there’s old Hodmedodd, very tall and lanky. He comes alone out of the fields on moonless nights and sits himself down on the old bench outside the pub and plays his fiddle. Always a mournful old air. Reminds one of empty towers and ruined countries and long lost loves.

And so it was until these three years past. That was the Year of the Returned Prodigal, and it was a year of wonders all around.

Little enough of note happens in the Grafdom of Kettleworth, but during the fall fair that year, this fellow came up from the low countries driving a painted cart. He called himself by the name of Doebuck, representing himself as a “hyetinerant merchant”, and indeed his waggon was full of all kinds of goods. Some things he sold right off the back of his cart, but other things he said could only be bought through the Royal Post, at very reasonable rates of carriage.

One thing he took particular note of was our newly harvested fields.

“My good sirs,” said he; “veritable lords of the furrow and field, it has not escaped my notice that your fields stand defenseless in the face of that most cunningest of foes, thatmost craftiest of enemies, the common crow!”

But freeman Sobriety Mustwait spoke up then and informed him that the Men of Straw came to clear out the crows and other beasts, although he said it with a tear in his eye. “Only thing is, mister, twice a year we send out a young girl with payment for their service. And this harvest our Incontinence Exercise done gone out to the old grove. Only she ain’t come back home yet...”

Mister Doebuck put his arm around the poor farmer, with a look of the gravest concern on his face. “How is it, my dear friends!, that in these modern times, the common Man must rely solely on the wiles of some dark sorceress for the defense of his fields? Why, my good folks, gather round!” He pulled off the counter of his waggon a large book, full of little pictures of things that he was selling. The Greatest Catalogue in the history of the World he called it.

Flipping through the pages, he came at last to a particular page. “Ah! Here we are at last! The truest answer to every vermin known to farmer, cottager, gardener or vintner! Gather round good people and witness the sure solution to the problem of field crows and disappearing maidens!”

With a grand flourish of his right hand, and holding aloft the Greatest Catalogue in the history of the World in his left, he showed them the Farmer’s Steadfast Friend, also known as the Patent Frightener of Crows and Birds of Every Kind. “Yes, good gentles, the Farmer’s Steadfast Friend: but stand him up in your fields and he’ll guard them every day of the year, night and day alike and, what is more, no reliance of spotty thaumics no one can hope to understand! Crows fly from these fellows; sparrows flee in terror; every kind of bird that likes to nibble on seedling and shoot is instantly removed from your fields in an entirely conventional and hygienic manner. All for the one time price of sixpence, yes sirs!, half a dollar per each. And, what with the power of buying in cooperative bulk, your whole village can save considerable sums over buying individually. And also, have I mentioned our Premium Savings Plan? No? Well, let me just mention in passing that with each purchase of as small as one single penny, from many of our fine products kept in stock at all times at our warehouses in Auntimoany and Narfoun, you will receive a chitty that, when accumulated in sufficient numbers, will allow you to redeem them from this handsome catalogue of gift goods!” Here he brought out with another flourish of his nimble hands yet another Catalogue of goods. “Why, sirs, you could easily earn enough chitties from your purchases this very day to obtain these very nice silk ribbons for some pretty young lass, or perhaps this handsome pocket knife, or even this assortment of fine sweing needles and threads?”

The women of the town were sold instantly on the practicality and economy of the scheme, even if the men weren’t quite so fast on the uptake. Goodwife Complacency Misconstrual spoke for all there gathered: “Mister, sign us up! And here’s sixpence for that straw fellow of yourn. We’ll not have our dear Impudence Lackgrace fotch off by elves or whatnot in the woods!”

And so it was that the village of Kettleworth voted with their sixpenny pieces, exclusive of a very reasonable rate for carriage of course. And by midwinter, every field in the quiet lands around the old manor was graced and guarded by a genuine Spears & Doebuck farmer’s steadfast friend. And more than one young girl sported new ribbons in her hair and more than one goodwife took to darning and patching with the best bronze sewing needles the Premium Savings Plan could buy that Yule.

And all was well that year. No Cider Girls went out to the ancient grove. No baskets of apples or cider were left in the ring of trees. And more to the point, the Men of Straw did not return that year.

And all was well the next year as well. A few crows were seen skirting the marches, but they seemed to be quite terrorised by the strawmen, their patchwork sleeves blowing in the breeze, their broad brimmed hats shading their faceless heads.

But on the third year, that was a year of terror indeed! Just after plantingtide, legions of the King’s ravens bore down on the fields of Kettleworth, and within three days, not a seed or greenshoot was to be found. The ravens attacked the strawmen again and again, but found them to be flimsy and unable to fight back. They were quickly thrown down and torn to pieces! The people of the village applied again to their lord for a defence against the marauding crows.

He sent out all his best warriors, and they shot all their arrows and cast all their darts. But hardly a raven was killed. He sent out all his best hounds and falcons, and they chased the birds this way and that over field and pasture, but the ravens overwhelmed them and killed them all. He sent out his best hunters and they cast their nets and set their snares and not a single bird was captured.

And so a year passed. And the next year, the same happened! Just after plantingtide, legions of the King’s ravens bore down on the fields of Kettleworth, and within three days, not a seed or greenshoot was to be found. The ravens attacked the strawmen again and again, but found them to be flimsy and unable to fight back. They were quickly thrown down and torn to pieces! The people of the village applied again to their lord for a defence against the marauding crows.

He sent out all his best warriors, and they shot all their arrows and cast all their darts. But hardly a raven was killed. He sent out all his best hounds and falcons, and they chased the birds this way and that over field and pasture, but the ravens overwhelmed them and killed them all. He sent out his best hunters and they cast their nets and set their snares and not a single bird was captured.

The year after that one was truly a starving year, and the miserable Graf sat in his hall bereft of its treasures, sold off in order to buy food from distant markets for his people. And now even that food was long gone. It should have been a bountiful harvest, for the weather had been fair all the year long, but there were no harvest feasts this year! And there came a strange young girl, wearing a blue greatcloak round her hunchbacked shoulders. She threw back the hood from her raven black hair and the cloak fell from her shoulders, revealing her great wings, black as midnight!

The old women gathered in the hall gasped, for they well remembered the ancient story of the Cider Girl, a story the Graf would have done well to recollect!

“What do you want, black sorceress? Have you sent these ravens and crows against my peaceful lands?”

“No, lord,” she replied coldly. “You invited them to these lands that shall now know peace no longer!”

“What are you saying!? Seize the charlatan. Shall I be mocked in my own house!”

She drew from the pocket of her long gown a slender wand of hazel, and a darkness fell upon the tall windows of the hall, a darkness of never ending nights, dawnless and comfortless. The guards cowered in fear.

“Nay, lord, I shall not be seized by you or your men. I shall declare your doom and the doom of all your people. You have broken our agreement, lord of these lands, and your doom is to lose the lordship of these lands. As for your people, they too have broken our ancient covenant, and gladly they have done so! Their doom is that of death.”

And with that, she swept her wand high above her head and all the lights and fires of the place were snuffed as if they’d never been lit in a thousand years! Cries rang out in the hall, and bells of alarm clanged outside. The only sounds to be heard were the tramping of bewildered boots on the flagstones and the confused shouting of men and women utterly lost.

A strong hand grasped my wrist and pulled me away from the bedlam of the hall, away from my comfortable stool in the corner behind the brazier. Its grip was irresistible and my unseen guide dragged me for quite some way. At last, I heard a door open and I knew we were outside and running. All was darkling and cold fog and mizzle had descended on the village. Only a wan and feeble sun could be seen above, and she cast no shadows down here below. I could see only dim shapes of things that would have been familiar an hour ago in the strong sunlight of noontime! The sounds of terrified people trailed off behind us, and I knew we had come at last to the old road that went down into the lowlands beyond our little country. Here my guide stopped and I tried to catch my ragged breath.

I could see shapes, indistinct and darker than the mists around me. They moved with a dire purpose, like an army on the march. They spoke no words and made no sound louder than a kind of rustling shuffle as they trudged along the verges of the road on either side. I thought I could see the shapes of tall, broadbrimmed hats perched upon the heads of tall, lanky men. They were many, and terrified as I was, I could not help but wonder at their appearance in the village: “Who are these men?”

My guide gripped my wrist again, whispering into my ear. “Harvesters. You alone are to be spared, the seed of a new crop. You do not know now, but you shall understand the price to be paid when sacred covenants are broken. You alone shall tell the tale to others, and they will learn.” A woman’s voice it seemed. Very old and also very young sounding, as if she couldn’t make up her mind whether she was crone or maiden or mother. Or maybe she was all of them together. She spoke no more, but thrust me away from her. “Run! And do not turn away from the road!”

And so I ran.

As I ran along the lane, I heard the sound first, before I could see the last of the dark shapes striding along by the roadside. A music, both sad and gay surrounded me. One figure bore a flail and the other a scythe and the last had an old fiddle on his arm and he was playing a slow air the like of which no mortal fiddle had ever sounded before! And sure I knew at last who these three were. The Men of Straw.

Although I shall ever recall the music, it is his face I shall never forget. A hideous and misshapen thing! Like an old sack stuffed with bones and gristle. Its eyes were but holes in the sack and in them was the deep black of a starless night. Straw poked out from the neck and cuffs of his misshapen tunic, and it seemed his bones were all wrapped with straw and vines. His fangs contorted into a grimmace of what at first I took to be hatred. I somehow knew these strange warriors, these harvesters, were come to kill everyone in the village. And there was nothing I could do but run. But now, these many years later, as I sit here telling these tales in this city by the Sea, I think it was a grimmace of disgust, of trust broken irreparably. Aye, of a great sadness.

The Men of Straw marched into Kettleworth for one last harvest.
Last edited by elemtilas on Sat 10 Sep 2016, 04:26, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Some Snippets from The World

Post by elemtilas » Wed 18 May 2016, 19:36

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fadayam : nândi-le-houwe-nam-murcuandesalteriyena dramo and-we-quoyacuoyacu lelanam
EVID.second.hand.but.reliable : ADPOS.motion.within.space.or.time-LOC-place-LINK-scrubbing.cloth.PURPOSE DEM.PRON.DISTAL.RIGHT.SIDE PRES-ERG-long.feather.bird.CLASS.I dance/leap.IMPF

(There is) this ostrich dancing in the bath house, or so he says.

So what does an ostrich look like, dancing in a bath house somewhere in the Eastlands of The World?

Rather like this!
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Re: Some Snippets from The World

Post by elemtilas » Thu 19 May 2016, 03:35

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Nomizdothurgy is the subtil art of ensorcelling the mind, not just confusing or confounding it with parlour tricks and illusion, but a dark art of deep dwimmery that fundamentally reshapes another's mind at the will of the master of nomizdothurgy. By nature, nomizdothurgy is an act of violence, for the resulting mind, shaped by cunning art, is not quite the same mind its owner began with. It takes a great deal of cunning dwimmery and much understanding of the intricacies of memory and thought to fundamentally reshape another person's mind -- and even more to yield one that still functions properly! This dark art is illegal and therefore naturally highly sought after by those aspirants of a more chaotic bent. It is not taught by any of the schools or masters who follow the paths of order or light; and yet highly fortunate is the apprentice treading the ways of darkness and chaos whose master deigns to share his jealously guarded secret art with a potential rival and possible foe.

Any prospective student whose predilections lie in the direction of nomizdothurgy and who has been enrolled in the magical school of Codeis will quickly be outted to the Council by the Crown of Virtue. With luck, the student can be guided along a successful thaumic path without ever awakening his inmost and hidden talents. Such a one who discovers his potential quite on his own could become a formidable wizard indeed, even if he never fully develops this talent. For, many of the nomizdothurge's arts are applicable to other of the dark magics.

As with any kind of dwimmery, great care must be taken by the would-be nomizdothurge when choosing and preparing another mind for occupation. This art, perhaps above all others, creates a kind of bringe, both thaumic and psycho-cognitive in nature. Nomizdothurgy is not simply the art of seizing and controlling another's mind. For by invading another's mind in this way a gateway is opened and a permanent connexion is established. The agressor must leave his own mind somewhat open to his victim's mind; he must be prepared for the increased mental burden of not only his own thoughts but also of the traffic going to and fro within his "other" mind. An adept may try to conceal his presence from his victim, but this is no easy task. And woe betide the wizard who has not prepared for the retaliatory assault from a victim who has discovered the invasion!

Well known is the story of the half-Teyorish Princess Ranaya of Markland, who was bewitched by an evil elf to sleep for a thousand years, and how this was but a plot of the Red Necromancer, whose ensorcelled minion the evil elf was.

The story goes on to recount the long dormancy of the realm and how this was a plot of the Necromancer's in order to seize the regency of the kingdom for himself, but that his plot was foiled at the last moment by a Daine knight of Lanera Maram. When the ensorcelment was broken, the eyes of not only the one elfish minion was opened, but many others of his slaves as well!

Having fled to his stronghold in Fenland, the elves came to the knight seeking his aid in defeating the Necromancer, which he and his warriors gladly offered. Once the stronghold was breeched, the rebellious slaves cornered their Master in his inmost chamber and there released their fury upon him. For, upon discovering the connexions between their own minds and his, and learning how he deceived and violated them and how they all had played a part in the discomfiture of the kingdom, they imposed a restitution upon him that no Man or even Daine or Teyor could long withstand. It is said they battered and tortured his mind for a month before at last flooding his mind so fully that he fell to the floor writhing in pain, his head cracked open and the steaming shreds of his brains oozed out at last. And that was the end of the Red Necromancer, the full story of which can be read in any good collection of sawyery.
Last edited by elemtilas on Sat 10 Sep 2016, 04:27, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Some Snippets from The World

Post by elemtilas » Sat 21 May 2016, 15:35

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didi-qella didi-huryo-ng-qella!
ruran en-tamacanye yostwand sayó: ruravon en-rombyonye asacanyast!
damo-endí na-huryo-ng-qella melle-ateh quocuoyanes
lahos lalayteyastesamray ya-ateh muguram!


VOC-wooden.spoon VOC-flat-wooden.spoon
RELATIONAL.PRN.2pl.f ACC-forklike.comblike.sticks-PL hold.in.hand-IMPER 2.pl.common : RELATIONAL.PRN.2pl.f.NEG.INFIX ACC-ten.fingers roast-IMPER
DAT-1s.masc ABS-flat.wooden.spoon NEAR.FUT-1s.masc fashion.from.wood/bamboo/reed-PERF
CONJ-thereafter happy-DEVERBAL.ADV FUT-1s.masc eat-IMPF


Flat spoon, flat wooden spoon!
Keep your sticks, don’t burn your fingers!
I’ll make me a flat wooden spoon,
then I’ll be happy eating!


Along with the tamac, a kind of joined chopstick device, the qella is the preferred utensil for eating among the Daine of the Eastlands. Unlike the separate chopsticks you'll find in use among Men in e.g. Auntimoany or Teleran, which are actually used to bring food to the mouth, the Daine use their tamacanye to push food onto the qella.

The huryo-ng-qella is not suitable, for obvious reasons, for soups, saucy foods or dry particulate foods. For those kinds of foods, the yaombro-ng-qella or rounded spoon will be better.

Spoons and even chopsticks are made in a variety of sizes and materials. Very small spoons of silver or bronze are popular for dealing out herbs and crushed salt; chopsticks, larger paddle and rounded spoons are often used for cookery and be found up to three or four feet long. Often times eating utensils will be highly decorated, but many makers prefer a smooth, clean shape to their work. The qella pictured above was carved from bamboo, a span (about eight to nine inches) in length and cured with walnut oil over a moderate fire.
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Re: Some Snippets from The World

Post by elemtilas » Wed 06 Jul 2016, 02:23

[tick]

We now turn our attention far from the civilised lands of philosophy-minded thaumologists and contentious priest-monks, of age-old Hidden Lands and corners of the dark forest where strange and perilous dreams often come true, and with brutal awakenings. We'll turn our attention away from the wise & crafty Daine of Westmarche and the industrious Turghun and the well protected Men of Auntimoany. We'll wander long over ancient roads and past the ruins of kingdoms old and new; pass by the lands of the Slaver Kingdoms and Warlords alike. At the jewel crowned City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, Peshbalick of the myriad Judeo-Indo-Helladian kingdoms of middle Eosphora, we'll turn to the north and strike out for one of the many kingdoms that rise from the dust, thrive for a time, and are crushed again into the dust of the prairies west of the Sea of Wucar.


Here is the Kingdom of Arjay, the Radiant, Lordly Folk. Arjay, like many lands in this region, is a mixed race country. Also, like many lands in this region, it is a land of long history and of many falls to ruin and rises from the ashes again. The country is ruled by a Daine king, the current being of Aoigheldaine kinship and more than half the folk of the lands around are some kind of Daine mixture. Of the rest, many of the inhabitants are Men -- Mung, Aryans, Helladians -- or half-Teor and even a number of Man-Hotai mestizos. Most of the Daine inhabitants of Arjay follow some form of Buddhism while most of the Men are Kristians or Jews. The language spoken in Arjay is a kind of Aryan language of uncertain kinship.


We'll take a little look at the mode of speech in this tiny corner of Daine culture:

eth veguyontem m-wevehem eth ecuyom
eth hedentem n-ðervehem eth cuyanotom
eth aterrosum yuerehem eth ukeshon
- - -hantum do wenveydus veguyontem

etom norum m-usethelreyos kekolonte
etom norum syawols aryarjante onðerum
etom perum wêontes eyshehem hantum
- - -bovum do wenveydus pelemontem

do percus payamanus peletente
- - -num m-usterenus tuevehem entum
- - -te delperens arjaqendiyaanti


the runner swift, the horse
the biter strong, the hound
the fire-blackened wild, the aurochs
- - -before the hunt running

these under stars covering under
these under sun shining under
these ere gale angry before
- - -from the hunt flying

the rib-cage treasure pounding
- - -in breast pride-swelling in
- - -of long-wing cause to inflame!

We can see at the very least the ancient poetic tradition of the kenning , some explained, others not. Obviously, the "swift runner" is the horse and the "strong biter" is the hound and the "fire-blackened" is the mighty aurochs. The "rib-cage treasure" is the heart; and the "long-wing" is a male Daine (females generally having shorter wings).

This poem comes from an old collection of "teaching poems", short works made to illustrate some aspect of Arjayan poetics. In this case, most likely kennings.
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Re: Some Snippets from The World

Post by elemtilas » Thu 04 Aug 2016, 23:48

[tick]

The peculiar Daine art of ulmasyerhrtunnama, the art of tuning the rain, is practiced almost exclusively by the Daine of Ônutumun (Auntimoany). As everyone knows who has made a careful study of the gentle ssussing of mizzle or nearly imperceptible tittatatting of drizzle or the outright sussurracy of a gentle spring rain, rain makes different kinds of sounds depending upon factors such as how hard the rain is falling, the size of the rain drops and, more importantly, the kind of surface the rain is engaging.

This is where the art of the raintuner comes in! A skilled raintuner may be engaged who will come into your garden, obviously during a rain storm, and will assess the sounds produced by the materials at hand and will, taking into account the effects of lawn or trees or shurbberies or stone walls, will carefully introduce, shift about or remove entirely various sound producing articles in your garden. The result will be a pleasing & harmonious song between the Rain Queen and the Garden Queens.

The mechanics of this subtil art involve introducing or altering the locations of objects that will enhance or concentrate particular ranges of sound. For example, flat stones yield a kind of dull pplapp! while hollow gourds or slats of wood, such as a crate, issue a more hollow thupp-thupp! sound. For a rain or meditation garden, these kinds of objects will be arrayed and "tuned" by positioning them for both optimal sound production and also projection of sound towards the listener.

Unwanted or distracting rainsong can at least be mitigated by careful and artful damping of those sound producers. Perhaps you wish to concentrate on the singing of rain among leaves for example, but the sound of the rain singing upon your sheet bronze gazebo roof is overwhelming the desired sounds! It may be the case that the raintuner will fit some kind of dampers in the gazebo roof that will serve to completely or partially cancel out the extraneous noise.

Raintuners are also adept at design and construction of plashsome rain cistern systems. The gathering of rain waters along an impluvion has long been standard practice in the East, as has the storage of captured rain waters in a cistern. What the raintuner does is artfully divert some of this run-off into a waterwork that makes a most delightful music of living waters splashing on different qualities and kinds of stone, that issue from high and low pipes, graceful Nymphs and stern Merfolk and naughtily pissing Putti. Once fallen into the great basin at the base of the waterwork, the waters are gathered again and sent down into the cistern.

Men call these "dry fountains", and some of the great houses -- and indeed the Palas itself -- have these installed in appropriate locations where folk can enjoy the dance of the waters during a storm of rain. Obviously, the appellation "dry" pertains to the fountains' usual state of sere emptiness; unlike a "wet font" where water is diverted from an aqueduct or pumphouse to a kind of perpetually plashing springwater spigot. The two kinds of fountain are nearly indistinguishable, except for the fact that one runs waters constantly while the other only functions during a moderate to heavy shower of rain.
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Re: Some Snippets from The World

Post by gestaltist » Fri 05 Aug 2016, 08:23

elemtilas wrote:Nomizdothurgy
I enjoyed this one. What is the etymology of the term?

Also: what are the "elves" the story talks about? I don't think I've read about any elves in the World so far.
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Re: Some Snippets from The World

Post by Frislander » Fri 05 Aug 2016, 09:48

Can I just say that I too enjoy this thread. I particularly loved the Men of Straw post, and the latest one on rain-tuning: highly atmospheric.
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Re: Some Snippets from The World

Post by elemtilas » Fri 05 Aug 2016, 21:42

[tick]
gestaltist wrote:Nomizdothurgy: I enjoyed this one. What is the etymology of the term?
I thìnk the root was probably Aryan namat, to give respect to the gods which gave rise to Helladian nomos, a custom, thence the verb nomizen to use customarily > acknowledge, consider, think. The sense of the word is thus the deep dwimmery of thought.
gestaltist wrote:Also: what are the "elves" the story talks about? I don't think I've read about any elves in the World so far.
Teyor fear them not. But then again, the coming fate of Teyorkind does not lie in Gea. Daine find them troublesome and recognise in them an enemy just greater than themselves; yet a few great heroes have assayed to test themselves against the Elfqueen.

Men... Heh, Men are fools.

Men sometimes worship them as gods or leave them dishes of milk curds hoping for good luck with the harvest; they throw perfectly good and costly iron into lakes or dance naked in the old Fairy Circles to court their aid or secure against their wrath. Stupid!, when there is already known to them a source of sure aid and constant courage against wrath!

They lump them together with Fairies and Sprites and other relatively harmless nature spirits. They will recklessly disregard what little wisdom their old wives have to say on the matter of Elves. And you know the old bromide about old wives' tales!

Ah, Elves. Nasty buggers for the most part. No beautiful and wise Galadriel here! What exactly they are, I don't think anyone knows, and they certainly aren't telling. They serve their own purposes and live according to their own sense of what is right and wrong. They don't care who or what gets in their way. Usually when ordinary folk chance to cross paths with them it is always at the mortal's sure peril.

They are (probably?) not people in the usual sense of the word. They are neither big nor small, they are not Teyor nor are they Fairies or Sprites. They are neither beautiful nor ugly, though are terribly graceful and glamorous. They can be waifish, lost souls, playing games of their own design and their own rules and you'd do well to count your cards and never accept an offer of dinner and dancing with such a creature. They can be terrible of countenance and their powers can be frightening to behold. They do not care and know nothing of love or compassion. If you should be brought to meet their king (or worse, their queen), pray for the strength to resist her charms and temptations! Have enough sense to make namaste and back away as graciously as you may! Any other move will only enmesh you further and deeper into her web of games and deceits. Very few, be they Daine or Man, have ever gotten away alive from a visit to her domain.

Mortals of all realms should be grateful that Elves have, thus far, been content within their own realms. Should they decide to shift orthogonal and come out into the lands of the Middle World, well, who knows what could happen then! As if the approaching doom of Men and all the Hotai waiting for their God to return weren't bad enough!

I suspect they are or are descendants of some kind of creature from Outside the confines of the world. It is possible that they are descendants of some of the lesser helping spirits that came into the confines at the time of Creation and Formation of All That Is. It could be that some number of them went native and were never accounted for in after time.

For that matter, there are even now a few of the mighty Powers still inhabiting Gea, though I'm sure very people anymore would suspect anything. Other lesser kindreds came to help and we know some of them too remained for various purposes.
Frislander wrote:Can I just say that I too enjoy this thread. I particularly loved the Men of Straw post, and the latest one on rain-tuning: highly atmospheric.
Thank you! This is what comes of listening to Rain for hours on end! Sooner or later, one of those squillions of drops contains a precious elixir of inspiration!
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Re: Some Snippets from The World

Post by elemtilas » Fri 12 Aug 2016, 03:02

[tick]

And now for today's history lesson, if you'll turn to page 8 of Coaltrayne's Brief Acccount of the History of Hoopelle...


Ancient History - - to 257 of the Present Age
From the unknown stretches of the past til about 10,000 years before the common era (bce), the Daine were the only inhabitants of Hoopelle, which in those most ancient days was clept Canash-1-. Like as not it was the same Sharundaine that now inhabit Westmarche who first gave a name to this area, being Howun Polun, or Place of the Warrior-2-, upon which Time has wrought his neverending change, yielding to us in younger days the name Hoopelle, or as it was anciently writ, Hwpel. In the Queranarran tongue, that the Daine do speak, how be place; wun be a kind of connecting word and polun be a warrior. They also gave names to several other places hereabouts. Very little is known of this period in Hoopelles history. One tale told about the Canash is the foundation of the Seven Sacred Springs. It is said that Enca and Nico, two leaders of these ancient Daine, did choose and consecrate seven springs to the eastward of the Canasawackta River in the region that the City would later be built. None can now say where those springs lie or in what manner they were dedicated, though the Daine do maintain that shrines were made there. If that be true, they are well and truly buried under the ruins of that ancient City.

The ancient Mannish kingdom of Hoopelle had its beginnings around 10,000 years before the present era. This kingdom, claiming descent from a very famous and powerful god, or mage that be clept Neebook (or Nibuk), at its height, stretched from Angera far into the western forests, thus occupying many Daine lands. For the most part, the Daine lived peacefully with their Mannish neighbours, though a few were forcibly removed from their homes, or else compelled to dwell in the great city of Hoopelle that was once their own land. Of late, however, wars with the Anian and Anadyran Empires, sister countries in the lands away north, and with the Warlords from the south greatly affected the kingdom, reducing its might. By 1600 years bpe, the kingdom had lost all its western lands and most of its northern and eastern lands. It would never recover from these losses, and thereafter sank into a long period of decay. Hoopelle would almost certainly have been destroyed had the Daine not defeated the Warlords, for these Warlords were a power to be reckoned with in those times. For some while, Daine of various thedes from the distant western lands had been immigrating, and began to take up much of the newly opened territory.

The migrant Aryans, ancestors of the Avantimen, the Rûmeliards and the Galts began to arrive from the Farthest West during the first century of the present era, and ceased their immigrations by the third century. During that time, they lived in the Wilds, the empty wilderness south of Hoopelle, while the old kingdom of Hoopelle, in the first half of the third century, was ruled by the Fourth Dynasty of Divine Neebook.

In the early days, so powerful were the Neebookian rulers, that no power ever attacked Hoopelle. This state of affairs was maintained for more than 7000 years. In fact it was not until the 257th year of the present age that Hoopelle was finally sacked.

The first king of the First Dynasty of Divine Neebook founded Hanohehano Onohelana Nibuk, Kingdom of Divine Neebook, around 10,500 bpe along the east bank of what is now the Cansawack River. This First Dynasty oversaw Hoopelles rapid rise to power and its first great flowering. At its summit, it witnessed ancient Hoopelles greatest achievements. Arts and culture flourished under these early Neebookian monarchs, as evidenced now only by crumbling ruins and dusty scrolls telling of those times. There were 430 monarchs of the First Dynasty, all descended directly from the founder. It shall here be noted the curious naming practice of this ancient kingdom with respect to its kings: all kings and queens, from the very first to the very last were given the appellation Andeyzar. It is not exactly known if this was a proper name or some title of respect. In any event, it makes remembering the names of well over 600 monarchs quite the simple task! It was during the First Dynasty that Hoopelle was built, upon the ruins of a great city of Daine, and became an architectural marvel. Every building was cased in fancifully carven marbles from divers places or well crafted bricks or colorful stone. Arches, colonnades and garden arcades lined the broad avenues; parks and public places were everywhere in evidence.

A civil war of uncertain genesis, instigated by a secondary branch of the family, in 4063 bpe succeeded in enthroning the Second Dynasty, casting the chief members of the ruling family out of power. The Second Dynasty of Divine Neebook comprised 137 monarchs. The Second Dynasty was marked by a sort of Silver Age for ancient Hoopelle, as the summit reached during the First Dynasty was surmounted and the slow decline was begun. Increasingly frequent wars with the powerful Warlords toward the south cast a rather somber shadow over the life of Hoopelle. The arts became stale, education became rigid and dogmatic, and the whole rate of cultural development slowed and by 2200 bpe the whole of society was a stagnant marsh of mediocrity.

Early in 2008 bpe, an illegitimate scion of the House came to power, taking advantage of an infant Emperor and a weak regency. These actions on the part of power hungry factions vying for control of the listless empire sent Hoopelle into a fall that nearly destroyed it. This Third Dynasty of Divine Neebook comprised 22 remarkably nondescript monarchs, few of which ruled longer than two years. As civil war and strife continued, the state of decay continued, increased even, clearly visible in the broken and disused roads, unkempt and crumbling cities, increasingly hostile wars and an alarmingly pessimistic popular movement. This movement, led by a rather charismatic woman by the name of Hannanomorukuni (which means “Dweller in the Land of the Dead”: han, land; enano, the dead ancestors; imoru, a dweller; kuni, I am) swept the whole kingdom during the reign of Nibuk Andeyzar xxii of the Third Dynasty of Divine Neebook (1602 - 1568 bpe), the twenty second and last monarch of the Third Dynasty. Her philosophy was one of absolute apathy and disconnection, and stressed the desire to be set free from existence. Whole cities in the north willingly died at the hands of the Anadyran and Anian armies. In the south they were as easily slain by the Warlords.

Thus, the several wars with foreign powers nearly destroyed Hoopelle by this time. In the west and south, intervention primarily by the Daine checked and eventually destroyed the Warlords power; while dissention and civil war in Anadyr caused fighting to break out there, leaving Hoopelle to sink further into its abysmal pit of self wallowing without any further outside assistance.

Fully five eighths of the populace was dead by the year 1568 bpe, when the rightful line of Neebook restored itself. Neebook Andeyzar i of the Fourth Dynasty of Divine Neebook immediately set about restoring the peoples self confidence and passions. Within ten years the apathy and pity of the last five hundred were forgotten, and for quite a while, a new spirit was awakened in Hoopelle. The next three Monarchs set about repairing what was physically wrong with the empire. They immediately set about restoring the City, rebuilding the waterways and retaming the old agricultural lands. The following 1700 years were spent in an aggressive plan to recapture the lost knowledge of the ancients and to rebuild the realm. Continuing wars with Ania and Anadyr to the north and Hannox Ptarica, a little known kingdom to the eastward of Hoopelle, prevented Hoopelle from regaining any lost land. To the west, increasing immigration of Daine prevented easy reclaiming of that land. The ancient Hoopolitan ruins in the Farther West are still clearly visible, especially a well preserved city just east of the Great Mountains that hight Alna-3- and is inhabited by Daine in the Farther West and there be also a system of roads yet used by Daine travellers and others who have need of travelling in the wild lands of the Near West. In addition to the roads, there be many ancient way stations or caravansaries built by the ancient Hoopellish kingdom for use of their caravans and military supply vans. Anymore, these same caravansaries are operated by Daine and cater to travellers, traders and caravans that ply the long road to the Great West lands.

The year 257 of the current age marked the great turning point in Hoopelles affairs. It was in this year that wandering tribes of Avantimen, Varnomen and Oswallumen sacked the ancient city. Fifteen hundred years of little more than the occasional border warfare in the north and east left the City itself quite defenseless. The city of Hoopelle had quite outgrown its clearly ceremonial marble walls; and its City Guard were armed only with lamps upon long poles. In fact, at this time, it was believed by many Hoplites that their God or else the spirit of their founder would protect the City from invasion, and destroy any enemy with the gall to attack Hoopelle itself. They were quite wrong as it turned out, and were easily driven from the city by the Varnomannish king Offas surprise invasion from the south. The whole kingdom was divided amongst the petty warlords or hiarizogar of the three great kindreds, for they had embarked upon the invasion and had no little interest in settling the new land. Independent kingdoms were carved from the northern reaches while much of the east was snaught by small chiefdoms and by Hannox Ptarica itself.

The Hoplite survivors that remained were driven to the west into Harrun province, that be now a kingdom, or else into the east by the Rûmeliards, where they remained for a while in the recently abandonned city of Pottenne. For, Pottene, Pyclias and Pylicundas were once Teoran cities, as the craft of many ancient buildings avers. Yet according to the histories of the Teor of Pylar, the inhabitants of these southern cities inexplicably left late in the second of the present era, embarking upon great ships docked at Pottenne and set sail for lands in the Ocean that none of the Wise can now tell of-4-. Sometime later, perhaps by the mid fourth century, the fugitive Hoplites themselves abandonned Pottenne, some moving to the south, others sailing out into the wide Ocean-5-. It is thought that in the far south of Pottenne, the “Fifth Dynasty of Divine Neebook” established itself. Until the very late nineteenth century, the fate of these “Pottennese Neebookians” was merely a matter for scholarly speculation. Those that had sailed the sea declined further into utter barbarity eventually to become the country known as Hanos Patinos, or Patine Empire, which be a ruthless bunch of savage pirates who primarily harass the Daramombassa and other countries in those southern seas.

The year 1898 of the present age brought modern Auntimoanye into contact with Hehano Nibuk, the Kingdom of Neebook, to the southwards even beyond Mentolatum. Antimoanian traders exploring the southern tracts of land known as Morocono discovered a moderately populated though thriving civilisation. The Antimoanians were welcomed in the name of Neebook Andeyzar lxxxiiii of the Fifth Dynasty of Divine Neebook. A scholar travelling with the traders recognised the speech and was able to communicate with the locals. The Neebookians were pleasantly astonished by an outsider who knew the ceremonial language. Learning and art never regained any of their former place in the Neebookians lives, for indeed many were the declines and deficits apparent in their culture; yet an overwhelming spirituality has remained one of their defining characteristics. Their religion never was understood clearly, and whatever it has mutated into is undoubtedly much murkier than ever the older religions were.

Thus, there were 430 monarchs in the First Dynasty; 137 in the Second Dynasty; 22 in the Third Dynasty; 73 in the Fourth Dynasty; and 84 known in the Fifth Dynasty of Hehano Nibuk, up until the 1898th year of the age. All told, there were 746 Monarchs, each of whom had the name or title of Andeyzar. The whole history of Neebookian Hoopelle, including the Fifth Dynasty even though it is not centered at Hoopelle, extends some 12,411 years. So little is known on account of the fact that the ancient writing is incomprehensible and the histories are inaccessible, now residing in the mathom of the Greatqueen of Westmarche. While it might be thought that those who fled the destruction of their land might retain some memory of the ancient written history, but alas this is not true. They have utterly forgotten how their ancestors wrote.

Little is to be said of Harunn, which be known to the Wise as Hanohehano Onohelana Nibuko, the ancient name that means Kingdom of Divine Neebook. After the fall of Old Hoopelle in 257 of the present age, some survivors of the Court removed to the ancient city of Codeis to the northwest of Hoopelle and established the First Codexian Dynasty, which scholars clep the Fifth Dynasty. This line ruled until 1299 of the present age, and there were 96 monarchs. Harunn was annexed by Hoopelle in 1303 as a western buffer between Hoopelle and Wreynoulde; and a lesser lineage was installed upon the throne of Harunn. This Second Codexian Dynasty, also called the Sixth Dynasty, ruled at Hoopelles pleasure until the great Invasion of 1672, and there were 63 monarchs.
A descendant of the house of the Fouth Dynasty was installed as a puppet king over Hoopelle on the part of the Auntimoanian pirates in 1360. This “Nibuk Andeyzar lxxiiii of the Fourth Dynasty” ruled only until 1363. This reign was an abberation and is not counted amongst the canonical kings of the Fourth Dynasty.
After the Invasion and subsequent wars had abated, a verified descendant of the Fourth Dynasty was installed upon the throne of independent Harunn, claiming the inception of a new dynasty. Until the present, this Third Codexian Dynasty, or the Seventh Dynasty, has been ruled by 74 monarchs.

Notes:
1. If you remember Canash from the Multiverse Inn, she was indeed named after the ancient realm of Daine
2. This is an immortalised scribal error, that has been perpetrated for many years. Houe-an-polun really does mean "Place of Cold Water Springs". Even though Coaltrayne went on to describe the seven springs, he never seems to have known what the name actually signifies.
3. Alna, while an entirely ancient city indeed, was not actually built by the Nibukians, for it indeed even predates the habitation of the Daine in those regions.
4. They Teyor of Onutumun did in fact depart, leaving the country empty. But the notion of them taking to ships and sailing away into the wine dark is rather romantic notion adopted by certain Auroxenfordian scholars of a century and a half ago.
5. Unlike the tales of great Teyor mariners, the history of certain thedes of Nibukians setting course for the burning waters of the southern oceans is indeed quite true, and their descendants like scattered among the islands of those waters to the present day.
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Re: Some Snippets from The World

Post by elemtilas » Tue 06 Sep 2016, 03:27

[tick]

The Asnawag

The Asnawag is a shapeshifting monster that looks like a shaggy haired person during the day. Asnawags are found in many places in Eosphora, most
notably in the hill country of Withwandie and in the Arnal Mountains. At night, it becomes a monster with a long broad tail and a long curved snout tapering
to a sharp blade-like proboscis. Asnawags prey mostly on deer and other large animals though they will attack people sleeping in the bush or wandering
alone at twilight. They prefer the savour of liver and have been known to hunt pregnant women in order to devour their unborn babies.

The asnawag's large size allows it to pin even a moderately sized person while the snout pierces the skin to liquify and devour the innards. Victims rarely
survive such a brutal attack for more than a couple hours. Though the wound itself is not large and rarely terribly bloody, the internal organs are
shredded, minced and sucked out. This violence is more than enough to kill even the hardiest of folk. Survivors of asnawag attacks are strong women who
were attacked solely for the fetus, since the monsters find them to be most delicious.

Asnawags usually attack by leaping upon the prey's head. This posture blinds and confuses the victim, reducing his ability to offer an effective defense
while allowing the beast to feed in relative peace. It uses its solid weight to pin the head and shoulders, leaving the arms free to flail about in a vain
attempt at resistance. Its thick claws and powerful forelimbs dig into belly and back, keeping the victim from squirming away, though are not as a rule
sharp enough to rend flesh.

Once it is done feeding, it simply withdraws its long snout and waddles away from its dying victim to digest its meal in satisfied tranquility.

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Re: Some Snippets from The World

Post by gestaltist » Tue 06 Sep 2016, 09:21

That's... terrifying. For once, I'm glad I don't live in the World. ;)
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Re: Some Snippets from The World

Post by alynnidalar » Tue 06 Sep 2016, 20:28

And what is the best way of avoiding the attentions of such creatures, or fighting them off should they assault you?

I sarcastically want to suggest that you constantly travel surrounded by pregnant women who will distract the asnawag while you run for your life (per the old joke about you don't have to outrun the bear, you just have to outrun your hiking partner), but that doesn't seem practical on a large scale (or if you yourself are a pregnant woman, in which case... douse your fellow pregnant women with steak sauce and book it??)
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Re: Some Snippets from The World

Post by elemtilas » Wed 07 Sep 2016, 03:11

[tick]
alynnidalar wrote:And what is the best way of avoiding the attentions of such creatures, or fighting them off should they assault you?
Well, the best way is simply to not sleep out in the bush! Also, don't wander the woods alone. These aren't commonly met creatures, but are certainly terrors to be aware of.

The local folk of Withwandiê -- Daine mostly, but also Dharghs -- have ways of coping with this particular danger. Dharghs actually came up with the idea first, it seems, of wearing a kind of headdress made from a piece of leather stretched within a frame. Upon this, they ink the image of a face and wear it secured to their hair braids. The face "keeps watch" behind them as they traverse the woods and is a sure defense against the asnawag. Daine have taken to the practice as well and aver the veracity of the claim.

Curiously, the Dharghs also use these back-facing masks to keep their wayward children in line when they have to be busy at other tasks. And it is from this custom of the Hillfolk that Iconian philosophers say "abbet uclis in oppostu testes issasonque" --- they have eyes in the backs of their heads.
I sarcastically want to suggest that you constantly travel surrounded by pregnant women who will distract the asnawag while you run for your life (per the old joke about you don't have to outrun the bear, you just have to outrun your hiking partner), but that doesn't seem practical on a large scale (or if you yourself are a pregnant woman, in which case... douse your fellow pregnant women with steak sauce and book it??)
Well, just travelling in numbers will reduce the likelihood of an attack.

Speaking of dousing a pregnant girl in the presence of an asnawag...

There is a custom among the Dhargh, during October and November, of smearing fresh liver on the belly of a pregnant woman and setting a snare on her belly. She just has to risk her own life by taking a nap out in the bush, waiting for the asnawag to attack. Hopefully the young men that are sent out to watch vigil will activate the snare in time, pull the beastie off the girl by its neck and drag it back to the village where it's hung up from a great bough and beaten with sticks of maple wood.

The only part of the asnawag Dhargh will eat is its liver. Karma, I suppose.

The girl is made asnawag queen and gets to wear a necklace of asnawag molar-plates, and also gets to finish out her pregnancy in relative peace.

The chief of the young men does actually have to wrangle the beast down and secure the snare rope round its neck (loose enough so it can breathe, tight enough that it can't slip out). He gets to wear the asnawag's hide; and all the lads get an appreciative glance or three from the young women of the place, as it's quite the thing to slay such a powerful beast.
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Re: Some Snippets from The World

Post by elemtilas » Thu 08 Sep 2016, 02:37

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Some Other Interesting Alman / Fauna

The Arnal Mountain Eagle is a bit of a terrifying bird. Leastways, if you happen to be wandering up in the tracklessly craggy highlands of the mountain
country. They do have a bit of a taste for fresh meat, and don't generally bother with all the niceties of table manners to get it. If you're on the menu,
chances are good this bird will simply rip your arm or wing right off and chow down.

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Not all beasties are quite so terrifying as the asnawag or the mountain eagle! First below is a swift running bird. They combine the swiftness of the
roadrunner, the cacaphony of the starling and the keen intelligence of a random pile of rocks. If you can snare the lead bird, all the rest will just mill
around aimlessly for a time, until it occurs to the flock that a new leader will be in order. This could take a while, and it's not at all unusual for a hunter to
bag good brace of these birds without really trying all that hard. They are quite delicious, especially on the roti.

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Next is the sugarnut tit, a diminutive bird that loves to eat a sweet kind of tree nut common in the Eastlands. The tit is definitely no sweet songbird!
From time to time, they let fly horribly discordant screech midway between that of an excited duck and puppy's squeak-toy.

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Next we have the loping beetle snatcher. This beastie kind of looks like an emaciated coyote, but in fact is a nocturnal insectivore. It prefers to dig
about in the underbrush and loam with its powerful claws, particularly near fallen trees, seeking out various kinds of beetles and worms to sup on. Their
sensitive snouts can smell out & hone in on a potential meal very quickly; they have only tiny and rudimentary front teeth, but well developed molars
which they use to crunch their buggy prey. Their long tongues are used especially to coax their dinners from out of their lairs.

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A rather large bird that is native to many lands of Eosphora is the long feathered peacock. While it is in no way uncommon to see birds such as this
in the Eastlands of The World, one must admit it is just slightly unusual to find one calmly strutting along the central hallway of a bath house. This kind of
bird is called quoyacuoyacu, or long-feathered bird, by the Daine who live in Westmarche. The person standing in the doorway with the conveniently
located washcloth stands about six feet tall, so you can get a sense for the size of the bird.

Quoyacuoyacu are a kind of toothless bird, stand between six and eight feet tall when grown and have a long bony tail with an impressive fan of rather
long and brightly coloured feathers. Each limb has three claws, though the third claw is nearly vestigial on all four limbs, being nearly invisible on the
forewings and very small on the hind.


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A little smaller than its loping leggy cousin, the loping beetle snatcher, this lesser beetle snatcher is every bit the match for beetle and bug chomping power. It has a very sensitive sense of smell and keen hearing as well. It can clearly smell where the beetles are hiding in their lairs and can hear what they're all talking about as well. Woe betide the beetles who are making fun of a beetle snatcher, thinking themselves safe in their buried lairs! This beastie has two powerful hind legs that it uses to rapidly excavate a subterranean bughome in a few short minutes. Once it catches scent of a newly evicted resident, it quickly turns and snatches the beetle in its teeth and chomps away most merrily!

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Re: Some Snippets from The World

Post by elemtilas » Sat 10 Sep 2016, 16:45

The Twice Traitorous

The small cadre of angels known as the Twice Traitorous are little known by the Wise, but what few threads of their history are known hint at a most
interesting story. For it seems they have long kept themselves and their activities a well guarded secret. Counted originally among the legions of angels
who rebelled against the Creator before the worlds were given shape, or around that time, these were the ones who hesitated and rebelled only after
being pressured by their kin or by more powerful of the angelic folk.

Never strongly in league with the true rebels, they kept their disquiet to themselves until the time when Lucifer's brothers came into his domain to entreat
with him to seek reconciliation. After the entreaties had failed and the brothers had gone again, the rebellious angels were compelled to bind themselves
all the more strongly to their leader. Yet the Hesitant, as these few became known, did not come forward immediately to bind themselves.

Their remorse for having rebelled kept them from entering league with Lucifer, and they were banished from his realm and became accounted enemies of
the fallen angels.

Barred from the heavenly realms for their first rebellion and now banished from the realms of the Fallen for their second, they fled into the outer voids
and there all knowledge of them was lost for many ages of stars. The Twice Traitorous remained entirely secret until the time of the Long Awaited, and
then they entered the World again. Some theologians hold that it was these angels the Satan was refering to when he tempted Yeshue to leap from the
heights of the temple, perhaps not recognising who they were. Some also hold that he gave them counsel while meditating in the desert before beginning
his ministry.

It does seem certain that this small company of somewhat rough angels played a part in those times of trouble and woe. They played a minor but
important role around the time of the Betrayal -- mostly in order to watch over Judas and ensure that he acts out his own part without hinderance or
interference. Once these events have unfolded and the Son has challenged and vanquished the great Rebel, he went back to the heavens and the Twice
Traitorous again left the World, this time to wait for their hour, at the End of All Things.

...Then Lucifer left him, and angels came and attended him.

"The Time is nigh and you have come."

His body was so very fatigued from the trials and Lucifer's pompous speeches and wearisome temptations. Yet his spirit remained strong. He sat upon a
flat stone, while around him could only be seen a shimmering in the hot desert air. He reached down and drew in the dust with his finger.

"You may reveal yourselves."

No other sound was heard and no one could be seen around where he sat, but where before was only sun seared air, instantly became filled with radiant
beings in their hundreds. Their flesh was the red of iron in the forge and their wings were fire. Their faces were drawn and wary, as if the very act of
revelation put them in danger. And indeed they were in grave danger coming here: they had no friends and no safe harbor in any world and they were
surely surrounded by enemies. They too were weary; fallen beings who sensed that the Time was coming.

From among the throng there came one fiery being, taller than the rest, and she stood for long minutes before the stooping man. He was a small man and
his hair was tangled and his beard was scruffy. The red-faced being had little experience with men, but knew them to be easily led astray and easily
destroyed. She was yet doubtful.

It had been long ages since the Rebellion, and the Banishment of Lucifer. And when even his brothers could not seek reconciliation, Lucifer turned ever
more to the Dark. When he demanded his legions utterly bind themselves to him, many clamored to be first; but she could not. He had turned too far in
his rebellion and the Hesitant, as she and her kin came to be known, were banished yet again. It was impossible to return home, and just as impossible to
dwell with the Rebels. The only option was to become exiles from the confines of All That Is and go into hiding, for they were ashamed and fearful of what
their fate might be.

But this man was clearly different. He was not afraid even of the dread Lord whose presence she and her kin had fled so long ago. The man looked up into
her eyes, and she knew. His gaze pierced her eyes, saw through every defense, knew every thought of mind and heart. She knew in that instant. He is the
one. The others watched her intently, waiting to see what she would do.

"I..." her voice faltered, she looked down, away from those invincibly tender eyes. Emotions long drowned came unbidden to her mind. She collapsed and
lay prostrate before the squatting, scruffy man. "I submit," she managed to say. "Where I failed before, I now seek ... forgiveness." The others stirred
now, sensing a great turmoil in their chief, but no sense of fear.

The scruffy man only smiled, reached out his fragile hand of flesh and bone and caressed the flaming face of the sobbing angel before him...

"Rise, beloved!"

She could hardly believe what she was hearing. Could her inmost hope be true? That forgiveness was still possible, even after turning away, even after
such long rebellion and after doing such terrible things in her youth? She looked up into his kindly face, and recognized who was lifting her up. For she was
gazing into the eyes of the One who Loves; and her heart was opened up.

"Beloved, it is your faith that has healed. You need bide in fear no longer."
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If we stuff the whole chicken back into the egg, will all our problems go away? --- Wandalf of Angera
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Re: Some Snippets from The World

Post by elemtilas » Mon 12 Sep 2016, 00:37

Four And Twenty Blackbirds, and What They Mean for Politics

Four and twenty blackbirds
baked in a pie


When the pie is opened
the birds begin to sing;
Is this not a dainty dish
to set before the king?


Now old king Crowl was a merry old soul
and a merry old soul was he;
he called for the cook a pie to bake
and bake it right quickly.


The guests sat down the table round
their napkins did they ope;
the cook a carving knife he found
but he was in the tope.


The knife went up, see how it fell
it speared the bishop's eye;
the cook he fled the hall pell mell
unto the vaults nearby.


The clarks were in the counting house
counting out the money;
the maidstaff in the kitchen house
eating bread and honey.


The cook upset the counting board
jetons scattered wide & far;
the books were spilled, the clarks they roared
and ran the door to ware & bar.


Onward ran the drunken cook
that caused the whole mistry;
the guests they settled down to look
all at the ruined pie.


When the pie was opened the birds began to sing
is this not a dainty dish to set before the king?


The maid was at the laundry hooks
hanging out the clothes;
when over flew the angry rooks
and pecked her on her nose.


They plucked her eyes and picked her neck
with glee they cawed and cried;
her breast her hands again her neck
they pecked her til she died.


Then stumbled out that drunkard cook
and fainted in the yard;
when he came to and up to look
he saw the palace guard.


And old king Crowl and eke the clarks
the guests and maidstaff too;
they saw the maid, the blood red marks,
twas quite the bally hoo.


Take off his head the queen did cry,
slowly pull it off;
Nay, string him up and hang him high
til he's had enough!


Sang hey-riddle-diddle the cat with the fiddle
he sang a mournful song;
to meadow there with the oak in the middle
the whole town went along.


The noose got tied, the cook he died,
the cat his playing ceased;
the king and queen they homeward hied
and forgot about the feast.


Sing a song of sixpence, a pocket full of rye,
four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie.


Now old king Crowel his guests and all
they played a parlor game;
his pipe, his bowl he eke did call,
the fiddler also came.

The basis for the rhyme is an old court history of intrigue where the queen sought to overthrow the archon by having the cook poison his favorite dish
during a feast. The poisoning itself went smoothly enough, but the cook, who was quite the lush, showed up drunk during the feast and bungled the
opening of the blackbird pie.

The uproar thus caused, the chasing about, the seeming murder of the maid in the garden and the kangaroo trial and subsequent execution of the drunken
cook served to distract the archon and court for the day and so no one ate the poisoned pie.

While everyone was out in the hanging field watching the cook die, the maidstaff had remained in the hall and had helped themselves to the abandoned
remains of the feast, as was the usual custom. When the court and guests returned from the hanging, they discovered that all the maids were dead and
the betrothed of one of them, a kitchen flunkie himself, cursed the "wicked plot" that laid low his beloved.

The archon got wind of the nature of the "wicked plot", and upon close questioning of the despondant flunkie, ordered the guard to seize, torture and
horribly execute the queen. She was buried under the stockyard where all the cattle could "piss on her for all time", in the words of the archon.

The cook was posthumously knighted and given a medal for accidental service to the realm by way of leading to the foilure of the queen's wicked and
dastardly plot. The archon presently married what he was assured to be a far more amenable and less ambitious princess of Iconia. But she had eyes for
the archon's son and promptly poisoned her new husband anyway.

The rhyme is part of a longer "rhyme cycle" centered on the archonate of Coel, or "old king Cole" as he's often known in the rhymes. The cycle itself is
part of a broader tradition of recasting (quasi) historical events as folk songs and riddles. The archon/king, the queen and the fiddler are recurrent
characters, the last of which generally plays a peripheral but often darkly humorous role.
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If we stuff the whole chicken back into the egg, will all our problems go away? --- Wandalf of Angera
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Re: Some Snippets from The World

Post by elemtilas » Thu 15 Sep 2016, 00:57

An Example of Turghun Musical Notation

In the example below, we find a Turghun wedding dance in native notation
scheme. First it should be understood that Turghun marriages occur in a
rather backward fashion. Among Daine and Durgh and Men and even Hotai
alike, it is generally the case that some sort of courtship will occur, after
which a betrothal is made; wedding plans are sorted out and after the ritual
is concluded, festivities begin with dancing and eating and socialising. After
this, the newly married are separated from family & friends for a time where
they engage themselves in consummating the marriage.

Not so for the Turghun! It is very common for young Turghun especially to
experience dreams or visions of a certain person. After some time passes,
they begin to understand that the person so dreamt of ought to looked for
as a soulmate.

Should two such people meet and gaze into each others' eyes, which they call
rerashaneh xhrashte, they will in short order come to learn much about
the other, possibly through some kind of telepathic linkage. If the two are truly
made for one another, they will experience a very strong urge to mate. At this
point in time, they are considered married and it is only after this first mating
that any wedding plans will be sorted out. The ritual aspect of a Turghun wedding
begins with the girl settled in an open place where she will play her music upon a
kind of flute, made from wood or bamboo. A very few will play there alone; most,
and almost always those who have sisters or close friends nearby, will be joined
by these other girls who will also take up the melody.

Soon enough, the rest of the folk in the village will arrive to this rather
stately, if slightly melancholic sounding music and last will come the boy
and his brothers and friends. The girl will rise from her place, take the boy
by the hand and lead everyone to the feast which has already been prepared.

Image

The musical notation is read from top to bottom, left to right. Each symbol
corresponds to a note played on the flute. Turghun flutes generally have five
finger holes and one or more vent holes low down on the body of the flute.
The usual mode or scale of their music is hexatonic. A flute whose five
finger note, its lowest note in other words, is E would have the scale
E-F♯-G-A-B-C-e.

Apart from the six signs that represent each tone, there are diacritic marks
that indicate an inspecific duration of time the note is to be played and also
whether the tone is of the lower or higher diapason of the instrument. It is
said that the duration is inspecific because the Turghun music is not strictly
metrical in nature. They admit of three, or sometims four, basic lengths of
notes. A short duration note is roughly equivalent to the quaver; a mid duration
note is roughly equivalent to the crotchet or dotted crotchet; a long note is
about the same length as a minim.

Image

Appended to the tune in the image above is a statement in the language of the
local Turghun where this was recorded. The text, written in the same Tree Script
in common use by other Daine in the region, reads thus: e durgis dngowin le e
razqwis peretan rerasane xhrashte tarþ
and sounds about like /ə durgiʃ dŋɔwin
lɛ ə rɑzqyis pɛrɛtɑn rɛrɑʃɑnə χrɑʃtɛ tɑrθ/. In our tongue, it might be rendered as
Durg Dngowi's child with Razg Peretan's child they clashed their eyes; for this turn
of phrase, clashing the eyes, is what they say when two fated people gaze into each
others' eyes.

Below is the same tune written out in our notation scheme.

Image

A lovely example of a Turghun wedding tune, though different from the one above, can
be heard here.
Image

If we stuff the whole chicken back into the egg, will all our problems go away? --- Wandalf of Angera
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Re: Some Snippets from The World

Post by gestaltist » Fri 16 Sep 2016, 09:38

How did you record the tune? Do you play the flute or whatever that is?
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